They Call Her Sweet Face- Update

Over 3 weeks ago I shared a post, They Call Her Sweet Face, about an 15 month old baby who had been abused and badly burned.

The update is that she is showing a lot of improvement. She did not lose any fingers or toes. She will have a little scarring. They need to find a placement for her.

I am praying a loving Christian family will adopt her and for a recovery that will amaze the hospital staff.

Morning Person or Night Owl? Spotlight on a New Blogger

Living with chronic illness makes starting the day difficult at times. I have mornings I sit in my chair with coffee while listening to worship music and mutter a prayer like- Lord I don’t have it today, so you will need to carry me through it.

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I have never been a morning person. Afternoons and evenings are when I am the most creative. In fact, I write my blog posts at night and schedule them for the morning. The perfect life for me would be to start work around 10:30am so I can ease into the day. Even better would be to get paid to sleep late haha. That is not reality though.

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Morning people have intrigued me for a long time. I can’t understand them. They are like beings from another realm of existence. When I have gone on retreats and people are all enthusiastic about early morning group devotionals, in the back of my mind I want to scream out- Can’t we sleep?

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Until I have had a cup of coffee and time to wake up, I can’t put sentences together. I definitely don’t want to talk with anyone, so it is probably best I am single because if I was married, my wife would be upset every morning as I groan don’t talk please.

Tatiana is a new blogger. Her blog is graciousadventure.blog. She shared a post yesterday Good Morning. In her post she shared about things she loves in the morning. That is a completely foreign concept to me. It is a good post to read and one can easily see her faith in her writing. I encourage you to check out her blog.

So I am curious about you dear reader. Are you a morning person or are you like me a sane night owl? šŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

They Call Her Sweet Face- Update

2 weeks ago I shared about a 15 month old baby girl who had been abused and badly burned in my post- They Call Her Sweet Face.

The update I received is that she is stable and recovering. She gets a lot of love and attention from the nurses. No placement decision has been made yet.

Please continue to pray for her recovery to be beyond what anyone could have imagined and for a loving Christian family to adopt her. Also please pray for her birth parents who abused her to be brought to justice.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Pinball Patient Again?

In my morning class yesterday, I joked with the moms about what should be good ideas for Valentine’s Day. For example I suggested plastic flowers are better because they don’t dry up and need to be thrown away. We had a fun discussion.

The laughter helped distract me from the fact that I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. I went to the doctor and saw his Physicians Assistant. I actually like talking with her and I know my doctor goes over everything with her.

The PA listens and will sit and talk for a while. My doctor also listens. Anyone living with chronic illness will attest to the fact that finding a doctor who listens and works with you to find out what is going on is a gift.

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They came up with a plan for me which starts with seeing a dermatologist to get my recurring face rash checked out to rule out things before sending me back to a rheumatologist. The recurring rash is a butterfly shaped one across my nose and cheeks which could be an indication of something.

So for the next few months, I will be a pinball patient again. Pinball patient is how I describe the experience people with chronic illness go through as they go from doctor to doctor. I shared about being a Pinball Patient last March.

While being a pinball patient, it helps to have friends who pray, a doctor who listens, and most of all for me time with Jesus in the mornings to start my day. It is also awesome that my Life Group at church is there for me.

So off I go on another adventure of bouncing around from doctor to doctor but not hoping to get the high score. šŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Surprising My Assistant on Her Birthday

In my morning Family Literacy class, I have a teaching assistant. Each year I have a new one. My assistant this year is a young woman who my students adore. Yesterday was her birthday.

I wasn’t sure if we would be able to surprise her because she is a smart young woman, but we gave it a go. The students made cards for her, one student made a gelatin, and the students pitched in to buy a cake for her.

I asked her to make some copies for me which got her out of the room. Once she left the room, we got set up bringing in the gelatin and cake from the room next to mine. When she walked back in we clapped for her and sang Happy Birthday. She was surprised and it was a wonderful morning.

She deserved to be blessed and the students enjoyed surprising and blessing her.

Do you know who we can never surprise? God. God knows everything about us. He knows what we have done, what are doing, and what we need. He is never caught off guard.

Jesus taught about it when he taught about prayer in Matthew 6:

“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you needĀ before you ask him”

God knows what we need before we ask him. He is never surprised by our needs, problems, or circumstances. He wants us to come to him, so we can grow in our relationship with him.

Whatever it is that we are facing in life, God already knows before we pray. That is all the more reason to pray to him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Breathe/What A Friend I've Found by Hillsong

Breathe is one of my favorite worship songs. I love this version by Hillsong. Listening to it helps me to be in the presence of Jesus as I pray in the mornings.

Because of his presence day by day over the years, Jesus has helped me to keep going. He has helped me to continue to share his love with diverse people from all over the world.

Being in his presence refreshes me. It is there that I find strength for the day. It is also where I receive inspiration for writing, for blogging, and for ideas for reaching out to people.

When I listen to it, I think of what Jesus said in John 15:

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you.Ā No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

The worship song Breathe is one of the worship songs that helps me to remain in Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Attitude and Living with Chronic Illness

As I was having coffee with friends yesterday, I shared what my chronic illnesses are. One of them is a nursing student and a certified nursing assistant. When I told them, she was surprised and said, “but you don’t act like other people who have it. You seem so positive about life.”

I shared with her that the reason is my prayer life and that I pray each day for Jesus to help me share his love. I told her I also pray for my classes and my students.

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Her comment was a wonderful compliment and even more so reflection upon Jesus. He has helped me so much as I live chronic illnesses. Yes, I have difficult days. Yes. fatigue is my constant companion as is pain. But I don’t want to let chronic illnesses defeat me or hold me back.

I love the quote by Charles Swindoll about attitude:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact ofĀ attitudeĀ on life.Ā Attitude, to me is more important than facts. … The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is ourĀ attitudeĀ … I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

I can’t control when I have a flare up with my chronic illnesses. I can’t control how much pain I will have or how fatigued I will feel day to day. I can’t control waking up thinking I will have energy for the day only to feel wiped out later in the afternoon.

BUT

I can control my attitude and how I react. The best way I have found to keep a good attitude while living with chronic illness is spending time with Jesus through prayer and listening to worship music.

It is not only a morning thing for me. I listen to worship CDs as I drive. I pray during the day even quick prayers are great such as, “Lord help me teach this class.”

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

They Call Her Sweet Face

I had coffee with a young couple from Bosnia. The wife is studying to become a forensic nurse and currently doing practicums. She is currently working in a burn unit in a specialized burn unit in my city.

Over coffee, she shared a heartbreaking story with me about a 15 month baby girl who as abused by her parents. The baby girl was dipped in scalding hot water suffering severe burns over her little body. There were other signs of abuse as well.

The baby was left in front of the ER at the hospital and taken to the burn unit. They do not know the baby’s name. Treating burn victims involves painful procedures.

The police have not identified the parents yet. The baby is Jane Doe for now. In the burn unit they call her sweet face. The whole burn unit has a special place in their hearts for this baby girl.

Please pray for Sweet Face for healing for her body. Please also pray for the parents to be found and justice to be done for Sweet Face. Please also pray for loving adoptive parents to be found for Sweet Face.

Here Comes The Sun

This weekend we will have a few warm sunny days here. I have the old Beatles song Here Comes The Sun in my mind. It will be a nice respite from winter.

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BUT

I won’t be deceived into thinking Spring is here. Next week winter weather will return.

HOWEVER

I will enjoy these few days of Spring like weather. I may even visit a park to go for a walk.

As refreshing as time in the Sun on a warm day is, it can’t compare to time with the Son. Spending time with Jesus is what keeps me going. So I plan to go to the park with my bible and a book to read.

Sunny days come and go. The weather changes so quickly here at times. We enjoy the nice days when they come but realize warm sunny days this time of year will be followed by a sudden change back to winter. Our weather is fickle here.

I am glad that Jesus never changes. His love never grows cold. His love is always warm. In his presence there is no darkness at all.

Today I can enjoy time with Jesus the Son in the Sun. I am looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- I Am Not Going to Kick the Bucket

I started going to my home church in April 1994 after having to leave Minneapolis where I was studying for ministry. I had to leave because of my health. I never told anyone at my home church how bad off I was because I thought God was calling me to pray for the church while I died.

Pastor Scott was one of my first friends at the church. He had a prayer meeting before the worship services at that time. I went to the prayer group when I was able to get up and get to church during the year of June 1994 to July 1995. In July 1995, the doctor finally diagnosed my problem and got me started on the medication I needed. In August 1995, he told me I was coming out of it.

The following Sunday, I went to the prayer group and said, “I am not going to kick the bucket” meaning I am not going to die. I had not told them how bad off I was, but they probably guessed it by looking at me.

Pastor Scott and I have been friends since that time. We went on a mission trip to Romania in June 1997. I have watched his children grow and now his son is a pastor and his daughter is married and helps lead worship.

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We are polar opposites in personality. Pastor Scott is a planner. He has overseen many things for the church over the years. He likes to bring order to what is unorganized.

My personality is that of one who likes adventure, the unknown, and who likes to step out in faith to see what God wants to do. When a new people group comes to my city that no one knows much about, I love to spend time with them and learn about them to see what God is doing.

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Over the years as I have been out among the new people groups. Pastor Scott has been a person I could count on to kind of be a lifeline or anchor. He has been the recipient of many emails from me that are- “I have an idea” emails.

Pastor Scott is changing to part-time status which essentially means semi retired. When I think about our friendship, I think about how each of us is gifted differently, but Jesus is the one who blesses.

In the church, we are not all gifted the same and I am thankful for that. If everyone was an adventurer like me, there would be no organization. If everyone was an organizer like Pastor Scott, there would be no new ideas or efforts. Jesus gifts us differently and brings balance to it all.

As 1st Corinthians 12 says:

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same SpiritĀ distributes them.Ā There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.Ā There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyoneĀ it is the same GodĀ at work”

I am so thankful that God has blessed me with friendships, like my friendship with Pastor Scott, that are friendships with people who are different than I am. There is no need for competition in the church. We have different callings but the same Lord.

So this story time post is my way of saying thank you to Pastor Scott as he transitions to a new role.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.