HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Defining Grief in {my} Life …


This week’s prompt for Tuesday at Ten over on Karen’s Finding the Grace Within is Grief

My last post was a letter to sorrow, because Grief (which that prompt was actually about) has not entered Hutchland in her proper form; yet, like I said in my post, “Dear Sorrow,” , her cousin Sorrow had come to visit.

Grief has so many meanings! So many actions.

Grief Defined

Grief Defined

I’ve found that I’ve written about grief on several occasions, over the year … you can read a few here: Grief A Study.

In my life I’ve grieved the loss of much; but that grieving was not always caused by the loss of a person. The action of grief blankets many areas of life.

I’ve grieved, without honest knowledge until many years later, the loss of my family to divorce, my mother to mental illness and my father to the desolation of the marriage and for many years to alcohol.

I’ve grieved the loss of a childhood from the age of 4; of innocence, environmentally and sexually, from the age of 4.

I’ve grieved my past from a loss of memory of over 8 years.

I’ve grieved my own 1st marriage.

I’ve grieved the deaths of my step-father, my grandfather, two uncles and my grandson.

I’ve been visited by Grief. she has her place in our lives for processing purposes only. She is a tool to assist us to adjust to this most tragic change in our lives.

But that is all Grief is to do. She is not to reside in our lives indefinitely!

YES, everyone grieves and we all do it in our own timing. the reality of loss is devastating. I believe, though, that the devastation should only be momentary. She should only remain long enough for us to rearrange our memories, so that they may keep what or who we lost in our hearts; where those we love and things we treasured were, in the very first place.

Grief is a state of the heart. And she should ease up, though at times achingly slow, into a soft, treasured memory of love.

Grief should never become a permanent shield that we use to block things of life and love, so that we cannot be hurt. When Grief becomes that shield she damages our very spirit and soul. She cannot be allowed to reside within our heart.

Reading some of the posts I’ve written while grieving has caused a sadness within me; especially the posts about my grandson. My only memory of him is the pregnancy and his leaving us during his birth, but we love him all the same. It sounds almost odd to me, in my thinking, that I, honestly and with all of my heart, love a little boy who never opened his eyes or drew a breath, but I do so love and miss him. He was ours; a vital part of us.

But you see, I only grieve him now when I think of our losing him. I grieve the time we did not get with him.

And then I put grief to bed and  I cherish the love and connection he caused in our lives as he grew and thrived in the womb. He touched us ever so gently and that makes me warm with love for the little man.

Today Grief would like to enter early, laying her ground work in the heart of our hearts and the heart of our home. But we are not allowing her to come before her time.

That is a problem in our society today, I believe. I truly think that people anticipate the end of things and allow Grief to affect them before her time.

Grief is for AFTER the loss. She is not something we need for the preparation of the loss.

I believe we lose precious time with our loved ones and in our relationships and life dealings when we begin to prepare for an unknown eventuality.

One of the things God intended for us was for us to Have Life and Life More Abundantly; John 10:10. Well Grief is a thief, she diminishes us, she does not cause us abundance. Especially when she is allowed to visit before it is time.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a Time for everything …

 “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;“; Ecclesiastes 3:4

Grief desperately continues to visit us here, with all that we are enduring. But we, here in Hutchland, refuse to live less than abundantly through these trials.

Cancer is a trial not, necessarily, the death sentence, as people would lead you to believe; because Jesus has conquered death!

Addiction is a trial, not a death sentence, as people would lead you to believe; because Jesus has conquered death!

Therefore, though sadness sneaks in from time to time and fear attempts to take root, I choose to look up to where my true help comes from. I refuse to handle these trials in our life according to the world’s rules;  after all I, we, are Kingdom children residing for a time in a fallen world.

I will handle trials, sorrow and grief according to Kingdom Rules. I will rely upon my Father God and Jesus and Holy Spirit as I walk through the shadow of the valley of death … (note it is only a shadow, it is NOT death!).

I am greatly relieved that I have been delivered from the need for secular counsel and guidance. Life’s journey is a much easier path with Jesus at my side and Holy Spirit’s guidance.

I no longer have to look to others for guidance through grief or sorrow or even just a challenging moment. I simply communicate through prayer and am more often than not blessed with the answer instantly through Holy Spirit.

It’s a discipline, but one I have been working on for years now and it brings peace and comfort regularly these days.

Our days and weeks here are sometimes wrought with opportunities to give into fear, sorrow and grief. and honestly, like everyone else. Fleetingly the fatigue at the end of a day makes them seem the easier choice; allowing me to think that I could curl up into myself making everything just dissolve into nothingness. Then I remember, there is relief for the Spirit, through the Spirit, and my heart begins to fill with comfort.

When Grief visits you, remember, as quickly as you can, that God is there, waiting with open arms of comfort and peace for you in this time. You need not be engulfed in the arms of Grief and Sorrow, they provide no peace or comfort. Though they do have their place at specific times of our lives, their presence should lead you straight to God the Father for comfort.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

This was yet another study on Grief in my life … and after reading my past posts I think I’ve come a very long way in understanding how grief should be handled in a life.

What is grieving you today? Is it a lose or an annoyance that you’ve not yet found a solution to? Either way, as always, I encourage you to lift your eyes and seek guidance, not from man, but from our loving Father God.

Blessings to you all, and prayers for peace in comfort for you in all of your lives. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my thoughts.

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Tuesday


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Dear Sorrow,


I’m a little late to the party over at Kate Motaung’s blog ;but at the time of the link up I hadn’t completed my journey into grief.

The Hubs battling cancer and the boy battling heroin addiction takes up a lot of one’s time and mind space. Not to mention battling heart ache and depression. All at that same time. You see Grief has not managed to settle in here in Hutchland … but her cousin Sorrow has come to visit.

Dear Sorrow,

There are so many things you want from me here today. You entered quietly and sit pretty and dainty in the corner just waiting on Grief to arrive.

You arrived just before midnight on New Years eve; determined to begin 2015 with our family; and you did. Like a quiet breeze of numbness after the phone call. My boy, in custody, again. Ending the festive and peaceful Christmas season wrapping your cool, almost light, arms around my shoulders. Lowering yourself, snug at my side, whispering your sweet lies into my ear. But you are simply at my side. You can only whisper, hoping I will give in to your almost warm and comfortable dark.

I realize you are a part of life. You visit in times of loss and hardship and stay for awhile. Lingering too long over a cooling cup of tea and hardly nibbled sandwich in a lonely, quiet living room. Sitting a touch too close on the sofa of a darkened, quietly sleeping home in the wee hours of the morning.

It seems I must face you; but I refuse to believe that I must allow you to reside here, in my heart of hearts, in my spirit.

Sorrow, you are not meant to reside. You are not meant to remain.

Life adjusts and it changes as God, Himself is put in charge of this home. This heart of our family.

Somethings need to be so that Joy can move in and reside.

The battle with cancer continues; definitely on the path of healing.

The battle with heroin continues, now, hopefully, on a path of healing. Definitely on a path of repentance.

Life continues and I, Sorrow, continue forward with a goal of self-discipline in mind.

So, Sorrow, I don’t believe you have a place here in the heart of our home, yet. There may come a time for you to visit a while, but it is not today.

Today I seek a deepening of my relationship and dependence upon God, the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today I seek a deepening of my trust in Jesus for all areas of my life. I say: “I trust You, Jesus.”

So I bid you farewell today, Sorrow, you have no place here.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent. Psalm 34:17-18

Today's Prayer

Today’s Prayer

Thank you, dear Reader Friends, for stopping by. Be blessed.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Psalm 27: 6


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Begin … 2015


prayer.begin WELCOME TO 2015

At midnight we ended the old year and began the new one simultaneously. Many of us spent a week in review of some kind, possibly planning what not to repeat and what new plans and goals we were headed for.

Good old Resolution Time!

Well resolutions are not for me. I am not into setting unrealistic goals that I cannot manage to complete or even remember at the end of January! =)

Resolutions are truly a hindrance to one’s life progress. They create a sense of failure at the beginning of every new year. At least that’s how I see it.

So if one doesn’t indulge in resolutions for the new year what is it one does with the vast 365 days laid out before us in the vastness of that thing called the future? What is the plan?

For me, I quasi participate in the My One Word movement. This year I may sign up for the 1st level accountability group, but I don’t know. This will be my 4th year picking a word for the year.

I chose my word a few days ago: Self-Discipline(d) – I find it funny that my words are always either hyphenated or compound words. Like chips … you can’t just have one!

To begin my plan is to obtain self-discipline in all areas of my life. And when I say self-discipline, I mean this:

Self-discipline: is the ability to control one’s feelings or emotions and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.

Synonyms: self-control, restraint, self-restraint, self-command, willpower, purposefulness, strong-mindedness, sound-mindedness, resolve, moral fiber, doggedness, persistence, determination and grit!

I intend to purposefully control my emotions. I have a great friend, mentor and now my pastor, who when we met, I decided in my heart to become her. I wanted to be able to conduct myself with the class and composure that she possessed. I wanted the peace and self-control she has as a person, wife, mother and leader. Since that meeting we’ve become very good friends. I’ve taken over her post as church secretary and armor bearer to our pastor and now I am her secretary and armor bearer. I tell you, it’s an honor to be her friend and to have her in my life.

And over the years I’ve found that God intended this for me and that He had given me the tools to succeed on this particular path.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 7:1

The NIV translation says, ” … power, love and self-discipline“.

The world tells us that we cannot control how we feel. We cannot choose who we love. Our feelings and emotions are out of our control. NOT SO.

Romans 8:9-11 basically tells us that Holy Spirit lives within us, giving us life over death (or control over our sinful nature). Sinful nature sounds awful I know but what that means is that we actually have control over our carnal or natural nature. We most definitely control our feelings, as well as our emotional reactions and actions in all areas of our lives.

And in Galatians 5:22&23 the Word tells us that Holy Spirit produces in us the fruit of His Spirit.  It is His emotions we experience in the circumstances of our lives. He produces His emotions within us so that we exhibit the benefits of His presence in our hearts – love , joy, peace, patience, kindness , goodness, faithfulness, gentleness , and self-control.

So why did I choose self-discipline?

Well for the last three years my word was Wholeness. A good goal and I’ve come a long way in becoming whole in Christ. So a the beginning of 2015 I changed it up, but not by much. After all, self-discipline is a major part of walking in the wholeness of one’s life.

As many of you know I have A LOT on my plate these days. And 2014 went out with quite a blow to my spirit. Please pray for my youngest son, if you would. And 2015 came in with me HAVING to control my emotions.

Pick a word for the year … I promise you that immediately you will be challenged by your choice!

We began 2015 with a kiss good night and in the morning we began the year in prayer at our church. We were reminded to pray the solution, not the problem. Periodically we review how we should be praying so that the blessings and promises flow in our lives and ripples out into our community. It’s a great reminder not to fall into that wordy, self involved prayer style where we think because we see the circumstance as huge we much add many words to get our point across to God. How silly that is, but I do it too, sometimes.

So this morning I was in a position to keep my composure amongst my church family while praying for our particular situation (that cropped up last night before the new year was rung in). There was that challenge proving within me that I had chosen the correct focus for this year.

So this is the plan:

1. Deepen my relationship with God with prayer and structured time in the Word.

2. Devotional: Jesus Calling ( I got it for Christmas!) and following her purposeful time with God – we’ll see how that works for me; but the daily reading comes with scripture to read – keeping me in the Word.

3. A Blessing Box – an attitude changer … a tool to purposeful positiveness.

That’s how I began my day. That’s how I began 2015.

How did you begin 2015? Did you make a resolution or set a goal? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading my friends. And Happy Happy New Year.

ASignatureby your words ... FWThTuesday


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He Gave … He Came …


He Gave ... He Came ... John 3:16-17

He Gave …
He Came …
John 3:16-17

Give … ’tis The Season.

The Greatest Gift of All.

Christmas … a season of giving. I want to tell you a story. So get that cup of tea {or coffee.}, settle in comfortably.

Are you comfortably? Ready? Let’s begin … =)

God gave us, His children, the best gift we will ever receive. He gave us this gift because He loved us so much He sought to reconcile each and everyone of us to Himself.

This is not my story. I copied the biblical version from Biblegateway.com; because I felt it needed to be told correctly. This story is so very important to humanity and it’s been told and retold countless times that I didn’t want to diminish it with my “version”.

I give to you the story of Father’ giving to us, all.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:11-14

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JesusHe will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary, then went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. They rejoiced in their visit and the magnitude of Mary’s pregnancy. Even, Elizabeth’s child (John, the Baptist) rejoice within the womb.

The Song of Mary

 And Mary sang:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and returned to her house.

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Today, I give you the true story of Christmas. The truth of the season and why we give one another gifts each year at this time. Some would say we are not celebrating Christ’s true birth date, but let me submit to you that it hardly matters to God, the Father or to Jesus, His Only Son, when we celebrate Jesus. It only matters that we celebrate Him and what He did for us …

So this year, I choose to give JOY … Give Joy

The very thing we need here in the earth. The very thing we need here in Hutchland.

JOY TO THE WORLD! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ALL!

Thanks for reading my dear friends and God Bless You.

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Trying to Be Still in Overwhelming Circumstances |Few Words Thursday


christmas box

Just this week I participated in a word prompt exercise on Fear, you can read it {here}, if you haven’t already. That was Tuesday. It’s Thursday and what I began knowing was going to be an over full week has become more full! Isn’t it just the way of the enemy to attack just as you think you’ve come to a place of rest. Well as versed as I am in fear, and how I handle, it a whole new version of an old foe has reared it’s ugly head.

Anxiety.

Anxiety about the holiday. Anxiety about the clinical trial. And anxiety about this illness getting in the way of our family’s happiness and joy, especially at this time of year. It’s The Hubs’ favorite season, Christmas!

The research doctor at RCI called about needing The Hubs to have another CAT scan; the original biopsy was not big enough to get what they needed, so they need to start with a CT scan. Well that said, he had a CT scan a week after we saw her, so they used that. This morning the research nurse called about scheduling the biopsy. Next week is out due to his work schedule, so that leaves the week before Christmas.

THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS! I HAVE ABSOLUTELY “0” DONE!

Now anyone who knows me knows that the hoopla around the Christmas Holiday doesn’t usually appeal to me. I’ve never liked the music or the decorations. I do, however, LOVE the meaning, the family and the togetherness with people we love. But all the hoopla … I always preferred to avoid, as in “I” didn’t touch the tree and things like that, the decorating, lighting and background music of the holiday. Let’s just say that the holidays were always  a source of chaos and anxiety, or worse, when I was a child.

The last couple of years (and I mean like 2) I’ve been feeling more “into” the celebration and decorations part of the holiday.

This year I’ve actually been feeling quite festive. Albeit a very new feeling for me.

I know it’s because I am so grateful for my time with The Hubs and our little family here in Hutchland. =)

And who deserves the honor and glory for that “new” feeling? Jesus. Yes, he does.

Then the calls … We were in a holding pattern of perpetual waiting with this clinical trial possibility, and it’s still only a possibility! The holding pattern was frustrating, I was going to call them Monday about where we were; then they called.

Now I’m feeling like that chaos and anxiety are invading again. All of a sudden I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to get this Christmas up, festive and complete with all this going on in the only two weeks we have to do it all in!

Anxiety makes being Still very hard. I have to force myself to pray and trust God. For some odd reason my heart and head are spinning again and I’m having issues getting it under control.

So what to do?

I’m praying in tongues, in my head and out loud. I am thanking God for His hand on and plan for our lives and resisting the urge to beg Him to fix all this.

He will. He is. I know this, but right this very moment I just need something concrete to know that my world isn’t rushing off on some chaotic run away roller coaster!

So I’ll read the bible. I’ll study for the Bible Lesson I’m giving tonight at bible study. I’ll continue to pray and hopefully I’ll be able to get something constructive done today.

I wish, I pray for answers, to know why I’m feeling like this. Why the anxiety after all this time (15 months).

I have a sound mind … I have power and love; everything to conquer this unfounded fear. Now I just need to remember how to use them.

So first, here, I’ll work on my memory verse and meditate on what it means when God is my fortress and stronghold!

Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart

Psalm 27:1-3 (with the Productivity501 tool in front of me.) While praying in tongues. The red is where I had to check the psalm for the right word and the cross outs are self explanatory. (Got that word, or run, incorrect.) The purple is my “commentary”. 😉

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?

2. When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. (Thank you Lord! feeling better now.)

3. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this (God, God’s Word) I will be confident.

{Psalm 27 is such an amazing Scripture to be memorizing at this time in my life. I thank God that I stumbled upon it in my blog hopping!}

In this circumstance of our lives cancer and addiction are certainly our enemies and foes; but I need not be afraid, If God is with me of whom or what shall I be afraid?

Romans 8:28-32

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

After writing this diary-esque post, I feel better. I think I am just overwhelmed with all of the hubbub around the holiday and this clinical trial. I am purposefully going to keep my mind on the REASON FOR THE SEASON and try to not be overwhelmed by getting it all perfect. Because frankly, this girl has NEVER been perfect, especially around the holidays, nor have I ever striven for such a thing.

I’m going to remind myself that God perfects what concerns me … and I am going to be confident in Him and what His Word says about all of this hoopla!

Psalm 138:7-9

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

Christmas is about celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All the rest of it is just frills that we created to make us happy. I’m going to sit in the hay with my pups and rejoice that Jesus came to save me and that He is working with Father God, right now, to bring about the perfect results for our lives here in Hutchland.

joy

I know my words weren’t exactly few (but I did add full scripture)!

Thanks for reading my diary of woe. It’s wonderful to know you’re here listening (reading, ha.)

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Trusting God in the Face of Fear @ 10


God's Got This Welcome.

Today I’m joining my writing/blogging friends over at Karen’s Finding the Grace Within’s Tuesday at Ten writing prompt.

Here writers creatively represent the word prompt that Karen gives us at 10 am and then we all connect with one another {HERE}. There aren’t any real rules, no word limit or time limit … just one heart connecting with the prompt and sharing their thoughts with the others.

Today we ponder what the word FEAR means in our lives, right here and right now …

So join us by following the link above or the one at the bottom of this post.

Fear. We all encounter it in our day to day lives. From the little worries like being on time or not missing that call from a friend to the larger more daunting fears that involve life and death!

For me it’s no longer about the fear … In the past I feared everything from making someone mad to really doing something very wrong. It created a vicious cycle of anxiety, which my family sees as an illness. It’s not!

Cancer is an illness. Addiction is an illness. Fear is NOT an illness, we control fear. It says so in the bible.

There are two types of fear described in the Good Book of the Good News! Remember that … it’s the GOOD News, you can always trust it’s guidance.

Fear of the Lord.  

Fear of the Lord gives us authority and allows us to trust God in the face of the spirit of fear, which strips us of our authority and is brought by the enemy of our soul.

The spirit of fear is NOT of God.

Fear, or REVERENCE {to have a reverential awe of (fear God)} of the Lord, is about respecting God, as you would a father.

[Now if your earthly father wasn’t the greatest, or you were actually afraid of your biological dad, stay with me.]

God, Himself, was His original template of who and what a father was supposed to be. All loving, strong security and steady guidance for His children.

This Fear [of the Lord] is beneficial to us and brings with it promises and blessings. The bible says it is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding to all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever {Psalm 111:10}. It leads to life, rest, peace and contentment and evil will not visit {Proverbs 19:23}. This Fear [of the Lord] is the fountain of life {Proverbs 14:27} and provides security in a place of safety {Proverbs 14:26}.

Good News, right!  =)

If we respect God as our Father Creator, and follow His guidance for our lives, we benefit as any child who accepts guidance and correction from good parents. Think about it, we only fear what our parents feared, for the most part. If time and appearances were of concern {a type of fear} to our parents, then we grow up to be concerned about time and appearances. But dig this!

Our Father God, repeatedly, tells us to FEAR NOT, because He has given us the tools of authority over fear.

We control fear. Fear does NOT control us.

Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident. {Psalm 27:3}

The second kind of fear in the bible is described to us in guidance.

We are told that God didn’t give us this spirit of fear.

 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. {2 Timothy 1:7}

There it is, the guiding reminder that we were given: Power, Love and a SOUND mind.

(remember I said that fear leads to anxiety and people see anxiety as an illness today?)

We have a SOUND MIND.

Fear is a real thing. It is what we do in the face of this fear that matters most. Do we conquer or fall in defeat to fear?

I choose to conquer fear, and trust me, today, this very moment, I have enough going on in my life that if I allowed the fear [of the unknown results] of my circumstances I could easily curl up into a ball of tearful fear and anxiety and never see the light of day. In fact, when I think about this, even at this moment, I feel fearful of that possibility.

I prefer my Sound Mind!

How do I conquer these fears? Fear of cancer, of addiction, of my happy life changing severely, of not knowing what my life could possibly look like if the worst happened?

I. Trust. God.

I. Pray. ~ and I pray scripture.

1 John 4:18 says: Perfect Love casts out all fear. {God is Love.}

God promises me; ‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed {another form of fear}, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’.{Isaiah 41:10}

The overwhelming truth is that I must FEAR NOT.

Did you ever notice that when we are spinning with fear we don’t allow anyone to help; that we resist those that would be with us and uphold us! God knew we would do this and clearly instructs His children not to fear … to …

Be Still … and know that He is God. {Psalm46:10}

Isn’t it interesting that the “scary Old Testament” God continually told His creation to FEAR NOT. He clearly wanted us to ALWAYS know that He was with us and was our protector, even from the very beginning.

So, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, in his First Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,”

Do not fear God, reverence and trust Him. Only fear fear; it’s not from God.

It is said, much too often, “give it to God”, and I must say it took a lot for me to completely come to an understanding of that Christian cliché. When I finally came to a true understanding of and relationship with God I changed how I used that friendly, if not dismissing, cliché to …

Bring it to God. If you are afraid today. If you harbor what seems to be uncontrollable anxiety in your day to day life. Bring your cares to God. Compare what you are afraid of to what God says about that thing in His book. Present it, as I do, to Him in prayer and just watch what He does to quell that fear within you. He will wipe it away, I promise.

BE STILL.

FEAR NOT.

BE COURAGEOUS.

GOD’S GOT THIS.

Come walk with me, and fear not, God is always with us!

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

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I.Pray. | A Wife’s Testimony


Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

when we don’t feel safe where do we go?

The shadow of the almighty

Go …

This is the testimony of the wife and mother of two who are seriously afflicted with life threatening illnesses. Honestly I am writing this in preparation of the teaching/testimony I have to give tomorrow morning at my church’s Women’s Fellowship Breakfast. And it’s not been the greatest of months for me.

I don’t think people, even those closest, notice that things are as bad as they are or can be, some days. They see me weathering the storm at church or bible studies or family gatherings and they either express that I am so strong or they just ask how my husband is. And for some, I can see that they hope my answer is quick and doesn’t require much from them. That sounds harsh, but it is not meant to be. I am well aware that they don’t know what to say or do and frankly there is nothing they can say or do. They just don’t know that that is okay.

And some days I notice that I need to talk, and some days that means me talking to God. Because, he’s the only one who can do anything about all of this …

STOP … This post took way more than 5 minutes and edits. After all it’s the draft of a testimony presentation on a really hard subject.

My testimony.

I am the wife of a wonderful man, who is battling cancer and the mother of a hurting man, who is battling heroin addiction; and I do this simultaneously and not always well.

I am simply doing the next right thing on a moment to moment basis, sometimes. Definitely the last month.

My husband has been through 2 different, months long, rounds of chemo. Taking up what is slowly becoming 2 years.

The first round to eradicate a mass that had infiltrated and completely blocked his left lung; which was found to have rendered the lung nonfunctional. He didn’t even feel it not working until he caught an upper respiratory illness, which started this season in our lives. From September 2013 to February 2014 he had chemo and radiation every two weeks. The mass decreased with each CAT scan and he came to the end of this round with full use of the lung! Success! Right?

Not according to the doctors. Because a VERY little piece of the cancer had “escaped” to the liver. With this the treatments were rendered a failure.

REALLY?! But … he has full use of the lung! Really. According to their protocol.

NOT our GOD though!

So in June, after a biopsy,  he went back into chemo; radiation was not an option for the liver. So from March to September 2014 my husband endured some very hard chemo treatments.

All the time he only got ill twice with nausea and once with something he caught. He lost his hair twice and suffered most from fatigue and feelings of weakness; oh and frustration driven moodiness!

He came out of the last round of chemo and the CAT scan showed that the “original” spot(s) were smaller, but that other lesions had developed.

Another fail, according to the doctors and the protocols.

And all the while this man of mine was vibrantly himself except for a few naps here and there.

So now he’s [we are] setting up for a clinical trial.

And with all this our youngest son is having a daily battle with heroin and he fell.

So that’s the story … what’s my testimony? I still don’t know how to put that into words.

I’m having trouble telling my story because I don’t feel as if I’m doing anything extraordinary. I’m just flexing with the new needs of my wife-hood and motherhood. Like I said, I try to do the next right thing and sometimes I fail miserably.

I started out with the boy being an addict. Something we’ve been dealing with for the last couple of years. At first it was just drug use, then it turned into what it is today; full on addiction to one of the worst drugs on the street. I learned to deal in the “tough love” arena. Tough love, I think, is harder on the parent, because it feels not only as if you are doing nothing, it feels as if you are abandoning your child. The good thing is that the boy is clean and doing well, so the love isn’t so tough when cancer entered and life got a different kind of  hard.

So I’m doing this thing by rote and …

The doctors say cancer and they are acting as if they are delivering a death sentence. Cold and clinical … cancer, here’s a referral.

Head spinning, heart breaking and tears like a waterfall gushing out of control … I start this new season. I pray. I cry. I wake up in the middle of the night and pray while I lean over to see if my husband is breathing.

Before the diagnosis his breathing was a given. I didn’t think about it, like I don’t think about my own. Now all of a sudden I have death in my head! And I hear (now) …

Be careful what you hear …

This doesn’t feel like faith to me, so I pray more.

I.AM.A.MESS.

But then things take on a routine … The Hubs is doing fine, he’s feeling okay and we get into this new groove. But the groove doesn’t feel right. It feels like acceptance of something that is not of God. And I hear …

What you tolerate you accept. And I pray.

So I pray and The Hubs and I talk about it. We talk about a lot of things. Somewhere we begin to discuss the fact that he is going to refuse anymore chemo.

I.AM.A.MESS. … Again.

DO NOTHING?! What!? Can we really do nothing?! Is nothing what we should have done all along??

A.MESS.

I just need this all to stop and then the boy falls down. He’s using.

I.PRAY.

So what’s the testimony? Hey, I still don’t know if this is even a testimony! Maybe it’s a lesson on the reality of what a wife/mother does during a health struggle of a loved one.

I.Pray.

That’s what I do. I go to every appointment, I drive the boy to every court date and P.O. meeting. And I pray.

I go to God at the end of everyday. Because I don’t always hold it together well some days. In fact my comfortable day to day no longer exists.

I get depressed. I get angry (not at God); angry at doctors, protocols, cancer and heroin. I yell and I cry and sometimes I reject the encouragement of others trying to help me, when they don’t know what else to do.

I am often A.MESS. And you know what?

That is not a lack of faith. It is not a crisis of faith. It is not anger at God.

It is reality. And it is normal and it is okay! Even God accepts it, after all He knew what He was asking me to do when He created me. And He knew how I would handle it.

So … I pray.

What do I pray? Well if you read this blog regularly you know I am really into praying God’s Word. Can’t go wrong praying God’s promises or what He says about things. Yes. It’s the easy way. It may even be cheating … but hey, God gave me the answers so …

I.Pray. the answers.

I’m going to post a list of scriptures I use to keep me from trying to make deals with and/or manipulate God and His will. Because if there are a few things that I REALLY believe it’s …

God’s got this.

God has a plan.

And WE WERE healed.

These are scriptures that I, and our friends, regularly pray over my husband and son. These scriptures can be used by anyone for anything, obviously! 1 John 4:4; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 118:14; Psalm 103:2; Jeremiah 30:17; Nahum 1:9 and Luke 5:17.

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O’ Lord this man.
We declare and decree the Word of God.
“Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
“By His stripes you are healed.”
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
“You shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
“Don’t forget the benefits of God. He heals all our diseases.”
“The Lord will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.”
“Affliction will not rise up a second time.”
“The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”

The Power of the Lord is present to heal you! Isn’t that wonderful?

I also rely heavily upon Psalm 91, because it contains EVERY promise God made to us! EVERY.ONE. It reassures my heart and clears my mind.

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a] And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

That’s my testimony! That I know, no matter what has taken place on any day, at any appointment, that the Power of the Lord is present to heal! That’s how I do this … that no matter my level of fear or anger …I.KNOW.GOD. and I.Pray.Thanks for reading. God bless.

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