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.”

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.

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.