Thursday, December 31, 2015

Getting manicures

My sister-in-law (who lives in Denver, but was down for Christmas) and I went to get manicures. I was nervous because it was my first manicure since the stroke, really since my wedding.  :) And it lived up to my fears. 

First, Gimpy (my right hand) wouldn't stay open (it clenches and has little control). He tried several things and then had someone hold it. Then, he asked what happened, which I am fine with, but then ANOTHER lady came over and the three of them proceeded to talk about me/the stroke, I know because "stroke" is the same in English as it is in whatever Asian language they were speaking. To their credit, he could have been explaining "stroke"...it still made me feel weird. THEN, since Gimpy wouldn't stay open, every time they would think she was dry, the paint would get messed up. We finally got to the car only to get 2 more nails messed up. Sigh. Barry and I tried to find matching polish but it ended up looking like this....


Bad picture, sorry. Oh well. I apparently don't get manicures that often anyway. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Self Esteem

I have an issue. I feel like everyone is looking at me because I am in a wheelchair. I feel like I look very different from pre stroke me, when in actuality I look a lot more like myself than not. I am very self conscious of gimpy, of the tremors, of the way I eat, of the way I talk. To be completely honest, I get food stuck all in my teeth since the stroke (what causes this???), and avoid eating in front of others when at all possible. I am slowly getting over it, but I have a lot more work to do. God loves me and made me to be just as I am. My identity is found in Him. GET OVER IT LISA! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Peace

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

I am in awe of the peace I've been given. In my quiet time today, God showed me that it was nothing short of His peace that He gave me in the hospital and at rehab. Sure there were tears, peace does not mean there won't be sadness. But there was an assurance that He was, and is, in control. 

I now cannot fathom being in the hospital in the state I was in, or not going to Russia to pick up MY son. But I got through it at the time with a smile on my face. 

I describe the feeling after the stroke as feeling drunk. I believe He used that feeling to protect me and help bring peace. It was that feeling and the trust that He "works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) that got me through it all. God is SO good. 



Monday, November 30, 2015

Beth Moore Quotes

I am listening to "Get Out of That Pit" by Beth Moore and I wanted to share a few quotes that stuck out to me. 

"You are a better person healed, than well." (I LOVE this)

"God entrusted that suffering to you because He trusts you."

"If you belong to Christ, Satan cannot destroy you, he can only make you think you are destroyed."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Preparation

I read the following this morning in "Adopted for Daily Living: A Devotional for Adopting Moms" and it goes along with what I posted about yesterday. 

"God uniquely prepares every single parent to handle what comes through adoption...He absolutely equips you to specifically care for the child He places in your home." (Wendy Willard)
 
He uniquely prepared me to parent Elijah. Even when I feel like being in a wheelchair, with a gimpy, poor vision, etc. are obstacles to being the kind of parent I want to be.... I have to remember that He has prepared me to be exactly the right parent for Elijah. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

How I've Grown

Remembering what God has done in your life is so important. So,I made a chart to show some of the big struggles I have faced in the past, as well as what God has taught me/how I've grown through them. The bottom shows how God is currently using what I've learned/how He has shaped my personality. (I don't know how to include a file/don't have the time to figure it out so I took screenshots.)

Hopefully you can read it. It really was for my benefit so forgive the grammar or things that are listed more than once. 

It is SO cool how He used each struggle to prepare me for the next. Isaiah 64:8 says, "Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." AMEN


Friday, November 6, 2015

"Sovereign Over Us"

I have posted this before, but wanted to share again...


Sovereign Over Us by Aaron Keyes

There is strength within the sorrow, 
There is beauty in our tears 
You meet us in our mourning, 
With a love that casts out fear 
You are working in our waiting, 
Sanctifying us 
When beyond our understanding, 
You're teaching us to trust 

CHORUS 
Your plans are still to prosper, 
You have not forgotten us 
You're with us in the fire and the flood 
Faithful forever, 
Perfect in love 
You are sovereign over us 

You are wisdom unimagined, 
Who could understand your ways 
Reigning high above the heavens, 
Reaching down in endless grace 
You're the Lifter of the lowly, 
Compassionate and kind 
You surround and You uphold me, 
Your promises are my delight 

Even what the enemy means for evil 
You turn it for our good, 
You turn it for our good and for your glory 
Even in the valley You are faithful 
You're working for our good, 
You're working for our good and for your glory

Thursday, November 5, 2015

We have land!

We are starting the building process! We close on a lot the end of this month. We have been meeting with builders and our architect every night (except for Wednesday) this week. Once we close on the land we want to start building ASAP. Yippee! This is really happening!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Depression

I was depressed. I was in despair. I was sad. I was mad. I was scared.

I am finally reading the devotional I was a contributor to (Adopted For Daily Life: A Devotional for Adopting Moms - check it out! https://www.amazon.com/dp/1511824387/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_5-5mwbTC65SK1 ). In one chapter the author is talking about depression. Depression is common in adoptive parents for many reasons. It made me think back to the early days and months after the stroke. 

First, we didn't know if I'd even live. And when it looked like I'd live, if we'd be able to get Elijah (the stroke was 4 days after court, during the mandatory 30 day wait to pick him up from the orphanage). I remember the nurses saying "They WERE adopting". "NO that is MY son," I would think. Anyway, how God worked that all out is for another blog. 

Back to my original thoughts, we bought exchangeable plane tickets, hoping I would still go. Then that became apparent that was not going to happen. So, my parents and Barry made the trip while I was still in the hospital. They brought me home the day after they came home with Elijah (after a week in the hospital and a month at rehab). 

I wasn't able to connect with Elijah, because I wasn't able to bathe him, change his diaper, feed him, etc. We did what we could but.... 

Barry was just starting a new job with shift work, I suddenly was having to quit my job, we were having to make modifications to the house, figuring out how to be parents to a child who has spent 21 months in a hospital/orphanage and coping with my MANY obstacles due to the stroke. I went from being very independent to being dependent on Barry or my mom to help me on the toilet, do my makeup - EVERYTHING!

Wow. There were many tears. It was very dark. I wondered if I would ever feel normal again. 

BUT, I can smile now. I can laugh despite being in a wheelchair with crazy vision, not being able to feel my right side, with a gimpy (my right hand), with constant headaches, tremors and high tone. I can enjoy life despite being in constant pain. Why? 

Psalm 40:2-3 NIV
[2] He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. [3] He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.

I take no credit. HE is my deliverer. Wow, He has brought me through the darkest time of my life. HE is the reason I feel like life is "normal" again. HE is the reason I can smile. HE is the reason I can laugh. Praise the Lord!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

George Mueller

Have you heard of George Mueller? Our pastor has talked about him and then his story (he completely RAN an ENTIRE orphanage on prayer and faith!) was in the Bible Study I'm doing at therapy (while I'm on the treadmill...harnesst in). His story is SO convicting. If we are doing His will, we need to pray BELIEVING. Below is an excerpt from his story.  (Christianity.com)


 "The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat," the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in." 

Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bathrooms

This is awkward to write, but in keeping with my honesty moto...something that people don't think of is bathrooms for people in a wheelchair with a gimpy (my nickname for my right hand). We need family restrooms and they are hard to find! Not every store has one. We have to plan our outings around them because I can't go in just anywhere. Bet you never thought of that, did you? 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Three Years

Friday marked three years since my stroke. THREE YEARS!! Woah! It seems like another lifetime. I look at pictures and it seems like someone else. I have come SO far since that time. God has given me a peace that surpasses all understanding, and three years later, I can genuinely say, I am content. The contentness and peace are not from me! I give ALL credit to The Lord!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Randomness

- I am reminded by so many things lately that life is brief. Jesus is coming. Know where you're going!

- In our "Life Group" (or whatever it's called), we are studying Freedom in Christ. Unloading the dishwasher was discussed - doing everything for His glory, praying as we do it, thanking Him that we have one...I, and I encourage you, to thank Him for the ABILITY to load/unload the dishwasher/do laundry/etc. I went so long NOT being able to do these everyday tasks! It takes me a lot longer to do these tasks, but I CAN! For that, I praise God. 

- We are starting the process of building a house - a place that is actually accessible!! I have been near tears several times thinking of how much easier life wil be. I won't run in to walls or cabinets, I will be able to reach sinks, I will be able to do laundry without almost falling out of my chair...it is so exciting!! Yet so expensive. Accessibility stuff for a house (more space, wheelchair bars, one story, electronic door openings) is often more expensive. Not cool. 

- Monday was the three year anniversary that a Russian judge said we could adopt Elijah! Praise the Lord!  Friday is the three year anniversary of my stroke. I am alive!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Don't Wait

Well, did you hear today was supposed to be the end of the world? Last night was a blood moon...and other stuff occurred. A pastor of a big church and several others predicted today would be the end. It's funny to me because the Bible clearly states - Matthew 24:36 NIV “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

I know without a shadow of doubt where I am going when He does come back. Do you?? If not, please don't wait. Talk to me, talk to a pastor...it's the most important decision you'll ever make. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

If It Is God's Will

I am content. I feel like this is where I need to be. I'm not saying I'm going to stop therapy or quit trying (Sameka). Just that I can see God using me in the wheelchair to witness to others. Who knows what a simple smile at the grocery store can do. I am not saying to stop the prayers. Quite the opposite. I need prayers to walk (haha) whatever path He chooses to put me on. I need strength. I need courage. God is all powerful and could heal me in an instant if He chose. I just feel like right now I am right where I need to be until He decides otherwise. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Great Commission

I feel greived today. Greived for those friends and family that don't personally know Jesus. What have I done to tell others, those close to me, about The Hope I have? I feel greived that I have not done more. I cannot force others to accept Jesus but I should share my testimony. 

I need to share how God gives me the strength to get out of bed every morning. How He worked out all the details of our adoption. How He used the pain of the miscarriage and worked out the details so that Elijah's birth date would be the exact day of our due date. I should tell of the indescribable peace I have been given through all of this. What about telling of the countless times prayer has been answered and there is no other explanation than God is real. I should share how I can feel His presence and know that He is real, alive, and desires a relationship with each one of us. 

I hurt for those that don't have a personal relationship with Him. I feel the desire to share my faith with others. Our time on earth is short and tomorrow is not guaranteed. I want my loved ones in Heaven with me, so I better be telling them that believing in Jesus is the only way to get there. Join me in being renewed in the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19 NIV
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Night of Joy 2015


We are in Orlando for Night of Joy. We used to go every year but this is the first time since the stroke. For those of you that don't know, Night of Joy is a big Christian music concert held at Magic Kingdom. This year they have MercyMe, TobyMac, For King and Country, Mandisa, and more performing. They have four stages and all the concerts overlap. You see a few songs, ride a ride, go see someone else for a few songs, etc. Well, that has been great in previous years, but not now. I can't see over heads. When we come late, all I see are rear ends. When we come early (because Disney has a front area roped off for those in wheelchairs) we either get stuck for the whole concert (no going to see anyone else or ride rides) or we have to get there REALLY early (we got to TobyMac 30 minutes early and the wheelchair area was already filled up). 

It's not the end of the world. I am blessed to even BE at Night of Joy, so I shouldn't complain. It's hard but we'll just have to do things a little differently. God has called me to live this life. With His strength I will let the old way of doing things go and find a new way. 

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

God's Creation

The Holy Spirit talked to me last night. Psalm 139: 13-16 says, 

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

It's always bothered me how there could be Down Syndrome or brain abnormalities, etc. Was Satan involved? Was it the result of a fallen world? I believe the WORLD sees these things as flawed and disabilities. But GOD, who created even these "flaws", sees us as His perfect creation. Every one of us. He has a purpose for us, just as we are, perfect in His eyes. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

"My Story"

This is so true of my life. I pray that I share it every day. 

"My Story" by Big Daddy Weave 

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn't mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long

For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell
For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dishwashers

Dishwashers. They are not made for people in wheelchairs! I practically fall out of my chair every time I open that thing! I have to lean over awkwardly to reach the opposite side and to unload the bottom drawer...I can just barely reach it from the front (it may be slightly dangerous). The silverware is not easy to reach either. I should create a line of...everything. :) 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pride

Pride. It's an ugly word but a pit so easy to fall into. I am told, "You're so strong" and it's easy to think, "you're right, I am". But I am reminded that it is not in my own strength on days like yesterday. Nothing really happened but Barry found me in tears when he got home. THAT is me. I would be a mess if I did this in my own strength. I love the lyrics in this Plumb song, "Exhale",

Oh God we do not exist for us
But to share Your grace and love

It is ONLY through God that I can sing that. I am thankful for reminders like yesterday to keep my pride in check. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"Bring The Rain" - MercyMe

"Bring The Rain" - MercyMe

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through

The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind

To turn my back on you oh Lord
My only shelter from the storms
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray

Chorus:
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus Bring the Rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain

You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain

So I pray

Chorus:

(Repeats)
Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Monday, August 17, 2015

Change in Perspective

The other night, Elijah was in bed with us, and was having a hard time breathing because of a cold. I tried to get him to lay on his side to help with his breathing, but he wasn't having it. I had to turn over (on the side that, since the stroke, I have a difficult time falling asleep on - go figure), prop him up against me and put my arm around him. 

I could have complained that I wasn't getting any sleep, instead, I used that time to pray for others and to thank God that I have Elijah. I have learned (since the stroke, I often have problems falling back asleep when awoken) to pray when you can't sleep. It doesn't do any good to complain, what does good is prayer!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Stand My Ground

  My heart is heavy. There are so many hurting people in this world and it makes my suffering seem trivial. And yet all of it is temporary. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 tells us,"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

God is so good. This is the song that's on as I type.

"O' Lord" by Lauren Daigle

Whoa...

Though at times it seems
Like I'm coming undone
This walk can often feel lonely
No matter what until this race is won
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
I will stand my ground where hope can be found

Oh, O'Lord O'Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face this I know in time
You'll take all that is wrong and make it right
You'll take all that is wrong and make it right

Whoa...

Your strength is found
At the end of my road
Your grace it reaches to the hurting
Still through the tears and the questioning why
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!

Oh, O'Lord O'Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face This I know in time
You'll take all that is wrong and make it right
So Right, Right so Right

I will stand my ground where hope can be found!
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!

Oh!!! O'Lord O'Lord I know You hear my Cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face I know that in time
You'll take all that is wrong and make it right
You'll take all that is wrong and make it right
Make it right. Right, so right.


I want to stand my ground until He makes it all right. Thank God we, as believers, have hope that this hurting is only temporary. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Gift I Can Add

I was going to write about a song, but this was more pressing. I found a notebook that I had started writing in before the stroke. In it, I was writing my list of blessings/gifts (from the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp). 

I was struck by the fact that every last one I can still enjoy! I have many physical impairments, but none of them impede me from enjoying all the blessings/gifts that I listed! God is SO good! Now THAT is a gift to add to the list. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Growing

In the song "Blessings" by Laura Story, she says, 

"'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops 
What if Your healing comes through tears 
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near 
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise."

I think about my own life and how true that is. If the stroke had never occurred, my life would obviously be very different.  I have been forced to slow down and reevaluate my priorities. Elijah is given the opportunity to spend a lot of time with and get to know my parents (who technically live in Alaska but have moved down to help full time (mom) and part time (dad - until he retires)). I was able to spend those early months (when my mom was doing all the cooking, laundry, straightening, etc.) soley focused on Elijah. And so much more.  

My relationship with the Lord being at the top. I was saved at a young age and had a decent faith. I had no idea what I was missing. The infertility, miscarriage, adoption journey got me ready to face the stroke. Looking back I can see my faith growing. The stroke REALLY caused me to cry out to Him and it REALLY grew my faith and my relationship with Him. I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

ER Visit

I went to the ER Tuesday night. :( I woke up at 2am with a TERRIBLE headache. I felt obviously very uncomfortable but I had SUCH a feeling of peace. I had gotten out of bed but didn't want to leave the room in case I needed to get Barry. I just sat in my wheelchair and prayed over Barry and Elijah, who happened to be in our bed that night.  

Barry woke up about an hour later and we evidentially decided to go to the ER, in case I was having another stroke. At the hospital, they took me right back and, because of my stroke history, immediately did a scan. While we waited for the results, I again felt peace. Sure, I had cried, but I still felt at peace. The results came back clear - NO NEW BLEED!!! Praise God!! 

People say I'm strong, but I can't stress enough that it's not me that is strong. I get my strength to face each day through Him. I get the peace when facing a possible stroke because of Him. I wish I could tell each of you face to face - IT'S NOT ME…IT'S HIM!! It's that important.   

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cool Thing

Last Wednesday night at church, the pastor closed the service by saying, "throw out some names of people who aren't saved and need our prayers." I have felt burdened about a particular person lately and I was thinking about this person, but not about to say their name. At that exact second, someone called out that name! Wow! God is so cool. He wanted this person prayed for and He wanted to reassure me, yet again, that He is always present, all knowing and that prayer is powerful!

Friday, July 24, 2015

No Longer Slaves

Might I begin this by saying, man do I have a headache right now. (Which is how strokes sometimes begin. I live with a headache but sometimes it's worse than others.) I'm not asking for sympathy, just saying I will not be a slave to fear. 

No Longer Slaves By: Johnathan and Melissa Helser

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mothers womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I've been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We've been liberated
From our bondage
We're the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Prayer and His Will

Our view of God and the way we expect Him to answer prayer is so limited and narrow. I have been struggling with why God doesn't appear to be answering my prayers for healing, for the headaches to completely go away, and for other things. I've been struggling with the purpose of prayer when my prayers aren't always answered my way. 

I'm doing the bible study "What Love Is" by Kelly Minter, and today's lesson was titled "Asking According to His Will". Nothing revolutionary was said but The Holy Spirit was talking to me. 

The Bible says in 1 John 5:14 "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." And in John 15:7 "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." Note that it doesn't just say, "ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you", it says " If you remain in me and my words remain in you". If we are truly remaining (endure/stay/abide/dwell) then we will ask according to His will, without selfish motives. 

Our understanding of life is so finite. We expect that if we are remaining in Him our prayers should be answered now. But God isn't finite! He sees everything. Knows everything. He doesn't work on our timetable. Prayer requires patience for that reason. Sometimes when our prayers (say for headaches to go away, or you fill in the blank) seem unanswered, keep abiding. Keep asking. He promises to hear. He might just be answering in a different way or a different time than we expected. His plans are great, we just have to abide and trust that He's working. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

I Give You My Heart

I Give You My Heart by Kristian Stanfill

I give You my life
I give You my trust
Jesus 
You are my God
You are enough
Jesus

My heart is Yours
My heart is Yours
Take it all
Take it all
My life in Your hands

I lay down my life
And take up my cross
Jesus
For You are my God
Whatever the cost
Jesus
For You, Jesus

All to Jesus I surrender
All to You I freely give
I will ever love and trust You
In Your presence I will live

Check it out here - http://youtu.be/qBI4WDfRh6E

Friday, July 17, 2015

Evolution vs Creation

Barry has been doing a men's bible study called "The Truth Project". It discusses the fundamental beliefs of Christians and why we believe what we believe. The video took two weeks on Science (Barry brought the dvd home because we were in Bham for one of them), and the evidence of creation is baffling how anyone could believe in evolution. 

Darwin is DISPROVED by his own quote  in the video. Disproved. And yet our textbooks teach it as fact. Some scientists can't even believe it. There have not been fossils found to support the number of changes needed to become a new species.

They examined the body, and it is just amazing. The flagellum was examined, and just in its tail there are SO many parts, all having to be put together in the right order...and just look at DNA!

I wish you could all watch the DVD. The reason why evolution is so widespread is because the alternative is to believe in a creator. It is ignorance that has spread the theory. 

If you believe in evolution, I challenge you to find an impartial source, and do your own research. I feel certain that "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands" (Psalm 19:1). 

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Heavenly Father

I'm doing "What Love Is" by Kelly Minter with a women's Bible Study Group. In my quiet time this morning she was talking about God being our Heavenly Father. Now, that is nothing new, but the Holy Spirit was talking to me. 

My earthly father would give anything to take my pain away. He would take my situation away in a heartbeat if he could. I have prayed A LOT to my Heavenly Father to take away my suffering, and yet, here I am. Still in a wheelchair. Still with poor vision. Still with tremors, etc. So comparing my Heavenly Father to my earthly father just seemed...wrong. 

Romans 8:28 tells us, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Well, this sure doesn't seem like this is for my good! But the Bible also says in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

In Romans it does not say everything will work for our good here on earth. Remember, we only see the immediate, but God sees it all. Our "good" might not be seen here, it might not be until Heaven that we see it. But He promises it. My Heavenly Daddy, who can see everything, promises this all is for my good. I choose to trust Him. Do you?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Eye Doctor

So, I went to the optometrist...opthomologist...eye doctor yesterday at UAB. This guy is a specialist recommended by my neurologist. Right away he diagnosed me with oculopalatal myoclonus. This is the cause of the double vision and nystagmus. It is why my eyes do crazy things and I can't really answer if the images are horizontal or vertical with the double vision. It changes and everything jumps. 

Apparently my palate (roof of my mouth) moves with my eyes. It's extremely rare, my eye doctors here would not be trained to have seen it. So rare that he a) called another doctor in to see it and she had never seen it in person and b) pulled out a tripod and video camera and video taped me. It was really awkward. :)

It's good to have a name for it, but it's hard to treat. He gave me a prescription to try that could help. This prescription can be used for tremors, headaches and the double vision & nystagmus! So I am praying and believing that this medication is the answer. God often works through modern medicine and I believe this is one of those times. Join me in prayer that the medication works!! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court Ruling

Well, I'm not going to make any friends with this post, but it's laying heavily on my heart. The Supreme Court ruling. We've all heard about it. What is bothering me is not necessarily the ruling, but the response to it. 

Our pastor always says, "You can't blame the lost for acting lost." But what about the "Christians"? Those that say they believe the Bible?

The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is a sin.

Leviticus 18:22 NIV
[22] “ 'Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

Romans 1:26-27 NIV
[26] Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. [27] In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

1 Corinthians 6:9 NIV
[9] Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.

Those are just a few examples. Now, I am NOT saying homosexuality is worse than say, gossiping, but the difference is that I repent of that sin and with Gods help, change my life and stop gossiping. The person living a homosexual lifestyle is not repenting and changing their ways. We are called to love the homosexual, just not the sin. 

My point here is Christians either don't know their Bible or are allowing the cultural norms to compromise their beliefs. I was incredibly saddened yesterday by the "Christians" on Facebook that were showing their support in various ways. 

We either believe all of our Bible or none of it. We can't pick and choose, to do so cheapens the gospel and is incorrect. Believing in the Bible forms a lot of our convictions and we need to stand for them!
 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Satan Loves to See You Yell

I've been thinking a lot lately about satan stealing my joy. LETTING satan steal my joy. Specifically in the area of motherhood. I remind myself every time I start to yell or get impatient with Elijah that that is what satan wants. It calms me down and I tell myself that the devil is not going to win. This article does a good job summing it up. 

http://www.foreverymom.com/this-is-what-happens-when-satan-steals-your-motherhood/ 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Crazy Obvious Answer to Prayer


Some background. Elijah rocks sometimes to go to sleep. (Many kids from orphanages do.) Barry carries a sleeping Elijah and puts him in bed with me when he leaves for work (early) in the morning. (Being in a wheelchair, I am worried that if anything were to happen, I wouldn't be able to get there soon enough.)

The other morning, Elijah had woken up a little and had been rocking awhile. I prayed that the Lord would stop the rocking so that he could get some restful sleep. No sooner had the prayer left my lips (well, my head - it was silent) that he stopped MID-ROCK and went to sleep. Not to rock again that morning. 

It is SO cool that the Creator of the world, the solar system, the universe (check out the video http://youtu.be/rRiIWL04po8) , knows how many hairs are on my head and cares enough to answer my little prayer. (I'm not saying he doesn't care when He doesn't appear to answer them. He hears believers' prayers.) So cool. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Marinara Sauce

This happened probably a year ago but something reminded me. Normally I cook in the crockpot and Barry serves it up. This time he was working at night and I decided to cook...with marinara sauce. My left hand (good hand) freaks out when it gets hot. Well, I was serving up the MARINARA sauce with a BIG spoon and my hand touched the side of the crockpot, freaked out and sent marinara sauce EVERYWHERE. It landed smack on the top of my head. Got all in my hair, on my clothes, the counter, the floor, the fridge, the cabinets...all I could do was laugh...and clean it up. I would have cried a year earlier (well, I wouldn't have been cooking then, but that's besides the point) but truly am at peace now. Enough at peace to laugh when red sauce lands on my head. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

How I Study

Well, since I don't write, read or turn pages very well, I found this gem....


The Zondervan NIV Study Bible. It's great! You can highlight in different colors, bookmark, take notes, see footnotes, etc. It still takes me awhile, but it allows me to still study His Word. I love technology. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Shout Out

A shout out to my hubby. We always talk about how life has changed for me, but what about Barry? His life has changed a great deal! He now pushes me instead of holding my hand, spends his free time doing things I can't do instead of spending it golfing, etc. He does a great job hanging out with Elijah while doing the things I can't do. I am so very blessed to have him!



(I couldn't title a post "shout out" without mentioning my parents. My mom is living down south! Away from her husband! I could never thank them enough!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Non-Driver Identification


I would think that turning in my (very expired) driver's license and getting this one would be sad. But there were no tears. Yay!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bible Verse of the Day

 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I've Come So Far

I was just thinking last night about how far I've come. 


That was me right after the stroke. Man I look rough. :) After the stroke I wasn't able to hold my head up. I had to have head/neck support on my wheelchair for awhile - it was an achievement to go without it. I couldn't speak. I had a catheter. I couldn't move my right side. I couldn't feed myself. Actually, I couldn't eat period and when I finally could, used a bib well after getting home (I was in the hospital/rehab for over a month). I had to have feeding evaluations, was on a liquid diet, etc. The first time they had me sitting up, I thought I was going to pass out. I had to take an ambulance on a stretcher from the hospital to rehab. The nurses gave me sponge baths while I had  the catheter, and then I was bathed in the shower, because I couldn't do it myself. I couldn't brush my own teeth or brush my own hair. You get the picture. 

Now, while I still can't walk and still struggle with many other things, I am doing pretty much everything. Wow, God is good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Watch

I am kind of bummed. We bought this....


The new Apple Watch (why is it not called iWatch?? IPhone, iPod, iPad,i Tunes....)  It doesn't work as anticipated. I knew there would be some difficulties but I had hoped....

I have to wear it on my right wrist because to put it on or use it I have to use my non-tone-y, non-shaky, better (not good but better) aim left hand. But this causes problems because instead of making noises it taps you. Great, except I still can't feel my right side, so I can't feel the tap (even turned up all the way).

It is difficult to hold my right wrist still enough to do anything on it. The activity tracker is, of course, not accurate being in a wheelchair. 

I had just set unrealistic expectations for it. I can still use some of the features and I'm glad I have one. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I just feel a little bummed. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Run

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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV)

Monday, May 18, 2015

So Thankful

I love to travel. Shocker. We just came back from Melbourne Beach, visiting Barry's brother. I was just sitting here thinking how thankful I am to still be able to travel. We get a wheelchair accessible room, yes, and there are a few more accommodations, but overall...I'm able to travel and I'm SO thankful for that.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bragging - I Hope it's OK


I just need to brag on my son for a moment. He does laundry without complaining (most of the time). He replaces the toilet paper roll when it's out. He shares his food - even when it's his favorite and last. He picks up trash off the floor not prompted. I could go on and on. (Now we have our share of struggles too. Don't you worry.) I am constantly in awe and thank God CONSTANTLY that in His infinite wisdom He placed us together as a family. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

One of the Hardest Things

This is going to sound shallow, but one of the things that I'm having the hardest time adjusting to is weight gain. I am up several sizes from what I normally am and it is so disturbing. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin again. I hate "diets" but I need a reboot. So, I am doing Nutrisystem, which is surprisingly good. We'll see.... 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Complaint

I don't complain a lot. But these headaches.... Through God's strength I can endure a lot but...these headaches are really getting to me lately. I know God's power is made perfect in our weaknesses but I have to keep reminding myself. They are constant, 24/7. Nothing has helped - chiropractor, home remedies, multiple medications...alright. Pity party over. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Power in Prayer

There is power in prayer, well in the one that hears our prayers. I don't understand everything about it but I know we're commanded to do it and I know it's powerful. I've had several recent prayers answered. They might seem trivial but they're not to me. 

The first one, I was trying to zip up a jacket on Elijah (why he wanted a jacket in humid 80 degree weather is beyond me). After many failed attempts I prayed "God, please help me zip this zipper". The very first try after that prayer - I got it. (This situation (the after effects of the stroke) gives me MANY opportunities to pray with Elijah.)

The second would take too much explaining. Just trust me.

The third, real obvious one (there are more less obvious ones), was just this morning. I had a headache different than the ones I normally have and while I don't fear anymore having another stroke, I don't like the idea. So I prayed, through tears, "Lord, please take away this headache...." And guess what?? Headache gone. 

Now, I am not suggesting God is a genie in a bottle. There are many times God doesn't appear to answer our prayers and there are many reasons for that. But in those obvious times I can feel Him close to me whispering, "I am here, you need only to trust me."

Monday, April 27, 2015

Then God

"Anxiety" has been a big part of my life since the stroke. During our Beth Moore study of Esther, I felt like she was talking to me one night. She was talking about fears. It dawned on me - what I was calling anxiety were fears. Calling it anxiety took the responsibility off me while calling it fears put the responsibility on me. (Now, I believe there ARE real chemical imbalances that require medication but we are often too quick as a society to take them. We want an "easy" fix.)

Using Esther's quote, "If I perish, I perish" from Esther Chapter 4, Beth taught us the "If ____, then _____" pattern. In the first blank you fill in your worst fear in the second God. For example:

If ___, then God will take care of me. 
If ___, then God has a plan. 
If ___, then God desires to accomplish something monumental in me. 
If ___, then Gods going to demonstrate His suffiency to me. 

HUGE milestone in my life. Whatever touches my life has passed through God's hands first and He will get the glory. IF _____, THEN GOD. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Barry's Work

Barry works a shift schedule - some days, some nights, some weekends - all 12 hour shifts. The upside is more days off, the bad is that he works nights (and sleeps during the day) and misses church a lot (my mom drives us to church the Sunday's Barry works, but we don't get to SS those weeks). 

However, he is about to go off shift (for a temporary position)! He will actually be home at a normal time, be home every night, be at church every Sunday...I'm not going to know what to do with myself!!! Only bad thing is it's temporary, but I can't think about that. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Yippee!

I talked tonight in Bible Study! Go Holy Spirit!! One lady told me that the way I talked was beautiful because it made her hold on to every word. Aww

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"You Carry Me"

"You Carry Me"
Moriah Peters

Feels like it's been miles and miles
Feels like it's an uphill climb
Sometimes I get weary on the way
But when I look back at where I've been
When I look back, I'm sure of it
I was right there in Your arms and I can say

Every moment of my life
God, You never left my side
Every valley, every storm
You were there, You were there
I don't need to know what's next
You'll be with me every step
Through it all, through it all
I can see You carry me

There are days I wonder if
You can fix the mess I'm in
Times when nothing seems
To go the way it should
But then I look back on every season
I can find there's ten thousand reasons
To trust that You can work all things for good

Through the wind and waves
Through my worst mistakes
Through the times I thought I walked alone
You were holding me
You were whispering
I will never leave you on your own

Monday, April 20, 2015

Adopted for Daily Life: A Devotional for Adopting Moms

 
There is a neat new devotional out that I helped write!!! It is called "Adopted for Daily Life: A Devotional for Adopting Moms".  It has 27 weeks of devotionals, and I wrote a week on His Faithfulness. It is written by adoptive moms, for those in the process, but it would be great for anyone! The digital version (you don't have to have a kindle) is available now on Amazon. There will be a print version at some point. Go buy it!! 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00W8Q976W/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1429538477&sr=8-1&keywords=adopted+for+daily+life&pi=AC_SY200_QL40&dpPl=1&dpID=51YJdZwen9L&ref=plSrch 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Argh

I let the devil win last night at Bible Study. I am subconscious of the way I talk now and hate talking to a group (I used to do a ton of public speaking with my job, so my fear is post stroke. I know it's the devil preventing me from sharing what the Lord has taught me). We were talking about God taking something terrible and making it beautiful. Hello - my life! From infertility, miscarriage, adoption struggles, stroke...all ugly by themselves but when left in the hands of God - beautiful!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Logistics

Just an FYI...my mom moved down (from Alaska) right after the stroke to help. At first she and my mother-in-law (who temporarily came down from Birmingham), rented a house a couple doors down. Then my parents bought a house in the neighborhood and my mother-in-law went back home around the same time. My dad changed his work schedule in Alaska to allow him to come here about once a month for a week. 

My mom/dad is our ride to therapy (which I still do twice a week), she cleans the house, stays here nights when Barry is working (my concern is getting Elijah out fast enough in case of a fire) and takes us to church Sunday's that Barry works (we go to Sunday School when Barry is there, only church when he is not). She used to stay here during the day when Barry was at work, do laundry, cook, etc. I don't let her anymore. :)

I am fiercely independent so the fact that I need this help is maddening, but I have come to accept and appreciate the help. I am SO blessed. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

This is good

"GOD made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to GOD ’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." (Psalm 18:20-24 MSG)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Recap

Since all of you didn't follow back in the day, I thought I would recap. On October 16,2012 I had a hemorrhage, or a stroke, in my brain stem (the area of your brain that controls everything - from breathing to walking). Barry and I were both at home (this was 2 days after we got back from Russia...thanks be to the Lord that it wasn't in Russia) and he called 911. I was in and out of consciousness but I remember the doctor at one point asking Barry if I had a power of attorney or a living will. I remember thinking, "I AM going to make it." I am determined. My neurologist always looks at pictures of the brain bleed and how far I've come and just says, "Incredible". It's a miracle. 

The brain bleed was due to a cavernous malformation, a brain abnormality that I was born with, knew nothing about,and  which normally would be operated on, but it is too dangerous, due to its location (deep in the brain stem). Sometimes these things never bleed (and people don't even know they have them), sometimes they bleed once/twice, etc There is no way to predict what mine will do. (Please join me in prayer that mine will NEVER rupture again!)

The stroke caused, and I still deal with, no feeling on the entire right side of my body, increased tone and constant muscle jerking on the right side, inability to walk or use my right hand properly, double vision, nystagmus (both my eyes constantly move up and down rapidly), poor balance, constant headaches ....

Now, I'm not complaining - I could be dead! - just telling it like it is. LOTS of opportunities for prayer and leaning on Him. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

To whom it may concern

To whom it may concern:

Oh how I hate people feeling sorry for me! I despise people staring at me. I need to get over that, but oh how it makes me uncomfortable. You're either trying to figure out what happened or feeling pity. I want neither. I want to be treated as a normal human. Don't baby me. Don't pity me. Don't stare at me. 

Thank you
:)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why?

The "weird" thing (not really weird when God is involved) about "why?" Is that I honestly don't ask it about the stroke anymore. Now, I did in the beginning, but I don't anymore, I am content. The closer I get to the Lord, and the more I see little bits of the "why", the less I wonder and the more I simply trust. Trust that He will receive glory in this. Trust that He allowed the stroke for a reason. Trust that He saved my life for a purpose. Trust Him. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Normal

I feel normal. I might not look "normal" or do things "normal" but I feel "normal". I can do about anything I set my mind to (except standing/walking by myself and driving). 

I can do my own makeup (sans eyeliner). I cook dinner (with the crockpot). I workout (on the NuStep). I take showers by myself. I open packages. I stay home with Elijah. I get around the house. I get myself dressed. Put on my own shoes. Unload/load the dishwasher. I do laundry. I get in and out of bed. 

These things take me longer and I might do them in a different way, but I do them (and I hate help...well except from Elijah because I am teaching him). It is weird to me to hear the words "handicap" or even "wheelchair" in reference to me because that is not how I see myself. I see Lisa. I see me.