I wanna love like He loved …

The Instagram Facebook struggle is real y’all. It is. At least in my life.

At least every two weeks or so, I am texting my husband or bringing it up to him to talk about. And that’s not even saying how much it is on my mind and I’m not bringing it up to him, because it’s a lot more.

I struggle with a lot of things related to it.

I struggle with not feeling connected to the world. Let’s face it, most of the world relies on some sort of social media to stay connected in some way.

We see people post pictures and it makes us feel like we know them. Like we get a glimpse into their lives. Like we stay connected to what’s going on with them and their family and their world.

“They” post pictures giving them a way to connect them to you/us/the world. This keeps them in touch with you/us/the world. And “they” rely on this way to keep in touch instead of reaching out to you or me or others they just post something.

We like their picture. This tells them … hey we see you … we like you … we are still connected to you. We can see who is liking our pictures and usually how many likes we are getting right and that makes us feel “liked” … “seen” … “heard” … “known”… and good. It can impact us if we get likes or not.

We can post our whole journey/story good or bad, struggles or victories on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or whatever without saying a word or laying eyes on another person. That’s kind of scary and sad and a like what is the world coming to kind of thing.

And honestly sometimes I want to post all my struggles on social media. I want to bare the honest truth about Lyme and all it’s realness as well as nastiness and at the same time point others to the truth while shining the light on the Lord and all He has brought me through.

But then on the other side of it I don’t. I want people not to just have to numb out and scroll through something to get to know me or feel like they know me at least.

It’s like I have this want to be heard to be seen to be known but not unauthentically. I want it to be genuine.

But maybe I’m being unrealistic in this day and age? Am I?

Seems like everyone is too busy. Too busy to call … to busy to answer a text … to busy to idk let the world know their thinking of others and to see the ones around them. I mean I think that’s important.

So the social media struggles are real. They exist. Do I give in to conform to the world?

Or do I stand firm on being authentic and not giving into the numbness of social media?

I mean it can be good don’t get me wrong. And please please please don’t hear me say I’m all high and mighty and came to this realization all on my own … I took a much needed break from social media about 4 year ago because I was numbing out. Missing my kids interactions right in front of me. Too concerned with what my “friends” were doing without me at the time then connect with my family and especially my husband.

See it started out as a good thing for me and then the enemy gets his little foot in there and slowly it can go down hill if your not constantly self evaluating and bringing things before the Lord.

I don’t know. It’s so hard. It’s a constant battle. But I’ve learned that the hard stuff is usually worth the battle. It’s worth the fight. It’s is. I know it is.

I have a unique situation where I have this chronic invisible illness as they call it.

Chronic cause lets face it it’s been over 3 yrs now that we have been battling this.

Invisible because I can put makeup on and get dressed and go to the kids football game for a couple hours and look and seem fine, but no body knows that I’ll be in bed with a migraine out to the world for the rest of the day because of the sun shiny sun and the noise and the people and the stimulation and all the walking and watching Layla cheer and Hunter play football and that’s if it’s a good day with no joint or bone pain. And that’s just situation me and my family deal with, it’s constant. But this is a whole other post all in itself.

So anyway … I’ll keep praying for the authentic friendships I crave. For authentic friendships and encounters for you as well. And that most of all that we would find them in Jesus more then this world.

And I’ll keep battling to win this fight with Lyme and maybe one day feel differently about social media but I doubt it.

It’s not all bad. It’s not. It can be good. It’s just not good for me. I miss it. I do. I miss seeing you and you and you and all of you but I want to live like Jesus. Love like He loved. See you like He sees you. And when I have social media in creates a stubbling block which inhibits me from loving like He loved and seeing you and He sees you.

Funny thing … I was gonna post this post “well apparently I hate social media.” But after taking some deep breathes and praying for a few days I don’t hate it. I just see now that it’s not for me. I kinda wish it was but it’s not. I’m thankful the Lord and the Holy Spirit has led me to the realization … gosh y’all this road I am on is long and hard and heavy and a battle and it leaves me weary and I have a long way to go but I think no social media helps me in that journey.

So now I just need to not listen to the voices that will no undoubtedly show up in my head and try to convince me otherwise probably sooner rather then later. Am I right or am I right?? πŸ˜‰

That was a little heavy…. I think it deserves a sweet throwback video of

lu-girl.

https://andreabreece.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/img_3773.mov
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Jesus is calling …

Y'all … have you heard the new elevation worship song "o come to the altar"?

It's probably not new new but it's new to me and y'all it's so so good. Its close eye singing, praise hands emoji, put that song on repeat just rest in it good.

I'm currently listening to it as I write this song … aaannd it's on repeat. Yeah I know but y'all I wasn't kidding it's that good. I'm gonna add a link at the end of this post so you can listen to but I just want to write a little first.

This season of Lyme/illness that's now classified as chronic illness I guess it's been freakin' hard. H.A.R.D. Hard. For me. For my hubby. For my marriage. For my baby girl. And my baby boy. And for my family of four. And for my extended family. For my friends. I've lost touch with some. Some y'all that I used to call best friends. In fact, raw honesty right now y'all … I've lost touch with most of my friends.

But I'm not bitter. I would welcome them back in a heartbeat and I bet they would do the same. It's not their fault or mine or Jesus's fault. Sometimes we like to blame Jesus for our hard times but it's not His fault. I blame this damn chronic illness. I blame lyme. I hate Lyme's disease. Hate it.

I'm going off on a tangent that's a whole other post for a whole other day.

Any ways … back to the song. Here are the lyrics in case you haven't heard it before…

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling

Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father's arms are open wide

Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there’s no reason to wait
Jesus is calling

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father's arms are open wide

Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

O come to the altar
The Father's arms are open wide

Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Oh what a savior
Isn't He wonderful?
Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen
Bow down before Him
For He is Lord of all
Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen

O come to the altar
The Father's arms are open wide

Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

O come to the altar
The Father's arms are open wide

Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Bear your cross as you wait for the crown Tell the world of the treasure you found

So I have been listening to this song in the car for a while. And it always just gets me. "The Fathers arms are open wide." I mean our Father, Jesus is just waiting for us to come to the altar and the altar y'all is Him. Just come to Him. He's done everything else. He's bought our forgiveness. He's bought it. We don't even have to do anything. Anything.

I feel like as I'm typing this out I'm failing miserably at portraying the impact of the words with in this song.

But I'll keep trying cause I love you and I think it's important.

When I first heard this song and it says in the beginning about being overwhelmed by the weight of your sin … I thought it was talking about some big sin that you committed. And I would think … well I haven't committed some big sin right now but then the Lord kinda whispered to me about all the little "sins" I committed and beat myself up for that really just break me down and allow the enemy to attack my mind.

Like not having as long of a "bible" or "quiet time" as I think I should or maybe having a short patience with the kids or not being strong enough to make dinner or having to lay down most of the evening instead of be outside with the kids or not being able to volunteer at the kids school or even keep in touch with friends now those aren't necessarily sins per say but they are things I beat myself up about right? And they are things that instead of bringing them to the altar (to Christ) and having Him greet me with arms open wide, I just keep them inside and that breeds sorrow and weight and I become broken and hurting. And that's exactly what the enemy wants. And I don't know about you but I try really hard, though I fail a lot, I try really hard not to give the enemy what he wants.

And then y'all there is that oh so little line there at the end of the song … "Bear your cross as you wait for the crown."

Bear your cross as you wait for the crown. Hmmm like maybe my Lyme cross while I wait for my crown … my health to be restored or maybe it's when Jesus comes back and restores this world from its brokenness. Either one I'll take it.

Jesus is calling

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/rYQ5yXCc_CA

my people …

So … sorry I've been gone the last couple months.

It's been a fill your heart full of love … crazy busy but good good summer.

I've been trying to soak up as much time with my family as possible.

They have sacrificed so much for me. Missed birthday parties and play dates and had to ride the bus home more times then I wanted them to and had to stay home instead of doing a million other fun things but they have never ever once complained. They just love me through it and given me extra snuggles or lovin' as we call it.

So I/we have been trying to just spoil them and have fun and take advantage of this time we have with them and love them so well because they love us so well.

But I've missed this. This thing I call a blog. And hopefully once the kids get back in school and we get on a little routine, I'll get to post more. I'm gonna commit to posting more. Because like I said I've missed it.

So … I'm going to go back to soaking up these kiddos before they head to 6th grade … yes middle school and 3rd grade!!! It's craziness.

talk at y'all soon!!!

Slow down …Β 

Life lately has been … ummm well … it’s been a life of survival. 


That’s me taking a nap in the back of my car as I wait for Danny to get out of work and go to a Lyme dr appt with me. 

This Lyme ish is hard work. We have almost been down this road of oral antibiotic treatment for a year and I’m still working to try and get the hang of it. 

Daily hot detox baths 

Dry skin brushing

Bur bur and pinella infused water

Green drinks full of flax seed and chia seeds 

Taking meds and supplements all spread out throughout the day… a total of 36 of them 

Drink lemon water

Eat gluten free and dairy free 

Make sure your sleeping

Make sure your stress level is low

Don’t get up too fast 

Try to exercise even though you feel like melting into your bed 

I mean and those are just the things I can remember right now. There are more, I’m sure of it. 

It’s takes work that is the truth. And the hardest part of all of those things, is in the midst of doing all of those things to work I must keep myself focused on The truth … His truth and to keep out the lies of our enemy. 

I’ve had to fight that a lot during this round of medicine. And let me tell you somedays I win or get a leg up on it and some days I fall down and fail at it. 

Ive been trying to really soak up the moments I have with my kiddos. 

Look at them … 

they are growing up so fast I absolutely hate it!! I hate it but I also love it. I’m learning so much from them y’all. 

They used to see me up and moving and doing and going. Going for runs and making dinners and working as a nurse and being more involved in their classroom and going on dates with Daddy and looking nice with cute clothes and makeup but that’s not me anymore. At least for right now. That’s not the season we are in. 

Now they see me mostly in bed. Up for periods of time doing some things but then going and laying back down to recoup. 

They see me taking naps now more then they see me outside. 

So with my time with them I’m trying to focuse on soaking it up. Making them count. Cutting out the fluff and asking the how did that make you feel, what are you thinking about and what are your dreams kind of questions. Putting my phone down and really looking at them and seeing them and listening to them. 

It’s going by so fast. Even with our slower lifestyle right now. 

So stop right now and don’t believe the lies that you can’t speak to them about the hard things. You can’t be involved. You can’t step up and have them stop reading that crazy dragon series they are all into because even though it’s fantasy and about dragons and stuff it may plant a seed in their minds that later may lead to lies that fill their head about you not loving them or wanting them. 

The other day Layla came out of school upset because she lost a ring that she wore to school. Layla knows that anything we take to school has the potential of being lost but she’s Layla and she’s strong willed and she decided to take it to school anyway. 

She was really upset and had already explained the whole thing to me and we talked through it but she was still understandably upset. 

Hunter then came outside from school and started listening to what was upsetting her. 

And as we walked to the car this occurred … 

He slung his hand over her shoulder and stopped what he was doing and listened. 

Really truly listened. 

It was the sweetest thing. Brought tears to my eyes and everything. 

I couldn’t help but think that if I wasn’t in this slowing down season… would I have even seen this moment happen or would I have just moved on to the next thing and not even seen it?? 

And that this moment might not come again. 

In a little over a week or so he’s gonna be at a 5th grader anymore … he would be at a different school. Middle school. 

One day they are a 3lb 6oz 29 week preemie then pretty soon they are heading off to kindergarten and the next moment they are heading to middle school. 

And gosh that’s only the beginning. 

I hate Lyme. Hate. It. 

Makes me cringe when I hear the word. But I am thankful it’s forced me to slow down, to savor … really savor the time I have with my kiddos and hubby and family of four. It’s made me fight hard for everything in my life right now but that’s ok. 

It’s worth the fight. 

Life lately has been work. Different every day. One day is good then next is awful but in that awfulness the Lord has revealed so much to me. 

He’s revealed my need and desire to slow down even in the pain … to hear and see and feel those around me. He’s revealed that even when I feel alone and isolated I’m not. 

So yeah … slow down. 

Take the selfie … 

Makeup or no makeup

Celebrate the little things. 

Be silly. 

Look them in the eyes. 

Hug them tightly. 

Text or call that friend your thinking about. 

Liking things or commenting on Facebook and or Instagram arent enough. 

You need more. 

They need more. 

Do more…

I know it hurts but feel the hurt, the pain because it will bring you strength even in its awfulness. 

And try to find the good. 

Search really hard for the good, cause it’s there. Even in the sucky awful ish … its there too. 

I’ve learned that when we go through that sucky awful ish … its in there … in that ish that we start to see what life is really about. 

As I publish this blog post I’m actually feeling pretty well. I’ve had a run-in with an incredibly painful tooth ache. I swear that if it’s not one thing its another y’all. But I am so very thankful it has let up … the dr has a plan to treat it and y’all at least my kids and hubby are safe and healthy. Honestly. I’m thankful it’s not one of them will all this mess. But I’ve had a few good days. Watched Layla learn how to ride a bike without training wheels and the boys play baseball outside and I’m gonna praise hand emojis for that. πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ» love y’all. 

Keep fighting. 


Even when it hurts…

Lyme disease … any chronic illness really not just Lyme … sucks. It just sucks. 

There is no easy way or nice or subtle way to put it. There just isn’t. 

I’m laying here in bed not wanting to move. 

I feel a little better then earlier which I am so thankful for because the kids are home now. 

I hate being in bed when there here but some days I can’t help it. 

At least my eyes can be open now. 

At least I’m not curled up in a ball praying for relief. 

Sunday I was able to take the kids to church. Just me and the kids. Danny had to stay home and help his dad with something but I was having a good day and I was going to take advantage of it. 

God graced me with a good outfit day. I struggle with putting outfits together and often stand there in front of my closet too overwhelmed to move or put something on. 

But not Sunday … I had an outfit come to me and it was cute! I felt good and cute and was taking my cute babies to church. 

And we stood there singing. Layla on my hip like she’s 2 and not getting ready to turn 8 in a few days and hunter stood next to me with his arm around me like he was 4 and not about to start middle school next year and as I stood there and we sang worship songs to our Savior I remember thinking… hold onto this moment Andrea. 

Hold onto it tight!!! Real tight!!! 

You see I knew I was gonna start another round of meds. And I knew it was gonna get rough. And I knew that that moment right there was gonna be what I held onto when things got rough this week. 

That moment reminded me why I continue to fight and fight hard. For them. For my rock. And my Rock Rock. And for me. 

And today when it hit. The intense pain and headache and just sucky suckyness of this illness, and the moment when Layla came in from outside and asked if I could play baseball with her and Hunter … the Lord brought me a whisper and her reminded me of that moment on Sunday. 

He reminded me to not let it defeat me. He reminded me that even though it hurts like hell to keep going. To keep fighting. Because this … this Lyme … the chronic illness is not gonna defeat me so easily. The enemy isn’t gonna use it to defeat me or defeat me being a mom to these freaking amazingly amazing kids and wife to this husband that y’all I could not even dream up. He is just … just I don’t even have words. 

There is a song I found a while ago and while I was laying here listening to music and it’s came on and i want to share it with you. 

It just feels like an honest cry out to the Lord. It’s called “even when it hurts.” And it’s such a needed reminder to keep fighting to keep praising the Lord. 

Keep remembering to keep going. To keep praising. He hears you and even when it hurts like hell, even when it makes no sense He’s working His goodness. 

I was reminded today that even though Easter has passed we need to constantly re-remembering that we didn’t get to Easter Sunday without Good Friday, without Jesus dying on the cross. 

 

Lyme sucks

Chronic illness sucks

But He is good. He is mighty. He is worth our fight and so our we.

Re-remember that today.

https://youtu.be/hrSJwO5dJXg

You are freeΒ ο»Ώ

I’m gonna be completely honest right now about just some things that have been stirring around in my brain. 

First let’s start by telling you I read this book recently and it’s really stirred some things inside of me. So much so that now I’m trying to pray through it. 

She goes through different areas of our life that we are free in. Free to grieve. Free to have joy. Free to celebrate. Free to love. Free to be brace…. You get the idea. Free to with the emphasis being that Jesus died for us and as a result of that we are free!!! Free!!! You are free. I am free. We are free. But am I living that way? Am I believing that I am free? 

It really gripped me.

Life lately … Lyme lately has pretty much sucked. I mean to put it bluntly it’s been just sucky. Everything has just been a total struggle. 

I started an additional treatment. I do it for the first week in conjunction with the 3 week antibiotic treatment I already do and it’s working in the sense that it’s making me feel pretty much awful. It makes me just want to take meds and sleep all day to avoid the pain and awfulness of it all. But in that feeling bad it means that it’s helping. So it’s good. Crazy right?! I know! 

So anyway I’m just feeling down and hurting and one day have a migraine and if it’s not a migraine it’s a constant dull headache and I’m just finding it hard to feel free. You know? I mean how am I supposed to have joy in my day to day life when my day to day life sucks right now. When you feel this way it just makes you doubt everything. Every decision, every med, every doctor, the place we are living, the things we are eating, the way we do things with the kids … every everything. 

And so I’ve just been … we’ve just praying. Praying to be free. To feel free to have joy to see the joy. To enjoy life. To be silly. To feel free and to feel free in this pain. To hear the Lords whispers in the midst off all this ish. 
And so I started reading a book today and the Lord sent me a whisper y’all! I had been asking for a while and maybe He’s been sending them but I haven’t been listening … anyway … He sent me a whisper!!! 

Here it is … it’s from the book “She Reads Truth”. There’s a quotein it, only a few pages in that just grabbed me. It says “we cannot know the eternal weight of this temporary life we’ve been given unless we understand that it is, indeed temporary.”

This, this sucky-ness that seems to be staring me in the face right now not letting up y’all … I can be free in it and feel free in it because it is temporary!!! It’s temporary. God is eternal and when I rest in that, though it’s easy to write and not easy to do, I’m just gonna work on giving myself grace and reminding myself over and over to let it go and to cling to Him. Cling to Him. It’s just so much easier when we feel well to do that isn’t it?! 

I have a shirt that says “grace upon grace.” I need to show myself grace upon grace in this. And if I get frustrated because I just want a good day and here we go again my head is hurting or I’m dizzy and whatever, I don’t need to beat myself up about it I just need to take a deep breathe and give myself grace. 

I haven’t written on here in a long while but I wanted to hopefully encourage you today to be free. To find joy. To be silly. To have fun. To give yourself grace. It’s hard real hard sometimes but the Lord went to the cross for you and for me so that YOU and ME could be free and experience all those things!!! He is the one sure thing I have. And the one sure thing you have as well. We can be free in that alone. 

the promise still stands…Β 

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” 

Psalm 23:6

So I’ve been reading this book … slowly but surely. In between headaches but this is my week off of meds so I’ve been reading a little more. 

Anyways, I’ve been reading this book … 

I reserved it at the library and waited, gosh so long to get it but I finally got it and then proceeded to quickly order it on Amazon because it was already teaching me things I need to have in my hand permanently mine to mark up and refer back to later. 

I’ve decided to start saving to buy books again. Good books. Jesus books. Memoir books. I’m in a frustrated place with reading fiction right now. It’s just all bad. Not all bad or bad for you maybe but bad for me. I don’t want to fill my mind with bad words of trash that will just lead me into negative or harmful thinking. And so after reading a few books and getting part way through then having to put them down I’m at the point of frustration and I’m back to buying good books again. 

A lot of the books I’m referring to are books written by IF:Gathering people that I know their background and story and know it will be a book of substance. 

Anyways … back to the point. What was the point… 😬 

Oh ok so this book I’m reading had this bible verse in it, the one above. And she went on to explain how it’s based on what David knows to be an unchanging truth. That there aren’t many sure things of this world right?? It’s constantly changing and letting us down. Buy gods love and goodness are two things that we can ABSOLUTELY count on to be there with us … to follow us. 

That world follow in Hebrew is radaph, meaning “to pursue” or “chase.” (I am getting this all from that book , I am totally not smart enough to know Hebrew πŸ˜‚) Gods goodness and love will run after us … will follow us … will chase us … will pursue us … all the days of our lives. How πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ» is that??? 

I just think that is life changing. Momentum changing. To actually sit and ponder that the Lord is chasing after me makes me smile. Encourages me. And he doesn’t quit chasing after me just because I have a bad week or lose sight of Him. No. He keeps chasing. He keeps pursuing. 

And in those times when I feel distant or I lose track when I do come back to Him, y’all He tastes just as sweet. His love is just as strong. I have to tell you a story that illustrated this so well for me … 
So you know those bags of chocolate that have the Herseys milk chocolate and dark chocolate and chocolate with rice crispies in them and the ones with the little shaved nuts? Well I had some left over from a get together we did. Well my diet consists of gluten free dairy free as little sugar as possible and I was having a weak moment. 

Dark chocolate is my weakness. I ❀ it. And I used to eat the dark chocolate bars out of this bag all the time at work. Well one afternoon I couldn’t resist and I ate one. Because they are so delicious and amazing and mmmm I hadn’t had one in so so long. 

But you know what y’all?? It wasn’t even that good!!! Seriously it wasn’t. Like not at all. 

But then the Lord whispered something to me…He’s is just as good now as He was in the past. He doesn’t loose His taste or flavor or desire. I don’t know if this is making sense. But do you know what I mean? When we have lost hope or we have wandered away from the Lord for a little bit He’s just as good as He ever was when we return to Him. 

This life is hard. Gosh it’s hard. There is suffering all around us. But the Lord is there in it all. We have to work to see and hear and feel Him. When we do that we will feel His pursuing of us … chasing after us. 

So get in His word. Listen to good Jesus loving music. There is so many songs out right now based on scripture. Fill your mind and heart with things of Him. 
It takes work but man is it worth it. It’s helped me find my hope again. It’s helped me plant my feet in Him and when things get hard, when all these negative things are staring you in the face…remember His truths. Repeat them to yourself over and over again. And when you don’t know what to say or pray or you can’t find any truths to remember just says His name. Say Jesus. Repeat Jesus to yourself. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. 

I heard this quote and it’s in a song I’ll put it below for you. Listen to it. But it said…even in all this messy brokenness of this world “the promise still stands”. The promise still stands. His promise still stands. I mean. Y’all. 

Ok I’m crying. And I feel like I just as my hubby would say … preached, but I hope you don’t feel like I just spat words out at you. These words are words I need reminded of daily even more sometimes … ok all the time…all the time. 

Remember … You are loved. 
Thanks Aunt Ashley for introducing me to this song … ❀