Friday, May 31, 2013

From My Point Of View...

A couple of days after my accident, I read a blog post that spoke words that I needed. Blogger Andrea was talking out her daughter, Nora, and how much Nora loved to chase bubbles that Andrea would blow for her. Andrea noticed whenever she blew bubbles, Nora would focus on one in particular, ignoring all the others that may have been even closer in proximity. She would pass up numerous bubbles in her quest to reach the one that had caught her attention. Andrea likened Nora’s bubble chasing to opportunities that many of us pass up daily. Although focus is a positive thing, sometimes we need to step back and see what is within our grasp that we are missing because we are so fixated upon our “goal.”

When I fell, as you can imagine, my mind began to swirl with anxious thoughts about all that needed to be accomplished within the weeks following. As quickly as the panic would come, it seemed like God would comfort me with the assurance that He would take care of all of those things. He also clearly told me that during these weeks of healing (which sometimes tend to feel very confining) He would provide me with opportunities that I would normally overlook.

Have you ever been rushing through life thinking to yourself, “I really ought to send _____ a note of encouragement,” or “I need to have more one-on-one chats with my children to remind myself of their individuality and draw out their unique concerns and ideas,” or “I would love to be part of a Bible Study or Women's Group!” Those examples just scratch the surface of all the “I wish…” thoughts that scramble their way through one’s mind. You can fill in the blank with your own want to/need to thoughts, I’m sure. But hours turn to days, days to weeks, weeks to months, and astonishingly months can turn into years before we actually quit chasing the big bubble and begin reaching for the multitude of bubbles that are smaller, closer, and probably a whole lot more meaningful.

As you go through your day today and throughout this week, I challenge you to sit down (not to get comfy and fall asleep) and watch as the bubbles of opportunity fall around you. If you begin to see them all at once, grab a pen and paper and make a list so you don’t forget. Prioritize and tackle. My experience is that you’ll feel totally refreshed by experiences that normally wouldn’t garner your attention. I love it that the little bubbles shine, too…if I slow down long enough to experience them before they burst and evaporate!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Point Of View...

Had I written this post two and a half weeks ago, it would have been nothing like what you’ll read today.  My world was changed simply by one tiny misstep.  I remember my exact thoughts the moment before I stepped on the broken concrete, and I’ve recounted them many times since.  When we plan and our thoughts run through our mind like the current of a strong river, we rarely pause to consider that our very next move could completely alter the course of our days and bring with it a host of complications for which no one would wish.  Although my accident and struggles following are nothing in light of what some face daily, this time of injury and subsequent pain and healing is teaching me lessons.  I’m going to share some of those here. You’ll find these posts titled:


I know my life has drastically changed when something as small as getting the wheelchair from the kitchen to the hardwood floor in the living room gives a huge sense of freedom.  There’s something empowering about being able to get quickly from one end of that room to the other in a relatively short amount of time - comparatively speaking, of course! The trek by walker from my bed to my bathroom seems like an eternity, even though the two rooms are adjacent to one another.

When I began to mentally plan my summer, I didn’t account for the time it would take to get from one room to another.  I didn’t figure in the fact that I wouldn’t be able to drive, wear my right shoe, ride my bike, or take a shower with all of me actually in the shower.  I certainly didn’t plan to be using my grandmother’s wheelchair or my great-grandfather’s walker!  But that’s how life is - unpredictable at best. 

 As I write, my mind goes back to the emergency room in Adrian, MI.  After my leg/ankle was stabilized and I had been given a little pain relief, Greg left the room for a few minutes.  Different medical personnel were coming into my little bedside area, and there were other patients with attending family members on either side of the curtain.  My mind was whirling…our kids were at home in school (except for Allison who was spending the day with a friend), my parents were at a conference in Indiana, and we were in a town where we knew no one and in a hospital of which I had never heard.  I couldn’t even tell you the name of it right now. 
As the medics, the student observers, the doctor, and the nurses came in and discussed my situation, my responses must have been positive.  Within a few minutes, a lady that was with a patient next door came over and said, “Boy, if I were in your situation, I don’t know that I could be as optimistic as you are.”  She caught me off guard because I didn’t know that anyone else had been listening to my conversations, but I felt compelled to share with her that my optimism wasn’t a result of my own feelings or circumstances.  I had hope for my future – however different it would be from what I had planned – because I have a Source of strength that is far greater that anything humanly possible.  I began to cry as I responded to her something like this, “Oh, how could I complain?  God has been so good to me!”  We shared a few more words, and she seemed a little uncomfortable as she went back to her loved one.  I don’t know what all she was going through, but I do know that in the days previous to my injury God had been doing a work in my heart.  He was helping me to develop an inward attitude of praise and thanksgiving that was different than anything previous.  I was grateful for the opportunity to celebrate another birthday, and I was savoring every moment like the gift from God that it was.  Honestly, I think that’s what helped me hold it together that day. 

I'm thinking now about a little chorus we used to sing in Good News Club that goes something like this, “With Christ in the vessel, I’ll smile at the storm…”  Although I wasn’t thrilled about my circumstances, the overarching knowledge that God is in control and that He is good gave me the assurance that I could face the uncertainty of my condition and the abrupt change of all of my best laid plans. 

Within a couple of hours of talking with that lady, I encountered the most painful moments of my life.  It sounds crazy, but I didn’t know pain could hurt like that and I begged God for relief.  Did the God that I had been praising just a short time before reach down and remove the suffering?  No, He allowed me to endure it even though I thought I couldn’t bear it another moment.  There were lessons in that, as well.  But for now... 

From my point of view, we are best prepared to face the crises moments when we have
developed an attitude of praise that totally permeates our spirit and splashes onto
those who are eavesdropping on our lives.