Friday, April 22, 2011

Wonderful Reminders

The brain injury I sustained impacted my ability to remember some things. My memory has healed remarkably, but I still have challenges with it...that too could be because I turned 50 last year. We all struggle with our memory at one time or another, don't we.

I have been using tools and strategies to help me remember certain things. It's funny, because I realize now that for my entire life, without realizing it, I have used "tools" to help me remember. I'm not necessarily doing anything new, but I realize I need these things to help me remember: wonderful reminders.

As a follower of Jesus, I am thankful for the reminders that I get to participate in that help me to remember Jesus and his death and resurrection on my behalf.

Each month, as a church, we celebrate communion. We focus on the broken body and shed blood of Jesus. Jesus did that for me and for you, in order that we can have a relationship with God. Sometimes life is busy and hectic, distractions come from here and there, and I allow the Truth of what Jesus did be put away. Then the first weekend of the month, I get to refocus things. It is great for the perspective. A wonderful reminder.

Easter is this weekend and it is a tremendous opportunity to reflect on, meditate upon, focus, and remember the horrific act that Jesus chose to go through, so that all of humanity can enter into a relationship with God. His death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven allow our sins to be forgiven and to enter into an incredible relationship with God.

An Incredibly Wonderful Reminder. HAPPY EASTER!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Next Steps

When I sustained a brain injury three years ago, little did I know how upside down it would turn my life. Even to this day, I am learning about the severity of my injuries and walking the road of recovery.

A few weeks ago, someone familiar with my injuries and the changes to my life, asked me what I was up to. That was not a new question, and I believe my answer was about the same as the other times I had answered people: "oh not much, I am volunteering in a couple of places, but not much more then that."

For whatever reason, this particular time I was asked, I could not get the question out of my mind: what was I doing? I know my schedule seemed a little busy, but it wasn't like I was going off to the office every day. It rather seemed like an activity here and there, as well as some time with a friend now and then. Nothing much more then that.

I came to the point where I realized I needed to get a focus and handle on things. I had been walking through a miraculous healing and I believed God had kept me here for a reason. I pondered and I prayed and this is what I began realizing more clearly: God does have me here for a reason and I will begin focusing more intently on the areas He is leading me in.

Number One: As some of you know, I have been 'toying around' with writing a book, telling my story, of the past few years. One of the challenges for me was that I did not see myself as a writer, therefore I allowed that to be a hurdle for me, a roadblock. But what if God wants to make me a writer, that He wants me to tell this story? If God wants that, I know that He can enable me to do that. Therefore, I came to recognize that I have a new job: I am writing a book. That is where I will be spending concentrated time and putting my time and energy.

Number Two: The Ride for Hope is a charity bicycle ride that some friends and I are organizing for brain injury survivors and caregivers. The ride is tentatively scheduled for July 28, 2012 in the Sacramento area. We hope to provide resources, awareness, hope and encouragement to brain injured people. I am very excited about this ride and it has been cool to see some aspects already coming together. God has blessed me with a wonderful project coordinator and tremendous people to be on the team.

Number Three: It piggy backs number two, as I am focusing on the area of brain injured survivors. I am part of the HTSP (Head Trauma Support Project), I have begun a support group at my church. I also attend a TBI support group and took part in the recent Walk for Thought that took place in Sacramento. This area is an incredible area of need for support, resources, and hope. I am very passionate about serving in this area.

Number Four: Volunteering. I continue to volunteer at the Acute Rehab Dept. at Mercy General Sacramento (where I was a patient); I help with P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) and I also speak occasionally for MADD at a Victim Impact Panel, where I share my story with men and women who have received a D.U.I.

Number Five: This is the etc. number, as there are some other things I am involved with like talking care of my apartment and my cat Spike; I'm in a book group; I am bicycling (occasionally at this point in time); I meet with friends of mine; as well I am continuing my journey of recovery and rehabilitation: a lifelong journey I get to take.

That is quite a bit, isn't it? There is a nice grid here, as it enables me to say 'yes' to the areas that I have listed, as well as to say 'no' to the things that do not. In fact, just the other day I said yes to a request that fit into my grid. It felt great to be able to answer the question with confidence and not by guilt.

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. The journey has been incredible in many ways, yet very hard and challenging in a number of ways. I am grateful for God's grace, healing, love, care and direction. I thank Him for using so many of you in my life.

Blessings and Love!
~ Kathi