Friday, September 14, 2012

Do Not be Surprised by Trials

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."  I Peter 4:12-13

When we go through suffering and struggles we are usually taken by surprise.  We think "Why me?"  The scripture says we shouldn't be taken by surprise.  We should almost come to expect it.  We should consider it an honor.  We are to rejoice.  That concept seem foreign to us.  Why would we rejoice?  I know that is not the first thing that comes to my mind.

We don't like what is happening.  We don't like the limitations that our illness imposes on us.  We don't like to inconvenience our husbands, children, and friends.  They go through their own suffering too.  They don't like to see us sick.  They want "normal" lives also.  The scripture tells us it is a good thing to share in the sufferings of Christ.  It's getting us ready for something bigger.

When I'm having a bad day I try to remind myself that this is refining my character.  What can I learn from this?  What can I offer others because of my trials?  Some days all I can muster is a quick prayer for a friend going through a tough time or an e-mail.  Don't underestimate the power of all those things you think of as small.  They can go much further than you think if God is behind them.  So next time you are having a bad day remind yourself that God is at work.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trusting The Lord Through Illness {Invisible Illness Week}

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.  And whose hope is the Lord."  Jeremiah 17:7

Do you find yourself having difficulty trusting the Lord in the midst of illness?  Is it hard to let go and let God?  I remember reading about Peter out on the water.  He heard Jesus' voice and took a step of faith out on the water.  But then he started hearing old thoughts and beliefs and started to sink.

We need to remember to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.  We need to be reminded not to focus on our  limitations and worries.

Prayer:  Lord help us to remember to focus our eyes on you.  Guide us through this illness.  Remind us that you still have great things planned for us.  Amen.

It is time for the National Invisible Illness Awareness Week again.  It will be from September 10- 16.  There will be a virtual conference with different speakers speaking on different aspects of chronic illness.  This year's theme is Invisible Illness?  Share Your Visible Hope.  Here is a link to learn more.  Come and get the support you need.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Enjoying The Simple Things {While Living With A Chronic Illness}

When there are so many things that you can't do anymore do to a chronic illness, you really learn to appreciate the simple things in life.  A bird chirping, the warm rays of sunshine on your face, your child's laughter.

Life doesn't always have to be filled with big, grandiose things.  God made the little things for our pleasure too.  Chronic illness gives us the opportunity to enjoy and focus on these little things more.  Sometimes when my brain just won't focus because of extreme fatigue, I sit out on my deck in the swing that belonged to my grandparents and look around me.  Just looking at the mountains and sky makes me feel closer to God, reminding me that the world is much bigger than me.

So take the time to enjoy the small, sweet things of life.  We can get so busy when we are well that we miss them.  So look around you.  How many simple things will you enjoy today?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weariness {A Day When Life Seems Hard from Illness}

Weariness, what an unwelcome word.  It implies lack of energy and a spirit that's on the verge of giving up.  Webster's dictionary defines weariness as worn out, without further patience or tolerance, tired.

I can sure relate to these descriptions.  When I am feeling weary, I feel it in my bones, muscles, spirit, and mind.  That is why I love so many of David's psalms.  He too was familiar with weariness.  Psalm 6:2-3;6  reads "Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.  But you O Lord-how long?  I am weary with moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with weeping."

From Araz Photo
It comforts me to know that David who was the man after God's own heart also felt deep, real, raw emotions.  Go ahead and give God everything that's inside.  Lay it before Him and be cleansed.

What are some of your favorite Psalms that comfort you?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Am Enough!

It can be hard at times to remember your worth when you are dealing with a chronic illness.  Let this be a reminder of how much you are loved and valued!  I need to remind myself of these things daily also.

1. You are enough.

2. God loves you just the way you are.

3. You are not valuable because of what you can do but because of who you belong to.

4. Learn to be compassionate and considerate with yourself just as you would with a friend.

5. Learn to forgive yourself.

6. God still has a purpose for your life even though you can't do all the things you use to do.

7. God sings over you with His love. ("He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17)

8. God has started a good work in you and He will see it through to completion.

9. Stop comparing yourself to others.

10.Reach out to others.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Five Things That Help Me deal With Chronic Illness

It is hard to live with chronic pain and exhaustion form day to day.  I notice when I am tired or in pain I tend to snap at people more easily.  I think it's because I feel like I don't have much control over even the simplest things.  It's times like these that I have to scale back and try to come up with things that will  nurture me, but  don't require a lot of energy.  Here are five things I've come up with.

1. Visit restministries. This is a wonderful website for people 
    with chronic illnesses.
2. Spend time with your pet or someone else's.  I have a toy 
    poodle who loves to snuggle up to me.  I can feel myself relax 
    just by being near him.
3. Listen to some inspiring music.  I especially love listening 
    to Mandisa's new Cd.  It's like the songs were hand picked 
    just  for me. I also like listening to a cd of ocean waves.
4. Read a good devotional for people with chronic illness.  It
    always helps me to be reminded that other people get what it's 
    like to live with a chronic illness. One i especially like is 
    called Peace in the Storm by Maureen Pratt.

5.Write in a journal.  It helps me to get things out on paper and 
   sort through my feelings.

I hope these ideas helped you think of some simple ways to comfort yourself when you are having a bad day.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dealing With the Ups and Downs of Living With a Chronic Illness

There are so many things I want to do.  So many things I want to do for my kids.  My body doesn't always cooperate with what's going on in my mind and all my creative imaginations.  That can be hard.

One day I feel almost normal and am close to being the mother I want to be, but the next day a flare can hit and I'm reminded once again that pain and chronic illness are never far away.  I try not to focus on that.  I embrace the times I am feeling better and am so grateful for them.  When I am not feeling so good I try to learn something from those moments too.   I try to learn to be content.  Content with what is.  Content with who God made me to be. Content with the fact that I have two beautiful children and a husband who provides for us.

I will take the good with the bad.  How do you handle tough circumstances?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Check out what I am thankful for at my other blog The fruitful Home!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Where Have I Been?

I am not happy with myself that I let this blog go for so long.  It seems to go  in cycles.  I was working part time as a preschool teacher and also trying to work on my other blog The Fruitful Home.  I've been hoping to make a little money from this blog, but so far nothing significant.

I think of all my friends in the chronic illness world and hope and pray that they are hanging in there and finding comfort and strength through God and others.  I have been in a flare for the past few days.  My arms feel like lead and my shoulders, neck and upper back feel like they are being tightened as tight as can be.  I'm sure you are familiar.  Pain seems to make it so hard just to get through the little things.  I am constantly trying to keep my perspective and being grateful for all the things I do have.  I am reading a book by Debbie Macomber called One simple act- Discovering the Power of Generosity.  It is a good read. I also found a new blog called Finding Purpose in the Pain and Chronic Christian Crafter.  I will try not to let so much time go by next time.