Feb 25, 2013

Receiving Love

Sometimes I find that it can be as difficult to receive love from others as it is to give love. One of the consequences of having a medical disability is that I am having to depend far more on the goodness of others and this is not always easy. In an earlier post I quoted from C.S.Lewis saying that "to love at all is to be vulnerable"*, but I also think that the opposite is also true, i.e. that to receive love is also to be vulnerable. It is a two way street that requires as much openness to receive as it does to give. I know that for myself this was a hard lesson to learn, my pride did not like to feel needy and dependant on others, no matter how kind people can be. It was also hard to trust others, allowing them to see my vulnerability made me wary, wondering what they would do to me, would I be talked down to or spoken of poorly behind my back. Could I trust this person not to exploit my weakness, would they be kind and gentle or impatient and cruel?

It is hard to know at times in advance whether love is sincere, but not everyone is to be treated with skeptical judgement. Sometimes we need to believe in the possibility of goodness and love. We do need to be wise, but we also need to be prepared to trust and simply receive. This back and forward act of love is at the heart of real relationship, the embodiment of it,  and it's reward is priceless.

* http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/#!/2012/11/to-love-at-all-is-to-be-vulnerable.html

Feb 20, 2013

Ignorance is Bliss

When I was 28 I was living up a steep flight of stairs, and I noticed that my one leg was weeker than the other. It carried on for a while so I went to the doctor to have it checked out. The doctor looked puzzled and told me that if it carried on she would like to have me tested for MS. Well, I was horrified and felt that she must be a terrible doctor, rather than thinking that it may be true. For of course I could never have MS, not me! The obvious course of action for me was to never see her again }: (
I then forgot all about it.

Well of course I was wrong and she was right, but in some ways I am glad that I didn't know until my 40's as there was not much that could have been done back then and it saved me a lot of anxiety. I didn't have many problems, mainly tiredness. I found it hard to ski or skate but I just thought I was unco-ordinated and it wasn't a problem. I also suspected that I had a problem with my immune system, but put it down to having had a bad case of mono as a teenager. Now MS is affecting many things and I have come to terms that this has happened to me. But I am glad that I had less to worry about and that I was able to tackle some other tough things while oblivious to the time bomb that was ticking away. I do feel for those that have know for much longer and have had worse symptoms than me. MS can make life such a struggle and I know that I have been spared from something that could have been much more difficult.

Now that I know I have MS, I find I need to know as much as I can about what is happening to me, to understand all that I can about this disease and to not be helpless. Knowledge has become precious, so I guess I have changed.

Feb 18, 2013

The Natural History of the Chicken.

I am fond of my chickens it must be said. I worry though about becoming like the people in the documentary, the Natural History of the Chicken. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkxO91TLKVg
My chickens as gawky 5 week old teenagers just before being kicked outside. I guess I do look a little crazy.
The chicken owners in this film are more than a little crazy and I keep reminding myself that I would not let them wear diapers (nappies) and live inside. They did have to start life inside in February as it is freezing in Minnesota outside, they need high heat for the first 6 weeks, and as I got them as day olds they have imprinted with me. Now a year later they are out and the temp is -20C (-10F) this morning, (dont worry, they have a heat lamp). Yes they do like to be held and patted for a bit and they are silky smooth, but they are not cuddly and some of their charm lies in how dumb they behave.

What I do like is how delicious their eggs are, they are even laying through the winter. I also like how attractive these heritage breeds are and how they break down all my fall leaves and turn it into fantastic compost. They have much to recommend them, and they are fun to own, but I will never resuscitate them with mouth to mouth as the lady does in the movie. http://www.ericdsnider.com/movies/the-natural-history-of-the-chicken/

Feb 13, 2013

A Greater Perspective.

This is a compelling view of a delta in India. Only from a satellite in space can we see the beauty of this view, with the winding rivers finding their way to the ocean. From the land this place must look very different, no doubt there is beauty in that as well, but this picture shows us so much more than the natural eye can see. I think that this illustrates well the fact that perspective changes how we see things, and when we are limited to our own personal perspective (the land locked one) we are limited to a pretty narrow way of seeing things and we miss out on so much more out there. God's perspective is so much greater than the view from a satellite, there is nothing hidden from His sight, even little old me. He sees things from every angle, caring about the hairs on our heads along with the sweep of history. He then is so gracious in communicating his perspective to us in his word. The bible helps us to see so much more, like this picture we can see things with his help that we would not see for ourselves.

Feb 11, 2013

The satisfaction of work well done.

It has been a very busy few weeks but at last I am able to stop and catch my breath. As I write I am enjoying a slow morning coffee in my warm and soft fleece dressing gown. The wind is howling outside and I am warm inside. Although I am tired, there is the sense that it is an honest tiredness that comes with the satisfaction of work well done. MS helps you to realize how many forms of tiredness there are; emotional, physical, illness related, work related, healthy tiredness and unhealthy tiredness. Of course there are also combinations of all the above. Today I have a healthy tiredness mixed with MS tiredness but it feels much better than the frustration of laying flat out tired, for no other reason than poor health.
Satisfaction is a good feeling, especially when your efforts are recognized and people express appreciation. This is a part of the fundamental nature of what it is to be human and I am thankful to be resting in it.