He Is Able

Much love,

Viv πŸ’š

For prayer requests please click on this link: https://godswhispersoftruth.wordpress.com/come-pray-with-me/

πŸ€—

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You Don’t Look Sick

Has this been said to you? Those of us chronically ill or injured have probably been given this all too common line, “You don’t look sick.” Or how about this one, “Well, you look good!”*

If we look sick, we are sick, if we don’t look sick we aren’t. Right? No!

Most people have five senses; taste, touch, see, smell, and hear. Now, we can mistakenly use our sense of sight to judge someone’s sense of touch.

An injured brain can not be seen. The brain is enclosed by the skull and a protective water layer called dura matter (both of which are damaged on me). Injured brains are felt.

Fatigue can not be seen, it’s felt.

We can’t judge a person’s sense of feeling based on our sense of sight.

This is why invisible illness is so misjudged ending up with the ill feeling very much alone.

I met a lady in my brain injury group whose teenage son suffered a severe traumatic brain injury after being struck by a car and then run over by a second car which dragged his body underneath it before stopping. When she arrived at the hospital she told me he looked to her like an alien. His brain was actually visible and he was so beyond recognition, she could only identify him based on the fact that he bit his nails which was the only recogizable part of him. This is probably the worst case of TBI I have ever heard of, and by some miracle, her son survived his brain injury but with many many deficits.

Yet, this is not the norm. TBI is typically an invisible malady. It effects all of life in so many various aspects most of which go unseen to onlookers. TBI is felt. Chronic fatigue is felt. Autoimmune diseases are felt.

We want to be well. We don’t want to wake up every day wondering what we have to do to just barely get by. We don’t want to tell our best friend we can’t receive her visit because we are too weak. We hate missing church. We want to get up, feet hit the ground running and get everything done while having strength and energy to play with our kids and make chocolate cake for dessert.

Not all ilnesses are visible, rather, they are hidden inside the intricate workings of our very fragile bodies that can easily become disfunctional living in this fallen world. While we may not look sick, believe me when I say we are bravely fighting every day and never, ever giving up….. and are courageously smiling and enduring through the pain.

Much love,

Viv 😍

*This post was written a long time ago. I’m no longer frustrated over the way people respond to invisible illness, but I still feel this post holds a few valuable insights worth sharing with others. ~Viv

A Fun Surprise

I had to share with you all the neatest thing that came from the UPS man today via my friend Kim….

Okay, let me backtrack here a bit. I am required to swallow several supplements daily to keep me going and help heal my central nervous system. Unfortunately, my swallow muscles aren’t quite right and so I have to crush up everything I take and stir into applesauce just to get it down. Otherwise, I just can’t do it.

So, for years I’ve taken a heavy ice cream scooper and an old rag, beaten the pills into a fine dust before stirring into my applesauce. I know I look as stupid as it sounds…πŸ˜‚

Well, not anymore folks! Kim lovingly sent to me an Ezy Crush Pill Crusher from Amazon. I’m literally so excited right now because taking my supplements will be so much easier and I won’t conveniently forget anymore due to the hassle.

Whoo Hooooo!! Looky here folks, I’m moving up in the world. No more waking the hubby and neighbors because I have to beat up pills!! I’m so thrilled and excited to get this and humbled too. She also generously sent a yummy flavored pre-biotic powder to help aid in digestion. I’m overwhelmed by such love!😍

God knows how bummed I’ve been lately but He continues to send loving kisses from friends like Kim because He knows, cares, and uses people to lift us up and urge us forward. We’re not ever alone in any of our troubles. In response to others who haven’t been nice, I find myself wanting to pop my turtle’s head back into my shell for protection but that’s not what God wants! He knows we need each other, community, and fellowship, and that’s why we are to reach out, to share, to pray and to never ever give up hope!

Much love,

Viv

Just Say No

One thing I’ve recently learned is that the word “no” is a complete sentence. For some reason in our culture, we feel led to giving others long, drawn out speeches as to why we can’t participate, do something, go somewhere, etc. Our embarrassment over having to decline someone by saying no is underscored by giving immediate excuses highlighted and given in a long speech. We feel like we have to explain. In this sense, our lives become plundered by questions, raised eyebrows, and an overall sense of feeling like we are in the defense zone. We feel bad for saying no. We feel guilty for saying no. We feel embarrassed for saying no.

I know I do.

My mentor recently told me, “no” is a complete sentence. It’s okay to simply say no.

Living with chronic illness or injury requires extra effort to keep up. We wear out easy, things are harder, take longer, and leave us wiped out.

If I push myself or allow others to push me, my brain injury pushes back harder! I have learned out of necessity I need to say no. It’s not a preference, at times it’s a requirement.

If you don’t feel up to going, or up to doing what others ask…….simply say no. If you’ve had your personal space, or your boundary lines crossed, just say no. If it’s against your beliefs or makes you uncomfortable, just say no. Or maybe if you’re like me and you just have nothing left to give, just say no.

We are not obligated to constantly feel like we need to explain. The minute we start giving out reasons as to why we say no, it’s giving others a chance at convincing us to say yes. They will try to overthrow our no, by undermining our reasons and then we feel pressured to change and give in.

Yes, there are times when it’s necessary to give an explanation and in those cases, the person you may need to say no to may need to understand for important reasons. That’s when we must be ready to give our reason(s) tactfully and not allow them to make us feel badly for declining their request.

If we feel like it’s not respectful to simply and tactfully say no……let me ask you this; will others respect your no or try to turn it into their yes? Will a long drawn out explanation with roman numerals and subpoints A and B be respected? If not…..then your no is not being respected and quite possibly neither are you.

Photo taken by my mentor

Much love,

Viv

For prayer requests please visit my page Come Pray With Me and join in prayer with a loving community of believers.

Sunshine Blogger Award 3 in 1

It’s probably been a year since I was able to participate in an award. These awards are so much fun because you can get to know other bloggers through the questions and connect with them better.

Thank you Stu from Something to Stu Over, Debbie from Bee Tree Gathering, and Purple Rose for nominating me for this award.

πŸ† Stuart is a very godly man who writes about how God helped him overcome addiction. His blog showcases his huge heart and his goal is to help others through example, support and prayer.

πŸ† Debbie from Bee Tree Gathering writes beautiful uplifting posts from her own journeys through trials. She has a very caring heart and helped me greatly when I had my mold issue. Thanks dear Debbie!!

πŸ†Purple Rose writes some very lovely and profound poetry. Although I haven’t been following her long, I sense she is a beloved part of the blogging community with lots of insights to offer from her heart. I look forward to reading more from you Purple rose. (Purple’s my favorite color too. πŸ˜„)

I have enjoyed reading all your blogs and encourage my readers to go check them out and follow them if you’re not already doing so. You will be blessed!!πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ƒ

About the Sunshine award:

This award is given to creative, positive and cheerful bloggers by other bloggers as a token of appreciation and admiration.

Here are the rules:

β€’ Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

β€’ Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

β€’ Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

β€’ Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

β€’ List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

I am going to just answer four questions from each person who nominated me, otherwise I’ll be answering 33 questions which feels like a lot. πŸ˜‰

First four questions by Stu:

1. What brings joy to your life?

Being able to spend time with my family.

2. If money was not an issue, what would be your dream job?

I would open up my own bakery and create all different kinds of delicious pasteries, cakes, pies, cookies, and all would be gluten free and good for you.

3. What are two gifts the Lord has blessed you with, spiritually or physically?

Usually, I’m good with initiating conversations. The gift of gab!πŸ˜‰

4. What post or posts touched you so deeply that you felt β€œeveryone needs to read this”.

Oh my, how do I narrow down this one? I really enjoyed Steve’s post about beautiful things.

Here are 4 questions from Debbie:

1. What stirs you to write?

I am stirred to write to bring hope to others who are hurting and to raise TBI awareness. Encouraging others through what I share has been my motivation since many with chronic illness or TBI suffer from loneliness and isolation.

2. What category does your writing center around? Why?

My main focus is sharing how God’s helping me in my healing journey, so my main catagory is Christianity and keeping our eyes focused on Jesus.

3. Which blogger post made you sincerely cry? Link?

It’s been awhile, but I cried when Tina wrote about discovering her friend died after the package she sent to him was sent back unopened. 😒

4. Which Blogger post made you bust out laughing? Link?

Oh, goodness me, Jeff Rab always makes me laugh so hard my heart palpitations act out. πŸ˜‚

Here are 4 questions from Purple Rose:

1. When did something start out badly for you but in the end, it was great?

Childbirth.

2. Who do you go out of your way to be nice to?

I’m usually nice to everybody which at times can be challenging. However, lately I’ve learned I need to be nice to myself too which includes standing up for myself and setting proper boundaries with others.

3. What was the last photo you took?

A picture of my flower garden’s Zinnias. 🌻🌺🌷

4. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve broken?

I’d have to say my skull but actually, It was a wreck not me that broke it. And the cost of health care…well, you know.

It’s so tough to narrow it down as there are so many talented writers out there, but here goes…..

My nominees:

Autumn

This new blogger brings so much fun to the blogging world through her clever, funny, and interesting posts. I always look forward to her Friday’s Favorite Character posts where she features a favorite person from a popular book, movie, or TV show. Her brilliance with words and insights bring so much sparkle to my life….M&M.

Tina

Tina’s wonderful blog God’s Kid Speaks always speaks to my heart. Her heart is so full of love for God as she writes guiding posts during her personal journey with chronic illness that always reflect what God is revealing to her through the scriptures. Tina is a blogger who I personally admire as a type of Mary who sits at Jesus’ feet learning, and taking in all He teaches. I strongly emcourage you to follow her blog!

Nicole

Nicole’s powerful blog Trophy of Grace, stirs up hope, light and encouraging truth which she relates in a very inspirational way. Her blog She also loves to include gorgeous pictures of her lovely family and pets which always brighten my day. If you need a godly pep talk, this blog is a must!

Kim

Kim walks closely with God and is always faithfully studying the word. Along with being a close friend of mine, she is a veteran homeschooling mom and author of a great book. Her blog, Commissioned By Him, reflects her personal walk with the Lord as she bravely perseveres amidst debilitating chronic migraines, fatigue and cancer. I love this lady and her profoundly spirtual blog!

Kelly

Kelly’s not only an excellent writer but also writes about her personal journey through her son TJ’s battle with TBI. This blog, While I’m Waiting, highlights her up close-and-personal accounts over the years she cared for her son as he battled brain injury. She addresses the social, physical and spiritual dilemmas those with TBI and their caretakers bravely face and speaks for these individuals through her deep love for God and His word.

Cindy

I still remember the contact message I received from Cindy, Real Christian Women, when I first traversed the road of blogging. She encouraged me to write and offered so much support. She continues to do just this for me and many others through her daily Bible verses and weekly posts. She uses her years of Bible knowledge and experience to guide others for which I’m truly grateful.

Alicia

Alicia is also a homeschooling mom who writes stirring posts based on her insights and life’s challenges on her blog, For His Purpose. I am always richly blessed when I read her articles and you will be too!

Renee

Renee’s blog, Heart Tokens, is such a fun, heartfelt and encouraging blog to visit. Don’t just visit though, follow her and be oh so abundantly blessed by her vibrant writing and her wonderful spirit. You will be blessed by knowing Renee through her blog!

Tammy

Tammy, and islander from Trinidad and Tobago is such an encouragement to me. Her blog, God Inspired Art and Quotes, has such gorgeous flavor as she writes about God and the beauty all around us. Her love for others shines in all she does and the interaction she has with others. Thanks for praying for me Tammy!!

Deandra

Deandra is not only a gifted writer and conveyor of words but she’s also become like a sister to me. I am so blessed beyond words God led her to my blog during a time I could hardly see to read or write. Her spirit is so alive with love which pours out of her and flows onto others through her blog and friendship. Why not follow this amazing lady at Imago Dei and receive this girl’s love back tenfold. You need to!!

Lily

Lily is one amazing young woman! She writes about what it feels like living in this harsh world while enduring a rare physical disability and speaks up as an advocate for others facing the same difficulties. Her spirit of determination will encourage you as it has me. Retrospective Lily is a must read, must follow blog!

And here are my 11 questions: πŸ€”

1) What is the bible verse/passage which you turn to the most for comfort?

2) What are you most thankful for today?

3) What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon as a child?

3) When did you last clean out your closet? (hehehe, I tagged my daughter on this postπŸ˜‚)

4) What is your primary love language ie, acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, or gift giving?

5) Which Bible character can you relate to because of what they went through?

6) What is your favorite board game?

7) What is or was your favorite subject in school?

8) What do you enjoy doing during your down time?

9) What major obstacle in your life has God helped you overcome?

10) What musical instrument(s) can you play?

11) If you could go back 10 years, what major decisions would you change?

*To my nominees, please do not feel pressured to accept this award. I just wanted to show my appreciation for all you do and summerize why I feel others should follow you. Thank you and God bless you all!πŸ€—

Much love,

Viv 😊

For You πŸ’–

A very sweet lady wrote these comforting words for me and I now pass them along to YOU my beautiful readers. Whatever is bothering you, wherever you are, however you feel. At this very moment, YOU ARE LOVED!

Wish I could sit down with you and give you a long, gentle hug.

I am sad to hear all of the pain in your voice.

I get it though.

You are Enough.

You are Beautiful inside and out.

God is with you.

He is your nearest, your dearest Friend.

He will never leave you.

He will never forsake you.

He will never be too sick.

He will always be there for you.

Always.

I am praying that He will wrap His Arms

around you and be your Comfort and your

JOY right now.


And that’s my prayer for you too! If you are sad, lonely, depressed…..look up. God cares and hears your cries. He understands. He knows. He will never leave or forsake you. Ever. Run to Him. Sit at the foot of the cross in full surrender and let it all go.

Much love,

Viv πŸ™β€

A Birthday Poem To My Dad

You were born in the 40’s after WW2

A “Baby Boomer” yes, that’s what they call you

My dad you’re amazing a trooper I say

You served in the Marine Corp

Back in the day

Your education was extensive and strenuous as can be

Yet you pushed through to achieve

Your Master’s Of Divinity

You never shrink back to take on a challenge

Motivated, determined, and a man of deep knowledge

Your provision consistently steady and good

A secure roof over our heads and plenty of food

Daily family devotions you never lost sight

Pointing us to God and teaching what’s right

Married to mama over fifty years golden

Strong committment to love, honor and cherish you’ve proven

A fond memory I hold of you in years past

Your grand fireworks display

Giving the neighboorhood a loud blast

It was the best fourth of July hot summer night

How you treated all us kids to a spectacular delight

Smoking a cigar your lighter too

Then we all stood and watched

Breathtaking sparkles of red, pink, white, green, blue

Another favorite memory I cherish of you and me

Was riding around on your snazzy Harley

Then you rigged your bike up with loud banana pipes

It was fun riding with my dad, the cool biker type

You go to the gym

Staying fit, trim, and spiffy

I promise you look not a day over fifty!

It touches my heart to watch you care for your wife

Your devotional love is an example of Christ

A godly picture of what a Father really means

I’m honored to be your daughter and proud to share your genes

My dear “Papa” at this particular time

I write words that say “I love you”

In this little rhyme

You’re a father so loyal, so faithful and true

I’m penning this poem saying “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU

Written by Vivian Joy

July, 2019.