I’ll Blog When I Can

Among all my other problems lately, I haven’t had a regular PCA for Tuesday and Thursday mornings since mid-August. A cousin and a dear Christian friend had been graciously helping out, understanding that I’ve been feeling too poorly to advertise and interview.

Yesterday, neither lady was available, so I spent the day in bed watching Animal Planet while John posted an ad on Craigslist. So today I have a backlog of email, made heftier by responses to the ad.

As much as I want to blog, I don’t anticipate anything other than a Throwback Thursday tomorrow and a Flashback Friday the following day. I apologize for the lack of original content right now. Hopefully things will settle down soon — at least enough for me to blog consistently.

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I’m Not Letting Go Without A Fight!

Not only do I type with a headstick, but I drive my power wheelchair with my face. Having a strong neck is crucial to my daily function, particularly as a blogger.

So you can probably guess that the severe neck pain that I’v been feeling since a week ago yesterday has alarmed me and John considerably.

We got Blue Emu last night. I tried my first application this morning, and so far I haven’t had any significant relief. Some reviews said it works immediately, while others said it takes a few days. Still others said it was a complete waste of money. So I’m asking the Lord to let it work for me. So that I can keep working for Him.

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Flashback Friday: A Woman With Birth Defects Looks At Abortion

Originally published January 25, 2018. My dear friend Ginny reminded me of this article after getting me up yesterday and witnessing the terrible pain I’ve been experiencing lately,

Bride&Mother
Me and Mom on my wedding day

When doctors discovered that I had serious birth defects, they advised my mother to put me in an institution and forget she ever had me. According to them, I’d be a vegetable my entire life.  (Thus John refers to me as his spicy little tomato.) Thankfully,  Mom rejected their counsel, put me through college and lived to see me get married a month before my 49th birthday.

My mother didn’t raise a turnip, thank you very much!

All joking aside, I understand that the doctors sincerely believed they made a humane recommendation. Certainly, because they doubted that I had cognitive function, they concluded that I couldn’t possibly tell the difference between a loving home and an institution. And, more importantly (from their perspective), my parents would be spared the anguish of having a severely disabled child.

Mom knew that doctors aren’t God. They have limited powers in predicting an infant’s future. So she brought me home and proceeded to make my childhood as normal and happy as possible. When one teacher told her I’d never go to high school, she informed him that she fully intended for me to attend college. When my occupational therapist insisted that she tell me I’d never marry, she countered, “I can’t tell her something that I don’t know myself.”

Those chilling words, “Put her in an institution and forget you ever had her,” horrified my mother. They horrify me. They horrify everyone who hears the story, as well they should! Doctors have no right to predict a baby’s future and advise a new mother to put the baby away. Had Mom followed their recommendation, both of us would have suffered for the rest of our lives.

I praise God for His sovereignty in giving me a mother who refused to give up her dreams for me. Cerebral Palsy definitely has its challenges, I admit, but the Lord has blessed me with a joyful life.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them. ~~Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)

Thinking about the doctors’ prediction 64 years ago makes me think about present-day doctors who, on the basis of prenatal tests, recommend abortion to women carrying children with potential birth defects. Typically, they reason that such children, in addition to imposing an enormous financial and emotional burden on the family, would needlessly suffer a low quality of life.

But how can anyone accurately predict the future of a baby who is still in the womb, even if genetic testing indicates birth defects? Perhaps a child will be nothing more than a vegetable, but even then, God might have a purpose for that life.  As a matter of fact, He used such a man to bring me to repentance of self-pity.

Usually,  however, children born with birth defects exceed expectations and live full, productive lives. Aborting them simply because of possible disabilities (especially when the extent of those disabilities couldn’t possibly be determined until well into childhood) seems both arrogant and cruel. Using potential disability as a rationale for aborting a child is horrifying to me.

Actually, the rationale for aborting any child is horrifying to me.

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Throwback Thursday: Missing The Reason That I Long For Heaven

Originally published September 6, 2016:

temple

Many evangelicals assume that my eagerness for heaven stems from a desire to escape my disability. I understand their assumption. After all, Cerebral Palsy (especially such a severe case) imposes multiple restrictions on me, and those restrictions often carry a variety of subtexts. So of course one would conclude that the promise of a new body, free of the limitations currently thrust on me, holds a significant appeal for me.

In one sense, it does. But only when I view heaven in terms of how it will benefit me. And as I grow in understanding doctrine, I become increasingly convinced that most professing Christians hold an inverted view of heaven and its purposes.

Somewhere in my past, a friend posited the idea that heaven would be different for each of us, according to our interests, tastes and desires. Using her paradigm, heaven for me would be a giant art  museum filled with works by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Monet, Sargent and Rockwell. With cheesecake for meals. Her heaven would be stables of magnificent horses for her to ride and sturdy oak trees for her to climb.

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It’s Friday, And I Have Too Much To Blog About

Cartoon drawing of a snail

Today started off well. Massachusetts General Hospital called bright and early, saving us the trouble of calling to reschedule my procedure Monday. The RIDE is getting a new software program this weekend, so we know taking it into Boston Monday would have been a massive nightmare. Anyway, I got to my computer relatively early, and opened my Bible on eSword.

eSword includes a feature that allows me to keep a prayer list. I know some people equate prayer lists with Rosary beads with their rote petitions, and that danger is certainty present. But I struggle to stay focused in prayer, so my prayer list gives me needed structure. I’ve recently taught myself how to use my list as a guideline while enjoying rich fellowship with the Lord.

So I had a refreshing time of prayer as I prepared to study God’s Word.

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Breaking A Blogging Rule Because I Do It So Well (And Because I Don’t Want To Do A Flashback Friday)

Earlier this week I noticed an article on Pinterest about five rules that Christian bloggers should never heard break. Actually, none of the rules seemed specific to Christian bloggers — the main thrust seemed to be about growing readership.

Because you, dear readers, apparently exist to make me a famous blogger. Right?

(Please note the sarcasm in that last paragraph.)

Anyway, the first rule mandated reserving personal updates for a blog’s social media page. Personal updates, according to the writer, have a limited shelf-life, and therefore aren’t good for Search Engine Optimization.

And her point made sense. At least it made sense if a blog is first and foremost a business rather than a ministry.

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Useless Body, Useless Mind — All For God’s Purposes

Sunset03

Our pastor livestreams the Wednesday evening Bible Study through our church website and our church Facebook page. At the concluding of each study, he takes questions submitted through emails or Facebook comments.

This week, someone asked how people with severe mental disabilities can be saved. With great compassion, our pastor equated such a situation with that of a child dying in infancy. He cited 2 Samuel 12:14-23 (particularly verse 23) and Deuteronomy 32:4 to substantiate the belief that God will take people with severe intellectual disabilities to heaven.

The brief discussion reminded me of a young man who lived in the nursing home where I spent two years. Cerebral Palsy had not only rendered him a quadriplegic, but it made him blind and non-verbal. As if that wasn’t enough, he Read More »

Mostly Reminding Myself This year Time

My back is improving, and spring is here. Therefore my mind turns to Boston and dreams of driving my relatively new power wheelchair through the Public Garden, around Boyleston Street and on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Although I received this chair a little over a year ago, it needed so many modifications that I couldn’t start using it until October. By then, of course, the weather got too cold for trips to the city. I’ve only gotten to drive outdoors once — and just to Walgreen’s for a Shingles shot.

Now the COVID-19 lockdown may be ending…but not for seniors and people with underlying conditions.  We might have restrictions until a vaccine is available. Which might not happen until early next year.

Despite knowing that God is sovereign, I grieve the potential loss of Boston adventures this year. John and I are aging — we may not have many summers left before our bodies can’t handle going to Boston for anything other than doctor appointments. So the extension of COVID-19 restrictions upsets me.  More than it should.

In response, I frequently confess to the Lord my lack of eternal perspective. I love Boston, but it can’t hold a candle to the New Jerusalem where I’ll forever behold the face of my Savior. I must constantly remind myself that I’ve taken His cross. This world (including Boston) doesn’t belong to me. Neither do I belong to it. Something far better awaits me. Someone far better awaits me!

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Church From Home: Perhaps Not As Comfortable As We Fear

570da-stone2bchurchSome people have expressed concern that the forced social distancing that has resulted in churches livestreaming services and Bible Studies will discourage physical church attendance once states lift bans on public assemblies. I understand that the concern.

Ever since services have been televised, small numbers of professing Christians have opted out of attending church, finding it so much more convenient to fire up their TV, computer, tablet or smart phone and watch church in their jammies. Those who have experienced hurt from their church families find this long-distance approach to worship particularly soothing. How nice to hear God’s Word preached without the messiness of accountability and/or difficult relationships!

Others feel frustrated by the lack of churches that preach sound doctrine. Not too many of years ago, I despaired of finding a good church in our area, and seriously contemplated getting my spiritual nourishment online. Thankfully, my godly husband nixed that idea and the Lord brought us to a church that faithfully preaches His Word. Still, I understand the temptation to let online services substitute for actual church attendance.

So yes, some people probably will continue watching services from home long after COVID-19 fades Read More »

Why COVID-19 Hasn’t Given Me More Time To Blog

TypingRegular readers have undoubtedly noticed a radical difference in the frequency of my blog posts. Gone are Saturday Samplers, and those Bible Studies on Colossians that I’d waited all summer to write have vanished. My schedule of seven articles a week has dwindled to two or three, and I’m recycling graphics more than ever!

While most bloggers enjoy more time to write courtesy of COVID-19, I lay captive Read More »