Faith to live, without…

June 19th….Father’s Day 2016….Longhorn’s Steakhouse Douglasville, GA…That was the last time that I had a soda. Until then, I was a 3 or 4, sometimes more, soft drink addict for DECADES. I was tired all of the time, my sugar was out of control even though I was drinking diet drinks with zero sugar. I was grouchy all the time and not fun to be around.

That was my first official father’s day and it was a turning point for me.

I decided on that day that there were some things in my life that I needed to change, a few things that I needed to get rid of and a few things that I needed to add. Soft drinks were just the first item on the plan, and little did I know, the most painful.

Day 1 went off without a hitch. Sure I wanted to throw back that Diet Dr. Pepper in our fridge but I held strong.

Day 2 the headaches began, not strong at first but very constant.

Day 3 bring on the thunder. This brought on the absolute worst headache of my life. I think that day I went through about 8 Advil and I never take more than 2. It was constant, it was throbbing and was not going away.

Day 4 the light at the end of the tunnel was flickering. Yes I still had the headache but not as strong and by the next morning, it was gone.

During this time, I also went without something else, sleep. I began getting up at 4:30 and walking in our subdivision. It took a few days to get back into the habit but now I miss it when I oversleep.

I knew it would not be easy making these lifestyle changes, but I also knew that once I was over it, I would be better off. This made me decide to also get a checkup and visit my eye doctor. Both of these are something that I avoided like the plague but again, something that I needed to do.

I have always been somewhat of a bury your head in the sand kind of person. If I have checks and don’t check my balance, then I SHOULD have money in the bank. If I don’t check my bloodsugar, then its ok. If I don’t go to the doctor, then there is nothing wrong.

I’m tired of living that way. I am tired of living life without living it to the fullest.

So Steph and I have made the decision to once again work toward selling our house and moving. This past weekend we drove up to Chattanooga and just drove around where we might want to live. We have always loved this area and if it’s ok with God’s planning, that’s where we want to make our last move here on earth to.

But that’s the key. It’s not up to us. It’s up to God. Since my dad passed, I have prayed for God to move us to West Georgia and be closer to both of our parents. God answered that prayer and I now have a job in West Georgia, where I am miserable. I prayed for a specific location without praying for God’s plan. I prayed for what I wanted without considering what God has planned for my family.

Right after we started going to Westridge, Steph met a couple there that are also living without, except they are living without what they want, and are living for what God wants (check out They are also living without 2 of their boys as they stayed behind in Georgia to go to school here. I can’t imagine life without being close to my family and surely can’t imagine being without Steph and the boys. Having the faith to live without putting our wants first, is what we all need to work toward. Having the faith that regardless of how dark life can be a times, a life without faith in Christ is so much worse. When we are without a clue on how He will provide for our needs, He still provides.

Matthew 6:26 – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Following the Vanamans has really made me look at my life and realize the blessings in my life that I don’t want to live without, and made me question could I?

Luke 14:26 – If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.

We have to put him, first, in front of everything including those we can’t live without. We have to put God’s plan for our lives ahead of the things we don’t want to live without. Otherwise we can’t truly follow Him, and then we will be without…

Dear God, help me to appreciate the value of the blessings of life that you have given me and help me to see that regardless of how valuable they seem to me, they pale in comparison to a life with You that no one can place a value on. Help me to see the things in my life that I need to live, and the things that I need to live, without. Help me to have the faith to live without.