I know many of you may be feeling really out of sorts right now. I’ve personally been a mix of so many emotions that it’s really hard for me to even begin to put things into words. I’m sure you have had many of the same feelings as me.
Worry over what this virus could cause to happen with your finances and health of not only yourself but also that of your family and friends is very real right now and can be very overwhelming.
Life is hard right now – But no matter what we have to keep looking up. In the middle of what doesn’t feel so good, we still have to try our best to keep our eyes fixed on what IS good- even if it has to be on a day by day or even moment by moment basis.
Live each day inside of itself and let tomorrow stay right where it is inside of tomorrow.
Just for today – let’s keep rejoicing in all that is good in this world.
Rejoice in the goodness of people.
Rejoice in the goodness of not our physical things, but the things that matter to us most, like our families and our friends.
Let us rejoice in God and the fact that through it all he is and always will be here with us.
And He IS GOOD!
God is so much more than any of us can ever begin to fathom and He knows what’s happening in the world right now and when this is all over we will see a victory and I’m pretty sure we will be better than we were before the virus all started.
When I turned on my radio this morning “See a Victory” by Elevation Worship was playing. As I was singing along the words made me realize I can now see all the victories I’ve had in my life that at the time seemed almost impossible to ever have a good outcome. I hope you have time to listen and also I hope you can find peace today and know that when this is over we will all see a victory!
I have 3 grandsons. The two older boys are close in age, 7 and 8, and the youngest is 3. Whatever the two oldest boys are doing the little one is not far behind trying to keep up.
A few weeks ago, as they were leaving my house, my daughter opened the door for them to go to the car the 2 older boys sprang out of the door like they had lightning bolts on their feet. For one split second, the youngest had a bit of worry on his face quickly replaced by determination as he leaped into action and began running to catch up with his older brothers.
Even though he is the little guy his split decision to leap into action left me realizing that to him his size didn’t matter, and he wasn’t going to let anything stop him from keeping up with his older brothers.
He had complete faith that he had what it took to keep up with the big guys.
Wouldn’t it be great if we adults had that sort of faith?
I think our years of getting knocked down by life sometimes stops us from trying out the harder stuff. Sometimes we even freeze up on the stuff God asks us to do to, never taking a leap of faith to trust him to give us what we need to accomplish it.
In my grandson’s case when mom saw the older boys running ahead, she told them to wait, meaning for them to wait for her, but in the second that they waited little brother was able to catch up. He didn’t care that mom making his older brothers wait was the reason he’d caught up. All that mattered to him was that he was right beside the big boys and his little face was beaming with joy to show that he was now a part of the big boy club even though he was just a little guy.
What would it look like if we adults had that same kind of faith like a child? What would it feel like to be presented an opportunity by God to do something harder than we think we have abilities to do and then we then took the leap of faith and we succeeded?
What does it feel like to not be chosen? Or how about being chosen last?
How about picking teams in gym class when you were a child in school?
Were you the person who was chosen first? Or were you always chosen last?
When I was a child my family wasn’t much into sports. We didn’t play sports or watch them on TV and we didn’t go to football or baseball games either. I also didn’t have an athletic bone in my body or really even care to have an athletic bone in my body.
Because of my lack of athletic abilities, I was pretty much guaranteed to be chosen last in gym class for any type of team sport game.
Here’s a classic example of what usually happened when I played team sports.
I was in 5th-grade gym class and kickball was the game.
Most days when we played kickball and it was my turn, I would kick the ball and someone from the other team would catch it right away causing me to never make it to any base, I was usually an easy out.
This day was a little different though.
This day I actually kicked the ball so high that it went soaring over everyone’s heads into the outfield.
I was horrified.
Why was I horrified you ask?
Because I never got this far in a game so I wasn’t for sure what I was supposed to do next! Everyone on my team was yelling, “run! run! run!” So run is what I did. I ran as fast as I could go to first base, but I didn’t stop at first. When I got to first base I’d heard the kids yelling and clapping so I decided I would keep going. I finally stopped on second base.
I was so happy!
But that happiness was very short-lived when my teammate who was ALREADY on second base said, “What are you doing?! Go back to first base, you dummy!” just as someone from the other team threw the ball at me and yelled, “Out!”
By now the kids on the other team were laughing at me and my own team was super angry with me.
I really had no idea as I’d rounded first heading for second that two people weren’t supposed to be on the same base together. I was so embarrassed that I just wanted to melt into the ground and be invisible for the remainder of my school life!
As you can see sports were not my thing and if I could have had it my way, I would have been perfectly happy to have skipped the whole gym class thing. Had there been a reading team or and art team those would have been the teams for me.
Not to sound braggy but I may have even been the first pick for an art team or some sort of speed reading team.
The funny thing is… well… actually the not so funny thing is… that I never saw that I had an art talent as a child. All I could see was the fact that nobody ever chose me to be on their team because I was terrible at sports.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love5 he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen,[d] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purposeof his will,12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritanceuntil the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:3-14 NIV
It doesn’t say we were chosen because of our talent, our knowledge or how good we are.
What it does say is that He chose us long before He created the World and He chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight. He predestined us for a relationship with him through JESUS!
How cool is that?? We don’t have to be good at anything at all. Because WE were already CHOSEN! Can you believe it God chose each one of us because he wants us on His team?
In the world, we live in its easy to focus on what we are not good at instead of what we ARE good at. We tend to focus on what our friends are chosen for when actually God gave us each our own special talents to use for what he chose US for.
God doesn’t want me doing things just because other people do them or like other people do them. He chose ME to be me and I am good enough because he says I am already on the team. And what he gave me is what I will use to play the position he chose me for.
The same also goes for YOU.
You’ve already been chosen to be on ‘Team Jesus’.
So what do you say? Your spot is open waiting for you to fill it, nothing else required except that you believe in Him.
I leaned down to pick up what I thought was trash on the floor.
“Even when we are struggling God can still use us” were the words written on the paper.
Lately that’s all I seem to be doing.
I can’t look at the screen as I type this, or it will send me into a swirling mess. Like I’m stuck on a merry-go-round. I also now have a Heavy head, with brain fog, and a lot of anxiety.
Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy.
I never know when I will be sick. I could be fine and then 5 minutes later I’m in a fog.
I could be sick for a few minutes, hours, or all day.
I keep praying for God to take this away, but it hasn’t happened yet.
The only change is things just keep getting worse and I’ve found out I am a failure at staying in an MRI machine.
3 doctors to just be sent right back where I started to my general practitioner was really upsetting.
On Monday I was told I needed to see a neurologist or maybe even a psychiatrist wow now I’m not the only one who thinks I am crazy.
I started with the neurologists my GP gave me, Doctor ‘Quackquack’ and the one who’s supposed to be awesome. I didn’t call Dr. Quackquack. My call to Dr. Awesome’s office was met by voicemail telling me to leave my name and number and they would call me back.
They didn’t call.
I tried to find more neurologists in my area but only could find pediatric neurologists.
I felt so hopeless.
Hopelessness isn’t something I usually feel. It’s a pretty foreign feeling for me and I can’t tell you how much I really hate the feeling
But then on Wednesday God gave me something that totally brought my hope back.
Dr. Awesome’s name had kept coming up all week and that day I kept feeling this urge to try to call him again. So I did call him again and this time someone answered the phone! She said there were no appointments available until March…
Feeling defeated I started to hang up while saying a prayer in my head, “God please I need your help with this!” I kid you not, the next words out of her mouth were – “you need to be seen right away, can you be here tomorrow morning at 8:45?”
Fast forward – the doctor was really great and we now have a partial diagnosis, brain stem migraines with aura. Even though I don’t feel the pain from the migraines, I still feel the effects of them. He told me I am NOT crazy, and that no physiatrist is needed and that what I am feeling is real. He also said I do have to get that MRI though, so we can see what the reason is for the migraines. He also told me the migraines are brought on by things like screens from phones, computers, lighting, sounds…. pretty much all of my normal life stuff. He gave me a prescription for a medication that will hopefully help stop them from happening. I should know if it works by the end of next week.
Yesterday was a better day, but then last night I had nightmares all night. I woke up this morning feeling as if a dark cloud is hanging over me. It’s like no matter how many times I feel up this just keeps knocking me down. I wanted to stay in bed but I forced myself to get up.
No matter what I gotta keep getting up.
It’s been really hard to keep going when it’s the normal activities in my life that are making me sick. I can’t watch TV, or be anywhere with fluorescent or LED lighting, or those new energy efficient light bulbs. We changed all the lightbulbs in our house. TV I try to just listen but forget and find myself looking at the screen. I can’t get on my tablet for games. Texting has pretty much become a thing of the past unless it’s a quick one. The sounds that bother me are weird. Things like soft sounds, like clicking or change jingling or certain voices. I had to give up my job for now because I can’t do it because Its pretty much all computer work.
The good in all of this is if I stay away from all of those things, I feel pretty okay. So now I am doing things to occupy my time that actually are more meaningful than hanging out on Facebook (sorry Facebook). I actually talk to people on the phone or in person now. If I walk or exercise, I actually feel normal which is kinda strange. So now I walk and walk and walk.
Maybe all of this is my wakeup call to get back in shape and actually do life the old-fashioned way.
The thing that bugs me the most in all of this is I work in a church. I have known since I began the job that God put me there so why is this stuff happening that makes me have to not work there? I realized last week when I stepped away to get well that for now that is really what he wants me to do. Step away and get well. For a long time now, I have known that God wants me back at this blog and a few other things but I never had much time before the write the blog, but now with no job and no other things to distract me I have a lot of time to write. BUT – I can’t look at the computer screen now. Plus, I’m really not sure what to write about. I feel as if I have words, but most are hard for me to share publically.
I started writing this today because of the paper I found on the floor reminded me “Even when we are struggling God can still use us.” I have no idea when I wrote that. It was just written on the back of an old grocery list and laying on the floor like trash, waiting right where God left it for me to find today. So as I sit here with my eyes closed typing this story (yes they are closed) I realize that right now in my life the struggle is real but God still can use me. I really don’t get why it always comes back to this blog but God wants me to do it so guess if you are reading this then I did it. I won’t be editing the mistakes though.
I hope if you are struggling today with anything you know that God is real and he is right there with you during your struggle too. Take the moments you have and make the best of them and let God use you during them.
It may not make sense but do it anyway.
Since I was a child I have always stuck to the motto ‘where there is a will there is a way’. with that being said remember this – If you have the will but its still hard do, do it anyway. Even if you have to close your eyes. God is with you even in the struggle and he will help you. You may get knocked down but no matter what you gotta keep getting back up.
I punched the address into our GPS and we hit the road not taking the time to look at the route we would be traveling.
We were off on another day of our road trip and were somewhere in between Niagara Falls and our new destination which was Cooperstown, NY.
About half an hour into our journey we seemed to be heading into the middle of nowhere so I decided to check the route on the GPS. Our destination was correct in the GPS but now I realized that the route was all backroads. We decided to go ahead stay the course.
We had started in a city turning off on to a small state highway leading to a small county road, leading to an even smaller road. Before long the smaller road we were on had led us into a road in the woods and we were now traveling down, down, down to the foot of a very large hill. Gradually we had passed fewer cars and fewer homes and now we weren’t passing anyone at all.
I started to get real nervous when we passed a sign saying we had entered a State Forest, BUT my biggest worry happened when I discovered that our cell phones didn’t have signals anymore!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am always up for a travel adventure, and I absolutely love visiting places that I have never been before, BUT… one thing I don’t like is getting lost… and especially in unfamiliar territory.
Getting lost is a big fear for me. The first time I ever got lost I was going to a school fair. I was 16 years old and a brand-new driver. I live in an area where the Mississippi River is the dividing line between Missouri and Illinois. I was heading to the fair and it was the farthest from my house that I’d ever driven. I remember making a wrong turn, suddenly finding myself crossing the river and a sign saying, “Welcome to Illinois.” I was lost in Illinois for what seemed like forever to me. I remember being really scared, I think in my teenage mind I imagined that I’d never find my way back to Missouri.
I did find my way back to Missouri and also to the fair that day, but ever since that day, I was always getting myself lost in the car.
And then someone invented the GPS!
Oh man, how I love the GPS! The GPS is the greatest invention in the world for people like me! All I have to do is just punch in the address and it tells me exactly where to go. Another great thing about it is, if I make a wrong turn it will reroute and put me right back on course!
But this day we had no signal!
The good part was – as long as we stayed the course that was already mapped out for us on our GPS it would still get us to where we were going because those directions would stay in place.
BUT… the bad part was – if we happened to make a wrong turn or if there were any road changes at all then we would be in trouble. If the GPS were to need to reroute that could not happen without a signal.
I guess you guessed by now that I was panicking just a bit…. okay make that a lot! I was also praying a little prayer over and over in my head asking God to please keep our GPS on course.
My husband didn’t seem worried at all. He just kept driving along.
But me over in the passenger seat had all kinds of worrying going on inside of my head which was enough for the both of us! I wanted so bad to get on a bigger road or in a town, anything that would get me back where there where other people traveling.
And then suddenly right in the middle of my panic, I heard a soft whisper say, “Just enjoy the moment.”
It was like a switch was flipped and I suddenly was able to see my true surroundings.
There were tall trees so massive, yes but wow they were so majestic, then I noticed the patches of wildflowers lining the road. A little while later we started going out of the woods and I could see a view for miles and it was spectacular!
God never ceases to amaze me.
Here I was in the middle of a beautiful adventure through nature with my husband and I was panicking about getting lost and I had almost missed the gift!
Seriously what was the big deal? I was on a road, it wasn’t like I was off in the woods on foot lost. I wasn’t in any danger and I would eventually come out into civilization again.
Something I realized in all of this is how thankful I am for my connection with God. Unlike my GPS signal, God’s signal is always here. It’s never out of range no matter where I go and that day he led me to see him in the beauty surrounding me. He led me to live right there in that exact moment and to truly enjoy it and also to enjoy Him along with his peace.
If you’ve never experienced God, if you don’t know God or if you don’t think he is real then I want to tell you this….
I used to believe he wasn’t real and I used to think people who wrote stuff like this were totally crazy. What I didn’t know then that I do know now is this – God is real and without him, I would be totally lost. I need him to guide my life or I would be a panicky mess all the time and then I would for sure go crazy. I really just don’t know what I would do without him and his reassuring voice to calm me when I feel nervous or afraid.
Our car’s GPS did stay the course that day and we soon found ourselves at our destination. We never got lost but if we had, I know that we wouldn’t have been alone, and I am pretty sure we would have still enjoyed ourselves. As for now in this moment I want to give thanks to God for that wonderful day that I enjoyed the moment in because of him. It will be etched in mind forever.
God is my true GPS.
I hope you my dear reader have a great day today and don’t forget to take the time to enjoy each moment that God has given to you.
So today I set down to read my Bible and the minute I picked it up I had a cat meowing in my face. I gave him some attention and then picked my Bible back up about the same time my phone dinged informing me that I had a text message. I answered the message and then in came another.
Half an hour later I was back with my Bible in hand, the sound turned off on my phone, and then into the room walks my husband telling me about some neighborhood excitement going on across the street. It seems that two work trucks were accidentally running over stuff and backing into trees. That for sure was something I had to go see.
About 15 minutes later I was back in my office with my Bible open just long enough for the other cat to jump into my lap and meow in my face just as the music I had been playing on Pandora stopped leaving a message across the screen that said, ‘Lost Connection’.
Suddenly those words seemed to have a whole new meaning.
Not only had I lost connection to music on Pandora but I also seemed to have lost connection with what I was really after this morning, my connection with Jesus.
This time was the time I had reserved for just Jesus and I and all the distractions were keeping me away from Him.
I know that Jesus is with me all day but this time is our special time. This is the time I reserve to study the Bible and just hang out with only Him.
Jesus is not only the person who leads my life, but he is also my best friend and without Him I can’t really do life very well and tend to flop around like a fish out of water.
It still amazes me that Jesus wants to hang out with me too. Actually, he wants to hang out with me so much that he will come find me if I am distracted. Like today when he gently reminded me of my lost connection with a message on my Pandora screen.
Have you lost connection with Jesus today? Well guess what?! It’s not lost! He’s been right there beside you all along, all you have to do is say hi.
I hope you have an awesome week! Oh and before you leave check out this awesome praise song – Waiting here for you by Christy Nockels. 🙂
Speaking of time flying by, sometimes I think its good to slow down not only during the moments we have right now but also to slow down and take a look back at how far we have come. I find it amazing at how things that once were hard have actually helped me to become the more secure in who I am today. Today before I share the song I want to share something I wrote in August of 2014.
Before we get started here is a little background on what was going on the day I wrote it –I was on vacation in Mexico and had suddenly discovered a black hole directly in the center of my vision in one of my eyes. At that time I also already had a blind spot in my other eye that hadn’t been very noticeable with both eyes open. Now with blindness in both eyes, I was in a full-blown panic. I was laying in a beach chair beside the ocean, real live storm clouds looming over the water but a larger storm was going on inside my mind. I could not bear to open my eyes because I didn’t want to see the blind spots. In the middle of it all God spoke peace to me.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the peace of God and how he can totally give peace in the middle of some of our hardest moments in life. This was one of my hardest moments and God made it peaceful. Sometimes in life we really can’t do anything about our situation except give it to God.
Okay so much for sharing an old blog post I seem to not be able to stop typing and it now looks as if I am writing a new one…
Here is the post form Aug. 2014…
I Still See
The wind is raging, storm clouds looming over the waves and in my mind.
I see where I don’t see and it frightens me.
The waves crash the shore and inside my mind they crash my sanity.
Fear overwhelming, the roar of the ocean matching the roar in my mind
Threatening dark clouds in the distance much like the dark blur obscuring my vision of the beauty before me.
The beauty…you are so big you created this
I feel so small right now,
I know you are so much bigger than me and even more bigger than the small blur.
I feel the breeze starting to cool as the storm in the distance calms the storm that is raging inside calms too.
The blur still threatens to get in the way but you won’t let it.
Even if what we are praying for isn’t seeming to end, our hope is still in Jesus. He will always be there for us and with Him we can move on. Even in the middle of the storm we can always find Jesus right beside us.
Thanks so much for coming by the blog today, I hope in some way what I’ve shared can inspire you or help you to find the peace you are looking for. Jesus is the only answer I really know of for perfect peace inside and I hope if that is what you are looking for you will know him too. If you want more info about knowing Jesus you can click -> here.
Warning… This post is kind of weird and maybe a little yukky…
A couple of weeks ago I was standing at the bathroom sink brushing my teeth when suddenly I heard this gurgling noise coming from the toilet.
It didn’t sound like a good sound and as I lifted to lid to investigate I realized that I was correct. The water in the bowl was bubbling and rising quickly to the top. I turned off the faucet at the sink but the toilet continued to bubble up. I ran for a plunger and began yelling for my husband to come help save the bathroom from what I knew was most likely going to be a flood.
We were able to save the bathroom but after a lot of effort to unclog it, my husband realized that it was not gonna happen so he was going to have to call a plumber. Later that day the plumber came and spent 2 hours at our house unclogging the pipes.
Fast forward to today….
I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth when….
You guessed it! REPEAT of two weeks ago happened again!
Seriously?? I have been brushing my teeth all my life and have never seen a sink cause a toilet to overflow!…and now this was 2 times in 2 weeks!
My Husband came to the rescue again
He tried everything AGAIN
Nothing worked AGAIN
He called the Plumber AGAIN
But this time the plumber’s magic plumbing tools didn’t work. After about 2 hours of slinging nasty water all over my bathroom and hallway, the plumber said he couldn’t fix it and said he was going to have to call his boss who I guess must be his plumber…???
BTW who do plumbers call when they need a plumber??
Later that day the boss plumber came with some fancy water-jet-blaster-truck which sprayed from the outside of the house in…Ya… this story just keeps getting messier and messier! By the time he was finished I had to declare the bathroom as a hazardous waste contamination area (just my sarcasm but it sure felt like it) and there was a lovely pile of what looked like brown paper mache’ all over the basement floor. Gag… barf… 😦
That may sound like the worst of it but nope… the worst news of all is that the boss plumber put a camera in our pipes to see if he could find the problem and it was a big one. We live in a very old house and the verdict is that the pipes in our house are so old that they have disintegrated in places causing nothing to be able to get through.
Ugh! This was really ‘crappy’ news. But the good news was that he was able to unclog pipes BUTunfortunately, it is only a matter of time until they are clogged again so we have to replace them ASAP.
Oddly during all this, my husband who is the one who usually gets upset about this sort of thing seemed really calm …. but me on the other hand, the one who is usually calm about this sort of thing, started worrying about all the what-ifs and the cost of fixing it.
The night of the clog I had a class at church and then the next day I had to work so my husband was the one who had to clean up most of the mess. While I was at work I kept thinking about the mess in the house and starting to self-doubt as to if we are doing the right thing by moving here… etc.. etc… etc…
I should have known I have nothing to worry about now here’s the good part of the story –
When I arrived home my husband met me outside with a huge grin on his face and said, “look at what I found while sweeping up in the basement?” Then he placed a silver ring in my hand.
I recognized it! This was my ring I had lost 7 years ago!
The story of the ring – The house we live in used to belong to my husband’s parents and not long before his mother passed away I lost my ring at her house. I thought I had lost it in the bathroom but I had searched every inch of it and never find it. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it must have dropped down the drain or into the toilet. Now 7 years later my husband had found it in that mountain of yuk in the basement.
This may not sound like such a big deal to most people but to me, this is huge… and not like you would think. This is not an expensive ring but what was written on it was worth more to me than you can imagine.
My husband and I had prayed a whole lot about the move to this house before we did it. We both knew that moving here was what God wanted us to do. It has been a lot of work getting here but also at the same time it has been fun and very rewarding to see how things have been coming out. We’ve had a few unexpected problems along the way but each one has turned out great and we really love living here. This house has felt like home to both of us since the moment we moved in.
I know that this life we are living is God’s plan and sometimes its hard to see the outcome of his plan when you are right in the middle of it. But now (thanks to the reminder) I remember that as long this is God’s plan it will turn out good… because God is really really good ❤
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