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Joel Osteen

Spotting Amanda

I will be honest: when I walked into Amanda’s room, my intial thought was “Oh my gosh, what have I signed myself up for??”

One week ago, I received a church email asking for volunteers to sit with Amanda ~ a young mother of two who barely survived a horiffic car wreck just 6 months ago.  I knew the wreck was bad ~ It was on the news. It was in the papers. I saw the pictures of wrecked cars; I heard the whispers of a family completely devastated.  IT WAS A VERY BAD ACCIDENT.  Amanda is now in a vegetated state.  The email said the family is asking for people to sit with Amanda so her mother, her caregiver, could get out of the house for errands.

I have no problem sitting with sick people. It’s just not a biggie.

This one was a biggie.

“Let me introduce you to Amanda.”  Her mother, who is beautiful (and I do not use that word lightly) says as she guides me down a hall and into a window filled room.  Amanda is sitting in her wheel chair.  From the start, I am completely taken off guard. Her pale steel colored grey – green eyes gaze straight ahead – those same beautiful eyes are what caught her husband’s heart many years ago, I’m sure of it.  Her long frail arms sit folded in her lap – those same arms that used to hold her 2 children; a baby only 6 months old when she had her wreck and a 4 year old little girl.  Now they are living in another state with family members because Diana has her hands full caring full time for Amanda. Those arms – they used rock her babies to bed each night.  Her legs were neatly positioned in the cradle of the chair. I could tell that if Amanda were standing up, she would be taller than me.  Those legs – they used take those babies on long walks, those same legs were working just fine hours, minutes, seconds before her accident, yet now they render Amanda useless.

I have never in  my life seen another human being in a ‘vegetable’ state.  I won’t lie.  I was utterly overwhelmed.

Fear starts to swirl in my head. What in the world was I thinking?  I’m not a doctor.  I can barely wipe a scraped knee!! What if she falls while I’m with her?  What if she stops breathing?  What if, what if, what if????

Excuses danced across my mind….

Maybe my own children need me, perhaps I should tell Diana there is an emergency and I need to leave? This lady is counting on me,  I’m not prepared for this.  I don’t know what to.  Amanda won’t even look at me.

TWO THOUGHTS OCCUR TO ME:

1. I want to bust outta this house and hunt down the careless, reckless girl who decided to speed the wrong way down a one way street smashing into Amanda’s car head on and well…..clobber her.  She stole a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister , a friend from so many.

OR

2. I want to run out the house crying.

But neither of those options are mine to take.

Her mother, Diana, can’t read my jumbled thoughts; she is completely unfazed by all this. She stands at the foot of the wheel chair and says “Come help me, Sissie, I need lift Amanda to back to her hospital bed.  It’s not hard, I just want you to spot me.”

And it was like a little voice whispered to me.  “Diana isn’t asking you save her daughter, heal her daughter, she’s asking you to help her, to spot her.”

So I spotted Diana.  She cranked this banana swing thing up and over (it was actually very cool) and within seconds, Amanada was back in her bed.  Diana seems so calm.  She changes Amanda’s diaper before she leaves and as she gives her medicine, she lets me know that the beeping sound coming from Amandas left side was simply a tone monitor the hospital had placed inside of her.  “It’s ok if it beeps.  We are going to the doctor on Wednesday.”

Before she leaves to run errands, Diana gives me a few tips:

“We hold up pictures of her children; maybe it will help her remember. We read to her.  We watch television with her.  You can just sit with her if that makes you happy.”  After 30 minutes, Diana is gone and Amanda and I are alone. I don’t know what to say to her. I look into her pretty eyes. Her lashes are so long and thick, I watch as they blink back and forth.  “You know Amanda,” I tell her, “you really do have magnificent eyes, you should consider being a mascara model one day…..”

I take out my Coastal Living magazines I brought to show her.  This is what I did when my friend Amy was dying of cancer many years before.  Amy was too weak to hold the magazine herself, so I held it for her.  I flipped through the pages; showing Amy all the people and colors, she loved it, I could tell.  Amanda is different.  There is never a change of facial movements.  Never a smile.  Or a nod. Nothing. I speak to  Amanda as if she can understand every single word.  We discuss poor decorating choices, pretty ocean views, and recipes.  Good grief, there were a lot of recipes.  We talk about what food looked good and what looked like dog food.  When my stomach starts growling (I know, how sad) I put the magazines away.

Her eyes never once meet mine.  But I don’t get discouraged.  Something inside of me feels at ease with Amanda, like she is my friend, she is just very tired and she wants to rest.  Diana said she would probably sleep but I never once saw her close her eyes.  I watch her for a minute and then I pulled out my kindle.  I told her that there was a new book by Joel Osteen called Everyday A Friday and began reading it aloud. It talks about how statistics show that everybody’s mood is always so much better on a Friday.  He goes on to say that we should always have the attitude that everyday is a Friday, wake up and be excited about your life, embrace it, live it, love your life!

I put down the book and stand over her.  “You have an entire army rooting for you, Amanda.  Your momma absolutely adores you, your babies love you, your husband, your entire family, please don’t give up!”

Then I boo hoo.  Amanda doesn’t which is probably better because it is at this minute that her momma walks back in and it would be very embarrassing if she happened to walk in and I’ve made her lil girl cry…..

Diana walks right up to her daughter and cups her hands to Amanda’s face where she gives her a big smooch.  I am not kidding when I say I saw Amanda’s face lit up.  It changed somehow, she knew her momma was back and that the crazy girl who just hours before suggested she become a mascara model would be leaving.  She knew her momma was there.  I’m sure of it.

Diana thanks me, I mean genuinely thanks me, for sitting/spotting her while she was away.  She is so grateful but the strangest part is that I am the one who is grateful to her…she trusted me enough to spot Amanda.

It was honest to God life changing, I can’t wait to spot her again….

The Morning Gift

I copied and pasted this from an email sent automatically from Joel Osteen.  So uplifting! And true!!! Enjoy :)

Jump Right In!

Posted by Victoria Osteen on 4/24/2012

When you woke up this morning, God gave you a gift called “today” wrapped in a twenty-four-hour period of time. We must always remember how precious this gift is because we can never get back time that has gone by. In fact, your time is the most valuable commodity in this life that you have. It’s more valuable than money because you can make more money, but you can’t make more time.

Scripture tells us to make the most of our time and every opportunity God has given us. That means we have to be careful how we live and how we approach our days. We can’t live this day unfocused, unhappy, negative or defeated because God has entrusted us with an assignment and deposited precious gifts and talents on the inside of each of us. You are a person of destiny, and you have a purpose to live out. The more you use your God-given potential, the more fulfilled and happy you will be. You have to look for those doors of opportunity and be ready to move forward to what God has for you. It’s not always easy to step through a door of opportunity. Everyone has things that come against them—fear, distractions, things that steal your time—but sometimes when an opportunity comes from God, we have to be bold and just go for it! We can’t waste precious time going needlessly back and forth.

It’s like getting into a cold swimming pool on a warm day. You can walk over to the edge and stick your toe in first. Maybe you splash your hand in the water, but that doesn’t really help you get used to the temperature. In fact, going in slowly sometimes makes the whole process a bigger deal than it needs to be. It prolongs the inevitable because it doesn’t matter how slowly you try to get in, the water is still going to feel cold to each new body part that hits the water. You can spend twenty minutes trying to get into the pool that way, but it’s a whole lot easier if you just jump right in! It only takes a second for your body to adjust to the temperature so you can enjoy your swim that much sooner and not waste valuable time.

The same is true in life. When an opportunity shows up and you know it is right for you, don’t let fear hold you back. Don’t give yourself time to reason it all out because you can easily talk yourself right out of a God-given opportunity! You can come up with every excuse in the book to stay right where you are, where it’s comfortable. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should just jump into every opportunity just like you wouldn’t just jump into every pool you see. No, it has to be the right time and the right conditions; but when you know it’s right, go for it! Don’t waste precious and valuable time. Remember, if God gives you the opportunity, He has already given you the ability to accomplish it.

When I first began speaking at Lakewood, I didn’t give myself time to reason it all out in my mind because I knew I would talk myself out of it. Instead of thinking about all the reasons I couldn’t do it, I started thinking about all the reasons I could do it. I encouraged myself and allowed the Word of God to empower me. And yes, I was scared! But I knew that God wanted me to step into my position and begin encouraging people. So I took a step of faith, and He was right there with me. I dove right in, and the more I did it, the easier it became. I pressed through my feelings and gained victory, and that is exactly what God wants for you. He wants you to overcome your fear so you can do what He has called you to do.

Today, don’t shrink back and hide your talent or let excuses keep you from God’s best. He wants you to live a fulfilled life. He wants you to be refreshed and make the most of every opportunity He’s given you. Be a faithful steward of your time, and don’t let worry or fear hold you back. You are equipped, you are able, and you are not alone. The water is just right, so c’mon and jump right in!

Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days (Ephesians 5:15–16, NLT).

www.joelosteen.com