Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ August 31, 2014

"Wait on the Lord." —Psalm 27:14

"It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. 

Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God.

 But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. 

Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, "Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower." ~ Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Homeschool When You Can't Get Off the Couch: Introduction

One of the biggest logistical challenges I have faced as a mother with a chronic illness is homeschooling my children.

Although we had no idea of the struggles we would be facing with my health for the majority of our homeschooling years thus far, our circumstances have not changed our reasons for educating our children at home. The Lord has been faithful and He has been teaching our whole family many things over these years that we would never have learned otherwise. I have had to learn to relinquish my lessons plans for His.

It has not been easy, and our homeschool day might not fit the exact picture of my dreams, carefully studied methods, and Pinterest boards, but it is still possible and doable. Some years have been easier and some have been harder, but the Lord has been gracious and we have still been able to stick with it. Over the next week or so I'll be sharing with you resources and tips that I have found extremely helpful as I have learned how to provide my children with a rich education while dealing with chronic illness. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Testimony Tuesday ~ August 26, 2014

Time for another story of hope and recovered health !
I suffered in silence for many years, un-diagnosed, and told "there is nothing wrong with you" so many times that I lost count! I also had surgery that turned out to be unhelpful and unnecessary. I became a recluse, stopped enjoying social functions, and focused on nothing more than raising my boys and surviving! It was all that I had the energy for! Over the years, I was put on pain medications, anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, sleep medications, hormones, and told to see a therapist! The relationships I lost still break my heart. The losses I suffered physically, financially, and emotionally are too numerous to count! A full blown thyroid storm put me in the hospital this past November, and I finally got a diagnosis in December! Even WITH the diagnosis though, I was deeply saddened by the "expert" Dr's who told me that there was basically nothing they could do until my thyroid finally just gave up and stopped working all together... which could take YEARS! That was NOT ok with me, and that's when I started researching! I was determined NOT to let this disease have my life and now that I had a name for it, I was a girl on fire! Fast forward through some "trial and error" diets, self medication with supplements, more prescriptions, etc, etc... and the end result was God leading me to PLEXUS! Did the other stuff help? Yes, a little! But it wasn't until Plexus that I found ME again! I feel like I felt when I was 25! I feel like the ME that I knew I was, even when I was unable live it out anymore! We are sicker, as a nation, than God ever intended! We are killing ourselves with our lifestyles and eating habits! Will Plexus cure the world? I don't know! But it's curing ME! It is changing real lives... bringing real people back to life... and helping so many take control of their bodies and minds back! I can't think of a SINGLE person I know that wouldn't benefit from these products! Not one! HOPE is a beautiful thing! I finally found mine and I want to share it with YOU!"
Read more testimonies here! If you would like to learn more about Plexus products click here.

This product testimonial is an individual's experiences, reflecting the real life experiences of the individual who used Plexus products. However, individual results may vary. We do not claim, nor should the reader assume, that any individual experiences recounted are typical or representative of what any other consumer might experience."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Simplified Organization

Learn to love what must be done

I have so enjoyed Mystie Winckler's blogs and her insight and wisdom on homemaking and homeschooling. Mystie just launched a brand new e-course called Simplified Organization with principles that can be applied to the situation of each individual family.
As a self-paced ecourse, Simplified Organization is always there for you, with bite-sized pieces of encouragement, action steps, and guides. You can return again and again, as many times as you need to, to continue on the journey or to get back on the path. 
The course has audio messages, habit plans, action steps, a blueprint project, and many tool guides, all to help you wrap your head around your life and live it to the full. In addition, there’s a private G+ community with live chats every 6 weeks where we can chat about how we’re doing, ask questions, and get ideas from one another.
You can read more about it and watch a video tour here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ August 24, 2014

"Where reason cannot wade there faith may swim." —Thomas Watson

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dear Stressed Out Mama: Words for Your Life

Wise, wise words from Kelly Crawford at Generation Cedar :
Dear Stressed Out, Young Mama:

This is the older me telling the younger me that I see in you, that it’s all going to be OK.

But I’ve learned some things and if I could get you to take some advice from someone a few years ahead of you, I think you would find this life more enjoyable. Maybe? 
1. You don’t have to iron so much, or hardly at all. If you hang clothes up out of the dryer (or off the line) most are not too wrinkled to wear. There are the occasional pieces that will need ironed for church or other nice events, but for most things, non-ironed clothes will suffice, especially for young children. Cherish a neat appearance without obsessing about perfection. And really, ironing is just an example of all the ways we feel pressured to be perfect. Give your best, but know that your best will vary in different seasons of life. If your best, with a house full of little people, is getting them out the door with matching shoes (or shoes at all), exhale and accept it. In a different season, your best may look…better.  
Click here to read the rest.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Testimony Tuesday ~ August 18, 2014

I love, use and highly recommend Plexus products.  The testimonies are what first broke through my skepticism about Plexus and what keep me marveling at how amazingly this stuff really, actually works.

Since I am never quite sure what life will look like one day, or one week, to the next I hesitate to ever devote a blog theme to a specific day. However, I am hoping to post a health testimony here every Tuesday. Even if it is the end of Tuesday.

I hope that by so doing you will be encouraged! You may have been sick for a long time, as many of the people in the stories I will be posting were. These folks did find help and healing. Don't lose hope.

From Trina:

"I am writing this today to give my testimony.

This is called, " MY MIRACLE"

I would like to start by saying a heart felt thank you to my family and close friends, and my Lord and Savior for always being there and supporting me through this, even though I know it was just as difficult for you.
I have been battling 2 auto-immune diseases called inflammatory neuropathy which gave me the secondary disease of fibromayalgia. They effect all body nerves and muscles and have caused nerve damage in my legs, feet, arms and hands and some muscle damage in my legs. Every treatment given for these diseases I have turned out to be highly allergic to. So, my only treatments were pain pills and muscle relaxers.

They considered my case to be extreme because my body was overly sensitive to meds, ran a constant low grade fever, prone to staph infections, mini seizures, body stopped producing folic acid, pancreas not producing enough digestive enzymes to absorb nutrients from foods, and extreme pain and fatigue. Depending on how physical the activity I did one day, would put me in bed for several days to recover. I would go into remission about every 6 mths until around 3 yrs ago. The pain pills and muscle relaxers could no longer keep up with pain and I ended up in bed more than I was out of it.

I found a neurologist who agreed to do a high powered IV infusion treatment that consisted of a 2 day, 2 hour treatment every month. At first, the horrible side effects were worth the decrease in pain and increase in mobility but after a few months it became more of a poison to my body and started making me sicker instead of relieving the pain.

So, he decided to send me to a spinal injection specialist who at first refused to give me the treatment until he did a test injection to see if he could even numb the nerves. When that worked, he agreed to take the risk (because I was allergic). The injection did not work as well as we had hoped it would and caused more pain in my legs and I just felt sick.

By this point, my body, mind and soul had had enough. Instead of praying for God to take away the pain or to heal me, I was praying for Him to take me and for it to be over for me and my family. I didn't feel like I had anymore fight left in me and didn't want my family and my kids to have to suffer along with me anymore. I told Michael, my husband that I wasn't in a good place and so he took me to church and God answered my prayer his way. I can't explain what happened to me that morning other than to say that He ... showed me mercy and took the worst of my pain away from me. It was the most profound and amazing experience of my life. That blessing lasted for 3 long glorious weeks and then the pain started to come back full force.

I was getting ready to go back for another injection, when I believe God stepped in again. My husband was noticing a difference in his Fire Chiefs over all health and weight and decided to go talk to him and his wife, Melisa about the products they were taking. He comes home and shows me the information and is excited and yet both skeptical that it could help my condition. ( been there, done that and tried just about everything). Michael convinces me to go to the meeting; thinking I will just go to support him because he's excited about losing weight and improving his blood pressure; when a woman starts talking about herself and her daughter. Struggling with a disease that effects the collagen in their bodies and the joint pain and fatigue they suffer from and how these products were helping them and how her blood work came back improved.

After listening to her, we looked at each other and I said, "okay, I'll try it ".

I am so excited to report that I have been taking Plexus Products for 4 weeks and I have not taken one pain pill or muscle relaxer since I started.

I have been able to stay active and out of bed all day long. I can do what I want, be active all day long and get up the next morning like a normal person and start all over again. I am not saying I am cured or pain free but the worse pain is tolerable and my limb pain in minimal. I haven't been able to do this in forever. I EVEN MOWED MY LAWN !!! You should have seen the look on my husbands face when he came home and saw what I was doing. lol PRICELESS !!!!

Thanks to Plexus and to my Lord and Savior, I have my life back. My family has me back.

Even Michael was seeing results with his weight and heartburn issues within 2 wks of taking the Plexus products.(slim, biocleanse & probio5)

Noah, my 15 yr old football player is no longer suffering from severe IBS symptoms that have sent him to the ER and says he just feels better and really loves to drink the slim. (gets mad if we run out) ha ha (slim, biocleanse probio5)

I am putting my story out there now, because when God blesses you and your life, you are to be a witness to others and share it so that others can see and receive his blessings as well. And that is what these products and this company Plexus are to me, " MY MIRACLE"."

Read more testimonies here! If you would like to learn more about Plexus products click here.

This product testimonial is an individual's experiences, reflecting the real life experiences of the individual who used Plexus products. However, individual results may vary. We do not claim, nor should the reader assume, that any individual experiences recounted are typical or representative of what any other consumer might experience."

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Care and Feeding of Your Microbiome

This is an excellent, excellent article from Kitchen Stewardship on the importance of gut health, how it impacts our entire body, reasons why gut health is compromised and great recommendations for healing. I've copied some snippets here, but I highly recommend reading the entire article:
Although there’s plenty to read about the microbiome and we will likely be inundated with more for years to come, I hope to give you a nice foundation of basic information today, something you can refer to as you read about the microbiome in the years to come just to make sure you understand where these bacteria come from, a few examples of the importance they play in our health, how imbalances might occur and what we can do about it, at least with the knowledge we have at this moment... 
I read something a few years back that described antibiotics as a “hand grenade” that obliterates all bacteria in its path, both good and bad. This can totally destroy even a healthy microbiome instituted via a natural birth, and if the newly upturned (and rather empty) soil of your system isn’t repopulated with healthy bacteria first, it’s most likely that the diet and environment typical to most human beings in industrialized societies will quickly populate the gut with “bad guys.”... 
Unfortunately, most folks don’t even realize they’re in a battle for the health of their own microbiome, and they certainly don’t know the weapons they need to employ to come out victorious. If you’ve had antibiotics, if you’ve grown up on processed, sugary foods, if you know you suffer from candida or IBS, what can you DO about it?... 
...(M)ake sure you have plenty of “good guys” to edge out the bad guys. Good guy bacteria are called probiotics, and they assist in many aspects of digestion, immunity, and even metabolism. (Who knew you had such a team on your side?!)... 
If your bacterial balance has been thrown off by a lifetime of processed foods, a few rounds of antibiotics or even as far back as a C-section birth, you need to help the probiotics find their way back to your gut so you can shift the balance back toward “helpful.”... 
Basically... the lining of the intestine becomes too porous as a result of certain drugs (birth control may be one), food sensitivities, alcohol and more. When food proteins “leak” through the wall of the gut, it causes not only intestinal distress, but also further food sensitivities and bacterial imbalances. It’s a vicious cycle, and our gut bacteria are at the hub....
Click here to read the rest 

Also, if you are looking for a good probiotic I highly recommend the one from Plexus Worldwide. It is a candida killer as well as a probiotic. In many cases the gut cannot heal until a candida overgrowth is dealt with and probiotics will not be as effective. In some cases eating fermented foods - recommended for gut healing - can actually feed the candida thereby making the problem even worse. Probio5 from Plexus addresses this issue by combining candida killers and probiotics together - killing off the bad guys while sending in the good guys to take over. This makes it highly effective and I have read many amazing testimonies of health issues being resolved from those who use it. More info here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Joy Can't Die

Don't miss this hugely encouraging post from Rachel Jankovic at Femina:
So here you have it in a nutshell. God’s mercy doesn’t need any memorial – it never dies. It is the one legacy that we can give our children that does not just melt away in time. God’s righteousness will not fade in the sun or break under the weight of snow. There is no grave that can hold that. It is explosive from one generation to the next. 
I find myself looking differently at all this work we are doing – the most enduring legacy that we can give to our children is God’s grace to us. When I indulge in a petty attitude about my work at home – I am choosing the thing that cannot last over the thing that cannot die. When I seek God’s grace to overcome the temptations that are before me, however petty, I lay up very real inheritance for my children.
When we fight for contentment and joy, we fight for generations of blessing – for generations of the strength of righteousness. When we do not indulge in selfishness or shrillness or bitterness because we are living in the joy of the Lord – our children will be strengthened by that. And in a hundred and fifty years – what will have become of these adorable little children of mine? They will have poured themselves out for the next generation – and Lord willing, those children of my children will be fighting the good fight. Not just for organized closets – but for the Glory of God. And they will be fighting with the mercy and grace and strength that God poured out so long ago on us.
Click here to read the rest

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Christ in the Sick Room - J.C. Ryle

Words of wisdom from J.C. Ryle:

Look through a telescope or microscope at anything which God created and you find nothing defective. How then can we account for the power of disease, decay, and death over the body of man?

There is only one book that supplies an answer to this question. That book is the Bible. The fall of man at the beginning has brought sin into the world, and sin has brought with it the curse of sickness, suffering, and pain. These are not things which God created at the beginning. They are the consequences of man's transgression. To suppose that a perfect God could deliberately create imperfection, is a supposition too monstrous to be believed. It is man that is to blame—and not God. The countless bodily sufferings that we see are the just consequence of man's original disobedience.

Here to my mind lies one among many proofs that the Bible is given by inspiration of God. It accounts for many things which the Deist cannot explain. When I see a little infant, too young to know good from evil, convulsed with bodily pain and hovering between life and death in a weeping mother's arms, I would be utterly puzzled and confounded if I did not believe the Bible. I would ask myself, "Where is the justice and mercy of allowing such distress? Where is the wisdom and love of the Creator?" But when I turn to the Bible the mysterious problem is solved. I learn that suffering is the result of Adam's fall. That infant would not have suffered if Adam had not sinned.

In the next place I ask you to learn from this chapter that sickness is not an unmixed evil.

That King Hezekiah received spiritual benefit from his illness I think there can be no doubt. The beautiful and pathetic language of his "writing," which Isaiah was inspired to record, places that beyond question. The good man saw things in his sickness which he had never seen clearly and fully in the days of health. "By these things," he says, "men live." He might have added, "By these things men learn."
I do not say that sickness always does good. Alas! We ministers know to our sorrow that it frequently does no good at all. Too often we see men and women, after recovering from a long and dangerous illness, more hardened and irreligious than they were before. Too often they return to the world, if not to Sin, with more eagerness and zest than ever; and the impressions made on their conscience in the hour of sickness are swept away like children's writing on the sand of the sea-shore when the tide flows.

But I do say that sickness ought to do us good. And I do say that God sends it in order to do us good. It is a friendly letter from heaven. It is a knock at the door of conscience. It is the voice of the Savior asking to be let in. Happy is he who opens the letter and reads it, who hears the knock and opens the door, who welcomes Christ to the sick room. Come now, and let me plead with you a little about this, and show you a few of the lessons which He by sickness would teach us.

1. Sickness is meant to make us think—to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body—an immortal soul—a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery—and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.

2. Sickness is meant to teach us that there is a world beyond the grave—and that the world we now live in is only a training-place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.

3. Sickness is meant to make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously. Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ's blood? Am I prepared to meet God?

4. Sickness is meant to make us see the emptiness of the world and its utter inability to satisfy the highest and deepest needs of the soul.

5. Sickness is meant to send us to our Bibles. That blessed Book, in the days of health, is too often left on the shelf, becomes the safest place in which to put a bank-note, and is never opened from January to December. But sickness often brings it down from the shelf and throws new light on its pages.

6. Sickness is meant to make us pray. Too many, I fear, never pray at all, or they only rattle over a few hurried words morning and evening without thinking what they do. But prayer often becomes a reality when the valley of the shadow of death is in sight.

7. Sickness is meant to make us repent and break off our sins. If we will not hear the voice of mercies, God sometimes makes us "hear the rod."

8. Sickness is meant to draw us to Christ. Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men's eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, "Simply to Your cross I cling," as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many—they have found Christ in the sick room.

9. Last, but not least, sickness is meant to make us feeling and sympathizing towards others. By nature we are all far below our blessed Master's example, who had not only a hand to help all, but a heart to feel for all. None, I suspect, are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves—and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow.

Men and brethren, when your time comes to be ill, I beseech you not to forget what the illness means. Beware of fretting and murmuring and complaining, and giving way to an impatient spirit. Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise—a good and not an evil—a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a "need be" in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere. Settle it down in your minds, that, however much you may dislike it, sickness is not an unmixed evil.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ August 12, 2014

"The moment we come into any trial or difficulty, our first thought should be not how soon we can escape from it or how we may lessen the pain we shall suffer from it, but how we can best glorify God in it and most quickly learn the lesson that He desires to teach us by it. Had we grace and faith enough to do this, our trials and troubles would be but as so many steps by which we should climb to the mountaintop of continual fellowship and peace with God." ~ Susannah Spurgeon

Monday, August 11, 2014

Treasure in Mother's Jar of Clay

(This beautiful post by Bambi Moore of  In the Nursery of the Nation was such an encouragement to me. She has graciously allowed me to republish it here)

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19

Over the last six months, our lives have taken twists and turns. God has given grace and sometimes I reach out and take it, while other times I reject his goodness and instead, edge closer to that deep pit called Self Pity.

A cycle of sleepless nights, tears, doubts and anxieties have hit me like a ton of bricks. I have spent more time in the Word and prayer, even when it seemed pointless. I have rejected real feelings that I knew weren't true, but feelings that threatened to destroy the sound mind I've been promised, nonetheless.

I've cried out to God, remembered that His Word sustains and asked others to hold me up in prayer. And I think that is so very important. To admit weakness and frailty isn't glorying in sin or making light of the grace of God. It is giving others the opportunity to bear burdens. To weep with those who weep. We don't give others a true picture of gospel grace if we never allow others to see that we too have issues and that we must hold to an anchor. Why would there be any need for an anchor if we could hold steady all on our own? The treasure we have in jars of clay is to show the surpassing power "belongs to God and not to us."

So I am here today, to do just that.  No blog, no book, no human being however wise, can anchor our souls but Christ Jesus, especially when seasons change, afflictions arise or the soul is downcast. And what's more--we must remember that we battle not with flesh and blood.  

This morning, my husband sent me this quote below.  Since "there is nothing new under the sun" I know there are others of you out there who may need this good word too.  And Kevin added some thoughts at the bottom as well, so please read to the end.  (He said I could include it if I didn't make him sound like a better man than he is, in this blog post. So I tell you, he is not perfect, but his love and understanding, and bearing with me as a weaker vessel, has encouraged me so greatly today).

"Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual experience, that Satan hinders us. From all points of the compass, all along the line of battle, in the vanguard and in the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour, Satan hinders us. 
If we toil in the field, he seeks to break the ploughshare; if we build the wall, he labours to cast down the stones; if we would serve God in suffering or in conflict- everywhere Satan hinders us. He hinders us when we are first coming to Jesus Christ. Fierce conflicts we had with Satan when we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved, he endeavours to hinder the completeness of our personal character. 
You may be congratulating yourself, "I have hitherto walked consistently; no man can challenge my integrity." Beware of boasting, for your virtue will yet be tried; Satan will direct his engines against that very virtue for which you are the most famous. If you have been hitherto a firm believer, your faith will ere long be attacked;if you have been meek as Moses, expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips.The birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will dash his tusks at your choicest vines. Satan is sure to hinder us when we are earnest in prayer. He checks our importunity, and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss the blessing. 
Nor is Satan less vigilant in obstructing Christian effort. There was never a revival of religion without a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah begin to labour, Sanballat and Tobiah are stirred up to hinder them. What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hindereth us, for it is a proof that we are on the Lord's side, and are doing the Lord's work, and in His strength we shall win the victory, and triumph over our adversary. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
This made me think of your labors here at home. Anything worthwhile for the kingdom of God will be opposed. Thankfully we have the encouragements of scripture to spur us on. Galatians 6:9 '"let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart." 1 Corinthians 15:58 "therefore my beloved brethren be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of The Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in The Lord. "

The Lord is your help. He takes your efforts performed in faithfulness and multiplies their effectiveness for His own glory. You may not see fruit of your labors now, but in time, there will be a season for reaping. Remember, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. I love you. Will pray the joy of The Lord will be your strength today.

Thankful for you, 
Used with permission by Bambi Moore at In the Nursery of the Nation.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

When Thou Liest Down...

(I originally wrote this in 2011, but needed the reminder again this year.):

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6:6,7
These beautiful words are a powerful command to Christian parents. Often used–and rightly so–as an example of the discipleship model of homeschooling and the need to teach our children the ways of the Lord from sun up to sun down, these verses encouraged me in a whole new way the other day.
Over the past four years I have been battling severe adrenal fatigue. At times I gain the upper hand and can almost pretend I’ve conquered the beast, but it is a constant exhausting struggle. Every now and then the Monster attacks with renewed vigor, knocks me off my feet and cripples me for a time.  Over the past several months I’ve been on the losing end of the battle and have once again hit the point where I’m spending most of my days in bed, on the couch, in my faithful recliner or a mixture of the three.
Along with the battle of physical fatigue comes the battle against discouragement. The other day I was laying in bed staring at my boring ceiling and feeling like a useless blob with thoughts along these lines running through my mind: “I’m missing even more precious time mothering my little ones, the household is once again turned upside down, Steve is bearing a huge burden and I don’t even feel like reading, memorizing Scripture, watching Jane Austen films, organizing my recipes or otherwise utilizing all this lovely free time. Nope, all I can do is lay and stare. How in the world can I be of any use to the Lord when I can’t even get out of bed?”
The Lord so graciously brought Deuteronomy 6:6,7 to mind and drew my attention to the words “when thou liest down”.  Aha! The light of Truth broke through my dark discouragement as the Lord reminded me again that no matter how hard things are, I still  need to be obedient to Him and I still have a responsibility to all the little eyes watching me. I can certainly still love the Lord with all my “heart, soul and might” even when I am in the “liest down” category and I can still teach my children to do so too.
Whether I am up reading books, baking cookies and walking by the way with my children or whether I am in bed unable to sit up and do a thing, the example I am setting for them will leave a strong impression one way or the other. Through all these difficult days the hearts, minds and souls of my little ones are being trained and formed. They are not on “pause” just because I can’t mother them the way I want to. They will either learn to doubt the Lord or they will learn to trust Him.
If I can do nothing more than lay in bed I can do it with a good attitude and a smile for them when they come in the room. I can still provide a happy atmosphere in the home.  I can avoid complaining, I can praise them for the extra work they have to do while Mommy is sick, I can encourage them to be a help to Daddy with a good attitude, I can admire the cards they bring me, I can speak to them kindly. I can point them to the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father and the lessons we are learning through this trial.  I can glorify God and point my children to Him by the way I conduct myself in times of trial and adversity. I can repent when I fail at all the above. I can walk with the Lord even when my body can barely move–and it is absolutely imperative that I do so.
I hope these thoughts will encourage you as they have me. As mothers, we have eternal souls in our care that we are responsible for no matter what our situation in life is like.  When things are going well we need to point our children to the Lord. When times are hard we need to point our children to the Lord.

May we be faithful to love our great God with all our “heart, soul and might” and to teach this love for Him and the truth of His Holy Word diligently to our children. When we sit down–be it to read them a book or because we are just to weak to stand; when we walk along the way–whether our steps are strong or faltering; when we lie down–whether it be in green pastures or in absolute weariness; and when we rise up–as we climb the Hill Difficulty, or on wings like eagles.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time

One day at a time, with its failures and fears, 
With its hurts and mistakes, with its weakness and tears, 
With its portion of pain and its burden of care; 
One day at a time we must meet and must bear. 

One day at a time to be patient and strong, 
To be calm under trial and sweet under wrong; 
Then its toiling shall pass and its sorrow shall cease; 
It shall darken and die, and the night shall bring peace. 

One day at a time - but the day is so long, 
And the heart is not brave, and the soul is not strong, 
O Thou pitiful Christ, be Thou near all the way; 
Give courage and patience and strength for the day. 

Swift cometh His answer, so clear and so sweet; 
"Yea, I will be with thee, thy troubles to meet; 
I will not forget thee, nor fail thee, nor grieve; 
I will not forsake thee; I never will leave." 

Not yesterday's load we are called on to bear, 
Nor the morrow's uncertain and shadowy care; 
Why should we look forward or back with dismay? 
Our needs, as our mercies, are but for the day. 

One day at a time, and the day is His day; 
He hath numbered its hours, though they haste or delay. 
His grace is sufficient; we walk not alone; 
As the day, so the strength that He giveth His own. 

Annie Johnson Flint

Monday, August 4, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ August 4, 2014

The people that do know their God shall be strong... Daniel 11:32

"Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian. It strengthens his faith. Believers are constantly spoken of in the Scriptures as being persons who are enlightened and taught of the Lord; they are said to "have an unction from the Holy One," and it is the Spirit's peculiar office to lead them into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of their faith. 

Knowledge strengthens love, as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Saviour. Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait then we love Him, we cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree. If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus, what He has done for us, and what He is doing now, we cannot love Him much; but the more we know Him, the more we shall love Him. 

Knowledge also strengthens hope. How can we hope for a thing if we do not know of its existence? Hope may be the telescope, but till we receive instruction, our ignorance stands in the front of the glass, and we can see nothing whatever; knowledge removes the interposing object, and when we look through the bright optic glass we discern the glory to be revealed, and anticipate it with joyous confidence. 

Knowledge supplies us reasons for patience. How shall we have patience unless we know something of the sympathy of Christ, and understand the good which is to come out of the correction which our heavenly Father sends us? Nor is there one single grace of the Christian which, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge. How important, then, is it that we should grow not only in grace, but in the "knowledge" of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." ~ Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Wonderful, Merciful Saviour...

Wonderful, merciful Saviour
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would've thought that a Lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost our way
Oh, we've hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace 
Our hearts always hunger for 
Oh, our hearts always hunger for 

Almighty, infinite Father 
Faithfully loving Your own 
Here in our weakness You find us 
Falling before Your throne 
Oh, we're falling before Your throne 

You are the One that we praise 
You are the One we adore 
You give the healing and grace 
Our hearts always hunger for 
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Friday, August 1, 2014

Eating Starches for Adrenal Health

Good info on diet and adrenal healing from 20 Something Allergies:
 So often, I hear the story that someone read a slew of articles or very popular book and decided to cut starches and grains from their diet to heal a leaky gut. They are now dealing with significant – or severe – adrenal hypofunction and usually accompanying thyroid hypofunction.
  • cold extremities
  • inner trembling
  • increased brain fog
  • moderate to severe fatigue
are just a few of the most common symptoms of the stress to these all-important glands.
It puts massive strain on the body and can easily cause full adrenal fatigue....
A huge, huge component of adjusting your diet is to make sure you’re getting enough calories. Many clients come to me eating 700-1200 calories a day and wonder why they can’t heal with their recommended ‘perfect’ diet. For someone dealing with fatigue who is of average size and not an athlete, it can take a minimum of 2000 calories per day for your body to even begin the healing process.Eat my friends. And eat a lot. 
Click here to read the rest.