Happy Wednesday, Friends! The sun is shining most days here and the temperatures are warming up. My garden is beginning to show signs of life again and my chickens are anxious each morning to get outside and face the day. . . and so am I!
While our world is still in chaos and what the future holds remains unclear, I am finding myself standing taller and smiling more often. Seasons come and season go, but our Lord never changes! I hope that you also are planting your feet on the solid Rock and finding your heart beating at a steadier pace, knowing that Our God Reigns!
As I prayed about what the Lord would have me write about today, I realized that our days are changing even as we continue to "stay at home" and so it seemed like time to share a little about what our days look like right now. I wanted to tell you specifically about how our family is ministering during this time at home and what our homeschool looks like. . .
However, this morning the Lord impressed on my heart to share a little more about my health.
It felt like a strange direction to go right now, especially while I'm feeling so springy and sunshiny. :) But as I tried to write around that idea, the Lord kept bringing me back.
So I guess, He wants me to go here first.
I haven't talked much about my health on this blog, mostly because I have other things I want to write about and more important things for you to read about!
I want to always point you to Jesus. . .
and I want to point myself to Him as well!
So while I know that God cares tremendously about me and the struggles I face, I don't want those to be my focus or yours!
The other primary reason I haven't written much about my health is because it feels very overwhelming to think about what to write. I've been dealing with difficulties with my health for several years now and none of what I've faced or discovered has been clear-cut. There is so much. . . it's exhausting just to think back over it all.
However, to completely leave out my struggle would be dishonest and would certainly leave some with questions about why our family does some of what we do, especially as it pertains to ministry. So in an effort to help you understand our family a little better and to get to know me a little better, here goes. . .
Several years ago (while we were still traveling full-time), I began to experience a variety of challenging symptoms. For the next few years, my health was up and down. We worked as a family to find ways to manage and minimize my symptoms and I felt much better most of the time. Then in the fall of 2017, I got very, very ill. Although after a few months I recovered from that specific issue, it seemed to set off a domino effect and my health took a serious downturn. Since that time, I have had some periods of feeling almost normal and I have had many times when I can barely function.
(On a side note, I have CONSISTENTLY been blown away by the amazing care, compassion, and patience that Josh and the boys have shown me! This has NOT been easy on them. Their burdens have often been heavy and they've at times made significant sacrifices for me, but they have never complained and always been gracious and kind!)
Finally, after a particularly difficult couple of months last fall, I had several new tests run to check for a number of more serious conditions and God was incredibly merciful to leave me with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia instead of what could have been much worse.
Whether Fibromyalgia is the complete explanation for my symptoms is a little uncertain, but one thing is sure - when looking at a list of the many symptoms that can be experienced by those suffering from this condition, I certainly fit the bill.
I am tremendously grateful for this diagnosis! It brought clarity to years of confusion and I am now on medication that has provided significant relief to many of my symptoms.
God is so good!
That brings us to today.
As of now, my symptoms are very manageable. I am discovering some of the things that trigger a flare-up and am able to make choices that minimize them. I am regularly sleeping well for the first time in years and am able to care for my family and do many of the things I would like to. Some days are better than others, but I am learning to accept the hard days, to accept my limits as allowed by my Good and Sovereign Savior, and to slow down, do less, and remember that every day is not so hard!
Over and over again, God has shown Himself faithful to me! He does not always remove our trials, but He ALWAYS leads us through them (if we're willing to follow, of course.) I'm so thankful we don't have to walk through the hard things alone!
Now for those of you who are reading this while facing sickness, pain, or loss that I cannot fathom, those of you who would do anything to trade your pain for a diagnosis like mine:
Please know my heart is sincere when I say that I am so sorry you are hurting! I'm sorry for the questions you have, the confusion or the disappointment. Know also, that the moment I finish typing this, I will pray for you, whoever you are. I will pray that God would reveal Himself to you. I will pray that you know that you are not alone. And I will pray that you lean into the Savior, that you trust Him to carry you when you are too weak to go on.
You may not feel like it right now, (and that's okay because that doesn't change the truth that) God loves you so very, very much! He wants to lead you through your pain! Hang onto Him, don't let go!
Well, this is not where I thought this post would go, but I am trusting that the Lord had a purpose. Maybe next week I'll update you a bit on ministry and homeschooling.
Now, I'm going to take a walk in the sunshine and thank our Creator for springtime.
Blessings to you, Friend!
Still Learning to Follow ~ Sarah
I love you, LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock,
my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock where I seek refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation,
I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I was saved from my enemies.
rock ~ "...something like a rock in firmness:
foundation, support, refuge..."
fortress ~ "...a large and permanent fortification..."
stronghold ~ "...a place of security or survival"
Here we are, weeks into this new existence. Tired of our new ways of life, restless and impatient, fighting back overwhelm at the thought of what may still be to come.
Hearing about the lives lost and those fighting illness is heartbreaking! And if you're like me, you are weary of the news, tired of mainstream and fringe media alike. I miss the days when Facebook was full of fluff and nonsense, pictures of people's dinner and meme's about every day life irritations. Of course, one thing in social media hasn't changed - everyone has an opinion and it is often shared passionately as fact. It seems like now more than ever, you can find close friends on Facebook sharing radically different takes on the current situation - what's happening, what should have been done, what should be done now. . . *sigh*
So this week, as all of this has begun to feel particularly heavy, I have found myself alternating between calm and sorrow.
Then, this morning as He so often does, Jesus met me right where I was, speaking truth that my heart and mind so desperately needed.
As I read Psalm 18, I was reminded that . . .
I don't have to be strong,
Because the Lord is my strength!
The news doesn't have to be consistent or predictable,
Because the Lord is my rock -
a firm place to plant my feet!
It's okay if I'm frightened or overwhelmed,
Because the Lord is my fortress -
my large and PERMANENT fortification!
And no matter what happens today, tomorrow, next week or next month,
The Lord God is my stronghold -
my place of security and survival!
I hope you are encouraged, Friend. This IS truly all too hard for you and I. It IS too much for us to handle.
BUT it is not too much or too hard for our God!
Keep looking to Jesus!
Hi Friends, how are you all doing? Are you losing your mind from isolation yet? . . .
I'm gonna be honest, it's getting extra weird in my home - and that's saying something considering the three goofballs I live with! Some days my life looks disturbingly like the "cabin fever" scene from Muppet Treasure Island! :)
In the midst of our crazy though, Josh and I are prayerfully seeking ways to continue ministry! We are truly grateful to be living in a time when the internet allows so much encouragement to be offered virtually. We are committed to continuing the work God has called us to. With that in mind, we've been doing more online. I know many of you follow us on Facebook and YouTube, or you're on our email list; but just in case you missed them, here are links to our most recent online ministry resources. . .
If you click above to listen to this song, you can read the lyrics in the description below the video. This song is about prayer and trust in the middle of great difficulty. I was thinking this morning about this song and how sometimes there is confusion about what it means to pray in faith. . .
I believe, that faith-filled prayer is not believing that God WILL always do what we ask, but it's believing God CAN do what we ask and WILL do exactly WHAT IS RIGHT!
And so, I we can pray and trust!
Resurrection Sunday is coming! As you aim to keep your focus on our Risen Lord this Passion Week, here is an instrumental playlist Josh recorded of Easter Hymns and Worship songs. Get this playing in the background while you work, study, or go about your day. :)
If you've seen Josh perform live, you've heard him play this song. BUT, you haven't heard it played this way! :)
Here's an encouragement I posted a couple weeks ago about responding to this difficult time in our world.
I hope you find some of these things encouraging! My prayer for all of us is that we will continue to look to Jesus during this difficult season. He is still on the throne. He is still good!
He is still our reason to hope!
When we lived in our trailer, traveling full time, (read more about that in the archives dated from about August 2015 - March 2015 or to REALLY go back to the beginning, click HERE), our lives were far more interesting! Now, it seems silly to post many day to day updates, because there's just not that much "excitement" to share.
But, I know that some of you have been following our family for years and like to know a little more about the day to day "goings on". So, if that's you... here's a super abbreviated recap of the past few months...
Josh played some music and shared about the significance of Christmas.
We hiked by the river.
Josh and I played board games with a couple of wackos! ;)
I got chickens!
I planted some seeds.
We worshipped in our jammies.
Josh recorded some music (more on that soon).
I joined Josh in the studio for the first time in a VERY LONG TIME! . . .
Can you see the apprehension on our faces!? hahaha
I'm actually very excited about this little studio project.
It'll be up soon. Watch for it on Josh's YouTube Channel!
There you have it. Your speedy update on our family. :)
One more thing, lest you think our boys play video games all day - I don't have any pictures of the boys doing schoolwork, but that's actually how a lot of our time is spent. We still all enjoy homeschooling (well, you know, as much as schoolwork can be enjoyed in middle school). If you're interested in details about our homeschooling, let me know in the comments and I'll do a post with specifics.
Until next time, keep looking to Jesus for peace, comfort, and wisdom. He is our hope!
Blessings to you!
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
God is Unchanging!
He is still
on the throne!
(see Psalm 102)
Lord, you are
and my cup
you hold my future.
The boundary lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I will bless the Lord who counsels me--
even at night when my thoughts trouble me.
I always let the Lord guide me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles
(Bible in a year reading plan)
for the Christian Life
by Donald Whitney
(reading this with Josh)
by Kelly Needham
The Fibro Manual
by Ginevra Liptan