Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back

In August (when I posted last) I really thought that I would be blogging all the time. After all, I would be sitting at my desk while my children worked quietly at their own desks on their school work. However, homeschooling takes a lot more time than I thought it would. Alas, here I am on December 31 typing my next blog. I am sitting here listening to seven chatty teenagers as they paint, Handy Mandy on tv, and to three boys discuss their lactose free ice cream. I was just thinking about the past year. Everyone is on Facebook posting about their year. This year has been rough for so many people that we love. It has also been an immense time of blessing for others. So here are some thoughts on my year. 2012 brought a lot of transitions for our family. We went from having three children in public school to homeschooling them. We went from helping with a church plant to joining Fellowship Baptist. We had lots of time with Daddy working out of town, and transitioned back to times of family unity. There was also the change in my health. This past year I have been sick 6 months, and healthy for about six months. The six months of healthiness were real health. This 50/50 may not sound like a good ratio to you, but to me it has been a huge blessing. I have spent 7 years being "sick" all the time, and trying to hide that from everyone. No one wants to know that you are in constant pain, and struggle to put one foot in front of the other. However, I have had almost six months where there were days were I was in very little pain. There have been MONTHS where I did not take ANY pain medication. You probably really don't understand what that means to someone with chronic pain. I look forward to God improving my ratio of sick/healthy months for 2013, and what that means for my family. 2013 is going to be my year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A New Way to Do Life

As some of you know, I started a new journey in May. I was reluctant to put it out there. I know not everyone agrees with me, and not everyone will understand. In the middle of May I started a candida cleanse program through my chiropractor . Before I started this adventure I was not doing well physically. There were days I could barely move. There were times my husband had to physically pick me up off the floor and put me in bed. I was taking prescription pain medicine every day. My rheumatologist wanted to give me more medication, and only stated that my blood work looked fine to him. My blood work may have been fine, but I wasn't. I was in a lot of pain, and having new symptoms like extreme nausea. To quote Bryce, I was becoming a cripple. I have to say that I had the mindset of "this is just my cross to carry". I know people who are fighting cancer, and some that have a more severe case of lupus than I do. I was trying to be positive. Trying being the key word. It took so much energy to put on a good face when I went out into the world. I would then come home and crash. Most Sundays after church I could barely change my own clothes, and forget about being able to put on socks! There is lots to the cleanse, and if you want more information just ask me. I would love to share it with you, but for time sake I'm not going to write about it here. After the five week "cleanse" I felt so much better. I went from using a cane, and being on lots of prescription medicines to walking pretty much pain free, and being off all those medications. I haven't had to take pain medicine since I started the cleanse. I have completely changed my diet. What I am doing now is called eating healthy. I didn't realize what I was adding to my ailments by eating processed foods. All those chemicals, and all that yeast was literally killing me. I didn't just change my diet and start taking proper supplements. I also continued my chiropractic care. My chiropractor is an amazing man of God. Just so some of you understand, I feel I must say this: I do not have him up on a pedestal. I just recognize that he has changed my family's lives forever. He is just the instrument that God used to give me the information I needed to begin my healing process. He is just like us, and can do nothing apart from God. Anyway...on to current things. One of the side effects of that first cleanse I did was dropping 25 pounds. After seeing those results I have decided to make a 12 week commitment. I have bought and started the 12 week weight loss program through the same company I did the 5 week candida cleanse. 12 weeks. It is not easy. I am admitting to only committing to is six days a week. One day a week I will be more relaxed, like the gluten free pizza at BJ's that I will have Friday night with my friends! I am excited to see what will happen during this 12 weeks. I know that I will be feeling even better by the end. That is what drives me. As I saw quoted before: Being healthy feels better than any food could ever taste.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Me? A Homeschooler?

As many of you know, I have started homeschooling our 13 year old daughter. I have to admit I am terrified! I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. I am scared. What if I do this wrong, or that wrong? What if I don't get her enough socialization? What if I have a flare? How will I school her then? Am I choosing the right curriculum? Am I taking them on the right path? What about the co-op that I am choosing? Should I choose this one that is more social, or should I choose one that focuses on curriculum?

All I know is that I am called. God has blessed our family where I can stay home. He also knew what he was doing when he put me through the college path that he did. After college graduation I really never thought that I would use all those education classes besides helping my kids with homework on occasion. Now, however, I find myself using that information and textbooks that I kept. God does not make mistakes. I have realized that I really am the best person to teach my daughter, and possibly the boys as well.

So, God is transforming our lives. When I picked that word to be my theme for the year I was really thinking more about ministry and my heart. I was more praying for God to transform my heart to be more like His. I never thought that he would transform what my daily life looked like. With this transformation I am being forced to be more active. I am forced to look at my daily habits. I am having to relearn some things (which he might use later!).

I can already see transformation besides the physical differences in my life (like where I go and what I do with my time). I can see in my heart a transformation in my relationship with RaeAnne. My prayer is that our bond be strengthened. My philosophy is that all teenagers don't have to hate their parents and rebel. There can actually be a healthy relationship in which you actually like each other! I am praying that is the case with us.

So, needless to say, during this transformation we are going to need a lot of prayer. Here is what we need prayer for right now:

* Patience - This process is frustrating for both RaeAnne and I both. We need to give each other grace. It will take a while before we get a good routine down, and understand all we need to about the curriculum we are using. It will take time for her to get used to not having her friends surround her all the time.
* Attitude - Attitudes that are accepted in public schools from teachers (because they are coming from all the students) are not acceptable in our home. We are having issues with respect and attitude when I give assignments or try to explain a concept.
* Discernment - Right now the easy thing to do for next year seems to be doing the Texas Virtual Academy. It is free and accredited. However, I am finding myself wanting more freedom in my lesson planning. I also wish it had a more Biblical view. I would love to use Christian curriculum, but it is pricey and not always accredited. Pray that God shows me what path he wants us to take. Also, if he wants just RaeAnne to be home next year or also one or both boys.
* Gabriel - My time before was mainly with him. He could help me with chores, or we could be out running errands. We could do play dates any time we wished. He is having trouble with sharing mommy, and sissy not being able to play when he wants to. I don't just want to sit him in front of the t.v. every morning till lunch. Pray that I can find some creative ways to incorporate him into our routine.
* Health - I am completely drained by the end of the day. This is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting right now. I know that it will get easier, but I need your prayer on it. Pray also that my lupus stays in remission, and doesn't flare. Please pray that the pain and fatigue from the fibro clams down.

Thank you for your prayers, and even just taking the time to read this. I am not interested in hearing anything negative. I know there are those that don't agree with homeschooling. This started as a way to keep my daughter physically and emotionally safe. It is now turning into a way of life, and a passion for me. I welcome positive comments and encouragement. I believe what my friend Angela told me: that God will fill in all the gaps I miss. This is His plan for us. We are doing this because we are called.

What is God calling you to that you need to be obedient in? Take the step of faith now! There is nothing as sweet as being in His will.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


"What is wrong with these kids?" That is the thought that has continued to go over and over and over again in my mind the past couple of weeks. They are being disobedient, disrespectful, and just plain out mean to each other. All they do is make messes, watch TV, and play video games. Sometimes they even do all three at the same time! What is wrong with these kids?

Denial is not just a river in Egypt! Serious denial was happening in my house. The question isn't what is wrong with my kids, but more of who is leading them? What is wrong with me?

Here comes some of the confessions. I don't remember the last time we had a family devotion time. The kids have even stopped asking to do them. That's how many weeks it has been. Maybe it has even been months. *sigh* Who is leading these children? I've been nagging them. I haven't enforced much besides homework. They have no problem making it to all the meals, but cleaning up from the meals has been left undone. Who is investing in these children? I've used the excuse that I am just too tired lately. I've been ill. I haven't felt well. Is that an excuse? Is lupus a reason not to parent my kids? Have my children ceased being eternal beings? Is it okay to check out of life because you struggle? No.

How could I forget I'm not alone? How could I ignore God's faithfulness? How could I deny the one holding me and my family in the palm of His hands? How could I become unfaithful to my family? That is what I have been. I have been unfaithful to them spiritually and emotionally. Don't get me wrong. Their physical needs have been met. I just don't think I have been giving them much more than that. It's time to stop running from this truth.

No more lukewarm momma. I need to pray to be the Godly wife and mother I am created to be, instead of praying for my kids to be more tidy and organized. I need to pray for wisdom and discernment, instead of praying my children are quiet and obedient. I'm done. I can't do life the way I have been. I put a stop to it tonight.

We spent the time off of leadership meeting tonight cleaning the house. I told the kids we might even be taking an entire week off of the television. They looked very concerned. I just know that we can't keep living with the t.v. being the god we serve. We have to do whatever it takes to take back our family. This is our home. I can not sit by and let life keep spiraling out of control.

Saviour, like a shepherd lead me...I can not do this in my own strength. It has to be all about You being glorified in our family. It has to be about our hearts and our relationship with You. Nothing more. Just you, Father.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tansforming My Perspective

I have to admit that I have put my theme for the year out of my mind lately. Struggling to make it through the day, and simply take care of my family consumed my mind. Yesterday at church Russ preached on Daniel 3 (Bible version of the Veggie Tales Shad, Rack and Benny story). We looked at how we need to decide who we will serve, seek out relationships that will strengthen that decision, and how we need to make sure we choose something worth living and dying for. I felt like it was a great sermon for my daughter to hear. I didn't know that God was laying the ground work to remind me of something myself.

Since I've been struggling with loneliness lately I decided to read a devotion on it. It could only help me, right? Today's reading was Daniel 3. This devotion just gives you a passage in the Bible to read. It doesn't have some rosy little narrative to go with it. It is simply letting God talk to your lonely heart through His word.

So, Daniel 3. Three men thrown in the the fire, but four can be seen walking around. God didn't leave them alone. Remember that Footprint in the Sand poem/story? God hasn't left me alone. I'm not alone. He is here with me. He is loving me, caring for me, carrying me through this time. Here is my version of Daniel 3:28,

"Praise be to the God of Sherry, who has sent his angel and rescued his servant! She trusted in him and defied the world's command and was willing to give up her life rather than serve or worship any god except her own."

The world says that I need to be happy, get my validation from others, and be surrounded by people all the time. I can not serve that theory any longer. It is time for me to get out of the way, and allow God to transform my perspectives. I am not alone. God is with me. If I have a season of being alone more, that means that my Father is seeking me to transform me in some way. How my mood changes when I look at this season as my Father actively perusing me! I worth so much that He is chasing after me! God is simply doing just like the lyrics of the Jason Grey song, "tell me once again who I am to you, that I belong to you."

God is showing up in a big way in my heart right now. I pray that you are allowing Him to do the same in yours. He is pursuing you just as he is me. You are His beloved as well. Let Him tell you again who you are to Him.

Please let me know how I can pray for you. We are not alone. Decide what you will serve, who you will listen to.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Morning Soundtrack

In my head is an endless play list of songs going. The soundtrack to my life. I don't sing well at all, but I can hear a song once and almost memorize the entire thing. I love music.

Sometimes, God uses the strangest ways to speak to us. Often times He uses my soundtrack to speak to me. This morning as I was getting ready for church I asked my daughter if my outfit looked stupid. As a 13 year old girl, she knows more about fashion than I do. Why do I even care what I look like? It has taken 2 hours to get ready already. I am fighting fatigue and pain today. Overwhelming fatigue. I have had to sit and rest after doing the smallest thing. Very frustrating. I just want to look pretty today. People say that doing your hair and makeup help you feel better. I guess people aren't always right.


When I come back in my bathroom what song comes on? Beautiful by Bethany Dillon. How it spoke to my soul this morning. I have been struggling with loneliness lately. When I don't feel well I tend to distance myself from everyone. Everyone is too busy with their own lives to really notice. It's true: out of sight, out of mind. Do you like my pity party I am having? Nice, huh? Well, I'm so glad God doesn't let me dwell on myself too long. This song, Beautiful, talks about trying to keep every one's attention. It says "thought I could be strong, but it's killing me. Someone hear my cry, I'm dying for new life. I want to be beautiful. To make you stand in awe. Look inside my heart, and be amazed. I want to hear you say, who I am is quite enough. Just want to be worthy of love, and beautiful."

God hears our heart's cry. He doesn't just leave us there in our brokenness. The song ends by turning the focus off of herself and on to God. "You make me beautiful. You make me stand in awe. You stepped in side my heart, and I am amazed. I love to hear you say, who I am is quite enough. You make me worthy of love, and beautiful."

What am I putting my focus on? Am I chasing what matters? Why am I constantly looking toward the world and others for validation? I will never get what I think I need. I will never find that acceptance, and unconditional love. However, God sees what man cannot sees. He sees my heart, and only He can complete it and make me beautiful. I hear Jesus calling me to live like I'm called. I haven't been lately. I've been too focused on my own afflictions, and feeding my depression. I want my soundtrack to be nothing but praise songs to Him.

It is all about perspective. Time to turn my focus off of myself. I'm sure I will have to tell myself this over and over and over again today, and tomorrow and the next day. It is a never ending process. Sanctification isn't easy. It's quite painful and uncomfortable at times. I know this place is not my home. One day I will have complete healing, and will dance before my Jesus without pain, and without being self-conscience.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year-New Theme

Last year on the radio I heard a challenge to choose a word to be your theme for the year. After a month of thinking and praying about it I settled on the word hope. I tried to find a good definition of it. I tried to focus on what I was putting my hope in. I tend to feel hopeless, so I tried to spend the year countering those feelings with God's truth. Our pastor at family camp defined hope as not just having a desire for God to do something, but also expecting Him to do it. That rocked my world. I quickly realized I wasn't expecting God to really do great things in my life. Don't get me wrong. I know that he can. I just wasn't expecting Him to.

Boy did my life change when I started expecting Him to show up. I put my hope in that I would find some healing here on earth. He lead me to a new chiropractor that did some allergy testing. I eliminated some things from my diet, and started treatments for my allergies I didn't realize I had. I have overall felt much better. I still have pain, and some flares, but they don't seem as bad. I feel my mood has also improved from all the changes and treatments.

I put my hope in the fact that He would transform my discontented heart at church. I was happy, but something just felt off. He brought us into a new season being missionaries in our town. Now, we serve at Kaleo Community Church.

Now, it is a new year. That means I need a new word or theme for the year. After searching my heart I realize my focus needs to be on transforming. I want my heart, soul and mind transformed into more of Christ's likeness. I'm not happy being like I am. I know He wants more of me. I want Him to do like the song says, "consume from the inside out". God wants to transform us. I want all my insecurities transformed into faith in my heavenly Father.

There are so many things I truly want transformed. I want my quiet time transformed. I want my marriage to be transformed. I want my family transformed. I want my relationships with my family and friends transformed. I desire greatness! None of these relationships are bad. Please do not misunderstand. I don't want to settle for good, when God can transform these things to greatness!

So, I am coupling last year's theme with this year's. I have the desire, and I expect God to use this year to transform all aspects of my life.

What is your theme for 2012? What do you want God to do in your life? I would love to know what word is going to be your focus for the year.