Friday, June 14, 2013


Today is Friday June 14th 2013 and in the past couple of months I've been doing pretty good emotionally. I kept wondering why I hadn't had any real breakdowns of frustration and tears in a while and I knew it wasn't because I had less pain, that doesn't seem to really go away. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Okay, so yes, I still ache and hurt and all that fun stuff but why is it not bothering me as much? Why do I not seem to submit myself to the pain very often any more?

Didn't figure it out until this past Sunday at church. The Pastor was speaking on the topic of suffering, times in our lives when we feel that God's timing just isn't right; when we ask Him, "Why?" Man did this trigger memories for me. You could go back to the beginning of my blog and see me asking this very thing. It's only been in the past 6 or 7 months that I've truly let go of that question. Pastor went on to say that we often limit our questioning to "why". I would add that we don't just limit our questioning to "why" but that the simple question "why" limits us. What, How, and Who are the questions in my notes that we need to be asking in order to be "emotionally healthy spiritually".

What does God want to teach me through this experience? How can my trust in God, in the middle of my situation be influential in the lives of those around me? Who will I be able to help someday because of the situation I'm walking through right now? These were the questions the Pastor said were more healthy to be asking. I realized then, I had stepped from the "Why" to the "What, How , and Who" months ago.

This time, when hearing a message on trials/pain I wasn't about to burst into tears. I felt extreme peace, even happiness. I was coming from a different perspective, a different side of the emotional pain and confusion. A word kept coming into my mind, "Freedom!" I wrote it down in my notes and it hit me, I understood something I had never understood before. Fibromyalgia doesn't dictate my attitude, my emotions, or my spiritual state of mind; my questions do.

Yes, it's hard to feel as though your body is betraying you but what's worse is when you betray yourself by allowing a single question to limit you. I am FREE of that limitation! I don't know how I got here but I do know there was a process involved. I'm sure I could back and read all my post in order and see how this change came about. I'm glad I've been recording my experience on this blog so I can go back and look. I think it's good to be able to look back on times when we asked "why" and see how God was with us the whole time molding and shaping us.

I know how stuck you may feel if you are currently limited by a single question. I know how confusing, angry, frustrated, hurt, betrayed, and alone you feel when God's timing just seems so wrong. I understand that you will have times of denial, anger, bargaining or the what ifs, and depression, but on the other side of all that pain is acceptance. Not the kind of acceptance where you are defeated but the kind that brings you freedom. Freedom to change and grow. Freedom to not be focused on the negative happenings in your life. The freedom to be free of what really limits you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Today is Wednesday February 13, 2013 and I've been doing pretty well. I've had some hard days physically in the past month, which can lead to hard days emotionally, and I've had some good cries of frustration over the pain that just seems to rob me of what I think I should be capable of doing.

I really don't like having to ask my husband to clean the kids shower because I just cleaned ours and am laying on the bed crying while he rubs the pain from my back. He is so gracious and always willing to not only help me but to serve me in whatever capacity I need him to but, still, I would just like to not have to ask all the time for assistance in things I should be able to do on my own. This is hard, being so needy seems so unattractive to me. I thank God for giving me a husband whose love language is service. I sure do provide him plenty of opportunities to express that love to me.....makes you think that maybe God knows just what He's doing after all.

Recently, I was with a group of people and one of them asked me if I ever pray that God would just heal me of the Fibromyalgia. While yes, there was a time I used to pray for this, I had to answer, "no." I could see on the faces of those around me that they were a little taken back by my response. "Where is her faith?" I'm sure they must have thought. After a concerned, "Why?" I explained myself.

I have prayed that I would pray for God's will in this area of my life. I don't want to ask for anything that doesn't bring Him the most glory. I want most of all to glorify Him and while being healed would certainly do so, this was not the response I felt from Him. For some reason, beyond my understanding, having fibro at this time is what will bring Him the most glory from my life. God answered my prayer, I didn't hear some audible voice from the heavens or anything, just a pretty strong feeling. A sense of despair and disappointment did not accompany this feeling, but hope and peace.

God never promised physical healing here on earth. He never promised an easy road with even payment to drive along, but He did promise proper tires and shocks to travel the road we are on. The bumps, dips, hills, declines, and pot holes are still felt but the tires and shocks He provides smooth it all out a little. Makes the trip less obnoxious and uninviting. Peace, spiritual rest and encouragement, help, and comfort are just some of the ways God has made this road tolerable. These are His promises to me and I am secure in them. These are what I pray for and receive. Hope is the beginning and end to these promises. Hope that as each pot hole passes I will endure the next with more grace. I do not ask God to remove the pot holes from my life, just that I wouldn't pop a tire going over one.

Pot holes, or whatever you want to call them, are just apart of the road, life. But, there is something supernatural about how God can direct your attention to the destination rather than the road used to get there. He's pretty darn neat if I say so and credit must goes where credit is deserved.

He is growing me, changing me, and molding me into the woman He intends for me to be and right now that means I need to have fibromyalgia. If I ever feel Him telling me to pray for physical healing then I will but, for now I rest, I hope, I hold on to His promises.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

..."A Spring Gone Dry!

Today is Wednesday, December 12, 2012 and I'm free of that horrible medication! Actually, about 2 weeks after my last post I just stopped taking it. Dealt with withdrawals but not as debilitating as the last time I tried. I feel so much healthier and I'm ready to be active again and live life.

Unfortunately, my body pain has increased immensely. I have moments when I just cry from frustration because the pain is exasperating. It's not like your knee hurts sometimes or you get random little pains here and there. No, you hurt and ache all over and then on top of that your get stabbings, pinches, joint pain...even to the point of actually collapsing on the stairs because your knees decide to flip out. I get exhausted from just little things.

The other day I was watching my husband hangs lights for my mom. I was standing there for about 30 seconds, yes seconds, and all I wanted to do was sit down and rest my legs and back. I starting thinking, "did God really make our bodies to not be able to even stand there for a few seconds? Is this normal? Is my mom feeling the same thing right now? Is it hurting my husband to be on that ladder? Am I just a wimp?" Then I remember, I didn't used to hurt this much and get exhausted so easily, This is different. Not age or weight, this is a disease.

On the couch, crying and frustrated with myself, my oldest daughter came to me and said, "Mom, I just want you to know, whatever happens with your fibromyalgia, whether it gets better or not, I will love you." While I love her intentions in what she was saying and her tender heart in that moment, it crushed me to know that she ever had to process that kind of information through her mind and heart about me.

Face in my hands, tears flowing like a river, "Why!?" I asked God. "Take this from me, I cannot do this anymore! This pain in my heart is greater than that of my body; this I cannot do." Quickly, I remembered that this disease had been entrusted to me and God was creating a story, something that would bring Him glory, that I couldn't yet see. Soon after, I heard Him speak through scripture.

I came across a verse, Jeremiah 15:16-18 "When your words turned up, I feasted on them; and they became my joy, the delight of my heart, because I belong to you, LORD God of heavenly forces. I didn't join the festive occasions; I took no delight in them. I sat alone because your hand was upon me and you filled me with curses. Why am I always in pain? Why is my wound incurable, so far beyond healing? You have become for me as unreliable as a spring gone dry!"

Wow, never before had I read a verse that actually ended with someone making such claims to God; they always seem to end with hope and understanding that God will come through. Let me back up a little and give you some context about the scripture. Jeremiah was a prophet of God in the old testament. God's people, Israel, were turning their backs on God and Jeremiah was hated by the people because he remained devoted to the LORD and spoke God's words. This part of scripture is a dialogue between Jeremiah and God about the nation of Israel. While throughout the conversation Jeremiah addresses God regarding Israel and God responds with what the nation needs to do, here in this small portion of that conversation Jeremiah addresses God about a personal issue. He is complaining about how he has remained devoted and faithful and as a result hated. He goes on to complain about always being in pain and having an incurable wound. He blames God for not being healed and actually calls Him unreliable.

I don't know what kind of wound/pain he had....physical or emotional, all I know is that he is upset with God about it to the point of feeling like God is unreliable to him. I continued on to read God's response to such claims and found that He doesn't even address them. He speaks only to Jeremiah about Israel. This struck me as kind of odd and rude, Jeremiah, God's prophet, had a real personal problem and God just ignored it! So, I know my God cares deeply about each of His children and wants us to come to Him with all our thoughts and feelings; so why ignore Jeremiah's?

Here is what was revealed to me. While God loved Jeremiah, there was something larger at stake, something of greater importance. A picture that Jeremiah couldn't see yet.....something we today get to look back at and see just how important it was. Maybe God spoke to him at some other time regarding his pain; I don't know. What I do know is that God wasn't about to divert the conversation to satisfy Jeremiah's complaints or his ridiculous claim that God was unreliable. If Jeremiah only knew what God was planning through Jesus Christ. He was keeping the conversation focused on what needed to be done; there was a much larger picture being painted at the moment.

He knows I hurt but something bigger, something better is happening. Example, when I tell my daughter to clean her room and she begins to complain that she is tired and I must not care or love her because I'm making her clean her room; I don't even address her accusations, I simply say, "clean your room." I understand she's tired and doesn't want to have to clean up but it still needs done and I'm not going to allow her to distract me or herself with her claims of my not caring or loving her. Something needs done, I'm telling her to do it, she can rest after.

When I cry out to God for healing in my moments of frustration and all I here is "My grace is sufficient." Or, I hear nothing at all, I know that God is working on something bigger. A painting that is beyond my eyes. My God IS reliable! He will not leave me here. He will bring me rest, but first, there is a job to be done.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pain...Afflicted or Entrusted?

Today is Tuesday, October 9, 2012 and I'm doing fine so far today. I have a lot to catch you up on. I had to get back on my medication after attempting to stop taking it over a 3 week period. That didn't go over well with my body. I got back on and have since then started to lower the dosage on my own. I'm down to about 8-10mg a day from 60mg.

Every time I lower it I have a pretty bad headache for about a week but then I adjust and lower again after about 3 weeks. I hope to be completely free from taking the medication by December. You see, before I started taking the medicine I was a somewhat active person. After starting it I became just about what felt like disabled. I felt a heaviness inside and very unhealthy. Yes, it helped a lot with the pain but I couldn't do anything and be active with my family. As I have slowly gotten off the medication I have had a major increase in my pain but at the same time I feel so much more well and alive. It excites me to even think about gaining my lively self back!

So, to the title of this post. I have had a major shift in my thinking over the last month on this disease. Not just the disease but other areas of my life as well. Strangely enough this shift occurred over lessons on financial peace my husband and I are taking at our church. I highly recommend finding a class and taking it. The name is Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. Our Pastor, John Dix, decided that since we were going to take this study as a church family that he would also align the sermons over a nine week course to prepare us for that weeks small group lesson on financial peace.

One of the first things he spoke about came from a parable in the bible. The story teaches that what God "gives" to us isn't really given to us to keep. We are entrusted with things anywhere from money to our children, from talents and skills to pain, yes, pain. Now, did my Pastor actually say that God entrust pain to people, no. This is what was revealed to me within my heart.

It was clear that God entrust money to us to use in ways that glorify Him. When you spend money that belongs to someone else you use it more wisely. You think about how you are spending it and you account for every dollar. You want to make right by that person, not just blow their money and have nothing to show for it. If you entrusted your money to other people you would be very particular about who you would want to entrust it to based on how they used it, would you not?

So I got this concept down, but what about all other areas of my life? It hit me, I wasn't being afflicted with Fibromyalgia rather I was being entrusted. Okay, I know that might sound strange but it has caused me to approach this disease with eyes that see. Affliction causes inward vision which is blinding to the afflicted where as entrustment forces one to look outward at a larger picture and it opens the eyes of the entrustee. 

Here is what I see; people who need hope. As we go around doing life, living in our "me" world, pretending that our self absorbed lives are satisfying, we slowly become afflicted by everything we think is going wrong around us. We sink deeper into our afflictions and our "why me's" and become blinded within keeping us from seeing how we afflict others. Love, selflessness, truth, grace, and mercy find no home in the blinded heart of the afflicted.

I do not exclude myself from that group of people, I'm human and I'm willing to admit that at times, I allow myself to be blinded. But, I have a new mind, a new thought, a new understanding about these "afflictions" in my life. For whatever reason beyond my understanding, God in His great wisdom decided that I was the perfect person to entrust with Fibromyalgia. I get to choose whether I'm going to feel afflicted and become blinded or entrusted and have my eyes opened. So, what can I do with this disease. For starters, I can write this post. Perhaps I can bring hope to someone out there who could use a little bit of more hope today. Maybe, this is exactly what you needed to hear at this moment.

Could I possibly impact someone positively by my attitude about fibro? Could I show up in my pain and bring healing to someone's heart? Could I jump out of myself for moments in time and be what someone else needs in that moment? The possibilities are endless when we choose entrustment over affliction. What God can do with the heart that sees. I want to see outside of myself and make room for love, selflessness, truth, grace, and mercy.

I'm not saying that at times I wish I didn't need to deal with so much physical pain. I get really tired of constantly feeling all my joints and every muscle aching. To just be able to sleep and not hurt in every position I lay in would be nice. But this is not my current reality. I cry out to God for healing or even just a little relief. Sometimes, I just cry. But, and here's the key, His grace is sufficient for me. In healing or in pain His grace is sufficient. In the meantime, while I have eyes to see, I might as well see and while my blurred vision breaks free from myself I begin to see more and more of God's beauty. 

We are all downing within ourselves and grasping at goggles to see more clearly under the waves of our afflictions. May I suggest.....lift up your head, grab onto the life raft of entrustment, breathe, and open your aren't a fish, you will drown down there. You are loved by Creator God, made in His image and He intends for you to see. He wants you to see those waves that crush you for what they are...Satan's attempt to blind you from truth and keep you crushed under the weight of his lies. God Almighty longs for you to rise up, breathe in His saving grace and open your's beautiful up here above the waves, come join me.

I would love to hear your story. What afflictions are blinding you? How can your mind be changed from affliction to entrustment? Be real with me as I am with you. I challenge you today to begin the process of a total mind shift. Talk to God and be real with Him, ask Him to change your mind. Talk to me, maybe we can help each other. If you prefer to not have your comments on the post, then send me a private message through my facebook page Natalie Snyder Specht.

In any case, we aren't meant to do life alone. Meet with me where you are but most importantly, meet with God, come just as you are.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Facing the Giants

Today is Tuesday July 31, 2012 and it's been a good day.  Doing the pictures for Vacation Bible School this week and I love it! A lot has happened since my last post......too much to get into real detail. The past month has been the hardest month of my life.....I think. Then again, I've probably felt that way before.

I've been weaning off a medication that helps with my pain; I've only been on it for 10 months and my body has formed a dependency to it. I'm not addicted.....I don't crave it at all, but my body is rejecting the idea of not having it. The withdrawals are horrible. I wish my previous doctor never gave me the medication to begin with. Would rather of dealt with increased pain over the past 10 months than what I've been dealing with now.

My new doctor is helping me through the process; she is great! My poor family has had to suffer through my changes and sickness from weaning off. I decided to take it much slower so that I don't feel the affects as drastically. Can't stand that other than the pain I was fine before the meds and now that I've taken them I'm not fine without them; I will get there though.

A few days after my last post God really spoke to my heart. He is so sweet and gentle with me even during my tantrums. Let me give you a visual of what happened in my heart. I was throwing a tantrum and complaining to my Father while He sat and listened to my cries. When I was done He gently lifted me onto His lap, brought His face down to mine and whispered into my ear "Natalie, I love you. I saw tomorrow and it's going to be good." To God be the glory!

Every time I feel a pain I say....sometimes out load, "for Your glory". Now, I certainly had a week recently where my attitude did not reflect this change of mind at all, but that is past and today is new. I don't understand why this process is for His glory but I do understand that I don't need to understand. I used to say "why me? Why do I have to go through this" and now I say "why me? Why have You chosen me to glorify You? Why do You bless me with the opportunity to bring You glory? I am nothing."

I saw this disease as an interruption in being able to be about His work but here is what I've learned.....It's exactly that, His work. It's not about my dreams and desires or the passions and callings He has given to me. It's about Him and what He wants to accomplish in and through me. How can I complain about things that were never mine to complain about? They are and have always been His; what a relief.

A movie I highly recommend, Facing the Giants. In this movie the main character is facing many "giants" in his life. He decides that in the good and the bad He will praise God. Something he says that will stick with me and free me from myself forever is "I resolve to give me best to God and leave the results up to Him." I love it! This is my resolve. This is my reality and I will live it with all that I am for God. What happens next is up to Him, I just have to live. Here I don't just survive but rather I thrive.

My "giants" aren't so scary when I know all I can and have to do is throw the stone; God directs its path. So, by faith I will face my giants. I will throw myself into His arms. I will quietly wait to hear His thunder. I will call upon the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised. So shall I be saved from my enemies (giants). He doesn't promise ease but He does promise peace.

In the Good, the bad, the beautiful, and the God be the glory forever and ever, Amen.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

An Architect Without a Pen

Today is Thursday June 28, 2012. Having a hard time even finding the energy to write this. Past couple of weeks have not been good for me. I don't know what happened, I was doing so well. I feel as though my body is attacking itself. My muscles and my mind feel like they are degenerating. I feel so weak that the usual things are becoming difficult.

Folded laundry today and I felt like my arms were going to fall off...kinda like after a hard workout when your muscles are spent or when you've been sick a long time and you have no muscle strength. My legs aren't being kind either. I can hardly walk for a few minutes and I feel like I've just ran a marathon. Dropped a glass bowl while doing dishes today because I couldn't seem to get my fingers strong enough to grip it. Broke all over the kitchen floor and was in agony trying to sweep it up. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

I have felt so under attack lately. You see, I'm a visionary, a dreamer, one who sees beyond her reality and believes she can accomplish more than she actually can......or so it seems so far in my life. I'm frustrated because I did not make myself this way, God did, and yet He seemed to forget to give me the ability to fulfill those visions or dreams. I am angry by this. I can't have ideas and not be able to go through with them any more.

I truly believe that the ideas I have are not self seeking. I feel that they are self sacrificing and supposed to be glorifying to God. Why isn't He helping me? I'm an architect without a pen. The vision is there but the capability is not. I want to minister to children, I feel called to love children but I have little to no support physically. I want my husband to support me in this, to be on board and encourage me but the Lord didn't bless my husband with the gift of encouragement.

I do not mean to "bash" my husband at all here, he is exactly what I need in so many ways, but when it comes to my visionary personality he is my balance. When my mind is in the clouds he brings me back to the hard, rough, dirty ground. He is probably my number one discourage-er in all things related to my "ideas". This causes me to feel defeated, as if the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue aren't enough.

Selfish, a word I've been hearing lately. How can the things I do for others, or the things I want to do for others that bring no benefit to me be selfish? This is when I realize I'm under attack. When things are said to me that make no since and are used to crush me and cause me to want to give up on what is right, I know I'm under attack. When I finally release myself from trying to be "supermom" because in reality it is only hurting my children and myself and I'm told that I'm selfish and every action I've taken to do or to fix the "damage" I've caused by trying to be "supermom" is all about me......I know I'm under attack.

I want to do what is right, my body already makes that difficult enough so why does God allow my spirit to be crushed as well. I have a thorn, do I really need a snake bite as well? Do you intend on using me or not? I'm an architect without a pen; heck, I've even got the paper sitting right in front of me but nothing to draw with. If You wont give me a pen will You at least give me someone who can draw for me?

Stop shoving the paper in my face and stop giving me the vision if You wont provide the pen. I'll take any writing utensil at this point. I can't be surrounded by children who need to be loved, I can't have ideas on how to show them Your love, I can't imagine and dream anymore if You wont give me the tools to materialize those dreams. I'm tired and frustrated, I'm fighting the urge to be angry with You. Why did You make me like this? Any dream I've ever had and attempted has failed; the only one that has brought forth what seems to be any fruit at all is Cross Tuition. Yes, I know some things have been self seeking and in attempt to help my family but there has been no payoff, or at least non I have seen. Even Cross Tuition remains small and I've pored in the energy I've been capable of for 4 years now. I've sought You through the whole process and I've leaned on You in all areas of Cross Tuition and still, we are struggling to find support and grow.

My energy and ability to pour myself into Cross Tuition is less than it was a couple of years ago so what do You want from me? I know this is from You, I know You don't want me to give up, and I have no intention of doing so but could You please help? I don't care how just do something. I'm being honest and real with you God. You are my Father and I'm your daughter but I feel like you've forgotten me. Remember me. Remember I am dust and forgive my boldness with You. I am painfully aware that I can do no good if it's not from and through You. So, I'm asking You to remember my reality and do something. I feel despair sneaking in on me and I know that is not of You. Why am I under attack? Is this what glorifies You the most?

Does my pitiful self bring You the most glory? I wrestle within myself. My nature tells me to not care but my spirit burns within me to love. While my heart breaks for children my body tells me to focus on myself, to not be concerned for others. I feel like if I just give up and not care that this would be so much easier. You can't call me to love, provide the children to love, but then take away the ability to express that love.

If taring me down will bring You the most glory than tare away but please do not leave me there; remember me. I'm an architect without a pen, I even have the paper to draw on; perhaps I should focus on the art of origami instead. Is this what I must do first? Is there something different I must learn before I can draw? Then show me please. Remember me. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Noticeable Changes

Today is Tuesday June 5, 2012. I haven't written in a while and I really miss it.....just been a little distracted. The past week I have felt really good. Haven't had a week like that in a while. I woke up today not feeling very good though, my back and legs are hurting. Took me a while to actually get out of bed but obviously I finally did.

I think I know why I have been feeling so well. A couple of weeks ago I went to Sprouts for my grocery shopping. Purchased mostly gluten free and organic. Also, I got unrefined organic coconut oil to use on my body and face......yes, I'm using cooking oil as my moisturizer, and I'm using natural coconut shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I love it! My hair, skin, and face has never felt and looked better. I don't use lotion at all now. Okay, so before you think I've lost it, do some research on the internet about coconut oil, it's pretty amazing stuff.

The past couple of weeks of eating mostly organic and gluten...oh yes, and dairy free foods, hasn't been totally easy, especially with my kids, but It's worth the struggle to reform their taste buds. I have felt so much better physically and have had more energy. I'm not going to pretend that I've stuck to it completely, but the little and simple changes I've made had done wonders for my least I think.

You see, there are all sorts of things that can affect the way I feel, physical and emotional stress, weather, sleep, and so on. The weather has been warmer and my stress level is down so I guess that could be why I feel so much better. Yesterday I went to Target with Ryan and the girls and it was so cold in there. I started feeling very achy while there and finally just decided we needed to leave. We took Jessie to her first t-ball practice and it was really cold there too. I don't know what happened to the nice warm day but the wind chill was no fun.

Left t-ball and we decided to not go grocery shopping because I was so achy and just wanted to go home and lay down under a heating blanket. So, was I feeling so well because it's been warm and then bad because it was so cold at Target and t-ball practice? Was it because I've been eating healthier, taking Omega 3, and avoiding foods that cause inflammation? Is my body that sensitive that just being in cold temperatures for a couple of hours can cause me to be so achy for at least a day? I guess time will tell. In either case, I've loved the past week!

I forgot to tell you in my last post.....I found a private school just around the corner from where we moved that is half the cost of the other schools we have looked at. My dad and step-mom said that they would help with the monthly cost so we went ahead and signed her up. She has a placement test on Friday and I'm nervous for her. I would feel absolutely horrible if she has to repeat 3rd grade. To think that I did that to her and made it so she would graduate late and start her career or whatever it might be a year really upsets me. I know I couldn't have foreseen the past year being so bad but still, I was responsible for her education.

I guess we're doing the right thing now by taking it out of my hands but at the same time I've been having feelings of guilt like I'm giving up on her and just getting rid of her for 6 hours a day. I hate that this feeling comes sneaking up on me; that is not at all what I'm doing but the enemy knows my self focused standards that I've tried to release and is trying to tare me down by  rubbing them in my face. At least I'm aware of it....I know that helps me to think about God's words and His thoughts towards me.

Another helpful thing I received at church this Sunday. We are going through a series called Families Fit for Blessing. It has been very educational. This past Sunday was about children's attitudes and response towards parents and parents' attitudes and response towards children. One main thing that hit home with me was this statement, "As a parent, you have been gifted with the understanding to know your child the very best, and you hold a unique place in their heart that only you hold."

I know that Emily needs more structure and discipline with school and I can't give that to her personally so I am doing good for her by giving her the opportunity to receive that structure and discipline. Also, just because I am no longer home schooling her as far as primary education goes, that doesn't mean I don't hold her heart and home school her in all other aspects of life. I can give her my non exhausted self before and after school.

I believe I will be able to treat her with more patience and loving kindness which will only boost her spiritually and emotionally. Also, I will be able to give Jessica more focused time which I know is necessary. I really am excited for this coming fall and I can't wait to see the positive changes within our household.

One last thing. I told you I would keep you updated on whether or not Cross Tuition reached its goal of $15,000 in donations. Cross Tuition has not received any donations since I originally told you about it. I'm bummed but I know it's all in God's hands and my goals aren't always aligned with His and I just have to accept that. Not saying He doesn't want donations to come in or that He can't do something awesome last minute, just saying that I wont stress about it.

Any way, to end things....the noticeable changes have not only been physical but mental/emotional as well. I look forward to the coming weeks and the continued changes God makes in my life. Thanks for walking with me on this journey and I'll be posting more often than I have been the last month.