Dead Parts

My sweet husband wanted to take a picture of me as we walked in Centennial Park last week.
He told me to stand by this pretty planter.  It wasn't until we saw the photo that
we realized there were two huge dead leaves right in front of me.
We started to trash the photo and then it hit me...there are dead parts in my brain and
maybe this is God telling me not everyone will notice them!

October 17
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice!  Strive for full restoration,
encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.  
And the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11

God just keeps on giving.  He gave me a message on encouragement to share and then through that led me to this verse which has oodles of lessons for me.
1) Strive for full restoration (Never, never, never give up.)
2) Encourage one another    (For you never know what another person is facing.)
3) Be of one mind  (His whisper, "I will heal your one mind.")
4) Live in peace  (For whatever is before us, He can handle the outcome and make it beautiful.)
5) The God of love and peace will be with you.  (We are never alone.)

Well, that is sufficient for me to nibble on all day, but I want to go ahead and journal from yesterday and his original message this morning on encouragement.  Last night I was late getting into bed.  I hadn't done my Luminosity online brain exercises, so I plugged in.  At the end of the session the site gave me an update as to how I compared to others my age.  UGH.  All along I thought I'd been doing great.  Not what these results showed.  Wait!  There wasn't a slot to type in "I'm a stroke surviver! Only 5 weeks out!  Please consider that!"  It's tough being evaluated by others.

God took me to the most amazing place this morning as I thought back on last night's results.  Growing up I had parents who encouraged me.  They sat in the stands at my sporting events, allowed me to take private tennis lessons and go to tournaments to improve my skills, when I was on the school gymnastic team my father built a full sized balance beam in the back yard  (like that wasn't a liability for the neighborhood kids), to encourage my love for art they paid for me to go to private group lessons and they framed my work and hung it in their house.  They even let me paint four large 6 x 8 panels and placed them on the outside of a gazebo at their lake house.  (They were terrible, but still stand in that yard today.)  When I showed an interest in horses they bought me one and all the gear that goes with it.  I wasn't in the top percentage of performers in any of those activities, but I was  filled with joy doing them all.

God reminded me he has given me a husband who is the same type encourager.  Ya know, the kind of man who must wear blinders to think I'm in the top percentage!  Even now, when I don't do a lot of things well at all, we are able to laugh together through the process.  If only we had a video of him helping me try to stand on a Bosu Ball in the corner of the bedroom last night.  Not appropriate to share all that was said, but we had a grand time!  He said I looked like a boxer bouncing on that thing.

So, Luminosity, I may not rank real high for your standards, but God and my hubby still love me and that's good enough for me.

Shortly after taking that test I had a sciatica attack.  I cried out loud, "Really, God!"  (It was probably from the Bosu nonsense.)  I could not get comfortable. Lying on the floor I went through every stretch I could think of and then headed to find the hardest mattress in the house, after popping a Tylenol.  After finding a comfortable position I didn't move all night.

The day started yesterday with me facing my fear and riding with a neighbor to Bible Study Fellowship.  One person said, "Does it feel so good to be here?"  "No," I said, "actually it's really scary."  This was my first time in this group study on Revelation and my first venture out in our community since the stroke.  As we went around the circle introducing ourselves and sharing a little bit, it came to my turn.  "I'm Boo Andrews, I had a (SOBS ensued) stroke on September 14th and I'm just glad to be here."  Then my nose began to bleed.  A side effect of the Plavix.  My sweet neighbor asked if I needed to leave. I said, "No, just let me know if blood is dripping all over my blouse."
Our leader wrote me the most precious email of encouragement that afternoon and allowed me to see that God is at work and can use us even in our weakest moments.

Heading home, EXHAUSTED, I put on my pjs and crawled into bed.  My ride is waiting for me now,  so I'll have to continue later and tell you about the man looking in my windows!  No, it was NOT Kevin.