Thursday, September 29, 2011

There's power in the blood...

This week I found out I am slightly anemic. This experience got me thinking about the first time our family got up close and personal with anemia, it happened when our daughter Abby was a senior in high school.

Abby was  a starter on her varsity basketball team, but this was  a rough season for her. After being in a game for only a few minutes she would need a sub as she was struggling with her breathing. She would sit for a few minutes and then go in for just a few more. Naturally we made several trips to the doctor that seaon. The diagnosis was that she had asthma, so numerous inhalers were prescribed. She was tired a lot of the time and also had a strange obsession with ice, she was always craving it and eating it. There was one game that really had us scared for her. She couldn't get subbed as quickly as normal and we could see her struggling to make it up and down the floor. We were ready to call time out to get her out of there. After that game, we made one more trip to the doctor and he had no answers for us. We were frustrated, we kept praying and doing all we could with drugs and breathing techniques to help her out.

Shortly after that our miracle came. Abby was doing her Anatomy and was reading about blood and blood disorders. At lunch she casually mentioned the symptoms of anemia and I realized that has to be it (big time light bulb moment!!), why didn't we see it before. So, I called the nurse and we agreed a blood test would be good. Well, as soon as the test was completed our doctor made sure to see us asap. Abby was not only anemic, she was borderline in need of a transfusion! The cool thing is Abby had just diagnosed herself.(hurray for homeschoolers!)

notice how her skin is as white as the uniform...a sign we missed...

How could we all miss something that now seemed so glaringly obvious. It was missed because we were all focusing on her breathing and previous diagnosis of asthma. We got some iron pills and started pushing the red meat on her. By the end of the season, Abby was able to play with more energy and set some personal scoring records for herself. She even survived a double overtime game! She went from being as white as her uniform to a rosy pink color when she played! (oh and by the way, the craving for ice is actually a symptom of anemia!)


As we look back on this time, we see that what Abby did during that basketball season was all God. With her levels so low, she should have been struggling getting out of bed, yet she managed to practice and play in BB games. We prayed for answers and strength for her and God answered. This week as I'm struggling with my own anemia I keep thinking about her. My levels are about 4 point higher than hers were and I'm tired, I know God was keeping her going during that time. There truly is power in the blood!!! God knew Abby's testimony on this team was important, she is one of those truly joyful people and her team needed her!! Plus what an amazing testimony of God's power working to give someone strength when they were weak.

After the double overtime win...smiling and able to play!

iFellowship

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday...Worry...


Worry is something I am good at. I am a classic "what if" thinker. But what good does this do me? Will obsessing and worrying over something really help? NO! Over the years I have learned the best thing for me to do is to let go and let God. In my journal I pour out all that I am worrying about whether it be a rational or irrational worry, I give it to God, I lay it at the foot of the cross. To help me with this I actually draw a picture of a cross and underneath I write my burdens, for me it helps to have a visual of giving it to Him. Do I still catch myself worrying? Yes, those worries tend to jump back at me and I do it all over again. This process really helps me to trust Him. So a new math equation for me is worry = trust!




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just an ordinary woman...or am I?

I am just an ordinary woman. There isn't anything "special" about me. I haven't held a "real" job in about 21 years, I"ll never be America's Got Talent,  I'm not athletic, I live in a small town in the Midwest, I have three kids, one husband and two cats. On the outside I truly am just an ordinary woman...BUT...if you look more closely you will see I am extraordinary.

How could I make such a claim? I am extraordinary because of Jesus! I have the ability to tap into His strength.  All I have to do is humble myself, seek His face and call on His name. Prayer makes me extraordinary. This is something we all have access to...it is the easiest, yet sometimes the hardest thing for us to do. We may think oh that's not the important...I don't want to bother God with that...or we may think that's too big...not even God can help me now.



If my people, who are called by my name, 
will humble themselves and pray 
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, 
then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin 
and will heal their land. 
2 Chronicles 7:14

When we call on Jesus...all things are possible. He cares about what we care about! I have a friend who recently wanted to visit her grandmother, but did not have enough money for the flight. Instead of giving up...she gave it to God...God answered! She received an envelope from someone at church with $300 inside, no name just a simple note. She had enough for the plane ticket with money to spare. God heard her prayer and made the impossible...possible.

For nothing is impossible with God.
Luke 1:37

How about you? 
Are you ready to become extraordinary? 
Fall on your knees in prayer. 
Call on Jesus. 
He can and will do amazing things!!



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Running the Race..

Today my daughter ran in her first 5K...she did awesome! What struck me today was a text Abby sent me after the race. She thanked us for cheering her on and said it made her run faster. She finished strong because of the encouragement we gave her. How often do we encourage each other in our Christian walk? Do we want to see each other finish strong? We need to cheer each other on! We also need to keep running our own race as well!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 
Hebrews 12:1 




Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Minute Friday...Joy

Today I am linking up with Gypsy Mama for 5 minute Friday. Five minutes to write on one word, no editing, just what come to mind.  Todays word is JOY.


Go:

Joy is not happiness. Joy is deeper than happiness, it is not dependent on circumstance, it just is. Joy comes from the Lord, He fills us with joy.

The joy of the Lord is my strength!!!

Several months ago I wrote of Helen from Eritrea, she is a woman held captive and tortured for her faith. Just recently I say a video update on Helen. She is now free, but the stories she tells are amazing. She tells of one time when she was severely beaten and then dumped back in the storage container she was held captive. She says she just began laughing, not because she was happy, but because in the midst of that awful pain, God filled her with joy. The others held captive with her did not understand, they were angry that she was laughing. Joy doesn't always make sense to those around us, but when God fills us with His joy, it is bound to come bubbling out! I pray for the kind of joy that Helen has experienced!!

Stop

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
1 Peter 1:8

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Remembering Grandma

Today I turn my blog over to my husband and a tribute to his Grandma Smith.


A Tribute –

Grandma and Grandpa with Brian and brother Tim. 1964
  
My grandmother Francis Smith died peacefully on September 14, 2011.  I write the following words as a tribute to her and to the legacy that I see in my family.  My Grandmother was 98 years old.  As long as I can remember I can remember Grandma.  Six short years ago she, and our family said goodbye to my grandfather, Don Smith.  Grandma and Grandpa were married 71 years!  They are too funny, when we asked them on their 70th anniversary if we could do something to celebrate they said, “no, wait till 75, it will be worth celebrating then.”  Grandpa and Grandma Smith never wanted to draw attention to themselves. They come from the generation that was glad to help, serve and not complain or make a fuss about things. 

I have fond memories of the two of them.  In their retirement years they would spend their summers living with our family and helping on our ranch.  The summer was filled with projects, painting, staining, weeding, cooking, cleaning and so much more.  They worked so hard, but they couldn’t have been happier.  Grandpa had a knack for picking out good vegetables and produce.  Grandma had a knack for turning that freshly picked our purchased produce into a great meal or a tasty dessert.  These were fond memories for me growing up.
I am thankful that I had a lot of time with Grandpa and Grandma.  Family was important.  Church was important.  I remember many conversations with my Grandpa about the church.  While we were working around the ranch we would always have on Christian radio programs.  One that I remember specifically was “The Christian Jew Hour”  Jews who had come to know Christ.   As I grew up and became a pastor he asked me one question many times!  What kind of Baptist are you?  There are over 50 varieties of Baptists so I can see why he would ask.  I would explain we were a part of the old Swedish Baptist church.  Oh that’s right he would say.

One thing I remember about Grandpa and Grandma is that they were in love.  Their first date was when they were both in their teens.  He took Grandma to the movie.  He had no car so he walked  across town, walked her to the movie and then walked her home afterward. Grandpa always told that story with a twinkle in his eye.  It was a twinkle that was  there for 71 years.  Grandma was his first and lifetime love.  I thank God for their commitment to each other and to marriage and to God.  In a world that is lacking so many things their lives stood out and were an authentic testimony of their faith to all who knew them.  Thank you Grandpa and Grandma Smith for living out your faith!  Thank you for fulfilling your marriage vows!  Thank you for your example and your legacy!  You are together now in the presence of our Lord.  Well done good and faithful servants.  We will miss you but now we must carry the torch that you lit in our families and have passed on to us.

As your relationship started with that walk to the movie and back so many years ago, Grandpa had one more assignment.  On Wednesday September 14th Grandpa ‘Walked Grandma home” for the last time. I will miss you both very much. I pray that I can live my life as you did to honor our Lord.
As often as I hear this song, I will think of how blessed I am to have grandparents like you.

Your Grandson,  Brian

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Things I love...God's Heart for You...

Life has a way of beating us down sometimes. We begin to allow negative things and thoughts to creep into out lives. This causes us to begin to see ourselves in a negative light. We forget that we are a child of the King, that we are made to be unique, special, one of a kind women. We forget how God sees us, He doesn't see us as we see ourselves, to Him we are His child, created in His image! Simply put...God has a heart for you!


Blessings Unlimited has come out with a line of products called God's Heart for You. Each product is designed to help women realize just how special they are in God's eyes. I have recently received the God's Heart for You calendar by Holley Gerth.  Each month takes you on a journey to discover just how special you are to God and to answer the question In God's heart I am______.  Each month contains a short devotion and a Bible verse to encourage you!



I have always been one that a hard time with self esteem. I allow the negative voices of this world to weigh me down. In the past 5 years God and I have been on a journey where He has shown me over and over again just how special I really am. I can say with confidence now that in God's heart I am His princess, I am wonderfully made, I was made with a unique purpose, I have a God-given mission chosen just for me!!! So when negative thoughts enter in, all I have to do is turn to my Bible and be reminded of how special I am. Now I also have this calendar to help remind me as well!



So tell me how do you fill in the blank?
In God's Heart I Am____



 ** Dayspring provided me with this calendar free, I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11

Lamentations 3:20-23

 I well remember them,
   and my soul is downcast within me.
 Yet this I call to mind
   and therefore I have hope:

  Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.


Today my prayers are with the families of the victims of 9/11.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

9/11...tens years later...

What were you doing when you heard the news?
Were you eating breakfast?
Driving to work?
Whatever you were doing that memory is most likely one you will never forget. 

Our family was in a hotel in California, just north of Sacramento, we were heading to Oregon that day and the kids were so excited that they would get to see the ocean. Brian went to the lobby to check out the continental breakfast and came back disappointed, but said that some guy was talking about a plain and the towers in NYC. We thought he was confused and didn't even bother to turn on the TV. The rule was quiet time first then tv. So because the breakfast look grim, Brian went in search of Dunkin Donuts. While he was gone I turned the tv on and was shocked and sickened at what I saw. By that time both Towers had been hit and the Pentagon as well. Here I was alone in hotel room with my three kids (ages 11, 9 and 7). I wanted to cry and panic but realized all eyes were on me. They didn't know what to do with the images they saw, images I could no longer protect them from. Thankfully Brian came back and we processed the events of the morning as a family. Brian's Dunkin Donuts sat mostly untouched, who could eat at a time like this?

What an eery day as we drove north into Oregon. We didn't know what to think, we wondered if we would even be able to get gas, and if so how much would we be paying. Driving past airports that had no air traffic was strange, to see all those airplanes lined up on the ground. How was life going to change? Who would do such a thing? There were many more questions than answers in that time.

As the days went on, amazing things came out of this tragedy. People were getting on their knees and crying out to God. People were flocking to churches for prayer. Candle light vigils happened from coast to coast. People remember the dead, injured and missing and turned to God for answers.

10 years later, as we commemorate this day we must remember to get on our knees once more. Our country still needs God...we need him more than ever. 9/11 is a part of this nation, it has impacted each and every one of us. My family was on a prayer journey at the time and it impacted our prayers even more. We took our trip very seriously and we prayed with fervor for this nation. When tragedy struck we turned to God, deep down this country knows who to lean on and He is a powerful God just waiting for us to turn to Him once more!

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 
2 Chronicles 7:14

Run for your life!


How about you? Where were you? What is your 9/11 story?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday...teach them...


We need to be telling our children the truths of God's word and the amazing things God has done for us. It should become so second nature that we literally are singing God's praises in all we do, when we are at home, on a trip, going to bed. Constantly through the day our kids need to hear from us just who God is and what He has done for us and how to pray to Him!!!!




Sunday, September 4, 2011

sweet sleep...

Oh that we could rest like a cat...they can sleep in anything, anywhere and anytime. They have no worries.