Blogging with a Chronic Illness

Blogging with a Chronic Illness

So, when you live with an illness that affects how you process information, it is very difficult to successfully run a blog. It has been for me, anyway.

So, I want to share with you ways I manage a blog while living with Lupus. Please read here if you haven’t already about my fight against Lupus. Right now, I don’t talk about as much because the Plaquenil prescribed by my rheumatologist, has finally kicked in and my blood work is coming back normal. Which is AWESOME-SAUCE! I am definitely in a better place than I was a year ago. I digress.

So, oh yeah…Tips on how to run a blog while living with a chronic illness.

  1. Set small goals: As you know, when living with a chronic illness, your days can be unpredictable. I know for Lupus warriors, one day we are feeling great and the next day it’ll feel like we’ve been hit by a bus. So, don’t overwhelm yourself with too much at once. Set your own pace. The rest will follow.
  2. It’s ok to take a break: Blogging can be emotionally and physically draining for anyone, especially if you have a chronic illness. For me, pain is an issue. I manage it, but I can’t sit one position for too long before my body begins to stiffen up. If you have a schedule for blogging, set aside times for breaks. Blogging can be exhausting, so make sure you take care of yourself.
  3. Water, Water, and what…More Water!: I know you’re tired of hearing this. I’m tired of hearing it, but it true. Water is known to improve your cognition, improve your mood, and lower inflammation. Which means, the more water you drink, the better you will feel.
  4.  Cut yourself some slack: I know that we have goals that we want to accomplish, but remember, it even took the Lord six days to make the universe, and He is a perfect supreme being. Accomplishing anything will take time and continuous effort. I have to remind myself of this daily, especially when I see other people who have blogs that are thriving and mines is…..

Having a chronic illness can definitely put a wrench in the plans, but it doesn’t have to damage our plans completely. Even if it isn’t blogging. Keep going, keep pushing, keep moving. Even if it’s one step forward, three steps back, you are still making progress.

I’ll be praying for your strength while chasing what you love. Thank for you reading words today. God bless each and every one of you. Please remember to pray for one another.

On the darkest days you have to search for a spot of brightness, on the coldest days you have to seek out a spot of warmth; on the bleakest days you have to keep your eyes onward and upward and on the saddest days you have to leave them open to let them cry. To then let them dry. To give them a chance to wash out the pain in order to see fresh and clear once again. -Tahereh Mafi

 

Can I Get A Lil’ Bit Of That Anointing Oil, Please?

Can I Get A Lil’ Bit Of That Anointing Oil, Please?

Happy New Year, Beloveds!

Early yesterday morning after the ball dropped, I watched a movie with my little ones. I love spending time with my kids. I remember a time when it was hard to spend time with them. I was so convinced that they deserved a better mother, so I began to put a wedge between me and them. Now that I think about, my thinking was so warped. What a great example of how the enemy will use such tactics to get inside our heads to destroy our families and each other. Praise God that I decided to allow God to heal my heart, soul, and mind. Now my children not only have the mother that they need but the mother that they deserve.

After our movie, at around 3 a.m., we decided to anoint our home. I’m not sure how often we should do it, but I thought to start the New Year off, we should do it. Plus, my children have been complaining of nightmares so what great way to get rid of the evil spirits that are trying to plague the minds of my children.

There are so many benefits to anointing our homes and our families. Through the blood of Jesus and Psalm 91, we are PROMISED protection from every danger, which included but not limited to sickness, disease, assault, crime, tornadoes, fire and any other threat to your safety and well-being. But God’s protection is not automatic. There are things we have to do in order for God to be our refuge.

4 Steps to Anointing Your Home and Family

  • Obtain Olive Oil – I’ve been told that extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil is the best to use because of its purity, but I’m sure any olive oil will suffice. You can also grab anointing oil from your local religious and secular stores.
  • Pray over your oil – Some people believe that only a religious leader can anoint oil. I believe that we can do it ourselves as long as we have Christ living within us. We pray to Him about everything else, right? Here’s an example of the prayer that I used to pray over our olive oil:
    • In the name of Jesus, I set this oil apart to be holy anointing oil. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice so that we can have complete healing and wholeness. This holy anointing oil speaks to the perfection of your finished work. I thank you that whatever this oil touches, the fullness of your grace, power, provision, and healing virtue will flow according to your living word. I pray that wherever this oil is applied, it will bring glory and praise to your name. Amen. 
  • Understanding Anointing Oil – Understand that the power of the oil is from God and God only. Anointing oil is a symbol of our faith, trusting that God will fulfill his promises of protecting us. And if you don’t know God is incapable of lying! He is a God of His word:
    • “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” -Number 23:19
    • Please know that without faith, anointed oil is useless. You must believe in the power of God and the authority that Christ has given you. *Remember, the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living inside of each and every one of us (Romans 8:11)*
  • Using Anointing Oil – There are many things that we can anoint; ourselves, our home, our children, our vehicles, our office, etc. When I anointed my home, my mentor told me to take the anointed oil, put a small amount on my finger (many people place it on their right thumb), and rub it around the entrance of each room while praying Psalm 91. Remove all objects that have evil roots attached to them; false idols and/or statues, evil masks, etc. If you are unsure, pray for God to reveal those items to you so you can throw them out. God revealed to my husband and I that a wooden table that was donated to us had evil spirits attached to it. Once we got rid of it and prayed over our home, you could tell the difference.
    • When anointing my family, I placed a small amount on my thumb, made a sign of the cross across the foreheads of my children and my husband and prayed Psalm 91.
    • If you are using anointing oil for healing, you can rub a small amount of oil across the damaged area of the body while praying for healing.
    • When I prayed Psalm 91, I made into personal prayer. God loves it when we repeat scripture back to him, especially when we pray His words. It not only glorifies him, but it also turns him into a blushing papa.

I pray that this helps you and your family start anew this year. Although I feel this should be done more often than once a year, at least we’re all starting off on the right foot. This year, I would like for whoever is reading is this to be free from the strongholds that Satan has on you and your loved ones. We must accept who we are in Christ and begin to see ourselves how our Abba Father sees us; more precious than anything in the universe, in order to do so.

I love you all and please remember to pray for one another. Don’t forget to hit the follow button to the right so you can receive email updates on new blog post. Oh and let me know in the comment section on how you anoint your home and other living spaces. Peace and love!

“Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head, anointing him and making him holy for his work.” -Leviticus 8:12

All We Need Is Jesus?

All We Need Is Jesus?

Hey Friends,

I almost did it. I almost allowed what was in front of me to distract me from the awesomeness of Jesus. Let me explain.

In the Gospel of Mark Chapter 8, Jesus feeds four thousand people with only seven loaves of bread and “a few small fish” (v.7). This isn’t the only time he has done this. If you are unfamiliar with the first time, Jesus fed five thousand people right before then with five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterward, Jesus and his disciples went to see the Pharisees who demanded to see “a miraculous sign” to prove that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. Jesus was like, “Look, man, I’m not proving anything! Why do people keep asking me to prove stuff?” Well, he didn’t quite say it like that:

“When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” (v.12). 

You’ll notice that whenever Jesus says, “I tell you the truth”, he really, really means what he is about to say, like a *fist slam on the table” kind of  “mean it”. 

He sighed “deeply in this spirit”. Can you imagine how frustrated he could have been to sigh “deeply in his spirit”? I know when I sigh deeply in my spirit, I do a long eyebrow rub along with it, trying to figure out how to keep my cool. 

So after that, he and the disciples got back in their boat to go on the other side of the lake from Bethsaida. The disciples turned around and were like, “Oh crap, we don’t have enough bread for us to eat. We should we do?” They began to freak out a little because they started to argue about it. Can you imagine? Yelling like crazy people in front of Jesus.

At this point, I would imagine Jesus was a fed up because he then said:

“Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes – cant you see? You have ears- cant you hear? Dont you remember anything at all?” (v.17,18)

Then he goes on to say:

“When I fed 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterwards?” (v.19)

They said:

“Twelve.” (v.19)

Can you imagine the look they had on their faces? Like children being reprimanded by a parent. Maybe had their head down, twirling their thumbs in between each other, completely understanding that yet again, they have underestimated the power of our Savior.

Jesus goes on to remind them:

“And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” (v.20)

Again, the disciples answered

“Seven.” (v.20)

Then Jesus asked a simple, yet complex question, “Don’t you understand yet?” (v.21)

Sometimes, our “hearts are too hard” to take in the miracles that are right in front of us. We are the like the Pharisees and the disciples, always asking for God to perform miracle after miracle and when He does, we miss it completely because we are so focused on what we DONT have. I almost missed it. I almost missed the miracles that I have right in front of me because I’m too busy looking at what I don’t have or how can what I do have, be better.

It could be your marriage, it could be your job, it could be something as simple as a nice gesture that someone does for you every once in a while that they don’t have to do. It is in our broken nature to take things for granted. It stems from the result of The Fall.

Adam and Eve had everything. They were literally living in a perfect world; paradise. When Satan tempted them, it was more about what they didn’t have (the knowledge of good and evil), rather than being appreciative of what they did have in The Garden, which was literally everything else.

Lord Father, please forgive us for being so greedy. We leave in a materialistic world, and sometimes we can get caught up in having “it all”. But your words say that we need is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and your promises (Hebrews 10:23)  (oh and food and water to live). Thank you, Lord, for your glory, mercy, love, and gifts of righteousness. Thank you for the constant running of Living Water through us and in us. I pray for everyone reading this, that their days are filled with your joy and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Thank you all reading my thoughts. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

 

Sometimes We’re Not Who We Think We Are

Sometimes We’re Not Who We Think We Are

Hey Friends,

A couple of weeks ago, I became aware that I am going through a manic episode. If you are new to my blog, please click here to read my journey of being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I.

On one hand, I’m really proud of myself for not going into complete denial mode but on the other hand, I’m frustrated that I cannot fulfill the wild urges that I’m having. I feel like a caged animal. But, I am aware that if I unleash the bipolar beast, all hell will break loose. Not just for me, but for my family. I’ve come a long way keeping this beast tamed, but every day I wake up, the more I want to release it.

Sometimes it’s hard not to focus on the things that are right in front of you. There are many times I feel as though I put too much emphasis on my illness, but then there are other times I feel as though I don’t put enough thought into it. When I don’t think about my illness, it is easy to be in denial. I begin having thoughts like, “Maybe this is all in my head. Maybe there is no such thing as mental illness. Maybe, just maybe, everyone else is crazy and I’m just living the life that I’m supposed to. Maybe, God made me this way for a reason and society is just trying to tame me to make themselves feel more comfortable.”

Recognizing manic episodes is important to me because I want to do something about it. I don’t want to sit in it. If I could speak bluntly, a lot of people who talk mental illness claim it like it’s apart of their identity. They say things like, “MY mental illness.” I used to do the same, but when you claim something long enough, then it does become apart of you. It’ll attach itself to you like a leach. You’ll become less of you and more of it.

Mental illness is a condition, it is not me. A part of controlling this condition is recognizing when it may be out of my control and understanding that it has the potential to be out of my control. The crazy thoughts above is an example of how my mind can take me down a rabbit hole of more self-doubt and less God.

This condition was birthed out of the womb of this broken world, but we were birthed from the love of God. When God came down from His kingdom, I imagine He got on His hands and knees, grabbed a large clump of wet dirt and began molding us into his perfect image (Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1:26). Can you imagine God getting dirty just for us? Think about it. He created everything just by speaking it into existence, EXCEPT for us. For us, He got on His hands and knees to mold us, to make us exactly how He wanted us to be and took his wonderful breath and breathed it into us. Praise God. Sidenote: I imagine Gods breath smelled like cinnamon and mint. 🙂

But then Adam and Eve doubted Him and fell into Satans trap. Along with that trap came anger, fear, shame, guilt, and of course mental illness.

Mental illness is not who God made you to be, it is just a result of our broken world. So, decide right now to accept your flaws, but to also accept that God makes no mistakes and He is perfect (Psalm 18:30). Decide to not claim what this fallen world has thrown at you, but instead rejoice in knowing that a perfect God made you to be YOU! Take your addictions, your fears, you flaws, your guilt, your shame, your anger, and your despair to Him. He will comfort you, He will love on you, and He will bless you.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. This post was a long one, but the Holy Spirit needed someone to read this. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the power. -Isaiah 40:29

Mania, O How I Miss Thee?

Mania, O How I Miss Thee?

The other night, I was lying in bed and I suddenly began to have thoughts and memories of my longest manic episode. I’ve had flashbacks before, but this one was different. My window was open to allow the cool summer breeze create the most wonderful aroma throughout my bedroom. I could hear the birds singing to each other as if they were making love songs. And the crickets were chirping as if they knew exactly what I was thinking.

Before, I spoke about the crazy things that I did during Mania. How I’ve messed up friendships and put myself in dangerous situations. But there was a side of Mania that will always have my heart.

During a Manic episode, I felt on the top of the world. I’ve never felt more confident then I did during Mania. I had goals and I would stop at nothing to finish them. Since I stayed up 20-21 hours out of the day, I was able to accomplish things on my to-do list. I was funny, outgoing, and very likable.

I was able to make friends easily because I didn’t care what others thought about me. I loved every part of myself, no matter how crude or deranged I came across as being. I never doubted or regretted the choices that I made. I felt I was truly free.

Free from the prison of self-doubt and condemnation. Free from sadness and loneliness. Free from guilt and shame.

It was only until after a manic episode, I could see the destruction I had caused. During an episode, I had Bipolar goggles on; they gave me a warped point of view.

As I was lying in bed, missing Mania and how wonderful it used to feel. I began to realize something even more wonderful…

That my relationship with Jesus gives me the same freedom that Mania gave me. The only difference is with Jesus, I am truly FREE from self-doubt and condemnation (There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1).

I am truly FREE from sadness and loneliness (You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. -Col. 2:13)

I am truly FREE from guilt and shame (Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven. -Isa. 6:7).

Mania deceived me from the very beginning like Satan deceived Adam and Eve.

I have a new life. I am a new me. I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to be Manic to feel special or worthy. I am a child of God. He is my mania. He is my strength and my fortress. He is my Comforter and Healer. He is the great I Am.

Farewell Mania. We’ve had some good, crazy times, but it’s time to let you go.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray your day is going well and that you are finding the comfort of arms of our wonderful Abba Father.  Please remember to pray for one another.

“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.” ~ Julian Seifter

Are You A Lost Cause?

Are You A Lost Cause?

Hey Friends,

I pray your day is going well. My day is going great! This morning, I was reminded of 1 of God’s many promises.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. -Philippians 1:6

How amazing is our Abba Father? This verse tells me that I am never a lost cause. God will never give up on me. Living in a world where abandonment is apart of most of our life’s stories, God says he will never abandon us. Not only will he never abandon us, but he will continue his good work within us. In order for him to continue his good work, that means he already started it, right?

And since God makes NO mistakes, then that means the good work he is doing in each one of us is leading to perfection, since God is perfect. Wow! I’m getting chills just typing this.

If you ever have doubts about where you are in life, what you are doing or may not be doing, be assured that God is working in your life. He never stops. He will continue his work until we meet Jesus face to face either when he returns or in heaven. Whichever comes first.

Also, know that there is nothing that can separate you from God’s love, so don’t worry about that. I used to think that if I gave up on myself, that God certainly has given up on me. Not the case AT ALL!

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39

Dear brothers and sisters, take comfort in knowing that God will never leave you, nor forsake you. He will continue to do his perfect work in us and there is nothing that we can do to separate us from those promises and his love for us.
Thank you for reading my thoughts today. I pray that each and every one of you is finding comfort in Gods grace and everlasting love. Please remember to pray for one another. In Jesus’ name.
If there be anything that can render the soul calm, dissipate its scruples and dispel its fears, sweeten its sufferings by the anointing of love, impart strength to all its actions, and spread abroad the joy of the Holy Spirit in its countenance and words, it is this simple and childlike repose in the arms of God. -S.D. Gordon

 

Questioing Self-Worth

Questioing Self-Worth

It wasn’t until recently I noticed that I thought I was undeserving of nice things. An opportunity came up where my family and I was offered to sublease a really nice condo from a fellow church member. Her home was really, really nice. It is a lot nicer than my current home and in a way better neighborhood.

After viewing her home, anxiety set it. It was heavy anxiety. The kind that kept me up at night. I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt so uncomfortable. I loved her home. I loved the space, the funky wallpaper, the furniture, the animals, even the backyard. I loved the neighborhood, the school district for my children, and even the private parking space.

So, why did I feel uncomfortable? When I walked into my apartment after viewing hers, I looked around to see the broken light fixture that apartment management has taken weeks to come by and fix. I look at the broken screen door leading out to the patio and the small cluttered space that has my family basically living on top of each other.

I was confused. The opportunity to sublease her nice home compared to staying in my broken down apartment should have made me happy. So why wasn’t I?

Then I became conscious of a recurring thought that I’ve been having for most of my life, subsequently, I was never aware of it. It was a lightbulb moment. I was thinking why would someone like me deserve a nice home like that? 

When I became aware of this thought, I was genuinely shocked. Why wouldn’t I be deserving of a nice home? I mean, of course, I am, right? I immediately asked myself, what kind of person thinks like this? Then the answer quickly came to me. The kind of person who has done so much wrong, they feel like they can never be redeemed. The kind of person who feels like they are deserving of every bad thing that happens in their life because of shameful acts from the past. The kind of person who doesn’t believe that their sins died on the cross with Jesus.

Wow! What a wake-up call. There are so many negative feelings that I continue to work through on a daily basis. It’s crazy how thoughts and emotions have been embedded into our psyche that has the ability to prevent is from accepting God’s blessings in our lives.

I’m being reminded on a daily basis that feelings of shame, guilt, and regret have to be fought continuously. One day I’ll feel forgiven and the next day, I’ll feel unworthy of all things good in life. Sometimes I even look at my children and wonder how they can love someone like me.

The way I see it, I am grateful that I am now aware of these feelings. Now I can be proactive about retraining my mind and thoughts to know that I am worthy of a nice home and other things that God wants to bless me with.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray that you guys see that how wonderful you are and that you too are worthy of Gods awesome blessings. Please remember to pray for one another.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” -August Wilson

 

July Monthly Theme: Emotionally Healing

July Monthly Theme: Emotionally Healing

Hey Friends,

The past few days have been filled with much needed up’s and downs. The ups are always wanted and appreciated, but down days are filled with learning and worship. Does that make sense? I know it may sound crazy, but I’ve learned to take my bad days as learning experiences from God. Like little pop quizzes from what I have learned from good days.

Instead of allowing my mind to be filled with doubt and despair, I’ve learned to rely on the strength of the Lord to get me through. It doesn’t feel like the end of the world anymore. Better yet, it feels like God is giving me more time to correct my life so I can become who he needs me to be for his glory and kingdom.

********************************************************************************

My down days have forced me to deal with bitterness that I didn’t know I was harboring. I thought I was over it until my ex-husband decided to make a decision that would not only change the lives of our lovely children but everyone in our family. My ex-husband decided to move to another state despite how it would affect our children. Needless to say, I was angry. Mostly because I knew the pain that my children would feel since I experienced the same abandonment and rejection by my own father.

Right after the move, I concentrated on making sure my children felt loved more than ever. I initially ignored my feelings so I can concentrate on theirs. I felt as though I was over it as the days and months went by because of the feeling of “I want to rip his head off” became less and less. But then, he would say something rude or selfish and those “I hate you” feelings would come rushing back.

Unbeknownst to me, I was becoming bitter. Or maybe I was already bitter and didn’t know how fast it was growing inside of me from the moment I heard “I’m moving!” Recently, I began reading this book called Chaos Beneath The Shade: How To Uproot And Stay Free From Bitterness written by Tracey Bickle. It shined a light on how I truly felt and what I need to do to get over my feelings. I don’t want to “hate” the father of my two oldest children. I most definitely don’t want how I feel to spew out onto them. That would break my heart even more.

So, I’ve come to the realization that I need to heal from the situation. I’m not the first woman to be left to raise her children without the father and unfortunately, I won’t be the last. Plus, I have a wonderful husband who has gladly stepped in to pick up what my ex-husband has left behind. So, first I began to pray, Lord, please heal my heart. Please remove this hatred stirring inside of me. That wasn’t enough though and Tracey Bickle let me know why.

How to Begin to Heal Emotionally

  1. Pray for the person that has wronged you. At first, I didn’t like this idea, but there are a couple of reasons why praying for the person that has hurt is effective:
    • Forgiveness breaks the cycle- So my children won’t be affected
    • When you consistently pray for them, your heart will begin to heal itself
    • Jesus said so…But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! -Matthew 5:44
    • Why did Jesus say so? Because “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.” Matthew 5:46
    • “[Forgiveness] softens our heart to see the temporary nature of the conflict.” -Tracey Bickle
  2. Going through the process of forgiveness is helping you trust God and because you are being obedient, He will bless you. He will then hold the person who offended you accountable for their own actions. “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;” -Luke 6:37
  3. Talk it out. Seek counseling or talk to someone who you trust that would be able to help you look at the bigger picture. We need those who can see what we don’t and with compassion, tenderness, and kindness, they can help us walk through it.
  4. Let it go. It was hard for me to let go because I felt like he is “getting away with” abandoning his responsibilities, while he’s living his best life; doing as he pleases when he pleases. But I have to trust that God will hold him accountable for the real reason that he left. “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” -1 Timothy 5:8

Simply put, this is not my fight, nor my worry anymore. I love my children more than anything! I will do anything for them to have great lives. And if that means letting go of the bitterness that I hold against their father, then I HAVE to do that. Plus, bitterness causes illness and I’m already sick enough, so this is my declaration that I am letting it go.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray that if you are holding onto any bitterness from someone that has hurt you, that you are able to hand it over to God so you can begin to heal. I love you all. Please remember to pray for one another.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32

**Pictures borrowed from google pics*

Expectations

Expectations

Happy Sunday, Friends!

A friend of mines, husband, posted a comment saying Jesus followers were stupid for believing “someone rose from the dead to save lives”. At first, I was offended. I didn’t understand why he would post something like that knowing he had “friends” that were believers.

My first thought was that as a friend, I respected his choices not to believe, so he should respect my choice to believe.

God brought it to my attention that I was being selfish and unreasonable. I know right, how am I being selfish if he offended me? Well, I selfishly projected my expectations onto him. I expected him to respect my life choices as I respected his. I got upset because I expected more than what he is able to give. So, who’s really responsible for my hurt feelings? ME!

It’s not right to expect someone to behave in a manner I thought was appropriate. I then began to understand, that instead of being upset with him, I should pray for him.

Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. (Luke 6:27-28)

I would ask, how or why would I bless him if he is judging me for my faith. Then I had I ask myself, who am I to judge. Wasn’t I once the same person who judged others for their faith? It is then I realized that it is God job to hold him accountable, not me. Just like, God held me accountable for my transgressions, no one else.

He has his opinion because he’s never felt the warmth of Jesus’ presence. The love and grace He gives you when you cry out his name in either pain or praise. It’s hard to believe that someone who has experienced his mercy would say such a thing.

So I began praying that my friends’ husband feels that kind of love. That good ole’ tears are flowing, heart is open, Holy Spirit is flowing, kind of love.

It’s taken me a while to get to this point. I am a believer because He was the only one that showed up and to pull me out of the pit of death. For me, believing in God is not a choice that I have, other than death. I’ve tried the worlds way of dealing with my illness and it almost killed me. Jesus is the only antidote to my sickness. That has been proven over and over again. So if that makes me stupid, then…🤷🏽‍♀️ It is what it is.

That being said, if you’ve run into someone that doesn’t share the same love of Christ as you do, don’t be upset. Please understand through a heavenly perspectively, that they don’t know what they are saying. Pray for them, so they can too, one day feel that good ole’ Jesus love and join us in heaven.

cb480f16de0a2641e981f69fddd455bb-proverbs-faith-in-god

Monday Inspiration: Warriors NOT Worriers

Monday Inspiration: Warriors NOT Worriers

Happy Monday Friends,

It’s been a little bit since my last post, Healing: July Monthly Theme. I had to take a little time to concentrate on my mental, which was much needed. I’ve started attending counseling sessions and I can say that it’s going really well so far.

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I want to remind you that God did not create us to be stressed and worried all of the time. He wants us to trust that he will provide all of our needs today, tomorrow, and every day afterwards (Matthew 6:33-34).

When stressful times come, when the enemy seems ruthless while attacking you from every direction, remember

ARM YOURSELF WITH (Ephesians 6:10-18)

  • The belt of truth
  • Breastplate of righteousness
  • Shoes of the gospel
  • Helmet of salvation
  • Shield of faith
  • Sword of the spirit

Throughout the day, speak the words of God, the Good News of the gospel, and share your testimony. The more we speak the words of God, the more we defeat the enemy. It’s easy to speak the words of the enemy. It is in our sinful nature. Do what it right, not what it easy.

As I type these words to you, I am reminding myself as well. Lately, I’ve been faced with the reality that bitterness is no longer hiding like roots in the ground, but being released in the fruit that I bear.

This is what the enemy wants and I cannot allow it. No one likes to admit that they are bitter. At first, I didn’t want to admit it neither, but you can’t fix what you are not unaware of and what you choose to ignore.

So as I face the day, I shall wear the full armor of God, speak His truths, and relinquish my bitterness piece by peice:

  1. Praying for those who have hurt me
  2. Reading and listening to Gods words
  3. Bringing light into the darkness, bringing hope to the hopeless, and bring love where it is needed.

I pray that each and everyone of you have wonderful day. May God continue to bless your lives with every breath.

Peace. Love. Happiness in Jesus.

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Healing: July Monthly Theme

Good Day Friends,

So, this month I want to concentrate on healing, the various of forms of healing and what we need healing from. Some of us need physical healing, while others need spiritual, emotional, and even metaphysical healing.

Stress is the number one factor of so many illness, including autoimmune disorders, such as Lupus. You have books, seminars, blog post, etc. on different ways to lower stress. I truly believe that most of our stress comes from pain whether physical or mental that is currently affecting our lives or pain from our past.

For me, a lot of my stress comes from my mental and physical health status. The more sick I am, the more stressed I become. It can become a vicious cycle.

Experts suggest everything from exercise to eating healthier foods as ways to lower stress, which is great! But for me, I would like to explore more of a biblical answer including the other suggestions on ways to heal, thus lowering stress.

So this month, while I study Gods words on the matter, I will be sharing my findings and what God will reveal to me.

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In the book of Exodus Chapter 15, when Moses led God’s people away from the Red Sea, they moved into the desert of Shur (v.22). God’s people were complaining and angry because they had gone three days without water and when they finally came across water, it was too bitter to drink. Moses was like, “God, what are going to drink?” So, God was like, “Chill, I got you. Take this piece of wood and throw it into the water and you’ll be able to drink the water.” 

Moses did it and BAM! It worked! The water was consumable. Can you imagine? I would have felt pretty foolish. God was faithful to them the entire time, and they still questioned him.

Anyway, afterwards, God said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” (emphasizes added)

God used this opportunity to prove to his people that they should trust him. It’s just like us, isn’t it? God can show us over and over again that we can trust him and as soon as we get jammed up, we’re screaming, “God, what are we going to do? How will get healed? When will I get healed?” or my favorite “Will I ever get healed?” I’m good for that one. Yet, he proves over and over that he is not a healer, but THE HEALER.

When we need healing, sometimes all we have to do is

SURRENDER. PRAY. TRUST. BE STILL.

Let him be God and do his thing.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. I pray each and every one of you are having a wonderful start to your week. I pray that God heals you in whatever area in your life that needs it. God bless you all. Peace. Love. Happiness in Jesus.

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the Earth. He never grows weak and weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. -Isaiah 40:28-29

 

Need Healing?

Need Healing?

Good Morning Friends,

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a person who would take all of our pain away? It would be so awesome if this same person promised that they would do so no matter what the pain is or even how the pain occurred?

Every time we look up, there is some kind of tragedy happening in the world. It’s hard to manage our own lives, let alone the lives of other people who we may feel so connected to. When we hear about a tragedy, most of us can feel the pain of the person that it happened to. For instance, as a mother, I feel the heartache of what it would be like to lose a child. It makes me nervous to think that it could happen to my children.

No wonder most of us are walking around a nervous wreck; taking this pill and that pill just to numb the anxiety that we feel every day and night.

The great thing is that we have someone who promises that they will take that pain away. They also promise that no matter what the pain is or how the pain occurred, that they will provide comfort and healing to get us through the heartbreak of such tragedy.

He [God] heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. -Psalms 147:3

The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. -Psalm 145:18-19

God specializes in the business of healing the brokenhearted, which is great, because we live in such a broken world. He has so much compassion for those who are oppressed by suffering and are crushed in spirit. He binds up our emotional wounds.

Do you need healing? He not only heals the body, but mind and spirit. The Lord’s power to heal to absolute and continuous. When you ask, the very life of Jesus through the Holy Spirit will flow into your heart and make it new.

We must remember that God’s power to rescue his people is in his own timing. We may never understand why, but scripture says

His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! -Psalm 147:5

Abba Father saves us from evil more times than we know. So when tragedy happens, we have to find comfort in Jesus and trust in the plan that he has for our life. Easier said than done, right? Right now, sometimes it’s hard for me to accept, but at the same time, I find comfort in knowing that one moment or tragedy doesn’t define who I am and what I mean to him.

While asking for healing for whatever reason, remember as Moses sang as his took God’s people from Pharaoh to The Promised Land, “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” -Exodus 15:2

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Seeking God Part 5: Shame

Seeking God Part 5: Shame

Hey Friends,

Remember when I said I Suck At Maintaining Friendships, well I also meant online relationships as well. I apologize if many of you feel as though I don’t reciprocate the same love on your blogs as you do mine. I blog to release my feelings and share God’s words. So I apologize and will try to work on it. I truly love you all and are very proud of each and every one of you for doing what you love to do day in and day out.

Now that is out of the way, I want to share what happened to me tonight. Right now, I am currently reading a book by Christine Caine titled Unashamed. This is such a great read, especially if you are like me who has been carrying around the burden of shame since adolescent years.

While reading, it kind of ties into what happened tonight. So, as I was getting ready to head out to one of my classes at church, I looked for what seemed like an eternity for a shirt that didn’t show how skinny I am (current shame); anything too baggy or too tight would reveal an alarming skeleton frame. But, Eureka! I found a white shirt that I felt fit perfectly.

I get to my class, sit down next to my classmates, pull out my bible and notebook, look down only to see two large orange stains on the front of my shirt. Those stains led my eyes to a large brown stain on the left side of my shirt. My first thought was, “what the hell! This shirt was clean when I left the house 15 minutes ago.” After further inspection, it seems as though the stains were “sat-in” stains…meaning, even though I had washed it, those stains weren’t going anywhere.

Needless to say, I was embarrassed. I began to think about what other people would say to themselves when they noticed the stains. Would they think…“Oh, she’s dirty? She’s nasty? Why would she leave her house with a dirty shirt on?”

I would have never left the house in a shirt with stains all over it, for this exact reason…shame. Then I realized the lighting in my room and the lighting in my class are completely different. The lighting in my room made the shirt look nice, white, and clean. But the lighting in our classroom made my shirt look dingy with stains.

This made me think about my relationship with God. Before I began my journey, I felt like my life was nice, white, and clean. But then the more I sought God and the closer I became, the more He began to reveal that my life was just the opposite; gross, dingy, and stained. But he did this out of love to show me that the only way to “change my shirt” was through him.

Sitting in class, as embarrassed as I was, I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to hear what God had to say to me. Since this week has been emotionally tough, I needed to hear hope. But God didn’t speak to me during this class…or at least I didn’t listen to what he had to say. The chatter in my head about the stain on my shirt (and other nonsense I have no control over) was too loud for me to hear anything God had to say to me. So he chose to speak to me through Christine Caine.

The more we draw closer to God, the more God shines a light on our shortcomings… it may make us feel ashamed, embarrassed, just as Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” Genesis 3:7). 

When God shines his light on our shortcomings, it’s not to shame us, it’s to draw us closer to him. We were created to feel no shame. We were created in his image, his likeness (Genesis 1:27-28). Is God ashamed of us? No, quite the opposite. He made us “reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:28). 

As yourself, you would give that kind of authority to someone you were ashamed of? Would you kill your only Son for people you were ashamed of?

That is what’s so amazing about his love. God forgave Adam and Eve, even though they didn’t listen to the one and only rule he had given them; But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:16-17.

God still gave up the most precious gift he had, Jesus, so we didn’t have to feel shame, or guilt, or regret, or hate, or anxiety. He gave us his word as a guide and his promises that through him, we will see better days. Remember folks, the enemy has already been defeated on the cross…that battle has been won, through Jesus name. But I was told that even if you’ve cut the head off of a rattlesnake, his venom can still harm, or even kill you. Meaning, even though Satan was defeated on the cross, his “minions” are still working hard to turn you away from Jesus and shame has become one of best tactics.

When you walk into the brighter light and see of all of the stains in your life, don’t turn away from it. Don’t turn off of the light, but embrace it. God will tackle all of those stains one by one. Turn to Jesus when Satan throws another stain on your shirt because he is the only one that can get the stain out.

Love you all. Have a wonderful day. Please pray for Guatemala, each other, and anyone else you know who is suffering. The enemy is busy, but God is almighty. Blessed be, family.

“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you…” Isaiah 54:4

 

Letter To A Broken Heart

Letter To A Broken Heart

Hey Friends,

So, a good friend of mines, who I care for dearly, even though we have never met in person, is suffering from heartbreak. This pain is so familiar to me and I’m sure to you as well. There are very few people, if any, walking this planet who hasn’t experienced a broken heart. Whether it was from a breakup, betrayal, or even loss of a loved one (literally or figuratively).

Heartbreak has been known to claims lives. According to the American Heart Association, Broken Heart Syndrome can resemble symptoms that of a heart attack due to stress-induced cardiomyopathy aka a broken heart.

Personally, the last time my heart was broken, it felt like death had both of his hands wrapped around my heart, squeezing so hard that every breath that I took was unbearable. Every tear that ran down my face was that of physical and emotional twinge. I begged for relief, at one point, even hoped for death to finally claim the pieces of what was left of what used to pump life throughout my limp, lifeless body.

As my friend described her pain, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my own grief. I felt helpless on how to tell her ways to overcome such horrific agony. Honestly, I barely remember how I made it through myself.

Then, I prayed and asked God to reveal to me the right words to say which prompted tonight’s post.

My Dear Friend,

I know that you are hurting right now. The pain that you feel is unbearable. It feels as though life cannot possibly go on for one more minute of agony surrounding your mind. I do not have the answers that you seek, nor the cure for your discomfort, but one thing is for sure. The love that Jesus has for you will get you through this difficult time. Our Creator designed us to have needs and wants. He has designed us to love and take care of one another and you were betrayed by a person who promised they would protect you. There is only one person who can fulfill your need and desire for unconditional love, Yahweh. Even saying his name…Yahweh, allows you to create a new breath with every letter.

He created your needs and wants to match up with his. Your desire to be loved lines up perfectly with his need and desire to love you like your hand fitting into a glove. It is natural to try to find our desires here on earth in things and people other than God. So, it is not your fault. Please forgive yourself, friend. No one saw this coming, including you. But you know who did? Jesus! He knew that the world would break your heart. That is why is he waiting with his arms open wide, awaiting you to climb into his lap like an infant so he can comfort you that way a Father should comfort their child.

God promises that he will satisfy all of our needs and wants, including our need and want to be loved. He also promised to never break your heart as the world has. We will never be fully satisfied here on earth because the earth is not our permanent home. His kingdom is. We will find contentment for which we were created when we let our desires become fulfilled by him, and him alone. During times of suffering, he says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9). Take this opportunity to draw closer to him. He is waiting for you, friend. I promise he will give you more love and joy that this world has to offer. His word says, So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7). 

I love you so much, sis. I will continue to pray that the Lord makes every day easier to bear. Until then, know that I and our Abba Father are here for you.

Sincerely,

Ashley

If you are experiencing heartache, this letter applies to you also. Please know that I am here for you. You can email me, and I will be more than happy to pray for you and try to give you the best advice that I possibly can without judgment. I do not have all of the answers, but I know who does. Jesus and I are tight like size 2 underwear on a size 20 bear.

 

Love you guys with all my heart. Stay safe!

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“…but God, I Don’t Wanna!”

“…but God, I Don’t Wanna!”

Hey Friends,

It is becoming abundantly clear that I whine to God…a lot. Not just a little, but way too much for my comfort. Here I am thinking, “Hmmm, I’m pretty mature. I got this being 32 years old down, pretty well.” Ha! That couldn’t be furthest from the truth when it comes to Jesus. I find myself being more child-like than anything, but then I think that it’s kind of the point, right? How do we try to obtain perfection in the eyes of the only true perfectionist?

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In the morning, I try to spend time with God for two main reasons: 1. To set the tone for the rest of my day and 2. To check it off of my “to-do” list. As the day progresses and I haven’t spent time with him, I become more nervous because I know my chances of actually doing it becomes very slim. Not because I am extremely busy, but because I begin to whine to God as to why I unable to do it.

For example, imagine a very whiney Ashley saying, “…but Lord, I’m so tired. I need sleep. I have to spend time with the kids. I have to make dinner. I’m so tired, Lord.”

Then here comes the bargaining. “Ok, ok, God, give me like an hour to get my body together. Let me put something on my stomach, first, Jesus. Ok, ok, really, I haven’t forgotten about you. Lemme just watch this show real quick.”

Then, all of the sudden it’s midnight and I’m saying, “Oh Jesus, I will definitely spend time with you in the morning.” Then morning comes and the process starts all over again. You get my drift, right?

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For me after a few days, guilt begins to set in. I’ll feel guilty that I’ve promised God my time and haven’t given to him. I’ll feel like a child asking for forgiveness, pleading and begging for another chance of redemption. Not realizing that he already knew that my lazy butt was going to make excuses and he has already forgiven me when he sent Jesus to die for me…and you. Pause and let that sink in, but come back cause I have more to say.

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We sin all of the time. Even we are whining and crying like children at 32 years old, we are forgiven. Once I allowed that that to seep into my brain, spending time with him has become more of a pleasure than a chore. Now, I look forward to it. And when I miss the opportunity, I no longer beat myself up. Instead, I pray that I get another chance to hear his words and adhere to his glory and grace since it has already been gifted to you and me.

Plus, it’s a win/win because I always feel so much better after I open my bible. Me, personally, I love having a book to open and read, take notes, and highlight. But if you’re not like that, there is always the free digital bibles online. It’s literally a click away.

Spend a little time with God. He will give you the sustenance to get you through the next day. For Yahweh says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” -Matthew 6:34. 

And if someone tells me not to worry about it, you guys should know me well enough to know my whiny butt is not going to worry about. Think of it like this…if someone tells you not to worry about paying the check for dinner, are you still going to pull out your wallet? I think not! I don’t know if that analogy fits, but oh well. I put it in there anyway.

I love you guys! I pray that you are having an amazing start to your week. I pray that your bellies are full, your beds are warm (or cool) and that your minds are at peace. I thank that Lord each day for all that read my thoughts, cause Jesus knows that they are crazy. Amen.

“Reading the Bible will help you get to know the word, but it’s when you put it down and live your life that you get to know the author.”― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Related Post: Stop Whining, Ashley!