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Monday, April 19, 2004

Everyone said, "Don't overdo it," but I did anyway. I thought they were crazy even though I know better. I thought I could get up and walk around no problem, big deal. I thought that, not because it made sense, but simply because I wanted it to be true. It wasn't.

I went to church, went out to lunch, went to the grocery store, cleaned the toilets, made dinner, and thought I was going to die by the end of the night.

Church: had to take pillows and "lounge" in the pew
Lunch: pretty normal but they put me in the seat farthest from the bathroom
Grocery store: had to use the store's electric scooter to get around and could barely get out of the seat, which I had to do twice because my husband was in another aisle. Bad pain in tailbone. Not used to sitting up. Husband collapsed in laughter at the sound of scooter backing up. "Beep, beep, beep!" That has been his personal joke all along regarding my big, fat, pregnant arse. To actually hear me beeping was too much for him to bear with any sort of public decorum. I laughed until I snorted like a pig in the produce section.
Toilets: Has been a goal of mine; "Oh, just to be able to clean the toilets!" Well, I did.
Dinner: For dinner I made stir-fry. My husband said it was too involved for a person in my condition. I poo-poo'd him and stood at the sink washing the bok choy, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, bean sprouts, green onions and mushrooms. By chopping time I had to sit down. During the stir-fry the back pain started to get unbearable. I plunked the tofu in, added chicken broth, corn starch and Bragg's liquid aminos and then limped back to my room without even serving. I fell into bed bawling because of the pain, and try as I might I could not get out of bed after that. Thank God for the bedside potty, because I couldn't even make the walk to the bathroom. I'm still feeling pretty awful today, which means no movie and pizza date with Little-little. I broke it to him last night, and he was so disappointed. A slice of banana cream pie helped. And I gave him one too.

On top of everything, I seem to have possibly picked up a bug or something while out. My throat hurts and I'm a little congested. Yae.

Church was great! It was about forgiveness, which is something I tend to have issues with. Our pastor told us a story about a priest or a monk or something. The fellow was counseling a woman who was having trouble with forgiveness. "I try to be forgiving, but I keep thinking back on the wrong that was done to me, and it still hurts and angers me," the woman expressed. The monk dude directed her attention to the church's bell tower. He told her that even after the ringer of the bell let go of the rope the bell still swayed back and forth ringing for a time. He said that possibly forgiveness could be like that; even when you let go of the rope and forgive, the bell of pain and anger may still ring for a time. I thought it was interesting and am still reflecting on it.

The biggest thing I struggle with is self-forgiveness. The pastor said we all know God forgives, but that doesn't make us automatically stop hurting over our regrets. He said the issue doesn't lie with God, who has perfect forgiveness and no issues, but with us and how we are able to receive the forgiveness. The pastor then told a story about a preacher who traveled somewhere on a mission trip or something. I guess I was fluffing my pillows and missed the details. Anyway, the preacher came in contact with some lady in a village who claimed to talk to Jesus every night in her dreams. Everyone in the village believed it was true. Of course he thought this was nonsense, and to expose her he said, "When you talk to Jesus tonight, ask Him to tell you about the sin I committed in my youth, the sin that haunts me to this day." She agreed and returned the next morning. "Did you ask Jesus what my sin was?" the preacher asked. The woman said that she had. "Well what did He say?" the preacher wanted to know. The woman answered, "He said He didn't remember."

And that's the way it is with Christ and perfect forgiveness.

The message was that some of us think we are so grubby that we can't step foot in a church or move an inch towards a real relationship with God. But that is the time when we need that relationship the most, and when God forgives He forgives.

"Come now, let us argue this out," says the LORD. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool." Isaiah 1:18

Lastly the pastor said he hoped everyone would let go of "religion," a generic and fruitless concept, and embrace instead a living relationship with God.

So, church was great! I was a little embarrassed when the pastor acknowledged that I was there and that it was an answer to long months of prayer, but I was glad to be loved and to have such a caring family of people who have looked forward to me becoming part of our family life again.

I will never forget how they all came to my back yard and sang Christmas carols to me just after I got out of the hospital. I cried and cried and nearly disappeared on the spot, because I was so overwhelmed by their love. I went through such bad times but found a great deal of comfort in the Lord and in the people He has placed in my life because we all love Him and He is there for us and in us.

Church and lunch. Lunch was where my activities should have ended but didn't. I had a Portobello and Swiss burger with fries and pickle slices. I hate to be cliché, but the pickles were so good. I also had a delicious virgin lime daiquiri. My son told the hostess and our waitress excitedly, "Guess what! My mommy is pregnant!" I didn't know, but it seems he is excited and proud. His little feelings are so big and complex. Loving him is like unwrapping priceless presents that never stop coming.

After such a long day and pain that was bad enough to make me cry, I worried a little about Elise, who also was experiencing something new in my being up and doing. Yet this morning she let me know, by a few properly placed kicks and jabs, that all is well. She has drifted off to sleep and left me dreaming of her and what life will be like when she makes her debut.

The sun is lifting its head above covers; I embrace the breaking dawn.

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