Best Friends and Blind Spots

Court, Selma, & Kate

After my journey through sleep deprivation last week, you’d think I’d be catching up on sleep this week.

But no. I woke up at 2 a.m. this morning with my brain suddenly on. Not pleasantly groggy. More like someone suddenly flipped the lights on. Instant alertness and a little adrenaline.

Normally, I can wait it out and fall back to sleep. But in this case my brain was writing. And my right hand can only flex so many times from wanting to write down a specific paragraph or idea before I break and head to a computer. So here I am at 3 a.m.

And I’m thinking about best friends and blind spots. Mine, in particular. Continue reading

Words as Crowbars

I like building things. Physical things with tools. And ideas with words.

I’m always impressed when I see someone who is really skilled at either. Men (or women!) for whom angles and cuts and stains are second nature. And writers who can jack open whole new corridors of my mind with just the right words. Who use words as crowbars.

Today I was planning on writing about something else entirely, but in doing my research I ran across Daughter of Pearl, the blog of one Meg Baatz. Continue reading

A Quick Hospital Debrief

IMG_0751It was a horrific experience. And a brilliant one.

My stomach still rolls at the thought of that room. I may never be able to wear my favorite perfume again because it now reminds me of the hospital. My body is still coming out of some kind of shock that happens when you’re not eating, not sleeping, not moving, and being really stressed out for 8 days. I love words and I know with absolute certainty that I’ll never have the right ones to communicate to someone else how traumatic this particular kind of isolation was for me. Easily the worst experience of my life. Horrific. 

But my heart overflows when I think of all the ways that my friends, family, and the Lord were there for me. Something about being so deprived of other distractions and so buried in a single, unchangeable miserable moment makes joyful things starkly, glaringly bright. As it is, I could make a list that went on for pages of all the moments that made joy rip through my heart. How very well loved I felt. By everyone. And especially by the Lord. Brilliant. 

I drafted about 30 posts while I was there, but didn’t put any of them up because opinions formed under such extremes tend to be skewed. I’m letting them sit so I can revisit them with a less extreme eye. But many posts to come either way.

I can’t recall ever going through such an acute emotional, spiritual, and psychological recalibration so–as you can imagine–my brain is on overdrive processing through all the changes in perspective.

I’ve been out walking around all day, just enjoying being free and alive and in love with the Lord’s creation, and I keep stopping every five minutes to jot down something on my “have to blog about this” list. Excited to share some of those things with you guys in the upcoming days and weeks.

But for now… I’m home. I’m fine. And I’m thankful. 

Content with Weakness

“How’s my favorite dance partner?”

That’s the message I woke up to yesterday morning. And it immediately made me smile. Despite the laundry that I needed to do. And the dream I’d just had in which I woke up at 5 p.m. and missed the Cowboys game (weird, I know… apparently in the dream I wasn’t worried about the fact that I had also missed my accountability group meeting).

The message was from someone I haven’t seen–let alone danced with–in 7 or 8 years. He lives 18 hours from me. We’ve probably only “spoken” 3 times in the intervening years. But his message was a nice one to wake up to and brought back some of my favorite memories of swing dancing in barns in Colorado.

Where am I going with this? It occurred to me that his message was brave. Continue reading

How You Can Help Me During My Hospital Stay Next Week (If You Want To)

As discussed in my prior post, I’m going to be in the hospital for 2-10 days starting on Monday next week (Sept 16th). A bunch of you have asked if you can come visit and/or what you can pray for. And I’ve been horrendous about answering this question in any concrete manner because, frankly, I’ve been trying not to think about going into the hospital.

Mainly because I’m suddenly terrified. Continue reading

Nonviolent Strategies to Stop Gossip (aka Alternatives to Kicking Your Friends in the Shins)

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Earlier this week, I posted on Killing Monsters and how harmful gossip is within a small group. It distracts us from our true purpose and undermines trust. Continue reading

Killing Monsters (aka 4 Ways I Prepared My Heart Before Meeting My New Small Group)

This past Sunday night (yesterday) was the first night of fall small group at my church, The Rock. I’m writing this post before that event occurs (Sunday afternoon) so getting all the tenses correct is going to be difficult. But I hate posting on the weekend because weekends are for resting. There should be a nice lull that settles over the internet and allows us to focus on the real, physical world. I try not to disrupt the lull by posting anything.

Anyway, I’ve been excited about the start of small group this year because our small group was awesome last year. But as I prepared for the first small group to arrive, I realized that there were some seriously dysfunctional attitudes growing in my heart about my new small group. Before we’d even kicked things off for the year. So I took a few hours to try to drag these little gremlins into the light and slay them. Continue reading

My Upcoming Video EEG…Have I Mentioned How Much I Love Tests?

I love tests. It’s a nerd thing. Possibly also an arrogant / competitive thing. Well, I’m both excited and terrified for this next one. (Which is how I feel approaching all the best kinds of tests. Without the terror, acing the test is not nearly as satisfying.)

It’s a Video EEG. It’s an inpatient procedure that lasts between 2 and 10 days. I go in on September 16th to Abbott Northwestern Hospital here in Minneapolis.

So what’s involved? A lot, as it turns out. They hook me up to a bunch of electrodes and monitor the electrical activity in my brain. I already had the short (40 minute) version of this test several months ago after the first big seizure (read about that test in “So This One Time, When I Thought I Was Dying…“). Continue reading

A Twist In The Road: Unexpected Opportunities

Happy Labor Day! Hopefully you are all out exploring a lake or mountain somewhere. Preferably both. I’m planning on heading out for a long day of wandering … right after I hit publish on this post.

So I have a story to tell you. It all started last week. I was lying in bed daydreaming sitting at my desk watching the sun come up when I got an email from someone I’d never heard of before. Her name is also Kate (which always freaks me out, even though it’s a very common name… so I kind of disliked her on principle at first). She works for an epilepsy awareness group. She’d stumbled across my blog (probably because of my excessive tagging of “seizures” and “epilepsy”). And she had a question for me. Would I be interested in doing some writing for publications put out by her awareness group?

Umm, what? Continue reading