Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Fatigue Edition

When I saw this feature on Talk Nerdy To Me, I knew I wanted to start it as well. I figured I could use some more focus on things I'm thankful for. I had read One Thousand Gifts (I totally recommend this book!) and Ann Voskamp's blog and had been trying to change my thinking and to seek the blessings given every day. And I have become more grateful and noticed more of a peace in that, but I still needed something more. Thankful Thursday gives me that challenge.

It started out as a simple list of a few things that made me happy; things that I could be thankful for. But over the two months, I now find myself actively searching; I like looking through each day for gifts. My lists may still seem simple, but that's the wonder of blessings -- sometimes the simple small ones have great impact, if we are willing to see them.

This week has been a bit hard on me as I have been battling extreme fatigue. I'm not too sure if it's from my hypothyroidism, my MVP or an undiagnosed condition, or just too many late nights with not enough sleep and too much heat. But this fatigue is crushing me and it does more than just make me feel tired. It causes me to struggle with breathing, resulting in me panting. It makes my body ache. I lose ability to concentrate or focus on anything. My mouth goes dry and I feel void of emotions. I become unable to cope with anything. Sometimes I feel anxious. And that is just a short list.

As I lay in bed, with my mind still actively running, but my body feeling rather weighted, I thought of how, despite my mobilites and my weakness, I have much to be thankful for.

So here is my Thankful Thursday: Fatigue Edition. (It's going to be a wordy one!)

1. Fatigue is a sign

When my body starts to feel fatigued, it tells me that my body is weak and needs to rest. I am thankful that I have this to remind me to take care of myself. (as opposed to working too hard and ignoring my own body, or not knowing what it means)

2. Helpful children

I have had a few incidents with ailments in front of my kids, and while that is embarrassing to have them see their mom weak, I am also thankful that they understand that I have limits. It teaches them empathy. I am thankful that they show concern for me and are willing to help me. (well the Olders notice, the Youngers don't yet.  It was nice to have Kai ask how he could help me this week, when I lay on the couch panting. He offered to get me something to drink and eat!)

3. Strength Within

I am thankful that despite fatigue, I have been given strength when I needed it and that He is still able to work through me.
"...Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10

4. Creativity

On the times that I have laid on the couch, trying to rest and control my breathing, I have still been able to use my gifts. I can still text friends, I can still write cards, I can still work on planning events. It takes a bit longer (since concentrating is a struggle) but it can be done, and I am thankful that even when my body wants to drop, I can still be useful.

5. Empathy

I am thankful my Hunny understands my fatigue (or is starting to) I am thankful that he doesn't demand that I get up and attempt to do things, but will help with tasks. (like dinner or putting kids to bed)

I am also thankful that my Mom struggles with fatigue due to her own autoimmune diseases --- ok, I'm not really thankful that she struggles also, but thankful because she understands what I am going through. She can give advice and encouragement and offer prayers. It is good to have someone who understands because they are dealing with it also.  Although I wish neither of us were in this Fatigue Club anyways.

6. Conquering Fear

If have been dealing with fatigue for some time now, and I am starting to recognize symptoms before I get a full-blown attack. I am thankful that time does educate and that I can see connections better so that I am not overwhelmed with anxiety or fear when I feel like collapsing. I don't find myself worrying over possible scenarios or getting myself worked up over imaginary symptoms (mostly) I know that my body is just fatigued. I need to rest and I will get better. I do not need to worry. (even if it means that sometimes I need to remind myself those words!)

7. Not defining

I am thankful that I know this does not define who I am. I am a loving mom, a creative being, a loyal and caring friend. I have many talents and interests that God created in me that makes me who I am. My fatigue is a reaction to health issues that I carry, but it is not who I am. It may beat me up, and try to bring me down, and try to whisper thoughts into my head, but in the end, I am so much more than this.  I know that. And so do others who know and love me.

8. It doesn't last

I have been fighting this fatigue for over a week now and I have often like I've had enough and can't go on, but somehow I manage. I know that even when it drags out and I feel close to the end of my endurance, it will not last forever. My body fights it and I somehow find the strength and I eventually get the rest I need. I am thankful that I can look forward to getting up one day and not feeling this weight upon my body.

9.  All things

One of my favourite verses is Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.."  All Things. Those two words are the ones I cling too. It means that everything that happens, every moment, every struggle, every overwhelming and weak day, every joy and all things, God is working it out for the good. I don't see a purpose in having to live with this struggle, but I don't have to to believe that there is something good to come out of it.


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