What About Paul’s Thorn In The Flesh?

My very first interview was very informal – complete with the dryer buzzer going off in the background!

I hope you enjoy this segment with Craig Coria on the apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh.

 

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Letting Go: Why I’m Stepping Back from Facebook

Journal Entry 04/11/2018

 

Nine years. I lived my life here for nine years. It was a place of comfort when I felt down. It was where I turned when I needed words of affirmation or acceptance. It was where I found ideas and came for a  feeling of fulfillment. It was distraction on a bad day, a place to rejoice on a good day.

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What About Job?

I had planned on editing some things I’ve written over the years to make a blog post about Job since he is a big sticking point for a lot of people when they hear that God always wants to heal. But one day I was walking and felt prompted to record this. It’s raw but pretty short (about 2 minutes) so I went ahead and posted it.

I would add that everything Job’s friends and later he himself accused God of was really the work of the enemy. This book is such a sweet picture to me of the heart and true nature of God.

He is better than you think – and He always will be.

 

Life Update: Banners, Seed Time & God’s Faithfulness

I planned on writing this update a long time ago but as time so often does, it got away from me. For anyone interested, here is a little life update on living arrangements, answered prayer, and God’s faithfulness.

As I sat down to write this, I realized once again just how faithful God is and it moved me to tears because truthfully I haven’t always seen this so clearly – which I know now is because I didn’t always truly believe He was! I’m so glad I sat down to write because these are the things that are so easy to forget but these are the very kind of things we need to write down so that later when doubt comes, we can hold them up like a victory banner.

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Is It Always God’s Will to Heal? Part 2

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Is it ALWAYS God’s will to heal? That is the question I knew I needed an absolute answer to. If you haven’t read Part 1 on what started this journey, you can read it here.

Most Christians believe God can heal, but He doesn’t always. They believe His higher ways are not possible for us to know, that sometimes He gives sickness to teach us things, grow our relationship with Him, or for some other purpose that we can’t understand but need to trust.

This is what I believed. It sounded good. It fit my idea of God. It fit what I saw all around me. It fit my experience.

Then all of the sudden my life was on the line and just saying what I’d always said wasn’t enough – I had to know if there was more to healing.

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Is It Always God’s Will to Heal? Part 1

I knew when I started this blog last year that sharing my testimony would be a big part of it. I didn’t realize how hard that would be to do. For starters, how much information is too much? What and when do I share? What about the parts that aren’t finished yet?

I don’t like to go back to those dark days and I went back and forth between being heavy on the details of my story or just sharing the conclusions I came to in the end. I decided to include a little bit of backstory Continue reading

Seated with Christ

Some days being and acting like an adult is easier than other days. Today was a hard day to be adulty.

 

We are traveling back from a long vacation and I went to bed last night with a fever and had a hard time sleeping because of the semi trucks rushing by on the road outside all night. I think I am fighting the cold-type-thingy that went through our company on vacation. Woke up, hit the road and a couple hours into our trip, this happened on the trailer (the one we are getting ready to trade in and need in good shape). A melted, exploded wheel bearing. By the time we noticed people waving and honking at us and pulled over, the wheel bearing and tire fell off in a plume of smoke. I had no idea what this meant and was scared to ask Cowboy if it was fixable so for the first half hour I took care of kids and dogs and brought him water while he tried to sort out what needed to be done.

 

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I had three worried little people looking to me to see how they should react to this and I did not feel like being the one that had to be level-headed and calm. Nope, not at ALL. I think I mumbled something like, “this is an adventure!” but inside I was feeling so sorry for myself and Cowboy. It was hot and we were in an unfamiliar place far from home with no idea where to look for help or parts or if this was fixable.

 

In the meantime, a charming woman came over to chew Cowboy out for selling dogs out of the back of our truck (we have an enclosed bed and leave the rear sliding window open so they can get air on the drive but when we stopped we opened the back of the truck). He had to convince her that we are on a family vacation and we love our dogs. If she’d taken a minute to observe she might have seen a family traveling from out of state with a missing wheel. People!

 

I grabbed the kids’ hands, instructed them to not let go, and started the trek toward a Chik-fil-a sign in the near distance. I sat down inside once we got our food and was trying really hard to hold back tears. I know it’s not good to let emotions do whatever they feel like but dangit, I really wanted to let them loose today. I didn’t feel good, we were stranded 4 hours from home, and had no idea how to go about getting the parts and help we needed.

 

I looked over at one of my children, the one who misses nothing when it comes to how people are feeling, and saw the worry in her eyes and knew I had to divert.
“What are you thankful for?” I asked worry-eyes.
“That we are all safe.”
I turned to the next child. “What are you thankful for?”
“Chicken nuggets… and that we are all safe.”
We went around the table and by the end of our thanksgiving, I could feel the tension start to lift a little. Darnit, we did have a lot to be thankful for. Too much to warrant clinging to my pity party for one. While the kids went to play in the indoor playground, I checked my phone and saw I’d just gotten a text from a friend:

 

“Girl, you are seated with Christ.”

 

The overly-emotional two-year old part of me wanted to say, ” what does that even mean?” But I knew she was right and as I sat there with all the high school students on their lunch break, I started to take it apart.

 

Seated with Christ. God’s daughter. Loved. Strong. Capable. Even when I don’t feel like it.

 

Seated with Christ. An overcomer, even if I wasn’t choosing it in this situation yet. Victorious. Above the circumstances.

 

Seated with Christ. Full of the raising from the dead power of the Holy Spirit, the fruits of that Spirit, and with every promise of God to me still true – even if it felt like a bad day.

 

After a few minutes I didn’t feel the need to hold on to the pity party anymore. I have realized that every time I can step back and disengage myself emotionally from something and choose thanks or choose to exalt what is good and true, my attitude changes. My entire outlook on life changes. Every time I can get to a place of worship instead of worry, everything changes. Every single time. And the cool thing is, I ALWAYS have the ability to choose to do that. I always have the choice to rise above it by choosing to focus on what is true and who God is and who I am in Him.

 

I used to not ever get the viruses or colds my family did. I never got fevers. I had a few doctors tell me my immune system wasn’t strong enough to mount enough of a response to bacteria/viruses to produce a fever. Now, my body is functioning like the rest of my family’s I’m still standing against this cold but part of me is giving thanks that I’m capable of getting one.
We are all safe. That broken bearing could have caused a lot more damage than it did! The wheel could have fallen off on the freeway and posed a major threat to not just us but those around us – but it didn’t!

 

There was a Chik-fil-a close by so we had air conditioning and food. We were able to find all the parts we need and it looks like this is fixable. We had money for all that we needed. We had internet and got connected to who we needed to get connected to.

 

And to make up for humane woman, an elderly man stopped and tried to help Cowboy for a while and then offered to take him anywhere he needed. I looked at this sweet old man in his suspenders and loafers and was a little concerned about him getting up under a camper in the heat and at the same time touched that he offered to help Cowboy. We ended up thanking him and telling him we would just unhook the truck and stay together. God bless him!
The enemy likes to make anything hard seem SO big and so desperate and so all about me – me – me. Look up! Look up and see what you do have. Where is the blessing in it? I’m not saying to be passive about what the enemy sends your way and think everything is from God and for his glory. The enemy will steal whatever we let him and I believe we always have to be on guard (even when we feel like laying down and throwing a fit). I’m saying that what the enemy meant for evil can be used against him when we focus on what is true and start praising God in the midst of it. I’m thankful for my kids sharing what they are thankful for and forcing me to voice what I’m thankful for, for Cowboy who works so diligently to take care of us, for my friend’s timely text, for the right hookups to get what we needed to get on the road again, and for selfless people who stop what they are doing to help someone else.

 

Now that we are FINALLY on the road again, I can look back and see it as adventure and laugh at Humane Lady. Selling dogs out of our truck?! Lady, c’mon!

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Life at 200 Square Feet: Travel Trailer Life Part 2

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I actually think it’s probably less than 200 square feet but I’m not sure of the exact size – just that it’s small. Still, it’s not  as small as some peoples’ living arrangements and it’s been really good to us. If you missed my last post about why we decided to sell everything and move into our travel trailer, you can catch it here. As I’ve thought about what to write about my thoughts on living in a travel trailer, they could be summed up simply as this:

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The Journey Begins: Travel Trailer Life Part 1

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Life is full all kinds of journeys. This one in particular started a little over 2 years ago when we sold our house and 90% of our possessions and moved into our travel trailer. Why on earth would anyone want to do that? Well, here’s our take on it.

I don’t remember exactly what started it all, but I remember realizing home prices were really high and somehow Cowboy and I started talking about pursuing a dream of living in the country. We had a nice home in the heart of the city and were very comfortable there but we were also thinking about long-term goals and how to get to them. We talked and dreamed and thought through all the logistics and after a lot of prayer and weighing different options, we decided to put out a fleece. We decided to list our house for top dollar and if it sold for that price – and no less – we would take that as a sign that it was time for a new chapter and time to pursue our dream. I still don’t know if that was a wise decision or not – putting out a fleece – but within 2 days of listing it, our house sold for full price. It was scary and exciting. We were doing this!

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What Does Your Label Say?

 

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I’ve been peeling off a lot of labels lately… Some come off easily as soon as I see them. Some don’t want to budge and leave a sticky residue that I know will take some more conscious effort to fully remove. Some I didn’t even know where there until I removed one and found another one right beneath it, as if one was built on another. Some have felt so part of me for so long that I feel naked without them – like, I don’t even know what life is supposed to look like now that the label is gone…

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