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Thorn in the Flesh ~ Tuesday Tips

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

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The Apostle Paul referred to it as a “Thorn in the flesh.” (Many think Pauls thorn in the flesh was his poor eyesight.) Today, we call it a disability or chronic illness. Mine happens to be an inner-ear disorder called bilateral Meniere’s. Vertigo, nausea, Tinnitus, loss of balance and migraines.

No biggie. I’ve been living with the diagnosis since 1984 but as the years go on, it seems to last longer. So I’m at home most of the time and I have to do basic chores more differently. For example, Laundry.

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Little Miss Alice

My little helper, Alice.

Loading the machines isn’t too bad. As long as I don’t need to bend over to pick up the clothing.  Unloading the dryer, however, can be a problem on bad days. I don’t know about you, but I grew up drying clothes on the line outside. When I took the clothes off the line, I folded them and placed them in the basket so that ironing would be easier. I carried that over to the dryer too. It’s so much easier. However, bending over is a problem.

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We have a drop-leaf table in the laundry room against the wall opposite the washer and dryer. I thought it would be great for folding clothes. On good days, it is! However, on bad days, that means turning as I take the clothes out of the dryer, turn 180 degrees and place them onto the table to fold.  Big vertigo trigger! So this is what I do.

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This might not be great for the dryer but when I open the dryer door, I stack all of the undershirts and tops that need to be folded, face down over the dryer door while I fold the smaller things and place them in the basket. Now, I have a stack of undershirts and Tee shirts to fold all at once. Usually on the laundry table unless it is cluttered!

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This time I opted to fold them on the bed for my sweet hubby to put away. So much simpler and more efficient. At least it is for this gal.

I hope I haven’t bored you with my folding technique. I know there are many people who are suffering and also unable to do the simple tasks they were once able to do. I try to do only one or two loads at a time but not more than that on one day unless I am vertigo free. God’s grace helps me find simple ways to do the things that must be done.

Part of that grace is the blessing of my husband, John.

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He is such a blessing! Especially when he does the laundry or brings “carry out” dinner!

He even runs the vacuum cleaner! He does the laundry and I fold it. Great team, right?

I think so!

As wives, our “thorn in the flesh” is also felt by our husbands who may not be natural cooks or fond of washing dishes. They sacrifice a lot for us and are often overlooked.

I just want to praise the Lord for my husband of almost 34 years. John Purdy, you are a blessing and I love you!

There are many blogs and support groups out there for those of us who live with chronic illness. One of my favorites is written by my friend, Lisa Erhman. Please click on her link below.

Chronically Content

 

A Packrat’s Attempt at Organizing Christmas Decorations

Christmas Ornaments 2012 003 Christmas Ornaments 2012 005 Christmas Ornaments 2012 009 Christmas Ornaments 2012 010 Christmas Ornaments 2012 012 Christmas Ornaments 2012 013 Christmas Ornaments 2012 014 Christmas Ornaments 2012 016 Christmas Ornaments 2012 018 Christmas Ornaments 2012 019 Christmas Ornaments 2012 020 Christmas Ornaments 2012 024 Christmas Ornaments 2012 025 Christmas Ornaments 2012 026 Christmas Ornaments 2012 028 Christmas Ornaments 2012 031 Christmas Ornaments 2012 Courier & Ives gift from Elonna McKibben Christmas Ornaments 2012 From The Patteson Kids many years ago! Christmas Ornaments 2012 Inherited from John's parents. It hung on their tree for many years. Christmas Ornaments 2012 Ornament we bought in honor of our first house.

These are only a few of our Christmas ornaments. I have been collecting them since 1979 and can’t bear to throw away any ornament or decoration given to me. I don’t even want to think about the years of greeting cards tied up in bows and stored in a box. Of course, I can look through them and see messages from loved ones who are now with the Lord. There’s just something special about seeing the handwriting of someone who is now with The Lord!

I have given away only one collectable ornament that my little cousin (more like a niece since her Mom is only four years older than me and we have always been close. That goes for all of my younger cousins.)

In 1984, little Emily gave me a beautiful clear, teardrop ornament with a candle embossed on it. Actually, she picked out this ornament for our Aunt Shirley – “Sissy.”  Sissy didn’t get to enjoy her gift, however. She lost her battle with breast cancer and spent that Christmas in Heaven.

Emily told her Mom that she wanted Aunt Kathy to have the gift she had so lovingly chosen for Sissy. I still have tears whenever I think about it. Each year as I placed that beautiful ornament on the tree, I was reminded of the love behind it. Now that Emily has children of her own, I thought it only fitting to return it to her so that her boys would know what a sweet, thoughtful Mother they have. Also to remember “Sissy.” Funny, isn’t it how one little item can bring back so many memories!

Somehow, I have the feeling that every time Mary walked into a stable or heard the sound of bleating sheep she was reminded of the wonderful night she held the Son of God in her arms – indeed, God himself who took the form of man to redeem us. Immanuel – “God with us.” The Bible says that “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 

Organize!

Organize!

For nearly twenty years, I stored all of our Christmas decorations in the original boxes in my college footlocker which I kept in our den closet with the artificial tree. However, I ran out of space and the boxes began to smell musty and had to be thrown away along with the footlocker. I had to find someway to organize all of my “Christmas stuff!” The answer to my dilemma came to me at Staples. We were buying plastic file drawers for our home office and also for my sewing room. Inspiration hit like a bolt of lightning. The files were perfect! I still have a few boxes for more delicate ornaments but I can just roll the file out to the tree and return it to the closet when I’m done and I know where everything is. Everything else will go into a plastic tub which will sit on top of the file. I love organization. Don’t you?

If you have a story about special ornaments or organizational tips, I would love to read about it!

Praying my readers will have a new year of joy and blessing!

Love,

Kathy