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 fiancĂ©? 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