Loose Ends * Out of Commission Edition

Dearest Friends and Followers,

Here we go, it's time for Loose Ends, the monthly e-zine {electronic magazine} where I share the best and brightest bits and pieces of the past month.  

Except this month is a bit of an exception.

This is not a collection of fun excerpts that are particularly noteworthy or in any way fascinating.  In fact, I recently listened to a podcast where two social media mavens with huge followings agreed that it wasn't all that great an idea to talk about the hard stuff with your followers when you're right in the middle of the mess.

Wait 'til later, they advised.  And so I pushed away that Spirit-led nudge to ask you, my kindred spirit companions, for prayer.  Looking back, that was dumb.  At least in this little online community where I've worked hard over the years to develop a safe, nurturing gathering place, where I've encouraged you to share openly and freely.

Honestly?  I'll put it right on the table and call January the most difficult month I've had in about 15 years.  It's all been about THE tooth.

The one that got painful slowly but surely.  The one that kicked off 8 assorted meds, 7 visits to 3 dental offices, the one that underwent half a root canal which was stopped in progress when an un-fixable crack and an infection that worked its way down into the bone was discovered.  This demanding little guy needed a quickly scheduled pulling which led to a wound that didn't heal properly, leaving me upended up yet again in a cycle of pain that just about did me in.

Pain that kept us from getting back to NY for the memorial service for our beloved friend, that prompted me to offer referrals to my counseling clients, that kept me from beginning to grieve my cousin's death from a terrible cancer.  I wasn't able to be fully present to my husband with his own medical issues and was unable to lend a hand to my own mother who needed me so.

Pain became my name as my world shrunk to the size of my mouth.  

Life became all about THE tooth or rather, where the tooth used to be.  I became inward focused and anxious, self-absorbed, emotionally exhausted, and physically numb.


I'm on the mend.  

I think, I hope, I pray.  

Some days are better than others and I don't think this is going to be a quick heal.  I'm grateful for every good thing ... stellar medical care, soft foods, friends who exhibit Christ's compassion, meds that cut the pain, the luxury of binge watching Victoria, brilliant sunshine on frigid days, cozy naps with a big pillow and an old quilt, short car excursions to sparkling vistas, Jan Karon's Mitford books.

And Jesus.  

There were days when I knew He was all I had.  I prayed constantly, hundreds of hymns played through my brain and circled down into my needy heart.  The Spirit led me to Psalms, James, Lamentations, and Romans.  I journaled pages and pages of desperate, trusting prayers to the One who, I know, heard me well.

I'm doing my best.  I'm letting Him carry me.

A wise friend tenderly whispered that sometimes God allows us to be in seasons that may not be of our own choosing.  She left me with a tiny pot of yellow daffodils as a life-giving reminder.


My hat's off to all of you who have high pain tolerance and can withstand all kinds of physical agony with scarcely blinking an eye.  I especially hold in high regard those who do so, yet have an incredible ability to be compassionate and deeply caring for those of us who've not been given this gift of physical endurance.

And my heart goes out to those who live in chronic, endless pain, that's difficult if not impossible to control.  You know who you are and I can't begin to tell you how much I ache for you.  I hope that you can find yourself exceptional doctors who can offer you some kind of respite for the pain that's come to dominate your lives.  That God will send you warm-hearted companions who won't judge you, lecture you, abandon you, lob Bible verses at you, or make you feel 'less than' because of this, your thorn in the flesh.


Thanks to a blogging friend who sent me this prayer meditation right in the midst of it all.  She didn't have a clue as to what I was dealing with and I love that she listened to the Spirit's nudge to reach out.  It's a wonderful reminder for me to pay attention when He starts whispering someone's name in my ear.  I hope it blesses you right where you are today.


I've been pretty much out of commission online, but I did come across these goodies ...
I know, I'm sorry, I hope I learned to be kind
Sarah Bessey

Lament Gives Way to Freedom
Sarah Mae @ {in}courage

The Confessions of a Recovering Evangelist
Doug Pollock

3 Ways to Seek Joy When Life is Hard
Nicki Schroeder

4 Rhythms to Create Spiritual Space and Fight Against Anxiety
Rebekah Lyons

6 Disruptive Church Trends That Will Rule 2020
Carey Nieuwhof

9 Simple Organizing Tips
Karianne @ Thistlewood Farms


What's ahead around here?  I've learned over time to hold all plans loosely in my hands.  Recent days have sealed the importance of this workable philosophy.  Right now?

  A follow up to our high profitable, tenderly honest conversation, When Bloggers Hurt Each Other

  An avid proponent of Christian fiction {and one of my nearest and dearest} shares her favorite authors and reads

  A guest post on marriage over at my friend Cheryl's place


Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord's great love 
we are not consumed, 
for His compassions never fail.

They are new every morning; 
great is Your faithfulness.

I say to myself,
 "the Lord is my portion; 
therefore I will wait for Him."

The Lord is good to those
 whose hope is in Him, 
to the one who seeks Him;
It is good to wait quietly 
for the salvation of the Lord.
- Lamentations 3:21 - 26 -

Let's all pray for each other!  Please share your requests in the comment section ~

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