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I Never Thought It was Possible

For the past 7 1/2 years, I have struggled to live with unending pain, chronic pain that never went away. It was always right there in the midst of my life. I worked full time, in pain. From the moment I woke up until I dozed off at night, it had become part of who I was. I never went anywhere that pain did not accompany me. And the fatigue that came along with the many sleepless nights and bouts of insomnia was something I couldn’t begin to explain to others if they didn’t suffer from it themselves. It wasn’t being tired and taking a nap would fix. It was the type of fatigue that made me sick to my stomach, brought on migraines, depression, and hopelessness.

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Many of you that read this blog know how real the struggle has been for me. And if you know me at all, you know I rely heavily on Jesus Christ, my Savior to get me through everything.  He led me to a group of amazing women that have helped me to change my life, and heal my body from the inside out.

I have read in the past how important it is to have a healthy gut, but I have never been much of a “health nut” and couldn’t understand how important it is to have good gut flora and bacteria in my system versus the bad that has been hanging out there for a while now.  So, when my friend asked me if I wanted to try some supplements that she knew had worked for people living with chronic pain and fibromyalgia, I can honestly say I was pretty skeptical. I thought how can herbal supplements help me feel better? You would think the medical community would want you to know about these if they really worked. I decided I didn’t have anything to lose. So I agreed to try these “miracle” capsules. What was one more “pill”? I already take 12 different prescription medications to keep me functioning, why not!

On June 12th, I started taking these supplements, thinking nothing would happen, but willing to give it a shot. Now 3 1/2 weeks in, I wish I had known about them before now.

I am on a regimen of supplements that help to curb cravings, cleanse and detox my system, help to promote the growth of good gut microflora, and supports healthy glucose metabolism. Among those, I am also taking Omega 3’s that have no fishy smell or aftertaste, a multivitamin for the wellness of the entire body and two products that help with exertion, fatigue and keeping your nervous system healthy.  As a result, I no longer have any fibromyalgia pain. NONE. NO PAIN. No fatigue either, as my sleep hours have gone from maybe 2 hours a night to 6-7 hours per night. And if that isn’t enough, I am also losing weight!!!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I can’t look back at to “I wish I had known sooner”, but I can look forward to what exciting things are to come. Even my arthritic pain in my knees and hips is improving! So I would definitely be willing to say these are miracles in a bottle! The most amazing thing to me and something that really sold me on trying these products is they are plant based, no GMO, gluten free and with the packet of drink mix, I use once a day, it has a sweet taste that is refreshing and yummy, sweetened with the Stevia plant. There are no chemicals in these supplements.

I still sit here and shake my head in amazement, that after only taking for 3 1/2 weeks I feel so good!!! Being healthy has never been so much fun!  For the first time in my life, since the Fibromyalgia diagnosis, 7 years ago, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope.

I believe so much in this product line, that I have become an Ambassador for the company! They have many more products that I have not even tried, but have heard amazing results from friends. If you are looking for an alternative to prescription drugs, and looking for a way to be your very best and live a healthy life, I would love to speak with you and see how I can help.

God led me to these women and in turn, they have loved me and encouraged me every single day/. God is in all the details. I am so blessed and I would love to be a blessing to you.

It should really be no surprise to me as God created all living things, plants included, that these supplements are good for me and my body.

May you know how much Jesus Loves You! #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings to all!

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He Never Stops Amazing Me

When I look back to a couple of years ago, I struggled with being obedient to the Lord’s voice. I knew he was nudging me to walk in faith and step outside of my comfort zone and it took several months of nudging for me to take that leap.

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I attended The Vineyard Church in Dayton, Ohio and I loved learning about and leaning into the presence of God. I grew in my spiritual walk with the Lord and I found out what it meant to be part of a church family and show God’s love in a practical way to others during outreach events. My faith grew over the 8 years I made that my church home. I was so comfortable there, I couldn’t imagine ever leaving.  I had made connections and my small community had grown quite large and I was okay with where I was.

The one thing I know, is God doesn’t want us to just stay in one place and be comfortable all the time. He wants to use us to spread his story of love, redemption and grace. He doesn’t want us to just minister to those we know, but to friends we have yet to meet. There were staff changes, people being moved to where they were called, new worship teams, lots of changes going on.  I don’t mind change, but sometimes too much change too fast, is unsettling to me, personally.  When all of this was taking place, I was feeling the nudges. I ignored them. I just kept thinking, why in the world do I feel like my time here is coming to and end?

I share this back story with you to see where God has brought me to.

Every week when I would go to The Vineyard, I passed several other churches on the way. One of them was Shelter Community Church. It was inside an old movie theater, and very small in comparison to the Vineyard church. Each Sunday, when returning home, as I would pass it, I felt like I needed to stop there and check it out; I also felt a little bit of guilt in thinking I needed to make a change. Guilt from the enemy telling me things like “what about your friends at the other church” “what about the women’s ministry that you are involved in” “what if you’re not welcomed” “what if you go and don’t like it”-a thousand what ifs. I tried to remember that the enemy of our souls will do anything and everything to deter us from listening and being obedient to God, our Father. For several months, I prayed, I asked God to reveal to me what he wanted me to do.  He is in control and I needed to listen.

My husband and I started attending Shelter Community Church in December of 2014. When we first walked into the lobby, there was a melodious sound of joy and laughter, people mingling with one another, chatting, small children rushing around, weaving in and out of the people in the lobby and people coming up to us and saying welcome to Shelter.

The what ifs that the devil had tried to plant in my heart, were gone. This place was a place where you could be yourself and still be loved, no matter how broken or lost or confused you were. As we sat through the service, of Worship, Announcements and the Sermon, I knew I had made the right decision to follow God’s leading and yet, I wasn’t sure that I could just leave the one church family that had been mentors to me, had helped me with food when we needed it, loved on me and my family; could I just walk away-was it that simple. After two weeks of attending Shelter, my husband wanted to change. He said he really liked this church and he felt good being there. I knew God was doing a work in both of us.

What I didn’t know, was that God was placing us right where we needed to be for what was to come. As most of you know,that follow this blog, our grandson was recently diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and another family member with Alzheimer’s, within a matter of weeks.  I can speak from experience that when people, who receive any kind of life altering diagnosis, say they are overwhelmed, they  feel like grieving, it really is the truth. I never imagined those first few days, as I allowed those diagnosis-es to set in, how mind-boggling it is. Instead of sinking in despair at what he might face for the rest of his life, and praying that God will show us the best way to teach him to communicate, I have read and watched videos, contacted professional organizations for help and most importantly reached out to friends and family.

By reaching out, our family is blessed to know someone who has been through all of  this that we are just learning about;a loved one that had a disability and a parent with Alzheimer’s. They’ve offered to walk along side us and help us get through all of it.

God is so good!!  And this is a prime example, of why we are not given all the details of our lives, before we are meant to know them.

I still have my friends from my old church; because our friendship doesn’t hinge on whether we  worship in the same building or not. God placed me at The Vineyard because I needed help growing, so I would be prepared for what has happened. I learned from some of the best role models of Godly men and women around. They nurtured me, helped me to learn what it means to walk out my faith and to love one another.

And our Shelter family loves us like we have always been there. Our grandson is making friends in the nursery and loves going. The Life Groups at this church are really all about life and applying the Bible to our lives and relationships. It has grown so much in attendance, that we have had to go to two services, but it still is intimate. Everyone knows everyone, hugs are shared, we cry and laugh together and we hold each other up. This is not to say it is all about the inside of the church. We love reaching out to our community in any way we can.

I cringed at the idea of leaving a church that felt so like close family members and going somewhere else and I even asked God if he was sure. What a laugh, right? I know now, that he knew what he was doing all along. Walking in obedience is part of having faith. Just because I couldn’t see the outcome of where that leap would take me, I should have known that God would never lead me astray.

When you feel like God is calling you to do something, that is not your normal; trust him. When we fail to follow his lead, we could be missing out on a blessing that he wants to give us.

Proverbs 3:5-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

May you hear God’s voice when he tugs at your heart and may you have the courage and faith to take the leap he is asking you to.

Many blessings as always,

Carlene

 

 

 

Life Transformation

The transformation in my heart has taken many years to get to where it is now.  I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the young age of 11, that was over 40 years ago.  Learning to be like Christ and stay in step with him has not always been easy.  There are many influences of the world, and temptations that we face, that can test us and those tests help
love-1221444_640to refine us and transform us into the person we were created to be. As a child, I faced the cruelties of the world because I was larger than most kids my own age and I felt awkward and invisible, as if no one cared if I was there or not and I wasn’t a pretty, preppy girl who had it all together.  Those were lies from the devil and for a long time I believed that beauty was all about how pretty your hair was, if your skin was flawless and then I came to learn through parents, teachers and most of all the Word of God that inner beauty , the shape that your heart is in, is more important than the package you present on the outside. I was taught by my parents in the way they modeled love and compassion that true beauty comes from putting others above yourself and your needs.  Helping others in need, by sharing your resources or just giving your time to another, is a beauty that no amount of makeup or stylish clothes can create.

Transformations comes in all forms. For some it may be a transformation in the way they look, eating healthier, exercising more, learning to love themselves so they can reach out and love others.  For others it may be, sharing their knowledge and increasing value in someone’s life.  There are many “fixer upper” shows on television where people take run down, dilapidated houses and transform them into beautiful, beyond words homes. A house is just a building, but a home is where love can grow. A safe haven.

Your heart is like that too.  Your heart can be so full of bitterness, anger, misunderstandings and emotions from sadness to loneliness, but when you decide to follow Jesus, repent of your sins and accept him as your Lord and Savior, there is a tremendous transformation that takes place in your heart. You have this extravagant love that pours over you, you can’t explain it, but it is an all encompassing love and there is nothing you can do to earn it, not one thing. He gives freely. Jesus becomes your guide in all you do.  Study his Word (Holy Bible), speak it, spend time with others that love him as much as you do and pray to God and speak with him daily.

As a person with a chronic illness for which there is no cure, it would be easy for me to sink into a dark hole of depression and say why me? Instead, I choose to focus on how Jesus is changing me daily and I am learning to walk in peace. I don’t have all the answers, but I know he has a plan for me and I choose to trust him.

Every person that goes through a transforming moment in their lives plays a role.  We all have choices we make every day.  Some choices bring rewards and some bring disaster. Part of having the good transformation in our lives, is the willingness to change on some points. If you have always done things the same way and the results are less than what you want, it may be time to change it up a little bit and try new ways of accomplishing what you want.  Just because you think that your way is best, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Looking at someone else’s point of view, may just be what you need.

Jesus can take any mess-dangerous addictions-bad attitudes-grief filled lives and turn them into messages of hope. He was in the miracle business thousands of years ago and he still is today.  He loves you.  You don’t have to be all cleaned up to seek him. Reach out to him, right where you are and know that you matter, you are his child. He created you and he just wants to have a relationship with you.  He loves sharing in your joys and celebrations, but he also wants to share in your sorrows and times when life seems to be too much to handle. He is always available for you.  There is darkness in the world, but light always penetrates darkness. Let Jesus be your guiding light and you will be so amazed and how he can transform you, your life and everything in it.

Many blessings to all of you!
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