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

What are you doing here?

What are you doing here-

I came to rest. Why did you come?

The last time I was in the Big Apple I went home battered and bruised. A robot intentionally punctured my left lung and I left the city with multiple scars, including one from the rigid plastic tube inserted into my chest to re-inflate my lung and two on my neck from a stiff plastic catheter in my jugular. It wasn’t much fun.

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More than I wanted to know

More than I wanted to knowHe crinkled his nose after I opened the door. Pest control arrived fully equipped to evict the skunk. He educated me that if the skunk happily lived under the house he would not spray. Something must have upset him which explains the thud I heard before the noxious smell permeated the house. When he returned the next day, there was a captive in the trap. No it wasn’t the skunk, it was the upsetting opossum, which I am now told lives in family units. Looks like they set up a little community under there, complete with raccoons. This is getting worse by the minute. I liked it better when I was oblivious, except the offensive smell became impossible to ignore.

Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” HCSB

KNOW HE IS GOD

Being still goes against my nature. Let’s be honest, we are polar opposites. My goal is to intentionally embrace rest and silence because I am beginning to understand it is the only way to truly know Him. I am learning to be content in the quiet. Most of us turn on the radio in the car and the television at home. Background noise to drown out the still small voice we don’t want to hear. We resist being still so we play games or scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter-or read blogs. In the quiet, He gets all up in our business. Sometimes I would rather not know what is living under my house. But then it starts stinking.

1 Kings 19:12, “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” NIV

CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE

What if the best Christmas gift this year is quiet? #advent #christmas #doyouhearwhatIhear Click To Tweet

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, “Do you hear what I hear?”

Do you hear God softly speaking to you or do you avoid it?

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How do I get off this merry-go-round?

The house on the corner of River and Market Street was located across the street from an elementary school. The playground in the front lacked a fence which I accepted as an open invitation to escape the heat and cigarette smoke of my grandparents’ house. As a young girl, the merry-go-round was my favorite. Bracing my small frame against the metal bar, I leaned my weight against the heavy contraption. My feet followed the circular path worn into the dirt. At first, it was nearly too heavy for me to move but as the speed increased centripetal force took over and it spun round and round. Making the leap, I hopped on and watched the world swirl past my vision causing me to suppress an immediate urge to retch. I have always loved the feel of wind in my hair but the thrill only lasted a few seconds. Prone to motion sickness, the spinning quickly made me want off, but it was moving too fast. If I jumped I would surely fall and likely scrape my knees. If I stayed on I would soon vomit. I thought this was going to be fun, but I wanted to stop. I didn’t know how.

Exodus 34:21, “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.” NIV

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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