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.
Celebrating a special day as engineers of learning and fun!
I haven’t tackled the challenge to write Ten Things of Thankful in months, so I reread Lizzi’s Christmas list of 50 things, which amazes me (but not enough to copy). Let’s see how far I can get….
- I am feeling a bit better today! Still shaky but this round of steroid withdrawal is losing its power to flatten me.
- My dearest steroid withdrawal widower has been tending to me so carefully, encouraging me that this will pass. What would I do without his love?
- Rationally, I know that the flattening and disgusting side effects of withdrawal are far better than something like chemo. I do not have cancer; I’m not facing that dreadful siege. My heart aches for those who are in that battle.
- My broken foot, still encased in a boot, no longer objects to an occasional free step. In 2 weeks, I’ll know whether it can fly out of its cocoon.
- The local (pricey) swimming pool is sending out teasers suggesting that we may be able to swim there again, after months of locked doors.
- Vance, the Venus fly trap, continues to sprout new traps, ever hopeful that the spring will bring a random gnat into the house. Of course, I am just boarding Vance for his student-owner, whose house must be kept like a refrigerator.
- I’ve just started a MOOC course on Mathematics and Technology through The Friday Institute. After reading through the profiles of all the participants, I can see that I am on the lowest percentile regarding middle school math skills. I do love a challenge. It’s not too late for you to sign up, either, no matter where you live! Cool!
- We are hosting a Korean zombie movie night this evening. Train to Busan, with Korean food and sweet guests. I HOPE I can rouse myself out of bed!
- A dear friend (who now lives far away) has a birthday today. I owe her more than I could ever express.
- I have read about 20 books in the past few days. It’s been a wonderful way to escape from bleh and blah and worse.
- My faith rests in the confidence that I am being held, not that I can hold on.
- I’ve been able to eat chocolate throughout this temporary ordeal. I assume that is related to #11.
Thank you, dear readers, for your patience as I’ve fallen away from my regular posting once again. Who knew?? Oh yes, the One who loves me knew. I’m in good hands and
Drug City: What a week! I was so sure I’d get back on the blogging track. Instead, my mind has been stupefied and groggified by trials of sleeping meds, since my new and wonderful insurance doesn’t want to pay for Lunesta. Insomnia is no joke and neither are these “excellent” replacement options. I’ve had dreadful reactions to all of them but I have a caring physician who understands my overly reactive body. I think I am making his hair fall out, though. And my dearest teaching widower has been a shoulder to cry on as my brain has been zapped into depression and more.
Foot City: Remember the wonderful time I had with the kiddos last Halloween? I didn’t mention that I had wrenched my foot as I slipped while pushing my niece’s wheelchair uphill. It’s been hurting ever since, so I have gotten new shoes (ooh la la) and tried not to limp. Unfortunately, the pain has only worsened with time and my foot keeps giving way. I am convinced that angels have caught me several times or I would have made a face plant on our driveway. My old crutches are new friends for the next few weeks, along with footwear that lacks a certain panache.
Teaching City: This has been a joy, in the midst of brain sludge. Let’s say I work with a kiddo named Javi and I called myself Mrs. Javi. A good reason not to speak of yourself in third person, right? Or let’s say that I ask a student in what order he wants to complete our activities and then forget everything he said, even though it’s written into my lesson plans. What about being unable to read? Refer to Drug City for that explanation. But love and patience with me and laughter and hugs? I couldn’t ask for more.
Onward and upward, by the Lord’s grace.
Cee’s Share Your World challenge has wonderful questions that could easily take me 1,000 words to answer! Aren’t you glad I don’t write posts that long anymore? Here’s my response to just one question, “Any phobias?” Although I had experienced a couple of panic attacks earlier in my life, I didn’t know that’s what they were. Then I suffered a panic attack at the top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa, Florida and thought I was losing my mind.
Sadly, I was on a long trek to a major driving phobia. Eventually, just getting on a freeway or bridge caused me to faint. Fortunately my husband was sitting next to me the last time I attempted a freeway and we managed to pull off as I blacked out. Talk about scary. My world shrank, fear by fear. I struggled to navigate small back roads and had to be chauffeured by friends and family.
I suffered from this worsening phobia for 12 years. I tried biofeedback, will power, praise and worship, and years of desperate prayers. I felt that God was going to heal me, but when? How? What if I thought I was healed but passed out, killing myself and others? Then I attended a cognitive behavior therapy workshop with Reid Wilson, director of Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center. I knew nothing about his approach or I wouldn’t have gone. Seriously. But what a lifesaver that weekend was, a true answer to my prayers. I was back on the freeway and conscious! Since then, I’ve driven everywhere; my dearest teaching widower hardly ever gets a turn. He was a bit anxious himself as I took my hands off the wheel and shrieked with joy while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge last year.
I am “cured” but I use quotation marks because I’m grateful that a phobia may still raise its hairy head. My brain occasionally thinks it is protecting me (“Pass out! Pass out!”) and I’ve had a few panic attacks since that weekend. My response? Bring it on! I am free and determined to stay that way! If you suffer from phobias, check out Reid Wilson’s marvelous approach to anxiety disorders.
Today we celebrate the life of a great man of faith. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remains an inspiration, a model of how to face injustice and hatred. He guided my steps as a youngster in the civil rights movement, but it wasn’t until years later that I actually entered the kingdom of love he espoused. How much more I treasure his words, now that I share his faith.
In his words: “Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies (from Loving Your Enemies).”
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
Dr. King knew that he was on a perilous journey, but he he did not count the cost. In his words, “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” We are all reaping the reward of his life’s costly mission. Love, forgive, and fight for justice.
Michelle Malone has posted another Inspirational message for Mondays. She challenges us in goal-setting and accountability. Plus, there’s a cool video from Toby Mac, one of my favorite musicians. Enjoy and be energized!
Happy Monday, friends! Are you well rested and ready to tackle the work week? Silly question, huh? Of course you are! So get up and get moving. Don’t stay stuck in the same spot you’ve …