Dealing with Small Things that Drain Your Energy: Ask Madeleine

Love this and not just because of the boating illustration – it is so true of leaders.

Blanchard LeaderChat

Propeller with barnaclesLast week, I responded to a question about putting up with way too much. I introduced the idea of tolerations, those small, seemingly inconsequential things that drain your energy. They have a way of accumulating like barnacles on a ship—a few aren’t a problem, but layers and layers over the years take a toll on a vessel’s speed and performance. Even well-adjusted, extremely successful people have tolerations, often quite a few. Why? We accrue tolerations for the following reasons:

We want to keep up a good attitude. We don’t recognize that we have them or how much they are bothering us. To admit we are tolerating a lot may feel like whining or complaining. Dwelling on tolerations and complaining about them without taking action would be negative. To tell the truth about what’s bugging you is not complaining, it is exposing your legitimate gripes to harsh light, and creating…

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Eleven Days Too Long

Brenda has spent the past elIMG_9037even days in hospital. We are certainly glad to have her back home now. She went in to have a tube put into her body cavity so they could drain the build up of pleural fluid present there. This unfortunately was followed by a partial lung collapse, a change of hospital and then into lung surgery and recovery.

So in the midst of this stress filled whirlwind our dear friends J John and Killy sent us a song that Dan Pringle had written and wanted it passed along to Brenda. Dan is an accomplished songwriter and producer from Australia. He and his wife Leah Haywood run “Dreamlab” and hang around with award winning artists like Celine Dion, Miley Cirus, Lady Gaga and many more. Now he has really helped Brenda Pue by sending her a song that touched us deeply. <Big Smile>

Now in my years of ministry I usually cringe when someone said they have a song the Lord gave them for me – they often did not give me much hope for the heavenly choir if that is how they were going to sound. LOL However this song was different. It was a message from God for Brenda and right when needed.

Brenda received permission from Dan to post the song so here it is on her Caring Bridge blog tonight.

If you are sometimes feeling tired, exhausted, frustrated and wondering if you can go on – you need to listen to this.

Thanks J and thanks Dan

Carson

Back in the Bunker: A Lesson in Courage

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In the lowest level of the Cancer Agency is an area I refer to as ‘The Bunker’ because of its nuclear warning signs everywhere and the thickness of the concrete doors. There is a quietness down here unlike the rest of the hospital. Silence because of the soundproofing of the construction and silence because it is a sad environment for the patients there.

It still freaks me out a little, and we have seen allot this year. Fourteen months ago they “took a chance” on Brenda with whole brain radiation – right here. I remember being told before the treatment, “You need to understand some people do not make it through the treatment.” That get’s your attention.

‘The Bunker’ is one place where I actually like to have someone with me waiting for Brenda. My daughters and sons came last year for they understood it is too easy for Dad to get discouraged when alone here. Half-joking I referred to it then as being like a scene from “The Walking Dead.” There are so many patients who are receiving radiation as a paliative treatment to help them with pain and they look like they are near the end of their journey.

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Image by AMC Cable Network

So what is my wife doing here? She doesn’t fit in with this crowd. In fact she stands out. All the staff love her – you can see it in their faces and by how they interact with her. Peace and joy radiate from her because of our faith and the prayers of thousands who support her.

Brenda is not always steadfast and brave. We both have our moments. Last night she reached out to her little prayer circle because she said she was losing her nerve. We prayed, they prayed and today went well. Many do not know this, but my wife is from a card carrying Albertan ‘cowboy’ family. Often I see the cowgirl in her. Like a cute little Canadian version of John Wayne in a dress, Brenda would echo, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”

So here we are again in ‘The Bunker’ getting Brenda measured for a CT guided radiation treatment that starts Monday on the primary tumour in her lung. Technology today allows them to do this with a precision unknown even five years ago. Her tumour is of a size now where this radiation treatment is possible and her new oncologist wants us to “kill that thing” to relieve pain and continue extending her days. After the lung is zapped, the radiation oncologist mentioned wanting to “have a go” at the cancer in her back bones. This is all good news and provides hope and that sense of life and living another day.

Being in ‘The Bunker’ does something for me.  The protective concrete environment here reminds me that cancer cannot silence Brenda’s courage. It cannot cripple our love for one another. It cannot break our family apart – we were prepared for such a challenge. Cancer cannot destroy friendship – in fact our friendships with others are growing deeper. Cancer cannot shatter the hope we have in God’s love, mercy and grace and we will not allow it to conquer our spirit in all of this.

So it is time to hunker down – apply ourselves seriously to the task – and hit ‘The Bunker.’

Prayers gratefully accepted. – Carson