Posted by: Julie Scheving | July 30, 2012

Ahhhh….

Happy Monday! If it’s Monday, I must be thinking about something!

What really matters? I spend the first 49 years and 11 months worrying. About what? You name it! In fact, when I didn’t have anything to worry about, I worried about what I was missing that I should be worrying about. I was a “card carrying worry-er!”

Kind of funny. The Bible even addresses it. Who by worrying adds a minute to their life? Ummmm…nobody! In fact, I am relatively certain I have actually taken time off of mine by worrying!

All it took was brain damage (the strokes) to somehow remove worry! I remember being in the hospital (and then Mary Free Bed Rehab Hospital) and having a sense of peace. My life was a mess…physically and mentally, but I knew Who held it all in His hands.

I had absolutely no idea what would happen next. Would I live? Would I walk again? Would I be able to function at any level? I had no idea…but God overwhelmed me with peace that HE knew it all. What I would do, what I wouldn’t do. He had (and has) it all covered.

Add to that, just in case you think I am being overly dramatic, the knowledge that my marriage of over 20 years wouldn’t survive. And yet…peace.

While I wish I could say I basked in that peace each and every moment, I didn’t. I haven’t. I don’t. Would I like to? Absolutely! Could I? Not without God’s help! And even with His help, I struggle at times.

But I have learned the meaning of several words during these last few years. Peace. His peace. Joy. Joy that can only be found in Him (and joy that is way beyond feelings). And hope. His hope. Based on the knowledge that He has carried me. He is carrying me. And He will continue to carry me, each and every “step” of the way.

If I hadn’t walked again, He still would have carried me each “step” of the healing process…whatever that meant.

For those who don’t know, the Physical Therapist calls it “phantom ability” in my right leg. I don’t (and probably never will) regain feeling and stability. I shouldn’t be able to walk. And yet…I walk! Why? Because He makes it possible. Yesterday was a weak physical day…and yet…I walked. It’s not pretty and I wobble more on the bad days than others, but I will rejoice and be thankful. Hopefully, even if (and when) I lose that ability, I will STILL be thankful! For each day. No matter what it looks like and holds for me!

I am thankful.

I AM THANKFUL!

I am thankful!

No matter how I say it, I am thankful!

Please know that you are loved! I love you! And better still, the very Creator of the universe loves you! Let’s all “walk” in that!

Just Julie

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Posted by: Julie Scheving | July 23, 2012

Words? Words. Words!

Words. They meant something to me before I had multiple strokes and my brain was damaged and struggling with comprehension. They mean something different to me now.

Before they flowed and an appreciation of little things (like spelling) completely escaped me. Did I appreciate them? No, it never crossed my mind. Do I now? Yes, it rarely escapes me.

One speech therapist that I spent many months with never really “got” me. She would encourage me to find a word “near” what I was trying to say and just use it. I laughed. That is actually torture to me. To know that I “know” somewhere in my mind causes angst I had never known.

Why all this talk about words? I am seeing and experiencing frustration over something that can’t be changed. The part of my brain that was damaged in this way (speech) cannot/will not be restored (apart from a miracle of God). Yes, I believe He could, but I sense that is not His plan.

The reason is not to torture me. It is to help develop dependance on Him in an even greater way. I’ve learned and experienced dependance on Him in two significant, never far from me, ways. In words and in walking. I have to actually “say” to my right side to move. I don’t say it out loud, or people would be sure I was nuts. But I constantly have to think through every step. Again, I am thankful I can do it.

I can’t take spelling/writing or walking for granted. And each step and each word remind me of my utter dependance on God. Not such a bad place to be. Dependant. Trusting. Walking, literally, by His strength. Spelling/typing and making sense of words, phrases, and sentences dependant totally on Him. Again, not such a bad place to be…staying dependant on God, and living in a state of thankfulness I never even knew was possible.

Thank You, Lord, for teaching me to do ALL things again…and this time with a heart full of gratitude for You and Your lovingkindness. Thank You for loving me enough to teach me even when I didn’t know I needed to learn…

I am hoping and praying that each of you that read this blog love Him right where you are, and yet strive to know Him more! It is certainly my moment by moment, step by step goal.

You are loved!!! By Him and by me!

Just Julie

Posted by: Julie Scheving | July 16, 2012

All I ever had to do was open my mouth…

As many of you know, talking has never really been an issue for me. I’ve been a talker from waaaayyyyy back. (Please refrain from harsh responses. LOL)

But since the strokes/brain damage, making sense of what I say is more challenging. Following the train of thought is difficult. The closer people are to me, the more they know what a struggle it is for me. Am I frustrated with the “hearer”? Nope. I’m frustrated with me, the “speaker”.

This made me think of an area that I have heard many people say they struggle with. They want to talk about how important their faith is but the don’t know where to start.

In my years of church attendance and participation I have attended conferences and read so many strategies on what to say and how to say it. (Funny stories available upon request.) Then I learned what works best for me. Just open my mouth and start. There is one critical step I invest in before opening said mouth though. That step? Pray! I have a simple prayer, really.

“Lord, use me. Open my mouth and let me share the difference You have made in my life. And Lord, let me share how they, too, can make that same decision in their lives. It’s all about You.”

I’m not eloquent. I’m not smart. I’m not polished. I’m just Julie…telling my story about how God changed me forever. THAT’S what matters. HE matters. I just open my mouth and share…absolutely pressure free. It’s in His hands.

Hope and pray you had a wonderful day. Hope and pray you know what I’m talking about. Better still, I hope you know WHO I am talking about. To steal words from a song, I am a life that was changed.

You are loved…by me and more importantly by the very Creator of the universe! God loves you infinitely more and will never leave you or fail you. Rest in Him!

Just Julie

 

Posted by: Julie Scheving | July 9, 2012

Who do I do it for?

This has been an interesting time. For the last few days, well, I guess the honest truth is for about a month, I haven’t been feeling good. I mean physically. Since the strokes, I haven’t felt “normal” even one day. And since “surgery season 2011” things have surely been interesting. But since the first of June, I have struggled.

Quite frankly, I haven’t really enjoyed being around me, but I just haven’t found any way out of it!!! 🙂

This morning I woke up, not feeling good, (again or still) and decided to get dressed and do my standard Monday routine. That includes going to a local restaurant and engaging others and looking for Jeremiah 29:11 opportunities.

What!?! Yep! Looking for the plans He has for me. And true to God’s word, He had people there waiting. I love going outside of myself, outside of what ails me, outside of “poor pitiful me”, and into the lives of others.

Not long after that I returned home to two more similar type phone calls. And after that, another and another encounter with people I met along the way.

I’m still not ready to run a marathon, but I’m ready to “run the race that He has set before me.” You know the one, the one that’s included in the “plans He has for me.”

Father God, help me never forget to look for Your plan and always, always love You more each day. Thank You for the opportunities that come my way, if I’ll just let them.

Hope and pray each of you had a fabulous day. A tremendous week. And continue to walk in His ways. If you don’t have a personal, life changing relationship with Jesus Christ, please ask me about how you can do that. Or ask anyone in your life who is a member of a local Bible believing church. You will never be the same. I know I haven’t. I’m a mess most days, but a forgiven one…and a loved one.

You know you are my favorite!

Just Julie

Posted by: Julie Scheving | July 2, 2012

Simple, really

Tonight may sound a tad on the down side. I surely don’t mean it to be.

Simple thought on my mind today. Give me Jesus. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu2E2FUcIiE

I attached the link to the song on youtube by Fernando Ortego, but there are versions by others. The point of today’s blog is not the song. It is the plea of the song.

I am reminded of those simple words on down (or hard) days of my need for Christ and my relationship with Him. Do I need Him everyday? Absolutely! But on the hard days? He is never far from my thoughts or lips.

On the easy days do I think those same thoughts? Yes! Just not as often or as zealously or desperately. I guess I just forget. Kind of sad, isn’t it?

I don’t think I ever realized this, but I’m thankful for the hard days if they make me more dependant on Him. If they remind me to cry out to Him. If they never let Him get far from my lips. If they help me praise Him in the midst of the storm. If they help me “see” Him in ALL things.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to give me what I need and not I want. Help me seek You with my whole heart. Help me love You more…and more…and more…and keep pursuing more of You and let there be less and less of me.

Hope and pray you are experiencing HIS peace, HIS joy, and the love that can only be found in Him.

You are loved!

Just Julie

Posted by: Julie Scheving | June 26, 2012

Old things, new things, different things…THINGS!

The “old thing” today is frustration! I was incredibly frustrated when my mind clicked in at 1:23 a.m. and I realized that I missed my Monday blog. Not because of health reasons. Just because I forgot! So frustrating. The old “didn’t get it done” threatens me in so many areas of life. Why not quit? Why not just give up?

But then I think of the “new things” I got to experience. I got to meet new friends this weekend. People I had never had the opportunity to meet. People I got to share the joy Christ has made in my life for the first time.

And “different things.” I got to see friends that have been in my life for many years. We have made it through many significant life events together. Children. Loss of family members. Divorce. Health. You name it, we’ve seen/experience it. And none of us are where we were the last time I saw them.

That caused me to think…and bring me back to the old things. Where I was frustrated with what I saw as a negative in me was (and is) in fact an opportunity for growth. An opportunity to experience victory. To NOT give up!

A tender moment on Sunday was meeting the niece of a dear friend who is on the same stroke journey I am on. She is just months on her journey, where I am years on mine. She encouraged me in so many ways. My guess is if you talked to her she would say I encouraged her. Isn’t God good to use us in each others lives to see what CAN be? What HAS been? And what we hope WILL be?

Let it all be for HIS glory…old thing, new things, different things, ALL THINGS!

You are loved!

Just Julie

Posted by: Julie Scheving | June 18, 2012

Ya gotta love a Monday that ends well!

I laughed! I cried! I got a blog post written! And yes, that’s my feeble attempt at humor. 😉

This has been an incredibly full day.

The weather has included storms, sunshine, high winds, intense heat, and calm. Reminds me of life. (This was my Facebook status earlier. It included  a “blog warning.”)

Depression goes hand in hand with strokes.  Clinical depression. Of all the lingering things, it is probably the one I battle the most. And probably the one I have the least control over or tolerance for. But guess what? The storms still come. The sun still shines. The wind still blows. The heat still burns. And yet, the calm still is there too.

I thank God for that list. Yes, you read that read. I thank God for the whole list. Without the rough things, I wouldn’t appreciate the good ones. Without the storms, I wouldn’t thank Him for the sunshine. Without the things that toss me about, I wouldn’t thank Him for the calm.

Perhaps without the quiet, I wouldn’t thank Him for the occasional noise and frenzy of life.

And without the times I haven’t experience love or His joy, I wouldn’t appreciate them. Thank you, Lord, for surrounding me with Your love in so many ways!

I am thankful for each of you….you are loved!

Just Julie

Posted by: Julie Scheving | June 12, 2012

Success!

The “rest” of the story: I just got back from walking my second mile today. It wasn’t pretty. And who knows how long it took. But I did it. Victory! I’ll take it…whatever it looked like!

Posted by: Julie Scheving | June 12, 2012

Who’s surprised? Not me!

Just a couple of week’s ago, I boldly announced my Monday goal for a weekly blog. Well, in true Julie fashion, it lasted all of one week.

The interesting thing is, there REALLY is a good reason. My health (AGAIN) took on a life of its’ own. I guess my point is, goals in and of themselves are good. Should I continue to set goals? Absolutely! Will I continue to set goals? Absolutely! Will I continue to meet SOME of them? Hopefully! Will I continue to miss some because of health matters? Probably. Should I give up? NEVER! Will some goals be missed because of my human weakness and frailty? Yep. Absolutely! Do I like it? Nope. Will I battle it? I sure hope so.

So here I am. A week and a day late, with victory still in my heart. I haven’t given up entirely. I’ve dusted my wounded and bruised self off, and am trying again!

Just to update those who don’t know, I blacked out at my reunion (or rather an associated reunion event) and after three trips to the hospital (both in Kentucky and Michigan) they are trying to figure out what is going on. They have upgraded some medications related to stroke issues and that may settle it.

It was scary. I’ll admit it. And I disappointed myself, refusing medical treatment at first because I just didn’t want to hear it AGAIN. But God worked in and through special friends each and every step of the way. There is not a doubt in my mind that God specifically places people in our lives “for such a time as this”. I am incredibly thankful for you!

Well kids, I’m back! Some things are different, physically, that is. But one thing will never change. You are loved and I thank God for you! Talk to you next Monday, well, that’s the goal! 🙂

Just Julie 

Posted by: Julie Scheving | May 28, 2012

It’s official!

You’ve heard the old expression that few things in life are certain but death and taxes. Well, I can add a new one. It’s certain that I stink at keeping up with blogging! 🙂

But this will hopefully be the beginning (again) of a more certain and predictable experience.

It’s really kind of interesting. I babble incessantly about accountability. And yet…Oh look! A kittie! In other words, I get side-lined by distractions. I would love to (and often have) blamed the strokes and the aphasia damage done to my brain, but the truth is, I just haven’t gotten it done! Those things may make it tougher, but they certainly don’t make it impossible.

So, here’s the deal. My goal (you know how much of a goal setter I am) is to blog on here at least once a week. Sound good? And you have my permission and my encouragement to do just that!

Accountability is a word that get such a bad rap in our culture and yet following this principle can so strengthen our lives. I guess this means my desire is to do more than just talk about it, but actually live by it!

One point that I think is a good (positive and Godly) principle to live by: Don’t give up! Is it embarrassing to come back on again and admit defeat? Yes! But one step toward victory for me is not giving up…that will be my goal as long as I have breath in me!

Be blessed! I look forward to “seeing” you! Please know that you are loved!

Just Julie

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