World Stoke Day

Hello. Since today is World Stroke Day, I thought I would share a little of my experience since having a stroke a month ago. ~OC

*Still cannot remember the days of the week or the months of the year. Thank goodness for my cellphone.

*Still having memory issues.

*Still having difficulty putting words and sentences together.

*Still having weakness on left side and balance issues.

*Still cannot bend over without getting a tremendous headache and dizziness.

*Still very fatigued.

*Still takes me forever to text.

*What I can do:

*I am still breathing.

*I am still walking.

*I am still laughing.

*I am still trying to make a positive difference.

*I am still trying to encourage others.

  • I am still making memories.

*I am still moving forward.

*I am still standing.

*I am still living.

The Boat

Today’s a new day! At one point during my beautiful life, my friendship list looked like a big cruise ship. Many people laughing and having fun. Life was great. Then I got sick and the boat began to get smaller. Of course that was rough to endure, but God gave me peace.

Then I experienced a beautiful miracle and all of the sudden the boat started getting bigger, but most of the relationships were not real. They were based on what God had done in my life. People cared more about the miracle than they did about me. Once again tough to endure, but God guided me through this storm. He even told me on a walk one early August morning, that my inner circle would get smaller. There would be fewer people on the boat. This did not scare me, it actually gave me peace.

Then I had a stroke a few weeks ago and more friends jumped off the boat. This time I was prepared for it. Less phone calls checking in or returning my calls or text. God had clearly prepared me for this time. That doesn’t mean there was not some pain and disappointment.

But as I continue to walk through this new crazy beautiful health journey, I cling to the friends who have decided to stay in the boat with me. The ones who actually reach out to me without any prompting and reassure me they are not leaving the boat regardless of how big the waves get. We will endure together. How blessed to have people in the boat who reassure me they are not abandoning me. Who tell me they don’t care how small the boat gets. No matter how rough the waves become. “Todd, I am not leaving the boat.” How encouraging those words are as Laura and I move through this new storm.

As I wrote the words above, I realized I have never needed rescuing from the boat. God has always been and always will be in the boat with me. He has never thought about abandoning me. I am thankful for those God chooses stay in the boat with me. But my hope and peace comes from God who created the boat and me. The One who can calm the raging seas with just a whisper.

If you are dealing with a storm in your life, look around and see who’s in your boat. When you find them cherish them. During the storms of life, learn to sit in the boat with others. Embrace those in the boat. Encourage those in the boat. Empower those in the boat. ~OC

A Good Friend

Having good friends who love and support you makes life more happy. Making memories with friends is amazing. Having friends who stick with you during your biggest storms is priceless. So my question for everyone is “What makes a good friend?”

  • A good friend is with you during the good times and bad times. If you are walking through a storm keep an eye on those that walk with you and those that bail.
  • A good friend will never judge you. They may speak truth in your life, but it will be done with no judgment.
  • A good friend will never deliberately hurt you.
  • A good friend will always show respect and kindness.
  • A good friend is someone who will support your wildest dreams.
  • A good friend will never gossip about you.
  • A good friend will always be honest with you. Even when the truth hurts.
  • A true friend will cry and laugh with you.
  • A good friend will pick up the phone just to check on you.
  • A good friend will always listen.

This is just a short list qualities to look for in a friend. I encourage you to spend some time making your own list. ~OC

Angels Among Us

In an earlier post, I shared about the four angels God assigned me. Here is a little update.

On September 15, 2022, I suffered a stroke. I spent some time in the hospital after having the stroke. Every night as I rested in my hospital room, there were four angels surrounding my room. Those angels were protecting me as I dealt with this new medical experience. I was completely filled with peace. There was no fear, as I dealt with the unknown of having a stroke. Those angels gave me strength in the middle of the night. I thought back to that early morning walk in August, when God prepared me for a new journey. I never thought that new journey would include a stroke, but I am excited to see how God uses this new adventure. I will stay focused and finish strong. ~OC

A Walk With God

For the last 20 years, God has been waking me up every morning at 1:00am to talk. Mostly it’s me listening to God downloading some amazing words into my heart. On Saturday August 20, 2022, I experienced something very different.

That morning, God woke me up at 1:00am as usual, but this morning would be different. As God woke me up that morning, he called me to go for a walk. I wanted to go the gym because August in South Florida is warm. Even at 1am. The gym I belong to is open 24 hours a day. But on this Saturday morning the gym was closed. So I started walking. That’s when the adventure began.

As I was a few miles into my walk, all the sudden I saw four huge angels. They were at least 9 feet tall. Two were standing in front of me and two were standing behind me. These angels were dressed for battle. I thought to myself, I must be having a hallucination. But God quickly shared I was not having any hallucinations. These angels were real and God had assigned this four angels to me at birth. I was totally at peace.

God shared I was going to walk through a new journey. One that I had never walked through before. God shared these angels would carry me when I could no longer walk. These angels would protect me and my inner circle during this journey. God shared my circle would continue to get smaller as I walked through this new journey.

As I continued to walk that morning, God filled with with extra strength. I ended up walking 20 miles that morning. God shared he was allowing me to have this one last long walk. This was a gift from Him. ~OC

Dear God

Dear God, thank you for inviting me to come closer to you and run the race you designed just for me. Thank you for blessing me with purpose. Show me how to stay alert and in top condition as I run the race you have given me to run. Let me run with purpose.
Empower me to help as many people along the race as possible. Guide me to the finish line. In Jesus name I pray. ~OC

Seasons

I know what it’s like to have your world come crashing down in a life changing way. In 2002, I entered a season of health issues that would effect my life in one way or another for next 20 years.

My career and love of running were taken away, and I have been fighting for my life for the last 20 years. I have been pushed to the brink in every area of my life. I would never want anyone to endure the journey I am traveling. Yet, in this season I have learned how to find and spread deep and authentic hope, love and encouragement.

During this season, which continues today with the diagnosis of covid long haulers, God has blessed me with the opportunity to share his love in many different circles. To share hope with many who feel hope has slipped away. I have been blessed with the opportunity to encourage others as they walk through their own crazy beautiful journey. This season has not been easy, but I would not change a step. This season has been filled with amazing lessons and memories. A season of beautiful interruptions. ~OC

The Dance

As I travel this journey, my life has been blessed with meeting people walking through the same dance. A dance no one ever wants to experience. A dance filled with pain and many days sitting in a chair while you experience the drip, drip from your IV. Days filled with tears, but also filled with sweet memories as you laugh with other conquerors doing the same dance. Oh the memories we shared. Our bodies fighting to enjoy another dance. How could we have known the music would end for some and they would say their goodbyes. Oh the memories of the dance. We never thought we would say goodbye. As I continue to walk through this journey, I will think about those that have taken a bow and completed their dance. I will embrace the memories we shared and continue to dance. ~OC

A Love of Reading

I love to read. My reading journey is a beautiful story of a teacher’s love. A wonderful story of a summer that forever changed my life. Here we go.

I did not always love reading. It did not come naturally for me. Putting words together was very frustrating. But one summer, a neighbor and family friend made it her mission to help a young kid learn how to read. Not just to read, but come to love reading. That person was Mrs.Speirs. She and her husband were both dedicated teachers, who lived two houses down from my parent. I was great friends with their daughters. That summer, Mrs.S took it upon herself to help increase my reading skills. So Monday through Friday, I would walk down to her house for tutoring. Mrs. S, knew I loved sports and used that to her advantage. Upon arriving for tutoring each morning, Mrs. S would hand me the sports page and have me pick out an article, which we would read together. She was very patient as I struggled through the article. Mrs. S would always encourage me and let me know she believed in me. What a gift she had for shaping young minds. After reading the article, Mrs.S would have me explain what I had just read. Once again, she had a lot of patience. As the summer flew by, something amazing happened. Mrs. S did not have to sit with me as much. I began reading the articles on my own. I started sharing what the articles were about without Mrs. S prompting me. The words began jumping off the page. I found myself getting lost in the words. The stories became so real to me.

That summer literally changed my life. From that summer on, reading became a passion. I could not read enough, and books became a huge part of my childhood. I would escape into the stories as I read the words. That love of reading followed me into adulthood. I love to sit around with a good book and let the words flow. Nothing like a great book that puts you right in the middle of the story. I love a book that challenges me to be a better person or one that ignites me to action. That is what reading can do for you. It can change your life.

I am so thankful Mrs. S took precious time out of her summer break, to help a young boy fall in love with reading. ~OC

Go Rest On High

As I have scrolled through social media the past few weeks, I have been saddened by stories of friends dealing with the death of loved ones. Those stories inspired me to write the following words.

Your mission on earth is now complete. No more pain fills your days. Your journey on earth was filled with ups and downs. But even during the hardest days, you looked up to heaven and gave praise. When the enemy came in the middle of the night, you faced him head on never taking a step back. You reminded the enemy that even on the darkest days, you would continue to praise the one on high.

Now you are looking into the eyes of Jesus rejoicing in praise. He has welcomed you home. No more walking through the pain. Your purpose on earth is now complete. I wish I could have seen your face as the angels led you into the gates of heaven to meet the King. We rejoice as we think about you sitting at the feet of the King of Kings, as he took you by the hand and uttered those beautiful words well done, thou good and faithful servant. I can see the smile on your face as you gazed into his eyes. Go rest on high.

We will continue this journey as we carry your memory in our hearts. We will remember your strength and determination as you faced your darkest days. Some days will be filled with tears, when we pick up the phone to call only to remember you have gone home to the King. We will smile as we recall how you made everyone laugh even during the pain. We will rejoice as we think of the day we join you in heaven and sit at the feet of the King. Go rest on high. ~OC

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑