Friday, May 15, 2015

Rolled Sleeves, Dusty Knees

With my husband entering the hospital on April 20th, 2015 I knew that I would have to pick up the slack and take on some responsibilities that were usually left up to him.  

Not a problem I thought; how hard could it be?  After all most of the household things I already did in some minor form, so a few more things to do shouldn’t be a problem. 
How soon I learned that rolling up my sleeves and getting my knees a little dusty would take on a new appreciation of what my significant other did on a daily basis.

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Becoming Someone Else 

It has been almost a month since I’ve taken on the role of my husband’s obligations.  I’m handling things better now, but that wasn’t so when I began this new role playing. 

The first day that I needed to “be hubby” I was feeling rather confident that I could do all that he did plus my own chores without any real setbacks.  Actually it went pretty well the first and second days, but by the third day I was beyond tired and let’s say not as resourceful as I should have been. 

I had been in the hospital by my husband’s side for almost three days with the exception of a few hours to take care of pets and rescues.  My husband had set things up so that I didn’t need to do some things for ten days, excluding feeding the rescue animals and cleaning their areas.   

When morning came I needed to “go do” what he does every day, twice or three times a day.  Feeding, checking for wounds and playing with the animals are always rewarding. 
On the other hand, I dreaded cleaning litters, scooping throw-up, and wiping up “fragrant” packages the rescues left because they aren’t able to make it to the litter boxes.   

By the evening of day three I was slowing down and starting to cut corners so I could get back to the hospital.  Of course this turned out not to be a good thing to do.  That night as I sat on a bucket trying to clean the litters I began to cry, “Lord I can’t do this.  Give me strength to do all I need to for them.”   

I heard a voice in my spirit telling me to do the best I could and it would be alright.  At first I thought it was just me looking for a way to cop out, but as I worked my way through the “duty” I felt God giving me strength to do what I needed to for each responsibility.

As I took on the burden of my husband, God took on all my burdens to help me through each day.  Even with lack of sleep and food, the prayers of the Saints sustained me through it all.

Leaving a Deposit No One Wanted 

On Tuesday, May 5th my husband had been moved to the surgical wing of the hospital.  By now he was more responsive, but still pretty heavily medicated.  Wednesday was a day of progression and he was sitting up in a chair. 

We were chatting when I glanced to my right and noticed a naked body backing into his room.  I told him to look the other way and I quickly went to the door to see who was making a literal appearance.  It was a sweet 80ish year old woman who had gotten lost and thought she was returning to her room. 

She was holding her dressing gown that was saturated in blood in her right hand, and her fully extended left hand was supporting a bowel deposit that she was carrying down the hospital hallway.  Suddenly a nurse swat team zoomed in on the situation and rescued the wandering lady. 

Trying to comfort the confused soul, I blocked the way so she couldn’t continue on her wrong path.  

Approaching the scene one of the nurses held out her hand and told the lady, “Give that deposit to me.”  She wasn’t wearing gloves or even thought twice about what she had asked the distressed woman to do. 
She was given a clean gown and together we escorted her back to her room three doors down from my husband’s. 

I was so impressed by what the nurse did and thought how petty my complaints were before the Lord.  Would I be willing to take on that kind of responsibility for life as she did? 
Secret Fruit 

Later that day the nurse who collected the holdings came into our room and said, “I’m sure glad it was you who saw that woman. She had pulled out her catheter including the ball and was bleeding down the corridor.”  The nurse’s statement was rather strange I thought, especially since I never met her.  It wasn’t until the next day that I found out what she meant. 

She had been watching me as I assisted in whatever I could for the past few weeks. By the time my husband was moved to the surgical wing, the staff knew who I was because I seemed to always be there.   

When my husband was sleeping I helped with visitors, answered waiting room phones, checked on coffee units, counseled, prayed, gave out smoothie recipes, changed linens or cleaned rooms.  For me I just wanted to stay busy to take my mind off what was happening in my own life.  Rolling up my sleeves and getting dusty knees while mopping floors didn’t seem that significant in lieu of what others were doing before my eyes. 

We found out that the nurse was a sister-in-law of a man who was in cardio physical rehab with my husband.  He had told her all about us and that we were Christians.   

“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father (in Heaven) who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:3-4 NKJV)  

Our testimony and works had gone before us. How wonderful that God had allowed us to bear fruit for Him while we were in the middle of our own storm, because of seeds previously sown.  What we had done in secret the Lord made public. 

Appreciating Your Life 

The beginning of May has the world celebrating the appreciation of teachers, nurses, hospitals and mothers along with a few other holidays. Nowhere did I see the celebration of appreciation of your own life. 

As the days wear on with me continuing in my husband’s responsibilities, I have come to appreciate what a burden he carries for me as well as others.  When I realize what he does on a daily basis as “the usual” stuff, I am so thankful that I don’t have to do those things and that someone else is gifted or willing to take on tasks that I’m not that good at.  It makes me appreciate my own life and the gifts God has endowed to me even more. 

Transfer the Burden 

In Galatians 6 we are asked to bear one another’s burdens to fulfill the law of Christ as we go about being generous and doing good deeds for the Lord.  God promises that our deeds won’t go unnoticed and we will be rewarded in due season.  Sowing seeds into the Kingdom of Heaven allows us to reap eternally as well as here on Earth. 

There are a lot of jobs that frankly I hope I’ll never have to do, but if I had to I hope that I would be willing to carry them out without grumbling. 

Like Moses we may ask, “How can I alone bear your problems, burdens and complaints?” (from Deuteronomy 1:12 NKJV) 

Well we can’t, and knowing that not everyone can do every job, the Lord places a desire for certain tasks in our heart to fit us uniquely.  We need to appreciate the skills He has placed in each individual. 

God does not call everyone to be mothers/fathers, nurses, teachers or even people who care for pets.  He does however call everyone to carry a burden for someone in need, before handing them over to Him.  

“Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV) 

In other words, “Cast your cares (burdens) on the Lord, because He cares about your life and appreciates what you do for Him.” 
"Cast your burden(s) on the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22 NKJV)

Jesus has asked us to make a difference and do something that will count for eternity.  What will He have you do for Him today?

This Week’s Challenge:
The Appreciation Challenge 

Learning to appreciate those in our lives sometimes goes less noticed, and that’s why we are going to do something to make a difference in the life of someone else. 

Our challenge this week will be to totally take on all responsibilities of someone we live with whether it is an adult or child (except actual jobs in or outside the home), while still doing our own duties.  It’s not a switch-a-roo challenge, but doing it all without complaining task to show the other person how much you appreciate what they contribute to the family. 

Maybe you already have the task of being both mother and father to your family and taking on those added responsibilities doesn’t seem challenging.  For you, the challenge will be to take on daily duties of someone else you see every day. 

Doing this may seem easy if you only do it for one or two days. Believe me, if you take this appreciation challenge seriously you will be thinking differently by day four. 

We want to show the Lord we believe that He will give us the strength, wisdom, knowledge and understanding to bear fruit without wavering when it gets tough.  Rolling up our sleeves and getting a little dust on bended knees is not a burden when we cast them on the Lord, but a blessing from God.

May He grant us favor as we learn to appreciate the life we have been given to live before Him and all mankind.

                                      Until next time, appreciate favor when you see it. 

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“I favored you with the right gifts that suit you.”
Jesus Christ


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Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Scrubbing Floors  Cat Litter Box Problems  Nurse Patient  Matthew 6:3-4
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