Compassion for Invisible Disability

This post and video from a fellow blogger friend speaks so well on its own that I hate writing anything, but I need you to know I did not write this. Krissy’s video has many statements I have said or thought myself… and more. My own answer when I saw this was An invisible disability is… Cruel! What would yours be? This is a safe place to be honest with your answer. God loves you and knows your heart… and your trials.

Musings of a wounded healer

During invisible disability week I asked our amazing online community to complete the sentence, An invisible disability is…, as part of my ongoing sentence completion project.

Hearing people’s responses and putting them together into this video has really touched my heart personally and professionally. 💚

I think it is something we can all relate to as we become more aware of the different experiences we are all touched by, either directly, through those we love and our communities.

A VIDEO OF OUR ONLINE COMMUNITY REFLECTION:

An invisible disability is…

A list of everybody’s responses:

An invisible disability is very lonely.

An invisible disability is a daily struggle.

An invisible disability is not believed.

An invisible disability is frustrating.

An invisible disability is exhausting. Just because I look OK doesn’t mean I feel OK.

An invisible disability is tiring and not something I can just ‘get over’. It’s my life.

An…

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Lightspeed Lab: The Temple

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJVlightspeed-lab-ep-32

Bible Facts from the Lightspeed: The Temple

Designed by Inner Man Theatre

Prayer Update on Shian 7.22.18

Prayer Warriors, fellow Cancer Survivors and Patients, and dear friends who have been helping me to pray for my friend Shian since mentioning her prayer need back in December of last year when I posted Gifts 2017 #21 Prayer Warriors, I have a praiseworthy update and a request for continued prayer.

Shian has given me permission to share
her update from her Facebook page with you.
Praise God for the smiles on Shian and Darryll’s faces! 🙂
37271062_10215759539362892_214038234907279360_nFive months ago today, I finished my fourth round of chemo, and then we decided to stop treatments. I have been in remission since December, but the doctors remind us there is no cure and much more treatment is needed to keep the cancer away longer. We, and many of you, prayed for weeks about this decision. We know God works through medicine but we also know He can heal without it, it’s all miraculous. So today, we celebrate five months of leaving it with Him. We pray constantly for encouragement, for confirmation, for direction and we give praise for every single day my remission continues. Don’t stop praying over us and praising with us. #fullofGodnotfear

I am so excited for her good news and absolutely continue to pray with and for her. I LOVE her hashtag #fullofGodnotfear (Full of God, Not Fear). Many of you really loved her picture from her announcement of her diagnosis and the beginning of her battle. So I share it again below along with a link to that post for those who may have missed it or joined us since, as I know you praise and pray with me!
Thank you again for helping me to pray for her! Me & God love you! ❤shian.1Gifts 2017 #21 Prayer Warriors

❤ Me and God love you too, Shian!! ❤

 

Bloggers Support Bloggers Award 5.26.18

“I have shewed you all things,
how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak,
and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said,
It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
– Acts 20:35 KJV

What an amazing way to surprise me, to honor those who honor You, to encourage those bloggers to continue in the platforms You have given them, so that most of all those who are weak and/or without You can continue to (or for some begin to) receive the support You provide through so many who are out there blogging to share Your love!

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Thank you, Margaret, for your kindness in nominating me for the Bloggers Support Bloggers Award! It is such a blessing to see God honored all over your blog with His Word! Hence the name of your blog… The Word. God always seems to give you exactly what He knows will be needed that day! I am surely enriched by it!


The Rules:

  1. Thank the one who has tagged you for this challenge and link their blogsite.
  2. Add the official photo in your page.
  3. List at least 5 bloggers you like. (Suggestion: You can list up 3 bloggers that you’ve known for a long time and you can also list up 2 newbies or more. It’s up to you though!)
  4. In 5 sentences or above, give a short description about why you love the blogger.
  5. Tag at least 3 bloggers to do the challenge.
  6. Put #bloggerssupportbloggers in the Tags section so whenever a blogger is looking for new blogs to read, it will be easier to find!

Blogs I Like:
This will be so hard because I like so many! I follow over 300! 🙂 So I will tell of more than 5. Some are award and tag free but are based on supporting and helping others. 

These sites are based on providing/offering support to anyone who contacts them. Their posts are meant to provide awareness, educate, comfort, motivate, provide advice, and so many different things. Their web sites are worth checking into! I keep up with them as often as the Lord will allow! This is a recognition, not a nomination. No homework. 😉
Thriving Under Pressure
Soul Searching
Romy Ras Certified Life Coach
Moonlight Psychology
Make It Ultra
Navigate My Recovery
Damon Ashworth Psychology
Deliberately Better Sleep Retreats
Inkblots and Icebergs
Matthew Winters (Comeback Pastor)
Pastor Unlikely
Paytej
Something to Stu Over
The Abuse Expose With Secret Angel
Loft Forum (Living Our Faith Together)
Free the Anger
The Graced Citizen
Beauty Beyond Bones


The nominees are just as supportive, passionate about reaching out to others, are very active in doing so. I chose them as nominees because I knew they would keep the sharing going!
** If you’re certain you did not see this note earlier, you’re right. I fell asleep before I properly finished. I type and click in my sleep. That’s when I know to shut her down. But I want you to know how supportive the nominees are as well!**

The Nominees:
Discovering Your Happiness
Alethea’s Mind
BUniQ
God’s Anointed Princess
Sim’s Jollies & Jaunts
The Believer’s Triumph

Off Day

Lord, You sure have given me a very off day. You know what I mean.
I think of that line from the John Wayne movie McLintock:

Camille to George McLintock: “Day off?”
George McLintock to Camille: “Off day!”

That’s the way everything felt about this day… OFF!
In the beginning that was the problem, by the end that is the wonder.

I had awakened after an hour or so of sleep with the feeling of oversleeping. I looked at the clock to see I had EXACTLY the amount of time needed to put on my shoes, grab my purse and keys, and race to the first of two appointments today.

The first one I so desperately needed answers and healing to pain. My doctors too were so hopeful, and I knew this doctor was the best in his field. You had blessed me with him twice before, three counting the time he came out in the middle of surgery to let me know that he and his colleague had seen my son definitely had bone cancer, but my son’s doctor was determined to wait for all pathology before a second surgery to determine just how much to cut out. His wait proved to be essential as the pathology showed no cancer, but instead a very unusual fracture.

My son and I were so fond of this doctor, and he had once been so fond of my son because he wrote the doctor a note of thanks for saving his hand. The doctor had mentioned how it touched him and his wife, so they kept it at home where they could see it for daily inspiration. I felt so hopeful about this appointment.

First my stomach would not let me leave without visiting the bathroom.
Then I had issues with my sock, then with the keys, then with a cat was right under the tire moving… s.l.o.w.l.y.! Then as I drove over the local bridge, I saw the Interstate was backed up! Oh no! I started praying taking the back road to the other Interstate would be OK. An industrial truck took a very s.l.o.w pace in front of me before I could find out, so I called the doctor’s office to let them know.
Praise Your name it was moving, but just as I got to my exit it was backed up again.

I made it to the parking lot only to realize it had been so many years that I went to the wrong building. I found it up the hill. I was just about to park when a car backed out of his space right in front of me without looking, causing me to make a very sharp brake. I slid forward toward the steering wheel, as I had just unlatched the seat belt to save me time when getting out of the car. Whew!
I was 10 minutes late, but they were so wonderful.
They were getting a lot of calls about the backups.

I did my paperwork, gave the insurance cards, and took the brief moment between to take a deep breath. My body was reacting to the stress, so I was trying to relax a little to relive some pain. My wait was not long at all. I followed my nurse into the room, answered questions, and waited for my doctor, who was also a dear friend.

The delightful greetings were at least as I thought it would be, but I was so shocked… disappointed… devastated! Not in the doctor… but the answer… or lack thereof. There was nothing he could do. He saw the problem is real… it may get worse… but there was nothing he could do. I was in such disbelief. He could see I was upset. I told him it wasn’t him, but that it had been so painful, and that if he couldn’t help me then no one could. I knew he was the best in his field. He appreciated that and felt bad, but literally didn’t even suggest a brace, a bandage, therapy, ice, heat… NOTHING.

I mentioned to him that the urgent care doctor had said when she saw no break on the x-rays they took that he could read them better, and would want to do a MRI or better imaging if it wasn’t just bone. She was concerned about Osteoarthritis being the problem (which I confirmed to her I have) and strongly urged me to see him. He said if they saw nothing then it just wasn’t there, and that he could tell I had OA, but didn’t believe this was the problem. “But I need to be able to use my hand!” “I’m sorry.”

This was so devastating it was all I could do not to cry. Part of me started to, but anytime I cry at a doctor’s appointment or anything medical I get the “anxiety” label and treatment. You know… where all of a sudden I’m treated like I’m either having a nervous breakdown, acting childish, overreacting, paranoid, just don’t understand, and am being irrational all because I allow my fear, my tear, or my concern being out in the open. This helped me hold off till I got to the car. Even then I could feel my body wanting to express this moment out loud, but my brain wasn’t having it.

I stopped at the post office box afterwards, and found a jury summons. Federal court this time. So I drove to a local chick-fil-A to put something on my stomach while doing my devotions. Uh oh. Tablet and phone need a charge. I get inside and realize I left my writing compo in car. So many little things could make one scream, but I said a prayer on the way to CFA.
“Ok., Lord. What do YOU want to do with this day? This is YOUR day. I am where YOU want me. What do YOU want from me?”

Joy starts coming over me as everywhere I look and see little smiles and waves keep coming at me. They keep coming from the playground, the table in front me, behind me, beside me, and walking by. They’re all too little to have been influenced by someone to raise their hand, or fake a smile. Everyone is noticing, and are tickled by it.
This would be my joy for the day!

The stress from the first appointment was adding to the stress of the later appointment before even arriving to the second one. An appointment that I dreaded. Not because I was dreading my doctor or the visit, but because he had discussed what to expect. I knew it would involve being extremely uncomfortable. The pressure was necessary to work through things. I was dreading dealing with that pressure so much that I was stressing myself with fear of frustrating or aggravating my doctor.

I still had a couple of hours in between, so I THOUGHT I would catch my breath. I get in the car and realize a bird has “hit” my window. It is over 80 degrees out, but I know NOT to roll down that window as I see there are two spots side by side, and streaked down the window to just inside the door.  I need to get gas as well, so I go to the local grocery store that has a gas station and car wash. I waited in line behind the other cars for over an hour, but I finally get the wash.

Pulling out, I notice it has not touched the stain! So I pull over to the gas pump to grab the window squeegee. I am trying to scrub, but the stain isn’t budging and my hand is not working. It hurts! But it’s not wasting its time on something that seems to have no hope. I suddenly have a feeling this stain might be on the inside! Don’t roll the window down! I drive on to the pharmacy to get my meds and pick up a bottle of Lysol Wipes with the scrubber one side and wiper on the other. Sure enough it was on the inside!! How did that bird hit inside a closed window, leaving a double stain that started in the MIDDLE of the window?!?

I realize by this time, I might as well go on over to this dreaded appointment before anything else happens to keep me from it. I make it with a little time to at least catch my breath. Now You are ready to allow me to attempt that! 😉 I pray, and gain the motivation to go on in!

Pleasant greetings are exchanged. Some joking about a chair in the lobby. And before long we are discussing my homework, how I am doing, and where to begin. I am offered, even encouraged, to make a decision. I am afraid to do so because I am afraid of making the wrong choice. I am afraid of frustrating my doctor. I attempt to follow his direction. Then as I expected it was time to avoid the very subject which needed addressing. I try to at least be honest that I am doing so, with the conveyance that I DO want to do what needs to be done. Reluctant trust shows up, but at least it some form of trust, enough to keep moving in the needed direction.

The very uncomfortable process keeps moving forward. I am soon so focused on the surprising result not being as I expected that my focus shifts to enduring even more to convince my brain… “Yes. I am doing this. I don’t know why it is not as I expected, but isn’t it more important that there is accomplishment in some manner? Isn’t it more important that I do what helps my doctor help me? Isn’t it a load off to know there is no point in carrying that load? I know your fear that the process isn’t over and the meat of the discomfort will show up. But can’t we just save our energy for dealing with it when… IF it comes? Maybe we’re wrong in thinking it HAS to be the result we expect. Maybe when the doctor says it’s OK and that we are doing well, shouldn’t we trust him to know what he’s talking about? Shouldn’t we at least focus on what is happening versus what is not happening? I could really use a break from all of this stress!”

The appointment comes to an end and I am in complete disbelief again. This time I am too afraid to believe how well things seem to have went compared to how I had feared. The dread had been replaced by comfort. The process had led to trust. The trust had brought an unexpected result. We still have much to work on, but the dreaded unknown had been put to light. The light had exposed the shadow of fear. Letting the doctor guide my treatment allowed at least a hopeful start in healing.

And isn’t that what makes it all more bearable… hope.
Isn’t that what made this day so off?
Where hope was expected to heal… it failed to even show up.
Where hope wasn’t even seen to be possible…
it was the very thing that made anything possible.
If hope is the evidence of things unseen, how did this happen?

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1 KJV

I’m still trying to figure all of this out because it just seems so off that where I had faith, hope was taken from me,
and where I was too focused on fear to trust, hope was given birth.
Is it possible that being I was given no counsel on possibilities for healing that my faith was not given the chance to be exercised?
Yet because I was given the chance, even encouraged, to trust… that my faith was exercised and hope given birth?
One thing I know for sure.
You my Creator, my Great Physician, Counselor, Almighty God, gave me a very off day… at least from my feeble human mind.
Lesson learned…. give You the chance to offer me to trust… have faith that You know best… and that whatever You lead me to, You will lead me through.
All my hope is in You!

Happy 26th Smoke Free Anniversary!

Yay!! Thank You, Jesus! 26 years of being smoke free!! My lungs, my heart, my blood pressure, my sinuses, my entire body is so thankful! It’s so hard, and yet so delightful to know it has been 26 years! It was so very hard then! But You could not pay me to take even one puff! I am eternally grateful for Your help.

I really don’t remember how young I was when I first smoked a cigarette. I just remember by 7 years old, it was a habit me and my siblings had sneaking cigarettes out of cartons or packages belonging to my grandmother and my dad. Sometimes we even stole them from the stores, along with candy. We were so horrible! And I do NOT say that fondly, as if to promote that as a sweet memory. You were so merciful to see us through such sinful times. You are so wise when You say,

“Even a child is known by his doings,
whether his work be pure,
and whether it be right.”

– Proverbs 20:11 KJV

I do remember by 12 that my neighbor (who was also my best friend) and I bought a pack of cigarettes each, along with some candy, and made sure to eat the candy and smoke every single cigarette we had before we got home within 30 minutes or so. We stayed up all night. The next afternoon when she was supposed to go with us out to eat, my parents let me know she could not go because she had been throwing up all day. Before we could leave, I too became sick. They were highly suspicious but never figured out why. But I knew. It actually made me quit. But then…

Later that year, we moved to Hickory and I went to a school for troubled kids. Twice a day there was a 15 minute smoke break for the WHOLE school! Teachers and students smoked and talked together. Eventually I felt like I was missing out on something. Just a few months later, we moved back and I was smoking so often that my parents officially allowed me to smoke. The only lecture I got was 2 questions from my grandmother.
1. You know that is what killed your Granddaddy? Lung cancer? That it made his lungs black?
2. You know you are going to have to buy your own cigarettes, don’t you?
By Christmas I was on my grandmother’s Christmas list to receive a carton.

I quit when I found out I was pregnant just as I turned 18, but I started having quite a problem with my blood pressure. This caused the clinic to send me to a high risk clinic and sent a nurse to my house. EVERY DAY I was accused of smoking and told to quit for my baby. No matter what I said, they would not believe me, but only stressed me more by talking about cigarettes every second they could. Eventually I caved. When the nurse came back, she started praising me for quitting. When I told her the opposite happened she asked how much I smoked before hand. I told her a pack to a pack and a half a day. She asked me how much I was smoking now. I answered just one or two a day for my nerves. She asked if I had quit cold turkey, and I said yes. She said that was probably why and apologized for stressing me out. She encouraged me to quit smoking before labor.

I quit smoking for maybe a week or two, but after having him, again my nerves were so stressed that my body struggled to have bowel or bladder movements. It didn’t help that my little brother teased me day and night about wanting one, and smoking right in front of me to tease me, but it was my sister who told me it was because I quit smoking. So I started back, and sure enough. My body relaxed and had mercy on me.

I would try on and off for years to quit but could not seem to do it. By the age of 22, I was on antibiotics every 2 weeks. I could not breathe through my sinuses, so I had to hotbox each cigarette to feel anything. Taste was long gone. But I couldn’t finish even half a cigarette because hot-boxing was giving me such a headache, and making my sinuses so much worse. My doctor kept trying to tell me I was allergic to smoke, but I would tell him I had been smoking since I was little. And I thought that for a person to be allergic meant immediately rushing to the hospital to save your life. I also already had a damaged heart valve by then, but kept smoking.

One night at the ER, they refused to treat me… saying… “It won’t do me any good to prescribe anything. Even if I had a magic pill to heal you, one puff could undo everything. You already know you shouldn’t smoke with the damaged heart valve. You already stay on antibiotics so much and have a genetic disadvantage to emphysema (my dad already had it), so it is clear you are starting to develop emphysema, and I can promise you that you will be dead before you’re 30, and that’s if you make it.”

I don’t know why that visit made such a difference, but I can tell you it did! It scared me so much to know they refused to treat me, knowing I was so sick, struggling to breathe, after all the lectures they would give me about my heart valve. By the grace of God, I quit COLD TURKEY!! Yes, I would have challenges with my brother, my best friend, my sister, and so many friends constantly and intentionally getting in my face trying to get me to smoke again. My best friend even openly declared all the time that I made her look bad. But God had put a good scare into me. The closest I came was after I had a SINGLE cough while sitting in a college class, and this nasty yellow GUNK went into my hand. GROSS! My doctor told me it was my lungs clearing out. I told him if it kept up, I would start back because I had NEVER done that! He said I was lucky because not everyone’s lungs tries to clean themselves out, especially so quickly. God used that to encourage me!

During that summer, I was also blessed with another great love of my life… swimming… unlimited, night and day access to a swimming pool and a hot tub. I couldn’t smoke and swim like other smokers around me. I would have SUCH headaches and chest pain, so it was no contest. I LOVED swimming! And still do! I miss it so! 😦 I was able to play softball with the guys, was very active in the Jaycees, walked or ran 5 miles a day before or after work, and went back to swim every chance I got in the day! I not only avoided the usual gaining of weight (which everyone swore I needed then), but I lost weight, gained some sun, and improved on some surgical scars from the sun lotion! I felt so awesome!

I know this is a very long post that I meant to be a quick… YAY! PTL! But you have to understand the difference that made in MY life. I was a 22 yr old single mom, and my son was just 3 years old. If I had made it to just 30 (just 8 more years) I still would have missed out on so much! My son’s beautiful smile, his junior high graduation, being his escort for Senior prom banquet, his high school graduation, protecting him during a time family and friends were trying to push known sex offenders into my son’s life (literally into our home and to allow him to be picked up from his school). I was a fierce momma bear during that no matter what family or friends were offended, and directly confronted the sources! Even becoming a part of a two man (me and my son) team to defend those already victimized!

I was blessed to see his college years, to meet his first girlfriend, to know his bride, to be a part of his beautiful wedding, meet his wonderful in-laws, and new loving church family, be there when he went through an unwanted divorce, was there for him when the doctors thought he had bone cancer in high school, and so much more. I was able to be there for my dad when he was sick and in the hospital, to later care for my mom in her last few years, even when house ridden, bedridden, and my stepdad had a stroke around the same time. I beat myself up quite a bit, greatly insulting God when I do, but God uses my son and wonderful souls along the way to remind me of what HE DOES in and through me. And He uses this blessed anniversary to remind me each year.

So I share this because I have SO many family and friends who are struggling with quitting. Some are trying for the umpteenth time. Their health is screaming at them now! I want to support and encourage them! My health has a lot of challenges, and I am only here by God’s say so, but He does still have me here. If I had not quit 26 years ago, I wouldn’t even be here to give myself such a hard time.

This also comes at a time that I am struggling with many things physically because of childhood or teenage behaviors. Whether they were taught to me, done to me, or I simply learned or was allowed to do them doesn’t matter. My body is the one screaming at me now for many of those things. I am trying hard to follow God in taking care of my body… the vessel He gave me. Many of you may be struggling with or simply having to live with the consequences of your past. God wants you to know that even if those things cannot be erased, He can give sweet grace, mercy, peace, and sometimes even healing. But we must first come to Him, allow Him to point those things out, ADMIT to them so that we can deal with them by first giving them to Him! He loves you! He cares what has happened to you, and what IS happening to you now. Confess to Him.. even if it’s just the emotions of how things make you feel… how you feel towards Him.. be as honest.. as raw… as open as possible! He knows any way! He just wants you to trust Him!

One day we will ALL have freedom from our scars, our addictions, our behaviors, our abusers, our damaged bodies, our impaired thinking, our failing health, our weakened and bitter spirits, and all things that make life a challenge where God did not want anything but good for us. He has good waiting for us. He has perfection waiting for us! We have new bodies waiting! New names! New spirits! New homes!

A NEW… ME and YOU!!

God has went to prepare a new place for me and you!
❤ He loves us!! ❤

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
– John 14:1-6 KJV

 

“NEW” Series, #3 Graduating

Lord, You have made me a new graduate! 🙂 Praise Your Holy name! You helped me to complete the Diabetes Prevention Class that my regular doctor referred me for last year.

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It was a new program through our local hospital. Our group was literally the first class. We were given very nice scales, a pedometer, food journals, and a large binder with paperwork for the classes we had once a month.

 

 

Most importantly and most valuable, we were given a personal dietitian coach that saw us on scheduled appointments, scheduled phone calls,  and made us welcome to call them any time. “Lacey” was my coach. She showed compassion in sharing her advice, mercy in rearranging phone calls, and patience in listening to me ramble on. God definitely made her the most valuable encouragement from this program.

“Thank you, “Lacey!” I am grateful to God for you! Praying for you! God loves you!”

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You helped me to attend each class! This can be challenging with four of us sharing a vehicle, and my unreliable health. You allowed me to learn more on food labels, food journals, better eating habits, better food choices, realistic goals, my liquid intake, and even not being so hard on myself. During this program, You helped our whole family develop better eating habits and better choices. And I still have my binder to refer to for the information that we learned along the way.

 

 

Along the way, I learned my skipping breakfast and sometimes lunch too was not helping my body at all. It was challenging getting used to eating so early, especially since I don’t really like most breakfast foods. The majority of it is greasy. Cereal was how I began my day. I learned to pay better attention to a menu when we had to eat out. I learned you can order an individual egg by itself… and did. My most eye opening information for myself was learning that I do not drink enough liquid. Oh yeah, I was drinking more water than anything else, but whatever I drank I nursed it.

Lastly is that piece of paper…..

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This piece of paper is validation that I do care about my health… that I am dedicated to working hard on preventing my body from developing diabetes. My doctors can know that I am not just laying around. While I would love to show it to each of my doctors, it is enough for me to know for myself that I actually finished something… by following You, and trusting you with what seemed pointless.

❤ THANK YOU, LORD! MY GREAT PHYSICIAN! ❤