Monthly Archives: August 2013

Life Interrupted

My life was interrupted a couple of years ago…by sickness…And I’d just like to start off by telling you a little bit of back ground about my past and this illness.

When I was 12 years old, (19 year ago- oh my! I had to calculate this twice- Really? 19 years? I feel old!) Ok- back to the story. I woke up one morning with a swollen eye….as the day went on, it became painful, turning into a headache. The swelling increased and so did the pain. That week I went to the eye doctor and he didn’t have a clue as to what it could be….About a week later, the swelling left, the pain left, and I was back to normal….

Fast forward a few months later…again it happened. Only this time it came back with a vengeance. Unbelievable pain, swelling of my eye…to the point that the eyelid was swollen shut. We went to specialists everywhere- month after month- for years- and still, back then, no doctors knew what it was. I was checked for tumors and all the CT scans and MRI’s would reveal was swelling of the muscle behind my eyes- The cause and treatment- unknown.

I was hospitalized once with one of these flare up’s because it would last for up to 3 months at a time. Pain medications weren’t helping. Because of the pain, I could not eat or drink and when I did, I couldn’t keep it down. So, to stay hydrated, I spent time in a hospital room getting hydrated by IV.

Fast forward some more time…FINALLY, we found a doctor that diagnosed it -Orbital Pseudo Tumor-(Not cancer…but acts as a tumor would) and it was treated with prednisone- Ever heard of it? At the time, I called it a miracle drug..but soon realized that the side effects were horrendous. The medication allowed me to function because it took my pain and the swelling away but along with it came weight gain, extreme mood swings, anxiety, routine bone scans – because the prednisone could eat away at bone matter…and so on….and on. The side effects endless and horrid.

AND THEN…….

years later….. after being on prednisone for years, (12 to be exact) Beautiful sweet healing came….Jesus healed me.

I had just recently come to know Jesus, and He healed me! I was learning at that time to hear His voice..and every so often He impressed upon my heart to cut down another mg of my prednisone..until finally, I was no longer on it..and no longer sick….after YEARS, I was healed. A weight was lifted. I was forever grateful to Jesus for this miracle He had done in me.

BUT THEN……

Years later…after the birth of my second child (6 years after my healing) ….it. came. back.

I thought “God no…no, no, no. You healed me. I am healed, I am healed, I am healed.”

When I got the first ‘twinges’ of pain in my eye, I started to pray and pray hard. I emailed all of my close friends, my pastor, his wife…and I asked them to pray. I was feeling confident! …(but deep down, I was feeling panicked and battling feelings of doubt and fear.. but not wanting to admit this to God.) This, I thought, was just an attack from the devil, and I tried so hard to be determined to win this battle..after all, we are victorious in Christ right????

The pain got worse…and worse…and in my mind…my healing was…GONE.

I woke up in the night, with unbearable pain, there was no mistaking that even though I maybe didn’t lose my healing, the symptoms were real and they were back and I was broken.

My heart hurt….
I was angry….
I was scared….
I was in so much pain….
I was doubting God’s love for me…
Really, I was devastated.

I had prayed. Was my faith not strong enough? I spoke healing over my self- Did Jesus not hear me? Had I done something wrong to lose my healing? I cried. I had to go back on my prednisone- I had worked so hard to lose weight in the past and thoughts of all the weight coming back on was in my mind. The mood swings. The doctors warned me, the prednisone could cause increase in depression and anxiety when postpartum. My baby was only 2 months old.

I was so angry.

AND THEN…..

One evening, about a week later, I sat on the couch..feeling alone and broken- not because of my illness…but because I missed Jesus- so much. I hadn’t prayed. I hadn’t opened up my bible…nothing.

I decided in that moment that I had to make a choice. I had to chose wether I was going to turn away from Jesus, OR walk with Him, forever, no matter what. And I chose to stay…. no matter what.

Revelation came in that moment. He whispered to my heart “Be real with me. Don’t hide from me anymore. I can handle it. You don’t have to do it in your strength. You can’t do it in your strength”…..

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4 NIV)

I was at a place in my life where I felt that I had to ‘have it all together’. I was trying so hard to be a perfect example for Christ in front of people-that it resulted in me trying to be perfect for God to. I was fearing that if I opened up to God about how I was really feeling about things- my struggles, my fears that I kept locked up to myself, that I would no longer have it all together on the outside.

There it was.

God had me where He wanted me. This sickness, this life interruption, brought me to a place where God could speak to me. He needed me vulnerable. He needed me quiet. He needed me to listen and slow down….He needed to break me in all the right places so that He could put me back together the way that He intended me to be.

It was a new beginning for me…I started getting ‘real’ with my Heavenly Father…I accepted that I didn’t (and still don’t) have it all together.

My life was interrupted….but it brought me closer to my sweet Jesus- so how can I ever be upset about that?

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Therefore, there is no condemnation…

I don’t know how many times I’ve beat myself up for being less then perfect. WHY did I yell at the kids?  WHY did I get offended with my husband? WHY did I allow my feelings  to take over? WHY can’t I get a grip and just do the right thing? WHY am I always messing up?….

These thoughts can take a toll on a person! These thoughts make you wanna throw your hands up and say ‘forget it! Why keep trying? I’m not changing, so why bother?’

Then one day….

I just got tired of beating myself up. I saw that it wasn’t doing any good..if anything, it was making things worse. My pity parties were lonely and definitely no fun.

I still struggle at times with feelings of guilt. I have to be so aware of not falling into the trap of condemnation… And so I turn to Romans 8:1-2.  I have it posted on my fridge, highlighted in my bible and writen on my heart….

Romans 8:1 (NIV) ~ Therefore, there is now now condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

And verse 2 goes on to say ‘because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.’

YES! I’m FREE! YOU’RE FREE! God’s word says so!

I’m not perfect…and that’s OK. You’re not perfect and that’s OK.

I’m learning to get back up quickly when I mess up. I’m learning to take it directly to God and get on my face and ask His forgiveness and then GET BACK UP and press into Him.

Get out your post-it’s and write Romans 8:1-2 and then post it everywhere!

Let’s allow God’s conviction to prompt us to make good changes and  let’s refuse to allow condemnation to creep up and tear us down.

Who’s with me?

1 O’clock am

It’s 1 O’clock am…And I’m awake. And so is my precious little Rae-Lynn. My beautiful baby girl who,for some reason, cannot sleep. I’ve tried a bottle…I’ve tried rocking…I’ve tried putting her down in her crib to see what happens.(What happened, was that her 2 year old sister whom she shares a room with, woke up because of the fussing.) So here we are..me and my wee one, awake, contemplating the things of God 🙂

You know, when you say yes to God…whether it be, ‘Yes, God, I surrender everything to You,’ or ‘Yes God, I will encourage my husband more’ or ‘Yes God, I will allow You to interrupt my content little life for You to have Your way over my way’…..

Whatever it may be, there’s sure the be opposition that follows. Nothing makes the devil more angry then a life sold out for Christ…and you can bet that he’ll try to get in there and mess with it. Awake at this time in the morning is definitely opportunity for the devil to throw me off. When I’m tired, I’m not myself…You could say my personality resembles that of a bear being woken up out of hibernation. (Not pretty folks, NOT pretty)

Being awake with children at this time in the morning might not bother some, but you have to understand how much it bothers me. I like my routine. I like my babies to have routines – which include sleeping through the night!- When my routine gets messed with I go into ‘irritated’ mode.

But tonight (or this morning I should say) I decided to make a choice. I could get angry and let the devil steal my joy (which is totally his plan) OR I could keep my peace and go with the flow…. I went with peace. I chose to say ‘ God, I will keep my cool and not let my emotions control me just because my routine is thrown off.’

You see I’ve started this online bible study…”What happens when women Say Yes to God”…I’ve started saying YES to God and so opposition is coming my way. Opportunities to be offended, my nice little life being interrupted, and so on….

So what do you do when that happens?
~Trust God…let Him prune you.
Run after Him, seek Him, get into His word….
KEEP SAYING YES!

(sorry for any spelling mistakes…it’s the middle of the night and I’ve been up for what feels like years now)

Family Before Ministry #sayyestogod

I woke up this morning feeling unsettled…I asked God why and this is what He showed me….
Last night I was working on a blog post about honoring my husband and saying yes to God by doing acts of service for my husband…
so anyhooo, as I was working on my post, my husband was trying to talk to me about this new endeavor that we’re embarking on.
Well… I’m confessing to you that at the moment I was so focused on getting my blog post done that I was only ‘half listening’ to what my husband was saying. I was nodding my head at all the right times, but missing bits and pieces of the conversation because I wasn’t focused on what he was talking to me about. Yikes…talk about disrespect!
Talk about missing the mark!
I was blogging about honoring my husband all the while my husband in that moment was trying to talk to me about something important- and I wasn’t giving him the full attention that I should have been giving him. What I should have done was stop, listen, and continue with my post later on.

God has been impressing up on my heart to put my FAMILY BEFORE MINISTRY. Which, really, in a nut shell, means I’m supposed to be putting my family at the top of my priority list. (Before a blog post, before facebook, before my bible study…) God first, then my family and then everything else.

God’s word says in Genesis 2:24 (ESV)Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

To become one, to honor each other, to work together isn’t something to take lightly. Family is so important to God. As well as the scripture above, God’s word also states in Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

Children are a gift from The Lord; they are a reward from Him

It starts in the home my friends… If you have the gift of encouragement, use it in your home. Encourage your husband and children. If you have the gift to serve, serve your family….You catch my drift…

When we put our families first, God will use us in mighty ways to bless others as well!!!

God won’t bless our ministry if we’re ignoring our families

I choose this day to get my priorities in order and ask the The Holy Spirit to come in and show me ways to bless and serve my family.
I’m excited about this! I’m not only desiring to bless my husband and children, but I’m desiring to be obedient to God in all of this and bring glory to His name.

#yestoGod~My small act of Obedience

I was so excited and so nervous. I was the happiest girl in the world with the vision of ‘happily every after’ in my mind and on my heart. It was my wedding day!! Dressed in my princess dress and ready to embark on my new adventure with my friend and life mate! It could NOT get any better then this …could it?
Fast forward to 7 years later (which is now)….As blessed as I am to have a wonderful man by my side, I don’t always show it. I pray all the time John 3:30~ He must become greater, and I must become less~and I still struggle daily with the flesh and selfishness. God has been teaching me the importance of FAMILY BEFORE MINISTRY. God first, then my husband then my children …. then everything else. God has been prompting me to honor my husband and children…So I said “YES God, let’s do this! Help me to put my family at the top of my priority list. What do you want me to do?”
You’ll never guess what God asked me to do. Just guess. Did you guess? This is what He said
(So these were not HIS words exactly and I didn’t hear an audible voice, but this is what He impressed upon my heart)-“Pick up the dog poop and bring out the garbage
I think to myself “You’re KIDDING me right?” My first thoughts were these #1 “I do the dishes, the laundry, I cook, I clean, I , I, I……” then #2 “I didn’t want the dog. I told Dave my hands were too full to have a dog. The dog poop is HIS job. It was our deal breaker in keeping the dog…and then finally #3 I change the poopy diapers all day that go out into the garage and so it’s always been Dave’s job to bring them out to the trash after work..”

Then God stopped me in my tacks- You said you would honor your husband. You said yes to me. If you won’t obey me in the small stuff, how will you obey me with the big stuff.

And so I got out the shovel…and I picked up the dog poop that was spread across the yard. -It’s so funny how I can clean a child’s bum without gagging but dog poop just churns my stomach- and then I loaded my hands up with small bags filled with dirty diapers from the garage to bring outside to the garbage cans.

I just wish I hadn’t argued with God before I decided to obey. Nothing He asks us to do should ever by questioned. EVER. Sometimes He’ll ask us to do BIG stuff, sometimes small. It’s doesn’t matter what it is that He asks. He commands us for a reason. In this case, He gave me a lesson on love-doing an act of service (one that I don’t particularly enjoy) to show love to my husband. I can’t even remember if Dave said thank you for the ‘poop removal service’ and you know what?…it doesn’t matter. God is teaching me to love on my hubby.
It may seem like a small act of obedience…but it was one step of obedience that honored my marriage….

Run The Race

“Keep going, don’t stop, don’t give up!! Go, go, go!! Push through. It’s worth it! It will be so worth it!”

This is the sentence that God has been putting on my heart the last few days..morning , noon, and night… Everyday. And He’s using everyday life to get His point across to me. {You know…our God will never MAKE us do anything…but He sure knows how to be persistent- Do you ever notice how when He speaks to your heart on things, He doesn’t just say it once. I’m so thankful that He continues to gently nudge me when I’m being stubborn}
So like I was saying..He’s been giving me this message in a nut shell :”Don’t give up!.
Last night while running on my treadmill, my lungs were burning, my legs were on fire, my hair was falling out of my ponytail (gosh that’s annoying) and I just wanted to stop..and I don’t mean stop running and continue to walk..I mean, I wanted to stop running and go lay down on the couch! Ha! Then I decided to get determined…and that’s when the shift came. I didn’t only keep running, I picked up the pace and ran longer then intended. You know what my motivation was? God whispered to me in that moment…’I’ve placed a steadfast spirit within you. Keep going, don’t stop, don’t give up.’
Yes, hearing His voice gave me the motivation to keep running..but more then that…He was telling me to keep going in my spiritual walk…when it get’s hard, keep going, don’t stop, don’t give up! GET DETERMINED. Because in the end…IT WILL BE SO WORTH IT!
Can anyone relate? Do you ever just want to throw your hands up and give up? Do you ever get frustrated and feel beaten down? Well, let me encourage you!
One day at a time…
One step at a time…
Jesus by your side every step of the way…through every high and every low…On every mountain top and every valley.
If you’re walking (or should I say trudging through what feels like quicksand) it is just for a season…it may feel never ending…and it might feel like you’re running and you’re tired and you just want to go lay down and sleep and give up..but the end results my friends…will be breath taking! If I would have just stopped my run last night and went and sat down, I would have regretted it this morning…But I pushed through and it gave me energy, it gave me confidence and it lifted my mood! The same goes in our journey with Christ…when we push through and walk with Christ, we have a newfound confidence, a hope never ending!

Hebrews 12:1 tells us this…Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Jesus, some days, weeks and months and even years are just plain HARD..but you already know that. You go before us. You’re always with us, cheering us on and I’m just so thankful that I’m not running this race alone. Lord, would you just give us all a steadfast spirit and bring encouragement from your word and through Your children. You know what we need to keep running this race. Lord, give us this day our daily bread. In Jesus’ name I pray

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