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I have spoken before about my son’s seizure disorder. I’m so blessed that medication works for him. We had a recent scare when we were half-way to the beach and realized he had left his pills at home. Not wanting to turn around, I called our insurance provider and his doctor to get his prescription called in to a pharmacy near our resort. We had to get the generic version because the brand would have costed $1100 for a 30 day supply. For the few days at the beach we thought we could get by with the generic.

Myrtle Beach 2017

Anyway, because my son has a disorder dealing with the brain, I have studied aspects of the brain I would not normally study.

The brain is fascinating.

I’ve learned about brain plasticity and seizures and tumors, etc. But with all that knowledge available about the brain, scientists are still baffled by some things that happen there.

I have learned that the criminal brain is different from the “normal” brain (like mine, lol). MRIs done on criminal brains have shown striking abnormalities. Click here for an article on the subject.

I ran across this video by someone who had no regard for right or wrong. He would have been labeled a Psychopath.

I hope you watch it to the end and then read the rest of my post.

 

I would say that this man had a criminal brain.

BUT

He met the creator of that brain.

AND

SUPERNATURALLY

His mind was made new. Transformed.
I don’t know if he had MRIs before, but I know he has a different brain now.
Romans 12:2New International Version (NIV)

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Ephesians 4:21-24New International Version (NIV)

21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

My husband is an enigma. He could fit into several Love Language categories.

They say you speak your own love language. If that is so, then my husband’s love language is Gifts. But he could also be Touch, Acts of Service, and Words of Affirmation. Because he is good at all of those.

He is definitely a gift giver. He loves to shop for other people and he does it well and would make an excellent personal shopper.

If your love language is Gifts then you feel loved when people give you something. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive.

The greatest gift was given many years ago just for you. You should feel so much love.

The song below says it perfectly.

“The story of amazing love. The light of the world given for us. Noel”.

 

John 3:16New International Version (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 7:11New International Version (NIV)

11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Merry Christmas!


Here is my gift giver.  We celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary on New Years Eve.

Church services were canceled today, so I thought I’d post worship through music.

The Church Youth Ensemble plays “Amazing Grace”.

Worship the One whose Grace is Amazing.

My sweet son is on the trumpet. I love him.

 

 

Happy Birthday, Grandma.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I’ve had my share of writing rejections, so they are not as depressing as they used to be. I’ve learned that the best writers have been rejected. It is all part of the journey.

But I had been waiting on a response from an agent for a while, so I sent a couple of emails to the agency asking if they had reviewed my proposal. I received no response which caused me to shut down.

I attributed my apathy to thinking I wasn’t good enough to even rate a rejection, so why bother.

Imagine my surprise when I was searching for something in my husband’s junk drawer a couple of weeks ago and found an envelope addressed to me in my own handwriting because the agent suggested sending a self-addressed envelope with the proposal submission.

It was indeed the rejection letter I had needed to get back to my writing– dated December 5, 2011.

I wasn’t upset at my husband for opening my mail because I have nothing to hide, but I was hurt that he kept the rejection from me. It was especially hurtful that he thought I was too weak to handle it.

The truth was the rejection wasn’t bad, and would have kept me working, and would have prevented this writing depression I’ve been in for almost a year.

The agent said, “while your project exhibits merit it is not quite what we are looking for at this time. . . This is a very creative approach to a Biblical parallel. And the pacing and characterization is fine. The problem is it felt too over the top or ‘formulaic’. But that is more my problem than yours.”

The agent went on to suggest I send it to one of the other agents in his agency who may have more enthusiasm for my project.

I consider that a good rejection, but I suppose my husband was afraid I’d be distraught and he wanted to protect me from heartbreak.

He has been a very supportive husband where my writing is concerned, but he is not perfect, and I forgave him, but I hate the time I’ve wasted moping over the lack of a response from this respected agent.

Now I must get to work, and hopefully send the project to other agents.

DichotoME

I am at war with my own self.

You see, on the Myers-Briggs test I am an introvert. This means I am drained around people and am re-charged by alone time.

BUT . . .

My Love Language is “Quality Time” which means I feel loved by knowing someone wants to spend time with me. And I don’t need my loved ones underfoot to feel loved, I need them to be there.

Do you see the problem?

These natures are at war with one another.

So, how do I manage them?

My favorite time is early morning when my husband and son are sleeping. The house is quiet, and the boys in my life are nearby. The perfect setting to satisfy my two natures.

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My niece called one Saturday morning. “NeeNee, can you come to my house?”

“Why, Baby?”

“The show What Would You Do is having a contest for show ideas.”

As a writer mentoring this miniNee writer I couldn’t refuse. So, I packed up my family(they were more than happy to comply), took a notebook and headed into town where my sister lives.

Sadly, that is my horrible voice behind the camera. Notice my hesitations. I attribute those to dehydration and not old age. But it could be old age.

Anyway . . .

We submitted several ideas online. Sadly, none of ours was chosen. The winners were revealed a week or so ago.

But my sister’s idea should have gotten at least an honorable mention. My son was especially impressed with it.

Here’s her scenario:

A team of mimes are in a restaurant when one of them starts to choke.  Would you believe he was really choking?  Would you step in to give him/her the Heimlich maneuver even if you weren’t sure?

My favorite “what would you do” scenario was shared thousands of years ago. This is how it goes:

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

(From Luke Chapter 10: 30-36)

We would have many excuses for not stopping.

  • Could have been a drug deal gone bad.
  • It was a trap, like the police impersonator trying to lure unsuspecting people into his dangerous lair.
  • I’m a female all alone. What could I do to help this man?
  • I’m late for Bible study. I don’t have time to help.
  • He’s dirty and bleeding. I don’t have my surgical gloves.

What would your excuse be? Would you help? Would you be a good neighbor?

What would you do?

Two days ago I spoke of one cash crop. Today, I speak of another one.

This one though only lives in my imagination.

I have often thought that if poison Ivy were a cash crop, I’d be rich. The woods around my house are saturated with it.

And we are highly allergic to it.

My son missed an entire week of school once because I didn’t have the heart to send him with the angry rash that caused his face to swell.

Poor Baby

Why did I take the picture?

I don’t know, but this expression was quite comical.

Why did I post the picture?

Because I used the picture to pitch my screenplay, Posion Ivy Bride, to Dr. Ted Baehr at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in 2007(I think).

I started by showing Dr. Baehr a picture of my son in his normal state.

I believe it was this picture:

And I said, “I don’t show you his picture to brag but to show you the effects of Poison Ivy.”

You see, my story involves a woman who, days before her wedding, tangles with a poison ivy vine, and well, let’s just say the results are not pretty. And I wanted to show the plausibility of plot.

And you know, he said, “That was a good pitch.”

I was flattered, of course. And I store those compliments to replay in my mind when I feel I’m not good enough to continue in writing.

The evening after the pitch, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned (probably had too much caffeine). But during those late hours, I had somewhat of a revelation about my story.

The groom in my story loved his bride anyway, even with the rash that marred her beautiful complexion. An unconditional love.

Like the one we have in Christ.

We are his Bride (the church). And though we are marred with imperfections–some that make us unable to even love ourselves. Yet, He loves us. With an unconditional love.

In the last scene in my story, when the credits are to roll, I show a different ending to the wedding scene in the movie.

The groom lifts the veil and with his scarred hand he touches the face of his bride, and she is transformed from a thing of ugliness to one of beauty.

2 Corinthians 5:

17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Warning: Do not tell my son I posted this picture. What he does not know will not hurt him. My post wouldn’t have been the same without it. Right?

When most people think of farms they think of cows, chickens, pigs and corn.

I didn’t grow up on that kind of farm.

We had a vegetable garden for our own consumption(and for sharing with others). But we didn’t make money off of it.

No, our cash crop was . . . . tobacco.

And I hated it.

As a teenager I’d use my save-the-world speeches to try to convince my father that what he was growing was wrong. Those speeches never worked. His ancestors raised tobacco. That’s what they did. That’s what they knew to do to earn money. You do what you have to do.

But I’d still try to talk him out of it. We were Christians after all, and Christians didn’t produce things that would be detrimental to a body. We were supposed to respect our temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

I had always hoped scientists would find some medicinal purpose for the plant.

And actually there just might be.

In my research of  frontal lobe epilepsy,my son’s form of the disease,  I found a genetically linked epilepsy that is lessened by Nicotine:

http://smoking.researchtoday.net/archive/1/10/378.htm

My son’s seizures are controlled by medication (Thank you, God!), but if they weren’t, I’d certainly try it, because, while tobacco, smoking, chewing or dipping are disgusting in my opinion, my son’s seizures were severe enough to make me want to give consent to trying nicotine as a treatment if traditional medicines did not work.

My son hasn’t been genetically tested for ADNFLE(Autosomal Dominant Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy) so I don’t know for sure if that is his condition but his seizures are very similar to the one in this article. I know of at least one family member in the past that died of epilepsy related complications(back in the 1950’s, I think).

I suspect there may be some family members that have been self-medicating for years without realizing it.

At his next visit to the Doctor, I will see about having him tested for the gene. It is expensive, but I think it would be good to know (for his future family).

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing nicotine as  a treatment for frontal lobe seizures. It would be a last resort for my son (and fortunately, his  seizures are controlled and he is happy to take his medicine for the rest of his life). And my father is retired now so we do not grow tobacco anymore(Another Thank you, God).

I worked late on Wednesday night, my usual night for church.

My son had called me earlier in the day to remind me to get home before 6:30, the time the youth meets.

I knew I’d be late, so I told him to call his Daddy to make sure he got home in  time for him to eat and get to church.

When I got home, my son was there. He hadn’t gone to church, so I asked him why.

As I was talking to him my husband, who was working really hard in the kitchen, kept telling me to put the broom in the closet.

I’m sure the look I gave my husband the first time was one of disbelief. I was thinking “why are you asking me to put the broom in the closet?”

I did grab the broom, but I continued talking to my son instead of putting it away.

My husband again said more forcefully, “Put the broom in the closet.”

I was thinking to myself, “Why don’t you put the broom in the closet.”

And then I heard it.

A little giggle coming from said closet.

My sweet niece was hiding in there, waiting for me to open the door to discover her. Here she is with her scheming Uncle Scott.

I don’t remember if I ever did put the broom in the closet.

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