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…😂

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

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A Chrysalis of Grace

There are stages and periods of painful, confining growth in everyone’s life. Stages of being wrapped up in cocoons of hardships that cover us with doubts and fears. Stages that seem to come out of nowhere and we wonder, can I grow from this?

There are four life stages of a butterfly; the egg, the larva, the pupa and finally the butterfly. Each stage of change in their life cycle is quite different but each has a purpose.

Butterflies are unique amongst insects because they experience something called a complete metamorphosis whereas other insects have incomplete metamorphosis.

It takes about a year for a typical life cycle to be completed. Some butterflies can live up to 10 months but some only one to four weeks.

A larva or caterpillar (My youngest still struggles to say this) can be a very comic stage as most caterpillars look ugly, spiked, furry, clumpy, and gooey, but some are kind of cute I suppose.

This stage leads to the chrysalis which is the transforming from the caterpillar to the butterfly and is known as the resting stage. From this metamorphic stage a beautiful transformation occurs resulting in a brilliantly colored butterfly. What was once a silly, belly crawling insect, is now a brilliant flying insect and gorgeous display of color and wonder.

Isn’t that like the trials of life? If left alone, we’d be a silly, belly crawling insect that has little purpose, but God has much more. It’s His chrysalis of rest that he gives, cocooning us in his grace while undergoing a spiritual metamorphosis, or transformation to be exactly what He intended for us after all. But it hurts because the metamorphosis is a resting, confining stage that hems us in and we seem to lose freedoms. Although while we rest in Him, He is using that confinement to take our silly, belly crawling selves and mold us, heal us, and shape us into a Christlikeness that will shine more radiant and more beautiful for His glory.

Our colorful display of virtues and graces gotten through our metamorphosis are bright and new because he loves us far too deeply to leave us to ourselves. As we are molded and changed into beautiful butterflies, letting go of who we once were and submitting to God’s plan for this stage in life, we become something that can instead go beyond what we perceive as lost. Now, we can fly and soar because we are what God saw in us all along. He saw the silly, belly us crawling along and He wrapped a silken cross of grace around our souls, that transformed our lives into His glorious masterpiece.

Much love,

Viv 🦋

Don’t give up

Falling yet again

Will this ever end?

Brave heart tries so hard

Three steps back again

You’ve got this God

I’m yours

I need your surge of strength

Please help my weak faith grow

Though progress is snail slow

Persistence will prevail

Though seems like total fail

Step by step each day

Help me Lord I pray

It’s not about the tall

Pinnacles of growth

It’s about the subtle small

Rising after fall

And God will help us all

Written by Vivian Joy

PTSD: By Any Other Name

In World War 1, it was called ‘shell shock’. In World War 2 it was known as ‘battle fatigue’. Finally during Vietnam it got it’s current name, ‘post- traumatic stress disorder’.

What exactly is this?

Here’s the definition:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Sadly, the nervous system is stuck in a flight or fright mode that leaves people with PTSD in a chronic state of nervous ups and downs, which can be debilitating.

In January of 2017, I was told by my doctor that my brain injury had also given me PTSD secondary to the injury. It was a result of the changes going on in my skull as the cranial adjustments were being performed.

My brain’s amygdala sounded an alarm that flooded my body with stress hormones, resulting in quite a bit of emotional and physical distress.

It’s gotten better lately, the anxiety isn’t as much, nightmares are improving, and I’ve noticed as I get physically stronger, I’m able to work through it more efficiently.

Some experts believe PTSD is actually a psychological injury and not a mental health illness.

Fascinating.

Living in a fallen world means that there will be times when our minds will be greatly effected by the current circumstances we experience. It’s part of being human and it’s part of life.

There are plenty of ways to help someone we love work through PTSD, but I do believe seeking a good counselor is key.

Here are six helps we can do for ourselves or someone we love with PTSD;

1) Listen to them. Don’t bring it up unless they first initiate the subject of the traumatic event(s) and want to talk about it. A recap may bring on full blown panic attack.

2) Don’t take their emotional ups and downs personally. If they are cranky or moody, give them grace–it should pass and they will feel more secure around you than if you lectured them or told them to “get over it.”

3) Gently encourage them to do the things they love, like art, peaceful exercise (walking, yoga, swimming), gardening, meditating upon scripture, reading a novel, or watching a favorite old film.

4) GET A PET!!! I truly believe this a must for everyone with PTSD. There have been days when all I could do was sit out on my deck with my grey tabby and let her purr as I rubbed her furry little head. My five-year-old Maltipoo ( heading photo) has also brought such comfort to me, never leaving my side. Medical studies have proven that pets reduce high blood pressure and calm anxiety in owners. Plus, they’re super cute!

She purrs away as we cuddle

5) Try some juniper berry essential oil before bed. Doterra is the best. In fact, even war veterans have been cured from night terrors and nightmares while using it, and it’s certainly helped me.

6) Lastly, the blessing of praise music. Please see my link Songs of Hope. These songs got me through the toughest days and nights of fear and anxiety. I highly recommend listening to them or quiet, restful piano music.

I hope you can find a small ray of encouragement through this little blog post knowing that you are not alone. I’m still learning how to cope most days and would LOVE to hear your ideas or input.

Have a wonderful day and remember, He is holding us. 🤗❤