If I was the Devil…

I just listened to this video today.  My heart is heavy for mankind.  We HAVE to get right with Jesus. Before you brush this off as one more Bible thumping, consider what I stand to gain by telling you, you need Jesus.  If I wanted to get for myself, if I were purely evil in motivation, so consumed by my own agenda

well

If I was the Devil…

I’d tell you your “Universe” talk and blatant disregard of God’s commands were good.  I’d support you and sit by smiling and watching.  I’d revel quietly in your agony.  I’d stand by and let you destroy yourself with your ‘new truth’ and your pride.  Then, when you were ruined, you couldn’t blame me because you did it to yourself.

Jesus the God of the Bible, is the way the truth and the life.  Not one of us will get to God except through Jesus.  I cannot omit this from my heart or withhold it from a world so desperately wallowing in filth and ignorance.  So many are completely blind to the perfect completed love of Jesus.  So many are striving for diety’s that do not exist or are constructs of Satan.

From the bottom of my heart I emplor you to get right with Jesus.  Lay it all at his feet and seek Him for what He comnands is good.  Every other compass will not sustain you, will not fulfill you.

God SPOKE all of creation into existence.  What evil has God ever caused you?  Search your heart, why do you hold your hurts against your creator?  Take it all to him, he can handle it.

It is Finished.

Dear Jesus,

I pray for those who wander lost, especially those who think they’ve found their way without you.  I pray for your protection and peace.  Please rescue our nation.  Amen.

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Saved By God’s Provision – Our Experience With Broadside Collision

Just before Valentine’s day this year we had our usual weekly church small group meeting.  This time it was a dark and rainy Wednesday evening. Bart arrived home from work especially tired.  He decided to stay home with our younger boy, Gideon, while Hank and I went to group.

We celebrated Valentine’s day a little early at our small group with a white elephant gift exchange.  I brought an unopened bag of whole-bean coffee and we received a starter kit and a cute little blue betta fish.

After group, Hank and I loaded our things into our new 2009 VW Jetta.  Hank climbed into his car seat which was positioned behind my drivers’ side seat and I secured his seatbelts.  Then I placed our new betta fish (who was in a small plastic cup at the time) into the center console cup holder.  Away we went heading home around 9:40pm.  All seemed fine except for being a particularly dreary evening.  Having been a few weeks into a great workout routine I felt alert and well.  Hank sat quietly in his seat and we drove home.  The radio was off, my phone was stowed away safely in my purse.  It was calm and I was driving very cautiously.  (I have a very low platelet count, so I am ALWAYS cautious driving because if I get in an accident I could bleed to death.)  I came to the intersection where we usually turn to go home.  I stopped in the turn lane, signalled and when the road appeared clear proceeded to turn left.  Once fully into the intersection something very unexpected and bizarre happened…

I heard a loud sound like metal bending and immediately we began spinning in circles.  By the time the car stopped we had flown off the side of the road (God is so good) and safely up a berm.  I was horrified and immediately put the car in park and turned off the engine.  I called 911 and looked in front of me to read the license plate off the other car to the officer on the other line.  I remember so clearly that my headlights illuminated their car but there was no light shining back at me.

They didn’t have their headlights on!

I never saw them coming.  I never heard a thing until the hit.  No skidding.  No horn.

Nothing then WHAM!

As soon as I got off the phone with 911 I realized Hank was in the back seat crying hysterically.  My heart sunk, I was horrified.  My precious baby boy.  I turned around and saw he was safely surrounded by his car seat and didn’t even have a scratch.  I started consoling him then realized I was completely soaked in betta fish water.  Our new pet had flew out of the car and his cup shattered around me.  Then I saw the passenger side of our car smashed in, the side curtain airbags deployed and glass all over.

Adrenaline pumping and in horror of what had just happened I called Bart to come get us.  We wound up being there for an hour while the police took their reports.  Praise God, Hank seemed ok and was able to go home and go to bed.  While my mother-in-law stayed home with our boys, Bart drove me to the emergency room.  There I learned I had a concussion and severe whiplash.  I couldn’t control my head.  That is a very strange feeling!

I received a shot of morphine to ease the already severe pain and was discharged with instructions to follow-up with my doctor.

I don’t know what your experience has been with serious car accidents but up until February 12, 2014 I had none.  At the time of impact the other driver was going at least 45 miles per hour!

Here’s our Jetta after the accident before it went to the junk yard.

Passenger side of Car-1Passenger side of Car-2

All that damage and we walked away from it alive!

VW Jetta’s are Safe!

Dear Jesus, thank you for protecting us.  Thank you that Bart wasn’t driving and Gideon wasn’t in the car.  If that were the case (as it usually would be on a Wednesday night) Gideon and I would have been on the side of impact.  Jesus, I believe it is in your sovereignty that Gideon and I didn’t die that night.  Praise and honor and glory be to you, our mighty king.  Amen.

Considering Parenthood? Mix-it-Up-Monday’s

My husband and I are blessed with two vibrant little boys ages 2 and 3.  In my short time as a parent I have come across a multitude of situations and experiences that “they” never told me about back when I was blissfully imagining baby toes.  I feel like maybe it would have been nice to consider a few things in advance.  Here are a few things I would have wanted on that list:

  • Your social life is going to change, a lot!
  • Babies poop a lot, messy up their back, poop.
  • If you have boys, open their diaper quickly then re-close momentarily before you change it.  The cold air will make them pee.  Re-closing the diaper will mean they pee into the soiled diaper instead of you.
  • Children are amazingly resilient.  Babies are kind of like Gumbi or Stretch Armstrong if you are a younger Mom. 🙂
  • Children will teach you A LOT!
  • Sleep comes and goes depending on the life stage.  Newborns eat every 2-3 hours so there is almost no sleep at that stage.  Then there’s teething and later there’s fear of the dark and nightmares.
  • You are always “on call”
  • Whenever you change a diaper KEEP YOUR MOUTH CLOSED.  Please trust me on this.  The smell is bad at times and tasting it is worse.
  • Parenting books are full of contradictory information.
  • Go with your gut.  Seriously!
  • There will be a lot of times when you think you have no idea what to do.  Its ok, most people cannot remember the first three years of their lives.  It seems to me that this reveals the intentional nature of God.
  • You will Never have it “figured out”.
  • Just about the time you have a routine, everything will change.
  • Children don’t have a return policy and by the time they are born you wouldn’t want them put back anyway!
  • Ever heard the term “sanctification process”?  Having children is a major step in that.
  • Parenting is the most humbling thing you will ever do.
  • Parenting is NOT about you.
  • Comparison starts early whether you want to participate or not.  It’s a pit.
  • Babies don’t read the milestone charts.  There is a RANGE of normal.
  • Life after child/children will NOT be the same as it was before.
  • Having children is not Us plus Kids, it’s a whole new family unit.
  • Well meaning people will say unhelpful things.
  • Jesus is your rock, your child cannot fill this need.
  • They just might get your bad traits too.
  • There’s no time like the present to go before the Lord asking Him to help you.
  • Parenting is not for sissy’s.
  • Children get about 6-10 colds a year on average.  That works out to very few healthy days.
  • Buy a humidifier and a mini carpet cleaning machine.
  • You don’t need Many of the things they sell at Babies-R-Us.  And, Babies-R-Us is the most expensive way to buy the things you do need.
  • Skip cloth bibs and go for the laminated ones with the pouch at the bottom to catch crumbs and spit-up.
  • Time will go into warp speed while simultaneously slowing waaaaaaay down when you have children.
  • Being a stay-at-home-mom is lonely.
  • Parenting is a lot of repetition.
  • Repetition.
  • Repetition.
  • Repetition.
  • You will find yourself thanking your Mom for the sacrifices she made raising you.
  • You cannot lead your children where you yourself won’t go.  Pray through that.
  • You will give of yourself in every way with little to no immediate gratification.
  • The way you will feel about your own children is an intense love for which there are no words.
  • When you have toddlers, aim for balanced weeks instead of balanced meals.
  • Learn to accept “good enough”.
  • Children like to eat off the floor and touch each others mouths.
  • You and your spouse will have parenting “differences”.  Be prepared to be gracious and allow these differences to grow you both.
  • Small children can vomit from swallowing snot, it’s not always the stomach flu.
  • Your family will likely have the stomach flu every year for a while.
  • Homemade baby food is a great way to save money. But buy the carrot baby food.
  • Cloth diapering doesn’t have to be expensive: http://www.sunbabydiapers.com
  • Nursing Pads don’t have to be embarrassing (warning shameless plug): http://www.washablebreastpads.com
  • I was formula fed and vaccinated and lived to tell about it. And, gasp, I watched tv. 😉
  • Forget what they taught you in college.  Boys and Girls are different and not just anatomically.
  • Childbearing will change your body.
  • Once you have a baby you should plan to do kegels for the rest of your life.
  • Baby can wait while you go pee.
  • If you get overwhelmed, put him/her in their crib safely and walk away for a minute.  Take deep breaths. (They did tell you that one but it bears repeating)
  • It is good to accept help!
  • You are not alone.
  • You cannot even use the bathroom alone.
  • Communication becomes harder when you have children.
  • You will be tired, emotionally and physically.
  • You never “clock out”
  • You won’t get a pay raise or performance review.  Work toward kingdom goals instead.

I am sure there are so many more things “they” could have told me but this is a start.

I will leave you with this:

The things in life that are REALLY worth a lot take the greatest investment.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you so much for our boys.  Thank you also for always being with me and that I can trust you and fully rely on you.  I pray that Hank and Gideon will grow up loving you and that this post will be helpful to others.  Amen.

The Washington State Fair 2013, Mix-It-Up Monday’s

My husband and I got brave yesterday.  Armed with our boys and tickets from my mother-in-law, we went to the Washington State Fair.  My boys are 2 and 3, that pretty much explains why we were brave to go.  But, add to that, the weather was finicky and oscillated between sun and torrential downpour.

We bought fair fries (my favorite!) that mound over two paper plates in a rectangular shape reminiscent of the deep fry basket they came from.  We bought ride tickets too.  $20 got us enough tickets for two rides, yes just two!  Hank and Bart rode the black widow, also known as the octopus.  Because of their weight differential, their car spun around with the most vigor.  My heart jumped and stopped simultaneously while watching from the ground.  I wondered if Hank was loving it or about to throw up.  Would he swear off rides?  This was his very first time going on a ride at the fair.  Praise be to God, he actually enjoyed it!

Hank and Daddy just before his very first ride Hank and Daddy on the ride

Next we put the boys together in a little plastic canoe that travelled around in a big wiggly circle going under tipi’s every so often.  They loved it, Gideon cried and threw a fit when the ride was done.  The ride operator told the boys to keep their hands inside the canoe.  Hank was a model child sitting patiently while Gideon hung his hand in the water up to his sleeve.  When told to stop by the ride operator, Gideon just laughed and laughed.  Stinker. 😉

Hank and Giddo in a canoe 3 Hank and Giddo in a canoe 2 Hank and Giddo in a canoe

The rain started then and we all got pretty wet.  Low on tickets, we went to Pete’s Barbeque Pit for dinner.  Hank ate a half ear of corn to himself and even tried my pulled pork sandwich.  Bart, or superman, negotiated Gideon and his bowl of wandering coleslaw.

We managed to look at horses and chickens too.  Hank even got to see Horses walking by within reach.  One horse whinnied at Hank.  I was surprised by how loud they are close up.

We had just a few tickets left so we headed to play some fair games.  Hank had a particular toy in mind.  It was a weird alien looking dinosaur.  In his defense, I think he wanted it because of its dino characteristics.  The game was basically impossible, but, Bart gave it a solid effort.  While wearing Gideon in the Ergo carrier on his chest he swung a rubber hammer to hit a spring-loaded platform that sends a rubber frog flopping toward shallow baskets on a table.  I should add the table was jam-packed with these alien dino’s.  Well, no dice.  Leaving without the toy was confusing to Hank.  He is after all only three.  He didn’t understand that you can pay for something and not leave with the toy.

With our bellies full and our tickets spent we walked soppily back to our street parked car.  Yeah, we got free parking!  On our trek out, Hank wailed.  I’m sure he and Gideon were exhausted from all the stimulation and bedtime was fast approaching.  We overheard, over the loud cries, a man exclaim, “I’m so glad I don’t have children.”  My gut reaction was to turn around and say, “I heard that and I’m so glad you don’t have children too.”  But then reason gave way.  Getting into a fight with a man at the fair was not what my wet and exhausted children needed.  We held our heads high and went back to our car.

I am glad we went with the boys this year.  This time last year, I couldn’t even get out of my hospital bed.  God is so good it is absolutely unreal the miracles He has done and continues to do today.

I got to thinking though.  For folks who feel the need to say unkind things to families with crying children, this letter is for you. 🙂

Dear childless stranger at the Washington State Fair, I know you loudly exclaimed, “I’m so glad I don’t have children.” in response to hearing my child’s cries as you passed us. While he was very upset, I can’t help but feel sorry for you because you are missing out. There is SO much more to having children than their tears. They are the greatest gift after salvation. Now, more clearly than before children, I see a glimpse of God’s love for me as His child. Children admire you, emulate you and simply look to you for what it is to be an adult because one day they will be too. Please watch what you say around them.
sincerely,
Momma

Dear Jesus, thank you for this fun outing and the opportunity for Hank and Gideon to experience the chaos that is the Washington State Fair.  Amen.

What Really Matters Anyway?

The internal monologue runs on and on.  All of us, minds buzzing along filled overfull with nonsense.  Our hearts tied up in knots over work, friends, family, enemies, politics, religion, hobbies, successes, failures, fears, doubts, what others have, what we have, what we don’t have, what we think we need, who we think we should be, who we think we shouldn’t be.

All the while God seems silent.

Why?

Do you suppose that He’s concerned with something else?

Perhaps something else matters more than all our hullabaloo.

All our striving is in vain.

Psalm 127:1-2 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”

What really matters anyway?

All this thinking is tiring.  A busy mind, self consumed, is distracted from what God wants.

John Piper says, “God’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy His glory forever.” 

Unlike us, God isn’t fretting, because He is all-knowing.  Unlike Him, we don’t even know what tomorrow will bring.

It isn’t what car you drive or who likes you that matters.  If we leave this earth hated by some but rich in Godly character, our thoughts immersed in His word, then we have found what really matters.

When I was sick I actually got to a place of disappointment when finally discharged the last time because I knew I would go back to the distractions of life.  The frivolous drama and foolish striving would be waiting to tempt me to give even just a little mental real estate away from God.  I enjoyed in utter dependence on Jesus, a great intimacy with Him.  He did not heal me so I could glorify myself or others.  He did it so I could further enjoy Him and glorify Him.  I so deeply wanted to stay that close to Him, my mind un-adulterated.

My Mom’s cousin having cancer makes me think more about all this.  She is a Christian and her faith is a source of joy for me.  I see that health doesn’t ultimately matter, nor does comfort or ease.

God looks deeper than the temporal, to the character of the man.

1 Samuel 16:7 says, “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Dear Jesus, thank you for pursuing me through horrible sickness.  I have been thinking about how this time last year I was so sick and facing pancreas surgery.  Thank you for your abounding favor.  Thank you that I am here and get to sing your praise.  I love you.  Please free Sherrie of cancer and sustain her.  Amen.

Homeschooling, Everybody’s Doing It!

Whether you realize it or not, if you have raised children then you have homeschooled to some degree. Singing those ABC’s and practicing with scissors are both examples of learning that takes place at home. Since homeschooling is so natural, why not continue it?
Lately, I have been thinking more about formal homeschooling because Hank will be starting in a year’s time. I figure I should start preparing soon. Thinking of different curriculum and exploring what’s out there.
What is out there?
While I am not really sure what curriculum we’ll use, I do plan to follow one.
My sister-in-law homeschools her three boys. Maybe I’ll look into the one she uses. 🙂
In considering homeschooling I have thought about some common questions:
How will my boys get social time?
How long will we home-school?
What if we try and it doesn’t go well?

1) For the first question, I figure they’ll get social time the same way they normally do. I thought about my schooling and how classroom time really isn’t intended for social time anyway. With this in mind it seems perfectly reasonable that our boys get their studies done in a setting that isn’t overly social. I’m hopeful the time spent on school will be more efficient than a classroom setting because the student to teacher ratio will be 2:1!
So, back to social time or as some oddly put it “socialization”. First that words bothers me a little because that’s the same word often used in regards to rearing a dog. Second, humans are innately social. My boys live in our home this doesn’t mean they never leave it! In fact, we are already taking advantage of play dates and Sunday school. We frequent the Point Defiance Zoo and run errands as needed. I hope to enroll Hank in the little kickers’ soccer camp this summer. With the shorter school day and flexibility of homeschooling, I anticipate my boys will have greater “socialization” than a child who is in class all day.

2) How long will we home-school? I am college educated. I believe one of the chief things you learn in college is HOW to learn. Even though I studied Speech and Hearing Sciences, not teaching, I feel my goal will be to teach my boys HOW to learn. Though I will be there every step, I plan to encourage their independence and move them along at a rate that challenges them enough to keep their interest. With these things in mind, I plan to home-school as long as is beneficial. If all goes well then we may home-school until our boys set out for college. I remember in fourth grade I had a lousy teacher and my Mom taught me that year. I went to class all day and then at night my Mom covered what the teacher failed to teach out of laziness or perhaps incompetence. Class time was a waste but I learned a ton from my Mom! Homeschooling is so natural, after all your folks are your first teachers!

3) What if we try and it doesn’t go well? I certainly plan to give it at least a full year of effort. If it is bumpy I won’t be too surprised. Thankfully with practise we should expect to get into a groove. I expect at first it will be mostly teaching my boys to sit and how to attend to and follow directions. This is the foundation for scholasticism so if it takes time, I will consider it time well spent. If I find that formal homeschooling just isn’t working at all then Bart and I will need to evaluate other options. If either or both of our boys go to school elsewhere, I still plan to home-school them informally. It will look like what every parent should strive to do by showing interest in what our boys are learning and asking questions. We will review their homework with them and tutor them for classes as needed.
Unless I abdicate my parental role, I will be homeschooling in some form until my boys leave our home. It really isn’t revolutionary. 🙂
Dear Jesus, thank you that I know others who home-school their children so I may have support and people to ask for help. I pray you will lay the path out before me and speak through me to our boys. I will consider our schooling a success if they grow up knowing you and honing the ability to learn. Amen.

Slip-n-Slide, Imagery Tuesday’s

The sun is out. Imagine somewhere closer to the equator where eggplant and tomatoes grow vigorously with little coaxing.  Summertime is long and hot.  Rays of sunshine dance on the bare backs of small boys while they run through the sprinkler.  The plastic that once covered their mothers’ vegetable bed like a green house, now rests atop the grass folded over to make a long strip.

Run. Jump. Slide!

A little Dawn dish soap does wonders to move you along this homemade slip-n-slide.  The air is calm with a light breeze.  The littlest boy has apparent goose bumps but he doesn’t seem to notice.  If he becomes too cool he can always whisk away to the back deck.  Stained dark, it attracts sunshine and is almost too hot to walk on.  Standing there for a few minutes will surely warm him through.

A little key chain thermometer waits patiently on the deck and after several hours, I remember where I left it.  Looking down I see it reads 115 degrees farenheit, I think to myself, “This cannot be accurate.”

After slipping around and getting thoroughly soaked we decide it is time to go in and dry off.  It’s almost nap time.  Maybe we’ll even sneak in a snack.  With the boys safe inside, I collect the make-shift slip-n-slide and to my surprise the grass beneath is scorched and resembles straw.  Maybe it is rather hot out today.

🙂

As you may be able to tell, I really enjoy the nice days when they come.  Though sometimes few and far between.  I hope y’all had a nice Memorial Day.

In case we get blessed with more sunny days, check out this blog: http://www.howdoesshe.com/host-a-cool-backyard-water-park/

She talks about the home-made slip-n-slide and several other fun water activities you can do at home.

Dear Jesus, thank you for sunny days.  And the tip from a friend to use Dawn soap for our slip-n-slide.  Thank you for blessing our garden.  We have greens coming out of our eyeballs.  Thank you for time together as family.  Amen.

Kombucha, Fun Food Friday’s

Do you Kombucha? Just kidding, it’s not a dance.

Have you drank kombucha? I have heard friends throw this word around lately. My curiosity was peaked. I wondered just what this stuff was. While visiting my coach, Beth, last week she demystified this kombucha for me. I am considering giving it a whirl myself. I tried hers and its tasty stuff!

Enough already, what is kombucha?

Well I’m so glad you asked. It’s fermented tea. Don’t worry it is not alcoholic because the S.C.O.B.Y. breaks it down.

S.C.O.B.Y.? What’s that?

In a word weird.

Ok seriously it’s an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It looks like this:

S.C.O.B.Y.

If you aren’t too grossed out by this guy floating on top of your tea for a week then maybe you can join me in making some!

Head on over to this website: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-kombucha-tea-at-home-173858 for great step-by-step instructions.  Let me know if you try it!

Dear Jesus, please help me to make this new tea safely.  I hope it will turn out well.  Thank you for a friend who explained just what kombucha is.  Amen.

Jesus Pat My Leg Two Times, He’s Real

Just a day after my central pancreatectomy I lay lucidly drifting in and out of sleep. The room is dark and warm. My baby sister is by my side, not that I’m aware yet. When the pain wakes me I tell the nurse, “I feel like railroad spikes are being driven through me into the bed.” Soon more hydromorphone comes. In a vulnerable state. Life is fragile, fleeting. We have no control.

None.

I turn my head to my right and open my eyes to see the calm and reassuring face of my sister, Samii. I say, “Hi.” She smiles softly. For the time being I am unable to fathom the impact of surgery. Unaware of so much.

Calm.

I drift back into sleep. The next day is a blur of pressing the pain pump button every seven minutes. Before this surgery I only took ibuprofen once or twice a year. Today, I am watching the second hand on the clock, pressing the button too early and praying for the next three minutes to hurry along. Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick… Teetering on the brink of extreme pain.

Extreme.

After sleeping beside me in a chair, my sister went home. I laid almost motionless and seemingly alone. But never able to gather my thoughts enough to be afraid. Before I could even feel fear, Christ was there, sitting with me at my left.

Watching.

I awoke looking at the clock. Then, I felt a hand pat my left leg two times. Two steady handed, firm but gentle, assured pats on my leg. I looked over and saw no one. Looking up I smiled, “Hi Jesus.”

Hi.

Dear Jesus, you never leave us alone. Thank you for sending my sister to be by my side.  I am so grateful she stayed the night that first night.  You were there with us. You comforted me, thank you. Thank you that I knew it was you. Your comfort is wonderful. Thank you for always being with me. Amen.

How I Didn’t Quit Smoking, Confessions of a Ex-Smoker!

I used to smoke. I tried my first cigarette when I was twelve years old. I remember thinking it fellt good and since it was outside the rules it was “freedom”.  My buddy and I agreed we’d only smoke until we were 18 because then it’s legal and therefore no longer cool. Oh golly! What were we thinking? We didn’t even know how cool we were before we starting sucking down cancer sticks.

After a long-term relationship ended in my early twenties, I dove head long into smoking.  I worked for The 13 Coins restaurant (which was “an all smoking establishment” at that time) so I could smoke at work too.  Soon a few cigarette’s a day went to two packs a day.  I smoked instead of eating, often.  I loved it too.  It was my rebellious, out of the norm thing I could do.  Nobody could tell me to stop.  It was my little thing I “allowed myself”.

Well, I lost weight smoking instead of eating.  At first I felt like this was a reward.  For what?  Who cares?  I was thinner. Yay! Right?

Guess How He Died!

Then, conviction came.  Not the “I feel bad about this” kind.  I didn’t.  I loved it.  Every smelly, nail yellowing, lip wrinkling, carcinoma laden inhalation felt like freedom…

Until God convicted me that smoking was slavery!

I remember saying to God, “Jesus, I love smoking.  I have smoked for ten years now.  I will give myself cancer and die from this.  What am I doing?  I’m only 22!  Please Jesus, make me so sick the next time I smoke that I won’t want to smoke anymore.  Jesus, I can’t do this on my own.  I don’t want to.”

You know what?  I didn’t “have it together”.  I denied my freedom in Christ with every puff.  Enslaved not just to cigarette’s but to the “freedom” I thought it gave me.

Dang, Satan plays the same old song all the time. 

Doesn’t this “freedom” talk sound eerily like the conversation Satan had with Eve in Eden?  As if what God has isn’t enough so I need this too.

I need to smoke because it gives me something?

Yeah, no.

Before I prayed telling God I needed Him to take it from me.  Before I was at that place of really surrendering this ridiculous lie.  I tried quitting myself. Over and over and over.  Weaning down.  Staring longingly at the mug on my coffee table displaying my “final cigarettes”.  Then after the last one was gone, driving frantically to the 7-11 to buy a whole carton and then smoking double time to make up for it.  Sheesh.  It wasn’t working.  I couldn’t quit.  Afterall, I really deep down didn’t want to give up my “freedom”.

God is faithful!

After I prayed in real surrender, God answered my prayer with a, “Yes.”  It was not an audible reply.  I didn’t hear him speak.  Instead, I went about my day.  Then when I had a craving, I lit up a cigarette and took a drag.  One.  Then like  a freight train I felt clammy, sweaty, nauseous…  I rushed to the bathroom and threw-up.  It felt like full on stomach flu.  For about an hour I laid beside the toilet.  Getting up as needed to get sick.

Then as quickly as it came, it passed.

Wew!

I felt ok again.  Then, because I am stubborn and God is more-so, I lit up another cigarette.  I heard and believed the lie, “Maybe it was just a bad cigarette.”  Again, the freight train came.  Again hugging the toilet in wretched sickness.  This time laying on the floor thanking God for answered prayer.

I didn’t quit smoking, God quit my smoking for me. 🙂

Maybe you don’t smoke.  Maybe you “allow yourself” something else.

The big question is this, “Am I willing to let the “little thing I allow myself” (aka enslavement or sin) take EVERYTHING from me, take from those I love and then NOT DELIVER on its promises?” 

Because that’s just what that little thing will do.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 16:25

“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully
grown brings forth death.” James 1:15

Dear Jesus, thank you that you are why I am an ex-smoker.  Thank you for Real Freedom!  Thank you that my Mom no longer smokes!  Please help others who smoke to be freed too.  Lord, I know you pursue us doggedly and triumph over Satan.  To you be the glory! To YOU be the glory!  Amen.