Category Archives for "Uplift & Inspire"

Here you will find my art, faith notes and encouragement. Feel free to share any memes or Bible verses and quote images on these pages.

Reflections: the wind in my sails

Good morning friends, I’ve just woken up and it’s almost 11.30. I’m stiff and achy, was a little shaky upon waking, but I’m so happy!

I was brushing my teeth and realised I’ve been wearing the same clothes the whole week! Waking and sleeping. That grossed me out a bit, but it isn’t the first time this has happened and won’t be the last.

As I was filling in my journal last night, I noticed that every day this past week, except my birthday on Friday (Yay!), was marked as a flare day. Every single day.

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to do the right thing, we just flare amyway, I can’t even remember what might have caused this week long flare.

I didn’t even realise it had already been so long. It’s like my memory resets when I have a good day and I am emotionally energised by the good days for quite some time after.

It’s like that good day will stay in my memory and the joy it gave me will just last, like a gust of wind in my sails, pushing me ahead until the next one. Despite actually paying for it physically for some time after.

It doesn’t even have to be a good day really, it could be a good meal or a fun chat with a friend or a beautiful comment from somebody I’ve never even met who connected over something I shared online.

These are all small things to the heathly person, but they are accomplishments worth celebrating if you’re chronically ill and housebound.

The good experiences we have daily fill our sails and can carry us forward to the next port. That could be a celebration, a visitor, an outing – any of those beautiful occasions that are rare and exciting, but also potentially difficult exhausting.

The effects of such occasions are often quite positive on us emotionally and are great for out mental health, but can be quite draining or even painful physically, which will mean once again focusing on the small blessings each day brings until we’re able to enjoy the celebration at the next port.

So you can see how the small things in life are so important. When you’re stuck in bed paying for some semblance of normality you tried to experience, it’s those little things that can mean so much: a text or a card in the mail, the sunshine on your face, the sound of birds outside, a delicious meal, a soak in the bath, clean sheets, a quiet neighbourhood, the view from your bedroom window…

Search for the beauty, the joy, the silver lining in every day. Focus on the good. Practice gratitude over every small gift that each day brings and let that feeling fill your sails like a gust of wind until the next one comes.

Life is going to be full of waves and high waters, specially if you’re ill, it affects every aspect of your life: physical ability, relationships, finances, confidence, faith, mental health, your independence, etc.

However, you can focus on the waves and let fear, anger, anxiety and panic set in, or you can focus on the fluffy clouds above, the blue sky, the sunshine, the fresh air, and be grateful for the shelter and protection you have and for every gust of wind that fills your sails, even just a little, pushing you forward and closer to your next port.

Isolation: where did all my friends go?

Trust Him and let go

Sometimes it’s hard to accept that when you’re living with a chronic illness, people fall away, but it is something that commonly happens after a period of time, and it might even be beneficial.

Initially, once people are made aware of your struggles, you might have an outpouring of support and practical help from many around you, but over time, when you don’t improve, most people will inevitably drift away as they are unable to make taking care of you a permanent fixture in their lives. They have their own lives to navigate.

When you’re no longer in the same circles, no longer going out, no longer socialising, you’re no longer in their life unless an effort is consciously made on both sides to stay in touch and make things happen. I have seen this happen over and over again with so many people who fall ill. That’s why I don’t believe you should take it personally, it’s just a fact of life – only a precious few will remain, if you’re lucky.Continue reading

The freedom of Letting go

Letting go

Sometimes you don’t notice the weight you’re carrying until you let it go.

This is often such a hard truth to accept, but letting go of that control we try so hard to hold onto can actually be very liberating!

There are many areas in our lives where we crave order and control, but in reality it isn’t up to us and we can save ourselves a lot of pain and suffering if we can learn to let go of our need to control things or have things go the way we had planned.

This is true in our relationships, with our health, our finances and our jobs. We don’t have control over any of it and things will go wrong sometimes, no matter how much you prepare or plan ahead. That is just a fact – life happens. But God is always with us and He makes a way when there seems to be no way. I trust that promise completely.Continue reading

Bullet journal helpful for people with chronic illness

Sept Bujo

If you are anything like me, you collect lovely journals and have a stack of them just waiting to be used. You never know when the need will arise to use a notebook, but when that moment comes, you’ll be ready!

I’ve started and restarted many of them. Giving up on one purpose and then assigning another a few months later. I’m not good at being consistent with things, I seem to have trouble with religiously sitting down with a journal to write thoughts, feelings or prayers. And the same thing applies to my art journals.

The only journal I have had success in maintaining over extended periods of time is the bullet journal. I believe this is because of the way my bujo was designed: by me, as needed, and it’s super flexible.

Have you ever tried using a bullet journal?
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BuJo July: New month, new schedule, new goals!

I discovered the bullet journal craze in 2016 while I was looking for a way to track my symptoms, medications, activity levels and appointments.

Brain fog makes keeping on top of things quite difficult and I’ve always enjoyed the idea of keeping a journal, in fact I collect notebooks and paper because I always imagine all the use I could get out if them.

Bullet journals in particular are very versatile and personalisable which is perfect since we all have different needs.

I used my first one for many months, I almost filled the whole book, but at one point my therapist told me to stop keeping track of everything because she thinks this keeps me focused on the wrong things.

I took up her challenge and stopped taking notes, but I didn’t get any better, the problem is not in my head or my thinking, I am quite at peace with my condition and the season I’m in right now.

The problem is physical, and keeping track of things is a way for me to monitor my progress and figure out where I might need to adjust my routine. Continue reading

Decorating my journal

I’m starting a new journal tomorrow with the start of the new month. I want to track my health: supplements, diet, symptoms, etc as well as my to do lists and blogging ideas and my schedules or routines, etc. 

This is an old notebook from Poundland. I love these though, and have a few of them I have used over the years. They have lined pages, excellent for note taking, but not so great for art. 

I might end up sticking pages together if I decide to get creative in here and it runs through a page. I’m going to try not to be so focused on details and perfection in this book, and rather use it as a practice of patience and acceptance of flaws. 

I’d already used this book for notes when I used to attend bible study in London, but there weren’t many notes in this one, so I pulled out the used pages and have started fresh. 

I’ll probably share some internal pages occasionally, but with my shaky hands, my handwriting is really bad. It’s very different to drawing and lettering. Lettering is really just drawing large letters and doesn’t require such fine motor skills as regular writing. 
If you’ve ever received a letter or card from me, you’ll know what I’m talking about! 

The cover was rather plain, and if I am going to use the book, then I’ll need to love the book, so I decided to decorate it this morning. 

It took a few shifts and spanned a few hours, so I’m thoroughly exhausted now and resting, but I’m super pleased with how it turned out. 

What do you think? 

Took me 30 years to learn this truth about the Gospel

I grew up believing every word of the Bible. I still do, but my understanding has changed dramatically. It was all head knowledge, but I didn’t know the character of God.

I didn’t understand His ways or His plans for us as his creation. I certainly didn’t understand how salvation didn’t require jumping through hoops and sacrifices if that’s what God required in the old testament. It didn’t make sense to me.

I spent my life filled with guilt and fear. Fear that I wouldn’t make it to heaven, that I’d end up in that pit of flames. I tried so hard to be good, and by human standards I was quite a good child, I think, but I knew it wasn’t good enough according to God’s standards and that was my problem. Continue reading