Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Helpless

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:24

Do you ever just feel uneasy and can’t put your finger on why?

Lately, I have felt out of sorts in a way, but I can’t figure out the exact culprit. Maybe it’s a combination of things or maybe I’m just tired and overwhelmed.

When in my life have I not felt overwhelmed? It is hard to remember.

It seems to be a recurring role that I can’t rid myself of for one reason or another. I just keep hitting snags, unable to settle back into a rhythm.

Last year at this time, I would say I was in somewhat of a downward spiral. Not one of my finest moments in life, but sadly I was in a very critical place mentally and emotionally. I was a mess to say the least, and for the next few months I continued to descend.

It felt something like when you get to the top of that climb on a monster rollercoaster and feel as if you are going to stall that second before you are full speed ahead in a downhill fall. Gravity is tugging at you so hard you can’t pull yourself up or breathe.

The sad reality of it all is no one noticed.

No one.

Not my friends, not my family, not even the real me. Not until one night, when my hubby was smacked with a sudden truth about the trouble I was in.

I took myself to the doctor, multiple times, and I prayed for strength, multiple times. And, every day, every week, every month I was slowly able to pull myself back together.

I started my blog shortly after that, started taking better care of myself physically and mentally, eating healthier, exercising more, doing things I enjoy. I was in a very good place…and then the virus hit.

It has taken an extra mental effort to get through the last few months, but I am well aware of the struggle. I feel like the social distancing and other precautions were already starting to take place in our lives last year when chemo began. With the virus it was all of a sudden not a choice of when we should distance ourselves, but rather a constant of just having to do it.

Tonight, I was talking to a friend from the past who has been struggling with her own personal hardships for about the same two years as me. Different situations for us, but ironically some of the same harsh effects. Hers was sudden, where my situation is ever evolving.

I realized many of us are going through a variety of troubled waters these days resulting from different situations, but we are suffering from the same emotional and mental difficulties.

We all feel helpless. We all struggle. We all are heartbroken. And, we all have to find the strength to keep moving forward.

In these times, we cannot allow ourselves to slip backwards, to fall, or allow ourselves to suffer mentally. We just cannot.

And, I won’t. I have the strength, and I have the Lord to help me. I know that.

Pray for each other. Build each other up. Show support. And, most of all take notice when you know something just doesn’t seem right with those around you. Don’t ignore what’s staring you in the face.

We all have the opportunity to help someone, each other. And, sometimes we may be helping someone without even realizing it.

Like I always say…if you can help someone, then help them. The reward is far better than paradise.

And remember, if we all pray for each other, someone will always be praying for us. xo

Posted in Self Help

Renewed Hope

I anticipate with the celebration of Easter this past weekend everyone is feeling a renewed sense of hope in the midst of these trying times? When we look at the conditions Jesus withstood it makes our problems shallow in comparison.

I have had many pep talks from friends as well as within my own mind over the last several days trying to get over the hurdles we are facing. Our household has been a little stressed with individual circumstances, along with the the big obvious one affecting our whole family.

Last week, I was about at my breaking point, finding myself depressed and lost. I was out of my regular routine and so was everyone else. Life was a little tense to say the least.

Easter came at a good time for all of us.

It was a reminder of trials and tribulations we all face, and it was a good reminder of all we have to be thankful for in spite of our situation.

I watched Andrea Bocelli perform Amazing Grace in Milan, and it was just another confirmation that the mercy of God can save us from despair.

Our family watched Renovation Church’s Easter message yesterday morning and it just brought everything to fruition. We were reminded of these things:

The Lord gives us peace and hope, and Jesus is greater than bad news whether it came in the past, comes today or tomorrow. We are God’s masterpiece, and He has a purpose over our life to do good things.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:8-10

I know some of us are stronger believers than others, and we all waver in our commitments at times, but I promise you without hope I don’t know where I would be.

It has been the one consistent thing in my life that has kept me moving forward. Some days I find myself struggling, doubting and drifting back into the darkness, but there is light. We just have to look for it.

Today, I went back through my journal and read some of the entries that I had written back in the fall. Some were filled with gloom and hopelessness. I know this is a vicious cycle that replays itself every so often, but I was thinking to myself…Not today Satan.

I have been in that tragic state once too often lately, and today, I am feeling hopeful. I don’t want to be there right now. I don’t want to feel bad, or depressed, or worried. I don’t want to deal with chaos or opinions or rants. I don’t want to be reminded of the bad news.

It takes so much out of me and it’s exhausting. I just want it to stop. Just for a day, a minute. We have a trip to the Cancer Center this week, and that brings enough anxiety on its own. Today, I need to be strong and positive and full of renewed hope. I don’t have the energy for anything else.

We don’t need to listen to the news, or let social media consume us, or even think about the days to come. The bad, the darkness will exhaust us if we let it.

Today, we simply need to enjoy the sunshine, think positive thoughts and focus on all the good in our lives. It is right in front of us. Find hope, find peace…the Joy comes with it. xo

Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Keep Moving

It’s a beautiful day outside, but I’m not feeling like the weather. I guess I should have spent more time outdoors today instead of working inside.

Why is life such a rollercoaster right now?

Everytime I get on track to having good days, I stumble and regress. I’m tired of this mindset, but I know I am the only one who can fix it. I just feel like I’m running around in circles.

Today, I read it is possible this could last until August, with people staying home and businesses closed. My heart sank, the pit of my stomach ached and in all truthfulness I wanted to cry.

August?

Really?

That’s the whole summer. That would mean no graduation, no vacations, no beach days, no July 4th celebrations, no family visits, no chance at a rebounding economy and no relief in sight. I ALMOST want to say no hope, but I won’t.

I know that’s what the devil wants me to do, but I won’t. No matter how tired I get, I will never lose hope. I’m going to keep telling myself that because it’s all I’ve got.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.18  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassadorin chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Ephesians 6:10-20

Keep moving forward.

Someone I knew during my childhood actually died last week after contracting the virus. Look around, I know you all know or know of someone who has been affected. It’s a devastating realization, but it’s inevitable.

And, depressing. Sad. It steals our joy. We are the only ones who can hold onto it, but yet, it is a challenging task at hand.

How do we not lose our joy?

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. 8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 138:7-8

Keep moving forward.

When we were at the Cancer Center last week the nurse told me perfectly healthy people are dying from this virus. She said for her that is the scariest thing about it. The fact that scares her, terrifies me.

We are living in some dark and uncertain times, and it just goes to show how vulnerable we really are. I know we are living under God’s plan, but I still can’t help but feel some sort of uneasiness.

I know there are more dark days ahead until we get through the peak of this. I know our lives are probably forever changed, but I pray the Lord will get us through and bring some light.

Keep moving forward.

I have been reminding myself all week that it’s Holy week. I have had some wonderful souls tell me to trust in God to get me through all this and that he will carry me. They have reminded me of what Jesus endured during this week and how I am stronger with the Lord by my side.

I know I am stronger, and I know we can get through this. Stay hopeful and keep moving forward. Today, I pray for strength for all of us and wish everyone a Happy Easter. xo

Posted in Devotional

Fear or Faith?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

John 1:1-5

I have always been a christian, just at times a better one than others. We have all faltered in our life in one area or another, right?

I will spare everyone my lifetime of church and worshiping; however, in my younger days church and God was a big part of my life. Then later, there was a time I was very angry at God. I was angy at several things, several people. I guess for awhile I didn’t realize how angry.

In the last several years, my life, like many moms, has transformed into something I hadn’t prepared for early on. My children were growing up. I had wanted to go back to work, fulfill my ambitions, and put some accomplishments under my own belt. I found myself wondering why I hadn’t started already. Why I didn’t go back to school and get another degree? I had talked about several avenues, but I hadn’t started down any of the paths.

But, maybe I didn’t because it wasn’t the time. I know that now.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,  a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,  a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

Ecclesiastes 3:1-5

After my husband was diagnosed with cancer I struggled for awhile. The anger, the uncertainty, my children, our family, my plans. It was all too much to digest and think about.

For a long time it took great effort to get off the couch everyday. My world was just a very unfamiliar, dark and lonely place I didn’t want to be in. I worried about everything, stressed over anything, and was so unsettled about all things. It was overwhelming, affected my health in a number of ways, and made me a mental mess. My heart was broken, suffering for my children, and honestly it still is.

But, if I have realized anything about this pain stricken journey it is one thing…you can never lose hope. When tragedy strikes you have to have something to hold on to.

I have faced an abundance of fear, most often without a say, but I have learned over time to do it with grace, love and a great deal of prayer. With the help of a few supportive people who have become so close to my heart, I have learned I cannot get through these obstacles without God.

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

Trust those who love and support you and trust in the Lord. It is all we can hope for, and without it we will live with a fear that will adversely affect how we live our lives.

I have heard so often, in many situations lately, that we cannot have both fear and faith. It is the truth! We must choose one. Either we trust in the Lord and choose faith, or we worry and have fear in everything.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

When I stopped being mad at God I found my faith again. My mind was less confused, my heart was less burdened, and my overall health started to improve. I stopped worrying so much, I didn’t stress as often, and I found myself at peace more often than not.

Fear brings worry and stress and pain and uncertainty in everything happening in our lives. It steals our joy, robs us of our peace and makes us question everything by living in an apprehensive state. Fear is a denial that God will take care of everything.

Faith is a gift from God. If we trust in Him, study His word and use it in prayer, our faith will grow. It’s not an achievement or something we find in ourselves, but rather something we are gifted when we put our belief in the Lord.

The only thing we should fear in our life is God Himself.

Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.

Proverbs 14:26

Just as we grow in trust in our relationships with our fellow man, we must also grow in our relationship with God. The more we pray, the more we use scripture in our prayers, and the more we trust the closer we become to Him. Fear comes from the trials we face, but trusting in God during these times makes our faith stronger and in turn makes us closer to Him.

The devil may chase you, he may knock on your door, he may challenge you, but use God’s word and trust in Him to help you defeat the evil that surrounds you.

I pray for strength every day. I read my devotions and I read scripture. Throughout my journey I know God has saved me. My life is better because I have trusted in Him, and I have handed over the reins to the problems I cannot control. It’s a daily chore for me, and I sometimes waver.

Often, I lose sight of my surroundings and begin a fall into a downward sprial I struggle to get out of. It happens more often than I want to admit. I lose my bearings on what my heart has taught me, and I question my own thinking. It is a battle within my own self. Paranoia sets in, I fight for my self worth, and I question who to trust.

Lately, I have been struggling and feeling like every step I take presents another stumbling block. It’s overwhelming, and I feel the darkness surrounding me. These are the times I normally pray for strength, but lately I grapple with getting in the right mindset.

But, it is an unnecessary wrestling within my mind, a rhetorical question.

Fear or Faith?

I read a devotion today that spoke to me in such a way that I knew the Lord was addressing me. With so many uncertainties in my life at the moment, I relish the moments this happens to me and I especially take note of the circumstances.

I felt God’s light shining on me. The Prince of Peace was speaking to me, and I know it is a serious moment when I have these strong feelings. It is a time I have reason to worry, but yet a time I know I need to hand it over, trust and let Him lead me.

For all of those who struggle with your beliefs, waver in your thoughts about God and the spiritual world I would like you think about this. My life consists of living in the midst of storm after storm. The darkest storms that are so strong I cannot survive them alone.

I am not speaking of “alone” as in a physical state, but rather a lonely darkness that I live with while surrounded by many people. Do not confuse it with something you necessarily know. It is a loneliness you can never imagine unless you have actually lived in it.

For me, there is only one path to take in order to survive and that is not with fear. Fear would consume me just as a tornado consumes everything in its path. Hope and prayer and faith are the only solutions to help me escape.

I will always choose faith. I may fall and I may falter, but the light of God will shine down on me and guide me into the way of peace. xo

Because of and through the heart of tender and mercy and loving-kindness of our God, a Light from on high will dawn upon us and visit [us] to shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide our feet in a straight line into the way of peace.”

Luke 1:78-79