Category Archives: Christian

Circumstances

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My circumstance doesn’t change His presence. My circumstance doesn’t change His presence. My circumstance doesn’t change His presence.

I’m not losing it, I truly meant to type that 3 times because it needs to be my mantra. And probably yours. I’m taking some liberties in assuming (please don’t say it. You know what I’m talking about.) because I see so many people so down-trodden. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before, but a very clear picture comes to mind when you see it. It’s where every one of us has been and some continue to stay there. Lift your head. Your circumstance does not change His presence. What’s in His presence? Peace. Ahhh, peace. Do you remember what that feels like? Joy. What’s that? I’d be willing to bet there are so many, believers and not, who have no clue what real joy is. Unspeakable joy, true happiness, and great pleasure. His joy comes in the morning. Maybe not this very morning, maybe not tomorrow morning, but that’s a promise God doesn’t intend to break. The waves and wind still know His name. It is not random the trials you’re facing. He has been preparing you for such a time as this. You don’t even have to be strong or “toughen up.” God’s going to be strong for you and you’re gonna get to the other side, knowing full well that you could not have done it without Him and His power. Rejoice, REJOICE! This day is coming. It’s coming on this earth, it won’t be long, we’ll see the results of our faith. I promise. And best of all and more importantly, God promises.

It’ll Change Your Life

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Be better. Do better. Don’t get angry. Don’t be stressed. Do you meditate? There’s an app. It’ll change your life. Here, read this book. I think it can help you. Have you tried eating sardines with bone broth for breakfast? Eat 6 cups of organic kale each day to ward off carcinogens. This supplement costs $50 per day, but it will change your life! Make sure you teach your kids how to tie their shoes before they’re 2 or their little psyches will be forever scarred. Have you read the article, “How to Grill a Better Hot Dog”? It’ll change your life! 

I’m out. I need everyone to know that I. Am. Out. I’m taking myself out of the busy-ness and spending more time reading my favorite book and breathing. Loving God and loving others is enough. I am already enough and you are already enough. God loves us right where we are. And I am in a season of transition. I’m trying to be the best mom and wife I can be while dealing with chronic symptoms. Good thing I’m a chronic Christian. I try. I strive. But you know what my fave reading material says? Psalm 46:10 Cease striving and know that I am God. Whaaaaaaaa? I don’t even hafta try to be amazing. God already is and I’m created in His image. Hot diggity dog! 

I don’t need to google everything on this planet. It’s truly stressing me out. Does anyone else feel like they have too much knowledge? I didn’t know there was such a thing until it happened. I felt my brain expand to a point of no return this morning. Nope, nope, nope. No more. I think it was the grilled hot dog article on Pinterest. Who needs to know this? And why? Do I need a perfectly carmelized hot dog? Ok, admittedly, it sounds pretty good. But am I gonna buy the gadget they’re trying to sell me? Nope, nope, nope. (Did you just google that?) 

I need quiet for my brain. For my body. For my entire well-being. And I’d be willing to bet that you do too. How do we get there? I believe we can by turning off the noise, whether it’s coming from our TV or cellphone. (Kids don’t come with an off switch. I’ve looked everywhere.) Fasting from noise. God said be still. Jesus went up on a hill. Maybe this way we won’t need a pill. (I was on a roll. We like wordplay in this house.) Are you taking care of yourself? Or are you letting anything and everything rush into your brain? Images, words, thoughts, and ideas don’t simply fly past our heads. All of these are stored in our memories. It is for this reason, I think that I’ve reached overload. I can and will choose what I allow into my brain and system. I’m making a conscious effort to slow down, both my body and my brain, because quite honestly, it can’t keep up at this pace. For the next 5 minutes, I’m going to sit and focus on the wonder of God-given breath streaming into and flowing out of my very own nostrils. Right after I pee. 

Doubt-Filled Shoe

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There’s a line in a song, Do It Again by Elevation Worship, that I simply can’t let go: “I’m still in Your hands, this is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet.” Now, let me start off by saying that I adore this song. I truly want God to “do it again” when it comes to my healing. When I read about Lazaurus or the woman with the blood issue, I think “God, where’s my miracle? Do it for me too! Do it again!” And I believe that He will. There’s a super-good reason He hasn’t done it completely. And even if He doesn’t heal me, for whatever reason, I’ll be ok with that. (It took me YEARS to get to this point in my thinking.) So even though I love this song, there’s a sticking point for me. It’s in the 3-letter word: “yet.” 

“Yet” is defined in the MacMillan dictionary as being “Used in something that has not happened or is not true at a particular time but will probably happen.” (Emphasis added by me.) Isn’t that just like us? God has NEVER failed us, but we, being the faith-filled believers we are, need to leave that space there…juuuuuuuuust in case. Like we’re waiting for the other doubt-filled shoe to drop. It’s been a few years, you know, of God being God and never once has He ever failed anyone, no matter the situation. BUT we have this “confidence” that seems a little twisted to me. We have confidence that He’s never failed any of us…yet? 

There’s power in our words (Proverbs 18:21: The tongue has the power of life and death) and some can say, “Oh you’re overthinking this” which guaranteed I am. It’s what I do. And then I write about it. 

There have been many times in my life when I’ve thought (and prayed) “God! If you can, then why aren’t you??” If you can heal me, why am I dealing with this pain? If you can save that guy, why is he going through all this mess? If you can calm the storm, why is it still raging? I don’t have a problem telling you this because I don’t think I’m alone in my thinking. And I know there’s a reason, but I don’t know it. And that’s another issue I have, WHY in the world can’t I know the reason, God?? (I’m chuckling as I type this, picturing Him shaking His head, amused. He gets me.) 

I don’t think adding “yet” to the statement that He’s never failed us screams confidence of any sort. It’s amazing how much doubt a 3-letter word can hold. It speaks to our level of faith. We have to leave that door open, just in case. What if we’re wrong? What if we’re wrong about all of it? What if THIS is the time that God is going to fail us? We certainly can’t tell we’re trusting in Him by the words that come out of our mouths at times. If we truly believed that God has never and will not ever fail us, would we speak differently? Act differently? Go about our days and life goals differently? Of course! Where is our faith? He’s never failed me. He’s never failed us. 

It Isn’t Well

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What if it isn’t well with my soul, God? What if everything in my world just got shaken to the point of never being the same? I’ve never known shock or loss or heartache such as this.  

I know my world shaking doesn’t throw you off your throne, but I think that brings about more questions than answers for me at this point. You are on the throne, right? Why aren’t you stopping these things from happening? I know you can make all the bad turn into good and work out for the best, but why bother doing that? Why not work good for good without the mess?  

Hearts are shattered. Rivers of tears flowing. Your people are hurting and I’d love with all my heart to be the one saying “It is well” but I can’t. It hurts too bad for that right now. God, I know you’re good. I know you weep with us. But why would you if you don’t have to? I know you have a plan, but why would that plan involve removing the pillars of the foundation for your kingdom? We need you now. You gave your life so that we could have ours. It’s a very sad one right now. I know we don’t have to understand everything. Maybe we wouldn’t feel better knowing all the why’s, but it sure feels like that would soothe the pain somehow.  

We continue to look to you Father for comfort when we need it most. The enemy is doing exactly as you said he would: stealing, killing, and destroying. And you are doing exactly what you said you would: comforting, providing, healing, and bringing peace. God, I’m empty and numb. I need you to fill me up with everything you’ve ever promised. You’ve never let me down and I know you won’t start now. I hope you will lead me to the place where I’m able to say “It is well.” 

Craving Life

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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

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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. 

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.