I’m ENGAGED!!!

Dear Friends,

I can’t believe it’s been 19 precious days since Brent Keilen asked me to be his wife!!  That was the most beautiful day of my life and I’m incredibly excited to marry him!  I would like to write a detailed post sometime soon with more details about our relationship and his incredibly sweet and romantic proposal on my personal blog, but I did want to share a few pictures on here as well with you!🙂
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He proposed at the top of Big Sable Lighthouse in Ludington, Michigan just as the sunset was displaying it’s most glorious colors on September 3rd.  You guys probably all know by now that Lake Michigan is my favorite place ever, so he couldn’t have picked a better spot to propose!!!  His sister took the picture above….Brent and I were actually up in the lighthouse at the time that she took this….so if you see two little dots at the top of the lighthouse, that’s us.😉

 

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At the top of Big Sable Lighthouse just minutes after he asked me to marry him and put the most gorgeous ring on my finger!! <3 

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God so clearly and so beautifully brought us together and He truly writes the most beautiful love stories!!  <3  Brent is not only a man I deeply admire & respect, but He is also the kindest, gentlest, sweetest, most caring and loving person I’ve ever known.  I love him with all my heart and I can’t wait to be his bride and marry my best friend!

 

As always, I deeply covet your continued prayers for wisdom as I move forward in my battle with Lyme Disease.  Some days I feel like I’m doing much better and then other days I feel like I can hardly move due to the pain and exhaustion.  I’m continuing to do weekly treatments and it’s a full time job keeping track of all the treatments, supplements, diets etc I do at home to stay as functional as I am.  Right now we’re praying about oxygen treatments and more blood treatments as the next part to my healing process.  I’m SO incredibly excited and encouraged to be marrying my best friend….but there’s still a tiny ounce of sadness I feel wishing that I was feeling better and not dealing with Lyme Disease at all so that I could have more energy to put into planning a wedding etc…. Need to just keep resting in the precious TRUTH that He is all over every aspect, even my Lyme Disease and working all of this out for HIS best…even if I might not *feel* my best physically.❤

You all have been such an encouragement to me over the several years that I’ve now had this blog and I couldn’t not share with you this super exciting and happy news!!!!!  Thank you for rejoicing with me and praying for Brent & I as we move forward in this new adventure of marriage!

 

Love you all,

Monica

Please Pray <3

Hello Friends!

On Monday I saw my main Doctor and looked at the most recent test outcome. The test results left me in tears….3 months of straight heavy duty antibiotics did almost nothing to touch the infection. My body now needs a break from the medicine so we are looking into other options until my body is strong enough to go back on antibiotics….
I did have some good news, though! My heart test showed that my heart muscle is improving….definitely an answer to prayer! Thank You, Jesus! <3 I’m heading down to Indiana today and praying for more answers and insight into the next step. It’s discouraging to hit what feels like stand stills and to feel like I’m not moving forward.
So grateful He sees what we can’t.
Your continued prayers are much needed and much appreciated!
Thank you SO much, friends!

Love,
Monica

June Update! :-)

last day of 28Dear Friends,

Tonight is my last night of being 28 before turning 29 tomorrow. During my Lyme treatments today I had a lot of time to think and reflect back on the past 10 years of dealing with Lyme. And all I can say is I’m overwhelmed by HIS FAITHFULNESS. Every step…every moment…every tear…every test…every treatment….He’s kept me safely in His hands for 28 years and I’m excited about another year with my Savior starting tomorrow! 🙂 <3 Physically, I’m definitely feeling better overall and seeing progress which is SO VERY encouraging. I still have to really pace myself, stay on top of diet, medicine, detox protocols and what feels like HUNDREDS of pills daily, and I continue to get treatments done 1 day a week. But I’m functioning more normally this Summer than I have in YEARS and that’s a HUGE blessing and answer to prayer. I have 2 big Drs appointments coming up in a few weeks as well as getting test results back that will show if I need to go back on antibiotics. Over the Spring I completed 3 months straight of heavy duty antibiotics and it was rough to push through….but I made it through and praying I don’t have to go back on them. I will if I need too, but really hoping I won’t have too. 🙂
THANK YOU to each one of you who continue to show me love with your thoughts, encouragement, prayers and support.
Love you all and hope each of you are having a beautiful Summer!

Love,
Monica

Lyme Disease Awareness Month!

Hey Friends!

Happy 1st day of Lyme Disease Awareness month!  I changed my profile picture on Twitter and Facebook to this today:

may 1st lyme awarenessTAKE A BITE OUT OF LYME!

It’s an automatic “sticker” that you can add to your social media profile picture using this site right here: http://twibbon.com/support/lyme-disease-challenge-3?fb_ref=Default

I believe so strongly in promoting Lyme Disease awareness!  I was originally infected with Lyme Disease after being bit by some ticks when I was 18 years old in 2005, but because of bad testing, little awareness about Lyme and none of the Doctors I saw thinking Lyme Disease would be my issue I was not diagnosed until 2012.  Unfortunately, by the time I started treatments the Lyme had ravaged my body pretty severely and it’s been quite the battle ever since to fight Lyme and regain my health.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to use my story to help spread awareness, though!  My prayer is that through my story and the stories of countless others who are fighting Lyme proper awareness will be raised and the number or chronic Lyme Disease cases will start going back down instead of up.  Changing your profile picture for the month of May is something you can do to help raise awareness and together we can “Take A Bite Out of Lyme.”!!😉

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This dear friend used her day off of work this past week to drive me to my clinic for my Lyme Treatments. SO grateful for her!  <3❤❤

I have an important appointment tomorrow (5/2/2016) that I would REALLY appreciate prayer for.  Thank you so much dear friends!

With Love,

Monica

Fun Girlie Lyme Tip :-)

Hey Ya’ll! 

So I thought I’d do just a FUN post today about nails!😉  What girl doesn’t like her nails super pretty?!     I’m definitely no exception and after doing my nails yesterday I thought I should do a blogpost about them.😀  So, if you like girlie things like me, continue reading.  If girlie things bore you, then feel free to skip this post.😉

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Once a Ballerina….always a Ballerina.😉  Hence, the ballet slipper nails. 

 “I don’t ever remember seeing you without your nails painted!” my friend Heather who I’ve known since I was 5 years old told me on a RARE nails-not-done-kinda-day.  So, with that background in mind you can imagine how awful it was for me when my weekend tradition of painting my nails had to be placed on hold because the Lyme Disease was causing lots of pretty major chemical sensitives and yes, nail polish was one of them.  It was during one of my really bad lyme flare ups about 2 years ago when I googled “non-toxic nail polish” to see if there were any other options out there.  Up until then nail polish had always been fine, but then I started reacting to the fumes and having mini “lyme attack/seizures” when I tried to paint my nails.  I found the Jamberry website and LOVED all the super cute nail  stickers, but I especially loved them because there were no bad chemical fumes that came in addition to the cuteness. At the time, all of our extra money was going towards my medical treatments so I decided to just put Jamberry nails in the back of my mind for a Christmas or Birthday wish-list.  About 2 weeks later I got an e-mail for a super sweet out of state friend, Mollie asking if she could mail me some Jamberry nail stickers as a gift.  It touched my heart SO much!  Here she was, not knowing me very well since we had only met maybe twice, and yet she was sending me a gift that I had secretly been wanting.  I TOTALLY felt God’s love for me – in the fact that He created me as a girl who loves to be girlie and even though I was at that point too sick to walk or barely sit up and too sick to handle the fumes from nail polish, He was going to send me nail stickers through Mollie so I could still enjoy having pretty nails.😉  It might sound silly to some of you….but to me it was yet another reminder that HE CARES about everything that matter to us, from the smallest thing to the largest thing.❤  It’s well over two years later and I still love Jamberry nails.  My body is in a MUCH stronger and healthier state now so I’m back to using my regular nail polish most of the time but I still love to switch up my nail looks with Jamberry from time to time.🙂

SO, why am I sharing all of this on my blog??  Because I know a lot of people read this that are struggling with lyme disease or other chronic illnesses and many times nail polish, like it was for me, is too strong of a chemical smell for people to handle. Well, Jamberry can fix that!😉  Here’s for you girls needing something safe and healthy for your nails….and for the family or friends of a girl who is fighting a chronic illness.  Definitely a great gift!❤  (If you’re interested you can look up a consultant in your area by going to www.jamberry.com )

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These ballet slipper Jamberry nails were given to me by my dear friends, Heather & Gina….thank you, girls!  (PC: Adam DeMass – www.artthunder.com

Alright dear ones,  hope you have a beautiful day in HIS love and may His sufficient grace wash over you every moment.❤  Thank you for your love, encouragement and prayers!!!  You are all so treasured by me.

“…No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” ~Psalms 84:11 

Love,

Monica

God’s Medicine :-)

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(My little sis, Alivia in the above picture)❤😉

Recently I was very encouraged by a sister in Christ sharing with me Proverbs 4:22 –“For they are LIFE to those who find them and HEALING to all their flesh.”  

His Word is most definitely the most rewarding, refreshing, encouraging & life-giving “medicine” I can think of.😉

The days can feel so long at times as the fight for health continues….but I’m so grateful for all of you who continue to lift me up to the Father, joining in faith for me and with me that HIS healing IS coming in His perfect timing and in His perfect way.  <3

“Surely there IS a future, and your HOPE will not be cut off.” ~Proverbs 23:18

“It is through the most difficult trails that God often brings the sweetest discoveries of Himself.” 

 

Thank you, dear friends!

 

Love to all,

Monica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March Update

Hello Dear Friends!

I’m so happy that we’re fast approaching Summer with April right around the corner!! Sunshine, flowers, beach trips, flip-flops, & sunset watching here we come!😉

Regarding an update on my health – I’m fighting another pretty serious gut infection which has induced an all out ulcerative colitis flare up.😦 The inflammation and autoimmune reactions the colitis causes has brought back quite a few of my old lyme symptoms and the pain has been very severe this past month.   I just completed a 30 day round of doxycicline (again) to help with the lyme and the gut infection/colitis.  And I’m about to start a 30 day round of rocephin injections because the doxy didn’t help the gut infection at all.  It helped the lyme though, so that was encouraging. But we really need to find an antibiotic that will knock out the gut infection SOON.  I’ve been doing lots of ginger, bone broth, cowden protocol herbs and whole host of other vitamins and natural supplements to help my body with the process of fighting this infection as well as to keep helping with the fight against lyme.  It easily can feel discouraging and very monotonous and like the pain is never going to end, but this morning I was listening to a sermon by Adrian Rogers and he said, “You can look at any hospital and say, SIN did this. Look at any mental institution and say, SIN did this. Look all around the world at all the pain happening and say, SIN did this. When God created the rose, He created it without thorns.  But SIN brought the thorns.” In other words, we live in a sinful, fallen world…that DOES have pain and DOES have trials and DOSE have thorns…because of sin. But God STILL sends the roses and flowers amidst the pain.  He sends His precious presence and His overwhelming grace in such abundant amounts as we keep our gaze upward that even though the trials are painful and hard, we can continue to rest and praise because HE IS ENOUGH.❤  As we celebrate Easter this Sunday I’m so grateful my heart can sing “HALLELUJAH” – Praise Jehovah – HE IS RISEN and HE HAS DEFEATED all this pain and sickness in my body and around the world.  We’re not promised the perfect life on this earth, but we ARE promised a God who walks with us.  A God who will wash and soak us with HIS grace for every hour and minute of each trial.  A God who WILL cause the roses to still bloom amidst the thorns….and a God who will make trials seem so small as we focus on on the promise of Heaven, the promise of eternity and the promise that He defeated sin, darkness, pain and sickness once and for all on the cross so many  years ago.❤  One day….one day there won’t be a need for more antibiotics to fight more infections or more tests to figure out why the body isn’t working “right”.  Jesus…thank You that You ARE KING over this world and that You will Win every battle.❤❤❤

 

Current Specific Prayer Requests:

1.)  I had a very in depth genetic test done a few weeks ago and will be getting the results soon.  Please pray if there are any genetic issues that could be prohibiting my recovery they will show up on the test and that we will have wisdom in knowing how to treat them.

2.) That the Rocephin will quickly knock out my gut infection and that my Ulcerative Colitis will calm back down.

3.)  Continued wisdom in how to effectively stay on top of the Lyme Disease.

 

as sorrowful yet ALWAYS REJOICING.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:10 // God has really been using this verse to encourage me in my heart this past week.  I might have *feelings* of sorrow or discouragement over things that I face….but because of Jesus I can always, continually and earnestly CHOOSE to rejoice in my Jesus.  Rejoice in the fact that He never leaves me nor forsakes me. I can rest in the joy and hope of His promises that will never disappoint.❤

 

Thank you SO very much dear friends.❤ Your continued prayers, support and encouragement mean the world to me.

 

With Love,

Monica