If you know me personally, or have simply read the About Dene page on the Flight Paths blog, you know that I have vision issues. God has been gracious to me, allowing a very long reprieve as these issues have progressed. As always, my prayers have been, "Thy will be done," so if He chooses to end this reprieve I can only thank Him for the extra time He has given me to teach and write, when I have been told that I should not have been able to see past the age of twenty, and, "This usually lasts 3 to 5 years" fifteen years ago. Things are beginning to change. I am praying that these "things" are inconsequential as they have been for so long, but when your doctor says, "You are no longer stable—you are worsening," they might have more meaning than one would wish.
That means I have new motivation to teach and write. I am now working harder on a new lesson series after having several ask me to have it printed. The Teacher's Manual is in progress and I am hoping for everything to be ready to go to print next summer. And now that Covid is also slowing down and things are getting back to normal, I actually have speaking engagements on my calendar. As to that…
If you have ever considered it, let me encourage you, due to my doctor's warning, to stop putting it off. Nothing thrills me more than to meet the people who read my blog and others who just love to learn about the Word of God. There are so many hungering for deeper study and meditation. But let me quickly talk about some of the questions you may have.
It doesn't matter how many. I have spoken to as few as 9 or 10 or as many as 300 women.
It doesn't matter where we do it. I have spoken in college auditoriums and in church auditoriums. I have spoken in lodges and in Bible class rooms. I have spoken in hotel ballrooms and even in a rented monastery. One of the church "auditoriums" I spoke in was actually the family room of a house the church was then meeting in. I will emulate Lydia and meet by the river if we need to.
It needn't be elaborate. Sometimes it is an overnight affair in a hotel. Sometimes it is a morning of two or three sessions followed by a potluck put on by the class members. Sometimes we all go out to a local restaurant afterward and enjoy a Dutch treat lunch together. More than once I have shaken everyone's hand as they left and that was that. See? Anything goes with these things. As long as I get to teach I am happy.
You do not have to scour the landscape looking for other speakers. Several times I have done the whole day all by myself, as many as three sessions with 10 minute breaks in between. And I now have a daughter-in-law, a professor, who has begun doing these things as well. We laughed and said we could do a whole day together and bill ourselves as "Ward Women for the Word!"
Timing is not that much of an issue. One time I taught all Saturday morning in one place, then got in the car and taught all Sunday afternoon 200 miles south of there. I am very flexible and we can work things out.
You do not have to come up with elaborate themes unless you want to. I can certainly do a requested topic, but I also have twenty+ years' worth of speeches I can sift through and give you choices from. Or you can just trust me to know what is needed everywhere, because believe me, people are all the same—except maybe whether or not they like sweet tea or grits.
And it doesn't matter if I have been there before. I have been to several areas more than once.
If you have other questions, please put them in the comments section. I am sure someone else has the same questions. And remember, I have no idea how much time I may have. My eyes are already "living on borrowed time," and I want to help as many as possible before it is too late. And let's make this the lesson for the day—none of us knows what changes tomorrow may bring to our lives, and none of us knows how much time we have left. Act today as if you knew there would be no tomorrow, because there might not be.
Thank you all for your support and the kind messages and comments you often send. Meanwhile I am praying harder for this notice to have been totally unnecessary. On the other hand, if I get to meet more of you wonderful sisters sooner, well, maybe it was worth writing.
I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my [eyes may] be soon… (2Pet 1:13-14).