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Life of A Feeser

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missionary life

You Are Not Your Illness.

Six or more months have gone by without me writing. It’s one of those things where family, ministry and self needed to come first. They did…and now I am back. With the absence from my blog, I have learned some things about myself that I never wanted to be in the light. I have mourned for things I thought I was over and I have fought a battle that I realized couldn’t be won with my own strength or my husbands, but The Lord’s.

It’s so frustrating when you realize that you have no control over “you”, that Jesus is going to do and teach you when He want’s to teach you that day; and that’s final. It’s frustrating when He’s always right. Right? Am I alone here? But that’s what I love about it all, that Jesus always puts me in places where I meet the people that I needed to meet. Maybe not at that time…but I will eventually realize He was showing me the right people to be around.

It all started 8 years ago. The joint pain, the fatigue, the grogginess. I was 17 almost 18 at the time. My parents and I were told it was growing pains… and if you know me, I was and always have been 5ft tall, ironic right? The next year we were told it was Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but was not told the specifics… just to treat it with Aleve and Tylenol and I’d be fine. Fast forward two years and my husband and I got married, had a family and here I am unable to get out of bed because I’m too exhausted from not sleeping and my bones feel like they are constantly grinding together. I feel like I’m 90 years old.

We went to countless Dr.’s being told I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, to Lupus to having both at the same time. I wasn’t on any medication up to these diagnoses’, I was in chronic pain for years before they THOUGHT this is what I had. I held a normal 20 year old life with a full time job, full time work while being a wife and pregnant. Don’t get me wrong there were days when I wanted to give up. I wasn’t going to let it win. I wanted to be normal.

After Jason and I had our last child, we decided to get some real answers. Some definite answers. Not a maybe’s and “we think’s” any more. There were months where we were at the Dr.’s office 4 or 5 times a week with both kids. I was tired of it. I was tired of lying on the couch watching my kids play. I was tired of giving up the gym because everything hurt. I was tired of being tired. And we needed help. I needed help. We went the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. We had a diagnostic team look and determine my problems. And FINALLY, after 8 years, we were told what was wrong.. It wasn’t lupus, its wasn’t RA, it was Fibromyalgia.

Good thing about this is that it is not life threatening like Lupus, but there also aren’t magical pills to make it go away either. There isn’t a cure; there isn’t a pain med for Fibro. You just have it and that’s that.

There had to be more; there had to be something that I could do for myself to feel normal. I was tired of being a zombie that was in pain all the time. But what I learned is that it’s a lifestyle change. It’s about being “okay” and trusting the Lord with it. Maybe this was it. Maybe I was supposed to be like Paul the Apostle; he asked for healing for years and Jesus never healed him. That was His will. Maybe this WAS it. Little did I know, help was on its way!

Remember when I said Jesus has you meet people for a reason? It was that moment I knew this was a God thing. When we were living in California, we went to a church down in Riverside that we dearly loved. We met tons of new faces weekly and loved connecting with them. It was then that I met a Pastor’s wife and we talked a little here and there; when we moved back to Phoenix I never would have thought that she’d introduce me to something that would have changed my life for the better. Something that helped her find relief from Osteoarthritis in her spine that she no longer has anymore. Something that was all natural, and only has positive side affects.

One word: PLEXUS

I took all of her advise, I ordered, I took all of it for two months straight. Little by little I felt less and less pain. I felt more energized! My depression was slowly decreasing. My anxiety wasn’t spiked. The first month I had a WHOLE WEEK where I had ZERO pain. I thought it was a cruel joke. There was no way. It felt weird to dress myself, to be ale to run with my kids around the house. It was weird to feel free. Pain was supposed to be my normal. But now it’s very few and far between. I still have bad days don’t get me wrong. But it’s not my everyday anymore. I have ME back.

If you are reading this and struggle with an autoimmune disorder and have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I would LOVE to share more and help you on your journey to feeling better as well.

XOXO

I get to be the one.

Today I was very overwhelmed just thinking that my little “baby”, our last baby will be ONE. Today more than most days I found my-self saying to people, “Seth’s two and Emerson will be one next month…” But I think it finally sunk in.

Next month I will have two toddlers… I will have two walking, two talking and two wanting my attention every second of every day. And just like that, we don’t have babies anymore.

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I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my kids more than words can explain.

Each day being pregnant with Emmy was a struggle. It was a new battle every morning and a fight to keep her “safe” in my womb. I say “safe” that way because the condition I had while pregnant with both of my kids definitely could have had them in heaven with the Lord any minute while in my tummy. She was born at 36 weeks and spent a week in the NICU…hardest week of our lives. (more on that on her birthday!)

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 In hard days it’s definitely not the first thing I go to in being thankful…trust me… those days I want to run and hide and be back in 20 minutes because I missed them terribly. But today for some reason I was overwhelmed (in a good way) of how FAST my kids are growing up.

When I’m exhausted from being up all night with one or both my kids, or when I hear “all done mommy!” at 445 am, when hot coffee spills on me because my kids are trying to sit on my lap, or when I hear “read to me mommy” and then there’s a tantrum that lasts longer than I want, I am eternally thankful for each day that Jesus gives me to be their mother. I am forever thankful that my husband works his butt off so I have the privilege to stay home and not miss anything. (YES, I said privilege) and I’m thankful for when I am having a rough day, I want to pull my hair out, I want to run scream and cry all at the same time my kids see me when they wake up from a nap as if I am the BEST person in the world. I have zero fault in their eyes. To them I am a safe place.

And I can’t help but think of how Jesus uses parenting as a model of how He loves us. He is our safe place, He is our refuge, He finds zero fault in us. To Him we are the best thing that has ever walked this earth. It literally boggles my mind.

We are shaping humans, tiny baby humans to be adults…not when they turn 18 and we kick them out and say, “you’re and adult now” but right at this moment. When they are 2 and 1 years old we are raising them to be godly, honest, and loving adults. What we do now, how we raise them now molds their adult life…Crazy to think that right?

Today I encourage you moms that are having a rough day, week, month, or year take every moment with your children for granted, they are only this little once…

I’d like to thank JJ Heller for making me cry when this song came out son shuffle while cleaning and sparked this post lol.

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(as I got done writing this my 2 hour time slot of “me time” was definitely shortened by and hour and a half. Thanks Emmy)

worry: give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.

“Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you…” 1 Peter 5:7

I’m somewhat of a “worrier”. I worry a lot, even when I have zero reason to. In this chapter in life we are in a difficult one and it is SO easy to just worry about the un-knowns instead of trusting in God. It’s also easy to read scripture and say, “Okay, I get it I should trust You” and you do it for less than 4 hours and go back to worrying again. That’s me.

I hate to admit that, I wish I could say 365 days a year I completely trust God and have zero worry. But I don’t. Sometimes when I think of the stuff I had gotten so stressed out about I laugh because it was so dumb, and others are reasonable things to get stressed out about.

The thing I have to remind my self is that I have absolutely no control of what is going to happen. (I think that stresses me out more than anything) I wish I knew each step of, “If I do this, then this gets checked off and then I can move on to get towards that goal” But God is mysterious that way. He doesn’t do that for a reason. We wouldn’t have to trust Him. I’m still working on that trust thing. It’s a hard thing to do, especially when you feel helpless and can’t control a situation. The word’s “Do what You will.”  Are sometimes difficult to say, but you know what? He has NEVER failed me. Even in my doubts, my insecurities, my inability to keep my word, my lack of trust, sometimes my lack of faith…He has never failed me. So why do I worry? Because I’m an imperfect person, who needs a perfect God to show me each and every day that He has my back.

If you think of us, please be praying for our family.

No one is hurt, sick, upset, or in devastation. We just desperately need prayer.

“Do not fear, for I am with you;Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Love to you all, Alyssa

Jesus is Relevant

Everything has been great here at CCBC except the fact that we didn’t have a home church. We tried out a couple and just didn’t have that “home feeling” that we’ve gotten before. We thought we were happy with the church we were attending, but little did we know we would have our minds blown away by a simple visitation from a friend.

We had a friend come down from Phoenix and asked us to meet him at a church in Riverside. We had heard of the church a couple of times because the Pastor actually worked at the Church my husband worked at in Phoenix and was called to church plant out here! Crazy small world huh?  Now, Riverside is about a 45 minute drive from Murrieta so Jase and I both looked at each other like, “This is a one-time thing. We aren’t doing this every week” and as soon as we walked in we knew. This is it. This is our church!

We are now “those people” who drive 45 minutes once or more a week for church. Why? Because we enjoy it, we love it, and we can’t get enough of it.

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It didn’t take long for us to get involved. It was fun to serve not a drag. I finally felt like I GET to serve. Not I HAVE to serve. Same with my husband; we absolutely love it. We want our kids to serve, to have a heart of serving. Not for what they get out of it, but what they can do for others. And the only way they will know that is if we lead by example.

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

The first time we visited Relevant Church we were asked out to lunch with Pastor Jonathan Bilima and our friends from Phoenix since they were staying at Jonathan’s house. I think we stayed at Chili’s for 2 ½ hours talking and then the kiddos started to feel a bit restless. That Wednesday, Jase was asked again to lunch with Jonathan, and we knew. We knew that Jonathan was going to ask him on as an intern or on staff as one of the Pastors since Jase is already ordained. But we prayed and let the Lord work. We didn’t know what was going to happen, but we had a gut feeling that was it.

As I stayed home with the kids pacing back and forth wondering what was happening, I felt this peace overwhelm me. I knew we were going to be okay, I knew all things were going to work out and I knew we were taking a huge step of faith in this. Step one was selling everything and living in a 300 sqft. room step two was ministry. But we didn’t know when or where. We just knew, okay, ministry. We will wait.

Jase came home and acted completely normal. NORMAL. I was expecting word vomit, overwhelming joy and such. But nothing. We just got ready for the gym and continued getting the kids ready. The normality lasted about 10 cruel long minutes and when I looked over, he had this grin from ear to ear and finally said, “They asked me to join their Pastoral staff”. This makes my husband incredibly happy. It makes me incredibly happy.

We were just praying about why we moved to California. Why we weren’t doing ministry. Why we couldn’t find a home church. And BAM all at once it happened. And we knew the Lord was blessing it.

 With that; the first week was horrible. The kids had the flu, which meant mom and dad had the flu, which meant we couldn’t take care of the babies because we felt like death. Thank God for my parents. They took them for 3 days so we could sleep, but by day 2 we missed them like crazy. After that we felt like it was going downhill and we weren’t going to make it to Sunday. But we did. We went, we served all three services, and the kids loved it. All that means is that we did something right.

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(who wouldn’t miss these faces?!)

We lived we made it to a new week. Everyone has a cold now. But that’s nothing! It’s unfortunately that season. The Lord is faithful. I just think it is amazing when you see the Lord at work. When he answers all of your prayers in exact order that you asked “why” and said, “no” when He knows it’s not the right timing. I’m still in awe and in wonder of how fast everything happened. But we know we are doing what we need to be doing.

If you’re ever in Riverside and need an amazing Church to visit we have 3 services.

830, 945 and 1100am. We meet at the Riverside Plaza in the Regal Theater. Hope to see you there!

When things get rough, and it looks like you aren’t going to make it. Look up, pray and continue doing what the Lord has you to do.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Matt. 28:19

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