The Summing Source of All Fears

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The words poured out of me; “I’m afraid, I have fear, it’s out of my control…” as I tried my best to explain to a friend how I truly felt inside. Out of the blue and without notice, my friend bowed her head and said a short prayer, commanding the Spirit of Fear to leave me immediately under the authority of Jesus Christ.
I didn’t expect that.
Shortly after I left her home I quietly mumbled “Lord, I sure hope that worked”, while staying focused on the next task ahead.

My daughter and I were catching a plane to Sydney a few days later. I don’t like flying… okay, I hate flying. It scares me and no amount of “safest way to travel” is gonna make me like it, so that’s that! Travels make me worry about a variety of things from food to flying and I triple check all paperwork etc. But I love encountering different cultures and countries.
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While packing a suitcase, I froze as I suddenly realized that something was “wrong”;
I wasn’t afraid!
I sat down and looked around me, going “eh… this is weird! Weirdly weird… it’s great, but oh so strange”. It took a while before the 10 yen coin sank in and I realized what had happened; Fear, that nasty source of evil with his claws buried deep in my shoulders, had literally left.
I was breathing in wonder and – honestly, totally stunned amazement.

The Spirit of Fear is real (as the Bible says) and its THE source and sum of ALL fears. 
Once freed, I had discernment as if a misty-like veil was lifted.
The spirit of fear distorted everything and through that, had gained control. And I didn’t even know it… How could I not know it?
Hold on to your reins because this might shake your doctrine: As far back as I can remember, quite literally, fear has been a companion of mine. As a child I was always afraid of something. As a young adult I lived it out by “facing fears” and battling the consequences.
I honestly thought it was normal to feel and live with fear as I hadn’t known any different. 
But it’s not supposed to be normal!!

We had a wonderful trip in Australia and my girl and I had several fights, which was where I discovered I have a new discernment and perspective of her mental health – but more on that issue in a future post.

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I l-o-v-e my Jesus!! The Bible says that we become a new creation when we get saved. My heart was sealed with His spirit, that’s for sure… but somehow Fear was still a companion of mine. He just wrapped himself in light instead. I have no intentions of discussing doctrine here. I’m stating a fact that has become clear to me, now that Fear is no longer surrounding the truth in a misty veil.

I don’t write down my prayers, rather my prayer journal is an opposite one; I write down the words Jesus speaks to me when we have coffee together in the morning. On August 5th I felt and saw Him, instead of hearing Him; “I sat above the clouds and Jesus kissed my forehead holding my head between His hands. He said “you have My strength in your bones”.”
I can feel in my bones that Jesus is in me and my self-confidence is actual confidence and no longer an outwardly pretend one… Just how cool is that!?!

This post is to testify to anyone out there living with fear:
It is not supposed to be like that.

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Silencing an Introvert

lead_960.jpgI just did something I never actually believed I would do…
I emailed a link to an article about introverts in schools, to the head of school and principal of my daughter’s, now former, school.
A few days ago I was angry, resentful, sad but most of all disappointed. Really disappointed!1e1ac7e2242da1b7802a8f6fe1e910e8.jpg
How did I get there..? And how did I get to the point of trying to educate educators about personality types in schools…? Me? Really?

On April 4th when my girl verbalized her suicidal thoughts, she wasn’t allowed in school until her therapist cleared her. Understandable. She was cleared pretty fast, but refused to return to school. The school principal is one very Godly person… Gracefully gave me all the time I needed to help my girl get back to school – or not.

The reason my girl refused to return to school was her classmates. The mean girls… (yes, plural). 1.jpgAs I had conversations with the therapist (who had been in contact with the principal) it began to dawn on me, that because my girl has anxiety and depression and therefore her cognitive skills aren’t as sharp as should be, school principal and teachers decided to give the other girls “the benefit of the doubt”…

My child may have her struggles, but she is not a liar!! I can’t tell you how angry I got when it dawned on me that these mean girls got away with bad behavior, regardless of what their intentions were.

We do not train children in the way they should walk, by not addressing their wrongs!

Once I made the decision to permanently pull her out, I emailed that decision to 6 school staff members. One replied with love and prayers. Two wouldn’t reply as they still work with my girl outside of school. The principal replied with usual grace as well. Two others did not reply at all: Classroom teacher and school counselor. I’m choosing to believe they had g-o-o-d!! reason for not replying, but honestly – I don’t think the classroom teacher could have done anything more disrespectful than to ignore that mail.

Brush it off! – brushed it off. It’s gone… somewhat.

In the mail I asked if my girl could pick up her things and get a chance to meet the adults she has loved working with, to help her say goodbye in her heart. That part of the mail was addressed only by one and that was a “cotton candy’ed” sentence that sounded “I look forward to seeing her around the community”. That’s American for “no” in case you wonder. Yes, I’m feeling resentful.

Sadness-understand.jpgBut the last drop – the one that sent me into a twirl of anger and disappointment was when I picked up her things from the classroom. Her classroom teacher was there, her desk was already gone, her things stuffed into a plastic bag. I grabbed it, got her indoor shoes, looked into the eyes of her teacher and thought “aren’t you going to say something… anything?“, but despite the sad-ish look in her eyes, there was no greeting to my girl, no questions asked and literally not a word spoken. I kept quiet myself and just walked down the stairs.

That’s when the sadness overwhelmed me.

Not that she had left school, but that school seemed so… not caring.

My girl is an introvert. When I read the above article I thought about her time in the class and how many times I have heard her teachers say “participate more”… Her leaving school could possibly not have been prevented, but the act of telling an introvert “you should participate more” may feel like being asked to enter a snake pit for kids on the introvert scale… It certainly didn’t help my daughter.

May the Lord speak to the hearts of all teachers around the globe. Amen.

Within a spectrum

I have had my daughter home from school since beginning of April due to suicidal thoughts. I’m a deep thinker and there’s a lot on my mind;
Thoughts and decisions. 33.jpg

Should my child go back to school and finish her 4th grade, or not. School will welcome her back and mom wouldn’t mind getting some alone time, but…
The improvement I have seen in my kid since she left school is truly amazing. The cutting has decreased and the girl I knew from about 3 years ago is sticking out her head again and that’s another reason why I’m not inclined to send her back to school. Unfortunately, her therapist seem to think differently and I would prefer we were on the same page (really; Christian therapists do NOT grow on trees in Tokyo!).

The decision to homeschool from 5th grade was relatively easy. I have been online searching for homeschool curriculums and – wow! The amount of “perfect for your kid” curriculums are stunning.
6fbb2cf6ec1e1128f16547bda099fe09.jpgHowever, only a fragment brings me peace and those are the unit based ones and… dare I say it… I found one that is s-e-c-u-l-a-r…
So I’ll add Bible to it, but hey – Beth Moore’s talk shows ought to spark some interest and then we’ll see where it takes us. I leave that peacefully into the Lord’s hands. I want my girl to get to know the Lord and find a desire to feel Him close. She is wired for that

Being out of school hasn’t been a cure. Therapy is still needed, medication likewise. But I have been reading up on psychology and the latest research and get this: Being an introvert could possibly be considered “being on the autism spectrum” – Now, don’t go frazzle on me now… An introvert isn’t autistic as such, but looking at the big picture I can see why a person with a diploma on the wall, would get the idea and explore it. b226fc0a61384c360840542c10732f0c.jpg

What is generally considered “normal” are people who talk, laugh, play, assert themselves, engage in activities – e.g. socialize, but that’s also (somewhere on the scale) the definition of “extroverts”: outgoing, sociable, friendly, unreserved and are energized by being around other people.
So when we encounter someone who is not particularly social, we see it as something “abnormal”. Was it “socially awkward” I heard the other day?

In schools, teachers try their best to teach students to assert themselves, play well with others and “have red cheeks after recess”. To make it in the world we live in, those qualifications are pretty important, but… In my case, my girl would much rather have a peaceful place for some quiet time. Why?
Because she’s an introvert and no amount of encouragement to become more social will change that.
How-to-care-for-introverts.pngBut it’s not allowed in school to bring anything out for recess, so kids who are by nature extremely introvert don’t really stand much of a chance (and no, there is no place to hide from friends…)
You guessed it; I have a beef with that!
It begs the question in my case – was the social anxiety partly grown because she doesn’t fit the “normal kid” standard?
Was she tying knots on herself for years trying to fit in and yet never did, causing low self-esteem, anxiety and depression?
I really think this is something schools in general ought to look deeper into.

If we do not allow kids to be who they are and help them grow into the person God intended for them to be, then we are just trying to mold kids to become what we have defined as “normal”. 

603652f640bb57a679069acb1bbc22e8.jpgBut God’s ways are higher than ours and even standardized school systems will have to recognize that, because the world is seeing more and more “on the spectrum” kids.
Can we afford to wait with adjusting our standards to meet God’s fearfully and wonderfully made children? 

 

Swopping knots

20140918-379-girl-in-bed-7.jpgShe was stuck in a situation she couldn’t get out of. Circumstance she was unable to change. People who chose to disrespect her. It was like a mental snake-pit. She felt like running away. From home, from school, from everything. Or even better, just go home to God, so she would never have to enter back into the snake pit…

In the beginning of April, these were my daughters thoughts and feelings. She’s 10. On April 4th I found a note where she wrote, that she just wanted to die… It wasn’t a suicide note; It was suicidal thoughts and an intense cry for help. mental-health-thoughts_wide-a514e5c72a55accd8ef792b779b91316864bb05c-s1000-c85.jpg

Because of suicidal thoughts she couldn’t attend school – which makes sense – so she’s been home with me, doing some of her schoolwork, intense therapy and some TLC.

During these 20+ days, I have seen her stress-levels drop, I have seen cutting decrease, I have experienced her courage as she ventured into a sleepover at a friends house. When she’s in school, the stress is high, the cutting is daily and having a sleepover is simply unrealistic!

It didn’t take long for me to realize that there is only one way of dealing with this: Take her out of school. So I have… she will be homeschooled from 5th grade. As for finishing her 4th grade year at school, it may be a long shot, but the therapist really wants her to glean something positive before she leaves school, so that she may one day be able to return. It makes sense, but seems impossible.

And the Lord ain’t done with me yet… so once again I’m swopping “knot’s”:

I’m facing homeschooling. post-41755-0-90463300-1447240753.png

Though I know it’s the right thing to do and I also have God’s peace with it, I can feel every cell in my body resisting the “teacher” part. If you read my blog more or less regularly, you will know that I’m pretty well aware of my own sets of strengths and weaknesses. I’m an entrepreneur, a facilitator, a leader and organizer. Creative in many ways and a bit of a “funny clown” too. But there’s not a hint of teacher in me. The closest thing I get to that is an interest in psychology… which doesn’t really say much!About-Homeschooling.png

I’m praying for the Lord to “define my role as homeschooling mom”, because I’m… well… ahem… not there. I have this sense that if I begin “teaching” my child, it won’t go well. My role isn’t supposed to be a teacher, but I’ll try to patiently wait on the Lord to bring me the answer. I did say “try”… Lord knows, I’m not the most patient woman!

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Cut the Pain

I’m seeing things I don’t want to see and hearing things I don’t want to hear.
I’m living a life, I do not want. I’m in a war zone!
Lord, we get what we need and not always what we want.
But I don’t think I ever needed this!

cuttingMy daughter is only 10 and has a depression caused by severe anxiety. It has been going on for years and she has been on medication for about 10 months now. Only… Recently… Things took a turn I didn’t expect: Cutting.

Cutting is also known as self-harm, using a nice word – or self-mutilation, using a hard-core word. It’s a tangible pain that for a moment replaces an intangible and possibly unidentified pain of the heart and mind.

Istrongmomt’s gruesome for a mom to watch and not having many or any means of help. But the tough part of it is actually, that I must be “non-sensitive” to it. Meaning, if I can’t take it – handle it, my child will loose the only safe place she feels she has.
Lord, I really don’t think I ever needed this. 
All I can do is love her through it and patch up the cuts and sore places on her skin and pray, pray, pray… please Lord, no more!

My heart breaks in pieces all the time…
This is my life and I have to accept it, even if I don’t want to.
If I do not accept her condition, I can’t recognize the issues and ultimately help her.
Lord, I need You to help her.

During the years while battling this anxiety that paved the way to depression and now cutting too, I have stayed strong the best I could, but I’m done. I look in the mirror and I see a tired woman. Not one who is thriving in life, but one who is surviving.
Lord, I don’t want to just survive – I want to thrive!depressedmom

I visited a counselor the other day. I did it for myself… and after a test it was revealed that I can be placed in the box of “2-points from severe depression”. Until next meeting, I need to make an effort to do something daily for myself. Something that is good for me.
Lord, I need this.

But Lord, I want to have FUN with You.
To live, love, laugh, do and BE with You.
I know I prayed to be a woman of faith once… but Lord, this road is harder than rocks and my mustard seed inside is melting in the furnace. And it hurts, Lord. It hurts!


Lord, I really need to have some fun with You.

I really need You, now.

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Don’t Lose Hope: A Letter to Special Needs Parents

It’s a rare thing when I choose to reblog a post, but this post really nailed my feelings when it comes to parenting! I’m so grateful because it highlighted something I needed to accept: This is my life, even if I don’t want it to be… Please visit the blog and have a read, especially if you are a special needs parent, but even if you’re not, this post can enlighten you. Have a good read ❤ and don’t give up! 

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Dear Special Needs Parent, This unexpected life is weird, wonderful, wild and ugly, isn’t it? I think we, of all people, are the ones who can rightly say, “It’s complicated.”…

Source: Don’t Lose Hope: A Letter to Special Needs Parents

Fruit Bowl

Over the holidays, the – ahem – “more” trips to McDonalds or KFC than I care to admit, has kinda left my family and I in a food grip; “Carbs want more carbs”

So to bust some “back-to-the-routine” stress and get some real nutrient back in the bloodstreams, we are now having sweet stuff for dinner!

Doesn’t make much sense I know, but hear me out.
You know those beautiful desserts with ice cream and sweet fruit (often in syrup)? Well, how about an upside down version?
A “fruit bowl”!

It takes 10 – 15 minutes to prepare and it’s so yummy!

Pick 3-4 types of fresh fruit (I use apple, pear, banana, pineapple, strawberry and tangerines f.ex. depending on season). Wash and cut into bite size pieces. Pour into a big bowl and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can add a handful of granola or nuts if you like – or not – and voila: Fruit bowl!

As the ice cream melts, the fruit gets a creamy “dressing” and if you stick to the one scoop it doesn’t become overwhelmingly sweet.

It’s chokfull of vitamins and let’s face it – during this virus season, we really need those extra shots of freshness.

Now, what I’d love to try when I have more time, is to replace the ice cream with this Coconut sherbet “cream” because that would really add to the overall “health” of this stress busting recipe. But even with bought ice cream, this fruit bowl is still a really good alternative to (another) trip to a burger place.

Enjoy

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Lord, I messed up your child!

All a mom want is the best for her child and absolutely NO mom sees her child for the first time and thinks “oh sweet baby, in 9 years you’ll be on prozac!“..01_09234317_504a2d_2733336a.jpg.

There is possibly nothing more painful for a mom, than to watch her child struggle and being in pain. My kid has anxiety and depression issues and it’s like walking through a maze trying desperately to find a way out! You have to keep moving and yet you feel stuck. Just when you think you found a way that leads toward the exit, you find yourself at a dead end. Again.

Before you get the idea that this is a whiny pity-party post, allow me just a paragraph of mercy before I reveal what the Lord did…

I burdened myself with a “good mom/bad mom” thinking routine. Ahem… Okay, mainly “bad mom” and let’s face it: The world out there can be pretty d* mean telling moms when they are bad moms!…
I can’t count the times I have prayed to the Lord using the words “I’m so sorry Lord – I completely messed up your child!” Why can’t I get it right? Why do I mess her up like this? Why does she have to struggle like this? Why are “everyone else’s” kids perfect?… (they are not, but it often looks that way from the outside).good_mom_bad_mom-253x300.png

Then I read a few pages in a relatively known author’s book, giving an account of her experiences with motherhood – and it hit me: She makes just about the exact same mistakes as me (only this one actually opens up and talks about it – freely!). Her kids are fine. Mine isn’t.
Just maybe my child’s struggles aren’t my fault – I thought and continued reading more pages in this book and gleaned from her daily prayer of receiving Gods portion for the day.in-the-morning-when-i-rise-give-me-jesus-kitchen-coffee-espresso-jeremy-camp-song-lyrics-religious-god-spiritual-church_6944136.jpeg

 

Next morning I gathered my warm blanket, got my coffee, my devotional and focused all my thoughts on Yahweh… asking Him for my portion for this day.
We had a cozy coffee morning together – Jesus and I.
It’s a really good thing He isn’t picky when it comes to coffee! 
I got on with my day… and everything went pretty smooth… And then He once again overwhelmed me!

 

It’s as if Yahweh refuses to leave me to my own devices for even a day. I wouldn’t want Him to… but since I broke down and longingly wanting to TOUCH THE SCROLL, He hasn’t left my side! Continually pouring into me and showering me with His power.
– Yes, power – I didn’t write Blessing for though it is a Blessing, being in such closeness to Yahweh is extremely powerful stuff. (if you want to read the post:  “Touch the scroll”)

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It’s unusual for me to read the Bible mid-day, but I didn’t get yanked away for a to-do list: I took my Bible and opened at a “random” page (there’s nothing random about the Lord) and read onwards from Isaiah 43 and while reading through the first 10 verses, I simply cried…
Just humbly cried because He is so REAL, so POWERFUL and so WITH ME.

I know, I know: A stressed out mom cries easily… but that was just it: I wasn’t stressed out! – I had prayed for my portion and everything had gone smoothly all day!… I was relaxed and in a good place emotionally, physically and – I thought – spiritually!

Yahweh WILL tear down the hedges of the maze, when He deems the time has come.
I forget that. A lot. But Yahweh won’t allow me to. Again.

Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine”.
Isaiah 44:3 “I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring and my blessing on your descendants”.

I read and re-read Isaiah 43 and 44 several times today and my Bible remains open on those pages. I can’t bring myself to close the book!

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All… Holy saint’s… night!

13d3f4f10e98973e.jpgOh boy, am I ever going to be unpopular after this…!!
Best to apologize in advance if I step on a pinky toe… Sorry!

Each year I have the internal struggle, whether or not to whip up a post about that festive night of the year where people, adults and kids alike, dress up to look horrible (?!!??)…
You know, that night when “scary is good and fear is fun”?

God gave us free will and I love that He did. We have choices…
My choice is to not celebrate Halloween.
Okay, so you do, but at least the costumes are cute and the pumpkin is smiling – yeah? Take a slice of moldy bread and smear on a nice thick layer of peanut butter and it looks really good – but the bread is still moldy.54eba640e0b89_-_halloween-mason-jars-luminaries-boo-xln.jpg
Sorry – couldn’t help squeezing that one out…

Yep, I can almost feel someone slapping my face now “How dare I – who do I think I am”… I’m a nobody. Pay no attention to me… after all, it’s still your choice.

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Why not join in the fun? So many Christians all over the world enjoys the party of All hallows eve and it’s Catholic too!?! I know many Christians who does celebrate it and often because “why take the fun away from the kids?”

 

Yeah – that’s where my internal struggle begins.

Honestly, it freaks me out. Just the look of the decorations gives me the creeps… which in turn is actually the main idea, right?
Or maybe I’m wrong… But if it creeps me out, does it come from Jesus?

I have no intentions of digging into the Celtic “Samhain” or the Catholic church’s “all saints day”. If you have the interest, there’s about a million websites out there all speaking for or against Christians celebrating Halloween.

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Since when are scared kids fun: Top FEAR pics of the WEEK? Seriously??

– But for me, simply gazing at the Halloween I see around me:
It’s creepy, crawly, monsters, zombies, ghosts, goblins, witches, sorcerers etc. Pumpkins with frown or smiley face and all that simply tells me:
This is something odd and scary. Then I see kids dressed up in anything between princesses, superhero’s and zombies and they learn that this scary stuff is fun.

It’s not fun. It’s scary. Fear is not fun and fear is not from the Lord!

Dwelling on the Lord… I can’t find any place in the Bible where the Lord says I should celebrate (or pray to) His dead saints nor dress up like something only the evil one would do anything, to make us wear.

What I do have are Bibles where it repeatedly states in various ways:

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A smiling devil?? Yeah, something’s wrong here!

“Do not have anything to do with sorcerers… evil… darkness…” etc. Want the verses? Try Ephesians 5:8 and 11, Galatians 5:19-20, Deuteronomy 18:9-13 and I’m sure there’s more.
Halloween, as far as I can see, does not celebrate anything that has to do with God. Because only good things comes from God. When we try to make scary costumes fun, we are teaching the kids exactly that. Is that really good? pure? holy? kind?

Halloween is not a celebration given to us by the Lord God and that’s why I’m the “evil mom” who places the huge burden upon my daughter’s shoulders, to say NO when her friends in school want her to celebrate Halloween! – Praise Jesus, for He gives her the strength to speak up and say no.
Gosh, I’m so proud of her!

the-philippians-4-8-filterI know that my opinion about Halloween is strong, but I do respect those who chooses to celebrate it anyway. That’s not really any of my business. However, I will choose to ignore or delete any comments to this post which may indicate a longing to change my mind…
So, if I have stepped on your toes, I’m sorry. But I really really really do not like anything that has anything to do with Halloween or the celebration of it
That’s me…
But I still love you! May Jesus Bless you all and keep you safe from evil all the days of your lives. Amen.

God owns the tide!

“I’ll stare down the waves – ’cause You own the tide!”articles-42.jpg

That’s a line from a worship song from Hillsong young & free called “when the fight calls”. During the past few weeks, that song has lingered in my heart and helped my mind submit to the Lord’s will.

The feeling of being overwhelmed seems to be an ongoing theme among most of my friends; Some have serious circumstances to deal with, making the feeling far stronger than overwhelmed and for some it turns into fear.

overwhelmed.jpgAlong with my own set of challenges I have the privilege of walking alongside a few friends – some sick, some with a spouse in hospital, one is waiting for heart surgery and fearing for her 4 little kids, some struggle with being gossiped about, others with relationship trouble. I feel helpless as I listen to their words and read their mails.
Despite their continued decision to trust the Lord and seeing all the positive they can… feeling overwhelmed in the moment can grow into fear of the unknown future.

We must fight it.

Romans 5:3-4 (NLT) 
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

poster-celebrate-life-no-matter.jpgNo matter my sufferings, it always end in hope.
I can rejoice in the suffering… okay, not so much!…

– But looking at the suffering now, I can “stare down the waves” because Jesus “owns the tide”. God is still in control. Though we may have to fight being overwhelmed, we can keep our minds fixed on the Lord. He has the last word.

When the fight calls – Hillsong Young & Free

 
As for me and my circumstances, then my husband’s work place, job and time frame remains unknown. It’s stressful because we know something will happen and the last thing he wants is a desk job. I have been cleared of colon cancer, but there are no explanations for the stomach pains apart from stress… But we are considering an MRI or CT scan if for no other reason, then just to make sure.

6101bf6d0ea6ea409e1b6aab67996f34.jpgMy daughter is now on her new school schedule with half day of classroom school and private tutoring/teaching for afternoon classes. She loves it! A huge ordeal pulled together by God’s hand working through obedient people! – And it’s not merely the academics, it’s also socially and developmentally perfect for her. I’m stunned really. Speechless. In complete awe!

May the Lord be Praised always and forever