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Often when we're going through hard times, we want to "fast forward" for relief, and return to the dream of living life in a cabin on a lake. But, in the mystery of this life, there are lessons to learn, which may appear out of nowhere, unjustified, and perceived as an attack on a self-righteous view, "how dare this happen to me?" I get it. This past April 16th was the 42nd anniversary of when a man failed to yield in an intersection, causing my motorcycle to collide with the rear bumper of his pick-up truck. Instant right arm paralysis. Permanent, life changing event at 26 years old. A wealth of subsequent lessons to earn my doctorate-in-life-degree. Then, 18 years later, stage four oral cancer reared its ugly head, with a 50/50 survival rate after surgery and radiation. More lessons.  Ugh! 

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Don't wish away life's detours. Pray for God's mercy and will to discern the lighted path forward. Embrace the mud bathes with a zest to love it all, and along the way cultivate a heart of gratitude.

Just like this courageous woman, let the journey of survival, redemption, and victory mirror the hope everyone clings to believe.  By doing so, we connect with a hurting world in a search for healing of body, mind, and spirit.

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When we were kids playing in the mud puddles after a rain, it never occurred to us that getting “down and dirty” was anything but fun.  Remember?  Perhaps it’s that childhood memory of smiling with a caked-up face that may get us through our adult struggles.  Let it go, smile, and move on.