Devotionals and Reading

It has been a long while since I’ve written anything here. Life happens, we all get busy. Today, I wanna talk devotions. I love a good devotional. I am always reading (at least) one all the time! It is such a good exercise to get into the Word of God daily. I used to not be so good at doing so, but the YouVersion Bible app has helped a ton. I also sign up for the occasional Bible study on Lifeway with a friend or read a devo separate from either. I want to share with you two awesome devo’s I’ve read, the second one recent. The narrative is AWESOME. Each of the books is supposed to be 40 days, but I think I finished each in a week or two. What are these devotionals I’m talking about?

My author friend, Joanna Alonzo, wrote these journeys of the heart that seek the Lord with yearning. I read the first book, “Woman in the Wilderness,” a few years ago. Each day has a narrative of a woman, followed by scripture and author’s reflections. If you are in or have been in a wilderness season, this book will speak to you. The description of the book says, “Every Christian in serious and ardent pursuit of Love Divine has, at some point, been the Woman in the Wilderness.” The woman who seeks her Beloved is you! It’s me! I was blown away by this devotional; it resonated with me, though I was not in a current wilderness season

The second book is a sequel, entitled “The Kingdom Child.” This is the book I’m so excited about finishing, I had to share it! The woman has just come from her wilderness journey, and she has now become part of His Kingdom. As in the first book, each narrative, or story, of the kingdom child is followed by scripture and reflections. The Kingdom Child is about growing in God’s kingdom and “exploring [His] heart for His children – in all our uniqueness and differences.” I loved meeting the other characters that the kingdom child interacts with throughout the story. It’s difficult to get along with, work with, or even love your neighbor – even if they are a child of the King, too! Even though I feel like I’m not in the growing season with the kingdom, I loved this book. Who am I kidding? We’re always growing, even if we don’t feel like it!

I love that YouVersion has a streak of days it tracks for you. It’s definitely better motivating to open up the app everyday. I also like to see how many Bible plans I’ve gone through and stuff like that. I’m definitely motivated by keeping track of things like that. I love reading Christian fiction that makes me think, as well.

Do you struggle to read God’s Word everyday? What helps you?

Be blessed, friends!

Anna

A Few of My Testimonies (Great Is Your Faithfulness)

The seven-year-old girl eyed the pictures hanging up in the Sunday School room, skeptical. She climbed the stairs with everyone else and found her mom. “Mom,” she declared, “I don’t know if I believe in this Jesus stuff.  It seems too good to be true.” Standing in the lobby of the church, the girl’s mother was taken aback. “But, sweetie, you can’t go to heaven and see Grandma unless you believe in Jesus!” The girl was surprised by her mother’s reaction, and scared she wouldn’t get to go to heaven and see her great-grandma, whose was the only funeral she’d attended. That evening, the girl had a very serious talk with her two little sisters. “And so,” she concluded, “you have to believe in Jesus, or you won’t get to go to heaven.” 

Looking back at my life, I only see the grace of God in so many ways. Too many to count, really. Like the time I had suicidal thoughts, but my sister told me conversationally how much she heard it hurt. That people would call 911 after they overdosed just to get their stomach pumped and some relief. I was afraid of pain. Or this other time, when I went to grab something on the floor of my car, and I went into the ditch. I looked up and was headed straight for a telephone pole. There is no other explanation how I safely got back on the road with only a dent in the borrowed minivan I drove.

At night when I can’t sleep, I sing “How Great is Thy Faithfulness.” If that doesn’t work, I transition to “How Great Thou Art.” I can’t not see the mercies my heavenly father pours out on me. Like when I was headed back to the parking lot in my electric cart, unsure how I’d have the energy to unload groceries into my car. God would send somebody, who was just walking by, to help. Or when I was walking with my walker and reached the end of my rope before I could even get it back in my car. A little help here, God? Well, the lady that had just walked by me turned around to see if I needed help. So many times, I have seen the tangible provision of God. Now, I am in a unique position with my physical disabilities. People walk by me and can sense I might need help. They check, even if unsure. What about the people that look perfectly normal on the outside? Do they receive tangible help, too? The answer is YES. Undoubtedly.

God’s mercies are new and exciting each and every morning. I have verses and promises of God plastered all over my bathroom walls. “I, Anna, have received an unction from the Holy Spirit within me that will reveal, teach, and show me ALL the things pertaining to my life and that which I need to know.” And again, “I am who the Bible says I am, can do what the Bible says I can do, and I will have what the Bible says I can have. And I establish this.” One more of my favorites, “I trust with childlike faith my heavenly father, even though I may temporarily not know all the details and mercies God has set in motion on my behalf!” Thank you, Sallie, for these words I could handwrite on notecards and hang in my bathroom! 

Like everyone, I have my down days, weeks, whatever. In these times I wallow in self-pity and refuse to read or even remember God’s promises. But every time, when I come back, God is just like a loving parent. “You done now?” He seems to ask me with a hint of a smile. “Yeah, yeah,” I admit. “You are always good.” And really, once my pity party is over, I’m reminded of the goodness and faithfulness of my Good, Good Father.

We all have so many testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness. If you are a child of God, you have a story somewhere. Can I hear some of your best?

Be blessed, my friends!

Anna

Love and Birthdays

Thirty. By this time in life, I’m married, have a kid, and my husband is halfway done with residency. When my birthday was in November, DrH really showed off his super sneaky and thoughtful side. Before my birthday, I knew something was up. In the morning, I walked into the kitchen to find a 50-balloon banner on our wall and the letters strung to make up the phrase “HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY” (I love surprises). All were quite colorful (I love bright colors, too). Around lunch, DrH was talking about a timeline. He got on my computer, did some things, and presented me with the Zoom meeting…where all of my extended family was waiting! DrH presented me with my present, “from all [my] friends and family.” He looked at the screen and said, “You all know what this is, and Anna’s going to open it right now.” What? Both sides of my extended family knew what this gift was? The box contained BIRTHDAY CARDS (my love language is words of affirmation). My dear husband had gotten a hold of so many people, and they all sent me birthday cards! My bucket was full. Over the next few days, a few stragglers came in and I got to read almost 150 birthday cards! I don’t cry or tear up when things are happy or sad. If anything, I “mist.” Well, there were a handful of cards that definitely had me “misting!”

The letter “R”

Now, DrH’s birthday is exactly two months after mine, so I had some time to plan. He only has January and February left to take any more vacation time he has left until June (the year resets with the school year). We got back from vacation on Wednesday night, and he got his 2nd Covid shot after Lydia was in bed. His birthday was Thursday! After he got up, we ate breakfast, and I gave him his “intro” for what I called “Doug’s 30th Birthday Quest.” It basically said he’d have to travel to each place, and complete an activity before he received the next clue. Going back to the car would unlock his next birthday present. It all made a lot more sense in my head than how it actually panned out. However, it was a great day! First, DrH, Lydia, and I met his friend Boyung at his work and we played some cards (DrH’s love language is quality time). Next, Lydia had a doctor appointment. DrH could not figure out why I scheduled her that day of all days. Well, as we were checking out, the ladies at the reception desk asked five trivia questions. Little did I know that in high school, DrH was in Hi-Q, where he had to study sports statistics and such! No, he did not know who won the superbowl in 1991 (NY Giants), but he knew that the Green Bay Packers won in ’92. Who even knows that stuff? Lol. He did tell me that the trivia was fun! The next clue led us to Jenny, our nanny and neighbor. She gave Doug another present and his clue before she took Lydia for the rest of the day! Next, we went to our church, where one of the pastors did an in-depth study in Hebrews for half an hour (DrH has told me that he enjoys discussing the Bible and such). The clue he got there led us to go pick up his birthday cake that I’d asked him to order earlier that week (because what if I had picked the wrong one? Wasn’t risking it). On the fridge where his cake was being stored was a riddle. Smarty pants DrH figured out the answer after a few moments. The final clue led us to his favorite restaurant, Panera Bread. We swung through the drive thru and went home to eat. Now, DrH was not feeling all the best that morning, but he said he did appreciate the effort I put into it! After nap, we packed up Lydia’s and our overnight bags. We went to a hotel in town! Big thanks to all who helped out in this fun day, especially our parents, who funded the hotel and food for the day. Eating food from a fancy place was nice!

The MN Twins!

I wrote all this to tell the people that helped me out how the day went. DrH and I dated long-distance (between 7-9 hours) the whole time we were dating, so we started talking about everything. After getting married and realizing how much we didn’t quite know about each other, we started reading books like “5 Love Languages” and more recently, “How Full Is Your Bucket?” Being married to someone with a chronic disease is so not easy, and we’ve found out that by surprising each other and showing love to one another in different ways, we can keep moving forward, together. We’ve never gone this far out of our way for birthdays, but 30 is the first decade we get to start together!

How can you find ways to love those around you? Your friends? Neighbors? Parents? Kids? Do you know the 5 love languages? What’s yours? What’s theirs?

The Pinkie Toe

When we moved for residency, I tried starting a new blog. Well, I stopped blogging for like, a year and a half. And I think I like this blog I’m at. There’s history here. I wrote this one as a reflection of my past, and to remind everyone: YOU are important!

He Leads Me Along Write Paths

I met a girl at church camp one year who’s pinkie toe wasn’t actually on her foot, it was up a couple inches on her leg. I thought that was very interesting. In a show I used to watch on Disney Channel, called, “Phil of the Future,” there is an episode where Phil is embarrassed to go on a class trip because they would all be barefoot as they stomp on the berries to squish them. He was embarrassed, because in the future, nobody had pinkie toes anymore. In an article I read from wiseGEEK explaining the purpose of a pinkie toe, the writers stated that the issue of the pinkie toe’s function is said to be “frequently called into question.” It does the same thing as the three other little toes between it and the big toe. The article goes on to say, “It has been suggested that its…

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A Reflection: My MS Journey

I’ve always kind of said that my physical and spiritual selves were related. In the past, I tried to do everything perfectly. I strived to be the best (intellectually, of course—I’ve never been very good at sports or other physical feats). And then, in 8th grade (2004), I was diagnosed with MS. I’m not labeling it good or bad. God takes the bad and uses it for good, but I would never wish chronic illness on anyone. I found that I got tired more easily, I couldn’t do everything myself (no matter how much I tried). God used the MS to teach me a few things. I’ve written on this subject before, for example, in this post (which is an older reflection like this), but it’s always refreshing to my spirit to reflect again and praise God for it all! Here are some things I’ve learned in my 16 years with this progressive disease: 

Trust God. I feel like we say we trust God a lot, but how much is “a lot?” Enough? I learned to trust God so much more after MS. It was easier, years ago, to ask God for energy for the day when I didn’t have any. My condition is a lot worse, but if I am by myself and trying not to fall on the floor, when I ask God for help, he sends it. He either gives me the strength I need to do a task myself, or he sends somebody else to help me. Which leads me to my next point:  

Remember that we need each other. I would fall, and when somebody came up to help me, my stubborn and independent nature said, “Nope, I’m okay! I got this!” It took years, but I eventually realized that by accepting help, I was giving somebody else the opportunity to bless me. They could help me up, or do something simple for me, like helping put my groceries in the car. They just blessed me by helping me, and I think when you do things for others, your bucket is filled a bit more, too.  The same is true in life. We aren’t supposed to be good at everything. God gave each one of us a different gift than the other, so that together, we could be something beautiful. When DrH was in med school, I became president of the club for the spouses. When you’re president of something, it is way too easy to do everything yourself. But nobody is supposed to. Presidents are given the authority to delegate. It felt good when I would recognize somebody’s strength, and ask them to do a job in that area. I have been part of many leadership teams, and I have noticed this, again and again. When we each do the thing we shine at, we are able to be a well-functioning team!  

Take breaks. I would get tired out so fast, but I was on a roll! Just as my body calls for a rest every midday, we need to break up what we’re working on. Again, When DrH was in med school, he learned the 50-5 technique. Study for fifty minutes, take a break. That could be a break of two minutes or ten. Then every so many short breaks, take a long one. He still uses this while he is working on something at home (he probably uses it at work, too, but I never see him). I have learned to break up my work sessions like this, as well. It helps!  

Stay positive. I have seen people devastated by their diagnosis, allowing it to stop them from living. These people go downhill quickly. On the other hand, I have seen people who are positive, even though their situation may not be. I’ve waxed and waned, but my demeanor has always, naturally, been a positive one. I grew up with the northern Midwestern view of “It could be worse.” Which is true, things could always be worse. And instead of focusing on what could be worse, let’s look for the positives! I also just happen to be an optimist. When a close friend or family member is having a grumpy day, I will figuratively take the corners of their mouth and pull as hard as I can to turn them up. I will try everything to cheer them up. Even my daughter, when I was having a bad day, asked if jokes would help. She’s four, and her jokes aren’t super funny or make a lot of sense, but I smiled and “laughed” anyway. I sure love her!  

Learn Life’s Lessons. I wrote this blog when I was a senior in college. When I wrote my senior sermon, I reflected on what the previous 8 or 9 years of MS had looked like. Re-reading this, I was reminded, once again, how much God can teach us through our circumstances if we let him. 

I’ve been looking back on some other posts that are in this blog, and there’s a lot of good stuff here. I’ve been reading about my MS Journey from 2012, to 2016, and now. (Yes, I wrote everything here, but I’ve liked re-reading them, too!) I started this blog when I started college in 2009, and I’m not going anywhere. Stick with me as I continue living and sharing more about my journeys!

Be blessed, my friends!

Anna

Getting Back To It

My freshman year of college, during the first day of my communications class, I was asked to bring an item to the next class that represents me. My item: An index card. I made lists for everything. I had a to-do list for every day of the week and every week as a whole. I had index cards posted in my dorm room above my desk of my schedule each day of the week. As a music major, it was always a fight for practice rooms. Especially being a percussionist, I had to fight for practice time on some of the bigger instruments. My solution? Get up at 6, be in the band room by 7, practice until the first class in the room at 8. I was an early riser, determined to get my work done in a timely matter. In high school and in to college, I was a type-A perfectionist. I remember my cousin, Jenni, saying to me before my graduation open house, that she did NOT want to see what I’d be like on my wedding day.

And then the MS in my body started slowly progressing. I learned that door holding was something I could do, while moving percussion equipment was something I could not. I learned that by asking someone else for help, I was giving them an opportunity to be a blessing. I had conversations with God that would ask him for something small (like somebody to show up right when I needed them) and thank him the instant somebody saw me and asked if they could help. I could not control my body, so I eventually gave up trying to control everything else. And me, on my wedding day? I had “love brain” so bad, that I didn’t care what was happening, because I was getting married. I was asked how I wanted the church decorated a few days before. “I don’t care, ask Laura.” My sister was a rock’n awesome MOH, by the way. She said that she’ll give me so many decisions and responsibilities as her wedding. I just laugh, because I can see her micromanaging her big day in the best possible way. She is the best, after all. 😉

When I was in labor for my daughter (the only for now), a nurse panicked and ran for the doctor. My husband, a 3rd year med student at the time, got nervous. They put me on oxygen to help Lydia breathe better. He looked at me all concerned and asked if I was all right. Me, having received an epidural a few hours previous, smiled and told him that I was great, actually. I was going to have a baby! I have been, and still am, very involved with MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers).

Fast-forward to now. I know I can’t control my body. I don’t even try to control things. My husband, the doctor-in-training, has enough worry and stress for the both of us. Why bother? But something needs to change. Last year, I decided in February that I was going to read 100 books, and I did. But this year, I am going to write. I got out my index cards again (because yes, I still have TONS) and made a few goals. But a SMART goal. One that is specific, manageable, attainable, realistic, and timely. And then we start with baby steps. First off the bat, is writing for 25 minutes a day minimum. About anything. Everything. My first day? Rambled on and on and on and…you get the point. But I decided that I want to start blogging again.

My 30th birthday was over Thanksgiving weekend, and my husband presented me with a box from “ALL your friends and family.” I was super confused until I opened the box. Almost 150 people sent me a birthday card! It took me a few days to read them all. Now, I don’t cry during sappy movies or when something is touching. I don’t even necessarily tear up. But as I was reading some of those cards, I was definitely misting. A few people told me how much they enjoyed my blog. All this to say, I’m back, everyone!

As I move forward, I will lay off the reading a bit. Maybe cancel my Kindle Unlimited subscription. (But there are a few Indie Authors that haven’t finished writing their series yet. I def have to finish those!) I will start writing again, and I will find my voice that has been somewhere inside me looking for a platform. I haven’t even been journaling lately. But that will be a few days’ worth of these 25-minute-segments, I’m sure.

What about you? Have you set a goal, or as some people call it, “A New Year’s Resolution?” Try breaking it down into little steps. It’s not near as daunting, and it is so worth it!

Be blessed, everyone!

Anna

Overcoming Disappointment

One would think, because I’ve had MS for nearly 15 years, that it wouldn’t keep surprising me. Every time I leave the house, I come home exhausted. I was sharing with my husband yesterday about how I’m sick and tired of being surprised and disappointed by the same old thing. So yesterday, when I came back and finally sat at the kitchen table, he approached me: “Come on Anna. You can’t let this keep surprising you, remember? What’s your go-to verse?” My….verse? “Yeah, for when you start getting disappointed. You don’t have one yet?” So that’s what we did. We spat off verse references that can help me when I’m disappointed that I don’t have any energy. Again. Here is our list that we came up with quickly!:

Philippians 4:13: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

John 16:33: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Jeremiah 29:11: “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.”

God is the wind in my sails!

God sees me, and He knows my frustration. Some how, some way, this will all work out for the best. It’s part of His plan. I have no idea why, after sitting outside for an hour, I’m still shocked that I can’t walk well (um, worse than before. I just don’t walk well, period). Why, after getting down on the floor to play with Lydia, I sit and just need to stay there for a bit. (I don’t crawl around so much anymore. I just tell her our Barbies (or unicorns or whatever toy we’re playing with) will drive to the park, and the park will be within my reach. Or some other half-way compromise. She’s awesome for (most of the time) working with me.) She just w! ants to continue playing with Mommy, so she follows my…stipulations? We’re both happy– I get to play with her longer periods of time!

God is my help. He uses my weaknesses for His good. In fact, His power is made PERFECT in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Even my very obvious physical weaknesses. As I continue to internalize this truth and recall the scriptures I had memorized years prior (for this purpose, actually), I will remember that I am strong in Christ.

The Black Eye: the story

So, um, Saturday. Doug, Lydia, and I were going to be at a garage sale all day. I say garage not because many people have them around here (including us…carport FTW?), but because we were literally on the first floor of the parking garage. I whispered my prayer, “God, I don’t do so well in the heat, and you know all the rest. Somehow, please help me today.” Doug whispered a similar prayer, “God, I need to be taking care of Anna, Lydia, AND this garage sale. Somehow, please help me today.” Everyone I had previously tried to contact to watch Lydia was unavailable. But that morning, I FINALLY got hold of a friend who said she’d watch her. So, we get there, and Doug starts setting up. Lydia hops on my walker and we just start walking. I;m just occupying Lydia while her daddy sets up the garage sale and we wait for Cat to come pick her up. As we finished lap one, Cat called me, but it connected to my car. I hung up, turned Bluetooth off, and called her back. Lydia was still on my walker, just enjoying her ride. I got Cat answered the phone, and THEN. I lost my balance. I tried to grab on to my walker. Three times I missed before I fell. In slow motion, my face took the brunt of the fall. Doug was watching and rushed over. “There are med students here. Get one!” I said. Then our angel came to help. Alicia is a hospitalist in town, and Doug had done a rotation under her. She cleaned up my face with baby wipes. “I’m no ER doc,” she said, “But I’d get that glued up or something.” Alicia then offered to watch over our sale so Doug could take me to the ER. After making sure I was alright, Cat left with Lydia.

img_6822
You can see how scratched up my glasses got, and you can see the gash just under my right eyebrow.

On our way to the ER, Doug chuckles. “Well, this is an interesting start to the day!” I agreed. “We asked God for help today…definitely not what I had in mind.” He agreed to that, too.

Because my face had bruised so quickly, the NP thought I’d fractured something. So, neck brace. Doug is texting our parents, because at this point, I can only see directly above me. “Hey, Anna,” he said. “Do you remember that movie, Dodgeball?” I told him of course I did. “Well, you can’t dodge a wrench OR a ball!” We both laughed and continued to come up with stories that sound cooler than “Anna fell.” Lol. [Wrestled a big dog to the ground because it was attacking Lydia, I tried our gymnastics, rugby match, Lydia’s got a wicked left hook, I saved the puppies from the puppy mill we found…..? Do you buy any of these? ‘Cuz they ALL sound cooler than “I fell.”]

Well, nothing was fractured, evrything was just bruised. My neck was freed and the NP came in to stitch me up. I didn’t know she had to keep poking me with the Lydocane. I mean, it makes sense. The face has a whole lot of nerves. “Stop it!” I cried at one point. “Anna, you didn’t know she’d poke you this much?” Doug asked from my other side. NO. No, I did not. Anyway, it only took four stitches. I was worried it’d be more. I’ve never had stitches before. I’ve never gotten a black eye before.img_20190429_204003_01

While we were gone, Cat skipped the birthday party she was going to bring her kids to and watched Lydia the whole time we were at the ER! I let Cat know when we were done with the sale, and she dropped off Lydia. Also, this other angel friend of mine refused to be paid.

On right: Rocky, from Paw
Patrol, has a spot on his 
eye, too! 

So, instead of spending 8 hours sitting in the humid east Kentucky air at the garage sale, I only spent 3 hours sitting there.

Later that night, Doug and I were reading about when Jesus walked on water and calmed the storm. Totally not what the disciples had thought would happen when they were in trouble, but, as always, God blows all of man’s expectation out of the water. Sometimes it’s better (like parting the Red Sea in Exodus 14), and sometimes it’s just different (like Jesus rebuking the wind and waves in Matthew 8). But it seems to ALWAYS be unexpected.

I see my fall as a good thing. Yes, black eye, stitches, the whole she-bang. BUT, something worse could have happened. I didn’t break anything. I remember in the book of Job, when Satan asks God permission to pick on Job. God holds back a whole lotta worse things than he actually lets Satan get away with. And remember? Death is defeated, the king is alive!

Doug’s graduation is in 3 days. I noticed this morning that a lot of it had turned yellow? Maybe a bunch of the colors around my eye will recede. Here’s to hoping! Lol

Anna M.

Bite-Sized Pieces

In Exodus 23, we tune in to the soliloquy of when God is instructing His people about going to the promised land. Starting in verse 20, God tells them, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. (22) If you listen carefully to what my angel says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.” He goes on to talk about how he will drive out the peoples before them. But verses 29-30 caught my attention:

But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

wild (1)Wow. We want God to do everything, miraculously, “right quick,” as my Appalachian friends would say (Okay, I’ve adopted that phrase as well. That’s how my mom can tell I’ve been in East Kentucky for four years!). But God’s not all about the right quick, the immediate. Sure, it happened in the New Testament, when Jesus commanded the crippled to get up and walk or the blind to see. It still happens today. But the Israelites couldn’t handle the immediate, and God knew what would happen if they did. They didn’t.

I think about my own body, affected by Multiple Sclerosis and lack of taking care of my body for so many years, especially up front. God probably could heal me with a touch. But He has told me that He won’t. Basically, He has told me that I’m standing at the edge of the ocean, ankle deep. I just want to run in, but God doesn’t want that. Jesus will hold my hand as I take one step after another, little by little, until I’m immersed in the water. I sometimes imagine the Holy Spirit as water. If we’re standing in the water, we still have the majority of control. But once we’re immersed, the ocean can take us where it will. [Song: Oceans] God told me that I will not get knocked over by the waves, though they come against me. I realize that if I were to run into the ocean, I would fall almost immediately. There’s a reason I’m being healed little by little.

Here is some proof I have: One of my first symptoms of MS was a lack of fine touch. I have that now, and I can do my daughter’s hair! I mean, she’s a wiggly toddler now, but I CAN do it. (Especially if I’m tag-teaming with someone else who distracts her!) That happened last September. I thought more things would be happening immediately then, but I know better now.

Most recent proof? I usually stop drinking water between 6 and 7 at night, because otherwise it’s 3+ trips to the bathroom. I am straight-cathed every day. It used to be multiple times a day, but now amounts are way less! A year ago, we were getting 250 CC’s each time. Now? Anywhere from 180 (if I’ve been hydrating) to 80! I drank water until after 9 pm last night, and I ONLY GOT UP ONCE. And that was about the time my taking-medicine-before-bed stuff runs through my system. I am now being cathed once daily, and it has recently been 100 CC’s most days. God is healing my bladder!

Every day, I pray, “Thank you, God, for my healing and restoration!” I believe I have been healed by the Spirit. I am no longer hospitalized for strep or a cold, as I was soon before and after Lydia was born. I have scripture plastered on my bathroom wall with post-its and pieces of paper taped up (my bathroom is the only inner room I could find in my house that I could get at. See the movie “War Room” for why I do this).

Anyway, getting back to the topic I started with. God sees the big picture, and he knows what would happen if we all got what we wanted immediately. I have asked more people to pray for my healing and restoration, as well. God hears us. He’s told me so!

Press on, friends! God has everything under control!

Anna

Battle Plan: attitudes and freedom from the past

It hurts my heart to see girlfriends of mine making choices that I see could potentially lead to disaster. A wrong attitude, an inward focus, a selfish heart, and an ego too big. But what can I do? I would do all I can to prevent these things from happening, especially without offending my friend. I have really been diving into spiritual warfare lately. I have found that I am able to not only fight for myself, but my friends and family, too! I composed this plan in the middle of the night, and even though there are names I am praying about, I am excited to watch God take those names down so I can pray for other things. Here is my plan:

 

  • Christ led us into a new form of warfare far more effective than guns and tanks. We have weapons of grace, mercy, love, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. – Beth Moore
  • Sisters: life is so much more than you wallow in!

 

  • I pray that your will lines up with God’s, because Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed be the pure of heart, for they will see the kingdom of God.”
  • A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13
  • A good woman brings forth good things out of the good stored up in her, and an evil woman brings up evil things that are stored up in her. Matthew 12:35

 

  • Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

Hello

  • The past should not be a place where we live, but something from which we learn. – Stormie Omartian
  • Sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
  • God is a Redeemer and a Restorer. He can redeem the past and restore what was lost.
    • Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. Psalm 90:15
  • We can never move out of the present into the future of what God has for us if we cling to the past.
  • Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
  • Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
  • He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4