Thursday, January 20, 2011

Healing

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

I have numerous health issues. Some are minor annoyances, some are potentially serious, and some are just plain tedious to deal with. I do what I can to maintain my health with medications and a proper diet (well, sometimes), and for the most part, I feel okay. Or, at least I have learned to ignore the symptoms that are hard to deal with and I pretend to feel okay. Either way, I'm making it. Sure I could be better, but I could be a whole, whole lot worse.

Right now, I am very aware of several people around me that are dealing with some very serious physical problems. My heart aches for them. I don't want them to have to worry or suffer with an illness. I'm praying for them. I"m praying very intently and specifically for healing.

I grew up with a very amalgamated faith. I was raised in a Baptist church with strong Pentecostal overtones from my grandmother, and I was active in the youth group in  the local Christian Church. When John and I got married, we joined a United Methodist Church. My beliefs carry little bits of all of those denominations, I guess, with some being more influential than others. I don't know what your experiences have been with divine healing, but I am a firm believer. I have seen it happen. I have experienced it.

Growing up, I always thought of healing as a sort of holy-roller kind of thing. As an adult, however, I began to see it differently. In the United Methodist church John and I belonged to as young marrieds,the pastor was very deliberate about offering a healing prayer at every service every week. At first, I thought it was odd. But soon, I began seeing the fruits of this. People would come forward to be anointed, but it never had that tent revival vibe about it. It was discreet- between you, the pastor, and God. When the prayer was over, people emerged looking peaceful, as if they'd experienced something special.  I still wasn't sure.

I never felt the need to go forward and ask for healing until several months into the process of trying to conceive a child. After agonizing and praying on my own, I decided to share it with our pastor during the healing prayer. He anointed me with oil and prayed. And you know the rest of that story. Soon, after, I was pregnant with Audrey.

I've also experienced healing when I was sick with Crohn's disease. It wasn't spontaneous. I didn't leap up out of the hospital bed after being prayed over, although I can point to one particular low point in my illness when my parents' church held a special prayer for me. As I was in the hospital, my body did respond quickly to the medications I was being given, but, overall,  my complete healing took quite a while. Many people prayed for me, in person and from a distance, for many months. It was a process of finding the right doctors, the right medicines, the right diet. I know that God led me to the right people to make me well.

But, I have also seen times when the healing didn't work the way I wanted it to. My aunt was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer when she was 34...just a few months older than I am now. Two years of a valiant fight, countless rounds of chemo and radiation, and a bone marrow transplant didn't erase the cancer from her body. Was her faith not great enough? Did we not pray hard enough? Hardly. She died, and we were devastated. However, when I look back on that situation, I think about Romans 8:28-  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I see so many ways that God did heal my aunt as well as others. She came to  accept Christ during that time, as did my  uncle and I. Could anything have been more miraculous than that?  

So, for my friends that are hurting and scared, know that I am praying with my whole heart that Jesus will heal you. I believe He can. Put all of your hope in Him. Overcome your doubts and ask someone to anoint you. There is something about that act of faith that makes a difference. In James 5:14, we are told "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord." It really does make a difference. It may seem strange to you, but it is a very powerful thing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Headache.

I have deleted my post a gazillion times this morning. I have a MASSIVE headache...the kind that accompanies a moving weather front, and I can't string a sentence together.

Apologies.

Maybe tomorrow???

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Better days

For those of you who read my post yesterday and thought, "That's it. She's going over the edge," and you prayed that I would find a rope, thank you. I did.

My day was exhausting yesterday, but good. My students were attentive, my children ate the dinner I fixed them (miracle), and the house still looks fairly clean.

Today is a new day, and I'm determined to meet it with faith. My verse for the day is Psalm 138:7-8:"Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me."

Hoping I have another delightful day to report later. Thanks for praying. I'm praying for you too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The struggle

Work is not going the way I'd like it to go right now. It isn't one specific thing. In fact, it seems like it is EVERYTHING. I'm just struggling to keep a good attitude right now.

I've prayed about this A LOT. I've whined, too. I am at a point that I'm not sure what to do next. Do I keep at it, keep my eyes on the prize? I'm not even sure what the prize is at this point. Spring break? Summer? Retirement? Do I give up and find another way to spend my life? If so, what is that?

I know that I should be really grateful to have a job. I work with a lot of good people and some really great kids. I get paid well and have a nice schedule.  It's just that I'm not sure my heart is here any more. I'm not sure WHERE my heart is!

I hope that I can pull myself out of this funk. Let me rephrase that. I trust that God will pull me out of this funk, and set my feet on the right path. Until then, I'm just going to keep running the race.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Man shall not live on bread alone. Mmm...bread.

For me, the new year doesn't really start until school is back in sesson. I know the calendar has said 2011 since Saturday, but I didn't throw any confetti til today. Okay, so I didn't throw confetti, but you get my point.

Anyway, I have been working toward my resolutions. Weight Watchers is going well, I guess. I'm making some changes. I've not really worked on my memory verse yet this week, so now is a good time to try.

It is Matthew 4:4. I know this verse, sort of. "Jesus answered, 'It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." One of the techniques for learning the verses is to write it down and look at it often. I've done that. Another suggestion is to read it in context and meditate on its meaning. That's a big thing for me as a teacher. I hate when I give vocabulary words and kids memorize the definitions but don't know how to apply them in context. So, that's my goal today.

Matthew 4 is the story of Jesus' time in the wilderness. Forty days of fasting, praying, and temptation. He followed the Spirit into the wilderness. He ate NOTHING for six whole weeks. I can't go six whole minutes without thinking about food, so that amazes me. I've dabbled in fasting, have done brief ones, but can't imagine 40 days. That's 120 meals and 80 or more snacks. Woah.

When I'm tempted to "cheat" on my diet (which is just about all the time), I've tried to learn some strategies to help me. I distract myself. I chew gum. I get a drink of water. I eat a piece of fruit. I give in and have just a tiny bite of whatever it is I'm thinking about.

Not Jesus. When the tempter tried to get him to eat, he quoted scripture to him.

Maybe I've been lead to this particular memory verse because it is so fitting to this season of my life. I'm struggling with overcoming temptation that comes from food. I'll put my little index card with this verse on it right on my desk and look at it every time I think about eating the Reese Cup that is hidden deep in my desk drawer. Even better, I'll give away the candy bar as a prize to a kid today so that I stop thinking about it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Plan of action

I posted my 2011 resolutions the other day. Believe it or not, I have developed a plan of action for some of them. I'm reposting the resolutions below along with my plan for accomplishing those goals. The words in RED are my plan of action.

1. Lose weight. I think 15 pounds would be doable and would help A LOT! Twenty five would be awesome, but who am I kidding? I joined Weight Watchers online, set a preliminary goal, and made a menu plan for the week that allows me to eat good foods and stay on plan at the same time. Next step...figure out when I can go to the gym.


2. Get organized. I can't make this one more specific. Any improvement in this area would be welcome.  It seems to me that this whole exercise in goal setting and action plan designing speaks to this resolution.

3.Sell a crocheted item or two, or more! I am going to continue making hats and perhaps set up an Etsy.com shop in the fall.

4.Cook four nights a week, and cook different things! See #1. This week we'll have split pea soup with ham, ranchburger sliders and twice baked potatoes, Hawaiian chicken kabobs, turkey chili, and garlic-wine tilapia.

5. Read 25 books this year, and document them on this blog. I have a list of books I want to read, and I plan to read two books a month, plus a bonus one in the summer.  Each month, I'll read one book of literary merit and one that is more fun.  This month's books are Maid for Murder by  Barbara Colley and Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
6. Blog twice weekly. DONE! Well, for this week anyway.

7. Attend a genealogy workshop. Summer, perhaps?

8. Memorize scripture. I think a verse a week is doable. I really think two a week would be doable. I am going to aim for memorizing this list of verses, starting from the top and working down.

9. Do something different. Try new things. Zumba, pottery, Bunco, wool spinning...just a few of the things I'd like to try. They are all "fun" things, so why not? I don't have a plan for this. Yet. I think I have enough on my plate for this week. I have ideas.

10. Get back on the Financial Peace train. I think it ran me over during the holidays. :) I will admit that I don't have a plan here either. Next week???

I really feel like the fact that I've developed a real plan for most of these, and a timeline for a plan for the rest, that there is a strong likelihood that these things will occur. At any rate, I've come farther than I did in past years!

How are resolutions shaping up?