* Faith and phobias

I’ve posted a four-part series on overcoming phobias through Reid Wilson’s program, which uses current brain research to change the way you respond to fear.  As a Christ-follower, I had prayed in desperation for 12 years that God would heal me.  I tried to worship my way through panic attacks.  I tried biofeedback and meditation on God’s word.

I felt in my heart that God was going to heal me, but how long would it take?  And what if I “lost” the healing when I was on the freeway?  At its worst, I immediately fainted when I tried to drive on any road with more than two lanes.  All my fears seemed valid.  After all, I would crash and kill someone if I fainted.  How could possibly God help me?  When would he help me?

Several years ago, God began my healing by showing me how much fear runs through my brain all the time, not just on the road.  If you watch the video below, you’ll understand why.  Desperately, I contacted a psychiatrist, who referred me to a weekend workshop offered by Reid Wilson (offered that very weekend and I was able to get in!).  I hoped for a miracle but nearly ran out of the building as I realized that this was something I had to do.  But thankfully, I was not alone in this.  God was with me.  His Spirit encouraged me that I was made for freedom.

The wonderful aspect of this freedom to drive is that I don’t have to be phobia- or fear-free to be FREE!  I recognize that my brain is simply doing what it was made for, that my amygdala is trying to protect me.  I love the intricacies of God’s creation in my brain.  He has made a new way for me to enjoy his splendor.  He has given me a new way to glorify his hand on my life.

Am I weak in faith if I am afraid?  I am like the man who cried out to Jesus, “I believe!  Help me in my unbelief!”  I don’t have to “keep” my faith; my Savior does it all for me.  From beginning to end, I am safe in His arms.

Part of my story is shared below. Of course, my name is misspelled.  There may be 24 different ways to spell Katharine but Jesus knows who I am!

* Siri and me

Siri and I have a complicated relationship.  Sometimes she helps me call my dearest teaching widower and other times she has no idea who that is.  It drives me nuts when she calmly tells me, “You’ll need to unlock your iPhone first.”  What??  My dearest widower has not changed his name or number!

Recently I was stuck in a snarled traffic mess for what seemed like forever, so I forgave her (that’s good) and chatted with her (that’s bad in a car, I know).  But I was not moving!  Not an inch!  For a long time!  OK, I was impatient (also bad).

I started with some important questions but the conversation went downhill from there.

 

* Sharing my world

I adore Cee’s challenges- and her photography is incredible!  I’m hoping to be back on the blogging track for good and this week’s Share Your World challenge is another  restart!

In regards to puzzles, what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?  I like all of those but have probably done more jigsaw puzzles than anything else.  I’d most likely have one set up all the time, but with the kiddos visiting this summer and our small groups every week, there’s no good place to keep a puzzle waiting.  Getting older has crimped my style, too.  With my wretched knees, I can’t kneel or squat comfortably.

List at least five favorite treats and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food.   Yum!  This will be fun!

  1. My dearest teaching widower, who gets cuddlier and funnier every day
  2. Worshipping with Christian rock and new fave, Francesca Battistelli
  3. Chocolate, now in the form of almond & cashew, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free “milk”
  4. Teaching, teaching, and more teaching
  5. Reading and reading

What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)  OK, I saw this Australian Shepherd (I think that’s what s/he is) in a grandinroad catalog.  I want this dog!!  And I wouldn’t mind the house that goes with it.

border collie

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  The grace of God for peace and forgiveness and life and love.  Answered and unanswered prayers.  Hope.  That I am a child of God.

* Day 20

It’s been 20 days but feels like a lifetime of H3N2.  My doctor said I am still contagious so don’t lean too close to read this.  Now I’m on antibiotics for a rough ear and sinus infection.  Secondary infections, courtesy of this Mutating Monster.  I know this is TMI, but how does an ear produce so much gunk?  Fortunately, I still have a tube in there.

A dear one sent me this and made my week.  My biggest heartache is that my precious student and his parents are struggling mightily.  We text throughout the day, survivors’ lifelines.

Get well soon

Another lifeline from Jesus:  Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me (and my student and his family).  Yet not my will but yours be done.  

* Day 15

Today is Day 15 with H3N2, a mutating monster of a virus.  One step forward, two steps back.  I am sharing daily progress, woes, and prayers, with a dear student and his family.  The kiddo is on Day 18 and his parents are just behind.  This is a killer of a virus.  The mortality rate for my age group is hardest hit (see that red line?) but my medically fragile student, at age 11, has suffered enormously and his situation is far more precarious than mine.

CDC flu

We spent some agonizing time in the ER, but my dearest flu widower always has clever jokes to make us laugh (and then we cough like crazy).  And what a joy to love and care for one another in times like these.  My student’s parents are the bravest, kindest, most determined people I have ever met.  They are fighting minute by minute to keep their son alive.  Sleep deprived, flu-ridden, heart broken, and clinging to faith, they are simply amazing.  I do not know how they have survived these weeks.  I am barely crawling along and I don’t have to take care of my sweet student throughout the day and night.

ER 2

I know the Lord is holding us in his hands, whatever the outcome.  Better times await.  

* Age is not the enemy- song bird songs

Modern western culture portrays old age as somthing scary, ugly, the end of all the good stuff, to be fought veheminately. Celebrities go to great lengths to stave off its onslaughts with diets, creams and cosmetic surgery till they look like walking skulls. I remember the East where old age is venerated due to its […]

via Age is not the enemy. — Song Bird Songs

grandfather-and-granddaughter-outdoors-smiling_rKIW54C0Hi.jpg

 

* New Year’s Revolutions? Got it!

That’s not a typo!  I think New Year’s Revolutions is a far better paradigm for what I typically resolve to accomplish in the twinkle of one year to the next.  A revolution means turning, circling from one thing to another.  Forget the resolutions because I am already adept at spinning my way from point A to M to Z!  In fact, I flitted merrily throughout 2017 and will most likely continue!  What a relief, knowing I am set for 2018.

For the current school year, I happily revolved through 6th grade math, ELA, science, social studies, and economics!  Whee!  I admit that sometimes I felt like teaching was me desperately spinning plates, trying to keep all of them from falling.  But in my heart, I loved the constant stimulation and creativity!

circles_G1qw3_S__L

I have revolved through SO many books  this past year (three yesterday!) and will most likely continue in 2018.  I read just like I eat, greedily and wolflike.  Yum!

books_zklBPhP_.jpg

My primary revolution in 2017 was change through grace.  I am so grateful for every God-given reminder of selfishness, vanity, seeking approval of others, and pride.  I am spinning from grace to grace as Jesus works in my heart to complete the good work He has begun!  My dearest teaching widower is Jesus-with-skin-on, arms of love and patience and yet more grace.

Thank you, dear readers, for following my revolutions.  I will flitter my way through 2018, maybe picking up some of the threads I almost posted in 2017.  My list of unfinished drafts keeps growing, but hey, I am happily spinning along.

Happy New Year’s Revolutions to you!

* Sharing my world

I love to participate in Cee’s Share Your World blogging challenge.  How does she do it. week after week?  And her blog is filled with so many photographic gems!  Wow!  here are this week’s questions.

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?  In my adolescence, I wanted to move to Russia.  The music, the dance, the art- they all captured my soul.  Then I read “A Town Called Alice,” which perhaps gave me a romantic notion about gorgeous Australia.  Once I learned of the poisonous critters swimming offshore and those cane toads plopping everywhere, I changed my mind.  Now?  I think I’d live in northern Canada, bundled up in furs and learning to walk in snowshoes.  (Yeah, talk about stereotypes….)

What color would you like your bedroom to be?  It’s already got one blue wall, which is the first thing you see when you walk in, but I’d like to change the tone of that blue to a warmer hue.  Some day!

What makes you happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.  I am never happier than when I’m worshiping God, especially with fellow believers.  My dearest teaching widower is the greatest joy in my life after Jesus.  And I am so happy when I’m teaching.  What a gift!  I think chocolate comes next.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.  I teach a gifted but medically disabled student who has remarkable perseverance and determination.  I can’t imagine being in the continual pain and dealing with other serious conditions which are a part of his daily existence.  He is an amazing kiddo who has defied all medical and educational expectations.  I adore him and it’s a joy to be in his life.  His parents are also amazing (they’d have to be!) and I feel so loved by them all.

Engineers

Celebrating a special day as engineers of learning and fun!

* Thinking of You

What a precious heart Michelle has! How encouraging- and what great advice!

2 R Better Than 1

Good morning, friends! Welcome to the work week and another day that the Lord has made. Today I woke up thinking about all of you and what I would share. Typically, I schedule posts in advance, but last night I had a few people on my mind and in my heart, so I did what I vowed I would always do when that happens — pray. I promised myself that I would pray for anyone who crossed my mind in that moment. Most people probably call or text whenever they think of someone they love, but I stop to pray. One day I hope to do both; but for now, I’ll simply pray.

Lord God, thank you for all of the special people that you’ve placed in my life. I ask that you bless them, comfort them, and heal them of all their hurts. For my BFF, my sisters in…

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