Be encouraged

As we head into the crazy time of year we call the ‘Christmas Season’ I want you all to be encouraged. I received this message from a relative of mine on Facebook several weeks ago, it actually accompanied a link to another message, but I was busy and all that popped up on my phone were the words she wrote above the link ‘Be encouraged’. Wow, I thought, how could she possibly have known how discouraged I had been feeling the night before. God must have been telling her that’s exactly what I needed to hear that day.

You see, the night before I’d come home from doing some stand-in work for the series ‘Here, Now’. We’d been out on a hiking trail at Mt. Tabor park in Portland and I had to walk up and down the hills as a stand-in so they could get the lighting right for the actors when they came back on set. I was just figuring out in the weeks before this that going uphill seemed to be a trigger for my lower back pain. I had a bad feeling I was going to end the day in a lot of pain. Which I had. I was so discouraged that night. I felt broken, like nothing or no one was going to be able to fix me.

I got up that morning knowing I had to take some Ibuprofen just to make it out the door to my first appointment with the chiropractor. I wasn’t feeling hopeful that they would be able to fix me, either. In fact, I was worried they would make it worse trying to adjust me without knowing what was going on. Then this little message pops up on my phone. ‘Be encouraged’, it said.

It wasn’t until hours later when I got home from the chiropractor that I actually opened it up and saw there was a link as well. It was a great message from a motivational speaker who was talking about how God was going to excavate our lives, He was clearing away the rubble and when we lift our eyes, we are gong to see a beautiful mosaic out of all the broken pieces of our lives. Wow. Powerful.

And yet, how could the person who sent this know that even just her words added to the link had already lifted me up and encouraged me as I went out the door to go to the chiropractor to see if he could help put me back together again. And perhaps she sent this same message to others as well that day, but it hit me right when I was feeling helpless and hopeless.

I remembered it again the other day as I was walking around the park looking at the ducks near the pond. There were some black ducks nearby, but when you got up close, you could see that they had this beautiful iridescent shimmer to their black feathers – making them shine in greens and blues and purples. They weren’t really just black ducks. And the verse popped into my head. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26

He is taking care of me as I walk through this time of healing. Providing for me. And sometimes sending little bits of encouragement along my way right at the exact moment I’m feeling so discouraged. If anyone else out there is feeling discouraged right now, I want you also to be encouraged  today, as well.

 

Iridescent shimmer!

Iridescent shimmer!

 

Pretty duck

Pretty duck

 

Sail away!

Sail away!

 

Grooming time

Grooming time

 

Duck amongst the fall leaves

Duck amongst the fall leaves

 

A random squirrel scurrying through the fall leaves

A random squirrel scurrying through the fall leaves

 

And also a link to the motivational speaker I got in my e-mail that day: Lisa Bevere 

 

 

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Thoughts and prayers are welcome here

As we drove along to OHSU yesterday for my mom’s chemo appointment, I was just in awe of the beautiful colors on the trees lining the sides of the row. Mostly yellows and oranges with bits of red thrown in. Wow. I’m sure it will all be gone by the time we go back again, but it sure was a pretty drive on a beautiful fall day.

A couple of weeks ago we went to Schedeen’s nursery and produce stand in Gresham. As Saturday market is drawing to a close, this one will keep going through December – where it will turn into a Christmas tree lot before closing for the winter.  There were a lot of pretty fall colors there, as well. I’m trying to just enjoy it all before we trade it in for the bleakness of winter. Bleh. Not looking forward to winter at all…

Enjoy the beauty that is around you in this season!

 

Schedeen's Fresh & Local

Schedeen’s Fresh & Local

 

Bunny bird bath

Bunny bird bath

 

Pink straw flower

Pink straw flower

 

One lonely flower

One lonely flower

 

Lemons and limes

Lemons and limes

 

Red hot chili peppers

Red hot chili peppers

 

Mini pumpkins

Mini pumpkins and gourds

 

Purple ruffles

Purple ruffles

 

To any of you who sent me thoughts and prayers as I had a major setback in healing my back a couple of weeks ago. Thank you. I know that phrase is getting a bad rep on Facebook, and I just want to say, as far as I am concerned, I will welcome any thoughts and prayers coming my way because, for one, who am I to be worthy and blessed to be in your thoughts or prayers in the first place? And second, I believe in the power of prayer! I believe it can heal my mother’s cancer. I believe prayer can help heal me or place me in the hands of someone capable of healing me – in my case, the chiropractor, the acupuncturist, or the people at the physical therapy office – and if that doesn’t work, I’m sure God will place me in someone else’s very skilled hands to heal me up. Or heal me Himself.

I’m not sure what this world is coming to where everyone has to criticize everyone else in order to feel better about themselves. I blame social media. When one person gets on a band wagon about something, everyone else jumps on and blindly follows. I’m not even sure what a band wagon is, but I certainly don’t want to jump on one with the rest of the world.

So many of the people I know are so far away, all they can do is send thoughts and prayers. Even if you are closer to me, what can you do to help me along in the healing process, anyway?  I need to go work with my team of ‘healers’ in order to gain the healing I need to move on from this place in my life.  No one can do it for me. If I’m in a lot of pain and you live nearby, food is always welcome. And by food, I mean the good stuff. Sweets. Desserts. Treats. Or, you can just throw dark chocolate at me and slowly back away… Just kidding. (But not about the dark chocolate. I never joke about dark chocolate. )

If you are nearby and also in pain, perhaps we could form a pain buddies group. Where we sit around lounging on junk food and doing mellow things that won’t cause any of us to be in more pain. Haha. Otherwise, I just want to say, your thoughts and prayers are welcome here…

 

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