#ISaidYes

OBSBlogHop
I have had high blood pressure for as long as I remember. I recall being at a doctor’s office when I was 16 years old and he was considering putting me on medication because it was so high. He said it was unheard-of that a young girl should have a blood pressure reading so high. I chalked it up to my family history and thought nothing of it.

Years went by. I decided to go on medication. Then came love, then came marriage, then came baby in the baby carriage (ok, I’m a little silly today, I do have a point). When I was pregnant with both kids my blood pressure sky-rocketed, to the point of being on a high dosage of medication throughout the pregnancies and being put on bed rest. Again, I chalked it up to my family history and thought nothing of it.

Years went by. Five years after my second child and the blood pressure was still high. I decided to get the advise of a cardiologist in the area (I’ve had cardiologists in the past but all did the normal tests and just said to stay on medication and everything will be alright). This cardiologist was different. He didn’t think a woman my age (I still like to think I’m young, let’s pretend) should be on so much medication. He tested me. He told me to lose the baby weight (can you call it baby weight if your “baby” is 5?), eat right and exercise.

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Went back to the doctor every year and he told me the same thing, lose the weight and exercise, blah, blah. Now, I’m not trying to complain, I don’t want to be silly here but I really didn’t think I was fat. It might have been that I was comfortable in my skin, sure I was 30 plus pounds more than I was when I got married, but doesn’t everyone gain weight with marriage and kids? I fit in a size 10, which I thought was fine, and never thought I was big enough to worry about losing weight, I was happy, my husband loved me the way I was, so he was happy, all good right?

Years went by. I was at a prayer meeting at our church, a healing service to be specific, and I was praying, “Oh God, PLEASE, PLEASE take away my blood pressure issues. Make my blood pressure normal so I won’t have to be on medication.” What I heard knocked me to the ground. “You do your part and I’ll do mine.” It was that simple. So what was my part? It couldn’t be that silly weight loss and exercise thing again, could it? “You do your part and I’ll do mine.” Oh man, God wants me to eat healthy and exercise, really???

I decided to say yes. Ok, God, even though I don’t think I’m fat and even though I’m happy with my self image, I’ll eat right and exercise. So easy to say, not so easy to do. But I did it. I did my part. I have to admit, reading Lysa TerKeurst’s Made To Crave book helped me tremendously. With the help of the book and a small group of ladies at the church to do the study with me, I did it!

Months went by. I lost 25 pounds and my cardiologist took me off of one of my blood pressure medications. I said yes. I did my part and God did His. I have a follow up appointment in October and since I’ve been maintaining my lower weight and exercising and my blood pressure has been lower and lower, I’m believing I’ll be able to step down my other medication as well.

I said yes to doing my part, I pray you can say yes too!
Shila

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#FreshVision

It’s already week 5 of our Yes To God Blog Hop.  These past five weeks have been so far from ordinary, I can’t even explain it. It’s amazing how when you say “Yes” to God how things can change so … Continue reading

Life Interrupted

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A few weeks ago I was laying in bed praying.  My prayers were specific.  I wanted more of God for our family.  As part of this “Yes To God” Bible Study I’ve been feeling hungry for the things of God.  I wanted that hunger to be something that my whole family craved.  I wanted us all to be on fire.

I guess you really need to be careful what you pray for, right?  Later that week my husband had some really bad news at work.  I won’t go into details but the result is basically a LOT less money in our pocket.  This was really a devastating blow to us financially.

We’ve been here before.  We’ve been to rock bottom.  The funny thing is, when we get there we pray a lot more.  We watch more Christian television.  We talk more about God as a family.  We listen to Christian music.  We lie on our faces before God and give all our problems to Him.  We praise God in the storm.

Hmmm…seems like our life, which has been so busy, sometimes too busy to take time to pray, has been interrupted.  All of a sudden we need God.  All of a sudden we are taking time out of our busy schedule to pray.  We are making God #1 in our life, where He should have been in the first place.  We are now having family prayer time every night, all of us, praising God for our blessings and praying for our needs.  Seems like we are now hungry for the things of God, on fire, isn’t that what I was praying for?

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Of course, I didn’t want what happened with our finances to happen.  That was not “my” intent.  God has bigger plans.  God has better plans.  He rocked our world, interrupted our life, to remind us of what is really important.

You know what?  I know everything is going to work out, it always does.  God ALWAYS provides for us, I have faith and believe that everything is going to be all right.  We stand firm on the promise of God from Malachi 3:10 – “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple.  If you do,” says the Lord, “I will open the windows of heaven for you.  I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!”  I stand firm that since we always give God our tithes that he will pour out the blessings for us.

It’s so abundantly clear that this was God answering my prayer to make the whole family on fire for Him again.  I believe that we will stay this way.  That it won’t just be the tough situations that bring us to our knees but we will be there even through the easy times.

My new prayer is going to be, “God, thank you for your blessings and provisions.  Thank you that our family is on fire for you during the peaceful times, not just the hard times.  I pray we will say yes to you and follow you today and everyday.  Thank you Jesus!”

Thanking God in the challenging times, working all things for our good,

Shila

#Amazed

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It’s week three of our journey with the Online Bible Study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, and I have really been amazed at how God is moving in me personally.

Sometimes it’s the small stuff – during Praise and Worship at church I was overcome with compassion for the people around me.  I felt the brokenness and saw the masks of happiness that they all had on.  I just cried and prayed for them all.

Sometimes it’s small but could be big later – As the Treasurer of our church sometimes I feel like the contribution inputting can get a little, um, let’s say monotonous.   As I was going through the tithe envelopes this week I felt the Lord tell me to pray over each envelope.  Every envelope or check or cash that came through, I prayed over it.  I spoke blessings into the families.  That their money would be multiplied for their faithfulness.  Who knows what might come of it, this was a private prayer but maybe my saying “yes” might bless someone greatly?

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Sometimes it’s a little bigger – my friend just bought a house she invited me over to pray and anoint the house with oil.  I was nervous she would think I was a crazy Christian when I was walking through the house, speaking in tongues, and I was amazed at how open she was to me praying, commanding unclean spirits to leave, and speaking a blessing over them.  I had a great word for her and her family and it was confirmed when she showed me pictures of the house being built back in 1930.  It was such an awesome experience.

Sometimes it’s huge – what is God doing with my husband’s job?  Why is there so much pressure and disappointments that we didn’t see coming?  What is the big picture, where are we to go from here?  I feel like no matter what happens, God is in control and He’s not going to let us down.  Seems like perfect timing to read Chapter 4 of our study and be reminded that “God must be Lord of all if He is our Lord at all.”  It helps to read the scriptures from the book, Job 2:10 – Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” and Lamentations 3:23 – “His compassions are new every morning.”

Together we are praying to see how God wants to use us.  It’s nice to be a “yes” woman with a “yes” husband.  I know as we go through life we can expect to be amazed.

Blessed to say yes,

Shila

Radical Obedience

The Vacation is Over My Friend
Driving back from vacation in the wee hours of the morning, feeling ill, sick to my stomach, queasy, a self-induced sugar coma came over me.  Ugh, why do I do this to myself?  Why do I think that just because I’m on vacation that all logic goes out the window?  On vacation, food doesn’t have any calories.  On vacation I won’t get the awesome sugar high or the not so awesome sugar low.  On vacation my stomach will all of a sudden be able to process the junk that I indulge in.  Gross.
For those that don’t know, I’m a self-professed sugar junkie.  Hi, my name is Shila and I’m addicted to sugar.  I found help I discovered the book, Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, quit my habit and lost 25 pounds along the way (Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!).  I loved the book so much I had an online bible study for our church group and friends.  It was amazing!  OK, back to my sugar junkie moment.
So, I messed up.  I went back to my bad habit.  Sugar found me and I indulged and threw my go-to scriptures out the window as I had a second piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (just because it was my mom’s birthday does not make that right!) On the drive home I felt the guilt.  Why God, why did you give me this thorn in my flesh?  Why is this so difficult for me to handle?  I was doing so well, what made me go back to my old habits?  Help me!
As part of our online bible study, When Women Say Yes to God, the question arose, “Is there something that God is asking you to give up?  What specific steps do you need to take to fulfill this obedience?”  That question was easy to answer as I frantically ran through my house when I got home searching for anything sweet.  Hello, time to give up sugar, again.  God has specifically asked me to give up sugar.  I’ve been down this road, I know He has and now He’s telling me to give it up again.
And yes, you may think this is silly, I mean people have struggles with “real” addictions – drugs, alcohol, or even spending too much money, what’s the big deal about sugar?  I dug into the story of the rich young man, found in Matthew 19:16-26, and realized that Jesus asks us to give up anything in our life that is controlling us.  In my case, I wanted sugar more than I wanted Jesus.  My radical obedience is to give up this sugar addiction.
So what do I have to do?  For me, I need to go back to the scriptures that have helped me in the past.  2 Corinthians 12:9-111 Corinthians 6:191 Corinthians 10:13-14Revelation3:8Romans 6:19-20.  I need to use any craving as a prompt to pray.  I need to get back up, dust off the sugar from my mouth and move forward.  I hope that if you are struggling with anything and you stumbled like me, you too can get up and move forward again.
Deuteronomy 2:3 – You have circled this mountain long enough.  Now turn north.
Turning north in radical obedience,
Shila