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Praise Report

Hello, dear readers! Sorry for my absence.  I have had a lot of things happening in the last few weeks and have not been very diligent in keeping up with this blog, I do apologize. You have been kind enough to engage with me and follow my writing and I really do appreciate every single person that takes a moment out of their busy days to stop by and read what I have to say.

As with everything I write and share with you, there is ALWAYS one common thread. His name is God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.  He gave me life, and he gives my life purpose.  Everything I have comes from Him and everything I will ever have in the future comes through His blessings in my life!!

There is so much to be thankful for.  In July of 2016, our 26-month-old grandson was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 2 (meaning he would require substantial support) and was considered non-verbal.  And while he does require substantial support, God has changed the non-verbal to communicative. Does he speak in clear sentences and phrases that most people can understand the meaning? Sometime’s he gives one or two words, and that is enough. But for all of us that love him and spend life with him, he has made amazing leaps and bounds from where he was a year ago! Thank you, Father God. You are so good! Our grandson started preschool this year, with 45 words which may not be a lot of words to the general public, but to anyone that loves a nonverbal individual, those 45 words were like winning the lottery!! More precious than silver or gold!! And since he has been in school for a little over a month now, a light has come on, a part of his brain a door has unlocked and words are bursting forth. He knows more than he says, that is very evident. But God did that! Prayers have been prayed over the Autism Diagnosis since it happened by many people, probably even some I do not know personally, so thank you for being faithful prayer warriors and leaving the outcome to Jesus!  And thank you for allowing me to see how YOU work in all of our lives if we remain faithful to your Word.

That would be enough praise, in itself, but there is so much more!!!! A little over three months ago, a friend shared with me an amazing story of how much better she was feeling and what she was doing that was so radical for her, that I had to try it.  It was called self-care, sprinkled with hope and amazing results! What a concept!  For me, I have always been the one that cares for everyone else in my life. My husband, my children, grandchildren, friends, parents, and I always came last and that was how I perceived my role as a wife, mom, grandmother, and friend. As long as I was meeting everyone’s needs, and everyone was feeling loved, I would get by. But, if you have been on this same path I was on, you all know that is not true. And if we don’t take the time to care for ourselves, we might not be around to enjoy caring for others.

We have to learn that we are worth just as much love and care that we pour into others. We have to realize that we need time, too, to focus on our needs and everyone’s needs are different.  Mine was focusing on my health and having some quiet time alone and with friends, without feeling guilty I was taking the time. And changing my mindset.  And after 52 years of having that mindset, it wasn’t going to be an easy task, but I am so glad I decided to take the time because it has been SOOOOOOO worth it!

I know God was in every single detail of what led my friend to share with me her self-care tips and a supplementation program she was using and the great benefits she had received.  If I hadn’t of been raw and real and very vulnerable in a blog post from May 27th, Free Me From This Prison, I might still be sitting here in pain and discomfort. When I wrote that post, I battled with God back and forth about I didn’t want to write it, I didn’t want to be that vulnerable, I was always the “strong” one and I didn’t want to appear weak, but he said, “do it anyway, trust Me”.  After many tears and “are you sure’s?” , I wrote.  When God wants to use me in a small or big way, and it’s out of my comfort zone, I always struggle and wonder if I am hearing him correctly, but what I need to do is trust Him. Listen to Him. His ways are not my ways, but they are the Best Way!

My friend shared how these all natural, no chemicals, no preservatives, no gluten, no man-made anything was in these supplements and how God was using these products to heal her body from the inside out.  Had it been anyone else, I would have said, “thanks, but no thanks.”  But God knew I would listen to her because I truly valued and respected her and her opinion and I knew she would always be simplistically honest with me and HE also knows I value Honesty and Integrity in everything.  He sent the right messenger.

So, I started taking these amazing supplements and learned what kinds of foods my body needs to thrive and what things I needed to let go of that were slowly killing me.  My inflammation levels internally and externally have been high for so long, I don’t even recall when they weren’t a part of who I am. Internally, every time I have lab work done, that is one of the things that is always checked and every time, it would always be so very high, my physician would make mention of it, with no clue as to why or how to make the inflammation go down.  There are many OTC products and prescription drugs that can be taken to battle inflammation, but then you have to worry about damaging your body further from unwanted side effects, or worse yet, they don’t help and now you have added products to your body that didn’t help and you still feel just as bad as you did before you tried them.  I will admit, I was skeptical, but I trusted her to know I had to give them a try and if it didn’t work, it didn’t work, but when you live with chronic, debilitating, immobilizing pain, you will try anything, almost anything at least once and then mark it off your list and move on.  Except for this time, I didn’t have to check it off my list and move on, because, for the first time in 10 years, I had hope.

My pain levels, sheer exhaustion fatigue, and terrible brain fog didn’t miraculously;y lift from me overnight, but after three weeks of using these supplements I could tell a difference.  I didn’t have to sit on the side of the bed in the mornings for 20-30 minutes just to gain my balance to stand up and steady myself. I could roll over in bed without being in such agonizing pain, I didn’t need all these pillows supporting and propping me up just so I could “TRY” to get some rest. By the 8 week mark, I found myself in tears again, not because they weren’t helping, but because God cared enough about me, to choose to heal my body with these amazing products. He loved me enough to take away my pain, my fatigue, my brain fog and I started noticing so many other things, too.

The severe knee/hip-joint pain I had for the last several years wasn’t there either. Many days I sat in amazement that this had to be a really fabulous dream I was having, but pinching myself made me realize, it was not a dream.  It was as real as the God I serve and follow and it was his gift to me. I know without a shred of a doubt that every single piece that fell into place was because I chose to trust God, to step out in faith and to obey His leading. And every single time that I do that, He blesses me or my life. Why? Because he is a Good Good Father and He LOVES extravagantly!

Is my health all perfect now, nope? I have ways to go, but I am on the right road. I didn’t get unhealthy and out of shape overnight and I won’t become the picture of perfect health overnight either.  But I will be the best version of me from here on out. I will choose to eat whole, healthy foods and less processed foods. I have learned that my gut health is too important to my overall health to not care what I put in my mouth. I lost my diet soda/sweet tea habit and replaced it with nice refreshing water.  I can’t get enough green vegetables, they are packed with so many nutrients and minerals our bodies need and how come I didn’t already know this.  I should have known it. My neighbor and friend, has been trying to tell me for years how important it is what I put in my body, but God knew I wasn’t ready to listen yet and so I ignored her warnings.

As I sit here and tell you all this fabulous, life-transforming news, I am sitting here wide awake when( my new normal, I would be sleeping) I should be sleeping,  but I have some ulcers on my lower legs where I’ve always battled poor venous circulation and getting the blood flow to return is always slower than when it is working through my system. They are painful and using bandages or gauze compresses are difficult because latex tape and cloth tape really irritate the skin around the area, which then causes a skin allergy reaction, and then all I want to do is scratch layers of skin off, but they are too tender and sore to even touch.  Anything that touches them, even air, well let’s just say I would not recommend having these for fun.  Because they are not.  And before you speculate, no I am not a diabetic.  I thank Jesus for that. It could be a lot worse than it is. But I will also take the time, right now to thank God for placing amazing people in my life that saw a need and took care of it so I could take care of my legs. I am very blessed indeed.  I thank God that I have a wonderful wound care doctor that I have had to see in the past and I will see later today to get the healing process started on my legs. Without God, none of this would be possible.

I choose to look at life optimistically, there’s always a silver lining. And even when I go through trials and struggles I know Jesus is with me. He becomes my strength, He is my Peace and my rest. He is my Hope.  No matter what I face in this temporary life, here on earth, He has already overcome it! He knows my every single solitary detail about me, everything I will ever face, and HE carries me every single day!  He can do the same for you if you are willing.

Father God, saying thank you doesn’t seem like enough for all you have done for me, my family and my friends in this lifetime. Sometime’s I feel that you deserve more than I know how to give, but I give you my all. I praise you, not because I have to or because other’s say I should, I choose to praise you and honor you because I am your child and I love you. Thank you for pushing me, nudging me, stretching me in ways my eyes can’t see the vision, thank you for teaching me to step out in faith and thank you for putting the right people in my path at just the right time. Thank you for opening my ears so that I can hear and for not allowing my heart to become hardened when life is hard. Thank you for giving me Jesus and for the blood He shed on the cross for me and all my sins. Thank you Father God, for giving me an advocate, The Holy Spirit that nudges me pricks my heart and convicts me when I need to know my way is not always best.  But most of all Father God, thank you for loving me unconditionally and showering all the blessings you do every single solitary moment of my life. My cup overflows. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

May you know how much Jesus Loves You! He will meet you right where you are, in this moment. And I promise you this, when you choose to take up your cross and follow Him, your life will never be the same again!

Many blessings on your journeys! Much love~Carlene

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His Purpose

I sit here today, looking out my window onto the world and I see shadows on the grass from the tree branches highlighted by the sun and I see wild rabbits foraging for food, fighting the squirrels for what they can find. I hear cars buzzing by on the street and here I sit in my little corner of the world, trying to figure out what is my purpose?

When I retired, I thought that God wanted me to write and share His story of love, redemption, and grace. To share the story of following Jesus is the only way to Heaven. So, I wrote a small book, sharing my story of hope and encouragement through my faith walk and a way for me to Honor the Lord. Once I accomplished that, then I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.

Called to Peace1

So as I prayed about it, I continued to write my blogs, this one and another one I write about Living with Autism (see sidebar) and I knew there was more, I could sense it deep within me, but waiting for the answer wasn’t easy; I never have been very patient.

When our grandson was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I knew that my being able to retire, and be at peace about it, wasn’t so much about me changing my life, but by being available to help this little guy grow and learn and advocate for him every day, which would have been harder to do if I was still working full time. I thank Jesus for this opportunity daily to be a blessing in his life and I pray Jesus will continue to guide me to make the best decisions for him.

I still feel like this is not enough, but I don’t know why I feel this way. Is God calling me to something more or am I wanting more than what I am already doing? I honestly don’t know.

As I sit and glance out my window, I know I miss the interactions with lots of people that I had on a daily basis when I was working. Now, most of my interactions happen online, because I cannot go anywhere and everywhere I would like due to being on a fixed income.  I am not complaining as I have made great friendships online, just as strong as friends I have known all my life and can reach out to at a moment’s notice.

I just want to make sure that every single day that I have breath, that I am honoring the Lord, sharing how he can turn any mess into a message of hope, how he can turn any test I face into a testimony. I want people to see so much of Jesus in my life, that they will want the same thing to and trying to convey how much He has impacted my life, isn’t always easy at a computer screen.

Even in my doubting times, God loves me. Even when I have no idea what my next step is, He loves me. He loves me when I am angry, sad, joyful, bitter, resentful and hopeful. He doesn’t care how long or short my hair is, of whether I am dressed to the nines or wearing the grungiest close I have. He cares more about the condition of my heart, than how I appear outwardly. He knows I make mistakes and falter on a regular basis, but he doesn’t give up on me; he waits for me to come to Him in prayer and seek forgiveness and shows me love that only HE can show.

1 Samuel 16:7New Living Translation (NLT)

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 

He can do the same for you! I will be still and wait patiently on the Lord, and until I am sure what he wants me to do, I will trust in Him. I know my work here on earth is not done, and I know He has plans for me. Never lose hope, always trust, always have faith. God is with all of us!

May you know how much Jesus Loves You! #HopeAlways#HaveFaith

Blessings to all!

 

Prayer Is Powerful

Prayer is one of the most powerful tools there is. I can honestly speak from experience.  Yesterday was one of the worst days for me. I was ready to give up AND then my prayer warriors and total strangers prayed for God to invade my body and give me peace.

Today, has been a great day! Pain levels have been considerably lower. Completed work that needed done. Spent the evening out with my husband and friends, enjoying life. I’ve learned not only is it important for me to seek the Lord, when you ask others to pray, miracles happen.

Thank you Jesus for your never ending, ever faithful love and mercy.

May you know Jesus Loves You!

Blessings to you! #HopeAlways#HaveFaithprayer-1308663_640

Reblogging -Come and See

 A great read about Jesus was written by a fellow writer. I encourage you to read and follow the link at the end of his story.

Blessings!

There was a man who walked on this Earth about two-thousand years ago named Jesus. In fact, every time you write the date on a check you attest to the reality of his existence. There are some today who say he was a great teacher. Others say he was a prophet. But Jesus claimed to […]

via Come and see! — excatholic4christ

Focus on The One

Sleep was erratic. Seals  were broken numerous times.  Excuses danced around in my mind.  The alarm sounded.  As I flipped back the covers and swung my legs over the side of my bed this morning, I thought of all the reasons I could stay home and not venture out into the cold, brisk air. For a split second, the idea of burrowing under the covers for the remainder of the day was very appealing to me.love-1221444_640

That’s exactly what the devil wanted. Not today Satan.

As I slowly and purposely maneuvered down each stair step, and secretly wished I could just bound up and down the stairs as I used to, I found our grandson waiting at the bottom – arms outstretched wanting to be picked up with the cutest smile on his face. At that very moment, I thanked Jesus for the blessings he gives me daily. I couldn’t wait to get to church and spend some time praising and worshipping the King of Kings!

Winding my way through the maze of people at church, chatting it up with friends and giving and receiving hugs, I found my way to our seats.  As I juggled my handbag, several coats and a cup of hot tea, I placed my cane on the chair in front of me.  I knew I would need it. Most Sunday’s  I choose to sit and sing from my seat during worship  times. It’s an easy way for me to take a break from the pain I have; today I chose to honor the Lord with ALL I have and ALL I am. And as I stood and sung with every fiber of by being, my heart swelled; my pain was there, but it wasn’t so unbearable that I couldn’t stand through  a few songs.  Thoughts tried to break through saying, ‘you know you would feel better if you sit down.’  Not today Satan.

Lately, I have found that if I allow the stress of my day to gnaw at me and I don’t let it roll off of me and give it to Jesus, the devil comes along and tries to steal my joy. I can stand firm in my faith and know that Jesus is working everything out for me.  I am learning that how I look at life, is quite different from other people in my life see it and I can do my best to understand things from their point of view or I can allow Satan to work on us and allow bitterness to take hold and bickering to ensue to the point that I don’t care what happens in those relationships. The enemy is good at plotting and destruction. I can say  ‘Not today Satan.’

God tells us in His word that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but that He came to give us life abundantly.

 

John 10:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they (A)may have life, and [a]have it abundantly.

 

When I chose to follow Jesus as my Savior, my life became abundant in blessings and favor I would never had seen otherwise. God loves us and he gave us the best gift we could ever have. His son. I always have a choice and so do you.

Last week, I melted. If tears could cause a person to dissolve, I would’ve been a puddle for sure. I do my best to  stay focused on the Lord, but sometimes life gets the best of me. I forget to turn it ALL over to the Lord. I pray, but I don’t realize that I need to totally surrender to the Lord. He already knows what I need.

I can choose to see all the things I need to work on in my life as dead ends OR I can choose to see how many times Jesus has carried me in the palm of His hand, when I was too weak to take that next step. As I allow the Lord to soften my heart and show love and kindness, as he did, the walls of anger and resentment start to fall away.

We must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must trust in His Word for us. His love endures forever. So the next time, you feel like you’re being pulled into a direction that is not of the Lord, simply stand firm in your faith and declare – Not today Satan.

 

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for my life. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for dying on the cross and shedding your blood from me. Lord forgive me when I fail to remember that you are with me . When I am weak and have no strength; you are my strength. When I am tired; you give me rest. When I am sad; you are my joy. When life is coming at me from all sides; you are my peace.  Father God, thank you so much for sticking with me through thick and thin.

In your Mighty name Jesus, Amen

Remember, Jesus Loves you! Blessings to you and yours today!

 

 

 

 

Perseverance

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd

Of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every

Weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so

Easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the

Race God has set before us.

Hebrews 12:1 NLT

 

How well do you persevere and push through when life knocks you down and punches you in the gut? Do you give up and stop trying? God tells us in this verse that we are surrounded by other believers that can witness to us and share their testimony and stories of faith to encourage us to press on to the goal. His word tells us to get rid of everything that is stopping us from achieving his will for our lives and let us run in such a way that no matter what obstacles appear, or how bleak it may look, to never give up.

 

Perseverance is something that a person develops over time. How do we learn it? By test and trials in our lives- when we must stand in faith and trust the Lord is working on our behalf; even though through our eyes we can’t even begin to imagine how things will work out.  Perseverance means crying out to the Lord in all times, not just rough and tumble times, but joyous and good times too. Seek him out and allow him to be your strength when you just don’t think you can take one more rejection or let down.

 

As children of God, we know that no matter what we face in our lives, he is with us always. The holy spirit lives in each of our hearts. Taking the easy way out of a tough situation, is not being the person God created you to be. He is everything you need. He is enough. Perseverance can be described in this acrostic

P.U.S.H. P=Pray U=Until S=Something H=Happens

 

As we pray and press on and into Jesus, he will bless us in ways we can’t begin to fathom, but we have to do our part. We can’t just pray and wait for him to do all the work. Perseverance develops character and allows God to mold and shape us into the person he want us to be. We cannot let others cloud our judgement and decision-making. God has a plan for each one of us, and as we are called to fulfill that plan, we must be willing to stand on his promises that he will never leave us or abandon us. He will equip us with all the tools necessary to reach the destination set before us.

 

I am the Lord; there is no other God. I have equipped you

For battle, though you don’t even know me, so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord and there is no other.

I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times, I the Lord, am the one who does these things.

Isaiah 45:5-7 NLT

 

Challenges are opportunities for us to show others how Great our God is and how he will use every perceived failure to help us reach the ultimate goal set before us.

 

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and

Trials, for we know that they help us develop

Endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character

Strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly

God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit

To fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5 NLT

 

The next time you are faced with fear and  you think you  can’t do what you have been called to do in your life, remember this, Jesus will see you through whatever it is; He will fight for you, simply because you are his child and he loves you.struggle-1271657_1920

Never Give Up.

 

May you know how much God Loves You! Blessings,

Carlene

 

Are You Ready?

When God places something on your heart to extend His Kingdom, are you ready and waiting to walk in obedience? OR Do you think you that you are unqualified?

God provides all the tools we need and equips us for every situation he places us in.

Just as a carpenter has special tools to fine tune his creations, Jesus has his own tools he uses on us and through us. It is not our place to question when we are called, but to have faith that whatever we are tasked to do.equip

When God asks you to do something, pray for someone, reach out to a stranger, share your testimony; he knows what he is asking. He is asking for you to trust Him with the results. It’s not our job to question or battle with the Lord. God has tugged at my heart many times and pulled me out of my comfort zone.  In the 30 second battle in my mind, telling Jesus I couldn’t do it or I was afraid I was too inexperienced, I learned one thing. Jesus doesn’t expect me to do it in my own strength. He expects me to follow his guiding Holy Spirit and trust that no matter what he has called me to, he has gone before me and prepared a way.

Remember when God called Jonah to go to Nineveh to tell them to turn back from their evil ways, but Jonah didn’t want to do it. So he ran and thought he could hide from God on a ship. And the ship was tossed by the angry seas and Jonah was thrown overboard to save the rest of the ship.  Just think if Jonah had just done what God commanded him to do, he would have never ended up in the belly of the whale. So once he was spit upon the land by the whale, he still had to go to Nineveh.  (See the book of Jonah for more specific details.)Can you imagine what Jonah must have felt, when after all he had been through, he still had to do what God wanted? And then to make matters worse for Jonah, he thought for sure once he delivered the message from God, God would destroy the evil people, but he showed compassion and Jonah was then acting as if he knew what was better, than God.

Jesus knows every battle we face, and he uses the right people at the right time, to offer hope and encouragement, to answer prayers, and by us being obedient to His call, we further His Kingdom here on Earth.  It’s not for us to question why me Lord? It’s for us to trust the Holy Spirit that lives in the hearts of all believers and to follow his prompting. He will provide what we need at just the right time.  So, the question remains, are you ready?

I pray daily that when God puts something on my heart to write that I share what he wants me to share and that it touches just one life. One person can create a ripple effect, it only takes one to listen and reach out.

ripple

John 14:26 New Living Translation (NLT)

26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

Stay in the Word, pray to God, seek His Will and trust your heart.

Many blessings to you!

Much love,

Carlene