|Author Naomi Rawlings|
Thanks for having me back today. Last time I was here, I did an interview and talked about the isolated place in which my family and I live and how God had called my husband to pastor a small church in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I also talked about my debut book, Sanctuary for a Lady.
Now I’m back again, this time to tell you about the second book in the Belanger Family Saga, The Soldier’s Secrets, and to share some of the ways in which both my family and I have grown over the past two years.
Growth, by and large, is a rather ordinary word, and we usually tend to think of it in a pleasant way. Sometimes growth can be pleasant and fun, like riding a bike for the first time or getting your driver’s license. But growth isn’t always happy and easy. Sometimes skinned knees accompany learning to ride a bike, and accidents accompany getting your driver’s license.
For my family, the past two years have been full of growth, but it hasn’t been a happy, pleasant kind of experience. 2013 is one of those years I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Kind of like the people who lived through the Great Depression will always remember 1929 and the people who lived through WWII will always remember 1941 and 1945.
So what huge disaster happened this year? My son’s Lyme disease came back. And when I say came back, I mean the infectious disease literally flooded his body for a second time. It was supposed to be gone. We’d discovered the tick bite three years earlier, got the positive blood test, and treated him according to our pediatrician’s and the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations. And he did get better for three years.
Until he didn’t.
Lyme is a complicated disease, wrapped in a bunch of political and HMO crap, and then ignored by most doctors and insurance companies. I won’t go into the details here, though these articles on the Huffington Post (link to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-m-rubin/the-global-search-for-edu_b_4244055.html ) and New Yorker (link to http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/07/01/130701fa_fact_specter?utm_source=thanksgiving+2013&utm_campaign=T-giving&utm_medium=email ) will give you a hint. (Severe cases can leave people bedridden and riddled with seizures, while therapy involves years of IV antibiotics.) Most people with Lyme disease are indefinitely poor because the disease is very hard and expensive to treat, and insurance companies won’t cover beyond a month’s worth of treatment.
In short, Lyme disease is not something I would wish on anybody, ever.
But God allowed my son to contract it for some reason I still don’t truly understand. So what am I to do? I suppose I have two options: I could get bitter, or I could be thankful.
I choose to be thankful.
“For what?” You might ask. What do you have to be thankful for?
Well, I’m thankful for my family.
I don’t have my family right now, at least not in the healthy way I had them at this time two years ago. I also don’t have the thousands of dollars we’ve spent treating my son over the past twelve months. And I don’t have a dependable vehicle—my car is 13 years old and riddled with problems. I don’t have matching furniture in my bedroom (one of my dressers is pea green—who paints a dresser pea green???) I don’t have clean house at the moment. I don’t even have paint on the upstairs landing.
So how can I be thankful that my seven year old has an infectious disease that seems incurable?
By looking at my heart instead of my situation.
Do you remember those old MasterCard commercials and the things that they used to call “Priceless”? Those moments when our kids laugh. Those times when our spouses pull us close and kiss us until we’re dizzy and the kids are making gagging noises. Those instants when your child catches a frog he’s chased around the yard and his face lights up into a grin.
Laughter and kisses and frogs are not paid medical bills, debt-free houses, and functioning vehicles. But they matter. They’re important. They add up. And we can choose to be thankful for them.
That’s a novel thought, isn’t it? That we can CHOOSE to be thankful. That thankfulness doesn’t revolve around the number of things we own or the amount of money we’ve stashed in our savings, IRAs, and stocks. That thankfulness starts and ends in our hearts.
I don’t need a matching bedroom set and new car to be thankful. I don’t even need a healthy son to be thankful.
And neither do you.
Because laughter and kisses and frogs count for something, and instead of thinking about all the things I don’t have to be thankful for, I’m thinking about the things I DO have.
|The Soldier's Secrets|
A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. To learn more about Naomi and her novels, visit her website at www.NaomRawlings.com. You can also find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/author.naomirawlings.
Giveaway: This week we will be giving away a copy of each of Naomi's two new releases (international winners ebook choice only.) "Like" Naomi's Facebook page and put FB in your comment and answer this question: What are you most thankful for? Leave your email address so we can contact you.