Find Your Victory Song

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Off CA 177 Highway March 2018

Circumstantial, emotional and mental darkness can leave us lost without words, without hope, without joy. How do we fight when it all feels so dark?

I must be honest, I am an optimist. I tend to lean towards the cup half full and even try to convince people it is actually full because there is air inside of the cup too. It really is full even when you can’t see the complete fullness. I wouldn’t call myself a Pollyanna. I have let some of life’s unfortunate realities cause me to be suspicious and untrusting (although some of that is also a gift in discernment). M.S. has stripped me down to reveal the hard days can beat me into an emotional battle between light and darkness. How do I keep from falling deep down into the dark pit?

-I let precious people in my life know when I am struggling with physical, emotional or mental issues. Honesty keeps me from putting on masks. Prayer, emotional support and talking through my feelings helps to prevent me from spiraling down.

-I set my heart on eternity by reading God’s word, grabbing hold of His promises and reminding myself of His faithfulness. Like David, I lay it all on the table with God; what I feel to be injustices, sorrows, anger, etc. and I let Him reveal His heart to me in the midst of what He is allowing.

“Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.” Psalm 30: 10-12

“O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O Lord, you brought me up from the grave, you spared me from going down into the pit.” Psalm 30:2-3

“Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit……. I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.” Psalm 31: 4-8

Reading the Psalms helps me to be reminded of God’s faithfulness in the midst of great trials. David was running for his life when he had done no wrong. Although he had been chosen to be a future king the journey to get there was grueling.¬† At one point David’s wife mocked him in public. David had extreme physical, mental and emotional pain and he learned to pursue God’s presence and lay all the ugly on the table and allow the Father to reveal His hand in the process. David constantly recognized God’s love in the midst of the journey and his songs came from these places of wrestling.

I have my own fight songs that “Hoo-rah” me into pressing onward and upward. I haven’t written my own yet but there are amazing songs written to encourage and uplift. Below are just a few of my favorites. I have so many. I pray you gather a collection of “Fight Songs” to encourage you on down, dark and down right stinky days. God wants to lift your head.

I realize this video is very emotional. It has me bawling every time I watch it which is why I do not watch it often. ūüôā Feel free to listen to the song and Rise Up!

 

 

I encourage you to write your own Victory Song proclaiming the Victory through the Journey of Trials. We will enter in with a Victory Dance and Victory Song. Look Up! Your redemption draws near!

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Long Time Coming

Five months of this quiet pondering and eight months since posting an update. Life with four children is not necessarily a quiet life but I have been more purposeful at stepping away into quiet. Some days I do better than others. My soul is left wanting when I allow the busyness of the days creep by without breathing in deep the beauty and gift of nature and breathing out thankfulness.

I am learning to inhale and exhale God’s word. Inhaling through meditating and pondering deep and exhaling through prayer and speaking His truths. I have been praying Psalm 91 over myself and the family and learning to stand on God’s promises like never before.

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Grand Canyon March 2018 The storm rolling in.

Psalm 103 says, “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

I am thirty seven but I feel like I am in my seventies. My body feels weak and fragile like a raw egg ready to crack. I am ready for my youth to be renewed. 2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds me that “We live by faith, not by sight.” I do not feel like I am healing but I choose to thank God for my healing anyway. I choose to be reminded that I do not need to “lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:16-18

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Grand Canyon 2018

My precious husband and I just celebrated our fifteen year anniversary. I greatly rejoice in that! As we took time away from the children and escaped to a small Dutch town in green, rolling hills, we pondered how much has happened in the fifteen years of our marriage and we looked into the future fifteen years and the ages our children will be. It was scary and sobering and immediately fear kicked in at what state my body could be in. I immediately had to take that thought captive and kick it to the pit of hell. I will choose to think on good thoughts about those years. I may be a grandma and it is a very high possibility that all my children will be out of the house. I will still be feisty and strong because my God is strong through me. I will still be exercising my body and mind and loving people in the journey.  I will think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (Phil. 4:8)

And so today, I don’t make a promise that I will write more often but I will take up the call to use my gifts according to my faith because His calling is irrevocable, good and perfect.¬† I will take Paul’s admonition and ” Be joyful in HOPE, PATIENT in affliction and FAITHFUL in prayer.” (Romans 12:11-12)

Today is a day to rejoice in! It is full of trials, frustrations, fallen people but we can rejoice in the God who stays constant and sure. We have hope!

Please feel free to email me or leave a comment so I know how to be praying for you. Prayer is just one of the avenues by which I love to serve people.

P.S. I plan to post a follow up video to update you on the products I have tried these eight months and the results of those products.

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Breathe taking view of the South side of Grand Canyon

Thanksgiving

I’ve been quiet these days, pondering many thoughts with a schedule full of field trips and homeschooling to-do’s and get to’s. As we began a new week and the week of Thanksgiving, God, in His infinite understanding and kindness is teaching me to take at least one full day of rest each week and more rest throughout the week.¬† This doer kind of girl finds resting incredibly difficult. I always find “one more thing” to do. Just one more thing that leads to a day of unrest. So, God is faithfully teaching me to enjoy this gift of rest.

Life has been throwing curve balls at me and my inner woman has been whiny and my lips may have been pouty more than a few times. I have needed the reminders of His promises lately and I really needed a dose of thanksgiving in the remembrance of His faithfulness. It is always sobering to remember how He has always been present and provided when needed and so much more. He truly is good.

I also needed to be reminded of His hope. My friend Vinae has a lovely blog where she shares about life with her family. She has had her own health struggles that have plagued her for many years yet she is a brave soul who battles fierce with God leading the way. She wrote this article about living life to not only survive but to thrive. I pray it blesses you as it did me.  Click here to head over to The Improvising Mom blog.

Blessings to you and yours and may you choose rest in the hustle and bustle of this holiday week.

Joy,

Charise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling With M.S. and Some Thoughts I am Brewing

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From the flight, somewhere between Texas and Alabama.

Traveling with M.S. is no easy feat. The months leading up to weeks and then like a rushing wind the days leading up to departure, fear creeps in and contemplation runs amok just trying to figure out exactly what to bring to aid in easing my burden. I never feel great knowing that I “have” to bring a device for assistance and I really dread the idea of others having to help me but its too hard for me to do it all by myself now. Talk about humbling!

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Speed Racer. 

I asked for all of my birthday money to go towards this September trip to the American Christian Counselor’s Conference. I volunteered so I could attend free and was gifted with a special discounted plane flight. ¬†The cherry on top was the gift of flying into Alabama and getting extra time with one of my dearest friend’s Joanna, a former Cali girl- turned Southern. ¬†As I prepared to come she lovingly reminded me that she just wants me comfortable and to bring whatever will be best for me. Sometimes I just need permission to do what is best for me and enables me to have more energy even when it is very humbling. Years ago, while I was on a two month, mild bed rest with my last baby, my darling Joanna pushed me around in a wheelchair so I could attend church or other functions that I didn’t want to miss out on.¬† And then, right after my diagnosis when my legs were weak and I struggled with driving she drove me to stores all over kingdom come. She served me then and I was reminded that she would serve me well again. ¬†I yielded and decided to take my scooter. ¬†I am so thankful that I did. I am so thankful for her willingness to love me well.

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After a long day of traveling and two long years I got to squeeze my sweet Joanna. 

The trip was  physically exhausting but at every turn, wrapped in gold lining. The rich conversations, powerful worship, mental exercise and strengthening, love of the people and delicious fellowship were every bit a part of the gift God had for me. My babies were safe at home with my amazing husband who blessed me with this time away and I had no worry.  My soul was awash with fresh springs and desires confirmed in my heart. I asked questions and received a plenitude of answers. Many of them I am praying through and some I will be sharing as the days go by.

What are you considering to let pass by you today because it seems like too much work?

It may be that Home Group-too vulnerable, too hard to push out of your comfort zone. Maybe it is giving yourself time away in quietness or time to do something you enjoy ¬†because you still do not think you are worth it. Maybe it is that friendship you are desiring but not so sure you want to take the time, be real with someone, or let someone know the real you. It may be pulling up a chair and playing a board game with your child even though you do not feel like it. It’s those small somethings that¬† weave loving life imprints on the heart of your child. Maybe it is some Big Hairy Audacious Goal that seems so far fetched and scary to ¬†pursue, but you have it deep in your heart.

“A hero chooses to be courageous even when he feels inadequate.”

Gregg Jantz PHD

You are a hero. Please. Stop. Let that sink in. YOU ARE A HERO.

You are worth it. What ever the chasm you are steering away from, it is worth the effort to cross. Loving and being loved is worth it. Loving yourself enough to do what is good for you is worth it. Stepping out of your comfort zone is worth it. Let’s live fully today because tomorrow isn’t promised to¬† anyone, not you, not me or our loved ones. And let’s remember that it is the seemingly minuscule moments of each day that make up a legacy. What Legacy do you want to live?

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Outside of the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. 

Recent Update: It’s Not Going As Planned- Give up or Fight On?

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“Demand your healing, Charise.”

“Speak it and it will be done.”

“Believe it and you will be healed.”

“The mountain will be moved- tell it to be gone.”

Yes, I have spoken it, received it and continued seeking, asking and knocking.  AND I will keep on keeping on.

This is big and it may ruffle some feathers but here in America, ¬†in this land where “dreams come true” (and in many ways they do) we need to be reminded that we are not little gods and our understanding does not surpass or compare to God’s understanding. In all the authority He gave us, we must not forget that our will is still to be submitted to the Father and all that we do should be in humility and submission to Him. ¬†God tells us, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and ¬†my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55

Isaiah 45:9, 11-12
“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is a potsherd among potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘ He has no hands’? ………This is what the Lord says– the Holy One of Israel, and it’s Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.”

Remember the Patriarch Jacob? Weaseling, deceptive Jacob, who had already been chosen by God, wrestled with God and cried out for a blessing. Indeed, I believe it was the Father’s will to bless him but in the end Jacob came out with a limp and he was a changed man, no more a conniver. He still had a limp. The blessing and the limp.

Dear Apostle Paul was looked down upon because of his obvious issue. It may have been an issue affecting his speech or some other disability that ailed him. 2 Cor. 10:10 says, “For some say, ‘His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.'” Paul had a thorn in his flesh. (2 Cor. 12) He was fully aware this issue (whatever it was) was from a messenger of Satan and the purpose was to torment him. Paul pleaded with the Lord to take it away and did God remove it promptly? No. Paul was a man full of the Holy Spirit. He had the ability to touch people and they would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Amazing miracles happened through him and such was the power in him and through him that the handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick and the illnesses were healed and evil spirits left them.(Acts. 19) Paul even raised a man from the dead. (Acts 20) Paul had great faith! ¬†But God chose not to heal Paul of this ailment. And Paul accepted it.

God knew what was best for Paul. God affirmed Paul that He was going with him and His grace is sufficient for him. The Father reminded him that “His power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12) God was allowing the enemy’s attack to keep Paul in a place of humility. Did it stink? I bet it did. When Paul was put in prison was it miserable and not fair? You bet! When God allowed a poisonous snake to bite him God miraculously healed him. (Acts 26) Paul chose to see that God, who was fully capable of healing him of his continuing ailment was using these difficulties for far greater purposes than himself. He actually CHOSE to DELIGHT in the weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties knowing that because of these things he would be strengthened by God. (2 Cor. 12) Paul knew it was to keep him humble and usable. (More on Paul’s trials- 2 Cor. 11:23-29)

Wait? What about God’s blessing? What about God’s favor on his child? He should have claimed his healing and been free from trial and physical suffering, right?

Oh, what a lie we believe when we think suffering  and trials are not apart of walking with God.

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Acts 14:22 “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Philippians 1:29, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
Jesus’ words chronicled in Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Clearly, most of those are not physical sickness but nevertheless there is clearly suffering allowed by God for a greater purpose.

The book of James says to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

You may be asking, “So, Charise, are you giving up on asking God for your healing? Are you going to believe His promises in Psalm 103 that He heals your diseases?”

Giving up is not in my vocabulary. If the Father has me on this earth I am going to keep choosing to be bold and courageous. I KNOW the Father is going to heal me. I just don’t know when and if it is this side of heaven or the other side. I will trust Him for His timing. I KNOW I can trust Him and I can say as the Son of God said, “Not my will, but yours be done.” And ” Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

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Now to share my update:

I have not been doing great. Around the time of my last neuro appointment and my MRI which were both in May, I began feeling like I was in a relapse. I was concerned but upon getting the results that my brain MRI had not changed (still 20 scars on my brain) I was relieved to hear it had not gotten worse. This entire time I have struggled with the reality that I have had a worsening of symptoms but why would my MRI not show it? When I saw Dr. last week she reminded me that we did not see an updated MRI on my spine. Due to the progressively worse symptoms in my lower extremities it is clear that my spine is being attacked in one way or another and the swelling is severe. She highly recommended I up the amount of Low Dose Naltrexone ( I was only taking 3 mg. The norm for LDN is 4.5mg). And to decrease the inflammation lest the damage continue to progress- a heavy dose of Steroids Infusion (IV’s). I have spent this week preparing and living life and prepping for IV in home therapy next week.

Last week I went through emotional roller coasters of frustrations and sadness that I had not stayed relapse free. I have worked through those emotions and I am continuing to trust the Lord for His healing and His sufficient grace and strength for each day. I will continue to walk with Him and He will walk with me and we will grow closer together in the midst of these “trials”. I believe it takes greater faith to trust God when we don’t understand the “why’s” and greater faith to keep seeking Him in the midst of the trial instead of outside of it.

What are you going through right now? Maybe you feel it is not fair. You are having a hard time understanding the why’s this side of heaven. I understand. I am linking arms with you right now and praying peace in your mind, soul and spirit. Praying for you to know the Father’s love in a deeper way in the midst of these trials and have fullness of joy as you walk through the trials. You are loved. I encourage you to keep going to His throne of grace. Keep asking. Keep seeking to know Him more and trust in His sovereign plans for your life. If we are to believe God’s promises then we need to believe all of God’s promises and trust that He loves us enough to be trusted. And KEEP ASKING FOR HEALING according to His will. He is listening. And He sees you.