time of favor

Psalm of Mandy: a Pain Warrior’s Prayer

But as for me, Lord,
my prayer to you is for a time of favor. Psalm 69:13 CSB

time of favor Psalm 69
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This is a paraphrase from Psalm 69. David had many times in his life when he felt he was drowning in troubles. People who suffer from chronic pain can often feel they are drowning in pain and sorrow. When I read this psalm of David I can feel my own soul praying this prayer with just a few changed words. As you read it, you may understand some of the things that chronic illness causes in our lives. My words are in [ ]. Highlighted words link to another post I have written concerning the issue.

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fIBROMYALGIA REALLY FOR REAL

Why Fibromyalgia is a Real Pain?

Question:

Is Fibromyalgia pain REALLY real?

Originally published on January 17, 2019

Dear Friend OF A FIBRO WARRIOR;

Unimaginable to me, but there are people who can’t relate to dealing with pain. There are folks out there that have never had as much as a headache in their life. This is unimaginable to me.

I’m NOT one of them.

I have dealt with pain from a very early age. In the 5th grade, I started having chest pains, severe pains, like having a heart attack pains. But by the time I got to a doctor or the ER, the pain was gone or they couldn’t find the source of it. They said it was “growing pains“. Funny, I never got taller than 5’2”. Sure had a lot of pain to end up so short.

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Diagnosed RA & Fibro ~ Don’t Give Up!

Advice from a Chronic Pain Warrior

When we receive severe diagnoses, it can shake us to the depths of our souls. And many times, we don’t hear anything the doctor says after that. The last thing you need to do is sit down and give up. Let’s review a few things our doctors may or may not have expressed to you at that initial appointment. These are some things I neglected to do and have learned the hard way about it.

Advise from a pain warrior Don't Give Up.
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What is Fibro

What is Fibromyalgia?


Welcome to Letters to Friends where fibro warriors explain the pain. If you have other questions, we may have answered them here or you can comment below with your questions and we’ll answer!

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Fibromyalgia is not a death sentence.

Fibro is not a terminal disease. You can live a full life and have fibromyalgia. Your life may not be the same as before and pain management will be necessary to have a portion of your old self.

One can live a long and "normal" life because #fibromyalgia can be managed. Click To Tweet

Reminder:  I just want to say that I am a patient, not a doctor. What I am sharing comes largely from what my doctors have taught me and what I have discovered in my own research.

I am sharing to hopefully help you be informed enough to support friends with this syndrome or possibly acquire informed questions for your doctor. Please talk with your doctor or visit the Mayo Clinic website for official information, diagnosis, and treatment.

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writing a book

Help! I’m Writing a Book!

Yes! You read that right. I’m writing a book. I have decidedly to follow the wooing of the spirit and sit down to get my devotions published. It’s going to be a big process, so don’t expect to find my devotional in bookstores any time soon! I’m at the very beginning of this process and after attending a writer’s conference, I realize that I have much more work to do than I thought. 🙂

If you are with me on this same journey, I thought I would share the resources I have already gathered on my shelf. As soon as I made this decision, I received an offer to review a new book about platforms. I saw that as a sign that I am on the right track and accepted the offer. Becky’s book, Reach – Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause is all about platforms.

Create the Biggest Possible Audience

Becky Robinson is in the business of helping people sell books and this book confirms it. Becky has laid out the first steps toward finding your audience, creating your brand, finding resources, and focusing on service which will attract readers. These are things you need to do before you even start to write.

Have You Found Peace With Your Past?

Before writing your book, you need to have dealt with your demons. If you haven’t found peace with the events in your life that have caused trauma, you will not be able to tell your story without spilling your anger out on not only those who have hurt you but every reader along the way. You really do not want to air your dirty laundry when you write. You want to gently tell your story and how you found peace.

Allen will walk you through it with this beautifully written, easy-to-read, insightful allegory. It reminded me much of Hind’s Feet in High Places by Hannah Hubbard. However, between the pages, he includes chapters that discuss the story and help you apply the lessons to your own life.
Regardless of whether you want to tell your story or not, this one is a must-read.

The Chunky Method

Are you trying to “find the time to write”? You will never find time to write. You must make it. Treat it like a job. Tell your family they cannot disturb you during that time and then you will make progress. Allie Plieter will give you some guidance in her book, The Chunky Method.

writing a book
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Writing With Community

Most of us likely do not have friends that also write books. It is important to find a community that encourages and shares information with you. There are several out there that I am aware of:

Hope Writers – This group attracts me the most. It is a Christian group and they have tons of online resources. They offer coaching, online courses, and a large community of writers and editors. Once you have taken a course, it will be in your library forever. I have taken a few courses with this group but have never been able to find them in my budget. They do offer some products to the public but of course, the greatest advantage comes with subscribing.

Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild – author of the Left Behind Series has a great online resource with everything you need to write your novel. He is very interactive with his writers. I believe he may only let so many in at a time. His offer is much like the Hope Writers.

Flourish Writers – Much like the above with many courses offered and two levels of intensity at a subscription or yearly fee. This is the one that I joined this year. I like it, but still learning my way around the website.

Greater Writing Communities

Writers’ conferences are the place to find agents, professional editors, and tons of information about the publishing world. It’s an intensive few days of workshops and speakers who will inform and inspire. In addition, you will meet the most amazing writing friends. Conferences have been prohibitive for me with my disabilities. They cost a bundle and if you are like me and need a caregiver, some will charge them for attendance as well.

The pandemic changed a lot of things and conferences were one of them. Many are now offered online at discounted prices and there is no travel cost. Watch from your favorite recliner. Different levels are offered. You may watch live. Add a bit and you get limited time to re-watch workshops. Add a little more access is forever. You really can’t beat that. This was never available before.

I recently attended the She Writes For Him Conference. Amazing! Cool Thing – They were giving away books and one of them was written by my friend Cam Mulineaux. How exciting is that? She writes American historical fiction based on her ancestors.

Writing Clubs

At the conference, I met editors, coaches, and other writers. One of them started her own free weekly writing group. They sometimes have a zoom class and just silently write together. Other times, she brings in informational speakers. Recently, she brought in a podcaster who talked about the importance of authors having a podcast. Then he gave a few tips on getting started.

Did you know: If you write 540 words a day, in a year you will have a 50,000-word novel? This group is based on that fact. The 540 is a free community for writers. We educate, encourage, and equip writers to clearly communicate. I know you’ll love it! Sign up at 540Club.org.

That’s it for now

I may be adding to this list as time goes by. But I’ve got to go apply what I am learning and get busy writing a book! Sign up for the newsletter so you know when my book is ready! Go here for a taste: Devotions For Seasons

Bye For Now;

Mandy

P.S. If you have other suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments!

intentional boasting

Intentionally Boast in the Cross

boasting in the Cross of Jesus Christ
all images in this post are provided by Gerd Altmann at Pixabay & edited by Mandy Farmer

But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:14 csb

Who Wrote This to Whom?

Leon Morris wrote, “Galatians is a passionate letter, the outpouring of the soul of a preacher on fire for his Lord and deeply committed to bringing his hearers to an understanding of what saving faith is.” It was written to the Churches of Galatia. It is believed that this was about 15 years following Paul’s conversion on the Road to Damascus but before the council in Jerusalem. (since it was not mentioned in the letter) ‘Galatia’ covered the territory settled by the Gauls.” There is debate about whether the letter was written to northern or southern Galatia because Paul visited them both; however, it’s a moot point because this letter has much to say to all Christians.

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Broken into beautiful

How God Restores a Broken Heart

So many of us find ourselves BROKEN. But God can make all things BEAUTIFUL if you will let Him. Don’t hold on to your broken heart.

broken to beautiful

I picked up Gwen Smith’s book because I am writing a series of devotionals on emotional trauma.* I wanted to find out how others dealt with their own broken hearts and other traumatic events and how God helped them recover.

*My series can be received weekly in your email box! Click here!

We have all found ourselves broken and unable to fix it. Only God can restore our broken hearts and make us whole again. Gwen brings to mind how this life can beat us up and break our tender hearts. Each chapter tells of someone she knows personally and links her together with a Biblical woman. She then shows us that “God can use each and every person who surrenders her brokenness into His hands…no matter what.” It doesn’t matter if we are broken from past sin. Sometimes, we ourselves have sinned. Other times, those around us have sinned and we became the object of the sin. Either way, God CAN use the brokenness and turn it into something beautiful. The key is our own surrender of the heart. We must allow God to do the work in our hearts and lives. Then and only then will the beauty shine through.

Gwen reminds us that Satan would like to take us down for the last time. He wants to defeat us and convince us that God does not care. These crafty lies of the evil one can hold us back and keep us struggling in the hurt. We must let the lies go. Stop believing the lies and begin believing in the God who created us. Gwen tells us that “when we invite God into our circumstances, He will faithfully respond to our needs”. And then we will experience His peace, his presence, His power!

At the end of each chapter, Gwen leaves us with lyrics to one of her songs

From one beautiful heart to another!

-Mandy

Connect With Gwen’s Broken but Beautiful Heart

Gwen blogs here HOME – Gwen Smith

Get Your Copy

Enjoy Gwen Smith’s Music

trouble sleeping

Gotta Get Some ZZZ’s ~ Fibromyalgia & Sleep

I noticed that it was National Sleep Day or something and it’s common knowledge that Fibro warriors have trouble sleeping. So I thought I would share some information from different fibro warriors that have written something. My friend Glenna Norton recently purchased a My Pillow mattress topper. She was raving about how her sleep has improved so I asked her to write a review. Her review is here and then you will find some other fibro warrior’s blog post about sleep.

All images created in Canva.com for free

Fibromyalgia? Have trouble sleeping?

So do I, or should I say did I! About a month ago, I went to eat breakfast with a good friend from church. She told me how, for years, she had trouble sleeping until she ordered a MyPillow 3-inch mattress topper, and boy was it a game changer! She has slept like a baby since ordering it two years ago.

No More Couch Sleeping

In turn, I told her I had a lot of trouble sleeping, too, mainly due to Fibromyalgia. I spend at least half my time sleeping on the couch so I decided to give MyPillow a try. I love their pillows, have had them for years! Love that you can wash and dry them! And a 10-year guarantee is a great selling point!

I ordered the MyPillow mattress topper and a set of the Giza sheets. They came sooner than expected. I have had GREAT sleep for over two weeks now! All in my bed, no more couch sleeping!! The sheets are soothing to my skin, as well!

Guess now, I’ll order us all a pair of the house shoes! Woohoo! Glenna

Information about the MyPillow mattress topper:

They consist of three unique layers: 1) contains patented foam for support and durability; 2) has transitional foam for comfort, weight distribution and relieves pressure points, 3) a removable zipper cover that’s machine washable and dryable, which consists of straps to hold in place. This is made in the USA, has a 60-day guarantee and a 10-year warranty! Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a new mattress!! I highly recommend this product to anyone suffering from Fibromyalgia! It is definitely a game-changer!!

P.S. Order straight from My PIllow for better discounts!


And Now From Some Fibro Bloggers

Get Your Weekly dose of Sleep Info every Sunday

Bar McLullich from the UK writes about sleep nearly every Sunday on her blog, Back Pain Blog.

If you are in chronic pain, the last thing you want is to not get a good night’s sleep. I have suffered from more pain and chronic fatigue due to my sleepless nights and I have tried a myriad of different things to help me get a better night’s sleep.

Here are six ways that have helped me… SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT 5 WAYS TO HELP YOU GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP WITH CHRONIC PAIN… – BACK PAIN BLOG UK…


Get Your Sleep Workbook Here

Melissa Reynolds at MelissaVSFibromyalgia has done a lot of research on sleep and fibromyalgia. She has created a workbook that you may find helpful.

The paradox of chronic insomnia and chronic fatigue is a mean one. How can I be so exhausted deep down in my bones, yet still not able to sleep? – every fibromyalgia fighter ever. Sleep research, sleep hygiene, sleep tips, and all the things I have been learning about combating chronic insomnia and fibromyalgia.

Melissa offers video posts on her site. You may find that more helpful than reading through information.

Go to her blog for more information

How do I sleep when I have chronic fatigue and chronic insomnia? – Melissa vs Fibromyalgia

If you are into Yoga, Check out this blog post.

Get Better Sleep Tonight: My Yoga for Insomnia Sequence – Melissa vs Fibromyalgia


Some Deeper Research & the Fibro Blogger Directory

Lee Good at Fibro Files has written several times about sleep as well. Her posts are more in-depth research which will give you lots of information on what is being studied. I was interested in this article about vibrotactile stimulation. I had not heard of it before.

Fibro Files: Vibrotactile stimulation helps fibromyalgia symptoms of pain, fatigue and sleep quality

Lee also offers a place for all Fibro Bloggers to share their information on anything about fibromyalgia. That post comes out every Friday. You might want to look into that.

Fibro Blogger Directory


Finally, What Are Your Eating Habits?

Michele here on the blog has been talking about the Science of Eating this year. Her posts will wake you up to some of the eating problems in our society.

I recently found this video by a health coach, Joe Reed, at Train Outta Pain. Again, I have never heard of Circadian Rhythm, but this sounds logical. He says that food, sleep, and brain fog may all be related. He is on Facebook. Circadian Rhythm Matters.


REALLY! THIS IS THE LAST ONE!

Cynthia at My Inspired Fibro Life has some great things that may help your get your ZZZZ’s.

How to Sleep Better – My Inspired Fibro Life (photobaugh.com)

That’s it for now. I’m thinking that it’s enough to digest.

Here’s to better sleep! I feel your pain!

Mandy

Thank you for sharing!

Corrie ten Boom

God is my Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

40 Devotions for Refuge and Strength

I never got to hear Corrie ten Boom in person but I’ve heard many of her stories. When I saw this devotional, I quickly grabbed it up to read. True to my expectations, Corrie used stories from her life to inspire us to live the Christian life. No matter how dark the situation, we can hold on to God and find something to be grateful for. Sometimes, these things are surprising, like having flies in the room. What could possibly be good about that? Well, you’ll need to read God is my Hiding Place for yourself.

These devotions are quick reads (only two or three pages) will definitely leave you with the thought, “If she can get through that, I can get through this!”

images from her book on Amazon

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Lori Hatcher endorsement

Refresh Your Prayers: UNcommon Devotions on Prayer

We all know Bible reading and prayer are vital parts of our faith, but what happens when our prayer lives become stagnant and our quiet times grow stale? We need something more than just familiar verses and the command to pray. In Refresh Your Prayers, Uncommon Devotions to Unlock Power and Praise, Lori Hatcher shares five-minute story-driven devotions that spotlight unusual prayer verses in the Bible.

Refresh Your Prayers Book
Book Cover

WIN YOUR OWN COPY!

This book will certainly Refresh Your Prayers. No more childhood memorized prayers or habitually spoken-in-rote prayers with no meaning. Get this book and keep it on your shelves to occasionally refresh your prayer time. This is my honest review after reading a complimentary copy. I will draw one name for a free copy from those who comment on this page. by March 15, 2020

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