Blessed

I am blessed by this latest trial of my husband’s illness and hospital stay.

Can you imagine anyone saying that? Or really meaning it? But I am quite serious- I really feel blessed. James says to “count it all joy” in the trials of our lives. Back in 2010 (the colon cancer days) I thought long and hard about those words. I had a long time to think about it too… because the trials just kept coming.
But those struggles and strains taught me something, God was working and “doing” in me all the time -as I was willing to look for it.
I was going to change no matter what, and I was determined for all the strain to be worth something good. After all He promised!
How am I blessed in trials? Here’s a list I drew up today:
I’m blessed to weather another storm
To see again God’s faithfulness 1st hand
To exercise trust
To lean-in and be held
To ask for help and humbly accept it (really hard at 1st)
To graciously receive/allow others to serve
To be at peace, spread hope & joy beyond my current circumstances
To center, focus, relax in-spite
To look for good in the midst (like a game)
To seek to be a blessing
Take one moment at a time!
Discipline my mind & heart
To force myself to wait on God
Allow God to be God- totally and completely sovereign
There ARE blessing in the trials. More so even than in the easy good times. I’m not praying for more hard stuff, but I will count it for what it brings. Treasure this world can’t hold. To God be the glory.
-For Glory Sake! Anna
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Stop Everything!

God’s timing is a curious thing. There’s no figuring it at the moment, but sometimes …looking back the fuzziness clears and a lightbulb turns on.
I’m in the fuzzy part right now.
My husband, David, his bro-n-law, one of our sons and a cousin all went on a whirlwind spring-break see-colleges trip. Crossing from TX, about mid-Mississippi, David complained of cramping… never fun, then pain in the lower abdomen… definitely NOT what you want to hear from a colon cancer survivor! Pain leapt from a 2 to a 10 on the ouch scale and soon lots of folks were involved.
His surgeon from 2010 beckoned him back to Birmingham and steadily they made their way to the ER at St Vincent’s.
We wait now in a hospital room receiving pain meds every 2 hours in hopes the blockage will pass naturally without surgery. Everything has stopped with the move. Houses and people are all on hold.
3 days is what they’re giving him, no food, only ice chips & lots of rest.
Not what we had planned. Interesting to say the least.
…and Yet God ( my favorite phrase!) is still Sovereign and on His Thrown. He knows my name and loves my husband more than I do. I can trust Him completely, fully – today and tomorrow! You can too.
For Glory Sake- Anna

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Keys

Our first moving day is finally here… Keys will be in hand soon and we can begin this new adventure…
It feels like it’s been a long process getting here; deciding it was time.
My parents decline began back in 2009, but God took us further down our individual paths before showing all of us it was time to move in together.
We have weathered quite a few storms since then! David’s colon cancer was a big one for sure. And our financial loss from all of his surgeries and time from work was another. Our son’s drug addiction discovery at 15 and his recovery has yet been another huge mountain (He’s 2 years sober now -What an amazing young man of God!). All throughout our own saga, my parents health declined and my care for them increased.
This past winter as our son took on the caregiver role as well, we realized this would be easier having them closer.
So here I sit, waiting on keys for a “new” house for all of us! Something only God could put together.
It’s His miraculous story and I’m honored to play a part in it. He’s prepared the way… all the way! He is the giver of every good thing, an ever present help in time of trouble.

God is so close- do you realize it?
He is always speaking- can you hear it?
He offers peace, hope, rest, comfort constantly- will you take it?
There is no other life than through Jesus- won’t you receive it?

For Glory Sake-Anna

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Hope For Tomorrow

Moving- I swing from excited anticipation to mild panic to just being plain overwhelmed! Boxes are piling up at 2 houses and still there’s more to do. Friends stop by and see the progress… I just see the mess! Can’t vacuum or dust :/ and there always seems to be another file to sort!
This past week -through a series of mechanical breakdowns- we lost 2 old cars! What are the odds? I also had to have a root canal and during the follow up x-rays, it was discovered that 3 of my 10 year old crowns need replacing (ASAP) -Hah!
Wouldn’t it be nice if life slowed down to focus on just one major event at a time? Ah, but it seems that things continue to happen without regard to my schedule.
It is such a comfort to me to know no matter what the week brings God is ALWAYS on His thrown, He does not sleep and He (with all His other concerns) thinks of little ol me and my whirling chaos.
I can hardly grasp that He plans my day, offers me strength and all the while uses it to continue the changes in me I’m so badly in need of.
Only God can do that… would do that. Whatever comes next, I’m not alone. I’ve been offered joy and peace and HOPE for tomorrow! You have too :)
-Anna

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Moving

Sorting continues… throw out… give away… drop off… box up! Day in, day out my mind runs. I’m constantly organizing and evaluating, going through items in my head. It’s hard to turn it off. I have come to know for certain -We Keep Too Much Stuff!

By the time our relocation occurs I hope to have reduced us by half… of everything! It was difficult to let go at first, but seeing all that my parents had accumulated over 57 years (!!!) encouraged me to imagine a lighter load. My 1st release came when I let go of 13 years of homeschool materials. It was like someone opened a floodgate. I didn’t regret it -I actually enjoyed it!

From there I filled up our suburban front to back with “stuff” we had extras of, things we didn’t use and items I just did not want anymore. I gave it to a women’s shelter. They were so grateful. This was becoming fun. I started pulling similar items out of closets and onto the floor (ie: jackets, games, toys…) in piles and asked our kids to pick their favorites. It has started them letting go as well. Load #2 is almost ready.

How does it happen, this accumulation of stuff and more stuff? I think its just bit by bit, holiday, by birthday, by my own purchasing… and having lots of people in our homeā¤ My awareness is on overload right now. I only hope I will stay sensitive once we get into our new digs!
Feeling a little lighter-Anna

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God has Provided

“Yahweh-Yireh.” I wrote it in my loopy cursive handwriting above the kitchen doorway. From down on my knees -to high up on the step stool I could not stop thanking God for this fresh word of promise.
This phrase comes from the book of Genesis when God asked Abraham if he was willing to sacrifice his most prized possession. Abraham trusted God fully and when his willingness was made clear, God provided a substitution.
“Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” Gen 22:14
I had been praying for provision for several things, but mainly in regard to my parent’s care. “God, I need them closer.” His answer to me was clear, He would provide for us on this mountain He had called me to…
Fast forward a year. I’ve looked at those words written over the doorway everyday as I’ve left my family to drive 45mins to care for my parents. …”When Father?” Many of our other prayers for provision were answered, but the crazy schedule and driving continued.
Then in the space of just a week, 3 falls occurred resulting in 4 broken ribs. Life changed. Hours extended. Caregivers were hired -again. Here in the midst of feeling like I was being pulled apart, God provided. He changed my mom’s heart about moving and presented a house for us all to live in together. His provision came in His time.
“On the mountain of the LORD, it will be provided.” Not in the way or the timing I imagined, but always a much better plan than mine.
Our family needs your prayers as we clean out, organize and mesh 2 households together (think Waltons)! Move in is scheduled for April Fools :)
-Anna

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Happy Health- Goodbye Scleritis

Wow! January of last year I was just beginning my experiment with veganism …after suffering some terrific pain on the left side of my face.
My self-diagnosis ranged from sinus infection to a long overdue root canal.

Both were wrong!

My husband had the idea of consulting his Opthomalogist. An lemail with photos of my eye resulted in an emergency appointment on a Sunday afternoon (thanks doc!)
Diagnosis: Scleritis. No cause, No cure, just control… by steroid :/
2 months later, my eye was clear and pain-free, but the side-effects from the meds overwhelmed me. I had to get off that stuff!
Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live (an immune boosting diet) saved my health. A full 60 day Vegan fast turned into a new way of eating and viewing food. It’s our God-given pharmacy!
Today I enjoy a primarily plant-based diet full of taste and variety. I ammostly meat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free (with occasional exceptions). My daily goal is to exercise, be GMO (processed food) free and cut out sugar! Some days i am more sucessful than others….sugar usually being the culprit!
Considering which foods will keep my immune system strong and Making sure healthy snacks are close by help me toward my goal. Trying a new recipe each week motivates me also.
Information abounds for anyone interested in improving their health! Pinterest has been a great source of recipes for me. Also check out: healingstrong.com. It’s just not as daunting as I once thought. My son (17) is learning a lot about eating vegan.as he tries the Daniel fast for 21 days!
How about beginning with just a few small changes like: “GBOMBS ” -Dr. Fuhrman’s list of must-haves:
Green leafy veggies
Beans (pinto, kidney, black etc…)
Onions (all kinds)
Mushrooms
Berries (cheeper frozen!)
Seeds (esp; Chia and Flax)

Don’t be shy, pile them high! Happy health to you all. Eat something good, you’ll feel better! :)-Anna

Fall Apples

Fall Apples

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