Never Trust A Fart

My Colonoscopy Experience

After having brain surgery this past summer, the out-of-pocket maximum of our health insurance being paid brought about the decision to get everything done “medically speaking” that needed to be done, either preventive or just taking care of that nagging pain in my back. Being that I’m in my fifties now, I knew I needed a colonoscopy. So I began the process of making that happen; researching in-network doctors, getting a referral and setting up the consultation, etc.

First of all, the idea of the entire ordeal sounded repulsive to me. But suddenly others who had gone through it were popping up and their stories were less than desirable, to say the least! 

But because this turned out to be almost scarier than the brain surgery was for me, I figured I needed to write about it. And quite frankly, I couldn’t seem to find enough thorough details on the internet of what to expect! So here ya go, I hope it helps prepare someone to better endure this looming but needed task.

A side effect of my personality is that sometimes I decide to embrace a task without being fully committed. And as time goes by and the day approaches to implement the process of actions needed, the fear and doubts cloud my thoughts. I remember how I felt as I began timing contractions before giving birth to our first son, Christopher. I had this overwhelming feeling and thought, “I’ve changed my mind – I don’t want to do this anymore, can I back out?” I laughed about it as I shared that feeling with my husband since we both knew there was no turning back at that point! Well, this is the very same feeling I had the day before I had to start a clear liquid diet and begin drinking the prep laxatives that would have me pooping constantly for hours. But somehow I just knew backing out at this point was not a good option. So by the time the evening before the prep day came, I felt this daunting task before me and a wave of courage flooded me as if to say, “bring it on!” I suddenly knew I could do this.

I was instructed to buy Gatorade, Dulcolax, 8.3 oz bottle of Miralax, and basically some diaper ointment, as well as any clear liquid items for ingesting. Some other options were Jello, popsicles, broth, and carbonated sodas. Since I do my best to embrace healthier options, Gatorade was out of the question. Why? Because it’s loaded with sugar and some undesirable synthetic ingredients. I asked for permission to have something healthier and they said any water with added electrolytes would work out fine. By the way, the sugar-free Vitamin Waters ended up working really well. To add more electrolytes, I mixed it with coconut water. I was able to have coffee, thank goodness (you must have been wondering I’m sure). BUT no creamers, not even your non-dairy ones. Ugh, oh well – at least you don’t have to get a caffeine withdrawal headache! I’m grateful to at least have coffee in the lineup, being that it’s technically not that clea when ya think about it! 

So on an empty clear liquid-only tummy, I went to work out at the gym. I set out to make sure that happened because I knew I may not be able to go for possibly a couple of days.

Then I had a chiropractic appointment which I needed desperately and that was the only time I could go. I had found out that morning that I had accidentally gotten the Dulcolax suppositories instead of the pills and the doctors’ office reported it had to be the pills only. So to add to all my plans, I had to go by the pharmacy and pick the right stuff up. After all, I had to take 4 of those pills at noon! So I was running around town like a madwoman trying to hurry home to start on time. As usual for me, I was about 10 -15 minutes late. *chuckle* But no worries, I wouldn’t get a slap on the hand for it.

Things didn’t get truly difficult until I had to start drinking full glasses of Miralax every hour. I thought it wouldn’t be much worse than drinking water because the Miralax is clear and doesn’t have much of a taste. But the more you drink, the more you have this metallic aftertaste. Plus, you begin to fill extremely full. So I learned to spread it out a bit and not drink too much all at once. I found one tip online about chilling it in the fridge before drinking it. They give you nausea medication to keep you from throwing it up….yep, I used it. I think if I had known the tips beforehand to take in about 2-3 oz every 5-15 minutes of the chilled mixture of Vitamin Water/coconut water – I probably would’ve never needed the nausea medication. My instructions were to take two capfuls of Miralax and mix with the Gatorade. My last drink mixture was scheduled for 5 PM and you can imagine my disappointment when I realized there were almost another two capfuls still left in the bottle! The instructions also say to finish the entire bottle! I was a little offended, to say the least at the incompetency of these instructions! Well, what do I do since I know I don’t want to screw this up? I drink another mixture at 6 PM. (insert puking emoji)

No, thank God I didn’t puke but I sure wanted to!

Okay so now that you know about the ingesting part of it, let’s get to that first BM you’re awaiting and have no clue when it’ll arrive. I was amazed that it was almost 4 hours before it hit. And because it took so long, I wondered if it would hit later into the evening. So I felt pretty confident as I let out a gentle fart as I enjoyed a recorded chick-flick I’d always wanted to see. To my surprise, I pooped myself. I stood up, screamed, ran to the restroom, and began all the clean-up protocol needed! At this point, I began to find this rather comical and I began to laugh at the antics that occurred that night. I ran to the restroom about every 5-20 minutes trying not to poop my pants all the way there. I read a tip online to just camp out in your bathroom. Well, I would’ve needed at least a week to prepare my bathroom for even that concept to be possible. Perhaps, this blog post will prepare someone for that in time!

The only time I began to get frustrated and not very friendly with my husband was when he was going to bed. I’d been told I’d be pooping all night and not get any sleep. Even the doctor’s assistant even told me I was quite likely to be up all night. I was hopeful that it’d be different for me, since I was a pretty healthy eater with a small frame who never gets constipated unless I just had surgery or something. So when the time arose to make the choice of whether to go to bed or not, I panicked because I had no idea what my body needed or what to expect. I’d decided to put on a pad but at this point wished I’d bought adult diapers! I knew a pad might not be enough if I accidentally pooped in my sleep. So my husband suggested putting a plastic bag and towel on the bed underneath me. I need my sleep and really don’t like giving it up! So I figured I’d take my chances and try to go to sleep. By this time (11:30 PM), my intervals between running to the restroom had reduced down to 30-40 minutes. So I felt it was long enough to take some naps through the night. I ended up sleeping with no accidents until almost 2 AM. I was so grateful and thanked God. Went back to sleep after relieving myself and slept for 3 more hours. Again, no accidents. Yay! By this time, all BM”s were almost straight up water. I was concerned because there was still a little sediment but it was a yellow liquid. I’d heard that it needed to be completely clear with no sediment. But I did all I was supposed to do, I finished my prep so I knew if there was an issue the doctor would do an enema if needed. And I was right! The doctor actually said that it was fine – no enema needed. I’m sure every doctor is different, this is just my experience.

Day of the Colonoscopy

Besides the fact that I kept thinking I needed to go, trying to go, and nothing coming out – this was the easy part. I honestly didn’t even feel like anything had been done to my backside when I awoke, as well as the hours after I got home. I never felt any soreness in that area – if anything, I felt relief because during the time of constant pooping my rectum was raw with fire. But back to the moment I first awoke and they began telling me I had one polyp and they took several biopsies of the area. After they left me alone, I bawled like a baby thanking God for helping me to complete what I’d set out to do and it wasn’t just for the peace of knowing all was well. But there was a polyp that needed to be removed. I cried for the relief of knowing the worst was over.

They gave me instructions to eat bland small meals and then have a normal size dinner. Especially with a biopsy, I cannot stress this enough, small and bland are pretty important – I would even go further and suggest it as well for dinner. Because I made the mistake of having what I thought was a bland bone broth soup called Butter Curry. Apparently, Curry is considered spicy plus it was apparently seasoned with other spices. Needless to say, the bloating and stomach pain was quite difficult to endure for about 5 hours. Looking back now, I think I’d have been better off drinking broth and eating crackers. Plus, I read that they end up getting air inside you during the procedure so that has to be worked out as well. I asked one of the nurses if I’d be having any more diarrhea after the procedure, she assured me that I would not. However, that was not the case for me!

I’ve been continually going since I got home and even into the next day – though not as often. Even now, at the end of the day after the colonoscopy – I still can’t quite trust a fart. Not yet, anyway.

My Testimony

My story in the smallest nutshell I could manage! 😅

•Almost aborted

•Born to unwed mom

•Almost murdered

•Biological father entered mental institution/later committed suicide before I met him (I was 2yrs old)

•Physically, emotionally & mentally abusive mother & step dad

•Sexual abused @age 6 by close uncle

•Violent alcoholic step-dad

•Parents divorcing twice

•Moved 14 times by age 14

•Poverty 

•Pornography

•Date-rape

•Promiscuity

•Influence of drugs & alcohol

•Attempted suicide twice

•2 Miscarriages 

•Abortion 

•Interracial relationship

Teenage unwed mother

•High school dropout 

•1st child having Down’s syndrome & heart defect/doctors saying she would die/heart surgery @5mos old

•Child abuser

•Interracial marriage

•Mistaken Jail time 

•Several separations 

•Adultery

•Extremely low self-worth

•Unbearable guilt & shame

•Strong decision to divorce

All these things all culminated over 26 yrs ago….I finally surrendered to walk with Jesus at this time at Covenant Church – this is where I would say I was literally born again – though I had first accepted Jesus in my heart at the age of 12 & was baptized then. But it took 14 years to be birthed into His light. One long stormy pregnancy!

I believe the overall message God has laid on my heart most is that He will never leave, forsake or reject you. I overcame the need for a physical man to love, fulfill & complete me and finally looked to the only One Who ever could do that unconditionally and discovered my true value.

Now my husband & I have been married for 30+ years and have been together for 34. We have 4 beautiful children together, all are full grown. I am now working on a book called “DustyFaith.”

Almost 12 years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer….had radical double mastectomy and 7 reconstructive surgeries. I opted out of chemo & hormonal therapy – God guided me to a Naturopathic doctor’s supervision. God had flooded me with insight & the desire to research all the natural cures for many ailments He’s provided in this earth. My 1stchild, Brittany has been enduring schizophrenia for 17 years now. This continues to be the most extreme challenge of my entire life. The one difficulty that constantly keeps me in humble desperation before God. 

This past summer, I had to have brain surgery to remove a benign (meningioma) brain tumor. No complications at all – I was out of the hospital in 2 & 1/2 days! God led me through every step of what doctor to choose, etc. 

God is so faithful, growing us up in His grace in the midst of it all!

DFarmer(c)2020

I Don’t Care What They Think

There’s a common statement & attitude going round & I understand the root meaning of “I don’t care what anyone thinks – I just need to do what feels right for me.” In previous years, people cared way too much about impressing others & ended up losing their authentic selves, resulting in phoniness. But honestly, we fall into the other side of the ditch on the “I don’t care what they think” trip too. The goal should be balance – stay in the middle of the road following Jesus in this area. Many people use that “IDCWTT” excuse to ignore wisdom for their lives, such as not taking care of themselves & treating themselves as though their life & health does not matter & can I just tell you that it DOES matter?! So clean up, wash your clothes, brush & floss your teeth & do your best to look & smell good – this all affects your health, your life connections & all those folks around you that (you say) you love.

Present your BEST self everywhere you go – if you cannot value you – then value Jesus & the truth that you ARE His representative in this earth.

Value yourself because He valued you enough to lay down everything He had for you to be with Him now & forever! And He had more than you could ever imagine – He laid His will, everything He had, His wants & desires down for you to be truly free now & forever more! He exhausted every drop of blood from His body for you to be able to know Him. Now this LOVE is REAL & is something to shout about! Tell Him “thank You!” every time He crosses your mind!

Thinking Outside the Typical Meal Box

I can remember the days when I believed that every meal, whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner – had to consist of certain foods and they HAD to be compatible with each other or the meal was unacceptable. Apparently, my thinking fell victim to my upbringing and culture. Though quite frankly, it was well-known teaching even from our high school classes. It’s a disheartening fact that many of us get stuck in these types of boxes when it comes to eating. Sometimes our culture or family influences us and we’re too afraid to take a stand when it comes to our inner convictions. Other times we’re just controlled by what tastes good to us personally – because that’s the message we’ve heard all our lives. “Eat it because it’s delicious!” And then we end up completely motivated by our appetite and we are no longer in control. I don’t know about you but I’ve observed throughout my life that everything that tastes good and/or feels good is not always good for us.

Over eleven and a half years ago, I experienced that call that I think every person would rather avoid – a positive biopsy report of cancer. Later on, all the facts were revealed; Stage 2 Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. In other words, breast cancer and thank God it was the slow-growing kind. I had no family history of breast cancer (or any cancer), nor any of the potential risk factors at all.

40 years old, 5’3, 127lbs, non-smoker, non-drinker, had 7 pregnancies and 4 living children, ate fairly healthy, and lived an active lifestyle for the most part. I had to take a deeper look at various areas in my life if I wanted to win over this battle ahead of me. My first response, prayer. God has intervened in my life and rescued me more times than I can count or keep up with. He’s the reason I am alive and am motivated enough to communicate this to you. As I prayed and asked Him for insight and direction, He began to guide me on an investigational journey. He reminded me of things that He’d shown me before several years prior but I ignored it because I felt those changes He showed me I needed were too difficult for me. Here I was, supposedly a person of faith and yet I responded with nothing but doubt. 

To make a long story short, I followed my convictions to have a double mastectomy with breast reconstruction and make radically healthy changes in the intricate areas of my life. I followed the protocol required in order to avoid chemotherapy completely. The oncologist agreed to waive chemo if the Oncotype DX test returned with a score of 10 or below. When the test returned with a score of 7, (I just knew God was confirming my decision to refuse chemo) but the doctor recanted her statement and recommended chemo in a pill form. Slightly offended at her dishonesty, I refused not only the chemo but the Tamoxifen (hormonal therapy) as well. For the record, I previously researched that drug and found out it was outlawed in California and proven to cause endometrial cancer in many individuals.  At this point, I wanted to learn all I could about how to balance my hormones naturally. 

What followed afterward was a tremendous amount of tests, doctor visits, constant research, radical diet changes, surgeries (8 to be exact), recovery periods, detoxes, chelation, IV treatments, my repeated attempts at regular exercise, injuries, being extremely overwhelmed trying to figure out what to eat, and daily supplements for all the missing nutrients from my diet. Not that this matches with the point of the article, but nevertheless important to note. I also had to take account of my emotional state from day to day and learn to be more honest about my emotions, open up more, and talk about them. I also had to take inventory of all the people I held grudges against. To this day, still not perfect at it – but I’ve made definite improvement. Intentionally going out of my way to forgive and release those who’ve hurt me and those I love is an ongoing necessity. Our mental and emotional health, even spiritual health is of the utmost importance above all the healthy eating and exercise you can do.

As I’ve embraced and adapted to this new way of living, I’ve discovered that God is calling us to get out of all the boxes we’ve unintentionally gotten trapped into. We human beings (as we age especially) tend to love our routines. We like finding several of our favorite foods and eating that over and over every week. Again and again and again.  Notably, for those of us who don’t particularly like cooking but know that it’s better for us – we sometimes don’t enjoy having to think about dinner. Just fix that meal you’ve prepared countless times because honestly, you can do it on autopilot. You just got off work, you’re pooped! The last thing you want to do is think about a new idea for a meal. I get it, I get it. I’ve been there an endless amount of times. But it’s interesting to note, that desire for autopilot and turning off your brain while completing mundane tasks is actually one of the worst things you can do for your long term brain health! You’ve heard the quote, “use it or lose it” before right? Well, it definitely applies here as well as a heap of other areas.

So my update today is that I’m still cancer-free. Thank God. Some people have called me strong. All the strength I needed came from God and you’d be surprised at the strength you’re able to find when you’re life depends on it. My point today is, please do not wait until a day when you’re called by a doctor with a bad report on your health – make healthy changes now while you still have all your faculties and wits about you. I’ve watched friends of mine pass away because they waited too long to make necessary changes. They weren’t as fortunate as me but I believe that I was spared for a purpose and that purpose is for right here, right now as I write.

My “out the typical meal box” meal below: 

Note: Potatoes (homemade fries) I will only eat once a week – they are equal to a dessert for me.

Foods pictured: Celery stalk with artichoke & spinach hummus, GoodSeed mini burgers, avocado, onion, tomato, and homemade fries. Definitely not your ordinary combo meal!

DRFARMER(c)2020

When You Think You See

Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.” John 9:41 (MSG)

For years and years in my young life, the song Amazing Grace used to frustrate me to no end. Why? Because so much of it made no sense to my mind. Especially the part that said, “I once was blind, but now I see.” I remember thinking, “how can someone be blind and now see?” Of course, I was thinking in literal terms only. I had an obsession with having to understand everything. And quite frankly, if I didn’t understand something and I couldn’t figure it out pretty quickly then I just wasn’t interested. That was an extremely difficult time of existence in my life. I was unhappy with myself and most of the people around me in those days. Whenever I happened to end up in church (usually because a friend begged me to go) and I’d sing along with the worship songs (since I wanted to blend in), I ended up weeping every time I sang the name of Jesus and it baffled me. Because I didn’t understand why in the world I couldn’t keep myself from crying. At least a decade went by of me avoiding church because I didn’t want to cry. Because why in the world would you want to cry for no reason?

Fast forward to thirty years later, now after surrendering my life to Jesus, walking with Him, studying His Word, and learning a great deal about what He expects of us. I recall coming through a time where I thought I saw everything pretty clearly. I understood why people did things, I understood things about people spiritually that I had no clue about the first 26 years of my life. The only problem with knowing and understanding a wide range of information is that without humility and love to balance it all out – a catastrophic disgrace looms ahead. There is danger ahead when you think you see things clearly. A humiliating fall is inevitable. When we refuse to realize how easy it is to be blinded, meaning we reject the possibility that we could currently be deceived in some area, we have let pride take root in our hearts. Religious pride is one of the worst types of pride because it seeks to control and destroy the lives of many humble-hearted people who desire to do God’s will.

A good friend brought up recently to me when Jesus said from the cross, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Her point was that His statement was more for that time because they didn’t have the knowledge that we do today. First of all, you could say that contextually speaking, He was specifically talking about the religious leaders at that time who was seemingly responsible for crucifying Him. They didn’t know that He was their Messiah, Savior, and Lord. They couldn’t see the Truth. They were, as scripture states, blinded by the enemy. We know it is truly God’s will for us to forgive every person who has offended us or hurt us in any way. We see that stated over and over in the Bible – to the point that forgiveness proves to be the backbone of salvation for every Christian. If any Christian claims, they can’t forgive or simply refuse to forgive, by their own choice, they have rendered their salvation null and void. If you’re questioning that statement, look for an upcoming blog post on forgiveness.

But did Jesus’ statement that “they know not what they do” only apply to that era? God forbid. If this was true, then that would mean that there’s no forgiveness or grace for us today. Answer me this, Have you ever wronged someone? Have you ever been wrong in your assumptions about someone or something? Have you ever said some things you wish you could take back? In the areas of omission, have you ever failed to do something that you should’ve done? Those who are honest, know that not only have we done something wrong but it usually continues to be on a daily basis! Of course, we may do right much more than we ever did in previous years but we still screw up and there’s a reason behind it. Whether we think we know full-well what we’re doing or not. The truth is, there was SOMEthing we didn’t know that we needed to know at the time. And why is that? Because dear friend, we were blinded by something. Whether it was greed, selfishness, lust, pride, or fear. Something or someone blinded us.

It is true that today, people have fewer excuses than ever before. We have so much knowledge available now right at our fingertips. We’ve heard the truth more than ever before. BUT we also have a whole lot more distractions and demonic activity than ever before. The Word of God states quite clearly what happens in the last days and most Christians are not clueless about these years being the end times. How many days and years we all have left is where we remain clueless. According to scriptural predictions, this world and its people will only get worse and worse and the demonic activity will continue to increase. Each of those areas I listed above; greed, pride, fear, lust, and selfishness are demonic spirits that speak lies to our mind. Lies we believe easily for one reason or another. So even though you did something knowing full-well you were wrong, the point is, you made that choice because of some lie you believed previously and that lie caused you to desire the sin more than doing the right thing.

The point is, even when we think we know something clearly, we know nothing at all. Because the pride of “thinking” we know so much blinds us even more so.

DRFarmer(c)2020

If It Feels Stupid, You’re Probably Doing It Right

Can you ever remember a time when you were told about a technique of doing some skill and when you attempted it, you felt utterly ridiculous and stupid? This describes most of my life! I mean at least those times when I swallowed my pride long enough to heed someone’s advice. Which in the beginning, was not very often. Lately, I’m discovering this to be true most of the time. No misunderstandings, I’m not saying that 100% of the time you’re doing right if you feel stupid doing something, but more to the point, moving forward in our lives and acquiring growth requires you to come completely out of your comfort zones.

Need some examples? Here’s a starter list that I’m guessing doesn’t even scratch the surface of this point:

  1. Crying for no apparent reason.
  2. Implementing proper posture when bending or sitting!
  3. Being kind when you have every reason to be offended.
  4. Trying to approach and speak with a person you’ve always admired.
  5. Talking to God, who doesn’t usually respond with an audible voice
  6. Starting a new job you are completely unfamiliar with
  7. Stepping into a new venture that does not make sense intellectually

While researching this area a bit before writing about this subject, I happened upon an article that started out sounding similar to what I’m pointing out, but it ended up being more about how NOT to look stupid. However, the point I’m exploring here is that to grow in life and spiritually as well, we have to be willing to look and feel utterly stupid or even be perceived as a bit crazy. Yes, we need to work on our craft, do the homework, and practice our skillset often. But the tendency we have to come against is the temptation to procrastinate because of how we feel or look. What if I screw up? What if I stick my foot in my mouth? What if all anyone has to say about me is negative? What if, what if, what if?

I’ve been held back by this type of thinking for way too long! I’ve known that I’m called to write and speak for over 20 years now and I’ve hardly done much about it. My passion and drive have been wavering for years. My fears of not being good enough and not making a difference because of my flaws and imperfections just kept me on this vicious hamster wheel of going nowhere. And then when I occasionally did step out to speak or put my writing work out there – I’d lose hope because of the negative responses I received or forget the whole idea because I was distracted by some demonic storm.

Recently, I was brushing my teeth and (I’ve learned that as you age you learn tips to avoid injuries) I remembered that I needed to straighten my back to avoid hurting my lower back. So, I bend my knees, stick my chest out, and push my glutes out and back, and then proceed with brushing my teeth. While in this position, I notice that I’m feeling utterly ridiculous and even thinking “I bet I look goofy right now!” Then I heard this statement arise from my spirit, “If you feel stupid doing it, you’re probably doing it right.”

This was a revelational moment for me. Oh yes, I’ve had a few in this area before but I’m one of those who has to hear truths over and over and over again from many different angles of perspective before I seem to finally get it. Can you imagine the frustration I face with myself? While I watch so many young people just pick areas of expertise up and take off by leaps and bounds….and here I am trudging along learning the same lessons in various ways again and again. Oh well, I believe strongly that there is a good reason for everything. I learned from one particular lady speaker who seems to learn similarly, that it’s not that we learn slowly, we just learn differently. Pardon me and my tendency to give my behavior disclaimers.

Ultimately the point is, we have to get over ourselves and how we look or feel while we go after the dreams and passions we’ve been given. Don’t wait till you’re old and gray, gone through breast cancer, 14 surgeries (including brain surgery), and all your kids are grown (like me) before you’re finally willing to look and feel stupid as you need to to get where God’s been calling you for 20 years! Now on the other hand, if you’re older than me, it’s never too late to embrace whatever God’s calling you to do, never too late to dream big dreams and let God show you what you have that you can use now for His glory. You cannot change your past nor take back all your mistakes and have a do-over, so why not make your last days, months, and years count? Go out like a blaze in God’s glory making an immeasurable difference affecting generations to come. You are called to be His representative on this earth. Hop to it.

DRFARMER(c)2020

The Painful Process of Being Under Construction

A myriad of feelings bombarded me earlier as I looked in the mirror at my teeth. It’s been a little over a year since my braces were first put on and honestly I literally HATE the process. Aside from the pain and discomfort of teeth moving and the canker sores that often develop, the appearance is so NOT attractive. Not saying I’m pretty or anything, because well, I’ve never seen much of what others tell me about my looks. But I have gotten to a place where I’m okay with how I look most of the time depending on the right make-up and lighting. So yeah I am pretty picky about how I look. I know it’s all vanity and yet. There IS a lesson in it all.

My teeth actually weren’t that bad, to begin with really. They were pretty much straight except for the bottom row in the front, but that is where most people’s teeth experience a little imperfection, right? What I didn’t have any clue about was that if your bite is off it can cause a whole slew of painful issues. Plus, I needed a tooth implant from a tooth I had pulled years ago and I had to fix my bite before the implant should go in. So here I am, I can barely see my teeth because of the braces covering them as well as an optical illusion (I am told) that makes your teeth look darker than they actually are. Not only that but I have a few “hillbilly gaps” in my teeth from teeth I had to have pulled to make room for the needed movement in my mouth. 

Seriously, I even hate the shape of how my teeth look right now. Though the bottom row of my teeth is actually pretty straight now, the way my top teeth come down over my bottom teeth is just, pardon me, but it’s just plain UGLY in my opinion! I almost feel like I was better off before when my bite was off! At least, things LOOKED a lot better then!

Then there was this other thing I had to have done last month. A little thing called, “brain surgery.” (Insert shocked emoji, lol) Yeah, I can hardly believe that one either. Thank God, it wasn’t too serious – just a benign brain tumor that had gotten a bit too big for comfort. There could have been so many things that could’ve happened and gone wrong, but I was carried through so graciously. No cancer, no seizures, no migraines, no problems aside from occasional mild incision pain, and a significant scar from the top left side of my head running over and down to the right side of my head just over my ear. Since I start treating the scar with oils that are proven to help scars heal better and faster, suddenly the scar flattened and appeared to spread and enlarge a bit! Well, let’s just say that was NOT the look I was going for! (Insert bug-eyed emoji)

So the point I’m making now is the message God has been trying to get through to me. “Learn to embrace the process.” I believe what He’s trying to show me and you is that there is immense purpose in the process. Additionally, isn’t it interesting that we don’t seem to have much choice in the matter of what our process looks or even feels like? 

I happened to ask my orthodontist recently about why they haven’t been working on the top teeth hardly at all lately and how will my teeth look when they are done. Basically, the first answer was the bottom teeth are the foundation and it always has to almost completely be done first, otherwise, there will be problems and issues to deal with. 2nd, he said that as beautiful as my teeth were before but even much better. He added that I will be so amazed at how big and white my teeth actually are. I said that’s really interesting because I’ve never felt like my teeth were so small and insignificant till now! So once again, this type of message keeps coming back to me about the “deception of appearances.”

So think of all the things in your life right now that you don’t like too much, or worse, the things you loathe. The things you would change but for whatever reason, you don’t have the resources right now to do so. All our limitations in life, be it, financial, intellectual, emotional, relational, or physical. There may not be a lot we can personally do to fix those areas and hopefully, we are paying attention to what we can do about them and are pursuing those areas of improvement. But while we’re in that process, we should not let the fear of how it will turn out or irritation of how it looks now poison our perspectives and attitudes. We must embrace the goodness right in the center of the painful, disgusting, and dirty process. Trusting that God has a plan for our growth and development and that it’s not always about us anyway. It’s about those around us as well. I know if you’re anything like me, (selfish), you’re like, “Uhh, I’ll care more about others when I feel better and have a better life! It’s the old, “I’ll be glad when…” mentality. If you’ve never felt like that, no big deal, maybe you haven’t been squeezed hard enough yet. 

So rather than getting so caught up in how things look, we must begin to learn to appreciate the ugly process. My husband recently said to me, “You’re just under construction right now, aren’t ya?” I laughed and said, “Yeah, I guess I am!” Good Lord, what an understatement actually. In more ways than just the two physical realms. I struggle many days with emotional issues from wounds that happened long ago. I wrestle to not allow those emotions to control me and fail several times a day and that’s on a good day. I have a mouth that seemingly wants to ramble on and on about all my investigative projects which many times are all over the place because I have so many various interests! This is exactly the reason I’ve struggled with choosing a reputable profession for my life. Here I am in my fifties, 4 grown children, and I work in a grocery store selling vitamin supplements and other healthy skin and hair products. I’m not ashamed of it or even belittling what I do – but I know I was created for so much more than this. I know I’m not accomplishing God’s goals for me just yet. At least, I know I have a reason to stay alive. I have something left to do. I have a dream and long to see it fulfilled. Not only these issues, but I struggle with loving unlovely people. I happen to have at least one in my life. And most people would say, “Get out of that relationship asap. You don’t have to subject yourself to toxic people.” But what if that person is your child – who has a mental illness? This and many other similar questions swirl around my head from time to time. What if God did that to us? What if He up and decided that we were just too toxic to respond to us when we needed Him most? But He doesn’t do that and He never will leave us. It may feel like He has left us or ignores us at times. But can I just say that many times, that has a lot more to with our fickle feelings than it does with what God is actually doing? Our feelings lie to us many times and they cannot be relied on to speak the truth. They are what they are and the sooner we stop allowing them to control us the better!

Do you have a dream you long to see fulfilled? But maybe it seems too impossible, because of those limitations in your life or maybe the stars just seem out of alignment for you right now. Whatever it is that seems to hold you back, for lack of a better term, just “put it all in God’s hands.” You may ask how in the world do I do that? Notice how when you exhale you are pushing the air out? It’s very much like that. It’s a “letting go” type of action. And might I add, you’d be doing yourself a tremendous favor if you don’t stare the issue down anymore. Turn your gaze to more worthy practices, like what you have to be grateful for. What do you have right now that you can make the most of?

DRFARMER(c)2020

Following Jesus In Wisdom

Lately, I’ve been amazed at the audacity of Christians or should I say “those who call themselves Christians?” I saw an Instagram post the other day that made the point, that if we are called to be like Jesus and do what He did then we should be able to touch the diseased and not have to wear a mask and have faith that we can heal and be healed – not having to fear this pandemic virus – CoVID-19. From the surface, this point is valid in some ways yes because we as believers are indeed called to be like Jesus and do what He did. But and that’s a huge BUT! But this point is so deceptive on its own because many other factors were not laid out plainly.

First of all, we must take into account Who Jesus is and what He did on a daily basis, as well as what He did at the start of His ministry of healing people. When taking chances with your health and the health of others, you need wisdom and a thorough reality check. You have to take a blatantly honest look at your own faith-walk and relationship with Jesus. Consider when Jesus was tempted by the devil to jump down from the cliff that overlooked the many kingdoms of the area. The enemy said, “Isn’t it written, that He has given His angels special charge over you, He shall bear you up in their hands lest you dash your foot against a stone?” Jesus resisted Him and said, “It is also written, You shall not tempt the Lord your God!”

Jesus was being tempted to prove God’s Word is true and that God would rescue Him in a dangerous situation, as well as proving He was the Son of God. It was a loaded temptation no doubt! The point I’m making additionally is when’s the last time you fasted food and water for 40 days and nights? When is the last time you walked on water? When’s the last time you rose up someone from the dead? 

Our faith-walk is always one of progression. 

We must start small and progress up to the bigger things. 

Some in an attempt to “walk by faith, proceed to go to any church/spiritual event where people are not social distancing or not wear a mask merely because that would mean they weren’t “using their faith” or because it would mean they must be fearful of getting CoVID-19 and possibly spread it. This is ALL the manipulation of the enemy upon the people of God and he’ll take advantage of that very situation if you give in to that temptation. Be wise child of God – wear the mask, sanitize, wash your hands, and do your best at social distancing – within reason. Give your best to God and let Him take care of the rest. Believe God to keep you protected from viruses, but don’t neglect your part beloved. Not taking care of yourself and others is just an opportunity for the enemy.

DRFARMER(c)2020

Loving The Unlovely

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the year 2020, where tensions and literal temperatures are rising. By the way, I’m not loving the hot temperatures in the least!

This year began fairly normal, but in February the CoVID-19 pandemic showed up in the United States and that kicked off a “domino effect” of chaos. In all my 52 years of being alive, I’ve never seen this much hatred, confusion, dishonesty, pride, anger, racism & chaos in every realm of society. Thanks to cell phones, racial injustice has never been more apparent and many people are taking a stand against it. Most everyone seems to have obvious opinions and has picked a political side. If we focus on all the evil in humanity right now, quite frankly we can get pretty depressed and feel so helpless. Coincidentally, suicide is at an all-time high this year.

Personally, in recent years I leaned heavily toward the Republican side for primarily spiritual reasons. I believe the Bible is the authentic Word of God and do my best to live accordingly.

But I have to admit this year has made it quite difficult to know what’s right and what’s wrong. In my humble opinion, apart from a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, I honestly don’t know if it can even be done, unless by pure accident. Just recently, some of my views have changed. I still care and am convicted in the same areas but I do see things from a wider angle this year than ever before. As I stand now, it all still comes down to my priorities united with God’s. Because I stand with and for Him above all others, His priorities are mine.

Originally, my intentions were to talk about a conversation with my dad earlier today. He had made it clear that he doesn’t want to deal with people anymore who refuse to love him back. But isn’t that exactly the epitome of the world’s system and how it operates? And who is well-known in the Bible as “the god of this world?” You got it, that old devil himself – Satan. 

I get it though, you’re closer to the end of your life, it’s time to retire. So of course, you want to retire from seemingly useless efforts. I mean who has the time and energy for that anymore?

But for those of us who actually care about following the will of God for our lives, and those who hope to someday stand looking into the face of Jesus Himself and desire to hear the words, “Well done, My good and faithful servant,” we desire to look into the instructions and observe the example of Jesus. So what did He say? In Luke 6:32-34, Jesus makes it clear, if you only love people who are lovely to you, I paraphrase, “Big deal!” He actually says, “What credit is that to you?” This is Jesus, the King of all the universe, our Creator. Ya think He might know a thing or two? I certainly think so anyway. Granted this view of how we should treat people is not very popular. It is, in every sense of the word, totally the opposite of “the path of least resistance.” This path ain’t easy. And only through knowing Jesus, (quite well I might add) can we do it. Let’s put it this way, do you literally think God would ask us to just do whatever comes to our minds easily? Why or why not? If He wanted us to do whatever comes naturally, then what would we need Him for? Why would we even need to read His instructions? When He explicitly says over and over in the Word of God in various different ways that His Word is our only hope. Trusting what He said is the same as trusting Him. We NEED God, and He wants us to know this extremely well.

So my dad who claims to be an Unbeliever in Jesus is the same guy who has also said various times that his goal every day is to DO the most LOVING thing in every situation. But that all sounds good on the surface till the rubber meets the road and you find out, well – it’s just not that simple! Because first of all, in order to DO that, your spiritual “gas tank” needs to be full (or at least half-full) of love! And WHERE do you get that love? And by the way, in speaking of love – what kind of love are we really speaking of? In the original Greek text of the New Testament – the word love is much more complex than what we’re used to in the English language. There is Storge – the empathic type love, Philautia – self-love, Philia – the friendship type love, Eros – the romantic type love, Ludus – the playful, flirtatious type love, Pragma – the committed, companionship type love and….Agape – the unconditional “God type” of love. So what type of love are we really after? If we want no reward in heaven and we believe our rewards are all on earth and that’s it. Sure, keep going after all those types of love that humanity can dish out. With the world going the way it is, that’ll only take you so far and chances are, you’ll still be miserable. 

Not me Jack, I’ll be going after that Agape “unconditional” love that ONLY God can give.

DRFARMER(c)2020

I Want, I Think, I Feel But What Does God Want?

   If indeed you have declared your status as a believer in Jesus, His death, burial & resurrection, then this question is highly important to you. If you belong to Jesus then you no doubt have experienced mistreatment of some form or another whether on an extreme level or not. 

  I felt a heightened need to address the importance of turning all our questions to the Lover of our souls. In light of so many injustices done to a huge number of people whether related to race, culture, creed, gender, or individual personality differences – we need to remember that we are called as the Body of Christ to walk in unity & love. You have to do some deep research and soul searching with God to find out what that looks like in your own life. Vast numbers of people around us are deeply hurting & lashing out at others around them and it seems as though it is increasing! How are we reacting to this outbreak of wretched behavior? 

   Sometimes I notice myself looking for perfection rather than the heart of the matter and see the opportunity to reveal God’s love, grace & mercy. If you seek perfection in people you will find yourself constantly offended! So what is the answer? Seek perfection and all the love you need in the One Who is, was and always will be – perfect. He is love. 

   Cast off the self-righteousness that always seeks to be right & is always concerned about its own rights. Self-righteousness will have you constantly judging and comparing till you are blue in the face – enough is enough already! 

   Isaiah 64:6 says that our own righteousness is as filthy rags. What is self – righteousness? It’s all about what we think is right or what we think should be the right way. Many people will even take certain scriptures in order to back up their own lifestyles. This is false Christianity. Just as Jesus laid down His life for us on the cross, we are called to sacrifice our own lives and many times what we think for the sake of His call. (Romans 12:1-3) He gave up everything He desired for us, why would we think we should give any less than that for Him? 

   Instead of twisting scripture out of context and only taking verses that you like to fit who you think you are – get real with God, let Him know you hunger & thirst for true righteousness and you surrender to however He wants to change you, whatever He planned for you when He first created you. You want His perfect will now because that is your true destiny. God does most of His work in you little by little – so don’t force anything but just pay close attention to learning to be sensitive to His voice, spend time in His presence daily as often as you can, receiving His love & acceptance of you as you are. Let God’s Word read you as often as your inner self wants. Spiritual hunger is very similar to physical hunger – so don’t get it confused & start eating food when your spirit is hungry! Learn to lay down your life daily for Him. 

   Do not be like the “self-righteous” & foolish person who builds their house on sand & great is the eventual fall of that house. (Matthew 7:21-27) “Sand” in verse 26 represents mankind or man’s way of thinking to be more specific since we were literally made from dirt. 

   Our goal, those who truly know they belong to Jesus is to build our house (our lives) on the Rock – on the revelation of God’s Word, taking all scripture not just the parts we prefer, and walk in obedience to the best of own personal ability. The key is to honestly give God all your best and He will do the rest. You do your part and He does His part. 

   There is so much more to say about walking in God’s righteousness and not our own – so it’s quite likely you’ll see a Part 2 & 3. Questions or comments, please! Even prayer requests are very welcome!!

DRFARMER(c)2020

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