Friday, May 14, 2010

Free CD

Joni and Friends is offering a free CD featuring five songs sung by Joni: "The God I Love," "Praise My Soul," "Sometimes," "Joni's Waltz," and "May I Borrow Your Hands?," a duet with her husband, Ken. There is an opportunity for you to make a donation to Joni and Friends when you place your order, but it truly is a free, no-strings-attached offer that I pray will encourage you when you head over and request you copy.

Christians Get Depressed

Continuing with our series on depression, today I am please to share a guest blog from my dear friend, Lisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministires.

Over and over I still hear from people who have been told, “If your faith was strong enough, you wouldn’t get that depressed. Jesus can heal you of that if you really want Him to.”

Oh, how sad that makes me. One reason is that I do believe that speaking to a counselor can make a difference. Like any profession, there are some good counselors, and some not-so-good, so ask for referrals from your loved ones, mentors, or church leadership. But don’t let the stigma or the expectations that Christians don’t get depressed prevent you from seeking counsel if you are feeling “blue.” (And there are many definitions of that light-hearted word “blue.”)

There is a large spectrum of depression and yes, Christians get depressed just like anyone else. I won’t share the depressing statistics with you about chronic illness and how it can impact marriages, you relationships, and your ability to cope with other stress factors in life. But let’s just say that living with illness is HARD and you should never be ashamed to seek out a counselor to get you through a difficult time.

Let me say that again (because I recently spoke to someone who kept apologizing for the fact that she was seeing a counselor)… it’s OKAY to talk to someone about what you are going through.

The best thing you can do is make sure that it is a counselor who you respect and who has the same biblical beliefs that you do. Ask people you respect, including your pastor or parish nurse who they would recommend. If you can find a god referral you can find a Christian counselor list at (National Christian Counselors Association) and (American Association of Christian Counselors).

And remember, just because a Christian is a counselor, doesn’t mean he or she is the right counselor for you. If you feel it’s not working or helping, don’t be afraid to find someone who can better meet your needs.

Don’t delay putting off counseling until you are feeling suicidal or making a major life-changing decision like leaving your family.

Proverbs 4:5 says, “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.” It can be a blessing to get counsel from others, and pray for wisdom from the Lord.

Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since 1993.

Read more:


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Living With Chronic Pain

I've shared many portions of my story here in the past. Today I shared more details about both my struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and our a bit of the background of our infertility journey over on my InfertilityMom blog.

Do you live with chronic pain? Please share your story. How may I pray for you?

Or maybe your pain isn't physical, but that of a heart crushed by grief instead? If you are a parent (or know one) who has lost a child, please visit my Heaven Born links for several healing give-aways today.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Brokenhearted Mother's Day

Mother's Day is portrayed by the greeting card companies as a day of flowers and joy. I am blessed to be looking forward to just such a day this coming Sunday, complete with hand-print cards lovingly painted by my babies. But this was not what May looked like for me for many years. And this is not what Sunday will look like for many friends and loved ones this year either.

Both my mom and my mother-in-law (both of whom have blessed us with their loving gift of motherhood, and both of them still alive and healthy) have each lost their own moms in recent years. Watching them go through this grief makes my heart ache. And then there are the men and women my own age and younger who have already lost their parents and I can't comprehend the reality of going through adulthood without the wisdom of my parents even now. I lost a dear friend this year, someone that faced infertility with me - I feel nearly unable to breath at the thought of her sweet, long-awaited, much-prayed-for children facing this (and every future) Mother's Day without her. Death is so utterly ugly and unfair!

Some are grieving this year because they never had a safe or loving relationship with the woman who may (or may not) have been physically present in their lives, but really never was a "Mom". Others are grieving because their children have wandered far and have locked their moms out of their lives. And many of us carry the weight of empty arms, either due to infertility or the deaths of our children. If this Sunday brings anguish to your heart, please know you are in my prayers.

If you are facing infertility and/or pregnancy/infant loss grief, I've recently relaunched a couple of resources that I pray will be a blessing to you:
Hannah's Hope Book blog (had been silent for most of the past year, relaunched with several new posts including a series specifically for Mother's Day)
My Facebook Page

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Side Effects May Cause Laughter

We've been talking about the very important issue of depression recently. For a change of pace, today I thought it was high time to look at the lighthearted side of living with chronic illness. Enjoy this 6 minute clip from my sweet friend, Lisa Copen. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vote for me as a Health Hero?

I was blessed to be nominated as a Woman's Health Hero and I need your help! (Head's up to my friends who are sensitive to mentions of pregnancy, the sponsors of this award do promote pregnancy-related books on their website, so please be for-warned before following this link.) Out of all entries, just 20 names will be inducted into a Health Hall of Fame. Two Hall-of-Fame selections will receive special honors as either Staff Pick or Audience Choice award determined by the public (that's you!).

You will be allowed to vote on all entries between now and May 14 (extended one week from the prior May 7 deadline), 2010. The entry that receives the highest overall ranking will win the Audience Choice award. Last year's Audience Choice winner was my dear friend Lisa Copen from Rest Ministries. I would be delighted to add a similar honor to my "resume" as I continue working on writing my book on the life of Paul as encouragement for living with chronic pain/illness.

Will you please help me by heading to and selecting the "thumbs up" voting button at the bottom of my profile? Thank you so much! :)