Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hard days

The hardest day of the week for me right now is Sunday. Sunday is game day... every week, for the last 23 years, I have been on, ready to go... I think I have missed two Sundays because of sickness.. now I have missed 4 in a row ( Including Easter).

What makes it hard... unfortunately Sunday's are what I do. Preach, teach, lead youth classes, children's church. Nearly every Sunday for 23 years. I am sure there were days that I didn't feel like it, but I can't remember any.

Now... well I have attended church the last two weeks. Managed one service, before being exhausted. I don't know what tires me out so much... I think it is the people to some degree. They are so nice, so warm, and encouraging... But it is draining.. they want me back and ask.. I don't know exactly what to tell them at this point.

To some degree it is fear. Fear that I will not get the words out right and look stupid. I suppose that is pride. Everyone is understanding when it happens. ( It happened 3 times this morning) I think the crowds, and weariness makes it happen more.

After church I took a nap... ate a bit of lunch and then did a crossword puzzle ( my therapy to help with snatching words) and then took a 60 minute walk. So I am back to pretty tired. But I did accomplish what I wanted to today.

I read Ecclesiastes 10:10 today. I think it has meaning for me. " A dull ax means harder work. Being wise will make it easier." Being wise is rest. ( that is what my friend Mike says) Rest is what I need... Lots of it... I think I had been pushing too hard and I paid the price. So I was dull... and that probably made the work harder. Which tuckered me out... and in part caused God to say, "Hey buddy...why don;t you lay down for a while." ( Psalm 23:2) So here I am... trying to rest.

I just wish I didn't have to rest on Sundays.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Back for another try....

I began in late february... and here it is late April. Too much busyiness I suppsose, at least in March. A couple basketball tournaments, lots of church, a great trip to New York City with my wife , and more.

It all led to a surprise on April 3rd... Late in the day while at my office, I had a mild stroke. In the course of a few moments I went from looking forward to the NCAA Championship game, to in an ambulance to St. Francis hospital. Two days later, I was released, but with some residual effects... Balance issues, blockages in my speech processing, and stamina issues.

It has been a month now... almost. Seems longer. I have had numerous tests on my brain, heart. ( Yes they found both... and there was somehting in there) I have slept alot. Walked alot in the last two weeks. Getting out of the house has been good for me.

When I am tired, my speech does not seem to process right.. so I am doing what the Doctor said... Crossword puzzzles, and reading outloud. It is a slow process of recovery. I went to church last week, which wore me out. I went to the office Monday and Tuesday for a total of 3 hours, and that was too much. So I took the rest of the week and rested, did some household things, and read alot.

Bottom line... I don't know when I will preach again. I want my stamina to be stronger, and my speech to be trustworthy. So I pray alot about it, and work at doing what I am told.

"He makes me lie down..." Psalm 23:2. I guess that is what God has done.. WOW.... It was probably the only way He could get my attention. He did. Sometimes, you have to be told... "lie down...slow down... stop." I got all those this last month.

God is good though. I needed this. I needed to slow down and rest....listen, pray, read, and re-charge. God has put wonderful people in my life who have helped me.

Pam has been so good. What an angel! Patient, peaceful, protective, prayerful, and powerful. Those all describe her. 25 years is a long time to be maried, but I have learned in the last few weeks that even after 25 years there is so much more to be explored and known. That is what makes marriage fun

Elizabeth, Joel, Lydia and Abigial have been so good to me. They know that things are not exactly right, but they are patient and supportive. They all have their own lives, but they have really supported me in this

The Elders of our church. What a group! Not just the ones who are sitting on the board, but past Elders as well, who have been so understanding. They have said, "take all the time you need." And they mean it.

The church has been awesome. There has not been on day in the past 28 that I have not received a card. Almost always multiple cards. One guy has insisted on mowing my grass for the summer. Food..... I don;t have a great appetite, but there has been so much food.

I am a caregiver... and I find myself on the other end now... what a great group of people.

The Staff of the Church has been great. They toil in uncertainity right now. "When will he come back?" I don't know the answer to that right now... but they press on... Even this Sunday there will be new people joining the church. Way to go!

I intend to write alot more in the future.... ( I have the time). Maybe we can learn something together in this...

thanks for reading..... I covet your prayers for my complete recovery. But also pray for my patience in understaning this and redeeming the time.