Friday, February 27, 2009

It's A Girl Thing!

Last night, the leaders of It's A Girl Thing held a dinner for all their volunteers and speakers. It was awesome to be with such amazing women! It was a pleasure to finally meet Nancy Darnell face to face after numerous phone calls and emails. What a great woman of God!

If you haven't already got your ticket, you'll definitely want to be there! Teenage girls (high school and middle school), youth/student leaders and volunteers, mentors, and moms will be encouraged, informed, and uplifted. Ayeisha Woods and Jenny Broughton will be there! Wow!

There are many breakout sessions on Saturday to choose from. I'm leading a session entitled "Refreshing Hope: Uncovering Three Keys to Raising Teenage Daughters While Living With Chronic Illness". I would love to have you join me if you're in the area.

Check out

With HOPE,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crawling into my cave

Without going into the gorey details, my church life has recently changed dramatically and it has been extremely painful. I've shared before how I tend to withdraw when I'm going through a difficult patch and this time is no different. I find myself not answering phone calls, saying "No thanks" to lunch invites, and basically crawling into my cave. Call it hibernating, pouting, or self-preservation. The fact remains, this is my natural tendency.

I've tried not do that this time and have done fairly well. I have my moments, though and today was one of those moments. Our small group meets on Wednesday nights. It's just a group of us who've been friends for years and our families get together for uplifting, encouraging Bible study.

Today, I didn't want to go. I just wanted to hide from the uncertainty, the pain, and just do my own thing. Luckily, my friends didn't let me off the hook that easily and my family and I went after all. I was quiet through the entire meeting because I was fighting back tears. Tears of anger, betrayal, grief...but more than that...tears of thankfulness. I'm thankful for TRUE community and family. I'm thankful for the love of family that exists based on our shared belief in Jesus and that has grown through living our lives together. I was overwhelmingly uplifted and encouraged just by being there.

The same can be true in dealing with chronic illness. It's extremely important to stay connected. Isolation can be devastating and lead to depression in some cases. Staying connected to friends, family, even online friends can be a tremendous blessing. I encourage you to reach out even when you don't "feel like it". Pick up the phone, say "yes" to lunch invitations, even email or visit forums or health blogs. Even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone, don't allow isolation creep into your life with chronic illness.

I'd love to hear what's worked for you and how you've stayed connected to others. Email me (kristenreyna at gmail dot com) or leave me a comment.

With HOPE,

Monday, February 23, 2009

Put on a happy face

Well girls...this is one of those days.

A day when I know I've got to suck it up, put on my big girl panties and put on a happy face. I can take charge of my own life and choose joy or I can wallow in self pity.

Today, I choose joy! What about you? Are you going to allow your symptoms, your financial situation, or even the rest of the world determine your attitude today?

Suck it up, put on your big girl panties and your happy face. I'm not saying that's easy to do because it's not. "Easy" would be wallowing in self pity today. If you find you can't do it alone today, email me and we can find strength together.

Don't fake it, but make the choice to find joy this morning!

With hope,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What A Weekend!

Welcome to my new Dallas and Plano friends! I was honored to spend time with you this weekend and so encouraged by you!

I was blessed to participate in a Women's Conference last weekend held in Dallas and Plano and it was fantastic! I met so many new friends and was tremendously blessed! I hope to have pictures up soon, so be sure to check back.

I led two breakout sessions, gave a talk in the main arena, and did two of my original dramas as well as shared songs. I was tremendously encouraged by the hearts of my new friends and amazed at how God brings us together through events like this one.

MacKenzie, you've been on my heart since Saturday. I'm praying for you. Your courage and your faith in God is inspiring. Hope to hear from you!

To those who shared their personal stories of illness with me, I'm truly blessed and honored you would share such intimate experiences with me. I would love to hear how things are going for you. Leave me a comment or send me an email anytime! It became even clearer to me this weekend to continue sharing about my illness and the HOPE I've found.

God is good and he never leaves us without refreshing hope. Embrace the hope that comes only from HIM and let's walk together on this journey!

With HOPE,