Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Little Stuff (Part 1)

I've been away a while. Mostly I've been at my other blog site: ... if you want to try to catch up. There, on Monday-Thursday, I write about Southern things. Tunes. Recipes. Books I'm reading. And on Fridays, I tell a little more about our story of faith during one of the most difficult periods of my life.

This site, 1 Writer, 1 Day, was originally meant to talk about my journey as a writer. But even I didn't find it interesting. Then it became about walking out my pain after losing my mother suddenly and unexpectedly. Then, this really awful thing happened (see above) and even that stopped.

So, now ... with my life back in some semblance of order (at least for today), I'm going to start something new. The Little Stuff.

This is about The Little Stuff I find while in the Word, the Bible. While studying to teach or while studying for class (I'm determined to get my Masters in Old Testament Theology before I die!).

So, here's the first thing, thus the Part I:

I'm studying the book of Exodus for my class entitled (you guessed it) Exodus. In my notes I wrote:

     The Frogs
     The Gnats
     The Flies
     The Boils
     The Hail
     The Locusts
     The Darkness

This is not a complete listing of the curses raining down on Egypt when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go, just the ones with only two words. The two-worded curses. Sounds like a category in Jeopardy.

It will be so dark, the Lord said, you will be able to feel it.

Now, that's dark.

I've never liked the dark so much. I slept with a nightlight on as a child and I continue to do so to this day. I don't like walking into a dark house. I don't like being in a dark room (unless I'm flat on my face on a massage therapist's table, there's some soft music playing, lavender candles flickering, and I'm draped in a sheet). Feeling darkness would, for me, be a really, really bad curse.
Darkness & Fog Fall On My Old Neighborhood
c EvaMarieEverson 2009

I remember the first time I spent the night with a childhood friend who lived "out in the country," as we called the rural parts of our Southern community. There were no street lamps, like in my neighborhood. And, that night, there was no moon. Or, at least none we could see. I'm sure it was still out there somewhere. Tina didn't sleep with a nightlight like I did and I was too proud to tell her how scared I was without one. So, when she flipped her bedside table light off, the room went DARK. I held up my hand to ascertain if I could see it. I could not. I wiggled my fingers, hoping for a glimmer of movement. Nothing. This was darkness so dark I could feel it. I would say I could smell it, but that was pure fear I sniffed.

Now, looking over the list above, I thought: I hate frogs, I hate gnats, I hate flies, not real fond of boils, really okay with hail as long as I'm inside the house and it doesn't hit my car, and I'm not scared of locusts but they sure might eat up my crop, had I one. But darkness ... Darkness isn't hated by me. Darkness is something I'm afraid of (okay, not the darkness itself, but what might lurk inside).

What about you? Which of these two-worded curses would you hate or fear the most were you in Egypt at the time of Moses' return? Tell me about it. Tell me why.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Come to the Water

To read more about our story, go to: (Eva Marie Everson's Southern Voice)
Before TS Debby

We live on Lake Kathryn in Florida. Over the past few months, dry weather and no rain dwindled our beloved lake to a puddle.

Not really, but so it seemed.

The Rains are Coming
Sitting in only a foot or less of water, our boat was nearly dry-docked. My husband felt so sorry for it, he brought it out of the water and covered it. The water that typically went to the grass line now exposed grass.

Then Tropical Storm Debby came and brought with her, rain. And more rain. And a few more days of rain. Unable to go outside for much of anything, I sat on the sofa against the sliding glass doors of our family room and watched the water rise through the gray haze of an unending summer shower.

Or so it seemed.
Ducks and Spoonbills play between showers
After Debby

Fun in the Sun Returns
And the water rose. The beach disappeared. The backyard grass became lush. When the storm had passed, birds sang so loudly they could be heard inside. Nature came to roost on our lawn and in the trees and along the beach. Folks brought their water toys back into the lake for afternoons of sun and fun. It was marvelous.
I couldn't help but think how this whole scenerio was like being a Christian. At times, the water seems to dry up. We can't reach it, though it is still there. There is no where to dock our boats so we dry-dock them instead.

And then the water comes. Life is lush again. Full of life and wonder.

Jesus called Himself the "Living Water." He also said, "Let him who is thirsty, come."

When we come to the water (or even when it comes to us, showered down from heaven), we are restored. Renewed. Made vibrant and alive again. The old dust is washed away and life returns to our branches.

Even so, Lord Jesus, come ...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Story Continues

Uh ...  yeah. Okay. I've been gone a while. I've been in one of my favorite places on the globe, North Carolina. Specifically, I've been in Salisbury, NC for a couple of days, followed by my annual trip to Ridgecrest, NC for the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

While there I saw folks I've known for years now. They've "grown up" with me in this business of writing. We've loved on each other, prayed for each other, and kept up with each other's lives. So, hearing "I'm praying for you and your family" was not an uncommon line for me to hear over this past week.

I love knowing that ... Especially from these people, because I know they mean it.

I also got to see two of my favorite people: Laura and LeeAnn. Both diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Both successful. Both agree that it is time for the covering up and pretending to stop. LeeAnn is so open she practically adds her diagnosis to her introduction. Like going to a support group and saying, "Hello, my name is ... and I have ..." Her daughter had me laughing out loud as she talked about her mother's openness.

I love the openness.

So why do so many want to go on pretending? Why do we think BD is any worse than any other disease? Do we think our loved ones--over 57 million Americans have BD--got up one morning and thought, "Wow! I think I'd like to have Bipolar Disorder. Only I don't want anyone to know it. I want to be ashamed of it. I want the world to think I'm okay, when clearly the world will think I'm not."

Bipolar Disorder is not something you buy on the sly at some tacky online store. It's not something you plan. Not an achievement to work toward. It's an illness. Think: a cold. The flu. Pneumonia. Diabetes. Cancer. Cystic Fibrosis. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome!

I've had CTS. It hurts. I had to wear a brace on my arm/hand. People would ask, "Carpel Tunnel Syndrome?" and I would smile and say, "Yep." I didn't try to hide it and I didn't shy away from the treatment, as uncomfortable as it was.

My friend Kathleen was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago. First part of October. By October 31, she'd gone through not one, not two, but three opinions. Seen several specialists. Had a number of tests. Prayed like crazy. And, by Halloween night, while many walked around in costumes and masks, she'd had a double mastectomy. She wasn't quiet about it either. There was nothing to be ashamed of, so why be ashamed? It wasn't like she'd gone out and bought breast cancer in a bottle, silly girl ... After October 31 and to date, she has aggressively done everything necessary to make sure the cancer doesn't return and that she lives as normal a life as everyone else. She's also a voice among many to those on the brink of the same to say, "It's okay. You'll be okay."

Because that's what you do when illness strikes. You take a pill. Wear a brace. Cut away the bad parts, if necessary. But you don't pretend it doesn't exist. Or that "love and love alone" will cure it. And then you do whatever you need to do to let others know ... it's gonna be all right.

Treatment may not be painless. It may not be fun. No one who has undergone chemo has said, "Man, I wish I could do that again!" No one who has worn a brace for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome has thought, "If only I'd have that kind of pain again ... so I could wear that horribly uncomfortable brace ..." No one who has taken several types of medication before finding just the right prescription, undergoing the side affects but wanting to get better more than wanting to stay sick, ever said, "Goodness! If only I could go through the vomiting ... the diarrhea ... the headaches ... the hallucinations ... just one more time for old times sake."

But to get well ... to get better ... to live life ... we'll do whatever it takes. Because human nature is to live life. To survive, even.

So let me ask you a question ... if your child were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, or any disorder, would you want your child to live life ... or go through it sick? And, would you allow your child to make the decision as to whether to live life as normally as possible or to live life sick? Would you insist on trying anything ... everything ... to assure they can reach adulthood, happy and whole?

Or would you hide behind the lies? The lies that say this disorder is to be ashamed of. This disorder is the worst of all disorders. This disorder you could help ... if you really wanted to. The lies that say this disorder will keep you from any dream, any goal, any life whatsoever.

What would you do?