Thanking God in Sickness & in Health

Thanking God in Sickness & in Health

I remember stumbling upon a series of books by Merlin Carothers way back in my late teens. I devoured several books in the series, starting with my late grandmother’s copy of “Prison to Praise”. The essence of these books was how praise works, especially when we choose do it in the midst of a trying circumstance.

I’ve heard it said that we thank God for what He’s done, and praise Him for who He is. When we choose to praise God amid our difficulties, we reaffirm our faith in Him who will work it all out for our good and His glory.

When we went through an extended period of sickness last month, I tried to praise God and stand on His promises. Let me tell you, it was not easy. My affirmative prayers and words of praise quickly turned to desperation, pleading, and a whole lot of whining. I definitely was not a pleasant person to be with at that time!

Now that we’re all back to good health, I’ve been led to thank God for that period of sickness, and make note of what He has taught me through it all.

1. I’ve learnt to appreciate good health

I woke up with a sprained back today, and even the easiest task seems herculean right now. I needed help to roll out from bed, and the tiniest movement causes me immense pain. This (and our past sickness) made me realize how often I take a regular day for granted. Not anymore! I am grateful that the kids are not coughing, my husband is strong, and I am able.

2. I’ve learnt patience, endurance and selfless service

I’ve never been good with waiting, but sickness has taught me to patiently endure – whether I like it or not. There was little I could do, but wait till the infection subsided and the fever ran its course. But it wasn’t passive waiting either. A mother can’t remain passive when her family is suffering. Mopping up messes, changing soiled clothes, taking temperatures every hour, swabbing hot bodies, cajoling kids to take their meds, staying alert through the night… None of it was easy, but it had to be done.

Sometimes putting our families’ needs above our own comes naturally, but not always. It was a good experience for me to ignore my discomfort, and selflessly serve my family that needed me. True, I did not have the best attitude, but I’m learning to cheerfully give of myself (even when I don’t want to!). I have a feeling this is one lesson God will keep trying to teach me until I finally get it! 😉

3. I’ve learnt that God’s grace and strength are just enough.

Those who know me personally will attest that I am not a physically strong person. I can be very determined though, and that has helped me ease through physically tough seasons in the past. But my determination and will-power fizzled out within the first week of our sickness. I was completely drained out and on the verge of collapse. But God… He remained faithful. He gave me just enough grace and strength to make it through yet another day.

I would wake up every morning those 3 weeks, wishing that would be the day all our kids would finally be fever free. I would get up from bed, knowing I did not have the strength to make it through another grueling day. But God… He always held me up when I was ready drop down. And my husband (God bless him), always took over when he knew I needed a break.

It’s never easy when our kids fall sick, and it’s worse still when we fall sick along with them. But I am grateful for the generation we live in. We have easy access to good doctors and effective treatments, and the money to pay for it.

No matter how much we try to protect ourselves, as long as we are in this world, we will fall sick. We need to believe we are the apple of God’s eyes. He holds our families in the palm of His hands. He will strengthen us and watch over us, until we meet Him face to face in the land where there is no sickness or pain.

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Counting My Blessings: 1601 to 1610

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for. If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started. Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1601. Getting things done before they are due.

1602. The boys’ excitement over getting to pick a helmet for their father.

1603. Long talks with my mother.

1604. Four-day school weeks.

1605. Long weekends (at least for the kids).

1606. The boys moving furniture around to create an obstacle course in our living room.

1607. Sons who can get a room from chaos to clean in 5 minutes flat.

1608. Realizing that my sons who always say, “I don’t like to eat nuts,” actually liked pistachios.

1609. Jon saying, “Mama, this is the best food I never ate!”

1610. Realizing God used one blog post to convey different things to different people, based on their specific need. {Humbled.}

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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Counting My Blessings: 1591 to 1600

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for. If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started. Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1591. Holding a new born baby.

1592. The kids laughing out loud while watching Piglet’s Big Movie.

1593. A humble breakfast out with the hubby.

1594. School holidays.

1595. Hearing the roar of my husband’s motorbike after 2+ years.

1596. The slow progress towards a regular routine.

1597. Good Christian fiction.

1598. Just enough strength to make it through the day.

1599. Catching up on lost sleep.

1600. Knowing Jesus.

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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He Never Lets Go

He Never Lets Go

A few years back, we were visiting my in-laws and decided to take a sight-seeing trip. One of our stops was the Mathur overhead canal. There is a very narrow bridge constructed beside the canal that we could walk on. The only issue was that it was over 100 feet off the ground!

I had visited this place a decade ago with my college buddies – then it was an adventure. This time with 3 toddlers in tow, I wasn’t so sure. My husband was excited, and so were the kids… So, off we went across the bridge.

I was so nervous that the kids would look over the edge or slip, that I grasped Jason’s hand as if his life depended on it. And perhaps it did. The other two sons were with my husband, so I knew they were safe. But with Jason, I was the overprotective mother – determined that nothing would happen to him while we crossed the bridge.

It wasn’t until we were entirely across the bridge, and on our way back down the steps that I relaxed my hold on him. I’m pretty sure his wrists must have turned a light shade of red from my firm grip :).

If I, a human mother could be so protective over her son, making sure no harm came to him… I wonder how much more our heavenly Father will hold on to us when we walk across trying times in our own lives.

It’s comforting to know that when we’re walking through sickness, grieving a loss, experiencing physical, emotional or financial stress… God never lets go.

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

(Isaiah 41:10,13)

He will hold on to you while you cross the rocky bridge.

He will protect you in the valley of darkness.

His hand will never let you go.

And at the end of the journey, when you’re safely across, you will look at your pink wrists and thank God that He never let go!

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Counting My Blessings: 1581 to 1590

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for.  If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started.  Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1581. Complete healing from sickness.

1582. The boys regaining their appetite.

1583. That I am home to watch over the kids when they’re sick

1584. Time spent at God’s feet.

1585. Lessons learnt from His Word.

1586. That the kids were able to catch up with the lessons they missed in school.

1587. A visit from an extended family.

1588. Faith displayed in dire circumstances… So inspiring!

1589. The all night worship & prayer my husband got to attend at church.

1590. Getting back to church and ministry.

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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When Sickness Strikes

When Sickness Strikes

It’s been almost a month since I blogged, and with good reason. We had a severe viral infection at home which took our entire family out for a whole 3 weeks! To say it was overwhelming is an understatement.

When the kids started falling ill the first week, I chalked it up as a minor bump in the road. It then hit my husband and I, and things drove to a standstill at home. Just when we recovered from it, the kids went into another round of a more vicious illness and we were back to square one.

After several doctor visits, plenty of medication, and boatloads of prayer support from family and friends, we are all back on our feet and back in the land of the living!

But those 3 weeks… Man, it was tough.

The gloomy skies outside seemed an exact replica of my heart. I professed my faith in Christ and His healing power, but I felt no hope. There seemed to be no end to the sickness plaguing our family – no light at the end of the tunnel.

I tried counting my blessings…

  • My husband could work from home for a few days.
  • He was also able to take a few days off.
  • Despite their sickness, the kids were still cheerful.
  • My employer was very understanding.
  • We had a lot of loved ones backing us up in prayer.

But still, on most days I was running on empty.

I’ve always heard that God never gives us more than what we can handle. Well, guess what? He had given me more than I could handle, and I was drowning.

I had to rely purely on God for enough grace and strength to get me through each day. And He did not disappoint.

God comforted.

God healed.

God restored.

It was not easy.

It was not fast.

But God worked it out as He always does.

And for that, I’m grateful.

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Top 3 Thursday – Edition #48

Top 3 Thursday

One of the reasons I started blogging was to share with others the articles that have inspired me, tips that I’ve found helpful, and other blogs that have positively influenced me. So, that’s what you’ll find here on my Top 3 Thursday posts.

Here are 3 blog posts that encouraged me this week… Click through and read them, won’t you?

1. Why Jesus Wept @ Savory Thots {By far the best blog post I’ve read that answers the question, “If God is good, why doesn’t He do something about all this suffering in this world?“}

2. Dreaming Big… In Motherhood and Beyond @ Inspired To Action {Love the reminder that God will help us accomplish the dreams He’s placed in our hearts.}

3. You can have it all, but not all at once. @ The Art of Simple {Wise words.}

If you have read or written an encouraging blog post during the week, would you share the link in the comments below. I’d love to check it out!

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Counting My Blessings: 1571 to 1580

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for.  If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started.  Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1571. Fresh mercy each morning.

1572. Getting drenched in the rain with the boys.

1573. Authentic Andhra meals.

1574. United prayers.

1575. Father and sons window shopping cars online.

1576. Cooler weather.

1577. Rasgullas.

1578. Hope for the grieving.

1579. Catching up with friends over a cup of chai.

1580. This quote.

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” – Corrie ten Boom

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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Top 3 Thursday – Edition #47

Top 3 Thursday

One of the reasons I started blogging was to share with others the things that have inspired me, tips that I’ve found helpful, and other blogs that have positively influenced me. So, that’s what you’ll find here on my Top 3 Thursday posts.

Here are 3 blog posts that encouraged me this week… Click through and read them, won’t you?

1. 10 Ways to Maximize Moments of Rest @ The Better Mom

2. The false advertising about motherhood @ Lisa-Jo Baker

3. 5 Common Discipline Mistakes Every Parent Should Avoid @ For The Family

If you have read or written an encouraging blog post during the week, would you share the link in the comments below. I’d love to check it out!

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5 Tips to Sleep Early

5 Tips to Sleep Early

The boys have officially started 1st standard which means more hours in school. They have to leave the house before 8am, which means I need to be up at least by 6 to get their breakfast and lunch ready.

Let’s just say it’s a new kind of crazy around here!

After a pretty laidback summer schedule, I’m struggling to wake up on time in the mornings… especially if I didn’t get enough sleep the previous night. After much deliberation, I realized I had to forgo my late nights if I wanted to wake up on time. {DUH!}

You see, I religiously guard my time after the kids are in bed. That is MY time – to wind up my work online, blog, eat in peace, watch TV and just relax on the couch. I DO NOT want to go to sleep until I really have to! {Wierd, I know!} 🙂

Well, sacrifices had to be made…

But surprisingly, I found that even if I went to bed early some nights, I would stay awake for hours before I actually went into a deep sleep.

I took a hard look at my activities during the day, and found that quite a few of them were directly responsible for my disturbed nights.

So, without further ado, here are my top 5 tips to sleep early!

1. Wake up early

I know… I know… the reason we need to go to bed early is because we want to wake up on time. But I’ve found that if I start waking up early, I am more likely to go to bed on time.

2. Skip the evening coffee

This is such a struggle for me, because I think coffee is one of my love languages. I’ve begun to make do without my evening coffee. I substitute with lots of water… or a tea with milk if I desperately need a pick me up in the evenings.

3. Stay away from lighted screens

If I watch too much TV, or stare at the laptop screen or iPad for too long, my mind doesn’t wind down even after I hit the bed. So now I watch just a little TV after the kids are in bed, and then go to bed a half hour before I actually need to sleep. Then I read a book on my iPad (using the Kindle app) with the brightness set really low. I usually fall asleep before I complete a chapter.

{The exception is if I start reading historical Christian fiction. Somehow, I am never able to put those down until it’s WAY past my bed time.}

4. No sugary foods late in the evenings.

I had a bad habit of diving into my hidden stash of chocolate after the kids are in bed. On those days that I eat lots of chocolate or ice-cream (or the Indian sweets my mother faithfully brings when she visits), I take much longer to fall asleep. It’s easier to do abide by the ‘no chocolate rule’ now because there’s no chocolate in the house. When the fridge does get stacked again, it will be a true test of my determination!

5. Give yourself a cheat day.

I cheat on the weekend. I do not get up early because the boys don’t have to be in school. I usually stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights and sleep in on the weekends. This allows me to catch up on sleep and gets me back to the ‘wake up early’ routine on Monday morning.

So, what do you give up in order to sleep early? Got any tips for me?

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