Friday, April 26, 2019

One Day at a Time

For months, my general response to "How are you?" has been "We're living one day at a time."

The past few weeks this has been even more true. I can only focus on today. Or maybe this moment.

I can't dwell on the past because then I remember how much better Ed was last month, or last summer or last year. The days I thought were hard then, now seem easy. I wonder why I didn't appreciate how good I had it.

No, I can't focus on the past.

I can't focus on the future. I do have to make plans. I must make phone calls, line up supplies, and work out details. Sometimes I even allow myself to dream, to plan a summer book club or look up a new camping spot the children would enjoy. But I can't imagine how I'll make it through the next weeks, the next months, the coming years.

No, I can't dwell on the future.



A few months ago I didn't know how I'd manage if Ed lost his ability to walk. Now it's our reality.

How are we managing?

We "do the next thing" as Elisabeth Elliot said often. Each moment there is a task ahead of me and always there is strength for that task.

When I accept my present reality and walk into it, I find grace for the moment. 

The last weeks have held some good times. Ed and I enjoyed his niece's wedding. On Palm Sunday Ed's family was together at his mother's house. My family spent Easter Sunday together, enjoying the presence of my brother who returned from teaching English in the Middle East. And of course, Easter is a reminder that we have a risen Savior who gives us hope.



Enjoying Iraqi naan at our untypical Easter dinner.

But Ed's wheelchair is now necessary just to move across the room. His shaky hands make eating difficult. The weakness on his left side is more obvious. Every day I see another sign of his deteriorating health.

But our families are holding us up in very tangible ways. My sister helped me scrub the winter grime off the windows to let in the spring sunshine. Ed's brothers and my brothers have helped with various projects around the house such as building a wheelchair ramp and stacking firewood. If I mention that my faucet is leaking, I have brothers vying to fix it.

Many of you have emailed, sent mail, and remembered us in various ways. Thank you for your love and reminders of God's care. Your prayers are holding us up and are the reason we are finding grace.

A friend sent me the words to this song which have been echoing in my mind ever since. I know that often people reject God in times of suffering. My prayer is that I will hold tighter to Him as my only place of safety.

Under His Wings
by William O. Cushing


Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.
Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.
Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.

Enjoy listening to this song in this video. (If reading by email, click over to the blog to view.)



24 comments :

  1. That is beautiful, Gina. Thanks for sharing the song. I am praying for you and Ed at this difficult time. God bless you and your family.

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  2. Dear Gina, what words do I use? Our family is praying for you and yes, it's only by God's grace that you will be able to go through this and remain strong! I'm in the same stage of life as you (7 young children) and I can't imagine life either without my husband. I think of you often and appreciate your honesty! God bless you with much grace as you care for Ed!
    Judith Showalter (met you at Kingdom Fellowship Weekend)

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  3. QUERIDA GINA: QUE DIFICIL MOMENTO DE TU VIDA, NO HAY PALABRAS QUE TE PUEDA YO DECIR PARA ALIVIAR TU SUFRIMIENTO, ES TAN JOVEN TU ESPOSO Y TUS NIÑOS TAN PEQUEÑOS, CUANDO LA VIDA SE NOS ESCAPA DE A POCO DE LAS MANOS, SENTIMOS UN TERRIBLE DOLOR, LO SE POR EXPERIENCIA, NO HAY CONSUELO O PALABRAS QUE CALMEN NUESTRA ANGUSTIA, NUESTRA DESESPERACION,NUESTRA RABIA E IMPOTENCIA,PERO DEBEMOS TENER FORTALEZA Y PENSAR EN LOS QUE TENEMOS ALREDEDOR, NO TRANSMITIRLES MAS TRISTEZAS DE LAS QUE YA TIENEN, HAY QUE DARLES SEGURIDAD EMOCIONAL Y CALMA, CALMA QUE SOLO SI ESTAMOS FUERTES EN DIOS NUESTRO SEÑOR, EL SOLO NOS PUEDE DAR.LA VIDA ES DURA, MUY DURA E INJUSTA. TU CONSUELO ES SABER QUE LE ESPERA UNA MEJOR VIDA EN EL HOGAR CELESTIAL. BENDICIONES Y ORACIONES PARA TODOS USTEDES.

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  4. Gina, this brings tears to my eyes. May God's loving presence continue to comfort and bless you.

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  5. God is faithful. He will take care of you!

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  6. God bless and keep you and your beautiful family! So glad that your family is rallying around you all. Donna xo

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  7. Gina, that has always been one of my favorite hymns. Now, I think when I hear or sing it I will think of you and the incredible grace you are showing under one of lifes most difficult times. My prayers are with Ed, you and your family. May God's peace be upon you all.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  8. Praying for you and your family.
    Mary E. Osborne
    San Pedro CA

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  9. I have heard there is no such thing as a happy life on earth...but there are happy moments. May you continue to find those small pearls as the string runs short and Ed walks gently home.

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  10. Wish I was there to give you a hug!

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  11. I think of you so often and pray for you. Keep trusting and take one day at a time or even just one moment at a time. God is FAITHFUL!

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  12. Praying for you and your family through this difficult time.

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  13. Dear Gina, praying for you in The Netherlands.
    God bless and keep you and your family.

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  14. Bless you, Gina, for testifying in the midst of this strange time. I am praying for you all. I would give you a hug if I could.

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  15. Your story is touching and brings tears. May God be near you! Praying for your family

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  16. Dear Gina, praying for you and your family.
    Fiona

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  17. We continue to pray for you so often, Ed, Gina & family! We know God's grace is sufficient, and we're praying for His abundant mercy as you walk this hard path of cancer. We love you and are so thankful you both have supportive families nearby and we are praying for them, too! We love you so much! Randy & Eunice

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  18. Just recently "met" you through another blog (Confessions, Shari Zook) and have already used some of your book recommendations for my children and myself (thanks for sharing!) and enjoyed all I've read from your blog thus far. My heart aches for you, and you and your loved ones are frequently in my prayers. A sister in Christ, from Wisconsin.

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  19. the warmfireplaceApril 29, 2019 at 3:44 AM

    Surrounding you all with prayer, grieving for what was, what is and what could have been is a hard path, but our dear Lord will be with you every step of the way. God bless you all. Sue

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  20. I have been reading your blog for a long time now, but this is my first time to comment.
    I pray for God's wonderful peace for Ed, yourself and your family. May you all find comfort from His promises, for He is a faithful God.
    With love from Western Australia

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  21. "Dear God, Thank you for the comfort that you bring to us your children & especially right now I pray for your dear children Ed & Gina and their family. Thank you for the rest that they find under your wings. Give Gina the strength to live in each moment & bless their moments with sprinkles of joy & obvious touches from you. Assure them often of the Grace that was, is & will be....always. In Jesus Name Amen"
    Oh Gina, thank you for sharing our heart through this extremely hard time. Your testimony & Faith in your Heavenly Father give me hope & assurance of what I believe. He will never leave or forsake us & as you walk the path you've been dreading & praying you wouldn't ever need to face, the God who loves you so much is so close, carrying you. We continue to pray for you all.

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  22. Gina- love to you... it was so good to see your girls at Redbud, but hard to not see you and Ed there...God is with you...Prayers...

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  23. I continue to pray for your family. I know you only through your blog, but your story and your witness as you move through this time touch me so deeply. The hymn that came to my mind as I read this post is "Great is Thy Faithfulness," and it's been running through my mind with new meaning. God bless you. I wish I had better words.

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  24. This poem is one I found years ago...hope it is a blessing. Despite the circumstances, I believe our Heavenly Father is helping you to truly take "one day at a time"

    One Day at a Time

    Oh, we were so happy,
    our hearts were so light.
    The future looked rosy
    and golden and bright.
    In youthful ambition,
    with life at its prime -
    But now – we are taking
    one day at a time.

    Yet a day at a time
    would be too much to bear
    If family and friends
    would forget us in prayer.
    For God in His wisdom
    has dealt us a blow -
    Oh, may this experience
    inspire us to grow!

    Grow richer and better –
    not bitter instead,
    Though something of value
    has vanished a fled.
    When darkness surrounds us
    and life seems unfair,
    It's a comfort to know
    that our Saviour is there.

    If God draws a period,
    then how do we dare
    To hang, in our weakness,
    a question mark there?
    'Twas nothing but love,
    though we scarce understand,
    As trembling and smitten,
    we hold to His hand.

    Though we are afraid
    of the path we must tread,
    With knowledge of many
    rough days still ahead,
    And though we are struggling
    till faith is quite dim,
    We believe there is never
    an error with Him.

    And since we can't change
    the position we're in,
    Submission is surely
    the best way to win.
    Our God will supply
    every need as we climb,
    And we will continue,
    one day at a time.

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