Living with Chronic Illness- Spotlight on a New Blogger

Living with chronic illness opens up a myriad of issues. For a long time, I did not say much about my chronic pain and fatigue because I do not want to be defined by it and also do not want to miss out on opportunities such as the 11 ministry trips to other countries Jesus has blessed me with.

Chronic illness is often referred to as an invisible illness because people will say things like, “You don’t look sick.”

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There are also people with usually good intentions that want to offer advice and the majority of the time it is something the person with chronic illness has already tried.

Living with chronic illness can mean saying you plan to join in an activity but then the fatigue or pain flares up and boom you stay home on a sofa, in a comfy chair, or in bed.

A blogger I follow, Tracey, of Tracey’s World, lives with Lupus. She shares about her experience. In her post yesterday she shared something significant about herself that she is a blogger with disabilities not disabled. Her post is- Labeled Disabled. The Struggle.

The only reason I began to share about living with chronic illness in my blog is in hopes of encouraging others. My theme verses from the bible for that are in 2 Corinthians 1:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 

I have many mornings that I am not sure how I will make it through the day, so I pray and ask for strength. Sometimes the answer is something small like having a parking space close to the door at the school where I teach in the mornings. Even little things can be a big blessing.

Fortunately, as a teacher I can sit most of the class time if I need to and in ministry I can sit most of the time as well. My schedule is such that I do have time in the afternoon to rest if need be.

I video I watched of a sister in Christ sharing about the difference between being sick like with a cold and chronic illness is a humorous way to understand the difference. Here it is.

God Bless. Thank you for reading.

Music Mondays- Love On The Line by Hillsong

To The One Who Has Rescued My Soul

To The One Who Has Welcomed Me Home

Jesus loves all people. Because of his love for all of us, he left heaven to be born as a baby to grow to be a man to die for us.

He did it to rescue the souls of all who will receive him.

He welcomes home anyone who will receive him.

No matter what our circumstances are, what our mistakes are, what our messes in life are, he will rescue the souls of all who receive him and welcome them home.

Depression? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Anxiety? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Family problems? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Illness? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Life struggles? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Thank you for reading. God Bless. Be blessed by this song. 🙂

A Snow Day-Just What This Spoonie Needed

I have shared about being what is called a spoonie before. A spoonie refers to someone living with chronic illness. A young woman Christine Miserandino shared with a friend trying to understand what having chronic illness felt like. She used the example of spoons and that people with chronic illness have limited spoons while other people do not have limited spoons. The spoons represent energy for the day. I am sharing a video of her explaining her spoon theory in this post.

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As someone living with chronic illness, I have to think about my energy level. If I have a long day of teaching, the next day I am exhausted. Fatigue is my constant companion that I don’t want to hang out with.

So when classes were canceled yesterday due to a snow and ice storm, I welcomed the day of rest I had not planned on. I saw the notification that school was canceled after waking up to my alarm, I went back to sleep. I slept until 10:45.

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After I got up, I spent time listening to worship music. Then I played some word games online and caught up on my blog. I had taught morning, afternoon, and evening the day before and had thought Friday would be a nap day. God blessed me with a whole day of rest. I even took a one hour nap.

My hope is to spend today writing more for the book I feel led to write.

I am thankful for little blessings like snow days. It also gives me so much hope to know that this life is temporary. One day I will wake up in heaven because of Jesus and will not have chronic illness anymore.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Hassle That Led to A Blessing

It seemed like a hassle to me at first. I tried to use my Pro Air Asthma Inhaler, but it did not work. For some reason lately, Pro Air Abuterol inhalers are not dependable when they get down to the last 20 doses. I was supposed to have 12 left, but when I tried to use it yesterday- NOTHING.

So I called the pharmacy for a refill. It meant driving there between classes I teach in the late afternoon as in driving across town from where I teach.

When I got to the pharmacy, I noticed that she was the pharmacist. She is one of the young people from Vietnam that I helped when I had a group of young Vietnamese people that I helped. She graduated from the university in my city and went on to pharmacy school in a nearby city. She graduated and passed her tests and is now a registered pharmacist.

I felt SO PROUD of her. I know how hard she worked and to see her working as the pharmacist filled me with the pride of a dad watching his daughter succeed and achieve her dreams.

She even bought me some ice cream- Chocolate Ice Cream 🙂

Do you know who is thrilled when we achieve more than we thought we could? God. God loves us. He is heavenly father. When we depend on God and reach higher than we thought possible, he is cheering us on. God delights in his children. He empowers us through his Holy Spirit.

I am so thankful that Jesus called me to the work and ministry of helping refugees and immigrants because it gives me a whole new appreciation of what Jesus said in John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”

Jesus has blessed me with sharing his love and the love of God the Father with people from many cultures.

For me caring about someone means caring about the whole person, so when they achieve their dreams and I could help in some small way, it is a huge blessing for me.

I am proud of all of the young Vietnamese people from that time. Yesterday was a wonderful reminder for me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Broken Vessels by Hillsong

All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
Empty-handed
But not forsaken

Many things in life can leave us feeling broken inside and feeling we are scattered. Family problems, financial problems. loss of a loved one, illness, the list could go on.

The good news is that Jesus loves us and loves to take our broken pieces and put us back together. He can do what seems impossible. He can make us whole again.

There have been many times in my life that Jesus has made me whole again. The one that sticks out in my mind at this time is when I was sick and dying 25 years ago. He helped me to recover, but my life was shattered and in pieces. Step by step he led me to a ministry, work and purpose I had not even imagined before I was sick. Now my life is full as I share his love with refugees and immigrants in my city.

If you are feeling broken, shattered, and in pieces, the good news is that Jesus is in the mending business. He loves to mend what has been shattered because he loves us.

I hope this song blessed you as it has me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thankful on Difficult Days

Body slammed is how I explain what a no energy and painful morning feels like. Kind of like chronic illness picked me up and slammed me down with no mercy.

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That was my experience yesterday morning and has been several times in the past few years. The kind of fatigue that just sitting up can be exhausting. Living with chronic illness can wear on a person and get a person down, so if I have a bad day, I try to stop to say what I am thankful for. So here are some things I am thankful for.

I am thankful that I can pray and ask for strength. Once I got going, it eased up, but getting going can be the hard part.

I am thankful I have this afternoon and evening free to rest and hopefully do some more writing.

I am thankful that I can blog and have freedom to write about my faith.

I am thankful for the wonderful bloggers I interact with.

I am thankful I will see the moms in my class this morning.

By being thankful, it helps me to not go down the path of despair as it says in Isaiah 61:

” and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair”

Thank you for reading. God Bless

Music Mondays- King of Kings by Hillsong

I love the song King of King as it focuses on all aspects of Jesus from his birth, suffering, death, and resurrection. The opening lyrics especially grab me:

In the darkness, we were waiting
Without hope, without light
‘Til from Heaven You came running
There was mercy in Your eyes

Think of it. Jesus came running to our rescue because of his love for us. He always runs to us. He never ceases to care for us. He meets us in the everyday mundane things of life, the things that bring us down, and the trials.

He came to me yesterday as I lay in bed with a flare up that caused so much fatigue that I went nowhere. I had worship songs in my spirit the whole time and felt his presence until finally I was able to get out of bed. Then I had wonderful news that a brother in Christ from church has arranged for car repairs for me and will cover the cost.

This is a wonderful song to have in my spirit as I begin a new year of teaching, ministry, and the unknown. Jesus is the King of kings and he loves us.

I hope this song blesses you as much or more than it blessed me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Holidays Are Over, So…

Winter blues?

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The Holidays are over. Christmas and New Years have come and gone. If I was living in a warm climate like some of my followers in places like South Africa, Australia, Jamaica, Antigua, Brazil or other warm places, I would perhaps go to the beach.

But for those of us in the U.S., Canada, and other northern countries, when the holidays are over, it means it is just boring winter time. We have more hours of dark than sunlight and it is cold.

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Sound depressing? For some it can be.

Soon I will be back to teaching classes, next week in fact. It helps to get back to real life after a break. But as someone who lives with depression.anxiety caused by chronic illness, what helps me the most?

Each day I realize there is opportunity for me to share the love of Jesus with refugees and immigrants. Each morning I begin my day in prayer and listening to worship music. It is my relationship with Jesus that helps me the most.

It also helps to get out and be with people. I enjoy going to coffee shops. The ones I go to regularly are places that I know the people who work there. I have also met some of the other regular customers.

Visiting my refugee and immigrants friends is great. We eat, drink tea afterwards and sit and talk. Thursday evening I did just that. I visited a family from Iraq. We ate dinner and then sat down for tea and conversation for a few hours.

Writing helps too. Although I tend to get absorbed in it and forget to do things like eat until I am really really hungry.

What do you do to beat the winter blues? Or for those in warmer climates the pot-holiday blues. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thank You

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Well it is the last day of 2019 and I feel it is time to say THANK YOU to my followers especially those who comment and interact with me.

It has been quite the year of blogging for me. My blog has grown from 300 followers to over 850 this past year.

It has been encouraging to see the response as I followed the Lord leading me to share on my blog including sharing about chronic illness and depression/anxiety. 2 Corinthians 1 talks about the God of all comfort who comforts us so we can in turn comfort others. I hope I have been able to comfort others through my blog this past year.

I plan to continue to share about my experiences with refugees and immigrants and also about life with chronic illness and depression.anxiety as well as posts about my faith.

Thank you to my followers. I would like to give a special shout out to the ones who have interacted with me so much through comments.

Dawn

Deandra

Beverley

Brenda

Rene

Deborah

Jenny

Herry

Sarah

Ryan

Thank you for reading. God Bless and Happy New Year. 🙂

Music Mondays- Be Still by Hillsong

 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46

With a new year approaching a mix of feelings and thoughts can come. Anxiety can arise. Concerns about what the new year will bring can burden us. Perhaps excitement over possibilities will be experienced. No matter the inner experience in our thought life and our emotions, there is one thing for sure- None of us can control the future.

However, God is in control even if everything seems crazy in the world. Even better, he loves us. That is why God commands us to Be Still and know that he is God.

I think with an election year coming that one thing we know is that it is about get even crazier in the U.S. BUT- Be Still and know that God is God.

There is turmoil in the world BUT- Be Still and know that God is God.

We face illness BUT- Be Still and know that God is God.

There are many struggles in life BUT- Be Still and know that God is God.

Because he is God, his mercy and love will follow those who believe in him those who have accepted his son Jesus.

One of my goals for the new year is to take more time to Be Still in the presence of Jesus.

I want to share Be Still by Hillsong with you. Thank you for reading. God Bless and take time to Be Still. 🙂