the last few weeks have found me limping along. I had so many plans for all I was going to do and accomplish while I was working from home and undergoing treatment. Instead, I have found myself exhausted. I have cut my hours back at work; using up vacation days I scarcely feel that I can lose. I don’t have energy to exercise. Keeping up with just the bare minimum has been a feat of monumental proportions. I have let myself down. All of my insecurities have come rushing back. I don’t feel like myself. I don’t like how I feel.

Because I don’t feel like myself and have been experiencing the insecurities in rushing waves, I have found myself checking out more; too much tv, too many internet games, etc. All of these empty pursuits leave me feeling, well, empty. More empty than when I started.

Questions and ideas race through my mind. Should I start a Bible study? Should I host a group this fall? Which one? Should I force myself to do the exercise videos? Maybe you should just skip a couple of meals? You need to insert yourself in that situation, obviously so and so is not handling it properly. You are running out of time.

Issues and circumstances that have aggravated me and upset me start doing cartwheels and having small town fairs in my mind. Let’s overthink every idea.

Today, I sat down with Jesus and told Him, I couldn’t do it. He is so precious. His answer is always, “I know.” Then quickly, He always reminds me, “I never asked you to. Never intended for you to do it all.”

I started reading in Jesus Today

I will fight for you; you need only to be still. I know how weary you are, My child. You have been struggling to just keep your head above water, and your strength is running low. Now is the time for you to stop striving and let ME fight for you. I know this is not easy for you to do. You feel as if you must keep struggling in order to survive, but I am calling you to rest in ME. I am working on your behalf; so be still, and know that I am God.

Quieting your body is somewhat challenging for you, but stilling your mind may often seem downright impossible. In your striving to feel secure, you have relied too heavily on your own thinking. This struggle to be in control has elevated your mind to a position of autonomy. So you need the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to control your mind more and more-soothing you from the inside out. Take time to rest in the shadow of the Almighty while I fight for you.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Like David often did, I find myself back to Psalm 25:1

O LORD, I give my life to you.
I trust in you, MY GOD!

Holy Spirit, I need you to control my mind. I need you to intervene in the thoughts and ideas I have allowed to run loose.
Teach me to rest. Teach me to rest in you. I don’t know how. Help me to stop trying to figure out your ways, and instead learn your ways.

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Prayer for Christlikeness from joyful mysteries

Dear Jesus,
Help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go;
Flood my soul with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so completely
That all my life may be only a radiance of yours;
Shine through me and be so in me
That everyone with whom I come in contact
May feel your presence within me.
Let them look up and see no longer me-but only Jesus.

-John Henry Cardinal Newman

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one day at a time

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34

Rest has been a long standing issue with me. I mean I can be lazy, but real rest, always seems elusive. I don’t take the time to sit back and let God be God. I don’t enjoy His wonders. I do. I do anything to fill up space.

Since starting radiation, I have come to the end of me. Okay, probably not the end, but I have been forced to stop. Knowing there are weeks left of treatment; weeks left of daily drives to Chambersburg for 10 minutes of treatment, weeks left of going to the spare room every morning at 7 am to start my work day so I don’t use up every minute of leave, weeks of soreness. This has worn on me.

It is hard for me to ask for help. It is hard for me to have others do things that I should be doing.

So this combination of weariness over what lies ahead and trying to pretend that I can do everything I usually did and radiation, it came to a head. After my melt down. After a good sleep. I woke up to Matthew 6:34. I also woke up to the following devotional in Jesus Calling.

Do not worry about tomorrow! This is not a suggestion but a command. I divided time into days and nights so that you would have namageable portions of life to handle. My grace is sufficient for you, but its sufficiency is for only one day at a time. When you worry about the future, you heap day upon day of troubles onto your flimsy frame. You suffer under this heavy load, which I never intended you to carry.

Throw off this oppressive burden with one quick thrust of trust. Anxious thoughts meander about and crisscross in your brain, but trusting Me brings you directly into My Presence. As you thus affirm your faith, shackles of worry fall off instantly. Enjoy My Presence continually by trusting Me at all times.

God is gracious and merciful. He is always with me. But, He gives me what I need, one day at a time. When I look out to the weeks ahead of me, I grow weary. I fret. I get incredibly anxious. But God says, don’t worry about that. Let’s do this one day at a time. Let’s meet together each day and throughout that day. Let me give you what you need for the day. Let me infuse My Presence into you throughout the day. We can do this together. Trust me EACH DAY.

Thank you.

Then today, I read about the tower of Babel. Why was this so terrible? Because the people were making this tower as a monument to themselves. To all that they could do. To all that they could handle.

So, I stopped. God, am I trying to do everything I normally do and radiation because I want to edify myself? So that people will look at me and say, you are so strong. You can do so much. You are wonderful.

And shamefully, the answer I received was yes. Yes, that is my motivation. I want to stand out. I want it for me. I am making my own tower to my accomplishments.

Forgive me Father for trying to be my own god. Forgive me for seeking the approval of man before I seek YOUR approval. Forgive me for piling my accomplishments higher and higher so that I could be a tower in my own life and in the life of my family.

I want you to reign. Only you. Change me Lord.

Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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I want you to love Me, Listen to My Voice, and hold fast to Me – for I am your life

I want you to love Me, Listen to My Voice, and hold fast to Me – for I am your life.
This is the way of wisdom. I am training you to stay close to Me as you walk along perilous paths. In any close relationship, listening and loving are vitally important-and they are interconnected. Listen to Me as I rejoice over you with gladness and quiet you with My Love. As the Holy Spirit to help you receive My glorious Love in full measure. This will dramatically increase your love for Me.

The world is full of dangers, so it is wise to hold tightly to My hand. Listen-through My Spirit and My Word-while I talk you through tough times. Pour out your heart to Me, remembering that I am your Refuge. As you stay in dialogue with Me, I help you handle whatever is before you. Hold fast to Me, beloved, for I am your Life.

Jesus Today by Sarah Young

Yesterday while I was drowning in fear and worry, everything I read said, “Do not Worry.”

Because He is such a loving and gracious God. Always right beside me. Waiting for me to reach out to Him. He met me where I was. He is ALWAYS here. So hard for me to grasp. But I know it is true.

This morning, Zephaniah 3:17 was in everything I read.

The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

What a beautiful promise.

Yesterday, I asked how do I get His promises ‘in’ me. Today, I know. Stay connected. He isn’t with me and then not. He is always there. It is me that connects and disconnects. It is me that lets all that is around me steal my focus. We have such a loving God. He doesn’t get disgusted with this behavior and walk away. Let me tell you, that is what I would do after the millions of times I have had to relearn something He has so patiently taught me. No, His love is something I cannot understand. I have to trust it is there. When I reach for His hand, it is always there.

Thank you Jesus.

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shaky knees

Isaiah 41:10
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Today I see the oncologist. This is the easiest appointment we have had so far, yet somehow, it has become the one that has me undone.

Psalm 62:5-6
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.
He alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

This morning, EVERYTHING I have read has been about worrying. About not worrying. About keeping my focus on Jesus and being assured that He has everything under control. Radiation therapy, husband’s salvation, Hannah’s travel, neighbor issues, work issues; these are not too big for Him. He has them under control.

Proverbs 18:10
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Then why, if I know this, if I know GOD IS IN CONTROL, am I shaky? How do you get His words and promises down in you? How do they become your normal response?

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little annoyances

if you are not careful, you will let little annoyances not only change your feelings toward someone, but they will steal your joy and take your eyes off of Jesus.

we have an annoying situation, someone is not stepping up, doing their part. Not acting like the adult they are. Their actions or lack there of resulting in our family paying their part.

when these situations arise, I find myself fixated on it. Wanting to clarify my position over and over. Wanting to show ‘that person’ how wrong they are.

The Holy Spirit convicted me today. What is more important in life? Money, things? No, relationship. By holding on to this annoyance, I am shutting off relationship. I am shutting off potential in the future. I am not reflecting Jesus’ character. He was often cheated. People treated Him horribly and He was blameless. I cannot ever say that I am blameless when dealing with others.

This doesn’t mean that I have to be a floor mat. I firmly believe there are relationships that are not healthy; for me or for the other person. There are definitely times when you need to step away and say, “I want nothing but good things for you. I am always praying for you. But, we cannot be in relationship with one another. It isn’t good for either of us.”

I also firmly believe I am not made to or expected to pay the consequences for others actions. People make decisions in life. There are natural consequences to those decisions, good and bad. I am not to make myself or my family pay for others decisions. Once again, I am to pray for them. But I don’t have to carry their burden or make everything okay for them.

Part of me always snipped at myself. “If you were really a Christian….”. “If you really loved…”. “If you were less proud…”. I fight these thoughts everyday. Because I don’t want to hurt others. I don’t like conflict. But at the same time, I MUST do what is right for me. I MUST stand by my convictions. BUT, I also MUST do this through LOVE and not anger. NOT pointing my finger at someone and pointing out their faults, how they are wrong, how they have hurt me and/or let me down.

There is a constant tension in me over these things. I am strong-willed. I am stubborn. And I have to be careful everyday to ask Jesus to give me His heart. For the Holy Spirit to fix my eyes on what Jesus would want me to do and think, instead of what comes natural for me. What comes natural is not loving.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Over the past several weeks, this verse has been running over and over in my mind. What do I let my mind, my eyes engage in. What do I watch? Listen to? Talk about? Do? Think about? Are these things “true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, praise worthy”?

Sadly, often times they are not. But I seek Jesus, because I want them to be.

Forgive me Father for allowing annoyances to become barriers. Teach me to let them go. To let you in. To stop trying to do, prove, talk about and instead give you room to move. Relationship is most important. Love is what I am called to do. Not prove.

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Brokenness #spiritualwhitespace

Jesus- is this cancer/health situation bringing back feelings of not good enough? Less than?

I feel like I am fighting again. I am focused not on YOU and who YOU are, but instead on what I am and what I am not. I find myself judging, accusing, being critical, especially of myself. Of my failures.

Forgive me Jesus. You make me whole. You have already paid the price and made me whole. You know brokenness. In ways I cannot imagine. You know how I feel. But I am not living in the victory you have given me. Forgive me.

Change me. Fix my eyes on YOU. Help me to believe; please forgive, correct and train me in my unbelief.

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what a difference a week makes

a week ago I went through the lumpectomy. I am/was surrounded by prayers and love. I felt absolute peace about the entire situation. I felt/feel so loved and lifted up.

but sometimes when I go through something, I start off really good and then I forget that it isn’t me doing it. I have spent the week since the surgery trying to be strong and get back to normal. Headed back to work on Monday. Started walking. Tried to pull my share of the household chores.

and I forgot to sit down with Jesus. I prayed and I am reading a good book that continually brings my thoughts back to Him. But I forgot to sit with Him.

Yesterday, I just got weak. All of the trying, pushing and striving just became to much. Then I got a good look at what the scar will be, for the first time. And, I started looking at the circumstances, the situation, the now and stopped looking at Jesus.

Thankfully Jesus loves us so much that He will not leave me there. The Holy Spirit nudged me to sit with my Jesus. Let His promises wash over me. Just rest. So hard but so needed.

Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.
Luke 1:78-79

Thank you Jesus, for righting paths. For grace. For mercy. For the love of those around me. Their encouragement and prayers. Thank you Jesus that you never leave me when my human nature takes over, but lovingly nudge me.

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

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beginning a new journey

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. Psalm 119:50

today I start a new journey. Yesterday I was diagnosed with very early stage breast cancer. Tomorrow I will meet with my surgeon and schedule surgery. The nurse told me yesterday that the next few months might not be great, but I will get through them and then it will be over.

I am not sad. Well, maybe a little, my family is hurting and worrying. But, I am confident.

The Bible tells us if God allows something to pass through His hands then He will be with us as we walk through it. He will use it to teach and prepare us. And, He will use it for His glory. I look forward to drawing closer to my Jesus. To learning what I need to learn, to be prepared for my future. And most certainly, to give Him glory.

I would absolutely appreciate your prayers for my family.

The Lord’s eye is upon me because I fear Him, I wait for HIm and hope in His mercy and loving kindness. Psalm 33:18

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Some people feel expectations are good. I cannot argue with them.

But I have learned that expectations are dangerous. In my life I have felt them oppress, crush and most recently snap me.

I really don’t have sufficient words right now; just sadness.

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