Sunday, December 25, 2011

No Guts No Glory

     When I first stood up after being told I had a stroke, I had a fire in me, a drive to never let this thing kill me, eat me up. Slowly as time passed I notice severe challenges, too many to count. Sometimes when you face so many obstacles you become numb and when something happens on top of all the challenges you either break or you simply say "c'mon, bring it on!". What will one more obstacle or challenge do, so you pick up your sunglasses and you smile look up and say "Never ever give up!". You come to a conclusion or an epiphany and  set your goals and pursue them no matter what. You refuse to settle for second best or for that matter what ever else, it isn't about perfection or not accepting yourself for who you are, it is just a matter of overcoming what life throws at you and maybe, just maybe you want to be stronger in the end. I don't like to give up and all through history great people never quit. I thank God I am still alive and now I want to inspire others instead of sitting around and sulking about what I have or may not have. Life is short and it is definitely beautiful, so live it to the fullest under Gods grace. Well that is my thought for the day and I hope you will look at your impossibilities and live beyond your limitations. Here I am running my 15th city and I am out of money, and I have petitioned almost every company possible for support, some say "yes" then back out while others don't give me the time of day. Just because 200 people refuse that doesn't mean there isn't 1, just 1 that will take me in and believe in what I am doing. If anything happens I have gotten thicker skin and I really am learning how people tick.

     It really boils down to how you see things, how you approach the race, the goal! When everything else fades, your mind needs to be steadfast and secure on what you believe is possible, inevitable. Then you train your heart out and fight for every step, go past every hurdle and live the dream. Remember nothing is worth its time unless you have to fight for it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Those little moments

     Today at the gym a wonderful lady was exercising and she was very overweight, she looked very uncomfortable so I told her that I had a stroke and had to learn everything again. Her eyes widened as she watched me lifting my toes to the bar above me. Then I told her this "kudos to you for coming here and taking a big step and you know what, the battle is all in your mind. I fought long and hard to get where I am and I just focused on the goal and pursued it and you can do the same!"
   
     Then a different lady came up to me and said "That was really kind of you to say that, that really moved me, thank you" You never know who is listening and what you can do for others if you just give from the heart. We sometimes become so occupied with our end destination or goal that we leave everything that is beautiful behind. Why not embrace every step along the way and make others happy while you do it. It is worth it if you try. Maybe some hidden treasure will be found in the process, a gem that will keep a smile on your face for years to come :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hunger


   I lived in my car for sometime due to contractors lying and cheating me out of wages so their sons could drive bmw's etc. Well I didn't get paid and slept through an entire winter in a car. I often woke up because of the chattering of my teeth, I ate small amounts of food that my soon to be wife gave me (an apple or an orange, maybe a banana) She took only food that was her own and then shared it with me. Some nights were beyond bareable and so I slept during the day when the sun was out. My girlfriend  was going to school at the time and while she was in class I would sleep in the main study hall. I was a very broken person back then, disheartened by those who lied and those who withheld due wages. In fact I remember my stomach hurting so much that I often thought of eating garbage just so I could get by. Well right across from me was a food dispenser that I often stared at but had no money to purchase food for my hunger, late one afternoon I saw a few women from my girlfriends dorm room tipping the machine so they could get candies and food just for the sake of it. They thought it trivial and erroneous to believe they were stealing and for some reason felt it was humorous to take what was not their own. As they walked away they chuckled at the thought of their actions and that they had the money to purchase but instead took what they felt they deserved despite the lack of hunger.
    
     I never forgot that day nor the hunger that constantly burned in my belly. I questioned Gods kindness and mans mercy but I knew that in those moments that God was digging deeper into the very depths of my soul, telling me with memories that hunger is but a moment but honour is a lifetime. Don't forget that every action you do has an indescribable reaction. You can chose to have a photo album of memories worth smiling about, looking back knowing that you put your faith in a God who remains strong through even the roughest times. I am no special person by any means but I do believe that Christ has created in me a clean heart, to worship him, to live for him, to run for him, to be all the things that Gods heart spurs me towards. Late one night as I was shaking from the cold a security guard took notice to my predicament, he invited me to his office and gave me hot chocolate and 10 dollars. We spoke and laughed for a brief time, I forget the words he spoke but I never forgot his kind smile and giving heart. We all have an opportunity to be the light that everyone so desperately needs, sometimes it's like the break of dawn, shining beautifully as it rises and other times it just a brief light to guide the ship home from rough waters. After that winter and others I had experienced in hardship I never forgot the value of people over objects. Christmas is a time of giving from the heart not the wallet, a precious star of hope guiding us to a promise much bigger than ourselves.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Rest Of Your Life

Pain tells me on a regular basis that it feels that it governs who and what I am, what I should accomplish and how far I should run or what I should strive for. Little does it know that I am chiselled, shaped and molded for something bigger than myself and so I consider it mute, daft and useless under the greatest earplugs ever made, hope! So why not live a life that is memorable and profound, embrace every step and live beyond the average! You can do it ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Backbone


     Well tonight I had a blowout, well not really a blowout but a momentary lapse of judgement. The story is a bit long but worth mentioning, I was sitting in the van waiting for my kids to come out of the church and I saw this young man and his wife arguing with one of the volunteers. Now I must tell you something of importance, they were known for being complainers and frustratingly hmmm what is the right word? Well it will come to me, well I could see they were getting really nasty towards the church staff and I have heard for some time that they were a pain in everyone's side. Now to put in context, this was a kids bible, slash, event centre. So the problem truly arose due to the issues surrounding the couples child who has been a constant trouble maker. Every time the matter is brought up to the parents they blame someone else or believe that they or their child could never do no wrong. Any time a staff member deals with the couple it ends in eye rolling, shrugs and shear frustration. They often come across as being far better than others. Well now that I have laid the ground work for my momentary lapse of judgement I will proceed forward with my story.

      I was sitting in the van watching the couple berate some innocent volunteer because they decided that the young child was being problematic (once again) I could see by the fathers posture that he was laying right into the poor guy. This was going on for a good 5 to 10 minutes and so I got out of the van and walked in. I listened for a few minutes and thought "no I just have to use the bathroom, just leave it alone" but then it got worse. The volunteer was apologizing but yet trying to stand his ground, being polite as possible but as soon as he left the pastor came walking over and said " is there anything wrong?" Then the mother of the child ripped into the pastor and then that was it! My stroke problems kicked in. I just stepped in and told them this " You guys are so arrogant and it is disgusting, you should be ashamed! It's disgusting, man you guys are so full of shhhhhh" well you get the idea. I thankfully held back my tongue and didn't finish the statement as intended. I was angry not because the couple was completely unreasonable or self absorbed or the thousand other things that they truly were, I was angry that so many people put up with their childish behaviour. The squeeky wheel was getting the grease and it was insulting. I wanted someone to have some backbone, any one! 
     After this transpired, I walked over to the van and for some reason I felt really good about myself. Maybe because they deserved to hear that they were arrogant or maybe because I stood up to something that I personally hate, apathy. Personally it may not have been the best approach but as far as me standing up to some severely manipulative people, it was an A+. Being a christian doesn't mean you have to be a doormat to people who cause nothing but strife. Others are watching and they learn about dealing with conflict. There comes a time when you have to stand up to others and refuse to take what they are giving. It is called dignity and respect. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Toy Traders Giveaway Winner


Thank you to everyone who entered the Toy Traders giveaway!  Comment number 9 was randomly selected.  Congratulations Jaimy S!

Here is your sequence:
9
 
Timestamp: 2011-11-13 08:24:30 UTC


jaimy S said...

I would spend the $50 Lego and....a wii game!



Saturday, November 12, 2011

For oh but one

     Well here I am sitting in my room thinking of all the tasks that seem to be overwhelming me. The frustration with talking, the embarrassing moments of stumbling and looking like I am drunk but really it is my stroke. I know that if I think for but a few moments I could really revel in my weaknesses, even cringe at the thought of what others might think but really is that what life is about or should be about?! Worrying about what others think is a full time job and I didn't apply for it so I am going to put it to the way side and pick up my dreams, my hopes and aspirations and look ahead. I want my life to be a shining star, a bright moment of hope! We can accomplish so much in the days that we live but what matters most is the dignity and honour that we carry in our struggles, the grace in our stride is profound if we choose it.
     I remember as a child sitting in a field of beautiful colours and the grass was swaying to and fro, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the butterflies passing me by as the gentle breeze kissed my face gently. The sunlight embraced me with warmth and wonder and I felt the hand of Gods amazing beauty, all of creation dancing in a silhouette of laughter. I wasn't worried, fearful or concerned, I just embraced the moment with praise. As a child I looked at what was and not so much at what was not, I was just immersed in learning, loving, laughing and being alive. This is where I am now, making the conscious decision to simply just love and be something more then a worry or a frown. Life is short and I am even shorter ;)
     When I look back I remember the painful moments in life but more so the beauty and grace that touches my heart and that is worth fighting for.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Toy Traders Giveaway




One of you lucky people will win a woman's Toy Traders t-shirt, a man's Flash t-shirt and $50 worth of Toy Trader bucks.  The shirts will be in the size of your choosing (based on availability) and the $50 Toy Trader bucks can be used on anything in the store (Lego, Playmobil, Webkinz, video games etc).  What a great way to get some Christmas shopping done!!!






Leave a separate comment for each entry. Please leave your e-mail in this format: wayofthedove(at)yahoo(dot)com so you can be contacted if you win.  All entries will be verified.

Mandatory entry:
* like Way of the Dove and Toy Traders on Facebook 
(and comment here with your first name and last initial of your Facebook name ie: Ernie K) 

Additional entries:

* follow WofTD and Toy Traders on Twitter 
(and comment here with your Twitter name)
* leave a comment saying what you would buy with your $50 Toy Trader bucks


Daily entry:
* tweet the following and post the link to your tweet here each day 
#Win $50 Toy Trader bucks to #ToyTraders in #Langley and two awesome T-shirts from @WofTD and @ToyTraders http://wayofthedove.blogspot.com/2011/10/toy-traders-giveaway.html (Nov 12)
(Not sure how to get a link to your tweet?  Find out here.)



Open to anyone willing to drive to Toy Traders in Langley, BC to pick up their prizes. 


Ends November 12, 2011


When commenting you can select "Name" (leave the "url" space blank if you like) OR you can select "Anonymous" -- just be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win!

Friday, September 30, 2011

A note to a dear friend.

Dear Me:

     Now I know you are lost in fear, I feel it within every step I take. The moments in between laughter and sorrow, tears of hope and whisperings of failure. It seems as though I am climbing a mountain that never ends but who am I and what am I?! I must be more than this. Well I am.....
     In life I know that things change and sometimes people fade away and maybe even memories but I was meant for more than feeling afraid or lost in the dark! I have survived a devastating storm and for this I should be proud, I should be proud that I am crawling out of this dark hole of impossibilities. Soon the light will shine once more and I will feel the warmth upon my face but until that moment passes I will carry on. The garden of my dreams has been ruined but that doesn't mean that things will not grow it only means I have to work harder to make it happen. So it is time for me to pull the weeds of anxiety, dig out the rocks of doubt and plant tiny seeds of change and hope. Embrace the seasons as they turn and dance with the grace of God. I am more than just a day that passes under the morning light, I am the laughter that tears will embrace, I am the joy that sorrow will kiss. I am the victory that God will never miss!

Dedicated to my dear friend tracy and all those who feel lost or overwhelmed....

You are more than this moment!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Words Of Change

     As of lately, I have been running my feet off and when I say "feet off" I mean it! I say that with a slight chuckle but all in all it is true. I never thought in my wildest dreams that this 70x7 tour would take off so well and yet it has. Somewhere deep inside my heart I felt there was a reason why all of this happened and that God knows His business. I just decided that either I was looking at one big pile of impossibilities or I would take every minute at a time, maybe even seconds and see opportunities. Yes, sometimes it really got that bad but I'm not a quitter and I never will be! Now I could sugar coat my journey but for the most part it was hell on earth, no two ways about it, period.
     In life we can either triumph over our circumstances or we can believe that everything should be handed to us on a silver platter and well, that just isn't me. I chose to run for hope, not away from it! You can simply choose one or the other but from that point onward, one will strengthen you and the other will lead you astray. slowly compromising all your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Take this moment to embrace victory and challenge every little opposition that dares to tell you that you can't do it! Every little doubt that wants you to fail, slowly pay less attention to it and the voice will only get quieter. Start today, you are worth it! Whatever requires strength, demands excellence in repetition. 


I hope these words give you comfort and dare to challenge you, to make you believe that you have a greater purpose than failure! I know Gods grace will carry you onward..

Friday, August 19, 2011

Me and Crabmagoo

     Have you ever heard of the crabmagoo theory?! Well most likely you have felt it in some way or another or may just maybe you might have done it your self. Now of course the real name is some what lengthy but I prefer the crabmagoo theory! What I mean is this, when you begin to do something great in your life or accomplish something worthy of a little joy or excitement there is always someone who sees your attempts to escape the bucket and tries to pull you down. It sounds crazy doesn't it?! Well sadly enough crabs will continually pull each other down not wanting to let the other one go or to escape. We sometimes catch that little bit of fever and do the same or have been victimized in the same manner. If you are that person who is diligently trying to overcome your situation, trying to be a better person or for that matter just living out your dreams and hopes when suddenly someone comes along and tries to yank you back down into the bucket with the rest of the crabs, just remember you don't have to be there. Fight with every bit, every ounce of who you are and keep reaching higher and if those friends try to pull you down again, it just might be time to let go of that friend. Their selfishness may supersede their intent to be what all good friends ought to be, encouraging, loving, thoughtful and caring.
     It never feels good to let a friendship go but sometimes there are seasons for friendships, for laughter, for pain, for so many things and life is messy. Don't take their baggage with you, just let it go and carry onward, you have victory in the waiting so press forward and don't give up! True friends will come along and you will forget all about the momentary pain of a friendship that once was...
     True friends are made of the best ingredients, love, patients, mercy, kindness, courage and so much more, their welcome never ends!

Here is one of my favourite songs about friendship and it is worth the listen.

Friends ~  By Michael W Smith


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbPKaIozS-c

Saturday, July 30, 2011

From storm to storm what shall we be

     How fragile is life? For the past few years I knew that personally and intimately. I didn't mind the struggles because for some reason I just plugged away at it. You know, you just keep swimming because, well you have to! When my wife suddenly became sick, that was a shocker. Her body, her immune system finally broke down all because of my stroke, the stress.
     Here I am looking down at my wife, watching her as she seems so lifeless, so withdrawn, no energy. She was the pillar for the last few years, being the real trooper, the sergeant in the midst of a war. Now things have turned, it may be for a short while but it has turned nonetheless. How do we overcome such obstacles, such walls of hurt? Well let me tell you something beautiful, something sweet. When I saw my wife lying there, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and that this was my moment to shine! It may sound crazy but what I mean is this, I have the chance to show my wife how much I love her and how much she means to me. I sat beside her bed and I rubbed her for some time, the minutes turned into hours and all I wanted to do is let her know that I am by her side! As the tears welled up in me, I just told myself "you can do this for her, be the strong one now!" It is funny how life can teach you how to be brave in so many different ways. You just never know who you really are until you face the storm! Will you hide, cringe and maybe even fall to the way side or will you suddenly stand up and raise your shield, your sword and fight! Become bold and brave....

     We all face adversity, it is those moments that truly define you, the depth of who you are and are not. Most see affliction, suffering, trials and pain as a negative; all too harsh reality for losing ones spirit. I say it is the perfect opportunity for being the person that God has called you to be. Will you answer, will you step out of the boat and live a life of bravery! Are you willing to be different? Well I am going to run all those cities because now I know that this is what i was meant to do. It is time to shine like the stars and after being hard pressed on either side, this makes the journey even sweeter, more precious. Thank you God for being my strength, being my everlasting hope! 

Matthew 14:29

You can rise above or sink into a world of fear but inevitably you must choose!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why I must

     The last few days have been very reflective for me. I can't really put into words the full spectrum of it all but I will try my best. For me it is as though I am falling out of a nightmare and landing into the most beautiful dream ever. When my stroke happened it was like hitting a huge massive wall, I mean I had faced poverty, bullying and so much more but the stroke literally took the wind out of my sails, in fact I think it took them altogether. Here I was stranded in the middle of the ocean without any way of getting back. I had to literally reinvent myself, find out who God wanted me to be and what I wanted to believe in the most. When desperate times require desperate measures I guess I took that to the extreme. I made my own wind sails and dug deep into the heart of perseverance. You know, now that I think about my journey I see that I have become much stronger, you either fall to the way side or you simply refuse to quit! I had no idea that I had that much strength in me and for the times I didn't have any, God gave me just the right amount. A perfect balance of hope, faith and love. Those really are the perfect ingredients for inspiration! For being able to move mountains of impossibility.
     So here I am just finishing city #3 and I am blown away by the dreams I am starting to see come about. I actually woke up this morning and was singing in the shower. I had to catch myself and just think about the fact that I hadn't sang in such a long time. I was too busy trying to swim to shore that I forgot that I wasn't doing the most peaceful and most enjoyable simple things. Well I have my tune, my melody and no one is going to take it away. The nice thing about music is that it is worth sharing and when it comes from the soul it simply is beautiful.
   
     Time to kiss the dreams of angels and laugh among the clouds of courage and of change! By Evk





Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So Shall It Be

     Here I am, jogging across another city. It was amazing to say the least! I had preciously imagined this moment, tasted it within my dreams. I don't know exactly why I am so driven, so focused on doing this task. I can't put a finger on when or how it really happened but it did. Maybe the stroke catapulted me into something that I didn't want but inevitably had to accept. Somehow it shaped my character more than I could have ever imagined. Well I am just about to run city number 3 and i am even more excited than the last time I ran. Why? Maybe because every time I face the giant I get a little bit stronger. I am slowly silencing the impossible, the improbable. Now I am making it possible!!
     As I pass through each city I run up to restaurants and tell them of my journey. The excitement is completely exhilarating and even inspiring when I see the smiles and the faces that seem a little awe struck at the challenge that I am taking on. It gives me something to focus on, to hold to when I run. My heart feels like it is floating on clouds....
     Well I must get back to eating the right foods for the run and continue training the best that I can! Everything that is amazing in life starts from somewhere, some small insignificant place, something small that begins to grow and grow until it cannot be ignored any longer! This dream deserves a pair of shoes and a beautiful cup of hot coco! Well sometimes... lol

Sunday, July 17, 2011

You are mine

My friend is a model and she had this photo of herself on her page. Well it had me thinking right away and so I wrote this for her....

Common Grounds

I wrote this after running seven miles yesterday in my second city. I have 68 more to go! The tour is called 70 x 7. I decided that I wanted to be different, I didn't want to lay down and simply just survive from a stroke. I want to conquer with dignity and hope shouting from every nook and cranny of my being! So here I am believing that there is something more than just a dream, reality is just a touch away. God gives strength to His children and so I will trust in Him.

Friday, July 15, 2011

From the mundane to the spectacular

     Sometimes we focus so hard on wishful thinking that we miss the simple, the mundane steps that truly conquer the impossible! We talk about things that we hope for but just leave it at that, a note or a drawing shoved into a small drawer in our minds. Every once and awhile we pull it out and admire it or even worse we scribble it out and do the same thing over again. Somehow, in some way or another we just leave where it is, maybe we even put it on the floor right in front of the door; a doormat! We come in and wipe our feet on it, we see it as a thought and no less, no more.
     Well that isn't me, I grew up having been bullied as a child and I never forgot the anguish and frustration it left me with. I did nothing but take the harsh words and belittling comments which eventually cut my self esteem to almost nothing. When I grew up I faced those giants, my struggles with self worth and a host of other issues! I couldn't believe my eyes when I began to grow, learn who I really was and what I could achieve. God really changed my mind and my heart. So what I learned was now ingrained, etched into my life! When I see something that seems almost impossible I face it head on, I want to conquer it, not because I think I am the end all be all but because I know that fear should never be left alone. Fear has a way of growing and growing until whatever challenges or dreams that you once had seem impossible!
     So take today as your opportunity to reach out and live beyond your fear, love beyond your hate, laugh beyond your worries. You can do it, just take baby steps, that is all that is required for a world of change.

:)

God Bless...

signed Stroke Survivor, now Conqueror!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Imagine, dream, reach and believe!

     You imagined, you dreamed, you reached and you believed! I found this wonderful card buried under a pile of toys and old clothes. I knelt down at the corner of my closet and thought "sheesh it is time to do some cleaning out" As I was plugging along I saw those beautiful words, right in front of my face and yet for over a year it never really meant that much until now. My mother had written those beautiful thoughts down and wanted to encourage me as I trained. She knew how important my running was and as an amazing mother that she has always been, she took the time to encourage me. You see the front of the card said the same thing but it held no weight, had no value but when I saw that my mother wrote it down I paid attention. Why? Well that could take years to explain but to sum it all in this word will have to do, respect! Respect carries a lot of weight behind it, it is because what is said has worth. You know that from the deepest part of your heart that that person means what they say and there is no going around it. So when I read "You imagined, you dreamed, you reached and you believed" I know there was a lot of heartfelt love.
     I see those words through different eyes now, I see them with different emotions. I see them with a cry of "Keep going!" I am not who I used to be and I will never mourn over it. I am who I am for a reason and it is time to run another city... Time to chase after dreams worth pursuing! God bless...

There is something to be said about hope, it literally drags you through a wasteland of impossibilities and pushes you to the mountain top of victory! By EvK

Friday, July 1, 2011

Until it's Gone

     I don't know really why but as I was washing the dishes this afternoon I became reflective in a small sort of way, you know how it is when you do something mundane and your mind travels to another location or possibly to another memory from days gone by. As you work through a field of memories digging out the rocks and planting new dreams and new hopes you come to this amazing discovery. When life hands you a major storm and all your crops and all your flowers are ruined you realize that you don't know how good things are until they are gone. The field that you once grumbled over and the garden that had its continuous weeds that gave you unending angst are simply a pain of the past. Now you wish for the flowers, the crops that yielded you some joy and satisfaction. You wondered why such trivial issues really caused you frustration, why you didn't smell the roses or simply laugh and enjoy each day for what it was worth.
     That was my reflection in a small sort of way, I was always a thankful person for the most part but when I was younger I was often discontent and sad. It wasn't the greatest time of my life, in fact I believe it was a dark dark time for me. Here I am post stroke and I am fully aware that I survived a devastating storm and yes it ruined most of my crops and beautiful gardens, my memories, my history in some strange sort of way but I am a new person now; I am a survivor and even more so a conqueror! I had to till the entire field of my dreams and hopes and for that I have become much stronger and wiser. I personally will probably never say "Thank you" to my stroke for making me this way, only because I'm not giving it the satisfaction. I'm stubborn that way! I am who I am because God gave me the strength to survive with a joyful heart. I didn't know until this very day that I had overcome so much, that I had ran the distance and made my mark! I have a new field of dreams and I will carry on and maybe just maybe another storm will come but I know where my hope lies. I have my plow ready and I am anxiously waiting for what will grow. So be strong and courageous, know that what you have is an opportunity to become something more than just shattered. You have a remarkable chance to find out how deep your strength really is, how precious your courage really is and really so much more! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Learning To Ride..

     Have you ever hummed words to a song, something that just tingles your mind and brings about some sweet memory from days gone by? I love that part of my life in fact I must have loved it so much that during my initial recovery I would just blurt out the craziest stuff. You see my brain had the wackiest idea that if you think it, then just say it! I mean I would be at the store picking up whatever foods and suddenly a song would enter my brain and then BAM I was doing it karaoke style. I would sometimes shout "Take a chance on me" by abba or " We are the champions" by Queen. Well that wasn't the least of my problems, when a beautiful woman would walk by I would say "wow, she is beautiful" I mean I felt so embarrassed. In fact this often would happen in front of my wife. The tears, the humiliation and so much more, I couldn't believe my mind! If it entered my head I would go and do it! So what could I do with such a dilemma?! How would I handle such a situation? On almost any given day I wanted to cringe and hide in a dark corner. I really thought that I was reliving my teen years all over again. By the way they were NOT pleasant to say the least, I was uber nerdy, awkward and well anything that could have gone wrong...just did!
     Of course I am telling you this story from the other side of a frown! I am smiling as I am typing this message because my wife taught me to just laugh with it. At first my wife and I both felt awkward and I felt humiliated but then it just came down to learning to be happy no matter what. I had to learn how to hum again, learn how to sing a song in my head and try to hold back thoughts and actions that were just not appropriate. I remember when my daughter was learning how to ride a bike, she needed help with removing the training wheels and then having me run behind her. She would often fall and scream in frustration or cry with pain. I told her that she just needs to shake it off and keep trying until she beat this challenge. You know what, she did and not only that she could ride her bike with no hands (for a brief moment) So the outcome is worth the pain sometimes. Here I am learning to ride a bike again, learning how to do all the simple things in life but why should that get me down?! Why should I let it break me?! This is my time to learn how to shake things off and become stronger, become wiser and full of joy and laughter when I have conquered this moment! Someday soon I am going to lift my hands and ride with a complete sense of freedom. Oh what a day that will be but until then I am going to keep on  keeping on! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Suicide isn't the answer


     Remember life is never too busy to comfort the hurting or the suffering. If your hour is busy than make your minutes count and if your minutes are scattered and few than make your seconds cry out! Where there is a will there is a way. Jesus taught us that time was precious and that loving others wherever he went was simply profound. The investment that He gave was stunning and the affects were even greater, in fact it changed the course of history. 
     
     Well the history that I wish to leave behind is this, I made the time to the best of what I could do. Just imagine if everyone kept saying "sorry, too busy" that would be upsetting for most of us, wouldn't it? We want to be heard and maybe even comforted! When we were children there was always that moment when we stubbed our toes or bumped our knees, something that required some comfort. You see comfort is an art form and some just don't have it because they lose perspective or they miss the general idea that love is worth investing in. Mother Teresa made her whole life about comforting others, I find that an admirable trait. Life is short and I am even shorter! I want my legacy to be simply this, I made the time when seconds counted the most...
    You never know what you might do, the change that you might make. The simple little smile and a hug that prevented a life from ending or maybe you laughed with someone who was desperately needing some cheer. I recently came to the end of my rope and literally was begging for comfort and it fell short. All I heard was silence... Now I am not suicidal by nature or anything of that matter but since my stroke my brain goes through spirals. It simply is because of this black spot on my brain that has forever changed the way I function as a human being. I can sit back and pretend that I am super stroke guy 24/7 but that isn't going to happen. My point is this, my wife had to literally prevent me from ending my life recently and all because of the damage, the little black spot. Remember that everyone is precious to God and that time is worth giving, you will be surprised at the blessings that might come your way or even the thank yous that you receive in the future! Take the time in your busy schedule and learn to love others the way that you would wish to be loved. You can only become a greater person for it, a more compassionate heart. Now that is the gift that keeps on giving.


 Frederick Buechner

When She Cries

     Life as a parent can be for the most part rewarding, I mean really exciting but every now and then it is a storm of crazy moments crunched together with chaotic meltdowns. How can something so beautiful become so messy and ugly so quickly?! I was working in the kitchen making the most amazing meals for the kids when suddenly SCREAMING came from the next room over. I put my spatula down and ran to the other room, my heart was pumping and my thoughts were racing. I thought for a brief second that one of my children had injured themselves but instead it was a sibling rivalry. I must warn you everything from this point onward is heart wrenching, maybe the warning is more for myself than for you as the reader. My son was crying frantically and shouted out loud "Desiree you were choking me on purpose, I am not a toy!" and as soon as that statement left his mouth my daughter came running over to me and responded with "well, I didn't mean to do it, he always freaks out!" then from that point onward it was a crying and yelling match between the both of them. For many parents this is the ideal moment when you wish you were at some beautiful resort in a far off land sipping an amazing drink and just laughing. Well that isn't reality and even if that were possible, to fly away to some exotic dream vacation; well it doesn't change the fact that parenting never ends and loving your children is a bitter sweet reward. Some things you need to face in order to make a difference, whether you like it or not.
     With all that being said I have to tell you something about myself, since my stroke happened I have a brutal time dealing with stress. In fact it is down right nasty! Words suddenly begin to melt away and thoughts fall to pieces quickly. It isn't a simple solution like "hey, think happy thoughts" or something wonderful and fluffy like that. My brain just simply starts to break down almost like all the connections start to crackle and messages get mixed up!
      My son and daughter have seen the fallout of my stroke symptoms all too often and sadly they are affected by the illness all the same. I quickly went into the other room and shut the door as they cried. I sat on the couch and covered my ears and cried. My mind was fighting the stroke, the symptoms, the stress, everything! As I tried to gather all the pieces of my scattered thoughts I could hear my daughter crying these very words "daddy daddy, I am so sorry, it is all my fault, I am just no good". With all the strength that I could muster I stood up and opened the door. I could see the tears streaming down my children's faces. My daughters eyes were clouded and red as I approached her. I knelt on the floor and looked her right in the eyes and said " Sweetheart don't ever say you are no good or that you are a bad girl or useless!" I then went on to say " Daddy has an owie in his brain and it doesn't have anything to do with you, I love you and your brother just the same, its just the stroke has left me broken". As tears began to fall from my cheek I looked at both of them and smiled the best that I could and said " You are both my sweetest gift, don't ever forget that you are precious beyond words, my stroke cannot take that away" I stood up and asked them to politely hug each other and sit with me silently and watch a show together.
     Sometimes storms happen, they just do what they do. I cannot change what has happened to me or wish away all the pain that my family has felt because of my stroke but what I can do is show them how to live with courage, grace under fire! Love is by far one of the most amazing gifts that anyone could ever have, it remains a mystery to hold and definitely a challenge to give away!

" May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you."
Psalm 33:22

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reach

     Ok, here I am lying on the couch listening to a beautiful song. I don't usually blog about music because well that isn't my thing but I believe this is worthy of some mention. I saw Peter Furlers picture on facebook and saw his comment about his new album. You could literally hear the excitement and the joy that leaped from the screen. He didn't sound arrogant, he just sounded passionate and thrilled. So I thought I would click on the link and read the article first then watch the video REACH. Well that plan didn't necessarily occur in that order! I accidentally started the video while reading the article and next thing you know I am humming along. I began daydreaming and that is something that I love to do, it gets my creative juices flowing. I think what makes the song so attractive beyond its poppy sound is the raw words of truth. They have meaning and perspective!

     I think for most of us it is important to reevaluate, to be reflective in order to muster up the strength to go beyond our own borders, our limitations. I mean we all have them, they sit there in the back of our minds waiting to express themselves. I listen to music in order to face those fears, its more like having a cheering section. I listen to music in order to be inspired, to make something profound out of my life so I surround myself with music that creates that environment. Music is the evidence that words need wings! So take a listen and be encouraged, be inspired because you are loved with a heart of passion. God Bless!

Remember if you want to find HOPE you don't have to look that far!


Remember to scroll down your screen 
and pause the website music 
before you play the video

Monday, June 20, 2011

One Night

     One night I was recovering 
from a seizure
 and the world just felt like it was
 crashing down on me hard
 My daughter noticed my pain
 and her being of only four years old said this 


Sometimes God heals us right away 
and other times he hugs us until we get better

To me that was a miracle in my heart
 I was so moved by my daughters love
 and also Gods amazing faithfulness 
I would never trade it for anything. 
Remember you are just a hug away


                                                                     By EvK                                     

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Bird Who Knew Too Little

     Early in the afternoon the sunshine peeked out through the beautiful clouds, whispering of warmth and dancing across my face with such delight. It almost felt as though the sun had been waiting in utter excitement, wanting to greet me with a kiss! As I spoke with friends at a school playground my son was ever so precious, he admired every little thing; touching and exploring all that the world had gently laid between the rocks and pebbles. The ants that crawled mysteriously between pieces of wood and worms that embraced the wet leaves from the morning dew. If there was something hidden my son was there to discover! The fresh mind of a child is always prodding the unknown, questioning the things left to the heart of imagination. With an innocent smile he looks at me and tilts his head ever so slightly and then turns around and runs with a burst of laughter.

     I enjoy every moment, well almost every moment of his curiosity. As I turned away to look at something else other than my child's endless energy I hear a call for help. Now it wasn't an urgent cry it was just a teacher asking for some assistance. My friends and I stood up and quickly arrived at the classroom door. The teacher quickly said "We have a problem, there is a bird flying around and smashing into the windows!" I quickly grabbed a towel and covered the bird. It was only after its last attempted at freedom that I was able to capture the poor thing. As I gently felt the towel I knew exactly where the bird was, it seemed almost too tired to give any sort of struggle. With a huge smile on my face I felt like the greatest dad in the whole wide world! The kids were beaming from ear to ear and as I walked outside I opened the towel. What a weird feeling, watching the bird suddenly gain composer and then just jump up and fly away. The kids were making noises of astonishment as they saw the bird begin to soar!

     The birds desperate attempts at finding freedom caused more harm than good. Sometimes we think we know what is the best solution for our problems and maybe we fly aimlessly into things that are beyond our understanding. We harm ourselves and cause grief for those who watch us from a distance, maybe it is time to let someone who knows how to save your life make a difference. Maybe it is time to let God bring you to freedoms door... You are precious and dearly loved, an amazing gift for the world to see, you were meant to fly!!

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
 that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hell and High Water


     I spoke with some friends recently and a word or a series of words hit me like a ton of bricks! We were discussing thankfulness. As the conversation finished I went on my way, finishing the run that I had once started. Oh I guess I didn't mention that part previously but oh well, anyways I continued on my way, jogging ever faithfully when I thought of those very words. Thankfulness, without it we really can't face adversity, it really is the reserve tank for overcoming long bouts of pain or trials. I can tell you of numerous times where I fought long and hard, trying to walk again and learning to deal with my emotional ups and downs all because of a small stroke that literally changed the entire course of my life. I often had severe pain that I can't even describe with words but I closed my eyes as the tears ran down my face and I said "I am still alive, I can do this!" The fact that I had that very option, the choice to climb an almost impossible mountain was enough to say that I was thankful. Thankful that I had the option to fight! Thankful that I had the possibility to ignore my circumstances and try to live beyond my struggles. That very thankfulness is what kept me going, it helped me to see the bigger picture. Someday I was going to look back and think "I did it!"

     So now I am here cherishing the little and the big things in my life. It may be a hard road to travel but that doesn't mean that there isn't roses along the way or for that matter beautiful birds and butterflies to appreciate. It may be hell and high water but I am going to survive!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Still Waters


Today is just one of those days! I am sure I would have loved it any other way but this. Things just didn't click. I had my hands around my ears and I just began to cry, now I could pretend that I was brave but really I coward. I completely crumbled under the weight of confusion! I felt like crawling into a corner and hiding among the shadows. Words were slowly disappearing before my eyes, thoughts began to melt into a snow globe of confusion. Another episode of my illness, like a sailor being tossed in a boat on the high seas. I could merely watch as the great winds and ocean waves fought with one another. My lips were moving but silence held it tight! I just laid there, on the couch hoping my mind would regain composer and once again I could stand.

     As the day turned into night my mind had settled and the calm waters had prevailed. Life was getting back to the general norm of who I was again. I began to laugh, love and live! Sooner or later the waves have to settle and the storm has to leave. It may go on for days, even weeks; time has to move on and so do we! So my little story of angst or burden as we should say, is something that can only be overcome with patients and persistence. I am a survivor and so I am going to live as one!! Take a moment in your day and be thankful for who you are and who you are trying to be (an overcomer) Maybe others might not see your struggles as you see them but don't worry, what should really be of concern is that you are taking one step at a time. Going forward every moment in life! God is much bigger than your problems!

Hang in there and live beyond your limitations..

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Am I a bush or a tree?


     Hope doesn't come in a little magic bottle, it showers the faint in heart through grace, through the God of unmatched beauty and mercy. With unimaginable love He caresses the soul of fear, He victoriously claims us as His only wonder above all wonders. Without contempt He pours out His unwavering kindness towards us and challenges us to press forward when all else lays in silence.

     Maybe today you feel weak or faint of heart and you are in need of strength. Maybe your tears are looking for a place to rest, a moments grace. Well I hope today is your day, your time to shine. Life can hand us barriers, mountains of challenge and sometimes we think that maybe just maybe we cannot triumph our personal struggles. When I face my daily struggles with stroke symptoms it can truly be overwhelming, the fact that one day I can speak, smile, laugh and walk; then suddenly I am on the floor begging for one ounce of strength just to stand. That moment is covered in the absolute effort within my soul to just keep my head above the endless tide of helpless dreams, nightmares. I am not a victim of my circumstances, I am a victor! I may look like a weight of a thousand sorrows, pressed against the depths of my joy but I will not surrender. I will stand my ground and rise above! I don't say all these things to just be positive, or to try to convince myself of something that may or may not happen. I truly believe God is my strength, my hope in present trials.

     I could reach for words of eloquence and paint a picture of a man of great strength, bravery and much more but really, I am someone who bleeds with fear in my moments of weakness. Therefor I am someone who needs hope, needs inspiration! I will overcome this tide, this battle. What is even more paramount is my understanding that trials eventually get tired, the sunshine will rise and I will see the dawn of grace. I will be on my hands and knees crying out in sweet victory!


I will triumph....
I will run the race of hope...
I will climb this mountain..
I will.

Friday, June 3, 2011

To Thine Own Self Be True

I used to be worried about how many people liked or disliked my page (way of the dove) until I realized something simple. I live in my skin and need to be true to myself, so if I post material on my faith or on health or on poetry (quotes etc.) don't be surprised. This is the very essence of who I am and the strength of my running and my recovery as a stroke survivor. Be encouraged and remember, always be yourself because no one else will live your dreams for you!!

Just a few days ago I sat in my room overcome by my stroke. I was discouraged by my financial circumstances and the fact that my family hasn't gone on a real vacation for years. We all come to some point in our lives where the walls feel like their closing in on us, we feel trapped and maybe a little heart broken but I wish to believe! I want to live outside this box that perpetually tries to reel me in and break my soul. I mean, for goodness sake I am a survivor and I have dreams that are worth fighting for, we all do. The most important time in our lives is this "will I choose freedom?!" We all strive for it, die for it, long for it and so why not capture it?! I am at the precipice of fear and I want to overcome, maybe more than just overcome. I want to inspire others to do the same!

Soon I wish to run 7 miles in 70 cities and with the right sponsors and with Gods help this dream will come true. I started with nothing, well less than nothing and look where I am today. So anything is truly possible, it just takes a few precious people to jump on board and have a little faith.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Light of Hope

I just heard a song that brought back some beautiful memories but before those memories there was much pain and sorrow. A long time ago when I was a teenager I went through a very painful process of failure and loneliness. There just wasn't any way around it, due to circumstances and the uphill battle that faced me. As I contemplated suicide there was a song that gave me solace, a moment of peace, a breath of fresh air. I would listen to the song more than was even possible, I was sure I was wearing the song out! Amazingly enough the song was literally the wind beneath my wings, it kept me afloat. I cannot tell you how precious the song was or what it did for me as a human being but it shaped the course of history, well my history that is!

As time had passed the pain had subsided and I went on a journey with my girlfriend to YWAM (missionary trip) Surprisingly enough who did I meet? I met the parents of the singer who wrote and performed the song that had literally saved my life! I told my story to them and in turn they mentioned it to their son. The world is smaller than we think and how we inspire others is much bigger than we can imagine. Here I am going through another moment in my life, trying to survive a stroke that literally has decimated my dreams and hopes. Now don't be discouraged by my circumstances, there is a way for inspiration to grow. I am not afraid as I once was, of life, of the unknown. I am now running to make change in peoples lives and bring hope and inspiration to others and to myself, challenging the borders of what I can or cannot do.
The most important thing is this, I am free!! I am not alone and I will run in victory!! Don't loose heart, you are worth the fight. Take one step at a time and breath.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dream a little dream

Now for most of us there is that still small voice that questions whether we can go beyond what we think is possible or at least what limits we have dictated to ourselves. Now there is something odd about running, something tangible. You set your distance and you simply try to make it to the finish, you either make it or not. That in itself is undoubtedly truthful, there are no lies to figure out or deceptive ambitions or what have you. It is just you and the road! I love running because it tells me like it is, nothing more or nothing less. Amazingly, that truly inspires me, maybe its inspirational because I have something that challenges my mind, body and soul. Yes, I definitely said soul, the reason is simple, it affords me the time to contemplate and learn to evaluate what is of true worth in life.
Just recently I ran 31kms with a new found friend and some old ones too. What really blew me away was that we all had a common goal, we wanted to run the distance that we had set for ourselves. I felt honoured by those who ran with me, who wanted to believe in what I was doing. I wish I could dig deeper into the pool of contemplation but maybe the mystery of it all should be left in silence. I just know that there was something new I learned about myself and those who went with me. There was camaraderie and a sense of purpose, we all wanted to make a difference and we knew that we would! I loved every minute of it because I knew before hand that it was something worth cherishing. It was precious and so I held it tight to my heart.
We often go through life so quickly and demand that it serve us with utter respect but when the tables turn we can truly realize that we ought to be the ones who pay respect. For me laughter is one simple way to live in the moment, to love the moment, to embrace the minutes that pass ever so gently through our hands. God requires us to admonish his gift of life not to abuse it, so I want to embrace it without hesitation. I want to climb every mountain of fear and shout from every hilltop! I don't want to live in a tiny box of "What ifs". I want to soar above my dreams and kiss reality. Reach for the stars and embrace heavens warmth! When I came to the last few kms in my run, I felt my heart pounding and my flesh became weak but never was there a greater moment when my soul cried out for victory! When I felt the hand of Gods grace carrying me, not because I deserved it but simply because He loves me. I hope you will be encouraged by this letter and maybe you will find some strength in challenging your fears. Like I always say "Give it your best and when that is gone, give it your all!"

God Bless....my fellow runners and those yet to join!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Map for Way Of The Dove Run








There are so many feelings and thoughts, maybe even fears that permeate this event. First of all it is my heart and soul that sits in the middle of this run. I just never imagined that when I had the stroke, this is what would come of it. Looking forward at the great unknown and standing at the edge of my fears and hoping that God would divide the waters of impossibilities. I mean He did it for the israelites, then He sure can do it for me. There is always the unexpected or the unknown when we step out of the box of comfort. Well in my case there was no comfort, in the box or out, so why not just go for it?! Why not lead a life worth living?! I mean, thousands of people everyday just go through the motions, not really knowing who or what they really are. What they are made of! I am at the edge of something beautiful, maybe not, the one thing I know is that I am here in this moment. Willing to climb beyond what I can take. I want to live a life worthy of victory. I am willing to bleed that hope, that monumental moment of change!

We all want to live beyond the borders of complacency in some way or another. It is when we step out that we really find out who we are. In just a few days I am going to step out of a dream and right into reality!! I am scarred and I am excited. I can almost taste the finish line!! Now that almost all the planning has occurred it is simply time to put the feet to the pavement of success. By Gods amazing grace I hope that this will happen, I know it will because I have people who believe in me, who are praying for me and I have people who are running with me. One of the most amazing gifts are friendship. Running a literal race with people who are willing to sacrifice their time and their bodies to the cause is simply beautiful.
I will soon be standing among champions, people who wish to live beyond words! I will be standing among the fields of wonder and clouds of dreams! This is the moment I have been waiting for. Bringing hope and love! This stroke hasn't seen nothing yet!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Take it or leave it

     Now in life there are ups and there are downs, it's a given. Just like the sunshine and the clouds, we expect them because it is a part of nature. Well in life it goes the same way, it's not all lollipops and laughter. Imagine one day you woke up to a splitting headache or a terrible flu. It is usually in those moments that you realize how appreciative you really are. The fact that on healthier days you can laugh as loud as you wish or that you can walk to the bathroom knowing that, well you get the idea; its a normal routine with an expected outcome. You pretty much do everything without difficulty until that storm hits. Like a boat on the ocean, the waters become unpleasant and now you are fighting with everything. When I arrived at home from the hospital there were so many memories of things that once was as easy as smiling or laughing. They were natural causes of a life filled with less difficulty than the one that I was facing now.
     Here I am looking at the hallway and thinking " Man, I used to walk down this thing like it was going out of style!" Well maybe on a good day that is what still happens but every now and then my brain goes into another world and I have to fight tooth and nail. Hey, we all go through something that makes us realize that suddenly we need to be more thankful for what we really have.
     I was just thinking of all the people who go through harder times than I and I wonder. I wonder how their minds deal with the tragedy of loosing a dear loved one, or maybe finding out that they might have cancer?! There are many probabilities that could occur but the greater question is simply this. What am I thankful for?
What do I have? Who am I really? Those are all powerful questions and rightfully so, they are the foundation for failure or victory! Maybe you face a wall of broken dreams or a mountain of heartbreak, maybe you are wondering am I living a life worthy of praise? What I mean is this, is your life a story of victory and triumph or is it covered in regret and failure? In my opinion, there is enough for anyone to falter over if they look for it but to imagine being more than who you are, living beyond your fears, now that takes talent! Why live in a small room with no windows?! I want to run in the open fields of grace and mercy! I want to be a champion!
     So here I am, standing at the door of a new dream, waiting for my big run. I have worked through the pain, the tears, the seizures and all the garbage that has come with running long distances for a stroke survivor, I am here to live my dream, to be an inspiration to all those people who feel that they have lost their own! I want to prove that impossible is just a word and nothing more! I used to take hope for granted and laughter as just a moment but they no longer mean just that. They are the lifeline to success!

Jeremiah 17:7
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shifting Sands

     With both my hands I reached into the sands of time, looking for those faded memories that once burned bright in the morning sun. They danced, they played among the fields of wonder. Well that was where I once was. I could imagine the soft touch of my babies hands, the laughter, the giggles and so much more. I paraded my emotions, my love for my family with such elated joy. It was a simple time that only required little effort, that was a time of sand castles and beautiful oceans filled with hope.
     Somehow from those luscious fields of beautiful colours that once embraced my eyes with mystery now sit barren. The seasons can change within the blink of an eye. The sand castles have tumbled and the wind has changed. When we face insurmountable odds, we are left to a world unknown, possibly burdened by fear and confusion. It is in those very moments that we need to see the bigger picture, the landscape from afar! I can either be crushed by the waves of injustice or I can create something beautiful out of something less than perfect. The world will hand you only what it has but what you do with it can literally cause others to marvel! When you build a sand castle you get water,sand, a bucket and a shovel. There is nothing more to be required of you except your ability to imagine! Now that is the most important part, because you see without your imagination nothing can be created, at least nothing beautiful.
     I am on this earth for but a short time but let me tell you something, I am going to use what I have and I am going to make something beautiful. I am going to live a life worthy of laughter, worthy of joy and no amount of pain or sorrow is going to take that beautiful gift away....


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fearless Wonder


     Now before I go and see if another pile of possible supporters say yes or no, I must tell you something that I have noticed. I have invested so much of my time in running and training that I realize that there is too much to just let go. I have overcome so much not to let things just fade away for no purpose. What I mean is this, when you put your heart,sweat and tears into something you become committed. You run the race until the very end, you don't stop and you definitely don't take "I QUIT" for an answer. 
     You pull every ounce out of your soul, that special place that drives you to believe beyond words. In the process somehow in some small way, the journey that had you bound for failure has taken a monumental shift! You are now opening your eyes and when fear looks you right in the face you just smile, you begin to nod with hope and reject the possibility of ever succuming to failures silence. Your voice becomes stronger and your actions lead by example! Then in that very moment inspiration births a hero, a hero that longs and lives for victory! Now I attribute that wonderful birth to a God of grace and wonder. I hope that you will take that very simple step and begin to believe. You may think that it is just a small insignificant task that will lead to minimal results but just imagine for a moment you decided it was otherwise!
     If you took a moment and captured a dream worth chasing and just like a ball that rolls down a hill, watched that momentum gain fervency. You would really be surprised! I am... Will you,will you begin to believe and take a journey worth fighting for?! I am going to live my life with reckless abandonement, bleed my passion into a world filled with colourless words. I want to live a rainbow of wonder and learn to fly!