Monday, March 2, 2009

Tough Times

The De Jong family has sure been through a lot lately. Rob's Grandma Benice has been very ill, passing in and out of consciousness in the Intensive Care Unit. And it's with a heavy heart that I share the news that tomorrow, she'll be removed from the breathing machine that's kept her going. Needless to say, the De Jong family needs your prayers as they wade through a lot of very complicated decisions.

These are circumstances beyond our control and that it's truly God's plan for all of this to be happening at the same time. And even if I wanted to change the outcome, I couldn't. And I stopped for a moment to thank God that it's Him in charge, not me. It always seems that in times like these we are forced, through circumstance, to reevaluate what's really important.

And Rob's sister Kim gave birth last week to a happy and healthy baby boy, Nathan John Rockhold. But her delivery wasn't without complications. She actually ended up spending the night in the ICU in the room NEXT to Grandma Bernice. The irony wasn't lost on me--watching a brand new life enter the world, juxtaposed with a very serious illness. But even amidst all of the uncertainty of it all, I was overcome with a very profound sense of peace.

When we're born, we don't know if we'll have 100 days on this earth, or 100 years. And it's a healthy reminder to stay focused on the big picture, and not get bogged down in the small stuff. With everything we're going through right now, knowing that the outcome is all part of God's plan for us is such a comforting thought. The Bible teaches that the only productive thing to do with worry is to pray about it, then let it go. And then refocus your energy on staying positive (Philippians 4: 6-9)

It's very cheesy, I LOVE that Irving Berlin song that Bing Crosby sang in White Christmas, called "Count Your Blessings." I often sing it to Abby as a lullaby:

When I'm worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. And I fall asleep counting my blessings.

When my bankroll is getting small, I think of when I had none at all. And I fall asleep counting my blessings.

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads, and one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds.

If you're worried and you can't sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep. And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.