“Your eyes are windows into your body.”


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“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! Matthew 6:22-23 MSG

I’m wondering what it’s like to be in a “dank cellar”because  I’ve never had a cellar before, let alone a dank one. Dictionary.com describes dank as “unpleasantly moist or humid; damp and, often, chilly.” I imagine most cellars, like basements, tend to be dark as well. Imagine our bodies being unpleasant, chilly and dark, in our souls. I was thinking about examples of what living with blinds on my windows (eyes) has looked like in the past as a parent of a special needs child. I’m not proud of them but here we go: Not being able to see the complete purpose for my child, thinking I’m alone and no one understands, closing myself off to relationships because their family was “normal”, lack of faith and prayer, feeling like I am a horrible parent, anger towards others who are not compassionate towards me, etc. Fortunately I’ve grown tremendously the last seven and half years.

What I’ve learned is that in pain we truly know and see God. We grow and can end up thriving if we can just learn to give up complete control. To say to Him I cannot even get to lunch time with out You leading me, comforting me and teaching me. Sometimes He puts us in a situation, or life does, where we literally cannot stand on our own two feet alone. Where our souls are in so much pain that the only thing we can do is succumb to that pain or reach out to God and say I cant do this, please help! Beautifully put by Ann Voskamp in one of the most important devotions of my life One Thousand Gifts “The vows of the Christ, they are covenant, and He lasts when we lose everything else and all the gifts are in Christ alone.”

To see light and be the opposite is to open our eyes wide to God’s gifts and beauty. Then everything is a gift and can be used by God for good or to show us Himself in such a real way that we’ve never seen Him before.

Strong medicine…and conviction.


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In Matthew 5 Jesus started his first teaching, blessing people…and teaching us how to live blessed lives.

The conviction is strong reading Jesus’ first teachings. The part about “gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it” (Matthew 5:38-42 MSG) is a real whopper when you think of defending yourself against suit. “Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer.” Wow! Energies! Of prayer! I love this translation in The Message Bible. Think about all the energy we put into things in our lives. Our relationships, homes, jobs, looks, etc. What if we put that much energy into our enemies?

I feel convicted especially on this point. At a time I was most vulnerable, learning to be the parent of a fragile child, a close person in our lives offended us at every meeting and it became so unbearable that we invoked boundaries against this person. Looking back I wish I had kept turning the other cheek.

When you are struggling from PTSD and anxiety just making it through the day is so difficult. Then add in an outside source of stress who, seems not to understand how the earth shattering things happening every day in your life are seriously effecting you and seems more concerned about their own opinion of your life, and you want to run for the hills.

I hope God can work a miracle for this relationship in the future and I pray for God’s continued conviction.

Here is a link to read Matthew chapter 5 in The Message translation, I really enjoyed reading the whole chapter in this translation. https://www.bible.com/bible/97/mat.5

Matthew 5:
3“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

Combat Recalling Disappointments


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Sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations. oxfordictionaries.com

“…[and cease recalling disappointments]. For this God is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide [even] until death.
Psalm 48:13-14 The Everyday Life Bible

I keep feeling this tug in my heart to grateful. I’m sure I’ve read this psalm before but it never stood out to me especially before today. Part of being grateful, I suppose, is to cease recalling disappointments. I find when I start my day out with gratefulness to God for my blessings I have a happier outlook throughout the day. Now I’m wondering how I should combat recalling disappointments and what the result will be if I do…

Disappointments come in all shapes and sizes, parents of children with special needs especially deal with disappointments, every day. People deal with disappointments at work, with family and with friends. They can make us feel hopeless and gray, like nothing will ever go our way.

How comforting it is to know that our God is God forever! That our God will be our guide until the end! If it’s the only thing you take comfort in today let it be that God is there guiding you, even in the midst of parenthood and all the disappointments we may face, He is there, right beside us.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5 NIV

I’m raising someone’s husband

Mama Swartwood

I’mraising someone’s husband.

This is the thought that’s been rocking my brain for the past few weeks. It doesn’t even need to be said that every new parent is petrified of what kind of job they’re going to do at raising their children, so here’s just one new momma’s inside look.

I grew up in a household where my parents were very good at expressing their love for each other. Never a phone call, a good bye, a hello, a good job – nothing in our household went without an “I love you.”

But, nothing lasts forever and what I thought was written in the stars, crumbled so suddenly it sent me into a frantic sense of being that nothing can last forever.

Now, I’ve made it a point that I will show my kids just how much I love their father. That even if they happen to…

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My First Attempt at a Juicing Lifestyle


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Parenting a child with special needs leaves you exhausted and an emotional wreck most days which isn’t conducive to living healthy and being motivated to stay fit. At least in my case. I’ve come a long way in my journey the last year and am motivated recently to eat healthier and try to get some exercise in. My first step was buying a Breville juicer from smile.amazon.com along with some Epica glass bottles so that I can juice for the whole day all at once. I’m going to leave links to the juice recipes I used below. So far I’m enjoying the flavors of the juices and have much more energy today than normal.

The juicer worked fantastic!juicer

The juicer came with this brush that cleans the basket very well, super useful! juicer-brush

I used a mix of baby chard, spinach and kale for greens as an addition to the Classic Carrott-Apple-Lemon and the Hangover recipe. veggiesfruit

From left to right: A New Orange Juice for BreakfastClassic Carrott-Apple-Lemon with a Kick and Hungover? This Juice Will Help  (I made this without the beet and I wasn’t hungover for the record, it just sounded good!) I downloaded these recipes from Reboot with Joejuice-bottles

Grasping a fact, about anxiety


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Is your mind ever so preoccupied with worry that you miss what’s happening right in front of you? Mine is quite often! Worry over my daughter’s future, worry about changes at my husbands job, worry I’m not a good enough parent or my hidden dreams will never be fulfilled…

“Worry can change us in intangible ways: negative, personality-altering ways. Our joy drains away like water in an unplugged sink, and hope is replaced by angst and dread.” Deborah M. Coty

I love the following scripture, Luke makes it seem very simple…”Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:25-26 NIV

I also love the way Deborah M. Coty sums it all up with a fact I never thought of before reading her book Too Blessed To Be Stressed. “Be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6 NASB) takes on a whole new meaning when you grasp the fact that anxiety does absolutely nothing for you.”

Lord help me not to be anxious for anything but to wait on you. Give me hope, keep fear and anxiety far away from me, during this season of my life. Amen!

if you haven’t read Deborah’s book Too Blessed To Be Stressed I highly recommend it. It made me laugh and cry and helped me gain God’s perspective when I was in an anxiety riddled time of life. Here is a link to her website if you want to check out her books. http://deboracoty.com

Thanks for reading…God bless!