Category Archives: hope

1 in 1,000 in Whose Ratings?

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Just recently I have been through some medical procedures such as a partial hysterectomy with the removal of a fibroid, an upper GI and two (yes 2) back to back colonoscopies.  I will start this blog with stating I am fine now.  God is healing my body so medical procedures is not the basis  of this blog.  The purpose of this blog is to show you the faithfulness of God and His continued pursuit of us.  I have been debating on where to start this story so I guess I will begin at the beginning.  I will apologize now that this may be a longer blog than most only because God did so many things in 96 hours I don’t want to leave out any details.

My medical issues started about 5 years ago and I have been to several doctors and tried several things to find solutions to the symptoms occurring in my body.  It has been an interesting journey to say the least but it led me to a miracle of a 4 day weekend which I will not soon forget.

In March it was decided I would see a gynecologist and a GI doctor to get to the bottom of my extremely low iron level which was discovered in February.  The result of these two appointments was a hysterectomy, an upper scope and a colonoscopy.

Now this is a key to my whole story.  As I sat in the GI office I said to God, I really do not wish to have a colonoscopy and I CLEARLY heard Him say in my spirit, “You will be having a colonoscopy.”  Was I happy with that plan? Nope.  Was I going to go through with it? Yup.  If I have learned anything in 48 years of living it is to listen to God the first time and be at peace because He knows every detail of my life.

Hysterectomy was a huge success which cleared up so many issues and the upper GI showed no signs of bleeding which would cause low iron. Only thing left on the list was the dreaded colonoscopy and this is where the story really begins. (yes there are some gory details but all medical I promise) And just for the record I tried getting out of having the colonoscopy done but the Lord quickly reminded me of our earlier conversation.

I will do this day by day so as not to miss anything.  Keep in mind as you read the rest of this blog:  It was never about me.  It was always about what God wanted to do through me and my obedience.

THURSDAY:

2:30 pm Arrive at the hospital after 2 days of liquid diet and prepping for the colonoscopy.  I was not nervous because I knew God was in it.  Happy I had lost 5 pounds in two weeks.  Laughter broke out among the nurses and doctor as I was being prepped with the IV and such, so I knew God was there.

3:45 pm Surgery was over.  Doctor removed 4 polyps and explained it was a good thing I came in now rather than at age 50 as they could have grown quite large in 2 years.  (At this moment I was thinking this was the reason I heard God say I was going to have the colonoscopy.)  Doctor said there may be some bleeding at first only because of the removal of the polyps but nothing to be concerned about.

4:30 pm I was home and resting.  Ate dinner at 8:30 pm.  First bowel movement and there was blood.  I dismissed it as I figured it was to be expected.  Went to bed!  Crossed colonoscopy off my not-bucket list and looked forward to returning to work in the morning.

FRIDAY:  

6:10 am  Went to the bathroom and it was mainly blood.  Still no panic.  Went back to bed only to need to go two more times with significant blood.  Read through my paperwork and it said if there is more than a tablespoon of bleeding call the doctor.  Woke my husband up and explained the situation.

7:00 am Emergency room visit.  45 minutes later it was decided I would be admitted to the hospital with another colonoscopy to be done on Saturday.  Nurse proceeded to add a second IV port in my hand just in case I needed a transfusion and I was informed I would have blood drawn every 6 hours to check my levels. (UGH  I had needles)  At this moment I am not sure what I was thinking, however, this peace came over me as I made the realization if God said I was going to have a colonoscopy then He KNEW this would happen and there is a reason for it.  Perhaps something was missed.

11 am to 6 pm  Continual trips to the bathroom.  Every time I tried to drink water or chicken broth or eat jello it would just go right through me.  I stopped eating at 1 pm trusting the nurse when she said I would be fine with just the IV.

Got to share with the nurse a bit about John and I’s testimony.  Shared my personal struggles with her to which she opened up and shared as well.  For a moment there I thought I was there for her but God had MUCH bigger plans than just one person.

So to set the scene where it stopped being about me, after all I am in the palm of God’s hand and I trust He knows what He is doing.  I am in a room with another lady.  Her curtain was pulled all the way around her bed.  She was coughing continuously.  I felt bad for her and this is where compassion had to become the path I would choose.

6:45 pm  Start drinking the stuff for the colonoscopy prep.  Starts working almost immediately and I can no longer handle the IV and get to the bathroom in time so I am reduced to using the commode and it’s pretty much where I sat for the next 3-4 hours.  I kept trying to move farther and farther away from the curtain so as to be a bit hidden.

7 pm  My roommate’s family comes to visit her for a little while.  I over hear the conversations and the final conversation she had with her husband before he left for the night was that she thought she was dying.  His response was “Please don’t say that, you are scaring me.”  He stayed a little while longer watching televison with her and then left.

8:30 pm  My husband comes up to say goodnight and felt strongly compelled to pray for my roommate.  Somehow he had met her parents on his way up to see me and he felt God was asking him to pray.  As he was praying with her I prayed too.  I thought I heard her say, “You are so kind”  but later I found out she said, “You are just in time.”

9:30 pm – 10:30 pm  I can’t really explain what happened next except there was an atmosphere shift.  Things just felt eerie.  As the cleaning out process was raging through my body I was unable to move so I began to text my husband.  We prayed for strongholds to be broken and for the comforter to come.  We prayed for ministering angels to come as well.  Things started to wind down and peace came.

10:30 pm  Lights out!  Okay this is the part of the story when I knew this whole ordeal was about compassion.  This was my chance to pass a test concerning bitterness and selfishness.  Now remember, I knew God was in this and medically I would be okay so obviously this was not about my health completely.  At 10:30 my roommate got up and asked the nurse in the hallway if there was a “Lights Out” time to which the nurse said no and then proceeded to ask me if I would mind turning my light off.

Ummmmm…WHAT?  Here is where the offense and bitterness could have really taken hold.  I am immobile at the moment, yes, however, you really want me to sit in the dark and continue this cleaning out process?  I felt that check in my spirit and told the nurse she could shut off the light.

In that very moment I knew that my suffering was temporary and that I was going to be okay, I did not know that for sure for her.  Compassion arose as I put myself in her shoes.  She had been sick since January and awaiting test results concerning her liver and kidneys…I knew my outcome would be favorable..she did not.

10:45 pm “Do you mind if I shut the door?,” she asks through the curtain.  Sigh!  At least I had the light from the hallway and now if she shut the door I was reduced to the light under the bed and a security light.  My reply, “Nope, I don’t mind at all.”

11:00 pm  Restlessness.  Snoring.  Tapping.  More and more coughing.  I texted my husband and prayed some more.  Felt like we were battling for her.  She used the restroom and then after what seemed a long time she returned to bed and took her last few breaths.

11:30 pm Dead silence and then a whirlwind of activity arose in the room.  Lights were flipped on.  Code blue was called.  They began CPR and were trying their best to bring her back.  As I sat there on the edge of the bed (my cleansing was just about over it seemed)  I overhear a nurse say that they needed to get me out of the room.

Here is yet another chance for offense.  My phone was almost dead.  My charger was in the wall and I cannot reach it.  I am still not sure I am done cleaning out.  AND now I have to leave my room, walk past my roommate without looking in that direction and go to a different room.

I chose compassion.  Even as they left me in another room with yet another roommate, with no commode and a phone which was almost dead I knew this was not about me.  It was probably at least 45 minutes before they checked in on me and all I could say when the nurse asked if I was okay was , “I am fine.  I want to know that you are okay.”

**side note..my husband asked me why God let her die to which I said we don’t get to decide Jesus does.  Perhaps (not knowing what her test results would have been) taking her home to heaven was Him healing her.  I remember hearing her say Jesus several times as she was struggling in that last hour.  If this medical issue had to happen so that my husband could pray the love of the Father over her then nothing was in vain.  Jesus left the 99 to come after her and what an honor that He chose my husband and I to be His co-labors.

My friends this is compassion.  Putting the needs of others before yours in any circumstance KNOWING God is in control and you are in the palm of His hand.

SATURDAY

8 am  Colonoscopy #2  Discovered I was bleeding around one of the clamps.  Doctor said I was 1 in 1,000 cases.  Boy did I feel special knowing that only 1 in 1,000 people have to do two colon cleanses back to back….

9:30 am  Back in my room still a bit groggy.  Since I had not slept at all Friday I thought this would be a great opportunity to get some much needed sleep.  I thought wrong.  My new roommate was this very sweet lady who was going to have her second stomach cancer surgery in the morning.  At first I thought we were just going to be roommates but my compassion kicked in again and we began sharing stories.  Then just as I was about to sleep she began to call everyone on her phone list to let them know when her surgery would be and where she was.

Here again a chance to be offended especially since now I am sleep deprived.  I still chose compassion.  She was facing cancer.  I was fixed back up.  So I put my headphones in and turned up some worship music.

10:30 am  Roommates entire family shows up…I have decided sleep is drastically overrated and just give up.  BUT then I have to use the restroom..ugh..there goes any shred of dignity I may have had left as I proceeded to parade to the bathroom in my beautiful hospital gown amongst all of her closest freinds and family.

So the rest of my day consisted of attempted sleep, clear liquid diet, chatting with my roommate and blood draws.  AND THEN the crushing news came that I would not be able to go home when my husband got out of work.  I cried.  Literally sat there and cried as the doctor left the room.  I was just devastated.  I just wanted to go home.  I just wanted sleep.  I just wanted all of this to be over.  I argued with God for a bit and I knew I was not going to win.  He had one more assignment for me.

12 pm blood draw

(clear liquids only)

6 pm blood draw

(liquid diet..lol  pretty much the same as clear liquid)

I was beginning to let fear arise in me every time it got close to a blood draw time.  They were having difficulty finding a place to draw.  I was also becoming fearful of eating anything because I was not absolutely positive the bleeding had stopped.  Now everyone who knows me knows I do not have panic attacks or allow fear to run rapid in my life.  I am sure part of it was being over tired and hungry but I am a feeler so I am sure I was picking up some of the fear which lingers in hospital settings.

9:30  My husband comes to tell me good night.  My roommate had taken a sleeping pill and was sleeping soundly.  I FINALLY feel like I can sleep.  I did!  Woke up feeling like I had won the lottery.  I thought I had slept for like 6 or 8 hours and I had missed the midnight blood draw only to discover is was 8 minutes to 12 and anxiety erupted as I heard her coming down the hall.

I drifted in and out of sleep counting down the time to my last blood draw and banking on the promise from the doctor that I would be her first stop and I would be able to go home.

7:20 am  Doctor says I can go home!  I have to order breakfast first and then I can get dressed and call my husband.  Man, I could not get to that phone fast enough to order breakfast!

7:30 am  Calling down for breakfast and start chatting with the lady about what I would like and one thing leads to another.  I discover her husband had a heart attack that Monday and they were facing a great deal of testing in the near future.  I was able to speak life into her situation and give her some encouragement.  My final assignment.  I could go home.

 

In conclusion God did so many amazing things while I was in the hospital.  I learned what true compassion was.  I learned to put myself last and others first.  I was able to pray for a dying woman, the nursing staff, the lady with stomach cancer and the kitchen staff all while I was dealing with my own emotions and health issues. I learned Jesus comes for the 1.  He will always come for the one.  I was not 1 in 1,000 I was 1 in 100 and He left me to go search out the others.  He knew I was okay right where I was and came seeking those who were lost.

One last thing which I call the icing to my cake….I was a bit worried because now I had lost two days of work.  Things were already a bit tight and I was not looking forward to seeing how low my paycheck was.  As I opened the envelope to discover the amount could not have been figured correctly…it was way more than I expected.  I flipped the check over to discover we had received a bonus. There was enough to cover my two missed days with some left over.  God is so faithful to those who follow after Him.

God is so good.  God is so kind.  His love is overwhelming.  He will leave the 99 to find the one every time!  I encourage you to listen to the song “Reckless” by Cory Asbury.  Tune out everything else and just listen to this song.  I believe God will speak to you through the lyrics.  

Reckless Love

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Into the Fog

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How many of us entered into a new relationship and felt like we were headed into uncharted territory?  Venturing into a place we were unsure of?  It’s like walking into a familiar place but there is a fog which is covering up the usual sight we see, yet, we just keep walking into it.  As we get closer and closer to the what we know to be there it becomes clear and we feel safe, but on the way there we could encounter several bumps and bruises as we lose our way sometimes in the fogginess. New relationships can be very unsafe waters sometimes, especially if we have not dealt with our past issues and pain.

Sometimes we dive head first into a new romance thinking we are healed and ready to just bounce back into love.  Some of us get lucky but for some as we begin to unpack our old baggage into a new relationship we begin to see just how unhealed we really are.  Sometimes relationships can be just cruising along like a well taken care of Mustang.  Smooth and speeding right through the curves and bumpiness of the road unfolding in front of them.  While other times it’s like you are in a rusted out car caught in a hurricane and being torn apart piece by piece until all that’s left is a battered heart.

What I would like to talk about today is intimacy. I want to address the things no one ever talks about.  I want to expose the weapons of the enemy.  I want you to leave refreshed and hopeful not beaten down and empty.

I really don’t know where to begin or even how to convey what I am trying to say but I want to give you a mental picture.  When we are growing up and fantasizing about marriage we often dream of a fairy tale experience.  Everything is always perfect.  There are no screaming matches or rejection or disappointment…just roses and fancy parties the rest of your life.  When it comes to intimacy, here again this is no bed of roses.  Many of us enter into relationships with so much covered up brokenness we don’t even know how to be real with the person we are married to.  Some come to the altar from divorces.  Some couples are together after several failed relationships.  Many couples come from a childhood of sexual abuse or molestation.  Everybody’s story is different yet the result is usually the same.   Running in two different directions avoiding the pain.

Below is a photo I feel represents what we think intimacy should look like.  It’s all beautiful and calm and spectacular in color.  It’s what the fantasy romance looks like.  You can’t see the pain or discomfort.  You can’t see the hurt or the wanting to run away.  You can’t feel the emptiness.  You don’t see the erupting volcano of unforgiveness or rejection.

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Unless we confront head on those things which are preventing us from having freedom in our relationship we will forever feel like slaves.  We will perform and do things out of obligation rather than love and true intimacy.  We can go back to the beginning of time and see God created us for intimacy.  He created us with relationship in mind.  What happened?  Where is the disconnect? Simple.  Satan has slipped in here and there in our lives and made a mess of things.  A mess which clearly can only be healed by seeking God and being truthful about our feelings.

I was molested when I was 5 years old.  I have gone through counseling.  I have forgiven the person.  I have let go and let go and let go, yet there is still I discomfort I have that just won’t go away.  In the five years I have been married to my current husband there has been a disconnect.  I just couldn’t figure it out.  I tried to understand but nothing was changing.  I felt as if Satan had me pinned down and I couldn’t see what was causing me to feel this way.  It all stayed the same until God in His perfect time showed me a very simple thing.  He showed to me what a real touch was like.  A gentle loving touch.  One that was not uncomfortable and enabled me to feel love.  To experience what love was suppose to feel like.  He showed this to me through my husband simply holding my hand.

In that moment I felt safe.  I felt loved.  I saw a glimpse of the colors of true intimacy.  The fog began to dissipate.

When I shared this revelation to my husband it opened up a whole new world for us to explore.  It was super hard for me to even talk about, however, we invited Jesus into the middle of our intimacy and we are looking forward to what He is going to do in our marriage.  When couples try as hard as they can to please their mates in all aspects of a relationship on their own, often there is no real evidence of anything changing.  Why?  Because the healing we need to have a viable marriage has to come from Jesus.  Only He knows our inner most pain.  Only Jesus knows what steps we need to take.  Only Jesus can take the deepest of pain and heal it.  We often try to fix ourselves or our mates and just make matters worse.

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As we move forward into this new level of intimacy we are excited that God is going to do a new thing in our marriage.  He will take the dry deserts in our hearts and make them waterways.  Waterways into places of intimacy and grace.  Paths to undiscovered love.  I anticipate great things in this new adventure.  I am expecting doors to the past to close.  I am looking forward to no longer being a slave to this.  I know God has a much better plan to heal me than I could ever come up with.

 

Dear God,  I thank You for loving us just where we are.  I invite you into the wounded parts of our hearts.  I surrender all of the past emotions and pain to You knowing You will take care of it all, I just have to trust You in the process.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

Towels in the Washer

caution speed bump

Let me set the scene for this blog:

Busy day at work. Phones ringing.  Orders coming in.  Got behind.  Having company over for dinner.  Need a roasting pan for the chicken.  Go to Walmart.  Husband asked to have money put on our debit card.  Wait in line for 20  minutes.  Get home and prepare chicken.  Won’t be done until 9 pm.  Go to lie down before company comes over.  Husband asks for the laundry to be moved from the washer to the dryer.  GROAN!  Just sat down.  Feet hurt from 5 mile walk from day before.  Contacts are dry.  Slight headache from work day.  HANGRY.  Open lid to washer and find towels in with the regular clothes.

TICKING TIME BOMB EXPLODES AND HUSBAND IS THE NEAREST VICTIM!

How often do the most innocent persons in our lives get the brunt of our bad days?  I am not sure that I have ever gone off on my husband like I did yesterday.  Words I usually do not spew out were flying like missiles aimed directly at him with intent to harm.  I did not care in that moment what I said I was just so angry I let everything I said become like a personal attack on an innocent bystander.  I quickly apologized after I cooled down and it is a good thing my husband knows my heart enough to realize I meant nothing I said in those heated minutes of World War III happening right before his eyes.  I mean today I can at least laugh about it.  The look of bewilderment and surprise on his face was truly priceless, poor guy.

Well that was just a precursor to today’s volcanic eruption.  I got a good night sleep and we even slept in, however, something was still off with me.  I noticed my left shoulder was aching and this usually only means one thing…rejection was trying to rear it’s ugly head.  I had my husband pray over me before we started our day.

Kinda wish I would have just left it alone.

After returning home from our morning coffee and a drive before hubby went off to work, I went inside to get my camera and a bite to eat.  I don’t want to get into too many details but you will need a little background story to understand what happened next.  We live with my 86 year old father because he is unable to live alone.  He gets around okay and can still take care of himself but he can’t do laundry and upkeep on the house.  Besides on the occasion when we do leave for a few days he gets fearful and something usually arises.  Anyways, dad is very protective of the refrigerator for some reason (we are guessing fear of some kind)  and things are not to be kept in there for very long and must be put into the smallest container possible.  So for the last 5 years there has been an ongoing frustration with what and how we keep things in the frig.

When I went into the kitchen the first thing dad said from his chair in the living room was “What are you going to do with the chicken from last night?”  I replied with an I don’t know at the moment, perhaps make chicken soup tomorrow.  This response was not what he was hoping for and me having my own agenda for the day already planned out, this simple situation turned into World War IV.  I cringe to even relive the live action warfare which conspired again.  I apparently touched a live wire somewhere in my brain and again here I was spewing words (to my own father) that should never have been released from my mouth.  In anger I took the chicken and threw it in the garbage dumpster outside, grabbed my purse and my camera and left.

I immediately called my husband in tears and frustration.  What was happening to me?  I was a wreck.  Acting out of character.  Using unsavory language at people I loved.  Of course he reminds we prayed for God to come in and heal whatever was causing the pain in my shoulder.  And then he said, “Resentment.  You are dealing with resentments from your past.  And maybe it has something to do with it being Mother’s Day tomorrow.  I don’t know, but let Daddy to heal you.”

So with a heavy heart I started seeking God in what to do.  I took my camera out and visited several of my favorite spots which is how I connect with God the best.  I captured birds, turtles, flowers, geese and their babies and even a muskrat only to discover on my journey that God had me stop and ponder at a tree.  A tree with a strip missing like a fresh wound.  He said this pain was from a fresh wound, yet it was an old pain which had been ripped open by life’s circumstances.

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He told me to keep walking there was something else He wanted to show me.  On my way back to my car I used the same path so I saw things going back that I had not seen on the first time through.  I stumbled upon this tree which had been abused my woodpeckers.

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God started explaining to me what I was looking at.  On the surface you can clearly see there has been damage and an entry way into the inner most part of the tree.  On closer inspection one could see cobwebs where something else had taken up residency.  Then looking even deeper you would see the wound itself was torn to shreds.  The top hole appears to have no ending, yet there is a light which shines through the darkness of it.

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This is what so many of us deal with day after day.  We get wounded at some point in our lives and people keep attacking it, over and over and over again until we are empty inside.  Then, when we allow God to tend to our brokenness  He shines His light within us and begins to heal that which has hurt us for so long.  The key here is allowing God in.  So many times we want to fix it all on our own.  We don’t want anyone’s help.  We often feel that it was our fault in the first place that we are hurting.  We didn’t do something right.  We were not good enough at some point.  We deserved the abuse.

I am still not quite sure what I am dealing with but I do feel more at peace after spending some time with the Lord today.  I still am trying to process the loss of my mom two months ago today and there is a lot of pain with that wound.  The tape which plays over and over again that “I am not good enough” and “I can’t do anything right” taunts me even when I try to just close my eyes and ignore it.  

In conclusion, don’t you wish sometimes that life came with warning signs so we would know when to brace ourselves?  Speed Bump.  Road Impassable.  Water May Go Over Road.  Bridge Might be Icy.  Dead End.  No Outlet. Watch for Emergency Vehicles.  Do Not Enter.  One Way.  Caution Pedestrians.  Road Construction Next 20 Miles.  Railroad Crossing.  Yield.  Stop.  Frequent High Wind.  Narrow Bridge.  Pavement Ends.  Deer Crossing.  If only life could send us signs along the way we could prepare ourselves for what is coming up next.  We could be on guard for any mishap which may happen along life’s journey.  Sometimes things just come out of nowhere and we are blindsided, that is where God needs to come in and redirect our steps.  We need to trust Him enough to know the road ahead of us and let Him send the Holy Spirit to give us the warning signs to keep us on track.

Dear God, Be near me today and expose that which You want to heal in me.  Teach me to trust You with littlest of things to the great big ordeals.  I thank You for healing me from my deepest wounds.  I trust you with them.  Shine Your light on my innermost being so that I may be lead in the right direction.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Stuck in an Insanity Pattern

John 13:34-35  

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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This morning I did my usual ritual as sad as it may be…woke up, checked Facebook and Timehop…two things for some reason I do everyday.  It’s like a trap I am stuck in of looking at the here and now updates and then checking on the past just to see if anything has really changed.  What did I discover today?  A pattern.  A cycle of insanity.  A never ending loop.  A story of start and restart which has been going on for years.  It seems like every year about this time I begin to get serious about my weight, for like a month, then it’s over until spring of the following year.  What is wrong with me?  Why can I not stick to a regiment and follow it through?

Well, I have a few ideas:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Winter in Michigan (haha)
  • The change does not come quickly enough
  • I CANNOT give up ice cream for the whole summer
  • I am too hard on myself
  • I do not see the worth in it
  • It’s too much discipline

I am sure there are a billion other  reasons I could come up with but I don’t want to bore you with the details. Let’s just say it’s been a struggle.  I am over 200 pounds right now and have been for awhile.  My husband and I just had a discussion in the car the other day about this subject and he asked me one startling question:

“If this was how you were to look for the rest of your life would you be happy?”

Nope!  That was my answer and I can barely type this blog through the tears right now.  Why would I not be happy?  God created me this way.  He loves me why can’t I?  I have changed my eating habits drastically in the last two years.  I have been soda free for over a year.  I drink one cup of decaf coffee in the morning (used to drink pots of regular) and the rest of the day I only drink water.  I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I am not much of a snacker unless you count my handful of peanut butter M&M’s.  I mainly eat veggies and chicken, not a fan of red meat.  I have done slimfast in the morning and at lunch for a few months now with no real change.  I have pushed myself to just get 8,000 steps in a day and get 3 days of 15 minutes of exercise.  I have done all I know to do with no results.  I know this has to be a life change and I also know that counting calories is not something I will do for the rest of my life.

I do struggle with my thyroid which my medication just recently changed.  I had a partial hysterectomy and removal of a pound and half fibroid and lost 7 pounds in a week.  So medically speaking there have been some struggles, however,  I know I need to get more active.  Yet somewhere inside my very soul I hear a voice speaking to me, “But I love you just the way you are.  You are beautiful no matter what size you are.  You don’t need to stress yourself out about this.  Just rest in Me.”  Wow!  How can you ignore the sweetest voice of love speaking to you?

The picture posted with this blog is me just plain.  No makeup.  Hair just combed.  No angled shot to make me look thinner.  Just me.  Just the way God created me.  Now, why do I not love her?  Why can I not accept her just as she is?  Why do I spend several minutes a day putting make up on and fixing my hair just right?  Why do I not love the image in the mirror like God does?

Now I will admit part of the make up, hair and clothes is how I am wired.  God walked me through a healing in this area about a year ago.  I love dressing up and looking my best but the problem lies within me of not ever wanting to go into public without makeup.  I even wear make up to the gym.  There are very few people who have seen me in all my plain glory and I kinda want to keep it that way…but why?

In John chapter 13 Jesus us tells us to love one another as He loves us.  Sounds simple.  However, in order to love one another we first need to learn how to accept and love ourselves.  If we do not begin to love within ourselves what good are we to others who are in the same condition?  Hate breeds hate and loves produces love.  Make sense?  So if I hate the way I am then how can I ever fully love someone else for how they are?

So what am I going to do to break the cycle I am in?  Nothing but listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said when He left this world He was sending the Comforter and I am calling on Him for wisdom and direction.  I will eat what I feel is right.  I will walk when I feel prompted.  I will live according to God’s plan not mine.  I could try (and have) another diet and exercise program.  I could (and have) read another book on diet and exercise.  I could follow the next fad in diet control.  I could stress myself out in this underlying completion to be thin but I won’t.

My blood pressure is perfect.  My heart is healthy.  My lungs are clear.  My muscles are good.  Medically I am just fine, so here again why am I pushing so hard to get to a size which may not be even possible?  I choose today to just be who I am.  I choose to accept me for who I am.  I choose to listen to the Holy Spirit direction.  I choose to believe I am beautiful.

I choose to believe I am accepted and loved just as I am.

Sure was easy to type those things above, now the true test is walking this out and trusting the Holy Spirit and the plan God has for me.  Who knows, I might make it to a size 10 and weigh 150 pounds by fall, BUT, if I don’t I am going to be okay because I will be found resting in His arms safe, loved and accepted no matter what size it says on the tags of my clothes.

 

Dear Lord,

I have seen the tough spot I am in with this cycle of insanity.  I choose today to take one baby step in the direction of accepting the girl in the mirror just like you do.  Thank You for the work You are about to do in me.  I thank You and praise You for being my healer.  I trust now in Your plan.  Lead me.  Guide me.  Show me. 

In Jesus Name  Amen

2 Shoes

choose to believe

Today started out with all the classic signs of a bladder infection.  Woke up in pain and kinda of connected the dots over the past few days and decided to call the doctor after praying about the pain.  I just had a partial hysterectomy a week ago so it is hard to decipher what is normal pain after a surgery and what’s not.  I had a one and half pound fibroid removed as well so one cannot quite discern what pain is what.  I know at this point the title may seem a bit off topic, however, hang in there I promise you God has turned this day into joy rather than pain.

After calling the doctor she directed me to go to the nearest lab and be tested, to which my beloved husband said, “Okay, let’s get this day started.”  After guzzling like 20 ounces of water we started on our journey.  First stop was the gas station (after all I did not feel the need to go just yet as it had only been 15 minutes since I got the direction to go to the lab) where we got a snack and much needed coffee (decaf of course).  While there we had the usual chat about the weather outside and then the attendant asked if he wanted any lottery tickets to which he declined BUT clearly stated she could always up-sell a car wash to him in the future.  This led to a conversation with the manager who gave us 2 free car wash passes.  Here is evidence of the firstDouble Blessing.

After following the direction to go to the nearest lab to give them a urine specimen, I noticed my hubby was getting a little frustrated with how the day was going.  Being off for two weeks with no short term disability to back us up, things are a bit tight.  While in the parking lot still we discussed our recent blessings:  phone bill was much less than expected and a few other things where he had actual over saved to make ends meet.  Then we received the text from the pharmacy  the medication to numb my bladder until we find out the results of the test was ready and the kicker was it was $40.  Ikes!  I quickly reminded my husband about our conversation a few moments ago after I freaked about the cost.

As we were driving to the pharmacy we have to pass this expanse of highway with beautiful river flats where I often look in the trees to see birds and what do my wondering eyes see whilst I am in mid conversation??  Two eagles on a tree branch watching the rising sun!  This caused my heart to leap with great joy because I knew God was already all over this day.  This was DoubleBlessing number two.

We get to the pharmacy and the girl says she is even nervous to tell us about my prescription so right away fear arises BUT then she says she can’t allow us to pay $40 for a prescription when the same thing can be bought over the counter for $3.  What? Jesus is so good!  Praise God that whether she is a believer or not, the Holy Spirit convicted her heart in our favor.  Even though we were in the drive thru she went to the aisle and retrieved the medicine for us.  She came bearing two boxes because they were buy one get one half off (of course they were Jesus) and the kicker was the total of $5.07.  Five is the number for Grace and Seven is for Completion.  So here is Double Blessing number Three!

As we drove away we prayed for God to bless her just as He had blessed us.  Next up on the agenda was getting my husbands tags for his car done.  In our city we travel to other places to get things from the Secretary of State because there is usually a long wait, so we drove about 30 minutes to do so.  During the drive many internal things came up in conversation including some from personal issues I have with intimacy.  I firmly believe when God does a physical healing there is always an internal one to coincide with it.  A friend of mine who promotes essential oils sent me what a fibroid represents in the spiritual aspect of things and I had not really dealt with seeking God about it. In the car ride I revisited it after my husband said a few things which had reminded me of the text she had sent me.

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Wow!  Here was Double Blessing number four.  God not only removed the physical thing which was causing much unnecessary pain, He was also leading me into a time of inner healing.  In a simple conversation with my husband He was revealing the next steps to my healing as I fought back tears knowing it was not going to be an easy.  I am just as excited about walking this out as I was about seeing the eagles.  Yes I will have to face the past.  Yes it will be painful.  Yes I will have to look at things about me internally that I have buried.  AND Yes God will be with me every step of the way as He has been throughout my entire journey with Him.

Okay the final Double Blessing, blessing number five and the reason for the title of this blog.  Sometimes we expect God to just bless us and other times He does it just because He can.  To go back to the beginning of the day during the conversation about finances we began to thank God and let go of our worries.  It was in that moment of time that God grabbed our worries out of our hands and sent us on a day of Double Blessing which we will not soon forget.  Like my husband so wisely put it, “How do you feel when someone is thankful for what you have done for them?  You are willing to bless them even more.  Willing to give them abundance because they are so thankful.”  Well friends that is the God we serve and His word is always true.

Oh!  The shoes!  I almost forgot….My hubby has needed new work shoes for some time now but just not on our priority list, however, it was on God’s and today (not sure of the details) he received a free pair (two) of work shoes in his exact size…tell me God did not do that for him?

Dear Heavenly Father,  We come to you today with a Thankful Heart.  We thank You even when we don’t see it coming or the full view of what is happening You are right there ready to shower us with blessings.  As we seek Your face in our lives we praise You and Thank You ahead of time for blessings.  We Thank You for turning our pain into joy.  We Thank You for healing our bodies and our souls at the same time.  In Jesus Name we pray.  AMEN

Perspectively Speaking

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When it comes to perspective we have to have the right filter on in order to see clearly what God is doing in our lives.  For example you get stopped at a red light when you need to be somewhere in a hurry or get stuck behind a slow driver with no way to pass.  You get frustrated and maybe a little road rage erupts, however, WHAT IF God was protecting you from an accident?  I could spend all night sharing instances of us having the wrong perspective but I would like to share a story with you that is happening in my life right now.  A story which will demand me having the correct prospective.

So long story short without too many gory details, I have been experiencing off and on several female issues in the past 5 or 6 years.  I went for a physical recently and my blood work showed I had an hemoglobin (iron) level of 8.7 when it is suppose to be a 12.  So now doctor wants some answers…more blood work (only to show the level is now 8.3)  **no cause for panic yet..it’s at 7 when a blood transfusion is needed**.  Now there is a trip to the OBGYN for an ultra sound and biopsy because things are a little more serious than I was seeing.  A trip to the colon doctor for a colonoscopy just to rule out where I am losing iron.  How do I feel at this point? I guess a little nervous but surely wanting answers.

Now I do need to let you in on a little back story, I will keep it short, I am recently remarried as of five years ago and we had decided kids were not something we wanted as I was in my 40s and my husband in his 20s (yes God did a wonderful thing while my perspective was not to get remarried but that’s a blog for another day) and we were good with that.  Well until a prophet said to us one day ” The Lord will make a way for you two to have a child physically (my tubes are tied) and financially if you come back to this alter in agreement.  God did a change of heart in both of us, yet I do not recall us actually going back to the altar in agreement, so it’s been about 3 years since this new development in our life.

Okay, current day…we visit with the OBGYN and she remembers our conversation from 2 years ago in which we discussed options for getting pregnant and then explains I have a 8 cm fibroid which is pushing on my uterus causing most of my issues.  It is not cancerous but just basically a large muscle which has developed over time.  Before she gave us our options she asks about getting pregnant and in a nutshell my husband spoke up and said, “In all reality I am really jealous for my wife’s time and I like that we can just pick up and go at any time, so let’s do what is best for my wife.” (yes there were tears all around)  Getting that topic of discussion out of the way, on to the topic at hand…what to do next.  How do I feel at this point?  Maybe some relief of the pressure of trying to get pregnant these last three years.  A little nervous still about the plan ahead.

She explained a procedure where I could get injections every three months to perhaps shrink the fibroid and stop my periods but that would only last a year.  Next option is partial hysterectomy to which my husband asked why not the whole thing?  Because, says the doctor, “We don’t her to become cranky, irritable and experience hot flashes right after surgery.”  To which my husband replied , “Let’s keep the ovaries in there!”

So how am I feeling at this point?  A surgeon is about to extract a major part of my body, yet I am at peace.  I could be freaked out and panicked yet I know God is in this and is guiding all of the events ahead of me.  In one surgery many issues that I have been dealing with for years will be taken away along with unnecessary pain.  I guess what really brought me to this perspective was reading a devotion with my husband where there quoted Psalm 103 in which it said God will remove my enemies.  In that moment I thought, wow, God is allowing this to happen because He is protecting me from an attack of the enemy.  I was just flooded with peace at that moment.

Now of course I can look at the funny side of this too, I had asked Him to help me lose weight..never thought removing an organ would be the answer.  Plus I was just saying I needed a vacation and this requires 2 weeks off.  Well play God, however this only brings us to a deeper realm of faith as I have no short term disability.  We will have to trust God to provide during that time which I know He will as He has done in the past.  If I had the wrong perspective about this my husband and I would just be worried about how things were going to get paid, where can we pinch more out of our budget, can we get hours in at work before the surgery and on and on and on.

The wrong perspective can riddle our daily lives with unnecessary work and needless agony.  When our perspective is out of whack we should turn to God in prayer and ask Him for His perspective. When we view things through the correct lens we see peace in the situation instead of a need for performance on our part.  God is our provider.  He is our Healer.  He is our all in all.  I was talking with a friend to day about us asking God to remove things from our lives and I said we have the wrong perspective.

We are not the surgeon, God is.  He is the one Who decides what needs to be removed from our lives to keep us from harm.  He is our protector and always knows what is best for us.  It would be like me going to the surgeon and telling them to give me a hysterectomy because I thought that would heal me, however the surgeon using wisdom may have a different option all together.  Same thing with God.  Sometimes we ask to be delivered from something yet God knows we may need to keep that in our lives to help us learn a lesson or receive revelation.  We need to allow Him to be the surgeon.  We need to let Him perform the necessary procedures to bring us into the fullness of revelation.

 

Underachiever Award Goes to: Brenda Czarniak 47th Year in a Row

2018

I am not one to set new year resolutions because I only find myself on the floor the eve of a new year making the same old promises to myself and God, knowing in the back of my head it is all just talk.  Empty, worthless drivel.  Goals I will not set incude:

  • I will not exercise more in the new year.
  • I will not take more walks then the year before.
  • I will not be any more organized than what I am at this very moment.
  • I will still wait for the last minute to do things.
  • I will not push myself to write.
  • I will not make all the right choices when it comes to healthy eating.
  • I will not stop coloring my hair and embracing the gray.
  • I refuse to set goals and ambitions for the new year only because I am afraid of failure and the mentally of “I can’t do anything right” haunts me year after year.  It is my wound and I have been protecting it all this time.  I cannot fail if I don’s set goals.  My wound cannot get any worse if I choose not to set things in motion for the new year.

There.  Now that I have established everything I am NOT  going to do in 2018 I feel so much relief.  No expectations to fulfill.  No standards to keep up with.  No commitments.  No chance of failure or not doing something right.  If I write, I write.  If I exercise, I exercise.  If I choose cake over carrots may the cake be chocolate.  If I get my desk organized then I will celebrate probably with ice cream.  No pressure. No problem.

EXCEPT

Psalm 42

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

 

As deep cries out to deep, God calls us to higher and higher levels in Him.  He wants us to have everything He has destined for us to achieve.  He wants us to be healthy but it does not need to control our every thought.  I am sure He would like us to be organized simply to help keep us focused on His next step for us.  He wants us to be happy in our own skin and if something needs to change, He will lead us in that direction. At times I feel like such a mess almost as if I was an unraveled ball of yarn that someone took apart and then just left in a pile on the floor.  In and of myself I cannot put myself back into shape, I will need to trust the Creator to do this.  With that being said, if I spend 2018 just seeking Him, He will guide me in the right direction.

By me setting up goals and standards for the new year I am almost saying, “Don’t worry God, I got this! See You in 2019 and I will be ready to move forward with what you have for me.”

So what am I going to do in 2018?  Just be.  Just be in an attitude of gratitude.  Just be thankful for where I am at the moment.  Just be in an atmosphere of continual praise and worship.  Just be silent in His presence so I can hear the next step.  Just be content with what I have knowing God has some much more for me.  I am just going the be me and see what God does in and through me.  Romans 8:18 seems to be the verse for the year for our family.

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My prayer this year for all of you reading this is for you to see making a new years resolution in a whole new light.  Let God into your goals.  Let God into any resolutions you feel you may need to make.  Just let God be in your life.  Just be in His presence.  Just be who He created you be.  You will discover in a very short time that His desires for your life are nothing like the standards of the world we so easily measure ourselves against.

Happy New Year! 

May 2018 show up in all it’s intended glory and show you who God really is.  May you be able to Just Be and pursue that which God desires for you to follow after.  May you find peace and joy in resting rather than working harder.  May you be blessed and highly favored as you begin to believe what God says about you rather than the world.  Most of all, I pray that you can Just Be.