Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lemons, curve balls, and bowling balls

I apologize for my absence….actually, no I don’t.  If you recall in my very first post I made it very clear I’m not much of a blogger.

And so we commence into the holiday festivities with feasting and singing and laughter and mirth…except not really this year.  A week ago my 10 day old niece was rushed to Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital, the thinking was that she had pneumonia, strep B, and sepsis, and the prognosis was not good.  When she arrived at Vanderbilt they immediately recognized that she had a heart defect.  She had heart surgery on Monday and is still there, waiting for her respiratory condition to level out so she can come home.  As my family was out of town on a business trip to Dallas and I was home I was there with my brother and sister in-law, I drove them to Nashville and stayed with them till my mom arrived.
It has truly been a sobering and thankful thanksgiving and beginning to the holiday season as I am reminded how fragile life is.  On one hand I am beyond words that can express how thankful I am for the life of my niece and that her prognosis now is far, far better than it was a week ago, but on the other hand the realization that we are a mere vapor that can quickly vanish without a moment’s notice,  settles in slowly and I am forced to reconsider just HOW thankful I am for everyone and everything around me.  It forces me to reconsider how often I acknowledge the existence of those around me.  It forces me to reconsider those things that I so foolishly consider of utmost importance to me, but are really quite meaningless.

We decorated our Christmas tree today, this was unusual for many reasons.  First and foremost being that we never get a tree until December, today is the 27th of November. The second unusual reason is that we only got the darn thing yesterday and it’s already up and decorated, usually it sits outside for the better part of a week before we haul it in and then it sits bare for a day or two, and THEN does it get decorated.  But we got our tree yesterday because we didn’t know what a week from now (the first Saturday in December, the date we usually get a tree) would hold for us; would Lilly be home? Would we be in Nashville? Would we have our families thanksgiving dinner that Saturday that has been postponed?

I sit and stare quietly at the tree, it is very nearly perfect, and I am reminded that life is fragile;  I told a friend last week as Lilly’s life seemed to hang in the balance that “I feel like my life is cracking all around me.”
Yes, life is fragile, but this does not mean to walk in fear, not at all, it means…

Enjoy the little things

Enjoy the big things

Laugh often

Smile much

Sing out

Live life

Live well

Think hard

Make an impact

Impart a vision

Glorify God

As we drove to Nashville on Saturday night, now knowing what the next day would hold I looked at my brother and shared with him an analogy I share with my patients.
“Sometimes life throws you lemons, and you get to make lemonade, right?  Then there are times life throws curve balls at you, and the best you can do is just swing, swing hard, swing away, and just try……..Then there are the times that life chucks bowling balls at you and then you just run and hide and try to get out of the way….I’m still trying to figure out which of these three circumstances fits us right now.”

Life is fragile, but God isn’t, so dance and laugh and enjoy life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

good times and bad times.

I've learned a whole lot this semester;  I've stepped up my game, gritted my teeth, hurt my back, and taken more people to the bathroom than I ever thought I would.  and I've loved every minute of it.
There have been days I have come home elated and thrilled. other days when I'm cranky (thankfully that patient was discharged ;p). and others when I've sat out in my car, my mind heavy with sadness.

There are several reasons I am doing what I'm doing.  Near the top of the list is because I like helping people, and I like leaving an imprint on someone's life.  I know there are some people that wont get better, either because of physical problems or they just don't want to, and I dealt with a fair share of both types last spring.

There are good days in therapy, and there are bad days in therapy; I've experienced both, as a patient and as the therapist.
Today was a good day and a bad day, the past week has been a week of good days and bad days.

I have a patient who had a stroke, a pretty bad stroke, a couple months ago.  Today, with the help of three people (two holding him up, and one following with the wheelchair) he walked 94 feet. One week ago he couldn't take one step.  he can't stand without someone holding him up. He can't walk without two people and a walker holding him up, and he can't really sit straight either.
Finishing "stepping-off" at 94 feet was a good moment today, and announcing that to everyone and having all of the nurses and therapists, and other patients cheer, THAT was a good day.  Those moments are the moments that I love. and I mean really really love.
But it was a bad day too.
Because the fact of the matter is that due to how severe his stroke was, chances are high that he will never walk without someone holding the majority of his weight up. chances are high that he will never go back to his home. chances are high that he'll always, ALWAYS need help moving from one chair to another. chances are high he will never take a walk with his wife again.
There is a moment of celebration, when we find out how far he walked, and then everyone gets really quiet as we all recognize the cold, bitter, hard truth. 

Visiting hours for our unit start at 4 oclock, and his wife comes walking through those elevator doors at 4:00pm EXACTLY.  He waits patiently for her in his room all day long, and when he sees her, his face is split in half by a smile the size of the moon.  I can't be there when that happens. I was there one time, and had to leave as fast as I could because of the tears that came unexpectedly to my eyes.When we see his wife step off the elevator all of us silently shake our head at how devoted she is to him, and how horrible the situation is.

so today was a good day and a bad day.  there's no point in lying to yourself, and denying the bad, but its better to look at the good and look forward to tomorrow when we try to go for 100'.

Friday, September 30, 2011

sleepy nim

Hullo there!!!
The first week of clinicals is behind me and honestly I'm trying to figure out why the hell (sorry) I'm still awake despite my sheer and utter exhaustion. 
Recently, Emilie Reinhardt passed her last two classes in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at West Kentucky Community and Technical college.  Her two years in the program are marked by 6 B's and 1 A, Emilie is reported to have said "Start Strong, Finish Strong-"  Story continued on page 3.
 In other news, Emilie Reinhardt plans on going cross-country mountain biking in the morning.  Emilie Confirms she will be wearing her helmet and knee pads, and no one should worry...Emilie also plans to attend a tail-gating party tomorrow before the Murray State Football game that she already has tickets to attend.
In a recent interview with Emilie Reinhardt, who recently started a 5 week clinical practicum at Murray Calloway County Inpatient Rehabilitation facility, she reports 3 reasons why today was great.
"1: Had one patient tell me that our trip outside was the first time she had been outside in 3 weeks, needless to say we enjoyed the sun and the beautiful weather a little longer and didn't do our wheelchair management on the ramp (I don't think she minded).
2. Had another patient tell me that our walk outside was "Absolutely bliss", because she hadn't walked that much, pain-free in 1 year, we also took a much needed break on the bench outside.
3. Easily convinced occupational therapy that playing "angry birds" on his Iphone was completely appropriate therapy for one of our patients. I then supervised him resetting his apple password and downloading the game. ps- this patient is upper 80s and navigates is iphone 4 nearly better than I navigate mine.

I totally love days like today, especially at therapy." Story continues on page 4.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Share life.

I shared coffee with a new friend a couple days ago.  We sat for a couple hours, and spread our lives bare before each other.  We laughed, smiled, and nodded thoughtfully. She told me of the current battles of her heart right now, and I listened.  I shared mistakes I have made, choices chosen that I wish hadn't, and opened up windows and doors that I usually keep tightly sealed, willing only to do so if absolutely necessary.  We shared life together, and ended up being late for the meeting we both had to be at.  I gave her advice, gave her hugs, and my prayers.  I made myself vulnerable to her, because of Love. 
As a follower of Christ, I am committed to love. Committed to making choices that are driven by love.
We are called to love and share life together.

Love is not proud
Love does not boast
Love after all
Matters the most

Love does not run

Love does not hide
Love does not keep
Locked inside

Love is the river that flows through

Love never fails you

Love will sustain

Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time

Love will protect

Love always hopes
Love still believes
When you don’t

Love is the arms that are holding you

Love never fails you

When my heart won’t make a sound

When I can’t turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this

Love is right here

Love is alive
Love is the way
The truth the life

Love is the river than flows through

Love is the arms that are holding you
Love is the place you will fly to
Love never fails you
My phone buzzed awhile ago while I was studying. "want to grab coffee?"
I went and shared coffee with an old friend.  One I've known for many years, that has shared life with me in every area.  Knows my highs and my lows, my good choices and bad choices, knows my anger and my love, knows my happiness and my sorrow, and really really knows the messy parts and the clean parts.  A friend, that had something been wrong or "up" in my life, as soon as I walked through the door would have known.  A friend, that even though we've barely seen each other the past six weeks (highly unusual) because of school, is still as deep and cherished a friend as she was 3 years ago.  So we got coffee, and skimmed through books, looked at cards and bookmarks, and shared life together. Because of Love
 It don't have a job;
don't pay your bills;
won't buy you a home in Beverly Hills.

Won't fix your life
in five easy steps.
Ain't the law of the land
or the government.

But it's all you need and...

Love will hold us together
make us a shelter to weather the storm.
And I'll be my brother's keeper
so the whole world will know that we're not alone.

It's waiting for you
Knockin' at your door
in the moment of truth
when your heart hits the floor
and your on your knees and...

Love will hold us together
make us a shelter to weather the storm.
And I'll be my brother's keeper
so the whole world will know that we're not alone.

This is the first day of the rest of your life
This is the first day of the rest of your life
Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It's gonna be alright,
It's gonna be alright.

This is the first day of the rest of your life
This is the first day of the rest of your life
Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It's gonna be alright,
It's gonna be alright.

Love will hold us together
make us a shelter to weather the storm.
And I'll be my brother's keeper
so the whole world will know that we're not alone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I was just reading a friends blog and realized (much to my bewilderment) that I was reading it backwards. From the bottom up, and on some lines, right to left. And (unfortunately maybe?) I was able to comprehend and understand it.  This is what school does to me.  When the stress hits and I lose control of of my firm control of my dyslexia and what seems like an endless fountain of energy.  Oh yes, and it frustrates me >:|

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not enough time...

I am so thankful that as I lay crashed on the couch after two tests, graduation pictures, and having a tooth pulled, for the little hand that patted my face (yes, even on the very side my tooth came out of) to wake me up so my niece could give me a hug and a kiss goodbye, and tell me that she loves me. If I could but live in this single moment forever it would be too short a time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

here comes the sun

Yesterday ranks as one of the hardest days of my life.  I said goodbye to one of my oldest friends, knowing that there wouldn't be a "hello" again (this side of heaven at least).  The vet came out in the morning and by lunch time it was done.  She went peacefully, the vet actually said he'd never seen a horse pass as peacefully as she did.  As much as it was the right decision, it was still so hard.  She was the horse I learned to side-pass on, and I had my first canter on her.  She soaked up many tears over the years, and gave many hugs.  She was quiet and obedient.  Didn't care too much for Raj though.

See ya girl, you were great.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


My nephew, Gabriel, is curled up in my lap right now.  Abby and Freeman were in charge of watching him, their method was to block off the TV area so they could watch CakeBoss....this frustrated him to no end.  He kept pointing and crying at my door, so I quit studying and retrieved him.  He has enjoyed alternating between the house phone and my cell phone, "talking" in his little boy way.  Then I turned the music on on my phone. This fascinated him greatly now that he was getting a "response" back from the other end. He he! Now I am negotiating the use of my keyboard as he attempts to juggle my phone, computer, and alarm clock.  I love that he smiles when he sees me, and that I can make him laugh, and that he runs up and gives me a "hug". true happiness.

Monday, August 22, 2011

well darn...

One week into the semester and I feel like I'm in way over my head with some of this stuff!
And, one week into the semester and I had to call the vet today to schedule an appointment to have my horse, Shasta, put down on wednesday.  Bad times, and sad times.
I've been up since 5:30 this morning and am absolutely exhausted.  The family is in St. Louis and won't be home till about 3 am and I'm positively starving! (not quite, but close) and trying to determine what to eat...It may come down to Ramen Noodles.
Until next time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life is beautiful...

I'm sitting, working on my research paper and am joined by my niece, Violet, who is 3. She patters about the room, barefoot, looking about and chattering to herself and me.
"you have prize for me?" She asks hopefully.
"Nope, not right now." I tell her.
"Oh ok..." She continues to roam about the room and reaches for some of my stuff she can't have. I tell her so and she retracts her hand quickly.
"Um....Here, you can play with my stuffed animals on my bed." This excites her and I set her on my bed and pull out my stuffed animals I still curl up with every night: Mr. Flopps (my bunny I've had since I was her age, caleb broke the wire in his ears by tying them in a knot.) my stuffed hedgehog, and Quantas, my kangaroo.  I went back to writing my research paper but was completely distracted by her quiet play behind me as she acted out an adventure with my animals. Soon she was pointing out to me that my stuffed hedgehog wasn't spiky like my real hedgehog Buttercup. We laughed as she tossed me the stuffed one and I rubbed it against my face, then pretended it poked me.  My mom called me upstairs and asked if I could run to walmart and get some sugar.
"Can I come with you aunt Em?" she asked, and soon we were high-fiving because her mom said yes.
"Can I play a game on your phone?" She asked when I gave it to her to hold. I cringed, and her parents laughed.
"Yeah, I suppose." I told her and we tromped out to my car. I got her buckled into her car-seat and off we went to walmart. When the radio came on it was on a pop station, I quickly changed it to the christian radio station (I wasn't going to fill her ears with junk!)

These are the small moments in life that I cherish. These are the moments where I smile, both on the outside and on the inside. These are the moments that I think about as I fall asleep. These are the moments where I am convinced that life truly is beautiful.

Never a good thing.

It's never a good thing to be mad and irritated at your professor before the semester even starts. Nope, not a good thing at all.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My words fled before me like fleeing gazelle before the loping lion...

Indeed they did. I stood aghast and unable to form any kind of words as I stood before the man, not at all what I was expecting.

It began a few short minutes before that.  While outside conversing with Ben Wilson and Corrie about supper and the Cheesecake Factory and how inconvenient the restaurant truly is, what with having to wait 4 hours for a table, and then another 4 hours flipping through the 40 page menu, we were suddenly assaulted by green dots. Laser pens. Yep. Laser pens.  When it comes to fads, homeschoolers are either:
A) 15 years behind
B) prolong the fad 25 years too many.
Think about that for a moment.
Laser pens are one of those fads.
Corrie commented how that was the one fad back in the day that we were actually "on time" for, and that we felt pretty cool. They were red pens back then.
Then it happened. My eye felt like it had been scalded out of its socket. I wondered if I was instantly cloned, or a victim of some other robotic experiment. Yep, those darn kids up in their darn hotel room showering us in those darn green dots shone the darn thing right in my eye!
*Don't they know those things can blind you?!?* (Not really.)
Same thing happened to Corrie.  We waved, letting them know we were onto them and in on their cute little trick.
ARRRRGGGHHHHH!!! My eye!!! Those darn kids did it again!
We waved again. Corrie waved this time with her special tall finger. (Not really.)
They continued to be obnoxious, and it happened about 18 more times.
Then they went away and the three of us decided we would go say something to them about their grossly inappropriate  behavior - in a funny way (we do have a sense of humor after all).
So after much deliberation of trying to figure which darn floor they were on and then counting the windows (it took several minutes, believe it or not, to figure out the floor....Corrie didn't have the use of both hands...) we determined they were on the 6th floor, second room from the elevator.  We rode up, anticipation growing;  we were going to teach those darn kids a lesson!!! I was nominated to do the knocking and talking.  Each  of us suggested different methods of getting the point across.  Ben suggested I ask if they would like to practice shining it in my eyes at close range. Corrie thought I should take Ben's laser pen, shine it in their eyes and then ask how it felt.  We finally settled on my idea. I would knock and when the passel of rowdy teenagers (doubtless that they were) came to the door I would say with a charming smile, "Laser pens are fun, except not in peoples eyes," and then walk coolly away.  This deliberation of witty and smart one liners took several minutes to come up with in the elevator foyer.  I started down the hall with Corrie and Ben peering around the corner, camera ready to catch a video.  

As I reached the door, I froze. There on the handle lay the "do not disturb" sign. A cold sweat broke out on my forehead. Had we miscounted the rooms?!? Was this the room belonging to those rowdy ruffians or perchance was I about to knock on a room that belonged to someone else entirely? I quickly retreated (stealthily), and explained the sign.  Corrie told me that "Anyone who would invade somebody else's personal space by blinding them with a laser pen clearly doesn't deserve to hang a do not disturb sign on their door handle, and it doesn't matter." I decided this made perfect sense. 

Back down the hall I went (Ben was rather flabbergasted I was actually following through with this plan) and I knocked boldly on the door. Hearing a scurry of feet I smiled smugly to myself, *boy, are they in for a surprise!* I thought.  I heard the door unlock; victory was at hand!!!! There before me was....A little girl, yea, knee high to a grasshopper.
"Hello..." My voice quivered a little *No sympathy!!! She's the one who probably blinded you!* She ran back from the door and into the room, leaving it slightly ajar and me staring a little dumbfounded at where she had stood moments before.  I took the moment and gathered my courage, summoning my strength as I heard heavy footsteps approaching. Here it comes! I could taste their defeat as sweet honey on my lips, more scrumptious than any piece of chocolate cake I'd ever eaten. Here it was! The door opened AND....

My words fled before me like fleeing gazelle before the loping lion...and I was not the lion.
There on the other side of the door stood a man. A rather old man. As in, 50s? maybe 60s? *Well...he's not a kid.*  His crown was bald but from his temples and around his head hung greasy, shoulder length hair, speckled gray with age.
"Uhgh, um...." *Words! Say something! Quit looking like an idiot!* My mouth went dry and I crapped my pants. (Not really.)
"Laser pens are fun? but not in people's eyes?" My voice was weaker than a frightened mouse (a little bit higher, too). He looked surprised.
"You. guys. were. the. ones. shining. them. in. our. faces?.?" My speech was halting and unsure.
"Oh, yeah...we were trying to hit the ground. Sorry about that."
"Oh right. It's cool. It's all good..." Violet came running to me at this point and it triggered my mind out of its woeful state *move legs! MOVE!* I quickly fled the battle ground (better to run than to fight another day, right?).
He reassured me once more they were only trying to hit the ground.
As I walked down the hall, Corrie (completely unaware of the character I had encountered and only heard his explanation of "we were trying to hit the ground") decided it was time to bring in reinforcements and from her hidden position shrieked loudly enough for the whole hotel floor to hear "LIAR!!" in her best Princess Bride Valerie-wife-of-Miracle-Max voice ever. (Quite honestly, and to her credit, it was the best impersonation I've ever heard her give). I quickly buried my face in my hoodie, pleading silently for it to suffocate me.  As I recounted to my comrades how things had not gone entirely according to plan we discussed alternate outcomes like a "chose your own ending" and wished we'd taken a different approach. They'd got their come'uppance and justice had been served...I only wished I hadn't looked like a complete idiot in the process. Them homeschoolers...they'll get ya every time. Le sigh.

Monday, July 18, 2011

...(You've gotta) make your own kind of music, sing your own special song.

That's how I grove when it comes right down to it.  I slide by a different rhythm, dance to a different tune, and run to another beat.  I do my own thing but most of the time go along with the underlying song because at the moment, that's just easier. 

But when it gets right down to it...

I want to fly.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time isn't made of lines, it is made of circles, that is why clocks are round!

One of my favorite quotes from Caboose is that (^)

Once again I find myself in Jacksonville FL waiting for the time to pass and head to dinner.  I should really be working on one of my summer assignments but I need to get my brain going first. OOOOOooooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!! Hannah just turned on the cooking channel and whatsherface is making asparagus. !!!!!! And she just put basil on it!!!! good word!!! I need some asparagus, right now.

My thoughts are consumed lately with the future, not worrying about it, just thinking about it. I should graduate in December with my Physical Therapist Assistants degree and then sit for my actual test to be a PTA sometime in January. For the past two years my time and life have been consumed with thinking about the next test, or the next paper, or the next due date, or the next weekend free. And right now what I think about is in 6 months not having to worry about any of that and I'm a little stumped.  I told my mom the other day I was actually thinking about continuing to take classes after I graduated, something along the lines of paramedic or firefighter, unsure yet. Really, I probably won't but it's an idea to roll around.
Alas, words fail me.

Friday, July 8, 2011


There is nothing so lovely to me as the sweet, sweaty smell of my horse. You are free to disagree with me, several people do, and I can understand why.
He knows the secrets of my heart, the paths of my dreams, and taste of my tears. He takes me over hills, heeds my call, and trusts me with his blind side. He is spirited but gentle, a man but humble, a dwarf among giants with little care. He is my meek and humble man, ready to carry me forth before I even ask.

There is nothing more comforting to me than the quick, slobbering kiss he insists on giving me upon greetings and departures.

He is my knight, the protector of my sleep, and the guardian of my dreams.  He is selfless in his love, constant in his affection, and ever present by my side.  He knows without me telling him to lay against my back when its time for bed, the warmth from him enough to ease the ache in my back from the daily grind of having a crooked spine, and will go unbidden to lay at the foot of my bed, eyes locked on my door when he hears something from beyond.  He is my strong man, ready to take care of me before I even know it.

The two of them are the love of my life. They are the fellas I come home to, and the men who take care of me.

Love is beautiful.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tense up

Relax. Calm down. Breathe deep.That's what I tell myself when I feel the anger, or frustration boiling up inside of me that I can't control.
My jaw locks, my neck stiffens and what muscles I do have in my upper shoulders and neck tighten up and bulge out. My hands flex in and out of a fist and I pace. I pace so hard and for so long I could wear a hole in the carpet.
Tonight I found myself repeating those words over and over as I watched the mom hug my sister and my mother as she held her three year old child on her hip. The three year old who will be admitted into Vanderbilt Children's hospital tomorrow morning, outfitted in a halo and then put in traction for the next 8 weeks.
She is the same age as my niece, and it kills me. She's one of the reasons I'm going to school to be a Physical Therapist Assistant. I love kids. I HATE seeing them hurt, and I will do whatever I can to help them or prevent that hurt. They don't deserve it.
She's three and I know doesn't completely understand how her world is going to flip upside down tomorrow.
and I hate it. It makes me angry. So freaking angry that I found myself flexing my fists tonight, and pleading again with God that He would step in and do something. anything.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” ... “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope"
that's awesome. really it is, but I would really like to know those plans too God. 
I can't count the hours I've spent pleading, begging, crying for God to do something, anything. And every time I am reminded that He is God and I am NOT.
I do not mind admitting that yes, I am angry about this, and I am quick to let God know that I am angry and that I don't understand and I want to understand.  I am human after all and to suggest that I don't feel this way would fly in the face of my humanity. I am saved by grace and have a relationship with my Father that I trust I can come to Him angry and bitter over what is happening, to suggest otherwise would fly in the face of Calvary's love that breached the gap between my father and I.
 Our verse that our VBS is centered around this week comes from Romans, chapter 5
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that our sufferings produce perseverance, and perseverance character, and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured into our hearts."
It is hard to rejoice when bad things happen, even when we have hope.
God has poured His love into my heart. I am HIS workmanship because HE is God and I am not.
I often comment to family and friends that I'm glad God is God and that I'm not. God is God in this situation. He's God in my life that is going about fine, and He's God in their lives which seem to be spinning out of control. I have to make the choice to rejoice right now, because my natural reaction is to throw a tantrum. I personally am glad that God's reaction to the situation is not a tantrum.  He's at work, I just can't see it, so I look ahead to the goal, to the prize. To the hope and future He has promised us.  And I rejoice in that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Black and White

My family is bazaar, and big. Mostly big. In fact when all of us are together we seat 16, and only two of my siblings are married (one more in engaged).
We're on vacation now, all of us (though only a mere 14 as the fiance and step-daughter are at home), in Gulf Shores Alabama.
Two of my siblings, my youngest ones, are from Africa, they came home three years ago last march.
Both of them have had different struggles in attaching and adjusting to our family, both are at different levels of trusting us.  It's hard for them to initiate affection, in fact I can probably count using only both hands the number of times either has said "I love you" without being prompted, since they've been home.
These two kids are what contribute to my family's bazaarness. We're mixed now, different, and we like it that way.
Freeman loves to hold hands, but rarely (if at all) does he reach for a hand to hold.  It is almost automatic now that when we're walking together I will reach for his hand and we stroll along, sometimes talking and sometimes not, holding hands.
Tonight we were walking back from the beach and without thinking I reached and plucked up his hand. He grinned and I gave it a gentle squeeze.
"Hey Em? I'm really glad you're my big sister." He said, smiling happily.
My words got caught in the lump in my throat.
"And I'm really glad you're my little brother." I blinked at the tears that moistened my eyes.

We are bazaar and different, but I like it that way.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Breathe deep

"Breathe deep, don't push it, you know you can't"""." I slow my pace to a more controlled jog instead of the sprint I would like it to be.

I sat today and while I tried to snatch sentences and paragraphs from my book I also carried on a conversation with the boy sitting next to me.
"I'm an animal expert. Have been all my life."
One of my eyebrows arched upward and a corner of my mouth lifted in quiet amusement.
"what a funny sounding voice"
"Oh really? What's your favorite animal?" I questioned, willing to satisfy his need for a conversation.
"Where are you from?" He asked without skipping a beat.
"Western Kentucky, and you?" I knew full well where he was from even as I asked and wasn't surprised when I got his answer.
"Western Kentucky? That country must be far away from the united states, I've never heard of it before!" His enthusiasm was contagious.
I smiled and gently corrected. "Kentucky is one of the states in america, it's only about 4 and 1/2 hours away from here." My voice was soft and warm as I quietly closed my book, realizing this conversation wasn't ending anytime soon.
"I'm goingtogotoAfrica." He was so excited his words ran together.
"Oh really? when?" I leaned comfortably on the arm rest and listened eagerly.
"But first I'm going to get married! Don't tell my parents, but I've already found the girl I'm going to get married to." His voice got quieter and quieter as he spoke and he leaned in close to me.
"Oh dear Lord, please don't let it be me. " I could handle a conversation with this boy and it's fast changing pace easily but I paled when I wasn't sure what I would say if he told me it was me.
"Her name is ----, she's down in the vendor hall, I just met her this morning." His eyes were bright and his smile wide as he proudly told me of his future bride who I'm sure had absolutely no clue there was already a man who had his heart set on her (and probably a ring in mind too).
A soft chuckle escaped from my throat and I smiled widely, "sounds like a plan!"
This young man is full of dreams, eager and desires great things. He's 15. And he is Autistic.

Later I again was working my way through my assigned reading for next fall (my last) semester when he butted into my world uninvited and not entirely unexpected.
"So, do you like to read?" He asked and actually paused to let me answer.
"Oh yes, I do, very much. Do you?" I decided to close the book early in the conversation this time.
"Yes I do..." He left the conversation open. I found this interesting and pursued it with earnestness.
"I am reading for school..." I met his eyes and held them, silently prompting him.
"I am going to school to be a Physical Therapist Assistant."
"Wwwwwooooooooowwwwwwwww....Are you married?"
Back to marriage, I wonder if he's proposed.
I sighed and shook my head. "Nope, not yet-"
He cut me off. "Being married is a good thing. And I think that if God can help me get married, then he can help you too."
His simple faith gave me pause. "You know, I think you're right." I smiled in agreement and he grinned.
"I watch PBS!!!" He smiled triumphantly with this announcement.
"Do you? I watched PBS." Moron! don't conjugate to past tense!!!!  I cringed inwardly knowing exactly where this was going to go.
"What do you watch?!?!?!?!" His excitement actually lifted him from his chair about an inch. Before I could come close to opening my mouth to answer he was already listing a couple shows he watches and unfortunately was so excited his words ran so close together I was hardly able to distinguish them.
"-Martha speaks. She's a vocabularist-Yes, "vocabularist,""' use your imagination-. A VOCABULARIST!!!"
"Yes she is!" I affirmed him.
"Her vocabulary is, yea!"
He paused and I knew it must be my turn to answer.
"I watched-" DANG IT!!!! "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and Sesame Street."
"Sesame Street?!?! What does that have in it?"
"Oh you know, puppets."
"Oh puppets. Like Big Bird, and Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Baby Bear, Betty Lou, Cookie Monster, The Count, Curly Bear, Bert and Ernie, Frazzle, Grover, Honkers, Kermit-" He named every single character. Every one. I know this because I zoned out and came back in a couple minutes later and he was still naming them.
"Yep! That's the show alright!!" I said when he finished and sat with a beaming smile.
"Have you seen the show Sid the Science Kid?" He asked, as eager as ever.
"Why yes I have, I think my niece watches it too."
"Really?!?!" He sounded horrified and for a moment I thought I had devastated him.
"Yes, I think so." I wasn't going to lie to him....
"My parents don't let me watch Sid the Science Kid." He scrutinized me, obviously trying to read my mind and see what I thought of his parents choice.
"You know, I don't really care for Sid the Science Kid, I don't think he teaches you very much." I was vaguely aware that his dad came out of the room he and his wife were just lecturing in and was standing by watching, waiting to get a word in edgewise.
"Really?!" He was shocked by my outright opposition to the show, I could tell by the way his voice got so high it cracked on the "Y".
"My niece also watches Word World, do you watch that?" I rose as I spoke, needing to break away.
"Word World? Never head of it." He watched me go, silently pleading for me to sit back down. It was nearly enough to have me running back into that chair beside him to share my life dreams with him. His father interjected here to tell his son he was going downstairs to the vendor hall.
"Well Joe, it's been an absolute pleasure talking with you." I stuck out my hand and he took it, shaking it as firmly as his small, weak, grasp could manage.
"It's been a pleeeaaazzzzuuuurrr too!" He struggled with the word and I was silently surprised but covered it with a smile and said good bye. 

Life is full of big things and little things. Details and massive explosions. Often we are focused on either the big things (no matter how beautiful or horrible) or the details (no matter how beautiful or horrible). 
Breathe deep and savor every bit of the breath that fills your lungs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Plagued with Guilt

Plagued with Guilt.

We live in a day in which the modern day Christian suffers from either “too little guilt” or too much. If it is the former we are caught and wrapped up in ignoring the plight of humanity. If it is the latter we are caught and wrapped up in a self complex. It is the plague of our day and age.

I do not believe as Christians that we are called to live in guilt. I believe this fact so strongly that I take it to extremes at times (so I have been told). I believe that one of the purposes of Christ suffering on the cross is so that we can live without suffering in our guilt. It is perhaps one of the hardest choices we as Christians must make: daily, hourly, choosing to live freely and without guilt. Now, I want to address my statement about living with too little guilt. I think that we often confuse sympathy and concern with guilt. So when I say we suffer from too little guilt I do not mean guilt as it is commonly understood. I mean it in that we have lost and misplaced what it means to truly care for humanity and those lost and those found.

Christians wrap themselves up willingly or unknowingly in themselves. Christ died for our guilt, therefore it must be important, therefore it must be important to dwell on it. Christ died for us, yes. We are the apple of our Father’s eye. He loved us enough to die for us. And we tend to take it to extremes. We wrap ourselves up in ourselves, because Christ died for US. Instead of accepting His gift with humility we have turned it around and placed our guilt and ourselves in the way and our view of the cross. If you look at the bible what do you see? I love the way Francis Chan describes it:

“Many Christians live like the movie of life is all about us.

Now consider the movie of life…

GOD creates the world (Were you alive then? Was God talking to you when he proclaimed “it is good” about all he had just made?)

Then people rebel against GOD (who, if you haven’t realized it yet, is the main character in this movie), and GOD floods the earth to rid it of the mess people have made of it.

Several generations later, GOD singles out a 99 year old man called Abram and makes him the father of a nation (did you have anything to do with this?).

Later, along come Joseph and Moses and many other ordinary and inadequate people that the movie is also not about. GOD is the one who picks them and directs them and works miracles through them.

In the next scene, GOD sends judges and prophets to His nation because the people can’t seem to give Him the one thing he asks of them (obedience).

And then the climax: The Son of GOD is born among the people whom GOD still somehow loves. While in this world, the Son teaches His followers what true love looks like. Then the Son of GOD dies and is resurrected and goes back up to be with GOD.

And even though the movie isn’t quite finished yet, we know what the last scene holds…the throne room of GOD. Here every being worships GOD who sits on the throne, for He alone is worth to be praised.

From start to finish, this movie is obviously about God. He is the main character.”

God is the main character. It’s not about us, it’s all about Him.

But but but…no. it’s ALL about Him and not about us. And that’s where we get caught up. See, we can’t handle it not being about us. We want to be the center of attention so badly, and in His selfless act it gives ourSELVES enough of a little boost to say “Look at US, look at OUR guilt, look at how horrible WE are.” Not that this is wrong (acknowledging our sin and need for a savior is essential to our salvation) but dwelling too long and satisfying ourselves with our guilt is (wrong). And it distances us from the point: Christ, the dude, the main guy, GOD, died for us so we don’t have to live in our guilt. Watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwtcwQwgdsA. Take 3 minutes and 42 seconds and watch it. Please don’t just listen to it, but WATCH it.

Now, because Christ created us with the ability to choose, choose Him, it’s worth it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phew, time flies

And so it does.
I haven't touched this blog in two years.
I started it with the intention of trying to blog, or journal, or leave a mark. Quite honestly, I'm not really sure why I started it in the first place because I hate writing. No, wait. I don't hate it. I abhor it.


Verb: Regard with disgust and hatred

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

But here I am again, attempting to make something of it.
Here's to the future.