Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

help??

It's a beautiful Saturday today! The sun is shining bright and I was up and out the door at 8 am with my little Mollie, going for our morning walk. I wanted to get out before it was too hot, because as soon as the sun is up in the sky, look out...down here in FL in doesn't take long to heat up.

I started this blog this morning, fully intending to get back to it. I'm tired and I have a terrible headache now, please Lord help me get thru this - I think I've done too much for a "day after" the shot, sometimes I do that - the day starts out great and I want to do too much.... I could kick myself sometimes- Oh well... the day started out so great too, but now I am exhausted and can't think too well.

Pls. pray for me, blog friends. Having a hard time reading too, probably having some optic stuff going on, it started a bit yesterday - thought it was the interferon, and is alittle worse today - gotta keep an eye on this....anyway, I can't post a bible verse cause I can't see one right now think I need one of those large print bibles :(

Would somebody kindly find a good one and send it to me? God Bless you friends..

Nicki

Friday, April 23, 2010

Can you see God in the tough times?

Today is a down day from my interferon shot last night. I'm beginning to come around now and am up vertical, instead of horizontal - so I wanted to blog, especially about the Walk to Emmaus. It's a 72 hr. spiritual walk, based on Luke 24:13-30. I am praying about the walk and the pilgrims from my church that went this weekend. I am praying that I will be able to go sometime soon and that my husband will also agree to go. I think it would be a wonderful weekend. We would go separately, but the experience I know we would share for the rest of our lives together. My friend Cindy has been encouraging me, and this morning called me with a special burden on her heart about the retreat. We are praying together that God will work out all the details for the trip in the fall. If you know that scripture concerning Emmaus, you know that Jesus appeared to two disciples, but they were so preoccupied with the events of the last days, Jesus trial, crucifiction and the empty tomb, that they could not see him as their risen Lord as they walked along. It wasn't until the end of their time together when sat down and broke bread with them, that their eyes were opened and they saw the risen Lord sitting right there with them.

We have that "Footprints" poem hanging in our house - I'm sure you've seen it or might have one hanging in your home. It's the one where you are walking along on the beach with the Lord and then all the sudden there are only one set of footprints because the Lord is carrying you through the tough times and there's only one set of footprints instead of two.

I often think about how all of us can go through the tough times in life and not see Jesus carrying us, just like the poem says. But He does. He's right there with us, in good times and bad. We all have bad times, it's part of life. Our family, kids, jobs or lack of them, sickness, parents, and the burdens of them getting older, grand kids, pressures of mortgages, car payments, putting food on the table, running here, there and everywhere trying to keep up with everything and everyone. It can overtake you on any given day if you let it, but please try to remember that in all the madness... God is there right along side you. Can you see him? Pls. tell me how you can see him. I sure can and have many times in my life. Have a blessed weekend, friends.

Today's verse is from Matthew 28:20 ..."And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age."
My prayer for today:

Dearest Lord:

Help me to see you in every situation. Help me to slow down and be still, even if only for a few minutes each day. Your scripture says Draw Near to God and He will draw near to you. Help me to do that each day Lord, pull at my heart to know you, to find you in all things. You are everywhere on this earth, in a new baby's cry, the fresh dew in the morning, a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Open my eyes to see you each day and be thankful.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen

Thursday, April 22, 2010

worry or pray?

I'm thinking a lot about worrying today. A friend of mine is worried about her daughter and the situation she is currently in. It's so hard not to worry. It sounds easy to say-- Don't worry, God's in charge" - but I think everyone knows it's just not that easy, at least I know it was never that easy for me.

I think we all worry about our loved ones, our spouses and kids, our Moms and Dads, our brothers and sisters, our friends and co-workers, and the list can go on and on. I know I could easily get up every morning and do nothing but worry, but where would that get me? Would it change anything at all? I don't believe it changes a thing, because I believe God wants us to give ALL of our worries to him, every little one, big or small. I have done alot of worrying over the years about all of the above, but it really didn't help, at least I don't think it did.

Does it mean I don't care if I don't worry? I used to worry all the time before I got sick. A lot of things in life bothered me before I got sick. One of the things that God has taught me through this illness, one thing that is clear to me, is that my life and all of our lives belong to the Creator of the Universe. He knows what's gonna happen, how everything fits together, not us, so why worry? Is that going to change anything? I believe the answer to that is NO, NO, NO!

I believe in prayer and the power of prayer. I have seen prayer work again and again in my life and in the lives of my friends and loved ones. As I continue on this journey of blogging, I will, little by little, talk about has God has changed my life and how I continue to see Him answer prayers everyday.

I have two verses that have helped me today as I've thought about worrying:

Matthew 6:28-34

"And why do you worry about your clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do no labor or spin. Yet I tell you not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in the fire, will he not much more clothe you,
o you of little faith?

So, do no worry, saying, what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them, But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."

My prayer for today:

Heavenly Father, help me not to worry, help me to put all of my faith and trust in you. I pray that you will protect this young woman and give her wisdom in her decisions, Please put the people in her path to help her through this difficult time she's going through. I pray for her Mom, Dad and whole family. Lord, be with them and give them the strength to rally around her and with each other. I pray for my family: my beloved and devoted husband and my children. They are at such a critical time in their lives. Help them to find the right path. Help them to turn away from the world, and back to you. I pray for everyone in my life today. Bless them Lord.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen




Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I see God moving,,,slowly, but surely

A beautiful day today and I have so much to be thankful for. The Bible tell us to be thankful in all things, not always easy, but that's something to shoot for each morning. Many scriptures lead us to be thankful, and thankful I am. Our youngest has been struggling for many years with some issues, and I am grateful for the things that are happening in his life. The very first thing is accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior a few weeks ago, and now it looks like because of some recent incidents that have occurred, he is finally willing to open up about some things and get the help he needs. Needless to say, both his Dad and I are glowing and so thankful to the Lord. Be with him Lord, continue to open his heart to you and the people who love him most.
It's hard raising kids these days. I'm sure if you have any, you know what I'm talking about. They are growing up in a very different world than the one we grew up in.

It hasn't been easy for my kids or on my husband with me being sick. Even after my diagnosis 12 years ago, I thought I could "beat"MS, it couldn't get me down or slow me down. Boy was I wrong about that one. One thing God has taught me through all this is to slow down. I had to, I had no choice. With MS, the fatigue comes on you, it's like something you've never felt, it's not a " boy I'm alittle tired today, it's like "if I don't lay down for a while I'm going to fall over on the floor, right now." One thing I've learned is to slow down and be still, slow down and seek His wisdom in all things. I have had a tremendous amount of guilt about being sick, but have come to peace with the fact that it isn't my fault. I did nothing to get this disease. When I was diagnosed in 1998, I was running a very successful international art publishing company, starting up a new Christian Division of the company. I was an active Mom and wife, always busy, going places, doing things, having fun, and basically having the time of my life with my husband, my family and my job. My boys were 13 and 8 at the time of my dx. Going away on vacations and weekends with my husband, going to my kids basketball, baseball and footballs games, cooking dinners, going for walks and to the YMCA. basically anything I wanted to when I wanted to do it. All the things that many families do everyday and don't think a thing about it.

Slowly, everything has been taking away from me piece by piece I have a totally new life now, but that's ok. Ok, because thankfully my children are grown now, ok because now that I'm older I can see what's really important in life. If anyone had told me 15 years ago, that I would have this kind of life now, I would have told them "you're crazy." But that's how life is. Sometimes you get thrown curve balls, and you can either catch em and move on or you can fall apart, be bitter and play the poor little me routine. Well, NOT ME, NOT EVER. I really think that I have this disease for a reason, and I am hoping that I can be a witness for Him, so I can show everyone that you can be happy, even in the midst of pain. And I am grateful that God has given me the strength to see the good in life, to be thankful for what I have, a very loving and devoted husband and father to my sons and two very wonderful, caring sons. It could be a LOT worse. I have tremendous friends and family who are a great source of strength for me. They help me so much in many ways they don't even know and I will be grateful till my last breath.

So I ask you today, my blog readers, what do you have to be thankful for today? Are you looking at the glass as half empty or half full each day? We all have things to deal with during our time on earth. My cross is MS, yours might be quite different, but we all have something we have to bear in this life. Talk to me, please. Email me, comment back, tell me about your life. I pray you will join my journey and tell me what's happening in your own life and how you can see the Hand of God move in the circumstances around you. He is there, believe me, you just have to look for Him. Have a blessed evening everyone :)

Today's Scripture is from Philippians 4:4

"Rejoice in the Lord, always, I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you heart and your minds in Christ Jesus."

My prayer for today:

I am thankful Lord. Thankful for the many blessings you give each day. Thankful that you open my eyes each morning with a glad heart. Help me Lord to be a beacon of your love in this life. Give me the strength each day to use my gifts to glorify you. Thank you for this blog and the people that are engaging each day. Open the hearts of more people to seek your face.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thanks and prayers needed for the kids

Well, thank you to everyone for your concern and prayers! God was listening, because I did feel a bit better this morning, and then my Physical Therapist showed up and worked with me for an hour and YIKES - now I'm exhausted, but that's ok, because it's all good! Part of the process when you have MS, you have to do it to keep up what strength you have, because MS keeps pulling you down, down, down. DJ is great and has been coming to my house for about a month now and I can tell it's helping, little by little. She's a very pleasant ad knowledgeable woman with an adorable little girl that she brings with her sometimes, and that is always a treat. I've had PT about a 15-20 or times in different places by different therapists since my diagnosis, and it is always so hard, but it's always helpful. It's great that since I can't drive anymore, I have a therapist who will come and bring her equipment with her and help me at the house. What a blessing that is! It's a God Thing as I like to say :)

Last night, they held a outside bonfire memorial for our son J's friend who passed away from the shooting last week. I was praying and praying that the Lord would touch the hearts of those kids, and again today at the funeral. So hard for him to see his young friends lose their lives, this is the 3rd one for him, and our older son B has lost 5 of his friends, and he's only 25. It's so hard for all of us and especially young people to see God when something tragic like this happens, but it's all part of the puzzle of life. We don't know how all the pieces fit together, we don't know why some die young and some of us live long lives, but He does, and He knows and feels the pain of these young people. He grieves right along their side. Help them to feel His presence, right here and right now. Lead these young people to you Lord, for you are the only way. You are knocking on the doors of their hearts Lord, help them to open....

Verse for today is from Matthew 7:7-8

Jesus said "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

My prayer for today:

Lord, I know you are there. You are knocking at the doors of these young people in the midst of this tragedy, at this moment in time. Open their hearts, open their minds, open their souls, to see and receive you.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Monday, what can I say?

I really didn't want to blog because I feel pretty lousy today, MS wise. My head is pounding, my neuropathy is at a high level in my entire body, my legs feel like lead, and I can definitely tell that the summer heat season has begun in FL and it's not even May - Yikes! HELP LORD - SOS

I'm sure most of you will say, but you have air-conditioning Nick, you shouldn't be bothered by the heat. Yes, we have a very good one and keep it on a low setting, but unfortunately, I have a very heat sensitive case of MS. Most of us MS'ers are somewhat affected, then there are people like me, whose body goes into shutdown. Just the door being opened the closed a few times will do the trick. I will soon be spending mass amounts of time in my pool, which brings me some relief, kind of :( But believe me, I am thankful that I have a pool to go into.

MS is a very strange disease and very hard to pin down and figure out. I do get some relief when I am in cooler temperatures and when the humidity is low, hence our mountain home in NC, but I can't spend months and months away from my husband, and unfortunately, with the current economy, we are not in a position to retire (who is?), so here in lies my dilemna.

Last year I was away from home for almost 4 months with him coming up to see me or me going home, back and forth, but it's just too much. I can't stay by myself anymore because of my health, so I had to arrange for people to come up and be with me in NC. It was great to see everyone and they all seemed to enjoy some time in the cool Carolina Mountains and I had a lot of fun, but I just missed him too much and visa versa. We've been together for 31 years, can't live too long without that man if I don't have too.

So - here's the prob - I stay here and suffer and be with my loving husband and best friend, or I go away and feel half way decent with my symptoms under control somewhat and spend the whole time missing him. I know that the Lord would want me to be with my husband, that is very clear in my mind, but God, why can't you give me a cure for this stinking disease so I can live my life like normal people do? I miss going out, driving, shopping, working, going to events, having friends over, being able to host family events, cooking (still not very good at it) baking, going for a leisurely walk with the hubs. (I now go in my scooter and he walks and I am thankful for the scooter, given to me by a friend at church) But I want to WALK~~

I'm sure it all seems so simple to those of you without MS, but believe me, it isn't for any of us with this disease. OK - I'm done bitchin' for today. I really don't have many days when I am like this (promise), but some days you just have to let it out, know what I mean? And then, I remember Jesus and his suffering, and He did it of his own volition - boy do I feel selfish. He took it on for us, for you and me. That still just blows me away.

There is some exciting new research in the MS field that is very controversial and exciting, and could blow the lid off of every MS concept to date. I have posted a few things on my FaceBook page and on my Team Spirit Walker page and I will blog more about that as the research progresses. It is definitely something to be pumped about!

Meantime, my friend Martha sent me a verse after reading my blog yesterday which helped me remember why I am here and remember what God did for me:

"For God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" John 3:16

As I ponder this verse, I was moved to look up another that I lean on a lot and I am making this my verse for today. 1 Peter 4:12

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his Glory is revealed."

My prayer for today:

Lord, give me strength. I am hurting today. I am in pain, but I know it is nothing compared to what you suffered for me. You want me to rejoice, but I am having a hard time doing that. Help me to put my pain in perspective, give me Your peace and assurance. I know that You ARE going to cure me of this disease, in Your time, meanwhile I will stay the course, believing in you and your miracles. Thank you Lord for this day and everyday you give.

I Jesus Name I pray,
Amen

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Case for Christ

We had a wonderful joyous church service this morning - it was an inspiring sermon and worship time. When I am at church, I feel so good, so filled, so right. The Holy Spirit was tugging at me and I was crying during part of the music, sometimes He does that to me, and the tears just come. I used to be embarrassed by that, but as I've gotten older, I just let the Spirit lead me, and don't worry.

2 weeks post Easter our Pastor was reminding us how amazed and in awe Mary Magdalene must have felt all those years ago when she went to the tomb and saw it empty! She went to tell the disciples and they didn't believe at first. Then he challenged us about whether we would have really have believed ourselves, even tho we were right there living through that moment in history. Even now, 2,000 years later so many still don't believe.

Pastor talked about the author, journalist and Yale Graduate Lee Strobel and his own journey of faith. Inspired by his wife's faith and the change in her life, he began investigating the "The Case for Christ" and whether he actually existed on this earth. I have read many of Strobel's books, and as a believer I can say that I think that Strobel does indeed make the case, but do you? After his thorough investigation, and totally convinced that Jesus did indeed live and die on that Cross, Strobel got down on his knees and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Pastor also talked about Columbine martyr Cassie Bernall. When the 2 gunman where making their way through the school, murdering kids, room by room, they were asking people if they believed in Jesus. Cassie said yes and they shot her dead. Are you willing to die for your faith the pastor asked us? Would you be willing to say "Yes, I believe in God. Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ." It's easy to say yes in theory, but in reality, would you really be willing to risk your life for your faith? I say yes because I really have no life without Him. I have learned to lean on Him for everything. He has NEVER let me down and I believe He never will. That's another story for another day's blog. But I ask you friends, would you be willing to risk your very existence to say "YES", Yes I believe in God, Yes, I believe in Jesus??

As I see all the tragedy in the world in which we live, the ONLY thing that makes sense to me is JESUS! What is worth hanging on to during this short time on earth? Your health can fail (believe me, I know) your beauty is only momentary at best, your worldly possessions come and go, your friends and loved ones move, change, or pass away. We are all here a very short time. Nothing can bring you total contentment but Jesus. What do you rely on in this crazy world?

My verse today is from the Gospel of John: 20:28-29

Thomas said to Jesus: "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him,"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

My prayer:

I do believe in you, Lord. Use me during my time on this earth, to be your hands and your feet. Increase my faith each day. Use me to loudly and boldly proclaim Your good news to everyone I meet. Be with those who are hurting, be with those who are doubting, be with those who are grieving, open their eyes.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen