Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Please Pray!

Hi Friends...

I write today with a heavy heart asking for prayers. My sweet second cousin, Madyson (not my niece that lived with us) is in a fight for her life. This past Sunday my cousin's wife, Sonya, and their two daughters, Madyson (4) and Mikayla (3), were in a car accident. One of the rear tires on their pick-up truck blew out and the truck flew off the road, flipping several times.

Sonya was able to get the two girls out and start CPR on Madyson. Once the paramedics arrived they got them to the closest hospital, but quickly had to move Madyson to Jackson, MS to get her the proper care. Sonya, after passing out and being revived, got a clean bill of health. Mikayla had quite a bit of glass in her which they were thankfully able to remove.

Madyson did not fair as well as her mom and sister. At this point we know that she has at least 4 skull fractures, as well as a fractured C4. She sustained liver damage, and an unknown extent of brain stem damage. She is currently still in Jackson, MS in the ICU. Her brain pressure remains unsteady, and her current regimen of medicine keeps her in a coma. At this point there is some signs that her body is trying to breathe over the ventilator, but with her brain being unable to regulate its' own pressure, there is no way for the doctors to know how much damage has been done. We do know there is at least one blood clot behind her eyes keeping her pupils from dilating.

As I write, the accident happened about 72 hours ago. At this point the doctors look for the swelling inside the brain to be leveling out. Please pray that God would supernaturally intervene and heal little Mady! Also please pray that her family would be comforted during this time, especially her mother, as she was driving the car (even though there was no way she could have avoided the accident). Thank you ahead of time for your prayers! Madyson and Caleb are nearly the same age, and I simply cannot imagine having to watch my little boy suffer in this way!
All my love!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pretty in Pink?

Okay, I changed our blog layout. The old layout kept giving me a "Picture removed by photobucket" square right in the middle of the screen. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what photo it was talking about!

So, what do you think about the new layout? Is it a bit too girly and pink? Will hasn't see it yet, so I'm thinking I have a few days to search the web for a new one I like :)

You were probably hoping this was going to be a post with photos, but I fooled you! Ha! Just kidding! No, but really, we bought a new Mac when we arrived here in Illinois because the movers destroyed our PC. I will be honest in saying that I am totally Mac incompetent. In fact, I have often referred to it as the Apple! Yes, I realize that I am totally comparing this great new computer to my family's first Apple-E computer! Some of you out there will think I am crazy, but I digress. All our photos are downloaded on this magnificent (or so I am told) Mac, and since I have only touched the thing twice since we bought it 3 weeks ago, I am not about to make it 3 times by trying to download pics by myself. So, as soon as I can convince William to do it for me, I will post those pictures... to include... Caleb's fourth birthday party, our last days in Colorado, our fun road trip through Kansas (seriously we made it fun!), the new rental, Caleb's first day of Pre-K, Caleb's soccer team, the Magic house, and our trip to Huntsville.

Since this is no longer a blog all about me (shucks!) I am only going to include one little paragraph about myself :). My health since we arrived here has been fairly good! I have been so thankful that my headaches have been few and far between. Right before we left Colorado I was able to see a Medical Massage Therapist. She was amazing! These sessions were in no way nice relaxing massages though! She was very well trained to work specific muscles in the body, and she knew exactly how to manipulate the muscles up and down my neck and back to release the grasp they had on my Occipital Nerve. It did wonders! Here in Illinois we have not been able to find someone with the same credentials as this therapist, but I have been able to get my referral to a new neurologist. As for my primary care, we have already been experiencing the run around with Tricare. Please pray that we can speak to the right people to get the problems sorted out! I am in need of having some medicines re-leveled, so it is very important for this to happen in a timely manner.

As for ministry happenings, Will and I are encouraged by the opportunities we see around us. The base Chapel is always a place in need of people who are willing to labor for the kingdom. We will be teaching the high school Sunday school class starting this Sunday. We are hoping that this will blossom into some key relationships within the chapel community. There are moms all around that I get to interact with, and I am hoping that those relationships will lead to some great ministry times.

Well, that's about all from Illinois right now. I am busy trying to get the house in order, and anticipating a Midwestern Fall.
Much Love
Teresa for the 3 of us.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Dear friends, it has been quite a while since our last post! We have been very busy getting ourselves settled into our new home here in Illinois. I don't have any pictures to share today, but I will soon be doing a giant photo post. Today I just had to share a few words of inspiration. Will and I have been struggling to make our new rental house feel like a home. Things have been constantly going wrong with this house! Between leaking faucets, broken pipes, dirty bathrooms, a broken dishwasher, and strange smells we are really having to trust that the Lord brought us to this house for His purposes. I stumbled across the following the other day and was brought to tears...

"My Home is God Himself"; Christ brought me there.
I laid me down within His mighty arms;
He took me up, and safe from all alarms
He bore me "where no foot but His hath trod,"
Within the holiest at Home with God,
And bade me dwell in Him, rejoicing there.
O Holy Place! O Home divinely fair!
And we, God's little ones, abiding there.

"My Home is God Himself"; it was not so!
A long, long road I traveled night and day,
And sought to find within myself some way,
Aught I could do, or feel to bring me near;
Self effort failed, and I was filled with fear,
And then I found Christ was the only way,
That I must come to Him and in Him stay,
And God had told me so.

And now "my Home is God," and sheltered there,
God meets the trials of my earthly life,
God compasses me round from storm and strife,
God takes the burden of my daily care.
O Wondrous Place! O Home divinely fair!
And I, God's little one, safe hidden there.
Lord, as I dwell in Thee and Thou in me,
So make me dead to everything but Thee;
That as I rest within my Home most fair,
My soul may evermore and only see
My God in everything and everywhere;
My Home is God.
-Author Unknown

Will and I love that we move every few years at the whim of the Air Force. We are always up for meeting new people and exploring new places. The downside to this is that we also have to "rebuild" our home and our support system. Yes we can always pick up the phone and hear friendly voices, but it takes a little while at a new base before we can just walk next door and see friendly faces. This poem reminded me again that as our family sojourns in this world, we have a permanent eternal home in God. It is perfect, steady, and a place of refuge. What words of comfort!
Much love!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Faith Grows Amid Storms

Well, I headed back to the Neurologist for one final visit last week. It wasn't my last visit because my headache is gone, but because we pack out next week and will be on our way to Scott AFB before the month's end. These past few weeks my headache has become more and more centered in a specific area of my head. I shared this with the neurologist as well as the work I have had done with the D.O. and the comments from the Dentist about my jaw being pulled out of alignment. As we spoke it became more and more clear that the pain I am experiencing is from my Occipital Nerve. This nerve runs from the back of my head (down where my head attaches to my neck) up to the crown of my head. The pain I feel daily radiates out from this line. He shared with me that the "Miracle Drug" I received in the hospital would relieve any rebound headache that I was suffering from (which it did) but would not remove the pain from an Occipital Nerve. Bingo! Now... the question my nerve responding to some stimulus (such as tight neck muscles), or is it a myalgia and therefore creating pain where there is none? No matter what the answer is, the next step is pain management. As we see what works and what doesn't, we will have a better idea of what is going on and how to treat it. So there you have it, the latest medical info!

As we transition to Scott AFB, I feel that it is time to turn this blog back into a family affair. SO, this will be my last post all about me. I will continue to put in updates as they come along, but we are going to return to daily life in the Sage household. To close up my time and thoughts on trials and suffering in the life of a believer I want to share one last entry from my devotional book "Streams in the Desert". Please read all the way through. I promise you will be greatly blessed!

"He hath acquainted Himself with my beaten path. When He hath searched me out, I shall come out shining" Job 23:10

"Faith grows amid storms"- just four words, but oh, how full of import to the soul who has been in the storms! Faith is that God-given faculty which, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view, and by which the impossible things are made possible. It deals with supernaturals.

But it "grows amid storms"; that is, where there are disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere. Storms are caused by the conflicts of elements; and the storms of the spiritual world are conflicts with hostile elements. In such an atmosphere faith finds its most productive soil; in such an element it comes more quickly to fruition.

The staunchest tree is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds from every quarter beat upon it, and bend and twist it until it becomes a giant in stature- this is the tree which the mechanic wants his tools made of, and the wagon-maker seeks.

So in the spiritual world, when you see a giant, remember the road you must travel to come up to his side is not along the sunny lane where wild flowers ever bloom; but a steep rocky, narrow pathway where the blasts of hell will almost blow you off your feet; where the sharp rocks cut the flesh, where the projecting thorns scratch the brow, and the venomous beasts hiss on every side.

It is a pathway of sorrow and joy, of suffering and healing balm, of tears and smiles, of trials and victories, of conflicts and triumphs, of hardships and perils and buffetings, of persecutions and misunderstandings, of troubles and distress; through all of which we are made more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

"Amid storms." Right in the midst where it is fiercest. You may shrink back from the ordeal of a fierce storm of trial... but go in! God is there to meet you in the center of all your trials, and to whisper His secrets which will make you come forth with a shining face and an indomitable faith that all the demons of hell shall never afterwards cause to waver.
--E.A. Kilbourne

All my love

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Family Photos

I thought I would take a break and share some recent family photos we had taken. Enjoy!

Friday, June 25, 2010


So sorry it has been a few days since my last post! I had great intentions of writing out more of what God has been doing, but as usual, life caught up with me, and I did not have the occasion to really give it the time it deserves. To make up for it I added a pic of my handsome son :)

So the second main theme I have been chewing on lately has to do with “Surrender”. As I have walked this desert path, it really has been impossible not to surrender certain areas of my life. I simply cannot fix my own medical problems! But there is so much more to surrender. There was this great poem reprinted in “Intimacy with the Almighty” that sums up my spiritual state of surrender before this season of suffering. I’ll warn you, the author is really truthful… and I am being really transparent when I share this. Do you see yourself in any of this?
When thou wouldst guide me
I control myself.
When thou wouldst be sovereign
I rule myself.
When thou wouldst take care of me
I suffice myself.
When I should depend on thy providing
I supply myself.
When I should submit to thy providence
I follow my will.
When I should study, honour, trust thee,
I serve myself;
I fault and correct thy laws
To suit myself,
Instead of thee
I look to man’s approbation,
and am by nature an idolater.
Lord, it is my chief design to bring my heart back to Thee.
-“The Valley of Vision” collection of Puritan Prayers

Perhaps, like me, you have gotten away with many years of partial surrender, often unaware that there are areas that need to be brought before the savior. I was shocked by the deep recesses of my heart that were gripped with fear when the all these medical things began happening. Had I been fully surrendered fear would not have been my first (and long lasting) reaction. Instead of responding out of the flesh I would have reacted in line with the Holy Spirit.
In the same day I read the following from “Intimacy with the Almighty” as well as the first few chapters from Luke (I have been set up shop in the Gospels for the rest of the year). Compare the following:

Here is how the world/the flesh responds to the call to surrender
Surrender your rights. “Are you kidding me? I’ll sue!”
Surrender your future. “No way. My mind’s made up!”
Surrender your will. “Not me. I give in to no one!”
Surrender your dreams. “Never. I’ve worked too hard!”
Surrender to your spouse. “Me? Get a life!”
Surrender your finances. “What? I’m planning to retire!”

Here is how Mary responds when the Angel appears to her and announces that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Savior:
“Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me as you have been said.” 1:38
Up to this point, Mary has no clue what will happen to her future other than she will carry a baby. What about her fiancé? What about the custom of stoning women who get pregnant out of wedlock? Mary’s only response was that she would be a handmaiden for the Lord. She was willing to surrender everything because she knew she could trust the Lord with her future even if she did not know what it held!
I want to be a handmaiden of the Lord, for physical or spiritual children for the kingdom of God. I do not want to be one of those people who make excuses, out of the flesh, so that I do not surrender my everything. Do you trust the Lord enough to surrender? Or in the back of your mind do you hold on to an excuse from above? If so, ask the Lord to reveal to you when you first began to not trust Him. I had to do this myself the other day. I was challenged by a friend to get to the root of mistrust. The Lord quickly took me back to a memory from middle-school. I had prayed for something, and felt that it was not answered (in retrospect it was answered). But that feeling that I could not trust the Lord to answer certain types of prayers had stuck with me. As I walk through memory lane I can identify this mistrust of the Lord in nearly every stage of my life. The longer the mistrust went un-dealt with, the more it snowballed into more areas of my relationship with God. (It is important to note that identifying areas like this tend to come when we come in stillness and silence before the Lord as I spoke of in the last post.) Once the Holy Spirit had shown me the root of my sin I was able to repent of that sin and claim the promises of scripture that God is faithful to provide for his children and to answer our prayers. Only then could I fully say to the Lord…. I want to be your Handmaiden… I want to surrender completely because I trust you completely.

I have a few more thoughts on the subject, but again I’m running long, so I will try to write again another day.
All my love

Monday, June 21, 2010

Be Still and Know That I am God

I’m glad I got all that medical stuff out of the way in that last post, because as much as it affects my day-to-day life, so does the stuff I want to share in this post!

I am always amazed at the way the Lord arranges things in our lives to line up perfectly so that certain lessons are learned well. There have been a few lately that I have been chewing on, and if you will indulge me a few minutes of your time, I will share.

They all revolve around the theme of being in the center of God’s Will.

I picked up Chuck Swindoll’s “Intimacy with the Almighty” last night. It is a quick read, but makes some great points. He spends some time talking about what Paul puts forward as his Goal in Life from Phil 3:10. To paraphrase… “That I may know Him… progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving… recognizing… understanding… continually transformed…” I love this, and if you notice there is not a caveat for hard times or hard circumstances. We are to be doing this no matter where we are in life! Paul lives out His goal, and his life was far from comfortable! My point being this, sometimes we are smackdab in the middle of God’s will even when we are experiencing suffering, pain, and hardtimes. Simply because we are believers does not mean life will be easy! Despite the circumstance, our goal should be the same as Paul’s goal. Intimacy with God.

“Just where you stand in the conflict, there is your place.
Just where you think you are useless, hide not your face.
God placed you there for a purpose, whate’er it be;
Think He has chosen you for it; work loyally.
Gird on your armor! Be faithful at toil or rest!
Whate’er it be, never doubting God’s way is best.
Out in the fight or on the picket, stand firm and true;
This is the work which your Master gives you to do.”

One theme in the midst of this has been Stillness and Silence. I can’t get away from it! It is all over the psalms, all over the devotions I have been reading lately, and even all over the book I read last night. Have you ever heard someone say “God never speaks to me”? Perhaps you have said it. I know there have been giant seasons in my life where I could not hear His voice. Trust me friends… He is speaking… we are not listening. Scripture commands us to take the time to hear and know God. Read Psalm 46:10 in a couple different translations…

“Be still and know that I am God” NIV

“Cease striving and know that I am God. Stand silent! Know that I am God!” TLB

“Let be and be still, and know- recognize and understand- that I am God” AMP

“Give in,” he cries, “admit that I am God.” Moffat

“Stop fighting,” he says, “and know that I am God.” TEV

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” The Message

Literally STOP and contemplate the Lord, ask Him to speak and wait in silence for Him to speak. The verse from Isaiah 30:21 comes to mind. “And your ears will hear a word behind them saying ‘This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.’”

How about you dear reader, do have time in your day where you get solitude and silence before the Lord? Do you know if you are in the center of His Will? Can you hear His sweet voice speaking to you?

“Be still! Just now be still!
Something thy soul hath never heard,
Something unknown to any song of bird,
Something unknown to any wind, or wave, or star,
A message from the fatherland afar,
That with sweet joy the homesick soul shall thrill,
Cometh to thee if thou canst but be still.

“Be still! Just now be still!
There comes a presence very mild and sweet;
White are the sandals of His noiseless feet.
It is the comforter whom Jesus sent
To teach thee what the words He uttered meant.
The willing, waiting spirit, He doth fill.
If thou would’st hear His message,
Dear soul, be still!”

I have more to this lesson that I long to share, but this post is getting long. So in hopes that u will read it, I will stop here, and write the rest tomorrow!
All my Love

Adventures in Headaches

Well, let’s just get the medical stuff out of the way, shall we? The hospital stay was… interesting. I learned there is nothing wrong with my gallbladder. The pain I was feeling could very well have been my gallbladder readjusting itself after coming off months of narcotics used to numb my headaches. All I know is that no doctor or prescription pamphlet ever said anything about Percocet and Vicodin affecting my gallbladder strangely!

So, for the headache, let’s just say I may now be the one and only patient that Dr. Williams has ever had where the “miracle” drug DHE did not break the migraine. I caught a cold a day or two before entering the hospital, so it was in full swing once I was admitted. When they would ask if my headache was gone I always had to answer no because I was always congested. They hoped that once the cold went away there would be no headache there. That was not the case.

But, don’t worry, the Lord always provides! While Dr. Williams is my personal neurologist and would check in on me each day, I was technically assigned to which ever Hospitalist was on duty from my practice. The first day we met Dr. Workman. He is technically a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine and not an MD. He was the first Doc that said… “If” this med does not work, I want you to go see my friend, Dr. Alex (actually his name is MUCH longer but no one can pronounce it so they call him Dr. Alex). Dr. Workman then felt around my neck and jaw area which is one of the trigger points of the headache. He immediately touched areas that made me cringe a little bit, but could follow the tight muscles that were causing the pain. Will told me later that while he was doing all this with his eyes closed like he was imagining what he would be seeing inside my neck. The Doc’s next comment was that no matter if the medicine broke the headache or not, I would have reoccurring headaches unless I got those muscled in my neck taken care of.

I was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after 4 long days of IV drugs. I headed home with a headache and a cold. Monday morning I called and made an appointment with Dr. Alex. I also had to make an appointment to see my dentist to have some paperwork signed for a medical clearance for our upcoming move.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Dr. Alex. He is a family practitioner, but DO’s (Doctor of osteopathic medicine) have a different philosophy of care. It is much more holistic. Anyway, I explained my headaches in detail, especially the neck part. He got me up on the table and did some neck manipulations to loosen everything up (commenting that he could feel exactly what I described) . Then he got deep into my neck and placed pressure on a few different areas that would help release the headache. It has been all twisted up for almost 5 months now, so it will take more than one adjustment to get untwisted! But I was hopeful walking out of there! I go back on Tuesday for another adjustment.

The next day was my dentist appointment. Dr. Camerino had to sign-off on paper work saying I had no major dental problems. This of course required x-rays since June is my regular month for cleanings. I mentioned the headache to her and how it spreads in my neck and up my right side through my jaw. When she did the big x-ray (u know the one that moves around your head and gives you a full picture of your mouth) we could see that my jaw on the right side looked different than the left. As she began to examine the area around there she could feel all the muscle pulling much tighter and could follow them back around into my neck (exactly as Dr. Alex could feel). She decided to forward my x-ray to a specialist for a consult just to be safe. In addition she made me a bite guard to wear at night and prescribed some muscle relaxers to take at night to see if it will allow my headache to break if there are no neck/jaw muscle tugging at my head. I ran it past my other Doctors first and they all said it was worth a try! Who knew The Dentist is the place to go for Migraine help?

So for the last few days I have still had headaches, but they have been lighter than before. I have been trying to take better care of my neck by using a heating pad, and paying attention to relaxing my shoulder muscles and jaw muscle.

And there we have it. The journey continues!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Headache That Never Seems to End

Well we have tried all our other options as far as the Doctors and insurance are concerned. So, I am headed for the Hospital visit. The nurse called this morning to confirm some details, and now I am just waiting for the call from the Doc to tell me which hospital he wants me to show up at. The treatment will consist of 2-3 days of an IV drug called DHE for short.

I'm feeling thankful that I will finally get relief, but a bit daunted by the whole three days of laying in a hospital bed, feeling drugged up, poked and prodded, and being bored out my noggin!

I will say I am having a hard time reconciling this hospital stuff with the time I have spent in the Word. It is not that God does not heal through medicine, it is that I envisioned being healed by other means. Isn't that silly? I have spoken about not planning ahead over and over in this blog, and yet without even knowing it I had this neat little scheme in my head of how I wanted God to heal me! So even in this hospital visit God continues to shape and form me into a follower who is learning to just trust at every turn. I'm getting the hang of it... but I must have one thick head!!!!

So please pray for this medicine and the healing hands of God to eradicate this headache and not let it come back! Pray for the Doctors and Nurses that I come in contact with and that I would be a blessing to them and not just another patient. Pray that in the hours of drugged sitting I might have sweet time with God and that the Evil One would stay far away! Lastly pray for Will and Caleb as they have no wife/mommy for a few days.

You won't hear from me for a few days most likely, but I will update u when I am released from the hospital. (oh and I had a scan of my gallbladder today. It will be a few days till the results get back to my internal med Doctor. I am just praying it is some mild random pain that disappears, and that I don't need my gallbladder removed next week!)
All my love

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Rescue me in Truth and Faithfulness

I could not help but share part of the psalm I read this morning…
Psalm 69:1-3,13-17,29-36

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck [they threaten my life].
I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overwhelm me.
I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail with waiting [hopefully] for my God.
But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord. At an acceptable and opportune time, O God, in the multitude of Your mercy and the abundance of Your loving-kindness hear me, and in truth and faithfulness of Your salvation answer me.
Rescue me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me and from out of the deep waters.
Let not the floodwaters overflow and overwhelm me, neither let the deep swallow up nor the [dug] pit close its mouth over me.
Hear and answer me, O Lord, for Your loving-kindness is sweet and comforting; according to Your plenteous tender mercy and steadfast love turn to me.
Hide not Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress; O answer me speedily!
But I am poor, sorrowful, and in pain; let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.
I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with thanksgiving,
And I will please the Lord better than an ox or a bullock that has horns and hoofs.
The humble shall see it and be glad; you who seek God, inquiring for and requiring Him [as your first need], let your hearts revive and live!
For the Lord hears the poor and needy and despises not His prisoners (His miserable and wounded ones).
Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them.
For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; and [His servants] shall remain and dwell there and have it in their possession:
The children of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His name shall dwell in it.

Deep sigh ……. Honey to my soul!

I had my Neurology appointment today. The Bottom line… Lord willing, my headache should be gone in two weeks max.

The Doc thinks the headache is really a rebound headache, exaggerated by the other medical conditions and the excessive narcotics I have been prescribed. So, I am happy to say there is no more Vicodin, Percocet, Darvocet, Tylenol, or even Motrin in my future! Today I started a migraine type pain reliever and some steroids to help my body heal itself. If that doesn’t break it, then on Friday I will start an IV med in the Neurologist’s office. I can repeat that procedure again on Monday if needed in office. The Neurologist (Dr. Williams) goes on His Hospital rotation the second half of next week, so if the migraine is still with us, then He will go ahead and check me in to the hospital for about three days. He actually said that the most effective way to get rid of a headache like this is to get me in the hospital for about three straight days of IV drugs. Unfortunately there is a major shortage of Neurologists in this town, so hospitals frown on checking in migraine patients when their attending neurologist is not there to oversee their treatment. That being said, we are so thankful for this wonderful news, and also hoping that my headache is gone before we get to the hospital stage. Partly for the obvious reason that hospital stays are not always the most pleasant, and secondly because we have an anniversary trip planned to Vegas over that weekend!

So, there it is in a nut shell!!! We might just be coming to the end of a journey here! I am once again praying for the Lord’s glory, that my life, even in suffering, might be used for the furthering of His Kingdom, and that the lessons I have learned in this desert time would change the trajectory of my story forever!

Much Love

Friday, May 28, 2010


Will and I have been blessed to be attending some marriage counseling for the past 6 weeks. Think of it as preventative maintenance as opposed to emergency intervention. One of the benefits of being on associate staff with the Navigators is access to their People Resource Team, or PRT for short. I think both Will and I would say that it is the highlight of our week because we always walk away challenged to know, serve, and love each other more like Christ. Our counselors, Dave and Jill, are a married couple who have helped us open up some new lines of communication during these very intense medical and spiritual circumstances.

In our last session we ended by praying only in thanksgivings. By spending time praising God for the things we are thankful for in our lives, without asking for anything from Him, it begins to become clear how much we are blessed.

That’s what I want to do today. Here is my prayer, will you join me in praising God for all the blessings in your own life?

Thank you Father for an amazing husband who loves me, who has been on this journey with me every step of the way, a son to brighten my day, for his handsome smile, and loving kisses, my mom for talking to me on the phone nearly every day and my dad for sharing some real spiritual conversations, for neighbors who are willing to just hang out, for the miracle of my new niece to be born in the next few weeks, for medicine that keeps me stabilized, for income that allows me to stay home each day, for Will getting a break from work today, for Will’s time in prayer yesterday, for my time in the wilderness, for the beauty of the mountains out my windows, for the lessons the Lord has been teaching me daily, for delight in the truth of God’s Word, for the blessing of not knowing what comes next, for the doctors who are treating me, for the PRT team and their great wealth of godly wisdom that they share with us, For the examples of others we have seen in times of suffering while here in Colorado, That my Lord is in control and that this process is for my good, for the friendship of Vern and Janell, for nearly 5 years of marriage, for provision to give to the ApParent project, that we can approach the Lord in prayer, that prayer is pure delight, for all these things, and more I say Thank you Father! Amen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wit's End

This poem exemplifies how I have felt lately. It is taken from Psalm 107:27,28 “At their wit’s end they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out.”

Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner,”
Christian, with troubled brow?
Are you thinking of what is before you,
And all you are bearing now?
Does all the world seem against you,
And you in the battle alone?
Remember- at “Wit’s End Corner”
Is just where God’s power is shown.

Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner,”
Blinded with wearying pain,
Feeling you cannot endure it
You cannot endure the strain,
Bruised through the constant suffering,
Dizzy, and dazed, and numb?
Remember- at “Wit’s End Corner”
Is where Jesus loves to come.

Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”?
Your work before you spread,
All lying before you, unfinished,
And pressing on heart and head,
Longing for strength to do it,
Stretching out trembling hands?
Remember- at “Wit’s End Corner”
The Burden-bearer stands.

Are you standing at “Wit’s end Corner”?
Then you’re just in the very spot
To learn the wondrous resources
Of Him who faileth not.
No doubt to a brighter pathway
Your footsteps will soon be moved,
But only at “Wit’s End Corner”
Is the “God who is able” proved.
-Antoinette Wilson

I started my hormonal birth control pill every night to try to control the hormonal imbalances from the polycystic ovary syndrome, and in hopes that it would relieve some of the headache. I have been on them for about a week now. My headaches might be lightening up slightly, but it is hard to tell. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, my body has reacted negatively to the extra dose of hormones. In fact it feels like I am in the first trimester of pregnancy (but there is absolutely no way I am pregnant!). I find myself nauseated all day long. My stomach cramps up just like it did when I was pregnant with Caleb. I am falling asleep all over the place. We are praying that my body will adjust, because I really need to stay on these pills for at least one cycle to see if my headache is hormonally related.

So, you can see why I feel like I am at my Wit’s end. I have a throbbing headache all day, I am nauseous all day, I am often falling asleep at the wrong times, I still have odd anxiety related symptoms like light chest pains and trembling hands and lips, and I think I am developing TMJ. I am on Vicodin half the day so I cannot drive myself anywhere, and I have mood swings that we are unable to pinpoint the cause of because it could be side effects of about 5 medicines, or brain chemistry, or hormones.

I posted the poem first today before the medical update, because it is really important for me right now to keep perspective. As I read through the psalms I am daily confronted with David’s full reliance on God despite circumstance. I might be at Wit’s End, but I will rely on God. My circumstances do not change the Truth of God’s word or my confidence, hope, or trust in God’s deliverance and salvation of His people.

That being said, please pray for God’s greatest Glory to be shown through my life, and my family’s, even in the midst these crazy circumstances.

All my love

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Well it has been a little while since my last post. I have been doing a lot of talking with God lately. There are many things I would like to share here, and too little space, and I am sure, a lot of it is just too much info for a lot of you!

So let’s start here… My headaches persist. If possible they are even worst. I am still convinced that the medical and the spiritual are connected here. That is not to say that I will have this headache until God is done with whatever he is doing or vice versa, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord is ultimately in control of this headache. I will see a neurologist on June 1st.

A Verse was pointed out to me the other day by our friend Mike. The more I read it and meditate on it the more it applies to me. It is found in Hosea 2:14-15 “Therefore, behold, I(God) will allure her and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart. There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Troubling to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth…”

How Beautiful! The Lord has brought me into the wilderness of this sickness. I am unable to listen to or be distracted by the things of life that usually keep me from listening to Him. And he has spoken softly to me day to day about the deep issues and longings of my heart. He has provided healing and freedom, and we are just now venturing into some other areas to do the same. It is often painful for me to see the state of my own heart, but there is the Lord alluring me back to Him with the beauty of His grace and never a harsh word. I am so thankful to be in the wilderness, I hope and pray that all my dear friends will have a time where the Lord brings them here as well. It is not comfortable, but it is beyond compare to anything else I have experienced with my savior. It is sweet, even if it is painful.

One of the devotionals lately was speaking of the necessity of cloudy days. They water the ground below, and without them the land would be barren. In a believers life we often moan and cry when the clouds come, when the gray days of mundane activities, or some sort of trial or suffering come our way. I thought it was rather cute that the author comments, “If only we could see the cloud from the other side”. The original print date of the devotional was 1925, so there is a good chance that perhaps she never had seen the clouds from the other side! But her point holds, they reflect all the sun, all the glory back into the heavens. If we can see our cloudy days from the throne room of heaven we would see beauty! I stopped to think about this for awhile, and how exactly God would see beauty in my situation. My day consists of getting up and popping a handful of pills, doing a quiet time, feeding my son, spending the next 4 hours on the couch while my son plays, feeding lunch and taking more pills, more couch time, making dinner, more pills, bedtime. Not very glamorous! The meds keep me from driving anywhere and the headache keeps me from reading for any period longer than an hour. So where is the beauty?

I know where it is, and Will reminded me, and the Lord reminded and our friend Mike reminded me… it is not in my circumstance, it is the posture of my heart. For the first time in my life I can honestly say that my will is not my own. This is big, because I would have said it before and thought I meant it, but I was holding on to many things. Remember Jesus in the Garden before the guards came to arrest Him? He prayed to the His Father “If it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.”Matt 26:39 This is Beauty!!! I am not the son of God OBVIOUSLY! And my little trial and suffering is no where near the magnitude of salvation for believers!!!!! But, my pray these days has become, “Lord if there is any possible way to do this without the pain of the headache and still have your greatest glory then let’s do that; but above all else I want your greatest glory to be shown, and if that means a headache for the rest of my earthly life then I’ll take it!” That’s the beauty of the other side of the clouds!

I WILL delight in my Lord all the days of my life, despite pain and hard circumstance, because I know I can trust Him, and I know he will change my valley of trouble to a door of hope and expectation. I used to study His word for hours a week (and when I would tell people that I would have a little prickly of pride inside) but it had become an idol, these past months He has torn it down stone by stone, and I now delight in His word morning after morning. What a difference! I am forever changed by my time in the wilderness, and we are not done yet! I would follow my savior to the ends of the earth, not out of duty or obedience, but out of delight because HE has my heart.

All my Love

Friday, April 30, 2010

Medical update

Today is just a quick note to update you on some medical stuff. I headed to the Doctor on Wednesday to address the increasing headaches. He increased my nightly headache regulator medicine (called Topamax). He gave me a prescription for Vicodin, which thus far has had no effect on me whatsoever, and lastly he gave me a referral to a neurologist. My OB/GYN has written the prescription for the birth control pills which will eliminate any hormonal imbalances that might be contributing to the migraines.

Please keep praying for some relief, and ultimately that we get to the root of the problem. I am still convinced that there is a spiritual side to all of this, and so I am earnestly in pray for God's will to be done, and His greatest glory to be shown.

Much Love

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shining is Always Costly

Good morning all! It has been over a week since I wrote my last post. Usually when I write something about things God is teaching me I am well into the process of learning it! Well God surprised me this time (I don’t know why I should be surprised though… He’s God!), and the lesson from my last post was brought up over and over in the last week in many different forms. When I least expected it God would reveal another aspect of what it meant to trust him fully.

For example, we were at the Salter’s house for dinner, and there was a devotional book sitting on the table. Will opened it to the days date, and read it, knew it was not meant for him, and quickly handed it to me. There it was, clear as day, God pointed out the lie that I believe that makes me not trust completely. I make planning an Idol. When there are idols in our lives, we are unable to fully obey the first commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength”. When my mind is busy planning all future possibilities, I am unable to hear the Lord’s voice.

The Spirit has confronted me over and over through the psalms about my worrying over what the future holds. I realized that if I go to the Lord in Prayer about a circumstance and walk away still anxious, I have not really exercised trust. If I have trusted I will have laid it at his feet and be able to walk away in peace that the Lord is in control, and no matter how it turns out, it is to His glory.

Will and I stopped by this giant Christian bookstore on Monday. I am not usually one to decorate with outright Christian artwork. But we were walking through the home décor area anyway. As I turned a corner I came face to face with an oil painting that took my breath away. It was Jesus in the desert, sitting down with his head on his knees. The sky above him had a sunset in the far background, but a dark cloud over Him. The scripture reference was to Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to understand and sympathize and have shared feelings with our weaknesses and infirmities and liabilities to the assaults of temptation, but One who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.” I was in tears as I stood before this painting. My savior knows my pain. He has been in darkness, in isolation, and felt loneliness on this earth, and it was for His good , and part of the defeat of evil. He spent His time in prayer, seeking intimacy with His Father, should I not do the same?

Also this week I got the results from a Uterine Biopsy. All was clear, so I am very thankful for that. On the flip side, my headache seems to be getting worst again. There is not a point in the day when I do not have a headache. What was once subsiding slowly is coming back with vengeance. To be honest I am not sure how to proceed from here. I am praying fervently for some relief, and yet for God’s greatest glory. I have often thought that once I am healed I will be a great testimony for God’s grace and providential mercy in our lives. But I ran across this in my QT this morning…

“Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining. We cannot be of great use to others without cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering. We shrink from pain.
We are apt to feel that we are doing our greatest good in the world when we are strong, and able for active duty, and when the heart and hands are full of kindly service. When we are called aside and can only suffer; when we are sick; when we are consumed by pain; when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are no longer of use, that we are not doing anything.
But if we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing to the world in our time of suffering and pain than we were in the days when we thought we were doing most of our work. We are burning now, and shining because we are burning.
Many want the glory without the cross, the shining without the burning, but crucifixion comes before coronation.”

I don’t know how this works. I don’t know how I am shining in my current state of constant headache. But I do know that it is not me who gives off the aroma of Christ, but it is Christ in me. And if I believe Galatians 2:20 as I do (I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me) then I expect no less than God’s glory to shine brightly through my sufferings.

Please pray for our little family… a few things to keep in mind…
1- Wisdom for interactions with Doctors and with medications
2- That the headaches would subside
3- That William would be given an extra amount of strength as he cares for me and Caleb
4- That we would all grow more intimate with our Savior through the process

Much Love- Teresa

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sailing with Sealed Orders

I thought this morning I would share one of the larger lessons that I am learning through this process. As I have said before, I believe that the Lord has allowed this time of affliction in my life for my good. I cannot point to a specific reason why, but I can say that He is working on things in my life that I did not even know were there, and I am so thankful. I have spent most of my time in the Word in the Psalms and Proverbs, and then in the devotional I introduced awhile back called Streams in the Desert.

One day all my readings seemed to line up with the theme of waiting. The devotional was speaking of how the Lord will often use times like this to make us wait on our calling because there are either lessons to be learned or it is not yet God’s timing. I immediately took this as a moment of Hope and thanked God that I might in fact be in a pattern of holding. BUT, I added to that prayer that if only God would let me know what it was I was holding for. A baby? Adopting a baby? Writing a book? I spoke with Will about it and how excited I would be if God would just let me know, and that I thought I would ask Him. I knew He most likely would not tell me, but I would ask anyway. Nothing too bad yet, right?

The next morning as I sat in prayer and read through God’s word and the devotional I found this paragraph:
“By faith Abraham, when He was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed.” (Hebrews 11:8)
Where he went, he knew not; it was enough for him to know that he went with God. He leant not so much on the promises as on the Promiser. He looked not on the difficulties of his lot, but on the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, who had deigned to appoint his course, and would certainly vindicate Himself. O glorious faith! This is thy work, these are thy possibilities; contentment to sail with sealed orders, because of an unwavering confidence in the wisdom of the Lord High Admiral; a willinghood to rise up, leave all and follow Christ, because of the glad assurance that earth’s best cannot bear comparison to Heaven’s least. –F.B.M.

Did you get that?? Contentment to sail with sealed orders? I can say that I am willing, if I have to, to sail with sealed orders … but contentment? Just the day before I had displayed that I was not content to do this! If you know me well, you know that I research each available possibility for the future. I go out of my way to know all information ahead of time. I have told myself for years that this is part of my personality. But is it really? As we awaited our next military assignment, I checked the assignment portal (or asked Will to) several times a day. I have looked at every possible rental house in the Belleville area, even though we do not move for months. I cannot tell you how many times I have said to Will, "If only God would just tell me if we will ever have more kids!" You see, I can trust that God has His best for me. That’s not my struggle. It is that I want to know ahead of time what that best is.

That brings us back to contentment…realizing that God has provided everything that I need for my present happiness. In 1 Timothy 6:6-8 “Godliness accompanied with contentment is great and abundant gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we can take nothing out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content and satisfied.”

So here is my lesson. Trusting God is more than knowing he has the best for me, it is resting in it enough to be content with where I am today. (anyone else seeing the connection here between discontentment, and anxiousness?) This is not easy for me. In fact it will take an act of the Holy Spirit to change my heart, to teach me to lean not on the promise, but on the Promiser. And in case you are wondering, at times God does reveal future plans to us, but it is in His timing and to His glory alone. Please pray with me as I learn to trust, and learn to be content day by day with the provisions of the Lord.
Much Love -T

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Good Company

I am so blessed in the midst of this whole thing to be in good company! There are many of you out there who have had similar experiences and have given words of encouragement and wisdom. I am forever grateful! It seems this Anxiety/depression phenomenon is more widespread than I realized. A few years back this fabulous preacher in Texas, Tommy Nelson, went through the same thing. He was later interviewed by Family Life Canada about the whole ordeal. It has been great to hear such a wise man (that Will and I often listen to online), share the same struggles and thoughts that I have had in the past few months. Interestingly, in older times this imbalance of brain chemistry was referred to as Melancholy. Obviously they didn’t know it was brain chemistry at the time, but they were aware that it was more than simply a negative mood or inadequate coping behaviors… they knew there was something medically wrong. And again I find myself in good company with the likes of Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, Lord Tennyson, Sir Isaac Newton, and Charlotte Bronte.

Why do I share all this today? Well, I was feeling very thankful this morning as I dropped Caleb off at preschool and headed to Starbucks by myself to read. This is one of my favorite past times and I have not done it since 2009. That’s right; nearly 3.5 months of not doing one of your favorite things… and today I got to do it. It shows how far I have come since January. I thought to myself, “There have been so many who have gone before me in disorder, and they have survived and paved the way, I will do the same!”

My reading today brought me to 2 Corinthians 12, a very fitting chapter for sure! Paul has been given what he calls a “Thorn in his side”. He begs the Lord to take it away, and here is the response… vs. 9-10 (This is in the amplified so it is a bit wordy)

“But He said to me, ‘My Grace (My favor and loving-kindness, and mercy) is enough for you (Sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully); for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and complete) and show themselves most effective in your weakness.’
Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
So for the sake of Christ, I am pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak (in human strength) then I am truly strong (able, powerful in divine strength).”

How incredible is that?

Here is what A.B. Simpson wrote about it:
“Here is the secret of divine all-sufficiency, to come to the end of everything in ourselves and in our circumstances. When we reach this place, we will stop asking for sympathy because of our hard situation or bad treatment, for we will recognize these things as the very conditions of our blessing, and we will turn from them to God and find in them a claim upon Him.”

So where are you dear reader? I know where I am! I have nothing left to give or to manipulate in my circumstance. My hands are off and are instead turned heavenward in praise and supplication. What a place to be! Having a “thorn” in your side is not fun, in fact it is often painful, but I can honestly call it a blessing. How about you? Is there a trial, a suffering, a circumstance, a pain, a “thorn” in your life? Are you ready to take pleasure in it as Paul did or call it a blessing as Simpson has? Thoughts to ponder. Love u -T

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Great is Your Faithfulness

Well, we have good news on the medical front! The cardiologist has said that my heart is completely healthy. All the palpitations and pain that I was experiencing was completely related to the Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This is fabulous news… especially since my chest pain has sent us to the ER 6 times in the past year. (Side note… if u want to get to the top of the triage in the ER say “Chest pain!”) I also saw my internal medicine Doc this morning. We adjusted some meds to try and work on this headache (we are going on 80 days of headache now) and also to try to get me off the anti-anxiety drug and solely on the anti-depressant. He did say that often people with GAD that has been undiagnosed for so long can tend to be resistant to the low level anxiety drugs. SO… there we have it. I will continue to see the Doc and take meds to level out my brain chemistry. Since I am literally wired incorrectly, I will most likely be on meds of some sort for life. On the Fertility front, I had my uterine Biopsy last week, and it will take up to three weeks to get results. From there we are probably looking at some form of hormonal birth control to help the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and this will also help the headaches. Obviously this will not be a long term cure since the point is to get pregnant! All in all I feel well cared for and I pray daily for the wisdom of my Doctors.

Now on to something else!
One of the very first verses that stuck in my head as the fog of depression and Percocet cleared was perhaps one of the simple truths of the faith. God’s faithfulness, mercy, and compassion to us does not change. It comes from Lamentations 3:22-23. I memorized it years ago in the NIV version, which will sound familiar to many of you:

“Because of the LORD’s great Love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Now I want you to read it in the Amplified Version through verse 25.

“It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His tender compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion and share, says my living being, my inner self; therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him (inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word).”

I cannot tell you the magnitude of this truth. God is faithful to me whether I am serving others, cleaning the house, or taking a handful of pills simply to function that day. I especially love these verses because it reminds me that no matter how bad my yesterday was, my today can be different. As we work to get my meds leveled out, I find that I go in cycles… often feeling the best in the morning, and doing a nose dive in the evenings. This is when my headache will come back in full force, and the feeling of adrenaline rushing through my fingers or legs tends to bother me. But it is OKAY… I reboot over night, and so does the Lord’s compassion and faithfulness to me. What a blessing it is to know that even when I am a mess, the Lord is faithful and stable. I will “hope and wait expectantly” in Him!

“When obstacles and trials seem
Like prison walls to be,
I do the little I can do
And leave the rest to thee.
And when there seems no chance, no change,
From grief can set me free,
Hope finds its strength in helplessness,
And calmly waits for thee.”

Love you guys!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Christ's Victory

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph (as trophies of Christ’s victory) and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance and the knowledge of God everywhere, for we are the sweet fragrance of Christ…” II Cor. 2:14-15a

I learned long ago in Sunday school that God gets his greatest glory in using something lowly to defeat something high. He uses someone common like Abraham to establish a great nation, He uses a single poor teenager to carry His son into the world, and He uses common fishermen to take His Gospel to the ends of the earth.

What often seems like a great defeat for God is actually His triumph. Can I explain? For the past two years I would say I have been in a trial, suffering silently as we try to conceive another child. The more recent addition of anxiety and depression magnify the suffering. But oh how sweet the time has been! Hard to understand? Believe me, I know! Maybe these two writings will shed some light better than my own words can.

“If there is a great trial in your life today, do not own it as a defeat, but continue by faith, to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you more than a conqueror, and a glorious victory will soon be apparent. Let us learn that in all the hard places God brings us into, He is making opportunities for us to exercise such faith in Him as will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His name” - Life of Praise

“Defeat may serve as well as victory
To shake the soul and let the glory out.
When the great oak is strained in the wind,
The boughs drink in new beauty, and the trunk
Sends down a deeper root on the windward side.
Only the soul that knows the mighty grief
Can know the mighty rapture. Sorrows come
To stretch out spaces in the heart for joy.”

Will and I started this journey over two years ago thinking it was about fertility, and then getting good doctors, and then solving the puzzling mystery of my new symptoms. But it really is about so much more. It is our chance to address some heart level things in our marriage, in our walks with Christ, in our parenting, and ultimately it is about asking the question of whether we will claim Christ’s victory as our own.

Thank you for reading. Sorry it is less about the medical stuff. No fear, the tests are progressing, meds are being adjusted, and when there is something of significance to share, I will share. But, I hope that you find, as we have, that it is less about my body’s malfunctions and more about God’s glory! Love u. T

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Psalm of David

One of the hallmarks of this anxiety disorder is that negative thoughts about you seem to come like second nature. As a Christian I know that most of these thoughts come from none other than the accuser himself. I experienced some of these thoughts this morning before I even got out of bed. They were lies about me, but they made me angry at Will. I told him I didn’t really like him at the moment, but I wasn’t sure why. Later I was able to identify what that lie was that Satan had whispered in my ear. Will and I read Psalm 143 together over breakfast, and were comforted by David’s words. If David ever suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, this would have been the psalm he wrote! I am not the first to be oppressed by Satan’s lies, and I believe this disease allows a stronghold for Satan if not treated correctly. But atlas, God is faithful! How great is God’s word!

Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, and in Your righteousness.
And enter not into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no man living is in himself righteous or justified.
For the enemy has pursued and persecuted my soul, he has crushed my life down to the ground; he has made me to dwell in dark places as those who have long been dead.
Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed and faints within me, wrapped in gloom; my heart within my bosom grows numb.
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I ponder the word of Your hands.
I spread forth my hands to You; my soul thirsts after You like a thirsty land for water.
Answer me speedily, O Lord, for my spirit fails; hide not Your face from me, lest I become like those who go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on you do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I flee toYou to hide me.
Teach me to do Your will, for you are my God; let Your good spirit lead me into a level country and into the land of uprightness.
Save my life, O Lord, for Your name’s sake; in Your righteousness, bring my life out of trouble and free me from distress.
And in your mercy and loving-kindness, cut off my enemies and destroy all those who afflict my inner self, for I am Your servant.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Victorious Suffering

No I did not give up the blog again. Caleb was feeling a bit under the weather, and therefore so was I.
I am excited to say that I was able to take my heart monitor off about 3 o’clock this morning (yippee!)… no more blinking lights and random beeps! I will see the cardiologist on the 4th of April for my results. Now I have the task of getting the giant blisters (yuk) to heal without scarring.

I have spent some more time in prayer really asking God how all of this in life is connected and what really strikes me is that it is more interconnected than I realized. Life, marriage, kids, health, trusting the Lord… there really is no separating them. We were created ultimately to be spiritual beings (psalm 139) and so when we separate the medical out from that aspect, we are only seeing part of the picture. I feel that I am finally thinking clearly enough (thank you Celexa) to start to process a lot of what has happened over the past two years. If I had to sum it all up… I would have to say… Blessed be the name of the Lord! If you are interested in this prayer process I would love to share more. PLEASE ask!

Here is that second entry from Streams in the Desert that I wanted to share. Enjoy.
“Out of the spoils won in battle did they dedicate to maintain the house of the Lord.” 1 Chron. 26:27

Physical force is stored in the bowels of the earth, in the coal mines, which came from the fiery heat that burned up great forests in ancient ages; and so spiritual force is stored in the depths of our beings, through the very pain which we cannot understand.

Some day we shall find that the spoils we have won from our trials were just preparing us to become true “Great Hearts” in Pilgrim’s Progress, and to lead our fellow pilgrims triumphantly through trial to the city of the king.

But let us never forget that the source of our helping other people must be victorious suffering. The whining, murmuring pang never does anybody any good.

Paul did not carry a cemetery with him, but a chorus of victorious praise; and the harder the trial, the more he trusted and rejoiced, shouting from the very altar of sacrifice. He said, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the service and sacrifice of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.” Lord, help me this day to draw strength from all that comes to me! – Days of Heaven upon Earth

“He placed me in a little cage,
Away from gardens fair;
But I must sing the sweetest songs
Because He placed me there.
Not beat my wings against the cage
If it’s my Maker’s will,
But raise my voice to Heaven’s gate
And sing the louder still!”

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Desiring The Refiner's Fire

For the next two days I want to quote from the book “Streams In The Desert” by Mrs. Charles Cowman. I’m not trying to flake out on you here, but her writing and understanding of these scriptures is so accurate that I could not say it any better. Much of what she says in this first post is what I continue to hear from the spirit as I listen in Prayer. Enjoy!

“And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mt. Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush… saying… I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.” Acts 7:30,32,34

God is never in a hurry but spends years with those he expects to greatly use. He never thinks the days of preparation too long or too dull.

The hardest ingredient in suffering is often time. A short, sharp pang is easily borne, but when a sorrow drags its weary way through long monotonous years, and day after day returns with the same dull routine of hopeless agony, the heart loses its strength, and without the grace of God is sure to sink into the very sullenness of despair.

Joseph’s was a long trial, and God often has to burn his lessons into the depths of our being by the fires of protracted pain. “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,” but He knows how long, and like a true goldsmith He stops the fires the moment He sees his image in the glowing metal. We may not see now the outcome of the beautiful plan which God is hiding in the shadow of His hand; it yet may be long concealed; but faith may be sure that He is sitting on the throne, calmly waiting the hour when, with adoring rapture, we shall say, “All things have worked together for good.”

Like Joseph, let us be more careful to learn all the lessons in the school of sorrow than we are anxious for the hour of deliverance. There is a need-be for every lesson, and when we are ready, our deliverance shall surely come, and we shall find that we could not have stood in our place of higher service without the very things that were taught to us in the ordeal. God is educating us for the future, for higher service and nobler blessing; and if we have the qualities that fit us for the throne, nothing can keep us from it when God’s time has come. Give God time to speak to you and reveal His will. He is never too late; learn to wait.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Radiance of the Rain

Well this blog has once more been abandoned. For good reason. Perhaps over the past few years you have called here or stopped by and heard something along the lines of:

Teresa doesn’t feel good… headaches… infertility… chest pain… going to the ER again… don’t know what’s wrong… sorry we have to pass for health reasons…

Some of you have walked along this road the whole way with us, others have gotten glimpses along the way. But here it is as we currently understand it. I (Any one mind if I just write in the first person?) have something along the lines of generalized anxiety disorder.

In my case, the anxiety is not caused by circumstance, but biology. This means I am wired “incorrectly”, most likely genetically from my one of my parent's blood lines. It means that my body’s “Fight or Flight” response kicks into gear without any stimulus. Imagine if someone screamed that your child had just fallen out a second story window. You would have that feeling in the pit of your stomach, the adrenaline rush, and the instant spring into action. My body does this, only no one yelled anything and no one is in trouble. My symptoms included shaking, nausea, migraines, overwhelming feelings of doom, numbness, chest pain, heart palpitations, panic attacks. At its’ worst I was unable to sleep, carry on conversations, read, cook, balance, etc. It is important to note that anxiety like this is actually a chemical imbalance in the brain, the same imbalance that causes depression. Every time I was having an attack I was losing serotonin. They are two sides of the same coin. By the time I was diagnosed with the anxiety I was already in clinical depression because my serotonin had been depleted. I am currently on a low dose anxiety medicine to keep me leveled out while they use an anti-depressant to ramp up my serotonin levels again. Counseling for coping behaviors comes next.

I am currently finishing up a month’s worth of heart monitoring to make sure the palpitations and chest pain were simply from the anxiety. I have also seen an OB-GYN and have been officially diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This has long been suspected, but this time all my labs and ultrasounds were very obvious. I go in next week for a uterine biopsy to rule out anything else, and then we will begin treating the PCOS. For those who do not know much about PCOS, there is still the possibility to conceive, it just means that my ovaries produce very small cysts each month because of some hormone imbalances. It is not fully understood, so Docs treat individual symptoms instead of a larger cause.

Phew!! I got all that medical stuff out of the way! Let’s be honest, that stuff is boring, and not my favorite topic. The real reason I share all that is because there is so much more I want to share about the journey! So if you will indulge me for awhile, this blog is going to become the place for words and thought about the place of suffering in a believers life… and more specifically in my life! God does not do things by accident, and while the Doc might say that this is just something biologically wrong with me, I know that it is no less than the very fingerprint of my Lord. I am thankful for it.

I have been through trials, some small and temporary, others lasting a bit longer, but this one surpasses them all. I will use this chance to introduce some amazing poetry that I have found that the Holy Spirit has really used to minister to my soul. I hope u enjoy it as much as I have. This one is inspired from Ezek.34:26 “I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”

“The landscape, brown and sere beneath the sun,
Needs but the cloud to lift it into life;
The dews may damp the leaves of tree and flower,
But it requires the cloud-distilled shower
To bring rich verdure to the lifeless life.

“Ah, how like this, the landscape of a life:
Dews of trial fall like incense, rich and sweet;
But bearing little in the crystal tray-
Like nymphs of night, dews lift at break of day
And transient impress leave, like lips that meet.

“But clouds of trials, bearing burdens rare,
Leave in the soul, a moisture settled deep:
Life kindles by the magic law of God;
And where before the thirsty camel trod,
There richest beauties to life’s landscape leap.

Then read thou in each cloud that comes to thee
The words of Paul, in letters large and clear:
So shall those clouds thy soul with blessing feed,
And with a constant trust as thou dost read,
All things work together work for good. Fret not, nor fear!”

-Mrs. Charles Cowman

George Matheson wrote:
“Thou, O Lord, canst transform my thorn into a flower, and I want my thorn transformed into a flower. Job got the sunshine after the rain, but has the rain been all waste? Job wants to know, I want to know, if the shower had nothing to do with the shining. And thou canst tell me- Thy Cross can tell me. Thou hast crowned Thy sorrow. Be this my crown, O Lord. I only triumph in Thee when I have learned the radiance of the rain."

For all of you who actually read this blog, Love you guys. Feel free to ask questions. I am up and about, feeling good most of the time, and taking time to know my savior more and more.
see u tomorrow :)

Friday, January 08, 2010

oh goodness... I'm behind again!

You might be thinking to yourself... where did they go? I was doing so well with posting on a regular basis! This time I have an excuse! The cord needed to download our pictures from the camera has gone missing. Let's face it, a blog post with no pictures is just no fun! (can you tell I tend to skip the reading and just look at pictures on other blogs?) We promise to update soon with pictures... to include...

Halloween (yes we are that far behind!)

Will and Caleb's trip to New Orleans


2 trips to St. Louis, including my brother's wedding

Caleb's first basketball game


Potential next assignments

and just to wet your appetite, here is a pic that I stole from my new sister-in-law's facebook.

Wow, so I have my work cut out for me...

Till then