Sunday, March 1, 2015

Another Letter about my Book

I have a friend in Australia and she just finished reading my book.  She sent me the following email which greatly encouraged me:

"I just finished reading your book. You have such a determined mind and spirit to get through so much, an inspiration. It is an honour to read your story. Your strength of character, mind and spirit are amazing to have “come out the other side” so to speak. Thank you for sharing your story."

Just a word to all of you who have read my book: Reviews on Amazon are critical to a books success--or failure.  If you have read my book please go to Amazon-- here is the link:
Amazon page for Treasures From Darkness 
--and write a review....Just scroll down on this page and click on "Write a review"...It is very simple.  I would greatly appreciate your taking the time to do that.

Ii am reading another book about mental illness and the church's response.  I have to say that it is nicely book hops around a little more.  I have to remind myself that this other author is not writing with a schizophrenic brain and it is probably a lot easier for her to be organized than it is for me.  I am hoping someday to work on a second edition and hopefully will catch all those issues - including typos etc - and re-release it as a "new and improved" version. I have also gotten some more material from speaking to my father about some events that I have no memory of whatsoever.  I would like to include things like this that are emerging now.

But don't wait around for the second may be a long time in coming.
Thank you too all of you who have purchased my book.  I hope it blesses you and instructs you. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sunny-Side Up

I wrote a different blog post this morning based on some bad news at the eye doctor yesterday.  I immediately looked at the worst case scenario and wrote some posts on FB and here bemoaning what I was sure was going to be my Fate.  Then ---I get two Bible verses in my email every day--and I looked at today's verse and this is
what it said : "This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all." 1 John 1:5.  Not only was I bemoaning the possibility of going blind, I was taking the most negative approach possible....two kinds of darkness.

What do  you bring into tough situations that you face?  I confess that I often have a negative outlook.  Darkness.  Bringing darkness into my friendships and family relationships.  But in God there is no darkness at all.  Not only is he able to take care of my vision and prevent that darkness but he was revealing to me the darkness in my soul.  And that kind of darkness is contagious. It also is not the best way to "win friends and influence people."

So Lord, I confess this sinful tendency of mine. I ask that you would flood my heart with Light.  Help me to spread that light.  Make it my home page.  If  you got the first email I wrote today, I apologize...I deleted that blog because I wanted to erase all the evidence of a darkened heart.

Yes there do come cloudy days.  But when they come do we recall that the sun will come out again?  I want to change my heart in this regard.  I don't want to be a fluff ball (my own description) --someone who refuses to acknowledge any darkness at all --because life IS hard. And there may be people who need some understanding and compassion...which is different than a denial of their pain.

Thank you Lord for taking the blindfold off of me today.  There is no reason to live in blindness , until you really ARE blind and hopefully even then you will recall that God does not spread around darkness in our hearts.  The darkness in my  vision need not make darkness in my soul.

Are you going through some tough times?  Ask God to shine a little light in your circumstances and attitude.  It really does do wonders.

What's on this Bat's Radar?

I went to my ophthalmologist yesterday.  About a year ago I was diagnosed with glaucoma.  I wondered if maybe he made a mistake.  I felt fine. I mean I've suffered with double vision for a while now and without my glasses I'm blind as  a bat (but I still go without them around the house).  But when I finally decided (a year later) to follow my optometrist's  insistence that I go to an eye specialist, the doctor examined me and finally told me, "your eye pressures are so high that I cannot let you leave the office.  We have to do laser surgery today."  So that day he cut  channels with a laser into my eyes to relieve the pressure.  But he assured me that he thought my vision could be least for quite a while.

So I have notice more and more that I'm getting tunnel vision...and went yesterday for another field vision exam.  I saw the pictures that were the result.  It was clear that my vision is reduced to a small area in the center of my eye.  The doctor told me that my center vision was pretty good and he thought if I continue taking the drops and we keep the  eye pressure down, my central vision could be saved...for a while. 

I thought of the conversation I had with one of the bus drivers who took me to a doctor's appointment this past week.  He said "I've had glaucoma for 50 years.  I take my drops and get examined every couple of years and I'm fine."  So I've done that...taken my eye drops and followed up with the doctor.   Why am I NOT fine?

I don't want to be blind.  I mean no one wants to be blind.  But I find the idea terrifying.  I love to read....REALLY love it.  And  I'm an artist.  I can't go blind!!  And anyway.  I might also end up in a wheelchair.   Sounds like nursing home material to me...only. Yeah. we can't afford a nursing home.  I don't know what the options are.  But from where I'm sitting,  I don't see a whole lot of them.

I know there are schools for the blind where they teach you how to get around and read braille. Are these only for young people?  And does insurance pay for that?  Can I learn to read Braille with peripheral neuropathy and numbness in my hands? "O Lord. Please bring me home to your Kingdom before all of this transpires."  I know maybe that is escapist and cowardly....but I just feel like my cup of suffering is full: there just isn't any room for more.

This is partly why I have been working so hard at memorizing Scripture.  Bible memorization has always been important to me even as a child.  At least, if I am to be sitting in darkness,  I will be able to meditate on the Scripture I know.  Of course my short term memory is severely damaged by ECT...I've been trying to repair it by memorizing.  I feel the urgent need to learn as much as possible....but it's so hard when my mind won't hold anything for longer than a couple of minutes.

Lord, my life, my eyes, my body...all  my joints and organs are all in your hands to do with as you me to have a yielding, accepting spirit.  You made my eyes. You granted me sight for 52 years (and I thank you for that) and now it is yours to take if that is your will for me. I know that when you take something, you always give blessing back to us, pressed down, shaken together.  Help me not to allow bitterness to  take root in my spirit. I do ask for healing God.  That is not beyond you.  Regardless of the path you take me on, I love you and will continue to love  you.  I willfully yield my body and spirit to you to do as you wish, trusting that that will only mean blessing for me.Thank you for the promise of heaven and a restored /brand new body!  I can't wait but help me while I wait to bring honor to you by the way I use this body in the here and now.  Amen

Sunday, February 22, 2015

An Important Letter

I got a letter today which I want to share with you.  If you are or know anyone who is a worker in the mental health field. ...Please get this letter to them and consider then purchasing my book, Treasures from Darkness, available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel and Christian Book Distributors (CBD).

The letter is from my aunt who used to be a psych nurse for part of her employment.

Dear Cindy,
You just called me so I am starting this letter over.  It was good to hear your voice.  ... I was very impressed with your writing skill.  It isn't every writer who can use the right words to make the reader actually feel the meaning of the writing.  And I did feel it.  I actually had to read it in short periods to avoid being overcome by sadness.  Sad that anyone has to go through a lifetime of illness, let alone someone you love.

Not having experienced anything like this, I 've not been as understanding of what my patients were going through. As in the letter,  I wish I could have read this when I had psych patients.  You made me feel the fear and confusion they were expressing in their behavior.  I guess I interpreted this as aggression or "acting out."  I hope a lot of today's medical staff, currrently caring for psych patients, find your book and learn from it.

This must have been a very hard book to write.  No wonder it took 4 years!  I don't think I would be that brave to expose myself in four lifetimes! You are commended for being that courageous.  Dredging up the past is very hard for anyone, like reliving the events a second time.  It just shows how strong you really are to endure.  And to think you've kept your faith throughout is really remarkable.

Now that I know what you were dealing with.....I'll never forget the encouragement you sent me. Thank you!!

Take care and stay strong. You are much loved,
Aunt Donna.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Peaceful Weekend

WHY?  Because I'm the only one at home.  For the second weekend in a row my daughter and husband are away at a movie marathon for two nights and three days both weekends. Last weekend I felt the emptiness of the house. I was very lonely.  But I found some peace with a purring furball on my lap and who shadowed my every step.  I also had a wonderful time of devotional reading, catching up on a book I was reading and had some lovely "conversation" with one of the mental health professionals that cared for me back in 1985 or 86 in CT.  She tracked me down on the internet and found my book and then left a "review " on Amazon which was more than kind....we exchanged a few comments and she really left me feeling very nice.   It was amazing to me that anyone could have seen through those horrific symptoms of the illness and found someone to admire and to remember for all these years.

This weekend I planned things to do that I could look forward to.  So yesterday I made a bracelet and a watch bracelet.  I had purchased the materials to do that on eBay and Etsy and had not found a chunk of time sufficient to take them out and mess with them.   I will make another bracelet or two today. This morning I finished knitting a cover for my Swiffer mop to replace those cheesy and expensive refills.
I also have been reading "Letters from Prison" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  It seemed to me that --given the news these days--it is important to read  the wisdom of a man imprisoned by an evil regime and who was eventually executed.  His words are so relevant to our situation....I found something that he said interesting.  He said that two things contributed to the state of affairs in Nazi Germany. One was the folly of fools and the other, the horror of evil.  He said, of the two, folly is the more dangerous.  Evil will generally be extinguished  by the "good" but folly goes unrecognized and unchecked.

That led me to question the definition of folly and of foolishness.  And what I found related to my Scripture reading lately. I've been working my way through Romans and in the  first chapter there are several references to foolishness.  And there is also the verse which I believe is in Proverbs, "The fool says in his heart, that there is no God."  I believe our situation here in America is one more of Folly than of blatant evil.  However both evil and folly are moral "wrongs" and, as such, punishable by God. Bonhoeffer commented that folly is sociologically driven.  Maybe at some point I will coalesce my findings into an article and may put it here on this blog.

Anyway, my weekend has been spent looking into that and studying.  Today I MUST address the mountain of dirty dishes in the kitchen.  I can only stand to do a very few at a time due to low back pain.  I had a nice breakfast of buckwheat pancakes and now am about to do "Penuel" (my name for "quiet time"--Penuel means "the face of God" and since these are the times when I get a clearer glimpse of God I call it Penuel.).  I also filled the dishrack with clean dishes so once they dry I will tackle the remaining ones.

So that is my weekend.  I am in the house a lot.  Alone a lot.  I'm glad that I had reserved some things to occupy myself with for this long weekend.  I will be praying that my husband and daughter make it home through the snow or ice or whatever it is we are supposed to have.  May God bless your weekend.  Stay busy with things you love to do. Surround yourself with the people you love and don't forget---if weather allows you to get to a house of worship--give it a go.  In the political and societal.climate these days  we all need to hear God's word and to meet with our corporate Body.
God bless.