Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Time to Choose Direction

Hello friends,

Today is a day of choosing direction for me. Yes, I do remember when I had no idea just what that means. I thought, if I can just find Jesus, I'll know my direction, and I'll never get lost. I used to pray, "Lord, please never let go of my hand." It never occurred to me that I was the one who was letting go. It was "His" job to hold my hand and lead me to where "I" wanted to go. If I decided on this direction, then He was supposed to bless my efforts. If I decided to go in that direction, then He would make me successful in that. And, if I changed my mind, well, then it was His job to keep up.

There is some humor in that frame of mind, no doubt; but there is much foolishness, also. What does the Preacher tell us in Ecclesiastes? "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NKJ). Vanity can also be translated, "useless," but I prefer the word "vanity." It more accurately describes the human condition. After all, we are often so important to ourselves.

"Look at me, God! Look how I am suffering for You!"

"Can't You see how humble I am?!"

"Why do you let others make me suffer? Smite them, Lord...and let me watch!"

"See how good I am! Look at the example I'm setting!"

I could, literally, go on and on, because, to be honest, I'm very good at whining.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible centers on Elijah, who is literally shouting at God. Remember that Elijah had just finished slaying the false prophets of Baal, Jezebel's pet priests. Now, Elijah has "girded his loins," literally pulled his robes up and, unceremoniously, tucked them into his belt. Then he ran like the dickens into the mountains (and to think that I have difficulty running up the hill after my dog). Standing at the door of a cave, Elijah entreats God to explain Himself.

Then God teaches Elijah a lesson. He sends a great wind, then an earthquake, and finally fire; but the Lord was in none of these. Soon after, the Lord whispers. There was the Lord, whispering. Do you know how hard it is to hear a whisper, when you are hollering and scared to death? But, Elijah heard the Lord. The Lord then did what the Lord does best. He asked Elijah what he wanted. Well, this was not because God was confused; it was because Elijah was confused. Then Elijah proceeds to inform the Lord, as to just how faithful he was (above everyone else). He declares to the Lord, just how he has fought for the Lord, because of God's disobedient children, who have been unfaithful.... And then, Elijah, moves on to the point of his tirade:

"...I, ALONE, am left; and they seek to take my life...!"

It is as if Elijah is saying, Then what will you do, Lord? Who will be here for you, then?! So, the Lord sends Elijah back with an even greater mission. His parting words were, oh by the way, you are NOT alone. "I have reserved seven thousand (faithful) in Israel, who have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has NOT kissed him" (emphasis mine). 1 Kings 19:18 (NKJ). Elijah was not alone. He was not the only faithful one. God had a personal relationship with seven thousand others. "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity," says the Preacher.

It is encouraging to note, that the prophet who was so loved by God that he never died, felt alone. I don't think that Elijah meant to be vain. He was terrified and all too human. And I think that God loved him the more, because of his humanity. Elijah continued to be obedient, and he served God faithfully, until God sent His fiery chariot to bring him into heaven. What a thrilling story, about a real man, who had human foibles, who was simply obedient, even unto a death that never came.

How in the world could this Prophet's conflict apply to me? Well, each of us is called to be obedient. Each of us is called to walk a path, and our faith is not perfect. Each step we take is uncertain, and our faith must be that when we reach out with our feet, we can be assured that God will make straight the path before us. Hard, isn't it? But, fulfilling.

I have told my children, time and again, "Keep your eyes on the Light; and when the Light moves, you are going in the wrong direction." I've also said, and I believe it with all my life, that if I ever think the world can save me; if I believe this world even has the answer; if I line up to receive the world's blessings, then I'm standing in the wrong line!

Father, please forgive me for my vanities. I reject this course, and I renew my faith in You. Jesus, You are my only way; my only choice; and I renew my faith in You. May I walk this day, setting my feet on Your path, unknowing which way the path will turn, always believing that you will make my path straight.

With love,

Jaye Lewis

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Time for Trust

Hello friends,
Today is like many days I have, as a writer.  I feel like I'm standing still.  I live a partially reclusive life.  Everyone goes off to work or school, and I take care of the dogs...and I write.  I get on the treadmill, going as long as I can go; I rest...and again, I write.  And often, I wait.  I wait for my kids to come home.  I wait for our elderly dogs to find the perfect spot.  I wait for my husband to walk through the door, and I wait for my stories and articles to be published.  Then I wait for the check.
The most important waiting I do, is what every believer struggles with:  waiting on God.  But waiting on God is more than just passing time.  Waiting on God requires trust.  My mistake, often, is forgetting that whole trust part, and instead, I whine and complain, and I try to read God's mind.  Think about, reading God's mind.  Okay.  Quit laughing.  I know that I'm wrong, but it is the human demand; to complain; to try to read God's mind; and when we can't read His mind, all too often we give up on Him.  Or we deny Him altogether.
The one thing I have the most struggle with, is patience.  Oh, I have patience with the dogs, especially the old ones.  I have patience with my children (who are adults, by the way), and I have patience with my husband.  But I have no patience for myself, and I often am impatient with God.
So, I thought I would share with you, my imperfections, today, since this Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States.  This is a big deal in our country.  It is a commemoration of the first successful English settlement.  It is also a commemoration of a rare event in our history...cooperation with those whom we barely knew (the Native Americans), and a mutual respect between two diametrically opposed societies.  Together, they celebrated the first American Thanksgiving.
In light of this anticipated feast, I hold in my heart those families, who will never see their loved ones again.  I pray for the parents, brothers, sisters, spouses, and sweethearts of the fallen.  I also lift my heart in prayer for those who have not come back from war whole, whether in body, mind, or spirit.  I pray for their families, and I beg their forgiveness, for my selfishness.  Oh, how I want this war to end!  How I want to see families reunited!  Oh, how I want peace to triumph over profit.  Oh, how I long for Jesus to come.  Now there is something worth waiting for...and worth waiting well.
So, today...this moment...I begin anew.  I ask God's forgiveness, and I ask your forgiveness, for my impatience over my own desires and aspirations.  I renew my faith in God, and I choose to trust Him, going against every selfish bone in my body.  I have the evidence of His loving kindness.  I trust you, Lord, though I often let you down.  I trust you, Lord, though I don't deserve your notice.  I trust You, Lord, because You have brought me through the shadows of my life, and into a place of hope, peace, and love...a hope in You...a peace that only You can supply...and love immeasurable.  I am a happy woman, Lord, because You have given me everything.
As a veteran, and the wife of a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer, I just want parents, sweethearts, spouses, brothers and sisters to know, that at night when we pray for our own children, we pray for yours.  We pray for the protection for your loved ones on the front lines.  We pray for those in the line of fire, as though each one is our own child.  We pray for this war to be over, and we pray for peace.
And, then, as everyone in my house is asleep, I am blessed to keep the night watches, just me and God, and I lift you up to Him, and I pray that He will keep you in his care; as though you were my very own, for I know that you are His.  It is all I have to give you, just these prayers.  And, I beg your forgiveness for ever believing my life is not blessed.  And I want you to know that your sacrifice for each of us is more precious than rubies...and the tears of those who have lost loved ones...your tears are as all of us.  God will not forget you or your sacrifice.  And if you feel alone, I'm honored to keep watch and to pray with you.
My daughter Jenny took a picture of me and my Happy Dog, last spring, after a killing frost had destroyed every blossom in my garden, except for my beautiful, flowering crabapple.  Right before my 61st birthday, we had a surprise snow, here in the Southern Appalachians.  It was beautiful!  Each time I look at that picture, with the snow covering the destruction that was my garden, I realize that Jesus is coming to change the earth into something bright and beautiful. I don't know when.  I just know that I will wait, and I will trust in Him.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Time for Worship

Hello friends,

I just got off of my treadmill. I was on there for less than 15 minutes. Getting back into worship walk, after so many failures, is not easy; but I am determined this time, to get back up to a mile a day, even if I have to do it in stages.

Which brings me to a rather funny encounter in one of my doctor's offices. His nursing assistant, a much younger woman, and by the size of her and her muscle tone, it was obvious that she was a runner, decided to give me advice on my exercise program. Now, I have serious arthritis, fibromyalgia, and a neurological condition. And I am nearly 62 years old!!! That's what we had been talking about. When I told her that I walked a mile a day, and that I was controlling my diabetes with diet and exercise, she immediately launched into unsolicited exercise advice.

"You need to POWER walk 3 miles!" She exclaimed. Well, unsolicited exercise advice always irritates me.

"No," I explained, "It's really important that I be able to get up there every day. So, I'll just be plugging along at my own pace, thank you."

"No. No! No!" She insisted. "You MUST power walk! You'll lose more weight, and you'll get better, faster!

"Really," I mused, "Is that before or after my coma diet?"

"What?" She asked.

"My coma know, after I fall and break my neck, and I wind up in a coma. Is that when my exercise level will improve? Or is it merely after my broken leg is mended."

The nursing assistant gave me a confused look. Finally, I said, "I'll tell you run your way; and I'll walk mine." Then the doctor came in, and her sermon was finished.

Yes, I can make a joke out of it, now; but I remember vividly when a successful day for me, was merely getting out of bed. When a person has health issues, and has neglected to exercise, you don't recommend that he or she take up racquet ball or squash. I get so aggravated with that. No one, out of shape and very ill begins with POWER WALKING, especially 3 miles! Begin where you are, and proceed slowly. I have seen more people crippled, spending days in bed, just trying to recover from that first day of exercise, including myself. Wisdom dictates that you begin; perseverance will bring slow, but steady, progress; and it's nobody's business where you end up.

I hope you won't give up on your exercise program, and be careful of unsolicited advice. I don't know why people insist on dominating others, especially where diet and exercise programs are concerned. If it sounds like baloney, it probably is. Don't let people intimidate you. Even if you feel a need to agree, just to get them out of your face. You can always do your own thing later.

So, this morning, I wish you success; not as the world claims; but as God has proclaimed. He is not interested in how many miles we go. He is interested in us. It's not about muscle or brawn or strength. It's about our hearts. That's all that God wants from us - our hearts in tune with His.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Time for Prayer

Hello friends,

I'm so sorry that it has taken so long to write to you. I'm going through what most diabetics have trouble with. My diabetes is changing. I'm still able to control my blood sugar with diet and exercise, but I'm losing weight quickly, now that I have changed neurological medications, and now, I have to find out, carefully, what I can eat; when to exercise; and back to the frequent testing. Basically I have lost 16 pounds. I Still have a ways to go, but that's still a lot of weight loss in a short amount of time. So, I've gone from 188 lbs. down to 172 lbs.

I've been praying, a lot. The medication that I was on, for my neurological issues, could suck the calories from a hunk of lettuce and slap on another five pounds. I was very discouraged, because my grandmother weighed over 200 pounds. Now, on my new medication, I am being careful NOT to lose my weight too fast; so I'm praying for wisdom, and I'm praying that my weight will gradually come off, over time. It's a healthy way to lose weight.

Certain medications really do affect one's weight control, no matter what the nay-sayers claim. A person with diabetes, especially one on diabetes medication, can have a terrible time controlling their weight. I've been blessed. I'm still able to control my diabetes, and even lose weight, without diabetic drugs. So, have a little mercy, I say to the judgmental people who make fun of someone overweight. You don't know. You don't know their family history. You don't know what medications they are on. And you certainly don't know enough about genetics to fit into a teaspoon.

It makes me angry, when I see prejudice against people who are a higher weight. One time I actually heard a dietician claim that the little carved idols that people worshiped many millennia ago, were actually an indication that people had weight problems, then, too. What a bunch of know-it-alls. The fact is, that during the Victorian Age, not that long ago; women made certain to put on weight, so that others would see just how successful their husbands were. I know, because my grandmother was one of those women. Our fixation with hyper-thinness is a new thing, probably begun in the 1920's. Before that time, a beautiful woman was a plump woman, and skinny was anything but in.

Now, my present philosophy is, to learn all I can about my disease; find a style of eating that includes slow release carbohydrates; get on my treadmill; and pray. Yes, I said it. I pray. So, if the governor of Georgia is willing to humble himself and kneel on the Capitol steps, asking God to send rain, I'm with him. Because, we have been praying for rain, here in the middle Atlantic. So far, we have had nearly a week of rain, after a terrible drought. Now we pray for the southeast, and for other areas of the country who need it.

Prayer, for the uninitiated, or for the unbelieving is like a musical symphony that we sing with our hearts. God knows who is sincere, and he knows who is repentant; because repentance goes hand in hand with prayer. None of us are perfect, and I believe in going to God each day to ask Him for forgiveness; THEN I pray for my needs and the needs of family and friends. And, yes, I even pray for my enemies, although that's a lot harder.

It hurts my heart, when someone belittles God or a prayerful person. We cannot read their hearts. Only God can. And, yes, there are those who praise Him with their lips, and their hearts are far from Him. He told us in the Bible that would happen.

I've spent my whole life searching for the right path. Finally, in the autumn of my life, I really understood who Jesus is, my Savior, Christ the Lord. No one has to believe that, except me. I do wonder, though, about those who totally reject God. Have they ever thought about where they are going when they die? One thing is for sure, each of us is going to die, and for those non-believers, I just want to ask, if you're wrong, and there is something more, would you want to know?

These are the things that have been on my heart this week. These are the questions I asked myself throughout my own life. I did not know Him; and the joy of knowing Him later in life is the greatest blessing I've ever known.

Lord, help me to be understanding. Help me to be Your true servant. And please pardon me for my sins. I don't deserve it, but I know you will give it, not for who I am, but for who You are.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Time for Reflection

Hello friends,

Yesterday, one of my stories, "Real Hero," was published again on It is about my encounter, during the Vietnam War, with a wounded Marine officer. I was an active duty WAVE in the U.S. Navy, stationed at the Military Information Booth in San Francisco International Airport. I was there for one reason, to assist active duty G.I.s and their families. To me, it was a calling from God, and I think I would have laid down my life for them. I didn't have to. They laid down their lives for me.

I've received many emails in the last couple of days, calling me a hero. I can assure you, I was not. I did, however, have an extremely defined sense of honor. To serve, in my small way, and to defend each G.I. who was in my care was an honor.

Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of World War II, defined courage as action over fear. Without thinking about the present danger, you act. If your defined values are already set, you will simply do what you should; but it doesn't make you a better person than anyone else.

When I was young, and I guess, even now, I was rash and impulsive. When outraged, I simply acted. I don't know why, and often my decisions were foolish or dangerous. Of course, at 61, I don't go saving the world that much. A light-hearted run, can send me cascading down the hill, rolling in the pine needles. Now I pray.

I want to share with you, the honor code, that I try to live by:

Always tell the truth, even, and perhaps most especially, when it hurts. Be kind, when you can. Truth does not mean harming another. Truth must be wrapped in gentleness. Do not back down when you know you are right. At the same time, when it is not for a righteous cause, or if it's none of your business, hold your peace. Never let a day go by that you miss telling your loved ones just how much you love them. Forgive, when possible. Wish no harm upon the one who has hurt you, when making amends is NOT possible. Smile and laugh until you can't breathe or until you wet your pants. It will make you feel good. Cry, when you need to, but don't throw your own pity party. No one wants to come.

Grit your teeth in the face of adversity, and believe that God will deliver you, or give you the strength to endure. Read the Bible every day. Never compromise your honor, or God's. Pray that you never have absolute power. You will never own it. It will always own you. Recognize the evil in those who have power. Don't hold on to your ideal of them. They will only let you down. Most important of all, be brutally honest with yourself.

Do not long for riches, because riches will bury you. In time, you will not even know who you are. And, when the road gets weary, as it will, and stumbling blocks are before you every step of the way, surrender and let God carry you.

In Jesus name, I pray that this is the best week of your life; and if it turns out to be the worst, try to remember what He suffered for you. These are the things I hope for. These are the ideals I aspire to. These are the ways in which I often fail. I'm human. I fail, a lot.

Just for today,
The only person I will 'rescue' is myself.
I will not try to 'save the world,' just for today.

Just for today,
I will feel peace;
Knowing that there is Someone greater than I
To deal with my problems.

Just for today,
I will allow God to be God.
I will be His reflection.
I will not try to create Him, in my image.

Just for today,
I will cease to block His love,
And I will allow the passion within me,
To embrace the lover of my soul.

Just for today,
I will ask God to forgive me.
Just for today, I will let Him.

Excerpt from "Just for Today"
Copyright Jaye Lewis, 1993

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven

Hello friends,
Do you ever feel weary from the struggles of life?  I'm especially speaking of the struggles where someone else is involved; someone who doesn't care; someone who is supposed to care, then shows by actions, that they just don't care.  Do you ever feel as though righteousness, in society, no longer has meaning?  I'm having one of those weeks.
Years ago, when I worked for the U.S. Department of Defense, taking care of service members, I found myself working along side of people who simply didn't care.  It always made me angry.  In the military, taking care of service members' pay records and service records is probably the most important job one could have.  If a pay record was lost, it could mean their children would suffer.  If a service record was lost, then there was no record of their rank, where they were stationed, and so, their ability to go up in pay-grades was impaired, which in turn made their families suffer.
All these worries that I had for people I didn't know was one of the reasons that I was good at my job.  Making certain that their families would be able to be taken care of.  Time after time someone would come up with a lost record.  Someone else, who didn't care, would say, "oh, I looked."
"Well, did you look under their last name or first name?"
"I looked, I tell you, I looked!  It's not there!"
Nine times out to ten, I would find the record.  I'd find a pay record in with the service records; or I would find a record "filed" under their middle name, their first name, or (in the case of a female service member) under their maiden name.  It made me so angry to know that so-and-so, obviously didn't care if they found the record at all.  This week, I've been on the receiving end.  You see, in the U.S. Military, after you've retired, you are still attached to the Department of Defense.  So, aside from my doctor; aside from my pharmacist; aside from my sweet husband, who is calling people to task, right now; aside from my children; and aside from God, nobody cares.  You can see it in the neglect of our young wounded, whose lives have been ripped asunder by war.  Perhaps I am saying too much.  I try not to address my country's government.  There is just too much to say that would be negative.  And, please, don't tell me how tender hearted someone is by that photo-op tear running down his cheek.  That's not what the Bible tells us.
The Bible tells us that by our fruits (results) we are known.  It tells us that love, honor, and kindness are everything.  It teaches us to care, and frankly, caring and doing something about it are a rare treasure these days.
So, this little tirade, I apologize for.  I just want you to know, that I understand your sorrows.  I may not know what they are, but I care...really care.  I also wanted to share that this world gets heavy for me, too.  And even though I know God loves me, and the evidence in my life is unmistakable, I sometimes get angry with God, because He doesn't immediately fix it.  I do harangue Him sometimes; and later I wonder why He bothers to put up with me.
Then, I'll just sit and look at the birds that come to my yard.  I'll think about how important their well-being is to me.  We keep their bird baths full.  We keep seed and fruit and suet available, and I care about them with all my heart.  A few days ago, all the bird baths were full; yet we found two wild sitting on a bird bath pecking like crazy at the ice, and one underneath scratching at the ground.
How in the world is this story relevant?  Well, I wasn't expecting the water to freeze.  Sometimes it has gotten so cold that seed has frozen to the ground.  The birds don't know that there is a reason.  They only know they have no drink and they have no feed.  While I am certain that God knows exactly who and what is responsible for our troubles; He doesn't interfere with human free will.  And we humans expect Him to, when we need Him to smite someone.  But not a single one of us would be willing to give up our own free will, so that the dirty so-and-so will get what's coming to him.
It's hard sometimes to keep my perspective.  I want satisfaction, and I want it now!  But in my heart, and in my life, I see the love God has for me.  I see His hand of favor upon my children, no matter their adversities.  I see how much He loves my husband, and I see how they all bless my life.  If that's not evidence of God in my life, then I don't know anything.  I know He loves me, and I know there is one who hates good, and only loves evil, and he never rests.
However, as I write this, I think of all the storms in my life, that God has brought me through, and I must acknowledge that and be grateful.

The Eye of the Storm


Keep me, oh Lord, in the eye of the storm,

Where my heart can beat without fear.

In the silence so deep;

In the warmth of Your love;

I know that Your presence is near.


For though it is dark, and the silence so still,

Your Light still illumines the place.

You are with me, oh Lord;

You surround me with hope;

In the dark I can still see Your face.


© Jaye Lewis, 1999

(Verse one and two of The Eye of the Storm)


With love,


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Time for a Reality Check

Hello friends,

Do you ever find the world too heavy to bear? Sometimes it's financial. Sometimes it's work issues. Sometimes it is family. And sometimes it seems as though it's everything rolled into one. Are we alone in all of this? Are those who believe in a Supreme Being, simply deluding themselves? Lot's of people would say, "Yeah! What a crock! There's no one out there who cares. We're all alone, and we're going nowhere!"

So, if there is someone out there who feels so alone, that the moon has more life on it, I have not answers, but questions. And they are the same questions that I ask myself, when my prayers seem fruitless and my body tells me I'm growing old faster than I want to. So, here goes, Jaye.

Have you ever wondered:

Who paints the sunset?
Who dots the starlit night?
Who fills my heart with wonder?
Who fills my soul with light?

Who rescued me from danger,
And turned my life around?
Who gave me peace and comfort,
And showed me I am found?

Who lifts the mist of morning
And lights the break of day?
Who sends a lovely rainbow
To chase the clouds away.

I think of all these precious things
When life is killing me;
Then I'll remember Whose I am
Throughout eternity.

Copyright, Jaye Lewis, 2007

Yesterday was just such a day, filled with triumph and tragedy. Like most people, I trust my country's leaders just about as far as I can throw them. And, often, nothing pleases me more than the fact that I live in an unimportant place, and nobody knows who the heck I am. However, I do see blessings in my own life. I see that my husband is an honorable man...a man whose word is his bond...a man who is faithful to me and our children...a man who cares for those who work for him. He is a humble man, who is not afraid of getting his hands dirty, and he will never send a person to do a job, that he wouldn't do himself. It touches my heart just to know how selfless he is. And I know with all my heart, that I can trust the God who placed that giving heart within him.

My daughters light up my life. Their beauty and intelligence fill my life; and their devotion warms my soul. I am a blessed woman, and I know it.

Last night, after much prayer this past week, we had rain. The weather folk insisted last week that the drought would continue. (Isn't it wonderful how they can see into the future and make sweeping predictions that are unavoidable? NOT!) There is Another in charge, and He doesn't mind surprising those who think they know everything. We are still praying for the lower southeast, that their weather patterns will change and rain will fill their reservoirs and relieve their parched thirst.

I can't help but wonder, though, if God is trying to get our attention. In the Book of Isaiah, God warns those who have poisoned His earth, that there will be judgment. I pray every day, as we also do in family prayer, that God will have mercy on those who try to care for our planet; that He will not punish those who depend on Him for protection. I also pray that He will watch over our children. We are so dependant upon Him to care for our children in an unsafe and uncertain world.

The world is getting larger, as our minds become smaller. If we acknowledge that we are poisoning our planet, our profits will be smaller. I cannot help but remember the words of Jesus, "Thou fool! Tonight thy soul will be required of thee!" Is profit greater than truth? Is gain on this earth all we care about? Are we blind and deaf? I pray that we are not.

Yesterday, I read online about the Pharaoh, King Tutankhamen. His head was removed from his sarcophagus and it was put on display. His bare skull. This once great king. This boy-King who was buried with more gold than anyone has ever seen. His golden coffin is here on earth. His shrunken skull is still here, but where is his soul? What makes the world believe that we can amass so much wealth, at any cost, and that we won't ever suffer the consequences?

At least, these are the things that I think about, when the world seems too great to bear. I feed the birds, giving them shelter, food and water; and I try to remember that Jesus said, "You are worth more than many sparrows."

Thank You, Lord, for Your precious Word, which warns and promises. Thank You for being clear in what we should do. Thank You, Lord, for cutting through our hypocrisies, and for showing us the way on the narrow road. Help us, Lord, to be very certain, that as we place our hand in Yours, you will make our paths straight.

With love,

Jaye Lewis

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Time for Humility

Hello friends,

I have heard from so many wonderful people these last few days, and I just want you to know that I have been touched by your kind words, advice and prayers. When I post a blog, it is my journal, that I am sharing with whomever God sends. I open my soul, to Him and to you, and there is a healing love that washes over me, even when I have no idea who is, or who is not, reading my blog post.

I have been asked some questions about my diet, so I feel a need to clarify that my intent is not to preach, but to share what has worked for me. I don't usually do this, but I feel that some clarification is in order. I have poor health, and a host of diseases, that I control with medication, diet and exercise. You might say that in the past, I was kind of a health nut. My children never tasted white sugar, or processed foods, until they were nearly in their teens. I ate all of the foods that are considered to make one healthy. I took natural vitamins, drank herbal teas, etc., etc. And all of this may have delayed, but did not prevent arthritis, life-threatening asthma, trigeminal neuralgia, migraines and other neurological conditions, and diabetes. I'm aware that it is in my genes, and we live in a fallen world.

Most of the time, I'm able to forge ahead. I'm more of a half-a-glass-full kind of person, so I live on hope, faith, and my personal relationship with God. However, there are those days when I wonder why I'm doing this. Last night was one of those nights. My blood sugar, which I must keep under 140, no matter what I eat, was 160, and I could feel it climbing. I thought I was eating a food with no sugar. I discovered that although that was true, the food was loaded with carbohydrates, which turns into glucose in the body. This may seem small, but I am not on diabetes drugs. I'm doing this with diet, exercise, and holding God's hand.

I was so discouraged last night. I'm going to be 62 in less than six months, and I just don't know how long this diet and exercise will be all that I need to control my blood sugar. I will say this, for those who may be interested in my diet, that there are some fruits that have a lower "inulin" response (less likely to affect blood sugar rises). Here are the fruits that I stick to: one small apple, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, fresh cherries, apricots, peach, nectarine, and an occasional plum. I test my blood sugar before I eat, and one hour after I eat. That lets me know if I need to get on my treadmill.

A normal fasting-blood sugar, taken in the morning is 80. In a healthy person, blood sugar rarely rises much more than that, but in a diabetic, a fasting-blood sugar of 115 is a cause for dancing, and after I eat, if I can keep my blood sugar under 140, I can still get on my treadmill and walk it off. I use Splenda. You might say that I am very strict with what I eat, but some would say that artificial sweeteners are a poison. Well, I can't say that, since my poison is sugar. I believe that Splenda has given me quality of life.

I've recently discovered that I have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), in spite of how strict I have been in the last four years. Then I found out that I can't avoid neuropathy, I can merely slow it down. I'm stubborn. No doubt about it. I fight my diseases with every ounce of my strength. I often say that I'm going down swinging.

I do feel that it is important to let you know, that anything I mention, that I eat, is merely a window into my world. It is not meant to say, you must eat this, too. You see, diabetes is NOT a one-size-fits-all disease. It is a complicated disease, and no two people react exactly the same. So NEVER do what I have done, without a heart-to-heart conference with your doctor. He or she may send you to a dietician. The Harvard School of Health released an excellent food pyramid, which can be adjusted to your own lifestyle. The link can be found at

I realize that there are those who must be on diabetes medication. Let's face it, we all want to live as long as God allows. We do not want to "test" Him, by doing things that would hurt our bodies. I used to know two women, lovely women, who were diabetics. About once a year they would decide "I don't have diabetes." They would go off of their medication, and head for the chocolate cake. Both of them wound up in a diabetic coma, again and again. That's scary stuff. It scares the wits out of me. They actually were my inspiration to control what I eat, to test my sugar frequently during the day, and to stay on my treadmill.

So, now, it's just you and God and your doctor. Believe me, my prayers are with you. This is a tough life, but it is also a rich life. I can see. I can breathe. I can love. I can count all my fingers and toes. I don't have to die of an asthma attack or diabetes. And while I'm doing what is right for my body, I can praise God for the privilege of walking behind Jesus as He carries His Cross to Calvary. It's a small price to pay to honor Him.

Father, I begin again this day, to carry my Cross, with humor, faith in You, and a dogged determination that I will not dishonor You. Help me to understand what my body needs to keep as healthy as I can be in the body I have. Please bless those who are struggling with weight, diabetes, or any disease. Please give them hope, and strength, and love. Help each of us realize that we are incapable of saving ourselves. Grant us the grace to place our hand in Yours, believing as our Savior did, that it is not our will, but Yours that must be done.

With Love,

Jaye Lewis

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Time to Keep

Hello friends,

I guess you can tell by my title on this blog, that I love Ecclesiastes, especially Chapter 3. "There is a time and a purpose for everything under the heavens." How lovely are those words to me. If you go back and read the first 8 verses of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, you will notice that for every action, there is an opposite reaction. It's also one of the laws of physics. Gee, I wonder who created "the laws of physics?"

Anyhow, I'm amazed that God, in His Word, gave such an understanding to Solomon; and that He would allow us to share in that. So, I chose today, "a time to keep." Sometimes it is hard to understand Biblical language, so I thought I would focus on this verse.

A time to keep. A time to work things out, instead of walking away. A time to keep mercy in our hearts. A time to keep understanding, even when I feel misunderstood. A time to keep my distance, when I must walk away from bad habits, from bad people, and bad things.

The opposite, of course, is "a time to cast away." These two go hand-in-hand. In order to keep one thing, I may need to cast another away. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I come from a dysfunctional family. Cruelty was easy for them. Criticism, ridicule, and accusations were paraded as truth. "Why not insult someone. It's only the truth." I don't know why they were that way. I was often the target. I don't know why that, either. But I decided to take a different road. I decided that I'd rather heal, than hurt. I decided to forgive, rather than hold a grudge. However, in choosing that path, I had to walk away. I had to let go of my relatives, in order to keep my sanity. I had to cast away values that I could no longer live with. I desperately wanted to keep my budding relationship with God. I clung to my Savior, Jesus, and I walked away.

Yes, it hurt. Family is very important to me; but not a family who takes delight in hurting. I was given a choice...them, or Jesus. I chose Jesus. I have to have Him. I can't live without Him. In return, God has given me a wonderful family, in my husband, and in my two adult daughters. These devoted women are the light of my husband's and my life. I'm happy, and I'm not alone.

I guess my message is that sometimes we have to turn away. Sometimes, we have to leave the wrong thing, so that we can keep the right thing. It's not easy. In fact, it's plain hard, but it has been very healing.

A Time to Keep. A Time to Cast Away. I'm so thankful for the clarity of these words. Thank You, Lord, for all of your blessings. And when I was the last person on earth for You to have chosen, thank You, Lord, for keeping me.

With Love,

Jaye Lewis

Email Jaye