All Things Possible

AllThingsArePossible--Matt19-26As I’ve shared with you recently, life has been rough for me these days. I often feel like this is a new, never-ending season.

Lately I have often felt like I don’t have much to smile about. Those of you who have lived with a shingles breakout know what I mean. So many sleepless nights, or nights when I can only get a 1/2 hour to an hour’s sleep at a time. And that’s just the night! Days … hours … minutes … of seemingly relentless pain, but not “just” pain—we’re talking about pain accompanied by burning and stabbing sensations, and feeling like bugs are crawling on you. Since one of my big problem areas involves my left ear, inside and out, this kind of stuff repeatedly wakes me up from a sound sleep!

Well, I think I’ve made it through the roughest part of this outbreak. My case involves my trigeminal nerve area on the left sidetrigeminal-nerve of my face. If you look at me now, you can barely tell what’s going on inside of me. The blisters/lesions have almost completely disappeared, but there is still a lot happening to my nerves that can’t be seen. I started a steroid regimen yesterday that I hope will help get rid of the remaining pain and perhaps even keep me from having a recurrence in the future, as is common with shingles.

And yet, although I am not very good at smiling through the pain, God has filled me with such joy lately that I can’t help but smile. Take last night for example. I kept waking up with that nerve pain and itching, and had trouble getting back to sleep. The chorus of a wonderful praise song kept running through my mind, something that is short and sweet and easy for me to remember:

I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship you, Oh my soul rejoice!
Take joy, my King, in what you hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear…

I often silently sing myself to sleep with this chorus, but last night I was trying hard to remember the chorus to a different song I’ve been enjoying lately and just couldn’t remember it. I drifted off to sleep again for maybe 1/2 hour, and when I awoke there was that other chorus playing loud and sweetly in my head. I absolutely had to smile because God is so faithful and knew I wanted to remember the song so I could sing that one to Him too.

The song I tried so hard to remember and that the Lord blessed me with is “All Things Possible” by Mark Schultz. Here’s the chorus (technically the bridge, but it’s all the same to me):

My God is strong and mighty
My God is faithful
My hope is in the Lord
For He is able

Beloved, I am here today to remind you that our God is absolutely faithful and will provide exactly what we need exactly when we need it. All we need to do is hold on tight and trust that He is strong, mighty, faithful, able… and a host of other awesome adjectives!

Here’s the video of the Mark Schultz song, “All Things Possible”:

In case you have trouble viewing this video, here are the complete song lyrics:

All Things Possible

By Mark Schultz, from his latest album All Things Possible

I will call on Your name
For there’s always a way
When You lead me
And when life knocks me down
I am not counted out
For You’re with me
And You’re with me

Chorus:
Even when it feels like the light is fading
And I’ve lost my way
Still I’m holding on to the One who’s making
All things possible

Even when it feels like my heart is breaking
Hold on, there is strength
Knowing I belong to the One who’s making
All things possible

I know mountains can move
I’ve seen what You can do
In my weakness
So my heart will believe
If I wait I will see
My God doing, what only He can do

Bridge:
My God is strong and mighty
My God is faithful
My hope is in the Lord
For He is able

Smile, Beloved! I’m singing this for all of us today!

AnnaSmile…..

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Beautiful Blogger

Last week I received a surprise in the form of another blog award. It came on a day when I really needed something to make me smile.

beautiful_bloggerawardpurple_rev

Thank you, Betty, for giving me this award. You absolutely made my day!

Please take the time to visit Betty’s two wonderful blog sites: Betty’s Verse of the Day and Jesus is My Joy .

AnnaSmile

Brace Face

Tidbit Tuesday – Edited Version

Even though I feel like the days are speeding by, I guess I was trying to make it go faster by posting this Tidbit Tuesday post today. Go figure…

Last night I pulled out some old photos of me and scanned them into my computer this morning to add to this post (that I thought was still scheduled to publish tomorrow). So when I saw that I was a little late, I decided to do this edited version and republish it now. Sorry for the confusion, but here we go!

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I was fairly awkward as I was growing up. Some of that is still with me today. But when you are a teen, everything seems to conspire against you. Even things that are “for your own good” often feel anything but that!

Smiling_Girl_Cartoon_with_braces

Include me in the ranks of having to wear braces when I was young. Not once, but twice! I don’t have any photos available that show me with braces on, but then I rarely smiled big with a mouthful of metal and here are some photos to prove it.

As you can see, I absolutely did not like to smile with a mouth full of metal. But when I forgot that the camera was there and did smile, here’s what I looked like:

Anna19yo-2

Actually, someone must have said something that made me laugh big and then caught me just in time with the camera. I can’t recall the details, but there you have it!

“Brace face” was only one of the names I was called. How about “tin grin” or “metal mouth”? Even one of my high school teachers teased me about it!

These days braces are very common so they’re not a big deal. You can even have “invisible” braces these days that do a great job. But I had an intense love/hate affair with my braces. I had terribly crooked teeth, especially my upper ones. My eye teeth were so crowded out of alignment with the rest that they looked kind of like fangs—I kid you not. So I was thankful that my teeth would look much better and prettier after the braces, but I hated everything else about it: all the the visits to the orthodontist, the ELASTICS that kept popping off and shooting across the room, the pieces of food that would get gunked up in all that metalness.

When I finally got them off, I was so relieved and happy… until a year later when they had to go back on. Apparently my stubborn eye teeth did not like their new home and tried to migrate north again. And this second wearing of braces really caused some angst. Here I was a “cool” 19-year old working as a receptionist for an orthodontist at the time (my own orthodontist referred me to him). Whenever a teenager came in for a consult with his parents and seemed less than delighted at the thought of all that metal in their mouth, my orthodontist boss would point to me and say, “See? You’re never too old for braces!”

Oh. Joy. Let’s just draw even more attention to my brace face, shall we?

Anna21yo

And here I am about a year after my braces were removed the second time. I was more than willing to smile for the camera then!

I hope you enjoyed this little journey through my brace face years. I am so thankful for my Mom and Dad who worked very hard to pay for those braces. Unlike today, it was a huge deal back then to have braces and compared to the typical income back then, they were very expensive. I don’t ever take my straight teeth for granted!

AnnaSmile

Mom’s Smile

I have to add one thing more to today’s Thankful Thursday.

The Lord took my Mom home 5 years ago today.

I still see her like this photo every time I think of her. She had such a sweet smile!

Mom loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with all her heart.

I know she’s celebrating big time today, dancing and singing with her heavenly friends.

We miss you, Mom!