Music Monday – Breathe

Hi everyone!

Happy Monday and Happy Spring! Wow, can you believe it’s already Spring?! Since my winter of surgeries and recovery, it seems like the time has been flying by!

Now that I’ve healed I am out and about and doing things again that I hadn’t been able to enjoy in a while. A few weeks ago my husband and I went on a short hike and just the other day we spent some time down at the River which was fun and also very relaxing.

We also volunteered at a few Compassion events which are always fun but now even more fun because I can stand behind the table the whole night if needed!

Two of my grandsons are old enough now to play sports. They played basketball at the beginning of the year and now they’ve just started playing baseball. I absolutely love going to their games and watching them play!

Later today I am going shopping and taking my granddaughter to dance class. The cool thing about this is not only do I get to spend time with my amazing granddaughter but now I am also able to walk through stores and actually spend as much time as I want shopping instead hurrying to get out because it hurts to be there….though now that I think about it taking time in the store may not be such a good thing after all because more time spent in the store means more time to see things I probably don’t need and to spend more money I probably don’t need to spend 😀

Speaking of shopping, I remember when I used to hate long checkout lines!  Now I am finding myself standing in long lines doing a happy dance in my head and thanking God for the miracle of my wonderfully awesome and amazing new knees that I can stand on forever and ever and ever! It seems as if my whole perspective on the inconvenience of waiting has changed. I used to hate to wait in line because it hurt to stand but now when I have to wait it gives me time to relax and reflect on where I’ve been and to thank God for all he has done.

This past season of my life has shown me that sometimes even the hard stuff can be a gift and that slowing down and resting is important. Before arthritis wrecked my knees I used to feel like I had to jam pack something into every minute of every day. After being forced to slow down  I realize it’s more about the quality of what I do with the time I’ve been given and who I spend that time with that matters most. I’ve learned to say no, I’ve learned to get rid of those things that were not part of God’s plan and enjoy the things that are.

Today’s Music Monday song Breathe by Jonny Diaz is a good one and also a great reminder of taking some time each day to slow down, relax in God’s love, and just breathe.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Have a great week!
Terri Siebert

 

Overwhelmed by You

Hey everyone and happy Monday to you!

I started my Monday off by receiving a surprise gift when I opened the curtains.

Not only did it snow again but we also had visitors.

There’s something extra peaceful about freshly fallen snow.  Couple that with a family of deer and I would say that God was giving me the exactly what I needed today.

An overwhelming dose of peace.

God alway seems to deliver just what is needed and He always seems to overwhelm me with his perfect timing.

Today’s Music Monday song is Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave.

Have a fabulous week!

Terri Siebert

Found by the Prince of Peace

 

god-of-peaceTwo weeks ago I had knee replacement surgery on my left knee and on November 28 I will be having the right one done.

I’ve known I needed to do this for over 2 years but I still have been putting the surgeries off because the thought of having someone cut my whole knee joint out and replacing it with metal and plastic made me feel really uncomfortable and to be honest it really scared the living daylights out of me.

After I made the decision a lot of worries crossed my mind about the things that could go wrong but I knew I had to not be dwelling on those things and just look to how much better my life was going to be when everything went right.

I had a great peace and I really wasn’t nervous at all during the time up to the surgery but the morning of the surgery for some reason I started to get really nervous. By the time we got into the car to go to the hospital my nerves were starting to get the best of me and I was beginning to feel like I had some sort of dark heavy cloud of dread hanging over me. When we pulled our car out of the garage a thick heavy fog was covering the neighborhood which just added to the dread I was feeling.

A few minutes later we were flying up the highway and I was sitting over in the passenger seat praying silently, but the harder I prayed, the more scared I became.

Where was God’s peace at now??

Somehow I had lost it and it was now hidden deep in the fog which seemed to be pressing in tighter and tighter on me.
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I wanted to forget the whole surgery and tell my husband to turn the car around and head back home but before I could get the words out of my mouth suddenly in the middle of the dark gloomy morning the sun started peeking out through the fog and the sky began changing.
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In a matter of seconds, the sky was a mix of beautiful colors. I began taking pictures of the sky and somehow without even realizing it was happening God had managed to reel me back to peace.
By the time we arrived at the hospital a beautiful sunshiny day had dawned and I was ready to get on with getting a new knee.
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But God wasn’t done yet…
I was met by my nurse who would check me in and found out her name was ‘Joy’. Joy’s name fit her well and she was exactly the perfect person for me to start off this day with. Joy the nurse was full of joy. Being checked into surgery by nurse Joy along with her name tag flashing the word “Joy’ at me constantly, there was no way I couldn’t feel the continued presence and peace of God.

Joy stayed with me until it was time to go to the Operating room holding area.

My next nurse’s name was ‘Lisa’. Which is also the name of my dear friend Lisa who now lives in heaven. I’m not really sure why having a nurse named Lisa gave me peace but seeing the name Lisa reminded me about Lisa and how courageously she had lived her life during her illness right up until she left for her new one. Remembering Lisa reminded me that I wanted to live my life courageously trusting in God like she had.

Everything seemed to be going well and I was doing really great the whole morning but then the anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself. His name was David. David was nice and he looked like just the guy to handle the job of putting me to sleep. I was really liking him a whole lot but then he gave me a choice to make. It was a choice that nobody had even mentioned or that I had ever dreamed was available. David gave me the choice of staying awake or going to sleep during the surgery..… STAYING AWAKE???!!

I remember saying to him, “you’re kidding right?”

But this was not a joke… this guy was dead serious!

I had seen the video of what they were going to do to me and it involved cutting my whole knee joint out with saws and then putting in the new knee with a hammer…SAWS… AND HAMMERS!!! Did I mention they were going to use saws and hammers and this guy was giving me the option to stay awake during the surgery????!!!!!

I’m sure you know by now my answer to that question was…. NO WAY!

I didn’t even have to answer him before he said, “Maybe you better go to sleep.” I wonder if it was the… ‘you are crazy for ever asking me that look’ I must have had on my face.

After that I lost my peace again and suddenly I felt sick to my stomach. I went to the bathroom to be sick and when I arrived back at my bed there was a woman in my room waiting for me. “Hi I’m the hospital Chaplin and I came to see if you would like me to pray with you,” she said.

Ummmm…. Ya…

How cool is that?! The minute I lost peace God sent a Chaplin in to pray with me!

We prayed and then we just chatted for a while as if we were old friends. Before I knew it the God of peace had found me again and it was now time for me to go into the operating room. The last thing I remember was telling someone that they really needed to organize the operating room because it was really a mess….

I’m not really sure what my obsession with organized operating rooms is but the last 2 surgeries I’ve had that line has come out of my mouth just as I drift off to sleep. I will blame it on the happy meds they put in the IV.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

3 hours later I woke up with a brand new knee and a horrible pain in my hip.

Yep you heard that right, I go in for knee surgery and come out with hip pain.

I now know that the pain in my hip is my sciatic nerve. Somehow it became irritated during the surgery and I have to say it is about the worst pain I have ever dealt with in my life!

But...even though the sciatic nerve is giving me problems I still seem to be breezing right through the knee stuff. I am excelling in my exercises with my range of motion coming back way quicker than is expected.
The crazy thing is my knee which is what I was worried about before the surgery is not an issue at all.
The problem is this sciatic nerve hurts really bad If I lay down and I also have had problems with every pain medication they have given me so Tylenol is all I can take.
Sooooo… sleeping is something I have not been getting a whole lot of.

Every night about 11 pm the pain starts and I then spend the rest of the night moving around to different areas of my house trying to get comfortable. I can take a lot of pain and usually never cry about pain but I have to say that this is the first time in my life that pain seems to keep turning me into an exhausted crying mess.

I have spent a whole lot of time this past couple of weeks listening to the Hillsong channel on T.V. and Pandora Radio. Every single night there is one song that seems to always play right at the time which is when I am usually at the height of my pain.

The song is “Prince of Peace” by Hillsong United.


The words to this song always seem to help me find comfort and peace.

My heart a storm
Clouds raging deep within
The Prince of Peace came bursting through the wind
The violent sky held its breath
And in Your light I found rest
Tearing through the night
Riding on the storm
Staring down the fight
My eyes found Yours
Shining like the sun
Striding through my fear
The Prince of Peace met me there
You heard my prayer – Words and music by Hillsong United

Just as I am feeling as if I can’t go on anymore Jesus always meets me right in the middle of the pain and then he carries me through the night. He is my comfort and peace until the early morning hours when I finally fall asleep.

Jesus is my peace…

As I am writing this its almost 11 pm the pain hasn’t started yet and I am hoping it doesn’t. Each night I pray that it won’t start but each night it still does. I am not really sure why that prayer hasn’t been answered yet but so many more prayers have been answered so far.

I am learning that I can get through anything no matter how painful it is when I call on Jesus. I have seen Gods hands and miraculous healing in this and also in past illnesses I’ve had. Also from what I have heard Knee replacement surgery is very very painful, thankfully I haven’t had much knee pain so far which my physical therapist says she has never come across so maybe I have the better pain of the two…. ?

AAAAnyway …. it’s getting late so I am going to try to get some sleep.

Have a great night!
T

P.S. If you aren’t squeamish and want to see something cool, click the picture of my bandage below to remove it and see my incision.  You can just call me the bionic woman from now on 😀

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Music Monday – Chain Breaker

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It seems like we are living in a hurting world lately. The things I am seeing in the news and on social media are things that I have never ever seen in my lifetime. It just seems like there is so much more hate and anger with people hurting one another and turning to violence. People want a solution to whatever they feel angry about, but I just don’t see how turning against one another is going to solve anything.

The only real solution to anything that I can see is Jesus. If we don’t turn to him I think things are going to continue to get worse.

Maybe your not a Christian and when you saw what I just wrote you thought to yourself “Ya right! that woman is loony toons!”  Believe it or not, I actually understand that because I used to feel the same way when people told me that Jesus could help the world or help me.

I used to think he wasn’t real.

Now I think maybe I knew deep down that he was real but It was easier for me to tell myself he wasn’t real then to risk the rejection that I thought he might give me because I thought I wasn’t good enough for him.

What nobody ever told me or maybe I just somehow missed it, was that Jesus didn’t come just for the good people or the ones who had it all together.

The truth is this….He came for the liars, the cheaters, the thieves, the murderers, the drug addicts, the abusers and the abused.  

He came for the broken, the hurting.

Yes it’s true – He came for the good and the bad.

He came for Me and He came for you.

He came for us ALL.

Today’s music Monday song is Chain Breaker by Zach Williams.

This song brings me to tears every time I hear it because the words are so true!

If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost, He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior
If you got chains, He’s a chain breaker (Chain Breaker lyrics by Zach Williams)

Can I get an AMEN?! 

He came, He died, He took the blame, He took the pain. He took it all so we could be free!  

I know this is true because my own life has changed because of Jesus.

Yes, I still get angry, I still get sad, and I still feel pain.  But now I don’t face any of life’s struggles alone anymore.

I take comfort in knowing that when things feel out of control that God is still in control.

I take comfort in his love and I am free from the things that used to weigh me down.

My chains are broken.

Freedom in Christ is a way better life.

We all can have that freedom.

All you have to do is ask and he will remove your chains.

If you’re in need of someone to tell you more about the freedom you can have in Jesus let me know in the comments below or contact me via the contact tab on the top of the blog.

Have a great week!

Terri Siebert

 

The Easy Way Out

The Easy Way Out

Today I noticed that there are three Exit doors in my church’s sanctuary.

Actually, there are four doors in the sanctuary but only three of them have exit signs over them.

Why on earth am I talking about Exit doors??

Let me explain….

Today after work there wasn’t anyone at church except for me so I decided to sit in the sanctuary for a while before I went home. I had a lot of my mind and I felt like I just needed some time to breathe and also to just sit with and listen to God.

The sanctuary at my church is a wonderful place to sit in peace and for some reason when I am in there I feel somehow extra close to God.

For a while now I’ve been feeling called towards something a bit different than the path God’s had me on for the past few years.  Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post about putting away my fear (I’m Not Afraid of What You Think of Me).  It was about surrendering my fear of what others think of me.  In the process of surrendering my fear, I also found out that surrendering the fear of what others thought of me was something I needed to do so I could move forward to do this new thing he’s asking me to do.

So I surrendered but now I found myself trying to figure out the how’s and the what do I need to do to get it all moving.

It began feeling just way too big and also hard. I actually really like my life the way it is now and things have actually become quite comfortable. I’m not sure I was ready for any new life changes.

I’ve known for quite some time now that all God stuff is usually somehow life changing. I also know that God has brought me to places that have felt way too big before, but I realize now that he was way bigger and most of those places that used to feel too big and seemed scary are now not scary at all.

So now that I am comfortable I also kept wondering why the sudden switch to something new? Why wouldn’t God just use me where he has me now? For once I finally feel like I know what I am doing.

questions – questions

and so there I sat…

Waiting…

Listening for God.

It was very quiet for a really long time and then I saw …  a red ‘Exit’ sign.

And then I saw another…

and another!

I’m not sure how it happened but suddenly I realized my mind had wandered to how many ways there were to exit this one room.

Four doorways to be exact. Three of which were clearly labeled with a bright lighted ‘Exit’ on top.

I tried to get my mind back to listening for God but then I began thinking about how with all of those exit doors just how easy it would be to get out of that room if someone were to need to get out in a hurry.

I was sitting there thinking about exits and when suddenly … Flashback to six years ago… I sat in the parking lot of this very building afraid to come in. Thank you to Jesus taking me by the hand and walking with me I managed to make my way into this same room.  I know this may sound silly but I was scared to be there that day.  All those Exit doors were there then too but I thankfully I didn’t use any of them. Somehow I knew that choosing to stay was truly my only way out that day. That day I didn’t need to escape the room, though instead what I needed to escape was the life I had been living, or maybe I should call it the life I had been dying…because the life I was living back then was not life.

I chose to not exit the room that day but I did make the choice to exit my old life. To exit my old life seems like it would be the easiest choice but now looking back I realized it may have actually been the harder choice because there was soon to be more feelings of uncomfortable to come.

New people entered my life and things had to change. It seemed hard at first but then but one day I realized life was really good now. So so GOOD.

I learned that in each new challenge or hard place something pretty cool always seemed to follow.

So today I sat in the dark sanctuary pondering another new path and pretty much knowing that it will most likely be uncomfortable and possibly hard… but I have a choice.

Do I take the new path or do I take the nearest exit?

This may sound weird but I’m gonna go ahead and say it anyway… “I think God used exit signs to give me a sign today!“

I had a choice to make – I could take my exit or I could walk with him in faith.

The new path may seem scary and big but my GOD is way BIGGER!

So there was no exit for this lady today!

To be continued….

Have a great Friday!

Terri Siebert