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Healing Broken Hearts

"Healing Broken Hearts" By, Nancy Alexander


By God's Own Strong, Tender Hands

I just came across this quote… and oh, how it touched me so deeply.  It talks about broken hearts…like mine which was in pieces so small I thought it could never be mended back together again.  But by God's own strong and tender hands, He "is" molding it back together.  I believe He will do this for anyone who is suffering from a broken heart who puts their faith in Him.  God's strong, gentle hands CAN change lives, molding the pieces of your life back together even while you are experiencing hurts and pains.  He can miraculously make us whole (and much better than we were before) by reaching deep into our soul, making our lives more beautiful, more fulfilling and more meaningful than we could have ever possibly imagined — I know… He is doing this for me and this change "is" a beautiful thing!


"I have a theory:  all people have had their hearts broken by actions of others as well as choices they have made themselves.  By learning from those situations and being able to work through them and come out of them, we grow our character.  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 been not just broken, but put back together by God in a beautiful way — a way that I never could have imagined on my own — and I wanted to share that sense of hope and peace with whoever happens to read this…"  ~ Molly Alexander

Can You Win in the Fight Against Fibromyalgia? Yes, You Can…Because I Am!

 

 

 

"Can you Win the Fight Against Fibromyalgia?" By, Nancy Alexander


Yes You Can – Because I am

Have you ever gone through something in your life that was so agonizing that you just don't enjoy discussing it with anyone, and certainly don't want to get into a discussion of its details?  Hardly a day goes by without a customer asking me about a certain medical issue, because they want and need my help with this same issue in their lives.  As they pour out their circumstances to me, I know how they feel.  The problem is, I know exactly how they feel! 

 


They may think that my problem isn't as debilitating as theirs is or that their condition is more serious than my own.  But they are still interested in hearing what I have done to feel better, because inside they want to believe that that will help them, too.  We all think our problems are worse than the next person's, don't we?  Truth be told, if we all dumped our problems on the ground and could see everyone else's, we would probably gladly take ours up and go back home with them.  But today, God is leading me to finally write to you and discuss truthfully what my life has been like for the last 30 years…with Fibromyalgia.

 

Fibromyalgia.  To most people, that is just a word describing a condition that they may have only heard about.  You may have heard it affects your muscles…or was it the joints?  Others may know it is an auto immune disorder.  Most know that it involves muscle and joint pain to some degree.  Some of you may think, if those with Fibromyalgia just took better care of themselves, they wouldn't have come down with it in the first place. 

 

Sadly, most people (and still a lot of doctors!) do not know much about Fibromyalgia.  Not too many years back, most doctors could or would not treat you because they knew very little about this disorder themselves.  They tried to define it in terms they knew.  Terms like "depression", the "blues" or "housewife syndrome", for pete's sake!  Well-meaning friends and family would say, "Just give it some time" or "don't dwell on it…get on with your life."  Can you believe I actually have heard those comments and more?  And some of those came from doctors!  Most everyone who has struggled with Fibromyalgia has heard the same, if not worse. 

  

I was twenty-eight years old when this first hit me.  The first doctor I went to — a very well known, respected doctor in town — actually had the nerve to tell me I had "housewife syndrome".  WHAT IS HOUSEWIFE SYNDROME????? I wasn't stupid!  There is no such thing!!!  But he proceeded to start giving and trying every single anti-depressant known to man at that time.  I felt soooo bad that I did exactly what he said with no questions asked.  THAT WAS MY FIRST MISTAKE!  Ladies…I do not make those mistakes anymore!  I am responsible for my health, and I am the only one who can make it my mission in life to find the cause and eradicate it!  No one else, no matter how much you like and respect them, has the time or the inclination to research this for you.

 

So, back to my doctor.  Instead of helping me, by doing the only thing he knew to do, he made me much worse than I was when I first visited his office.  After a while, not only was I trying a different anti-depressant every two weeks to a month or so, but I was also trying every muscle relaxer along with any other kind of drug he could think of. 

 

I had gone from a healthy (or so I thought) young woman one week, to one who could hardly stand up to get off the couch or get out of the bed within a week.  I was used to having lots of energy.  Before Fibromyalgia, I took care of two children, was involved in my church, dug and planted my own garden, froze & canned vegetables, made pickles and jellies, cooked three meals a day, cut the grass, washed and waxed the car, painted the house, put up wall-paper, recovered my couch, and so much more.  But this was all taken away from me within one week when this silent enemy attacked!

 

Along with the pain, muscle spasms and unbelievable weakness came what they then called "panic attacks".  So…since no one knew what was causing all of my physical pain and muscle problems, doctors started treating me for panic attacks and anxiety saying that was the cause of ALL my problems.  I do know that many people have panic attacks, but please listen!  Some panic attacks are the result of other major health problems going on in your body that you have no control over and so, they go untreated.  This major undiagnosed and untreated health problem, along with the stress that went along with it, caused my panic attacks. 

 

Misdiagnosis and mistreatment of Fibromyagia was the norm years ago.  I'm convinced that there are still many doctors who remain uneducated of its true nature, as well as much of the preventative and corrective measures that could help patients today.  I started seeing my family doctor about 7 years ago.  He is our friend and neighbor and told me honestly on my very first visit:  "I don't know much about Fibromyalgia.  As a matter of fact, I am sure you know much more about it than I do, but I am willing to listen to you, and refer you to any doctor you ask me to.  And, I am also willing to try any treatment that your Internet research leads you to think might help."  This is a very unusual response from a doctor, but was exactly what I wanted and needed.  A doctor who believed me and was willing to let me assist in my own treatment.  For those of you suffering from Fibromyalgia, I hope your own family doctor is that open minded.  But to complete your treatment, you need to be referred to doctors who specialize in auto immune diseases.

  

More tomorrow…….. December 19, 2010


This subject is so painful and hard to write about, I must divide it into sections, so please excuse the fact that I cannot write it all at one time.  I suppose I could have held onto this post until it was completed, but so many women are wanting a response from me, I just couldn't do that — so I will write as much as I can each day until you really know and understand how this "secret" disease affected me and how I researched and studied until I found the right doctors who knew how to help me.

I call it "secret" because it is.  People whose bodies are attacked by this don't want to talk about it — or at least they didn't then.  And, do you know why?  I was ashamed…yes…my doctors had made me ashamed that I couldn't control what was going on within my body.  If you have this, please do not be ashamed!  Please do not be afraid to talk about it to your friends, family, loved ones, or anyone else who is truly concerned.  It is not your fault!  You did nothing to cause this malady to strike you!  You ARE NOT losing your mind, as I thought I was for many years!

My husband did not understand…although he tried.  He listened to what all of the specialists believed was wrong and thought I should follow their instructions exactly.  It was so hard for him to believe that their drugs and their treatments were "killing" me.  Do I blame him? NO, Absolutely Not!!!!  How could I expect him to understand what was going on with me when I didn't know myself…when the doctors themselves didn't know what was going on!  How could I explain this to him or anyone else when I did not have the answers myself.  I just KNEW within my heart and soul that there was something seriously wrong with me — something that no one could find — and truthfully were not really looking very hard to find!
Their answer was still drugs.

I prayed to God…oh how I prayed to God!  I pleaded with God:  "Is there a lesson you want me to learn from this?  If so, my mind is open and I am willing to do anything you desire for me.  Have I not been a good enough Christian, a good enough mother or wife, a good enough daughter?  What do you want of me?  What do you wish of me?  I will follow you wherever you want me to go and do whatever you want me to do for the rest of my life.  Oh Lord, please just cure me!  Make this "silent killer" leave my body and let me get back to being the wife my husband needs, and the mother my children need.

Well, that didn't happen at that time.  I can look back now at where I am in my life.  I can see that God was pruning me, he was leading me, he was instructing me with whatever I had to go through to become the person I am today.  I needed to go through the pain and the suffering so that I might have a ministry where I can understand the pain and needs of others like me.  In my wildest dreams I never dreamed he would bring me an Internet business that would become the vehicle where I talk to and encourage women from all over the world!  

Would I be here…right here…where I am today without all that I went through for 30 years?  Absolutely not!  Do you know that I can now thank God for His leading in my life to this very moment in time?  Well, I can!  Yes, I can thank Him that He gently molded me with His strong, loving hands so that I could become the person I am today.  I would have never made it right here, right now, on my own — without Him.  I thank Him every single day for the people I come in contact with, including some who desperately need encouragement. 

Yes, God did answer these prayers.  He began answering them many years later.  During those extremely painful years, I went through much more than I have ever told anyone.  In order to offer help and encouragement to those who are emailing me almost every day, it is time to talk. 

My pain was unbearable.  The clothes I wore had to be very loose — they hurt my body if they weren't.  I couldn't sleep — or if I did, I was awakened by terrible nightmares and tremors.  I was in bed for months… so many months, I can't remember how long.  In fact, I have blocked out part of that time period…tried to forget it.  I would guess it was close to 2 years.  I couldn't sit up for very long at all because my muscles could not hold my body up.  I couldn't take care of my young children, so as my husband left for work everyday, we had to get our boys up early so he could take the three of us to my mother's house.  She took care of us while Steve was at work…until he picked us up on his way home. 

There were many trips to the emergency room when my blood pressure spiked so high that I felt I was dying.  I could only wear bedroom shoes because any other shoes used muscles in my legs which would become so weak I couldn't stand.  I couldn't bear any noise — even the crackling of a fire in the fireplace made me feel like fireworks were exploding in the back of my head.  So, two young children running around and playing were sounds that were terrifying to me, instead of cherished, memorable sounds that I should have LOVED as did most Moms.  During these hard times, I went for five years not being able to even drive a car.  After several years of this, I truly thought I would never have the life that I had always dreamed of and desired.  I was angry at God but functioned as well as I could, so no one truly knew the pain and agony that was going on in my body, heart, and soul.

In my next post:  healing, joy, pain relief, redemption…more miracles than I could EVER begin to describe to another living soul.

Following His Leading…


"Following "His" Leading" By, Nancy Alexander


God's Plans for us Are Greater Than We Could Ever Imagine

I say everyday I would follow God's leading in my life no matter what, when or where…that I would blindly follow Him because I have learned that God's plans for us greater that we could ever imagine:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

It is hard to follow our God that blindly.  I know… I am 60 years old, and it has only been within the last two years of my life that I can TRULY say from my heart that… No Matter What… I would follow God without any question whatsoever! I have wanted all of my life to feel that way, and I have tried all my life to feel that way, but it finally took God's firm intervention on my and my husband's lives for us to Truly know and believe that we would – without any doubt – follow Him without any glimpse of what lay ahead in our lives.

This past weekend, my son, Matt, daughter-in-law, Sara, along with Lucas, Ava, and Wyatt took a huge leap of faith and followed God's leading in their lives to Charleston, South Carolina to be a part in starting a new church for God.  It is New Spring of Charleston!  They have been attending New Spring Church of Anderson their entire married life, and our son Matt was one of the first members of the church when they began meeting at Anderson University.


Matt is Production Manager of this new campus which meets in the Charleston Coliseum.  I am so proud of them.  I truly don't know if I would have had that much faith at 35 years old to move my wife and three small children 5 years, 2 years, and 4 months to a new town and a new life.  They had not been in their newly purchased home but two years, and lived only two minutes away from "Mimi and Poppy" — that's us! 

But, they LOVE Jesus, and want to do his will in their lives no matter what it is.  They have tithed from the very beginning of their marriage, and money has always come in at just the right time to pay the bills that are due.  Sometimes this money would be the exact amount of the bill and no more — but they always had what they needed; faith in God, love for each other, and a trust that their lives would be in God's hands always.

Although we will miss them GREATLY, we — well,  I (Mimi), and my husband Steve (Poppy) are so proud of them.  We know they will thrive and prosper and develop new and lifelong friends in this new town and new environment with their three children.  We just cannot wait to see what God will do with their lives as they are in integral part in the beginnings of a new "mega" church for God!  Looks like we'll be making lots of trips to Charleston!

 

I’m Decorating For Christmas

As I begin to decorate for Christmas, I thought it might be nice to share some decorating ideas!  We take pictures of the house every year after we have decorated.  Each year is different — like the year we went all out getting ready for a tour of homes, and the year we decorated just for our grandchildren, and the year I didn't decorate much at all… or even the year we put lights EVERYWHERE! 

As I said, each year is certainly different.  I have so many decorations!  I'm sure you can imagine being the owner of a business that, for 15 years, was totally transformed into a "Christmas Wonderland" shop from June to December!  There were so many special things I ordered hoping that at season's end maybe one or two wouldn't sell, so that I could "bring my work home with me."  Well, I am happy (or maybe unhappy – I don't really know which) to say that happened quite a bit.  It was good in the sense that I brought home some very beautiful and special Christmas decorations.  It was also bad that I had them left over to bring home instead of selling them! 

With so many "Christmas Treasures" we really never get around to using all of them.  So we begin this "ordeal" each and every year bringing every box down from the attic… deciding which will stay down to be used, and which will be taken back up the steps waiting for yet another Christmas to sparkle and shine!


We love the front of our home at Christmas!  A large, sparkling wreath hangs from our custom glass front doors with garlands encircling it.  Behind the door you can always see our large Christmas tree so filled with lights…we have no clue how many there are (we have had several strands burn out through the years, but it is hardly noticeable because there are so many left!  Our neighbors across the street give us a hard time each year when we "undecorate"… saying that we should leave them up all the time.  They really enjoy the lights and the view from their home!


I have to show you two views of our large back porch at Christmas!  It is very comfortable and "homey" — one of my favorite places to relax!  Now that I think about it, there is nothing "new" on our porch.  There are many pieces of furniture which were family pieces, and to those I have added many "distressed" yard sale finds, which mean much more to me than anything new.  If you look closely enough, you'll see our sweet dog, Sebastian, who is no longer with us – but will live in our hearts forever!  

 

Yes, we have double glass doors in the back also…I guess you can tell I like plenty of light.  It brightens my life and my spirits!  We enjoy spending a lot of time out there, reading, or just sitting and talking with friends and neighbors.  We have at least one Christmas tree on the porch – sometimes more, and of course double wreaths for the double back doors – also with garlands wrapped around them. 



When talking about our home at Christmas, I just cannot leave out our Pergola.  We spend a lot of time out there roasting marshmellows over the fire pit right in the center — especially at Christmastime.  The Pergola is now covered with wisteria and Lady Banks rose bushes, so it is kind of like a totally enclosed porch.  As you can see in the picture, we have three slim trees clustered all together; there is a five foot, a seven foot, and a nine foot tree.  I put all natural leaves berries, twigs, birds and nests in them.  They get all the weather but that is okay… I don't mind if they fade a little.

This morning, I just sent out a newsletter for Ladybug Wreaths.  If you would like to see more pictures of decorating from our home, click on the following link:  http://nancysramblings.com/?page_id=463

I do hope each of you have a blessed Christmas!  It is nice to have a home we enjoy decorating for Christmas, and it is nice to have parties and enjoy it with our friends, but that isn't the true meaning of Christmas for us.  It is Jesus…His Grace…His Love…and His Wondrous Miracles and Blessings in our lives!! 

Enjoy your family and friends this Holiday Season…because they are among our Greatest Blessings from God!

The Knots Prayer

"The Knots Prayer" By, Nancy Alexander


Sharing a Little Prayer That Meant a Lot to me

 

 


I came across this little prayer that I had saved a while ago.
It has meant a lot to me, so I thought you might like it too
!

The Knots Prayer

Dear God:
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots,
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all,
Dear God
,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the 'am nots'
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.

Amen

Author Known To God