Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Entering 2014 with a challenge?

Happy New Year!  As we enter 2014 I am certain we all face some sort of challenge.  In our little family, guidance and wisdom areguidance key needs starting 2014.

  • Guidance as my husband considers career adjustments and looks for new employment.
  • Wisdom for me in several different areas.
  • Direction for our daughter as she graduates college in May and has many changes to look forward to.

For some readers,

  • courage and hope are your key needs starting out 2014. You are facing challenges bigger than yourself.
  • Perhaps health and strength are your key  needs at the start of this year as you cope with the physical needs of lupus and lonelinessother autoimmune diseases.
  • Maybe friendship and family are areas of need.  There may be a void in your life or healing that needs to take place.  I could  go on  but I think you get the picture.

What is a person to do?  After the celebrations end and life falls back into the daily routine, where will we find help for the key concerns in our life?  For me, the starting place is always God.  I simply cannot handle the big issues of life alone. The people close to me do not have the ability to soothe all the inner stirrings of anxiety, doubt or what have you, in my soul.  My prayers usually start by explaining the situation to God, even though He already knows.  They are usually short and to the point, but consistent, until the situation is resolved.

Even though the answer  is not always what I want or expect, prayer helps calm me going through the situation.  I do not feel so alone inside with all my feelings, fears, and apprehensions.  People are great, but for me, nothing soothes my soul like leaning on Someone bigger than myself.god-of-all-comfort

Whether or not you deal with the challenges in life the way I do, I sincerely pray that you have

  • all the resources you need to meet your challenges in 2014, and that you will have a good resolution.
  • I pray you will have wisdom and guidance when you need it.
  • I pray you will be courageous and filled with hope as you meet every challenge.
  • I pray you will find increased health and strength to live life more fully than last year.
  • I pray your relationships will thrive this year and your family will have peace.
MANY BLESSINGS FOR 2014
Thank you for following this blog and for your encouragement which usually came at just the right time. 
Leslie Rose K
 
From Wisdom From God’s Word  1/1/2014
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.   Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV

run

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30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 20

An amazing story of one mans drive to dominate his diagnosis of lupus and live a full life.

As promised, this time I have a guest blogger for you.  I first read of Adam’s story on a lupus Facebook page.  Because my husband was interested in the endurance race that is all the rage right now, I knew how powerful Adam’s story was.  But for you to fully appreciate his story you must CLICK HERE for a brief action packed overview of the Tough Mudder.

Adam writes……

I was diagnosed with lupus in 1995 when I was 15.  I was having trouble simply walking up stairs.  My mom took me to the doctor and he listened to my chest and heard crackling.  Immediately he sent us over to the hospital for a chest x-ray.  Back then the x-ray took over night to dry, so I went home, Hospitalbarely able to breath as I tried to sleep.  In the morning we got a call from the hospital telling us that I needed to come in immediately.

They had no clue what was wrong with me.  There was a parade of doctors in and out of the room.  They took me into surgery, and when I woke up I had tubes coming out of my chest. My kidneys were the size of softballs, basically I was really sick.  It took two weeks of being in the hospital until they completely drained my chest.  I had three liters of fluid around my chest and one around my heart, when it was all said and done.  At the end of the two weeks is when they finally diagnosed me with Lupus (SLE).

For the next 10 years of my life I would be on Prednisone, different amounts at different times 5-20mg at any given time.  When I started with my adult rheumetologist we tried Plaquinil and a few other drugs.  That is when he decided to give Rituxan a try.

About six months ago my friends asked me to join their team for a race called “The Tough Mudder.”  tough-mudder2-v2I was hesitant to do so since I was not sure how my body would react due to Lupus.  I never ran in a race before, but figured you only live once.

I have been mostly healthy since my doctor put me on a Rituxan treatment back in 2006.  I had a horrible flare in 2007, due to United Healthcare refusing to pay for the treatment the second time around, which took me six months to completely recover from.  I had to wean down from 80 mgs of prednisone and lose 40+ lbs of water weight.  My thought process was that if I could live through a flare, I could definitely get through a 12 mile course with obstacles (this couldn’t be any tougher than trying to recover from a flare, right?).Pill-Bottles-683042

I started training for the Mudder in January. I got the flu in the beginning of February, a week after my flu shot, so I lost a few weeks of training.  Once I was able to get back to the gym, my wind eventually came back to me.  I was able to get to a point where I could run three and a half miles at a time, in approximately 30-35 minutes.  In addition to that, I did some strength training on my arms.

May 18, 2013.  Race day arrives, training is done, all I can do is my best.

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Adam

I am not going to lie, some of the obstacles were pretty killer.  My body was tired, my legs were cramping, I lost a contact along the way, but my teammates kept encouraging me to go on.   I willed my mind, to make my body, do things I did not know I was capable of doing.  I survived freezing water, electrical shocks, miles of mud, tall obstacles, and dark tunnels.  I completed the Tough Mudder earning the much sought after orange headband.

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Adam and family

My advice to anyone with Lupus who is feeling down, or has been sick, is the mind is a powerful thing.  If you keep a positive attitude you can overcome any obstacle in front of you.  For those interested in doing the Tough Mudder, I suggest working on your endurance and strength training.  Start with a small goal of maybe running a mile, eventually you will build up the strength to go further.

Best wishes to you all.   Adam

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The Team

Many thanks to Adam for sharing his story with us.  Anyone living with lupus knows just what a feat this was for him.  Just to get up the courage to participate in the light of the unpredictability of the disease, is major.   Kudos to his friends who included him and supported him in this brave endeavor.  To learn more about lupus, click here.

Please feel free to pass along this encouraging story to others.

Until next time….Leslie Rose K

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

30 Posts of enCOURAGEment post 17

Have you ever been betrayed by a trusted friend or family member? Nothing stings more than that. The closer you are to the person, the more treacherous it can feel. David, biblical king, warrior, musician and poet, knew exactly what betrayal felt like. He penned the KingDavidfollowing words.

For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it;

it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him.

But it’s a man, my equal,my companion, my familiar friend.

We used to take sweet counsel together;  verses 12,13,14a

As I was reading Psalm 55 in my bible it occurred to me  this is how it is living with lupus and many other autoimmune diseases.  They cause our best friend, our trusted companion to turn on us. As we live with lupus, and its many ups and downs, we get a sense of betrayal, over and over. One day good, the next, like a slap in the face, waking us up. Sometimes one hour good, the next not. Our body, our trusted “companion” in life has turned on us. We can no longer predict its actions or receive its full strength.

Have you ever cried out like David in the following section?

The terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” Give ear to my prayer, O God, hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan…..     verses 4b to 8, 2

Can you identify with these feelings? For me the first few years with lupus were the most scary. I was much sicker, and I did  not know what to expect . As the years have gone by and my kidneys etc. have gone into remission it has gotten easier emotionally. One could say we have settled into a rhythm, my companion and I. It does not mean I do not live with the thought that things could change on a dime, I do.

So by now you are asking yourself where the encouragement is in this post.

One thing that David consistently did in the good times and the bad was communicate with God. He was a let it all out type of guy. He prayer_goddid not hold anything back when it came to talking to God. I think that is where many of us make a mistake. We feel God cannot handle our strong emotions. Or perhaps we do not know how to talk to God or where to even start.

The Psalms is a good place to start. You will see David pouring out praise and thanks to God. You will see him pouring out his heartbreak, anger and troubles to God. He used ordinary words that you and I would use. He did not disrespect God but he was candid. Personally, I think that is the kind of prayer God likes hearing. It says we trust Him. In my lowest, most desperate times, God is very close when I pray. I can tell Him things I know no one else would understand.

So here is the encouraging news. You do not have to walk alone. In the good times and bad, God longs to hear your voice. He longs for prayer_june2009you to cast (give Him) your burden on Him, so he can sustain you. verse 22a

 Many blessings, Leslie Rose K

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

30 Posts of enCOURAGEment post 14

Two or three years ago, I saw a movie that opened my eyes to the plight of people in a country completely unfamiliar to me.  The godgrewmovie God Grew Tired of Us tells the heartbreaking story of the lost boys of Sudan.  Eventually, some were able to come to the United States as  refugees and make a new life for themselves.  John Bul Dau was one of those boys.

John Bul Dau, along with many others, lived through horrific experiences and tragedy that are forever etched on their memories.  At the age of 13 John found himself leader of 1200 young boys, as thousands journeyed  across the desert fleeing for their lives.  It is a story like no other.  What John endured gave him every right to be a bitter, angry man but he would have none of it.  Instead, he became an activist and humanitarian.

His life, once one of despair and desperation, became one of dedication to help his people here, and abroad.  He is an example of a courageous leader and faithful encourager.

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Click here for Video

What are you going through today?  Has lupus or another autoimmune disease got you down? Are you despairing?  There is one way to cope without being consumed by the trial that  plagues you, sickness or otherwise, and that is hope.  Turn your eyes toward hope.

Hope ever tells us tomorrow will be better. Tibullus  This is not a cliché.  Shifting our attention to the positive will reap positive things in our life, no matter what we are going through.  I have written about this in many posts but you can go here for a cornucopia of articles about how being positive reduces stress and  impacts your life.

John turns his eyes toward hope every day on behalf of his country and his people.  He has not allowed what he went through to ruin the rest of his life.  You will be encouraged as you read about this amazing man from National Geographics  here.

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A few of the boys

You can also watch the movie free here on Hulu at your leisure.

I hope you have been encouraged today. Many blessings, Leslie Rose K

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/19/AR2007011901571.html

http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/01/12/movies/12tire.html?scp=3&sq=john+dau&st=nyt&_r=0

30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 11

There is no question some people are severely affected by illness.  Living with lupus or a number of other diseases can be a grueling experience, if we let it.   These things can sometimes leave a person feeling like they are tottering on the edge, ready to pitch over at any moment.edge-of-cliff

Sometimes it feels like the earth is tottering on the edge these last few years with natural disasters, unprecedented uprisings, crashing monetary infrastructures, and senseless violence.  shutterstock_earth-cliff

I came across a verse in the bible other day that stood out to me.  When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I [God] who keep steady its pillars.  Psalm 75 verse 3 ESV

No matter what you are going through, sickness or heartbreak, God cares for you.  I want to urge you that the God that brought you this far is the God that is able to bring you the rest of the way, even when you feel as though you are tottering on the edge.

So be encouraged, He can steady your pillars just like He does for our earth.  Lean into Him.231948401_640

Many Blessings, Leslie Rose K

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30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 9

Have you ever met someone who defied all logic for you?  Their situation dictating a far different life than what they actually have?  There is a marvel of a man, that is spreading a message of hope and encouragement around the globe.  He goes to  places others won’t go. He makes himself vulnerable and available.  You may have seen him briefly on Oprah’s Life Class recently.  Nick_Vujicic_speaking_in_a_church_in_Ehringshausen,_Germany_-_20110401-02

His name is Nick Vujicic.  Many posts ago I did a book review on this  man’s book.   Initially, I did not want to read his book thinking it would be too heartbreaking, but I was mistaken.  It is an inspirational book about someone who has overcome extreme lifewithoutlimitsbookjacketobstacles and thrives in life.  You can click here for my review of Life Without Limits.

I hope you will take a few moments to read his story here in his own words. No matter what you are going through today I believe Nick’s testimony can encourage you to have hope.

Stay tuned as I share more from Nick in coming posts.

Many blessings….Leslie Rose K

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30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 5

GUESS THE STAR

Born Leslie Townes______

Lived to be 100

English born moved to USA with family at age 5.

In 1996 the US Congress declared him the “first and only honorary veteran of the US Armed Forces.”

Had a career spanning 60 years, appearing in over 70 films and shorts.

According to Wikipedia was awarded over two thousand honors and awards, including 54 honorary doctorates.

Was awarded five honorary awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.

In her short story An Ambassador of Hope, Christine Dallman remarks “there was never a more aptly named entertainer than Bob Hope.”  He entertained troops in every war from World War II to the Gulf War.  While some did not care for him and his beliefs about war, many esteemed him for his tireless visits to military bases worldwide.

Hope had a deep respect for the men and women of the military. He worked hard to bring encouragement to them wherever they were Bob-Hope-Frances-Langford-USO-Show-Ponam-Is.-30-Aug.-1944-Official-Navy-Photo-located.  One soldier recalled that when Hope came to the small base at Pensacola, Florida he held nothing back.  “He showed up with a full-scale production.  There was a 100-foot stage, a full orchestra, a band, everything.  It was a complete traveling show, and it was big.”

history0016_1950sWhether in a small or large venue, Hope brought encouragement, and lots of it.  For a brief moment in time he made a difficult situation easier for US soldiers. They were able to forget about everything for a little while and enjoy the show.bob-hope-06

Until next time….Leslie Rose K

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I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.  -Bob Hope

If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.   -Bob Hope

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

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