Perfection in Weakness

Has your skin ever hurt? I’m not talking about getting stung or having an allergic reaction. I’m talking about your skin hurting when something touches it or presses against it. I have this some days with Dermatomyositis, and I believe this is similar to what people with Fibromyalgia experience. I had a rough week, and I woke up feeling extremely sore today. Whenever my husband would put his hands on my shoulders or on my back, I had to tell him to stop. How awful is that…to refuse your husband’s touch, but unfortunately, it really hurt. I did tell him to stop as gently as possible, though, and he understood since this certainly wasn’t the first time. Muscle tenderness is a common symptom of Dermatomyositis.

In addition to the sensitivity, I was exhausted all day and even felt nauseous for a while. Consequently, I felt relieved when our friends called this afternoon and said they couldn’t come over for bbq tonight with their three young children after all. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through the evening.

The only good that comes from days like this is that I’m more mindful of what my priorities should be. I remember what’s most important and either put the rest of my tasks on the back burner or toss them out. The burdens that I can’t put off or get rid of, I turn over to God and ask for help. For instance, I had considered writing a grant this fall to get some raspberry pi computers which are the size of credit cards and have USB ports and input/output pins on them, so you can hook them up to things and control them. You can buy these with the Scratch program on them and Python, so kids can learn to code. I also thought it would be cool to apply for money to buy a 3D printer so kids could learn to design objects and print them. My intent was to do some sort of after school program to help kids learn about and use emerging technologies. Unfortunately, I’m working 9-10 hours each day right now and didn’t get my sixteen review books read and reviewed this summer. I’ve also been told that I need to read an additional book for a book study that all the librarians in our district are required to do. Therefore, I’m throwing the grant proposal idea in the trash.

Today, after waking up feeling like I was run over by a bus, I’m reminded that life is short…and stress only makes a person’s life shorter. Therefore, I will not be writing a grant proposal this year. Kids who want to learn programming can take computer science courses offered by our school. Those who want to learn about 3D printing can take courses from the teacher who already has a 3D printer. I already teach kids about researching, I help them with their papers and projects, and I assist teachers with technology troubleshooting, resource gathering, and lesson planning. If I’m not valued for the things I already do, then they might as well cut my position. Creating a makerspace is not going to save my job if there are big budget cuts to be made, but it will take away from the quality time I spend with others.

As far as the burdens I can’t relinquish…such as working despite my pain and exhaustion, I’m just praying to God about it and telling him that I want his will to be done no matter what. God’s “power is made perfect in weakness”, so I will continue to put my faith in him.  (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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