Craving Life


Today I find myself craving more. I need more than what I’m able to do. I need to experience more than what I’m able to accomplish. I need more. There has to be more than simply staring at this miniature computer in my hands. I feel like I’m missing something. TV no longer has any appeal. I don’t want to see dead bodies, crimes, or step into the twisted minds of those committing the crimes, individuals making really bad choices and living below the abundant life, or people winning money for answering dumb questions there should be no use in knowing. I don’t want to sound superior, I’m just sharing my heart. I need more than what TV or my phone has to offer.  

I don’t want my kids growing up thinking TV is god or never seeing my face without a device in front of it. I don’t want them thinking that I find googling random things or socializing with strangers more entertaining than they are. I want more for them too. I don’t want them thinking that the internet is the be-all/end-all for life. Isn’t it strange how unfulfilling it is even though we’re full of information? I don’t need more worldly knowledge, I need more life in my life.  

Proverbs 3:13 says “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding…” I feel like I have understanding in some areas, but not in the ones I truly desire to have it. What’s the point in comprehension of things that don’t matter to me? Or to God? I wanna “get” what God says. I know that makes me different, but maybe not so different from you. The only way I can come up with to do that is to study, actually study, what the Creator of the universe says. Then listen when He wants to say something to me. (I’ve heard the world try to tell people this means you’re crazy. If so, put me down as a nutcase. God talks to me. Get over it.)  

I’m making it a point, especially this week, to take the time to listen for the wisdom God wants me to know. There is a fulfillment that can only come from what He has to offer and I’m waiting patiently and expectantly for it.  


Winning Against Myself


See, the thing is, (I’ve always wanted to start a post like we were in the middle of a conversation) that I don’t feel like doing things. Ever. I love going to church, but I never feel like going to church. I never feel like going to the grocery store or to the park with my kids or outside to hit a ball around. I can remember two moments in the past decade when I thought, “This is fantastic. All is well. I couldn’t possibly feel better. How exciting!” I think this may be the definition of an autoimmune illness. 

I’ve recently spoken to some people who have no idea what this feels like…to never feel like doing things. One of the women, in her 80’s, said she’d never been sick a day in her life until her first bout with pneumonia. Another man said “My wife and I have always had good health” and they’d been married for 60-some years. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but I gotta admit, I’m jealous. I want so badly to feel like doing things. I can’t imagine not having to fight myself every single day to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. After all, I still have a job. I have 2 unbelievably talented kids who deserve the best mom ever. And I have a husband who deserves to be loved forever. And the truth behind all of this is: I hurt. I ache. I pop. I cry. I never feel good. And I don’t write these things for pity (Eeyore voice: “I doubt I’d get it annnnnywaaaaay.” Ha! I cracked myself up on that one.) I’m just offering perspective. I hold onto those 2 moments in my head of times past when I felt good over the past 10 years. I remember those like it was yesterday. I had no pain anywhere. I wasn’t dizzy and I smiled an unbelievably real smile. If I thought for even a second those moments wouldn’t return and were gone forever, I’d stay in bed all day every day. 

When I did the Physique and Fitness competition, that was me, fighting against my biggest enemy as well as myself. It wasn’t to show off a super-fit body onstage in front of an audience, although that’s exactly what I did. It was to prove that I win. I’m only in competition with myself and I win every time. I didn’t care what the other girls looked like and I wasn’t even upset when I didn’t win (ok, a little upset…I worked HARD!) It was an accomplishment showing what one can do if one blocks out the other voices, the voices that say “You can’t, you won’t, you are only human, this hurts, this aches, this is too hard!”  

When you have to fight yourself as hard as someone with autoimmune issues does, you realize how strong you are. It’s one of the biggest ironies in my life that the only one tough enough to take me out is me! (Thank you to my husband for reminding me of this.) I know God has a plan in all of this, because I haven’t come this far for this to be how far I’ve come. Eleanor Roosevelt said “With the new day comes new strength.” I refuse to give up even when I feel like it. And I won’t back down. I don’t know how. 

Christian Chickens


In Luke 7:33-35 (NLT) Jesus says “For John the Baptist didn’t spend his time eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” 

Do you ever feel like you just can’t win? It struck me today (not literally…although it kind of felt that way) that Jesus didn’t live ashamed. I know this may seem remedial to some of you, but don’t you feel as a Christian sometimes we keep our wisdom-filled mouths shut when we shouldn’t and our judgy hearts scream out judgment when they shouldn’t? I feel like Jesus is saying, “Look, it doesn’t matter what I do here, you’re simply not going to accept me. You either will or you won’t. And if you don’t, that’s your choice. I’m surely not going to force you.” It’s just not His style. And boy, does He ever have style… 

Do you ever feel like you have to shrink yourself down when around people who don’t believe the way you do? Or that you’re not educated enough to speak on such subjects? Or that you are a peacemaker and not a confrontational person, so that is the reason you don’t address controversial topics? After all, Jesus came to bring peace on earth right? (Matthew 10:34) Didn’t He? Nope. Does love always present as peaceful? I don’t think so. This makes me a little tense because I like happy, non-arguing people. 

But, are we going to “love” people right down into their forever graves? God says we are never alone, but that we have so little faith. Is it possible we can be truthful and upfront about our beliefs without being judgy? Can we do it and keep everyone happy and peaceful? Do we need to worry about that or can we let God do what He does best? 



Dirty Ice Cream


Smith Wigglesworth said, “You must have a brokenness to get into the depths of God.” Psalm 34:18 lets us know that the “Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.” I haven’t met many Christians who haven’t been through some “stuff.” That word “stuff” covers a lot of ground. Loss, hurt, disappointments, tragedy, physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, just scratches the surface it seems. People are amazingly resilient, but without God, I can honestly say I don’t know how anyone would make it through a fraction of it. Without truly knowing that God is in control and that He’s not shakin’ in His proverbial boots, many of my own days would have sucked even more. (How’s that for waxing poetic?) I’m just trying to be honest here.  

This life is hard and to say it stinks sometimes just doesn’t cover it. And I can’t do “churchy” when real people have real problems. “I’ll be praying” doesn’t cut it when brokenness threatens to take over. Don’t misunderstand me, prayer works, and if more believers were doing more of it, we’d be changing more situations. God will answer your prayer. I believe that. The brokenness that unbelievers feel must be the most gut-wrenching, detrimental emotion because I know my own brokenness is that way sometimes with God on my side. Jesus loves me, and He loves me so much He allows me to grow. That means life isn’t ice cream and rainbows and puppies. That ice cream may fall in the dirt, the colors fade into dreary gray, and that puppy pees everywhere. That’s real life. And for real life, we need to turn to the One Who created it. He’s not responsible for cleaning up our messes, but for some reason He helps us out of so many of them. We’re here for a reason and we can’t lose focus. Losing focus is the easiest, wide path. Truly learning Who God is and how far His love reaches for us individually should be on our To-Do list for the days/weeks/months/years ahead.  

In Some Ways, On Some Days


I need for people to see that I never gave up. That I did the best I could with what I was given. My goal is not to be useful or worthy or successful, but to do what God put in front of me to do. I refuse to be less than that. I have battled and when I say battled, I mean, battled physically, emotionally, and spiritually to just be where I am today. I give no credit to the enemy of our souls, but in some ways and on some days, I’m thankful for the battle. I’ve never been stronger. Even on the days that I don’t fill my water glass to the top because I don’t have the strength to lift that much weight to my mouth and I have to take a nap after I take a shower, I thank God that I can and do win in the end. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I am healed. I don’t understand why I still have to battle. I know the scriptures say that He bore my sickness and carried my pain (Psalms 107:20) and that I have abundant life (John 10:10) and that His Word is life and healing to all my flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22) and that He bore my sins in His body on the tree, so I’m dead to sin and alive unto God and by His stripes I am healed and made whole (1 Peter 2:24, Romans 6:11, 2 Corinthians 5:21). I know all this in my heart. Some say we need to remind God of these scriptures and I don’t buy into that. (Like I can educate the Creator?) God’s memory works just fine. We’re the ones that need reminding. If we reminded ourselves as much as we look at our phones, think of where we’d be.

Confucious said “It doesn’t matter how slowly it goes as long as you don’t give up.” In my opinion, this whole health journey I’ve been on has taken way too long and I’d happily take a pill to make me better any given day, side effects or not, but that isn’t what God has planned. If it was, I’d have those pills in my medicine cabinet and they’d be on some auto-refill plan. I won’t give up. I’ll get discouraged every now and then because God made me into a human being, not a robot, but I won’t give up. I will not quit.

When you see me at the gym, that’s me not quitting. Do I feel like being there? Probably not. Do I feel better when I’m done? You bet. Will I pay for it for the next couple days? Maybe. When you see me at the grocery store trying not to lose it with 2 kids, reading labels and identifying what doesn’t have gluten, corn, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, and GMOs in it because my body can’t handle those, that’s me not giving up. Even though I’d rather just collapse with a bag of chips and ½ a dozen donuts. When I have to say no to meetings or group get-together’s or church functions or birthday parties everyone’s having, that’s me not quitting. That’s me knowing myself well enough to know that I  am the only one protecting my energy reserves, knowing full-well that they are easily depleted if not tended to properly. I will not give up and I will not back down. THIS is how I fight my battles. 

Prayers for all who battle “invisible illnesses” today and those who support them in so many ways. 

The Next 8,760


I’ve talked to a lot of people (it’s an aspect of my job as a speech pathologist and the fact that I’m my mother and father’s daughter) in the past few days who are neither impressed with this past year, nor looking forward to the coming year. “Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be better” said with a sarcastic tone and a sneer or “I’ve had a rough year” are among the statements made. If you hold onto the mindset that led you to believe this year can’t be better, then you’re already defeated. And the next 8,760 hours will, in fact, be more of the same.

I understand that there are tough times, I’ve had ’em myself, but those times don’t add up to a “bad year.” That year is made up of moments and I can’t convince myself that every moment was wholly horrible. My dad would say something along the lines of it’s time for a change “when the good outweighs the bad.” Does the bad of the past 365 days outweigh the good? And if you respond with a “Yes” to this, then I’d be willing to bet it’s your attitude and perception that needs the change, not the actual occurrences. The Creator of the universe has a plan for your life this year and always. Renew your mind. Think on the good. Notice goodness. And embrace the moments that are presented specifically to you by God Himself. “Prayer” is simply talking to Him about the moments. Simple? Yes. I could use more “simple” in my life this year.


Clear Skies and Confirmation


“Many times when people are recovering from illness, they follow a strict diet that brings balance back into their eating habits. Find balance in all you do, and keep the enemy away from your door.” Joyce Meyer 

This was in my devotional reading today. This statement makes me feel so adult. I don’t typically read devotionals, which my mom finds hilarious since I’ve assisted in writing one. It’s just always seemed so disciplined and routine to me. I’m not really a routine-kinda gal and it’s not because I don’t want to be. I try to keep routines. In fact, I have one hanging in the kitchen, I just forget to look at it. My day would run so incredibly smoothly if I could only do step 1 first, then follow it with the other steps! It doesn’t happen this way, but that doesn’t keep this ADD gal from striving for just that. 

I’ve been tackling this autoimmune stuff with diet lately and I’m in my third month of the autoimmune protocol diet. This game plan avoids eggs, nuts, seeds, chocolate, soy, dairy, sugar, gluten/wheat, rice, oats, legumes, nightshade veggies (potatos, tomatos, eggplant, peppers), food additives like guar gum and carrageenan, NSAIDS (medications for pain such as ibuprofen/acetaminophen), and alcohol (haven’t touched the stuff since March 12th, 2009. Thank you Jesus!) This is not a diet to lose weight, although I am. It is a healing diet, a somewhat of a system reset, then reintroductions of certain foods to identify if they have a negative effect (I.e. inflammation) within my body. It’s very difficult. It requires discipline and focus. 2 concepts I have yet to master on any level. I’ve prayed for God to heal me like He did the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48) In fact, I’ve imagined myself touching his clothes as He walked by and feeling magnificent! And there have been times that I have literally felt so good I can’t even describe it, but they are very short-lived, as in a-few-minutes-short. I believe that it’s coming one day and if He didn’t have a good reason and a plan, I’d be in perfect health. After all, I was the one who trashed this temple of mine for quite a few years. Seems only fair I’d experience some consequences somewhere along the way.  

This venture has been a long one in my mind, although I know I have it much better than some. There’s a tendency in this journey to become self-pitying, especially when you’re not eating anything other human beings eat. But today, today is a new day, with new mercies and clear skies. I’m thanking God for His unique ability to give us signs that we’re on the right track, no matter how rough that track may appear.