A Body in Motion…Hurts…

According to The Physics Classroom, Newton’s first law of motion is stated as:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion

Sounds about right, right?pain

Except when you are dealing with Chronic Pain…. Then what?

So how about Chronic Pain’s first law of motion is stated as:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion – wait! is there even motion with chronic pain?

Let’s face it – when every joint in your body is screaming, who wants to even get out of bed, let alone take a walk, ride a bike or any other physical activity that would aggravate  your pain…

But the medical field recommends exercise – to keep the joints and muscles moving – to keep working through the stiffness and pain so the stiffness eventually is alleviated and hopefully the pain in lessened…

Exercise improves your mood, gets you away from those walls that surround you, reduces your need for pain meds, and helps you sleep better.

It’s a Catch-22 dealing with chronic pain or a chronic illness isn’t it…rest – and hurt…move – and hurt…hmmm…so what do you do?

Here are some practical ideas for Non-Strenuous Work-outs to do when you are dealing with chronic pain:

  • Walkingpain2According to Prevention, “walking is an excellent form of light aerobic exercise, which  brings oxygen and nutrition to your muscles to keep them healthy, helps rebuild stamina, boosts energy, and reduces stiffness and pain.” Take short walks – even if it’s 10 minutes a day, build up to longer walks. Keep to a firm surface, wear comfortable shoes, take water along, and enjoy the scenery!
  • Swimming and Water Aerobics in a heated pool (warm water relaxes muscles, and the buoyancy of the water helps with movement). Join a local community pool or check out local schools that may offer open swim times at low cost – physical therapy pools are also often available for open swim when classes aren’t taking place.
  • Stretching – always do some soft stretching after you exercise so you don’t pull cold muscles – but even before getting out of bed in the morning try some gentle stretches to loosen up stiff arms, shoulders, neck, and legs. Do what you can without pain! Stretch throughout the day as you sit – reaching for the remote – walking down the hall – doing range of motion keeps your joints from becoming stiff.
  • Everyday Activities – Do what you can when you can. Gardening. Washing the dishes. Playing with the dog. Shopping. – You’d be surprised not only the muscles you use physically but also the mental muscles that are used.

So these are a few practical ways to coping with our physical chronic pain – but how do we cope with what this pain does to our spiritual walk? 

  • We walk – the path set before us. We start with small steps and then build to bigger, bolder steps. But we keep our eyes on Jesus along the way. He is our Breath of Life – He is our Energy – He is our Strength. Psalm 73:26 tells us,“My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” And let’s be honest here, some days all we can do is just hold on to that knowledge.
  • We swim – in the refreshing and healing waters of His Word – As we spend time with God and allow His Word to take root in our hearts we become stronger, and begin building our spiritual muscles to continue our walk. What better time to spend with our Maker than when we are flat on our back, unable to move because of our pain? He’s right there with us! Isaiah 43:2 reminds us, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.”
  • We stretch – our spiritual muscles – we step out of our comforGetAttachmentt zone, asking God to use us where we are. Dealing with chronic pain or a chronic illness doesn’t have to stop us from being used by Him. He just uses us in a different way and in a different place. Eph. 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
  • We do what we can when we can – we make ourselves available – we are obedient to His call, wherever, whenever. Philippians 1:6 gives us this beautiful reminder, “For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Remember, no medical diagnosis defines us – our Almighty Creator does.

Our mind tends to play that game of “you can’t do it” over and over and we need to stop listening – when we are able, we need to get up and get moving – physically…spiritually…

Then we rest.

And yes, then we will rest well.

Living With Eyz2God,

Dianna

 

 

Detour Ahead…Enjoy the View…

Road Construction…

Not my favorite part of driving…

But here in my little corner of Sussex County in my little State of Delaware it seems that everywhere I go there is some type of roadwork being done….UGH…

From patching potholes on the major interstate to widening the main highways and even some of the secondary roads –

Now, being close imagesto the beach we are considered a “resort” area, so of course everything is being done at once to be completed…uh-em…before “season”…Memorial Day…yeah…right…

But a few of the highways have posted a sign…with an option to go around the construction…and maybe sometimes not-so-much an option…

Have you ever had to take a Detour to avoid traffic or road work?

It’s interesting what you find when you take that road you haven’t been on for a while…or drive a completely new route totally unfamiliar to you, just following those arrows, hoping and praying they get you back on that main road…

I’ve gone on roads I haven’t been on for months and find myself amazed at some of the changes…buildings no longer there…brand new housing developments being built…

I’ve gone on roads I’ve never been on at all and find myself driving slower…just taking in the view…(remember y’all I live in a rural area so the roads are usually 2-lanes and windy…with farms…and acres of open land…so I can do that!)clSo, has life ever forced you to take a Detour? Right in the middle of your smooth life ride have you ever been stopped by barriers in the roadway, blocking your path? Maybe its deteriorating health…or the loss of a job…or the death of a spouse which throws you into an immediate head of household status…

And you have no other option than to go another route…maybe one you’ve been on before…maybe one you’ve never traveled…

Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “A person plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”  Hmmm…sure sounds like a Detour could be around the bend at any time, doesn’t it?…

I guess the question then becomes “How will I react when I am faced with a Detour?” Will I recognize a familiar path and look for and embrace the changes? Will I slow down and take in the sights in that unfamiliar territory, appreciating what I experience along the way? Or will I cross my arms and stomp my feet, complaining that ‘this isn’t what I had planned for my life’?

Friend, can I just remind you that God’s Ways are Perfect, no matter what? Whether you stay on that smooth life road or are detoured to a side road – He’s got your back.

Road construction…Detours… Unforeseen roadblocks…are all out of our control…

But they aren’t out of His…

So next time life sends youdo on a Detour…

Slow down, take in the sights, and enjoy the view…

There’s something on that side road for you that wasn’t on the road you were traveling on…

Look for it…

Do you really want to miss what God has waiting for you along the way?

Living With Eyz2God, 

Dianna

 

Teach Me to Number My Days…

eternalTIME

I was born Jan 2, 1958…

Which has given me, as of today, April 13, 2016…

58 years 3 months 11 days…
or 699 months 11 days…
or 3040 weeks 6 days…
or 21,286 days…
or 510,864 hours…
or 30,651,840 minutes…
or 1,839,110,400 seconds…

on this earth…

IMG_104637306030392TIME

Where has it gone?

I look at my children and now my grand-children and I wonder…

How have I spent the TIME God has given to me?

Psalm 90:12 – “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Do I number my days in this manner? Have I been wise in my life choices? Am I growing a heart of wisdom?

TIME…

A precious gift…

“But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand.” Psalm 31:14-15

Those photographed moments we hold onto…

  • TIME is our friend…

Those agonizing moments we can’t let go…

  • TIME is our enemy…

Waiting for an answer…clock2

  • TIME stands still…

Contemplating a life changing decision…

  • TIME rushes us for an answer…

So in the midst of all the busyness and uncertainty of life…

I cherish TIME with my Abba Father…

Sitting quietly before Him…

Communing with Him…

Praying…Listening…

It’s the only way I can remain focused…

It’s the only way I can grow…

TIME

God’s gift to us…

And how we spend each moment?

Well, that is our gift to Him…

Yet I am shamed…

I wonder if I can even offer Him those moments…and if I did, would they even be acceptable to a Holy God…

My heart aches because I know the answer…

And I am challenged…

To make those moments count…and to be made accountable…

So my time of communion with my Father is restored…unhindered…

A pleasant offering to Him…

How about you?

Living With Eyz2God, 

Diannaholy_and_set_apart_for_jesus

 Linking up with Tuesday at Ten

Awaken…My Soul…

When I was a young mom one of the things I absolutely loved was watching my newborns sleep…so peaceful…so innocent…so calm…A chance to get things done around the house…or take a nap…or sit and enjoy a cup of {{hot}} coffee…really? what is {{hotmadycole}}??

Why is it then…that I would just stand by their crib and watch them sleep…waiting for them to awaken…or want to just pick them up and hold them…

That first little yawn…followed by a stretch…one arm…then the other…one eye open…then the other…head turning, looking around…maybe a coo of wonder…maybe a whimper or a lonely cry…

Then those beautiful eyes would meet mine as I stood there looking down in love…

And there it came…that magical smile of recognition…Hey! I know you!…arms raised in sweet surrender…waiting to be swept up in love…

Yep…the time spent just watching was well worth it…(I can enjoy plenty of hot coffee now a days!) Now I am rewarded with watching my grandchildren❤

Do you ever imagine our God…our Abba Father just standing by us while we sleep? or while we go through the darkest nights in life?

Psalm 121:3-4 tells us, “He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.… “

Sound familiar? He who watches over you sounds very much like what I did with my newborns – okay yes, even with my children…3clouds

A part of me wanted them to remain asleep…catching those all important hours of rest that I knew would be needed to get them through the many hours they would be awake…

Yet, another part of me wanted them to be awake…to hold…to love on…to play with…to learn from…to teach new things to…and watch them grow as they learned on their own…

Lately, I’ve been struggling with ongoing extreme back pain and recurring migraines. You could say the physical, emotional, and spiritual parts of my being have all fallen asleep… and not in a good way…not in a way that is calm, and peaceful, like a newborn baby…

Suffering with chronic pain brings with it a huge burden of guilt, isolation, depression, loneliness, and many unanswered medical and inward soul-searching questions, in addition to just dealing with ongoing physical pain…

So when I say my soul part has fallen asleep – I mean I know it’s somewhere – but not quite sure where…Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t lost my faith – if anything this is drawing me closer to my sweet Jesus…giving me purpose to seek Him more…Seeking an awakening in my soul…

In Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts she makes this statement, “The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.”

Wow! Don’t you just love that? I guess that’s exactly what I’m doing…

When I know deep down that my Abba Father is standing by my side – whether it’s secretwhile I’m sleeping or going about my busy day…whether I’m facing a time of rejoicing or a time of heartbreak…I have that sense of calm…and Peace…

And when I awaken from a restful (or restless) sleep and stretch…open my eyes…looking around…and meet those beautiful eyes of my Saviour…my Abba God…a smile of recognition crosses my lips…

I raise my arms in sweet surrender…Hey! I know you!…

And I am swept away in His arms of Love…

Living With Eyz2God,

Dianna

The Past is over…Or is it?

“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.” ~ Isaiah 43:18

Growing up, I used to listen to a radio show called The Rest of the Story, by Paul Harvey – hmmm…shows my age, yes?

On that program Mr. Harvey would always tell a story and finish with an ending that would leave you scratching your head, just saying, “wow”… and finishing up with those now infamous words…”And now you know the rest of the story.”

do not judgeBut we don’t always know “the rest of the story” do we? We look at people and make snap judgments from what we see – what we experience – at that moment.

But what about the past? What about their past? What about all those things that have come into play to bring them to where they are – good or bad? Why are we so quick to put a label on a person based only on what we see? And do we really see them – or do we see only what we want to see?

Did you know that there are hundreds of invisible illnesses that are debilitating to those who suffer from them? From Wikopedia, Invisible disabilities are chronic illnesses and conditions that significantly impair normal activities of daily living. In the United States, 96% of people with chronic medical conditions show no outward signs of their illness. 96%!!! That’s a huge number friend!

So how does this rabbit trail about invisible illness tie into people’s past…and the “rest of the story” you ask?

Well…here’s how…

See, my “past” was one of being physically active. Serving in the church. Working a full-time job outside of the home in addition to being a wife and mom. Playing sports. Going out socially. Inviting people over to my home. Happy, happy, joy, joy…You get the picture…

But that all changed a few years ago when I was “diagnosed” with chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, sciatica, Invisible-illness-under-the-surfaceand anxiety/depression…

My physically active days came to a grinding halt. My days of serving in the church ended. Working any job was out of the question. I became a spectator at sports. From the couch. Going out – no way. Inviting people over? Couldn’t even plan that.

“But you don’t look sick” … hmmm … yeah…right…Hard to argue with someone on that one when you “look” okay, but are dealing not only with those unseen physical symptoms but also emotional and mental struggles under that great facade…

But I have learned a valuable lesson over the past few years…

Although our past plays a role in who we become, our past doesn’t define who we remain.

Sounds simple in theory, right?

But not always simple in reality.

I’ve had to let go of lots of things over the past years. Dreams. Hopes. Plans. But maybe, just maybe, they were all mine anyway. And they needed to go.

So they could be replaced.

With something better. By Someone better.

God’s Plans. God’s Dreams. God’s Vision.victory

For me.

Since I’ve been unable to work outside of the home, God has provided for us over and over through my husband’s job. He has opened other doors for me through online ministries, including an amazing chronic illness group* I am now part of. We attend a new church where I feel accepted for who I am and what I can offer. I have an awesome group of doctors who work together to plan my health care. I play with my grandkids and yes, I even entertain more at home.

So it isn’t all bad. Yes, there are days that just plain suck. But there are also days that are just plain amazing.

Because God is amazing.

See, I can look at my past and grieve because of what I’ve “lost”…or I can look back and rejoice at what I’ve gained…

I can look ahead…at my future…at my God…and what lies ahead…

Because of this promise…

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:4

And that, my friends, is the rest of the story…

Still waiting to be written…

Living With Eyz2God,

Dianna

Linking up with Tuesday at Ten – This weeks Prompt Word – {{PAST}}

**For more information on this group of amazing women check out the following link on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/godlivingwithchronicillness  

or the website: http://www.god-livingwithchronicillness.com 

 

 

 

(Son)Bathing…It does a body good…

imageI love the sun.

Always have. Always will.

Ever since I was a pre-teen, coming from the era of slathering on Johnson’s Baby Oil and laying out in the sun til I was fried…yeah…NOT a good idea…

There’s just something about the brightness of the sun, the warmth of the sun, that invades every part of my being and makes me feel, well, alive.

As I mature (very subtle right?) and pick up more stressors in life, for some reason seeing and being out in the sun becomes more important to me. And now I not only love the sun…I need the sun. I mean, I really need the sun

See,  I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and on days it is cloudy, dark, cold, and gloomy…well, let’s just say my mood is too. And it’s very hard to shake when it goes on for days and days…

So when there are days that are sunny, I try to soak in as much sunshine as I can – sitting outside if I can, or just by a window. I have very few curtains in the house so all my windows are open to let in the light.

The other day I was with my 5 year old grandson and it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day – after a week of cool dreary weather. I suggested to him we could go outside and play, ride his bike, or take a walk – He pipes up, “or sunbathe?” Hmmm…a guy after my own heart…

But it got me to thinking…

As much as I soak up the SUN to keep my mental health going through the dreary days, how much more do I need to soak up the SON to keep my spiritual health going through the dreary days? And they do come, oh yes, they do…psalm631

In Ps. 63:1 – 3 we read, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”  

The Psalmist (David) knew he lived in a land that wouldn’t be sunshine every day. He loved God. He truly loved God. After all, David was called  “a man after God’s own heart”.

But it wasn’t enough to just love God – he earnestly sought Him – his soul thirsted for God – his body longed for God. And do you notice a shift in the intensity in his language? The more he sought after God, the more his love for God became more than just a love for God. He desired to soak in the Light of God’s Glory. It became a lifeline.

The more he sought after God, the more his love for God became more than just a love for God. He desired to soak in the Light of God’s Glory. It became a lifeline.

Psalm 63 verses 6 – 8 continue, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

And that is what he remembered in those dark nights – and he did have many – His love for God – and God’s Love for him. And he sang. And he rejoiced. And God held him.

Wow…Seriously? Do you get that?

It’s in those dark nights we feel so alone that God holds us close to Himself…but…we have to fill our minds and hearts with His Word…His Truths…His Promises…

  • On those days you can stay awake a bit longer – immerse yourself in God’s Word
  • On those days you have a bit more energy – write out & personalize encouraging Scripture verses
  • On those days you can get out of bed – post those verses around your house, on your bathroom mirror, in your car

So that on those days you can’t get out of bed or just feel tired and overwhelmed …

  • You can recite God’s Word – His Promises – from memory – and rejoice
  • You can reach for and read those verses – already written out – and sing praises
  • You can remember He is with you – everywhere you go – holding you

I-rememberIt’s kind of like being able to bank sunshine – oh if I could, I’d buy a storehouse and pack it full of sunshine and warmth!

But we can do that with our spiritual Sonshine! We just need to use our good days we have as our spiritual vault to draw from on those days we just can’t seem to go one more step.

(SON) Bathing…it not only does a body good…it sure does a heart good too…

Living With Eyz2God,

Dianna

 

Renewed Strength…Through Waiting…

waittraining

Did you ever have surgery and afterwards needed to (re)condition your body to renew your strength?

It’s hard isn’t it?

Over the past 3 years I’ve had surgery on my rotator cuff, my lower back, my foot, and my foot (and ankle), again.

I needed intensive physical therapy for my shoulder…ouch…ouch…ouch…

But for my back and my foot/ankle…it was recovery at home…slow and easy…one step at a time…til I was back to normal…

I knew that every day I put weight on my foot was a day closer to being able to walk without a boot…and crutches…It was a day closer to wearing regular shoes…and sandals (whohoo!!)…

But to get there…it took consistent work…LOTS of patience and waiting…and yes, even a bit of pain…ok, sometimes a lot of pain…

I saw progress though…over a 3 week period I went from non-weight bearing, a boot, 2 crutches and sitting allllll day…to 1/2 weight bearing, a boot, and limited movement…to a shoe boot, 1 crutch and being able to vacuum and other household chores…to hobbling around in a shoe boot and driving alone…and that, my friends is definite progress…

The hardest part of any of this? Wasn’t the pain…wasn’t even watching the dirt in my house accumulate 04-08-13-woman-sunsetaround me (eeeek!)…

It was just the weariness of waiting…

You see, I’m not very patient when it comes to waiting…I want to see results…

Now…

Much like my spiritual life…

But God tells us in Psalm 37:7a, “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him”

Oh.My.Goodness…

Rest AND Wait Patiently??? Really?

But just like my body needs to rest after surgery in order to become stronger…so also my soul needs to rest in the Lord…my Strength…

Now, if I take matters into my own hands after surgery and rush my recovery, most likely I will re-injure my foot, back, etc, and will probably set myself back for an even longer recovery…

More waiting…

So resting and waiting…patiently even…are just plain necessary to regaining strength…

I’ve been antsy lately, waiting for God to show me where I fit in…where my life is heading…where He is leading me…this season of my life…

so tiredFeeling so weary…

As though my own strength is failing…

My own patience is wearing thin…

So I’m thinking this post is probably more for me than anyone…

And you know what…

I think I finally get it…

Living With Eyz2God,

Dianna

***Linking up with Tuesday at Ten – This weeks prompt word…{{WAIT}}…