Saturday, November 24, 2012

WOW!

So have you ever had a WOW moment while reading scripture?  That happened to me this morning.  Now, I have read this passage multiple times in the past 14 yrs but today it was just different. 

"For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself.  He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross.  This includes you who were once far away from God.  You were his enemies, seperated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.  Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body.  As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault."                  Colossians 1:19-22

Ok, so I started really thinking about this verse.  That I was once an ENEMY of God.  Who wants to be that, right?!  But here is what really got me......I asked myself the question....would I do what God did for my enemies?  I know Christ rose from the dead after 3 days....so God "got" his son back in three days BUT would I let my son go through ALL Christ's sufferings (even if I too got him back in three days) for my ENEMIES?!?!  Heck no!!!!  AND then after to see THEM as holy and blameless....WHAT?!?!  My SON was the one who suffered...not THEM...they were the ones with evil thougths and actions, not my son...THEY are the ones who should of died!  Why would God do this?!  Then this verse popped in my mind:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."                           John 3:16

WOW!  He must really love us!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Becoming a 1 Peter Wife

As I was really praying and asking God to mold me into a better wife, I believe He led me to 1 Peter.  As I was reading through this book I wrote down 6 things that I am going to work on and pray that the Holy Spirit will change in me.  These are taken from 1 Peter 2:23 - 4:2:

1.  Respect Matt by my words to him and about him to others.

2.  Do not retaliate with insults when I am hurt.  Leave room for God to work.  Choose to bless instead.

3.  Be quiet and let the Holy Spirit do His job.  I only get in the way.

4.  Do not fear what decisions Matt might make, trust in the Lord to take care of me and our children.

5.  Pray for a gentle and quiet spirit.  That I would have a tender heart towards Matt and a humble attitude.

6.  Seek to be a peacemaker within our family and not to just have my way.  Seek not my own desires but God's will.

I will let ya'll know how this not only changes me but my family as well!  : )

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Birthday

Since my husband and I were both Marines, I have to say "Happy Birthday Devil Dogs!"  : )

My Mighty Savior

Thank you Lord that I have MS.  Thank you for the hard days to show me the love my family has for me.  Thank you that because of your grace and your love for me, you allowed me to have MS.  MS has isolated me......I know now this is so you could talk to me and it would be quiet enough for me to listen.  Satan will not win....he will not steal my joy and peace.  Even through the pain and the unknown, you Lord will never leave me.  You are enough for me.  You truly are my Mighty Savior!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Losing the anger

Anger is such an issue in my home.  I see it in me and in my children.  So this week we have been talking about anger in our family devotions.  Like I have said before this blog is for me....for me to remember what God is showing me.  And right now it is about the issue of anger.

We have been reading in James.  And James 1:19 reads, "My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..."  That has been our memory verse this week.  We all know the saying: "God gave us one mouth and two ears, because he wants us to listen more than we talk."  It is so hard not to speak.  I see my 8 yr old struggle with this.  His favorite saying is, "But mom..."  As I am correcting him, it is like the finger should be pointing back at me.  I am constantly saying, "But God..."  But God, why are my children fighting....But God, why isn't my husband talking more to me.....and the list goes on and on.  I don't want to just listen, I want to be listened to.  I want to be understood....because then everyone would know I am right, right?!  But being understood and everyone agreeing with me are two different things.  As I told my children in the car this morning....If I put a bowl of broccoli in the middle of this car do ya'll understand this is broccoli....they all said yes....then I said but do we all agree it tastes good....and as you can imagine I got a couple of no's!  : )  I told my son today.....Son, I understand exactly what happened with your sister, BUT I don't agree with how you handled it. 

We have also been talking about being slow to become angry.  One reason we get angry is because of our "rights."  I have the right to be listened to....the right to tell my children what to do....the right to eat my breakfast in silence....and that list goes on and on also.  My only "right" is hell and an eternity separated from God.  Nothing more.  But our Savior came and died to give me the privilege of heaven.

Another reason we quickly get angry is our selfishness.  We don't want to put someone else's needs first or let them get something better, so we get angry.  My children don't want their sibling to get to pick out the movie, or go first in a game, or have the last packet of mini muffins.  But I am the same.  I can get angry if I think Matt gets more time to himself than I do, or if my children interrupt my movie time.  I am SO very thankful that Christ put me before himself when he DIED on the cross.....and I don't think I can pause my movie.....seriously?!

We have also been talking about Proverbs 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  How hard it is for us to not try to get the last word, or strike back in our anger.  But the Lord gave me a great example for my children as I was ironing my daughters pants.  So I ask them, "How long does it take for an iron to heat up?"  "Not long," they answer.  Then I ask, "How long does it take to cool down?"  They understood where I was heading because they didn't answer right away.  : )  That is what happens when we stir up anger.....things around us do not cool down very quickly!

I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit helps us with our anger.....if we let him.  I am also thankful that He is working in the hearts of my children, so that we can become different than the world around us.....we can put others before ourselves, give up our so called rights, and have gentle answers.  This is not to "look good" but to point others to Christ. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is God Good?

That is the million dollar question.....at least for me.....and that is.....is God good?  Not just good when I am laughing with my kids....or Matt and I are on an amazing date together...or my house is clean and all the laundry done...or whatever else makes me "happy."  Is God good when the house is a mess, laundry is all over the floor, Matt is at work, the kids are yelling at each other, and my feet are on fire....and all this at the same time.  Is God good?

I realized I have to make a choice to believe he either is or isn't.  It really comes down to one or the other.  And it doesn't matter what my circumstances are.  I think for the past few weeks I really doubted if he was.  Because if I believe he is good than I have to believe that having MS is what is best for me.  What?! 

What is so great is that God doesn't tell us to figure it out and get it all together and then come find him.  He is big enough to handle our questions and our doubts.  He never leaves us.  If we are Christians then his Spirit lives in us.  I know it was the Holy Spirit in me that helped me answer this important question.

Yesterday it was like a switch in my heart was turned on.  And it wasn't because anything around me changed.  The answer to this question is so perfectly clear now.  I KNOW that God is good.  That having MS is best, even though right now I may not know exactly why.  That doesn't matter.  Because I know God is good, I can fully and completely trust him.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Stake in the Ground

Well the results of my MRI are this....the questionable spot in my brain is in fact a MS lesion.  So there it is.  No more guessing.  The good news is that my brain was not full of them.  I really struggled with this all last week (which is why I didn't post anything).  I am not sure why....I guess I was still hoping I wouldn't have MS.  That this was just a fluke thing.  I felt angry, hopeless, scared....like my friend said to me it was like I was grieving.  And I think I was grieving.....grieving a life I know I will never go back to.  I was angry that my youngest would probably only know me as this sick mom.  I felt hopeless thinking that God has left me and I had no idea where to go next.  I was scared that this pain would never go away and that there is more pain to come.  I felt as if I was going to become such a burden to my family.  All of this was going through my head on top of being one of the most painful weeks I have had lately.

So where am I now?  Well, as of today, I am placing a stake in the ground.  Instead of mourning my old life I am going to be excited for this new life.  God promises he will never leave me or forsake me and I am going to hold on tightly to that promise.  If I continue to look back I am going to miss what is ahead....and I don't want to do that.  I may not be able to plan like I used to or "go" like I used to but I can do one thing....one very important thing....I can live each day on my knees before the Lord, relying on his strength to make it through whatever that day brings! 

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Questions

I will update on the "medical" things probably tomorrow.  I have a dr appt today that I hope will clear up my questions and then I can post the answers I get.  : )

But the "Questions" title I have for this post is not about my questions to the dr today, it is about the questions I have been asking myself the past few days.  I am doing a bible study right now called "Stuck" by Jennie Allen.  Isn't it amazing how God leads you to exactly what you need when you need it?  Could that be why He is God?!  : )  I have been wrestling with myself lately and especially since I have had some of the worst "sick" days yet.  I know I need to slow down but I don't.  Instead I take more pain meds and keep charging ahead until I have a day like I did Saturday.  A day where I am throwing up or so nauseous I can't leave my bed and have the pain that can't be controlled by meds.  I think sometimes it is because I can be a perfectionist and can't just sit and relax and give my body the rest it really needs. 

Ok, so back to the questions.  Here is where this situation and others in my life all kinda come together.  Please remember MY brain can be everywhere so this may not make sense to all!  : )  I think I will just write the verses that have stuck out to me in this study so far and then the questions that have been swimming in my head.  I am not going to answer them, just so you know, I am just writing them down so I don't forget the areas God is challenging me right now.

"Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven - for she loved much.  But he who is forgiven little, loves little."                                       Luke 7:47

Thoughts and questions:  If I am not showing much love, than maybe I think I have only been OR need little forgiveness, but the truth is that I need LOTS of forgiveness and grace!  So why am I not full of love towards others?  Why do I walk around not having a smile on my face and almost rude to those around me?  Why am I quick to point out others faults or somehow think that I am above any sin known to man?  As if I could never make the mistakes they have? 

"To keep me from becoming conceited....there was given to me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."                                      2 Corinthians 12:7-12

Thoughts and questions:  Do I really want to be weak?  Or do I want to be strong in my own way and my own strength.  I struggle looking "weak" by the world's standards.  Even in the Christian circle.  Does being a Christian make me perfect all of the sudden?  Shouldn't it make me more humble?  Less self-reliant?  Shouldn't I want to get out of the way?  Shouldn't I be more ready to admit my faults and failures because I know I am forgiven?

I think one of the reasons God has chosen not to heal me yet is that I have SO MUCH more to learn!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Big Day

So today is a big day (medically) for me.  I have my 2nd brain MRI this morning at 9.  It will show if I have any MS brain lesions.  If I do, then obviously I for sure have MS and it turns into a waiting game for the rest of my life.  Not sure what it means if I don't.  Of course I want it to be clear but I don't know if that means for sure I don't have MS.  I don't know if they have to do another one in 6 months before they would give me the "ok."  I have a dr appt Oct 16th to talk about the next steps, but they said they will call me today or tomorrow with the results!  Please pray for me.  One that it would be clear, but I think more importantly that I would have a peace no matter what. 

"Lord, thank you that you already know the outcome of this MRI.  Help me, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to have a peace that passes all understanding.  I know that you are good always and are able to make all things turn out for the good of those who trust in you.  Help me Lord with my unbelief.  Help me take all my thoughts captive to you.  Thoughts like you have forgotten me, or don't care for me......I know those are lies but I need your help to let them go.  I love you Lord.  Amen." 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Constant Battle

I know there is a battle raging inside of me.  It is between the Holy Spirit and my sinful nature.  And if I was truthful I would have to say my sinful nature wins more than I like.  This is not an excuse but it is like the pain meds I am on supply my sinful nature with more ammo.  There are times I don't know how to control what is going on inside of me.  I know that the Holy Spirit is stronger and more powerful and that I can overcome all things with the Lord's strength in me.....but it has been super hard!

     "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
     When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.  Let me tell you again, as I have said before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 
     But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against these things.
     Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.  Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another."                               Galatians 5: 16-26

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Forgive me

Lord forgive me.....

- for thinking I somehow "deserve" to be healed
- that I don't honor my wonderful husband as I should....he is always so kind to me....I truly don't deserve him
- that I am not as good of a friend as I could be....I am just surrounded by people who care for me
- that I complain to much and I know lately have not been great to be around

Lord, allow those I have hurt recently to be able to forgive me, and help me to be more mindful of others and not think of myself so often!

My sweet sister-in-law sent me this song.....it is awesome....thanks Mel for thinking of me!  : )





Friday, September 21, 2012

A Few Updates : )

This is going to be a short little post about some medical things.  One, not sure if I mentioned this before, but I am only going gluten free right now.  I lasted one week of both gluten and dairy free and by the end I was VERY hungry!  : ) 

I also have my follow-up brain MRI on Oct 3rd.  This is to see if I have any MS lesions in my brain.....so obviously I am hoping for a clear picture!  This is also the day I get to go crazy with gluten.  Olive Garden, Panera,  Texas Roadhouse rolls, pizza (with gluten).....here I come!!!

Also mentally I feel spent.  I know I have only been dealing with this for about 6 months and this is NOTHING compared to others, but I feel forgotten by God.  If ya'll wanna know the truth, I am starting to feel like this is exactly what I deserve.  That because of the sin in my life, how could I possibly expect anything else.  I KNOW I sound ridiculous, but like I said this is my "feelings."

This isn't to be mean, but please no one make a comment to this post.  I don't want any Christian "pick me ups."  : )  I am just at a low and I know eventually God will pull me up.

What I really want though is a friend.  I know I have friends here but I mean someone who I literally see.  Not someone I talk to on the phone, or email, or text, or facebook....someone who makes time to see me face to face.  I know, I know, I am soooo old school!  : )

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Learning through affliction

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word"    Psalm 119:67

A little story from the past:

Finding out we were having our 5th child (at age 26) wasn't super great.  Not that we didn't want more children, it was just the timing wasn't wonderful.  Our twins were not even one year old, AND my husband had just left for Iraq for one year.  Did I mention our other two children were only 5 and 3?! 

I was talking to a friend of mine, before I knew I was pregnant, and she said, "I think God is going to teach you how to accept help while Matt is gone."  I was thinking no way!  I had always been the one who helped others and why would Matt being gone make this any different?  They next day I wasn't feeling so great and then the next day, not so feeling so great again, I got this idea to take a pregnancy test.  And to my surprise it was positive!  I called my friend back and jokingly blamed her for me being pregnant.  But, I still thought I was not going to need help.  I am sure you can figure out by now I was going to be wrong.  : )

I was not just a little wrong though.  To make a long story short, I was hospitalized 3 times and in the ER probably 5 times.  I had to move back in with my parents for a few weeks and my doctor even sent a Red Cross message to my husband's commander asking for him to come home (they said no).  After moving back home I had women from my church, who I didn't know, coming to care for my other 4 children because I was physically unable to.  I had people doing my laundry, taking car of my oil changes, and shoveling my driveway.  I stayed this way until I was about 22 weeks into my pregnancy! 

As crazy as this may sound, I still was not taking help from others well.  I couldn't wait to get better so that I could pay them all back somehow.  Talk about being prideful!  I was in the hospital for the 3rd time, still not feeling better, and I remember I just started crying and I said, out loud, "Alright I will accept help and be thankful for it."  I am not joking, but after I said that, and actually meant it, it felt like I was being rocked back and forth and I instantly felt better. 

Now I would like to say that I learned a lesson about pride and being thankful for others who want to help me out, and even just about slowing down....but it seems like I am right there again.  It is so hard to be sick.  I feel like I have to keep proving that I am worth something by pushing myself everyday.  I am embarrassed to ask for help and I feel like a burden to those around me.  Why can't I just learn and not have to relearn again and again?

I have no answer for my questions.  I just read this verse and it was just so true for me and has been probably my whole life.  It reminds me to be thankful for being sick.  It reminds me that when I am not, I go my own way.  I become prideful and I race around doing the unimportant instead of what matters and what will last in eternity. 

Thank you Lord that you don't leave me where I am.  That you afflict me so that I will come back to you and to your word.  I want to be obedient in my walk with you!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Longing for home

Isn't it awesome when scripture says exactly how you feel....but usually SO much better!  : )

"For our present troubles are small and won't last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.  We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.  For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.  While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us.  Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.  God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given up his Holy Spirit.
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.  For we live by believing and not by seeing.  Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."

2 Corinthians 4:17 - 5:8

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Prayer Life

This post is to help me remember what God is pressing upon my heart.  Since my brain is "all over the place" sometimes, this may read that way also....so this is your warning!  : )  I think I also need to give this other disclaimer:  I am not a bible scholar NOR do I think I am close to one.  I know that there is SO much more to know and learn and that when I blog about scripture that I could be totally screwing up.  So I just ask for grace and know that this is what God is teaching me not necessarily what he is pressing upon anyone reading this.  So I guess what I am saying is that this isn't meant to be a sermon just what I am learning and trying to apply in my life.

Ok, right now in my daily bible reading I am reading Ezra and Nehemiah, and SO MANY things are just being placed in my heart.  I will try to make it all make sense as I write but like I said before it may not!  : )

Ezra and Nehemiah are returning with other Jews back to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylon.  Jerusalem is a disaster!  The wall around the city is torn down and so is the temple.  They set out first to lay the foundation of the temple.  After it is finished, there was great rejoicing except for the ones who had seen the former temple, they wept.   I stopped reading and I wondered why?  I thought maybe because they had realized the full effect of their rebellion against the Lord.  When Solomon build this temple it was AMAZING!  Almost everything was overlaid with gold.  There is no way this foundation could of looked the same.  God warned them again and again through His prophets about this.  So I wonder if seeing this foundation brought those memories all back? (fyi...this is one of my side notes!)

There were enemies of the Israelites there and they sent a letter back to King Artaxerxes and told him to look in the history scrolls and see that these people were rebellious and wicked and would not submit and pay taxes once their walls were rebuilt and that the king should order them to stop.  (Another side note)  Isn't it funny that they called them rebellious and wicked?  When they obeyed the Lord and He fought for them the other kings called them rebellious.  Anyway.....so the king did order them to stop.

Now I am not sure how many years later but Ezra, who was a teacher of the Law of Moses, is given permission to go to Jerusalem.  This is what is awesome and just shows how great our God is.....the king gives Ezra whatever he asks for because "the hand of the Lord his (Ezra's) God was on him."  He is given silver, gold, wheat, salt, olive oil, etc.  This is given to him out of the king's royal treasury.  It just shows that God can change any heart he wants to.  This king also tells Ezra that he is to teach everyone the laws of God and they are to be followed.  There were still those in Jerusalem threatening the Israelites as they rebuilt but that didn't matter.  Whatever God wants done, happens!

Like I said before I am everywhere with this blog...sorry.  But this is what really got me on my knees, literally.  I finish up in Ezra and Ezra finds out that some of the the people of Israel, including the priests and Levites have been marrying with the other nations.  This is a huge sin.  Ezra goes to the temple and weeps and prays for his people over this sin.  (Remember this for later)

Then I start to read Nehemiah.  This book starts out before the walls are all built.  He is King Artaxerxes' cup bearer.  It is in the fall and his brother and other men from Judah visit him (Nehemiah) and he asks how things are in Jerusalem.  They tell him that it is horrible...the walls are broken and the gates have been burned.  For days after this Nehemiah wept and fasted and mourned for his people.  He prays for mercy from God for the Israelites.  The next spring God does answer his prayers and the kings sends Nehemiah back to Jerusalem and also gives him permission to get timber from the king's forest for the temple, walls, and gates. 

This is the big finale!  : )  I stopped reading there and thought wow, do I pray like this for my nation?  What about even for my state?  My county?  My city?  My street?  My court?  What about even my neighbors on my left and right?  Do I even cry out to the Lord for them?  If I had that same passion for others what kind of difference would that make?!  I even thought about the National Day of Prayer we have and that I don't make that a priority like I should.  What kind of example am I to my children about the power of prayer?  I can't even put into words the pressing feeling I had to just get on my knees and pray. 

"Lord, I am such a "do-er" and I confess that I do not pray like I should.  Your word says to pray continually.  Lord let your Spirit inside me constantly bring to my mind all that I should be in prayer about.  Let my mind not wander to things that cause anxiousness and worry, but keep it focused on you.  Ignite in me a desire to pray for my neighbors.  Let me never doubt the power of prayer.  I want to be like Ezra and weep for the sin our nation commits.  I want to come before you, humbly praying for this city I live in.  Let their hearts be softened and use me to tell them of your Son.  In Jesus name, Amen."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gluten & Dairy Free!

My doctor's appt. was wonderful....everything I wanted it to be....thank you to everyone who prayed for me!  : )

He was very knowledgeable, kind, and encouraging.  The first thing he said when he walked in was, "What do you want from me and what can I do for you?"  I just explained to him what had been going on and that I wanted to really "fight" this sickness from the inside.  I said I knew I needed to make some changes to do that and I needed his help.  He said that I had come to the right place and we got started.

So here are a few things I was told and some things I have to change and/or start:

1.  Gluten and dairy free for 6 weeks.  Yes, this was the hardest and still has been for a few reasons.  One is that I have NO idea what I am doing.  He gave me a good resource sheet and I have some recipes but it feels overwhelming right now.  The second is that my children are freaking out because of all the changes in their food intake.  : )  And third is the price.....we went shopping last night for all our "new" food and it was VERY expensive!

2.  I have to take 5000mg of fish oil everyday.  So that is about 7 pills of the concentrated fish oil.  I got the "burp-less" kind and took them all last night.  About 1/2 hour later I burped fish!  Now for someone who has never eaten fish cuz she doesn't like the taste, burping fish oil up is really gross!  I kept saying, "they lied, they lied," every time I burped.  : )

3.  I have to take a B12 supplement and a probiotic....both of those are no big deal.  : )

4.  I also have to relax.  He asked me how my stress had been over the past few years.  I explained about a year and a half ago we moved from Texas (leaving great friends), moved into my parents house for 4 months (very stressful), then moved in our new house last summer, all 5 kids started new schools, my brother moved in with us for 4 months after getting out of prison, I was training for a 1/2 marathon, and then I got sick in March.  He said that he thinks I am under to much stress and that my body is lacking in areas that can handle stress and all that together was like a "perfect storm" which triggered the inflammation in my spine.  So he told me I have to have time everyday to be in my bible, pray, be quiet, and not do anything.  He said enjoy your family and leave the housework alone.  By this time I was crying...not sure why.  I told him that I feel guilty when I sit, but I know that that is not from God but from me.  Anyway, this one is going to be hard also.

5.  I am to still exercise but not let my heart rate get over 130.

6.  He also said that I need to believe I am going to heal.  That everyday I am to tell myself that.  He said that I will get better and that we are going to figure this out and to not get discouraged.  He wants me to stay on my pain meds until we get further along so the pain doesn't discourage me.

7.  We are also going to take the testing slow.  My insurance will not cover all of the test we are going to do and that can be expensive.  He said that he didn't want to add financial stress, so we will just go slow and work our way through it.  That was a big relief!

8.  He could see that my hair was thinning in places but not to worry......he thought it would stop falling out once I started making my changes in diet, etc.

9.  He also explained why my monthly cycle is so painful.  (I hope I explain this correct!)  My body might be low in cortisol, which helps bring down inflammation and pain.  Right before your cycle you produce extra hormones that your body will steal to make cortisol if it's low.  (Which is why I have PMS symptoms such as night sweats because that hormone is not there anymore.)  So when I had the extra cortisol the few day before my cycle started I felt great (even on only 30% of my pain meds).  I thought I could keep coming down off the meds.  Well......last Wed when my cycle started and the hormone levels went down which caused the cortisol levels to also decrease AND I was only on 30% of my pain meds AND I was cramping.....it all came together as one BIG hurt!  : ) 

I am very happy with this doctor.  I am hopeful and I know that God is calling me to live this one day at a time.  When I try to take it all in I feel so overwhelmed that I can't breathe.  That is when I know I have to pray and just trust and know that my Lord is there.....that he hasn't left me and never will....and that even though I am losing lots of hair, He still knows the very number of them on my head!  : )

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pain, hair, & Dr. appt

I wanted to give a little update on my meds.  I was starting to wean myself off of them and it was actually going great.  I was down to about 30% of what I had been taking, AND I even had a massage on Tuesday where she massaged my feet and it wasn't unbearable....but then Wednesday came!  Sorry to any guy reading this, but Wed morning my "monthly cycle" started.  Now they are normally pretty painful but this was crazy....I seriously thought I was going to end up in the ER.  I was literally sobbing on my bed.  I don't know what happened, but my feet, legs, and stomach were all extremely hurting at the same time.  Long (and probably complaining too much) story short, I had to go right back on my meds.  : ( 
So where does hair fit into all this?!  Well one is that I have been losing quite a bit of hair everyday for the past two weeks.  So much so that my husband asked me if I got a haircut!  Not quite sure what is up with that.  It is also very dry, which has never happened before either.  The other part of this "hair" blog is a funny story.  I took my 7 yr old son to get his hair cut at a local cosmetology school.  I go there sometimes cuz haircuts are like $5.  So we get there, and he has never been there before, so he asks me if this was a girl place (I think he said that because it was all decorated and had hair products out everywhere).  So I explain to him that it was a school to learn to cut hair.  He then asks if they practice on wigs.  I said yes and on people like him.  So then he looks at me and slowly says, "So I guess that means my hair isn't going to be perfect."  I started laughing and said maybe not, BUT it is only costing me $5!  Plus, I figured if it was horrible, we could just go home and buzz it....that is the great thing about boys.  : )     
Last but not least, I have a doctor's appt tomorrow with a "functional medicine" health care provider.  This is similar to a natural doctor.  I have been wanting to go to this doctor for a long time so I am excited about this appt.  If you want to understand a little more about functional medicine and how it differs from conventional medicine, check out their web site www.functionalmedicine.org.  I really recommend it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I lack

There is this story in the bible, told by Jesus, that I have never used for an illustration.  I have read this passage MANY times but like MANY other times with scripture, I read it and moved on.  I will just write it out here (it is long so bare with me!):

     "A certain ruler asked him, 'Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 
     'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered.  'No one is good--except God alone.  You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.''
     'All these I have kept since I was a boy,' he said.
     When Jesus heard this, he said to him, 'You still lack one thing.  Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.'
     When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.  Jesus looked at him and said, 'How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!  Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'
     Those who heard this asked, 'Who then can be saved?'
     Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with men is possible with God.'
     Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"
     "I tell you the truth,' Jesus said to them, 'no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come, eternal life.'"           
                                                           Luke 18:18-30

OK.....so....this passage came to me as I was talking to my husband about a family member.  I was saying, that like the rich man, this person knew what he needed to know....he was just choosing to not give up what was needed to really make that change in his life. 

What is crazy about this is that another friend suggested this podcast from Francis Chan titled "The Thrill of Obedience" for me to listen to.  I did and wouldn't you know it Luke 18 was used in this podcast.  So I started thinking obviously the Holy Spirit wasn't just bringing this passage to my head for my family member but it was also for me.  What is it that I won't let go of or can't turn from?  What is keeping me back from following Jesus with all my heart?  What sin am I holding on to for what ever reason I can justify it?

Now I am not saying that I only have ONE sin....I was just asking the Lord to show me one to work on right now...but instead of one he showed me two!  : )  One I can share and one I can't.  The one I can share is respecting my husband.  So I am asking those who know me personally to come along side me and help me in this.  Being a wife who honors, respects, and loves her husband unconditionally is the most important "job" I have here on earth.  Like the rich young man, I too know what scripture says about this...now it is time to do the one thing that I lack so that my treasures will be in heaven and I can be used by Christ more here on earth.


 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Acupuncture & Stuff

I may have mentioned before that I am wanting to do a more "natural" approach to being sick  I have started massage therapy, chiro, acupuncture, and changed my eating habits.  Since I am afraid of needles and have passed out multiple times because of them, my friend from Texas says it's an "oxymoron" that I would try acupuncture!  I told her I just go in there, lay down, and shut my eyes until it is all over!  : ) 

I am going to wean off of the pain medicine I am on.  I have to be honest when I say I am afraid of that pain again.  I know it might sound crazy then to stop right?  But I don't like the side effects and I know there is probably other damage being done to my body.  Also, as my body becomes use to the medicines I have to keep adding more.  Please pray for me...that the other things I am trying and God's grace and mercy will help ease the pain.

No more control

I have read Romans at least 10 times and for some reason this past week it feels like the 1st time I have ever seen it!  I want to say I am NO bible scholar...not even close...I know so little...but I do know God's word is SO powerful.  Like I said in an earlier post, I want to remember what God is teaching me right now so I blog about it.  : )

I am just going to type out the verses that really spoke to me deep in my heart and that I have actually used in training my children.  I try to make sure I don't tell them to "be better" but to pray and ask God to use HIS Holy Spirit inside them to change them.  Just like me, sometimes my children feel like they are never going to overcome the sin in them.  They obviously won't completely til heaven BUT they (like me) need to remember sin lost it's control over us when Christ died for us.

"...have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism.  And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.  We are no longer slaves to sin.  For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.  Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to sinful desires.  And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  I want to do what is right, but I can't.  I want to do what is good, but I don't.  I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  Oh, what a miserable person I am!  Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?  Thank God!  The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.."          Romans 6:3,4,6,7,12 & 7:18,19,24,25




Thursday, July 19, 2012

Angry at God

"People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord."     Prov. 19:3

I read this verse the other day and I can't get it out of my mind.  I have read it before but this time my eyes were open to really understanding what it meant for me and my life.  Of course there are things that happen in my life that are just a result of the sin in this world, BUT how many trials do I face because of my own foolishness?!  THEN I am angry at God because of the outcomes I have to face.  Such as....

Not being in the Word everyday and wondering why I can't hear the Holy Spirit as loud....

Not respecting my husband and wondering why our marriage isn't as strong as it could be....

Yelling at my children and wondering why they don't want to spend time with me....

Not eating right and wondering why I don't feel the best....

Spending money I don't have and wondering why we have debt....

The list could go on and on.  Thankfully I serve a God who is big enough to forgive my foolishness and when I confess my sins to him, he will purify me.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."     1 John 1:9



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Expectations


I had to laugh yesterday because the very thing God has been teaching me the past few days was talked about at my bible study.  God must have known that I needed to hear it a few more times!

I have been struggling with expectations and didn't even realize it.  Before I start I do want to put in a little side note.  We are suppose to "expect" the promises that are in scripture...promises like God will never leave us or forsake us or that he will go before us and we do not have to be afraid (and many more!).  I am talking about something different.  : )

I realized that I was making choices expecting certain outcomes...that I somehow already knew what "blessings" God had in store for me as a result of my obedience.  Like "if I serve in this ministry I am sure I will make some new best friends" or "if I pray for this person they will accept Christ tomorrow."  I have realized that my frustration when I chose to serve somewhere or someone really came down to what I expected to happen or what I expected them to do.

The hardest one for me lately is with being sick.  I kept thinking that I was sick for this or that reason and once my reason had past I would be better.  But I wasn't.  Then I thought maybe its for my husband or my kids to learn something or maybe my parents or maybe someone I don't even know...or maybe it is just for me.  All I do know is that I can "expect" God to be good in this as well no matter how long it lasts.

So I am learning I need to let God be God and determine the outcome...because He does anyway!  And I need to obey just to obey and have no expectations....because God usually has bigger and better plans.  And also that He is faithful even when I am sick.  : )

"In his heart a man determines his course, but the Lord determines his steps."     Proverbs 16:9

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."     Jeremiah 29:11


"It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn your decrees.  I know, O Lord, that your judgements are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me."  Psalm 119:71&75


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New focus

Have you ever felt squeezed?  In our Jonah study there was this illustration of lemons being squeezed.  And the point was only when God is squeezing you out can you truly be refreshing to others (lemonade). 

So lately I have felt squeezed....all over...from being sick, mothering, finances, etc.  This "squeezing has been somewhat of my focus.  But once again I felt God telling me that was not what he wanted from me.  He wants my focus to shift from myself onto others no matter how I feel.  Time for a new focus!

Proverbs 11:25b "he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

No complaining

For the past week or so I have felt God tell me "no complaining."  That I am to literally cast all my cares, fears, worries, complaints, etc on him and no one else.  What?!  Who is going to fix everything then or tell me what to do?  Well....he is! 

This doesn't mean I am supposed to be fake and never share my struggles....but asking for prayer because I am weak and complaining are different.  And sometimes it is actually hard to know the difference.

There is a saying I learned years ago that keeps coming into my head "Throne before Phone."  I am to bring my life before his throne before I pick up the phone to tell someone else.  This can be a lot easier said then done! 

How can I remember to do this?  By hiding God's word in my heart. (Psalm 119:9 & 11)

"Do everything without complaining or arguing"     Phil 2:14

"O Lord, I am calling to you.  Please hurry!  Listen when I cry to you for help!"     Psalm 141:1

"Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips."     Psalm 141:3

"I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord's mercy.  I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.  When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.  Then I pray to you, O Lord.  I say, 'You are my place of refuge, You are all I really want in life.'"   Psalm 142:1,2,3a & 5

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Saying

Instead of "pride comes before the fall," try this one from 1Kings 20:11 "A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won."  Love it!  : )

Medical Update

This is just a little update on me medically.  I had another spinal MRI on June 15th to see why I was still in pain and not getting any better.  On June 19th (my daddy's birthday!) I went to get my results....so here they are:

1.  The spot in my spine that caused this flareup looks good.  It is still visible (maybe it always will be?) but it is not inflammed.  That is good because the steroids did their job at the beginning. 

2.  Why am I still in pain?  There is possible severe nerve damage at the spot. 

3.  What does that mean?  Well, this could be permanent.  So I asked, "How long until you would medically call it permanent?"  Answer..."One year."  So basically, the longer I go without healing the higher the chances that this is permanent.  But of course we know God can do His healing whenever He pleases!  : )

4.  To help with this pain I am upping the dose of one med and adding another....so we will see!

5.  There was another iffy spot on my spine they saw.  This could be the start of another flareup.  I am to call him if I have anymore symptoms that last more than a day.

6.  Here comes the hard part...for me at least.  Now that the other spot is there and this flareup has not gone away I can technically start MS medicine.  (The other meds I take are not for MS but for the pain).  So no big deal right?  Well.....the medicine for MS does not come in pill form.  I will have to give myself shots!  Anyone who knows me knows why this is VERY hard for me.  Let me just say that I have MANY stories of passing out when it comes to needles or talking about needles or any of that medical stuff....yes I am a wimp!  : )

7.  One side effect of the shots is flu like symptoms.....fever, aches, chills, etc.  So there are daily shots or weekly shots with pros and cons of each.  Daily shots don't go as deep in your leg, so the injection site isn't as sore, and the flu symptoms aren't as severe or last as long each day....but I have to do this every day!  Weekly shots go deeper into the muscle so the injection site is more sore and the flu symptoms last longer and are more severe....but I only have to give a shot once a week. 

8.  I can wait to start this medicine until I have another flareup or if my brain MRI in October shows MS lesions.  Matt and I have decided that I will wait.  So for now there are no needles in this house!  : )

That is pretty much it!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

But they don't deserve it

As I have been reading this Jonah study one of the points is that Jonah ran from God.  Now he physically ran, and since I am still sitting here, I am not guilty of that right?  Or am I?!

Running from God can be internally as much as it is externally.  In fact for me that is the case.  Isaiah 29:13, "Then the Lord said, 'because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.' "  Basically these people (ME) are just going through the motions. 

Not only can I just "go through the motions" but I can also justify it in my mind.  If I don't think they deserve what God is asking me to do then I think I can choose to disobey.  Am I out of my mind?!  : )

"Lord, thank you that in your goodness you reveal my sin, my ugliness to me.  Please don't leave me this way.  Thank you that even though I did not and could not ever deserve your Son you sent Him anyway for me.  Amen."   

I want to live this way!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Slow down

I can look over my journals of the past 10+ years and there is a constant theme...I need to slow down.  I would journal that and pray for it and maybe do good for a few days and then the "Martha" would come out in me again.  I know that this is one of the many reasons God allowed me to get sick.  I have to slow down.  So why is it that I can forget that so easily?!  I will literally push myself to the point that my feet burn so bad that it is like I am not taking any medicine at all.  Why do I feel guilty when I sit?  This is not from the Lord.  I was reading in Pslam 34 and verse 11 made me stop, confess my sin of busyness, and beg the Lord to fill in my gaps.  It reads, "Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord."  How can my children listen to me....how can I teach them if I am not available?  Father I pray you will bring me to my knees even more if that is the only way I will stop and be available to train up my children in your ways.  Thank you for the gift they are and let your Sprit be strong in them. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Life Interrupted

Have you ever been just hit on the head by God?  Like He says, "Wake up!  I am talking to you!"  That happened to me today....

To really understand my day you need to know that I have been in kind of a dark place the past couple of days.  I have been pretty much complaining and feeling sorry for myself.  I guess you could say that I have been tired.  Tired of my feet/legs hurting...tired of not getting a good nights sleep...tired of taking pills...tired of not being able to run like I want...just tired of being sick.  I am not proud of this but it is the truth.

So back to today.  I just started this bible study this morning...."Jonah...Navigating a Life Interrupted, by Priscilla Shirer"....and we are sitting there watching the first session.  Let me tell you it was like it was just for me.  The first question she asked was, "How has your life been interrupted lately?"  Well no brainer for me to answer that question!  : )  But as this video went on I realized what a brat I have been.  So here is what I believe God hit me over the head with today:

1.  That God has a right to "interrupt" my life whenever He sees fit and I have a choice to act like a martyr, be a complainer, or yield when I hear his voice.

2.  That just hearing His voice at all is a privilege.  The interrupted like is a privileged life even if it is frustrating or embarrassing or even physically painful.

3.  God has kingdom plans for me and that by being sick He has allowed me to be apart of them.  Another way to look at it is "Divine Intervention NOT God Interrupting."

4.  If I run (like Jonah, who was the only prophet to do this) and do not follow through than I am saying my way is more important than God's way.  Side note:  Did you know that one of the greatest revivals in history (Nineveh) occurred because of one man finally being obedient?  AND that Jonah's life only really became significant after this "interruption" from God.

5.  It is easier when God wants us to advise others than when God wants us to go.  When He does say go (interrupts) do I really say "I got it" and mean it or do I just look the part.  Let's be real hear....if you have been a Christian for awhile you can fake it.  You can say all the Christian things and quote the verses until either you are interrupted yourself or that interruption gets a little bit harder.  Then you have to decide if you are going to surrender it all to the Lord.

6.  BUT if you do surrender...fully in...then your life...my life...will be an unbelievable story pointing the way to our Lord Jesus Christ.

So here are the questions I was asked today and that I am asking you.  What situation in your life are you trying to run from?  Who are the Ninevites in your life God wants you to witness to?  When God interrupts will you yield?

Today was a great wake up / reminder that God has a plan for me and that He hasn't left me or ever will!  That no matter how painful this gets or however long it lasts that this is a privilege and as I keep surrendering to Him, He will continue to use me in His plans even if I don't know what they are or even see them this side of heaven.

"Lord, forgive me once agian for my complaining attitude.  Use me like you did Jonah.  I want to point others to you even if I have to be in pain every day to do so.  Help me because I am weak.  Amen."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Too Funny

So I just posted my last post about "everything bigger in Texas" and went on klove to check some news.  On their front page was this story:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Supersized-hen-egg-in-Texas-had-another-egg-inside-3600220.php

I'm home!

I didn't technically just get home....I actually got home a week ago but anyone who has been gone from their home knows it takes a week to get your house back in order! For those wondering, Bekah did great and still wants a family one day : )

If you have ever heard the saying things are bigger in Texas well that is SO true. I have to share a picture of this crazy ice cream cone I ordered there. It is just a medium and I get a medium here all the time and it is LOTS smaller.





I also remembered that in Texas my friend Liz makes me shop WAY to much! : ) We had a lady at Dillards take our picture and she thought we were crazy! I had just got off the plane and we were there shopping 20 minutes later!!

I had such a great time and I hope that anyone who has never been to San Antonio will put it on their bucket list...ya'll will not be disappointed!

Friday, May 18, 2012

San Antonio

Finally I am going back to visit Texas...the best state ever!  : )  Ok, I know that will start some trouble but I thought it would be funny to say!  I am getting to go on a last minute trip to SA to visit some dear friends.  How awesome is that right?!  I am very excited and thankful to Matt,  who bought me this ticket, and my friend Bekah who is taking care of the kiddos.  Side note, Bekah is a single 23 year old who has very little babysitting experience.....can we say "birth control."  She will never want kids after next week!  : )  So I have a confession....I am struggling a little with this trip.  Once again it is the "what ifs."  What if I get sick because of the heat?  What if it is hard to leave like it was last time?  What if my friends don't like this "new" me?  These are all so ridiculous I know!  I was telling my father-in-law my "what ifs" and he had a very wise answer for me.  He said you are inward focused...how about being more outward focused.  You (me) need to go there wanting to serve others not worried about yourself.  That is why I love that man....he has great advice!  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Snoring

We have 5 loud snorers in my family (the two that don't are me and my 14 yr old)  So my 7 year old asks me if he snores....and I answer yes buddy you do.  So he thinks for a minute and says back....you know mommy, papa snores louder than anyone I know...so loud you can hear it thru two rooms.....so I think he taught daddy to snore and now daddy is teaching me.  : )

Top 7 List

These are just fun things I want/can do again when this flare up ends and I am "normal" again....

7.  Finally get a pedicure....ahhhhhhhhh....need I say more! : )

6.  Won't have to say "Don't touch mommy's legs/feet" anymore.  That is getting old!  I am not angry about it, I just want to be able to have my kiddos jump on me and it not feel like a major injury.  So after saying it to one of my 9 yr olds she asks, "Mommy, if I lick your feet will that hurt?"  Gross, right?!

5.  No more meds.  This is a two parter.  One, the meds make my stomach sick sometimes and two they make me talk different and act different.  Sometimes I make no sense at all, or I might just spill my water and have no idea I did it!

4.  Run more 1/2 marathons and maybe some fun 5Ks.  I am so addicted.  Indy was so fun.  I really want to be thankful for that experience and not be greedy for more but I am struggling! 

3.  To have my children see healing and that they can pray for someone else.  Their little hearts have been so sweet to watch as they constantly pray for me.  My 7 year old runs in my room and I am in bed not feeling well last week.  He wraps his arms around my neck and prays "Dear God, heal my mom Lord Father (He seriously says Lord, God, or Father 20 times in this prayer).  Thank you for this day.  You are God and that is never going to change. Amen"  Then he runs back out.  Too cute!

2.  Wear my Toms again.  (My feet burn and go crazy in shoes or socks.)  After Yellow Box Sandals these are my fav.  www.toms.com  Plus since they give a child a pair of shoes for each pair you buy it is more like a ministry...or at least that is what I try to get Matt to believe!  : ) 

1.  Be able to sleep on my side.  I have been sleeping on my back ONLY since the first week of April!

If I think of any more silly things I will post them.  : )

Magic Mouthwash

I thought I would let ya'll know the recipe for "Magic Mouthwash."  Why?  Cuz even with insurance that silly thing cost me $35.50 for a little bottle!  It is equal parts of milk of magnesia, benedryl, and lidocaine.  Sounds yummy, right?!  Your food taste gross BUT it numbs your entire mouth and your lips.  : )  fyi.....you can only buy lidocaine online thru Canadian pharmacies....or at least that is the only way we found.  So I guess that means I will be going back to Walgreens if I need a refill! 

Indy Mini - Race Day Pics

In case you missed my update to the "God is Good!" post here are the pics I wanted to share with y'all...

Before the Race w/great friends Jay and Terri

During the race at Mile 4 w/Terri (Jay was at 10 Mile...he's a stud!)

After the race!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What's next?

As I have been walking through this journey, the one thing I have wanted to keep a hold on is my closeness with Christ.  I want His Spirit in me to stay strong.  A few days after the marathon I was talking to a friend about this and saying I was wondering what was next for me.  Well God didn't make me wait to find out!!!  That same day I felt this small bump on the roof of my mouth and thought I must of just burned it...no big deal.  I ended up going to a dentist two days later because the entire roof of my mouth was raw and I couldn't eat at all.  He then referred me to an oral surgeon who told me there is nothing to do but wait.....this is becoming a pattern in my life.  I wonder if God wants me to learn patience?!  : )  He wasn't sure if this was related to my other issues in my spine.  To add to this mouth thing I was literally hot one minute, actually sweating...then the next I was freezing. I also was nauseous, dizzy, and lightheaded all day....basically had to stay in bed.  This was from Monday until yesterday.  Not a great week by most people's standards.  Oh, I forgot to add that the oral surgeon gave me this "Magic Mouthwash" (actually called that) so I can gargle it before eating to numb my mouth.  It does numb it but it tastes horrible and makes all my food taste the same way!  So that is the background to what I am wanting to really write about.  I am so thankful I had such a hard week...it was one of the hardest so far.  I had been slipping away from the Lord.  The medicine I am taking helps me walk now so I slowly started getting back into the "busyness" of life.  Not huge things, but big enough that I was not spending enough time with Him.  That changed my behavior, my attitude towards Matt and the kids, and towards others.  I was in bed crying (which I think I have done more of these past couple weeks than in my entire life!!), and just begging for healing from everything and my friend then told me this is your answered prayer.  What?!  She so nicely reminded me I had asked "What's next?" a few days ago.  At first I was like whatever, but then a little later I realized she was right.  God loves me so much that he slowed me down again.  He didn't let me go weeks or months or years and slip away.  After a few days He brought me back.  I am praying that if He is tugging on any one's heart right now that you will come back to Him.  His love is unbelievable and so is His joy and peace.  Nothing in this world could ever beat it!!  : )    

Sunday, May 6, 2012

God is GOOD!


Before the Race w/great friends Jay and Terri
  I am not sure if I should tell ya'll right away if I made it till the end of marathon or make you read the entire entry first......I think I'll wait!  : )  We left Friday morning for Indiana, which is about 5 hours away, and had a fun time with our friends Jay and Terri in the car.  I feel as if I need to let ya'll know I am a blogger liar....I posted that we were leaving in two hours after my post on Friday BUT our friends were a little late and we didn't leave until around 4 hours later!  We got to Indy, picked up our packets (which were full of some great goodies), bought the neatest non-slip headbands (http://www.busybeeheadbands.com/), and ate at noodles and company.  Side note...our hotel had the freakiest elevator!!  It was like walking into your own coffin.  It was only big enough to fit in four people and the entire thing was dark wood paneling.  It even had a switch to turn the light on and off....which of course the boys always wanted to turn off!  I had to pray before I went in every time.  We got to the race Saturday morning and it was crazy!  32,000 people all lined up and everyone sooo different and wearing some fun outfits...there were even some firefighters in full gear!  We had about 20-30 beach balls going around and fireworks were going off right before the race started.  It was so fun right from the beginning.  : )  The race started and I was already getting choked up just being there.  I couldn't believe that I had given this up over a month ago and two weeks ago God said go.  So the race starts and my feet are already burning....they do NOT like socks or shoes!  But, it wasn't anything that made me want to stop.  We got to mile 3, stopped to use the restroom, have our gu, and went right back to running.  It was so fun seriously......both sides of the road were lined with bands and people cheering for you.  Oh, I forgot to tell ya'll something...before we started, Terri and I asked for a sign from God to encourage us....we decided to ask to see the color orange (it is the color used for MS).  No joke people, we saw this color everywhere from balloons to signs on the telephone poles.  It was so cool.  : )


During the race at Mile 4 w/Terri (Jay was at 10 Mile...he's a stud!)
Back to the run...Matt was waiting for us on mile 4 and that was great to see him.  On mile 6 we entered the Indy 500 race track.  I have to say that when you see the cars go around the track it looks LOTS smaller than when you are running it!!!  It is 2 1/2 miles long with no shade...it was like the never ending track!  By then we had also decided we were done with the Gatorade they were serving...it tasted horrible...I think it was the flavor that they never sold.  I felt really good so far...the burning in my feet started getting a little worse around mile 6 but it didn't get any worse after that.  Terri and I were having a great time laughing, singing, and talking to other runners.  It was like a big party!  : )  Around mile 9 it started feeling like a knife was being stabbed into my toe every so often....later after I took my shoes off there was a blister on that toe....go figure!  : )  I just kept thinking I can't believe God has given me the strength to make it this far.  The humidity was about 95% and it was getting around 75 degrees but I still felt good.  Then shortly after mile 10 that all changed.  As crazy as this sounds it wasn't my feet that started hurting...it was my left knee.  At first I could walk about 10-20 steps and that would be enough to stretch it out and then I could run again but by mile 11 1/2 I honestly thought I was not going to be able to finish.  I kept praying Lord I want to finish but more than anything I want to praise you if I don't.  I think also from this point on I was crying.  I was crying from the pain and also because I couldn't believe I was able to keep taking step after step.  Terri didn't have her ipod so she shared my headphones and we started singing and worshipping God and it was really awesome.  We had been singing and praying on and off the entire race but from this point on we didn't stop.  Another side note...Terri is awesome!  Seriously, she had been training up until we left and could have run circles around me, but she ran at my pace the entire time and did not complain...I am SO lucky to have a friend like that!  I need to mention that we were still seeing orange everywhere!!  At mile 12 (or a little after) I told Terri I didn't think I was going to be able to make it, so she grabbed my hand and held it until we crossed the finish line!!  God used her to not allow me to quit....I can't even remember it without tears rolling down my face.  I was limping, crying, and trying to see where we were supposed to go to find our husbands.  After grabbing our medals, food, and taking our race photo (which we of course took together), we found Jay and Matt.  I just sobbed on Matt's chest for a few moments before I could talk.  We started back to the hotel room but I didn't make it....the pain in my knee was so crazy and I started feeling dizzy (due to lack of water and emotions I am sure), that Jay had to come and pick me up.  We packed and headed back home!  : )  God is so good, He truly doesn't begin a work in you and not finish it.  I can NOT believe I finished that marathon.  But really I didn't, God in me did.  He is so powerful, so wonderful, so amazing, and this God who made the earth and all that we see by just speaking enabled me to run 13.1 miles!!!  I feel like my words are so inadequate for how I want to praise Him.  I also feel like I don't have the words to say how ya'lls prayers lifted me up while I was running.  Thank you so much........ 
After the race!!!!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Tomorrow is the BIG day!!

This will be my last post for a couple of days because we are leaving in 2 hrs for Indy!  what what?!  : ) 
Saturday is the big day!  Specific prayer requests:  our safety...that there would be cool weather (we already received a heat advisory for Saturday from the race officials and I am not supposed to be overheated!)...that if it is His will I will complete this marathon...and if I don't complete it I will still praise Him!  Thank you!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mile 2!

So...I ran 2 miles today!!!  Kinda humbling to realize that about 5 weeks ago I ran 10 miles and was so excited and now I am excited for 2.  : ) I have realized I have not updated on how I am feeling / doing.  So here it is:  My doctor upped my meds so I take quite a bit of Gabapentin every day.  It is actually a seizure medicine used for epilepsy but it also works for dulling nerve pain.  So there is no more burning and I can walk!  : )  I still have the numbness and tingling and also the hot flashes if I am walking too much.  There are also some side effects...I am wobbly and a little dizzy, my hands shake which make it somewhat difficult to type correctly (the backspace button has become my best friend), I feel a little like I am going to throw up all day, and I can't talk well.  What I mean by talking well is I say the wrong vowels a lot...like "kids get on the van" or "you dropped something out of your picket," I also can't say the word I want...it is in my head but won't come out of my mouth or I can't think of the word I want to say at all.  As you can imagine my family is having fun with this!!  : )  I can also get a little foggy and delayed in my reflexes so I try not to drive to far from home.  BUT...seriously I praise God I can walk...the other things don't matter!  : )  Also my Dr. called yesterday and gave me the go ahead with the marathon...he said just take it slow and stay hydrated!  I was VERY excited to hear that....even though I think I would of gone anyway...don't tell my mom that!  : )  Here is something I wanted to share that I read in my devotions today.  I am reading in Judges and it is about Samson, who I know many of you know the story.  The part I want to share, though, is before he was born.  So the angel of the Lord appeared to Samson's mother who they call Manoah's wife (Samson's dad).  He tells her she is going to have a son and gives her the directions for raising him.  Then she tells her husband what happened and he believes her which is so cool because remember how the disciples didn't believe the women who told them Jesus had risen.  So anyway he then prays to the Lord saying "Lord, please let the man of God come back to us again and give us more instructions about this son who is to be born."  He wanted more!  More wisdom in raising his son.  I just stopped and prayed, "Lord I want more...more wisdom in being a wife, mother, daughter, friend."  I always want to want more of God, more of His wisdom!  Ok, then the angel does come back and gives them more instructions and they want to prepare a goat for him to eat and he says I will not eat it but instead ya'll (ok, maybe he didn't say ya'll) may prepare it for a burnt offering as a sacrifice to the Lord.  Then it says Manoah didnt' realize it was the angel of the Lord and asked the angel his name.  The angel replies, "Why do you ask my name?  It is too wonderful for you to understand."  Then as they are offering their sacrifice the angel of Lord ascends up to heaven in the fire and the couple realized they had seen God.  So here is what I think is so awesome....we know our God's name!  We don't have to ask!  We can talk to him anytime...we don't have to wait around.  Do I fully understand the blessing I have to have my bible, to know my God, to be able to talk to him without any priest, to have HIS SPIRIT, God himself living in me?!  How cool is that?!?!  : )

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I did it!!

WOOHOO!  I did it!  Did what?  I ran 1 mile!!  Ok...no big deal, right?!  Well for me it is.  : )  As you may or may not know....before I got sick I was training for a 1/2 marathon.  About 3 weeks ago I gave it up....I thought there is no way I can run this....and everyone around me agreed.  BUT, I don't believe that was God's plan.  So last Sunday, at our small group, we were all praying and no joke I hear this small voice tell me, "Run the marathon."  What?!?!  See, from the beginning I knew I needed God's strength to make it across that finish line.  I had not run in probably 12 years!  But every time I wanted to quit, I would remember why I was running....I was running to gain self control (in all areas of my life) and to not give up on my parenting (it was a little crazy in my house at that time).  It is not any different now, but yet it is.  Now, there is NO way I can cross that finish line without God.  ALL the odds are stacked up against me.....pain in my feet that can be unbearable, numbness that causes me to be wobbly, feeling vomity (not a word, but I am using it!), I am not supposed to be overheated or stressed, and did I mention I haven't run in like 5 weeks!  (Side note....this totally upsets my mother.....when you get sick you become a little girl again in your mommy's eyes and she becomes the mama bear....I love you mommy!!)  But with God all that doesn't matter......IF it is His will for me to cross that finish line for His glory I will!  : )  So I need lots of prayer....the race is this Saturday, May 5th, in Indianapolis.  We leave Friday morning and get back Saturday evening.  I always thought I would cry when I finished, but now I think I will weep like a baby!  These lyrics keep running through my mind which kind of sums this all up, "I may be weak...but your Spirit's strong in me.  And my flesh may fail...but my God he never will!"

Friday, April 27, 2012

What If? So What?

I wanted to share something that I learned (and have not mastered) early in this "sickness."  As you may remember everything happened so fast....like a 24 hour turnaround!  So it was probably the 3rd day that I started freaking out.  On the 1st day, I didn't really even know what MS was, so when my Dr. said this could be the beginning of MS I was really calm.....I don't think I even knew what MS stood for!  Then on the 2nd day, I had my first steriod infusion and felt so horrible that was all I could think about.  The next day...the 3rd day...I went on my computer and looked up MS.  That was when the panick started creeping in. : )  So I was sitting on my bed and all the "what ifs" started.   What if this never goes away?  What if I do have MS?  What if I go into a wheelchair?  What if I go blind?  What if I die early?  What if Matt doesn't love me anymore?  What if I embarrass my children?  What if I have to wear depends because I can't control myself?  What if I never leave this room again?  And I am sure there more!  And then that's when I heard it.......So what?  So what if all these things do happen?  Does that mean I love you any less?  Does that mean you are any less of my child?  Does that mean I have left you or would ever leave you?  Does that mean my Son didn't die for you?  Does that mean I still don't have a plan for your life?  My fears went away that day.....and my "what if" changed to a "so what."  But remember I have yet to master this!  : ) 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Charles Spurgeon

As I was reading a bible study this morning there was a little part of a sermon given by Charles Spurgeon.  I just thought it was great and wanted to share it:  "When the Lord finds a saint whom He loves---loves much---He may spare other men trials and troubles, but He certainly will not this well-loved one.  The more beloved you are the more of the rod you shall have...It is an awful thing to be a favorite of heaven.  It is a thing to be sought after and to be rejoiced in, but remember, to be one of the King's council-chamber is a thing involving such work for faith that flesh and blood might shrink from the painful blessing...Sometimes when we plead for our adverse circumstances to change, God simply makes us content where we are.  Many saints have found riches in poverty, ease in labor, rest in pain, and delight in affliction.  Our Lord can so adapt our minds our circumstances, that the bitter is sweet, and the burden is light."  What is left to say except Amen!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dr. Visit

Here is my medical update from my dr. visit yesterday.  It is kind of a three part thing.  Part one:  My spinal MRI.  He showed me the part on my spine that was inflamed.  He said normally the steroid treatments I received stop the inflammation and within a few days the flare up ends.  But obviously that is not my case.  So, we will wait another week.  If the pain is still there then we will schedule another MRI to make sure the inflammation is gone....if not we have to address that or else the pain will not away.  If there is no inflammation then this flare up has cause severe nerve damage and I am looking at a 6-12 month recovery from this flare up.  Part two:  My brain MRI.  I have a small spot that kind of glows in my brain.  Where it is located could be normal.  So in 6 months I will have another brain MRI to see if this spot has grown or if there are more spots showing.  If so then this is MS and we will start a treatment plan after that.  Part three:  MS.  Since this is one flare up it is not technically MS.  He said 50% of people who have MS will have their 2nd flare up within 2 years.  So we wait.  He told me the commonly attacked places on your body for flares up are your legs, arms, lose of control of your bowels and bladder and blindness.  So I ask if I go blind will I see again?  He said most people regain sight (not always back to the same degree) but as with any flare up with MS there is always the possibility of it being permanent.   So there it is....my medical update.  But like always....God has the final say with me!  : )

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How Real?

So I have been avoiding this post all day.  I could say I don't know why but I do.  In the beginning I said I wanted to be real....to be honest about all I was learning and what my struggles were.  How easy that is to say when things are going good, right?  When you feel a peace and a joy you think is never going to leave or fade and no matter what, you are going to have a "great" attitude.  Cuz you kinda think "I can't really be broken anymore can I?"  "This has to be as bad as it's going to get?"  Well I thought all that until yesterday.  Yesterday was by far the worst day yet.  I have never felt the pain I felt yesterday.  It is almost indescribable.  Of course I had people around helping me so the smile stayed on my face....isn't that how it is....in front of people you just smile.  Then everyone goes home, or in your own home goes to bed and you are alone....no one around to smile in front of.  Then you are just left with pain...pain that isn't going away....pain that feels like the skin of your feet are being ripped off and fire is burning them and someone is pouring gasoline over them....and the pain keeps moving up your legs and you scream in your head "IS THIS EVER GOING TO STOP!!"  And then I lost it!  Sobbing I cried out to the Lord......"Please heal me.....please heal me....please heal me....I can't do this....I can't do this....I can't be stuck in this house any longer......I can't not walk my children to school on a beautiful morning....I am not strong enough for this.....I am not strong enough....."  And He said softly, "I know you are not....but I already told you I am....did you forget?"  My sobbing didn't stop....my pain didn't stop....but the words in my head slowly changed.....I started crying out "I just want Your will" over and over.  I wish I could say I went to bed last night joyful and peaceful and pain free....but that didn't happen.  I went to bed more broken then I have ever been in my life....realizing again how weak I really am.  Do I want to be healed?  I do!  But do I want His will more even if it means never being healed?  Yes I do....because I know I will be healed one day even if it's not here on earth.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My prayer today

After a pretty rough morning I sat down to read my bible and these verses just became my prayer for today: "Bend down,O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me for I need your help. Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God. Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. I will call to you whenever I'm in trouble, and you will answer me. For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. You alone are God. Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever." Psalm 86: 1-3,7,10-12

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yellow Box Sandals

What in the world are yellow box sandals some may be asking. For me right now they are the biggest blessing. I am so thankful for them. They are the MOST comfortable shoes and they are the ONLY shoes I can wear right now! I want to thank my dear friend Lizzy in Texas who introduced me to this fabulous footwear! Who would of known they would turn out to be such blessing to me?!?! For those of you who can buy them (which in Iowa is next to impossible) I somewhat envy you. : ) They are worth every penny....your feet with thank you because I know mine do!!!!

Here is a link to where you view/order the flip-flops: Yellow Box Flip Flops

Journal entries

Not sure why I want to share my last weeks journal entries. I think because in doing so I want to be honest about my weaknesses and not be ashamed that I am not perfect and have it all together. I don't want my pride to be my biggest downfall. God says His strength is shown through our weaknesses and I want to trust in that. Also God has just given me some amazing verses to memorize and I will add them in as I did in my entries if ya'll wanna look them up! : ) Apr 8th Lord we need to be diligently teaching our children about you. Lord change our hearts and the hearts of our children so that we will love you with all our hearts and souls. (Deut. 30:6) Let us always seek you first and store our treasures in heaven so that the desires of our hearts will be with you. (Luke 12:31&34) Help me not to be afraid or discouraged knowing that you go before me and will never fail or abandon me. (Deut 31:8) Allow me to have joy in my trials so that I will develope perseverance and become complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4) Shine light in my entire life Lord so that I would have no corners and my life would be radiant for you. (Luke 11:36) Apr 9th Thank you Lord for your words and your faithfulness. Heal me from this pain Lord if it's your will. If not, allow me to stand firm on your promises. To trust that this is all for my benefit. That you promise to work all things out for my good. (Rom 8:28) That you give me all I need at all times and that I will finish this race of my life well. (2 Corin 9:8) Apr 11th Help me remember to be humble, to only boast in you and all that you are. I want to be your disciple taking up my cross and following you. Apr 12th Thank you for your peace and your promises. TRUTH - The Lord wants me to walk in his strength! Pray more boldly and have the faith that God can do it! Apr 13th I am anxious in not knowing what to do. I don't want to be lazy but I know I have to slow down as God is directing me. Teach me Lord to number my days, to give every second of every minute to you. (Ps 90:12) The more I learn the more unworthy I feel. God you are so big. I want to be completely sold out for you! Apr 14th Joshua 9:14 "So the Isrealites examined their food, but they didn't consult the Lord" (you might need to read back a bit in Joshua to fully get this verse) How many times Lord do I "examine" something and lean on my own understanding and not consult you?! (Prov 3:5) Forgive me and forgive me for how I drag others down in my sin when I do this.