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Why the Videos

I didn't push the button on our coffee pot until well after 11 am this morning. Which surprised me since I slept on the living room floor. 

Don's battling a bad cold and I didn't want his germs to make the tickle in my throat worse. So, I curled up on the floor last night, and must have been comfortable since I didn't open my eyes wide enough to look at the time until way past sunrise.

After coffee, I spent the next few hours uploading Facebook live videos to my YouTube channel. A worthwhile endeavor? I don't really know.

But last week, I committed to making one video a day for forty days. And here's why:

1) Creating a video doesn't take as much time as a blog post. 

2) When you share your raw self in a video, people get to know you in a different way than in a blog. Your personality comes through in a more tangible way. 

3) Videos reach a certain segment of our population that blogs don't. 

But why 40?

Instead of creating more videos, I've often allowed life stuff to bog me down. And when bogged down, I more easily hide away. 

By making forty videos in a row, I have to get over several things:

1) What people think.

2)  How I look.

3)  Not being perfect.

By not overthinking things, I'm slowly getting over myself. The paranoid thoughts. The need for approval or to make a BIG difference. 

Touching one life matters. Encouraging one soul is enough.

So, I'll close today by sharing the videos I uploaded today. And if you have interest in more over the next month, you can find them on my YouTube channel or Facebook page: Girl with a Chronic Disease. 

Happy Monday!


Music, Sweet Music

Right before bed, I had a novel idea. I sent my friend, Vicki, a text, and asked if she could chat while I drove across town for two doctor’s appointments this morning. It worked. So, I sipped coffee and chatted with my friend as I drove through rush hour traffic. 

The hour and a half commute passed much faster than normal and had me in a good mood even before I received good news. For one, the stress fracture in my left foot has healed. While some swelling remains, the doctor promised it should subside in another month.

As to my right hip, I spent time in an updated MRI machine last week. Clear images confirmed a low-grade partial tear of my right gluteus medius tendon. Since fuzzy pictures from the MRI in June had left the extent of the tear in question, the concrete diagnosis settles things.

I’ll have a back fusion on November 12th. And if the hip pain continues, I’ll undergo a laparoscopic procedure to smooth ragged fibers next year. 

While there’s probably more to say about all of that, I want to share something I wrote for another blog on my birthday two weeks ago. Between a friend’s recent medical crisis and eight family birthdays, words fail me tonight. But they didn’t on October 11th…


My heart is bursting. Not only is it my 49th birthday, I’m sitting in my son’s high school chorus room, waiting to practice the two-part piano accompaniment to a piece he’ll conduct at the Milton High School chorus concert next Tuesday. 

Just call me a legal helicopter mom.

I stopped at Starbuck’s on the way for a morning boost and bought him some hot chocolate. Five minutes later, I parked in a handicap space, pulled my walker from the back of my car, and set my lap top case on its seat. Only then did I realize I should’ve asked for a drink carrier. Without one, I balanced a full cup in both hands while pushing my walker forward. 
As I approached the front door, two tall, football looking high school students held the door. 

“Thanks for your help,” I offered. “I look ridiculous.”

“Not unless you’re faking,” one replied.

“Oh, I promise I’m not faking.”

With that I entered the grand foyer and found the front desk. “I’ve never been here before,” I started.

“Never? Then I need your driver’s license,” the volunteer replied.

After looking it over she asked, “Is today your birthday?”

“Yes!” I smiled. “And I get to share it with my son.”

“Who’s your son?” she inquired.

“Nathan, your assistant choral director.”

Since I’d dressed in sparkly butterfly jeans I rarely wear, I wasn’t surprised when she exclaimed, “You don’t look old enough to be his mother!”

While complimented when strangers share that sentiment, it always stirs a funny feeling. I look young, but see through prism lenses others assume are simply distance correcting glasses. My smile is real, but I’m counting the days till a third back surgery will help relieve some of the pain that had me wincing all morning. My heart is bursting, but mostly because it feels like such an accomplishment to just be here. An hour from home by ten in the morning.

And who can forget that only a few hundred miles from here, thousands of people woke to the reality that a hurricane just washed their lives away. Their homes. Their livelihoods. Their way of life. 

Yes, the unpredictable nature of this world can leave us on edge. But today, on my birthday, I sit in a choral roomin a coffee stained shirtsurrounded by voices that bring me to tears. 

Perhaps, if we all sang our dissent, the cacophony of sound would prove bearable. 

So, even as chaos surrounds, I celebrate harmony. Voices lifted in unity. Voices with differing opinions about life, liberty, and all that makes our democracy work, that when joined together create bouncing overtones that distract from back pain, vision issues, and coffee stains.

Thank you, Milton High School Choruses. And to all those who make music that soothes our weary souls. 

From our performance the following Tuesday night: 
Joy by Hans Heruth

Grief, Growth, Change

Part 1

I woke slowly Tuesday morning with coffee and my lap top. With a blog post partly done, I turned to an interview, lessons, and a nap before realizing the Word document had disappeared.

Disheartened, I considered writing another day. But since NCIS was on with multiple commercials to ignore, I tried beginning again, with only lackluster results.

Earlier in the day, text after text had arrived, cancelling lessons. When the third one hit, I knew a hurricane was on the way. Or something. The air certainly felt odd when I opened the front door for my last student who left after dark. 

While making toast for dinner, I thought about how crazy it was that a swirling storm out over the ocean would soon fly through our skies. Since without radar, we’d be clueless—like my mom's biological father.

Just last week we learned more details about the Navy pilot's death. Considered lost at sea, we'd known he went down in a sea plane during a storm off the coast of Honduras. But my dad just found out that he died in Tropical Storm 10 on October 20, 1943.

In looking over the storm’s history, we saw that it caused minimal damage. Meaning, Paul Mohney died, unable to dock in the kind of storm we now see coming days ahead. 

As I stood at my front door and smelled the coming weather change, I savored the grand mystery of it all. 

Part 2

Trapped in that well of emotion, I never finished my post. Thoughts wouldn't form. So, I woke frustrated today. 

Bloggers are supposed to be consistent. Write at least once a week—on the same day. Yet, once again, an unmentionable encounter from yesterday stymied progress. 

I’ve had a lot of those lately. Deeply personal, hard conversations where I know God is at work in the deepest place, but that also wipe me out on some level. 

As I’ve reflected on the last year, I’ve listed a series of encounters where God orchestrated love in places of deep wounds. Thus, after years of living through challenging rejection, I now marvel at how in one year, a series of events and conversations have rewritten several stories from my past. 

I’d love to share them. But that time hasn’t come.

For now, as the season changes, and a hurricane burrows through, I ask: 

1)     Do you look for God’s healing hand in your wounded places? 

2) Do you expect Him to do above all you can ask or imagine? 

3) Do you live with the expectation that this Jesus walk is a lifelong journey meant to draw us closer to Him and thus allow “Christ in us—the hope of glory” to grow stronger than all the flavors of death this world serves up?

Even as another coastline is demolished by wind and waves, I believe wholeheartedly in redemption.

Part 3

My grandmother never buried her first husband since his body was lost at sea. Survivors testified that he spent hours joking with crewmen, assuring them that they would live to share the story with their children. 

But when the plane ran out of fuel and the waves battered on, the Navy pilot stayed until others climbed onto rafts. I like to think he went down, thinking about my grandmother who was only three months pregnant with my mom at the time. 

Paul Guy Mohney wasn’t declared dead for another year. But when his little girl entered the world, she was named, Paula Gay Mohney. And when she grew up, she married a Naval Academy graduate who defied many odds and became a navy pilot.

Big picture redemption, indeed.

Days of grief and growth often precede change. I waited over a decade to live out better endings for some of my stories. My grandmother, much the same.

So, if you're surprised by loss. Stunned by your story line. Or undone by recent events. Take heart. Breathe deep. Binge watch Call the Midwife. And give it some time.

“And then they’ll see the Son of Man enter in grand style, his Arrival filling the sky—no one will miss it! He’ll dispatch the angels; they will pull in the chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole" (Mark13: 26 - 27 MSG).

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