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 Sept - Oct 2004
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COVER STORY: Sherri and Wayne are not invisible when it comes to their ministry!
Did Your Vote Count?
A Reading Resource
The Flavors of Fall
Simple Scrapbooking
3 Easy Gifts to Make
Be Anxious for Nothing
When is it Time to Leave Your Doctor?
Moments with God in the Mountains
Dangling in Depression
Are You Allergic to Your Church
I Want More!
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: Cherish the Days
Ask the Doc
HopeNotes: hopekeepers
Group & Leader Information




Dear Friends,

Each year I eagerly await for autumn to arrive. Living in sunny San Diego, however, palm leaves rarely fall and pumpkins have a short lifespan on our doorsteps. Over the years I've learned how to create my own sense of the season. I fill my potpourri burner with smells of cinnamon buns and apple spice. Autumn decorations abound, including harvested wheat from a relative who knew I could "find something creative to do with it;" I get out my favorite mugs and fresh tea bags; flavored with cream and sugar-free syrups create a mug of cozy chai tea; Pumpkin anything! (see page 19.) And I'll admit, I've been known to start wearing sweaters while running the air conditioning, just so I can participate in the coziness that most of the country seems to be simmering in.

How do you choose to alter your surroundings in order to have the life you wish to live? If you live with illness it's hard to believe you have any sense of control over your daily routine. Appointments are made when a doctor is available. Plans with friends change when your illness flares. Perhaps even those holiday decorations reside on a shelf you can no longer get to with a step ladder.

Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." And Proverbs 19:21 says, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

Feeling out of control and shaking fists at God is infinitely different then surrendering it to God with open arms. When we feel overwhelmed by a lack of control it's because we're battling God for it! And it's a war we will never win. For example, the fall season, however slight, always drastically affects my illness. I anticipate that days may be more difficult. But rather than becoming depressed or discouraged I try to plan little "retreats" around the house, whether it be a good book to curl up with, a new Veggie Tales video for my son to watch (which I will laugh at just as much as him), or a friend who may be willing to just come by for coffee. Anticipate those moments of surrender, and turn them into seasons of comfort.

Your friend,

This article was featured in our Sept/October 2004 issue.
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