Monday, September 25, 2017

Make it Happen Monday! Focus Your Thoughts on These Things

Philippians 4:8
From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.

Philipians 4:8 - autoimmune disorders/diseases

A positive mindset really is a choice and it is something that I believe has to be renewed every day.

It is so easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts when things aren't going our way. Getting an autoimmune diagnosis is one of the things that I could choose to spend my time thinking about in a negative way. It can be very easy to get depressed with thoughts about living with an autoimmune disorder. I could choose to spend my time thinking about these things:
  • What will my life look like five or ten years from now?
  • Is my health going to deteriorate rapidly or slowly?
  • Will I be able to continue doing all of things I can do right now?
  • Is there really no cure for what I have?
  • How will this affect my husband and family?
You get the picture.

I do not believe we are to bury our head in the sand and live like nothing has changed. Autoimmune disorders are serious and they should be looked at in a serious way. Once you have asked yourself questions like the ones I have listed above, and thought them through, don't dwell on them.

The scriptures tell us: Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 Ain't that the truth? Today will have it's own set of challenges, so we should not add to them by dwelling on the negative. 

When you have a negative thought come into your mind, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Where does this thought come from?
  2. Where will this thought lead me?
  3. Will this thought get me to where I want to go?
Here is a change-your-mindset-worksheet to help you work through those negative thoughts and change your focus.

  3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Have Negative Thoughts - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

These are the things that I have chosen to focus on:

  • I am blessed to work with horses.
  • I am blessed to work outside where I can view the beauty of the mornings with God's favorite colors lighting up the sky.
  • I am determined to do everything I can to live a healthy and productive life.
  • I will always be truthful with my husband about how my body is being affected by my autoimmune disorders.
  • I will answer honestly when I am asked about my health in an upbeat way. I will never have a "woe is me" attitude.
  • I am bless to have a husband who loves me and accepts me with all of my flaws and disorders.
  • I'm going to remember that my flares come to pass they do not come to stay.
  • I'm gonna dwell on everything good!
This is one of my all time favorite songs: "Everything Good" let this be your theme song today.

When do negative thoughts enter in?

There are certain times of the day when negative thoughts enter my mind. They are always when I'm alone and when I am not distracted. I find the best defense is to listen to music that is uplifting and audio books that are on topics that interest me. These two things can keep my mind working in an effective way so that my thoughts are focused on the positive.

When is my best time to dwell on the positive?

I have mentioned in other posts that I have horses. I have two of the most beautiful draft horses. Their names are April and May. They are half sisters. These two girls are a great source of joy to me. It's because of them that I believe that I am so healthy.

One thing you don't know is that my work at the ranch consists of shoveling horse poop! I shovel a lot of it. I shovel enough each year to fill ten to twenty semi-trucks. I have the arms and the shoulders to prove it. While I'm shoveling this is the best time to work on my mindset and to listen to great books and music. Not only do they help pass the time, but I find that my attitude is so much better. I have a better outlook on everything when I can think things through with clarity and without distraction.

Action step: When do you find the negative thoughts creeping in and when is the best time for you to focus on changing your mindset. Please leave your comments below.

Related articles:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Make it Happen Monday! Get Rid of the Clutter

My husband is home on vacation this week, so we are cleaning the house and getting rid of the clutter. I'm actually excited for this stay-cation. I have things that I have been holding on to for far too long. Since I have changed my diet, exercise, career and now it is time to dump the junk! I'm planning on a yard sale, too!

I like going to yard sales, but I do not like having them. I am looking forward to getting a little pocket change for the things I am going to sell.

I found this pricing guide from Pinterest and has a wonderful blog post on organizing a yard sale. I'm going to be using this information.

This de-cluttering is going to make my life less stressful. I hate looking in a room or a closet and seeing it a mess. I'm one of those that will close the door until I'm in the mood. This time of year has put me in the mood!

Here is another checklist I found! This is from 5 Health Benefits of Getting Rid of the Clutter - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Here are 5 healthy benefits of being organized and getting rid of clutter.

Reduce Stress. Stress is a major health factor when we are living with autoimmune disorders. When we eliminate the clutter, we feel more in control and better able to handle the challenges that our body gives us.

Increase Energy. When your environment is organized and free from clutter, you physically feel lighter and you are more able to focus on other meaningful areas of your life.

Lose Weight. Who would have thought having clutter would cause you to gain weight? Having a cluttered unorganized kitchen and pantry, will cause you to want to eat out. Who wants to deal with trying to put together a meal in the middle of a mess, right? Eating out will be so much easier, faster and you can throw everything away or if you are at a restaurant, someone else will clean up. We all know that eating out is usually unhealthy. The portions are too large and everything is cooked in oil and has a lot of salt.
"Changing your physical environment goes a long way toward changing your state of mind in a positive way."  - Monica Ricci - Catalyst Organizing Solutions
Save money. If there is a place for everything and everything has a place then you know how many things you have in your inventory. You will save money because you will not be buying duplicates of things you already have. Money problems are a huge stressor, so if being organized will save money and relieve stress, I'm in!

Visitors are welcome. If you are organized and your home is clutter free, then you won't mind someone dropping in to visit unannounced. Your home will be inviting and clean. You will not have an ounce of stress because of how your home looks. That will make the visit much more enjoyable.

This kit will make preparing for a grage sale so much easier!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Make it Happen Monday

Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen. Wayne Huizenga
Today is Monday. The day of the week that everyone uses to make a new start. Choose today to make something happen!
  Make it Happen Monday - - autoimmune disorder/disease

I'm choosing to make my body in the body I have always wanted. It's taking me 52 years to do it, but better late than never! I'm starting to do a new exercise routine of the Supreme 90 Day challenge and my Walk Away the Pounds Miracle Miles.
  Leslie Sansones - Miracle Miles -

I walk Miracle Miles everyday, but I am pumping up the muscle with the Supreme 90 Day strength training. I'm starting my workout with one Miracle Mile and then switching to the supreme workout and finishing with one or two more Miracle Miles. The walks are great for warming up before and cooling down after the supreme workout.
  Supreme 90 Day System -

I have used the supreme system a few years ago and it really worked. Now that I'm feeling so much better since I switched my diet to "The Starch Solution" by Dr. McDougall I'm looking forward to the workouts. I have so much energy that I feel lazy if I don't exercise.
  She believed she could so she did -

Now it is your turn. What is something that you are going to make happen starting today? Please leave your comment below and I will cheer you on in your endeavor!  

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month

In a recent post I discussed autoimmune disorders that affect the skin. I have heard the word psoriasis for many years, but I don’t know anything about it except that it affects the skin. I want to learn more about the five types of psoriasis, so I'm sharing the information I have found with you. First let's take a look at the financial burden psoriasis has on the individual and the nation.

The Economic Impact of Psoriasis - August is Psoriasis Awareness Month - - autoimmune disorders/diseasesPsoriasis Stats

More than 3 million US cases per year

A new study on the economic burden of psoriasis found that the estimated annual expenses of psoriasis can be as high as $25,796 per person—or $135 billion for everyone with psoriasis in the United States.

Direct costs came with the highest price tag, which researchers estimated could be upwards of $8,000 annually per person.

Indirect costs, which take into account absences from work, or lost productivity on the job, due to psoriasis, were estimated to be upwards of $4,000 per person annually—or as much as $35.4 billion for the nation as a whole, according to the findings.

Researchers tallied intangible costs—which measure the toll that psoriasis takes on a patient’s quality of life—by looking at studies that asked patients what they would be willing to pay for relief from their disease.

Over the course of a lifetime, patients would pay up to $11,498 to be rid of the physical discomfort and negative emotional impact of psoriasis, researchers reported.

5 Types of Psoriasis - August is Psoriasis Awareness Month - - autoimmune disorders/diseasesPsoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that manifests as skin redness and irritation. There are five different types of psoriasis: guttate, plaque, inverse, erythrodermic, and pustular. The most common is plaque psoriasis, in which raised, red skin patches are covered by flaky, silver-white patches of dead skin, known as scales. The autoimmune disease most strongly associated with psoriasis was rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If you have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, your risk for an additional autoimmune disease increases even more.  


Guttate psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that shows up on your skin as red, scaly, small, teardrop-shaped spots. It doesn’t normally leave a scar. You usually get it as a child or young adult. Up to 10% of people with psoriasis have this type. Guttate psoriasis causes small, pink-red spots on your skin. They often appear on your:
  • Trunk
  • Upper arms
  • Thighs
  • Scalp
Guttate psoriasis often comes on quite suddenly. There are a variety of known triggers, including:
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Streptococcal infections
  • Tonsillitis
  • Stress
  • Injury to the skin
  • Certain drugs (including antimalarials and beta blockers)

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis causes raised, inflamed, red skin covered with silvery, white scales. These patches may itch and burn. It can appear anywhere on your body, but often pops up in these areas:
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Scalp
  • Lower back

Inverse Psoriasis

This type shows up as areas that are bright red, smooth, and shiny, but don't have scales. It's usually found in these locations:
  • Armpits
  • Groin
  • Under thebreasts
  • Skin folds around the genitals and buttocks
Inverse psoriasis may worsen with sweating and rubbing. A buildup of yeast may trigger it.

Pustular Psoriasis

This kind of psoriasis is uncommon and mostly appears in adults. It causes pus-filled bumps (pustules) surrounded by red skin. These may look infectious, but are not. This type may show up on one area of your body, such as the hands and feet. Sometimes it covers most of your body, which is called "generalized" pustular psoriasis. When this happens it can be very serious, so get immediate medical attention.


  • Internal medications
  • Irritating topical agents
  • Overexposure to UV light
  • Pregnancy
  • Systemic steroids
  • Infections
  • Emotional stress
  • Sudden withdrawal of systemic medications or potent topical steroids

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis "throws off" the body's chemistry. This causes protein and fluid loss that can lead to severe illness. Edema (swelling from fluid retention), especially around the ankles, may develop, along with infection. The body may not be able to maintain its temperature. This can produce shivering episodes. Erythrodermic psoriasis also can bring on pneumonia and congestive heart failure. People with severe cases often require hospitalization. Erythrodermic psoriasis can occur abruptly at the first signs of psoriasis or it can come on gradually in people with plaque psoriasis. The reason erythrodermic psoriasis appears is not understood. However, there are some known triggers. This type is the least common, but it's very serious. It affects most of your body and causes widespread, fiery skin that appears burned. You might also have:
  • Severe itching, burning, or peeling
  • A faster heart rate
  • Changes in body temperature


  • Abrupt withdrawal of systemic treatment
  • Severe sunburn
  • Allergic, drug-induced rash that brings on the Koebner phenomenon (a tendency for psoriasis to appear on the site of skin injuries)
  • Use of systemic steroids (cortisone)
  • Infection
  • Emotional stress
  • Alcoholism
If you have these symptoms, see your doctor right away. You may need to get treated in a hospital. This type of psoriasis can cause severe illness from protein and fluid loss. You may also develop an infection, pneumonia, or congestive heart failure. Psoriasis More than Just a Rash - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Check out the top eight products on for psoriasis. 

Action Step: It is great when we can all learn something new and help each other out, so if you have psoriasis and you have found a great remedy, please share it with us. Leave your comment below.           Source:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"No Vacancy" for Negative Thoughts

How many times during the day do we let thoughts of negativity come into our mind? Once, twice, three times? Staying positive is something that we all need to work on. Some of us have a great outlook on life and everything is coming up roses. There are others who are like Glum from Gulliver's Travels where everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Picture your mind like it is a hotel. All of the rooms are filled with negative thoughts. By all the rooms being occupied with negativity there is no vacancy for any good and positive thoughts. I think we need to fill our hotel with all positive thoughts. Then we have no vacancy for the negative.

Paul wrote in, Philippians 4:8 Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.   We can use negative words to describe how we are. We can say,
  • "I am sick."
  • "I am weak."
  • "I am exhausted."
  • "I can't do anything right."
  • "I'm not as talented as, Jane."
Use positive words to describe how you want to be! - brendamueller,com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

How different we could be if we started using positive words to describe how we want to be! What if we said,
  • "I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.
  • "Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy."
  • "I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind."
  • "I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today."
  • "I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful."
So clear out those visitors in your hotel of negativity and make way for the new occupants of positive thought!


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

5 Reason You Should be Eating Potatoes

I Love a Potato!

I have fallen in love with the potato! I don't know how many years it has been that I have been avoiding thing wonderful starch, but I'm glad I have changed and added it back into my diet. I have been eating at least two potatoes everyday for the last four weeks. Guess what? I haven't gained any weight. I thought for sure that I would because in the past I have, but not any more. Today I want to learn more about these tasty spuds and see why they are so good for us.
  Fun Facts about Potatoes - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Potatoes are...

– An excellent source of vitamin C – A good source of potassium (more than a banana!) – A good source of vitamin B6 – Fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free – Only 110 calories per serving

Sweet Potatoes vs. white potatoes

  • They are similar in their calorie content as well as the amount of fiber, protein and vitamin B6.
  • White potatoes pack the greater potassium punch (620 mg vs 440 mg) whereas sweet potatoes definitely lead the way in vitamin A (120% of the daily value).
  • Both potatoes provide an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the daily value for white potatoes and 30% of the daily value for sweet potatoes).

5 Benefits of Eating Potatoes

5 Benefits of Eating Potatoes - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Reduce Inflammation I have found that a lot of my inflammation has subsided since I've been eating potatoes. I also am not having the constant pain of indigestion. Both rice and potatoes are very soothing to my digestive tract. This may be one of the reasons. Potatoes are very effective in reducing inflammation, both internal and external. Since it is soft, easily digested and has a lot of vitamin-C (a very good antioxidant that repairs tissue wear and tear), potassium and vitamin-B6, it can relieve any inflammation of the intestines and the digestive system.

Increase Immunity Vitamin C can help prevent everything from scurvy to the common cold, and potatoes are full of this nutrient, with about 45 percent of the daily recommended intake per medium baked potato, according to the Washington State Potato Commission. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the DV), which is more vitamin C than one medium tomato (40% DV) or sweet potato (30% DV).

Vitamin C aids in:
  • collagen production
  • assists with iron absorption
  • and helps heal wounds and keep your gums healthy
  • may help support the body’s immune system.

Maintain blood pressure Bananas are often suggested when people need to maintain their blood pressure because of their potassium. But did you know that while a banana has nine percent of your daily needs, a baked regular potato has twice as much-20 percent-and a sweet one has 12 percent.

Improve Gut Health A single baked potato will provide nearly 12% of the daily recommended amount of fiber. High levels of dietary fiber and 'bulking agents' support healthy digestion and regular bowel movements, while giving a protective effect from colon cancer. If you suffer from slow bowel movements, eat cooked potatoes that have been cooled. The cooling process increases the amount of indigestible starch from 7% to 13%. I have found that for me, eating the potatoes cause regular elimination. Potatoes are much tastier than a magnesium tablet.

Reduce Your Stress Potatoes are exceedingly rich in Vitamin B6, a vitamin needed for a balanced mood. Just  1/2 a cup of a baked potato contains 21 per cent of the daily value of the vitamin. Vitamin B6 is needed for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin, which helps regulate the body clock.

Baked Russet Potato 4 Oz

Calories 110 Sodium 9 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 624 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 24 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 3 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 24% Iron 7%

The Baby Reds 1 Cup

Calories 110 Sodium 0 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 620 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 26 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 2 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 45% Iron 6%

The Yukon Golds 1/2 Medium Potato

Calories 77 Sodium 6 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 421 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 25 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 2 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 1%
Vitamin C 26% Iron 4%

The Yam 6 oz

Calories 150 Sodium 230 mg
Total Fat 2 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 1 g Total Carbs 30 g
Polyunsaturated 1 g Dietary Fiber 2 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 4 g
Trans 0 g Protein 5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 25%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 10%
Percentages are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lupus and the Heart

I learned a lot preparing for this post. I have been writing about how autoimmune disorders affect different parts of the body, but I didn't realize how lupus affects the heart. Most of know by now that heart disease can be linked with a diet high in processed foods, sugars and refined carbohydrates, lack of activity, and obesity. This is good news! With proper diet and exercise those who make the effort can make this bad situation better or reverse their condition. When an autoimmune reaction is part of the heart disease picture, the approach is more complicated. If the autoimmunity has destroyed enough tissue, it can be too late to reverse the condition and its symptoms. More and more people are being diagnosed with autoimmune disorders, so it is to be hoped that more doctors will screen for autoimmunity so an autoimmune heart condition can be caught in time to manage it.

What is heart autoimmunity?

The symptoms of an autoimmune reaction against the heart mimic heart disease symptoms. They include:
  • cardiomegaly (enlarged heart)
  • fluid retention
  • tiring easily
  • chest pain
  • breathlessness
  • palpitations
  • edema with exercise
  • and difficulty breathing.
An unmanaged autoimmune reaction to the heart can cause inflammation, scarring, and, in rare cases, sudden death. Also, poor heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other organs and systems in the body. Did you know that doctors in the standard health care model do not screen for autoimmunity until the end stages of disease when symptoms are severe. Fortunately, you can identify an autoimmune reaction before it's too late with a blood serum antibody panel.

What is a blood serum antibody panel?

This panel screens for autoimmunity against heart tissue by checking for myocardial (a protein the heart releases in response to stress) or alpha-myosin (cardiac tissue) antibodies. If these come back positive it's an indication the immune system is attacking heart tissue. If the condition is more advanced, you may be given a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, or disease of the heart muscle. Be in control. If you know you have an autoimmune condition, share this with your doctor right away. You can take the steps to potentially slow or halt its progression through proven diet, lifestyle, and nutritional therapy strategies. You should also regularly monitor your heart health. 4 Ways Lupus can Affect Your Heart - - autoimmune disorders/diseases Lupus Lupus can cause inflammation of the myocardium, the muscle tissue of your heart. The symptoms are:
  • chest pain
  • an unexplained rapid or irregular heart beat
  • shortness of breath
Myocarditis is often seen when there is inflammation in other muscles in the body.
Myocarditis is usually caused by a viral infection. A severe case can weaken the heart, which can lead to heart failure, abnormal heartbeat, and sudden death.
Symptoms include chest pain, abnormal heartbeat, and shortness of breath.
Treatment may include medication to regulate the heartbeat and improve heart function. In rare but severe cases, a device may be needed to help the heart function.
However, myocarditis can be caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Because lupus itself creates an added risk for developing infections -- especially if you are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs -- you are at increased risk for this type of myocarditis.
Immunosuppressive drugs or immunosuppressive agents or antirejection medications are drugs that inhibit or prevent activity of the immune system.
Though serious heart muscle disease is not commonly caused by lupus, heart failure can occur if our heart does not have the strength to pump enough blood to the different tissues and organs. The most common way that lupus affects the heart is through inflammation of the pericardium, the sac that surrounds our heart. The symptoms of pericarditis that you may experience are:
  • sharp pain in your chest
  • occasionally, shortness of breath.
Pericarditis usually does not damage our heart’s ability to function because it does not directly involve the heart tissue. However, inflammation that is chronic (long-lasting) can scar the heart tissue, which can interfere with the heart’s ability to pump blood.
Pericarditis may be caused by a viral infection or heart attack. In many cases, the cause is unknown.
The most common symptom is sharp, stabbing chest pain that may travel to the left shoulder and neck. Pericarditis usually begins suddenly but doesn't last long.
Most cases are mild and usually improve on their own. Treatment for more severe cases may include medications and, rarely, surgery.


The endocardium is the tissue that lines the inner walls of our heart and the valves that separate the heart’s different chambers. Lupus can cause inflammation of the endocardium. Lupus endocarditis usually causes the surfaces of the heart valve to thicken or develop wart-like growths (lesions). These lesions can become infected, a condition called bacterial endocarditis. A lesion also could break off and travel to the brain to form a blood clot. Both of these possibilities are potentially very dangerous.

Coronary Artery Disease

The usual cause is the buildup of plaque. This causes coronary arteries to narrow, limiting blood flow to the heart.
Coronary artery disease can range from no symptoms, to chest pain, to a heart attack.
Treatments include lifestyle changes, medications, angioplasty, and surgery.
When we have lupus, we are at increased risk for coronary artery disease. This is partly because those of us with lupus have more risk factors, which may include:
  • Hypertension from kidney disease or corticosteroid use
  • Elevated cholesterol levels from corticosteroid use
  • Type 2 diabetes from corticosteroid use
  • An inactive, sedentary lifestyle due to fatigue, joint problems, and/or muscle pain
However, even after taking these risk factors into account, those of us with lupus are more likely to develop atherosclerosis. We can help reduce our chances of heart attacks and other complications from coronary artery disease in several ways:
  • Control the risk factors
  • Control the lupus disease activity
  • Talking with our doctor about reducing or stopping corticosteroid use
A build up of cholesterol plaque in the walls of arteries causing obstruction of blood flow. Plaques may rupture causing acute occlusion of the artery by clot.
Atherosclerosis often has no symptoms until a plaque ruptures or the buildup is severe enough to block blood flow.
A healthy diet and exercise can help. Treatments include medications, procedures to open blocked arteries and surgery.
Lupus and the Heart - - autoimmune disorders/diseases Source:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

8 Autoimmune Disorders That Affecting Multiple Organs including the Musculoskeletal System

8 autoimmune disorders affecting multiple organs including the musculoskeletal system - - autoimmune disorders/diseasesIn my previous post I talked about autoimmune disorders that affect the hair and skin. Many of the autoimmune disorders affect multiple organs and the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system provides form, support, stability, and movement to the body. It is made up of the bones of the skeleton, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissue that supports and binds tissues and organs together. Some of these autoimmune disorders are new to me and I want to learn more about them.

AI disorders affecting multiple organs including the musculoskeletal system

  • Lupus affects connective tissue and can strike any organ system of the body. Symptoms include joint inflammation, fever, weight loss and a characteristic facial rash.
  • Scleroderma affects the skin and other structures, causing the formation of scar tissue. Features include thickening of the skin, skin ulcers and stiff joints. Swelling of the fingers, intermittent coolness and blue discoloration of the fingers, joints freezing in permanent (usually flexed) positions (contractures), and damage to the gastrointestinal system, lungs, heart, or kidneys may develop.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis. Affects the joints. Symptoms include swollen and deformed joints. The eyes, lungs and heart may also be targeted.
  • Polymyositis is one of the inflammatory myopathies, a group of muscle diseases that involves inflammation of the muscles or associated tissues, such as the blood vessels that supply the muscles. Polymyositis usually does not affect most internal organs other than the throat and esophagus. However, the lungs and heart may be affected, causing abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), shortness of breath, and a cough.
  • Dermatomyositis Muscle weakness at the shoulders or hips.
  • Sjogren's Syndrome white blood cells can infiltrate and damage glands that secrete fluids, and sometimes other organs can be damaged. Sjögren's syndrome can dry out the mucous membranes lining the nose, throat, digestive tract, voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea), airways of the lungs, vulva, and vagina. Dryness of the vulva and vagina can make sexual intercourse painful. Dryness of the trachea can cause cough. Nerve, lung, and other tissues may be damaged by the inflammation.
  • Relapsing Polychondritis is a rare disorder characterized by episodes of painful, destructive inflammation of the cartilage and other connective tissues in many organs. The ears or nose may become inflamed and tender. Other cartilage in the body can be damaged, leading to various symptoms, such as red or painful eyes, hoarseness, cough, difficulty breathing, rashes, and pain around the breastbone.
  • Eosinophilic Fasciitis  is a rare disorder in which the skin and tissue that lies beneath the skin become painfully inflamed and swollen and gradually harden in the arms and legs.

Populations Affected by AI Disorders affecting multiple organs including the musculoskeletal system

Populations affected by AI Disorders affecting multiple organs including the musculoskeletal system - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Lupus According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have lupus. People of African, Asian, and Native American descent are more likely to develop lupus than are Caucasians. Although it can occur in both men and women, 90% of people diagnosed with the disease are women.

Sjogren's Syndrome More than 200,000 US cases per year of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Sjögren’s syndrome can affect people of either sex and of any age, but most cases occur in women. The average age for onset is late forties, but in rare cases, Sjögren’s syndrome is diagnosed in children.

Rheumatoid arthritis About 1.5 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Nearly three times as many women have the disease as men. In women, RA most commonly begins between ages 30 and 60. In men, it often occurs later in life.

Scleroderma The systemic form of scleroderma is thought to affect from 40,000 to 165,000 people in the United States. The disease is three to four times more common in females than in males. Scleroderma may occur at any age but the symptoms most frequently begin during midlife.

Dermatomyositis occurs in adults from the late 40s to early 60s, but can also occur in children. Females are most affected. Fewer than 200,000 US cases per year

Polymyositis (PM) is rare. Incidence is estimated to be somewhere between 1-8 cases per million people. Women are twice more likely to be affected than men. PM typically occurs during middle age and is rarely seen in people younger than 30 years.

Relapsing polychondritis occurs as often in men as in women. In a Mayo Clinic series, the annual incidence was about 3.5 cases per million.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract

Give me good digestion, Lord, And also something to digest; but where and how that something comes I leave to Thee, who knoweth best.                                                      Mary Webb
I hate it when any part of my digestive system isn't working properly. With Sjogren's I don't have saliva, so I have to drink large amounts of water with every bite. Sometimes I will drink two quarts of water just to make it through breakfast.

This also causes problems with swallowing. I will get food caught in my esophagus and it will try to come back up. The pain is excruciating when this happens. My chest, back, jaw, head hurt from the pain. I had to be hospitalized for a day. That was the most expensive piece of chicken I have ever eaten.

After I eat, sometimes my stomach will hurt because I had to drink so much water with my meal.
Enough about me. Let's look at the digestive system and the autoimmune disorders that affect the digestive track.
7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

The major parts of the digestive system:

  • Salivary glands.
  • Pharynx.
  • Esophagus.
  • Stomach.
  • Small Intestine.
  • Large Intestine.
  • Rectum.
  • Accessory digestive organs: liver, gallbladder, pancreas.
Parts of the Digestive Tract - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract

7 Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Digestive Tract - - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus The digestive system is responsible for extracting nutrients from the food you eat and ridding your body of waste products. Lupus can affect the entire digestive system, beginning with the mouth. People with lupus are prone to lesions on the inside of the cheeks, the lower lip, or the roof of the mouth. Certain medications prescribed to treat lupus can increase your risk for oral lesions. When the esophagus is inflamed, stomach acid can be forced back into the esophagus (acid reflux), causing heartburn and gas. It can also make swallowing difficult (dysphagia). 

Some people with lupus take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This can increase risk of bleeding ulcers in the stomach lining or where the stomach meets the bile duct, pancreatic duct, and small intestine (duodenum). Helicobacter pylori bacterium also can cause ulcers, a common problem for people with lupus. 

Inflammation can cause fluids to build up in the lining on the inside of the abdomen (peritoneum). Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, fever, and constipation. Lupus patients are at increased risk for inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Use of diuretics, immunosuppressants, or corticosteroids increases this risk. Digestive symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. These problems can be aggravated by the use of corticosteroids or NSAIDs. Ulcers that form in the colon and rectum may cause bloody diarrhea. 

Polyarteritis Nodosa PAN is a multisystem disease that may present with fever, sweats, weight loss, and severe muscle and joint aches/pains. The disease can affect nearly any site in the body, but it has a predisposition for organs such as the skin, kidney, nerves, and gastrointestinal tract. 

Celiac disease Affects about 1 person in 200, occurs when a person becomes intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley products. In people with celiac disease, the ingestion of gluten causes the immune system to attack villi, the tiny structures lining the small intestine. 

Crohn's Disease This condition occurs when the immune system attacks parts of the digestive tract, causing inflammation, swelling, and even scarring. 

Ulcerative Colitis the "cousin" of Crohn's disease, and explains that it happens when the immune system attacks the lining of the rectum and colon, causing ulcers. The ulcers can then bleed and produce pus. 

Autoimmune Hepatitis Unlike most types of hepatitis, which are caused by viruses, autoimmune hepatitis happens when the body's immune system attacks liver cells, causing inflammation. 

Diabetes The partial paralysis of the stomach, which causes delayed gastric emptying. This delayed emptying is most often associated with poorly controlled diabetes.   


Friday, July 14, 2017

July is National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Each year at this time, we commemorate the estimated 300,000 children and their families in the United States who face the everyday challenges of living with juvenile arthritis (JA) and related diseases. Juvenile arthritis is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children and teens.

The various types of juvenile arthritis share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, but each type of JA is distinct and has its own unique characteristics and how it affects the body.

7 Common Types of Juvenile Arthritis - - autoimmune disorders/diseases  

We need to remember that arthritis isn't only for adults. The young people in our community are living with autoimmune disorders, too.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Hair and Skin

I was listening to an audio book by Dr. Don Colbert and he was grouping autoimmune disorders together by the part of the body they affected. I decided I wanted to continue that learning experience with a series of posts. Autoimmune disorders are broadly grouped into two categories –
  • “organ-specific” means one organ is affected,
  • “non-organ-specific” disorders, multiple organs or body systems may be affected.
Here are some examples of organ-specific and non-organ-specific:
  • Diabetes (Type I)– affects the pancreas. Symptoms include thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and an increased susceptibility to infection. (Organ specific)
  • Graves' disease– affects the thyroid gland. Symptoms include weight loss, elevated heart rate, anxiety and diarrhea. (Organ specific)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease– includes ulcerative colitis and possibly, Crohn's disease. Symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal pain. (Organ specific)
  • Psoriasis– affects the skin. Features include the development of thick, reddened skin scales. (Organ specific)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis– affects the joints. Symptoms include swollen and deformed joints. The eyes, lungs and heart may also be targeted. (Non-organ-specific)
  • Scleroderma– affects the skin and other structures, causing the formation of scar tissue. Features include thickening of the skin, skin ulcers and stiff joints. (Non-organ-specific)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus– affects connective tissue and can strike any organ system of the body. Symptoms include joint inflammation, fever, weight loss and a characteristic facial rash. (Non-organ-specific)
  • Multiple sclerosis– affects the nervous system. Depending on which part of the nervous system is affected, symptoms can include numbness, paralysis and vision impairment. (Non-organ-specific)
With so many autoimmune disorders being “non-organ-specific” we will probably see the different disorders showing up in other groupings.

Autoimmune Disorders that Affect…

Autoimmune Disorders that Affect Hair and Skin - - autoimmune disorder/disease

The Hair

  • Lupus. Lupus can cause the hair on your scalp to gradually thin out, although a few people lose clumps of hair. Loss of eyebrow, eyelash, and beard and body hair also is possible. In most cases, your hair will grow back when your lupus is treated. But some people with lupus develop round (discoid) lesions on the scalp.
  • Hashimoto's Disease. Hair loss is a distressing symptom experienced by women with Hashimoto’s. For women, our hair represents our femininity, and losing our hair is a constant reminder that something is off and that we are not well. Iron deficiency is one of the most common reasons for hair loss in pre-menopausal women. People with Hashimoto’s often have poor levels of stomach acid, which is required to extract iron from foods.
  • Alopecia Areata describes an autoimmune disease caused by the body's immune system attacking the hair follicles. When white blood cells attack hair follicles, they interrupt hair growth leading to small round patches of hair loss.

The Skin

  • Scleroderma. The skin is just one area that is affected by scleroderma, which is actually a widespread condition that affects all of the body’s connective tissue. Since this autoimmune disorder extends throughout the body, patients can experience not only skin changes, but also symptoms in blood vessels, muscles, and organs. A localized form of scleroderma results in patches of thickened skin, while systemic scleroderma is the form that has the greatest impact on people’s lives.
  • Psoriasis. This is a chronic autoimmune disorder that manifests as skin redness and irritation. There are five different types of psoriasis: guttate, plaque, inverse, erythrodermic, and pustular. The most common is plaque psoriasis, in which raised, red skin patches are covered by flaky, silver-white patches of dead skin, known as scales.
  • Dermatomyositis.This autoimmune disorder is primarily muscular in nature, but because dermatomyositis also affects the skin, it is sometimes categorized with skin-related autoimmune conditions.
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa. There are many forms of epidermolysis bullosa, but only one, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, is considered autoimmune in nature. All forms of epidermolysis bullosa causes fluid-filled skin blisters to develop in response to injuries that don’t normally warrant that type of reaction. For example, gentle rubbing of the skin or even an increase in room temperature can cause blisters to form.
  • Bullous Pemphigoid. This chronic autoimmune disorder involves skin blisters that range in severity. In some cases, the patient may experience only mild redness or irritation of the skin, while other, more severe cases involve multiple blisters that can break open and form ulcers.
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa. PAN is a multisystem disease that may present with fever, sweats, weight loss, and severe muscle and joint aches/pains. The disease can affect nearly any site in the body, but it has a predisposition for organs such as the skin, kidney, nerves, and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Lichen’s Sclerosis. This autoimmune disorder can affect the skin on any part of the body.
Action Step: Many of these autoimmune disorders in this post are new to me and probably new to many of my followers. Please share your experience with how your hair and skin are affected in the comment section below.  


Thursday, June 22, 2017

What can I do to avoid a Raynaud’s attack or provide quick relief?

What can I do to avoid a Raynaud’s attack or provide quick relief?

Quick relief for raynauds
  • Dress warmly, and in layers.
  • Wear a hat when outdoors in cold weather. Try to stay indoors during cold weather.
  • In cold weather or when exposed to air conditioning or cold temperatures (in the refrigerated section of a supermarket, for example), wear gloves. Mittens are even better protection. Use these even when handling frozen or refrigerated foods.
  • Carry hand and foot warmers. One form of warmers, Charcoal packs, heat up when they’re exposed to air. Others have a metal disk that must be bent to activate the heat, caused by a resulting chemical reaction.
  • Use insulated drinking glasses or mugs. Place a napkin or insulating material around them to protect your fingers from becoming cold.
  • Place hands under warm (not hot) water to warm them up quickly.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking narrows blood vessels even more, and makes Raynaud’s worse.
  • Swing arms around in a windmill fashion to get the circulation going quickly.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Living with Scleroderma

What is Scleroderma?

Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The word “scleroderma” comes from two Greek words: “sclero” meaning hard, and “derma” meaning skin. Hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease.

  Living with Scleroderma Video -

Contact The Scleroderma Foundation if you want to learn more about this debilitating disease.

Related Articles

Monday, June 19, 2017

June is Scleroderma Awareness Month - Part 2

I found these two great videos on Scleroderma and thought they would be perfect for a "Part 2" about this disorder. Scleroderma - Breaking down this autoimmune disease -
Scleroderma - Dealing with and Treating this Disease -
Scleroderma - Nutrition for Patients -

I love these types of videos! They are so informative and easy to understand.
Scleroderma - Patients and Newly Diagnosed -

Patients and Newly Diagnosed

A new diagnosis of scleroderma doesn't have to be overwhelming, even though the disease is complex. The symptoms of scleroderma vary greatly for each person, and the disease's effects can range from mild to severe. The severity depends on which parts of the body and to what extent in which they are affected. A mild case can become serious if not properly treated. Quick and proper diagnosis and treatment by qualified physicians may help minimize the symptoms of scleroderma and decrease the chance of irreversible damage. Scleroderma is not contagious, an infection, a cancer or malignant. There are an estimated 300,000 people in the United States who have scleroderma. About one-third of those people have the systemic form of the disease. Since the symptoms of scleroderma are similar to those of other autoimmune diseases, diagnosis is difficult. There also may be many misdiagnosed or undiagnosed cases.

Related Articles

Friday, June 16, 2017

June is Scleroderma Awareness Month Part 1

What is Scleroderma?

Scleroderma is the chronic hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues. (Also called Crest Syndrome)

Quick Overview

  • Fewer than 200,000 US cases per year
  • Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured
  • Requires a medical diagnosis
  • Lab tests or imaging always required
  • Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
  • Scleroderma is a group of rare diseases that more often affects women. It commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • Symptoms include tightening of the skin, joint pain, exaggerated response to cold (Raynaud's disease), and heartburn.
  • Treatments include medication, physical therapy, and surgery.
What is Scleroderma? -

A Closer Look


Scleroderma's signs and symptoms vary, depending on which parts of your body are involved:
  • Nearly everyone who has scleroderma experiences a hardening and tightening of patches of skin. These patches may be shaped like ovals or straight lines, or cover wide areas of the trunk and limbs. The number, location and size of the patches vary by type of scleroderma. Skin can appear shiny because it's so tight, and movement of the affected area may be restricted.
  • Fingers or toes.One of the earliest signs of scleroderma is an exaggerated response to cold temperatures or emotional distress, which can cause numbness, pain or color changes in the fingers or toes. Called Raynaud's disease, this condition also occurs in people who don't have scleroderma.
  • Digestive system.In addition to acid reflux, which can damage the section of esophagus nearest the stomach, some people with scleroderma may also have problems absorbing nutrients if their intestinal muscles aren't moving food properly through the intestines.
  • Heart, lungs or kidneys.Scleroderma can affect the function of the heart, lungs or kidneys to varying degrees. These problems, if left untreated, can become life-threatening.


Scleroderma results from an overproduction and accumulation of collagen in body tissues. Collagen is a fibrous type of protein that makes up your body's connective tissues, including your skin. Doctors aren't certain what prompts this abnormal collagen production, but the body's immune system appears to play a role. In some genetically susceptible people, symptoms may be triggered by exposure to certain types of pesticides, epoxy resins or solvents.

Risk factors

Scleroderma occurs more often in women than it does in men.


Scleroderma complications range from mild to severe and can affect your:
  • The variety of Raynaud's disease that occurs with scleroderma can be so severe that the restricted blood flow permanently damages the tissue at the fingertips, causing pits or skin sores (ulcers). In some cases, gangrene and amputation may follow.
  • Scarring of lung tissue (pulmonary fibrosis) can result in reduced lung function, reduced ability to breathe and reduced tolerance for exercise. You may also develop high blood pressure in the arteries to your lungs (pulmonary hypertension).
  • When scleroderma affects your kidneys, you can develop elevated blood pressure and an increased level of protein in your urine. More-serious effects of kidney complications may include renal crisis, which involves a sudden increase in blood pressure and rapid kidney failure.
  • Scarring of heart tissue increases your risk of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias) and congestive heart failure, and can cause inflammation of the membranous sac surrounding your heart (pericarditis). Scleroderma can also raise the pressure on the right side of your heart and cause it to wear out.
  • Severe tightening of facial skin can cause your mouth to become smaller and narrower, which may make it hard to brush your teeth or to even have them professionally cleaned. People who have scleroderma often don't produce normal amounts of saliva, so the risk of dental decay increases even more.
  • Digestive problems associated with scleroderma can lead to acid reflux and difficulty swallowing — some describe feeling as if food gets stuck midway down the esophagus — as well as bouts of constipation alternating with episodes of diarrhea.
  • Men who have scleroderma often experience erectile dysfunction. Scleroderma may also affect the sexual function of women, by decreasing sexual lubrication and constricting the vaginal opening.

How is Scleroderma diagnosed?

After a thorough physical exam, your doctor may suggest blood tests to check for elevated blood levels of certain antibodies produced by the immune system. He or she may remove a small tissue sample (biopsy) of your affected skin so that it can be examined in the laboratory for abnormalities.


No drug has been developed that can stop the underlying process of scleroderma — the overproduction of collagen. But a variety of medications can help control scleroderma symptoms or help prevent complications.

Related Articles


Thursday, June 15, 2017

5 Steps to Take After You are Diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disorder

I know what it is like to get a diagnosis that you have an autoimmune disorder. Each autoimmune disorder comes with its own set of symptoms and ways that it will affect your body. Therefore, I know that having a plan of "next steps" that you need to take after you get a diagnosis can be extremely helpful.
  5 Steps to Take After You are Diagnoses with an Autoimmune

Step 1. Learn all you can about your disorder.

Knowledge is power and this is not the time to put your head in the sand. You need to learn about how this disorder may or may not affect you. When you take the time to read about your disorder, don’t focus on the worst case scenarios. If you are getting your information from the internet, you may come across horror stories about autoimmune disorders that are scary and could make you fearful. Don’t fall into that trap. You have already had symptoms that led you to a diagnosis. Learn more about the symptoms you currently have and deal with any other symptoms that may develop in the future as they come along.

Step 2. Choose wisely who you will share your diagnosis with.

Choose a good friend who is a confidant, wise and a cheerleader. I have found that when I need to share information I preface it with this statement, “I need to tell you something and I just need you to listen.” Don’t tell someone that you know is a Negative Nancy. Negative Nancy will respond to you with how bad things are for you now and how bad they may get in the future. No, only speak with someone who will lift you up and speak positive words about you and your situation. I was reminded of this verse and it stuck with me all day yesterday and I woke up thinking about it this morning.

Psalm 1:1-3 (NIRV) Blessed is the person who obeys the law of the Lord. They don’t follow the advice of evil people. They don’t make a habit of doing what sinners do. They don’t join those who make fun of the Lord and his law. Instead, the law of the Lord gives them joy. They think about his law day and night. That kind of person is like a tree that is planted near a stream of water. It always bears its fruit at the right time. Its leaves don’t dry up. Everything godly people do turns out well.
  Psalms 1:1-3

Step 3. Clean up your diet.

Every illness on the planet can be improved or cured by eating healthy. I have been posting foods that will help with different autoimmune disorders. Many of the foods you should and should not eat are universal for living with autoimmune disorders and reducing flares and inflammation. I recommend The Whole30 Diet or the Paleo Diet. These are wonderful programs that will help you get rid of the foods that will increase your inflammation and put you on the path to a healthier you.

Step 4. Exercise!

Exercise is so important for you mind, body and spirit. There are many benefits to exercising and it is more important than ever after you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Exercise will…
  1. help with weight loss.
  2. help relieve stress.
  3. help combat depression.
  4. help you be creative.
My exercise of choice is walking. I have walked hundreds of miles with Leslie Sansone and this exercise makes me feel really good. If you have never walked with Leslie, you are missing out. She is fun, encouraging, inspirational and has a great walking program that is good for whatever level of fitness you are at.

Step 5. Start reducing your stress.

Stress is an enemy to autoimmune disorders. When you get stressed you will increase the inflammation in your body which you may not see. Flares that are brought on by stress you can see. My flares are canker sores, thrush, itching, rashes, and extreme fatigue. Your diet in step three will also help reduce stress. So, as you can see you have work to do. But, don’t give up hope. I have a community of great ladies who are living with autoimmune disorders and we encourage and support each other. You are welcome to join us, so we can support you too. Here is the link to my Autoimmune Disorders group on Facebook.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

3 Ways to Change Your Mindset

We need to be careful of cultivating a negative mindset when we are diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Here are three ways to start developing a healthy, positive mindset.

I will not live in fear!

It is so easy to be fearful when living with autoimmune disorders. We can be afraid of what will cause the next flare. We can be afraid of the results from the next blood test.

We can be afraid of what our future may look like. We have a choice to live with a fearful mindset or a faithful mindset.  2 Timothy 1:7 says The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control. I love that. His spirit is a source of power when we feel weak, a source of love when we feel unloved and source of self-control when we feel out of control.

If you choose to live in fear this is how a fearful mindset can affect your body in a negative way.

Digestive Problems Diarrhea and the sudden need to empty your bladder are both side effects of fear. Your body sends blood away from the digestive tract, causing it to spasm, resulting in diarrhea.

Sweating Sweating is your body's common reaction to fear. It's caused because adrenaline brings blood to the skin's surface, causing the pores to open and allowing sweat to pour out. This is in response to your body's natural desire to run from dangerous situations.

Rapid Heartbeat You may describe the rapid heart rate associated with fear as feeling like your heart is going to explode; but, in fact, your heart is just working diligently to provide as much blood as possible to help your body deal with the fear.

Weakness Weakness is sometimes a fear response, causing your body to be unable to move or to move only with wobbly knees. This is because of the "fright" response, which causes your body to want to play dead in an effort to make it unappetizing to a predator. Weakness will usually occur only after flight and fight responses are in place and your body has perceived them to not be working.

3 Scriptures to Claim Victory Over Fear -

3 Scriptures to claim victory over fear

Romans 8:15 (ERV) 15 The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:31 (ERV) 31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can stand against us. And God is with us.

Psalm 118:6 (ERV) The Lord is with me, so I will not be afraid.  No one on earth can do anything to harm me.

I Choose not to be Offended

We can spend a lot of our “spoons” of energy being offended. We have to work on having a forgiving mindset towards those who offend and hurt us. This is so much easier said than done. Can I get an, Amen? I know when I choose to be offended by someone, then I have those stressful feelings that well up inside every time I cross paths with them.

I think the next time someone says or does something to hurt or offend me, I’m just going to forgive them and then think to myself, “Well bless his/her heart”, and walk away. That little saying kind of minimizes the sting of the insult and it can even make you chuckle.

In 2016, Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, received extensive press coverage for saying the phrase “Bless you heart” in response to an attack by presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Think about this, whether it’s a simple spat with your spouse or long-held resentment toward a family member or friend, unresolved conflict can go deeper than you may realize—it may be affecting your physical health. The good news: Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress. And research points to an increase in the forgiveness-health connection as you age.

Remember everyone has the right to free speech, but you have the right not be offended.

3 scriptures to encourage a forgiving mindset

Psalm 119:165 (NASB) 165 Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.

Matthew 6:14 (ERV) 14 Yes, if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your wrongs.

1 Corinthians 13:7 (ASV) 7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.

I will Live in the Present.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” ― Bil Keane
Do you live in the present of is your mind going in 5 different directions at once? We need to be mindful of living in the present. So how do we do this?

5 Ways to Live in the Present -

5 ways to Live in the Present

Spend at least five minutes each day doing nothing. Don’ you love the thought of just doing nothing? I do. Just being able to sit for five minutes without the TV, internet, radio, or anyone talking and completely rest is a little taste of heaven.

Stop worrying about the future. Worrying never solved one problem. In fact it causes more problems than it fixes. I love this saying, “Children use their imaginations for creativity, and adults use their imaginations for worry.”

When you're talking to someone, pay attention. Don’t let the phone interrupt your conversation. This is a pet peeve of mine. I hate it when my husband and I are out to dinner with friends and we have to stop our conversation because an uninvited guest has called and we all have to either talk at a lower volume or stop speaking all together so a private conversation can take place. Real pay attention. Don’t be thinking of the next thing to say. Listen and then thoughtfully respond.

Eat slowly and savor your food. We take the time to create a fabulous meal and then when we put it on the table we rush through it. That is the worst thing about the holidays. We plan out this grand meal and it takes hours to prepare. Then when it is finished we put it on the table and everyone digs in and the food is gone in less than fifteen minutes.

Do one thing at a time. Don’t multi-task. Don’t try to do housework while you are eating. When I am writing a blog post, I need to just write and not do laundry at the same time.

3 Verses to Remind You to Live in the Present

Psalm 118:24 (KJ21) 24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  
John 10:10 (CEB) 10 The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.

John 15:11 (CEB) 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.

Action Steps: Out of these three things which one will you put into practice today? Please leave your comments below.