Saturday, April 30, 2011


Reach up, arms straight, welcoming, eyes closed.
Bring arms down slowly to circle myself.

I am in a circle.
There are dots everywhere.
Make them go away.
Let things go, all the distractions of life.
There is one dot left in the middle.

Now lines appear, jetting out from the dot, to the outer circle.
Make these go away.
They are the larger distractions of life.
They dim.

The dot in the middle of the circle is still there.
I have briefly found it.
All but one dot gone.
Lines are dimmed.

The center dot must be peace.
I find it, briefly, shutting out chaos.

I am in prayer.


Sunday, April 24, 2011


My favorite memory of Easter is from the year I was diagnosed with MS. I had started to run again, and on Easter, before church, ended my run on a downhill from a golf course when a woman in her car drove down the same hill, rolled down her window, enthusiastically waved, and shouted "Happy Easter!" Yes! I was running down that hill, on that beautiful morning... I was running down that hill... I was running! Yes! Alleluiah! I hadn't been able to run for months, but right as I was diagnosed, I had started again. That's the uncertainty of MS. I was running - it was slower, and I didn't know what would happen. But I was taken to new "heights."

Recently (April 10), I hit 10 months without an MS attack and felt a bit the same way. Then there started to be some "hiccups." They were small - what was this? Is it too hot where I spend most of my time? It's 75 degrees. I am having trouble walking. I can't feel my hands. Uh oh...

I would return home and find most strength returned. But day after day of 75 was taking a toll. Take it easy. Rest. Stop pushing.

And then Maundy Thursday I was at home. As the day went on, I felt everything return. I was ok. It wasn't MS that got me. It was 75 degrees. I tell people that heat gets to me and it's interesting that they may say "me too." No - see it makes me physically sick.

But I came back. I rested. I waited, with more patience than I thought I had.

It was almost like this was my own unique Lent journey, except that it turned on Maundy Thursday, not on Sunday, when "he is risen."

I had to take other steps too. Recent extreme stress - change that to a focus on physical strength. I was being drained, but before I hit bottom, I turned.

On Thursday, I questioned if things had REALLY turned, so I tried a few new things - was I better? Was it possible that not only was I better, but that I took another "step" forward? Could I stand and let go even more? Yes? Could I walk somewhere I hadn't even considered until randomly, the night of Maundy Thursday? Yes, I could. In a totally different sense than that of Christ, I am risen.

I am standing here, right now, in my standing frame where I spend a half hour each day (work up to an hour?), writing this, knowing I somehow averted disaster, which took rest, patience, time to cry, time to pause, time to laugh. It took until Holy Week for me to do these things, but it is never too late. As usual, God is with me.

And it was strange timing as it all turned around near Easter and I celebrated Easter stronger... just like back when I was running. I still run in my dreams, which I won't give up

Only God knows if there's significance in timing or if it's just random, but I've been accompanied by God again on this journey.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluiah!

Thanks be to God.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Were you there?

Good Friday.

Hearing the Gospel describing Jesus' death shocks me.

Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

My struggles are nothing.

I wonder how society can be so, so, so, ...
I can't describe it.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

I hear society (to a much greater extent) in the Gospel.

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Earlier Jesus says we must...
Love one another.
As I have loved you, so love one another.
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

He does this, always.
We do not.

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

He goes to the cross to save us.

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

He dies for us.

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble...

It is finished.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This Believer

It's been a tough, very tough, couple of weeks. On one hand, I have this wonderful thing in my life, granting me a gift of working hard to walk better, stand better, do everything better. On the other other hand, there's another thing - unrelated - theatening to derail the gift by imposing a lot of stress. This other thing - it's a series of events - it's exhausting; it's unfair, I suppose; but it goes past unfair and leads to even greater exhaustion. And I cling to the good, struggle with the bad, feel everything is so heavy, struggle to find my way. And though I can't say what the exhausting sequence is, I can write this, and this will help. There's a song - it can go toward either the wonderful thing, the exhausting thing, or both. That's the great thing about some songs. The danger is the exhausting thing causes stress and stress and MS don't mix. So I continue to try to cling to the gift, despite a seeming network of land mines everywhere.

The song, with my thoughts... (James Hersch)

"Put to the test
Coming up short
Nothing makes sense
About this last resort."

The last resort - my last steps - each one was a struggle. At the last resort Ampyra, the gift, came along. It really didn't make any sense...

"Step after step
There's no way out
Lost and I'm blind to what this is about."

New steps - step after step after step - new steps - steps that are stronger. I am lost and blind to this - now. But...

"But I will consider
that the hand of God is able
Even now
To deliver,
From the shadow of death
This Believer."

God is there with me, for each of these new steps,
as God was right there with me for each of the old steps.
God can take me, on the brink of no walking
And be with me while I learn to believe that from this no walking, or perhaps from "the shadow of death," I can come back...

"Put to the test
On a mountain of woe
God only knows where this path's going to go.
Follow my faith
And it's led me to here
But I can't find the line between my faith and my fear."

I don't know what will happen now, with legs still getting stronger.

There's a new mountain of woe.
It's scary.
I'm somewhere between faith and fear...

"But I will consider
that the hand of God is able
Even now
To deliver,
From the shadow of death
This Believer."

Again, God is here. I will "consider" that I can get through this. I will try to find my way through the new obstacles thrown in my path. I need to focus on my new steps rather than obstacles. This is very difficult. I am dragging. I must trust now that I will find my way out.

"And in a season of change
there is a reason for doubt
But there's a faith I can find when I have no way out........"

There sure is a reason for doubt! Everything was fine. Now there are land mines everywhere. I can't see them. But I have to lean on faith, because I can't see the way out...

"And I will consider
that the hand of God is able
Even now,
To deliver
From the shadow of death
This Believer."


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Healing service at church tonight.

One may think of going to the front to heal sickness,
their own or that of someone else.

Sickness of a medical state for most.
Maybe some contemplate me needing healing for my MS.

But I'm fine with my MS - in a sense, I don't need healing there.

Where I do need healing is in the words of others
that have stung.

I need to be healed from those words to move on.

Ideally I would get to forgiveness, but I'm not there yet.

So I need healing where I am sick,
where words have stung
where I am asked to be a voice but no one listens.

So God, can you heal me for this and more.

Healing - sometimes it feels impossible.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Do some people never learn

Do some people only exhibit

Do some people never

Do some people not feel anything when they

Do some people live their life this way
every day?

Is it possible that these people
go to church?

How/what do they pray?

How will they ever learn to
love one another?

Is there anything that can happen to them to create a

How do they

What do they

Do they have

My faith journey includes asking for help with them for

knowing that these three things may somehow occur for

but will probably never occur for

And this makes me

Life goes on.
I must turn away, turn toward the


Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting it

Sometimes I volunteer for the school - not often enough, but I do it. Today I was there during math. The teacher gave me a group and I tried to help them "get" a concept. They're learning subtraction in 2 digits - not the easy kind anymore. They from new school math to the old way and new school math here seems like it was pointless.

This class of kids loves to talk. This grade is known for it - they were this way in kindergarten and first grade - so much energy they cannot keep still and they must talk. Most kids are like this but I'm told for some reason, this class of kids that includes my daughter is the chattiest many have seen. They're now in second grade.

We used the whiteboard - a group of 7, late in the day, doing math, on a Friday. But I tried anyway to teach them this concept in a different way, seeming to stop every 5 seconds with the happy chatter.

In the end, some understood and some didn't - nothing had changed, except for one girl. She was up at the whiteboard with me and we were going through it - cross this number first, subtract 1, bring 10 to the other side. Don't worry about using your fingers to subtract right now. And she kept going. I think it finally clicked for her and she was excited. She got it.

That was a totally great moment - to see just one child understand something that seemed so alien to them. And they weren't expected to understand it.

So now I "get it" - why people must go into teaching.

It can be one kid at a time.

And it seems so rewarding.

Now if we could only get more money... another topic...


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time to pause

"Mommy, will you pick me up after choir?" (so she doesn't have to go to the after-school program)

... pause ...


Slow down life.
Not later.

Memories I hold.
I'm not part of something that happened.
But the memories of the past come back anyway.

Memories of the time when a medication mix-up
caused depression
as the most painful part of my life.

One day I came home and didn't want to leave.
But someone had to pick Lori up.
And so, Lori saved my life.

So during this time when memories return,
it is time to pause.
I'm now happy, even with the memories.
But because of those memories...

I will try to "love your neighbor as yourself."
"Love one another."
And I will pick up Lori.

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Phillipians 4 13)

My hope is that others may understand the needs others and myself have now.
My hope is that we all support each other.
My hope is that we all give each other time to pause.