Our morning today took on a slightly different slant as I got my wife up for the day. She awoke in peace and without incident and it was easy to get her ready with the able assistance of our dog Fiver, as he insistently lent his support by licking her hands and placing his head on her lap! Piper has two different wheelchairs that we use around the house. A simple transport chair that is easy to maneuver in and out of the tight spaces around the home, and a custom tilt back chair that is much more comfortable for her and helps her to maintain a better resting posture for her head and neck.
In the mornings it is much easier for both of us if I use the transport chair to transition her from the bed to the kitchen. Lately I have then been transferring her to the tilt chair for breakfast where I need to lift her up to properly place her in it. Today as I was in the midst of moving her from one chair to another, I suddenly found myself praising the Lord aloud repeatedly. It was like the more I did it, the more I needed to continue! I finally stopped in mid-step with my arms wrapped around Piper as I held her up between chairs and told her that I felt the Lord telling us to SHOUT out our praises to Him.
It was like I couldn’t contain myself! I just felt like I had to SHOUT! Then I realized that the lyrics of the song that was streaming from my Pandora account on my laptop in the kitchen was encouraging us and was that of a gospel group’s live performance with the same words and actions of worship unto the Lord! So… I just continued to sing and SHOUT – louder and louder! (That’s one of the nice things of being in a country home with lots of space between your neighbors!)
I have to admit that it was kind of nice… a little crazy… but fun! And now a couple of hours later that excitement is still strong in our house and I am still shouting an occasional exclamation of praise to the Lord!
I have noticed a definite change in the atmosphere of our home over the last few weeks. There just seems to be a higher level of expectation, peace and joy… which is a little strange as we just came through a very rough patch with my wife’s condition. After the incidents with the seizures and fractured wrist, Piper’s health seemed to have turned a corner for the negative. She was experiencing heightened sensitivity to visual and tactile stimuli resulting in an increase in the strength and quantity of severe body jerks, shakes and weakness in her legs.
I can’t tell you how many times I would have to fight off that voice that would try to pop up in my head telling me that this was the new normal for her in the progression of this disease. There were many times that I would tell the Lord that I didn’t care what it looked like, but we were still standing and believing what the Word says about her health and not what my eyes and head were reporting!
Then this last weekend things began to quiet down. The adverse body movements are reducing, her legs are stronger and she seems more at peace. The interesting thing throughout this entire month or so has been that Piper is actually more alert since the seizures. Her eyes are clear and sharp, she physically tracks people when they talk to her, she has been responding to her name and best of all… she has been acknowledging my presence, smiling to me and has even spoken a few words. Both the home care nurse and occupational therapist who have come out to the house have also commented on this positive change.
So yeah… overall, I guess I am more expectant of God’s Working in our behalf. I have learned over the last few years to celebrate EVERY victory – no matter how small! Now that I think about it, the loud praise and worship today has been in celebration of the goodness of the Lord. Jesus told the Pharisees who were complaining to Him about the shouts of praise coming from the crowds as He entered into Jerusalem toward the end of His earthly ministry that “If they keep quiet, these stones will start shouting!” (Luke 19:40 CEV)
Like I experienced this morning… sometimes you just can’t help yourself and you just gotta SHOUT praise unto the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Have you ever experienced that? Maybe today is the day to have a shouting good time praising the Lord!
Whether I see positive changes or not… I have decided that praise is the order of the day… each and every day… whether I feel like it or not… whether I sense Him telling me to or not! How about you?
Have a great weekend! In fact… make it even greater by taking time to SHOUT out some heartfelt praises to the Lord… and as you do, keep asking yourself… “When am I expecting to SHOUT praises today? (and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…)