Posts Tagged ‘ministry’


There’s sunshine today.

That is my blessing today.

And I can see that it’s very windy out there…it’s reminding me of Kansas, and of home.

I want to be honest on here.  So I’m going to tell you that with starting to write again has really brought a lot of emotions the last few days. I went back and read through several of my past posts leading up to my diagnosis and us moving to Virginia and then when I just abruptly quit writing.

So many emotions.

There’s been quite a bit of tears the last couple of days.

And a few too many cookies eaten.

Yeah….I’m an emotional eater.  I hate that.

But there’s sunshine today.  That means hope to me.

And if any of you deal with depression, you know what I mean.  You long to soak up that God-given vitamin D, to bathe in His warmth.

I’ve decided to share this blog with my new family at Fairmount, so I may be having a lot more people reading about me and my family.  And for some reason, this has brought on some weird emotions for me.  I want to share myself with others or I wouldn’t have started this blog, but knowing and willingly opening myself and my family up to a new family is….well…honestly…a little scary.

But I gave this blog, this journey up to the Lord when I decided to write again. And I know that this is what He wants. It’s what I want, too. I’m not able to get out to go to church on Sundays or to other church activities, and I want my new church family to get to know me. And even though it’s been rather dark and rainy (literally and emotionally) the last couple of days:

there’s sunshine today.

“Oh, how sweet the light of day, and how wonderful to live in the sunshine!”

Ecclesiastes 11:7

The Message

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Overdo Update

I guess it’s been a little while since I’ve updated…

Yeah…moving was rough.




I’m just now beginning to feel like my head is a little above the water. I had a scare in June that put me in the hospital. The docs said it was a crazy virus that made me severely sick and dehydrated and landed me in the hospital for a few days. I and my doc think it’s b/c my RSD has me weakened and so some bug that the kids or Mike brought home, I got it and well…I got it really, really bad. Just another reason I’m afraid to get out.

The kids had a great long summer. 🙂 They started school after Labor Day and have been doing great! They go to Pole Green Elementary. Cade is in 4th grade; Reagan is in 3rd grade; and Clark started Kindergarten this year. They are growing up so fast!!

So my beautiful kiddos have been doing great!

I started seeing a neurologist in September.  I think he’s a pretty good doc so far.  He started me on Lyrica and really think it’s starting to help a little.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed…but not too tight.

And then the spiritual…yeah.  Me and God. We’ve been wrestling a bit.

Having a chronic pain disease is not easy.

Being agoraphobic is not easy.

Moving across the country is not easy.

Being shy is not easy.

Having three children under the age of 10 is not easy.

Not being able to be a normal 34 year old woman is not easy.

So me and God have been wrestling. Wrestling with the why me’s. Wrestling with the why does my husband have to deal with this?  Wrestling with the fact that my very identity….my passion…my ministry….the way I took care of my family…. has been stolen from me.  You can read the whole first half of my blog to understand this.  My blog used to be called SharATreat.  It was all about baking and cooking and food.  But now I can no longer stand in one spot longer than about 10 minutes. Which means I might be able to fix a box of mac & cheese or a smoothie or a PBJ on a good day. I’ve also been wrestling with what I’m supposed to do now.

What AM I supposed to do now?!?

I mean as far as ministry is concerned? I used to bake for my ministry.  So God and I have been talking about what I should be doing.

So He showed me Ephesians 4:1.  Here’s what it says in the Message:  “I want you to get there and walk – better yet, run! – on the road God called you to travel.  I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands.  I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.”

Uh…ok.  If that’s not a smack in the face, I don’t know what is. First of all, I know I won’t be running anytime soon and that walking is a real challenge even on good days, but this still resinates with me. Especially the part about sitting around on your hands.  When I read this I could literally almost hear God whisper: That means you, Shara. You can still write with your hands. The RSD is not in your hands.  I can use your hands. It’s time to start writing again.

And get this… I’m talking to Mike about this and Ephesians 4:1-4 are the Scriptures he’s using in his ministry this year.  I had no idea.

But God did.

I’m still not 100% sure where I’m supposed to go with all of this, but I do know that I’m supposed to start this blog back up. If nothing else, I can just share what’s going on in my life and what God is doing.  And hopefully I can share a few pictures and if I’m feeling up to it, a recipe or two ;0)

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What a week!

This week has been a week of drama…

I had two medical appointments this week.

The first appointment was with a neurologist.  I was very nervous.  For one, it’s just another doctor to explain all this crazy RSD to.  Secondly, I had actually seen this doctor several years ago after I had damaged my left arm during a mission trip to Mexico.  I didn’t really remember much about him, but I definitely remembered the horrifying experience of living through nerve conduction and muscle testing.  I was just praying that wouldn’t happen again.  I didn’t even have the excruciating RSD pain back then. I did visit with this new doctor and to our surprise, he was very curious about the RSD and really wanted to help me.  He had worked with a few RSD patients, and informed me that I had it bad (lol….glad someone agreed with us on that point!), and that it was a very rare thing for it to have developed from stubbing my toe (another point we agreed on!).  He then decided that he really should do the nerve and muscle testing.

What?! What?!  Surely not….

Ok…well, he needed to see if there is any nerve damage.  I understand.  At least this guy is actually doing something, right? I mean there’s been virtually no moving forward with this disease since my diagnosis last July.  My pain management doctor actually seems to be at a loss…which is why he referred me to the neurologist. So, well, ok.  I don’t know if I can handle it, but I’ll try to be strong.

So, I ask the nurse when we’re going to do this thing (the torture).  Right now, she says.

What the ……..?!?!?!

After she had me sign the waiver and she walked out, I literally looked at Mike and then put my head down on the table/bed thingy.  I didn’t realize they meant to do it right then…that day.

So, I dig as hard as I can find within myself to move forward to the next room where they are to do the testing.

I won’t go through what happened after that.  Let’s just say there were electrical currents and needles and a whole lot of crying that ensued.  And then, I was told I needed to go get some blood work done afterwards….more needles. Great.  So, after blood-drawn from both arms and seven (yes, 7) vials of blood later, I was completely emotionally and physically done.

It was a very tough day.

I had another appointment on Thursday b/c this neurologist wanted to see how my veins were responding.  So, I had an ultrasound done on my leg.  It was uncomfortable, but NOTHING like what had happened the day before.  I thanked God for that small blessing.

The neurologist also started me on a new medication called Neurontin…a nerve pain medication.  I’m hopeful this will begin to help with some of the nerve pain. And I truly am hopeful that something good will come from these tests.  I’m hopeful that there will be some answers to this crazy RSD.

Well, in other news…Mike left e.a.r.l.y. Friday morning for his flight to Virginia.  He has had an action packed weekend of meeting new people, going to several youth activities at Fairmount, and (the most important to me…lol) looking for housing.  Still no word yet on that front, but he’ll be looking more tomorrow, and I pray that something will turn up 🙂

Since he was gone, my dear friend Kris offered to bring over a meal…which was a yummy Tator Tot Casserole, some fresh pineapple, some homemade rolls (man, I miss fresh homemade bread!!!), and these oh.so.yummy Easy Apple Dumplings.

Oh my….those are just sinfully delicious.

She also insisted on doing my dishes.  Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’m still struggling with pride and letting go of “my” kitchen.  It’s been my domain for the last 13 years, and letting someone else do my dishes was difficult.  Very difficult.  But I’m also profoundly thankful that I have a friend who would do that for me.

Kris….I love you, so much.  My tears were not just of prideful embarrassment, but also of true thankfulness.

You truly mean the world to me!

And that my friends, brings me to today.  I’m thankful it’s the start to a new week.

And new hopes!

❤  Shara

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Things have changed

When I started this blog, my intention was to share my love of baking with all of you, and throw in some “treats” about my family. Oh, and share a little about my struggle with depression. Thus the name, “shar A treat”. (also a play off my name :D)

Little did I know that a few short months after starting this blog that my life was about to be turned upside down.

Little did I know that I would be diagnosed with a chronic pain condition and that everything I knew about my life was to be forever different.

I’ve struggled the last week or more about what to write….this disease is crippling. You know when God talked about hell being like wailing and gnashing of teeth….I’m pretty sure He was talking about RSD. After doing some more research on RSD, I found this pain scale:

Did you see what’s at the very top?  RSD.  Yep…it’s the highest on the pain scale. More than childbirth. More than cancer pain. More than a broken bone.

So, I haven’t written anything. I’ve been silent. I mean, I haven’t been baking or cooking because I can only stand for a few minutes at a time before my foot turns completely red and swollen. And if I’m not baking, then I’ve got nothing to share.  Right?!

So, I’ve been doing a lot of praying. Asking God a lot of questions. Questions like…

Why me?
Why is this happening to my family?
Doesn’t Mike have enough to handle?
Would life for my family be better without me? Then they wouldn’t have to take care of me or worry about me.

And after a lot of these questions to God and lots of tears, I began to hear God’s still small voice.

You do have something to share.

Not what you had originally planned, but I’ve got something more.

It’s not about you.

It’s about Me.

So, I’m back.  I’m sorry that it won’t be about cooking or baking.  I know I’ll probably lose some of you because of changing my theme about baking, but that’s okay.  From here on out, this blog will be about the struggle I have with RSD, the pain and frustration it causes our family, but the hope that there is Something bigger.  That God is bigger.  That He is my Hope.

Welcome to shar A hope

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It’s all good

My kiddos are gone this week.  I took them to Oklahoma last weekend to spend some time with Nana & Cowpa.  One evening that I was there, I made dinner for my parents and my Aunt Meme & Uncle Curt and all the kiddos (mine and 2 of Meme’s grandkids).  I made Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets and Snickerdoodle Bars…mmmm!  Anyways, Curt was telling me how quiet it is now that all 4 of their boys are grown and out of the house, and how peaceful it is.  LOL  He said, “I know that people always think – What am I going to do when the kids are gone?! – and I wondered the same thing.  But I’m here to tell you:  It’s nice!!”

Let me preface with this:  I know he loves his boys very much and I know that I love my kiddos very much.  But I’ve gotten a small glimpse of what it will be like in the future, when my babies are out of the house, and I can honestly say that I’m going to be okay with it.  Am I in a hurry for this time to come?  No!!  Am I gonna be sad and cry when it’s their time to leave?  You can plan on it.  I want to thoroughly enjoy each and every step and stage my kids go through.  But what I’m trying to say is this:  On the other side…when they are all moved out…I’m still gonna have Mike.  He’s my best friend and in that regard, I am excited for it to just be me and him again.  The man is awesome and fun and he inspires me.

Which leads me into saying this:  If your husband (or if you’re a man: YOU) haven’t gone to Men’s Encounter, yet.  Please strongly encourage your husband to go.  And if you’re a man and you’re reading this: GO!  I was a bit skeptical about Mike going.  He was a bit skeptical about going.  He’s not super emotional.  He’s been to a lot of conferences.  He’s seen and experienced “mountain top” experiences.  He’s a pastor.  He’s been in a church since birth.  But I’m here to tell you, he encountered God this past weekend.  In a different way.  In a way just meant for men.  He’s still my awesome Mike, and yet changed.  I know this probably sounds like a commercial for the Men’s Encounter that CCC is hosting in September, but I don’t mean it to be.  God is infiltrating Crossroads through this ministry.  I can’t stress it enough.  It’s amazing.  Encourage your husbands to go in September and if you’re a man, please contact one of our ministers about it.  As one of the men said when they got back: “Jesus showed up”.  All 16 men that went were deeply impacted and so have been all the men that have gone before them.

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The past 5 years have been a blur.  I really thought I had it all together after I had Reagan.  I remember feeling on top of the world.  Like I could do anything!  I finally began to get involved in our church…I had 2 kids, one boy, one girl…life was going great.

And then I got pregnant again….and developed depression.

Struggled between having joy over my 3rd baby and realizing he was going to be my last….because of my depression.

Saw our church struggle with one pastor leaving, one pastor retiring and losing his beautiful wife to a very sudden death, and another pastor coming to our church, only to leave….all within the same year.

Saw my parents struggling in their  full-time ministry (of over 20 years) at a children’s home…only to be knocked down even more and it rocked my world.  Turned it upside.

Saw my brother srtuggle with becoming a single parent.

Saw my sister and her husband struggle with a legal battle at his work place…ultimately making them uproot from their home and their former life.

I lost over 50 pounds…only to gain it all back…plus some…and sink further into depression.

Saw my aunt die from cancer and leave behind her two adult children….they’d already lost their dad to cancer in 1995.

Saw my aunt and uncle knocked down by the same ministry that parents had been in…which resulted in them also leaving the ministry.

Saw my grandmother battling sickness and dimensia.

I sunk even further into depression.  I even went to counseling for a couple of months.

I had a conversation with Mike the other day about how I can honestly only remember about 3 things from last summer.  How sad is that?  I can barely remember anything significant from the entire school year either.

Yeah, depression will do that to you.  It sucks your life away, and you don’t even know it’s happening to you.

However, the sun has come out….and the Son never left me, really.

And I’m finally ready for a fresh start.

I’m ready to quit just trying to survive.

I’m ready take on being a better mom.

I’m ready to bring order back to my house.

I’m ready for my family to not be fragmented anymore.

This summer is bringing changes…good changes.

I’m ready to see where this new path takes us…takes me.

I’m excited and hopeful and a little scared all at the same time. 😀

I’ll keep you posted.

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My First Paid Gig

Got a call this week from a sweet lady that attends our church.  She asked me if I’d make some cookies for her.  For the record, I get lots of calls to make stuff…especially for church.  And I LOVE to do it.  It’s a ministry.  And I jump right in and usually offer even before I’m asked.  However, Norma said she pay me and it wasn’t for church.  Sweet!  I was soooo excited…I made them immediately after she called and then finished them today.  Baked ’em and frosted ’em.  Wow.  It was fun!!  I now know for sure that this is something I’d like to do on a regular basis once the kids are older.  I’m not very good at lots of stuff on my plate….I don’t juggle lots of activities well.  But once the kids are older and more self-sufficient….I’m definitely looking into some kind of baking career.  Thank you, Norma.  You don’t know how much this meant to me!!

Oh, and if you’re wondering….you can find the recipe here.

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I’m beginning to really enjoy Wednesdays…

It tells me that my week is half over.

I get to watch Lucy.

Clark and Joel get to have playdates.

I get to watch the toddlers at church.

(who is that crazy kid in the red shirt?!  Someone needs to control him….)

And lately, it’s been my fun baking day!  I don’t have to cook a meal for dinner since we eat at the church on Wednesday nights, so I’m freed up to bake to my own desire….which is what I really love to do.  I don’t mind cooking….but my heart really falls for baking.  And there is a difference.  A BIG difference in my opinion.  One  I do to fill my family’s bellies (cooking).  The other I do because it fills up my heart (baking).

And on this line of thinking…and as an early plug, I want to let you know that I (and some others…ok, maybe, just one other <<wink, wink>> Kris) will be doing some baking and selling our goodies.  at the church.  for the Youth.  April 25th.  Mark it on your calendar and bring your cash (or your checkbooks!) 😀  What would you be willing to buy for a quick simple breakfast?  Got any ideas or suggestions?  Let me know!!

Here’s what I got to make today:

Fudgey Brownies

  • 1 1/3 c butter
  • 2 2/3 c sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c baking cocoa
  • 2 c flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla, and salt.  Add cocoa, slowly, so that it doesn’t come back up on you!  Now add flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  Blend well and spread into 9×13 greased pan.  Dough will be very thick.  Now you can pop them into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or you can top with your favorite toppings.  Today I added chocolate chips over the whole pan and then on half I add a few peanut butter chips and pecans (my favorite) and then on the other half I drizzled on some caramel sauce.  It’s pretty much up to you on what you can put on top!  Or you can leave it with no toppings.  Or after you bake them you can dust them with powdered sugar.  Or you can top them with a thick chocolate frosting….oh the possibilities are endless!!

with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and pecans

with chocolate chips and caramel sauce

me not waiting for the kids to get home 😀

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My youth pastor hubby is heading up another Annual Youth Pancake Feed for this Sunday.

And this year I’m making all the pancake mix…enough mix for 300 people.

That’s a whole lot of mix.

This is what my kitchen looks like:

This is part of the mix bagged up:

And this is what we’ll be selling on Sunday:

That’s right.  Come eat some pancakes and then you can buy a bag of the pancake mix 😀

All proceeds go to the youth for their summer trips!

How’s that for advertisement?!

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I was overwhelmed by kindness this morning.

I’ve been dealing with Healthwave, Kansas’ state insurance for children and mom’s.  It’s been frustrating.  I’ve shed a lot of tears.  Healthwave is typically a great program.  We’ve had surgery, stitches, countless dr appointments, etc – without having to pay a cent except for the monthly premium.  However, I found out in January, by pure accident, that they had dropped the kids.  That they’d had no insurance since November, actually.  I’ve been dealing with it ever since.

So now, Reagan has been sick.  And she’s not getting any better.  I was stressing about whether to even take her to the doctor – because of the money.  Mike finally just convinced me to go – that Reagan is just too frail and if we wait any longer she could be in the hospital.  So, I called and we went.  I knew she had bronchitis, but I didn’t know she was dehydrated.  I was nervous the whole time, because I knew I needed to tell Dr. Starkey about having no insurance and I knew I’d need to ask him about paying with cash, etc.  I hate dealing with this kind of stuff.  But I did.  I braved up and told him about the insurance and how I go about paying cash,etc.

He told me that he doesn’t take money from pastor’s families.  That he’ll take whatever the insurance pays, but that’s it.  He said that giving tithing only for minister’s to give it back to him just doesn’t make since.  Typically, Dr. Starkey is  laid-back, easy-going kind of guy.  But with this he was firm.

It was almost too much.  I could barely hold the tears back until I got in the van.

God is good.  And sometimes, even His kids are good, too.

Thank you, God.  Thank you, Dr. Starkey.

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