Archive for the 'God’s Guiding Hand' Category

Called to Go… or Called to Stay?

I had a discussion with my boyfriend a couple of days ago that made me think of this post and when I went to look it up found it was still a draft. I wrote this Feb 8, 2008 and never published it. I’m not sure why it was left as a draft. I’m going to hit the publish button a full 10yr after it was written. I have not even read this through completely again, so there is little doubt that it needs work, but that’s life.


A dear friend once told me she didn’t understand why God would let her family be ill with a difficult to treat, lengthy, complicated illness. She said she and her husband were willing to go…(you know “Go into all the world and preach the good news, unto all creation” Mark 16:15….). I think she was wondering why God was having them wait and deal with the illness when they were willing to go to the mission field now… She was sharing this with me because I had shared with her that I was struggling with feeling so badly for wanting to go and be a missionary. I was willing, but it seemed odd to me to be feeling so strongly about going when I knew that I could not go right now. *I* was wondering why He would put that burning desire, that urgency to GO and spread the Good News in my heart (for I knew it came from Him) when He also knew that right now circumstances were such that I had to stay. Kinda the same question for us both, huh? =)So why would God let someone who had a desire and a willingness to GO be held back? Indeed, why would He even place the desire and the willingness in their heart to begin with if they were going to only be held back?

The possible answers are infinite, because God is infinite. Obviously not all possibilities could even begin to be understood or discussed. I offer you now, this one possibility…

It may be they are TOO willing and eager. How could that be?Let’s look at: Feeling Ready to GO. NOW. through Love Logic:

Their heart is so full of love (and don’t forget God is love), they are sooo very willing and eager to GO and spread the good news…to GO and spread God’s love. So focused, so intense on that, that they absolutely would go if God didn’t hold them back. Why would he hold someone so willing, so eager, so focused, so intense, absolutely burning to go??

Here’s the reason in one word… LOVE.

Love for them and love for ALL.

Because that is not what He wants them to do right now. He doesn’t want them to GO. He wants them to stay, but they are so intense, so passionate, so eager that they can and will jump before they ought. They’ll get sidetracked by their own impulsive and then (almost obsessive) passions. In this case, I am referring to the passion of spreading God’s love…sharing Him with others. So passionate, so intense, so desirous are they that ALL know of His redeeming love, that they would (if not wrangled in by that very love) zoom off to spread the Word.

Matthew 28:19-20 says “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

GOing is something Jesus wants us to do, but in HIS time and to the place of HIS choosing.

I think these intense souls burn so bright inside they feel like they just might burst. I think they have a predisposition to hyper-focusing, and impulsivity, as well as distractibility. Their very nature is to focus and burn hot and intense…if they are going to do something they are going to do it to the best of their ability. They might be known to say things like: “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” “Always do your best.” Or this verse from the bible, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” Ecclesiastes 9:10.

They are determined, persistent, and do and feel things in ‘overdrive’. They just might have perfectionistic tendencies as well.

This is exactly the type of person who would be most vulnerable to, hearing only “Go ye therefore…” and take off before they heard the rest.

If they didn’t slow down, practice using patience, and really listen that is exactly what they would do.

Patience or longsuffering, is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22) The Spirit being the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit WILL bear fruit in our lives. In John 15: 8 Jesus says “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so then shall ye be called my disciples.”

Webster’s dictionary defines ‘disciple’ as: “1. A learner; a scholar; one who receives or professes to receive instruction from another; as the disciples of Plato. 2. A follower; an adherent to the doctrines of another. Hence the constant attendants of Christ were called his disciples; and hence all Christians are called his disciples, as they profess to learn and receive his doctrines and precepts.”

The Spirit bears the fruit through us. We have to learn to USE them. How do you learn to use a spoon or a power tool? You practice. Remember that.

God knows that they would take off if they don’t slow down because He is all-knowing. Aside from that….hello! He created them. He knew what He was doing. He knew they would be predisposed to these things. He knew this could and/or would be a very real-case scenario…this taking off before listening completely. I know I’ve seen my own kids do this time and time again… I’ll start to tell them to do something and they take off before I can give them the….COMPLETE… instructions.

God knew these people would be weak in these areas because of their predispositions. God knew, and He planned it. See, it is through the weakest link that God can show the greatest strength. God has a real flare for the dramatic. Extremes. Take the lowliest of the low and you can really SEE! the difference when it is raised up. And vice versa. It’s the contrast that makes the difference. Why do you think books are printed in black on a white background…biggest contrast, easiest to see. If it were typed in yellow…well yellow on white is not much of a contrast, therefore it would be more difficult to see. Maybe not impossible, but more difficult.

Jesus is the light of the world. He came to illuminate. His life makes the biggest contrast. Pure light came into pure darkness. Extreme contrast…God- All knowing, all powerful, purely clean… came to earth and was born as a helpless infant baby in a filthy barn and slept in a feeding trough. (Remember Jesus was and is God in the flesh. Jesus says in John 10:30 “I and my Father are one.”)

Extreme contrast…to make it as easy as possible to SEE. Why? Because He wants ALL to SEE! so they will believe… and believing, have everlasting life through Him.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” -John 14:6

He wants ALL to see because he loves ALL. He loves ALL because He is love. What is love? God is love.Love logic.

(Ok, got sidetracked…) Back to our sidetracked intense lights. They SAW, really SAW and now they want ALL to SEE, too. They want that because that is what God wants. They want what God wants because He now lives in them.

Love logic.

Great…let’s GO!


As Davy Crockett once said…”Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” THEN go ahead. THEN go ahead. PATIENCE. Extreme contrast of impulsivity…hmmm…God created these people, He knew their strengths and weaknesses before they did. He planned them. In their weaknesses He will shine brightest. In their strengths they will find joy. The joy of the Lord is their strength.

God loves them. God knew that if….here is the Love Logic… if He didn’t put obstacles in their path, a fence if you will, they would GO! too soon. Before they’d received the COMPLETE instructions. Between their intense desires to do God’s will, to learn, to grow, to spread His love, God’s gracious use of obstacles, and through Christ which strengthens them and enables them to listen….they stay put…AND catch the complete instructions.

Let’s look at Matthew 28:19-20 again… “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Look! SEE! The last part of the directions…”teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”. That’s discipleship, folks. And THAT is what these people are best suited to doing because they were weak, and saw how He could be their strength. It’s the learning how to listen to God and His leading, how to put the keys to Christian living into practice in everyday life that these young Christians…these young disciples…need- and God knew it, so He lined up some teachers and taught them…the way they needed to be taught. Why? Because He loves ALL and wants ALL to know it. These teachers that Jesus, the Great Teacher Himself, trained up in the way they should go are now equipped for the path that He chose for them to follow before time began.

They were created for His purpose and His pleasure. They belong to Him and are His tools, His servants. But God is not a cruel Master. He is Love.

He so loves these servants! He is so good to them, so kind, so gracious. He knew they would be predisposed, prone to impulsivity, hyper-focusing, etc. because they are so intense. He also knew that if they did jump and GO! when it’s not His will for them to do in that season, they would be headed for troubles. Troubles because they would be out of God’s will, trouble because they would be doing wrong…even though they would be doing it to do right (spread God’s love, spread the gospel to all nations). He knew that and in His grace He put a bigger fence up. One they couldn’t jump nearly as easily or as quickly. To get over this fence, they would really have to work at it, and that would slow them down. Slowing them down would probably be enough to get them to hear the rest of the instructions.

And if they heard the rest of the instructions, their intensity, their focus would be shifted to the complete forest and they wouldn’t miss out on God’s intended path for them. I’m sure you’ve heard…”can’t see the forest for the trees”…that’s focusing in on something so intensely you miss what is going on all around you. That’s what these people would be in danger of doing…focusing in on the GO and the need to spread the good news of salvation (a very good thing and absolutely a huge need, mind you!)…and missing the young Christians (and by young I mean newly saved, therefore young spiritually) all around who also have needs. Their needs are no longer salvation, that is already eternally secure; their needs now include love first of all, assurance, instruction, comfort, and encouragement. Just because they’re saved, their need for the Savior does not stop. Remember, God is love. Jesus is God. Jesus is love. Even after salvation we still need Jesus. We still need love.

This ‘bigger fence’ God puts up might very well be any number of things. It could even be an illness, and maybe not just any illness. God is so good and so gracious that He might choose to use an illness that is little understood…one that is maybe even controversial…one that is difficult to treat…lengthy to treat maybe. He might choose just that kind of illness to use because an illness that is controversial at worst, and difficult to treat because it is not well understood at best, is probably going to be treated well only by a few select doctors. It would be more difficult to find a doctor on the foreign mission field that is familiar with kind of illness.

That would make good love logical sense, wouldn’t it?

Love logic would explain not only why an illness (considered by most to be a BAD thing), but why that kind of illness (which, at first glance would seem to be among the worst kind) was used.

What a blessing! What love!Remember I told you back there to remember how you learn? By practicing? These servants have been practicing using patience. They’ve been learning. They’ve also been obeying with the Spirit’s help, which is the only way we can obey, by the way. Don’t think for a second you can do it on your own.

They’ve been obeying by staying in God’s will…by not jumping over that fence.

Obeying and doing God’s will are commandments. As is loving one another. Jesus says in John 15:12 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

The predispositions of these people help fuel an intense desire to do just that. The love and light that lives within them burns so intensely it can’t be pent up…it has to get out. The characteristics of these people are such that they just won’t be able to NOT love…not without great deliberate effort on their part, anyway. I think at times the desire to help others, to comfort, to encourage, to assure others threatens to burst them at their seams if they did not let it out. They do it almost without thinking or realizing it at times. It just comes naturally to them…or rather, *super*naturally…through Christ Jesus. A kind word here, a helping hand there, sharing how God has helped them whether through salvation or some other facet of His love…those are all ways of loving others. So they’ve been loving others as they’ve been practicing using patience.

What an amazing Lord we serve! Look now, at what He says in John 15:14-16 —

“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Jesus just called them friends! What an honor, to be called a friend of Jesus. He’s a REAL friend, folks. In fact He is THE Real Friend…the BEST because He will never leave you nor forsake you! There’s no one I would rather have call *me* a friend! Amazing love!

He called them friends, then told them He did the choosing…He chose them out of the world (John 15:19) to go bear fruit…He saved them and ordained (or appointed) them to go and bring forth fruit, but He didn’t tell them how or the when yet.

It may be that people with these characteristics feel intensely how they should accomplish that, but it’s not about feeling. It’s about knowing. John 15:15 again…”…for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” Jesus made it known, He didn’t make it felt.

Because the Lord is gracious and loves His friends so very much, He makes a way for them to be able to slow down enough to see the forest and know the ‘how’ and ‘when’.

Could be He uses love logic and chooses to take the unlikeliest thing and turn it into a blessing. =)That’s right, even being ill could be a blessing in disguise, one that forces us to slow down long enough to really catch all God wants us to hear….and pass on.

Because He does want us to pass it on. Show God’s love (the first fruit of the Spirit) and others will too…it will spread.

‘Go’ and ‘now’ aren’t the only words God uses. Listen for the complete instructions. We can spread the Word and bring forth fruit through this word, too…Discipleship.


Promises Whispered

So this year’s theme at church is “Launch Out”. I first got the inkling of just what God was pulling me towards in terms of launching out several months ago, but it just seemed so unreal, so unlikely. Turns out… not so much. The coincidences (both musical and otherwise) speak for themselves, or rather for God. I never thought I’d be led back around to considering, let alone deciding on, divorce by God of all people. By my ‘worldly’ friends, sure. By my ‘unspiritual’ family, maybe. But by Jesus Himself? WHAT?! And yet that is exactly what happened. It wasn’t some booming, thundering voice from the sky, no. It was a still, small voice that said “just open your mind and heart to the idea that maybe the act of divorce might not not frowned upon by God in certain situations”. It started small, it did, and to be sure it came through His chosen vessel. I had my eyes (and my mind!) clenched so tightly shut it hurt. Hurt to keep them closed, but hurt to open them, too. Like when you’ve been squeezing your eyes shut to keep out the light that was suddenly turned on in the midst of the thick dark. It was painful, so very painful, to keep forcibly shutting that light out, but just opening my eyes wide open all at once hurt, too. I’d pop them open, be blinded, and go back to squinting….but that light…even though it was bright and seemed painful at first glance seemed to offer something more. Warmth for a shivering soul for a start. Light to see things clearly, instead of having to plod about in uncertainty. And hope. For the first time in over 15yr I really felt the golden fingers of hope coming through. It reminded me of the poem I wrote in high school with the same title as this post…

Golden Fingers reaching through the clear pane,
Silently touching the sleeping form.
Lingering for a moment to whisper promises of a new beginning;
Slowly they pass — leaving behind shadowy fingerprints.

I’m older now, though, and I like to think a little wiser. Without question I’m more knowledgeable, especially in regards to Truth. Whereas at 17yo I let those Fingers float right on by…whether because of fear or stubbornness to follow along a prescribed or expected path or some other reason that I don’t even remember now…at almost 36yo I refuse to let them pass me by. I don’t want shadowy fingerprints. I want the Fingers that created them. I don’t want to resist the pulling anymore. I don’t want, scratch that, I WON’T lie still and watch them drift away. I refuse. I’m waking up, launching out, and hanging on to those promises. To not do so is to not breathe. My kids deserve so much better than what they’ve had. Not because they’re so great, but because they are children of God. They, as well as myself, were precious enough to Jesus that He willingly held out His hands and even thanked the Father for the opportunity to have nails driven through them, to take on all of our sins and pay for them so that we could be made whole and be free. Jesus gave up everything to save us from a life of pain, misery, defeat, and rejection. There’s been a myriad of reasons, excuses even, why I haven’t allowed myself to live that life, but I’m choosing it now. I’m launching out of the bed of self-punishment-through-others and trying-to-save-others-at-the-expense-of-myself and breaking through the clear pane to go live in the Sonshine…not just a quiet, sedate, ordinary life, either.  No. I’ve been trying to contain myself inside of propriety and calmness and convention for too long. I’m tired of trying to fit into a mold that I was never designed to fit in. I want to be comfortable in my own skin finally. I’m not there yet, not by a long shot, but I WANT to get there…and I will. As long as I do all things decently and in order, it will come. That’s decently and in order according to GOD, not man (including myself!), though. Sometimes there is a big difference.

I’ve written about storms and rainbows before. Not all storms are bad. Some rainstorms are VERY necessary. Sometimes our lives are suffering from drought and we desperately need rain to quench our thirst and heal our parched hearts. Sometimes we even recognize it and pray for something to revive us, to heal us, to satisfy us. Why do we act so surprised, then, when it starts raining? Sometimes we think the rain is nothing but cold, but what if it’s not? What if we’re missing a piece of it and it’s not a ‘c’, but a ‘g’. What if the rain is nothing but gold. Rain is cleansing. It washes away the dust and the heat. Sure, absolutely in the midst of the storm it can be dark and scary and threatening…but on the other side? What awaits us? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… the longer, more frightening, more intense the storm the sweeter, more beautiful, and more precious the rainbow. Rainbows are symbols of promise…promises whispered. And now the circle of coincidentiality is complete. Thank you, Lord. I love you too! =)

And the packing has begun…

YEA!!! To anyone who knows us, or has read any of this blog, it is evident we need a new house. There are SOOOOOO many reasons why we need a new house that I’m not even going to bother listing any. I believe the Lord is going to provide us with a new home, but I also believe we need to work to make it happen. Sooo…

I’ve been a busy little beaver. I have the credit cards all paid off so that in just a few weeks, our debt ratio will be as good as it will ever be, making our credit as good as it is going to get for awhile. Then it will be time to have the bank pull our credit so we can get pre-approved for a mortgage. In the meantime, though, there has been plenty happening…

I’ve purchased a dolly for moving things. I’ve acquired (mostly bought) a BUNCH of boxes, and a packing tape gun. I’ve been collecting info on buying a first home, getting a mortgage, etc. God has shown me who to contact about selling the house we are in, as well as who to talk to about finding and purchasing the new one. I have some money set aside for expenses and plan on adding as much as I can to it as often as I can. Also, I have arranged to rent a 10′ x 10′ storage unit so we can empty out as much as we can prior to contacting the listing agent.

That’s the point we are at right now. I just packed up most of our photos, videos, and childrens books. These are all easy things to pack and also easy things to do without for several weeks, so that is why I’ve started with those. I’m hoping to actually have the storage unit this weekend, and as soon as I do….I will start filling it up!

So, lots of packing, some furniture moving, some paperwork (loan application and who knows what else), some house-browsing online to get some motivation, and of course our standard work, school, and loads of therapy/doctor appts in the future for the Caseys!


Thank you, Lord, for:

  • the Person of You… Jesus Christ
  • the Promises of You… the God who can’t lie
  • the People of God
  • the Provision of You… my Heavenly Father God
  • the Power of You… the Great I AM THAT I AM
  • the Preparation of God
  • the Peace of You… the Holy Spirit
  • the Protection of God… the Creator and Almighty God
  • the Privileges of God

I can never thank You enough! The least I can do is offer my body and life as a living sacrifice to You! THAT even is not enough. Thank You, thank You, thank You!!

Crazy, not lazy, May!

So it’s been a crazy busy May this year. Praise the Lord I’ve been healthy enough to handle it!! Last May I was doing good if I could get two or three chores done a week and was hoping beyond hope that I’d be able to survive our upcoming trip to Arkansas.

This May was so different. Granted the last 5 or 6 days of the month I spent doing a lot of sleeping, but nothing compared to last year or the 2-3 years before, for sure! I think I was just zapped because it’s been SO crazy busy…and it was ‘my time of the month’. Blech!

So what’ve we been up the last few weeks? Well, I got the new (temporary) floor down in the kitchen, three shelves hung in there, and a new cabinet/countertop installed. Of course, the icky old red laminate countertop from the 70s was replaced with white stone tile and the shallow sink replaced with a deep one, but props for those have to go to Mom and Dad. Actually, everything but the floor needs to, really. LOL I just helped hold boards in place for the shelving. I know. Hard work there, right?

Then there was the biggest cleaning the house has had since I first crashed with the Lyme. I don’t mean cleaning like scrubbing walls, baseboards, ceiling fans, and the like, though. Nope. I just mean getting STUFF put away and trash OUT. Oh, and laundry either washed or put in hampers. Yes it was that bad. No I am not proud of that fact. =/ So while the house did get “tidied”, it wasn’t really a “cleaning”. That is still to come. Soon, I hope.

Then there were the doctor appointments. We had 4 dr appts in 4wks! Matthew had a routine follow-up with the endocrinologist, and two visits to the pediatrician to try and get his bipolar meds adjusted. Then Meagan had to go and get strep throat again…. which she gave to me. Nice. Then I got a cold just as I was getting over the strep. Nice again.

My best friend/adopted sister has started a new business. Quite the entrepreneur she is. This is not her first endeavor at being her own boss and bringing in extra income for the family; just the first one since SHE crashed with Lyme. What’s she doing? Selling high-end cosmetics…wholesale. Selling LOTS of it. LOTS and LOTS. Like 5-figure orders, we’re talking! How does that have anything to do with me? Simple. She got in over her head because the business didn’t just bloom, it BURST almost over night. She needed an extra set of hands to help count, sort, package, and tend to her youngest (just turned 5yo). She was doing all that *and* all the emails (tons) and phone calls (even more tons) and overseeing another daughter’s homebound school and trying to get all the regular mom stuff done, too. Overwhelmed much? YES! lol

We’ve just about got her set up and ready to go, though. Well, I say that. I haven’t actually even started getting her new software set up yet, but at least I’ve got her convinced she has GOT to get some. (Seriously. Trying to keep track of thousands of dollars worth of orders on pieces of scratch paper and post-its just is NOT efficient!) I’m also getting a website set up for her to direct her customers to in order to see what she has available.

In the meantime, I also helped…or rather TRIED to help my older ‘niece’ with her Algebra. I was all like “Oh sure, I’ll help her. No problem!” And then I was all like “ummm I have NO idea how to do this”. We did, however, have an absolute BALL trying to figure the problems out. To our credit, between the two of us we DID get things figured out. It just took hours and enough laughter that we were seriously sore at the end of the day. We had fun, but I’m not so sure I should be ‘tutoring’ in Algebra anymore. LOL

After that adventure, we had the end-of-the-school-year awards ceremony for Meagan’s school. This kid makes me so proud! She comes home with handfuls of ribbons and other awards every year. Of course I’d be proud of her even if she didn’t, but it’s a Mom’s job to brag on the kids! =) She made mostly As with a couple of Bs all year long. Silly girl got a paper report of all the awards she had already received throughout the year and was shocked and excited when she saw that the tea towel she embroidered for my birthday won first place. She couldn’t remember bringing home the blue ribbon, so it was like winning all over again! LOL

After that I spent several days making a kitchen ‘unit’ for a ‘niece’s birthday present. It has a sink, cabinet under the sink, and then a dishwasher (with countertop). I had all the plastic canvas and almost all the yarn I needed, so aside from time the only cost for this bday gift was 50 cents for a clearanced set of dishes approximately Barbie sized, $1 for a gift bag, and the $2.58 I spent on a skein of gray yarn (of which I have almost the whole thing left). Not bad at all!

The last few days I’ve been busy doing some research. Matthew had an interesting ‘episode’ last week in which he had MAJOR problems getting to sleep 3 nights in a row. Why? Because his “toe felt funny”. Yes, seriously. The first night he was at my mom’s and I only heard about it in passing the next day. I picked up on the fact that he had cried some, but it sounded more like he missed me than anything else. At least that’s what my mom insinuated. I stayed at her place that night and he said it felt funny again. No tears and he didn’t seem to be in real distress, so I chalked it up to him being overtired and/or trying to stall. The third night we were back home and it happened again. This time he did cry. A lot. Also he admitted that it took everything he had to NOT cry the night before. There was nothing wrong with his toe physically. It just felt “funny”. It didn’t hurt, it wasn’t red or itchy, nothing like that. Just the way his toes were touching each other “felt funny” and it bothered him so much he literally was in tears because of it. Then the light bulb went on! He was fixating on the ‘funny feeling’ because of his OCD. We’ve known for years that he has OCD tendencies, and have joked that he has OCD many, many times. Never before, though, had his quirks interfered in his life in a major way. I explained to him what I thought was going on and he asked what to do about it. I told him there were medicines that could help. (I highly suspect that one of the meds he was recently taken off of had been treating the OCD to a degree…and now that the med is gone the OCD is coming on full force.) He was oh-so-ready to go to the ER. Right then! That’s how upset he was over this. He did NOT want to think about his toe, he did NOT want it to feel funny, he was tired (and admittedly so) and just wanted to go to sleep but he couldn’t quit thinking about it. The “funny feeling” was driving him crazy. Really.

After explaining that the medicine isn’t a ‘rescue’ med like his asthma inhaler, but a ‘maintenance’ med like his Singulair, I took him into my room and we laid in my bed while I read to him. I really was wishing I had some Ativan to give him, but since I didn’t (and I was certainly NOT taking him to the ER for an OCD ‘attack’) I thought trying to get his focus off the funny feeling toe and onto ANYTHING else was about the best thing I could do. Thankfully it worked. I can’t remember now what search terms I thought of while laying there holding my breath that the poor kid had finally managed to fall asleep, but I got up and came in here to the computer.

Whatever it was I looked up, it led me to a series of workbooks written by a psychiatrist. I ordered three of them on the spot. The names of them are: “What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming OCD”, “What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger”, and “What to Do When You Grumble Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Negativity” I have no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit led me to these books. Matthew needs these SO much! I pray that he will cooperate with me in working through them and that he will actually put into practice some of the technigues they teach him. From what I gather they are all based on cognitive-behavior therapy techniques that he would get if he were to see a psychiatrist or therapist for these challenges of his. Since he is NOT willing to go to someone else, this is truly a God-sent alternative. There is even a workbook for anxiety. I thought about buying that one, but really his horrific anxiety (disabling in all seriousness) is a thing of the past thanks to antibiotic treatment for the Lyme. There are a few others in the series as well, but for now I’m uber excited to see how these can help him.

All that research also led me (later, after I’d already purchased the 3 workbooks above) to a book/workbook set similar to this series only written specifically for bipolar! It’s in my shopping cart at Amazon waiting for the next payday!! The name of it is “My Bipolar, Roller Coaster Feelings Book”. PERFECT! If I had any question about sending Matthew to school versus keeping him here at home, the Lord just answered them clear as a bell! My only ‘regret’ is that Meagan will be home during the day for the next couple of months so finding “Mom and Matt Therapy Time” will be a bit more difficult… just as we’re getting started. Go figure! LOL

I’ve also been putting together a unit study on Isaac Newton for Matt. He took an interest in the laws of motion and wanted to know who figured them out. Not so ‘coincidentally’ Isaac Newton was a Christian who had bipolar disorder! Brilliant! I haven’t spent a lot of time on putting the unit together, but I did just order a biography from the Sower Series (Christian based) on Newton. That led me to looking at other science stuff since he doesn’t have a formal science curriculum this year. I found a couple of things I want to get, but not a huge hurry on those. THAT led me to researching English curriculum.

The English curriculum we’ve been using the last couple of years is really frustrating for Matt. It spends a lot of time on diagramming (which I can’t help him with because I never learned how to and it makes NO sense to me whatsoever), and just is so technical! He really struggles with it, which has been confusing for me because Matt is me ‘language’ kid. He has always been super fascinated with words and phrases and languages. He likes to know where the words/phrases came from, and just goes giddy over puns of any kind. He likes playing with words and even with accents. When he was little bitty and first started getting interested in words and what-not and then picked up reading and spelling almost instinctively I felt sure I had a writer in the making. Sadly he hates writing for now, and as I said he struggles in grammar, usage, and mechanics.

I think I may have found some answers to these problems, though. I’ve learned that the area of the brain affected by bipolar includes the area responsible for executive functioning. Long story short this makes writing difficult for him. He might have tons of ideas in his head (and he does) but getting them out onto paper is more difficult. I’ve found a curriculum for grammar, usage, and mechanics that does NOT use diagramming at all, and I’ve also found a writing curriculum that looks very promising given his unique challenges. These too are in my shopping cart awaiting next payday. LOL

On top of all that, Mike’s 64th birthday was yesterday, though honestly we didn’t ‘do’ much to celebrate. I sent him to the chiropractor and then stuffed his belly full of pork chops, fried eggs, and cheesecake. Fix ‘im up and then clog ‘im up. haha The rest of this week is busy with getting Meagan ready for teen church camp… that is provided she gets her chores caught up and we can find the funds to send her! Then next week (with Meg at camp…?) we’ll be getting Matt ready for church junior camp the following week. And sometime in the next two paydays we have to buy Meg some new uniform shirts for school.

We had to replace a tire on the van in amongst all this, too. Oh, and we also bought a new auto-injection device for Matt’s shots. I still need to purchase the rest of the fabric for the kitchen cabinet curtains, too. Lots of ‘extra’ expenses the last few and next few weeks!

At least we won’t have to buy 3 more tires for the van. My best friend’s dad (and Mike’s high school classmate) just gave us two nearly-new tires that will fit the van. That gets 3 of 4 replaced, and I’m pretty sure that one of the existing ones is still in pretty good shape. =)  I’m constantly being surprised by the ways in which the Lord provides for us!!

It’s Lyme Disease Awareness Month Again!!

I could type up a bunch of stuff about Lyme Disease right now. About how it has stolen several full years of my life and many, many aspects of my life over several MORE years. About how horrible and debilitating it is not just for the person who has it, but for their entire family as well. I could spout statistics to you or give you a VERY long list of symptoms my family (nearly all of us infected) have dealt with. I could recite scores of different medicines and supplements we’ve had to take… some of which have done wonders to help and others which only brought horrble side effects with no gain. I *could* do all that… OR I could share a link that came across one of my Lyme Disease email groups that tells about some of the brain problems that Lyme causes.

The brain problems are the most difficult to explain, the most difficult to understand, and the most difficult to see (obviously!) And for me they were the ones that ‘cinched’ the deal and convinced me there absolutely was something *wrong* with me and that I *had* to get help. That’s because, being born with Lyme, most of the physical problems I was having when I “crashed” a few years back, were just worsening of stuff I’d been dealing with my whole life. The physical stuff I could write off as being just a natural part of aging…at least for me. (Never mind the fact that I was in my mid-20s!)

While I could write off the physical stuff by itself (and had been), it was when my brain “crashed” that I finally realized I was truly sick…and that the physical stuff wasn’t actually normal at all…and everything was likely connected somehow.

The bad news was because my brain (which had always worked REALLY well before) was now malfunctioning on a grand scale, while I realized I was sick and with the Lord’s help even managed to get an idea of what was going on, it took me over a year to actually figure out what to DO about it. Why? Simply put… my brain was too sick to think!

Only by the grace of God and the help of a (now-best) friend who was also sick with Lyme, but in treatment and was making good progress over that year (making her better able to think than me by far!) was I able to get in treatment. For months I was pretty sure what was wrong with me but could not for the life of me figure out what to do next. I tried to explain the problem to my husband, but since my brain was malfunctioning, that didn’t work so well. It was only when my friend was well enough that *her* brain was functioning well enough to “take over for mine” that anything was actually done. I have no doubt that’s because *she* knew exactly…first hand…what the problem was despite my inability to explain things.

If this article had existed back then (and I’d been able to process enough of it to realize just how big of a jewel it is), I have no doubt that this would have saved me months of misery, as it puts into very easy-to-understand words just exactly what I was dealing with and why (and how) I needed my husband to help me. If only he could have read this back then… =)

So, without further adieu, here is the wonderful treasure of Lyme Disease Awareness…

This Is Your Brain On Lyme

MawMaw is home!

MawMaw, my grandmother on my mother’s side, the woman I wrote  about in my post entitled Our Missionary… Maw-Maw, has been home for almost 12hrs now. These first 12 hours I’m sure have been filled with many tears of joy, lots of laughter, and many embraces. She is just now settling in for what will be a long (eternal) life and celebration with her Savior. She has been reunited with loved ones she’d been waiting decades to see again… her parents, 2 of her 3 brothers, grandparents probably, and 4 of her own dear children.

The last move she went through was quite stressful on her, despite the fact that it was a move she’d longed for for over 20 years, and was quite looking forward to it. The stress from getting everything ready for that move landed her in the hospital for a couple of weeks immediately after getting moved into their new apartment. She rallied though. The Lord saw fit to raise her up again to a level of health she hadn’t had in many years, and was able to spend the next two weeks in her new apartment. Enjoying sitting on the patio, enjoying her brand new cherrywood bedroom suite, and most delightful and exciting… enjoying being able to eat basically anything she wanted (she’d had diabetes for many years, but these 2wks, her blood sugar was remarkably GOOD no matter what she ate) and being back PAIN-FREE. Her back had given her intense, severe, chronic pain for years, but for whatever reason these 2wks in her new apartment she had NO back pain.

This final move that she made today, didn’t take nearly as long to make as the one a month ago. It  did, however, take much, MUCH more time to prepare for. She’d been preparing for this final move for somewhere close to 70 years. She would’ve turned 78 this month, and I don’t know for sure at what age she accepted Christ as her Savior, but I know she was raised in a Christian home and so was being taught how to prepare for the move from earth to Heaven even as a young girl. This final move was different from the one a month ago in another way, as well. There was NO stress associated with this move. Only grace, comfort, contentment, and true peace.

I praise God for being such a gracious and loving God. I praise Him for His goodness, and thank Him for helping my MawMaw get home. I am so glad she’s home! I will miss her here on earth every day, but I take great comfort in the truth that one day… in the sweet by and by… we will meet on that beautiful shore. I’m very grateful that I have someone in Heaven whom I can have a reunion with one day.

I love you and miss you dearly already, but I’ll see ya soon, MawMaw!

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