A matter of perspective

Monday’s perspective:

The level of sunlight raises up then down in the hallway beyond my bed
Like a child playing with a dimmer switch, how I know where these thoughts have led!
How can I get up and face the world one more, yes one more day?
When so much suffering met me here or there, no matter where the level of light has shone along the way?
Still one cannot judge the next moment based upon the past
You just cannot predict when joy, when peace, when hope will come at last?
Simmer down inner child and let the sovereignty of your Lord speak.
You must remember how He delivered you in the past when you were so weak.


Your fears, your toils were measured by My drops of blood while I hung on that cross
I saw, I see, I weep, and I am always right there when you feel lost.
Hitch your heart to Mine choosing faith that freedom will come in due time
Watch for My answers, My leadings, My deliverance some now, some beyond a simple rhyme.


There is hope. There is more. There is a heaven, I promise as I know you have seen.
Walk towards My light dear one: what’s coming is greater than what has been . . .

Friday’s perspective:

In time the beatings diminish

And you catch your breath to finish

The week that held too much, oh dear

Gave way to Friday and better news to hear.

Things moved forward:  medical tests and even some healing

Living more in the facts by golly with less in the “fearful feelings.”

I might even go out soon:  making plans for the days ahead Lord willing

Better get the pup.  It’s time for a ride to pick up the bacon, the drugs, the groceries:  excuses good enough to put off another day the cleaning!

May the Lord bless your weekend, Gentle Reader.  JJ

The small things matter too

My holiday weekend will be measured by small things, small joys.  And these are no less than the big trips, celebrations, fireworks, and gorgeous mountain views from my friends on Facebook.  Here are the things that matter most to me:

A view out a bedroom window that captures the emergence of the giant hibiscus flora.

The sweet look of concern from our furry friend when she knows what’s up and how to love with her eyes.

My beloved who can live in the moment with me no matter what life brings.

I made it through the time that needed to pass while awaiting a medical appointment on Tuesday.

The creative block with Trinity Jewelry by Design broke through with a new bracelet design and a bunch of cute variations with more to follow soon.

Tending to the William Battin roses that exceeded my expectations early this Summer.

Witnessing the promise of a bumper crop of cucumbers to redeem the poor showing with the cool Spring last year.

Time to relax with Steve at home, to review, to plan, to talk, to enjoy meals together.

A couple of phone calls with my brother who is making the most of a frustrating recovery from a stroke.

Long moments dwelling with my Lord in His Word yielding encouragement and refreshment for my soul.

A firework display from the comfort of our kitchen table, compliments of the neighbors next door.

Yes, the small things matter too whether you are recovering from a serious illness or not.  I’ll bet you can think of a few special things too?  I’d love to hear about them Gentle Reader.  Your words encourage my heart and I’d like to get to know you!  Take care,  Just Julie

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Looking for significance

Psalm 139 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!  How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!  Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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Nuff said.  JJ


It’s after midnight and the tilapia is chewy

The real title to this blog was to be:  “To submit is divine,”  but I thought that if I wrote that, no one would read it!  Who wants to submit to anything?  Hey, in my flesh and self-will, no way! 

This day I had to succumb anyways to the nausea, headache, half-day of seizure attacks, and relentless sickness that is Lyme Disease and Candida.  Oddly, it was lying in bed with my brain “fried” for hours and staring at the ceiling that the Lord gave me the quietness I needed to discover what might be making me sicker:  every stinking grain of sugar.  Most of us with Lyme, chronic illness and inflammation know the pitfalls of sugar.  I’d already broken my denial on that one earlier last year.  Sugar feeds Lyme and yeast infections (a common complication from antibiotic and bacteria-killing  treatments), messes with metabolism, weakens an immune system already under attack, and simply won’t satisfy the angst of my flesh for long enough to bother with a treat anyways.  And today it appears that some hidden sources are making me worse.

I am already on a “sugar-free diet” by the way!  Desserts are long gone.  I consume 1/4 serving of low-sugar fruit every other day, use only unsweetened products, omit artificial or herbal sweeteners (that contribute to headaches for me), cut out honey/maple syrup and so on.  Turns out that there’s sugar hidden in my probiotic that is supposed to be helping me!  Two doses I take daily equal 8 grams per day!  Oh no!  Coupled with the 2-4 grams in my “plain” coconut yogurt, my only real treat, that adds up to way too much!  Now that’s a bite in the shorts for sure.

I started to suspect something wasn’t right a few nights ago when I actually began craving my late night supplement concoction mix of coconut yogurt to make the various supplement powders and tinctures more palatable.  So instead I found alternate soft foods to use at night and allowed myself the coconut “treat” of 2 ounces only in the morning.  Can you imagine the restraint it takes to open a luscious carton of yogurt and only eat 2 ounces?  Yeah, I did it and felt a sweet victory.  And now that yogurt is my enemy with the HCL Synbiotic Probiotic.  I guess even the low sugar fruits must now go for a season as well.  This is WAR!

To submit to a drastic dietary change is very difficult and takes time to integrate into a nutritional plan for healing.  I wrote the “Extreme Dietary Survival Strategies” in the PAGES section of this blog to reflect the many guidelines I’ve already learned from others and from my own experimentation.  Looks like there are some new ones to add!  Geez o’ man.  Instead of mixing my supps with dreamy plain coconut yogurt, I’ll have to use coconut butter or unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  O.k.  I can do it.  If this change minimizes the symptoms that killed my day today, I will submit to a 100% sugar-free diet.

It is the nature of our flesh to want what we want, when we want it, and in the way or timing that we want it isn’t it?  When we want it is usually right now!  It is the nature of living in the United States where we have access to just about everything at just about any time of day or night, that makes it hard to delay gratification.  It is the nature of becoming a mature adult in a civilized society to learn that planning ahead, hard work, sacrifice, and patience will get us much more than grabbing things within reach.  However, beyond this it is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer of Jesus Christ that knows for certain that the perceived barriers in our lives are merciful paths to true freedom and peace, even joy.  Such is the glorious mystery of living with Jesus in one’s heart, where He goes before us with love and grace every step of the way.  In the end we will receive more than we ever dreamed possible as we bring glory to our Lord and Savior for waiting on Him.  “The end” may not be next week; the end may transform into our eternity with Him as the crap of this earthly life has ultimately succumbed to His plan and purpose.  Our wants and needs may even change!

Seems strange that in the wee hours of the morning after some chewy tilapia, my mind would finally clear.  My tears have finally been wiped away.  The realization that to submit is to live is now here:  the authorities, the situations, the delays in my life are Christ-ordained and designed for my best self, best life after all.  I do not claim to understand why I or you must go through all of this suffering, loss and pain in the way that we each experience it.  Let’s pray about it.  The answer to the “why” question is often left to the mysterious unanswered questions of life.  I do claim to know the One who reveals Himself to me in His perfect timing with gentleness and love.  I do claim to have faith in my Jesus who has promised me that He will be with me through it all.

I’ll betcha tomorrow is going to be a better day.

Let’s wait with great expectation together, k?

Are We There Yet? Part 2

Nope.

Today is day 67 since leaving my home with my hubby in a leap of faith.  I was deathly sick with complications of Lyme Disease and had just become aware of the mitigating factors of mold in my home.  My husband, Steve, and I had left town for about a week when turnaround in my health began for the better.  We are forever grateful for the prayers, friendship, wisdom, and online community that have been instrumental in surviving this incredible time in our lives.   And still, we are not “there yet.”  Here’s the story:

We left town less than a week after receiving the results of an ERMI test from http://www.mycometrics.com.  The findings:  our home was in the 60-65th percentile of homes with mold exposure.  When my health improved after leaving our home, we quickly initiated a “mold claim” with our homeowners’ insurance company, arranged for an inspection from a mold remediation company, and kept me in a hotel room until we had further direction as to how to proceed.  The inspection was completed at the same time of a visit a field adjuster from our insurance company.  Cool beans.  Both agreed that the damage was a residual effect from water damage in 2009; we would be eligible for the full amount of reparations from our insurance policy.  Only problem was the difference from the estimate to the policy limits would place us $6500 in debt.   Strike one.

We contacted the original company who had completed the water restoration in 2009 and by the grace of God, this visit coincided with a consultation from an industrial hygiene testing firm.  Steve got talking with both of the reps and determined that the damage was most likely due to closing the vent under the master bathroom cabinet and not the water damage; condensation had built up under the cabinet which backs to the cooler wall behind it, from the garage.  We went ahead with some expensive testing and contacted our insurance company with the update.  The claim would now be limited to reimbursement for a limited amount of hotel expenses, and only if this was approved by special managers at our insurance company.  Well, it’s something.  Strike two.

The consulting firm used air quality measures to test inside and outside the home, unlike the surface testing methods of the ERMI test.  The latter is deemed more useful in the healthcare realm for mold sensitive individuals; the former is the industry standard for most workplace, school, and governmental testing.  The results brought no surprise:  the industrial hygienist determined that there were no significant levels of mold inside verses outside our home.  Well this is winter time in Indiana.  Duh?  Everything is dead outside the home this time of year!  The report would later recommend cleaning the duct work if someone in the home is allergic to mold.  But there’s dust everywhere in a home!  What about the drapes, walls, furniture, books,carpeting and so on?  Nothing mentioned about them.

We had the duct work cleaned and the furnace serviced anyways.  One company found a mysterious white dust in the duct work and both companies gave different answers for what it might be:  residue from rust in the galvanized steel duct work vs. drywall dust.  We knew that we could have it tested for another large sum of money or just have it cleaned.  Around this time, Steve and I talked to a waterproofing company rep at our local home and garden show and decided to have them give their opinion on our house.  We live on a slab and they said a couple of days later that it could be lime leaching from the concrete.  Yeah, whatever.

Because I was amassing a large hotel bill as more time was passing, we had decided to begin the process of preparing our home for sale “just in case.”  If we could not diagnose or remedy the irritant in our home, we would need to clean it up, disclose all the reports, and put it on the market anyways.  So Steve made a few repairs, we replaced the garage door, and the house got a thorough cleaning.  The place looked stunning.  All was completed when Steve and I wondered if I was allergic to the drywall.  Maybe it was Chinese drywall?  (Google that one for the controversy and class action lawsuit saga for homes built around the time of our home:  2005.)  After all, there was a noxious smell in the home when I moved in when we got married 5 years ago.  No one was able to smell it but me!  The smell went away when I proceeded to repaint the inside of the home as I gratefully redecorated our love nest for our new life together.

Then there was another “bunny trail” to distract us:  I was not reacting as much in the hotel room as in the homes of others with whom I’d tried to live during this temporary displacement.  The hotel room has an electric furnace.  Our home and the home of our friends has a gas furnace.  I researched byproducts of gas furnaces and related allergies.  We bought a CO detector and put in in the house.  Later we would put it in the garage.  The detector was working fine in both locations without sounding it’s alarm.  Oh Lord, WHAT IS IT?  Strike three and we are out of our minds trying to solve the mystery!

One fateful Sunday night, we did a “smell test.”  I did not react to a sample of drywall.  I did not react to a sample of insulation.  I had not reacted to the blown-in insulation in the attic.  I reacted severely to the tweeny amount of dust on Steve’s coat that he had not worn since last Fall.   So the answer is:  the culprit is in the dust.  We have a mold claim after all.

By this point we had to make a decision about restoring our home or moving.  Our insurance company was unavailable to discuss reclassifying our claim back to the mold claim and the amount available in the policy for reimbursement.  He had last reported that he would only reimburse us for our initial hotel expenses with “manager approval.”  We went ahead and decided to replace the carpeting — another typical allergen — and get me back home.  If I still reacted to the house then we would move after that.  We just needed to keep moving forward.  Restoring another house would introduce too many unknowns even if we did all the same cleaning and replaced the flooring in the new place.  Better to go with a largely known entity with our compiled data from our home.  Although fewer, I was still having setbacks in the hotel that might be the ongoing recovery from Lyme; I am still 65% better overall, gratefully.   The hotel room has newer carpeting.  The dog was with me now and although I’m not allergic to dogs, I usually don’t share a hotel room with a German Shepherd!  It will have to do for now.  I am going home soon!

So at the time of this writing, we are not “there yet.”  We are closer though!  A dear friend is installing a lovely Canadian Maple engineered hardwood throughout our home.  It is more than stunning.  The insurance adjuster just called to notify us that we are eligible for the full amount of the mold coverage in our policy plus a little more for some hotel expense incurred in the beginning before the field adjuster got involved in our case.  Overall, this is fair and a gift from the Lord.  We will pay off our expenses and simply replace a car payment with a flooring payment as one resolves and the other begins.  No problem.

Our story reminds me of the Dear Abby column from many years ago called, The Station.  http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/2810/the-station/   It’s a short read and a nice conclusion to the topic of our desire as human beings to have everything completed, resolved, answered to we can move on with our lives as we desire.  Well life really is never done, we don’t “arrive” until we face the Lord our Creator after we leave this life and pass onto the next.  This life is more about the journey.  The Station encapsulates it better than I can for sure.  I will say that I’ve learned a lot about myself, my beloved husband, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ during these past 67 days.  There’s more to come before I’m home here in Indiana.  Lord willing, I’ll be home soon.  What happens after that is in His hands.

And I do miss blogging.  I’ll write again soon and I promise it will be shorter!  :J