Diabetic and 2nd trimester with baby #2

So, being diabetic (type 1) is challenging.  Add in pregnancy, and I go into hyper mode!

So I am 14 weeks pregnant.  The last 10 weeks have been challenging in getting situated with doctors.  I think I blogged earlier about my frustrating encounter with a “specialist” here in town?  If not, I can’t go into it.  I was FURIOUS and really did not respond well.

Needless to say, I took my care into my own hands for a short while before reconnecting with a doctor almost 3 hours north of us.  In that time, I was able to bring my A1c from an 8.1 down to a 6.3!!!!!  Do you know how happy I was?????  This revealed to me that I really do know HOW to take care of myself.  I just need MOTIVATION to continue to take care of myself!

Right now, that motivation is obvious:  I want this baby to be healthy!  I know I need to be healthy to help baby be healthy!

Post-birth, the first few months are obviously motivating as well:  stay healthy so I can take care of baby.  Then…life gets overwhelming.

So I ask, please pray for me throughout this pregnancy.  Pray for me come December (baby is due December 18, but will join us around December 11) that I can balance a newborn, a 23-month-old, and my health!  Pray for our finances so that I will be able to maintain using the insulin pump that is so beneficial for helping me monitor my glucose levels and insulin dosages 24 hours a day!

Pray for my emotional well-being.  I have struggled with Depression on and off the last decade or so, and know that will hit me hard after the baby comes.  Pray that I am diligent in awareness of red flags and triggers, and will get help right away as soon as I suspect those triggers are creeping in again.

In the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to work with my endocrinologist, will meet the new “specialist” that is an hour away, will be seeing my OB twice a month, and will be preparing our home for the arrival of baby #2.  Thankfully, I have a couple weeks off of work so that I can start to tackle these projects and plan out my schedule for when I do go to back to work (Seriously, I just typed “go back to bed…” think I am tired????).

As challenging as it is to live with type 1 diabetes, I am thankful for the care and provision the Lord brings.  I know this illness has been a part of developing me into who I am today, and so I press on.  Maybe, some day, there will be a cure.  Or a long-term fix easier than an insulin pump.  I am reading of more and more bionic pancreas operations and options, so hopefully those become more mainstream and affordable!  We shall see!

Lies Women Believe, Chapters 10 and 11

I am finally on the last two chapters of this book!  It has taken me a while to get here, and I have had a lot of distractions!  My next adventure is Fit For Your Assignment, and I will blog my way through that book as well.

Chapter 10 is called “Countering Lies With the Truth” and Chapter 11 is called “The Truth That Sets us Free.”

If we are to truly KNOW truth, we must start with “What is truth?” or rather, WHO is TRUTH?  Jesus himself speaks in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me...”

He alone IS TRUTH.  He does not tell us, “live this way so that…” or “You must obey these rules.”  He says, “Come to the Father THROUGH ME.”  That’s it.  Once we have that relationship with Him, then He begins to reveal His Truth to us through His Word.  To the unbeliever, the Bible is words on a page.  To those who truly follow Christ, though, this Book is His Word, His Truth.

I do want to quote this paragraph on page 252:  “The idea of ‘turning sinners from the error of their way’ is largely foreign in our day.  The hue and cry of our postmodern culture is ‘tolerance,’ which means:  ‘You can live however you want to live, but don’t try to tell me what’s right for me–it’s none of your business how I choose to live my life.’  As deception has inundated our culture, many believers have become hesitant to stand for the Truth, for fear of being labeled as intolerant or narrow-minded.”

I will say that in order for unbelievers to turn, we have to KNOW we are sinners.  Scripture says there is not one of us who is without sin, apart from Christ Himself.  To the unbeliever, I don’t think it works to walk around and say, “You know, that behavior/action/choice/way of life/book you are reading/show you are watching/etc. is sinful.  You should stop.”  I feel like there is more approachable-ness when I am aware of my own shortcomings and acknowledge that we are ALL sinners, big and small, myself included.  I can share how God has worked in my life and revealed His Truth and my sin through His Spirit.  It is up to the Spirit to reveal each of our sins to us individually.  God is not one to publicly shame us.  He will speak to you, and to me, in ways we can receive His messages.

I do agree with Nancy’s perception of our culture.  I think it is even more evident today than it was when the book was first written in 1991.  To the believers, though, I think that we do need to, in groups of 2-3, come alongside and talk of the Truth.  This should be done with great care and love, and as free from judgement as possible.  Even better, have someone in the group who has walked that path before share his/her personal struggle with the lies and the ultimate Truth that set him/her free!  It is so much easier to accept and follow the truth when we have people to come alongside us and walk it with us.

Chapter 11 has 22 Truths that Nancy clings to as she walks her life path.  Here they are:

1.  God is good (Psalm 119:68; Psalm 136:1)

2.  God loves me and wants me to have His best (Romans 8:32, 38-39)

3.  I am complete and accepted in Christ (Ephesians 1:4-6)

4.  God is enough (Psalm 23:1)

5.  God can be trusted (Isaiah 28:16; Hebrews 13:5)

6.  God doesn’t make any mistakes (Isaiah 46:10)

7.  God’s grace is sufficient for me(2 Corinthians 12:9)

8.  The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover any sin(1 John 1:7)

9.  The Cross of Christ is sufficient to conquer my sinful flesh (Romans 6:6-7)

10.  My past does not have to plague me (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

11.  God’s Word is sufficient to lead me, teach me, and heal me (Psalm 19:7; Psalm 107:20; Psalm 119:105)

12.  Through the power of His Holy Spirit, God will enable me ot do anything He commands me to do (1 Thessalonians 5:24; Philippians 2:13)

13.  I am responsible before God for my behavior, responses, and choices (Ezekiel 18:19-22)

14.  I will reap whatever I sow (Galatians 6:7-8)

15.  The pathway to true joy is to relinquish control (Matthew 16:25; Luke 1:38; 1 Peter 5:7)

16.  The greatest freedom I can experience is found through submission to God-ordained authority (Ephesians 5:21)

17.  In the will of God, there is no higher, holier calling than to be a wife and mother (Titus 2:4-5)

18.  Personal holiness is more important than temporal happiness (Ephesians 5:26-27)

19.  God is more concerned about changing me and glorifying Himself than about solving my problems (Romans 8:29)

20.  It is impossible to be godly without suffering (1 Peter 5:10)

21.  My suffering will not last forever (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

22.  It’s now about me; it’s all about Him (Colossians 1:16-18)

Take time to reflect on these truths and the verses that highlight them in scripture.  Seek out more passages of scripture that solidify these truths for you!  I challenge you!  And, feel free to comment with verses you come across that reveal His Truth to you even more!

Just a random update…

It has been a while since I have written, so I thought I would just give you all some updates.

 

So, in reading Lies Women Believe, I have to say I have failed miserably the tests I have faced recently of these lies in my life.  I have not been able to control my emotions, and I have let my temper get the better of me on more than one occasion.  Stress has been impacting me in some very negative ways.

But there has been some good that has come out of this too.  God has given me peace in the midst of the emotional turmoil.  Though I have felt justified in my responses, I know I did not act appropriately.  The outcome has been good in the long run, though, and for this, I am very thankful for God’s grace.

 

I had some issues with a doctor’s office here in town.  We had some major miscommunications, and I felt belittled and my concerns and issues were not addressed by them.  Instead of trying to work through the issues, I had a few outbursts.  Blame it on pregnancy hormones or stress, it does not matter.  I have since refused to be under their care, and am now working with a doctor three hours away from me.  This doctor I have seen before, and am very pleased with her understanding and insight.

Now, the validation to my concerns has come, as I have seen improvement in my care even while I was monitoring my own medication and glucose levels while I was between doctors.  I am thankful for the insight God has given me to my body’s needs!  I am ever thankful for His provision for allowing me to work with the best doctors now, and to FINALLY be back on my insulin pump.  Already, I am seeing drastic improvements even after 24 hours.  Thank you, Lord!

Now, my biggest prayer request is for that of the baby growing within.  With the delay of going back on the pump, and the stress-induced blood sugar swings, there are higher risks for some complications with baby’s heart.  Please, pray that there are no lasting effects of my blood sugars on this precious baby!  We’ll know more in a month or two after we have a fetal echo test done, but I know our God is greater than any physician.  He has the ability to knit together a perfect heart, perfect lungs, perfect kidneys, etc. in this child.

He did this for Zander, and I know He can do it again.  If He chooses not to, I know I have to prepare for that.  He is the great Physician, though, and I trust Him.  In all things, I must trust Him.

In the meantime, though, will you lift me up in prayer, and lift this pregnancy and baby up in prayer?  We’re 12 weeks today!  I can’t believe we’re almost a third of the way through already!  Time flies!  And, thank you for praying!

Lies Women Believe: Chapter 9

Lies Women Believe…about Circumstances!

Boy, did this one hit me hard!  I am struggling this month.  Hormones are raging, tempers flaring, and communication hindered because of both of those!  You think I would have learned after Chapter 8 about my response to my emotions, right???  Well…welcome to the first trimester of pregnancy.  Yep!  almost 11 weeks pregnant today!  And really struggling with controlling my blood sugar levels….

…and frustrated that I have to wait a little bit longer to go back on my insulin pump…

…and frustrated with the lack of communication from doctors and nurses…

And yet, it is a 3-day weekend where we are supposed to be remembering our fallen soldiers and thanking those who have fought for our freedoms.  I need a perspective shift.

Since reading Chapter 9, I have been a teary mess!  Thinking about my brothers, cousins, uncles, and grandfather who have been in and out of the military, facing battle, or just keeping the peace…I am honored that they have risen to the call of our nation, and grateful for their acts of service.

So, with this new perspective shift, let’s dive into the lies and truth found in Chapter 9 of Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book.

Lie #36:  If my circumstances were different, I would be different.

Truth #36:  Man, I have thought about this one A LOT over the years!  If only I weren’t diabetic… If only my sister had waited one more day for me to come home… If only I had not gone on that missions trip… If only…

The vicious What If cycle can eat you alive!

A lot of these “if only’s” and “what if’s” I have dwelt upon over the years have to do with my sister’s death by suicide.  I blamed myself for a very long time, and was trapped in depression because of it.

Then, one day, I heard my former Youth Leader speak a message at church about “What if’s.”  He blew my perspective out of the water!  I had been dwelling on the negative “what if’s!”

What if…God has a plan for my life through this pain?

What if…God is glorified through this disease He has allowed me to have?

What if…it is not about my feelings and emotions?

What if…God really does make beauty from ashes?

What if…my circumstances have strengthened me, built my faith, and allowed me to draw closer to my creator, my shelter, my fortress, and my God?

In that moment, I began to realize that if my circumstances, I really would be different…but NOT for the better.  My faith would not be what it is, and I would not be who I am.  And who I am is a beautiful daughter of the King of kings, who seeks to honor and glorify Him to the best of my ability, who frequently falls into His arms seeking forgiveness and wisdom, who stumbles and grows ever closer to Him.

God has allowed me these circumstances to teach me, to comfort me, to be my strength in the midst of my weaknesses.  This is all over scripture!  Take a look at these passages:

Job 1:8-12   And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Romans 8  in its entirety speaks to this truth.  Verses 37-38 bring me the most comfort:  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 139:16  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were  formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

God KNOWS.  He KNEW all these things would happen to me.  And yet, nothing can separate me from Him.  He knows, and He is there, and He LOVES me through my circumstances!  We have a God who has experienced pain and suffering, even death and grief.  He knows my pain, past, present, and future.  I have found much peace in that.

 

Lie #37:  I shouldn’t have to suffer.

Truth #37:  So why does God allow me these circumstances of suffering?  Another question is, “Why not allow these circumstances?”

Scripture never once promises us a life free from suffering.  In fact, Christ and the disciples often write about suffering!  My Savior suffered the deepest pain and humiliation known to man when he was whipped, beaten, despised, ridiculed, crucified, and taunted while he died.  Three days later, He ROSE from the grave and CONQUERED death!  But if my own Savior willingly suffered for ME, why would I think myself above suffering?  Am I willing to suffer for HIS sake?  Even then, suffering in America is an easy life compared to suffering in other countries.  I am not facing death because of my beliefs.  I have a chronic illness that is treatable with insulin and glucose monitoring.  Easy compared to stoning, rejection, and death because of faith in Jesus.  Perspective is everything.

Passages of Scripture about suffering:

Romans 5:3-5  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 Peter 4 says A LOT about suffering.  Verses 12 and 13 really speak to the heart of what it means to suffer though:  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Isaiah 43:2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,and the flame shall not consume you.

 

Lie #38:  My circumstances will never change–This will go on FOREVER (as I visualize the face of one of the boys from The Sandlot…)

Truth #38:  I cling to the truth that God’s timing is perfect.  I will not always understand why suffering endures as long as it does, or why illnesses last as long as they do.  But I know my God is sovereign.  In comparison to Eternity, these fleeting moments of pain and trial are just that:  fleeting.  Temporary.  A blip on the timeline.  This does not make the immediate moment easier.  However, that truth allows my perspective to adapt.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  Do not lose heart!  This momentary affliction will pass away.  

 

Lie #39:  I just can’t take it anymore!

Truth #39:  Raise your hand if you have ever said this!  I just raised BOTH my hands.  Yep, we frequently find this phrase slipping from our mouths, right?

In these moments, I am reminded of my weakness.  I can’t do this…on my own.  But with the Grace of God, I can endure with HIS strength.

Take a look at some more passages from 2 Corinthians:

11:21-30

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?  If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

The man who wrote this passage is a man who once persecuted and killed people who claimed to be Christians.  And here, he has endured HOW much for the sake of Christ?  And I throw my hands up when my son cries for two hours!  I am so weak…

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 is a passage I have referred to often in my blog.  Read it once again:

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Psalm 130 is another great description of waiting through the suffering, of enduring and trusting in the Lord.

 

Lie #40:  It’s all about ME.

Truth #40:  It’s all about GOD.  Who am I, to think myself greater than the creator of the universe???  Who am I, to think that my issues require more attention than another person?  For we are all equals in the eyes of God, and we are all subject to His authority.  Nothing exists apart from what God allows.

Colossians 1:15-23 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

This truth really put my frustration with my doctors into perspective.  God gives me peace, words, and wisdom.  I will trust in Him and in His timing for this.

Lies Women Believe, Chapter 8

This was a deep chapter.  As I read the lies and the truths that followed, it hit me: with every emotion I experience, I have two choices.  I can act according to the way I feel, or I can pray and respond in obedience to my God.  I have a lot of work to do in order to bring myself into alignment with God’s Word.  So, let’s examine each of these lies, and the truth God is revealing to me through Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s writing:

 

Lie #32:  If I feel something, it must be true.

Truth #32:  God’s Truth is what is true.  Emotions are fleeting, and tainted with our sins and desires of the flesh.

Ladies, how many of us have ever said, “Oh, I know I love _____ because I just feel so wonderful when I am with him!” only to be completely disappointed the next week when we feel like garbage because he broke our hearts.  Our feelings are just that:  a fleeting emotion that is affected by body chemistry and circumstances.

I know I get this way sometimes when I worship too.  I get such intense feelings that I randomly burst into tears and fall on my knees to cry out to my God.  Yes, we are supposed to have intense emotion and desire for God, but our relationship with Him cannot be grounded in how we feel.  I like Lee Strobel’s approach to faith:  seek the FACTS.  Emotions can get us started on the path toward God’s Truth, but we need a rock solid foundation.  For me, that foundation is built on His Word, the circumstances He has allowed me to experience, and the evidence of His Truth through those experiences.  I have felt a variety of emotions toward God:  extreme awe, deep love, intense anger.  Yes, anger.  When my sister died, I was so angry at Him for NOT answering MY prayer for her!  I got so angry, I even questioned whether He HEARD my prayer!   Have you ever felt that way?  So I stopped talking to Him.  Yep.  Just stopped praying.  I gave God the silent treatment.  Did my response out of anger change who God is?  Did it change His mind and make Him bring my sister to life?  No.  God was, is, and ALWAYS will be.  His way is perfect, even when I don’t understand it.

In marriage, our “feelings” for our spouse will ebb and flow across a wide spectrum.  Even when we feel “hate” toward our spouse, does that change the fact we are married?  No.  Emotions are so fleeting, that true relationships need to be built on more than just how we feel toward each other.  Communication is key, especially with God.  Our spiritual highs will only last so long.  Our honeymoon stage in faith and in marriage is only so long.  When that dreamy mist lifts, we hit the ground running, and if our foundation is built on something other than God’s Word, good luck keeping up.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately sick;who can understand it?“I the Lord search the heartand test the mind,to give every man according to his ways,according to the fruit of his deeds.””

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness.  Emotions are sinking sand.  God’s Truth is the rock upon which I stand.

 

 

 

Lie #33:  I can’t control my emotions.

Truth #33:  This is partially true:  I cannot control my EMOTIONS, but I CAN control how I RESPOND to my emotions and to those around me in the mess of my emotions.  This truly is where the fruit of Self-control and Patience is most evidenced.  I can take captive my thoughts, and question, “Why am I feeling like I want to cry every minute of the day?” or “Why do I get so ANGRY every time I talk to that person?”  My emotions can be tools to revealing the deeper issue that I need to address.  I may not have realized what day it was and it is a day that reminds me of my sister.  Or the anger toward this person is because s/he exhibits behaviors I have that I don’t like and wish to change.

So, instead of acting out in anger or depression, I have to take these thoughts captive, bring them to God, and seek His wisdom.

Philippians 4:4-9  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Colossians 3:1-2  If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Romans 12:1-2  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

 

Lie #34:  I can’t help how I respond when my hormones are out of whack (a.k.a., P.M.S.).

Truth #34:  This is a hard truth for me.  Before I share what God has taught me, let me share an experience from yesterday morning:  My husband and I have one car, and we were getting ready to leave for the morning so I could drop him off at work and go grocery shopping.  FIVE times, I had to go back to the house to get something I forgot (or thought I forgot but didn’t).  Of course, I slammed car doors, huffed and puffed the whole time, and was quite snappy toward my husband.  Bless his heart, his response to me was, “Hon, are you stressed this morning?”  I realized I was.  We got into the car, and I apologized for my behavior.  I let my emotional and hormonal state consume me, and I was taking it out on him.  We were able to talk through the situation on our way to his place of employment.

So, what did I learn?  Take deep breaths.  When I know hormones are raging, I need to be mindful of my attitudes and actions.  God made women this way:  to live in cycles.  We have time to prepare!  He gives us warning signs!  So, as the hormone fluctuations happen, get a massage, drink more water, increase vitamins, get good rest (I take Tylenol PM during the biggest fluctuations…).  All these things help keep me level-headed as much as possible.  Be open in communicating with those loved ones around you and ask for help.  I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for Brandon’s response to me yesterday.  Instead of being accusatory, he simply asked me a question.  That allowed me to step back, evaluate, seek forgiveness, and readjust my thinking.

James 4:1-10 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.  You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

So when the waves of emotions are crashing over me, may I respond by lifting my eyes to You, O Lord, from whom my help and salvation come.

 

 

Lie #35:  The answer to depression must first be sought in medication and/or psychotherapy.

Truth #35:  I do struggle with depression, and I have been on and off medication over the last 14 years.  Medication can be crucial for battling depression, especially with chemical imbalances in many of us.  Is it the only option for treating depression?  No.  Is it the best option for treating depression?  Honestly, that depends on the individual, and the source of the depression.  If the culprit is a chemical malfunction in the brain, by all means, take your medication!  It is just as important as insulin for a type 1 diabetic!

Counseling is also a VERY helpful tool in treating depression.  Coupled with medication, it can be even more beneficial than medication alone.  As a person of faith, I always found the most in-depth counseling sessions were with my counselors who were also Christians.  Once I brought my faith into the equation, they then had the Bible as the biggest tool to diving into the depths of my soul.

Deep Bible studies with people I trusted also were (and are) very helpful in battling my depression.

I have to stress here before I continue that each person is DIFFERENT, and treatment options should be based on YOUR needs and circumstances.  Start first by talking to someone you trust:  doctor, friend, pastor, spouse…anyone who can give you Godly counsel and wisdom in taking the next steps.

I have recently stopped taking my antidepressants.  I was not wise in how I did it:  I didn’t tell anyone that was what I was going to do.  I knew if I could get through the first two weeks and the withdrawal symptoms, I would be ok.  I did have a couple of days of high anxiety and a bit of a manic episode here and there.  When I felt these coming on, I did talk to my husband to make him aware of why I might be more intense in the weeks ahead.  Spending quiet time with God in the mornings and writing has been helping me keep my eyes stayed on Him, and is helping me get to the root of my depression issues:  I never felt worthy enough.  This is a battle I fight over and over again, because Satan keeps trying to sneak the same lies in over and over again.  He thinks to himself, “Well, it worked last time.  Let’s try this again and see if I still have it.”  Sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn’t.  When he does, he doesn’t have it as long any more.  The root of God’s Word is pressing deeper and deeper into my soul, preventing Satan’s lies from getting deep enough to do more damage.

I cling to the truth that God’s creation is BEAUTIFUL and I am HIS CREATION.  He knit me together in my mother’s womb.  He wrote all of my days, even those in which I battled depression and suicidal thoughts.  He has rescued me time and time again as I fell victim to my thoughts.  He teaches me to take my thoughts captive now and to dwell on what is good.  As frustrated as I get with people now and then, He reminds me of what is GOOD and the blessings these people bring into my life.  God, time and time again, has come to my rescue and picked me up out of the pit of despair.

He brings me often back to Psalm 40, and reminds me that He does not withhold His mercy from me, and that His steadfast love endures, even when I am weak and depressed.  He loves me, even when I lose sight of that love and feel unlovable.  I am so thankful that He rescues me over and over again!  My feelings can be gateways to lies from the enemy.  I have to trust in God’s Word, in His truth that is unchangeable.  I am HIS, and His alone.

Lies Women Believe, Chapter 7

So it is time for me to post my reflections from this chapter.  It has taken me a while, because there is a lot in this chapter I have yet to experience.  I am a relatively new mom, as my son is 15 months old just this week!  He had his wellness visit this week, and is growing and developing in amazing ways!

With this new insight as a mom, some of these lies hit me pretty hard.  Let’s dive in!

 

 

Lie #27:  It’s up to us to determine the size of our family.

Truth #27:  God is the author of Life.  Seriously, look at human anatomy:  in a woman, there are so many barriers and factors  going into whether an egg will be fertilized or not.  When I think of all the variables that go into this, I am amazed!  We can take birth control; we can make choices to seek fertility treatments or to terminate a pregnancy; men and women can have surgeries to “ensure” that pregnancy is not possible.  And yet, I am reminded of a young, teenage girl who stood before an angel and received the words that she would bear a child, that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit without ever having “known” a man sexually.  And from this girl, Mary, we meet our Savior and King, Jesus the Messiah.  Who are we to play God when it comes to pregnancy?  Rhetorical question there, as we have been given the gift of free will.

I go back to my claim though that God is the author or life.  We will never understand fully why He allows miscarriage, pregnancy, still-born births, and healthy babies.  We will never fully understand why some children are born without blemish, and others come out with very clear birth defects.  And yet, our God does not create mistakes.  And He has created each and every one of us, with purpose, for a purpose:  to honor and glorify Him.  All I know for sure is this:  if God wants a child to be born and live, He will make that happen.  There have been babies known to survive abortion attempts.   There have been so many women who have gotten pregnant out of wedlock who have chosen to give birth to the children they carry and either raise them as their own or lovingly give them to another family to raise and love.

Psalm 139:13-16  For you formed my inward parts;you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,intricately woven in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them.

Luke 1: 26-38  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

So, I place myself in the Lord’s hands.  Yes, I have fear in this area, namely because I have type 1 diabetes.  The Lord has brought me through the pregnancy with my son with few issues.  I am so very thankful for the gift of Life that my son is!  And whether the Lord allows me to birth another child, opens the door to foster or adopt children who need to be loved and cherished, or any combination thereof, I want to be open to what my God has in store.

 

Lie #28:  Children need to get exposed to the “real world” so that they can learn to function in it.

Truth #28:  I don’t think I can say anything better than these passages of scripture.  For me, it comes down to this:  why let my son experience something that he is eventually going to have to “take off?”  Why do I even want to give him opportunity to TASTE what is evil?  I know he has free will, and I pray that as Brandon and I teach Zander the statutes of the Lord, that he will cling to the truths therein.

Proverbs 22:6

 Train up a child in the way he should go;even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

1 John 1

The Word of Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Walking in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Romans 12:1-2

A Living Sacrifice

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Colossians 3

Put On the New Self

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Lie #29:  All children will go through a rebellious stage.

Truth #29:  It is my goal to teach Zander to be obedient.  Even at 15 months, he definitely pushes toward rebellion.  And yet, when I say to Zander as he plays in the grass, “Zander, that is not to eat.  Put that down,” he does!  Granted, I haven’t figured out how to get him to stop pulling one of the wall hangings down onto himself, but we’re working on it.  He responds to my “Zander, that’s not a toy” by looking at me with the”But it’s pretty and colorful and I want to play with it” look.  He will cry and fuss when he does not get his way, but he is also easily redirected into something more constructive.  If he is not easily redirected, I know he needs down time or a nap.  After 20 minutes of down time, he’s fine and back to learning what obedience is.

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children and Parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Scripture teaches that children are to obey and respect their parents.  Why encourage or expect them NOT to do these things?  Let’s start from day one and teach them the way in which they should walk.  (referring back to Proverbs 22:6)

 

 

Lie #30:  I know my child is a Christian because he prayed to receive Christ at an early age.

Truth #30:  When we are fully adopted into Christ’s family, there is fruit that bears witness to the transformation we experience.

Galatians 5:16-26

Keep in Step with the Spirit

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

 

Paul continues this thought even into the next chapter:

Galatians 6

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

We see this again in 1 John 1:

Walking in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I pray that my son comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as his Savior at an early age!  I want my son to have as many years as possible to experience sanctification and transformation by the Holy Spirit!  I want him to have a Christian world-view and be able to make solid decisions based on knowledge and wisdom received from the Lord.  And I want to see him bear the FRUIT of the SPIRIT!  I want to see his heart stayed tried and true on what is good, what is pure, what will bring honor and glory to God!  As his mother, I will seek to guide and protect him from the snares of the enemy; if Zander falls into any of the enemy’s traps, I want his head knowledge and heart knowledge to lead him to Christ, take His hand, and climb up and out of the stronghold.  I cannot do that for him.  Zander’s faith will be his own, and I pray for strength and wisdom for us as his parents to teach him the Lord’s precepts.   Lord, may his eyes and ears be open to receive Your Truth!  May Brandon and I be diligent in teaching him Your Truth.

 

 

Lie #31:  We are not responsible for how our children turn out.

Truth #31:  Nancy addresses this lie on the two ends of the spectrum:  parents are 100% responsible for how they children turn out vs. parents are not responsible at all for how their children turn out.  There truly is a balance.  Yes, we pour into our children’s lives, teach them, correct them, discipline them, and everything else that goes along with being parents.  Ultimately, our children have free will.  They can choose Christ, or not choose Christ.  Of course, my heart’s desire is that my son will choose Christ!  As I stated earlier, though, his faith will be his own.  His dad and I can model for him as much as we are humanly able.  God gives us the responsibility to teach our children the ways of the Lord.  We will be held accountable for what we bestow upon our children.  Our children will then be responsible for their walk and obedience to the Lord.  We are all accountable to our actions and choices.  We all have soiled pasts, full of imperfections, mistakes, good and bad examples.  It is what we do with all of that stimulation that matters, both as parents and as children.

Our past does not define us.  Christ alone defines us.  Our past does not limit us.  For with God, nothing is impossible.

So many of the verses I have already shared hit the truth revealed here.  God calls us as parents to teach our children the commandments, the love of Christ, the sacrifice made for our sin, and our need for a Savior.  We are called to pray for our children, and to love them as Christ loves us.  If I could protect my son from every hurt, how would that benefit him?  Even God did not spare his son from pain and suffering.  Life can be hard.  Endurance of faith and breath are part of what we teach our children, and we can do that without throwing them to the wolves of this world.  We do that by walking in faith and trusting in God, seeking His wisdom and mercy every step of the way.