A while ago, I began a journal to record the tender mercies I saw from God each day in my life. I have been very sporadic, but whenever I do it, I am overwhelmed by what He has (& continues to do) for me. Here are some of the more recent “tender mercies”:
-there have been several days where I either needed time alone to process/understand my feelings, or to “catch up”, & one of my helpers was either delayed, or couldn’t come into work. I hate to say her trial is a blessing for me, but I know the Lord has a way of turning lemons into lemonade.
–people saying things that I need to hear precisely when I need I need it
–people doing things at a time that works so they can give me the help I need, exactly when I need it…though sometimes it has presented as a test or trial–& if I “pass,” I receive help emotionally, too…not just physically
–people are constantly being put in my life to help me in more ways than one. Here’s an example:
No cause was found for my stroke, but one theory is that my diet was a factor: pre-stroke, I rarely ate fruit (unless it had nutella), I hated most veggies (except corn), pasta was a staple in my diet (& it was often chicken Alfredo) & I rarely ate greens, so my blood was thick. (I tried eating healthier when I found out I was pregnant w/Zach, but that was a very bad idea to try to change my diet when I was pregnant!) Anyway, I hit my head a few days prior to my stroke, & the theory is that my blood was too thick to get through a skinny nerve I had at the base of my skull.
I was over-joyed (note the sarcasm) to learn post-stroke to be told to eat LOTS of leafy green vegetables. “Just my luck!,” I thought, & for years, I just ate what I wanted. (“I already had a stroke…what could make me worse?”)
But then I gained a lot of weight, & since Mark transferred me, I felt responsible when Mark kept hurting his back. So I replaced my stash of chocolates & Cheetos w/freeze-dried fruit, & gave myself other restrictions…& with some small, though difficult, changes, I lost tons of weight. As a bonus, I learned to like eating healthy, & then I got a new helper, who is the bomb at making healthy food super yummy, which was a tender mercy to be sure!
Over the years, this helper has helped me in countless ways w/physical, emotional, & social ways as well…& she is not the only person who has entered my life, & helped me in multiple ways. Many friends AND family have equally blessed my life!
–sometimes other people in my life will be the answer to a prayer or be given challenges where we can relate & strengthen each other
–daily events that have helped “mold” me so I am better equipped to face current challenges in my life
–During the past year, I have enjoyed being able to bite into whole pieces of fruit. It’s been almost 16 years since I’ve done that, so it is exciting every time I do it! I started w/a pear, & added other fruits: nectarine, plum, peach—even opening an orange & a banana. By October 2019, I bit into a soft apple! I can’t explain the joy that followed!
— The thing I have wanted to gain back the most is my speech. It has been a long journey (which is not over), but my speech has continued to improve — & even more drastically during 2019! Music therapy got me started (around 2006?), & when I began horse therapy (2014), it strengthened my diaphragm, & then music therapy could then focus on all the fine motor work & put the muscles (that I develop in horse therapy) to work so I am able to relearn speech. All my therapists hold conversations with me, which only could strengthen my ability to speak. By September 2019, I felt confident enough to approach someone on my own, & talk to them—something I haven’t done since my stroke, almost 16 years ago! & after almost 16 years of only being able to text & email my husband when he travels, in October 2019, he Facetimed me not once, but THREE times on a trip!
This was good for me to read tonight. I’ve felt utterly bogged down by negativity lately- people complaining or criticizing others (sometimes openly !), people being cold and indifferent towards others or downright hurting them … your post was all positive. I am pretty good at being grateful for lessons I learn and things I enjoy but sometimes that isn’t enough when you get yourself too embroiled with other people’s negativity. Maybe I need to take a little break from them. Maybe I’ll just take a break from the news too. Thank you for reminding me who I’d rather be around.
Jenny, I love reading your comments, especially about all the blessings in life. Loved your Halloween costume too. Mark put the “icing on the cake.”
You are the living embodiment of how hope, determination, persistence, tenacity, patience and the love of those around you can help you achieve miracles. I am so amazed by your progress since your stroke. Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving!
I love it when you add to your blog. You always inspire me! I love getting to know you better. Your thoughts, struggles, blessings help me revaluate my own life. Thank you for finding joy and living your best life with what life has given you. Huge Hug!