Tag Archives: Sickness

Fading Away

fading-flower

Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.

I read those lines from 1 John again this morning with my two oldest sons. When we finished, I went back and read them aloud again. Then we discussed.

“This is important,” I said.

It wasn’t about keeping them from sinful behavior, though. Of course, I hope that they can avoid as much hurt caused by sin as possible—unless God allows that for their own greater benefit. I can not know or understand such things.

What is important is what I made bold above: And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves.

Everything is fading away. I see reminders of that everywhere. Everywhere.

Jim Kelly, the icon of toughness for the Buffalo Bills and the entire western half of New York State is in a very weakened state, in a hospital in NYC, hoping to battle back cancer… again. Our friend, Scott Shimp continues to fight his stage four cancer, which doctors say is incurable, but he (knowing the Great Healer) says otherwise. My Mom is recovering from painful surgery that revealed more damage than they had anticipated. She’s OK, but in much pain. (She often is.)

Other friends are dealing with cancers (new and recurring), death of spouses, and we also know of a little four-year-old boy who is fighting a disease far too early in his life on this earth.

This world is fading away along with all that it craves (1 John)

There is good news in that, especially for all who are fighting, clawing, battling against the brokenness of this temporary, fading reality. We know it is temporary. We are pilgrims, passing through. But it is also all too real. The hurt, pain, distress, fear

We know that he casts out fear. There are dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of reminders of this in the words of scripture. Do not fear. Trust. Rest.

But while we traverse this temporary, fading existence… the darkness can feel too great, too overwhelming. Too often.

When our hearts are affixed to that which fades, our hearts will fade with it.

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Jesus reminded us of this. He knew we needed to remember it. This is important.

Fix our eyes on Jesus. Treasure that which lasts. This world, the physical pleasures—even those that are good, wholesome, godly—and even our own bodies are only temporary. Fading. But Jesus is not. He is eternal life. And to know him, is how we taste and experience that Life. (John 17:3)

This is important.

I don’t know what you are facing, but I am sure it’s something. Whether you’re feeling at peace with it, or raging against the injustice of whatever it may be, or the feeling of loneliness as you wage weary war against this enemy mostly unknown to even your closest friends…

Remember what is important. If you’re reading this, you have been given life today. For right now. We can not hold on to anything here. Nothing!

Only his kingdom, and his righteousness (not ours!) and only abiding in and enjoying fellowship with the Son.

And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.

Remember what is important. Please. And by God’s glorious grace, let’s walk in his brilliant light, with joy, each day he gives us in this fading world, with great, eager hope of the world that is to come.

ralph-c-wilson-jr

Footnote: I began this post early today, and wrote out bits and pieces throughout my work day. Around 3:00 pm, my Twitter app exploded with the news of the death of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., founder and only owner of the Buffalo Bills. (Whom you likely know I avidly follow.) It was a sort of confirmation of the certainty of the fade of this world, everything being temporary. We know death is the period at the end of our sentence, and we are constantly reminded of its reality. And yet, we have hope. Jesus defeated death. I’m so glad he did.

The Shimps

The Shimp Family

Our friends could use your help.

All of a sudden, this January, their life was flipped upside down.

On January 16th, of 2014, Scott was diagnosed with stage 4 Esophogeal cancer. Treatment began almost immediately and treatment is now under way. On January 23rd, Scott completed his first round of Chemo treatment.

Scott is younger than me. They have a son who is not even two years old. (And three more beautiful children.)

You never know what’s coming…

Of course, lots of people deal with cancer.1 But twice?

We met the Shimp family probably somewhere around the year 2007. In 2006 they learned that their 17-month-old daughter had leukemia. For two years they fought the disease with their tough little Autumn, and two years later, she was cancer free. (And still is today!)

But here they are again.

We know the Shimps through our good friends from college, the Velasquezes. We like to call them, “The Vs”. The Vs are really good at meeting and loving people, and I think that God, knowing that, arranged for them to meet the Shimps—quite randomly, by overheard conversation at a library, only to realize that they shared a back yard!—and subsequently walk through those years with Autumn’s cancer together. And through that “chance” connection, we’ve been able to enjoy their friendship through the years since then, too.

There is a website—supportingtheshimps.com—that explains much more about what is going on, and how you can help. If you are able to help, these are good people to help.

And, if you can believe it, they also just started a new business in 2014. I spoke with Scott this past weekend about that, and he said that is still a go. They produce screen printed t-shirts, and embroidered products in any quantity, with really fast turnaround time (according to Scott… he seemed impressed!) and it is a great way to support their family, as well as accomplish something for your organization, business, etc.

If you need “screen printed or embroidered apparel”, please consider using CrossRoads Apparel!

The Shimps are a family whom God has certainly allowed ample opportunity to trust him, in the roughest of times. And they do. Actively, and inspiringly so. (I know this not just from my own thoughts, but from the comments I read on their website, and Facebook pages, etc.)

We don’t know what will come of this, but that’s one of the neat things about them. They are optimistic, trusting, and taking life moment by moment, walking forward with Jesus.

I’m not sure what I’d do in Scott’s position. I think I would face this giant obstacle with similar determination and trust in God’s goodness. But I’ve not had to face anything quite like this. And I’m not sure what I’d do in Susanna’s place, either, if Jen were the one diagnosed with this powerful, terrible, menacing illness. Susanna is incredibly strong in her faith in Father through this, also.

I’m certain you know people who could use help, too. (And if so, please tell me/us about them in the comments here.) If, after reading this, you are able to and prompted to pray, or to give…

May I request that help be directed toward our friends, the Shimps?

Thanks.

  1. According to cancer.org, about one in two men in the United States will develop cancer at some point in their lives, and one in three women. One in two! And, according to their predictions, 1,600 people per day will perish from the disease in the year 2014. Wow.

Misdiagnoses [Memory Lane]

This week we’ve been taking a trip down Memory Lane! Each day this week I’ve been posting one of five of my favorite stories ever published here. Some are taken from books I’ve published and others (like today’s) have only been published online thus far. These are some funny, some sad, some heart-warming moments from the life we’ve lived. If you missed any, you can use the series navigation at the end of this post. I invite you to enjoy them with me, too.

Today’s adventure was one that little Julia would just as soon forget! What started as a routine, Sunday night visit to the Emergency Room at our nearest hospital, unfolded into a full-blown medical catastrophe! Rather than give away too much here in the introduction, I’ll simply give way to the story as originally told, Misdiagnoses.

Misdiagnoses

August 14th, 2012

It’s been an interesting few days here in the Campbell home.

(I know… when isn’t it, right?)

You see, it all began with a phone call from Grandma. (Well, sort of.)

Last Wednesday, Julia and Dad (that’s me) went out for an OK Night. Just Julia and Dad out on the town. McDonald’s for french fries, games, and play place. Then we hit a couple more places before the night was through. It was a blast!

And the best was still to come!

The next afternoon, Mom drove Julia, her two sisters, and their baby brother, Cam, over to meet Grandma who would take all four youngest kiddos back home with her for three days! They were so excited!

The first night was just wonderful. They love being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! They even enjoyed a big buffet for dinner. Nice!

(We four back home were having good fun of our own, too!)

But then came Friday.

Now, whether it was the food she ate at the buffet… or the PlayPlace the day before that… or just something else entirely, we still don’t know. What we do know is that that afternoon Julia began throwing up.

(Yes, I said “began”.)

It was probably only a few times, but it was quite unexpected (and messy, according to Julia) so it just caught everyone off guard. Grandma even called us asking, “What do I do??”

“Keep her hydrated and plenty of rest,” was our best advice, not ones to jump to the medicine route. So sad, but Julia wanted to stick it out, and Grandma did, too.

Well, a day of rest on Friday seemed to do the trick. Fever had subsided, throwing up had ceased (though she was still battling the “other end”…) and she even perked up a bit, becoming her regular chatty self.

Whew! Glad that’s over…

NOPE! 🙂

Saturday morning they went to a park. Julia played. And played. When they got back, she was completely spent, hurting, tired, and “out for the count”. She slept on the ride over, and looked pretty bad when she got out to come inside our house. Still had a fever, too.

She went right to the couch and laid down.

We ate dinner (she ate something else… I think?) and made it through the rest of the evening till bedtime.

At this point, as I’m getting everyone ready for bed, Jen comes and tells me that she thinks it might be something more serious than just a little bug, so she wanted to call the doctor and see what they thought. I figured they’d probably just tell us to call them Monday, but it couldn’t hurt. Well, to my surprise (maybe Jen’s, too?) they suggested we bring her to the nearest emergency room to have her checked out, based on what Jen had described to them over the phone.

Interesting. But, they were just thinking it might be some sort of infection thing that could need antibiotics. They just wanted to be sure.

Sure would have been a welcome thing in the hours that followed.

(Yes, hours.)

I’m sure that you, the reader, are aware that late at night on weekends, hospital emergency rooms can have long wait times. Well, as Jen tells it, they actually got in pretty quickly. But, once they did a quick once-over of Julia, they decided (thanks to her not having been “immunized”) that they needed to run every possible blood test. Fun!

No. Not fun.

Jen and Julia left our house at around nine o’clock pm. The hospital is 10-15 minutes drive from our home. They got in rather quickly… but then waited HOURS for the follow up tests.

(Meanwhile, back at home… I have put the other five to bed, enjoyed some quiet reading time, and at this point, started to wonder why I hadn’t heard from the hospital-bound duo. It was 11:45pm and I still hadn’t heard anything! I decided to call and get an update… voicemail! By about 12:10, still having heard nothing, I tried the phone again… and again, voicemail! Worried something had gone wrong, I remembered that I can “Find My Phone” thanks to Apple’s clever technology! I just hoped they weren’t in a ditch somewhere, or worse!! I was relieved to see the phone located in the parking lot of the hospital. 🙂 Jen had left the phone in the van … so a quick call to the hospital and the nurse filled me in.)

BUT THEN…

(I know… how does it always go like this? Can’t it ever just be simple, and go exactly according to plan??? Guess not…)

Around 2:00am, they are still waiting for blood tests, filling Julia with an IV, and now there is some concern that perhaps what she has is appendicitis! In fact, it was such a concern that they ordered a CAT scan for her. That meant, in her very tired, very sick condition, she had to down a large cup of bad-tasting liquid, then wait two hours… and then they would scan her to see if the appendix was inflamed/infected, or whatever it might be.

Two HOURS!? That’s 4am, folks. For my poor, sweet, sick, tired six-year-old Julia!!

At this point, I finally grabbed a few fitful naps… only half-sleeping in case I received a call from Jen, updating me on their progress. I awoke every thirty minutes or so, praying each time I did that Julia could rest, and that God would help the doctors find whatever might be causing this.

At seven o’clock, I awoke again, and found no van, no call.

Time to check in, I thought. So I called our cell phone and talked with Jen, who informed me that they were pretty sure it is appendicitis, and they have scheduled an operation for about an hour from now when the surgeon was to arrive.

!!?

SO, we went from a stomach bug, to a possible minor infection requiring anti-biotics to… emergency surgery???!

It seemed that was the consensus, so I jumped to action.

I definitely wanted to be there—before the surgery—but our van was already at the hospital. And, well, I had the other five kids here! They were all sleeping still, of course, but I couldn’t just leave them, even if I did have a ride!

The wheels were quickly turning in my head. I called Grandma & Grandpa to let them know how the adventure that had begun at their place had escalated. Then I talked with our neighbor about getting a ride to the hospital. Then, deciding to leave the kids in the care of our oldest, Ian, I woke up Alex so that he could stay with Mom while I came back to get everyone else (once Julia was in surgery).

All was going mostly according to plan. We were getting pretty close to eight o’clock. I was hoping that they were running later rather than early.

Alex and I got out and thanked our neighbor for her kindness, bringing us to the hospital so early on a Sunday morning. We rushed inside and asked where to find Julia and her Mom. They said she wasn’t on their list, so that probably meant she was already in the operating room. (No!!) But, they weren’t certain of that, and pointed us in the direction we needed to go.

A brief elevator ride later, we were at the Operating Room area. But… where was everyone? The OR was dark, and there was literally no one in sight?

Weird…

We went down a hall that we knew was not the correct direction or location, but we finally found someone who could perhaps get us to where we needed to go. She tried. She really did. But we kept coming up empty. No Julia anywhere!!

I was really sad that I didn’t get to see Julia before they operated on her! But I just wanted to find Jen at this point, and find out what was going on.

Finally we were sent back downstairs to the ER, where another nurse recognized Julia’s name and took us to the room she had been in that night.

To our surprise—good, happy surprise—there sat Mom, with Julia beside her on a hospital bed. (Looking really, really tired, weak, and sick!)

“Well, hi!” said I. “What is the meaning of all this!?”

I didn’t really say that. But it sounded more fun that way, didn’t it?

Jen explained that the surgeon took a look at the CAT scan results, did his own examination, and he said he was pretty sure it wasn’t appendicitis!

While quite confused, I was certainly relieved. No one wants their six year old daughter to go “under the knife” … do they?

As Jen was explaining, the surgeon returned and explained a bit more that, from everything he observed, and after consulting with another pediatrician that morning, he was fairly certain it was not appendicitis, and that Julia would be able to go home, take a little Tylenol for her fever, and just stay hydrated. “She should be fine.”

Stomach bug… infection… appendicitis/emergency surgery… she’ll be fine.

Hmm. 🙂

And so, we went home. Julia (and Mom!) slept nearly all of the day. As the day went on, she perked up more and more. We finished the day with a movie, and all went to bed feeling very, VERY relieved.

This morning, Julia went back to the doctor to make sure things were progressing as the surgeon had hoped. After her Sunday night experience, Julia was very apprehensive. She really didn’t want to go through all that again!! We assured her (as far as we could tell) it wouldn’t be like that again, and thankfully… it wasn’t. The current diagnosis is some sort of bacterial thing in her intestines.

What will it be tomorrow?!

For now, our little girl had a much better day, was smiling and playing through much of it, and is now peacefully sleeping.

Which is where I plan to be soon…

What a wild, crazy series of events! And all thanks to a handful of well-intentioned misdiagnoses.

Misdiagnoses

It’s been an interesting few days here in the Campbell home.

(I know… when isn’t it, right?)

You see, it all began with a phone call from Grandma. (Well, sort of.)

Last Wednesday, Julia and Dad (that’s me) went out for an OK Night. Just Julia and Dad out on the town. McDonald’s for french fries, games, and play place. Then we hit a couple more places before the night was through. It was a blast!

And the best was still to come!

The next afternoon, Mom drove Julia, her two sisters, and their baby brother, Cam, over to meet Grandma who would take all four youngest kiddos back home with her for three days! They were so excited!

The first night was just wonderful. They love being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! They even enjoyed a big buffet for dinner. Nice!

(We four back home were having good fun of our own, too!)

But then came Friday.

Now, whether it was the food she ate at the buffet… or the PlayPlace the day before that… or just something else entirely, we still don’t know. What we do know is that that afternoon Julia began throwing up.

(Yes, I said “began”.)

It was probably only a few times, but it was quite unexpected (and messy, according to Julia) so it just caught everyone off guard. Grandma even called us asking, “What do I do??”

“Keep her hydrated and plenty of rest,” was our best advice, not ones to jump to the medicine route. So sad, but Julia wanted to stick it out, and Grandma did, too.

Well, a day of rest on Friday seemed to do the trick. Fever had subsided, throwing up had ceased (though she was still battling the “other end”…) and she even perked up a bit, becoming her regular chatty self.

Whew! Glad that’s over…

NOPE! 🙂

Saturday morning they went to a park. Julia played. And played. When they got back, she was completely spent, hurting, tired, and “out for the count”. She slept on the ride over, and looked pretty bad when she got out to come inside our house. Still had a fever, too.

She went right to the couch and laid down.

We ate dinner (she ate something else… I think?) and made it through the rest of the evening till bedtime.

At this point, as I’m getting everyone ready for bed, Jen comes and tells me that she thinks it might be something more serious than just a little bug, so she wanted to call the doctor and see what they thought. I figured they’d probably just tell us to call them Monday, but it couldn’t hurt. Well, to my surprise (maybe Jen’s, too?) they suggested we bring her to the nearest emergency room to have her checked out, based on what Jen had described to them over the phone.

Interesting. But, they were just thinking it might be some sort of infection thing that could need antibiotics. They just wanted to be sure.

Sure would have been a welcome thing in the hours that followed.

(Yes, hours.)

I’m sure that you, the reader, are aware that late at night on weekends, hospital emergency rooms can have long wait times. Well, as Jen tells it, they actually got in pretty quickly. But, once they did a quick once-over of Julia, they decided (thanks to her not having been “immunized”) that they needed to run every possible blood test. Fun!

No. Not fun.

Jen and Julia left our house at around nine o’clock pm. The hospital is 10-15 minutes drive from our home. They got in rather quickly… but then waited HOURS for the follow up tests.

(Meanwhile, back at home… I have put the other five to bed, enjoyed some quiet reading time, and at this point, started to wonder why I hadn’t heard from the hospital-bound duo. It was 11:45pm and I still hadn’t heard anything! I decided to call and get an update… voicemail! By about 12:10, still having heard nothing, I tried the phone again… and again, voicemail! Worried something had gone wrong, I remembered that I can “Find My Phone” thanks to Apple’s clever technology! I just hoped they weren’t in a ditch somewhere, or worse!! I was relieved to see the phone located in the parking lot of the hospital. 🙂 Jen had left the phone in the van … so a quick call to the hospital and the nurse filled me in.)

BUT THEN…

(I know… how does it always go like this? Can’t it ever just be simple, and go exactly according to plan??? Guess not…)

Around 2:00am, they are still waiting for blood tests, filling Julia with an IV, and now there is some concern that perhaps what she has is appendicitis! In fact, it was such a concern that they ordered a CAT scan for her. That meant, in her very tired, very sick condition, she had to down a large cup of bad-tasting liquid, then wait two hours… and then they would scan her to see if the appendix was inflamed/infected, or whatever it might be.

Two HOURS!? That’s 4am, folks. For my poor, sweet, sick, tired six-year-old Julia!!

At this point, I finally grabbed a few fitful naps… only half-sleeping in case I received a call from Jen, updating me on their progress. I awoke every thirty minutes or so, praying each time I did that Julia could rest, and that God would help the doctors find whatever might be causing this.

At seven o’clock, I awoke again, and found no van, no call.

Time to check in, I thought. So I called our cell phone and talked with Jen, who informed me that they were pretty sure it is appendicitis, and they have scheduled an operation for about an hour from now when the surgeon was to arrive.

!!?

SO, we went from a stomach bug, to a possible minor infection requiring anti-biotics to… emergency surgery???!

It seemed that was the consensus, so I jumped to action.

I definitely wanted to be there—before the surgery—but our van was already at the hospital. And, well, I had the other five kids here! They were all sleeping still, of course, but I couldn’t just leave them, even if I did have a ride!

The wheels were quickly turning in my head. I called Grandma & Grandpa to let them know how the adventure that had begun at their place had escalated. Then I talked with our neighbor about getting a ride to the hospital. Then, deciding to leave the kids in the care of our oldest, Ian, I woke up Alex so that he could stay with Mom while I came back to get everyone else (once Julia was in surgery).

All was going mostly according to plan. We were getting pretty close to eight o’clock. I was hoping that they were running later rather than early.

Alex and I got out and thanked our neighbor for her kindness, bringing us to the hospital so early on a Sunday morning. We rushed inside and asked where to find Julia and her Mom. They said she wasn’t on their list, so that probably meant she was already in the operating room. (No!!) But, they weren’t certain of that, and pointed us in the direction we needed to go.

A brief elevator ride later, we were at the Operating Room area. But… where was everyone? The OR was dark, and there was literally no one in sight?

Weird…

We went down a hall that we knew was not the correct direction or location, but we finally found someone who could perhaps get us to where we needed to go. She tried. She really did. But we kept coming up empty. No Julia anywhere!!

I was really sad that I didn’t get to see Julia before they operated on her! But I just wanted to find Jen at this point, and find out what was going on.

Finally we were sent back downstairs to the ER, where another nurse recognized Julia’s name and took us to the room she had been in that night.

To our surprise—good, happy surprise—there sat Mom, with Julia beside her on a hospital bed. (Looking really, really tired, weak, and sick!)

“Well, hi!” said I. “What is the meaning of all this!?”

I didn’t really say that. But it sounded more fun that way, didn’t it?

Jen explained that the surgeon took a look at the CAT scan results, did his own examination, and he said he was pretty sure it wasn’t appendicitis!

While quite confused, I was certainly relieved. No one wants their six year old daughter to go “under the knife” … do they?

As Jen was explaining, the surgeon returned and explained a bit more that, from everything he observed, and after consulting with another pediatrician that morning, he was fairly certain it was not appendicitis, and that Julia would be able to go home, take a little Tylenol for her fever, and just stay hydrated. “She should be fine.”

Stomach bug… infection… appendicitis/emergency surgery… she’ll be fine.

Hmm. 🙂

And so, we went home. Julia (and Mom!) slept nearly all of the day. As the day went on, she perked up more and more. We finished the day with a movie, and all went to bed feeling very, VERY relieved.

This morning, Julia went back to the doctor to make sure things were progressing as the surgeon had hoped. After her Sunday night experience, Julia was very apprehensive. She really didn’t want to go through all that again!! We assured her (as far as we could tell) it wouldn’t be like that again, and thankfully… it wasn’t. The current diagnosis is some sort of bacterial thing in her intestines.

What will it be tomorrow?!

For now, our little girl had a much better day, was smiling and playing through much of it, and is now peacefully sleeping.

Which is where I plan to be soon…

What a wild, crazy series of events! And all thanks to a handful of well-intentioned misdiagnoses.

Just Sickening

Sickness has invaded the Campbell home once again. We really aren’t sick all that much here, but we have of course had our bouts with various illnesses (illni?) over the years. When they hit us, they tend to stick around and cycle through all the warm bodies here a time or two.

Thankfully this time we’re just dealing with stuffy and/or runny noses. (Only a tiny bit of stomach bug, and that only for poor Emma. Throwing up sick is the worst!) But, yesterday I got my “taste” of it, and lemme tell you, it’s nothing to sneeze at.

(HA! Puns…)

I woke up (or tried to) at around 7:45am and had a massive pressure headache. Yuck! In that no children were yet awake, I tried to get back to sleep. A while later, I was awakened by normal morning commotion, and still didn’t feel that great. After a very slow shower and then just sitting on our bed waiting for the fog to lift, I realized this wasn’t going away any time soon.

I guzzled some daytime cold medicine and hoped that would do it. Nope. After more sitting, head still just aching, I grabbed a pillow and fell asleep sitting up on the couch. Finally just moved back to bed and crashed there for a couple hours.

The rest of the day was sort of blurry. I remember thinking many times that I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing!

And all this from just a “little runny nose”! Ugh.

So, this post will be shortened in order for its writer to get some proper rest.

For your entertainment (seriously… it was a funny read just now, since we’re not in the middle of it) I’d recommend from March of 2009, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Folks.

Enjoy!

(And drink your OJ!)

Slow Down

Council of Dads - Bruce FeilerI just finished reading the book you see here, The Council of Dads, and would definitely recommend it. Overall it was a moving, and compelling story written by an author who found out he had very aggressive bone cancer—and mostly all he could think of was his twin 3-year-old girls, and that they might be without a daddy.

Bruce Feiler wrote the book (perhaps it’s books, actually) Walking The Bible, where he literally walks through the places where the events of the Bible take place. He did several “walking” books, so it was ironic (sadly ironic) that he was stricken with bone cancer in his left leg.

He dubbed the subsequent chemotherapy and surgery and rehabilitation “The Lost Year” (for obvious reasons) and chronicled it in this book. The title comes from an idea he had early on to provide a “Dad” for his daughters, should he not survive the disease. It was a pretty interesting idea, with amazing results. Made me wonder whom my “council of Dads” would be if similar circumstances were thrust upon me. It ended up being a revealing look at relationships, what matters most in life, and how we are shaped by everyone around us—some we have special connections to, and have a special impact on us.

In one of his last chapters—in a letter he wrote to friends and family—he explained that one of the most important lessons he’d learned through the “Lost Year” was, “Don’t be in a hurry. Slow down.”

That’s a lesson I’ve learned along the way, but it seems I can never get enough reminders to put it into practice.

Feiler said that in the 1840s, when walking was just becoming a source of recreation, the French would take their pets for a walk to help them set a good pace: their pet turtles! How great is that? Then, as they went at their turtle’s pace, they could interact much more with the surroundings.

We modern Americans (and probably many other cultures) definitely tend to miss the journey. We all are aiming so hard for our destinations, and keeping our schedules that we miss the people and the “little things” along the way.

I love to walk, too. Most for that reason, I think. When you walk, you see and experience so much more. The slowing down allows you to share stories with the people walking with you. It just allows time to live.

There is much to do in life. And sometimes you can’t slow down. But I’d say a lot of what we think we need to do can wait. And should wait. It should wait so we can live life as it’s meant to be lived, and experience and enjoy the important things. Bruce Feiler learned that by means of a horrible disease and the equally awful treatment. But I think from what he’s written in his book, he’d prefer we learn without the pain. That we’d slow down not because we were forced to by illness, but because we choose to not miss any moments of this life God has given us.

It’s a good book. Read it if you get a chance. But even better, make sure you’re slowing down enough to live life today.

Maybe buy a pet turtle. 🙂

Light. Eat!

Emma CarolineEmma, our 21-month-old daughter, woke up yesterday with an upset tummy. It wasn’t awful, but she did a “dry heave” and definitely was not herself. I felt so bad for her, but also just could not figure out where she had gotten any sort of a stomach bug from?? We hadn’t been around anyone who is sick for, well, as long as I could remember. (And, as far as I could remember, you don’t get stomach bugs without some sort of contact with it.)

Emma was OK for the rest of the day. A little extra sleepy at nap time, but OK. And I kept trying to think of maybe what she ate that made her not feel well, or what could have caused this for her. Couldn’t land on anything, though.

Until Jen laid her down for her nap.

“Light. Eat!” said Emma to Mom.

“What?” said a confused Mom. When Emma repeated her story, Jen noticed that one (or two) of the Christmas lights strung around the window by Emma’s bed was clear white instead of blue.

Yes, that’s right. The source of the sickness was (apparently) a Christmas light that looked a little too much like candy.

(This from the child who also once put a dead bumble bee in her mouth.)

Emma woke up in the middle of the night last night, still not feeling very well, but appears to be feeling herself again this morning. Yuck. I think we feed her pretty well … well enough that she shouldn’t need to eat Christmas lights for a snack…

But, just in case. They have been moved.

Light… Don’t eat!