Worship Like Job

Job1One of my goals for 2016 is to read the Bible through again. If you have tried it, you know it can be a bit daunting. In the past, so not to get lost in the chapters of Leviticus, I’d read a bit of the Old Testament, then some of the New Testament. But this year I decided to mix it up a bit. I’m reading the Bible chronologically. I started in Genesis but soon was directed to Job.

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What a Year, Right?

partying penguinWow! Can you believe 2015 will be over tonight? I remember when I was small I figured I’d be forty-five years old in the year 2000–if I lived to be that old.

Happily, I did make it to the year 2000 and beyond. This year has had incredible highs and unbelievable lows. I’ve gained many friends and lost a few. I’ve dug my heels in firm on beliefs and challenged others. I’ve welcomed wisdom, purchased with many prayers and requests of The One who offers it. I’ve celebrated with many their successes and cried tears due to horrific losses experienced by others.

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Knowing Someone with a Brain Injury

brain injuryI came across this picture while cruising through my social media this morning, and it stopped me cold. I don’t know who this picture belongs to, but they captured what I and many others have felt from dealing with a brain injury.

Don’t be afraid to talk to a person who has had brain trauma. We sometimes feel like we’re invisible. Some of our feelings may seem legitimate at the time, but that may be because we’ve had someone digging around in our head. Legitimate today might not be factual tomorrow. It takes time for everything to settle back to “normal”.

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Comparison vs. Contentment

apple orangeMy approach to tension since surviving a brain tumor has been to do my best to embrace it. If I don’t feel overwhelmed once in a while, I’m not stretching myself enough. Sometimes when my tasks begin to win over my ability my world is thrown into chaos. I try my best to acknowledge and respect my limitations, step back and re-group. But more times than not, this is what happens:

That’s what I experienced when I entered the world of Christian publishing. There are more writers today than ever before–and they’re GOOD. They have strong voices and incredible talent. I find myself hitting a new nasty wall—the wall of comparison.

Comparison kills Contentment.

I know God’s plan for me is straight and true, just as His plan is for the next person. To compare my life to someone else is insulting to them—and God. It’s apples and oranges. When my heart begins to race from getting a bit manic about the writing process, I try to re-group, re-center, and follow the course set before me. I listen to my agent. I work on my social network. I practice and study writing. But most importantly I talk to others about the God’s gifts of mercy and grace. I do what I know God wants me to do.

I still spend time sitting in front of a blank computer screen, my nervous fingers hovering over the keyboard. Ugh! I hate thinking I should be able to do it just like everyone else.

My challenge: do what God inspires me to do and be content. My eagerness to write the perfect story can’t be more important than God’s Message. God’s gift to me and other beginning writers is beautiful and perfect. And if his plan is perfect, the time spent in preparation for what’s ahead is perfect, too.

For my writing friends, sit back from the computer screen once in a while. Stretch. Look around. There’s lots of good in your life that God’s placed there, but realize you’ll probably need that Calgon again … just as a reminder.

Waiting for Tomorrow

SunriseWe pace. We fret. We stare at our watch. What are we so anxious about?

Time.

Many who have dealt with serious physical challenges like cancer, tumors, or an assortment of medical ailments tend to hold time dear and look at life differently.

Had that pillow been so cozy before? It feels wonderful to wake up with it against my face.

The rays from the sun shine warm my insides as well as my outside.

This morning’s sunrise was spectacular. Had it ever been so beautiful before?

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Life after a Brain Tumor

2011-04-10 01.59.03It isn’t new anymore.

Loss of balance is now the norm. I’ve learned to take a cloth with me so when my hand trails the walls, I won’t leave smudges. When I hand wash dishes, I make sure they’re unbreakable. When I need to remember specifics, I write them down so when I forget them—because I always do—I won’t feel guilty.

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Slowing Down with Purpose

slow downRush here. Push to get through there. Check your watch—you still may have time to fit one more stop in before you’re late.

This summer has been packed with activity, going from one state to another visiting family and friends. All of it was good, but somewhere along the way I lost a sense of purpose.

There was a day not too long ago I savored each moment because I didn’t know how many more moments were left for me.

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How do I say …?

I sometimes wish I could change my world.

Going through brain surgery to remove a ginormous tumor—and living a blessed life afterward—gives me a glimpse of the realization that not everyone is as fortunate as I am.

Without a doubt, I thank God every morning before my feet hit the floor for the opportunity to live one more day. I understand what it’s like to see the possible end of my life come into focus. I understand what comes with looking out into the “ever after”.

But God showed me favor. Continue reading

Happy Endings Delayed

I spend a lot of time writing and speaking on the peace that comes with a relationship with Christ–while even having a brain tumor. However, I think we sometimes forget (I know I do) that there may be a process needed to go through to attain complete peace—what is found in the arms of Jesus.

Glenda Weldy tells of her period of time caregiving her husband Roger, as he battled a brain tumor. You can find her journey at http://glendaweldy.com/. As I read Chapter 12, my heart broke. Let’s never forget caregivers and the pain they endure.

 

I wonder …

Ever wonder how two people are afflicted with the same type of brain tumor one goes on to live a fulfilling life while the other one can’t?

Ever wonder why when two people are afflicted with the same type of brain tumor one praises God for the outcome and the other one blames God?

Ever wonder how life can seem so easy for some and yet so incredibly difficult for others?

I think God may wonder, too.