Wouldn’t it be nice to have the innocence of a child?

I don’t know about you but these last few weeks have been a burden. I have felt weighed down in a way I can’t remember ever feeling before. Enough of Covid19 “Shelter in Place”. Can I please go out and hug someone? If that isn’t enough, let’s add the darkness of our world where people are being killed in a prejudicial way. Being quick to act out instead of being compassionate with a desire to understand. I am weighed down because I know I need to take on what I wrote last week. I need to journey w others in a SUV where I STUDY and Learn, wanting to UNDERSTAND others better, while making myself VULNERABLE so I can be willing to have others speak into my life. I hope you will too. If we do, we can do our part to make the world a better place. We can’t go back to being a child but we can still learn from one ?

After seeing this and hearing Glenn Lundy talk about it and then listening to John O’Leary talk about his new book “In Awe” on www.thebrianbuffinishow.com, I decided to use the context taught to make my own list. I hope it will be helpful to you.
  1. Share everything  2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ….God loves a cheerful giver
  2. Play fair and don’t beat people down “If you want to keep from keeping people down, always look up.”  Serving others will bring you a humble spirit

2a)   Everyone deserves a chance to win Philippians 2:4 “Let each one of you look not only after yourself but also the interests of others”

  1. Put things back where you find them, clean up your own mess and don’t take what is not yours  “If you can’t clean up after yourself…There’s no need for you mess things up and expect another to clean up behind you”
  2. Say your sorry when you hurt someone or if you know they are hurting. The answer is to show love. 1John 1:9 “If you confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Be willing to forgive. Matthew 6:12 “Forgive as God has forgiven you 
  3. Give people space, wash your hands and flush your toilet (for men, put the toilet seat down) ?Golden Rule-Do unto others as you would them to treat you. 
  4. Take care of your body. To help others you have to take care of yourself 1Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit?”
  5. Live a balanced life. Learn, think, creative, play, work “God 1st, others 2nd, yourself 3rd” 
  6. Be united and stick together “They will know we are Christians by our our love for one another. Psalm 133:1 “How wonderful it is when brothers and sisters live in harmony”
  7. Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup. Firm foundation  Matthew 17:20 “faith like a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for those who believe” Dabo Swinney-“Cross out the T in I CAN’T and Believe that you Can”
  8. Everything dies. You only have so many days Make the most of it. Ecclesiastes “to every thing there is a purpose and a season.  A time to be born and a time to die” 
  9. Look, Listen, strive to understand. Chip Ingram, Life is a journey. To travel you need a SUV. STUDY and learn so that you can UNDERSTAND. Then let God allow you to trust enough to be VULNERABLE. 
  10. Bonus #12 ? “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul and love others as the Lord loves you.” Be tethered to God and then Let go and let him be in control of the outcome. https://thankfulinallthings.com/to-what-are-you-tethered/
    When you focus on these simple principles, you will stand “In Awe” of what God can do to help you be better tomorrow than you are today. A child’s wonder is something to behold but experiencing the Wonder of God’s love will change you forever.

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or learn more about my Guillain Barre Syndrome story at www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie

For what are you longing?

In a world where we rarely agree any more one thing is for sure. We all long for this time of sheltering in place and social distancing to be over. Living our lives via Virtual zoom, FaceTime, youtube, etc. is wearing on us all. How that happens and when is a different question but it is impacting every one of us. Some feel strongly we need to stay the course and not have folks venturing out to fast. Others have lost their patience and are saying enough is enough. Like the newscaster in the movie, Network, they are acting upon their feelings “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more.” They are going to take their chances with the hope I won’t come down with Covid19 or give it to someone else. They are willing to risk “the long term consequence for the short term opportunity of being with friends again”.

My hope is we won’t be too quick to judge others. That we will extend grace to one another understanding we are all dealing with something that is new. When faced with adversity, we all are not going to react in the same manner. It is no surprise that one recent study shows, 30% of us show symptoms of clinical depression. It begs the question, for what are we longing as we wait? If we can get our arms around that question, I think it can help us persevere through and relate better with those around us. It certainly did for me as I battled back from Guillain Barre Syndrome during the spring months of 2019. Little did Dottie and I know we would once again battle through another type of adversity during those same months in 2020. Hopefully what we have learned will in some way help you during this challenging and stressful time. Which brings me back to the importance of longing for something.

When things were at their worse, we chose to focus on staying in the present with our motivation being what’s next? What can we do next? Longing for an unknown future did us no good. All we could control was what we did in each moment that would hopefully make me better the next day trusting in verses like Psalm 46:1,2 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way  and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” As an example, I went into the hospital on March 1, 2019 and we honestly never asked when the experts thought I would be able to go home. We sensed longing for something given our uncertain situation would just lead us into discouragement. We chose to stay focused on OK this is where we are right now, What can I do next to get me a little bit better tomorrow.
I believe there is a parallel between this thought process for my GBS recovery and how we all should be dealing with this season of Coronavirus. Taking it moment by moment, day by day helped keep us from spiraling down into discouragement. Interestingly enough, the last two weeks in rehab were the worst. Why? Because once they told me I would go home on 4/25, I lost my in the moment thinking. All I could think of was going home. My rehab room felt like a prison. Sound familiar? Most of us have handled this stay at home order well but we now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is causing all of us to lose the discipline of staying in the moment. We are losing our patience because we desire and want something we can’t control which creates angst & frustration.

Staying in the moment is essential when we face a challenge but thinking of and serving others can also help you through this difficult time. When we start succumbing to the desire for a “pity party” try getting outside yourself by doing something for someone else. My good friend Bill Clark shared in a recent blog post that understanding we are all in this together is critical. “Romans 12 “the body” United upward, inward, outward. indispensable every part matters. Each of us matter. Interdependent and connected as there are no such things as an isolated walk w Christ. Most of the Yous in the Bible are You all. Therefore resentment and bitterness is like a cancer. We are the body to shine the light of Christ. We are to follow Him so he can lead us outward to serve and care for one another so the world can see what God is like. Others are to encounter God through us.

I long for the world to be a better place than it was before Covid19. A world where we learned a slower pace is good for our health. A world where we see we are all in this together with a keener awareness of those in need. A world where we believe and stand together knowing each one of us is precious in God’s sight. A world where we don’t think as much about our rights but instead, as we venture back out, we think about how our actions are impacting those around us. It won’t be easy but if we try it moment by moment “What can I do next to serve someone” mentality we will have done our part in making our community a better place.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to www.thankfulinallthings.com Please also forward to others who you think might be encouraged reading this blog. I can be reached at [email protected]

Mother’s Day. How does it answer the question, “What does it mean to leave a legacy?”

What is a legacy? A great question on this Mother’s Day. 

We had our virtual lunch with some friends yesterday on our deck. So weird how we sat at opposite ends of the table with them bringing their own food, drink, and utensils. Yet, it was good for my soul after almost 9 weeks of self-isolation. The sweet catch up conversation took us to the question of what does leaving a legacy for others really look like? Can one actually leave a legacy? In a couple/three generations, will anyone remember anything about us? It makes you understand why some contribute financially or with their time so that their name goes up on a plaque or on a building. This thought process could lead to discouragement wondering does my life really matter?

I choose to see it differently and hope what I write here will help you do the same. My hope is my legacy will continue beyond those who actually knew me via the result of the ripple effect of how I served and made a positive impact on others. I think of the book, “The 5 people I meet in heaven” by Mitch Albom, where when Eddie dies he encounters five people who had a significant impact upon him or who he influenced while he was alive. The point being our actions (positive or negative) can have a lasting and hopefully eternal impact on those around us.  Psalms 145:4 – “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts._ Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Both taken a bit out of context but help make the point 🙂

My Mom, as well as my Dad, left their wonderful legacy not only with their 6 children but 9 grandchildren. Unfortunately, the now 8 great grand children and future generations will not have the joy of knowing their good and their bad; their strengths and their weaknesses.  Those who knew them felt the joy of being loved and instructed by them. The Guthrie 6 and our spouses as parents or as aunts and uncles will continue to teach the lessons that Papa and The Bup taught us. It is a responsibility we take seriously and that brings us pleasure. That is what legacy looks like to me and for that I feel blessed and find myself thankful on this Mother’s Day. 

www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie [email protected]

Remember those who are still travelling through adversity

Hebrews 13:3 “Remember those who are in prison as if you were in prison with them. Remember those who are ·suffering [mistreated] ·as if you were suffering with them

A couple things happened this week that led me to write this post. I have thought about it for the last few weeks but was reluctant because I don’t want it to come across as me whining about my own situation. I saw a friend at church last week who is fighting cancer. He got a good report back in the spring. I realized I had not reached out to him since back in June so I emailed him to check in on him. Here is his response. “How nice of you to reach out to me! The Holy Spirit must have prompted your email, because I am in need of divine comfort and intervention in the face of a medical set back.  A new cancerous nodule was recently identified in my other lung.  It is not yet clear whether the nodule is a metastasis (bad) or an independently formed instance (less bad).I covet your prayers for peace and healing as I undertake this new phase of my cancer journey.” Then yesterday another friend stopped by my office on a Saturday unannounced. He had no idea I would be there but said he was driving by so thought he would take a chance. I had walked with him a bit after his wife died of cancer two years ago. We hadn’t been in touch for several months. Here is his follow up email. “Thanks again for letting me pop into your office today without even having
an appointment. Thanks for taking the time and I am so very happy your
health has returned!”
Another friend who was in a car accident wrote this when I reached out to see how she was doing “Its a relief to be remembered.  Thank you for sharing that with me.  Yes- healing through and through, outside in”
These interactions made me realize that people who have battled adversity continue to need people like you and me well after you think their adversity is over.
My recovery from Guillain Barre has been going on now for almost a year. I now walk into rooms and people don’t react like Wow! “It is so good To see you. How are you? You look great” People who don’t Know me have no idea what I have been through. The reason for sharing this is I now have an idea of what it feels like to still be recovering but not have the same support as early on in my journey. I hesitate to write this because I don’t want this to be about me or trying to make someone feel like they have let me down. The support we have gotten has been amazing. Instead I am hoping that those who choose to read this blog will be encouraged to reach out to someone that has experienced some type of struggle or sadness recently to see how they are doing. Do it right now! Don’t hesitate! Reach out to whoever comes to mind. I am confident you will be greeted with “thank you. I am so glad to know you are thinking about me. It means so much that you care” I would love to hear about what happens when God uses you to make a difference in someone else’s life. Please hit reply and share what happens so we can all be motivated to do it more often.

I am Thankful for all Things but especially my Proverbs 31 woman

I have started paraphrasing scripture while recovering from Guillain Barre Syndrome. It has helped me practically apply the verses that speak out to me. Proverbs 31 came to mind when thinking about what my wife, Dottie. Her support has been incredible over this last year and our marriage is stronger now than ever before. Here is what her sister shared about Dottie being a Proverbs 31 woman.

Dottie epitomized the proverbs 31 woman before you were sick. While you were sick she perfected the role. Dottie has always showed her strength of character as a wife and mother. Family first always providing and sacrificing for them.

Food… for a skinny girl who really does not like to eat she plans and prepares nutritious food for her loved ones. Food for you was a priority for Dottie when you were in rehab and coming home.

No idle hands… sewing lettering reading studying

She is clothed in strength and dignity…Dottie  always can handle tough situations Stronger than she knows

She speaks with wisdom… Listens and speaks wisdom Dottie thinks about what she is going to say and how it should be said Takes notes to help her remember what to ask the dr’s therapist when you were in rehab

She has the support, love and admiration of her children and husband.

She fears the lord   Studies and prioritizes her relationship with God

What follows are verses from Proverbs 31 with quotes in bold type from others who watched and wrote me about how God has made Dottie into someone quite special.

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  She allowed her heart to love you more through adversity. She dug deep. She allowed herself to entertain the worst possibility “What if he dies” and then moved on and fought each day. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She stayed in the moment and was determined not to let her thoughts get ahead of her, knowing that being present for Michael would best serve them both — a most generous and loving illustration of “in sickness and in health.” 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. I saw that same adoring face many times. Now, along with that face I witnessed her strong faith-filled, gracious, clear thinking advocacy and encouragement for Michael. the gift of faithful presence. Sitting. Watching. Holding space for God to do his work.  13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.  She also read and entertained herself in those long days. She adjusted to each change in venue. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  Dottie was organized at the hospital and at home an delegated when she could not be both places 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers but Dottie allowed love ones to help her care for you and her 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.  She loved on each staff member. She shared you with your family and with your friends. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.  Dottie’s tenderness, grace, and love shone brightly but beneath that surface was a fierce and determined protector. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  Dottie used her keen mind to listen and learn all things medical pertaining to you 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  she kept the unknown future at bay by  savoring each of Michael’s accomplishments no matter how small it might seem and focusing on the immediate needs of the coming day She did it really well-with grace and mercy. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  She believed her God for good. She stayed in high alert mode for months. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; Dottie allowed the kids to deal with Michael”s illness in their own way. She never made them feel they weren’t doing enough. her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” She was intentional in caring for her own primary needs, sleep nutrition and spiritual encouragement from friends.  30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.  Most of all Dottie kept her focus and trust on God. She continually gathered and processed available information — through the daytime and in the quiet of evening. I treasure the moments we spent together during our visits especially our evening talks, reviewing the day’s milestones and looking ahead to what might unfold during the next day or weeks.   31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. My words now. I honor and cherish her for every day giving me peace and a the words from her friends say, her care for me brought praise from all who witnessed it.

A chance to hear a little bit of my story

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

If you are a regular follower of this blog, it will come as no surprise when I write “we absolutely need others’ support and encouragement along the journey.” I can’t imagine doing this on my own. It has been the biggest lesson I have learned in my recovery from Guillain Barre Syndrome. I was time and time again “comforted in my affliction” and it has given me a new purpose to bring comfort to others so that “they may be comforted. Many of you have asked me to share my story not just from a faith perspective but also as to how this relates to reaching your full potential in life. I have been asked to speak to Realtors, college fellowships, sports teams, real estate/auto management teams, and men’s fellowship groups. I have learned in a new way that GBS has given me a platform because of what I have gone through. You can get the back story of my health challenge that started March 1st by going to https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie/journal Posted below is a talk I gave back in November where I dig deeper into how we are called to help each other using the story of Jesus raising Lazurus from the dead (John 11). In this story we realize that Lazurus can only be freed from his dead clothes with the help of others. I also talk about the four friends who bring a paralyzed man so that Jesus can heal him (John 2). Jesus tells them that the man was healed because of their faith not the one who needed healing. My hope is that it will help you see why I am trying to be “Thankful in All Things” and that if we want to reach our full potential we need the encouragement of others.

grateful for this wonderful family who played a huge role in my recovery.
Some of the many people who time and time again showed up for me and Dottie as we fought back from what has been the biggest challenge of our lives.