Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours! 
I know holidays can be difficult for those of us in a lot of pain with all the demands put on us as mothers, fathers, children, and friends and I wanted to let you know I completely understand! We need to rest in God's word about not trying to please man, but God (Galatians 1:10). 

Look to our Mighty Savior and rest in Him this Christmas season. Preach the Gospel to yourself so you may understand the immense sacrifice that was made on your behalf. The thought of God coming down to people and becoming a helpless baby and living a perfect sinless life even though He was greatly persecuted and then dying on the cross for sins we could never pay for ourself and then welcoming us in Heaven if we repent and put our trust in Him-Ahh how amazing to even think upon such things. 

So keep your eyes and hearts focused on Him this season and give Him thanks for where you are today, whether in a little pain or a lot. He is sustaining you. God bless!

He always remembers



Psalm 77:11-15

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
    What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
    you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
    the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Asaph goes back to Exodus and the story of the Israelites in dealing with his own pain. He cries out to God earlier in this chapter in Psalm, feeling God has abandoned him...But he recognizes God is always good in the end and comes back to his promises. That goes for you and me too. You may feel very far from God but look back and remember all He has been faithful for. He is the beginning and the End. The Alpha and the Omega! He knows what it's like to go through the pain we feel. We need to trust in Him and all he has done and will do! Trust Him today! He never forsakes His people. We can endure it because we know the end of the story! Remember that! God gives us more than we deserve!!!

For Our Comfort


            Paul, when he writes his second letter to the church at Corinth, says some interesting things in the first chapter that I overlooked the last time I read it. Here is what Paul says in verse 6, "If WE are distressed, it is for YOUR comfort and salvation. Immediately the two words underlined jumped out at me. Who is "we" and "you" that Paul is speaking of? If we look at verse 1 we see Paul along with Timothy are writing this letter to believers who are living in Corinth. So just as we would read a letter, we see that Paul and Timothy are the "we" and the church is the "you." So now we can read it as "If (Paul and Timothy) are distressed, it is for (the church at Corinth's) comfort and salvation. Hmmm...Paul just got done saying God comforts us so we can comfort others and then THIS statement.

           If you have been dealing with pain for any length of time you know that people are watching your life to see how you react to difficulty and trials. It's important to recognize here that Paul invites the church to look closely at how he and Timothy are dealing with their distress. He wants the people in the church to see how they are dealing with it so as to strengthen them and give them comfort, knowing they, too, can make it through the trials they are going through and then give praise to God.

           We can learn so much of our suffering and the suffering of others, can't we. We learn that suffering, if done biblically, produces  patience, endurance, hope, love, and compassion.  It teaches us there is purpose through the pain we endure. God is using YOU to reach others and provide them comfort and salvation! What an awesome God we serve. This is a good study to do...Read through 2 Corinthians today and reflect on those who have gone before us, fighting the good fight, keeping the faith, depending on God and comforting others-lest we give up! And may we always remember- our pain is part of God's plan! He is merciful and loving and our hope needs to be in Him alone!

I was reading a quote from Andrew Murray who lived in the 1800's and was riddled with intense back pain. A woman came to him for advice and this is what he told her:

"In time of trouble, say, "First, He brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place; in that I rest." Next, "He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child." Then say, "He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow." And last, say, "In His good time He can bring me out again. How and when, He knows." Therefor, say, "I am here (1) by God's appointment, (2) in His keeping, (3) under His training, (4) for His time."

Losing perspective

Do the obstacles you face seem like an insurmountable mountain to conquer? Have you been in this valley before, not seeing a way out of your circumstances? What you do when you are in the valley of life is more important than your circumstances. It may seem as if the pain you feel may never end. "How can I get through even one more day," you may ask. God has given me a bit of perspective after going through many valleys in life. I have finally gotten to the top of some of my mountains I am climbing and there I gain perspective on what I have gone through. I can look back in the low valley in my life and see God's hand at work in my pain. God says He will never leave us or forsake us. Do you believe Him? Are you trusting in your own strength to see around the next bend? Pray through Proverbs 3:5-6 which tells us to trust in God with all our heart and stop trusting ourselves (limited understanding) but in every way lean on Him-HE will GUIDE you! Believe Him today. Even if you are facing cancer, death in your family, chronic pain, adultery, etc...give it over to the only One who knows you and your pain better than anyone. keeping perspective is so important! This life is NOT about us. It is about God-giving Him glory and loving others...YES, even in our pain!

Fight the good fight!
Finish the race!
Keep the Faith!

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: trigeminal neuralgia
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2007
 3. But I had symptoms since: 2006
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: not doing so much and being active
5. Most people assume: I have a headache
6. The hardest part about mornings are: wondering if this day will be really hard
7. My favorite medical TV show is: untold stories of the ER
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: ha-I would say my ice pack pillow(not really a gadget)
9. The hardest part about nights are: nothing to keep me occupied while I am in pain
10. Each day I take 15 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: have tried everything
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: tough one-sometimes it's helpful for others to see my pain but I don't want it to be a distraction either.
13. Regarding working and career: my public school teaching career is over, although God is using me at home to homeschool.:)
14. People would be surprised to know: I'm in pain 24 hrs a day but try to put on a happy face in public.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: not being able to play with my daughter and take her places as much, and to watch healthy people enjoy things I cannot enjoy.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: write a book about chronic pain to help others! You can get it HERE
17. The commercials about my illness: are non-existent
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: running and being away from home at church or with family for extended amounts of time.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: thinking I was in charge of my life.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: knitting, sleeping and reading God's word more-although that's a life shift not really a hobby.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: laugh a lot, go to the beach, run, stay out really late, enjoy each moment.
22. My illness has taught me: I need to rely on the Lord in everything, to trust Him, to be more compassionate to others and to be thankful!
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: you seem to be fine.
24. But I love it when people: pray for me, let me know they love me, visit me, tell
me genuinely they care
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us "and Revelation 21:4 "and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I'm here. Yes the road is hard, but keep your focus on Christ. He will sustain you.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: so many others who are suffering and need help or just an ear to listen as well as how much I need God daily.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: come over regularly to visit and care how I am.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: more people need to know how these diseases affect us.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: thankful you care enough.

Getting to the heart of the matter

         I've been reflecting lately, not on what I say, or how I act but what my actions are reflecting...I've been bitter about so much. Parenting to start with. Dealing with a difficult, crazy, fun, energetic 7 year old is hard work. But being a mom AND having chronic pain every day is pushing me past my limit. I seem to yell a lot-funny how I am yelling at my daughter to stop acting like that and be more respectful and obedient when I am not giving her such a good example to model after. Considering the Bible verse...In your anger do not sin (Eph 4:26), I am doing the very thing I am asking her not to do. And so I become bitter. 
           Bitter in that I am juggling so many things in life to deal with but at the heart of it all is my relationship with God. I am still, at times, turning to my old crutches to try to hold things together. They never stay put together, you see. In the end they topple down and then I have to start all over. It's exhausting. "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest," says the Lord in
Matthew 11:28. 
          Why don't I naturally believe this and run to my Savior when life gets too difficult? Pride? yes. Sin entices and encircles us-making it hard to believe our Savior wants us to come to Him for we just keep messing life up plus we can do it ourselves-or so we think! But He is there...He is there with arms open wide waiting, yes waiting for us. He loves me. He loves you. You see in the end no matter what our struggle is... pain or elsewhere our heart is the issue. It's always been the issue.
         If we recognize this-aww what things await us as we have the ability and the right (through Christ) to run to our Heavenly Father, throwing ourselves down before Him, praising and thanking Him for all that we have in Christ-He has saved us! What victory! What joy! PLUS we can know He is there to pick up our burdens and carry us through our difficulties.
          I pray today you see the amazing blessing we have in Christ to run to Him, casting all your cares on Him. For He cares for you... 

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my Rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:1-2

Exerpt from Don't Waste Your Pain...

More Questions

       I often think of why God has not healed me. I know He is more than capable. I know He loves me. I wonder if you have felt the same. It can be a lonely place. Once I got a firm grip on the overarching idea behind His story (the Bible), I realized a few things. First, if things were given to us by God to make our lives easy, it wouldn't make sense. If you read through the Gospels, you will see that Jesus is all about working things out that are impossible to human understanding. If we can accomplish hardship easily, then we get the glory! Think how many times you have said,"That was not as hard as I thought." I know I have. Do we then turn around and say,"Thanks be to Jesus for helping me through this not-so-hard thing I am going through?" No.
        Should Christians be exempt from hardships or despair or cancer or strokes? Believe me, I would like to not go through this horrific pain, but for the sake of the cross I do. For I know that God wills in and through me to do amazing things. He takes this hardship, or your cancer, to radiate Christ to the world, if you let Him. 

Daily Press article

I'm really excited! The Daily Press in Victorville, CA did an article about my book. It will be in tomorrow's paper. Thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement. I pray my book and my posts bless you and help you grow in Christ!

Living by Faith

In Paul's letter to the Corinthians he states that we as Christians "live by faith, not by sight." As we see through the lens of pain, our faith in Christ and His ability to cure us wavers. We think momentarily most of the time, trying to get through this pain episode only to move on to another. May I suggest we, as the Corinthians, need to be reminded we live by faith! I'm not speaking about the faith that God will cure you tomorrow, but the faith in His promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6); to guide our paths (Proverbs 3:6); to give us victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:56) and many more. Keep trusting in Him, friend. He loves you and cares about your pain. Keep trusting in Him and He will keep watching over you, keep protecting you, keep loving you (Psalm 145)!

Walk with me...By Faith!

How much more does He love us!

Matthew 10:29-31 is one of my favorite passages in the New Testament. It says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father...So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
 The reason I love these verses is because it speaks totally to the sovereign aspect of God. He is so intrinsically aware and active of every part of our lives. He loves us so much that nothing goes unnoticed to Him. A single sparrow is not even worth 1 penny...They have to be sold in pairs, that's how insignificant and to speak bluntly, worthless, these birds are (as far as money goes). Yet not one single circumstance of a sparrow goes unnoticed with God. Friend, this should bring you so much joy in the midst of your circumstances.
 God knows each one of us so intimately and cares so much for us that if He is paying attention to each little bird that falls from the sky, can you even imagine for just one second how much you mean to Him, that even in your pain He sees you? He knows you. He loves you and He is working out everything according to His good will! God does not walk away from us when life gets hard. He is right there in the trenches with us and will not leave us! Take heart then and trust Him! He loves you, He is in complete control and He is holding you in the palm of His hand.

Labor of Love

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

This week has been extremely difficult for me. In many ways I just want to give up. But what will that accomplish? My husband still needs his wife. My daughter still needs her mother. My work is not over yet, or the Lord would have taken me home already. It is in these troubling times I am reminded of what Paul said to the church in Corinth. "Let nothing move you." That's the tricky thing about pain. It has a way of disturbing us in such a way that we don't want to move or do anything. That's not what Paul is talking about here. We shouldn't let any circumstance change our focus. We need to always be ready for the work the Lord has for us. As he finishes verse 58 by saying, "...because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain," I am just reminded that the work God is doing in and through me helps others and brings God glory. Don't get discouraged, friend. These trials you are going through are there to help you stand firm in the Lord and keep your eyes on Him. He will always give you the strength you need to face each new day.

The Lord is with You

I was reading in Judges 6 about Gideon. An angel of the Lord came down and met him under a tree. The angel said that the Lord was with Gideon, but Gideon replied in verse 13, "...if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about..."

Gideon demanded answers. He wanted God to show him miracles to keep his faith alive. God was going to do amazing things in and through Gideon, but Gideon, himself, felt weak and unusable. He felt God had abandoned His people.

But the Lord turned to Him and said in verse 14, "...go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you? 'But Lord,' Gideon asked,'how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."

God was going to be with Gideon. Yes, Gideon was weak. That's the point! Same with you and me. We are weak in our flesh and in our pain, but God is strong and continually comes to rescue us! He does it so we cannot boast of ourselves!

Going on in Judges....Gideon brings 33,000 men with him to fight against the Midianites but that was not part of God's plan. You see if that many people won the war, how could anyone say, "God did this!" No they would boast in themselves. So God sifted all but 300 men saying to Gideon in Judges 7:7 "...with 300 men that I lapped I will save you..." Same is true in our lives. God allows the physical and emotional pain to drain us so that when He lifts us up no one can boast that it is us doing the work! It is all God.

Glory to Him alone!

The Medically ill speak for themselves

Here is an article about a survey of people who have various chronic pain conditions and what was learned from this survey. Click  HERE  to find out more

Mother's Day is coming up

As Mother's Day is approaching I am taking the time to reflect back on all that my own Mother has done for me in the hours when my pain has been the worst. My sweet mother, who lives a few blocks away will take my 7 year old daughter at the drop of a hat and help with anything I need of her. She is there to help with doctor appts and picking up prescriptions. She is there to comfort me on hard days when I don't think I can go on. More than anything she reflects Christ's love to me. She thinks of my needs before her own. This Mother's day I want her to know how much she means to me and how much I appreciate her!

Yes, God has called you to the life you are living, where you are, what is happening in your life...for His purpose! Don't believe the enemy...He wants you to think this pain is a curse from God, that you were meant to be happy and healthy. He wants you to blame God. This life is not all that there is . This life is where we can shine forth Christ to a dying world that has no hope. You are called to share Christ with those around you because that may be the only hope they have. Think about what you can do today to shine forth the Gospel and  the saving love of Christ to those around you. If you can't get out of bed today-PRAY! Satan can't take that away from you. God is with you in your pain. He has a purpose in your pain and others around you are watching your life. What will you do today to show that you are not giving up and wasting your pain?

Snippet from my book!

             The journey of pain is very interesting. If you have had chronic pain for very long, then you know the feelings of isolation, despair, and sadness. But if we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us, we will get to experience a purpose that is beyond our pain. If we want to be pain free so we can truly be the Church to those that are poor, unloved, and imprisoned, and if we want to have zero pain so we can share the Gospel as much as we can, then I think our motives are pure and of the Lord.

             But if we are praying earnestly for no pain so that we can have our old life of comfort and ease, and have all the "blessings" that it brings (and I use blessings loosely), then we need to check our motives. We need to be living for Christ and His glory, and not our own. This life is too short. Although, to people who are in pain daily, it can seem like forever. We need to know that we are going to spend forever without pain, worshipping God-Hallelujah! So each day can be a new way in your pain to serve God.

Preoccupation with self

John Ortberg writes in his book, The Life You've Always Wanted,"...the thing that keeps me from experiencing joy is my preoccupation with self. The very selfishness that keeps me from pouring myself out for the joy of others also keeps me from noticing and delighting in the myriad small gifts God offers each day."

Do you experience joy in your day-no matter what the day holds for you? Are you choosing joy, as Paul speaks of in the New Testament? If you are not, you are missing out on so much! God uses our pain and suffering for so many reasons. One being to make our joy complete. It is hard to understand this if you have not suffered from chronic pain, but if you have had ongoing pain you know what it is like to have days where there doesn't seem to be anything to do except think upon the pain you feel. We become preoccupied with our self, and not in a way that is beneficial to ourselves or others. When we are preoccupied with our pain and suffering, we begin the downward spiral that is all too familiar in suffering. It goes something like this: I'm tired of being in pain-I can't do anything about it-why is this happening-what good is my life-I'm tired of dealing with pain...etc. In this time Satan uses our weakness against us as he always tries to do! "Joy, where are you?" I shout as if it will, just show up on its own and produce a peace I have never had. But you see, joy is something we experience when we get our mind off of ourselves in our pain. Pouring ourselves out to others opens our heart for joy, joy to serve God and love others. God offers small gifts to us each day. Are you looking for a way to be joyful today?


How are you feeling today? Are you fearful concerning your pain? The future? Do you let your fear concerning your pain rule your life? Let's look at God's Word for direction...

Isaiah says, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." (chapter 41:10)

In this life we are told we will have trouble, sickness, disease, but we have a great physician that not only is with us daily, hourly, minute by minute but He is also strengthening us. He is victorious! So friend, don't be afraid. He is there. Do not fear. Keep your joy in the midst of your pain. Remember that is the one thing Satan will try to get from you. Never let Him. Keep focused on the Lord and stay in His Word. Memorize Isaiah 41:10 and then live out your joy in the Lord!!!

The Holiness of God

Dear friends,
Today seems like any other day. Yes pain is there, yes people around me seem to be living such easy lives, yes I have my ups and downs emotionally, but today is quite different as well. I have been reading The Holiness of God by RC Sproul for awhile now and I have been learning so much about who God is. It hit me today that in Genesis 2:17 God says to Adam and Eve that they will surely die if they eat of the forbidden fruit. They did, but they did not immediately die. Do you ever wonder why? The Bible says God is slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

It doesn't seem fair that we are in pain daily, but compared to the fact that if God gave us complete justice for our sins we would die immediately when we sin, we have been given mercy. Yes, God showed mercy on us by letting us live another day even in our pain. It has been granted for us to suffer. Suffering can come in many forms. Physical suffering is just one way that God bestows mercy on us. This is something people who don't suffer with chronic pain will probably never understand, but in our pain we draw closer to the creator of the universe. God is so holy we can't be in his presence, yet He chose to draw us to Himself through the blood of Jesus-How amazing! In our pain we struggle each day to find meaning and purpose and in those times we can draw close to God, allowing Him to minister to our hearts. Let Him today...He is so good.

This life is but a vapor

Today I found out my friend, Wendy, just lost her 12 year old son Brendan to a brain tumor. He had only been diagnosed a month ago. He had his whole life before him. Don't we all think that. We want to all believe this life is going to be long and one day we will retire and enjoy our last decades sipping lemonades under a large oak tree on our veranda  with the love of our life sitting next to us. But is this reality? No. At least not for most of us. You see, we are not in control of when we come into this world, how much pain we will have in this world, or when we shall leave this world. But as Christians, one thing we can be sure of is this: this world is the worst it will ever get for us.

Those of you struggling through pain right now I really want you to hear me. God one day will call us home as He did Brendan today and on that day He will wipe every tear from our eye and there will never again be pain and suffering. We will get to enjoy our Savior forever. If that day is tomorrow or 60 years from now what matters most is this: are we glorifying God with our lives? Are we sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those we love? It could be their last hour or yours.

To the non-christian I ask this: Do you know where you are going when you die? Are you sure? God's words tells us there is a very real Heaven and also a hell. We all sin every day and because God is holy, holy, holy He can not be in the presence of sin. Hell is the place we all deserve to go...But God, in His great mercy and grace provided One way to Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. He is THE way, THE Truth, and THE life. No one comes unto the Father except through Jesus-who bore our sins on the cross and rose three days later , defeating death. Repent now and put your trust in Him. You never know how much longer you have.

Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Waiting on the Lord

Psalm 46 says, "Be still and know that I am God."

It is hard to be still and know He is in control and rest in that. It is so hard to wait. I hate to wait, yet in the waiting I draw near to my Lord. I find that in the waiting I realize how much of my life is not in my control. God shows me during this time I need rest for my soul. Psalm 27 also tells us about waiting, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes wait for the Lord." It takes courage to wait when we just want our pain to be over and get back to our old life. Find your strength in Jesus. He will renew your strength today! Are you waiting on the Lord?

Which one are you?

Most of us know the parable of the Sower from Luke 8:5-15. These verses are some of the most poignant words of Christ. They describe every person in this world.
  1. the first type of person rejects the Gospel. The seed (the Word of God) is thrown on a rocky path and Satan comes and takes away the word from their hearts so they may not believe and be saved.
  2. the second type of person receive the Word with joy at first, but when pain and suffering come to test them they cannot endure. It is so difficult when pain comes into our lives. We may have started out with joy and thankfulness to God but as soon as our health, marriage, children, things are taken from us we do not keep on rejoicing. Rather we might blame God and our joy now is nothing more than a distant memory. Friend, I hope your joy is not set in things on this earth where "moth and rust destroy"  (Matt 6:19) rather on things in Heaven!
  3. the third type of person is choked by pleasures and prosperity (almost the antithesis of #2) and these people can not mature into true faith in Christ because their mind is so consumed with this world.
  4. The fourth type of person hears the Word and retains it. I pray this is where you are and hopefully your pain in not a stumbling block for you but a testimony to God's goodness. God tests us and refines as as gold (Job 23:10).      

Comforts from the cross

I just don't understand why there has to be so much suffering!? Have you, yourself said this before, crying out to God for understanding? I have too. We can understand a bit of this mystery when we read the account of Lazarus in the Bible. In John 11 we learn that a very good friend of Jesus is dying. His sisters, Mary and Martha, tell Jesus about his sickness. But listen to Jesus' response. "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." WoW Lazarus was sick for this reason that God may receive glory! You would think Jesus would come to his rescue and save him from the sickness but Jesus does something no one saw coming. He stayed far away from Lazarus! How bizarre...Do you ever feel far from the Lord when you are suffering as if He has left you to fend for yourself? I'm sure Mary and Martha felt the same way. How could their close friend Jesus leave them right when they needed Him most? But Jesus had a very good reason and He has a very good reason for your trial or suffering! Four days after Lazarus died Jesus came. What? Why Jesus? You could have saved him. I know you loved him so why? Martha responds by saying, "Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died." I have felt that before...Lord if you would only answer my prayer so my suffering will go away. I know that you love me, so why? Jesus waited so His glory would be seen! He raised Lazarus from the dead! Sure His glory would be seen if He cured him of his disease while he was living, but wow, when He said, "Lazarus, come out!" everything changed! God received glory! Do you know that in your suffering God is with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He might rescue you from the flames of pain, He may walk with you through the flames of pain or He may take you home from the flames of pain. Any which way it happens, He is there with you! So take heart friend! He has you where He wants you.

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