Saturday, May 22, 2010

Safe in my Shepherd's Arms :)

What makes you feel safe and secure?

Is it money in the bank, or a successful career? How about a solid and happy marriage with the one you love or a nice new car to drive around in? Does coming home to a gorgeous house in a safe neighborhood make you feel safe? Or big dogs that are trained to protect you and your family? Maybe's it's tucking in your children at night, or spending a relaxing evening at home with family and friends. Or maybe it's feeling good and secure about yourself. You are healthy and happy, and you are living each day of your life the best you know how. Everything is status quo, and life is good, right?

But what happens when something tragic happens in your life? Where do you get your security at that point? Will your bank account, or successful career help you if you are diagnosed with a serious illness? Will your big house with all your beautiful furnishings give you peace in the midst of a deep valley in your life? What will you do, God forbid, if something happens to one of your children? I think that is a parent's worst nightmare, and I know from being a Mom that some of my toughest moments in life have come in my parenting years. What happens if your marriage suddenly falls apart? Where will you go, what will you do?

During the rough patches in my life, I turn to the Lord. When I am broken, and hopeless, I know only He can give security and peace. When I feel there is no way out, Jesus knows the way. His footprints are walking right along side me, and even carrying me, all the way. There are always down times in life, right? Our lives are like a roller coaster, up and down, peaks and valleys. Nobody can fly high all the time, and I believe that God doesn't want us to. When we need Him most is when I realize we can't do it on our own. He is patiently waiting on the side lines just watching us and hoping we reach out to Him, especially in our times of need.

I have been a follower of Jesus for many years. The great thing about my ongoing relationship with Him is I don't have to wait to enjoy the safety and security that He brings everyday.

Living with MS is not for the faint of heart. It is not an easy road. If anyone had told me 10 years ago, that MS would taken me where it has, I would have never have believed them. There are good days and bad, but as the disease progresses, the good days are fewer and farther apart.

So each morning, I put my trust and my hope in my Creator. He meets me where I am. He knows my needs. Through meditation and prayer daily, I am lifted up above my physically disabilities, looking to see what I can do for Him each day. I am outside of myself, hoping to bring Glory to Him. Some days it's not easy at all, but I still try and I am thankful for each breath He gives.

I am safe and secure in my Savior's Arms. I have been reading the 23rd Psalm today about the Lord being my Sheperd. Jesus really is my Sheperd, and He gives me abundant peace. and that peace is available to all who humbly come to Him. I pray you can find that peace soon.

My verse for today is from Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest."

My prayer today:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this blessed time I am having in Your beautiful mountains. I feel so refreshed and renewed up here and even closer to You. Thank you for my dear friend Michelle, who agreed to come up here to stay with me. Thank you for opening her heart to do that. I pray for everyone that may be carrying heavy burdens today. You know what their problems are, and I pray that you will meet them where they are, right now, and comfort them and give them peace.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Talk about a God thing.....:)

Did you have something happen in your life where you go...Oh boy, I know that God was riding shotgun with me on that one! It may have been something big, or it may be something small.

I am in North Carolina now for almost a month. Me and my dear friend Michelle, are spending the next few weeks alone up at our mountain home so I can get out of the intense Florida heat, which is gaining strength each day.

My devoted hubby accompanied us on the drive up and he flew home yesterday. He's still a bit concerned about leaving us up here alone, because, you see, Michelle also has MS. She still drives though, and we like to kid each other and say that between the two of us we physically and mentally equal one able bodied, healthy person! We're were both up for and excited about this trip. Michelle needed a break from some of the things that are going on in her life and I'm ready to get out of the Florida heat, no matter what time. Just point me in the direction of the cool weather and I'm down for the adventure.

Yesterday, what I have been calling "Nicki and Michelle's excellent adventure" took an interesting turn :) Our house is on top of a mountain, outside of Waynesville, in western North Carolina. I've posted a few pictures here and there from our trip, you may have seen them on Facebook.

My husband had been giving Michelle lessons on how to drive the gravely unpaved road up to our house. This was her third trip. We had gone out for an afternoon excursion into Canton. I took some pictures, we stopped to get some keyes made for the house and were our way back home. Michelle was doing very well and feeling more confident as she drove back up the mountain, when she got to the last switchback (a sharp turn in the road) before you get to our driveway....and then.....she just panicked alittle and lost momentum, next thing we knew we were spinning our tires. She put the car brakes on, put the car into reverse and started to back down and Steve said "Stop, I'll drive from here. Here got in the car and tried to back down himself and couldn't. We were almost off the mountain completely! Yikes!! There was a large rock which stopped from tipping over. :) He got out of the car, and then carefully, Michelle and I went to the other side of the car, and he pulled us out. Imagine, if you can, two handicap ladies climbing the last steep incline up to our driveway with our walkers. If I could have I would have taken pictures, because in a lot of ways it was hilarious, but it was also very scary. We got up to the driveway, sat down in our walkers, and called AAA.

Steve went back down the mountain to wait for them to arrive, and Michelle and I sat there, recuperating from our mountain climbing. As we talked, we were both very aware of the presence of God through this event.

....Definitely a God thing, that this occured yesterday when Steve was here and not today or tomorrow after he was gone.

....Definitely a God thing, that that rock was there to save us from completely tipping over.

....Definitely a God thing, that the weather was perfect (it had begun raining, but stopped).

....Definitely a God thing, that we both had enough energy to climb that last leg of the mountain. On any other given day, either one of us might not have had enough left in our tank to climb up a mountain incline.

Yes, indeed. The Lord was all over this little incident. It has His footprints. He was helping us climb that hill. He stopped our car from tipping over, He made sure this little lesson happened yesterday with my hubby present and not today!

After half an hour, the tow truck came and retrieved the car (the tow drive had a very difficult time getting this one back and he worked on it for another 45 minutes). Michelle and Steve headed back down that mountain and Michelle drove back up another 3 times, with Steve coaching her all the way! What a trooper that girl is. I was so impressed with her courage. She was determined NOT to let that mountain get the best of her. I know she will be fine now, because she seemed much more comfortable about it.

I know that Jesus was with us yesterday. I know, that He knew Michelle needed a little more experience and maybe even alittle bit of a scare, which we all three got!

Before you get crazy and wonder why on earth my hubby would let us stay up here alone, know that at least 4 of my friends have gotten stuck on the way up to our house. It's all about learning to drive the road with all it's twists and turns. Michelle is used to Florida driving, which is very different from mountain driving! She found that out yesterday....

So, life goes on and the two MS'ers already have two little adventures planned for this week! This little bump in our road is not gonna stop us. Both of us are pretty determined ladies, I think you have to be when you live with this disease. You get knocked down, but just get right back up! YEAH Michelle, I am so proud of you!

We decided we won't be doing any night activities, she's feeling more confident, but taking the mountain climb in the dark is a whole different story-- we won't get that crazy, are you listening Ellen? The good news is if we get completely in a jam, my oldest son lives about 25 minutes from here, so that is a great comfort to both of us. Nicki and Michelle's excellent adventure starts back up tomorrow, with new memories to be made as we explore Waynesville and have fun enjoying life. Thanks be to God for His protection!

My verse for today is from Psalm 91:14

"Because he loves me, I will rescue him." I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name."

My prayer for today:

Thank you Jesus! Thank you for protecting me, Steve and Michelle yesterday. Thank you for reaching out to us and keeping us safely in your arms. We could feel your angels around us yesterday Lord, and we are so grateful. Continue to protect me and Michelle during our stay up here. Thank you for my husband and children and all the many blessings you give each day.

In Jesus Name I pray,