My one word in January 2014 was JOY! How I tried to find the JOY in each day. I did this for about a month. I had every intention of finding the JOY in everyday.
Honestly I did.
Then Emma got sick. Emma, our last beautiful gift from God, has Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Basically her immune system attacks itself, it attacks her joints. The joints affected start at her jaw and really goes to her toes. It’s in her spine, hands, wrists, hips, tailbone, knees, ankles & toes. When Emma gets “the common cold” or any other illness her body cannot fight it.
In January she got influenza A. We were away when she got sick. I still found the JOY. She didn’t have to be admitted to the hospital. Medicines seemed to be helping. She was doing ok. Emma didn’t really recover from the flu & got strep. Then an ear infection, then a sinus infection, then another ear infection, then another sinus infection, then she got C-Diff. Emma was sick for 6 months.
At the end of May Emma started to feel better. Being sick for so long took its toll on her as well. She was sad. Couldn’t understand why this was happening to her. Her awaking happened about the same time as mine. She went to arthritis camp & had a blast, she was flared up badly and spent quite a bit of time with the nurse.
In July my Dad & Step-mom blessed us with funds to come visit everyone in New Hampshire. It was truly a blessing to go there. I had been really homesick and needed to hug my Mom, Dad, step-mom,sisters & nieces. I just needed my family. We had some great adventures out there both, with family & alone. We went zip lining and by we I mean Sophia & Emma. I sat at a coffee shop having an iced cuppa. We went to the White Mountains and just soaked in God’s beautiful creation. We went to the ocean and again was mystified at its beauty. We saw a wild black bear at my Dad’s house which was amazing! We sat out by the campfire watching the shooting stars & just having amazing conversation. If it makes any sense, I have faith, I love Jesus and believe in Him with all my heart, but at the same time I was lost. I didn’t pray. I didn’t read my Bible. I wasn’t depending on my Creator to heal my child.
I realized in October my JOY was forgotten. All I needed, all I wanted was for my beautiful child to be healthy. I forgot about God. I didn’t pray, I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t really go to church. People, family, friends would ask how are you? I’d lie and say everything is wonderful. Friends would invite us over or out and we would decline. Emma can’t be around anyone with a runny nose or cough. While all this was going on I withdrew.
I stopped relying on my friends. Depression set in for me. My friends reached out, on more than one occasion. I had shut down. Some of my friends aren’t really my friends anymore. That makes me sad. Sad that they just don’t understand. Emma looks fine, she even acts fine. What no one sees is when we get home she is tired, her body hurts. She will never complain. I’ve learned her cues. I know when something is bothering her.
Emma is sick. Emma. Is. Sick. I claimed that. I didn’t claim Emma is healed by what Christ has already done for her! For 10 months I claimed the wrong thing.
In September Emma started a new medicine. It requires us to go to the hospital 3 hours away once a month. After the 1st 2 treatments Emma was starting to come out of this chronic flare she had been in for 9 months. I realized, JOY! I also realized, as much as I believe in God, as much faith as I have in Jesus I realized I hadn’t fallen at the feet of Jesus. I hadn’t prayed. I hadn’t read my Bible once this year. I was present, but I wasn’t. About 6 weeks ago Emma got sick. Strep. Sinus infection. Bronchitis, belly virus. Trips to the doctor. Trips to Iowa City to see the specialists.
I realized today a few weeks ago at church that I still am not relying of God. Why am I not? At church today a man shared his testimony about the day his daughter was born. She was born by emergency C-section. She was born lifeless and grey. The doctors took her to work on her. He was praying with his wife and clearly heard the Spirit say go lay hands on your daughter and pray with her. He told his wife and she said go, go like he should have been gone 5 minutes ago. He went to the NICU and told the 15 nurses and doctors working on his daughter he needed to pray with his daughter. His prayer? LIFE! In Jesus name LIFE! In that moment his daughter started breathing. Her heart was beating on its own. Her color went from grey to pink. She opened her eyes turned her head and looked at her Dad & smiled. LIFE!
I realized today I can rely on my Christian friends. I can ask my family/friends to pray for my children. I can ask God for anything. He’s been telling me for months- FALL ON ME! I’ve already healed her. You just need to believe and have faith. Go to your church elders and have them lay hands on Emma. Danielle SHE IS HEALED.
I claim this. She. Is. Healed. JOY in everything. Joy in everything. Jesus is my JOY. So for the coming year my word is joy.
As moms, we’re pretty hard on ourselves. If dinner burns, we forgot to get five things at the grocery store (although, in all fairness, they weren’t on the list), the kids misbehaved in Sunday school, or the neighbor complains that our dog is too noisy, we’re quick to blame ourselves. But what about when a marriage struggles, relationships with our children are strained, or we lose a job? Right. We blame ourselves there too.
We’re human. Of course we bear part of the blame! But most of these scenarios involve situations and people that we can’t control on our own. So we aren’t wholly to blame, even though it feels like it.
How do you recover from failures like these? How do you survive the stress and strain? How do you find success again? There are solutions, and they’re not as complicated as you might expect, whether the issues are big or small:
Obviously, these are pretty vague, and they don’t apply equally to all situations, but the basic principles are there. God can help you through any failure you find yourself in. He will see you through all the pain and heartache to the other side, if you will surrender yourself to Him to bring the healing and restoration you need.
“49So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’ 50And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ 52Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”
Take a look at verse 52 and read it over again.
It doesn’t say, “And immediately he saw.”
It doesn’t say, “And immediately his eyes were opened.”
It doesn’t say, “And immediately he was healed.”
It says, “And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus…..”
He RECEIVED his sight! Many times God has already given us what we need, or what it is we’ve been seeking after. We just haven’t stopped to receive it.
Today, let’s learn a lesson…not from ‘The Blind Man,’ but from ‘The Man who Once was Blind.’ Receive whatever it is God is giving you!
The above title is partly taken from a book that I’ve read before, but this phrase has stuck with me on this day.
Have you ever had one of those days (and I’m sure you have or you wouldn’t be human) where everything went wrong? Every time you turned around, something else was happening that was turning everything upside down, inside out, and throwing everything off?
Well, today would have been one of those days for me. As a matter of fact, the last several days have been that way. Aggravation has been the yoke around my neck. The kids have not listened to anything all week long and it is all catching up with me.
This is supposed to be summer break since school is out, but I haven’t had a break yet… with no end in sight. “Can you do this for me?”, “Can you do such and such for this situation?”, “We need your help. It takes everybody together to get things done.”… yet while I usually enjoy helping others, getting “weary in well doing” has set in. Rarely getting a “thank you”, is becoming noticeable, though I know I’m not supposed to be expecting one. If I don’t help do something, I feel bad about it.
I have no one to help me when I need it though. My house has gotten away from me, the kids are acting like we haven’t raised them right at all, money isn’t coming in like it should, though I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed begging bread! My God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory!
I’ve been helping David mow to save time and money, especially on Wednesdays, so that he can go to church with us as a family. Otherwise, he wouldn’t get finished in time. Well, yesterday was a busy day for me from sun up to sun down. My time was cut short for mowing due to my doctor’s appointment, taking the kids and picking them up from Bible School, waiting at the pharmacy, Josie’s orthodontist appointment, getting supper, getting kids to church an hour early so that they could have dance practice, and still mowing these “Wednesday yards” for our lawn care service. With our oldest son helping, it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to do 2 particular homes. I had a certain time to be home to get a shower before Jo’s appt. The yard of these 2 that I take care of is rather large. Somehow, I gently “backed” my 60 inch, zero turn John Deere mower into the garage door. Barely tapped it, but left a HUGE indention anyways. Though we have mowers insurance, the way it works defeats the purpose of having it, so now, I’m have to price garage door panels (2) to replace them. Thank God the home owner wasn’t mad and is generally “easy going”. Another day; Another dollar; Out the window and not taking care of our bills or groceries… URGH!
Then today, our other mower, same brand and size, fairly new, just stops working… Won’t even come on. No explanation thus far. The hedge trimmers have gone out. Though David is the Fire Chief, that is not our main income, (doesn’t bring in as much as what people would expect.) Our mowing is our main income and it seems like everything is going haywire.
Today, I also spent 4 and a half hours in the E.R. with Josie. She’s had right side pain for 5 days. Since her Dr. is going out of town, she wanted to go ahead and get a cat scan done to be on the safe side. She has had a cyst burst on her ovary.
It can only get better from here, right? Right? I am soooo tired. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Drained.
As I said before, usually I LOVE helping others. I live for it. I just need a break for just one little moment. Just to let me catch my breath and get some healing. Then, I’ll jump back in with both feet and go just as hard if not harder! I want to be Kingdom minded with all of my heart. To be the extension of Christ’s hands and feet. I want a servants heart.
With that said, I’m asking, begging, for prayer! For strength, restoration, for I know that joy is going to come in the morning! Thank you for reading my whining with the realization that I am a Christian that is still human and I face everyday struggles just like you. I greatly appreciate the prayers! Be blessed!
Note from Angie: UPDATE! This post was written on June 6th by Karen. (Due to my health it sat in my inbox waiting to be posted. Sorry Karen!)
Since then, her health, among other things, has been attacking her left and right. She is a strong woman of God and the enemy does not like what she is doing for The Lord’s Kingdom! Please be in prayer for Karen, her family, their finances, and all of their health.
Actually, make that for all of our bloggers… Everyone at RSHTH has been under attack lately! We are kicking that devil under our feet and claiming what is rightly ours!
Will you join us in prayer? Please and thank you. I’m so tired of seeing my best friend suffer, and she is tired of seeing me suffer as well. We declare HEALING in the name of JESUS! AMEN!
It has been a while since I have blogged. I’ve been sick, busy, sick, etc…
In March, I had to have a hysterectomy with bladder and rectal repair. I wasn’t prepared for the insomnia, the emotional turmoil, the hot flashes, or crying.
I’m well past my “6 week” recovery, but as I have found, and many other women told me, it will be a while yet before I feel like “me”.
Now it’s June. My allergies have turned into a sinus infection, an ear infection, upper respiratory infection, and bronchitis. My immune system is not as strong as it used to be. Man this gets old really fast… therefore, I covet your prayers!
I am looking towards the hills where my help comes from, my help cometh from the Lord!!! LOL I totally need healing, energy, my voice back, and strength. I have to remind myself that He is my Jehovah Rapha, God who healeth!
So if any of you are having health issues or anything else that you would like us to pray about, please let us know so that we can be praying for you.
Has God ever done anything for you? I’m sure He has- you’re reading this, right? That means you woke up this morning with breath in your body. There was no hearse at your front door. And I’m sure that’s just one of many. He’s done amazing things for me in my life, and in the life of my friends and family.
Yesterday, my husband, Markus, preached a message (and did a great job!) about forgetting what God has done for us. If it weren’t for God, we could be lost, in jail, dead, still in Egypt’s bondage, etc. Yet, we tend to overlook all He’s done for us in the midst of the everyday chaos of life.
Today I want to share with you the story of a mighty woman from the Bible who could teach all of us a BIG lesson on how to react to the blessings of an Almighty God. Sure, her story is very short, all of two scriptures long. And sure, she doesn’t even have a name (that I know of) other than “Peter’s Mother-in-Law,” but we should all strive to be just like her. Watch this…
“Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.”- Matthew 8:14-15
Did you see that? The very last line…“And she arose and served them.” Jesus had done something wonderful for her. He healed her. Her response? She immediately arose to serve Him. Wow! That simply simple statement just blows my mind. Why? Because I have been in church all my life, and for the past several years, I have been involved not just as a member, but as a part of leadership. You know what I have noticed? People come in needing/wanting something from the Lord. When they get what they came for, they walk right back out the doors, never to be heard from again until there’s something else they need/want. Really? You mean, you’ve noticed this, too? It’s a pretty disappointing cycle.
Peter’s mother-in-law was the exact opposite. She didn’t walk out the door because she got what she needed from Jesus, never to be heard from again. Instead, she began to serve the One who made her whole. She became a servant to the One who supplied her need.
That’s how we’re supposed to react to the greatness of our Lord and all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. We are to serve Him. In becoming His servant, we will gain a servant’s heart. In gaining a servant’s heart, we have a desire to serve…a call to servant hood. Living a life of servant hood makes us an example and a light to a lost and dying world. That’s what the lost need to see…a Christian with desire to serve the living God, not a “Christian” who only lives the life in time of need.
As I said, we could all learn from this woman, myself included. Think about everything the Lord has done for you, great or small. No matter what it is, He deserves for us to love and serve Him in return. Yes, He gives us free will and allows us to choose how to respond. But what He deserves is a child that will love and serve Him.
In 2002, 2 days before Mother’s Day, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Becca. Talk about the best Mother’s Day gift a mother could receive! I was in shock, excited, and calm. It was right. I just knew it. I had a 14 month old son, and had suffered a few miscarriages. I knew this time was going to work out just right.
On Sep. 10th, 2002, we found out she was “likely a girl”. Gotta love small towns. 😉 Her Dad and I ran out to “The Bookie” and bought her a Washington State University Cougar’s Cheerleading Uniform in an infant size. We were thrilled. A boy, Jeffrey, and now a girl! How could things be more perfect?!
A few months before I had bought Amy Grant’s “The Collection” CD. (From Columbia House! Anyone remember THAT?! And, yes, CD. MP3s were only on PCs at that time, and in my bedroom while reading, that was not available. You had to be rich to have more than one laptop that lasted more than 2 hours on battery… and wireless network? Hahaha… You’re funny…) From the time I found out I was pregnant with her I was DRAWN to this cd. I can’t even begin to explain it. The same way that while in labor with my oldest son I listened to Keith Green when I could stand noise, with her it was Amy Grant’s “The Collection”.
I remember the exact moment like it was 10 seconds ago. I was in chapter 5 of “Bringing Up Boys” by Dr. James Dobson. I was listening to “The Collection” by Amy Grant when I heard a “Pop” and I felt it. The song playing was “El Shaddai”. At that moment I was lying on my left side, looking at the book, when I felt a trickle of fluid run down my left leg and a tear drop down my left cheek. I was crying and devastated. “Dear Lord, this can’t be happening. Please, let this be nothing…” I was just barely past 24 weeks and being just barely past the “Age of viability”, I knew the hospital would do little to help. I jumped up and told my then husband, who was writing a school paper, and called the Doctor. It was just after 2 am.
I was sent immediately to the hospital. I was met there by an amazing Emergency staff waiting for me with a wheel chair. They even let me park my car in the place reserved for ambulances. I was taken by wheelchair to the Maternity Ward, holding back my tears. I had been through a late miscarriage before, but nothing like this. I didn’t know what to expect. All the while I sang in my heart and head “El Shaddai”.
Soon after, an awesome midwife was sent in to see me. (I wish for the love of all things holy that I could remember her name. She was amazing and awesome through my entire pregnancy. Hormones, sheesh. 😉 I do know she had a love for all things electronic and was jealous for my then husband’s giant box of a laptop. (It didn’t seem like a box way back then.) If you by chance know her name or a way for me to send her an email or card, PLEASE let me know.) She sat with me for most of the many long hours that I sat there until my fear was confirmed. My amazing family Doctor, Dr Emtman, walked in with sad news. My water, had indeed, broken. I felt so guilty, somehow I was at fault for this. As much as he assured me it wasn’t my fault, I just knew I did this. I still blame myself a little for it… but it happened and nothing will change that.
2 short hours later I was on a helicopter to Spokane, WA. I couldn’t grasp what was happening. I was short on sleep, well, actually without. I was without my husband or baby, and on a HELICOPTER! The way it was set up, the helicopter had me looking towards the ground as I laid in the gurney. Freaky? LIGHTWEIGHT!
In what seemed like hours but was only minutes, I was at Deaconess Hospital. Honestly, it was all a whirlwind. I was asked so many questions. Poked, prodded, questioned, and consoled. Within minutes they caught I was contracting by my saying I had a “Horrible burning and tightening” and stopped it with MANY medications, hormones, steroids, and supplements. (To God be the Glory! The mere thought of not having my Beccarie now kills me. We almost lost her!)
Dr. Johnson (whom I cannot track down via the internet, but has been an inspiration to me ever since that Hospital stay…) met me soon after. She wiped my tears. She reminded me that GOD is in control. She saw my Bible and book (the same Bringing Up Boys book) on the vanity stand and let me know she was a Christian. She confirmed that I was in her prayers. She would tell me confidently “God told me everything is going to be okay. Don’t cry any more. Every thing is fine.”
I sat for what felt like days in that hospital room. Laid many nights alone. Ambien was prescribed, but didn’t help much. Visitors came and went, though I still appreciate them all. Gifts were brought. Food was made. My 21st birthday was celebrated… In which I received the greatest gift a mother could ever receive. A sonogram confirming that fluid levels had returned to normal, the sack had miraculously resealed itself, and my baby, my sweet Beccarie, was healthy and thriving! Praise Be to God! El Shaddai! (The lyrics of the song: El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai, Age to age You’re still the same, By the power of the name. El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Erkamka na Adonai, I will praise and lift You high, El Shaddai.)
After many months (felt like years) of bedrest, on January 16th, 2003 I delivered a healthy 8lb 3oz baby girly 2 weeks past her due date. Figures, right? She scored HIGH on the apgar scale and after a hearing test scare, she scored fine 2 days later and had little jaundice. Perfectly healthy. She’s the most creative, loving, courageous, steadfast little girl you’ve ever met. She’s a bit of Mommy, a bit of Daddy, influenced by her step parents evenly, and everything in between… yet a distinction of her own. I’d love her no other way. She is the daughter God gave me, and I am blessed.
Months after her birth, the only music that calmed her was “Lullaby” being hummed (yes, hummed, not played) to her or Amy Grant’s “The Collection” on CD. Naturally, when El Shaddai came on, I cried. He was telling me all along it would be fine, and I didn’t listen. I should have known. So human, right? LOL
The entire time I laid in bedrest though, this was the song I wanted my little girl to sing. She may or may not choose to do so, that is up to her… But it’s her song from her Mama’s heart regardless:
Look up the entire album on iTunes or Amazon. I highly recommend it. (I’m a bit old school… 😉 )
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? –Psalm 27:1
Today I was watching a Red Riding Hood with my daughter. I was watching as the village was terrified of the Werewolf. For over 20 years this village would sacrifice their best animals to this beast so they would not be attacked. I kept thinking that is such a silly thing to be afraid of. Then I thought on my own fears.
In my last blog, I let you all know I was abused for 2 years. I know what fear can do to a person. I did not tell anyone about the abuse that I endured until we had moved completely out of Southern California ten years later. Only then did I feel safe enough to tell my parents about the abuse. Even then, I did not tell them everything. They kept an eye on me, but I was a pretty good actress (in my own eyes). Pretty soon I met my husband and we got married and lived happily ever after. NOT!!
There are times during our marriage that I fear my husband will think that my healing is not worth it and leave. I fear that he will have an affair and leave me for another woman. The fear paralyzes me and then my imagination runs wild with crazy thoughts and I blow up at him for no reason at all. Have we all been there?
Satan knows how to use our minds. He knows what will make us tick. He doesn’t want us to grow in Christ or be used by Him. He wants us defeated, robbed of joy, dead in Christ (John 10:10). He doesn’t want you to be victorious.
As a child of Christ, I don’t have to be paralyzed by fear anymore. Does that mean I’m never afraid? No way. So how did I get over this? This past August, Matt and I went to my 20th High School Reunion in Southern California. We took 3 days to ourselves and had a good time with my best friend from High School. The Sunday after my reunion, Matt and I went to visit my former church family. The worship was awesome and I really felt the presence of the Lord. Then Pastor preached upon daily remembering the promises God gave His children.
The first verse that came to mind that day was 2nd Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but, of power, of love, and a sound mind.” That was all it took for me. Every time that spirit of fear came upon me I would quote that verse. There were days I was quoting it all day.
I don’t say it as often anymore, but every once in awhile when life is overwhelming, I say it out loud for all to hear. Anymore when Satan tries to get my mind thinking that my husband is not happy with me, I say out loud that my husband loves me with his whole heart. Then I will go and put my arms around him, just to hear him say, “I love you.”
There are many other verses out there that speak about fear. One that I think about today is Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” I no longer need to fear the past, present, or future. All because Jesus paid the price so I could be His child. He is my light when my mind gets dark and goes into the shadows of doubt. He is my strength when life has me down.
So today, I challenge you to take a promise from God’s word and apply it to a situation in your life. I can guarantee that God’s word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).