What you think consistently becomes your reality.

The mind is extremely powerful and can change our mood in an instant for good or for bad. 

For me it’s easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts because of my illness.  It never goes away, I always have a reminder even when my pain isn’t as high as normal! I have  heard a few times lately someone say, “you know, you will never get better.” “This is, “Chronic.” “You just got to learn to live with it.”

Yep, I was told that a few times, over the last few months and it was like a knife in the gut. I could feel my existence get ripped right from underneath me.  God just made me stop one day and made me realize it doesn’t have to be that way. I can control what I am thinking.  

I am not in denial of my reality. But I am a child of God!! And I believe in miracles still. I am not at the mercy of what the doctors say!! I am at the mercy of God!

 What you think consistently becomes your reality.

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So, I am doing a new thing; and I challenge you if you are still reading this at this point and it has spoken to you at all to try it for a week in your life and let me know how it goes for you. Every time I think something negative, I stop and I immediately think of the positive side.  If I am wake up hurting, well I turn that and think, I woke up alive, I have a bed, I have a house, I have AC, I have a family, I am dry etc.. keep going until it speaks to you. I have to be mindful of what I hear and what I think. I will not allow myself to dwell on the negative any longer.

Proverbs 4:23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Carefully guard your thoughts
because they are the source
of true life.

I would rather be in control of my mind, have a strong mind and keep my thoughts positive and know that even if the world says this disease is killing me, God can turn this around anytime he wants. I would rather go down fighting with hope, than go down giving up.

Everybody has a story

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Fathers to the Fatherless

Father’s Day didn’t have any meaning to me for most of my life, my biological father was abusive, and it was just a bad reminder of the past, but Father’s Day brings new meaning since I met my spiritual father.

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 15 million people in the U.S are fatherless. My earthly father was not a good father at all. He provided none of the essentials that I needed as a child or even now as an adult. My relationship with my biological father was anything but loving and trusting, and for the first 9 years of my life, it was torture.

After being placed in a foster home for a substantial portion of my childhood even there I did not have a father. At church, I was told that God was my father, but to me that did not equate because of the experiences that I had already had. How could I see God as my Father when when my biological Father caused me so much pain and abuse?

I have always loved God but accepting him as a Father was difficult. I had such a tainted view of what a Father really was, and I couldn’t grasp the magnitude of God’s love for me as Father.

It took the love of a spiritual father to change my mind about what a father was. A spiritual father is a father figure within the Body of Christ.

It was because of his relentless love and acceptance that I could finally see the Heavenly Father in a true light.

Seeing A Loving Father for the First Time

My Spiritual Father

I did not know I needed a Father figure, but God knew I needed a Father figure. It was amazing, God gave me so much more than just a Father, he gave me a Dad. We have a trusting, healthy father/daughter relationship and I thank God every day for that blessing in my life.

I can’t thank him enough for his love, and commitment to me. My Dad corrects me when I am wrong, and he forgives me even when I don’t deserve it. That’s the thing, a real father always forgives, and moves on, just like our Heavenly Father. A Spiritual father will always express and exemplify and knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. A spiritual father will always give sound counsel and pour out blessings. A spiritual father will nurture and protect.He never leaves you even when you have messed up. A spiritual father will use those moments as teaching moments. A spiritual father should always be a representation of the heavenly father.

My Dad has also taught me a few other things, like how a real father is supposed to be.

1. My Father will never leave me.

God promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

God is deeply, unshakably committed to you. You never have to ask whether he will stay or leave.

My Dad shows me that a real Father will always be there no matter what. I never have to worry that he will get tired of me one day and be done with me, that’s not how a father/daughter relationship works.

2. The Father knows what I need.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)

My spiritual father always seems to know what I need spiritual and mentally and offers loving advice with respect to who I am a daughter.

3. The Father takes great delight in his children.

God says, in Isaiah 43:44” you all “his children” are precious in my eyes,”

Without any love or encouragement from my dad, I could easily question whether I was loved at all. I used to constantly battle with how much I was worth.

4. The Father loves Unconditionally

(Romans 5:6–8) He is a hope for the abandoned, a refuge for the fearful, a Father to the fatherless.

Thankfully, our heavenly Father’s love for us is not conditional. He does not love us based on what we do to deserve his love. God loves us just because he loves us. Even when we’re disobedient and rebellious, He loves us.

God reaches out to you in great love even when you are at your worst.

Father’s hold such a vital role in our lives. In a Christian home they are the beginning foundation of what our relationship will look like with our Heavenly Father.

If you don’t have a Father, consider reaching out to someone that has a close relationship with God and accept them as a mentor and if you are approached reciprocate. Maybe you don’t have a father, but you have a person in your life that has made an impact in your life, thank them this year.

Lastly, remember we all have our Father in Heaven. You can’t get any better than that. Make sure you honor him this Sunday and every day after.

Happy Father’s Day!

I can see a light.

I have walked through some of the darkest years of my life alone, so I thought. I have experienced broken-ness and I have been overwhelmed at times, afraid to move because if I dare, everything might collapse around me. I have feared to think the next thought, because I might not be able to hold it together.  I have thought more times that I want to admit, that I just can’t make it through another day. And yet, I still hold it all together because I am strong, I am a child of God, because I have a purpose.  I know that someone is reading this right now saying and I can identify with this heaviness. 

Here’s the thing, no matter where I have been on my journey, I have learned that all of those feelings are temporary, even if they come back after a while, they still go away.

God has always sent help my way. 
It may have been an encouraging word from a nurse, or something I read, or sending someone my way to bring a word of grace, but he has always provided what I needed when I needed it.

I just have to look for God, even in the smallest of things. He is always doing something.

God never leaves us even when the burden is way to heavy. Trust in this that he is with you, just as he has been with me.

David wrote in Psalms 23,” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”

Get out of the boat.

If there is one thing that I have learned from my life and walk with God, it’s that sometimes we are brought to our weakest point so that we can gain total dependency on God.

I have lost everything many times in my lifetime but God has rebuilt my life from scratch every time. I had many situations in my childhood that I do not know how I made it out alive, many unknowns, and close calls with my health now and I have had unknowns but God has always seen me through.

In those moments, I may have felt alone, but now I can recount times when I have no doubt that God was there, saving my life and intervening.

The most frequently repeated phrase in the Bible is “Do not be afraid!”

God is not speaking to our emotions, and since we can’t command emotions, however he is speaking to our will.

When Peter asked to get out of the boat, Jesus granted his request and said, “come to me,” however, the interesting thing is Jesus didn’t stop the waves or the storm. The further away Peter got from the boat, which was his safety, Peter started to get afraid and he began to sink.

Peter cried out, “Lord save me!!” And then, Jesus saved him and he rebuked him. “How little faith of you?”

Did Peter really trust Jesus? Sure, he did, after all, he got out of the boat but the fear of the storm paralyzed him.

When you step out of the boat you have to make a conscious decision not to allow fear to paralyze you.

Peter sank because he stopped walking towards Jesus and he allowed his emotions of fear to take over.

Faith is not knowing that God can but it is knowing that he will. Faith requires us to keep walking even when we are faced with fear, even if it’s the unknown.

I find that sometimes fear of the unknown gets the best of us at times. We walk in this life and everything is going great until one day something happens that we are unfamiliar with and we panic. It’s then that we have a choice, are we going to keep our eyes on Jesus and trust that no matter the road that we are led, he is in control or will we take our eyes off Jesus and let our emotions of fear take over.

I trust God with my life. And sometimes it is hard to keep focused on him when things feel like they are beyond my control but I know that God is my sufficiency, and when I am at my weakest, he is made strong.

No matter what you may be facing today, I encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus. #keepyoureyesonJesus

Speaking Life

Wouldn’t it be amazing if life wasn’t filled with heartache and pain? Imagine a world covered with love, joy, peace. A world where no one grieves, no one has pain, no one faces hardships, no one faces sickness.
The reality is, we all face struggles and hardships at some point in our lives. In the last four years I have faced countless illnesses with few answers. If you know me you probably know that I have many Autoimmune Diseases that affect my internal organs, it has been an ongoing battle . I have learned a lot about keeping my faith in God in the middle of these trying times. I believe that because I have kept my faith pretty strong through out that has carried me through.

Constantly receiving unwelcome news

I don’t consider myself negative, or lacking faith, but after some time constantly receiving unwelcome news week after week, with no in end in sight it started to get to me. I didn’t even recognize that my mind had started to shift into a place where I was losing, hope until my Dad started teaching about finding joy. He called me one day and told me to find the positive in every situation, even if it is bad news, find the positive. I was just going through another health scare and I have to tell you that at first, I was really angry, and I was “ice cold”, whenever he brought the subject up for the next few weeks. How could he be so insensitive? He told me with all the negative news, the negative thoughts, the negative speech comes, negative results. He wanted me to not only find the positive but he wanted me to turn on praise music, sing along, take out my guitar and sing to the Lord as much as possible without hurting me physically.

Dad’s right

As it turns out, Dad knows what he is talking about. I had realized that being sick has forced me to give up everything that I loved. So, I began to find little things that I could do even if it was in short increments, I had allowed my illness win for too long.
After praying about it, a lot, I did come around and realize the error of my ways and I began to really listen to my Dad. I picked up my guitar after a long time of not playing and began play worship music every morning. I had just quit because it hurt, but I can play for a short time and it is just enough for my spirit.

Change of mindset

What was most difficult was to make changes in my mindset, because when you are sick and there are no answers to be found, the last thing you can possible think about is something positive.

Stay positive.

I pay attention to the blessings that are interwoven in my own struggles. No matter what I am facing there is always something that I can find to be thankful for, I just have to look for them. I have to keep my mind positive.
I found that if I stepped outside of myself and allowed my flesh to get out-of-the-way I could speak positive words over myself. I say things like, “I am going to have a good day today.” No matter what the doctor says I say, “I believe I’m getting better.” When I get a negative report from the doctor, I go to God’s word and it says I’m healed because of the price that Jesus paid for my healing. When someone says negative words to me, I cast them down and get rid of those negative words. I say things like, “I have a bright future ahead of me,”

I do not allow other people’s negative thoughts enter my mind.  

I believe you are what you speak, so if you say you are going to have a bad day this morning, most likely you will. I am not saying its a cure all, but I am saying there is power in the mind.  

Lastly, speaking God’s promises is a key element in my healing process. I speak things like.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

John 1: 12 (NKJV)
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
(As a child of God, I have all the rights and privileges of being His daughter.)

Isaiah 53: 5 (NKJV)
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”

Psalms 118: 17 (Amplified)
“I will not die, but live, And, declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the LORD.”

Even though I do know a cure has not been found as of yet for Lupus, and I am facing some pretty big things, I also know that nothing is impossible, but all things are possible with God. I am choosing to put all of hope in him right now. I have nothing to lose at this point, except for maybe a bad attitude. I would rather spend my life deliriously joyful when the world thinks I shouldn’t be than be miserable and lonely and be the status quo.

What kinds of things do you do to change your mindset?

 

Laughter ( 6 sec. Video)

Happy Friday! 😁

Is there anything too hard for God? Sunday Sermon. (Audio)

Get out of that comfort zone!

As a mom of a rambunctious 11-year-old boy and a 15-year-old teenage girl, we are always learning life lessons in my house, but often I am the one giving the lessons and learning through their situation and seeing how I could do bette with things in my own life. Afterall, if I teach it to them, I better model it first.

Last week was no different, Katie has chosen to be a Veterinarian. We are so proudDSC_0057 of her, at fifteen I wish I had been half as goal oriented as her. She has her eye on the prize and she goes for it. She chose a High School that has a program that trains her to do exactly that. The plan is that when she graduates High School, she will be a certified Vet Tech,  and then she will go on to college and have a head start towards her career. She is so excited and this year she has enjoyed her first year in the Agriculture program. 

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However, Katie is also in Band. Katie is my musician of the family. She loves playing her flute, and choosing between music and becoming a Vet was actually hard for her.  Last year Katie paid her dues and did marching band for the year that she was told she had to do originally. She broke her knee, and marched anyway until the brutal end. This coming year, she physically can not march, but would like to continue symphonic band but they are requiring marching band if you want to be in band at all.

Katie agonized over this for weeks. She knew this would mean she would have to give up band. And as I watched my daughter, I had this chat with her one morning. 

Sometimes, you have to leave what you are comfortable with even if it hurts and you have to move forward to see what bigger and better things God has for you. That’s the problem we get so comfortable with where we are. All we see is what we are losing and we can not see what we are gaining.  If we would just move forward knowing that there are bigger and better things ahead we wouldn’t miss out on the blessings God has for us.

For Katie, moving away from her first love of band is extremely difficult, but God has huge things in store for her.  She is gaining more time with the animals, more experience, and things she really loves. She has the ability to give lessons for the flute as well so it’s not over, because she has time now. She can play more often at church. She can join the orchestra in town now. She can play for this blog more often now. There are so many opportunities and doors that can open up but she can’t limit God because she is afraid to lose the familiar…. otherwise she will never mature and never grow. How many of us get comfortable with where we are that we resist change and miss out on countless blessings? We don’t want to lose our comfy spot but if we would take a leap if faith, we wouldn’t lose at all we would gain everything. 

 I just thought this was worth sharing with all of you.

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Influence of Godly Mothers.

https://godinterest.com/2018/05/04/the-influence-of-godly-mothers/

The Influence of Godly Mothers

Through faith in God and by honoring His Word, godly mothers have great influence as they train their children.

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”

As a child, I never understood the magnitude of having a godly mother or the blessing of a mother’s love. My relationship with my biological mother was nothing close to what you read in most Hallmark cards and the Foster mother that I had was not a great substitute mother either. What I missed as a child was troubling but Mother’s Day is so much more than celebrating your own biological mother. Mother’s Day is also about celebrating the women that have stepped in that motherly role, the ones that have lifted you up in prayer day after day, loved you, befriended you, and guided you, these are the women that I call spiritual mothers.

What is a Spiritual Mother?

A Spiritual Mother is a woman that lives her life for God and helps and guides you in your walk with God. Like a mentor, only with a mother’s heart. A spiritual mother nurtures, cares, provides and creates an environment that can be trusted in which you can feel safe to grow in. Spiritual Mothers share wisdom and can help with seeing things from a different perspective. A Spiritual Mother will love you despite your shortcomings but help you shine in your strengths. Spiritual Mothers will bless and encourage the call of God on your life. Spiritual moms most of the time are not chosen by you, instead, typically they find you. A real Spiritual mother can sense the void in your life, they watch you and pray for you long before they ever come into a close relationship with you. They will never be pushy, but gently they walk along with you and when the time is right they draw close. A Spiritual mother’s love can be felt in the way they communicate with you. Their demeanor is typically soft if you need soft and firm if you need firm. I believe God has a spiritual mother in the world for everyone whether you have had a great mother or not. The need for Spiritual mothers is great, everyone needs someone to help nurture in time of need.

My Spiritual Mother 

I have a spiritual mother; her name is Crystal. I will never forget when I first became sick and was admitted to the hospital. She was always the first one there and the last one to come back. She took care of the little things and some big things. To say Crystal is just a mere mentor or Spiritual Mother doesn’t even give it justice. She is much more to me that she will ever know. She has been the mother that I never had, the kind of mother I needed so badly when I was younger. She has been the ear to listen, the one to check on me every single week, and she really cares for me. Through Crystal, I have truly had a taste of what a mother truly is and for that, I am so grateful. Crystal has been a grandmother to my kids and has given a lot of herself to me and my family. So right now, I want to take the time to honor my Spiritual Mother and say thank you to Crystal and we love you. Proverbs 31: 30-31 says;

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” 

I praise my Spiritual mother for her works of grace, mercy, and kindness and for taking me underneath her wings.

Being A Godly Mother

One of life’s greatest gifts you can give your children is to be a Godly mother. I will never forget holding my first baby girl just fifteen years ago. When I gave birth to my daughter, my love for her was instant and so great that I would lay my life down for her. I wanted a strong bond with her, and relationship where she knew she could come to me with anything in the world. Most of all I wanted her to know that she was a gift from God. Now, I have two beautiful children that I love so much. We say I love you every day, and we share hugs. We talk with each other, and I guide my children. I teach them the word of God. Proverbs 22: 6 ESV says;

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I believe that if I train my children to be model citizens, to be respectful, to know what manners are, to follow the ways of God, to live godly lives that not only will they live it out, according to Proverbs 22: 6, they will also teach their children the same values, morals and Christian characteristics.

Top 100 Chronic Illness Blogs.

Feedspot have put me in their list of ‘Top 100 Chronic Illness Blogs’ – I am quite honored to have been chosen as there are so many great bloggers out there on the web. Thank you to my amazing readers! Thank you Feedspot! God is so amazingly good to me!

Monday Morning Booster.

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Purpose.

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Often times in life I feel insignificant, like a small fish in a big ocean.  So many times I want to throw my hands up and just quit because of that but God says to me, “No, there is somebody that needs to hear you.”  I love it when God reminds me that even though I am sick and the world sees that I can’t do much for them, I still have a purpose and I can do great big things for him.

 

Gratitude √…What are you grateful for?

Admittedly I have been a little down for a few days but I find the best way to bring myself up is to start thinking about what I am thankful for. Basically, I count my blessings. Today I am thankful that I do have a wonderful family that loves me. I am thankful for the beautiful spring day today, and I am thankful that Jesus loves me.

What are you grateful for?

 

 

Trenton, Florida.

Gainesville, Florida, the swamp,  home of the Gators, my hometown for my entire life. Gainesville is a small college town made up of even smaller towns in the surrounding areas located in the country.

Trenton, Florida is my backyard. I hope that together we can unite and pray for this small community, the officer’s family, and for our continued prays for our country. FB_IMG_1524252365024

Practical Strategies to cope with Stress and Anxiety.

#anxiety #stress #practicalstrategiesforanxiety #Overcomer

Short Video

How strong is your trust in God?

I am trying something new and creative with my blog today. I took some time out to make a Video Blog. Please let me know what you think, I am eager to get some feedback on the message and the idea of the video blog.

 

God does not make us feel guilty.

Since I have been diagnosed with Lupus I seem to always have this battle inside of my own mind with not being able to be who I once was. I have a hard time accepting the transition of who I was to who I am now. I fight not being able to go and do all that I want, with all that I have in me, and it’s an exhausting fight.

Often times I end up hurting myself because I still have a lot of things that I want to do but there are more things that I can’t do. I have an ongoing battle in my mind and I often feel like I am not the person I was anymore. I feel guilty when I miss out on things. I feel guilty when I have to say I can’t go or I can’t do what people want me to do. There are a lot of days that I feel as if I have lost who I am and I feel guilty because it’s not fair to my family and friends. I feel guilty that my family and my friends watch me suffer.

If I had to take all my health issues and list out how each one affects me, I would say the most difficult one to handle is the emotions and guilt with being sick would be at the top of my list, I feel guilty for being sick and my illnesses drain my emotions.

No one really talks about it much but for me the guilt is devastating. A lot of people talk about slipping into depression and that is a huge subject for another day, but today I want to bring awareness to the fact there is a feeling of guilt in chronic illness and it is normal, I can only say how I feel about the guilt that I have but I am betting a lot of people with chronic illness has this as well.

Over the last few years, I have had to slowly succumb to the things I should not do. In some cases, it’s not the things that I cannot do but the things that I can do but if I do those things I suffer immensely. I can’t do things like I want to and like people want me to. It’s changed my entire life, and often I feel guilty for not being able to help, or volunteer, or just being able to jump in. I miss that part of my life.

However, I have to remember that guilt is not from God, it is the trick of the enemy. God never makes us feel guilty, God doesn’t work that way. When we feel guilty it is an emotion that makes us feel inadequate, sub-par, and below average; God has nothing to do with that, that is the enemy trying to bring us down so that we will give up.

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God draws us to Him out of love and compassion, it is our own insufficiencies that bring us to the point that we feel like we do not measure up to God’s standards and expectations.

I have learned to surround myself with Godly people who bring me back to where I need to be in order to fight this fight. I have also learned that I can not fight this fight alone. I have accountability, and I put it all down for Jesus to deal with.

If you have a chronic illness and you are fighting guilt, don’t give up! We are in this together, you are not alone. It’s ok to “not be ok.”


It’s ok to change your standards to brand new standards.


I am having to learn to do this, so we will do it together. It doesn’t mean we are any less, we are simply finding new ways to cope. Lastly, do not be afraid to go to your doctor because these feelings are normal and they can help. #guiltisnotofGod #chronicillnesslife #emotions #inspirational

tabitha lupus.blog

Katie’s music.

God is always moving.

God is always moving but it is easy to get caught up in the moment when hard times come, maybe you feel like you are in a dark hole screaming to the top of your lungs and nobody is hearing you. I know I have felt like this a time or two in the last four years at least.

Things happen that are beyond our control, and we put our faith in God just like we should. We pray and we pray and as far as we can tell, nothing is changing, then we begin to think that God isn’t moving. That is just enough for the enemy to creep in with his lies and fill our minds with doubt.

God is always moving even when we do not see it!!!

We just want to see a flashing neon sign saying, GOD is MOVING NOW!!

Blessings are often considered too late or not enough.

Maybe the miracles of God are exactly within that statement because God’s timing is perfect. He knows our needs and exactly how much we need. His ways are not our ways!!

God is God, he is all-powerful, all-knowing, all loving, and his love never fails.

Today, Praise God even if you are in the middle of a storm. He’s got this! He is moving!

#God # Lupus #chronicillness #trustGod #blessings tabithalupus.blog 

 

God gives me power and authority.

With every problem or crisis that we acquire, there are two choices; fear or faith, and we must choose one each time we face a crisis. We make the choice, fear or faith, almost immediately and most of the time we aren’t even aware that we are making a choice.

via God Gave Me Power and Authority — GODINTEREST – Christian digital media website exploring faith, culture and life

Being Understood

Being Understood.

Take responsibility for yourself. (Random rant.)

After talking to a childhood friend that grew up similar to me, I began thinking about how many people I know that use how tough they had it as a child as an excuse of why they aren’t where they want to be now in life and it turns out there are a lot. I have never allowed anything that ever happened to me in my past to be my excuse, in fact I have used the things that happened to me as a learning experience of what not to do. This was a random rant, not directed at anyone in particular. Just some thoughts that I needed to get out.

 

Surrounded ( Fight my battles) Michael W.Smith

 

This song seemed appropriate for my mood today. Enjoy.

Brotherly Love & Affection.

Sunday Morning Sermon by Pastor Johnie

Suffering doesn’t always have to mean hopeless.

When you are suffering it’s easy to slip into a state of hopelessness.

I live with chronic illness, my major organs are being attacked one of them is my heart, that means unless God heals me, I am not going to get any better. That also means, each day I have to be at peace with where I am at today, at this very moment. You can be angry about the past or your present right now, that’s entirely up to you. I tend not to give the power back over to the people or my illness that have already ruined things once.


The way I see it is; that I can live life one of two ways;


One; I was born into an unfair world, I suffered and I didn’t deserve how I got treated. I get knocked down too much and I don’t think life is fair so I am not going to even try. Life just sucks…

Two; I can use my circumstances and become stronger because of them. Every time life knocks me down, I get back up again using it as a spring-board. I focus on the good things in life and enjoy every moment in life that I do have.

I choose to live my life exactly like the second choice. I have no time for negativity in my mind because my time is so precious and limited.

I refuse to allow myself to think about how unfair my illness is.  I know the consequences in the end, but I do not dwell on them. I am making my life worthwhile anyway though, no matter the trials. 

Make your life count for something no matter what is going on in your life. If you are sick, count your blessings still.

I would rather live out the rest of my days being grateful for all the things I  do have, rather than be upset, live in regret, waste precious time, for the things I didn’t do or don’t have.

How to find the”perfect”, church? My view from the pew.

Do I Have to Go to Church to Be a Christian?
 It’s Sunday morning and we have a choice to make. Do we get up and get the kids and ourselves ready for church or do we lay in bed, maybe sleep in, or watch some TV church for a few minutes until we get bored and turn the channel to Food Network?
There is a brand-new trend that I have been hearing about lately, it’s called “stay at home Christians.” What does that mean anyway? I have also heard, “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” Let me set this straight, no, we don’t have to go to church to be a Christian, but we live in a free country where we have the right to go to any church we choose to attend, not everyone gets that choice. All over the world, especially in communistic countries, people do not get the choice of what church they want to go to attend.
 Here are some reasons why people are not going to church. I did a little research and this is what I found.
1. Churches are always asking for money. 
*It’s your choice to give or not to give. God is the one that requires tithes and offerings, take it up with Him.
(My home church does not pass an offering plate around, we have a box for tithes and offerings.)
2. Sunday’s are my only days to sleep in.
 *A lot of churches have Saturday night services as well as Sunday morning and afternoon services.
3. I don’t get anything out of it.
 *It is up to the individual what they get out of church. Some people go for the music, some people go for the message and still others go for the fellowship.
Honestly what we get out of church is what we put into church. If we will worship during the music, we will be blessed. If we will apply the message to our own life, we will be filled. If we are friendly, we will gain friends.
There are also some reasons that I believe that we should go to church. Let me give my top three reasons for going to church.
1. After Jesus went to be with the Father in Heaven, He told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit was given to them. After Pentecost, the Bible records in Acts 2: 42-44 (ESV),
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
 The people who followed Jesus and had received the Holy Spirit fellowship together and had all things in common
2. We are a body of Christ. We should worship together, encourage one another, learn God’s word together, pray for one another and strengthen one another.
3. When we have a church home we have a church covering. That means that we are covered in prayer by other Christians at all times. I understand that we can pray for ourself, that is great, but wouldn’t it be better to be covered in prayer by the pastor and the prayer warriors at a local church that loved us, and knew us.
 When we are not under a covering, we choose to fight the enemy alone. Wouldn’t we rather have an army with you fighting then fighting on our own.

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How do I find the perfect church for me?

The truth is, there is not a perfect church. We are all sinners saved by grace, gathered together in our Fathers house under one roof however there is a church that we can belong to and we can grow in.
Finding a church that believes the way you do can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The excuses run wild with why people can’t find the perfect church these days.

The millennial’s, for the most part, are looking for great music and a modern service. The older generation typically likes the traditional style of church services. It’s no wonder people have a challenging time finding a church that fits them, but many of the larger churches offer both styles of services at different times.


 We are in a state of transition as the body of Christ right now and attendance is at a staggering all-time low.

Almost ten years ago, there was always something wrong with all the churches that my husband and I visited; the church was too small, they used chairs, I liked pews, the music was not moving, the Pastor didn’t move the earth and sky with his sermon. When we had enough excuses, we would move on to another church. We walked into every church expecting to “fit,” in somewhere and that was never going to work.
 Things began to change, oh sure, you could find us on the same pew every Sunday unless we really didn’t feel like going. We didn’t speak to anybody, we didn’t move when it was time for meet and greet. As far as we were concerned we went to church because it was the right thing to do. We came in to church, sat down, enjoyed the worship, enjoyed the sermon and at the end of service we went straight home, with no real communication.
It wasn’t until I met, what was soon to be, my Spiritual Father who made me get up off that pew and become sociable. I started helping with small jobs. I became a greeter on Sunday mornings and if I wasn’t greeting, I walked around and “tried” to carry on conversations with people. I taught children’s church occasionally. I volunteered for church events. I stayed after church and helped clean up.


 All of these things added up to molding myself into a church family. I had to learn to make myself mold into the church and create a place for myself instead of trying to make the church fit to me. The trick is, you must get up off that pew and move!!! Move around the church, sit in a different spot. God may have a special person that needs to connect with you.

 The excuses for not being able to find a good church are just silly. Pick a church that you agree with what they believe, then go, and mold yourself into that family! Be a part of the kingdom of God and grow.
 As for me and my family, we continue to mold ourselves into our church family and be disciples for Christ.

How to battle fear.

Fear is something that we will all experience in our lives, but fear is actually an emotion that we can control.

Fear is an emotion that brings on a reaction of fight or flight. Fear can manifests itself in all areas of our lives. When fear comes, we generally choose one of two pathways; we either stand and battle out whatever is causing the fear, or we run away from the fearful situation. Fear is the most powerful weapon that the enemy can use against us. Living in fear can absolutely can kill, steal, and destroy. Isn’t this the scheme of Satan?

As I am watching the latest on the school shooting here in my home state of Florida, many thoughts are running through my mind. I wonder how many parents are thinking they need to homeschool their children.
I wonder how my daughter and son would react in the same situation if it happened in their schools. Would they give in to fear, would they be able to react in time and overcome their fear to survive? How many teachers are thinking they need to resign?
Last night one of the schools in a nearby small town cancelled school today because of a potential threat. This morning, I watched my kids walk out the door for school, and worry did run through my mind, but I also know that I cannot give into fear. I lived in fear for many years of my life as a result of an abusive childhood.
It took a long time for me to learn how to control my fear but once I did my life changed dramatically. First, I had to accept that there are some things in life that I am not going to be able to control. I have to live my life, and stop merely existing. Fear can paralyze even the strongest of person, and the grip is so tight it’s almost impossible to get out of its hold. Fear would give me overwhelming anxiety and take over all of my senses. Understand that fear is a product of the evil in this world and that evil uses fear to control. Once you allowed fear to enter into your mind you are already suffering.
There are a lot of things going on in the world right now and we can choose to be afraid, to send our kids to school and or we can teach them to speak up when they see questionable Snapchats, texts, or whatever.

We can equip our children to live in their generation without being afraid. Our kids will emulate our actions and reactions so we need to learn how to deal with fear first and foremost.

One of the ways that I battle fear is to control my mind and it’s thought processes. Satan can do a lot of things but he cannot control your thoughts. The mind can occupy just one single thought at a time.

So, in order to keep fear at bay, I have learned the key point to getting out of the emotion of fear is to stay positive. I have learned to make positive statements to myself almost repetitively. I have found that when I think on the positive aspects of my life or the positive things around me, my conscious mind eventually accepts my subconscious mind. I have learned to make positive statements to myself almost repetitively. I have found that when I think on the positive aspects of my life or the positive things around me, my conscious mind eventually accepts my subconscious mind.

One other thing I hold on to keep me calm is reading my favorite passages in the Bible. The Bible holds a wealth of comforting words to keep me calm and serein, so, often I go to the Bible to read passages that hold fearful situations back.
Fear is the opposite of faith, and as long as I have God in my life I trust in His plan for me and my family. The Bible says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear…” (2 Timothy 1: 7a NKJV) Because I know that fear is not of God, I choose to not let fear control me. Satan would have me to doubt and fear, God would have me to trust Him and live a happy fulfilled life despite what terrible things happen to me and around me. God didn’t give us the Spirit of fear. We can’t control what is going on in the world, but we can control our emotions and how we allow fear to play a part in our lives.

Day 4..How does Autoimmune affect our family.

My husband hangs in there. Working two jobs and helping me to do day to day things. We have two kids and even that is a challenge for me at times, he has to pick up a lot of the slack. My health has declined over the last four years and yet he is still here. Out of anybody my illness affects him the most. This is what he had to say.

Before Tabitha was diagnosed with LUPUS, we both worked and were able to provide our kids with most of their needs on a daily basis. Then on that day in April of 2014 when we went to the ER and received the diagnosis that she had a DVT on her right thigh, things started to get turned end over end. Within a few days we were told that she had antiphospholipid syndrome and LUPUS. It seemed that every time we went to a doctor we were told that she had another problem. She lost her job and we were starting to wonder what we would do. I got a second job and we were blessed with me having two employers who are flexible enough that I can be at her doctor’s appointments to support her and help her.

It has been a major adjustment for all of us in the last four years. I spend a lot of my time at work worrying about her and trying to coordinate all of her appointments with my work calendar and trying to keep enough leave time to make sure I can get her to them. I try to do everything I can to help her get through each day. I help in setting up her meds for her and making sure she gets them every day.

I try to put her needs before mine because she needs help with a lot of day to day activities. I believe we will find something one day that will improve her quality of life to a level that she will not be in so much pain and able to function better, but until then I will continue to do what I can to help her. She deserves that from me and I want to give it to her.

In case you missed it…

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

 

Previous post includes a letter from my Dad, my daughter, and my best friend.

Day 3…How does Auto immune affect our family.

This is my best friend and her perspective. When you have chronic illness, it’s hard to keep friends close because you constantly have to cancel plans and she does get that from me. I have tried my best to educate everyone in my life what Lupus is. I believe that has helped my relationships.



I have known Tabitha most of my life and she is one of the strongest people that I know. She can handle just about anything that is thrown her way. When she told me she was diagnosed with Lupus, I had no idea what that really meant. It took some learning on my part to understand how this can really impact a
person’s life and change everything that they know. As I said before, Tabitha is one of the strongest people I know, if not the strongest. I am always worrying about her even when I don’t say it; that is just who I am as a person. When I do ask how she is, she quickly tries to comfort me with a “I’m fine”, “things
are great”, but I can see hurt in her eyes, or hear the pain in her voice that is caused by this disease. I wish that everyday I could make the pain go away or make it my own, that way she would no longer suffer. I worry for her family too and wish they could have their mom back in full health that she use to be. She is loved beyond words and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her, even write this up with

the little sleep I have had, working over 12 hours a day, going out 10 days straight. I Love you Tabitha.



In case you missed it….

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

See previous post for letters from other family.

Let me let you in on the seriousness of my Autoimmune Disease story. Let’s get real for a minute.

 Let’s get real for a minute. 

I think at times I downplay the seriousness of my autoimmune diseases and I don’t allow others in on the reality of my story. 

My major organs are being attacked. I have heart blockages in my right bundle branch and I have the beginnings of kidney issues due to lupus. My digestive system doesn’t work as at it should, for my digestive system to break down foods it takes three times as long as a normal system.



I have over ten autoimmune diseases all of them have symptoms of their own. Lupus, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Lupus Nuephritis, Gastroparesis Nuerocardiogenic syncope,Sjogens, Autonomic dysfuction, Esophageal dysfuction, Arthritis, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Autoimmune dysautonomia, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Myositis, chronic pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia. I am sure I have forgotten to list something because I also suffer from short term memory loss. 



 

I have to take a hand full of medication in the morning and at night, where before I became sick getting me to take Tylenol was difficult. 
I am on a healthy eating plan because I have serious digestive issues. I eat soft foods, I do not eat much more than a cup full of food at a meal. I do not eat sugar, processed foods, fried foods, gluten or bread. 
I have people advising me continuously about special diets, gluten free diets, vitamin rich diets and more as if these would cure things in an instant. I have a list of foods that my doctors tell me I cannot eat but I continue to fight every single day to stay alive and to stay healthy.
I just turned 39 years old on Friday and I plan on spreading awareness of the horrible autoimmune diseases that attack millions of people so that one day there might be a cure. 
My desire is to make the public aware of autoimmune disease and to reach as many people as I can for Jesus Christ. God has given me peace about what is happening in my body and I want everyone else to find peace as well. I remain positive because the only one that can heal me is God. He is all I have.
 

Day 2…How does Autoimmune Disease affect our family? A note from my 14 year old daughter.

Being the daughter of a mom that has lupus can be tough sometimes. I have struggled with anxiety since the very beginning. Several times I would be at school and wonder, “Will my mom be okay?.”  It seems like we all have a jump scare at least once a year. I always sit in my bed every night and pray to God about
everything but my mom is always at least one of the topics. I used to be afraid to tell my mom about my personal problems because I would be afraid that it would stress her out even more than she already was. I felt like I had a voice in the back of my head telling me not to worry but I didn’t listen to it. That was one of my big mistakes I made through this journey. Ever since 5th grade, I went through anxiety
thinking I may come home to something bad happening.
If I could give advice to another daughter that has a parent in this situation, I would suggest not to worry because God has a plan for all of us. Usually when these things happen it’s to teach us a lesson. Personally, for me it has taught me hope. While writing this I
had to think about what hope actually was. When I searched what “hope” meant it said, “a feeling of trust”. I learned to trust God with my mom. Every now and then I still think, “Is my mom going to be okay?”, but I still say I need to trust God.
Romans 5:5 says, “Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured
out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”





 

In case you missed it……

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

How does living with Autoimmune Disease affect our families?

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

My first letter will be from the man that I call my Spiritual Father but by all rights and purposes he is my Dad.

Actually I feel more like a father to Tabitha than just a spiritual father. I hurt when she hurts, I’m sad when she is sad, I empathize when I can do nothing but offer words of comfort. I have walked a hard road with Tabitha for nine years, most of those years were dealing with the past atrocities that she has suffered. Those former years, before I knew her, have made me angry and hurt at the people that have hurt her. I can do nothing about those people but I can be there for Tabitha. Now, as almost insult to injury, she has been plagued with a debilitating disease. I’m not angry with God because of her life of torment and pain, He didn’t cause them, but He has lifted her up through them and has given her hope and a platform to help and encourage others. I never ask God why this is happening to Tabitha, in fact I think this is Satan’s way of trying to silence her, but he has failed to do that, her voice of hope and encouragement is stronger than ever. The sicker she gets, the more I encourage and the more I ask God to heal and protect her from Satan’s talons and I will do that until the day God calls me home.
I tell Tabitha that God is as all we have.  This is a fallen world and we, as the human race, have chosen to do our own thing, but God still stands and waits for His children to call out to Him, to call His name, to ask for help, healing and mercy and He has done just that for Tabitha. The help and healing isn’t manifested in the way we would always want, but still God continues to bring help and healing in new ways that is overwhelming victories. We see that God is doing greater things than just stopping the pain and sickness, He has created miracles that Tabitha and I rehearse continually to keep them fresh in our minds and hearts. That doesn’t mean God is not touched with our infirmities, He hates for His children to suffer, but suffering is a part of this world. One day this will all be over and we will go to a place of bliss forever. For now, we will stand, we will fight the enemy and we will continue to believe that God has a plan. Our faith and trust are in God. God has been my source of strength for longer than Tabitha has been alive, now I will be her source of strength. I will stand with her, hold her up when I need to, pray for her, encourage her, listen to her, cry with her and continue to love her just like the Father has loved me. In fact, that is how I have known how to be a father to Tabitha, God has been a great Father to me.

 

Fear of family and friends leaving when you have Autoimmune Disease.

Why not me?

Why me? I have struggled with this question a lot throughout my life. Why did I have to have the parents that I had, abusive in every since of the word? Why did I have to have the dysfunctional family that I grew up with? Why did I have to spend a good portion of my childhood in foster care. Why did I have to get sick? Why did I have to lose my job? Why can’t I go and do as I please like so many other people do in this world? WHY, WHY, WHY?

Life is not always fair but I do believe that everything happens for a reason and God always has a plan, even if I don’t see it. I know He did not cause me to have the past that I have and He did not make me sick; that is just a product of living in a fallen world. So, where does God fit in the grander scheme of life? He is my source, my rescuer, my comforter, my healer. God heals in many ways, that is something that I have come to realize.

Not so long ago, I had been going through a particularly tough day and I had come to my breaking point when I asked God one last time, WHY ME?

It felt like an avalanche was coming down on me since I had found out that I was sick with Lupus. It was one thing after the other and the bad news wasn’t letting up. I was tired of the unfairness of life in itself.

That day, I asked God, why me? I didn’t expect the answer that I got back. Why Not YOU?  I had been so wrapped up in the unfairness of life, that I had forgotten that God can use every situation in my life to show His power.

Paul states in 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9 ESV, “…a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul wanted this torment to end but Jesus told Him “My power is made perfect in weakness…” Then Paul says something very strange and foreign to our intellect, “…Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12: 9 ESV) Paul actually considered himself to be in the right place at the right time with an infirmity that was going to make him stronger. In fact, Paul goes on to say, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12: 10 ESV)

Although, I cannot equate everyone’s situation and illnesses to mine, I can say for me that God’s grace is sufficient for my needs. When I am faced with the why me, I will stop and ask Why not me?

How far would I be willing to go, to share Jesus with others? I could choose to stay in the why me or I could move forward and be in the why not me?  I am not signing up to be sick, but since these things are a part of my life, I am willing to use my weaknesses as a testimony to share with the world, my Heavenly Father’s Love, grace and mercy. I am willing to be open and real about my life experiences and share as I go through this journey with others. I am far from perfect, I stumble and I fall just like everyone else, but at the end of the day I remember that I have a Savior no matter what I am facing.

Every day is a huge cross to bear for me, but I can either ask why me or I can take up my cross and follow HIM. And that is the song I will sing until I go to meet my Father in a perfect place, where there is no sickness or dying. His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness.

 

 

 

What really constitutes being a Father?

I was born in the most obscure circumstances possible. My biological father was abusive in every way possible from the time I was just a toddler until I was nine-years-old. My parents divorced at that time and for a short time my three siblings and I  lived with my mother.
One day, without any forewarning  my siblings and I were taken away from our mother and placed in foster care. Although we were safe from physical abuse in our foster home, mental abuse was still the order. I learned at an early age how to look after myself and to protect my brother and two sisters. For the most part, I was the father and the mother to my siblings. Still, even in the midst of an abusive life, God still found a way into my life and he placed different people in my path even for short times.
Even though my life had been filled with abuse, neglect, and abandonment, God was still a part of my life. We were taken to church, we were taught about Jesus and I managed to find people that seemed to care about me and my siblings despite our plight in life. I knew who God was but I did not have a relationship
with Him. When people would say that God was my Father, I could not relate, every father I had known to this point was a bitter
disappointment.
I met my husband when I was just a eighteen. After a very short courtship we would become engaged and married just a short time
later. One of the defining factors of my relationship with my husband was that he went to church with his parents. I too wanted
to go to church and so I attended church with my husband and his parents.
One day a missionary came to our church and talked about Guatemala. I connected with the pictures of the starving dirty poor children and I wanted to go help. This mission trip would be a life changing experience for me.
At this time in my life I was twenty-nine years old, had two small children but I was still not over my past and the abuse that I had
suffered, but I was determined to keep moving, that was the only thing I knew, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
On the mission trip I became acquainted with the Associate Pastor of the church.  Back home, at the church for an entire year he had been relentless to always go out of his way to speak to me and my husband and he would call us by name. However, I was not about to let anyone in my life, I had a hedge of protection around me, and I would not give him the time of day.
On the mission trip He spent time talking to me, encouraging me and even pushing me to become more connected and to break out of my shell.
When we came back home from the mission trip, I began to open up to the Associate Pastor. He proved to me to be trustworthy. He was patient, he taught me the word of God, he prayed for me over and over again. One day I realized, “maybe this is what a dad really is?”
I wish time would allow for me to tell of all that I have learned from this man, but one thing that stands above the rest is his unconditional love. No matter how stubborn I was, no matter how angry I was, he still loved and cared for me and kept leading me to Jesus.
We have built a trusting relationship for nine years and he has taught me everything a real father should have. This man is now my spiritual father, because of Him I can call God my Father for the first time and mean it because now I understand what a father really is.
I believe that spiritual fathers and spiritual mothers are essential in the church for repairing damage that has been done to young Christians. For me, it was the only tangible way to learn the basics of a relationship without expectations. Because of one person willing to take the time to step out in faith and keep trying even though it was difficult, I was able to know unconditional love and give my life willingly over to God. #unconditionallove #survivor #metoo

My daughter playing At the Cross by Chris Tomlin.

I am so proud of this girl right here. Not only does she play her flute beautifully but she is a great daughter.

Please Share This.

 

What is autoimmune disease to me?

What is autoimmune disease? The medical definition is as follows; An illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system. 

However, I have my own thoughts on what autoimmune disease means to me.

For me it’s not knowing what comes next. My good days are a normal person’s worst day. It’s the daily renewing of my mind to fight against depression, aggravation, and anger. It’s a daily awareness of how I feel, things I do, and how much I do.  It’s a daily fight for my life. 

 

Chronic illness is more than just a disease that makes my body hurt and an illness that won’t ever go away. It’s mentally draining, it attacks me to my core. Some of my biggest fears in life have had to be confronted in order to survive this illness. There isn’t room for wasting precious energy on things that I can’t control.

Facing a chronic illness is not easy, it’s scary and full of unknowns and unanswered questions. It can be lonely at times, even if you do have a full circle of supporters. I often see that other people say that no one understands them, and that is right! No one can possibly understand what you are going through except for yourself. It is your journey. However, we can’t get caught up in how much others do or do not understand what we are going through when we really can’t fully understand it ourselves. 

If you are a caretaker of someone with Autoimmune disease, the biggest gift you can give to your loved one is to say I believe you and listen. Understand that this illness is beyond what you can see, physically and psychologically. 

If you are one of my fellow spoonies, find a support system of others that you can gather information from and that can relate. If you need a support buddy, message me!

What is autoimmune disease to you? 

 

 

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Monday morning pick me up. ( Good News!)

Good News!
Luke 2: 10-11
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
I have good news for you today. Today, we celebrate the birth of the Savior but that is just the beginning, this Savior is available to you and me every day. He has the gift of life, He has the power to defend, He is the one that holds our hand and sees us through every situation and predicament that we face today. He will comfort when we are sad, He will rejoice with us when we rejoice. He is the perfect gift, the perfect companion, a perfect Savior.

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to take the time to wish all of my followers, readers, and anyone that sees my posts a Merry Christmas! 

My fellow Spoonies: remember to conserve your spoons,( energy) , do more sitting than doing, take advantage of all the family in your house this year and allow them to help. Your body will thank you on Tuesday! 

An encouraging letter to everyone who has Autoimmune disease.

For those in the world who suffer with the debilitating disease such as Lupus, I pray for strength, for mercy, for healing. Having someone so close to me that suffers with this disease is not easy. Day after day, she suffers what seems to be alone, although I know she is never alone, God is with her, I believe in her, and I pray for her continually.  This disease has been harder than so many diseases because you can’t see the effects of this disease, she looks like the person I have known for almost nine years, but silently she suffers immensely. So, I stand by her, I listen, I pray and I try to encourage her every day.
For the community of those who are suffering with Lupus and Connective Tissue Disorder, I pray for a cure, I pray for God’s healing and I want to say to you, I stand in the gap with you. I pray that the people in your life will not show pity but strength, love and encouragement. I pray that your spouses will get a clue and be supportive, understand what you are going through, be caring and always be a shoulder to lean on. I pray that your children will be a helping hand, and that they will inspire you and take some of the weight off your shoulders by helping out the best they possibly can.
I offer this word of encouragement to so many that suffer with these autoimmune diseases, stand with each other, encourage one another. Amos 3: 3 in the Bible says, “Can two people walk together without agreeing on a direction? Coming together and supporting one another and offer sound advice is a key component of healing. If you have found some practical things that have helped you, share it. If you have learned a few things from reading and studying these diseases that will help someone else spread the wealth. If your doctor has been successful in helping in any way, let people know. There is strength in numbers. Lastly, “God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1: 7 NKJV). Power to rise above, love is the strongest medicine, and a sound mind is for those dark hours when things seem hopeless or when someone else needs a word to keep them going. Proverbs 16: 24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Blessings,
Pastor Johnie

 

Much-Afraid.

I used to be afraid of everything, so much that my mentor called me “Much Afraid.” After a lifetime of horrible things that I could not control, it’s no wonder that I was afraid of things that I could not control as I became an adult. 

I doubted

I worried constantly about things that were completely out of my control. I lived inside of an irrational fear, that created anxiety inside of me; to live inside of my head was torture. I was constantly afraid of losing people who I invested in, I doubted others love for me, I was afraid of every what if you could imagine.

Thank God

Anxiety seemed to always linger around and when real life things would come, I couldn’t control it.  It kept me from moving forward and growing for a long while. I worked really hard to change my mindset and come out of that stronghold, and thank God I did because I do not think I could handle all of my illnesses now with that state of mind back then.

It’s ok.

I think it’s ok to feel afraid and even have anxiety as long as it’s not controlling your mind, your will, and emotions.

You have a friend.

No matter what anyone says you can’t just snap out of anxiety, it does take a lot of work, and perseverance. You are battling your mind after all. Tackle it one day at a time. If you are having anxiety know that I am here and I will support you.

There was a famous line used in the inaugural address of Franklin D. Roosevelt that I live by. “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

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Monday Encouragement.

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Autopilot.

Most of us go through our days on autopilot, we aren’t really living, we simply exist. For most of us, we can’t wait for Friday to get here, and then we spend our weekends wishing Monday would delay coming.
 
For others, they rush around pressing time, they simply cannot wait for the next hour to get here, but life is way too short to rush. Life goes by in the blink of an eye and before they know it, they are looking back, wondering what happened to life. What’s worse, pushing time has sealed their fate, where has it taken them, how did they get there so fast, what did rushing buy them. 
 
Today, I choose to slow down and enjoy life.Despite all the illnesses and diseases that I have, I still have presence of mind. I can still live my life, I can still be thankful, I can still enjoy the simple pleasures even if life has dealt me a bad hand. Those things that I truly live for, God, family, friends, community, and even contact with people like you, it is those things that will pull me through the hard times. Though some may not agree, I am blessed and have been blessed beyond measure. Just because I am ill, that will not steal my joy or the memories of what God has done for me and my family.
Here is what I propose; today, right now, slow down, take some time to live your life, enjoy the cool weather, have a picnic with your kids, have some friends over for a BBQ, hang out after dark and see how clear the stars are in the winter. Be thankful for the blessings that you have, be thankful for the blessings of the past and don’t worry about the things that you don’t have or the things you did not do. Don’t let life pass you by and don’t just simply exist, life is too short for that. Live your life to the best of your ability.
 

It’s ok to not be ok…But not for long.

I am convinced, now more than ever, that my childhood prepared me for this battle of illnesses that, simply put, is trying to kill me physically as well as mentally. I have struggled with so many illnesses in the last three years, every time I go to the doctor it seems there is just more diagnosed illnesses on top of what I already have. It should be overwhelming for me and perhaps I should be sitting in a corner sucking my thumb, rocking back and forth, but I am actually at peace. I want to share how I am able to handle and process these things that have been happening to me. 

We all have feelings and that’s a really good thing because that enables us to love others and respect each other but our feelings can also be a very damaging thing as well.  For me my feelings either control my situation or I control my feelings and overcome my circumstances.
It is ok to feel worried or scared, but I have found that in order to control my feelings about bad news I have to consciously tell myself how long I am going to have negative feelings. 
I literally have to stop and think about how I feel about each situation. I cannot group all of my issues together as one big problem, that would be too much, I have to look at things in a smaller scale. I choose not to worry. I choose to keep in mind the some of my situations are overwhelming, but I also search for the best outcome. I try and stay in control of my feelings. 
 I have had to face many circumstances that have been out of my control. I have had to accept that’s it is ok to feel down and confused at times but only for a short period. I have to be responsible to bring myself back out of negativity and control my feelings about the circumstance that come my way. It’s ok to not be ok, as long as I don’t stay there for long. 

How to sharpen your listening skills.

Listening is an important skill to have but a lot of people do not really know how to listen effectively. I have learned over the years that the most valuable thing that I can offer to anybody is to simply be a good listener. If you think about it, a truly best friend is a great listener. Most of the time people are looking for friends who will listen without judging.
When talking about my illness to people I have find that I have run across people that simply do not listen. Although it comes from the right intentions, people will try to relate to my illness with something that they have had before and often will hand out unwanted and bad advice when all I really need is for them to listen. We all have our own story, no one really knows how you and I feel, they can relate, but they do not know how we feel. We all handle our trials, troubles and illnesses differently, we are all unique, our internal make up is different, our feelings are our feelings. Try to never say, “I know how you feel.”
Here are some great ways to begin sharpening your skills on listening to others. 
1. Allow others to say what they are going to say. Let them tell their story, an opportunity will come at some time in the relationship for you to tell your story in relation to their story.
2. Stay silent!
3. Bank information.
4. Be open and receptive.  nod, smile, make occasional eye contact, act like you care.
5. Only give advice if the person asks for it and keep the advice short and to the point.
If you found this blog helpful, please like and share.
 
 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

I have walked through some of the darkest years of my life alone, so I thought. I have experienced brokenness and have been completely overwhelmed I was afraid to move. To think the next thought, I might fall apart.  I have thought more times that I want to admit, that I just can’t just make it through another day through my illness. I hold it all together for myself, my husband, and more than anything for my kids.I know I am not alone, because I know that someone is reading this right now saying that they know these feelings too. 

No matter where I have been in this journey, I have learned that all of those feeling are only temporary even if they come back after a while. God has always sent help my way.
It may have been an encouraging word from a nurse, or something I read, or sending someone my way to bring a word of grace, but he has always provided what I needed.

I have to look for God even in the smallest of things. He is always doing something. I know the closer that I walk with God, the more Satan will try to detour me. He certainly doesn’t want me to rise above my problems and he doesn’t want me to get close to my Heavenly Father.

What Satan doesn’t realize is the very tool that he thought would make me turn on God has brought me even closer. The sickness and the hardships of my life has made me put total dependency on God, instead of myself or someone else.

David wrote in Psalms 23,” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”

“I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4: 11b-13

“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Being content is not being passive but it is about being comfortable with who God made you as a person. We can all look at ourselves and think, “I could have done better,” and allow that to motivate us to be a better person, that is a great motivation to action idea.

To be comfortable with who God made us, is not an excuse to do nothing, it is saying, “I have been created for a reason, even in the situation that I was born,” God has a plan. It is never too late to fulfill God’s plan for our life. God does not make mistakes and we were not a mistake in any way, God has a reason for our existence, it is up to us to find that reason and do the best we can for Him.

Being content is a spiritual state of mind. That state of mind looks beyond the natural into the supernatural and says, “despite what I think about myself in the flesh, God has a reason for who I am and where I am, I will do what He has called me to do.”

 

Mid-week pick-me-up.

A great tip to improve Brain Fog. 

I wanted to take a moment and discuss Brain Fog. I have Lupus, and Fibromyalgia and lately symptoms of brain fog have affected me greatly. It’s has made it extremely difficult to think in complete thoughts, I forget what I am saying in mid-sentence, I forget descriptive words, dates, the days of the week, etc. I was getting extremely confused more and more and to me it was really frustrating. I was feeling like I was stuck inside my own head. 

My Rhuematologist suggested a supplement of DHEA last visit. She said, “there were studies that were proven that DHEA was used to treat Lupus and brain fog.” 

DHEA is a steroid hormone produced by the body’s adrenal glands that has anti-inflammatory effects.

I was desperate to think straight. Ordinarly, I am not a believer in quick fixes, but it was an over-the-counter supplement that my doctor said she even tried, so why not, I tried it and I am glad I did. Within a week, I could tell a difference in the Brain Fog. She warned me that she will want to increase the dosage but right now a little relief was very welcomed. 

So if you are a Lupus/Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue/ or you just suffer from Brain Fog it’s definitely worth a talk with your doctor to see if this is good for you.