‘LINK’

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Jennifer K. Lewis

 “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”.  Proverbs 16:24

Many of us seem to share the some of the same sentiments in our informative Ataxia ‘chat-rooms.’  Medical statistics offer validated numbers related to the support given to those who are living day-to-day with nary a glimmer of a hope challenged with any type of traumatic disease, or in our case, any form of Ataxia.   That unconditional and compassionate ‘Link’ is an important factor delineating an unwavering health condition.  Even as we endure this unrecognized, nebulous and loosely researched, disorder, it is preferable to have reassuring, comforting acceptance of families and friends.  That is ideal!

http://www.ataxia.org/forum/toast.asp 

The avenue(s) provided in our distinctive support groups, offer much hope and console dejected spirits.  These groups provide a ‘Link’ for opportunities to talk with and rely on each-other for understanding.  We actively research and educate others as well as help one-another to think and feel better about ourselves.  Isn’t it awesome to listen and learn from others on how they strategically cope with their defined ‘diagnosis?!’

 “It is not Fancy Hair, nor Gold Jewelry, or Fine Clothes that Should make You Beautiful.  No, Your Beauty Should come from Inside You ~ the Beauty of a Gentle and Quiet Spirit.  That Beauty Will Never Disappear and it Is Worth Very Much to God.”  I Peter 3:3-4

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 Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem

“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”

 (for the complete poem, refer to ‘link below)                    http://prayerfoundation.org/mother_teresa_do_it_anyway.htm

My Prayer: “My Heavenly Father God, please be with all people who face any kind of sickness or disease.  Comfort our Hearts and lead us to those “still wRelated imageaters” to be “restored” by the security in your teachings of unconditional Love and acceptance.  Be our pilot and lead us to safely navigate our rocky path.  In times, when we may feel like we are alone trudging through a black abysmal valley, help us to “fear no evil.”  Instead, ‘Link’ our  minds and thoughts  to clearly refocus in tandem to know you are right there with us. Encourage us in your Promises and let our hearts remain steadfast to delight in you!  Calm our spirits and remind us your Grace and Mercy surrounds us as we commit ourselves to every unknown step you secure.”

Growing In Christ,

Jennifer Lewis

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May our God Richly Bless Your Life!!

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DIAGNOSIS:  ATAXIA ~ Chapter I ~

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

                                  “Many People Will Praise God Because You Obey The Good News …                                                           and Because You Freely Share With Them And With All Others.”   2 Cor 9:12

Last week, I Prayerfully chose to share my personal story with you about this ‘diagnosed’ Spinal Cerebellar Ataxia.  Can we continue to share and learn together?

As usual, my day was jam-packed with well-orchestrated activities.  On this crisp Sunday morning, my foster girls and I had enjoyed a compassionate and inspiring Sunday morning church sermon.  Then, home to devour a savoring beef-roast, potatoes, and carrots and culminating in cherry pie the girls helped prepare.

(You uniquely created me and have continued to mature me in your knowledge.)  My Lord blessed me with a confident athletic ‘run free’ spirit that has served to give me a hunger for your ‘protecting strength.’  “Thank You Father God for guiding me to undoubtedly endure and resist earning a rusty mind and body.)

“GOD’S STRENGTH IS MOST GREATLY DISPLAYED IN  OUR WEAKNESS.”  2 Cor. 12:1-10.

An unannounced awareness by an innocent caring little 6-year old foster child became an integral part of my day.  (Kayla must have just ‘sensed’ I had a need for assistance at that precise moment.)

We were going downstairs to the children’s playroom. For some unfathomable reason, my feet were not firmly landing on each descending step.  Kayla came to my rescue.  This wee child became my Super Woman!  She swiftly took my hand to make sure I was safely navigating the stairs until we reached the solid floor.

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For He Will Command His Angels Concerning You To Guard You In All Your Ways;   “They Will Lift You Up In Their Hands, So You Will Not Strike Your Foot Against A Stone.”                             Psalm 91:10-12

 When you are facing a serious catastrophic crisis, no matter what the issue may be, you will find your truest family, and or friends are just like the ‘cream’ of milk, they will ‘rise’ to the top providing your ‘unconditional’ love list.

I always find it rather, paradoxical how God chooses to position and use someone else’s circumstances in order to change another person’s life.  Then, to further his divine hand of intervention, he may help them see how the ‘temporary’ things that are only of this secular world and will not have a ‘home’ in his eternal Kingdom.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”   Isaiah 55:8-9

My Prayer: “Father God, help me to become the Christian Lady that fearlessly shares, and freely gives of myself.  Please ‘examine my Heart,’ and know my sincerest intention to, hopefully, encourage and give inspiration  to another hurting person!  Let my ‘walk’ to freedom be a humble testimony that says:  “if she can do it – I CAN do it.”  Give me a new ‘Boldness’ to truly seek after you and know it’s okay to ‘Let Go and “Let God.”   I Pray to be ‘set free’ and when this day DOES happen, I KNOW that my God WILL remove these chains I’ve allowed to bind me.

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“OUGHT NOT THIS DAUGHTER OF ABRAHAM, WHOM SATAN HATH KEPT BOUND, THESE EIGHTEEN YEARS, BE LOOSED FROM THIS BONDAGE?”       Luke 13:16

  

Growing In Christ,

Jennifer

 

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LEGACY

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by Jennifer Kay Lewis

LEGACY

“He cuts-off every branch in me that bears no fruit, While he prunes every Branch That Does Bear Fruit So That Will Become even more Fruitful.”          John  15:2

What Legacy do you want to leave?  Once in a while in the course of our ‘normal’ busy lives, we need to STOP to consider what we stand for and what we are giving back to society.   Today, I am taking time to reflect on the meaning of my life and I am asking you to Please do the same.

Several years ago, I found myself surrounded by confused, apprehensive, yet smiling little faces.  I had chosen to pursue the ever-changing world of Foster parenting.    At first, I thought this venture would be like a sort of hand-up and a help to the many children I came to adore.  However, the blessings I first thought would be theirs to cherish became mine to hold and keep forever!

Jesus reminds us in John 12-13: “Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no One than this, that he lay down his life for his Friends.”

Usually, when a person reflects on these words, one might conjure-up some image of a warrior gallantly fighting in some horrific battle-zone, or hearing about some average, run-of-the-mill Joe rushing-in to save another person’s life just in the nick-of-time.  Those were the stereotypical thoughts that first came to my mind, until I had the pleasure of hosting my thirty-one Foster children.

As my aging father, has recently reminded me, “Jen, in the end, it’s what you give away that truly matters.”

Deep in reflective thought, I analyzed Daddy’s meaningful words.  I also allowed my memory antennae to wander back to those exhilarating, happy days we shared in Foster care.  In doing so, I quickly surmised that it is no wonder why the memories of those eventful years provided so much warmth and even tears of joy to this day!  It is also an important part of Jesus’s command to “love each other as I have loved you” ~ I had done just that in giving unconditional love and supportive nurturing to those precious, children.

If your ‘passion’ is working with our youth, you may be well-gratified working within your church.  Do you enjoy assisting another person?   You might think about a rewarding unpaid assistant position with your local hospital.   Maybe you would rather offer your specific skills to a growing business.

Again, it’s all about Giving!  (it’s kind of like a boom-a-rang ~ good things just seem to keep coming back your way when you forego self and think of another.)    When we find our niche ~ we find ourselves and live for others.

      “Let me be Satisfied with your Favor and filled with your Blessing.”                                                                                          Deuteronomy 33:23

       “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”                                                                                                                     Romans 12:10

What are your values?  What are you teaching your Children? How you live each day will determine what you really want remembered about your days on this earth. Is your Legacy worth dying for?

Growing In Christ,

Jennifer

“THE ELDERLY GENTLEMAN”

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by Jennifer Kay Lewis

7-4-2016 ~ The Elderly Gentleman

Several months ago, I was most blessed and fortunate to secure a volunteer position with a large local hospital.

Recently, I was enjoying regular daily events as duties were fairly ‘routine’, that is for most of the day.  Then, an elderly man came up to our station.

In a few short-minutes, my ‘routine duties’ were unpredictably changed; and, little did I know just how welcome the change was to become.  A tall, thin, elderly gentleman seemed barely able to walk over to our work area.  He asked, “can anyone help me to my car?

“I think maybe I need a wheel-chair!”

I quickly volunteered to help the older gentleman, as waves of compassion quickly flooded my tender heart.  (it was plainly obvious he needed me; and as it ended, I needed him too!)

He said, “I think I can make it to that chair over there. (I wondered ~ in his dignified manner, was he trying to maintain his ‘pride’?)

I helped him get safely seated and off we strolled to the parking garage.  He informed me, “it’s a quite a piece down there little lady … are you sure you want to do this?”  I assured him, “it’s no trouble and that he shouldn’t think twice about my ‘choice’ to help him as I was most Happy to assist.”

We had gone about half of the distance through the long, concrete, parking garage, and he INSISTED he could probably “make it the rest of the way.”  (silently, to myself, I was thankful it was an inside, covered garage.)

Then, he exclaimed, “there it is ~ it’s that old white truck with the blue tailgate!”

For his safety, I maneuvered the wheelchair right up to his door so all he would need do was to stand and scoot himself into his truck.  He lifted himself up and got in his vehicle.

As I turned to quietly walk away, he said, “I KNOW this wasn’t in your job description … so I’m certain you didn’t need to do this; but, I just want to say, “GOD BLESS YOU LITTLE LADY!”

He had tears welling-up in his eyes as I left to go back to my station.  (me too)

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In purposely “offering” to do this assignment, I had visions of my own elderly Father, of eighty-seven.  I sure hope and pray someone would come to Daddy’s aid if and when he might also need the support and assistance.

Although it was “quite a piece” as he put it – our walk that day, was the best, longest walk I have ever enjoyed!

Growing In Christ,

Jennifer

“What Goes Around … Comes Around”

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

WHAT GOES AROUND … COMES AROUND

 

In January 2013, I wrote the following letter to my former employers and the owners of a small chiropractic business.  From 2001-2002, while I was going through a very deep, dark valley in my life, they helped guide me to see the that the top of the mountain was within my reach.  My heartfelt letter was  offered in simple gratitude.

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1/4/2013

Dearest Dr. M. and Barb,

It was December 24, 2012 when I needed to come and see Dr. M.      (earlier in the month I had fallen-off a ladder and as he ‘examined’ me, he decided an X-ray was in order and he made another follow-up appointment for Monday, Jan, 7th,  2013.)

On January 6th, Linda called me to ‘inform’ me Dr. Miller had passed.  (she said it had been in paper, but I explained “I do not get the local paper  – so I didn’t know.  (NEEDLESS TO SAY, I was in ‘shock.’)

(I’ve Always been ‘encouraged’ w/ Dr. Miller’s knowledge and desire to ‘keep current’ w/ changing medical knowledge/treatment(s).  In short- I KNEW I could ‘Trust’ Him and felt he truly cared about me as a patient, and from a closer ‘personal’ perspective because I had worked with Both of you.

Seeing Dr. Miller again, prompted me to want to write a letter I hoped he would be able to read.  But, as ‘unknown’ crucial time would unravel itself, that never happened soon enough.  Yet, after much ‘reflective’ thought and Prayer, I still hope somehow this letter will help you ‘cope’ in knowing you TWO touched my life when I Really NEEDED some compassion and loving guidance.

During a most ‘traumatic’ year for me, you Both nurtured me like a ‘child’ with a ‘broken leg.’  My Heart was Severely Broken and Shattered into Ragged Pieces and YOU Both were there to help me mend.

Never once did you give-up on me.  Looking back, now I see how ‘difficult’ I must have made things for you guys.  (my life was a real ‘mess’ and I honestly don’t know how you dealt w/ it.  But, God led you to ‘take care of me and ‘guide me’ back into the world.  As you so eloquently put it Barb, “as I was ready to ‘fly”, you two let go.  God ‘Bless You for taking me into your World and for patiently waiting while I was trying to put things back together.

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As you’ll easily remember – I was living in a constant ‘emotional turmoil.’  (as my life kept crumbling in chaos and was falling apart in shattered upheaval.  Still, you and Dr. Miller remained steadfast and tried to guide me and ‘help me’ as much as you could.

(ironically, this similarity also makes me realize how I ‘helped’ 31 Precious, Lovely, INNOCENT Foster children when they needed someone to come-along beside them and offer a ‘supportive hand’ with genuine Caring and Gentleness.

We NEVER know what time will bring to us.  All we can do is “turn to and rely on the One True God.  “Let Go … And Let God!!”   My Favorite Jeremiah 29:11 Scripture brings me Comfort:                            “FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU – Declares The Lord … “PLANS TO PROSPER YOU NOT TO HARM YOU … “PLANS TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE.”

(I have been doing my utmost to build a personal ‘ministry’ based on this Scripture.)

GOD’S Desire For Us Is To Become More And More Christ-like.   As we learn to ‘Trust God to Lead Us – We Never Know when we might be able to Positively Influence another.

“Cherish the days Ahead of You and keep “Thanking God for the things You DO Have!

“I Love You!”

GROWING IN CHRIST,

Jennifer K. Lewis

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MORAL OF STORY: 

Never, NEVER underestimate the ‘impact’ you are having on someone’s’ life.

It’s Never too late to say “THANK YOU!”  (you don’t know how your ‘choice(s)’ to help someone just may, in turn, BLESS You!!!)  remember the saying:  “What Goes Around – Comes Around”.

God IS Judging the ‘motive’ and ‘intent’ of your Heart in Everything you do and say!   EVERYTHING!!

Again, a person just never knows what this Earthly Life may bring, so living each day as it is our last – just keeps becoming more and more important.

Growing In Christ,

Jen