Grounded… again

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“You’re grounded!” I don’t remember hearing those words when I was in high school — probably too much time has elapsed! But then again, I pretty much towed the line during those years. After all, my mom was a teacher, and if I ever did anything out of line, she heard about it pronto! University was different… but my parents weren’t around then when I did some “grounding-worthy” things!

Last week, though, being grounded took on a whole new meaning. My husband, who has always been quite active (runner, bicycler) experienced shortness of breath. He is also one of those who avoids doctors like the plague… and so when HE wanted to have this checked out, I knew something was serious.

After numerous tests to rule out anything heart-related, a CT scan revealed a blood clot in his lung. He started on blood thinner before we even left the hospital! We go back next week to get the results from a whole battery of blood tests to hopefully pinpoint the cause.

“No flying/traveling for three months,” said the doctor. In other words, “YOU’RE GROUNDED!”

Back in June I shared about a number of detours we had been experiencing during the time before arriving and then once we were in the US. Preparing to leave the US to return to Thailand wasn’t without some crazy complications as well (like my husband gashing his leg with a chainsaw two weeks before our departure)… but those are stories for later.

Once we returned to Thailand, we began the process of getting visas and making plans to visit some of the folks over in this corner of the globe who we hadn’t been able to see because of how COVID had put travel on hold for a few years. Now, thankfully, things are opening up and so we were eagerly looking forward to resuming travel and making numerous visits…

… but then we get the “YOU’RE GROUNDED” verdict.

Hmm… makes me wonder what in the world the Lord is doing!?!

This brings me to yet another meaning of being grounded … being grounded in the truth of God’s Word… and what He has to say about life when things seem to go all kerflooey.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and for good and not for evil or disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29: 11 (ESV and NLT)

Those two weeks before we left the US, beginning with the chainsaw accident and continuing with having our Philly to LA flight cancelled, having our credit cards blocked because of fraudulent transactions, being singled out by the “sniffer dog” at the LAX airport, and then accidentally leaving a laptop on the plane in Tokyo, breaking my toe when I collided with a suitcase in the middle of the night in a hotel in Bangkok… all of those things surfaced intense feelings of discouragement, despair, being overwhelmed, feeling like a failure.

In a word, they threw me off kilter. I definitely was NOT grounded! My wise husband reminded me that Satan used a similar strategy with Job: the ole one-two punch of having one thing after the other go wrong. His blood clot is one more attempt to throw us (me!) off, to blur our (my!) vision instead of being focused on the Lord and how He can use even blood clots to remind us of His love and how He is still in control.

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

Romans 8:28 (AMP)

Kind of ironic… in June I wrote that “as a follower of Christ, my final destination is heaven. This time on earth is a journey that God Himself is directing… and so if He chooses to have me zig and zag to get to my final home, then so be it!”

Those words are just as true today — as we’re processing what the Lord has in store for us while we’re grounded once again — as they were back in June. And as we cling to, focus on, and remind ourselves of the truths of God and His Word, may we seek ways to encourage one another to keep hanging in there when life throws us some punches! Then — together — we can continue to have joy in the journey of this thing called “Life!”

21 thoughts on “Grounded… again”

  1. Mary and Al . . . Our prayers for you and your family continue and we read and re-read the promises of the Lord to truly be grounded, trusting in him! Blessings, Nancy and David


  2. So sorry to hear of this latest development. You continue to be in my prayers as you continue to seek God’s purpose and plan for your ministry.


  3. Mary, such an amazing journey you are on!!! Yes, zig zagging is truly what you seem to be doing on this crazy roller coaster you and Al are presently on! But I must say – I am glad you are deeply grounded in the Word of God! You have exhibited this all along this zig-zaggy journey. I have seen it and known it! Also I am so glad your grounding happened in CM! Can you imagine the HUB training coming up and being grounded in the US???? NO, that would have been so very difficult (not to say the other happenings were not difficult)! I am thankful for your grounding in CM since you will be able to be at the training! A true example of “God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” This highlights to me that He wants you in CM for the purpose He called you to as you lead our HUB. I am so very thankful for you and your example of weathering so very many hardships in the godly manner that you do. It’s obvious to those of us observing you that you are deeply Grounded in Him! Love you dear Sis.


    1. Thanks for your gracious, encouraging words, dear friend! I’m SO very thankful that you are with me in this journey. Your affirmation during our phone call the other day was oh, such a gift! I’m grateful for you… and look forward to seeing you over here in a few weeks! What a blessing we can be in-person this year — and that we can be together as we handle any more surprises God gives us at the training! Hugs!


  4. Dear Mary and Al, we are so sorry to hear about Al’s blood clot. Thank God you had the wisdom to go to a doctor and it’s being treated. You will both be in our prayers. God is putting you through some tests of faith. Thank God you are rooted and grounded in Him and His Word. Much love, Sandy and Rob


    1. Hey, you two! You know my husband well. and so can appreciate what a big thing this was that we went to the doctor sooner vs. later! We’re ever so thankful that it appears the medicine (blood thinner) is working… and yet look forward to getting the results from the blood tests to see if the cause can be determined. SO thankful for your friendship and your prayers! Love ya!


  5. Mary, your words of encouragement have been so comforting to me. Thank you and thank you for this blog. In the past, I have tried to comment and the link would ask me to log in to a wordpress account, where I would be stymied. Something changed, perhaps? Either way, I am so glad to be in touch again. Know I will be praying for both of you, especially Al and his health! Tim talks often of wanting to get back to Northern Thailand. He LOVED the food and temples. I have started a bible in a year podcast through the Catholic church and am finding comfort in this as well. Thank you,


    1. How encouraging to hear from you! I’m glad you persevered with the comment thing — not sure how that works myself, but you’re not the only person who has had difficulty. If you and Tim DO find your way back here, be sure to let us know so we can get together! I’m glad you’re in God’s Word… it truly is a comfort, our guide, a light for our paths… and how we understand the heart of God. Thanks for your encouraging words, and for your prayers! Hugs to you and Time!


  6. Hi Marywow…that’s a steady stream of crazy coming your way. Hope all the tests help diagnose what’s going on with Al. Praying for you two today. We are enjoying our sabbatical so far…and loving Northern Ireland…it’s such a beautiful place. I think i feel God smiling down on us as we appreciate and admire his beautiful creation. =) Peace Mel Proctor


    1. Hey, my friend! SO good to hear from you! Yes, it’s been quite the steady stream of crazy… looking forward to a bit of boredom! I’m vicariously enjoying your time in Northern Ireland… SO thankful you and Dave have this time there! May God richly use it to refresh and refuel you both! (btw… could you send us the info on that place? We could use a something/someplace like that! )


  7. Amen, amen. Praying for you and Al. God is faithful and is holding you in the palm of His hand.

    I’m disappointed that I won’t get to see you in your country. However, I do trust that God’s at work and His timing is best.

    In Christ,

    Joycelyn Seybold
    Entrust Equipping Women


  8. Mary, such wise words. I’d never thought of the two meanings of grounded before. You are so right, you guys have hit more roadblocks than seems handleable, but, staying grounded in the Lord most certainly can and will help you through them. Good reminders for me. Needing more grounding, for sure!


  9. Thank you for writing, Mary!
    We will be praying for you and Al. We are thankful for your friendship and ministry in our lives and the lives of many others.
    Love in Christ, Cathryn for us


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