How to Cope With Change (Sort of)

I know that is a funny title but let me explain. I have been going through a lot of change in my life and now we are going through another huge change in our family and that is my husband is looking to go for Master’s Degree and we are going through the steps to find out why we can’t have another baby. It seems like once we get through one curve of craziness we are hit right into another one. So I thought I would share with you the things that help me cope with change. the (sort of) part is because I am far from mastering them.

  1. Prayer

When you are going through a tough period in your life you have to use prayer. These past few months have been something that I would never suggest anyone go through. Losing everything and then being treated the way we have by our offenders has been heart wrenching, but it has made me a better prayer warrior and a little bit more keen on shutting up and listening to God for change.

Prayer is sometimes the only weapon we have against our enemy. Like right now my husband and I are tying to decide whether or not to take legal action. I have been praying about it and the Holy Spirit has laid it upon my heart to not pursue them in court. My first reaction is “What the heck? God, seriously? They can’t be allowed to do this. They have put us in tough spot and now You want me to just let them off the hook?” It doesn’t seem right but the only answer that was given to me:

Romans 12:19   Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Ug! But I wanted to kick some good for nothing landlord butt! I wanted to be like a Ninja Turtle and go in there and show them that this is wrong and they can’t do it again. But I guess that isn’t up to me. Of course then I asked, “But Lord! What if they bring a case again us?” This is what He gave:

Psalm 5:10-12

10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

It’s through prayer and God that we will be protected. Of course it might not be His will that we will not be served with papers but if we are then God will lead us through.

2. Worship

I know that one of the hardest things for me to do when I am in the time of trial is to worship. Worshiping when I am in pain seems like the biggest oxymoron there is. But you know what? It is the best time to worship. Worshipping God in the middle of a trial is the best way to get back at the devil. The devil can’t stay in a place where God is being worshipped. So in that moment where I feel low, I reach for the radio, my phone or just search deep in my heart sing out to God. Most of the time I really don’t believe the words I am saying right in that moment but I know they are true and if I keep saying them then their truth will shine through.

3. Community

Don’t go through anything alone. Heck, God made woman because it wasn’t good for him to be alone and it is the same still for us. Going through a trial alone is like starting a fire in the middle of a rain storm. There isn’t any help and you end up going no where in your journey. You might be looking like things are going in the right direction but if there isn’t someone else there to shield you from the rain then you will never get your fire going.

I have some great people in my life to mentor me and be there for me. They listen, give in instruction, and correct me when I am wrong. Just because I am a grown woman doesn’t mean I don’t need a swift kick in the butt and I know my support circle does it out of love. I would honestly want them to tell me I am being prideful then having to have God step in for me to get the picture.

So I would suggest getting some good solid people around you that will point in the right direction. Yes there is a time to complain and mope but that isn’t how you get a fire going either. Having a fire starting party with two people trying to start a fire in the rain is just as unproductive and you trying to do it by yourself. So find someone or two who will challenge you beyond your circumstance. Find those people who will cover you in the rain and help you with your technique and maybe giving a couple of dry pieces of wood to get your fire going. I am thankful God has given me the women in my life both those who are still on this earth and those who have past to be with Him.

The Sort Of Part:

So I hope those couple of things were helpful to you wherever you are in life. These things aren’t just good in trials but for everyday life. And that is where the sort of part comes in for me. It’s still easy for me for be in close contact with God in the storm but when the sun comes out and things get better I forget these things and start to back off on them so when the next storm comes in am end up in the rain by myself trying to start a fire and I have to start all over again.

My hope as I grow and mature in Christ that I will have these things either with all the time or have them very close by so that I can call on them right away and my wood won’t get all soaked. So I challenge you to go out and do these three things. Feel free to tell me how it goes. I love to read the comments left by readers and if you need someone to talk to feel free to email me at gracelynswritingcorner@gmail.com. God bless!

Thinking About Life

I know that I have it pretty good really. I have a roof (even though it’s my parent’s roof) over my head, a newer car, and a family that loves me. I am richer than most people in the world. Then why do I feel like I am so poor so often?  Probably because I am listening to the things of this world and letting the devil get in my head. When I am focused on Jesus, my thoughts are only gratitude but when they aren’t, things start to get scary. I am irritated and mean to the people I love and I can only see the things I don’t have instead of the things I do have.

It’s a a vicious cycle and it is hard to get off it some times, but it is possible to change things around if you have noticed you are on a similar cycle. The only thing that can get me out of the cycle is prayer and spending time with God. I know that life is busy and there are many days my prayer time is just “Lord, keep me safe today” while I am pulling out of the driveway. But I do try to keep my head in the right direction. My heart always wants to be with God and in His path but this world is tricky. It’s only with His help that I can do anything and most days get out of bed and get going 🙂

House Buying Trouble

So we are moving out of our rental and looking to buy a house instead of renting again. The good news is that we can afford and got pre-approved for financing. The problem? We keep getting outbid by Bay Area investors with their cash offers. Why is this even more frustrating? These investors more than likely will not move into the homes. They flip them and sell them again. So they buy up the homes that young families like mine can afford and then flip them to make them outrageously expensive.

It’s really the cause for the crazy housing prices in Northern California and why young families are having such a hard time getting a start. And for everyone not in California, the Bay Area (San Fran, Berkley and so on) is NOT Northern California. There’s Northern California, the Bay Area, and Southern California. So don’t let anyone tell you different 🙂

So now that that is taken care of, back to the housing issue. Since we are having such a hard time finding a house, we are going to have to rent again somewhere but it has to have the option of month to month which is almost as impossible as buying a house. So we are in a sticky situation.

Now I know you are probably wondering, then where have you been living? I have been living with my parents with my tow year old and my husband has been with co-workers. We have been doing this for two weeks. I am not sure what God is doing right now. I know He is doing something but right now I can’t see is but I know it has be something for our good. Otherwise this is all for nothing. So We are just praying for guidance and grace as we continue moving on down this journey. 🙂

 

Fighting My Foes

I am so happy – I get to be discarded from the hospital after a wonderful 4 day stay! I am so ready to go home and be in my own bed. This whole fight round with my asthma and pneumonia have been tough. I would rather give birth to my daughter again any day of the week and that was a long, hard 25 hours. But at least I got a prize in the end. This time I just get to  take home an oxygen tank.

I can’t remember being knocked down this hard. I’ve dealt with disastrous duo since I was 9 years old but it seemed like they weren’t so big back then since this my first being hospitalized for it since my initial diagnosis 15 years ago. Then, like a sleeping two headed dragon, my symptoms went dormant for about 8 years and that’s when I thought I had beat them. I had been doing my meds and lifestyle requirements to stay controlled but I guess they just went into their own type of training. As my lungs got stronger, they knew they had to get stronger, but, seeing that I was still in control and keeping my fitness up, there would have to be something really big to bring me down.

And boy did they find it! I have a pretty consistent trigger and had my doctor write a note instructing it to be tested and, if confirmed, taken care of. It is my greatest weakness. It was the catalyst that made me so sick to begin with and 99% of the time the reason for an asthma attack. My foes found their weapon and they used it. With the slightest of ease they took me down and now I lay here “bleeding” unable to fight back on my own. I have never felt so helpless.

I have been humbled to the point that I have had to wear women’s depends because coughing incontinence has joined the party, my O2 levels won’t stay elevated so I have to put on oxygen at the hospital and at home, I can’t walk to the bathroom and back without losing my breath, and I’m so fatigued I couldn’t do basic math even if I wanted to. My foes got me but that’s it. They have ravished my body and left me weak but that’s it. What they haven’t taken away is my fight and inner strength.

My Jesus has been here with me the whole time and He is giving me the strength to fight back against my foes and fight to keep them locked away. I have sword in my hand and have my war call ready. My foes better watch out. If there is one thing about me is that I will fight until the end. I will never give up and I will never surrender. But right now, it’s time for a nap.

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This is how I want to think I look fighting this battle.
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This is how I really look. Not so fierce huh?

Do you have a foe you are fighting? It may not be like mine and could be worse than mine. The thing is that we all need support. Feel free to comment below and let us fight together.

Breathing is Optional… Right?

It is allergy season here in Nor Cal and that means danger for me. I have allergy induced asthma so, for me, I dread the sniffles of allergies. I end up having an asthma attack twice a year (once in the spring and once in the fall), and last night was my spring attack. I tried to keep it at bay with all my home care but nothing was working so, finally at 9:30pm, I went to the ER to get a breathing treatment.

The ER was packed! I have never seen an ER so packed. I thought that telling them that I was having an asthma attack and was having trouble breathing they would have taken me back somewhat soon. Nope, 1 hour in the main waiting room, 10 minutes to be triaged, and then 20 minutes to be seen by a doctor who told me that it would be a 3 hour wait for room. I was shocked! Here is someone with breathing issues and you tell them there is a 3 hour wait when they have already been there an 1.5 hours! I thought that was crazy. He then told me my other option was to take 8 puffs within the next hour of my inhaler and he would order a steroid. All well and good if my rescue inhaler had been working. If it had, I wouldn’t be in the ER!

So I tried calling family to see if anyone was able to take my daughter the next day if I waited to actually get a breathing treatment and no one was available. So I had to make the choice to leave and try again at home or have about 3 hours sleep by the time I got a room, the breathing treatment and discharged. I took the 8 puffs (which I was never told I could. It even says on the box to only take 2 puffs every 4 hours) and waited.

For anyone who has asthma, you understand the frustration I felt. When you are having an asthma attack, it feel like the air is being sucked out of you. You can’t take a deep breath, you get light headed, dizzy, you can’t talk (or at least the volume in my voice almost disappears), your blood pressure spikes, your heart rate spikes, you can’t think straight and, if it gets bad enough, you start to lose your ability to even answer simple questions like “what’s your name?”

Here I am asking for help because the stuff I was doing at home wasn’t helping and they turn around and say “sorry but you really aren’t that important”. I hate hospitals and I do everything I can to avoid going to one so if I actually walk through the door it means I actually need help. Unfortunately, if you don’t have asthma, you can’t relate to how serious it can be. My attack I had last fall got so bad that, by the time I got to the doctor, I had 40% lung capacity. I didn’t want that to happen again so I went before it got there. I guess I should have waited and come in on an oxygen tank :/

So I waited to see if the puffs would work. Praise the Lord! I was feeling my ability to think return and my headache diminish a little. I would actually talk and my breathing did get better. It wasn’t like it would be if I was able to get a breathing treatment was it was way better than when I walked through the door. The doctor was happy too since I believe that he wanted to give me the treatment but they can only perform them in a room and there wasn’t one in the whole ER available. Of course I just thought in the back of my head “all I need is the nebulizer and an outlet. I’ll do it in the bathroom if I have to” but rules are rules. He discharged me and I went and got my meds from the pharmacy before going home.

I still didn’t get home until 1:00am but it was better than 3:00am or 4:00am. I took my steroid and prayed I would be able to still breathe in the morning. Thankfully I was and attack had lessened. The steroid had begun to kick in and I took 4 more puffs as soon as I woke up. Now I am just tired. When you go hours without proper oxygen levels it feels like you have just run a marathon. I just pray that the steroid keeps working and the inflammation goes down quickly. I don’t like being stuck in bed and my two year old thinks it’s really not a lot of fun either. I am busy mommy who wants to have fun. And I have my favorite gym class tomorrow morning. Can’t miss Pilates! 🙂

Praising God for Strong Willed Children

It’s funny. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had all these dreams and hopes of the person my daughter was going to be. I thought about all the pictures we would drawn and all the hide and seek games we would engage in. It was going to be perfect. There was just one thing that I didn’t think of. My cute, perfect daughter having a mind of her own.

Trust me, it’s not like I wanted a robot but my daughter’s personality is one that is a bit of a challenge for me. She is a super strong willed and stubborn child who makes the most simple requests (like don’t touch the blinds) into a big deal with yelling, screaming and me having to discipline her. If it was me as a child, the simple warning would have been enough. No not my child. For example with the blind, I simply asked her not to touch them. There was no yelling on my part or anything like that. I just asked her not to touch them. What did she do? She ran right back over to the blinds with her little hands behind her back and touched it with her toe. I then rolled my eyes because now this was going to be a fight that really didn’t mean anything except that she wanted to show that she was in charge.

So I gave her a little discipline and told her what would happen if she didn’t it again. This time she ran back to the blinds and put her hands behind her back. I was praying that she wouldn’t do it. I didn’t want to follow through on what I said but these acts of defiance have been getting worse so I have had to change my tactics with her. Sure enough, she didn’t touch it with her hand or foot, but rather she leaned forward and touched it with her nose. Now I had to do something. This wasn’t just a two year who didn’t know they were doing. She knew full well what the command was and twice disobeyed it.

After we had a discussion in her bedroom about her actions and why mommy was having to do what she was about to do because mommy loved her, we came out and I prayed that was the end of it. Nope! Now it seemed my child was on a mission more than ever to do everything opposite of what I said. And, in the end, there was a blind casualty. Half hour after the whole thing started, and many more timeouts and such later, she gave in and stopped touching the blinds.

I don’t get her mind set. I am an oldest so I like to follow the rules and do as I am told so that I don’t get in trouble. Technically my daughter is an oldest but not really – she is an only child. They are a whole new breed. I keep reading books on strong willed children and some things help but other things are a total waste of time.

Now you are probably thinking – she said that we need to praise God for strong willed children? And it is true! I do praise God for my child’s personality. It may not be a lot of fun to raise at times but it has  its good points too. My daughter is confident in herself, she can stand up for herself, and she can provide for herself. All of these traits will come in handy later in life as she goes into the real world and grows into an adult. My job is to whiled that strong will for good and not evil. Some days I know I do a terrible job and have totally missed the mark. There have been days I am so frustrated that I have my own tantrum in the living room while my daughter is having hers. There have been days where I have not shown my daughter the love of Jesus because I yelled and screamed at her out of frustration.

The point though is that this isn’t all there is meant to be in parenting strong willed children. My sister was one of these children that would make her life goal to drive my mother insane. I lost count of how many spankings she would get and it seemed to drive her up and not down. My poor mom didn’t know what to do, and, then a miracle happened, my sister turned into this wonderful adult. How did that happen? We don’t really know sometimes because it didn’t seem like she was taking any of my mom’s direction to heart but she was. And I have pray that my daughter is too.

It’s not all bad. Some times she can go a couple of days without an episode but when she has one right now it can last an hour. But we have so much fun otherwise. Now that she will be two in a couple of days, there’s so many things that she can do now that makes life fun. She is talking more and that is making life easier too. There is a lot of good! I just have to hold onto to those good times when we are in a season of not so good times. And some day, I will get to see the fruit of my labor. She will be a well rounded adult and society will get to see her fire as she goes on to do great things.

Do you have a little fire ball? Feel free to comment below on things you have done to direct them in the way they should go 🙂

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Almost two and she climbed all the way up there by herself. She really is amazing!

I Wish I had Grace Like My Husband

I know that title is a bit long and odd but it will make sense in a minute. First, I know as a child of God I have grace but that isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about being able to give grace or I guess mercy to people. I have a dark side and, if I am offended, it can be hard for me to come back into the light with that particular person. Right now the person I am not a fan of is the man who got the promotion I think my husband deserves. I have never met him face to face but what I hear about him and how he looks (I do see him since I pick up my husband from work sometimes) it makes me mad that he got the position and my husband didn’t. I husband looks and acts more worthy of the position but I wasn’t on the board that made the decision… Any way, see what I mean?

I hate to admit that I struggle in this area but I am human. Grudges go back as far as Cain and Able. Thank the Lord I have never wanted to kill anyone but still, isn’t any type of hatred murder in God’s eyes? Ouch. After I have a fight with the person I don’t like in my head (like that would make a difference any way), I then remember that I could have used those couple minutes in a more God loving way. I mean, would I really say the things that were in my head right to the guy’s face? Maybe… Ok no I wouldn’t but then why do I have these conversations in my head?

The answer? (drum roll) I am a sinner saved by grace. Just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean that I will be perfect. God doesn’t expect that of me. He wants a canvas to work on. There is no fun in painting a picture on a canvas that is already painted on. He wants to paint me into the picture that he wants to see. I am different than all the other paintings in His gallery. This is where my husband comes in.

I married pretty much the most laid back, roll it off your shoulders guy you have ever met. It takes a lot for him to become angry and hold any type of grudge. I have no idea how he does it. I still can remember the feeling of the guy that cut me off on the freeway two days ago and my husband seems to forget it a second after the occurrence. How does he do it? He is painted different than me. He has this gift of mercy and grace that I have never seen before. And I am very grateful he has it since that means he gives me the grace and mercy I need when I mess up and maybe say something that was hurtful. I am better about it since I am really trying hard to be a more gracious person and give people more slack, but it’s hard and I appreciate my husband being that example for me. He loves me even when I am not so lovable at that moment, he encourages me when I don’t want to see the bright side in something, and he leads me to know when to finally let something go.

I wish I had his gift of grace. God’s not done with my painting yet so there is still time. In the mean time, I just need to pay attention to the example set before me in my wonderful leader of a husband.

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Love you babe! Thank you for loving me!