Where God Will Take Him

accomplishment action adult adventure

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He had already been through so much before I even met him. This dark-haired teenager (who was already sporting a beard)  who loved teasing and joking around was to be my new student. This young man had heart surgery just hours after his entrance into this world. He had neurological, skeletal, cardiac and breathing issues. The doctors told his parents their son might never run and might only walk with an odd gait. They said he might talk in a way only those close to him would be able to understand. Over the three years I worked with him, he was in the hospital, had to have respiratory therapy, seen heart doctors, and struggled with academics.

It would be so easy for him to give up. He could have become angry at his lot in life… defiant due to his disabilities. But, that is not my friend, Keith’s, story. He is choosing how his life is going to play out. At twenty-six years old, he is an overcomer. He is not defeated, he is delivered. He has not given up, he has grabbed hold. He does not seek pity, he only wants to push himself.

Keith does not know a stranger. His social life is more exciting then most, and if you want to see him you need to make sure you get on his calendar. He is one busy young man! Keith is not afraid to ask people if they “know Jesus”. His heart might not be typical for one his age, but it is big. His heart is big because he loves people. His sweet innocent spirit is refreshing in what can sometimes be viewed, by most, to be a cynical and difficult world.

A couple of years ago, Keith got involved in adaptive climbing. He has conquered competitive climbing, winning in national competitions, and is now on his way to represent the USA in the World Paraclimbing Championship in Innsbruck, Austria in about a week and a half. I am praying for Keith as he travels from Ohio, USA, half way around the world to compete. I am proud of him.

God often times will expand our horizons beyond what we seek. A couple of years ago, Keith had no idea where God would take him. The same goes for each of us. No matter where you might find yourself right now, even if you are in a seemingly impossible spot, God can make a way when there seems to be no way. All things are possible with God.

This is one of my favorite verses, and a wonderful reminder for us all.

For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 ESV

 

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Thankfulness and Appreciation

Thankfulness is knowing what you have and appreciating it. It is looking around with eyes wide open, seeing all the blessings in each day. Sometimes the blessings are disguised and difficult to see, and yet they are there. Waiting.

Summer is winding down, and school will start back in a few weeks. The bright greens of summer will begin to fade and the golds of Autumn will dot the hillsides.

Time moves on…sometimes slowly, sometimes with lightning speed.

Grab the moments. Each and every one.

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Today I am thankful for:

* quiet evenings on the deck

* the sound of geese as they fly over

* the slow glide of the red tailed hawk

* good conversation

* riding around listening to the radio

* church friends

* fuzzy kitten stampedes

* doggie nuzzles

* emails from family

* the health of family members

* new exercise equipment

* walks around the property

* the first taste from the garden

* blazing sunsets

* amazing clouds

* old barns

* smiles and inside jokes

* the smell of my husband’s coffee brewing

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 

 

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Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

Dale Earnhardt's (#3 car) fatal crash in Turn ...

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Isn’t it interesting how certain events in life stand out as a pivotal moment? I see the scene played out in my mind’s eye, as if it just happened yesterday.

I was sitting on the floor in front of the television on that Sunday afternoon, 10 years ago. I was a new widow, still in the beginning stages of grief, as I watched the Daytona 500 that year. Alone. My husband who had been a huge Dale Earnhardt fan, got me hooked on NASCAR from the time we had first started dating. Everyone knew his devotion to #3. Now, I was the one watching the race….cheering for Dale Sr. in the confines of my living room, even as I mourned the death of my husband who had been his biggest fan. It was almost therapy for me….as in my mind, the two men were intertwined. The man and the fan.

In the last lap of the Daytona 500, Earnhardt was in second place behind Michael Waltrip. Things were looking good. Then it happened. The black car smashed into the wall. In the blink of an eye…it was over. Dale didn’t emerge from his car.

I had to leave to go to evening church, not knowing if the Intimidator was even alive. I remember after the service the pastor quietly said, “I was just informed that Mr. Earnhardt did not survive the crash this afternoon. He is gone. Let’s say a prayer for his family.”

Gone. Not coming back. Even though I did not know this racing legend personally, to me he was a symbol of something  shared with my late husband. His death was another loss. Painful and all consuming.

The 2011 NASCAR season starts this Sunday, in the race at Daytona. A lot has happened in the ten years since the tragic accident where “the man in black” lost his life. Much has changed. In NASCAR….and with me.

The paths we walk in this life, don’t come with maps. We don’t have tour guides and we have no idea what the future holds. We like to think we do, but the future could change in a split second….we are not the ones in control.

I don’t presume to know the state of Mr. Earnhardt’s eternal soul, but when he got into his car that afternoon, I’m pretty sure he had no idea that he was going to be stepping into eternity by the time the race was over. I pray he was ready.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  2 Timothy 4:7

 

 

In A Few Short Months…

Springtime.

The early morning light pours in through the window, spilling onto the floor like a puddle of sunshine.

In just a few short months the yard that is now covered in snow and ice, will give way to the lush greens of Spring.

The fields across the road that are playgrounds for drivers of snowmobiles, and cross country skiers, will be filled with seed.

In the midst of deep winter, there is the promise of Spring and of life.

Spring with all it’s muddiness.

And newness.

And freshness.

Blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

Roaring winds in kite flying weather

The promise of life in the midst of winter.

Old Man Winter

SVG line drawing, meant to simulate 1600's sty...
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Old Man Winter

didn’t knock at my door.

He pounded and slammed,

left mud and snow on my floor.

He was bitter and cold

dressed all in white,

icy blue eyes

and breath with a bite.

I asked him how long

he planned to stay?

March? April?

Not longer, I pray!

“I love freezing rain,

sleet and snow.

I spread ice

wherever I go!”

I grabbed my mittens

got ready to play

If you can’t beat him, join him

and have a SNOW DAY!

By: Dawn Gibson