Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fighting Sugar Dragons and the Demon Called Cancer.

I started this morning on a sugar binge... chocolate chip cookie dough and sweet tea! What the hell was wrong with me?! I've been eating great. I've lost 28 pounds. I have all this momentum and today I start by self-destructing... It took me a few minutes of praying and asking God what is going on with me????

And then I realized. I was jumping into old habits. Emotional intensity leads to sugar bingeing for me. I was eating my emotions and stress. I couldn't let go of the tension so I thought I could eat my way through it. I stopped.

I drank a glass of water and flooded my body with the nutrients of over 30 fruits and vegetables. I made myself a Complete Smoothie and I paused to thank God for opening my eyes and stopping my destructive patterns.

Samuel's Lump
Yesterday was an intense day for me. Samuel had been complaining of pain for the past 4 days. In his hip socket area and in his groin. Way too close to where his primary cancer site was. Monday Mike took him in for a lump on his foot... it had turned out to be a hematoma (burst blood vessel)... nothing traumatic. Just a very large, scary looking protuberance.

But I was gone this past weekend and I wasn't sure how big the site looked originally... and yesterday it appeared to be bigger. I took a picture and sent it to Mike (who is out of town).... he agreed. Looked bigger.

And Samuel was limping. And crying. And it re-triggered so much of those first days leading to his cancer diagnosis. So I called the docs and got him in.

And I waited. All freaking day long. Thankfully I had the blessing of being distracted by my wonderful hairdresser, who I told, "Cancer or not, we're going to do this with our hair looking awesome!" She agreed. (Kristen, you are my rock star!) It takes an amazing and special person to cut hair for 6 people... (5 kids and me).

My heart was tempted to despair. I was tempted to be overwhelmed by fears of my future. I was scared of being shaken. We've come so far. We've worked so hard. We've climbed out of this slimy pit... okay, more like God dragged us out... and I was afraid we'd slide back in.

I kept having to remind myself to breathe.

And then God.

God in His mercy kept giving me peace. He kept reminding me to take my thoughts captive. I reached out to others and asked for prayer. And they prayed. I cried out to God, entrusting Him again and again with the life of my son, knowing that He is ultimately God's.

I don't know why I got good news. The dreaded demon we called cancer is not present!

I'm praising God. For sustaining and for giving life to us.

And I'm thankful for His wisdom in creating fruits and vegetables. We've been flooding our bodies with the concentrated nutrients of fruits and vegetables for over 8 months now. And I see a difference. Difference in skin, hair, nails. Difference in immunity. Difference in respiratory. Difference in what foods my kids crave... they want fruits and veggies. They drink water more than ever. We've been eliminating sugar from our diets... making one simple change at a time.

So yes, I still have to slay the sugar dragon. It still looms large to devour me. But Christ in me is overcoming. The Holy Spirit is empowering me and I'm not the same woman I used to be. I'm a new creation in Christ.

My story is being re-written. It's a powerful story and a good one. And it's not over yet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What's Still Broken...

You can clean your room and organize so that everything is in it's place. You can work hard and be productive, meeting goals that you've set. You can eat well and be disciplined and lose weight and trim up... and it feels great.

But it doesn't fix the brokenness of this world.

I want it to be all better now. I want my heart to no longer hurt and ache because of my shortcomings and failings and my sins and the effects of others sins. I want things to be good now.

But even when you do the best you can. Even when you've righted as much as you can. Even when you've reconciled. Things will not be as they ought to be. And as much as you work to satisfy your longings, goals, desires, it will never TRULY satisfy.

Only Jesus. Give me Jesus.

He's the Only ONE! The only one who can satisfy. The only who can meet my needs. And He's what my heart longs for. I long to be with him on the other side. Here I know in part. Then I will see in full.

We are all waiting for the Resurrection. Not just us here on earth but those in Heaven... Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, King David, my sister Libby and my nephew Sam... they're all waiting with us... waiting for things to be made right. Waiting for all things to be made new. Waiting for the New Heavens and the New Earth.

We're not home yet. We're all waiting. But it's coming. When it does it will be glorious. It will be amazing.

Until then, expect broken. Don't be surprised by suffering and trials and difficulties. Don't be shocked that things are falling apart. Things will all fall down until Christ returns. This is what I'm having to remind myself. I can't make things perfect here... even when they're getting as good as they're going to get.

But we have hope. We aren't alone. We're not left to ourselves. And our great Savior is continuing to change us and mold us into His likeness. We don't need to be fearful or afraid or beat ourselves up that things are off... we can hold onto Him knowing that He is holding us and will never let go.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Protection. Provision. Prosperity.

New Year's Eve the suburban was shaking and stuttering. It felt like the front left wheel was about to come off. Mike was gone on a business trip and I had five kids in the car just having purchased Libby's ballet ensemble. We were on our way to my parents to wish my Dad a happy birthday when we decided we couldn't make it that far.

Pulling into a Fireston station, I went in and quickly asked for help.

They were kind enough to squeeze us in when we shouldn't have been able to be seen and were caring about the safety of the kids in our vehicle.

2 bars of the suspension were broken. The manager showed me how the tire could completely wobble and shake on the car. We needed at least 2 bald tires replaced.

And yet God provided for our almost $1,000 repairs. And the guy threw an extra tire (on the house) because there was still one tire that he didn't feel good about and he wanted to be sure we were safe.

At this point it's well after 3:30 p.m. and my kids hadn't eaten lunch and I had nothing to give them and nowhere to go to get food. And a friend came to the rescue bringing Chick-fil-A nuggets and fries for the kids and a salad for me.

He met our big needs and our little needs.

New Year's Day there was a fraudulent purchase made with my bank card. Someone had used my card # to make an online purchase of over $400+ in gaming equipment. Thankfully Mike caught it and we were able to block the purchase and cancel the card!

I had been struggling the past couple months with trusting God's provision- I knew He was faithful and I knew He'd take care of us as He always has but I wasn't aware of how it would occur... and then people anonymously blessed us with a very generous gift right before Christmas. Here God was taking care of our needs at every turn. I could see God's hand at work. Blessing us beyond our expectations. Blessing us beyond our needs... so that we could in turn be a blessing to others.

God has also been graciously providing work for Mike.  Sometimes Mike is gone out of town working all sorts of days and nights, getting very little sleep and putting in 60+ hours but I am so blessed to have Mike willing to do what it takes as well as him having a job. Work is not to be taken for granted. Somedays are harder than others when he's away but I'm thankful to God for Mike's job. In addition, I've been working hard on my small business. It's exciting to see it grow and see people getting healthier!

God has been incredible in His provision, in his protection and in prospering us.

God had given me the word ABUNDANCE for 2016. At first it felt somewhat mocking considering our circumstances at the beginning of December, my hope and prayer for Christmas was to be able to pay rent but I chose to believe God even when there seemed to be no way I could feasibly see how things were going to turn out. Now I have the benefit of that faith being sight.

God is transforming our health as a family. He's enabling Mike and I to take big steps towards securing our future. He's helping us to be faithful with what we have. We are eating well. We are exercising. We are being disciplined... with money, with food, with all that He's given us. And I'm so thankful. I'm thankful to see how God will meet us in the future. Surrendering my hope and trust to Him. Not in myself. Not in my abilities. Not in what I can accomplish but what He has done on our behalf. How He is meeting our needs, seen and unseen. How he's bringing joy to us through a grateful heart. How we can be content with what we have and don't have.

I won't pretend that I have arrived. That I won't doubt again. That my faith won't flounder. But I can rest secure in a God whose character never changes.