Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let The Rough Ground Become A Plain . . .

I am in awe this very moment.

After days of my journaling/prayers being of desperation for weeks, I woke up Monday the 26th with a sense of "OKness"  (I know that's not a word, but it wasn't a sense of peace, nor a sense of desperation, just, "OKness."  

My journal entry for the 26th reads:

"My trust is in You and You alone.  Your timing is impeccable and I know you have a plan.  Reveal Yourself please.  Make a way.  "Turn the valley and rough terrain into a smooth plain; the mountains and trenches as well."  Strengthen us to endure.  Go before the calls I have to make this morning and the ones receiving today.  Empower me.  I love and trust you.  Amen."

Several scriptures came into perfect play with my journaling from my Jesus Calling devotional as well:

Lamentations 3:24-26, "I say to myself, 'the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'  the Lord is good to these whose hope is in Him to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

Isaiah 40:31, "but those who hope int he Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Psalm 16:11, "You have made known to me the path of life; You fill me with joy in Your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

We have been memorizing Isaiah 40:3-5 at church.  Well, I have been TRYING to memorize it. I stink at memorizing; so for weeks I have been trying to turn it in understanding and life application; to be able to put it in to practice.  I even tried to turn it into a prayer for my life; but it wasn't until that morning on the 26th, that it came to me (it is part of the prayer above).  

The scripture reads:

Isaiah 40:3-5 reads,  A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God."  Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

I haven't been able to clean houses regularly for months now.  Having two special needs children with doctor appointments, homeschooling Christopher, therapy, evaluations, melt downs, my husband's schooling . . . you get the point; I needed to be home.  I sensed the Lord telling me to let the cleanings go because I wasn't able to do them regularly anyway, so stepped out in faith, trusting He knew better.

After stepping out in faith a few months ago, (in the area of cutting back), I received a phone call from a friend that needed some help cleaning, just a one time thing, but if I had time.  I graciously accepted and whens he asked me how much she owed me, I told her, "Whatever the Lord has put on your heart."  I was given a gift of $200 that day!  BUT, what is more amazing than that, is when I got home from cleaning, I received notification that our food stamps had been cut by exactly $200!   It was a joyous moment for me to call her and thank you; to let her know she met a need that no one (even myself) knew needed to be met; and it also confirmed to her that she indeed was hearing from the Lord.

We have lived each day of our lives, over the last eighteen months, day to day.  We have lived 100% off the of the balance of the pell grants from Chris' schooling. 

God has provided.

The morning of the 26th, after journaling, I receive a phone call from someone.  She wanted to know if I was still cleaning.  I explained to her that I was not able to do weekly or "regularly" scheduled cleanings anymore, but if she needed me to help her for a one time cleaning, I would gladly do so.  After talking a bit I felt led to share my prayer journal from that morning, explaining how the power bill is due for disconnect, the water bill also, the mortgage is due next week that we don't have and property taxes were due in November and are still not paid; but that this morning, I just knew it was going to be, "OK."    She then told me she knew the Lord had put me on her heart about the cleaning, so she called to see if I could do a one time cleaning for her next week.  (I was covered in chills.)

Later that morning, after trying for 34 minutes to get through to an agency that assist with power bills; the phone rang.  If you have never had to humiliate yourself and ask an agency for help, then you don't that every one and their brother is calling also and it is nearly impossible to get through.  Calls for this particular agency are only taken once a month and from 10:15 to 11:30.  I started calling at 10:16 and at 10:50; just after popping a Nilla Wafer in my mouth . . . the phone rang!  I had gotten through.  I go Wednesday morning to see if they will assist us with the power bill.  

I also received a phone call from a local agency that is going to hopefully help us with that water bill that is due for disconnect.  She was not very nice; but I am praying for a better meeting one one one.  I realize many, many people that go through these agencies are out for whatever they can get and often lie and cheat to get what they want; but I do not believe every person that walks in or calls these agencies should be treated like a criminal or liar.  She basically accused me of lying to her when I told her we have been living off the pell grants.  She also said she would not accept the paperwork from PJC.  After pleading with her (more like grobbling), reminding her that PJC is an accredited college and that the facts are printable in black and white ink, would she even consider seeing me.  I go in to meet with her on Monday morning, so please pray for that meeting.  

During one of the conversations with a friend this week, I told her we haven't had air or heat since September of last year.  We actually thought the unit was zonked.  We had it worked on a couple times; but found out after a friend looked at it that what he said was done, was not done.  The breaker kept tripping when we would use the air and the outside unit quit running also; (the guy did repair the outside unit so it wasn't a total rip off :)  still our power bills were running $450 - $475 a month!  We found out later the duct system in trashed so we have been heating and cooling the attic all this time.  With no way to continue paying that kind of power bill, and repairing the duct system is out of the question for now, we made the decision to cut it off.  The kids received electric blankets for Christmas and stayed comfy in their beds on cold nights.  We ran electric heaters on the few cold mornings we had and survived just fine.   A friend let us borrow a couple fans to place in windows to help with circulation in the warmer days we are having.  BUT THEN, I got a call this morning that changed that!  We have an A/C unit that is brand new!  The way the lay out is in this house, it will take 7 of them to cool the entire house; BUT, we have one to put in the living for those scorching dog days of summer!  Isn't that just like God?!  Wasn't even on the radar and WHAM!  Blessing!

Today, I also received a call from a friend; she said, "There has been a gift dropped off for you and you need to come get it."  Me . . . . . "????"  After talking with my friend, the anonymous person that dropped it off said there are no stipulations on how it is to be spent, as she knows there are many needs for our family right now, but that she did read my blog post about how Young Living Oils are changing my sons, and our family's lives, and she wanted to meet the needs for the oils.  WOW!  We had just emptied a second bottle that was used three times daily; and God provided!  

Then just moments ago, I received a message from a friend that needs some yard work done and wanted to know if Chris is willing to help with that.  When I asked him, he said, "Tell her YEEEES!"  

These odd jobs don't come along very often, and with our children's appointments, melt downs, therapy appointments, speech appointments, my  husband's school schedule and who knows what else, even when they do get scheduled, they often get changed or sometimes even cancelled.

BUT, I say all this, to share my thankful heart this evening.  

I recently found myself putting my faith in that pell grant that was coming . . . . . "if we could just get that pell grant we would be OK."  Or, "I need to get my taxes done so we can live on that . . . "  Well, guess what, Chris' books cost so much we received very little this go round and we are not receiving a dime on our taxes; I even had to pay $56 to file them but because my AVON had a loss and there was no earned income at all, we are getting -0- dollars this ear!  Even typing this I have to laugh!

Yeah, I'd say I was definitely beginning to put my "faith" in things and my own solutions instead of believing the Lord was going to take those "mountains, valleys and trenches and turn them into plains."

Eighteen times we are told in Psalm 145 to speak out, testify, declare, call out and speak of the Lord's provisions.  I hope and pray He will always get the glory in our family's life; in my life.

Thank you, Lord for your provisions.  I praise Your name.  I bless Your name.  Amen.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Resurrection Basket

I saw this on fb a few weeks ago and decided it was be a great project for me and the kids to make for Easter!

Plant an Easter Garden! Using potting soil, a tiny buried flower pot for the tomb, shade grass seed, & crosses made from twigs. Sprinkle grass seed generously on top of dirt, keep moistened using a spray water bottle. Spritz it several times a day. Set it in a warm sunny location. Sprouts in 7-10 days so plan ahead. The tomb is EMPTY! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! ♥

After thinking on it a bit, I decided to change it up and make a "Resurrection Basket" instead.

Every year we have Easter Baskets, but wanted to really bring the focus to Christ through this craft.

I purchased this basket from the Dollar Tree a week or so ago.

The I lined it with two pieces of saran wrap and put holes in them so water can seep through and hopefully not rot the basket!

Placed a pot in the middle . . . sorta.  (Once I got the dirt on top and around it I did scoot it a little more forward.)

Added the dirt to the top and in front of the pot.

We then added pebbles and rocks.  I wanted a pebble trail from the cross of crucifixion, to the tomb, so we changed that as well (from the original idea).

The kids grabbed several twigs in the yard and I made three crosses using some garden twine I had in the green house.  Not perfect, but too many times we make the cross a beautiful thing when it was truly a gruesome scene that day.

Once we got the pebbles and crosses in place, we sprinkled grass seed over all the dirt, trying to not get them in the pebbles (yeah, right!).  We couldn't afford to go buy the kind of grass seed the original directions said to use, so we used what we had.  We didn't have a smooth stone to use either, so Christopher went around the yard and picked out a big, bulky, ugly rock!  LOL!

 TA-DAH!    The finished product!  Now to wait and see it grow!
I set it on a plant stand in the corner of the porch that would get much son and out of the way of the puppies!

Any other time that would be the end of this post, but NOT this time!

On my way home from a missions conference form my church Saturday night, my phone rings.  It was my husband.

He said, "You're gonna be really mad.  I mean you are gonna be REALLY mad, but YOUR dog, the ONE THAT LOVES YOU, did it."

Me.  "What did Momma Dog do?"

Chris said, "No.  Not Momma Dog.  Trouble."

Me (thinking, what could she do that would make me angry . . .  she's a pup!?!) . . . "What did she do."

Chris.  "Well, I went outside to get them all in, and she had your basket in her mouth."

Me.  "Basket?  What basket?"

Chris.  "The one you and the kids made today."


It was too dark to take pictures when I got home that night, so Sunday morning I went out to investigate. 

 The crime scene.

 The tomb.

 The basket.

The perpetrator. 
 "Trouble" is the precious pup sitting closes to the front with a black snout.  She loves me.  Every time I go out she pulls and tugs on  me till I pay attention to her.  She's precious, and she's a beaut; but she still ATE MY BASKET!  ;)  Seriously though, we have to change her name!  While she is the most mischievous, she would SO love to be a lap dog!

We will make another one, it will just be in the ground as I am not going to go buy another basket.

I felt like this was something we could do together.  It was not be costly.  We used what we had; AND we had a great time doing it!   

We spoke about the death of Christ; about the the two thieves that died the same day Christ died.  We spoke of how one believed that moment and would be in Glory with Jesus, and how one refused to accept Him.  

In life, we have a choice to make.

To NOT choose, is to choose.  

The scriptures tell us if we do not choose to follow the Lord, then we choose death . . .satan.  

It's a cold, hard, truth that many choose to ignore.

There will be a day when every knee will bow before King Jesus.

I pray you are able to celebrate Easter this year knowing the Resurrected King Jesus!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Young Living Essential Oils . . . Alternative ADHD and Anxiety Treatments

I purchased Young Living Essential Oils last year; and never followed through with them.

At one of Christopher's doctor appointments two weeks ago, I was told Christopher would have to be hospitalized because of his aggressions.  The very conversation and the psychiatrists "jerkiness" sent Christopher into full body tics.  It was a horrible day.  To say the least, we are not going back to see him.

For two of the main medications Christopher takes, the number one side effect is aggression.  It was suggested that he be taken off the ADHD medication he was on and if that didn't help, put him back on it and reduce the mood stabilizer.

After two days, we saw no change in the aggression from taking him off the ADHD med.

I decided to break out the oils and "just give it a shot."

I had nothing else to lose.

I could not believe it.

Christopher was calm, and even focused.

Was he perfect, absolutely not.

Did he have bouts of bouncing off the walls?  Absolutely.  But he was manageable, and what was even more comforting was he wanted to try them and I was not giving him a medication, that while it is great, has potentially dangerous side effects!

After 48 hours off of Focalin, I reduced his mood stabilizer medication, Abilify, from 10 mg to 5 mg.  It takes approximately six days to get the medication out of his system; but I began using every oil I had as intervention.

I found that Christopher needed the oil application about three times a day.  Once in the morning, once around 1:30 and then again at bedtime.  Christopher NEVER sleeps all night long, he is not only waking up less, but he is sleeping longer since I started applying the oils to him at bedtime!

Out of the blue, Kaitlyn asked if she could give it a try again!  I couldn't believe it!  The last time I put the oils on her she coughed, cried, freaked out on me because of her sensory issues!  While it does "bother" her, she has been a trooper with letting me apply the oils to her.  She only requires one application a day and that has been at night.  She sleeps so much better with the oil applications!

When I ran out of the Lavender (that is one that I have personally used to get me off of Xanax!  We were all three using it.  I used it nightly for sleep and as needed during times of high anxiety and was using it on Christopher 3 x's a day and Kaitlyn every evening.), with finances being very tight and no income at all; I decided to reduce the amount of application to once a day to try making the oils last.  Oh my gosh, I saw the difference immediately!  Christopher stopped sleeping again and was crabby when he woke up!  Nightmare!  Last night I put oils back on him, and while he did wake up twice, he slept harder and longer, AND woke up in a much better mood!

If anyone is interested, I have been using Peace & CalmingFrankincenseValorThievesNutmegLavender, Di-Gize and Peppermint.

These oils are fairly pricey.  When I purchased them last year, I purchased them as a set and signed up as a distributor, so I paid a fraction of the cost for each of these individually.  My hopes are to SOON set up my web site and sell these oils that have changed our lives.

I hope in the coming weeks to have Christopher completely off the Abilify.

Please join me in praying that the Lord would meet the needs to purchase the oils necessary for my son, and daughter's, well being!

IF you are interested in trying any of these oils, or any other products offered by Young Living Essential Oils, you can email me.  If I don't know the answer, I will find out!

Thanks for stopping by today!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Children, Animals, NLO, and Babies!

I have so missed blogging and promise to get back to it! 

It has been a whirlwind around here the last four weeks!

Kayla was home visiting for two weeks, kids had therapy appointments, and we started our THIRD set of rescue pups!   SouthBARK has been FANTASTIC at providing financially for these pups and continue to take care of Momma Dog's expenses as well.  She had to have emergency surgery for a rotten uterus while Kayla was here also!  Then we had another pup with a hernia the size of a golf ball that had to have emergency surgery this last week and NOW, we have two precious puppies with the dreaded Parvo.  I am praying the other five do not catch it. 

I hated to see Kayla go, but I know she will come back when she can.  She calls regularly and texting is always a plus!  She has an interview tomorrow for a job; please pray for her that the Lord would have His way.

Christopher developed full body tics last week; horrible to see it.  We believe they were triggered by a very bad emotional and embarrassing experience that morning; won't get in to it, but it was devastating for my little guy.  Because of Christopher's aggression issues, we are weaning him off of several of his meds.  The number one side effect on all of his meds is aggression.  We are weaning him because they are unfortunately addictive drugs.  We are trying some natural oil supplements that I purchased last year and never did anything with; I will share more about that later, but am trusting the Lord will provide for them.  Insurance doesn't cover them, and lets face it, we are below the poverty level with no income for 19 months now.

Several people have asked me about my involvement, or lack of recently, in Nothing Lost Outreach.  For months God allowed me to be an active part of providing clothing for the homeless.  When my daughter's sensory and anxiety problems became more and more of an issue, I had to make some cuts.  My prayer began that God would show me what to cut and what to keep and grace to walk through the tough choices.  Not only did He make it clear that I needed to reduce my AVON customer load, but that my time at home was what was needed.  My first thought, well, argument with God was, "I am home SIX days a week, what's the BIG DEAL about Sunday afternoons!"  So I went in disobedience.  My heart wanted to be there so bad, that I disobeyed God and put others before my family.  My heart still yearns to be involved; and while I don't have a huge room full of clothes for the homeless anymore, I do still have items on hand to distribute when I can, and still play an active roll in praying for this phenomenal ministry.  I do not know why God put this ministry on my heart, just to yank it out from under me, but what I do know, is that God gives us scriptural references that our priorities are to be Him, family, and then others.  My family needs me more than anything right now, so my hope, my prayer, is that God would honor this momma's heart in trying to be obedient to the calling He has given me, my family.

Thanks for stopping by today, and will add lots of pics soon!

OH!  OH!  OH!   My sister had her babies also!  She had them while Kayla was here!  They were four weeks EARLY, but are wonderful and are ALL HOME NOW!  I am adding a picture of her with both babies!

Congratulations to my beautiful, beautiful sister, Michelle, and brother in law, Ron on the birth of these beautiful baby girls!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Good Stress vs Bad Stress

I've said it before and I'll say it again, good stress is just as bad for Christopher as bad stress.

Tuesday afternoon was  horrible and it has continued through the week.

He had his first melt down in public after going months without one.

We were in Wal-Mart. 

It started on the ice cream aisle.  Something that normally wouldn't be an issue, became a HUGE issue which resulted in him running away and hiding from me.  Very scary.  Several moments later it resulted in him just sitting right down in the aisle and sobbing.

With everyone looking.

The remainder of this week, we have had emotional outburst and rages of aggression and violence.

I started seeing his medicine not working so well a few weeks ago in regards to his impulsiveness, and even mentioned it to his psychiatrist, who just swept it under the rug.

Would appreciate your prayers for him (and us) over the coming days, especially next Saturday when Kayla returns to San Diego.