An Imperfect Offering

Chronic Joy Ministry

DHSunflowersandBookMy heart lurched and thudded at my feet. It was hard to breathe. I started to sweat.

There were mistakes. More mistakes. Seven mistakes and I hadn’t even read it all the way through yet. How was that even possible? I’d read and read and reread. I’d laid a ruler along the margins. I’d painstakingly sorted through code – character-by-mind-numbing character. So. Many. Times. I’d read front to back and back to front. Every single word. Slowly. Out loud. More than once. Dozens of times. I wanted to cry. I had worked so hard and still there were mistakes. Not a few.


There were seven mistakes in my beautiful book. I was holding proof copy number two in my hands and there were mistakes marring the pages. Seven things I’d missed.

Seriously, Lord! How are there still so many mistakes? I used to be a copy editor…

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A Different Way

Chronic Joy Ministry


Yesterday, I shared Celebrating Even in the Struggle: Five Things I’m Learning about Marriage with Chronic Illness. Today, my husband Tony and I want to share a  radio interview we did a few weeks ago with Our American Network for their Marriage on the Mind radio show with host Deb Wolniak, Executive Director at Great Marriages for Sheboygan County.

Click here to listen.

Cindee_HeadshotCindee Snider Re is wife of nearly 25 years to the man she loves most in this world, mama of five world-shaking creatives (15-23), writer, photographer, craver of quiet, and lover of cotton, denim, Jesus and tea. Cindee and four of her five kids have Ehlers-Danlos, dysautonomia, and myriad co-existing conditions.

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Celebrating Even in the Struggle

Chronic Joy Ministry

CJMarriage5ThingsPost2Five Things I’m Learning about Marriage with Chronic Illness

  1. Marriage can be hard.

Marriage can be hard. Our marriage is a redemption story. We weren’t unfaithful. We didn’t stray physically or emotionally. But we did lose our way, slowly releasing hands and hearts across the years — my husband to his job, me to our kids. We forgot to hold on. Forgot to reach for one another first when the winds first began to blow and the waves began to roll. Forgot to stand together. Lean in. Hold on. We drifted apart. Wondered aloud if we’d made a mistake in marrying, if we’d chosen wrong.

We stopped dreaming, couldn’t communicate and survived as a couple only because we were each committed. We didn’t feel love. Some days we didn’t even like each other, but we were committed.

We continued to push through, continued to try to communicate, and…

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A Partnership of Community

Chronic Joy Ministry

CJGodsWholePurposeToday, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Samantha Juneau, known to her friends as Sam. We’ve met just a few times, but there’s something remarkable about spending time with her. Sam’s smile lights up a room and she exudes warmth, kindness and joy.

Last week when we met, I talked almost non-stop as I have a habit of doing. Sam smiled and quietly held my hand. During our conversation, I noticed her necklace. It was beautiful. I told her how much I liked it and reached for it to get a better view. As I released the beads, time stopped. My hand was right beside her ventilator.

Sam is a medical miracle, a petite young woman born with Spina Bifida and a poor prognosis. As an infant, she was released from the hospital under the county’s long-term foster care program. She spent the first twenty years of her…

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Story Matters

Chronic Joy Ministry

Writing the Story of Your Illness

WritersRetreatFountainPens11Stories are vital to community, how we connect and learn about who we are, why we’re here, and how we belong. Story preserves history and elicits laughter. It plunges us to the depths of ourselves and sets us soaring to the skies.

Story is the tale of our lives. And it matters.

Yet writing our story can be challenging, perhaps not worth the time and effort. Add an unwanted illness, and wrestling our thoughts to the page can seem almost impossible.

Where do I start? What do I write? Will anyone care? Does it even matter?

I’ve asked these questions. Often. And I’ve discovered that our stories are where we begin, a connecting point, opening doors and shortening the valleys of loneliness and isolation, and sometimes our stories offer a glimmer of hope to someone standing at the edge of hopelessness who recognizes with sudden surprise, “Oh, you…

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Be Strong and Courageous

Chronic Joy Ministry

CJBeStrongAndCourageousWhat encouragement can you offer someone walking through chronic illness?

Joshua must have been weak and afraid. Throughout the first chapter of Joshua he is reminded over and over to be strong and courageous. Without the sustaining presence of God, I too am weak and afraid. Afraid to step. Afraid not to step. Afraid I’ve over-stepped. How did Joshua continue to march?

Often I just want to sit in the between and hold my breath and wonder about what’s next.

Between flares, between normal and the next new normal, between medical appointments, between foods I can eat and then can’t, between leaning on God and avoiding God, between finding how and where to fit in and how and when to step away. Perhaps, like the Israelites who were between enslavement in Egypt and the hope of the Promised Land, we too march. One step at a time. At times feeling…

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Love Bends Low

Do you have a friend who bends low and waits long to hear the story of your heart? We’d love to honor him or her with a little give-away. In 20 words or less, tell us a little bit about your friend, and on Sunday, we’ll choose one sweet friend to honor with a little …

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