The word made flesh

You have *heard* that our fathers were told, ‘Love your neighbor – and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! ~ Matthew 5:43 – 44

Notice Yeshua does not say “You have *read*…” That is because Torah does NOT teach you to hate your enemies. There are verses in the Apostolic scriptures where Yeshua says “You have *heard*” and verses in the Apostolic scriptures where Yeshua says “you have *read*” (or “haven’t you read”). This is an important distinction. Especially for the person who believes the Torah has been done away with. Every word Yeshua spoke testified to the Torah. Remember: that was the only “Bible” of His day. 

The Word Made Flesh testifies to the Written Word. How else could He be called the Word Made Flesh? Do you think He did away with Himself? Oy vey!
The pages of Torah *are* Yeshua. Have you ever tried to unpack why He was called the Word Made Flesh? What scriptures do you think John was referring to?
Yeshua frequently spoke against improper teaching with proper teaching. When you see Him say “You have heard” – watch out! He’s correcting an improper teaching. When you see Him say, “You have read/Haven’t you read?”, He is upholding scripture.

Where do we learn to not to nurse hate in our heart? Leviticus. Wait? Isn’t Leviticus done away with? Wasn’t Leviticus just rules & lists for the priests? Not so fast. If we throw out Leviticus, we can start consulting mediums & sorcerers (19:31), have sex with animals(18:23), steal from, lie, & defraud each other (19:11), & sacrifice our children (19:2). Who would suggest ANY of these things?

So exactly *which* part of the Torah was done away with? These are waters that no one should dare to tread in. The implications are just too great, my friend.

Leviticus 19:17 ~ “Do not hate your brother in your heart. ” It is commonly believed that Yeshua “upped the ante” on the Law by saying if you hate your brother you have committed murder, but there it was all along, in Leviticus. It was a *heart* issue all along, & God knew that when He spoke to Moses.
“You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am ADONAI your God. You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am ADONAI.” Leviticus 18:4 – 5  Notice that “he will have life through them” part…Torah infuses life. Torah infuses life because Yeshua IS the word.

John 1:1 – 2 ~ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Header image credit to artist ID 36320278 © Actiacti | Dreamstime.com

On Strange Shores

Have you ever felt a deep connection to a big “something?” A something you know that millions of people world-wide feel connected to, drawn to, mesmerized by and hypnotized by? Something that by just looking at or smelling or even touching just makes your heart race and body sigh?

Growing up in California, I didn’t visit the beach often. As a child, I remember being just speechless and in awe seeing how far the ocean went. It looked like it was endless! The first time I remember falling asleep on the sand, I remember just ‘letting go’ and relaxing my body. I was sinking into the sand while the ocean crashed over me. I wasn’t really in the water, but laying in the warm sand with the sun kissing my skin I felt like it. Listening to the waves crash with every breeze that carried ocean spray caressing my body, it felt as though the ocean was baptizing over me without even touching me.

I used to take trips at least once a year, sometimes more but each year at least once. Walking to the edge of the sand from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, I’d carefully slip off my shoes into my hands, step onto the sand and make comments about how great the sand felt and how much I missed it since the last time. I’d work hard to walk across the sand carrying whatever was relevant to that phase in my life with me. Set up the blankets, the shade, the coolers and snacks and eventually, kids. After set up, I’d walk to meet my familiar old friend.   I would stand there, at the edge of two worlds, looking onto the vast and endless, comfortable unknown. Standing, wiggling my toes into the sand, closing my eyes, and face upward to the sun to feel every ray touch every cell of my body, I’d let go. I’d let go of every worry, fear, trouble, stress, hurt and burden. I’d let go of every single chain that held me down as I praise our Father for His beautiful creation. As the ocean bubbled around my feet, I’d let each wave carry away individual links of the chains I no longer needed. Then I’d greet my friend by stepping in and letting the icy water slowly rise inch by inch up my body, taking my breath away. The water would rush around me, threatening to carry me away, but she never did. Just beyond the water’s edge, I knew there was a special place, a sweet spot, between where the waves would bubble white and where the “that’s too far” was. The water would be between waist and chest high, and there is where the Pacific at Santa Cruz held the best shells in her hands.

Since moving to Texas, I have not visited my Friend, Ocean, in five years. Texas worked hard to burn her out of my memory, demanding to have all of my attention. Each year, though, when the cold winter would start to change to warmer weather I would miss the ol’ Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Each July would taunt me. August would tease me. This would continue until the sticky heat would transition into the icy grip of Jack Frost. 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. Until I went to meet a friend, a bosom buddy, a kindred spirit in New Jersey. The day before I flew home, we spent the day in Ocean City. The first thing I did when we arrived at the OC Boardwalk was stare out at the familiar stranger. The smell of her breath was familiar as was the sound of her waves as they crashed and rolled up on shore. The setting was strange, though. The sun was moving to set behind me, not behind the horizon of the ocean’s edge in front of me. Unsure of this ocean, I was hesitant. I walked up and down the water’s edge a bit, looking at the shells she leaves behind. I stopped and looked at her again. ‘I wonder if she holds the good shells in her hands like the Pacific does,’ I wondered. I turned and looked at a father and son searching for shells, a couple walking along the water and hesitating again. I felt embarrassed. Was I betraying my old friend? I needed to unload so much, but would this stranger listen? I felt so small, so insignificant, and unsure of myself. Looking back down I closed my eyes and fought the inevitable tears. I heard her whisper to me through the waves, ‘Tell me’. So I turned, I looked at her, I looked out to the horizon from strange shores and closed my eyes again. Too emotionally weak to kneel yet too physically weak to move, my knees locked. I looked back on the past five years. I watched every single heart ache, stress, worry, fear, trouble, hurt and burden reenacted; the horizon was stage front. Through the flashes of memories between act 3 and act 4, I told her how much I missed this. I looked for the sun. The sun was behind the clouds most of the day, but the kisses of the Atlantic’s mist were enough. I took a deep breath. I held it. I exhaled. Then I cried. I cried a lot. I was grateful for the second time this trip to be wearing waterproof make up. The ache I felt and the longing in my heart rushed to the  surface and then were gone. I opened my eyes and watched the Atlantic bear my deepest agonies and wash them to the feet of Yeshua.

I walked out to the ocean one more time after we went shopping on the Boardwalk. This time with my dear friend. Arm in arm we walked for a bit and talked. We searched for shells for me to bring home to my children. I don’t remember all that we talked about, but this time instead of the ocean washing away my pain, my cup was poured into. It was filled to the brim and then overflowed.

Arms linked with my bosom friend. On strange shores.

Replacement Theocracy

There is a movement within Messianic Judaism that needs to be moved out.  Those associated with it need to move on…move away.  We are in prophetic times that have no room for divisive theology, theocracy, or philosophy.  

Now you probably thought certain protestant religions held the monopoly on replacement theology, didn’t you?  Well, guess what?  It has crept its way into Messianic Judaism, but it is just as ugly as its protestant counterpart.

In case you are not familiar, protestant replacement theology basically believes “God is through with Israel, therefore, the church now replaces Israel.”   Folks, there is no replacement for Israel.  None.  There are many scriptures to support this claim, however, may we not forget that “All Israel will be saved.”  I was going to include only the Romans 11:26 scripture reference, but heck, all of Romans 11 is so good, I will direct your attention there.  In case you need a refresher, Romans 11 starts out: “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.  God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.”  Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles.  Here is his CV: “…circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;  as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.” Philippians 3:5-6. 

Let’s talk about the scattering of Israel for a moment.  One thing everyone needs to remember is that if the scattering is literal, the re-gathering is also literal.  You cannot believe the scattering to be literal, but believe the re-gathering to be spiritual (or figurative).  It does not work.  It goes against the full counsel of scripture.  It is also heresy.  You would have to ultimately spiritualize every scripture that speaks regarding Israel’s salvation, yet keep the scattering of Israel literal.

So, enough of the foundational explanation and setting up of where I am going.

I am going to prove to you that replacement is straight from the pit. 

Let’s talk about the angel that rebelled against Yahweh.  I will withhold from saying his name, but I think we all know who I am speaking of.  He is the one that said “I will make myself like the most high.”  Now this angel…he was a highly decorated fellow.  Ezekiel 28:13 tells us “…every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.  Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.”  Yet he wasn’t quite happy.  He was not content being beautiful and serving God.  No, this angel wanted the position of honor.  Ezekiel 28 continues:  “…Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.”  And he was cast out.  The reason is very simple.  Yes, pride.  But pride caused him to want to replace…replace whom?  The Most High. 

Enter Adam and Eve and a tree.  The tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

So, what does he whisper to Eve?  Genesis 3:4:  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  Did you catch that?  YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD.  There again…replacement.  “You will be like God…knowing good and evil…you can be the god of your own life.”

We all know what happens next.  She eats of the fruit and offers it to her husband, who is right there with her.

So what is part of her curse?  The part after the “pain in childbearing.”  Genesis 3:16:  To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” That word “desire”…that is a nasty little word.  It is the same word in Hebrew that is used when God is speaking to Cain about “sin crouching at the door…it’s desire is to master you…but you must overcome it.” 

Part of Eve’s curse will be to fight the desire to master her husband.  To seek his office.  To replace him as the head.  Again, not happy being the helpmeet.  Nope.  We want the position of power.

Soooo…we haven’t even made it a week into the creation story and we have replacement attempts right and left.

The Old Testament scriptures have several examples of “replacement” ideology.  The golden calf (“this is the god that brought you out of Egypt”), Korah (“The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”) King Saul (“give us a king to lead us”; “it is not you they have rejected but Me”).  Those are three examples that come to mind immediately.

By now you are probably saying to yourself, “yes, yes…we know there are replacement theology congregations out there.”  What has come to my attention, however, is that there are Messianiccongregations out there that are adopting the same belief system.  A belief that basically states “I am a gentile who is grafted in, therefore, I am the true Jew.”  You get a little Torah under your belt…get a basic understanding of calendar reckoning…learn a little Hebrew (or in the absence of that, just start using the Hebrew names of biblical folks).  Now…there is nothing wrong with any of those things.  But when you start elevating your knowledge against that of your first-born brother Judah…well, Houston…we have a problem.

Let me ask you, according to the scriptures how is a believing wife supposed to win her non-believing husband over to the Lord?  By her behavior…without words (1 Peter 3:1).    And how are we supposed to provoke our Jewish brothers to jealousy?  By our behavior.  By our keeping Torah…by our keeping the appointed times.  Matter of fact, the Song of Moses serves as a witness to God against the Israelites and we need to look no further than that song as to why we are to provoke them to jealousy. 

If you have a problem with how Judah keeps the calendar, my advice is to fall in line with your brother Judah and stop trying to replace him as first born.  When Yeshua returns He will straighten out our bavel with all of this calendar mess. 

Don’t forget the Jews were given the very oracles of God (Romans 3:2). 

Let us not be guilty of creating our own golden calf, or creating our own system of worship (1 Kings 12:29 – where also, incidentally, TWO golden calves were created {as if one wasn’t enough}).  We are not to “add to or take away from” His words.  Which, as an aside, is still r-e-p-l-a-c-e-m-e-n-t.

Replacement isn’t pleasing to God.  Replacement always leads to revelry…it never leads to reverence.  Because you are reveling in your ability to reckon the calendar.  Reverence causes you to look at God in awe as to how He sets things up to work.  Replacement causes you to look at yourself as “smarter than those Jewish guys who are still doing _______________”…fill in the blank.

This goes all the way into our current state of sin and “calling what is evil good and good evil.”  One example of this is gay marriage.  “I know what the better model of marriage is…I don’t have to abide by what the creator says is the right model of marriage.”  Again…replacement.

To go the way of replacement is to align yourself with the enemy.

A Kindred Spirit in New Jersey

*All opinions in this post are my own and of my own recommendation. I did not receive nor am I currently receiving any benefit, monetary or otherwise, or free product in exchange for my recommendations in this post. This post does not contain affiliate links as I am not an affiliate with anyone at the time of posting this.**

Remember when we were kids, and the internet  was just making it’s way into most people’s homes, and our parent’s were scared about us running away to meet strangers on the internet?

I did a thing.

I actually took this just before I got off the plane when I landed at my first stop. Don’t judge. I had a small fiasco the first part of the flight. I’m thankful for waterproof make up!

I “ran away” and met one of my best friends whom I have talked to via text and phone calls almost daily for the last year or so.

Let’s back up a minute (well, a few months).

This past January, I visited (met in person for the first time ever) a dear sweet friend from Facebook. I had met a handful of other friends previous but what made this one different was I drove 10 hours up to Kansas to meet her. With me was another Facebook friend (we are all in a Christian Bible Study group together), her son, my 4 children AND our 3 dogs (you can find my road trip essentials HERE). At the end of this trip my friend, “Kansas”, inspired me by saying that this year she wanted to actually do what she says she will do, and reach out to meet others in our group. She wanted to embrace others and love others. She wanted to make connections and live fully knowing she reached out to her brothers and sisters in Christ. I knew I needed to do the same. I had spent too long without friends to connect with. I promised too many empty promises that were broken before they ever left my lips. I was unreliable. I needed more “just do it” in my vocabulary to match my “let’s do life together.”

So, when my friend, and fellow blogger at Lil’ Olive Tree, said her birthday was coming up, I really wanted to go spend her birthday with her. It was honestly the next logical step. We had been talking on the phone nearly daily for almost a year. See, we started in a Christian Bible study group together. Eventually that group split into another group that grew pretty close. Comments turned into direct messages and direct messages turned into texts and then texts turned into calls. I’m not sure who called who first. It doesn’t really matter anyway. I just remember that our phone calls were filled with deep concern, genuine care, loud laughs and a LOT of prayers. Do you know someone who actually stops and prays for you right when they say they will pray for you? I do! I now know two people who will stop mid conversation to lift you up in prayer. Lauren inspires me daily to be a better daughter of YHWH, a better sister, a better wife and a better mama. I wanted to do something for her the way she always does for others. Hubby agreed. I should definitely go out there. I mentioned it to her since I thought I should probably not just show up at her door, suitcase in hand.

She mentioned that John Crist would be performing nearby a few weeks before her birhtday, and so it was decided that I’d come then. PERFECT!!  He’s hilarious! After seeing this guy at Winter Jam 2018 with my local bestie and our teens for my oldest’s birthday, I couldn’t wait to share in the hilarity with my long distance bff! As soon as I booked tickets and sent her the screen shot, it was suddenly all so real. I finally get to meet Lauren!

Side note: if you do not know who he is, his Facebook link is here and you can watch a ton of his videos or you can find him on IG here.

 

Boarding on the plane to Philly, I felt much more comfortable on a plane next to the window.

So, I bought a hard case suitcase, packed my bags, and took off to New Jersey! My first trip to the east coast, my first trip to NJ, my first trip to meet Lauren, and my first “vacay” away from my babies and husband… There were a whole lotta firsts! The plane ride was rough, to be honest. You can find that post HERE . I couldn’t wait to get my feet on land. I walked out of the airport, and sat at a bench to wait impatiently.

“Hellloooooo Philly!”

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

‘What if she doesn’t like me?’ ‘What if her kids hate me?’ ‘What if her husband doesn’t like me??’

Who was the enemy kidding? They were going to love me, and I knew I already loved them! Meeting Lauren for the first time was like a breath of fresh air. She called when she was almost there. I saw her drive towards the pick up and I started walking towards her direction. She stopped the car, parked and stepped out. Y’all. I was finally going to meet her.

“Stay calm. Keep cool. Don’t freak out.”

‘ermagerd. ermagerd. ermagerd’

“Nope, calm down yo. Don’t freak out”

‘ermagerd’

“Yo, don’t-”

‘but she’s running’

“and now so are you.”

As soon as I saw her step out of her car, I could no longer pretend like I was cool, calm and collected. I squealed and I ran as fast as my jet-lagged chubby ankles could take me. I just couldn’t wait to wrap my arms around her neck. I turned around from the front seat to meet her girls and my heart melted when her sweet little boy said, “gack-ee! Plane!” Heart bursting and still squealing inside like a school girl, we took a picnic lunch to Fairmount Park to eat under the cherry blossoms. We had some time to kill since the airline sent my luggage to Chicago. It was gorgeous day and she made the BEST chicken salad (recipe blog post please!! ::wink wink::)

That night we had these fantastic AUTHENTIC Philly cheesesteak sandwiches for dinner from a local place called Nick’s Pizzaria. We went to church and AWANA, and then went back to her home. The next day we went to her girl’s homeschool co-op where I was able to volunteer and serve with her. I was so excited just to see her life! My life motto is, “Let’s do life together.” Since I don’t get to see her life on a daily or weekly basis, this was so awesome to see what her life was like.

Friday night we got to go see John Crist. It was just me, Lauren and my letter board. Squealing again (I have no idea who this squeally person even is or where she came out of) and skipping through the parking lot like little kids, we got through the doors and to a seat. The lights dimmed and out trotted John Crist. He was every bit as funny as I remembered. At intermission (well, I thought the show was over) I unsuccessfully tried to convince her to go find his bus. I was reeeeeeeally hoping for an autograph to add to my Building 429 and KB autograph “collection”. So, instead I went to the souvenir booth and bought a shirt and showed the employee my letter board. She laughed when I said I came from Texas to meet my bff and go this concert with her.

Then she called over his sister. Whose sister you ask? John Crist’s sister!

Y’all. I just about died. Then she said that after the show she would take us to  meet him.
I’m pretty sure I actually died.

Due some hiccups with my ultra lame LG phone, the pics that were taken were horrible. Luckily for us, the gal behind us and her mom took some and sent them to us. The best one they got was of me with my eyes closed. Y’all, we fan-girled. HARD.

Oh! And, we got our autographs:

Saturday, the day before I left, we took a day to ourselves, no kids, and went to Ocean City, NJ. First we bought gas (helllooooo full service gas stations! Where you been all my life?!) and then headed out. We caraoke’d (and by “we” I mean “she”). We car danced (I was back up). I operated my letterboard. If you are vacationing in the area with your children, I highly recommend going to the Boardwalk. Ocean City is a dry town, so it is incredibly family friendly.

First we ate lunch, next we both got reflexology foot massages at Still Water Stress Center (not an affiliate link) and then head over to the Boardwalk.  Let me tell you how AMAZING it felt to stand on the strange shore of a familiar ocean.

Deep in my heart, I’m still a California girl (born and raised) and I have not seen the ocean in 5 years. Smelling the salt filled air, feeling the slight ocean spray on my face carried by the wind, the sound of each wave fizzling as it crossed each grain of sand towards me. It was all so therapeutic to whisper to the ocean my worries and sadness I’ve held inside for too long. I collected some shells to bring home to my children, and made my way to the boardwalk to shop.

We stopped for delicious coffee at the Ocean City Coffee Company (I can do all things with Christ and coffee who strengthen me. It’s Scripture, y’all):

Then last we ate at Lauren’s favorite (and my now my favorite) pizza place on the Boardwalk. Now let me tell you about #TheBestPizzaOnTheBoardwalk!!

Prep’s Pizza wins this award hands down!!! This place is the best not only for their huge slices of pizza pie, but their customer service is unbeatable.

Waffle ice cream is soooooooo perfectly delectable ! I got the vanilla peanut butter ice cream with fudge topping, hold the jimmies (Jersey talk for sprinkles).

Oh! Have you heard of “water ice”?? It’s a thing and these Jersians are protective of their water ice! (Don’t you dare call it a “slushie” or a “soft serve sorbet.” Cue: maniacal laughter)

When we got home (well, her home) we got to sit with some wine and talk about our day with her husband. We sorted through some rockin’ planner stuff I brought for her made by Simple Stories and I showed her a bit how to use it. I reminisced over the previous few days that felt like a lifetime and only spoke briefly of the inevitable departure to happen in just a few hours. How was I supposed to leave when the bonds that were forged over this trip were so deep? I missed my babies and my husband and family back home, but now I had an anchor here in New Jersey too.

The next morning (as in a few hours later) I had an early flight home. I sat in my chair at the airport with Daniel Tiger singing in my head “some-times you feel two feelings at the same time, and that’s okaaaay”. I thought about her sweet little boy in my lap as we watched Daniel Tiger two nights before. How was I going to leave NJ and go home as if I wasn’t leaving behind a piece of my newly growing amazing family?

I know we should all be incredibly cautious when meeting people from online, and I urge you to seek wise counsel before embarking on a trip like this yourself, but she and her family feel like FAMILY to me. Sometimes, family consists of the people you CHOOSE to be in your life. Sometimes, you have to take chances and leaps. I’m not a risk taker, but this is an adventure I am so grateful I took. I have a bosom friend, a sister in Christ, an instant connection and an unbreakable bond. Her family has woven new, brightly colored threads in my life tapestry, and for this I am a better human.

When I landed, Texas comforted me with the widest, most gorgeous sapphire sky with cotton-like clouds! They were almost as comforting as my daughter’s arms around my neck and my husbands kisses on my lips.

My vacation was over. I couldn’t wait to snuggle all my babies and show them all the presents I had for them! Chattering like a chipmunk, I couldn’t wait to fill my husband in on all the excitement I had. My husband promised we would go back to visit next year as a whole family.

I. Can’t. Wait.

Until the next visit, I will talk to you tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrow, Lauren!

 

You have read my side, now check out Lauren’s side over at Lil’ Olive Tree!

Hey friends! Do you have a bosom buddy? Have you met a kindred spirit? How did you and your bosom buddy meet? Tell me your story in the comments!

 

 

Anxiety In The Air

My heart is racing. My palms are clammy. Beads of sweat are forming and starting to roll down my face. With my thumbs in my ears and fingers over my eyes, I lean forward and rest my head on the chair in front of me. All I want to do is get this over with.

See, in this moment I am sitting on a plane traveling to New Jersey to MEET my best friend whom I’ve never met. She’s a friend I made through Facebook and have known for a couple years and actively talking daily for the past year. This is my solo, sans kids and hubby, vacation.

“Get a grip, Jaci!! You can’t do this on a plane! You are in the isle seat, everyone can see you!”

My chest is tightening.

“No God, please!!  I beg you, not now!!”

My stomach is shrinking

“Do what Molly says. What does Molly say? Ok, um, three things I can see: I can’t. I can’t see. my eyes are closed. Just open them, it’s ok.”

I sit back and set my hands on my lap, and open my eyes.

“No no no no no no no!!!!” I lean forward again, resting my head back where it was. “Ok, I can’t open my eyes. What’s next? She says, name three things I can hear. ALL I CAN HEAR IS THE DEATH RUMBLE OF THIS STUPID PLANE’S ENGINES. I can’t smell anything but recycled air! Three things I can taste? All I can taste is the blood from chewing too hard on my lips and the coffee I had to chug before I got on this forsaken tin can!”

All I could do is sit forward, my fingers over my eyes and thumbs in my ears as I sat, embarrassed, crying uncontrollably and I couldn’t figure out why. Why am i crying? I am thirty-four years old. I’ve braved snakes in my chicken coop, scorpions in my bed, and a plane has crippled me into hyperventilation and hysterics.

“Deep breath in through the mouth, and exhale out your nose. Focus on your breathing, Jaci. Just breathe. Don’t count, just breathe”

“Excuse me? Are you ok?”

“Fantastic. Now you are making  a scene. You’re going to end up on someone’s Twitter feed. This is NOT how you wanted to go viral”

I separate my fingers so that I can see through them. I turn my head slowly to the left. Was he talking to me? There’s a gentleman with dark brown eyes looking at me. The creases in his slightly older than me face looked concerned. “Do you mind if I talk with you?” Before I could answer, he said, “It’s ok, I’m a therapist”

PRAISE GOD ABOVE!!

“uh, ok” I stutter. It was hard to focus. His voice was hard to hear over the Texas tornado-like sounds the engines made. Why did they have to be so loud?! Have we not invented a way to make the cabin of a plane QUIETER?

I don’t remember all that we talked about. I mostly just answered questions, but that was almost all I was able to do. I tried to explain that the last really big anxiety attack that I had, my friend Molly helped me through it. She told me to think  of three things I could see, and name them. Then three things I could hear, and name them. Then three things I could feel, three things I could smell and three things I could taste. But it wasn’t working this time. All I could hear was the plane, and I could barely uncover my eyes without bursting into another round of tears.

“What she was doing is called grounding. Close your eyes,” he said. “Think of the place where you feel the safest. Where do you feel safest?”

“Um… At home, I think”

“Where in your house do you feel the safest? The first place you think of, name it.”

“My room.”

“Ok, where in your room?”

“Laying in bed, snuggling my children, watching movies.”

“Now tell me three things you see.”
“Three things you feel.”
“Three things you smell.”
“Three things you hear.”
“Three things you taste.”

Patiently he grounded me.

My heart rate slowed, my breathing evened out, and I described the place where I feel safest. Home.

“Logic and emotion cannot exist in your head simultaneously. You will either be logical, or emotional. Anxiety is an emotion. If you are feeling anxious, you cannot also be logical.

“That makes so much sense!!” My brain lit up like a light bulb!

It wasn’t a magical cure. The ride to St. Louis was rough. There was turbulence and the pilot seemed to constantly need to change altitudes up, then down, then up, then down… I can’t even begin to tell you how scared I was.

I think the people around us heard my life story. I talked about my husband, our children, our move from California to Texas, how I was on my way to New Jersey to experience a abundance of firsts and how much I love homeschooling.

I learned so much from him that day. Beyond a new coping skill for the future, I learned how there are great humans out there. I learned how to lean on Abba God to fill my needs. Of all people to be across the isle from me, there was a therapist. He was a kind human who reached out and went above and beyond.

When have you felt the most anxious? How did you cope? What are the coping skills you find the most helpful? Let me know in the comments!

I won’t be shaken Psalm 16:8

 

Hi there. It’s me. Anxiety. Did you miss me?

I see you are pursuing things that bring you joy. I see you are listening to YHWH and following your desire to serve Him. Let’s see what I can do about that.”

Do you know who that is? That is the enemy. That is the Adversary.

If you have not had the unfortunate experience of anxiety, let me to try to describe it. It starts of with a small worry. Something that is important to you, but you are afraid to forget to do, or a call that needs to be made, or errands that need to be ran. Then you try to hang on to thinking about it, borderline obsessing over it, while you do other things. Making breakfast in the morning, “Remember to _____, Jaci.” Serving breakfast to your children, “Remember to _____ after this, Jaci.” As you walk through your day in a slight fog, focusing on this one (or ten) things that need to get done. During phone conversations with friends, family, and even while making your dental appointment, “Remember to ____, Jaci. Remember to say ‘remember’ and not ‘don’t forget’ because you remember what that lady speaker said that one time about saying ‘don’t’ so don’t forget!”

A few days pass and you suddenly remember!! Oh man! You forgot! How could you?? Oh man, they’re gonna be mad. So mad. It’s because you said, “don’t forget.”

Then there’s a grip inside your chest as though a billion microscopic hands are clenching around every cell in your heart and lungs and now you can’t breathe. Your stomach hasn’t stopped flopping since you realized your careless forgetfulness. Then the self doubt, the negative talk starts and you want to crawl out of your skin.

And (gasp) I (gasp) can’t (gasp) stop (gasp) crying. Hysterically. Not just a tearful sadness, but a whole face blubberfest of gut wrenching hysterics.

22Cast your burden on יהוה, And let Him sustain you- He never allows the righteous to be shaken.bheading

This is a little glimpse of what anxiety feels like. This is what I have fought for the last few weeks. I emotionally grab onto whatever friend will listen all the while I just want my husband home to hold me.

Today I forced myself outside for sunshine. I put together my raised bed garden and put the soil and dirt in it. I meditated and prayed as I spread my fingers and pushed my hands deep in the dirt feeling the earth in between my fingers and across the palms and back of my hands. I reflected on the first 2 weeks of the Fear & Anxiety study from Love God Greatly asking YHWH for strength to continue if He wanted me to. All my posts I scheduled for week 3 not only didn’t post, but they weren’t even saved. Not for my blog, not for my Facebook group. I thought about giving up. I thought about throwing in the towel and quietly disappearing into the shadows of this world wide web.

I logged into my blog to look at the dashboard and thought about deleting all of this.

“Nobody is reading this anyway, Jaci. You are failing!”

Then I clicked on the comments. I didn’t know there were comments waiting to be approved. The most current one was 23 days ago!

“Yes!!!! I needed this today. I’ve reread this a lot in the past two days. I’m going to print out and frame these scriptures. Nothing in the last 10 years has used my plan as a guideline, I break down more than I’d like to admit. But I know it’s because I fail to trust God fully all the time.” -Kat

Kat, I needed you today. This is the crumb of encouragement that I needed today. I am going to pick back up and retype out Week 3 and keep moving forward. I may struggle with anxiety, and the Adversary may know how to hit me the hardest, but my Father is much bigger and much stronger than any attack by the enemy. I can rest in my Abba. I don’t have to fight TO victory, I can fight FROM victory because I already know who wins in the end!

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Fear Of Not Being In Control- Week 1 Day 5

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How many times, Mamas, do we frustratingly say, “If only things would go like I planned!”

Uhhh…. I don’t even want to admit how many times I say this in a day. When I’m cooking, when I’m scheduling my week each Sunday, when I’m budgeting each paycheck and adding up bills for the week, when we are elbows deep in schoolwork… The list is so endless! OH! How about this one: when we are trying to leave the house…

Did I just hear ya’ll groan aloud in agreement? Can I get an Amen?!

How many of those times that our plans failed that HIS plans came through in a huge way?

For the first time in almost a year I sat and budgeted last month. My husband just signed for his own truck and trying to be a supportive (and responsible) financier (self imposed title of course) I sat and budgeted. I added up the bills of each week to know what each paycheck needed to be at minimum to pay the bills on time. I felt amazing. I even typed it out on a spreadsheet and sent it to the hubby. I might have even popped my collar.

Wouldn’t you know it, the first paycheck on my rockin’ new plan was much smaller. We didn’t anticipate a few hiccups and I was stressed.

“If only it would go like I planned it!”

My stress level went from calm and cool to nuclear freak out immediately. I shut down. I wouldn’t even LOOK at the bills. I was loosing control and I was anxious.

WK01-05

It took a few days for me to look at our Bill & Budget notebook. I needed to do it. I needed to see which bills needed to be rearranged. I sat down with my pen and highlighter and opened the notebook. Wouldn’t you know, I had OVER budgeted. I counted a very large bill twice, once for today, once for next week also.

This meant that we were actually ok and not in the nuclear crisis I thought we were.

In the praise I cried out to the Lord, I also saw that I have so much more work to do in my walk. I have to let go of trying to be in control.

When our youngest son was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, Juvenile Dermatomyositis or JDM, three years ago, it felt the rug had been ripped out from under me. I mean, I worked so hard to maintain optimum health! Organic and Non-GMO is vital to me. I watched the starches that I fed my children, veggies at every meal, hot cooked breakfasts most mornings, near zero processed sugar, low amounts of processed foods, grass-fed meats and dairy… How on earth did this happen? My mind was spinning and I couldn’t grab onto anything to steady myself.

I found my own ways to cope with the diagnosis, and the unknowns. No idea if he would respond to medications. No idea even if the disease went into remission if it would flare again. No idea if he’d even be able to play outside sports or any sports! Honestly, I wasn’t even 100% sure that he wouldn’t die.

Luke 12:22-26 TS2009
22 
And He said to His taught ones, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you shall eat; nor about the body, what you shall put on.
23 “The life is more than the food, and the body is more than the clothing.
24 Look at the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor granary, and Elohim feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds?”
25 “And which of you by worrying is able to add one cubit to his life’s span?
26 If then you are unable to do the least, why do you worry about the rest?”
All this worrying does nothing, though, except steal my joy from today and show our Father I am not trusting Him.
OUCH! Who wants to be that person who isn’t trusting the Lord? Not me!
John 16:31-33 TS2009
31 יהושע answered them, “Do you now believe?
32 “See, an hour is coming, and has now come, that you are scattered, each to his own, and leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
33 “These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have pressure, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”
It doesn’t matter, in the end. None of these worries matter, There is nothing new under the sun that He has not already seen and will see. Yeshua says above in John that we have peace in Him, and He has already overcome the world!

Scripture: Luke 12:22 TS2009

And He said to His taught ones, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you shall eat; nor about the body, what you shall put on.
Observation: We are told to not worry about life, what we will eat or about the our bodies.
Application: Yeshua has already overcome this world. Our Father in Heaven already has plans for us for His glory and good. This too shall pass. All things, good and bad, shall pass. When in abundance, it will pass. When in drought, it will pass.
Prayer: Father, each day through this study I am absolutely amazed when another layer of your Word is peeled away and exposed to me. When another layer of scales falls from my eyes and I see what You want me to see. I pray and ask you to please continue revealing on my Brothers’ and Sisters’ hearts who YOU are. Show them that you have always “got” them.
In Yeshua’s name I pray,
Amen
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Fear of Loneliness- Week 1 Day 4

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Oh, ladies… The “L” word that instantly brings on thoughts of turning my lights off, curling up in bed and binge watching the entire first season of “This Is Us”. I struggle so hard with loneliness.

My amazing husband is a long haul truck driver. He is out driving all 48 states workin’ his tail off to provide for us. This means, he is only home about once a month for a few days, and then off he goes again. Our home is full with four big-hearted children, but I still feel so alone. When my friend’s husbands are coming home from work and kissing their brides hello; when Daddies are scooping up and hugging on children after a long day, I am still in the grind. Prepping and cooking dinner, wiping faces, gathering dishes to go in the sink, and whisking children into the bath or shower (let’s be real, sometimes the bath/shower whisking is skipped). Then there’s brushing hair, flossing and brushing teeth, taking nighttime supplements and painting MI Paste on little teeth for strengthening. This usually happens, honestly, pretty late since I try hard to take a little “Decompression Time” between dinner and the above chaos. Bedtime kisses and hugs and tuck-ins and stories are well beyond what I’d like to admit is bed time. My heart beams when I see them snuggle together and fall asleep. When I’m finally ready for bed I do my own version of above and then… Sigh…

Alone.

We call and say goodnight to each other, but it’s not the same.

When I go to the store and it’s raining, and I see a dear husband pulling up to the curb to his wife who has a cart full of bagged groceries so that she doesn’t have to walk in the rain.

The rain reminds me I am alone. A happily married… Single mom.

It wears me down, after a while. I start to feel afraid.

“What if something bad happens to him while he’s away?” “What if something bad happens to me or our children while he’s away?”

WK01-04

 

Scripture: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not look around, for I am your Elohim. I shall fortify you, I shall also help you, I shall also uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10 TS2009

Observation: DO. NOT. FEAR. So bold, you can’t miss it.  “Do not look around” “I am your Elohim” What isn’t there to be in awe about this? I am not alone! I am not alone!

“I. AM. NOT. ALONE!” My Elohim is here by me and with me. I don’t even need to look around! He will hold me up (“inaccessible” from yesterday?!) Praise YHWH!!! I am HIS!

Prayer: Father, as I sit here today, figuring this all out with you beside me, I pray for those who may read this. I pray for them to feel you the way you want us to be near you. I pray that we see your Scripture and memorize it so that when the Adversary comes to whisper lies in our ears, we will be strong to rebuke him and hold onto you. When we feel unsteady, we will not allow the Adversary to convince us we are anything less than your beloved. Thank you for your promises. Thank you for promising to never leave us. Thank you that we don’t even have to look for you, because you are already here, our God!
In Yeshua’s name,
Amen

How does this make you feel? Seeing our Father say that we don’t even have to look around for Him for He is our Elohim? What do you find yourself fearing?

With love and care,
The Domestic Mombie

Fear of Man- Week 1 Day 3

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After I birthed our youngest daughter, I was overwhelmed and felt lonely. I was half-way across the country from where I was born and raised, trying to homeschool our children and now there is a itty babe in my arms and I just felt alone. I reached out so many times in different local Facebook groups, but canceled plans to gather at the last minute. I was so AFRAID of their faces. The judgemental look on their faces when they saw I didn’t have as nice of clothes as they did. The look of polite curiosity when they saw the dents and dings on my car. The look of confusion as they try to understand my incredible discomfort as I mumble incoherent sentences. Wait… Am I talking about me now? Or then? I have been so fearful of other humans. I have been roped into secret comparisons between their lives and mine, coveting what my neighbor has (bigger and more beautiful house/car, well put together children). The enemy had convinced me to be fearful of people.

Why?

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is My Torah: do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their revilings.” Isaiah 51:7 TS2009

“…people in whose heart is My Torah”

“Do not fear”

“Do not be afraid”

As often as people told me, during the height of the postpartum depression I had, to “lean on God” “I’ll pray for you” I just couldn’t see how to do that. You know what I needed? Fellowship. Sisterhood with my Sisters. I needed someone to walk beside me through that darkness. But I was so afraid.

When I was trying so hard to face the anxiety and build an e-commerce business, I failed. Actually, I was succeeding, but I still failed in the end because I was afraid to step into the spotlight. I was so anxious.

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Scripture: “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in יהוה is set on high.”
Proverbs 29:25 TS2009

Observation: Snare= Strongs number H4170 :”מוֹקֵשׁ” meaning: trapped, ensnared; metaphor “cause of injury”

The fear of man traps, ensnares, causes injury to us, but whoever trusts in יהוה  is “שָׂגַב”.
What is “שָׂגַב”? It’s not just set high, or apart. It means to be strong, safe, inaccessible!

When we trust in our Father in Heaven, we are inaccessible and safe!

Application: If I would just let go of myself and fully trust in our Father, I would be inaccessible! If I would just study His Word and hold His Word in my heart, He would keep me safe.

Prayer: Father, thank you for showing me through this study all that you say. Forgive me my sins of self worship and doubting you. I have seen time and time again that you know what you are doing with your plans for me, yet I continue to take my anxiety back from you and try things my way. I know better, yet I keep trying anyway. I’m so sorry. Change me, create a new heart in me so that I can be a lighthouse beaming with the light of You inside of me. I am asking you for your strength in me to do your will in the face of judgement by my peers. My desire is to please you, Father, not man.

In Yeshua’s name,

Amen.

With love,
The Domestic Mombie

 

 

Fear of Disaster- Week 1 Day 2


What does our Father, Yahweh, say about fearing disaster?
 What does His son, Yahshua, say about being shaken?

Read: Proverbs 3:25-26 TS2009
25Do not be afraid of sudden dread, Nor of the ruin of the wrong when it comes;
26For יהוה is at your side, And He shall guard your foot from being caught.

Luke 6:46-49 TS2009
46“But why do you call Me ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say? ((See also Mat. 7:24-28; Luke 8:21; John 3:36; James 2:17-24))
47“Everyone who is coming to Me, and is hearing My words and is doing them, I shall show you whom he is like:
48“He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock. And when a flood came, the stream burst against that house, but was unable to shake it, for it was founded on the rock.
49But the one hearing and not doing, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream burst, and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.

 

Scripture: Proverbs 1:33 NASB
“But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

Proverbs 1:33 TS2009
“But whoever listens to me dwells safely, And is at ease from the dread of evil.”

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Observation: Proverbs is probably my favorite and least favorite book. I love the wisdom it gives but sometimes Proverbs really steps on my toes and it kinda hurts. I can’t say I’ve ever paid attention to this verse, but it’s so beautiful and promising. We who *listen* are SAFE not just from evil but the DREAD of evil.

Application: I can fully give myself permission to listen and obey what our Father says and in this permission I can actually be at ease from the dread of evil! I don’t have to hold onto the anxiety, but I can actually just listen to Him and by listening to Him I am promised I can be at ease. Listening to Him and obeying Him is more than just praying a prayer and going on with my life. It’s guarding His Word in my heart. Meditating on it. Intentionally living for HIM and denying my flesh. HE is my foundation. HE is the rock I lean against to rest so that He may bear the weight of my worries!

Prayer: Father, thank you for this opportunity to study Your Word. I pray that you reveal your promises to all of us reading and give us all comfort and courage to let our fears and anxieties go so that we can fully hear you and LISTEN to YOU. Yesterday we saw that you have plans, good plans, for us. Give us peace as we let go of the fears and relinquish them to you. In Yeshua’s name, Amen.

Remember this week’s memory verse!

“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not look around, for I am your Elohim. I shall fortify you, I shall also help you, I shall also uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.’” Isaiah 41:10 TS2009
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WEEK 1 Challenge: Answer in the comment section!

  • Make a list of all the things that you fear about the future, whether that is tomorrow or 20 years from now.
  • What truths about God are you struggling to believe in those fears? Ask the Lord to strengthen your faith in those areas.

Overcoming Fear & Anxiety,
The Domestic Mombie