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NEW THIS WEEK!
Lisa's Latest Article:
Planning a Womens Retreat so Those with Chronic Illness Can Come

Think no one gets your illness? Guess what? Some people really do... here are some of our favorites from authors who understand!

Why Can't I Make People Understand? Discovering the Validation Those With Chronic Illness Seek and Why
By Lisa Copen

 


Beyond Casseroles: 505
Ways to Encourage a
Chronically Ill Friend

By Lisa Copen
Regularly $7.00
Just 3 for $15
[price is increasing closer to
retail price in October so order today!]

"Not By Sight" helps friends and family to see the courage and faith that abounds in those with debilitating conditions.
$7.50

Being Sick Well
Jeffrey H. Boyd
Regularly $14.99
Just $10.99

Just Fine: Unmasking Concealed Chronic Illness And Pain
By Carol Sveilich
Regularly $15.95
Just $14.50

HopeKeepers Magazine Updates
We are in the processing of deciding how to proceed with our magazine. We keep hearing wonderful things about but with the economy, no one is advertising! We will keep you posted. Many magazines are shutting down right now (sadly, especially Christian ones) and we don't want to do that!

We have found some wonderful options for going to a "digital format" and then printing just a few issues for those who are unable to access the magazine online. We know this is not ideal, and we don't want it to be permanent, but we'd rather get you the magazine in some format than have it keep being delayed. Stay tuned and watch here for more updates.

The last issue was Jan/Feb/March that shipped in March. We aren't particularly happy about the delay either (yes, Lisa does lose sleep over it) but we do want to honor your trust and gift of supporting us.

Don't forget! You can get a complimentary issue by ordering anything in our store (even a $.50 item) and we'll stick one in your envelope. Even if you already have one it's another one to drop off at your local doctor's waiting room.

   

Did you know... this newsletter is posted on its own blog! Each section is posted separately under different categories and then the whole ezine is also posted as a text file.

This means you can search fast for what you read in a previous issue, get a Widget to put it on your own web page or blog and also comment on the articles... which we hope you will do!

> Click here to see it


Looking for a fun gift idea
for people on your
Christmas list?

This was one of our favorites last year and we still love it!

Driving Reflections
Comfort Theme
Order here

Choose your card.
Bible verses paraphrased as
1st person affirmations.

Place it on the dashboard

Read the reflection

 


Do you want to share your testimony or story? Do you have news you think would help others? We'd love to hear from you!

> Submit content

 

 

Hi Friends,Lisa Copen

Precious. It's a simple word that carries significant emotions. As Christmas approaches I am very reflective this year on what I consider precious. I know I've been quiet lately. I was surprised to find that my fatigue and pain has been much greater the past 4 weeks after coming home from the hospital than the actual week that I was there. The doctor said for a "healthy person" it takes 1 week of recovery per day one spends in the hospital. Though that made me feel "better" to know the fatigue was explainable, it didn't provide any more energy.

I've been taking one moment at a time. For example, yesterday I finally got the PICC line out and I hired a babysitter to come in the afternoon so I could lay down for awhile in the afternoon. My husband is grateful to have a job, but it's requring overtime. My parents helped for 4 weeks, but left last week. I'm sure you've experienced some sort of medical set back in your life and after 2 weeks everyone assumes you are "all better." And chronic illess makes that schedule even more confusing. As my ankle wounds heal, so does the amount of time I am off of my main arthritis medication, so I am flaring more each day. In the meantime, I am receiving amazing Christmas newsletters from all of the people I admire who work in various areas of ministry. They all sound so "perfect" with encouraging words and even lessons--so "put together." I still feel like taking a shower is an accomplishment, so I feel so inadequate to minister to you.

But what does all of this mean to you? This Christmas I have learned priorities. I've not purchased one gift yet. (I have a few to run out and get in the next couple of days, but haven't made it yet.) Money is really tight plus my feet cannot make it through a store. As my parents helped me decorate for the holiday I didn't get out all the stuff. I said, "We'e going to get out what is important to me and Joshua (my son.)" That means the tree ornaments, the nativity, the singing skiing moose. I didn't rearrange the lights on the tree after my husband put them on. I said "everyone grab an ornament."

I've missed so much church but God has sent wonderful messages from a televised church program that were exactly what I needed to hear. Last Friday, a friend invited me over to her neighborhood where all the kids had a talent show, snacks, and then acted out the Christmas program in the front yard. I threw a gray blanket over Josh's head and we had a "Linus" sort of shepherd costume. To watch him kneel beside baby Jesus (a sweet real little baby) was truly precious.

Our plan is to drive to Phoenix next week to spend Christmas at my sister's new house. We're taking a moment at a time and going with the plans as "Lord willing." In the spirit of Christmas my family has said, "If you can't come, we'll come to you."

I pray that despite whatever you are going through right now God will reveal precious moments to you in the next week. Luke 2:19 says, "Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." Despite difficult circumstances, look for the small joys that surround us, and the large blessing of the birth of Christ, and ponder this in your heart this week.

Blessings to you,

Lisa's signature

 


Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries Director and Founder

Yes! I can make a donation to help Rest Ministries continue their outreach!

PS: Wondering what I am up to or how to pray for me?
I appreciate your prayers so much! Follow me on Twitter.

PPS: Have you listened to the Invisible Illness Week seminars? They are here archived forever...

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Videos on Lisa's Blog Through End of Year

There are some wonderfully inspiring and encouraging videos out there if you can track them down. I've taken a few minutes to share some of my favorites with you each day through the end of the new year. They are sure to put you in the spirit of Christmas, give you a few giggles, and encourage you too. Check it out each day!

Top Health Blogger - Wellsphere

Lisa is a New "TopHealth" Blogger at Wellsphere

WellSphere is a new large health web site that offers loads of medical informatio from doctors, experts and blopggers and all sorts of topics such as individual illnesses to chronic pain. We're honored that Lisa has been chosen to be a guest blogger here. You can visit Lisa's profile and read her articles here.

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Newsletter with Information for
Parents of Special Needs Kids

Sylvia McGrath, a freelance writer; has a new online newsletter titled “Professor Owls Book Corner” for children with special needs, chronic illness and learning challenges. In every months newsletter there are special activities and crafts for children who are sick or have needs out of the ordinary. These activities include reading challenges, games, safe web surfing, prizes and a special page; where each month a special child is showcased from the Variety Village Foundation’s hero list; and their stories told on how they have overcome or are living with their illness. To subscribe, visit her web site.

If you are the parent of a special needs child, you may also want to visit Rest Ministries Sunroom which has a group for moms and dads like you!

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November Chronic Pain Blog Carnival

If you haven't had a chance to read the November Pain Blog Carnival from How To Cope With Pain on the topic of Thankfulness it's not too late! As always, I am honored to participate... this time sharing my post about having new priorities this year during the holiday.

This is a wonderful blog of real life stories about the ups and downs and daily details of living with illness or pain... and yet, O so encouraging too!

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I Believe...

Read Lisa's blog that reflects on some "beliefs" that can make our life simpler.

  • I believe . . . That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
  • I believe . . . That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
  • I believe . . . That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
  • I believe . . . That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
    > read more

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Are You Feeling Blue this Season?

We've set up a special group in the Sunroom called, "Thoughts of Depression and Suicide during Holiday Season" that you can participate in to get you through the dark moments.

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Invisible Illness Week Seminars at iTunes!

You can now download the seminars for the week at iTunes, so you can add it to your ipod or MP3 player and listen to them whenever you want or when you need a pick-me-up (great to listen to if you are a walker!) And it's free! Just click "subscribe."

 

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5 Things You May Not Know
Exist at Rest Ministries Web Site

  1. A beautiful screensaver you can download free to your computer
  2. Articles, links web site and more specifically for pastors who are interested in understanding more about chronic illness or who want their church to better outreach to the chronically ill.
  3. Daily updates from our founder Lisa from her Twitter (fast and easy to read and also available on the right column of the Sunroom)
  4. Resources for how to help a friend with a chronic illness
  5. Special groups in the Sunroom like

 

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God's Faithfulness Through an Illness Journey

I began to experience problems in my early forties, fatigue which lead to a wrong diagnosis of chronic fibromyalgia and a confirmed case of Lyme Disease. I was put on wrong medications, and actually became a guinea pig for ten years as I went from doctor to doctor.

Predisone, doxicylin, and several other methods of treatment took their toll and I began to get sicker. Finally the doctor said he was sending me to the University of San Francisco for help. It was in the Head of Dermatology where they found I was dealing with a rare disease called Dermyosistits. I was treated for tumors though out my body. Before that the doctor thought I might have MS. Thank goodness I did not, but the messages from the brain to my limbs was so limited, I could not get out of bed.

With predisone, I was able to finally move and bring my muscles back to life after they begin to atrophe. I finally found a good female rheumatolgist who confirmed that I also had lupus and three types of arthritis. [Between illnesses and medications, the doctor said] she didn't know how I was alive. I just turned 58.

God has been so good in directing me to the right doctors and giving me strength to not give up. I have been in remission for almost eight years. I have a hip replacement... m muscles aren't as strong as I would wis, but I am thankful because I am moving.

I am thankful to my husband, mother and daughter for their loving support. My pets have come into play big time too. My cat, actually taught me how to walk again after being afraid to get up with the new hip. A horse, named Inca, inspired me to start writing again and that is what my first novel is about. Today, I am freelancing and am praying about speaking engagements to encourage and help others, especially disabled people. Not only am I disabled, but my sweet husband has recently been put on disability for a terminal lung disease. It is rare and probably from chemical burns in Vietnam, specifically Agent Orange.

Our God is Great and Faithful. He cares deeply for us and we are "awesified!" (My own personal word!) One of the biggest lessons I have learned is, it is truly important to forgive those who have harmed us in any way. But....that is another story!

Love and Blessings, Paulette Harris

Visit Paulette's blog She is a freelance writer/speaker who lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kitty cats. She has have a gorgeous daughter and five beautiful grandchildren and loves gardening and all types of animals. She says, "Last but not least. I am a believer who loves and follows Jesus Christ."



We need your stories! We know many of you have shared them with others in different areas of our web site. Please share a bit about yourself, what illness is teaching you, your struggles, whatever!

> Click here to submit your own story


"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given..." Isaiah 9:6a

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