As we explore our options for some upcoming changes in our lives, we are placing our beloved Tin Can Ranch up for sale. This Livin Lite Camplite 16 DB is virtually mold and chemical free making it ideal for folks who are taking a health sabbatical or travelling with persons chemically sensitive.
Here is the listing. Please contact me below with your email address with inquiries. Take care and happy travels! JJ
Perhaps it is a sentiment of many Dayspring and Hallmark greeting cards to define Christmas as “the most wonderful day of the year.” For a believer in Jesus Christ, the day is one of the most meaningful: celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. But perhaps the most significant holiday is actually celebrated on Easter Sunday as we recall the sacrifice that Christ made in dying on a cross for our sins such that we may have everlasting life. No sentiments are implied or required: the truth is that He came to save, the truth is that He is Lord of all!
Isaiah 9:6-7New King James Version (NKJV)
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
I can almost hear the victorious singing of Handel’s Messiah in the background as I read these words. Such is the confidence that we have, the joy we know as believers in Jesus Christ!
Many days when my life is a “nothing burger,” these words are just about all that I have for comfort. My Christmas and Easter in 2015 were not filled with either the people or activities of a typical Christian holiday. There were no church services dressed in better finery, homemade treats enjoyed in the basement afterwards with the dearest of friends, or family dinners filled with laughter and much feasting. The décor around here was the same as it is every day. I could go on with all that was cut due to the ravages of severe illness but I won’t. Perhaps you get the idea Gentle Reader?
I spent each of these holidays staring into nothingness for much of it yet also with nothing to distract me from seeking the face of my Lord. My prayerful meditation was uninterrupted and peaceful. Warm, loving glances came from my beloved Steve whose presence is one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for in my life. Even our furry friend Elle is always a special delight with the gentlest of brown eyes, the softest of fur coats. I did get somewhat of a break during the middle of the day on Christmas in which we connected with family via Skype and the phone, MacGyvered a tasty meal of sorts, and opened some sweet gifts for our eighth Christmas together as husband-and-wife. Yeah God for special moments like these!
In two days we will continue and conclude as many of these traditions as we can in a gathering with my husbands adult children and their spouses. They graciously will attend to the mold/fragrance-avoidance practices needed for me to host them in our home. Since it may be my only time to see them when they are in town from their respective States and countries, I do pray that I may be able to participate in every moment available. They are wonderful young adults and I do love them so! I have simplified our menu and Steve has begun the preparations. We have spent extra time finding special gifts that would be meaningful; one of them may even serve temporarily as a different kind of “Christmas tree!” We’ll see. I still have to pull that one together! Eeeek!
So if you too have changed things up a bit for this Christmas season, know that you are not alone. I understand completely. It’s o.k.! This holiday along with Easter in the Spring have nothing to do with Santa and the white bunny carrying chocolate eggs. These special days have everything to do with a decision we each make in our hearts about Who we will serve as Lord over our lives. Where have you placed your trust dear friends? With a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we will have a celebration that will never be limited to a date on the calendar.
And with that decision made to follow Christ, every day will be a different kind of adventure that transcends the moment into all of eternity. Yeah, I’m on board for that one. Will you be along too? JJ
As anyone who likes to (or needs to) cook knows, it can be a tough balance to make a recipe taste just right. The host of your fav cable cooking show says to add a pinch of salt and pepper as you watch her grab easily a fistful of seasonings. Ah ha! So that is why version mine comes out differently than yours! Just ditch the online recipe on her website and fly by the seat of your pants! Taste, taste, taste and make the dish all your own, eh?
I don’t tend to make meals using recipes anyways. With a limited diet and having to make a wacky version for me and a “normal” one for my beloved, I would become too frustrated trying to follow the masterpiece designed by someone else’s reality! I just start with what I CAN eat, add more salt with my eyes closed then put one of my go-to seasoning mixes on Steve’s version. It works for us. Well most of the time, that is! And when it doesn’t, that is what salsa is for right? (O.k. I know I have offended someone out there now!)
My health situation of late is kinda like the same delicate balance. Add too much zinc for too many days in a row or take a new supplement or med for more than 3 doses and whammo (!) I get burned at the “steak.” There’s little more than dog food left of me afterwards. Gratefully my Doc does exhaustive lab testing to try to coach me in the right direction. But now even labs cannot predict the outcome anymore. I seem to react to everything. It’s worse when the pharmacist of an independent lab starts making suggestions too. So I try this and that. Oh how I want things to work out well! So far, it has not.
I am my own worst enemy in these scenarios. The results aren’t even back yet for the female hormones that are at a mystery level since going through menopause. I went through menopause during the almost 4 years of this illness and these tests for me are way out of date. The significance of the hormones is that a goodly number of women (who have true epilepsy) have worsened seizures during menopause and others have reported a new onset of what is called “catamenial epilepsy.” While I do not think that I have epilepsy per se and all the fancy labs have supported this, I do find this course of study intriguing. I joined a couple of Facebook groups on the subject and have hunkered down into some new online research. Then of course I re-started a tiny bit of progesterone on my own to see what would happen. Yeah, I know that I should wait until the lab results are back in a total of 6 weeks. But heck, at the rate I have been going, 6 weeks means up to 210 more hours of convulsive episodes! Why wait? I am going to go through hell anyways . . . .
Dr. Erwin Leutzer of Moody Bible Institute teaches that, “when you are going through hell . . . DON’T STOP!!!” Oh yeah. That fits for me. Not sure what to do with some of the symptoms that are emerging though. Clearly this will need professional tweaking at some point! Do ya blame me for trying? What if I finally stumble upon the resolution to this nightmare? There are so many labs that are off now and the convulsive episodes have escalated to 4 hours or more most days, I just figured that it’s worth a shot . . . worth disrupting the status quo.
The decisions of life can be a delicate balance over here sometimes. Do we continue with travel plans when I am in the throes of chronic illness? For us, the answer is yes. We just adapt things a bit and get on down the road. Life goes on. In due time, if it is the Lord’s will, I am going to be well. In the meantime we will use the portable heater in the Tin Can Ranch (aka travel trailer) instead of the noxious propane mini-furnace so I can be with my beloved overnight at his kayaking competitions out of town. In the meantime I’ll freeze portions of meals to ease food prep when Steve needs to pitch in for me. In the meantime I will fold laundry when my brain stabilizes in the wee hours of the morning and scratch the ears of our pup who gets more fractionated sleep than I do. In the meantime Steve will head into work later to make up lost time and we will be grateful for his flexible employment. And so it goes, a balancing act on steroids that we have come to master, one ingredient at a time!
Gentle Reader, I’ll bet you understand the need for balance with the stuff of life. Let’s look together with gratitude that we do have some choices even in the worst of situations. For those who believe in the Lord, Jesus Christ, we know that all things, delicate and less so, will work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. It’s His promise from His word in Romans 8:28. That is because He knows us and loved us before we were even born. He knows and cares for all of the details of our lives! (Psalm 139) And He knows what choices we will make. As for me, I will aim to make choices that keep me moving forward, aiming to win. Sometimes things will be out of balance for a time. Yet with my eyes fixed on Christ, leaning on His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit I will run my race of life with endurance: endurance the produces hope (Romans 5:4) and endurance to finish well too! (Hebrews 12:1)
Never sacrifice sweet victory for a need to stay comfortably in balance though. Attend to the tasks at hand with wisdom then get out there and LIVE! Do not stop! May we both finish well my fellow sojourner. The crown of glory awaits!