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Thankfulness... Just Look Up!

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

This view. This absolutely steal your breath, kick you in your memory maker view... is out my back window! The past few weeks especially I have been under the heavy foot of some serious chronic pain and migraines. Most days have been spent in bed, on the couch, in the dark, or just hid behind closed doors. The days I did get out to run errands or try to squeeze in visits to friends or family members to remain sane, just seemed to throw me deeper under the wet blanket of chronic pain. To be completely honest, there were a few moments when I asked myself, out loud even, 'Is this what the rest of my life is going to feel like- am I going to be like this always?'. Let me tell ya, that feels like a slow painful tumble down a long, dark, dreary, hole of despair. Chronic pain is just lonely. The only ones who really- really get it, are the ones who have it or have dealt with it to some degree. I cannot be thankful enough for those wonderful humans who have been placed in my life who love me to such a degree that they climb down in that hole with me just to make sure I am doing ok. I am so very thankful that you make a choice (active) to step into my life- even the most un-fun parts of it. You truly and deeply make a difference in my days <3.

After dealing with weeks of accelerated pain, especially with migraines returning (insert exhausted Emoji), I somehow had forgotten to look up. The simple act of leveling my eyes on what is before me. This picture- this steal your breath, kick you in your memory maker view, is what I saw when I looked up. In that moment, life just stopped. My feet literally came to a stand still. The hamper I was lugging to the laundry room suddenly felt as light as air in my arms. And the thought that came to my mind in that moment wasn't 'Is this what the rest of my life going to feel like' but rather 'How am I so blessed to wake up to this view every morning- a view that most people in Central Oregon cannot even afford to see from their very own back window?!'. So God, doing what he does best, used a very typical Tuesday morning to breathe life back into my spirit. He simply prompted my heart and my mind to just look up. Even looking at this photograph as I am writing this, I am overcome with gratitude. This long season I have been in coupled with migraines, short-term disability turned long-term disability, being predominately home-bound, dealing with debilitating chronic pain, and overwhelmed with defeat... yet God loves me so much that he caused the most unexpected things to line up to strategically place me where this is my view. Each day. Every day. For as long as I am here. I am a firm believer that God does nothing half way. He literally has brought my life full circle. I fell in love with this view just over thirty years ago and when I left, heart hurt and battle worn, I truly believed I would never return. And yet... here I am. Waking to this view, in this season, for as long as God keeps me here to do a deep healing work in me. I realize chronic pain may never completely go away. This season may be all about getting answers and learning to manage the conditions I have. And most days, I am okay with that. I can accept that some things do change, some things change little, and some things aren't meant to change... just our perception of them (special thanks always to Hallmark for real life reminders).

I can easily say that in the past four days my emotions have been through the ringer of life. I have felt left out, pushed out, forgotten, and unappreciated for just being me (a mere human just trying to make it through each day just like everyone else, making mistakes and sealing victories along the way). Some of the blame goes to fact that I opened social media- let me tell ya, something that is intended to make you feel so connected and valued and a part of something so big, can literally be the thing that knocks you the hardest on your ass. My emotions can be flying high, my life feels full, I feel so grateful to have such a full and rich life... and within 0 to 60 seconds flat, I can question why I am even still breathing. That might sound a bit dramatic to some, but I do believe I am not the only one who gets pummeled by social media. And usually social media isn't a one and done swing to knock you flat- it just keeps comin' (insert cringing Emoji). Some blame goes to expectations- even knowing that expectations are something that can cripple my reality, they still somehow erect themselves again and again in my life. This will probably be an area of growth for me- always. And some of the blame goes to the most wonderful time of the year... not! The holidays can just be hard. And hurtful. And painful. And lonely. That is just a reality for a hell of a lot of people (BIG hugs!). The reason I share all of this, is to encourage you to look up. To open your heart and your mind to what God has placed in your life, in this season, for as long as you are in it. He might be working a healing work in your life of forgiveness. Or acceptance. Or character building. Or spiritual awakening. Or enlightenment that others do actually exist around you. So many people are just going through the motions. This year has been hard on a lot of people especially with no end in sight. Physical touch is down. Socializing is minimal. School is at home. Just going to the grocery store puts your health (and your family) at risk. You might not think there is much to be thankful for. But just look up. You just might see and feel the blessings around you. With today being Thanksgiving, even if this is different than any Thanksgiving you have ever experienced, just look up and be thankful for who and what God has placed in your life. That simple act of looking up just might be the thing you are most thankful for today.

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