This week has been challenging.  Actually, that’s being really diplomatic.  This isn’t a banner week.  I’m a mess.  I don’t even qualify to be a hot mess – just a big mess.  I’ll admit that I’ve had moments of extreme self-pity followed by moments of stress eating (McDonald’s fries aren’t really even that good).  It’s been one of those weeks.  But today a minute happened that was like a life preserver in the black hole.  My brother-in-law Joe told me to think about things that are good.  I’ll explain.

Think about things that are good

Monday I started a new MS medicine.  It is a 3 times a week injection and it’s awful.  It isn’t as awful as the last medicine but I still hate it.  The medicine burns like fire when you get the “shot” and then you feel like you have the flu for several hours – every. single. shot.  It took me a bit to get myself psyched up to even take it.  And then yesterday I had to get STITCHES on the bottom of my foot.  Long story, but now I have crutches and it hurts to walk, stand, and sit – anything.  However I could balance on one leg better than a yard flamingo in a Category 5 hurricane at this point.

My dad gives me the shot because I’m a chicken.  I’m a total chicken, more like a baby chicken I guess.  But today he wasn’t available so my brother-in-law gave it to me.  Joe and I get along pretty well.  Sometimes he gets on my nerves and we argue (we also work together) but overall we’re cool.  So today when he was getting ready to give me the shot, I pulled away 3 times.  (I’m scared, really!)  Finally, he was really sweet about it and told me to hold his hand and he’d give me the shot.  The shot is with a machine so you only need one hand.  He was being kind.  I started to cry.  Then I cried harder.  He gave me the shot.
Then I cried hardest because MS is horrible.  I was feeling overwhelmed with everything and my foot was throbbing and my stomach was turning red and burning.  He said, “Julie, in the book of Philippians, it says to think about things that are good and lovely.  I think if you did that during these times, you might feel much better.”  Hmm.
The actual verse in the Bible is Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
I started thinking about it.  It dawned on me that if we try – I say try because it is difficult when something is hard – to concentrate on the good, the lovely, the excellent – then….the icky hard stuff seems a little more bearable.  
If I focus on the fact that today my grandmother came by to say hello, and that I work with the sweetest group of guys, or that I have a loving family that has my back all day long; then yep, my foot still throbs but my mind is a little more at ease.
If I think about the fact that my husband was willing to take off the week from work to be with me or my new nephew is coming to visit tomorrow and I’m going to smother him with kisses – life has much more equilibrium.
If I think about my parents being there every day or my brother (that is really, really tough but has the softest spot in his heart) loves me, it is better.
Or my sisters that understand everything, or my cousin Carol Lynn that I can call at any minute, or my nephew Bryce that hangs out with me and laughs about nothing – then those things turn the Titanic around.
So Joe was on to something and Philippians is true.  Thanks JP and tonight only the excellent & lovely are on my agenda.

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