From a very young age, I always knew I wanted children of my own someday. I was always the mothering type and never met a baby who didn't absolutely love me. I would always hog the babies at family events or anywhere else I could get my hands on one. However, at the young age of 13, I began having issues with my female organs. The first was a cyst on one of my ovaries. It was very painful and wouldn't respond to medication, so it had to be surgically removed. Several months later I developed another cyst on the opposite ovary which also had to be surgically removed. At age 16, I was back in the hospital with the same issues, only this time the cyst had completely overtaken my ovary and started growing into it. My ovary had to be reconstructed. When I woke up from the surgery, the doctor had assumed that my parents had already told me what else happened during the procedure. He started talking about the steps I can take to deal with my endometriosis. For some reason, I already knew at this young age, what endometriosis was, and I began to cry. He also checked my incisions and for the first time, I realized that my stomach had been cut from one side to the other. My parents came back to the room and found me in tears and were shocked and very upset that the doctor had explained everything to me without them being there. At just 16 years old, I was diagnosed with stage 3 endometriosis; stage 4 is the worst. The disease was all over my uterus, my ovaries, bowels, bladder and the rest of my pelvic area. The doctor said he had never seen anything like this on someone so young. One of the hardest things for me to realize was that they had cut me open, but there wasn't much they could do because the endometriosis had recently developed. They said it would be like plucking little, fine hairs. So they used a laser to get some of it, and then sewed me back up. So once again, before I turned 17, my other ovary was now overtaken by a cyst. It too had to be completely reconstructed and this time the endometrisis had grown enough that they could use the lasers and burn away what was there. They went through the same scar and cut me from one side of my stomach to the other again. When I was 13 years old, a reproductive specialist told me that he didn't know if I would ever be able to have children. This news hurt so bad, even though I was so young. I would walk around in public, watching mommies taking care of their babies, and my eyes would fill with tears and my mind with wonder. Would that ever be me? Please God, let it be me. My greatest desire in life was to one day become a mommy. At the age of 19, I was already living on my own and had a great job. I met someone that I though I'd spend forever with and because of all the talk I had heard that I may never have children, we decided to try for a baby. Much to my surprise, I became pregnant very quickly. I knew I had let some family members down because I wasn't married, but I didn't care. My biggest dream in the world had become true. My precious son was born a few months after my 20th birthday; a healthy, 8lb., 7oz. boy. I felt so complete.
My boys forever
The relationship with his dad quickly fell apart and I would spend the next 6 years as a single mommy. Through it all, I still felt so blessed because God had given me the desire of my heart. However, I longed for my son to have a daddy and for my loneliness to go away. It seems as if, once I got my focus off of trying to find someone, and set my eyes completely on the Lord, surrendering to His will, that's when I met the man that God had always intended for me. The very first time we met, we knew there was something between us. And by our first date, we both knew that God meant for us to be together. As crazy as it seems, we were engaged after just 3 months of knowing each other, and got married just 3 months after that. It was one of the best years of my entire life. When we decided that we would try to have a child together, I had already had other surgeries on my ovaries than the ones I mentioned. We didn't want to put off having children too long because of my history and because I was getting closer to 30. I knew that the older you get, the harder it may be to become pregnant. It only took us about 5 months to conceive, but it seemed like an eternity to me. Everything was going wonderful with the pregnancy...until I went into labor. I noticed that once my water broke, I hadn't felt the baby move much, so I started to worry. I was progressing pretty fast and suddenly the doctor became concerned. The baby's heart rate would drop with each contraction and after several contractions, it's heart rate wasn't recovering. The doctor told me that I had 3 tries to get the baby out, even though I was only at 8cm dilated. I pushed 3 times, but knew that nothing was happening. Then the room got really busy and she said that we had 20 minutes to get the baby out. I was terrified! About 4 hours after my water broke, our stubborn little Stinky Face was born via c-section. The scar that was originally caused from a horrible disease was the same scar that my baby would come through to finally be held in my arms. His body was blue and he didn't cry right away, so I was scared out of my mind. I did SO much praying that night! The cord had been wrapped around his neck 3 times. Finally, he began to cry and I felt so much relief. That night turned out to be one of the happiest, yet most terrifying nights of my entire life.
First time I got to touch my little Stinky Face
Because of the horrible delivery that I had with Stinky Face, I allowed fear to set in and take control of my life. It was so bad that it affected my marriage. I would push my husband away because I was terrified that I might accidentally get pregnant. This fear was out of control and had such a tight grip on my life. Even though my heart had longed for more children, I thought that maybe we would just adopt in the future. I just couldn't go through another birth experience like that again.
Miracle # 3 on the way!
Four years went by. FOUR YEARS of my life, controlled by fear...when one day, we were at church and got called out by a prophet that we highly respect. He had already prophecied over us three other times and it's just amazing, the things that he had told us. This was the 2nd time that he told us that there would be a 3rd child in our home and that we had not yet reached the quota that God had in store for us. My heart was changed that day. I realized that I had to let go of the fear. If not, I would continue living outside of God's will for my life. So, my husband and I began praying and believing for baby #3. By now I had turned 33 years old. Months went by as I watched everyone else around me become pregnant. Each month, when I realized that I wasn't, I would just cry. But, deep down, I knew that God wanted to bless me with more children. It was the desire of my heart. After 8 months of praying, we finally conceived our third miracle! I have complete peace now. I'm believing God that He will carry me and the baby through this pregnancy and when it's all said and done, HE will get all the victory! He has delivered me from my fears and He has blessed me with the greatest blessings I could every ask for. He has made all of my dreams come true by allowing me to be a mommy to His precious children!
This is the last letter that I will be referring to you as "baby" because by tomorrow night the world will know if you are a boy or a girl. You are such an active little one! I feel you in there right now just bouncing all over the place. I love it! I got to see you on the ultrasound yesterday. I cried! I was amazed...overwhelmed with joy! You are perfect! You are healthy and your living space is set up just right, with the placenta high in the uterus. This was a specific prayer that I've been praying, so I rejoice in this answered prayer and trust the Lord that He has heard the rest of my prayers regarding your journey into our arms. Your daddy thought he felt you move for the first time yesterday. I know he did! He just second guessed it because it feels so light from the outside of my stomach. I'm so emotional these days. I tear up just thinking about you. I'm amazed that God is blessing us with a 3rd child. Now I can understand how people in the Bible were considered richly blessed by having children. I love you SO much...and your brothers too. God has been so good to me and your daddy. Oh yeah, I'm finally feeling better! I have been sick SO much during this pregnancy and the one week that I was feeling great, your brothers were very sick. So now I am completely enjoying this time of health! The doctor did check my blood yesterday though just to make sure I'm not anemic or that there isn't something else going on. Well, until next time my sweet baby. Muah
Hello little one. My how the time is flying by. I am currently 18 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I am extremely excited that we get a glimpse of you tomorrow through an ultrasound. We had a big party planned on Saturday to find out if you are a boy or a girl, but we might just find out tomorrow instead. Winter has begun and they are predicting rain and snow on Saturday and I don't want our friends to have to drive down here and back in the bad weather. I cannot wait to find out your gender. With your brothers, I just knew. And I never found out the sex until they were born. With you, I can't help myself...and I don't "just know". My gut says you are a girl, but I don't want to get my hopes up. Although, I would be just as happy with another little man to call my own. Your brothers are such blessings to me. I can't wait for Stinky Face to become a big brother. I think he's going to do great with you.
We just celebrated Christmas here. It just wasn't the same this year. We couldn't be with any of our friends or family because of sickness. Stinky Face had strep throat and then G.Q. got the flu. Now I have been sick once again with allergy and flu like symptoms. I am claiming my healing though and praising God for all that He's doing in our lives. Through all the hardships, we still know that we are very blessed.
I had a scare last night; yet another situation that we just had to pray and praise God through. I'm so thankful that I didn't end up in the hospital. Just as I was getting ready for bed, I started having a horrible pain in my stomach. The only way I can describe it, is that it felt like contractions. It would come and go just like contractions too. So of course, I was scared. It took over a half an hour to just be able to sit in my bed. Every time I would attempt to sit, it hurt even more. Your daddy starting speaking healing scriptures over me, and I just started thanking God for healing me. Eventually the pain subsided and we were able to get a half way decent night of sleep. We haven't slept well since the beginning of this pregnancy. I'm trusting God that He will soon allow us to get back to better sleep habit.
Well, until next time, Mommy loves you with all of her heart and soul. I'm so blessed to be carrying you in my stomach and to feel you moving around each day.
Today I reflect on yesterday's horrific tragedy where 20 children and 7 adults were killed in an elementary school in Connecticut by a man who also took his own life. It's really hard to gather all of my thoughts. My mind continually drifts off into prayer for those mommies and daddies who probably already had Christmas gifts for their children, but now they'll never get to see them open them up. I pray for the children and the rest of the families who will mourn the loss of the adults whose lives were also taken too soon. I fight back the tears and hug my children extra tight. I run my fingers through my little ones hair and kiss his cheek until he can't take anymore. I read post after post on social media pages of friends expressing their sadness and anger. Some posts really bother me; mainly the ones where people hope Satan is having a field day with the gunman's soul. Is that what Jesus wants? Is that what we really want? Heaven surely gained many sweet angels yesterday, but Jesus most likely grieved over the one loss soul. And the heaviness is weighing on my spirit too. What can we do differently to reach out to people before Satan completely wins the fight for their eternal lives? My heart is broken for the families who lost their loved ones yesterday and for Jesus who lost one of his sons.
I'm not defending the gunman at all, just trying to put on the mind of Christ. I am reminded of Ephesians 6:12 where the Bible says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." This young man's mind was obviously taken over by the rulers of the darkness of this world and there are plenty of other people who are headed down the same path. What can we do? How can we stop this from happening again? Jesus, please protect your people from the enemy and help us to be your hands and feet to bring the loss back to you!
Be blessed my friends and squeeze your children and loved ones extra tight today!
Words cannot express how thankful I am that we made it to church this morning. Satan was doing everything in his power to keep us away. He knew what was waiting for us. It's not normally like us to skip church, but I'm just getting over being sick and I don't get to see my husband a lot. As I looked ahead at this week's schedule, I realized that I will be at the church today, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and twice on Sunday. It just exhausted me to think about, so I thought that today would be a great time to just stay home and have some family time.
Then I saw on facebook that our church would be taking communion today. I called my husband and said sorry, but we can't miss church now. We only partake in communion a few times a year at our church because we don't want it to just be some religious act. I'm sure making the decision to go really ticked the devil off. Even though I have been feeling better, I couldn't fall asleep last night because I couldn't stop coughing. It was sometime after 1am that I finally fell asleep. Needless to say, we woke up late and we left late. My attitude quickly went downhill when I realized that I had forgotten my phone and a couple of other things I wanted to bring with me. Then I realized that it was all a part of Satan's plan to keep me from going. I was so happy to finally be there. The Lord's presence was so overwhelming.
As we took communion the man who gave us our juice and cracker passed back by us and stooped down to tell my husband, "Jesus has a very special blessing for you". My eyes filled with tears. My husband has been feeling the spiritual battle taking place around him and I know how much he needed to hear that word. I know that God has so much in store for my family, but as we were walking out of the sanctuary, a man stopped my husband. He had noticed for a while that my husband has trouble controlling his neck. Although we don't like to give it a name, it is tourettes. But we know that because it has a name, it must bow down to the most mighty name of Jesus Christ. We have been believing for my husband's healing for a long time and we remain faithful to do whatever the Lord puts on our hearts, no matter how crazy it seems to us or the rest of the world.
The man who approached us was a chiropractor from the area. We knew his name, but we had never met him before. He told my husband that he's been wanting to talk to him for some time, but just couldn't leave this time without talking to him. He wanted him to come in and get treated because they have seen people in similar situations become healed through their work and of course with help from the Lord. We told them that we are not in a financial position right now to afford treatment and the man said, "Don't worry about it". Once again my eyes filled with tears. I am so thankful for people like this man who have a heart to reach out to people when they know they won't get a financial gain from it.
At the beginning of this year, our pastor looked at my husband and told him that THIS is his year. I knew in my heart that my husband would be healed this year. Here it is, December 9th, and although I had began to question when my husband would be healed, I still held on to hope that it would be this year! And now I am believing that the special blessing that Jesus has in store for my husband is his complete healing....THIS YEAR! I can't wait to see my husband giving his testimony!
Hello little one! I'm so excited to watch my tummy grow and to begin feeling you move around more often. It's still like little butterflies floating in my belly, but it's the most wonderful feeling in the world. I still feel like you will be a girl. We get to have our big ultrasound on in 3 weeks and we are going to do something very exciting. Instead of finding out your gender, right there at the doctor's office, we are going to have them keep it a secret from us. They will call a friend of ours in Ohio to let her know if you are a boy or a girl, and then she will bake a cake that will be either pink or blue in the middle. She's bringing it to us 2 days after the ultrasound and we are going to have a party. I think it's going to be SO exciting to share this special moment with our closest friends.
Trusting the Lord
Sometimes anxiety tries to creep in. Your youngest brother was delivered via an emergency c-section. After he was born, I thought I would never have any more children. I always wanted more in my heart, but it took over 4 years to get over the fear and to step out and trust the Lord. If it weren't for a prophecy I received, I'm not sure if those walls of fear would've ever crumbled. But, now here you are, growing stronger in my womb each day. He gave you to me and I trust Him now to see us through. I am expecting a natural delivery with zero complications and ALL of the glory will be given to the Lord. I love you, my precious baby.
Wow! I'm already in my 2nd trimester. This pregnancy seems to be going to fast. I can't wait until I feel you kicking every day. I don't feel the flutters as much as I did a week or so ago. Maybe you were just trying to find your comfy spot. My stomach is definitely showing that you are growing. With me being so short, you don't have anywhere to go but straight out! I have a friend who is due any time and I honestly think I look bigger than her. Of course, you are also my 3rd child and they say you show sooner with each child. That's definitely been true in my case.
I've been fighting an upper respiratory infection and bronchitis for well over a week now and then to top that off, I got thrush from the antibiotics. But, I'm believing God that I am finally over all of this! I went up for prayer on Sunday and was told by the lady that prayed over me, that she saw in the spirit realm that all this sickness I've been fighting is building up your immune system and you will be my strongest child of the three. I'm believing that with all my heart. You will not have any breathing issues like your brothers did! You will be so healthy and perfect! You, my child, were prophesied to me and you will do mighty things for God's kingdom. I love you with all my heart!
P.S. ~ Although your Stinky Face brother still hopes that you are a boy, he has started telling me that he thinks you are a girl. We'll find out in about a month! YAY
I decided to go to the doctor yesterday since today was Thanksgiving. It turned out that I have an upper respiratory infection and the beginning of bronchitis. So, I'm thankful that I went. Last night was a horrible night. I slept upright on the couch and coughed off and on all night. Today hasn't been much better. I just haven't felt well altogether. You will be so worth all of this though. I see other newborn pictures and I just can't wait to see what you look like, and to hold you in my arms. I don't know why I'm rushing time so much though. Your big brother turned 13 today. You know I've been having such a hard time with that. I just don't want to let him go, to let him grow up. I want to squeeze him tighter!
We had a lovely Thanksgiving, even though I really missed our friends and family in Ohio. Dinner was good and celebrating G.Q.'s birthday was great too. I think he was pretty happy. I haven't felt you in a few days. I don't like that. I can't feel you kick yet, but usually I feel butterflies about once a day and I just know that it's you. I love you! Love, Mommy
Each year my parents head south for the winter. This year they haven't even left and I'm already missing them terribly. They came to visit on Sunday and it's the last time I'll get to see them until the spring. I'm especially having a hard time this year since I'm pregnant. I hate the idea of being pregnant and my mommy being hundreds of miles away from me. I'm also fighting feelings of loneliness and unworthiness. I know these thoughts are not from the Lord, but it's still hard. Sometimes I feel like Jesus is the only one I have to talk to. Which shouldn't be a bad thing. It's also difficult being a stay at home mom where you don't get praise from anyone. And then I'm struggling because I just don't really feel like I'm needed where I love to be the most. I don't want to mention specifically what I'm talking about, but I just know that when I stop being a part of this, it will continue on without me without any problems and I feel like I won't even be missed. I just want to stay inside my home. There's less chance of getting hurt. But doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of loneliness? I wonder how much of these stupid feelings are due to the time change? That seems to bring me down each year. Does anyone else have this issue? Sorry that this post is so depressing. It's just what I'm feeling at the moment. I'm a real person and I share it all! I know Jesus will bring me out of it though. Maybe He's put me in this spot so I will draw closer to him. Guess I will get off of the internet and go spend more time with Him.
I keep telling people that this pregnancy has been much easier than the other two, but now I'm starting to rethink that. I had felt that it was easier because the morning sickness hasn't been as bad. I've only thrown up once, but I'm pretty sure that was because of a virus. Although the morning sickness has been minimal, I feel like I just can't catch my breath from other kinds of illness. I've had that yucky virus, two types of infections and now I've been fighting a cold for four days and I'm only 13 weeks (tomorrow). Which brings me to a very exciting piece of news...that means tomorrow is the beginning of my 2nd trimester! YAY! This pregnancy seems to be flying by and I couldn't be happier about that. There are too many friends and family around me who are getting to hold their newborns in their arms. It makes me day dream about you even more. I can't wait to see what you look like. Will you have light or dark hair? There's no doubt in my mind that you will have hair and I think you'll have plenty of it. When you are first born, I picture you with a head full of dark hair.
I've had 6 total pregnancy dreams so far. With your brothers, I only had boy dreams, so I knew without a doubt that they would be boys. With you, I've dreamed twice that I miscarried (horrible, scary nightmares is more fitting), then I had 2 girl dreams and more recently I dreamed that you were a boy. The main thing I remember about one of the girl dreams is that you had something special about your eyes. They were the brightest, crystal blue color that I've ever seen in my life. I thought something was wrong with you, but when I woke up, God gave me peace and told me that it's a good thing. You have a special calling on your life. I can only imagine the impact you are going to make on this world.
Here's what happened in my last dream: I went in for my ultrasound and I didn't want to find out what you were because we are going to have a party and reveal it there. I hadn't told the doctor this yet, and I looked to my left and saw this printout that was all blue and it said, "It's a boy!!!". I pretended like I didn't see that and I was hoping it was just left there from the last person. Then I told the doctor our plans to not find out. He left the room and another technicion came in. She immediately zoomed in on your private area and I saw that you were a boy. She then verified that what I was looking at was indeed boy parts. I became upset and said, "I can only produce boys.". I was really upset because I didn't have a boy name picked out yet. When I awoke from the dream, I was so convinced that I was having a boy. It took me quite a while to realize that it was all just a dream.
So now, I'm thoroughly confused as to what your gender might be, but I still have a really strong feeling that you are a girl. Everything is just so different this time. Either way, you are a special gift from God and I am so incredibly blessed to have you in my life.
P.S. ~ Your smallest big brother has called you a he from day one! He really wants a little brother. Your oldest brother wants a sister this time. That's what he wanted before, but God gave him a brother.
Since I've been faced with writers block, I decided that I will start writing letters to my unborn child. I think it will be a great way to share my pregnancy experience with others and also something for him or her to cherish when he or she is older. So, here goes:
Dear little berry, yesterday, November 17th, 2012 was the first time that I am 100% sure that I felt you move. I was sitting on my bed talking with my friend Trish (whom you will call Aunt Trish). All of the sudden I felt these really strong flutters in my belly, just to the right of where the doctor has been finding your heartbeat. I was so excited! I laughed and yelled at your daddy to tell him what just happened. He was obviously jealous. He can't wait until you are big and strong enough for him to feel you kicking.
A lot of things are happening in our lives. The biggest event is that your big brother is becoming a teenager. I still can't believe it! Today your mamaw and papaw came down to visit for the last time before they head south for the winter. Your Aunt Trish was also here. G.Q. opened his presents, we spent some time together and then went to Golden Corral to eat lunch. It's always so hard for me to tell my mom and dad goodbye when I know that I won't see them again for at least 4 months and they will be thousands of miles away from me. I miss them so much already!
Tonight your daddy put Christmas lights on the house. The weather here is so gorgeous! Thanksgiving is this Thursday and that is also the day your biggest brother turns 13. Your Grandma B, Great Grandpa & Aunt Cindy will be coming down to celebrate. We'll be taking another trip to Golden Corral because that's your brother's favorite place to eat.
That's all for now. I love you my precious baby. You are my 3rd miracle from Jesus! I'm so thankful for you!
Life seems like a whirlwind. The ticking clock seems to be going faster and faster every day. I remember just like it was yesterday, holding my first baby boy in my arms. I can still smell that fresh baby scent on his skin. I remember how hard it was to go back to work, to leave him with a stranger for the first time. I couldn't wait to run home and see him everyday. He had beautiful, blonde, curly hair and he was always smiling. He was super intelligent. I loved every teachable moment with him. Preschool age was one of my favorite ages with him. We loved finger painting, playing with Play-Doh and drawing pictures. When he was unhappy, all I had to do was put Veggie Tales on TV and he would stare into the tube until he fell asleep. There was no greater feeling than those precious times he fell asleep in my arms. Where have all the years gone? My heart is saddened by the thought of all the memories we've created. Memories! Those days are gone. Now we have to create new memories that don't include him snuggling up to my chest or being carried around on my hip. My teaching moments have gone from teaching him how to use sippy cups and how to eat with silverware to teaching him 7th grade curriculum, what certain things mean that he hears from other kids, and teaching him more about responsibility. My little pumpkin is turning a new page in his life. He's no longer just a child. He's going to be a teenager. I want to hold him so close to me during the next few years, knowing just how fast the rest of my time with him has flown by. But what's so hard, is that this is the time of his life when I know I need to start letting go, just a little bit. So here's to the new memories that I look forward to creating with my son. Video games, driving school, girls, cooking together, sports, new technologies, helping him grow closer to the Lord, and so much more!
I am so sick and tired of letting other people control my emotions. I am a Christian who loves the Lord with all my heart and soul. I live my life for Him, however, I am not Him. That means that I am not perfect! Surprise!!! When I realize that I offend or hurt someone, I ask for forgiveness (whether I think I was right or wrong). I'm having a hard time right now because there are a couple of people who this has happened with and I asked for forgiveness and said I was sorry, but the response I got was far from the love of Christ who taught us to forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). So tonight I ask the Lord to help me to zero back in on HIM and stop worrying about what other people might think of me. My God knows that I love Him and that I try my best to be Christ-like. Do you ever put too much focus on what other people think of you? I think that is the enemy's plan to distract us and to make us feel less of a Christian than we really are. Well, I'm not falling for it! I KNOW who I am in Christ and NOBODY can shake that foundation! I sleep in peace tonight knowing that I did what the Bible tells us to do. I forgive! And I seek forgiveness of those I hurt!
So, I had a little secret but couldn't announce it at the time of my last post. We are expecting our 3rd child in May of 2013! That's part of why I've been so tired and not writing as much lately. :0) Here's a picture that we had made to announce it on Facebook:
We had the picture taken with In House Studio & Design. To see more of their work, click HERE.
My husband and I feel extremely blessed because we know that children are a blessing from the Lord. He has shown us so much mercy, grace, and favor. My life just wouldn't be the same without my children, so I'm so thankful that He's going to trust us with another one.
Ah...life! Homeschool and co-op are in full swing. We're at church three times a week, and now I'm writing a book! I've also been much more tired lately. So, there's my update on my life. Much more to come. Just hope I can take more breaks to write more and share more life with you! Sorry, I know this is SO not exciting. But I just wanted to say hi real quick before I crash.
If you homeschool and you keep running into non-homeschoolers who just love giving you unsolicited advice, then I have created a facebook group that is just for you! A year or so ago, I created Homeschool Families on facebook. My purpose for the group was to get encouragement from other people who are walking the same walk as I am. People who understand what homeschoolers go through on a daily basis. I was so tired of posting my frustrations on my normal facebook wall, just to get comments from non-homeschoolers that would say stuff like, "Maybe you need to send them back to public school". Now, with Homeschool Families, if I'm having a terrible day, I can vent on there and I will find the encouragement that I need from others who have been there. They are there to push me through to the finish line. To tell me that these days are okay and actually quite common for many families. This group is also to share resources. It's a great place to find free material, or items for sale that other homeschoolers might need. If you are interested in joining this group, it is open to ALL homeschoolers, whether you currently homeschool or have in the past. The majority of the current members are from Kentucky because that's the state the group originated from. However, there are homeschool families from all over the United States. I can't wait until the group expands over seas. To join, you must have a facebook account. Just click HERE and then ask permission to join and you will be added shortly. It is a closed group to help me keep out all of the unwanted advice from non-homeschooler. I hope to connect with you there soon!
I will be the first to admit that I am very guilty of being a control freak. I won't let anyone else do the laundry in our home (which I'm sure my husband doesn't mind). It's an extremely rare occasion that I will be a passenger in the car with anyone, including my hubby. I feel really sick if I'm not driving, but when you get to the heart of the matter, it's because I have absolutely no control. It's also a very rare occasion that I will allow my children to ride with anyone other than myself. The few times that I have allowed this to happen, I have to check in and make sure they made it to their destination. I could go on and on about the many areas of life that I feel like I have to be in complete control.
My desire to control everything was brought to my attention yesterday during my alone time with the Lord. I was reading Deuteronomy, chapter one. I paused to read the side note that said, "The people rationalized their unbelief by using the safety of their children as an excuse for not entering the land at the Lord's command. However, God was more concerned for the children than they were; therefore, He promised that the children would enter the land.".
I had to stop dead in my tracks and repent for all the times I thought I was in control. And I prayed, "Lord, please don't let my ignorance make me miss out on Your full blessings that You have planned for me. I know that You love my children even more than I do. And now I realize that even if I keep them home with me, that doesn't mean that I can shelter them from all bad things. Help me to hand over the reins that I so tightly grip. Help me to trust You more with my children and with my own life. I pray God that I will get to walk through to the promise land alongside my children. In Jesus name, Amen.".
You and I must deal with the fact that we are not in control. He already has our days planned out, from the beginning to the moment when we take our final breath. There is nothing we can do to change that. I will admit that I often have thoughts of dying. I'm not afraid to die. I know where I'm going and I can't wait to meet Jesus face to face. But I fear what life would be like for my children without having a mommy. Today I have a little more peace about this issue because the reality is that God has a plan for all of us. His Word says He'll never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). If something ever does happen to me, I know I can rest assured that the Lord will work it all out for His good and He will take care of my children.
I am reading through the Old Testament and today I began Deuteronomy. In the first chapter, Moses is reminding the Israelites that their initial journey from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea should have only taken 11 days. However, their refusal to believe the good report of Joshua and Caleb transformed an 11 day journey into a 40 year wandering.
Anyone who knows about Moses, probably knows this part of the story. But, for some reason when I read this today, it really spoke to me. I just sat back and thought, "Wow!". How many times have I received a Word from the Lord and didn't respond with quick obedience? I wonder how my life would be different right now if I had listened to the Lord several years ago, but I didn't because I was too afraid, or I doubted that it was really God's voice I was hearing, or because I got distracted. So many times we make excuses for not following through with what God puts on our hearts to do. When we do this, we are no different than the Israelites, so our delay to obedience could be costing us extra years before we reach our full blessing that the Lord has for us. I know one thing, I sure don't want to miss out on it altogether. I believe that since Jesus came and died for us, we have an opportunity that the Israelites didn't have. We have the chance to repent for our disobedience and then the slate will be wiped clean. You can start fresh, right now!
Is there something you are putting off, that you just know God has been calling you to do? For me, one of the biggest things is writing a book. I've started several times, but never got into a good routine, therefore I've gotten distracted (there's that word again) by other things that this world has to offer, and I haven't finished the first book that the Lord has put on my heart to write.
What is it for you? Maybe you need to step out on faith and quit your job, go back to school, or maybe you were called to write books too. Do you have an ache in your heart to go on a mission trip? Maybe you need to walk away from a bad relationship, or forgive someone who has hurt you. It doesn't have to be big things like this. God wants our obedience in ALL things. It all counts! If He tells you to go check on your child. You better get up and run to your child because He is telling you this for a reason. If He tells you to read His Word everyday, then you need to do it. The more you read His Word, the more you'll hear Him speaking to you too, so if you don't know what it is He's calling you to do, start with reading the Bible more and I'm sure He'll help you figure it out.
Lets end our wandering and enter into the full blessings of the Lord!
Back in April when we put our home up for sale, God led me to one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Psalm 91. I've read this chapter many times, but this time God spoke to my heart and told me to make it my Psalm 91. He told me to make it real for my life; so I did. I'm going to share mine with you below, and then I challenge you to write out Psalm 91 as it relates to your life. I encourage you to just get alone with the Lord for a little bit and allow Him to minister to you. There will be areas of your life where you know you have to rely on Him more, and those are the areas you can add to your Psalm. For example, I dealt with a strong fear of tornadoes, so instead of just saying nothing will harm me, I got specific and mentioned tornadoes and other fears that were taunting me. I also included bees because of a severe allergy that I've had that almost killed me when I was 13. I've had to deal with the fear of dying from getting stung for over 20 years now, but going back and reading my Psalm gives me the peace that I need, just to go outside with my kids during the summer. I also want to add that as I was writing this verse, "Others may die all around me, but no harm will even graze me or my family. We will stand untouched, watching it all from a safe distance.", my husband was in a car accident that totaled his car. I actually had to stop writing my Psalm to take his call. He walked away from the accident without a scratch! Praise the Lord! This personal Psalm gave me so much peace and whenever I get anxious now, I get my journal out and reread these wonderful words:
My Psalm 91
I will sit down in the High God's presence and spend the night in His shadow. God is my refuge. I trust in Him and I am safe! He rescues me from hidden traps like people who don't have my best interests in mind. He shields me from deadly hazards like traffic accidents, diseases and all other forms of harm that are invisible to my own eyes. His huge, outstretched arm protects me. Under them I am 100% safe. I fear NOTHING ~ not robbers during the night, not tragedy during the day, not disease, not tornadoes, or any other form of natural disaster.
Others may die all around me, but no harm will even graze me or my family. We will stand untouched, watching it all from a safe distance. God is my refuge, the High God, my very own home. Evil can't get close to me, harm can't even get through the door. His angels have been ordered all around me, to guard me wherever I go. If I stumble, they'll catch me; their job is to keep me from falling. I'll walk unharmed among snakes and bees and all wild animals. The Lord says that if I will hold on to Him for dear life, He will get me out of any trouble, He'll give me the best of care if I get to know and trust Him. I will call Him and He will answer. He'll be at my side in bad times; He'll rescue me, then throw me a party. He'll give me a long life!
I just realized that I never shared the news with my readers who may not know me personally. About a month ago or so, I wrote about a decision that would change my life and other lives. If you haven't read it, take a couple of minutes and read about it HERE.
So without further ado, my decision was to retire from direct sales. When I joined Scentsy Wickless Candles in November of 2008, I was so excited (and pretty scared too, because I had no previous sales experience). I started building a great team and before I knew it, I was a Director and had a team of over 100 members. Everything was going great for me. I was making new friends, breaking out of my shell and finding a side of me that I never realized was there, making extra money so we could pay our bills and even have extra, and actually using products that I believed in and that were great for my family.
Somewhere along the way though, this business that once brought me so much joy, began to be a burden to me and my family. Joy turned to tears from the countless times I had to drag my boys out with me to host parties and events. Customer orders (candles) melted in the car. People would always be late. No one would show for parties that I spent hours preparing for. And then, here I was trying to balance this huge team of people who looked up to me for direction and encouragement, while running my own business and taking care of my family. It all became so overwhelming to me.
One day after the typical frustrations, I just broke down. I was SO sad and SO mad at myself all at the same time. I was sad because I realized that I couldn't go on anymore. I had envisioned being a SuperStar Director with a team of thousands, but in this moment, I realized that it just wasn't going to happen. I was finished! The madness came from feeling like a failure. I felt like I never finish anything I start. This was a VERY difficult day for me.
My husband gave me the idea of selling my business. After some prayer, we both quickly knew who we would give the business to. It was someone on my down line who was striving to become a Director. She hadn't been on the team as long as some others, but she works hard on her business and it was the Lord who directed me to her. Seeing her reaction to my decision and having someone at church pray with me that Sunday and speak over my life, really gave me the peace I needed to move forward and just trust the Lord.
So here we are in September. This is my first month without a commission check from Scentsy. I sat down the other day and wrote out a budget. I felt so discouraged when I had figured it all out. After paying for our basic needs (and $9 for Netflix), we have around $25 to spend on gas and groceries for the month of September. In August we spent $362 on gas alone. This budget has NO room for savings, NO room for eating out, we don't have cable and we no longer have a home phone and one other monthly expense that we had in our old house.
I sought the Lord over our finances again; and again I found His peace. I have blessed someone else with my business and therefore I can stand on His word, knowing that I will reap what I have sown. I am not worried about the bills. In fact, I believe that we will have extra. God has ALWAYS provided for us in supernatural ways. He has carried us through so many difficult times. His hand has not been shortened! I wanted to run out and find another way to earn income, but each time I tried to find something, He gave me a strong NO! So, I don't know where the money is going to come from, but I know that we have been faithful and obedient to always do what He tells us to do with our (His) money and I know that His Word will not return void. I have tested Him and I know He will open the windows of heaven up and pour out a blessing on us that we cannot contain. I can't wait to update you to tell you how He provided for us!
Now that we are settled in our new home, I'd like to get back to reviewing a product with you each week. Most of the time these are products that I received for free for being a BzzAgent. If you don't know about BzzAgent, you must check it out! I have been a member for several years and have received hundreds of dollars in free products just for giving my honest feedback and sharing my opinion with people like you. To learn more about becoming a BzzAgent yourself, just click HERE! It's completely free and it's so exciting! Just be sure to do your part by spreading the word and answering surveys and you should get some free products too in no time.
So here's my latest goody that came in the mail. It's COVERGIRL & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation and COVERGIRL & Olay Pressed Powder. I also received a packet full of $2 off coupons. If you are one of my local friends and would like one (or a few), just let me know. I am happy to share!
I was so excited because I love using foundation and pressed powder with my makeup routine, but it's been a really long time since I've tried anything new. Once you find something that matches your skin tone, it can be scary trying to switch brands. I have fair skin, but wouldn't consider myself to be pasty. The full-size sample of foundation that I received is #125 buff beige. The pressed powder is #320 fair/light. They were both a PERFECT match for my skin, so much so, that I could barely tell that I had anything on. That's the whole goal right?
Here's an up close picture of my skin before applying anything (except my daily lotion which is also something I got for free for being a BzzAgent).
Yikes! I do not like the me with no makeup!
You probably really don't need to use as much as I did here, but this is how I normally apply my foundation, so I just stuck with the normal routine. I dot all of these areas and then gently rub it in, beginning with my forehead and moving down to the top of my neck.
It's nice and fluffy, so it goes on really smooth and evens out well.
Here I am with only the foundation and pressed powder. No other makeup just yet.
Wow! What a major difference this made in my skin. It feels so much softer and check out how much it hides a lot of my sun spots and wrinkles. I'm impressed!
And here I am with a little bit of makeup. I've added eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, light blush and light lipstick.
Also had to add one final picture to show you that I do have hair; it's just pulled back!
Finished product...a happier me! I do believe I have found a new favorite brand of foundation and pressed powder! Here are the side by side comparisons. The first is just lotion. The second is only the foundation and powder. And the third is the finished product, with makeup and all!
They are never too young to start learning God's Word. This is my son who just turned 4 years old. This is the first Bible verse I've taught him. It took less than a week for him to have it completely memorized.
This morning during my Bible time, the Lord spoke so clearly to me. It was a message that He then told me to share because it's not just for me. If you are reading this and you feel like it is for you too, then receive it!
"I, the Lord Your God, smile down on you. I am the only one who matters and I am well pleased with you. Find your peace, joy, love, and contentment in Me. I love you and I created you to be exactly who you are. You are very blessed my child. Shut your ears off to the world and focus them in on me only.That is when you will be able to let go of your issues that are holding you back. This is a new season that I have brought you into, to enjoy. Be happy! Enjoy this season!"
The verse that I highlighted really stood out to me. I wear my heart on my sleeves, so I'll just be straight forward and tell you that I have been dealing with issues of jealousy and discontentment. It's funny how I was just blessed with an awesome, brand new home, yet can still be dealing with these issues. I am doing my best to give it all over to Him, knowing that I am truly blessed.
What issues are you dealing with? Fear? Regrets? Unforgiveness? Addiction? Are you like me and have issues with jealousy? These are all forms of sin. Give it to God. Receive this message today, knowing that He loves you for who YOU are. You were created in His image. We all have a special role while we are on this earth. Let go of the past and look forward to what He has in store for you. Focus on HIM! Enjoy this season!
It was a very bumpy journey that I'll never forget and I'm so happy to say that we are finally somewhat settled into our new home. Today marked 3 weeks already. Since we've moved in, the time has just flown by. I love the neighborhood and have already become friends with one of our neighbors. They are so friendly. It's amazing! I started homeschool last Thursday and then stopped on last Friday. As much as I would love to just dive in right now, I can't. I'm praying that I will be able to start again on Monday. My mom came and helped me get the garage cleared out, which was great, except for the part where I'm left with a home that looks like it exploded. My main goal for this weekend is to get the homeschool room ready to do work in. I hope to have a lesson plan and schedule written out by Sunday night. Well, that's all I have for now. I just wanted to update everyone on where we're at. Be blessed my friends!
I feel so bad for not being able to write lately. I just want to let you know that I am in transition right now. We will finally be moving into our new home, early next week. I'm SO excited!!! Feel free to explore my blog until then. I can't wait to get back online and back into homeschool activities. I have so many things to share with you this year. Stay tuned!
I get to sing this song at church tomorrow night and I know I'll get emotional because Jesus has delivered me from so many things that would taunt me. So many fears, many of them irrational, had a grip on my life and took away my freedom. Each new fear would take another chunk out of my mind, until the fears would literally paralyze me, leaving me debilitated, sitting around in a fog, sick to my stomach. But, through reading and meditating on His word, what He has to say about peace, and praying and believing with other Christians, I have been set free! I have His peace; a peace that flows through my heart like a calming waterfall that washes all the things away that Satan tries to fill my mind with.
Is there a specific fear that taunts your life? I want to help you get through it. If He can deliver me from the deepest of fears, He can do the same for you! It is life changing to be free from fear and other forms of bondage. That's what it is...bondage. Wow! I was going to give you a word from the Bible, but when I turned on my son's I-pod to look it up, this was the verse of the day: "There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life ~ fear of death, fear of judgement ~ is one not yet fully formed in love." 1 John 4:18-19
How can I pray for you today? I want you to experience this freedom and joy...supernatural peace!
My husband came up with this idea! You take magnetics and make a path on the refrigerator. Then you take a ping pong ball and see if you can get it to go all the way through the path. It may not seem possible at first, but if you keep trying, I promise, it is possible. I think it's a great educational and fun game for kids of all ages...and even us big kids.
I don't consider myself very crafty, so this is something I'm pretty proud of. This is where I hang the jewelry that I wear most often. All you need is a picture frame, some tulle, and a pretty piece of scrapbook paper. Just place the scrapbook paper where you'd normally put a picture. Lay out the tulle and pull it tightly over the back. I just taped it to the back and it works fine. Then put the frame on and wallah!
This is a design that my husband created! He's very talented. Have a happy and safe 4th of July America. Remember why we celebrate and be thankful for the blood that was shed by our soldiers and by our Father, Jesus Christ. They are the reason we can say that we are free!
If you read my last post you'll know that I've had a lot going on lately. In my own words, I felt like "I was being ripped apart at the seams". Today I look at these struggles that I've gone through, with a different perspective. I mentioned that I wish someone would just tell me what to do because I just didn't know. Well, I made a major decision that will greatly impact my life and many others (unfortunately I'm not able to share this news yet), but after making the decision, I didn't have complete peace. I want nothing but to do the Father's will and I struggled with whether or not I was walking in His will. Satan was continuously whispering in my ear that I've made the wrong choice. I went up for prayer this past Sunday, for peace...and that's just what I received. Thank you Jesus!
The woman I prayed with told me that, had I not made this decision, there would've been something in my future staring me in the face and I wouldn't have even recognized it because I was too exhausted to even notice. When we finished praying, she reassured me that I had made the right choice.
Since the very moment of my prayer, I have felt this huge sense of relief, a burden lifted. And through my decision, I was able to tremendously bless a friend. Knowing that I am blessing her has brought me so much joy!
I now feel like the Lord has been trying to get me to come to this decision for quite some time, but I was too focused on what I thought was right. But now I can breathe easy and know that I put my trust in Him.
Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding".
I am trying to fully walk in this as I face new obstacles. All these trials that I have gone through that led me to make the decision that I've made, were just God's way of preparing me. It was His way of helping me to let go of it when the timing was right. When I felt like I was being ripped apart at the seams, it turns out that the Lord was just ripping off another layer of the cocoon I've been living in. Now I am the butterfly who has been set free! There was a change in me from the moment I prayed that prayer for peace. Not only did I receive peace, but I felt Jesus smiling down on me. I feel closer to Him than ever before. My mind has been cleared, wiped clean of Satan's lies! I have a fresh anointing and there's no turning back. The Lord's presence is so powerful in my life now. I give Him all the praise for bringing me to this point in my life and I look forward to all the possibilities in the future.
I'm trying so hard to stand on God's Word and His promises to me, but today I feel like I'm being ripped apart at the seems. Satan keeps trying to tell me that I'm a total failure...a quitter. Deep down in my heart, there's a small space that doesn't believe his lies. But obviously there's a bigger part that does, or I wouldn't be here crying my eyes out as I type these words. I'm so confused and I know confusion doesn't come from the Lord. So what do I do? I pray everyday. I read the Bible everyday. What more is there? I've fasted plenty of times. I've sought counseling. Still, I feel useless. I feel unsuccessful. I feel the opposite of all the things that I pray to be everyday. Why? Why can't I get out of this rut? Why can't I feel like I'm making a difference in someone's life? Today I feel like a failure in my most important job, which is representing Jesus Christ. I need more clarity. I wish someone could just come to me and tell me what to do because I don't know anymore.
I'm not missing my chocolate milk as much as I expected, but I really want some pop...and my refrigerator is loaded with it. My head is feeling better today. It's not completely back to normal, but I am trusting God to get me there. I asked God to give me a scripture to stand on regarding mine and my husband's healing and this is what I opened up to, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." ~ John 14:12-14 I am standing on this scripture and asking God for mine and my husband's healing, in Jesus name. I know He is fully capable of restoring our health completely and because I asked, I am calling it done and I give Him all the glory!
Today I plan to start stretching, along with all the other steps I'm taking to better my health. I seem to carry all of my stress in my shoulders and neck, so I'm going to start stretching them out daily. I've also started using a special shampoo and conditioner from Garnier called Fall Fight. It's supposed to help me save up to 1500 strands of hair from falling out each month. Here's a video about it if you want to try it too. I'll let you know how it goes for me!
I also have kept my hair down for 3 days now. It takes a little extra time, but I'll do anything for my hair to grow back. I drank about 3 or 4 bottles of water yesterday and plan to increase that today. The thing I'm having the most trouble with is taking all my vitamins. At minimum, I need to take 4 different pills each day. I just don't do well with pills, and especially now that I'm not drinking my chocolate milk. I always started my day with the chocolate milk and it seemed to make the pills go down easier. Taking pills with water just leaves a yucky taste in my mouth.
Oh, I almost forgot! Since I'm drinking all that water and eating better, I lost a pound! I was so happy when I realized the number had gone down, instead of up in the direction it had been going. Yay! Be blessed my friends!
Well, I made it through the first day of my major changes. I'm really proud of myself. I didn't have any pop or chocolate milk and I kept my hair down all day. I ate healthy foods like a pita pocket with ham, lettuce, tomato, cheese and ranch, honey nut cheerios, nuts, baked chips and eggs. I drank about 3 bottles of water, which is a lot for me. Today I'm going to work on drinking more. My head still has that feeling. I was thinking about how I can best describe it because numb doesn't really seem right. Have you ever had an IV and you start feeling it in your veins, the heaviness...the swelling of your veins that feels like a slight pressure? That's how the left side of my head feels. I just want to feel normal again so badly. For now I lean not on my own understanding, but trust in the Lord that He is in full control.
I receive updates from a group called Wisdom Hunters and so often, they are right on track with what I need. Well, this morning, not only am I dealing with my own health issues, but my little guy is complaining that his body hurts and he's running a fever. I feel so bad for him! But, as soon as I saw the title of today's post from Wisdom Hunters, I knew it was another one that would hit home with me. It was titled, "Humbled by Health". If you are fighting physical illness, I encourage you to read the rest of their post below.
“Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet
had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How
much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went
down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had
told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a
young boy.” 2 Kings 5:13-14
Softening happens when sickness seizes the body. There is a
sensitivity and tenderness of heart that may have been dormant in the
behavior of a controlling Christian. But a body under fire from illness
is asking to let go of control and cling to Christ. At first there may
be an angry reaction, then succumbing to a sense that God’s got it—He is
in control. Faith in the face of fiery trials is the fruit of humility.
Sickness is an invitation to submission to Jesus.
Yes, there are acts of obedience that accompany a life smothered by a
cloud of uncertainty. As we walk in humility we listen for the Lord’s
voice. He speaks through His word, His teachers, His preachers, His
children and experts in treating physical ailments. Prayer and modern
medicine are a powerful partnership in producing positive outcomes. A
humbled heart creates clarity of mind for wisdom in decision-making.
Humility invites healing.
“Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he
said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. Then Jesus
ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and
offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a
testimony to them.” Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that
crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.”
Your cure may very well be different from another suffering saint’s.
It is a mystery why your body responds well to certain treatments while
someone in a similar condition experiences a totally different result.
So, you pray, research, and trust the Spirit to lead you in the Lord’s
physical plan for you. Indeed, don’t miss the holistic approach of
healing in your body, mind, will, emotions and spirit. Humility is the
gateway to God’s grace and wholeness.
Allow the Lord to use health issues to bring vulnerability and
intimacy into your relationships. Be real about your fears and ill
feelings, allow friends to comfort you. Emotional awareness and
engagement is a healthy outcome of a humbled heart. Renew your mind
daily with the truth of Scripture and bend your will toward your
biblical beliefs. Physical health is good, but spiritual wholeness is
best. A humbled heart hears the Lord.
“Lord, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.” Psalm 38:21-22
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I humble my heart, so I can hear from You and be healed.
Click HERE for the link to Wisdom Hunter's blog! Be blessed my friends!
In the past several days I've become pretty concerned about my health. This stems back to 2010, when I started having some very bizarre symptoms that still remain a mystery. My symptoms would almost always start in the middle of the night. I would wake up with uncontrollable body shakes. My entire body would just shake, sort of like cold chill shakes, but worse. This usually lasted for several hours, sometimes up to 7 hours. Then the left side of my head would go numb and the numbness would creep down into the left side of my face. My left arm would tingle as if it were asleep. My husband and I would read the Bible and pray out loud almost the entire time my body would shake. The first time this happened to me, I thought I was having a heart attack or a stroke. I reluctantly went to the hospital...twice. The only thing they could find is that I was pretty dehydrated. I followed up with a neurologist, who set me up for an MRI. I didn't care for this doctor at all and when I realized that I was going to get an IV with dye in it and he neglected to tell me that part, I never got the MRI and I never went back to a doctor. Last June, I had a friend pray over me during one of these spells and I believe I was healed at that very moment. My body has not shook since then!
About a week ago, I noticed that I have put on about 10 pounds in the past 2 months. I also noticed that the left side of my head has had that numb feeling almost everyday. I try to ignore it. Well, yesterday when I looked in the mirror, it was a real wake up call to me. My hair was in a ponytail and as I looked at the left side, I could see a few lines that revealed my scalp. At that moment, I realized that the hair on my left side was thinner than on the right. I had my husband to look and feel my hair, and he agreed. I held back the tears. I will admit that the first thought I had was, "What if I have a brain tumor and it's preventing the growth of hair on that side?". Then I tried to convince myself that it would've shown up on the CT scan they did when I went to the hospital. The very moment we made this discovery, my husband put his hands on my head and prayed for me. It always comforts me when he prays for me. I know that illness does not come from the Lord, so I am not accepting this! I believe it is all stress related and that I need to make some major changes in my lifestyle.
Before noticing the hair loss, we were in the process of making out a grocery list. I told my husband that I have to make some serious changes. I can't afford not to. It was very overwhelming, but we managed to buy all healthy foods at the store.
Here are the biggest changes that I am making, and it all starts today:
More water ~ Since they found that I was dehydrated when this all began, I want to make sure that I don't allow that to happen again. No more pop ~ This coincides with more water. Pop dehydrates you and prior to today, I have been drinking 1-2 a day. B Vitamins to help my nervous system. I already take a prenatal for hair growth and calcium and vitamin D supplements. Fish Oil ~ I've had trouble finding one of these that is safe for me to take because I'm severely allergic to seafood, but yesterday we found one (that's not a horse pill). Eating a real breakfast ~ This is the hardest one for me because I have a habit of drinking chocolate milk, and calling it my breakfast. While it's not the worse thing in the world, it isn't very filling and I've read that chocolate can trigger migraines, so it makes me wonder. I plan to eat Honey Nut Cheerios, oats or pancakes for now. They are all quick and easy and I think they taste okay. Less processed foods ~ Processed food can also trigger migraines and we all know they aren't good for you. Prior to today, my typical day would be loaded with processed foods. Keeping a list of stress relievers and working on it daily! ~ I'm keeping a running list of ideas that I come across that helps me relax and I'm going to try to implement them each day to try to shed some stress from my life. This includes things like taking a walk, a long bath (which I can't remember the last time I've done this), reading my Bible, calling a good friend, etc. No more pony tails ~ I'm guilty of throwing my hair up in a pony tail about 6 days out of the week. This is going to be another major challenge for me, but I know that pony tails can lead to hair breakage. I'm going to try to go pigtail free for 3 months and see what happens.
So here's to a new day! If you have read this, I would appreciate your prayers and support. I know that Jesus will see me through. I just need to stay focused on Him and His promises to me. I know Satan is trying to throw me off track, but I'm not allowing it. Everything that he means to cause harm in my life will be turned around for God's glory. I can't wait to loose the weight that I've gained and come out more healthy than before! Today it all starts with a bowl of cheerios instead of a glass of chocolate milk. I can do this!
I can't do Wordless Wednesday today because my heart has too much to say. We are SO blessed, yet we take so much of it for granted. My eyes were opened wider yesterday as I drove past a man holding a sign that said something about falling on hard times. He was out in the almost 90 degree heat with his shaved head exposed to the sunlight. I thought quickly, what can I do to help? I happened to have a ball cap in my car, so I yelled out my window and asked him if he'd like to have it. He was so thankful to have something to cover his head. I pulled away in tears. A ballcap...that I can easily replace. My thoughts turned to, "What else could I have done? I had an extra can of sunscreen I could've given him. I had some cash on me for once." But then the Lord spoke to me and said that I had done more than most people.
The Bible tells us to be prepared for the Lord's return in Matthew 24:44 (AMP), "You also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him". As I meditate on this verse, it makes me think that God wants us to also be ready to be His hands and feet while we wait on His return. We were put on this earth to do the work of the Lord. If I had not thought quickly, I would've been just another car that passed that man by.
How can we be prepared to be His hands and feet?
I think I can answer this question with two simple answers. The first thing I believe, is to be obedient to everything you hear Him telling you to do. You know it's Him speaking to you when it lines up with His word. Sure, this man with the sign could've been playing people. He could be doing just fine and wanted to go out and make some money by playing people's heart strings. But, the Bible says in 1 Peter 4:8-9 (AMP), "Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ's body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him)". So as far as I'm concerned, I did what the Lord put on my heart to do and if this man were playing people, then he will have to face the Lord with his sins.
Secondly, be watching for opportunities to love others. Jesus says in John 15:12 (AMP), "This is My commandment; that you love one another [just] as I have loved you." How can you show love today? Maybe you should start in your own home! When is the last time you played a game with your kids? Fixed breakfast for them? Taken them somewhere special? Said, "I love you."? What about your spouse? Do you greet them with a smile and a kiss? When is the last time you spent quality time together, just the two of you? Do you wave at your neighbors as you leave, or do you turn and purposely look away? Have you given away any of your possessions to someone who might need it, or are you holding on tightly to what God has blessed your life with? Opportunities to love are everywhere. All you have to do is take a couple seconds longer to start thinking differently. Start thinking about how you can be a blessing to someone today.
Be blessed my friends, and please let me know how you are being a blessing to others. I'd love to hear your stories!