Great Teachers...

  My brother is one of the greatest teachers I know.  He came to visit me over the holiday and I captured this picture of him on our annual Thanksgiving run that just happens to come right past our front porch.    What makes him such a great teacher is that he walks the talk.  He is not afraid of the struggle and he has risen out of the ashes only to rise above stronger and filled with more faith then I saw in him past. 
  Whenever I look at this picture of him my heart smiles and I feel happy and honored to be able to call him my brother.  He has been through so much over the last several years.  When most people would have thrown in the towel or became bitter he actually became better.
Never Give Up!
  He is a high school teacher and I know that the work he does is life changing.  I just told him when he was here last, that I can’t wait to hear all the stories of kids who made it through college and life choices in a successful manner because he took the time to listen, guide, teach and direct. 
The saying is true, great teachers inspire, inside and outside the classroom.  You my brother are an inspiration to everyone you come in contact with.  Keep the faith and know you are never alone.

Just F--- IT!


Learning to live in the moment with a chronic condition can be challenging and take every ounce of energy out of you.    Many people are not aware of the fact that I have not just one but two autoimmune conditions.  Why?  Because I choose not to talk about them.  I realized years ago that unless I am talking in regards to being proactively positive towards them it becomes more like a pity party.  However, I am aware that I have others around me who suffer with these same conditions.  Which is why I chose to become more public about how I approach them and how they do affect me and my family and friends.  Today I will share with you my first one which if you have been following my blog you already know that it is Fibromyalgia.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. It is a condition that results in chronic widespread pain and tenderness all over. Here’s exactly what that means:

•             “Chronic” means that the pain lasts a long time—at least 3 months. Many people experience fibromyalgia pain for years before being diagnosed

•             “Widespread” means that it is all over the body. However, many people with fibromyalgia feel pain in the same places, such as the lower back and neck

•             “Tenderness” means that even a small amount of pressure can cause a lot of pain


Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. It affects more than 5 million people in the United States. That’s nearly 1 in every 60 Americans. Mostly women have it. But so can men. Most people begin feeling the symptoms of fibromyalgia when they are middle aged, but symptoms can start before then.

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Chronic widespread pain and tenderness are not the only fibromyalgia symptoms. Other symptoms may include:


•             Pain symptoms of fibromyalgia

•             Deep muscle pain and soreness

•             Morning stiffness

•             Flu-like aching

•             Radiating pain

•             Sensitivity to touch

•             Other symptoms of fibromyalgia

•             Problems sleeping

•             Fatigue

•             Difficulty thinking clearly, also known as "fibro fog"

•             Difficulty performing everyday tasks

•             Stress and anxiety

•             Depression

•             Migraine headaches


Please, if you are suffering with these symptoms, know there is help out there.  It is important to surround yourself with good care and a support system of people you can laugh, cry and just be with in a time of flare up and pain.

   I understand how difficult it is to live in the moment when your moment is filled with pain.  Please use the resources I have placed above.  There are answers and help for this hideous condition.  Honestly, one of my favorite ways to get my mind off the pain is through laughter and writing.  Find what makes your mind go to another place and start to find freedom even in Fibroblablablabla!!!!!!


  I wrote the letter below in the middle of a flare up.  I am not trying to be offensive, but real.  Vulnerable to those who so desperately need to know they are not alone and see that even a silly letter to a syndrome with no cure to date can help take one’s mind off of the feeling of fatigue and pain.  Also, I once again dedicate this post to my amazing youngest sister Michelle who shares this same unwanted house guest.  She helps me see the light in the darkness and boy can she make me laugh.  I love you little sis, here is to the newest F word, the longest four letter word I know.


Just F---- IT!

Dear Mr. Fibro,
    You do not even know me!  If you did, you would know to call before you came over during this time of year or any time of year.  But, no!  And when you arrive, you do not even have the decency to gently use your knuckles to knock on the door.  Nope, not you.  You Mr. Fibro barge in like a bandit hiding out from your last victim. 

  If you knew me you would ask “is this a good time to come over.”  And I would answer “Of course NOT!”  It is never a good time to have you come over for a “visit” You Mr. Fibro are like the storm on the Wizard of Oz except there is no place to hide.
  I am no fool Mr. Fibro, we are not friends.  You are more like an unwanted houseguest who arrives with bags on both sides ready to settle in without an exit plan or even permission to stay.  

  I have learned from you Mr. Fibro that fighting you only makes matters worse.  So, I allow you into my space instead of putting up a fight.  Fighting you only causes frustration and pain, it is these two gifts you keep giving me even when I do not want them.  I have tried to return but it is no use.

  So here is the deal.  You do not get the best room in the house or the center of my attention.  Rather a back room will be your place of residency until you deem it time to disappear.  And even though I know you will fight for the center of my attention, you need to know up front, you will be more like a pot on the back burner of the stove. Also, let me make one thing clear, you were not nor are you invited or welcomed into my space, okay maybe that is two things, no big deal, my letter, and my rules.

  Furthermore, this I know to be true.  For me to be good to me, I need to be good to you.  I will be kind and gentle and even turn the other cheek but not without first bringing up my hand as a reminder of who is in charge and it aint you!

  Mr. Fibro, I will look you squarely in the eyes and remind you that you are a visitor in my home, regardless of the lack of invitation and how you arrived.  My house, my rules, my life, my style.  You do not get to call the shots.  Though you hurt me you do not lead me like a harness around a horse’s neck.  I am free even when you decide to come for a visit.
  The heater will be a blazing, movement will happen and you may not be comfortable because making you feel good is not my job. I will take care of myself first so I can take care of others, and you are not on that list of others.  You are not a friend, what would I call you?

  Maybe after all these years I would call you teacher, of course not one I was looking for.  You just arrived one day without warning and started taking over my body and sometimes my brain.  You
taught me patients, perseverance and believe it or not peace. Peace in the middle of my pain. You taught me to fold into my faith a faith that promises that all things will work out for the good.


I have learned through you that love is not about just touching someone's hands but also their heart.  A word, an action, a look that says “I love you just the way you are.” 

  See Mr. Fibro, not everyone you try to take out will allow you to win. There is a group of us out here in the world with hearts bigger than your business. We band together, we remind one another of what matters most. We hold space to laugh, giggle, cry and just be. Those actions diminish your powers, the powers you use to try to make us small and unworthy.  We are enough just the way we are.

  We are the brave, bold, beautiful warriors who use words to lift each other up instead of tear one another down, which appears to be part of your plan. We are warriors who are not willing to give up or give into just because we hurt. We choose love the opposite of your plan even in our pain.

  So, take that Mr. Fibro, you truly are what my definition of an F word would be, something offensive and abusive. You are foul and we are free, maybe not always from the outside in but from the inside out and you cannot take that away. 

  Today I am thankful for my Fibro family and those who get this invisible condition, remember if you are reading this you are not alone.  Mr. Fibro you do not own us!  Just F---- It!  We are free….



Laughing In The Face Of Fibroblahblahblah...



  Have you ever had an experience where your brain tells your body to do one thing and it does another?  Or maybe it ignores you all together.  I find it annoying when my body and brain decide not to work together, it puts a kink in my days plans and makes me feel a little like I am losing my mind.

  What annoys me even more is being treated like a child or less then when my body is unable to function like it used to.  God bless my husband, I know he means well, however trying to understand this insidious condition takes more than trying to get it out of me during one of my  flare ups.   The doctors like to call it fibromyalgia, me I have a hundred different words I call it depending on my mood.  At the same time, I do my best not to give it to much attention, it is not my friend so I try to keep it that way. 

   My encouragement to anyone with a spouse,  family member or friend with this  chronic condition is not to try to "figure it out" in the middle of their flare ups.  Instead,  wait until the storm of pain, pressure, fire and whatever other descriptive words you could come up with in regards to what you my witness,  has passed and than in the calmness of the storm go for it.   Learn to ask good questions, take notes, take directions, take feedback but do not, whatever you do,  give directions without putting in the time to understand where your loved one and their chronic pain is coming from.

   I say, seriously, would I/we pick this God forsaken invisible unwanted houseguest to be the center of our attention? Simple answer, "hell no!"  Most day’s people have no idea I deal with such an aliment not because I am in denial but rather because I refuse to give it to much credit or too much attention. The attention is usually drawn out by well-meaning loved ones who have not done their own research and choose out of all times to pick a battle in the middle of a flare up, a moment of a fibro fog or a day of feeling disconnected from my body and brain, then I am not equipped to respond adequately to the questions coming my way or even the responses my loved ones deserve and I want to give. Honestly this condition has a personality of it's own.  Not an excuse but and explanation.   
  As a woman of faith I do believe that all things are possible through Christ but I also believe that he has given us bodies that can break and do break and that we are not perfect.  I wish I could respond in away that may appear more loving and caring at times but the pain will speak on it's own even when I try to apply self-control and discipline, which are the fruit of the sprit, does that make me less of a believer, nope, just more human.  Thank you Jesus for loving me anyway.

   In the middle of my flare ups I have to remind my husband that I am not a child nor am I mentally incapable, what I am is 100%exhausted from the beast of this syndrome that chooses to come and go as it pleases. I have learned to deal with the pain through rest, prayer, meditation and medication but the reality is that the depression is what seems to kick me hardest in the ass. The kind of depression that steals my joy, robs me of my  supposed purpose and tries to get me to believe others would be better off without me. Intellectually I know this is not true, physically though it is a whole different story.  

   Today my story is that I am in my third week of a flare up, one of the longest I have had in over two years. I have done some mighty fine self-care  work if I do say so myself.  I had to be tough with the one I love the most and remind him about what I am dealing with, what we are dealing with. I had to remind him that not only am I not looking for self-pity but that pity just perpetuated the pain anyway.   

  So, if one wants to help, quit looking at me with that "poor girl" look and instead jump in and help me find something funny to laugh at.   I have a few people in my life who can do just that without  thinking,  one of them is my youngest sister Michelle.  Maybe it is because she struggles with the same syndrome and she understands the importance of a good cry, a good laugh and even good dump.

  I can start a conversation off at a 9 out of 10 in pain and end at a 3.  Somehow we can find just the mere fact we are still alive funny, plus all the silly stories in between the aches and pains. Gosh I miss that girl!  The truth is,  the brain can only focus on one thing at a time and I find funny a great place to focus.   Even though there is nothing funny about Fibroblahblahblahblah, funny things do happen because of it and being able to share with someone who gets it is a pain reliever at it's best.  My sister Michelle is like a shot of pure morphine to the veins when it comes to making me laugh.
Caught in the act, we could not stop laughing!

   I miss her smile, the sound of her voice and the chuckle of her cheeks when she finds the funny in the ordinary moments of life. I do not claim for one moment to understand why God allows some of us to suffer more than others but what I do know is that He has placed some amazingly beautiful people along my path to help me make it through those moments when I feel like folding in the towel and throwing up the white flag and calling it quits. So, even though I hate when my body and brain will not work together,  I am thankful beyond words for those who help me find my voice in the middle of my pain. To you my dear sister thank you for being one of them, I love you to the sky and back and even more.   

“Living In the Moment, Trusting  God With The Future"

P.S. If you struggle with a chronic condition  and you found this post inspiring please private message me, I would love to hear your story and help support you through the gift of laughter as well and possibly even introduce you to my silly sister.  Sometimes silliness is the only thing we have to hold on to.  Thanking God for the gift of laughter.