Al and I married in 1975 and in 1979, our precious daughter was born. In 1986, God blessed us with our wonderful son. Our daughter married in 2003 and today we delight in being entertained by two beautiful grandchildren. If there is a theme that runs through my life it is one of finding God's sufficiency during good times and bad, abundance and loss. I taught beginning and classical piano for 15 years, but an undiagnosed illness forced me to resign in 1990. My friend, mentor, and "father in the gospel, Dr. E. C. Sheehan encouraged me to write. I am a published writer. My articles have appeared in Decision, Home Life, Discipleship Journal, Moody, Standard and Day Spring. I am a contributing author to Thoroughly Equipped, Developing Co-Laborers, a multi- volume 21 month discipleship program. I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) in July 1998 but doctors were still unable to control my pain after I had a severe allergic reaction to the anti-seizure drug of choice for TN. Physicians often refer to TN as "the suicide disease" because of the intense pain.
Some medical journals describe it as "the worst pain known." It took 24 years to get a diagnosis and once I had it, the worst of my trials began. After numerous confirmations that I had a correct diagnosis, I went to a pain clinic in a major city and was prescribed an anti-seizure medication that destroyed my ability to read, much less write. I was devastated. At that time, physicians insisted I stay on the medication, promising the side effects would diminish with time. (They didn't and 6 years later we discovered the pharmaceutical company had been sued by the federal government for dishonest marketing practices and withholding the harmful side effects of the medication from doctors and patients.) During those six long years, I consistently decreased the dose of the anti-seizure medication but had the attention span of a gnat and suffered horribly with depression. I no longer was able to reason and I frequently told Al, "I don't even recognize myself anymore. I don't know what happened to me." A close friend is a professional artist and she encouraged me to try to learn to paint. I argued, "Yes, my handwriting is legible. I should paint." She kindly pushed further. "You're creative. You understand color theory. It is like music and writing. A lot is technique. You can do it." Nora's words connected; my years of training and education in music and writing had been filled with learning and teaching the proper technique in both of those arts. I was desperate for any expressive outlet as my world seemed to be closing in and getting smaller each day. I began to learn to paint. The late Corrie Ten Boom (author of The Hiding Place) once said, "When God closes a door. He opens a window." God used my dear friend, Nora, to open a window for me. The purpose of my blog, New Every Morning, is to help others find their window...to not give up when life seems hopeless. In my journey, I have discovered that God desires that we take each loss to Him and He replaces it with Himself. We exchange our loss for His abundance. I love to take what others would throw away and turn it into something beautiful and useful because that is what God does in our lives. As the Creator of the Universe, our Heavenly Father was the first to come up with the idea of "going green." What the world will often trash, He transforms into a new creation. He doesn't patch us up; He remakes us. He has remade me over and over again and continues to do it every day. "His mercies are truly new every morning. Great is His faithfulness" Lamentations 3:22,23