Romans 8:28

ALARM BELLS!!!

This week has been a whirlwind for my husband and I. I have learned in the process that sometimes a spouse needs to make a hard decision despite how much the other objects. I typically always make decisions with my husband but I had to pull out the “wife trump card” This card only comes out when my family if in danger. This particular one was pulled out because I knew my husband needed medical attention.If you know anything about my husband you would know that he hates going to the doctor. So taking him tho the ER was even harder to do.

SYMPTOMS

Over the past couple of years my husband has had several episodes that last only 1-2 minutes. He gets confused, has no idea where he is, and doesn’t respond when someone tries talking to him. I have noticed over the pass few months that it has become more alarming. He starts saying things that doesn’t make any since along with his other symptoms. In these recent weeks the number of these episodes have increased. In the past five days he had over ten episodes which is not the typical pattern of one a month.

MOVING

We just moved about a week and a half ago. We have had a lot of firsts in this past week. New jobs, new surroundings, new apartment, and a number of “adulting activities” have taken place. Three days into my husband’s job he started having a lot of episodes that made me feel really unsettled. We always thought that it was just Hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. He got tested for it but it came back that it was normal. Despite that his primary care doctor said that it might be that he just needs to eat more and he will be fine. We took his advice but it still seemed to be happening no matter how careful we were to follow the doctors instructions. It was so hard to see my husband go month after month continually having episodes.

QUESTIONS?

Since I am his wife I blamed myself a lot of the times because I thought it was because I was not giving him enough food. I would feel guilty after something would happen because I thought to myself, “what if I had given him a bigger breakfast, or a different type of food??? etc.” I was so frustrated with the whole situation. I just wanted/want my husband to not have to live in fear of this happening. It was affecting all areas of his life even his ministry. He had an episode one day when he was praying for the kids at Sunday School and he forgot where he was. This is just one example of many. I felt out of control of this situation. I knew God had to do something.

DIAGNOSIS

Finally after begging my husband and calling his parents to help try to convince him to go to the hospital he did. I took him despite his resistance to the idea. When we went to the hospital they transferred us to another hospital in Pittsburgh which is an hour and a half away from where we just recently moved to. They saw something on the cat scan of his brain that wasn’t quite right and took him via ambulance to the other hospital to get an MRI. After all the testing, poking, and prodding we found out that these “episodes” are actually seizures. The easiest way to put it is that his brain resets. We also found out that he is having seizures because a part of his brain did not develop the way it should have. He also has what they think is a blood vessel in the wrong spot on his brain. They diagnosed it as complex partial seizure disorder. They gave him medication to help stop the seizures from occurring. There was a team of neurologists working with Luke to help find out the problem. Luke still has a long journey ahead of him but I know that God has a plan for him. Romans 8:28

PRAYER REQUESTS

Please join with me in praying for Luke. He has been on the medication but has still had a few seizures since then. The pattern has also changed with his seizures. He has had a couple of seizures in the night where his body gets stiff and he actually shakes all over. Also, please pray for Luke in regards to his license. They took it away because of his seizures for six months until he can prove he is seizure free.  Please pray as we figure out next steps in this journey.

PRAISES

Please join me in praising God for the things he has done for Luke. God has brought us into a place where the church body has come around us and supported us. The church has been so kind in sending meals, being with us in the hospital, and praying with us. Praise God that it is not a tumor or something more serious. Praise God for the doctors that will and have taken care of Luke. Praise God for yesterday which was a day where he was seizure free for the first time  in these past few weeks. Praise God for his miraculous healing power.wr shannon 158

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DON’T SAY THE D-WORD

DON’T SAY THE D-WORD

When my husband and I first got married we moved into an apartment that was located at our schools college campus in Canada. Canada always seemed so beautiful to me and I loved living there. About three months into living in our new home I remember seeing one of those beautiful things I so dearly loved about living there. As I was looking out my window one day while doing my dishes I saw an eagle come land on a branch of a tree which was just outside my window. I caught a clear view of this majestic creature and I was in awe of its size. I felt blessed and honored to even be in its presence because its not every day you can gaze upon an eagle up so close. Your probably wondering what these beautiful creatures have anything to do with marriage. Well, it’s there commitment.

Believe it or not Eagles remain faithful to one mate for their entire lives! They remain monogamous to their partner till death do they part. Over the years as they build their nest/home the structure becomes their pride and joy. It also is what builds their bond between one another. Mating is not actually what connects them when they choose each other as a partner it is the nest that cements the bond between these two creatures together. This is a great example of commitment.

When my husband and I decided to get engaged one of the first things we talked about was commitment. Commitment was and still is something that is very important to us. Unfortunately society has the opposite mindset on this topic. Culture says, if your needs/wants are not met you have every right to leave your spouse/partner. Cultures says if your not happy GET OUT, do whats best for you! Culture’s selfish way of thinking draws people’s attention to the idea that divorce is an option for them. The sad truth is that when people get up to say their I do’s all they can think about is spending the rest of their life with each other but later down in their marriage when things get tough commitment seems only like a thing of the past. Divorce seems like a viable option, or the only way.

This honestly breaks my heart to see people who once were so in love leave one another when the trials in life sideline them. This not only breaks my husband and I’s heart but it breaks God’s heart. When two become one in the union of marriage God wants us to bring him glory through that union. He wants to use our marriages and relationships to point others to Jesus. I tell everyone who asks me about my marriage that God has to be your rock, not yourself, and not your spouse, but God. God can get you through every trial you face in life because its through his strength that we get through those things.

Right before Luke and I got married one of the things we discussed was the infamous D-Word (Divorce). We came to an agreement/understanding that the word divorce was to never come out of our mouths or off our tongues. This way it never even becomes an option for us. This puts a barrier up against Satan from using the D-Word as a foothold in our life. Satan is not allowed to separate what God has joined together. How can the D-Word become a foothold in one’s life? It’s simple. When we let divorce come out of our mouths in a heated argument or at the end of the rope kind of moment we will find that regret, guilt, pain, distrust, fear, and sorrow enter the relationship. The D-Word will fill your spouse with fear of being abandoned by the same person who once said “I Do.” The viscous cycle or reuse of that word could then be used over and over again in future arguments. Don’t say the D-Word!

We all know that marriage is hard work. We have to be committed to giving our all to our marriages and not giving up. Your not alone! I believe in a God who can mend the most broken of relationships and make them new. When he makes something new he not only changes things to come but he redeems and uses the past hurts and pains for his glory. How amazing is that! All we need to do is go to him. Isaiah 40:39 says, “But those who hope in the 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.”

 

 

*Disclaimer: I know many close friends and family members who have dealt with divorce. To those people I want to say  I am sorry for the hurt and pain that you have gone through. There are some reasons when divorce to should be permissible. One reason: If you are in an abusive situation or your safety is in danger. Get help and never allow yourself to continually be in an situation where you fear for your own life. A second reason could be that you find your spouse is insisting on a divorce even though you yourself want to make things work. If they are absolutely not willing to make things work don’t go years without filling out the necessary legal documents. Another reason would be that a spouse has become sexually unfaithful to the other. Vow

A Transforming Confidence

A Transforming Confidence

     Luke and I both have learned in our marriage that the more time we spend with God the more changed we become. As we both seek God individually we become more confident in ourselves because we know why we were created. We were created for one purpose, to love God and enjoy him forever.

     I remember the first time my husband came to me upset saying, “I can’t do it!” He was hurting because he thought he would never feel confident in front of people. He stressed over even thinking about approaching another person because he didn’t want to ever make someone feel “awkward.” He thought self-confidence was his greatest weakness but God wanted to transform his mindset. I had a dream a while back right when he first went into training to become a youth pastor after college. I call it “one of my God dreams.”

 I remember it so vividly. I was about a mile away in a field, in the distance I looked across to see a wide-open plain in front of me. A gentle breeze brushed my hair off my shoulders and the grass grazed the bottom of my fingertips. The air filled my lungs and they felt full of the cool air. In the distance I saw a vast army but not an army that we would imagine up in our minds. When I usually think of war I think of fighting, destruction, and pain. Yet, this army was different. It was like a calm before a storm. Quiet and peaceful. There was a confidence that swept all the way across the land into these men’s hearts, this was their armor, the confidence of God. On beautiful white horses these men carried with them noble character that was built from knowing God/spending time with God and this is all they needed to carry with them, no weaponry of any kind. Then I remembered something catching my eye. The commander of this army looked familiar. It felt like someone I new for years and then I realized it was Luke.

 When I woke up I automatically realized why God had put him in this position. It was his character. We often seem to imagine someone who was tough, cold, and fearless in a position of war but instead all God had for a qualification was that you know him deeply. If there is a man in this world that knows God deeply/richly it’s Luke. My husband spends time with God and the proof is his heart. He is patient, kind, and so loving to everyone he meets. I am truly honored to be his wife. I’ve realized through this dream that God-confidence is much more different than human confidence.

 GOD CONFIDENCE: Even though Luke thought that his lack of self-confidence was one of his weaknesses God wanted to transform that. All he asked for in return was that he spent time with him to build his character. When Luke’s heart changed to be more in tuned with God (Still is Happening) his confidence went up. God was with him because Luke was with him, listening and leaning on him for insight.

 HUMAN CONFIDENCE: This is when you lean only on yourself for strength. You don’t lean on God and you choose to try and fix whatever your dealing with on your own. This type of confidence will lead you on a path with a dead end. You will end up weary and lonely.

 We can make it so far without God but eventually you will find yourself in need of a Savior. I can see Luke growing in his confidence tremendously and I am so thankful to God for it. The reason God sent this dream to me was so that I could encourage my husband to seek his Savior and he would find what he was looking for all along. God used me in my marriage with Luke to encourage him and he takes the opportunities to do the same for me. Remember to spend time with your Savior and look for the opportunities to spur your spouse on to seek God with all of your heart soul and mind. They will find what they’re looking for.

Wives Pray For Your Husband

Wives Pray For Your Husband

When my husband and I first started dating we decided to commit ourselves to prayer. Every night before we parted ways for the evening we would meet to pray with one another. To our surprise we received a lot of flack for that. I was approached by my fellow Christian classmates, various staff from our University, and other trusted leaders in our community. I asked myself, “was I really in the wrong?” No. I never will regret those hour long prayer sessions where we pleaded out to God for Him to be the center of our relationship. After all, God must be the foundation for every marriage to work. I realized later on that those people who came to me with their concerns were just looking out for me, they only meant to protect me from opening up a door of vulnerability too early. Prayer should be a priority in every relationship.

As soon as my husband Luke and I got married I realized life can get pretty busy. School, housework, friends, church events, and work. You name it! Life gets so busy at times. I am guilty of this myself. I don’t make prayer  for my husband a priority during those times. I remember googling what things husbands appreciate that their  wives do for them. I expected prayer to be right at the top of the list. It wasn’t! As I went through ten different lists from ten different websites none of them had even listed that husbands love it when their wives pray for them! I was astounded. I thought at least they would have it at the bottom of the list. Nope. These results urged me to never cease praying for my husband or praying with each other even when life gets busy.

List of 10 Things you can pray for your spouse/or with your spouse:

-Maintaining a personal relationship with God

-Being people of integrity

-Help with provision (God handles this not just your husband/wife)

-Protection from anything life throws at you

-To love one another like Christ loves the church

-Courage in the things we fear the most

-For strength to stand against the evil one

-Daily challenges/obstacles you face

-To keep a humble heart in every circumstance

There are many more that can fit on this list but it can help you if you feel stuck or are in a busy season of life. God loves to hear us speaking to him on behalf of our family. he cares and wants us to make Him our foundation of our relationships. “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” -Colossians 1:17

 

 

Life By The Spirit

Prayer has no boundaries unless you give it boundaries.

“Because you are Sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our heart, the Spirit who calls out ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” -Galatians 4:6-7

Later on in Galatians is says…

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” -Galatians 5:1

You have prayer authority through the cross. Satan and all the evil spirits were defeated at the cross. Have you ever realized how little power Satan actually has? Wesley L. Duewel states this very well in his book called Touch The World Through Prayer. It says, “In his inveterate opposition to God and man, Satan is very dependent on the demons. God is omnipresent, while Satan can be in only one place at one time. God is omniscient, while Satan must depend upon information from his demons.” Satan is the father of all lies. Wesley Duewel then goes on to say, “Just as he teaches his demons to lie, no doubt they lie to him, for Satan often seems to act on inaccurate information.” Did you know that Satan doesn’t even love his own? He actually despises and hates them! How sad is that!! But, with all of this to say, Satan and all of his followers were defeated at the cross. At the cross Jesus drove out Satan. He has no authority or power over us. Jesus name alone is more powerful that Satan and all of his followers combined! As Christ’s sons and daughters we can celebrate the freedom he displayed upon the cross. No enemy of God can touch us.

When we live by the Spirit nothing can hold us back from Christ. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” -Galatians 5:19-24 Sin in our lives can hold us back. It can decieve us, distract us, and detour us from the truth. It can put a wedge in our relationship with God, it can make us slaves to the enemy. When we live in freedom, without sin the benefits are; love, joy, peace, and etc. When we fall away from God we tend to put Him in the box of misconceptions. The world uses these misconceptions to blind us from the truth about who God is. Some of these misconceptions are: God doesn’t hear me when I talk to Him, I’m too bad of a person so God does not listen to me, He doesn’t care about me so there’s no use wasting time in praying. These are just a few lies society places on God. The world puts Him in a box. What they don’t realize is that he is all-powerful, all-knowing, and yearns for us to have a personal relationship with Him. When we live by the Spirit we realize that God does not fit in a box. Since there is no obstacle between us and God we can without a doubt say there is nothing holding us back from using the freedom God has given us.

Know This: You have prayer authority through the cross. When we live by the Spirit nothing can hold us back from Christ. Knowing this, we can say prayer has no boundaries unless we give it boundaries. We have freedom through Christ so let us use it to touch the throne room of God in prayer.

Dear Abba (Father),

Thank you for paving a way for us to commune with you. Thanks for loving, listening, and answering us in your perfect timing. Let us not put you in a box or let us allow the enemy to distract us from you. May we remember today that there is no boundary between us and you.