Friday, September 7, 2012

Fear or Faith - Which Will It Be?

On Wednesday, my husband went out of town for three days.  I only reached 36 weeks on Monday, and in the past I have had too many pre-term contractions and have felt way overdue by this time.  I had had the passing thought of, "What if I go into labor while he is out of town?"  Well, that afternoon I started to have some strong Braxton Hicks contractions.  I thought, "OK.  Fine.  They are only Braxton Hicks.  They are strong, but not regular."  They increased in frequency and intensity, but were still irregular:  Some strong and some not, some 5 and some 11 minutes apart.  I did not feel great, so I asked the older kids to put the younger kids to bed, while I went for a walk to pray and worship.  Oh, I thank the Lord for such wonderful and obedient children.  They are incredible kids!

I walked and talked to God, and I sang songs of praise.  I had contractions constantly and knew that walking could actually encourage labor, but I needed to spend the time with the Lord, so I walked.  Some contractions made me stop in my tracks.  I began to time them and they were 5-10 minutes apart of varying strength, but I talked to God about fear and faith.  I remembered that He has given me confidence throughout this pregnancy that I would carry this baby to term.  I remembered how God has healed us.  I remembered that God has kept us safe and sound throughout this pregnancy, and now is not the time to forget His assurances and to begin to fear.  I trust in my God!

I went inside and the older kids did the evening chores, while I sat on the ball and directed them.  They were pleased to help.  The contractions eased up a bit.  I took a bath, drank water, and continued to thank God for His protection.

Praise the Lord!  I slept well that night and had no more contractions.  I had only a few contractions the next day and today, and none were strong like the ones from Wednesday.  In fact, I feel so good today that I could almost forget that I am pregnant, despite the big belly.  I can even touch my toes and put on my shoes without any issues.

I believe it was a test of my faith.  Which way will I turn?  Will I lean on my own understanding based on my past experiences or will I trust in the Lord with all my heart?

God's word trumps my experiences.  It makes no difference what has occurred in any of my past pregnancies.  Science and reason say it matters.  God is bigger than that.  Nothing is impossible for Him!  His word is true!  I will believe His word and I will not base my beliefs on my experiences.

Again:  I will not interpret His word through my experiences.  My experience will reflect the truth of His word!  Praise the Lord!  He is worthy of our praise!

Update:  I am now 38 weeks pregnant.  I have not had anymore contractions like I did that first day that my husband went out of town.  I truly feel it was a spiritual attack and a temptation to give into fear.  I think things could have turned out differently if I had given into fear.

My husband had a small surgical procedure done about two days ago.  I was not worried about going into labor while he recovered, but even so I did have more Braxton Hicks contractions than usual that night.  I also had some stomach pain, which hurt intensely with every contraction.  The uterine muscle did not hurt, but my gut hurt on the top left side.  I woke up constantly through the night.  I also had a scary pregnancy dream.  Spiritual attack?  I think so.  I talked to God about it in the morning and had a great day, and then another great day today.

Every difficult event in our lives can either drive us to fear or drive us to trust our Savior.  I choose to trust my Savior.  He does not keep us out of every fire, and sometimes He allows us to be thrown into the lion's den, but he does keep us safe when we put our trust in Him.  He is our refuge in times of trouble.  Daily, I am amazed at His faithfulness.

God Works All Things Together For The Good of Those Who Love Him...

I am amazed at how God works things out for His good purposes.  This morning started out well and quickly fell apart.  I was dumbfounded by my children's behavior and their lack of motivation to accomplish the goal set before them.  I did not want to act in anger or in fear (remembering that God is love and that nothing matters except faith expressing itself through love), so instead of getting anxious and irritable and barking orders at them to get it done, I let them carry on as they were and when the time had come for us to leave for our co-op I simply said that they had not pulled it together in time, we were not going to be late, and so they would not be going today.  I can do this, because I am not currently teaching and they are in this co-op for extra-curricular and social purposes, not as our primary source of education and learning.

I left the older kids home (with supervision) to work on their studies, which they would normally do after co-op, and I took the younger two boys to their preschool and kindergarten classes.  They were so enthusiastic about going that I did not want to disappoint them in their second week, and they had done nothing wrong to lose the privilege.  I told their teachers and my older children that in the future we would either be early or absent.  I am not going to be late week after week after week, and I am not going to get stressed trying to get out the door with six kids.

OK.  That was background information.  Also, circumstances were such that I had too many bags and samples of "friendship bread" to share, which I wanted to take to co-op to give away to any interested takers.

Because of these circumstances, I ended up in the Encourager's Room at our co-op, a place to fellowship with other homeschool parents when not fulfilling an obligation to the co-op.  I would have been helping out in pre-school (just because), but I was too embarrassed about being late and needed to take the bread to the Encouragers Room.  I introduced myself to several moms who were new to me and we began talking about our families.  One thing led to another, and I ended up sharing about how God's love is more important than anything else, which led to sharing our testimony about how God healed us.  I was amazed at how my testimony was received, and how God was using our testimony to bring hope and healing to another family (maybe more).  I was amazed at how I was able to answer all of the questions asked of me.  I was amazed at how I answered without fear.  I was amazed at how God touched several lives through my testimony and through the power of His Word.  Several of my beautiful new friends said that our meeting and my sharing was God ordained, and I concur.  God arranged it!  He encouraged them through me, and I too am strengthened in my faith because of our meeting and my fellowship with them.  Amazing!

It happened because one bag of friendship bread didn't get to a friend in time, because my children failed at their task, because I acted in obedience to God and chose not to get angry, because I swallowed my pride and took my little ones to their classes late with profuse apologies, and because I was too embarrassed to stay and help in pre-school.  (Note: pre-school was overwhelmed today with extra help and totally did not need my help anyway.  How cool is that?!?)  God IS amazing!

Indeed, He works all things together for His good purposes.

Update 1:  I am very happy to report that all of the kids pulled it together the following week and we accomplished everything and got out the door on time with absolutely NO stress.  It was so very wonderful!

Update 2:  Praise the Lord!  Really, He is amazing!  One of the ladies that I shared with, the one who told me that she knew that God had ordained our meeting that morning, went home and considered all that we talked about, and being very encouraged, she quit her special diet and all of her pain medications and has been absolutely fine all week!  I just want to say that I did not encourage her to take this step of faith.  It was entirely between her and the Lord!  God caused me to be there to share.  He used my testimony of His work in my life to encourage greater faith in her.  Wow!  I can truly understand how Paul was able to say that it was God who worked in Him to will and to act according to His good purposes.  When we trust Him and obey Him, He can take us where He wants us to go and use us for His very good purposes.  Amen and amen!!!

Repetition, Duration, and Intensity

I have noticed that I repeat myself a lot.  There is purpose in it.  This is how we learn.  This is how we internalize what we learn so that it becomes a part of us.  This is how God designed us to learn.

I have learned much scripture in the past year or two because I find it, pray about it, talk to God about it, share it, ask for faith to believe it, talk to others about it, remember it, apply it, and repeat over and over and over.  I write about it.  I try to remember the references.  I look it up again and again and confirm that I have the words correct.  Sometimes I use hand motions to help me to memorize it, and sometimes I teach it to my children.  They are internalizing it, because it is repeated and lived out daily.

God has changed us by the renewing of our minds as we replace the lies with His truth through Repetition, Duration, and Intensity!

My children believe that the Word of God is the Truth, because they see (over and over again) the changes in me and in each other as we believe and obey what we learn from His Word.

Think about it.  When we hear something often enough, our minds accept it as truth.  Advertisers know this.  That is why they want to put their products and advertisements in front of us as much as possible.  Politicians know this.  They spend much on campaigns to get their name and face and slogans imprinted in our minds.  Satan knows this.  He whispers the same lies in our ears over and over and over again, and we believe them, thinking that these are our own thoughts.  We are to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd, and we do not listen to the voice of the stranger.

Repetition, Duration, and Intensity!  I will put God's word in my heart that I might not sin against God. Repetition, Duration, and Intensity!  That's how I learn.  As I walk and talk with God about His word, I learn and internalize the Truth.  God is Love!  I am made in His image!  I am made to love!  I am commanded to love!  I get it!  I believe it!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

35+ Weeks - God is Amazing!

Same report as written under Still Trusting God With This Pregnancy, with a few exceptions!

First of all, I reached the milestone of 35 weeks three days ago.  No pre-term contractions for this pregnancy.  Some Braxton-Hicks contractions, but not too many.  Absolutely Amazing!!!  God is to be praised!  Healed is healed!  He did it!  There is no other explanation.  He is worthy of all praise!

I have exceeded 150 pounds, a first for me, and I still have 4+ weeks to go.  I am visibly bigger than I ever have been, yet I measure perfectly for 35 weeks.  I do think that I have always measured small, and I know for certain that I measure smaller in the last few weeks, but they were never overly concerned about that.

I am still walking almost every day.  It is absolutely the best part of my day, to spend time in prayer with my Heavenly Father as I walk.

I drink 4 quarts of water every day.  I feel great!  I can still touch my toes.  Forty-one and pregnant and I can still touch my toes.  I do feel a little proud, or pleased about this.  "He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Psalm 103:5 or 6?)

Oh, Oh, Oh!!!  The varicose veins do not hurt me ever anymore, although sometimes they feel a bit warm.  They are even looking much better than before.  God IS healing them!  The veins on the back of my right thigh were like a massive purple blotch and swelled disgustingly about a quarter of an inch out.  I would feel them with my fingers and it grossed me out!  Now, they are distinct lines and they do not pop out very far.  They are not disgusting to me or the kids anymore.  I don't even really think about them much anymore.  I notice them everyday, but they are not on my mind every time I get up.  I expect them to be less and less, and I marvel and praise God that it is so!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Still Trusting God With This Pregnancy

I am 31 weeks pregnant!  I continue to praise God for His mercy upon me and for the healing He has given me.

I have not made any trips to the hospital!  WooHoo!  I am not having the pre-term contractions that plagued my previous pregnancies.  I thank God that the varicose veins in my legs and vulvar area are not painful and that they are not an issue in this pregnancy.  I am praying for the visible manifestation of the veins to be healed and cleared away from my skin.  I continue to praise God because I have few common pregnancy complaints, and the few complaints I experience are short lived.

I do not have ligament pain or sciatic nerve pain.  I do not have any UTI, yeast infections or athlete's foot.  I do not have leg cramps.  I do not have a stuffy nose, nose bleeds, or headaches.  I do not have heartburn much, and when I do, it is mild and all I have to do is prop myself up a bit and go back to sleep.  I do not have weird dreams.  I do not have any constipation!  Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!!!  My ears are not clogged.  I am not out of breath.  No swelling.  Blood pressure is great!  Blood sugar is fine.  Skin is clear.  No new stretch marks, and I am already bigger than I have ever been (and I have two months to go).  I am not excessively tired, though I do get tired, and I do take naps, but not everyday.  I don't sleep great, but not horribly either.  I am comfortable at night.

I am able to carry on with my normal activities and more.  I can twist and turn and bend with ease.  Laundry is no big deal.  Dishes are not a chore, though I am thankful that my children and my husband do most of the dishes.  It is just good to share the responsibilities.  I can do anything, and I am not afraid to do it.

I am thoroughly enjoying this pregnancy!  Also, I have no fear of labor or birth.  I look forward to the day.  I am actually hoping to carry this baby to it's due date.  That would be a first.  Nobody believes I will be able to do it, but with God all things are possible.

God has worked a miracle in me and He is doing something amazing!

Every time I get out of bed and I don't have a contraction, I praise God!
Every time I get up from bed or out of a chair and I experience no pain from the veins, I praise God!
Every time I have a normal bowel movement, I praise God!
Every time I notice my clear skin, I praise God!

The list goes on and on!  God is amazing!  He is worthy of our praise!

Tested Where I Teach

I have had the most amazing opportunities to share the Good News with others as of late.  What I find is that I am tested in the very areas where I am teaching others about the word of God.

What I mean is this:  When I talk to someone about how to get rid of all bitterness, anger, and rage, then bitter thoughts begin to flood my head and I find myself struggling to be loving and kind to certain people whom I have already forgiven.  I had not been thinking such things prior to my sharing this good news with someone.  It IS a spiritual attack, and it is coming from outside of me.  The purpose is to ruin my confidence in the testimony I am sharing with another.

I know this because the reason I was able to share so boldly with my friend is that I had overcome the constant feelings of offense, bitterness, anger, and rage, and as a result light and life filled my days and filled my home.  A few days after sharing with my friend, negative thoughts began to overwhelm me.  Everything felt so frustrating and hopeless.  Old thoughts popped back into my head.  Old expressions of frustration began to flow out of me.  Critical words, tone of voice, and mannerisms flowed out of me.

The enemy whispered in my ear that I had never really forgiven these people.  He whispered that there was still a lot of bitterness, anger, and rage deep inside of me.  He whispered in my ear that it was hopeless, and that it was always going to come back up like a weed again and again, and that I would never get rid of it.

Then, I realized that I was listening to the wrong voice.  These things are not true.  God is light, and in Him there is no darkness.  These things I was listening to bring darkness, death, and despair.  I'll have none of that!  God does not give me a spirit of fear!  He gives me a Spirit of power and of love and of self-control.

When I realized that it was an attack of the enemy, and that these thoughts were not mine and that they were not true, then I began to praise God because He opened my eyes to see it.  He does not let me continue in my sin.  The Holy Spirit living in me convicts me of my sin.  He causes me to recognize my sin and I agree with Him that what I was doing was not His will and that it was hurtful to me and others.  He comforts me by reminding me that there is now NO condemnation for me, as I am in Christ Jesus.  My sins are paid for by the blood of the Lamb.  I have been washed clean.  I am not a sinner in need of a Savior.  I am a son of God, and I want to be like my Daddy.  Because I am not cast down by shame and guilt, my Heavenly Father is able to lead me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.  He is able to make me more and more and more like Him, so that in this life, I will be like Him.

The truth is that I do indeed love these people, and I had forgiven them.  I do not want to say or do hurtful things.  I want to bless them and see them built up.  It was the enemy who was bringing up old stuff, and he was trying to put it back in.  It is not deep down in me somewhere.  This was coming from the outside.  When I recognized this, I went to the people whom I had offended and asked for their forgiveness.  Light and life returned, and all the bitterness was gone!

It was the worst 30-40 minutes of my day.

Now, there have been many attacks like this over the past few days.  Some last for a few minutes and some longer, but I keep getting back up.  Now that I recognize this scheme of the devil, I am better able to fight it.  God's word says that if I resist the devil, He will flee from me.  I have not felt bitterness, anger, and rage for some time now, so for this to pop back into my life at this time is too coincidental to write it off.  It is clearly an attack.  I can stand against it when I put on the full armor of God.

I used to spiral down into depression, but now I look up.  God is so good!  It is His will that we have life, and have it more abundantly.  This is eternal life, to know God and the One he sent.

God is love.  I am made in His image.  I am made to be love.  I am His child, and I want to be like Him.  He has made a way for me to grow up into His likeness.  How wonderful!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spiritual Attack Testing My Faith - Part 5

I am learning to ignore the voice of the stranger.  I will listen only to my Good Shepherd, for He loves me and cares for me.

I was listening to some teaching last night and the preacher pointed out what I have been saying, that we get attacked by the enemy when we are doing good and we get attacked when we are doing bad.  Either way, the enemy hates believers and will stop at nothing to try to get us to doubt God and blame God.  I heard another speaker once who said that the enemy takes a risk every time he attacks a believer, because if the believer turns to God (instead of doubting or blaming God) then the believer's faith is strengthened.  That is what happened when Satan attacked my children with leg cramps, eye pain, and eczema.  When I prayed in fear, I saw no improvements and I was tempted to doubt, but when I turned to God in faith and believed that He would indeed answer me, then I found God to be faithful to His word and my faith was strengthened.  My relationship with God grew and my love for Him exploded.

When I speak out and share the Good News, I usually find myself under attack.  I shared about my delight in being 29 weeks pregnant and not experiencing pre-term contractions, and BAM, suddenly I began to have more contractions and strong contractions.  They are indeed Braxton-Hicks contractions and they are tiring and they are sometimes strong, but they are definitely NOT labor contractions.  The stranger whispers in my ear, "Here they come again!"  "Maybe you over did it at VBS."  "God didn't really heal you.  Do you see?  You are having contractions again."  "Look.  You can't count on God.  He's allowing you to have contractions yet again."  "Sleep, rest, take care of yourself.  You know what to do.  You've been through this before."  I will NOT listen to any of that.

Here is what I know.  During my last few pregnancies I learned that when I became afraid of what was happening in my body, then everything got worse.  When I gave in to the fear, then I truly had something to be afraid of.  When I dug into God's word and learned that I could count on Him for my strength, I got up and served my family (because that is my calling) and I was fine and had fewer contractions.  I know that God allows me to be tested, but he does not tempt me.  Trials come so that my faith will be proven genuine.  His word says that!  The trial comes, and Satan tempts me to doubt God, to question God's goodness, and to blame God for my discomfort.  I will NOT!

I put on the full armor of God and I rest in His truth (belt).  I rest in His promises.  I am made righteous by the blood of the Lamb and the Spirit lives in me and leads me in paths of righteousness (breastplate).  I rest in the peace that He gives me (shoes).  I take up my shield of faith, and by it I am able to extinguish all of those flaming arrows that are hurled at me by the enemy (shield).  I know that my Redeemer lives, so I rest in my salvation (helmet).  I take up my sword, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and I PRAY!  I pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests, and I wait for the Lord to answer because He says that He will!

I fight with the Word!  God is good!  He's good all the time!  He is love!  He cares for me.  His love endures forever.  His faithfulness endures through all generations.  He sent forth His word and He healed them.  When I cry out to Him, He hears me.  Nothing is impossible for God!  God rewards those who earnestly seek Him.  Faith pleases Him.  God is love.  He made me in His image and He made me to love.  He commands me to love Him and to love others as He loves me.  There is NO fear in love, because perfect love casts out all fear.  And on and on and on and on and on...

Surely, as I write this, I have not had one contraction.  My baby moves and I am filled with joy knowing that this special gift is safe and secure in my womb because God keeps us safe.  I have had some contractions over the past few days and I have been tempted to worry, but God says that we should not be anxious about anything, so I pray.  I trust.  I'm fine.  I will not fear.  I walked for an hour tonight before I sat down to write this.  No contractions.  Praise God!

Also, my 5 year old is sick with a fever and aches and pains.  I wish I could say that I prayed for him and he became immediately well, but I can not.  He is still sick for three days now.  He is so sweet.  He comes to me with such sweetness and tells me he loves me.  He asks me to pray for him.  I do.  Sometimes he feels better.  Sometimes he gets worse.  Sometimes there is no change.  We just keep praising God and talking about all of the things that God has done for us.  He likes that and is comforted by that.  I took him to the doctor today.  It was the first time in two years that he had been to see a doctor.  She was wonderful and nice and thorough.  She did a strep test after assessing all of his symptoms, but it came back negative.  Praise God!  She determined it was a virus and advised me to keep doing what we have been doing until he gets well.  So we love and cuddle and pray.  We give detox baths, encourage lots of water, and give him lots of rest.  He will be fine.  God is with us through it all.  I understand that sometimes God will let us go through the fire, but He is there with us and we will come out of it unharmed like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  So there you have it.  We do not live a life without trouble, but we live abundantly through it all because the God of all creation is right there with us.

Amen.  Amen.  Amen.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spiritual Attack Testing My Faith - Part 4

We finished a week of VBS.  I had such a blast leading the Celebration Time at the beginning and end of each day.  I get to review the Bible Points, Bible verses, and Bible stories with the children, as I teach them the words and motions to the VBS songs that we sing throughout the week.  I love praising God with song, and I love leading others in worship, too.  We had our closing program last night, where we shared with the parents (family & friends) what we learned through the week and sang 6 of the songs we learned during our Celebration time.  We also watched a slide show that my husband put together of all of the different activities that took place through the week.  Everyone enjoys seeing the slideshow at the end of the week.  We finished up with an ice cream social in the gym.  What fun!

I really enjoyed being able to lead the music, with all of the dancing, jumping, turning, and hand motions, during my 29th week of pregnancy.  It is a testimony of God's healing that I could do this.

I know that many were wondering if I really should be doing all of that given my history with pre-term contractions and all.  I have shared with many in my church that Jesus has healed me, and they see me eating all kinds of food and feeding my children all kinds of food.  They may just think that I had gone overboard with the whole diet thing and that nothing was ever really the matter in the first place.  I hear all the time about how wonderful my children are and what a delight they are, and I wonder if anyone remembers, or even noticed, how bad things were for us not too long ago.

Many may not have seen or experienced what we saw, because we just didn't make it to church when things were really bad or we were there only briefly.  All they would remember is that we were often absent or late, but they did not really understand the full extent of what we shared with them because they were not present to experience it.

All kids throw tantrums from time to time, so that is easily dismissed.  All kids have rashes or act unreasonable on occasion, so those are easily dismissed.  Sometimes kids just don't want to talk or look you in the eye, so that is easily dismissed when you only see a kid on occasion.  However, everyone knows that I have had "trouble" with all of my pregnancies and have ended up on bed rest and medications for pre-term contractions.  People talk, so even people who didn't know me until recently seem to know my history.  What a testimony of God's power it will be for them to see me carry my baby to term without any complications.  I look forward to seeing this miracle accomplished by the power of God so that many might believe that we have truly been healed by Jesus.  God is to be praised!

Today I have had a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions.  It is tiring and makes me achey.  I didn't want to do much and I had no appetite.  Does this mean that I am wrong about being healed?  CKS woke up with a wet bed.  SSS was whiny all day, but we spent the day encouraging him to use his nice words and he is catching on again.  CKS had eye pain today, but we prayed for it and it went away quickly, both times.  KRS woke up a short while after going to sleep with a nightmare and could not go back to sleep for some time.  Does this mean that we are not healed?  NO!  The question is: How am I going to react to what I see?  Am I going to panic and run back to diet?  Am I going to question God's goodness?  Am I going to pray harder and work at doing things right so God will heal us once again because something must have gone wrong?  NO!  These are spiritual attacks.  At the end of the day, I recognize that all I need to do is rest in the promises of God.

I spent most of the day thinking, "Oh, no.  I don't know what is going on here.  Why is this happening?  I had such an amazing week!"  (spiritual attack, wrong thinking)  I continued to have contractions and I felt so tired.  I didn't feel motivated to do anything.  I just wanted to sleep.  Then, I got up and went shopping, because I needed to go shopping.  (it was the right thing to do)  I praised God all the way there and spent some time thinking about everything.  I began to praise God, every time I felt a contraction.  I began to recall His word.  (put on the full armor of God)  I feel great now and I am not afraid.  I am not having any contractions anymore.  My baby is moving and I feel rested and content.  I look forward to getting a few hours of sleep and waking up to go to church and lead worship in the morning.  Oh, my.  I just remembered that I need to gather all of the VBS kids in the morning to sing one song during the worship service.  Cool!  I'm up for that!  Glad I am feeling better again.

God is good all the time!  His love endures forever!  His faithfulness continues through all generations!

I WILL trust in the Lord with all my heart!
I WILL acknowledge Him in all my ways!
I WILL fear the Lord and shun evil!
I EXPECT it will bring health to my body and nourishment to my bones.
His word says it.  I believe it. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

Praise the Lord, Oh my soul.  All my inmost being praise His holy name!
Praise the Lord, Oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits,
Who forgives ALL my sins and heals ALL my diseases,
Who redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion,
Who satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalms 103:1-5

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Spiritual Attack Testing My Faith - Part 3

CKS is reading again.  Last week he wanted to read, but he could not focus or keep his eyes on the page.  He could not sound out words and did not recognize common words he knows, like "the", "on", and "what".  Today, he knew all of the common words he had previously known and learned three new words, and he had no trouble sounding out and reading new words.  All praise to God, our loving and gracious Heavenly Father.

I did NOT change our diet.  This is our VBS week.  The boys are finishing up their swim lessons.  This week, we are eating eggs and oranges for breakfast, VBS snacks (cookies, trail mix, crackers, pudding), boxed granola/ezekiel cereal with raw milk for lunch, fruit or ice cream for snack, and GAPS type foods for dinner, plus rice, potatoes, or bread.  It is NOT the strictly healthy food diet we used to adhere to.  Truly, we are free.

SSS is more cheerful and cooperative again.  He continues to potty regularly on his own with no accidents, and this on the big people potty, with or without the little toddler potty seat on top!

SSS actually graduated today from ISR swim lessons.  He earned his trophy!  He tested in winter clothes today and handled himself masterfully (at 3 years and 3 months).  He immediately flips to a float, no matter how he enters the water, and he can swim-float-swim to the edge or to the steps to get himself out of the pool, even while weighted down with drenched clothes, coat, socks, and shoes.  I am so proud of him.  He has a blast and thinks that it is all fun and games.  He has the biggest smile on his face when he gets flipped upside down and dumped into the water head first.  Amazing!

CKS tests in winter clothes in two days.  He is also doing amazingly well.  I am so pleased.

I shared our testimony again with someone new last night.  It was so good for both of us to hear what God has done and what he continues to do for us.  She was amazed to hear that all six of us were healed of food and chemical sensitivities, and especially that our son was healed from autism.  We just do not hear of children being healed of autism, but NOTHING is impossible for God!  I DO NOT FEAR anymore what will happen when I share our story and what God has done, because it is all true and it needs to be told!

Faith matters!  What we believe matters!

Galatians 5:6 "Nothing matters, except faith expressing itself in love."

I John 3:23 "And this is His command, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life."

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spiritual Attack Testing My Faith - Part 2

CKS's rash is gone.  He is making great eye contact again.  His attention and focus is improving.  I did NOT change diet.  I did NOT run back to healthy food.  God wants us to trust in Him with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-8).  So I did what God calls me to do, and I ran back to HIM.

SSS continues to do wonderfully in his potty training.  Actually, I would say that he is trained.  He wears underwear all day and puts all of his pee and poo in the big potty.  He has even used the big potty without the soft toddler seat that keeps him from falling in.  He is such a big boy.  He has even used the potty at a restaurant!  Also, his diapers are dry in the mornings, so I will likely put him in underwear at night, too.

Even better than potty training, the whiny, fussy, bad attitude is melting away.  Praise God for that!  That was wearisome.

The bad attitudes and ugly comments from me and from all of my children are fading away, too.  Whew!  Thank You, Lord!

We have had several completely dry nights!  I always give God my thanks for that.

Cheerful, happy, pleasant kids greet me in the morning.  So thankful for that!

Miracle of all miracles (OK, this is really quite small compared to all that God has done, but it is huge to me), I am 28 weeks pregnant (12 weeks to go!) and I am leading VBS music everyday this week.  NO FEAR!!!  God has given me an absolutely miraculous pregnancy (when you look at my history), and He will give me the strength and the words to lead a group of 137 children (plus many adult and teen leaders) in worship and to teach them that God is in control, He is with us, and He will never leave us!

I continue to have only the occasional Braxton-Hicks contraction (not the 4-20 an hour contractions as in previous pregnancies).  I continue to be pain free from the varicose veins on the back of my right leg and in the groin area.  I continue to be free of other common pregnancy complaints.  I feel great!  I feel tired at times, but generally I have lots of energy, especially in the mornings.  It is impossible not to sing of God's amazing love and of His mighty power!  He loves us!  He does!  He hears us!  He does!  He saves us!  He does!

Oh, God, You are great and mighty!  You are so loving and good and kind!  You do not leave us!  You call us to seek You, and You promise that we will find You.  You call us to worship You.  You call us to believe You!  You call us to trust You, to take You at Your word!  I believe You, Lord.  You say what You mean and You mean what You say!  I can count on You!  I have nothing to fear.  If You are for me, than who can stand against me?  You are for me!  You have made me Your child!  You have made me a son, a co-heir with Christ.  You live in me to work through me.  That is what Your will is, Your good, pleasing and perfect will.  How amazing is that!?!  Thank You, Lord, for making me Your own.  I love You.  I love You!  I love You!!!

OK.  I need a little sleep before VBS in the morning.  Lord, give me strength.  Give us all strength!  May You be glorified this week through our time of learning and worship in VBS.  Your Name be praised forever and ever and ever!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Spiritual Attack Testing My Faith

I always find it interesting that when I post, or share in person, about the wonderful things that I have to be thankful for, that shortly thereafter we have issues with those very praises.  For example, I recently posted on my other blog about my fourth child showing absolutely NO signs of autism, among other things, and pretty nearly everything I posted about is now no longer relevant.

Read post here:

However, it makes me think, "What is going on here?!?"

This has been a pattern from the start of my blog of our GAPS journey.  I would post something wonderful and give God praise for all of the improvements and for the blessings, then everything would fall apart right after that.  I would refrain from posting for a bit.  It caused me to be hesitant about posting, because I feared what would inevitably follow.  It does seem to be a spiritual attack.

Also, I have been thinking about what I have lately declared out loud and in recent posts.  I have given power back to food and healthy living.  I have declared that I can make a positive or negative impact on the outcome of my family's health with the choices I make regarding food and toxins.  I affirm for other people that food and healthy choices are important.  I CAN influence our health based on food selection, and healthy choices ARE important.  I should NOT discourage people from making healthy choices, but healthy food is NOT what healed us!  Avoiding toxins is NOT what healed us!  JESUS HEALED US!

I give my kids bread, rice, potatoes, cookies, crackers, and ice cream because I have nothing to fear.  They are healed.  When the kids became so sick with a respiratory illness that lasted and lasted, I began to talk about how eating so much sugar and starch was probably what was suppressing their immune systems.  It took three to four weeks of constantly having sick kids to care for which drove me to this thought, but here is the thing.  Even though they were sick, none of the GAPS symptoms were present. In fact, after recovering from the bug, SSS potty trained and CKS began to read and I noticed that ALL of his symptoms were gone, gone, gone!  The older kids were physically sick, but were amazing in the way they handled themselves and dealt with others.  I could not have been more pleased with all of what I was seeing, so I posted about it!  Truly amazing!

Here is what I think happened.  Having sick kids seriously tested my faith.  After a time, I ran back to my old way of thinking, which is that healthy food and avoiding toxins will save us from having to deal with these troubles in the future.  I began to speak it.  I began to share it.  I switched back to healthier food choices and tried to cut back on the breads and sugars.  Lo and behold, EVERYTHING fell apart.  Why?  Because I made an idol out of food and healthy choices.  I put my trust in my idol instead of in God, to sustain us and see us through.

My God, my Heavenly Father, loves me and He will NOT let me go to the left or to the right.  He wants me to walk in righteousness.  I put my trust somewhere else and He lets me suffer the consequences of that choice.  Rashes came back.  Autistic traits came back full force.  Everyone began to act in their old ways again.  I began to lose my sanity and my self control.  I could freak out and run back to what I have known for the past few years or I could run back to God.  I am running back to God!  I have NOWHERE else to go.  He IS my life.

I am not afraid to post this because I KNOW my God is real and I KNOW that He loves me with an enduring love.  His faithfulness continues through all generations.  He hears me when I cry out to Him. He answers me when I call to Him.  I am confident that I will soon be able to post that ALL of the symptoms have gone away yet again and that the beauty I posted about just days ago will be back and my mouth will be full of praise for my King!  In fact, today was WAY better than yesterday.  Things are already improving.  I expect it to get better and better and better.

My youngest two are finishing up with their ISR swim training, probably next week.  CKS began to act autistic again and I spoke it out loud several times that it might be because he was swallowing the pool water.  I confessed it!  I spoke it!  It is not so!  (I know, because only two of my kids are in the water and all six of us were having issues.  Hmm!)  I put them in swim lessons and I was confident that they would be fine, and they were.  I am again confident that they will be fine.  They are amazing!  What they are learning in their swim lessons is amazing!  I am so proud of them.

I will NOT pull them out of the "toxic" water, and I will NOT stop rewarding them with a celebration of their hard work of learning new things in the water.  I will NOT restrict their snacks at VBS next week.  My God is able to keep them safe and sound.  He gives us His Spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.  I will trust in Him.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oops - Revisited

I recently made a request on our homeschool group website for recommendations of midwives in my area who attend births in birthing centers and at home.  One response I got was a reminder about an article that was sent to me called "Faith Healing - Trust in God, But See a Doctor".  It was about a little child (and another) who died because the parents/church believed that prayer would heal the child and that taking the child to a doctor would reveal a lack of faith in God.  Following, were some comments about people with such beliefs having their babies at home and the dangers of not getting any medical assistance.  The following is my response (edited for posting).  I spent a lot of time thinking through what I have come to believe and thought it would be appropriate to post it here.

My edited reply:

Thank you for the article.  I meant to read it, but it got away from me before I got back to it.  I read it just now and I totally agree that the use of medical care is appropriate and what happened to these children based on such beliefs was lamentable.  You did not offend me at all.  I am apparently sending the wrong message.  I hope, by the following, to clarify what I truly believe, for it is my desire to know the truth and to share the truth about God to give hope, so that others might be filled with the joy that my family and I now have in Christ Jesus, through our faith in Him.  I am still learning and I may not have everything just right, but I trust that God will lead me and teach me as I seek Him through prayer and through His word.

Please understand that I am not opposed to medical care, when needed.  I do not consider it a lack of faith, if I pray for my kids and they continue to be sick.  I consider that it might be a lack of faith, but I recognize that there may be another reason, so I ask God to heal them, and I expect that they will be healed, but I do not kick myself for lack of faith if they continue to be ill.  I remember that God is good all the time and that He works all things together for good for those who love Him and who have been called according to His good purposes.  I figure that there is a reason that they are not healed, and I do not know what the reason is.  I remember Job.  God never told him why bad things happened to Him.  Clearly, Job never wavered in his faith.  I know that our physical bodies die eventually, so it would be rather silly to think that we would always be healed of everything, just because we asked.  Eventually, my day will come, sooner or later.  Eternal life is to know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent (John 17:3).  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.  Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's (Romans 14:8).

What I was trying to communicate that day (when I offended a hurting woman) was my own personal experience with the Living God as I learned to seek Him and trust Him.  I sought God, and He revealed to me that not only was He able to heal my family, but that He would heal us.  We were sick and struggling because we were living in fear and anxiety all of the time.  God showed me that He does not give me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love and of self-control.  He showed me that love was needed to bring healing to our family.  He showed me that He is love and that I needed to believe Him and trust Him.  I always believed that God was real and that He was able to do anything, I just never knew IF He would.  Therefore, I found it very difficult to pray, except in desperation, because I never expected to see any results.  Now, I pray for everything expecting to see results, because the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective, but I do not judge why my prayers were answered immediately, slowly over time, or seemingly not at all.  God knows why.  I have prayed for many things, with the expectation that I will see it answered with a resounding yes, and I have been blessed to see miraculous results, all glory to God, but there are some things for which I must continue to pray.  I DO seek Him and I search His word to see if there is something more for me to learn, but ultimately, God's will WILL be done.

I have learned that bad things will come our way.  God's word says that in this life we will have trouble.  Sometimes it is a direct result of our own rebellion (Psalm 107).  This was the case for me and for my family.  Sometimes it is allowed by God to test our faith (Job).  Sometimes it is the result of the enemy defending His territory when we step out in faith and proclaim the truth (Paul and believers in the early church, many died and suffered for their faith).  We can not judge that all bad things happen because of a lack of faith.  I never said that if bad things happened in someone's life that it was because of a lack of faith.  I never meant to imply it, either.  The things I said were true.  It was my testimony and my testimony is real.  Our healing was miraculous, but I wasn't seeking healing, rather I was seeking God.  My message was to seek the Lord.  Taste and see that the Lord is good.

I know I said that I asked the Lord for faith to believe and that He gave it to me.  I believed and we were healed.  That is our testimony and it is true.  My testimony is the same as those who approached Jesus physically and were healed, as Jesus pronounced, because of their faith.  God's word is true.  The testimonies given by the writers of the four gospels are true.  Therefore, it is clear that many are healed by faith, but it does not necessarily mean that if one is not healed that it was because of a lack of faith.  Clearly, sometimes it is.  I continue to walk in faith.  I continue to seek the Lord.  We continue to see healing and improvements even now.  I could write pages about all that I have to be thankful for.  I spent most of the day yesterday praising God for all of the good things I am seeing in our lives.  This does not mean that there is not any trouble in my life, just that I am not afraid of it anymore, because I know that God, who is good, is in control.  We still have a tad bit of eczema on the girls.  We still have bedwetting issues.  My three youngest children had one of the worst bugs (coughing fits followed by throwing up because it gags them, sore throat, fever, stomach pain from all of the coughing) and now my older two kids are going through it.  I do not berate myself for lack of faith because these things remain even though I prayed for healing.  I continue to pray, with thanksgiving, and I ask God if there is anything that I need to learn.  I do not know why, but I know there is a reason.  I trust God through it.

Also, we lost our fourth baby to a miscarriage.  I never believed it was a lack of faith that caused it.  I never looked back and thought that, if only I had believed a little bit more that things could be different.  We remembered how many seemingly bad things happened to Joseph, but all of it was necessary to prepare him for and to position him for the work that God had prepared for him to do, which God revealed in advance through his childhood dreams.  We thanked the Lord, after grieving the loss, for the gift of life, though short, and trusted that there was purpose in it, though we did not know what would come of it.  Indeed it was a blessing, and we still talk about our baby, named Joy, as we look back and consider the good things that have come from her very short life.  Because of her unexpected conception and her unexpected loss, we have now graciously received two, soon to be three more amazing children into our lives.  It taught our children to trust God through painful events and it taught them that they can and will recover from loss.  I'm sure there is more, but we can see that much good can come from difficult and painful circumstances.

I may be wrong, but I perceived (because of your reminder about the article being connected to my inquiry and because of the mention of home births in the comments section) that my inquiry about birthing centers and home births may have been interpreted as a rejection of medical help.  My inquiry was not because I am against medical help.  I will gladly receive it, when needed, and I would encourage others to do the same.  I am currently praying for a man related to someone in our group who had a massive heart attack.  I would never suggest that they walk away from the medical help he is receiving right now, but I pray that God would heal him.  I am praying for a seven year old boy, who recently drowned and is recovering from a brain injury.  I would never suggest that they walk away from the medical help that he is receiving.  God is working through that, and the boy's recovery is still miraculous.  When I went to the hospital for preterm contractions at 20 weeks with my third child and was told that my contractions were labor strength and five minutes apart, my cervix was 80% effaced and dilated one centimeter, and that my baby would not survive, I accepted the medicine and medical help.  I prayed through the night for my child's life, but ultimately gave her up to God, realizing that I had no power of my own to do anything to change anything that was happening.  She is now eight years old.

I have my reasons for looking into other birth options, but it is not because I am against medical help.  I am not planning on having this baby at home without any assistance, and I do not consider it a lack of faith in God to have my babies in a hospital setting.  I know that you did not say anything about this and you may not even have thought that these might be my reasons, but I wanted to clarify anyway, for my own pride.  I am fine with having my baby in a hospital (and that may be where it happens), it is just not my preference.  I am fine with medical assistance, if it is needed.  I think it would be foolish for me (me, not others) to have my baby at home unassisted because there are just too many things that I do not know.  So there it is.

I thank you for the article and for the thought it provoked.  It was good for me to think through where my faith lies and what I truly believe.  I'm still learning.  I do not think I have it all figured out.  I am constantly seeking my Heavenly Father to teach me, as I am His child and I may need Him to straighten me out on a few things here and there as I grow.  I think about how my own children think they have things figured out and those of us in the family, including our older children, who are more mature know that they have a ways to go, but we are patient with them as they grow and learn and we trust that they will get it down the road when they are developmentally ready to get it.  I figure that I am still a child and that God will teach me and correct me as I go.  I am thankful that He leads me in paths of righteousness.

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's All About Relationship

I was walking this evening, after tucking the little ones in bed, and I was talking to the Lord about what it means to know Him.  God is love.  He made me in His image.  He made me to love, and He commands me to love Him and to love others.  I can't genuinely love others unless I love Him, and I can't love God unless I spend time with Him and get to know Him.

I realized this.  I can read His word to learn about Him, but I am capable of knowing lots about God and who He is without actually getting to know Him.  I can accept a theology or develop a theology about God without having a relationship with Him.

I also realized this.  I can pray to God just like I might speak to a judge, or a doctor, or a teacher with whom I have no relationship.  I can make the same requests over and over.  I can repeat the same prayers over and over.  I can actually say a prayer without acknowledging Him in my heart.

Adam and Eve walked in the garden and talked with God.  They had a relationship with the Creator of the Universe.  Jesus died for us so that we could be brought back into relationship with the Father, who adopts us as sons.  "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!"

I want to know God.  I can not remember where I read this, but I will find it again in my Bible, but it says that eternal life is to know God!  I want to know Him!  I want to have a real, genuine relationship with Him!  I want to read the Word and know that these are God's words to me.  I want to pray in relationship.  I am not just speaking to God.  I am talking with God.  He hears me and He answers me.

In order to have a relationship with God, I have to read His word, because they are His words to me.  I have to talk to Him as if He were right there with me, and He is.  I have to act on what I learn about Him and what He reveals to me, then I learn that He is with me.  Then, I learn that hears me.  Then, I learn that I can trust Him.

Reading God's word isn't enough!
Memorizing scripture isn't enough!
Having the right theology isn't enough!
Praying everyday isn't enough!
Trying to obey in my own strength isn't enough!
Trying to love in my own strength isn't enough!

It's all about relationship!
It's all about relationship with HIM!

Having a right relationship with HIM leads us to have a right relationship with others.

God is Love. (1 John 4:8)
A new command I give you, Love one another.  (John 13:34)
The entire law is summed up in one command, "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14)
Love is the fulfillment of the law.  (Romans 13:10)


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Trying to Understand the Why of it All

(I began this train of thought a week or two ago and thought that I should bring it to a conclusion.)

I know certain things to be true:  God is sovereign.  God is love.  God is good all the time.  His love endures forever.  His faithfulness continues through all generations.  Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.  God rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

I sought the Lord, His kingdom and His righteousness (and continue to do so), and the Lord healed me and my children and has been providing for us and has been teaching us.  I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between sin and sickness in my life.  I have also noticed that when I begin to get bold and share on my blogs and with those around me, Satan attacks.  I might be tempted to come to the conclusion that all sickness and trouble are the result of sin.  Indeed, when things begin to fall apart, I look to see if there are any idols that have crept back into my life.  Usually there are, and I repent and get rid of them as fast as is humanly possible.

But...I was reminded of Job.  His friends suggested all kinds of reasons for his suffering, but the ultimate answer was that God is sovereign and we do not have the right to question Him and His ways.  He can do as He pleases with any of us.  Job had not sinned.  God allowed Satan to test Job.  Job passed the test!

From this, I learn that not all bad things that happen to me are a result of my sin.  Sometimes things will come my way.  My job is not to find out what I may have done to deserve it, but to act in faith, love and righteousness through the storm.

So, I find these things to be true.  Sometimes bad things come our way as a result of our own sin.  Sometimes bad things come our way because we are advancing the kingdom and the enemy is defending his territory.  Sometimes bad things come our way for no apparent reason.  In all of this, God works all things together for good.  Our faith is strengthened.  God's word is always true.

Confirming What I Know

Sometimes I just do not understand myself!  I know something to be true, but I act like it isn't true.  For example, I know that I need to spend time in God's Word everyday and that it helps me to live according to His Word, if His Word is in me.  I know that I need to talk to God all day everyday about everything.  I know that He is real and that He loves me, cares for me, provides for me, and so much more, but then I go and make an idol out of something by making that something more important than God.

Again, my idols are schoolwork and schedules.  These two things always get me.  I am a homeschool mom, so I need to be actually teaching my kids and I need to have schedules in order to get it all done.  There is nothing evil about schoolwork or schedules, but I make them into idols when I place their importance above spending time with my Heavenly Father and obeying His command to love others and forgive others, just as He loves me and has forgiven me.

God tells us not to worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to present my requests to Him (Philippians 4:6).  We have some math to work on through the summer, I want to keep some semblance of routine going, and I do not want to have to reteach what they already know.  I begin to worry because it is difficult to accomplish anything right now because I am so tired everyday and I wonder how I am going to make it work this coming school year after the baby is born.  Worry leads to pushing the kids to stick to the schedule and using my anger and frustration to "motivate" them to get it done.  Now, I know this doesn't work, but my idol (sticking to the schedule and getting the schoolwork and chores done) is dictating my actions.

If I place God first, and get rid of all my idols, then I am driven by love to encourage the right behavior and to praise my children for what they are doing well.  I am patient with them when they fail and I lovingly discipline them and let them suffer the consequences of their actions.  They can be unhappy about missing out on snack or not getting to go on a walk, but my attitude towards them is always one of love, because God's command to me is to believe in the name of God's Son, Jesus, and to love others as He commanded us (1 John 3:23).  God is Love (1 John 4:8).  I am made in His image (Genesis 1:27).  I am made to love.  I know this, because God is love and He commands me to love others just as He loves me (John 13:34).  The greatest commandment is to love God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind, and the second is like it; I am to love my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:30-31).  I have done this, and it works great!

However, this week, I skipped going on my walks in order to make sure we stuck to the schedule.  I have allowed myself to be critical and I have spoken unkind words to my children, because following the schedule was more important than obeying God by acting in love.  The result: wet beds, eczema, sickness, whiny and complaining behavior from the little ones, attitudes from the big ones, contractions, and a return of pain in my own body.  Not fun!!!  I know that I have already learned this lesson.

In the past, this is the point where I would feel guilty and ashamed for making the same mistake, AGAIN!  I would shut down and feel hopeless.  I would want to give up, because why try when I'm just going to keep failing again and again.  But God has shown me this:  Satan is the accuser.  Satan wants to shut me down.  Satan does not want me to be lead in paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).  The Holy Spirit, who lives in me, convicts me of my sin (I agree with God that my behavior is wrong).  The Holy Spirit guides me (to move forward into righteousness).  The Holy Spirit comforts me (He reminds me of God's love for me and that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus).  I praise God that He does NOT let me continue in my sin (1 John 3:9).  If I go the wrong way, I hear a voice behind me telling me the way I am to go, and I get rid of my idols (Isaiah 30:21-22).  I rejoice that I recognize the voice of my shepherd (John 10:16).

So today, I turned my heart back to God, yet again.  I confessed to Him that I recognized how I had made an idol out of schoolwork and schedules and how I had broken the Golden Rule by treating my children in ways that I would not want to be treated.  I spent some time reading His Word and I spent some time talking to Him about who He is and Who I am in Christ.  I thanked Him for not letting me continue in my sin and for guiding me back into righteousness.  I praised Him for all of the marvelous and amazing things that He has done in my life and I thanked Him for keeping me and the baby safe through pregnancy and childbirth.

Already, I am free from the pain of the varicose veins and the contractions are not bothersome.  I trust that with some tender loving care and some patience on my part, that the kids will recover from their sickness, eczema, bedwetting, attitudes, etc.  God is love and love heals!  He has shown me over and over that this is true.

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word, Just to rest upon His promise, just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."  Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, how I've proved Him o'er and o'er.  Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus.  Oh, for grace to trust Him more.

I love that hymn.  Blessings to all who may read this post.  I hope it gives a good picture of how to be free.  It is for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

Praise God!  He is good all the time!  His love endures forever!  His faithfulness endures through all generations!

Friday, May 11, 2012

No Greater Joy!

There may be no greater joy than to hear that one's children are walking in the truth, but I have to admit that the joy of hearing that a sister in Christ has begun to seek the Lord, as I recently have, and has seen her child healed, as I have recently seen my own children healed, definitely comes in at a close second.

Tina Kim posted a comment on my other blog that made me cry and laugh for joy!  Her little boy is healed!  He is beginning to talk more and more.  He did not regress when she took him off of the GAPS Diet.  Instead, he improved!  God is great!  Nothing is impossible for God!  Read her own words in the comments section here:

Also, check out her comments from earlier posts to get a better understanding of what took place over a period of time.  God is so good!  His Word is true!  She commented on The GAPS Diet Did NOT Heal Us and on Enjoying Our Freedom.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trusting God With This Pregnancy

This pregnancy was a gift.  I ovulated early.  I misread the signs.  We were drawn to be with each other.  God is sovereign.  He knows what He is doing, and His Word says that children are a blessing from the Lord.  When God blesses His people, the Israelites, in the Old Testament, He blessed the fruit of their wombs and none of the women cast their fruit before their time.  I am trusting Him with every aspect of this gift.

So, I had a few moments of panic here and there at the beginning of this new adventure, but I remembered that God tells me not to be anxious about anything, but to pray with thanksgiving.  I prayed for no morning sickness and I thanked God for giving me the strength to continue to care for my family.  While I had plenty of food aversions and cravings, tiredness, and sometimes felt rather Blah, I did not suffer from any nausea.  Not once did I ever feel like I was going to lose my lunch, except the one time that I took my vitamins on an empty stomach.  I recommend never taking vitamins on an empty stomach.

I thank God for this gift of mercy.  It is significant because I have five children to teach and care for on a daily basis.  It is also significant because I was sick with morning sickness during the 6th week to the 15th week of the first four pregnancies.  I was not sick during the 5th pregnancy, so long as I avoided all dairy and sugar, in addition to already being gluten-free and stage one Feingold.  This pregnancy is different because Jesus healed me.  I can and do eat anything.  I can eat wheat (after nearly 20 years of being gluten-free).  I can eat dairy.  I can eat eggs (they used to give me asthma).  I can eat melons (they used to cause painful sores in my mouth).  I can eat artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives (they used to cause all kinds of emotional and sensory issues).  I eat anything now, and I was not sick.

I did not fear a miscarriage.  God is love, and perfect love casts out all fear.  Whenever the thought popped into my mind or symptoms seemed to suggest the possibility, I turned to God and thanked Him for His protection.  I thanked Him for giving me peace to rest in Him.

I have declared that certain things from past pregnancies are not going to be a problem in this pregnancy.  When they pop up, I say NO in Jesus' Name.  The athlete's foot went away.  The varicose veins give me little to no pain for 5 days now, and I continue to thank God for this healing.  I continue to ask for complete healing, just as the athlete's foot went completely away.  I have no headaches.  I can breathe at night.  I can sleep at night.  There is so much more, but...I'll stop for now.

I have to mention the contractions!!!  I was on bed rest for four of the five full and near term pregnancies. I put myself on and off of bed rest with the fourth pregnancy.  I had lots and lots of pre-term contractions from 15 weeks or so with each.  They were strong.  They were 10-15 minutes apart.  They made my back hurt and made my body tired.  They worried me.  They worried the midwives and doctors.  They worried everyone.  We took every precaution "just in case".  I did start to get some contractions during this pregnancy, but I thanked God for His goodness and I thanked Him, because contractions are not going to be an issue in this pregnancy.  I give God all of the praise!  I have very few braxton hicks contractions.  My tummy is very soft and squishy pretty nearly all of the time!  It is strange for me to experience this.

What is truly amazing is that I am nearly 20 weeks along (I was put on bed rest at 20 weeks with our 3rd baby), my tummy is as big as it usually is for 6 months pregnant, and I am not having any contractions!  Praise the Lord!

I am looking forward to getting a sneak peek next week.  Gotta go!  Bye!

May 20th Update: It's a Boy! Everything looked great on the ultrasound. Praise the Lord! He is the right size. Everything looks normal. The placenta is in the front towards the top, which is right where I suspected it was because I do not feel any movement there and the heartbeat was difficult to find and was faint at every appointment. WooHoo!

June 18 Update:  For awhile, I began to dwell on my pregnancy and stress about the upcoming ultrasound, and the pain and swelling from the varicose veins returned, as well as the BH contractions. I became tired and uncomfortable. When I gave it back to the Lord and stopped dwelling on myself, the symptoms went away again. I love not having to wear the support hose and I love not having constant contractions. Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!!!

Praise the Lord for His great love for us and for His protection. He is my strength and my shield! I am 25 weeks pregnant today and I am still not having too many BH contractions. I have a few, but not many. I feel great! The varicose veins are still not a problem. They do bulge and I do have more now than before, but they do not cause me pain and I do not wear the support hose. Maybe if I would wear the support hose, I would not develop any new ones, but it is very hot in Houston, Texas. I walk for an hour nearly everyday in 80-95 degree F temperatures. I do not want to wear support hose in Houston in the summer! I do not mind the look of the veins, so long as they do not cause me severe pain as they did when I first noticed them. Praise the Lord that they do not hurt.

I do not know why, but I am as big now as I usually am at full term. Also, I have already gained about 25 pounds at 25 weeks. I do not think I have ever gained more than 25 pounds, but it looks as if I will this time around, because I still have 15 weeks to go. It is a bit unnerving and kinda cool at the same time. If I had not already had an ultrasound, I would definitely think that there were two in there because I'm HUGE! (for me)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I am not sure of the wisdom of making this my second post, but this is where I am at.

As I have been walking and talking with the Lord, I have been amazed at what I am learning about my God and My Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am praying that He would give me faith to take Him at His Word and believe Him.  The more I read the Word and spend time in prayer with God, the more I believe in my heart what I know in my mind to be true.  I have begun to act on this faith that God has given me and amazing things are happening!

God is my Savior!  He is my Healer!  He is my Provider!  He is Holy!  He has redeemed me and made me holy, too, by the blood of Jesus!  God is mighty in power!  Nothing is impossible for God!  God is Love!  He is much more...but I am just getting to really know Him.

He wants me to love Him with all of my heart, my soul, my strength, and my mind, and He wants me to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:37-39).  I cannot love someone that I do not know.  I am really growing in my love for my God as I spend time with Him and get to know Him for who He truly is.  I know that if I say I love God, yet hate my brother, then God is not in me (I John 4:20), but I do struggle, at times, to genuinely love people.  My love for myself still gets in the way of my loving others as Christ loves us.  (Oh, Lord, change this about me.  More of You, and less of me.  Better yet, I want to die to myself so that I can truly live for You.  Make it so.  Amen!)

Yesterday, I was involved in conversation with several people and the discussion turned to health problems and vaccine issues.  I was filled with such joy for what God had done for my family and for what He continues to do for us as we grow in our faith, that I wanted to share with the idea that I would pray for God's healing hand to be on the woman who was going in for an MRI at the end of the week.  My intention was to give hope for healing through faith in our Lord who loves us so much.

I began to share how God had healed us and how it came to be, and I began to share how I was learning to trust God for everything, including issues that pop up with my children and issues that pop up relating to my current pregnancy (more on that later).  I shared how I asked God for faith to believe that He would heal us, because His Word clearly says that there is a definite relationship between faith and healing.  Jesus often said, "Your faith has healed you." (Matthew 15:28, Mark 5:34) and "According to your faith, it will be done for you." (Matthew 9:29)  He also said that "anything is possible for him who believes." (Mark 9:23).  When the disciples could not heal the boy who was seized by an evil spirit, Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith (Mark 9:19).  Clearly, healing is connected to believing.  I praised God for His mighty works and I declared that, "God is a God who heals and He heals today."  I encouraged my listeners to seek Him.  I told them that I stopped seeking healing from the Lord, and when I began to seek Him He showed Himself to me, He showed me how much He loved me, and He showed me what He wanted to do for me.

What I did not know was that one of the women I was sharing with had lost a baby during childbirth less than two years prior and had experienced a miscarriage after that.  She had just found out that she was pregnant and is now fearful about losing another child.  Here I was proclaiming my joy and my thankfulness to a loving God who healed us and saved us!  Here I was describing how I was trusting in God for every aspect of my current pregnancy and was testifying to God's mercy in taking away the pain of the varicose veins in my leg (3 days now with little to no pain and no need of support hosiery).

She called me aside and told me that I should be careful when sharing such things, because I may not know who is listening or what they have been through.  She told me of her pain.  I listened, stunned, and I did not know what to say.  I knew that everything I was saying was true.  I knew that what I was saying could and would be offensive to some.  I understood her interpretation of my testimony to imply that her baby died because she did not have enough faith.

This is where I screwed up!  I should have empathized with her in her pain.  I should have acknowledged my sorrow for her that my words and my testimony brought her such sorrow.  I should have hugged her and cried with her and reminded her that God can heal the pain of the past, but I didn't.  Instead, I stopped to think about whether or not I should have said the things I said and I sought to defend my belief.  I am certain that my response to her only brought her more pain.  I should have acted differently, but I didn't.

Now, I am not wallowing in shame or beating myself up for my huge blunder.  I messed up, BIG TIME!  I can't change that, but I can learn from it.  I confessed my sin to the Lord and talked to Him about what I can do, if anything, to remedy the hurt that I caused.  He leads me in paths of righteousness.  I am still waiting on an answer.  I am able to call her or e-mail her, but I do not know yet if that is what I need to do.  I do not wish to cause any further pain.

I am certain that it is always the right thing to do to proclaim God's Glory and to tell of His mighty deeds (Psalm 107:22). I do not think that I should hold back on declaring God's mercy for fear that it might cause someone pain to hear of it.  I am certain that it is the right thing to do to encourage people, especially believers, to seek God, His kingdom, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).  I think that I need to work on my response to people when they react to what I am saying (Colossians 4:6).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Walking and Talking with the God of the Universe

I have recently come to understand what it means to walk in faith.  In everything, I must trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.  In all my ways, I must acknowledge Him and He will make my paths straight (Proverbs 3:5).  I have begun to seek God by reading His Word and asking Him to teach me (John 14:26, I John 2:27).

God's word says that I must come as a little child or I will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3).  Romans 8:15 tells me that I have received the Spirit of sonship and that by him I cry "Abba, Father".  So I picture myself as a little child and I approach my Heavenly Father and I ask Him to teach me.  I see myself like my own child who settles himself on the couch next to me and asks me how to spell "dog".  I graciously and enthusiastically teach my child the spelling for the word "dog" because he is now ready to learn it.  When I read God's Word and I find that I do not understand the meaning, I ask Him to teach me what it means.  I am approaching my "Abba" with a heart that is open and ready to learn, and He teaches me.  It has been amazing the way He has given me the answers to nearly all of the questions I put before Him.

God tells me in James 1:5 that I should ask for wisdom and that He will give it to me.  I asked.  He did.  I continue to ask God to give me more wisdom.   I see things now that I didn't see or understand before.

In Jeremiah 33:3, God says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."  Like a child, I approached my "Daddy", who happens to be the God of the universe, and said, "OK, I am calling to you now and I am asking you to show me great and unsearchable things that I have not known."  He did, indeed, begin to show me such amazing things that I had never before known or understood.  Our God is real and His Word is living and active in our lives today.  He says that if we seek Him, He will be found by us (Proverbs 8:17 and Deuteronomy 4:29).  He says that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  He tells us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

After Jesus healed me and all five of my children from GAPS issues too numerous to name here, but including asthma, eczema, dyslexia, dyspraxia, anger, anxiety, sensory issues, and other symptoms of autism, my eyes have been opened to the spiritual battle that is raging all around us and to the importance of literally putting on the full armor of God and praying on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:10-18).  I have experienced the working of God's power in our lives and am forever changed.  Actually, I was forever changed, and then I experienced the working of God's power in our lives.  I am so full of joy that I can hardly contain myself.  I want to shout it from the rooftops that "Our God is so good!  He's mighty and powerful!  He loves us!!!"

In recent weeks, maybe for a month or two now, I have literally begun to walk and talk with my God.  I walk about 30-60 minutes a day around my neighborhood, and I praise God for everything that He has made and for all of the great things that He has done.  I thank Him for all the good things He has done for us.  I thank Him for our healing.  I talk to God about who He is, and I talk to Him about who I am in Him.  I talk to Him about His Word.  I take my Bible with me so that I can look up verses I know and confirm and cement the references and correct quotes into my mind.  Sometimes I spend time committing a verse to memory.  Sometimes I read passages as I walk.  I talk to God about His Word as I read it.  He teaches me as we walk.  Sometimes God convicts me of something and I confess my sin to Him and thank Him, because He leads me in paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3) and will not let me continue in my sin (I John 3:9).  He comforts me (Psalm 23:4).  Sometimes I talk to Him about issues I have that are a concern to me (Phillipians 4:6).  He helps me, through His Word, to understand and deal with the issues.  I love my walks with the Lord.  I hope and pray that my walks will continue in some form all the days of my life.

Because the God of the universe dwells in me (John 14:23), He is with me wherever I go (Genesis 28:15 and Matthew 28:20).  He promises me that He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).  I can walk with Him and talk with Him, like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden, because He has cleansed me of all unrighteousness through the blood of Jesus and has called me to be His beloved child.  What a mighty God we serve!