caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

Archive for the category “Medical Roller Coaster”

Just the Facts, Ma’am

I am not known for my brevity.Somebody just fell out of their chair from laughing out loud. But, for those of you who are new to my blog…you have been warned.

I love to tell stories. They are rarely short. They are sometimes embellished. But, they are almost always filled with details. I love details. I am all about talking about them and exaggerating them, but, let me be clear, my husband would be the first to tell you that I am not a detail oriented person. At all. Like, not even a little bit.

For instance, I can appreciate that my friend got a new SUV a few years ago. She was excited to have something that would hold her three growing man-boys and all of their gear. I remember when she showed it to me for the first time. I remember that it was pretty and shiny and warmed my hiney hey, that rhymes! when I sat on the leather… but I can’t, for the life of me, remember what color it is. Seriously. I have seen her every week or two for years now, yet it doesn’t stick in my brain. I think it’s white…or silver. Ok, maybe gray. Shoot…I actually think it might be that pearly white color. Either way, that is sort of a big detail.

Another completely embarrassing perfect example is that I can appreciate how my husband loves it when people fly the American flag in front of their house. We live on an older street and have a few veterans who proudly fly the flag daily. In fact, one precious neighbor rides out to his flagpole on his hover round and puts that flag up and down each and every day. Awesome. So, I respect this concept, and I listened as my husband talked about getting one for us. I can even recall that he mentioned hanging it soon. But, I exaggerate not when I say the thing was hanging above our front door for a couple months before I noticed it. That’s right – months. Again, a pretty big detail.

As a wise thirty-something, I have learned that not everyone is built like me. Somebody say “Hallelujah!” I have quite a few friends, actually, who are built very differently than me. I often drive them crazy but they often keep me functioning. I add something to their lives too, I believe, although I’m afraid they aren’t quite sure what that is yet! One friend might say, “Oh Caroline, I love the pattern on your new shirt!” to which I may reply, “Huh, whatd’ya know?” or (while leaving Target) “Boy, Target sure hits the target!” to which I reply “Oh wow, their logo really is an actual target, like for archery or something.” Sigh. Yes, that actually happened.

I only mention this flaw of mine because I have never ever, ever, ever been one to only give the facts. It just isn’t in me not to expand the story with dialogue, sub-plots, or anecdotes. I have actually been known to tell a story that leads me off into seven two or three other ones before I was done. So…in honor of all of my friends who by bribery the grace of God have stuck by me, I am going to try and defy the odds. I am going to try and give “just the facts, ma’am” about my trip to the Mayo clinic. Many of you have enjoyed hearing about what God has done, but then you are still waiting to hear what the doctors did, as well. Shocking.

But before I begin my brevity, I feel compelled to share what God told me to write about. (Don’t you love how I need to expand on the fact that I am about to be brief? Old habits die hard.) As I have seen and heard from friends since we have been home, they want the medical details about the trip. And so I knew I needed to blog about it. But, I also knew that would be very boring. And I rarely do boring. So, I thought Ok, how can I relate my ‘fact-giving’ to Jesus? Then, He hit me. I believe that, as Christians, we ok, I can always sometimes get lost in our story telling. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing about what God has done in people’s lives from their point of view. But, I am merely suggesting that when we talk to those who don’t know God, it is good to keep our foundation built on facts. Not feelings. Not opinions. Not interpretations.Just the facts, ma’am.

First, as my pastor says, “God stepped out of nowhere, into nothing, spoke something in order to make everything come into existence.” God made the world.There was no Big Bang, or if there was, God did the bangin’. There was no lightning that struck a pond and organisms “evolved” from there, or if there was, God made the pond and told the lightning, “Ok, now!” He is it – the Creator. Period. (Genesis 1)

Second, everything the Bible says was inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and is true. Everything.  (Psalm 33:4) Jesus came to this earth as a perfect Savior for the sin of mankind. (John 3:16-17) You sin. I sin. Everybody sin sins. Anyone who ever drew breath in and out of their lungs, sinned. Jesus, however, lived a perfect life (Hebrews 4:15) and died a criminal’s death to pay the cost of our sin.(2 Cor. 5:21) He rose from the dead three days later (Luke 23:52 – Luke 24:8) and He will return someday to this earth to claim His own. (1 Thess. 4:16-17) It’s going to happen, people. I am not predicting when. The Bible says that is futile. (Matthew 24:44) In fact, if some wacko starts predicting a date, then you can be fairly certain it won’t be that day. Only God knows. (Matthew 24:36)

Third, good people go to hell. It isn’t generally how you would greet someone at a dinner party, but it’s true. “Believing” that there is a God isn’t enough. In the Bible, good ol’ James tells it like it is. I love that about him. James 2:19 says “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” Unless you have a specific time in your life where you have 1) believed that Jesus was God’s only Son, that He literally came to walk on this earth, died on the cross and rose again at Easter and  2) then have confessed with your mouth that you need God to pay for that sin with the death of His Son and 3) submitted your completely sinful heart and your destined for hell life to Him, then you are not a Christian. Just because your Mom is a doctor doesn’t make you ready to perform open heart surgery, does it? Physically being inside a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than being inside your garage makes you a car. Have you had a change of heart? Have you had a change of action? Do you love the Lord? If you aren’t sure, friend, contact me, your church, or my church. We will be happy to talk it through with you. Trust me, you wanna be sure.

Fourthly, we are not entitled to be happy. In fact, we are not entitled to anything – but hell. We were born sinful and that fact should send us straight to hell. So, truly, anything better than that, we should be grateful for. We are not promised a happy life. We are not promised a healthy life. In fact, what we are promised is a life filled with trouble. Job 14:1 says “Man born of woman (and that’s pretty much all of us!) is few of days and full of trouble.” And Jesus promises us from his own mouth in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcomethe world.” The last part of that verse is what gives us hope, friend. But, until we have a relationship and not a “religion-ship” with God, we will not grasp that. We each have a hole inside of us that cannot be adequately filled with anything but Jesus. Worldy wealth. Skinny body. Attractive spouse. Well-mannered children. World travel. Thriving business. None of these things will cut it. They may work briefly, but only partially. If you take a minute to truly be honest with yourself, you may find that you seem to be lacking something. Well, no doubt about it, that something is Jesus. Whether you lack Him completely or you lack Him intimately – He is the only void-filler. Everything else is going to fail.Lastly,(fifthly sounded dumb) abundant life is possible. Not easy, but possible. God is good. He is gracious, kindhearted, and righteous. (Exodus 34:6) He desires for our life to be full. (John 10:10) Not of things that the world says should fill us. But things of Him. He wants us to be aware of our enemy, Satan, who wants nothing more than for us to fail. (John 10:10) If Satan can’t have you for eternity, he wants you to be useless for God while you are here on earth. (1 Peter 5:8) So, if you are a Christian but you find yourself sleep-walking through life, then this is the time to stop and refocus. James 1:22 says “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” You think you are deceiving others? The Bible is pretty clear, it is you that is deceived.

Do you read your Bible daily? Are you an active member of your church who volunteers, tithes, and is involved in a home group or Bible study of some kind? Is God the priority of your day? Can people at work, or even more importantly, at home, even tell by your behavior that you are a Christian? Does your life bear the fruit of His Holy Spirit written about in Galatians 5? (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) If not, today is the day to make a change. Contact your local pastor, or mine and begin to live the life God had planned for you. (Jer. 29:11) Whether you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior as a five-year-old in children’s church, or ten minutes ago after reading this blog, (praise God!) it doesn’t matter. Today is the day to start living like it. Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deedsand praise your Father in heaven.”Them are the facts, friend. They were written as briefly as I am physically able to give them. If you know someone who may benefit from hearing these facts (not my medical ones), please share my blog. I don’t want to be more popular. I want Jesus to be more popular! Share it. Let them read. And let God do the rest!

But, I feel the need to confess that I have typed most of this post while sitting outside in our front yard. And, I just looked up and noticed our flag isn’t hung over our front door anymore. Hmm? That’s weird, I thought. I just asked Ryan when he took it down?

“About a year ago.”
Sheesh…I’m hopeless.
And now,  just the medical facts, ma’am.
From the world-renowned neurologist – MRI scans were normal, both of my head and my entire spine area. I have no scar tissue from the MANY procedures I have had (praise God!). He does still suspect that I have a “slow-flow leak” which can heal itself eventually or perhaps gets worse and grow into a more severe leak again. If I do get another spinal fluid leak, he assured me that I can simply come there to Mayo for treatment. He will do a fibrin glue mixed with blood patch which should seal the leak more permanently. Normally, here in our area doctors will not do that procedure unless they can specifically locate the leak, but this doctor has seen so many successful cases even when the specific leak is not found so he is willing to do it. HUGE Praise God!
From the endocrinologist – My thyroid, adrenal glands, pituitary function, kidney function, liver function, autonomic systems function all came back normal. Most of my blood work came back in normal range. My iron “stores” are depleted and I have reactive hypoglycemia. Both of which will be helped by vitamins and monitoring my eating.
From the precious family medicine doctor – I need to lose 25 pounds. Thankfully, the doctor didn’t say this to me, but it is obvious and can only help my body. Overall, they think my fatigue is most likely caused by the severe trauma my body has been through the past year. I have heard numerous times that you have to give your body at least the amount of time that you were on steroids to recover and begin to act like it was never on steroids. I was on steroids for 15 months. I have been off of them for 10 months. And, I was on four times the regular dosage for a normal person. Wowzers! The iron supplements should help with the fatigue. And hopefully my body will seal this slow flow leak, which should help too.
Overall, I think that is it. Like I’ve said before, I didn’t go there and get healed. But, I was checked over extensively to rule out anything else that could be causing this. And more importantly, I have a plan for the future, in case I get another spinal fluid leak. If this is all new to you and you don’t know my story, feel free to check out my post describing how I got to where I am.
Love, love.
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The Cool Kids

Do you remember what it was like when you were younger? How easy it was to spot out the “cool kids”.
Maybe you were in elementary school at recess playing dodge ball. Before one kick was made, the teams were divided into your team and the other team. The other team always won. Those were the cool kids.
Maybe you were in college, sitting in the University center falling asleep studying for a mid-term. Students filed in and out like cattle. But then it would happen. A group of people would enter, perhaps with Greek letters splashed all over their shirts (and backpacks and socks, for goodness sake) and the energy in the room instantly changed. You watch as they laugh, play around, and just generally attract attention wherever they go. Yep, those were the cool kids.
It doesn’t even matter what the scenario, you can generally find that there will be a group of people that rise above and set themselves apart. Maybe it is for their good looks. Maybe it is for their intelligence. Maybe even for their athleticism. Good grief, it may be for all three. That part doesn’t matter. What matters is that they exist. And they are cool.
Something about them draws you in like a magnet pointed at a box of paper clips. You want to be in that group. You may play it off and fool others into thinking that you don’t want to be cool. But you do. You want to surround yourself with that kind of coolness all the time. Don’t fight it, you know it’s true.
Well, friend…if cool kids were Muslims, I have found their Mecca.
It is called The Mayo Clinic, and it is for real.
I was blessed enough to be a patient at Mayo for three days. That’s right, three days. That’s all it took for me to become a believer. To be honest, it took about ten minutes. I cannot explain the energy of this place. And no, I’m not talking weird, cosmic energy the “world” speaks of. I’m talking about excitement, professionalism, genius, efficiency, love, joy, precision, and peace.
This place could not be in a more random area of our country, I mean, Rochester, Minnesota? Seriously? Yet, it is arguably the best hospital/research center in the world. I kid you not when I say that presidents come here. The Dalai Lama comes here twice a year for his physical. (Man I wish he were here this week, so I could give him some Jesus.) Royalty from all around the world fly here for medical care. This is the place.
Here they have answers.
Here they have hope.
Here they have peace.
The doctors and nurses here know with certainty that there is nowhere else in the world they could work better than this.
The support staffers know they are a part of something bigger. Something powerful.
The patients are instantly united here. We all can glance at each other quickly as our wheelchairs whiz by and just know. We are here for help. This is the place to be.
This ain’t no Miracle Whip clinic. This is the Mayo clinic.
This is for real.
While there, I found out that the Mayo Clinic employs over 30,000 people.
Thirty thousand people who are a part of something great. Thirty thousand who are one giant, united magnet. Something that people are drawn to. I can’t explain it better than that.
This, friend, is where all the cool kids are.
Whether they have M.D. at the end of their name, or whether they are, like me, being pushed in a wheelchair and only here for a day or two. You can just tell on the looks of everyone’s faces – they know. This is big.
I belong to an amazing church in Keller, Texas. Ryan and I have been going to The MetChurch for almost nine years. It is home to us. Is it a perfect church? Absolutely not. There is no such thing. In a world full of imperfect people, I am confused as to why people expect churches to be perfect. In fact, when suggested that our church has some hypocrites in it, our pastor replied, “That’s right! And we always have room for one more.” We are not disillusioned that The Met is perfect. But, we serve the One who was. When you walk into our church, you feel something. You can tell you are surrounded by people who have a certain something. Yes, I think my Met family is most certainly the cool kids. They have a love and joy and peace about them that draws you in. You just want to be with them.
This is God’s idea for the church.
We, as believers should have something about us that people are drawn to. And no, I don’t mean our fake personalities or blingy cross décor.
I mean Jesus.
If you are in relationship with Him, you should stand out as the coolest kid of all. Something about you shouldn’t make sense to those looking in. How is she so peaceful? Why doesn’t he ever get too angry? How can they be happy when they have so little money?
You and I should stand out.
I sometimes question if I do. Do you?
Does your life bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Do you show love? Do you spread joy? Does peace reign? Are you quick to be patient? Do you display kindness? Are your thoughts, motives, intentions and actions good? Are you faithful? Do you speak gently? Do you exhibit self-control?
This is not weakness. This is strength. This is not about being popular. This is about making Jesus’ Name great. This is not about you and me. This is about them. This is about all those out there who feel they are on the outside looking in. For all of those who feel like they’ve been rejected before. For all of those who have been burned before. For those who have surrounded themselves with “stuff” but still feel so empty. For all of those many people out there who are just…plain…lost.
We are the church. We are for real.
Friend, I challenge you, that if your church is not this way – change that. I don’t mean you should set up a meeting with your pastoral staff and tell them they need to whip this place into shape. I mean you (and I!) need to pray for our church leaders. We need to SERVE in the church and use our gifts to build up this family. We need to spend time in the Bible so that we have the spiritual food we need to look different in this world.
I cannot count the number of hospitals I have been to in the last four years. Ok, I can, it’s been three. But, still, three different hospitals, countless doctors, nurses, staff members that I have come into contact with. And nothing even comes close to the Mayo clinic. Not even in the same galaxy.
This place is for real.
Most people change churches every 3-4 years. That is a recent statistic I heard and just couldn’t believe. What kind of world do we live in that we can’t even stay committed to the church we go to? We aren’t “happy” with every single thing they do and every choice they make, so we bail. We move on to bigger, brighter, more popular churches are satisfied…for a little while.
That stops here.
Friend, this isn’t like the Mayo clinic where it is simply a matter of life and death. This is the church. And this is a matter or eternal life and death. Get invested. Commit. Tithe. Serve. Volunteer. Pray. Remember what you are here for. Be a part of the type of church that draws people in.
Friend, if you have a relationship with Jesus, then, congratulations, you are the cool kid now. Period.
If you aren’t sure where you stand about this whole God thing – check it out. Talk to some people who claim to love Him. Ask your questions.Visit a church or two and see if you get what I describe. This isn’t something you want to be unsure of.
Because, friend, this is about Jesus.
And, He is for real.

Milk and Honey

Mayo. Prior to this week, that word would simply have been a disgusting white condiment that I avoid at all costs. After this week, it is one of my favorite places ever. Ever.I have had the unique blessing of being a patient at, arguably, the best medical facility in the world. I have endured four years of medical drama looking forward to the possibility of this, the dream of it, the hope in it. And now I’ve been there. And in true God fashion, He totally outdid Himself. Friend, Let me explain. (get comfy 🙂

First of all, is the fact that He divinely arranged for some of my favorite people in the world to live just minutes away from this place. He wanted Ryan and I to be surrounded by loved ones. By people who loved the Lord, loved us, and were standing in faith beside us through this journey. But that’s not all. We actually got to spend time with them, eat meals with them, hang out on the couch and just have fun with them and their precious kids. I have known this family since I was seventeen years old. Don’t do the math, just trust me, it was a while ago. When I met The Nelson family, their kids were little. Daniel was 11, Scott was 9, Brent was 6, Gregg was 2, and Colleen was still in Sue’s belly, about ready to pop out! 🙂

This week, as Ryan and I had the blessing to invade this family’s home, we enjoyed hearing about Daniel and his lovely wife (who I also grew to love through working with at camp!) and their precious two-year-old. We got to hear about Scott and his wife and the youth ministry they serve in and their excitement of expecting their first child. Ryan and I got to go to lunch with Brent and hear about his upcoming boot camp as he has decided to enlist in the Marines. Sweet Brent was in my very first 5-6 year old group at camp, such a sweet boy and now such a fine young man! Gregg was a joy to see maturing into his soon to be adult self, and hear the antics of his senior year of high school. And then there’s sweet Colleen. I held her as an infant, she was a flower girl in my wedding, and we got to hear her excitement to be driving soon and the pure joy of owning her very own first horse. Blessing upon blessing.

More than anything, Ryan and I got a beautiful gift- a glimpse of the type of family we want. Everyone is different. Their personalities, their interests, their hobbies, but one thing is for sure about the Nelson family – they love God and they serve Him humbly. Each one of them. Ryan and I would have been blessed by staying at a nice hotel, we don’t ever do that kind of thing…but instead God arranged for us to be encouraged, uplifted, and spiritually challenged in our road to godly parenting.

That’s milk and honey, friend.

Like I mentioned in a prior post, the method God chose to use to get me into The Mayo clinic was through a friend of this precious family. This doctor friend, Dr. Furst (catch his name, I think this was God reminding me Who’s planning should come 1st!!) basically accepted me as a patient and then did EVERYTHING to make sure I saw all of the best doctors in every area of concern. I didn’t necessarily need to see a family doctor, like he is. But, by taking me as a patient, I was in. He knew I needed help. And he had a heart to do so. Now, keep in mind, I don’t know this man. All I know about him is what I have been able to gather from our few email correspondence and the positive things the Nelsons said about him. I knew he was kind and personable, because he enjoyed calling me by my camp name, “Pele” which is what the Nelsons still call me. So, I was walking into yet another doctor’s office somewhat blindly.

Let me remind you that I have, conservatively, seen more than twenty different doctors over the last four years. Each one of those doctors had a nurse or two that I have dealt with as well. So, all said, I have come into contact with at least fifty medical professionals throughout this journey. They had different areas of expertise, different personalities, different medical practice styles- they were all unique. I only say this to assure you I have been around the “medical block” a time or two or twenty, and I have never, ever experienced anything like this.

When he walked into the room, he shook Ryan and I’s hands, introduced us to his medical student and sat down. So far, so normal. Then he adjusted some of his papers on the desk as he welcomed me to Mayo and asked about our drive up. Then he put everything down and looked me dead in the eye and said “Pele, we are going to get to the bottom of this. Don’t worry. You will get better!”

Whoa. No doctor has ever been that bold, that encouraging, that sympathetic.

Ever.

But wait, friend, it gets better.

We then spent the next HOUR going over all of the history of my last four years. I had already given him this info but he wanted to hear it from me personally. He wanted not just my medical records, but he wanted to hear me tell my story. After answering all his questions and asking some of my own, we were about done. Then it happened. Something that I have never experienced, nor ever thought I would, in a doctor’s office.

He said, “Now, Pele, I know you are a woman of faith, and so if it is Ok with you, I’d like to pray for you.”

I was speechless. Stunned. Shocked. Surprised. Honored. Humbled. I have no idea what my face looked like but I managed to muster up enough mental ability to say “You bet! I’d be honored.”

Then my doctor prayed for me, “God, we know that you are with Pele and that you know everything she has been through. We ask for your healing. I ask for you to be with her. Thank you for bringing her here. We trust you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

That was it, I was crying. I was blessed that God brought me to Mayo. I was blessed simply to know that my doctor was a Christian.

But that, friend, was milk andhoney.Goodness gracious, I could go on and on.

About how nice it was to have time for me and my man for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I missed our babies something fierce! But, God truly gave me a peace that doesn’t make any sense at all. Just like He promises in my life verse, Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding (i.e. Doesn’t make any sense at all!) will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Boy, were my heart and mind guarded!! I am a worrier. I am a control freak. I should have been much more nuts about it. But I wasn’t. Instead, my hubby and I got some much needed, looooooong overdue “us time”. Heck of a way to get it.

But, friend, that’s milk andhoney.About how THE most brilliant doctors in these fields were also THE most caring, personable, thorough doctors I’ve ever met. I would have been blessed to just receive care from brilliant doctors, but the fact that they could laugh with me (and at me!) and each genuinely cared about hearing all about my story.

That’s milk andhoney, friend.About how financially burdensome this trip was going to be. Don’t get me wrong, we were so happy that I got accepted, but in reality, medical care ain’t cheap. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am convinced that I’ll be voted “most popular” by Blue Cross Blue Shield this year – fourth consecutive year of holding that title, I might add. Yet, before we even left our house, friends donated generous love offerings to us…arranged meals for my family while we were gone…booked hotels for us for our looooooong  commute there and back at no cost to us…bought gluten free treats, fun Minnesota-worthy warm boots for my little feet…paid for our rental car…given magazines…books on CD…coolers with Ryan’s favorite drinks, Scripture for us to read each day…the list goes on. We would have been blessed to know we were lifted up in prayer, but all of this!?!

That is milk andhoney, friend.So, what do I mean about this whole milk and honey thing?

Well, for the last eight weeks or so, I have been super blessed to get to be a part of a Bible study at church written by Priscilla Shirer. It is called One In a Million and it is just flat out awesome! I mean it, go check it out!!

This study isn’t just a workbook with a cool cover and a catchy name. This is the real deal. Priscilla took us on a journey with the Israelites. Like I’ve said before, I swear my maiden name should have been Israelite. I have done studies on this subject before. I relate to those silly people. God always gets His loving 2×4 out when I read about them, I guarantee that.

But this study was different. I had studied about God calling Moses. I had studied about God parting the Red Sea. But, this study wasn’t just about an event. This study was about the journey. This study truly focused on the two million who took this long journey and the two men who actually made it. Scholars estimate that the number of people who traveled on dry ground with Red Sea as the walls beside them, were about two million. But if you read through the book of Exodus, which I know doesn’t sound like the most fun thing to do on a Friday night, but I promise if you do, you will be shocked! Only two of those men actually made it. Only two stepped foot on the land promised to them. And one of them was not named Moses.

Joshua and Caleb were the only two men out of two million people to make it to the milk and honey. Two out of two million. Do the math…that’s one in a million. Not a catchy phrase – a reality.

All throughout the book of Exodus and also in Deuteronomy, God promises this land “flowing with milk and honey” to these people. They rebelled. God forgave. They disobeyed. God forgave. They complained, grumbled, whined and basically threw God’s grace back in His face repeatedly. That was it. Our perfect and righteous God was done. In Joshua 5:6, we hear that it took forty years for the generation of wicked to die off, so that the next generation could inherit this Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb remained. Only those two would experience His abundance.

During the study, Priscilla opened my eyes to, not only what that meant for them, but also what it means for you and me today!  Milk and honey? I mean, personally I always thought that was a little odd. And messy. But, I agree with the interpretation Priscilla gave – “the milk represents the provision, but the honey represents the abundance”.

Friend, God didn’t want them to just get out of Egypt, He wanted them to have an abundant life. To have milk for sustenance, but honey for sweetness.

John 10:10 Jesus says “The thief (our enemy, Satan) comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they may have life (the milk) and have it abundantly (the honey).”

Ephesians 3:20-21 says “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us (the Holy Spirit), to Him be the glory in the church and in Jesus Christ to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Friend, God wants YOU to be the one in a million. He wants YOU to be living a life filled with milk and honey.

Don’t misunderstand me…I do not believe in the mindset that Christians should think they’re entitled to always be healthy, wealthy and wise. In fact, like mypastor says, I think God is more concerned with how, or if, you praise Him when you are sick, poor and dumb. Friend, I am not healed. I didn’t receive divine healing while at The Mayo clinic. I absolutely believe God could have done that. But He didn’t. Instead, He gave me a heaping spoonful of milk and honey. And friend, I am thankful!

I believe He wants each of us to be so faithful to stay close to Him. He desires our relationship not our religion. We wants us to, like Joshua and Caleb, get to experience what He has available to all of us…the life of abundance!

A life with practical and pretty.

A life with the meat and the sweet.

And messy or not, friend, I’m in!

You with me?

What Are the Odds?

My sweet Benjamin went to a birthday party last weekend. I was feeling well enough to take him (thank you God!) so off we went. He had a blast at this party, all thanks to Mr. Reptile Man. This sweet older gentleman has a business of bringing all sorts of creepy critters to parties. With a room full of five-year-olds, he may as well have been Jack Hanna himself – the kids loved it! After a couple hours of petting and holding spiders, bugs, lizards, frogs, turtles, and snakes (that’s right, big ol’ scary lookin’ ones too!) I left with a happy little boy holding an orange balloon. The whole ride home was filled with excited chatter all about how awesome that was and “Mama, wasn’t I brave!!” over and over! It was precious. He was equally excited about playing with this balloon with his sweet little sister. “Abigail is gonna love popping this up in the air with me, Mama, she loves balloons!” He was right, she does.
The balloon lasted about three minutes.
Benjamin isn’t known for thinking things through all the way, (no clue where he gets that from) and despite our warnings, he let his 2 ½ year old sister play with this balloon…in our front yard. Not a good idea.
While I walked across the street to our best friend’s house quickly, the traumatic event happened. Not five minutes after I left, I walked back. I didn’t even get to the driveway before my husband yelled “Boy did you just miss two hysterical little kids!” As I got closer, they didn’t look injured, but their tear stained cheeks told me that I had missed some sort of drama. I saw Benjamin. I saw Abigail. I did not, however see the orange balloon.
“Abigail let my balloon go into the sky, Mama, and now it’s gone forever.”
“Oh buddy, I’m so sorry that happened, I bet she didn’t mean to do that. We tried to tell you that the balloon wasn’t a good thing to play with outside in the open sky.”
Ryan told me that they both just flat out lost it! Benjamin was crying and upset with Abigail. And Abigail was crying and upset with the balloon. It wasn’t pretty.
But, life goes on and so did our day. There were a few more moments of lamenting off and on throughout our evening, but overall, they did pretty well.
Then morning came.
It is our custom, for whichever kids who are awake when it’s time for Daddy to leave for work, to join me in a big family goodbye. Rain or shine, cold or hot, we group up on the front porch and yell “I love you Daddy!” “Byyyyeeee Daddy” and we always do as Abigail suggests “Gotta wave with two hands!”. This morning it was just Abigail who was awake. (Abigail has been the first to rise a lot lately. Me and sister friend gotta have a come to Jesus meeting about that!)
So, as I sat on the concrete and nestled her into my lap, we looked to our right and watched Daddy walk down the sidewalk. Then, the quiet, early morning stillness was shattered with…
“MAMAAAAA, LOOOOOK!!!! There’s Benben’s ballooooooon!!!!”
Sure enough. I turned my head, looked straight out into the middle of the yard, and there, floating about two inches from the ground, was the little orange balloon.
What are the odds?
That it didn’t pop?
That it didn’t float away to China – or at least For Worth.
Instead, that it landed in the smack dab middle of our yard, completely unscathed?
She couldn’t get her little bare feet there fast enough – through the sticks and the mud, she ran to grab that balloon. Waving goodbye to Daddy was all of a sudden moved down on the totem pole of importance. She couldn’t wait to get inside to tell Benjamin.
Poor Benjamin still had about an hour before he actually had to get up and get ready for school, but she didn’t even get inside the front door before screaming “Benjaaamiiiin look, your balloon came back to you!!!!”
What are the odds?
Now, I’m not a betting person. I don’t judge those who gamble or play the lottery. Ryan and I just generally don’t. I mean, we have. We played the slots on our honeymoon cruise. We bought a lotto ticket once and won like $28. Hey, it was $28 more than we had before. But, overall, we don’t’ play the odds. And we generally don’t beat the odds.
But, friend – God does. Every. Single. Time.
I know this because He has shown it to me time and time again throughout this medical roller coaster. And never more so than this week.
For those of you who don’t know, I have tried to get into the Mayo clinic twice before. Tried two times. Denied three times. Gee, thanks Mayo. I had resolved to be happy being a mustard gal and thanking God for what I had.
Until now.
So, a few weeks ago I was blessed enough to attend a staff reunion for the Christian camp I worked at for ten summers. One word can describe it – joy. I was giddy to be back on camp grounds. Overjoyed to see the faces of beloved friends, some of whom are really more like family. One of which is a man named Spike. (We all had “camp names” we went by – mine was Pele J I was a soccer stud. You know what they say, “The older you get, the better you were!”)
Spike was the Executive director of the camp, and when I first started at the wise ol’ age of seventeen, I had to check in with him to leave campus. I was the first person to ever be allowed to work there that was a minor so he took this pretty seriously. After some time, I came to know him as “Dad”, mainly to mock the fact that I had to report to him over and over. Anyway, Spike is an amazing man and I grew to really love him like a Dad. I worked under his leadership for ten summers and count myself blessed to know him, his incredibly wise and godly wife, and their five precious kids.
Seeing me at the reunion, I think was tough for Spike. He had always known me as the fun-loving, lively, athletic, crazy type of person. The woman that stood, ok, lied down, before him at the reunion was far from that. He knew I’d had a tough few years, but I think there’s something different about actually seeing a person that makes it more real. He left that reunion and very shortly thereafter emailed me asking if he could help in any way. “At least let me make a phone call, Pele, that’s the least I can do.” He reminded me that Camp Victory, the camp he and his family now worked at, was twenty minutes away from The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. What are the odds? I totally had forgotten about that. Spike hadn’t. And God hadn’t either.
When Spike emailed me again he said “I have a friend who is on the board of directors at my camp now, he is a great Christian man and a doctor at Mayo…let me just see if he can help.” I agreed, thinking “It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? But really, what are the odds?” I knew that my own doctors had tried to make phone calls and get me in over the years, so it was pretty much impossible to think that a phone call from a camp director would be do any better. Clearly, I had forgotten that God beats all odds.
The next day Spike emailed me and said that his doctor friend was very interested in helping and to email him as soon as possible. So, I did. I told the doctor who I was and thanked him in advance for having a heart to help me. He asked for my story so he could get a better idea of how to move forward. I told him to sit down and get comfy, it was a long story.
I explained to him about the other times I had applied to Mayo and that the reasons I had been denied were clerical errors and miscommunications. I also explained to him that the reason I had tried The Mayo clinic in Minnesota was because THE renowned specialist for the condition I had was there at Mayo. He was the guy in the entire country equipped and knowledgeable in the area of multiple spinal fluid leaks I suffered from.  I sent this email to Spike’s doctor friend at about 6:00pm and hoped that I would hear back from him within a few days. I checked my email before bed only to find out that he had emailed back within an hour and said “Oh yes, I know the specialist you mentioned, I’ll call him tomorrow. Don’t worry Pele, we are going to make this work.”
I was stunned. There must be hundreds of doctors at Mayo and he knows the guy I want to see? I couldn’t help but keep thinking, “What are the odds?”
Through the course of another week, we emailed back and forth and he explained to me that the specialist I needed to see was out of town, but that he would keep working on it. This man is a family medicine doctor, so my case was far out of his expertise, but he didn’t seem to care. He genuinely wanted to help. The next week I touched base with him and asked how it was going. Again, I let a few hours go by before I checked my email to see if there was any news. But, when I checked it, I had not one, but two emails from him.
The first – “Hey Pele, I’ve been reading over your history and I know we can help you. We are going to make this happen. Go ahead and send your records to us so we can formulate a plan. And I will try to get a hold of the specialist again today. I know this has been a long road for you and I can’t imagine having to go through what you’ve gone through, but stay positive, Pele, I know this will work out!”
The second – “Great news! The specialist reviewed your case and he wants to see you! You are in. Get those records sent and let’s get this process going. I’m so happy for you!”
I just stared at the screen. I re-read it over and over to make sure it was true. Was I really accepted to The Mayo clinic? Was I really going to be traveling to Minnesota sometime in the next few months to be under the care of the best doctors in the world? What are the odds?
Friend, it doesn’t stop there. A couple days after getting the news, I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. I answered it and a lovely lady with a very thick Northern accent said “Oh yaaa, I’m MAHrcy from the MAY-yo Clinic in RAHchester MinneSOHta. I am calling you to set up your schedule of appointments. Can you be here this Monday?”
That’s right, friend. God did in less than three weeks what I couldn’t do in more than three years.
God beats all odds.
Don’t believe me? Read the Bible.
Just ask Gideon. His army was whittled down from thousands to three hundred. And his enemy? Was their army whittled down too? Nope. (Judges 7-8) Judges 7:2 “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her,”
Mary was just a simple teenage girl. She was a virgin betrothed to a man; how in the world would she bear the Son of God? (Luke 1) Luke 1:27 “For nothing is impossible with God.”
Sarah’s bones were creaking and her sight was failing – you gotta be kidding me that now her belly would be growing with child? (Genesis 17-18) Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Lazarus was dead for days. He should have stunk up the tomb, but instead he walked right out. (John 11) John 11:15 “And for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”
Shadrach, Meshach and Adednego not only weren’t killed by the fire, but they didn’t even smell like smoke! (Daniel 3) Daniel 3:26-27 “So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.”
The other disciples stared in amazement while Peter walked across the water like he was walking upon dry land. (Matthew 14) Matthew 14:31 “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.”You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?””
And speaking of dry land, not only did God turn the ocean floor into dry land to walk upon, but he did it again with the raging Jordan River. I’d consider that better than double or nothin’! (Exodus 15 & Joshua 1) Exodus 15:2 “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.””
Jonah should have drowned.
Noah should have been committed.
Jesus should have stayed dead.
But God doesn’t play the odds. God beats them. Period.
Now, let me be clear that God doesn’t always “play the game” like we would like for Him to. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have chosen this road for myself, had I been given the option. But, I wasn’t given the option. God was dealt the only hand. I must remember – “God wants for me what I would want for me, if I only knew what He knows.”
He can be trusted. And whether or not you get your way all the time, nothing is too big for Him. So place your bet on Him. He is a sure thing.

WhatchutalkinboutWillis?

Ah yes, the 80’s. A time of neon colors, big hair, and cheesey TV shows.Silver Spoons. The Facts of Life. MASH. Perfect Strangers. Gimme A Break. The Cosby Show. Knight Rider. Doogie Howser. Mr. Belvedere. Wonder Years. MacGyver.

All such classics. All such innocence. Friend, they just don’t make them like they used to!

Now, aside from the epidemic of arrests, drug addictions, and destroyed lives that plagued 1980’s child-stars, their work as childhood actors was simply a lot of fun for those of us fortunate enough to grow up in that era. For those of you who weren’t, I give my condolences.

Along those lines was a favorite of mine, Different Strokes. In case you lived in a hole in the 1980’s, this was a show about a white, wealthy Manhattan businessman who, at the dying wish of his black housekeeper, agreed to adopt her two sons. Now, this was loooong before the trend we have seen in recent years of families adopting outside their race. Back then, this was just not done.

But, Mr. Drummond obviously believed there were “different strokes for different folks”. The two young black boys went from rags to riches, literally overnight. Willis and Arnold now enjoyed a life they could have never imagined.

Maybe the best part of the show was when older brother, Willis would tell his little brother, Arnold, something that seemed unbelievable. Arnold would squish his chubby little face up, scowl his eyes and say “What ‘chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” as if in sheer disbelief.

He was chubby. He was cute. It was priceless. And, he made us all laugh by saying the thing outloud each of us so often thought. The tagline caught on like wildfire and is still used by cool kids around the country. J

Including me. Or should I say, at me.

I have, over the past few years had the opportunity to receive that “What ‘chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” type of face over…and over…and over…when I say something like “I have multiple spinal fluid leaks.” or “I have had to lie flat for week or months at a time.” or “My adrenal glands have failed and I can’t even stand up long enough to wash dishes.”

“What ‘chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” is written all over their faces. Even now, on my blog, I will have people say “Ok, so what is going on again?” “How did all this start?” Oh friend, how much time do you have?

So, I have decided to write up this brief ya right explanation of what in the world has been going on with me over the past four years. That way, in case someone asks, I can direct them to this post, instead of talking with so much medical mumbo-jumbo that they leave me with such a bad headache that they think it was contagious.

So, friend, here we go. (Go ahead and take a minute to find a comfy chair, get a drink, maybe a light snack…l’ll wait…….:)

Fall 2007 – I got viral meningitis from my middle son. The ER doc stuck me five times to try and get the spinal tap. He never got it. Then anesthesiologist came in and got the tap on the first try. (Fyi, I had had an epidural for each of the births of my two kids prior to this with no problems) After a few days in the hospital, I recovered from the meningitis, but suffered a postural headache. I received one epidural blood patch before leaving the hospital, but then had to return a few days later to receive a second blood patch. This one worked and I was back to “fairly” normal within a week. Really, the main side effect at this point was that every time I lied flat on my back, my arms and legs went totally numb. I had to carry an ice pack around with me everywhere, but other than that, it was fairly tolerable. Throughout the next few months, my neurologist at the time did a nerve study and even referred me to Scott & White, but no one could figure out why my arms and legs were going numb while flat on my back. They said that “this was just the way it was” for me now and I should try to function as normally as I could.

Summer 2008 – My neurologist released me to be able to have a baby, assuring me that no tests showed nerve damage or any other reason why I couldn’t carry a baby safely.

March 2009 – I had my third child, this time with no epidural (OWWWW!!) because the anesthesiologist at the hospital I delivered said she “wasn’t going to come near me with my spine history”. The labor was painful, obviously, and somewhat traumatic. I tore my cervix and bled severely. I had emergency surgery to fix it and thankfully didn’t need a transfusion. This trauma didn’t, however, cause a spinal fluid leak. I only tell you this because…

Fall 2009 – I felt AWFUL (extreme exhaustion, severe anxiety out of nowhere, headaches) for a few weeks and thought it was just my hormones adjusting to lowering my nursing schedule of my baby. Turns out my adrenal glands failed completely. They sent me to an endocrinologist who tested my cortisol level at zero. He immediately put me on hydrocortisone and kept raising the level of it until I felt like I could get up. I ended up on 80mg a day (normal dosage is 20mg) Then, shortly thereafter I didn’t feel exhausted anymore, but I kept experiencing headaches again, with no explanation. He assured me that with that amount of hydrocortisone in my body, I should feel no pain. So, I finally had to just check into the hospital and have tests run to check my brain. All MRIs came back normal, yet there was still no explanation as to why I was “all of a sudden” having positional headaches again. I was told that “people don’t leak spinal fluid spontaneously”. They said I had developed occipital neuralgia since the back of my head was so sensitive to the touch. They did two occipital nerve blocks, which didn’t do anything except hurt a lot! It took months to finally get a doctor to agree to do another blood patch. It took two patches, again. Then, within a week, I was relatively pain free. Now, I just had to slowly get off the crazy amounts of steroids I was on. This process took over a year, during which I suffered near adrenal crisis a few times due to ovarian cysts (which I had never had before) and bronchitis.

Summer 2010 – I was accepted as a patient at UT Southwestern and they were helpful by working as a team to help “get me better”

Fall 2010 – I felt the all too familiar symptoms of a spinal fluid leak and went to the hospital at UT Southwestern. I was there for 16 days as they ran tests and MRIs. They came back normal. They did another spinal tap to make sure I didn’t have another form of meningitis that can linger in your body. My pressure levels were within normal range but they did a blood patch anyway. It didn’t seal. So, they tried again. It didn’t work either. Then, they did a CT myleogram which came back negative (couldn’t find leak). They released me and told me to drink caffeine and stay flat. I did. Nothing helped. After a couple months flat on my own couch, my doctor agreed to do one more blood patch. This time, it worked! Within a few weeks I was able to sit upright. It took me a while to be back to somewhat normal, which the doctors said was simply because my body was so deconditioned and needed time to rebuild strength after being flat all day every day for three months.

January 2011 – Adrenal glands kicked back in and I was taken off ALL steroids! YEAH!

February 2011 – Began to resume pretty normal life. Drove a car for the first time in six months! Things started looking up!

March 2011 – Once again, suffered another spinal fluid leak. This time, my anesthesiologist acted fast and suggested a high volume patch. We tried it and it worked the first time! This was the first time I’d ever just needed one patch to seal it!

Summer 2011 – I was almost back to normal. I mean, for me, I was. I still had to wear an ice pack a lot, and I needed to rest quite a bit more than the average 32 year old. But, overall, I was the healthiest I’d been in years! Our family had a FUN and active summer! Something we were so thankful for and was long overdue for us!

August 2011 – Once again, I began to feel the positional headaches again. This time, I got another high volume blood patch like I had in March. It didn’t work, which my anesthesiologist attributed to the fact that he tried to stick me “higher” just to be safe. But, a week a later I had another high volume blood patch (this time in the exact place as in March). This one sealed and I have been recuperating ever since. The occipital neuralgia has been fairly painful the last couple weeks (these headaches are not positional at all!), but my doctor just put me on Naproxen and Gabapentin to help with that. (My first medication since January) Aside from feeling a bit loopy, it has helped quite a bit!

November 2011 – I made trip to the Mayo clinic (insert Hallelujah chorus) and spent three days being scanned, poked, and prodded. But, I was scanned, poked, and prodded by the best doctors in the country, so I was cool with that. They came up with a plan, based on the results they found, and I was sent home. I wasn’t feeling a whole lot better physically, but definitely I felt better emotionally to simply know I had a brilliant medical team behind me.

Late November 2011 – Not even three weeks after I got home, I began to feel the all too familiar symptoms of a spinal fluid leak (my sixth different leak in four years). I was in complete denial for a week or so, but then finally had to face the facts. I arranged with my team at Mayo to come back and have the procedure done we had talked about. They knew I had been given eleven blood patches over the last few years and had found relief from them. So, the next step was to perform a fibrin glue patch. This is a material that they inject in your back, just like the blood, but it is supposedly thicker and most successful at sealing leaks. So, they did the INCREDIBLY painful procedure of injecting both fibrin glue and blood into my back to hopefully seal this deal once and for all.

Now, I am home and waiting to see if this last gluey seal truly worked.

Until then, I will try not to look at my doctor’s reports and say “What ‘chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?”

Nut To the Head

So, if you have been reading my blog for any length of time at all, you may have heard me say that God lovingly hits me over the head with a 2×4 sometimes. I figured it was finally time to explain.
I am a recovering strong-willed child. Any of you with me? “Hello, my name is Caroline.” And the group says, “Hellooo Caroline.” I grew up as the baby of the family, the only girl, and my parents divorced when I was young – so I learned early how to dig my heels in and stay there.
My Mom lovingly (ha!) tells the story of how often I would answer her with an emphatic “NO!” as a very young child. Of course she would quickly reply, “Don’t you tell me no!” Well, as you can imagine, it didn’t take long for me to pick up on that too. I would ask for ice cream for dinner or something completely reasonable like that, and she would say “No!” to which I would quickly and sternly reply “Don’t you tell me no!”
Needless to say, my back end was sore more times than I can count, and I got to know some of my favorite teachers in detention. Friend, it is what it is.
But, now, years later, you find me now a smidge wiser and not much more mature. Thankfully my earthly parents and my heavenly Father love me just the same. I often tease that God whispers to some, speaks sternly to others, but with me, it often ok, pretty much always takes a loving 2×4 to my head to get my attention.
Pretty much all of what I blog about stems from moments just like this. Whether He is convicting me of sin or reminding me of the promises of His Word, it is often a 2×4 just the same.
Tonight was just such a night.
Except this time, I felt it – in more than just my spirit. I felt it on my big ol’ forehead.
You see…friend, I have to tell you something. If you have known me for very long at all or have been following my medical drama of a roller coaster for the past four years, you know I have been waiting for one of two things – a miracle or a trip to the Mayo clinic. Miracle or Mayo, I was fine with either one. Whichever God decided.
Well, friend, for now, He has picked one.
That’s right…
I
AM
GOING
TO
THE
MAYO
CLINIC!!!
You read that right – God has orchestrated the entire thing. What took me three years to try and complete and yet still fail – He did in under three weeks and succeeded. Don’t worry, I will be telling you ALL about how I got accepted in another post soon. In fact, I will be updating you a lot in the next week or so, because that’s right…
Not only did they say “Yes we will take you as a patient.” But they also said “We’ll see you this Monday!”
As in six days from now.
What!?!
Shock doesn’t begin to cover it.
I liken it to that feeling you get in life when something big happens that you have been anticipating…
I can’t wait to get married! Oh how I love him – I wonder when he’ll propose. Aww, look all my friends are getting engaged….and then he does it. He is on his knee, you are staring at your hand and all of a sudden it hits you. This is for real.
You can’t wait to have a baby. You love kids. You’ve been married for a while now, and it seems right. Aww, babies are so cute. That is going to be so fun someday! Then it happens – there are two lines and not one, you feel sick and your belly grows and then it hits you, you and you alone have to push this thing out of your body. This is for real.
Well, friend. This. Is. For. Real.
I will spend the next few days frantically trying to spend good quality time with my babies, planning out their next week, trying to arrange travel, lodging, bills, etc – and constantly picking my chin up off the ground. Like I said, shock just doesn’t begin to cover it.
A friend asked how I was feeling about it. Hmmm, good question. Thankful. Shocked. Scared. Hopeful. Nervous. Grateful. Sad. Happy. Just to name a few. So, yes, I’m pretty much a basket case at the moment. Shocker.

Which explains the 2×4 moment I experienced. Now, in the past, I have never actually “felt” pain in my head region when God lovingly gets my attention. Tonight, that was not the case.
It took a few hours to process the phone call I received today. Ryan and I hadn’t even really gotten to sit and talk about it…which makes it weird. Nothing seems totally real until I share it with Ryan. But, here I was looking out at my backyard, listening to my kids play and then all of a sudden, every emotion a person can feel just flooded out of me like the boiling water does every single time I make mac-n-cheese. Holding it in was not an option.
I excused myself from the yard, walked to my neighbor and best friend’s yard where my amazing recliner chair was positioned and called her from my cell phone. I simply asked her to come outside. Poor thing didn’t know what she was getting herself into. None of my closest friends knew when they signed on, poor things. She came out and saw that I was already crying. Thankfully she didn’t run in the other direction. And then it all just came out –
“What if the doctors can’t figure it out?”
“I’ve never been that far away from my kids, and never for that long either.”
“Aaaand if we go this soon then we won’t be with the kids For Trunk or Treat, Halloween, celebrating Ryan’s birthday…”
“This is going to cost a fortune!! There is NO WAY we can make this work!?!”
“Where the heck is Minnesota anyway?!”
She let me emotionally throw up all over her for a minute and sat down next to me under her beautiful oak trees. It was about then that I said something to the affect of “Why is God letting this happen now??…” – and then BAM! at that exact moment a huge ok, so maybe it wasn’t exactly huge acorn fell sixty feet from an oak tree and hit me square in the forehead.
I could not possibly make this up.
Now, I like to think I have a fairly high tolerance for pain. But, this seriously hurt! It took me a second to blink a few times, shake it off and then say “OWWWWWWW!!!!” Then we both lost it. We laughed so hard at the fact that God had just literally hit me over the head this time. No figurative 2×4 this time sister, He knew this called for more. That simple little acorn sent the questions back toward me from my beloved acorn maker –
“Has this not been exactly what you have been asking for?”
“Have I not broken through all red tape and policies and procedures to make this happen for you so quickly?”
“Have I not provided for you every other time you couldn’t make something work!?!”
“Halloween, really? Isn’t that your least favorite holiday of all? Shall we wait until Christmas?”
“Have we seriously not gotten past the fact that I MADE your children – I think I can handle looking out for them without your help for a week.”
Darn that acorn. And thank you God for that acorn.
Friend, this is happening. In less than six days, I will be freezing my hiney off in a state that I honestly could not point out to you on a map. (I know to just go north for days, until I meet a Canadian, then turn around and go back south about two blocks.)
I get this news and within hours – who have I become? Yep, you guessed it. God knows that my maiden name is not Sanders. It is Israelite.
The Red Sea thing was great, but where the heck are we?!!
I’m lost and hungryyyyy.
Oh ya, that miracle you perform each day is nice and all, but I’m tired of manna.
Ugh, quail again!?!
Where’s the bottled water? This stuff’s bitter.
I’m not going that way, God, those g-g-guys are g-g-giants compared to us!
UGH! I really disappoint myself sometimes. But, thanks to that little acorn, I am back. I am ok. And friend, I’m headed to MinnesOHta. 🙂
May I encourage you along our journey that God loves you. He is in control. He can handle your drama. He is worthy of your everything. He is faithful. He is good. His promises are true.
Friend, be thankful for the acorns. Thank Him for loving you (and me!!) enough to send a nut to the head. How could a loving God send an acorn like that? Hey, it coulda been an anvil, friend. Just sayin’.
Psalm 145:3 “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”
Psalm 33:4 “For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”
Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”

 

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