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.

Friday, November 9, 2018

What Motivates You?



"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."  Albert Einstein


Americans, in my humble opinion, embody this quote.  

"What's in it for me?"

"What will happen to me if I don't?"

Isn’t that what we hear most often from our children?  Sadly, adults are following suit. I wonder…

How many people would file taxes if they KNEW there was no punishment for not filing?

How many people would go to work if they didn't get paid?

What happened to a good, solid work ethic? Putting in a hard day’s work for the sake of doing a good job?

How many people go to church because they are afraid not to?  Either afraid of being judged, or afraid of God's wrath. I grew up in a church like that.  As long as your butt was in the seat, you had fire insurance, if you know what I mean.  And if you weren't there, you better be out of state or dying.  {And I'm not saying don't go to church, I'm just using this as an example to get to my point.}

This is my question:  what ever happened to intrinsic value? 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has a wonderful definition of intrinsic: “belonging to the essential nature of a thing: occurring as a natural part of something.”  Like breathing.  It’s just part of you.

Intrinsic.  Indwelling. Deep-rooted. Organic.  That “thing” inside that tells you the right thing to do.  Just because it’s right.

When did everything become about getting something in return, or doing something just to avoid punishment or repercussion of some kind?  Whatever happened to doing the right thing just to do the right thing?  Or being kind for the sake of being kind?

What about our relationships with God?  Do we “use” Him to get things?  Are we only interested in His blessings, but not willing to walk in obedience? Do we “love” Him so that He won’t be angry at us or throw a bolt of lightning our way?

“I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
    a little child to the cheek,
    and I bent down to feed them.” Hosea 11:4

Our God is so loving and good to us. He doesn’t withhold His kindness or blessings from us even though we deserve none of them!  Our Father’s only motive is love.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3b

I have a challenge to everyone who reads this:  do something kind “just because”. The whole "commit random acts of kindness" and "pay it forward" clich├ęs have been around for a while.  But seriously, when is the last time that you did something nice for someone else, just to do it? Not because you wanted anything from them or because you felt you owed them something. Just because.

Do you have an elderly neighbor who is alone 90% of the time?  Go visit.  Take your kids.  Your children would be learning history from one who has lived it, and your neighbor would be filled with joy. We can learn more from one hour talking to older folks and asking them to tell us about their lives than we could in a month of history books.

Do you know someone who had a recent illness or injury?  Ask if you can clean their house. Bring a meal over to them.

Is someone at church looking for a babysitter?  Volunteer your time. Just because it’s the right thing to do.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:34-36



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Does God Give Us More Than We Can Handle?

He sure does.

There is a familiar adage people say when you're having a tough go of things:  "God will never give you more than you can handle."  I'm so sorry to break it to you, but He certainly WILL.

His Word says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you." Isaiah 43:2

Notice how it doesn't say "If you pass through the waters" or "If you walk through the fire"?  It says "when" my friends.  Do you know what that means? It means that in this life you WILL without a doubt walk through some dark, difficult times.

(Gee, Kerri, thanks for the encouragement...)

But HERE'S the thing:  God WILL be with you!!  He will NOT let those waters overwhelm you.  He will NOT let those flames you feel licking at your back consume you!  

And you will get *through* it.

God allows things that I don't always understand.  A lot of the time.  Most of the time, to be completely honest.  I don't understand why. Once again I find consolation in God's Word:

"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

These 2 verses helped me so much when I was sick.  It's like we are all part of a big jig saw puzzle, and all WE can see from our limited view are the pieces that immediately connect to ours.  And the picture from here is NOT always rosy, let me tell ya.  However, we worship a God who sees ALL!  He sees the big picture!  He sees how our pieces, our problems, our predicaments, connect with others' pieces to make the most magnificent picture.

Friends, I don't know why you are dealing with what you are.  I don't need to.  God knows.  He is THERE, right by your side.  Notice that first verse I shared from Isaiah.  It doesn't say "I will be ahead of you" or "I will be behind you", it says, "I will be WITH you."

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong, my friend.  God will definitely give you MORE than YOU can handle.  That's only because He wants you to give your burdens to Him.

 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28


Monday, November 5, 2018

Magnificent Milestone


Yesterday was a HUGE day for me.  Not because I don't feel very good (Jacob shared his germs with me).  Not because it was Sunday (I missed church).  It was a big, wonderful, magnificent day in which I reached a major, magnificent, monumental, milestone.

After 17 years and 9 months, I am *completely* OFF of CellCept.  CellCept is the medication I take for the Myasthenia Gravis.  I started it in February of 2001 and have been on it ever since.  The only time I *didn't* take it was when I was pregnant with Jacob.

CellCept worked miracles for me.  It was the only MG med I had taken that worked.  Between that and Plasmapheresis, I stayed alive.  I didn't have side effects with CellCept as long as I took it with food.  I've had friends that had catastrophic side effects from this medication.

CellCept is a drug that suppresses the immune system.  With MG, my own immune system attacks the connection between my nerves and muscles (the neuromuscular junction).  So by taking this medication (originally a drug for organ transplant patients to help prevent rejection), the MG symptoms were slightly abated.  However, it was NOT a cure.

I am still NOT cured.

I am still NOT in remission... I have simply swapped out medication and a grueling procedure in which 150% of my blood volume was taken out, separated, put back together and put back in my body (plasmapheresis) for a foot bath. 

Yup, I said foot bath.  But not any foot bath... The IonCleanse by AMD.  This machine gave me the miracle I have been praying for since I had my first symptom in July of 1996.  IF I use the IonCleanse by AMD three times a week, I don't need pheresis, and I've been able to get off of Prednisone (after 17 years) and now off of CellCept (all WITH my neurologists's consent).

I was fortunate enough to be part of a very small, informal study in which the IonCleanse by AMD was provided for me to use as a possible MG treatment.  It is non-invasive, there are no chemicals in it, it is completely safe, and AMD has a perfect safety record. Click HERE to read the white paper on the study.)

As a side note, since using the foot bath (November 10 will be 2 years since my very first one), I have not needed plasmapheresis for 21 months!!!  

I'm so thankful to God for bringing this machine into my life.  My quality of life is SO much better.  I can drive again.  After almost 15 years of being primarily home bound, I can go places with or without Jacob, without my husband.  Nothing. Else. Has. Changed. In my medical regiment.  If I over do it, or if I miss a bunch of treatments, I get more symptomatic.

And I'll tell you before you even check out the link, it's *expensive*.  Sure, you could find something cheaper; but please remember, you get what you pay for.  A cheap, Chinese knock off has NO oversight... There is NO ONE making sure it's safe.  It hasn't been tested.  It's basically a glorified battery charger.  (We ARE talking water and electricity here)... And no, I don't work for AMD.  I'm not a salesman.  I just want everyone to know what a miracle this machine has been in my life.

AMD has the patent on this technology.  As I said, they have a 100% safety rating.  The people who own the company are good people.  If you call the company, you may very well talk to one of the founders.  They aren't pretentious.  They are good, decent people who want to help others.

Anyway... I just wanted to share my amazing news with everyone, and thank God for seeing fit to bring this machine into my life.

NEVER give up.  I went 20 years with this disease controlling my life.  But people were praying for me every. single. day.  I don't know why it took 20 years.  And I don't care.  The IonCleanse by AMD has given me my life back, and I give God all the glory!

Be blessed y'all!

Click HERE to go to the AMD website. (We in the study all used the Solo machine.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Job vs. Working

photo cred: alamy
I was talking with someone a while back and during the course of our conversation it came up that I homeschool my son.  I told this other mom some of the other things I'm doing right now and asked if they thought they could handle doing those things. 

"Me??  I have a JOB," they said rather haughtily.  

{crickets}

I was like, Oh, you have a JOB?  That you get PAID for?  That you work at 40 hours a week, sitting behind a desk, answering phones and filing papers?  Wow!!

I may not have a JOB, but I WORK my butt off.

"Salary.com aimed to market price Mom in the same manner it prices a job. For 10 titles, a nearly 100-hour work-week and a six-figure annual rate, moms may be the most valuable workers in the country." (www.forbes.com)

Ten titles.  100 (plus) work weeks.  No monetary pay.  I get paid in hugs and kisses, headaches, heartaches and never get a vacation.  Even when I'm on vacation...I'm always a mom. And there is no harder, better job I'd rather have!!  Along with the other dozens of things I need to be, I am:

a scientist
a teacher
a friend
a therapist
a nurse
a professional organizer
a taxi driver
a referee
a medical professional 
a psychiatrist
a financial manager
a veterinarian (for my fur-bearing children)
a counselor
a disciplinarian
a boo-boo kisser
a chef
a nutritionist
a housekeeper
a maid
a missionary

and so much more.  

So stay at home, homeschooling moms, whether you work OUTSIDE the home or not:  I see you!  I know how hard you work!  God sees you, and sees you investing in the future generation for the good of His kingdom.  So the next time that person in your life tells you (haughtily and with smug self-appreciation) that they have a JOB, you go ahead and tell them that you work harder than anyone you know, and that according to forbes.com you SHOULD be making $115,000 a year.  

And you are worth every. single. penny.