The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Archive for thankfulness

This Thanksgiving Offers New Perspective When Ill

Thanksgiving will take on a new meaning this year. In the past my parents spent the holiday at their home in another state with the rest of the family and my husband and I made our own traditions with our son. Last year we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I put on a turkey (pre-cooked), mixed up the dressing, stuck in some acorn squash and called it dinner. With our “lo-carb” eating Thanksgiving dinner became less important.


Last year we went to a for our family was to give away puzzles with Shrek on them. The church held a large “town” of services such as medical, dental, fun items as well as dinner. We usually end the day with a drive over to the fairgrounds where we drive around the Del Mar Racetrack (literally) to see the Christmas lights.


This year, I will just hit my half-way point of three weeks of being on my IV penicillin, to keep fighting an infection that put me in the hospital for a week just a couple weeks ago. I am sick of the PICC line feeling like I have six rubber bands around my arm. I’m tired of a shower being such an inconvenience, taping baggies around both my arm and foot. I’m tired of wearing slippers everywhere and tripping over my IV tubing. I overdid the other day in activity and ended up back in wound care, concerned about the severity of pain.


But I am also thankful. This year I am not taking anything for granted. When I went back to wound care, I didn’t know if I could be home in an hour, or back in the hospital with a bone infection. I didn’t know if I’d walked my last steps on my foot; as after reading about the infection I had, I realize just how lucky I am to still have a foot. I am thankful for my parents who are now retired and are able to be here to help out and also get to experience some of the daily activities Josh has, like today’s Thanksgiving Day “feast” at school for all family members.


I am thankful I am able to take the medication. I am thankful that we are trying to figure out our insurance, but a “member cap” may make this a smaller bill than we were afraid of. I’m thankful my hand tendon hasn’t yet ruptured since the infection delayed that surgery. It moved badly tonight and I don’t know how much time it has.


I am thankful for my husband who has never been so involved in my medical care, but who has been completely in charge of my IV, IV computer, foot wound care and more. Especially the days I drag myself over so he can do what needs done and I act more annoyed than grateful.


I could go on and on. But. . . I could easily make just as long of a list of all the pain, worries, complications, frustrations, feeling of injustice, or the disappointment I’ve felt over the lack of concern from some people I thought would show they cared who have not. I won’t make that list as it would not benefit anyone, especially my own mental health.


This has been a season of surrendering over all my desires for the picture perfect holiday; and even the joys that typically come with pulling out all the Christmas decorations and dishes. Because of our budget, Christmas really will be about celebrating Christ’s birth, that we’re alive one more day, being with loved ones and just watching our son open Christmas presents.


I have to say that this year, more than many other, I am learning more about the feeling Paul had about contentment in Philippians 4:11-12: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”


Happy Thanksgiving, Friends. May this not be a season of suffering for you, but rather one of contentment in the midst of the most difficult circumstances.large local church and volunteered our services. Ironically, the job