Tag Archives: Blindness

This is the greatest need for a Mom

8 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

May 7, 2021

Reblogged May 8, 2021

While I folded laundry, Joe, my four-year-old son, and his friend played with Lego’s on the family room floor.

“My mom has eyes at the ends of her fingertips,” Joe said to his friend.

I chuckled at first, but then marveled at his insight. He was absolutely right. After losing my sight, I used my hands to feel my surroundings, find items in the kitchen, sort the family’s clothing and pick up toys from the floor.

Seeing the world through my fingertips.

In reality, my whole world became “seen” by my fingertips. When I touched something, the image was immediately transmitted to my brain, allowing me to see with my mind. Eventually, I learned to use my other senses so I could still be a mommy to my little ones.

Although I managed the chores, the idea of living the rest of my life without sight kept me awake at night. And during the day, my muscles tensed each time I tested and noticed my diminishing side vision. At first, it narrowed to the size of a keyhole. I pleaded and begged God to allow that vision, though small, to remain so I could still see their smiles.

Some afternoons, while my youngest son napped, I’d stare at his features, attempting to memorize every detail—his long eyelashes against his chubby olive cheeks. His curly hair that framed his round face.

With tears blurring my diminishing vision, I engraved those images in my aching heart. Uncertain of the length of time I’d have that tiny amount of sight, the rope of anxiety and worry choked me.

There was no hope.

And ophthalmologists dug more anxiety as they offered no hope. One told us to wait for the inevitable. And he was right. A few months later, my retina stopped working and my vision closed in completely.

I was horrified.

The gray nothing before my eyes shoved me into a dark prison. “Why me, Lord!” I cried out.

After weeks and weeks of sobbing and asking and begging, God wasn’t silent like I imagined. His answers came gently tucked in verses of the Bible.

I listened to them with my heart. After I put my three sons to bed, I put on my headphones. My heart delighted in God’s promises. My soul drank His comfort. And my mind embraced His teachings.

He taught me the correct order of priorities. I realized my sons needed me more than I needed my sight.

What I really needed…

That’s when I recognized what I desperately needed was to trust not in my own abilities, but in God’s ability to provide the guidance and help I needed.

And one by one He did just that. Armed with a new attitude, a greater trust in Him, and a deeper faith, I rolled up my sleeves and took on the task to care for my 4-, 6- and 8-year-old sons.

And that care took energy as they were healthy and active. With each of their moves, my ears became tuned to their every sound, alerting me to their constant antics or whimpers of pain.

Within that busy schedule, learning Braille dropped to the bottom of my list of priorities. Unable to see, the daily tasks of running the house took twice as long to finish and left me drained.

Although exhausted, I still found creative ways to get things done. I swept and mopped the kitchen floor barefoot. This way, my feet picked up any crumbs or sticky spots I’d missed.

My memory also developed. I memorized lists of phone numbers. I needed them so I could call other moms for rides, for updates in school activities.

That sharper memory also helped me to find the location of items in the pantry. When hubby brought groceries home, I wrapped rubber bands around certain cans. I placed boxes of cereal, cake mix, etc. in specific places on the shelves.

My taste buds and sense of smell also became more acute as I invented my own recipes.

One day, as I stirred spaghetti sauce on the stove, I sensed a chocolate aroma near me. “Come here young man,” I ordered my six-year-old. “What are you eating?”

“Nothing,” he said, his voice muffled, no doubt trying to hide something.

I drew closer as the smell of chocolate wafted even stronger. I held out my hand. “Give me those M&Ms. It’s dinner time.”

They soon learned Mom was still in control. Often, I wondered if they truly knew I saw nothing. But I knew what my heart saw—a lesson my sons would learn from their mom who couldn’t see. I’d teach them with my attitude, a sense of humor and most of all, trust, complete trust in God to show me what to do.

With your permission, I will now switch from my story to you. 

You may not be encountering physical blindness, but you may possibly be blinded by the world’s standards. Or by the culture’s message that repeat we need to be great moms, cool in every way, strive for perfection and do anything so our kids lack nothing. Lies, all lies from the enemy. He wants to steal your peace and pour anxiety into your days.

On the other hand, God longs to pour reassurance and confidence. They arrive when, in the midst of the turmoil, we invite God to be our divine partner.

We don’t need more pressure or more posts on social media. A Mom’s greatest need is to partner with God. Through the eyes of His love, He watches our every move, He knows our deepest secrets. He’s familiar with our ways. He sees the guilt that nags, the flaws we try to hide, the mistakes that steal our joy. He even knows the insecurities that echo in the silence of night.

He knows it all, Yet, when morning comes, we pour a cup of stress and head on our way. That’s when fear visits. We fear we don’t measure up. We fear we’re not doing enough. And sometimes, we fear we’re inadequate moms.

But God, our Divine Partner says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

We don’t have to fear. He’s with us when we doubt. He lifts us when we fall. And He holds us when we fail.

Let’s Pray

Father, Thank You for granting me the confidence I need to be a Mom, secure because You are with me. In Jesus’ name I thank you.

What is your greatest need as a Mom?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

If you enjoyed these moments of inspiration, consider supporting JC Empowerment Ministries. We keep going, keep inspiring and keep bringing Jesus light into the darkness only through your cheerful tax-deductible giving. It’s simple. Just hop over to this LINK. https://janetperezeckles.com/about/non-profit-tax-exempt-authorization-letter

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Does God use animals to speak to us?

30 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Reblogged March 30, 2019

He sure does. Animals played a big part in many events in the Bible. At one time, they tempted. In others, they brought destruction. In some, they brought a message of hope, or forced redirection, spoke warnings and even brought answers.

Here’s a modern-day story about my friend Patti.

Daddy entered my room, smiled, and lifted a shining saddle in the air. “Do you like it?”

He knew a gift for my four-legged friend, Scout, delighted my 10-year-old heart.

I giggled as he bounced the empty saddle on the bed, mimicking a bucking horse.

“Scout will love this,” I said to myself as I carried the treasure the next day.

I entered the barn and found Scout in the back stall, hiding in a shadowed corner. As soon as I drew close, I quickened my steps. The soft dirt pressed under my feet. And the smell of wet hay filled the barn.

But eagerness filled my heart.

“Hey boy,” I said, “look what I have for you!” I swung the saddle up and positioned it on his back. I took a step back and observed his reaction. His wiry legs seemed stronger. He held his head higher and turned from side to side with pride. The colors of the saddle accented his shiny, dark brown hide.

No longer a scrawny, skinny, and scared horse; he was now a strong, radiant warrior ready to defend and conquer in any battle.

And soon, Scout became my warrior, defender, and my confidant. Together we rode over and over across familiar paths. He grew to know me better than I knew myself.

And as we bonded, the passing years faded some of the radiance of that new saddle, but our relationship continued to smooth and deepen just like its beautiful leather. Even at seventeen, I shared my fears and joy only with Scout. No one else listened as he did.

He proved that one afternoon.

Scout grazed peacefully, sun rays stroked his hide and a soft breeze lifted his mane, What a profound contrast to my world. It shook violently in a whirlwind of emotions. The ophthalmologist announced, “There is no cure for this retinal disease.”

I sank in the chair, hoping he would offer some words of hope, but he followed his diagnosis with more dark news instead. “I’m afraid it will eventually take her sight. It’s only a matter of time.” He spoke to Daddy while I listened in horror.

We rode home in silence. Daddy offered his loving comments, but this time none of them drew a smile from me.

Instead, each passing day brought painful evidence of my diminishing peripheral vision. The retinal condition dimmed the light around me and darkened my world.

As my eyesight diminished, so did my desire to enjoy the activities I had loved before.

“Do you need any help picking out your clothes?” Daddy asked in a soft voice one day.

“No, I can do it myself!” I shouted back, unfairly venting my frustration at him. After he quietly walked out, I threw my clothes down, flung myself on the bed, and sobbed. I could no longer distinguish colors or shapes. Coordinating my clothes, a task I used to perform with ease, was now impossible.

“Anytime you need to go anywhere, just let us know,” friends offered. “You know we’re here for you.”

In spite of their support, no one knew the turmoil that shook inside.

But in the midst of that storm, I shared my fear, anguish, and frustration with Scout. When I cried into his neck, he nickered softly and nuzzled my shoulder with his velvet nose.

I sensed his tenderness when I offered up my deepest pain and desperate longing as my life sank into a dark tunnel. I’ll be here for you. I’ll be your eyes, he seemed to say.

Scout was protective of his sightless rider as he galloped more cautiously. Unable to direct his path, I couldn’t guide him around dangerous obstacles. But I trusted him. And he proved more than capable, not only at carrying me around physical dangers, but also at easing me through my sadness.

His protective nature emerged against anyone or anything that threatened to harm me. No one else seemed to know how to take away the sting of living a sightless life.

With each ride he gave me joy, helping me forget my heart’s burdens for a while.

When my friends made plans to see a movie, they added, “You can go too if you want.”

“No, that’s okay, I’ll just go home,” I said.

Holding back hot tears, I made my way across the grass, following the sounds coming from the barn. With careful steps, I found the stall where my loyal friend waited and hugged his muscular neck, feeling the warmth of his body.

Scout stood still, listening to my sobbing whispers.

He understood more than just my words. With a long sigh, I stroked his face with palms wet from my tears. He seemed to cry with me, You’re not alone, I’m hurting, too.

He listened until the time I left for college. Daddy parked the car alongside the fence so Scout could put his head through the car window beside me. As I hugged his neck, our tears mingled once again. We didn’t need words. Like the beautiful saddle I had once placed on his scrawny back, he placed a shining glow of compassion and love on my broken world. Our hearts were forever braided together in a rope of unconditional love. He became my eyes, allowing me to see what sighted people could not. Even when I was unable to express my darkest feelings, he read my heart, sensed my pain, and now, he seemed to cry my tears.

Let’s Pray

From Janet: God’s comfort comes in many forms—through His Word, through friends and often He uses His creation to speak to our aching heart, our lonely moments and soothes our sadness with quiet comfort.

Father, thank You for Your love so intense that You would use all forms to dry our tears.

Will you be open to what God might use to turn your sadness into a smile?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

 

Source: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/does-god-use-animals-to-speak-to-us.html

 

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

The Secret to Success

29 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

When someone asks you the question What is the secret to success? What do you say?

When I was 11 years old and lived in my native country of Bolivia, we did a strange thing when the weather changed.

“It’s starting to rain!” someone would call out. Then all of us dashed around grabbing old pots, cans and any containers we could find. One by one, we placed them under each spot of our leaky roof.

That was a routine for us. We accepted it. And even thought it normal when electricity and water shut off right at noon.

You can read the rest of The Secret to Success: on Janet’s website: http://www.janetperezeckles.com/the-secret-to-success/#sthash.nTdW4pku.dpuf

 

His Way

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Aunt Allie’s Blindness

10 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistI met Great Aunt Allie when I was twelve years old. My granddad and grandmother took me to Illinois to meet some of my kin. I enjoyed my second and third cousins and had a wonderful time, but I’ll never forget meeting Allie, my great grandmother’s sister. She was the first blind person I’d ever met. She was sitting down when they introduced us, and she asked if she could feel my face. I thought then, and have always thought, it would tell her about my appearance. Recently, though I’ve talked with Janet Eckles about it and she says, no, it doesn’t tell much. But now that I know more about Allie, I think she just wanted to touch her great-grand niece.

The Illinois families had always been farmers. They lived harsh lives, and I think they must have kept a thin layer of armor around their hearts so they wouldn’t be hurt beyond bearing. I don’t remember any hugging from any of my people.

That’s one reason the next story is so sad, though it goes back in time to when I was a newborn. Apparently, the meeting in Illinois wasn’t our first. Allie traveled to Colorado around the time I was born. My mother tells the story with much regret. Seems in those days the medical community decreed that if you held babies unnecessarily you spoiled them. Unnecessarily was any time when you weren’t feeding them or tending to their needs in some other way. My mother followed doctors’ orders and did not allow Allie to hold me. But Allie wasn’t easily discouraged. She stood by my Bathinette while Mother bathed me, and rocked it with her knee as she sang, “Rock-a-bye Baby.”

The last story isn’t about me, but it’s the best one. Allie and all my female relatives, in Illinois, were quilters. Allie managed to live alone, but I’m sure she received help from her family. Anyhow, she had her quilting frame set up in her living room and she’d piece together scraps of material into warm coverlets and give them away. It’s amazing that she could do that. She didn’t have anyone in the house to thread her needles so every morning she took several to a corner on the tiny Main Street and waited for someone to come by. Many times, it turned out to be the town judge. She had known him since he was a boy. She probably gave him lots of fresh fruit pies when was growing up. When the judge threaded the needles, he was showing his respect for Allie in the way it was most needed.

What is the point of these stories? Whatever you like. Maybe it will encourage you to tell some of your own family stories. Believe me; someone will appreciate them if you do. I’d like to read them myself. And they make terrific grist for a writer’s mill.

Whisper to My Soul

1 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

“Now what Lord?” I asked when, at thirty-one, I lost my sight to an incurable retinal disease. Initially, I sunk into a dark well of self-pity. And as bitterness and anger dribbled into my soul, the murky water of defeat threatened to drown me.

But years later, when Jesus tapped my heart, He opened my eyes to see beyond my physical darkness. I learned to operate a computer equipped with a voice synthesizer. And my fingers began to dance on the keyboard stringing words of triumph and hope.

But the journey was spotted with chuckholes and hurdles. The biggest bump was how to creatively turn the feelings in my heart into words that would touch my readers.

Then one day, I sat with a heart full of insights and ideas, but my fingers froze. Then, I leaned back and said, “Lord, whisper wisdom into my soul, order into my mind and diligence into my skill.”

When He answered, I widened my spiritual eyes to see that it wasn’t me who worked those phrases together, but it was Him who directed my writing, my inspirations and my stories.

His Word became my spiritual white cane guiding me through my writing journey. Now when I sit before my computer, I take a deep breath and say, “Thank you Lord, that your instructions seep into my soul; then they spill onto my keyboard.”

It’s rewarding for me to say, “I wrote this.” But it’s enlightening to assert, “I heard His whisper.”

His Way

Janet Perez Eckles,

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you.

Does He Really Care About Details

8 Feb

Got a story to tell you. It happened not long ago.I was busy putting the finishing touches to a story. Earlier I had facilitated a session on managing stress to colleagues across the country. Still at my computer, I paused when hubby walked into the room and said, “Just to remind you, we need to be leaving in about one and a half hours.”

Ah! I perked up. The black and white gala we were to attend held promises of great food, good company, and a fun time for us.

As I always do, I work until the very last minute. Then, I jump to my feet, hop in the shower, and get ready all in fast motion. But this time, after I washed my hair, I paused and the thought that this was a formal event struck me. My closet is jammed with lots of formal dresses in every color of the rainbow…but, I don’t have a long black one.

Gulp. I just finished giving all kinds of suggestions, guidelines, and hints on how to control and efficiently manage stress. And now my own stress test came to visit.

I took a deep breath, and said, “Lord, I can’t wait to see how you’ll resolve this one. But I just know You will.”

“Honey,” I said to hubby, “In the 32-years of marriage, I’ve never done this. But…I just realized the dress I have ready for tonight is short and I need a long formal.”

I wish I could have seen his expression that accompanied the long pause of silence. “I was going to take a quick nap,” he said, “and get ready. But, no problem,” tenderness marked his words. “Let’s go to the mall; we’ll find you a dress.”

Now, ladies, would you agree that was the ultimate understanding on his part? I sure did. Though I’ve never seen him lose his temper with me, this would have been a justified moment.

“Thanks.” I said sheepishly. I grabbed my make-up (I can put it on in the car to save time). Then wet hair and all we rushed to the car. We had a little over an hour to head to the mall, park, shop, try a dress on, pay for it, rush back, and get ready for our formal event. Crazy, isn’t it?

But my hubby’s disposition remained calm, sweet, and light-hearted. I turned to him, “Honey, thanks for being so understanding.”

He squeezed my hand, “That’s part of my present to you.”

Once in the parking lot, we drove and drove around to find a parking place. The whole world must have decided to shop that afternoon. Finally, he pulls in a spot, we dart out of the car, dash across, and holding on to his hand, we zig zag between cars. Once inside, a loud hum of conversation (shoppers conversing) filled the store. “Let’s go to the petite section,” I blurted.

Dodging people, hubby spots a salesclerk. Once we tell her what we’re looking for, she leads us to the section with long dresses. “Here’s a black one.” She places it in my hand. The size was one bigger than the one I wear. But at that point who cared.

“Do me a favor,” I said leaning toward her voice. “I’m blind. So, would you mind showing me to the fitting room?”

“Sure, come with me.” She loops my hand around her arm and we rush to the fitting room. But we had to stand and wait and wait some more…all the fitting rooms were taken. “I’ll stay with you,” she said.

At this point I was just exploding with gratitude for this one-of-a-kind employee. I asked her name.

“Carmen,” she said.

“Can I tell you that you’re just an angel God sent to me today?” I whispered. She chuckled.

While we waited for the fitting room, I had already made up my mind that no matter how it fit, I was going home with that long black dress. Carmen helped me put it on, and though it felt loose, I shrugged my shoulders. “It fits just fine, I’ll take it.”

“No,” she argued. “Your husband has to approve it.”

“Holding my hand, she led me to where he stood. “Looks fine,” he said.

She helped me back inside. And here’s where I knew God’s hand was taking care of the most minor details. Carmen says, I’ll take the dress, follow me.” She led us directly to the cash register, bypassing the long lines at all seven or eight registers. We paid (it was on sale–half price) in minutes and we were heading home.

Hubby took a brief nap; we got ready and arrived at our event on time. Once in the fancy hotel, we entered the elegant dining room. The cold air-conditioning struck my arms with the same force as a thought: I had so often read, and read again the words David gushed:

“O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me…You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life” (Psalm 139:1-4 and 13-16).”

He did! He really did from the very beginning form every detail of my very being. And He never stopped, even now, He  knows the intricacies of my thoughts, my apprehension, my silly mistakes, and the moments I fail…but He also knows the solutions for all areas of our life—minor and major ones . And yes, even how to lead us to the right dress to wear and the precise person with a kind heart to help us out.

If you’re facing a moment of sadness, disappointment, though minor for most, but huge for you…He does care, He does see, and He does bring answers.

Give it all to Him. He can not only save lives, move mountains, and calm seas, but also cares about bringing solutions for those minor details that trickle into our day.

His Way

Janet Perez Eckles,

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you.

How to Give Great Radio Interviews

18 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

I admit it. Sometimes I open the door to the bedroom of my heart during radio or TV interviews.

“During media interviews, candor and passion are the blend that will engage listeners.” That was the advice I received a long time ago.

“You’re my role model,” a gracious radio hostess said as she interviewed me some years back. “I read your book, know your story and I think about you and your situation just about every day.”

How nice to make such an impact, right? Not really.

She thought of me when she went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and tripped over stuff on the floor.

How do you cope through life,” she said, “you know… unable to see and living in darkness all the time?”

“Hmm…God’s grace, no doubt” I said.

I did tell her that in the morning I make sure thoughts of gratitude fill my head. Actually, I thank the Lord for all what-if’s in my life—what if I weren’t able to hear? Thank you, Lord for allowing me to hear. What if I weren’t able to walk? Thank you, Lord for giving me legs. And I thank Him for going before me to solve the challenges of the day.

It’s a daily thing because I found gratitude is to joy like water is to plants. Gratitude allows the joy in us to live, thrive and grow.

When those ol’ boo-hoo’s try to come in, I say to myself, “C’mon, chica, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’” (Philippians 4:5-7).

Father, keep me humble, focused, and keep me grateful. I do receive your peace to guard against negative emotions from my heart, and from destructive thoughts in my mind so I may appreciate what I have rather than lament what I lack. In Jesus’ name I ask.

  • — What were the first thoughts that filled your mind this morning?
  • — Remembering all the good in your life, can you fill out this sentence: “I’m grateful because what if__________________.
  • — What happens when you focus on the blessings you have?

Legacy

Janet Perez Eckles,
Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…
My website in English
En Español

Taste and See That the Lord is Good

11 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

How do you explain blindness to a two-year old?

Sunday after church hubby and I stopped at a local restaurant. And as always, we ran into friends.

And as we exchanged comments, I heard a little giggle. “Hi Reagan!” I said looking in the direction of my friend’s two-year old little girl. “Did you like your visit to Cypress Gardens?”

She didn’t answer.

“Honey.” Her mommy said. “Mrs Eckles, can’t see. You have to say ‘yes’ out loud, not just nod your head.”

We chuckled.

“Close your eyes.” Her mom said. “That’s what Mrs. Eckles sees.”

We continued our visit, her mom and I chatting about silly stuff for several minutes. Then suddenly Reagan’s mom paused. “I’m sorry Reagan, you can open your eyes now. And go ahead and eat your food.”

We hadn’t realized during the whole time we were talking, she still had them closed.

I’ve done that too. When I faced tough times, the sting of setbacks, or the jolt of disappointment forced the eyes of my heart to close. And when in the darkness of my pain, I missed the banquet set before me.

I waded in the pool of self-pity. Then soaked with discouragement, sat in the hard chair of gloom. Refusing to open my eyes, I reasoned I was justified to sulk and pout.

Even worse, when God’s Word echoed in my heart, the rehashing of negative details of the circumstance drowned his message.

Yes, it’s ugly and smelly to be in that spot. No doubt, God’s patience was tested with me. How often He must have whispered, “Open those eyes and check out the banquet of blessings I placed before you. But my stubborn heart refused to open.

Those episodes come in all sizes and often unexpected. As a writer, rejection of my work stings. And my discouragement quickly closes my eyes. Then sadly, I become blind to the encouraging notes that fill my in-box when my words elicit positive reactions.

And when those times hit me hard and long, the popular saying, ‘get over it’ rings true. Just how long could I keep my eyes shut to his truth. And refuse to see the treasures within trials and the blessings that often follow burdens.

As a blind friend, I invite you to take a look, move beyond that setback, disappointment, or discouraging comment. If not, you’ll miss the bouquet of blessings, fragrant with His love, and sweetened by His compassion.

Unlike Reagan, don’t wait for someone to tell you to open your eyes. Instead, relish in the banquet the Lord has before you, and “Taste and see that the LORD is good…” Because when facing tough times, “… blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”

(Psalm 34:8)8

Legacy

Janet Perez Eckles,

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you.

What fills your heart today—confidence or fear?

14 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Fear

Admit it. We all do crazy things. Bizarre things, really.

I’m sharing mine. A while back, I attended a conference. A friend jokingly asked, “Do you want to drive?

“Yes,” I said with a grin.

“Are you sure?”

“No,” I said, “the question is: are YOU sure you want me to drive your car?”

“Why not,”.

I slipped behind the wheel. “Okay, here we go.” I turned the key to the ignition, and changed gears as she gave me verbal instructions.

Being completely blind, driving a car had remained but a dream. But not anymore.

There I was, gripping  the steering wheel, feeling a bit in control, I listened to my friend. “Keep it straight now, a little to the left, now to the

Right just a bit, not much.”

Oh what Fun! Maybe you’re thinking, “How foolish.”  Perhaps I agree or perhaps not.

The reason I was able to drive her car was because she was with me sitting on the passenger’s seat. I trusted in her ability to give me instructions. I trusted in her direction and her wisdom to tell me what to do, where to turn and when to slow down.

Sometimes we’re all blind in one way or another. We take the steering wheel of life and head forward. Thinking we’re in control, bumps of adversity  catch us off guard. Then when the road gets really rough, fear  robs our confidence.

Conversely, we have the confidence to do anything at all if we know God is by our side.  We’re certain He’s guiding us,  pointing to the next spot in His plans. Reminding of His purpose for our lives. Repeating that He goes before us. Whispering He will guide us over bumps. Talking us through the dangerous curves and reassuring that He will not let us crash.

How about you? Instead of taking the wheel and pressing the gas of human wisdom, are you  listening to His divine directions? He might be asking you to slow down, to keep it straight, to take a detour. To make a sharp U-turn. Or even stop and pause to breathe in His Word.

Breathe in because “…God has said, “never will I leave you…never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.”(Hebrews 13:5-6).

What fills your heart today—confidence or fear?

The Roses

13 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Onisha

Some of you might think the idea of allowing a legally blind man who also has early Alzheimer’s to give you driving directions might be a bad idea, and you would be right but last Thursday it turned out to be a wonderful.

My aunt had to have surgery and we were staying with my uncle Paul who is my mother’s brother. The day after her surgery, Paul insisted that on the way to the hospital we stop at the town florist to get a nice bouquet of flowers.  This sounds simple but we had no idea where the florist was located. “Can you tell us how to get there?” we asked.  “Sure I can” he replied, so taking him at his word we set out.

We knew how to get to the hospital but once we turned off the main highway we had no idea where we were. Sitting in the back seat I sent up a quick prayer. “Lord, we are taking directions from an almost blind man whose mind isn’t always clear. This doesn’t seem real smart but he really wants to do this so I am trusting you.”

As my husband drove I searched the sides of the street for florist signs. Every time I saw one, I asked, “is that it uncle Paul? “I was so sure he wouldn’t be able to see it but every time he said no, that’s not it. Finally he spied the florist and gave my husband directions how to get to it. Uncle Paul was very tired and out of breath that morning and it was quite an ordeal for him to get out of the car and into the store. As we slowly walked in, a sweet sales lady approached us and mouthed, “Is that Mr H?”  “It is “I replied. She gave me an understanding smile and explained to my uncle that she was a friend of his son. When my uncle explained that he wanted some nice flowers for his wife who was in the hospital, she led him to the cooler and told him if he didn’t see anything he liked she would make something for him right then. Uncle couldn’t really see the flowers so he chose roses.

Making it to the florist and being treated with such kindness would have made it a great morning but God is into abundance. Leaving the florist parking lot uncle Paul instructed my husband to not go back the way we came but to go on through town. Well, Lord, I thought we made it to the florist, I guess we will make it to the hospital. We hadn’t gone a mile when uncle Paul told Mike to turn and Mike missed it. We began looking for a place to turn around then uncle Paul said just keep going straight, we can make this work. We were driving through the countryside when he casually pointed to the right and said that is one of the places papa farmed. Swiveling my head to look, I asked “did he farm it when you lived at home?” Yes, he said, “all we young’uns worked the farm.”

My parents were raised in North Carolina but I was raised in Florida. When I was a child they had driven me around the small farming community where my mother grew up, but being a child I just didn’t pay that much attention. Since she died, I had a hungering in my heart to revisit those places. The farms were mostly gone, replaced with housing developments but my imagination could picture her there, running through fields barefoot and up to mischief.

We made it to the hospital with no problem and my uncle proudly carried the vase of roses on his lap and we wheeled him into the hospital room. He had no idea; God had used him to deliver one of my heart’s desires.

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