Categories
Ambitions Goals

June Swoon

Summer has arrived! Chances are: This either excites you, or terrifies you.

In my case: Summer, POTS, and Fibromyalgia (just these three alone) make for a draining combination. I have been fighting for my health – since 2006 (at least). And, Summer is when it is absolutely at its worse.

The enjoying requires much preparation, resting, and even “flare up’s” to fight for those good Summer moments.


A Bit of My Story –

I have been working on different ways to “treat” my symptoms. Then Summer arrives, and it is like I have lost all progress. Especially on days like today, when simply sitting outside for a few moments – causes those symptoms to rush in.

Many POTS patients also experience fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, exercise intolerance, nausea, diminished concentration, tremulousness (shaking), syncope (fainting), coldness or pain in the extremities, chest pain and shortness of breath. – Dysautonomia International

Summer is known for worsening my symptoms, which is why I have been playing around with “life hacks” since February. Things like “WFPB” freezer meals, coloring, and involving the Scriptures into my days. I know of my need for healthy distractions and “strengthening tools.”

The month of June could be beautiful, inspiring, and send us deeper into our Savior’s arms – especially in the hard moments.


The Focus

My “word” (okay technically, it is two words) for the year is. . . Drawing Nearer.

For this month, the beginning of Summer, I need to do just this. Focus on drawing nearer to the Lord Jesus. However I can. Wherever I can. This month, my aim is to see growth in becoming like Christ.

Admittedly, my June goals may look a bit more relaxed than other months. But, just remember these three words: “It is Summer!” My focus has to be centered around a quieted way of life.

Do –

  • Enjoy my weekly home small group (as we study Ephesians).
  • Rest, even when I don’t think I need to.
  • Daily fuel and my “strengthening tools” – which include:
    • Read my Bible. It may be in Ephesians, Philippians, or another area.
    • Color or stencil
    • Listen to praise music
    • Eat as plant based as humanly possible. This one is becoming easier to do, the longer I do it.
    • Try to read for 15-20 minutes.
  • Keep remembering the truth Proverbs 3:5-10 has for my life

Learn –

how to spend time with our Lord Jesus, and cultivate some much needed spiritual disciplines. Even in the midst of a storm, there is much I have to learn.

Read –

My honest goal is to – just read. How many books? One never knows. It could be three. It could be eight. 15-20 minutes a day – is the aim.

Be Protective

All I can do is – my best to protect my body, mind, and soul in this difficult season of life. Be cautious of weather, the things I use to entertain me, and how I treat this body God has given me.

It is the start of Summer, which can either excite us or cause great nervousness in us. What are your goals for the beginning of Summer?

Featured image by Jay Wennington through Unsplash.

Categories
*Secret Glimpses

#ShareFourSomethings – A Link Up Post

Hey friends! Tonight, I want to do something a bit different. Following Mrs. Disciple’s lead, I want to share my own four things for the month of February. This is a nice way to “recap” life. What are some new favorite’s in my life?

Choosing to join this link up with Heather’s “Share Four Somethings”.

Something Loved

Right now, I am clinging to Hawk Nelson’s new song “Parachute.” It is exactly what my soul needs to hear.

‘Cause I am falling, will You catch me?
God, I need You to be my rescue
I am broken, will You fix me?
God, I need You to be my rescue
Be my parachute

Coming in 2nd is Matthew West’s “Mended”, and this whole playlist right here.

Both songs are speaking greatly to me, as I walk through my own brokenness. 

Something Read

Right now, I am diving into “Enduring Trials God’s Way” by Scott LaPierre. This book is just soo touching, while I face health flares. This is my night time companion right now. I listen to my audio feature on my Kindle each night (if it’s charged enough), as I go chapter by chapter through this book – which the Lord is using to keep me close to Him and build me up!

Something Said

“. . . I think that deep connection we all long for will finally be filled when we see Jesus face to face. . .”

This was said in a Christian group I belong to. I only can share a snippet of it, since it was said in a closed group. But, I have been sorta clinging to // wrestling with this statement, where this longing might just be a longing for Heaven. Maybe, it is just a deep longing for the Lord. It might, it might be the Spirit stirring me to pursue Christian community on a whole ‘nother level (made for community, friends). But, it is something I have been thinking on.

Something Learned

Have I learned anything this month? There are always a lot of lessons I am learning. Some involve opening deep emotions. This is true, even in the food thing.

My big “lesson” this month has been to be more faithful to eating plant based. I have been experiencing much more POTSy moments the past few days. Nothing that has landed me in the hospital, thankfully, but it is the reality that my physical body has much different needs than others seem to. I don’t want more “black out” moments, so I need to really be careful with how I eat (because unfortunately I am getting back to where I was before, health wise).

This seems to be my biggest “lesson” these days, just trying to convince myself that avoiding temptations is worth it. Because it is a hard way of eating to follow. Just because it means more dietary restrictions. Right now, I am just being reminded that I can do this because God passionately loves me. He will help me do this. It’s just fighting through the emotions and temptations of this new way of living.

But today, I did find and make a delicious fully plant based and allergen’s safe banana bread recipe. Which I will share here soon. <3

Still seeking Him, just dealing with many moments of discouragement and depression,

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Featured Photo by Jessica Ruscello.

Categories
Ambitions Impact

Impact #2

My last impact entry was about 2 months ago. A lot has happened in that time. Health scare, which was relieved by a less serious health problem. Good news! (Bad news is: POTS is the reason for worsening symptoms. All before Spring.)

Feeling – Lately, I have felt a myraid of things. Home Sick. Loneliness. Frustration. (Dis)Contentment. Peace. Joy. Laughter. Mmmm, variety of emotions. Good, Bad, and in between. POTS has been rough, but I am still here. So, that is good news. I am not hooked up to a hospital bed with monitors. I am finding joy in unlikely places of chronic illness.

While all days aren’t joy-infused, I have the hope of my Savior Jesus Christ to remind me who I am. . . in spite of illness. Looking forward to Heaven, but trying to make the most of my time on earth to do something worthwhile.

Studying – Since my last impact, I have nearly finished studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Last week, I began the book of James. I am really enjoying it. One of today’s verse hit home for me, and is found at the end of this blog post. I have been reading and studying using The Living Bible found on Bible Gateway, which is a paraphrase like the Message. I am absolutely loving it! It is soo nice to have the privilege to open up the Bible in a new translation, using different wording, but having the same meaning. The Word of God is coming alive!

Reading – I am not quite sure that I am reading anything right now, since I have gotten out of the habit of reading actual books. Desiring God and reading the Bible in chronological order (that things happened) is what I am reading. Our church is reading the Bible together in a specific schedule. We have gone through Job, Genesis, Exodus, and are in Leviticus. Even with the audio Bible, my reading track record isn’t perfection but who says it has to be?

Listening To –

Celebrating – Many things.

  • Jesus is the top celebration. He loves me, and stays with me no matter what!
  • Doctors who care about their patients.
  • Good music that speaks God’s truths
  • Seeing how God can revive my broken spirit.

Loving – the gift of streaming biblical teachings, for anyone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the biblical truths we need to know.

Praying – for my health, family, and a new blog series idea.

Holding Onto – Jesus! I am holding onto Jesus. Jesus is the One who is holding me, through all of life’s storms.

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God… (Ps. 56:3-4)

Other Scriptures – James 1:9 (found below)

A Christian who doesn’t amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord’s sight (James 1:9).

Feature image by Daniel Roe.

Categories
Chronic Illness The Overcomer Life

Sunday Confession

I really do love church. The people, ermm not always (just sum it up to::: highly sensitive introvert, who lacks the ability to pour out emotional energy to be there for people when she can barely be there for herself). The music, yes. The nursery where I service, absolutely.

… But, sometimes, I struggle with my “want to”.

As someone with POTS, it can be utterly terrifying to go anywhere. And church is no different. It can be difficult to go and know if I will be able to stay. Lately, my symptoms have been worsening and I have the lowest attention span. There are often a bombardment of thoughts accompanying the questions – “Am I well enough to go to church? Or, how bad is it?”

Most people have to find their “want to,” in order to exercise. Me too, but my life has many areas where I have to find my desire to riskily make decisions.

The risk is what it comes down to. This morning, I had to weigh the risk. Was the pinnacle of symptoms worth the few minutes I would spend at church – especially knowing I was not in any kind of mood to jollily go socializing and encourage the world (my personality… if you see me at church, you know this one) before Sunday school?

You know, I believe it was worth the decision and symptoms (in the grand scheme of eternity, anyway). Contrary to the struggle to find my “want to,” I actually do want to go to the church and be with God’s people. This is simply (and it is not simple) just part of the process that it takes – in order to get me from my house to the church. There are internal talks, prayers, and questions going on, while I make the decision. I may feel “a little” uneasy in my decision, but at least I made the decision.

The hardest part of it all is – making the decision, and coping with the aftermath wondering if I somehow made the wrong one. I hate it when we have to leave early, because POTS is trying to kill me. Today was definitely one of those days. But, the highlight of my church day today was – sitting in the nursery, underneath our speaker that allows me to hear our musicians practice singing before service, and working on the Bible Reading Challenge. I loved just being there.

I hate the fear and questions I have to face, but I love the blessings I get to pick up along the way – that I would have missed otherwise. That’s what make the decisions hard. I don’t want to miss anything. It’s there that I need to remember that I am…

  • loved by God – whether I go to church biweekly, weekly, monthly, etc. He knows I am plugging into my relationship with Him.
  • called His own. I am even called His daughter, because of Jesus Christ!
  • still me, I am still me, despite illness.

Feature image by Andrew Seaman.

Until next time,

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“The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17).”

Categories
Chronic Illness Five Minute Friday The Overcomer Life

FMF – Joy

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Five Minute Friday! This week’s theme is “joy”. FMF is a weekly online gathering of writers where we write for five unedited minutes. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please visit Kate’s blog for more details…

After two decent health days, I am back to any motion of standing trying to bring me down like a deck of cards (which apparently means I rather skip dinner than stand again…). It’s been weeks of feeling like this. Nonstop almost, or so it seems. I could scream. I could verbally share my frustrations with the world, or even manipulate my facebook account into sending out word weapons in effort to share my true thoughts on the subject (of standing).

… But, it will not bring me joy.

Joy isn’t a feeling.

It has to be a heart felt response to – yes- our lives, but more than that. Joy is something God is capable of giving us – even when we feel like we are in a place that is quite rough.

Joy is deliberate.

It is found in my mindset, and where those thoughts wander.

It is found in what I choose to do with my time, mind, and energy level – while I sit in captivity and do anything but stand.

. . .

I started writing out the Word of God. As a chronically ill person, I have quantities of time available. But, that’s not my identity. My identity is wrapped up in my Savior, not these moments where I sit on my bed wondering what to do with myself for the rest of the day… God is where the joy is found.

I have been trying to write out the Word of God, in these moments. It’s a new habit I am forming. It allows me to get to know my Abba Father on a much more intimate level. This is where the joy is found.

While standing is not anything joyful, God is present in the storm. God is the One strengthening my body as I rise, and giving my heart the courage to stand.

God is the One giving me courage and joy, in midst of heartache.

While our trials don’t last forever (imagine that!), my God does. Scripture is clear. God endures forever. It is found in Scripture many many times. Just as God endures forever, so does every single one of His attributes – including joy. This is what He gives, He lovingly offers to those who have believed in His Son Jesus Christ and been called into His beautiful family!

During today’s Scripture writing, I came across this verse in 1 Corinthians 1:9.

“God is faithful! God has chosen you to share life with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I absolutely love this verse. Jesus is my forever companion, and that is where my joy is found!

Jesus is my full-time Companion who walks with me during the storm, and brings with Him joy to be available to me.

I really enjoyed Andrew’s guest post on Five Minute Friday. Be sure to check out his post.

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