Saturday, August 31, 2013

I survived!!!

Instead of saying, "What a day!"...
I'm saying, "What a month!"
When family and friends heard about my eventful, month of August, I'm sure they thought I was crazy and I will agree that it was a rather busy month for me (a person with a chronic illness, Lyme). Although my body started fading towards the end of the month, I don't regret any of it!
My first adventure of August was my trip to Washington, where the days were filled with many activities based on loving people and serving Jesus (although somewhat draining, it was completely worth it). I survived!
The next week was full of finishing details for my best friend's bachelorette party (Fun!). Crafting, packing, crafting, and more packing. I survived!
Following immediately after the bachelorette weekend, my boyfriend and I flew to his home state of Minnesota. This week was full of meeting/visiting his wonderful family, relaxing, and playing Canasta. It was definitely more low key than the past 2 weeks and I enjoyed every minute of it. I survived!
Jumping off the plane (not literally), my boyfriend and I ran (again, not literally) a few hours south to arrive at the wedding venue. From there we had a couple hours to rest and get ready for the wedding rehearsal/dinner. The next day was my best friend's wedding! We relaxed, ate, set-up d├ęcor, ate (haha), beautified ourselves, and kept the bride calm. I made it through the ceremony without fainting in front of everyone, not forgetting the ring (I was the maid of honor), and all of the other maid of honor duties. We finished the night with food, dancing, and fireworks. It was a beautiful night and I still can't believe my bestie is married!! I'm so happy for her :) I survived!

Dave and I then had one day to rest before we left the next day to travel a few hours to get my PICC line. My doctor decided during my last appointment that it was time to try IV antibiotics because I haven't made enough progress cognitively and neurologically. Yes, some physical symptoms have gone away, but at this point in treatment, I should be further along....soooo this PICC line is my new best friend and will stand by my side for the next few months in hopes of kicking some Lyme butt! I was supposed to only be at the hospital for a few hours for this one procedure, but long story short...I spent most of my day in the hospital having 2 procedures done because of the nurse's silly mistake. It was a stressful and painful day. I survived!
A few days later, Dave had to take me to the ER  because of chest pain and pressure. We were afraid the PICC line moved or broke. However, after a few different tests, we were reassured that it was nothing serious, only stressed from the procedures.
 I survived!
Needless to say, August presented me a lot of wonderful memories with a touch of a few stressful and painful moments, but by the grace of God, my Lyme ridden body survived it all! Through this month, God has showed me that even when things can be difficult, they can still be worth it! He also showed me that it's okay to ask for help from others (shout out to my family, friends, and wonderful boyfriend).
Goodbye busy August, hello somewhat lazy September. One wedding down, one more wedding to go for 2013! With a few more crafting projects, some reading, and a lot of resting, I hope to be back to a much more consistent blog posting schedule!
I hope you all are doing well and being blessing to others!
The last post of "Following in Your Footsteps" series is up next...stay tuned!
Next week we should be caught up to Proverbs 13 in our year long reading plan.
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Left part of my heart...

Hey there!
I'm baaaack ;)
I came back from my mission trip this past Sunday and I wanted to update you!
We went to the Seattle/Tacoma, Washington area and partnered with a fairly new church there. It was an extremely busy and tiring week for me, but I'm sooooo glad I went. The theme for the trip was "love the person in front of you", which I think is fitting since my blog series is about loving like Jesus.
We spent time prayer walking, feeding people in parks, and putting on a nightly kids club, as well as a block party at the end of the week. Because kids bring so much joy to my life, the kids club had to be my favorite part of the week. We sang silly songs, helped with arts & crafts and most importantly, loved on the kids. It was so easy to tell that these kids were yearning for love and attention and I feel blessed to have been able to connect with the kiddos. They made such a huge impression on me that not a day has passed since I've been back that I haven't thought about them. The sense of community despite brokenness was encouraging this week. The hunger to learn was inspiring this week. The love of Christ was evident this week.
To summarize,  I seriously feel like I left a part of my heart in Tacoma.







So thankful that I had this opportunity and how God used it!

Live on mission.

Next post, will continue my "Living in Your Footsteps" series.
See ya there!
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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Following in Your Footsteps: Not always easy

Last post in the series, we talked about how if you love someone, you should treat the person with kindness, patience, respect, ect. If that's what Jesus did, we should do it too, right?
Side note- I was going to include some awesome quotes for this post, but sad news, I let my boyfriend borrow the book and he lives like 3 hours away from me so when I get it back, I'll update this post with the quotes (because they're too good not to share!) Now back to it..
I'll be honest, sometimes it's not always easy to love someone. For example, I love my brother, always have and always will. However, I may not act like it. He annoys me, on purpose. I don't really understand him, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't understand me. We're siblings and that's pretty normal, I think. The point is, I can say I love someone but it can be hard to act like I love them. Make sense?

The thing is, Jesus never said it would be easy. I've said before that life was never promised to us that it would be easy. I think it's safe to say then, it's not always easy to love. I mean, Jesus said, "love your enemies"....yep, enemies. Matthew 5:43-44 says, " “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." So not only love your enemy, but pray for them?! That can't be easy.  I'm sure He knew that. Love for Him was easy...because He is love. Us, on the other hand, love doesn't come that natural.
When we love our enemies, people most likely will give us a strange look or even turn their back on us. They don't understand why we would react with love instead of hate towards our enemies. We may lose friends. We may lose respect from others. Who knows, but those things don't matter...what matters is that we are doing what Jesus commanded us to love.
Not only will we face opposition from others, but other obstacles may arise too. For instance, the debate over gay marriage has divided the church. This is a huge obstacle. I'm not going to get deep into this issue right now (if you want to read a great book for both sides of the "Torn-Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays vs Christians Debate"...awesome read that will really open your least it did for me). Anyway, churches who welcome gay/lesbian relationships are being frowned upon and churches who turn away gay/lesbian relationships are being frowned upon. Division is an obstacle that the church is facing right now and the only way we are to be united again is to get back to the basics of
I mean seriously why do we get ourselves into positions like these? Ultimately, we need to check ourselves..."Is this loving? Is this life-giving?" and of course the common question of "What would Jesus do?"
It may not be easy to stand up for what you believe in, but Jesus says to "carry your cross". Matthew 16:24-26 says, " Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?"
It wasn't easy for Jesus to take the sins of the world on His wasn't easy for Jesus to have people who he loved, mock Him, but He completed his mission anyway. His mission of love and grace. Jesus knew that in order for his mission of love and grace to spread across the world, He knew that we as followers would have to deny ourselves...get past our selfishness and fear of serving others rather than ourselves. He made it clear to us that it would not be easy...we would have to carry a heavy cross that may inflict some inconveniences BUT He did promise that when we go all in and follow Him, it will be worth it. Opposition and discomfort didn't stop Jesus, so it shouldn't stop us either.
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