Tag Archives: God

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. 

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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. 

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.  

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.  

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.