No Fear Here, Well… Maybe A Little

My family loves to scare each other. We will go through great lengths in order to make one of us scream! It’s not totally fair that I’m one of the targets because you can be standing right next to me and say, “boo” and I’ll jump, scream and usually hit. The hitting thing is out of my control. It’s my natural reaction to danger!

My husband, on the other hand, is so obnoxious! I will squeeze my giant adult body into a tiny space and stay there, pushing past the cramping that’s building up in my legs, just so I can jump out at the perfect moment and scare him. But he NEVER gets scared. NEVER!!! One time I jumped out and he was a little closer then I thought and it scared me. I literally screamed in fear, trying to scare him. You can imagine the good laugh he got out of that. (insert eye roll)

My husbands annoying refusal to humor me with fear and trembling gives me such a tangible picture of God telling me, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine!” (Isaiah 43:1)

When the enemy is crouching around the corner waiting for that perfect moment to jump out and say, “Gottcha!” I can just keep walking, not giving any sort of reaction to his schemes. In fact, I can be closer to God then he had originally thought and scare him instead!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Rest in the hands of your Abba Father. He loves you dearly. He’s making you lie in green pastures. He is leading you beside still waters. He restore your soul. He leads you in the paths of righteousness. Even though you are walking through this trial, you need not to fear evil because God is with you! His rod and His staff are there to comfort you. He is preparing a table before you in the presence of your enemies. He anoints your head with oil. Your cup overflows!!! Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. And you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!!!

Below is a cover of the song “I will fear no more” by The Afters. Sung by my unscareable husband. It’s a beautiful song that reminds us to not give into fear. Which I personally need reminded of often!

Whoopsie-Daisy

It’s a beautiful day outside. The weather is perfect so the kids are out back playing basketball. I LOVE the warmer weather!

I forgot though, that every spring I struggle with depression. Spring time sparks that funny ambition to clean out the house. Spring time motivates you in a fierce way to do those yard projects that have been brewing all winter. You also want to get everything done before the desert heat comes and you can only function if your half naked and eating ice chips.

So why in the world does this glorious season bring on depression??? Well, because of pesky ol’ illness. I’m slapped in the face with my limitations. My brain is never on the same page as my body. It drives me bonkers to be doing a project and then have to quit, after just a few minutes. A project that should only take me a few hours, might take me days or weeks to finish. It’s so aggravating!!!

Okay, so that’s my sob story. Now moving on to the hope….

Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”

It brings me comfort knowing God has never said “whoopsie-daisy.” Nothing that I have gone through or am going through came as a shock to God. He knew what I would face and He drew out the path to get me through it. The problem is already solved. I just have to trust Him and follow His leading to get to the solution.

It’s funny how I try and take control of my life. I carry things that God never intended me to carry. I do things in my own strength or I guess I should say, I TRY to do things in my own strength. Which is just crazy talk because I say “whoopsie-daisy” all the time. I also say, “oh golly” but the old man makes fun of that one, so I try and limit it. I’d much rather my struggles be in the hands of someone who has never had to say such things! Instead, like a total weirdo, I take back control and then mess up and say, “Whoopsie-daisy! God, can you fix this?”

I’m going to try and rest in the fact that God has written out all my days. He is trustworthy and good. The beautiful weather is still enjoyable, even if I can’t do what I want to do. I need to remember to praise God for springtime to help fight the depression. So, ready, set, PRAISE…

How Romantic

Genesis 2:18-20 “And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”

There are so much to these verses that I love. It blows my mind that Adam had this perfect union with God and yet God still didn’t want Adam to feel lonely! Was that even possible? Obviously yes, but still mind blowing.

God brings Adam all the animals to name and go through. God of course knew none of them would be comparable to Adam so it makes me wonder what this time was used for. Was it for Adam to grow a deep desire for a mate and sexual partner? Did he go through the animals and think, “Awe, that frog has a little frog buddy. Oh and that lion has that beautiful lioness!” Going through each animal one by one, did he grow to be lonely? Did the desire for sexual intimacy develop during this time?

Genesis 2:21-25 “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Adam had gone through all the animals and found none to be comparable to him. He needed a helper and our gracious Father made him one! How Romantic! I interpret Adam’s response in scripture as, “Dang girl, you’s fine!!!” And then maybe music, sounding very similar to Marvin Gaye’s Lets get it on, played throughout the sky and it was good.

I’m so grateful God created marriage. I can’t imagine doing life without my husband. He’s the closest picture of Christ I think I’ll ever see. He leads this family with integrity and love. And, I’m not gonna lie, when he comes out of the shower, in all his glory, I too have said, “Dang boy, you’s fine!!!”

Christmas Tradition is Getting Tricky

In 2013 I decided it would be fun to take a silly Christmas picture. I came up with a pose and forced the children and husband to participate. It only took 438 takes but in the end I was pretty happy with it. The picture was loved by all and that’s how the tradition got started.

2014… You wouldn’t know it, but flooding your kitchen with bubbles isn’t easy. Also not easy, finding my fourth child in this picture.

2015… Tragically I had my date set wrong on my camera, so ignore that little detail. Oh and a little advice to anyone wanting to duct tape their faces… it hurts to remove but great for unwanted hair!

2016… I totally nailed making a fake, lower half Santa! Look at the perfectly bent knee! Can I also get a high five for fixing the date on my camera?

2017… Don’t worry, the mess was worth the picture. I added a bonus picture because the kids look so cute and delicious! Looking back at all these pictures I’m starting to realize my husband deserves an award for being such a good sport.

2018… This one is my favorite. It was alot of work and preparation but it’s just so fun! I love a good dinner party. Oh and once again, finding four children in this picture is a tiny challenging. Bummer!

Now here we are , 2019. I was feeling nostalgic this year. Seriously though, my brown dog is so hilarious in this picture. His name is Archibald, so his name is as sophisticated as his pose. My other dog, Stewart, just looks terrified. I had so much fun making my daughters hair, Texas big.

And now you see why my Christmas tradition has gotten tricky. Coming up with new ideas is a challenge but it sure is fun to look back at our insanity. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas season. God is mighty and merciful. God Bless!

Not Really Waiting On God

Life has been quite tricky these days. I don’t feel good and have been in terrible pain. I quit eating 15 days ago because eating causes too much pain. Instead, I’ve been drinking bone broth, which settles fine and doesn’t hurt! I’m anxiously waiting for an appointment with a gi doc to try and figure out why I can’t eat. In the meantime, my gracious God has faithfully given me new insights and a new strength!

I’m kind of an emotional eater and so the fact that I’m starving 24/7 gives me plenty of opportunity to fall on my knees and beg God for strength and will power. Let me paint you a picture of what this might look like…

I’m cooking dinner for my four children and my hard working man. I stir the pot of the buttery, fluffy quinoa, that’s been soaking up the broth juices. I then turn my attention to the herb roasted chicken in the oven. It’s looking beautiful and crispy and smelling delicious. I add a pinch of salt to the green beans that are also generously covered in butter. My stomach growls, being sure to remind me that it’s starving to death. I look down and say, “hush you! This food isn’t for you! You get that large jar over there filled with bone broth.” That’s when it happens… That’s when the crying out to Jesus starts. “God! give me strength! Turn this hunger off and trick my brain to believe this broth is a giant cheese burger filled with mushrooms, bacon, and green chili!” It has yet to happen BUT God has done something else in my life to satisfy my hunger. He’s given me a new hope and reminded me of the work being done.

A few Sunday’s ago my pastor gave a sermon about Paul and his journey to Rome. I’m not going to try and say what he said because I’ll totally butcher it and leave you all confused but it really got me thinking. Paul’s circumstances appeared pretty awful. He was arrested and constantly being denied his freedom. He traveled place to place pleading his case only to be turned down, over and over again.

I thought about Paul waiting on God. I thought about my own circumstances and my prayer to be patient and wait on God’s timing. Waiting isn’t my strength. My husband says I live my life as if it’s an emergency situation. Which is a bit dramatic but probably close to the truth. I’ve been praying and reminding myself that God is always on time and His timing is perfect.

I was feeling particularly discouraged one evening, while driving my son to basketball practice. Probably because I just passed a Whataburger and shamelessly fantasized about a monterey melt, delighting my deprived taste buds. But I digress. I was worshiping God and thanking Him for this trial and for the work I know He is doing in my life. And that’s when I started thinking about Paul again. Thinking about him waiting on God to deliver him. I thought about the people around him, who loved him, who were also waiting on God to free him.

That whole time that Paul was “waiting,” God was working. When I think of Paul waiting, I think of this stationary time. A time of nothingness, until somethingness (it’s not a word but felt right) But Paul was preaching to people he would never have the opportunity to preach to. He was sharing the gospel to people in the “security” of imprisonment. He made his way to Rome, glorifying God the whole way! There was never a time of nothingness. God was moving and shaking things. There was constant action and movement forward towards the goal!

This encourages me so much! I’m not really just waiting on God. I’ve got a front row seat to His awesome work in my life. It would be like going to a movie and during the main scene saying, “I’m just waiting for this part to end.”

God is at work! He is changing me to be more like Him. He’s working in lives around me and moving me forward towards my goal.

Thank you God for your work in my life.

P.S. I wouldn’t say no to your prayers! I’ll take prayers for healing or cheeseburgers… however you feel lead.

That’s My God Ya’ll

I’m struggling to find a time to sit and write a blog. So, I decided to take pieces from my book (Aka large pamphlet) and post them for now! Hopefully soon life will slow down and I’ll write something new!

I’m one hundred percent certain that God is hilarious. I can say this with such conviction because we are created in his image and there are people out there like Kevin James, Owen Wilson, Anjelah Johnson…These are incredibly funny people. If we are created in his image and he has made these funny people then he himself, is in fact, funny. I believe God to be Almighty, All Knowing, Just, Omnipresent…But the character of God that I find the most comfort in is, God is Funny.  Humor in my life is a must. I need to know that when life is kicking me and kicking me, God is like nudging me saying, “Look, Emilee, that llama has a dumb haircut.” He knows me and knows my needs, which is precisely why he created the miniature horse. I mean, c’mon, it’s a horse only small! So funny, right?

Now, I didn’t laugh my way through years of suffering. I didn’t take every challenge through illness and just giggled right past it. I cried a lot. I begged God for mercy often. I had moments where giving up and taking my own life felt justified. I’m weak and I’m human. I know that you’re thinking, “No, Emilee, you’re so amazing. I wish I could be just like you. You’re like, the best thing ever to hit the planet.” I get it, it’s confusing but I assure you, I have had some very ugly moments. I’ve been a big baby on some days and a real monster on other days. I’m ok with admitting this and laying it all out there for you because I trust in God. I trust that God has a plan for my life. I trust that God will avenge me if I get attacked for being transparent. I’m not here to paint a pretty little lie. I’m here for the ugly truth and the funny in between. Ezekiel 25:17 says, “I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them.” I just peed a little. That is some scary stuff right there. I dare you to slam me now.

When I was first diagnosed with Lyme disease (Please note there is no ‘s’ on the end of Lyme) I freaked out a little but was also relieved. I finally had a real diagnosis. I could finally tell people what was happening to me. I could finally mentally slap all the doubters in the face. It was the best worst news ever. I immediately found a Lyme literate doctor and started my journey towards health, or at least the closest thing to it. I felt incredibly blessed that God had put certain people in my path. I was fortunate to have a husband fighting for me. He never questioned whether I might just be depressed. He never gave up on me. He fought for me when I had no fight. The day he said “I Do” was the best day of my life. While my parents were down front looking at Phillip saying, “Sucker! Good luck with that,” I was saying, “Thank you God for such a treasure.” I could go on and on about him but I’ll save that for later. I’m focusing on God right now, geez, stay focused.

God is my whole life. I would have died without him. I would have given up and quit. I trusted he would get me through any pain or suffering I felt that day. It’s actually a miracle that I was aware of God through all the kicking and screaming but I was. I knew, without a doubt, God would come through. He would give the strength I needed, when I needed it. Most often it was through laughter. He would show me something funny and we would laugh together and then move on together. When I say we would laugh together, I don’t mean I would hear an audible laugh from God. I mean I would laugh and just know God was laughing with me. Golly, I’m not crazy. Although, if you hear God audibly I don’t mean to judge, that’s cool. You might think about getting it checked still, but seriously, still cool.

Through the years there have been many dark days. The Lyme disease has caused my body to be in horrific pain. My whole body hurts all the way to the bone. Pain is a prison. You are stuck there and it keeps you in bed and isolated from the world. In these moments it was crucial that God provide. I was incredibly lonely. I hated being in bed away from my family and friends.

I love people. I am what they call a social butterfly. So, to be cooped up in a room was miserable for me. It seemed that every time it got just a little too hard or lonely I would get some stupid text from my BFF. God would use her to take the focus off my pain and circumstances. He would provide a situation for me to laugh or roll my eyes at her bizarreness. God used my best friend often to bring me “back to life.”

Life with Lyme, without God, seems impossible. My heart breaks knowing people are suffering from a chronic illness or a disease without knowing the love of the Lord. They go through this giant battle without seeing the hope that God can provide. This is tragic and just not ok.

The Bible says, “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:15. God would raise me up constantly, daily, hourly… What a gift I was given through such a hard time. God is the answer people, so quit being stubborn and give your life to him. I demand you believe in God!

I totally nailed that speech! I’m sure thousands just gave their lives to Jesus. Gold crown in heaven, check!

I’d Do Anything For Health, Well….. Maybe Not

Battling illness for many years means I’ve tried just about every treatment out there. Anything from what modern medicine has to offer, all the way to, “I saw this really crazy thing on a documentary once.”

As time goes on you somehow become less and less bashful and modest about things and more and more shameless and open.

Women who have experienced labor can probably relate. You walk into the hospital at 4 cm and in a bit of pain. You hide in the bathroom to get changed into your hospital gown. You take hold of the two sides to make sure your backside is covered and carefully slip into the bed, praying no one notices you forgot to shave your legs. After 10 hours (or for me, 20) all modesty is gone and you are now living like a hippie. Who cares if you haven’t shaved your legs in a month! “Oh I’m sorry did you see more of me than you wanted too? Get over it because I’m literally dying here.”

That’s what illness can do to you.

I was inspired to rewrite the words to the Meat Loaf song “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Wont Do That)” awhile back because after so many different treatment options and try this’s and that’s, I found something I didn’t think I’d ever be able to give up. My husband, who is so awesome, agreed to sing it for me. Even though the words were a bit humiliating for someone who still has shame.

So, what is it I wasn’t willing to give up??? Can you relate???

I’ll write out the lyrics and the video is below!

I would do anything for health

I’ll crawl right through hell and back

I would do anything for health

I’ll never die of pain and that’s a fact

And I’ll never forget my first enema bag

Oh no, no way

I would do anything for health

But I wont do that, no, I wont do that

Some days it don’t come easy

And some days it don’t come hard

And some days it don’t come at all

And these are the days that’ll never end

And some nights I start to tremor

And some nights I binge watch shows

Some nights are like lying your head on the toilet bowl and puking some more

Maybe I’m crazy but it is eating at my brain

I know I can detox and sweat these toxins I contain

As long as parasites are dying, as long as bacteria is crying

As long as my legs are improving too, you better believe it

That I would do anything for health

I would do anything for health

Oh, I would do anything for health

But I wont do that, no, I wont do that

I would do anything for health

Depleting me of all my wealth

But I just wont do that (x2)

And some days I pray for bread

And some days I pray for tacos

Some days I just pray to God for no brain fog or temperature change

Maybe I’m herxing, I did just change my dose

I better go pee now, I cut it way too close

As long as the bowels are clogging

As long as the bones are aching

As long as the hair is falling too, you better believe it

That I would do anything for health

And you know it’s true and that’s what’s up

I would do anything for health

And there’d never be no flaring up

I’ll never get better if I can’t go poop for so long, so long

I would do anything for health

Oh, I would do anything for health

I would do anything for health

But I wont do that, no I wont do that

No, no, no, no

Girl: Will you raise yourself up, will you not get down

Will you do colonics when you start to drown

Will you be able to walk when it gets cold

Man: I can do that, yeah I can do that

Girl: Will you consider a hookworm when options are low

Will you let me spray you down with holy water, if you move too slow

Will you please stop telling everyone we know

Man: I can do that, yeah I can do that

Girl: I know it’s hard to not feel worthwhile

Your hair is a mess, your only hair style

Sooner or later you’ll be giving up coffee

Man: Psssshhh, I wont do that, no I wont do

Anything for health, but I wont do that