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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Sacrifice of Praise

 I have gone back and forth on whether or not this post is supposed to be written. Andy always says both the good and the bad; I'm a real person, and can't be fake on here. So perhaps a little bit more to the story as to why I haven't been writing as much...

 This morning in my quiet time I actually had a few minutes of quiet. The first verse that stuck out to me was "Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually". Heb 13:15

 Continually.

 I am afraid I have failed at that lately.

 I have been telling Him I trust Him, begging Him to help me see what it is I am supposed to be learning, and trying my hardest to remain encouraging for those around me (which is why I haven't been on here - I have been failing in the "positive" thing far more then I care to admit)
 And I have definitely slacked off in the praise. Perhaps that is why it is called a sacrifice of praise? It doesn't come naturally, or easily, or just as a habit. It has to be something we think about and mean.

 So I cried out to my Savior, and asked for forgiveness, and immediately found it freely given. That is the most freeing feeling, and you can't help but let the praises flow after that!

 Here is a little of the back story of my stress recently.
 Last night as I was skimming through Facebook posts I ran across one that said "Please re-post for at least 1 hr if you or someone you know has an invisible illness (Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type1, type 3, Lupus, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Schleroderma, Thyroid disease, Crohns, Fibromyalgia PCOS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Kidney Disease, Epilepsy, MS, MD, Depression, Autism) Do it for all who have an invisible illness. It's a daily struggle feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside."
It was freeing to me to realize that I am not the only one that feels this way. My "silent disease(s)" (since I have three on the list) have been torturing me lately. I have had blood sugars from 30- 430 in the last two weeks. I once had to change my infusion site four times in one day. I am still terrified to drive on the interstate, because my mini-seizures pop up without warning, and being able to pull over is a necessity. I am sick of taking 6 different prescription drugs, multiple times a day, and knowing that if I don't, it is a big deal.

 Andy being gone, having an injured his knee, and being unsure whether he will be able to get into the next class; our credit card account being hacked and having to be closed and re-opened with a new number; my medical issues simply compounding on top of each other... I was already an emotional mess. When I got a letter from Tricare, the military insurance provider, saying that the forms I had faxed them over a week ago were missing one page, thus making me ineligible to be placed back in the program until NEXT month - I literally broke down. I threw my hands up to God and asked Him what in the world I was doing wrong. What in the world was I supposed to be learning, and couldn't I just learn it please? I called Tricare and sobbed on the phone with the poor operator. He talked to his boss, but they insisted there was nothing they could do and I wouldn't be covered until April 1st.
 (side note, I am not completely without insurance, just the lesser form of Tricare. It is not a super huge deal, really. I just have a 3 month supply of diabetic supplies due to be mailed tomorrow, and Prime normally pays for all of it. Standard won't cover the first $300, or an additional 20% after that. It's not the end of the world, I was just upset because they could have notified me in time. I contacted them to make sure my paperwork arrived. They knew I was paying attention. They FOUND a way to not cover me, and chose snail mail to inform me so that I did not have any possible way to get the form to them in time. Perhaps this is my reminder to appreciate how blessed I am to have insurance at all.)

 Anyway, insurance was the final straw on a really bad string of events medically. At some point in time that night I even told God that I quit. I didn't want to do it any more. I had given diabetes 20 years. Thyroid disease almost 10 now. Epilepsy has only had 2 1/2, but still - I quit. Please, just let me die and be done.

 Of course, I didn't mean it. Don't go calling the suicide watch line on me. I simply wanted someone to recognize that it is hard just to live.

 Then I realized how insanely self centered I was.

 2 Cor 5:1&4  says that "we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, and eternal house in heaven... for while we are in this tent we groan and are burdened." These bodies are only temporary. We don't have to keep them for eternity, and as they break down, praise the Lord, a better one is being built somewhere else. So I cling, constantly, to the promise that "In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes." (Rom 8:28)

 I have been inspired several times recently by the words of C.H. Spurgeon. He pointed out "There is a limit to affliction. God sends it, and removes it. Do you sigh and say, "When will the end be?" Let us quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He cometh... (and here is my favorite part) Let us sing Hallelujah by anticipation."

 That goes back to the "sacrifice of praise" we started with. A sacrifice of praise was written about in the old testament and again in the new. I think more than anything else, God wants us to trust Him, and be joyful in that trust. I am working again on remembering to praise, even when I can't see how things are going to work. I have taught my children to thank Him at the end of the day, for all the little things that we tend to take for granted. I will focus on those little things, praise Him for those little things, that I know how to be thankful for. After that, I will just have to choose to trust Him for the rest.

 "Oh brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls." C.H. Spurgeon

 I am seeking heaven for my soul. Won't you come and seek with me?
                                                                                         Blessings,

5 comments:

Carrie said...

This is so beautifully written Bethany. There is some awesome symbolism between the order in which the priests offered the sacrifices, then placed the incense on the altar...similar idea to what you are saying. We have to be in communion with him then sacrifice in order to praise Him. I know I am messing it up, makes me want to read about it again.
Thanks for sharing your heart!

autumnesf said...

So many people I know are dealing with the invisible or the system sucker punching them thats its unbelievable. So sorry. Thoughts and prayers are with you and Andy as you go through this.

And yes, they purposely sent a letter to buy themselves more time without covering you. That is their job. I was never so happy as when I walked away from the medical insurance field. It is so incredibly dirty. Sorry you are dealing with that.

Hang in there.

firefly said...

Prayers for a soothing of your soul! I understand how it feels to throw your hands up and say "I quit!" It is usually in those times that I feel God put his arms around me and say "Chill- Ive got you coered!" :) I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism a couple of years ago. Shortly after Jon lost his job and insurance so I have been without meds for over a year... makes for alot of interesting days :) but all that to say- I am sorry you are going through such a tough time! I hope the sun comes out soon for you!

Sonita @ Cowsdontmoo.com said...

Thanks for posting that-I needed it!

We are currently living on God's provision rather than a steady income. It's really hard. And some days I feel sorry for myself, my husband and my kids.

Most of the time I try hard to be positive, and full of joy, but some days it's just hard.

We have no insurance. Hubby is type 1, I have PCOS and need to go to the doc. but all in all, we still have it way better than most people on the planet.

Jade Wilson said...

Don't lose hope. I know you can make it through.
I have low thyroid hormone and have been on thyroid supplements for 5 years. I'm glad you've share this post.