The Summing Source of All Fears

615769-bigthumbnail.jpg

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.
FlorenceNightingaleQuotes-4.jpg

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.

smiling-jesus.jpg

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.

not_afraid_anymore_home_alone.gif

Advertisements

Manifesto

41D6VN7PMcL.jpgThe first time I had a sniff of the perfume scent “Manifesto”, I was hooked.
My mom gave it to me as a Christmas present many years ago and to this day, I love that scent! Every day when I add a whiff to my wrists, I remember my mom.

Manifesto is Italian for manifest. Which means something like transparent, undisguised, noticeable or demonstrate, reveal and declare.

The Italian-American former model, author, actress etc Isabella Rossellini is behind this perfume, though that is entirely unimportant to this post.
quote-adoption-has-the-dimension-of-connection-not-only-to-your-own-tribe-but-beyond-widening-isabella-rossellini-60-99-94.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

This week has been one for the calendar if I ever had one!

My husband was informed that the job project he has been pouring his heart into the past 8 years will close and employees will be transferred to other locations, though we are yet to hear of when and where.
My daughter’s new school-schedule finally fell into place: She’ll be a half day student of her school and then half time student of School support services which is a support to homeschoolers living in Japan. She’ll be dismissed daily at 12:30 and then do reading, math and units with a privately hired, educated teacher doing a tailor-made curriculum with her 3 days a week. 1 day she’ll be with a homeschooling mom close by and the last day I will be supervising her in the afternoons. I’m quite frankly not yet sure how we will be paying for this, but the Lord provides… Things have been heavy for her anxiety wise (due to some bullying issues at school), but now that she is happily aware of her schedule changes, we hope she can focus on progressing in math and regain control of her anxiety issues.
I have had some stomach pains and though not really bad they continue to roam, so I saw a doctor who couldn’t diagnose me, but wants to run a colon cancer test. Praying for a negative result on that one!! The mere thought of me getting cancer at this point is devastating so I’m praying… and praying…

46981fa50a2539686fce4a61e0651bff.jpg
But what I have learned this past week is that when I give myself over to God and openly ask Him to take over everything, I find strength to keep walking. A strength I know exists as I have walked in it before, but possibly never tapped into to this extend.

I become transparent and undisguised in front of Him, crying tons of “I’m way too stressed out to cope Lord”-tears and I demonstrate that I have no control at all – but I still declare His Glory!

We are still waiting for news about my husband’s work place.

My daughter’s schedule begins next week.

I get the test results next week.

Manifesto: I can stand because I’m the receiver of God’s strength.

praising-2-1024x768.jpg

Way off topic

This post has a content I don’t usually write about…

This post isn’t about Jesus – though He certainly is a part of the healing process.

what-is-dyscalculia.jpg

This post is about awareness of a condition known as “DYSCALCULIA” and the effects it is likely to have on children in and outside of school. 

 

 

It’s not just about math and not understanding numbers though that is always the main focus. This is about how dyscalculia flows into all areas of a child’s life, how it can create anxiety issues and social issues and the feeling of never being good enough… to even simply “cope”.

numbers_game_numbers.jpgHow a child with dyscalculia will feel too “shy” to trust her/himself enough to go buy a small thing in a shop simply because the concepts of numbers/money are off.

 

This article is from a website called UNDERSTOOD.org and this particular article addresses most of the issues that my daughter struggles with in daily life – despite not yet having reached her tween years. 

I urge you to click the link and give yourself a chance to understand that dyscalculia is a big deal – and if not found and tested in the early stages it will likely affect a child throughout life and not just in school related situations.

back-to-school.jpg

Dyscalculia isn’t as known as dyslexia. Perhaps because the school system places a lot of emphasis on the language arts – but more and more kids will experience dyscalculia in years to come, though I have no way of backing up that statement, I urge any parent – AND school system – to pay close attention.

Thank you.

Prepare to meet God

No, it’s not a death threat!
The Lord walked with Adam & Eve in the garden. He met with Moses in the desert. He spoke to and through His prophets… and now He speaks through His Holy Spirit.

tabernacle.jpgIt’s beautiful to look through the Old Testament Bible and read about the spectacular Tabernacle build on God’s command. The place where God would dwell with His people in the wilderness…

It seems pretty clear to me that the Lord enjoys meeting with His people. A lot.

Of course, a Holy God can’t meet with some unholy/sinful girl to sip coffee at the nearest coffee shop… Not that the wilderness would have had a lot of those!.. Which is why Jesus came, so we CAN meet God. Of course a coffee shop in the wilderness would have been pretty cool… “what’s that? An iced Latte to go?” – ha!
I have learned that the Hebrew word for “meet” is “ya’adh” (please don’t ask me to pronounce it!) – which means “to appoint, fix a time and/or place, meet by agreement, come together” and perhaps more.
In Exodus 19, God tells Moses to prepare His people for His arrival. He even gives a day and instructions on how to prepare them. When He came, Moses spoke and God answered him with v-o-i-c-e!

Exodus 19:9-11 (NIV)
The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said. And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

Exodus 19:19
As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

That was then, this is now… But do I still need to hear from God? Oh dear, yes! But I don’t have a tabernacle, I don’t wash my clothes before praying and God doesn’t tell me when He intends to appear as a dense cloud! ipod.jpg
But I believe I still need to prepare to meet Him.
I know – Jesus is only a prayer away and He always listens.
No argument there!
But if I want to listen and hear what the Lord wants to tell me, perhaps I should put a little preparation in to it? Okay, maybe a lot… at least in my heart.

My best time to meet the Lord and hear Him is the morning time, with my cuppa in hand. It’s a daily appointment because I tend to wake up early (okay, sometimes He let’s me sleep in). hearing-voices-2.jpgI silence myself, I try to be still, concentrating on the Lord… and some days it just doesn’t work! So I grab my devotional and try not to get annoyed that my time with the Lord will get cut short, and once my girl wakes up – it’s “go” time…

Then I worship and praise Him…

Acts 13:2 (NLT)
One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”

After worship and praise, I begin to pray…

Mark 1:35 (NLT)
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

And then I listen for His voice… and I write it down in my journal. I don’t write down my prayers, but only what the Lord is telling me. And sometimes what I think He is telling me. Diary-Writing.png And it’s beautiful because now, a year after my dad passed away, I can go back in that journal and clearly see how the Lord was preparing me for what was coming, for the last months of my dad’s life and the following grief. He said it would be hard. He told me it would be a long horrible walk. But He also said I wouldn’t be crushed.

Habakkuk 2:2 (GNT)
The Lord gave me this answer: “Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance.

slow-down-and-listen-for-Gods-vocie-lynne-lee-how-to-hear-god.jpg

Embracing a soap bubble

Ever thought of teaching your kid how to be bored??
I have learned a great deal from watching my own kid and reading books and seeing counselors, psychologist and we are now on our way to see a psychiatrist and obviously, I’m far from an expert on the subject. But just a warning to you, the following may be a controversial subject to some.

My child doesn’t want to blow soap bubbles on her own, because it’s boring.
My child can’t blow soap bubbles with someone else, without turning it into some kind of competition.
This in itself may not appear to be a bad thing, but competition releases adrenalin into the blood. Too much adrenalin on a frequent basis is known as stress. Boring – or being bored is defined in the “Wiktionary” as “uninterested and without attention”. I may understand why it would be difficult to marvel over a soap bubble, when you can speed race a multiple-lives racecar-driver down winding mountains on your iPad… and it’s about the adrenalin again.

An adrenalin-kick can become addictive and most often without anyone realizing it, until it’s called anxiety.
My kid live in a world where everything is fast pace, high pressure, peer pressure, fierce competition with so many stimulating things kids “should” do and learn earlier than ever before. Here in Japan there are 2 year old kids who are learning to “read” kanji signs and hearing english sounds. Of course we want our kids to be the best they can be, but here is what I have learned about stress in kids during the past months while dealing with my daughters anxiety issues:
– Depression can stem from anxiety (most of the time though not always).
– Anxiety can be brought on by stress.
– Stress is – in short – what we feel when adrenalin and other hormones are released into our blood.
– Adrenalin is released when we are stimulated by anything that makes our “blood pump”. Have you ever watched a toddler going to some daycare place and the tears streaming when the kid has to be parted from its mom? yes, that’s separation anxiety and perfectly normal… but it’s also an adrenalin release stemming from fear and witnessed in full view (and even gently laughed at or found to be cute). Other examples may be watching or playing sports, videogames, tv, school test “I have to ace that test for school!”, “can’t live up to parents expectations”, halloween pranks, traumatic memories, saying goodbye to a loved one, watching someone in pain etc…
These are only examples. The list I’m sure could continue, but I’m not writing a thesis.

Adrenalin can help us get away from danger and it puts us on high alert and thus, our bodies in alarm mode. So adrenalin is designed to help us overcome and it will naturally wear off. But if adrenalin is released too frequent it becomes “just too much!”. People who suffer from PTS(D) have a very frequent dose of adrenalin released, due to whatever will trigger the memories of their trauma.

Every waking moment is filled with something in a child’s life today to the extend that kids aren’t bored and for some reason, kids “shouldn’t be bored” in today’s world. E.g. being bored means they aren’t doing anything educational, physical, academical or emotional. In essence kids may be on a constant “high” alert mode which isn’t healthy and just actually might explain the dramatic rise of kids who suffers from anxiety.

Have you ever wondered why watching tv makes you tired?
And have you ever wondered why being in God’s creation marveling at it doesn’t?
Sure, if you hike in the mountains you will get tired from the exercise, but just looking at the vast array of green colors the Lord gave a forest, will not put your brain in alert mode. We were not designed to constantly compete, learn, keep up and stay on top. Actually, Jesus took His disciples and withdrew from the crowds and often alone as well (Luke 5:16). He withdrew to pray and when we pray, we get so-called “down-time”. It’s a time when we pour out our hearts and stop our thinking. If you want to live a fearless life – a life without fear or a life without having a mind in constant alert mode – “withdrawing to solitary places to pray” might just be what you need.

For kids, or for my kid anyway, learning to be bored and enjoy those things that does not give her any adrenalin that will put her body into alert mode, is essential. This is where the soap bubble comes in…

Have you ever marveled at a soap bubble?

Have you ever been surrounded by plenty of small bubbles?

Have you ever stopped by a water stream, closed your eyes and just listened to the soothing sound of water flowing?

IMG_3882IMG_3879IMG_3883

 

I’m sorry this post got to be so long. I hope you made it all the way down here.
I have lots to learn yet about stress and my child, but I’m beginning to understand it.

 

I don’t know how to be a mom!

I’m not whining, not looking for pats on my shoulder or encouragement!!

– But I just realized that though I’m very much a mom – definitely remember that part vividly! – I do not actually know how to be one.

Explanation?
Okay… When my baby was a baby, I was her caretaker (and found the whole “beauty of nursing” to be more painful than joyful). When she was a toddler, I morphed into safety-guard person and valued the times when she was peacefully sleeping in her stroller and added to that, I have always thought the best part of any playground was my coffee tumbler, a bench and a chat with another mom.

Oh I love my girl to bits and pieces and way beyond that… and I have always done whatever I can to care for her. But after meeting with her psychologist today – alone, e.g. a parent meeting, I admit… I feel a bit lost.
I’m not sure what my idea of “a mom” is!

He pointed out the very strong and dynamic relationship my daughter and I have. We are very close and I actually like it that way. In a sense, we are more friendly than “momly”.

I asked him to elaborate; “Be mom in attitude and conversation” he said.
Don’t be her counselor.
He told me that her anxiety seems connected to our relationship;
meaning, she thinks that by letting go of her anxiety she will loose our relationship. Yeah… I guess it makes sense somehow.
I nodded and we scheduled another meeting and I walked out… Utterly confused.

I shouldn’t be teaching her academics. Okay – I get it, I got it! Leaving that to teachers. But now I should avoid giving her counsel?
Is that even possible??
Are not all moms counsellors to some extend?
Counsel means to give advice, guidance, directions and am I the only one with the famous bible verse of proverbs 22:6 coming to mind?

Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it

I have had some practice now being her counselor, confident, friend and caretaker, but the main core of our relationship is a basic friendship.

Now I’m left with the question on my heart: How to be her mom!

Oh Lord – you who has all knowledge – please help me see this through your eyes!

In Him.

“Who am I to you” asked the Lord

Just this morning during my morning coffee with Jesus, the Lord asked me “Who am I to you” and I… stopped for a minute to think about my answer.

He is the Creator, the Almighty Powerful Merciful one. He created man and woman and then we failedHe bought us back with His own blood and gives everyone a chance to belong to Him – if we want Him. I can’t imagine why there are people who doesn’t want God!… I can barely remember what life was like when I happily (eh…) had a life without knowing God. I have a tear-stained Bible with lots of coffee stains, highlights, post-it markers and bookmarks. I love my Bible and yet I’m guilty of not reading it every day!

“Who am I to you” He asked… He is my pole in windy weather. He is my raft on the stormy sea. My anchor in life. Cliches? Oh yes… but it’s the truth.

And when I feel like I’m floating in endless dark space… He is the meteor, the rock, I can lay on while drifting on and on and on. Things do not get scary unless I let go of the Rock! He always listens and answers my prayers. We have been through some nasty rough times together. Real bad times. But He gave me strength to do the hard things, the Spirit to pray through the tears and the love to continue the journey.

Having a child with anxiety issues makes for a stressed out mommy at times. A mom who feels useless, concerned and as if drifting in dark space that never seems to end. I know I need breathing space but my mind finds it difficult to rest when I know that my child is battling things she can’t handle. It’s at times like that, it’s good to remind myself Who the Lord is to me…

Thank you Jesus for chasing me down and adopting me to yourself. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for helping me remind myself of Who YOU are. Because it’s not about me. It never was and it never will be.

asteroid_1551402c.jpg

 

Anxiety, doctor and tests

Whatever I do and whenever I do it, there is always a part of me considering fear and victory and what follows. Not my own fear, though I have that to battle, but as a mom I am guiding my daughter whenever she looks to me. And she always does. I find myself envious of the parents who have “normal kids”, whatever that means.

This morning my girl complained about a sore throat and she had a slight fever. Learning how to overcome fear we sometimes need to face it (and sometimes not).  So I took her off school and headed for the doctor. She is afraid of the doctor… It’s never nice is it (unless it’s my adopted father in faith who is a doctor 1 1/2 hours train ride away) and the cold isn’t serious but I decided to show her that doctors doesn’t always do tests and “uncomfortable” doesn’t need to equal “fear”.

In the waiting area immediately before seeing the doctor, she suddenly turns away from me and looks down at the floor whispering “I’m so scared!”. Her breathing made it obvious that the pulse was pumping faster than a racetrack horse!

Of course I wanted to tell her all is well and she will be just fine, but instead I asked her what the worst thing she could imagine would be. She feared the test… Because she tried it a few weeks back when she had strep throat. Instead of saying “I’m sure you won’t need a test”, I covered her with my arms and told her that I didn’t know if a test would be needed. It of course didn’t help her… She feared more and her face turned pale and her heart was racing… She has seen a doctor for 9 years now. It will never be comfortable but it isn’t something to be feared to this extent. As a mom, I can’t help thinking how she will cope with life in the future.

The doctor didn’t do a test. Her relief was instant and obvious. Her cold is a mild one as I suspected but my goal was to show her that it isn’t always uncomfortable to visit the doctor.

Afterwards I asked her how she felt about it before and after the visit and if she could focus on the feeling that came after, the next time she had to go see the doctor. She just said “No, I will feel scared again”.

I feel like I did nothing good and instead of easing her mind while she was locked in fear in the waiting room, I made it worse.

With anxiousness, there are so much to loose and everything to win. I can’t really ever know if my efforts are right. But at least I’m trying. Everyday I look to God asking Him to carry us both through the day… And He does. My girl felt relieved today. I can only pray that next time she will remember and choose to trust the relief – and that God is with her.

FullSizeRender

 

Doubt and dance

Matthew 14:31 (the Voice)
Immediately Jesus reached for Peter and caught him.
Jesus: O you of little faith. Why did you doubt and dance back and forth between following Me and heeding fear?

If I just swopped Peter’s name for mine… and had to answer that question in my circumstances and century… “Why did you doubt and dance back and forth between following Me and heeding fear?”
– Because Lord, I doubt you sometimes. Especially the hard times. My faith is smaller than a mustard seed and though my heart is aching to follow You into anything, my mind and flesh is weak and is easily shaken.
After everything we have been through together Jesus, I have no answer as to why I doubt You when life gets hard. I can’t tell You why I heed the fear and give in to anxiousness.
I wish I could. Then maybe I could live the fearless resilient life I wish for.

But one thing I must remember is that a little faith, can go a long way… I can choose to have trust that things will work out and be okay.

And notice in the Bible verse above how Jesus “Immediately reaches out and catches Peter”?
Well Lord, You have a hold of my heart too.

loa-quote2.png

 

 

One of those days

Lord, please just hold me while I cry.

I have to be strong and I can’t show my tears.

I have to get on and must hide the fears.

Please just hang on to me while I cry. On the inside.

Lord, I trust you.

maxresdefault.jpg

Photo taken from song on youtube “Hold me while I cry” by Karen Peck and New River. I have no copyright.