Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy things

1. Today I got a package in the mail addressed to "Princess Sarah Jackson."

My name means princess. It also means "one who laughs." The gift inside the package has turned me into a laughing princess:

A princess tiara! When I unwrapped the tiara, I laughed with delight and then placed it atop my head, next to my bed rest bun. I have been chuckling with delight every time I catch  my reflection in the mirror.

Whoever sent this: THANK YOU. It is my most favorite Valentine's Day gift of life. I shall wear it throughout the day feeling like a child of the most high King.

2. I got a book in the mail several days ago about soul care. It's also from a mysterious sender, so I want to say "thank you thank you!" to whomever sent it. Checking the mail has become funner than fun lately.

3. I have a friend named Tanya who got very sick ten years ago and spent years in bed fighting lyme, Epstein Barr, and a host of other issues before returning to health. When I  met her I was in the early stages of my sickness and my hope of healing was rather deflated. She'd only known me a few days but she promised, "I'll hold your hope for you." And she has.

Where Tanya and I first met, in Colorado. She and her husband are in the blue and red.

Years later, she is one of my dearest friends and most comforting comforts on this journey. Somehow, in the midst of caring for her family and going to graduate school, Tanya finds time to text or talk on the phone anytime I need to. When I have questions about symptoms or treatment options, she has helpful answers. When I'm dealing with something emotionally heavy, she helps me process. When I'm scared, she comforts me. When I cannot put words to a physical or emotional experience, she can. When I need to have a good belly laugh, you better bet your bottom dollar she makes me laugh till I cry.

She is insightful, incisive, wise, and kind, and her friendship makes me grateful and happy. Also: I love her.

4. Last weekend, while I was in bed, the trees donned their finest frills, and now my drive to work is full of glorious spring scenery. Lately, I have a habit of pulling over on my way home from work to take photos of these fragrant blooms.

5. I have a student – let's call her B – who is motivated, hard-working, and thoughtful. She cares a lot about developing as a thinker and writer, and she looks for ways to fold her writing and thinking into God's Kingdom purposes. She's exactly the kind of student you'd imagine finding at Biola University.

Last semester, B — and she's given me permission to share this — asked me and her classmates to pray for financial provision for this spring semester's tuition costs. We prayed for a couple of weeks before she came back to us with good news.

Her mom had been at the salon when she shared B's next-semester college plans with her hair lady. "We're trying to raise money for her spring semester tuition," she said. "We're still short quite a bit."

Some time later, B's mom got a call. It turns out another customer in the hair salon overheard B's mom talking about her tuition fundraising efforts and perked up. This customer has a friend who runs a non-profit that helps students like B. Soooo, this non-profit helped B pay her spring tuition, and now B is at Biola.

I have her again this semester, and I'm just so happy about the way God provided for her.

6. As I've researched holistic approaches to healing, I continue to encounter something called "rebounding." Basically, it's jumping gently on a trampoline in order to give the lymph system a little extra gravitational help as it flushes out toxins. I ordered a mini-trampoline last week and it's just arrived, and let me tell you what:  I CANNOT wait until I can start bouncing on this thing.

7. I have another friend, Jessica, whom I've known since my first week teaching at Biola.

Hers is a friendship I will cherish for my whole life. She is a wise confidant, intentional encourager, and thoughtful gift-giver. She is a woman of both being and acting — she has taught me what it looks like to "mourn with those who mourn," and has also been a constant source of help. Over the years she has offered to call doctors and insurance agents on my behalf; she has offered to drive clear across LA to take me to the airport when I've returned to Washington for medical care; she has offered to drive me eight hours north to a lab that could test me for lyme; and most recently she offered to drive me to Redmond for healing prayer. Oh, you guys, I feel like I won the friendship lottery, straight from God's glorious treasure trove.

8. I've had a team of friends rally around me this month as I recover. One friend has been an errand-runner. A number of friends, including my roommate, have been grocery-shoppers. And last week, a dear friend cooked me food to last quite awhile. I just wish I had more than mere words to thank them all. Which is why I should write a song. Yes, a song. Something like this (imagine a groovy hip hop beat):

Roses are red, red, red
Violets are blue, blue, blue,
My fridge is full of squash,
and my heart is full, too, too, too.
My pants have been tailored
and my pantry restocked
thanks to my busy busy friends
who always take time to stop.
and help me, help me, help me.

Ooohhhh yeeeeeeeahhhhh.

 9. Sisters are one of the best things of life, and boy, I'm thankful for mine.

It's hard to put words to sisterhood, so I'm not going to try today. I'll just say I love my sister somethin' fierce, and I'm happy-happy-happy God decided to give her to me.

Happy Valentine's Day, friends of mine.


Princess Sarah ;)

© by scj

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