Difficulty Praying?

Well, friends, I think I charged back into blogging a couple of weeks ago too quickly so I’ve been paying the price since. Seems that’s what I do a lot these days!

STOP-YouReallyGottaStop

This has been the worst summer in my life, and that began early in the spring. The heavy monsoon activity we experience up here in northern Arizona really gets my nauseous migraines going, and that means I can’t do much. In an effort to better monitor my activity level, I think I need to scale back for another month or so and only post once or twice a week. Please forgive me if I don’t reply to your comments here or as quickly as I normally do. I so appreciate all your comments and prayers!

I admit that at times when my pain plus nausea levels are seemingly out of sight, I struggle with how to pray. And then I remember Romans 8:26-27:

In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And let’s not ever forget Verse 28:

GodWorksForTheGood--Rom8-28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

I am so thankful for that! The Holy Spirit not only knows my heart and intercedes “with groanings” for me when I can’t find the words through the pain, but God also “causes all things to work together … to those who are called according to His purpose.”

How amazing and awesome is that?

Here’s a wonderful quote from Oswald Chambers that is good for all of us to remember and hold close during difficult times.

EyesOnGod

AnnaSmile

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Advertisements

Give Thanks to Him

Thankful Thursday

Ps100-4

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

AnnaSmile

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Everlasting Love [Billy Graham devotional]

This year, Rick and I have been reading through Billy Graham’s great devotional book, Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and FaithYesterday’s devotional, “Everlasting Love,” spoke to both of our hearts so I knew I needed to share it with you.

jer31_3

From Hope for Each Day by Billy Graham

EVERLASTING LOVE

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.” —Jeremiah 31:3

Who can describe or measure the love of God? Our Bible is a revelation of the fact that God is love. When we preach His justice, it is justice tempered with love. When we preach His righteousness, it is righteousness founded on love. When we preach atonement for sin, it is atonement necessitated because of love, provided by love, finished by love.

When we preach the resurrection of Christ, we are preaching the miracle of love. When we preach the abiding presence of Christ, we are preaching the power of love. When we preach the return of Christ, we are preaching the fulfillment of love.

No matter what sin we have committed, no matter how black, dirty, shameful, or terrible it may be, God loves us. We may be at the very gate of Hell itself, but God loves us with an everlasting love. The proof? Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, went to the cross for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Go here to order your own copy of Hope for Each Day by Billy Graham.

AnnaSmile

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Perfect Peace Sunflower

Every time I see sunflowers, I think of my forever friend, Marie. They are her fave! So today’s Bible passage and image is dedicated to my Marie. I love you!

Isaiah_26-3_yellow_sunflower_square_esize

I love the New King James Version of Isaiah 26:3 because that is where I first read it and then memorized it:

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

The way I think of the word stayed is to stay calm, which aligns beautifully with the phrase “perfect peace”!

AnnaSmile

Another Crochet Mishmash

mish mash

ball-of-yarn

This is a typical ball of yarn. Innocent looking, right?

yarn-shop

This is an example of a typical yarn shop.

yarn-shop-2

And so is this.

??????????

This is my own private yarn shop, actually it’s my yarn closet on steroids … well, a good portion of it anyway. The scenery changes as I take from my stash to complete projects, but then I add more yarn when I see types or colors I just have to have, even if I don’t have a certain project in mind.

The other day I was browsing yarns in yet another store when a woman next to me, who was doing the same thing, started to leave with several skeins of yarn in her cart. Suddenly she stopped and grabbed another one, saying “I better get this one, too, just in case…” We smiled at each other and I replied, “I think and do that all the time!”

Have I told you how much I love to crochet? 

Crocheting is something I can do during CFIDS and FMS flareups and even migraines. It helps keep my hands busy and my mind focused on something other than me and my pain. There have been times when I don’t feel like picking up one of my crochet hooks, but that is truly rare. It is a soothing therapy where I can see the results of my efforts and that means a lot at a time in my life when I often feel like I am floundering in a sea of pain. I started taking photos of my completed projects—well, when I remember to do so—as a way of feeling a sense of accomplishment on days when I feel like I get nothing done.

You can see some of my completed crochet projects here and here.

AnnaSmile

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Ah, coffee!

tidbit tuesday

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve shared a tidbit or two about me, but I’m taking care of that right now.

It is no secret that I’ve always liked coffee. When we were quite young and wanted to have coffee like the grownups, my Mom would make a concoction that was mostly steamed milk with a little coffee in it. My sisters and I, however, felt much more mature when we were having our coffee drink.

I-Need-CoffeeNow it takes a couple of cups to get this motor running. I just am not myself first thing in the morning, mostly because I wake up with a migraine about every single day. Some coffee and Excedrin® usually work within an hour or two, and then I am much better company!

My Dad started drinking his coffee black many years ago and still does. I can recall my Mom watching me doctor my coffee with creamer and sweetener and asking me many times, “So, you still drink it with all that stuff in it?” And I would always reply, “Yes, Mom, I still do. I can’t imagine drinking it black, yuk!”

Fast forward many years and now you’ll find me drinking it black—no cream—because of a dairy allergy. And I don’t even use sugar or a sweetener, because that cup of black coffee somehow doesn’t seem to taste as good that way.

I never, ever, ever, ever… imagined I would not only be drinking my coffee black but enjoying it that way!

She’s baaack…finally!

a7bd3-im-back

On July 8th, almost a month ago, I posted about needing to take a break from the blogging life. I thought it would be only a week or two, but the “stuff” of my life got totally out of hand and day after day slipped by. However, I’m baaack!!!

Things started out with the horrifyingly sad news about the line-of-duty deaths of the 19 Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots while fighting the Yarnell fire. There was only one survivor and that was because he was the assigned lookout that day.

On top of that horrible news, the wonderful and crazy part of my month. First, my son, Alan, and two of his firefighter buddies from Dallas came to stay here for a few nights in order to attend and take part in the memorial service for those 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. Then just as they left,, my daughter, Kathy, arrived for a few days’ visit while she was on vacation.

Wonderful? Absolutely! Crazy? Well, for me it was that, but only because any kind of extra activity—fun or not—greatly impacts my health. I have said many times before that good stress as well as bad stress affects me, and let’s just say that I spent the rest of July recovering.

Would I change any of it? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I loved having each and every one of them here! Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing some of what happened during my eventful July, a little at a time.

Let me start today with one of the big reasons I haven’t been here in awhile. I’ve been thinking on and praying over things that I saw and heard regarding the deaths of those 19 Hotshots…and aspects of fires (including wildfires) and firefighters in general.

yarnell19-2I have found myself very weepy at times as I contemplate how the families of those 19 fallen firefighters are feeling. They must be reeling from the sudden loss, and that hurts my heart so much. Just this alone made me physically and emotionally weary, which is enough to set off a CFIDS/FMS flare.

My eyes kept “leaking” (the sweet way Rick refers to my crying) as I thought about the significance of the way I prayed for Alan’s salvation for so many years—that God would do whatever He needed to do to get Alan’s attention. And I wept as I prayed this many times over the years because I realized that God could well allow Alan to be severely injured in the line of duty.

One thing we talked about while he was here is that God did indeed use a fire several years ago to get Alan’s complete attention, but thankfully he was not injured in the process. I had never thought about it this way before, and now not one day goes by that I don’t remember that! And praise and thank God for it!

I’d like to leave you today by telling you about a song that was written as a tribute to the 19 fallen Hotshots. Alton Eugene, an Oklahoma man, created “Hope Song” after the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma. When he heard about these 19 brave Hotshots who were killed while fighting the Yarnell fire, he knew his song could serve as a method to mourn and heal. So he made a tribute to the fallen firefighters as a backdrop to his song.

You can view the video at Alton Eugene’s website. There are also links on the Facebook page he created as a tribute. “Hope Song” (2013 Arizona Fires Tribute), by Alton Eugene, is available on iTunes or Amazon and 100% of every download ($0.99) goes to the families and communities affected by the Yarnell wildfire.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

—John 15:13

A_Firefighter__s_Prayer…..

AnnaSmile

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author
and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.