My Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness

A Verse I've Come to Embrace

My strength is made perfect in weakness. –2 Corinthians 12:9


Through the years of my struggles to overcome fibromyalgia and celiac disease, weakness would overtake me at many different times. I's grip would hit with such force at times that I could hardly hold my head up. Don't confuse this to the pain – the depression – and the anxiety.  No… it was different.

Most would call this chronic fatigue. Yes, I have been diagnosed with that too, at times when the overwhelm of it all would grasp my very being.

After being sick for close to 4 decades, it was only in the last 8 years that I finally began to see and believe that "my own strength is definitely made perfect in His weakeness."

Almost all of us suffer some sort of health issue, or physical limitation. It could have been something you were born with just as I was, or maybe hit with later in life.

As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12, it was a thorn in his flesh which kept him humble. He wanted it removed just as any of us do. His answer from God was: My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

God uses us to accomplish His will for our lives
Through our imperfections – our weaknesses…

This forces us to reach toward Him in our weakest hours. That is the only way we will grow close enough to God to fulfill His will for our lives.

I have now found my strength in Him more times that I can count. I have found His will for my life only through my weakest times.



God is Alive in Our Home…

"God is Alive in Our Home…" By Nancy Alexander

And at The Center of Our "Every Day"…

Yesterday was such a beautiful, warm and sunny Spring day.  As Steve and I sat in our office, the birds were flitting from limb to limb as if they were pleading for us to come outside.  They really wanted us to fill their empty feeders. I can always tell when our feeders are empty, because their songs change; they are much louder as if to be calling out to us:  "Feed me, feed me, please!"  It takes a lot to fill up our many bird feeders, and we had just purchased a 50 pound bag of their very favorite — sunflower seeds.

"You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence…"
~Psalm 16:11~

I glanced over at my favorite little devotional book, "Jesus Calling".  Before I knew it, I was picking up my book and pen, and was on my way down the steps into my neglected "Secret Garden" walking along the winding, weed infested, stone path anxious to curl up in my favorite chair as I escaped into our Pergola. 

view from our Pergola

View of our house from inside our Pergola


My Pergola is now almost enclosed with the yellow Lady Banks Roses, and purple Wisteria.  These cover the top like a head full of hair in badly need of a trim.  But, oh, these climbing rose clusters are so beautiful in the spring as they open out so full and pretty in their splendor! 

Lady Banks Roses covering my Pergola

This picture was taken last year when the Lady Banks roses were in full bloom!


I wanted to commune with God in all of His majesty as I renewed my mind and spirit in my secret hideaway.  All over, the flowers were popping their little heads up for Spring, and the birds were singing even more loudly as I walked outside.  Steve would be coming soon to help me fill the feeders, but for the moment, I was alone with God, enjoying the earth He created just for us.

"Somebody cares and always will,
The world forgets, but God loves you still,
Somebody cares and loves you still,
And God is the someone who always will."
~Helen Steiner Rice~

I have tended to avoid our garden and Pergola for a while now — it seemed to me like the weeds had grown taller than the flowers and shrubbery.  We have had many more important things to focus our attention on.    But, yesterday, the outdoors was calling to me as I walked outside into my own "Secret Garden" to talk to God as I enjoyed the fresh warm air of Spring.

Our garden always required a lot of time, attention, and money.  And, for a while now, many much more important things have taken the place of our "secret garden".  So, as I sat in the pergola reading yesterday, I was reminded of renewal and of beauty that is sometimes hidden — but is still there all the same.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in him,
And He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
And with my song I praise Him."
~Psalm 28: 6-8~

As I was reading and praying to God, I noticed that my clay pots had lost pieces of their rims from the cold of winter.  Many of my flowers in pots that had come up year after year were not coming up.  Grass was growing taller than the flowers dispersed throughout the garden.  My rustic, shabby chic, painted furniture in the pergola was falling apart.  Loose pieces were either hanging on, or lying on the ground.  Neglected paint was noticeably peeling off.  Bushes in desperate need of a trim were much taller than they should be.  Grass and weeds which had been cut back by a weed eater last week (instead of being pulled up), were now filling in our stone pathway again.


I looked over into the corner, and was amazed at how
the small limbs of Wisteria that I had wound
throughout the lattice five years ago had now grown into
large, curling extensions of that beautiful, flowery vine.


"I am the vine; you are the branches. 
If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing."
~John 15: 4-6~


  As I looked around more,
I could see God's hand all around me. 
Day lilies and lamb's ear were growing
right in the middle of the stone pathway.

Lamb's ear growing on my pathway



Bumblebees were drilling their holes in the pergola
making a home for the season. 



I was amazed that our Japanese Holly ferns are fuller
and greener than I have ever seen them before.




My concrete angel, even though she was surrounded by tall grass,
was still looking very beautiful peeping through the
ground cover which had come up from three years ago.



Pretty flowers were showing off their colorful blooms as
if they were not conscious of the weeds that surrounded them.




The forsythia vine growing up my back porch was
shouting out in all of it's glory that God is alive —
He is always here — He is always in control —
He can bring back beauty out of anything.


"God always gives you all the grace you need.
So you will only have to suffer for a little while.
Then God himself will build you up again.
He will make you strong and steady.
And He has chosen you to share in His eternal glory
because you belong to Christ.""
~1 Peter 5:10~

so blessed so grateful

As I stood looking up at the flowers opening their blooms
in a splendor that only God could have created,
I felt SO blessed — SO grateful that He had seen fit to bring
this neglected "Secret Garden" back to life for us to enjoy.


"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which
God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 3:14

But, even more so, I felt overwhelmingly grateful and SO blessed that He had seen fit to work in MIRACULOUS ways in our lives with miracles that brought His Grace, Joy and Forgiveness back into our marriage.  So, when I say we spent the last three years ignoring our "Secret Garden", we spent those years saving and renewing a marriage which could have been so easily destroyed by the insidious chronic diseases — Celiac, and Fibromyalgia.

God got our attention!  He broke us down, He pruned us, He carried us, He covered us with His love, He gave us encouragement, He gave us hope.  He redeemed us, and He forgave us.  He "looked through our faults and saw our needs".  And, He brought our "Secret Garden" (a marriage now definitely made in Heaven) back to life — just as He did our "Secret Garden Outside", when just a few short weeks ago, it was dead — full of weeds — needed pruning, and in need of renewal.

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another,
as good stewards of God's varied grace."
~1 Peter 4:10~

I talk all of the time about chronic diseases and how they can destroy all that is good and pure and loving in an entire family.  And, it can!  I feel as though God has given me a ministry to help all of you who email me almost daily, talking to me about the trials and the pain that you face.  There IS hope!  God is there — He is always with YOU!  And He DOES answer prayers.  I know — He answered mine.

Weakness…A Very Important Lesson I LearnedThis Morning

"Weakness…" By Nancy Alexander

A Very Important Lesson I Learned This Morning…

You may be wondering why I am calling this post "weakness".  I learned a very important lesson in church this morning.  It was one that I needed to hear, and it was one that was very enlightening.

You see, I spent over 35 years of my life fighting "weakness".  For me, this consisted of several different physical conditions such as Celiac disease, fibromyalgia, and fatigue.  There were also mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.  Low self image played a big part in all that I attempted to accomplish for most of my life. 

Doctors, professionals, and even my husband could not understand that I was really sick (and I mean REALLY sick!).  And, yes, of course this caused marital problems we both had to face along with the illnesses which plagued my body every single day.  My prayer became "Lord, PLEASE heal me!  If you want me to learn something, I will certainly learn it.  Just PLEASE let me know what it is."  I prayed this prayer over and over so many times as I searched for verses in my Bible which held an answer.  I found comforting verses.  I found verses of God's love for me and of His promises.  Although these verses are still ones I cling to, they didn't make a difference in my life.  They didn't help, although I would cling to them with every ounce of strength I had left within my body.

I have fought my way out of that pit through my faith and dependence on God — finally being diagnosed by the right doctors.  Many of you know that because of Celiac, it was only around 6 years ago that I was found to be allergic to most of the foods I was eating.  So, now I happily leave off ALL gluten (wheat), milk, soy, most spices, preservatives, canned foods, and processed foods just to name a few.

I can do things now that I have not been able to do in well over 35 years.  My husband and I now share a closeness filled with love and joy that only dreams are made of, but I am not completely well.  I don't say those words often, because I have come such a long way.  I could live the rest of my life basically hiding my insecurities as well as the health issues which still cling to my body, from each of you. 

Unless you lived with me day in and day out, you wouldn't notice the weaknesses I still fight.  I have felt that until I conquered ALL of these issues, I would not have succeeded.  I would not have made it.  I would not have run the race successfully that God put me on this earth to run… that is… until this morning.

So, back to our sermon in church this morning about 'weakness'.  Today I learned that it takes a very strong person to expose their weaknesses… not to hide them.  We grow up wanting to show off our successes.  Our culture avoids weakness.  But, and this is the exciting thing!  In God's kingdom, our weaknesses are a magnet.  If we show our weaknesses to others — not trying to hide them, then God's work in our lives is glorified and magnified by God's glory.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9, God said to Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Do you see?  I finally do — finally!!  When I am weak, I am strong.  My weakness has really been used by God to reach others who are suffering from the exact same problems as me.  It is not a sin to be weak; it is nothing to be ashamed of; it is nothing to hide from others; it is an honor to be able to use this weakness I have experienced for so long to help any of you that I can by living my life as an example, the very best I know how.

All those days, for all those years when I prayed over and over that God would heal me…that He would remove this illness from me, it was not His will.  When we know that we're weak, we're strong!  God used my illness — my weakness — to shape me into a person He could use.  He has been shaping me into the person He wanted so many years so that I can reach the thousands of women that I come into contact with over the Internet every day.  I really care, I sympathize, and I understand what you are going through.  If I can encourage or inspire you in any way at all, it is worth it. 

I am happy!  I have a husband that I adore and who adores me.  We enjoy the most wonderful family that anyone could ever desire!   The few problems which I do still face are just hindrances, which I can live with for the rest of my life if necessary.  I no longer feel like I am running a race trying to make up for 35 years which I felt were lost.  THEY WEREN'T!  There were important years which led me to an important purpose.

God was not punishing me as I sometimes thought.  He was pruning me so that I could bear fruit (John 15: 1-2) "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

C.S. Lewis:  "Pain is God's megaphone to a wounded world".

Rick Warren:  "The secret to success is failing fast, over and over again…"

Thank you, Pastor Clayton King for a message this morning that opened my mind and my heart to God's dreams and goals for me and my life.  These dreams are being fulfilled right now, maybe not as I had always thought — only after I was totally and completely well.  Those days may not ever come, and that is okay, as long as I know I am where God wants me to be.

In Heaven there will be NO weakness, NO pain, and NO suffering.  While I am on this earth, I will praise God for each and every weakness as well as each and every strength for I now know that is my 'reason for being'.

God Put a Burden on My Heart

I receive so many emails…

Each and every day wanting to answer each one personally.  I REALLY want to answer each one personally.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.

God has put such a burden on my heart for people who struggle every single day just to make it through the day.  I used to pray every day:
"Lord, if there is a lesson you want me to learn, PLEASE tell me, I will learn it." 
"Lord, if there is something you want me to do that I am not doing, PLEASE tell me, and I will do it." 
"Lord, if there is any thing I can do to make money to help pay the bills and feel productive, PLEASE tell me how, and I will do it." 
There were many, many prayers such as this, lots of tears, lots of Doctor visits, and debt that you cannot begin to imagine.
Finally, after much prayer, and literally fighting for my life for so many years, God did answer my prayer.  And it took my 35 year old son just a couple of months ago (when I was a little down, and still remembering the "lost years") to tell me; "Mom, God DID answer your prayers!"  "It wasn't in your time, but it certainly was in His time!"
Matt was right!  If I had not been through all that I have for the last 30 years, I would not be right here, right now, with a huge following of women who want help and encouragement…. and certainly "JOY"!  They want something to live for, a hobby they love, and a way to make some extra income.  I can certainly help you with that!
I have been praying "The Prayer of Jabez"  for 11 years now.  I pray it at least once per day — and sometimes two or three times. (You can read the prayer here on my blog:  Well, every single time I prayed this prayer and got to the point where it says:    "That You would enlarge my territory, and that your hand would be with me" ,  I would think…How in the world can God expand my territory?  At that time, I could hardly even make the 30 minute drive to Greenville, SC, without being in severe pain.  So, how in the world could He expand my territory when I couldn't travel anywhere?? 
Well, I want to tell you something that totally amazes me beyond words.  God is soooo good, He is soooo wonderful, He has blessed me in soooo many ways!  Do you know that in the last four weeks, there have been people on my website and my blog from over 30 different countries?!!  I receive emails from them.  They say that I inspire them.  It isn't me….but God "is" using me, and for that I am so grateful.
As far as "Joy" goes…that can only come from God.  For Christmas, my husband gave me two silver chains.  I wear them every single day.  On the oval one (with a heart in the center) he had imprinted: "SHMILY", which stands for: "See How Much I Love You", and on the other tag is printed "JOY".  Joy is a very important word for us.  We pray for it every day, and no matter what our circumstances are, we search for it in every single thing…"It is There!…God gives it freely!"


By The Way…Steve had this Necklace Made for Me From:
Check out her site — I LOVE It!!! 


You are in my heart and in my prayers!  Don't ever, ever, ever give up!  God is there to love and care for you…as well as giving you "JOY"!

Watch my newsletters to find out when the membership site will open (probably in about one month), and also when the business class will start!
JOY and Blessings … Nancy

A Joyous Life…

"A Joyous Life?" By, Nancy Alexander

Is Joy More Important Than Happiness?

A dear friend told Steve, my husband, several years ago that JOY was more important in life than happiness.  He was right!  He is right!  You can't find happiness without joy


James 1:2-6, 12  says… "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."  

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who know him."  


God has chosen to anoint us with Grace, Joy, and Happiness these last two years.  Steve and I both carry small silver pocket stones which are soft and smooth from our handling with the word "Joy" inscribed upon them.  These stones remind us each day that we have been given the most amazing gift we might ever hope to receive.


We are happy and joy filled every single day.  God is blessing our lives beyond our imaginings with each other and with our wonderful family.  Our boys have chosen Godly, beautiful women as wives, and they have given us grandchildren who definitely know the definition of JOY much more than most could ever hope!

We are blessed with an online business which includes a new coaching club which definitely has God's hand upon it!  This new coaching site, "Best Of Nancy"  is really an answer to prayer.  I have been given the awesome opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of so many women.  Some of these women face health problems such as I did for so many years.  To be able to help them set up businesses and sell online is amazing!


I want to thank each of our new members in "Best Of Nancy", and for all of our friends who have been beside us as we travel on this remarkable journey.  We aren't there yet…we truly believe the best is yet to come!  We truly believe God has amazing plans for our lives.  In the meantime, as we travel this road, we are filled with immeasurable JOY!