The stories that begin with me...

It's in the love/hate struggle I have with public speaking. The moments before I walk to the podium and when all eyes are on me, I'm a heart-racing, trembling wreck. But as the message takes over and captures attention (Lord help me if it doesn't) and it's all about something and some One bigger than me, I ease out of fear into comfort and delight to speak to attentive hearts.

It's the center-of-attention that weakens me - to stand naked and needy before others, and pride is surely the root. It's pride that balks to acknowledge pain, because pride never wants to cry help. It's pride that compels me to fold up the walker and hide it behind the door in defiance - to say I can do it myself.

And though I cringe at self-serving, poor-me, attention-grabbing drama, sometimes it's me where the stories begin, and it's only as I put my needy self out there that I can tell of the Grace that has met every need.

A multitude of gratitude for a week of grace...

...perfect timing in all things
...the walker I try to hide
...the prednisone I hate to take
...the doctors and pain meds I wish I didn't need
...the emergency room where I didn't want to go but didn't have to wait
...the IV cortisone for a C-T scan that eased my joints for the day ahead
...the heating pads for swollen joints
...the love that was baked in a cinnamon sour cream coffee cake husband's wise and gospel-saturated words for wounded, lost hearts at his friend's funeral
...Nick in his uniform
...Casey's 27th birthday and those two little boys at lunch 
...Emily with a heart in Africa but the hands and feet of Jesus at home
...a get-well balloon and pink carnations
...roses (still with thorns) from the garden

Across the Big O.....

Counting thanks in community with Ann. Won't you join? 

Photos: from the dike along Hwy 27 in Palm Beach County overlooking the rim canal in the Big O

A quick word of explanation: a stress ulcer and hepatitis (probably a toxic response to one of the RA meds) nearly put me in the hospital this week, but I'm resting and treating the ulcer at home and off all RA meds, with the exception of prednisone and pain medication, until my liver enzymes return to normal. Your prayers for me are yet one more gift of grace.