Author Archives: abodyofhope

The Honest Truth

Poet Kristen Braatz Eiden shared this with us in honor of the passing of her beloved friend, and fellow poet Mary Jane Gonzales. Thank you, Kristen for sharing your beautiful and poignant poem. When I read your heartfelt poetry, it will always remind me of Jane ❤

Diary of a Clay Pot

The honest truth…
There are many things I would love to share
But wonder if you would even care

The honest truth…
We all have crosses to bare
So many burdens of past failures made aware

The honest truth…
Some things you would not want to hear
So many things that need to be made clear

The honest truth…
The pain is for real
But to many its seems unreal

The honest truth…
We all stumble and fall
We all need someone to catch our fall

The honest truth…
When we begin to realize there is no perfect here on earth
We begin to see life at its true worth

The honest truth…
Some of my worst days have become my best
There is truly hope in the unrest

The honest truth…
I would not be where I am today
Without every pain and heartache of yesterday

The honest truth…

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Poem; Words Won’t Come- (written-Mon 22 Jan 2018)

My new UK friend with CRPS/RSD wrote this real and honest poem based on her personal struggle she has been forced to take on, despite her illness. I’m so touched and honored that she credits my recent post, “My Brain is Lost: Brain Fog Again” as her inspiration. Check out more of her poetry and please support her on her very brand new blog xo

Twilight

hello dears, here is a poem I wrote recently, influenced by a Blog post made by a friend;

13;51 / Monday 22 January 2018

Poem; Words Won’t Come

“words won’t come, I’m feeling foggy, I think my brain slipped out on me
words won’t form, I have toffee teeth, there’s not much in clear vision, that I can see.”
I hear you perfectly hon, I feel the same these days,
I’ve been trying somehow to feel a little bit better,
But nothing works, from a dozen different ways

I feel a little vulnerable, I feel a Big Bit Lost, I feel back at five years old,
I feel at odds, with the rest of people, as if I’m a freak, they must leave out, in the cold

I’m not a criminal! I’m a quiet person, an Introvert, but I fear that’s not what they see
“we are loud! we are…

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“Rock of Ages” poem by Mary Jane Gonzales

ROCK OF AGES
Father, I am sinking.
Would you throw to me a rope?
Would you please confirm the scripture
That I’m never without hope?
Would you strengthen me in spirit
As I trod this rocky road?
Would you bear for me the burden
That is such a heavy load?
Would you wipe away the tears
That keep falling from my eyes?
Would you lovingly send mercy
When you hear my anguished cries?
Would you not let pain consume me
Taking focus out of prayer?
Would you be my rock of ages
Greater than my worldly care?

-Copyright Mary Jane Gonzales

(PSALM 91:1,14 Inspiration verses)

 

Today we honor author, poet, and chronic pain advocate Mary Jane Gonzales by reading her poetry, as her family and friends gather to pay tribute to her at her Celebration of Life service. Her poetry was actually her prayers, as she began praying in verse after her illness struck nearly 30 years ago. Jane became a Christian later in her life, and her faith was her rock and guiding light throughout her battle with the severe neurological disease Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which kept her confined to a bed through the final years. Though her body fought her daily, she used what energy she had to be a source of encouragement to others living in pain. If you would like to read one of her inspiring books, you can find her author page here where several of her books are available for download as ebooks. 

“My Only Consolation” song by Mary Jane Gonzales

 

 

“My Only Consolation”

Written by Mary Jane Gonzales

Music and Performance by Lequita Hoffpauir

Copyright 2011

 

“Shape me Yet Anew” Poem by Mary Jane Gonzales

SHAPE ME YET ANEW
Father God, I pray
That you would shape me yet anew,
As this pot is cracked and broken
And un-beautiful to you.
Lord, I feel as if you’ve started
With a fresh supply of clay
And I’m spinning on the wheel
And my life’s begun to sway.
When you’ve shaped me in your image
And you put me in the kiln,
In the furnace of affliction
To be set and processed still,
Let the outcome be for glory,
Let on-lookers stop and gasp.
“How did He make this from nothing?”
Let the people stop and ask.
Let the beauty draw attention
To the artist and His work.
Give me beauty and a purpose, Lord,
Of which I would not shirk.
As it is with real life pottery,
A pitcher or a vase,
Make me useful to the Master
In the setting where I’m placed.

-Mary Jane Gonzales

 

JEREMIAH 18:4 (NIV)
But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

 

This is from Mary Jane Gonzales’s book, Poetic Devotions for Those in Pain. I absolutely love this book of hers. The words are simple, but each poem has a profound message.
She told me that her poems are actually her prayers. After her chronic pain began, she could no longer pray as she had before… her emotional and physical pain were far too burdensome and overwhelming. 
Then she started speaking her prayers to the Lord through song and verse; that’s how she began writing books. Ten in full!
It’s incredibly intimate that she shares them with us. I find it so powerful being allowed to read one’s inner most private prayers to our Heavenly Father. It’s such a privilege. It feels as though she wrote the words written on my own heart. 
Her permission was given to share any of her poetry here, and today as her family holds a Celebration of her Life, I’ll be sharing some of her beautiful poetry with you to celebrate her life and work.  Please join me in praying for Jane’s family as they say goodbye, and I pray we as the chronic illness community can honor her legacy and continue her incredible work as the strong advocate she was. 
Purchase her ebooks here on her book page. If you can’t afford it at this time but would still love to read one of her books, please email me, and I’ll be happy to gift you a free book. abodyofhope@mail.com

 

 

Mary Jane Gonzales’s ‘Celebration of Life’ and Obituary

Below is the link to beloved author, poet, and long time chronic pain advocate, Jane Gonzales’s obituary.

Her family is saying goodbye and honoring her with a ‘Celebration of her Life’.

Obituary of Mary Jane Gonzales

Her service is on Feb 5th, in Houston, TX.

For those of us who cannot make it to her service to say our final goodbyes, we will be sharing our special memories, and the many ways she affected our lives and inspired us. We’ll also be posting some of Jane’s wonderful heartfelt poetry and articles here as well.

I invite you share your precious memories of our sister, Mary Jane Gonzales, so we can all remember her and celebrate her incredible life together.

abodyofhope@mail.com

 

Saying Goodbye to Mary Jane Gonzales

Mary Jane Gonzales, one of the greatest voices for CRPS/RSD and chronic pain awareness has passed away after battling Complex Regional Pain Syndrome for over 25 years.

She passed away on January 21st, 2018 from complications of chronic illness. She turned 70 this past year.

Jane authored several inspiring books (linked below), her Facebook page Poetic Hearts remains open, and her blog, http://LifethroughPoetryandProse.simplesite.com has an abundance of Jane’s articles on Chronic Pain. You can leave a comment on her blog or her Facebook Timeline for her family if you’d like.

She was a poet, an artist, mother, grandmother, and one of my closest friends.
I’m not exactly sure how to proceed, or how to honor her memory properly yet.
But, I want to invite you, if you have a personal story about Jane, a memory, artwork, a poem, etc. Please email it to me at abodyofhope@mail.com
I need your help. I’m organizing a month-long tribute to share her life, and your messages will be at the center.
Maximum 800 words, no minimum

She will be missed by so many. But she left so much behind for us all to remember her and what she stood for.

If you have followed this blog, you’ll already be familiar with Mary Jane Gonzales. Read more about her and her books below, an article I wrote about her 2 years ago as a surprise for her when her 10th book was released.

She touched so many lives, and she will be missed by all of us.

She is no longer suffering. She is finally free. She’s walking in the sunshine with her best friend and Savior, Jesus. I look forward to telling you more about her and her life in the coming days. Take heart knowing that she is where her soul has longed to be. She ran the race.

DisabledandDivorced

life beyond pain 

When it feels like life is breaking apart around us, we must go out of our way to pour light and wisdom back into our lives. I wanted to share the books of Mary Jane Gonzales here because self care during a separation or divorce is so crucial! This author, poet, mother, and chronic pain survivor knows a thing or two about caring for her own body and spirit. 

She just released her 10th book, A Voice Unheard, which is unlike any of her previous books. Her compassion and inside knowledge for the current issues those with chronic illness live with silently, makes this book a must read for patients, family of anyone diagnosed with a chronic disease, and health care professionals.

a voice unheardGonzales utilizes the patient advocacy work she has done over the years to speak out on behalf of those marginalized on account of being disabled or chronically ill…

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Self Care Plan

If you know someone going through a bad breakup, someone grieving a loss, someone who lives with mental illness, or someone going through a new or ongoing health crisis, share this with them to save on their phone or computer.

If you’re going through a tough season and *need* to ask for help, I pray you have the courage to do so, and a compassionate soul who will answer that call.

Sometimes what we need wins over what we want. Our pride never wants to concede in that battle of wills.

There’s no shame or guilt in doing the right thing for your survival. Don’t let those ugly whispers in your head tell you how to live ♡

If you are struggling today, please call your State Behavioral Health Crisis Line. They are professionals and are there to listen.

What are your basics?

If you made a list, what would be on it?

What helps you feel like a human being again?

Maybe you like to brush your hair, or maybe drinking coffee in the morning does the trick. Some people must first put on lipstick, and for others, it’s saying hello to their furry friends that begins to restore their equalibrium.

You’ll notice I didn’t write “Eat something healthy” because sometimes the best we can do is eat anything at all. After you have fed your stomach, hydrated thoroughly, and you’ve taken your meds and vitamins, make sure to feed your soul.

Feeding my soul is just as nourishing as feeding my body. If all I set my eyes and heart on is social media and television for a week, I can’t be surprised if I’m feeling nervous and low by the end of the week. I love the term “Inspirationalizing” as a active verb. We have to go out of our way to find uplifting articles for hope, books on people of influence for wisdom, seeking out positive quotes and wise words of God in Scripture for guidance.

What ways do you like to feed your soul?

Since my divorce, I have overhauled my self care. In a relationship, you each have a schedule and you’re attuned to the other person’s needs. They know you, and are able to remind you of your needs- you help one another. These habits were so engrained into my life!

As I continue adjusting to my single life, in time, I’ve learned to try to check in with myself with as much effort as I would have my spouse. Having a schedule of sorts helps, and prioritising is especially important for me. In the beginning the transition was especially difficult. It took time. If you are in a transition of sorts, give it some time… Things will find their place again. Please don’t neglect your well being in the mean time. You will realize how much you matter to this world, once again♡

If you’re like me, and you don’t have the ability to do all of your own self care, what are some goals you have on your self care list?

What self care would you like to set as a priority for yourself this year?

This Day doesn’t belong to This Pain

You have every right to say that your days are bad from diagnosis onward. Pain roars and screams and spreads and bites down. It truly touches every part of our lives, and tries to destroy all that it touches.

But you are not your body. You are more than flesh and bone.

You have the power to tell your story the way you want it heard.

You don’t have to choose whether your days are black or white, either good or bad. This isn’t a multiple choice test between succeeding or failing.

We are all striving to find balance every day, moving forward despite our circumstances, seeking our best selves.

That is a victory.

The ‘Shame’ of Chronic Illness and Pain

Brene Brown says that, “if we speak our shame, then it begins to wither.” This writer who suffers a similar condition as I, has written so openly and powerfully on the vulnerability of illness. This is a revelation, and a battle cry. Please read to the end.
(Trigger Warning)

Radical Hope.

CJIfWeSpeakShame.jpgShame derives its power from being unspeakable….
If we cultivate enough awareness about shame to name it and speak to it,
we’ve basically cut it off at the knees.
Shame hates having words wrapped around it.
If we speak shame, it begins to wither.”

Brené Brown

Over the summer, I read Brené Brown’s fabulous book Daring Greatly. The book follows her famous TED Talk on vulnerability that previously inspired me to write on the power of vulnerability.

The full title of the book is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. It encourages us to dare to be honest about who we really are, rather than trying to hide our weakness. It teaches that vulnerability helps us to live more wholeheartedly and to connect more with others, as well as helping us to overcome the destructive burden of…

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