Are You Struggling with Depression During the Social Isolation from Covid-19?

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There is just so much that is unknown right now with this Covid-19 virus.  As a working RN I just can’t even go into all the emotions I personally have been struggling with.  For my own knowledge I like to read A LOT and learn from all different sources and references.  It is more helpful to see multiple sides and hopefully get “some” truth that way.  The struggle is that there are so many conflicting reports and things keep changing within my own job every five minutes.  What I am finding is that my own mental health is starting to get infected with it all!!

The other day I was just feeling down about all of it.  The political hatred is driving me nuts and I am trying to hurry past anything spewing hate!  On Sunday I felt so down.  I miss going to church.  I miss my friends.  I miss family.  I am struggling with not knowing where I will be working or when.  I am struggling with will I need to move from my home to protect my immediate family.  All this was whirling around my head and I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to check on the bird eggs.

One egg has disappeared, but one has hatched and is alive.  It was a picture of hope for me when I needed it most.  Two have yet to hatch.   New life gives HOPE!

This is the week we remember what Jesus did for ALL of us. Can you imagine getting a warm welcome into Jerusalem one week then within days those same people were screaming for your death?   Jesus knew he was going to die.  Jesus went through the most unfair hatred ever known.  He did everything perfectly… He loved perfectly…  Even Pilate said he could find no fault in him.  Yet the hatred reigned and Jesus was sentenced to the most brutal beating known to mankind with flogging, then the most tortuous death known to mankind, crucifixion.

As I struggle God keeps reminding me that there is nothing He doesn’t know. Jesus took every sin of all mankind to the cross with Him.  It was dark, scary, his followers ran, they were isolated and fell into despair.  BUT in just three days Jesus arose!!!  He conquered all the darkness, evil, and hatred.  What was meant for evil God used to SAVE us from our own sin!

There are so many theories and blame games going on right now it is hard to know what to believe.  Even if something is meant for evil, God can use it for good  to fulfill His plan!  God is in control!  When we trust in Jesus as our Savior we have new life and have the promise of life everlasting in heaven.  This is what I cling too!

As I feel a sense of impending doom I have to turn to God’s Word.  As I feel down I have to remember what Jesus went through for me and all man-kind.  Jesus gives HOPE and life!

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

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.

 

 

There is Hope in These Uncertain Days… “His Eye is on the Sparrow”

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In the midst of all the uncertainties going on in our world a momma bird has chosen our front door winter wreath to bring her little ones into the world.   First the nest was noticed, then one egg,  then days later two,  then over a week later there are now four eggs!!  Delightfully I laughed yesterday discovering the four!  Wooo weee the Lucas love porch has a lot of hanky panky going on!!!!!  Why our noisy front door with kids in and out, three dogs barking,  two cats that lurk in the window?  It doesn’t seem to be a safe option for the momma bird in my mind, yet here we are.  Of course my winter wreath will be up for the duration as Spring in the truest of forms transpires on our door.  Now I feel a sense of responsibility wanting the door to open and close carefully because of the fragile new life that rests on it!  How beautiful is the craftsmanship of the nest and the eggs.  The security of the nest is amazing in how it doesn’t even shake on the wreath as we open and close the door!  Simply amazing to me!!

As this Covid-19 virus rips across the world I am reminded even more deeply of how fragile life is.  How very precious this gift of life!  Every life, the unborn, the elderly, the special needs, every ethnicity precious and fragile.  We are one race, the Human race, and God is giving us a chance to see how very delicately we all hang in His beautifully created balance!  In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus tells us not to worry.  Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet our Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  The other night on Facebook I watched one of my favorite Christian artists sing “His Eye is on the Sparrow” from her home with her hubby on the piano.  As my tears flowed her powerful voice stirred me to worship and thank God for life itself and my family. (I am not sure about copy writes. I don’t make money from my blog, but search Natalie Grant’s facebook page to listen😏)

One of my favorite songs as a kid was “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”.  This is what I envision now as there is so much uncertainty.  God created us, He loves us, He is in control,  He is the giver of life and gave us free will to choose to love Him back.  The lyrics of this song repeats the same line four times for each verse.  ” He’s got the whole world in His hands.  He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands.  He’s got you and me brother in His hands.  He’s got you and me sister in His hands.  He’s got the wind and the rain in His hands.  He’s got the whole world in His hands”.   As a little girl I remember reaching out to my dad for his hand on walks or in a busy place for safety.  My dad had big hard working hands that represented strength to me.  How much greater are our Heavenly Fathers hands holding all of creation in balance with His strength, power, and love.

Our front door is essentially the only way in and out of the front of our house so trying not to disturb momma bird is difficult.  This reminds me that there is only one way to life everlasting in heaven.  Jesus is the door.  Our world is broken.  The disease of sin has ravaged the human race since Adam and Eve ate from the one tree that God asked them not to.  We are all under the curse of sin.  Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary.  Making him fully God and fully human.  You see God left the glory of heaven to feel all that we feel here on earth because of our sin disease.  He was fully tempted to sin as we are, yet He never sinned.  This made him the only one that could take the punishment for our sins.  He took our place on the cross bearing all of the world’s sin.  He rose three days later proving that He is God.  God did this out of love for His creation.  He gave us free-will to choose to love Him in return by accepting Jesus as the Lord of our life.  John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”   John 10:9-10 “I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

My prayer is that we as the human race will awaken to how valuable life truly is.  That we will love and care for others again.  Right now the sacrifice is not that great.  Just stay at home and love your family.  My prayer is we will open our eyes and hearts as to what is truly important and what has been a distraction.   God asks us to love Him and love each other.  Our basic human needs of food, water, shelter and love is what is important. We have become so greedy as our sin disease ravages mankind.   God is bigger than any disease, He is bigger than any government, and He is bigger than all of our own personal pride.  I invite you to have a personal relationship with Him and walk through that door of life.  There is hope in Jesus no matter what is going on around us!!

Want to Know How to Lighten Your Load?

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Usually our son is a pretty good hiker.  Today’s journey started out rough!  Usually a good hike is packed full of very valuable life lessons today’s hike did not disappoint!  As we embarked on our adventure our ears were plagued with continuous whining and complaining from our son!  My husband will soon be fifty and I will soon be forty seven,  we reminded our twelve year old of our older more worn bodies pushing through the physical strain.  The complaints continued on.  We had him stand next to me to show that our legs are actually the same length after the excuse of “your legs are longer than mine”, was spewed out! The attitude was rough and put quite the damper on this beautiful day!  Finally God placed a thought in my mind that was ever so true for myself more often than I like to admit.  “Son you are being weighed down by your bad attitude.  It is heavier than your own body is!”  If you take that attitude and throw it far down that hill your load will be so much lighter!!  You are missing the beauty around.  You are missing the warmer air, the sunshine, the fact that you can see so much farther while the leaves are off the trees!!  Even the muddy path is kind of fun!  It’s fun to get dirty!”  It took some coaxing, but praise God the “tude” started to dissipate!  The guy found a pocket knife off the beaten path as he did some exploring!  He even sang a little!  Toward the end of our 6-7 mile travel I heard “the sun looks so nice going down over the river”!

We all really have those moments when our bad attitude and self absorption really weighs us down. It truly weighs down everyone around us!  As I explained to our son I used my hands to tug at my chest and then flung my arms in a throwing/tossing motion toward the steep of the bluff,  I felt a sense of relief within myself even!  Throw that bad attitude away!  It boils down to our bad attitude is actually sin creeping in.  A bad attitude steals our joy and we miss out on the beauty surrounding us.  Even in pain or trials there are blessings God pours upon us if we have our eyes open!

Hebrew 12:1-3 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

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When We Sabotage Our Own Lives

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Once again I am preparing myself to pack up another child’s room.  Once again I feel the sting of grief.  My hope is that as my heart is shattered into more pieces that God can use those pieces to love that much more greatly through me.

As Mike and I think and look back we feel no regrets.  I pray and ask God was there something else that needed to be said or done.  There is nothing, but a peace He gives that we did all we could.  We loved whole heartedly we provided chances, forgiveness, teaching, true sacrificial giving of time, energy, and resources.

There has been nothing that has painted a better picture of what Christ has done for each and every human being than this ministry of Foster care.   We are born into a sinful and broken world.  Why are innocent children abused and neglected at such a young age?  Why are so many people succumbed to addictions to drugs and alcohol?  Why are we so prideful and full of ourselves?  Why are we so selfish?  Why are we so ungrateful?  Why do people who show nothing but love and kindness get taken advantage of?  It is all because of sin.  God gave us all freewill.  I can not make choices for any other human being and can only control my own.

We become comfortable in our situations of sin self inflicted or inflicted by others.  It is what we know.  It is why so many victims of domestic violence just keep returning to the abuser. When love steps in, when God calls to a person’s soul, we become uncomfortable.  We start to realize there is something far greater and bigger than us and it is scary.  The thing about our human nature is that so often we start to see and realize what true love, true abundant life can be and we sabotage it.  We retreat back to old ways because it is what we know.  Our sinful habits are what we think will make us happy.   It is a deceitful lie that leads us down a painful and deadly path.

The image of Jesus dying on the cross taking all my sin and shame as well as every human being’s remains the strength that keeps me going.  Christ was rejected by his very own.  He is rejected every minute of every day.  So many curse Him, turn their backs on Him, and run straight into the pit of destruction He came to save them from.

Oh, but when a person finally does realize their great and desperate need of His love and forgiveness that is when life truly begins.   Life is hard and the consequences of our own bad choices are very hard.  God gave us a way out of the pit.  He gave us a way to true life through Jesus Christ.  As my relationship deepens more and more I yearn for each breath I take to be for Jesus.  Because of my own sinful nature I still have so much to learn about full surrender and trust.  The more I breath Him in the deeper my peace, joy, and realization of how loved I am becomes.

My heart breaks when the love I give is rejected.  I can only imagine how Jesus feels to have paid the penalty for all sin through death on the cross only to be rejected by so many.   In fact the love I give doesn’t even come from me it is Christ loving through me.

So my eyes will continue to look that much more intently on Jesus and His way.  Everything I do is for His Glory and not mine.  God has a plan and perfect will.  My hope and trust is that anything done for His Glory will not go in vain and that He will take the seeds planted and continue to water His truth on them.

Philippians 2:1-5 “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and one of mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…”

Sixteen Years of Painful Facial Breakouts and What Finally Brought Healing

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This is not me but exactly what I dealt with for sixteen years.

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Me now no filter and standing by window with revealing day light.   Revealing my nose hairs and imperfect make up application, but there is no rash being revealed!!!  YAY!!!

The purpose of this blog is to share with others what I have learned in life in hopes that maybe at least one person can be helped.   So much of my focus has been on our journey in foster care this past year that I have overlooked a small miracle that has happened.  This miracle took sixteen years of praying and searching for a cure and it is has been in front of me every time I look in the mirror.  Now that I am a “cool up with the times” mom with snap chat I see it on my phone too!!!

When I was pregnant with our oldest 16-17 years ago I started getting painful break outs around my mouth and chin.  It was a painful red rash that would start with tiny little blisters.  I had started with trying cold sore medications as my own first treatment to no avail.  As I went through my pregnancy I mentioned it to my doctors as well as doctors I worked with.  No one could give me any answers and I had one doctor even suggest that maybe I just drool a lot in my sleep.  Never waking up with saliva soaked pillow cases I wrote that off as a possibility quickly.

After I gave birth to our precious bambino the rash continued.  I had hoped that after pregnant hormones chilled out so would the rash.  To my disappointment even a year later it remained a battle.   The battle of the weird face rash!!!   Hydrocortisone made it worse.  No facial cleansers I tried helped.   I would change one product at a time to try to figure out the trigger.  Finally I went to a dermatologist and was diagnosed with Peri-Oral Dermatitis.   This just means “You have a rash around your mouth WOMAN!”  The blanket diagnosis with no reason as to WHY and doxycycline were the only answers.  The antibiotic would clear it up for a while then it would come back maybe a year later and I would take the antibiotic again.   Mind you antibiotics also kill healthy good bacteria and can be more harm than good on many levels.  My thinking was if this is something that can hurt an unborn baby’s bones and teeth what else is it doing?  As a nurse I am thankful for antibiotics, but we have learned the hard way that too much of anything can be very bad.

A few years back due to other health issues I went to a very strict clean eating diet.  Took several supplements to get my body chemistry balanced.  Guess what????  The rash still continued.  It was some better, but even after three years it would still raise its ugly little blisters!!   Mind you the healthy life style has made me so much better in so many ways so I totally give a shout out to healthy eating!!   Woot Woot for vegetables!!!!

So this past summer my sister signed up to sell Mary Kay and my youngest daughter and I went to a facial to support her.   With the prodding of my dear daughter Cora I left that day with a consultant kit thinking well I can get the fifty percent discount for our three girl faces.  So I immediately started to use the basic Timewise Miracle set that came in the kit.  My face was in a full on break out as it had been for at least a year with nothing helping at all anymore.   Within a week the rash was gone.  It has now been eight months and it remains gone and I am still on my first set of skin care because a little of the product goes a very long way.  My skin now has a healthy youthful glow that it has been missing for a very long long time.  I haven’t even moved up to the repair skin set yet that is available and the results have been amazing.  My body was having a chemical  reaction to the products that are sold at all the basic department stores.  What chemical I still can not figure out.  I had even tried a $300 set from someone who sold another skin care home sale company and it had made the rash worse.  Mary Kay does not even have a set that is that expensive.  This company continuously tests their products and makes them better and healthier all the time.  My face is proof and I am proud to be a part of something that can truly help someone.   After years of caking on concealer and being embarrassed of my face I am not ashamed to leave my home without make up to run my kids to school or to go to the store.   Mind you I am not beauty queen or super model.  I will continue to age and wrinkle, but can now do it with a healthy grace.  The wrinkles are from hours of laughter and smiles so as they happen I will sport them proudly. They will be less deep and have a much brighter glow thanks to a wonderful company that has it’s foundation built on the golden rule.

My prayers right now are  for God’s guidance with how to balance life and this rash of doubt that clouds my mind.  How do I put Him first, take care of our family,  continue our ministry of foster care, work full-time as an RN, and continue to ask God what is the most impactful way to spend my time on this earth to glorify you Lord? What is my next step Lord? If you would like to learn more about Mary Kay and try the products I would be thrilled to be your consultant and share what has helped heal me!!   There is nothing I would love more than to give another woman the confidence there is in having a healthy clean and bright face!!   Most of all I want my life to point all to Jesus the healer of my soul.  A healthy face won’t matter one day when I face the end of my life, but having Jesus as the healer of my rash of sin determines where I will spend eternity.  Do you know Jesus?  Even more than sharing the help of Mary Kay I am most greatly thrilled with sharing the hope and healing that only comes through Jesus Christ.

We Most Definitely are What we Eat!!

This post is more of an update from my Detox of the Mind Body and Spirit post back in May. Today I received the results of my third hair analysis after getting sick in the late winter of 2013. I was so overjoyed when I saw the results today that I had to hold back tears. The copper that was such a huge factor in my illness is now within normal ranges. All the electrolytes and minerals continue to make great strides toward the balance that they should be in. To feel better and to see the results of what is actually happening at the cellular level in my body is worth giving up the food addictions. I never realized how addicted I was to sugar and simple carbohydrates until my health fell into such jeapordy. As my body screamed in pain I finally pushed for answers and found one simple answer…food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat from animals that eat fresh fruits and vegetables does not make the billionaires into trillionares. Therefore food continues to be the best kept health secret. We don’t need medications we need the proper nutrition.

This blog is meant to be an encouragement to all who want to feel better. It can be done even with a crazy busy working mom schedule and on a budget. These results have encouraged me to keep on keeping on. To continue to pass up the donuts, fast food, and the candy drawer at work. To rememeber that when I pass up a tasty treat that it only taste good and once eaten it only brings harm to my body. So my dear friends read labels, eat the freshest food you can find, avoid processed foods, sugars, and breads and you will be amazed!! This little self proclaimed health lab rat/guinea pig is choosing to remain just that!!!

Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”