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Instant bad mood. I search around for my screaming phone on the floor under my bed. The damn alarm clock continues to scream at the top of its lungs. Slowly gaining control of my sleeping body, I step out of bed, pick up my phone and turn off the alarm. The pain of waking up. In heaven, I will roll over and enjoy the waking up process just as much as snuggling into bed and drifting off to sleep. (That is if we sleep in heaven.)
My world runs about me in fast forward. Honking impatiently at the slow moving car, spending what we don’t have for the newest item that hits the shelves, driving around our children to some place other than home. Why do I join the insanity of the crowd? I do believe in busying oneself with hard work, but that is not what is happening here. We are all consumed with what does not matter.
Now. What we want is now. The admiring stares of those we don’t know. Now. The praise of what drives us around. Now. Winners of the race. Packed pantries to overflowing. Fashonable jewelry on our bodies and extra in the closet. Fancy modern restaurants. Everything that our neighbors have. Our neighbors that we want to be like, not the ones outside of our neighborhood.
But all we think about is now and we laugh at anyone that suggests otherwise.
Ted Turner is famous for a lot of things, one of them is stating what is on his mind. Hey, I can respect that. He likes to chose his words so that other people listen. He doesn’t just fit into the crowd. I respect that also. But I wish that someone would tell him, and a whole lot of the rest of the world, that they are on the wrong train. When Turner quoted, “I’d rather go to hell. Heaven has got to be boring.” I wish someone would have asked him, “What do you want most in life?”….”It will be in heaven.”
Heaven is better than being a billionaire. There is money to spare, Hey, let’s pave these streets with gold. Heaven is better than pornography! THERE WILL BE PERFECT BODIES WALKING AROUND NAKED! And it will be a good thing! No one will be embarrassed! (There will be no sin in heaven. Pornography is a destructive, cruel sin. The point is, naked bodies will be good….and everywhere.) Heaven is better than Hawaii. All the food will be paid in full! Heaven is better than Christmas! That baby Jesus, he will be with us! It doesn’t sound boring to me!
And what will not be in heaven? Babies without mommies. Wheelchairs won’t be needed in heaven, or medicine, or hospitals. There will not be divorce, no one’s heart will be broken. What have you been through? What hurts? What tugs at your heart and makes you cry out, “That is not right!” God will end it. He will make all the wrongs undone and he will wipe away that tear.
“Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we want is coming.” Tim Keller.
So, look at this world. Read the Bible. Take a look at what is good in this world. LORD, FIX MY PRIORITIES! SET MY MIND ON THINGS ETERNAL! Get ready. It is going to be the best party of all of eternity. Don’t throw away your invitation.
This article was published in my book, Beautiful Life with Cancer, Hope During the Hard Times in December 2014.
As I lay down in my bed, I am out. I almost always hit the pillow and it takes me about three minutes and I am asleep. Often times, parents of little babies and young children teach them bedtime by setting a routine. Baby gets a bath, read to them, sing one song, and hugs and kisses. Well, (you can call me weird but I already know that) but I believe I have done this with myself. Ofcourse I have the getting ready process. I will spare you that. It is not as simple and soothing as the baby’s routine. But I hit the pillow and I start running a list through my head. My two most popular lists: 1. What are the decoration changes that I want to make to my house? 2. What would I change about myself? Fifteen. No fourteen. There are fourteen things I would change.
1. I wish my hair was a little thicker. 2. No contacts. Perfect vision would be nice. 3. No scars around my neck. 4. No itchy back. That is right. No itchy back. See…I am the lucky one million billion that has a rare condition within a rare condition of MEN2A in which my body deposits protein on the top of my back. It drives me insane! It itches all the time. All the time! Almost daily, I scratch it until it bleeds. I have done this since I was a baby. I wish I did not have that. 5. Stronger arms. I work on it. I do. I go to the gym when I can and lift weights or as of now, or recently, I have been trying Yoga. But I’ve been a little weak lately so I don’t push it by going to the gym. So, I wish I wash’t sick. Wish I could go to the gym. And wish I had stronger arms. 6. No scars on my stomach. 7. No stretch marks. Nah. I look at those and wish they weren’t there and then I remember why I have them. Actually, call me crazy, I’ll keep those. Worth the memory. So, 7. Thinner legs. (Reinsert gym explanation here and add to it that I do not eat sugar. Ok. Yes, I do eat fruit. And yes, I know that carbs turn to sugar in my body. Restate that. I do not eat desserts. Why? There is one reason to eat desserts: They taste good. There are four reasons not to: sugar makes me gain weight, not good for my teeth, makes me, and everyone, sick more often by weakening my immune system, and lowers my energy. Yes, that was absolutely too much to say within parenthesis.) 8. Perfect teeth. I hope you think my teeth look perfect, but the front two have crowns from chipping them on the swimming pool. 9. No veins on my legs. 10. Better singing voice. (If I could insert a clip of me singing here, you would agree.) 11. No scar on the back of my leg. 13. No Addison’s Disease. 14. No cancer.
There is my list. Sure. Everybody has a list. But I do try to be really content with my body, but these are the things that I hate. I really do hate. And about 12 out of 14, at least, are here for life. Nothing I can do about it. About half of these nobody sees. And the other half, I try to hide most of the time. Prime example: You will not find me in any singing group or trying out for American Idol. But, I go to buy life insurance, and I can’t. I go to the doctor for allergies and I have to continue my medication list on the back because it won’t all fit in the lines provided, and then the doctor wants to send me for scans and tests and chat extra long because of my history, but excuse me doctor, I have a sinus infection. But they don’t want to give me anything for that. And then I go to pick up Prednisone at the pharmacy for the one hundredth time in a row and the pharmacist feels the need to tell me that I shouldn’t take so much because of the side effects. Thank you, I know them well. But the alternative isn’t so good. It’s death. And then I read an article in the newspaper in the medical section from a doctor that says no one can survive with both their adrenal glands removed. Well, he should do some research, or I should introduce myself because I am going on ten years now.
I try to find light in my rare condition. It is a little neat when the student intern at Duke is so excited over meeting me and reviewing my case that he can not hide his excited giddiness. It is kinda cool to be able to carry on a medical conversation, using all the right jargon, with friends that are doctors and surgeons, but If I got to pick, I would choose a different claim to fame. What can I really do with, “a really extremely rare form of MEN2A” and always being the exception even within the rules of the disease? Pretty cool to be the exception in the medical handbook or the specialists’ conference? Ehh.
Well, I am asleep by now and I never go through the explanations with myself while I am laying in bed. But if I didn’t have that, I’d be pretty pleased with myself. If I didn’t have all of that, it’d be great to sit up in the morning and be able to see what’s going on without popping in those contacts. And I’d probably join some band, just for the fun of it. And I’d sing to more people than just my seven year old. And my husband. And my sisters. And anyone else I get comfortable with. And anyone else who is around after I’ve had a drink or two. And I’d wear skirts, not just in the summer time when I’m outside, but also when it is a little chilly outside in the Fall to show off my legs. And I would be in and out of the doctor’s office with my sinus infection medicine. And I wouldn’t always scratch my damn back. And who knows? Maybe I would be a whole lot less content. And maybe I would have less joy. And maybe I wouldn’t appreciate my family and the days that I’ve got. Because it isn’t really myself that makes me happy anyway. So, ehh, I’ll just keep it all. So, I am oh so sorry. Please exude my oh so messed up body. That’s just me.
Caroline is published! I have entered my novel into a contest and for a short time you can download it for the low cost of FREE! Please click on the link below to read the book Spiritual Flesh and Blood for free, which also gives me one vote when you download. THANK YOU!
Ever wish you had been born into a family of privilidge? Wish you had more connections? Is there a huge mistake you wish you hadn’t made? The kind no one else can understand. Do you regret your career choice? Or the very personality that you live with every single day?
Only here. This is the only place you are offered a second chance. An offer to be born again. To chose a father that is a king, that decorates his streets with gold. He has the connections to chose the weather, to set the stars in motion, and to do….ANYTHING! He knows everything you wish you knew, gives the best advice to be offered, has all the answers, offers protection and peace beyond comprehension.
Do you feel too weak for change? He is all powerful. Are you much too poor? Oh, he has that covered. Scared? Yeah. It is scary. It is a give all, hold nothing back kind of choice.
But give it. Surrender. Start over. Raise your white flag. Be born again. And receive it all.
I recently read an article about teaching your children how to grow up to be rich. Cringe, huh? Not really a PC title for anyone. But it was an AMAZING article and it started by saying that we all want to be rich (yes) but few actually know how to do that. And it goes on with a researched account of habits of the wealthy and the importance of passing these habits on to our children. Here are some things a high percentage of rich people do: listen to audio books in the car, floss, exercise, watch less than an hour of TV per day (and no reality TV), read, make “to do” lists, and lots of other stuff. Extremely interesting to me. I could care less if my daughter grows up to have lots of money, but I do want her to be rich! Rich in love, rich in success, rich in kindness, rich in joy…and rich with money is great also!
I believe, I believe, I believe in making wise choices. It is why we are here, right? There is a purpose for us on this earth. I want to know everything about everything. I want to know exactly how to treat my body, how to communicate well with others, how to learn, I want to see and do, and live and learn. Praise God I am not the same person that I was twenty years ago or one year ago or even one week ago. I want each day to count!
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming this! No, no, this world is not my home! The best is yet to come! My heart beating, my lungs breathing, my brain thinking, someone else holds that. I can follow his command to make wise choices and I can do my part to improve my life. But listen, I control so little!
Bombs fall on the wise and the foolish. Heart attacks strike the rich and the poor. Cancer does not descriminate against the young and the old. The healthy and the unhealthy, the ugly and the beautiful, we will cease to be.
And what then? Think about it.
Mountains spread before me. The river cuts them apart. The morning sun yawns and slowly rises. I lift my coffee. My two hands cusp its warmth. Deep breath and peace in my heart. I pray. I seek. Early in the morning, in my life, in the conversation, I seek God.
His word says give. His command is to love. The law says purity. I obey him and I am happy. All my heart searches for him. I study in the library, feasting on knowledge. Listening in class, Science is his creation. Attentive in speeches, charity is his work. I want to know his good. I want no compromise in my life. When I eat, it is of the fruit he provided. When I speak, it is an outpouring of the knowledge he provided. When I clean, it is of his blessings. And when I laugh, it is joy that can not be contained. I want others to look at me and see you. I want your principles to radiate from my life’s obsessions.
I am young. My body is healthy. My body is fit and handsome. Young women notice me. Pretty girls flirt. How can I stay pure? I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. I think about you when I am tempted. I have disciplined my eyes to look away. I have trained my mind to look for goodness, to call it out, and to praise it. Even though I am sought, I have already been won. I am untouchable.
A crowd forms around me. They follow my example. They have wandered away like sheep and you find them. I rebuke evil that preys on others. I listen, I feel, and I cry. A beggar lacks the training so easily given away. A nagging child needs the discipline her bratty spirit craves. A neglected life begging, begging for love, one soul alone can give. I want to see. I want to give. I want to heal.
A conspiracy forms against me. I will not wander. I meditate on your principles. I am overwhelmed by the power that swells within me. Disgrace is among the people that lie about me. So short is their conniving plan.
I have determined to follow you. Teach me, O Lord. Give me understanding. I will put it into practice. I walk in your path. I ponder my direction. My eagerness is for you, not for money! Blessings are poured out on me. All this world is lavished upon me but it is not my fulfillment. It all is at my fingertips, it all, I give away.
Forever you stand firm. My lips burst in worship. I live to sing your praise.
I, Caroline, long to be that Psalm 119 boy. So easily, Lord, you provide that life for me.