Interviewed on Instagram about Chronic Illness

A few months ago, I felt the Lord impressing on me to share about chronic illness in my Instagram. Because of that I have been able to connect with other chronic illness spoonies from various countries. One of them is a woman in Sweden who goes by funniebunnie on Instagram. She does live interviews on her Instagram with people. She asked me to do one.

We did it today. It is a but long, but I wanted to share it with you. If you click on the link, you can view the interview.

Thank you

God Bless

When God Surprises

Waking up yesterday before my alarm clock went off I took as a bad sign. I never like waking up before my alarm clock having never been a morning person. I woke up with some pain too. So I prayed and gave my day to Jesus. He blessed me with a series of surprises.

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He has been blessing me the past several days with being able to find a parking spot, actually my favorite one, closest to the school. That may not sound like much to you but living with chronic illness that is HUGE. Finding that parking spot turned my morning around right away.

In the afternoon, a fellow spoonie, someone with chronic illness, messaged me on Instagram. She asked if she could interview me live on Instagram. I agreed and we video chatted for about 10 minutes to talk about it. It will be Saturday at 1pm CST. We introduced ourselves to each other. I shared with her that I am in ministry as well as a teacher. Then I shared with her that Jesus understands pain because he experienced it. Then I asked if I could pray for her and she agreed. I have a new friend in Sweden now.

So the day was already a day of blessings but then the big surprise. A friend from church I had not talked with for months called me. He said he wanted to give me some money to help me with expenses due to my loss of income over the summer. I went over to his place in the evening. He gave me a check for $500. Jesus has carried me through a loss of $800 a month over 3 months in the midst of a pandemic. Each month Jesus has blessed me through his people.

So I wanted to share this post to thank Jesus and express my gratitude.

Oh and one more blessing- I did not burn my dinner. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

What Helps Me Keep Going While Living with Pain

One morning last week, I had a conversation with a fellow teacher at the school where I teach in the mornings. I shared with her that I need to have a knee replacement surgery, but I will wait until the end of the school year. She asked me if it was painful, I said yes, but that it wasn’t a problem. She couldn’t quite understand how I could say that.

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As someone who has lived with chronic illness for over 25 years, pain is something that is a constant in my life. It is only a question of how much on any given day. I shared that with her, but she still did not quite understand where I was coming from.

The conversation was just an example of what it is like to be a spoonie, someone with chronic illness, trying to explain to someone what my experience is like. In my mind, pain is just part of my reality, so just press on with life.

Knowing that Jesus understands pain and that I can share my experience with Jesus when I pray, makes the difference for me. When I pray, it is a reminder that everything in this life is temporary. It is eternity that matters to me. I know that in heaven, there will be no pain. So each day here in this life, is one day closer to when Jesus takes me home. Until then he has work for me to do here- Share and show his love to others.

That is what keeps this spoonie going through the pain and fatigue.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Accept Limitations Due to Chronic Illness?

Having enjoyed 11 ministry trips to other countries, 4 of which I traveled alone, it could be said I embrace adventure. The 4 trips I traveled alone were my favorites ones because they gave me the opportunity to see how God comes through for us. It was awesome to experience those just God and me moments.

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So when chronic illness caused me to consider buying a cane, it was not something I embraced. I still haven’t bought one.

The other day a married couple from church brought some food to me. The husband saw my recycling and offered to take it for me. I thanked him and he took it for me. In my city we need to take recycling to one of many locations. I was pleasantly surprised he offered to do so.

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Shortly before I woke up Tuesday morning, I dreamed that I had a package and needed to walk home. As I was considering the long walk with a bad knee, I saw I friend of mine from church with his pickup truck. He gave me a ride home.

Normally I don’t put much stock in dreams. But as I prayed Tuesday morning, I felt the Lord showing me he will help me through friends at church. It felt peaceful, but I have to admit as a person who has not slowed down or let limitations hinder me for over 25 years of living with chronic illness, it is an adjustment.

I don’t know where this is going. I do not intend to slow down. Perhaps let others join me in the journey.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Oh My- Mr Rogers Movie- A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

When I was a child, we watched Mr. Rogers in school every day. For me it was a special time of the school day when I was in Kindergarten to 3rd Grade. When we did not have school, we watched his show at home.

Last night at the end of a day dealing with a chronic illness flare up, and not having energy for much else, I watched the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on Hulu. Before I started watching, I thought it would be nice to zone out on a sappy movie.

What I did not expect was a major part of the movie to involve a man and his estranged father with the father on his death bed.

Why is that significant?

I grew up with an alcoholic father. Jesus gave me the opportunity to express forgiveness to my father 14 months before he died and to share Jesus with him and pray with him as he accept Jesus as his Savior.

The months that followed, I was his pastor. Each time I would visit, he would point to the bible in my hand as a gesture to ask me the read it to him. Then he would put his hand up for me to hold and pray with him.

So memory lane while watching the movie was not just about my childhood watching the show, it was also about remembering my father coming to know Jesus.

I do suggest the movie by the way.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Back in the Buildings for School and Church

Wednesday mornings this month, I am having conversation time in Zoom with moms from my Family Literacy Class. We simply talk about various things. It is an effort to rally the students before we start our class again in September.

I also got the green light to start my weekend groups at the church building. It will be great to be there again. I just need to pray about God’s timing for it. I have not been in the church building since early March before the shutdowns.

It will be nice to be back in my school building in the mornings and in my church building on the weekends. Hopefully there will not be another spike in COVID cases that cause a shutdown.

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Slowly life is creeping along towards getting back to normal. Believe it or not there are a few things I will miss about working from home.

1- I don’t have to wear shoes and socks working from home.

2- I can take naps between online classes if I want to- huge bonus for someone with chronic illness. πŸ™‚

3- Slower pace of life is relaxing.

The best part has been extra time with Jesus in prayer, reading my bible, and listening to worship music.

What are some things you have enjoyed about staying at home?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When God Arranges Blessing

God showed up in two ways yesterday to show me he is with me and he will watch out for me.

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First, I received a blessing of a donation from a wonderful friend. When I received it, I breathed a sigh of relief and thanked God for my friend. I prayed for my friend and my friend’s family.

Second was a meeting arranged by God at my bank. I had received a fraud alert call from my bank and after spending 30 minutes on the phone had an appointment with a personal banker. As someone who at times has anxiety issues due to chronic illness, let me tell you my anxiety kicked in.

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But when I got to the bank. my personal banker was a young woman whose family is from Vietnam. She was born here, but her parents are from Vietnam. I shared with her about my young friends from Vietnam. As we talked, memories of my young friends from Vietnam I mentored came to mind and my anxiety disappeared. She was VERY helpful and kind with this old guy. If the personal banker had been from anywhere else, I am not sure my anxiety would have gone done so quickly.

God turned a negative into a positive experience for me.

The experience of a young person from Vietnam helping me and the blessing a friend sent me, reminded me of Isaiah 46:4:

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

That verse came to mind even though I am not old and my hair is only white because I dye it white to look older. πŸ™‚ lol

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Up and Down Week with Chronic Illness

This week has been a up and down week so far. Sunday I could barely get out of bed.

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Monday I go a lot of writing done for my notes on John.

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Tuesday my Citizenship classes began again but I had a headache most of the day which caused me to miss some appointments online in the morning.

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Such is life with chronic illness.

So in the evening it was time for some music. Tasha Cobbs songs are special for me when I need to be lifted up. When we take time to praise and worship God in the midst of difficult times, it helps to lift heaviness off our spirits.

How is your week going so far?

This is the song I listened to on repeat. I love Tasha Cobbs.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Being A Friend to Someone with Chronic Illness

In saw something a doctor said about people who live with chronic pain. He basically said that people who live with chronic pain learn how to not let it show and go about life not letting many people know. He also said that the pain many people with chronic pain live with would cause a person without a chronic illness or condition be flat on the floor.

Perhaps it is a but of an exaggeration, but there is truth in it. People who live with chronic illnesses or conditions can tend to not let on to most people what they are going through. We hear things like- but you don’t look sick. maybe you just have stress, have you tried yoga, the list goes on and on.

My friend Barbara of shared something she found about people living with chronic illness with me:

If you have a friend living with chronic illness, these are some good things to keep in mind.

Some other suggestions I would have are:

Pray for your friend.

Spend an evening with them at their home watching movies.

Help them with cleaning or things they need done.

Chat with them on social media.

I am fortunate that my chronic illnesses do not prevent me from enjoying activities. I am wise in which ones I join in on and yes there are times I leave early because of fatigue.

Also please be careful about offering advice. There probably isn’t much advice your friend hasn’t heard and if it is a clique or ‘common sense’ it probably won’t help.

Just some thoughts if you have a friend living with chronic illness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.