Unconditional Love

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things; believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.”  1 Corinthians 13.4-8

This beautiful couple showed me and my siblings how it looks like to love one another.  Unconditionally.

Today, as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and knowing what it’s all about, I can’t help but think of my parents who were more than just attracted to each other.  As they grew in their marriage, they learned to go beyond feelings and took the next step of loving each other unconditionally.  They learned how to think of each other and serve one another.  There is no such thing as a perfect marriage as we all get selfish.

But year after year, I witnessed their marriage beautifully blossom.  Especially, sometime after my Dad had a severe stroke. Whereas Dad had always been the provider and leader of the home, now he needed my mom to care for him in every way (big and small).  Man, did my mom step it up.  It was then I personally saw the diamond of God’s love shining in their marriage from a whole new angle.  As they both learned to continue to show unconditional love to each other.

Their new “norm” could’ve broken their marriage.  Instead, it made their marriage stronger and continued to grow for 64 years!  Despite the difficulty of my Dad having to recover from his stroke, my Mom and Dad were a picture of unconditional love between a husband and a wife.   What a beautiful display of God’s love and common grace to all men and women!

In sickness and in health, till death do us part.  They truly lived it.  My hope and prayer is to emulate their example in my marriage.  So blessed and thankful for my parents as I have lived to see what  true romantic Valentines really look like!

 

 

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…”

As we begin a new year, many of us try to set goals.  The question is whether we can keep them or not.

I’ve had to set many goals as I was faced with the fact that my condition needed to be approached with a multi-disciplinary treatment plan in able to be successful in my healing journey.

It hasn’t been easy to say the least!  Through trial and error, I’ve been able to get back up each time I’ve fallen and continue to remind myself it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey.

So with that said, I may have fallen many times but by God’s grace and mercy each time I get back up this Fibro Mom is more resolved to keep moving forward!  Fibro does not identify me.  Christ does!

Ready to tackle 2015!

How In the World Did I Survive?

I had no idea God would use my chronic condition to help me see how He can work in the biggest storms in my life. I had the hardest time trying to explain to people what I was feeling as my Fibro symptoms grew each year and kept attacking my body 24/7. It grew chronic and happened everyday. I really just wanted to die.

When someone has Fibro and related conditions, it’s not just musculoskeletal. It is neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and systemic symptoms. It is a dysfunction of the nervous system. And it attacks the body at the cellular level. Your body just gets pounded by huge turbulent waves one after another. It doesn’t stop.

And when it stops, you don’t know how long of a break you have. Then it starts all over again. And gets stronger in frequency and intensity. You begin to lose your identity. As it takes over your life. How in the world did I survive?

Psalm 69.1-3 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary with crying; my throat is dry; my eyes fail while I wait for my God.”

But Christ doesn’t fail! As He, even in the middle of a great tempest, can be at peace as He was asleep in the middle of it as mentioned in Matthew 8. He didn’t take away my chronic pain sooner as I wanted Him to…but He did give me peace, comfort and grace to go through it.

Today, I feel like I just left the battlefield where I am no longer in the front lines getting shot at and stepping on mine fields everyday. But I am now on a ship with my comrades injured, bruised but healing. I am not out of the woods. But thankful my nervous system has quieted down A LOT! And I will continue to wait for God to do His work in me. Because I have learned to trust in Him as He continues to prove Himself to be real, faithful and true. He is full of mercy and grace. As at the end of the day, it is all about Christ who lives in me.

Traveling Made Easier!

After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I was pretty much bedridden for quite a long time. And prior to diagnosis, I actually had already pulled out of a lot of things as my body continued to become weak and non-functional.  Sometime after my treatment began, I was able to get around slowly.  And I mean sssloooowwwly…

When my body became a little stronger and I was able to travel, it was such a challenge as I couldn’t find the foods and drinks I can have at the stores.  It was difficult to find them as I became allergic or sensitive to so many ingredients.  For every product, I had to learn to read the back of the label and read EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT.  I kid you not!  Try shopping for food and eating out while you are on vacation.  It is not easy!  I still have to do it today as I continue to heal.  But oh my!  Have things changed for the better!

It was a pleasant surprise to find more real, clean, whole foods available at stores that I can easily bring with me when I travel.  I used to only find them at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, but now Safeway, Raley’s, to name a few, are making healthier products available.  And new health food markets as well as sustainable cafes/restaurants are popping up as well.  Many more restaurants are also making dishes available for people with special diets.

Here’s an example of what I was able to carry with me as I traveled.  Conveniently packaged for on the go.  And of course, our island RAW granola has become a staple!

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Happy Despite All Things

I saw Despicable Me 2 awhile ago with my family and never really paid much attention to the Happy song played in the movie. Until this past month due to my teens playing it once in awhile at home.

As I listened to the lyrics, it got me more interested in it and found myself listening to it more and more!

You see, I am really learning how to be happy despite all things. It hasn’t been easy for a very long time. I’ve gone through MANY ups and downs. It has gotten so bad at times to the point of depression. But things are continually getting better each year. And I can actually say I am happy despite all things!

And this past weekend, after celebrating another year of life, I am reminded difficulties in life exist to make us stronger and discover our hidden potential. And see God’s blessings first hand! I cannot even begin to tell the world how many blessings I’ve experienced due to my hardship! I am just receiving one blessing after another!

Very thankful!