Gratitude journal

Gratitude journal: Forgiven

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Last night as I sat down to do this page I thought about the biggest thing I have to be grateful for. The Lords sacrifice. This is what brings the peace, the joy, this is what reminds us who we are in Him, this is the reason why we sing and praise Him. When we think about The Lord, who He is and what He has done you cannot help but thank Him.

He lowered Himself and stepped out of eternity to become a man, He felt pain, He felt tired and He felt hunger. He was completely sinless. He kept the Jewish law (Gods law) fully.  He knew what was going to happen yet He still went ahead and allowed them to take Him. Those judging Him found no fault in Him but due to a tradition they were compelled to do as asked and let go a convicted murderer and kill The Lord Jesus in his place. He was beaten, He was mocked, He had to carry His cross to Calvary. We all know this story, (well I think most of us do) But it’s when we understand one important thing that we then turn to Him and humble ourselves before Him and thank him.

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While on that cross Jesus took on the guilt of every single sin of the world, everything that man has ever done in the future and in the past. Everything. He who is perfect took on the guilt of the world. Why? He loves us.  So that is why we rejoice because we feel that love and we know we are undeserving of it as He knows everything in our hearts yet He loves us and died for us anyway. And we rejoice because He didn’t leave us, He was risen again as He promised and now He will be with anyone who turns to Him and when we accept this gift and turn to Him we are justified in the eyes of God The Father. There is nothing we can do to earn this gift of salvation, it is all pure grace.

So, yesterday I thought about this and reminded myself of the best reason I have to be grateful to God. There is nothing I can do to express that gratitude and it is a debt I will never be able to repay. And one I am very very grateful for.

Romans 3:24 (KJV):  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

 

Gratitude journal

Gratitude Journal

???????????????????????????????I thought I would pop by again with my thoughts on my first day of documenting my thankfulness to The Lord.

This was actually done yesterday and I was hoping to get the page finished today however I woke up today not feeling too great, I am very tired and I was very tempted to just not bother blogging but I realised it’s days like today that this is all the more important. I may feel ill and be struggling with anxiety but I still have a lot to be grateful for.

So yesterday while working on this page I was thinking about all the physical things I have in my life that I am grateful for. My family, my home, my bed, the fact that I have a husband who takes really good care of me, the fact we have food to eat. All these things I have and there are many people out there who would wish they had them. So why be grateful to God? Because it says in His word:

1 Chronicles 29:11 (King James Version (KJV)):
11 Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Everything I have has been given to me by Him, He owns it all, He created it all. Nothing I can do can earn anything from Him and it has nothing to do with who I am or what kind of a person I am. Its all down to His goodness and mercy. Why He chooses to give some things to some people and not to others I do not know. I cannot see into anyone elses heart or lives like He can so I don’t know what He has given others, none of us do. I try not to take things on face value (which isn’t easy) as we never actually know.

???????????????????????????????All I know is what He has done for me and given me and I find myself taking for granted these things. So I am thanking Him and giving Him the glory for my being alive, for having the people I do in my life and for my home, my bed, the food I have to eat, my cats, my clothes as I have not done anything to deserve any of it. Thank you Lord.

God Bless

My Faith

Trials

It feels like it been a long time since I posted something here, and it actually wasn’t. Its just a lot has happened.

Things are continuing to improve and I am still getting out more, I have managed some walks into town alone (wow) and have been out shopping with family a couple of times too. I am still seeing more of my family, we had a lovely bonfire night celebration at my sisters new home.

We are still continuing to do home improvements and are starting our living room at the moment. The garden is all packed up and hubby has a couple of pumpkins that he is very excited about trying.

However I am not sure if that’s all that I should be focusing on anymore. It is so wonderful to share how the Lord has been helping me in practical ways and I do love to share (and still will!) but it’s what happens in my heart that is more important.

The past month I have been fighting tiredness, fatigue and confusion again, I am not very motivated and I have been feeling a little down as I haven’t been able to do as much as I was and I haven’t done much at all in the way of creativity, there are reasons for this that I am not ready to share just yet. But I do really want to battle this though and the only way to do so is by immersing myself in Gods word, worshiping Him and thanking Him for the blessings He gives me. That is why I have come here as doing things like this online helps to motivate me and encourages me to be a little more disciplined. I have to say though this is nothing compared to what I have been though before and some of the reasons I am going through this are good ones. I know this will pass and I just want to use it as an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus and I haven’t been doing that. I am hoping blogging about it will help me.

I ended up having to move my blog, it looks a little different now, I simplified it so I can just concentrate on getting through this down time and, hopefully I can share how knowing the Lords helps this. Just because I have become a Christian doesn’t mean that bad feelings go or illness or pain yes, He does take these things away for some people, but I don’t know of any instance where He takes it all away. I have a few theories why, but who am I to know or question this? However if you wish people to come to you because they want to know and love you, giving everyone what they want isn’t really going to achieve that. Plus, how do we grow and change if we don’t go through trials? How do we get stronger in Him, how do we learn to care about others if we don’t understand what it feels to hurt? And the wonderful thing about knowing the Lord is He carries out burdens when they are too great so we don’t burn out and we can come out stronger for it, leaning in His strength.

I know that if I have the right attitude about this I will come out with a stronger faith and a closer walk with Him. I have to admit my attitude hasn’t been great so far but everyday is a new day.

So, one thing is, I am going to start a gratitude journal again, I am ashamed to admit I have fallen into some old thought habits and have been a little self piteous. There are so many people suffering so much more than I ever have and have a better attitude than me and I have a great many things to be grateful for.  I shall share them here as I go along.

God bless

 

Month in review · My Faith

August

I am a little late with my overview of August. It has been a very busy time and so I am now very tired. However I am finding I am recovering so much quicker than I used to.

A few more milestones were reached in August though that I wanted to share…

This month I reached a huge milestone.. and that was I actually ate a meal out! I went to my in-laws for dinner, for the first time in 6 years and a week later I went to MacDonalds. I am actually not a fan of MacDonalds truth be told but it was the only place we could think of where I could try to sit down in a public place and eat where it would be quick and I could leave and not worry about leaving the food behind and wasting money. I haven’t eaten a meal out with husband since 2007. It was hard, I will admit. Even though I am slowly getting better, I really believe that, I am left with anxiety and agoraphobia. I am not surprised by this given how long I was isolated. But, with the Lords constant help I am getting out more. I really couldn’t do it without Him.

I have been spending some time at my sisters new house as she and her husband are refurbishing. It has been pretty amazing as it wasn’t that long ago my Mum moved and I couldn’t even go and visit her new house as I felt so unwell let alone help with the jobs of moving. They actually bought me the hatch to the loft to clean just because I felt so bad that I couldn’t help. And this past month I have been helping strip and prepare walls for painting, doing tip runs with hubby and generally trying to provide support to both my sister and her husband as it is a very stressful time.

We celebrated a birthday this month, my nephew turned 5! Usually I know we would say it went by quick but considering what has happened in that time and the fact that my life used to go by painstakingly slowly I have to admit I don’t feel that way 😉 It is wonderful to be able to spend time with him on his birthday though, before I would spend a maximum of 20 minutes there and be so poorly afterwards it would take a long time to recover. I was there 3 hours and even played pass the parcel.

I am still continuing to go into shops and that is going from strength to strength I have been wallpaper shopping with my sister and I have done a couple of weekly shops with husband, which, to be honest I am still struggling to believe.

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 Our lovely new heart, above our bed, a pressie from Little sis and her hubby.

We decorated our bedroom, we have lived here for 7 years and never decorated our bedroom, for many years it was left in darkness for somewhere for me to go when my symptoms became unbearable. Now as I sit here typing the curtains are open, the windows are open and it is clean and looking nice again.

I have still been doing a little exercise and have actually been out a couple of times for a jog! I never even did that when I was well! Starting off very small but even small was too big for me at one time.

I am still working hard to get my uni work done and a few more jobs in the garden have happened. Plus I am trying to do more around the house and lift husbands burdens he has been carrying for so many years. I am finding I am having to stop for periods at a time as I am getting very tired. I am still sleeping a fair amount during the day especially the mornings. It is a long process but one I feel more and more confident about each day.

Doing normals things is such a wonderful privilege denied to so many, I am finding that being able to do things such as house work, paint a room, go for a walk, go shopping, all things that used to seem like such chores and like there were better things to do now are such a wonderful things to me. Everything I do I do for the Lord. He sustains me, He renews me, He builds me up and He comforts me. When I get tired I know I can spend time in His word and talk to Him and He will guide my steps and reveal Himself to me He will speak to me and answer my prayers, relive my worries, and comfort my soul.

I look back to that day when I called out to Him, I was the lowest I had ever been, I felt I had no one to turn to, no one to help me out of the constant anxiety, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, pain, every muscle in my body was so tense and I had forgotten how to relax. Everything moved constantly and had for so long I didn’t know what it felt like to feel normal, to have normal feelings that weren’t extreme and unpleasant. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to relax. But now as I look back I am struggling to remember how it felt to be that unwell. All I remember is that, when I finally turned to Him I was helped though it by my wonderful savior. How he sits with me when I am scared, how He comes to me when I need Him. And how even though I came to him with selfish intent, wanting to be healed He still saved me and took me a better way, a way that brought me to know Him, an understanding of who He is and that all He wants is me to love Him, nothing more. He could’ve have just healed me then and there, I know he could but instead He has strengthened me, He has taken me down difficult paths and with His help He has taught me what it means to be a follower of Him and I am so glad He did this. By revealing Himself to me He has revealed myself to me also, I learned who I was and I didn’t like it.

I reached out my hand

 

Everyone has problems in this life, no one is exempt from pain, grief or worries. It is only by leaning in Him we come to realise that He is the only way to get though these times. And that His only priority is that we have a relationship with Him, forever. So He will use those times to teach us to trust in Him and His strength, He will use our pain to heal us and to change us. And, ultimately we realise it is not, nor ever was about us, its about Him. It was or never is about what He can do for us, but about what He has already done. That is when we come to a place of true healing. He didn’t have to create us, He didn’t have to give us this life, He didn’t have to come down and sacrifice His own life to get us out of the mess we had got ourselves into. He choose to do these things because of who HE is, not of who we are. Forgiveness is there we just need to accept it and receive the true healing of the soul.

healing · health · My Faith

Wherever you lead…

I said in my last post that I had a period of feeling a little dejected after trying something that made me feel unwell, I took a bus to my sisters and back but it was a shock to my system and I didn’t try a little ride first to see what it is like. It had been many years since I had traveled on a bus and I wasn’t prepared to feel that dizzy on it. Before I asked the Lord into my life this would’ve set me right back as I found it so hard to bounce back after years of trying to do it alone.

I have had more than what is ‘normal’ dizzy spells for most of my life. I would ignore them and not say anything but as I got older it just got worse. Eventually after nearly 2 years of going to the doctors asking for help as the spells were getting more frequent and lasting longer the dizziness came back and never went. I tried to keep going back to work, I would take a taxi so I didn’t have to get on the bus but hubby would always end up fetching me as I would be stumbling over and becoming stressed as I couldn’t see properly or do my job. I wouldn’t understand what the customers wanted and all the noise and the lights just made things worse. My colleagues would try to help but eventually they would just end up calling my husband to come and get me. The last day I had at work I broke down in the office as I was so tired of fighting, my colleague, who was a Christian, prayed over me and I left and never went back. I hope one day I can see her and tell her her prayer was answered.

After that I tried to keep going out and carry on as normal, I would go to the local shops and I would get the bus to my Mums, I even went out to the pub a few times to see my brother in law perform despite the noise being so hard to deal with. I tried to fight it no matter how unbearable it got but after 3 years of going to the hospital and trying to keep going I ended up bedridden for a few weeks over Christmas. Once again though I picked myself up and tried to fight, that was really hard as I got to the point were I was afraid to come down the stairs for fear of falling. However I kept getting up even though everything was constantly moving and that year I even went to my sisters wedding and danced for 1 song. That year as well (2009) I had to have paramedics come out a couple of times just to give me a high dose of sickness medication so I could get out of bed. My hubby and my Mum would help me, that was embarrassing for a 28 year old but there was no other choice. (Though out all of this my husband has been an amazing support)

I still kept fighting, believing the GP who went against the specialists advice and took me off my medication as he believed it was depression. But it kept getting worse. I was eventually sent for CBT therapy and ended up having a breakdown. (end of 2010) After that everything stopped and I became sofa bound, I stopped going into town, I stopped going to the seaside and on long rides in the car and I stopped seeing my family and friends.

I decided that I wasn’t going to see another doctor, that I was going to do it alone, I was going to exercise and eat right and make myself well. And I did those things, I lost 2 and a half stone and even though I would exercise  and then go upstairs and collapse in the bathroom, everything spinning and the head pressure getting unbearable, clinging on to the shower curtain and the bath but I kept doing it.  I did this for nearly 2 years, but it kept getting worse. I lost weight and I felt better in myself because of the exercise but I was still dizzy and the head pressure kept getting worse my vision started to go weird and I kept falling to one side. I became tired and struggled to keep up with the exercise and eventually it stopped. I blamed all sorts for it saying it was the (online) work I was doing at the time but ultimately it was because my body could not cope with everything I was forcing it to do. Which wasn’t that much as I look back now, as everything I did apart from the exercise I did in the sofa unable to move much. Plus hubby took me out in the car for a little drive most days to help me get out.

I decided it was time to take some tests, I had a belief that my hormones were playing a part in this so I got private tests and found out I was right, I found out my T3 (thyroid hormone) levels were so low they were at the levels expected for patients in intensive care. I panicked, I knew I had to see a doctor but I was scared because of how I had been treated so my mental health took another nose dive and this time I really couldn’t fight any more. it was gone and I started to feel suicidal. I really didn’t know where else to turn.

Out of sheer desperation I prayed, I called out to God and I got an answer. And things finally started to get better. Now I don’t have to fight and a year after coming to Christ I found myself in a hospital bed having had surgery feeling so calm and so loved despite feeling so unwell.

Now when I fall he catches me and He renews my spirit. When things become too much I run to him and He helps me. With His help I went back to the doctors. I am still far from well but when I go too far like I discussed in the last post I turn to Him and He comforts me.

When the bus incident happened in July I was tempted to fall into my old thought patterns I was tempted to forget that things are different now and He is here. But He reminded me, He called to me and I gave it all to Him. One night I just listed everything that was worrying me, everything that was on my mind and left it in His hands. And I felt at peace. I don’t need to do anything, I don’t need to fight to push or force my body to do anything it can’t do because He will do it, all of it. He helps my mind, my body and my spirit. He helps in practical ways, I have found that every doctor I saw before got ruder and ruder and refused to help, after, I can’t begin to tell you how much kindness and help I have had and when they are hindered from helping because of the system The Lord has provided in other ways. He helps our spirits, by his word and by talking with Him. He comforts our spirit and calms our minds. He is in everything and He is a very present help in trouble.

Thank You Lord.

This week my dizzyness has flared up and yesterday I sat down to paint some fabric for uni and I had a vertigo attack. Once again I panicked thinking that it was all coming back, that I was going to end up so ill I couldn’t move again. But last night I listened to this message from my church and I remembered that things are different now so I talked to Jesus and fell asleep.

So many wonderful things have happened since I came to my Lord, things I didn’t precipitate, all I have done is just turn up and turn to Him. Step out the door, go to the GP and let Him lead it all. He doesn’t promise His way is an easy path, if fact He states the opposite, but I can tell you, it is worth it. Because I no longer have to fight and wear myself out, I just have to turn up and ask Jesus where I need to be.

This has been along post, thank you for reading I pray that whoever reads this feels the peace I am talking about, a peace that surpasses all understanding. If not, then give to Him, turn to Him, He is waiting.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light

Matthew 11:28-30

God Bless x

My Faith

Shops

Its been nearly 3 weeks since my surgery, I am healing very well and I was very happy to be able to get back to going out more quite soon afterwards.

When I became ill going into shops became harder and harder and as my illness went on, it eventually got so difficult I stopped altogether. The noise, the lighting, the people were all too much stimulation and made my dizziness/movement and head pressure too bad to deal with. If I did manage to force myself it would take days sometimes weeks for my symtoms to go back down to the baseline.

But since giving my life to Jesus things are changing, some of it been so slow that I hardly noticed it and then one day several weeks ago I asked if we could go to the shops. I started out by going into quiet supermarkets for a few minutes and build up from there. We try not to make a big deal out of it and make it as normal as possible just going to places where and when we actually need something.  And if I find myself becoming overwhelmed when I go in, I stand still and I pray and the Lord helps me. I am still very much at the beginning of this but I am feeling very encouraged by how it has been going.

As I look back I see so many things changing in my life and so many things happening. Some have been so subtle I haven’t even noticed until it has happened and so much has happened without even me trying, that’s the power of God’s grace for us.

Something that I am finding is I can do more and my symptoms don’t get as bad as they did before. Its hard to explain. I am finding I recover quicker from things where as before I would be ill for so long that doing it again just filled me with dread.

Trying on the wares, thats what you do, right?

Also last year I did try to go to shops and it didn’t work as well, I was still very ill and one of the lessons I am learning from this is that I have to be patient as the Lord’s timing is always perfect. Even if we do something that seems right, even something like going to Church and the Lord isn’t ready for us to do it, we shouldnt be discouraged if it doesnt turn out how we expected and just wait for the Lords will for us. Its a hard lesson I have to admit but when I think how I tried to force it before I was ready and before God wanted me to compared to how I am now having waited I know it is a lot better to just trust and know that God doesn’t change things for us until we change for Him.

We have a great sweetie shop on our little town 🙂

So May was a month of getting into shops more plus facing big issues with my health.  April and March was doing the garden (which is still a working progress but we have a lot of lovely things growing in our garden now, I will share very soon), finding new places to walk out with hubby plus facing fears with scans etc. Also thoughout this year I have been going to see my family more and more. I think I will share that in another post though.

I wonder what June will hold? 🙂 One thing is for sure God has gone before me and will be there no matter what!

God bless x

 

health · My Faith

Surgery

Page done the day after my surgery

So not long after I wrote my last post on going to the hospital I received a phone call from my surgeons receptionist asking if I could go in the next morning for my operation as they had had a cancelation. I am sure you can imagine my reaction. But I still said yes, I knew this was in Gods hands and He was leading this as He had done from the beginning.

It is now a week later and I can say it’s been a life changing week. The surgery was to remove a lump from my temple. I have had a small lump above my eyebrow since childhood but over the past few years it, or I believe it was that I dont know yet, started to grow and change shape. I ignored it at first plus I was so ill I hardly noticed it, I never looked in a mirror I didn’t see the point. Other people noticed it though and family was starting to ask and worry about it.

Before the op

However not long after I gave my life to Jesus in May 2013, I went back to the Drs (which was a shock to everyone as I had decided I would never go back again after the treatment I had had). While there my husband mentioned the lump as I had no intention of doing so and the Dr sent me to hospital. I was sent for an MRI last June but I couldnt do it as I can’t tolarate lieing flat so I thought I was discharged. Months later a letter came though the door asking me to go back. I realised then that The Lord wanted me to get this sorted so I went for an ultrasound and a CT both very hard but the Lord strengthened me each time I went.

They still didn’t know what it was so said the best course of action was surgery to get a proper diagnoses. Hence the phonecall last week.

As I look back I can see the Lords hand in all of this. The CT was a big challenge for me and I felt his presence during that so strongly. Every thing I have had to do He has calmed me and considering I suffer from anxiety I know it’s nothing to do with me. Before my operation I felt so peaceful, I had nerves of course I did but I just knew I was doing something I was supposed to be doing and that He was there and I was safe. I accepted my nerves and saw them for what they were and that feelings can not take me out of my Fathers hands.

The few days after were hard, I didnt take very well to all the meds or anasthetic they gave me and was very sick and couldn’t eat properly for a few days, but once again even though my body was shaking and I was being ill I felt peaceful deep inside. Its hard to explain. I think its something that can only be felt to be understood to be honest. This doesnt mean that I didnt cry and get upset because I did, it was a shock to my system and I was in pain (but not as much as I expected to be honest, Praise the Lord). The Lord continually reminded me of His presence and reassured me of His love, He knows my weakness and He understands. He does for all of us.

– This was taken yesterday after my stitches came out, looking at these pics I can’t believe I didn’t realise how much of a difference it made to me, I wasnt bothered by how I look and I’m still not. This wasn’t done for cosmetic reasons at all but I am surprised by how different I feel in myself now its gone.

I have received so much support and kindness from so many people its been overwhelming, I’ve had messages of’ support and so many people praying for me. I have a lovely friend who has been there for me who has provided emotional and spiritual support, I strongly believe the Lord has bought us both together. And then there’s my husband I can’t even begin with that one, he sat in the hospital for nearly 6 hours just so I didnt have to wait after being discharged, I don’t deserve him. He has looked after me since I became ill and I love him very very much. He encouraged me to keep eating, he worries so much when I can’t. I know he won’t read this I just pray that he knows how much I appreciate him and that I show and tell him enough.

I won’t know any more until the test results are back so I have no idea if this is the end or if there is any more to come. I do have a few things that will take time to get used to, my face looks quite different which I wasnt expecting and I dont know if I will gain movement back in my eyebrow (the surgeon did warn me of this) however I do know The Lord will be there no matter what happens as He doesn’t change. Ever.

I know that as health issues go this isn’t the worst thing that can happen but the Lord is there for us in all our trials, He knows our hearts and strengthens us especially those like me who are a little weaker than others. I don’t mind because I know in my weakness I allow Him to reveal His glory so I am happy to be weak.

 

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12-13 KJV

(I think this part of scripture is about persecution, but the Lord used it to help me through and I am very grateful to Him for it)

God Bless