Category Archives: Devotional

Born Again: Nine Months Later

Yesterday marked the nine month point since my hamstring surgery. (ha. Mis-typed that ham “strong.” Can your keyboard cause a Freudian slip?) I had an appointment with the surgeon. Shared that I still seem to have hip weakness from the brace, but I have recently found a new exercise to address this. Since I am no longer going to Physical Therapy I said, “I referred myself to myself.”  He was okay with that since:

a. I have some expertise in exercise and
b. I am something of an expert on myself.

He told me that I need to set some goals for my recovery/rehab since one can expect improvement up to 9 months to a year. I am not sure whether he was giving me a 3 month extension or says this to everyone but I’m going with it. Three months to get back to as good as I’m going to get. And, as Stephanie says, “I’m not a quitter.” So, diligence is the name of the game from now until April the 26th.

But, I have no more appointments with the doctor. I am on my own. His job is done.

So, as I drove out of the hospital campus my eyes were drawn to the emergency entrance. There, 9 months ago, Olivia wheeled me in, leg throbbing. Little did I know what was ahead. Today, I drove out a free woman. Newly born, after 9 months. (I told Dr. Miyamoto we should be having a baby and I think I embarrassed him.)

I found myself praying as I eased the Honda over the speed bumps on my way to the open road:

“Lord, I pray that I have fully learned what you intended for me in this time. That I have been changed in your direction. You have sewn humility and gratitude. You have shown me the fallacy of taking, even what we do well, too seriously and wearing it ungraciously. These nine months have changed me. I pray that change will take a firm hold and bring life anew to whatever you’re doing in me. Thank you for giving me New Life.”

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I’m Running! Looking Ahead, Not at My Feet

I finally was allowed to run just a bit at physical therapy on Tuesday. Five months since my surgery. 5 and a 1/2 since my injury. Yeah, only a minute here and there, alternated with walking. Only at about 11 minute mile pace. But hey, I’m running, right?

This is what Physical Therapy looks like from lying on the treatment table.

It takes quite a while to warm up, and even when I’m warm, the whole brain to muscle connection is a bit rusty. I feel like the tin man, needing oil in all my joints. I’m hyper-aware of all the small aches and places of lost sensation. “A neuropathy, perhaps?” Mery supposes. My poor hip, twisted into all sorts of odd configurations while it was in that brace is now weak at every conceivable angle. And it’s trying its best to compensate for the hamstring  – which is there and operating, but not quite up to snuff compared with the right one. (What does “up to snuff mean? anyone?)

A couple of weeks ago I had a set back. I was on the floor a-straddle a carpet runner that Scot and I were attaching adhesive backing to. I reached forward to pull the adhesive and heard/felt something give in the hip. Not a tearing or ripping. Just an ‘ugh-that-wasn’t-good’ kind of feeling. I was a bit more careful after that. But inevitably that means I’ll ache and be sore the next day. And I won’t be able to do what I was doing in PT. (hopping, jumping, lunges) Because now, the support system for the hamstring is licking its wounds.

I lament not knowing when I first got in the brace how I could sit to prevent some of this hip atrophy. But back then I was just worrying about surviving. There really was no strategy to it. Hindsight is always 20-20, eh?

All in all, I’m not well yet. But I am nearing the time when I have to stop taking it easy on myself and just get this show on the road. The key is pushing myself to do a little bit of what my muscle is reluctant to do without hurting it. Pushing without pulling, one might say. Controlled overload. The physical version of aversion therapy. (Expose yourself bit by bit to what you fear until you lose your fear.) Then, tolerate the soreness, trust the process and gradually move forward.

They told me this would take 9 months. I guess all of human creation takes 9 months of gestation. I’m working on embracing it as a time to evaluate, organize, research and plan. To take a good look at what’s next for me. This is the off-season, a time before spring training starts, before there is pressure to compete. Just to grow the idea and become its mother. We know who the Father is.

Giving thanks for healing, for PT guidance and companionship, for Facebook friends’ encouragement, for my family’s patience and, ironically, for time. So often it’s the foe. What am I in a hurry to get to? If I rush, I won’t be able to claim it when I get there. If I don’t prepare now, I won’t be able to embrace the opportunity that surely awaits there.

Wishing it was easier. Wishing I was more diligent. Wishing there was more obvious progress. But I think there is something good on the other side. My turn now is to do what’s before me (thanks Diane J. for those words) and not worry about what’s around the bend. It’s a time of preparation.

Ironically and God-incidentally, as I close, I came across this from Billy Graham. You can click here to read the whole article.

Here are some excerpts:

First, time is a trust. What are we doing with it? Are we frittering it away, letting it slip through our fingers, squandering it in wanton waste? Or are we treasuring it, using it to maximum advantage, filling every minute with 60 seconds’ worth of service to God? The Apostle Paul counsels us to “redeem the time” (Cf. Ephesians 5:16). Time cannot be relived; it can only be redeemed. Let us treat time as a trust.

Second, time is a test. Time in itself is neither good nor bad except as we make it so. But it becomes a crucial test, sifting us through and through, minute by minute. As life goes on, there are billions of events happening in every moment of historic time. To those billions of events we contribute our quotas. What is the next contribution that you will make? In the next instant you can tell a lie or commit other sins, or you can choose to use that time to serve God and to lay up treasures for eternity.

Third, time is an appointment. Thus time is an appointment with Christ, and the Bible says, “Now is the accepted time” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NKJV). God has given us a moment in which we can come to know His Son Jesus Christ. We can come out of time and enter eternity with Him. From now on, everything we do can be done with eternity in view.

I’m in the Cabinet Phase

I think I am in the cabinet phase.

You know. When you pour the foundation, frame the house, put in the windows -when you get it under roof – this all goes quickly. “Wow, look how fast that house went up!” we say. But no one moves into that house for quite a while because the specialists all have to come. First, there are the detail guys who run the wiring and put in the plumbing. Then comes the painstaking detail, trim work, chair molding, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and painting. These craftsmen give the house character and personality.

That’s the phase I’m in: the character phase, orchestrated by the cabinet-maker.

They say Jesus was a carpenter, but I think of him more as a cabinet maker. Not one to saw the boards for general construction, really, but more of a detail man. I can imagine him making sure the door hangs true and the hinges fit snuggly so the cabinet operates as it should.

Yep. I’m in the cabinet phase now. Working on getting that hinge to work as it should. Glad I know a good Carpenter.

Step 1. Walk

I am bolder now about crossing the street. Since parting ways with my crutches, I can fool people into thinking I am an able-bodied person and they stop, not realizing how long it will take me to cross.

I cross from the Giant to the hand-capped spaces at Franklin farm. I have been unsuccessful in my mission to find acceptable guacamole for our burritos, so I am carrying nothing but my purse (yes, no longer the backpack that has been my knapsack for the last 8 weeks) and myself. Out of habit (?) I, mid-street, pull my bag off my shoulder to look for the car keys I will need. I attempt to continue to walk, but this doesn’t work so well. I re-shoulder the bag realizing it will be much safer to look once I get to the car …no, realizing I can’t walk and look at the same time.

And this is my plight.

The old joke of the spaz who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Walking takes all my attention. And once I get to the car, finding my car keys is simple. Why rush? Something about re-joining the pace of life sends me off to trying 2 things at once. Is it really any quicker to walk and look than to walk first, look next? How much time do I really save?

What other things do I put on auto-pilot so I can multi-task?

  • driving
  • talking to the kids
  • friends
  • self-care

Is it worth it? Are they? Am I?

I have written a sticky note to myself. It is a prayer of sorts:

“God, what one thing am I supposed to be doing right now?”

It requires me to trust that He’ll provide time later for the rest of what He intends me to do.

Worthiness

Worthiness. We each have been made worthy by the blood of the Lamb. Still, we struggle to ‘feel worthy’ – we never will be. We can’t make ourselves worth enough to approach God. But He says He has. As we saying He hasn’t? He can’t? denying the value of what He did for us?

We struggle with “I need to do this and this to be good enough for God. He won’t love me more if I do more. He won’t love me less if I do less. In this time of ‘can’t’ He doesn’t love me less because I am not.

Does God have expectations for our lives? Is there one right way He intends for us to live them? This creates anxiety for fear of living them wrong.

None is worthy, on our own, to approach God.

That is why we approach with humility. In a spirit of reverence, fear, thanks. Because we can, even  though we don’t deserve to. Humility is in the proper posture/attitude. Right before God. How can I honor you? How can I do work that honors you? Mother, wife, professional, missionary, friend, daughter, niece, cousin, sister in law – how in my relationships, as I go about my life, can all I do honor you?

Humility is the “How?” “Teach me your way to…”

Lord, you have made me worthy to come before you. HOW can I go from your presence living your way and honoring your name in Creation?

***

I’m in the Father’s arms, kicking and screaming. “Put me down! I wanna walk!” Like a toddler.

Then, I’m standing in the palm of His hand. He’s holding me high above all He is doing. I can’t see it. Just my part. I imagine my desk, office, workspace, resting lightly in His palm. Weightless.