Sunday, October 30, 2011


On September 29 I started a new 'sister' blog to this one. My reasons for doing so are in the first blog. You can access it here:


“Kind words are like an ointment that brings healing to the heart and spirit many years after the words have been spoken.”


"There is no blessing that is too small to not say thank you."
Gabrielle B.


"I think that the greatest gift that anyone can receive is fond memories."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The following Dictaphone entry was so quiet, because of the extreme weakness I was experiencing, that I had to listen to it several times to hear what was said.

“It’s weird but I’ve been thinking of late about caterpillars and butterflies. For the first part of a butterfly’s life it is a relatively boring, camouflaged creature. For the 2nd phase of its life it goes into seeming hibernation. During this stage in the life of a butterfly nothing seems to be happening, and yet the most amazing transformation is occurring. After the period of unseen development it emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

I’m beginning to wonder if that is what this time is, if this is my cocoon stage and that maybe, just maybe, I will one day emerge from this as a beautiful butterfly and will be able to spread my wings and fly.”

Monday, October 17, 2011


Taking a brief break from ‘The Lost Radiotherapy Tapes’ series on this blog, I wanted to include a blog on the contentment experienced by somebody that has been through far greater hardship  than I have. Her name is Joni Eareckson Tada.  She is someone who has given me a huge amount of inspiration over the past 11 years. Her situation couldn’t be more different and difficult than mine but she has found hope and strength to keep pushing on in spite of her disability.

As a teenager, Joni dived into some water unaware of how shallow it was. She broke her neck and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. While her friends were preparing to go to university in the autumn, Joni was fighting for her life and facing the fact that she would have to live the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Joni’s rehabilitation was not easy, and she struggled through it for the next two years. She was angry, struggled with depression, and had frequent thoughts of suicide. Her book relates her questions of how God let this happen to her. She participated in various rehabilitation programs that taught her how to live with her disabilities, and says she immersed herself in the Bible to become spiritually strong.

Despite her severe disability, she has led an adventurous life. She has written over forty books, recorded several musical albums, starred in a major autobiographical movie of her life and is actively involved as an advocate for disabled people. During her two years of rehabilitation, Joni learned how to paint with a brush between her teeth, and later began selling her artwork.

In spite of the limitations that Joni’s paralysis put on her, she found contentment in her life. Here is Joni’s take on contentment.

Confined Contentment


I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances... --Philippians 4:11

“Will I ever be happy again? It's all I could think of after I got out of the hospital and wheeled through the front door of my home. Doorways were too narrow and sinks were too high. I sat at the dining room table, my knees hitting the edge. A plate of food was placed in front of me, but my hands remained limp in my lap. Someone else - at least for the first few months - fed me. I felt confined and trapped.

My confinement forced me to look at another captive. The apostle Paul had seen the inside of more than one small room from which there was no escape. For over two years, he was shifted from "pillar to post" until finally he arrived in Rome where he remained under house arrest. When Paul wrote to thank the church in Philippi for their concern, he reassured them with the words of today's verse. Paul became my example in my own "prison;" I learned - and am still learning - the secret of being content. The apostle writes about this secret in Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Contentment in confinement has an internal quietness of heart that gladly submits to God in all circumstances.

When I say "quietness of heart," I'm not ruling out the prison bars and wheelchairs. What I am ruling out is peevish thoughts, plotting ways of escape, and fretting that only leads to anxiety. Contentment is a sedate spirit that finds its strength in Jesus. Contentment comes from many great and small acceptances in life. As the saying goes, when life isn't the way you like it, like it the way it is... one day at a time with Christ.”

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It has only been in losing everything that I have come to see that there is so much joy, contentment  and satisfaction to be found without any things.

In losing everything I have gained everything. In having nothing, I think I have discovered the most valuable thing that life has to offer – that as is, where is, one can be enough and be content.