Words and Hearts: On a Cliff Edge or Plummeting Down the Mountain?

It was nearing the end of the season. A snow storm was coming toward California, and the time was now. Alex Honnold (Free Solo climber and the first person to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan without a safety rope) and Emily Harrington (five-time US Sport-Climbing champion) set out to free climb Yosemite’s El Capitan. They chose to simul climb, which is where climbers ascend at the same time on the same rope.

“It’s essentially done for speed,” Emily said.

This, admittedly, wasn’t the safest way to climb, but it was a risk they took in order to climb it in 24 hours, a vast difference from the six days it took her years earlier.

Emily led and kept gear between her and Alex on the rope. It was cold (25 degrees), and Emily remembered her toes were numb. Obviously, for a rock climber, this wasn’t good, as you need to be able to feel the rock; it affected how she stood on her feet. Her foot “skated off.” She fell about 40-50 feet and hit her head. She told Alex she was ok, but she was hurt. He lowered her down to safety, a ledge on the wall of the mountain, where they waited 90 minutes for Yosemite’s Search and Rescue.1 During the wait, Alex “calmly maintain[ed] spinal immobilization on the wall, g[ot] things ready for an evac, and t[old] stories and ke[pt] her talking throughout.”2 Spinal immobilization uses different ways to stabilize the spinal column to keep the spinal cord from being damaged. Amazingly, she didn’t break any bones or have any spinal injuries, though she did injure her left leg and left elbow, lower back/tail bone, and neck!1

“May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you, O LORD, my Refuge and my Redeemer!”

Psalm 19:14 GNT

The Holy Spirit’s put this verse on recall, over and over, again, in my heart and mind this week. It’s a well-known verse, but I feel it gets misquoted, sometimes, and I lose the full meaning, if the end of the verse, “my Refuge and my Redeemer,” is left off.

Absorbing These Honorifics (LORD, Refuge, Redeemer)

In order to absorb these honorifics, I looked deeper into this verse. The Hebrew word for “thoughts” (“meditations” in many translations) means they’re concentrated on one area or subject, and they’re very thorough.

When was the last time you took a really thorough look at different areas of your heart and thoughts (what you dream about, think deeply and carefully about, are sad about, frustrated about, even angry about)?

What comes from the heart is serious business. We’re talking about the center of our feelings, will, and even our reasoning and understanding…things public (words) AND private (heart). The heart affects everything, so it needs a good, frequent walk-through!

Take a minute. Pick one area of your heart and give it a good look. If Jesus, the Son of God, saved you, God’s with you! When you think of it that way, is what you find in your heart acceptable before Him? The Hebrew word for “acceptable” is like a person offering a sacrifice. Am I (are you) sacrificing? Are we throwing off what’s not acceptable to Him and offering Him what is?

LORD, in these verses, as you probably know, is “Yhvh,” pronounced yeh-ho-vaw’, which is where Jehovah comes from. It means that He’s self-existent and eternal. No onenothing else caused Him to exist! He’s always been there; He always will be!

“Refuge” is a figurative description for a place of safety from pursuit, danger, or trouble. It refers to an area that’s next to a dangerously high, steep, cliff drop.

“Redeemer” refers to One Who saved another. When someone saves you, whatever they save you from, that action should, naturally, bring about a bond between the two of you. It’s a different kind of relationship than you have with others, and it changes your life.

Fitting into Psalm 19

Verse 14 is the last verse in Chapter 19. The rest of the chapter talks about creation continuously declaring the glory of God everywhere and how obeying God’s code of law, etc., brings great reward. After recognizing the weightiness of all of this, David goes on to petition God to “cleanse [his] secret faults,” keep him from those who don’t pay attention to the limits of what’s allowed or is appropriate (and keep them from controlling him), and that he’ll “be blameless” (Vv. 12-13). He, then, prays that the words that come out of his mouth as well as what his heart ponders will be offered to the One Who saved him and keeps him safe as an offering…and that they would be acceptable before Him.

Burrowing Roots
What was the last conversation you had with someone? What (or whom) did you talk about? What did your words say? Did you give God’s glory away to anyone or anything else?
When did you last talk something over with yourself or respond to your thoughts while alone? In the privacy of that moment, what did you say?

What He’s done for me is weighty!! He’s saved me and is still keeping me safe! Why would I put myself in a position where I’d slip off the cliff with my tongue and heart? I want to cling to Him and focus on His being my edge, the One Who saved me, who’s always been and always will be; He’s my safe place! Because He’s so good, I want to honor Him with my words that well up from my deep, secret places. Cleanse me, LORD! I want to join creation in using my words and thoughts to continuously give You glory…not just out in public, not in certain places, but everywhere!

Photo by Bradley Pisney on Unsplash

1 DangerStikTV. (2020, January 2). S2, Episode Two: The Accident [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY01H8UtSAU. *Warning: This does have some language in it.

2 Daily Mountain. “Climber Emily Harrington Rescued by ‘Free Solo’ Star Alex Honnold after Fall.” Mountainplanet.com, 2020, https://mountainplanet.com/blog/climber-emily-harrington-rescued-by-free-solo-star-alex-honnold-after-fall-7230#:~:text=years%20ago%20created-,Climber%20Emily%20Harrington%20rescued%20by%20’Free%20Solo’%20star%20Alex%20Honnold,Free%20Solo%E2%80%9D%20star%20Alex%20Honnold.

Rejoice! God’s with You!

This season’s looked different for us. From my going down again off and on (mostly on) for a couple weeks, affecting our plans to get together with my side of the family for Thanksgiving; to both of our kids having jobs, now, and seeing them less; to a weird situation, where I have a migraine hit during most church services, limiting or squelching opportunities to connect with others after those services…time with others has been restricted. Sometimes, this can leave a void, as we’re created for relationship.

A bright spot to my season was a recent invitation from a dear friend to attend an auction/bizarre at the school my kids used to attend. The LORD blessed me with pretty good health that day, and I was able to go! I found a small sign, made by one of the school’s teachers, that caught not only my eye; it caught my heart. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read its words: “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel!” Its message captured my affection and flooded my emotions…my inadequacies…my lonely feelings. “Rejoice!” God’s Spirit within told me; “God’s with you!”

What Does Rejoicing Mean, and Why Should I?

We sing songs; we know the name–Immanuel–and Whom it belonged to; we know what it means (God with us); but do we pause to really reflect on what this means?!? Do we rejoice that GOD is with us? I mean, REALLY rejoice? Do we even grasp what rejoice even means?

“‘Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel.'”

Isaiah 7:14 NKJV

“Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste…and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy! Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ And Mary said: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

Luke 1:39-47 NKJV

“Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search diligently for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.’ When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them until it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”

Matthew 2:7-10 NKJV

The prophet Isaiah told of Immanuel’s arrival 600-700 years before the Son of God actually arrived on earth. The excitement experienced by those who believed Who Jesus was, that Immanuel was finally here, and the reality of His presence was recognizable! John (the Baptist), while in Elizabeth’s belly, leapt for joy, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, her relative, carrying Jesus, God’s Son, in her womb. The Spirit of God filled both John and Elizabeth (Luke 1:15, 41) and allowed them to recognize the presence of Immanuel…that GOD was with them, though inside Mary’s belly!

The wise men, when they, again, saw God’s sign of the star, leading them to where Jesus, the Son of God, was, “rejoiced with exceedingly great joy!” What does that look like?

REJOICE (“chairó in Greek)

Rejoice means to experience and be glad for God’s favor…for His favorable leaning in toward you.

JOY (“chara” in Greek)

If you’re experiencing God’s favorable leaning in toward you, it’s enough to ignite great joy! You know how you experience something, but don’t always understand it? Joy isn’t ambiguous. It’s recognizable! You see God leaning in! You see His favor…and you get it! You’re aware of it! You know what it is! You know Whom it’s from! THIS is JOY!

EXCEEDINGLY (“sphodra” in Greek)

“Exceedingly” means “done all out…with total effort!”

GREAT (“megas” in Greek)

“Great,” obviously, means “large,” but in Matthew 2:7, it’s referring to the intensity and measure of the wise men’s joy–their awareness of God’s favor, His leaning in toward them! The effort is totally intense; the measure is all out! It affected what they were fond of as well as what they felt and thought about!

What This Means To Me

This is really resonating with me right now! No matter what situations arise that affect my plans, what lies or distractions Satan hurls my way, what family is or isn’t around, what choices I see others making that I feel I should have had more of an impact on, MY GOD IS HERE WITH ME!! He sees me! He’s leaning in toward me! The reality of this needs to affect what I like, what I put value in, how I feel, and what I think about! When I stop long enough to really soak this in, to be aware of Him, to recognize Him, His Spirit inside me wells up like a fountain, and I can’t help but want to shout, leap, do everything He’s laid out for me to do today with total effort! He’s with me! I believe this, and His presence, interest, and attention gives me renewed strength, value, purpose, and confidence!

What I Pray For You

I pray this for you, too, friends…that you will more deeply cultivate your relationship with Him; find peace and rest in Him; and go all out in serving Him, as you experience, recognize, and are glad that He’s near!

Tell your spirit to rejoice! God, Your Savior, is with You!

Grumbling: A Heart Issue

It’s usually associated with mumbling under our breath, disgruntled words or sounds, and a sense of visible (and, I’d say, audible) displeasure. I’ve been before the LORD the last couple weeks with this topic (check out the last post for more), and He’s pressing in that grumbling is bigger than just what we see.

Is My Definition of “Grumbling” the Same as the God’s?

It started with verses I memorized with my kiddos when they were little (complete with hand motions, mind you). The Spirit brought these words (and a couple fun motions) to mind while I was thinking about “grumbling.”

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish, though you live in a crooked and perverse society in which you shine as lights in the world by holding on to the word of life…”

Philippians 2:14-16a NETB

“Grumbling,” (Greek word: “goggusmos”) means just what we’d think it would, according to its root word, “gogguzó,”–“to murmur or mutter (grumble) with muffled undertones; to show “smoldering discontent” (Souter), droning on in a low, constant murmur.”1 Sound familiar? Look recognizable?

What I found, as I looked into this verse deeper, is that it’s not just visible or audible grumbling that we’re not supposed to do! This verse also addresses what’s going on secretly in our hearts! We know that what our hearts are full of, our mouth speaks (Luke 6:45), so this verse does end up speaking to grumbling that comes out of our mouths, yet I needed to hear this deeper meaning to keep what’s going on “behind closed doors”…what may not be given away by my behavior or words…in check, as well!

“Serve the LORD with gladness…”

Psalm 100:2 NKJV
What is “Gladness?”

Our pastor spoke on Psalm 100 this week, and it’s fitting; it’s a psalm of thanksgiving. According to this particular verse above, we’re supposed to work/serve/worship the LORD! EVERYTHING we do is to be to and for HIM…and we’re supposed to do it all WITH GLADNESS!…Strike a chord for anyone else? I’m all about serving the LORD, but do I do everything with gladness? (Insert wide-eyed, blushing emoji here!) It’s not just what we do; it’s how we do it…what heart is behind it! Over and over again throughout Scripture, we see that the heart is important to God; He wants it all, not part of it; He wants us to be willing, at the heart of our actions…and joyful.

We see in Philippians what our hidden areas aren’t supposed to contain: disgruntled attitudes or motives, while Psalm 100 shows us how to clean up those areas–according to the Biblical meaning of the word “gladness,” we’re supposed to be joyful-minded!

How Can I Be Joyful-Minded?

“He made us; we belong to Him; we are His people, the flock He shepherds.”

Psalm 100:3 NAB

The first few verses of Psalm 100 give a number of commands; serving joyful-mindedly (the meaning of “gladness”) is one of them. While this doesn’t mean that we have to be excited and happy about something tough we’re working through, we are instructed to internally search for joy and to think about what we find; then, find pleasure in those things. Maybe we experience something dark, and it seems hard to find joy in it. THAT’S where the problem lies! We aren’t instructed to find joy in the circumstance! Verse 1 of this same thanksgiving psalm instructs us to shout with joy TO THE LORD! Maybe the reason we’re not finding joy is because we’re thinking about the wrong things…the wrong person!

We’re instructed, in Psalm 100:1-3, to:

  • Squeal with joy and triumph to the LORD!
  • Serve the LORD!
  • Go before the LORD with singing!
  • Know, acknowledge, see, and declare the LORD!
WHY Should We Do These Things?

Verse 3 goes on to tell us: Because He is Creator God, Who made us! We’re His people! We belong to Him! He’s caring for, feeding, and protecting us like a shepherd does his sheep! It’s the LORD Who is our joy! He’s Whom we can find pleasure in!

Where’s My Heart?

I saw an ad for a sweatshirt that said, “I Had My Patience Tested…I’m Negative!”2 I laughed, when I read it! Unfortunately, it rings true for me too many times! I’m reminded of these Scriptures, and while the sweatshirt’s saying can totally be true for me, I don’t want it to be! I’m trying to set my focus on the LORD, find joy in Him, not grumble in my heart or mind nor make my displeasure evident! It’s hard to maintain that focus, but that’s what I’d take pleasure in!

Happy Thanksgiving, Liv friends! Let’s “shine as lights in the world by holding on to the[se] word[s] of life…”

1 “1111. gogguzó.” Bible Hub, https://biblehub.com/greek/1111.htm. Accessed 20 November 2022.

2 “Women’s I Had My Patience Tested I’m Negative Cat, Funny Sarcasm Casual Sweatshirt.” Lilicloth, https://lilicloth.com/products/casual-autumn-text-letters-regular-fit-long-sleeve-crew-neck-cotton-blend-regular-regular-size-sweatshirts-for-women-14044412?variant=1097726. Accessed 20 November 2022.

Grumble-Free Challenge

Ugh! Another e-mail…another thing to look through/respond to/read. I didn’t have time for that…yet the Spirit urged me to open that one…I’m glad I did. In it was a challenge to not grumble (Yup! Pegged!)! It gave some specific ideas for each day during the month of November, which I’d starred to bring back to the surface once November arrived.

Grumble-Free Challenge

November 1 came! We have a board at the end of our hallway, where all of our bedrooms are. I’ve used it for years, writing on it different messages to the fam (i.e., daily or weekly jobs, welcome notes to guests, something the LORD had shown me that I wanted to share…). Over the last few months, my husband has started getting in on it, too, sharing with us words of wisdom…of focus. I figured this board was the best place to post this “grumble-free” challenge, as all of us need this daily reminder!

DAY 1 was worth leaving on the board for a couple weeks, not just one day…and we have!

Memorize:

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Proverbs 16:24 NETB

If someone says NOT to do something, is that where your focus goes? That tends to be the norm here, so I love that the initial focus of not grumbling was what TO do in its place–speak pleasant words–words that really please someone, are beautiful, and give a sense of happy satisfaction and joy! If someone speaks words like that to you, do your insides feel a bit “mushier,” feel like they’ve gotten a hug, or just bring a wholeness to what did seem to be in pieces?

Why Pleasant Words?

Our “soul” (“nephesh” in Hebrew) is the seat of our senses, affections, and emotions; it’s where love, joy, desire, and longing come from. According to this meaning and the verse above, whether it seems true for some individuals or not, everyone feeds on pleasant words…Yes, feed, like what you do when you’re uncomfortable and desiring food! We’re hungry for and desire pleasant words deep down. In the verse above, your soul, your life, enjoys how pleasant words satisfy you and how you experience the sweet flavor of those words! It makes you desire more!

It doesn’t stop there with the pure enjoyment of those words, refreshing the soul! Pleasant words are also healing. The word for “healing” in this verse (“marpe” in Hebrew) means “health, profit” and comes from a Hebrew word (“rapha”) that encompasses not only personal ailments and distresses (both internal and external), but it also expands to include nations and even God. The words we choose and how we say them have power…They have power to heal on the deepest level, from a single person to impacting a nation! God can and will use our beautiful expressions to benefit others on His behalf!

This doesn’t mean we favor pleasant, empty words over truthful ones! We just need to be mindful of how we express truth to others...that we say things in a way that will give life and healing, not take it away.

What This Means in Our Lives

God can and will use these beautiful expressions to benefit others on His behalf!

Focusing on speaking words that please the person we’re talking with, are beautiful, and give a sense of happy satisfaction and joy can be hard! So can saying them in a tone that is heard the way we mean them! I attest to that! However, the hard work DOES pay off in the long run! These pleasant words are the cure for declining relationships and afflicted conversations. I’m seeing changes in my own heart and home. If we’re faithful with the opportunities we’re given, God will do the rest in His time. Amen!

Photo by Evelyn Semenyuk on Unsplash

“I Sing”

As I was cleaning, I found it. I wrote it three years ago, yet I teared up as I read it, again, feeling like it’s still my anthem! I remember, at the time, the stuff with my health felt weighty, and the Spirit moved me to write. There were a handful of times I’d write a song, in high school and beyond, in order to connect how I was feeling with Truth in my soul. I’m not big on “journaling,” but song writing? That was an easier way for me to process things and express my heart in a way I didn’t feel I could otherwise. I know the Spirit was leading, as it didn’t take long at all to put words to paper; they just flowed. I remember doing a couple edits, but they were few. This is the song the Spirit led me to write, and my soul sings today:

“I Sing”
I stood there and listened to voices around
Tears down my face; I could not make a sound
There once was a day when my voice filled the skies
Now, hearing my "voice" brings tears to my eyes

But I will sing
With all I have to give
My praise will ring
Through this life You gave to live
My heart lays down
Every pain that I bear
And You, my God,
You always meet me there
I will sing!

The list of afflictions just keeps getting longer
But I walk in Your strength; my soul just gets stronger
How will I now serve you?  I'm so limited
I still have a purpose in Your Word, I have read
I'm no longer able to do what I used to
But I trust You to lead me wherever You choose

And I will sing
With all I have to give
My praise will ring
Through this life You gave to live
My heart lays down
Every pain that I bear
And You, my God,
You always meet me there
I will sing!

My struggles have purpose
I grow to know You more
You reveal more of You
It's You I adore!
May my life tell Your story
Let Your faithfulness ring
No matter my path
Your name I will sing!

So, I sing
With all I have to give
My praises ring
Through this life You gave to live
My heart lays down
Every pain that I bear
And You, my God,
You always meet me here
I sing!
Oh, I sing
With the deep part of my soul
I sing
To the One Who makes me whole

~ Penned on 9.28.19
The Story Behind the First Verse

My health issues started with severe migraines. They affected my ability to work and function for a number of years before I started getting a glitch in my voice. I was eventually diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, which is a neurological disorder, and mine manifested itself in my vocal cords. It got increasingly worse until, when I was pregnant with my son, it sounded like someone was strangling my vocal cords. I could hardly talk, let alone sing. It was exhausting for me to try to push air into my vocal cords to produce more than a few words. My husband would order for me, if we went out to eat (talking over background noise was extremely taxing). I was a technical recruiter at the time, and some candidates would answer their phone; hear my voice; and unknowingly respond rudely to what they thought was a prank call. I had to explain that it wasn’t a prank; I was calling them about a particular job or the resume they’d sent me (backpedaling heard here…). When I talked to someone face-to-face, I learned to look them in the eye and keep my entire face directed at theirs, so they could read my lips. Even at that, my husband did a lot of interpreting for me; bless him!

I remember one Sunday, I was standing among the congregation in church, where I’d previously sung up front numerous times, in a variety of capacities. At that moment, nothing would come out, no matter how hard I tried. Tears began streaming down my face. I SO wanted to sing! It was then that the Spirit explained to me that I WAS! He didn’t need my words in that moment; He was listening to my heart, and it WAS singing! It was through this agony that He was teaching me more about true worship.

What does true worship mean to you?
Are you experiencing agony in your story? How is your heart responding in all of that? Is it finding joy and responding in worship?

My Health Journey Update: Enough to Shout Some “Whoo Hoos!”

It makes me stand in awe…AND drop to my knees! The change has literally been SO drastic…SO rapid! If you weren’t walking this journey with me or know my God, you might get a bit big-eyed, wondering if all of this is for real! This is no longer just “My Health Journey,” as I’ve liked to call it! I now refer to it as my “Healing Journey!!”

Just a Quick Look in the Rearview Mirror

As I mentioned in an earlier post, a change in my health trajectory started back in April (if you missed the post, click on the link below). This also includes a list of the health issues I’ve dealt with, if you’re unfamiliar with my story.

Since that post, I’ve had about a month to continue certain natural approaches to healing, and the speed of movement from one state of health to another has been mind-boggling to me and my family!

Stopping to Focus

On the Jewish calendar are two holidays, which have been celebrated over the last few weeks: 1) Rosh HaShanah, which focuses on repentance (taking a look at one’s spiritual condition, seeing what changes need to be made to live in a way that God prefers, and implementing those changes) and 2) Yom Kippur, which focuses on atonement (making amends for wrongs done) and forgiveness. In between these two holidays are ten “Days of Awe.” During this time, one reflects on what’s been going on inside his or her soul. Leviticus 23:27 and 32 instructs them to “humble their souls”/”lower yourself.” The Day of Atonement was the only time in the Old Testament that a fast was commanded…and it was more than just a food fast; they were also to fast from “drinking, bathing, using oil to moisten the skin, wearing sandals, and sexual relations.”1 Basically, they were to fully focus on their spiritual condition, not their physical one.

Just as God would have it, I’d really been reflecting on the polluted state of my physical AND spiritual body during the last few weeks (as well as God’s goodness, grace, and intent)…before I even knew about the Days of Awe! In most of the pollution “cases” I’ve been reviewing in my life, I’m seeing the same truth revealed: The remedy is to “humble” or “lower” myself.

In most posts, I, typically, dial in on spiritual conditions and remedies He’s revealing to me; however, in this post, I’m dialing in on physical ones (i.e., how our physical bodies can be recharged and invigorated, like our spiritual ones, as we humble ourselves and look deep within to see what the true issue may be, finding out what needs to change, and implementing those changes).

God Gives Us What We Need

God’s created our bodies as true masterpieces, and He’s supplied us with what we need to renew and care for these prized pieces of workmanship! Unfortunately, we seem to elevate ourselves, doing what we want, how we want, and don’t always follow the way He’s prescribed for us.

What’s been happening inside me over the last six months is NOT because of me! It’s the Creator of all that’s good providing ways for my body to begin a healing journey to full life, as He intended. He’s put things on the Earth with a purpose, just like He put you and me here with specific intent. My intent is to use my Journey to shine His light and point to Hope. He laid this on my heart to share with you all, and I’ve been inspired to share the specific things I’ve been graciously able to use. He’s given mankind such wisdom in order to see the healing benefits that He’s embedded within the things He’s created.

Here’s where I was, physically, in April and since:

PHYSICAL STATUS BEFORECURRENT PHYSICAL STATUS
In bed for weeks at a time, needing help to even just walk to the bathroom.Praise the LORD! I went a month and a half without being down at all! I’ve been down a couple times since, after really pushing my body, coupled with storms coming through, but it was only for 24-48 hours at a time before I was able to be up and at ’em, again! Being down for that short of time hasn’t happened in 25 years!
Often unable to hold a glass of water or plate of food.The LORD has given me much more strength! I’m able to lift 25+ lbs., again, without a lot of trouble on most days. I still do this with caution and for short periods of time.
Unable to grocery shop or even go into a store for more than a thing or two (on a good day).Last week, I was able to go to BOTH stores we frequent for our groceries in ONE day…BY MYSELF…and got our normal groceries (not a short list trip)! My family still helped bring in the groceries and put them away, as I had other responsibilities yet that night that I needed energy for.
Struggled to create a menu for a given week. Making a grocery list was usually my activity for the day and wore me out.For the most part, I’ve been able to create a menu fairly well the last month or so. I remember one week struggling with that and the grocery list, but I took a nap and felt refreshed and renewed when I tackled it, again, after I woke up.
Couldn’t carry a load of laundry to the laundry room. Folding laundry was exhausting. If I COULD fold a load, I, typically, did it laying or sitting down and had to ask others to put the items away. Moving a load from the washer to the dryer was a big win!Most days, I don’t think about having to do the laundry, fold, or put things away. I can, usually, stand while I take clothes off hangers and walk to put them away without much forethought. I do, from time to time, need to ask for help, carrying the load from the bedroom to the laundry room…or to put a load into the washer, but it’s rare these days.
My days were considered productive if I could get my kids to and from school/events. A lot of days, I would get chauffered, since driving was a lot for my brain. I couldn’t drive to my parents’, who live two hours away. Construction was really difficult; the number of orange cones and changing lanes messed with my vision and balance.My days are now full with “normal” people responsibilities, including managing kids’ schedules, activities, sporting events, our home, and caring for our dogs (we got a puppy a couple months ago, if you didn’t know; yeah, sleep has been in chunks, which is huge that I’m still able to function!). I drive myself everywhere, for the most part, and have driven about an hour from home, even after a long day at a tournament! Construction can still mess with me. This past weekend, I was bothered by the green plastic pieces on top of the concrete barriers, but the LORD still allowed me the ability to attend my daughter’s tournament and drive home afterward! I was exhausted and went down the next day, which didn’t surprise me.
Unable to take care of our flower beds.I started out being able to do a small 3′ D x 2′ W area at a time…or maybe trim one bush or ornamental grass. I recently was able to weed and cut down flowers in ONE AND A HALF flower beds at ONE time (I would’ve done more, but it got dark)!
Would often miss the kids’ games or events.I started being able to go to my son’s baseball games part way through the season in the Spring…some of them being double headers! I had difficulty navigating the stairs or walking back to the vehicle (typically driven by my husband or parents).
This Fall, I’ve been able to make most of my daughter’s volleyball games! I’ve also been able to traverse the school halls and bleachers without too many major issues.
Very seldom was physically at the church building. If I had a good day and was able to go, I wasn’t, usually, able to walk out of church on my own.My being AT church is more frequent, as of late. One week, I was even able to stay for Sunday School! Typically, we don’t, as I’m starting to “feel it” and wear down by the end of the service. I’m needing help, though, walking out to the car, less and less and can even sit and stand more easily (most of the time) during the service.
Wouldn’t be able to set plans well, as I never knew what kind of day I’d have.I recently made plans to meet a friend for lunch and didn’t think a thing about “if I was going to have a good day that day” or that our getting together needed to be tentative!
Typically, couldn’t stand long enough or have enough energy to make food for my family.On Friday, this week, I was able to not only make supper for our family after getting groceries, but I was also able to, then, make the snack we were supposed to bring the next morning to our daughter’s volleyball tournament!
Was on two preventative meds each day and took another one when my “monster migraines” broke through.I’m no longer on ANY medication! I’ve been totally medication free for over 5 weeks!
Unable to exercise, for the most part; if I was able, it was only a 5-minute or so segmentExercise 3-5 days/wk. Sometimes, it’s broken up into 5 minute workouts 1-3x/day; other times, I can do one 20 minute workout at once!
Had a tremor that affected my voice and hands.My voice has gotten so much stronger! I have very few “tremory” days, where it’s ultra noticeable in my voice; people ask me to repeat myself less, and my hands barely shake.

These are the products I’ve used and why:

PRODUCTPURPOSEUSEAGELINKS
Buhner’s Chronic Fatigue FormulaChronic fatigue3 capsules when needed, up to 3x/day, April-August.
Since, I only take it when I’m feeling the fatigue coming on (i.e., a few times over the last week and a half).
https://www.etsy.com/listing/674920579/buhners-chronic-fatigue-formula
EleutheroFound it helped with my migraine pain.
Is also said to promote cardiovascular, hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal, liver, and pancreas health as well as strengthen immunity (which is related to the lymphatic system).
1 tsp up to 3x/day, April-August.
Now, I only take it when I’m feeling pain coming on (6 times in almost 2 months).
https://www.reverencebotanicals.com/product/eleuthero-tincture-siberian-ginseng-eleutherococcus-senticosus/6
Fog LifterI found it helped my chronic dizziness, which, I believe, has something to do with my glymphatic system possibly being backlogged. Since the glymphatic system is the trash collection service in the brain, a backlog can cause protein waste to accumulate, which “eventually suffocates and kills the neuronal network of the brain.”2 If the glymphatic system isn’t able to circulate blood effectively nor transport cerebrospinal fluid (which helps protect mechanics and immune system functions) into the central nervous system (CNS), it makes sense to me that this could create a fluid and toxicity backup in my brain. This would stand to reason why all of my issues have been neurological and that the dizziness I’ve experienced always felt like I just got off a boat and grossly impaired my mechanics.
This brain tonic has the potential to improve blood flow in the brain, memory/cognitive function; help with inflammation (can we say “headaches” or “migraines?”), vision, and spasms; reduce cortisol levels, protecting the body from oxidative stress that causes chronic issues in the body; help produce new cells while strengthening existing ones; and protect nerve cells.
15-30 drops in water up to 3x/day, April-August.
In the last 2 months, I’ve only taken this once.
https://www.reverencebotanicals.com/product/fog-lifter-brain-tonic-rosemary-sage-ginkgo-lions-mane-tincture/7
Foundational ProtocolOpen and support drainage pathways of the lymphatic system to prepare for detoxification of parasites (which hones in on gut health and immune support), heavy metals, environmental toxins, etc., stored deep within the body.
Started this mid-August.
My liver needed extra help in Step 1 (which is why I strongly recommend having the help of a Health Coach, if possible; otherwise, I’d have had no way of knowing how to better support my body). This is why I started taking one of the Step 2 products early (in Step 1, instead) and ordered more to get me through Step 2.
My Health Coach has assisted me in gauging the right dosage of each product for my body at all times.
In Step 2, which is what I’m on right now, I’m continuing a Step 1 product to aid in efficient drainage and will throughout the rest of the Protocol.
Have half of Step 2 and all of Steps 3 and 4 yet to go!
https://www.healthybeings.com/collections/detox/products/foundational-detox-protocol-health-coach-supervised?variant=42245952569587
* Healthy Beings is the first place I found that allowed me to order the Cell Core products: 1) without a practitioner code, 2) at a bulk price for all 4 steps together, 3) AND included a health coach for additional direction.
Health CoachHelp answer questions while navigating the Foundational Protocol. I planned on the initial 60 min consultation, but my Coach has been an amazing wealth of information and has helped beyond just the Protocol!Initial 60 min video consultation; since then, we meet virtually for 30 mins every 2-4 wks60 min initial consult included in Foundational Protocol link above

I found other health coaches were swamped, not taking other clients, and charging crazy rates per month just to answer a handful of emails (with no in person/virtual connection); my Health Coach has responded to my emailed questions, in between appointments, at no additional charge
Full-Spectrum Infrared SaunaDetox, decrease inflammation, increase circulation and energy, relieve pain, sleep better, enhance immunity
(added benefits: burns calories, improves skin, helps clear the mind, relaxation!)
Started at 125 degrees for 30 mins with my head out the top of the sauna; quickly increased to 170 degrees for 15-20 mins all in, sitting on the floor of the sauna with the top flap covering the neck holehttps://therasage.com/collections/affordable-portable-saunas/products/thera360-plus-portable-sauna-white?variant=28464610902100

For more info on the differences between the Thera360 and Thera360 Plus units (AND FOR A DISCOUNT CODE!!!), check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehHIwQTKEpU

The Thera360 was recommended by my Health Coach. After much research, I landed on this sauna for its full spectrum (red light, near AND far infrared) benefits, comparative price, mobility, storage, and quality of materials/design.

Dry Brushing KitExfoliate the skin (the largest organ) as well as improve lymphatic drainage (see earlier post link for directions on how to dry brush effectively) and blood circulation.Before using the castor oil pack or sauna, approx. 3x/wkhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08V1BTDGD?psc=1&ref=ppx%5Fyo2ov%5Fdt%5Fb%5Fproduct%5Fdetails&pldnSite=1
Castor Oil PackSupport liver detox, lymphatic drainage, and colon cleansing (including constipation and bloating relief). Help balance hormones, sleep deeper, inflammation, and lower stress.Wear after dry brushing, while exercising, while in sauna…30-60 mins; have worn it once all nighthttps://www.shopqueenofthethrones.com/products/castor-oil-pack-and-500ml-oil-bundle?gclid=CjwKCAjw-rOaBhA9EiwAUkLV4sG2mP2nMEaxsAMDrxc3FJE-rPtSUDJK96gfEtX6z-jnz7eH7xLIahoC1nwQAvD_BwE
Eating ModificationsReduce inflammation caused by foods I eat.
Help hormones, cortisol levels, deeper sleep, and liver detox.
Am even more mindful of what I consume. Trying to avoid, as much as possible, some dairy, yeast, corn, gluten, unhealthy fats (seed and vegetable oils), table salt (trying to use pink Himalayan salt), artificial sugars and preservatives (i.e., ingredients that end in “-ose” and “-ol”, keeping in mind that erythritol is a sugar alcohol and is said to be ok in small amounts, if organic).
Trying to eat more root veggies (including drinking ginger and turmeric tea), stop eating 2-3 hrs. before bed, and be asleep by 10 p.m. to help my liver better naturally detox; eat food first before drinking caffeine.
QUESTIONS?

Comment at the top of this page or reply below!

COULD THIS HELP?

I’m praying the LORD will bring to mind anyone who may benefit from this! If you share any of this with someone you know who decides to try any of it for themselves, please keep me posted on how it affects them and WHY they tried it! For instance, after my parents saw the immediate results I experienced while taking Fog Lifter, they bought some to, hopefully, help with their brain fog after Covid, but it didn’t make a noticeable impact on them.

May God alone be thought well of because of anything that’s shared here! HE’S the LORD who heals (Exodus 15:26)!

I’m not getting paid for sharing any of this. I just want to, possibly, help others on their Health Journey.

None of the products listed within this post have been used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; a drug is the only thing that can legally make this kind of claim, according to the FDA. What’s been shared in this post are my thoughts, experiences, and opinions only, based on my unique situation, as I continue on this Journey God has allowed for me.

1 “How did the Israelites deny themselves in Leviticus 23:27?” Got Questions, https://www.gotquestions.org/deny-themselves.html. Accessed 17 October 2022.

2 “Scientists Discover Previously Unknown Cleansing System in Brain.” University of Rochester Medical Center, 15 August 2012, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/scientists-discover-previously-unknown-cleansing-system-in-brain.

It’s OK to Cry

When was the last time you had a good, hard cry? What was it about? Was it truly a good cry, or was there remorse or regret in it? There IS a difference in our cries–it lies in the heart behind them.

“In the days of His humanity, [Jesus] offered up both prayers and pleas with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His devout behavior. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.”

Hebrews 5:7-8 NASB

JESUS OFFERED UP BOTH PRAYERS AND PLEAS WITH LOUD CRYING AND TEARS

These verses recently stopped me in my tracks. I was fully aware of Jesus praying and pleading with the Father during His time here on earth as a human, but it’s how He prayed and pleaded in this verse that struck me differently–“with loud crying and tears!” We may remember seeing Jesus’ agony, praying and pleading in the garden, pending His death, when “His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44 NLT); but have you heard this kind of prayer? His suffering was SO heavy that it caused Him to cry loudly with a HEAVY amount of emotion!! The Greek word for this literal “outcry” helps me wrap my mind around this more; it says it was like a “boisterous shrieking, like a wounded person emitting non-human-type sounds.”1 Doesn’t it make you wonder how Peter, James, and John slept through that and didn’t hear it, being nearby?!? Jesus cried real teardrops and made loud, agonizing noises in His suffering that would turn any head; He experienced deep feeling in His senses; He was affected!

WHAT DID JESUS DO WHEN HE FELT LIKE THIS?

Based on the meanings of the Greek words in these two verses, Jesus:

  • Moved toward the Father in order to interact…to connect…with Him.
  • Brought His suffering…His personal, urgent, heart-felt needs…to the Father, knowing what He was going through was prescribed for a specific conclusion.
  • Was humble, even though He urgently asked for His suffering and anguish to pass and sought peace (refuge/safety from the danger awaiting Him). His humility was similar to presenting an olive branch, which was a sign of willingness to bring a conflict to a conclusion. Even though His humanity sought peace from His suffering, He was willing to finish what He was sent to do! An olive branch is also a sign of purity, peace, and victory. In carrying His suffering to the Father (the One Who sent Him for the purpose of fulfilling the required payment for sin), laying it down, and offering Himself willingly, Jesus was the olive branch–the pure and spotless one required for a sin sacrifice (Hebrews 7:24-27); the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), the One Who made peace between us and the Father (Colossians 1:19-20); and the victor over death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
  • Cried, yet even in His tears, there was an engaging, combative strength. Through His trusting in His Father’s commission (even though He, in His humanity, wasn’t excited about what He was about to physically go through), the Father heard His prayers and pleas and unleashed His power, enabling and empowering Christ, in His human form, to complete the assignment the Father gave Him to do…and to do so fearlessly.
  • Listened and heard the Father reiterating His mission.
  • Took hold of what was good (which is what “devout” means) out of the experiences He suffered through (whether because of demons or humans) and submitted to the Father. He focused on what was truly worthwhile and outwardly responded in obedience from there. As we know, He went on to die on the cross and complete His mission. Isn’t a huge part of being a servant (which Jesus claimed to be–Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, Luke 22:26-27, John 13:12-17) obedience?!?

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?

Christ experienced suffering! We know this, yet why do we think we’ve done something wrong, if things start to go “wrong?” If Jesus, as the Son of God, experienced suffering and heavy emotion, why would we, as children of God, think we get a free pass and shouldn’t experience suffering…the kind that makes our souls and voices shriek…ourselves? On the flip side, we also shouldn’t think that we’re not adopted children of God, because we’re in a time of suffering! When we experience suffering (that hasn’t been caused by a sinful decision), we have the opportunity to take hold of what’s good out of it, just like Jesus did. We have the unique experience that requires a response, and how we respond shows others what we feel is worthwhile (worthy of respect).

One day, in the New Jerusalem, there won’t be any of this type of crying (Yeah! This same kind of “boisterous shrieking” that Jesus felt…and we can feel on our journey here.). Let’s stay focused on why we’re here, submit, and obey. Even when it’s hard and our humanity wants the danger to go away, we have the opportunity to grab hold of something good out of it!

What is God Asking You to Obey Him in Right now?
What “Good” Are You Grabbing Hold of in What You’re Going Through?
Take a Peek at the List of Jesus’ Responses to Suffering, Again, Above. Do You Need to Respond Differently to Imitate Him in Something You’re Going Through?

1 “2906. kraugé.” Bible Hub, https://biblehub.com/greek/2906.htm. Accessed 14 September 2022.