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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 137 - Decide To Be Happy {FMF}

Time for Five Minute Friday, the weekly keyword-driven timed writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung.

The word this week is...DECIDE.

Happiness is a choice.

Today, aside from rather extreme fatigue and pain (and blood on the wall...don't ask) I've been dealing with a relapse of the flu, and a throat that is sore enough to make speech, other than a mouse-like squeak, impossible. Even broke a thermometer...fever went high enough to crack it. I can't describe what that was like.

The dogs like the loss-of-voice. I can't tell them what to do. Like Captain von Trapp, I am developing individual whistles for them, to which they pay not the slightest attention.

But I'm happy. I choose to be, and I work at it.

First, I fill my mind with good thoughts, reading books that I find inspiring and hopeful. I don't need to build character by suffering through agonizing travails. I get that in real life. I want the words I read to make me look up.

Second, I take the time to appreciate the good things...like the dogs, even as they bomb-burst out the door and take some rounding-up.

Third, if Barbara's watching something on TV that I don't like (such as the news, or a lot of what's on PBS), I'm happy walking away. And she's OK with that.

And finally, I keep in mind that others have it a lot worse. There are those whose pain is a source of pleasure for their torturers, and I have seen this.

It's funny...when I was younger and healthy, I wondered how it would feel to face death by natural causes. I was worried about this; death by bullet or blast seemed so much more pleasant.

And now I know how I would feel.

That it's really up to me.

And for musical inspiration, here's "Walking On Sunshine"

And I can die happy, because that's what I decide to do.



If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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56 comments:

  1. Yes, the decision to look up and look at the good is a powerful choice. Grace and blessings to you!

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    1. Shannon, thank you so much, and thank you for being here!

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  2. Such a beautiful post, Andrew. I thought mine would come out more like yours, but it ended up much different than expected. But yes, happiness is a choice. Have you heard about Jennifer Dukes Lee's upcoming book, The Happiness Dare? (http://amzn.to/1VWIdHH) .. I imagine her message will be much the same. Thank you for living out the power of choice, even in spite of your circumstances. And I do pray that awful flu would leave you alone!

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    1. Kate thank you...and many thanks for the link to "The Happiness Dare". It's on my list.

      And yeah, I'd rather the flu depart at this point. It's still kicking me bu, black and blue!

      Thank you so much for being here. Your comment means a lot to me.

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  3. Your attitude amazes me friend. What a great song choice. Continuing to pray for you. Thankful you are still here. I'm in the #7 spot this week.

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    1. Thank you, tara! I'm glad you liked the song, and I'm delighted that you're here (and delighted that I am still here!)

      I do appreciate the prayers. This weekend reminded me on another song..."A Hundred Miles Of Bad Road".

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  4. Now that song is going through my head. :) Thanks! I think. ;) It's a great song, actually.

    I love how intentional you are about how you live each day. The things you put into your head, the way you improvise as necessary to thrive in each day (whistles, anyone?). Your humor, your transparency and the ways you seek to encourage others. Andrew, your perspective and way of approaching life challenge me in the best of ways.

    Continuing to pray for you, my friend.

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    1. You're welcome, Jeanne! It's happily haunted me for years.

      I so appreciate your kind words, and most especially the prayers. The flu just does NOT want to leave!

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  5. Andrew,
    I'm so glad you are still able to read. I'm laughing at your dogs singing "Adieu, Adieu, to you and you and you!"
    :)
    Low in the states was a charming bloggie,
    (la-ee, odela-ee, odela-ee-hoo)
    Lived with his wife and a hundred doggies,
    (la-ee, odela-ee, ode-loo)
    Ended the song 'cause it's hard to rhyme,
    (la-ee, odela-ee, odela-ee-hoo)
    Hope you enjoyed as I'm out of time.
    (la-ee, odela-ee, ode-loo)

    Feeling rested and mischievous,
    -Tammy
    (linked at #8 tonight)
    P.S. if you have time to go on twitter, I have 3 posts I'm trying to pick between for Susan's book. "Alone" "Hide" and "Here"

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    1. Oh, Tammy, I LOVE that! I didn't make it to Twitter...I'm sorry. If there is still the possibility of a choice could you email me the links?

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    2. It's okay. Susan chose "Hide" :)

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  6. You've done it again. Great post. It's really up to me. Happiness doesn't depend on circumstances or anyone else. Thanks for that timely reminder tonight. And Katrina and the Waves... love that song. I'll be singing it in my sleep! Bless you, Andrew!

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    1. Julie, thank you so much! I love the song, too...it's always brought a smile to my face and a lightness to my step.

      I often wake up humming it!

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  7. You've hit the nail on the head, Andrew. We choose our attitude and our decision makes all the difference in the world. I see your dogs have you well-trained ;).

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    1. Yes, they dog, Anita...they have me very well-trained indeed. I am at their bark and call. (Groan.)

      Thank you so much for being here!

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  8. Wonderful words (as always) and I *love* the song....keep that attitude, Andrew...Helen xx

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    1. Helen, thank you so much...and you inspire me in so many ways! XX

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  9. Dying or not dying, these are words TO LIVE BY. You know the rest...xo

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    1. Susan, thank you...that means so much! xo

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  10. Love the positive attitude!! My kids and I had the flu a couple of weeks ago, I'll add that to my prayers for you and Barabara, I pray you get to feeling better.

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    1. Thanks, Miranda! We do appreciate the prayers...and I'm glad you guys got past this flu. It's a beast.

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  11. Love this! Without fail, you make us laugh: "
    The dogs like the loss-of-voice. I can't tell them what to do. Like Captain von Trapp, I am developing individual whistles for them, to which they pay not the slightest attention." What a beautiful decision you've made and may God continue to multiply His blessings through it, here and in your home. You are a powerful inspiration to keep looking for His goodness in the land of the living: it's always to be found. Continuing to pray for you both, though I do not always get here every week.

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    1. Anna, thank you so much...we truly appreciate the prayers, and your presence!

      I am blessed so far beyond anything I could have ever imagined, and I do my best to live that out. Like Lou Gehrig...I am the luckiest man alive.

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  12. Yep... The choice to be happy. After a rough night's sleep or a day that hasn't gone exactly as "planned," I always make the decision to start out with "I love you" to Bea. It's a small-but-big decision but it seems to help... Sometimes that choice takes everything in me and other days it's so easy. But, it's a choice and one I'm always glad I make. Thanks for reminding me of that!
    Annie
    annierim.wordpress.com

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    1. Annie, what a lovely way to start the day! I'm so glad you shared that...and Bea is a lucky child, to have you as a mother.

      Thank you so much for being here.

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  13. most certainly happiness is a decision. Especially when things come at us from all sides. This is such an encouraging post friend. Hope the flu bug leaves you shortly! Praying always

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    1. Christy, yes, indeed...and one that has to be reaffirmed...sometimes hourly.

      Thank you so much for the prayers, and for being here!

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  14. So true that we can't always choose our circumstances but we can choose our attitude, I love that you're seeking happiness even in the midst of your pain. Your example inspires me!

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    1. Carly, thank you! Your comment means so much to us!

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  15. May you keep on walking on sunshine.

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    1. That's the plan, Jan. (hey, a rhyme!)

      Thank you so much for being here!

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  16. It's a pleasure to "meet" you! Thanks for commenting on my fmf post of today.....yours is a true blessing.
    Amen...beautiful beautiful post....

    God bless

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    1. Chris, I'm delighted and honoured that you're here...your comment means a lot to me, and I loved your post!

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  17. Aren't you just so grateful that He has given us the power to decide? Love this, brother! Praying for --and looking up with-- you!

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    1. I am indeed grateful for that, Karrilee. Thank you so much for being here, and especially for the prayers!

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  18. So I'm reading a book about a pastor in China who was imprisoned for being a Christian from age 55-80. He expected he would die in prison, the same for his wife. Part way into it, through the help of God, he quit being afraid of what they would do to him. Because he was no longer fearful, he used his voice and his writtings to speak of God. He would even sing, which was strictly ferbotten, but he did it anyway. It's amazing how much the will, and then resting in Jesus, can make a difference. A couple of days ago, I was feeling overwhelmed, spiraling downward, by the situation where I am helping caregive. I stopped myself, literally, I stood tall while I paused in the kitchen and then willed my attitude into a positive one...and then asked God to help me. It decidedly helped. It is a choice, but not easy to do when in the trenches. But worth it.

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    1. Norma, thank you so much for sharing both stories...the missionary's, and your own. They have a powerful impact, and you tell them so gracefully.

      It's definitely not easy, and has to be renewed constantly...but you're so right. It is worth it.

      I so appreciate your presence here, more than I can say, my friend.

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  19. Stopping by from Weekend Whispers...Thank you for sharing the power of persevering...God is more concerned about our character than our happiness. You sound like a person who truly chooses and decides to be happy because God is at the center of it all.
    Blessings,
    Bev

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    1. Bev, thank you for being here...and yes, God is at the center of it all. When I feel sometimes overwhelmed, I use a big magic marker and write "God's Will" on the nearest available surface.

      Though writing on the refrigerator did land me in a bit of hot water...luckily, the hot water could be used to remove the water-soluble ink.

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  20. So much of life is a choice. You have earned the right to make the bold statement that you have made today. Blessings.

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    1. Yes, Michele, it is a choice...and I thank you for your kind words, and your presence here. I appreciate you.

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  21. Andrew I read something this morning that I loved and reminds me of you choosing to live out a Godly character and it was this: "Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day."

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    1. Deborah, I love that quote, and it is going up on my refrigerator. Thank you for this, and most especially...for being here.

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  22. If you can sing and dance with the video, then I can, too, Andrew ...

    Love that drummer boy.

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    1. Is not that video just way cool, and so endearing?

      Let's dance, Linda!

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  23. YES - this is such a good lesson for all of us. Thank you!

    Tickled by the thought of your dogs... "hmmmmmm well dad isn't SAYING no... that's probably a yes...." proceeds to excavate back yard. (that's what mine would be doing anyway... she is SUCH A digger.)

    Praying for peace and joy for you despite circumstances.

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    1. Thank YOU, Sarah!

      I think you are reading the dogs' minds (there are 23 of them, all rescues). And boy, can they ever dig, especially when they work together!

      We thank you for the prayers. Peace and joy are indeed here, and the circumstances can't take them away.

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  24. You amaze me Andrew, you really do. If you can choose to be happy, anyone can!

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    1. Paul, thank you so much for this. I so, so appreciate the way you said it. Thank you!

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  25. Happiness is most definately a choice! I am thankful you are choosing it and challenging us all too. Blessings to you my friend!

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    1. Barbie, thank you so very much...the love and support I get from this community, the outstretched arms of Jesus...how could I not be happy!

      I am so grateful that you are here!

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  26. Andrew, you awe and inspire me whenever I stop by. I am truly humbled by your courage and determination to stay positive, no matter what. And it's all the more amazing because your life would be considered pretty gruelling by any standards. These words made their mark as God intended them to: "But I'm happy. I choose to be, and I work at it." Yes, that is key to enjoying life or sinking in despair. Thank you for shining the Light and radiating hope in the midst of such challenging circumstances. It helps more than you know. Eternal consequences come from such obedience. Blessings and prayers in abundance.

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    1. Joy, thank YOU! Today was singularly horrible - I collapsed outside and barbara was quite unable to get me back to the house on her own - she's not a large person - and your kind and loving words mean more to us than we can say.

      We so appreciate your prayers!

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  27. Andrew, it IS a choice...to decide how we are going to live, to react, to act, etc. and then, as iwillbloom said to this same word "decicde"...to "decide then commit". It does all seem to easy, doesn't it?! But, we ARE the only one that can decide how We - ourselves - will...

    Take care, and if that TV show isn't what you want to see...just walk away! That IS what I do also!!

    Continuing to read your posts; continued prayers for your both, and hugs as well...catching up after a LONG WEEKEND away!!!

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