The leopard print scarf in the bed

Perhaps it is the sheerness of the fabric that adds allure to the leopard print scarf in the bed with me this evening?  After all the fine braided fringe is as delicate as it is a bit racy draped from my waist, a little off to one side.  Yeah that was fun while I was upright earlier today!  I accepted the compliment from the only homo sapiens of the female genre that saw it.  Oh how I love a great twist on the ol’ oblong scarf look!

But this look continued long after bedtime and not for any reason other than I was not in any shape to return it to the scarf organizer.  So after a wretched series of breakthrough convulsive episodes I finally had the fine motor skills to untie the knot and remove it.  I rather like it draped around my neck in the wee hours of the morning as I sit here blogging in my partial day-wear, partial night-wear.  That’s in style, right?  The ultra casual look of pajama-like fabrics with a twist of animalistic flair?  Sigh.  O.k. It’s just plain weird, I know . . .

The part of the evening that went extraordinarily well was our new Skype Bible Prayer Group.  I am blessed to join a couple of lovely ladies, fellow bloggers for a bit of gaggle, scripture, prayer, and more gaggle.  It’s almost like having them over for a cup of bullet-proof coffee-n-coconut cream (my fav!).  If you too are largely homebound or isolated and want to join a couple of gals on Thursday nights who love the Lord, please contact me via this blog.  We are praying for the gals who may join us in the future; could it be you?  I will also help put together a gentlemen’s group if there is interest then bow out.  Please don’t sit there alone if there’s a tug on your heart to get back into some uplifting fellowship, k?

So some things are a little wild around here as I tweak a new treatment plan for mercury toxicity.  Steve and I are hopeful, really hopeful.  Healing crises are often in the mix of these kinds of things so we will hold on to the promises and cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ as we proceed.  Who knows?  I may even start a new bedtime fashion trend in the meantime!  Who says leopard prints are only for daywear anyways?  Tee hee.  Now I know where your mind just went and I’ll bet your beloved would agree to join you there.  Maybe it’s time for a little spice in this journey too?  Hmmmmm.  JJleopard cub

 

If the story made a difference

A blog is an interesting vehicle in one’s life.  You get to write about anything you want and just about anyone, anywhere can read it.  At least that is how this blog is structured.  Funny thing is that once you get going on a particular topic, there’s a high likelihood that you might reveal a little more about yourself than you might if you were in person.  The ideas just flow when here alone at the keyboard and if it is a personal blog (instead of a professional or business forum) well things can get personal quite easily!  If you are honest, that is!

Why bring this up?  Well I have come to realize that some tragic events in my childhood are influencing the nature of my recovery from illness.  The question I have grappled with of late is whether or not to write about it.  Oh the story is juicy enough to draw some interest and you bet I’ll let you know how the Lord has helped me endure and overcome the pain of it all.  Healing has come for these hurts because of the love of my Heavenly Father manifest in my personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit has guided the process:  providing counsel, “Jesus with skin on” in the form of loving sojourners, helpful tools, and His glorious written Word leading me to hope.  So why share the hairy details anyways?

Possibly I would because horrific illness may trigger past hurts for others more than me.  I don’t want you to feel alone if that is part of your story.  New trauma often stirs up old wounds:  at least the one we might find are not fully healed.  We might not know that they are not fully healed until something new happens in our lives as in the course of serious illness.  I view many of these events as “another involuntary growth experience” and am often left feeling more whole when I work through the tender issues correctly.  The problem is that when you happen to mention to a medical professional that waking nightmares, seizures, involuntary screaming episodes, and convulsions have triggered scenes that might be from your past YOU GET A PSYCHIATRIC LABEL AND THEY STOP TRYING TO TREAT THE MEDICAL ILLNESS.  This is frustrating indeed!  The medical illness came first.  Healing secondary issues is a bonus, like clearing out cobwebs in a musty garage.  Cool beans and all that jazz.  Keep the treatment focus on the root cause people!

So for me to share old or emerging facts from my abusive past runs the risk of my physical symptoms not being taken seriously.  Convulsions require serious examination, eh?  I paid dearly this past Saturday for venturing out on a private lake for my husband’s canoe and kayaking class hosted with a friend.  Even though the water was treated with blue dye to prevent algae growth, it was there anyways.  I have never had such violent, animalistic, horrifying convulsions in these 2 1/2 years of seizure attacks as I did one hour after I returned home.  You would not believe the level of torment I endured continuously for 2 wretched hours!  The rest of the evening was awful too with a rebound of episodes on Sunday.  I lost over a day of my life in payment for enjoying a paddling outing with my beloved and some friends.  The biotoxin illness won and I lost.  Tell me how this is all in my head as the working out of an unhappy childhood?  NO WAY.

If the story of my sorry childhood made a difference to the “Hope Beyond” I would like the Gentle Reader to find, I would write about it here.  However in doing so I would risk selling myself short in the process for those who might not follow my whole story.   One of my blogs generally covers only one topic as in a chapter of a book.  Further, reading a posting about a waking nightmare that was remarkably similar to a very bad day a long time ago would put the focus on the past and not on the exposure to cyanobacteria earlier that afternoon.  And in the end we bloggers don’t need to share everything about ourselves to be heard, to make a difference in the literary world.  We only need to be genuine to ourselves, to our subject matter.  Should I need to share a scene from my past to make a point I might do so briefly.  To say more will put the focus in the wrong place.  I need to keep my eyes fixed on my great expectation for what lies ahead of me (and all who believe), in the glorious presence of my Lord and Savior.  One day when my life on this earth is over He will make right all that was not right back there and heal me then, if not sooner.  I believe there will be a blessing for my stewardship of the experiences, sacrifices, ministries, and choices of humility He allowed in my life if I have succeeded in acting according to His will.  And if I have acted according to His will then it is only because He helped me to do so!  This stuff is way too hard to make it on my own.

The story that truly makes a difference is not mine.  The story that has the power to transform the lives, the hearts of mankind is that of the person of Jesus Christ.  Let His own  Words of His life, His pain and suffering as chronicled in the Gospels (the first 4 books of the New Testament in the Bible) lead you to His throne of grace.  Lay your burdens before the One Who is, Who was, and Who will forever be.  Let His love redeem the pains of the past so that both you and I may live freely in His presence forevermore.  What great fellowship we shall enjoy one day soon!  What great joy we will know when He calls each of us by name Who knows Him as Lord and Savior.  Oh how I long to hear His stories of how much He loves us, He takes our prayers to the Father, and has prepared a glorious place for us to dwell in together:  Him and I; you and Him; the fellowship of believers; the cherubim and seraphim.  Yeah that’s where my focus outta be!

Philippians 4:8New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Oh yeah!  Now that’s some great writing!  ;J

Gift idea to encourage those with chronic illness

The first year enduring and battling a serious illness can test everything we thought we knew about coping with the trials of life.  In this book, I share some of the more meaningful and encouraging moments of my journey as I sought to draw strength from outside of myself to endure them.  My hope is that you or your loved one will find strength and hope that transcends the often difficult day-to-day experience for yourself or a loved one coping with a debilitating illness.  I also hope that you will consider the hope found in a personal relationship with God.  His presence in One’s life can make a difference in where a person lands when this particular journey of life is over.  Will we have peace or will we have despair?

With a sincere heart it is my privilege to share these short vignettes with you.  Let not these trials of ours be wasted, eh?  Gentle Reader, are you ready for enduring hope that goes beyond what we can see?  If your answer is, “Yes,” then I invite you to read, Hope Beyond Lyme:  The First Year.  May it also encourage you to learn that you are not alone, not today, not ever.

Discover from a fellow sojourner, her most meaningful and encouraging moments to encourage you or your loved one battling a serious illness.  Find in one handy eBook (available in 9 different formats) the best blogs updated from this site plus several Bonus Pages too!  Click on the link below for more information.  Take care,  :J

Hope Beyond Lyme:  The First Year

Hope Beyond Lyme:  The First Year eBook now available on Smashwords and Amazon.com
Hope Beyond Lyme: The First Year eBook now available on Smashwords and Amazon.com

Parking Lot Poem #1

Sure was a tough time in my life when transitioning from married life to single life.  The refining fire was intense, laden with more trauma than I ever thought I would endure in such a short period of time.  Separation, divorce, 5 moves, 4 jobs, 2 injuries, a condo fire, death of 3 family members, and my mother’s cancer story contributed to over-the-top stress.  I have so much to be grateful for these days, that’s for sure!

So how did I cope?  First my faith in the Lord grew stronger.  Second, I needed counsel and found it through a few remaining close friends and a professional or two.  Three different support groups related to grief and divorce convinced me that it was not me who was going crazy:  my life circumstances were crazy!  I began journaling more regularly too.  Perhaps if blogging was in vogue in 2004 I would have started mine back then as well.  But one of the most useful tools was the smallest:  a little spiral notebook in the console of my car . . .

I’m not quite sure where the idea came from to journal in my car.  I found a small pocket-sized steno book called the “fat lil’ notebook” and kept it with me for making notes to myself.  One day it hit me when I felt completely lost that maybe I needed to write a little something more to clear my head, right there in the parking lot on June 10, 2004.  The first entry that I can find went like this:

It’s another parking lot poem this noon

Alas a month later in the rainy part of June.

My new job must end to save my integrity

And the work ethic I’ve carried with me for decades.

So now which way to turn, oh Lord

The great authority and provider of my life?

This makes no sense and yet it does:

To trust you no matter the chaos my days do bring.

For in the end or looking back when down the road,

I’ll see this day as one leaned on faith

And be glad I knew you when and where

I napped in the parking lot before a great swim once again.

 Years later it all made sense to me why the parking lot poems were so meaningful to me.  When we take a drive somewhere, we park our cars and go into a business or residence of some sort and leave our vehicle for a time.  We return later, put our belongings somewhere near us, turn the key in the ignition, and take off for our next destination.  The time in the parking lot or driveway is a point of transition from one destination to another.  We have completed one activity, gathered our things, and prepared to make our way to the next location.  During the short time when we are sitting and stationary, we might have a quick thought about what has transpired (did we accomplish something or did we encounter difficulties?) and think about where we are headed next (how do I get there and who will I see/what will I do there?).  The brief moment allows us to re-group, re-gather, re-launch until it’s time to go back home again.  This time goes quickly for most folks, I reckon.

That time did not go quickly for me at all.  I often got stuck in the parking lot when I was trying to move from one activity to the next.  I cannot explain it exactly.  I just know that the overwhelming burden of my life at that time made it nearly impossible at times to make transitions, change activities, or gear up for the next item on my “to do” list.  Have you ever experienced this Gentle Reader?  I just could not move on.  I couldn’t even tolerate music or news on my radio as it became like noise in a crowded bus terminal laden with diesel fumes.  I would often sit there in my little black race car (aka Honda Civic) in silence for what felt like a long time before I organized my thoughts and initiated the steps to get going again.  This is where the Parking Lot Poems changed everything.

Poetry is a looser form of communication than prose.  There aren’t as many rules in free form poetry, you can stop and start at any point, and emotions can blurt themselves onto the page in incomplete sentences.  It gets the words out quicker, eh?  Do you want to hear something else crazy?  After that 3-year period of time when writing poetry was such an instrumental tool in coping and healing, I stopped writing poetry.  I guess I didn’t need it anymore.  Oh I tried a few times but the words simply did not flow freely.  No more parking lot poems for me!  My favorite poem that was initially written in a parking lot became part of a 9-foot mural on a wall in my home, the one with the custom window treatments I wrote about earlier this past week.  I’ll save the story about “The Wall” for another time.

For this early morning writing, I’m just using my newer friend of blogging instead.  I am having trouble sleeping this day due to some noxious events.  Sure got some good thinking done tonight though and for that I am grateful.  Better go park myself back in bed before the sun comes up and try to make a go of sleeping again.

Thank you Lord for your gift of words.  Your Word is how we know you and fall in love with you.  Hmmmm.  Reminds me of a song.  May I sing it in my heart to you Lord?

Words

To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question

Shall I blog for my own aggrandizement or to edify the Lord?

If I sign my name and not His with His Word, have I turned the attention to my finite mind and wisdom instead of His omniscience?

Will the cutsy comics and quips create a stir in the moment and not an eternal fire in the hearts of men and women?

Can coping for the moment or finding the next cure become a substitute for finishing the race of life well no matter what, for His glory, His purpose, His plan?

If suffering is my best result in this life, will it still be wasted if I do not see the fruit of my labors and toils in the next 24 to 48 hours?

The apostle Paul wrote many letters inspired by God while in chains, in prison, in recovery from tortuous beatings and deplorable conditions.  If we own a computer and can read this, we will not be able to fully understand how God used this broken man to change the world forever.  He had His own infirmities on top of this such that others had to record the words for him so that we would know the heart of God centuries later.  God’s Word, though Paul inspires me to look beyond the blog, the news headline, the Facebook posting for real, enduring answers and truth.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.  (Phil 1)

The questions noted earlier are among the important questions for Christian bloggers no matter what the topic of conversation.  I doubt that each of us will ever really know the answer to the question, “why do I blog?”  Oh we might think we have a purpose, a theme, a mission for our works .  .  .  I just hope that for me, my words have little to do with my drama and more to do with the One who created me!

24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:     that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,     justice and righteousness on earth,     for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.  (Jer 9, NIV)

Your thoughts?