I sat in amazement as my daughter happily sang out the words to me. She placed a freshly baked popover in front of me, beside a white tea candle and my mug of organic Peruvian coffee. “Happy Arthritis Day!” she repeated. “Had you forgotten what day it is?”
“Adana!” her younger brother chided. “Do you really think Mommy wants to celebrate being sick?”
Adana just grinned wider and looked at me expectantly.
Still puzzled, I simply had to ask her what had prompted this celebration. And was she certain she even had the right day?
“How can you forget something so important? I wrote it down, Mommy. This is the day your arms began hurting. And this is when you began working for Home School Enrichment, writing the things you love. This is the beginning of many good things that happened – all because you got arthritis. I wanted to help you celebrate.” She presented me then with a pair of hand-made pink earrings (see? I’m wearing them now).
The boys’ faces brightened with understanding, and softly, gradually louder and more enthusiastically, they all began singing, “Happy Arthritis Day to You!” as my eyes filled with grateful tears. Adana held the candle up to me to “make a wish!” I wished that I would always remember to celebrate the joy of learning through trials.
Count it all joy when ye fall into various trials, knowing this, that the testing of your faith worketh patience.
As we ate our delicious popovers, the children shared the beautiful lessons they have learned through the past year’s trials.
Adana (9 years): To be more considerate of others, to be honest, and to love housekeeping
Gian (11 years): To remove long-standing bitterness in his heart toward his mother and keep a tender, close relationship with his parents
Leandro (7 years): To work hard
Xzavian (3 years): To tell Adana to make more popovers
Blessed is the man that endureth trials, for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.
I learned way too much, myself. How can I mention the soul-searching, the dross-removing, the self-effacing, the priority-shifting, the gold-refining, the joy-seeking, the shackel-releasing, the mind-opening, heart-healing process this has been for me? How can I begin to express how much our family has changed, and is changing?
Have I ever said, aloud, “I am glad I have arthritis?” Have I ever thanked God for the trial that changed me so? Have I taken the time to celebrate, joyfully, the patient, perfecting work of my Father?
I did today, over fresh popovers and preserves.
Happy Arthritis Day!