Monthly Archives: November 2017

Sharing Hope

Today was such a great day for me, because not only did I get to share my love of Jesus with a good friend, but I also was able to offer hope and encouragement, which is the one thing I know God has called me to do. It’s as much a part me as breathing is to other people. Faithhopelove

And God will use whatever tools are at His disposable to get His message out about forgiveness, grace, loving others and being a light in this dark world we live in. And, when I need to be reminded of the blessings I have in my life, which sometime’s, I take for granted He gently reminds me to look at the big picture-His picture.

I had plans to meet an old friend for lunch, to catch up with one another and to ultimately answer her questions about these amazing plant-based supplements that I had been taking and was seeing such powerful, amazing results from.

I did get to share with her how the chronic pain and fatigue that I have experienced for the better part of the last 10 years, was gone. Is gone. I did get to share with her how I don’t experience joint pain anymore. I was elated to tell her that not only had I dropped a size in my pants and was slimming down and had this unimaginable sustained energy all day long, but for the first time in years, I could focus and concentrate and my thinking was sharper.  And I owed it all to God for orchestrating the amazing gift of health and healing through the use of these supplements.

As I shared all this with her, I realized that the same hope that my friend shared with me, I was sharing with her. Being able to offer someone hope, when they are feeling so poorly and can’t imagine that there is anything that can make them feel alive again, alive in the sense that you don’t have to be bedridden or live on your couch or do the very bare minimum in your life, that’s huge. I know, because I was there. And that really isn’t living. You merely exist. You cry behind closed doors. You put a smile on your face and you “fake” it. Until you can’t fake it anymore.  You seek help from your doctor, specialists, diets, alternative therapies, you name it-you try it and then one day, you decide enough is enough. It is what it is. I just have to learn to live with it. Until there is a cure or a proven treatment, I’m done. Done being a guinea pig.  You modify the way you do everything. And every single day, you pray. You ask God, “Why?” and sometime’s you don’t know why, but you love God and you Trust Him. Because you know His Plan is always better. And that is where I was six months ago. I was done. I would live with what was going on in my body and I would trust God for the outcome.

Now, remember, His Plans are always best. When my friend suggested that I try these supplements, I must admit, I rolled my eyes and I laughed inwardly.  Why in the world, would “vitamins” help me when nothing else had? But, and here’s the big thing, I knew that God played role in me trying them. I knew that my friend wouldn’t just suggest something if she didn’t wholeheartedly believe that was what God was telling her to share with me. And I prayed about it. And there was peace. Peace only He can give.  So, I said, ok, let’s try them.  And not only did I try them, I started seeing results within the first three weeks (this isn’t the case for everyone-but God knew I needed the reassurance that I was on the right path) and by eight weeks, I was pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming and by 12 weeks, I was feeling the best I had felt in 10 years (520 weeks)!

And then I started thinking about all the things I was able to do that would seem simple to other people. For instance, going out to lunch to meet a friend. I wouldn’t have even considered that 6 months ago. By the time I would have woken up, showered, dressed and made it downstairs, my energy would have been gone. And I would have had to cancel or realistically, I wouldn’t have even set up a date for lunch for fear I would have had to cancel once again.  And if I was having a good day, back then, and I actually made it to our meeting place, sitting for over 3 hours, laughing, talking, sharing our faith with one another, the pain of sitting for that long would have definitely been something I paid for with flare-ups and agony for weeks to come.

So, yes, I am very thankful that I chose to try these supplements and I will never be without them. I am so very thankful that my friend was obedient in sharing them with me and listening to the Lord. plexus journey

I share my story because I know there are other people, much like my friend today, that have struggled with many health issues that nothing seems to help and like me, she is sick and tired of being sick and tired. I shared my story with her and offered her hope and healing her body from the inside out. We all have root issues that need to be addressed, instead of putting “band-aids” on the problem. And getting to the root of the issues is what these amazing plant-based supplements do. They focus on gut health and once your gut is healed and your body is balanced, other things fall into place. Is it a “magic pill”, nope. Everyone’s story is different. Everyone’s journey is different. It isn’t a quick fix. But they do work. And I will continue to share my story with anyone and everyone because that’s what God is leading me to do.

And in the midst of our super long lunch date, we talked about our faith and how God stretches us and grows us and pulls us out of our nice, cozy comfort zones. First thing, is we have to be willing. It’s easy to say, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. It’s another thing to truly follow Him and His leading. After walking with Him, for over 40 years now, I still falter more times than I care to admit; I struggle with some things that I know He wants me to do and yes, I even argue with Him. I never win. It usually just prolongs things to where I have to ask for His forgiveness and go and do it. Do it scared sometimes. But the blessings that I get, the amazing love that I witness, because I chose to listen to our Heavenly Father far outweighs the fear. Love casts out fear.

I was reminded today, that the enemy will do whatever he thinks is necessary to spur doubt in our minds and hearts. He definitely does not like it when believers gather and profess the love of Jesus and His unfailing mercy and grace. Light always penetrates the darkness. And as long as I have breath, I will share Jesus’ story of redemption, hope, and grace.

May you know how much Jesus Christ loves you ~ right where you are, right now. He is always available to you.

Many blessings~Carlene

 

 

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Blessings to You

Thanksgiving2

As we approach Thanksgiving Day here in America, I pray blessings for each and every person that reads this. I pray that you will have a day filled with love, laughter, and joy! However, I do know that for some people, it will be a hard day, as people we love have passed, and this Thanksgiving may be a day that is hard to find something to be thankful for, in your grief, but I ask God to give you peace and comfort that only He can give.

There will be many people that will be settling down around a table filled with delectable and savory dishes that they look forward to every year, traditions that go on and some traditions being started for the first time. There will be laughter as the memories of Thanksgivings’ past evoke, of loved ones that are no longer here and there may be tears of ones we wish were still here to celebrate life with us. And there will also be people that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, as they have no family or no friends with which to celebrate or who are alone, and for them, it may just be another day.

For me, Thanksgiving isn’t just something we should look forward to in November, on the fourth Thursday of the month. Thanksgiving should be an attitude of our hearts and we should be able to find ONE thing to be thankful for every single day that God gives us life. For many, the Thanksgiving holiday signifies the beginning of the Christmas shopping season by early “Black Friday” sales, that apparently now start on Thanksgiving and go through “Cyber Monday”.  I know all too well about that concept, retiring from retail early last year when all that was taking place. I say a special prayer for those people that have to work and cannot be home with their families and friends because they must be at work to take care of their customers.

I recall simpler times when everything was closed on Thanksgiving day. When families spent time with one another and the only thing open was a few gas stations and convenience stores. Now you can drive around and all businesses are open, trying to boost their bottom line before the end of the fiscal year.  A sign of the times, I suppose.

I try to find something to be thankful for every day. And usually, even in my most trying days, I can always find something. I have always found that if my heart is focused on being grateful and living in gratitude, I can’t grumble at the same time. When it seems like there is nothing to be grateful for, I call out to Jesus and I ask Him to help me get through, to help me see the world through His eyes, I read His Word and I pray.

John 10:10New International Version (NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

However you choose to celebrate your Thanksgiving this year, I ask God to bless you so richly, your cup will overflow.  Peace to you and your families. May you know how much Jesus Loves you and He will meet you right where you are. Blessings to all~Carlene

 

 

 

Subtle Differences

In the past few days, I have been pushed around, challenged to hold true to my faith and always remember that there is a reason for everything and God is in control.  I haven’t been pushed around by bullies but by this mysterious disorder known to many as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder.

For the last year and 4 months, autism has lived in our home, officially.  And while, we have learned many things, and learned how to cope and work with this mystery, I am learning that it truly is a lifelong learning process, not just for our grandson who has autism, but for those of us that love this little guy and want so much for his life to be as normal as possible.

We can’t go to the park or even in the backyard unless there is a minimum of three adults with him. Why? Because he is a runner. He loves to run, and he doesn’t care if he is running down into a creek bed of freezing cold water or into the street with traffic. When he starts running, no amount of hollering at him to stop, or calling his name works.  Which means you have to run just as fast as he does or faster in hopes you can catch him before he enters the danger zone. This was the case yesterday morning when he figured out how to get out the front door, off the porch and ran into the backyard in his pajamas of shorts/shirt and socks in 20-degree weather. He was on a mission to get to his swing set.  He is a sensory seeker, which is part of his sensory processing disorder, he is looking for things that will fill the need of whatever stimulation he is missing and he will climb on anything, regardless if it is meant for climbing or safe to be doing so. EVERY DAY is a battle. And if he doesn’t have something solid to climb upon, he will use a toy or toys stacked up and attempt to do the climbing.

He figures ways to climb over the safety gates that are installed to keep him safe, on end tables and desktops if he sees something he wants or wants to investigate. And then he will jump off of them, regardless of how high up it is or what may be in his jump zone that could be dangerous or harmful to him.

Tyson Cliimbing

He doesn’t like loud noises and as much as he does well at his preschool in a small group of people, he doesn’t like a lot of people in one space. There are times he will run and hide in a wooden cabinet or under a table or cover himself with a blanket, so he is safe and hidden from the world. As he becomes stronger with each passing day, it is difficult to keep him reigned in one area. At age 3, he weighs 38 pounds and is over 3 feet tall.  Putting things up out of his reach is not as easy as they were a year ago. He has always had great strength since birth. Never needed help holding his head up, although we did.

He slides down the wooden stairs on his belly, feet first, and laughs and giggles when he gets to the bottom, running up to do it all over again. I hold my breath a lot. I am so afraid he will seriously hurt himself, but I’ve come to realize that the vestibular input and proprioceptive input he gets from doing a thing like this, he can’t get any other way. Or no way that he likes so far. His mini trampoline, use to provide enough input, he didn’t need more aggressive forms, but now the trampoline just isn’t enough. He can be very aggressive at times, and its hard to try to explain to him that he can’t headbutt others or constantly bang his head on the floor or the wall.  I know I am not the only person that has lived with a child like this, there are many of us that live in silence, because people who don’t experience it on a daily basis, can’t begin to imagine what it is truly like. And then there are sweet calm moments, like right now, where he climbs on my lap, gives me a hug, lays his head on my shoulder, just for a moment to take a break from his high-strung activities and lets me know he loves me and for a moment all is peaceful. But it usually doesn’t last very long.

Each one of us is a work in progress, from the day we are born.  Life experiences shape who we become and why we act the way we do. For most children, language develops at 6 months.  It may just be babbling, but it is a form of language. Speaking and language development is crucial to know if your child has a problem or a developmental delay in communication. By 18 months, he still wasn’t saying anything except ma and da.  Not even mama or Dada, And every time we saw the pediatrician, we were assured that he had done so many other things, early (sitting, crawling, walking) that he was just gonna be slower with talking because he was busy. Repeated attempts to have him tested fell on deaf ears. Well-meaning friends and family offered advice.  Here’s my two cents on this matter: If you think your child has any type of developmental delay, press for the physician to make the referral for testing, to determine what the problem is. You know your child, You spend the most time with them.  I am glad we finally found a doctor that was willing to listen to our concerns and give us the referral we needed.

When he was diagnosed at 26 months, he had just those two words and very little eye contact with anyone. Thanks to early intervention services, speech therapist, developmental specialists, and lots of work at home with him, he was able to start preschool this year, four days a week for a few hours a day. He started with 40 words, well under what a normal two-year-old would have and some of the 40 words were his “made up” words for objects he knew about.  Now after being in preschool for over 2 1/2 months his vocabulary is growing and he is just starting to put two or more words together to form two-word phrases. Since being in therapy, we have learned that his language delays are both expressive and receptive language delays. So his understanding is limited right now, but he is learning and he is thriving.

We are very fortunate that while most children on the spectrum have struggled with sleep, he is not one of them. There is always something to be thankful for. Always.

And when I want to sit and cry because life isn’t fair, and these were the cards we were dealt, I could be angry with God and I could wonder why him? But I am reminded of a story in the Bible, that puts it into perspective the best.

John 9:1-5New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.[a] The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

I don’t know why our grandson has Autism, but I do know that God will work it all out. I know that I have learned many things about this Spectrum Disorder and while he is learning his way and knowledgeable about many things he can’t share with us yet, I see it every day.  He is very smart for a three-year-old. He loves to fiddle with things and take them apart to see how they work, he might be an engineer someday or maybe even a teacher. He is learning what numbers are and what they mean, learning about colors and shapes and loving every minute of it. He is slowly starting to interact with others, and I am thankful for that. At home, his interactions are that of a typical child, in public, it’s a slow process, but a process just the same. He uses a combination of spoken words, pictures, and sign language to request what he wants. Most of the time, we understand, the frustrating times comes when there is no picture and he tries and tries and still we don’t understand. As much as it is frustrating for us, I can only begin to imagine how frustrating it is for him.

His memory is excellent. If he has experienced it, he can share in one-word utterances the details. We have been talking to him lately about getting his hair cut.  It’s way too long for our liking, but he is very sensitive to anyone touching his head or messing with it in any way. But he remembers his first haircut. We took him to a local salon. (Me, his grandfather and mother whom he refers to as maw, da, and meem) And we rode in da’s car and boo boon (and papaw drove and after the haircut, they gave him a blue balloon).

But it was not a fun experience. It took two of us to hold him, while the stylist, tried using scissors to trim his hair nice and neat and we ended up getting a buzz cut because that was the fastest (and probably the most painful for him, i.e. loud, vibrating noise).

As I finish this out for today, he is pacing around the living room, with his shoes on and his backpack, he’s waiting for the bus. It will be a long wait, the bus will not be here until tomorrow morning. But telling him that school is closed, telling him there is no bus coming to pick him up, hasn’t worked. So, until he tires of wearing his backpack, he will continue to walk back and forth with the backpack on. Sometime’s he gets “stuck” and because it isn’t harming him to do this, we allow it. It makes him happy.

Isn’t’ that what we all want for our children/grandchildren to live happy, carefree lives. He was sad that we didn’t go to church today. But it is too much on me to try to contain him in the parking lot, while holding his hand, walking with a cane and carrying a purse and diaper bag, so we missed out today. We played together, read the first few pages of a toddler book and he climbed and I held my breath.

And tomorrow, I will do it all over again until he goes into another phase, that no one knows what it will be or what it will look like. And Jesus will get me through it all. He always does.

May you know how much Jesus loves you~he will meet you right where you are.

Blessings to you~Carlene