Hello Old Friends
Ahh…Hi there, I’ve been wanting to sit down and write to you all for a while now. I have had several people ask me lately for a health status update and it seems like a good time to send out a more personal note, because I have very happy news. After six months of solid fevers, several more of intermittent fevers and basically ten months all together of a mystery illness, I am doing so much better.
I’m able to hike with the kids again and even made a recent and long anticipated trip to see family and stayed well! So much thanks to God in my heart. Here’s a recent capture of the whole family.
A fever does pop up every now and again and stick around for a day or so. However, this is so much an improvement it’s been easy to embrace it as a gentle reminder to practice the myriad lessons learned in this passing season. There is further building up that my body needs, ways I need to become established and rooted in, but the crisis has passed. <long, wonderful, happy, sigh here>
I didn’t like walking (or sleeping) through it, but it is definitely one of those experiences where the diamonds in the rough were gathered with much thankfulness, and often simply found like the banquet spoken of in Psalm 23…it was prepared for me. I just needed (and need) eyes to see it.
Now to treasure all the tools and lessons I got washed up onto this new shore with. While riding the waves home again my main job was to open my hands wide in release. Where I’ve landed currently is a place I needed desperately to come. Mercy is a valid teacher that leads the way home.
Speaking of home.
Wow. Maybe that’s the biggest joy I feel in my bones after all this? I feel at home—in my own skin.
We’ll be sojourners all of our lives, but there’s a peace to be found in even here. For me, as our family’s geographical home has gone through a few transformations over the years, I treasure this. I want to my kids to have this.
SO, I’m regularly praying for wisdom and help beyond my own mind’s eye. Lately, life has been intensely full of some big changes. It’s easiest to get caught up in a cycle of striving hard to figure out how to make everything work together and I’ve definitely needed the help to remember to return to the quiet places my soul was kept safe, watered, and nurtured so deeply over this past year.
It’s so easy to forget when we’re strong all that we learned while we’re weak. On that note, I thought it might be fun to share a list I made along the way as I began to emerge from this mystery illness. It’s mostly in no particular order, just a list I kept to help me remember.
These are the ways God healed me. He could have done it with one word, but instead I got to go on a journey. Many of these lessons have been on repeat in my life, but instead of feeling discouraged by that I think there is a lot of courage to gain from it. God hasn’t given up on me yet. He is patient. I am compelled to be more like Him in my own parenting.
OK, I realize many of these are subjective to me. Please hear me here, I’m not saying everyone should follow these as “rules”, but maybe some of them will resonate or be reminders for you too? For me, these were all part of my path toward healing. Although not at all an exhaustive list, this is definitely the highlights. I hope in some way it’s a blessing to some one else.
Can I just say one last thing before you read this? This was hard. Just in case it looks like it was easy because I have a nice tidy list now…there was, is, nothing tidy to me about it. But with practice, it gets easier.
- Honoring His ways means I will honor myself. This is humility, and that means freedom. There’s more joy on the other side of this than I could ever imagine. every. time. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
- SLEEP. Get enough sleep. No, seriously. “…He gives to His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2b)
- Eat healthy: NO refined sugar, gluten, corn, (most grains actually). YES to simple, whole, organic, lots of water (with lemon!). There’s a wild amount of variety to enjoy here.
- Move everyday. I rediscovered Tai Chi in the midst of this with help from my dad. What a gift. Youtube made it so easy.
- Breathe, from my belly, a lot. I felt myself change and heal with this practice.
- Cleanse, detox, from stress (stress kills) and other toxins regularly. (salt baths, lemon water every morning, etc.)
- Keep the Sabbath.
- Remember that even “positive stress”, good things in life, can be a physical burden that needs relief time to time.
- Pay attention to the fire inside me, those things that make me come alive. I’ll get sick again if I don’t. There’s a broken version and a whole version. God wants me to live whole. This is possible, trust.
- Know deep that taking care of myself isn’t selfish, not taking care of myself actually is selfish.
- Face my fears, they are a door. After discerning if caution is needed, believe that the things I fear are often exactly where I need to go, not avoid.
- Journal/ write to process, this heals me.
- Remember that my physical, emotional, spiritual state is all connected. Understand. Realize. Rest.
- Relax and do something I enjoy for a little while everyday.
- Pray. morning, noon, night, give thanks, speak truth, entrust, release, lay my burdens down, ask, seek, knock, intercede, meditate. I live and breath and have my being in my Creator God who alone brings harmony.
- Love big. Believing nothing done in love is in vain, let this be my definition of perfection.
- Practice gratitude until it is the atmosphere we’re swimming in. My influence at home is huge in this.
- Ask, who can I encourage today? What need can I meet? I have been comforted to comfort.
- Listen to music, food for my soul.
- Fill my mind with the good, true and beautiful: books, music, outdoor/nature, art, poetry, lest I lose wonder.
- Fill with the Word. Study it, pray it, write it—healing to my bones, water to my soul, daily bread I can’t live without.
- Rehearse truth. Keep memorials of truths that have meant something, brought freedom, insight. Frame it, post it on the mirror, wall, do it.
- Say yes to who I have been created as, accept myself, realize I am accepted.
- Seek gentleness. (It’s kinda funny that this one is squished in the middle here. To me, this is what this was allll about.)
- Smile/Laugh/Play “…the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.”
- Seek out health helps like reflexology, massage, chiropractic, essential oils, regular dental cleanings and check ups should be a priority. I am a temple of the Holy One, honor His image in me.
- Establish healthy rituals, as a human I’ll never escape ritual, live good ones.
- Say no to the messages of hurt people who hurt people. Nothing and no one separates me from the love of God. The truth: I am loved with an everlasting love. The more I receive it, the more I can give it, the deeper I heal.
- Don’t be defined by cultural norms, be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
- Go slower, rushing should be a red flag.
- Believe that every path, desired or not, is good and usable in my Abba’s hands.
- When stress rises, think of it as a contraction to relax through, let it do it’s miraculous work. Life, birth, is a miracle. Enjoy. Receive.
- Be present, not yesterday, not tomorrow or some day in the future: today, here, now. God is the present one, seek union with Him. He is my home, where I learn to be at home with myself—here I am whole.
- Listen and align myself with the rhythms the Master Gardener has planted deep within our world, and me.
- Accept that some things can’t be rushed, and that too is good and Mercy leading me on.
- Trust that my body wants and knows how to heal itself. I was designed by a Master Physician, learn His ways.
“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel
Maybe never having an exact diagnosis was the best thing that could have happened. The solution was to attach and root myself toward my God, His presence here in the earth, pray for healing, and to walk forward in the health I had, one day at a time.
I keep trying to close this with a sense of completion. I can’t. Too much in my heart. For now, I’m sending this out to you with my deepest prayers for your own health, wholeness and blessing. Send me a note and tell me about you and your own journeys as of late when you can. Which number on the list speaks most to you?
Hey! I’m glad you’re here, let’s journey onward together. Subscribe here
P.S. If you live near Miami County, Kansas (Paola, to be exact) I’ll be speaking at the Re3 Women’s Conference there Saturday, August 12 and would love to meet up with you. Please give me a holler if you are planning on attending so I can be on the look out or you. Early bird ticket prices end this Saturday, July 15. Tickets available through a link on their Facebook Page:
Here’s a video my family helped me make recently to give you a sense of what to expect.