Slow down … 

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. 🙌🏻🙌🏻 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.

You are free 

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… 

“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 😂) Gods goodness and love will run after us … will follow us … will chase us … will pursue us … all the days of our lives. How 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 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 … ❤

So yeah … 

So yeah this happened yesterday… 

And as I reflect on it I’m not sure why I was surprised … why either of us, Danny or I were surprised. It’s been a hellish month of treatment. 

A month of putting on a brave face when I need to but really just collapsing in my hubbys arms any chance I get. A month of all or nothing sleep … migraines or constant dull ache headaches … bone and joint and muscle pain … fatigue and depression and little motivation or drive and just not having an ounce of energy to even admit that’s truly how I’m feeling to anyone else but my hubby. 

I just want to be fun. I want to be like oh I’m kinda tired today I’m gonna have an extra cup of coffee and keep chugging away at this day of getting things done and loving life. I want to love life. I want to be silly and spontaneous and stay up late and and and all that fun stuff I used to be able to do. 

But all those things are gone for now so I need to move forward. I need to work to give all this freakin ish over to the Lord and rest in Him. It’s so hard though y’all. I get weary. My hubby gets weary. My family gets weary. 

I think that may be the worst. The weariness. Because then you start letting little things in. Little “your never gonna get better” things. Little “your alone and no one understands or cares or really wants to hear how your really feeling … ain’t no one got time for that so just say good or fine” things. 

It’s just hard y’all. I’ve tried to write you a little something since yesterday. It’s been two months since I’ve written last and every time I go to write I hear this little “you have nothing to say” or “no one cares” or you name it I hear it. And it’s not the truth I see that sometimes but those voices they are so persistent aren’t they? So isolating and deflating and convincing. 

But friends I’m fighting. I say all this to say I am fighting. And I’m gonna keep fighting. You keep fighting too ok? I’m praying for you all of you will you pray for me? 

Lyme is awful it’s confusing and it sucks and it hurts you and the ones around you and it will suck every last ounce of being out of you if you let it … so will the rest of the world and its diseases if you let it but let’s not let it. Wouldn’t the enemy just love that … if we let it suck us dry mentally physically emotionally everythingally? I’m gonna try hard not to let it. I’m gonna hold on to a single strand of hope. His hope. Hope in Him. Everyday will be hard … everyday will be different and it won’t be easy the enemy will make sure of that but it will be worth it. You are worth it. I am worth it. He, our Father has already proven that by taking up the cross for every last one of us. 

I’ll post a lyme plan update soon. Maybe early next week, I haven’t done one in a little while. I just really wanted to post a little something maybe to encourage you and let you know your not alone. 

Danny looked at me yesterday through my teary eyes and said … I see you fighting Andrea but your losing hope … don’t lose hope. And he’s right. I can never lose hope because my hope is rooted in the one who loves me more then I could ever comprehend. The one who bore a cross of pain so that one day my pain would end and it wouldn’t even be a memory. My hope is on Him and Him alone. Not things of this world … meds or diagnoses or anything. Him and Him alone. 

Our God is greater … 

Lyme sucks y’all. Gosh it sucks really really bad. Really bad. 

If you know someone with Lyme I want you to go hug them … gently … and if you can’t go hug them gently then send them a text and let them know your thinking about them because it’s really awful. Just awful. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy seriously. 

I know I’ve been in and out lately with these posts but lately I’ve just have felt like ish or felt decent enough to get something done and I’ve done it and mentally writing and or reading just isn’t there for me right now. Sad right?! I cried tears over it yesterday. No writing or reading is sad. I do write a lot of blog post in my head when I lay awake most nights I just never write them down because I’m afraid of waking the best part of me … my rock, you know … Danny. 🙂 

Ok so this post might be here and there but I wanted to do a quick update and just ask you to pray. Things are just hard right now but we had a follow up visit yesterday with the Lyme specialist and feel more prepared then ever to keep fighting. 

So we walk in and see a new dr. Yes brand new! Do you know that I have an issue with new drs? I don’t like having to start the process all over and try to trust someone again. 

But you know what we were not alone the Lord was there with us and He seriously just walked us through that appointment. And then you know what she did … she didn’t say your just depressed, see psych … she didn’t brush us off or just add yet another medicine to try and treat my symptoms…she got real quiet and looked Danny and I in the eye and said … “Your sick … your really sick” 

Gosh I let out a breathe and about started crying right there. Even with the previous dr we were seeing she was sweet and nice but never validated what essentially we are going through. Never like that. It just felt good and encouraged us and like she could see us fighting and she wanted to join in. 

So basically detoxing is gonna be a lot of our focus for a month or two. I should feel better longer then a few days and this will help clear all the yuck that these antibiotics are killing off out of my system. 

So she pumped me full of some antioxidants/free radical stuff … 

did a ton of labs. Apparently my veins were “rolling” never been told that before. I think they just got nervous once Danny told them I was a nurse. Anyway they stuck me 5 times!!! Boo hoo to that. 

Then our dr put a new plan together. One that will hopefully get me on the right track. The goal being that I feel exactly the same while on and off antibiotics and the same being good not bad. And let me tell you we are ready for that. But it’s gonna take time. It’s gonna take detoxing and resting and eating better well eating being the key I’ve felt so crummy eating is hard for me then add in a no sugar gluten free dairy free diet and I’m ready to just go back to bed. 

As I was still taking it all in this morning my mind was going straight to the hard work it’s gonna be. I mean it is. It’s gonna be work. All this detoxing multiple ways keeping that straight. Adding a bunch of supplements to help with that and the money it’s gonna cost, my mind was spinning that wheel this morning and you know what song came on the radio … this one … 

And He whispered down and reminded me that He is greater. He is stronger. He is higher then any other. He is healer. Awesome in power. Our God. Yes. Our God. 

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us? Certainly not money, certainly not Lymes disease. And if our God is with us, then what could stand against? Nothing. No one. 

Maybe you need that reminder today … I sure did. Will you pray for me for us as we continue this fight? 

We have a renewed hope in this process but a renewed and strengthened hope in “Him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory… forever and ever! Amen.” 

Ephesians 3:20-21 

clear as mud …

I’ve been quiet … pretty quiet lately. Not just on here but in life and this morning as I spent some quiet time with the Lord I think I figured out why. 

Which as I write that we really don’t need a reason y’all. It’s ok to be quiet. Even though the world says we should be busy and loud and extroverted and into all of these things, that’s not that really true. Quiet is good. Quiet is needed. Quiet is perfectly ok so don’t run from it…embrace it. 🙂 

Getting back to the point. 

So as the kids played LEGO/princess adventure outside my room … and I took advantage of them being entertained for a moment and not wanting breakfast yet I decided to spend some intentional quiet time. Really it was about 10 minutes but it was enough to reveal something to me. 

Do you know the saying “clear as mud?” 

Well I never did until we lived in TN. People would be explaining something to me, usually at work and someone would follow up this long instruction session with the question … “clear as mud right?” 

Obviously it’s not. Nothing is clear in the mud. It’s messy and thick and dark and dirty and filled with stuff we can’t identify or don’t even realize is in there. No one wants to be stuck in the mud. We run from it, jump over it if we can and avoid it at all costs because sometimes even if we think it’s one thing its not and we get inevitably stuck in it. 

So what I realized this morning is that not only is this world we live in messy and broken, its clear as mud. 

There is so much going on in this world we live in y’all. It seems to be clear but y’all really it’s so muddy and thick and sometimes we have to take a time out. I had to take a time out. 

So many things are going on I didn’t even know where to start with my mind or my words or my feelings. And honestly I still don’t. I just don’t. 

But when I remembered that saying … it’s clear as mud, it helped me to realize I don’t have to. I don’t have to understand what’s going on or have a stance or be able to explain why or what’s going on or how I feel about it. I can just lean on the Lord. Lean into Him. Not lean on myself to have the answers. But lean into Him and the Holy Spirit and ask for guidance and help and begin to just walk through all this mud with Him and not alone. 

So yeah clear as mud right? 😉 

Praying for guidance for y’all that we can but our armor on and we can walk along side of the one who is our rock and our redeemer, our strength, an ever present help in times when we need it most. 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powersof this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:11-12