January 15, 2019

Trusting God

My son has been pretty sick lately. Even though he's an adult, I still worry about him. I probably get annoying as I ask the same questions over and over. 

"Have you done a nebulizer treatment lately?"
"Are you drinking enough water?"
"How are you feeling?"

Today we were at the clinic for the 3rd time in 4 days. The doctor said he just has a nasty virus. One that just needs to run its course. 

Oh, how this frustrates me as I watch him struggle to catch his breath after a coughing spell. It makes me wish I could take it away from him. I wish I could pray it away for him.

But I cannot. 

And it stinks.

But I trust in God that this, too, shall pass. This will not stay past the appointed time. This will run its course and he will, hopefully soon, be in better health.

I always feel helpless when I watch my boys go through something hard. But I know if I love them and want the best for them, how much more does God love them and want the best for them. This gives me comfort.

 I pray for God to get them through each thing that comes their way. 

And.....He does! 

Everytime!

And they come out stronger on the other side.

So, once again, I trust the God of the universe to hold my precious son and nurture him back to health.

January 11, 2019

God's eyes

I have noticed as I drive at night that my vision isn't as it used to be. I have a hard time seeing signs and things are more blurry than normal. It has been this way for awhile now. I even went to the eye doctor and he said my eyes are fine. So I have been praying.

Praying that God heals my night vision. Praying for God's eyes. Praying for the vision of Jesus Christ. 

Many months ago, I started making daily declarations over my life. I have a daily "mantra" I say over myself. It goes something like this:

"I am equipped and qualified for this day. I am blessed and highly favored everywhere I go. I have the joy of the Lord as my strength. Great things are happening. I live in joyful expectation. No weapon formed against the boys and I will prosper in Jesus name. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I hear God's voice."

I add things depending on what my day holds. I have begun to see God's favor in my life everywhere I go. I still don't have joy, but I wait in expectation for that day. I do know that sometimes we have to speak to ourselves and encourage ourselves.

There is power in the tongue. Both blessings and curses come from how we speak to ourselves, so although I still need work, I strive to speak God's goodness into my life.

On the way to work tonight, I was praying for God's eyes because the road was hard to see, Although I'm praying for the manifestation of better physical vision, I realized God is not limited to heal only my physical vision. By praying for God's eyes, I'm giving Him permission to heal my spiritual eyes as well.

Oh, how I long to see things as God sees things! I long to have His vision. I long to see people and the world through His eyes.

As I speak these declarations and prayers into my life, I expect that He will answer them. It may not be today, or tomorrow, but I know the day will come when my night vision will be better. And it may not be today, or tomorrow, but I know my spiritual vision will also be better!

January 10, 2019

Fasting

God has me fasting right now. I'm not fasting food, but something else. I really have felt that God wants to shift my focus right now. Shift some habits. And shift my mentality.

My friend mentioned fasting yesterday. I immediately thought, "heck no!" Fasting and I do not have a good relationship. Fasting is something I always have failed at. Fasting makes me a failure and I detest it. Fasting is something good Christians are supposed to do in order to get God to do something for them. Fasting and I do not have a good relationship.

Within an hour of my friend mentioning fasting, God brought something to mind for me to fast, but it was way out of the box, that I discredited it. A couple hours later, I began fasting that thing. I wasn't going to tell my friend because I wanted to see if I could be a success at it first before announcing this to her. I wanted a chance to not be a failure at it, so I could say, "Hey, look at me! I'm fasting! Yeah me! Sister "good" Christian. I also had to make sure I really heard from God!

I don't have a time line for this fast. BUT I know in the 24 hours I have been fasting, God has already changed my thinking so much. He's changing habits. He's opening my eyes. He's speaking. He's out of the box and encouraging me to come out of the box as well.

I don't know the outcome of this fast, but I do know that He's changing me. He doesn't expect me to do anything in order for Him to bless me. He's not taking or withholding things from me. He's not expecting perfection. He doesn't call me a failure. He isn't sitting up there saying, "Do this or I won't do that." 

I'm excited to see how this journey progresses.

January 4, 2019

Depression and medicine

At some point over the past year, I stopped having hobbies. 

I used to read and paint and do artsy-crafty stuff. I used to sing and listen to music and play keyboard. I used to volunteer and go for coffee and just chill. 

Over the past year, I have lost interest in these things. I will go to try to do something and the motivation and interest is gone. I think part of the problem is the medicine I am on for depression and anxiety. I think it numbs me...but it keeps me stable so I stay on it.

My Dr. recently quit, so I have an appointment with a new Dr. at the end of the month. With my previous Dr., I mentioned how I feel the medicine is numbing me and she didn't seem to eager to find another option. I mentioned it to her at two different appointments, and she said my options were limited because I have been on so many different types of medicines.

I've been medicated since the age of 16! That's crazy if  you think about it. Over 18 different anti-depressants! The doctor will find one that works, but over a couple of years, they stop working and we're back to square one again. 

Back to the topic of the new Doctor. I am hoping for a fresh pair of ears and eyes and ideas and insights. What if this doctor has a new idea for a better medicine? What if this doctor is the answer to my prayers to find a medicine that doesn't numb me?

I have hope that God will one day heal me. I have hope that one day, I will be able to be off of medicine. But until that day, I remain on medicine.

I used to have such shame that I was a Christian on anti-depressants. I used to believe that I wasn't doing something right or not doing enough to be able to live off of medicine. I used to think God wasn't hearing my prayers. I used to think I wasn't good enough.

The truth is that depression is a mental illness, just like diabetes is a physical illness. I take medicine for the diabetes in my body and don't think twice about it. I take it because my body needs it. So why should taking medicine for depression be any different?  I wish Christians talked about our mental health more. I wish it wasn't such a taboo subject. 

God, I thank you that you are healing me of the depression. I thank you that you have given doctors and inventors the ideas for medicine to help with depression. I thank you that You are faithful and that you hear our prayers to be rid of depression. I thank You that You give hope in the dark times. I thank You that one day I will be off of medicine. I thank You that You bring stability. I thank You that You go before me to my new doctor and that You have given her wisdom how to best help me. I thank You for never giving up on us. And I thank You that You have a plan and a future and that it is GOOD! In Jesus' name, amen

January 3, 2019

TV, puzzle books, and Mahjong

My new job requires me to stay awake all night. This means I have lots of time to think while the rest of the world sleeps.

I am working in someone's home, so I bring things to do to keep me busy (and awake!)

I work 9pm-6am. I go home and take my youngest son to work at 6:30. Then I come home and sleep until 2:00pm when I take my oldest son to work. I come home and try to sleep for a couple hours before I pick my youngest son up from work at 5:00pm. Then I get to do it all over again at 9:00pm. Thankfully, I only have to do this 3 nights a week! It has been an adjustment for sure.

At home, I don't watch TV. I watch Netflix, but not regular TV. Tonight I have been watching a marathon of "My 600 pound life". This show always gets to me and makes me think about my own eating habits. Food has definitely been a coping mechanism in my life. I'm glad that God has been working in my life regarding this.

I've also been doing puzzle books. Word fill-ins to be exact. This is so relaxing for me.  I used to do it a lot, but over the years, I just quit doing them.  There is a part of me that thinks "doing nothing" is unproductive. I have a hard time just relaxing. I have enjoyed this mindless activity, except it makes me think hard, so I guess it's not really mindless.  

When I start to get tired, I come to my laptop and play Mahjong. It's a matching card game.  I've gotten pretty quick at solving a puzzle. It keeps my mind sharp and quick. It's another "doing nothing" activity that I have to learn to do.

I think God is using this job to teach me to relax. I only have to check on my client every couple hours, so I have to find things to keep myself occupied.  I don't know when I started believing the lie that I can not do "nothing" and just relax. Always stay busy. Be productive. Have a purpose. There's always something stopping me from just "being". 

It still feels a little odd to watch TV and do my puzzle book and play my computer game, but part of it feels good.  I look forward to how this job changes my outlook on life.




January 2, 2019

I smoke

When things or struggles are hidden, light cannot penetrate through them. We all struggle with things. Bad habits creep in and over time, they become hindrances in our lives.

I smoke. I have smoked since I was 18. I started to smoke to impress a male friend in my life.  Actually, he asked me to get high with him one night, and because I had no prior experience with pot or cigarettes, I coughed and coughed and "wasted" my high. Or so he had said.

So I started stealing my aunt's cigarettes and hid away in the bathroom, forcing myself to smoke. Just to impress a guy, who I would rarely see after that.

I have tried quitting many times, and many times I have failed. 

Once, after my mother-in-law died of lung cancer, I quit for three weeks. That was the longest time I quit smoking. 

The desire to quit has been there, the willpower has not.  I've tried the patch and the gum and the pills, with no success. I even tried hypnosis once. It never worked.

When people mention my smoking to me, I get defensive. My ex used to tell me he would leave me if I didn't quit smoking. I just smoked more. Now, whenever anyone comments to me that I should quit, I get really angry. "How dare they tell me to live my life," I think to myself.

I know smoking is bad for me. I KNOW all the bad things it is doing to my body, yet it isn't enough for me to quit smoking.

I used to think I was a bad Christian because I smoked. The guilt and condemnation was overwhelming and I would beat myself up over it, time and time again. I no longer think that.

But I do wish to quit. I've heard all the tips and advice that someone would give a person who wanted to quit. 

I know, one day, I will no longer smoke. I do not know the day or the time, but I know God does. He knows exactly how many more puffs I will take before I finally lay them down for good. I pray the day comes soon.

I also know that this habit needs light to penetrate it, and only the Savior of the world can give that kind of light. So, I write to expose it. 

Tonight, I journaled in depth about this habit and the excuses I use. It's the first time I have really been honest about it. I pray this is the beginning of the freedom I will one day experience.

Until then, I will continue exposing it to the light as I get honest with God and with myself.

January 1, 2019

New Year

2019...

A new year.
A new beginning.
A year full of new mercies.
A fresh start.

I don't do New Year's resolutions. I don't follow them past 2 weeks, so I decided not to do them anymore.

I used to do words. A word for the year. I honestly don't remember what my word for last year was. In fact, I don't even know if I picked a word for this past year. If I had to choose a word, based on how the year actually turned out, I would have to say my word was growth.

I grew in confidence. I grew in my relationship with God. I grew in my job. I grew in the area of trusting God. I grew in the area of expectations. I simply grew... except my body shrunk by 30 pounds this past year. That is a good thing.

I've been thinking about a word for 2019, A word that has been spoken over me lately is success. I will be successful this year. Now, success is more than just money or a job. Success can be many different things. I don't know what that looks like for the coming year, but I claim I will be successful.

Successful in taking thoughts and fears captive to the obedience of Christ. Successful in walking forward in my life. Successful at making good choices for my life. I'd like to think I will also be successful in my career.

I just got a new job. Like literally. I am on my first night of my new position. I started 5 hours ago. What a way to bring in the New Year! Once I got off nights over a year ago, I told myself I would never go to third shift again. In the past couple months, I have been thinking of going back to overnights. I think God prepared me for the idea of this new job in advance.

Back to the new job. It is the highest I have ever been paid! It's the beginning of success in my career.

I've been thinking about going back to school. I think this year will be the year. I want to get my LPN and eventually be a hospice nurse. I don't know for sure if this is what I want to do. It's just been a thought in my head for the past two years. Another God preparation maybe?

I don't even know if anyone reads blogs anymore. I used to be connected to all these blogs and had "bloggy" friends. I don't even know who I follow anymore. Now that I'm working overnights again, maybe I'll start reading those blogs again.

And maybe next time, I won't be so winded.

Happy New Year to you!

Always, Heaven

Trusting God

My son has been pretty sick lately. Even though he's an adult, I still worry about him. I probably get annoying as I ask the same questi...