Thursday, October 23, 2014

The faith to stay

I don't know if any of you are like me, but I have this overwhelming desire to be used mightily by Hashem. I want His blessings on my life. I want to serve Him with everything I have.

In my mind that looks so mighty. Like moving cross country on short notice because we're called to serve in some way. Or heading up a ministry of some sort. Or serving on a foreign missions field.

I totally have the faith to go. I'd go pretty much anywhere with out a second thought. Of course there are a few places that I'd ask "Abba are you sure?" but those places are few. My heart for doing the will of my Creator is so big that often my view of what He wants seems grandiose.

But what about when His will is for me to stay put? To serve Him where I am despite how un-grand it feels.

We had high hopes of moving to be in closer fellowship with others, and to devote our lives to full time ministry. We felt very strongly that it was Hashem's will. But then door after door was closed on our plans.

That was so hard. We felt very confused and severely overwhelmed. Many changes had to be made in order for us to go. So when it didn't go as planned we were hurt.

I was so frustrated.

But then the Almighty moved me to a realization that changed things for me. I need to be just as willing to stay, as I am to go.

Going somewhere seems glamorous. People know about it and they say "wow look at her faith". But when you stay put and you are doing the everyday things. The training of children, the cleaning of the home. No one cares. No one says wow your faith is so strong.

Instead they ask "what do you do all day?" They look at you and think all kinds of negative things. Encouraging your faith, is generally not on the list of comments to be made. So you're left feeling like the work you are doing is worthless.

But it takes just as much --if not more-- faith to stay, when everything inside of you wants to go. It's easy to feel like you're being sidelined. But that's not true. Abba doesn't want to punish your faith. He wants to continue to grow it.

He can't do that if you sulk and grow bitter. He needs your heart to stay joyfully focused on HIM as He gives you the grace to navigate your situation. When the time is right He will move.

For me personally I am spending this time at home working on the character qualities that I believe Hashem is trying to bring about in me, and my children, through this time.

It's not easy but with His help it is possible. So if you are like me and are struggling with having the faith to stay, I just want to encourage you today that the Lord has a plan for your life and where ever He has you He wants you to SHINE!

Love and blessings,

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Behind The Scenes God

I've heard countless stories about how things have come together for people and they could see how HaShem was at work "behind the scenes". We can see this very clearly also in the book of Esther. How things all come together by seeming coincidence. But to the believer there is no such thing as coincidence. My family was able to experience this recently as we walked through some health issues with one of our daughters.

Our 2nd born daughter, B, has been battling eczema for awhile now. Most people don't realize how serious of a condition this can be. It's not just dry skin. Especially not for her. Her whole entire body is covered in this itchy scaly rash. This is not a put some lotion on it kind of situation. We realize that her eczema is wrapped up in all her food allergies and sensitivities, so we had scheduled an appointment with a naturopathic allergist. But that appointment was months away.

A few weeks ago we noticed that she had some severely swollen lymph nodes in her legs. I know lymph nodes swell but these were like plum size! So we took her into the pediatrician who also was concerned. She sent us to get an ultrasound and from there to a hematologist. B is such a sweet little girl, while we were getting her ultrasound she looks at me and asks "am I having a baby?" lol. She was half joking and half concerned.

I didn't do a whole lot of googling during this time because I just wanted answers. I realize now that was a blessing because I would have been even more worried had I known what I needed to be worried about! In the time between the first initial doctors appointment and all the specialist appointments the allergist called and we were able to move her appointment up significantly. Which meant that we could get answers to her allergies while also dealing with what ever else was going on.

When we got to the hematologist we waited for a bit and as I waited I read some tehillim, in particular tehillim 34 stood out. So I just tucked it away in my heart and knew that it was a gift to me. When it was time for the blood draw I had to try to console B as well as hold her still. That was hard. But what was even harder was hearing the doctor say "ok I will run theses and then we will know in about 15 minutes if it's Leukemia."

Leukemia!? Cancer!? What!?

My head was spinning. I came in thinking the blood work was for something that.... was not as scary as leukemia. I began replaying tehillim 34 in my head and prayed silently. The angel of HaShem encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that HaShem is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. {Teh 34:7-8}

The doctor finally came back in and said there was no sign of infection and that B did not have leukemia. I let out a huge sigh of relief and then she said, "I'd like to get a chest x-ray so we can determine if we should move forward with a biopsy to check for lymphoma"

Lymphoma!? Didn't we just rule out cancer? I felt like I couldn't breathe again. The doctor assured me that it was just something they needed to check but that didn't ease my mind any. So off we went to get an x-ray. The next day after waiting all day for the results I finally got a call back telling me her x-ray was clear! BARUCH HASHEM!! 

So now we have ruled out cancer. But what's wrong with my baby?

The time had finally come to meet with the allergist. we told her everything that was going on and then she tested her for over a hundred things. Her allergies were even more severe than we thought. Turns out that the swollen lymph nodes are all part of her allergies. She is allergic to:


Bell Peppers
All beans and legumes 
Tree nuts 
All animal dairy 
Goji berries
Cacoa beans (chocolate)

Yes you read that list correctly. Yes it is A LOT. This means that we have been unknowingly giving her an allergic reaction at every meal. But we know, b'ezrat HaShem, that we will get through this and she will be healed. Since seeing the allergist we already are seeing some changes in her. She is taking probiotics twice a day, as well as some homeopathic medicines. We are also giving her fish bone broth, and will begin giving her aloe. 

This all came at a time when we really needed to know what as going on. We needed to get into the allergist early and we needed to have some second opinions. We were able to discuss everything and have her checked out by multiple doctors and really get some solid footing. To the average person this is all coincidental. But for us we know it is so much more than that. We thank our Elohim for His guiding hand in all of this, we thank Him for showing us the truth and walking with us through it. 

At the allergist there was a sign up that said: 

"We don't believe in miracles, we rely upon them"

I wholeheartedly agree! 

O magnify HaShem with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought HaShem, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. -Teh 34:3-4

(This all happened a few months ago and B is doing a lot better)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spiritual focus for 5575

Good Book via Laura Fatta

Wow. I don't know about you but the fall chagim seemed to go by in a whirl-wind! There was lots of planning and preparing going on, but it was all worth it. I feel like I really drew closer to Hashem and learned more about what He has called me to. Sometimes on this walk it's not that easy to navigate, but Baruch Hashem, I'm glad to have Yeshua to illuminate the path. 

I recently shared a brief overview of my goals for this year, and I was inspired by my friend and fellow blogger, Crysta from Shalom in the Home, to share a little more detail about my plans. 

So first thing I want to mention is my family's commitment to reading through the Torah portion each week. For those who don't know the Torah reading cycle was set up long ago during the time of the biblical Ezra and Nehemiah. The cycle was set up to ensure that people would study Torah, or at the very least encourage them to try. This cycle was used during the time of Yeshua and still used now! What an awesome was to stay connected to am Yisrael {the nation/people of Israel} and to our roots. 

The plan is for our family to read through at least a chapter of each portion during our weekly family Bible time. The cycle is just beginning anew so this week we have been reading Bereshith {Genesis} 1-6:8. My children are enjoying going through the creation story. It's amazing to me how they are picking out new things from the account each time. 

I also intend to try to read each portion in the chumash {Torah with commentary}. It would be much easier to do if I had a hard copy but for now I will be using this website which has the bible with Rashi's commentary. 

That plus sticking with my routine of daily bible reading, will definitely keep me spiritually fed. But even still there is more! I have signed up with to spend the next 13 weeks studying different middot {character traits}with a chevruta {study partner}via Riverton Mussar. I am really excited about this one and am looking forward to sharing what I'm learning. 

As for my Hebrew study I am going to go through the book Jot & Tittle, from FFOZ. A very dear friend of mine gave it to me years ago and I've gone through it very inconsistently. But I'm planning to complete the whole book this cycle. This will help to reinforce my knowledge of the alephbet and help build my vocabulary. I would like to do more but I think committing to this is huge step for me. I tend to pick things up and put them down very, VERY, frequently. 

I'm hoping that by planning it all out and sharing "the plan" will help keep me accountable. All I can do though is try :o)

What about you? Do you have any plans for 5775?

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men...
-Colossians 3:23

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