Friday, December 30, 2011

My Name is Fibromyalgia

Hi....My Name is Fibromyalgia, and I'm an Invisible Chronic Illness. I am now attached to you for life. Others around you can't see me or hear me, but your body FEELS me. I can attack you anywhere, anyhow, anytime I please. I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over (like having flu!).

Remember when you and Energy ran around together and had fun? I took Energy from you, and gave you Exhaustion. Try to have fun now!

I also took Good Sleep from you and, in its place, gave you Brain Fog. You wake up each morning, feeling as if you've been run over by a truck. I can make you tremble internally, or make you feel cold or hot, when everyone else feels normal.

My favorite thing of all, is that I just love letting you do things (because often, you are capable) Such as, go to the gym, clean the windows, write a long report, pick something heavy up.....then I love to reward you.......with lots of pain and stiffness, AND I like to make sure it is widespread and varied.....bone, muscles, ligaments, joints, nerves. Just for good measure, I like to throw in some tiredness and/or exhaustion, let's not forget the RSI's (repetitive strain injuries) or RLS (restless leg syndrome). I have to live up to my name!!

You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons: That virus you had that you never recovered from such as trauma e.g. that car accident. Maybe it was the years of abuse, or am I just a mystery? Well, anyway, I'm here to stay!
I hear you're going to see a doctor who can get rid of me. (I'm rolling on the floor, laughing. Just try!) You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively, but I can guarantee that they won't make me go away. You will be put on pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, none of them giving much relief, and most of them giving you lots of unpleasant side effects. (Oh I love it!)

So now you have to suffer with side effects AND Fibromyalgia. AND it doesn't stop there, I can't let you have too much of an easy ride. I give you plenty of associated symptoms as well....problems with your bladder, bowel, in fact most of your internal organs. Plus sensitivity to sound, light, temperature etc., as well as MANY other health problems, that I can think of giving you!
In desperation, you try a TENs unit. Spend lots of money on massages, chiropractic sessions, and other alternative treatments and medicines. The doctor says, if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away (I'm now crying with laughter). You’re told to think positively, poked, prodded, and experimented with. But MOST OF ALL, you're not taken as seriously as you feel, when you cry to the doctor, about how debilitating life is every day (Oh dear, someone get me a tissue!!)

Then you get told that the cause is depression. When in actual fact, it is me, who has caused you to feel depressed, have panic/anxiety attacks (I have so much fun!)If you have something planned, you're looking forward to a great day or an event. I can take that away too. I hate it though, when you decide to be strong willed and 'work' through the pain, still sticking to your plans. You spoil my pleasure...don't worry, I'll get you back!

Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you, until they just get bored or tired, of hearing about how I make you feel. And that I'm a debilitating disease. Some of them will say things like "You look okay" or "Oh, you're just having a bad day" or "Remember, you can't do the things you used to do 20 YEARS ago" (not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago!!)

Some will just start talking behind your back or avoid you. While you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity, trying to make them understand. Especially when you are in the middle of a conversation with a “normal” person, and can’t remember what you were going to say next, or struggle to remember anything you need to remember!

Some get upset, when you snub their social events. This could be for many reasons....bad health, pain, tiredness, loss of confidence, or simply that you can't find the energy. Getting ready to go out is too much like hard work, even though part of you would love to go!

In closing, (I was hoping that I kept this part a secret, but I guess you already found out, because you joined a support group)......the ONLY place you will get any REAL understanding, in dealing with me, is with other sufferers of Fibromyalgia !
Here are some articles of help to the fibro patient:
Microwave Heat Packs
How To Make A Microwavable Heat Pack 
Some other ways to make microwavable heat packs without rice 
Places on FaceBook that I belong to and enjoy!  This list is incomplete and I will be adding more links!  Feel free to write to me at and suggest your link and I will review your site.  Thanks!
I'm a strong supporter of Organic Living:   live green, eat organic and recommend that others do the same. I am quite committed to the idea that when we, as consumers, demand the types of medical care, personal care products, foods and regard for the environment from those that supply these things all will change and we will see a resurgence health and happiness. The care of our natural environment demands more attention as the forces of business and ill intentioned science are combining to poision the flora and fauna we all depend on. It is such a long talk and the dialog of groups like, and can make it possible to control more of the outcomes but so many more people need to step up to the plate and demand good, clean food and air.
 *The author of the article .... without all the links...  is Terri Been of Colorado

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cracks in the bond between faith and politics: "Raised Right"

Alisa Harris is the author of Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics. Alisa covered education, poverty and cultural issues as a journalist in New York City, and currently works in nonprofit development.  Alisha's work is a Memoir in which she details her journey to separate her political views from her Christian faith.  

Alisha (pictured above) grew up in an Ultra Conservative-Republican household.  Some might call her family an extension of the Moral Majority. She accompanied her parents in protesting loudly outside of abortion clinics when she was a child. She had been immersed in the think tank that only the leadership of the Republicans would bring about the change that this country needed.  She began to question this line of thinking when she went away to college.  She didn't question her faith in God but rather why her faith was so heavily linked to the Conservative Republicans.  Her realization became that of understanding that God wasn't represented by Republicans or Democrats but rather a loving God who died for our sins, the sins of those who engage in homosexuality as well as the person who hates homosexuals, those who abort their babies as well as those who are burning down abortion clinics and many more who needed the Lord as their Savior. 

I found myself using a yellow hilighter to mark passages of this book that spoke directly to me and some of the quotes from the book that especially remain with me are the following:
    "Love in action works for the unwashed and hungry people who are waiting in the pools of rain and soggy trash.  The world as a whole may not change, but our neighbor's world, and by extension ours, grows brighter--- even when breaking loaves of bread in the rain." (p. 27)
    "I was done chasing supermen. I had stopped believing in the perfect leader who could say 'Let there be justice' and by the force of his word change the whole earth into heaven. Instead I determined to grab hold of the truth I’d always known – that the Leader had already come, had chosen instead to say, ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ and had been despised and rejected because His message was bigger than the first-century political pundits had predicted. When Jesus said to go the extra mile and turn the other cheek, He called us to subvert tyranny with love and redeem injustice with suffering. He didn’t say that tyranny and injustice would cease immediately, but He promised that the time would come when the meek, the poor, and the merciful would inherit the earth.” (p. 75) 

My opinion:  It's hard to judge a memoir and I'm not about to do that.  This book reminded me of my very strict Christian upbringing and where the only word that was righteous was a Republican and all Democrats were sinners.  I was forced to go to Christian Jr. and High School and it was the "will of God" that I was there.   I wondered if this book would end with this gal running fast from her faith and turning against God but it didn't.  I  know that in my own life it wasn't until I learned later on in life (in my college years) that your relationship with Jesus Christ is very personal and there are no rights or wrongs about what political party you embrace and that you need to decide to do God's will and everything else will follow.  I would recommend this book to any young adult or adult questioning faith and politics.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

LEAVE and CLEAVE is so important to your marriage!

That is often the picture we see when we're hearing about couples having trouble with "leaving and cleaving."  But did you know that in my very life I have been holding onto my father and not leaving and cleaving to my husband?  And to some extent my mother too!   I was raised in a very strict home where you often heard, "Honor thy mother and father."  This has been total confusion to me.  A little bit more before I move on with this entry.  This is really a letter to my husband because I've been unfair to him.  I spent years and years just adoring my father more than my husband.  I wanted my husband to be like my dad (in all the good ways) and  telling him the way that my father would do things.  I think it's true that we marry people who are like our parents.  Not all the time, but quite often.  In this case I married a man who is very much like my father.  Even down to the joking (which I don't get all the time, but I appreciate that we aren't the same!)

I hope you can read all those wonderful words!  This is my new dedicated prayer to my husband!  I cherish him and do "honor" him in so many ways.  Our relationship with our husbands need to be a personal and cherished relationship!  My husband will never be my father (and for some things I'm very grateful he isn't.)  You have to be deliberate in working on yourself through the power of the Holy Ghost, so that you can work at your marriage. Many times we go from one relationship to another thinking this time it will be better, however we see the same problems and patterns repeat themselves over and over. Casting the blame on Satan, our spouses, and anyone else that we can find a way to fix some blame to. The truth of the matter is we can't change our spouses but we can change ourselves with God's help. Each party in a marriage brings with them baggage (unhealed hurts, unmet needs, unresolved issues) to the table. Each partner has a responsibility to share openly what their fears and hang ups are. This way they can cover (protect) those areas for each other, so that healing and growth can take place.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Twas’ the night Jesus came
and all through the house,
Not a person was praying,
not one in the house.
The Bible was left on the shelf without care,
for no one thought Jesus would come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
not once ever kneeling or bowing their head.
And Mom in the rocking chair with baby on her lap,
was watching the Late Show as I took a nap.
When out of the east there rose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what’s the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and lifted the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but Angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
The light of His face made me cover my head,
it was Jesus returning just like He’d said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life that in which he held in his hand,
was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as he searched for my name,
when He said “it is not here”
I hung my head in shame. The people who’s names had been written with love,
He gathered to take to his Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound,
while all the others were left standing around.
I fell to my knees but it was too late,
I waited to long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight,
Oh, if only I’d know that this was the night.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear
the coming of Jesus is now drawing near.
There’s only one life and when comes the last call,
We’ll find out that the Bible was true after all……..
– Author Unknown

Thursday, December 22, 2011

20 weeks of various kinds of pain and God is GOOD all the time!

Coming out of 20 weeks of various kinds of pain and the first one I want to share with you is the FIBROMYALGIA pain of 18 weeks. The chart above here shows all that I was experiencing (and am still experiencing but not to the degree that I had it for 18 weeks).  Fibromyalgia is a disease and along with that I have Degenerative Disc Disease so once the Fibro. goes into flare up then all the discs are in pain and giving me sharp stabbing pains.    I was definitely in a flare-up and  for 9 of those weeks I was in bed!

But, the Lord laid on my heart to go through the "Woman After God's Own Heart" book and workbook by Elizabeth George and I spent so much time in the Word and praying and thanking God for everything!  I'm going to finish this Bible Study very soon.  As a matter of fact I took 2 weeks off of Face Book duties to groups to complete this and blog and read two books that I need to do reviews for and have a giveaway with one of those books. 

Being a true "woman after God's own heart" is so difficult.  I struggle with this every day.  As a matter of fact there were some days in my Bible reading that I just broke down to the Lord and in my Prayer and Thanksgiving Journal I just wrote so many things to the Lord.   One day in particular I spent away from the Bible Study and just wrote a really long letter to the Lord.  That's all  I could handle that day.
The weeks of the Bible Study are about:
  1.   Intro:  A Heart For God's Word
  2.   A Heart for Blessing in Prayer
  3.   A Heart for Passion in Prayer
  4.   A Heart for Discipline
  5.   A Heart for Your Husband
  6.   A Heart for Your Children
  7.   A Heart for Your Home
  8.   A Heart for Spiritual Growth
  9.   A Heart for Service
  10.   A Woman After God's Own Heart
Right now I'm reviewing the Heart for Spiritual Growth (I need to) and then completing the last 2 weeks of the study.  I want to have this done for the New Year so I can start in my next Bible Study which is RUTH.  I'll write about that as I'm going through the study!   

 The next pain that is still going on is the FINANCIAL PAIN.   There were 2 weeks there where I didn't think we were going to have enough food to feed us and to pain our Gas Bill which was about to be shut off.  Well I cried out for help to two groups....  a coupon group and a blogger group.   And they gave me a TON of coupons!  There were free food ones there, and many dollars off of products (that we don't get here in S. Calif. but because these gals came from the South I was able to get more money off the food!)  I also am indebted to a wonderful woman on one of these groups who gave me a blogging job to come in January and advertising on my blog for she and her friend!  That money is what saved us.  I am going to write a separate blog entry to thank her and the wonderful coupon gals and the wonderful friends who sent $25.00 gift certificates that John and I are able to buy Christmas gifts for each other and our dog!!   Thank you Lord for sending these specific people at this specific time.   The lesson that I learned from that is HUMILITY.  I truly had to rely on the hearts of other people at that time and that was so hard, I never had to do that before in my life!

And as I've been describing my pain, I also suffered Spiritual Pain.   I wasn't trusting the Lord completely to meet all our needs.  And he brought specific people (from groups on Face Book and women in the ministry on my email lists and stumble upon) to send me the right verses and passages at the time and continue to in order to show me that I need to have complete reliance in the Lord for ALL things!

It was only when I completely trusted in the Lord that the blessings began to flow.  I found that my love was in Him and in my husband and I completely relied on them.  Just like Elizabeth George was teaching in her Bible Study, "The Woman After God's Own Heart."   God forgave me for not trusting in Him and brought about so much love and understanding and so much more for Him and my husband.   

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The true 12 Days of Christmas! Day One!

You all know the original "12 Days of Christmas" song.  Well this isn't that.  This is a Christian 12 Days of 
Christmas reading .   


The Greatest Christmas Gift

"This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ."
- Frank McKibben
    "And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but we have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:15-17 (NLT)
The Greatest Christmas Gift
Each year we are reminded that Christmas should not be just about giving and receiving presents. But, if truly think about Christmas, it is, indeed, all about gift giving! At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift ever given, by the greatest gift-giver of all, our wonderful God and Father! 

Submitted on behalf of

More to come! 
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