10) Lightning does strike twice. Sometimes, all at once, it strikes twice in several places you hoped it would never strike again. Whether it trikes you personally, or instead targets someone you care about, you have to deal with shades of reliving the whole lightning strike trauma. Parts of it will feel exactly the same. Other parts will be profoundly different, and you find yourself torn between wanting the comfort of the familiar back, and grateful that you don't have to be the person you were when the lightning hit the first time. While I trust God to keep me safe in the storm, I know that sometimes He's going to simply keep me in the storm, and when He does, He'll stand in it with me, and take the brunt of the hit.
9) I desperately need some new and exciting food in menu. I didn't cook for one month after my surgery and my Hunky made some new and amazingly delicious food for me. I've gotten into a food creativity rut that I don't like. This means learning. I'm done resting and ready to learn again.
8) It's been a year since I spent 31 days writing about Living Simply, but continuing to live simply has been a process that continues to evolve and change. Each time I think I have finished an area, I find another layer of "stuff" that can be stripped away or refined. Now that fall is upon us, and the summer of medical procedures is over ( recovering from that was ten thousand times more pleasant in a simplified environment), I'm looking again at my home with the possibility of moving from it, and determining what I really want to take with me, and what I don't want to keep toting from place to place. It's a good exercise both physically and mentally regardless of whether you actually plan to move.
7) Sometimes I just have to surround yourself with comfortable and comforting words. I spent this summer reading chic-lit and the Bible. One allowed me to escape and the other filled me with Truth; both were completely necessary for me to survive. I don't feel bad that I checked out intellectually for a bit. Sometimes my brain has enough to juggle without me throwing more in there and clogging up the works further.
6) Eventually, I'm going to need a list. No matter what that says of my creativity or spontaneity, lists are how I manage. I embrace my own crazy.
5) We need to show the love of Christ to every person with whom we come in contact. That is not negotiable. However, that doesn't mean we can't be discerning in who we allow to pour into our lives. I don't have to allow every person the same level of intimacy or influence. While this summer has been a particularly challenging one, it has also been a beautiful picture of what happens when the family of God gathers together and carries each other's burdens (thank you for that scripture, Pattie). I have been loved from near and far, encouraged, prayed over and with, fed with both food and company, sent precious gifts and often simply carried by the amazing people God has brought into my life to share all the mess and magic. There are people you simply live with, and then there are those that you "do life" with. I can't imagine any person, anywhere has a greater God-family than I.
4) It's far easier to drop a habit than to maintain one. See #6 for my solution to that nonsense.
3) I will never understand how the light knows to change to glorious gold every September. Hunky says it's a trick of the mind, but I know what I am seeing. The light changes some time after the calendar turns from August to September, and when I am not paying attention. The subtlety and flavor of each season is so wonderful. It really has been a beautiful year.
2) Sometimes what a person needs more than anything isn't advice or platitudes but to know what they feel, what they experienced, what they lost and why they hurt matters. Job's friends got it right when they sat with him silently. When they opened their mouths is when they stopped being a comfort. Pain is a process. It's long, and it's difficult, but there is far too much value in the journey to gloss over it with slick, pretty words. We need hands to hold not didactic soliloquies. I'm grateful for the friends who've sat in the ash heap with me. It amazes me how that act so often finally ends in joy and laughter.
1) Life is good. I thought I already learned that thoroughly, but this summer taught me new depths of delight. Life is good.