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Overcoming Challenges

How to Unlock Patience and Grace by Waiting for Others

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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."

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One of the biggest drawbacks of being in my particular situation, as a quadruple amputee, is that I am always at the mercy of someone else’s schedule. Can you imagine? Read on to find out how to unlock patience and grace by waiting for the others in my life.

If I am super desperate to get something accomplished, I can figure out a way. However for the most part, if I have a task I cannot do myself, I have to wait. You need to understand that a major fault of mine is that of impatience. When I have a job to do or a project, I want to do it, now!  It was a challenge for me to learn to unlock patience and grace.

How do the chores get done?

I miss the days when I could just go to the store when I needed something. Grocery shopping was something I did on my own. It was part of my housewife job so that Mike didn’t need to worry about it. He already works 50-60 hours a week at his job. I shopped so on Saturdays we could spend that time either working around the house or going out for the day. Now, it’s part of Mikes week. Saturday’s are grocery day. I cannot do it alone. I cannot reach items on the top or bottom shelves. Paying is a challenge, although, in a pinch, the cashier is always gracious to help me.

Quadruple amputee smiling while pushing grocery cart in walmart.Cleaning is another task that I cannot do alone. Cleaning is a task that happens to fit into all family members particular niche of the things they really don’t like to do. Thankfully, one of my husband’s sisters does like to clean and she helps me out every once in a while.

What about crafts and hobbies?

I love flower gardening. My family does not. However, they plant and weed and mulch because it’s important to me. Mostly, though it’s usually 2-weeks after I buy the plants before they get planted. As much as I’m a “get it done now” kind of gal, my whole family procrastinates, especially on things they don’t like to do. Did I mention they don’t like plants?

Amputee woman smiling while holding yellow mumsSince my amputations, I’ve developed this avid attraction to DIY’s, decorating and crafts. My family has not. Again, though, they do it because it’s important to me. Megan is my crafter, Mike Sr is my gardener and Mike Jr is my grocery shopper. They each have things they won’t do. So I have to wait upon the schedule of the particular family member who is willing to help me on their particular task.  Again, it’s necessary to unlock patience and grace.  I’m so thankful that my family has found patience and grace with me as well.

I have more success with cooking. We need to eat daily, so they rotate. It usually falls to the person who has the day off or gets home early. On more than one occasion I have been able to put something in the crockpot, put some barbeque sauce on it and turn it on. Cooking, for me, is painful, because I love it so much.

Quadruple amputee woman leaning over stove while cooking. She wears prosthetic legs and prosthetic brace on arm to cook with.I remember so fondly, the days when I could grocery shop, cook, clean, do the laundry, take care of my family, even bake for them once in a while. That was my job. I absolutely loved that job. Now, my family has to do all these things while I sit on the sidelines and watch. Yes, I assist in every possible way and I go with them to the store and I stand by their side when they’re planting or making my craft projects. However, it’s just not the same. It’s sad and it’s completely frustrating.

Why don’t I use prosthetic hands?

You’re probably thinking, “how does she do it as an amputee? My answer always is ” only by the grace of God!”. God has given me the grace and patience to wait. I’ll be honest, I don’t like to wait, but I do it because I have no choice. Living without hands is something that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. So why don’t I wear prosthetic hands, you might ask? I had them. I went through many appointments with an occupational therapist to learn them and use them. Ultimately, all they were good for is picking things up and putting things down. They were beautiful. They looked just like real hands. My particular hands were of the myoelectric version. This means they worked off of the muscles moving in my arm in order to move. The wrists only moved if I physically moved them. I think I would have had more success if I had 1 real hand and 1 prosthetic. But I don’t. So I decided that I could get more accomplished without them.

Which brings me back to the limitations that I have. Some days I get really down and discouraged. I also get mad. What can I do about it? This is my lot in life. So I simply pray for strength and guidance. I also pray for my family to have patience with me. I know that they would rather have to humor me with my to-do list than not have me around at all.

Amputee woman in purple shirt leaning over bible in front of glass doors.Only God knows why I’ve been given this particular situation as an amputee. My prayer is that I can be a good witness and inspiration to those around me. I simply keep a smile on my face and trust the Lord that He has a purpose for me because “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”. Romans 8:28.  I am also extremely thankful.  Gratitude is so important!  You may be interested in Gratitude: Why Counting Your Blessings is so Important or Gratitude from A to Z:  Things to be Thankful for.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my email list for updates. I’d also love your shares, pins, tweets, and comments. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m an open book. We can also carry on the conversation on social media.  Meet me on my One Exceptional Life Facebook page.  Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

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16 Comments

    1. I remember complaining of those things before as well. But once they’re taken away, you realize what a blessing they are. A privilege to care for your family in such a simple way.

  1. Your post is very inspiring. I really admire the way you remain positive through it all. I admire your dedication to your family as well!

    1. Thank you so much. Family means everything to me. I would never have gotten through without the Lord and my family.

  2. you are amazing. you make me feel very grateful. may i ask how you type your blogs? do you use a special voice app? i just bought a microphone to see if that would help versus the built in computer mic for dictation.

    best! god bless you.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

    1. Hi Joy, thank you so much. In answer to your question, I use a stylus attached to a wrist strap. Most of my typing I do on my phone but I use a laptop also and for 2 handed typing I use a 2nd stylus. I never had much luck with a dictation program. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  3. Wendy – I love what you share so much. I can’t imagine making that transition from having hands to going without them. Since I was born with one arm, I’ve never known anything different and I learned everything with one arm. You are SUCH an inspiration to me, and I’m sure to so many others. Keep on sharing your story with the world, I know God is using you to reach many hearts!

    1. Hi Becca, I appreciate your kind words. I pray that I am serving God to the best of my ability and that I can be an inspiration to anyone who faces challenges in their life.

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