Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hard Eucharisteo

I missed two days of blogging this week. That's because on those two days, I was sleeping in. I'm still sick. The only time I am not coughing (or fighting the urge to cough) is lying in bed in the morning, so it's very hard for me now to get up and do something and lose that precious time. I almost cried when I had to get up this morning to go teach. Fortunately, it's "finals week," and all I really have to do is sit and watch my students take tests. (Nice for me -- not as nice for them.)

To catch you up, I went back to the doctor yesterday. She gave me a prescription for Symbicort, another prescription for Singulair, and referred me to an allergist who can't see me until next Thursday afternoon. A lot of people have suggested this might be allergy related, so I guess that's the next step. But that doesn't ring true to me. This doesn't feel like allergies. I'm not optimistic.

I'm tired. I'm grumpy. I'm disappointed in myself for being such a wimp about this. On my last post, a friend whose child has Cystic Fibrosis commented, and I was reminded again what a wimp I am. Really, I would suck as a chronically-ill person. You know, those people who live with general pain and suffering daily and never complain and accomplish amazing things and you admire them and they show you the power of God through their lives? That would so NOT be me.

Lately, in my time sitting and talking to God, He seems to be trying to teach me about eucharisteo, a term I read about in Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. It basically means "giving thanks" -- but it's a way of living, a way of being. Not just praying over your meal, but walking through life seeing everything around you as a gift of love from a loving God.

For me, I'm realizing that eucharisteo also requires mindfulness, a rather "new-agey" term that has made me raise my eyebrows in the past. Basically, that means living in the moment, being right where you are. I tend to live in my brain almost more than I live in my body. I often have to force myself to stop and pay attention -- REAL attention -- to what is happening right around me. but when I do, I'm always more content with life.

The thing is, when I feel this lousy, I don't want to be mindful. And I don't want to be thankful. Well, actually, deep down, I want to be both; it's just that the battle is ten times harder.

I have no idea why this stupid cough is hanging on so long. But in my gut, I have a feeling that God wants me to use this miserable time for my spiritual growth, rather than slouch through like a whiny child. It's easy to practice eucharisteo when life is good; this -- being thankful in ALL things, when life sucks and things are hard -- this is, as Voskamp calls it, the hard eucharisteo

And doing it when it's not easy is when you're really doing it. And I really want to do it. Lord, help me do it.

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