Hello, Lyme Disease

Tick

“I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees You.”
Job 42:5 ESV

I apologize for staying away for so long.  I’m finally ready to share what has been going on in my life. (This article was first written in January … I’ve “sat” on it for awhile and finally felt like editing and publishing it today. Hopefully this is clear, despite my ever-present brain fog. Please feel free to ask questions.)  Last autumn things were going well, and I was just getting back into the swing of things with life and with my new blog.  And I was getting better, or so I thought.

In October I was very surprised to find out I have Lyme disease.  Other than continuing fatigue and a few other niggling problems like a stiff neck, headaches, brain fog, insomnia, stiffness, occasional dizziness, sensitivities to foods/chemicals/mold, and various body pains, my overall health and blood work had improved after months of following a strict allergy elimination diet.  It is by God’s grace that I went ahead and did the Lyme blood *test, “just in case.”

When I was told, “You have Lyme disease,” everything seemed to stop for awhile.  I had heard of Lyme disease but didn’t know much about it.  My mother-in-grace had suggested several weeks earlier that I might have it, but when I looked up the symptoms, I didn’t think I qualified for that diagnosis.  And I didn’t understand how this could happen when I didn’t remember getting a tick bite or bulls eye rash.  (I’ve since found out you can also get Lyme through a mosquito bite.)  When I looked online, I must’ve found all the worse case scenarios: blindness, trouble breathing, terrible pain, devastating herxing reactions, losing use of limbs, brain damage, etc.  (These drastic symptoms are usually experienced by people who go undiagnosed for years, even decades.  If they get treatment, they usually improve and can become functioning again.) I allowed myself to be gripped by fear.  In my mind I KNOW God is in control and can be trusted.  But, at that point, I was freaking out.

Based on a misunderstanding, I began to use essential oils too much too fast.  Instead of diffusing these powerful agents fifteen minutes at a time, I was running it for hours on end.  I began to have trouble breathing and felt like a moose was sitting on my chest.  My fear escalated.  I read and tried everything I could think of to get better:  I prayed, meditated on Scripture, rested, tried to divert my mind by watching Tim Hawkins, tried to ignore it and “go on with life,” bounced on the trampoline (for a full 9 seconds until I knew that wasn’t helping), etc.  Panic was my companion (*** See below for helpful resources).  I called my doctor to make an appointment, but hearing of my chest pains they refused to see me and sent me directly to the ER.  Sigh.  I thank God for the friends who helped with our boys.  Had God forsaken us?  NO.

Honestly, I didn’t know if I was going to live or die.  I. Felt. Terrible.  I was at a point of total abandonment of my plans and complete humbling to God’s will, whatever that included.  And, I was exactly where God wanted me.

As my husband and I waited for tests to be run and reports to come back, I glanced up at the clock.  It was a detailed digital clock that looked something like this:

digital clock

What I saw took my breath away.  11:11 and 11 seconds.  Relief swept over me and I called to my husband:  “Tim!  God cares about us!  God is with us!  Look at the clock!”  Knowing my secret code with God, Tim looked at me and simply said, “And today is November 11th … 11/11.”  It changed everything.  God didn’t have to be so extremely personal in His affirmation of love for me, but He WAS and IS personal!!! God gave me a beautiful gift that day that I will always treasure in my heart.  (You will understand why this was so special to us by reading here.)

The excellent hospital staff didn’t find anything life threatening and sent me home.  I can’t sufficiently express our thanks to my in-laws for coming to help us for a few days.  I was in a waiting and uncertainty mode.  My doctor who read my Lyme test results and gave me the diagnosis doesn’t know much about Lyme, so she referred me to two Lyme experts.

Finally, the days of my appointments arrived.  To sum it all up, both doctors looked at my test results and said I probably haven’t had Lyme very long.  This is a good thing as it probably means the infections haven’t embedded themselves as deeply.  The medical doc wanted to start me on antibiotics right away, but I’ve not had good experiences with antibiotics over the years and wanted the natural treatment doctor’s opinion before making a decision.  These two women work hand in hand, and I felt so blessed that God had led us to them through a dear friend named Ella.

Several days later we met with the natural doctor, who also has Lyme herself.  She assured me that I didn’t need antibiotics and started me on a natural protocol that has proven very effective for many people.  There is no cure for Lyme, but it can be manageable with vigilant care (more about this below).

For those who are interested, this is what I am taking:

1.  Monolaurin and Bio-Fibrin – This was recommended both by my medical doctor and natural practitioner.  It has a high success rate as it powerfully thins bio-films to you can actually get at the bacteria.  The coconut extract breaks through the bacteria cell walls killing them.  They also have a product that helps with detoxing the die-off.  You can read about the protocol here.
2.  Takuna – You can find out more about these powerful anti-microbial drops here.
(update as of 2/18/15 – I’m finished with Takuna and am now taking Futureplex Bacterotox drops)
3.  Resveratrol – This actually tastes yummy!
4.  Detox – Epsom salt baths, foot soaks, and infrared sauna
5.  Supplements – Vitamin D, B, milk thistle (liver, gall bladder), curcumin (turmeric), adrenal support, glutathione, magnesium.
6. To help with Adrenal Fatigue, I am following Dr. Christianson’s Adrenal Reset Diet protocol.  (Special thanks to my neighbor Jane for lending me her sun lamp!)
7. For herxing I have some homeopathic drops that greatly help, as well as sarsaparilla root capsules.

I’ve worked my way up to full dose.  One Sunday recently I was able to play the piano again for the entire church service for the first time in months (in October I couldn’t even stand for the singing and last summer I could barely play because of my arthritic fingers).  It is a joy that I don’t take for granted.  Yet, another Sunday I was so exhausted after playing I had to go lie down during the sermon.  I never know if it’s going to be a “good” day or a “bad” day.  Most days my worst symptoms are fatigue and brain fog.  A couple of times I have been laid flat by herxing (a negative physical response when you cannot get rid of the dying infection fast enough).  Depression lurks around the corner, especially if I indulge in sugar or chocolate.  It is difficult for me to drive in the dark, and I can’t multitask like I used to.  It is overwhelming to be around a lot of noise and flashing light.  Talking with people is exhausting even though I need and love the fellowship.

On Monday I felt the best I’ve felt in I don’t know how long.  Praise the Lord!  Then the past two days I’ve been dragging again.  Praise the Lord!  We need to praise Him in all things.  Sometimes this is a sacrifice of praise – and oh how He treasures it!!

Here are a few of the blessings:

  • the love and prayers of family and friends
  • watching God lovingly provide for our needs (including wisdom)
  • the only natural treatment expert in our state is ten minutes from my in-laws’ home
  • being able to add back in many foods
  • having a diagnosis and being able to work toward better health
  • becoming aware for the first time how widespread chronic pain is
  • increased compassion (our boys are learning this, too)
  • the opportunity to learn more about the complexity of the human body God created
  • receiving good medical treatment
  • complete surrender and rededication to God
  • the development of closer and stronger family bonds
  • not taking health for granted and appreciating the simple things in life
  • repenting of a complaining heart and learning contentment
  • being a living testimony of God’s faithful care
  • meeting people I probably never would have met otherwise
  • learning to be still and how to relax
  • discovering that my value doesn’t depend on what I can do for God, and that He can use me at my very weakest more than He could use me if I were doing 101 things for Him in my own strength
  • being forced to prioritize and humbling myself to ask for help
  • recognizing the frailty of all that is seen and increased faith in the reality of things that are unseen
  • experiencing the peace and joy that comes from God alone

And, of course, I have a unique opportunity to proclaim God’s power and provision.  Trials are not fun, but they are a necessary part of making us who God wants us to be.  Some say He only allows trials as a result of the fallen world we created by our own rebellion against God (through Adam and Eve).  But, there is evidence that God designs specific trials for specific people, promising to go through it all with us, for our good and His glory.  We are told to expect trials in this life and we are encouraged to know they serve a very useful purpose – Psalm 23:4, Romans 5:1-5Romans 8:18-252 Corinthians 1:3-5, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, James 1:2-12, I Peter 4:12-13.

Some websites will tell you that Lyme is quickly taken care of by a round of antibiotics (one month to three months … I have a friend who was on antibiotics off and on for five years for her Lyme).  If you catch it immediately after the bite, it can be eradicated.  But, generally it is a life-long fight.  Most resources will tell you there is no known cure for Lyme disease, because the spirochetes like to hide deep within tissues, muscles, blood and bones, so it is impossible to know if “we got’em all.”   It is also usually a collection of several infections that are administered through that dreaded insect bite.   Some are more deadly than Lyme!  Lyme disease is called the great imitator because many diseases are falsely diagnosed – actually being Lyme, like: Fibromyalgia, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue, ALS, etc.

My goal is to get as well as I can, so I can be as functional as possible.  God and I take one day at a time.  I hope people will understand that I may not be able to say yes to many extra opportunities for awhile.  I’ve cut back on my time online as it is quite draining.  Most days it is an accomplishment just to get the dishes washed and have food on the table.  We’ve added 2 DVD classes to help with our homeschooling.  I’ve learned how to make jewelry, which is both relaxing and something fun I can do without too much effort. We are pursuing having my eight amalgam fillings replaced as we believe this may be part off the process of getting rid of heavy metal poisoning so that my system can concentrate of getting rid of the Lyme.  I am very thankful for each day and the strength God provides!  I know God can heal me if He wants to, so I trust Him to do what is best for us.  My deepest desire is that God will be honored through this!

If you have Lyme or know someone with Lyme, I would love to hear your comments below.  What has God been teaching you through your journey?  What are your struggles? What treatments have you found to be helpful for you?  Because of Jesus we have a bright future!  God is faithful.  Thank You, God!

Joyfully His,

Sara

Psalm 73:26 – “My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.”

 * If you suspect you may have Lyme, the most reliable tests are done through IGeneX.

Helpful Resources

VIDEOS

1.  LymeLight – The Story of a professional freeskier, Angeli VanLannan, with Lyme
2.  About Lyme and why the government and most doctors avoid it.
3.  TV star battles Lyme
4.  Under Our Skin documentary
5.  Under our Skin, Emergence review (sequel, 2014)
6.  Hope for chronic Lyme
7.  Alternatives to antibiotics

ARTICLES

1.  Finding a Lyme literate doctor in your area
2.  Lyme is the “Great Imitator,” misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, depression, M.S., Chronic Fatigue, ALS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
3.  Hope for chronic Lyme
4.  Lyme information
5.  Essential Oils Treatment: Raindrop Massage Technique

BOOKS

1.  Insights Into Lyme Disease Treatment: 13 Lyme Literate Health Care Practitioners Share Their Healing Strategies by Connie Strasheim
2.  Freedom From Lyme Disease: New Treatments for a Complete Recovery by Bryan Rosner
3.  Why Can’t I Get Better?  by Richard Horowitz, MD
4.  The Lyme Disease Solution by Kenneth B. Singleton, MD
5.  Healing Lyme: Natural Healing and Prevention of Lyme by Stephen Herrod Buhner
6.  The Lyme Diet: Nutritional Strategies for Healing From Lyme Disease by Nicola McFadzean, ND
7.  Recipes for Repair, A Lyme Disease Cookbook, by Kenneth B. Singleton, MD, MPH
8.  When Antibiotics Fail: Lyme Disease and Rife Machines, with Critical Evaluation of Leading Alternative Therapies by Bryan Rosner
9.  *** Saving the BEST for last, I highly recommend Quieting a Noisy Soul for anxiety and panic attacks.  Excellent material!  I can’t say enough good about it.

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Is God Calling You to Full Time Christian Service?

Honestly, I never felt called or led by God to be a pastor’s wife.  Both of my sisters married pastors, and before I went to college my parents sweetly told me never to feel pressured to follow their path – the most important thing was to follow God’s leading for my life.

Most of the time when I was growing up I believed God was leading me to be a missionary overseas.  I would pepper visiting missionaries with questions.  I even got to the point where I practically told God, “I AM going to be a missionary, no matter what You think” (yikes).  Finally, He got me to a point where I said, “YOUR will be done” (whew).

Zooming ahead … my husband and I both graduated from Bible college.  Yet, we are not in full-time Christian service.

  • Did we waste money and time on our Bible college education?
  • Was it all for nothing?
  • Are we disobeying God?
  • Do we please God less because we are “electrical engineer” and “stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom” instead of “Rev.” and “Mrs. Pastor”?

It couldn’t be further from the truth!  God in His wisdom led us to Bible college, and then He led us to be Full-Time Christians.  In our church and in our community God opens up opportunities all the time to share His good gifts with others.  We are far from perfect about following up on all of His opportunities, but with His strength He is using us and we are constantly in awe of His provision!

God doesn’t call each of His children into the same field.  Where would we be if all believers were pastors and pastors wives?  Where would the body of Christ – the foot, the eyes, the knees be, to fulfill the callings of the local church in our communities (I Corinthians 12)?  He wisely places us in the position He knows will benefit from the talents He’s given us most effectively.

 

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV

 

When Tim was attending Bible college, seeking God’s will for his life, his pastor took him aside privately and told him that he was confident that God wasn’t leading him to be a pastor.  Was Tim willing and open to be one?  Yes!  But, God used his pastor, who knew his personality and heart well, to give him loving, specific counsel.  Following Bible college, Tim pursued his (God given) interests in math, radio systems and computers, attending community college and then a state university.  The education he learned there, especially learning how to work through the tests of faith and how to face the bombardment against God’s Word, has been priceless.  I can’t tell you how many times God has opened doors for Tim (who pushed on the door of missions by taking a college Missionary Apprentice Program to France) in his engineering field to answer difficult questions about life, death, God, creation, family, etc.  Tim’s Greek and doctrinal training from Bible college days helps in his teaching/music ministry at church, as well as on a daily basis enriching his personal Bible study and walk with God.  God didn’t call him to be a pastor, but God is using him every day!

Before we were married, I taught for three years in a Christian school.  Many of my students were from Ukraine, as well and Pakistan and India.  One of my Indian students and her brother came to know Christ in our Christian school.  A few years later their mom trusted Christ and has shared the gospel with family and friends around the world – many who are coming to know Christ personally!  Praise the Lord!

A couple years ago we hosted a Muslim exchange student from the Philippines, and a Christian young lady from Ghana.  Talk about a mission field!  We are part of a church that is blessed with many students from all over the world attending a state university.  God has brought the world to us.  We are missionaries in our mid-western city – God’s place for us.

Our backgrounds come together to greatly help us in our most important mission field of all: our sons.
Most every day the boys and I pray for Daddy as he goes to his mission field at work, and for God to help us be a light for Jesus in our mission field: our neighborhood, and people we come into contact with at doctors offices, grocery stores, restaurants, parks, etc.  Just today my oldest son wanted to give a gospel tract to some friends of ours who were visiting.  Our mission field is very real!

Pastors and their wives, missionaries, missionary wives … these dear men and women have a sacred calling from God that is different from all else.  As shepherds leading us, as they follow the Good Shepherd, they have unique responsibilities, challenges, sacrifices, and rewards.  We must be committed to loving them (in word and deed!), praying for them, and supporting them.  But, if God didn’t call us to those ministries, we would be sinning against Him by disobeying His lead in our lives.  God’s will is the best place to be.

Perhaps, some time in the future, Tim and I might become missionaries.  We’ve talked about the possibility that after his retirement from his engineering mission field, God may call us to serve in areas of Bible translation (he’s continued using his Greek and enjoys learning Hebrew in his spare time), teaching, technical help, music, etc. on foreign and domestic mission fields.  Until then, we will walk with God daily on the mission field of His calling.  He knows best, and we are confident He will lead us every step of the way!

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV



Summary:  We each need to seek God’s individual leading, through His Word and the guidance of godly counselors.  He will, in time, impress us through His Spirit in the way we must go.  No fear of missing the boat!  Walk with Him today, every day, and He will faithfully guide to the next step.  Churches need godly pastors and their wives, as well as godly laymen and laywomen.

What about you?  Are you a Full Time Christian, where God has called you to be?  God will provide all the strength and resources we need to fulfill His calling.  Best of all, He promises to be with us every step of the way!

 

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:1-5 NKJV

 

Focusing on God Month by Month in ’14

 

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” I John 4:8
 
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
 
This year I am excited about a plan God gave me to focus on Him month by month through the fruit of His Spirit …

January – God is Love
February – God is Joy
March – God is Peace
April – God is Longsuffering
May – God is Gentle
June – God is Good
July – God is Faithful
August – God is Meek
September – God is Self-Controlled
October … God will show us what to do next!

Reminders
Go grab three or four 3×5 cards! I’ve got mine!  Place one near your sink, in your bathroom, on your bed stand, in your car – and focus the WHOLE month of January on the LOVE of GOD! These cards will remind us daily. Yay for reminders!!  On each card write one of these (or make up one of your own!) …

          “God loves me!”
 
                    “God = Love”
    
                              “God, please teach me more about You as Love”
                             
                                        “God loves me!”

                                                   “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”

Ask and You Shall Receive
I encourage you to pray with me daily, asking God to reveal more of Himself to us every day this month: how we can love Him more completely, and in turn love others with His love.  This is according to His will, so we know He will answer, “Yes!” 

Record and Share
Keep a pen near your cards so you can jot down things God reveals to you through His word and Spirit about Him as Love. Or you could write them in a journal, or share what you’re learning right here!  We can also be looking to tell people around us about God and what He is teaching us about Himself.  We and they will be blessed!

I’m looking forward to growing in God, intentionally focusing on Him and learning more about Him in all His wonderfulness.  Will you join me?

“… that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:17-19 NKJV

How Not to Thrill Satan

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10


I love storms.  I love the booms of thunder, reminiscent of Independence Day fireworks, that shake my house and the lightning flash that always takes me by surprise.  Not so much when I was a child.  But, somewhere along the line I became captivated by God’s power. My boys are also calmed during a storm when I say, “Listen to how powerful God is!”  They are still a little afraid, but they are also impressed. 

This morning during Bible study, I have the rare delight of sitting by my bedroom window as a storm comes in.  The weather radar on the website tells me soon it will be on top of us.

I’ve been working my way through Hebrews, and this morning I came to the last half of Hebrews 12.  Good stuff!  Will you join me for a few moments in His Word? You can grab your own Bible or read it with me here:

Hebrews 12:18-29

Mountain Tour

Let’s go back.  We find ourselves back at the foot of Sinai.  I AM presents Himself to Israel. And all around us we hear Israelites, scared out of their wits, crying and begging for the trumpet sound and His words to stop.  Terror of His might is only surpassed by their terror of His commandments.  Even brave Moses was “exceedingly afraid and trembling” (21).  Behold the power of I AM!

Let’s go forward.  In verse 22 we zoom to another mountain – Mount Zion.  We are situated in the realms of a new covenant, made possible because I AM came further down than the top of a mountain, to live among us.  We read here about how the “God the judge of all” (23) provides “Jesus the Mediator” (24).

“SEE THAT YOU DO NOT REFUSE HIM WHO SPEAKS.” (25)

From the halls of heaven to Mount Sinai, to Mount Zion, to our very hearts.  He is still speaking … are we really listening?

“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;  but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’”
Hebrews 3:12-15

Satan and Self Don’t Want Me to Listen

I crave solitude.  But I don’t always like quiet.  Whenever I am presented with the rare gift of being at home alone, the first few moments I bask in the silence.  But, soon I turn on music or find myself humming as I work.  I’ve even been known to turn on the radio or TV just for “background” noise.  I like to watch Netflix while I’m working on my menu plan, play the piano, listen to the radio in the van, talk to my Mom or a friend on the phone.

Satan would be thrilled if we are too busy – to ever listen to God.

Jesus died and rose again to have a relationship with us.  How would we like a friend who always talks but never listens?  I love to read my Bible, talk to God as soon as I wake up, talk to Him in the evening before bed, and those sweet moments alone with Him in the dead of night.  But, I rarely take time to truly listen to God.

Why?  Partly time constraints, and the reality of homeschooling two noisy boys.  But, also I think I have to admit, I am afraid of what He is going to tell me.  I’d rather listen to those who say what I want to hear.  What feels good and fits my agenda.  What sin is He going to uncover in my heart?  What is He going to ask me to do?  If I am willing, perfect Love, God Himself, will cast out every fear … replacing it with Himself.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Romans 8:14

Make An Appointment with God

It’s time to make an appointment.  Otherwise, it may never come to pass.  Get out your day timer or gaze up at your family wall calendar in the kitchen.  Let’s schedule some time, 15-30 minutes, either this weekend or next week just to listen to I AM.  Begin your time by reading His Word and asking Him to speak to you.  Like Samuel, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears!” Then, let’s try to get into a habit of spending time every week, even 5-10 minutes daily, just to listen to Him.  We will be changed by His presence and His power.

The soothing rain and booming thunder draw me in, grabbing my attention and feeding my senses as I sit here talking with you.  Let’s let God’s powerful Self draw us in!  God, in His graciousness, makes Himself accessible to us.  While basking in the riches of His grace, let’s not forget Who He is … and that He wants our attention, our reverence, and our obedience.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
Hebrews 10:27

Abba Loves Me When I’m Tired

 

Do you ever have days … weeks … months when you’re tired?  The past two weeks I’ve been waiting for my energy to arrive.  Still waiting.

I’ve been exercising, eating right, getting sun, working, sleeping well … why, Lord?  It’s easy to get discouraged when life isn’t going the way I plan!  As I wait on Him and learn to accept with thankfulness my temporary weariness, I can rest in the One Who made me, saved me, loves me, and keeps me. 

I treasure this picture of my Dad and me (above).  Whenever I am with him, I feel loved, safe, and encouraged.  In an infinitely greater way, my heavenly Father loves me, and His power is infinite – while ministering to me at my level.  Oh, the wonder of it!

I invite you to join me in praising the all-loving One, Who knows and cares.  We can rest in Him!

To weary Moses, God said (and forevermore promises to stay with all of His children):

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’”  Exodus 33:14
 
 
With the overwhelmed King David (the man after God’s own heart) we can pray:
 
“Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.  From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy.” Psalm 61:1-3
 
 
“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26
 
 

The prophet Isaiah declared to Israel, and to us:

“Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
 
 

Jesus promises:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
 
 

The writer of Hebrews found refreshment and courage to continue on, by focusing on the unchanging character of our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ.  We can, too, because:

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16

 
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

The Great I AM Still Is

I’m confused . . .
 
I AM intimately involved.  Listen to Me and believe.  I AM in charge of the knowns and unknowns.

I feel alone . . .

I AM always right beside you.  You are exactly where you need to be. Talk to Me.  I AM listening.

I’m hurting . . .

I AM your true Friend.  Deflect your pain to Me.  I AM working on every detail right now.

My life is cluttered . . .

I AM holy, organized, beautiful.  Look at Me.  Dwell in Me.  I AM your eternal peaceful retreat.

I’m needy . . .

I AM able.  I know your need and I AM always right on time.  If I AM not meeting it, it is not a true need at the moment (or I AM working a bigger plan.)

My heart is aching . . .
    
I AM the Healer of broken hearts and the Calmer of storms.  Rest in Me.  I want to hold you.

I’m afraid . . .
    
I AM peace.  Reject the lie that anything is bigger than Me. You are safe with Me.

I don’t like the way things are . . .

I AM Your everything.  Gaze past the temporal to the eternal.  Embrace Me.  I never disappoint.

I’m battle weary . . .

I AM your Protector, My darling.  Relax. Rest in Me.   Let Me put My armor on you.  Stay close.  I have already won the war.

I’m stained . . .

I AM your Redeemer.  The price is paid.  Forgiven.  You are clean in My eyes.  Press on.

I’m crying . . .

I AM crying with you.  I understand earth pain.  What you are going through will not be wasted. Very soon – no more tears, forever.

I’m tempted . . .

I AM the best.  If only you knew how much I love you, you would never interrupt our blissful moments with a useless and dangerous idol.

I’m discouraged . . .

I AM real and I AM strong.  Discouragement is one of Satan’s favorite tools.  I AM closer to you than breathing.  Take My hand and we’ll go through it together.

 Our story has a happy ending. I promise.         

. . . . . . .

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’'” Exodus 3:14

“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.'” John 8:58

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10



What are your favorite Scripture passages that speak these truths of God?  Please share!




A Laundromat and Fried Chicken

Today my boys and I ventured out to a laundromat.  During my single teaching days I frequented them, but now that I am blessed to have my own washer and dryer, it was only the icky bulky sleeping bag that drove me there.  Caleb threw up on it about a year ago.  Why rush?

So like I said, we finally made it to the laundromat to cleanse our back-up bed.  And, having never been to one before, my boys were fascinated.  All sorts of machines twirling, swirling, and rumbling. Some customers were staring into space (maybe hypnotized by their own clothing), others were playing games, watching TV, or loading machines.  I was aghast that one load cost $5.00 (of course it was the monster machine able to chew 50 lbs. at once).  After putting my $5 bill into the coin converter, and hearing a clang comparable to a jackpot in Vegas, we stuffed the giant bag and inserted the battalion of quarters.  The machine kindly informed us it would be finished in twenty-five minutes.  Ill prepared and hungry, we wandered next door to KFC.

I hadn’t been to a KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) for years.  Usually the only time I taste their delicious chicken is at church potlucks, when people are kind enough to swing by the fast-food joint on the way to the park to pick up an easy dish to share.

As soon as we walked in the door I was pelted by the wondrous smell of fried chicken combined with the not-so-lovely grease fog.  The entrance was so dirty, I felt I should ask to see their cleanliness certification report.  But, I didn’t ask, because a long line was gathering behind me.  I stumbled through an order and paid the lady.  Once we got our food tray, we were relieved to find the eating area much cleaner, and settled into our meal.

Josh said, “Mommy, this is a treat!”  And Caleb oohed and ahhed at the biscuit like it was manna.  On the wall were pictures of our town during a flood four years ago.  A history buff, I’m always impressed by such relics of hometown memorabilia.  We relished each bite, said “Have a good day” to a sweet older lady next to us, and made our way back to Happy Suds. I was impressed that we arrived just three minutes before our job was to be done.  We carried the damp, clean sleeping bag to the van, laying it out to dry in the sun as soon as we got home.

My boys and I had a great time at the laundromat and KFC.  I am so thankful for these moments of working together, discovery, and making memories.

God enjoys spending moments with us, too.  He loves taking care of us, showing us new things, taking us to new places, teaching us how to do things we’ve never done before, treating us to “fried chicken,” and providing a means to clean our worldly goods. Thank You, Abba, for showing me Your love in so many unique ways!  Every day with You is an adventure. 🙂

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11