Sunday, October 24, 2010


I have been sitting for a little over 19 months now. One thing that has never ceased to catch my attention, is when I see or hear the word "stand". There are many hymns that talk about standing, verses that talk about standing (373 to be exact), and the word is used many times in the church service - "Let's all stand and sing...", "Remain standing for a word of prayer", "Let's all stand in honor of the reading of God's Word". This word always catches my attention. At the beginning of my wheelchair journey, a lump in my throat was always present with that word. I have long gotten past the lump in my throat, by I have not gotten beyond noticing the word "stand".

As I have been progressing in therapy, they ask what my goals are. Yesterday, it was time for another assessment and they asked me again. Of course, my goals have evolved as I have, and I have never said "Duh, to walk", although I have been tempted! Instead, I have tried to keep my goals realistic but a little out of reach to keep giving me focus and the drive to keep working hard in therapy. But yesterday, I took a chance and proclaimed "I want to stand!" Not with braces and hunks of metal holding me up, not with holding up all my weight in my arms, but to stand on my own legs and let them hold the weight of my body. I could list a zillion ways that would make life so much easier but I will spare you. My therapist became very quiet so I timidly said "Is that too high of a goal?" He said, "Well, we will certainly work hard to try won't we?"

Things like this in life really grab my attention. The Lord uses these kind of things in my life to make an impression on my mind. This morning, as I woke up and tried to move, I was stiff and full of pain. Even the knuckles on my hands hurt! My therapist had taken me seriously yesterday and we worked very hard. I lay here in the bed this morning and tried to get this crazy body of mine to start moving and started thinking. "Why would anyone in their right mind continue to go back and be put through this again? Why do I continue to try and try and try? Would it be easier to just stop and be done with all of this?" Then, I start trying to wiggle my toes and I watch them move up and down. I remember when they wouldn't do that. I roll over and remember when I couldn't do that without help. I start doing my exercises and watch my muscles jumping and spasming like crazy as they are trying there hardest to remember what to do. I sit up on the side of the bed and reach over and get something. I remember when I fell out a few times doing that because of horrible balance. I transfer out of my bed and into my chair with ease and remember how very hard that used to be. By the time I made it to the shower, where the hot water will relax my stiff and painful body, I am renewed in my commitment that I will be in my place at therapy on Monday morning. I have gained too much to give up now.

You may be wondering where I am going with this. I will tell you. Many times we get so very weary in life. We go through painful experiences and we are tempted to quit. It is just too hard. It is not worth the grief it is causing me. You may feel like this in your marriage, your home, your job, your ministry, or maybe even to God Himself. Before you quit, my dear friends, look back. Look at where the Lord has brought you from. Look at how He has worked in your life. Look at the influence you have had on people's lives. Look at the opportunities you have been given. Don't quit.

Join me in my goal - one that I desire physically, but more than that, I desire it spiritually. Let's stand! 

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Babies and glassware - never a good combination! I had a special little baby visiting at my house the other day and I forgot to put up a "pretty" that should have been in my china cabinet. The adorable little baby was proud of the possession that she found and as she carried it into the room to show us, she dropped it and it broke. As I consoled the baby's mother, I said "Oh don't worry about it! I can superglue it, put it up in the cabinet and no one will ever see that it was broken."

Later that day, something rared up that reminded me once again of my physical limitations. I had this deep desire to punch my useless legs and growl in frustration! In my moment of self-pity, I thought how when people get a virus they are miserable and can't wait to get well. Once they are "normal" again, all the memories of their misery get diminished and they go their merry way. But when you have a permanent disability, you aren't allowed that luxury. You must deal with your trouble every single day. Suddenly though, that broken platter flashed through my mind. I immediately wished for disability superglue to fix my problems! Then I could sit on my shelf and look normal again. Wait a minute! Sit on my shelf and look normal? Have I learned nothing through my brokenness? Do I want to erase all that? No, I don't. Who get's to decide normal anyway? Maybe normal is realizing that we are all broken somewhere and sometimes in life, there are no permanent fixes. Maybe normal is being comfortable, maybe not physically as we deal with real pain, but emotionally. Comfortable in the new me and the new opportunities it may allow me in life. Maybe those who are truly broken are the ones who perceive themselves as completely normal and in need of no help in their lives.

Thanks to my broken pretty, it taught me something. I will not sit on a shelf and try to "look" normal and be of no use. I will BE normal! I will take my brokenness and allow it to be a visual reminder to me that only I get to decide what truly being normal is. Others should not get that freedom in my life. Broken? Well, physically, yes. Some parts do not work like they were designed to work. But broken and useless? No way!

And for my broken pretty? I don't think I will put it away and let it look good. I think I will display it - to thank if for the lesson it taught me!