Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I called Jesse this morning to ask him to check into the side effects of the hip injection I received last week. I've had such a burst of energy the last few days, I thought that perhaps it was a steroid I received. Whenever I upped my prednisone usage, I always had a few days of ceaseless activity before my body adjusted to the new dosage. But he just called and said that this change is not due to the medicine, but suggested that maybe it's because I've had a break from the constant pain for the first time in years. This may sound odd, but I feel like myself again. I'm not the melancholy, self-absorbed person that illness has made me over the last few years. I feel energetic. I want to take care of my home and family. I'm smiling at people in the grocery store and even being friendly to the cranky checkout lady. I could have company drop by unexpectedly and it would be perfectly ok. I'm even feeling the urge to bake something. It's crazy; this person is someone I haven't had a glimpse of in so long I forgot who she was. My prayer before bed each night now is to wake up feeling this same way. I didn't realize the real impact constant pain has had on my personality until now. I told Jesse that I want to call the doctor and ask (insert Cockney child's voice) Please sir, may I have some more?

Isolation by Travis Thrasher is a haunting, frightening book about the malevolence of Satan, and at the same time a striking, life-affirming view of the power of God. James and Stephanie Miller are missionaries recently returned from the field of Papua New Guinea with their children 8-year-old Zachary and 4-year-old Hannah. Their faith has been deeply shaken by failures there, and they are looking for a way to reconnect with each other and God when the opportunity arises to spend time in a remote mansion in the mountains of North Carolina. But Stephanie is seeing visions of blood pouring down the walls, James doesn't believe her, and Zachary has some secrets of his own. This book made me turn on every light in the house, and I didn't dare go to sleep until my husband came home. Stephanie's visions and the chapters in the mind of the villain are startling and jarring. Thrasher never crosses the line between frightening and titillating the reader, keeping the adrenaline level high. Stephanie and James have grown apart in their marriage and instead of talking to and confiding in each other, they rely on themselves, which allows Satan to trick both of them. The revelation at the end about the glory of God is wonderfully done giving insight not only into the story but as to why suffering exists in the world. This is Thrasher's best work to date.

Have you been watching American Idol? I'm rooting for David Cook. I called in and voted as often as I could for him last night. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him.