Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens in Fibromyalgia Flares

Did you know that a fibromyalgia flare can mimic a symptomatic severe case of the flu with total body pain void of fever, leaving an uncertainty loomed whether the real thing or not? Now, couple that with a few days of unrelenting bouts of lower spine/back pain impeding walking or everyday movement, where getting out of the bed unless absolutely necessary found its way to the bottom of the options for today list. A skirmish in life, indeed, was and is happening! 
Okay so, this early morning I mulled over names of folk, including my son, to call upon to bring me a huge pot of soup. The thought hit me that I have enough fixin’s in my pantry, fridge and freezer to brew up that big savory homemade concoction myself. Sooo, let us see what happens when fresh cabbage, spinach and onions, assorted cans of vegetables, a chicken drumstick/thigh quarter, leftover homemade turkey broth, Worcestershire sauce, instant whole wheat brown rice, seasoned to taste with thyme, cumin, sea salt, basil, oregano, and garlic powder are co-mingled with a totally blessed sufficiency of grace to get-up-and-go is employed at whatever snail-paced forward motion to get’er done. By my faith, I saw the end product before it was actually done. 

Voilà! After persistent and consistent effort with committed determination for a longer-than-normal time preparation and cooking time, SUCCESS!

Over a gallon of tasty-morsel fusions of scrumptiously delectable composites to satisfy the dulcet cravings was found as the nugget of gratitude for this weakened yet Christ-strengthened gal. I do realize that the prior sentence may have sounded like a mishmash of a compromised choice of choreographed words. However, the following needs no interpretation… 

Did the same person ‘who moved my cheese’, move my whole wheat crackers?

Week 12 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens

WOW!😱 I think you would agree… What a horridly horrific image!!!!!😣 

I first saw it a few weeks ago on a blog post of a precious friend. Its impact hit me hard! As I read and reread and periodically revisited the horror in that picture, I tearfully grappled with the realization that this was her life, my friend’s life. The fact that this now had a face, made it even tougher.😢 

Please let me hear your comment/s on the first two questions of the four following questions: 1) How did that image impact you?; 2) What does that image say to you?; 3) Are you a victim or perpetrator or both?; 4) Do you know someone who is either or both? Comments on the last two questions of the four may stay between you, this blog and God. 

Here are two other sadly thought-provoking bonus questions: 5) Does that picture have a face to you? 6) Has it now become personal to you?

Before your thoughts run rampantly amuck in pondering, “What possible nugget of gratitude could come out of this life happening?! Miss Rainey has surely lost her mind and gone off the deep end!” Follow me with my seemingly bizarrely twisted chain of thought. This is going to be a nugget of gratitude that we together are going to find as we get the dialogue going. I look forward to you interacting with others and with me on this journey.

So this time I am soliciting your help

Repost on this blogpost your WordPress blog site and/or share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram or other social network site/s of choice. Use hashtag “lifehappeningsurvey” when you share and/or comment. Please ask others to do the same.  
Survey family, friends, followers, co-workers, business partners, clergy, teachers, bosses, church members, children, grandchildren, relatives, law enforcement persons, health care providers, siblings and anyone else by asking one or all of the 4 above questions. Accumulate their responses. Then come back and report your findings on this blog or you may do so on my personal social network sites, using #lifehappeningsurvey. Together we shall reveal the nugget of gratitude!

Whoa! What an incentive for you to check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude we have unearthed! Together, you and I shall lead others to freedom with joy! And hopefully in addition, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. You see, I am all about giving hope to others.😉 A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope! #lifehappeningsurvey

Ponder This – What Do You Do With The Pain Again?

As you intently and honestly ponder the questions posted in this blog! Post your point of pain comments. Or if you prefer, perhaps write about the pain of others with whom you are familiar. Have you ever considered the “nugget of gratitude” that may be hidden in the pain when “life happens“? Then check back in a few days for my riveting “Finding Nuggets Of Gratitude When Life Happens” post.

Pain Defined

What do you do with pain? Do you pray it away? Do you wish it would just go away? Is your faith challenged because you have pain? Do you wonder what others are going to think of you?  Do you wonder why it is there in the first place? Does confusion set in because your stand in faith against it does not immediately manifest release? Is there healing in pain? Is there healing thru pain? Or perhaps should you ask yourself, “Do I r-e-a-l-l-y want the pain to go away?” What will you do if the pain is no longer there? What do you do with the void that the absence of pain has left? What do you do with the pain?

Week 7 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens

You must hear the totally unexpected blessing that overtook me this morning! Oh My! How awesome is our God! Hang on to tolerance, endurance and patience fruit of the spirit because the nugget of gratitude is in the detail! You know God’s voice could be in the wind, the thunder, the rain, the sunshine or some other element or in a person. AAANNNDDD…answered prayer could come through INTERRUPTIONS, as was my case this morning! It could be all in the attitude by which you handle said pesty and annoying interruptions.

I was on the 30-minute B12Shot Shark Leadership Coaching/Training call, which I listen to M-F at 9am. Take a moment to make a note to self, DO NOT call Miss Rainey between 9&9:30am M-F! Well, a call came in about halfway thru the call. Not desiring to interrupt the training call plus not recognizing the number added up to ignore the call and listen to voicemail later. Shortly following that would be interruption, the next number on my CallerID was that of someone at the gate requesting entrance. So the perfect combination of again not desiring to interrupt the training call plus not expecting anyone at that hour of the morning added up to ignore. Then a couple of minutes later, someone was literally banging on my door which naturally startled me! A look through the security peep whole was obviously a technician, but why and who! The response to my, “Who Is It” was, “AT&T here for an install or something.” Fortunately not only is the training call available on replay, but I record each call with my trusty nifty Livescribe smartpen. But my thing is I want to hear it LIVE..NO INTERRUPTIONS!

I slightly opened the door to better hear why he was here. The confusion in his voice and in his countenance and total body language was apparent that he had NO IDEA for what reason or why he was dispatched here. He could make no natural sense of this mystery repair/install ticket he received.

I tell you, I have seen plenty of service technicians in my over 6 decades of life, but not ever one as perplexed and disoriented as he was. When I released and redirected my divided attention away from the interruption to singly focus on the matter at hand, that was when a tech support call I made 3 weeks or more weeks ago came to mind. I recanted that call to the technician and told him I adamantly chose not to create a service ticket because of the enormous cost just for someone to come out. It was at that moment when I saw his face relax, all angst disappeared and he uttered the following words to me that a realization hit me!


Oh! Another pertinent detail that transpired this morning between the Lord and Me. I had even pulled an item of furniture from the wall to try to gain access Continue reading

Week 5 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens

Some have patiently awaited for the promised informational update on the story behind the pictures below that I also posted on FaceBook.

Well, here goes…

Excitement was in my step as I headed downstairs of my new residence to the bi-monthly Variety Show of karaoke, poetry, story telling, laughs and simply a whole lot of senior adult fun and fellowship. However, this time it was accompanied by a yummy spaghetti dinner.

I arrived about 7 minutes late and was met with a totally unexpected inquiry. “Do you have a tape player?” Hmmm…did she mean CD player but was calling it a tape player or did she mean cassette player? In asking to get clarity, sure enough it was a cassette player that she needed. My mind quickly raced to that Big Bin of electronics sitting out on the patio, which my son had tried to get me to discard, had one in it. So I politely stated I was not sure if I had a portable one or not, but that I did have a stereo system with one and that I would need something to carry it on if I did go get it. Her mouth said, “Oh that is okay, you do not have to bother.” But those eyes spoke with a different agenda without being able to even utter a word. Since the program was about to get underway, I was not sure if I should follow the directive of her eyes and politely excuse myself or just sit there. The sitting became uncomfortable because those eyes were peering loudly.

Up from the table I arose to make a bee-line up the elevator to my new abode! In my frantic search in the Big Bin, there was no portable cassette player. I could hear her voice in my ear, “I just want everyone to hear this song that I told them about at the last Variety Show.” So I retrieved the dolly from the outside storage area, which my son had also asked me to part with. I loaded the small stereo and speakers, which guess what? Yes, my son indeed had also attempted to persuade me to get rid of. Oh, but how happy I was that I did not listen to my son! I rolled it all out of my apartment, down the hallway, to the elevator and parked it outside the meeting room door, so as not to create a disturbance. My, my, my, did her eyes ever light up when I whispered I brought my stereo system downstairs! What joy churned in me to see her so happy. Excitement and satisfaction were in my step as I went forward to set up my equipment and observed many of the gazing eyes of glee upon me in anticipation of an added element of enjoyment would complete this precious time.

So my gratitude broke forth in being able to replace that forlorn demeanor with nuggets of sheer delight as she would be able to keep her promise to the group to play the song that meant so much to her. Whew, sure am glad I did not listen to my son to part ways with what he deemed bordered hoarding! Not saying he was wrong. You see, my question to my readers now is, “Do any of you have need of any old electronic device of any type?” I am really pretty stockpiled with old computers, cd players, VHS rewinder, cameras, dvd players, RCA chords, adapters, etc.

IMG_0699 IMG_0700 IMG_0698-0

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Week 3 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens

Who of you would care to admit that your morning revolved around a 1-hour window of “The Price Is Right” with Bob Barker? Oo-Oo! Pick me!

For many many years, until a few years ago, family, close friends and coworkers knew not to even think about disturbing me between 10am and 11am CST because I had a daily date with Bob Barker and “The Price Is Right”. That everyday 1-hour dose of games, fun, laughter, price guessing and happiness supplied me with joy and an escape from the cares of the world and the day. Whether school or work, schedules were created around that time slot. Perhaps sounds like a strange addiction, but I choose to believe it was a block of time that was committed to self to simply diffuse and enjoy. It is a perfectly legitimate for you to question the pertinence of that information as it pertains to gratitude.


Well, I was out walking my dog this the very next day after my blog post introducing you to my dog Skowt. My allegiance was challenged! Be it known that those days of dedicated engagement with“The Price Is Right” dwindled to an occasional tuning in after the change of hosts. So you see, the game show was not the conflict this time. The new contention of no interruptions became the 9am-9:30am 30-minute window. That is a committed time to self for personal growth and development from a respected mentor and business partner in coaching and training. So you are probably wondering where is this rabbit trail leading to and how does my dog fit into all of this.

In the ongoing reworking and re-prioritizing my day to include walking Skowt, I got a little later start than needed which meant the journey outside was going to be cut short. In doing my very best to avoid other dog walkers from the complex by keeping a sharp eagle eye, I did an immediate about face at the sight of a couple of dogs and their owners at the pet park. Headed back on my merry way to my apartment, I thought I heard my name being called. But how could that be when i am relatively new here. I glanced back but saw no one. Sure enough when I realized after hearing my name three times, I turned to see who was beckoning me. You may recall my post yesterday mentioned Skowt attracting attention because of his beauty. Well, it was one of those folk ecstatically waving her arms to get my attention and excitedly coming toward me. A quick look at my watch revealed time was quickly approaching for the call.

That sweet little lady invited me to join them in the pet park for Skowt to interact with and get to know the other dogs and them him. As much as that invitation temptingly touched me, I thanked her and graciously declined. You see I explained that I have a commitment to a conference call that is going to start in a few minutes. Whether she understood that degree of diligence to a call, it did not matter to me. Why?

You see, it was an aha moment of gratitude that my loyalty to self was such that I would protect that 30-minute window just like I did with“The Price Is Right”. Those information-packed 30 minutes bring value, joy and increased knowledge which serve to hone my skills in giving hope to others. My question to you now is, do you have a dedicated window of time for yourself that will result in a better you for others?

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Oh, by the way, how many of you will admit that you still do occasional indulge in a little “The Price Is Right” escape. Oo-Oo! Pick me!

Week 2 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens

At the end of this day, my gratitude emerges in the midst of or despite the record-setting cold North Central Texas temperatures. Fibromyalgia and cold just do not gel no how, no way in this body! As eluded to in the post of yesterday, my recent move from a home with a rather large backyard to an apartment with a 5’x10′ patio poses a real challenge after being reunited with my very loving Border Collie/Cocker Spaniel mix dog. No more simply opening the door to let him take care of business as he frolics in the yard. The choice to walk him at my leisure has been eliminated, as he requests an early morning, midday and late night stroll at the minimum.

So this morning magically transformed into re-prioritizing this day as well as for those subsequent frigid ones ahead. Necessary kickstart decisions were made: 1) snap to it; 2) move from a place of dread; and 3) get on up out of my warm cozy bed…all with the mindset of loving the family pet whose name is Skowt. Now while the extra time in extreme bundling up from head to toe to brave the abnormal wintry chill is transpiring, a smile came to my face each time as Skowt’s ears perked up and his tail wagged in anxious anticipation of the pending roaming to the great outdoors. He just was not phased by my very obvious apprehension, nor the shivery of his human.

The gratitude came in the joy Skowt exuded each time we journeyed beyond our four walls. And then the totally unexpected comments complimenting his beauty I experience in the attention he attracted from other dog lovers strolling their pets on the complex property cracked a smile on this ‘cold’ face. Despite my objection to shivering and hesitance at braving the elements, that early morning decision to deny self actually effected an increased sphere of influence. So electrify your ambit, bounds of impact, in a realization that Fibromyalgia and cold can gel in a release of denial to self with a resolve to a grateful heart.



Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Week 1 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens

Oh no, the clock is about to strike midnight and you have not seen my nugget of gratitude for today. So I am taking this quick moment to let you know that I am grateful for the manifested constraining power of the Lord to keep me calm when life was happening all around me with stimulus overload. On my Day 13 of gratitude, I shall share the changes in my environment which created a firestorm of reorganization and prioritizing. But for now, let me just say that gratitude runs deep for my two kiddos and my daughter-in-love for helping me to get settled in my new home while they watched my dog Skowt. He is reunited with me!

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens 52-Week Journey

On this eve of 2015, I am gratefully reflective upon 2014 as it appears the Lord is going grant me entrance into this brand new year. 2014 presented opportunities to laugh or cry, engage or disengage, shout or whisper, lean in or lean out, blush in embarrassment or accolades, complain or rejoice, tear down or build up self and others, speak life or destruction, organize or disarrange, express sympathy or congratulations, obey or rebel, go under or up, compose or merge, parent well or with inconsistency, be defeated or conquer, succeed or try again, personally develop or remain status quo, be content or dissatisfied, survive or thrive, encourage or intimidate, forgive or live imprisoned, idolize or covet…

In looking at the moments of gratefulness, would there be a conviction for actively engaging? Or would freedom be granted for lack of evidence?

Well, it is my endeavor for 2015 to daily present nuggets of gratitude finds whether life happens favorably or unfavorably. It is my desire to ignite a firestorm of folks excitedly jumping on to form an unending conga line dance of gratitude. I want there to be enough proof of gratefulness, that a lifetime sentence of a grateful heart is imposed with no chance of early release or parole.

Check back soon for my first nugget of gratitude find when life happens.

That Person In Line Could Be You

For those of you joining this blog from my facebook post, give me a few lines to give the back story… Well it looks like it was actually more than just a few minutes, seeing that it is now the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

As a rule when walking through matters that challenge me healthwise, I choose to limit my words in talking about the illness  and majorly speak mounds of words of life in glorifying the Lord for His continued faithfulness.  So I have not been outright forthcoming to request specific prayer for an intense mystery health battle in which I have been engaged for almost 3 weeks. The Lord reminded me of His watchful eye thru a phone call from someone my son Aaron jokingly left me in their ‘care’ in line for the general session of Ambit Energy’s Ambition2013 national convention at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Just yesterday I said to my associate pastor, Scott Athey,  that I probably should widen the sphere of prayer support and share this specific request. Well, my phone rang around 10am this morning.  The voice at the other end identified herself with these words, “I do not know if you remember me. My name is Dee Rankin. Your son left you in our charge while he went to take care of some things for you…” Oh my! I had TOTAL RECALL!  That is really awesome in and of itself because memories sometimes are not so readily prepared to release events, people, places, things, etc. 

Well, Dee, went on to share with me that I have been on her mind for about 3 weeks. From time to time her husband would ask if she had called me. Then Sunday I was on her mind again pretty heavily, but she did not call and then again yesterday and this morning. So she decided to pick up the phone today when she came across my business card. Dee then sweetly said, “There must be a reason that you am on my mind so much.” I responded, “Well, I do not know if you are a praying woman or not…”, interrupted by her saying, “I sure am!” Wowee Zowee!!!! As you read further, please take not of the timeline parallels! God is so very awesome!!!!

I then began to detail back to how her timelines  paralleled dates and times of my last three weeks. December 26 (3 weeks ago) I suddenly became very ill with what was symptomatic of the flu, only escalating the next few days. I have learned that one of the ways fibromyalgia manifests itself is with severe flu-like symptoms. Now couple that with with the muscle and nerve pain of fibromyalgia…well let’s just say, I have said often that I would take labor pain over this anytime! Since I have been thru this particular type of fibro flare several times since the 2009 diagnosis, as I stand steadfast for manifested healing, I do not rush to the doctor because I know it will subside. Also with knowledge that God’s grace and mercy will carry me thru as well as the prayers of those who have committed to pray/intercede for me. So a visit to the doctor is not a priority for me upon a flare because this all usually subsides in 3-5 days.

Well, after a week and a half and the heightened concern of my two adult children began to create a burn in their overworked faith muscles. So a doctor appointment was placed on my calendar for an office visit. “Say what?! High what?! Cannot be!” were exclamations as yet another diagnosis proceeded from the doctor’s lips in addition to the fibro flare, as tears streamed down my face. I thank the Lord for my doctor whose compassionate chair-side manner brought calm, allowing me to re-focus to gain my faith-filled footing once again. So this diagnosis is another opportunity for me to stand firm in the report of the Lord and watch His faithfulness rise to the occasion as the heat to the furnace is turned up another notch. I shall not bend, bow or burn!

So now let us fast forward to the Sunday parallel… Got up Sunday morning to be dressed and ready for the prearranged pickup time by a friend for church. Moments after leaving my home, the friend posed this question to me, “On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel? “6 1/2”,  was my hesitant reply. Determined to be in church since I had missed the prior Sunday and Wednesday, I wanted to be in the wonderful atmosphere of fellowship and love, anointed worship in song and the spoken word and a whole lotta hugs. Soon after arrival at church, it became apparent that the scale in my physical body was starting to go up.

Have you ever found yourself in this predicament? Should I faith it out? Then assess, would the staying be faith, foolishness or presumption? As desperately as I wanted to faith it out, I knew I really needed to get home. Okay now, I know some or many of you have been in that quandary before, whether you willingly admit it out loud or not. Are you aware that application of wisdom and common sense does not nullify faith? The more this chickadee attempted to respond attentively in dialogue and strong in faith, the body was getting weaker escalating upward on the pain-odometer. I knew it would not only be foolish for me to presume to stay, but selfish as well. Sooo thanks to sweet friend, Rhonda Wilson, I was back at home 65 minutes after Sunday church arrival. Pain soaring at the level 10, where it remained for about 13 hours!

With an 8 1/2 pain level Monday morning, I phoned my doctor and made an 11am appointment for Tuesday. In my search for a ride for that appointment, a precious sister Angel McGoogan, got in touch with me to let me know she could take me TODAY Monday. Called doctor and was able to reschedule for that very day! Thank you Lord! Tested negative for the flu to the absolute elation of my kiddos and also negative for mono! Halleluia! However, I was left yet again in the mystery category. And yes I do know, although it is a mystery to medical science, it is NO MYSTERY to Almighty God. Since it mimics various conditions, it says to me…all out onslaught of an attack to dismantle my unflinching grip on my faith in my faithful God! Time for me to militia in prayer intercessors who are willing to be warriors to stand strong with me. And today Tuesday, 7 1/2 pain level, I am asking the Lord for wisdom in calling on the troops.

To think the Lord’s love placed me again, that person in line, on Dee’s heart this Sunday, then Monday and Tuesday! Even though my case is a mystery to the medical eye right now, it is and never has been that to the Lord! He knows exactly what is going on! Therefore my faith is still in tact and unrelentingly being applied ‘…because my God has never failed me yet, so why do I have to fret…’ ‘Letting my prayers and supplications be made known to the Lord’. Speaking life to and over myself. Encouraging myself in the Lord

I say thank you to Dee for picking up the phone Monday morning to let me know you had been thinking about me. I hope you, my readers, followed the vital parallel timelines…3weeks ago, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I hope you will make it your rule that when a specific someone or situation suddenly is heavy on your heart, in your thoughts or mind, please take a moment to assess the matter in prayer. And if at all possible… pick up the phone, send a text, email, facebook inbox message or some form of communication OR even stop by if locale allows. You could be the same blessing to someone out there that Dee was to me. If someone knows this Pennsylvania Dee and her husband Bill, please thank her for the obedience she displayed in the sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. By the way, she also committed to say a prayer and be in prayer for me. Oh, yes! My faith is still in tact! Just decided to allow you in to let you know that I, too, do walk t-h-r-o-u-g-h…by the grace and mercy of God and the prayers of family and friends.

Thought for this post… you just may need to take note of that person in line could be you