The Burden of responsibility, knowing your limits and Jehovah Jireh

The burden of responsibility, knowing your limits, and Jehovah Jireh.
I am reflecting today, the day after Thanksgiving, about the interesting place I am in right now; I know from talking to others that my situation is not unique…. I have physical limitations but am not incapacitated. I have days where it is hard to get the energy to function, but I also have days where I can feel (almost) normal. The crux is is the unpredictability, but also in knowing that for most active days you will have a pay day (or days) that you need to make up for it. 
Over the years God has helped me through accepting being able to take one day at a time and extend grace to myself and not feel guilt over laziness. Because I do, I often feel that I am lazy. The only times I realize this isn’t truly who I am are on the days when I have more than normal energy and I do stuff like clean the whole house….joyfully! 

This past week has been very interesting with losing my job, but also one of peace in that I am having to let go of the burden of my own provision and being forced to rely wholly on Jehovah Jireh, the Lord my Provider. It is of course a choice; I could choose to panic and worry. But God has somehow extended to me faith that has been building over the years, being strengthened with trials. Not that I am so strong and faithful, I’m not, surrendering is where the peace is found.

So I am choosing to spend my extra time just taking care of my health and enriching my spirit, seeking my next steps and seeing what Papa does…

Lyme Fund

On This Thanksgiving Eve

On this Thanksgiving Eve I find myself in more need than I was in even a couple days ago;test results that say I have a longer treatment protocol ahead, loss of a job that turned a small income into zero….

but that said, I find myself full of thanksgiving and gratefulness. 

I have the love and support of God-given friends that are blessing me in words, prayers and deeds. I am being exhorted and reminded where my treasures lie.

I am in a very sweet place with the Lord where things have been stripped away and I am left to see who I am in Him, the inward growth that I have attained, and in surrender and making myself available for whatever tasks He has for me to compete I have such peace.

I also recognize the sovereignty of El Elyon and that nothing happens outside of His plan and purpose. There is such peace in this! I am at the best place I can be by humbling myself and being available for what He has next.

a very Happy Thanksgiving
My Lyme Fund

Lyme Robs, Lost Something Else To The Fight Today

My dear friends, I need you right now more than ever. I got let go from my job today which was a little unexpected and is very saddening. In a nutshell I simply wasn’t able to do the job I needed to do working two days a week. Also my cognitive state and health dip of the last few months have been affecting my job performance and decision-making a lot more than I knew. 
 Right now I am trusting God that this happened for a reason, and that he has something new and different for me. I am trying not to feel guilt and condemnation over being a failure. 

Lyme Care Fund
 I need your prayers and support about how and what to do to support myself, I don’t know if I can trust my own mind and my own energy to be able to do my best for a new employer, but I will be looking.

 If anyone is able to offer financial support, even a little, it will make the world of difference.

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

I believe above all things in love;
Love that sets us free

Love that lets us fly

Love that empties us of ourselves 

Love that purifies

Love that conquers all

Love that gives hope in all things

Love that makes dreams possible

Love that builds bridges

Love that has no boundaries or borders

Love that binds together

Love that never lets go

Love that washes away pain

Love that cuts through the darkness like a knife

Love for which you would gladly sacrifice your life

Love that wipes away selfishness

Love that changes hearts and souls

Love that overcomes cruelty and hate

Love that erases the past like sand swept from the shore
I believe in the love of my Father; which will never be shaken, will never change and exists in abundant grace, unending towards me. I believe I cannot be plucked from His hand and He will never leave nor forsake me, no matter what happens or the thousand times I mess up.
I believe in the ultimate sacrifice of His Son; of love through death and unto life. I believe He lives in love to intercede for me and is my faithful Friend forever.
I believe in the love of the Body for each other; Even though we often get caught up in the world and act out of our flesh, squabble, let each other down….

I believe our love cannot ultimately be squelched and is always available to us for each other.
I believe in the love of family; I believe in the bonds of parents and children, brothers and sisters…. and even though many have brokenness and pain, love is always possible. 
I believe in romantic covenant love; and the closest bond that we can have on this earth for another human being. I believe that all obstacles can be overcome and all baggage left behind with the power of Christ, and that the dream of love can be a reality.
Pursue love first, forget the material things that so quickly pass away. 

Hope in love keeps us alive, sustains us when all else fails. Love still conquers all.

Let love lead and be the lens through which you see the world.
~JS

Another chapter in bathtub confessions 

  

Beyond Paris, ❤️ To The Suffering

One of my good friends texted yesterday that she wished she could take action for the suffering, for those in Lebanon and France and share the hope of Christ. Don’t we all feel this right now? wishing we could do more than just pray.

But my friend prompted a very true and recurrent truth; there are those hurting all around us, everyday, everywhere we go. All we have to do is open our eyes. 

This truth is a constant because we live in a broken and fallen world; a truth that will not change until the second coming of Christ. So what does God say about this?

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-7‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” ‭James‬ ‭1:2-5‬ ‭NASB‬‬
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;” James‬ ‭1:22-23‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” ‭‭James‬ ‭2:14, 16‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” ‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:18-23‬ ‭NASB‬‬

(These verses are but a very few)

It is well when our compassion is awakened with such horrible tragedies, and I say to those that are able,”go” if you are called to go. But I think it is so easy to be passive in the environment around us, because daily life just sweeps us along and time is but a current on which we cannot escape. But, we are on a current directed by God, smooth sailing, rocks, marshes, white water and all. But beyond being exactly where He would have us be for the shaping of our faith and the growing of our souls; I pray that He opens our spiritual eyes to who He has placed in our path and all around us in our daily lives that need us, and sometimes us them. 

A well known teacher said he is often asked: “I don’t know what my ministry is? I don’t know my calling?….”.

 To which he rhetorically replies “what is your story? What is your testimony? What have you suffered? …..This is your ministry”.

So some of us are called to go forth, but many are called to simply open their eyes and reach out a hand. Everyone of us has something to offer, everyone of us is further down along the path than others called to walk the same way. What is the use of trials and tribulations in light of ministry? 2 Corinthians 2:4
My calling (if you haven’t guessed 😉) is the invisible illness community; the shunned, the long-long-long-suffering, those who are turned away, not believed, without hope, without help. 

In the middle of a busy day just stop, turn around, the hurting are beside you.  

So, what’s your story? Perhaps you were placed here for such a time as this…..

  
*This may not be the most applicable photo, but decided not to “steal” one off of google 😉

A Lyme Quote Might Be In Your Grocery Store

Have you found this on the shelf yet? Check out the Trilogy flavor of GT’s Kombucha!

  
Why is this so cool? It’s not just that something I wrote got on national shelves. It’s cool because this is something I wrote years ago while sitting in my doctor’s office, during one of many appointments over the years in this Lyme fight. It went on an erasable board in the exam room with other little quotes from her patients, and it’s still there years later.

Like many people who get diagnosed with Chronic Lyme it is a multi-step emotional process; denial, grief, acceptance, fight. 

This isn’t true for everyone, and maybe not in that order, but we all at some point (hopefully) reach the point where we face it and fight. 

So to my fellow Lyme Warriors and Invisible Illness sufferers; every time you see this on your Kombucha, its for you.

And for those that are able to either help and/or share, I can’t do this alone: Lyme Fund

A Very Happy Meh Day!

A very happy Meh Day!a good friend and fellow Lymie just asked how I would rate my day today. In the world of chronic illness this is a common practice to rate your sub-perfect day with 10 being the unattainable healthy and whole. This means for a Lymie achieving say an “8” is the equivalent to being Maria singing on the mountain top, because in contrast getting an 8 or even a 7 can feel pretty amazing when you dwell in the land south of 6 most of the time.

i told her maybe 4, and maybe in a few hours 5 could be possible. Pain today is not too bad but still there. Swelling/water retention is insane today, and I must make a special mental note to avoid any members of the Makah tribe. 

I slept in until 11:45 today which is a bit unusual but much needed. Pain that has you crying out to Jesus for hours completely wipes you out, and that is how I began my day yesterday. I had my very uncomfortable ultrasound at Evergreen last night so I am hoping for some answers to at least this little piece of the health puzzle.

i am so blessed by my doctor who is walking me through everything comprehensively and saw me right away yesterday when I was in crisis. The big bonus was to get a hug and some prayer. 

So today I choose to believe I WILL work my way off the 4 spot and maybe even play some hopscotch over to 6. Don’t stop believin’ 

Need a little help from my friends
  

Weariness Sometimes Means Asking To Lean On Others

I made a decision recently to open my own Youcaring fund. It wasn’t easy and for some reason it feels embarrassing and like a defeat. But I came to the decision after a restless night of little sleep as I lay bombarded with worries and bills floating around in my head. 

This last year has certainly had its ups and downs and I know the long-term Lymies can relate. You hit the good times that can last days, weeks or maybe even months and you try and tackle more in your life; dust off your ambitions, work more (in my case try and supplement my job trying to do some temp work), exercise, socialize and get a taste of normalcy, which you always think will last. It’s not symptom-free, but better. Then inevitably something makes you crash again and the fatigue gets worse, the living in a fog, the pain, the systemic reactivity, “…..” Fill in the blank with whatever other symptoms. 

So often at work I will inevitably at some point say I’m tired. My one coworker commented the last time “you’re always tired”. Well, that’s true. Tired it seems is as much a part of who I am as my hair color. The only change is in degree. 

Where was I going with this? Oh yes, needing some help. This year my job description got changed to part-time, prompted by my request in January when I was having heart troubles and some other things going on causing me to just not be able to keep working full time. This has been a huge blessing and has given me some much needed balance and rest. What seems to be hardest on my body is long hours and not enough sleep. This is more taxing than almost anything. But, as much as this has been a blessing I do have bills and financial responsibilities to say nothing of all the special diet needs and the fact that our family of four Lymies medical expenses has passed the 300,000 mark. The financial stress has been almost as bad as the disease itself and I have found that my personal financial situation has deteriorated to the point that it is causing me sleepless nights and a lot of tearful prayer. 

What has been hard is the guilt I feel; on my worst days when my physical condition magnifies my mental state into an unhealthy place, I truly feel that it would be better if I were dead and not be the black hole that I am; draining money, joy and basically just being a waste of space. I HATE how lazy I feel most of the time. But, that said I am aware that I do desire to do more; to work harder, to contribute… And I really hope that time is soon. I hope soon, soon, soon the good days will just keep continuing. I won’t go deep into my medical treatment right now because that would be a long post in itself. But I am on a new treatment regimen.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes, needing help. 😜 so here I am, in a tough spot, still in treatment, better than a year ago but not there yet. So I am with a humble heart opening a fund to help with survival, believing that one day I will be able to live my dream and pay it forward and start a grant organization to help Lymies with their treatment. Until then, I will humbly ask. 

Jennifer’s Lyme Fund
My buddy today 🙂