Monday, September 16, 2013

Encouraging Words When It's Time to Change Course

Hello friends,

This is not good-by; it is, however, turning over a new leaf. I have loved this blog, but now, it is time for a change of course. Rivers and streams do it, and now it's time for me.  My new blog is still Encouraging Words, but it will be more upbeat. Hope, in a time when people, I think, are looking for hope. There is no need, no matter our life situation, to believe that this is the end, that this is all there is. 

The title of my new blog is "Entertaining Angels Encouraging Words Purely Healthy With Jaye Lewis."  That's quite a mouthful, so the URL has been shortened to 

Please come and join me as I talk about ways to pure health, in spite of illness, age, disability or ability, no matter our size or situation. We can all look for new ways to feel good about ourselves. None of us need give up on life or ourselves. We can find ways to be happy with ourselves, just the way we are.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Monday, May 20, 2013

Encouraging Words for Those Who Have Given Up On Love

Hello friends.

In the photo above, you see me smiling and holding my new little dachshund, Dixie Mae. Next to me is my good friend Gina Chapman of Chapman's Dachshund Rescue, in York, South Carolina. She rescues every unwanted dachshund, and many other dogs, who are unwanted, and she loves what she does. Gina has a heart full of love.

Dixie Mae was under weight at 9 pounds, heart worm positive, had seizures, and she was a puppy mill survivor.  She was three years old, and she had been over bred.  From the condition of her teats, our vet guesses she had been forced to have a litter every six months from the moment she was six months old. She'd been kept in a cage which was too small, and thank God for Gina, who saved her from all that.

We live in the Appalachian Mountains, and going to Gina's is quite a trek for a 67 year old senior like me, but God just kept pulling me there.  I already had a wonderful 15 year old dachshund, so what did I need new problems for?  But God led me on.  From the moment that Dixie jumped into my lap and covered my face with kisses, there wasn't another dog in the whole world for me.  With all the love in my heart, and the blessings of my sweet husband, Louie, I took Dixie Mae home.

When Dixie Mae first arrived at our home, she was immediately adopted by my sweet fifteen year old dachshund, Happydog. He just took her under his "paw." It was a sight to behold. But Dixie Mae knew that something was wrong, something that none of the rest of us understood. Happydog was dying, and he did. Happydog left this earth nine days later. He seemed like himself, and then overnight, he failed. With the gentle assistance of his favorite vet, Happydog left our arms, and he was carried to heaven by angels. I sang his favorite lullaby, as he gently fell asleep, although I don't know how I did it.

The grief I experienced cannot be described, except to say, not even the death of my mother could equal my grief over my little doxie boy. I can talk about it now.  It's been three months, and Dixie Mae is helping me to heal. Her love, and my love for her, is not replacing my love for Happydog. No. Nothing can replace a lost love. My love for her, and her love for me, is simply new. Dixie Mae is my new love.

After Happydog died, we discovered that Dixie Mae had problems.  She had a terrible fear of storms, to the point of horrible terror, and we did not know why.  And, living in the country, where people hunt, she would run terrified, if she heard a gunshot.  Why?  Our vet told us the story.

While doing a full body scan, after Dixie Mae had a seizure, because of what appeared to be neurological problems, our vet made a terrible discovery! Above her heart, lodged in her spine, Dixie Mae had a bullet, with fragments. A very large bullet! Some time in her past Dixie Mae had been shot! Oh my God! This sweet, gentle soul, had been done away with...but wait! The attempt had failed. With further investigation, I made a grisly discovery.

Dixie Mae originally had belonged to a North Carolina Amish Puppy Mill. The procedure there was to take "useless" dogs ~ in her case, one can only guess that the seizures would make her seem useless ~ to the "market" and sell them off. If they don't sell, for whatever reason, then they take them out back and shoot them! Somehow, Dixie Mae crawled away and survived. The rest of the story is sketchy, except that she was treated without anyone doing an x-ray and finding the bullet. She then wound up back in some kind of puppy trade as a breeder, had another seizure, and was surrendered ~ THANK GOD! ~ to Chapman's Dachshund Rescue, and into Gina Chapman's care, where Dixie chose me! Yes.  Dixie Mae chose me! She loved me first!

It wasn't long before Dixie Mae settled in and realized, she was and is home. She began to discover toys, especially squeaky toys. She slept. Oh how she slept.  I've seen recordings inside puppy mills. The noise is deafening, and in our home, well, there is peace, and doggies can sleep as long as they want. In fact, it's pretty darn peaceful for anyone.

Then one day, Dixie Mae discovered something wonderful! She discovered play!  She ran and jumped and barked on the deck with the other dogs. Her ruff was up, but she was dancing and she was having fun!

And begging for food together has become a favorite past time. Dixie Mae, Pixel and Peanut have become a family!

Dixie Mae has become a beautiful, healthy mini-dachshund. Sure, she's been wounded, but then, haven't we all been wounded in some way? Haven't we all had darts aimed at our hearts? Haven't we all had reasons to stop loving, to turn away from humanity? Yes we have. And Dixie Mae had been wounded terribly, yet, look at that face. That is a face which is filled with love. Look into those eyes and you are looking into the eyes of love.

So, my friends, when your life seems over and you've given up on love, remember that we have been there too. I was an abused child. I am also a rape survivor, and I was once in an abusive marriage, but I am now free. I never gave up on love, and neither did this little dog. Little Dixie Mae, the victim of an assassin's bullet that missed her heart. Jaye Lewis, abused in my past, and yet, I still love God, and I love human-kind. I love animals. I love my husband and my children. I love my friends. And wherever you are, in the midst of your sorrow, I love you.

Love is not only possible, it is a necessity. More than food, love makes your heart beat.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Encouraging Words for Those Who Are Depressed by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

It's been awhile, I know, but since I last wrote I lost my little dog, the dog of my life, and I've been grieving.  So, I've turned to compiling all the poems that I wrote during the years that he and I were together.  Most of my writing took place with my little Happydog at my side.  He was my best friend, and often my inspiration.

So, for those of you who are suffering from depression, for any reason, I would like to present to you, my three little E-books, which can be purchased through Amazon.  They can be downloaded to your Kindle or any other reader.  Amazon even has software that you can download to your PC, so that you can read them.

Each E-book only costs 99 cents USD.  I decided on this small amount, less than $1, because moments of joy, reflection, and surrender should not be costly. These are moments which should be shared with God.  Here are the books.

This collection of Poems is about those moments that would pass us by, were we not to seek them with our heart. By taking the time to reflect on these gentle reminders that you are not alone, may your heart be uplifted.  The link is here.

This collection of Poems is about those moments of reflection, those Moments of struggle and self exploration that bring us closer to our God. By taking the time to reflect on these reminders that you are not alone, may your heart be uplifted.
The link is here

This collection of poems is about those moments that happen, as we surrender to God those burdens that only He has the strength to bear. By taking the time to reflect on these reminders, that a power greater than ourselves guides and comforts us when we allow him, may your heart be uplifted. The link is here.

So, my dear friends, both old and new, these are the books so far, that have carried me through these dark days of grief over my little Happydog's passing.  I have cried a river of tears, because he is not here, but I understand about depression and grief.  That's what these books are about.  That's what all these poems are about ~ the joy of life, the reflection of that life, the surrender to God, even in the midst of sorrow.

Remember, my friends, Jesus wept.  He is God, but He was also human.  He understands.  We can turn to Him, in anger, in tears, in our depression, in our sorrow.  We can turn everything over to Him.  I hope you will click on the links above and see if you don't find something within these E-books to give you peace.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Encouraging Words for Those Who Are Growing Old

Hello friends,

Here is a photo of me, and my husband, from 1986, I believe. We are young, and we are so handsome. I was vivacious and totally unaware of my beauty, except in the eyes of my husband, and that was enough for me.  I was never one to think of myself as beautiful. I didn't even think I was pretty, but when he looked at me, I knew I was the loveliest woman alive.

That may seem unimportant to some people, but to me, at that time in my life, it was everything.  I came from an abusive background, and I was told every day just how unattractive I was.  So, when I fell in love with this kind, gentle, Tennessee Mountain man, who told me just how lovely he believed I was, well, I believed it, too.  One thing I knew for certain, I would never grow old.  But.......

Here we are today.  I am growing old.  We both are.  Even my dog is growing old.  Yes, that is my little Happydog, my little dachshund.  And here is that sweet, kind, gentle Tennessee Mountain man, who first told me that I was lovely, and he has told me that every day since.  You see, growing old for me is not easy, just as it is not for many people.  I don't have my health, and neither does he, but we do have something more important. We are both growing old with the loves of our lives.  And I am growing old with the dog of my life.

We have made a life together, here in the mountains, after twenty years in the Navy.  It's not been an easy life.  Life seldom is.  But we have looked for the joys, amidst the sorrows; and we have found triumph amidst defeat.  We've not done this alone. We have our two wonderful daughters, who have been a blessing to us, just as the Bible promised.  They have risen up and called us blessed.

The center of our lives is our faith; our love; laughter; intense interest in one another's desires and needs; and a focus not on selfishness, but on inclusiveness.  We are blessed, and we know it.

Selfishness is self-destructive, and there are many ways to serve, even if one is house bound.  I write, and I try not to be preachy. I have my good days, and I have my not so good days.  I have a Facebook page, and I'm selective in whom I let inside.  I also have an Author page, which is new.  I'm a Chicken Soup for the Soul contributing author, and I have a tendency to forget to share that.

I can be insecure, self-deprecating to a fault. I hate gossip. I don't drink or smoke, which keeps me from being invited to parties, and my health has kept me from Church going. However, I have a rich, deep relationship with God and the Bible. Some people say you can't do that outside of Church, but that's not true, at least it shouldn't be.  God tells me much in His Word, and He often chastises me, just like a good Father should.

I live in a beautiful world which is just outside my backdoor.  It is often the only world I see.  It can be lonely, but it changes daily.  My favorite times are just before the sun comes up or after a big snow.  God is all around me, always, and He is all around you, no matter where you are.  All you have to do is stop what you are doing, and listen, inside your heart.  You may not have this beautiful view, but with your eyes closed, you can see Him.  He is there with you, just as He is here with me.

So, I guess my message is this.  Growing old is not such a bad thing.  It actually can be delightful, joyful and meaningful, something to be embraced.  Growing old can be fun, just like it is for Happydog and me.  So go on!  Enjoy life and bless others, even if it's just your dog.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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