Archive | June 2016

Lovin’ through the crazy…

Well, I’d be lying if I said life was all peaches and cream right now.

Focusing on gratitude really helped me see the humor in my crazy life this week. Yesterday was the icing on the cake! I watched tired, grumpy kiddos for a family who is going through the fires of fighting cancer. I ended up in the wrong place due to a GPS error. Traffic was horrendous. I’m a country gal. Hate traffic. A professional panhandler hit me up while I had said kids in the store. And the man in front of me bought every single avocado in the store — one of the big items on my grocery list.

To top things off, the cat vomited and my hubby tracked it all over unknowingly!

Let’s revisit the kids and chronic illness theme. As a parent, once you think you have figured out how to handle one stage, a new one hits. Multiply this time ten with the many different ways chronic illness effects children.

Time to fill up the love tanks. The kids just need someone who loves them through the crazy. Time. Attention. Hugs. Correction. Encouragement. Isn’t that the way the heavenly Father loves us?

  • Love like the Father in Heaven. He does not ignore us or or need for correction. Hebrews 12:5-8
  • He loves His children even when they don’t deserve it. Romans 5:8-9
  • He loves to give good gifts to His children. James 1:17
  • He showers us with love and mercy. Ephesians 2:4-7
  • Our Heavenly Father listens to us and wants us to talk to Him! Matthew 6:6-13

When you see life is crazy, love like there is no tomorrow!

My daughter was with me caring for the kids. I had to encourage her to be patient many times. The tired littles had fun. My girl talked my ear off on the long drive home. Non-stop. The tired me wanted her to stop. The Father God love in me soaked it up. Life is hard, but God is good.  Make me a reflection of  His holy love, I pray. Prayers appreciated from you all. We face more crazy days ahead with a surgery for my hubby sometime this summer.

How can I pray for you in this crazy life we lead? Let me know, okay?

Footprints of gratitude….

image

Our earthly footprint really is so small.

Parenting brings out the cliches. They grow up so fast. You blink and they’re all grown up. Well, I am more than halfway through my parenting journey to the legal age of adulthood. I would like to put the brakes on it for just a bit, too.

Parenting with chronic illness or cancer in the home has its own unique twist of challenges.

There are way too many facets to deal with in one post. I think I will sit down and chart an outline of what my greatest parenting challenges have been and still are. I have a few people in mind to interview, too, who are dealing or have dealt with this in living technicolor.

Usually I ask for your input at the end of the post. But start thinking now as you read. How has chronic illness affected your parenting? What are your greatest challenges? Any great tips that have really helped your family?

I will share this challenge right off the bat. It is a constant battle to maintain joy on the journey. I’m not talking about slap-stick happiness, or just faking it. But I do believe laughter is the best medicine. Gratitude for the simple blessings truly does bring joy. All of us can find something to give thanks for if we are still breathing in God’s good air. Gratitude lends a helping hand to joy.

Sometimes depression hangs over our house like the dark clouds of Mordor. What’s a mom/caregiver/breadwinner to do?

This may sound like a broken record (google it), but only Jesus can give you joy and inner peace when your husband’s body is broken and you can’t fix it. You can’t pretend for all your kids’ growing up years that everything is okay. When children are very young, I do think you have to shelter them from too much sorrow. If you can… So what happens when the hard questions come?

Make up your mind to be thankful! Dad’s been sick in bed all day and your children are moody, understandably! Be a ray of light in that dark cloud. But why? What is the end goal?

  • You want your children to grow up knowing God is good. Giving thanks for the blessings reminds us of this daily. This takes practice! I want to do better at modeling tangible praise to God every day.

  • Read the Biblical stories of real people persevering through hard times. My daughter fell in love with Ruth for a period of time, then Esther.

  • Read/listen to courage-inspiring true stories. Note to self: compile a list of suggested reading for you!

  • Have a talk time with each child nearly every day. My time comes at bedtime most days. Sometimes it happens in the car. Key words: they talk, you listen! You want to hear what their joys, sorrows, and frustrations are. You will find kids actually end up asking for advice if you listen well.

  • Pray about problems together. There is no better time than when your child has unloaded their troubles on you. IF they need anything, they need to know the Heavenly Father is always available. Who doesn’t need this?

  • Block out time for happiness. Plan special outings and happy memories together. When money is tight and travel is tough with chronic illness, enlist friends to pop in and check on your husband while you leave the house and just do something fun together. If you can include dad, all the better..

  • Institute a real reward for not whining. I was given a roll of quarters. Ten dollars is a nice chunk of change to my daughter. For every complaint, I got to take back a quarter over a month’s time. Thankfully she kept more than half of the roll in the end.

    These are a few humble suggestions. I would love to have your input. What are your major parenting challenges that chronic illness aggravates? How have you dealt with them? 

 

 

Snowflakes in June…

That’s right! Beautiful, one-of-a-kind snowflakes — that’s what we are.

So it simply stands to reason that there is no one-size-fits-all cure for the ailments our chronically ill husbands face. That is an extremely hard concept for us to grasp! Thinking there is leads to a lot of mental anguish. What if we had tried this? What if our budget allowed for that?

Just because we aren’t healthy doesn’t mean we aren’t holy.

I am starting to see more of this mentality amongst the family of God. It really bugs me.

The humble reality is that all of our bodies are fragile, and we can all succumb to disease. Sin cursed us in the Garden of Eden. No amount of proper diet, special oils, supplements, and exercise will stop that.

Don’t get me wrong. I am in support of healthy living, natural remedies, AND medical intervention. Just this weekend a C-section saved the life of my friend and her baby.

A personal friend of mine just told me that her very fit, healthy son experienced serious heart issues this week.

I can already hear the flapping jaws trying analyze WHY things went wrong with him.

Peace, my sisters. Let it rest. You mean well. I know you mostly do. Though there is that self-righteous tendency in all of us to think we really know what is best for someone else.

Medicine and naturopathy are called practices for a reason.

“It’s all a crapshoot, you know.” says Lauren, whose story I am sharing snippets below.

Lauren Baer posted publicly on Facebook about her experience and the fallout of being a victim of campus rape. What she has to say applies equally to the chronically ill.

“In the summer of 2010, I was assaulted by a guy who lived in the apartment below me. The details don’t matter.

You see, by God’s grace alone, I was already attending the Recovery ministry at my church because I knew I needed Jesus to heal me from some other stuff. The next morning after “the event”, I was really confused and upset. I showed up on the front step of my accountability partner who lived down the street. She let me shower and sleep in her bed, and she bought me breakfast tacos…

 

In January, it became evident that I was losing my short term memory. I made 30s on exams that I had studied very hard for. It was as if I had never heard of or read the material on the exams. It was panic-inducing. I told my professors what had happened to me. I told my sisters….

I started months of trying to sort out which medicine worked for me. It’s all a crapshoot, you know. Body and brain chemistry is so unique to each individual. I went through four medicines, each with its own two to three week adjustment period. One made me lose 11 more pounds in a week and a half and made me feel seriously insane. Trauma on trauma.

I spent four years healing from PTSD.
In July of 2012, I got married.
In January of 2013, I got off of medicine.
In September 2013, we moved to Greece.
In July of 2014, we moved back home.

Love, Lauren

Please feel free to share this post with others.”

 Snowflakes are only truly healed by the Maker of snowflakes. Soul-healing is the best kind, though each of us would go for bodily healing, too, I’m sure.

What are some of the real heart issues we all need healing from?

Colossians 3 gives us a few clear directions:

  • Anger (maybe even my being just a bit irritated with the pushy healthy and holy folk)😄
  • Wrath
  • Malice
  • Blasphemy (against God and those made in His likeness)
  • Unforgiveness
  • Lying
  • Filthy communications, umm…think gossip included…
  • Sexual sins, body and mind

So what’s a gal to do?

“Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved…mercies, kindness,humbleness of mind, meekness, lonsuffering, forbearing one another, forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all things put on charity which is the bond of perfectness.”

I think we can all agree on this. So let’s put our focus here. Then we will be truly healthy and holy.

___

 

 

People in need of change…

Relationships are complicated.

We could all use a bit of help. Umm, well, maybe a great deal of help.

Here is my bit of encouragement for you today.

Read this book. Lots of honest, biblical wisdom rests between these covers.

If you are at all like me you often slip into survival mode. Being a caregiver has to be up there on the top ten list for stressful job descriptions.

I really do believe God has called us to move beyond survival mode.

That is a mindset I have struggled with for years.

I know God is working endurance and patience in my life. 1 Peter 1

But I don’t want to just “grin and bear it.”
imageQuite frankly, being “conformed to the image of His Son” is a process that requires the pain of bearing our cross, whatever that may be.

But again, I don’t want to just grin and bear it. Although some days are definitely like that here. Especially in winter. If you ever want to be a huge encouragement that is the season!

Reading this book is like going for that much delayed doctor’s visit. Not always fun, but you get help for your problems. Why?

Check out these chapter names.

  1. Understanding your heart struggle
  2. Following the Wonderful Counselor
  3. Building relationships by identifying suffering
  4. Discovering where change is needed

No, there is no affiliate link here. Just wanted to encourage you beyond my words.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things GROW UP into him who is Head, that is Christ. From him the whole body, joined together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  Ephesians 4:15-16

Are you reading a great book? Have you read one lately? Feel free to share encouragement in the comment section. Blessings!