What do you think of when you hear the word “compassion?” (I used to think, oh, poor homeless people, or oh, that sad unfortunate person, I feel ya.) There’s fake compassion exhibited in word or verbosity to only make yourself look highfaluting and pretentious, or there’s true compassion portrayed in deed, when you genuinely serve in reaction to how you feel for the other or heartfelt empathy. The stroke (I had) has really taught me and my family true compassion. 

Our daughter has recently taken compassion to a new level. (If you know my daughters, I’ll bet you can guess which one!) She told me very matter-of-factly what happened in her class the other day.  She described how a handicapped kid in a wheelchair entered as a new student. The teacher proceeded with the awkward introductions to the class and asked who he could sit by. There were no offers. (Cricket sounds.) My daughter, one of the more popular girls, was sitting on the isle with an empty seat to her other side. Since she’s quite a caring thinker, she quickly moved over while offering the space and her friendship. She speedily became his friend while showing understanding and kindness. She told me, “I knew what he was going through, because of you and what we’ve been through. Before, I wouldn’t of thought to help him. I would’ve just continued on, not thinking about it.” (Proud momma moment.) She also told me he was a really good artist. (Which showed she was looking for the good.)

Our knowledge of where each location and amount of handicap parking places has become quite extensive. I have to laugh when my children (and husband) complain about use of the spots that are taken unnecessarily. But, I must remind them, some handicaps aren’t as outright noticeable as mine. (Whoa, get out of the way when they see a car parked in a handicap stall with no sticker! Oh, the anger!) 

When people go far out of their way to help me through a door or successfully navigate a small space, I appreciate them and their parents. (They were taught well.)

Now, I didn’t write this to brag, (well maybe, a little) but to show that even though I have endured a great hardship – positive things have resulted

Maybe, it was required in the big scheme of things that this happen to teach me and all who know my story – compassion, patience and faith. 

The ultimate way I have learned compassion is through the many earth angels who have shown their genuine feelings through their self-less acts of love. I have learned patience not only by my endless tests of (literal) long-suffering, but by the patience I have witnessed in others as they have helped me with daily tasks. And lastly, my faith has been strengthened by witnessing the faith and prayers by others on my behalf. (A huge thank-you to all that fit in those categories!)

VJust Be Held – 6/27/17

I really adore this song! Casting Crowns is an incredible gospel group. It’s about a broken time in our lives, and what we need to do for peace. It reminds us we are not alone in our struggles. We are ‘held‘ by The One that loves us the most. I imagine if you saw my footsteps in the sand, you would see one set, because I know I am being carried. 

“Life hits you out of nowhere, and barely leaves you holding on…” (Wow, I can relate!) There were no signs of this stroke occurring, and we were all most assuradely thrown for a loop! (Well it felt that way!) I’m sure that happens, to some extent, to all of us.

“Chained by your control…” I feel so out of control, but the only things I can control are my devotion to Him, my attitude, and my drive to never surrender. Not being able to move about alone really does feel like shackles and chains. You are dependent and trapped. Not able to do much alone, you must wait on other people’s timetables. That’s a hard thing for the independent will that I possess. (Really hard!)

“When you’re on your knees on and answers seem so far away…” Even though I can’t get on my knees, I have said many heartfelt prayers for me and family. When the answers do seem unobtainable, and I feel as though I will never discover them. That’s when I am touched by the Spirit and told in my heart that we are definitely being ‘held‘ and loved. I must let go of the misconception that I’m in charge and humble myself before Him. There is freedom in this action. A peace of mind.

Casting Crowns is a wonderful inspirational group. The whole “Thrive” album doesn’t let you down. One of my other favorites is “Heroes.” Krystal, my daughter, introduced me to it, and we sang it a couple years ago on July Fourth. (Love the harmony.) I also recommend a holiday classic reinvisioned by Casting Crowns, “I Heard the Bells.”

“Your world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place…” Right now, it might seem hopelessly tragic, but when the storm clouds break and the sun comes out it will be alright.  (Would the rain stop already?) I do have my mind and my heart. They tell me this will be okay. When my 20/20 hindsight kicks in, I will see the big picture. It might happen in the afterlife, but I know it will happen for you and me. I guess this song boils down to faith and trust. Sometimes you gotta let go of the constant worries and just let faith take over. 

The thought of Him holding me in His arms comforts me. I know when I do reach heaven it will happen. We will have a wondrous reunion. I will “be held.”

Hope – Feelings Friday 5/19/17

When you say the word hope, you’ve got to add faith. (They are synonymous.) Hope entails that you have a positive attitude. One must wish positively for what they truly desire. That’s one of the joys in life. But as you look forward to something, you must enjoy the journey.

Like the seed that is planted, we hope for success. I have many hopes. I hope for the day when I walk. I hope I continue to heal. I hope my family is healthy and happy. I hope we can get enough money enabling us to do our remodel right. I hope the day is soon that I can return home. 

We all have hopes. They define us. It is true, what we think of most reveals our true nature. I hope, therefore I work towards my aspirations. Some hopes might be out of my hands, but I will do everything I can. A seed won’t grow unless you water and tend it. I also hope all who are reading this will have your dreams fulfilled! (Keep working towards them.)

Watch this video, it says it better than I do!

Miracles From Heaven – Movie Monday 5/15/17

I just saw this movie again yesterday, and I cried like a baby! (Not hard to do!) A young girl gets unexplainably sick. Her mom takes her to Boston to see a special doctor with no appointment. She is very sick and wishes for death. So she goes home to die. On a lark she climbs a large dead tree and accidentally falls inside. While she is inside she sees heaven, but she is sent back and healed completely! She understood and said, ‘Not everyone’s going to believe, it’s OK, they’ll get there when they get there.” 

I can relate to this movie. Some days I think maybe I will be healed unexplicably, and just jump out of bed and get things done. But another day goes by, and I don’t. (I can’t deny I’m still hoping!) But I know it is for many reasons. We are being taught patience and faith, and if I am just healed in a snap we will not be taught those lessons. (I am not just going to fall down a well and my eyes will uncross!) The mother said, “I am here to tell you that you are NOT alone. Miracles are God’s way of telling you that you are not alone.” I know how wonderful service feels. Even though me and my family are the ones being served, we are the vehicle for your emotional high and abundant blessings from helping others. I would rather be the server, but I will get that chance again.

The mother says “When this happened, we just didn’t understand.” (Uh, yeah I totally know that feeling!) But she saw the miracles that happened in connection to their situation. “We can live as if everyday is a miracle… Miracles are goodness… from strangers… to dear friends… who are there for us no matter what… Miracles are God and God’s love. But we now live as if every day is a miracle before us.” I see the many miracles in my life. (I think that’s why I cry so much!) I am most thankful for my mind and soul so I can understand, see, and appreciate what wonderful things I possess and what will unfold before me. (I know there is a lot!)

Love is Faith

Love Challenge – Love is Faith. 

Like that little seed. We plant that seed, and have faith and hope it will grow into something amazing. We must take that leap of faith. Believing that what we put our everything into will develop or is something unseen. Sometimes your faith in something will make it be. Those have love, also have faith that it will culminate with success. My husband Darin is the eternal optimist. That means he has faith and love for me. He has kept me going and looks on the bright side of everything. (Which is hard after you’ve had a stroke!) He has me in three hours of therapy a day, because he knows I’ll be whole again. (Phew!) Because he has faith in me, I have faith. His goal is total rehab in a year from the stroke date. It might be a little longer, but we hope for the best! “You gotta have faith-a,faith-a, faith…”