Tag Archives: inspiration

Healthy Respect: my journey through Psalms (9)

Psalm 9
Sometimes the world worries me. I read the news, I listen to political debates, and I shudder to think what will happen next. What could happen next? How far can we really fall as a nation? As a people?
And then I read something like Psalm 9. Verse 15 states that the nations fall into the pit they have dug. And sure enough, many of the problems in our world are a direct result of problems we created ourselves. We fall into the pit of our own iniquities. Instead of trying to right a wrong, we try to look out for the bottom line, or material productiveness. We don’t ask how can I make things better, we ask how can I profit from this. It is a direct result of this narcissism that has led to an unraveling of our egotistical minds.
When the psalmist declares in the end ‘strike them with terror, Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal’. I close my eyes and breathe deep. That is a terrible price the nations must pay to learn that we are not gods, but a part of the creation. And every time an earthquake, tsunami, or other natural disaster occurs striking down millions, we are reminded of our mortality–not that it is God striking fear into the world, but it is a stark reminder that we do not control everything ergo we should stop pretending that we can or even that we should.
A healthy respect for the world, for God and for each other is the only way we will ever really achieve any kind of peace on earth. And unfortunately, many are unwilling to do even one of these three things, let alone all three.

Questions to ponder:
1) Do I have a healthy respect for the world, its guidelines and rules and my role in it?
2) Do I give thanks to God regularly for his presence, wisdom, guidance, and protection in the world?
3) Do I have a healthy respect for ALL people in the world and their roles in it?

Local Paragons XII: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Nothing Bundt Cake is a small locally-run company located off Jonestown Road in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Offering a wide variety of different types, sizes, and flavors of specialty Bundt cakes, you won’t be sorry if you visit this delicatessen. My personal favorite is the strawberries and cream (limited time only! Gone by the end of June), but you really can’t go wrong with any of the other flavors (white chocolate raspberry? Yum!) either.

Food:                                                  Local Color:

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3                                  <3 <3 <3

“I brought you something.”

Lucy looked up from her book and smiled at Chris who held up the familiar brown bag for her to see and appreciate.

“You should have!” Lucy declared, smiling even as she reached for the bag. “But I’m glad you did. Thanks.”

“So you find out your results yet?”

Lucy looked down at the Bundlet, perfectly baked and packaged. Nothing Bundt Cake had been one of her favorite dessert places since it opened a few years ago. Today, when her stomach was tied up in knots and her head swimming with an unknown future, it was not the perfect pick-me-up exactly, but it was an incredibly sweet gesture.

“Yeah.” Lucy watched her fork sink into the soft sides of the miniature Bundt cake. The perfectly moist inside sunk in as she pushed and then pulled away her first bite. “Mmm strawberries and cream.”

“A summer special,” Chris grinned, pleased with himself. “Katie said she is on her way, or she’d be here later, something like that.”

“On her way,” Lucy murmured around the bite. She took a sip of water and let a satisfied smile settled on her lips where one tiny pink crumb clung. Chris reached out and wiped it away with his thumb. Lucy’s bottom lip dropped open slightly.

“Lucy, I—“

“Luce!” Katie’s enthusiastic tenor interrupted the moment and he stepped back, almost blending into the corners of the room, whatever he’d been about to say forgotten—by Lucy at least.  “How are you feeling?”

“Ridiculous,” she cleared her throat and avoided eye contact, preferring instead to poke at the cake with her fork. “I don’t feel sick, so I don’t know why I’m still here.”

“You had two seizures,” Katie said. “So you need to rest up, and listen to the doctors, and mister hops a lot here.” She deposited the ridiculous kangaroo she was holding on the bedside table, the card he held going crooked as she did so.

“’Get hopping well soon.’ Where did you get that ridiculous thing?” Lucy asked as she read the card aloud.

“He was made just for you, Luce, so don’t mock him.”

Lucy shook her head.

“Bundlet! Excellent! Taste?” Katie asked, sitting on the end of the bed and grabbing a fork from the tray.

“Of course,” Lucy pushed the cake toward her friend. “Dig in.”

“Where’s Susie?” Katie asked between bites.

“Probably wrestling the kids into submission—she said she wanted to be here—“

“And she will!” Susie floated into the room, though her hair was somewhat disheveled and remnants of what Lucy guessed to be oatmeal were stuck to her t-shirt, she still looked as if she had energy to spare. Lucy wondered hwo she did it.

“When will the doctor be in?” Susie asked.

“Soon,” Lucy sighed. “But not soon enough.”

“Isn’t that the truth?” Katie said, shaking her head.

“Saul!” Lucy looked past her friend’s sympathetic shakes to the man who had just entered. Her face relaxed—Saul had been there for her over in ways she didn’t even know she needed someone. “I thought you had to work.”

“I’m on break,” he assured her, his dimpled grin warming her insides as he squeezed her hand. “The doctor was right behind me.”

Lucy nodded, but found that her mouth had gone dry.

A few moments, which felt like an eternity  even with her friends and family trying to distract her, finally passed and the doctor strode confidently into the room. Lucy couldn’t read his stoic express, but swallowed hard as she reminded herself to breathe deeply—in through the mouth and out through the nose.

“Ms. St. James,” he started as he placed the clipboard on the end of the bed. “I’ll be direct with you. We’ve found on the MRI what we believe to be a tumor.”

Lucy sucked in a breath, feeling as though all the air had been sucked out of the room. She wasn’t sure if the humming noise was a contrivance of her imagination or was an actual noise, but it made her head spin all the same.

“I believe it is what has caused the seizures,” the doctor continued. “And, of course, the other symptoms we discussed. However, just looking at the scan we cannot definitively determine if the tumor is malignant or benign. Because of its size, we believe a biopsy would be our next best course of action. If it is benign the location would allow complete removal and your life would essentially return to normal. If malignant, well, my suggestion is for you to take it one step at a time before you let it control your life—you start getting control of it.”

Lucy could feel herself nodding, but had no words. Her mouth was dry. Her head was spinning. Susie was firing off questions at the man left and right, but all Lucy could do was poke a hole in the top of her cake with the fork and wonder if the salt from her tears would make it more bitter or moist—and if that even mattered at all anymore.

With your head in the Dryer…

This week was kind of a disaster.

I dried a pen. Yes, you heard that right. I put a pen in the dryer (not on purpose, I’m not that dumb, people), but as you can imagine, the results were pretty horrendous).

All that blue…yeah that’s the ink. It did eventually come out…but when your heads down in there you don’t think it ever will. Just ask my mom.

Then I walked into a painted doorway. Yes, you heard that right too. A painted doorway. Paint all down my arm. The doorway had no damage. My sweater on the other hand, DOA.

The printer at work decided to stop working, I was late to a meeting, I fell—twice (that’s not really uncommon, but it still sucked), and to be frank, I was tired all week long for no real reason.

And yet, I’m still alive. I have a great place to live. I’m healthy. I’m having brunch after church with my best friends. I had breakfast yesterday with my parents and grandparents (yes, my grandfather who had surgery just a couple of weeks ago on his stomach had breakfast with me yesterday morning!) and I still managed to write 13,000+ words in Clara’s Chance (and I’ll be a toothless monkey if I don’t hit 20,000 today by gum! I had an AWESOME dream last night!). Jimmy, my aloe plant, is even still alive and kicking and growing another little sprig!

Jimmy and his new sprig–can you see it?

My point is this: Yes, some weeks seem to be mired in the dregs of disaster with your head stuck in a dryer scrubbing for hours (thanks Mom for helping out with that yesterday—she’s really the only reason I didn’t throw the whole thing out–yes I did consider this. I went through a whole lot of scrubbing before she fixed it. And that’s kind of what Moms do.), but your heads only in the dryer for so long. Once you pull it out, you realize how bright the world is outside and there is so much more to life than ink stains and scrubbing.

And that’s what we really have to live for.

Mom, Dad and me at my book launch in August–heads out of the dryer (a picture of our heads in the dryer really wouldn’t have been very flattering)