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 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. 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 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  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 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 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