Wants versus Needs

I want to get the packages in my van mailed to my family before Christmas.  I need to spend time in the Word. I want to reflect on Advent every night with our boys.  I need to communicate His story through the way I live my life. I want to make it to the practices and sing at our Christmas Eve service at church.  I need to praise Him in the everyday moments, not just the special occasions. I want to put all the laundry {that is literally crawling to the ceiling in my bedroom} away.  I need to rest. I want to make all the hurt in the world go away.  I need to recognize my limits. I want to write eloquent and touching blog posts.  I need to write the articles I have committed to before the deadlines. I want to enjoy the holiday season.  I need to enjoy every season. I want to mail … [Read more...]

Gratitude in Hard Places

Living with chronic illness has taught me many things. Utter, complete dependence on God. {Psalm 70:5} The finite nature of our life.  {James 4:14} How our bodies are designed to need true Sabbath rest.  {Isaiah 58:13-14} That everyone has a thorn in their flesh, mine happens to be dressed up as lupus.  {II Corinthians 12:7} Knowing all of these things doesn't make the excruciating pain go away.  It doesn't remove the bone deep fatigue that plagues my day.  Knowing doesn't help me remember appointments or be less distracted. But, knowing helps me maintain perspective.{Colossians 3:2} And being grateful for the everyday little things {like the opportunity to sneak in a nap} and the miracles {I'm still alive} keep me focused on what is truly important. Seeing the good can be hard … [Read more...]

Falling into place

Crisp, cool air. Leaves on the trees hint brilliance and the stroke of the Artist's hand. Flavors and aromas, cinnamon and pumpkin, entice my soul. Fall is my favorite time of year. There is something about the air, the scenery, the smell and taste of autumn that propels me forward from the dog days of summer to whatever God has in store next. This spring and summer have been particularly challenging.  I have lost my focus and sense of direction.  God has been stirring my heart towards clarity and I have been fighting it.  Because sometimes clarity brings change.  Change often means letting things go or {heaven forbid} saying no to good things to make room for God's best. Walking in faith is an ever changing journey.  With seasons, much like autumn and spring, winter and summer, God … [Read more...]

A letter to a dying friend

Dear Sara: Your blog was one of the first I happened upon when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008.  Posts like this one helped me climb out of my own pity party and realize that illness was best handled by focusing on the living.  You gave me that gift with your words, words that probably stole precious energy as you wrote them. When I almost died in September of that same year I discovered the same peace that you so elegantly exhibit.  The peace that is found in knowing that these momentary circumstances are preparing us for an eternal glory.  An eternal glory that you are close to viewing firsthand. When I was later diagnosed with lupus, I went back to your blog for encouragement and wisdom. And, I chose joy for a while. Then I ended up spending most of the late spring … [Read more...]

10 Things I’ve learned about living with invisible illness

I have been living with invisible illness {diagnosed} since 2008.  Chronic pain, fatigue and bizarre symptoms are part of my everyday life.  Statistics tell us that 1 out of every 2 Americans lives with a chronic illness {diabetes, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.}   I know I am not alone.  So, why do I often feel that way? 1.  Invisible illness is isolating. Let's face it, people get tired of hearing about your "aches and pains", tired of having you cancel at the last minute because you suddenly feel like you've been hit by a truck, etc.  At least, I think they get tired of it so I withdraw, not wanting to be a bother.  Loneliness is a frequent companion. 2.  Invisible illness is unpredictable. I can go to bed feeling fine and wake up, unable to get … [Read more...]

Miscellaneous Melissa

Remember when I said I wouldn't fall behind on posting for Toni's 30 day challenge? Ahem...yeah. So, anyway here I am playing catch up again {days 15-22}.  Bear with me, mmmk? Day 15: Show your dream home If this question had been posed three years ago, my dream would have materialized quite differently.  However, since reading Radical and going on a journey with God {as a family} our view of our future and our desires for that future have changed.  No longer do I want to move to the mountains to a log cabin with my hubby.  I don't need granite counter tops or hardwood floors {although I'm not opposed to either}. In fact, we made the decision to downsize in December 2009 to a house half the size with a lot an eighth of the size and have not regretted it {except for the days I long … [Read more...]

Being sick is not fun but I choose joy

I am a positive person.  I believe that everything in life happens for a reason and that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength {Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:13}. But, I have to admit there are days and times that being chronically ill brings me down, way down. It probably doesn't help that I have had three surgeries in four months, have been mobility challenged since a fall in March and had to stop taking my MS therapy since my liver wasn't cooperating back in January. August has found me bitter most days.  Each day has felt like I am trying to walk in quicksand...I am brought down and frustrated far too easily.  Distractions have been fewer as well since Miss S and Sweet Pea were away at summer camp and my two younger boys were spending time with my … [Read more...]

A true gift

It is just a box you check on your driver's license. I have never given it much thought, until this week. Monday, I received a gift from a woman I will never know. Part of her knee was grafted into mine so that I will be able to walk again without brace, cane or walker. ACL reconstruction is usually done by taking your own muscle from somewhere else {a hamstring, etc} and literally reconstructing the ACL that was torn in my fall.  However, because I have MS and other medical conditions the surgeons agreed that donor tissue was the best way to go. And, on Monday they attached the ACL of a fifty year old woman into my right knee.  I don't know the details of the tragedy or accident that took her life.  I just know that she had a giving heart because she chose to give of herself, even … [Read more...]

Taking it easy

I am here. my knee surgery went as planned on Monday morning and my ruptured ACL was replaced by a cadaver ACL {that we are referring to as Bobbi} and my torn meniscus was repaired as well.  The pain was beyond what I expected, however it is getting better {a teeny tiny bit} each day. thank you so much for the thoughts, prayers, texts, emails, facebook messages and tweets.  They have lifted my spirits more than you know. I will be back in writing mode, with a special interview with Shaun Groves, as soon as my mind is not under the influence of narcotics :) God bless! … [Read more...]

The Privilege of Now

I am not always thankful. I had even considered skipping this post this week, to be completely transparent. A rough week in physical therapy, emotions on edge over some family drama, preparing for family vacation, graduation for Jason, etc, etc, etc. and I have felt overwhelmed and at times, downright ungrateful. I look at my to-do list and cringe. I think about my upcoming surgery and I have nightmares. I consider the van ride to Florida with four teenagers, a 9 month old and a dog and I want to hide in a suitcase. Then, I read articles like this and I am broken before Him.  I was the foster kid, Miss S. was the foster kid, my Jason could have been a foster kid. How can I not be thankful for the gift of living this crazy life? The laughter, the tears, the problems, the fears are … [Read more...]

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