Do you want a full life or a fulfilled life?

STORAGE ALMOST FULL       MANAGE IN SETTINGS

Ugh, my storage is always full. I need a bigger plan.

Maximizing an hour of down time, I sat in the vacant seat facing the tarmac. My mission –

DELETE

DELETE

DELETE

Pictures monopolized most of my storage, so I started in photos. The agony of indecision spun me round and round. Should I delete this one? Did I print this picture? Was it shared on Facebook or Instagram? Four pictures of the same people in the same pose; which is best? This one is fuzzy, now her eyes are closed, not sure I can tell the difference between these….

SUNSETS AND OTHER EASY CHOICES

I deleted the sun the dropping between the mountains and dipping into the lake. How many sunset pictures have I taken from my porch? Goodness, I see it nearly every day but when the clouds layer like pie crust, the impulse to preserve the technicolor reflection is irresistible. Seriously though, who needs 358 pictures of sunsets?

Next time I’ll drink in the awe and beauty of God’s creation

Instead of cramming more into my storage, I’ll worship the One who created it all

Romans 1:20, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” NLT

KEEP THE MEMORIES INSTEAD

My photography skills are lacking but the lenses of my own eyes have captured waterfalls, wilderness and wildlife. I would show you, but I can never capture the true majesty of it all. So I deleted the pictures without people. My ineptitude at photography is irrelevant, but my relationships with people matter.

I want to preserve the memories of experiencing life together

Romans 12:10, “Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another showing honor.” HCSB

THE  BLUR

The atmosphere was electric as “The Fastest Man in the World” situated his feet into the starting blocks. My video of blurry arms and legs lasted only a few seconds. It sat for three years taking up storage space on my phone. I never replayed it, but I vividly remember sitting on the metal bleachers shoulder-to-shoulder with my son wearing his Razorback track jersey. My receptionist and nurse probably won’t forget hustling and juggling my schedule so I could rush 115 miles up the interstate and never miss a meet.

Being there for family is more important than any world record

1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” NIV

PIERCING PICTURES

Even on his last leg, Sammy Joe managed to leave trash strewn in the driveway. Before I said my last good-bye, I took his picture lying on the doormat. I kept that one. Not everyone who vanished from my life said goodbye. Though the sparkling eyes and bright smile are preserved in a scrapbook, I paused before deleting the images which represent a significant investment of my time, heart and soul.

Maybe someday it will pay off…

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” KJV

KEEP DELETING

After all that work, I only deleted a few megabytes. I moved on to messages. (Stay tuned for more next week. If you don’t get my posts by email, enter your address for the rest of the story “How to Make a Friend.”)

DELETE THE CLUTTER

What takes up valuable space in your life? Is your mind cluttered with bitterness and unforgiveness? Does self-pity or busyness  crowd out blessings? Delete the heap of junk you’ve collected and fill your treasure chest of memories with abundant life.

Maybe it’s time to delete what fills your life so you can live a fulfilled life

Live a fulfilled life rather than a filled life #busyness #abundantlife Click To Tweet

John 10:10, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” MSG

How many pictures of sunsets do you have stored on your phone? Be honest.

Have you seen me?

Have you seen me?

You may have already heard the news, but I am starring in a movie!

It’s not a done deal yet, but…

The director and producer are trying to decide which role is the best fit for me.

If they cast me in Walking Dead I won’t need any time with the make-up artist because I’m already ripped to shreds and bleeding. Good thing, I would never be able to sit still that long.

They are also weighing Road Runner against the Tasmanian devil because of the way I’ve been writing and traveling and broadcasting and meeting and speaking and juggling six plates while I hop on a ball.

The theme song to my movie is Running on Empty.

Maybe you’ve seen me coming, maybe you’ve seen me going. I’m not sure – Continue reading

CHRONIC stILLNESS

CHRONIC

Some days I wish I could push rewind and go back to my old life. My life when I was perfectly healthy. When I performed surgery with my hands and pedaled a bicycle with my legs. My life when I could open the mail or eat popcorn without resting; my life before chronic illness with myasthenia gravis.

Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” NIV

Can we take a direct flight back to reality, or do we have to change planes in Denver?

Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause”

UNDERSTANDING

It is impossible for others to understand  hidden or invisible illnesses like multiple sclerosis, lupus or in my case myasthenia gravis (MG).  I spell it and explain it, but unless you live with it everyday, it is hard to understand. But honestly, I don’t mind explaining my illness, I am really glad you care.

Psalm 71:9, “Do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” NIV

METER

In the movie “The Santa Clause 2” Scott Calvin begins the de-santafication process until he finds a wife. He departs from the North Pole with a limited amount of magic, but he must save enough to return home. Bernard, his chief elf, gives him a meter he wears as a wristwatch to indicate how much magic remains so he does not get stranded.

2 Samuel 22:33, “God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.” NKJV

WHERE CAN I GET ONE OF THOSE?

My magic is limited too, so is my strength. I do not get tired, though many with autoimmune diseases do. Instead, MG causes weakness. Simple tasks are a struggle you cannot see; weakness is invisible. But, I know if  I fail to conserve enough strength, I won’t be able to get home. It’s hard to choose where to spend it. Someone should invent one of those meters for me so I know how much strength I have left!

Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” KJV

STRENGTH CONSERVATION

Every choice I make affects my strength reserve. Some days I may walk across the parking lot just fine, then not make it through the store. I slice a tomato then not be able to stir. I can shake your hand or open the door, but it will cost me strength and mine is limited.

Psalm 37:39, “But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.” NKJV

YOU ARE LIMITED TOO

In reality, everyone harbors hidden struggles, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. We are all limited, only able to do so much and  give so much. It is impossible to be everything to everyone and trying causes misery. Maybe your strength or energy reserves are deep, but your time is finite , so is your attention. Choose wisely how you spend it.

Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” HCSB

REST

I neglected rest. My old life was perpetual motion. I was never still then and I have yet to decide how much I miss it. Frequent rest is no longer optional, it is necessary for me to regain my strength.

The harder I try, the weaker I get #IHaveHeardofMG Click To Tweet

The magic runs out. Though rest goes against my nature, I try not to fight it. God commands rest for everyone. He actually uses it to bless and He knows precisely what we need. The Lord even set the example by resting Himself. He commands us to “be still.” Now I am still, I only wish it weren’t chronic stillness.

Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God;  I will be exalted in the earth.” ASV

June is myasthenia gravis awareness month. Ironically I was diagnosed in June 2014. If you know anyone with myasthenia gravis, please encourage them to register with MGFA.

Help spread awareness about invisible illness by sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter.

I’m drowning, PLEASE quit pouring water on my head!

I'm drowning

TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE…

When I was working as an obstetrician/gynecologist I woke up early each morning. Rushing around and slinging coffee, I frequently had morning meetings followed by rounds at the hospital and then off to an overbooked clinic and a phone that never stopped ringing.  I juggled patients in labor with calls from the emergency room,  nurses, pharmacies and colleagues. Working through lunch and running behind schedule in clinic was extremely stressful.  I tried to accommodate, but it was exhausting and overwhelming.  Everyone who loved me told me I needed to slow down.  I knew it was true, but I didn’t know how.

Isaiah 30:15, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”  NIV

DON’T ASK ME

A good friend recently asked, “How do you get off the merry-go-round?”  Obviously, I’m not the one to ask.  I was thrown off.  My life came to a screeching halt.  One day I was the doctor; the next day I was the patient.  One day I was working myself into the ground, the next day I was unable to move.  Myasthenia gravis doesn’t give you a choice.  I rest.  For the first time in my life I am resting.  It wasn’t voluntary, but I will have to admit there are benefits.

Rest is an art #sabbath Click To Tweet

DO YOU CONSIDER REST A FOUR LETTER WORD?

I thought rest and sleep were overrated.  They  are  not.  Rest is sweet.  It brings peace.  I am currently in a season of mandatory rest.  God created the entire universe in six days, then He rested. He set the example then commanded us to rest.  Rest is an art.  It’s a discipline.  It’s not optional.  It’s good and ultimately it’s for our good.

Exodus 20:8-10, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.  On that day no one in your household may do any work…”  NLT

HOW DO YOU REST?

Honestly, I don’t know.  You will have to figure that out for yourself.  But, I know this:  your body needs rest, your mind needs rest, your soul needs rest. You know you need rest when you wake up exhausted, your mind races all night and your spirit is irritable.

MAYBE…

spend time in a hammock, it’s so much trouble to get in and out, just stay there a while

drive somewhere just to watch the sunset

linger over a cup of coffee on the porch

soak in a long, hot bubble bath

journal your cluttered thoughts

read, study and memorize God’s word

pray consistently

REAL REST COMES FROM TRUST

 God is God.  Sometimes that’s all I know.  He is in control.  I am not, neither are you.  Rest in it!

Psalm 37:7, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him…” KJV

FILLING THE EMPTY SPOT

Filling the emptiness

PICKY EATER

When I was a little girl my parents took me to the doctor because they were worried I didn’t eat enough. Those of you who know me now are probably laughing. They were concerned because I was tiny and hardly ate anything. During dinner my dad would summon me to his chair and methodically poke on my belly. He would excitedly declare he had found an empty spot. I would go back to my seat and dutifully eat a few bites. Then I would let him check to see if it was full. We repeated this over and over.

Isaiah 58:11  I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places-firm muscles, strong bones.  You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry.  The Message

FULL LIFE

I can honestly say I have had a full life. I have traveled the world. I am married to a wonderful, incredibly patient and handsome man. I’ve had an exciting and fulfilling career. I’ve crammed so much into my life, I have a short bucket list.Don’t accuse me of being lucky, I worked hard for all of it. I sacrificed my twenties to study and I worked way too many hours over the years. Marriage and family take effort too., but it’s been good, very good.

BUSYNESS

Somewhere along the way I got busy. That’s not good. Busyness forces us to neglect important matters for urgent matters . My life was packed with schedules, agendas, obligations and perpetually updated to-do lists with no lasting value. Busyness is epidemic.   Lives filled with shopping, working, unhealthy relationships, addiction, food, sports, hobbies and other excesses.

Busyness blurs the reality of life #abundantlife #slowdown #rest #Sabbath Click To Tweet

Zechariah 2:13, “Be silent, everyone, in the presence of the Lord.  He is coming out of the holy place where he lives.”  NCV

My translation:  Shhhh!  Here He comes!

WE ARE LEFT WITH NO EMPTY SPOTS

If you gorge on junk, there is no room left for the good stuff. Stillness and rest are not valued. The TV is on at home, the radio is on in the car, and  my ear buds are in my purse. Curiously, I wonder why God is silent. Why isn’t He speaking into my life and my circumstances? Maybe He didn’t think He was invited, or maybe, there simply wasn’t room.  His life on earth started out that way too, no room in the inn…

Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord (our God) is good!  Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.”  Amplified Bible

NO SATISFACTION

Full and satisfied are not the same thing. If they were there would be enough:  enough shoes, enough dessert, enough friends, enough vacations, enough money…

Psalm 107:9, “For He satisfied the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”  NKJV

Is your soul growling and longing to be filled with what truly satisfies? God promised His children He would come and dwell with them in the tabernacle. When His Shekinah glory came down it FILLED the Most Holy Place. When Isaiah got a glimpse of heaven, he saw the train of God’s robe FILL the temple. New Testament followers of Christ are promised that we will be FILLED with His Spirit, like a cloud, like smoke- filling every nook and cranny and empty space. Is there any room for Him?

EMPTY

Only empty can be filled. Who would try to fill their gas tank if it were already full?  I need to be emptied of myself.

My agenda has been cleared

My to do list was wiped clean

My health makes me weak and dependent

I think I am right where He wants me. He has promised me a full, satisfying life here. He meets me in my empty place.

If your life seems empty, then celebrate! You have an empty spot.

Invite Him to FILL you with His blessings.