she was desperate for healing

In the book of Matthew we get a whopping two lines about a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years  and she basically sneaks up behind Jesus to touch His cloak, saying to herself that she knew she would be healed if she could just touch that darn cloak!

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:20-21
If you do your homework, you will find that this was a HUGE no-no in this day and time.  Leviticus Chapter 15 tells us that she was considered to be ceremonially unclean because she had been bleeding.  This would be like our kids smelling up the bathroom and then coming to the dinner table without washing their hands – but times 100!  It was shocking!  It was outrageous!  It was despicable!

 

Not only that, but in Mark 5:26 we find out that she had literally sold all she had to go to physicians to be healed and yet she was still bleeding.  And not only did she not get better, she actually grew worse. She was DESPERATE, y’all.  Desperate. For. Healing.

 

I’ve been there.  I’ve been to see this doctor and that doctor and rearranged some savings to try this therapy or that therapy.  I wasn’t a societal outcast like this woman though.  I wonder what would be our modern-day equivalent — maybe someone with AIDs or herpes?  A cancer patient who tries chemo but only gets worse and starts to lose control of their bodily functions?

 

If we keep reading in Mark 5:26, we see that she even came up behind Him, like she was scared of Him or ashamed for Him to see her.

 

Then she does it.
She touches his garment.
Now it’s time to flee!

 

But instead, at that very instant He knows and she knows that something has changed. Some kind of exchange has happened.

 

Can you imagine?  Think of your absolute worst day.  You don’t want anyone to see you, but you’re desperate for healing.  You hear that Jesus is coming and you think to yourself “this is my chance, if only I can TOUCH HIS CLOTHES I know that He can heal me!”  So you sneak up behind him, crouching down because you don’t want anyone to see you.  You reach out and you do it.  You actually touch his garment!  And then you know — you can feel it.  YOU ARE HEALED!  But then… the unspeakable happens.  He knows too.  He knows that you touched Him AND He knows that He healed you.  Your cover is blown.

 

Luke 8:45: “WHO TOUCHED ME?,” Jesus asked.
Awwwww man!  Seriously?!?!  This isn’t a drive-thru healing?

 

After each of the disciples all say “not it”, and Peter tries to tell Jesus he is nuts because they are in a CROWD and of course people are touching Him…. she does it.  She finds the courage to tell Him it was her, and she literally does it in front of God and country.

 

Is your heart beating fast?  Mine is.

 

Jesus then assures her that it wasn’t even her touch that healed her.  There was no magic there.  Her faith is what healed her.

 

And so Jesus says in Luke 8:48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
This woman went from unclean and outcast to trembling before Christ to declare her actions in-front of a CROWD of strangers. And then she was healed.  And not only that, but He told her to “go in peace.”

 

What He did for her right then and there, He did for ALL of us when He was on that cross.  While we might not experience drastic and immediate healing physically like she did, we most certainly can experience spiritual healing.  I do.  Every time I call on His name.  And on some days, that is my entire prayer.  “Jesus.”

I’m not afraid of the dark

http://www.diamondgallery.com/diamonds-are-forever/
source: http://www.diamondgallery.com/diamonds-are-forever/

If God granted your biggest wish right now, would it change your faith in Him forever or just sustain you temporarily until you had another wish you wanted fulfilled?

I ask this because at the depths of my angst and the heights of my chronic pain, all I wanted was to be healed.  I thought if God would just heal me, it would change everything for me.

  • My faith would be restored.
  • I could finally make a difference in His kingdom.
  • People would see me and say “wow, God still performs miracles!”
  • I could find reasons to smile again.
  • Nothing would ever hold me back again.
  • I could fill my schedule back up with pool parties, coffee visits, bible study groups, serving here and there and there and there…. if only He would heal me.

But God didn’t heal me.  In fact, I will always have fibromyalgia and arthritis.  I will probably always struggle with some form of depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.  However the journey, in and of itself, has strengthened my faith in God.  I now have some wisdom, some life experience, and some ways to connect to other people.  I never would have had these gifts if God would have healed me the first or the seventeenth time I asked.

I used to live landmark to landmark – waiting to see what was on the horizon and telling myself, “once this thing is past me, I’ll be fine.”  And, “when I get to that next thing, everything will be GREAT!”  And, “when I have a job again, we will be financially secure.”  I was scared of the pressure while I was suffering physically.  I was terrified of the life change.  I felt forgotten, isolated, segregated, removed.  The pressure of not knowing when or if I would feel good again was too much.  I was scared of being in the dark.

I didn’t know how to rely on God.

And when I lived that way (constantly waiting for the next thing), I was essentially covering my ears and rocking back and forth … and shutting out God.  He was trying to whisper to me, and sometimes He would send people to try to speak truth into me.  But I couldn’t hear them because I was too busy making my own plans.  I didn’t even see them because I was too focused on my anticipation of the next thing on the horizon.

Your life is now, not later.

Dont’ wait for the next thing, because you’re going to miss THIS thing.  And believe me when I tell you, there is a lesson to be learned in every situation.  There is joy to be found and there is sorrow to shake your soul.  Just like the Bible says in the book of Ecclesiastes, there really is a time for everything.  Don’t wish away these times like I did.  Because gems are only produced under pressure.  You are a gem to Him.  I am a gem to Him.  Don’t believe for a second that your worth is what this world tells you it is.  DO believe that you ARE a precious gem of the Lord’s.  He formed you.  He made you.  HE PICKED YOU!  You have worth and you have sparkle.

So dont’ be afraid of the dark.

God has the ultimate flashlight. He sees you and He loves you.  He has not forgotten you.  Don’t give up hope in Him.
Look for His light.
Because that’s where you’re going to sparkle.

when worry steals adventure

I can’t do it.
I’m not strong enough.
She’s faster than I am.
They eat healthier than we do.
I have fibromyalgia.
My doctor said I shouldn’t.
It’s too hot.
It’s too windy.
It’s too muggy.
It will hurt.
I don’t have time.
I don’t have anything to wear for that.
I’ll have to wash my hair again if I do that.

All of the excuses above kept me from doing a LOT of things over the past several years.  You might resonnate with some of them, and with others you might just think I’m crazy.  That’s cool.  Sometimes I think you’re crazy. (said in my best 6 year old accusatory voice, because I’m mature like that sometimes)

My husband amazes me with his ability to “Just Do It” on many levels.  He can flip a switch in his head and say “this is what I’m doing” even if he has a list of excuses like mine.  His excuses don’t dictate what he will or will not do.  If I ever decide to grow up, this is a trait I would like to refine in myself.

Today I did something amazing.  I ran.  I also walked fast, but mostly I ran.  To most, this is not a big deal.  I have crazy friends who run marathons… in Texas heat.  #insanerunners  But for ME, this is a big deal.

A year ago today, I was recovering from a night out to see fireworks.  It wasn’t strenuous to watch fireworks, but the entire process of getting myself ready, out the door, to the field, and then sitting in the heat, staying up late, and so on —- that required a day of rest afterward.  My body couldn’t handle that much activity without a large period of rest the following day.

And today I ran.

I wish I could tell you that my “mind over matter” gear is finally un-stuck, and it is … partially, but that’s not what got me running.  I have fibromyalgia and I FINALLY found something that helps me feel good ALL the time, not just for an hour here or there. #workoutpoweredbyplexus  But here’s the interesting part — those excuses are still there when it comes to working out, but now they look like this:

I don’t have time.
Even if I shower after to get to work, I’ll still be sweating.
I’m too fat for my workout clothes (I know — you can laugh at me too)
She’s faster than I am.
They eat healthier than we do.
It’s too hot.
It’s too windy.
It’s too muggy.
I don’t have time.
I’ll have to wash my hair again if I do that.

Interesting isn’t it?  I feel SO great, yet I still have a list of excuses.  This morning I read this:

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? ~ Luke 12:25

My list of excuses are worries.  All of them.  Here’s what I have to say about that:

1075

What is your list of worries?  We all have them.  I have a list for exercise, one for ministry, one for friendships, one for parenting, one for driving…  Sure, the lists can keep me from doing some stupid things – it would not have been WISE for me to run when my pain was at its worst – but I certainly didn’t even try often to go for walks.

The worry stole my adventure.  Today I created adventure and left my list at home.

7.5.14RUN

Go create your adventure today… build something, draw something, make something, call someone, meet a neighbor, exercise, pray for someone out loud. Get your adventure out of worry-jail and …

justdoit

Stop the Insanity of Chronic Pain!

(see update at the bottom)

For the past 6 and a half weeks I haven’t stopped moving and doing and laughing and smiling and running/dancing up and down the stairs — because I CAN.  I CAN do all of those things.  Stella has her groove back! — wait, totally wrong reference, but you get the idea.

I want everyone to know right off the bat, that I am not cured.  The supplements that have changed my life will not cure me.  I have a chronic illness that I will most likely have until the day I get to go be with my Savior in heaven!

I took the plunge in late December and ordered Plexus products.

What the heck IS Plexus?

Plexus is a wellness company that has many products. These products are 100% Natural and all have a 60 day money back guarantee. There are several different products that can help you with many aliments.  The company does not claim to cure any illness but has a 93% Success rate to help and aid you with the following conditions:

  • Headaches
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Celiac’s
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Anxiety
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Sugar Cravings … and the list goes on

What do I take?

I take Slim, Accelerator, a killer ProBiotic called ProBio5, a multivitamin, and a cleansing agent called BioCleanse.  Sounds like a lot, right?  It is NOTHING compared to the regimen I used to be on.  Nothing.  No comparison.  If you have chronic illnesses you might also be thinking – just 6 things?  Yes.  Just 6 things.   But I started out on just two things.  Slim and Accelerator.  Because if you recall, I was a total skeptic and just knew this wouldn’t work for me.

http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com/
http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com/

 

What should you take?

I recommend that everyone start with the Slim, the Accelerator, and the ProBio5.  If I would have looked more into the ProBio5 when I started, I would had added it in from the get-go.  The combination of these three things will most likely put you into a detox  state and it won’t be pretty for a while.  I’m not going to lie.  You might get bloated, have migraines, break out in acne, have aches and pains and so on.  What’s going on in this process is the good elements (such as the vitamins) are trying to kick the bad elements to the curb (such as candida, inflammation nd so on) – and the bad stuff in your system is so comfortable, it just doesn’t want to go.  So it has a bit of a temper tantrum.  My detox period lasted a solid 2 weeks, but I have a friend who has also struggled with fibromyalgia and her detox lasted a little over 30 days!  Whew!

Why in the world would I want to do this “detox” on purpose?

Why in the world would you want to continue feeling the way you feel right now?  You’re already trying medications, therapies, treatments, stretches, exercises and saying  every prayer ever written just to feel better.  If you have made it this far, you can totally make it 14-30 days so that you can find some freedom from the grip your pain has on you right now!  And, if by day 45 or so you don’t feel any difference at all, you can make a simple phone call and get your money back.  Remember?  I had every intention of getting my money back after I proved to everyone that it wouldn’t work for me.

Will I have to take it forever?

You don’t HAVE to do anything.  Will I take it forever?  You betcha.  As long as they make it, I will be taking it.  I ran out of my products for three days and found that I was begging my friends for some of theirs until my next order showed up in my mailbox!  The fatigue came back almost immediately.  These products are natural – there’s no hidden weird stuff in them.  Due to company policy I can’t post them, but I will absolutely email them to you if you leave your email address in the comments.  Take the list to your doctor.  Research the ingredients.  Do some homework.

Will it cost me a lot?

It depends on your definition of “a lot.”  I was on SEVEN prescription medications, had regular appointments with my pain doctor, had to get terrifically painful massages to get the knots out, and was constantly reordering pain lotion.  So for me?  This is cheaper than all of that mess.  And I feel better on this than I did on ALL of that combined.  You need to talk to your doctor if you plan to get off medications while you’re taking these supplements – so keep that in mind as well.

This isn’t a sales pitch.  This is a freedom pitch.  Stop doing the things you’ve been doing if they aren’t giving you the freedom to get back into the land of the living.  Or at least give this a try.  This has been an answer to the prayers my family has been saying for almost three years.  I feel so alive!

Leave your email address in the comment section – or send me an email to annskaehill@gmail.com – let me help you get started so that in 2 months YOU can be praising the goodness of God in a body that isn’t keeping you from living your life!

http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com/
http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com/

It’s now mid-May 2014 and I am working 30 hours a week, cleaning my house, and running errands like a normal mom.  I play football outside with my family and I go for 4-mile walks and 12-mile bike rides.  I feel AMAZING!  I know I’m not cured but it sure is nice to be part of my own life again!!!

the cool mom

image (11)
yes – that’s a cat poster in the background of my middle school son’s room — don’t judge, we love cats!

I always wanted to be the cool mom, but let’s face it — it’s HARD WORK to be the cool mom.  You have to endure loud kids, who are almost always smelly.  You have to endure conversations that make you want to scream “NEITHER OF YOU ARE RIGHT, SO QUIT ARGUING!”  You might even have to endure the occassional projectile sneeze… just keeping it real, folks.

When chronic pain decided to set up camp in my body, being the cool mom was the least of my worries.  I could’ve cared less what my kid’s friends thought of me, but I did still secretly want to be the mom that MY kid adored and cherished because I had “cool” qualities.  So this school year I decided to do things a little differently.

I decided to be the carpool mom.
With 4 middle school boys in the car.
Every single school day.
Yes, I have reevaluated this decision multiple times.

Some days I lock out the window buttons so I can control how much longer we keep them all down on the highway.  Some days I hum to myself to block out the high-pitched-not-yet-matured-screeching-voices.  Sometimes I think the Vice Principal thinks I’m high or drunk because I just smile while the 4 boys stand outside of the minivan and fight over who is going to sit where. (Yesterday I lost my cool and SHOUTED at them while I was trying to move up and they were all trying to get in!  One of the teachers laughed hysterically.  It’s ok lady, I know you think I’m one shoelace away from the nuthouse.) 

But guess what else happens sometimes?

Sometimes I have tears in my eyes (not from the smell… well, maybe from that too) because they are hysterical and tell the funniest jokes!  Sometimes I am so incredibly touched by the way they console each other after a bad grade or losing something precious to them at school.  Sometimes I “go there” with them and entertain fart jokes and even fart apps.  On Fridays we have “Fun Drink Friday” and I treat them to a Slurpee or fountain drink at 7-11.

Over time, without even knowing it — I started to become the cool mom in the eyes of my son.  He offers other kids a ride home because he knows there’s some fun to be had in our minivan.  I hear the boys telling their friends “It’s FRIDAY — do you know what that means in OUR carpool?!?!?”  I’ve gotten to hear about the ins and outs of what’s happening in Middle School without having to BE there to endure 700 middle schoolers… just 4.  And for the record, God bless Middle School teachers — can we all take a knee for a moment and lift them in prayer?

My son and I started reading Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder together and I “get” the majority of the humor after hanging with “my boys” each day for 30+ minutes.  Last night we had dinner with my parents and when I saw the look on my son’s face when he shared (at the dinner table no less) what we have been reading together — it wasn’t a look of “look what I’m getting away with!” — it was a look of “my mom is SO cool because she reads this with me!”  … and I think part of me is still at Scotty P’s in a puddle on the floor because I melted when I saw that look on his face.

  • Be a hero in your kid’s life.
  • “Go there” with their humor sometimes so you can understand where they are in their lives.
  • Set boundaries (we have already had to pull over twice this year in carpool!) because kids then know where the safe zone is and they RELISH it!

And if you sign up to be the carpool mom just have your phone handy to record some amazingly hysterical audio.  One of my favorite conversations revolved around college savings accounts.  Apparently every kid has one, and college is already paid for!  — My husband and I just laughed and rolled our eyes (yes, I have an audio recording of that conversation).  Sorry son, yes – you have a college savings account but dear child, only ONE SEMESTER is paid for!  HAHAHAHA!  What kind of degree do you think he can get after one semester?  Hmmmm, maybe that’s conversation for Fun Drink Friday today!

Go forth and be cool.
If you’re already cool, tell us about it!  What do you do that makes you the cool mom? (or dad)

pain-free… not kidding

pain-free

If I owned a white outfit and had a nice trim belly, I might allow someone to take my picture like this whilst making a leap of joy in a field of green goodness.  But in all seriousness, this photo accurately depicts exactly how I feel.  Let’s back the truck up a little, shall we?

Over the summer I watched people post on Facebook about this great new product they were using to “lose weight and feel great” … I wish you could see me rolling my eyes.   It sounded like just another fad diet to me, but yet I was intrigued because I started getting text messages and emails from these people saying that folks with chronic pain have experienced significant reductions in their pain levels while taking this “miracle product.”   Now, when you’ve been to a bazillion doctors and you’ve tried every medication known to man to help you with your medical issues – it doesn’t seem plausible that a product being sold via Multi-level Marketing is going to be worth your time.

I even talked to my doctor about it after the kids were back in school.  I asked what she knew and she said she hadn’t had the time to do deep research on it, but she had indeed scoped out the ingredients for some of her other patients.  She promised me there wasn’t anything in there that would make me feel worse than I already did – and she had actually heard of the ingredients.  That was promising.  But still I did nothing.

November and December came around and folks, I’m telling you — those two months just plain sucked.  In December, out of a sheer act of defiance, I ordered some through a precious girl who hadn’t completely turned her Facebook account into a constant pink advertisement.

That’s right kids, we’re talking about Plexus.

My thoughts went something like this:

  • Fine.  I’ll try this stupid pink drink and prove to all you people that it won’t work for me!
  • I’ll take it for a month and then get my money back with their 60 day money back guarantee
  • You’ll all see that THIS TOO will not work for me — just wait, you’ll see!

But this is what really happened:

  • Week 1: I started craving nutrition — like celery.  I was CRAVING celery!
  • Week 2: I suffered three brutal migraines this week (side note: I didn’t know it at the time, but my body was going through a detox period)… and I was now craving broccoli with my celery.
  • Week 3: This week was miracle territory.  I was getting myself out of bed without help from my husband.  I cleaned my ENTIRE house by myself, AND got groceries, AND cooked for my family, AND played games and laughed with my kiddo, AND got some sewing done. Fatigue?  What fatigue?  I even worked out THREE times during week 3.  And I cut my fibro med dosage in HALF.
  • Week 4: My husband and I kept waiting for it to end – and for my real body to wake up and take over… but it never happened.  I still feel amazing!  And I cut my fibro med dosage in half AGAIN.  That’s right — I take 1/4 of the medication that I did just a month ago and I feel BETTER than I did when I was at the prescribed dosage!

Side Note: I AM NOT CURED.  I still have fibromyalgia.  I still have arthritis.  I still have a whacked immune system that functions at 50% — but I FEEL amazing!   I haven’t lost any weight but I DID go down a pants size.  I had so much inflammation in my body that it took two full weeks to dissipate.

If you are reading this from your bed and shaking your head — I get it.  I completely understand.  It took me 6 months to try it and even then it was because I intended to prove everyone wrong.   There is no miracle drug/drink/oil/pill/food — but Plexus has made my symptoms go from a 10 to a 1 on my scale of being bothered by them.

I’m not an advertising kind of girl.  I don’t bug people to buy things or try things — but if chronic pain has literally re-written your life plans, PLEASE consider trying this for a month!   I currently take the Slim drink and 1 accelerator pill each day.  That’s it.

Scope it out.  Ask me questions.  I’ll be honest with you and tell you if I don’t think it’s for you.  And if you think I’m crazy, I am not offended because I thought everyone else was crazy for 6 months.  It’s cool…. it’s not the first time I’ve worn that label with pride.  http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com

I plan to use up the $200 worth of vitamins I have on hand right now (that I take daily) and then I will add in the XFactor multi-vitamin to my regimen… when it’s all said and done, the Plexus plan I am building for myself will be cheaper than my prescription meds, therapies, doc appts, massages, and pain lotions that I’ve used thus far.  And I feel better ANYWAY than I did previously while doing all that stuff!

And I, Ann Skaehill, promise that this will be the only post that includes a link about Plexus —- but I cannot promise that you won’t hear more about getting my life back, because I have three years of life to make up for!

I can’t help but wonder if God was knocking and knocking and knocking that whole time and I was just too darn stubborn to open the door.  Well now it’s WIDE open and the blessings are still pouring out!  He is so good, and He is faithful — and good golly my prayers were answered in a way I LEAST expected!

quit focusing on the drought

drought-weather

I’ve been quiet for awhile now.  No blog posts and very limited Facebook posts have come from me.  That’s always a sign that something is wrong.  If Ann isn’t talking or laughing — something is very wrong!   My precious friend pointed out in a text that she was worried about me because I saw no humor in her text message …and that my friends is a sure sign that I’m in a dry place.

We had two incredibly rough months – November and December.

  • 4 illnesses
  • 4 ER visits (one of which was out of state)
  • 1 puke virus in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas
  • 1 car accident and all the associated fees
  • 1 rental car and all the associated fees
  • multiple migraine headaches
  • a cracked windshield on the OTHER car
  • the heat went out (which is actually a hilarious story for another time)
  • Dallas had an ice storm = brutal body pain when that sucker moved in
  • and oh — Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas … er something like that

Here’s the deal, y’all… none of these things killed us, maimed us, bankrupt us, or caused us to hate each other.  But the final straw for me was the stomach bug in the middle of nowhere Arkansas.   Remember in the Looney Toons cartoons when that one feather would dance so elegantly on-top of the TNT handle and then BOOM — Wiley Coyote was toast! It was sort of like that for me.

Dude.  I was dry.  I had nothing left to give myself, my family, or my friends.  No laughter.  LOTS of sarcasm (and probably a little cussing if I’m going to be honest here), and a pretty constant stream of … well … self-pity.

Where was God in all this you ask?
Well, had I kept Him at the forefront of my mind I don’t think TNT even would have been in the picture, quite frankly.   Know what I mean?

Here’s where I went terribly wrong…
I stopped making time to pray, to read from my bible or devotionals, and I kept thinking to myself, “well, now we have had 3 things happen – so nothing else will…. ok, now there have been 4, so we are good… um, make that 5… 6… OH FORGET IT!”  I put myself in the dry place.  I did it to myself, y’all!

God never promised that we wouldn’t go through hard times.  So what in the world made me think that I was exempt from them?  Especially after a set number of problems… “Ann Skaehill, you’re next… let’s see… you’ve had 1,2,3,4,5,6… oh, you’re good.  No more problems for you.  NEXT!”  That’s SO ridiculous!  But I thought it.  I really did.

I love these verses from the book of Jeremiah:

7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,

   with roots that reach deep into the water.

Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

I am such a visual person that I can SEE this picture — I can SEE the tree planted by the water.  I can SEE the roots reaching with all they have to get to that water.  I can SEE their carefree nature because they aren’t concerned about the drought.

And I can SEE that I did not do that when I needed to the most.  I just sat there and withered.  Every now and then someone would try to show me some water and I turned my nose up at it.

After identifying my droughtiness, I signed up for a class through my church where we are really digging into hymns and the stories behind them.  Our precious leader, Gwen, opened with a sweet prayer that felt like a BUCKET of living water was dumped over my head.

Now I can’t get enough.  I can’t get enough hymns and prayer and reading from our class book.  I can’t get enough joy and enough laughter and peace.  I don’t want the hydration to stop so I am going to plant myself next to the living water.  I’m digging in.  Yo, I was thirsty, people!

If you’re focused on your drought and you’re pushing everyone away, please please please stop and ask yourself how that’s working for you.  Because I have a feeling you’re pretty stinkin’ thirsty right now.   Get your rear up and get to that water.  Call a friend so he or she can drag you there if need-be.