The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

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Preparing for Hand Surgery Next Week

ashridge snow #3 - oak tree
Image by slimmer_jimmer via Flickr


Thank you, friends, for your support in the last few weeks as I have been recovering from Invisible Illness Week, then trying to get organized with “life”. We’ve got a “chore sheet” for our son on the back of the bathroom door and he is getting a weekly allowance. I’ve attended parent/teacher meetings, and have been flaring badly through it all. I bought a big thick daily planner, and then I copy all the stuff for the week over to the dry erase board. I am just about organized, and now it wil all soon be going haywire!

Yesterday as I limped through the house I had my own little sports commentary going on in my head, “And she’s coming around the corner, folks! She’s building speed! Oops, look out, she’s losing her balance. . . oh, she’s back in the race!”

Ever feel like you are barely moving and yet in your head you are running? (Like when people wait in their car for you to cross the street and then they look at you like,  “Could you maybe pick up the pace?”)

And through it all I’ve been visiting many doctors. January or February I will have cataract surgery, as I have a big one on each eye “bulls eye” over my retina (glad I can do something so precise!)

I am scheduled to have hand surgery November 4–next Wednesday. If all goes as planned, (no infections!) surgery will just be out-patient and I will be home that day, with a cast– for six weeks! They are rebuilding my left hand, likely doing some joint replacements and trying to put a few fingers and tendons back into place.

As much as I would love to have some of the use of my hand back, I am not looking forward to any kind of cast on my arm, as my shoulder bones are “bone on bone” and need replaced themselves; and the cast will go above the bent elbow. A couple of years ago a simple hand surgery sent me into the deepest flare I’ve had for weeks, so please pray that it will be more smooth this time.

My parents arrive soon. Dad will be here just a few days and mom will help me around the house and. . . (please pray) with driving. (Sorry, mom, but you know you hate the freeways here is San Diego.) I don’t know how good of passenger I will be as she drives me to hand therapy 20 miles away (the closest hand therapist.)

I have newsletters ready to go out to you in coming weeks and the web site will have new content every day. I’ve been doing lots to prepare for this time I will be off the computer more than on.

Answering emails will be difficult, but I will do my best. I have a voice program, but it doesn’t work when I am on pain medications because my voice slows down too much!

Any way, that is the scoop!

I read this scripture the other day from The Message:

Matthew 5:14-26 says, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand-shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives.
By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (The Message)

I am going to try to “be a light.” I think that means a “lattern” kind of soft glow, or a bright light, but not the red adn blue spinning lights that we see behind our car. I anticipate not feeling terrific, but I still have the ability to influence everyone I come into contact with – and I get to choose if that influence is positive or negative. I get to decide if I let people walk away from me encouraged or discouraged.

As you prepare for winter and pull out your heating pad and comfort items, remember that God doesn’t want to hide you under a bucket (or in your home.) And sometimes that even means ASKING for help from others. I am going to try to take my own advice and do this (unlike last year when it seemed like everyone assumed someone else was helping-including my own church where I fell through the cracks when I most needed them.)

Know you are not alone in your struggles – with people, spiritually, even with yourself! I am walking that rough road right beside you and learning some things the hard way.

I pray that you are blessed in coming weeks and that the Lord pleasantly surprises you with His light this season.

I think I can manage 140 characters picking out the letters with one hand so you keep up with me at or
in coming weeks.

God bless,

Lisa Copen, Rest Ministries Founder
Rest Ministries Chronic Illness Pain Support

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Share Your Mom Stories for My New Mom w/ Illness Book

mom-childAre you a Christian mom with a chronic illness who has kids under 10… or just remembers having kids under 10? If so, you may want to consider adding your input to my new book for chronically ill Chistian moms!

If you sign up for this “group” Christian Moms with Illness Book Team you will only be notified of what I am looking for for the book: example, anecdotes, advice, your stories, etc.

Your replies will not be public, and this is not a group where you will send emails to other members. It’s just a “tool” to be able to reach you and I will let you know if your suggestions make it into the book!

I am also looking for moms who also have the illness but may be the caregiver for someone else, moms with illness who have ill kids, single moms, etc. If you are an adult who grew with with a chronically ill mom, I also have some question for you!

If you are a mom and you have an illness you qualify.

Sign up here.

I look forward to working with you!
Lisa Copen

PS: Looking for mom support? Visit our Sunroom Groups:

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50 Things…

Someone sent this to me to fill out a couple of weeks ago and I just finished and am posting it. I don’t know if it’s interesting or not. I won’t be offended if you don’t read it or if you just have more interesting things to do!

Six Flags México.
Image via Wikipedia

50 Things

1. What color is your toothbrush? hot pink

2. Name one person who made you smile today? My son

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Getting a cup of coffee

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Working on Invisible Illness Week Stuff on the computer

5. What is your favorite candy bar? Uno (hard to find) Recess

6. What did you do last night? Went out to dinner with husband and son

7. What is the last thing you said aloud? “I’ll record Batman for you.”

8. What is your favorite ice cream? Mint chocolate chip

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? iced coffee

10. Do you like your wallet? I love it. It’s red

11. What was the last thing you ate? Cup of grapefruit

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? a tee shirt at Ross

13. The last sporting event you watched? Tour de France

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? Loads of butter (but not now, on nutrisystem)

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? Can’t remember how to use it.

16. Ever go camping? Growing up

17. Do you take vitamins daily? Yes

18. Do you go to church every Sunday? As much as possible, sometimes listen online

19. Do you have a tan? My arms have a tan line

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? Usually pizza

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? No

22. What did your last text message say? I tried to text and accidentally called my cousin.

23. What are you doing tomorrow? Church, Costco, ?

24. Have you ever eaten a bug? Not on purpose

25. Look to your left, what do you see? Cute lamp that looks like Adirondack chair

26. What color is your watch? I don’t wear one

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia? Some place I’d like to visit someday

28. What are you wearing right now? Cotton crop pants and tee

29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? McDonald’s for son to play

30. What is your favorite number? Don’t have one

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone? My mom

32. Any plans today? 10 pm, off to bed to read

33. How many states have you lived in? 3

34. Biggest annoyance right now? Pain in hands and shoulders, numb foot

35. Last song listened to? No idea

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? No

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house? Am blessed, have a housekeepers

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? Sandals from Easy Spirit

39. Are you jealous of anyone? Not that I can think of

40. Is anyone jealous of you? No one I’m aware of

41. Do you love anyone? Lots of people

42. Do any of your friends have children? Yes

43. What do you usually do during the day? stuff and entertain son for summer

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? Never use that word

45. Do you use the word “hello”? Yes, especially when I answer the phone

46. What color is your car? silver

47. Do you like cats? Love them!

48. Are you thinking about someone right now? Not really

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Yes, even went on some coasters

50. How did you get your worst scar? Flesh eating bacteria on ankle

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Father’s Day Reminder… Kids are Watching

A panoramic windshield on a 1959 Edsel Corsair...

I loved this video.

My son is 6 so it was especially poignant. In recent months he’s watched us pay bills and yes, leave a note on a car’s windshield when we hit it.

Dads have a lot of desire to be perfect… but it’s not about perfection. It’s just living your life as close to Christ’s as possible, and letting your children see you ask for forgiveness when you don’t measure up.

I know as a mom I am giving my son plenty of opportunities to see me ask God (and him) for forgiveness!

Watch this amazing video here:


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Parenting with a Chronic Illness

Replica of the New York City skyline at Legola...
Legoland Wikipedia

Parenting and illness is a hot topic—especially among women. There are so many questions:

  • Should I have a child? Can my body handle a safe pregnancy?
  • When? How long should we try?
  • Will the child have my illness? What are the odds?
  • Can I take my medications while pregnant?
  • Should I adopt? Will anyone give me a child with my illness?
  • Can I do it? What if I find out I can’t?
  • What if my spouse doesn’t help enough?
  • What if I decide not to parent?
  • How do I explain my decision to people? How much do I say?

And I am getting more and more emails from grandparents, especially grandmas, who have a chronic illness and yet are still expected to be a full-time caregiver while their son or daughter works. (We have an article in the current issue of HopeKeepers Magazine about grand-parenting when you are chronically ill.)

  • How can I raise my grandchildren? Where do I get the energy?
  • What if I can’t do it? How do I say no?
  • How do I explain I want to but my body won’t let me?
  • How can my child work and earn money for the family if I don’t provide free child care?

As many of you know I am the mom of a 6-year-old son. (He’d say “six and a half.”) My husband and I adopted Joshua at birth and he’s the little spark and twinkle in my life that keeps me going. But yes, being a mom is hard.

School got out for the summer Thursday. Friday I realized just how much energy he really does have after spending a full day with him. Saturday I awoke with a really bad flare. We’d planned to go to Legoland to celebrate “out of school!” and because it was “Star Wars” weekend.

Josh said, “Let’s wait until tomorrow to go because we want Mommy to go, right, Dad?” Ah. . .what an amazing kid!

Only. . .Sunday (today) rolled around and I was flaring even worse, this time with my knee out of place all night despite extra medication and thermal wraps.  Hands still like claws. Josh was okay with just going with his dad and they got home an hour ago. It was a special time.

I went to the grocery store for a few necessities and did some stuff around the house. My parents arrive next week and we’ll all go to Legoland then, (we have summer passes) so I told myself it was no big deal. These moments will come when you are parenting with a chronic illness.

I have some blog posts coming about parenting with an illness. I am also working on a moms with illness Christian book. I see all of this as a need. At the same time, I want to be sensitive to those of you who read this who do not have children, those of you who have perhaps lost a child (either in heaven, or maybe to an ex-spouse.) And I know many of you made a decision not to parent (some because of your illness) and though you are okay with that choice, you may still grieve it.

I am always open to hearing your feedback and your stories. There are more of you than you realize. But because I haven’t had that experience I am unable to write about it as one of my personal daily events in the world of blogging. I did write an article in the past called When You Have an Illness and Decide Not to Parent

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on it over the years. So if you are not a parent, please know I have no plans to turn this into a mommy blog.

If you are a parent, know that I have heard your pleas of “how can I survive the summer?” and I will be sharing my own successes and struggles with you and hope you will share too so we can all make it a wonderful summer together!

I guess that’s all I wanted to say. (Smile)

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Do You Have an Awesome Dad?


My dad, Lloyd

I am extremely blessed to have an amazing Dad! And I  intend to let them know at the Christian Broadcasting Network. You can too if you have a great dad!

Their web site states:

This Father’s Day, invites you to celebrate your dad. Tell us why your father is extra special and how he has been a godly influence in your life. In 200 words or less, or in a 90 second video, please tell us why your dad is the greatest! > Read More

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