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.

 

The Bend in the Road

 

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“When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lays beyond the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend….I wonder how the road beyond it goes-what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows— what new landscapes— what new beauties–what curves and hills and valleys further on.” –Anne of Green Gables

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Tragedy and trials strikes us all at one point in our lives. We can choose to see beyond it and believe that days will be better or we can wallow in pity and despair and give up on dreaming all together.

There are moments I want to give up on dreaming big dreams. Fear envelopes me  like a heavy coat and I have to choose to throw it off and believe the bend in the road has beauty and sweetness and treasures that I would not have been dazzled by had life not taken me down this road. When my body feels weak and aches and I am limited by what I can physically manage, my natural eyes can see myself in a wheelchair unable to do anything. It is at that moment that I say, “NO! No. That is not me. I will keep getting up. I will keep fighting the good fight of faith and I will keep claiming God’s promises of healing.”

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I am choosing to believe there is beauty in these ashes, life from the grave, healing of the broken and busted up things.

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Isaiah prophesied of Jesus that He would take up our infirmities, carry our sorrows, be pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, punished that we may have peace and by His wounds we would be healed.

Diamonds come from the fire, wheat grows from busted, broken and dead seeds, flowers come up from the dirt.

What is your bend in the road, that situation that has thrown off your “groove”, taken away something you thought you would have or dampened the pages of the story you were writing? Keep holding fast. Keep dreaming big dreams. Keep believing God to bring forth beauty from the ashes.

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”     Isaiah 58:11-12

God is not done with you. Keep fighting the good fight of faith and keep your eyes on that which is unchanging. There is beauty on this bent road.

Second day of Cryotherapy

I made it to three minutes at -230 degrees! Yes, -230 degrees. My body ached with the cold and I had to focus on anything but what I was enduring. I chose to move my legs a little more and balance myself at the top of the machine so that I wouldn’t fall into the nitrogen vents. I went from numb (prior to entering the machine) to more numb (inside the machine). Upon exiting the machine, I was full of shivers and shakes and weakness.  I am adjusting to the experience. No, I am not enjoying the experience but getting more accustomed to it.

I am in a lot of physical discomfort tonight but there are storm clouds overhead and I always feel achy when storm clouds roll in. Praying that the continued treatments will trigger my body into a healthier state.

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Have a glorious day and keep your eyes on that which is eternal!

XOXO,

Charise

Wholebody Cryotherapy

I have to start out by telling you my eyes are burning and I am beyond tired  right now but I know that if I do not write now and share now, it may not happen.

Life has been more restful for me as of late and I am thankful for the rest. I am not driving more than  one mile away in a very slow speed to take the kids to music lessons once a week. I still can control my foot but longer periods of driving only causes pain and weakness.

My right side has been heavier and my right foot wanting to drag when I walk for any length of time. The heavier my foot, the harder it is to drive safely, so for now, I am staying off the road, laying low and allowing my hubby to take over the errands and grocery shopping. Thankful for him stepping in.

A darling sister of mine shared Cryotherapy with me and after researching it I decided it was worth trying. Steroids would be the normal option for an M.S.er at this point of inflammation and I am trying an alternative to see if this helps.

You may be asking, “what in the world is cryotherapy?”. Here is an explanation from one website:

With Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) the body is exposed to extremely low temperatures (-200° to -250°F) for 2-3 minutes at a time. This rapidly lowers skin temperatures and triggers cold receptors to activate the body’s survival mechanism. The brain then reacts to the skin sensors and stimulates regulatory functions of the body, like releasing anti-inflammatory proteins, endorphins, and rapidly circulating oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

Today was the first day.  The tech was delightful and sweet and very helpful. I left on my panties and put on a sports bra (no metal allowed in this chamber). I put on their comfy gloves, big manly socks, masculine robe and entered the chamber.

 

Here I am in the machine. You are seeing little bits of the Nitrous Oxide. I can’t say that the initial experience was lovely and pleasant. It was already cold. Once I entered and the door was closed, I took off the robe and handed it to the tech. IMG_3252

She warned me that first timers do not always reach the three minute mark. It is usually something to work up to. I wanted to make it to the two minute mark at the least. That was my goal. Time flew by and yet the pain was hard to endure. You are supposed to slowly rotate your body while in the machine. I was doing so but because my body IS already numb, getting more numb made it more difficult to steady myself especially while turning. You are not supposed to touch the inside walls and you are not supposed to look down or breathe in the liquid nitrogen so I kept my head up and breathed slowly in and out to calm my body down. The cold and I don’t mix and this was no different. It was mighty uncomfortable. I do feel that this is better than an ice bath. Ice baths make you experience a different kind of cold because your skin is wet and cold. It is different. Maybe I will have a better explanation when I am not so tired.

When I reached the two minute mark, the tech turned it off and handed me the man robe. When she opened the door my babies were waiting anxiously for me. They could see my face above the machine and could tell I was uncomfortable. When I stepped out my oldest embraced me  and held me close to him to warm me up and the rest of the little ones clung to me too.

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My babies love me! 🙂

Cryotherapy-kids embracing me

My skin was freezing and my legs were weak. I am not sure if that was due to the stress of the new experience or the extreme cold. I could not feel the pain so that was nice. As the day went on I could feel the normal pain, normal fatigue, normal weakness. I am going back tomorrow and praying the continued visits will help in the long run. I picture this experience like an athlete would ice a bruised or injured leg. It takes time for the healing to take place but I am going to persevere to experience the healing.

Here are some links for those who want more info on Whole Body Cryotherapy:

Take your time on this site. There is information for lots of different ailments, diseases and more.    http://wholebody-cryotherapy.com/en/cryotherapy/multiple-sclerosis.html

This is a place in Riverside, CA- http://www.cryofixwellness.com/

Pubmed on MS. and Cryotherapy- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20299758

Blessings to you all,

Charise

The “Monster” May Not be So Bad

close up image of space trilogy book oneMaybe the monster in the water isn’t such a bad thing.

I have been chewing on C.S. Lewis’ words from the first of his Space Trilogy.  The main character was conversing with an intelligent being on another planet about a violent creature that lives in the water. The creature will demolish and tear apart anything that comes in its path. The human’s response was that there was no place for this monster and the “higher power” shouldn’t have made this creature or allowed it to be here for the sake of the good creatures. The intelligent being said the words that have had me mulling over and over and over, ” The hanakra (monster)  is our enemy, but he is also our beloved…………..I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lake”. 

No danger in the lake? Isn’t that what we want? No danger. No financial strain. No health issues. Nothing that shakes us.

What is the monster you are facing right now? There are so many options of monsters to choose from and each of them can devour us in one way or another. One way or another we can let anything swallow us up and spit us out.

But what if we chose to see the monster in a different light?  What if  we saw it as a means to reach a deeper love, cherish the people God has placed in our lives more fully, experience a more full enjoyment of the simple things, an opportunity to put the first things first? What if the very monster meant to destroy you by the Enemy could be used for your greatest purpose through God and His strength.

In Lewis’ wonderful, philosophical, fictional story the alien beings were trying to kill  the monster but they had a deep appreciation for it. They appreciated more because of “it”.

When our eyes are fixed on that which lies beyond this mortal earth and we live for God and eternity, couldn’t we see our circumstances in such a different light?

The enemy of our souls uses the “monster” to steal away our moments, our peace, and our joy. But when we are surrendered to God and dwelling in His presence, we have peace and joy and see the monster for what it really is. It has no power over you. The “monster” cannot take your JOY but joy can be found in the midst of places where “it” lurks.

God says to me and to you,
“I formed you. Fear not, I redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch you, For I am the Lord your God……Fear not, I am with you.  ” Excerpts from Is. 43:1-5

His presence is enough for you. I am praying for healing for your body today. I am praying for Joy in the midst of your present circumstances.

P.S. I am resuming ‘Motherhood with an Illness’ next blog entry but I am going to broaden it to ‘Parenthood and Illness’. I realize I have amazing fathers who follow this blog too.

If you are not receiving this blog in your email, please put your info in  at the top right so you don’t miss any of my blog entries ( no worries-they will not daily flood your mailbox). Also, “like/follow” me on Facebook as well. We are in this together!

Life is Messy

Life is messy.

Messy can be beautiful can’t it? Sometimes it’s hard to see. The mini Picasso six year old painting is beautiful. Bright orange seaweed tangled in bright green algae=beautiful.  Messy people that love in the messes=beautiful.

 

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My longing for order, for control, for keeping all things together can prevent me from experiencing the blessing waiting for me, the beauty waiting for me. The blessing doesn’t always come through wide, green pastures. It often comes through dark, narrow roads with a glimpse of light peeking through to guide. His tender hand guiding, directing through shadow filled badlands. Blessing comes through the messy.

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Moses didn’t want to speak to the Pharaoh.  He could speak. He just didn’t feel himself adequate enough to do what God was calling him to do. “Who me? I can’t do that. Don’t you know my disability, my lack of ability?” We make excuses and miss His power enabling us to do what He asks us and prepared us to do in the midst of what He has allowed.    The expectation Moses placed on himself was not what God had placed on him, but his own fallen perception of God’s role in his calling.  Focusing on the messy causes us to miss the masterpiece He is making.

The Israelites were scared to take possession of the land God had promised. The land was EVERYTHING that God had promised but there were giants in the land and they chose to focus on the giants. They chose to allow fear to keep them from trusting God’s promise and the blessing in His provision. They focused on the messy and missed out on the beautiful.

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God gives promises and sometimes we have to fight through opposition to fully enjoy the promise. Is it worth the fight? You bet it is.

There is always blessing and beauty on the other side.

 

Quiet Dancing

The words dance in my mind and urge me to dance with them onto these pages, on this blog. I have been fighting against the dance. Heavy eyes and weary body, I have resisted sitting and pouring out my heart here on this endless outreach. Even now, I feel like I have so much to write but I feel stifled, muffled, held back. I am aching to pour out the ointment God has been so faithful to pour over me.

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In a world full of derision and anger, hostility and brokenness I keep hearing HOPE. “Hold Onto Hope”. The  family vacation isn’t my hope. The new home or the next plans for our family is not my hope. Jesus Christ the Righteous, He is my hope! In Him is refuge, fullness of joy, confidence. My mouth is full of His praise, because my life is perfect? My kids perfect? My marriage perfect? Not even close. I praise Him because He is perfect, perfectly loving and good, kind and patient with me knowing all of my imperfections and still loves me just the same. I hold onto hope that my friend “T” who is battling M.S. symptoms will fully regain her sight. I am believing it for life on earth and knowing it for eternity in heaven. HOPE. I am believing healing of my myelin sheath for this life and knowing it will come some day-HOPE.

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When we walk through storms and we keep our eyes on the Light House we come out the other side of the storm with powerful proclamation of  victory and we shine for the next generation walking at our heels, listening to our words and watching our every move. They will see our falls but they will also see us rise up and keep pressing on toward the prize. Hope.

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” Psalm 71: 18

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I recently read this quote by Mark Batterson, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, your dream is too small.”

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I am dreaming of big things. Things too big for me. Too big for someone with M.S. Too big for someone home educating four kids and fighting to do it well.  I am dreaming of BIG things, too big for me but NEVER TOO BIG FOR GOD. He is calling me, stirring my heart, calling me to a place of rest and renewal so that I can be poured out again. He. Will. Not. Forsake. Me. He will carry me into and through the lows and the highs, the storms, rains of refreshment, sunshine and desert. He will enable me to do what He has called me to do and I will know that it is not I who walked victoriously because of my might, no, it is all because of His might, His strong arms carrying me.

What is He calling you to do today, stirring up in you? What are the passions and dreams you have long suppressed? Rise up Dear One! He will carry you too.

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