Snuggle Time

It’s sometimes known as the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone,” because it’s released when people snuggle up or bond socially. It’s also been called the bliss hormone due to its effects on behavior and love.cats-cute-snuggle-Favim.com-217652

I’ve been taking Oxytocin (no, not Oxycontin!) for about two months now and it has changed my life!  For a girl who just stopped her anti-depressant medication after six years, Oxytocin has been a life saver!

Unlike your typical anti-depressant, it doesn’t chemically change your brain. It’s a natural boost of love! Other patients at the Cherry Hill Clinic have described it as, “The feeling you get when your kids run up and give you a big hug!”

I find myself snuggling up to my kids more often; being more affectionate to my husband; seeing joy in situations that may sometimes be stressful (Mary Had a Little Lamb over and over again from a first-year saxophone player).

Whether you need a little love in  your life, or maybe you’re just curious and want to learn more, Dr. Molly from the Cherry Hill Clinic will be on Talk Radio 1210 this Sunday, answering your questions. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, be sure to tune into 1210 AM this Sunday at 8:00 am. Oxytocin might just be the boost you need! Couldn’t we all use a little more love in our lives?

 

Alert: You can’t do this alone.

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This post is not about Lyme. It’s not even about Autism or Alzheimer. It’s about life. And how you can’t “do” life alone. No matter who you are. At some point in your life, you will reach your breaking point. Life as you know it will come crashing down right before your very eyes.  And there will be nothing you can do about it. You will be helpless.

Some of you reading this are there right now. You are in the midst of the most unimaginable trials of your entire life. If that’s you, I pray for you. I pray that you realize sooner (rather than later) you can’t do this alone. That you’re not supposed to do it alone.

Five years ago, I thought I could do it on my own. I was wrong. Dead wrong. My husband and I had four young children, a wonderful marriage, a white picket fence, the whole nine yards. But what people didn’t realize was that I was crumbling on the inside. I had taken on WAY too much and was afraid to admit it to anyone – especially my husband. I had promised him that I could handle everything on the home-front, while he went off to live the American dream.

We had just taken over a small business, we were both working full time and two of our boys were just diagnosed with Autism. Life was a bit hectic, but I promised him that I had it all under control. I wanted this to work. I wanted the business. I wanted us to be successful.  And the last thing I wanted to do was admit that I was wrong. After all, I was super-mom . . .  I had this.

Yet, the funny thing about life is that, you can only pretend for so long. You can escape temporarily through drugs, alcohol or even a double life, but eventually your cover gets blown. And then what?

Fight or flight. I chose flight. I was too weak to fight my battles – let alone fight my entire war.  So I ran. I ran away from my reality as often and as far away as I could. But eventually reality caught up with me and the shell of the woman that I had become, came crumbling down. Pieces of me would be found in the bottle of wine I just drank, or curled up in fetal position, behind my locked bedroom doors, hyperventilating – physically and mentally incapable of “doing” life anymore – or even pretending to do life.

My husband, doctors, therapists, babysitters, prescription drugs . . . they all helped. It took a village. But as we pulled ourselves up out of the pit that had become our life, it became very clear that doing things our way had gotten us no where. But once we found a church that we could call home; once we realized how wrong our priorities were; our entire lives started to fall into place. Everything became very clear.

God is the answer. He always has been and he always will be. He is the answer to whatever problem you are facing. Take it from me, there is nothing too big for God. I beg you tonight, please call out to HIM. He is there just waiting for you. He can take away all of your burdens. You just have to ask. Invite him into your life. I promise you will never regret it.

It’s time. Don’t make HIM wait any longer.

“The LORD waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help them” (Isaiah 30:18).

FIGHT LYME: LIKE A GIRL!

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It’s time to FIGHT Lyme Disease Like a Girl!

For the last three years, I’ve spent more time than I care to admit being laid up on the couch. Not because I’m a couch-potatoe, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I was literally debilitated due to extreme fatigue. “Debilitating Fatigue” doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you really break it down. We’re not talking about being really tired or even run down, we’re talking about fatigue that halts you in your tracks. Fatigue that drops an avid runner and self-proclaimed cardio junkie to her knees.

You can scroll through some of the past blogs for details about my really rough days. But here’s a quick glimpse into the Life of a Lymie:  Really rough nights would be spent in bed, away from the rest of my family, with the pillow over my head, blocking out as much of the light and sound as I could.  Shooting pain, dull pain and radiating pain would run rapid through my body from head to tow. Just the thought of muscling up enough energy to roll from one side to the next, was more than my sick body could handle.

My “good” days would consist of me being curled up in the fetal position on the couch, constantly asking everyone to whisper and turn down their tvs, laptops, or video games. The beautiful chandelier in the dining room would rarely be allowed on, because the bright lights would cause an immediate migraine.

After months of negative test results and numerous use-less appointments with specialists ranging from Oral Surgeons to Dermatologists and Neurologist, I finally decided to become my own advocate (as I had done for my children years ago). I did my own research and started to come to my own conclusions. Every bizarre symptom I had led to Lyme Disease. BUT an ER visit back in November 2013 supposedly “ruled out” Lyme Disease.  When one receives a NEGATIVE test result for a Lyme Disease test, one would assume that one does NOT have Lyme Disease, right? Wrong!

I knew what the tests said, I heard what the doctors were telling me; but my mommy gut was saying something different. But it wasn’t until one night, after spending hours of doing more research online, that I literally heard the words, “IT IS LYME.” I didn’t hear, “I’m really starting to think this could be Lyme,” or “I wonder if that test could have been wrong.” I heard loud and clear, “IT IS LYME.”

It was then that I knew God was speaking to me. I shared my experience with Hubby and he whole heartedly agreed to dive into this Lyme Pool head first. After spending thousands and thousands of dollars, taking hundreds of prescriptions, suffering through hours of agony . . . there was improvement in my health and overall quality of life, but I never really had hope.

I was filled with bitterness and anger. I grimaced as I drove past runners on the side of the road and glared at people in work-out attire like they were the devil for being able to work-out and I couldn’t. But as the years have passed by, God made it very clear to me. He had to chill me out. And Lyme would be the way he would do this.

Good days would come and go, but there was never any real hope that I’d ever get back to my “old-self.” For awhile I was okay with that. My competitive runs, turned into slow walks with the dog, cardio workouts were replaced with an occasional bounce on the trampoline with the kids – but just when I thought I was okay with that, God dangled a little carrot in front of me . . . Dr. Molly and the Cherry Hill Clinic. 

Dr. Molly really is one-of-a-kind. It’s like she has her very own little missionary right here in South Jersey. Instead of traveling the world to save lives, she does it right here in her own back yard. I write this with the utmost confidence . . . doctors like Dr. Molly are FEW and FAR between. In my 40 years on this earth, I’ve never met a medical professional like her.  She spends hours upon hours with everyone who walks through her door. She will not only go through your ENTIRE medical history with a fine tooth comb, but she will spend countless hours of her own time researching new, innovative ways to get you healthy – ways that your family doctor would never even consider.

Everyone in the clinic is “her favorite” patient (even though we all know, that I’m REALLY her favorite), hugs are given to anyone who wants one and she’s not afraid to give the glory to God when and where it’s deserved (which is all the time).  The Cherry Hill Clinic really is a small piece of heaven on earth.

This morning I swung my the clinic, got a quick shot in the bum and then headed off to work. I opened up my office door, logged onto the computer, sorted through some important emails and then headed off to do something I NEVER thought I’d do again . . .  I taught a kickboxing class! Now granted, I only taught a small portion of the class, but none the less I taught. Up on the platform, microphone on, music blasting . . . I, little, old, Lymie, Lisa led a Group Fight class! God is sooooo good!

Last night, while reading my One Year Bible, I came across Psalm 91:9-16. I literally came to tears when I read this:

 

If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.

For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.

They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble.  I will rescue and honor them.  I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

With HIS help, I have CRUSHED this Lyme Lion! HE loves me so much that he brought me up out of my pit of darkness and gave me not only hope for eternal life, but hope for a joyful life while still here on this earth. Me, little old, Lymie Lisa . . . I have done nothing to deserve this, yet it is my gift that HE has given me! What a blessing.

Did you know that this gift is waiting for you too? All you have to do is what it says in that first part of the verse. Make the Lord your refuge – make Him number one on your priority list. That’s all! If you are struggling with your own LIONS and COBRAS don’t wait. Turn your life over to Jesus today. Because the Lord is already with you. He just wants you to call out to HIM.

Who Will Rescue You?

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Sunday night, I heard screams coming from the front of the house. Matthew was locked in the bathroom. I jiggled the door handle a little bit, got it open and boom – he was free. I went in after him, closed the door behind me and tested the knob once again. Only this time, I couldn’t get the door to open. The kids ran around the house panicking, even volunteering to kick the door down to rescue me.

Mommy was stuck in the bathroom! Daddy was at the store! You would have thought the sky was falling! “I’ll kick down the door,”one of them yells!   “No, let me do it!”  I heard from behind the door. “No one is kicking anything down,” I said. I instructed them to go into the family room, put on the TV and watch America’s Funniest Videos (which by the way may air our “Mac & Cheese Eating Cat” video in the next few weeks!) and patiently wait for Daddy.

As the kids panicked about what to do next, I plopped down on the floor, opened up the cabinet door and took out my nail polish container. “I could get used to this,” I thought, as I filed my nails. No one can disturb me, I have everything I need right here . . . . I see no dilemma.

About 15 minutes later, the car pulls up in the driveway and hear the rustle of bags. My Prince was here to rescue me! The kids bombarded daddy the second he walked in the door. “Mommy’s stuck in the bathroom! We need to kick down the door!”

He chuckled and reassured them that he would get me out, without kicking the door down. As he passed by the bathroom, he yells out, “You don’t mind if I eat first, do you?” Always the jokester! But to his surprise, I responded, “Take your time. I’m good”

A few minutes later, Hubby appeared with his tool kit and before I could finish my second coat of polish, he had removed the  door knob and rescued me from my tower just like Shrek and Fiona.

What was interesting about this whole scenario was seeing how frantic the kids became. Yet, I was completely calm and relaxed (even without my happy pills). It reminded me that as Christians, we can be like that. When life doesn’t go exactly as planned, sometimes we jump and react without thinking things through – we need an answer now – so we kick the door down. But in reality, we just kicked a perfectly good door off the hinges, when all we needed was to adjust the knob a little. Waste of money, resources and energy!

So, the next time life throws a curveball at you, instead of trying to kick down the door, for an instant solution, take your time. Seek out your true Prince, Jesus. He will always save you. Whether you’re stuck in a rut or in an addiction, He can get you out. He’s in the business of saving people 🙂

God fixed me!

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Several years ago, I fell into a deep depression. I searched high and low for ways to escape the pain and difficulty of my own life. Like most people, I found temporary relief in alcohol, therapy and prescription anti-depressants.

Once I got saved, I would tell people all about my testimony . . . . how God (with a mix of the right prescription and an amazing husband by my side) changed my life. I no longer needed a Girls Night Out, shopping therapy or any mini-escape to deal with what life was throwing at me.

I had heard about stories where God had delivered people from addiction or illness – but I felt like my situation was different. I could be totally filled with the Holy Spirit, just coming from an amazing service, surrounded by my fellow Christian friends at church and still feel overwhelmed by the chaos of four kids, triplets, Autism squared and ODD. It didn’t matter how much my cup was filled with GOD – my situation required a prescription.

UNTIL . . .  a few weeks ago, while sitting in church listening to Pastor Harry talk about going to the bottle or your pill to find comfort – instead of going to the Lord. This is not the first time he’s made this type of reference and I’m sure it won’t be the last. BUT this time, it hit me personally. The Holy Spirit was tugging on my heart strings . . .  it was time to let God take over (even on this very sensitive topic). I’ve surrendered everything to God. My life, my finances, my family . . . but this dependency I thought for sure was something that I still needed.

The tears streamed down my face, as I lifted my hands in praise and worship to God. At first, I was going to fill out a prayer request form and ask the prayer team to pray for me, regarding this issue. But as time ticked away and the service drew to an end, I knew it was time for action -not just prayer. I made my way up to the front and asked for a fellow sister to pray for me. My husband had no idea what I was doing and he was completely shocked as I shared what just happened. He had suggested for years that I cut back or stop the prescription, with hopes to someday, get “his wife” back. But every time I tried, I quickly fell into my flesh and became overwhelmed with emotion and stress.

I shared my experience with my fabulous Dr. Molly at the Cherry Hill Clinic, who was supportive as always. It’s a beautiful thing having a Christian doctor who know’s who the real physician is! She gave me a specific regiment to follow, to wean off the drug and I am happy to report that I am almost completely free of this drug and feel amazing!

To my surprise, I’m laughing more, crying more (which is a good thing!) and even whining more – which my husband actually missed! It’s feels good to feel . . . even if it hurts sometimes.

I know that every story is unique and no one can tell you when it’s time to stop a prescription that a doctor has given you – but what I can tell you is that God does deliver – anyone and everyone from anything! Including anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome – everything! But it’s all on HIS TIMING. You have to sit and wait for HIM to tell you when. But if you’re too busy with the hustle and bustle of life, you won’t hear HIM.

So, take it from me – a depressed, autistic mom, who battles everything from eating disorders to migraines – God is all you need! If he can fix this hot mess, he can fix anything!

Praise to JESUS!

 

The Greatest Gift You Can Receive

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There are only a few hours left. I’m crossing things off the ever growing list, double checking to make sure we haven’t forgotten anyone, running out for extra tape and wrapping paper, finishing up last minute baking, trying not to get caught up in the materialism that has overtaken this holiday.

Imagine your friends and family have thrown you an amazing birthday party. The house is decked out with lifesize pictures of you, balloons and decorations everywhere, and they’ve even written songs about you! You peek through the window, it seems as though everyone is having a blast. Enjoying your food, drinking your wine, and even opening your presents – as you watch from a far. You’re now standing at the door, just waiting for them to open it. They are celebrating your birthday  . . .  and they forgot to invite you.

That’s basically what we do with Jesus. We’re supposed to be celebrating his birth. The fact that He was born to DIE for us, so that we can live eternally in heaven; but we’re so busy with the nonsense of it all that we not only forget to acknowledge the guest of honor – but we don’t even invite Him to the party.

Whatever you do this Christmas however, you chose to celebrate – please remember Jesus. It’s not just about bringing him into the holiday – HE IS the holiday. And He’s standing at the door of your heart, just waiting for you to invite Him in. The greatest gift you can give yourself this year is the gift of Jesus. He’s already paid the price. He’s just waiting for you to open the gift.

This Christmas, open the gift of Jesus to your heart. Surrender to Him. Give Him your life and you will never regret it.

Merry Christmas! Good will and peace to you all.

In Jesus’ Name, AMEN

xoxox ~ lisa

Kicking Back at Life and Lyme!

I’m staring at the clock as the minutes tick by. I’ve made up my mind. I’m ready. I want to do this now! But, I can’t get off the phone in time; then as I’m headed to the group ex-studio I’m pulled into a meeting. I look up and it’s now 11:00 am. Group Fight is now half over! But 30 minutes is better than 0 minutes right? YES, the glass is always half full!

So, I strap on my shoes and jump into the class. Everyone is already dripping with sweat and raring to go. I attempt to start kicking and punching at 100% when I realize I haven’t even warmed up yet. So, I take it back a few notches; get my heart beat up a bit; then go hard core!

Shuffling to the left, with a big old side kick – KIYA! There’s nothing better than kickboxing therapy, especially after a rough week. Not only was it my “bad week” in my Lyme Cycle, it was also the week my parents sold my childhood home and scurried off to Florida to be with the rest of the seniors.

Luckily for me, Dr. Molly at the Cherry Hill Clinic was there for me. Needing two treatments this week, she hooked me up with my Lyme Juice (that had extra magnesium for my headaches) and a big old shot for some much-needed energy. Thanks to Dr. Molly, I was able to hold my own for those 30 minutes today.

Life (and Lyme) have a way of knocking you down, so you have to take it upon yourself to decide that NOW is the time to act. That you’re not going to sit back and wallow in self-pity. Yes, we all have struggles and some days are harder than other. But, I’m reminded of my favorite song: Just Be Held, by Casting Crowns. It says:

Hold it all together; everybody needs you strong.
But life hits you out of nowhere and barely leaves you holding on.
And when you’re tired of fighting; chained by your control.
There’s freedom in surrender; lay it down and let it go.
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away.
You’re not alone stop holding on and just be held.
Your word’s not falling apart; it’s falling into place.
I’m on throne stop holding on and just be held.

So, whatever life has thrown at you – whether it’s been a rough day, rough hour, or even a rough year – God is making beauty from the ashes that have fallen. In time, you’ll understand. Give it to HIM; no matter what it is. You will never know true joy until you fully surrender everything to HIM.