The Calm During the Storm . . . or Life is What Happens When You’re Making Other Plans

  • By Brenda Buckingham
  • 01 Nov, 2013
A week ago, I did a quick post showing some simple Autumn decorating ideas and a little mention of my sale I was doing that weekend.  I quickly jumped of the internet after my post and began my busy day.  I still had several pieces of furniture I wanted to complete for my sale and […]

First I cut down all my sign boards . . . then I ran inside and mounted them.  I would do the finishing and distressing treatments once they dried.  I had a few more things to cut on the table saw while it was set up. Normally, for the bigger pieces, I have a second person help me to guide it . . . because when you get further on the cut, the board can start to sag and it could torque.  But I had a schedule to keep.  I was humming along smoothly . . . nearly done cutting the back of the cupboard . . . then it happened . . . all in a split second . . . the board was sagging . . . just slightly . . . but it was enough . . . it torqued . . . which meant it was no longer running straight with the saw blade . . . before I realized what was happening, the board shot back at me . . . hitting me in the gut.  I am not sure what I was doing . . . perhaps shielding myself from the flying board . . . but my hand shot out in protection.  I felt an odd sensation.  I was afraid to look . . . but my hand didn’t feel right.  I looked down . . . yep . . . I was cut . . . as the blood spurted, I forced myself to stay calm . . . talking to myself . . . “shut off the saw, Brenda.”  I did.  Look at my hand . . . okay my fingers are there . . . well sort off . . . my ring finger is sideways and just sort of “hanging.”  “Stay calm, Brenda . . . think through what you need to do . . .”  . . . I walk calmly out of the shop.  There is a wet towel I had used for wiping down a dusty desk I was selling.  “Wrap your hand in the towel, Brenda.”  I did.

Go inside and find your cell phone.  I go in the house.  It isn’t there.  I think about panicking.  “No, if you panick, you might die.  Stay calm, Brenda.”  I pray . . . Dear God, help me to remember where I put my phone.  I quickly remember it is on the desk I had just dusted.  I walk calmly outside, hand still in the towel, still telling myself it is okay.  I knew I could not let myself panic.  I find my phone, go back in the house and grab my purse.  I walk calmly to the Prius and start it up.  Then I call Ron . . . he answers and I immediately say, “I cut my hand on the saw and I need help. Where should I go?”  He tells me (also calmly . . . he is a paramedic and so good in these situations.) do not drive, wait for me.  I am coming.”  At this point . . . at the sound of his tender voice, I waver a bit . . . my voice cracks as I plead for him to hurry.  He does.  He calls me back a few minutes later asking more questions . . . “Do, I still have my fingers?” “Yes, but I am not sure if I will lose one.”  He asks if I need an ambulance. “No, just hurry.”  As he pulls up (17 minutes later . . . yes, I was watching the time on my cell phone) we get in the car and we hurry off to the ER.
Then I started to itch . . . at first it was amusing.  I felt fine . . . just itching all over.  When the Dr. would leave the room, I would itch all the “inappropriate spots” that itched and my husband and I giggled over this. Then I remember feeling slightly concerned as I told my husband, my throat felt “tight.”  From there it quickly changed for the worse . . . I couldn’t swallow . . . “Keep calm, Brenda” I kept telling myself . . . but I couldn’t swallow.  I know I probably looked like a baby bird as I kept raising my head trying to swallow, but I couldn’t.  Soon, it seemed I was surrounded by hospital staff . . . I closed my eyes most of the time . . . “Keep calm, Brenda” . . . I knew I was in the best place I could be for such a reaction . . . but panic wanted to come.  “No, keep calm.”  It took about 40 minutes before it finally subsided, the whole time trying to keep calm and not panic.  What a relief when I could finally swallow.  I had reacted to the antibiotic, Ancef.  I had never had an allergic reaction like that and hope to never again.  It was very terrifying.  They did tell me it might take a week to work out of my system and over the next few days I did have mild itching and some difficulty swallowing . . . but all much more mild than the initial attack. I went home exhausted, but feeling fine with the drugs on board.
The surgery went well . . .  I was so happy to be put out for the entire time.  They put a rod in my finger, repaired the tendon (which ended up not being severed after all) and re-stitched the other fingers.  I was given lots of drugs and sent home.  By Saturday afternoon, I was feeling pretty good . . . not great but I decided I must be through the worst of it.  I posted on facebook and made all believe the worst was over. And then the nerve block wore off . . . from Saturday night through Monday, I was in the most pain I have ever been in . . . this topped child birth.  I am told fingers have more nerve endings than any part of the body, so that is why these injuries are so painful.   I cried quietly all night on Saturday night . . . and, as those of you who know me well, know, I am not a crier . . . especially over physical pain. Ron rubbed my arm . . . the pain from the nerves was shooting up my arm.  He got me pills, rearranged pillows for me, rubbed my back and whispered how sorry he is that this happened to me.  He didn’t fill me with guilt . . . no questions on why I didn’t wait for him . . . he just loved me and offered me sympathy.  This meant so much to me.
By Monday night I could tell things were improving and I am now definitely “on the mend” . . . though there is a long way to go.  I still only have partial feeling in my fingers and I may not have full use of my ring finger . . . that is still to be seen in the days to come.  I am a lefty and this is my left hand that is injured . . . so typing is hard, I can’t write and I eat with my wrong hand and look like I am a four year old.  As an artist, having use of my hand is very important to me.  I have continued swelling and must elevate my hand.  I have had nausea and head aches from the pain meds and am weaning myself from these.  I can’t drive until I am completely off these meds.  I will get the stitches out next week and the rod will be removed in six weeks.
On Tuesday, we had the sad news that some dear friends that were vacationing in Arizona were involved in a 19 car pile up caused by a dust storm.  Gordon was killed instantly and his dear wife Jeanette was injured. These are dear, Christian friends . . . they had our kids over several times for “slip and slide” parties and Jeanette was known to all of us as the “caramel corn lady” . . . whenever we went to church camp outs we always had to pay a visit to their trailer for Jeanette’s famous corn.  Jeanette made the skirts in my wedding for all of our bridesmaids as a wedding gift.  We are so sorry to lose Gordon . . . he was a great man, but we know he is celebrating in heaven today . . . and we are so thankful to still have Jeanette in our lives.  This has been a very emotional week . . . but I have been so blessed to have people in my life show me their love and kindness this week.   And now, as I am able to think clearly again I am reviewing the week.  Why in the heck was I so calm?  I know I can come unglued . . . I have seen that side of me and unfortunately, so has my family.  I knew I needed to be calm . . . but what was it that kept me calm?  The answer is very simple.  God is in the calm!

When life is out of control . . . God is in control . . . when things seem hopeless . . . hope is still there because God is hope.   When panic wants to rule you . . . let God rule you instead.  I know my calm . . . the calm I needed in order to save myself . . . was not from me . . . it was from God.  On my own, I am a frightened child with no ability to calm myself.  Panic is eminent.  But with God at the wheel, order prevails.  I know I have so far to go in my Christian walk, but I am so thankful that I at least know who is in control.  When I didn’t even know if I had fingers my God of calm, said, “turn off the saw.”  When I didn’t know what to do next, the God of calm said, “grab the towel.”  When I couldn’t find my phone, He reminded me where it was. When I couldn’t swallow in the hospital and I was doing hard battle with panic, He stepped in as the warrior . . . He beckoned me to trust in Him and stay calm . . . and I did.

He is the author of peace . . . the one who calms the storm.  This was so evident this week.  How many times do I NOT hear His voice of calm?  When I listen to the whispers and gossip of others . . . that tell me I am worthless, do I seek His calm?  Do I choose to not listen and instead to listen for His calm?  When my kids don’t make the choices I want them to make and I hear the whispers of worry and fret . . . when darkness hisses “they will never turn out” do I instead listen to the calm of my Lord?  It was easy to listen to His calm during this crisis . . . I knew the other choice was panic and all the ugliness that goes with that.  But when it is the everyday . . . the ongoing worries and pressures of life . . . the fears for the future and insecurities of who I am . . . . do I listen intentionally for His calm?  Perhaps that has been my big “ah-ha” moment this week . . . my need to listen to the calm . . . to purposefully listen to the calm of my Lord . . . in the day to day.

When Satan tells me I am worthless, I will intentionally listen to my Lord’s calm voice telling me, “I died for you.”   When fear rears it’s ugly head and tells me my children will never turn out, I will intentionally listen and hear Jesus assuring me He loves my children even more than I do and remind me that our prayers do not fall void.  Whether it be finances, depression, fear, anger, temptation or whatever wants to steal your peace, do not give it that power . . . God is in the calm . . . never in the panic.  

  1. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

  2. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
  3. How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
  4. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
  5. Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
  6. Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
  7. Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.
  8. I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.


By Brenda 07 Jun, 2017
I am so happy to finally be able to blog again!  As many of you may remember I kept hiring website designers that for reasons unknown, kept dropping off the face of the earth.  Finally, in frustration I got the world's thickest Wordpress book and taught myself enough to get my site up and going.  But things kept changing and some plug ins would simply stop working.  My blog wasn't letting me add the fonts I wanted.  More and more issues kept creeping up.   In January, when we ran an ad for one of our shows, a digital code was added to our website to drive traffic.  Not realizing the power of Spambots . . . I hadn't even known what they were before this . . . this code now opened the world to these robots to place spam on my page.  Before we finally switched over to this new site I had . . . get this (almost worthy of a drum roll!)  30,000 spam comments waiting to get on my blog posts!!  It was so incredibly frustrating.  Finally, we went to our team of amazing experts (Katie, Kelly, Melissa and Casey) and had them recreate things.  There were certain things I wanted to remain.  I am abnormally attached to my turquoise barnwood.  I needed my pig logo.  I wanted a similar look and feel to my old page . . . but cleaner and easier to use.  They listened.  They made changes that I wanted.   And they created "captchas" . . . which is where you have to click a button declaring that you are not a robot . . . see apparently Spambots don't have fingers . . . or at least not coordinated fingers . . . so they can't click buttons.  So today I am finally able to blog.  So many changes and exciting things happening here . . . but for today I just want to say "I am back and I am glad you are here, visiting my page."  And I want to say I am grateful.  For something so simple as being able to blog again.  The evil Spambots have been conquered!  Life is good!
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By Brenda 02 Dec, 2016

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By Brenda 28 Nov, 2016
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By Brenda 24 Nov, 2016
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