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

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!

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

Place it on the dashboard

Read the reflection

 


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Hi Friends,Lisa Copen

Thank you so much for the many prayers that have been offered up on my behalf.

As many of you know I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and was due to have hand surgery before a tendon ruptured in September. Instead, in late September, I ended up with a bad case of cellulites on my ankle that abscessed to a staph infection, surgery was postponed. And due to all of this, I've been off my main arthritis drug, Humera, since August (it's one of those where the commercials say, "fatalities have occurred.")

I'd been going to wound care weekly and any further infection was ruled out with MRIs and x-rays, but the hole in my ankle still wouldn't heal. They basically said it would be VERY slow since I was on steroids. But then last week, a day after my regular appointment at wound care, it started itching and getting red. I knew by that night it was infected again, spent most of the night up and then called wound care first thing in the morning. By the time I got to my 1 pm appointment, the redness had swelled almost to my knee and around my whole ankle. It was completely infected again and they put me in the hospital Wednesday.

I had another MRI, another x-ray, etc. and by Friday my night they got the culture back just before my third antibiotic was started and the wound was diagnosed as being Strep A. - a.k.a. the "flesh-eating-virus." SCARY!

I have to say I am grateful now I did not have internet access because what I've read about this toxic infection and how easy it is to lose a limb over it, I'm glad I didn't know that at the time.

After 7 days, I came home Tuesday, Nov. 11th and have 3 weeks of IV antibiotics. I carry my pack around which is kind of a pain since the arthritis is flaring so badly and now I have 3 more pounds to lug around and sleep with at night, but whatever it takes to get better! The "PICC" line isn't really fun (as many of you know!) and my "computer" unit that runs the IV has had multiple errors each day. We've spent 2-3 hours per day with Home Health helping us try to figure out what it wrong with it. My husband has been a lifesaver doing it all for me, but he's feeling a bit stressed.

I've basically been fielding calls from doctors, home health, pharmacies, and a few friends since I got home. "Wound care" at home fell through the cracks so it took a lot of calls to remind them I needed a basic lesson in treating it correctly. Don't you love all that red tape? We just hold the phone and it rings…

If you have emailed me and I've not responded, know that I've read just about all the emails and how much I appreciate the encouragement. If you emailed about a more pertinent matter, I am answering them ASAP.

I knew God was going to work on me and the issue of control/surrender this autumn when my much-needed surgery was put off, but I am beginning to realize He had a bigger project in mind than I knew!

My mom is here now, dad drives down from Oregon next week to join her and "stay until I am well." and through the holidays. My son, Josh, 5, is handling it all pretty well, but made his 2nd trip to the principle's office last week for "hitting." It was the 2nd time, and both times were directly following my infections and all the ER visits/hospital trips, so please keep my family in your prayers too. As a mom it's an area I don't have control over and it makes me sad I can't completely assure him. Frankly, we have all felt like hitting something or kicking the last few days, so who can blame a 5-year-old who decided to follow up on his instincts?

This was my first visit overnight in a hospital (we adopted our son, so I didn't even have maternity ward experience), so I guess in a weird way I made the most of it. I've learned a lot from all of you. I got to wear my own jimmies, I had my own pillows! And I tried to spread a bit of cheer into the lives of all the nurses and doctors who came to my room.

I shared some copies of my book "Beyond Casseroles," magazines, etc. and told everyone my strength came from the prayers that were being offered up on my behalf. I ask that you pray that those who do not know Christ will somehow remember the gal in room 414 who tried to keep a smile on her face despite wherever they stuck her or the news they gave her. We never know what is going on in someone's life and I hope I encouraged someone. I say that not to brag about myself, but because I only recognized how important that was based on all the stories you have shared with me over the years about how you have done that very thing. I tried to live up to the standards you have set to gracefully say, "Thy will be done."

I don't know what the coming weeks hold. Orders placed at Rest Ministries are still being shipped. My whole family is either taking care of me (or my arm with the medication) or my ministry. I have my first visit back at wound care Monday. I pray 3 weeks of medications will clear this up, but I anticipate the wound likely won't heal for 2-3 months based on what they told me.

I'm a bit scared and having no clue about when I will really be "out of the woods" but I know God is in control and for some reason, this is the current journey he's taken me on.

I know this was a lot of personal information, when I typically send out the ezine HopeNotes. I will try to get it back next week. Thanks for being with me on this journey!

Much love and thanksgiving,
Lisa Copen
www.restministries.org

 

Did you know we really need your prayers? In the last few months we've had volunteers who have suffered heart attacks, lost their home, lost a loved one, had additional illnesses diagnosed and more.

Our ministry is blessed, but at the same time we have computer crashes, administrative issues and all kinds of things that just remind us that though God is in control, the enemy desperately wants to slow us down! We have a great list of things you can pray for us about for 2008. Print it out here and stick it in your Bible or on your fridge, and remember us, okay? It's very appreciated!

 
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