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!