Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Change of Plans — Again!

I don't talk much about my life with chronic pain. However, sometimes people ask questions, so I try to answer them. One aspect of chronic pain, that I often struggle with, is scheduling and commitments. 

I am a planner. I like to have things on the calendar, so that I can prepare and be ready for the events of any given day. Yet, there are days that my pain/headache do not take into consideration what is on my schedule. 

Today, was "one of those days". I had planned to fulfill a commitment (that had already had to be rescheduled from last week). Yet, this morning, I awoke with a severe headache. Worse than usual. I started the "headache routine" that involves, meds, essential oils, ice packs, trigger points. 

As I waited for the headache to lessen, I had to make a decision. Could I fulfill the commitment this morning? 

Yes, I could— BUT would it be the smart thing to do? I also have another commitment this afternoon, that can't be changed. Knowing that I have a unchangeable commitment this afternoon, I made the choice to reschedule (once again) this mornings plans. 

For me, that is so very frustrating. I hate not being able to do something I had planned. However, my body can only tolerate so much. So, I need to allow my body time to heal this morning, and lay low. 

Thankfully, the other people involved in my cancelation this morning, are fully understanding. They've been along side of my pain journey for most of the past 16 years. They get it. 

If you know someone who lives in chronic pain, or has an invisible illness (i.e. autoimmune disease, lyme, chronic headache, diabetes, etc) please be patient if they have to reschedule—even multiple times. It's not that they don't want to do an activity, it's just that their bodies won't allow it. Or they have to save their energy for an upcoming event that they simply can't miss. Please don't read anything into the cancelation of plans. Changing plans is not the desired thing! So, often we look forward to that event and doing something out of the norm. So, please be patient, understanding, and most of all encouraging! I'm so thankful that the people who have come along side of me are all of those. 

The key to living with a chronic illness/pain is flexibility. And realizing that things are beyond a person's control. It's about taking comfort knowing that even if things have to be rescheduled, it's OK! 

Why am I sharing this? So that others with chronic illness know that this is reality, and that it's ok. So that others without pain/illness learn why plans change. 

Today, is not what I had planned. However, my headache level is no surprise to God Almighty. He is fully aware of my pain and headache. Therefore, I take comfort in knowing that for whatever reason, God has allowed my plans to change today. It could be so that I write this post, to encourage someone, or it could be that God wanted to protect me from an accident, or it could be that God just me to take time to be still. 

So, if you know someone who lives with chronic pain/illness, please take time to understand a bit of their life. And take time to pray for them. 

If you have any questions, please ask. And remember, not all chronic illness/pain is the same. So, my answers may differ from one who suffers with a different illness.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Want to be happy? (James)

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12

Blessed: happy (In congratulations, the reason why one is to be pronounced blessed is expressed by a noun or by a participle taking the place of the subject)
Endureth: to endure, bear bravely and calmly
Temptation: specifically, the trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy
When he is: become, come about, happen
Tried: properly, accepted, approved
Shall receive: to gain, get, obtain absolutely
Crown: the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ
Life: real and genuine
Promised: to announce that one is about to do or to furnish something
Love: love to a master, God or Christ, the word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received

Want to be happy? Start loving God — with reverence, prompt obedience and grateful recognition of all God gives. Following Christ doesn't come with a promise of "easy street". There will be hardships along the way. But through it all, God remains faithful! 

Blessed—happy because no matter what happens, I choose to love God and obey Him with a thankful heart. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pursuits and Purpose (James)

For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. James 1:11

Fade away: equivalent to to have a miserable end
Ways: purpose, pursuit, undertaking

What will I be remembered for when I die? When I am no longer around, what will last? All the stuff we accumulate is that —stuff, no real lasting value. And as the old saying goes, "You can't take it with you."

What legacy am I creating now? The pursuits and purposes for earthly gain while can be enjoyable on earth, have no lasting value. Just as a spring flower withers and dies in the heat of the day, pursuits that have no eternal value will also have a miserable end. 

So, are my pursuits and purposes like a flower? Or am I like a tree planted by the waters? 
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:3

If I want to be like a tree rather than a flower than my pursuits must be following God's Word.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2

What is my pursuit? Am I after things that will have a miserable end? Or am I pursuing a life that will prosper by God's standards? 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

God is Enough. (James)

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. James 1:9, 10
The phrase “of low degree” means one in humble circumstances; one of lowly rank or employment; one in a condition of dependence or poverty. It stands here particularly opposed to one who is rich; and the apostle doubtless had his eye, in the use of this word, on those who had been poor. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible)

Position doesn't matter. What does matter is one's relationship with Christ and knowing that no matter the situation, God is enough. 

God is enough. 

Is that a true? Is God enough in my life? 

 This post is the continuation of my Study of Colossians. 

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. Colossians 2:10 (AMP)

"In Christ they find the satisfaction of every spiritual want" (Peake). There is no other place for Christ. He is first in time and in rank. All rule and authority comes after Christ whether angels, aeons, kings, what not. Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

Satisfaction. Christ is all I need. But is He all I want? Am I satisfied with what Christ has to offer me? Think about that. Christ not only offered Himself as a sacrifice for my sins, He in His grace and mercy offers me His unconditional love, grace, and mercy. Is He enough? 

He should be. I should be content and overwhelmed with Christ Himself. Nothing more and nothing less. 

But that's just in the spiritual aspect, what about the physical? Christ is enough in that too. Or He should be. In light of eternity, what is important? I can't take things with me to Heaven. Anything I have here are earth, is from God. Those are blessings. 

And if SOMETHING, is more important than Christ, that THING has become an idol. Remember the 10 Commandments?
You shall have no other gods before or besides Me.
You shall not make yourself any graven image [to worship it] or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me. Exodus 20:3-5 (AMP)

No other gods before or besides Me. "Other gods"—anything or anyone on whom I place more importance than God and His Word. If THINGS, take precedent and are more important that the satisfaction I can find in Christ–then those THINGS are idols. And that's a dangerous precedent to set. 

Satisfaction. Christ alone. In order to be completely satisfied with Christ, I must be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31; MSG)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

One-Purpose Mind! (James)

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Double-minded: wavering, uncertain, doubting; vacillating in opinion or purpose
Unstable: inconstant, restless
Ways: in all his purposes and actions

I don't know. I'm unsure. What should I do? Maybe. Perhaps. Yes, well wait, no. We've all had times when indecision seems to haunt us. Did we make the right choice? Is this really what I should do? 

Indecision and questioning past decisions can be used by Satan to keep us from fully trusting God. In our lives will face many opportunities to make decisions. Some are easy. Some take much thought. Some are life-changing. James 1:5—8 are about the art of using wisdom—the wisdom that God gives. When we make choices based on wisdom from God, then we know for certain, no matter what happens, we made the right choice! 

As I read the definition of the word, "double-minded"-vacillating in opinion or purpose-the idea of an oscillating fan came to mind. Forever turning, never focusing on any one area. Quickly moving back and forth. The oscillating indecisions will create a restlessness and that will affect my actions and my overall purpose. 

The key to having a one-purpose mind and stability in purpose and actions is using the art of wisdom—God's wisdom!