Friday, August 16, 2013

Our Legacy of Love

We love because He first loved us.

Because we are loved, we love. Because the author of Love, the One who is Love, loved us by giving His very life for us, we are set free to freely give love.

The words above from I John 4:19 were printed on our wedding programs forty-two years ago this week. In our twenties, as we prepared for our wedding ceremony and hoped to capture the depth of what our special day would signify, these words came to our mind. Filled with gratitude to God for His Love and for the love we would celebrate together as husband and wife.

God's love is perfect, beyond our comprehension, and has no end. " ... Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:39)

And because of this never-ending, all-encompassing Love, we can live in the best of love. On the days when all is well, and love bubbles up, overflowing and spilling out everywhere. And also when life is difficult - when we feel helpless to love. In all these days, we are held tightly together by His Love. For we love, because He first loved us. 

His Love, in us - flowing out from our marriage to bless others. A never-ending supply of Love. For though we are imperfect, and weak, we are loved by a perfect God who through His Spirit in us, loves others through us.

"He died for everyone,
so that those who receive His new life
will no longer live for themselves.
Instead, they will live for Christ
who died and was raised for them."
(II Cor. 5:15)

A Legacy of Love - coming from the Source of Love, lived out day-by-day and moment-by-moment. A channel where this Love flows through us from the Source. Flowing through the imperfect and the weak - so that it is obvious that it is not our own, but it is His Love. Because He first loved us, we are free to love.

Thanking God for 42 years of living and loving as a couple - for the joys of love, for the lessons in love, and that we are blessed beyond measure to know the Source of Love. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rotator Cuff Surgery

We started out the month of August with ... surgery. Rotator cuff surgery. Early this calendar year, Gary began to notice that something was not quite right with his right shoulder. We are thinking that it probably came as a result of his doing pull-ups on a wooden bar in our family room. Something he has done off and on for years, but over time, it seems that it caused some stress and pain.

The pain had started gradually, but increased over time, and he began to experience difficulty in using his right arm, especially when extending his elbow and arm above shoulder height. He also began to experience pain while sleeping on his right side. 

He tried various kinds of treatment, including weeks of chiropractor visits, then physical therapy for several months at the advice of his doctor. Nothing seemed to help, and finally, the doctor prescribed surgery after an MRI revealed that he did in fact have a torn rotator cuff. 

So, after a full summer of travels, the surgery was scheduled for the first day of August. The outpatient surgery went well on Thursday, and we were back home by mid-afternoon. Besides the anesthesia for the surgery, Gary also was given a "block" - total numbing of his right shoulder, arm, and hand. 

And after three days of recovery so far, we are thankful that all is going well. It was a relief when the numbing wore off, as Gary is now free to use his right hand - carefully, even though he is not to use his right arm above the elbow. Doctor's orders are to keep his arm in a sling, and use it only while at therapy. For four weeks. It will be a challenge to function without the use of his right arm for this whole month. 

We're thankful for minimal pain. On Friday he experienced quite a bit of nausea. We figured out that the nausea was coming from the pain meds, and took the risk of skipping a few doses. Amazingly, he is not experiencing much pain! So, three days after the surgery he is doing well even without pain meds. We are so thankful.

Please pray for complete healing, and for full use of his right arm and shoulder again. Also, please pray for us this month, as it is a full month of starting up with another school year of student ministry. Pray that we will pace ourselves, giving adequate time for healing from surgery - and that we will trust Him with all the details of family and ministry.