Friday, November 4, 2016
Parenting is hard. I wouldn't trade it, Elijah in particular, for the world. But it's hard parenting a child with a history of neglect..from a wheelchair I might add. I'm not asking for sympathy AT ALL, God made ME AND BARRY to be Elijah's parents - with our specific abilities, strengths and perspectives. It's just hard. I ask for prayers for wisdom for me and Barry and a calm/obedient spirit in Elijah.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
This is a big week of celebrating for our family. Yesterday we FINALLY closed on our house, today, four years ago, the judge in Russia said that we could be a family and Sunday marks my 4th "I'm alive" day (4 years since my massive stroke). Wow. A lot to celebrate and reflect on.
It's easier to lean on God when your life is in turmoil, and you have nothing else but Him. But it takes an effort to further your relationship with Him when your life is cruising. I love this quote from Bath Moore's "Entrusted" bible study:
"None of us will accidentally fulfill our calling. Fulfillment will require focus, stamina, self discipline, and a certain amount of suffering."
I typed "sacrifice" twice in retyping that quote, so, apparently God wants to add that word to the list.
I like that. We have to be purposeful in our lives to fulfill what God has called us to do. Important to remember, because when life becomes comfortable, it's easy to coast. But that's not what God wants us to do. We need to be purposely sharing the gospel and seek opportunities to share our story.
So, on this eventful week, and always, I want to do just that. Any others??
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Sorry it has been oh so long. I had all these grand plans for while Elijah was at school and I am not at all getting them done. Sigh.
We are in the house! Have been for a couple of weeks. It is SO nice having everything accessible! Elijah and I have especially loved having a fenced in back yard that we can actually get to. Elijah has just loved running around. The wider hallways are AWESOME!! I don't run into walls...much. I could go on and on about the accessibility but that would take too long, so just trust me. :) I LOVE the house!!
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
I am JUMPING out of my comfort zone. I am 1) starting to volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center and, as if that isn't enough, 2) co-leading the 3yo Sunday School class.
I am SUPER nervous about both things. As in petrified. Both things I have never done before, much less post stroke. I am afraid I won't be able to do things. I am afraid of the unknown.
It'd be much easier to continue on status quo - but we are called to serve. My service is going to look different, but God will work out the details. I have to constantly remind myself of that. So, please pray as I start these new ventures. I need courage, peace, abilities, creativity...
Saturday, August 6, 2016
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights." James 1:17
Elijah is an absolute gift from God. Every child is, don't get me wrong, but God knew I would need Elijah. He helps me SO much...and the joy he brings...oh my. He starts kindergarten on the 17th. Man, I'm gonna miss that little boy while he's at school.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
I had a neurologist appointment in Birmingham (about 3 1/2 hours from home) today. Every time I leave I am just so thankful to God. My neurologist always looks at the scans of my brain right after the stroke and says something to the extent of, "people don't normally live through this." He is always surprised at what all I am doing by myself and (I get the impression) he is not a believer and says that I am an inspiration.
I can only give God all the credit, and I do to my doctor. How can I be bitter about my situation when I could be dead? God saved my life on October 16, 2012 for a purpose. Each one of us has a purpose on this earth (if you didn't, you wouldn't be here still). I want to live out my purpose well, what about you?
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Today, on the Facebook page I monitor for adoptive parents in Alabama, I asked them to share about when their child(ren) was placed with them. It got me thinking about when Elijah was placed with us. I was not even in the same thing country. I was in a rehab hospital. Not exactly how I had envisioned things.
I had planned to wear Elijah in the Ergo and walk around Moscow as a family. Instead I was was wearing a bib and not walking. Not what I had planned.
It makes me think of the song "Blessings" by Laura Story.
This was not what I thought my life would look like. But God knew. He made blessings come out of a mess; putting my priorities in place, my parents moving closer and more time with Elijah to name a few. God allowed it, and doesn't want a hurt to be wasted.
So, Elijah's placement didn't go as I planned. But it was still planned by the Creator.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Just had to share what I was studying in my quiet time.
James 1:2-4 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I will persevere today :)
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Yesterday was a hard day. I am helping in VBS (Vacation Bible School) this year, Elijah's first year at our church, and it is emotionally hard. I am helping in the babies class (3ish months thru a year) and I am really struggling with not doing what I used to be able to do. I am good entertaining or feeding (well I make a mess, but....) but need help picking up, etc. I can't change the babies positions, feed bottles, stand up with them, bounce...not a lot of the things that used to come second nature. I'm helping in there...just not what I want to be doing.
So, yesterday was not good. I had to come to grips with the new me. (I do nursery at church occasionally, but that is only for an hour and Elijah & Barry are there to help.) Today was much better.
I meditated on the scripture from 1 Samuel 16 which says, "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart .”
I am serving God, He allowed me to be this way...so, I will keep trudging on, even if it doesn't look the way it used to. The Lord sees my heart, and that is what matters.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
To say I'm excited is an understatement. All my fun new toys that will make life SO much easier came in. I am very independent, and these toys will help me do things that I right now can't do, or are very difficult. We have....
A cutting board with suction cups so it stays in place. It has a grater and slicer. It has a raised edge so you can butter a slice of bread. It also has an adjustable gripper to hold mixing bowls (I need to buy a set with flat bottoms that will work).
(the things you don't think of when you have 2 working hands. But I can't hold things in place, hold things to pour, etc.)
The pour thing holds a 2 gallon jug so that you can pour with one hand.
There is an adjustable metal thing that holds your pots and pans while on the stove.
A gripper to help grip. :)
A mixing bowl in a grippy stand to hold the mixing bowl in place, as well as it snaps in another position to allow you to pour batter one-handed.
A jar opener that mounts under the counter, allowing you to open jars one-handed.
A grabber to pull out the oven grate.
A roll of grippy stuff (like my technical terminology?) to be cut in smaller pieces and used for a variety of uses.
A rolling hot plate to move hot things.
And an electric can opener that you can use with one hand.
While these "toys" won't make things easy in the kitchen by any means, they will significantly help (hopefully, I haven't tried them out yet). I am so excited to get back more independence!!
Thursday, May 12, 2016
During my quiet time I was thinking about "glory"....
Glory- we can bring Him glory, in worship, in our lives - very great praise, honor, distinction
"We should rejoice that every time God is glorified in and through our lives, victory has come about." - James McDonald, Always True
Glory - the very character of God. From Dictionary.com I found words like beauty, magnificence, extraordinary superb, brilliant, splendid
Revelation 21:23 NIV "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp."
Romans 3:23 NV "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
We can't comprehend God's glory this side of Heaven. But oh my goodness one day when we see it in full!
Monday, April 18, 2016
Elijah and I made these and I am proud. Haha. They are play-doh in a balloon for squeezing for anger management and other things. Sounds simple, but oh my goodness, they were not. The sticky balloon with a small neck. The mushy play-doh. We made a HUGE mess. While we made each balloon I would say I was NEVER going to make another one, that Barry was going to finish. Then once we got that color cleaned up (play-doh goes everywhere, including the floor - think of the wheelchair on the floor with little bits of play-doh...mess) I thought, one more. Sigh. We made 5 in 2.5 hours. But we did it!!
(They feel much cooler then they look.)
Friday, March 18, 2016
Hebrews 11:1 NIV
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
God is teaching me to trust and believe in His promises even when I cannot see His hand. I still have the headaches. I still have the double vision. At first, I didn't want to mention that because we were praying for different results, but I heard once that it's not my job to worry about God's reputation, that's God's job. My job is to trust.
Trust His Heart by Babbie Mason
God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When don't see his plan
When you can't trace his hand
Trust His Heart
That is what I'm called to do. Remember what He's done in the past and have faith that He will work all things for my good. Even headaches and double vision.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
We went to a one-night marriage retreat with our church this past weekend. I am soo vulnerable at those type of events.
First of all, I have to eat in front of people which I don't like doing. I had to throw all caution to the wind though, and just not worry about it. Conquering fears. :)
Second, there were maybe 50 people there and I was sitting in the middle. The music leader had everyone stand. I, of course, did not, while everyone around me did. I am used to this in church, but not in a smaller, intimate setting. I FEEL (I know it's just my perception) like all eyes were on me. There was even another guy in a wheelchair. Should have made me feel less awkward. It didn't.
Thirdly, a group was playing Corn Hole. I watched while Barry played for a little while but finally gave in to peer pressure and played. I use that term loosely. Playing left handed...that bean bag went every which way. It barely made it halfway. Ha! Oh well. I had fun with friends.
My point, do I have one???, is God is REALLY calling me out of my comfort zone. That's all.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
I got new glasses with a prism, to attempt correcting my double vision. I still am seeing double, but my ophthalmologist (optometrist?? I think ophthalmologist...don't know the difference...Megan, what are you?) is wanting me to give it a couple of days. Join me in praying that my brain adjusts to the prism and the double vision is corrected!
Saturday, February 20, 2016
We have a foundation!!
That being said, they will be starting the framing next week, so I NEED SCRIPTURE NOTECARDS BY MARCH 1. I have some, but if you wanted to add any (write scripture on notecards to be placed on framing before drywall), I need them ASAP. Thanks!
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
We bought a Bible, highlighted Psalm 127:1, wrapped it WELL, and will put it in the foundation (hopefully being poured tomorrow!). I LOVE that our house will literally be built on The Word.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1a
On another note, I don't have a headache thus far today...keep the prayers coming!!!!
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Sometimes...sometimes I let Satan get to me. Yesterday was one of those times. I am beyond frustrated at my meds. I have to take Percoset for the headaches (this dulls the pain and makes it easier to deal with, does not get rid of the pain), the Percoset makes me not sleep, so I have to take something for that, and sometimes that does not help. It's MISERABLE not to sleep. I take many medications for allergies and asthma. I take something for acid reflex. I've started to get menstrual migraines but because of my history of stroke, everything they would normally prescribe, I can't take. The only thing I can take is large doses of ibuprofen for several days. Which occasionally causes asthma problems and I have to take additional medication. My poor body.
I want to throw myself a little pity party but then I remember that the Lord allowed me to have this body for a reason. All I can do is take as good of care of it that I can, pray and leave the rest up to The Great Physician.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Joy has been coming up A LOT lately. The other day I read about Joy, the fruit of the spirit, in my Bible Study by She Reads Truth, "Choose Joy" was the title of Girlfriends in God (which I normally don't read but this one caught my eye), I'm listening to "Choose Joy" while I exercise and the name of the sock store was "Choose Joy" (ok, that last one might have been a dream).
Anywho, true joy exists apart from our circumstances. Happiness comes from circumstances, joy comes from a deep rooted confidence that God came to earth in the form of Jesus, lived, died for each of us to pay for the penalty of sin, rose three days later and is coming back. Joy comes from believing God is who He says He is. From rejoicing in GOD alone.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
- Psalm 92:4, ESV
Joy is possible even in the storms of life. Joy persists even when life is hard. The world cannot steal joy. "....joy is not a fruit of our work, our circumstances or ourselves. Joy is a fruit of God’s Spirit. It is a manifestation of who He is, a result of the heart-transforming power of Jesus Christ in us." (She Reads Truth - Fruit of the Spirit)
True joy is only possible through a relationship with Jesus. If you don't have that joy, and want to know how to get it, won't you let me help? Email me!
Monday, January 25, 2016
Well, what I was going to write, is not what I am going to write. :) I was going to write about how hard it is to see our house being built from the sidelines (since the wheelchair won't work in the mud and around a construction site. Barry is getting me over the best he can, but there is only so much he can do). But in my quiet time this morning I studied about the fruits of the spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.
I can only obtain the fruits of the spirit by ABIDING in Him. One of the definitions of abide, according to dictionary.com, is "to reside with". For His Holy Spirit to reside in me, to become so a part of me. I want to abide in Him so that I can have true joy peace and patience, despite seeing the progress of our house from the sidelines.
Friday, January 15, 2016
There is progress on our land! It went from this....
Yay! Progress! They are supposed to be starting to pour footers today (if it's dry enough).
My proposal is this...I want to put scripture on the framing before drywall goes up. To do this, I need everyone's help. My sister-in-law suggested the scriptures be put on notecards so that whoever wants to participate can. The scripture notecards will then be laminated and stapled up to the studs before drywall is put up.
I would like to cover each room with scripture! Please help by putting some scripture on notecards, telling me what room it belongs in and getting then to me. If you need my address, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or get it to me another way. Thanks!
Thursday, January 14, 2016
I had my talk last Sunday...and it went great! It was such a God thing. I had peace going in to Sunday School and calmness the entire time. I shared my testimony the whole SS hour. After it was over, I kept thinking of things I didn't share and was beating myself up, but I stopped myself because I had given that time to The Lord. Through the Holy Spirit, what needed to be spoken was spoken. I do not need to fret over what I forgot to say. I am excited to see what the future holds!
Sunday, January 10, 2016
"Wait" by Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I plead and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait!"
"Wait, You say? Wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming Your Word."
"My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and You tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign."
"And Lord, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, as we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"
He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want -- but, you wouldn't know ME."
"You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see."
"You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save ... (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart."
"The flow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST."
"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! if I lost what I'm doing in you!"
"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that THE GREATEST OF GIFTS IS TO GET TO KNOW ME.
And though oft may My answers seem terribly late,
My wisest of answers is still but to WAIT."
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The past two days have really caused me to commit to get out of my comfort zone. Before the stroke, I had to speak in front of people on average once a week. Now I HATE speaking in front of people. I can't talk fast, people can't understand me when I babble (which is a lot), I choke on my words sometimes. I feel really anxious about it.
BUT the past two days I have been asked to be in a promo video at church for a Bible Study and to share my (God's) story in Sunday School. Seems like not a big deal, but I am nervous.
The ONLY reason I have said "yes" to both is because I want to be a willing vessel for God to use. He has given me this story and it is His to use. I just need to ask Him for courage and strength to share it.