It’s 5:30 am and I am still awake. I can not sleep….yet again. This not sleeping thing is driving me nuts. K will be up in little bit…..we are supposed to be going to church at 10:30. I wonder if I can catch a few winks before we actually have to be there.
I had taken my usual meds. I usually wait awhile to see if they will kick in and make me tired. But tonight…I guess not. Shortly after midnight, I was feeling a lot of pain my back…so took a pain med. That should have made me tired too. But I here I am still awake. This sleeping thing is for the birds.
So, about a week ago I had a bilateral epidural done in my low back. It hurt some when they did the procedure but it actually wasn’t that bad. I have been feeling better or able to do more since then. I wake up or try to get up and I have a lot of stiffness in my low back and thighs. So I do my stretches and then get out of bed. Once I get moving around, it’s better. I have twinges of pain if I move wrong or step wrong. But at least now I can bend down and tie my shoes without so much pain that it brings tears.
I am so sick of pain. I know I live with this chronic pain and other invisible illnesses. If I listed them all, you would think I was crazy…..well more crazy then you already think I am. LOL The worst right now is the chronic pain and the lupus flare that is going on. It’s like my body is raging against me.
I will write more later on these invisible illnesses stuff.
In other news……I am taking K to camp today. She need to be there between 3pm and 5pm. I think we will leave around 2. It take a little over an hour or so to get there. It’s called Lake Wapogassett Bible Camp in Amery, WI. I am really excited for her to go. I always loved camp. I so want her to meet new friends and have a place where people will love on her unconditionally. She really needs that before the hectic weeks to come before school starts again. I think I will be the one with tears when I leave her there. She will be gone until Friday. I go pick her up after lunch. I think my mom might come with for the drive up to get her. Don’t know for sure yet.
Yup. God’s got this too. There is so much I need to remember when I am freaking out with health issues or having so much anxiety I can hardly breathe. I keep saying lately that I wish my faith was stronger. I do. I haven’t found my place yet. I haven’t found a home church yet. We are planning to go to Our Saviour’s Lutheran today. It’s one of the bigger Lutheran churches here. I read that during church some of the kids that went to Camp Wapo are going to talk about their experiences there. The church sent kids to camp a week ago, I guess. If we had been going to this church on a more regular basis, I think K would have been able to go with the kids from church. My goal is to start going weekly. To try to become involved more and get K in Sunday school and doing stuff with the youth. She will be in middle school this year and they do more stuff than when she was in elementary school.
Anyway, I need to keep writing….maybe it will help empty my mind so that sleep might come more easily.
The sun is rising. The sky is pretty this morning.
I hope you all rested well. ♥
This really sounds like me only I am not a pastor’s kid. I found this here. I wanted to share it with you.
CONFESSION OF A CHRISTIAN WHO STILL STRUGGLES.
Growing up, I was in church anytime the doors were opened.
I went on all the mission trips, camps, and retreats…
attended bible studies, had the best of friends, and had multiple mentors.
My life was beautiful.
I said “the prayer” when I was 8 and proceeded to be baptized.
I laid wide eyed at night for years terrified that the rapture was going to come
and I would be the only one left behind.
I went forward again at a church camp in middle school
and cried out again for Him to take my sins away and give me peace.
Nothing dramatically changed.
But I kept up with the façade of being super holy.
When I went off to college, I found myself shedding the church girl persona
and giving myself to the first person to call me beautiful…
and saying yes to any drink or smoke that was passed in front of me.
My life was spiraling but I didn’t even care.
If my mask was still tightly fastened at the end of the day I was okay…
I could suffocate my convictions easily.
It took me lying in my bed so sick with mono…
unable to make it to the bathroom down the hall without passing out…
for me to cry out to the Lord.
He met me there and I felt Him calling me away
from the life I had built on sinking sand and into a new adventure with Him.
That’s when I signed up for the World Race.
I proceeded to spend a year preaching, holding orphans, and living extreme.
I saw healings and people surrendering their lives to the Lord…
it was absolutely intense.
My view of Him was rocked.
I remember sitting on a roof in India and being completely overwhelmed with His presence.
I can vividly remember sitting down with Him and writing down everything I’d been through.
Crying and snotting and surrendering the darkest parts of my heart to Him.
It was incredible.
If I’m honest…
That’s where my testimony stops when people ask.
I think there’s an unspoken expectation that once you have an experience with Jesus
you aren’t allowed to screw up after that.
I’d like to say my life has been flawless and beautiful since that moment on the roof.
But it hasn’t.
I still struggle.
I have had many rock bottom moments since.
Moments that I’ve laid in my bed face down in my pillow
crying out to a God that I didn’t even know if I believed in.
Moments where I’ve fallen flat on my face
and slipped back into addictions I thought I’d shaken.
Moments where my strength dwindled and my flesh lead
and I was left completely empty and hating myself.
Moments that I’ve doubted the very importance of my existence.
Moments where I’ve literally hidden in shame and never wanted to be seen again.
Many moments—months even—that I didn’t even crack my bible or mumble the smallest prayer.
Call me crazy but I can’t help but believe I’m not alone.
Don’t get me wrong,
I wholeheartedly believe that there are people who experience the Lord
and it wrecks them from deep within and they are changed completely.
but I also wholeheartedly believe through personal experience
that once we surrender, the enemy hops on us…
trying to suffocate any peace and life that was so freely given to us.
I often find myself paralyzed to even write because I feel inadequate to have influence
when I know the depths of my heart.
Today I choose to shatter the façade that I have it all together.
I confess that although I am a Christ follower- I still struggle daily.
But I breathe deep in the fact that His grace is suffocating and constant.
Let’s be honest…
Living from Him is messy.
But He knows it is.
He walked the earth and was tempted and tried just as we are…
and He gets it.
I find rest in that.
I find peace in that.
I find peace in the fact that he doesn’t kick us away when we fall.
He picks us up and sings over us and reminds us who He truly created us to be.
is what gives me strength to fight my flesh and choose to live for Him.
Not out of fear or obligation
but because His love and grace is so full force regardless.
It’s damn hard.
And I don’t understand anything…
But I’m in.
It’s not easy to confess when I’m struggling…
And to mumble through teary eyes and shaky hands that
this life is hard even WITH Christ…
but I’m in.
Cheers to testimonies continuing for our entire lives.
Cheers to bumping the enemy’s lies that we are failures.
Cheers to peace.
Cheers to true life.
Come join us!!
“We will laugh hard, loud and often. Nothing is more fun than serving God with people you love!”
– LifeChurch.tv Core Value #7
Week 2 : Forget You
I am Less, He is More – Sam Roberts
I AM LESS; HE IS MORE
He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30
HOW DO I BECOME LESS AND HE BECOMES GREATER?
IT’S NOT A FORMULA; IT’S A JOURNEY.
“Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He was with you. “
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Romans 12:2
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. And watch your character for it will become your destiny!” Margaret Thatcher
HOW DO I RENEW MY MIND?
1. RENEWING MY MIND INVOLVES SPENDING TIME WITH GOD!
He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30
2. RENEWING MY MIND INVOLVES DAILY OBEDIENCE!
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey —whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16
MY CLOSENESS TO GOD CAN BE MEASURED BY THE TIME IT TAKES FROM HIS COMMAND TO MY OBEDIENCE!
Today is Good Friday….I saw a cartoon thing on Facebook the other day saying something like, I don’t understand why they call it good friday when a man was hung and died for me. I wouldn’t call that good.
In the literal sense, nope, not good. But in the Christian sense….God is so good. Jesus died for ME. How awesome is that. He carried all of our sins and died for us….so that we can be free. The best thing of all is that He raised up on Sunday….amazing!!! His loves overcomes all!! He loves us all….THAT MUCH!!! I really like Easter season for all this…..not about bunnies and eggs and chocolate (though that is a bonus sometimes). But the realization that God loves us. Jesus died for us. He rose and overcome death.
If you want to watch some awesome worship and a super message for Easter….starting tonight at 10 pm CST at http://live.lifechurch.tv/ . Pastor Craig is awesome. Last year’s Easter services were just amazing. I can’t wait to see what is in store for this weekend. Awesome music…awesome message!!
Yesterday I traveled back to the Cities for a few appointments. I had to get a B12 shot and then got a B1 shot as well. That one left a bruise on my arm. Gotta love it. My 8 month check up at the U of M was great. I have lost a total of 105 pounds now. I have been at a plateau for a few weeks. I think cuz I am not as active…or not in my routine from back home. Being with K has kept me busy but not in the way I was when I was home. I am not out walking everyday or swimming at the Y. I need to get back on track. I can’t believe my 3 weeks with K is coming to an end. I so love being with her all the time. Mom will be back later today from their trip. I will be here though, until next Wednesday.
K and I will be hitting the grocery store this afternoon to get the fixin’s for Easter dinner. We decided to cook for grandma and grandpa and J. We are gonna make some cool desserts and a great fun dinner too. Ham, sweet potatoes, glazed carrots, another salad, and crescent rolls. For desert, fancy cupcakes and a strawberry dessert. NO CALORIES at all. LOL
Gotta get the eggs decorated and the place cards made too. It will be a fun couple days with K getting stuff done and cooking and stuff. She is a good helper and stuff.
It’s sunny but cool here in North Iowa this morning. Was in the 30’s when I got up…but now sitting at 45. I hope it gets a tad warmer. I love spring.
Met with counselor Adam yesterday. Talked about anxiety and relationships and stuff like that. I have been having some anxiety attacks lately. Along with the fibro stuff…makes for a bit of a cranky Julie. LOL I wish pain wasn’t a factor of my life every day. It really makes me want to just sit as still as I can and do nothing. Gotta keep moving. Expected to do that. Again and again.
Anyways, Have an excellent weekend. Blessings to all.
Today I saw my family practice doc, well his PA. She was happy that I am doing so well this early after the surgery. The nurse I had was also telling me about her brother who had this surgery about 6 months ago and has lost nearly 200 lbs. A.MA.ZING!!! I am so excited at the possibilities. It’s hard to imagine that I could be 100 pounds lighter in just a few more months. I don’t really “feel” any different now. I have noticed though, I am able to sit in some armed chairs and be comfortable and not squished. So cool. I look in the mirror and don’t see a lot of changes yet. But I know it will come.
I had a lot of blood work done today and it all came back good but my iron is still borderline low. So gotta keep on top of that.
I have been trying to stay really positive lately. Keep reminding myself that I am one of God’s children and deserve to feel good. He has done some pretty awesome things in my life in the last year. I have some wonderful and supportive friends. My mom and I are closer than we have ever been. I started back at UNI with classes that are going to be so awesome. (well lots of work but awesome none the less). I have just had lots of opportunities open up to me this year. It’s August and I have so much to be thankful for.
One thing I have learned is Christianity is like this weight loss stuff. It’s a whole lifestyle change. Finding God is an invitation to find life. Just as this surgery is giving me an opportunity to find a different life. Except this invitation is about a relationship with Christ. It’s not religion. It’s a relationship. Christ overcame so much pain in the world. This relationship with Christ is not easy. It doesn’t come without pain and some suffering too. It does give you a purpose and meaning in a world of confusion and darkness. It is real. Christ is real.
God is calling me to do some pretty bold things these days. I am speaking boldly, acting boldly for myself and for Christ. God really does heal the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3). I was one of those brokenhearted people. He has given me life. A life like I have never know before. Found this quote this morning: Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do. I am not going to let anything stop me from believing and doing what my heart is telling me to do and be.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Day 29: Who is you hero?
My biggest hero is my dad. He was a husband, father, farmer, friend, uncle, brother-in-law, christian, lover, fighter, and so many other things. My dad encompassed the meaning of true faithfulness and compassion. He was ready to help neighbors and friends when or if they needed it. He organized many different events in the same town of Carpenter, where he grew up. My dad passed at a way too young age. He was only 57 when cancer got his body. Many of the new technologies at that time, were used. My dad wanted to live. In May of 2000, his tired body and soul left us to be with God. He is still in my heart and also those who knew him. August 12 would have been his 68. I miss you Dad.