A Raging Battle

I started life out as the skinny girl in class. Everyone else was jealous of me – and let me know it. I could eat all weekend and lose weight. I had trouble finding clothes that fit, because so many things were just too big. I grew up, got married, started having babies. Then came the weight. Not much, mind you. A little at a time. Five pounds or so after each baby. Six babies later, and I entered the 160′s. (I know for some this would be a nice weight to achieve, but hear me out. I was 110 until I turned 17. I packed on a whopping 7 pounds of muscle, and stayed at that weight until my first baby.) Not only was I suffering from the physical side of carrying around forty extra pounds, but I was also battling depression.

So what’s a girl to do?

I started working on my weight four years ago. I’ve had success. So far I’ve lost about 22 pounds, and maintained. I even started running. I’m not done though.

But I’m stuck.

Starting this study, I’ve realized that this now has gone beyond physically making changes. And it’s not only about food. For me, I crave sleep. When I’m not medicated for depression, I want to sleep to hide from my life. When I am medicated, I still feel that way sometimes, but also have a wonderful side-effect that renders me sleepy and lacking energy almost constantly.

I need a change. A deep-down, God-breathed, everlasting, Holy change.

So it starts here. I want to learn to crave God beyond all else. Even with a diagnosis, I give up my excuses. I do not want to come to the end of my life, and know that there was the gift of freedom sitting there for me, and I had refused to reach out and take it into my hands. I am so thankful for Lysa, that she was willing to walk this journey and share the wisdom and truth that God has laid out to her. The book, this study, and the encouragement from other sisters is a promise of freedom. That freedom is within reach for me, and for you.

I’ve set goals before and achieved them. I’ve also set goals and failed. I’m not satisfied with failure any longer. I want God to consume me. It won’t do me any good to have a big cheer session, either. Our culture tells us to believe in ourselves and we can achieve anything we want. We are told that we DESERVE whatever it is we want (I most certainly do not DESERVE what He is offering me – being filled and consumed with Him – forever!). It tells us, if we say, “I CAN DO THIS!” louder, faster and more often, then we’ll get it! You know what? I can’t do this. My being in this study is proof. But here’s the great thing about it all. God doesn’t want ME to do this. He wants to do this IN me. My weakness shows His strength, and HE is glorified. There’s freedom just in the thought! And if freedom’s in the air, I’m in.

Are you in with me?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, Staying Alive….

…or not. We have had such a difficult time keeping our animals alive on this little hobby farm! We’ve only had small ones thankfully, but still it’s so frustrating to go out and discover the raccoons have once again emptied our chicken coop.

I haven’t planted a thing yet. It’s just been a weird year, and so though I’m hoping to still get a few things in the ground, I’m learning to be ok if I don’t. I feel a bit of pressure as I’m surrounded by a group of hobby farmers at our church, and so many of the discussions I’m part of or overhear have to do with farming.

We are so enjoying being in this house, though, and I look forward to making it more “ours” in the years to come. My biggest issue is patience. I have a to-do list a mile long, and I have to remember that I can’t do all in a day, week or even month, so to just be content with things as they are.

Our house up river is finally SOLD! So after almost two years, we are happy to be winding down to closing day, and moving on. Trusting God to work out the details of getting it emptied out, as we have little to no spare time, and there is still a fair amount of things that need to be moved.

Overall, life has been stressful, hard, and good.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

31 Days of Psalms – Day 31

Wow! Starting out on this challenge, I really thought I’d struggle more than I did, and that the time would pass more slowly than it seemed to. However, here we are at the end of our 31 Days series, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with posting daily. Obviously, I wasn’t able to do it perfectly, but the fact that my blog has seen this much activity in the last month is a positive for me. I’m really wanting to continue writing, posting, journaling my way through life.

Psalm 67

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us—
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
3 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth.
5 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
6 The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.
7 May God bless us still,
so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Posted in 2012 31 Day Series | Leave a comment

31 Days of Psalms – Day 30

Psalm 63

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

There is a beautiful song by Andy Park based on this Psalm, but I was unable to find it on YouTube, and I’m somewhat illiterate in knowing where else to look, even for just an audio of it, so I can’t share it.

This Psalm gets down to the root of what God has been working on in my heart for the past couple of years. Contentment and satisfaction. And not even in my possessions, or even earthly relationships, but rather being so completely satisfied in Him, that nothing else matters. I’m so far from being where I want to be, but I’m at peace knowing that He’s got my attention on this issue, and we’re working through it, together.

Posted in 2012 31 Day Series | Leave a comment

31 Days of Psalms – Day 29

Psalm 61

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. Of David.

1 Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
5 For you, God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
6 Increase the days of the king’s life,
his years for many generations.
7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;
appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.
8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name
and fulfill my vows day after day.

Posted in 2012 31 Day Series | Leave a comment

31 Days of Psalms – Day 27 & 28

I’ll be combining a couple more days as the weekend we just had was very busy. I helped a friend of mine, who is getting married in two weeks, clean out their barn/garage where the wedding will be held. What a dirty job! It was a fun day, though, and we’re all getting excited to have a fun, casual ceremony and reception. Very happy for her!

Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Posted in 2012 31 Day Series | Leave a comment

31 Days of Psalms – Day 26

I’ve shared before about my struggle with depression. It is something that hits harder in the fall and winter seasons, so both my doctor and I are suspcious that it is a combination of classic depression and/or post-partum depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Because of my on-going battle with it, I have had to learn some coping strategies. One thing I do is to make sure I stay active. I’d much rather, based on my feelings, just stay in my house, in my pajamas, and even in my bed, for the whole winter. We all know that that’s not possible, let alone healthy. So I’ve made it a point to engage in activities where I’m obligated to show up. This fall, I’m rehearsing for a part in “The Sound of Music”, which will show in February 2013. Of course, eating right, exercise, and proper amounts of sleep along with medication go a long way in making life much more pleasant.

However, there is something even more important that I oftentimes forget to do. The Bible tells us that we are to take every thought captive, so when I start down a dark road, I am, with Christ’s strength, able to rein in my thoughts and feelings, and actively take those thoughts and feelings in a different direction. The best thing I can think of? Worship! I LOVE the feeling in my home when we have worship music playing throughout our day.

There are also Psalms that are so full of praise and thanksgiving, that you can’t start focusing on them and speaking them out, and stay in a dark place. Remember, hope deferred makes a heart sick. So I choose to change my focus to my Source of hope!

Psalm 103

Of David.

1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.

Posted in 2012 31 Day Series | Leave a comment

31 Days of Psalms – Day 25

Wow. It’s so hard to believe the home-stretch is here. I didn’t quite make it to post every day, but I am thrilled with the way this month has helped me re-focus on my blog, and I actually think about blogging each day. Hoping this is the jump-start I needed to get back into the habit of writing.

I chose today’s Scripture passage because as a mother trying to teach my kids morals and a Godly worldview in the society that we exist in, I can become discouraged when everything you value is deemed politically incorrect. When you feel like you have to censor everything you believe in and express because it might offend someone else, it’s exhausting!

Here’s what I do know: those who are so easily offended by such things have no idea what they are missing out on. They don’t understand that with law and truth comes freedom!

Psalm 19:7-14

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Posted in 2012 31 Day Series | Leave a comment

31 Days of Psalms – Day 22, 23, and 24

Back after a few days of technical difficulties. I really wanted so badly to stay on target with this, but sometimes things go beyond your control, so I’m choosing not to stress.

Today I’m going to share a Psalm and a song that is based on this Psalm. I’m sure most are familiar with both this passage of Scripture and the song, but I so love it’s message, especially when I’m struggling with depression or SAD, when I’m getting overwhelmed by life.

Psalm 42:1-5

For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Posted in 2012 31 Day Series | Leave a comment

31 Days of Psalms – Day 19, 20 & 21

Today, I’m going to cheat a little. I’ve had a very busy few days, and I just thought I would post one for all this Sunday night, as I think that’s better than forcing three different posts out just to catch up. I saw this particular Psalm posted on another blog today, and it so rang true with where my heart is today. We had a beautiful, very warm, sunny day. The children were happy to be outside for most of the afternoon after church, and we just soaked up this wonderful gift. In contrast, yesterday was literally torrential rain for most of the day, and we have many waterways now sitting at flood levels. Today truly looked and felt like Spring!

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

How amazing to never be able to hide from the One Who knows all about us, and Who loves us with such an amazing, everlasting love that He knows our thoughts, and knit us together so wonderfully in our mothers’ wombs! Be blessed!

Posted in 2012 31 Day Series | Leave a comment