My Grace is Sufficient for Thee



“We all struggle with struggles. But did you ever think that perhaps God may be using your struggles to change you?
To shape you?
Even to heal you?”
Max Lucado


I think Max may be right. For over a decade I have been asking God to remove the pain in my head. I have chronic headaches. Even as I write these words, my thoughts pass through the fog of pain and try to come out coherent and uplifting. Doctors discovered at least part of the problem: deteriorated discs in my neck that shoot pain across my shoulders, up the back of my head, and to my temples. The lupus only muddies the issue, which makes my soldiering through the day sometimes, well, a battle.

Oh, put the tissues away, this isn’t a sob story. We all deal with struggles. This just happens to be mine.

So, what do I do with it?  I do my part. Stay active. Exercise. Stretch. Eat right. Think positively (after all, I don’t want to become anyone else’s headache). But mostly I pray. Continue reading


Rise Up


“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in Rising up every time we fail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Sometimes in life, soul is called to Rise even if it’s alone, leave all behind and Rise anyway!”
Coletha Albert

“Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it.”
Terry Goodkind

Listen, I’m all for decompressing and relaxing, and mental health days.  I believe Italy has it right with taking 2-hour Pranzos in the middle of every day for food and family.  And, for heaven’s sake, a 4-day work week would do wonders for the collective human spirit, and therefore healthcare.

But this humble pep-post isn’t about kicking back or taking it easy.  No. This is about another form of well being:  Giving it your all. Continue reading

Hinge Moments


“It has long been an axiom of mine
that the little things
are infinitely the most important.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

“Let me tell you something big:
Give importance to little things.”
Mehmet Murat ildan

“Sometimes the little opportunities
that fly at us each day
can have the biggest impact.”
Danny Wallace,  Yes Man


My son, Connor, loves cars.  One of his favorite shows is Great Britain’s Top Gear (and we thoroughly enjoy the show along with him). Whenever I point out a car on the road, “Oh, that’s a pretty car,” Connor will chime in with the make/model/year, gas mileage, perks and quarks, and if a competitor’s version is better or worse.  He’s no expert, but if you hang around Connor long enough, you gain an appreciation for fine cars.  Maybe that’s why this car caught my eye. Continue reading

Thorn in the Flesh

ThornsMy daughter Ashley wrote me wanting advice for some sister missionaries suffering from depression. Here is part of her letter about one sister:

[This sister] has been very frank with me about her struggles with depression. Says it’s a family thing – something to do with neuron transmitters or something. I need advice on how to help her.

She has a hard time with feelings that she is not good enough, not doing enough, not lovable enough, or is not perfect enough to be saved. We’ve had some good talks. Most of the things I say she already knows anyway, but it’s something that has to sink in to her heart, you know.

It will probably take time. We all have trials, but she just happens to be one of those people that Satan works on in a certain way. But she really is a very good kindhearted person. I just need to figure out ways to make her happy, I guess. Which is hard to tell because even when depression sets in, she still smiles…she tries to hide it all away.  Got any words of wisdom?  I’d appreciate it.
Love you, Ashley

For all the it’s worth, here’s My Letter of Advice
About this dear sister.  You cannot cure her of melancholy, no matter how many nice things you say.  If this is a chemical imbalance, then meds will have to suffice. But you can inspire her to channel the sadness into productivity. Continue reading

Just Keep Swimming


Dory in Finding Nemo
Disney/Pixar 2000 Animated Film

Lupus is kicking my butt today. Pain. Fatigue.
It may slow me down, but it’s not going to stop me. I’m taking a lesson from Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

There is a purpose in this. I just haven’t put my finger on it. Frankly, I don’t know what my Nemo is – what I will eventually find. Could be the building of my character. Could be instilling me with patience. Maybe it’s developing copious amounts of fortitude.

Or, better yet, my Nemo is the knowledge and experience I am gaining in order to someday help someone else.

Wasn’t that Dory’s journey? Continue reading