"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
The past two weeks for me have been insane, literally at moments I have felt insane. I have had crazy weird episodes, that are brought on by horribly painful headaches. At one period the headaches got so intense I told the Engineer I really thought that I was dying...I know that's serious...but my tolerance was gone and so was rational thinking at that point. Well when I failed to do anything but sleep...he took me to visit the hospital. And after spending our entire vacation fund within a matter of a few hours, the diagnosis...a virus! Which means, go home and rest! They gave me some stuff to deal with the pain and something for nausea as the pain in my head was giving me tummy aches. I felt very discouraged. So a few days later I met with a Naturopath doctor to review some blood work and there were a few things that showed up on the blood work, low in calcium, high glucose and a very high number of Epstein Barr virus. The treatment plan is to try and tackle things via my immune system, blood, and diet. So I am taking a calcium supplement, lowering my sugar in take....now this is the hard one for me...and can I just share a little side note...the Engineer threw out the pan of brownies that were sitting on the counter...did I mention this is making me feel insane and that brownies are comfort food to me...there are past posts on my brownie issues!! Anyway the Engineer states he did it out of love...tough love! Anyway I am also taking Lysine for an anti-viral, drinking lots of fluids like green tea, pomegranate and cranberry juice, water. Trying to eat healthy. And yet I am still having the headaches, and body aches. But yesterday God spoke to me pretty clearly....
"Nichole its not in you to do this, your body is weak, and you don't have the strength! You need to ask Me to be your strength"
So here I am Monday morning and I am asking for His strength.
I need His strength today to....
Keep my thoughts captive.
To care for the boys.
To not over do it and to rest!!! (This is my hardest battle right here!)
So as I am praying for Him to fill me with strength for my day, I am praying for you too!
What do you need His strength today for?
May we quit trying to do it on our own and truly realize our need for Him!
As I come to this day I bring a few things that I am tired of carrying around. Do you have things that you are tired of carrying around? I can’t help buy see in my own life all the stuff I try to tote along with me. My pride, my guilt, my fears, my stubbornness, my doubts, my current pain and sickness. I wonder does God really want me carrying all this around? How can I be who He truly designed me to be if I have all this baggage?
How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13
As I read Psalm 13 I hear David calling out to his God. He is asking God how long?
How long will we continue to live in sin?
How long will we focus on religion rather than relationship?
How long will we live in the past shackled by the chains?
How long will the sickness and pain continue?
And after David asks these true, honest, humbly and heart felt questions, God brings things into perspective. God makes a trade with David. David is set free to sing!
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.
The Friday Challenge is: TRADE
Trade Him. Trade in whatever is keeping your heart from singing.
For this trade has eternal rewards. We find in Revelation just that, those who were faithful, those who trusted in His unfailing love. They are singing to the One who set them free. The only One who was able to make the Perfect Trade.
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Revelation 7:9-16
May we trust today in His unfailing love, make a trade and sing!
My friend Cindy is fighting a battle that has affected her to the very core of who she is. She is having surgery Wednesday January 21st. I believe we were not meant to fight our battles alone, but rather join in where God is at work and do what we can,
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands." So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation." Exodus 17:8-16
The above scripture speaks of a battle that Joshua went out to fight. While he was down fighting on the field, Moses was up on the hill with his arms stretched out praying to God. He was intercessing and being a channel for God to bring the power that Joshua needed.
Gods power brings deliverance to His people through prayer.
We are dependent on God through prayer.
Prayer is the battle.
Pray for Cindy.
May we join a battle that is worth fighting. May we pray and watch God release the power for this battle, a battle that is victorious. A battle that brings glory and honor to His kingdom.
Update: Cindy's mom just called and said Cindy has made it out of surgery! All went well! She is on her way to recovery. So keep praying the battle is not over! I love you all and praise God for you and the power He is releasing in your prayers! Thank you!
Good Morning friends...thank you so much for your prayers, words of encouragement and emails! I have had a better past few days. Not completely rid of it...but holding tight to hope that it is coming soon. I have a drs appt this afternoon to review some blood work.
I do have to say with resting that much I had a lot of time to talk and converse with God! It comes as NO surprise to those who know me that I have a serious issue with the need to control my world and sometimes the worlds of those around me too! So submitting my agenda and my schedule last week was SO not fun for me! One of the main things that was the hardest to let go of was my primary ministry last week...my family. It was so hard to not be able to run and chase the boys, to tickle them, to play with them. There were times I struggled with the whole idea that this very thing was being taken from me...yes it was a dark and lonely place to be! What brought me out of that dark and lonely place was a gift covered in grace and love from my Father up above...the opportunity to see the Engineer step in and fill in for his teammate. And boy did he! He is amazing, because of his hand crafted DNA...he did a great job! He cared for me, fed us all, played with the boys, did the dishes, kept the house clean, answered the phone, fed the dog...oh I am sure there were many things he did that I won't ever know...because he is just that good! The other hard part of last week was having the doctors say they don't know how to fix what is wrong. For I was so dependant on them to take away the pain and make the room stop spinning! And just when I thought there was no hope... if the doctors couldn't diagnose, fix and heal me...where was God in all of this? Then I heard Him whisper:
"I didn't leave you, I know whats going on and I'm taking care of it, so trust Me because its all going to work out just perfect-because that's the ONLY way I do things."
I praise God for the patience He has with me.
I praise God for the amazing husband.
I praise God for family and friends that are committed to praying, because they know pray works!
Coming to the beginning of this new week I am again reminded by some most precious words He chose specifically to whisper to my heart...a heart that desires to remain teachable by Him.
"Its not about you Nichole...its about one more making it to my feet and thats living your life on purpose!"
Do you ever feel like all your mistakes, or oops moments or lessons from God are on the prime time news for everyone to witness? Yes I know that my story is not for me, and that my lessons are not for my benefit, but really I think it would be nice to have a few secret private lessons just one on One with Him!
The Moment: Last Thursday night I attend this birthday party for friend of my, that is a member of one of the Moms clubs that I am a member of. I hadn't seen her in awhile, like a few months. I love to celebrate birthdays with people, its the day He created you and presented you to the world, it is definitely a day worth celebrating!! Right before we leave she decides to open her gifts. She starts opening and revealing! I am sitting right next to her on the couch, she starts to open mine, she reads the card, "oh how sweet Nichole, thank you for thinking of me" Then she pulls out her gift, a candle, a white smelly good candle with a GREAT BIG RED CLEARANCE STICKER on the front. So I am sure that my face and neck turned a even darker and brighter shade of red. I quickly reach over and say..."oh Cortney I am so sorry and peel it off" Okay maybe the sticker looked bigger and redder than it actually was. Yeah now shes thinking, 'yeah well you thought so much of me you forgot to remove the clearance tag!'
The Lesson: Now I wear pride thick sometimes. And sometimes it takes some pretty embarrassing moments, and lessons in front of others to 'peel' it off. It is my heart to love on others and I don't want my pride to get in the way! However for a few long lasting moments I was letting it. Does He want my pride to get in the way of the gift? Should I have sat there the rest of the evening being embarrassed about my mistake and making that evening about me, or should I have thanked God I am human and SO in need of Him and then back to celebrating with my friend!
On Tuesday I blogged about watching the movie Mama Mia last Saturday night. As I was watching the movie I couldn’t help but be lifted up by the music, dancing and dreaming in this movie. This movie started a conversation between God and me.
Is there a period in our lives that it is okay to dream and then one day its not okay?
Do you have a dream, a cherished desire? Is there something you have always wanted to do? Something you have only kept hidden in your heart?
Do you have a dream…
to be married
to have children
to own your own business
to own 365 pairs of shoes, a pair for each day of the year (I had to fit this in! )
to become a pilot
to go to college
to start a ministry
to plant a church
to run a marathon
to restore an old car
to be healed
to meet someone
to restore a relationship
Where does your dream come from? Your heart?
Who planted it there?
Friday Challenge Dream Big
Climb up on His lap Bring the big Book Talk with Him Share with Him Dream with Him
May we Dream Big with Him!
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! Ephesians 3:19-21 (The Message)
This is a post to thank the man who delivers joy to me in the form of a $4.00 video in the comfort of our family room! Saturday night as I lay snuggled in my comfy jammies and a warm blanket in my over sized chair and the Engineer is over on his reclining man couch in his own blanket...because there is only one scientific calculated way to cover yourself up in a blanket! No there are no problems in our marriage...the girl in me just prefers comfy blanket chaos while the Engineer has a method that takes a little time to execute! Anyway sorry for that...back to the video....yes the Engineer brought home Mama Mia for me! Okay I have to point out that it was strategically placed on top of The Mummy. And just so you know the only thing I care about being wrapped up warm and snuggly is me...so he knew that it wouldn't be a movie for my liking so he had to slip it in cleverly disguised under Mama Mia. Yes the Engineer is full of sweet treats and joy giving and it comes in all different forms and all different times. Like later on during the movie when he starts singing along to the show tunes...or even better when he danced along at the end to Dancing Queen. Now I enjoyed myself royally...tears, belly ache laughter and all! The only regret...I didn't capture it on film to share with you all! Yes my Engineer has some extra hidden talent! Some great BIG hidden talent. Like talent that needs to stay locked up until we are desperate and have no other options...or if the whole Engineer thing gets boring....then I say go BIG!
This will tie in nicely to the Friday Challenge...so come back and visit on Friday and be ready to do something BIG!
I come today to share that prayer works. Now before you start hollering at that screen of yours hear me out for a second....I am sitting with some of you, praying with you and praying for you and I know its seems like there is more questions going out than there are answers coming in...but friends...He answers!
My husband and I and our two little guys found ourselves in a new church a little over a year ago because of a move to a new state. And did you know that every church isn't the same? I will NOT take any of your precious time from 2009 to go into detail. But lets just say...I wanted to walk right back out the door we walked in...however God had a whole other plan...and out of some serious obedience I stayed. But while I was trying to obey...I complained...I whined....I grumped....I cried...I pouted...I questioned...and I am sure I yelled more than a few times. Sounds pretty doesn't it?
As a family we stayed out of obedience. We know that God has a purpose for us to be there.
I received an amazing gift yesterday....I felt a weight lift. I felt joy in that building. I cried tears as I could see my Father up above reaching His hand down to His daughter and say,
"Daughter your obedience has purpose!"
I have prayed. My husband and I have prayed, you have prayed (even though you didn't know what for), family and friends have prayed, other church members have prayed.
God will restore, renew and heal the church.
And I will continue to be on my knees in obedience. For I want to witness the miracle only His hands can perform!
May you know that while I am on my knees I am praying for you! I am praying for you to be healed from cancer. I am praying for your marriage. I am praying for you to keep being a mommy when it seems like you can't. I am praying for your baby to feel better. I am praying for your daughter to be healed. I am praying for you to trust Him to care for your children. I am praying for you to step out and start a relationship with Him. I am praying for your relationship to be restored. I am praying for you to keep walking closer to His heart. I am praying for your obedience. I am praying for you while you wait. I am praying for you to be Jesus at work. I am praying for your hands to keep working. I am praying for you to be brave. I am praying for you answer to be revealed. I am praying for your daily strength and perseverance. I am praying for Jesus and asking Him to keep loving all over you!