Sunday, January 12, 2014

Finding My RAWR!

Don't you love those moments in life that stretch us to the absolute point in which we know without a doubt that the strength we just exhibited was not our own? I experienced this last week. Now, I'm not one who is quick to say, "I can't". I am pretty much one determined girl. Some would even say stubborn. But last week put me to the test. 

Here in Missouri our temps plunged below zero. With chill factor we were somewhere in the zone of -35. Even for this winter loving girl that's pretty cold. Bitter cold with winds that cut right through the bundle of clothes we try to put on without somehow suffocating before getting outdoors. 

My hubs had left for Chicago. Another cold destination. But he arrived safely and for that I was giving praise. Only he didn't get to head home on his regular route. He was caught in Chicago and I was here alone with a Red Bone that pretty near outweighs me. With the cold temps I was trying my best to keep everything from freezing including my son's dog. Gunner is an outside dog. He loves being outside. He has a great house filled with tons of straw, but this was a cold we hadn't experienced in years and it was time to bring him in for the next few days. 

This was certainly an adventure. He loved being warm, but he wasn't okay with being indoors. He wanted out and he was going to bellow until he returned there. It was a night of bellowing and on constant guard of a leg lifting that was more like a geyser erupting. Yes, we were awake all night. At five in the morning I figured I might as well just get up and make coffee. Would you believe that it was at five in the morning this dog finally stretched out on my bed of all places and sacked out! 

I downed my coffee before the nose of this dog was on the hunt again. Did I mention the mirror in my bathroom? Gunner apparently fell in love with himself and couldn't stop staring and whining. Just as I would think he was settled in for sleep there he was again even in the dark of the room smack against the mirror in love. 

There is no walking this dog. He walks me. More so, he drags me wherever he wants to go. So, our outings that were every thirty minutes were fun-filled with excitement. I was soon feeling like every muscle in my body had been pulled and replaced. 

Snow. Yes, beautiful snow. Any other time I think I would have sat back in awe of all the snow we received. We had about ten inches, but around our house was drifts much higher. Our driveway was packed with snow up to my knees and higher. 

Our roads were terrible. Not yet treated, but I knew I had to do something with our drive way. If I didn't there was no way my husband could even pull in. Once the highway department got to our country road and bladed it the opening to our drive was higher than I expected. With shovel in hand I walked outside determined, but as I stood there after the snow had fallen, I had no idea as to where to begin shoveling. 

I worked for hours. Oh, I would shovel for thirty minutes or so and come in for a break. Grab a sip of coffee and head back out. I was making progress. But my body was screaming. Everything was hurting, but I wasn't giving up. As I made it to the half way point I looked at all I did and felt a great achievement, but as I looked forward to all I had left, I was beginning to think it was a lost cause. I worked at that snow for a great part of the day until I could do no more. 

The next morning it was a bit warmer. The huge winds had died down and I knew Gunner was okay as long as I continued to check on him throughout the day and night. I warmed with my coffee and began my day filled with tasks, many of which were outside. I grabbed the shovel and headed up to the drive. I can tell you that on this day my attitude was a bit different. I was determined, but I was so tired. My body had been through the ringer. The closer I shoveled to the road I started to become a bit angered. There were many people passing by with a wave or a smile. I can say, many of these people were people that I knew. What would have blessed me would have been for just one person to stop and lend a hand. A man would have had the drive shoveled in no time. A tractor would have done the job within ten minutes tops. My hubs wasn't home to use our tractor. Yes, the more I thought about it the more aggravated I became. 

I wondered where that neighborly love was. I knew without a doubt that our two sons would have never passed by a woman out shoveling their driveway. If you could understand where we live it may be easier to envision. Neighbors look out for one another. It was just this time it hit me pretty hard that my husband was gone. He wanted to be home and he knew I was having a difficult time. He had shared with me not to push myself. He didn't even want me to shovel, but I knew it had to be done. After all if there was an emergency how was I to get out? Not long ago our house would have been filled with five kids all who would have loved getting out in the snow and helping.

So, after two days of working hard I made it! Yes, all the way to the road. I looked back at all I had done in those last few days and tears streamed. I had done things during this storm that I had never done before. I had accomplished things I knew that only came to pass because of a strength that was not my own. 

My hubs returned home safely and his words to me were, "Rob, I am so proud of you." He pulled in our drive and seen the piles of snow that made way for him to pull in. My husband later told me, "We are such a good team". 

When you live with chronic pain everything is a challenge and this week was an extra challenge for me. Not only did I overcome pain, but I grew as a God chick. That's how I found my RAWR this week. It's funny, when I look at obstacles that come my way and think, "No way I can do that", and what do you know, that obstacle is soon an object of the past. There have been many that have come my way and with each and every one God has been there to say, "You go, girl! I'm right here with ya!" Sometimes we can find our RAWR in the strangest of ways. In many cases we don't truly fully begin to rely on God until we are all alone. 

After thinking about being angry at all those who passed by, now I was thankful. My gratitude was soaring. If one person, only one, had stopped in and helped me, I wouldn't have known all I could accomplish. Oh, I didn't do it on my own. I did it through prayer. When I was ready to give up the Lord was there cheering me on. But even more so, He was instilling in me that people are not always going to be there for me. Not everyone stops when there is a need. But my Savior, yes, my Savior, will forever be with me. When I am in need He is the first I should go to. His name is the first I should call. He will never let me and He will never pass by. 
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