Friday, October 21, 2016

What A Week!

Ooops, this post was written for my StrokeOfGrace blog. I'll post it there too, but will leave it up here as I think this readership will enjoy too.

A friend asked me yesterday how I was doing and I told her I was feeling generally agitated and couldn't figure out why since nothing specifically bad was happen.

This morning, I can put my finger on the reason.

I'm trying not to feel anxious at four days out from my 5th re-birthday (stroke-a-versary), next Tuesday.

Here's where I "should" be today (best case, supposing I had even lived), locked in, not able to lead a "normal" life at all. And here's where I actually am! I am so thankful. I do not take my abilities nor bonus time I've be granted lightly in the least! And yet, there are sobering losses, very real griefs. A day like Tuesday leaves me processing such a wild mix of emotions!

So, I've been intentionally overloading my life with positive distractions, pretty much all to your benefit. Allow me to recap:

Today is the very last day to enter my giveaway for two Adult Coloring 2017 calendars! (As of this posting, there are just over 12 hours left to enter! Two prizes, with only seven folks who have entered so far! Please join the fun. I would love to smile at your answers about what color crayon you would be and why, and you have fantastic odds of winning a prize!)

Tonight, 5 (Pacific), I'm hosting the Facebook portion of my post-stroke Grand Re-Opening celebration Boutique for the Lilla Rose Flexi hair clips I had just signed up as Stylist (consultant) a few months before my strokes.

Since I finally have figured out enough coordination and tricks do my hair again, despite some remaining stroke paralysis and lack of fine motor skills, and because I'm working hard to earn my way to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in the spring, I'm excited to share these beautiful, durable (made of music / piano wire, so highly flexible, yet incredibly strong), ingenious (unique figure-8 design) "hair jewelry" available in seven different sizes and hundreds of designs to fit every length (if you have at least two inches of hair, you can wear a Flexi, even some fun designs like motorcycles that I've seen men wear in their beards!), hair texture (baby fine, pin straight, thick curls, floor length, dreadlocks. pixie cut, any everything in between), and personal style (from simple and practical to frilly and flamboyant)!

Tomorrow, at 4PM, please come to my house (need directions?) for the hands-on portion of my party! It will be my very first in-person Boutique and I'm pretty excited to gather some friends together to celebrate five years of stroke survival and the accomplishments these years have brought about. Playing with Flexis will be fun too! :) If you can't make it to my house due to distance or schedule, you are still welcome to join the Lilla Rose portion of the party on my website. You can order hair pretties for yourself or as gifts (holidays are quickly coming!) any time, but to count towards my grand-opening celebration (where it will make the most positive impact for me in sales numbers), all orders must be in before the end of the day Tuesday the 25th.

Tomorrow morning, before my Lilla Rose event, I get to spend a few hours with my church sisters at a get-to-know-you brunch. Being the social butterfly, people-person, that I am, even though I know this will cost me in terms of physical and mental energy (thank you, stroke and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), I know it will this time together will bless and encourage me emotionally and spiritually!

On Tuesday, my actual stroke anniversary, I'm scheduled to participate in a research study at Renown, the hospital where I lived for the first two months. I told the study coordinator I had scheduled for that date because I wanted to "do something significant" that day.

Oct. 25th, my re-birthday, is much more significant to me that the actual date of my birth each year, now! I hope to see some of my care team. Mom and I plan to go out to lunch afterwards. I've asked my hubby to take our family out to dinner that evening.

My brain doesn't really even go beyond next Tuesday yet. Starting my 6th year of survival?!

Mailbox surprise from Kendra. :)
I have no new blog post ideas after Tuesday. Do you have any questions? Anything you've wondered about? Feel free to ask! I need your curiosity right now, to spark future blog content!


New American Standard Bible 
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. -Psalm 94:19

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Jesus and the Beanstalk

I almost refused to read this book, based solely on its quirky title. BIG MISTAKE! Don't judge a book by it's cover.

Wow! I feel like Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a personable new friend. I wish we could sit down and have coffee (or tea, since I detest coffee, but I was going for coffee house intimacy with that phrase!) and a long chat together.

As God so often does, He put this book in my life at the same time He was putting the spotlight on the same part of Scripture through other means. I had just started a new Bible study on 1 and 2 Peter when He brought this book across my path. Seeing the back cover blurb about "use the hidden gifts in 2 Peter to topple the giant challenges in your life," made me willing to give this book a (albeit skeptical) chance.

The subtitle: Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life, was also highly appealing, being on the spiritual fruit journey I've been on for these past 5+ years! The list of words, "Faith, Godliness, Affection for Others, Love, Perseverance, Goodness, Knowledge, Self-Control," had enough overlap with the Fruit of the Spirit I'm dissecting, to get me a little excited, before I even opened the front cover.

Now that I'm well into the book (I'm a SLOW reader, thanks to dyslexia then my strokes), I can't imagine a better-fitting title than Jesus and the Beanstalk. Lori has so masterfully woven familiar fairy tales together, Jack and the Beanstalk in particular, to illustrate deep spiritual truths. As a writer, I marvel at her clever mastery of both the English language and cultural concepts, with nearly every turn of the page. This one should become a bestseller if enough readers can get past the "irreverence" (my primary objection) of the title and delve into the richness behind the selected monacure.