I am not that good of an artist but I do sketch and I can connect the dots. Memories of fun with coloring books are good for me. I do not like to play games much. So today I want to share an ah hah moment in life with you all. Or y’all as some would say.
Let me say that keeping it simple in life has become more of a reality as I get older. I am learning not to take myself so seriously and to chill out more. How much fun do we have just sitting with children with a connect the dots coloring book ?
ABC DOT -TO – DOTS days are a great escape from our all too serious world. The one who sits above all and is all and all is in the business of connecting dots. Trusting that this story will give you more hope for some more dot connecting in your lives.
Way back in 1974 I went on a journey to Melbourne Australia with over 300 other young American teachers to help the shortage of teacher crisis and to go on an adventure. We all met at San Francisco Airport to board a plane with others we did not know. Having no idea that I would make friends that 43 years later would still remain. Donna Dyste Kapala shown in this skiing picture is one of the friends who came into my life at that time. She spent most of those 40 something years working as a teacher and school counselor. She is a giver. She is a one who loves adventure and to discover the “wonder” in life.
There was another woman who I met when we landed in Sydney and had some hours to go explore there. Her name is Shiela Hoban. At the time I had a full length cast on my leg due to a car accident I had prior to leaving for Aussie. Lets just say I was partying a bit too much and while driving my Triumph Spitfire I could have had all my dots disconnected, but I lived. Anyway Shiela was one of my new artsy friends who got assigned to a high school in Melbourne. We went to the Sydney zoo together that first day of landing in our new home. Of course we did not go too fast because I was a bit slow being with a casted leg. It was only a few months ago that Shiela laughed reminding me that she did not mind my slowness and that that was the beginning of our friendship. Here is Aunt Shiela 43 years later with her nieces and nephews.
What I say about Shiela is that she is one of the most interesting and intelligent people I have ever met. She became an ambassador to the United States because at one point we were discriminating against women being ambassadors. So, wella, Shiela applies to become an Ambassador and connect the dots, she gets accepted. Over those years I would hear from another friend Borah Ferry about which country Shiela was living in. I loved getting those updates it seemed so exciting.
Last year we had a reunion in Vail Colorado. Georgia Pourchot who had the nickname goldie was so kind to let us all get together in her wonderful family vacation home in Vail. Shiela could not make the get together because she is too ill. Shiela lives in Tuscon Arizona. Borah Ferry lives in Virgin Islands and Colorado and Donna Kapala lives in Reno Nevada and Brigid Kardong lives in Spokane Washington and I live in Lakewood Colorado and Georgia Pourchot lives in Shawnee Oklahoma. As we took the time around a table looking at our memory lane picture books, we had to call Shiela to include her in our reunion.
I am kinda the glue that kept us together all these years. Everyone appreciated that I always wanted us to keep in touch. I kinda forgot which is not a surprise to those who know I have friends and family help me remember parts of my life. So as I spoke to Shiela about Donna, she said well you know I only met her once or twice. Donna lived in the rural part of Victoria Australia where we all had landed. We got to go to her town to see kangaroos and kuala bears and shear sheep.
ABC’s of Connect the Dots = there is a God and He connects dots
Many people call connect the dots serendipity moments. So serendipity is defined as,
“the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
“a fortunate stroke of serendipity”
If we spoke to a hundred people in a month and asked them if they had some s
erendipity moments in their lives I am sure we could write a book on those stories. When I wrote my book, Lean in Closer to God because We Can, I got a word picture of how we can experience life in new ways. Here it is: How to Go Extreme Vertical in a Horizontal World.
What that means to me is that sometimes in life we gotta go beyond person to person communications. Sometimes we gotta go higher because as humans we just don’t have all that it takes to connect some dots. I do believe that dots are connected human to human that wind up producing some really cool results. Its just that i think life is really full and good to the maximum when we go vertical and horizontal . We got a soul and we also have a spirit, which is who we are.
Prayer is asking God the Father,Son and Holy Spirit for help and love. As humans we get keys in life that help and allow us to open up the good we need. But connect the big dots in life sometimes needs extreme vertical, as in the One who got the big set of keys to connect some dots. There are times in life that are time sensitive.
Our friend Shiela Hoban needs a kidney transplant. For the last five years I have spoken to Shiela on the phone and she would say that she is dealing with a prognosis that is not great. She is older and often transplants go to younger people . She was grateful when she got put on dialysis over a year ago that could take place in her home and she did not need to sit at a dialysis center all day. She was grateful to have had the forethought to purchase a plan to have full time care giving when she got older. That connected dots to allow for her now to receive the help she needs each day. I am not sure what the statistic is for those who purchase those plans but I do not think its that many people.
Shiela Needs a Donor – I have learned a lot being in friendship with Shiela about hoping to even get on a donor list. She would share about trips from Tuscon to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix to get the Green Light to get on the transplant list.
GO EXTREME VERTICAL = Ask God
When we get to a place in life where we really need a miracle or we might be leaving planet earth, we often get more serious about praying to God. When I had cancer in 2001, I had 1000’s of people all over the USA asking God to spare my life. Shiela accepted when I asked her if it would be OK for me to ask God for this miracle. She said, “Oh Yes, please ask God for me. “
I sent several texts to our Aussie teacher group telling them what was going on with Shiela and many sent her cards and we sent her a gift glass mug with all our our signatures on this hand crafted beauty.
Finally we are getting to the major point of big connect the dots beginning moments. I shared with Donna on the phone about Shiela needing a transplant donor. Now remember they do not even know each other that well. Donna says well maybe I could be a donor for her. I was shocked. There was a possibilty that a family member might be a donor for Shiela, but oh my gosh what kind of person is so giving and so kind as to make this choice to help someone ?
Horizontal connect the dots moments to me are this: we are made in the image and likeness of God. The fancy term for this is imagio dei. God made us to be like Him and to do things that look like God. Jesus said what does it mean to love someone in the fullest way, to die for someone or to lay down your life for others. Connect the dots. Oh yeah. This was summer 2016 and it is Fall 2017.
A few months ago I spoke to Shiela when she was sorta sharing about how her body was holding up. She does not really tell you the whole deal of how much she is suffering, but I could read between the lines if you know what I mean. I said, well you just need a miracle to get on that transplant list.
Fast forward to November 21 2017 and Donna Kapala is getting the application to be a donor for the transplant for Shiela. I am hoping that I can fly to Phoenix to Mayo clinic to be there. Will you join us in prayer for the remaining dots to be connected for our friend Shiela to live and not die.
So serendipity is nice. It is just too impersonal for me to have something I put all my trust and hope in not to have arms to hug me and hold me. God has arms and hugs and His presence is amazing. Who else says they have “loving kindness’ every morning and night for us.
Harvest Mountain Ministries is about helping people around the globe get up close and personal with the One who is holy and who is love. We pray that if you have never thought to look up and say this year, well if you are out there will you please make yourself real clear and let me know your real and that you love me. When you know that God is real and that He really loves you, the part about saying sorry for our not letting God be our Lord and Savior comes naturally from our hearts and lips. “If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead you will be saved” Romans 10:9. God is near to you and choosing to allow yourself to be fully loved is the best surrender we can ever choose.
Let all your vertical and horizontal dots in life bring you to a life as a happy child of God.