Tag Archives: chronic pain

Grace-Filled Moments, Like Manna From Heaven

23 May

My daughter Maddie initiated a new morning ritual today, and what a slice of heaven.  She comes over each day with SirCalvin, my youngest grandchild, who I babysit; and then I bring her to work a bit later.  Today our new tradition started in which we sing a worship song with the kids, read a scripture passage, and pray.  Logan prayed a sweet prayer this morning, asking God to help him be a good student next year in 3rd grade and also asking God to bless his awesome 2nd-grade teacher to have a great class next year.

Yesterday my oldest daughter, Nikki, sent me information about an inexpensive talk-to-type product.  I’ve already ordered it, and it will make it possible for me to write without having to use my arthritic fingers.  The cost was under $30!  Based on reviews, it’s bound to be an excellent tool that works very well.  That seems like a miracle blessing to me.

And last week I let go of a job that didn’t pay enough but supplied steady income, when I could press through to complete the work (lately I couldn’t).  I’m so thankful that God replaced what was lost with good pay and plenty of hours.  I wrote my first piece for this employer today, and he was pleased.  God is so good, to supply my needs like this. Oh, and to top it off, this person is literally a top nutritional expert.  I trust that everything I learn will sink in and help me form new personal eating and health habits.

And the loved one I mentioned in Sunday’s post, the one at the bottom of the barrel – I heard from her and she’s climbing her way back up.  Potentially good signs of progress are there.

One of the best moments of the day was after I told Maddie that I was worried I alienated my reading audience with yesterday’s blog post.  She hadn’t read it yet, but I told her about my analogy.  Maddie told me that not to say it was to be guilty of the thing I was writing about – not doing something Jesus-related because of fear of rejection.  Also said she needed the motivation to be bold in her faith, which my blog supplies.

It’s like there’s a pin prick of a hole in heaven, and it’s directly over me.  All this outpouring of grace is even more fun than catching snowflakes on my tongue.

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Free-Falling into Cushy Faith

21 May
Eames Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames

Eames Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you sometimes freak out over concern that a chair won’t hold your weight?  If you do, you’re either a very rare person or you’re struggling with extreme obesity.  The fact is that most of us sit all of our weight in chairs every day without a second thought, and the furniture holds us up just fine.  I believe that this “chair” principle is a perfect example of how life is meant to be lived when our faith in Jesus is genuine.

My situation recently got very scary.  I actually had good reason to believe that I had a limited amount of time left in which I would be physically capable of using my hands to work on a keyboard.  Every job I’ve ever had involved typing either on a typewriter or a stenograph machine or both.  With my elbows also problematic and my hands in bad shape, how many jobs fit my capability?

So between the chronic pain and the descent of a loved one into the proverbial bottom of the barrel, life has been extremely intense and stressful.  My response at some point was to simply jump off of the cliff I was clinging to and into the arms of God.

I’ll tell you right now that it’s safe to leap into faith feet first.  Jesus caught me.  In fact, He was with me through the entire ordeal and never left me.  What was missing was my complete trust that I can rest in the Lord as comfortably as I rest my tucas in my favorite reading chair.

My hands have improved tremendously, and I have two new employers who, together, are prepared to keep me working as a writer full time for good pay.  Wow!  And praise the Lord, right?  My loved one is the subject of prayers every day, and I’m trusting and resting in the Lord regarding the outcome.

Back From the Dark Side

20 May
Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus seems nearer as I read the new Testament through in a year. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where have I been?  Reserving my capacity for typing for my job.  My May 1st move was very tough on my health issues that affect my elbows and hands.  I could barely get any work done, and it just wasn’t right to neglect work in order to blog.  I still have to pace myself, but the intensity of the problem has vastly improved.

There’s a lot of technology available that types by speech, and I hope to use that someday, to take some of the pressure off of my hands.  Will that work, though?  Is it in my price range?  I don’t know.  So I’ve prepared a backup source of income; I’m an Avon representative.  Years ago I had success selling Avon — back when I lived in Wyoming.  It’s a great business opportunity, something I can vouch for by personal experience.  If my hands, heaven forbid, become gnarled, an Avon income will help!  Met some super-friendly ladies on my Avon “team.”  They helped me get pumped up, and I already have my website all set up:  www.yourAvon.com/stevie.

The kids and I are truly enjoying our new home, even though unpacking everything is creeping along at a snail’s pace because of my limitations.  Most of the apartment looks great, though.  Something about this new place of ours gives me the oddest sense of being back in my childhood home.  It’s pretty awesome.

There’s a lot to be thankful for.  I have an amazing new employer who needs lots to be written, and he believes in paying writers a good wage for their work.  Thank You, Lord!

My bedroom came complete with a three-way-mirror, and looking at myself full-length several times a day is serving as a great motivator to lose weight!  Not liking what I see.

The best thing that’s going on besides the joy the kids give me every day is my read-the-New-Testament-in-a-Year plan that I’m following through Bible Gateway.  It’s wonderful to start the day reading about Jesus.  I find myself meditating more on the miracles of God these days.

I’m able to blog again, which seems like another of God’s miracles.

The True Test of Friendship: Help With Moving

23 Mar

My move is practically upon me, and all of the extra help fell through.  I’m a tad discouraged by this fact because of this new problem with my health, in that my hands in addition to my elbows hurt constantly.  I’m not just being whiny.  Tendonitis and debilitating arthritis combined would be a pain challenge for anyone.  But, anyway, I’ve lived long enough to know that anyone who makes the necessary sacrifice to help you move is usually a rare and fiercely loyal friend.  Now, help could still be forthcoming; the move hasn’t happened yet.

When the movers come, I’ve already decided that I’m going to allow the nature of Jesus Christ to shine through instead of my usual nervousness caused by some horrible moving experiences.  God is the one who provides for me, and my being upset and edgy about spending extra money on a move doesn’t help anything.  When I accomplish this goal, I will give all the glory to God because I think it’s impossible for me to do it myself.

Calm washes over me when I think about the fact that no matter what else happens with this move or in life, God is the most faithful friend.  He has never let me down, and I know that He never will.  He is Love; and I can trust that if anything bad has touched my life, He allowed it for a good purpose.  With God on my side, I’m never alone or without help.

Psalm 46:1

New King James Version (NKJV)

46 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

 

Paraffin Bath Prayers: Get on the List!

21 Mar

Did you ever come to the conclusion, when a life crisis stops you in your tracks, that God is sending you this message?

 

Slow Down!  Quit neglecting

the things of the Spirit!

Me, too.

Quiet time spent reflecting on God and praying has been a rare occurrence compared to the years when I commuted to Houston from the Clear Lake, Texas, or Alvin area.  All that drive time in bumper-to-bumper traffic was my big opportunity to sing, worship, and listen to sermon tapes.  Lately I’ve been missing all that time with God.

And wallah!  God arranged for me to have those times back, though in a different way.  Thank the Good Lord that, with these gas prices today, I don’t have to commute.  Instead, I will be dipping both of my arthritis-riddled hands in hot paraffin wax up to twice a day for 20 minutes per hand.  (Such wonderful pain relief!)

As I sit at my desk with one hand coated in lavender-scented wax, wrapped in a sandwich bag, and inserted into a thermal glove, I shall focus on God!  Okay.  I’ll also play some Words with Friends on my mobile phone.

But mostly this will be a ministry time.  I’m going to keep a running prayer journal and spend that time lifting people up.  I’ll also be writing down answered prayer.

Have you ever heard of Lakewood Church of which Joel Osteen is the pastor?  (It’s the biggest church in America.)  I’m a trained Stephen’s Minister there, which is comparable to a deacon in a Baptist church.  To be honest, I am switching to a smaller church.  But when I go to Lakewood, I am free to wear my badge and help pray, as needed.

In other words, I am a minister; and I’ve been a part of numerous prayer groups through the years.  I’ve seen God amazingly answer prayers, and I’m not shy about believing for miracles.

If you have a prayer need in your life, please consider sending me a specific prayer request.  Or, if you’d rather keep the details private, you can simply give me a person’s first name and I’ll lift them up before the Lord (He knows what’s going on, and that’s the important thing).

My hands may hurt, but I’m truly thankful that God has shown me that He’s blessing me to slow down and engage in a daily prayer ministry.

What on this earth is more powerful than a prayer of faith?  It’s crucial business and worth the suffering that drove me to my knees.

James 5:17-18

New King James Version (NKJV)

17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

Are You Ready for Life’s Fast Curve Ball?

20 Mar

Good thing I dabble in sports euphemisms because this one is perfect for the topic, which is about those times when life throws a practically impossible pitch that you weren’t expecting.  Such as a sudden death in the family or a diagnosis of cancer.  God has allowed me (though hasn’t caused me) to develop a debilitating condition in my fingers.  It’s most likely osteoarthritis, and I’ll find out officially from a doctor soon.  My digits have knots on the joints, and my right middle finger has already become slightly deformed.  My fingers gradually got worse and now my job of writing is sometimes excruciating.

Unless God decides to do a miracle, which I believe he might, I’m looking at a whole new level of chronic pain that will worsen until I finally go to sleep and wake up in the presence of Jesus.  This disease is so serious, I will qualify for disability; but I will continue to work and write no matter what.

God has blessed me with a lifetime of good health, though I did experience enormous pain for many years due to endometriosis.   When I finally had everything related to the pain removed, I felt like a little girl.  It was so freeing to be released from the prison of pain I’d been locked in for so long.

I believe that when God allows a hardship it’s because He has a blessing bigger than I would have been capable of receiving without having gone to that particular school of suffering.  Even though the pain is so bad that when I wrote my first article this morning, I experienced the strangest thing—tears just streamed constantly down my face because of the pain–I am as confident now that I’m in the palm of God’s hand as I was before my health took this devastating turn.

There’s a whole lot that I’m ignorant about, but two things I do know:

  1. Dipping your hands in hot paraffin wax greatly relieves joint pain, and I’m going to invest in a small paraffin bath tomorrow; and
  2. No matter what life throws at me, I’ll never catch God looking the other way when I need Him (which is every millisecond of every day).

Job 1:21

New King James Version (NKJV)

21 And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

 

The Challenge of Pushing Past Chronic Pain

6 Mar

Do you deal with chronic pain?  I do and it’s just second nature now, not a big deal at all.  I have severe permanent tendonitis in both elbows and a terrific doctor.  This isn’t about my tendonitis, though.

My huge challenge is figuring out how to handle the heightened pain that comes with getting my body back in shape.  Last week I pursued physical exercise, and the resulting pain was mind-numbing.  Since I make a living writing, which requires the use of the mind, my work became far more difficult and painful than usual.

So…I’m having trouble psyching myself up to push forward with meaningful exercise that will help me lose weight.

One of the best ways for me to overcome this kind of challenge is to think about people who endure unimagineable pain every day and still make a positive impact on the world.  David Ring is one such person.  I heard him speak a few times at various churches.  This amazing man has cerebral palsy and has to fight just to speak words.  His story is so motivating.  Check out his website and read the PDF bio:  David Ring.

 

What about the story of Lance Armstrong, who overcame cancer more than once and went on to achieve great things as a bicyclist?  Wow!

We have soldiers who lay down their lives for our country, often losing their lives, their limbs, and more.  These courageous men and women face death routinely.  They’re heroes!  Thanks to soldiers, I have the freedom to enjoy my life to the fullest.

Probably most importantly, Jesus suffered and died so that I may live an abundant life, not an indulgent life.  He deserves a better servant than me.  But at the same time, He empowers me to do better, if I’ll just cooperate with the grace He supplies.