Monday, February 28, 2011

Jump Rope For Heart

     Who ever thought that I as a stroke survivor would be doing a presentation to all the kids at a local school in my area. In fact who ever thought that I would be running again or living a life beyond the walls of a stroke victim. I am glad that since the very beginning of my tragic dilemma, the trauma of a stroke did not break my spirit, my desire to live my dreams or my hopes. It seems as though the more I hang on to this desire to be something more than what I am has made me stronger, maybe even a little bit wiser. Anyways with all that being said I am looking at presenting in a sense my victory story and how we can change the course of history if we only just believe and hold tight. Now I know that there are some things that just cannot change, like the fact that I am irreversibly affected by my situation but that doesn't mean I am useless or broken, I simply am unique. I am not here to look at what I have lost but what I can gain in living a life worthy of inspiration.
     This Friday I am going to step into a world of change and I am going to smile! Sometimes we need to give ourselves a pat on the back and let ourselves know that we did something good. It feeds our hope and lifts our joy to another level! When I grabbed my skipping rope and started to practice, I didn't look at all the worries or the fears of a possible stroke reoccurring. I looked at the opportunity for me to breathe and to live again! When I look at people who suffer from various illnesses I either see a person living in hope or dying in broken dreams. 

     So here I am beginning to live beyond the shadows and reaching for dreams in the light of hope, how truly sweet it is!

Hope is the strength behind every object of direction, the wind behind every sail. Without it you are just dead in the water!

By EvK

Friday, February 25, 2011

Punching the clock

I grab the kicking bag and with all my might I throw it over my shoulder and begin to walk outside towards the metal stand. My arms are shaking and my legs can barely carry this monstrous weight which shall soon be taking the brunt of my discourse. As I hook the heavy bag up and straighten the large metal stand I look in confusion, I look at what will become my battle for the day. Now I am not one to complain but this exercise is brutal! I decided a long time ago that I needed something that challenges every part of my mind and my body at the same time and this does it. I don't know why I do this to myself but I always look for the hardest things possible just so I can say " I did it " Growing up as a child under constant bullying somehow makes you like that I guess. You become stubborn and relentless I suppose.
     I remember when I went to visit my brother in california, it really shaped the person that I am today. I can't recall the reason why my parents paid for my trip but my mom felt it was important to me and so the decision became reality. When I arrived in Los Angeles my brother and his friends took me all over the place, I saw the most amazing things but for some reason there was one thing that impacted me more than any other. We had been driving along the coast of california for sometime when I saw a tree. The tree wasn't any ordinary tree. It was a tree that seemed to have this wonderful mystery attached to its glorious presence! Thousands of photographers travel from all over the world just to take a picture of this wonder. Now what is it that makes people stop and stare, what makes people adore such a common tree? Well to me it was very simple, the tree somehow stood the test of time and survived every storm and mighty wind and yet there it was right at the edge of impossibility, standing tall and proud. It defied all odds, it lived among the cruelest of places only to become adorned with the sunset of amazement and wonder. It was as though the tree wanted to be there because it knew that the view was worth the fight. I know that trees don't have the option of where they grow or when they grow but the story is ever so profound because it speaks so softly and yet its words are tremendously loud because its actions have survived the test of time.
     I want to be like this tree, I want to stand the test of time and live beyond my words! Let my actions tell a story of importance and beauty. I may be on this cliff, this edge of circumstances but that doesn't mean I can't grow into something marvelous; something beautiful! I have a sunset and a sunrise that is worth every penny and I am willing to fight for it every step of the way. Do you realize how precious you are? How unique you are? Remember you are where you are for a reason and it is just a matter of time before people see what you are really made of. So choose to enjoy the rising sun and the setting of the same. God has much bigger plans than you know.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Through The Fire

     During the last few years of turbulent living I have seen so much. The character of humanity and the harsh reality that life is simply frail at best. Now this story that I am about to tell you is painful but in the end it truly is heart warming. The last few days I have awaken at a considerable earlier time than usual. Now I really haven't noticed all the things that I have missed until now. It's almost as though I have awaken from a dream, rubbed my eyes and suddenly carried on with my new life. I look at the sun rising in the sky and I see my children sleeping so silently, like little doves in a nest; safe and sound. I sat at the end of my couch and sipped a beautiful cup of tea, feeling the warmth between my fingers as the fragrance slowly seeped into my senses. 
     After a period of three days the normal life began to stick. I was so happy and I was singing in the shower, laughing at the simplest of moments. I was amazed at the feeling of life without shadows!
     It was Sunday morning and there I was, smiling in the mirror. I dressed myself and grabbed my laptop, ran to the door and drove to church. I couldn't believe it, I was actually going to make it to a full service at church for the first time in almost four years. At least this time I was feeling completely clear in my mind and all the children and their families looked so precious and wonderful. There was such a deep found respect for families and all the love that I could see in the mothers and fathers that attended. I was actually there with my family! 
     As the sermon ended a lady turned around and told us of the travesties that she had endured and is enduring. She had been diagnosed with cancer and her son had major head injury. She told us of how overwhelmed she felt and that she didn't know what to do with her life or for that matter her sons. She was crying out for someone to just hear what she had to say. The pain was written in her eyes and the loneliness seemed so evident. I told her that no matter what we may go through in life there is always hope. You just have to look a little harder!  
     Sometimes we go through fires, the seasons change and life is not what we think it is. What can truly separate us from others is how we deal with those situations and who our trust is truly on. I comforted the lady the best I knew how and also told her that I was running. I told her of my situation and that my life was filled with pain and that I was going to fix my eyes on the prize, not the struggles that followed.  For some reason there was a strong sense of understand because we both had suffered and we both knew what it was like to be overwhelmed by illness. We also knew that without faith, hope and love there is just an empty furnace filled with fear and flame, nothing more.  
     We all must come to a point where we choose to drown in our circumstances or stand and learn to live like heroes, learn to be courageous. Be the hope, live the change! 

     In order to make a difference
one must first believe they are the difference
 It is merely but a matter of choice! 

 By EvK

Daniel 3:14-24 (NIV) The bible story of three men who refused to conform no matter what the cost!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friends From A Different Time

     As I grabbed the weights in front of me, sweat began to drip from my forehead onto the floor. There I was giving it my all, my everything. I pursued this goal with every ounce of relentless drive! With a slight grin I looked towards the mirror that spoke of my victory, I could see the fruit of my determination by the reflection of hope. I could see myself standing and lifting weights! I placed the weights quickly on the floor and raised my right hand in a fist. I felt the hours, the minutes and the tears all rolling into one victorious shout!! I didn't care if other people were standing there, I just needed to live the moment; feel the joy of being more than just a victim.
     After I did most of my routine two young gentlemen approached me, they asked if I knew martial arts and if I could demonstrate to them. So I went into a series of quick strikes and threw them around. After all was said and done I told them of my stroke, I told them my story. For some reason it felt like I had the exclamation to my sentence or the ending to my mystery novel. All of it had a purpose, a point with some meaning. It was as though someone finally told me the reason behind my suffering. When I saw those two young mens eyes light up after I explained about my suffering and triumphs they were moved. I felt a passion in my heart swell, a desire to want others to be encouraged! I found my story.....
     Today I am standing on top of a mountain of pain, fear and ultimately sacrifice; but what makes this story so wonderful is not me but all the people that I am meeting in the process. I am no longer in the valley of indecision but on the mountain of change watching the horizon of hope. The view is beautiful and I can't wait to make a difference!!

I could climb a thousand mountains or a hundred hills but without the sunrise of hope I will see nothing more than a dark valley of indecision...

By EvK

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Words Of Hope

     There I was sitting in front of a screen, flat and full of colors piercing my eyes with delight. My coworker and friend was speaking with me online using skype. Now, it was the first time I ever wanted to hug and kiss a screen! This friend of mine I will call her Grace, she behaved as much; filled with love and acceptance. There were many nights I wished for a friend who could just be there to hear my thoughts and feelings and not runaway . I think there are times when we all go through some pain or disappointment and when those situations occur we just want someone who will be strong enough to listen. Someone who will be there and in so doing their actions speak silently of their affections, their devotion to friendship.
     We spoke to each other with laughter and well I spoke with frequent tears. I could sense a feeling of love and genuine encouragement. Now I could tell you more of this story but I wish to speak about words. Yes words, those amazing things that you and I use to express the very fiber of who we are; what we are.
     Grace spoke with words that gently reached from the clouds of hope and placed them in the depths of my weary heart. It was like being in front of a campfire on a cold night and as you watch the embers glow you hope for some warmth and some light. Suddenly someone comes along with a bundle of sticks and large pieces of wood and places them in the fire. The flame that once flickered is now beginning to burn bright and the warmth is all around you. That is what I felt, that is what I began to hear when Grace said these very words " I think you are on this path for a reason, you..I think you were meant to do this. This is your direction!"
     For so long I questioned whether or not I was supposed to be alive (surviving the stroke) and whether or not the Way Of The Dove run was worth pursuing. All I needed to hear was "You can do this, I know you can!" Well I now know that God has a plan and that sometimes you just need to step out of the boat and start walking! Believe and hold tight to the miracle of hope! There is some amazing power in those very things, those very thoughts that we sometimes loose in fear. Well today you can choose to tread fears with hope beating in your heart and a light of grace within sight!

Above all else remember that every moment is held by a single decision. You choose either to be above your fears or below. I choose above!

By EvK

"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Matthew 14:29

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Moments in Between

Todays post or thought is very short and hopefully sweet. 

"People don't like change unless it is in their wallet" by EvK

      I said this after working in the hospital for a few years. I noticed peoples behaviours were almost all the same. When one little thing changed they were up in arms. Surprisingly enough the cheerful patients were none the less scathed. Now it seems trivial but I was impressed by this. The happy go lucky people were simply that....happy! They were the kind of people who simply didn't let things bother them, they had much more important things to do like laugh and share their excitement for life with others. Have you ever noticed when children are completely involved with their toys and everything else simply doesn't matter? They are engulfed in mystery and excitement, the world is at their fingertips. Children are amazingly filled with dreams and imagination, not lost in worries or debt or what have you. They live and breath life! They bend so easily to many circumstances because they are excited. Is your life filled with worries and doubts and fears or are you willing to live with a heart encapsulated with joy, wanting to see what leaps from around the corner? I will choose to be the duck and let my worries fall away... 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beyond Words....Honor Still Stands

     I had such an amazing day filled with so many surprisingly inspirational moments. For the last four weeks I have been training in the gym, trying new techniques and performing new methods of conditioning. While being completely focused on my exercises I would occasionally notice an asian gentlemen watching me train. It looked as though he was studying my posture or something. I would quickly shrug it off and then carry on with my new regime. Well today I went to the gym after performing a demonstration at a local martial arts dojo. I told the martial arts academy my story (stroke recovery) and they were excited!! So hopefully I will recruit more runners for the big day. Well back to my previous story, I walked into the gym when low and behold there was the asian man again. As I began my stretches he approached me and with a soft kind voice asked if he could speak with me (with a strong Korean accent) He told me how he taught martial arts in south korea for 20 years and how he was amazed by my fluidity, speed and power. I was completely taken back!! That is one of the most honorable things anyone could hear. He shook my hand and we both bowed. 
     He then approach me an hour later and asked me what my philosophy was and then I spoke to him in korean. I told him of my belief in God and that I was a christian. He then smiled and said "You move like an asian person does" we then both laughed and smiled. I taught him some english and he taught me some korean. There was a silent admiration for one another and a mutual respect. He was kind enough to tell me about his family and I told him of how my journey to recovery was hard and filled with many tears. He shook my hand once again and gave me another bow (a sign of respect) so I in turn did the same.
      Now I know that this may seem a little silly or inconsequential but that meant the world to me. Not because I want a big pat on the back but because I believe in honor. Something deep down within me just smiled from ear to ear. I not only overcame my physical barriers but in the process fulfilled a dream. That dream was to be more than what I once was....

Like I said before, dreams are worth fighting for!!!