Eyes Behaving Badly

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With each passing year, I find that I’m more and more grateful that I don’t know what future holds. If I did have foreknowledge, I’m sure I would spend more time worrying and being anxious. Instead I know Who holds the future.

The LORD entrusts me with today and calls me to trust Him and call out to Him in prayer and with thanksgiving.

My eyes behaving badly started a few months ago, when I was reading my Nook in bed. As I looked at the screen I realized that not only could I see the screen, but the time from our alarm clock (which was situated about six feet away and three feet higher) appeared to be behind the screen. Okay…so that’s a little weird.

At my yearly eye exam, I mentioned it to my eye doctor. Dr Brandon Marsh did some additional testing and informed me that I had a condition called Strabismus. It’s also knows as a wandering eye or lazy eye. My right eye was intermittently turning outward instead of staying focused on what was in front of me and in sync with my left eye. My doctor set up an appointment with a specialist who deals with this condition. I left with a business card in hand and an appointment a few weeks away.

Good golly, how in the world could I have developed this condition and not been aware of it? When I got home and looked in the mirror all of a sudden, I could see what the doctor was talking about. Since there was no precipitating event, like an accident, it’s a bit of a mystery what caused it.

With each passing week, the condition seemed to be happening more frequently. I was relieved that I would soon be seeing the eye specialist. The one catch, the doctor’s primary practice was working with children.

Talk about feeling awkward, I walked into the office for my appointment with Dr Cynthia Beauchamp and lo the office was filled with children and their parents. Okay, so I’m feeling a little self-conscious.

But that uncomfortable feeling didn’t last because after an examine, the doctor said she could help me. I would need surgery on my eyes to weaken the outer muscles of my eyes, so they would be correctly positioned and focus together.

I was most grateful to hear that this condition could be corrected. After praying and talking with my husband Chris, I decided to move forward and have the surgery. With the holidays coming up quickly and vacation, the surgery would take place in the new year.

The Lord went before me and worked out the details that concerned me. Not only did I need an examine from my primary care physician, I needed blood tests, x-rays and a letter from her and a cardiologist that I would a good candidate for outpatient surgery. The clock was ticking, but thank You Lord, I was able to get everything that was needed to the eye doctor within the allotted time frame.

As the day of surgery approached, I was more grateful. Everyday tasks, like walking down stairs and even driving became something that I needed to pay extra attention to. Using good quality eye drops and blinking helped when my eye started to wander.

Yesterday was the big day. We headed out early for my appointment arrival time of 6 am. Though some distance away, the traffic was light and we got there ahead of schedule. The Ophthalmology Surgery Center of Dallas is one hopping place. The waiting room filled up quickly by time I went back in for my surgery. As I walked back with the nurse, we passed many, many bays where patients were being prepared for surgery.

I didn’t have to wait long before they took me in for surgery. I was a little nervous, but overall the Lord gave me peace. During the waiting period I was able to pray.

Thankfully, I was given general anesthesia so I was completely oblivious to what the doctor was doing. The anesthesiologist gave me plenty of anti-nausea medicine which helped me greatly.

When I awoke from surgery, I had my eyes closed for quite a while. They had put some ointment in my eyes which made my vision very blurry. Once I was sufficiently alert and not ready to toss my cookies, they released me. Of course, my eyes were very sensitive to light so I put on sunglasses.

I kept my eyes closed most of the way home and opened them briefly to navigate the steps to go inside. After a brief nap, I stayed awake most of the day. Closing my eyes, even briefly, helped the discomfort and pain, as did good quality eye drops.

If I had an Indian name, today it would be Susan Red Eyes. Instead of white, my eyes are very, very red. There’s some pain, but minimal. Much better than I expected. At the end of yesterday, the double vision had already improved. When I awoke this morning, I was back to seeing double. I’m prayerful that will be resolved in a few days.

The main reason, I decided to go forward with the surgery is that I didn’t want my wandering eye and seeing double to get worse and impact my ability to drive safely and navigate stairs. Safety was a primary concern.

Also, I found that was I was increasingly self-conscious when I recognized my eye was on the move. Until, the condition was diagnosed I was unaware of it as was my husband Chris. But we both became hyper aware of it. He said it was strange to be talking with me and all of a sudden one of my eyes was looking elsewhere.

After personally experiencing a wandering eye, I can tell you first hand if someone you know has this condition, when you are looking at them focus on the eye that’s looking at you. For some reason, even though my right eye was looking elsewhere, my brain was focused on what was in front of me. I know that I felt very self-conscious about it, others may feel likewise.

I am so thankful to God that getting this corrected was possible. I thankful for the excellent healthcare I’ve had here in north Texas. I’m thankful for good insurance.

But most important, I know that all health and healing come from the LORD. He is my Great Physician. He is my Healer. He walks with me at all times. If God was not willing to heal me, I pray that I would be praising God and trusting His greater work within me. I can’t imagine how people do life without the LORD.

I’m so grateful for family and friends who were praying with us and for us. I’m grateful for my husband Chris and his steadfast support and help, not just during this season, but every day.

Of Poetry and God by Daniel Kerdin – Enjoyed reading this book; it’s one I’ll read again.

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Recently, I was contacted by author and poet Daniel Kerdin to see if I would be interested in reading his new book of poems, Of Poetry and God.  As a fellow poet, I was excited to read Daniel’s new book in which he shares about his faith.

I am so glad that I was able to read this collection of Daniel’s poems.  I especially liked the ones that focused on people and events from Scripture.  Some of the poems sparked my imagination and others caused me to reflect on my own life and God’s work in the lives of His people.  As I read the poems based on the Bible, it made me want to reread those passages Scripture again, so I could better understand and appreciate the words Daniel used in his poems to capture the scenes.

Some of my favorites are A Shepherd’s Tale, One the Road, The Blessing and Redemption.  In his poem, Wordsmiths, Daniel put into words the experience what writing poems is like.

In the poem, Hail, Queen of Heaven, you will see the view of Mary from a Catholic view, which contrasts greatly from the Protestant view of what the Bible teaches about Mary.  There were a couple of poems I didn’t really connect with or understand.  But overall, I really liked Daniel’s poems.

If you like Scripture or poems about faith and life, you may enjoy Daniel Kerdin’s book, Of Poetry and God.  This is a book I will read again.  It was an enjoyment to read the work of this wordsmith.

I would like to thank Daniel Kerdin for an opportunity to read his new book, Of Poetry and God.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Word Clouds

 

Word Cloud from QuizzStar on Facebook

Word Cloud from QuizzStar on Facebook

Word Clouds on Facebook are fun
As I wait to see what words I use most

But it got me thinking, what would the Word Cloud reveal
If it followed me around each day

What would be exposed if it recorded every word spoken
Every word shared in a text or email or online

Would they be words of life or death
Words that build up or tear down, truth or lies

Would it reveal my sinful, selfish heart
Or my love for the Lord

Would it be good and pleasing to You Lord
Or would it reveal why I so desperately need a Savior

Even more sobering
What if there was a Word Cloud that captured my thoughts

The thoughts I edit out, because even this sinner knows
There are some things that shouldn’t be said

Lord I know that You record my every word, thought and deed
There will come a day when I will give an account to You

Thank You Lord for providing Your Son, my Savior
To pay the penalty for my sin debt

If I were to be cast in to hell for eternity
I could never pay for all my sins against infinite Holy God

Thank You, Jesus, for dying for my sin
That I might be forgiven and granted eternal life

Thank You for the gift of Your Word which sanctifies me
Thank You for the Holy Spirit who dwells within

Help me to live each day
Mindful that I will give account to You

For every thought, word and deed
Help me to choose well and live out of love for You

 

Susan Wachtel
December 22, 2016

 

 

The Candidate by Lis Wiehl – A Mixed Bag

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Since I like books with mystery and intrigue, I decided to read author Lis Wiehl’s new book The Candidate – A Newsmakers Novel written with Sebastian Stuart. I’ve watched Lis on Fox News and like her keen legal analysis and hoped that would translate into a good book. Unfortunately, I found The Candidate to be a mixed bag.

What’s good? I found the plotline intriguing. Is top Presidential candidate, Mike Ortiz, as good as he seems at first glance? Or will Erica discover there is something nefarious going on behind the scenes when she takes a closer look? Coming on the heels of a very contentious election cycle this should be a very interesting book.

The story is action packed and the main character, Erica Sparks, is somewhat interesting. Her background is revealed during the course of the story but there was not a lot of depth to this character. I liked her fiancé Greg, while not perfect, he showed himself to be there for Erica in the end. But overall I found the characters were not well developed. What the reader learns about the characters is very surface level details, some action of course, but there seemed to be an obsession with physical appearance. In fact, it was almost to the point of distraction.

What’s not so good? The story was predictable. After the first big event in the book, I found myself guessing what the next plot development would be throughout the book.

While somewhat veiled, there were some rather sick sexual relationships in this book that cross the line in a book released by a Christian publisher. While not described in detail, enough is said that makes it clear what’s happening. Also, Lis took a swipe at Donald Trump by including a nasty comment from one of the characters about him. It was unnecessary to the story and not value added. My overall impression was Lis tried to be edgy.

If this book had been published by a secular publisher, I would only put a cautionary note about some of the content which may be offensive to people of faith.

I have higher expectations from Thomas Nelson Publishers. On their website, this publisher is self-described as, “Thomas Nelson is a world leading publisher and provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years.”

There was nothing whatsoever Christian about this book. There was nothing about faith. There was one curse word as I recall and I appreciate that there was very little profanity. But some of the content of this book was not fit material from a Christian publisher.

I would like to thank BookLook for the opportunity to read The Candidate by Lis Wiehl. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

Chosen for Greatness by Paul J Batura – Fascinating, Interesting & Heartening

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As an adoptee, I’m always curious to read stories about people who are adopted or parents who adopt children. That’s why I was excited at the opportunity to read author Paul J. Batura’s book Chosen for Greatness – How Adoption Changes the World.

I found Chosen for Greatness fascinating, interesting and heartening. In this book, Paul tell about the lives of sixteen famous people who were adopted, including Steve Jobs, Babe Ruth, George Washington Carver, Scott Hamilton, Leo Tolstoy and more. They come from various walks of life and over hundreds of years. The chapters are short, but the reader learns about the adoptee, their pre-adoption circumstances, birth parents and adoptive parents. Most fascinating is to see God’s providential hand in the life of each of these people. In their lives, you can see how perfectly God brought these orphans to just the right parents.

It was sobering to read about the difficult circumstance these children were born into. It made me pause and give thanks for the times we live in. I also saw a resilience in the human spirit. Children and parents who could have easily given up, though perhaps wayward for a season, found a way to persevere and achieve greatness in this life. I found it encouraging to read about parents who adopted children, made a lifelong commitment and sowed into these young lives the seeds that God would use to make the children into the men and women He called and gifted them to be.

Since I’m adopted, I found it particularly interesting to read about what these adoptees felt about their adoption and birth parents. Though sometimes drawn to meet and know their birth parents, they knew their parents were the ones who adopted, cared for and raised them. Parenthood is less about blood and more love and commitment.

This book is written from a Christian perspective. Many of the people whose story is told were Christians or exposed to the Christian faith. I appreciated the reminder from Scripture and the life of the Lord Jesus Christ that adoption is part of God’s story. For His only begotten Son and for those whom He has chosen and adopted as His own.

I highly recommend Paul J. Batura’s book Chosen for Greatness – How Adoption Changes the World. This would be an ideal book for someone who is adopted, or those who have adopted children or know someone who is adopted. Or if you just want to read an interesting book and learn what shapes people’s lives, pick up Chosen for Greatness.

I would like to thank Regnery Publishing for the opportunity to read Chosen for Greatness by Paul J. Batura. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

#ChosenForGreatness