Friday, October 29, 2010

You know you are living in 2010 when...

I usually write "I don't usually share these things" before I send on something like this!  A good friend sent me this and I found it funny, so here it is: 

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Whose Rules Rule?

I wrote a post for another website a while back about grandparents titled "Whose Rules Rule?" I followed it up with a second post titled "Dealing with Challenging Grandparents."  These two posts were rather controversial and some grandparents weighed in heavily on the side of grandparents needing more freedom in the care and loving of the children.  I still agree with my two posts!  Here is an interesting piece on CBS dealing with the same issue.  This segment did not go into the issue as much as I did, but seems to be very even handed in their discussion of these very important relationship issues.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Be Like Dave

I have been following the Towne family since August of 2007, when their two-year-old son, Ben was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.  I followed them through the year and a half of treatment and attended the memorial service after Ben died in December of 2008 at the age of 3.  I am now following them as they launch the Ben Towne Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation to further pediatric cancer research.  A recent post by Carin, Ben's mother, describes beautifully what is helpful when coming alongside someone who is suffering, exemplified by Rev. Dave Rohrer:
If I were to give guidance to anyone who is walking along side a family who is losing/has lost their child here is what I would say:  Be like Dave.

When you have the urge to speak, listen. When you feel like your job is to point out the good news, wait.  When you have the need to wrap up our experience, please don’t. For real, loving care is the willingness to sit with someone and remain with them in their pain. To hear their fears and sorrow.  To say with your actions, “I don’t have all the answers, but I’m sorry. And I am here.” (Read the entire post here.)
May we all strive to "Be like Dave!"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ike Makes a Touchdown!

Here is the feel-good story of the year!  Ike, a high schooler with Downs Syndrome, was accepted as a member of the football team at Snohomish High School.  Read about how the Lake Stevens team allowed him to make a touchdown, ruining their shutout against Snohomish.  This story has gained national attention and will possibly be made into a movie.  Kudos to the wise coach and the caring team and school members who have looked past Ike's disability and shown true love and compassion! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eyes Wide Open

I have heard so many people in my circle of influence who have problems getting to sleep at night.  Or problems getting back to sleep when something awakens them.  I am compelled at such times to offer the one exercise that I have used for more than 20 years.  My mind is so used to the exercise that I can just barely get past the first part before falling asleep.  This does take practice!  But often the thing that keeps us from falling easily to sleep is that we can't turn our minds off from the issues of the day.  This exercise helps to focus your mind on something other than your problems and concerns.  Think of it as a sophisticated way of counting sheep! 

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

When trying to get to sleep, begin by naming 5 things that you see --  (“I see the ______________, I see the ______________, I see the _____________, etc., naming things in room or things in memory from bedroom where you sleep).  You silently say these things in your head.

Now close eyes for rest of activity.

Move to 5 things you hear, then 5 things you feel.  Next progress to 4 things you see, 4 things you hear, 4 things you feel, then 3 of each, then 2, then one.

Keep the “chant” going throughout:  I see the __________, I hear the ____________, I feel the ___________etc. through 4 items I see, 4 items I hear, 4 items I feel; use the same items or different, then 3 of each, then 2, then 1

At first you won’t hear anything, but as you listen deeply, noises will rise to your consciousness (ex:  breathing, fan, people in next room)

Examples of feelings:  I feel my foot going to sleep, I feel hungry, I feel my leg against the sheet.

If not asleep or relaxed, start over with 5 things I see.  If you get lost or mixed up, start anywhere.  It doesn’t matter as long as you are calm and relaxed. 

With practice, you will notice it takes less and less time to fall asleep when you begin this routine.

I see the clock on the wall, I see the window, I see the bureau, I see the door, I see the picture.  I hear the birds outside, I hear cars going by, I hear the hum of the frig, I hear people walking by, I hear snoring.  I feel tired, I feel anxious, I feel the bed against my leg, I feel my hands twitching.

On to 4 of each, then 3, then 2, then 1, starting over anywhere you get mixed up.  Focus isn’t on doing this exercise “right,” but on concentrating on something other than the things making you anxious or unable to sleep.    (Michele Weiner-Davis technique)

(Photo "counting sheep" by andywon, shared via Flickr)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Long Obedience in Action

Update on Steve Ruetschle:
On Thurs, June 17, Steve was in a severe motorcycle accident while on a multi-state motorcycle trip.  The accident was in North Carolina. Medics on the scene made the decision to life-flight Steve to the nearest trauma hospital, in Asheville, North Carolina.  Steve fractured his c6 and c7 neck vertebrae. Steve currently has some feeling but no movement from his upper chest to his feet. He has partial use of arms/biceps; no fine motor movement in his fingers.  The doctor says that Steve has a 10% chance he’ll ever be able to regain any meaningful movement in his legs, however a definitive prognosis is still not established. It is clear that prognosis will play out over the months and years. (italics mine)
Since that time, there have been 202,642 page loads of the website supporting Steve's recovery.  The Christian community throughout the world has been praying for Steve's recovery.  How exciting to see the following videos, chronically Steve's progress!  Praise God for answered prayers as Steve continues the hard work of recovery! 

Here is a link to the videos!  Watch, weep, continue to pray!  We do not know why sometimes our prayers bring about a positive outcome and sometimes we are left to mourn.  But we trust in the One who has the power to heal and look forward to seeing Steve whole again!

A book worth reading....

I love to find a book that I can't put down.  They are few and far between with life's busyness interfering and all of my other interests taking center stage.  But when I find one that grabs me and won't let go, it's a rare treat.  I remember times this would occur when I had three young children and would stay up half the night finishing a book, only to drag myself through the next day.  My life is easier now, but the "can't put down" books seem harder to find.

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese is such a book.  I read it over the course of a couple of days, ignoring as many of my responsibilities as possible, wanting only to get back to the book.  It is a gripping tale, set in Ethiopia, and written by a physician.  The author was born and raised in Ethiopia and is a physician, so obviously knows Ethiopia and medicine intimately.  The story touched me deeply.  Here's a quote from the book: 
"The world turns on our every action, and our every omission, whether we know it or not."
This, in a nutshell, seems to be the theme of the book.  The actions and omissions of the characters left me hanging precariously throughout, but the loose ends were tied up by the end of the book.  I was sorry to turn  the last page.

I'd love to hear about books that have grabbed you!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

20 Wishes

Here's something I gleaned from a good friend's post, taken from Julia Cameron in her book Walking in This World.
"The following simple little exercise is one I use when I’m feeling a bit stuck on who I am, where I want to go and what the next steps may be.

Number a blank sheet from 1 to 20. Writing (quickly) finish the phrase: “I wish” 20 times. Your wishes can range from the big things that you find difficult to wrap your mind around or the very small (almost imperceptible) things that are sometimes passed off in pursuit of bigger things. There is no right or wrong wish!

What you will notice, once you have completed your list, is that there are several small, yet doable steps you can take that you may not have thought about. The simple act of putting your wishes on paper (instead of holding them in your head) allows you to gain insight and perspective."  (Read the rest of the post at Windridge Reflections)
My husband and I used this exercise on a recent road trip and some of the things we each wished were surprises to the other (and to ourselves!)  Try it for yourself or as a conversation starter.  Obviously some of the things on the wish list are probably not going to happen, but if even just a few of them can begin to take place, it does help you to decide what you want to do with the years remaining to you!