Categories
Celebrations Conversations

One Father’s Day Post Remarkably Limited by Brain Fog

Pssst, friend, do you have a second? I’m so glad you dropped by! I want to talk to you about something. It’s kind of personal, but I’m hoping for your insight and grace.

My issue

I’ve been experiencing remarkable brain fog. It is frustrating, maybe, but honestly my mind is too murky to feel the frustration. It’s a strange sort of apathy. I have thoughts and ideas which lack cohesion and disappear before I can take decisive action.

Do you know what I mean? Have you encountered this type of thing? I’m sharing mine for two reasons.

  1. An explanation. I have been trying to only write as God blesses me with clarity. Admittedly, my blogs have been fewer.
  2. A request. If you have endured brain fog and obtained insight on how to overcome it, I’d love to learn. What worked for you?

My ideas

I have a few ideas as to why this may be happening:

  1. Age. I’m at that middle-age stage where hormones (or decrease of them) wreak havoc. I know brain fog can be part of the deal.
  2. Altitude. I’ve recently moved from sea-level to 7000 feet. I returned, last month, for a week-long visit to the town from which I moved. I’ve noticed my brain fog has been especially thick since I’ve come back to high altitude.
  3. Spiritual Warfare. I feel like there are spiritual truths I’m not quite grasping. A train of thought starts chugging and gains momentum for an intriguing minute but then it fades before the end of the track. It could be that the enemy is using spiritual warfare to run interference.
  4. Exercise and Nutrition. I finished a metabolic reset about a month ago. It was a set menu and exercise regimen. The workouts would have been extreme for me at sea-level, but they were really hard without time for proper adjustment to the altitude. I told myself I would either end up in the best shape of my life or dead… but maybe I ended up foggy. The nutrition was excellent during that two weeks, but not sustainable for my lifestyle or budget, so it’s possible the inconsistency is affecting my mind.
  5. Covid. I had Covid at the beginning of the year. One of the symptoms I experienced was brain fog and it was similar to what I’m noticing now. I’ve heard that, for some people, it persists for months. This could be my plight.
  6. Answered prayer. Ever since I decided to make SEO Someone Else’s Obsession, I have asked God not to let me write anything that isn’t worthwhile. Maybe my ideas haven’t fit His definition of meaningful and He has simply hazed them over in my brain. If that is it, then I’m thankful for the answered prayer.

My apology

So this is where I offer an apology. I really wanted to write a post of encouragement and appreciation to dads in anticipation of Father’s Day. Maybe I still will. But so far, I haven’t been able to hold onto any of my ideas long enough get a post done.

I had a moment of clarity yesterday while I was out on the trail and wrote an entire article in my head. When I got home and tried to type it out, I lost it. Chalk up another point to brain fog.

My thanks

For now, I hope a simple THANK YOU will suffice. Dads have it rough in today’s world. I know, I know – we’re told they have privilege because they’re men and we’re pressured to lend our support elsewhere. I say, hogwash!

I think dads who do what it takes to protect and provide for their families deserve more respect and appreciation than we could possibly muster. This world is trying to steal the leadership role that God gave to fathers in their households. A Godly man must work tirelessly to simply stand his ground, not allowing a godless society to envelop his family. And then he has to go above and beyond to model and instill a legacy of lasting faith for the coming generations.

If you’re this kind of dad, wow! You deserve great honor. If you have this kind of dad, celebrate him – not just on Father’s Day, but especially then.

And that is all God has helped me to put together for now. Tell me, have you been limited by prolonged brain fog? What was the cause? How did you overcome it? Do you have any suggestions for me?

What can you tell me about your dad? Do you have a favorite memory with him? If you’d like to honor him in the comments, it would be my privilege to celebrate him with you this Father’s Day week.

Related post: 5 Things You’d Have to Endure from Me if I Were Like My Father

Categories
Reflections

How An Eerie Scene Provoked Me to Run and Keep Running

The cinematography was foreboding. It was essentially black and white. A stark contrast of light and shadows made me shiver as if I were standing in the mud beside the lake’s eerie, frosted shore.

I had been washing dishes when the movie on the living room TV caught my eye and drew me in. A man and a woman were in an isolated location, living in a cabin which seemed sparsely equipped for the cold. He appeared comfortable there. She did not.

Was he keeping her against her will? I wasn’t sure. He made her get in the frigid water and swim. Was he trying to acclimate her? Was she training for something? I didn’t know.

I watched for maybe 10 minutes before I turned back to my chores. The last eerie scene I saw had the two characters out running in the fog. The man was fit and proficiently able, but the woman was struggling and falling behind. Her respiration was labored, and easily identifiable because the icy air made it visible. He advised her “Don’t try to breathe to keep up with your feet. Find your breath and then set your pace by it.”

That one scene has played again and again in my head. I am a distance walker. I put hundreds of miles on my shoes and wear through them in months. But I struggle to run.

I have the fantastic excuse that I am often holding hands with people I love and enjoying their pace. (See related post: How Hand in Hand with My Girl Plunged Me Heart to Heart with My God.) I jog maybe once every two weeks. It is definitely not often enough for it to get easier.

The woman in the movie was not a runner, yet she settled into a sustainable rhythm when she heeded the advice to set it by her breath. It was a movie, I know. But I was curious. Could I prolong a pace if I used my breath as a guide?

Running shoes: How an eerie scene provoked me to run and keep running
Photo by Mikel Parera on Unsplash

I have always allowed my feet to lead. If I start out too quickly, I will be out of breath in mere minutes. I have learned to slow my pace at the beginning and work into a more robust stride. But my focus has always been on my feet and after a mile or so, I tire of running and settle down to a walk.

If you read Truth 4 of the Halloween Series last Sunday, you may remember that I jogged to my old neighborhood in search of some décor. I expected to run for the usual few blocks and walk the restt of the way, but I wanted to put this new idea to the test.

I walked about half a block, focusing on my breath and hearing its cadence. Then I started to run, my feet keeping time with my breathing. And you know what? I jogged the entire 3 miles! That is the furthest I’ve been able to run nonstop in a very long time.

If you’re a runner, talk to me. Is this something you have known about forever? How did you learn and how did I miss it until I was last-week-years-old?

If you’re not a runner, but would like to be, give this a try! I guess I have to add the caveat that you should always check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen and all of that. But if you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes for you!

I had it backwards. I was allowing my feet to lead when they should have been following. Are there other areas of my life where my cadence is being dictated by that which should be subordinate? I’m praying it all through with the Lord.

I’m thrilled to have a new strategy for exercise, but I suspect God has something deeper for me to learn. Once He gets it through my knuckle head, I’ll be sure to share it with you. Until then, what is God giving you to run with? Have you been impressed lately by any ideas, big or small?

“The drum to which we march reveals the conductor to whom we’re listening.”

Craig D. Lounsbrough
Categories
Reflections

How Hand In Hand With My Girl Plunged Me Heart To Heart With My God

Knock, knock, “Mima (pronounced like Meemaw), is it time for your lunch break? Can we go for a walk?” My granddaughter and I have been walking partners since she was born.

I checked my computer’s clock; 12:04pm. “It IS lunch time!” I was impressed with her instinct. “Go put your shoes on. I’ll get mine and meet you downstairs.” A few minutes later, we were out the door, hand in hand.

We were just past the corner when she started to complain. “Mima, my legs hurt, will you carry me?”

My eyes widened, “Oh gracious no! You’re much too big for that. If you don’t want to walk today, it’s okay. We can head back home.”

She shook her head, “No, I want to walk.” She returned her hand to mine.

We were headed to say “hello” to the goats, who were feeding in the open space between our neighborhood and the houses up the hill. We reached the trail that led beside their grazing grounds, and she started whining again. “Mima, my ankle hurts. I don’t think I can walk anymore.”

I thought for a second and decided, “It is still quickest to go back the way we came. Let’s turn around now.” She frowned. “No, I want to see the baby goats.” And she gave me her hand.

A child watching goats graze on the hillside
My granddaughter and the goats.

As we passed the tribe (did you know that is what they call a herd of goats?), she whimpered again. “Mima, please carry me. My pinky toe is squished, and it hurts really bad.”

By now we were past the half-way point in our loop and forging ahead was the best choice. But I had noticed that her shoes had been difficult to get on, and I feared she might really be getting a blister.

“Tell you what”, I bargained. “You can take your shoes off once we get off the trail and back onto the sidewalk in our neighborhood.”

She agreed. I held her hand and we started again, but a few yards further, she stopped. “I can’t walk, Mima, my toe REALLY hurts.”

I fell for it. I love that girl. I would have carried her piggy-back, but I slept funny on my shoulder last night. Instead, I held her like a baby – a big baby! – with her knees over one arm and her shoulders and head resting on my other. She giggled, put her hand over mine, and we continued on our way. I was getting an unexpected upper body workout!

“Mima, can’t you carry me like mommy carries my baby sister? You know, with my head on your shoulder?”

She was really too big for that, but a change in position sounded oh-so good. So down the hill I trekked, her head on my shoulder, my hands across her torso and her feet dangling near my knees.

“Good gracious, when did this child get so big?”

“Mima, I’m falling! Scoot me up!”

I mustered all the strength I had left, popped her way up and folded her waist over my shoulder like a sack of rice. She giggled and from upsidown, held my hand. I was so relieved when that sidewalk came into view! When we got there, I put her down and told her she could take off her shoes.

She quickly removed them, squeezed my hand, and skipped on ahead. As I trailed behind, marveling over how sore my arms were from a walk, my heart realized something…

What an amazing picture of what we do so often to God.

How do we do it?

We ask God for something and then complain incessantly about it. An example might be a:

  • Spouse
  • Job
  • Home
  • Car

or

We want God to provide certain experiences but then find fault and fail to enjoy them. These could be:

  • Vacations
  • Memberships
  • Friendships
  • Meals
Tent on a lake shore at sunset: hand in hand
Photo by Tobias Bju00f8rkli on Pexels.com

It is exactly what the Israelites did in Exodus. They had been slaves in Egypt and prayed to God to free them. He removed them from the grip of Pharaoh’s hand, but they found all kinds of reasons to whine.

As I thought about the ways people around the globe, all through the centuries, have grumbled against God and His hand of provision, I wanted to fall on my knees in awe. He has put up with so much! He gives us what we want, and we change our minds and complain. He carries us, but we gripe, wanting more and different.

We all have a hand in grumbling against God.

I do it. You do it. All of mankind, generation after generation has done it. And yet He loves us. He still cares for us. His heart is still for us.

And I thought my arms were tired? The pain I felt was absolutely nothing compared to what Jesus endured with nailed hands outstretched on the cross, body bleeding, lungs suffocating, heart breaking… all of that for the grumbling, whining, never-satisfied human race.

Wow. I jogged and caught up with my granddaughter. Oh, how I love that girl! One day, I’ll explain to her how a hand in hand walk with her plunged me into a heart to heart talk with God. But for today, I’ll just be grateful that He loves me so perfectly and I get to love her.