Being present with gratitude.

Featured

Gratitude is the simplest way to shift your life perspective. In a fast paced world, with all things being advertised as “instant,” , with all things being available at the tips of our fingers, it can be incredibly easy to get distracted from taking the time to be present and actually feel a sense of gratitude.

One of the things that my illness has taught me is time is the most precious gift I can give and if I am not present while giving it, it doesn’t count. I have learned that my mere presence doesn’t mean I am present. So today, on Thanksgiving Day, I am choosing to rise above all of the hurry and move myself into a conscious state of gratitude. I am choosing to be present, choosing to acknowledge the good things in my life and choosing to enjoy them.

They say laughter is the best medicine, so today I am going to enjoy all the belly laughs I can and take in all the blessings that God has given me.

How many days are you present with gratitude? I mean really connecting with those around you? Take the time to have a good laugh today, take the time to connect on deeper levels with loved ones and really be present, and gratitude will certainly follow.

What’s my purpose?

Aside

Ephesians 2: 10
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
 
This life was never meant to be mere survival, although that is the mode most people seem to be in. You were created with a plan, and a purpose. 
 
Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
 
You were fashioned in His likeness, fearfully and wonderfully made, God never makes mistakes,  The beauty about your life is, you were created with a specific plan that God has prepared just for you to do.
 
It wasn’t designed for the Pastor, or the lady in the seat in front of you at church, that seems to be involved in everything, no this one is just for you, no one else, for your life. 
 
Your mission in life is His mission He made just for you. Today, discover that mission, that work, that perfect plan that God has for you to do. God knows what you are capable of even if you are not sure what you are capable of doing, He knows you better than you know yourself. Go for it!

Life is not fair.

Featured

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. Last month I had aspiration pneumonia, twice, and just three weeks ago I was in sepsis. Now I am suffering once again with food that I swallow sitting in the bottom of my esophagus. My esophagus is paralyzed and does not push food through so I choke every night. The doctors are at a loss on how to help me, so I am left with a daily fight with eating.

It might be easy to try and blame God on my illness, because after all I have prayed so much for healing and it just seems like my prayers for healing go unanswered. However, through all of this I have peace, I have hope and I know where my help comes from. So have they really gone unanswered?

I know God did not cause me to have the past that I have and He certainly 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 my life? He is my source, my rescuer, my comforter, my healer. I have come to realize that even though I am expecting a physical healing, God heals in many different ways and that is ok with me.

Grateful for every breath.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, ” Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

As I sit here this morning, I can’t help but be extremely grateful for every breath that I take….literally

Today, I am heading to Jacksonville, Florida at Mayo Clinic for what seems like it might be one of many visits to come.

Last weekend, I was admitted to the hospital for multifocal pneumonia. Sunday morning I woke up with chest pain and shortness of breath. I didn’t know it was as severe as it was but my body was is in a fight or flight mode. My esophagus is not pushing food and drink down like it should which has caused me to aspirate food and fluid at night into my lungs. My entire right lung is now compromised with infection and nodules obstructing my air.

Even with all of that, I remain grateful. I know that I am blessed and that God has a plan even when noone else does.

I am grateful for God’s love. And, I know, that because of God’s love, he has given me everything I have ever needed. I know that the very breath that I take, that each moment I have is a gift of God’s love just for me! Every moment of my existence is proof of his grace and everlasting love for me!


Gratitude changes my whole perspective in tough situations and I know that I can find peace and hope by keep an attitude of gratitude.

Here’s the trick though, I can’t just pull out the “I’m grateful card” the moment disaster strikes and expect to find peace and a new look on life. It doesn’t work like that. I have to build my gratitude daily, it takes work. I have to be aware of ALL things God has done and is doing and I have to practice a grateful heart. I can’t control a lot of things going on in my life right now but I am in charge of my heart, and my mind.

Gratitude takes nothing for granted, it recognizes God with a new sense of wonder and all we have to do is praise the goodness of God. A grateful person knows that God is good, not just by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

I know that the lessons that I learn in my lowest of lows are preparing me to receive the blessings of my highest highs. This time will be no different. How do I know? Because he says so..


NIV Romans 8:39
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


One of the things that I consciously try to do is be aware of the little things in my life. Keeping the little things in the front of my mind allows me to be more aware of God moving in my life. I haven’t always been like this, the negative would overpower my thinking in the midst of hard times. The simple mindset of gratitude has greatly impacted the way that I face my mountains in my life. As for me, I will walk by faith, not by sight with a grateful heart.

Dance in the rain. 

When the Indian chief asked his warriors how do you dance and make it rain every time?  They said,” we dance until it rains.” 

“When you walk with God you have to believe, you have to stand in faith, you have to know that God’s going to fulfill.” J.Lee

Lately, there have been days that I can not get out of bed. My energy is low, my pain level is high and looking from the outside in, I am sure it looks like it is not going to get better for me any time soon.

Right now, I am in a flare. My connective tissues are on fire, and in pain, my joints ache, my gastroparesis is making my belly bloat and hard, I am having a hard time eating without pain, my glucose levels are the highest it’s ever been and it’s hard to control, and lastly, my kidneys are giving me problems because of my Lupus Nephritis.

I have reached a point in my chronic illness where my doctors do not know how to treat me anymore. 

So, what’s a girl to do? Do I give up and throw in the towel? Nope!! God is my healer. I know the reality of my situation but I stand on my faith that one way or another, God will give me the quality of life back, God will heal me. Until then, I will dance in the rain.

Dance in the Rain.

On Trial and Faith ( guest post) 

This week I had the privilege to guest post on @ theviewfromnow.com

Amy fights her own battle with RA and an inheritable cancer gene.  She writes about her faith journey in light of autoimmune disease. Her post are uplifting and encouraging, and I highly recommend taking the time to enjoy her posts. 

I am so honored to have been asked to guest post but even more so, I am so happy that she brought my attention to her blog. Go ahead and check it out @ theviewfromnow

#guestpost