Tuesday 25 September 2018

A time for ....

In the EveryDay Journal group on Facebook our theme for September is 'A Time for ...'.  As Mary wrote: 'We want to take some time in September and examine our word of the year as well as look at seasons and change using Ecclesiastes 3 as our guide. So get ready to spend some time reflecting on your word and how you have seen God use it so far this year.'

My word for the year is gratitude.   I have been sharing the pages from my journal each month and you may have noticed that you haven't seen any pages since the end of May.  This, as you may know, is because I fell over on Friday 8th June and smashed two fingers on my right hand.  As I am right handed this meant I was unable to do much creatively.  I couldn't write or use scissors or sew.

Thankfully I could dress myself (hooray for elastic waistbands) and wipe my own bottom (TMI?).

I struggled during the first couple of weeks with being grateful.  There was a lot of 'why me?', 'where were you God?', 'why haven't you miraculously healed me? and other similar questions.

I am much better now although three fingers on my right hand still don't bend properly but I have been able to go back to my journal and using the photos I have taken since June 8th fill in my pages.  And in doing so have been able to contemplate on what happened, where God was and the place of gratitude.

I can't remember what I planned to put on these pages for the beginning of June so I stuck in photos of a fabric book I made in May.

The saga begins.  I didn't share the photos of my face on Facebook because I looked dreadful and I only went out of the house for hospital appointments.  The whole summer seems to have been one long dentist and hospital appointment but actually doing this photo journal has made me realise it wasn't.

So where was God when  I fell over?  He was there although I didn't recognise him at the time.  He was there in the people who rushed to help me.  In the off-duty ambulance support officer who looked after me.  In the friends who came and were praying.  In the Minor Injury Unit where there were hardly any other patients and so I was seen very rapidly.  He was there in the abilities of the Doctor and the nurses who straight away referred me to the Hand Trauma Clinic at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and got me an appointment there for the following Tuesday.   And I am so grateful for all those people.

I am thankful for the people who came to visit me at home and the flowers and cards I received. And the lovely folks in my Lifegroup who were praying.   As you can see in the photo above I had to cancel a lot of workshops.  One I lost money on but that was the nature of the booking.  I am thankful that the bruising on my face disappeared fairly quickly.  It didn't feel like it at the time but when I see the photos together I can see that it did.

I am thankful for the doctors at the hospital who worked on my fingers.  It turned out that the doctor I thought was a Registrar was a Consultant in South Africa and is in the UK on an exchange.  So I had two Consultants.  Very unusual - thank you God.   The doctor was unable to pin or plate my fingers because the bones were smashed rather than fractured.  The broken fingers were manipulated and then strapped to the unbroken middle finger.  A large plaster cast was put over my hand and the whole thing was bandaged up.

Thankfully, we didn't need to cancel the Traverse weekend but I was somewhat hampered in what I could do.  I had signed up for Karen Stamper's Online Sketchbook Course so I had a go using my left hand.

I didn't cancel the Julia Triston workshop which I have already blogged about.

And so we come to July. Sorry, some of my photos are a bit iffy - I'm still having problems holding the camera.

We had an unusally hot summer this year.  I don't like really hot but it was useful in that I didn't need to put on too many clothes and could wear sandals.  I spent most of three weeks in July sitting in the chair reading detective fiction on my Kindle - thank you Kindle Unlimited - and watching Le Tour de France on the television.

In the fall I had broken the tooth underneath the crown so had to have the tooth removed and a temporary denture put in.  I also had the plaster removed this week and was handed over to the Hand Therapy department to get my immobile fingers working.   I hadn't realised that 5 weeks of immobilisation would result in not being able to bend my fingers.  This resulted in another pity party and questioning God about it all.  Where was the healing my friends had prayed for?

Not only had I had to cancel workshops that I was attending but I had to close The Studio at church - so no Mixed Media Mondays and no Studio PlayDays.  This really frustrated me as I felt I was letting people down.

The Hand Therapy was going well and I was doing the exercises at home.  Part of the reason for taking so many photos was to record progress because sometimes I didn't feel as though there was much.  I was given a splint to wear at night.  In the day time I do exercises to bend the fingers and at night wear the splint to straighten them!

I was thankful that I could attend Richard & Becky's wedding without wearing a plaster cast or a splint.  I've left the gap to be able to put a photo of Roger & I at the wedding.

Which leads me neatly to the greatest support I've had over the weeks since June 8th.  Roger has been the chief cook (yes there was one good thing to come out of it - I didn't have to cook for several weeks!), chauffeur and house husband.  To be truthful, he was already doing most of the washing and all of the supermarket shopping pre June 8th.  But I don't know where I would have been without him these last weeks.  So my biggest thank you goes to him.

Next time we'll catch up with August and September.

Thanks for joining me today

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Mary Brack, Valerie Sjodin and I are using one journal to record events, experiences and relationships and to explore our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. We are each blogging about our experiences and our art. If you would like to connect with others about creatively organising your word, your ideas, thoughts, prayers, events, or your projects all in one journal, you are invited to join our Facebook group: Everyday Journals – Living Your Word of the Year.

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Check out the other blogs:
Mary: www.foundonbrighton.com
Valerie: www.valeriesjodin.com/blog

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