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!

video
     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.