Blogging with a Chronic Illness

Blogging with a Chronic Illness

So, when you live with an illness that affects how you process information, it is very difficult to successfully run a blog. It has been for me, anyway.

So, I want to share with you ways I manage a blog while living with Lupus. Please read here if you haven’t already about my fight against Lupus. Right now, I don’t talk about as much because the Plaquenil prescribed by my rheumatologist, has finally kicked in and my blood work is coming back normal. Which is AWESOME-SAUCE! I am definitely in a better place than I was a year ago. I digress.

So, oh yeah…Tips on how to run a blog while living with a chronic illness.

  1. Set small goals: As you know, when living with a chronic illness, your days can be unpredictable. I know for Lupus warriors, one day we are feeling great and the next day it’ll feel like we’ve been hit by a bus. So, don’t overwhelm yourself with too much at once. Set your own pace. The rest will follow.
  2. It’s ok to take a break: Blogging can be emotionally and physically draining for anyone, especially if you have a chronic illness. For me, pain is an issue. I manage it, but I can’t sit one position for too long before my body begins to stiffen up. If you have a schedule for blogging, set aside times for breaks. Blogging can be exhausting, so make sure you take care of yourself.
  3. Water, Water, and what…More Water!: I know you’re tired of hearing this. I’m tired of hearing it, but it true. Water is known to improve your cognition, improve your mood, and lower inflammation. Which means, the more water you drink, the better you will feel.
  4.  Cut yourself some slack: I know that we have goals that we want to accomplish, but remember, it even took the Lord six days to make the universe, and He is a perfect supreme being. Accomplishing anything will take time and continuous effort. I have to remind myself of this daily, especially when I see other people who have blogs that are thriving and mines is…..

Having a chronic illness can definitely put a wrench in the plans, but it doesn’t have to damage our plans completely. Even if it isn’t blogging. Keep going, keep pushing, keep moving. Even if it’s one step forward, three steps back, you are still making progress.

I’ll be praying for your strength while chasing what you love. Thank for you reading words today. God bless each and every one of you. Please remember to pray for one another.

On the darkest days you have to search for a spot of brightness, on the coldest days you have to seek out a spot of warmth; on the bleakest days you have to keep your eyes onward and upward and on the saddest days you have to leave them open to let them cry. To then let them dry. To give them a chance to wash out the pain in order to see fresh and clear once again. -Tahereh Mafi

 

Can I Get A Lil’ Bit Of That Anointing Oil, Please?

Can I Get A Lil’ Bit Of That Anointing Oil, Please?

Happy New Year, Beloveds!

Early yesterday morning after the ball dropped, I watched a movie with my little ones. I love spending time with my kids. I remember a time when it was hard to spend time with them. I was so convinced that they deserved a better mother, so I began to put a wedge between me and them. Now that I think about, my thinking was so warped. What a great example of how the enemy will use such tactics to get inside our heads to destroy our families and each other. Praise God that I decided to allow God to heal my heart, soul, and mind. Now my children not only have the mother that they need but the mother that they deserve.

After our movie, at around 3 a.m., we decided to anoint our home. I’m not sure how often we should do it, but I thought to start the New Year off, we should do it. Plus, my children have been complaining of nightmares so what great way to get rid of the evil spirits that are trying to plague the minds of my children.

There are so many benefits to anointing our homes and our families. Through the blood of Jesus and Psalm 91, we are PROMISED protection from every danger, which included but not limited to sickness, disease, assault, crime, tornadoes, fire and any other threat to your safety and well-being. But God’s protection is not automatic. There are things we have to do in order for God to be our refuge.

4 Steps to Anointing Your Home and Family

  • Obtain Olive Oil – I’ve been told that extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil is the best to use because of its purity, but I’m sure any olive oil will suffice. You can also grab anointing oil from your local religious and secular stores.
  • Pray over your oil – Some people believe that only a religious leader can anoint oil. I believe that we can do it ourselves as long as we have Christ living within us. We pray to Him about everything else, right? Here’s an example of the prayer that I used to pray over our olive oil:
    • In the name of Jesus, I set this oil apart to be holy anointing oil. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice so that we can have complete healing and wholeness. This holy anointing oil speaks to the perfection of your finished work. I thank you that whatever this oil touches, the fullness of your grace, power, provision, and healing virtue will flow according to your living word. I pray that wherever this oil is applied, it will bring glory and praise to your name. Amen. 
  • Understanding Anointing Oil – Understand that the power of the oil is from God and God only. Anointing oil is a symbol of our faith, trusting that God will fulfill his promises of protecting us. And if you don’t know God is incapable of lying! He is a God of His word:
    • “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” -Number 23:19
    • Please know that without faith, anointed oil is useless. You must believe in the power of God and the authority that Christ has given you. *Remember, the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living inside of each and every one of us (Romans 8:11)*
  • Using Anointing Oil – There are many things that we can anoint; ourselves, our home, our children, our vehicles, our office, etc. When I anointed my home, my mentor told me to take the anointed oil, put a small amount on my finger (many people place it on their right thumb), and rub it around the entrance of each room while praying Psalm 91. Remove all objects that have evil roots attached to them; false idols and/or statues, evil masks, etc. If you are unsure, pray for God to reveal those items to you so you can throw them out. God revealed to my husband and I that a wooden table that was donated to us had evil spirits attached to it. Once we got rid of it and prayed over our home, you could tell the difference.
    • When anointing my family, I placed a small amount on my thumb, made a sign of the cross across the foreheads of my children and my husband and prayed Psalm 91.
    • If you are using anointing oil for healing, you can rub a small amount of oil across the damaged area of the body while praying for healing.
    • When I prayed Psalm 91, I made into personal prayer. God loves it when we repeat scripture back to him, especially when we pray His words. It not only glorifies him, but it also turns him into a blushing papa.

I pray that this helps you and your family start anew this year. Although I feel this should be done more often than once a year, at least we’re all starting off on the right foot. This year, I would like for whoever is reading is this to be free from the strongholds that Satan has on you and your loved ones. We must accept who we are in Christ and begin to see ourselves how our Abba Father sees us; more precious than anything in the universe, in order to do so.

I love you all and please remember to pray for one another. Don’t forget to hit the follow button to the right so you can receive email updates on new blog post. Oh and let me know in the comment section on how you anoint your home and other living spaces. Peace and love!

“Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head, anointing him and making him holy for his work.” -Leviticus 8:12

All We Need Is Jesus?

All We Need Is Jesus?

Hey Friends,

I almost did it. I almost allowed what was in front of me to distract me from the awesomeness of Jesus. Let me explain.

In the Gospel of Mark Chapter 8, Jesus feeds four thousand people with only seven loaves of bread and “a few small fish” (v.7). This isn’t the only time he has done this. If you are unfamiliar with the first time, Jesus fed five thousand people right before then with five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterward, Jesus and his disciples went to see the Pharisees who demanded to see “a miraculous sign” to prove that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. Jesus was like, “Look, man, I’m not proving anything! Why do people keep asking me to prove stuff?” Well, he didn’t quite say it like that:

“When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” (v.12). 

You’ll notice that whenever Jesus says, “I tell you the truth”, he really, really means what he is about to say, like a *fist slam on the table” kind of  “mean it”. 

He sighed “deeply in this spirit”. Can you imagine how frustrated he could have been to sigh “deeply in his spirit”? I know when I sigh deeply in my spirit, I do a long eyebrow rub along with it, trying to figure out how to keep my cool. 

So after that, he and the disciples got back in their boat to go on the other side of the lake from Bethsaida. The disciples turned around and were like, “Oh crap, we don’t have enough bread for us to eat. We should we do?” They began to freak out a little because they started to argue about it. Can you imagine? Yelling like crazy people in front of Jesus.

At this point, I would imagine Jesus was a fed up because he then said:

“Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes – cant you see? You have ears- cant you hear? Dont you remember anything at all?” (v.17,18)

Then he goes on to say:

“When I fed 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterwards?” (v.19)

They said:

“Twelve.” (v.19)

Can you imagine the look they had on their faces? Like children being reprimanded by a parent. Maybe had their head down, twirling their thumbs in between each other, completely understanding that yet again, they have underestimated the power of our Savior.

Jesus goes on to remind them:

“And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” (v.20)

Again, the disciples answered

“Seven.” (v.20)

Then Jesus asked a simple, yet complex question, “Don’t you understand yet?” (v.21)

Sometimes, our “hearts are too hard” to take in the miracles that are right in front of us. We are the like the Pharisees and the disciples, always asking for God to perform miracle after miracle and when He does, we miss it completely because we are so focused on what we DONT have. I almost missed it. I almost missed the miracles that I have right in front of me because I’m too busy looking at what I don’t have or how can what I do have, be better.

It could be your marriage, it could be your job, it could be something as simple as a nice gesture that someone does for you every once in a while that they don’t have to do. It is in our broken nature to take things for granted. It stems from the result of The Fall.

Adam and Eve had everything. They were literally living in a perfect world; paradise. When Satan tempted them, it was more about what they didn’t have (the knowledge of good and evil), rather than being appreciative of what they did have in The Garden, which was literally everything else.

Lord Father, please forgive us for being so greedy. We leave in a materialistic world, and sometimes we can get caught up in having “it all”. But your words say that we need is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and your promises (Hebrews 10:23)  (oh and food and water to live). Thank you, Lord, for your glory, mercy, love, and gifts of righteousness. Thank you for the constant running of Living Water through us and in us. I pray for everyone reading this, that their days are filled with your joy and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Thank you all reading my thoughts. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

 

Sometimes We’re Not Who We Think We Are

Sometimes We’re Not Who We Think We Are

Hey Friends,

A couple of weeks ago, I became aware that I am going through a manic episode. If you are new to my blog, please click here to read my journey of being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I.

On one hand, I’m really proud of myself for not going into complete denial mode but on the other hand, I’m frustrated that I cannot fulfill the wild urges that I’m having. I feel like a caged animal. But, I am aware that if I unleash the bipolar beast, all hell will break loose. Not just for me, but for my family. I’ve come a long way keeping this beast tamed, but every day I wake up, the more I want to release it.

Sometimes it’s hard not to focus on the things that are right in front of you. There are many times I feel as though I put too much emphasis on my illness, but then there are other times I feel as though I don’t put enough thought into it. When I don’t think about my illness, it is easy to be in denial. I begin having thoughts like, “Maybe this is all in my head. Maybe there is no such thing as mental illness. Maybe, just maybe, everyone else is crazy and I’m just living the life that I’m supposed to. Maybe, God made me this way for a reason and society is just trying to tame me to make themselves feel more comfortable.”

Recognizing manic episodes is important to me because I want to do something about it. I don’t want to sit in it. If I could speak bluntly, a lot of people who talk mental illness claim it like it’s apart of their identity. They say things like, “MY mental illness.” I used to do the same, but when you claim something long enough, then it does become apart of you. It’ll attach itself to you like a leach. You’ll become less of you and more of it.

Mental illness is a condition, it is not me. A part of controlling this condition is recognizing when it may be out of my control and understanding that it has the potential to be out of my control. The crazy thoughts above is an example of how my mind can take me down a rabbit hole of more self-doubt and less God.

This condition was birthed out of the womb of this broken world, but we were birthed from the love of God. When God came down from His kingdom, I imagine He got on His hands and knees, grabbed a large clump of wet dirt and began molding us into his perfect image (Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1:26). Can you imagine God getting dirty just for us? Think about it. He created everything just by speaking it into existence, EXCEPT for us. For us, He got on His hands and knees to mold us, to make us exactly how He wanted us to be and took his wonderful breath and breathed it into us. Praise God. Sidenote: I imagine Gods breath smelled like cinnamon and mint. 🙂

But then Adam and Eve doubted Him and fell into Satans trap. Along with that trap came anger, fear, shame, guilt, and of course mental illness.

Mental illness is not who God made you to be, it is just a result of our broken world. So, decide right now to accept your flaws, but to also accept that God makes no mistakes and He is perfect (Psalm 18:30). Decide to not claim what this fallen world has thrown at you, but instead rejoice in knowing that a perfect God made you to be YOU! Take your addictions, your fears, you flaws, your guilt, your shame, your anger, and your despair to Him. He will comfort you, He will love on you, and He will bless you.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. This post was a long one, but the Holy Spirit needed someone to read this. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the power. -Isaiah 40:29

Mania, O How I Miss Thee?

Mania, O How I Miss Thee?

The other night, I was lying in bed and I suddenly began to have thoughts and memories of my longest manic episode. I’ve had flashbacks before, but this one was different. My window was open to allow the cool summer breeze create the most wonderful aroma throughout my bedroom. I could hear the birds singing to each other as if they were making love songs. And the crickets were chirping as if they knew exactly what I was thinking.

Before, I spoke about the crazy things that I did during Mania. How I’ve messed up friendships and put myself in dangerous situations. But there was a side of Mania that will always have my heart.

During a Manic episode, I felt on the top of the world. I’ve never felt more confident then I did during Mania. I had goals and I would stop at nothing to finish them. Since I stayed up 20-21 hours out of the day, I was able to accomplish things on my to-do list. I was funny, outgoing, and very likable.

I was able to make friends easily because I didn’t care what others thought about me. I loved every part of myself, no matter how crude or deranged I came across as being. I never doubted or regretted the choices that I made. I felt I was truly free.

Free from the prison of self-doubt and condemnation. Free from sadness and loneliness. Free from guilt and shame.

It was only until after a manic episode, I could see the destruction I had caused. During an episode, I had Bipolar goggles on; they gave me a warped point of view.

As I was lying in bed, missing Mania and how wonderful it used to feel. I began to realize something even more wonderful…

That my relationship with Jesus gives me the same freedom that Mania gave me. The only difference is with Jesus, I am truly FREE from self-doubt and condemnation (There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1).

I am truly FREE from sadness and loneliness (You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. -Col. 2:13)

I am truly FREE from guilt and shame (Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven. -Isa. 6:7).

Mania deceived me from the very beginning like Satan deceived Adam and Eve.

I have a new life. I am a new me. I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to be Manic to feel special or worthy. I am a child of God. He is my mania. He is my strength and my fortress. He is my Comforter and Healer. He is the great I Am.

Farewell Mania. We’ve had some good, crazy times, but it’s time to let you go.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray your day is going well and that you are finding the comfort of arms of our wonderful Abba Father.  Please remember to pray for one another.

“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.” ~ Julian Seifter

Are You A Lost Cause?

Are You A Lost Cause?

Hey Friends,

I pray your day is going well. My day is going great! This morning, I was reminded of 1 of God’s many promises.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. -Philippians 1:6

How amazing is our Abba Father? This verse tells me that I am never a lost cause. God will never give up on me. Living in a world where abandonment is apart of most of our life’s stories, God says he will never abandon us. Not only will he never abandon us, but he will continue his good work within us. In order for him to continue his good work, that means he already started it, right?

And since God makes NO mistakes, then that means the good work he is doing in each one of us is leading to perfection, since God is perfect. Wow! I’m getting chills just typing this.

If you ever have doubts about where you are in life, what you are doing or may not be doing, be assured that God is working in your life. He never stops. He will continue his work until we meet Jesus face to face either when he returns or in heaven. Whichever comes first.

Also, know that there is nothing that can separate you from God’s love, so don’t worry about that. I used to think that if I gave up on myself, that God certainly has given up on me. Not the case AT ALL!

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39

Dear brothers and sisters, take comfort in knowing that God will never leave you, nor forsake you. He will continue to do his perfect work in us and there is nothing that we can do to separate us from those promises and his love for us.
Thank you for reading my thoughts today. I pray that each and every one of you is finding comfort in Gods grace and everlasting love. Please remember to pray for one another. In Jesus’ name.
If there be anything that can render the soul calm, dissipate its scruples and dispel its fears, sweeten its sufferings by the anointing of love, impart strength to all its actions, and spread abroad the joy of the Holy Spirit in its countenance and words, it is this simple and childlike repose in the arms of God. -S.D. Gordon

 

Questioing Self-Worth

Questioing Self-Worth

It wasn’t until recently I noticed that I thought I was undeserving of nice things. An opportunity came up where my family and I was offered to sublease a really nice condo from a fellow church member. Her home was really, really nice. It is a lot nicer than my current home and in a way better neighborhood.

After viewing her home, anxiety set it. It was heavy anxiety. The kind that kept me up at night. I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt so uncomfortable. I loved her home. I loved the space, the funky wallpaper, the furniture, the animals, even the backyard. I loved the neighborhood, the school district for my children, and even the private parking space.

So, why did I feel uncomfortable? When I walked into my apartment after viewing hers, I looked around to see the broken light fixture that apartment management has taken weeks to come by and fix. I look at the broken screen door leading out to the patio and the small cluttered space that has my family basically living on top of each other.

I was confused. The opportunity to sublease her nice home compared to staying in my broken down apartment should have made me happy. So why wasn’t I?

Then I became conscious of a recurring thought that I’ve been having for most of my life, subsequently, I was never aware of it. It was a lightbulb moment. I was thinking why would someone like me deserve a nice home like that? 

When I became aware of this thought, I was genuinely shocked. Why wouldn’t I be deserving of a nice home? I mean, of course, I am, right? I immediately asked myself, what kind of person thinks like this? Then the answer quickly came to me. The kind of person who has done so much wrong, they feel like they can never be redeemed. The kind of person who feels like they are deserving of every bad thing that happens in their life because of shameful acts from the past. The kind of person who doesn’t believe that their sins died on the cross with Jesus.

Wow! What a wake-up call. There are so many negative feelings that I continue to work through on a daily basis. It’s crazy how thoughts and emotions have been embedded into our psyche that has the ability to prevent is from accepting God’s blessings in our lives.

I’m being reminded on a daily basis that feelings of shame, guilt, and regret have to be fought continuously. One day I’ll feel forgiven and the next day, I’ll feel unworthy of all things good in life. Sometimes I even look at my children and wonder how they can love someone like me.

The way I see it, I am grateful that I am now aware of these feelings. Now I can be proactive about retraining my mind and thoughts to know that I am worthy of a nice home and other things that God wants to bless me with.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray that you guys see that how wonderful you are and that you too are worthy of Gods awesome blessings. Please remember to pray for one another.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” -August Wilson