Author Archives: chronicchristian

About chronicchristian

I am a mother of 2 children who I realized not long ago I can't call "toddlers" anymore, married to the best man in the world for 12 years and chasing after what God wants for my life. I currently deal with some symptoms and have for the past 9 years, that resemble an autoimmune illness. Currently my own body is attacking my thyroid (seems it could find something better to do) and the doctors I've seen are at a loss as to what the plan might be. I believe God has the very best plan and that He is doing something awesome and she who guards her lips guards her life. This blog is good therapy. Maybe not for you, but definitely for me. God is good and I intend to prove it.

Christian Chickens

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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? 

 

 

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Dirty Ice Cream

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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

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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

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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

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“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. 

Superhero Flesh

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I find myself in a country I’m not familiar with, but I hear a distant voice across a swaying ocean breeze, “You’re in the Carribbean, baby…” I begin to walk to meet my driver and she’s walking away, disgruntled for some reason that I’m not aware of. She laughs as she looks back, saying, “Good luck!”

I ask someone for directions and that man laughs too. It’s obvious he’s not going to help me and to be perfectly honest, from the looks of him, I’m not sure I would want him to. I get behind the wheel of the car and realize I’ve forgotten my glasses, the ones that I only wear at night while driving. Great. It almost instantly gets dark. I watch the sun set as I take off on a dark roadway lined with trees and as I do, I notice I think I’m headed in the wrong direction. The paint on the road has long-faded and I can’t see whether I’m on the correct side or not. The actual roadway signs are facing the other direction. Not a good sign…pun intended. Suddenly, my headlights go dim, then dark. Just when I’m about to have a breakdown of some kind, the car beats me to it. Without warning, it sputters and shakes to a stop in the middle of the immense darkness. I looked up, thinking “What now?” as I felt a chill rush through me all the way to the bone.

It turned out it was my husband rolling over that shook the bed and not my car in the Carribbean. It was all a dream, but one that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since.

We don’t know how to handle the darkness in this world or which way to turn most days. It’s foreign to us to simply trust as it’s not in our nature. So many days, I don’t even know what “trusting” looks like. I’ve sure learned who I can’t trust a lot though. We look for help in others, but many times, they just can’t help us. And maybe not because they don’t want to or don’t have the time, they just can’t for whatever reason.

Which way do you go when it’s just you? Are you relying on “just you”? Every time I think I’m not, I realize that’s exactly what I’m doing: trying to handle everything on my own again. Our flesh wants to be superhero-esque! We want people to wonder, “How does he/she DO IT ALL???” In that moment of sitting in that dark, still car, on a dark road, lined with scary-looking dark trees, and no signs, in a distant unfamiliar place, it occurred to me that I have no ideas. Sure, I can come up with something, (thank God I woke up before I had to do that) but is it the very best plan? Probably not. (In fact, I’d bet the kids’ Halloween candy on it.) Can we trust God that He has the very best plan for our lives? The quick and easy response is “Yes! Of course!” But do we say this while we worry about our kids, finances, jobs, house, and that loved one in the hospital. Are we losing hair or sleep while we go through what God has allowed in our lives? What does your brand of trust look like? Mine’s been looking a whole lot like someone who doesn’t have a powerful God on their side lately. I feel like I’ve been kicked back down every time I try to get up this week, but I’ve got news: I, nor you, have to be under anyone’s boot. No power in hell can keep you down if God wants to raise you up. I’m on a mission this week to figure out just how strong I really am.

 

Can I Quit?

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George S. Patton said to “Accept the challenges so you can feel the exhilaration of the victory.” I never knew I accepted any challenge until recently, and by recently, I’m talking within the past couple years. I remember weighing my options regarding this illness:

1. Give up.

2. Keep going.

The first “option” really didn’t seem all that appealing to me. I’m not a quitter, although I had to quit my job. (I also had to work on forgiveness for my former employer as no one, to this day, has ever once checked on me after I keeled over while working. That’s another post…maybe.) I watched as the pen I was using to write a speech therapy report fell from my hand onto the desk. It was a very surreal moment because I worked with stroke rehabilitation and if you know me at all, it takes a lot to stress me. I thought, “Well, that’s interesting.” After a moment to get my bearings–whatever those are, I don’t even know if I have any—I got up from my chair, but only for a moment as my legs decided to stop doing what they were made to do as well. I collapsed to the floor. I don’t know how long I was there as I was in the office on a Sunday, (this is a red flag some of you may pick up on. I was working A LOT.) so I don’t remember many people being around, but I knew there were no other therapists. I had just graduated with a degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences as a speech pathologist and loved working on stroke rehabilitation with the elderly. I believe they have so much wisdom to offer.
After a while on the floor, I was able to get up; it was almost like my battery had recharged. I got into my car (in hindsight, this was not a good idea.) I drove for maybe 4 blocks and stopped at a car wash to cry and pray. My arms weren’t working well enough to hold the steering wheel and my legs didn’t seem to have the energy to press the gas pedal. It was the oddest sensation as I didn’t have the strength to make my body do what I wanted it to. I remember praying because it was a 25-minute drive home and I knew my husband was sleeping as he had worked third shift the previous night. (Maybe subconsciously this is why I detest that shift. Hmmm…)
I arrived home only by the grace of God as I don’t remember leaving that car wash. I remember wishing someone would stop, anyone to ask if I needed help. I was so scared, but I “do things afraid” all the time. Something in my spirit told me I’d be ok and I can’t describe it any better than that. You might hear Christians say that they “know that they know that they know” and this is how I felt. (The first time I heard that, I wanted to slap the person on the back. I thought they were stuck somehow.) Looking back, God had my hand in this journey all along and I am so very thankful for His mercy.