Month: May 2017

Monday morning pick me up. ( The secret for happiness and success in life.)

Every morning my Pastor at Grace Fellowship Ministry writes and sends out a personal devotion to each of his members in our church on text. I have asked him to write Monday morning pick me ups for this blog because I know that when Monday comes we all need a little encouragement and he was happy to help me out. I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I do. Please feel free to leave any comment or any questions and I will make sure that they all get to him personally. Happy Monday everyone!!

Joshua 1:8
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

If I were to tell you that I have the secret for happiness and success in life, what would you think. Skeptical? Don’t be, because it’s true, I have the secret to living an abundant Life. God gave Joshua the inside scoop; Keep God’s word as your foremost guide. Meditate on His word, talk about His word, discuss His word whenever you can.
Here is what I usually get from people, especially Christians; “I don’t understand the Bible.” Really? There are over 450 English translations of the Bible and thousands of commentaries about the Bible and you can’t find one that speaks to you? Listen, if you want to prosper and be successful, go to the promise from God’s own mouth, meditate on His word, it will give you abundant Life.

My God is bigger!!

This morning, I was listening and singing to one of my new favorite songs that I have recently found, “My God is Bigger”, written by Matt Fawcett. The chorus goes like this:

My God is bigger, than the stars in the sky

My God is bigger, than the question why

My God is bigger,than the saltiest sea

My God is big, enough to love me.

As I was singing this song I realized that if I truly believe that God is bigger than anything that I face, then what do I have to worry about?  I have been facing some pretty extensive things with my health and now I am having to take chemo therapy for my Lupus. If that were not enough, I have some extensive things going on with my family. Some days I don’t know what to expect, and I don’t how things are going to work out.  I asked myself this morning, how much more can I take? God told me, it’s not for you to take on anyway, cast your cares on me. So, no matter what I am facing today, or in the coming weeks he can take it on. He is bigger than any problem that I may face, bigger than anything I can imagine in my mind. Today, I am casting all my imaginations down, I’m not going to allow myself to dwell on the negative, the illness, the problems. Since God is bigger, I’m going to give it to God and let go of everything that keeps me from seeing Him move. I am going to choose not to be too anxious or worry about what I can’t change any way. I must trust that he is bigger than all my problems. I know that I am in good hands with my Father God.

Notoriously Forgetful

In a normal day, my family can tell you that I am notorious for forgetting where I left my keys last. It’s almost a daily event. I tell myself to put them on the hook by the front door but it never fails. I run inside and put them down somewhere other than the right place. Being a mother of two, a fourteen-year old girl and a ten-year-old boy, also adds to the confusion. I hurry them along and it never fails, I have them out of the door, the dogs have settled in and accepted they are being left at home and I can’t find my keys.

I realize that many people have this problem as we age and as life just moves so fast. It would be easy to take that on as my excuse but I realize that the forgetfulness is a real problem.

As my Lupus progresses it doesn’t get any easier. For two weeks in a row I have forgotten early day for my son at school. The school calls and thankfully they are quite understanding but it is really embarrassing and hard to explain to my son why Mommy forgot to get him on time. This isn’t the first time that I have forgotten the day of the week.

I am having increasing trouble remembering simple things but I try not to be obvious about it to others because I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. So, I laugh it off but inside I am screaming at myself and feeling so stupid.

I must remember that this is not me, this is my disease and it’s not my fault. I can overcome this by writing out notes the night before and setting alarms to remind myself. I wonder though how many others are having the same problems with their memory and what are some of things that you guys do to overcome?

Daily Prompt: Qualm

via Daily Prompt: Qualms

 

As I think about the qualms in my life, I think about my life with Lupus. Life with Lupus isn’t easy but sometimes you have to find the silver lining in a bad situation. I have had many qualms along this journey. Today, I realize that even though I have been handed a bad hand, it’s just one of many jouneys. There are others that have it worse than I do. Lupus doesn’t define me and the best thing I can do is help someone else through their journey. It’s good for the spirit.  I have no qualms today because God is my refuge and strength.

Monday morning pick me up. (Fight the good fight.)

 

2 Timothy 4: 7

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith ”

Wait! I know this doesn’t sound like a ground breaking devotion this morning and to some it may seem like a final statement but give me a moment. For me, to wake up every morning and to determine every day to do the very best that I can for God, my family and myself is essential. For me to end the day saying, I have fought the good fight today, and I have finished the course of life that God has set out for me today and in doing so I have kept the faith is priceless, a sense of accomplishment. It makes me feel like I’m being part of the puzzle, a good member of the community of people that I associate with and a good solder in the army of God.

Dare to be different.

Sometimes life gives us a bad deal and at times we ask why? It’s natural to want to put the blame on something or someone and it’s easy to ask why God allowed those things to happen. Undesirable things just happen sometimes, and we get handed a bad deal. This is a fallen world that we live in. It’s not God’s fault. This isn’t heaven! Things just happen and sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. However, God can use the terrible things that happen to us and turn them into something good, for his purpose. God can teach others through our bad experiences. God can use us to lead someone to him when we are at our weakest.

This week, has been a week of emotional ups and downs. I received some sad news, it has been recommended that I start Methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug because of the fluid around my heart and my history of pleurites that comes and goes. If that was not enough, it has been discovered that I have the beginning stages of Lupus Nephritis which simply means it’s affecting my kidneys. I am not going to sugar coat this situation, this news is not what I wanted to hear and I am worried about it. I am a strong person, I have been through a lot in my life and I have overcome but when confronted with the reality of this yesterday while I was telling my sister, the tears came. She said, exactly what I was thinking that I would not say out loud,” why does all the bad things happen to you?” After much thought on that during the day, I still don’t have a perfect answer for that but I do know that through this time in my life I could not face this mess without God. I know that he has a purpose and a plan.
Even though, these things scary things are happening to me, God is working in my life and in my body. After many months of stomach pain, I am starting to feel human again. I can eat some solid foods without the excruciating pain that I have come accustomed to having. After 3 longs weeks of the worst Lupus flare in my chest, heart flutters, and dizziness, that is starting to settle down. I am still tired but I thank God for every bit of healing that I receive. Although, I have not received complete healing that I want, God is still working in my life. I know that God has a plan for me through this, and instead of being afraid I am going to dare to be different. I am going to rejoice in the fact that I am his daughter, and be thankful for everyday that I wake up. I am going to be thankful for the life that he has given me and I will praise his name no matter what I face. We all have a choice when faced with adversity, we can let the moment overcome us and be miserable or we can overcome the situation and find peace. I am choosing to trust that God has my best interest at heart always and he will not leave me or forsake me. I am going to believe that God will use this situation for his good and his purpose.
I was asked this week, if God gave me a choice to live this life, if I knew what I knew now, would I still agree to live this life? My answer might surprise many, but it is a resounding yes. If I can touch just one person for Jesus Christ through my personal testimony of faith, even though the things I have seen and gone through seem awfully scary and unfair, it is worth it. Although this disease seems like a rotten deal, God has also blessed me in so many ways and it outweighs the bad. He has given me a loving family, loving spiritual parents, 3 crazy puppies that love me no matter what, he has always provided a way for me when there seemed to be no way. He has given me hope, peace and love. I plan on daring to be different, when one might expect me to worry and be afraid, I will not fear. I will not be afraid because God is on my side.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.

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

I have had many weak moments and I have lost so much in my lifetime. I have had many disappointments and many unknowns but God has always seen me through if only if I allowed him to.

The most frequently repeated phrase in the Bible is “Do not be afraid!” God is not speaking to our emotions, and since you can’t command emotions, he is speaking to our will.

When Peter asked to get out of the boat, Jesus granted his request and said come to me, but the interesting thing is Jesus didn’t stop the waves or the storm. The further away Peter got from the boat, which was his security, Peter started to fear and he began to sink. Peter cried out, Lord save me!!  And then Jesus saved him and rebuked him. How little faith of you? Fear is a strong emotion, I have lived in fear for most my life.  Did Peter really trust Jesus? Sure, he did, after all he got out of the boat but the fear of the storm paralyzed him.

We must make a conscious decision to not allow fear to paralyze us. Peter sank because he stopped walking towards Jesus. 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 Jesus leads he us that he is in control or will we take our eyes off Jesus and let 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. I know that God loves me so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that I can live forever with him.

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

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Overlooked blessings.

The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”

― Joseph B. Wirthlin 

Today as I read this quote I was reminded of the things I often take for granted. The things that are always there. People that are always in my life.
One of the reasons I love the ocean and the mountains is I don’t get to see it all the time but when I do I love to take in the awesomeness of God’s handy work. I love to think about how beautiful it is and I love to go visit and take it all in. Today as I thought about the blessings in my life, the smaller ones that get over looked, it multiplied into an abundance of blessings. I think I will step back and look at my blessings as if I were seeing them for the very time.

God is always moving.

Before I was even diagnosed with Lupus, I struggled with worry and anxiety. I tried my best to handle it on my own but I couldn’t seem to let go of the what if’s. When I got diagnosed with Lupus, I had no idea how to handle it. It hit me right to the core. Whenever uncertain things happened to me, it would send me straight into anxiety and panic mode. In my head, I would take bad news and go for a run with it. It would become so overwhelming that at times my anxiety was out of control. My anxiety would build up until it was too much for me to process and the slightest things would send me into tears.

Since I have had Lupus, I have had a lot of bad news come my way for the last 3 years, but I have had to learn new ways to handle things. Sometimes it is really scary and hard to not think about what might or might not happen but I have had to learn to control my anxiety level. As we all know, stress only heightens the pain in someone with Lupus, and other illnesses. I had to learn that not only was it bad for my health but it was bad for spirit and not good for my family either.

My health is a main concern of mine, it is a consistent issue that I deal with everyday of my life. I can’t run from it, I have no choice but to face it head on. I have learned not to worry myself over the things that I have no control over.  If I were to sit and worry about what may or may not happen it would drive me insane.  I wouldn’t be able to function and I would only get more ill.

Instead, whenever I am faced with bad news, I stop and process the situation, then I pray about it because God is my refuge and strength when I need it most.  I don’t go through the what ifs, instead I go through, what God can do through me?

God is always working in my life, always doing something new, even in the middle of chaos and confusion.  I find peace and hope in the fact that I know even when I am facing my biggest battles that God is in control. I have learned to look beyond what the eye can see because God is always moving.