• September 26, 2016 /  Uncategorized

    #13 Cry when you want to and laugh when you can.

    Woman smiling but also crying.

    While traveling along this broken brain journey
    I have had to learn to give myself permission for certain things.
    I have had to tell myself it is okay not to be okay.
    I have had to encourage myself to laugh a little more.
    I have had to let myself know crying is perfectly acceptable
    and maybe even healthy.
    So when an old saying began to resurface in my broken brain
    I received it as a gift to be opened and used.
    I then wrote myself a permission slip
    that has no expiration date.
    And I decided that gift would become
    one of my “new normal” mantras;
    I’ll cry when I want to and laugh when I can.

    Little about this life’s journey is easy
    broken brain or not.
    We sometimes need gentle reminders along the way.
    We sometimes need large print reminders as we move forward.
    And sometimes we need flashing neon lights on a billboard
    along the road.

    So in whatever print is necessary for your leg of the race
    allow me to write you your own permission slip.
    It will be dated today and have no end date listed.
    You can use and reuse as often needed.
    Stick it in your purse, stash it among the pages of your Bible
    or tack it up on your bathroom mirror.
    You now have all the permission you need to…
    CRY WHEN YOU WANT TO AND LAUGH WHEN YOU CAN.

  • September 26, 2016 /  Uncategorized

    #12 DEMONS WON’T BE FAR AWAY
    WHEN YOUR LIVING WITH A THORN
    paul_thorn_in_the_flesh_persecution_harships_suffering

    Yes, I wrote the word demons and I wrote the word thorn in the same sentence, just like the Apostle Paul did.
    Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Corinthians 12:7

    During my vast and varied experiences in this life
    there are only two times that I have had to live with the
    unending, not going away, God hasn’t changed it proverbial “Thorn in the Flesh.”
    I have walked through many a brier patch,
    and stumbled among thickets full of prickers and thistles.
    But “Thorn living” is different than the everyday scrapes and tears.
    And “Thorn living” is never given by itself.
    It always comes with a demonic being or two
    that smell the pain and suffering your thorn has produced.
    And these ungodly angels hang around looking for the opening in your wound waiting for an opportune moment to move in for the kill.
    They will gladly sprinkle the dirt of unbelief,
    the grime of self-pity and the filth of bitterness
    into that splice in your flesh.
    Gladly.

    The revelation of this truth coupled with my tiny bit of Scriptural understanding
    has helped me to fight off the numerous attacks of the enemy that echo the words of Jobs wife into my tired ears…
    “Really, your still hanging on to your faith in Christ?
    Why don’t you just curse God and die?”

    Thorn living ain’t easy.
    Thorn living ain’t pleasant.
    Thorn living ain’t something I would naturally choose.

    Living with a thorn in your flesh…
    that you know your Heavenly Father  could take away at any moment…
    is one of the hardest things a child of God may be asked to do.

    If you like me are going through a thorn living time then open up the Word and read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.
    God tells us in advance so we can be prepared when it happens.
    It’s all right there in the Bible.
    Use the gift of His Word to encourage yourself when your thorn is bleeding again and you are starting to get a fever cause infection wants to set in.
    Remind yourself that this gift of thorn living comes with demonic attacks.
    The enemy wants to take you down
    cause he knows the Word too.
    He is keenly aware what thorn living produces
    in the child of God who submits to it.
    The last thing God’s foe wants is
    God to be glorified and made known.
    And he is ever mindful of the truth that…
    when we are weak in our thorn living God shows up strong.

  • September 26, 2016 /  Uncategorized

    #11 The fear of man…is a snare.
    think-for-yourself-step-09
    Ah, the fear of man. I’m vaguely familiar with that.
    Well, okay I am somewhat acquainted with that.
    Oh, dang-flabbit I know all about it, okay!

    I learned about the fear of man
    long before I became a Christian.
    And fear of man is probably the #1 reason
    for much of my blatant disobedience since then.

    Recently I was plopped into the category of
    “Head Injured”
    and fear of man took on a whole new level for me.

    “What are they thinking of me?
    Do they believe me?
    Do they assume I’m faking?
    Or exaggerating?
    I bet they think I’m not trying hard enough!
    I can’t go out with this cane!
    For crying out loud!
    And these dark sunglasses!
    They all think I’m soaking this,
    trying to get folks to feel sorry for me!
    Or worse yet…
    they think I am lazy!
    I have to wear these earplugs in public
    or I will not survive.
    To much noise and confusion!
    But they don’t get it.
    I don’t want them to see me like this.
    cause
    I’m
    afraid
    of
    what
    they
    are
    thinking
    about
    me.

    Welp, there came a point in my broken brain journey that I had to decide between the fear of man and the fear of not doing anything public…ever.
    And I had to pull on my big girl panties
    and put on my sunglasses
    and insert my earplugs
    and holster my cane
    and grab my neck pillow
    and enter the arena of people in public places.

    Now, I am well aware that most of the problem
    is lurking inside of my own head (pun intended)
    not inside of other people’s heads.

    I am well read on “What do you care what other people think anyways?”

    I understand the “Count your blessings” mantra.

    But still, I have to struggle with the “me of me”
    that says, “I don’t like this, I look like an idiot, I feel like I’m 85years old!”
    And if the “me of me” is thinking those thoughts
    what are the “them of them” thinking inside of their heads?

    So while I muscle through this one
    I have to return to the truth that is bigger than my
    thoughts, imaginations, and feelings.
    I have to stick with the Words of the Bible
    that tell me…the fear of man is a snare.
    It’s a trap to make my current broken brain situation worse.
    A design to trip me up, pull me out
    and keep me worried about external things that I can’t control.
    A snare that will entrap me unless I learn the secrets
    that will keep my foot from slipping.
    I have found a great verse in Psalms to combat the fear of man;
    My eyes are ever on the LORD,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare.
    Pretty good, huh?
    Now when I am struggling with the “them of them”
    and their assumed thoughts…
    I try to remember to hike up my big girl panties
    lift my sunglassed face to the sky
    adjust my earplugs
    steady my cane
    fluff my pillow
    and say, “Hello, Lord, I’m looking straight at You!”
    Cause when I’m looking right at Him
    I can’t possibly look at anybody else!
    Then the “them of them” all kinda fade off into my peripheral vision right where they were always meant to live.
    And when that happens I become free to be
    the “me of me” right here, right now, today
    in my big girl pretty panties
    with my cool shades
    wearing my groovy earplugs
    toting my nifty cane
    and enjoying my comfy pillow.
    And I am able to walk right through any ol’ trap laid for me.
    And I have the victory.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • September 5, 2016 /  Uncategorized

    #10 Learn to be your own best friend.
    being-your-own-best-friend-is-the-perfect-remedy-for-your-loneliness

    About 18 months into my head injury when time seemed to drag on
    and progress was barely inching along (if not completely stalled)
    I made a startling discovery.
    I…was very mean…to me.
    Somewhere along my bumpy path I had allowed
    crummy, impatient, self-hating thoughts to
    creep into my mind and settle there.
    Yeah, settle like…
    move in,
    unpack,
    and make themselves at home.
    Settle.

    I guess in the pain and frustration of life changing disability
    I had lost the disconnect button
    between my injury and myself.
    I was allowing my broken brain to become who I was.
    My disability became me, not something that happened to me.
    And I let “me” know it all the time.

    I was standing in my kitchen one morning
    after a lengthy conversation with myself.
    A conversation that was not edifying encouraging or comforting.
    It was then that I asked myself this question,
    “Kim Barnes Waterman, would you talk to your best friend like that?”
    And myself answered,
    “No.”
    I took that as an open door for communication.
    So I proceeded,
    “What would you say to your best friend,
    Kim Barnes Waterman, if she were struggling as you are?”
    Myself answered again,
    “I would say you’ve been through a lot.
    Give yourself some time.
    Cut yourself some slack.
    I am proud of your accomplishments.
    Your faith in this struggle blesses me.
    God has great things for you.”

    That’s when a third party joined in
    and me, myself and I
    all spoke simultaneously
    “Learn to be your own best friend!”

    Some of the best advice I ever gave myself.

    I couldn’t spend my days waiting around
    for some kind friend to show up
    and encourage me out of my blues.
    I had to be that friend.
    I had to speak kindly.
    I had to declare blessing.
    I had to pronounce compassion.
    Over my own head.
    Into my own ears.
    Through my own mouth.

    It was time to cut myself some slack.
    I had to unwrap the twisty vines of disability
    from the core of who I was
    and let them straggle off on their own.
    No longer could they suck the life out of me
    and morph me into someone that even I didn’t care to be around.
    I had to release all that I no longer was, due to my accidents,
    but still, hold hands with the Kim Barnes Waterman
    that I once knew and loved.
    I had to learn to become my own best friend.

    How about you?
    How many bestest friends do you have?
    I hope you are one of them.
    I hope you are your favoritest friend of all.
    A true friend to yourself, rain or shine.
    A buddy that gives yourself good, life-giving advice.
    A pal that doesn’t belittle, mock or scorn.
    A friend that recognizes when you’re tired
    or has had a super hard day
    and speaks kind encouraging words that
    make your shoulders relax
    and the tension dwindle.

    I hope you are learning right along with me
    how to be your own best friend.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • September 4, 2016 /  Uncategorized

    #9 “Maybe” can be the greatest of answers.
    maybe
    I pushed my aching head comfortably into the contour pillow
    in the back seat of my car.
    I sighed a big, deep, long breath.
    I wriggle my foot.
    I shifted my weight.
    I sighed again.
    “If I see one more person 30 years older than me drive by I am gonna lose it,”
    I said out loud to no one but me.

    A sweet looking old lady with silver gray hair and a pretty blue shirt pulled up two feet from my sighing, put her car in park, fumbled with her keys, opened her car door and headed into Aldies.
    “Of course,” I muttered and pushed my head deeper into my pillow.

    I was twiddling my thumbs passing the time when two of my kids emerged with 15$ worth of groceries and loaded them into our trunk. Then they plopped themselves down into their respected seats and zipped us out of the parking lot.

    After a few minutes, I broke the chit-chat coming from the front seats
    with a question addressed to the oldest kid in the car…
    “Bekah, do you think I’ll ever drive again?”

    Bekah, my second daughter, didn’t lose a beat.
    She shrugged her shoulders matter-of-factly and replied
    with a solid, firm, unwavering…”Maybe”

    “Maybe,” I repeated to myself, “Maybe.”
    I felt the pressure of the pillow against my head, the pillow that was designed to keep my brain from jostling around during car rides.
    I pressed my finger to the bridge of my blue tinted sunglasses, the glasses that were intended to take the edge off of glare and ease the pressure in my brain.
    I clasped my hands together and held them in my lap.
    “Maybe,” I rehearsed again.
    Maybe had just become the greatest word in the world of words.

    Saying “Yes” would have been assuming and presumptuous.
    Responding “No” would have been cynical and hopeless.
    Maybe was perfect. Simply ideal.
    Maybe was satisfying. Wonderfully filling.
    Maybe was real. Not fake, not fluffy, not fantasy.
    Maybe.

    I learned on that car ride, to give real answers
    to real questions in this real world.
    I learned to talk less.
    I learned that I didn’t always have to produce a statement for everything.
    I learned not to offer “pat-covers-all-situations” responses.
    I learned not to flatter. Not to pretend. Not to counterfeit.
    I learned “Maybe” is a viable answer when the real answer can’t be found.
    And “Maybe” perhaps in those unknowing situations…
    is the best answer in the world.

    So…will I ever drive again?
    Maybe.