Saturday, December 11, 2010

December?? Already???

Two things popped out at me when I opened up Blogger.  The first was that it's been a while since I posted.  The second was how close it is to Christmas.

Are you making your list and checking it twice?  Before we know it, it will be the day of our Savior's birth.  I believe that the secular world has commercialized Christmas to the point that even Christians get caught up in the whirl wind of who has the best decorations, throws the best parties and gives the most (and best) gifts.   It shouldn't surprise us because it seems that the commercial aspect of Christmas started even earlier this year. Before we know it the stores will be putting out Christmas decorations as soon as they put away the back to school displays.

Those of us who celebrate the real meaning of Christmas have to make a stand on the commercialization of our Savior's birth.  One way to do that is to stop lining the pockets of the corporate world and start doing instead of buying.   Don't buy some generic gift for your friends and neighbors that has absolutely no thought in it.   Instead make something personal.  It could be a simple tree ornament or cookies or candy that you make.  Make the gifts you give personal.  This way the recipient knows that you were thinking of them and not just giving them a "have to" gift..

You can do this for family too.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to have your family member "showing off" their gift and telling everyone that mom or grandma made it just for them. Think about it, does your sister's son really need another video game?  I'm sure he doesn't. But does he really love football or the Mississippi State Bulldogs?  Why not make an easy to sew pillowcase in the school's colors or novelty fabric.  Can't sew, there's always the no sew fleece blankets.  Did you wait to late to make it yourself?  Check out a site like Etsy to find one of a kind, handmade gifts for those on your list.

By doing instead of buying or buying handmade,  you are making Christmas more personal and keeping the spending in check.   After all, Jesus is the reason for the season. Not a credit card bill that you'll be paying on until next Christmas or gifts that will be lost in everything else the recipient already had.

May the Lord bless and keep you during this season of His birth.

Friday, October 22, 2010

To Quilt or Not To Quilt. What Do You Think?

When I first discovered the world of blogs, there was one that just jumped out there at me. It was the one of the first ones I subscribed to through Google Reader.  Judy Laquidara writes a wonderful quilting blog called Patchwork Times. If we were to ever meet, I think Judy and I would get along well because we like the same things.  Like me, she loves the country lifestyle, loves where she lives now but dreams of going home and loves her animals.  We both believe that I believe our duty as a wife and mom is to provide interesting and tasty meals for my family.   We make our own bread and cook our  meals from scratch.  Does that give you an idea of why I like her blog so much?

Judy says that she quilts almost non-stop which is what I would like to do.  Last week she posted the fabric requirements and instructions for a mystery quilt. Today Judy posted the first set of clues.  Since I'm a beginner, I'm wondering if I should take on this challenge.  Judy says that it's an easy quilt with just some half square triangles but mostly squares and rectangles.  I've done squares and rectangles so I guess this could be a way of learning the half square triangles.  

There are two sizes — you can choose to make just the top or you can make the top with the borders.  Instructions will be given to make the top 45″ x 63″ without borders. Blocks are 9” finished. The three clues take you through finishing just the top.  At that point, Judy will show us her quilt and give us the border instructions.  We can choose to make Judy’s borders or our own borders.

What do y'all think?  Anyone interested in taking on the challenge of a  mystery quilt with me?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Have you visited FaveCrafts on line?

Several times a week I get a really cool e-newsletter called Quick and Crafty from Fave CraftsThese e-newsletters are full of wonderful craft projects. This morning's mail brought me ideas and patterns for Halloween masks, crowns, horns and full costumes. There were even patterns for crocheting accessories for your costumes!  With over 35 categories to choose from on their home page you can find projects for all types of crafts and lots of free patterns. Free is always good!

What really caught my eye this morning was the Cute as a Button Quilts book giveaway.  I did say that free is always good. LOL! Cute as a Button Quilts features 12 quilt projects designed by Joni Pike and is published by  C & T Publications  (ISBN: 978-1-57120-345-8)  

Here's what the C & T website has to say about the book:

Adorable Appliqué Projects, All Buttoned Up

• Lickety-split fusible appliqué quilts and accessories anyone can make
• It's embellishment playtime! Accent your projects with easy embroidery, buttons, rickrack, and more
• Bright, happy quilts for kids, seasonal décor, or "just because"
• Fun lessons on how to choose and use buttons, plus a resource guide
• Create a coordinated set: table-top suites, pillows and accent quilts will perk up your décor
• Quick-make a gift this weekend

Beginning and advanced crafters and quilters will love these bright appliqué projects. Simple shapes, easy fusible appliqué, and adorable purchased buttons and trims make these charming projects quick to complete. Create quilts, pillows, placemats, table runners, and totes. Twelve projects with full-size patterns.
 I would love to have this book so I'm signing up for the giveaway.  You can too. Just follow this ink to FaveCrafts site.

Talk to you soon,


Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall is here so how's your Christmas shopping going?

The flowers of summer are all but gone and the mums and pumpkins that introduce fall are here.   Football season is well underway and Christmas will be here in two months, three weeks and three days.  How are you spending your wonderfully cool fall weather?  Have you started your Christmas shopping?  Starting early allows you to beat the crowds and find excellent prices on last fall and winter's merchandise that stores are putting out this time of  year.  Do you really care that it's last year's pink?  Pink is pink whether it's 2009's or 2010's.  I've purchased several items already and not paid more than 40% of the regular price for any of them.  Today, I picked up 6 pairs of socks for my granddaughters for a whopping $1.20 total!!!  You read it right.  Brand new socks at 20 cents a pair.  It's all a matter of starting early and checking out your favorite store's clearance racks on a regular basis.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  We'll talk more about Christmas later. 

I love having the doors and windows open and all the fresh air coming in.  I've been sewing at the kitchen table because there's construction going on in the sewing room.  (Thank you leaky roof!)  It's been great sitting there with a breeze blowing through the screen door.  It puts my love of sewing with my love of the outdoors and it's making me more creative.  And I'm really enjoying the fact that the air conditioner is off and the electric meter is no longer spinning out of control!

This wonderful fall weather has my creative juices flowing and I need to get a lot of sewing done.  To start with, I have to make a fall/winter wardrobe.  I've been blessed to loose the weight I put on while I was taking Lyrica and almost 50 pounds later, I'm still loosing. Unfortunately, I have almost no clothes that fit and the few that I do have show how well "loved" they are.  I don't want anything super fancy but I do need something to leave the house in.   This year I'm going somewhere I've never been before with  my sewing and make outerwear. I'm starting with a simple fleece poncho but I've never sewn fleece before.  My work with fleece is limited to those no sew blankets.  I'm torn on whether I want a hood or not. And if I don't want the hood, do I leave it plain or add something like the fake fur trim?  Do I trim it even with a hood?  Here's my options. What do y'all think?

McCall's 3448 with hood
McCall's 3448 without hood
McCall's 3448 with fake fur trim
Probably the most pressing issue is Halloween costumes!!  Can you believe it??  Seems like yesterday that Bill was riding his bike dressed as the Grim Reaper with his scythe attached.  He's decided what he wants for his costume but I'm still debating.  It would be so easy to go back to trailer trash mother-in-law costume but I think I want something different this year.   I've thought about a gypsy, Cleopatra and a princess from the days of Prince Arthur.  What do y'all think I should be?

I'm off to bed but I'll be back!  :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Krazy Kraft Lady is having a giveaway and I want to win!!!

I guess I need to come up with something to have for a giveaway.  All of my favorite blogs are doing them.  Denise aka The Krazy Kraft Lady creates some of my favorite primitive work.  I love primitives.  If you don't believe it, just take a walk through my house!  Anyway, back to the giveaway... Denise is giving away some adorable Fall and Christmas ornies.  They will make a great addition it any home, especially mine!

The winner will receive a 'Mouse In Pumpkin', 'Mouse In Stocking Ornie', 'Snowman Ornie With Crochet Filled Pocket' and Santa Ornie as shown in photo above.

So hurry on over to The Krazy Kraft Lady for your chance to win!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hot dog! More blog giveaways! Sign me up!

Remember me telling y'all last week that I'm becoming addicted to blog giveaways?  It's official now.  I've got three to share with you.

First, ramble on over to my friend Cheri's blog, Maintaining My Piece.  Her birthday is in September (mine is too!) and we have a chance to get the present!  How cool is that?  There will be 3 winners from anyone who leaves a comment with the word BIRTHDAY in it.  The chance to win started August 31 and will run till September 21...her big day! Every comment gets you another entry.  Cheri hasn't announced the prizes yet but I know that her work is outstanding so what ever she chooses  will be beautiful and well made.

From Cheri's blog I found a link to another giveaway from SEW-lutions  September is National Sewing Month and is having a daily giveaway. All you have to do is answer 3 simple questions, give them your contact informaton and you are automatically entered for every day. How easy is that?  The National Sewing Month sponsors have donated prizes that will be given away every day throughout National Sewing Month. The giveaway of the day will be announced on the SEW-lutions blog each day.

I saved my favorite giveaway for last.  It comes to us from Old Road Primitives .  Kim is giving away a great Fall Meadow Mouse n' Witch Hat.  It will come signed, dated and scented in a wonderful Fall scent!  I really, really, really want this one!  It will sit on my coffee table which is actually a primitive box that my grandfather made around 1919. He made it to use to pack the family's thinks in when they moved from Oklahoma to Ohio.  Kim sells the patterns but I've got so much going on that I don't think I'll have the time to get it made. And I really, really, really want it.  :-) This giveaway will run from August 31 until September 30th! The winner will be announced on Kim's Blog on October 1st!

I hope you enjoy visiting these blogs.  They give you an idea of what I really enjoy - sewing, quilting and primitives

Till next time,


Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm becoming addicted to blog giveaways!!

Google reader is becoming my downfall.  I'm sure I'm not the only one but I wonder if others are as bad as I am.  I decided the other day that I was following too many blogs so I went through and deleted the ones that I didn't remember why I  decided to follow them in the first place.  Unfortunately, when I was reading the ones I kept, I begin finding other blogs that had giveaways going. 

Today's find was at Canton Village Quilt Works where they are giving away a Go! Machine courtesy of  the folks at Accuquilt. I would love, love, love to have one of these but they are way out of my price range.  So when I saw this, I immediately start entering all four of the allowed times.  :-) 

This giveaway will be open through midnight Eastern Time on August 26.  You can get multiple entries by leaving a comment, blogging about the giveaway, "like" AccuQuilt on Facebook and become a follower of the blog.

Hop on over and enter to win but don't plan on it.  My name is already on that cutter!

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's a giveaway!!!

Not here but over at Emily Burger's wonderful blog.  Emily has taken a yard of her custom designed "Pink Forest" fabric and cut it  into quarters so four winners can make something awesome with it!  I can see this as a dress for my granddaughters, as part of a quilt  or maybe even something fun for me!

I encourage you to go over and take a look at her beautiful fabrics.  It would be really easy for me to spend several month's worth of my fabric budget there.  :-)

It's about time, no it's past time, for me to hit the hay.  Bill's been long gone but I was determined to get through my blogs in Google Reader.  Have a wonderful day/night and don't forget to run over to Emily's blog and sign up for your chance to win.  She'll choose the winner randomly from on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Check out Self-Stitched-September over at So Zo!

I am woefully behind on emails and blog posts in Google Reader.  As I sit here with my feet propped up catching up in Google Reader, I was reading "Communing with Fabric" and Shams mentioned a fun blog called "So Zo..."  One reason I stay behind is that I'll read where the writer mentioned another blog and I go there and well... you get the idea.

Back in May, Zoe did a Me-Made-May where around 80 people set the goal of wearing at least one item that they made themselves.  With September coming around she's come up with a new project.  Here's what Zoe had to say:

Those of you who may have picked up on my predisposition towards alliteration made have seen this one coming, but I would like to present....... Self-Stitched-September! The title is a bit more of a mouthful than its cousin Me-Made-May, but effective enough I believe. In case you were wondering, I did consider Self-Sewn-September but realised that moniker would prohibit the inclusion of knitted or crocheted items, which would be a tragedy.

I've taken on the challenge by posting that 'I, Cynthia, (, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I  endeavor to wear at least one handmade or refashioned item of clothing every day for the duration of September 2010'.

I've been collecting patterns all summer when Hancock's have their pattern sales and need some new clothes due to a 30 lb weight loss  I've not been able to get motivated to sew so I signed up to give me the motivation to get my clothes done. Join me in the fun and  to go to her blog and check it out - SoZo, What Do You Know - Join Self-Stitched-September .  If you do join in, please let us know how it goes and post some of your pictures here.  I'll be posting mine.

I'm off to see what else I can find fun in the blog world.  Maybe I'll set a record for number of posts in one day.  :-)

Fibro Pain Ramblings...

What a day!  Yesterday afternoon my fibro slapped me up side of the face and said, “Hello! Like it or not, I’m here.”  My pain level shot up through the roof and put me down in the floor.  Guess it thought I forgot about having fibro.  Like that’s possible.  I went to bed and slept, got up and had dinner with my darling hubby and then went to sleep some more.  It’s 4:30 and I’ve had two naps today – long naps of 3 or 4 hours each.   Truth be told, I wouldn’t have gotten up had I not had a phone meeting scheduled with my case advocate in my attorney’s office.  She was filling out even more forms for my Social Security Disability appeal.  Alicia is my hero today because I think I would have pulled my hair out answering those questions if I had to sit down and fill out the SSD forms myself.  Just talking to her was exhausting but I was so proud that the fibro fog didn’t kick in and I was able to answer all her questions.  We didn’t even have to play the guessing game over what word I was trying to remember or anything like that.  Sad that I’m excited about that isn’t it?  I forget what percentage of my back pay they get, but it’s worth it just to not have to fool with it.  She said they have a 96% success rate and I certainly hope I’m not one of the 4%.  While I doubt I get any more money than I’m getting with my LTD insurance claim, it will be nice to have it done and over with.

My pain level is frustrating me so much as is the fatigue.  The heat has been horrendous and I am staying inside as much as I possibly can.  The heat has made the fatigue so much worse.  Usually, I can work through the pain if I have to but there is no way to work through fatigue.  If it was a life and death situation, I guess I’d be on the death side.  My pain even with medication is up towards 10 today.  It’s time for another pain pill.  I hate taking them because I know that I will eventually get to where I have to take stronger meds the more I take.  But what do you do?  Do you hurt and lay in bed or do you take the meds and have some sort of a life?

The myofascial pain has been awful for the last few weeks as well.  The pain from my knees down has been the worse pain.  My arms are tender to touch and sometimes I hurt my self just by scratching.  But my legs, oh my!  On top of everything else I have severe edema and need to wear compression hose.  Problem is, some times the CMP is so bad that I can’t stand the compression hose touching my skin.  When this happens, I normally can’t stand the pain of putting them on.  Even with the hose, my lower legs and ankles swell a lot.  Without them, below my knee resembles a light pole – no calves, no ankles, just a round pole.  And of course, they hurt so I spend my time with them propped up as much as I can.

On my two denials from SSD, they said that they believed I could no longer function as a paralegal or a secretary but that I could be a store clerk.  Would someone please tell me, how I’m supposed to be a store clerk?  I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that the clerks could sit down and prop their feet up or take a nap when the fatigue was just too much.  I’m also wondering if they think that store clerks don’t have to remember things.  One of my memory problems is that I can not retain what I learn.  Teach me today and by Saturday, not only will I not remember how to do it, I won’t remember you teaching me to do it.  With that problem, how am I supposed to learn to run a cash register, store rules, etc.

I’ve often heard it said that SSD turns you down 2 or 3 times just because they think you’ll go away and they’ll save money.  This Southern Lady ain’t going away so they need to approve me and quit wasting everyone’s time.  I’m tired, I hurt but I’m not going away.  I’ve worked hard since I was 17 years old.  I’ve put in my time, and now it’s time to get some of it back.  I use to know someone who joined the Navy, got yelled at in boot camp and had a nervous breakdown. (I personally think he deserves an Academy Award for his acting but that’s another story.)  Last time I was in contact with this person, they were getting over $20,000 a year in VA benefits.  If that BS can be approved, then SSD shouldn’t have a hard time approving me.

I am climbing down from my soap box and rambling on to do something in the house.  Until tomorrow folks may you pain be low and your spirits high.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Trusting God with our Pain

God has an open door policy.  At anytime, day or night, 24/7/365, we are free to come to Him for comfort in bad times or to rejoice with Him in good times.  And unlike doctors offices there is no line. We don't have to spend time in the waiting room.  For those of us with Fibromyalgia, it seems like we go to Him more for comfort from the unrelenting pain that is a constant part of our life than rejoicing.  However, if we trust Him, we can rejoice in our pain.

When your life has been changed irreversibly as ours has, it is sometimes hard to trust God that His is the right path for our lives.  Part of learning to trust God is learning to trust that He will lead us and keep us on what may not be an easy path but it is a safe one. Sheila Walsh described it as being “in the shoes of a child, learning to take one step at a time; as a child looks into the eyes of her mother to see if she’s doing it right.”  We must learn to set our gaze on God and trust Him because He will catch us if we fall.

Sometimes the pain is so great that we cannot even pray. This may be physical pain or it may be pain caused by a loved one or a stranger. We may even doubt for a moment that He is really there. God has provided for us when that occurs.  Romans 8: 25- 27 reminds us:

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.”

There have been so many times when this was all I could do. The pain was so severe that all I could say was “Lord, please help me.” Many times, I felt that His answer to me was to wait, to be patient. There was a reason for my pain. Other times the horrible pain was taken away as I finally slept for the first time in days. God always answers our prayers. Sometimes the prayers aren’t answered as we would like them to be but He always answers them in His way, in His time.

Stress and depression is another part of our fight. Stress from not having a doctor, family or friends who understand that we really are in pain from a very real disease is very common. Stress from wondering how we will pay for our medications, groceries, mortgage or utilities because we can no longer work.  Life becomes so dark around you that it is hard to see God’s light shining and even harder to trust Him to provide. That is when we go to the Proverbs to draw strength:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Proverbs 3: 5-8

It is important to remember that God created us and He loves us. We must never loose sight of that. We are all called to be witnesses to God’s amazing love and care for us. Those of us who have chronic pain have a unique opportunity to share our faith. We have the amazing opportunity to show that even when things are not at their best, the Lord provides and our faith is strong. How we share His love, claim His promises and trust in Him, is our greatest witness.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel your Savior; Do not be afraid, for I am with you." Isaiah 43: 2 -3 and 5a

Friday, July 2, 2010

You're invited

to join us at Crafty Swapping Friends a Yahoo group where we swap a hand made goodie every month, we play Bingo :) and we have so many craft and gift ideas, you'll flip! Come and play with us :)


This morning I began reading Sheila Walsh’s new book, Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God. I’ve only read the introduction and first chapter but already see so many ways where her battle with depression parallels my battle with fibromyalgia. I have a hard time trusting because of things that happened in the past. I hope that when I finish this study, I will have learned to trust God more in my everyday life, to finally, once and for all, turn my life completely over to Him, trusting Him to direct my path even when I don’t understand where it is headed. I think I’ve always trusted God on the big stuff but the day to day stuff has been a challenge. Sheila says that waiting on his direction and trusting in his presence helps us to become more like Christ. I need patience as well as trust. I want the instant answers that I receive when I am in charge. Maybe the key to me trusting is to have patience to wait for his will to become clear to me.

Jesus wants us to trust him so completely that we no longer question anything that he puts into our hands or on the path he has chooses for our lives. That’s my biggest struggle right now. It’s hard to trust when your body rebels and you hurt so badly that you cannot pull your self out of bed for days on end. It’s hard to trust when your mind is so foggy that you can’t remember the next word in the sentence. It’s hard to trust that all will be well when your income is cut in half and the bills go up. It’s hard to trust when the bill collectors are calling. It’s hard to trust when you aren’t able to do the things you use to. You get the picture.

Job wrote that “Yes, God does these things again and again for people. He rescues them up from the grave.” Job 33:29-30 (NLT) Isn’t that wonderful news? Over and over God is there for us and will pick us up when we fall or when someone turns against us.

Sometimes in the process of learning to trust, we suffer. We don’t like to suffer. Who would? And who would believe that suffering can be helpful? The Bible tells us that suffering truly can be helpful so I work toward finding that help. Suffering is helpful if we turn to God for understanding, endurance and deliverance. Turning from him will only make things worse and harden our hearts. When we lay our suffering at his feet, we are able to learn from a trustworthy God. When allow ourselves to learn from God, it prepares us to accept help from others who are obeying God’s order to help others.

“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always, be eager to practice hospitality”. Romans 12:13 (NLT)

“Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church…those who can help others”. 1 Corinthians 12:28 (NLT)

In Joshua 1:5, God assures Joshua that He will be there for him just like he was for Moses. He promised … I will not fail you nor abandon you. Aren’t those beautiful words? God is here with us every step of the way. I think about how Joshua must have felt following in Moses footsteps. As the saying goes, those were some big shoes to fill. Joshua went from being an assistant to being the person who would finally lead the Israelites into the Promised Land – all two million of them. I’m sure that he must have felt overwhelmed. God always reminded him to be strong, courageous and follow God’s word for direction. That’s what we need to do as well. Joshua 1:7 – 9 tells us:

"Be strong and courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord you God is with you wherever you go.” (NLT)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lifetime Contracts - some we choose and some are chosen for us.

Fibro came by tonight. It’s Sunday night and Fibro seems to think that insomnia is a good thing on Sunday nights, so she brought some by and forced it on me. I did everything I could today to not anger her but apparently it wasn’t enough. I came straight home from church and changed into loose fitting clothes. I didn’t do any housework or anything like that. The only thing I did was sit at the sewing machine and enjoy myself. I even got up and moved around and didn't sit there for long at a time.

Fibro was really nice. Well, at least she thinks she’s being nice. Fibro reminded me that she took care of that job that I had to get up and go to. Now all I have to do is lie around, hurt and be tired all the time so why not stay up all night. I loved my job. I worked so hard to become a paralegal. I love the law and contracts are my favorite thing to do. Talking to the recruiters and the potential employees was so much fun. I enjoyed preparing their draft contracts and that let me know that I had chosen the right career. I will admit that I had the worse boss I had ever had in my professional career. The co-workers weren’t so great either. All I wanted to do was work a year so I had experience and then look for a job with a law firm. But no, Fibro couldn’t stand that I had plans for my future. She had to stick her nose in my business and start taking away my memory. Slowly she would sneak a bit of information out here and there until I couldn’t remember something from Monday to Wednesday. Then Fibro snuck the pain in. I could never get comfortable in my chair. My back and legs hurt all the time and my hands would go to sleep if I held the phone in one hand for too long. But she wasn’t happy with that. Oh, no. She wanted really show me what all she had to give me. The pain got worse and worse until finally I could barely get dressed in the morning. And the fatigue, Fibro threw a lot of fatigue in the mix. When I finally got dressed and made it to work, the parking lot was yet another obstacle to face. Walking to the building seemed like climbing Mt. Everest. I could barely pick my feet up because I guess Fibro put concrete in my shoes because they had to weigh 500 lbs. So many times, I thought I was going to have to sit down in the street and rest to make in on in. Seems I have a life time contract with Fibro with no loop holes to void the contract. She’s here to stay. There’s nothing that I can do but watch her continue her hostile takeover of my body.

I have other lifetime contracts but they are not like my contract with Fibro. I chose to make them and they give me joy and happiness, not pain and sorrow.

I have my marriage contract with Bill. I love carrying that out. I have the most wonderful, loving husband who does all he can to care for me when Fibro drops by. In a way, Bill has a contract with Fibro too. She’s taken so many of my hopes and dreams for the future and they were his hopes and dreams too. We are a team, bound together by our love and our vow to God to be with each other “in sickness and health, till death do us part”. He says I’m not a burden but I sure feel that way. My Bill is always there for me even if he doesn’t know what to say. After all, what is there to say about Fibro.

Then there’s my contract with my children. I have two of the most wonderful children that I mother could ask for. They have taken care of me through my emotionally abusive marriage to their father and were there supporting me when I finally took their advice and ended it. They were there with me when I was living on my own for the first time in my life. And they are here for me now that Fibro is a part of my life. They help to take up the slack and pitch in and help with the things that I can do longer do around here. Like Bill, they’ve never done anything to make me feel that they love me less or consider me a burden to have to help now that Fibro is part of our family.

My last lifetime contract is the greatest of all. It’s my contract with Jesus, my personal savior. I can’t imagine what it must have been like during Jesus’ time on earth to actually be in His presence and hear His voice. The people of His day were able to say “Now we believe, not just because of what you have told us, but because we have heard Him ourselves. Now we know that He is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42) I’ve not heard Him like they did but I have heard Him as He talks to me through his Word and in my heart. I believe that He loves me unconditionally and one day I will live with Him in a wonderful, pain free body in a glorious world free of sickness and full of joy. I know that He hears me when the pain and stress of Fibro is too hard to bear and I cry out to Him. I feel His loving arms around me holding me close. His “promise revives me; it comforts me in my troubles”. (Psalm 119:50)

It’s not for me to know or understand why I was given the contract with Fibromyalgia to bear on this earth. I do know that God has a reason and I pray that in some small way I am able to carry out the work He has called me to.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Psalm 72 and Revelation 13 - Got your attention?

Today I read Psalm 72. It was written by Solomon, David’s son. In this Psalm a king asks God to help his son rule the nation justly and wisely. I immediately thought how wonderful it would be if the president of our country and Congress would ask God for the same help. I usually stay away from political debate because to be honest, sometimes I can’t remember why I support a particular candidate. I can assure you that I read about the candidates, listen to their platform and make a decision. With my short term memory problems, many, no most, times I don’t remember what led me to that decision. So this is tricky ground for me but I feel led to say it.

The Psalm lists the qualities of a good leader. Some of them are that he/she should judge the people rightly, stand up for the poor and the children, come down hard on cruel tyrants, let righteousness burst into bloom and worship the Lord. Can we say that our leaders in Washington have any of these qualities? I don’t believe that we can about most of them. God desires rulers to be just and righteous. Think how much the United States would change if our leaders would commit to being just and righteous.

In 1 John 2 we read of the antichrists that will come before the tribulation. In John’s day there were antichrists who claimed a faith in God but were denying and opposing Christ. This is impossible to do because Christ is God’s son, the Messiah and our salvation. To deny Christ is to reject God’s way of revealing himself to the world. The Message translation of verse 2 says:

So who is lying here? It’s the person who denies that Jesus in the Divine Christ, that’s who. This is what makes an antichrist: denying the Father, denying the Son.”

I believe that we have many people in our government who fit this description including the person in the Oval Office. 2 Thessalonians 2 speaks to the “Man of Lawlessness”. This person will “defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as “God Almighty”.

Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness because he wanted to rule the world through Jesus. When Jesus refused all the temptations presented him, Satan had to start over. In Revelation 13 the person that Satan chooses to take Jesus place and run the world for him is depicted as a beast out of the sea to which Satan gives political power. There will also be a beast out of the earth that will do great miracles. These two beasts will work together to capture control over the whole earth. My study notes have this to say:

“Because the beast, the Antichrist, is a false messiah, he will be a counterfeit of Christ and will even stage a false resurrection. People will follow and worship him because they will be awed by his power and miracles. He will unite the world under his leadership and he will control the world economy. People are impressed by power and follow those who display it forcefully or offer it to their follower. But those who follow the beast will only be fooling themselves. He will use his power to manipulate others, to point to himself and to promote evil plans. God by contrast, uses his infinitely greater power to love and to build up. Don’t be misled by claims of great miracles or reports about a resurrection or reincarnation of someone claiming to be Christ. When Jesus returns, he will reveal himself to everyone.”

Sound like anyone in Washington?

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

He is our Rock

This morning I read Psalm 61 and 62. In Psalm 61:2, David cried to God when his heart was overwhelmed. This reminded me so much of how I feel some days with the pain and fatigue that I have from the fibro. It seems like there are days when I have so much that HAS to be done and those are the days when I am so overwhelmed because of how bad I hurt and how tired I am. Just like God answered David, I believe that he will answer my prayers and yours. In return all he asks is that we accept his Son as our savior, love and honor him and fulfill promises that we make to him each day. Personally I know how hard that is sometimes.

Psalm 62 begins with David talking about waiting. He says
“I wait quietly before God; for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.”

David goes on to talk about how he has many enemies that are trying to kill him. Then he reminds himself and us to wait quietly before God because our hope is with Him. I have thought so much about my Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Neuropathy and Edema. I see my illness as the enemies trying to kill me. None of them will physically kill me but emotionally… Emotionally these illnesses will bring down the strongest person. Many, many times the question of “why?” comes to mind. I find myself asking what I did wrong to deserve this horrible pain and fatigue for the rest of my life. I’ve come to realize that the truth is that I’ve done nothing wrong.

God has a reason for me to be going through this right now. There is a task that I have to do that I can only accomplish suffering from pain and fatigue. I don’t know what it is yet and I may never get a specific answer to why and what. But like King David, God is my refuge and my strength and I will sing praises to His name forever.

May the Peace of the Lord be with you always.

There ain't nothing like being on the back of a Harley!

It is so great to see all the sunshine again today! Yesterday I finally got to ride the Harley for the first time in over a year. My fibro was so horrible last summer that I could not get on the bike, much less go for a ride. The only thing that gives me the same feeling as riding the bike is to be out on the water in the boat. Both give me so much in the line of stress relief. There’s something about having the wind in your face and being out in God’s beautiful world. When we are on the bike I see things that I may have driven by 50 times but just don’t notice it when riding in a cage (car). On the bike and on the boat, I feel like I’m experiencing nature as God intended. I don’t think that he intended for us to be closed inside buildings and cars and not spend time in the world that he created. I really wish that my fibro would let me go tent camping but I have to settle for the back yard and a blanket looking up at the sky. Wish I felt safe enough in this jungle they call Memphis to sleep out there.

I’m busy sewing away and way behind. My friend Thelma and I are going to share a booth at the craft show in Olive Branch this weekend. My pain levels have been doing pretty good but my fatigue has been horrible. When I’m tired I can’t think and to do a good job sewing, I’ve got to have a clear head to follow the instructions. As Roseann Roseannadanna use to say – if it ain’t one thing then it’s another.

I’m back to sewing after a quick sandwich for lunch. Y’all keep me in your prayers that I will have sufficient stock for this weekend. Catch you tomorrow!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Psalm 56

Most days my Bible reading comes from the Daily Office Lectionary found in the Book of Common Prayer. The readings are on a two-year cycle, so they are the same every other year. I always find it amazing how some days the readings are exactly what I need to hear that day.

This morning the first reading came from Psalm 56 and it jumped out like it was written by David just for me. With chronic pain, being forced to retire because of it and the financial implications that came with that, it’s real easy to worry and be afraid of what the day may bring. David also knew that feeling but he learned to trust in God’s care in the midst of fear. I need to learn, remember and apply the lesson like David did - that when all seems dark, God is for us. I've heard all my life that if God is for us, those against us will never succeed. The Message translation of verses 3 and 4 says:

When I get really afraid I come to you in trust. I’m proud to praise God; fearless now, I trust in God. What can mere mortals do?

We should never doubt that God is watching over us even when it seems we are alone. Verse 8 tells us:

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear is entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.

The study notes in my Bible had this to say about verse 8 – “Instead of spending a sleepless night worrying about what he (David) cannot change, he uses those wakeful hours to meditate on an expression suitable for the world. David’s example shows us how to turn times of stress into times of blessing by considering God’s faithfulness in comparison with our fleeting problems. Why worry when you can invest that time in praise?”

I’ll end with verses 12 and 13:

God, you did everything you promised, and I’m thanking you with all my heart. You pulled me from the brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom. Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.

Thanks be to God,