God where are you?!

We’ve all wondered where God is sometimes. It seems like he isn’t anywhere. We know he is there but he feels so far away. The past several months I’ve felt dead inside. I knew God was there but I couldn’t feel him. I felt so lost, so broken and so afraid. I’ve been going through a spiritual battle. Literally there is a spiritual battle in my home. I have felt the presence of evil in my own home.

The other night my husband was gone and it was just me and my dog, Bandit. We were in the kitchen. I had just washed dishes and was getting ready to put some more things away. All of a sudden I got a horrible feeling and my dog took off running and ran and his on the couch. I went to him to see what was wrong and he was shaking. I sat with him for a moment and the feeling came back but this time it was stronger and I could literally feel a horrible evil in my home. My dog saw something and watched something walk across the living and the something stopped directly in front of us. I immediately got down on my knees and started praying. I asked God for protection of our home. I asked that if there was anything in our home that was not of God, that it be removed and be made known it was not welcome in Jesus name. I prayed and I honestly do not even know what else I prayed. Words flowed from my mouth and peace overcame me and my dog. As I knelt at the couch and prayed he laid down beside me and closed his eyes. After I was done praying a verse came to my mind. Matthew 19:26 “…With God all things are possible.”

 

I wrote it my fridge calendar and underlined ALL. I stood in my kitchen listening to a song and I lifted my hands, sang, praised and worshiped God. I felt his presence and was overwhelmed with joy all I could do was cry. I had peace in my heart for the fist time in a long time.

Believe it or not but it happened. I’ve been pressed down and felt like I was in chains of sadness and doubt. My heart was broken and I felt trampled. Things may not be perfect but they are getting better and I am thankful! The song Find You On My Knees by Kari Jobe came to mind.

 

prayer

Find You On My Knees – Kari Jobe

Troubles chasing me again, breaking down my best defense, I’m looking. God I’m looking for you.

Weary just won’t let me rest, fear is filling up my head, I’m longing. God I’m longing for you. But I will

Find you in this place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty.When I am weak, when I am lost and searching. I’ll find you on my knees.

So what if sorrow shakes my faith? What if heartache still remains? I’ll trust you. My God I’ll trust you. ‘Cause you are faithful. And I will find you in the place I’m in. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty. When I am weak when I am lost and searching. Find you on my knees.

When my hope is gone, when the fear is strong, when the pain is real and it’s hard to feel. When my faith is shaken and my heart is broken and my joy is stolen God I know that you lift me up you never leave me searching.

Find you in this place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty.When I am weak, when I am lost and searching. I’ll find you on my knees. 

This song speaks to me. So what, IF sorrow shakes my faith? So WHAT, IF heartache still remains? I’ll TRUST YOU. MY GOD, I’LL TRUST YOU. I will trust God! He never leaves me thirsty or searching. Other things in life do but not God. He is my healer, my savior, my love, my life, my joy, my hope and my salvation! So even when everything is falling apart God is allowing that so he can pick up the pieces and put them back together better than my attempt. He makes the pieces fit even when think they cannot.

 

 

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URGENT CALL TO PRAY

I’ve been reading about Christians being beheaded, buried alive, being threatened to be crucified if they do not convert to Islam. The ones who fled from their homes cannot go back or they will be killed.

prayer

We need to earnestly pray for these people. My heart is breaking for them. There is pure evil being unleashed in this world and I believe that it is only going to get worse.

Let’s band together and pray that God will give these Christians strength through their persecution and that this genocide will stop.

Check out the links below to find out more about what is going on.

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/562265/20140811/iraq-beheading-children-christian-genocide.htm#.U-oMRmODf1U

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/562237/20140811/isis-iraq-christians-genocide-pope-francis.htm#.U-p8c2ODf1U

 

 

Italian Turkey Sausage & Penne Bake

Monday night I made up a recipe. I do that a lot! I just find ingredients in the fridge and throw something together for dinner! My husband is a little picky with what he eats and he loved this! I had it again for dinner last night and brought it for lunch today! I think I am going to freeze the rest for another day. That’s the best part about leftovers!!! You can use any brands of the ingredients below or substitute the penne with spaghetti or whatever noodle you have. Use what you have on hand! Next Time, I’ll take pictures of what I do and post along with recipe! Hoepfully the directions make sense.

Italian Sausage Penne Bake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pkg of Perdue Sweet Italian Sausage (5 sausages in container)
  •  1/2 Green Pepper
  • 1/2 Small Summer Squash
  • 1/2 Small Zucchini
  • 2 TBSP Spice World Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 1/2 box of Creamette Penne Pasta
  • 1/2 jar of Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil Bombolina Sauce (You can use full jar if you want)
  • 2-3 TBSP Olive Oil (enough to cover bottom of pan)
  • A few handfuls Kroger Brand Hot Pepper Blend Cheese
  • 2-4 cups of Kroger Brand Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Kroger Brand Parmesan Cheese
  •  Approx. 1 TBSP Parsley

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (mine was set on 400 but my oven temp is about 25 degrees hotter than typical ovens)
  2. Wash & Cut green pepper in half, cut out inside and get rid of seeds. Take one and put away to use in another meal. The other half of the green pepper cut into match sticks and then dice.
  3. Wash Squash & Zucchini. Cut each in half. Put 1/2 of each away for later use. Take the remaining halves and cut off end of each. Cut into circles. Cut circles into 4ths.
  4. Remove skin from onion. Cut in half. Put 1/2 away for later use. Take remaining half and dice into small pieces.
  5. Put diced pepper, squash & zucchini 1/4ths and diced onion into a bowl.
  6. Add 2 TBSP of minced garlic to bowl.
  7. Add 2-3 TBSP (enough to cover bottom of pan) of olive oil to a 10″-12″ skillet and turn burner on 7 or med high.
  8. Once oil is hot add bowl of ingredients to skillet, stirring every few minutes. Once mixture has been cooking for a few moments add a lid to pan and continue to cook until onions are see through and veggies appear to be done.
  9. Remove sausage from pkg and remove sausage casings. The best way to do it, is to cut a slit down the length of the sausage and then remove casing.
  10. Tear or cut sausage into small pieces.
  11. Once veggie mix looks down add sausage to pan and cover. Stir often. You may need to turn down heat depending upon your stove.
  12. Cook Penne noodles al dente according to the pkg directions. Drain water from noodles and leave sitting in drainer/strainer.
  13. When sausage is thoroughly cooked, turn off burner and drain grease from pan. Be careful not to lose garlic and onions.
  14. Add tomato & basil sauce to sausage & veggie mix and stir until thoroughly coated.
  15. Sprinkle some Parsley onto the mixture and stir.
  16. Put Penne noodles into 9×13 pan. I used a stoneware pan so I didn’t need to spray with cooking spray. If you use glass or metal you will need to spray with a light coating of cooking spray before you add noodles.
  17. Add sauce, sausage and veggie mix to noodles and stir until noodles are thoroughly coated. Add more sauce if needed or if you want. We don’t like a lot of sauce, just enough for flavor.
  18. Add 2-4 cups of mozzarella cheese and stir to evenly coat noodles.
  19. Grab a few handfuls of hot cheese and mix into noodles.
  20. Add Parmesan and stir in to mix thoroughly.
  21. I added some cheese on top so the Penne Bake would be melty and gooey.
  22. Add to oven and bake about 8 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  23. Take out and enjoy!

Mirrors, Relfections and God

We all have days where we feel bad about ourselves and we pick ourselves apart piece by piece when we look in the mirror. That’s why I hate mirrors. If we aren’t careful we can lose all vision of who we truly are and only focus on the outward appearance. I’ve been guilty and getting back is hard!

mirrordistorted reflection

All of my life I’ve struggled with my appearance, my weight, my height and my identity. It all started in middle school/junior high. I was tall and skinny. My nose was too big for my face and I was awkward. I never quite fit in and always felt out of place. It’s funny in a way because at times I still feel like I don’t fit in. I can be in a room full of people and still feel alone and out of place. (That’s another story for another day)

I felt like maybe if I was skinnier that people would like me. I would eat lunch in the cafeteria and then go to the bathroom and throw it up. Sometimes I’d use it as an excuse to go home because I didn’t want to be at school. I hated it that much. I used to be embarrassed by it but it’s a part of my life. Throwing up so much damaged the enamel on my teeth and I still deal with getting cavities easily today as a result of that.

Once I got to High School I just wouldn’t eat. I had gone from a size 3 to a 7 from my Freshman year to my Sophomore year. I felt like I was too fat and that I needed to get the weight off. The worse part of it was that years later when I told someone about it they didn’t believe me. The next year couple years of school I ate. What I ate was not so healthy. I had bagels 2x a day with fatty cream cheese and 4-6 cookies from the cafeteria. I drank tons of soda and didn’t walk or get in any exercise. I started packing on the pounds. I’ve never been athletic and I didn’t play sports in school. I was basically a couch potato.

bulimia

I’ve never really enjoyed eating meat growing up. I never really liked the taste of it (Something I still struggle with today). When I would eat it in high school it would be at fast food restaurants like Taco Bell or it would be deep fried at Wendy’s or KFC. My friends and I would frequently go to Taco Bell after school and hang out. I would then go home and eat dinner again. It was a vicious cycle. I was diagnosed with cancer at the end of my Junior year. I had a couple of surgeries and the last one they removed the tumor along with the small bone above my ankle bone. Thank God, God healed me and I didn’t have to go through the chemo or amputations. This added to me being sedentary. I couldn’t walk anywhere far and if I had to go far someone pushed me in a wheel chair.

I was in size 11’s and 13’s by my senior year. To add to the weight gain from being sedentary and from eating so poorly I was on prednisone for my asthma for an entire year. It added to the weight gain. I had no idea how much weight I had gained until I watched a video of me from a class assignment and I was mortified! I had a gut and a roll hanging over my jean skirt. It was shocking and embarrassing. It was near the end of Senior year. My friend and I had our picture taken in our graduation outfits and it was posted in the year book. My face was so large I was unrecognizable to myself. I saw the picture and thought that the girl in the picture couldn’t possibly be me.

That summer I went into depression and didn’t really leave the house much. I started college in the fall. The campus was spread out really far and all my classes were in different buildings and different floors. I walked everywhere and walked up and down 3-4 flights a stairs several times every day. Before I knew it, I had lost a lot of weight and was healthy again. I started eating in moderation and had a sensible lunch every day. I was so happy and proud of myself! My entire time at school I always took the stairs over the elevator. I was doing great. I met a guy we dated for a couple years and eventually it ended. I was devastated over the circumstances of it and quit eating. I thought I was too fat and that is why he didn’t love me. I lost 30+lbs and at one point weighed 120. I am 5’ 7 ½“ and should weigh around 145 or so. I went from 8’s and 10’s to 6’s and 4’s. I was unhealthy. When I chose to eat, my body rejected it from not eating. Eventually I got better and unfortunately started in this pattern of fast food again. I also got a full time job where I sat down all day long. I was used to walking all over downtown going on errands and such. I started talking to this guy and we hit it off. We started hanging out after my night classes and would go by McDonald’s and grab some food. I started packing on the pounds. We got married less than a year later! I was so happy to marry this guy who was my best friend and the love of my life. (We are still happily married 4 years later!)

meandkylewedding

I looked at myself in my wedding dress and was shocked at how big I had gotten again. My husband and I lived with my parents because he lost his job right before we got married. He was having a hard time finding anything. 7 months after we got married, my Grandma passed away in June. Then in November my Grandpa passed away. I was devastated by both but more so after my Grandpa died. We weren’t expecting it. He fell and 2 weeks later he was gone. He was my best friend. I thought the world of him. I spent every day of my childhood at his house. Almost every dinner was at his house. I didn’t know how to manage that. My Mom had to start taking care of my Grandma. She has Alzheimer’s. She spent the night at her house almost every night. She eventually had to quit her job to take care of her full time. I started helping more around the house. The car my husband and I just bought had the engine blow, and then a few months later the transmission went. Needless to say it was stressful. I turned to desserts and food for comfort.

At my heaviest I was 190lbs. I am not sure my current weight but am guessing it is somewhere in the 160lbs range. I am currently trying to get healthy and get the rest of the weight off that isn’t healthy for me. I need to lose about 15lbs to get to where my doctor wants my BMI to be. I take long walks every day with my dog. I am trying to kick soda and fast food. I would like to get down to 145lbs this year and do it the healthy way. No more not eating and no more throwing my food up. I know I need to eat healthy food and exercise to be healthy. God gave us life and bodies. Our bodies are our temples. We should take care of them and love them. Both of those are hard to do sometimes.

meatheaviest

1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

I’ve struggled with loving myself but until I did I couldn’t love my husband the way God intended me to. I still struggle some days with my appearance but at the end of the day what matters is that God loves me for exactly who I am and he sees me for who I am. He sees my soul and knows my heart.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

The above verses tell us God formed us, he loved us so much even when we were sinners that he sent his only son to die for us so we could go to Heaven and live forever if we accept his son and believe that he is God’s son and that he died for us and rose again on the third day. We also must confess that we are sinners and ask for forgiveness.

I invite you to examine your heart and ask God to help you love yourself and see yourself in his eyes. For you ladies, if you are going through any of the same things I have please get help. I was lucky to get through it on my own. I am not going to lie, there are days where I honestly consider not eating to get the weight off or eating whatever I want then throwing it up. No matter how much weight is off sometimes I can’t see myself as looking any different and all I see is me being heavy. Don’t let anyone convince you that it is normal. It is not healthy and can be super damaging to your health. I still have days where I don’t want to eat and days where I want to make myself throw up my lunch. (It feels weird just admitting that because I’ve told no one that) Anorexia and Bulimia are eating disorders and you can get help. See the link below.

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

It’s hard to see yourself as you truly are when your body image is distorted in your mind. I know. I feel that way a lot of days. It’s getting easier but it is a process. Know if you have an eating disorder you are not alone. There are people who will support you to help you get through it and to get healthy again. I am one of those people! Don’t let anyone make you feel that you aren’t beautiful for being heavy or being too skinny. Be healthy and your body will look the way nature intended it to. We are all beautiful no matter our story or the way we look. God sees us as beautiful and he loves us.

anorexia

One of the best things is to find a hobby. Find something you love doing and do it! Read, bike, walk, run, cook, bake, sing, dance, knit, crochet, craft, write stories, get a journal and write your feelings, paint, take up a musical instrument, take classes at your local community college, draw, collect rocks, collect stamps… you get the point. It helps relieve pain and gives you an outlet for your energy and for your mind to focus.

I love to cook, bake, craft, read and take walks with my dog. Doing all of those things, helps me to feel like me and to feel happy. Finding happiness is so important! Another important key to happiness is having a relationship with God. He can carry your burdens and pick you up when you fall. If you don’t have one, I encourage you to have a relationship with God. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. My life hasn’t been free of problems but God has made them easier when I let him take them for me.

I invite you to follow me on my journey to health and happiness! I am going to try to start posting recipes and workouts and tips. I hope you will join me on my journey!

Love from above!

Iva Mae