Thursday, April 29, 2010

How Can I Trust Him?

A question came up recently that challenged me for a few minutes. I began to question what I knew about God and wondered if I had been wrong somehow. I started to really be concerned that maybe I couldn't trust Him in the way I thought I could. Maybe I was deceived somehow or in error with my theology.

All of this questioning happened in seconds and there was a feeling of dread that came along with this whole thought process. I am thankful that, within minutes, the Lord gave me discernment to see that this was an attack from the enemy. Not me and my thoughts, but thoughts of doubt and fear from somebody else. The more the Lord reveals and teaches me right now, the more these little attacks come. It is almost funny how obvious they are once you recognize them.

I sensed the Lord encouraging me to write out my response to the question of 'How can I trust Him now if He just stood by and let all this evil happen to me?' For some reason I felt as if I was responding to a little girl, maybe the little girl in me, maybe a little girl in my life, or maybe the little girl in you.

Oh, Sweetie, I know it is hard, but we have to trust that, no matter what we feel or think, God loves us. We cannot question why He allows things because we simply do not know all things, as He does. We need to believe, choose to believe that He loves us with an everlasting love; a perfect love.

We can question what doesn't make sense, or we can choose to trust His Word. HE IS LOVE! Perfect love. Our love or our understanding of love is not perfect, so we cannot try to reconcile our idea of love, and what we think love should look like, with His. We have to believe; trust. If His Word says, He keeps you and that you are the apple of His eye, then you are, whether you understand it or not. His love is perfect; yours or your idea of it is not.

He is also Wisdom! We can never attain His perfect and infinite Wisdom. We can see it and walk in a measure of it, but we will never be perfect in Wisdom and understanding, as He is. Again, we can choose to trust Him in His infinite wisdom, or we can question and try to make it all fit with our finite minds.

He is also completely and utterly sovereign. He is God. He gets to do whatever He wants, and this would be dangerous unless He was perfect in love and infinite in wisdom and true to His Word. We can choose to fight against or question Him, or we can say, 'you know, I am not sure why this or that , but I am sure of my God and what He says.'

It might seem hurtful, unloving or uncaring if you think, 'why would He allow me to be hurt in that way?' We can question that, be hurt and angry because our mind and heart doesn't understand it, and then be tormented. We can be angry and turn our back on our ONLY help, because we don't understand why. OR, we can choose our thoughts, we can choose to think, 'I don't know how to reconcile why You would let that happen to me, but You are God, You are perfect love, You are infinitely wise. You are completely sovereign. I won't fight with you, I will choose, no matter how bad it hurts, I will choose to believe Your Word over what my mind is telling me. I know on this side of eternity I only see part of the picture. I have to choose. I can choose to trust even if my heart and emotions are screaming to the contrary. Your Word is true and every other thought, emotion or feeling that tries to question what Your Word says about You, is a lie. I must choose You! I must choose to believe Your WORD and trust You.'

Monday, April 26, 2010

Prayer Cover, Please?

We are so excited at what the Lord is doing in our lives right now. He is revealing and healing, spirit, soul and body!

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
(3 John 2)
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Thess. 5:23)

I have sensed from the beginning of this whole ordeal with my health that it is was way more than just needing to find the right 'physical' thing to fix. It goes so much deeper. I have never known my Father to deal with me just in one area of my being. We are spirit, with a soul who lives in a body. He doesn't just address one without the others! That is what He is doing right now and I am so excited with all that He has revealed to me already, and I feel as though I have just begun! My hope and expectation is in Him and I am so excited, can you tell?!

I can honestly say for the first time in my life I see all the puzzle pieces being put together and so much is beginning to make sense. I am refraining from sharing too much, as it is all still so new and so raw. I feel very vulnerable right now and believe the right thing to do is to continue to walk out what the Lord is doing before I spout all the goodness!! You know me, I don't hold anything back, so in His timing, I will pour out my heart!I am not trying to be coy, trust me! For now, He has me tucked away in the shadow of His wings, teaching, healing, delivering.

While it is an incredibly beautiful time and the promise of very, very good things for our whole family, it is also a very difficult time. I don't know where you stand on spiritual warfare. We are not the type that believe there is a devil in every corner, nor are we the type that doesn't think there is a spiritual battle going on. I do believe we have been lulled into a false sense of ignorance though, but that is another story.

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.

(Eph. 6:12)

As the Lord is moving in a huge way in my heart, Brian's heart and our whole families hearts, we have seen in intense increase in the realm of spiritual attacks. The more the enemy is exposed the more he gets scared and the more foolish and obvious he is! Just this past weekend I experienced a huge attack in my mind, unlike anything I have ever experienced! It was so out of the blue and so obvious that it was the enemy when the attack was over it was almost laughable. I wasn't laughing though, I am exhausted from it, maybe tomorrow I'll laugh. ;-)

All this to say that we are going to be going through some serious warfare in the next 3-4 weeks as we seek the Lord intensely, and I would love it if we could have some extra prayer cover. I know so many of you pray for me as the Lord leads and that blessed me immensely. Please continue ;-) I am also humbly asking for some of you to commit to seriously praying for Brian, myself and our family for the next 3-4 weeks. If you would like to commit to that would you mind emailing me or leaving a comment, I would so appreciate it.

I believe this is the breakthrough that we have been praying for! So much is making sense now. I literally have been walking around with my jaw dropped at the things He is showing us and the revelation that we are getting in His Word! Verses that we have always read and are familiar with have all but POPPED off the pages into our hearts with deeper meaning. I have no idea what it is going to look like on the other side of this, except that it is going to be amazing, of this I am sure!! It is so HUGE!

Thank you, dear friends. I love you all so much and am so blessed to be able to ask for your help in this journey. As you pray for us, we also pray that the Lord would bless you exceedingly and abundantly above all that you could think or ask!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Such Good Stuff!

I don't know what you are going through, but you do not need to fear! The Lord ministered to my heart today and I thought I would share it with you. May He bless you and keep you!

Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Behold, all they who are enraged and inflamed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; they who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish.

You shall seek those who contend with you but shall not find them; they who war against you shall be as nothing, as nothing at all.

For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you . . .
. . . thus says the Lord, He Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.
Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you, I will give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life.

Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east [where they are dispersed] and gather you from the west.

I will say to the north, Give up! and to the south, Keep not back. Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth--

Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.
Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.

Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
(Scripture from Isaiah 41 and 43 and Joshua 1)

Friday, April 23, 2010

This Is Love

Do you know what this is? I bet you don't! This, my friends, is LOVE!

Love with a capital L-O-V-E!

Here's the story. My dear husband sent me out to do a little gentle garage sale shopping. Nothing like I usually do each year with the children, just a little time out to relax and enjoy the morning. So sweet, I know! I took my son Luke with me to drive, to carry treasures if needed and just to keep me company.

At one particular sale there was the above pictured, beautiful pink and white baby quilt and crib set. It was only $10! I kept gravitating to it. I kept telling myself, my son, and the lady who owned the house how beautiful it was and that it was sheer craziness that I was even considering buying it, I mean I am not even pregnant! She did look at me like I was crazy, especially after I told her I already had nine children. ;-)

I surveyed the rest of the contents of the garage sale right from that spot. I didn't want to leave the quilt for some reason. Finally, my son says, 'let's go'. I told him I don't know what to do, it seems silly to buy it with my health, my age, me not even being pregnant! I mean, come on. Without a word, he pulls out his phone and hands it to me, implying to call dad.

I call Brian and tell him that I know I have some crazy ideas and that I was going to ask him a pretty 'out there' question. I am sure he braced himself. I prattled on like a nervous little girl. I knew how silly I must sound, to be asking permission to by this baby quilt. I almost didn't want to stop talking for fear I would have agreement on the other end of the phone that, yes, indeed I had flipped my lid.

Before I finished speaking I heard, "buy it".

"What, I said with a shaky voice."

"Just buy it. Your dreams are to have a baby girl, that is what is in your heart, so just buy it." "Even if we don't ever have a baby girl, there is always a grand baby, just buy it."
"Your dreams are worth far more than ten dollars!"

"Really??? Thank you so much, I love you", I say with tears streaming down my face.

"I love you, too"

So, if you have not guessed yet, that quilt is really acceptance and understanding! That quilt is a heart known and cherished and nurtured!

That baby quilt represents dreams shared!

That quilt is LOVE!

I would never refuse a bouquet of flowers, and He knows I would rather he not spend the money on them; this one time act of love, this one 'YES' was worth a lifetime of flowers!

You Preserve My Life

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life.
(Psalm 138:7)

"Although His answer seems so long in coming and we continue to "walk in the midst of trouble", "the center of trouble" is the place where He preserves us, not the place where He fails us. The times we continue to walk in seemingly utter hopelessness are the very times He will 'stretch out His hand against the anger of our foes'. He will bring our trouble to completion, causing the enemy's attack to cease and to fail.
In light of this, what reason would there ever be for despair?!"

(Aphra White)

I have found this to be abundantly true in every storm, in every trouble, in every trial, in every darkness! It is jaw dropping to me His faithfulness and His mercy!

Praying that you realize He preserves you in the very center of your storms!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Odds and Ends

I wanted to let you all know that I am feeling better! I have been slowly 'coming back'. Today was my first day on Mama duty. Now, it is a short day, as the children are at piano, but I did handle, for the most part a couple of hours this morning. The rest of the day should be easy. I have a nap and shortly thereafter Brian will be home.

The Lord has been ministering to me greatly through His word. One scripture after another is taking on new meaning as I seek Him for healing and the roots to my illness. It is so cool what He is doing. I have such hope for myself, for my family and for anyone the Lord puts in our path to minister to. I will share more as He brings it together, but for now, please pray for discernment and my eyes to be opened and my heart convicted.

When He heals and sanctifies it is not all about the physical! He wants us whole, spirit, soul and body!

May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.
I am so excited at what He is showing me I have really restrain myself from wanting to run around shouting it from the rooftops, I'm not walking in total health yet ;-) My sweet husband listens so patiently to me going on and on. I feel bad for him, he is hungry for it too, but he has to work and take care of so much, he doesn't have the same opportunity as I do. The Lord will teach both of us, I am confident. For now, he is getting an ear full!
After my appointment last week I increased the progesterone significantly and believe this is also part of why I am making a comeback. I also put a little bit of the cream on my wrists before bed and believe this is helping with my sleep. I can go for five hours straight now! This is HUGE! Sleep heals adrenals! I have not slept normal in many, many years. I am so excited.

Okay, not to beat a dead horse, or cow for that matter, BUT,

Food Inc. is airing on PBS tomorrow, April 21, 2010! That means you have one less excuse if you have not watched it yet. Watch it or tape it and then watch it. Here is your chance!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I simply cannot put into words the beautiful work my Father is doing in my heart. He has been so gracious to give me glimpses of His hand throughout this whole process, but even now He has given me a much larger glimpse. I wish, oh how I wish, I could put into words the treasures, the healing, the shaping.

Unless Your law had been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. (Ps. 119:92)

We live in an age when we want to run from the afflictions He sends. It scares us and we wrongly credit too much of it to the enemy. We want out! We think, 'we shouldn't have to suffer like this, it is not right, it is not fair.'

I know I have said this before and I confess I waiver in my weakness, but I would not trade these 'treasures' for perfect health if these 'treasures' are what He has for me now!

He holds my very life in His hands. It would cost Him no effort to quicken and heal my body in less than an instant. No, there is a precious purpose in all of this. Not only for myself, but others also.

I desire health, certainly, but I want health, body, mind and soul!

Flinch as I might, don't stop, Father, until You are pleased with what You see.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.
I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right and righteous, and that in FAITHFULNESS You have afflicted me.

(Ps. 119:71, 75)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some Lighthearted Fun, For A Change!

One time Brian let Elijah 'drive' up the driveway after work, one time. Well, now it is everyday, even Saturdays. Such a good Papa.

This little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy roast beef, this little piggy had none, and tttthhhhhhiiiiiiiissssss little piggy cried wee-wee-wee all the way home!

Isn't this so pretty? On a week when I struggle to find anything 'pretty' about life, this did it for me. It was a coconut and pineapple smoothie with beautiful weeping cherry tree blossoms!

Okay, one day this week while recovering from a HUGE adrenal crash this sweet little bird hit our front window. I felt so bad for it, but couldn't help but laugh. I think I knew exactly how he felt! I feel that way when I hit that 'wall' that someone keeps putting up in front of me. LOL His head was such a beautiful color and his eyes were the coolest green. Oh, he was fine, just needed a few moments to gather his senses. I had to refrain from trying to pick him up!

Okay, a little history here. I love the idea of shooting guns. My favorite game at an amusement park are the water gun games. I usually beat the pants off of everybody. Well, that's my story anyway. ;-)

One time we had some one's gun over here (we don't have guns and hubby is NOT a gun person) and I shot a pop can! I tell anyone who will listen this, it happened years ago. Never mind that it was a gun that shot buck shot, which apparently you really can't miss your target, but that is besides the point, right? I hit the can, that is all that matters.

We have had muskrat problems for years. Each year I tell Brian to get me a gun and I will shoot him. Everyone laughs at me, but I know I could. Well, after the muskrat ate all of day lilies last year and went after Brian's corn, he got me a pellet gun

Now some would wonder at the wisdom of placing a gun in the hands of a slightly demented home school mama of nine who is struggling with depressions symptoms. No worries, when I got to shoot that thing it brought great joy and excitement! Brian told the boys that if mom gets down just set her up with some target practice. And just so you know, I shot that there dang muskrat on my first shot!!! Found 'em dead later that week! Oh, and yes, I was in my robe and slippers when I did it! LOL

Here I was going after his wife, Mrs. Muskrat, later that morning.
Okay, so now you know, I have flipped my lid!
Have a lovely weekend. Love on someone today!

My most recent health update on my other blog.

Results of some recent blood work included.

But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

Job 23:10

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Passionate Response

I read this post from a sweet young mama. It touched my heart and the passion I have for mamas who push and push themselves!

I believe so many women struggle with this and I will continue to shout it from the rooftops, even if it seems redundant! You may certainly see yourself in my response, your circumstances might be different, but the advice might still fit.

I have asked her permission to share it here. Feel free to go and read the original post as well as browse around Angela's Blog, she has the most precious family.

Dearest Angela,

Hold on, because you are about to get a stern talking to by an ‘older’ woman. Just kidding, but I am going to pour out my heart in hopes that it helps you.

Yes, you are tired!!! You have been through a lot and your body is tired!!! You have four little children, you have experienced the loss of a precious baby, you have given birth and taken care of twins, who are still so little, mind you, you are a mama, a wife, a homemaker, who by the way, is attempting to make changes for the better with your whole family’s diet . . . Whew, that was probably a run on sentence, wasn’t it. All the better to make my point! I am tired just typing it out and I am sure if you re-read it and add all the things I don’t even know about you will realize you have cause to be tired.

I hear so much of 'me' in what you have written. I suspect you might poo-poo what I am writing to you about because I did for years. I always had to do and do and do. I wasn’t doing enough. I was selfish or lazy. Learning all I have about our health, namely our adrenal glands, I now see I was believing a whole bunch of lies, and about killed myself trying to do all I thought I ‘should’ be doing and am now paying dearly for it.

I see it in so many women.

One thing I have learned is that if a sentence or thought starts out with "I should" then you better rethink it. I 'should' push myself and do something while the kids are sleeping. I 'should' be menu planning, managing this home better, being a ‘better’ mama. I 'should', you fill in the blank.

AND! WHO SAID?? Who said you need to be meal planning better at this stage of your life? Who said the sheets need changing every week? Who said you have to have side dishes? Who said your house needs anything else more than just maintaining? Who said?

If you are not comparing yourself to what other people say you ‘should’ be doing, then you are comparing yourself to this person inside your head who wants to do these things and thinks she should do them. You will burn yourself out listening to her, I promise you. I still can’t get it out of my head. Years and years of trying so hard to do what I thought or I wanted to do. I have laid down some pretty deep tracks and it is so hard to lay down new ones!

I saw something in your post that really struck a cord with me and I hope you see it to. You said,
"My personality rends me nearly incapable of doing anything half-heartedly . . . "

This type of personality IS NOT LAZY! We believe a lie that we are somehow lazy, but if you look at how you probably attack things and give it your all, you will see you are not lazy! Taking a nap when tired is NOT lazy or selfish! A nap now is far better than being completely bedridden because you pushed yourself for years, trust me. This struck a cord with me because I have often said, "I think I am just being lazy" anybody who knew me would say, "WHAT!?" You are not lazy", but I didn’t believe them, so I just voiced it less often. Even now, practically bedridden with health issues, I feel like I am somehow being lazy by not "fill in the blank"! It is insane!
Oh, and it IS a season. And you will go through many more ‘seasons’ and you need to learn to flow with the season and be gentle with yourself or you will pay for it later.

Imagine if you will, your nearest and dearest friend or sister, (think of someone you love so much and have great compassion for) she comes to you telling you she is so tired. She can only seem to maintain her household on a good day. She feels like she isn’t a good mama because she doesn’t play on the floor with, play on the swings with, roll around and laugh all day with her children. She even thinks she is lazy.

What would you say to this friend? "Get off your lazy buns and buck up! Come on, for crying out loud, you need to stop focusing on yourself and do what needs to be done!" Is that what you would say? I suspect not. You would hug her, encourage her, tuck her into bed and watch her children for her. You would encourage her to take it easy until she regained some strength. And more I am sure!

Why is it that it is so easy to be kind and compassionate with others but not ourselves? Do you hear what I am saying?

In all my research and reading and emails received I believe countless women have impaired adrenals and go on pushing for years and years. I am not one to put a blanket condition on everyone who struggles, but trust me when I say with all I have learned, I believe it is true. It might not show up on blood work at first or even present noticeable symptoms, but it is happening.

We live in a toxic world with horrible quality foods, many chemicals that bombard our bodies daily, stress beyond any previous generation, we push well into the night when God made it dark for a reason, we have babies with bodies that are depleted to begin with, we nurse, we co-sleep, we carry our babies, we home school, we are learning how to be keepers of the home because we didn’t grow up knowing how, we have noise everywhere assaulting us in stores, on the streets, in our homes by way of TVs and computer. I could go on and on. We wonder why we are tired?

Yes, 100 years ago great grandma could have lots of babies and take care of them too, but think of how differently they lived back then??? Yes, they had their own ‘stressors’ back then too, but it was so different.

You are not making excuses!!!! Please hear my heart and get off your own back. My eyes are filled with tears because I know where you are, I have heard and thought the same things. I want to just grab you and fill your head with all I have learned and am still struggling to learn.

Angela, I am so serious here with what I am sharing with you. I was told for years to take it easy, rest while you are pregnant, nursing takes a lot out of you, you need to slow down, on and on the advice echos in my head, now. To my defense I had no idea how to ‘slow down’ with so many children and so many responsibilities, but I also blew past that advice thinking I could do what needed to be done and I was probably just lazy or selfish when I struggled. Please contact me if you need to be further convinced!

Love and prayers,


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Snapshots of Adrenal Fatigue

I have been asked, 'what does adrenal fatigue feel like'. I have a dear friend who always asks what does it look like, how does it feel. She so sweetly wants to understand.

I wanted to share "snapshots" of adrenal fatigue and how it affects me and my family. From what I have read from other people who struggle with a chronic illness, certainly some of these things overlap. Maybe the following will help you understand what somebody in your life might feel.

*I never know just how much energy I will have on any given day. One day I might actually get to do many normal household or parenting things and the next have no energy for anything. I simply cannot plan my days out.

*My heart often aches as I see others, namely my husband, bearing the burdens that I am meant to bear, or having to do all the things I used to be able to do with ease.

*Everywhere I turn, there is a constant reminder of what I am not doing or what I used to do. It can be as simple as a dirty sink or as big as teaching my children school. I will see Brian doing school with the children in the evening, and while I am so thankful he does it, it is one more reminder of what I am not doing.

*Often times I cannot pull the words from the deep recesses of my mind. It is like trying to call one of your children, but calling them the wrong name, only much worse. If you do this, you know how frustrating it can be. I do this several times a day. It takes a tremendous amount of energy just to get the word out of my mouth, only to have it be the wrong word. Thank God my children know me so well, they stop me as they see my frustration and almost always know what I am trying to say.

*All day long I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water emotionally and spiritually. As the day goes on it feels like I am hit wave after wave with emotions. It's like I barely get my feet under me and another wave rolls over me, knocking me down. I'll see my baby, knowing I can't handle training him or playing with him outside . . . or I'll see my grandson, knowing I want to see him more often, but don't have the energy to do so . . . Brian struggling to work, provide, be daddy and mommy . . . seeing the children long to talk to me, but me unable to listen . . .

*I can barely, on a good day, think more than one thing at a time. This, from the queen of multitasking. The frustration of trying to cook a meal, which I used to do without even thinking, now takes great mental focus, and then to have a child walk into the room and want to tell me something! It puts me right over the edge.

*There are days that the exhaustion is so heavy that I almost ache with tiredness. Walking to the bathroom sometimes feels like to far a trip. It feels like I am trying to walk through neck deep mud.

*Most days, it is a constant (non-stop) battle fighting discouragement. The thoughts bombard me one right after the other. This alone can wear me out. I admit, I often just give into the discouragement because I just can't fight it anymore for that moment.

*Self-pity tries to pull me down daily. It is like a vicious attack. It is like I know I am so blessed and have it so much easier or better than someone else, but you still feel miserable. Then, to add insult to injury, I feel such condemnation because I do have it so good, I am not dying of cancer or have lost a husband or . . . 'what is my problem?' I hear in my head.

*I feel so 'lost'. There seems to be no real purpose to my days. I think this one is so hard because so much of who I am is wrapped up in what I do. I am a mama, home school teacher, wife, manager of this home, yet now I can't do all those things. It really shakes me at times as I learn my identity and value is not in what I do.

*No matter how hard I try to plan something out or hope to do something, it usually doesn't happen. So, I give up trying to figure it out, go with the flow, ect., but I just feel so lost. I have no idea what I will be able to handle, or when I might 'crash'. I try to be optimistic, but then I get devastated when I crash.

*One fear I have to battle is that of something really big happening. My body can barely handle the everyday stresses. The thought of something big like, a death, an accident, a major illness, something traumatic happening to someone close to me, strikes fear in me. I see how my body responds to a child screaming, a door slamming, I cannot fathom something big happening. (nor should I, I know ;-)

These are just some of the things that come to my mind as I share little snapshots into my world of adrenal fatigue. I suspect many of you can so totally relate to many of these. For those of you who are healthy and maybe know someone struggling with a physical illness, I pray this gives you some insight that might help you.

One more thing that is so hard. When you see me looking 'normal', make up on and smiling, this does NOT mean everything is all better and I am fine now. It might just be that moment, or I am faking it pretty well, or I will most definitely 'pay' for the energy you are seeing right now, but be assured, everything is not all better.

This is not meant in anyway to come off as complaining. I know we all have sometimes huge struggles we go through. It is just life. God is still beyond good and faithful. I am so richly blessed by being His daughter and I really do have the most amazing life! Hear my heart.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finding Hope

Yesterday Brian encouraged me with this verse,

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

I wanted to grab hold of it, but I just couldn't think of any verses that really spoke to my heart. I mean I could think of them, but they just felt sort of lifeless. While the struggles with hopelessness have lightened up some, instead I just feel numb, it is still there.

I cried out to my Father for a word I could grab onto. A word that spoke right to my heart. No great revelations during my quiet time that morning, so I just sort of left it with Him.

As I listened to teaching tapes and scripture tapes a few words spoke to my heart. I found myself a little encouraged, yet not sure why. It dawned on me this morning that my Father had indeed spoken to my heart, given me the very words I was asking for.

. . . being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6)

. . . weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
(Ps. 30:5)

I could have come up with those verses on my own, they are very familiar, but when the Lord speaks them to my heart they become alive!

I still feel sort of 'numb' with all that is going on, but how precious to have the Lord my God speak to my hopeless heart. I find myself crying out to Him so much. Crying for grace to withstand this onslaught, grace and strength for my husband, grace for the children as their world is turned upside down even more, grace for my Mom and her husband, as they have had the children a lot lately, comfort for the sorrow I feel as I feel like the "me" is being stripped, tested and purified, the sadness I feel when I see my children for only short minutes each day and miss being a Mama . . . I have been running to Him, for He is my Strong Tower, my Refuge, my Strength.

Maybe this is why . . .

"Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me."
(Hosea 5:15)

So today . . .

I will sing of Your mighty strength and power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy and loving-kindness in the morning; for You have been to me a defense (a fortress and a high tower) and a refuge in the day of my distress.

Unto You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; for God is my Defense, my Fortress, and High Tower, the God Who shows me mercy and steadfast love.
(Ps. 59:16-17)
Run to Him today! He is our only hope! When it feels like there is no hope, no end in sight, cry out to Him. He is so faithful to answer when we call. It might not 'feel' like there is hope, but there is. His word is true, we can believe it and walk by faith, which means you probably won't 'feel' it or even 'see' it, but this is what He asks of us, to walk by faith!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Secrets in the Dark

For a long time now the Lord has been speaking to me about the 'secrets' or the 'treasures' that He teaches in the darkness. The dark can be a frightening and lonely place, but it doesn't have to be when He is in the darkness with you.

I just realized that typically when you are in a dark room all of your senses seem to be on high alert. I think this is what it is like when we are walking through the dark times of life. We are more sensitive to His voice, His touch. Our ears are more in tune. We are looking more intently. I think this is why we receive treasures and secrets in the dark.

This morning as I was meditating on this verse and thought:

"What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs."
(Matthew 10:27)
"Our Lord is constantly taking us into the dark in order to tell us something." "It is there He tells us His secrets."

One after another the 'secrets' the Lord has been whispering and revealing to me came to my mind. I assure you, just because I am able to put to words the 'secrets' does not mean that I am fully walking in them and don't still struggle daily to live them. He is so patient and merciful. Slowly read through the list, think of times of darkness in your own life, do some of these 'secrets' feel familiar?

*secret of the hidden beauty of the thorns
*secret of absolute inability of me doing anything of value apart from Him

*secret of resting in Him, alone

*secret of 'treasures' spoken only in the darkness

*secret of being comforted by Him so I can comfort others

*secret of not trusting in myself or others for deliverance

*secret of being absolutely still and knowing that He is God

*secret of hoping in Him
*secret of praising and trusting though He slay me

*secret of the vileness of my own self-will

*secret of His deep love for me

*secret of sweet fellowship alone, with Him, in the darkness

*secret of being able to humbly receive

*secret of blind faith

*secret of walking on the water with Jesus amidst the raging storm

*secret fellowship shared with fellow sufferers

*secret of feeling utterly abandoned yet knowing deep within you are not

*secret of waiting on and for Him

*secret of learning to be content

*secret of not taking one step without Him

*secret beauty of the 'hedges'

*secret of sweet surrender that rarely 'feels' sweet

*secret of His bottomless, endless, inexhaustible mercy

*secret of His still small voice whispered in the dark

*secret of almost feeling His breath as He whispers in the darkness

From my experience, it is only in the darkness that I am able to learn and hear these secrets.

Would you be willing to share some of the 'secrets' the Lord has told you in the dark?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Difficult Days

The past couple of weeks have been increasingly difficult. I had about 10 days in March that I was actually beginning to have hope that I might be coming out of this adrenal fatigue. That excitement was short lived. I have slowly gotten worse and worse. This past week has been very hard. I am experiencing symptoms as severe as I ever have, even back to last August and September when I was at my worst.

I have struggled greatly with discouragement and despair. These two nasty emotions have followed me everywhere and in every aspect of my life. The Lord has been so gracious to minister words of life to my heart each and every day. I find myself in a cycle of sorts. I am beaten down, I come crawling to Him, He picks me back up, I seem to take very few steps and I am beaten back down and come crawling back to Him again.

Physically I am pretty much back in bed. I simply cannot handle any stress, any noise, any thinking, any physical activity and my blood sugar seems to be so erratic that no matter how perfectly I eat, I still have wild swings, causing great physical struggles.

Brian has been unbelievable, though for the first time in awhile I have seem him crushed under the pressure of handling everything AND me. We have spent lots of times crying in each other's arms as we often times feel so lost and without answers. Even in his weariness, he strives to meet my every physical need, making sure I am taking my supplements on time, eating at regular intervals, many phone calls to the doctor, and of course praying with and over me frequently!

While this continues to be one of the most difficult seasons of our lives, I don't want to make it sound like we don't realize how unbelievably blessed we are. I want to shout, if I had the strength ;-) that God IS faithful! He IS caring for us and meeting our every need, just not in the way we think it should be. He is stretching us and refining us, but, He does so with the utmost compassion and love!

While, at times, I feel so abandoned and alone, I know these are just 'feelings' because my Father is right here with His finger on my pulse. He is right here, holding me up. He is right here, speaking words of encouragement to my weary heart. He is right here, meeting our needs. He is right here, in an embrace from my husband. He is right here, in smiles, bouquets of weeds, I mean flowers from my dear children. He is right here, in the prayers of loved ones. He is right here, in a doctor who is so moved with compassion for our situation that he spends hours researching how he might treat me best.

I am not alone, for He has said, "I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down relax My hold on you! Assuredly not! (Hebrews 13:5)

I know so many of you are struggling with similar or even far more serious issues of life. My heart aches for you in a way it never would have before the Lord allowed these struggles in my own life. I pray for you, certainly for deliverance, but even more so that you would find HIM in the midst of your circumstances.

I leave you with a quote from H.W. Smith:

"The Lord is my Shepherd"

Who is it that is your Shepherd? The LORD! Oh, my friends, what a wonderful announcement! The Lord God of heaven and earth, and Almighty Creator of all things; He who holds the universe in His Hand as though it were a very little thing. He is your Shepherd, and has charged himself with the care and keeping of you, as a shepherd is charged with the care and keeping of his sheep. If your hearts could really take in this thought you would never have a fear or care again; for with such a Shepherd how could it be possible for you ever to want any good thing?

I truly love and appreciate each and every one of you!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easy Brown Rice

Several months ago I came across a method of making brown rice that I just love! I make it in the oven! It is so easy just to pop it in there and it doesn't take up valuable real estate on my stove.

I don't really follow this recipe anymore. I usually double the amount for each 9 by 13 pan, and I always SOAK the rice first. You are all soaking your grains, right?

I always make at least two pans, sometimes even three, no sense having the oven on for just one meal, right? I try to plan my meals out during the week to use the two pans of rice. I leave the rice right in the second pan and store in the fridge for later in the week. To reheat, I just add a little water, cover and heat in the oven. Or I might use it for my Leftover Rice Casserole. This rice goes great with my Saucy Black Beans.

I don't always use chicken stock, often times I just use water, but, you definitely increase the nutritional value if you use the stock!

By the way, Amy, from Simple Sugar and Gluten Free has an awesome website with fabulous recipes. Her testimony of how changing her diet enabled her to lose weight and regain health is truly inspiring, check her out!

Announcing . . .

This morning my dear husband drew the winner's name out of the official pillowcase . . .okay, there is no official pillowcase, that is just what we used, and we are excited to announce that . . .
The Winner of the $75.00 gift certificate to U.S. Wellness meats is . . .
Leslie from Rocks the Cradle!!
Could you please email me, Leslie!
Thank you to all who entered. We pray the word continues to get out about where our food comes from and how we can make choices and changes. If you have not watched Food Inc., please do so, it will change your life . . . only for the good, I promise!

A side note here, when U.S. Wellness Meats heard we were doing this with our own money they contacted me and credited me part of the money to cover the cost of the gift certificate and gave us a discount code for our next order. We were so blessed. First, that God would provide in that way. Second, that U.S. Wellness Meats is just that kind of company! We love the product we get from them. Please check them out. Yes, it is more costly, but for some things it is so worth it. We purchase our ground turkey from them that I make into breakfast sausage and Italian sausage. I simply cannot find a better product for a better price! We love their summer sausage and kielbasa. These items are a treat for us, but I love knowing there are no chemicals and junk in them and they taste delish!