...I just have to.
This is what I tell myself. Many times a day.
To the question...that people ask me...often: How?
How do you cook your family New York Strip and M & M Cookie Cheesecake and not be able to eat any of it? Or worse how do you heave through it because the smell of food is still, often, very often, unbearable?
...I have to.
I have fewer options than before to show my husband and my beautiful children, my precious family, that I love them. I have difficulty staying up past 8 p.m. and my husband often spends the evenings alone while I rest and/or sleep. He also does ALL the cleaning, laundry, and dishes and waits on me hand and foot.
"Rest, Honey. Just rest."
Also, my children do not get to exercise with me, see me at every school/church event or game, or play, dance, sing, and giggle with me, as much. Like we used to...
So, I have to.
It's how I show them my love. My heart...that is overflowing love for each of them.
I just have to.
How do you come to school each and every day (well, most days...) and teach to your heart's content?
"I don't know how you do it."
That's easy. Because, I have to...
I commited, last year, when I signed my contract, to those over 100 fifth graders, and to each of their set(s) of parents, that I would be there for them. Each day of the year. Give them what they need to succeed in their future education and further is what I promised with that signature. I also love my own two children and my husband...and I love what we have the opportunities to do...the chances my children have.... oh..yeah.. and the food we eat and the gas we use to drive....all which would not be possible without my paycheck.
So, each morning when the pain is horrible, the nausea is overbearing, or the weakness is unbelievable...the answer is easy.
I just have to.
It's how I love each of those little hearts. It's how I contribute to others. It's how I love people. It's how I love me...
Teaching is a gift that God gave me...(no, Susan, not my spiritual gift) ...and when I am planning, teaching, learning, or yes, even the dreaded, grading, I feel important. I feel needed. I feel like I am exactly where I belong.
So, maybe teaching is a weeeee bit self-serving.
But, it just adds to my consistent, ever present thought...
Because, because, BECAUSE...
I just have to.
Lastly, I have spent most of my weekends, several weeknights, and all of my time, prayer, and effort, towards serving Our God through the works of my church, Powhatan Community Church.
And oh, was I happy.
Serving. THAT is my spiritual gift. I lived for the small lives of PowerJam. I felt the need to fall to my knees in thanksgiving to the Lord for each and every chance I had to serve Him on the stage of PCC. I was on the leadership team and attended conferences and/or training sessions, all to learn how to love people more...in the name of our Jesus. I adored my pastor, my band, and my tech team, that put on an amazing service that I never, ever missed. For five years of Sundays. I was far from perfect. Far, far, far. But, you know the saying, "You don't know how good life is until..." Well...
But...then I got sick. And all of my serving was gone.
Not slowly taken away.
And I do not think I realized until of late, how much that physically and emotionally has harmed me.
While I had, and often still have no physical choice, I love Jesus. I love my God. And I love, love, love... oh how I love, to serve Him...in appreciation for all that He gave me... to love others as He has loved me.
I try to still do what I can.
I pray so much, that I am pretty sure I do NOT pray less, than I DO pray.
I pray for all the people in need from our church...for our leaders...for our school system...for Japan... for my family. And even for those who have hurt me the deepest. I pray, so that I am as close to Him as I possibly can be.
I attend church as many Sundays as I possibly can.
But it is different. I miss Small Group. I miss being a part of all the nooks and crannies of my church. I miss being a part of the Children's Team and the Creative Arts Ministry. I just miss serving in the ways I used to.
I know, I am trying to accept, but I know, that there is a high chance that I might have to be "different" for the rest of my life. I am aware that I may never be able to go back to the way I "used to" in a lot of ways.
...sometimes I can.
So, when I was asked to serve this Sunday, even if it is a small role in showing others how far I've come, how much love I feel and have, because of Jesus and the love I have been shown...
and the question lingered in the air...
as to how I am going to be able to spend a majority of my weekend serving Him? Am I sure I can do "it"? At PCC. In the service. The answer was easy.
...I have to.
Do you know the amazing feeling, privelige it is to serve Him? To be given the chance to do that?
He loves us so much.
I am grateful for any chance I get to share that love with others. To show them, as I have been shown, that they are beautiful. No. Matter. What.
So, I just have to.
See you Saturday at 6:00 or Sunday at 9:30 or 11:15.
You will be blessed.
I triple promise.
And that has NOTHING to do with me...