Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Climbing My Matterhorn -- A Book Review

Hey Friend,

I recently had the pleasure of reading a book written by someone I really admire -- who has embodied perseverance and shown me how to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when dealing with chronic pain and illness.

The full title of Lisa Aleo's book is: Climbing My Matterhorn -- My story of meningitis, migraine, and miracles. You may or may not personally suffer from migraine attacks and wonder, what's in this book for me?

My answer is, "Plenty!"

Lisa's book is so much more than a memoir detailing her journey, through more than a decade, suffering from debilitating migraine attacks. It is a field guide for anyone who is living with chronic pain or illness. 

I found her voice to be raw, honest, and sincere. This is an excellent book for fellow sojourners who are waiting, often impatiently, for the "not yet." I love how Lisa comes alongside the reader -- as if she's reading your mind -- to deliver a message of hope to the hearts who need it.

Lisa's promise is this: In her book, the reader will learn how to experience joy and peace in the midst of unpredictable pain and suffering from migraine disease (or other chronic illness). Learning to surrender anxious control, accepting each moment as it unfolds, while learning to manage the disease is key to living with a chronic illness.

The section of well-researched resources for those living with migraine disease, alone, is well worth the purchase.

Lisa bravely shares her story of living with chronic migraine through the lens of her life-long faith while embracing the glorious mystery of God's grace.

Lisa Aleo (author and friend) is a wife, mother of four grown sons, and a former R.N. She helps the reader navigate the peaks and valleys of daily living with chronic migraine. Lisa offers hope to others experiencing their own chronic illness journey. She works as a migraine advocate to reduce the stigma of this debilitating disease. You can read more from Lisa at her blog: Click here to visit Lisa's blog

Thinking about purchasing Lisa's book? Click here to view her book on Amazon

Nuggets of wisdom:

~ Accepting each moment as it was and not as I THOUGHT it should be was another lesson of survival.

~ Some days I had to say, "no for now" so that I could better enjoy a more resounding "YES" in the future.

~ Even now, on my toughest days, I utilize my breath to regain focus and ground me so as not to rise into panic mode.

"Life is hard. Life is messy. Life is beautiful." says Lisa. Her book will encourage you to never give up hope...

What about you? Do you live with chronic pain or illness? Any words of encouragement you'd like to share? Feel free to leave Lisa some lovin' in the Comments below.

Thanks and be blessed...

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Mountaintop Reflections for Everyday Valley Living

Hey Friend,

It's been less than a week since we packed up our SUV and bid our mountaintop retreat a sad farewell. I so wished I could pack the intangibles and bring them home with us -- the deep cerulean hues of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the whiffs of pine that tickled our noses along peaceful paths outlining placid mountain lakes, the crescendoing hum of the cicadas's symphonic prelude to the brilliant evening stars, the cozy warmth of the suede-soft blanket which held the night chill at bay.

Maybe it was the fact our mountain home sat perched way up high on the hill, but I felt closer to God somehow. I could focus on His Creation, His precepts, and take in the beauty surrounding me without the noisy din of the wayward world tugging annoyingly on my sleeve. 

I suppose that's why they deem what I encountered, a "mountaintop experience." We need those every so often in order to have hope in our everyday valley living. 

I invite you to glean peace, truth, hope, strength, or what your soul needs from the Scriptures I've attached to the photos I snapped. In this way, I've brought some of the intangibles of my mountaintop experience back home to share with you, and to refresh my soul when it feels weary...

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside still waters,

he refreshes my soul. 

(Psalm 23:1-2)

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." (John 7:37-38)

Then the angel showed me the river of water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1)

"Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?" (Luke 12:27-28)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
 (Proverbs 3:5-6)

It is God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. (Psalm 18:32-33)

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." (John 14:1-3)

Photo credit -- Casey Horner

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the moments in which you take us to the mountaintop and usher us into a closeness with you. Help me to cherish these things in my heart so my soul will always be assured of your great love for me. I praise you for the hope you have given me in the gift of my salvation. No matter what my earthly days may bring, I know my eternal home and reward is safe with you. Enable me to be a Spirit-fed spring of life flowing out to others who desperately need to know you. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

What about you? Has God given you any recent mountaintop experiences? If so, how do they sustain you in everyday life? What scriptural truth do YOU cling to that gives you hope in our world today? Will you share...

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