Monday, December 23, 2013

All I Want for Christmas... (Christmas Wish List for Lyme Fighters)

For those battling Lyme- the 'all I want for Christmas' list may look somewhat like this:

a certificate for an IR sauna
fav tinctures
gluten free/dairy free/sugar free/nut free goodies that taste good
hot packs
cold packs
heavy-duty juicer
someone to offer to take care of the kids once in awhile
to be able to go outside
Epsom Salts
Medicinal Essential oils
certificates for food at the local organic food store
to be visited
someone to understand
little nuggets of love; specific ways of love shown wrapped in understanding
life without antibiotics
a rife machine
a doctor who 'gets it'
my family to 'get it'
detoxing foods
genetic testing
allergy testing
the pain to stop
a cure
my life back...

What's on your list?   This is certainly not an exhaustive list of wishes a Lyme Fighter might have this Christmas... but it's a good idea of where many of us are at.... While others are rushing and bustling about filling their bodies with goodies, and spending all the money on toys that we are putting into doctor bills, medicines, foods....

So, what do you give your Lyme Fighter loved one this Christmas?   Some of the items listed are very expensive!   But, the most meaningful ones will cost you time, but won't have to cost a lot of money -  Here are some ideas:

research Lyme to better understand what your loved one is going through
advocate for your loved one
wear the T-Shirt
wear the wrist band
just be with them (sit with them; hold their hand; bring a warm pack; watch a movie together; sit in the dark and quietly tell them stories, the news, what you love about them as a person)
take over their med schedule for them-- you remember all that needs to be done for them
give them a ride to the next doc apt
bring frozen home-made dinners for their family to have on hand
bring a new comfy pillow or article of clothing (natural fabrics)
set up a foot soak for them
eat like your Lyme loved one for at least a day
find new recipes for foods your Lyme loved one can eat (get ingredients)
affirm their person-hood and value
send a note
offer to watch the kids- or take them out on an outing that you know the Lyme loved one would love for them to do
These are only a few suggestions~  I hope others may add their own in the comments area below~

In the midst of everything~  Let us remember the Greatest Gift has come- Jesus.  He Is Peace.  He knows each of us- and loves us.  The Gift of Himself is available to all-- and in return, we can freely offer this Hope and Peace to those around us! 

1John 1:5
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

May your joy be made complete this Christmas, no matter the circumstances~  May the Peace, Hope, Joy, Love, yours in Christ Jesus~ amen

Merry Christmas, from our home to yours

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What Are You Waiting For?

It's another weighty Christmastime, marked not only with the challenges of a chronic illness, but in the past week, two people in our congregation, of relatively young age, have passed away.  We are glad for them to be translated to glory, but grieve with the families~ 

Too, I've been in contact with a number of Lyme-fighting buddies through various social media networks- and my heart goes out to those who are fully in the throes of this dread illness... Last week I celebrated with another young friend who is battling glioblastoma multiforme (a rare, aggressive brain cancer) as he had gotten a positive result from his latest tests; although there is a shadow of being cautioned that he must be tested every two months to make sure to keep a close eye on his progress. 

And, my dear grand-niece continues to battle ALL; she is now about nine-months old and has gone through more treatment **** than I can even begin to fathom- but happy to be able to be home for a few days with her family, pictures of her smiling give testimony to her strength, joy, and the great care and love she receives from her young parents...


Storms.  Evil and Good in tension with one another.  While on earth- we cannot escape being touched by evil/sin that is in the world.. BUT- 

1 John 4:3-5

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.

We all find ourselves in storms from time to time...sometimes for extended amounts of time, with great distress... But just as when Jesus was with His disciples in the boat, with the storm raging...  He (Jesus) went out INTO the storm WITH His people.  He is with you.  He is your Hope.  He is willing to suffer with us.

Luke 8:23-25

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. 24 They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and [a]it became calm. 25 And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

Who then is this?  Who is this that calms the storms?
We are in Advent-  we are waiting... Waiting for the One Who Was, Who Is, and Is To Come. 

We remember Him through the Ancient Words, through remembering how He has been with us already; we remember He Is with us now; and we look forward to His coming again- to set things right!  Our focus must be on Him~ and our hope set on Him...

If you are in the middle of a storm(s) right now-  Please take time to listen to this free podcast by Louie Giglio-  I hope it will encourage you as much as it has encouraged me~   Listen to the December 10, 2013 "Seeing Christ in the Storms of Life" message
Blessings-  and MERRY CHRISTMAS~

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Where's the Joy?

I had the opportunity to share during our Advent candle lighting last Sunday.  Here is a transcript of what I shared 

Perhaps you also struggle with joy.  What is it, where is it, do I have it in me, can I get it back, was it ever gone?...  I was mostly tripped up by thinking joy is emotionally driven, but joy actually comes through taking action- specifically; giving thanks to God, and proclaiming His goodness to others~ 

This is a difficult time of year for Lymies- at least for me-  as I am reminded more acutely of what I can't do, what I can't eat, where I can't go, what I can't afford-- and all the while the glare of glitter and glitz blinds me even more....and I sink...  But- there is sure footing to be found~             


 Week 2 of Advent     Bethlehem Candle    Peace/Joy               December 8, 2013

Micah  5:2-5a   He is our Peace

[a]But as for you, Bethlehem Ephratha
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
b]His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
Therefore He will give them up until the time
When she who is in labor has borne a child.
Then the remainder of His brethren
Will return to the sons of Israel.
And He will arise and shepherd His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.
And they will [
Because [
d]at that time He will be great
To the ends of the earth.
This One will be our peace.

The Bethlehem candle is the candle of preparation.

 It reminds us of preparing for Jesus’ coming,

 and the joy that John the Baptist proclaimed in anticipation of the Saviour of the world coming…. 


Peace on earth.   Joy to the World! 

Common expressions at Christmastime.   But for some of us, life challenges can make it difficult to grasp joy in the midst of trials… Especially- trials upon trials… 

Peace.  Joy.   These are words which frequent our vocabulary as Believers 

But, how often have we meditated upon the meanings of peace, of joy?   How would you explain their meaning to someone else?

In our small group a couple weeks ago, we had a brief discussion about what IS peace, what IS joy. 

My confession was that although peace for me is pretty much a constant sense of satiety deeply seated in my being---  the sense of joy, the meaning of Joy, is more elusive.

Peace- I get that/have that.  I can get a hold of it, identify it, communicate it.  It’s this deep sense of being whole, being safe, and having harmony.

But, what about this elusive joy?  The past several years have been challenging.  Many opportunities have come along that have put a seeming choke-hold on joy for me.

 I’d begun to wonder if I even knew what joy really was any more.

So, to help me get my head around joy, I asked my fellow small group gals, “What is joy to you?” 

(So many benefits to being in a small group; like being in a safe place to make confession, to ask questions, wrestle with the Word together, encourage each other in our walk… I encourage you to seek out a small group if not a part of one~)

After a thoughtful silence, the ladies shared, and gave me such lovely, thoughtful, responses.  Although different things were expressions about what joy meant to them- the common threads that sparkled as they spoke were that joy held these two elements:  Community and Beauty.  And, underlying joy, were peace and thanksgiving.

My ‘ah-ha’ was that  peace is much like a bedrock in our being, out of which we give thanks to God, and we share joy.  Joy is the expression of thanksgiving and peace. 

We may share joy in simple or extravagant  ways- but it cannot-not be shared, this message of Peace, of Goodness.  It must be communicated in community; shared with others…and it is done so with beauty, in artful expressions.  

You don’t have to be an ‘artist’ to express joy-  for Our Master of Beauty has well supplied us-  for instance-

Joy takes our heart of thanksgiving and turns:

our mouth into a smile

our voice into song,  a shout, or even a ‘joyful noise’ for some of us J

our eyes to gleaming

our hands to creative giving

our arms to embracing

our feet into dancing …. and more..

~  all beautiful expressions of joy.   Sometimes we can’t even begin to express how wonderful His peace and goodness are-  --   

 1 Peter 1:8 states “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”  I think in those times- God Himself allows His glory to purely shine through His own work of art- you!

 Peace is to be shared. To be enjoyed.  It’s expression is joy. 

There is a definition of joy that includes that joy is:  a ‘state of mind and orientation of the heart’.   It isn’t simply an ‘emotion’- another  ‘ah-ha’!

The orientation of my heart must be on the LORD, which brings peace- and my state of mind, one of thanksgiving. The anticipation of good things is not about my circumstances, my desires, my wishes, my hopes….  It’s not about what I have or don’t have…

It is about the Giver of Gifts- the One who is: Peace, Lord, Healer, Redeemer, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, King…  He is to be anticipated.  He is Good.  In Him- we find joy!

Are you missing joy this Advent Season? 

Have losses, challenges, illnesses, financial concerns, difficult relationships, missed opportunities, and such- choked out your joy. 
In this Advent, and this particular time of preparation-  Join me in preparing by resetting,  our orientation back on to the bedrock of our peace-  the  Prince of Peace, the One Who Is Peace- Jesus ;  and the springs of joy will again flow freely. 

Blessings to all this CHRISTmas season!   I've not been able to post as much as has been on my heart to post these past several weeks~  life demands have been greater than my current capacities.   Thank you for your prayers and patience! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ten Reasons Lyme Fighters are Fantastic

1)  They are fighters.  They battle on many fronts; sometimes they are all alone in the battle, but they keep at it!

2) Even though many others misunderstand them- they still seek to understand others!

3) They are clever.  They do much researching, scheduling, keeping meds straight, treatments on time... even with brain fog!

4) They are creative.  They have to learn to do things a little differently than others- as no two Lyme Fighters are exactly the same.  They have to be creative in how to eat, move, lie down, take the medicine, do treatments, keep in community with others...their creativity is central to all they do!

5) They are strong.  These are people who were at one time 'mover-shaker' people-  active and smart.  Though illness has robbed them in so many ways- their internal fortitude muscles are getting a work out.  Some days just getting out of bed for a meal is an amazing feat of strength! 

6) They are advocates!  They don't want anyone else to go through what they are going through- they are active in getting the word out, to warn others, to educate others. 

7) They are good at networking!  Lyme Fighters have learned how to reach out to each other and to share information that makes a difference for them, and will make a difference for others.  Many are 'shut-ins', but regularly give 'shout-outs' to whomever they can, using many different media/communication tools.

8) They share!  With the networking, they are eager to help another person whenever they find a piece of helpful information or resource.

9) They have learned that 'Being' trumps 'Doing' when life is boiled down.  Used to being people of action- and then learning to live within limits, one learns more about their person hood, their self-differentiation, their purpose, their value; even when living life 'small', Lyme Fighters live it 'big'!

10)  They are there for each other.   Lyme Fighters know better than anyone else what another Lyme Fighter is going through-  they know what encouragement is needed, and speak/show it to another Lyme Fighter generously.  They may not have much to offer materially, but they give what matters most- they give of themselves. 

I'd love it if you'd leave a post with more reasons of why Lyme Fighters are Fantastic! 


Ephesians 3
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [l]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [m]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [n]forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cynthia's Sweet & Salty Crunchy Munch

In our area, today is Deer Hunting Opener!  It is almost a holiday.  There are many traditions to Deer Opener: travel, special traditional/necessary clothing (like blaze orange everything), vehicles, equipment, housing (hunting shacks), cook outs, and of course- special treats! 

Seeing my family with all their special treats was somehow extra tough this year-  So, I baked up my own snack today, as I haven't made it for awhile.

Perhaps you'd like to try it as well for over these 'munchy holidays'. 

Now, I'm not a great recipe writer- and I bake, and cook, mainly operating under my grandmother's tutelage mantra, "Just add enough til your stomach shakes!" approach.  So, I am going to show you the recipe in pictures...  maybe instead of a recipe- you can think of it as a snack guideline! 

Start with a jelly-roll pan, with low sides, like this (note, I do not have fancy kitchenware for this recipe):
(You may also notice, I didn't clean up my kitchen before you came.) 

Pre-heat your oven to 375F

Into the pan, spread about a single layer of Rice Chex:
To this, add Organic Coconut Oil-  I dolloped about 5 TBSP across the top of the cereal-
Now place the pan into the oven for about 3 minutes to liquefy the coconut oil (yes- I'm in a chilly climate, so the oil needs to heat up).
Once the three minutes are up, and the coconut oil is melted, take the pan out of the oven.  Using a spatula, mix the cereal and oil until the cereal is evenly coated.  (You may add more oil if you'd like- there may be a little oil on the bottom of the pan, but it shouldn't be pooling on the bottom.)
 You may even want to sprinkle the cereal with some salt- I used popcorn salt- you may want to use sea salt.... Salt it to taste
Place the pan back in the oven for about 5 minutes
Take it out and again use the spatula to mix the cereal/salt- Then put the pan back in the oven for another 5 minutes- OR- until the cereal is just browning to your liking~ (no, your Lyme eyes are not acting up- it is out of focus, but I couldn't get a pic right on the 5 minute mark that wasn't blurred!)
Taste it to see if you need more salt~  if it is to your liking- turn off the oven, and let the cereal cool in the pan.  Once it has cooled- place the snack in an airtight container to retain it's Crunchy-Munchiness!
Now, I'm thinking- this could be all the more decadent if I had a bar of Lily's Dark Chocolate to melt and drizzle over it after it cooled.... Hhhhmmm, maybe for New Year's? 
James 1:7

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pumpkin Pie

A quick post- as my Lyme Battle Buddy Vickie wondered about a pumpkin pie recipe- 
Here is the one I played with last year-  you can adjust to your own needs- 
(like no sugar for me - I'll use Stevia, and coconut mild instead of evap milk...)
I will include the crust- although it is off limits for me- it sure sounds good.  I made it without the crust last year- just oiled the pie plate- and it was good :)

Basically-  play with this:  Cynthia's Pumpkin Pie
3/4 Stevia (one that portion ratio to sugar in a recipe is 1:1),

1 tsp grnd cinnamon,

1/2tsp salt,

1/2tsp ginger,

1/4 tsp clove,

2 large eggs,

1c pumpkin,

1c evap milk (or use coconut milk)- 

pour into a 9inch pan, 

bake at 425 degrees in over for 15 minutes and then lower temp to 350 and back another 40-50 minutes... or til done  
(Yes, this is a very basic recipe!)

If you want an expanded, different recipe for pumpkin pie and all sorts of other goodies- checkout this site:
Use their search engine for all sorts of good recipes to play with.... As Lyme Fighters know- 'one size/recipe does not fit all'~ 

Have a blessed November!   Don't forget to thank a Veteran on the 11th!  And remember- you too can have some special foods to look foward to at Thanksgiving-- start now to look at recipes and plan for your own new favorites! 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Every Morning

Today's Bible reading, at least one portion, was in the book of Lamentations.

Lamentations.  A word that many of us Lyme Fighters may not be familiar with, but certainly have personally done- lament.    The free dictionary online gives these definitions: la·ment (l-mnt)·ment·ed, la·ment·ing, la·ments
1. To express grief for or about; mourn: lament a death.
2. To regret deeply; deplore: He lamented his thoughtless acts.
1. To grieve audibly; wail.
2. To express sorrow or regret. See Synonyms at grieve.
1. A feeling or an expression of grief; a lamentation.
2. A song or poem expressing deep grief or mourning
Can you relate?  I certainly can-

The selection today was out of Lamentations 3, verses 22-26, a fairly familiar passage.  I was reading it in the NIV this morning.
 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
The very first part, verse 22 caught me today.  because of the LORD's Great love we are not consumed, fo his compassions never fail.  In previous verses, the lament is made that many afflictions have come, even at God's own hand/allowance- and yet here is hope-  that we will not be consumed because of His great love.
Do you feel as if the afflictions and challenges you are facing are consuming you?  Here is the Word for you today-  His compassion will not fail you; you are greatly loved.  You may not feel that at the moment- but it is true nonetheless- and that is what greets you today:
-  in fact, they are new every morning,  He is faithful to us; His portion is ours today; we wait on him; we hope in him; we seek him; it is good.
Today holds glory-treasures.  Perhaps some of the treasures for you today are such things as hope, a new morning, new mercies, His love, His compassion...perhaps His expression of these things will come in mortal presence, an act of kindness, a gift of nature~  The important thing is to live expectantly (which is hope) for His revealing Himself to you today. 

“Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Friday, October 25, 2013


Things are coming along here.  My dad is slowly improving- thank you for your prayers!  He is still living at our home, regaining his strength.

About every day there is either an RN (Registered Nurse), OT (Occupational Therapy), or PT (Physical Therapy) person here to work with him.  Many of the OT and PT aspects are applicable to Lyme recovery- and I am challenged to be more disciplined again with my own PT exercises.

I'd been going to PT, but life happens and  I've not been able to get back to it.  Meanwhile- I am doing his exercises along with him, and it is nice to have someone to do them with.

Here is a picture I took on my way out to the mailbox yesterday- what do you see there?  What is your first thought of this fall scene? Does it represent to you an ending, or a beginning?


Today, in my daily Bible reading schedule, 1 Timothy chapter 6 was read.  Verses 17-19 jumped out to me~ 

17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

Many of us fighting Lyme are greatly depleted financially- adding to our angst.  Whatever our financial state pre-Lyme Fight, we know well what Paul is saying- it is easy to fix our hope on riches, but they are uncertain, and it can frankly be frightening to see the money go out so quickly, and in such large amounts- and us left helpless to do anything about it.

Paul urges us to put our hope in God- who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.  Even on bad days- if we look around with God's perspective, with His help- we can find something to enjoy.  The more we seek Him, and ask Him to show us- the more we see how indeed He has not only supplied us with things to enjoy- but He has richly done so.

I am seeing more and more things to enjoy-  perhaps not all things yet.  But, my level of expectation has increased:  What is He doing in this moment?  Where is He in this?  Who does He want me to get to know- to reach out to in this situation? 

For instance- at first glance, it may appear that the people that come to our home to tend to my dad is all about his improving health (which is important)-  but perhaps the LORD has other assignments in meeting these people- if not for now, maybe down the road; maybe there will be an opportunity to share  His love with them, encourage them...  Looking for whatever riches my King has hidden for me to find- and enjoy together with Him. 

Paul gives us some directions in the quest of these Heavenly Riches to enjoy: do good, be rich in good works, be generous and ready to share.  These, he says- will then store up a good foundation for us in the future (immediate and eternal)- SO THAT- we may take hold of that which is life, INDEED!

Oh but we crave life. We spend so many days in languish, bringing a glimmer of life into our day makes a gigantic difference! 

Today, may you see opportunities to continue building upon the good foundation-  and take hold of life.  Enjoy-  Ask the LORD to show you at least one thing today in which you can do good; ask Him to show you how you can be generous  (He is very creative; even if you feel you don't have anything to offer- He will show you something you can offer!)...

Doing these things, with thanksgiving- you will have something to enjoy today, and to delight in with the King of Kings~