Prayer for a Camera – 1 day and $2 – 3 later, “Say Cheese!”

Hi. There was a time when I had little money for anything else above what I needed to pay for my monthly bills. I had just moved into my new place. Money was tight. My rent cost was over half of what I made per month, and it made anything other than my basic necessities pretty much unaffordable.

I moved across from a park which I found to be so beautiful. I love nature. I feel like I see it. I appreciate it highly, and photographing it is something that gives me pleasure – to capture it.  I like different bark of trees, and when I walk, I often see angles which catch my attention, and strike me as worthy of photographing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy interest in, and love of, nature led me to desire to capture this beauty I was seeing. However, I didn’t have a camera. I didn’t have the money to buy a camera either.

As I walked along the park within a few days of being there, I recall specifically asking God if he would help me to get a camera. I was looking at this beautiful swirling bark like I’d never seen before, and firework-like floral blossom, and I wished I could capture it with a lens.

I asked God if He would help me to get one somehow. After all, what father would not want for his appreciative daughter to showcase His beautiful work, and in the process of it take such delight also?

I walked on. I let the prayer go up, and I continued to appreciate the new surroundings in which I got to have as mine.

Mike, my new landlord, informed me later that day that there was going to be a fund raiser in that park that next day – he thought I might want to get some new things for my place. Excellent! So, I headed over early that next morning.

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Maybe they’d have a camera for me! He did not know of my desire for a camera, and I honestly did not have any intention of even finding a camera there, but I could acquire some new things pretty inexpensively for my new cottage.

There were a lot of people there. I’m not a yard-saler typically. I walked around seeing what interested me. I found a couple of items of interest for the kitchen. Then, I happened upon the one and only of its kind in the place… a new camera! It looked to be very nice too. It only required batteries which did seem a little odd to me, but I didn’t know a lot about photography or cameras other than I liked to capture nature’s beauty and cool angles and architecture.

I did wonder about its quality, but all of my items, including the camera, only came to only about $7. Yard sales, wow, they rock! So, it was great. If the quality was awful, well, I only spent a couple of bucks, so that was okay. Either way, it was more than I had which was nothing.

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I got my goods, headed home and then off to the store where I bought some new batteries.

The testing-time had come. How would I find it?

I shot some photos and it was great. The quality was top notch. I couldn’t believe it, really, that it was in such good shape, and that it was so cheap, but, of course, God was at play. He’d already been working on the scene to help me out, so that should have been no surprise that he made me to have a good camera destined to meet my hot little hands. I love how God works. I was so excited that it was good, and inexpensive, and I actually had it manifested. I liked it so much. I love you, God!! God was so good to me during those times with all my monetary needs.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

God, as He does, found a way to give me the desire of my heart with that camera that day. That’s so neat, I think.

My time those days focused more on knowing God than anything else. I was in a time of still delighting in Him, I guess, not busying myself with the idol of television. I believe God found a way to get me that camera, as a result, in an affordable way. That was so great!! I love that he provides us with the desires of our hearts, in particular, when we cannot provide them for ourselves, so to speak. There are definite perks to not having  a lot of money – you get the benefit of God in ways you’d likely otherwise not know if you could provide all your own stuff.

I headed back to the park almost immediately, taking incredibly lovely photos of the trees’ bark, trunk clusters of different palms, radiant water lilies and birds in predatory stances, and of the shimmering light on the moss that hung from the trees. It was all so beautiful to me! And what fun, too! I loved it. I got to enjoy many days around that park taking photographs. The Lord is so good to me.

Midway Beauty Park

A few verses of scripture come to mind: “See ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you,” and “In all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will direct your paths.” Also, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” The first and last statements are pretty much the same for the most part, I guess.

I make reference to these scriptures because I felt they came to life in this circumstance for me, they applied. It’s just a reminder of A. How God gives us the desires of our heart when we seek Him first and that He will direct our paths to acquire what we need or what we want – – I got that camera for maybe $4 dollars, and it was excellent quality, and God made it known to me how to get it!, and B. I was reminded how God really cares about all the little things of our hearts and lives. He gave me just want I wanted, and at a price that I could afford. J

Jesus told us in Matthew 7:11, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” It’s always worth asking, wasn’t it? If it’s His will, we will not be denied it! I love that the camera was His will too. Also, I recall Jesus also says you have not because you ask not, but there’s also the caveat of asking according to the will of God. So, I guess that hot little camera was part of his awesome will. Awesome!!

I’m amazed at how God makes little things happen that are really so big to me. I love that – the small things in life often are so meaningful. It makes God more of a Father because those little things in life that He has come through on have fostered a delicate relationship with me showing me how intricately involved He is in every aspect and step of my life, and that He hears me and cares about all of the little things that matter to me, also! I love it. I find definite joy in that knowledge! Thank you, Lord, God.

I’m so grateful for a father like God. I’m also reminded that by these little, sweet, personal answered prayers, that God shows me that He does, and has, heard me, and that he responds, in this case, with a YES! He’s so awesome.

Thank you, Lord, God. I love you.

Holly

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Podcast: Malachi Daughter and Dad

Malachai 4:6 And the Lord will turn the hearts of the father’s to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Had this prayed over me for me and my pop for a harmed relationship we had, and within a week I had grace pour over me randomly, washing out my hurt and pouring in the love and compassion of the Father for my dad. We would have a new relationship from that point forward.

Here are some excerpts from the audio file, below.

I told him in an email. I wrote it with the intention of hopefully coming clean with everything with respect to how I felt about him and that type of treatment, everything hoping he’d acknowledge me, that my feelings matter – I even used my siblings hurt too about some of his behavior toward them with respect to this, which maybe I shouldn’t have – it crossed a line. I just told him all of the hurts. I was done pretending, and my build-up, boiled over.

I was honest. I was a little mean too, I guess. It included my fears and hurts about some ways he’d treated me over the years and how I was not interested in that relationship anymore. I wanted and deserved more and better from him. For us.

We had this relationship much of my life where he would do what he would do and I would just accept it whether I liked it or not because mostly I wanted him to love me, and I did not want to rock the boat so I wouldn’t tell him how certain behaviors affected me. I would just blow it off – accepting it as him.

My hope, that he would treat what I was saying with some kind of respect and honor what little I was asking. I was hoping for a somewhat favorable response. Not. He answered, “I think it best that we no longer communicate with one each other. You’ve crossed a line.”

Anyway, though I felt resolved and good for me for taking myself and my feelings into consideration finally, more than his for once, I still wanted my dad. I’d always wanted my dad. That never goes away. I believe even if we are right or justified with our actions, the case remains that we wish for our parents to love us and to be the mature, guiding family they are intended to be, and to do what is right, always – for everyone, but they don’t always.

I believe that if we are without a good relationship with our parents, it hurts us. We are made to love and to be loved, you’d think especially by those who brought us into this world.

Accepting what he wrote, and taking full responsibility for what I wrote, my reply to him was, in effect, “I am sorry for what I wrote in that it came across meanly, but, I am in no way sorry for the content of what I wrote. What I wrote was all true, and if you cannot handle that, then that is on you, but I will in no way apologize for what I said.”

I felt strong and right for having stuck up for myself. It was the first time in my life with my dad like that. I left it at that. I was glad I didn’t feel diminished. Though I was sadly devastated, I was glad not to have caved, and wrote something back weak and self-denying, like, “Oh forgive me, I am so sorry, I don’t mean it. Please forgive me. Come back.” Essentially begging him not to leave me all the while not acknowledging the truth of who I was and how I have felt hurt by how he had treated me in certain situations. I was tired of the denial and deceit of what not standing up for me represented – a façade, as saying to myself that I don’t matter. I wasn’t willing to tolerate behavior that was deceitful nor was I willing to let myself down anymore essentially accepting that I did not matter. If I don’t matter, then let’s be true with it. I was done with all of that though. I could at least stand tall even know I was a sad on some level too.

Bankable Memories – A Birthday Surprise for Mike and a Training Surprise for Me

So, my trip to supporting my family friend turned about to be supportive to me, as well. Blessings go both ways!! 😊
What a loving gift I got, too, as I went to celebrate him! I got celebrated, too, for my training.

My memory will have that moment forever, for how happy he seemed for some reason, and what a fun moment that was!

August 1

My ex-brother-in-law, Mike, had a birthday yesterday. He’s got to be pushing 70 or more – quite a bit older than my sister, he was.

Yesterday I thought to go and spend the day with him. In the morning, I had a flat and had to work out. Prayed about it in the a.m. with respect to having a confirmation of pwhat I was feeling. I opened the bible, and what I turned to was in Psalms, I believe, and it said something about “birthday feast.” Perfect. That settles it.

Went to take my car in and do my training, and by the time I got back it was after noon. I cleaned up myself and felt like I’d rather relax on the couch which is where I found myself sitting doing just that.

It was after 1, and the drive across 70 through FL is my most boring, hated, 3-hour drive, and with no radio!

I consulted the Lord again, what should I do? Do you really want me to go? I got a word from Isaiah that read, “Set you mind on the highway.” I was so excited because it was so clear and, I called Mike and let him know of my plan. Happily, he was out a dock bar having a birthday celebration with some friends and locals.  I asked if he’d be around later, and he said he had no plans. I told him was planning on coming over and taking him out for a birthday dinner! “Yah!” was his great response, in his cute Mike fashion that he does when he’s really excited. It’s so cute like a young kid.

I got off the couch immediately and gladly got about my business. Cleaned up a bit here, packed my bags and readied myself for the highway for the birthday feast celebration. I was so excited for Mike’s excitement and for having clear direction, my road trip woes were destroyed.

I prayed too the trip be shorter, somehow. When my GPS sent me a different way than I’d always gone it’s shaved a half hour off my trip! Yah!!

I got Mike a couple little silly things – a “birthday cupcake” which he requested. It was a chocolate muffin he called a “cupcake,” a card and some candy, a birthday balloon, and that was it. Not much. My visit, and the dinner, were the gifts. Thought he should have a card at least. Something to open! 😊

When I arrived, I sung to him after he opened the door for a quick happy birthday to you – he laughed and took it in.  We greeted each other warmly.

Mike wanted chicken parm which we eventually went out for and had a yummy feast! He was happy! I ate so much. He barely finished his dinner, because he had tacos for lunch he claimed, making him full, whereas I’d only had a tuna sandwich after an hour and a half at the gym, barely anything all day. I was ready to eat. Salad, bread, stuffed mushroom appetizer and a pasta and chicken dish. I ate almost every bit of it. A café latte and biscotti to boot. Mike was too full for a birthday cake, but had a “classic coffee,” as he puts it.  We chatted for some time. He shared how happy he was with the everything which made me pleased! Felt glad it was birthday feast success which was worth the trip over!

My plan the following morning was to train. My legs and knee felt good, gladly. Figured I would run first being it was about the time I would be running, 8:45, and I was working on proper conditioning. I was going for the distance for Saturday, 3.2 miles, a 5K. Planning on running around his neighborhood 4 times, according to him, would likely make that distance. Turns out, I ran 4 miles which was GREAT!!

My morning highlight, after the beautiful morning weather I enjoyed with coffee as I reminisced about Miami weather as a kid, was after making my first lap, seeing Mike in his garage waiting to cheer me on. What a great surprise!! I loved it. It made me so happy. I won’t have anybody at the event with me, so him cheering me on was really special. Bankable memories are what I began accumulating. Rich memories.

One of the things I realized with my run that morning was that like swimming I was originally having a hard time breathing which I’d forgotten – I’ve run little during these 3.2 weeks of training, and haven’t run much at all this summer! So, that was good to realize – that whatever my race, I will find my pace eventually, it may take me a minute or 15 to find my breath and then regulate it, but I’ll get there as long as I don’t panic! So, I felt my pace eventually, and it felt good. Mike even commented on my pace being good, but later told me to pick it up. 😊

I think I loved most what I came next. As I was going for lap two, I saw Mike heading toward me. I did not know it was him for a while. I’m not sure what sparked it, but the smile he had was the best I’ve ever seen on him.

It’s so rare to see a smile from him like that. It was great. Perfect! I’ve termed it one of those “bankable smiles.”

My memory will have that moment forever, for how happy he seemed for some reason, and what a fun moment that was! It was joyous! I’m not sure why or what was said. Maybe it was my laughing at the recognition of it being him coming toward me on my bike! Thought that was funny. He eventually began too with his army chant, “left, right, left, right, left.” He kept on. We laughed. We got back to his place. He eventually pulled in the drive, and I ran on.

He continued to be outside cheering me on, off and on with his coffee in hand, and a wave or cheer and a smile. Something supportive. It was super! I will be so grateful for those sweet memories, always! Fun and memorable are what he made that particular morning of training. It was great. Memorable, for sure. Completely unexpected and fun! Thank you, Mike!!

So, my trip to supporting my family friend turned about to be supportive to me, as well. Blessings go both ways!! 😊

What a loving gift I got, too, as I went to celebrate him! I got celebrated, too, for my training. I won’t have anybody I know cheering me on at the actual event, but, I will see Mike in my head and hear him in my ears as I make my transitions, and I finally cross the finish line winning for myself the title of triathlete.

Me Bike Train 2

Cheers to you, Mike. Thanks, too, for the fun, bankable memories! I love you.

Holly

Podcast: A Prophetic Prayer re: Gerry Who I Met Later That Day

Having come to a sadness within myself of not having a home of my own, I found myself very sadly crying one afternoon in a parking lot wishing, praying to God, for a beautiful home of my own
surrounded by a place of beauty.
I didn’t know a Gerry, but having prayed a prophetic prayer a few months before, I trusted that was the Holy Spirit praying through me, again, according to Romans 8:26 – 27.

Gerry 
Occurred August 2010
This story is what has inspired all of my other stories. It was truly God’s greatness answering me, evidently. Love to you, Father. (1 Gerry 26:31), (2 Gerry 14:40)

Pressing On, and Praying On

Praying this a.m. left me with two take-aways – a desire and heart to help others somehow – of which I asked the Lord to show me what that looks like and for me to recognize it, and, for direction and greater confidence in my training as I swim today.

Where I Was to Start

This morning I awoke at 2ish, 4ish, 5 and I was finally up, and out of bed, by about 6:30 or so. I was not interested in getting up – nothing new, but I eventually did. I got in the shower shortly thereafter and got with it.

No interest in working out or in carrying out my normal prayer routine is where I was at this morning.

I took off yesterday, Sunday, from work and working out. After church, I went shopping. I am not a shopper normally, but having attendants cater to you is AWESOME. Guess that’s why I’ve hated shopping previously – the on and off with the clothes constantly and running back and forth for different sizes – insufferable – not that bad, but still, it’s never been for me.

I got some really nice, great new cloths which I like, a lot. Cute skirts and pants – lots of them. Need more shirts maybe, but also got belts and shoes and jewelry, too. Good stuff. Pretty set for back to school, next week, but I’ll have to keep this less 1 size training body to keep my skirts and pants looking good!

My mind, from the day off, left me out of sorts from being off schedule. I was completely out of it, like I traveled to Europe for the week or something. I was not at all in my normal mind-set, and wasn’t really eager to get back to it.

I felt a little bothered, like I have to take time to pray, and I felt like I wanted to be free from all the protocols of ritual even know I majorly benefit from it, as do others, I’m sure. I was feeling like I wanted to be able to have my independence and just go about my day without checking in. I feel I always have to check in to make sure I’m doing it right. I know not practicing my faith is always an option, too.

What I Decided

The word tells us renew our mind daily. So, I checked in, did some short prayers, and, also found at the end, my heart was yearning to help others as I prayed, so I prayed for that, welling-up somehow. I don’t know what that looks like, but it might involve helping feed others or something of the like.

I had a yearning to be of service.

My time to be helped has always been present from the Lord, but I feel it’s time to help others more now because I’m good with where I am in this life. Thank, God!

Background

For much of my life, I was needy. My place in life now is positive. All is well. God has been so gracious and faithful to help me so much, always, over the years, and even despite my indiscretions.

What Now?

I swam, biked and ran outside the other day to provide greater conditioning for myself as I prepare for the meet this following weekend.

Feeling I had accomplished my greatest challenge already, my thoughts went to, “Now What?” To where do you go after you have achieved what you set out to?

Of course, I have not finished the race, but I felt the highest hurdle had been conquered, so what now? No answer came to mind. Just keep running. I felt a bit deflated, however. What’s next?

Where I Am Now

So, today, after prayerfully beginning my day – which I know is much better and always goes smoother when I spend my time with God – I put my my jewelry and belts away, cleaned up a bit, and did some work and printed it out. I then headed out with my packed gym bag and computer, too, to do some more working and working out.  To date I have run: 27 miles, biked 123 and swam for almost 5 hours. Yah Me!

I felt so good leaving this morning.  By the way, when I was praying this morning, I got this vision of me swimming so stealthily which gave me the desire to do it – grace! Yah! Thank you, Lord!

As I prayed this morning, I confessed my lack of desire to do so to the Lord, and the pride I felt accompanied it. I thanked him, too, for the privilege of being able to pray, even, and knowing he hears me and is with me!! What a gift and privilege, for sure. 😊

Praying this a.m. left me with two take-aways – a desire and heart to help others somehow – of which I asked the Lord to show me what that looks like and for me to recognize it, and, for direction and greater confidence in my training as I swim today.

I was so grateful I took the time, as always, to pray before I proceeded.

“Pray Before Proceeding!” I like it😊

On the Road – Attributes to Happiness

Feeling so happy as I was on my way to do some work at Panera, this a.m., I wondered why I was so happy. I thought it was because I am progressing. I love accomplishment! Physically , professionally and personally, I have made many accomplishments this summer. Awesome, accomplishment – I highly recommend seeking it!!

Accomplishment and progress are two nouns, for the lack of a better word😊 that I have achieved this summer. Even this morning, I felt accomplished for what I completed because of the progress it’s imparting.

I have found that happiness is the by-product of progress and accomplishment – for me, anyway! What a great gift! Who knew? There is nothing like those two to provide for a happy soul.

Pressing On, Praying On

Pride and boredom may, at times, try and thwart prayers and spending time with God, like this a.m., but I gotta let it go, and switch up, if that occurs. God will always lead me to answer, “What’s next?” when I ask, and, if I am open and aware, to know what that is.

For now, “What’s next?” Pressing On and Praying On – Pressing On toward working out, working, and waiting on who and when I can help and serve others, And, Praying On for the grace to accomplish what I need to do along each step of the way.

Final Note, From Panera

When asked this morning by a Panera cashier, “How are you today?” “Marvelous!” I responded. “As it should be,” she responded! I loved it. Ditto that! Marvelous.

Have a marvelous day, and happiness to you in all that you do…

Holly

Reminders of the Little Ways God Loves Us, and…How to Make Herbal-Infused Vinegar

Showing up in little ways, God reminders not only help us when we want or need something, but they are reminders that God cares about the littlest of things that are important to us.

Having finished praying this morning, I got up, and what I noticed at some point was that there were dried flowers next to my bed. How interesting. From where did that come, I wondered? Flowers to turn up randomly like that made me wonder why. So, what it brought me to were…plants.

I have dried flowers in different places around my house, but they are tucked in between things. This was not. It was ready to remind me of an event for which I’d already planned and had on my calendar for a while, but about which I’d forgotten and was not on my radar!

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I immediately thought of the Herbal Society meeting, and I wondered, “Is today the day of the meeting?” I was planning on attending the Perfecting the Art of Herb-infused Vinegar class. But then I thought, “Oh, no. I missed the meeting this past Wednesday.” I checked my calendar, and sure enough, it was today. Yah!! I didn’t miss it. So glad!! I checked the time, and it wasn’t until 10. Great! This will give me time to go for a run and get to the meeting on time.

I got ready, headed to the bridge, and ran a few miles, then took a quick bike ride to stretch out my running legs, then I headed back home to shower and prepare myself for the meeting.

I walked in and greeted everyone with a, “Good morning!” I was maybe a few minutes late, but I was glad to be there!

There were about 10 different types of herbs spread all over the table and it smelled like spaghetti sauce cooking in the kitchen. There were also many bottles of different wines spread throughout, bottles of apple cider vinegar, lemon rinds, peeled garlic cloves, and pepper corns all displayed on the table.

Miriam, the curator of the garden, was at the head of the table, ready to teach us. She got me set up with a table cloth, and we got ready.

About an hour later, many of us had made different types of vinegars – the two of which she gave us recipes for were Italian (rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley, basil, garlic, sage, peppercorns) and Lemon (lemon basil, fennel – only because we didn’t have any dill, chives, cilantro, parsley, lemon rinds, peppercorns.)

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Italian (L); Lemon (R)

Of course, you can use any combination you see fit and appetizing for you.

If you’re making these: The peppercorns always go in first. If you’re using garlic, then the clove(s). Then the herbs, and finally the wine and vinegar – we were instructed to use a 50/50 ratio of wine to vinegar. I later tried, instead of only apple cider vinegar, using rice vinegar. Mix it up. See what’s good.

In addition to the other items, plus the jar or container you choose, if you’d like to make these, you will also need a funnel, and a poker, we used chop sticks. From there, you should be all set to make these beautiful concoctions of herbal-infused vinegars – fit for home or gifting, and fun to create.

Something to consider, when putting in herbs, once the fluid is added, the herbs will rise to the top, so consider where you cut the stems if you want them to span the size of the bottle. You may also choose to put in some herbs first and some later, after you have added the liquid, depending on the shape of the bottle. One of my bottles was long and narrow. See below, left. I actually added the thyme at the end because there was space on the top for more herbs – the original herbs I used did not rise completely to the top in this case because of the narrow shape of the bottle, and the width and strength of rosemary.

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Notice the arrangement of herbs at the top of each bottle. Herbs, and the shape of bottle, both contribute to the overall effect.

You can keep them for up to a year for their visual appearance only, but after that time, herbs will likely break down and you will want to strain (maybe) the wine vinegar before you use it. Red wine barely shows off the herbs. Even in a lit window, they are very faint to view. I only used a slight bit of red wine mixed with the white for a darker appearance.

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White Wine only (L) versus White/Red Mix (R)

This is just one small way I appreciate the Lord and how He works – helping remind me of things I want or need to do. He shows up for me with the little things in my life. I love it!

Many people think or say He’s got more important matters of which to attend, and He doesn’t care about small things, but I disagree. If he knows the number of hairs on our head, why not help us out with the little details of our lives, like helping remind us of what matters to us and will bring us joy? He’s good like that, too😊

God gives us the desires of our heart when we delight ourselves in Him, according to Proverbs 37:4. I’ve been working on loving more which I think would be delighting myself in Him – what His essence is. 😊 He is love, according to 1 John 4:8.

He knows I love plants, and they are a desire of my heart. His prompting my memory this morning with that little dried flower brought me joy today. I got to meet new people, revisit others I met previously, and I got to learn something new and useful about plants! Fun! Now, here’s hoping it tastes good. We’ll see.

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to remember, and for showing up with the little things in my life that matter and make a sweet difference.

Thank you,

Holly

 

 

Podcast: My Healing Journey

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs. I heeded the verse that instructed me to strengthen my feeble knees, and the result of me getting up off my bum, of the keeping of persevering despite every physical set-back I had, of the continually holding fast to the truth of what I know scripturally, and by continuing to speak healing over my knees as they ached while running or otherwise, I have been made well.

Following is a 27 minute audio podcast. I have put a couple of excerpts below, but take the journey with me. This is a fun audio podcast of my experience being injured while running, and how healing took place through other mechanisms of exercise. This is rife with scripture, major lessons learned, fun and joy in my process of recovery God took me through.

What God did was to help me out anyway. As I was readying myself to read the bible one night, I opened to this passage “accidentally” which listed my instruction for my knee. It is found in Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” Amen to that.

God’s way may prove hard, but He will always give us the grace to accomplish whatever we need to do, as well. God may be working other things, too, necessary for our growth about which we have no knowledge. I like to say, as I have experienced, when teaching, God has used this profession to work things in me and to work things out of me. But, He is always working to perfect us, to help us. That is what we are called to be, “Perfect, as He is perfect.” But the good thing is that he helps us accomplish this through His son, Jesus Christ, through accepting Him, then God sends His Holy Spirit to aid us in all we need to do.

God always tries to help us, to divert us from disaster, but we have to choose down which path we are going to follow. He even tells us, choose the path of life. God could have touched my knee and made it perfect, but he chose to take me through the long route for which I am grateful. Otherwise, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed out on the growth process of healing. I love that. I love God showing up for me. That’s the neatest. That is truly awesome. Growing is part of this journey, if we so choose, life. The journey can be fun too. The journey is great. The progress is cool to witness too. I like that. The ups and down are all a part of it. The destination, then, is the celebration. Then, there’s another journey.

The four plus years I have endured of this leg pain has found me at the end of these four plus months in a pleasant place. I am healing. It is working. I’m strengthening. I am keeping working out with weights, running and biking. I continue to heal. I can now successfully run on the beach too which I like a lot – watch out Jason Bourne. I like the treadmill too. My healing has enabled me to do what most take to naturally and without any thought or pain: bending, walking, stretching or sitting. One of the greatest achievements is that I can actually cross my legs now without any pain. That was amazing when it happened the first time. I didn’t even realize it until it happened. I just naturally tried to cross my legs without thinking about it, and then voila, there I am all cross-legged excited for my recovery. That was so huge when I realized that. That continues to this day. Kneeling was a similar feeling of achievement. I love progress.

I can walk down stairs with only minor pain, I can put on my pants, shorts, etc. without the need to kick out my leg, and I can run on concrete, but that causes the most pain maintaining its first place position for the #1 worst exercise for me. I can, however, also run over the bridge, a favorite exercise of mine, without being out of commission for three weeks which is incredible! I am healing, continually. I’m learning to control my desires to run more even when I want too to slowly build and not to destroy the progress I have made. Moderation and not overdoing it is how I am progressing well.

I will say I love the transformation of my body. I’ve never had to worry about weight in my life, but having hit 40 and beyond, gravity was winning the skin’s losing reality. However, I have found that what’s headed south is seeing its way back up north again which makes me very happy. Another triumphant moment in my life transformed.

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs and it’s been a good ride. It’s been a good run as they say. I doubt, however, if I did not have this condition that I would have ever been diligent enough or persevering enough to have stuck with it. I like that it’s shaping me up. It’s helped me to disciple myself too which is so crucial in life for success and I have needed that desperately – peace has come as a result too which was promised in the scripture – less pain, less worry about the pain, less fatigue because of the pain, and therefore less overall stress is what I’ve gained with all of this. Follow-through on the short term makes the long-term a whole lot better. I feel better, I look better, I am better.

I am grateful for lent, a period of 40 days in the Catholic Church of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.  I’m grateful because part of what I did for that was to commit to working out at least 3x/week (I fasted slothfulness/lack of discipline), every other day with the exception of Sunday. I don’t know if I would have stuck with this if it weren’t for that. Diligence is a man’s precious possession.