Category Archives: God speaks

Cherishing the silence

I’m finding that I do my best thinking when my “ears” are off (my cochlear implant processors). Even at night, when the house is quiet. It’s just a whole different kind of quiet, because all I hear is the low ringing tones of tinnitus and absolutely nothing else. You probably don’t realize there is noise to be heard, but just try plugging your ears for a few seconds and you’ll see what I mean. There’s a word for that noise but I can’t think of it at the moment. Ambient maybe?

What’s funny about me enjoying this silent existence is that it used to terrify me. So much so, that I needed medication just to sleep at night. But 4 years of deafness and now I welcome the silence. It’s helpful to retreat into myself, to focus my thoughts, but mostly I embrace it because it’s now my favorite time to talk to Jesus. He meets me here in the silence. He was here with me every day while I wrestled with hearing loss and vision loss back in 2013, and he’s never left me since. I don’t share this info often, but there was a song I used to sing during that time, over and over and over mostly in my head, and it brought me peace and comfort when not much else did. I’ll post the lyrics below because you might see how unbelievably appropriate it was for what I was going through. The interesting thing about it, no – miraculous – is that prior to losing my hearing, I had only heard that song one time that I can recall. It was in a movie that I watched once years ago. How on earth could I have remembered that song? Only God knows. But boy, did that song ever save me from a really ugly and scary time in my life, and I believe it will now forever be my theme song.

Losing my hearing and vision was an enormous life changer for me, for obvious reasons, but God has used it all to bring about incredibly wonderful changes. The biggest change, and the one I am most grateful for, is that it solidified my faith in Jesus. He showed me through that song, through the support we received from family and friends, through Scripture, through the fact that we survived it all, that He will never leave me.

So. When I’m settling in for the night and am taking off my ears and entering the silence, I am delighted to talk to Him. He is my peace, forever and always, amen.

Jesus, Lover of my Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul

Jesus, I will never let you go

You’ve taken me from the miry clay

Set my feet upon the rock, and now I know

I love you, I need you

Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go

My Savior, my closest friend

I will worship you until the very end

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Two for two

2 Thessalonians 3:16 – “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

Having just shoved the kids off to the bus in typical hectic fashion, this verse today is an answer to a prayer I was too frazzled to make. I was frazzled, yes, but I didn’t blow my top today. I was miraculously able to stay calm – ish – and I did not raise my voice. A small victory, indeed.

Also, I’m drinking delicious coffee. Coffee that’s still hot. Miracle number two.

 

 

Angels Among Us

I’ve been doing fairly well this week, dealing with this relapse with my vision and the steroid treatments. However, Friday afternoon I was approaching a meltdown. I was sitting at the kitchen table when it occurred to me that I was experiencing the dreaded MS hug. The MS hug is a neurological symptom experienced by many of us MSers. It feels, to me at least, as if I am wearing a super tight corset, and someone is pulling the strings tighter and tighter around my ribcage. It’s not dangerous or life-threatening in any way, but it can be painful. At a minimum, it’s extremely uncomfortable.

I think what bothered me about this the most is that I hadn’t experienced it in many years, and I felt that since I am currently treating a relapse, that I shouldn’t be experiencing any worsening symptoms. So, I was understandably freaked out. Knowing that I was probably overreacting, I called my mom so she could talk some sense into me. And that she did. While I freaked out, she reassuringly talked me off the ledge, consulting Dr. Google at the same time (she’s the ultimate multi-tasker), and gave me some guidance. We ended the call with a plan for me to take a warm Epsom salt bath, take a Gabapentin (the drug I take for the occasional fiery nerve pain in my feet and thankfully have plenty of), and watch a happy chick flick on Netflix. Oh, and we did a fair amount of Skyping while she helped me pick a movie to watch (I went with her suggestion of Under the Tuscan Sun). At the tail end of the call she showed me a great view of the Oklahoma sunset from her backyard. It was truly breathtaking, and left me speechless..

That sunset was the first of several ways God would speak to my heart, comforting me in very personal ways, letting me know that I am still never alone, never as long as I have HIM.

I woke up Saturday morning to a message from one of my very best friends, one whom I had purposely kept from reaching out to for help this week because she is recovering from a major surgery and I didn’t want to burden her further. It sounds so ridiculous in hindsight, and she would tell me that, I’m sure. Her message was so short and sweet, it cut right to my heart: “Love you. Miss you. And prayers for comfort.” And again I was left speechless. How could she have known how much I needed that? She couldn’t have. That’s all God right there. Grace.

One more though – ou all know I love checking the mail, right? Today my son beat me to it, so I didn’t get to run out to the mailbox like Blue, but when he handed me the mail, with a card addressed to me, I got just as giddy. A handwritten greeting card, from a familiar name. This was sent from a woman from my hometown. She knew me when I was in high school and she reads my blog. She wrote a beautiful note to encourage me and let me know she is always praying for me. I think she must have read the post about checking the mail and gotten my mailing address from my sister. But again, she couldn’t have known how much I was going to need that when she mailed it. But God must have stirred her heart to send me that note, and she took action, and my heart was comforted once again.

Guys, I believe in angels. I really do. And I believe God speaks to our hearts. I believe when we listen to that still, small voice and respond to it? We become God’s hands and feet. His angels here on earth. I have almost zero research to back any of that up, but I promise you with all my heart that it’s real to me. So you can take my word for it if you want, or you can try it on your own. Practice kindness and compassion. What can it hurt? At the very least you’ll brighten someone’s day.

The light in the darkness

It’s Christmas Eve, and we’re all ready for Christmas morning with the kids. Breakfast fixings are ready in the fridge, gifts are surrounding the tree.
We went to church tonight and were reminded that Jesus came to be a light in the darkness. Then we drove around looking at Christmas lights, a tradition we’ve been doing since before the kids were even born.
And do you know, my 9 year old son made the connection between the sermon at church (which I thought he was sleeping through) and the decorative lights everyone puts up at Christmas? I don’t know for certain the origin of Christmas lights, but I think my son might be on to something. The lights we put up at Christmas are a representation, a reminder, that Jesus is the light in the darkness. That just blew my mind, to hear something so wise coming from his mouth. I was pretty impressed. And for sure, I will remember that connection and from now on our annual tradition of driving around looking at lights will hold much greater meaning for me.
Merry Christmas, and may you find the light in the darkness.

Thankful for do-overs

Lest you think it’s all sunshine and roses with me, I’ll share that I had a bad day yesterday. I was tired and hungry and my emotions were all off kilter and I was a complete jerk to my family. I am sparing you the details, but let’s just say it was not pretty. It’s not the first time of course, but I’ve been having this happen more frequently than I would like. And it makes me feel like a helpless crazy person and that’s just an awful way to feel. 

But then my husband talks me out of it, not taking any of my crap, and welcomes me back to earth with open arms. 

And then this morning I see this view from my front porch and I am compelled to thank God for another day.

HE KNOWS

I’ve been trying to get back to reading scripture on a daily basis, and I’m glad I’ve been doing it. It’s a great comfort, and God still uses it to speak to me. This morning I was reading in Jeremiah where it talks about the Israelites and how God was angry with them because of their wickedness. That seems to be a common theme in the Old Testament. But after the weekend I had, it really helped me to know that God understands what I’m feeling. See, my daughter had been wanting a mermaid tail for her birthday. I bought her one, but it wasn’t the exact one that she wanted, or rather it was missing a piece she wanted. She was heartbroken and to be honest, ungrateful. It didn’t help that she was at her birthday party, in front of all her friends. I was really upset with her. Then later that night I was trying to help my son get his football uniform and equipment together for turning in the following day, and I was asking him where things were. He had a friend over, so he didn’t like me interrupting him with these questions and told me to leave him alone. So I let him do his own laundry!

But the point is, I had been pretty upset and down about having two children acting ungrateful, after a week spent doing things for them (chaperoning the school field trip, putting together preparations for the birthday party, cooking, cleaning, etc.). So it was really therapeutic and healing to read this morning, and to know that God can relate to what I was feeling. He knows what it’s like to have ungrateful children, and yet He loves us all just the same.

“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before.” Jeremiah 33:6-7

Jesus loves you

As I’m sitting out on my newly stained deck, enjoying a hot cup of coffee on a gorgeous day, I want so badly to write. To tell you all what I did today, what I did yesterday, how my family is doing. I have so many stories swirling around in my head and I just can’t seem to pick one. So I’m going with the most important for now, and the rest I can just save for later.

I received a really great devotional this morning. It was toying with the idea of tattooing being a sixth love language, which is why it got my attention (both tattoos and love languages intrigue me, more on the latter later). In case you’re curious how the author would come up with such a preposterous idea, I’ll tell you he used the following verse as a reference: Isaiah 49:16 “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” And then he went on to explain why God would do something like that.

Instead of making a lame attempt to rewrite the article, I just felt compelled to share the heart of the message. Why would God carve your name on his palm? Because he loves you. Jesus loves you. It gives him great joy to have a constant reminder of you. And that’s all you need to know today. He offers all the grace you need, so striving is futile. Just give it up and rest, Jesus loves you.