Monday, October 05, 2015

Christians: Do Not Kick Other Christians Down in Their Time of Need

Its a habit a very nasty and bad habit. Its one that needs to be broken if we really mean "Love one another"
This habit is kicking Christians down when they are already down.
It might go something like this

" You know Sis. Doe? She hasnt been coming to church lately?"

"Oh Sister Doe,  She must be backsliding!"

" Hmm probably so, she hasnt been herself lately."

"Well praise God Im saved, sanctified and my name is in that Book of Life!"

'Praise the Lord Sister!"

"Just keep her in your prayers!

"Amen Sister!"

But that doesnt happen does it? Instead before long the whole church knows Sister Doe has backslid without one word of confirmation from her.

Sometimes people arent attending your place of worship because of finances, health issues, family crisis, caring for aged loves ones, its not always because they have left the faith. Some people dig into their faith deeper than ever during those trying times...So instead of pointing out they haven't been attending lately(which they already know and probably feel bad about), when you happen to meet them at the grocery store, try asking how they are doing, do they need anything or ask them out for coffee , shopping, lunch...You may be the only one who sincerely reached out to them in weeks or longer.

Lets refrain from assumptions about people's walk with God without solid proof. Its true "by their fruits you will know them", but are you in their life?

We need church, but you are the church collectively. The building is one gathering place. We need to gather together to hold each other up, keep each other accountable, lift each other up in prayer, keep each other strong, worship together, build and use our talents. We were not made to serve God all on our own, however, its the alone times , the quiet times where we become closer to our creator, its where we learn to hear and recognize his voice in our personal study times. We can truly peel our of the mask of daily life and lay it all bare before him, he can refine us and guide us. Communal worship and a church community is precious and is a privilege in North America but its not a right globally, yet those Christians who dont get to practice their faith in public are just as grounded in their faith. Assembly is important but let it not be the only measuring stick we use to access whos good with God and who isint. May we take a good hard look at ourselves and our walk with God and examine where it may need some tweaking. May we repent for not being there for those who are suffering in silence and may we be quick to see the needs in others . If God is showing us the needs he will show us how to help meet their needs or guide us to those who can help.

You might need a ministry in place to help reach the congregation better, pray about it and about choosing the right people to help start it up.

Lets speak uplifting words over our brothers and sisters, its not our job to condemn. The next time a rumour comes to your ears,  take it pray over it and show that person the true meaning of God's love by coming along side them in their time of need.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Case of Grey

I remember when I was younger and I saw my mom's grey hair popping! I fell in love with it. Grey hair shows up pretty early in my family, mine started at age 21. At first I was ok with it because it was right on the crown of my head. My grey began to spread and like most ladies, I began to cover it with hair dye.
The colouring went on for many years until I was diagnised with Psoriasis.

 I became extremly sensitive to dyes and I eventually gave it up. Grey is a sign of aging, and culturally in North America, aging isint embraced. Its something a woman doesnt want to be reminded of.
At the same time bright bold colours became all the rage and that made it even more depressing for me. I love purple and I would have been first in line to wear it boldly!

Many people offered advice all well meaning, but if they knew what I went through when something adverse touched my scalp they would treat the word dye like a cuss word and not say it around me. Since I know the average person is clueless to my burden, I remind them I was advised not to colour it by health professionals, they hum and ha with sympathy and its ok because Ive decided to rock it!

I rock it with everything in me, unapologetic with that same brazen rebel mentality Ive had since teenage. Oh yes its me Im grey and nah I dont care who doesnt like it. I gotta look out for my health first.

I mean that all natural Cruella streak down the middle is pretty EPIC if I dont say so myself! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Love Laundry and Beads

The city of Toronto, Ontario , population 2.615 million strong as of the 2011 Census,   is one of the most multicultural cities in the entire world! Blending in here is pretty easy. Depending on where you reside the average apartment building, may represent 30 nations or more easily. 
Finding international cuisine is phenomonal. Toronto is a foodies paradise! The dating scene is no different, every nation is here. Living in this city, it would be easy for me to take for granted that this isint the norm everywhere. 
This is true for my friends to the south in some states Blacks and Whites don't always live side by side or even in the same neighborhood . Some black people havent touch whites in their entire life. I went to schools where children of every race played with each other, learned together, had lunch together. 

There are definitely some old wounds in the south aching to be healed.
I continue to learn about other cultures, history and lifestyles. It fascinates me to no end. It broadens my perspective by allowing me to step into someone else's world briefly.

I truly believe we have so much to learn from one another and it is my hope that walls continue to come down as we enrich each others lives by our unique gifts and flavours that we bring to the table.

I was messing around with my beads, as Im a jewelery designer, at times the beads get mixed up and I need to sort them so I can focus in my projects. The beads looked eager and willing to be set free and play. I was prompted to make a quick post on my personal Facebook.
 Its shown in the photo below.

Something to think about :)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Managing with Psoriasis Tips: The. Basics

If you arent used to being ill, learning to manage with Psoriasis comes with a learning curve. It will change your life and how you do things. I did many things to become clear in my body. I am in remission and hope to remain that way. Here are some tips Ive found useful in making my life more comfortable so I was able to function and get on with my days.

1. Personal Care Products
Put aside or give away all your products and start fresh. You want to make sure nothing is aggrivating your skin. Start slow and check to see which products are making you feel worse or better.

2. Check for food allergies or sensitivities. Check for allergies to pets. Allergies may trigger your condition. One bad reaction can set your whole body off.

3. Check your laundry products, some may may irritate your skin. You are wearing your clothes all day, you want to make sure nothing is making matters worse.

4. Household cleaners
Things that we use often play a factor in skin conditions. Not all chemicals are bad but some can be very toxic. Since Ive been diagnosed, Ive become hypersensitive to products than never used to bother me.

5. Diet
Sometimes small changes in our diet can wreak havoc in our systems and throw it off balance. Check with your doctor and speak to them about what tests can be done to make sure you are functioning correctly.

6. Stress
Stress and how we manage it affects our health. Having Psoriasis can be quite stressful and it may lower our immunity causing more flares, its a vicious circle. Finding ways to manage our stress levels are essential to fighting this condition.

7. Medicine
How you choose to fight is up to you, some use traditional medicines, some use natural, some a combo of the two. I started off with betamethsome prescribed by my dermatologist , and weaned myself off and went to natural remedies.

8. Environmental
Get your air in your home checked also check for dust mites as they prefer people with skin conditions like psoriasis. Use protective coverings on your beds and pillows as a precaution. You may want to introduce air filtering house plants. Some people use shower filters which can be purchased at big box hardware stores or specialized water filtration stores.

9. Stay Active
This is extremely important for those with skin issues. We are not feeling our best and its even harder to stay motivated with pains, itchiness and irritation. If we dont fight to remain active our immune will weaken even faster and our condition may worsen.

10. Dont Give Up
The mind and will are the most powerful tools we own. Speak positive, speak healing, speak life. Feed your mind with uplifting words. Speak it visualize it and it will cause you to fight from the inside out.

I want to hear your story,ideas, advice, remedies(not sales pitches) you may leave comments below.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Why True Sisterhood is important?

Remember your childhood friend, the one you would hang out with laugh with, check out boys with, shop with, share your food with? The friend who made hours seem like minutes? They kept your secrets and still do. If you are lucky enough you are still close with your friend and see them often. Some of us arent in close contact with our best buddies anymore. One thing I noticed when my two best friends ever moved away... I became depressed. It took me a while to figure out exactly why I wasnt feeling like myself. I used to hang out with them a few times a month, go to a restaurant gab away or have coffee and off we went to our regular lives again. It was all I needed and I didn't realize how fulfilling and necessary it was until it was no more.

Its no wonder foreign women seem happier than North American women in larger towns where women don't hang out together as much. In many cultures this it the norm, women gather together to cook, craft, mind their children and to work. Here we work and go back to out little boxes our four walls and retreat away from the rest of the world, only to get on our gadgets and social networks, because we are lacking real face to face social interaction.

Females need other supportive females in their lives, ones they can trust and count on.
As ive grown a little older I noticed how the dynamics played out in female dominated workplaces such as health care. I was deeply disappointed to see how some ladies ripped each other apart, gossiped and stepped over each other to climb the corporate ladder.

What has happened to the sisterhood? Does it exist anymore. Our women only friends in childhood? Do women want the best for other women? Do we have to be our own worst enemy?

When we tear each other apart, steal each other's men, push other women out of jobs, backbite and backstab, not only are we destroying ourselves we are destroying our communities and it doesn't stop there. I know I don't want to be in a constant state of mistrust even though I have been betrayed severely by women. I know there are good apples out there, good people like me who don't cater to jealousy and wish to see others succeed.

Im calling on all women to get back to sisterhood, no matter race, creed and colour. We arent each others enemies we need to be each others allies. We need to forgive, love, learn and build bridges. Let the mending begin.

Friday, September 04, 2015

When the Lord speaks to me...

If we feed our minds with the word the Lord our God will whisper to us. Fill up on the word if we don't and fill out hearts and minds with other things it will be as they say "garbage in garbage out"...We live in this world we consume what the world has to offer, how can we not HOWEVER we must not be saturated by the world.  We must not be bathed and saturated in the ways of the world until we are no longer recognizable.  By our fruits they will know us! Can we saw this about ourselves?  There are times I'd have to say for myself  yes there are puddles of greys. Remember when right was right and wrong was wrong? I have compromised and it gets easier and easier to do. We must be set apart, not in a bubble for we will not be able to reach anyone that way. We must be kingdom focused.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Im an artist! *squeaks!

 Ive been spamming the net with my pics for years, and finally someone took notice, asked me to join Artist Become which is owned by Overstock Art .com. I was overjoyed to be recognized as an artist. Its a small step in the right direction for sure!
My Artistbe Profile

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Nightshades ...are they deadly?

Pretty much everything I like to eat is supposed to be bad for my condition. Thank goodness Im not Italian, as I wouldn't know what to do!Tomatoes is a big one...This is controversial.. some people believe its a factor in inflammation some do not. I'll leave it up to you to may be familiar with Nightshades. Ive looked for some different points of view.. as I am undecided but i do believe some might be aggravating my condition Please join in the conversation. I will say this I was juicing tonnes of berries before my big flare ups..

What are Nightshades

Livestrong List of Nightshades

Psoriasis, Autoimmune.. If you only knew...

*The opinions expressed here are mine I am not a medical professional. I cannot treat or give medical advice. I can only share my story from my perspective.* I will share links in future posts and again.. Its up to you to weigh it out. Seek the help of a medical professional first. That's what I did.

 I may have been hiding  but I'm not hiding and suffering in silence any longer. Autoimmune conditions is something that is not discussed much and for many who are really suffering... they aren't out in the open. They are suffering, aching, crying and dying inside. I know you are out there. I know you think no one cares and no one believes you because they cannot see your pain.  I know you cover up and only go out when people won't notice.. or when you are in remission stage if ever. I know you were full of energy and life, no one could stop you and you cant believe you are in this situation right now. So right here right now Ill be a still voice in the darkness. Ill stand tall and brave for you. This ones for you!

My monster is Psoriasis. It came upon me like a thief in the night, I knew next to nothing about it. No one in my family had ever mentioned it.  I spent over one year just trying to figure out what was happening to me. Though I appear clear now on my body, my battle is mostly internally as I am in remission.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition which causes skin to reproduce at a much faster rate then the average person and as a result it causes patches on the skin and under the skin in the case of Inverse Psoriasis. These patches can be rather itchy, scaly, sore and uncomfortable. It can affect the enjoyment of daily activities, can affect sleep,  moods, blood pressure, and internal organs it is often linked to PsA Psoriatic Arthritis an inflammatory form of arthritis. According to Wikipedia, at least 30% of Psoriasis suffers may develop Psoriatic Arthritis in their lifetime. Psoriasis is often misdiagnosed or written off as a rash, allergic reaction or nothing to worry about in its initial stage. There are many treatments but no known cure. It is said once you have it you always have it. I am in a group where we believe we can cure or at least manage the condition to the point where we can say we are in remission. We fight daily to achieve this.

Here is a bit of my thoughts. I shared in a Facebook group I am in:
" At times I wish I recorded what I went through at the worst before my Summer remission of P. (its what we in the group call psoriasis), but I was too homicidal, too out of it, crying with my face burning cause I peeled it off, eyebrows gone , fearing I'd be permanently scarred. holes in my head from picking at it ...would it ever heal?..and would I ever have a full head of hair again? would my face reset?  Having a restful night just a fantasy....but I know it would have helped just one person to see they are not alone. I did take pics and freaked out my Facebook friends.. But it's only here people truly understand and get it. As cooler weather approaches (my most difficult seasons ) I'm all ready feeling changes in my skin. I fear I'm turning into zombie mom again...that's what I called myself to add humour to my days I try to keep myself calm... Wishing the nightmare would finally end.. Thinking of many of you in your dark times. You aren't alone in this. Hold on another day.. You have it in you. You have come this are stronger than you realize"

I have pics but I don't have pics at my absolute worst, I was in no mood for selfies! I finally understood why people wanted to end it all. I now know what hell is because felt like I went there and back. What you cant see is the constant torment I was experiencing 24/7, it was maddening.  The first picture is in the recovery stage after a hospital visit when my face had a bad reaction and my psoriasis flared. My face blew up like a balloon, my eyes were swollen almost shut.. and I don't want to gross you out just wasn't a pretty sight. I was unrecognizable... too out of my mind to take pics then..I hid from people for months.. I was a hermit... not liking people to see me in such a sad state.. I'm the merrymaker.. I'm the happy girl I'm the cup half full! I'm the one people cling to for encouragement. At the time I didn't know what I was dealing with.. I left one doctor before I got the help I needed. Its a shame how often people are not taken seriously by their physicians. I suffered a year longer than I should have due to that. I was covered head to toe in stress and torment for close to 3 years. The second pic is me in the remission stage of psoriasis, which I am in now as of this post and thoroughly enjoying not only my skin looking and feeling normal but peaceful nights where I can actually get some sleep again.  My fight is far from over I suffer from aches and pains daily. PsA (Psoriatic Arthritis) is highly suspect.. but I'm not claiming it yet I'm still fighting. Stress was my main trigger, stress brought my immune down to a level which created an unfavorable environment in which my dormant predisposition for Psoriasis manifested and became full blown. Its considered to be genetic and environmental quite often a traumatic event triggers it, some develop it in childhood.

I don't have some miracle cure for Psoriasis, Ill tell you one thing its one STUBBORN condition. There is no  quick fix there are ways to manage it for the lucky few, while many of my comrades are at their wits end to see a glimmer of hope. I stand arm in arm with them. As I age my immune will naturally grow be weaker and I need to be prepared for anything.

Lessons: Do Not hide, find support you are not alone.  Do Not allow people to bring you down. You control yourself not others, give it to God if you believe in him, I sure do! Keep negative people out of your life if possible.. otherwise you need to adjust your reaction to them. Life is too short to let others drag you into misery. Stay Positive I cannot stress this enough.. Before you attempt to give me a virtual punch in the throat, I know being positive is probably the last thing you can think of during this time, but if it means putting on your favorite tunes, turning on a comedy show anything to raise your endorphin levels and give your immune a kick, do it! Laughter is great medicine. When I didn't have the energy to read my Bible, I turned on the audio Bible and let it speak to me. Make sure those positive vibrations keep flowing around you even if you are feeling horrible.  Use candles and aromatherapy so your surroundings are calming.  Cleanse, being ill means you may be isolated in your thoughts, its a time to look deep within. Cleanse your body mind and spirit...get the junk out. If you are housebound or bedridden, this your time off from work, school and regular duties to find a renewed source of healing is valuable. Its your Me time, enrich yourself.

I am in a continual state of learning about this condition and other similar ones. I am on a health journey right now, my lifestyle journey began years ago and It will continue as long as I have fight in me.  *You are welcome to share my story link with anyone who may find it helpful in their time of struggle and understanding of Psoriasis and Autoimmune conditions. No part of this story may be used in any other way without my expressed written permission.*

Keep your stress low, your chin up and  Stay blessed!