Posted by: Julie Scheving | April 23, 2014

Time

Time goes by so fast. Things change so quickly.

Expressions that my mom used make sense. Who knew that day would come?

This “time” of my life has mostly been a time of celebration. April 16th was my 5 year stroke anniversary. 5 YEARS!! There was a time it felt like things moved soooo slowly. Or was that me that was moving at a snails pace? Either way, things change and so do I.

I’m not really sure when I decided to turn April 16th into a day of celebration and a day of thanks. I do know I have much and many to be thankful for. I was standing with 4 people who were no less than God’s provision to me. God brought Jenny, Barb, Jason, and Glenn into my life to encourage me and get me back up! I was looking at a picture that was taken at Mary Free Bed just the other day. The women (Jenny and Barb) were so much shorter than me. Why had that never occurred to me before? I was in a wheelchair when I was with them during the days in MFB Rehab. Now I was standing by them. And they helped make it possible!

Jason (occupational therapist) moved me when I was there. My brain was so scrambled and yet I remember him being so hopeful, even as tests results came back slamming the door on some hoped for future things. Jason was compassionate!

Jenny (recreation therapist) stands out the most in my memory as pushing me the hardest. I THANK GOD for her pushes that were MUCH needed and were at the very core of getting me going. Jenny was motivational!

Barb (speech therapist) was the one with the revealing news. The damage that was done in this area didn’t “show”…it was heard. Words, sentences, thoughts…communication was marred greatly. And yet I remember her smile encouraging me gently to find new ways to communicate. This was NOT what I wanted to hear…but it was necessary. Barb was gentle reality.

Glenn (physical therapist assistant) made me laugh then and makes me laugh now! He had the exact personality that was needed to get me up and moving! Nick was my physical therapist in the mornings and got me up, standing, and walking. Glenn pushed me into reality. All of life isn’t a paved sidewalk. Sometimes, I’d have to get off the security of the pavement. I told him I wouldn’t. He told me I would. Within days of leaving MFB I found myself walking on uneven ground and thanking God for using Glenn to push me beyond the minimum requirements. Glenn was smiling, and pushing, and sarcastic!

The whole day was spent rejoicing with friends. And now my list of friends includes therapists, doctors, and nurses. I am so incredibly thankful for each person in my life! God knew what and who I needed to keep me going. I am thankful!!!

The day ended with a celebration with my dear friends at church. They have been there with me each step of the way and it seemed perfect to end it with them!

And now, here I am. Long past the anniversary date and back to reality. I thank God for the people at Mary Free Bed Rehab that restored the hope to me that I couldn’t see and thought was gone forever. I thank God for my friends who have walked through this journey with me. And I couldn’t say anything about this part of the journey without thanking God for my dear family! It hasn’t been easy for them and yet they have remained kind and loving.

I am blessed beyond measure. I know that every single day, but in this season, it has been especially sweet!

I am thankful!

 

 

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Posted by: Julie Scheving | April 9, 2014

Never give up. Never quit!

My season of celebration has officially started! Yesterday included an interview with a reporter asking about my journey over the last five years. You know, since strokes entered my life. Then, the pre-celebration moved to the Traumatic Brain Injury group last night. I actually even took a cake and that made the celebration official…there was CAKE!

April 16, 2009, was the day my life was forever changed. (The most serious of the three strokes I’ve had.)

My plans for the day include celebrating ALL day with people who have been a part of my journey, and many are on their own. My main emphasis will be how thankful I am that God provided them in my life to help get me through and headed in the right direction. And solidified what I never even knew was in me. Never give up. NEVER QUIT!

Actually, this blog even came to my mind yesterday. I have been regular and faithful at times. Given up at times, Been sporadic at times.

But my heart’s desire in blogging and ALL things God leads me to: Never give up! Never quit!

And it’s not just a stroke “thing”. It’s a human “thing”. Zeal gets us started…and any number of things can get us distracted or off course. Just a few questions we can ask ourselves when we get off course…

Why did I do “it” in the first place? (“It” can be physical exercise, blogging, or some other goal that we are led to do.)
Has “that” changed?
Re-evaluate why you started. (“This” can change, but still the activity have value. Just new value!)
Re-evaluate why you stopped. (Schedule, motivation, being distracted, and the list can go on!)

Anyway, I’ve done these steps. And I’ve done this each time I’ve gotten off course.

Guess what? I’ve ended up the same place I started! So today, I say again “for the third or fourth time”…

Never give up pressing on! Never quit!!!

Posted by: Julie Scheving | March 27, 2014

I Want To Be A JOY Dispenser!

The first thing for me to do is clarify. NO! I don’t want to be a pez dispenser! You know the kind, dispensing little candies. Oh no! I want to dispense something seen far less often and far more valuable!

Yes! I want to dispense joy wherever I go! What I realized is, joy is not my natural default mode. While I wish it was, it isn’t. That kind of thing has taken much practice. And even then, at times I fail.

You have no idea how thrilled I was to discover I can’t want it enough to make it happen. It’s something God has to do in and through me. And even then, I can (and do) snatch it back from Him far too often.

I think for me at the very heart of it, is that I want to be like David (in the Bible). I want to be a woman “after God’s own heart”.

Many years ago, I asked God to show me each time someone hurt me or made me angry to give me an example of how I do the same thing to others. Do you know that after probably 20+ years, God has never said to me, “Gosh, Julie. You’ve never done that to anyone!”   

Ouch!!! Well THAT was harsh, God! 

And yet, I am thankful. It steers me away as quickly as judgmental rears it’s ugly head. Can I get it back? Absolutely! And quickly too. But man, I don’t want that!

So when I’m sensing I’m heading in a less than positive direction, I ask God to quickly fill my heart with joy! You know the kind! “Joy unspeakable and full of glory!” That’s even a song that helps point me in the right direction! I am not ashamed that things like the Bible, songs, and friends are often used to fix my dispenser! And I say thank you to those resources God makes available to me!

And now…I think it’s time! I’m going to get off this chair and go dispense some joy!!! What about you? Will you join me? It only takes one step, one decision at a time! Let’s do it! Let’s radiate God’s joy all over the place!

 

Posted by: Julie Scheving | March 19, 2014

How did *this* happen?

Once again, I find myself striving for more. Not more of me. More of Him. John 3:30 says “He must increase. BUT I must decrease.”

I fall so very short, so many times. And yet, I keep trying. To me, that’s a victory in and of itself.

It’s been two years, I think, since I’ve blogged. What better time to change and re-commit than today!

Ah, today! God has been revealing to me the value of that…you know, today! When I fail, there are basically two things I can do with it. Stay in the lap of lethargy and stay just that. Failed. OR I can learn from it. Why did I fail? And the best part of all is that I can turn that failure into victory. Well, I can’t, but God can!

Looking forward to trying this one more valuable time. You know. THIS time!

May I NEVER give up…NEVER quit…by His grace!

Posted by: Julie Scheving | September 17, 2012

A day for praise…

Perhaps this thought isn’t so interesting to you, but it sure resonates with me. It’s easy to thank God when things work out our way. You know, when someone is physically healed, or someone gets a financial windfall, or a wayward child comes “home.” But we just don’t hear the same cheers of “God is good” when the battle rages, the illness progresses, or the child moves even farther away.

This brought a reminder (and conviction) to me today. The reminder that we don’t (or rather shouldn’t) praise God for what He does. We praise Him for who He is.

Today I had a rogue thought: What can’t we be doing if we’re praising God? The list is long and filled with things that are not helpful or productive. No whining. No grumbling. No back-biting. No self-pity….and the list goes on.

In other words, if we’re doing what we should do, we can’t be doing what we shouldn’t. I’m going to try that and keep trying that until I hopefully lock myself in to a pattern of praise!  Then I can move on to other areas of prayer and maintain proper focus.

Well, this one was sure for me…well, ending up for Him, for His glory!

Hope and pray you have a great week! You are loved!!!

Just Julie

Posted by: Julie Scheving | September 10, 2012

Life sure can get interesting…

Some weeks (as should come as no surprise to you) I struggle thinking of what to share on here. Then there is today. So many thoughts and experiences roaming through my head.

Today has been blessed with experiences to share about my relationship with Christ. People have literally come to me today to talk…and I shared what matters as opportunity arose.

For one, pray for Christopher. He is a 20 year-old who needs more than hoping that doing lots of good “things” in his life is all that matters. He’s heard about God (even before) and knows of Him as the prayer “fairy” to call on only when things are emergent….both in his life and the lives of others close to him.

Also, as most Monday, had a great encounter with my Jeanne’s Cafe friends. And as usual, re-connected with Jan (my friend who works/prays there) and share the love of Christ with all I encountered there.

Tonight with my friends/sisters at church I thought the word was “strength/strong/might” and variations of it. But I’m pretty sure the word was Him/His…as in God. Ephesians 6:10-11 got me started…but that’s all it had to do to get me focusing on His unbelievable strength and completeness.

Without launching in to a full internet blowing article with excessive “Julie verbage” I will just say this: God is at work. God is faithful and HIS faithfulness is steadfast. And HE is immovable. HIS peace is perfect. HIS plan is best, complete, and perfect.

I guess today I just needed a reminder of His greatness. (And yes, I realize it is my weakness that needed the reminder. Not His perfection that need to re-establish itself.)

O God, thank You for Your lovingkindness that is complete and perfect…even when, maybe even especially when I am at a low point. Thank You, God, for carrying me.

On a closing note, Roy Fish died today. He had so many titles and “letters” that could follow his name….but all I can think of was this hero of the faith who loved God and shared Him freely and without hesitation. He “taught” evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, but more importantly, he lived what he taught. He “gave it all away” that Christ be known. Many I have mentioned his name to today said they hadn’t heard of him. The more I thought of that, the less it surprised me. Over 50 years of teaching and most people didn’t know him. But God does. And the lives of many that were touched by the thousands that he touched don’t care. He just went his way…and gave his life away for Christ, his Savior and Lord. What a tremendous legacy.

See? I told you I’ve been thinking.

Hope and pray you have a wonderful evening filled with HIS joy and HIS peace. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Just Julie  

Posted by: Julie Scheving | September 3, 2012

Just a few thoughts on fruit. Yep. Fruit.

Since the strokes, one thing happens to me that is kind of odd. I have “aha” moments much more frequently. They are brief, no doubt. But still impact me…at least for as long as I can remember them. The aphasia means they are in front of me, behind me, and all around me while they are there. This is the part that is challenging at times. For me and you!

So here’s the thought for now: The fruit of the Spirit, mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23, is just that. The fruit of the Spirit! (I’ll pause so you can all say, “Duh!”

Many joke about “working” on “patience/longsuffering”. But the way I read this is that we can’t “work” on anything. Well, let me correct myself. We can allow God to do such a work in our lives that His fruit is what is seen. Not us.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law.”

Hmmm. His fruit. Reflecting Him. Not strived for. Lived out.

O Father, may your fruit be evidence in my life. For YOUR glory!

Have a great night. Rest in Him. Again, His peace. His love.

Just Julie

Posted by: Julie Scheving | August 21, 2012

What it means to be forgiven…

Happy Tuesday morning to you!

Yes, I said Tuesday. And yes, today’s blog “thought” is on forgiveness. And yes, the two go together today.

When I re-committed to blogging on a weekly basis the goal was every Monday. Well, I made it for almost three months and then missed the mark yesterday. Now, what do I do with it?

I can waller in failure (and I know that sounds overly dramatic). I missed my goal. I didn’t do what I said I’d do. I might as well quit. That’s one way to handle it.

OR I can acknowledge I missed the mark, call it what it is, and move on. Re-commit. Learn lessons. Walkk in forgiveness.

There are times that personal failure overwhelms me. Oh sure, others say something is no big deal. And there are times I make a mountain out of a mole hill. (Like maybe over a missed blog deadline…even when it is a self-imposed deadline.)

My new goal with failure is to learn from it. What have I learned (or re-learned) from this? There are times that circumstances change things. And circumstances that cannot be controlled. Yesterday, health was the circumstance of the day. As it has been in my life for the last three and a half years to some degree. Human frailty…ahhhh. Who likes dealing with that? Nobody. Who has to deal with it? Everybody.

Now how to put it in proper perspective. There have been times I haven’t blogged (before the last three months) because I just didn’t want to or I put it off. No real “reason” (or excuse…you pick the word) other than I just didn’t get it done. I didn’t push myself to honor my commitment.

To extend proper perspective a step further, there are times we need to be forgiven, and times we don’t. Times to beat a dead horse. And times to realize there is no dead horse….and to just keep moving forward.

So, it’s Tuesday. God is sovereign. He’s still working in my life…just as He is yours. I embrace that truth. On Tuesday…or Monday…and every other day He allows me to have breath. May I live for Him and share it as often as possible!

I love you. Let’s both walk in His forgiveness and stay up to date with His grace. Asking for it when needed. And walking in it and sharing it as often as possible.

Oh! And one last thought on forgiveness…let’s be dispensers of it. When it’s hard and/or when it’s not as hard. Trusting that He has forgiven us, so let’s offer the same thing to others. In His name and for His glory!

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for forgiving me. And if you can’t think of why you need to forgive me, just hang on. I’ll do something that needs your forgiveness at some point. Or at many points.

You are loved!

Just Julie

Posted by: Julie Scheving | August 13, 2012

Now what?

Interesting changes have happened in my life the last 4 years. I have begun to ask questions daily that I don’t think (or at least remember thinking, post-stroke) came into my thoughts before.

Some of these questions are physical and health related. What are my housing needs, again, based on my limitations? Is today a cane day or a walker day or a walk just on my own two feet day? Will I ever again be able to work? Where will I live (city AND state)? How do I learn to live with stroke damage that will not change (unless God chooses to do something amazing, which I never doubt that He can and would if it was best for all).

Some are a little more challenging for me. I’m now divorced and on my own. Two grown children and one about to get married and will live who knows where? What do I believe the divorce means for me? How do I deal with life as a single woman after 22 years as a married one? What do I believe about what it means biblically to be divorced and what’s next? How do I live alone with limitations (again) in conjunction with the stroke damage done?

So as I’m guessing you’ve gathered, I’ve been thinking light thoughts. (Kidding, of course.)

Well, while I’ve dealt with these questions, I sure don’t have answers to many and some of the answers change daily, depending on where I “am” mentally. What I *do* know and don’t doubt at ALL is that my heavenly father has it ALL covered! And yes, He has ME covered! And for this reason, I can sleep at night, I can rest in Him moment by moment, and I can continue to know Him more and more each day!

Do I know what “it” will look like? Heck NO! But do I trust Him? Completely!!!

Hope and pray you are able to know that same peace in the midst of what you are facing! You are loved!

Just Julie!!!

Posted by: Julie Scheving | August 6, 2012

The “but” devotion…

Depending on how close you are to me you may smile when you see this. It is a thing I refer to often, but try to be sensitive.

There has been something that has become so clear and so obvious to me in my faith walk the last few years…and it’s the little word “but.”

How many times do we know what God’s word says…BUT choose our own way?

“I know God’s word says (and then quote numerous scripture) BUT I want (fill in your own blank).

As we were talking about this tonight, we realized things we desire may not be bad things in and of themselves BUT they are not God’s plan for us.

Sometimes we are even so bold as to want things that are contrary to scripture…BUT we don’t really care. Because we REALLY want (again, you fill in the blank).

God’s word includes the “buts” that got people in trouble. They were given clear direction from God what to do BUT did something else/contrary. Ahhh me. Guess things will never change.

Sometimes we don’t think it through about what God wants. Does that excuse us? No, BUT it is different from turning our nose up…BUT still sin.

There’s only one good “but” to be found in scripture…well, not only one time, but one case. When His word says “BUT GOD…”

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrated (proved) His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

There are other “but God” things in the Bible. You see, my friend, I think I finally have it! I don’t get to justify my will with my “buts”.

ONLY GOD! I desire my life to be a “BUT GOD” zone. More of Him, less of me. Whatever it takes! His word is consistent and encourages us all to the truth…HIS truth!

Have a great and wonderful night…know that you are loved! No “buts” without Him!

Just Julie

 

 

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