Sunday, March 25, 2018

Crazy World

I watch very little actual television. I watch shows on NetFlix and some on YouTube, but very rarely anything recently produced. What I do watch, nearly every night, is about 15-20 minutes of news. My main purpose is to see what the weather may do in the coming day and week. Unfortunately, that also means watching the other information given.

The nightly show labeled as news is getting to a point that it just feels like I'm watching political bashing and opinions. The occasional local traffic accidents, fires, and other misfortune are items to note, but they aren't the majority of coverage.

In the last few weeks, the current agenda, or news, has been gun laws in the wake of the February 14 school shooting. Various suggestions for rules are given with video of teenagers marching and giving their input. Something you don't ever hear is what regulations already exist.

Granted, I haven't researched, but I'm quite confident that every state, county, and town has a rule against murder. There are various self-defense clauses, but nobody is allowed to go and kill people. Despite this, people die by the acts of another throughout the country on a regular basis.

Maryland recently had another school shooting as well, but the gunman was quickly taken care of by a security officer. The suspect was under age to have the weapon he possessed, in a gun free zone, and was against several other ordinances. Despite this, he still tried to carry out his ill intent. The media hardly mentioned the incident and certainly didn't show the laws that were in place that were ignored.

Unfortunately, we can make all the rules and regulations that can be considered, but they won't stop a would be criminal getting what he or she wants to fulfill their desire. Laws on illegal drugs have been enforced for many years, but it still doesn't stop the sell and spread of these harmful chemicals.

Jesus said that times like these would come, but it's still not fun to see them. The only true solution is getting hearts and minds back to God and that all life is precious, from conception to natural death. I don't see this change happening any time soon, but I still pray it does. Hopefully this coming week will be one with less chaos, but only time will tell.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Celebration Week

With the last official week of winter, it has been one of celebration. None of it had to do with the change of seasons, but it's another reason for me.

The first milestone of the week was celebrating mom's birthday. I was given balloons during my birthday in November and they are still floating toward the ceiling. Therefore, I thought they were perfect to give to mom on her day along with a humorous card.

She wondered if it was a case of re-gifting, but I like to think of it as creative recycling. For supper, we went about an hour from home for a good meal that didn't need to be cooked or cleaned. They has sushi on special and we decided to be adventurous and give it a try. I gave it a taste, but can't say I care for it. No matter the food, it was a nice warm spring day in Iowa to get out.

Two days after mom's day, we went to her mother's for supper. Four years ago, my grandfather passed away after a week in the hospital. A couple mom's siblings were able to come as well and everyone had a good time of talking and getting caught up on family events. Unfortunately, winter came back and the trip for supper had a mix of rain, snow, and everything in between. Thankfully, the roads were fine and we could go and spend the time with grandma.

To end the week, yesterday included attending a family friend's wedding. One of mom's friend's youngest daughter was married in a ceremony near Des Moines. Mom has been helping with some of the preparation and mainly an ear to be open for the bride's mother.

Looking back at past events is a great time to realize God's blessings He has given and the people around us. At other times, looking forward to the future and wondering what God will bring can be both exciting and frightening.

This coming week has me scheduled to start a busy time of more talks. I pray I will effectively share the story of the quad life God has given me and look back at all the blessings, and challenges, that have come along the way.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Lately, I have been hearing a lot about people dealing with anxiety. Some people choose to let it out while others look to medicine to help cope with life. It can be a major obstacle that severely limits a person's ability to function.

In living the quad life, regular living can be a very real struggle some days. Every few seconds, we depend on a machine to give every breath every hour of every day. Due to this, someone trained to help with breathing systems and all activities of daily living need to be present at all times. However, home care nurses are very hard to find and many people have to depend primarily on family members for help.

If you sit and think about these facts and nothing else, it's very hard to get through the day, every day. I recently spoke with the mother of a 14-year-old girl who is a quadriplegic and uses a vent. They have been looking for a caregiver for over a year with very few interviews. She is unable to go to school until more help is found and misses getting out of the house.

Other people that suffer with this problem don't necessarily have physical challenges, but the worries of life seem overwhelming to them. These cases can turn to alcohol or illegal drugs as coping mechanisms and make problems worse.

For me, a few verses of Scripture put my mind at ease. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus said to not worry about tomorrow, for God knows what we need. Constantly worrying about everything will not produce any benefit.

Yes, it is very hard to remember this at times and I have been guilty of worrying myself. In the case of the teenager above, it can make me wonder why a caregiver isn't found as one is needed. I'm sure Joseph had worry when his brothers sold him to slave traders, but he continued to trust in God.

I look at my calendar coming up and wonder how I will get everything complete for upcoming talks. It could be a source of anxiety, but I make sure to pray and continue to work on each item as it comes. May this coming week be one where we cast all anxiety on God, and make sure to remember He is the one in control.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Eye to Eye

At the end of March and early April, I am scheduled to give three talks in a two-week time period. I have started to organize thoughts in my head of what to cover, possible questions, and good audience engagement. A part of talking with people is to look at them directly in the eye, but I have a hard time with it.

No matter what I'm doing, I am either sitting or laying flat. If I am talking with someone that's standing, I rarely can easily see their face. If I'm in my chair and talking to an adult, my head is usually aligned with their midsection. If I slightly tilt my chair back, I can then see the person's face, but I normally end up looking up their nose. After a lifetime of this, I am not accustomed to looking at someone directly.

In college, I was told to always look an interviewer in the eye when speaking with him or her as it shows respect and trust. If I am at eye level with a person, I find it uncomfortable and my gaze often darts on and off my audience. Maybe that's why I never got hired on anywhere. It's a trait I'm working to correct, but still have a lot of practice needed.

This past week has seen a lot of political debate, especially in terms of gun control laws. Some groups want certain action taken while other people want something completely different. Unfortunately, there is very little they see eye-to-eye on.

Living the quad life, I frequently have to explain how to do various cares or some project I need help with. It's often very important that I see eye-to-eye with my assistant so the task is completed correctly. From what I see, I'm not the only one that needs to practice more direct communication skills.

As we start this third month of 2018, I hope to encourage anyone reading this to see a situation from multiple points of view. This can help to resolve conflict in this broken world and work to have better resolutions in all parts of life.