The first autumn had come and gone. The second one breezes through. College football season with my man. Pumpkin scented candles and cinnamon surround. Pumpkins and mums stacked on my new front porch, in our wilderness home.

Settling into my wilderness, I am determined to thrive and not merely survive. I will be intentional in cultivating peace, joy, and contentment.

Christmas came the second time around here. This time with trees and gifts, Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift.

I was celebrating a new year at The Wilderness Place. A new community, church family, and friends.

The wind blew strong and cold across our little ridge. Light snow, bringing quiet.

Life went on. Mine stood still.

Tucked in my heart, lay a bit of resentment I would need to eradicate.

I felt hindered, somehow. Blocked, thwarted. Dependent.

If I wanted to go anywhere, someone had to take me. If I needed to go somewhere, someone had to take me.

It was hard to not feel a bother to those I asked for help.

I am tossing out a disclaimer here:no one, HEAR ME, no one, not one single one of you, made me feel that way.

Chronic Illness is my side of the fence we are sitting on, my bench, and my story; this how it feels when you live dependently on others.

Pride, it is an ugly thing.

Self-pity, when caved in to, is selfish and self-centered.

If I want to go to Target, I need Zippy the scooter. Asking anyone but my Sweet Man to manhandle it, is embarrassing to me.

I feel cumbersome when you invite me out. Needing answers to questions that may seem trite. How long do you plan to be gone? Will there be a long walk?

I need to be prepared, carrying enough Norma-Lyte, salt tablets, a list of medications, a list of doctors, should you need to call.

I feel the need to explain, I am going to move slowly and may need to sit and rest a spell.

I plod. You move at a quick little clip.

Weakness, slowness, and caution have begun to characterize our movements. We plod. You could call our speed deliberate, because we almost have to deliberate before mounting the next step.”  Luci Shaw from The Adventure of Ascent

Deliberation and caution in and with every movement. Frailty and pain, now, my constant companions.

Loss of independence is a different way of life. I have never been here before.

“…why are my cells failing me just when I am getting the hang of this glistening life?” Luci Shaw from Adventures of Ascent

There are times I feel ungracious. Life moves forward in the day to day, while I am stuck here, or so it seems.

These, are just a few of the things I live with daily.

Even here, the days of giving in to self-pity, God meets me with His grace and gives me courage and provision for this new way of life.

Gratitude in the small victories will carry me when I cannot.

…for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. 1 John 1:4b, The Message

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. John 3:30, NLT

Tammy Mashburn

Tammy Mashburn

TAMMY MASHBURN is an author, writer and blogger. She leads and encourages women in their spiritual growth, and leads a small group in her home, investing into younger women. Tammy is on the Women’s Ministry Team at her local church.

She and her Sweet Man have been married thirty plus years and they live in the foothills of South Carolina with their loyal, furry friend Lola.

Tammy has found abundant life in relationship with God as she lives daily with an incurable neurological disease.

She also loves dark chocolate, copious amounts of coffee and reading.

You can find Tammy at http://tammylmashburn.com where she blogs regularly, and you can follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. Tammy is a contributing writer at Dahlia Collective and Life Letter Café.