I get asked all the time what the hardest thing about being blind is. People naturally assume it’s not being able to drive or read or… well, there are a million things that are really hard about being blind. Bruises. Isolation. Dependence. Those are some things about blindness that are really, really hard. But, then there’s having to constantly manage my frustration with being slow at tasks or even flat-out unable to do something without help.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “People only see what they are prepared to see.”
How do you see the world?
In this time of fear and darkness and suspicion, it can be easy to see the world as depressing and scary. You watch the news or read the headlines and brace yourself, preparing to see the worst, right? I get it… I do — it can be pretty dark out there, but can you still see beauty and goodness and hope too?
You can if you are prepared to. So, I ask again, how do you see the world?
We’ve all got stuff, you know? We’ve got hurts, questions and disappointments in our lives.
I’ve got stuff. Blindness is a constant, unrelenting, challenging loss — emotionally, spiritually and even physically. I’ve asked God for healing probably a million times… but, so far, healing hasn’t come.
My friend’s got stuff. Her daughter is fighting addiction — some days she’s better, someday she’s worse. My friend has prayed for her daughter a million times too. And, so far, healing hasn’t come.
So, since we’ve been talking a lot about our Fresh Grounded Faith cruise and all our travel tips, here is a list of my favorite gadgets to add to your travel bag! These are the must-haves that make traveling easier. You never want to bring so many gadgets that you need another carry on, but you want to choose wisely the few that will improve your travel experience. So, here are my top five:
1. Water bottle humidifier Okay, now this one you can’t just pick up at your local hardware store! But, you can get it online or at a specialty travel store. It’s a humidifier that is smaller than most of my purses! Since I usually have trouble with sinus dryness when I stay in hotel rooms, this little gadget humidifies the air I am breathing! You simply screw a water bottle onto it, plug it in, sit it right by your bed and then all night you will breathe in moist air! And, I often drip some lavender in my water bottle so it freshens the fragrance of the room and makes me feel like I’m sleeping in a spa!
On an afternoon last October, we finished up my last session of computer training. We chatted about his wife and how much he loved her. He shared with me how he proposed to her. He told me about a missionary they supported and why St. Francis was his favorite saint. And, of course, we talked about which K-Cup coffee we liked best!
He ran a final system check on my computer to make sure I wouldn’t run into any unexpected blips and then zipped his bag and we walked to my front door. “See ya later sis!” he said as he opened my front door to leave.
As an author and Bible teacher who happens to be blind, studying God’s Word and researching the Scripture hasn’t always been easy. But, it has become much easier in the past few years due to so many audio and text-to-voice options now available.
I lost my sight as a teenager in 1980. And, that was just before computers began to be everywhere and for everyone. But as I went off to college, even though there were computers available at my university, this blind young woman couldn’t access them. I couldn’t type yet and they couldn’t talk yet so computers just weren’t an option.
Picture this: I’m visiting a friend whom I haven’t seen in years.
We’ve been able to stay in touch on the phone and by email. I’m traveling through her hometown and we meet for lunch. We hug, squeal, exchange “oh you look so good” comments, and then order our lunch. As we eat, we catch up on our kids and lives.
After the first frenzy of conversation, she’s less chatty. She doesn’t answer my questions very quickly. She seems so distracted. Our conversation loses its rhythm.
Then she says something about someone she’s following on Twitter, and I think, “Where in the world did that come from? I don’t even know who she’s talking about.”