Tag Archive | Hope

What LOVE Looks Like….

Today, while waiting on my daughter in speech therapy, I witnessed a beautiful mom walk in with her son. She was early for her appointment which gave me less time… less time to read without distraction… less time to help my easily distracted son with his homework. Her son is autistic and adorably jumping up and down when he laughed at the T.V. She was so kind to him; patient in giving him options and laughing with him. I ignored her to try and squeeze what time I could in to read and realized my son wasn’t going to concentrate anyway.

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She concentrated on her son. She took a phone call from another child reminding him kindly and repeatedly to do his homework and chores. As my daughter came out of therapy, and her son’s therapist came to talk to her, she mentioned her frustration at the news of her son’s diagnosis: getting worse in his teens, and not making it past 40yrs with not being able to process a certain enzyme. No cure. No hope of one. I’m thinking, “This mom was just delivered some of the worst possible news, and she’s still incredibly patient, loving, and has a kind smile on her face.”

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I butted in, apologized for eavesdropping, offered the hope we’d just gained through years of prayer and research, and left. She was even patient with me. What a beautiful love this woman has for her son to take such a hard task with kindness, perseverance, patience, and tolerance.

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#1 How hard do I think my life is? Do I act like a victim?

#2 How selfless and grateful am I after receiving tough news?

#3 How tolerant am I with strangers butting in to my venting?

#4 Would I be able to accept hope if it were offered?

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Thank you for your inspirational example of what Love looks like.

 

 

 

Dire Circumstances, BUT God…

Well, I had a few really good days before my body crashed again. (fatigue/dizziness) I was really frustrated, yesterday, that it didn’t make any sense. So, I’m going to just say that I was sick. When people normally get sick, it’s random, unpredictable, and inconvenient. I don’t understand the reasons, but until then, here is a list of the things I’ve seen God be there for me this last week:

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1) God brought a friend back into my life that had hurt and disrespected me a year ago. I have kept boundaries in place, but He has been healing and leading her.

2) My oldest accomplished double his schoolwork last week to spend time with his grandparents fixing up their home. What an amazing teaching opportunity, and relationship builder!

3) The kids helped me research new recipes. My oldest even made one to take to our family reunion last Saturday! Because of this, there were no complaints about how “Mom’s killing us!” or “We’re eating like birds!”

4) We were able to spend quality time with some of our best friends in this weekend before they move later this week. I know God brought them into our lives blessing us in so many ways, and that He will bless us with more friends. It was great to spend time and hope to make plans together in the future, too.

5) I loved going to my home church, singing with incredibly talented people who I’ve missed, hugging many that I love, not needing Google maps to find my way, and feeling so loved that I could face the world again.

6) I’ve been able to work through some issues while my parents encouraged me.

7) We came home safely and were able to get the house back in order, so that I only had laundry and dishes left.

8) When I was wondering if I needed to ask for help, I realized that the house was fine, the kids know how to feed themselves because I haven’t made dinner in months, and I just needed rest since I couldn’t do much else.

9) The van’s axle broke with me driving across town. I was safe. Ford fixed it for free because of an old recall.

10) Our upstairs bathroom is getting remodeled! It’s been leaking since we moved in, so we tried not to bathe much… But we have a shower upstairs, now, and the bathroom could be finished by the end of the week.

11) The kids found out about a VBS down the street and were excited to go. Without a vehicle, I wasn’t letting them go in the rain. They prayed for it to stop and it did when it was time to go.

12) My neighbor took my kids last night to VBS since I couldn’t walk them.

13) I am grateful for those who show kindness and compassion. A friend who asked if she could help without embarrassing me in front of others, listened and tried to understand, and made sure I safely returned home.

14) Free valet parking at the hospital. He never questioned why I might need help even with his eyes. (I’ve had people do so in the past with Walmart carts.) Never made a comment about how good I look to not feel well. He even helped me with my door and seat belt. Kindness is God’s love. 

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I could go on with every detail. But I just wanted to say that regardless of how dire circumstances seem, God is always there. He’s been working things out for my good from the beginning. He knows and loves me personally. Circumstances change, but God never does. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This is why I trust and love Him.

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Get Over It!

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Sitting in church not too long ago, we were talking about how we could be more like Jesus. One of the ladies put her hand up and stated, “I just think we need to get over ourselves and love people. I tell my daughter that she just needs to buck up and stop taking things so personally. Cheer up and Move on! That’s what Jesus did.” This last week, I heard something similar from a gentleman, “Grow a thicker skin and a thinner heart.” I would like to address the lies and harm done in these statements.

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  1. Jesus was a man of many sorrows. (Isaiah 53) He felt pain and loved deeply at the same time. He didn’t have a “thicker skin” as to assume that pain bounced off of him or didn’t affect him. He bore his sorrow. We are also called to carry our own cross. (Matthew 16:24) Carrying our own cross is a tough thing. It’s not something we shrug off. To those of us that you might say, “Cheer up and Move On,” I might ask you to provide a little more understanding and compassion. Jesus understood our sorrows because he experienced them. We can provide empathy for those who are having a hard time and be there for them. In doing so, we give them hope, a smile, and a reason to move on: we show them Jesus.

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2. For some reason, we have it stuck in our heads that we have GOOD and BAD emotions. Anger, Frustration, Sorrow  VS. Joy, Happiness, Excitement. God made ALL of our emotions. Understand what our emotions are for and allow them to be expressed.

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Anger, Frustration, and Being Upset are all red flags to our system that something is wrong. Just like Pain in our body, we need to stop and address that pain. When we ignore it and push through it, we can cause major damage. Anyone who has had a knee or back injury understands the danger in that statement. Take a time-out, Rest, or Get away from the person who stirs up these feelings inside you. In a healthy way, express your anger or pain where you will not hurt anyone. Don’t go out and yell at the world hurting everyone in the process. Write your anger in a journal, Shout into a pillow. Talk to a friend that you trust not to gossip, but to encourage you. Think it through and realize what you’re really angry or upset aboutProcess the best way to confront the issue in a kind, loving way. If you cannot do that at that moment remember to come back to the issue soon or it will grow. And ALWAYS pray through it. It is through these issues in our lives that we can grow OR create more problems.

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I remember grieving over my first daughter who I miscarried at 16wks. So many people wanted me to hurry to get through the grief. “You’ll have another one.” “You’re still young.”  After a few months, even my own grandmother told me to “Get over it, already.” I was still grieving long after my son was born. Comments like those did not help me in my grieving process, in fact, it made me feel more alone than ever.

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We NEED to express our emotion. We need to go THROUGH the emotions similar to a grieving process if we are ever to heal. By stuffing them inside or claiming that they do not exist, we are making the emotion a bigger problem. It will be expressed one way or another. Sometimes, it comes out internally as mine did in Fybromyalgia or suicidal thoughts. Sometimes it comes out as explosions, sarcasm, or even apathy. Some revert to addictions. Not expressing these emotions that are tough to understand, causes us not to want to feel anything. How can you feel love if you do not feel sorrow? I know, for me, I can cry and laugh at the same time sometimes for the same reason. “My baby is growing up.”

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If we cannot feel, we cannot “mourn with those that mourn.” (Romans 12:15) We cannot have compassion on ANYONE. So, what’s the point of being together on this earth, if we do not care about each other? (1 John 4:7)  By NOT feeling our emotions, we cause Bitterness, Resentment, and Hatred towards others. This is not what God wants for us.

 

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3. We are all different personalities. Some of us can work through our emotions super fast, while others of us need to take our time and work through things a little longer. I know from experience that if someone pushes me to get through something faster, I will dig my heels in because I literally cannot process things when I am pushed. With these different ways of dealing with things also comes different amazing talents and gifts. We do not need to be like each other. We need to become the gifts that God created us to be and stop judging others for not being like US. Learn about different kinds of people and have understanding and appreciation for the different types. God made all of us to be different and to help each other. (1 Corinthians 12)

 

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Instead of saying, “Get Over It”  Let’s understand that we all have pain, have compassion for those that are currently experiencing it, allow ourselves and others to feel, express, and go through pain, be there for them who are going through it, and understand that there is no time limit on going through pain. We can be gifts to each other instead of robots. (expressionless mechanical actors) You cannot be both.

 

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Climbing out of the Canyon

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Last year, I feel like I fell into this deep canyon. Many people who had the same thing that I have called it “chronic” with “no cure” adding to feelings of hopelessness. I was experiencing depression so bad my chest ached, pain in all of my joints (Chronic Pain,) nerve pain up my back (Fibromyalgia,) emotional and social pain, severe menstrual pain that made me want to throw up (Adenomyosis,) severe migraines, loss of energy (Chronic Fatigue,) fogginess, insomnia, becoming sick on most foods (Mast Cell), and dizziness to the point of passing out (POTS.) I feared for not only my quality of life, but my children’s. I would not be able to homeschool them, I would miss out on their lives, I would need a caregiver, and they would end up in the same predicament as me in the long run. If I had listened to the voices of hopelessness, I would not be where I am today and it would have affected everyone around me.

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But I prayed. I did not moan with the question, “Why me?” I wanted to know what He wanted me to learn. I sought answers. I did not give up. I listened as one man who had experienced severe allergies to everything (Mast Cell) inspired others on a support group with being able to run after one year of hard work. I have fought my way up this canyon wall learning to use many tools along the way with God, the Master Physician, leading me. It’s still tough. Sometimes, I forget to use the tools and want to quit. But I’m still fighting. Today, I am stable with very little medication (the need for it going down monthly), supplements and nutrition, herbs and essential oils, exercise, emotional healing, and I am not afraid to learn more. I am back to cleaning my house, being creative, feeling clear, excited about life, still homeschooling and teaching my kids what I have learned so they never have to experience what I went through, and rarely ever getting dizzy. (When I do, I have my emergency bag with me.) I feel I am halfway back to feeling healthy and still climbing up on this journey.

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Can I cure EDS? No. But I can live out a normal life bringing out the best in my genes and teach my kids to do the same. I am no longer lying down unable to move, no longer afraid, and definitely not hopeless. I want to bring hope to others with the things that I have learned… and last but not least, be there for my own family. NEVER Give up!!! There ARE answers. There IS Hope. You are NOT alone! May God Bless You on your journey as you Seek Him for the Answers He can lead you to.





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This Amazing Journey

About 6 months ago, I experienced Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Pain… and it has been an AMAZING JOURNEY!!!

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I began, like anyone would, experiencing grief for my health. I was very emotional, I felt defeated and frustrated, and I felt a great loss. This is necessary, however, I am not one to stay hopeless. I know that there are answers out there and I know that as we seek God for these answers, He WILL provide.

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I began with a Fight

A Fight against my connective tissue disorder: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

A Fight against taking care of everyone else but me.

A Fight to take care of myself.

A Fight to want to heal and provide answers for myself and my children who also have EDS.

A Fight to be heard; I did not want to feel alone and keep the suffering to myself. A Fight to ask for help.

A Fight to Keep Positive knowing that I didn’t have to stay this way no matter what others around me kept saying.

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My sister gave me a Christmas gift of a beautiful bracelet that brought me to tears. I felt understood, encouraged, and supported in that moment. It was a reminder to keep pressing on when I wore it.

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The more that I convinced myself that it was okay to be honest and to talk about it to others, the more I found support and love. I did not expect that. It was hard for me, being a private person, to say that anything was wrong with me or that I needed help. I had felt so much misunderstanding from health professionals, having to argue their misinformation, that I expected more misunderstandings. That happened in the beginning as I got the “What?” looks from people and the looks from others thinking I wanted a pity party. But there were so many more that became my supports even if only in their kind encouragement and prayers.

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As I began to find answers, some all at once and others slowly, I began to incorporate them. My own family was questioning me, but I just knew that when God lead me to an answer, I had to go for it. (Honestly, if they’d known how long I’d prayed about it and researched it before knowing that it was right for me, they probably would have understood a lot easier, but change is hard and scary nonetheless) I began to accept this beautiful person that God created me to be.

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Last month, walking into one of my specialist’s offices, he was shocked at how different I was. He asked me if he could sign the book that I was going to write. I laughed it off, but he wanted to know all that I had been doing to heal. So, I listed the things off for him. He was amazed that I had sought out many different avenues and he encouraged me to keep going. How neat to hear from a doctor!

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My husband, being a counselor, talks about the 4 different areas of our life that we need to be healthy. He likes to compare them to the legs of a chair. If one of these 4 legs is damaged, it affects all of the other legs, as well as, the ability to stand on it’s own.

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I am not done searching and applying answers that I have been given, as well as, those I have not yet received. I will continue to seek them out as long as I breathe. I am an example to these children of mine who will have similar challenges because of EDS and will also have many other challenges that I may have never experienced. But I am grateful to be on this AMAZING JOURNEY! I am so amazed at how God never leaves us alone and how He always keeps His promises.

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So, to others who are currently in the grieving process, Do not be afraid to fight, search, pray, accept, and love yourself enough to change. The answers ARE out there and you CAN make a difference!

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He Gives Us Rest

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Such a crucial thing in my learning to get better: Rest. In fact, it was the first thing I had to learn. And believe me, I went throwing a tantrum about it. Seriously, who was going to do all those things that I wasn’t doing! That’s my job! “Nobody else is going to do it!” Such harmful thinking… like being masochistic would make everything alright. Me working myself to death, feeling bitter because I was the ‘only one who could do it ALL’, was not helping anyone. My husband allowed me to do what I felt was most crucial because I was animate about doing it MY way; the RIGHT way, of course. My children were worried about not getting everything done and in not doing so, feeling unloved and unappreciated. Why would I want to do that? I felt I HAD to….

Until I couldn’t any longer. I broke.

If God who created the Universe and Everything in it intentionally rested, and then made it a commandment to rest in order to teach us to do so, as well… isn’t resting crucial?

Hebrews 4:1-13 “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words:

“On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”

And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

 

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This God created us to sleep to help us to have the energy we needed to accomplish the things we were meant to accomplish, and yet we continue to try and bypass it because we have so much to do!

As if God’s job wasn’t bigger than ours. And yet, we create things to keep ourselves awake, push through, and keep pushing our limits because rest is a waste of time. Until that’s all you have.

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7 years ago, I thought I was SUPER WOMAN and tried to do everything. I even had such Pride about it that I would wonder why other women couldn’t do it all; Homeschool, Clean the entire house every week, Take care of myself, Work Full Time, everything Organized…. I was on a roll and loved that I could accomplish so much.

And then I was bedridden for almost 6 months with excruciating pain that I couldn’t get out of bed without painkillers. I learned to stop being so independent, to accept help, to have compassion for others, and that my pride was a façade.

A year later, something different happened to my body and I was stuck in bed another 6 months. I learned to get well slowly but I still hated to be down.

This time around, with another completely different problem, I’m learning to enjoy rest. I am NOT Super Woman or anything of the sort. I need help and rest just like any other human being.

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Pushing through the pain is not a good thing. I had a doctor ask me if I wanted a shot for the pain in my knee; a torn meniscus. I declined because of my over-achieving attitude. Pain tells me when I need to slow down or rest. I can over-do things so easy. These days, going outside of the home for a while makes me feel exhausted and I give myself permission to rest when I get home. Nobody else is going to tell me that I need to rest. I’m learning to listen to my body.

But sitting still for too long can also be exhausting be it at home or a car ride. Rest from sitting still is moving. Rest from a project can keep me from getting overwhelmed. Rest doesn’t have to mean sleep.Rest doesn’t mean I’ll never get back to what I was doing. It’s taking a break; a pause.

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Rest also has another meaning for me that I’ve learned over the last couple of years: Trusting in God to take care of the things I cannot. When I’m late because of whatever situation happened as we were trying to get out of the door, speeding is not going to help anyone. In this instance, I revert back to going out of town with my husband on our way to meet a friend. He was getting nervous because we were nearly 2 hours late and we couldn’t get a hold of her to tell her so. I held to the promise in Romans 8:28

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This scripture doesn’t say that everything is good for those that love Him, but that God will work all things for our good if we are called to His purpose. He will arrange it to all work out. When we arrived at the house of our friend, she was so thankful that we had not arrived any earlier. In fact, she said, “I’m so glad that you did not arrive any earlier. I was stuck at the grocery store praying that you wouldn’t show up before I got home.”

As I have been healing, though, I have a long way to go in my journey, I’ve noticed that Rest is so important in all things. Life is all about balance. Stressing our bodies and minds is only going to cause more problems.


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