For those of you who know me, or have been following my blog or see me ‘occasionally’ on Facebook, you know that I don’t believe in “coincidences”- I call them ‘Godcidences!’
Furthermore, for those who know me, know people often ask: “Is there anyone you don’t know?” My reply is always the same: “Nope! Only the people I haven’t met/talked to yet!” (Some people say I should have a title of networking facilitator. "No, I SAY, "that's GOD’s job!”)
The last couple weeks have been like that for me. I can only chalk it up to Godcidences, and I want to challenge you to look for them in your life, too! You’ll be surprised that when all is said and done, the chanceS are 100% you are supposed to be connected with ‘whomever’ when they waltz into your life.
I’d like to share some of the amazing ‘connections’ that have waltzed into my life recently. Take some time at look at their websites/blogs and pass the information along – you won’t be disappointed you did!!
Don't hold your breath, but........Don't Wimp Out! has been sent to the editor! The hopeful release date will be Fall 2018 through Westbow/Zondervan/Thomas Nelson, and will be available not just on Amazon/Kindle, but bookstores like Barnes/Noble and more!
Even though it has been delayed a year, there are never any 'wrong turns, only unexpected paths" - a phrase I have come to embrace through this really bumpy year. But, then again, when hasn't our life been a bit bumpy, or like a roller coaster?
I have a bit of a breather til the first of June, then my final edits, and off to the publisher for all they will do.
Every single one of you have had a special part in this project - through your love, support, your tenacious prayers, your friendship, your keeping up with calls/letters/emails and s'mores. You will know how much of you is in the book, and how it is a true labor of love. (Even though Bill says if I decide to write another book, he's going to take a job on the Slope and work 6 weeks on, one week off, and he'll offer to work the one week off as a volunteer! HEY: It (or is it ME?!) hasn't been THAT bad!! Well.....maybe I do get a bit 'focused' and snarky when writing!
Stay tuned, and I'll be sure to not be as "radio silent" , book, body willing and the river doesn't rise!!
Today, the significance of WHO we are, while chaos reigns around us, we only need to be calm.
For the 'grace of The One' watches over us
. Our job today is to REST (relinquish everything, submit totally) in HIS Love.
Joy is the expression of the beauty of Holiness.
We are His. Deliverance is here for EACH of us, but it is true thankfulness and Joy that will open the gates.
Today is a day to be thankful, be grateful, be filled with the sorrowful yet gladness that comes from the heart of God.
Deliverance/freedom doesn't come from just quiet resignation, but to the joyful anticipation of all that is and is to come, blessed by Him.
So today, be filled with joy. Be filled with love and laughter- the outward expression of BEing 'God with skin on.'
Blessed Passover and Blessed Eastertide!
How many times have you heard the saying "take it one day at a time?"
Like me, I wouldn't be surprised if you had heard it more than a few times! The first time I heard it was when my dad shared it with me. I was 8 years old, and it became my 'life verse' (Matthew 6:33-34.)
The last few months, between the multiple holidays, bonus rounds of the flu being passed around the family, neighborhood, and Dr. offices, I spent more "set aside" time. Yet, this 'set aside time' was markedly different from the 4-5 months earlier in 2017 that I experienced.
In the first 'set aside' time, I found my 'territory enlarged', meeting many new people as we spent hours together getting IV's. Many stories were shared, many lessons learned, many coping tips were traded.
This second 'set aside time' has been a time of experiencing a deeper, stronger sense of what 'taking it one day at a time' can mean.
On more than one occassion, I encountered the phrase: "The One".
I have pondered for hours over the last few months what it means to live in the grace of "The One", the I AM;
I have pondered how will I extend grace, to myself and others, as I to live in the ONE moment. What does it mean to "show up", to live in the PRESENT, to live in His Presence – every moment, every hour, every day?
And, I had to learn, that when my plans for the 'ONE' day falls through, I need to look for 'The One's' adventure in store for me.
For The One, The I AM, never fails.
I've thought alot about my dad this week, especially since it fell so close to Thanksgiving Day. He was born on November 21st. Depending on the year, his birthday, like this year would fall within two days of one of his favorite holidays.
My dad taught me much about the meaning of gratitude, of being thankful, and being aware of things around you to be thankful for – large or small. He also taught me one of his favorite sayings.
When I was eight years old, we went to the traditional (at the time) Thanksgiving Service. It was there, while I was sitting up straight, prim and proper, with my little white gloves on, decked out in new patten leather shoes that were meant to be worn only on 'special' occassions.
Dad leaned over to me. He whispered ever so quietly in my ear: "Pay attention to this next reading. It is one of my very favorite, and I hope you will learn to do what it says. It will serve you well, as it has me!
"Sufficient unto this day, is the evil thereof. Therefore, take no thought of the morrow, for it will have enough worries and cares of its own."
from: The Good Book – 1928 version (as my dad called it!)
Even at the tender, young age of eight, the weight and significance of the saying was not lost on me. In fact, it would become my father's and my 'buzz phrase". We would remind each other, (in updated language!) to take one day at a time; to not fret, worry, or sweat the small stuff. And he would often remind me to not borrow trouble,or worry about the future, for each day has enough cares and concerns of its own, and tomorrow will take care of itself - IF I let it!!
I have learned the blessing of living life 'one day at a time'. Even when I might not see it, I can feel the vicarious power, well beyond my own. There is a Power that is not of the earthly power, rather, there is an understanding. No matter what I will face – whether for good or for what may seem as evil or bad, when I take a deep breath, focus on the moment and remember to keep my priorities, my passions and the purpose I feel for my life within its boundaries, somehow, someway, it will always work out.
Admittedly, in the retrospect mirror of time, it has always has worked out – and more times than not, for the best, to boot.
Some people may look at my life and say "Oh my! You have been through so much hardship!"
I reply, "What I have walked through may be different than what you have walked through, but we each have our unique path to walk. I would not trade a day of what I have gone through for the lessons I have learned and the treasures that have I have found and the countless lives who have touched and blessed mine."
Each morning we wake up, we are given the gift of a new day. It is a PRESENT.
But what good is your present if you are not willing to receive it? Or open it, much less use it for its unique, given purpose?
I think what my father was trying to teach me some 50+ years ago was the invaluable lesson of: SHOW UP! OPEN YOUR GIFT! USE IT! The gift of today was chosen just for YOU!
More importantly, he taught me to live IN the Present, and to BE PRESENT. C'mon! Open your gift!
This clipping was done several years ago. It fell out of my journal this morning as I got ready for my Wednesday "study"/quiet/ mid-week rest day.
I sat in front of the warm woodstove fire, watching the end of a Japanese typhoon's wind blow quickly through, whipping snow and left-over fall leaves around. I re-read the clipping and Ibegan to think :
I have one life to live : How will I live it?
I have one (raspy) voice : What will I say with it?
I have one shot at this thing called life : what will I do with it?
Life is short, too often too short; I know that ALL too well.
How did I answer myself? All I know is: I want to live my life well. I want to live my life with hope and prayerfully share that Hope more by living it than talking about it.
I want to be HOPE.
Sometimes it is hard to hang onto what you know to be true.
Sometimes our heart aches and hurts like a hurricane, changing everything around us. It seems like life is going to fall apart. Schedules get busy. Weather seasons change, bringing traffic delays, even a new season of illnesses that hit those around you.
The dreams that you have are still undone. There are days where your passion becomes drudgery, making a job real work, and not a desire that you were working to see accomplished.
We know we are loved. We know that things, eventually will turn out…..
Even if the healing of an illness doesn’t come the way you thought…..or wanted.
Even if life totally falls apart – emotionally, physically, or your career/job, you know you can stand firm in the One you run to, believe in, who works all things for good - even if it isn’t the same ‘good’ you think it should be.
Even if it is hard to trust, we will. For we know we are in Good Hands. Strong Hands. In One who not only loves us, but is….always.
On more than one occasion over my four score plus years, during the many ‘adventures’ we have faced, people have teased me, asking me if I am related to Job. Even one of the physicians on my medical maze team made a comment recently stating: “You may be in your mid-60ish range, but your body is more like one hundred and sixty something!” (Gee thanks, Doc, even if I, more than often do feel one hundred and sixty something!)
I especially find it amusing when people ask if I’m related to Job, as one title I toyed with for my first book, before I settled on Loose Screws and Skinned Knees, was: Does Job Have a Sister? (Not that I want to know! I don’t want to live even close to 160-200 years old!)
Yes, I’ve encountered many obstacles. Yes, I am literally ‘screwed up” and bolted together in more than a few places (like a dozen or so more?!). Over the decades, well intentioned “friends” have come to me declaring “this is happening because you must have some secret sin” or “you don’t have enough faith” or the classic: “God is punishing you for something you must have said or done.” With friends like that, who needs enemies, eh?
Sure, I’ve had my days when I have wailed: “WHY is this happening, God?” as I lay crumbled on the floor in tears. But I have had many more days, instead of wailing “WHY?” I have learned to do somethingauthor/speaker Sheila Walsh so eloquently said this week. On Wednesdays in the Word on LIFE Today, she recounted her times of ‘wailing’. Shelia shared she learned to LEAN into, to be REAL, to be HONEST to the One who LISTENS. After all, if God allowed Satan to do anything he wanted to against Job, (except kill him), whoi are we to argue with the One who LISTENS when we wail about what He has allowed us to experience?
I had a poster that hung on my bedroom wall in high school 40+ years ago. I took it with me when I went off to college and hung it on my college dorm room wall above my head. Shortly after I got married, my husband framed the poster. Since that time, it has prominently hung in every home we have lived in to this day. We have purposely hung the framed poster where I will see it often. The photo on the poster is of one of my favorite “run away to” places: Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, OR. I would ‘run” when I was spent. I would ‘run’ when I was at the end of my rope, or I would 'run' when I finally waved the proverbial white flag, and came to the end of myself. Haystack Rock and the ocean beach allowed me to wail at the top of my lungs without fear of being heard by other human voices. When I was on empty, when I was spent, tears cascading down my cheeks, I could hear words being whispered on the ocean breeze: “Be still, and know…” The exact words on the poster.
A short time ago I learned the phrase “ to be still”, in Hebrew, means “to release; to let go”. Or as I might put it in my last blog post: to “REST: R elinquish E verything, S ubmit Totally; to quit trying to hang on to, or to stuff deep inside me, whatever I was wrestling with. To rest means to get my grubby hands off of the situation, to open my tightly clenched fist, palm side upwards, and let go.
It will not to do any good in the span of Eternity, to lash out at the circumstances I find myself in. Nor will it be helpful to lash out at my so-called ‘friends’. But it will do me good to be real. It will do me good to be honest as I lay crumpled in a crying heap, as I wail to the One who LISTENS, and let it all go.
How about it? Are you willing to join me as I LEAN into the One who LISTENS?
The first few snowflakes of the season are wafting on a late fall breeze. I can’t resist going outside. I stand just outside our front door. I gaze up to the already snow-capped mountain peaks. I stop to revel in the stillness. I breathe in the quiet of the moment and quietly listen. I let tiny flakes land on my cheek.
I step back inside and stoke the woodstove. I return to the bustle and routine of my day. The quiet stillness of the previous moments have quickly vanished. I flip channels to find my favorite music station that I use for a background as I work. We get our radio via TV – call it an “Alaska thing”, especially in our rural area that has poor reception for just about everything.
Scrolling through channels, I hear the all too familiar commercial jingle “Can you hear me yet?” AUGH! Why is that particular jingle so hard to forget? Why is it as annoying as it is?
I think the jingle is hard to forget because it is catchy. It is an easy phrase to remember. But maybe, just maybe, we remember it because the phrase resonates with our hearts and not just our heads.
So, what are YOU? Are you a “hearer”: where the message goes in one ear and out the other”? Are you a “listener”: you not only hear the message, but it resonates with your heart? Or, are you a “doer”: you not only hear the message and it resonates with your heart, but you act on the message you heard. Maybe you are a combination of the last two.
The message I heard, and listened to, and work hard to do is: Be simple. Be yourself. Listen more. Walk your path, and not someone else’s. Be faithful to what you hear and do in the little things…..for the results will be big, changing the world in a way that only you can.
Can you hear Me yet?
Still recuperating (yes, still) from the intestinal surgery that was supposed be a mere 4-6 weeks, is now going on 4-6 months – AUGH!! Jokingly, the doctors are calling it “Care-Tuk-itis” or “Care-Tuk-it-is”!
I have been learning humility, having to ask rides to/from IV infusion 2-3x/week for 3-5 hours. I’ve had to learn to sleep upright. I made it down to the river’s edge a mere 4-5 times all summer. And, begrudgingly, I turned over even more chores I was accustomed to doing to Bill.
I was getting frustrated. I was working at what, for me, seemed a snail’s pace. Frustration mounting, I stopped working on my ‘file pile’, and took a break.
I stoked the coals in the wood stove, added a couple more pieces of firewood and comfortably laid back in our newest addition to our collection of adaptive equipment. We recently purchased a new recliner couch with multiple controls, including head/lumbar rests that we can individually adjust, besides reclining. It helps my multiple bionics, my impacted lung capacity, besides allowing me to be ‘obedient’ and truly REST.
Sirius XM, The Message played in the background.
I wonder if some of the words that I found myself listening to as I rested by songwriters: Jonathan Lindley Smith / Jonny Diaz / Tony Wood, resonate with you as much as they did with me.
“Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just
Breathe, just BREATHE
Come and REST at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Breathe, just BREATHE
Come and REST at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you REALLY need
Is to take it in, fill your lungs
The peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe (just BREATHE)
Let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe (just BREATHE!)”.
Those who know me, know the word REST has been a word I have long struggled with. Yet, it should be no surprise I find when I:
E verything (and)
When I uncle my grimy fist, and ‘just breathe’, opening my hand and let go and let God, things always go better.
I don’t need to go' hurrier'.
Why? Because the "hurrier I go, the behinder I get".
I just need to BREATHE!!
What about YOU?
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.