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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 333 - From Humiliation To Hope {FMF}

Well, the last eighteen hours or so go into the books as some of the most painful and humiliating in my life. Didn't realize just how much illness could take, in terms of control of the body. (I won't be too specific, but I won't be coy.)

Never wanted to realize it, and darn sure didn't want my wife to see it. I don't want her to think of me that way.

I don't want to think of me that way, either.

(This is written ahead for Five Minute Friday, and I will try to include this week's keyword when it's announced.)

The FMF word is PLAY.

But, as is usually the case, God was waiting behind Door # 1 (and Door #2, get it??) with a lessons learned folder, just for me.

After the lengthy cleanup or surroundings and self, I was exhausted, and weak as the proverbial kitten.

But I felt good.

There was no spring in my step, but there was a lightness of heart that I had not felt in a long time. That's odd, because these events that steal one's self-respect are normally attended by depression, both from the physical discomfort and the shame that it's past the point where not even Depends would make a public outing a good idea.

So why the joy?

Because I felt clean.

The ordeal was behind me, at least for now; skin was cool and my and clothing smelled of new soap and detergent, and a really nice fabric softener. It lay loosely against me, and a fan stirred a gentle breeze past my face.

If felt good just to enjoy that washed and fresh feeling. Not to compare it with anything, just to be there in the moment, and let quiet stirrings of hope lift the corners of my heart, and lift the corners of my mouth in a smile.

My prospects didn't change, but my outlook did.

And I wonder...did Jesus feel this way when He started taking off the tomb-wrappings? Did He occasionally just stretch out His arms for the sheer joy of stretching them, treasuring the moment?

And is this how we all will feel when we look first time and forever into His Face, as He welcomes us home?

Clean.

Washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

You may have noticed that I m slower in replying to comments, and sometimes don't make it back to your site...I am sorry for that, but I've lost a lot of energy lately. I do ask for your patience, and please now that I treasure your comments.

And the FMF word? I guess this situation is a challenge to live the words of Hugh Latimer:

"Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

Let's call in The Hooters for a musical theme, with the high-energy and fun And We Danced.



Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.



Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


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.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.








50 comments:

  1. Beautiful words Andrew! I know Jesus must have stretched his arms and rejoiced as the tomb cloths came off. You are clean and you are new in Christ. Blessings friend!

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    1. mary, thank you so much, and I am so glad you can see Jesus' joy as the wrappings came off! Blessings back, from everyone here.

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  2. These are such incredible thoughts! Yes, I think Jesus must have rejoiced as death dropped off of Him, and He tasted what clean, new life felt like! You are in my prayers!

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    1. Bettie, I'm so glad you can feel His Joy, along with me. And I truly appreciate the prayers.

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  3. Beautiful words that made me start singing the old hymn..."Are you washed...in the blood...in the soul-cleansing blood of the lamb? Are your garments spotless...are they white as snow...are you washed in the blood of the lamb?" Thank you! Thoughts and prayers headed your way.

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    1. Rebecca, I have to confess, I'd forgotten that hymn. Thank you for bringing it back for me.

      And thank you so very much for the prayers.

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  4. And you are fully cleansed!
    I would never have thought of Jesus unwrapping and rejoicing as He folded the laundry, Andrew.
    Once again, a brilliant post!!
    "Well played, sir."
    And, to make a play on words, you play the keyboard skillfully, Andrew. :)
    Please continue to sing!!
    Love,
    Tammy

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    1. Tammy, thank you...and truth be told I would never have thought of Jesus' joy in folding and setting aside the burial-cloths.

      Until today.

      I'll keep singing. I promise.

      Love back, from all of us.

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  5. Fully cleansed! I can't help but think of the waters of Baptism where we are called and claimed as Gods beloved children. It all starts there. I'm reminded of this saying that usually hangs in my office. "Tara Lee Ulrich, you are a baptized child of God; whatever else you are; remember that you are that; for that is the basis of whatever else you are." I'm in the 5 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, you're so right...that cleansing starts in the baptismal waters. Thank you so much for bringing this to the conversation!

      I am so glad you're here 9and I LOVED your post!)

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  6. Andrew, loved this post. I hadn't thought about how freeing "clean" can feel. And, I hadn't thought aobut how Jesus must've felt, coming back to life, removing the grave clothes from his new body, and how glorious it must've been to know He'd overcome death. Loved this post.

    And I'm so sorry it's been so, so hard for you. I continue to pray for you, Barb, and the dogs.

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    1. Jeanne, thank you for this! Until today, I'd never thought of how clean Jesus must have felt, when He stripped off the burial-wrappings.

      We so appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers. It has been very hard.

      But I'm still here.

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  7. Thank you as always for your candor and perspective, Andrew. Dealing with the "hygiene" parts of my father-in-law's illness was among the most challenging pieces of the whole process for us. Besides feeling bad physically, his short-term memory loss and general aging decline led him to not be conscious that his cleanliness was declining, or to have any interest in taking part in doing anything about it. I guess the best thing I can say is that we learned to seek help when we needed it (i.e., to accept the staff person Hospice sent to bathe him and to hire people to help before he got accepted as a Hospice patient at our home) AND to choose which battles to fight. The social worker pointed out that this was his ONE LAST thing he could control, and it was worth letting him refuse occasionally to help his retain his sense of control and dignity. Lots of lessons in all of it.

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    1. Paula, thank you so much for sharing what must be a very difficult memory...my heart is with you. And it's very true, that maintaining a sense of dignity is important, however it manifests. It's a battle I fight every day; the ground always changes, but the principle's the same.

      God bless, and thank you so much for being here.

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  8. I love the way you explain how clean we will feel when we see Jesus for the first time. What a glorious day that will be!

    I am praying for you and Barbara. As always, thank you for sharing your life and your faith with us.

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    1. Rachel, it was kind of a God-thing...I realized how clean I felt physically, after cleaning up...and it went on from there

      We thank you so much for your prayers, and please know you are in ours.

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  9. I believe that is exactly how we will feel when we see His face for the first time. Prayed for you through the night. xo

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    1. Susan, yes! It is how we'll feel. And I so appreciate the prayers...night are truly hard now, and I felt uplifted.

      XOXOXOWaggyWaggyWOOF!

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  10. Thank you again for sharing your experience, Andrew, and reminding us of the joy that can be found in being clean and comfortable. That's no small thing.

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    1. Jeannie, you're so right...clean and comfortable is no small thing. Add to that warm, dry, and in possession of enough to eat, and there's really nothing about which one can complain.

      Thanks so much for being here!

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  11. Finding joy even in suffering . . . I am refreshed reading how God ministered to you. Praying His joy and peace continue to flood your heart, mind, and soul.

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    1. Debbie, you made my day, that you found refreshment here! And thank you so ery, very much for the prayers.

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  12. And to be reminded when we see Jesus face to face that feeling of clean will never diminish or go away. Thank you for sharing this Andrew. I am praying for you and Barb. -Jolene

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    1. Jolene, yes, absolutely...when we see Him, we will be evergreen, ever-fresh...I am SO looking forward to that!

      We truly appreciate the prayers. These have been really hard days.

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  13. I'm sorry it's been such a tough week. Praying for you. As always I enjoyed reading your thoughts- I would never have thought to link enjoyment of that clean feeling with the thought of seeing Jesus. That's a great insight!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Lesley...and I truly appreciate your prayers. Prayers are what keeps me going.

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  14. This is a great post, my brother. I'm so sorry that it flowed out of a bad week, but you've shared such grace and wisdom with us. I struggle to enjoy the purity of the moment, as you describe here. I'm always rushing ahead in my thinking, often consumed by this or that. I wonder how much I miss.

    Also, I have been through a similar...experience while in the hospital. I completely understand what you mean when you talk about the feeling of cleanness and the sense of relief. - Marie

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    1. Marie, it's so easy, and natural, to rush ahead...I used to do it all the time, until a steel gate was lowered on my future.

      Then, for a while, I used to try to lift the gate...

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with the joyous feeling of cleanliness. It's super, eh?

      And thank you for being here. You are ever in my prayers.

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  15. Glad it turned out well for you in the end. Clean clothes, skin and smells is always good! Rest well this weekend!

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    1. Rachel, thank you so much...it did turn out well, and taught me a vital lesson.

      And yeah, gonna rest this weekend. Fersure.

      Thanks so much for being here!

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  16. Ah yes to be clean! It is such a comfort and pleasure. I pray you may continue to have compassionate people around you to help during those messy, embarrassing times. Keeping in mind, this too shall pass. It will not always be this way. Blessings to you!

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    1. Leigh, thank you so much...and you're right, having compassionate and caring people around is vital.

      Have to admit, though, I kind of cracked up when I read "this too shall pass"...put a different spin on it, and boy, it's been passing!

      Blessings back, and I am so grateful that you're here, my friend.

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  17. Keep up the good work. I'm praying for you, as always.

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    1. Jan, long as I'm alive, I will remain. Thank you so very, very, very much for the prayers. These days have been HARD.

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  18. Imagine how it felt for the woman with the issue of blood who touched the Master's garment; her cleansing after years of suffering. How wonderful. What an extraordinary celebration during the moment ... for you. Gratefulness makes the heart glad. Blessings.

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    1. Norma, that's an excellent example! It is a celebration of the moment, and in Heaven's embrace, of eternity.

      Blessings back!

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  19. "And is this how we all will feel when we look first time and forever into His Face, as He welcomes us home?

    Clean.

    Washed in the Blood of the Lamb."
    WOW. These words are so powerful and hopeful.
    Thank you Andrew!

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    1. Summer, thank you so much...it means so much to me that my words found resonance in your heart!

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  20. Andrew,
    That's what being clean is..getting the dirt out. And sometimes it isn't pretty. But it's worth it to be clean! I love your mind picture of Jesus stretching out of the tomb wrappings! For the joy of it! Someday we will do the same with our earthly bodies. I did write. Didn't think I would. #74. And it's okay if you don't get to me. I never would feel slighted, my friend. Prayers always for you.

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    1. Mary, you're so right...getting the dirt out may not be pretty but it feels so GOOD!

      So glad you wrote; I loved your post!

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  21. Sending you love! You write with honesty and beauty!

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    1. Paula, thank you so much! Love back!

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  22. Absolutely ... this brings me back to my stays in the hospital ... and the loss of independence ... and the slow upward crawl to a measure of health ... I remember the joy of walking to the mailbox to get the mail. so simple. so independent. Blessings on your journey!

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    1. Rachel, this comment is a gem, and 'the slow upward crawl' is just brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing this, and for being here!

      Blessings back!

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  23. I'm so glad you have a moment or two of feeling clean and good--at least as good as possible, Andrew. That's kind of what I pray for you--that you get a break every day from the ugliness and pain of it all. Keep on writing, my friend! It seems to be God's reason for keeping you with us just a little longer.

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    1. Beth, I didn't realize it until that epiphany of 'clean'...but that's really the thing I'd ask for in prayer, just for those moments when there is that feeling of, "I'm ok NOW; let tomorrow take care of itself."

      I'll keep writing, and I am so grateful that you're here, my friend!

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  24. hi andrew, sorrow things are getting so miserable for you. i can identify with that wonderful feeling of the fresh clean sheets and the feeling of being nice and clean:) i have helped clean up many patients in my day and it is nice feeling to work with someone else to get them to that point. if they are alert enough to be embarassed, we work to help them feel less embarassed, than clean them up and get them more comfortable, clean and dry. blessings as you face another week.

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    1. Martha, I especially value your sharing your experience in this. Back in the day, I did similar things with chaps who were wounded...and just a simple cleanup could improve their morale so very much.

      Thanks so much for being here; blessings back!

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  25. Wow, you've had such a hard road to walk. I am truly honoured to catch little glimpses into your victories, my friend. You made me long for the euphoria of 'clean.' Oh, how wonderful it will be!

    Loved this: "just to be there in the moment, and let quiet stirrings of hope lift the corners of my heart, and lift the corners of my mouth in a smile."

    Praying for you, dear Andrew. For you and Barb (and the dogs) ♥

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    1. Shauna, thank you so much, and I am truly honoured by your presence here. Your company on this road is appreciated.

      We so appreciate the prayers - all of us!

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