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Showing posts from August, 2011

We met our goal!

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Thanks to the generosity of several donors and the generous tripling of donations from another donor, WE MET OUR GOAL! We are so excited for this mission trip to Venezuela!

Even in my weakness, these are exciting times for me. I look forward to learning more about the culture, being part of a team that is serving Him, helping with building a place to worship, being a witness for Christ, and seeing another part of the world that God created.

The joy that this brings me helps me forget how much pain I'm in, how weak I am, etc. :) I will do what God ables me to do and do it with joy in my heart!  Hurry up October! :)

Trouble teaches...

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1).

The question often comes, "Why didn't He help me sooner?" It is not His order. He must first adjust you to the trouble and cause you to learn your lesson from it. His promise is, "I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him." He must be with you in the trouble first all day and all night. Then He will take you out of it. This will not come till you have stopped being restless and fretful about it and become calm and quiet. Then He will say, "It is enough."

God uses trouble to teach His children precious lessons. They are intended to educate us. When their good work is done, a glorious recompense will come to us through them. There is a sweet joy and a real value in them. He does not regard them as difficulties but as opportunities.
--Selected.

Not always OUT of our troublous times,

Love, anniversaries, and Venezuela...

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Hmmmmm....what do all those things have in common? Vow renewal! My husband doesn't know it yet (don't worry, he NEVER reads my blog lol) but we will be renewing our vows in Venezuela for our 15th wedding anniversary in October. Our anniversary is October 19th. I wanted to surprise him with this as he would never expect me to do something like this.  We have come very far in our marriage and I am so blessed to be married to such a wonderful man. A man who has grown so much closer to God in the past few years, even the past few months.

I wanted to celebrate our love by renewing our vows and rededicating our marriage to God. What a blessing to do it while we are serving Him in Venezuela. We are so blessed to have one of our best friends to the honor. I called our friend who happens to be the pastor that is taking us on the mission trip to Venezuela and asked if he would do the ceremony for us. He said yes. :) We get to renew our vows in front of our friends on the mission field …

Gearing up...

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It's that time of year again. :) We are gearing up to start back homeschooling on Sept 6th. I'm pretty excited about this year. It's our 9th yr homeschooling and Hunter will be in the 8th grade. My how time flies!

My husband will be more involved this year, which excites me. Because of my declining health at this time, he has stepped up to help me with lesson plans and other ideas to implement. He will be doing wood working with him and helping me with experiments.

I love how flexible we can be with homeschooling. He can visit the widow up the road in the middle of the day and help her with things around her house, we can take vacation whenever everyone else is in school, and are free to go on mission trips without disrupting school. :)

I am thankful for a husband who cares deeply about us and is willing to take time and help us keep going with schooling during this difficult time of my health. On that note, I have been resting quite a bit this week so far (hard for me t…

Needed prayers...

My health is declining and I will soon need to make a decision whether or not to start treatment or continue without it. Treatment consists of a small dose of chemo to suppress my immune system and it makes me feel yucky most days. No treatment will probably mean a declination in progress, continued progression of weakness (diff to hold phone up, swallow, sit up at times, etc), muscle atrophy, and fatigue.
I am functioning ok right now, but I am extremely weak and tired. Normally, I would be admitted to the hospital for a treatment, but I cannot tolerate them anymore. I have adverse reactions and have previously lost my sight, had heart issues, etc with them.
I need prayers for wisdom of what God would like me to do. I go back to the doc on Sept 2nd and have another test to see if I have another muscle disease. I would like to be prayed up to be able to tell him what my choice is.
I know He has given me strength enough to go to Venezuela and I am looking forward to serving there in an…

What a blessing!

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We were given these and many more yesterday from a neighbor at the farmer's market. I was happy to have them. :) Our garden has failed and I have failed in keeping up with it...

My husband took these and some peppers and onions and turned it into salsa.  A whole huge stock pot of it! We will freeze that and be able to enjoy it over the winter.

I hope you all have enjoyed your weekend. :)

Dreams...

There are two different kinds of dreams. One is when you sleep and the Lord allows "movies" to play in your mind. You sometimes get to see people you haven't seen in a while, or watch your life play out, or enjoy an evening by the ocean, or even possibly see things that have not yet occurred, but will. I dream a lot. Last night I dreamed of my "dad" and he picked us up to go to dinner. He said he missed us and wanted to see how we were doing. He drove, my husband sat in the passenger seat, and Hunter and I sat in the back. It was nice actually. As he drove, he told me how proud he was of me and he was sorry he couldn't tell me. He said he loved me and wanted me to keep seeking the Lord and what He wanted me to do in this life. I'm sure he talked to my husband and son, but in the dream, I only heard what was spoken to me. After supper, he gave me a giant hug that I could still feel when I woke up. :) I'm sure I dreamed this because I've been miss…

My thoughts for today...

What are your aspirations in life? Is there any point to it? Do you get up, go to work, come home, eat, go to bed and do it all again the next day? Seems pretty empty. We should be reaching for more. But, not just anything more...more of Jesus. Making a difference for Christ is never empty or pointless. It is something to be sought after. Our life should not be about us...but about Him. Ecclesiastes talks about life without Christ is futile and a chasing after the wind...meaningless. God has put a fire in me that is burning so hot I can hardly stand it. He is working in me in ways I can't articulate. I want to GO and DO for Him. I want to make a difference in this world in His name. I can't tell you how EXCITED I am about Venezuela. Getting to serve there brings me so much JOY. I can hardly keep still. I'm fidgety even. I look forward to what God is going to do there and in me. I am so thankful to have a husband who lives for the Lord and is just as excited …

Backward Porn Addiction: When women draw attention to themselves...

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I thank you in advance for reading this long post. It comes from Rick Thomas from Counseling Solutions. It is worth the read.
I think most of us understand what a porn addiction is.
It is typically understood to be when a man seeks to lust after a woman.
But what about a Backward Porn Addiction? What is that?
Frankly, I had never heard the term before, though I am very familiar with the concept.
I was caring for some friends recently when the wife began to talk about her struggles with what she called a Backward Porn Addiction.
I think I was more amazed by her humility than anything else.
She was sharing how she liked to capture the gaze of men.
She has struggled with a life-long battle of insecurity and her method of “feeling better about herself” was to dress and present herself in such a way to draw attention to herself.
Ladies, let me ask you some questions:
When you get dressed in the morning do you think about God’s gaze upon you or someone else’s?Do you dress to put God’s name…

Joined in God...

"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Cor. 6:10).

Sorrow was beautiful, but her beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the wood, and making little pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss below.

When Sorrow sang, her notes were like the low sweet call of the nightingale, and in her eyes was the unexpectant gaze of one who has ceased to look for coming gladness. She could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to her.

Joy was beautiful, too, but his was the radiant beauty of the summer morning. His eyes still held the glad laughter of childhood, and his hair had the glint of the sunshine's kiss. When Joy sang his voice soared upward as the lark's, and his step was the step of a conqueror who has never known defeat. He could rejoice with all who rejoice, but to weep with those who …

What's it look like to be sick?

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This is a photo that was taken this morning. I wanted to share it because sometimes people who are dealing with illnesses don't always look "sick." I have Myasthenia Gravis and possibly another underlying muscle disease. I also have Celiac. I don't look too sick though. But inside that body is swirls of pain, tons of weakness, shortness of breath, and periods of choking.

BUT, I don't let that stop me from living my life. I am happy and spiritually healthy! God has done great things in me and I know He will continue to do so. I am blessed to go to Venezuela and do God's work there.  I am SO excited about that!

He has given me the knowledge of how to care for my body despite the diseases that lurk there. I eat all natural, wholesome, healthy, clean (except for the occasional guilty treat :)). I treat my colds, stomach upsets, pain, etc with herbs and not conventional medicine (unless absolutely necessary). God gives me the strength I need to comple…

The doc...

I went to my neurologist yesterday. I actually enjoyed the 45 minute drive by myself. The air was cool and traffic was good. It was nice to have time to myself.

I have to go in for more testing the first of next month. I may have another muscle disease. He is looking for Polymyositis. I fit the description almost perfectly. We will see if it shows up in the testing.  I will know more the first of next month. In case anyone is wondering, Polymyositis is an inflammatory muscles disease that presents with weak muscles, atrophy of muscles, diff swallowing, shortness of breath, PAIN in the muscles, and heart issues.  All of which I have. It looks very similar to the Myasthenia Gravis. Interesting times.

I'm really enjoying this gorgeous weather. :) What a blessing! It helps me feel better. I'm sure it helps a lot of people feel better. 100 degree weather can takes it's toll on anyone! :)

My soul is getting excited for Venezuela! I can't wait for October to come around! My d…

Beautiful weather...

Finally got to open up the windows last night. Oh how I've missed it! The sounds of the country are so wonderful not to be enjoyed. The cool breeze feels so good after having 100 degree weather for so long. My husband sure appreciates it, too!

Heading to the neurologist today to get his take on my leg muscles deteriorating. Hoping it's nothing new and just my Myasthenia Gravis.

I hope you all have a great day!

The sweetbriar rose...

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"Beside my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows,
A sweetbriar rose.

"At dewy morn or twilight's close,
The rarest perfume from it flows,
This strange wild rose.

"But when the rain-drops on it beat,
Ah, then, its odors grow more sweet,
About my feet.

"Ofttimes with loving tenderness,
Its soft green leaves I gently press,
In sweet caress.

"A still more wondrous fragrance flows
The more my fingers close
And crush the rose.

"Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so
Its perfume when tempests blow,
The sweeter flow.

"And should it be Thy blessed will,
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still.

"And while its dying fragrance flows
I'll whisper low, 'He loves and knows
His crushed briar rose.'"
~Streams in the Desert

The jury's still out...

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This is a white eggplant parmesean. I thought it was ok...don't shoot me, but I don't think I'm a big fan of eggplant. It was much like squash to me, and no, I'm not much for squash either...

I kinda liked it, so the jury is still out...

Busy day at the market today. We did above average today which was surprising because out town's local street fair is this weekend.  I have been making two batches a soap a day to get ready for the holidays. Fun stuff. I enjoy being able to provide something that is natural and wonderful that people enjoy using. :)

I can't believe my son's birthday is coming up next month.  He is going to be 14! Where has the time gone? I'm so blessed to be him momma. :)

I am heading to my doctor in Champaign next week. I have some atrophy occurring in my left calf now and my doc wants to have me see my neuro to make sure something else besides my Myasthenia Gravis isn't going on. Knee still acts up now and then and hasn't gone…

Be strong...

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"Quit you like men, be strong" (1 Cor. 16:13).

Do not pray for easy lives! Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. --Phillips Brooks.

We must remember that it is not in any easy or self-indulgent life that Christ will lead us to greatness. The easy life leads not upward, but downward. Heaven always is above us, and we must ever be looking up toward it. There are some people who always avoid things that are costly, that require self-denial, or self-restraint and sacrifice, but toil and hardship show us the only way to nobleness. Greatness comes not by having a mossy path made for you through the meadow, but by being sent to hew out a roadway by your own hands. Are you going to reach the mountain splendors? --Selected.

Be strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift…

Good morning...

It's a hot one already here in central Illinois. Chickens are running around this morning searching for bugs to eat before the sun gets to scorching. Then they rest under the pine tree in the dirt. :)

I'm thankful that there is a least a bit of a breeze this morning. I know my husband will appreciate that being on the roof all day. Yesterday he didn't get home until after 7. 12 hours on a roof in this heat is miserable. He is such a hard worker and great provider.

Making soap today and most of this month to be ready for the holidays. I don't want to be overwhelmed when they roll around. :)

Grocery shopping yesterday almost had me in tears. I went over budget due to price increases. It's just crazy.  I told my husband last night that we may not be able to eat as clean as we'd like to and he said he'd sell a kidney first that we weren't compromising our health. Wow...So we will watch our budget close and we may need to increase it a bit to stay on the or…