Six Things God Uses to Encourage Part 5

This week we’re wrapping up my series based on the Six Things God Uses to Encourage in one of the sermons by Charles Stanley. We’ve talked about God’s Word, Music and Fellowship, Thankfulness, and Humor. This week, I’d like to talk about the last one, Prayer.

Prayer isn’t just a way to communicate with the Father, but it can be a way in which He encourages us. This is especially important when we are struggling in trial–particularly a trial that is chronic.

Not only can we pray to the Creator when we are in need, but we can pray to commune with the Lord to hear His voice that will guide us and encourage us not to give up and that He allows the things He does for a higher purpose. Knowing this can help us to accept things that we cannot change, keep strong for things we can change, and encourage us along the way no matter what is going on because our home is not of this earth but in Heaven.

It may be hard to feel the Lord near to you when you’re in the midst of a trial, but the more you look around and see all He has put here for you to encourage you, the more you will feel Him near and that is a HUGE encouragement!

For this reason, I encourage the Life Beyond Surviving Facebook group to share their prayer requests each Sunday (and at any time a member has a need). Sunday is already a day of rest and to commune with the Lord so Sundays are a day we pray for each other on the group.

If you are on Facebook and would like to join us, we’d love to fellowship and pray with you. I pray you have found some encouragement from this series.

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Six Things God Uses to Encourage Part 4

We’ve been exploring six ways in which the Lord encourages those of us with chronic illness/conditions. We’ve discussed the Word of God, Music, Fellowship, and Thankfulness. This week, I’d like to talk about Humor!

I have always loved humor. It’s become part of my personality. I even enjoy the dreaded pun and I adore making others laugh. What I discovered is that the more difficulties I face, the more important humor is to me. It has a way of disarming the anxiety and adding lightheartedness to an otherwise dreary day of fatigue and pain. Humor has gotten me through a ton of difficulties as I’ve found that God usually hides a little humor inside the struggle.

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine.”—Proverbs 17:22

I didn’t realize it until I started looking, but there is a lot of humor in the Bible. God invented humor as a release, a way of teaching, and a way of coping with the difficult things in our lives. I read a great article about how God uses humor in His Word.

Here’s are a couple of passages from that article:

“But I think Hebrews 11:12 is the funniest verse in the Bible: ‘Therefore there was born even of [Abraham], and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars in heaven …’ (emphasis mine, NASB).”

“Of course God’s humor is never cruel the way humans twist it to be at times. In fact, God is entirely pure and untainted, thus so is his humor. Such a God inspired the author of Proverbs to write, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” (15:13), or seen from the opposite point of view in verse 30, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart.” Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Aren’t you glad?”

This is why I share humor and create funny memes to share here and on my Facebook group, Life Beyond Surviving.

Humor is a gift God gives us to help us through the difficult times. What humor have you found hidden inside your struggles?

Come back again next week when I’ll share about how prayer is another thing that God gives us to encourage us.

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Life Beyond Surviving Memes

I have created a batch of memes to post on social media and in the Life Beyond Surviving group on Facebook. Some were created specifically for chronic illness and others were created as JoJoisms, but they fit this site too.

I don’t think most of them are posted anywhere on the site so I wanted to post a few of the best ones. You may find some you relate to.

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Life Beyond Surviving Update

Life has a way of twisting and changing, especially as you grow older and especially when you have chronic illness. These changes lead me to make the decision to return to posting here.

Change#1: I have been classified as Medically Frail.
The way some people collect stamps, I collect diagnoses. My latest ones are Essential Tremors (ET) and Esophageal Dysmotility. So, I shake, rattle, and have a hard time controlling my throat muscles when I need to swallow…at times.

Change#2: There’s been a computer substitution.
The two things that affect me the most right now are Fibro and ET. But it turns out having your fingers shake makes it a bit difficult to use an iPad and that’s how I was able to get online ever since my computer decided to retire. We had to get our son a new laptop to be able to continue to do well in the Film Department at Purdue so I have inherited his old laptop. So, this and future blog posts are brought to you by RAMbus Maximus. RAMbus Minimus, my iPad, is taking a much needed vacation.

Change#3: The Facebook Shuffle.
For almost ten years, I’ve been growing a fan page over on Facebook I named after my blog, For the Love of Purple. When I transitioned to my new laptop, Facebook decided I needed to prove I was me in order to continue to have a voice to over 9100 Facebook fans. Unfortunately, Facebook wouldn’t send me the codes they want me to input and I tried so many times, it has locked me out until such time as Facebook decides I am worthy. I’m afraid my research indicates that it will probably never find me worthy and come June 3rd or thereafter, I will no longer be allowed to post as Admin.

Change#4: I feel God leading me in this direction.
After each of these changes, I have felt more strongly about sharing information, support, inspiration, and humor to uplift those who struggle with chronic illness and conditions. In fact, something that was being posted on Facebook prompted me to want to include Autism in that mix as my son has struggled with his Autism and I find very few people really understand it. To that end, I’ll be starting off this month with a short four part series on what Autism is and what it isn’t. I pray that this short series will help other moms who, like me, had no idea the struggles their child faces might be Autism.

I have a heart to help others who feel alone, struggle with conditions they don’t fully understand, or just feel like they need a place to be uplifted. I’d appreciate your help. If you find my posts helpful, would do me the honor of sharing the blog posts with others who need some inspiration, comfort, and love? Thank you!!

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Having Fun with Chronic Illness

So several of you asked for an update and here it is.

It was Needle Day the end of May. I had an EMG (they stab you with little needles to see if there is nerve damage…sounds like fun, right? ) that found neuropathy in my hands which is probably carpal tunnel.

Later that day I had the blood test for cancer markers which my Oncologist said still shows that I am cancer free!

It was a painful day, but the worst part was I had to wear a red wrap instead of a purple one.  Oh, the horror! ROFL

After seeing the neurologist again for his thoughts on the matter, I now have a few more diagnoses to add to the list.  Along with the neuropathy and growing arthritis, I now also have Essential Tremors.  This is usually familial but isn’t for me as nobody in my family knows of anyone else in the family who has/had it.

It isn’t serious like the Parkinson’s and such they ruled out and it is slow growing.  I’ve probably had it since I was in my late 20s. I thought it was a sugar problem as it was mostly in the mornings before I ate as well as several times I had what I thought was a reaction to too much sugar.  I’ve since limited my sugar intake.  However, I do poke myself in the eye with my mascara and have been known to spill my coffee if I’m not careful in the mornings.  Other than that, I’m good to go for a while. When I’m in my 70s or 80s and I begin to resemble Katherine Hepburn, the medical community may have some better treatments. Until then, I watch my sleep, sugar, food, and try not to stress too much when people think I’m nervous or on something. LOL

Since most of these diagnoses don’t show up in blood tests, I can confidently say that I’m NOT weird!  Now some of you may not agree, but to paraphrase Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, I’m not weird; my doctor had me tested!

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