Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Go Forth in Jesus Name...

Today I've been thinking about how God can plant you, me and anyone and use us right where we are. It doesn't matter what your circumstances, if you have an open and willing heart, He is always able to take that supple heart and use it for His glory. God can use you wherever you are at any time. You don't have to be a pastor, deacon or a lay person, you can just be a believer that loves the Lord with all your heart and soul.

As my disability has increased these past years, it's often been a tough transition to go from total freedom, being able to drive, work and go anywhere you want and do anything you want at any particular time to being confined in a scooter and reliant on other people to take care of many of your basic needs. I can be humbling to say the least. But in that humility can come many blessings if you allow them to shine through. I can remember thoughts of some of God's most humble servants being people those confined to hospital beds and prisons. Having those quiet moments with God is easier when you have to be still and have no choice. Although it can be frustrating, it can also be a tremendous blessing if you allow it to.

I'm a people person as my sweet husband has often reminds me. I do love being around people and sharing the love of Jesus. I enjoy going to church, attending bible studies and even conducting them these last few years. I love going out and having breakfast and lunch with my girlfriends, going to the movies, going to the farmers market, etc, or just out for a ride. I used to love playing scrabble when my sweet friend Michelle would come over to see me. I live a simple life.

Now that I'm on top of a mountain isolated from many people, the simple things are a little more difficult. Since I've become home bound most all the time these days, it's occurred to me that altho I'm inside most of my days, with the advancement of technology, email, Facebook, Twitter and the like, I can spend as much time as I'm capable of, letting God use me in His own perfect way. Thank you Lord for modern technology!

MS is a hard disease to live with. My wonderful husband does a great job of making sure I get out of the house a few times a week, but he's started a new job of late and he's understandably exhausted. He's doing a great job. I admire him so much. He has overwhelming responsibilities taking care of our family. I cannot imagine the load he has on his shoulders. I try to help him whenever I can, but I'm limited and I know he worries about my physical and emotional well-being. What a blessing this man has been to me. Thank you Jesus! He has been by my side every step of the way on this MS journey. And it hasn't been an easy one by any stretch of the imagination. Marriage isn't easy even under normal circumstances, but when you put a debilitating chronic disease like MS in the mix, it kicks up the everything a notch. Many marriages do not survive this disease. I'm blessed that my sweet husband has never wavered, not even for a second. 38+ years and counting!

So, I spend my days helping my husband with whatever I can, dishes, laundry, paperwork and computer work, encouragement and I try to spend my time counting my blessings instead of my troubles, for my blessings far outweigh the troubles at any given time. I post a daily devotional, maintain a online prayer group, and continue to spread the news about CCSVI, the venoplasty procedure that has helped alleviate my worst MS symptoms more than anything else. I read books,my bible, do jigsaw puzzles, play online games with friends. I often think of my sweet dearly departed friend Russell Solice, being a quadriplegic mainly confined to his bed for years. Whenever I feel sorry for myself, I think of the years he spent in his own special prison and how well he handled himself always. He was such an inspiration to so many and I miss him so.

I am blessed to be living up here on this beautiful home in the mountains of North Carolina. God has supplied our needs each day as He always has. I never thought in a million years that I would be living up here full time after owning this vacation home for 10 years. It's a miracle in itself that we were able to keep it with only one income and two homes. It's funny because we've had this home on the market many times, but it never sold. I always wondered why but knew that God had a plan that we didn't understand and trusted Him to reveal it to us. That happened when we made the decision to leave our home in Florida after living there for 23 years and give up our friends and job to take on a new adventure up here in NC. God had this house waiting for us. Although it needed a lot of TLC when we arrived, which my husband took care of the first 6 months, it was there and it was ready to be our sanctuary as we acclimated to our new full time surrounding, closer to our oldest son and his wife and our sweet granddaughter Grace, who turns 2 on Friday. Another blessing of moving to NC!

                           View from our deck in North Carolina. We are surrounded by God's Beauty!

So, I will spend much time during my days "Going Forth in Jesus Name" taking my resources, even if they are limited, to proclaim His Love and Word to a hurting world. I will let Jesus use me to fulfill His Great Commission to go forth unto all the nations, proclaiming the name of the Lord! He has chosen me to do His Work on this earth and I will not waver.  John 15:16 tell us " You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

I'm in the process of writing a book about my life and my love of Jesus. Admittedly I get confused and frustrated because of my increased cognitive challenges, but I know the Lord will lead me to finish it in His perfect time. Maybe I'll just do a compilation of my blog posts? Just thinking out loud here. God has been putting that thought on my heart of late?? Maybe I will. we'll see what the Lord has planned.

I have much to be thankful for and each day I try to remember the glass is always half full, never half empty and I thank the Lord that I look at life through those lenses.

My verse is above in red. 

My prayer for today:

Thank you Jesus. Thank you for my many blessings. Thank you for my husband, my sons, daughter in law and beautiful granddaughter. Thank you for this beautiful home we live surrounded by your Glory at each turn.

Use me Lord, use me each day to spread your love and Word to the hurting around the world.Help me Lord to be content in my circumstances, whatever they may be.

In Jesus name I pray

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Thanking,Contemplating and Waiting....

As I sit down here and write in my blog for the first time in a while, it looks like the world is once again rocked by Islamic extremism. The pace is picking up. It seems like every other week there is some new terrorist attack worldwide. It is so hard to see the suffering that these zealots cause intentionally, just because they want to end their own lives and prove a point in the name of their "Allah." Our world is falling apart right in front of us. The only comfort is in knowing that it is all pre-ordained because Scripture talks about the end times and the destruction that will occur.

2 Timothy 3: 1-5 tells us "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."

I wanted to write here in my familiar blog because I have been tremendously frustrated myself of late. But it seems in light of things happening in the world, that my frustrations should take a back seat. 

As I mentioned before in my blog writings, I started writing a book based on how God has helped me and supplied my needs through the daily challenges of living with MS. He put this dream on my heart a while ago, and I kept putting off beginning the process of writing it.

A dear friend of mine sent me a wonderful book "The Dream Seed...God's Blue Print Within You." by Clarence Dalrymple which helped jump start the process. I knew the book was definitely a God-thing, because I knew He was talking to me again, saying ......just get going Nicki, just do it. 

So, I have begun and have about 5 chapters written. But I've been having increasing cognitive challenges of late. I just can't seem to put my thoughts down in the correct order. If you've ever had cognitive problems you will know what I'm talking about. If not, it's kinda like you know what you want to say but can't seem to get the words put together correctly----at least in some kind of timely order. The task of continuing to move forward at this point seems absolutely overwhelming to me.  

Feeling a bit defeated I began reading the book my friend sent to me again and I am so glad I did because it helped me refocus and relax a bit. One of the excerpts that really helped was 

" Sometimes we get frustrated because we are trying to force things to happen according to our timetable. Sometimes we hold onto things too tightly. But when we are finally willing to let go, that's when God can bring them to pass. If you choose to release that frustration and not let it become the center of your attention, but instead use that same time and energy to thank God that He's directing your steps, then you open the door for God to give you the desires of your heart. Remember God already knows what we want and what we need. He's the One who puts those desires in us. We shouldn't be consumed by trying to make things happen. Instead a greater act of faith is to be happy where you are right now. You have to stay open and trust God, because he as a good plan in store for your future."

Another passage that spoke to me was this one . 

"If God gave you a vision, a spiritual hope or a dream for your future, there will be an appointed time when that which God spoke comes to pass. Thus, the Lord assures us " Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who read it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time. but at the end it will speak and will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it ,because it will surely come. It will not tarry. (Hab. 2:2-3)

I have written my book vision down right above my computer and will keep it there until the vision comes to pass! I will trust the Lord and his perfect timing.

Wow, I felt a big sigh of relief when I read those passages.  I will be able to finish this book when God gives me the cognitive ability to move forward. There is no shame. I don't need to push it. The only one putting a timetable on me, is ME! I can go at my own pace. The Lord will make it happen when it is supposed to happen. Not to worry, this is so very minor in the scheme of things. 

There is so much going on in the world and the prayer needs are great for so many and my family needs my continued prayers. 

We have so much to be thankful for and that is where I need my focus to be. God has been by the side of our family these past 7 months guiding our steps each and every day. We sold our Sarasota house for exactly what we wanted and the deal was cash. My husband successfully went back to Sarasota, packed up our house,storing it in pods and returned unharmed but exhausted after a two week absence. We have this beautiful North Carolina home to come to while we wait for Him and his timing as far as my husband's future career opportunities. We have the funds to be able to live here with no problem until that happens. That in itself is a God-Thing. 

When I look at all the Lord has done for us of late, that in itself is astounding. He is so faithful and true. Help me Jesus to focus on You and not on the terrible things that are happening in this world. Help me to take the focus off of my problems because I know that you are the one in charge of it all. Help my vision to come to pass in your perfect timing.

My verses for today are above in red.
My prayer for today:

Heavenly Father,

We need you! We are failing miserably as a society. There are so many that are hurting in this world. 
Give them your peace. Take the hatred out of the hearts of those who seek to harm innocent people. Open the eyes of those in our world who cannot see the truth of what is going on against our country and the world. Take the blinders off of them so they may see Your truth.

Amen and Amen 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Holy Spirit Jump Start~~ Are you up for it?

Sometimes, it takes a good friend with a nudge from the Holy Spirit to get your juices flowing again! When God talks, are you willing to listen?

Almost a month ago, our family moved out of the state of Florida after living there since 1982. We took a leap of faith, left our past life behind, heading for something new and different. It was my husband's idea and I have to admit at first I thought he had lost it. But, after we talked and he told me that God has spoken clearly to him, telling him to let go and let Him have the controls, I was all for it. I have to admit, it was a scary prospect at first. Quitting his lucrative job and "Flying Away" as he called it (he hasn't had an income in 3 1/2 months, and we are still carrying both mortgages (our home in Sarasota is still for sale) about a leap of faith!

But after we talked and prayed about it, I knew he was the right, of course. He was giving it all to the Lord and letting Him take the lead.  He was living by Psalm 25:4 "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths." My hubby does have the opportunity of a new job in the Kentucky area which we are hoping pans out later this year. But if it doesn't, he's happy to find something right here in North Carolina. We're just waiting on the Lord and His perfect timing for everything knowing that the Lord will take care of us in the interim, as He always does. Bowling Green, KY or Waynesville, NC, Jesus is going to be the one to determine what happens next.Thankfully, we are at peace with that~~ Thank you Lord for that peace which surpasses all human understanding.

So, off we went, moving ourselves, our two dogs and our younger son (who wanted a fresh start) to our mountain home. I always wondered why our vacation home in North Carolina never sold when we put it up for sale, I know why now. God's plan all along was for us to come up here to begin anew. Closer to God, closer to our younger son, his wife and our sweet granddaughter Grace, and closer to my family in Tennessee. The whole clan lives in the Nashville area which is only 5 hours away. Honestly, in all my wildest dreams I never thought we would move out of the state of Florida. That in itself is totally a God-Thing.

So, that is my hubby's part of the Holy Spirit Jump Start. Now for mine.

Over the course of my life, I've numerous people tell me that I should write a book, telling people how I've handled the challenges of my life especially during the time of my diagnosis with MS, with Jesus by my side. I do have a blog, and I also have an online Facebook prayer group, plus I love to post inspirational Jesus Quotes and verses on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I've always felt the nudge of God to share myself to others and always thought that was enough.

Then, feeling God pressing me on, a few years ago I began writing a book. I had about 5 chapters under my belt, but stupidly did not back it up on my tablet. It crashed a year ago and I lost everything. I thought God was telling me that was it, give it up, you aren't cognitively up for writing a book. Having MS, I do admit to sometimes having severe cognitive problems. Some days are good, some days are bad, but still it nagged at me to begin writing again, but didn't know where or when to start.

About 3 days ago, I got a book from a sweet Facebook friend of mine, Denise Manley Derick. We've grown close over these last 6 years through our love of the Lord and our common interest in CCSVI, the venoplasty procedure for those suffering with MS, that changed both of our lives.

The book, "The Dream Seed, God's Blueprint Within You"

changed everything for me in about 4 chapters or about a hour's worth of reading! This wonderful and meaningful book is about finding your true purpose in life and going after it so you can glorify God. Honestly, it was like a punch in the stomach. I knew immediately it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me, telling me to get going, quit making excuses and move forward with my book. No more excuses Nicki!

I felt exhilarated pretty much instantly. I also felt thankful that my sweet friend sent me the book. When I asked her about it, she said she wasn't sure why the Holy Spirit told her to do it, but she obeyed and was so happy to realize the reason was because God wanted me to get back on track. God used her to speak to me. She asked me to share my story with the author. Pastor Clarence on Facebook which I was so happy to do: I love to share God stories whenever I can.

You never know how God is going to work or who He is going to use to touch your spirit. Just be aware that angels are all around us, and the Lord can use them anyway He wants. Be aware of His Spirit. It is all around us, we just need to slow down long enough to listen to Him.

My verse is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Thank you Jesus! Thank you for using Denise to touch my soul. Thank you for her willingness to listen to Your Holy Spirit and move when you wanted her to!

Help me Lord, Help me to seek you to give me the strength to work on my book to completion. Help me to have the cognitive abilities I need to finish the task. I know you will be with me in all I do Lord and I will do everything to Your Glory! 

Amen and Amen

Monday, February 15, 2016

Time for a Leap of Faith...

Have you ever done it?I know you've heard the term "Leap of Faith, but have you ever gone out on a limb yourself, uncertain of what the future holds? Thrown caution to the wind, stepped off a ledge as they say, unsure of what lies beneath?Made a move that was totally unexpected and unplanned? Do you have enough Faith in the One that holds the future to make that leap?

Our family is preparing for the "Leap" of the Century. After 23 years living in the same house, and 34 years living in the same city and state (Sarasota, Florida), we are leaving the past behind and moving to a totally new area of the country (Kentucky). We are leaving the very familiar for the totally unfamiliar. We are uprooting ourselves and our dogs and our youngest son (who decided to join in the adventure) and leaving the consequences to the good Lord. Why would we do this at this stage in our life?

Well, the answer to that one is SO easy. Because God said so. After much discussion and prayer, my husband and I clearly heard the voice of God say "GO." He said, 'let go of the familiar and easy, Trust Me and I will make a way where there seems to be no way. My promises are sure and true. I will pour out blessings that you can't contain, but you must trust My way and NOT your way.'

So we are listening to His Voice. When we put our faith in Jesus, and give Him our everything, including our tithes, our time, and our attention, Malachi 3:10 tells us "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it."

The Lord opening the floodgates of heaven and pouring out His blessings that we cannot contain sounds pretty darn great to us. So, we are totally trusting. We are standing on the Promises of God. He is Faithful and we know we can totally trust him  Deuteronomy 7:9 reminds us "He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. "

We are leaving everything behind and beginning a totally new adventure. It's totally a God-Thing as I like to call them. We'll be much closer to my family ( a few hours away) and also closer to our oldest son and his wife and our sweet granddaughter Grace (5 hr drive vs, 12 hr. drive).....Just a weekend away! 

The big bonus is my husband will be working with a man he totally trusts because he has known this man who is hiring him for 30 years and worked with him in Florida for 10. And the company is owned by two preachers!! Now if that isn't ordained by God I don't know what is. It truly is a miracle because he hasn't worked for people he's really trusted for over 20 years. And another big plus is the weather will be a more temperate climate, not the exhaustive heat of Florida. That in itself will be a huge positive change for my MS and living with the daily debilitating symptoms. 

So the work has begun. My hubby has been working on our house feverishly for a month, accomplishing all those honey do list items jammed together at one time. Our house looks gorgeous and finally went on the market last Wednesday. We've joked that we should have done everything years ago so we could enjoy the fruits of our labor, but it's done and it's ready. We've had three showings already and an open house next Sunday. My husband is in Kentucky as I write this to try and locate a house on the other end for us to move into. We are trusting God for His perfect timing to bring everything together just the way He wants. We are believing Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” 

It's a little scary, but very exciting, and there is so much hope about what can be in the years to come. The new memories we will make being closer to our family and the new friends we will make as we settle into a new community. I am believing that God will open the doors wide for our family to flourish in this new environment. I am trusting that He will work out all the details, our job is to trust and obey.

I would ask that you pray for our family dear friends, asking the Lord to keep his protective wing over us in the next few months.

Thank you Lord for your provision, thank you Lord for your direction, thank you Lord for your protection.

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father:

Thank you Lord for this new opportunity that is available to our family. Thank you for opening our eyes and ears to listen to your voice. We are trusting and believing Lord that you are in charge of this entire operation. We know that our lives are in your hands and we will put aside any worry or discouragement or concern we may feel. We won't listen to the chatter of the world. We will listen to your still small voice calling in the desert.

I pray for all of this

Amen and Amen