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Living My Real

A Day in The Life of Our Medical Journey

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

This is how I am starting my day again. Sitting in a doctor’s office parking lot.

Today is a bit harder though. Today I could just sit here and weep as my daughter walks off by herself to go get 25-30 nerve blocks in her head for another month.

I’m choosing to not give in to my emotions though in just the off chance the “Corona Police” are not at the front door inspecting everyone (please, do not criticize my response). I know they are there to help and protect others, but when you live what we live, it isn’t easy to run into this “all” the time.

Thanks to this Corona Pandemic she has to do all her doctor appointments alone, because they will not let me anywhere near the building.

Seriously people, who wants to get all of these shots in their head and do it alone?

I can speak for myself, no, not me! I hate shots and I’m talking just the ones you get in your arm.

But for my precious daughter, she is getting them in her head to help with her chronic migraines. It is the only way she can manage them now. She does this once a month, but who knew we would ever get to a point in life where she would be forced, by others, to have to endure this all alone.

Today is one of those difficult days to watch her suffer and struggle.

I have already texted my husband asking, why?!? Why does she have to battle to live a “normal” life.

Why does everyday have to be one where she endures pain and overwhelming fatigue?

Why can’t she be healthy and live a “typical” college kid’s life?

This has been an exasperating week for us, which is probably why I just want to sit and weep and maybe even just cry.

Our health insurance, which is suppose to be the top of the line, has decided that because she reached her “projected” graduation date that they are going to cancel her health insurance in a matter of days.

These are the same people who pay a “ton” of money for her health care already.

So we have had to jump through some mega hoops to get the proof from her college, (that is closed down due to the Covid-19 crisis), to prove she is still in college.

I am completely baffled as to how and why this is happening still.

We are left now praying that everything we submitted will work to prove she is still in college. If just one person slows this process down, she will be left not covered by health insurance.

Without health insurance all her treatments will stop, she will not have access to the specialists we spent years trying to find, and we will not be able to afford all the medicine she is on.

This is such as scary thought as I write it. It should be something we shouldn’t even have to be going through. The system is seriously broken for this to be occurring. This was something we knew would be coming on her 23rd birthday, and that we were prepared mentally for, and would not have waited until the last minute, or in this case, second, to fix it.

No, in this situation, someone made a serious mistake 2 years ago and we are just now finding out about it and have literally hours to fix it before the damage it will cause to my daughter will be massive, debilitating and permanent.

So, I sit here with a knot in the pit of my stomach, looking at a busy parking lot. There is an ambulance and a fire truck at the entrance where I keep looking up to see if my daughter is walking out of.

I’m left to sit here asking God why? Why does she have to suffer? What will be her story? What will be her testimony? Why does every day have to be a battle?

Until God decides the time to reveal those answers, I know I just have to keep trusting in Him for the direction, protection, and discernment.

Are you in a similar battle? I know others are. Please know I’m here with you. I know the lonely feeling this life brings. Please know if you are, I standing beside you.

You’re not alone!

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There Is A Reason For The Season

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

Encouragement Today

My friend, Today’s Encouragement will be a simple reminder that no matter what you are going through, whether everything is going well, or whether everything is going badly, there is a reason for all of it.

God reminds us in Ecclesiastes,

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

If you are going through a difficult time remember this and be encouraged that with every second and every hour God is growing you and molding you for a better plan and purpose.

He never allows us to go through the muddy waters of life without allowing us to use those difficulties later and somewhere else.

I have experienced some great difficulties in my life and as I was going through them, my greatest consolidation was that there was a purpose for it. Whether the purpose was to help me conquer a trial later or if it was to help encourage someone else, I knew in my heart there was a reason for everything I was going through.

It didn’t come easily though, because there were many days I remember saying, “Lord, this is hard, this is really hard, but if you can use this hardship later to make someone else’s life a bit easier, then I will be okay and I can do this, but only with Your strength.”

I needed to know there was a reason and a purpose for the difficult season in my life and God was always there to reassure me there was.

My friend, if this is you today and you are struggling in a difficult relationship, you are struggling financially, or you are struggling with a sick family member, a close friend or even a spouse. It doesn’t matter if it is all of these or none of these. What matters if you are having a difficult time is to remember these simple, but powerful words;

“There is none like You, Lord.”

Jeremiah 10:7

Stand tall today, hold your head just a little bit higher, and know your God knows you, sees you, and above all else, loves you.

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God Will Light Your Way

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

My Friend,

Are you struggling with a difficult situation and you just feel beat down and alone?

Do you feel like no matter where you look, you only see the darkness of your circumstance?

Well, I have an encouraging reminder to share with you today.

You are not! You are not alone, no matter how lonely you may feel and you are not surrounded by the darkness that has you consumed.

God is here to remind you, today that, “His Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.” Ps 119:105

Be encouraged knowing God is with you, every second, every minute, and every hour. He is with you and will provide the light you need to see through the darkest of times.

Lean on Him and you will not feel alone. Lean on Him and you will no longer be consumed by your circumstances. He loves you and He is holding you up today.

Be Encouraged Today, You are not alone.

Blessings, Broken, Courage, Depression, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Faith, Grace, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, pain, Peace, Storms, Strength, Stress, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

Waiting on God Does Not Lead To Disappointment

Credit: Homelifeandencouragement.com

Do not be discouraged if you are going through something and you keep praying over it, and God keeps saying, “No, not now”.

My friend, God is hearing your prayer and is wiping your tears, but no matter how discouraged you are, He will not answer your prayer until His timing is perfect.

When His timing is “perfect”, you will only be able to say, “Wow”.

Wait for His timing. Wait for your, “Wow” and know you won’t regret it.

But until then, keep praying as He hears your prayer.

He has not abandoned you. He wants you to lean on Him. He wants to know you need Him.

Trust God and His timing, even if it doesn’t make sense. Trust His timing even when the pressure of others is intense. They do not know what He is doing, just as you don’t, but don’t give into their pressure.

If God is not directing you, then continue to wait.

My friend, you’ve got this no matter how difficult your trial is.

There will be a reward for your wait. It may come in an hour, but it may take six years or more, but keep trusting in God and know He will meet your need, no matter what it is.

Wait for your “Wow”.

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Our Broken Spirits Are Healed

Today’s reminder is a simple one!

Are you feeling alone? Are you feeling overwhelmed?

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This reminder is to encourage you to know, despite how you may feel, God is with you. He is saving you from all you are feeling.

Turn your eyes towards Him and allow Him to heal your heart.

Lastly, no matter how you may be feeling, you are never alone!

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Seeing The Colors of Life

Encouragement Today

pexels-photo-602579-1

Today’s inspiration comes from the beauty of the fall leaves during this season. There is something inspiring and encouraging about how the leaves display their colors and how they eloquently and beautifully shine through this period of transition.

As we approach the season of fall, take some time to think about the similarities between our lives and how we accept the changes in our lives versus how the leaves in all their beauty handle the changes in theirs. Do you shrivel up and hide in the darkness hoping for life to just go away or do you pull yourself together and walk out your door with your head held high knowing no matter how difficult life may be, it is not going to knock you down to your knees in a state of paralysis?

My friend, think about how the seasons affect the growth cycle of a leaf. During this season of fall, before they die they will show their greatest beauty and when that passes they fall to the ground and feed the soil as they disintegrate thus providing the food and nutrients the trees need to flourish and grow again.

As you think about how the seasons evolve and go through their various cycles you will see how eventually fall will turn into winter and winter back into spring where the trees will begin to grow their tiny little red blossoms that will eventually become leaves again. As the leaves grow bigger and stronger they will endure the struggles of life as well. They go through storms, droughts, winds, rain, heat, and when they are lucky they experience the perfect day of sunshine and warmth. Unfortunately, even for the leaf, this is not something it experiences every day. It experiences more days of difficulty than it does easy days but yet it remains strong enough to stay on the tree through all of its adversities until fall presents itself again.

autumn autumn leaves blur close up

Think about the similarities we too experience. We have times when life is just going along easily. The sun is shining and the warmth of the day allows us the ability to just breathe a sigh of relief knowing everything will be okay. Then what happens when the storms arise and darkness sets in? Drought dries us up emotionally and heavy rains leave our lives flooded and paralyzed until the sun comes back out.

 

How do you respond to these challenges? Do you survive as eloquently as the green leaves do or do you let go and fall to the ground to shrivel up and pass away earlier than you should have?

adult blur camera dirt road

My friend, this is a tough analogy for us as humans to accept and to evaluate, but there is truth to it. Today’s challenge is to seriously make you think about what your life looks like. Are you the green leaf hanging on the tree limb determined to stay no matter what the weather conditions are until you can shine beautifully in the fall with your bright orange, yellow, and red colors? Or are you the green leaf that will be knocked to the ground prematurely to miss your season of beauty?

 

No matter how easy or difficult the spring and summers may be, the leaves continue to grow and remain green and fresh until the fall season arrives and they can show their majestic colors again. This is how God wants us to live our life. He wants us to remain strong in His loving care until our time comes to shine through showing others our true beauty. He wants us to live a life where we can continue to see the beauty of life that while not being consumed by all the adversity that surrounds us.

My friend, God wants us to look at life through the lens of a camera. Even when life is at its most fragile state. That lens has a way of showing us the beauty that hides on the other side of it. Open your heart and your eyes today to see the beauty of the fall colors that are all around you to include those that are in your life. 

Lastly, remember you are as beautiful as the most beautiful leaf you have ever seen.
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Finding The Way Through The Darkness

Encouragement Today

close up of leaf

Today’s encouragement is coming to remind you if you are living through a difficult time and find the fear of darkness is all around you, please know you are not alone. I am here for you, to hug you, and to share with you just a little bit of our dark story right now.

I am writing with raw emotions this morning because at this time we find ourselves in a dark hole again. If our life is not chaotic enough I tried to have a conversation with someone who is important to me only to walk away absolutely crushed.

I wish my life was not so messy. I wish I had a life that was not wrought with so many medical issues. For anyone who walks in these shoes knows going to doctor appointments is time-consuming and mentally exhausting.

I was hoping after my husband’s doctor appointment that I would walk away with some relief, but instead I walked away feeling even more concerned, but instead, we find ourselves waiting until the end of the month for answers.

I am thankful we will not lose our job as I texted his boss yesterday and she asked me to not send him back to work too early so he doesn’t go out permanently. This was a huge relief since we are going without a paycheck right now. I know his position at work is valuable and the others are taking his load upon their load while he is out.

Unfortunately, my husband has a doctor appointment the same day as our dog, Shadow. Shadow is having his surgery to remove a mass on his paw that may be cancerous. We will not know if this is the case with him until they send off his mass to have it tested. For anyone who has a pet that is like a family member, you understand why this is important to us. Shadow is a purebred German Shepherd and is only three years old. He has a lot of love and life to give, so to leave a potential cancer on him is “not” an option.

Now a double day of prayers for my family on August 23rd. My husband will have his colonoscopy to determine if his surgery site in his colon has shrunk because if it has, he will need a complete, invasive, open you up surgery. This is to open up his previous surgery site and put it back together after removing the restriction sight. And Shadow will be having his surgery around the same time as his colonoscopy.

If this was not a potential cancer, I would reschedule Shadow, but I do not dare to. We do not get Tom’s results until August 29 and if he needs surgery then that will most likely take place quickly so we can get Tom back on his feet again. If I just go through with Shadow now, he can be healing or healed by the time Tom could go down.

Why? Why? Why does all of this happen to us? I just do not understand? I have been asking God to show me what I am not learning so I can finally get this figured out and move forward to a better place.

If you find you are in a similar place, please know you are not alone. It is a very dark place to be, but we will get through. We did the last time we were here and we will again, just like you will as well.

Cling to the hope of a brighter tomorrow. We all will get there. I write about these raw emotions today to not only try to process them but to show others who may be battling similar issues that you are not alone. I know for me, the feeling of being alone makes situations like these even harder and even darker.

So, my friend who is struggling today, I am sharing a hug and an ear and a shoulder to cry on. If you do not want to remain isolated in this darkness, feel free to open up in the comments below. I am here for you.

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Pondering Thoughts of Hardships

design-167I wanted to take a moment in the quietness of my house to reflect upon as well as remind my readers that peace does have the possibility to be restored in your life.

I had to get up early this morning to give my baby dog his medicine and discovered he would need more homemade dog food, as I am trying to build his weak body up to prepare him for his upcoming surgery. I am making him ground chicken (with bones), rice, and this morning I added his favorite, carrots to his homemade food. He should be really happy when he eats supper tonight. I add this to his already grain free kibble and he is more than happy to join the clean plate clubbers fan club after each meal now.

As I was working about my house while my family slept, I was pondering everything that is going on in our lives. I was thinking about all of my concerns. The biggest being, “Please God protect our job.” I do not want to live through another horrible experience of job loss ever again.

As that concern popped into my head I was like, wait, I need to pray about this. So I asked God to remove all the worry from my mind if He truly has this situation under control. I will be brutally honest and tell you as I write this that my stomach got a bit shaken up.

I will take a moment to remind you of this though, (disclaimer I have to remind myself (which I will confess I struggle with)), no matter how scared or worried about a situation I may be, God has it already figured out.  

Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:26 NIV

img_9079All too often we forget this and feel we need to have the plans already figured out. Sometimes those plans go as deep as the alphabet because in our minds we not only have plan A, but we even create contingency plans B-Z. My question is for all of us is… “Why?”. Why do we do this when we know, hands down every time, that God has a plan each and every time? If he knows how many hairs on our heads than He knows our plans, our solutions, and our future.

“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 NIV

My friend, I am here to remind you and me both. Worry gets us now where. It steals our joy like a thief in the night. We are no longer able to see the things we enjoy in life. We no longer see the sun shining on a beautiful day or the precious smiles on the faces of those around us. It steals every part of our being. I say this because this is what it has done to me and continues to as long as I let it run my life.

We have to take a step back and reclaim our lives from this ugly monster. Cling to this verse as it often times pop into my head when worry has me consumed.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIV

Or if you are in a really tough spot try clinging to these verses. I find they give me comfort when I struggle with wondering why God has forsaken me in the chaos I may find myself in.

“Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns–and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26 NIV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

design-88God’s intentions for us is not to worry about things we have no control over. My friends, we spend so much time thinking that everything in our life is ours to figure out; our jobs, our spouses, our marriages, our children, our finances, our health, you name it and do we not feel like we are in complete control over it all? When it comes down to the wire and those things are falling apart, who truly has the control? I can tell you (from my ugly experiences) it is not us. Only does God know everything about all of these things we think we control. 

My friend, when life seems to be full of chaos with nowhere to turn, look to Him and be honest, tell Him your fears and concerns. Lay them all at His feet and pour your heart out and allow Him to do your problem-solving. Allow God to carry your burdens and free yourself up of the darkness and the mind games the enemy is playing with you. Shift your focus from the ugly, the negative, the concerns, the fears and look for the beauty in life again. God has all the other stuff. He even tells us to do this.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

So as we go into our weekends, let us join together and refocus our worries and concerns allowing God to fill us up with a “peace that passes all understanding”, His peace.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 ESV

My Friend, if you read my earlier post this week, you will know my writing all of this does not come easily. I walk a pretty tough road and I am just as stubborn at listening to God as anyone else, but I do write, however, what I feel God is trying to tell me and you as well. These words of encouragement and scripture did not come from me. They are what God placed on my heart to provide me with a comfort and a peace that everything will not only work out but that He has the control over all of it, I do not.

Join me in walking away from all the stress this weekend and allow God to renew our hearts and minds so when the week to come arrives, we will be rejuvenated and prepared for whatever lies ahead.

Give Him your “everything”, He can handle it “all”!
Broken, Burn out, Challenge, Comfort, Death, Depression, Discouraged, Exhausted, Grief, Hope, Journey, Life, Strength, Suicide, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

The Difficulty of Random Thoughts

img_9150-2This month has been a very busy one because we have been trying to get our home business off the ground and it has been a lot of work. I am hoping to cross the tide between what needs to be done, what has to be done, and what comes next.

We have thankfully got to a point where Kiddo is down to only one or two doctor appointments a week instead of three to five. This is a huge blessing and one I am thankful to have at this moment.

We have managed to get Kiddo enrolled into college full time to include an approval for financial aid via a Pell Grant and I am beyond excited for this.

However, this week has been an emotionally challenging one. I found myself trying to process the unexpected loss of a friend who was an encourager to me. She would post encouraging and thought-provoking quotes and images that would encourage people like me when we would need it the most. Unfortunately, last Sunday night her darkness and depression won a battle and she took her own life.

This has left me totally questioning the fragility of life. It has left me facing many of my own personal questions like how to battle my own darkness of stress, constant busyness, discouragement, frustration, and depression.

I have been pondering how to write about this as I try to process all the confusion and rawness of this delicate subject. Yesterday, her family with their friends and community celebrated her life in such a beautiful manner.

It is my prayer through her death that her ability to help and encourage others will continue. It is my prayer as a result, we can shed some light on the ugly monster called suicide.

I am not trying to be full of doom and gloom, but I have been lost in not writing this past month. Writing helps me to process mentally and emotionally, so as I continue to process what has happened this week, I will be writing more about this difficult subject.

It is my prayerful desire God will allow this devastating loss of my sweet friend to shed some light on this ugly topic and if her life and death would save even just one person, then her precious memory can be blessed as well.

Experiencing a heavy loss and sadness can produce positive results if in the right timing and in the right place. It is my desire as I write in the days ahead and you are struggling in this same area, reach out for help. Talk to someone. Do not let your darkness consume you to the point of taking your own life.

If you need help and you have no one to talk to, call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255. If you live Internationally click on the World National Suicide Hotline to find your country and call them for help.

Do NOT allow your darkness to take your life away.

Your life matters. You matter!!! Many people love you, more than you will ever know!! Live for yourself, live for them.
Broken, Burn out, Comfort, Courage, Depression, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Peace, Self-worth, Strength, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

The Beauty of One Piece of Pine Straw

Encouragement Today

img_8707Today’s inspiration came as a result of doing yard work. As I was raking up my pine straw to place it in my flower beds, God revealed to me how we, His people, are similar to that of the pine straw.

img_8701-3When you see only one piece, you think, how can that one piece of pine straw make a difference in a flower garden? One piece by itself can not, but when you rake it up into a pile then it becomes abundant and that abundance of pine straw is enough to make a difference.

We are a lot like this as humans. Many times as individuals we struggle to find our worth or importance to our family and to others. Many of us fail to see how we, as only one person can really make a difference, but we can.

God made each of us uniquely important. He made us for a reason and a purpose. Many of us are fortunate to see this purpose while others struggle to see it, but just because you may be struggling to see your purpose does not mean there isn’t one. God did not make a mistake, His plan is just as He intended whether we see it or we do not.

Many of us impact others through our jobs, through our ministries, through our schools, and throughout our everyday life. This is where we as a larger group we make a difference.

For those who do not have this as a purpose, you need to see that your life as an individual is equally important. Your life is intertwined in so many people’s lives that if something happened to you tomorrow, there would be people who would miss you and grieve for you. There would be a void in their hearts that would be hard to fill, whether you believe this or not.

img_8706This is why the analogy of the pine straw was important to me today. If it was not for the one strand that when put together with many others was not important then there would never be enough to use in a flower bed.

Each strand by itself may be seen as a nuisance, but is it really? I would venture to say no, because each piece I raked up today, no matter how messy it looked initially, made my flower bed look pretty and well maintained again.

Our lives are the same. If we just looked at the worth of our life as strictly a lonely individual, we are less likely to see our worth, but when we are pulled together as God intended for us to be, then we will be more likely to see our beauty for it’s intended purpose.

My friend, today I am here to inspire you to never give up. No matter how hard life may be, how difficult your circumstances may seem, how lonely you may feel, you are important. God has a special purpose for you and your circumstances.

It may not be visible at this moment in time, but if you just hang tight, keep taking one step forward at a time, God will reveal to you His plan and His purpose.

Then when He does, you will begin to see how beautiful your life is to others around you. God created you to be beautiful and in time you will begin to see that beauty.

Do not give up, do not lose hope. Your plan and purpose when revealed will be a beautiful as the one stand of pine straw is in my flower beds.