Courage to be Perfectly Imperfect You

Courage is not the absence of fear … it’s the presence of hope. Check out Shelly Beach’s latest blog. You’ll be blessed by it.

Writer, Know Thyself

Southern Writer’s Magazine contacted me a few months ago and asked if I’d be interested in writing a post in their Southern Writer’s blog, Suite T. Come over and check it out. How do you prepare for a new writing projects?

Brain Tumor: the Day the Dam Broke

2011-04-10 01.59.03April 1, 2011 was the day the dam broke. That’s the day my life changed forever. That’s the day I had the seizure that left me temporarily paralyzed on my right side. That’s the day doctors found my brain tumor.

That’s the day I learned my brain tumor had been growing between  ten and twelve years. That’s the day I realized doctors had made a mistake when they told me the twitching in my hand had been from aging.That’s the day the doctors told me to get my affairs in order because I needed surgery. That’s the day  they couldn’t promise I’d live through it. That’s the day when my husband of only four years had to look at the possibility of caring for a person who would forever be less than who she was when he married her.
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Humility in action

Psalms 51-10

Psalms 51:10-13 NIV

Last Saturday I spoke to several groups of inner city women on the subject of forgiveness. Days before the event, I began spending time in prayer asking God to push me out of the way so His words could be heard. I thanked Him for such a great opportunity given to me.

When Saturday came, I was pleased to see the groups of ladies signed up for our session were small enough to allow the women to feel safe in sharing their stories. We visited subjects from drug abuse to children in prison. Our conversations went from dealing with abusers to moving on from self-loathing. All subjects were cloaked in the purpose of forgiveness.
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Does God Cry?

Crying

Have you ever wondered if God cries?

To help me understand what’s involved with having a personal relationship with God, I try to see Him as I see others with whom I have relationships. I mean no disrespect by this. I bring Him down to my level—figuratively, of course—so I can look into His eyes and try to understand who He is to me.

That’s how I started the morning of April 1, 2011. It was Friday and I thanked God for bringing me through another work week. Little did I know while I was thanking God, He was sitting on the edge of his bed, elbows on his knees with his head in his hands. He knew when he got out of bed that day everything would start falling into motion. He choose to stay on the edge of his bed—just a few moments more. He knew this day had to come. He knew before I went to sleet that night I would hear news that had the potential to rock me to the core of my foundation. He knew today would be the beginning of my need to revisit my personal hell and the demons He had banished from my life year earlier.

As He finally got out of bed and strolled to His kitchen, He knew this wasn’t how He planned to do things. This had never been how He planned it. Sin had gotten in the way all those years ago. His children were all paying the costs and He was cleaning up after it—still cleaning up.

As he poured Himself a cup of coffee and fixed His cereal, He felt the pain I would experience later on that day. With each spoonful of cereal, He pondered on what was to come. He stopped, put his spoon down and rested His arm and forehead on the table.

I wonder if God cried for me that day.

These are some of the thoughts that careened through my mind the early part of April 2011. I write about that and more in my new memoir, “Ten Days to Live: How God Used a Brain Tumor to Heal a Heart.”

Watch for it!

Check Your Focus

focusEver find that every step you take you feel like you’re two steps behind?

That’s me. My 2016 goals are in place. I have a plan to meet each goal. And they’re good goals, too! The first week of the year went rather smoothly … pacing myself, telling myself You can do this. It’s a piece of cake!

If you’re like me,  something happens to throw you off your game. It could be the simple trip to the store for a few things that turns into buying enough supplies to get through Armageddon. Or maybe your neighbor needs you to watch their kids for a while so they can help a relative stricken with the flu. Better yet, your spouse wants to start on that project you’ve been wanting done for years—only they need your supervision.

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How Do You Treat Your Darlings?

Oscar-Wilde (2)Writing is wonderful. And there, you will find darlings–those phrases and word pictures that you dearly love. But we need to watch our relationship with these darlings.

Variations on the “murder your darlings” saying, including “kill your darlings” and “kill your babies,” have been handed down in writing workshops and guides for decades, and almost every major 20th century English author has been cited at one time or another. In addition to the common attribution to Faulkner—“In writing, you must kill all your darlings”—which seems to have been popularized in guides to screenwriting in the 1990s, the advice has also been attributed to Oscar Wilde, Eudora Welty, G.K. Chesterton, “the great master Chekov,” and Stephen King, who wrote, “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

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Practicing Gratitude at Thanksgiving

There’s a turkey to brine, bathrooms to clean, tables to set and lists to check. Thoughts like these consume us each November.

But have we lost the most important part of the Thanksgiving holiday? How sad it is that these get most of our attention. It’s understandable that planning for the day’s celebration is necessary, but please remember there’s so much to be thankful for.

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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.

 

Guest Post – Where’s God?

Lisha Berry TaylorLisha Berry Taylor is my guest blogger today. If you’ve dealt with a brain tumor you will appreciate what Lisha shares in her story. If you know someone who has a brain tumor, maybe her words will help put circumstances in order. God is the Great Physician and Provider. See how he manifests himself through Lisha’s ordeal.

I had been feeling strange for a while and honestly thought I was going crazy. I had just had a hysterectomy a few months earlier so I thought something was wrong with my hormones. At a regular doctor’s visit I mentioned I was not dealing well with stress and wondered about my hormones. He told me I was already on a high dosage. I told friends at church that I thought I was losing my mind. I was so emotional and anything could upset me. One time I cried all the way home from work because a customer had been mean to me and I did not understand.

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