Friday, December 17, 2010

Foggy, Hazy, Clearer...

After I graduated from college, I began to sense there was a need for me to get glasses. Sure enough, I got my eyes examined and I have been wearing glasses ever since. It was amazing how great things now looked!

A funny thing is, I did not know how out of focus things were until I started wearing my glasses. It was amazing how clear things became.

As it has been nearly 2-1/2 years since I sustained my TBI, I have begun realizing something: as my brain has healed quite a bit, it is interesting how much "clearer" my brain is now, compared to when I began my recovery. I used to think things were going quite well, actually I am finding I thought things were much clearer, though I was pretty much in a fog.

I guess it would be described like this: FOGGY: back in the early days of recovery, things were foggy. Growing up in the Seattle area, we had fog a lot. That can be nasty stuff. HAZY: Then things began to make more sense, I could understand more things, I could begin to interact better. CLEARER: Now things are clearer. I recognize my so-called "vision" is not a 100%, but it is clearer. I am processing and making decisions better, I am thinking through things more, and I recognize some of my deficits better (though that is an area still needing improving.)

Just as my vision improved with my glasses, my brain is adapting and adjusting to the new normal we are working with. I am grateful for the continued process God has me going through.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fanny Crosby

Why do we need to go through challenges,limitations, and struggles? I am not sure why we must, part of it may be due to the fact that we live in a 'fallen', imperfect world. I do recognize that our challenges can be used for good in our lives and in the lives of others. I suppose if we have questions such as these, they may be placed on the "questions to ask God" list when I see Him face to face.

On December 9 in the devotional book "Streams in the Desert" there was an entry that included something about Fanny Crosby, it said: "Joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth. Fanny Crosby could never have written her beautiful hymn, "I shall see Him face-to-face," were it not for the fact that she had never looked upon the green fields nor the evening sunset nor the kindly twinkle in her mother's eye. It was the loss of her own vision that helped her to gain her remarkable spiritual discernment."

Since sustaining my brain injury and other physical challenges I have, I have wondered, what is next? Recently I have concluded in my heart and mind that I am suppose to work with brain injury survivors and caregivers. I have come to understand that there is a great need in this area. There are thousands of us survivors who walk around with limited resources, helps, and support.

I would have never learned this, nor be a good candidate to serve in this area, if I had not walked through my own brain injury. To recognize that this is where I want to serve, to help bring exposure, and maybe even finances to is huge and has given me a renewed sense of purpose and mission.

Will I ask God about this when I see Him face-to-face? I'm not sure, but I have a feeling that when I do see Him and reach for the list of questions in my back pocket, that my questions won't matter as much -- they may even be gone. When I am in His perfect presence, my guess is that things will make a lot more sense.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Problem Solving

One of the areas of my life that had deficits from my brain injury was problem solving. It was a challenge for me to recognize, work through, and solve a problem I might come up against. That is not to say that I was an excellent problem solver pre-injury, but I became challenged in this area.

The problems did not have to be enormous to have struggles with problem solving, so when I congratulate myself these days on some of the problems I've solved, they can seem kind of silly to me. But they are not silly for me, they are signs of progress. I solved a problem with my shower curtain liner the other day. I solved a problem with my car's windshield wiper today. I solved some challenges as I attempted to make some Christmas cookies these past couple of days. A friend of mine helped to be the answer to one of my problems.

It is challenging at times to not be able to comprehend how serious my brain injury was, because that hinders me in appreciating the healing and strides that have been made. As I recognize problems that I solve, I have begun to congratulate myself; to give myself credit. Others may not understand and that is okay, but God and I do.

Sometimes my problem solving is recognizing I cannot do it and need to ask for help. Yes, that can be humbling, but people are more willing to help then we are to ask.

Problems will be with us always and to be able to work through those things are a tremendous gift.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hope for the Holidays

We often hear about "home for the holidays", which is a very nice place to be. Isn't it nice to have hope during this time as well? The Christmas season, as many of us have experienced on occasion, can be kind of frantic. Our hope often being that we make it through this season in one piece.

Over the past couple of years I have been learning more about hope. My hope is not based in my circumstances, but in a perfect, loving God.

What am I hoping for this Christmas? To continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus; to have a wonderful celebration with my siblings and family; that my heart would be filled with love, peace, joy, and thanksgiving.

May your heart be filled with hope this Christmas season. Yes, God loves us deeply and completely. Sometimes our circumstances may say to us "how can God love me?" The truth and reality is that He does love us.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

God's Mowing Our Souls

Thank God that He "mows the lawn" of our souls; that He works to transform our souls, to develop us into the people He wants us to be: transforming us into the image of His Son.

Yesterday I witnessed a beautiful picture. A friend was mowing a portion of his lawn in the front yard of his home and he had his young grandson with him.

As he was walking and pushing the lawn mower with one hand, he was holding the hand of his grandson who was walking next to him.

It was a sweet picture of love, trust, and friendship. Plus the lawn was getting mowed! This man does a tremendous job in caring for his yard. It must have been even more fulfilling to do this with his grandson at his side.

God is holding our hand. He is with us, as we are walking through times of hardship, pruning, and transforming. He does not leave us, He remains with us.

The joy that must be found in God's heart to be with His child. Joy that is not found just in walking with us through the "mowing of our souls" times, but walking with us day by day, moment by moment.

The joy that was displayed by the grandson, may it be found in us as well. As we walk hand in hand with our Abba Father.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beauty in the Place of Tragedy

Today I was driving along El Dorado Hills blvd. and there were some incredibly beautiful trees that have vibrants colors of red, orange, and yellow. they look awesome.

It was near the same spot just over two years ago that a friend and I were both hit by a car. We both sustained serious, life-threatening injuries.

As I drove by I was so grateful to see life and beauty, not just a place where tragedy struck. the drive caused me to praise and thank God for the life He has continued to give my friend Kathy and me.

Beauty is a much grander picture then tragedy. God does bring good out of bad and hard situations.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Progress Markers

Though I still struggle with "hiccups" in my recovery, there still is wonderful progress. Sometimes it can seem silly to me at some of the things I get excited about, but it is nice to get excited about some things. Here are a few of the progress markers I experienced this past week:
Leaving a message for a friend, I told her to call me, but I didn't tell her what it was about. She called the next morning and asked me why I called. I didn't write it down, but I was able to remember the reason for my call. PROGRESS!

Sudoku puzzles have been a fave of mine, but also have been part of my recovery. I completed four different levels of puzzles one morning, easy to hard. PROGRESS!

Crossword puzzles are another brain exercise for me. The other day I re-opened a crossword puzzle book and was able to answer some of the questions I hadn't been able to answer before. PROGRESS!

My car driving (and remembering how to get to places), re-learning to ride my bicycle and seeing continued PROGRESS in that area, and feeling mentally stronger are incredible PROGRESS markers. I thank God for all He has done, as well as the strength and courage that He gives me to keep moving forward.

I am slower in many areas, but I guess that isn't so bad, at least I am moving forward.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What is the Gauge for Success?

From the day I became aware of my need for recovery from a brain injury, one of my main thoughts was getting back to my work at Lakeside Church. Would getting back to my work be the gauge for my success in my recovery?

When my brain began remembering things again - especially people's names -- was that the gauge for my success in my recovery?

When I began driving an automobile again (with utter enjoyment), was that the gauge for my success in my recovery?

When I began to desire to be back on a bicycle again, when I had the opportunity to learn to ride a tandem bicycle and my riding partner and I completed a 65 mile ride that was purely awesome! Was the tandem bicycle riding the gauge for my success in my recovery?

I have now completed three "solo" rides of various mileage (11 miles being the furthest post-injury) and I have three rides set on my calendar: is bicycle riding "solo" my gauge for success in my recovery?

The situations listed above I think have often been seen as points of success for me in my recovery: by me, as well as by others. But are they?

Not being able to return to my work at Lakeside Church did not happen, so does that mean recovery has not been successful? No, it has meant a new direction of ministry for me.

I do believe each of those things (and the many other things) I have experienced are gauges for something, but I am not sure if it is success. I have been thinking about this a lot and I think I have come up with my answer:

I think these things are gauges of PROGRESS and PROGRESS IS SUCCESS!

Progress may seem really big (like riding a bicycle again, like driving a car again, and like remembering more things), but they each have taken steps to get there. Progress is a lifelong process. We each, injury or not, make progress each day. We need to celebrate the progress and the steps that we successfully take.

Thanks to you all who have celebrated these steps of progress with me. You help keep me going, because sometimes the days are hard. I celebrate you too!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Adapting and Adjusting to Change

Change is tough sometimes, isn't it? We become comfortable, settled, familiar, pleased and a lot of other things when we live life.

As we recognize and commemorate the anniversary of 9-11, our country has gone through much change these past years as a result of a terrorist attack on our country.

When my parents passed away: my dad in 1979 and my mom in 1999, there needed to be tremendous adapting and adjusting to the changes to my family.

As I have had the opportunity to work within Christian ministry positions, sometimes requiring to move to a different state, there was the need to adapt and adjust to the changes my life experienced and places that I lived: Chicagoland, Seattle, and California are different places.

When I sustained life threatening and life changing injuries as a result of being hit by a car, there has been, and continues to be, the need to adapt and adjust to the changes my life has (and continues to) experience. Sometimes it is hard and frustrating. Sometimes it has felt like I am learning something again for the very first time.

Having gone on permanent disability, I have needed to adapt and adjust to a life that does not (and likely will not) work at a job again. HUGE ADAPTATION AND ADJUSTING to that change.

Have all these changes been bad? No, but they required me to recognize that life was/is different: the differences required (and are requiring) adaptations and adjustments to be made. As God so often does, He works good out of challenging things that happen.

If I wouldn't adapt or adjust, life would be lived in the past and in much denial: neither being healthy. As well, I would miss out on the opportunities, growth, and all that God wants to give to me in the midst of the changes.

I am grateful that God gives us the power, the ability, the grace, and all that is needed to adapt and adjust to change.

The other very cool thing is that GOD NEVER CHANGES, so we will never have to adapt or adjust to that.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dream a Little Dream

Throughout my lifetime, I have not always been a dreamer. Sure, I had plenty of dreams, but I am not sure they were thoughts that I took too seriously. As of late, as I have been wondering the next steps for my life, I have been encouraged about some possibilities I have been thinking about. Are they dreams? I think so, but they are so-called dreams that I believe can one day come out of my brain and be lived out.

The other morning I woke up in unique way for me: I was filled with joy, hope, expectation, and vision -- and that was before I even had a cup of coffee! It was an encouraging time for me. I am not what one would call a "morning person." I would like mornings if they were a little later in the day. I am not at my best at the earlier part of a day.

Over the past two years I have been wondering what is "next" for me. I needed to step down from my position as the Director of Women's Ministries at Lakeside Church as I went on full-time disability. In my early stages of recovery, that was not my game plan at all, as I planned on returning to Lakeside.

As life continued on I was able to see that was absolutely the right decision to make, though it had been a hard decision to make. I was also able to see that there was still time needed if I was going to work at any job at all. My recovery from my brain injury still had much healing to go.

Thankfully I didn't just hide in my apartment and feel sorry for myself. There have been plenty of moments that I have felt sorry for myself, but I was not going to give up: continuing to cultivate my relationship with God; staying connected with family and friends; volunteering; beginning to learn to ride my bicycle again; meeting with my TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) support group; and meeting with a counselor have been some of the things that have been very important to me.

But what was "next" for me?

I have been doing some writing, as I hope to one day share my story on the written page. I have begun interviewing family and friends. It has been helpful for me in numerous ways, but I also see that it is helping me fill in some blanks.

There is about a three month period surrounding the injuries I sustained which I do not remember. As I speak with family, friends, medical personnel, as well as read some of the blog entries that were written, a picture is developing.

Though it is sad, hard, amazing, and miraculous of what I have gone through, I appreciate the clarity and the answers that are coming my way.

Is writing what is next? I think writing is included, but that is not all. The primary area of focus I believe God is leading me is that of helping, encouraging, and supporting brain injury survivors.

God has saved my life in a miraculous way and He has been enabling me to heal and recover in a miraculous capacity as well.

The number of people who suffer TBI's in the United States per year is staggering: approximately 1.7 million people! TBI's are a horrendous injury and there are a lot of us walking around recovering from one.

Before I sustained a TBI, I don't believe I had heard of it before. Now that I have, my eyes and ears have been opened to an incredible need. In fact, within my own extended family, there are at least six of us who have sustained some sort of traumatic or acquired brain injury.

My desire is to help raise awareness and even money for recovery, therapy, and other needs and expenses.

How will that look? Well, I'm still dreaming in that area, but will share one day soon a couple of areas. This I will share:
  • I am part of a trio of people: we've each sustained brain injuries in some capacity, who are beginning a small group this fall at Lakeside Church for brain injury survivors and caregivers.
  • I volunteer at Mercy General Hospital in the Acute Rehab Dept. (where I was a patient.) I get to help those who helped me who are now helping other survivors.
  • With writing, I want to continue to get the word out about brain injuries and other traumatic injuries to extend hope, love, encouragement, care, and resources.
  • I will be volunteering to help local events take place to communicate the reality and needs for brain injury survivors.
I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to seek God for His plans and purposes for me.

I am extremely encouraged and thankful for the direction I believe God is leading me and the dreams He is giving me to dream.

I will keep you updated on the process and progress.

Friday, August 20, 2010


People often ask me what I am doing. My life prior to being hit by a car, life was moving right along and I was busy -- doing stuff. Now with not having a job, my days have opened up a bit. I have been asking God what He wants me to do. Besides God wanting me to continue to cultivate my relationship with Him, I think that God wants me to help other brain injury survivors. Therefore, that is what I am seeking to do.

Volunteering at Mercy General in the Acute Rehab Dept. is providing some of that opportunity. I am envisioning a couple of other things down the road too. One of the new opps for me is to help develop a small group/support group for brain injury survivors.

I am working with two friends and we will begin this group in September at Lakeside Church. Each of the three of us have sustained a brain injury in some capacity. We all know the value and importance of being connected with others who have some of the same challenges, victories, and such. We do not walk alone along this journey!

Wednesday, September 1 we will be holding a reception at Lakeside Church (room 216) in Folsom (from 7-9pm) to share the heart, vision, and motivation for this group. We will have refreshments, share stories, a guest speaker and what our group will entail.

If you are a brain injury survivor, are the family member of a brain injury survivor, are the caretaker of a survivor, or would just like to find out what this is all about -- then please join us.

You may have sustained a brain injury from an external force/accident, have suffered a stroke, have M.S., have suffered concussions, or any other situation that has impacted your brain -- then this group is for you.

We will be trying in multiple ways to get the word out about this group, but if you or someone you know could possibly benefit, please come and bring others with you.

On Wednesday, Sept. 15 @ 7pm the small group will officially begin. Our evening will also communicate what our group time will include.

Did I ever think that I would be helping brain injury survivors? Nope! But God has a way of bringing good out of hard and difficult situations. I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve in this capacity.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In Good Hands

Though I have been walking this recovery journey for over two years, and I had made the decision to step down from my job and go on permanent disability months ago -- my life just feels kind of weird.

Saturday I got word from the judge who heard my case regarding disability and social security. When I met with the judge, the appointment had gone fine, but I have been waiting on hearing back from him regarding his decision. His decision was what was expected: he agreed with the fact that I am disabled.

To see it in writing and read it in the context of various testimonies was a tad surreal. It hit home that my life has gone/is going in a different direction then I imagined. This is not what I expected.

For whatever reason it is going along a new path. Even though I may not understand it or see why it is going this way, I do believe that God knows, sees, and understands it all. Faith gets to continue to take over here. Not faith in my circumstances, but my faith in God. Our faith is only as strong as the object of our faith: God is All-knowing, All-powerful, All-loving, and more. The Object of my faith is the Lord God Almighty. I am in good Hands.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Taking the Necessary Rest

I took my cat, Spike, to the vet yesterday. He hasn't been to a kitty dr. in quite awhile. Spike did great! The vet assistant even said so. Spike needed to give blood and have a mass under his bottom lip checked out.
After returning home, I think Spike slept most of the day and into early evening. There was a time that he was becoming active again and I thought he was just being recharged from his sleep.
Today Spike has a tad more energy, but he still is taking it easy.
I'm not a parent, so I am not sure what it is like to take one's child to the doctor to get shots, etc., but that must be challenging to see your child given a shot, etc.
I wasn't in the room when Spike's blood was taken, but I am sure it was a little scary for him. I think Spike was exhausted from his visit to the vet.
One of the challenges I am still experiencing over two years since my run in with a car, is that I still can get tired quite easily. It might be due to exercise, a busy schedule, spending time and interacting with people, or a number of other things.
One of the things I need to make sure is that I get plenty of rest. Sometimes it means taking a nap in the afternoon or just allowing my world to be still for about 15-20 minutes.
That may seem silly, but it is honestly something I need in my day.
It reenergizes me, it renews me, it can recharge me, and make me feel a lot better. My day activities and interactions can be a lot more productive when I take the necessary rest I need to take.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Today I did something that I haven't done in over two years! I rode a bicycle by myself: not a tandem bike or one with tethers and a physical therapist holding on -- I RODE A BICYCLE ALL BY MYSELF!
My dear friend Sandy L. rode her bicycle alongside mine, gave me incredible words of encouragement and support, as well as was our guide and traffic monitor.
After circling Sandy's neighborhood a few times, we stopped by Lakeside Church to say hi to the staff there.
After that fun stop, we went to Berger Physical therapy to see some of the staff there that worked with me and helped get me to this point. I told them when I left that I would ride by some day to say hello -- this was the day!
Then came lunch and a call to Dian at Beretta P.T. -- the group that has been vital in getting me to this point. Dian was very encouraged and excited about receiving the call.
There were times while riding that I could not take the smile off my face. It felt very good to be on the bike. I still have some work to do, but it is amazing (besides being a miracle) how far I have come.
Just thought I'd share the good news with you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I now need too be consistently aware of: my schedule (to not over do it and make sure I get some rest), eating healthier (more fresh fruits & veggies), exercising consistently, working on my brain games (my Sudoku puzzle solving has improved dramatically) and such.

I am continuing to re-learn: how to ride a bicycle on my own; in taking initiative with my friends and other acquaintances.

I always wear my helmet when I bicycle, as well as realize it is important for me not to hit my head -- at any time.

I guess it is like an alcoholic or drug addict who has chosen to live a life of sobriety: one day at a time. Choosing recovery and abstinence from the things that would block one's recovery and sobriety. I choose brain injury recovery and what that entails.

I AM A BRAIN INJURY SURVIVOR! I am incredibly grateful for the miraculous healing that God has enabled me to experience.

I want to help, encourage, and support other brain injury survivors, their families, and caregivers.

Though I don't know what that will exactly like, I am trying to take steps in that direction. In fact, today I get to volunteer at Mercy General Hospital in the Acute Rehab Dept. and help those who are helping others to recover from the trauma they have experienced -- as they helped me two year ago!

Is it ever fast enough? Probably not in our timing. I continue to learn that my timing and God's timing can be very different, but He does have a plan and He is at work!


Is our 'healing' ever fast enough? Whether we are trying to get over a cold; experience healing of a sprained ankle; or whatever type of healing we're waiting for -- even recovering from a brain injury -- do these things ever take place in the time frame we have set in our minds?

Okay, I admit, sometimes they do, but what about those things that seem to linger on?

I asked my therapists yesterday how long I would be considered to be in recovery. (At this point in time, it has been just over two years since I received my injuries and began my recovery.) The answer: the rest of my life.

The answer did not surprise me, but it is the reality of my new normal, of my life.

Recovery for me has adapted and progressed. I am not relearning and/or practicing how to walk, eat, talk, or sustain my balance. Though I still can be challenged with my balance, it is much better then it used to be.

I allow myself to get discouraged sometimes by the deficiencies I still see in my life, but I am very encouraged when I look at them in light of where I have come from! It truly is a miracle that God has done in my life. God brought me from being close to death and allowing more life on earth -- and to be a productive member of society too!

I am grateful to God for who He is and all that He has done -- and is doing!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Whatcha' Up To?

I am often asked by people what I am doing? Since I don't have a job I go to every day, I guess it is a good question. To me though, I often don't feel like I am doing very much. Especially compared to my friends who have a family, responsibilities, jobs outside the home, and such. The reality is that I am still involved in my recovery, I'm volunteering, and I am trying to re-connect with friends. Here is my latest of what I am doing (in case you were wondering):
Each morning: begins with my Bible reading, prayer, some journalling, book reading, Bible verse memory, and usually a crossword or Sudoku puzzle (that is part of my brain injury recovery work).
Volunteering at Mercy General Hospital: Once a week I am at MGH in the Acute Rehab Dept. It is great to be back there to help those who helped me, as well as to encourage patients and their families.
P.A.R.T.Y.: Helping with Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth. A very good organization that is communicating to high school students in the Folsom/El Dorado Hills area.
Writing: I am writing about my being crashed into by a car and my recovery. The writing is helping my recovery too.
Bicycling: I am working on getting back on a bicycle. My P.T., Tom, has been incredible in working with me to get back on a bike. We've come a long way and there is a tad to go yet, but we are getting there!
Re-connecting with friends: I am trying to get together with others over a meal, cup of coffee, or other fun stuff.
Attending Church at Lakeside: Lakeside and my Lakeside family are very important to me and have been an incredible piece of my recovery.

Okay, that is some of what I am up to. Life is different, but it is good. The changes have taken awhile to adapt to; in some cases I am still adapting, but God has been very good to me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I had the opportunity to visit my family in the Seattle area. I don't get there too often, but it is nice when I do.

Our brother Jack came to our sister's house. We had a great time together on Father's Day.

My sister was able to get a couple of tickets for the Seattle Mariners-Chicago Cubs baseball game. We went together and had a fun time. I am a fan of both teams, so it was a win-win night for me. My heart was leaning towards the Cubs and unfortunately they lost. The cool thing was that "Cubs Nation" was represented very well.

I also got to see my college roommate, Joyce. I haven't seen her since "pre-accident", so it was good to catch up with her.

I am beginning some writing on my recovery and it was nice to begin interviews with my family. Due to my coma and brain injury, I don't remember anything from early on. They filled me in on some interesting items. It doesn't freak me out, but it does confirm how God has been at the center of this entire journey.

They all confirmed too how well they were taken care of by many people from Lakeside Church. People were incredibly generous and it meant a lot to my family. The acts of giving were tremendous acts of love. Thanks Everyone!

It is good to be back in EDH and my kitty Spike is glad his mommy is home.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Two Years and Counting

On June 18 of this month was the two year "anniversary" of my run in with a car while I was on a bicycle. I was actually the one run into. It has been an interesting two years, but I am trusting God that He has more life left for me to live.

I praise and thank God for all that He has done in me and for me over the past two years. It is not a journey I would have chosen, but it is incredible to know that whatever path He has us on, He is right there with us.

I am grateful for: the healing that has taken place; for the progress in my brain and with my memory; for the love, care, generosity, patience, forgiveness, mercy and so much more from my family and friends; for the opportunity to volunteer at Mercy Gen. Hospital in Sacto. in their Acute Rehab. Dept. (where I was a patient a couple of years ago); to help with PARTY (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth); as well as to be able to live a life that has purpose, meaning, and that I am capable of interacting in.

God has been incredibly good to me. As year two proceeds and I have the opportunity to continue to heal, grow, and interact, I do so with a grateful heart.

Thank you for being a part of the journey.

Blessings, Kathi

Thursday, June 3, 2010


One of the things I tend to notice about people is their eyes. When someone has, what I think, are beautiful eyes that stands out to me.

The eyes can say a lot: there are looks of care, love, compassion, fear, anger, uncertainty, and more.

I imagine that Jesus had incredible eyes: love, forgiveness, compassion, mercy, grace, and so much more were most likely seen in His eyes.

Jesus also saw people. He would see the woman who needed to be healed in the midst of a crowd.

How do you think Jesus sees you? The same way that you see yourself? I believe that Jesus sees us with the same eyes and perspective that He saw people when He walked on earth.

I'm glad that God and I don't see myself the same way. I tend to see myself in a critical light; as one who keeps making mistakes; I see my shortcomings; as well, I see myself too often as unloveable -- among other things.

I am seen with love, forgiveness, grace, compassion, and with my frailties and imperfections in sight, but I am seen through the blood of Jesus.

I want to see as Jesus sees, not only myself, but how He sees others. He sees them as sheep without a shepherd, with unconditional love, in need of forgiveness and grace.

Thanks Jesus for how You see and the fact that You do see us and what we are going through. You not only see us, but You walk with us in the midst of it all.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What do you want to do when you grow up?

What do you want to do when you turn 50? That is an interesting, yet silly sounding, question. On Monday, May 17 I got to join the "50 Club." When I was younger, I don't think I thought a lot about turning 50, other then it sounded pretty old.

My perspective on the age of 50 has definitely changed. I'm not sure how 50 is suppose to feel, but I don't think I feel 50. I'm not exactly sure if I had any idea of what I would be doing with my life at age 50, but I don't think it was that I would be recovering from a brain injury -- let alone not having a job.

I guess at this point in time I get to pray, dream, and find out what the next step(s) are for me. I have begun to do some volunteering at the hospital where I was a patient. I am working with a group that communicates to teenagers about the potential consequences that go along with risky behavior choices and driving. I am considering doing some writing and I met with an author yesterday who gave me wonderful encouragement and helpful tips. I have also been back on a bicycle (tandem up to this point) but I hope to be able to ride solo again.

I know of a saying that goes: "I may not know what the future holds, but I do know Who holds the future." I am grateful that God knows my future and holds my future in His loving hands. I may not know the future, but I will walk by faith in a Trustworthy God every day.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mom Memories

As today is Mother's Day, 2010 and my mom passes away 13 years ago, I thought I would share a couple things I remember about my mom.
Mom and I had our challenging moments. No, I wasn't the perfect daughter nor was she the perfect mom: because none of us are perfect. The challenging moments were not fun, but we had plenty of fun moments. I used to tell her that she was one of the funniest people I knew. She also had an endearing laugh, so it would be great to hear that. Here are a couple of things that stand out in my mind:
Probably my most favorite memory of my mom, took place in the early 1990's. Mom had just walked through a few hard weeks of life. I invited my mom to attend a Billy Graham Crusade with me that was happening in a community near ours.
After Billy gave his messages, he would ask people to walk from their seats to the floor of the arena if they wanted to become a follower of Jesus. I had the privilege of walking with my mom as she chose to become a follower of Jesus.
What an experience and what hope that decision brought to her life. Mom is now in heaven with Jesus!
The second memory comes from when I ran my first 10k race. It took place in our hometown and the route would go past the apartment complex where my mom and I lived.
As I made the route and came upon the final third of the run, I made a turn that was taking me up a fairly long hill, as well as past our apartment. As I made the turn, there was my mom, cheering me on! Wow, how long had she been standing there and waiting for me? I don't remember, but it had to be awhile since I've never been a fast runner.
Seeing her there cheering me on was so encouraging and gave me a burst of energy for the final miles of the race.
Those are only a couple of memories, but they are special memories and ones that I am thankful to have. Moms are special people, though we may not always recognize the special moments at the time they happen.
I am grateful for the memories of my mom that I remember now and that I will remember in the days ahead.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Today I had a great opportunity to go on a bike again -- this time not on a tandem, but on a bike by myself. I stayed in the parking lot where Beretta Physical Therapy is located and rode around there.
My physical therapist, and tandem bike riding partner, Tom was helping me out. It was a tad nerve wracking as I now was responsible for the pedaling, the braking, and the turning. Tom had that all under control on the tandem.
There were a few times when I knew I should turn my bike to the left, but my brain didn't seem to want to engage with that thought -- but it did.
This was my first "practice run" and I've got a couple more appointments set up to practice some more. It still will take more riding before I get out there on my own completely, but these are some more wonderful steps in the right direction.

Friday, April 16, 2010


The Party Pardee bicycle ride was cause for great celebration, but I've been pondering other things in my life that are worth celebrating:
  • That I am able to memorize Scripture: I Corinthians 13 and Matthew 5:3-10 (I just completed.)
  • That I am more aware of my weak areas and beginning to make some adaptations.
  • That God is my Heavenly Father.
  • That Jesus is always with me and He loves me.
  • That I am feeling better and stronger.
  • That my brain seems to be healing more.
  • That I have incredible support: family, friends, new friends, medical personnel.
  • That I am feeling happier and more connected then I have been in quite awhile.
I am incredibly grateful for all that God has done in my life. It has been an interesting journey. God is faithful to guide me on this new path. He is in complete control. And He loves me with an Everlasting Love!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

CELEBRATE: It was quite the ride!

On Saturday, April 3 I had the opportunity to ride in my first organized ride in over two years -- my first since my accident in June 2008.

My tandem bike riding partner, Tom, and I competed in Party Pardee. This is an organized ride set in Ione that is sponsored by the Sacramento Bike Hikers. Tom and I rode the 110k (65 mile) route. There were 1,200 others who signed up to compete in Party Pardee.

Tom was an incredible lead rider. He communicated well, he is a strong rider, he was aware of taking advantage of the rest stops and re-fueling our bodies with the right type and amount of food. He led our bike well.

The weather was cold, but there wasn’t rain or wind. By the end of the ride, the clouds were parting a bit and the sun was coming out.

It was exciting to be on such a ride again. For me, being there said so much of what God has done on my behalf: healing me physically, healing my brain, giving me the strength I needed, as well as providing someone like Tom to teach and model tandem bike riding to me.

The ride had plenty of rolling hills, as well as some pretty good sized hills. The surrounding countryside was beautiful. There were plenty of horses, cows, and goats grazing as we rode by. At one point a Far Side Cartoon crossed my mind.

It was really cool when other cyclists, who knew us, would yell out our name and cheer us on. The other really cool thing happened at the end of the ride:

As we rode to the gate we needed to enter, there were people lined up, and when they saw us they began to cheer. They were there to celebrate with us. After we got off our bike, then someone brought out the champagne. There was also a cake donated by Babycakes Bakery (in Sacramento): German chocolate (my favorite), as well as nice words written on it and a red bicycle (that was the color of the new bike I was riding when I was hit by the car.)

It was a very cool celebration and I appreciated the thoughts of love, support, and others celebrating too. Many people have walked this journey with me, so I am glad that they got to celebrate too.

In the next day or two I will post some other things that I am celebrating. One of my big lessons on this journey is to celebrate the progress: no matter how "big or small" it may seem to us.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Party Pardee was a 65 mile bike ride that my tandem riding partner, Tom, and I signed up to ride. It had been over two years since my last previous organized ride, as well as a lot of physical, mental, emotional healing, as well as healing of my brain injury.

For me to be on this bike at all was a miracle, as well that my brain has recovered as it has.

The ride included, besides Tom and me, about 1,200 other riders. Some of them were my teammates from the Bodacious Biking Babes and Team Revolutions. As Tom and I were riding and people passed by on their bikes, they would call out our names. That was so cool.

It was a long ride, but beautiful. We were blessed to have no rain or wind. It was cold and cloudy, but towards the end of our ride, the clouds parted and the sun began to shine.

When we rode to the finish, there were people waiting for us: cheering us as we crossed the line. Champagne began to flow and the celebration was on. One baker from Babycakes Bakery made a delicious german chocolate cake.

The welcome and reception was incredible. I was overwhelmed, but incredibly blessed.

I guess Party Pardee was a good name of the ride, because that is what I felt like doing -- if I hadn't been so tired. There are incredible memories from this day and this ride. My heart is tremendously grateful for all God has done and the people He used to make this all happen.

Was this the ride of a lifetime? I think if may have been!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Approaching Easter brings my heart and mind to much reflection for all God has done for me, including the cross He died on for me over 2,000 years ago. Here are a few things:
For the miraculous healing of my brain! By what I have heard of what my brain has gone through, it shouldn't be working like it is. Praise God!
The love, grace, strength, mercy, forgiveness and all that God has blessed me with.
I recently memorized Chapter 13 of I Corinthians and I am working on my next passage of Scripture! (The Scriptures are incredible to be able to remember.)
For God's provision for my needs.
To be able to read and write. I've begun to write down words regarding this journey of accident and recovery.
This may sound like a funny one, but my ability to do Sudoku and Crossword puzzles. They are part of my recovery homework. I get so excited when I see the accomplishment.
To be able to speak/teach at Stepping Stones (Lakeside women's Bible study) a few weeks ago.
To be helping with P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol And Risk Related Trauma in Youth).
To be able to ride a bike (tandem bike) in the organized ride this weekend at Party Pardee.
Lastly, but one of the most important, for the incredible support of my family and friends. A TBI survivor cannot make this journey alone: THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. I LOVE YOU!

I hope that gives you an idea of the miracles that continue to be a part of my life. God has been incredibly good and gracious to me.
I hope you have an opportunity to celebrate Him with others this weekend at an Easter service.

Blessings, Kathi

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Retreat and More

Last weekend I had an opportunity to attend Lakeside Church's women's retreat. It was held at Zephyr Cove on Lake Tahoe. It was a tremendous weekend. Here are a few things I walked away with:
One, the speaker, Janice, did a tremendous job talking about companionship with God, as well as addressing barriers that can get in the way.
Secondly, the worship band did a great job in helping us worship God and connect with Him through music.
Third, I got to spend some wonderful time with my friend Shannon and getting to know her better. As well to connect with others from Lakeside.
The entire weekend provided the opportunity to be inspired, encouraged, as well as connect with God. I think God was showing me some things to take note of.
A very cool thing was that this was my first trip back to Zephyr Cove since the 2008 women's retreat. It's interesting, because I have a little bit of amnesia, and the first thing I can remember on my own is that retreat in '08. It was a great retreat with a fabulous speaker: I am so glad that I am able to remember it.
Also, my friend Shannon and I went snow shoeing. It was my first time. We went nearly 3 miles. I was tired, but enjoyed it a lot!
What's Next:
The weekend of April 2-4 is a big one for me:
First, it is Easter weekend. Easter is my favorite holiday, so it will be a joy to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. If you live in the Folsom, CA area and don't have a church to attend, come to Lakeside. We're having services all weekend long.
Second, it is my adorable niece Emma's birthday on April 4. It is hard to believe she is going to be 12.
On Saturday the 3rd, I am going on my first organized bike ride in over 2 years. I am riding on the tandem bike and we're participating in Party Pardee. The length of the ride we signed up for is about 110k (65 miles!) I even rode my "clip on bike shoes" for the first time since my accident last week. Am I nervous? A little, but I am also excited about the chance to do this; it speaks loudly of God's miraculous and tremendous healing of my body and my brain.
I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
That's it for now, but I will add a little something in the next day or so, as this is long enough for now.
Blessings to you!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Latest

My brain injury has healed significantly, but there are still challenges. I struggle at times with my memory, predominantly my short term memory. I've come up with a slogan: "Say it, Write it, Do it." (That will help things sink in.)
I seek to work on things that can help in strengthening my brain: reading, writing, and working Sudoku and Crossword puzzles. I've been challenged in problem solving; one day I realized that Sudoku helps in my problem solving area.
I'm also memorizing Bible verses and just completed chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians. I work on reviewing those verses and I am going to begin on another passage.
I'm working on strategies to help me remember. Part of that includes writing more things down and being consistent in my scheduling each day.
I've also found out that rest if very important, as I am still challenged in my stamina. Eating well is also important and trying to alleviate stress in my life.
When I am tired, hungry, and/or stressed my brain has greater challenges.
I am back on a bicycle again -- a tandem (2 person) bike. It has been great. I've been nervous just a couple of times. I have been encouraged at seeing the progress, strength, and stamina. It has felt good being on a bike again.
Tom, my physical therapist who has got me back on the bike, is also helping me with exercises and gym equipment to help with my balance, strength, and stamina. So if we're not on the bike, we're in the gym. I also am riding a stationary bike and my goal is to ride that bike every day.
On April 3, Tom and I will be riding in an organized ride. We're signed up for the 65 mile segment. Tom has ridden this route numerous times and is very confident that we will do well.
I've been getting a bit more serious and focused on some writing. Numerous people have encouraged me to write about my accident and recovery.
I hope that this will encourage others who have experienced challenging times, especially brain injury survivors. It can be a long and lonely journey.
There is hope, even if at times it doesn't feel or look like it.
God is Faithful!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FEBRUARY 18, 2010

My blogging has not been as consistent as I would like, but I'll go ahead and update things.
On The Road (bike) Again
I've been riding on a road bike again, but at this point in time it is a tandem (2 person) bike. It has been an interesting, fun, energizing and a good ride. My lead rider, Tom, has been a good leader and teaching me a lot.
Tom and I are signed up to ride in the Party Pardee Ride that takes place in Ione on April 3. We're signed up for the 110k (65 mile) ride. Tom seems quite confident that we can do this ride. Tom has ridden it numerous times himself and really likes it.
I am excited and a little nervous. I've ridden distances like this before, but after nearly two years of not riding it will take some adjusting. We're training well, so it should go find.
You Said What?!
What that title refers to is that I had an opportunity to teach/speak at Stepping Stones (Lakeside Church's women's Bible study) a week ago. Again, nervousness and excitement were a couple of my feelings, since it had been about two years since I taught last. I had a wonderful time and the women were incredibly encouraging. It was a great experience.
What Now?
I'm continuing to work on recovery stuff. I am currently not cleared to ride a bike "solo" yet, but am continually working towards that. I'm working on my writing, as well as I am trying to keep up on some reading. I'm not leading a small group, but I am attending the Fallon's small group that has been an incredible experience.
Oh yah, and for lent (which began yesterday) I am not eating sweets, desserts for the next 40 days.
I am doing well, though I still am challenged with my stamina and get tired fairly easy. My body is feeling better, though I have some aches and pains (which might be my side kicks for some time.)
I am grateful to God for His healing, for His grace, for His incredible love, and His unending care.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Need to Say Thank You!

My friend Vickie who was with me from the moment I was taken to the hospital following my accident and has cared for me for a year-and-a-half was the one responsible for writing and updating my blog.
I have been told multiple times by multiple people (including my own family in Washington) how valuable this blog has been to them. Vickie did a tremendous job and I am very thankful for the time, creativity, thoughts, etc. that she communicated.
Vickie you have been a blog rock star! Thank you very much!
Now the blog baton has been passed on to me -- Kathi -- and I am responsible for the words and getting the job done. Vic's shoes are probably too big to fill, so I'll try to do my best and not compare myself to her.
Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. It means a lot to me. Blessings, Kathi

Monday, January 25, 2010

I hope 2010 has begun well. The month of January is passing quickly, but I have been thinking through some of my hopes & goals for this new year. Here we go:
  • Continuing to work on my recovery work, which includes eating better, exercising more, reading, working puzzles such as Sudoku & crosswords, and such;
  • To complete the Party Pardee bicycle ride on April 3. I am signed up for the tandem (2 person bike) 100k (65 miles ride);
  • To ride a bicycle "solo" again by my 50th birthday;
  • To be a better friend.
Those are some of my goals and hopes for 2010. I know there are more, but we'll go with these for now.

Blessings, Kathi

Friday, January 15, 2010


2010 is upon us -- 2009 behind us! Beginning a new year seems to bring us to points of reflection, as well as looking ahead and envisioning what might lie ahead. Here I go:
Reflection: Much of my year (especially the early months) is kind of fuzzy to remember, but there is so much to be thankful for, including:
GOD'S love, care, healing, and all that He has provided;
MY FAMILY: though they live in Washington State, they were connected, helpful, loving, and involved as much as possible;
MY "FOLSOM FAMILY" who have been incredible demonstrators of love, care, grace, and so much more;
FRIENDS: ones which I have had for years, but also the opportunity to meet new people and develop new friendships;
REHABILITATION: from physical, occupational, and speech my rehab specialists did an incredible job in helping me with my recovery;
TO PARTICIPATE AGAIN IN: the driving of my car, to ride a bicycle, and to help lead a Bible study small group through my church;
GOING TO DISNEYLAND: for the first time in about 20 years or so;
GOING TO WASHINGTON STATE for Christmas and spend a week with my sister's family and to see my brother;
MY FINAL BIKE RIDE OF 2009 was for 22 miles!

I have heard from multiple people at multiple times that I am a miracle. It has been hard for me to comprehend that statement, but I have been finally coming to grasp that fact.
The reality that I am walking, talking, feeding and caring for myself, driving a car, riding a bicycle, and traveling are incredible demonstrations of God's miraculous work in my life.
Those are incredible truths to remember from 2009. Come back in a few days and I will be sharing some of my dreams and goals for 2010.