Saturday, June 8, 2019

WAIT..... What?!?!?

photo courtesy of losarciniegas

Have you ever thought of how strange it is that you can have a conversation without really saying anything?

"Wait...what?"
"I know, right?"
"Dude!"
"Mmmm-Hm."
"For REAL."

You could be talking about anything from a movie to a sale at your favorite department store to the second coming of Christ.  That really has nothing to do with the meat of this post, but I've been thinking about it, and after the title of this blog post.... Anyway. I digress...

This season of my life has been very trying.  As most of you know I have a broken foot.  It's been 2 1/2 months, and I have to have surgery on June 14th. (For those of you who pray, I would greatly appreciate prayers for a smooth recovery!)  It may be another 2 1/2 months after surgery.  We are surely hoping for less, but who knows?

And then, we're meeting financial advisers and planning on how we're paying off our debt, fixing up our house to sell, getting appraisals... The appraisals came in SO low it's ridiculous. Like $100K LOW.  (Side note: Huntington Bank is great for checking and savings accounts but do not EVER use them for appraisals.)  So everything has come to a screeching halt.

My least favorite answer to prayer isn't no.  It's wait.  Wait.  I STINK at waiting.  I'm a doer.  A fixer. A pull the trigger, fish or cut bait, Type A, get it done kind of girl.  So when God says, "Wait,"  I'm like, WHAT?  Might as well tell me stop requiring oxygen!

My least two favorite words in the Bible? "Be still."  For those of you who knew me before Myasthenia Gravis entered my life, had you ever seen me be still? Maybe in my sleep.  Maybe.  So I've been asking God to show me what He's trying to tell me, and guess what I'm getting?

Wait.

Be still.

Sigh. Okay, God, I got the message.  I don't like it, and I don't know how to do it, but I finally understand.  It's so much easier to encourage OTHERS to be still and wait for the Lord... To remind them that God is always in control, and that He definitely knows better than I do. 

So as I try to quiet the beast inside me begging for action, I humbly ask for your prayers.  It's a swift learning curve, but the sooner I figure it out, the better off I will be (and probably those around me who have had to put up with my irritable self!). 

I'm so grateful I have a Father in Heaven who wants the very best for me that He will do whatever it takes to ensure I get it.  Myasthenia Gravis came into my life at a time when my life was on the verge of going down a very wrong path.  I had to quit a job I loved, was really good at, and made amazing money doing.  But moral issues were popping up that I was incredibly uncomfortable with...and then I literally became so sick I could NOT work any longer.  That was the best thing that ever happened to me, and it certainly wasn't pleasant.

All this happening now isn't pleasant either, but I know that when I come out the other side (notice I said WHEN not IF!), I will be a better person for it.  Life is full of mountain tops and valleys.  The view from the top is breathtaking.  And I've been blessed with some incredible mountaintop experiences.  But where does the growth take place?  In the valleys, my friends.  We cannot grow on the mountaintop.  We must experience the valleys.  So as I go through this valley, I am trying my very best to lean into My Father, and to be still, and to KNOW, the HE is God.

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 NIV

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Raw

I am telling you...today is probably THE hardest day yet with this cast on my broken foot.  I'm trying to be all like, yeah, there are GOOD things about having a broken right foot:  1. A pair of socks lasts twice as long.  2. When you go on vacation you only have to take all of your left shoes.  3.  You can't cause a car accident driving because you can't drive. 4. You're REALLLLY hard to kidnap because you're 100% dead weight, including the cast!

But today?  Today I'm just angry and frustrated and just plain mad.  Pity, party of one, your table is ready.

Those of you who know me at all know I am a Christian.  What exactly does that mean?  It means that I believe there is One True God, and THE only way to get to heaven to live eternally is through His Son Jesus.  There is no other way. You can't be good enough.  You have to believe that Jesus died for your sins and you need a Savior, and you ask Him to be that Savior.

I want that to always be enough.  I want to be like Joni and always have a smile and always praise God for my suffering.  I want to praise Him through the storm.

But I'm going to be 100% real with y'all.  Right now?  I just can't.  It is the most beautiful day outside.  THE perfect day to go for a walk.  But I can't walk.  It's seriously gorgeous out.  We have the windows open.  It's 64 degrees, blue sky, and sunshine. 

Doug has started ripping things off the walls in the dining room, painting, etc., as we redo this place and get it ready to sell.  I can't help.  Even if I try, I'm just in the way with this honkin' scooter and cast.  Our door openings in this house are NARROW.  Like NOT ADA accessible.  It was built before 1900.  The scooter takes about an acre and a half to turn around.  Even though I'm feeling SO much stronger from using the IonCleanse, I still have Myasthenia Gravis, and my upper body strength has NEVER been good.  Muscling around with this scooter, trying to lift-and-spin because I DON'T have adequate turn-around room.

I can't use crutches to save my life.  I'm afraid if I used those on a regular basis I'd break something else.  Monday I go to the doc to find out if I have to have surgery to get this foot fixed...if I don't, 4-5 more weeks with the cast.  If I DO... 6-8 weeks.  No weight bearing.  It's brutal. 

I know people have it worse than broken feet.  I know I'm being a baby.  But I just wanted to be real.  I post a lot of stuff about God, and being a Christian, but just because I AM, doesn't mean I don't struggle.  Do I think God is still in control?  Of course.  Do I believe God has a plan for me in all this?  Yup.  Do I wish He could have done it in a different way?  You bet I do.

So on this first perfect day since we've been back from vacation, I'm a frustrated, bawling mess.  I know God never leaves me and when I feel this way it's because I've turned away in my struggle.  I'll get back to where I need to be... But today... Not so much.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Letter to God: Faithful

Dear Lord,
I feel so lost.  I've always been a "do-er"...a Martha, I suppose.  Type A, always doing something.  Right now though, Father, I'm just lost.  I was sitting here thinking of what to say, and I am brought back once again to Romans 8:26-27. 
 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[a] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
The last time these verses were so prevalent in my life was almost 19 years ago when I was told I could have a terminal, degenerative disease that would slowly and painfully end my life.  You led me to this Scripture then, and you're leading it to me now.  I don't even know how to pray, Lord.  Thank you for Your Holy Spirit who intercedes on my behalf.
You know I've never been good at being still, or at not knowing what's coming next.  Now, not only do I have no idea what's coming next, I'm *forced* to be still because I cannot even WALK let alone DO anything.  Yes, Lord, I'm angry and frustrated.  I know You can handle that.  I don't like not knowing my future.  I don't like not knowing how long I'll be stuck in this blasted cast, in the house, even in this state. 
But You know God.  You Know. And that HAS to be good enough right now.  Help me really GET that.
In Jesus' Name.
*                 *                      *                      *                           *                          *
This song by Carrollton is SO my heart right now.  Please read these beautiful words.
"Even though I cannot see where You're leading me
I am Yours, and You are faithful

It's another day in a worn out life
With nothing lost and nothing gained
And I can't make it on my own
And that I know will never change
So my hope is in You
My trust is in You
And You have never failed

You are faithful to provide
You are always by my side
Even though I cannot see
Where you're leading me
I am Yours, and You are faithful

So why do I still try my ways
When all it brings is doubt and fear
Lord help me see, help me believe
In You alone I persevere

You are faithful to provide
You are always by my side
Even though I cannot see
Where you're leading me
I am Yours, and You are faithful

My hope is in You
My trust is in You
And You have never failed
So I will lay down
All of my fears now
Cause You will never fail

You are faithful to provide
You are always by my side

You are faithful to provide
You are always by my side
Even though I cannot see
Where you're leading me
I am Yours, and You are faithful 
I am Yours, and You are faithful
I am Yours, and You are faithful"

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Change


I'm not really a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal.  Not that I'm NEVER spontaneous, but as a whole, change and I are not the best of friends.  I like things to stay the way they are most of the time.  Sure, there are times when things HAVE to change.

And this is perfect timing for this post, because I decided to change the design of my blog a little bit.  Now I have no idea where half the stuff went that was on here, and some things are on here taking up 200 lines. Sigh.  

As many of you know, 2 weeks before we were going to North Carolina to look at houses, I broke my foot.  BIG change for the way that vacation was going to happen for me.  Not a good, happy change.  We are, as a family, in the middle of some BIG decisions; big changes...and they seem to be evolving every day.  And it makes me very anxious.

Do you know what I find most comforting about God?  You got it.  He. Never.  Changes.

17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. " James 1:17

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

That means that God is the same today, right now, in my life, as he was before time began.  He is the same as He was when He dried up the Red Sea and saw the Israelites cross on dry ground.  He is the same now as He will be when Jesus returns again on that glorious day.... Hallelujah!

Friends, I don't like it when things change.  I don't like being in situations I can't control.  But the beautiful thing is, NOTHING that happens to you or to me is a surprise to God.  He is our Rock in good times and bad... In plenty or in want.  Our God is God yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

And that gives me great comfort.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Life Is NOT Fair


Oh my friends.  I'm not really whining today; I'm just really, really sure of this fact:  Life as we know it, is simply not fair.  It just isn't. It never will be. And the sooner we accept that, the better off we will be. 

It isn't easy though, especially when it seems that we are trying so hard to do all the right things. All the things we know are good and noble.  And yet it appears that mean, evil, rotten people flourish.  I know.  I've been there myself, and I've seen people I love suffer things that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  


Why is that?  Why do good people suffer?  If we are God's children, and God wants only good things for us, why are people who care about God struggling?? My only answer is that satan is the lord of this world.  His time is short, and he knows it, and he will do whatever it takes to take as many people with him as he can.  So if he can help make a rotten human being outwardly wealthy and prosperous, and make it look like the kind, compassionate person is constantly under attack and things are going wrong all the time, he thinks he's winning. But we ALL know how the story ends!

Emotions are POWERFUL things.  They are more powerful than facts (to most people).  Passion can be blinding. If I get really amped up about something, super passionate, highly emotional, it can be very difficult to reason with me.  That passion and emotional can be a force unto itself.  It can accomplish amazing things.  Yet it can also hinder the truth. We can get so caught up in what's "fair" and what's "unfair" that we miss the whole point. 


Even though evildoers of the world seem to prosper, take heart: God says,

  "that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
8but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
9For behold, your enemies, O LORD,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered." Psalm 92:7-9 ESV



So. While the evil people of this world may LOOK like all is well, they are going down.  It's just a matter of time. What then, happens to those of us who have struggled?  

"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:7-9 ESV

*Everyone* will reap what they sow.  If you sow corn, you'll get corn.  It's not rocket science.  If you sow bitterness and destruction, guess what you'll reap? Yup.  Bitterness and destruction.  If you sow hate, don't expect to reap roses.

Even though there are days that seem to go on forever, this life really is fleeting.  Our days here on this earth are finite.  Our days with God, in eternity, are INfinite.  Whatever we must endure for now, endure! For the reward we will receive is spending forever, eternity, never ending perfect days, with our Father God, and His Son, Jesus Christ. In a perfect world.  With perfect bodies.  No more sin.  No sorrow.  No pain.  No tears.  The day Jesus returns is coming soon.  And all the pain will end, IF you know Jesus as your personal Savior. 

One of my favorite verses: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18 ESV

"No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." Revelation 22:3-5


Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Review: "Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women" by Lindsay Franklin


What a precious book, y'all.  Each day of the year has a Bible verse, a short devotion, and a small space for journaling.  I do mean small...that's my only issue with this book.  It says it has "journaling space to help readers reflect on the day's message."  There are 4 small lines at the end of each day. So you're not going to write a book, but maybe a short prayer? 

If you're not that into journaling anyway, the Kindle edition might be right up your alley!  And right now on amazon it's only $1.99!

Each devotion speaks to an area of a young woman's life:  insecurity, jealousy, making mistakes, being humble, being flexible, feeling loved, strength, hope, etc. using female examples from the Bible.  For example, on back to back days a young lady can read about Leah and Rachel, sisters in the Bible who were married to one man.

Leah wasn't as loved as Rachel, so it speaks to insecurity and how God takes care of us in a special way, *especially* when we feel unloved. (If you are unfamiliar with the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel you can read it in Genesis.)  God allowed Leah to have many sons, while Rachel was barren for a long time.  Rachel was the love of Jacob's life.  She had his love; but she *wanted* his children. So Rachel's story speaks to jealousy.

This book is a great devotion for teenage girls, or maybe a little older young ladies, especially if they are newer to the faith as it isn't really "heavy" spiritually.

You can purchase this book on amazon HERE. 

Disclaimer:  I received this book at no charge in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Little Things


Before I got sick, I was definitely a "grand gesture" kind of girl.  Lavish gifts, big parties, weekends in Chicago, the bigger the better. I worked hard and played hard. But then Myasthenia Gravis came into my life. 

I got too sick to work. I was too weak to go grocery shopping.  Pretty soon I couldn't put my hair up or take a shower on my own, or even breathe without a machine.

It's then that you realize that life truly is about the little things.

Being able to put my own socks and shoes on.

Being able to wash my hair.  (Being clean is totally under-rated!! Go without a shower or washing your hair for a while...you'll know what I mean!)

Being able to breathe without a ventilator.

Being able to talk after 4 months with no voice whatsoever.

Being able to do laundry.

Being able to stand long enough to make a meal.

Being able to put make up on.

Being able to cut my own food.

These are all things I was unable to do when I was really sick.  Some of these things literally took years for me to get back to doing.  I was so weak, and so very sick. 

Sometimes, a grand gesture is wonderful!  And it can be a very necessary thing.  But most often, it's the little things we can do that make our lives and the lives of our loved ones better.

Smile at a stranger.  You will notice how their whole countenance changes.  Say hi to someone.  Compliment the cashier ringing up your groceries, or the server bringing you food.  Pay for someone behind you at a toll booth.  Pay for someone's coffee, or meal if you can. 

This world didn't get ugly and hateful overnight.  Sometimes it feels that way, but it truly didn't.  We turned a blind eye little by little, by little, by little... until we opened them and saw we were facing a whole different direction.

Let's get back to the little things.  Do something kind today, just for the sake of kindness.  I'll bet you'll make someone feel really good.  And I have a feeling you'll walk a little lighter yourself.

WAIT..... What?!?!?

photo courtesy of losarciniegas Have you ever thought of how strange it is that you can have a conversation without really saying anyth...