Celebrate Goals: Making Progress

Celebrate Goals of Making ProgressJune 2, 2016: Hey, I’m making progress! This thought occurred to me while pushing the grocery cart to my car, alone. This was a minor shopping trip consisting of Gala apples, bread, and juice. To most, this was a minor trip; however, this was my monumental day.

June 13, 2016: Facebook entry: “I cooked today. One person’s chore is another’s progress.”

Since this neuromuscular disease hijacked by body eight months ago, activities previously dreaded have now become a sign of progress. I no longer take health and ability for granted.  I consider it joy to have the strength to purchase apples and push a cart alone.

One person’s chore is another’s progress Click To Tweet

My body easily deceives me into thinking I can do more without suffering consequences.  Unfortunately, my strength is short lived. In both instances, light grocery shopping and cooking dinner,  my energy (or spoons*) was quicklCelebrate Goals Making Progress Snail quote Charles Spurgeony depleted. I am thankful for my children who hauled in the groceries and cleaned up the kitchen.

The above mention of spoons refers to the Spoon Theory, a highly popular article written by Christine Miserandino (www.butyoudon’tlooksick.com) who succinctly shares life with a chronic illness.

Each of us face a chronic battle. Maybe you’re trying to be more thankful, take more steps, or drink more water. Perhaps you’re battling a chronic illness, anxiety, fear, depression, or addiction.

Whatever goals you have set, celebrate each time you catch yourself #MAKING PROGRESS 

Are you racing snails? What recent goals are you celebrating? Please share!

By perseverance the snail reached the ark. Charles Spurgeon. Click To Tweet

~April Dawn White

*Images courtesy of Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Marred Sword, Yet I Stand Firm

“It is by faith you stand firm.” (2 Corinthians 1:24)

My shield has dents, my sword is marred, but my armor is on. Some days the greatest battle I face is the moment-by-moment battle to stand firm.

Here is a collection of my favorite verses to mediate while standing firm:

Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm. ” (Ephesians 6:13-14)

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (Exodus 14:13)

“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” (Proverbs 10:25)

“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” (Psalm 33:11)

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.” (2 Chronicles 2:17)

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” (Isaiah 7:9)

The greatest battle I often face is the battle to stand firm in faith. Click To Tweet

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV from Bible Gateway. *Images courtesy of Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

{My graphics are free goodies for you to share. Please retain the Red Chair Moments web address.}

Confessions of a Zebra

Confessions of a Zebra“Mom, since you’re a zebra” Rachel says tossing a zebra printed tank top in my direction. “You can wear this shirt to your doctor’s appointment today.”

“When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra.” Dr. Theodore Woodward

In the 1940’s Dr. Theodore Woodward coined the term “zebra” for any rare medical condition. He taught his University of Maryland medical students common conditions are commonly seen and not to expect to see a zebra. While exotic illnesses exist, these are highly unlikely and the simplest explanation is usually the best. However, rare conditions, like exotic zebras do exhibit. I am a zebra.

In February 2016, my neurologist diagnosed me with Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, a rare neuromuscular “zebra” condition that causes episodes of paralysis or severe muscle weakness. These attacks occur suddenly with little warning and may last for hours or days.[1] Periodic Paralysis has a prevalence of 1 case per 100,000 population. [2]   By the grace of God, multiple medications, physical therapy, and avoidance of triggers (which is not always possible) my attacks have lessened in duration and severity.Confessions of zebra, biochemistry

Dusting off the cobwebs in biochemistry, I’ve studied the Krebs cycle, action potentials, skeletal muscle movement, and dabbled in genetics. Taking a break from genetic mutations, I veered into zoology and began to study zebras.

Zebra fact: A zebra possess a unique stripe pattern similar to the unique fingerprint pattern in humans.

Zebra fact: Immediately after birth, the mother zebra will separate the foal from the herd for two or three days. During this time, the baby zebra studies the mother’s scent, the sound of her call, and memorizes the mother’s stripe pattern.[3]

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV)

Confession of a zebraSeparated from the herd, my Heavenly Father set me apart for this season, to memorize His patterns, to examine His character traits, to recognize His voice over the chatter of the world, and to study His chronic presence in my periodic paralysis.

Staring down on at the zebra printed tank top; a familiar verse rises to the surface of my mind: “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NKJV).

Staring at the stripes Christ bore for me on the cross, I am thankful my medical zebra status, is only temporary.  “By His stripes we are healed” for all eternity, and it is well with my soul.

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV and NKJV from Bible Gateway. *Images courtesy of Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

References:

[1] https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/hypokalemic-periodic-paralysis

[2] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1171678-overview

[3] http://animals.mom.me/zebra-foals-born-striped-9564.html

Everything Beautiful in His Time

For the first time in fourteen years, these irises bloomed!

I transplanted my favorite flowers from one house to another. Over the years, most of the irises, which blossomed majestically in my old yard, have only sporadically bloomed here. In fact, this particular cluster of irises have never bloomed in the fourteen years.

God makes everything beautiful in His time.(Ecclesiastes 3:11) Click To Tweet

In His time, those words, watered by my daily tears, germinate a seed of hope. Knowing God will make all this beautiful in His time makes “it well with my soul.”

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV from Bible Gateway. *Images courtesy of author.  © 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

{My graphics are free goodies for your to share. Please retain the Red Chair Moments web address.}

In Time of Trouble Say

feather and Ink PixabayToday, I read a piece of writing approximately one hundred and twenty-one years old. I love the way God uses the Bible and the powerful words of those before us to speak directly to our lives.

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was a prominent Christian speaker and preacher in Europe and America. He was a minister to the missionaries. One day in 1895 while suffering from back pain, (the result from thrown from a cart in South Africa) Murray penned these words of encouragement in his journal:

In Time of Trouble Say:

By Andrew Murray

First, He brought me here;

It is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.

Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.

Then, He will make the trial a blessing,

Teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace

He means to bestow.

Last, In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows.

Let me say I am here,

(1) By God’s appointment.

(2) In his keeping.

(3) Under His training.

(4) For His time.

 

 

Words spoken or written, today or centuries ago hold power. The story goes on to say that Andrew Murray had a visitor desiring a word. Bedridden, Murray tore out the freshly penned words from his journal and offered it as encouragement.

Are you at home recovering? What method of communication can you use to encourage someone today?

While facing many struggles, I remember the four-point message by Andrew Murray. I am here by God’s appointment; in His keeping; under His training; for His time and “It is well with my soul.”

~April Dawn White

I Will Protect You: Lesson Learned on the Ball Field

Written by April Dawn White

softball pixabayCheers and chatter erupts from the dugout as a passel of ten and eleven-year-old-girls chant, “If I were you and you were me, I’d scoot your bootie back. I’d scoot your bootie back.”

Over the chatter of the opposing team, my daughter overhears the coach call her name. Rachel jogs from left field to receive instruction. Although, I cannot hear the conversation, I can see his action. The coach has called Rachel in as the relief pitcher.

Rachel approaches the mound and throws a few warm up pitches. Andrew, her brother, runs to the mound to deliver her face mask (a required piece of equipment). Rachel shakes her head from side to side, refusing to wear it for the warm up.

Pacing behind the bleachers, I holler, “Wear the mask! I made that face and I will protect that face!” The other parents and the umpire turn to me and we all laugh.

The umpire turns back to Rachel and says, “Pitcher, bases are loaded and you have zero outs.” My pacing continues as I sarcastically murmur under my breath, “Great, just great.”

As the game continues, the words I yelled across the ball field echo in my mind. “I made that face. I will protect that face.” God reminds me of a similar statement found in the Old Testament:

“I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4)

On the ball field today, God spoke to my heart. He reminded me:

  • When a health crisis comes out of left field or when life throws you a curve ball, remember that the same God who made you will protect you.softball-pixabay

  • Be ready, watch, and listen for the coach’s voice. We never know when God will call our name for our next assignment, but we need to be listening intently to His voice over the chatter of this world.

Even though a neuromuscular disease struck me out of left field, today God reminded me that the same God who made me will protect me. I am listening to His voice and “It is well with my soul.”

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