random stuff

Joke: Winne the … What?

A new group of first graders were in class for the first time.

The teacher told them, “You are in first grade now and we do not talk ‘baby talk’ in my classroom. When I point to you, stand, tell me your name, and something you did this summer.”

The first child stood, “My name is Jackie, I visited my Nanny.” The teacher said “That’s great, but from now on we will say Grandmother. There is no ‘baby talk’ in the first grade.”

The second child stood, “My name is Regina. I rode a choo choo this summer.” The teacher replied, “That’s good, but from now on we will say train. Remember, no ‘baby talk’ in first grade.”

The third child stood, “My name is Frank and I read a book this summer.” The teacher replied, “That’s wonderful Frank! What book did you read?”

The little boy very proudly replied, “Winnie the Shit.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Love Comes from God

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here to inform and bless you. God granted you the gift of free will – take it or leave it).

More from Write From Karen

Can We Talk?

What If …

I love these moral delimma questions.

You’re a policeman. You pull over a car that’s speeding in a school zone. The driver is a neighbor’s son. Do you let him off with only a verbal warning?

My answer: Maybe, it depends. If this is his first offense, then I would most likely give the kid a warning. However, if he has a record (whether speeding or not), then I would absolutely give him a ticket and most likely say something to my neighbor, too.

Your turn!

Life

Thrown Into the Health Care System

Thank goodness for insurance. Seriously. It’s a pain in the butt to pay and deal with, but when you have to use it, it’s a God send.

Luckily, Kevin had the foresight to set up really excellent insurance – both auto and health.

So, all of his home care equipment is covered by our insurance. His hospital bed, the trapeze above his bed (which he uses all the time to help him sit up and get out of bed), his bedside commode (though we’re working on weaning him from using that and getting him into a regular bathroom – which we successfully did yesterday and today!), his shower chair, (which we won’t attempt to use until his fractures heal and he’s not wearing any braces – I’m giving him sponge baths right now), and his wheelchair.

This is Kevin’s wheelchair:

Because of the surgery on his posterior (or butt, in layman’s terms), he requires a cushion. Though this cushion is not very soft (it consists of multiple rubber tubes that you have to air up), it provides him with stability and helps soften his injury. (Poor guy is constantly shifting his weight off his left butt cheek to try and provide himself with relief from the pressure).

He also has that sliding board you see in the picture. We use this to help him transfer from the bed to his chair, or from his chair to the toilet. You wouldn’t think a piece of wood be so valuable but his transfers would be more difficult, or in the case of getting to the toilet, impossible, without it.

Though we’re not paying for any of this stuff (well, technically we HAVE paid for it in premiums over the years), I still keep track of the cost of everything. And as you can imagine, everything is over priced. And I guess home support companies feel they CAN over charge because, after all, insurance companies are paying for it – the money isn’t coming directly from patients.

Hence ONE BIG PROBLEM with our health care system.

For example, I about had a coronary when I saw the rental invoice for that cushion you see in the picture. *Can you guess how much this sucker cost? Use your wildest imagination – I bet you still won’t be close. I’ll give you a hint – it’s WAY over priced, in my opinion.

Even though I loathe our current president and everything he stands for, even though I couldn’t DISAGREE more with our current health reform law, I won’t argue that something needs to be done about health care costs. I’ve seen, firsthand these past few weeks, just how expensive everything is. And it doesn’t have to be that expensive, but since insurance companies are the ones paying, the health care industry takes advantage of that and hikes the cost. I mean, why not? If companies (people) will pay the price, then why wouldn’t companies jack the cost? (Think how expensive cars are – if people refused to pay those prices and stuck to used cars, the price of new cars would come down – it’s simply supply and demand).

It truly is insane.

But here’s the deal, when you HAVE to have this stuff, when you HAVE to rely on the health care system to take care of your loved one, you don’t have a choice. You’re thrown into the system and you have to hope everything is taken care of for you.

When tragedy strikes, the cost is really the LAST thing on your mind. Health care debates are no where near the top of your priority list. You just want the doctors to work their magic and take care of your loved one.

And people, they DID. They really, really did. Every person, doctor, nurse, PDA, tech, they were all fantastic, both here at home and at MU in Columbia. They all took superior care of Kevin. (Well, it helped that Kevin had a great attitude, cracked jokes and made them laugh, too. As he says, “What’s done is done. Being bitter won’t help things.”)

And America really DOES have a top-notch health care system – it just needs (a lot of) work.

I think it’s a bit ironic that I was SOOOO into the health care debacle, voiced my concerns loud and clear and here we are, in the midst of it. But here’s the thing, I STILL feel the same way. I’m STILL passionate about an industry that proves crucial when something tragic occurs. And I will continue to loudly protest what the government is trying to do to it.

It’s just NOW, I have a better understanding of the issues and feel like any opinions I offer henceforth will be a little more informed and passionate because NOW I have a bird’s eye view of how it all works.

*Read the first comment – I reveal how much the cushion cost.

Abundant Life, Life

Putting the Blame Where it Belongs

I wouldn’t exactly call myself a quote – religious – unquote person, but YES, I believe in God. YES, I put my faith in God, and YES I (hope) live a Godly life. Though we don’t go to church, (we have Bible study in our home), we are followers of Christ and put all of our energies into studying God’s wonderful, matchless Word.

However …

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that right after Kevin’s accident, I didn’t feel just a wee bit disappointed with God.

Let me see if I can explain …

I personally don’t believe that God causes bad things to happen. You will never hear me blame God for something bad that has happened in my life.

It’s not God’s fault.

After all, God does not have control over our planet Earth, Satan does. (God gave the world to Adam and Eve as a gift, Adam and Eve then handed it over to Satan).

I know. Heavy stuff, right? But when we point the finger at the correct culprit (Satan, and NOT God), doesn’t it all sort of seem to make sense?

1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

I don’t know about you, but getting hit head on by a woman while riding a motorcycle and being left for dead is pretty dark, don’t you think? I’m not sure how anyone can possibly justify it was God’s will that it happen.

But I’m not here to argue theology with you. This is simply what I believe. I understand why people blame God when something bad happens, it offers them comfort – it gives them a reason for whatever tragedy they endured.

It helps them makes sense out of something senseless.

But I simply refuse to believe that a God, MY GOD, who is loving, who is kind, who is light and in him there is no darkness at all, is to blame when tragedy strikes.

So no. I didn’t, and don’t, blame God for what happened to Kevin. We all have spiritual wars raging around us – we are surrounded by evil spirits and Satan’s dominions and when our believing wavers, when we let our guards down, the devil takes advantage of that time to strike.

What do you think the odds are of someone being hit head on, going thirty to forty miles per hour, on a motorcycle, of surviving? And what are the odds of them not only surviving, but having a very positive prognosis that he will walk again?

What are the odds that the person who was hit would never lose consciousness, that he would remember everything (even the make and model of the car that hit him), would be able to move his arms and legs after impact and would ONLY have one area on his body that was (severely) broken?

What are the odds of that man NOT having any life-altering brain, neck, or back injuries?

I’m not a statistician, but I’d wager they’re pretty high.

Was it luck? Was it good fortune?

I don’t believe it was. I believe it was God watching out for one of the most important men in my life. I believe God shielded my husband from the worst case scenario. And even though we allowed Satan to slip through our defenses at some point in our lives, God protected us from Satan’s full frontal attack.

I was disappointed in God because I had firmly believed that though I knew the risks Kevin was taking by riding his motorcycle, it never crossed my mind, I never even toyed with the notion, that he would somehow get hurt. I put ALL OF MY TRUST IN GOD. And though that certainly helped, it wasn’t enough. Kevin had harbored doubts. Though he hadn’t exactly been fearful of what might happen to him on the road, he did think about the “what ifs” from time to time.

And that one tiny doubt, that one tiny fear, might have been just enough of a crack that Satan needed to slip through and cause trouble.

That’s why prayer is crucial in a Christian’s life. It’s the shield Christians need and use to protect them from Satan’s tricks.

Which to me, makes so much more sense than the belief that it was somehow God’s will that the bad thing happened. If that’s the case, then why bother praying at all? If God is going to make it happen anyway, then wouldn’t praying about it be a waste of time? But then why does the Bible urge us to faithfully pray and pray often?

See the contradiction? It simply doesn’t make sense.

At any rate, I didn’t allow myself to stay disappointed in God for very long because it wasn’t God’s fault that this happened to begin with. And without God’s protection, Kevin may not be here with me right now.

I would be alone.

My boys wouldn’t have their father.

Why am I telling you this? Because I’m PROUD of my God. Because I’m GRATEFUL to my God. Because I BELIEVE that God is good and doesn’t deserve all of the bad rap He receives from both individuals and our country. I’m telling you this because if my story, our personal tragedy, can touch even one person, will give just one person the opportunity to re-evaluate his/her choices and decide that putting all of one’s faith in a loving, wonderful, and powerful God is better than doing nothing at all, then I will have served my purpose.

I OWE God my life. I OWE God the good fortunes in my life. I OWE God for protecting my husband during a critical time in his life. And I will find a way to repay Him, whether that’s sharing my faith and my story here with you, or finding some way to help people on a more personal level; I will gladly do it.

If you’re dealing with turmoil right now, if you seek peace in a chaotic life, then why not give God a chance to help you?

What is it going to hurt?

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Life

Twenty Years Ago Today …

… I married the love of my life.

Twenty years ago, at 6:00 p.m. central standard time at a little church in Nixa, Missouri, Kevin and I got married. Even though we were not members of the church, we picked the church because a coworker of mine suggested it; I found it attractive, easily accessible and fell in love with the lovely stained-glass windows behind the pulpit.

We had a very modest, but beautiful wedding. Even if we could have afforded a big fancy wedding, neither one of us wasn’t interested in having a big fancy wedding.

Getting there wasn’t that important to us, being man and wife was all we cared about.

I can honestly say, I have married the ONLY man on planet Earth who could have possibly put up with me for any length of time. (Contrary to popular belief, I’m not the easiest person to get along with. *cough*) Kevin knows when to be quiet and let me vent, he knows when to inject humor to diffuse my temper. He knows when to be strong for me and when to step back and allow me to handle things.

He is, quite simply, my soul mate.

If you believe in that sort of thing.

Our life has never been a fairy tale. We’ve had our fair shares of ups and downs. There was a time period, around our seventh year of marriage, that I was quite convinced we would not make it. In fact, I went so far as to actually shop around for divorce attorneys, but somehow, we had the maturity and the presence of mind to pawn the kids off on family one night and air our grievances. We were honest with one another, brutally honest with one another, and we said what was on our minds.

And we both tried very hard to take everything said to heart and to change our behaviors and work at improving our relationship.

It’s true, you know. Surviving hard times really DOES make your marriage stronger.

We’re pretty strong right now. And I don’t see our bond weakening any time soon.

We’ve gotten comfortable with each other. We’ve taken advantage of each other. We’ve settled. And though there have been times when our relationship has been “comfortable” (okay fine, boring), it’s been a comfortable peace.

We’ve started a new chapter in our married life: Kevin is now in a wheelchair. It’s not permanent, he will walk again at some point (we’re thinking around August), but it’s been a HUGE adjustment for us both. Not just physically, but emotionally. Now, suddenly, our roles have been reversed. Kevin has always been my provider, the person who has taken care of me, now it’s the other way around. He completely relies on me for everything. From getting him out of bed, to making sure he has something to eat, to helping him with his personal hygiene.

And I honest-to-God don’t mind. In fact, I’m grateful – I’m grateful he’s alive and breathing because due to the nature of his accident, he probably shouldn’t be here with us today.

But he is.

And it’s because God was watching out for him that day.

I had no idea it was even possible to love another human being more than I do my husband. He’s so much a part of me now, I can’t imagine my life without him and I thank God that I don’t have to.

This accident may be a speed bump in our marital journey, but we refuse to allow it to slow us down. We will continue to live, we will find our new normal, we will heal and we will persevere.

How? Because we have God watching our backs …

… and we have each other.

Life

A New Normal

So.

HI.

Things are starting to settle down for us.

Thank God.

We’re establishing routines and Kevin is becoming more and more independent of me every day. In fact, the occupational therapist came by today and showed us how Kevin could get on the toilet by himself. Since he has one wrist in a splint and our bathrooms are so TINY, this is actually really good news.

Kevin can’t wait to implement her ideas. But first, we need to install a grab bar.

You wouldn’t think anyone would be so excited to go to the potty by themselves, but let me tell ya, you don’t appreciate that small task until you can’t do it anymore. He’s been using a bedside commode and he has hated it. He doesn’t have any privacy and it really bothers him that I have to clean up after him.

So when the occupational therapist asked him what the number one thing that bugged him the most was, he said, “not being able to use the toilet.”

Everything else is going really well. The occupational therapist (I swear, we look forward to her visits because she always gives us great tips and ideas on how to do things more efficiently) suggested that we take the outer part of his wheelchair (the part where the patient grabs on to wheel himself/herself around) off so we could fit him into tight spaces a bit better.

Worked like a dream.

She also worked with Kevin to get him to transfer to his bed by himself, too. He can get into his bed by himself, but will need my help getting back out, at least for a little while longer.

Kevin has an appointment with the orthopedist June 8th, we should find out then whether he can get rid of the wrist splint, the back brace (which he only has to wear when he’s over 30 degrees) and the knee brace. Once all of his little fractures heal, he will only get stronger and more independent.

I’ve been really busy. Between taking care of Kevin, (transferring him from bed to chair, from chair to bed/commode, giving him sponge baths, wheeling him around the house), making sure he takes his meds, (he’s on Coumadin, a blood thinner and something he MUST take at 6:00 p.m. every day), feeding him, taking care of the house, doing laundry, dropping off/picking up kids, taking care of myself AND trying to work, my time is really limited right now. I have to say, I’m becoming rather good at managing my time nowadays.

But honestly, I love it. I find myself focusing better when I have a lot of things to do at once. You could even say I’m a master at multi-tasking … but I wouldn’t go that far. It’s when I find that I have too much time on my hands is when I never get anything done.

****

I’ve been seriously thinking about going to nursing school.

I know.

But I could do it. I’ve learned SOOOOO much about taking care of people these past few weeks and I’ve also learned that I’m good at it, and actually enjoy it. Yes. I realize that it wouldn’t be the same taking care of strangers (after all, not everyone is such a great patient like my Kevin), but there would always be a demand for the job and though the pay is not the best, it’s not too bad.

And I would be helping people.

Anyway, I’m just now looking into the specifics and it’s something to think about for when Kevin gets back on his feet again. (I’d like to find a profession where I can work and Kevin could stay home and do … whatever he wanted to do. It’s time we flip-flopped our roles for a while, I think).

****

For those that don’t know, we had a cruise scheduled for the middle of July. And believe it or not, we’re still planning on going.

But wait … before you snicker, roll your eyes and say, “NO WAY!” let me just say that by the time July gets here, all of Kevin’s fractures should be healed. AND, his legs are getting stronger and stronger every day AND, the twelve weeks he was told to stay off his legs will have ended and though he won’t be walking, he will be able to put a little weight on his legs so that getting him places will become easier.

But since he’ll still be in his wheelchair in July, we’ll have to rethink the logistics of this trip a bit more.

We called Carnival Cruise lines yesterday, told them our situation and asked them if they could possibly switch our room to a wheelchair accessible room.

To our delight, they not only had one available, they were able to put the boys in the room next door!! So, it looks like the boat part of our trip is very doable. They told us that he would be able to easily wheel himself into the bathroom AND the shower and that the doorways are wide enough to easily accommodate his chair. Again, his wrist fracture will be healed by then, so getting him out of the chair and into bed/toilet/shower should be a cinch (at least when compared to the situation now).

I’d like to take a moment to sing Carnival Cruise’s praises – they were SUPER nice to us (and have always been – this will be our third cruise with them) and we can’t recommend them enough to anyone thinking about going on a cruise.

We simply love them.

Now that the boat portion of our trip has been taken care of … now we can turn our attention to the New York portion of our trip.

Since we are cashing in our frequent flyer miles, our options on which flights to take out to New York out of Springfield are limited. As in, we will have to fly out mid-week limited. But no worries. We’re catching the boat out of New York and we thought since we would be there a few days before the boat was scheduled to take off, we’d just hang out in New York and do a little sight seeing.

And we still want to do that, only now we’ll have to make sure everything we do is wheelchair accessible.

When we mentioned our plans to the occupational therapist, she smiled and said, “Great! New York is very wheelchair friendly.” Which is wonderful to hear, but I still need to do some research as far as making sure we can get him into a taxi to get from the airport to the hotel and we need to call our hotel to make sure our room is wheelchair accessible and if not, can we switch to a room that is? I didn’t see anything about wheelchair accessible rooms on their website, so I’m a little nervous about that, and it’s really not that big of a deal if we have to switch hotels, but I’d really like to keep this hotel because it’s right across the street from Central Park and if we do nothing else while we’re in New York, at least we could hang out at the park. You know?

And then there are the subways. They’re wheelchair accessible, right? Any readers from New York that could answer that question for me?

As far as the flight out there and back, all we have to do is notify American Airlines that we’ll need assistance on and off the plane and that shouldn’t be a problem, I wouldn’t think.

So, it looks like our trip is still on at this point. It’s going to be A LOT of work for me and the boys, but we can handle it. (I hope).

****

Boys are doing well. The last day of school is next Wednesday. We’re all so ready for summer to begin.

Though technically, Jazz will be going back for summer school June 7th. In fact, he will have P.E. from 11:30 to 2:30 and then go back at 5:00 and stay until 9:00 for Band class.

He’ll be pretty busy for a while.

Jazz and I went to a band meeting the other night where they revealed next year’s theme – it’s called “No Strings Attached” and it will have something to do with marionettes. (?!?!)

Doesn’t that sound like fun!! I can’t wait for marching band to start back up!

I have had to rely on the boys more and more these past few weeks. Actually, they were pretty much on their own while Kevin and I were in Columbia, shortly after his accident. They both seem a lot more grown up to me. I suppose some of that is because they’ve HAD to be, and partly because I need them to be, I guess.

I need to find someone to take Dude’s senior pictures this summer. I can’t believe he will be a senior next year. I keep telling him it will be HIS year – I pray that it is.

I thank God every day for our boys. We couldn’t have been blessed with better children.

Honestly.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Finding Happiness in an Unhappy World

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

Adversity, affliction, pain, and suffering are a part of everyone’s life. With Satan and his evil minions causing problems, the problems we have due to the world being in a fallen state in the first place, the problems that others cause for us, and the problems we cause ourselves due to our own sin and ignorance, suffering is a given until Jesus sets up his kingdom. If we are going to live happy, joyful, productive lives, it is not going to be because we get rid of all affliction and suffering. Rather, it will be because we learn to be happy and joyful in spite of the pains of this life.

Who would not say, “I want to be happy”? Everyone desires this too often evasive feeling. It seems logical that if God created the world for people, and God is love (1 John 4:8b), that everyone would be happy, at least most of the time. Yet true happiness eludes most people, not just sometimes, but throughout most of their lives. Why?

Most people’s first response would be: “Because life is so hard, and there is so much pain and suffering.” It is true that hardship, pain, and suffering make it more difficult to be happy, and everyone will be unhappy at times. Ecclesiastes tells us that in every life there is “a time to weep” and “a time to mourn.” However, it also tells us that there is “a time to laugh” (Eccles. 3:4). If we are ever going to laugh from our heart, and be genuinely happy at least some of the time, there are some basic things that we must understand about happiness, chiefly that it is a by-product, not an end in itself.

Happiness is not something we can achieve by striving for it alone, nor by focusing on it as a goal. If that were the case, we could assume that since there are millions of people who want to be happy, at least some of them would have achieved it and told others how to achieve it too. If millions of people wanted to climb Mt. Everest, for example, many would make it. Why is it that people who strive for happiness are not happy? One of the main reasons is that happiness is a by-product of something else, something meaningful that a person does in his life.

Let us compare happiness to the ordinary housecat. Often, if you want it to come to you so you can hold it, it stays away, sometimes seemingly just out of reach. If you pursue it, it moves away (usually under a piece of furniture where you can see it but not reach it). Eventually you give up trying to hold the cat, and get about doing your work around the house. Shortly you feel something touching your ankle, and lo and behold, the cat, which stayed away when pursued, is now rubbing against your leg, wanting to be picked up.

Happiness is like that housecat. When we pursue it for its own sake, it remains out of reach. For example, many people are surprised to find out how little happiness material things bring. This is an area where our flesh tricks us. We should all know that possessions do not make people happy, because there are so many unhappy wealthy people who can buy whatever they want. As the common proverb says: “Money can’t buy happiness.” In spite of that, our flesh seems to say, “If I just had (whatever), I would be happy.” Although it can be momentarily satisfying to acquire what we thought would make us happy, the feeling does not last long.

Like the housecat, happiness comes when we engage in work and other activities that are meaningful to us. At those times our focus is not on ourselves or our own happiness, but on what we are doing. It is while we are engaged in a meaningful activity that we realize we are happy and enjoying life. Therefore, it is important for us to find meaning in life and the activities we engage in. This is often no small task. God designed life to have meaning, but many people do not find it, and live their lives the way the person who wrote Ecclesiastes started out.

Ecclesiastes 1:2
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

The book of Ecclesiastes contains the story of a person who calls himself “the Teacher,” and who outlines his journey to find meaning in life. He did many and varied things, looking for anything that held inherent meaning. He tried gaining knowledge and wisdom, but discovered “…with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief” (1:18b). He tried fun and laughter, but concluded it was foolish and accomplished nothing (2:1, 2). He tried wine and alcohol (2:3), accomplishing great tasks (2:4-7), amassing wealth (2:8), entertainment (2:8), and, of course, sex (2:8), but all to no avail. He did not know God, and therefore he correctly understood that his final end, no matter what he achieved or accomplished, was the grave, a hole in the ground, and that eventually he and his activities would be forgotten (2:16). In that light, nothing he did could be truly meaningful, because there was no actual purpose for anything he did. With nothing in life that was meaningful, he came to the point he “hated life” (2:17).

Thankfully, the teacher kept looking for meaning in life, and at some point he had a revelation that set him on the right course.

Ecclesiastes 2:25
for without him [God], who can eat or find enjoyment?

Amen! What the teacher discovered was that the first and most basic step to having meaning in one’s life was to realize that God created his life to have meaning. The dictionary definition of “meaning” is “a purpose or intention.” God intended to create us, that is, He had a purpose for us before we existed. Existence in and of itself does not have meaning, which is why atheists and people who believe that life is nothing more than a series of random “accidents,” cannot find true purpose or meaning. By their own definition, life has no meaning, i.e., no purpose or intention, it is just an accident.

Once the teacher discovered that God had created him with a purpose, a genuine meaning, he began to relate to life differently. He realized that it was not the works he did that had inherent meaning, but rather that it was his doing the work that had meaning. From that point of view, he began to realize that he could find happiness in productive work.

Ecclesiastes 2:24
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God.

Notice that the teacher is not looking for happiness (satisfaction) on its own. No, he lives his life (“eats and drinks”), and works, and because he himself has meaning, he brings meaning to what he does, and gets satisfaction and happiness “in” his work. The same holds true for us. We bring the meaning to our work, and because God has created us the way we are, there is some work more meaningful to us than other work. As we engage life like that, thinking of ourselves and our work as having meaning, we find that we are content and happy, without seeking to be happy. This is the “housecat happiness” we discussed earlier.

It is important to make a distinction between happiness and joy. As we use the terms, “happiness” relates more to a feeling of gladness or contentment that is “outside in,” i.e., the meaningful and productive activities a person is doing produces a feeling of gladness, satisfaction, etc. “Joy,” on the other hand, is “inside out.” It is a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22) that a person experiences as he endeavors to be like Christ and keeps in mind the hope that is in store for him. The hope of healthy bodies on a newly created and wonderful earth never changes, so no matter what a person is doing, or experiencing, he can have joy. It is important to understand that, though we cannot always be happy, we can always have joy. Often joy and happiness occur at the same time, and this is certainly very desirable.

Just as we can always have joy because our basis for it never varies, so too we should always be thankful. We have so much to be thankful for, in fact, the Bible commands us to be thankful (Col. 3:15b). [1] One of the keys to happiness is being thankful no matter what our circumstances are. Attitude has much to do with whether we are happy or not. Certainly there are times when circumstances in our lives make happiness at that moment out of the question. No one should expect to be happy all the time. However, it is not wrong to want as much happiness as possible.

As we look for meaning in our lives, it is helpful to realize that each Christian is uniquely equipped by God to do great things for Him and for other people. Corinthians tells us that each person is placed in the Body of Christ as God wants him to be.

1 Corinthians 12:18
But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.

Ephesians says that God has created each person for good works and we are to do whatever good works we can. God has made it possible for you to do good works here and now. In fact God has even prepared us for this.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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More from Write From Karen

Life

Let the Healing Process Begin

(This was cross posted at Kevin’s Caring Bridge web page).

Good morning,

It’s 6:22 a.m. and Kevin is peacefully sleeping and appears relaxed (his facial muscles are slack and his mouth is slightly hanging open. He will likely kill me for telling you that, but it’s just too cute not to mention). He is laying on his hospital bed (which he has compared to laying on a cardboard box, so I bought a pillow-top mattress cover and double layered a blanket for him to lay on), the foot of his bed slightly elevated to take some pressure off his pelvis and he’s still fast asleep.

He’s not only getting a lot of sleep, he’s getting a lot of RESTFUL sleep. We all know that when you’re in the hospital, you don’t really sleep, what with everyone coming in every ten minutes to take vital signs, to ask questions, to bring him food, or just to check on him. Kevin is looking better every day. He’s also getting a lot stronger and is able to stay in his wheelchair for longer and longer periods of time.

He stayed in his chair a whopping seven hours on Wednesday. And he was in it virtually all day yesterday save for about a 30 minute break to lay down and rest.

He’s also able to sit with us at the family dinner table and eat with the rest of us. Our family is slowly starting to get back to normal.

He was released from the hospital on Tuesday. Jeanne, Kevin’s mom, stayed at our house all morning so that she could let Cox Home Care in to deliver a bed, a commode, a shower chair and hook up the trapeze. I stayed at the hospital with Kevin and coordinated his release while cleaning up his room and making sure everything was in order and Kevin was prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

At 1:30, we transferred Kevin to his chair and wheeled him down to the nurses’ station so the doctor could show him his x-rays. Kevin hadn’t seen what his pelvis looked like after the accident and he had only seen what they had done to fix the right side of his pelvis. So he was really curious to see the films. Though I was really grateful to the doctor for showing us the x-rays, the “before” shot was dark and I’m not sure Kevin really got the full impact (pun intended) of his injuries. When the intensive care doctor showed me his x-rays at Cox South, we (me and the boys), got a clear look at his pelvis – it was a complete mess. But I think Kevin saw enough for him to understand his injuries.

Now the x-ray after his surgeries was quite impressive. I hadn’t seen the film either and all of his new shiny hardware virtually lit up the screen. Kevin was speechless. He knew his pelvis had needed a lot of work, but I don’t think he fully appreciated what the doctors had to do to put him back together again until he saw it all for himself.

The Medi-Trans man arrived as we were looking at x-rays and patiently waited for him to finish before taking control of Kevin’s wheelchair. I gathered all of his stuff and quietly faded into the background as all the nurses said goodbye to him. They were all so nice and several hugged him.

I think it made Kevin feel good that so many people cared for him.

I had parked close enough to the entrance that I was able to watch as the Medi-Trans man loaded Kevin into the van. I can’t quite explain the myriad of emotions that surged through me as I stayed to make sure he was safely in the vehicle: love, joy, elation, apprehension, excitement, determination …

I made it home before the van. I quickly unloaded my car and had just enough time to drop the last armful when they pulled up.

Jeanne and I watched as he was lowered out of the van. It was so good to have him back home!!

The man wheeled Kevin into the house (thank goodness for the ramp!!), and we took over. The first thing Kevin wanted to do was be wheeled around the house; he had missed his home surroundings. It had been over a month since he had been home, after all.

Getting him into the bedrooms is a challenge; the doorways are a lot narrower and though we can get him into the bathrooms, his wheels get stuck and it’s a challenge to get him back out again. But he can get around the rest of the house pretty easily so we’ll likely have to stick with using the commode and sponge baths for a bit longer.

The boys transferred Kevin’s work computer into the dining room, so that room will be his make-shift office for now. We had to run a really long network cable to the router and the boys came up with the idea of taping the wire up over the doorway so no one would trip over it.

I thought that was pretty ingenious. I wonder where they get THAT trait from. (Hint: NOT from me).

We’ve also had to move furniture around and it takes a bit of juggling on my part to make enough room to transfer him from his chair to his bed, but overall, he’s settling in comfortably and we’re starting to develop a routine so all of this will seem common place before long.

The family has been bringing over dinners and it’s been SO GREAT not to have to worry about cooking. I’ve been so busy taking care of all of us, the house, running kids around and trying to get my own work done, that food has honestly been the last thing on my mind right now.

Yesterday was pretty busy. We opted to have Oxford Home Care come out and check on Kevin, so a nurse came and took a sample of Kevin’s blood to check on his Coumadin levels, his vitals and just do an overall inspection. Everything looks great and they called later to tell us that we needed to continue the same dosage (5mg) of Coumadin every day, except on Friday when he gets 2.5mg. I’ve been a bit nervous about the Coumadin, but everything seems to be fine at this point, so I just need to relax – it’s better than him developing a blood clot.

An occupational therapist came by, too. She evaluated his balance and his motor skills. Everything looks good there. She asked him what was the number one thing he would like to do on his own and he said, “go to the bathroom by myself.”

So, we all talked about ways we could make that happen. We can get him in the back bathroom (the front bathroom is just too narrow), but it’s a very tight squeeze. Then, once he’s in there, we can’t really turn him because of the small area, so she suggested we remove the outer wheel portion of his wheelchair. (The part where you grab on with your hands). That would give us about four more inches to work with and I’m pretty sure we could get his wheelchair into the bathroom with those removed. Once he’s in the bathroom and positioned, I think he can maneuver himself onto the toilet. She’s going to come back on Tuesday and we’ll work on making that happen.

The occupational therapist’s goal is to try and get him to do as many things as he can by himself, to help him become a bit more independent of me. We’ll see how that turns out. We haven’t heard anything from the physical therapists yet, they concentrate on strengthening his muscles and improving his flexibility. They will likely come next Tuesday, too. Kevin has opted to have all of his visits on the same days so he can get everything over with at the same time, as opposed to having someone come over every day of the week.

So, even though he’s home, he’s still as busy as ever. Between nurse visits, occupational therapist visits, physical therapist visits, family visits and getting his work done, I think he’s actually busier than he was BEFORE the accident!

He has an appointment to see his orthopedist on June 8th. They plan on taking more x-rays, so we should have a pretty good idea how his fractures are healing then. We’re also hoping they tell us that he won’t be required to wear his wrist splint or the back brace, either. Cross your fingers!

Thanks again for all of the wonderful words of encouragement and for your support. I’m completely convinced that your prayers and well wishes are helping him recover that much faster. 🙂

(P.S. – I found this .27 second video on my camera card. I had planned on taking a picture, but had it on video mode. It was shortly after Kevin got his brand new motorcycle home and had just ridden it for the first time. It makes me so sad to know that he will never enjoy riding again. )

(P.S.S. – Today marks exactly five weeks since the accident).