Friday, April 29, 2011
Okay, I'm not 'way up there' in the scheme of things...just a very ordinary person like most everyone else. But troubles? They hang around...and around...and around.
Never had a bulldog but I've always heard how they 'hang on'...Winston Churchill was like that...he hung on and tied a knot in England's rope...they survived. Patriotism at its' best...just like we were in America and other countries...we hung on...we had grit...grit is good.
I've written before about being at death's door twice; the second incident was a lulu (somehow my blood supply went AWOL)! I remember sitting up in my hospital bed and looking at a big scene w/figures beckoning me around an open door...and I said very loudly & very clearly, "I will not, I will not, I WILL NOT"...and lay back in the bed.
Several days later a nurse I'd not seen before stopped by and told me how much better I looked; I replied I hadn't met her and told her all I remembered was sitting up and informing 'the figures'...I was not. She responded, "Honey, several of us stayed at your side; we almost lost you and believe me...you never moved".
For several years I didn't mention my experience to anyone...not even Michael; some laugh at such things but I'm here to tell you it happened...it really happened. Besides having a heavenly Father looking after me, I had gobs of grit...true grit. Over and over in my life He and grit carried me and I always kept a big knot at the end of my rope.
Traveler's Insurance has some great commercials...my fav is the little dog who is so worried about his big bone...he stews, has nightmares...moving it from place to place...finally settles it in his 'safe place'...under Traveler's umbrella.
I compare his umbrella to mine...God's my unbrella for any and everything. Sunny weather...gloomy weather...showers...whatever; He's my umbrella...don't leave home without Him...and get this, He never collapses! Great, yes?
I'm a great fan of Dr. Seuss and he wrote,
I've heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead, some come from behind.
I've bought a big bat, I'm ready you see.
Now troubles are gonna' have trouble with me."
Scott, our youngest son, once told me I was a 'late bloomer' and I 'spose I really am; but hey, I did bloom...that's a positive thing, right? Sure. I want so much to improve my life (not so much physically 'tho I realize that's also important but mainly spiritually/mentally); I pray that in doing so God will allow that to spill over on those I 'run into' wherever, whenever He blesses me with opportunity.
Even though I may never see or know how this might/might not affect others, I know this...it affects me big time. I blossom and pray the freshness nevers fades; that it bears fruit.
Hangin' onto my knotted rope w/one hand, carrying my umbrella in the other...and grit's in my pocket.
Grab your umbrella and pass the grits...let's do it, okay?
Balanced and Unafraid...
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
King George VI had a most troublesome problem...he stammered/stuttered...and I imagine he went through agonizing panic attacks. Winston Churchill suffered the same affliction; he overcame the stammering but never whipped the lisp. Both men were giants who at least survived their handicaps and inspired millions...such voices!
Even James Earl Jones (aka Darth Vader) stammered/stuttered and was functionally mute for eight years...he overcame all that and wow, such a voice!
Watching "The King's Speech" caused me to think of people who struggle with conditions that actually terrorize them...I am one of those and have what's called a 'familial tremor'. It grips me, consequently I panic and go ballistic.
Fortunately for King George VI a certain Lionel Logue stepped up to help...he was always there for His Majesty; they became wonderful life-long friends.
Fortunately for Vasca a certain Michael Beall stepped up to help...he is always there and we are wonderful life-long friends...oh yes!. I am a RAP (Recovering Anxious Person)...I doubt I'll ever overcome my anxiety/panic but I still try.
Okay, I know it sounds silly but if Michael doesn't sit on my left during Communion each Sunday? Well, let's just say there's no telling what I'll toss your way if you're in my area...and I'm likely to go into cardiac arrest Thankfully M understands and cares...some might say, "Get a grip on yourself and JUST GET OVER IT"...well, guess what? That doesn't work, it only makes it MUCH worse.
I've friends who have cerebral palsy...are autistic, epileptic...have various neurological conditions...some conditions are visible, some invisible. The other day I read this quote by Susan Hampshire..."It is a lonely existence to be a child with a disability which no one can see or understand, you exasperate your teachers, you disappoint your parents and worst of all you know that you are not just stupid."
Along with the tremors, I have fibromyalgia, scoliosis and a degenerative disc condition...you know about my leg w/the highway road maps and decorations; I was never teased about the leg but obvious staring (imagined or otherwise) plus quizzing leave their marks. That taught me loads about compassion, kindness, love...those qualities that Christ has...qualities He wants me to develop.
All this to say...so many...ever so many suffer from things others might never suspect. Who's to know? I know...I know about me! Ha, I can smile or laugh about my leg; don't laugh so much about my tremor (somehow that isn't funny) but smiling helps me over the bumps...a little.
Dr. Seuss said, "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than you." You are you, I'm me...just me with all my baggage...I'm loaded. You carryin' a load? How 'bout we help each...sharing and caring goes a long way, right?
Balanced and Unafraid...
Monday, April 18, 2011
Charles Morgan said, "There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is God's finger on man's shoulder." Okay, I've always known God loved/loves me but at this particular time in my maturing? It seemed 'magical' and suddenly I can actually feel His touch.
My maturing process shifted into overdrive and I quickly focused on 'Always make time'...make time for what? Thinking, thinking...hmm!
Okay, AMT (I'm acronymic)...stuck in my psyche...all day, during the wake-ups in the night...morning wake ups and on thru' the day. Kept up until pow...keeping my opportunity antennae active 24/7 to what matters most. But making time doesn't do much if I don't take the time I've made...or the time HE has handed me, right? Right...so I adjusted my thinking to...ATT...always take time. Okay, that's in place...hang onto that...always take time.
100% saturated...like an unforgettable melody that just won't stop.
Stirring...stirring...entered 'my preferred' grocery store and wheeled up to the first stop...saw the back of a person in one of those motorized shopping carts. Head wrapped in a turban so I assumed a cancer patient...and she looked totally exhausted. She refused my offer to help pick up her bread of choice saying she needed the exercise...that's good...exercise is good.
She began telling me some of what had recently taken place in her life; that spoke volumes about her weariness. Honestly, I said very little ~ asked a question and made one important suggestion...it was like her light came on ~ but here's the kicker.
She touched my arm and said, "God brought you to me today". I was doubly touched...wow!
"Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."...Roald Dahl.
Talk about unlikely places? I hardly expected to feel His finger touch my shoulder in the bread aisle but...He touched me! I am watching the world around me and what great secrets are coming to light...and guess what? My eyes glitter 'round the clock...Always Taking Time.
Balanced and Unafraid...
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I'm asking myself that question...'Vasca, what matters the most to you'?
Patience...I'm thinking...what matters the most...
One year ago today, April 13th, Michael was in surgery having a malicious looking growth shaved off the back of his throat...we weren't overly concerned, just wanted to know what it was and why it was lurking there. A few days later 'the bomb' dropped. M is usually the most composed but both of us 'lost it' for a few hours after being handed the diagnosis of Amyloidosis...(well, I backed into/clipped the carport...then ran a stop sign) yeah, that's our intruder...we dubbed her Amy.
You know, my inner fire sort of lost its' spark; my hero, my love (that would be Michael) touched my heart and fanned the flame...he has a way of revvin' me up; he did it during that time and the year that has followed. He matters.
I have never desired to lead...I have desired to make a difference. I have never been on top of the 'leader board'...I have followed. I have never been self-confident...I have fears. I have never liked going it alone...I've flown around the world 3 times; no partner. I have not been one to finish...I write for encouragement and I finish.
Me? I matter...I do. And so do you. What matters to me will be different from what matters to you...all of us see things/life very differently. Nonetheless, things matter. It's up to me to sort out what is most beneficial to my spiritual maturity and what really isn't worth fretting over...God knows I've wasted an inordinate portion of my life 'in the dumps'.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." Right on Eleanor...yes, yes!
God has often been on my back burner...He doesn't belong there. HE never closed the door...never gave up on me. He knows everything about me...He knows my every thought. He speaks to me...I listen...I speak to Him...He listens.
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"...Stephen Covey.
Main thing is, I'm working on it...how 'bout you?
Balanced and Unafraid...
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
We live in a world full of antagonism, a world full of destruction, a world full of hurt...so much pain. We've wounded each other in terrible ways...it's difficult to forgive, right? I don't want to be crushed when I am low...I pray someone, somewhere will help me ~ pick me up. All of us make mistakes, some calculated...some innocently. Some are destructive beyond our wildest imaginations but...we can help each other w/forgiveness in our hearts...as difficult as that is for so many. But, it's necessary.
So, I still have my bucket...and I'm doing my best to fill it w/loving kindness, forgiveness, assets...all to be given away. You know, even though my bucket's old...it doesn't have a single hole in it. Living water keeps things in top-notch shape.
Trust me...better still, trust Him. After all, He is the pilot.
Balanced and Unafraid...
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Annette Funicello said "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful"; she was an original Walt Disney Mouseketeer, then a movie star, singer; beautiful and so talented. What most would consider 'a perfect world' crashed. when at the age of 50, she announced she had MS...she suffers but wrote those words...she would know.
All of us are aware of how fortunate, or perhaps I should say how blest we are...we have everything many times over. Our 'stuff' is important...it can consume us, right?
Much of our stuff is trash; we have a recycle program here...the truck comes by every week to pick up our paper, plastic, etc. Here's how they do it in China. Cardboard boxes, paper bags, bottles, etc. are valuable commodities...the residents haggle w/the poor who come by and 'buy' it. Then they sell it to some other enterprising agent...commerce, yes?
M and I live in a modest house...almost 1000 sq. ft. This is the size of a typical Chinese apartment; of course many are smaller. Our place would be coveted by many.
That's good...but...the poor family who just sold their trash they bought from the resident? Those who lived near us slept under a nearby bridge; their bed was a piece of the cardboard they bought. They may have a bed covering...they cook over a small heater. What to cook? Anything they can rustle up.
Aah, you're thinking this is an exaggeration? Not...not.
China has a new cultural group, the 'Ant Tribe' or the 'Ant People'. These are the thousands of college graduates who cannot find employment. They cluster together in the cities; live 4-6 in small, cheap apartments. Discouraged, unhappy, depressed...at a loss as to what they will do...in reality, what can they do?
Can you imagine belonging to an Ant Tribe? Or being dubbed an Ant Person? People are people...like Dr. Seuss said, "A person's a person, no matter how small." Wow, ants are very small...Hello, Ant Person??? God created us in His image...we are equal in His sight, are we not? And...we are not 'ants'.
America seems destined for a big 'belt-tightening'...meaning we need to help each other; aah, come to think of it...that's what God's Son was into and I believe He gave His all...for all.
I ask Father to forgive my selfishness, my love for my 'stuff' and I am keeping my eyes open for everyone around me...no matter how big...no matter how small.
Balanced and Unafraid...