I’m so excited to share this post with you.
This just may change your prayer life, I know it already has mine.
I had to have a biopsy because my doctor suspected that I might have thyroid cancer and my 2nd opinion concurred.
There were moments when I allowed my mind to wonder “what if” and of course in the quiet of the night I would sometimes start to worry, but I quickly turned that into prayer and left it where it belonged, in God’s hands.
Please don’t think I’m some amazingly spiritual woman!
This was never my typical response. I’m a natural born worry wort, a pessimist, and negative thinker. At least I was, but something beautiful and amazing happens when you’ve lived in the fire for so long.
After suffering loss of many kinds and of my entire family living for over 9 years with chronic Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections, I’ve learned that I can trust my Father.
I’ve learned that even when I can’t see what the outcome will be that He loves me, He cares for every single little detail, He will turn the bad into something good and I can trust Him.
He provides when we let Him, He pours out peace like a river and He rescues when we need it most.
God shows Himself and His glory and His deep, rich magnificent love when we are poured out as empty vessels before Him.
Who would do that on their own on a good day? How do we even know how to do this when everything is going well and we’re self-sufficient? We can pretend and try to muster it up but are we really pouring ourselves out?
For me at least, it took the trials and the fire.
All those years of reading and memorizing scripture, sitting in church, and participating in Bible studies has laid this wonderful, strong foundation for me so that when I was tested God’s Word came to life for me.
His presence became real, His mercies became a balm and His love became my assurance.
In the end, my biopsy came back benign! Praise God!!
I carry this little paper in my Bible and used to read it often but now I know! I just know because of the fires I’ve walked through with Him.
May God bless you with His love and may you allow the fires to perfect you!
Can you believe Christmas is here? Are you peaceful and enjoying the season or are you frazzled and stressed?
It’s more painful when that guilt comes from our family members or children. Some just won’t understand but that doesn’t change the fact that stress will make things worse with our health which could take days or weeks to recover from.
Christmas was about spending time with loved ones and if gifts were involved they were handmade and thoughtful.
Before Christmas ever creeped up on me, I decided this year was going to be simple. I told myself that I had the perfect excuse for making this a simple year because we had just moved.
In some ways, I honored the commitment I made to myself. I said no to offers for Christmas cookie swaps, parties,and long shopping lists. We set a budget which helps me to stay focused and to make sure I’m not spending too much.
I decided that homeschool could consist of real life activities, purposeful reading and learning to serve and give. I cut my cookie baking way down and chose not to send Christmas cards this year except for a very few.
I love doing all these things but I know my limits and realize that if I kept my normal busy schedule that I would probably not be able to enjoy Christmas.
This year I spent one wonderful day shopping at our little mall, which turned out perfect for me because it really hurts to walk right now. Almost everything is wrapped, I’ve begun cookie baking, but not as much as usual, and I’m spacing out my to-do list so that I don’t wear myself out. I’m taking naps, sitting down in between tasks, and I’m agreeing to sit every evening with a cup of tea to watch Christmas movies with my kids.
It sure has forced me to slow down, be realistic and spend more quality time with my family.
I pray you have a restful, peaceful and blessed Christmas with your family.
In my last post, I shared how I came to use online homeschooling resources and found the encouragement and support that I needed. If you missed it you can pop over here and read it (Finding Homeschool Help Don’t Go-it-Alone.
It became a necessity for me to find help online because I was very ill with Lyme disease and I was struggling to keep up. Honestly, I was ready to throw in the towel.
Thanksgiving is next week, are you struggling to find things to be thankful for. Do you feel like your life isn’t going the way you had planned? Do you feel like your body isn’t cooperating and the pain is sometimes just too much to handle? Are you wondering where you’ll get the money to pay the medical bills much less a turkey?
I have a hard time being thankful, especially when I’m in pain. This past year I’ve felt very thankful for the blessings, the healing and the changes that have taken place for us physically, financially and relationally. It’s as if that dark cloud that was hovering down over us has finally lifted.
If you’re struggling with chronic Lyme disease, or any chronic illness, I’m sure you know how hard it is to keep your spirits up. Sometimes it can feel impossible to find things to be thankful for. It takes every bit of energy just to do the necessary things each day.
Did you know that being thankful is the most important, necessary thing you should be doing? Studies have shown that being thankful is actually good for you. Having a thankful mindset helps you to heal much faster from sickness & disease. People who are thankful accomplish more, have more friends, and are more likely to succeed.
If this is true, shouldn’t we make every effort to be thankful?
The Bible references the phrase “give thanks” at least 73 times. Some of these verses are examples of giving thanks and other times it’s a direct command for us to give thanks. We’re told to give thanks no matter our circumstances. God knows how beneficial it is for us to be thankful because He created us.
I would never minimize the struggles or the pain you are suffering. I know all too well how terrible pain is, how mentally and physically exhausting it is, and what it feels like to think you’re never going to get better or be able to have any kind of normalcy in your life.
I’ve been living with chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue and pain since 2007. I’ve lived with a child who was completely controlled by anxiety, OCD and rage from her Lyme infection. I know the financial hardship of a chronic illness that is not covered by insurance. I’ve experienced the strain of a marriage under so much stress that it should have broken apart. I know, and I would never throw at you platitudes and little petty sayings that really only minimize the struggle.
“Above all of the pain and struggle, I know the God of the universe. I know that by trusting Him for everything, praising Him through the storm, the struggle, the pain and seeking His provision and healing that He does take care of His children. What a wonderful reason to be thankful.”
No matter what you’re dealing with right now, take some time to really reflect on what you have to be thankful for. Look deep and hard and you just might find a handful of things, you might only find one.
If you can’t find anything, be thankful anyway for the pain and the difficult things. Ask God to show you how to glorify Him in the struggle. Make thankfulness a habit and once you have, look again and I promise you that even if your circumstances haven’t changed you will have changed.
I hope you have a very thankful Thanksgiving.
Would you like to read more about the benefits of being thankful? Check out these links.
I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I have been so busy I actually woke up this morning in a panic thinking it was next week.
The past few months have been filled with packing, buying a house, moving in, unpacking and getting settled.
It sure has been a whirlwind of activity. As usual, I tend to think a lot about my experiences and even try to recognize life lessons and what God’s doing in my life.
The older I get the more I find myself interested in personality types and human behavior. It could be because I’m a mom. I’m fascinated over how completely different each child is even though they have the same parents and brought up in the same environment. I’ve also been amazed at how men and women can be so completely different in their thinking and behavior.
I’ve found that people are either introverted or extroverted and can recognize behavioral choices and thought patterns that result. I’ve also seen how some are naturally grateful and optimistic while others, uh hmmm, tend to be ungrateful and pessimistic.
I often find myself fitting the latter category and despite my best efforts to be positive and grateful I find myself falling hard back into my natural ways. I usually say I’m a realist and cautious but if I were to be honest I do complain.
Our family recently moved into a home that my husband and I just fell in love with when we first walked through. Only a few short weeks after living in the house I found myself complaining. I don’t know where to put things, there’s too much to clean, will I ever get everything unpacked, I’m so exhausted, why do I always have to be in pain?
The basement leaked after a two day spurt of heavy rains from hurricane Patricia. I grumpily called it flooding but my husband said it was leaking and he went to work to clean it up. I even complained that the house is old, which is one of the things I wanted in a house. I’ve always loved older homes, I think they have lots of character and that’s exactly what we found here. Here’s the clincher, we prayed for this house and yet I still found things to complain about.
If you know your scriptures, you’ll remember the Israelites also complained, relentlessly to the point of driving Moses crazy and making God angry. Oohh, can we make God angry with our complaining? I believe so. He always loves us, just like we always love our children but when they’re ungrateful and complain we as their parents most likely get angry with them. We want them to be grateful.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching I’m reminded that God wants us to give thanks for all things, even the water in the basement, the grumpy kids and our chronic illness.
I’ve decided to be more proactive about being thankful, not just for Thanksgiving but that’s a good reason to start. Each time I’m tempted to complain or catch myself in the midst of complaining I’m going to instead give thanks. I’m going to remember the many blessings I do have and enjoy those blessings despite my circumstances. I might even pick up my gratitude journal and begin writing in that again.
How about you? Are you a complainer? What do you have to be thankful for that maybe you’ve forgotten. Will you join me in making gratitude a way of life?
I’ve delivered 4 babies but only had 1 really great labor and delivery nurse. She assisted me when I was giving birth to my third daughter, 15 years ago. I had false labor for weeks and a few embarrassing visits to the hospital only to find that it wasn’t time yet.
When the day finally arrived my water broke so I knew for sure it was time. My labor went on throughout the day and compared to my first two, seemed very slow. By late afternoon I suddenly went into full transition mode catching everyone off guard. The nurses went into action calling for the doctor and getting everything ready. This baby was already making her appearance so it was too late for any type of pain medication.
I remember being in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced when I heard the doctor say it was too late to have an epidural. I panicked! I looked square into my husband’s eyes and boldly announced, “I’m not doing this, let’s go, I’m going home right now!” Poor guy, what was he supposed to do? We still laugh about this.
At that moment my nurse came quickly to my bedside, leaned right into my face and said, “Look into my eyes, don’t look anywhere else!” “You CAN do this!” She then proceeded to calm me down, she told me when to push and how to breathe. She walked me through the entire labor, which thankfully lasted less than 10 minutes. I know, don’t hate me girls, it’s just the way God made me.
With that kind of constant help I was able to get through what I thought was impossible. I wasn’t thinking straight and it never crossed my mind that women have been having babies since the beginning of time. I’d even forgotten that I had already had two babies.
Fear can do that to us! It distorts our thinking and makes us forget the truth.
My angel nurse didn’t leave me on my own, she was right there to help and keep my focus on her and through this I ended up learning a very important spiritual lesson.
We all go through tough times and sometimes they catch us off guard and send us right into irrational thinking. My first reaction is usually, “how can I get out of this?”
In the beginning of one of my trials, that whole birth experience came to my mind during one of my quiet times with God. I remembered how that nurse told me to look at her and nowhere else. I knew I had seen something similar in scripture and I knew what I had to do.
Proverbs 4:25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
Just like my nurse told me not to look anywhere else, God tells us the same thing. He wants us to look at Him, to trust His guidance and help through our difficult times. If we’re focusing on our problem we’re going to get overwhelmed and afraid, we’re not going to think straight. Our temptation will be to quit, to run away, to give up.
Technically I couldn’t have left the hospital but we all have a choice in day to day life. When trouble hits will we stay and focus on what God has for us? Will we look to God? Will we trust Him to show us how to get through our seemingly difficult situation?
It’s been fifteen years since that hospital experience and I’ve had more trials then I care to count. Back then I never would have thought that I would become a stronger person because of hard times. Some days I just knew I was going to crumble and fall apart. I would never have thought that I would trust God the way that I do now but He’s been faithful.
I’ve learned that by fixing my eyes on the Lord, and not my problems, He will walk with me and will get me through it stronger and filled with more peace than I ever thought imaginable.
Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
I’m definitely not a poet but as my Momma heart grieves for this child, these words flowed from me this morning and I thought I’d share this for her and anyone else stuck behind.