Monday, October 28, 2013

Updates & Congestive Craft Failure

  Just FYI...we tested the detox experiment. It is still working to give my daughter some sleep. Some nights are better than others but just to prove to ourselves that it is the drops working, we did not do the extra drops one day. Guess what??? No sleep. Needless to say, she got extra drops the next day. So we trudge on and we will have to order extra bottles of Burbur, Pinella, Parsley, and Sparga. Amazon has them with Prime shipping so yea me!!!


  A little confession...

  I LOVE making crafts! What's the big deal you say? Well, my crafting impulse is on overload thanks to the internet. Drat you Etsy, Pinterest, and Google plus a few blogs I read!!! I want to make everything for everyone for Christmas. Then when the realization hits that besides not having enough money to buy all the supplies, there is not enough hours in the day to finish them all I am overwhelmed. 

  Reusable snack bags? Who wouldn't love them? Scoodie? Absolutely! Cuddly Owl Bed Warmer? Too cute not to make!

  When I finally do narrow it down and get the supplies, self-doubt creeps in and I sluggishly start my projects. Eventually, this becomes dread and production screeches to a halt. Here's a good example of what I fear: 
  Some of my friends would accept such a gift and attempt a smile that ends up looking like they just took a big dose of Creomulsion. (Did you ever have to take this vile stuff as a kid? The name alone conjures up ideas of the reaction to the taste.) Others would blandly thank me as they made a mental note to avoid me from now on to eternity and a few would laugh and say, "You are so funny. I can't wait to give this to someone else as a gag gift!" I would fake a laugh and then exile myself to the couch in my pj's for weeks watching episodes of DIY shows and crying.
  Sensitive much? Yes!

  So I am narrowing my crafting down to a few lucky souls and they will only get ONE handmade item from me. Could it be you? 

  What I really want to be sure of is that I balance the crafts with time seeking after God. It would be really great if I actually tipped the scales more on seeking God in His Word. The truth is that I would be a much better friend and a lot less sensitive if I did. Even though a scoodie is probably the most awesome thing I have seen, in the scheme of eternity it is nothing. God never says, "If you love me, craft from sun up to sun down." He  does tell us to love Him, keep His Word and obey Him. There is also the part about loving others but I am not sure a hand-crafted 3 tiered tea cup platter is what He meant.

  Lord, let me above all else honor You. Let me seek first Your face then I shall know how to bless those You put in my path a lot better than anything made from fleece or felt. 

  If you are suffering from Congestive Craft Failure, challenge yourself to pick a book of the Bible to study and really dig into finding out what God is saying to you and about Himself. Take notes as you go, search out the Hebrew or Greek translation of words, pray that God would reveal to you His meaning, research the history of what was happening. I double dare you to do it even through Thanksgiving! Let's see if the outcome is better than hours with a hot glue gun.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus!

  Praise God! Amen, Hallelujah! He is awesome! We have sleep!

  After much research and prayer, the trick to sleep came to me and I am absolutely sure it was divine inspiration. My brain was overloaded and frustration overwhelmed my ability to process any more articles, blog posts, research papers, comments on this herb or that supplement. I was at the end of myself and was thinking that my daughter just might have to suffer insomnia until the Lyme has completely died off. As I laid myself on the couch to regroup and pray, an idea hit me. It seemed so simple that I had doubts it would work but the thought of it was so powerful and clear that bedtime coming in 5 hours filled me with excitement. What if it really was the answer? 

  Never have I been this excited to get my child to sleep, not even during our middle of the night struggles with colic. Come on bedtime!

  Let me break down the idea for anyone who  may not use the Cowden Protocol for tick-borne illnesses. Tick-borne illnesses  frazzle the nervous system and this is the major cause of insomnia. When you start treatment, all that bacteria goes insane trying to fight for survival. When it starts to die off, the  bacteria releases toxins in the body and you feel sick, sick, sick (herxheimer reaction). Our daughter is 5 months into treatment with Cowden which is a natural way to treat Lyme. It is lots of drops taken 4 times a day carefully following a very specific schedule. In the protocol, there is always two different bacteria-killers that you rotate during the day and four different detox supplements that go along with them. If after taking one of your doses, you have a herx reaction (get worse symptoms), you take some of the detox drops every 15 minutes to clear up the symptoms. What impressed upon my brain was the idea that maybe, just maybe the insomnia is a herx because you take drops before dinner and drops before bed, so those bacteria are getting knocked around quite a bit right before you go to sleep. What if taking extra detox drops after the dinner drops and after bedtime drops relieved the insomnia? What if indeed!

  The first night I got her into a detox bath after dinner (Epsom salt and hydrogen peroxide). She took extra drops after dinner and after the bedtime  drops. She also took a dose of Melatonin and 5-HTP. I was so anxious to know if it worked, I barely slept. The next morning she was up on her own at 8 and she had slept! Not sleep that took forever to come or sleep that ended after a few hours but all night, full cycle sleep.

  Maybe it was a fluke so we did everything but the bath that night and it worked again. Guess what??? It also worked last night. If you do not use Cowden, you may want to try the detox supplements (they can be found on Amazon) - Burbur, Pinella, Parsley, Sparga. Take 10 drops of Burbur or take 10 drops each of Pinella, Parsley, Sparga. If you take Burbur first, then if you feel it necessary after 15 minutes take the Pinella, Parsley, and Sparga. Hopefully, this post helps someone else. I am praising God that He gave us an answer because I had given up. What an awesome and mighty God! 

  In praise, I offer this beautiful song by Brilliance which affirms the wonders of God. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Elusive Mr. Sandman

  Battling our daughter's Lyme/Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever since June has been a trial. The doctor started her on the Cowden Protocol which is working because she has herx reactions (these are symptoms that flair up quickly after taking a dose). At first the herx were very obvious - pale face, sinking feeling, emotional disturbances, stomach pain, joint pain, and digestive issues. Now, they have changed - skin outbreaks and vision problems with a few of the old ones mixed in too. Fun, right? 

  Dealing with all that is difficult enough but a new symptom has developed that overshadows them all - insomnia. It is distressing as a mother to  lay my head on my pillow and zonk out when I know that my child is in her room possibly staring at the ceiling, desperately tired, and praying to fall asleep. 

  She started falling asleep around 3 or 4 a.m. and waking up at about 6 or 7 a.m. so we started giving her Benadryl for a week until we could find something else. That put her to sleep but it only lasted about 4 hours and then she was unable to go back to sleep. Melatonin was our next experiment. It puts her to sleep but only in a light, half-awake sleep for maybe 3 hours. Then we moved on to a combo supplement which has passionflower, melatonin, valerian, hops, 5 HTP and GABA. It works sometimes for about 4-5 hours but also produces the disturbing side effect of extremely vivid dreams. Add to that a magnet mattress topper and she is able to tell you detailed accounts of weird, colorful adventures that occasionally are frightening. 
    We headed to the doctor.

  After that visit, we bought two supplements he suggested trying individually - Cortisol Manager and time-release 5 HTP. First, we tried Cortisol Manager for 2 weeks which helped a little if she could get to sleep so we halted that one. We started the time-release 5 HTP with Melatonin. The first night she got up and said that she had the best sleep she has had in months. The next night it was not so helpful and only produced about 3 hours of slumber. Last night...well, I will just say that I came downstairs this morning to find her watching episodes of Cake Boss on Netflix. It smelled really nice and the floors were very clean. There are a few benefits to insomnia if you can get over the guilt of having slept so soundly that you did not hear the furniture being moved around.

   Tonight...I don't know. I absolutely, positively do not know what to do. We are trying to avoid drugs as much as possible and from what I have read so far, those are not working too well for Lyme patients either. So, as much as I love waking up to a clean house, I would rather not have it happen at the expense of my daughter's health...back to the Google drawing board to try and get my baby girl some sleep.  

   Uh, Mr. Sandman, skip the dream...can you just bring a semi full of sand????

Monday, October 7, 2013

Something New...-er

  It used to be, “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” but now we say, “Where were you September 11, 2001?” In an instant, people will reply with their exact locations and actions at that time. In the same manner, many Christians remember vividly the exact date they received Christ and some even remember down to the minute. It is not so for me and I used to be ashamed of this but God has shown me the error of that shame. The walk He gave me is mine...or actually His, even if I don’t have the exact time marked in my memory. The important factor is that He is mine and I am His.

  The first time I prayed and asked Christ into my heart, I was a pre-teen. I did not really understand. I wanted to be saved but on my terms and when God “failed” me, I set out to rebel against Him. I remember vividly the fight I gave Him. Oddly, looking back on it, I am astounded that even though I knew who I had chosen to be at war with, I had the audacity to shake my fist at the heavens and cry out threats directly to Him. Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool says in his heart that there is no God.” Not sure what you would call the one who screams out loud, “I know there is a God and I don’t like him.”   My mind viewed God as the enemy because I believed that He left me when I needed Him most.

  2 Timothy 2:3 says, “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Looking back, I can clearly see that I had not even become a soldier yet. Being young, not knowing God’s word, and trapped in a difficult place, you want quick fixes and that is really what I had prayed for at that time. All through the Bible, it is  very clear that Jesus does not exist to be a quick fix. He was in this before creation and His commitment requires a response of  commitment from us.

  From a very early age, I always felt like someone was watching me, always with me. It was like a friend and brought me comfort. In every breeze, in every flower, the pebbles under my bare feet, the stray dog that nuzzled my cheek as I lay in the warm summer grass…it all seemed connected and I was a part of it. I embraced it wholeheartedly without understanding about God at all.  Maybe it was just a child’s imagination or maybe not – “…and they shall call him Immanuel, which means God with us,” Matthew 1:23.

  Sadly, as time passed, the feeling of this presence passed away. My life became complicated and difficult. It felt like a blackness was eating a hole inside me. Even though, I gained some knowledge of Jesus, I did not understand. The summer I prayed to accept Christ, my expectation was that God would hear me and make everything right according to what I thought would be right. “God make my parents stop fighting, “ Give us a home, “ Give us money for food and bills”…on and on I sent requests to God. He seemed not to hear or not care. My brain latched on to the latter idea. My experience had taught me about fathers so the application to God was easy.

  Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways, declares the Lord.” Man cannot fathom the depths of God or His purposes and yet we try to pigeonhole Him in our thinking. What God was doing in my life was a work beyond my understanding and because I could not understand, I made up my own rules. The game was to show God that I could get by on my own, to do what I wanted AND I would be fine.

  Fast forward a couple of years and I was right in the middle of my game with my rules. It looked like this – extreme depression so I cut and physically abused myself to try to get rid of the pain that was still lingering even after heavy drinking and some drug use. School was a painful, lonely place so I avoided it as much as  I could while still flying under the radar. At age 17, everything was a chaotic mess. The progression led to a plan to end my life as soon as I knew my little sister could be on her own. The path running from God did not lead to all the fun I wanted or being in control of my destiny. It was torture every moment I was conscious.

  It was not for our punishment or oppression that God gave us His law. The Creator of all the universe is quite aware of what our weaknesses are and in His wisdom, gave us direction to find joy and keep from stumbling. Jeremiah 29:11 makes His plan clear, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you.” Unfortunately, I did not get that far in my Bible knowledge. I made an accusation and rendered God guilty without defense. Within 12 months, there was a wrench in my plan. All of the sudden, I had someone in my life that I cared for very much and who cared for me. 18 months after that, I was pregnant. Game over. Fear replaced the torture - fear of not knowing how to be a mother and how to be in a relationship. This new life was ruining my death plan but I was still not going to turn to God. It would take a few more years and a few more circumstances to change my direction. Every step of the way, I kept bumping into God. How coincidental???

  One beautiful baby boy and a marriage later, God played a dirty trick. Okay, not a dirty trick but it was some sneaky righteous and mercy. First, He moved us next door to a Christian couple who loved babies. Then, of all the sneakiest tricks, He gets my husband to go to church. If you are thinking that I rejoiced, you are wrong. More than anything, I felt betrayed by my husband. I would watch him walk out the door and go to church. The next thing I knew I was in a Sunday School class. Contrary to what you might be thinking, I was not happy. As a matter of a fact, I was mad, so very, very, very mad and there was only one reason for it. This time I knew that if I walked down the aisle said I want to be saved, I would have to give over control of my life to God. My heart was exactly where it needed to be this time. It was aware that there was about to be a takeover and a new captain would be at the helm. My way, my rules were all about to fly out the window. Everything was going to be surrendered to my Savior AND LORD.

 Still that date is not forever etched in my memory because this has been an ongoing work. More important to me than that date is Christ’s pursuit of me, the overflowing grace, the re-birth, the restoration, and the new mercies he gives every day. Knowing that the Creator, determined before time that I was His and He pursues me is awe-inspiring. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

  Before you fall into the belief that I am like Snow White, living a perfect life, singing all day while the birds help do laundry and the mice wash the dishes, know that every day is a battle. Submitting is not one of my talents and it has truly been a persevering work of grace. But, here I am, years down the road, hopefully, a little wiser. I am not on the fence and have even ventured some distance away from it, but still I am in a hard place. It is the not the criticism from people who laugh at my faith that is hardest, it is myself. Days pass where my flesh forgets that I am new and it is dead and ugly depravity rears its head. Sometimes I wield the sword swiftly and sometimes I lay myself on the ground as if defeated before I even battle. How much I have proved the love and grace of God over and over and yet, He still calls me "child." What a wondrous, amazing God!

  Tell me, do you know Him?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Something Old...

This is about 7 years old. It seemed interesting to post and then compare later with something new.  It's funny to see how much I have grown in writing and spiritually.  
   God gives us so much, how do we receive it? What is it that God really gives us? Seems like basic questions. 

  The first thing you learn in church is John 3:16. It almost loses its impact because it is the one verse everyone knows but we need to see the awe. God, the Son, left heaven, became flesh and chose to take the punishment for our sin to give us life. For our sin, He endured such pain to give us love.

  Personally, I cannot tell you some picture perfect story of how I was saved.  What I can tell you about is  God’s constant pursuit of me.  As a teenager, I set out to show God that I could get by on my own. All during this rebellion, God patiently laid the gift of salvation at my feet. Years later, I found myself face to face with this undeserved yet beautiful gift. My heart broke and repentance poured out, but why did I wait so long?

  The most spectacular thing is that God puts one gift inside another. With salvation, you receive renewal, justification, sanctification and glorification. That’s a lot of -ifications.

Renewal was easy to grab up. How exciting it is to have the promise of new life when your current one is so tattered and stained. I thought nothing could repair the damage I had done or change my heart. How wrong I was! God is powerful and it does not matter what we have done, He can forgive.

  Micah 7:19 says “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”  That is awesome and I needed a Father strong enough to crush the darkness in my life and even better to throw it away forever.

  I battle with the feeling of rejection so the gift of justification was difficult for me but God’s gifts are beautiful and perfect.

  He reaffirms His desire for us in  Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” He already knew everything about us, every choice we would make, every word we would utter - He knew it and He wanted to forgive us and draw us to Himself. Nothing we do will change that.

  Sanctification means growing in that relationship with Him and letting the Holy Spirit change us.  Right here is where I fight. My heart yells, “You can‘t tell me what to do or manipulate me.” It doesn’t sound logical to do when God only does what is best - but reason was never a strong point for me. It seems impossible that God could take such a pile of ashes and turn it into His own likeness but He does, some of us just take a little longer than others. It is a work He promises to finish and that is glorification, being perfected once we get to heaven.

  If we trust Him and receive His gifts, we can have freedom. With that freedom, we can move forward and receive the other gifts of God.

Here is one of the best - Love, totally free of condition, regardless of what we do it will never change or stop. Have you experienced that? I thought I had. There is a secret about love that I learned from my daughter.

  One night, I texted my children a question sort of like a game show and whoever texted back first would win the points. I asked, “Of faith, hope, and love, which is greatest.” My daughter, texted back and said, “Love because God says that He IS love and there is nothing greater than God.” Man! I knew what the Bible said but I missed the big picture- To have love, to know love, you must have and know God and He offers Himself to us freely in faith.

  Love will come to wherever you are. The woman at the well in John 4 probably expected her life to be the same because of her circumstances but that day, she met love face to face.  God went to meet her. I was always viewing my life with questions that I never expected to be answered, “Would my father always hurt us? Why was I not good enough for my mother? Does anyone love me and can I trust anyone?”

  One day, when I listened, love answered them. My mind wondered how God could love me especially after all I had done. Normally, when things got difficult, people disappeared but God had been there every step and every wrong turn pursuing me with His gifts.

  The more we receive, the more He gives and even offers His fellowship. For someone who spent most of their life feeling ugly, alone, worthless,  and unlovable; this gift was so precious.

  He reminds us that we are valuable to Him even when no one else on earth thinks so in 2 Timothy 4:16-17, “At my first defense, no one came to my support; but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed…” 

  I do not feel worthy of that but wrestling with God and waiting to accept truth only hurts ourselves. I do it and He has to bring me to my knees and show me that He is all-powerful, my endless strength,  and my unfailing protection.  Instead of just receiving what He offers, I put myself under a huge weight of guilt, then I have to back up, repent and then receive. Not very efficient and definitely  full of needless hurt.

 God gives His power so that we can do His work. It’s easy to step in trying to do it all our own way. Foolishly, I try to be the plower, the plow and the ox. In reality, there is only one half of the ox that truly represents me and it ain't the front end. When we are yoked to Christ, the burdens are light and we have direction.
  When I do things on my own, well…the results are questionable. You’d think it would be easy to keep securely yoked to Christ but it’s not. For me, it is as if someone has given me an address and offered me a GPS but instead I insist on doing a coin toss at each intersection. Good thing God is long-suffering. When we receive His power, we  are trusting Him and letting Him lead. We are His children, even if we act like the backside of an ox sometimes.

  Which brings me to another gift - His comfort. When we come to Him and lay all the ugliness and pain at His feet, He gives us peace and understanding. I love when Moses begs to see God and God knowing that it was not completely possible, gives to Moses as much as He can. 

  He says in Exodus 33:22, “…I will put you in a cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand…” I truly believe that when we come to God desiring to know Him, God scoops us up and covers us in His hand, to me that is true comfort. Even more, He gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide and when words fail us the Holy Spirit groans to God for the very things that our mouths cannot form words. As we grow in Christ, we learn to care for others like Christ, praying for them, giving to them and in this we become a comfort to others. 

  If we do not receive His gifts, how can we give these things to others? So, how do we receive these gifts? To receive salvation  you must believe Christ died for our sin, confess that you are a sinner, repent and make Him Lord of your life.

 2 Corinthians 13:5 says “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith...” It’s easy to take the first gift of Christ and just sit immobilized by fear or lack of knowledge and be a pew potato at church, which I know I did for a few years. But God has so much more, like discipleship, if we have faith and receive Him.

  I don’t know much about sports but I know that in football, the wide receiver is the one whose main job is to receive a pass. You have to make sure you are not blocked and you are on the right part of the field. Google says that Patrick Jeffers has the unfortunate distinction of being known as the “worst receiver ever.“ He and I have much in common.

  In my Christian life, I have earned that title. Even receiving a compliment is difficult for me, much more gifts from God. Sometimes, when I am supposed to be in the position of receiver, I am not even on the field,  I am still sitting in the parking lot, afraid to even put on the uniform. We receive God’s blessings by faith. We have to put that faith into action.

  My view of God and Christianity was very distorted  but when I let go in faith, He redeemed every moment. God was calling me and I wanted to receive what He offered but I didn’t understand. My grandmother talked with me some and led me in a prayer. At that moment, I thought that God would take away all the bad things and make my life perfect. I prayed to have a real family and a real home with a yard. No one told me that things might get harder and  I had to have faith that God always hears and answers. This misunderstanding led me to be very angry with God.

  We must have faith and believe that God does what He promises. He upholds the faithful and he answers their prayers. He had answered mine. I just did not listen. He would gently show me this later.  I assumed something about God from what I knew about people. I yoked myself to sin and there I became a slave to it. God did not desert me, He pursued me and I was missing out on all that He had for me.

 Nehemiah 9:17 is a good example of truth, “They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them…” He brings righteousness to the faithful and I was choosing rottenness. We must have faith, no matter what.

  The gift of salvation has to have faith to be received. There I sat for years, wallowing in pain, darkness and sin faithless. This is how I lived my life from about age 13 until 23. 
  This part of my story could go two ways, I could tell you all the terrible things that happened so that you feel bad for me and just see me as a victim or I could tell the whole truth because there are no excuses. In those ten years, it was hard and many terrible things did  happen but I also made choices - bad ones:

I lied, I cheated, I stole, I got drunk and high, I lusted and looked at porn, I cut myself, I planned suicide, I met a young man, I got pregnant, and  I refused to marry him because I didn’t believe in marriage, I manipulated people, and I fell, trapped under sin.

  Ending up on the ground at a crossroad, I came face to face with God‘s gift. I had purposefully set out to trample His gift to me for 10 years. By that time, I had married and God was working in my husband’s life, drawing Him to church. I would go, angry to be there until one day it hit me - God loves me and He never abandoned me.  Sadly, I even went down the aisle fighting to not give in to God. But, He took me just as I was, an angry viper, and that day I received what He offered.
    He took that anger and started the process of healing. I am still learning the greatness of God’s gifts and what each one tells us about Him. His love, the only real love is perfect for us. Even the good things in this world will have no substance without the gift of God. Your own strength, intelligence and emotions will lead you to something shallow and empty like a hollow chocolate bunny. It looks so good but the moment you bite into it, it easily crumbles and the goodness is gone quickly.

But, God’s gift is deep and sustaining. It is completely satisfying and unending.
He restores us to Himself. He gave Himself without hesitation, knowing what each one of us would do.  He desires a relationship with us completely knowledgeable of the cost. We aren’t hiding anything from Him.

  If He knows the very hairs on our heads, don’t think He doesn’t recognize you wearing a mask. Our sin is a great cost but He forgives. He stood in my place, took my punishment and gave me the freedom.
  His grace IS amazing, it is God’s favor, not because of what I have done or am doing or will do, but because of what Christ did. I cannot ever repay that debt, no stimulus package could cover it and because of it, God’s blessing is just poured out. 

  I lived many years sitting at the start line but we have to suit up, get on the field and make ourselves open to receive. You can choose to build a wall around yourself, denying any responsibility for your sin, hiding from people and God but I am here to say that it doesn’t work. God knows you and He cares for you enough to offer you something more.

  The woman at the well found that Christ was an eternal spring. She could not hide and then she realized she had to give to others. Once we have faith, the showers of blessings can pour out. Don’t let fear, shame, or pride stop you or slow you down. My road is still long and I am still trying to figure out who I am but now I am on the field, in the game waiting to receive. It has taken me 13 years to get this far. 

So let me ask you: What have you done with the gifts God offers?

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Alive!!!

  "Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!"   - Psalm 27:14

  That verse...oh how I sat and pondered on it one day when I felt that life was just not what it should be and God was not answering. Okay, just wait on the Lord, that's what I'll do. Then I set about my day waffling between impatient "waiting" and whining.

  Late in the day, about the time my husband arrives home from working, I ventured outside because it was nice weather. Walking out back, I noticed that two of my chickens were missing so I decided to try to wrangle them up just to be sure all was well. A family of hawks had been very active the last few days. 

  Wrangling chickens is easy. A canister of dried meal worms is the secret. Just shake it a few times and you will get a re-enactment of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" in chicken form (it is a lot less frightening). Two birds. Two more shakes...still seven birds only now they are in much more of a frenzy. By the third set of shakes, seven chickens are practically performing the Nutcracker Suite trying to get me to toss out some worms. Two chickens were still AWOL. Finally, I toss out some worms and head towards the creek where occasionally a few brave chickens will wander close to hoping to score a new variety of bug. 

  After calling a few minutes, all I spy is a hawk that flies off from a nearby tree. This worked wonders in curing me of my earlier woes because now my mind is imagining that Poe and Nilla have become hawk feed. Then I hear chicken sounds further in the woods but I cannot see a thing so not sparing a moment, I run to get my dog that sometimes helps me chase chickens back to the fenced area. 

  Nacho could possibly be an amazing duck hunting dog if he weren't afflicted with a dog form of attention deficit disorder. He stalks around outside following wherever I go and running off to investigate anything that distracts him. We find nothing. An hour later, I'm trying to juggle cooking dinner and finding chickens. Outside 5 minutes. Inside to stir pots for 5 minutes. Back outside searching for 5 minutes. 

  One last trip outside, I resolve that I have definitely lost two chickens. As Nacho and I make our way back to the house, something jumps under the rose bush by the house. An exhausted, distressed Poe has somehow from somewhere returned confused. Trying to herd the chicken to the fence, I can tell that she is too tired to flap enough to fly over so I will have to get her to go through the gate. Sounds easy but I can attest to the fact that chickens have an aversion to open gates. Thinking that Nacho can help me, I call him over and we set about coaxing her near the open gate but she runs past it. Nacho thinks this is great and he continues to chase her around the fence. After two passes of the open gate, I am beyond frustrated and dinner is possibly burning...blackened green beans, anyone? Finally, because this is always a good option, I yell. "Ugh! Why can't you just learn to stop and wait when I need you to Nacho!" 


  That was the sound of God's Word showing itself to be living right in my face. Oh yes, I got it. It was loud and clear. 

  Why can't I wait upon the Lord? Why do I just run back and forth in a tizzy like a chicken with an open gate phobia? The whole time God just wants me to wait. Then the rest of the verse made sense. I am not being strong or taking courage. I am scared and weak, which ultimately boils down to not trusting the Lord. A little object lesson is all it takes for me sometimes to see my huge need for repentance. 

  Sometimes when you are praying and praying for something, you need to batten down the hatches, throw out the anchor, pull down the sails, and just sit and wait. Waiting is not the absence of action. It takes a lot of effort to get out the anchor and toss it into the water. It takes a lot of work to strengthen your heart. You are going to have to get deep in the Word and fight against your desire to "do something" and your thoughts that want to drag you to despair and frustration. Wait on the Lord. He is doing something but it just does not involve you yet. Wait on the Lord. He is answering but it is not the solution your brain has concocted. Just wait on the Lord. 

  By the way, Poe did run through the gate after my yelling episode but I am sure it was in spite, not because, of my effort. And, right as the sun was almost set, Nilla also returned home from somewhere. Hawks, 0. Me, humbled. God, all the glory.