...Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear Crumbles,
Happy birthday to you!
Today marks one year since the first post here at the crumbs blog. Won't you join me in celebrating God's faithfulness?
When this began last August, I had hoped blogging would be (1) a place to process what God was teaching me through the limitations of chronic illness and (2) a means of fellowship and Christian community while I was unable to attend a weekly Bible study or Sunday school class (or even worship services consistently).
I anticipated that the blog would reconnect me with friends whose paths I no longer cross regularly, people I already knew who had been encouraging me to write for others again. My prayer from the beginning, though, was that God would bring the people He chose and keep the rest away (borrowed from Edith Schaeffer, L'Abri).
While a few of those I expected have indeed read along, the connections and renewed connections God have generally been more surprising than predictable. (I like good surprises!)
The biggest surprise has been the half dozen or so regular readers who have never met me in person but in that mysterious alchemy of grace have felt connected to me through words here. They converse with me in the comments and pray for me (and tell me so). I have been on the reading end of this phenomenon before but never so much on the writing end of becoming friends through thoughts on screen or on page. It feels overwhelmingly like God's love, and His answers to your prayers really do strengthen and help.
My health has much improved from a year ago; I am more able than I was. When I mull over my "if/when I am well" list, though, there are plenty of things I want to do, but the one thing I know I'm meant to do right now is this: this writing, this knowing and being known, this loving and being loved. And I don't have to be well for that.
Thank you for your presence here, for reading and praying and supporting and loving. Thanks for the grace you pour out to me even when I'm whining and discouraged. You have brightened and sweetened my year.
Today I'm lifting up afresh the prayer in that first post:
I pray this would be a place of peace and comfort; a place of communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; a place where this season of illness and whatever follows will be redeemed for my growth in Christlikeness, others' good, and God's glory. Amen.Much love,
Still counting, thanking God for His many blessings...
~161 published posts...
~most of them too long...
~but y'all stick with me anyway!
~6 book reviews
~34 original poems (not all written this year)
~Visitors from 75 countries (which does a former missionary's heart good)
~Learning geography through blog stats
~No increased pain from the first week of physical therapy (Monday and Wednesday mornings the rest of this month)
~Decreased back pain
~Adjusting to wearing
corsets on my feet lace-up walking shoes in the house
~Learning to sit differently, all the way back in the chair with feet on something and not dangling, swinging, or wrapped around the chair legs
~Allen's help and faithfulness in applying traction to stretch my lower spine
~The sweet therapy assistant "Tacy" who reminds me of a young friend from the Bible study we used to teach
~A fellowship moment with the believing office manager at the therapy center when she commented on my cross ring
~Making a new friend, a deaconess from our church who graciously came out in record heat to provide transportation for me Wednesday. She is fascinating and easy to be with, and I hope to get to know her better.
~Her invitation to join the monthly fellowship gatherings of the women-over-50 group (as an acolyte, she said) when I'm up to going
~Another opportunity to speak of Christ and share the whole gospel with an international student working at the bakery where I bought the cupcakes pictured (stay tuned for more on that, Wednesday maybe)
~God preparing me for that with desire/prayer the last two weeks for just such an opportunity
~Courage to walk through that door when He clearly opened it, my cold feet notwithstanding
~His sovereign grace to keep working in her heart and cover my mistakes and omissions with the blood of Christ
~Sprinkles on frosting
~Lunch with Mom and my older younger sister Friday
~Opportunity to trust His plan, timing, and provision with another bothersome tooth (I'm waiting to hear from the dentist whether examination can wait until September's appointment.)
~"Catching" a hummingbird at breakfast
~"Catching" a hummingbird at breakfast
~Wits' End's cheery, newly red door
~Big things, little things, serious things, silly and superficial things... all of them matter to the Lord of sparrows and hair follicles!
(from the gratitude list, #1173-1200)
Linking up with the gratitude community at Ann's:
and with Laura at The Wellspring: