Have you ever been to a nude beach?

The Girlfriend’s Box of Questions

The pink and brown striped box held promise. Actually, it held questions and we used the conversation starters as writing prompts. I pulled one from the middle and quickly discarded it. Encouraged to take one from the top, I drew, “Who was the last person who gave you butterflies?” Gag.

Double gag.

I was about the throw in the towel with the questions when I ventured one more luck of the draw. That’s it, that’s the one for me.

Have you ever been to a nude beach? If not would you ever consider going?

Wait, let me get this out there first, no, I have never, ever been to a nude beach. However, I repeatedly contend that writing is like standing in front of everyone naked, only it’s not your body, it’s your soul.

You know I’m a gynecologist, right?

I’ve seen a lot of naked bodies. A lot. Bodies are different, they are sometimes wonderfully and sometimes fearfully made. But souls? Oh there is no comparison to the depth of beauty and wonder and fear and ugliness and power and redemption. Why are we so afraid to reveal our true selves? Vulnerability is a huge risk. What if my words are too skinny or too fat or too wrinkled or disproportionate? What if you can’t stand to look at them, like those American senior citizens prancing around on European beaches. Not that I’ve ever been, really, I heard about it from a friend.

Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” HCSB

DON’T LOOK ETHEL

My words sometimes make my kids cringe; they think I show a little too much and need to be more modest with my soul skin. My parents hurt over my writing when I expose raw wounds. Probably, I need a bandage to cover the unsightly injuries. My readers? I only hope you laugh and cry along with me.

Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” KJV

Here’s the deal, I’m not going to a nude beach, but, I will continue to bare my soul because I’ve seen a lot of naked bodies inside and out. I’ve heard you reveal your heart and soul and I want you to know you aren’t the only one. If I uncover my broken places, maybe you can find hope in the One who covers our sin and clothes us with His righteousness. My own life of filthy rags has been stripped away, leaving me bare. Can you stand to look or will you avert your eyes because it makes you uncomfortable?

Isaiah 61:11, “He dressed me up in a suit of salvation, he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness.” MSG

GET REAL

The Celebrate Recovery step study I’m involved in has ruined me. As we walk through the door, we take off our masks and ultimately discover that what draws us to each other isn’t our flawless lives. No, we are drawn to each other’s honesty and raw emotions. Real connection happens when we take it off for others to see; no filter, no photo-shopping, no airbrushing.

Just the bare naked truth

The truth is, we all struggle. How about we lock arms and struggle together? Care to join me? If I haven’t scared you off, enter your email in that little box that pops up when you open the link and I’ll bug you every Saturday morning with a post in your inbox. Or if it’s too much, stare straight ahead and keep on walking.

What draws us to each other isn't our flawless lives #BeReal #vulnerability Click To Tweet

By the way, if you want to know who “we” is, check out my writing friends, Jill and Amy. They get my soul.

 

You should listen to MY mother

you should listen to MY mother

 

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

 

I can’t remember exactly what the email said, but the rejection was polite.

 

 

Thank you for auditioning…. We had a lot of great entries….It’s not a reflection of your writing or reading…

Your piece was not selected….

WHO CARES?

I am surprisingly unaffected by rejection of my writing. I realize it’s the nature of the beast. Besides, since I reached middle-age I don’t take things too personally. Interacting with my readers is absolutely fulfilling. It’s worth the effort it even if I never get published or no one shares my posts. About the time I feel a bit discouraged, someone says, “I never comment or share but your words really spoke to me.” Thanks, but seriously, why don’t you?

I wish you would.

Anyway,  I’ll keep writing.

Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” ESV

IT WAS FUN

My GPS had no clue most of the roads were blocked off for the marathon. I finally parked and walked across the street to the library. I pushed open the door while carrying on a not-in-my-quiet-voice conversation. Librarians no longer wear glasses and buns but trust me, they still frown on noise echoing off the ceiling. Behind the closed doors of the conference room the judges laughed in all the right places as I read my tribute to my mom, “My Slip Up.” It’s a little silly, but every word is true.

As the wind whipped, papers blew across campus. Hours of effort were carried away in winter’s grip. I snugged my books against my tightly buttoned coat as my short legs raced the five minutes left on the clock until microbiology class began. That’s when I felt it. At first I didn’t know what was moving on my left hip. I was alarmed when I smoothed my hand and felt the ridge. Horrified, I looked down and saw the white lace trim inching toward my ankles. Instantly I knew, it was my mother’s fault. She insisted I always wear a slip.

Though I was grown and married, I still tried to follow all of the rules. I believed my mother knew best, so I listened. But I had on a corduroy skirt for crying out loud. Who wears a slip with corduroy? Well yes, me, I guess. I wore it every day in fact, until it was worn out. The elastic just happened to give way on this wintry day. I’m lucky it wasn’t swept away with the slips of white paper.

The science building was visible in the distance but shortening my steps to only a couple of inches made the prospect seem like miles. I darted into the business building, where they study markets and trends and, well, I don’t know, but not the Krebs’s cycle and glycosaminoglycans, and subjects I understood.

I blame my mother. I blame her for my successes and I blame her for my failures. Most of all, I blame her for the most embarrassing moment in my life. She always insisted I wear a slip. I didn’t think it was important, but she did. And she is important to me. So I listened to my mother.

Praying no one would be there, I ducked into the stairwell. I looked up and down the stairs and when I was assured the coast was clear, I slipped out of my slip. What would my mother think now? I stuffed it into my purse, because my mother taught me to be frugal. Perhaps the elastic could be replaced, I reasoned.

She views everything in black and white, I mean, they don’t make slips in gray do they? The pearls of wisdom I gleaned from her are invaluable to me now. Until I was in medical school and a mother to my own daughter, she continued to lecture me on the dangers of drugs. I am glad I listened to my mother.

She always thinks she is right too, and, she usually is. When I was in high school she wagged her index finger an inch from my nose and told me, “No matter how much you resent it, I am always right.” I suppose that is where I learned confidence.

She taught me to believe in my goals with her mantra, “Anything worth having is worth working for.” I learned to deal with people by her philosophy, “You catch more flies with honey than with a flyswatter.” She trained me to love fiercely and care about family I barely knew. From her I learned to hold traditions tightly, both old and new. She taught me to believe in God and love Jesus.

I listened with my eyes too. I watched her bake chocolate pies for the sick and volunteer for every need that arose. Though we didn’t have much money, I watched her buy dresses and shoes for the little girls in the trailer park who couldn’t afford new clothes. When anyone had a death in the family, she swept the front porch before the mourners arrived. But do not misunderstand; she is not all work and no play. My mother is a blast. The woman knows how to laugh until she can hardly breathe. 

Most importantly, she taught me how to be a mom to my own children: convince them you are right and make them listen! If you wonder where she got all that wisdom, it is her generational heritage. She loved her mom. They talked every day, sometimes twice. They traveled together and shopped together and celebrated life together. She respected her mother and listened to her every word. My grandmother was one wise lady.

The first of my family to graduate from college, my dad was beaming with pride as I walked across the stage. But my mom? Well, she greeted me with a wry smile and a card. The front pictured a dreamy, ambitious-looking young woman with her dress fluttering in the breeze as she reached for the sky. The caption read, “Whatever you do always remember to stand on the sunny side of the street.” I flipped it open to find her familiar signature below the punch line, “And never leave home without wearing a slip.

Proverbs 31:28, “Her children arise and call her blessed.” NIV

We call her a lot of other things too. Especially when she accidentally face-times her best friend getting out of the tub. At least it was her best friend, she was waiting on a call from the plumber.

Hysterical

Psalm 126:2, “Our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.'” HCSB

AND THE WINNER IS…

Check out my friend Dorothy Hill; she read her poignant story in “Listen to Your Mother 2016.”

Enjoy every moment and may your mother be as much fun as mine!

Happy Mother’s Day

Celebrate the one who gave you life; celebrate the one who gave you everything #Mother'sDay… Click To Tweet

Thanks for entering your email address in the green box that pops-up. It’s the only way I can send you my post every week.

You’re not the only one

You're not the only one

 

 

 

Think you have problems?

You’re not the only one

Sitting on the exam table in a flimsy gown, she looked at the floor and swung her feet. The floral print gown opened in the front as well as the back. She pulled the gap tightly closed in her clenched fist. Nevertheless, I could see red splotches spreading across her chest before she finally mustered up the courage, “This is really embarrassing, but….”

 

My heart ached as she stammered out her concern. My heart ached even more because she thought she was the only one dealing with such an issue.

In reality, it was the fourth time I had heard the same concern. Let me clear, it was the fourth time THAT DAY I had heard the same issue. Let me be even clearer, it was only 11 o’clock in the morning.

We stuff our stuff because we think our issues are unique #beReal #community #rtp Click To Tweet

STUFFING STUFF

We all walk around stuffing our stuff because we think our issues are unique to our hearts and minds and lives. But when we are bold enough to share we find a hundred other people who feel the same way. Then, and only then,  God uses our troubles for His glory.

2 Corinthians 1:4, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” NLT

ASK ME HOW I KNOW

Because I have talked to you; yes you. I’ve talked to countless women about their deepest fears and greatest concerns when I was a gynecologist. Don’t worry, I am still bound by privacy laws. Now that I am a writer, I talk to people everywhere. And guess what? You really aren’t that different. The struggles you deal with inside your home and your head are universal. You’re in good company. It’s been a long time since anyone told me anything that shocked or surprised me. I’ve heard it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” NIV

GET HELP

Secrecy is Satan’s tool. Isolation keeps us from getting the help we need by taunting us with shame. The fact is until we admit we have a problem, we can never fully deal with it. Denial keeps us from Jesus who completely understands every struggle we face.

Hebrews 4:15-16, “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all-all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” MSG

GET REAL

I know you are insecure, lonely, scared of the future, jealous and broken. Trust me, I understand; from the inside out. We are all dying on the inside trying to pretend our life is half as wonderful as everyone else’s Fakebook life (no that’s not a typo). Let’s stop and be real. Not only will it rescue you, it will save others.

John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ESV

SAFE BET

I sincerely want to thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. It empowers me to share my own emotions. It’s no longer a gamble that maybe you feel the same way I do sometimes. I know you do, because I talked to you.

2 Corinthians 2:16, “This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on?” MSG

THIS IS DANGEROUS

Still, I find writing is dangerous. My thoughts assembled by various combinations of twenty-six characters are on display for you. Vulnerability is scary, but it’s also a gift from God. So I allow the words to spill freely, often with tears, and offer them to you. Maybe, just maybe, someone knows exactly what I am talking about.

2 Corinthians 4:1-2, “Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God’s message, but commending ourselves to every person’s conscience in God’s sight by an open display of the truth.” HCSB

Surely I’m not the only one, am I?

 

I have something for you

I have something for you

So glad you were able to join my party. I am celebrating my first blogiversary. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. I have loved getting to know you and I so appreciate you reading, commenting and sharing.

THE PRIZE

I have a gift for you to commemorate this milestone. If you enjoy reading you will love Angela Slaughter’s new novel,

A View From There

I have three books to give away. Comment on my Facebook page and you’re in. You can wish me happy blogiversary, tell me what books you like to read or simply say hello. But whatever you do, don’t share this post, it will decrease your chances of winning!

MILESTONES

I love words and since I have started blogging I like numbers too. So here is a rundown of the first year of My Right Side Up Life. I have posted 104 times, which I’m guessing is over 60,000 words. Whew! Sometimes I worry about running out of things to say but life just keeps happening all around me and I’ve never been accused of being quiet. Most bloggers quit within three months and nearly all quit before one year. Currently, my site has over 1,000 followers and has been viewed over 100,000 times. I’ve never been accused of being a quitter either. My Facebook page Vickie Petz Henderson has nearly 2,000 likes and I have 500 followers on Twitter. I have been accused of being the queen and the title was not intended to be complimentary. Suddenly those numbers terrify me. Words require responsibility.

Proverbs 10:19, “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his tongue is wise.” HCSB

WHAT I WANT

Ultimately readers make writing worth the effort. Without readers, words float in cyberspace without impact or connection. My heart’s desire is to reach more people with words of encouragement and the joy of a personal relationship with Christ. So if you want to help me spread the word, invite your friends to like my Facebook page or share your favorite post on your personal Facebook wall or on Twitter. By the way, people are much more likely to read a link you share if you say something about it. I’ll try to be careful what I say.

Matthew 12:36, “Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously.” MSG

Words are powerful, be careful what you say #writing Click To Tweet

I KNOW YOU ARE BUSY

I am making some changes for the second year. I am only going to send out emails once a week. If you are a subscriber, you will receive a weekly post in your inbox on Wednesday afternoon, check your junk folder if you don’t. If you aren’t receiving posts in your inbox, enter your address in the pop-up box “Join Me on the Porch.” On my Facebook page I will share some of my older posts or other blogs on Saturday mornings. Remember, if you don’t interact with the page, you won’t see the posts, so hit the thumbs up button every once in a while.

A VIEW FROM THERE

I know you will love Angela’s book, so if you don’t win, I hope you’ll buy it on Amazon and read it and review it. You will laugh and you will cry. It won’t take long to read because you won’t be able to put it down. The theme is perspective, so it fits perfectly with my message of trusting God’s plan even when life turns upside down. The winners will be announced on my Facebook page January 9, 2016 and the book will be shipped to your house and includes a $10 gift card to Starbucks. Because any good book needs a good cup of coffee.

MY GOAL

Thank you so much for connecting with me. Although I would like to have more followers, readers and reach, ultimately I want to encourage individuals. If one person is encouraged then it’s worth the effort. My goal is to write words that matter and point people to the Word made flesh.

John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” NIV

Whoever said words are cheap is a liar

Whoever said words were cheap was a liar

Over the years I practiced medicine I said a lot of words every day. I counseled many women,

A journal is a cheap psychiatrist. ~Dr. Vickie

Yeah, today I need a psychiatrist. I must have been here many times before, because stacks of journals are deposited in my nightstand drawer. I probably need a real doctor, but since I have my journal, I write. Not words from my head, those are cheap, but words from my soul, the expensive ones. I offer them to you, in case you need a cheap psychiatrist too.

The cathartic process of spilling ink on a page is pricey #amwriting Click To Tweet

Words always have a price. Written and spoken words may cost you your reputation, your job, your relationships or your very life.

Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” HCSB

COSTLY WORDS

The converse is also true; words have the power to save and heal and restore. Words of affirmation are my love language.* I speak encouragement because it is my heart language. While some give and receive love through acts of service, quality time, gifts or physical touch, I need words. Just tell me and I will tell you. But do not mistake me, words are not cheap.

Ephesians 4:29, “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word is a gift.” MSG

DISCONNECTED

This morning I was discouraged. I was writing from my head, so I recorded this prayer in my journal, “Infuse my writing with the Holy Spirit and forgive me from writing from my brain and my mind.”  Dry souls don’t overflow, but God’s great love is copious, filling and running over. I knew I needed to tap into Him so I could write from the overflow.

Colossians 2:19, “They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” NIV

ENCOURAGING WORDS

Ironically, the view from my porch on this gloomy day held great meaning for me. Wanting to preserve the scene, I set down my coffee mug, climbed out from under my cozy blanket and went inside to get my camera (AKA i Phone). There was a notification. Words were waiting for me. Words of affirmation and encouragement. Life-giving, soul-restoring words. They may have been cheap to you, but they were alphabet CPR to me.

Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” KJV

UNSPOKEN WORDS

Every day for two solid weeks I have heard about unspeakable tragedies. Lives suddenly ended, likely with words left unspoken. Words can give life or they can destroy. Words are pleasant or poison, some without anecdotes. I want to live with no regrets because someday there will be no tomorrow and unspoken words aren’t cheap either. In fact, words not spoken can cost you your soul.

Romans 10:9, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” ESV

THE WORD

This is the rich stuff. Today my journal was not filled with day-to-day chronicles, but rather heart poured out onto page. Please handle with care, they are valuable to me. Ultimately, it is God’s word that brings healing. To stay connected to Him, I have to stay in His word. He is the Word made flesh who came to rescue us from all of the hurtful words we say or receive.

Psalm 107:20, “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” NIV

Whoever said words are cheap is a liar. Words are not cheap; they are priceless. Pass them on.

*The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

I feel like people are watching me

Somebody's watching

Don’t ever put me on a pedestal

I don’t want to do this anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it immensely, but you see, um, how do I say this without letting you down? “I am not qualified.” Frankly I am not good enough.

There are people out there who read what I write; people I don’t even know, people who are desperate for encouragement, hope and truth. It’s scary. When I attempt to speak into the lives of others, I often don’t measure up to my own teaching. I want to quit because it feels like a set up for failure. I don’t want to be a poser so I will be honest with you – I color outside the lines sometimes. If you have spent much time with me, you know it’s true. Everyone doesn’t know. Some people read my blog, hear me teach or speak and have an unrealistic perception of my life. I am not afraid of heights, but I am terrified of pedestals. Don’t ever put me there.

I am not afraid of heights, but I am terrified of pedestals. Don't ever put me… Click To Tweet
I’VE BEEN CAUGHT

Don’t make this into a bigger deal than it was, but recently I was recognized. Sitting in a theater, a group of women passed my table and recognized me from a recent speaking event. I fully expect to be in the spotlight when I speak, but not when I am at dinner. It’s a lot of pressure. Suddenly, I was acutely aware of my unedited words and my imperfect behavior. My mother was with me so I was behaving relatively well, but I don’t always. Am I a pretender?

2 Corinthians 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God.'” HCSB

NO, I AM AN AMBASSADOR

Don’t think I am a hypocrite, but the truth is I don’t always practice what I preach. But here’s the deal, I believe it. Mostly, I write to myself, encouraging myself to seek the Lord and follow Him. It would be safer to not make it public, but I’m thrilled to have your company along the way. Writing is a gamble. I figure some of you probably struggle with the same issues I do, so I willingly expose my own insecurities. It makes me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. People read it, people share it and more people read it. Then there I am, representing Jesus Christ for all the world to see.

Ephesians 5:15, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” ESV

UNWORTHY

Some days I want to quit. If I stop writing, I won’t embarrass myself. I can’t be criticized for what I don’t say. It is less risky to stay silent. That voice in my head saying, “Who do you think you are?” would be squashed and I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Ephesians 5:13, “Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.” MSG

RISKY BUSINESS

The only way I can continue is to admit failure, accept my imperfections and give credit to God for anything good you see in me. Here’s the truth: life is hard, consistency even harder. If I risk it all, is it worth it?

The voice of condemnation can drown out the gentle call of the Holy Spirit #perservere Click To Tweet

Hebrews 10:36, “For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised.” HCSB

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

Some of you may think I am really spiritual. While I would like for you to believe that, it would be dangerous. Besides, I will disappoint you. As a young adult, I sat in church every Sunday thinking everyone had it all together except me. It was a defeating lie. Honestly, it kept me from walking in victory and understanding grace. I strive for perfection and consistently fall short. I suppose that is the exact reason I need Jesus, huh? I’ll make a deal with you. I won’t quit if you won’t.

Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance, the race marked out for us.” NIV

YOU PROBABLY KNOW SOME STORIES ABOUT ME

Remember, I will moderate the comments, so if you dredge up some embarrassing moment from my past I may delete it, but probably not. I am mostly an open book. Otherwise, I’d be a hypocrite.

Photo cred: E. Clair

DO YOU NEED AN EDITOR?

Do you need an editor?

 

They stuffed socks into my mouth to shut me up. Dirty ones I think. Somewhere in Tennessee there is a place called Ruby Falls. I have never been there, but I have seen the ridiculous number of billboards. At least in the late seventies, endless advertisements to “See Ruby Falls” were painted on old barns, road signs and rocks. We passed through on a youth choir trip and  I read every single sign -out loud. Apparently, some people are easily annoyed.

James 3:8, “but no man can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” HCSB

PERFECTIONIST

I often write my blog posts in advance. A few are complete and several are in the works. Usually I edit them multiple times. I don’t want to tell you how many times because the words obsessive-compulsive disorder would probably come to mind. Regardless, I tweak and perfect before I post. Seriously, I change words like evidence to proof then change it back the following day. Sounds crazy, but I enjoy the process. I want my written words to perfectly convey my intent.

Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” NIV

THEN WHY?

My mouth on the other hand runs without editing. Often my thoughts become words without filtering or considering the consequences. Recently I watched a news report on a man who lost his position because he made an off-hand remark. I looked at my recently elected husband and said, “Don’t do that.” He looked back at me seriously and replied, “Do you think I would?” No, he wouldn’t. He thinks before he speaks. I would be so wise to do the same.

Proverbs 10:19, “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.”  HCSB

I HAVE AN OPINION

For some reason, I am compelled to share my thoughts. Now that I am limited by myasthenia gravis, more of my time is spent at home. My thoughts are expressed more frequently through written words rather than spoken ones. That’s probably a good thing because they get edited, a lot.

Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” KJV

IT STARTS IN THE HEART

I think, therefore I speak. Maybe I need to back up and examine my heart.Those of us with the gift of exhortation know just what to say to encourage others. We also know how to use words to destroy.

My words can heal or kill #editing #writing #rtp Click To Tweet

Words have the power to build up or tear down. Perhaps I could control my mouth with duct tape but probably not. Best I can remember, the socks didn’t work either. Only the Holy Spirit can control my thoughts by changing my heart.

Matthew 12:34, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” ESV

I NEED AN EDITOR FOR MY MOUTH

But remember, I pay my editor in pears.

Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  NASB

 

 

 

I WOULD RATHER DIE LIVING THAN LIVE DYING

I would rather die livingAfter months of planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park with my dad and nephew, the government shut down of 2013 forced us to postpone our trip for one year. I never imagined my health would fail. Not one to let anything, including myasthenia gravis slow me down, I accepted my sister’s offer to join the adventure. My family was understandably worried. My disease was not stable and our itinerary would take us to remote areas with limited access to medical care.

I went anyway.

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  KJV

LIVE UNTIL YOU DIE

My grandfather lived to be ninety-one years old. I can still see his crooked smile and eyes twinkling behind his coke-bottle glasses. Every day of his life, until two weeks before he stepped into Heaven, he walked downstairs to the basement and slowly put one foot in front of the other on the worn belt of his treadmill. Whenever we visited, he sat in “his chair” and slung one leg over the armrest. His motto was, ”

I’m going to live until I die.

Don't quit living before you die#live #life #fulfilled Click To Tweet

Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  KJV

ADRENALINE JUNKIE

It’s possible to quit living before you die. Yeah, no one has ever accused me of that. I like the feel of wind in my hair and adrenaline in my veins. I guess that’s why I miss my bicycle so much. The green machine and I have spent countless hours together. She’s taken me to the top of Petit Jean Mountain and through undulating hills in the country. We’ve flown dangerously fast down the twists and turns of Mill Creek Road. My family was a little worried about that too. I miss pedaling, but it wasn’t safe.

Joshua 10:25, “Joshua said to them, Do not be afraid or discouraged.  Be strong and courageous, for the Lord will do this to all the enemies you fight.”  HCSB

WRITING NOT RIDING

Physically, it might be safer, but emotionally it’s not. I bare my soul to the world, sometimes without touching the brakes. In retrospect, I was writing while I was riding. Pedaling thirty or forty miles provided time to contemplate life, only my thoughts never made it to the page, until  now. A part of me still cringes whenever I hit PUBLISH. If you are encouraged when you read, then it’s worth the risk. So thanks.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.  Jim Elliot

LIVE LIKE IT MATTERS

Don't wait until someday for adventure #livetoday Click To Tweet

Truly, you never know what tomorrow brings. My life is a perfect example. I hope you have courage and have the guts to chase your dreams. Do something outside your comfort zone. I am not advocating reckless behavior, but don’t play it so safe you miss the joys of life. God calls us to do outrageous things, things that matter for eternity.  Life is an adventure, don’t wait. Reach out, forgive, be bold.  Don’t miss the thrill.

Enjoy the ride…

James 4:14, “You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring-what your life will be!  For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.” HCSB

What should you be doing?  Step out in faith and do it.

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What is your calling?

What's your calling?

THE ART OF  WORK by Jeff Goins

I just finished reading a book called, “The Art of Work, “ by Jeff Goins.  It was so good I took screenshots of worthy points.  Does anyone else do that?  The book was about me.  Not really, but it was about my story and possibly yours.  The message is about finding your calling and loving what you do instead of drudging through life.

I have two moments of clarity in my life about wanting to write:  the book I painstakingly wrote, illustrated and tried to get published in the fifth grade and a paper I wrote in the eighth grade.  The topic was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  My answer was a gymnastics coach, but then, almost as an aside, I threw in author.  Like that wasn’t a real occupation, more of a dream.  It seemed equivalent to little kids who want to play in the NFL or be a movie star.  Nevertheless I mentioned it anyway, and thirty five years later I still remember.  Over the ensuing years, I felt a pang of jealousy whenever anyone wrote or published anything.  If I read a novel, I thought, “I could do that.”  Except I didn’t have time and I didn’t have a story.  God in His infinite wisdom gave me both by giving me myasthenia gravis.  I was disabled to be enabled.

When interviewed for medical school, I was asked why I wanted to go into medicine.  Confidently, I answered, “I feel called.”  The interviewer was an atheist who ridiculed me, asking if I had heard an audible voice.  I have been a writer for a grand total of three months and I now feel it is my calling.  My calling is to encourage those who are facing difficult situations.  My calling is to let my life demonstrate how God blesses through adversity.  Did I miss my calling before?  No I was sowing into the lives of thousands of women and countless families.  It gave me a base platform to connect through my writing.

Because I have always been highly productive, many worried how I would adjust to forced retirement.  I am learning new things and it challenges me.  Recently I attended a writer’s conference and listened to women lament not having time to write because of their jobs or their families.  Most days, I can spend hours writing.

I am often asked if I miss work.  I don’t miss the interruptions of my sleep and family life.  I don’t miss the stress, I had enough of that.  I don’t miss the frustration associated with paperwork and electronic medical records.  I do miss the feel of a newborn’s feet.  I miss the look in a woman’s eyes when she hears her unborn baby’s heartbeat for the first time.  But I think I’ve found my calling and it is merely a continuation of my previous calling.

Have you found your calling in life?  If not, I would encourage you to read Jeff’s book.  Even if you think you have, it’s worth the read.  You never know when the circumstances of life may pick you up and place you on a different path.

To order a free copy of the book or register for a webinar click on this link:

http://www.artofworkbook.com/vickie

The webinar, “The Four Surprising Secrets of People Who’ve Found Their Calling” is tomorrow.  The book is free until March 23, you only pay shipping.