• Skinny Pregnancy.

    Skinny Pregnancy.

    After I had Elijah

    I had to work really hard to get healthy again. I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition or working out so I literally had to start from the bottom. I had my dad come alongside me and eventually I hired a trainer at the gym. I taught myself about nutrition and stuck to a plan I made for myself that truly worked. I gained self-confidence and I lost all of the baby weight, and then some. At this time in my life I was also in and out of an abusive relationship with Elijah’s dad who liked to make comments about my weight and my appearance. It was something I was fighting internally with my own voice, and then his on top of that, and don’t forget the images in the world that tell you what you are supposed to look like.

    Parts of this journey were fun and exciting but parts of it were miserable.

    The anxiety set in when I found out I was pregnant again. Remembering how hard it is to lose weight with a newborn by your side. You are tired and exhausted. You eat whatever is available and whenever you can fit it in. I have come so far in being able to wear clothes that fit and be confident in my own skin. I had dropped down to 120 pounds at one point because of how strict I was on my diet and how much time I spent in the gym. How in the world am I going to do that with a newborn baby and a husband and 8 year old to take care of? And work too?

    The first trimester is hard enough with the constant nausea and having absolutely no energy.

    But to make it worse I would wake up in the morning dying to want to get up and go to the gym. It’s just what I do. I would want to eat oatmeal and salads and veggies but all I could manage were crackers and dry cereal. The agony of knowing how I was unable to stick to my healthy routine was really a battle in my mind. The dread of weight gain haunted me as I lay there just wanting to have enough energy to take a walk.

    Even now as I move forward in my pregnancy I fight cravings and have had to change my workouts dramatically.

    I still go just not every day. I don’t spend 1.5 hours there and I don’t do more than my body allows me to do. I work out for an average of 45 minutes 4 or 5 days a week. Some days I do weights and some days I just walk or jog on the treadmill. I don’t always eat a salad and quite honestly we have added some meat and eggs back into our diet as well. I’m approaching this pregnancy differently in a lot of ways.

    I realize now that I am more than my size.

    I realize the most important thing is to be healthy. I know that my body was created to prepare this child for the world. I also know that if I miss a day at the gym because my body needed to rest the world won’t end. I won’t allow my own thoughts destroy the beautiful pregnancy GOD has gifted me with. I could sit around and agonize over the weight gain that is sure to come or I can rejoice that my body has the responsibility to provide nutrients and a healthy environment to grow and develop my child. 

    The LORD knew what He was doing when He created the body to hold a child and I will choose to honor Him and thank Him that he chose me to carry his plan out. I will honor Him in my heart and not allow negative thoughts about any part of this journey. I’m not saying I have overcome this battle, I’m telling you I am currently fighting in it. 

     

     

    If you fight yourself on your image or weight know that you are not alone. We oftentimes only think overweight people are struggling but you would never realize how many people with the body you want obsess over their looks and are truly in agony over their diets and exercise routines.

    It is a miserable place to be trapped in, and you my sister are not alone.
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  • RAW.

    RAW.

     What comes to mind when you think of the word RAW?

    Some minds will travel to cucumbers and carrots and uncooked meat. Some of you don’t really think of much at all, maybe it just goes in one ear and out the other. Another person who may have a little baby may be thinking of their little ones diaper rash. Maybe you think about when you have blown your nose one too many times when you have had a cold.

    I’m thinking of the rawness of the heart that comes from being rubbed against over and over again for a long period of time. Maybe you read this today and your heart is raw. You feel if you rub against one more surface one more time the protective layer that is barely there is going to split wide open and everything is going to spill out.

    I’ve been there more than once and I am sure I will be there again. I’ve felt the intense eroding of my heart as I waited on the LORD to come and intervene in my situations. I have wondered when will the new skin begin to cover up this pale, pink, rough, unprotected heart of mine? 

    The truth is

    we cannot sit around and declare all of the promises of GOD expecting Him to change our hearts and heal them when we aren’t willing to lay it down before Him and say, do what you will with my open wound. Our healing is not always going to come the way we expect it to.

    I cannot with the understanding I have of GOD and His word (which is the standard for truth) tell you that GOD is going to heal your cancer. I cannot tell you GOD is going to swoop into your marriage and change your spouses heart. I cannot tell you that GOD is going to get you a promotion in your career. I can however tell you that the One True GOD is CAPABLE to do anything and everything that He wants to. His purposes will be accomplished. He can take your raw heart and make it strong again. He can heal every disease.

    I have said it once and I will continue to say it for the rest of my life… GOD is most concerned with you getting what will bless you the most, and that is MORE of Him. Our LORD does not cause or purpose our trials or suffering but He knows if it gives the opportunity for us to know Him deeper, there is no greater gift than to allow us to rely on Him to endure them. So what is your end goal? Is your end goal more of GOD, or is your end goal for your idea of healing to come the way you want it to?

    GOD can give you a new heart. GOD can heal every disease. But the disease He is most concerned with is the disease of sin which has separated us from Him. This is the most deadly and painful disease of all.

    Are you ready to be healed today?

    He is ready to heal you of your sins when you are ready to accept His free gift and trust that it’s only by Jesus’ goodness that you can be redeemed. When you are ready to lay down your life and admit that no other thing will any longer be your LORD, He is ready and EXCITED to bring you in. GOD the Father will take the raw and use it to show you just how much you truly need His healing love. Surrender it all to Him now, it is the greatest thing you will ever do.

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  • Know Him.

    Know Him.

    Do I really?

     

    I think I do because I grew up in church. I think I do because I’ve read a lot of books about Him. I think I do because I know some verses.  I think I do because I went to a lot of church camps. I think I do because people always tell me I have a lot of wisdom for my age. I think I do based off a lot of things that have to do with me and what I have done or what I have learned. So, do I really know Him?

    All of what I said above is true but when I sit back and think about GOD and his GREATNESS I am completely overwhelmed. We can attend all of these camps and conferences and read all of the books and take all the notes and never truly even know GOD. We have so much information at our fingertips ready for us to search out and fill our brains with.

    I have come to find that the best knowledge is the simple knowledge of who GOD is and what He wants to do. When we are able to get to the attributes of GOD and really learn about Him, as best our carnal minds can comprehend, we begin to see everything else in life from the right perspective. 

    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.“ Proverbs 9:10

    I don’t think GOD made a mistake when He purposed for that to be in The Bible. GOD knows that we need knowledge of who He is.

    Not only what He is capable of doing, but His very essence.

     

    GOD is one being, made of 3 parts… The Trinity. He is self-existent and needs no person or thing to exist. He is self-sufficient and needs no person or anything else to do what He wants to do either. He is eternal. GOD is infinite, never ending.  He is immutable, divinely omniscient, and the definition of wisdom. GOD is omnipotent and divinely transcendent above all. He is faithful and good and just. He is abounding in mercy and grace and love. GOD is HOLY and sovereign.

    The depth and knowledge of each of the attributes of GOD will take us further in our life than any worship song from Bethel or any sermon preached by Steven Furtick. 

    Those attributes make the gospel so much more full of flavor than any man made idea or “At The Movies” sermon could EVER accomplish. The fact that a GOD like that would do what He did, so he could have ME in heaven with Him for all of eternity, absolutely blows my mind.

    To think rightly of GOD is to get your mind thinking rightly about              E V E R Y T H I N G else in life. I can’t possibly think right about a single area of life if I have even one attribute missing or if I have learned about GOD wrongly. I have got to find out who GOD is. I need to find out what all of those attributes are. I promise you there are no greater riches in life to be found than to find the richness of GOD.

     

    He is waiting for me, and He is waiting for you.

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  • Abandoned.

    Abandoned.

    Nothing hits your heart harder than hearing your eight year old son say out loud, “I know what it’s like to be abandoned.”

     

    This simple yet profound statement coming from the mouth of my child should have left me in shambles. A natural thought process after hearing this should have been, “Is my greatest fear starting to manifest?” I should have played those words over and over again in my head to the point of exhaustion. I should have had the tortured thoughts of how my dumb mistakes in the past are wrecking his future. I should have realized that my innocent son was beginning to believe that he was not good enough for his biological father to want to be in his life. We’ve all heard the stories. A child is abandoned at a young age and every aspect of their life afterward is a picture of how badly someone broke them. 

    That’s how I should have processed his statement, but I failed to mention one little thing. Context. The context in which my son made this statement is absolutely key when understanding how I chose to process this information. The entire conversation went something like this:

    Elijah: “Mom, Dad, we need to make more of those bags for the homeless people because we gave out our last one today.”

    Me: “Yes buddy, we do. And we will. It makes God so happy that you like to give to people and help them.”

    Elijah: “Yeah, I know. And I can help them a lot because they got left and I know what it’s like to be abandoned.”

    This is why context matters so much. Context allows us to see something for what it really is. His statement reveals so much truth. Has he been abandoned? Yes, his biological dad did choose to step out of his life. He knows in his heart that someone who was supposed to love and care for him decided not to. He also knows that God will never leave him. He knows in his heart there are other people who are dealing with similar pains. He also knows that God wants to use him to help them. He knows that his biological dad isn’t around and may never be. He also knows that God brought Zach into his life to be everything he needs. He knows that his heart is sad. He also knows he can go to God, and us, and share his heart.

    I remember one journal entry I wrote a couple of years ago while praying specifically about Elijah and his life. God spoke so clearly to me about this exact issue. He comforted me in a way that only He could. “Elijah will be a rock for many people because of the difficulty he has faced at such a young age.” The context of our conversation proves that this word from God is already coming to pass in his life.

    So, how do we handle this? We pray for his dad. We talk about how unfair life can be. We allow him to be confused and upset and angry at times because those are all normal emotions. We tell him it is okay to love his dad and want to see him. We are honest with him when he asks us the hard questions and we do our best to share Gods love for him while he is processing his pain. I believe context revealed that what the enemy meant for destruction, God is redeeming.

    At eight years old my son understands that his pain has a purpose and his purpose is bigger than himself. 

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  • GOD Intervention

    GOD Intervention

    Turns out a lot of people want to see her…

    so when I called to make an appointment they were GLAD to schedule me for January 2019. It was currently late Spring, 2018. They told me I could see one of her PA’s who are all directly under her and consult with her on every patient they have. You guys I was so so desperate and I knew God had led me here so he would MAKE a way. I agreed to see her and was scheduled for the beginning of July. They also had told me to call and if they had any cancellations they would try to get me in earlier. So that is exactly what I did. I called one day and they said oh, actually you can come in on Wednesday morning at 8:30. The only problem with that was I couldn’t drop my son off at school until 8:30. I called to let them know that I would unfortunately not be able to do that because he had a school assembly that day I had promised him I would be at and on top of the fact that I couldn’t even drop him off until that appointment time. Once again, God made a way. The receptionist said well I don’t know if you would be able to do this or not but we actually had a cancellation this morning if you could come in today? YOU BETCHA! So I got in there, had a very long talk with my doctor and did all sorts of blood work.

    The day it was time to come back and have my results and try to diagnose me I had scheduled some things for later in the day. I knew this appointment would require sufficient time and I didn’t want to be rushed or late. I decided to call and see if they happened to have any openings earlier in the day and she informed me they didn’t.

    No big deal, I didn’t expect to be able to change it but just decided to try. So I get to the gym and not even 10 minutes into my work out they called me back and said “Oh, actually we had an opening come available if you can be here by 9.” YOU BETCHA! So I hurried my butt up in the shower and got there. I looked pretty rough but who cares, they are doctors right? I’m sure they have seen worse. And at least I didn’t stink! I checked in at the front desk when they let me know that I would not be seeing my usual doctor, Audra Ball. I would in fact be seeing Dr. Audra Fox. This may mean nothing to you but it meant EVERYTHING to me. Remember the January 2019 appointment I turned down with the specific Dr. I had been referred to? That was her.

    God had made a way where it had been impossible for me to get in to the doctor I believe he wanted me to get to.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my Dr. Audra Ball but this was a DIVINE appointment. There was no way in the world all of this had happened by coincidence. This doctor was going to be the one to evaluate my results and talk it all out with me.

    After discussing my results and our conversation about my lifestyle and symptoms she decided that I definitely have this gene mutation called MTHFR.

    Gene mutation?

    MTHFR?

    What the heck is that?

     

    I’ll explain in the next blog, so be sure to subscribe for the final piece of the puzzle!

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