Just a quick post to let you know we are now on Instagram!
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Just a quick post to let you know we are now on Instagram!
Follow us for daily encouragement in the Word!
I am 15 weeks pregnant and have known since week 7.
For these last two months, I haven’t done much writing or blogging, or anything for that matter besides sleeping, eating and crying. Amazing what pregnant women will cry over.
I have been consumed with all things pregnancy and baby related. I have had to emotionally adjust to this surprise in our life. I have been overwhelmed with all the immediate changes that positive test result brought. Researching all the necessities we will need for a newborn and getting a registry put together has consumed the little bit of time I’ve been awake and had energy to do it.
My energy seems to be coming back. I still sleep more than I used to but when I am awake, I feel like I have more energy so that’s good.
When I started this blog, God put it in my heart to simply write about Everyday Christian Living. That means the ups, the downs, the real things we deal with as Christians, which are not unlike the things non-believers deal with, and to show a testimony of who He is in every situation.
This is the season I am in and I would almost bet most of my posts going forward will deal with adjusting to parenthood in some form or fashion. Every choice and decision my husband and I make now revolve around this new life that we have been gifted with.
God instructed me to be transparent in what I share because that is how testimony works…people relate. Truth is what sets people free.
The first month after we found out, my thoughts were consumed with fear and doubt. I am a believer and I know better but that didn’t stop the attack of the enemy. That is where fear and doubt comes from, not from God. I was in a spiritual battle and am just now coming out of that phase. Only my husband knows, somewhat, of what I was going through.
The first few weeks I was terrified that this was it. This is my last call. To birth a child and die. Sounds crazy when I type it out and read it but like I said, transparency. I’m considered high risk because of my age (38) which I know, everyone says that’s not that old, but when you go to the doctor and they want to run all sorts of tests because you are “high risk” and then you start reading things on the internet, which only fuels the terror, things don’t look that bright.
I had to counter those thoughts and suggestions with the Word. I had to remind myself constantly of how good God is. I had to seek His Word and attack those thoughts with scripture. It sounds easy but for anyone who has been through it, you know the amount of effort it takes to fight those wrong thoughts some days. There are times where you feel like you are losing the battle no matter how hard you try.
I found myself becoming angry with God because it seemed like everything was getting worse and not better – emotionally, mentally, financially. When something came along that looked like a bright spot, the rug was pulled out from under us, so to speak. I was becoming angry with Him because I didn’t understand. At the end of 2016 I heard in my spirit that 2017 would be our year of jubilee and that word was confirmed more than once over the course of a few months. This year has slowly been draining us of everything.
I still don’t understand but I knew being angry with God wouldn’t get me anywhere. It didn’t get me anywhere as a teenager and it didn’t Jonah anywhere except puked up by a big fish…and that was the last thing I was wanting.
So I had it out with God one morning. Yep, put it all out there. He knew anyways because He knows our hearts but I went boldly into His Court. I told Him I was angry with Him but I didn’t want to be. I told Him I didn’t understand anything that was going on and I needed direction. I told Him how frustrated I was, how tired I was, how empty I felt, how scared I was, how terrified and afraid I felt. I told Him I felt like He had abandoned me. Then I repented, knew I was forgiven, and moved forward in my talk with Him.
I told Him the one thing I did understand is all of those things were “feelings”. The enemy will attack us and our feelings. If he can get us feeling bad, he can get us thinking bad. So once I put all that on the table I told Him, “I know these are things I have been feeling and thinking but I know Your Word. I know what it says” –
The Word tells us we don’t fight against flesh, we fight against principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12). The Word is of the Spirit. The Word will always overcome but we must know what it says to go into battle.
The night after I had this conversation with God, He gave me a dream. I don’t typically share my dreams publicly but this one is okay to share as it relates to this journey.
I was standing in an empty dining room. There was a long table with chairs around it and a chandelier above, nothing else. There were two doorways into the room. The door straight ahead of me led to a mud room of sorts with a screen door going outside. It was dusk. I looked down and a black snake had entered the dining room. I was afraid at first and didn’t know what to do. I remember jumping up on the table to get away from the snake, trying to figure out what to do. I looked around to see if there was something I could kill it with and there was nothing. I kept watching the snake and I recall it was very slow-moving in the sense that it was carefully calculating its every move.
I looked around again and in the corner behind me was a broom. A simple kitchen broom. I jumped off the table and grabbed the broom, turned around to face the snake and started hitting it with the handle end of the broom at the base of its skull.
This may sound a little gory but I am just relaying what I dreamed. I remember thinking to myself, “This is ridiculous, I’m going to kill a snake with a broom?”
I kept hitting it in the same spot over and over until I decapitated it. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t terrified. I knew as soon as I had the broom that the battle was over…and then it was.
It was the serpant that decieved Eve. It was the serpant that God cursed to crawl on his belly and eat dust all of his days. In other words, God made him a worm. That’s all the enemy is, a worm. The only thing he can do to us is get us thinking incorrectly, he has no other power. This is why the Word tells us to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
I knew when I woke that morning, this victory is mine. This season we are in that appears in the flesh as lacking in all things, is not what it appears to be. God has a plan. He has His ways and they are greater than anything I can imagine. I tell myself every day and believe with my whole heart, He would not send us this miracle child without having a plan and provision in place. I’ve said many times, God is an on-time God. He is never early and never late, always on time. That is where our frustration comes in because we can’t always see His “on-time” since, as humans, we like to be prepared and early.
I repented for my anger towards Him. I asked for direction. I heard in my spirit to study the book of Job again but this time as I do, to incorporate Ecclesiastes with it. I thought that was odd and before I started, did not see how the two books would relate to one another.
I divided it up to where I have been reading 3 chapters at a time from Job and 1 chapter from Ecclesiastes. For example, the first day was Job 1-3 and Ecclesiastes 1. The second day was Job 4-6 and Ecclesiastes 2, and so on.
It is amazing the things of God that have been revealed to me in doing so. If you are so inclined, have a go at it.
The “bad” thoughts still come, as they always will, because the enemy never gives up and we must be vigilant. When they do, we have defense. We have gear to battle those thoughts. It’s the Word of God. It’s His Truth. It wins every time.
We must understand though, a battle is a battle. It takes place. It takes time. It takes strategy. It takes determination. It takes winning. It takes victory. If we know from the beginning that we already have the Victory, we can never lose.
Isaiah 55:8-13 (KJV)
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Remember those magic eye posters that were popular in the 90’s? I was thinking about these last night during our mid-week service.
Wednesday nights our pastor has been teaching on Divine Approval. The main topic has been on righteousness. Many people do not have the revelation that they are righteous in Christ because of it being a free gift from God and not being based on their past/current actions. In other words, many think they are not righteous because they have done things out of line with the Word or will of God. They have sinned. Righteousness is not based on your sins.
Last night the statement was made along the lines of, “there is a difference between righteousness and holiness.”
Righteousness is a free gift from God and it doesn’t matter what you have done. Holiness is produced from righteousness. Holiness is the action of living according to the Word. Sin is missing the mark. Forgiveness is given when asked when you recognize you have missed the mark.
I had a revelation in this concept last night as our pastor was teaching on this. Revelation in the Word is a funny thing, like magic eye pictures. You know it’s there but you can’t see it until you look for it. You may even know what it is you are supposed to see but until you focus your eyes in a specific way, you won’t see it.
It’s interesting the instructions for magic eye say the following –
“Hold the center of the printed image right up to your nose. It should be blurry. Focus as though you are looking through the image into the distance. Very slowly move the image away from your face until the two squares above the image turn into three squares. If you see four squares, move the image farther away from your face until you see three squares. If you see one or two squares, start over! When you clearly see three squares, hold the page still, and the hidden image will magically appear. Once you perceive the hidden image and depth, you can look around the entire 3D image. The longer you look, the clearer the illusion becomes. The farther away you hold the page, the deeper it becomes.”
This is the same as reading the Word. We can hold our Bible, we can put it right up to our nose even. We can quote scripture like there is no tomorrow but until we see BEYOND the end of our nose, we will only see a jumbled picture.
I like how the instructions say, “The longer you work at it, the clearer it becomes.”
Just my thoughts for the day.
Romans 1:15-17 (KJV)
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
I am pleased to announce the release of my first poetry collection – Seasons: A Cluster of Poetry.
What is different about this poetry collection? I’ve included an explanation of the inspiration behind each poem. I’m always curious as to what inspires others so I decided to share mine.
There are 5 signed limited edition broadsides available through my Etsy store as well which are poems included in this collection.
PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
I have not been blogging regularly and it feels good this morning to sit down at my computer and type away.
The past month has been a whirlwind. I don’t know any other way to describe it. Life takes twists and turns sometimes that are so unexpected it doesn’t matter what you do to prepare.
My husband and I have been on a ketogenic diet since March 2016. Mid July I realized my weight loss had stalled for a few weeks. I thought maybe I needed to adjust my macros again and switch up the foods I had been eating. As most women do, I stood looking in the mirror sideways and sucked my stomach in, or at least I tried. Something was different.
I got out my pocket calendar and started counting backwards. Hmmm. Okay, nothing to worry about just yet. The next week, it was time to start worrying. I mentioned this to my husband and we decided we would give it another week .
The following Thursday, July 20th, I purchased a pregnancy test and it showed something we were told years ago would not be possible for us. I was pregnant.
In my early 20’s I was told it would be very difficult for me to ever get pregnant due to some health issues I had. I was okay with that. I sure wasn’t living for God at the time and was in no way thinking of kids being part of my future. When we got married, we never thought kids would be part of our future and we were okay with that. We thought we were going in a completely different direction.
It was the year we got married that I rededicated my life to Christ and things began turning around in my life. Those health issues I was having, I was healed of. A few years later I had developed some other health issues and after much trial and error and no answers, I was led to researching a Ketogenic diet and here we are. You can read all about that journey here.
So the past year and half, I have lost 40 pounds, all the health issues disappeared and I’ve been healthier than I have ever been. I almost passed out when I saw the positive result on that first pregnancy test. I’m not kidding. I grabbed the bathroom counter to keep from falling over. I was in shock. I didn’t know what to think. This was so far from the direction we thought God was leading us. My husband’s reaction was about the same.
It was a very quiet night in the house because we were just speechless. We still didn’t believe it and because it was what they call a “faint” positive, we decided I would take another in the morning. I had bought a 3 pack.
The one the next morning was a definite yes. No doubts about it although we were still doubting. We ate breakfast, I got dressed and I called the doctor. It was Friday morning, the 21st, and they were going to see me that day whether they liked it or not. I just realized as I typed this I wrote the dates wrong on our chalkboard announcement. Winning at this “mom” thing already.
Anyways, the doctors confirmed it and we had our first ultrasound appointment set for August 2nd.
Talk about a turn of events. I’m 38, my husband is 40. This is not where we thought we would be at this point in life but we know God has great plans for us and for this child. They are already loved and adored by many and by us the most. I have already planned out their entire life and there will be no deviating from it (just kidding…kind of). We are learning as we go. Everything we say, think, do or decide now revolves around this child and their arrival.
I’ve already had the awkward moments of people putting their hands on my stomach unexpectedly. I’m nine weeks, all they are going to be feeling are some gas bubbles at this point in time. I think when people do that to me, I’m just going to put my hand on their stomach and stare intently. Maybe that will get the point across. I’ve already received private messages about vaccine/don’t vaccine and it’s been less than a week since we’ve announced it. This is one reason my husband and I discussed moving states away, only posting Facebook photos from the neck up for the next year and then show back up like, “Tada! We have a baby!”
We are very thankful for our families who we announced it to first. We told our pastors next who kept it a secret until this past Sunday where it was announced to our church family. I heard exactly what I thought we would hear, a unison gasp of shock and then cheers and clapping. After that, it was announced to the world through social media.
I have felt great. Tired more than anything and a little nauseous off and on, but otherwise in a great mood and happy. Although I’m considered high-risk because of my age, I’m not under any restrictions and keep on exercising (as I can) and eating a Keto diet which is very healthy for the baby. I’ve incorporated a few darker berries to the mix and if I can stay away from the chewy chocolate chip cookies that this kid wants to devour like cookie monster, I’ll be doing good.
I don’t have much time today though I have a lot more to say. We have a funeral to attend this afternoon, the second family member in the past month. Life is precious, amazing, unique, miraculous, baffling, and everything else. My future blog posts will probably involve this journey we are on but as always, pointing out God in every step of the way.
And from here on out, it’s leggings and tunic tops! Amen.
Psalm 139:14 (KJV)
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
A huge thank you to Operate In Your Faith for selecting me as the Featured Writer for this quarter. Like their Facebook page and head over to their website to see my poem, “House of Hurt“. This poem is included in my upcoming poetry book, Seasons: A Cluster of Poetry, that should be available no later than August 11th.
Tuesday is garbage day at our house.
Every Monday evening the garbage can gets wheeled down to the curb and every Tuesday a big truck with a mechanical arm drives by and uses its scary robot appendage to pick the can up and shake it violently over the open bin above.
It drives away with all the rotten food leftovers, chicken parts from last night’s dinner, un-recyclable plastics and other random disposables so it doesn’t hang around and stink up our garage.
Tuesday evening, one of us (usually my husband) will drag the can back up the driveway and return it to its spot, tucked neatly away in the open garage.
Today I woke up feeling like that garbage can. For a little over a year my husband and I have followed a Ketogenic way of eating (low carb, high fat). The first six months we were very strict and did not waiver from the foods we were supposed to eat. During the next six months, we would occasionally have a meal that didn’t quite fit the macros if we were traveling.
The past couple of weeks we have blown the diet out of the water. Last night, we sunk the battleship with dinner out and ice cream for dessert.
I woke up at 4 am with stomach pain and just an overall feeling of yuck.
The Keto diet has been life giving. It has made many health issues I was having before disappear. When I’ve had too many carbs or processed foods, symptoms start reappearing until I’m back on a full Keto diet.
Being on the Keto diet, I have never felt better. I can tell my body has healed from the inside. When I do have a meal that causes me to feel off, it amazes me that for years I lived feeling that way.
By tomorrow I’ll be back to normal and feeling good again.
Early this morning, laying wide awake and having carb regret, I used the time to talk to God.
He reminded me of what the Word does for us spiritually and what feeding ourselves “garbage” can do to us spiritually.
There are so many things in this world that bombard us daily in the form of advertising. Everywhere we look – television, social media, other people’s conversations – we are inundated with ungodly thoughts and ideas. We are like a garbage can that needs to be emptied at least once a week or we will stink.
Why let it even sit there for a week though? We have access to the Word and it instructs us to renew our minds.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 KJV
We spend more time on social media than we do in the Word. We have the opportunity to read the Word daily, but do we?
Many of us will make sure to get our exercise in every morning or every evening to keep our physical bodies in good shape and working properly but do we give that much attention to our spiritual life?
What are we renewing our mind with? The Word or the world?
God reminded me this morning that spiritually we can feel yucky when we are feeding ourselves with the wrong spiritual food.
What have you been feeding on and what have you thrown away? Is it time to empty the garbage can?
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God‘s.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV