I Thank You God

"I Thank You God" By, Nancy Alexander

Blessings of Life, Health, Love & Happiness

I've been working pretty hard in the last few weeks.  I realized that my "Secret Vendor List" had been out for exactly one year, and an update needed to be done.  At first, I thought the things that needed to be checked, and/or changed were minor – that these things wouldn't take long at all.  I could certainly get this done in just a couple of days.  Well, that thought is ALWAYS my downfall!  I am somewhat of a perfectionist, and if I'm going to do something, then, it is going to be right. 

I know you're wondering how this is getting around to blessings, right?  Well, I mentioned the update of my eBook in the first paragraph to let you know why Steve and I went to one of my supplier's warehouses last Friday.  This particular vendor/supplier did not have a catalog, or a website, so I needed to take new pictures of some of their merchandise and we planned to film a video to use to promote my book as well.  This is a three-generation wholesaler – good people – I have purchased materials and supplies from for many years.  And, since I wanted the very best information for my customers – our trip was planned.

While we were in their "huge" warehouse finishing the filming of my video, I called my friend and employee Kim asking her questions about supplies we needed.  Kim asked me how I was doing.  I hesitated just a little as I wondered why she asked that particular question, finally answering: "Fine".  Then before hanging up, I felt the urge to ask her why.

As we talked, Kim reminded me that only a few short years ago – maybe four – when I went to this warehouse to purchase materials and supplies, I had to be pushed around in a wheelchair because of the grip Fibromyalgia had on my body.  Then, she also reminded me of the years before that, when I couldn't even make the trip in a car and she went for me many times.  We hung up with a: "You Go Girl" which made me smile to myself.  But then – such a sobering thought. 

I suddenly remembered the many trips when I had to use my wheelchair.  I remembered many other places we went where we had to pull out that "shiny, metal chair on wheels".  I was embarrassed to use it, but I didn't have many options, if there were places I wanted to go.  I could stay at home – which I did do on many occasions – or I could go and let Steve or someone else push me around.  I was very self-conscious.  I didn't want people who knew me to see me in a wheelchair.  Every time I could, I would get up and walk beside it as if to show people…see…I don't really have to be riding in this thing ALL of the time!  Today, my heart breaks for those who cannot get up out of those chairs to walk beside them. 

These thoughts came flooding back as I stood in the middle of this huge warehouse talking to my friend, Kim.  I was grateful that she reminded me that day of where I had been only a few short years ago.  And, Oh God… as I am feeling SO grateful that I am not there today, I feel so unworthy that His healing grace made such a difference in me that I no longer have to use that chair. 

Do you know that on that particular Friday, we arrived at 11:30 (after spending quite a while riding in the car) and began filming with one of the owners.  I took a short break to eat after our filming session which lasted about 2 1/2 hours.  I sat in our car for less than ten minutes as I ate a few bites of my salad.  Then I quickly jumped out and began doing my shopping for the supplies I needed that day.  When we checked out and left, I noticed it was 4:30!  From 11:30 to 4:30, I had only sat down for ten minutes.  THAT IS FIVE HOURS!! The rest of my time was spent walking and filming and walking and shopping as I went back and forth over this warehouse several times looking for what I needed!  I Thank You God, that I can and have experienced YOUR Amazing Miracles for my life!  And, Jesus, PLEASE forgive me when I am not ALWAYS VERY AWARE of what YOU have done in my life! 

Now, as I am talking about blessings, I am going to back up just a little more.  For this last week, as I have been thinking about our many blessings, other thoughts have been coming to my mind.  I had sad thoughts about the pain of my chronic illness and how it had always affected any plans to host a party, or a family gathering. I suppose I am thinking about this because we will host quite a house full of people on Thanksgiving this year.

My Fibromyalgia used to make our holidays so different than they are today.  I always wanted to host family gatherings; I wanted our home to be decorated; I wanted things to be perfect.  I wanted wonderful smells coming from my kitchen with tables set up adorned with beautiful table cloths, our best china, and eye-catching centerpieces appropriate for each holiday.

But my body would never cooperate when it came time to clean and cook and do all of these fun (and, I thought, necessary) things like decorating and having the garden and yard looking 'perfect'.  This left my dear, sweet husband, Steve stuck with lists of tasks he really didn't enjoy doing – but since he also looked forward to having family over just as I did, he tackled these mundane tasks getting them done without complaining. 

When I think back, I let chronic, constant pain cloud my thoughts, my heart, and my eyes when it came to everything my dear Steve was doing to make these gatherings be all that I wanted them to be.  I never really showed him the appreciation I felt within my heart for his support, and constant help as he went through those long lists of things needing to be accomplished.  I LOVE YOU My Darling Steve…and am TRULY grateful that you were always here by my side taking care of me and doing whatever else needed to be done.

Things ARE different around our home now!  We still host parties and family gatherings every chance we get!  I am so grateful that Steve and I are working right along beside each other cooking, cleaning, and decorating as we prepare for the arrival of our guests.  No, Steve doesn't necessarily HAVE to help me now…and no, I don't always necessarily HAVE to ask for his help.  My body is different now.  I can do most of the things I want to do as we enjoy our family.  I don't have long lists of things for Steve to do.  Our garden and our yard may…or may not…be 'perfect'! 

You see, I have learned a very important lesson!  All of the above things don't matter!  They are not what's most important!  We (Steve and I) are together!  We love, and cherish each other.  We enjoy doing things together!  We enjoy hosting parties and meals together!  But, it is life, it is people, it is friendships, it is family, it is love, and…it is God's grace.  Those are the things that matter now!  The long "to do" lists don't exist anymore!  It doesn't matter if the grass is cut, if the leaves are covering the driveway, if the weeds are taller than the flowers and bushes in our flower beds.  We are together, we are in love, we are happy, we are blessed with our children and precious grandchildren and we thank our God above for it all. 

We don't know what awaits us tomorrow.  But, for today, we are filled with grateful hearts that we can live, love, and experience JOY, PEACE, and HAPPINESS…one day at a time!


Hope When You’re Physically Down

"Hope When You're Physically Down" By, Nancy Alexander

Beauty in Nature CAN Inspire Hope

How do you keep going when you're physically down?  I keep getting asked this question over and over.  WOW, where do I start? 

First of all, there is one thing that I find really helps me and I encourage you to do this too.  I want to encourage you to appreciate the beauty found around you today in a smile, in nature, and in those who are dear to you.  I have learned through my own chronic illness that the things I always thought were the most important in this life really aren't.

"I am only passing through this moment…"  ~Beth Moore~

Chronic Illnesses are as severe a problem for you as they were for me.  Pain was the main focus of my life for so many years.  It colored the way I thought and felt, and reacted to the world around me.  I had to learn this the hard way.  I used to beg and plead with God;  "Please show me what I need to do – please show me what I need to change – please teach me the lessons I need to learn – I will do anything to only get well or even better."  God, in His wisdom knew that the lessons I needed to learn came only with time.  As always, He sees "Eternity" and we see "right now".

Picture I took recently of a Night blooming Cereus at my neighbor's home.

It is hard to see the beauty in a flower, a sunset or sunrise, or even a loved one's eyes when you are suffering in silence.  It is hard to think of doing something that would make your day productive when it is clouded with this "thing" which has such a deep, dark hold on you.  It is hard to see the needs of others when your own pain is first and foremost in every single day.  God used this to mold me and shape me and prune me.  All of these were painful experiences, but I truly believe He did this so that my heart would be one that would 'break' for others.  I see your pain, I feel your pain, and I sincerely want to do anything I can to relieve your pain and make your life joyful!

The answer for me was, and is God!  I don't know where I would be today without all of the miracles God worked in my life.  I do know that I would not be sitting here at my computer writing to all of you, my friends, students, and faithful followers were it not for God and all the Miracles 'He' has performed in my life.  For example, all of the "Professionals" who were finally able to diagnose and treat the causes of my chronic, debilitating illness.  This illness was so bad that when we built our home 12 years ago, my husband and our builder decided to make every doorway 3 feet wide because they thought I would very quickly need that space to maneuver a wheelchair through each.  I didn't find this out until about 3 year ago.  And, no, I no longer need that wheelchair that I used to be forced to use from time to time.

I am speechless when I think of the people who were sent into my life to encourage, uplift, inspire, diagnose and help me to heal.  My friend and mentor, Jim Cockrum and I have talked about this many times calling them "Divine Appointments".  You may not believe in them, but I certainly do.

I don't want to push my faith on you knowing that every person has their own beliefs, but in telling a story of me; "Beautifully Broken Me" as my friend Molly Alexander writes in her blog, I cannot forget the obvious and must share with you how I got to this point in my life.  That's what many of you have been asking me all these years.  I do believe God has led me on a path for many years for a specific purpose, and that is to be able to help and encourage YOU!

"By picking up the pieces of a broken life and putting them back together, a person cannot help but be changed.  This change is a beautiful thing that results in a deeper understanding of others and their situations, and gives us a chance to share our experiences with them, showing them that there is a way out – a light at the end of the tunnel."

"I believe that I have not just been broken, but put back together by God in a beautiful way – a way that I could have never imagined on my own."  ~Molly Alexander~

Molly has expressed my own thoughts and feelings in such a beautiful way.  Isn't it amazing that I can now see, live, and enjoy the beauty around me?  I am blessed every time I look into my husband's eyes and see how much he cherishes me.  I am blessed when our home is filled with our boys, their wives, and our four precious grandchildren running around calling "Mimi come outside and play with me." "Mimi do you have a surprise for me?"   "Mimi, read to me."

God has used over 30 years of pain and brokenness to bring me to this place; this moment, where I am right here and right now.  He brought me here for a very specific reason and that is to be an encourager of those of you who are suffering and in pain!  There TRULY is hope!

Sharing God’s Comfort

"Sharing God's Comfort" By, Nancy Alexander

2 Corinthians 1

…and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

I have gone through a lot being sick since I was 28 years old.  It has not been easy for me or my family.  I am posting about this on my blog a lot lately because I receive so many emails from other women who are going through the exact same thing as I did.  As I was reading this morning, this verse touched me. 

I have had troubles, have felt pain, exhaustion, sorrow, and hopelessness.  But this verse tells me that God has used this to comfort me, therefore giving me a heart to comfort those who are going through the same thing by sharing God's comfort I received.

A New Morning…

"I Can Be Cured" By, Nancy Alexander

From Fibro… to Freedom

It is a new morning… the sun is just starting to rise.  This day will never "be" again!  What will you do with yours?? 

I am planning what I should do with mine… what will I write on today that will make a difference in someone's life?  What can I do that will please God?  I have prayed for a new "Spirit" for today.  I pray that God will fill me with so much Grace and Love that it literally spills over onto others I come in contact with.

I am soooo grateful for my loving husband, and a marriage "Made in Heaven"!  Steve loves me, he cherishes me, and he supports my business.  He encourages me, helps me plan, write, and develop this business which is a gift from God.  Steve is helping me finally write a book — on my life and my battles with Fibromyalgia.  So many friends and customers have been begging me to do this to help them in their journeys fighting this awful disease.  The title will be: 

"I CAN BE CURED"   –   "From Fibro To Freedom" 


Pray that God will bless and lead me on this journey in my life.  It will be painful at times… it will be joyful at times… and I'm sure these times of remembrances will bring many tears. 

I will be praying for you today – that you have a joy-filled and pain-free life! Have a marvelously Blessed day.  Think of someone today who needs you; love someone today who may be unlovable; and give thanks to God in every single thing whether it be good or bad!

With God's peace… Nancy  

This is Why…

"This is Why…" By, Nancy Alexander

Your Emails are the Reason Why

I received  this  email this morning.  When I get emails such as this (and I receive them weekly, sometimes daily), my heart is broken.   It is broken because ladies, and sometimes men too, go through extreme pain, hurt, withdrawal, and even disbelief from doctors, friends and family when they come down with this mysterious ailment — Fibromyalgia.  They have to go way too long before finding the correct help and cure!  AND YES… THERE IS A CURE!!


Most of you know that mine started when I was 28.  I am now 60!  That was thirty-two years ago!!!!!! When are things going to change?  When are these ladies going to receive, first of all… understanding and belief that they are really sick, along with sympathy, and help from their own family members, and the top notch medical care they need and deserve from our many "learned" physicians in our advanced and educated country for this illness???




I become overwhelmed with anger from time to time knowing the despair and hopelessness these women feel as they are fighting a battle for their very lives, and it hit me this morning.  So many women write me for help!  I want to help them!  I want to tell them exactly what to do to get well!  I want to tell them they ARE NOT crazy!  I want to tell their husbands, their children, and their friends that they need respect, they need comfort, they need top notch medical care along with BELIEF that they are really sick with a "legitimate" disease!


I have told my husband soooo many times that I had wished to have been diagnosed with cancer instead… or with a heart-attack… or with some other "horrible" disease.  At least if I had been diagnosed with one of those people would have really believed I was sick.  But in 1978 and 1979, people didn't believe me — they thought it was "in my head", and doctors actually told me it was "housewife syndrome"!


Okay, Nancy… calm down!  Today is not 1979.  Fibromyalgia has been proven absolutely and without a doubt to be a disease; to be a horrible, debilitating disease, which not only hurts the person who has it, but every single person that they love and care for!   A chronic disease of any type affects every person in their household.


So, today as I read this email (as I do all of the others I receive) and see that people are still suffering before they get help, I get really angry!  This is totally unnecessary for someone to have to feel the shame and embarrassment that I felt for sooo many years.


But now, I can thank God for my illness, my pain and for each step along the way in my life because I CAN encourage, help and support women who cannot find the help they need right away!  I can show them love! I can tell them they are not alone!  I can tell them that I understand!


Email from a young woman in California:

"First of all I would like to thank you for sharing your story. I am a 27  year old woman who has and is going thru several health issues. I also struggle with Fibromyalgia.

 This started when I was 24 and only a year into marriage. This kept me in bed rest because I wasn't able to walk or do much for myself. My wonderful husband, who has stood by my side thru all of this, would have to even bathe me and brush my hair because I couldn't do any of this for myself.


I went thru depression, anxiety and panic attacks because no Doctor knew what I had. Finally they diagnosed me w/Fibromyalgia and with a virus called mycoplasma. I felt no desire to live at times because I did not want to spend the rest of my life in such misery. Needles to say I wasn't able to work and help bring money into our household; which made me feel worthless.


It was thru those darkest times that I found God. With time, some treatments and with our Lord's grace I have been recuperating. I even went on my first jog again. That was something I thought would never be possible again. God has been so good to me and blessed me with my husbands love and support.


Now we are struggling with starting a family because I started pre-menopause at the age of 22. I wanted to keep my mind and body occupied and away from negative thoughts and since I made some of my own Christmas decorations last year I thought I'd give it a try and sell some…THAT IS HOW I CAME TO FIND YOU.  Who has inspired me and given me some confidence.


I purchased your Secret Vendor List back in May and I am purchasing things and getting things ready to start making and selling Christmas wreaths….."



So, I have let off some steam this morning!  I have let out some of the anger that engulfs me from time to time.  This young woman went for 5 years before finding out what was wrong. EVEN FIVE YEARS is WAY too long to suffer without knowing what is wrong!


I fought with every ounce of strength in my body for almost 25 years before getting a correct diagnosis and receiving proper medical care.  I had to do the research and find out by myself what was wrong with me…while fighting a battle all alone! 


It is now my God-Inspired goal to reach these women and help them get the proper medical care they need and deserve!


I read this prayer this morning posted by another young woman struggling with Fibromyalgia right now — it is truly beautiful, and touched my heart.  I hope it will touch yours too!


"Be present, Lord, among us and bring us to believe we are ourselves accepted and meant to love and live.  Teach us to care for people, for all, not just some, to love them as we find them or as they may become.  let Your acceptance change us, so that we may be moved to practice Your acceptance, until we know by heart the table of forgiveness and laughter's healing art."