My mission is to provide you with inspiration and encouragement to live everyday to it's fullest. I do this by sharing the simple things in life such as recipes to the most difficult of things such a life. We all know life is a struggle and many days a balancing act, but I am here to inspire you to do it well. Everything I write about is designed to inspire as well as encourage you to be a "better" you that you can be. Everything I share is raw and real. I do not cover up or sugar coat what I write about. This would benefit no one. My goal is for you to walk away feeling uplifted and encouraged after leaving my page. Lastly, I am here to remind you that you are… enough and beautiful… just the way you are.
During this difficult time it is easy to forget there is power in positivity and forget to focus on things we should be thankful for, so today I want to briefly focus on these.
The Bible reminds us the importance of being thankful;
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
Now think about the powerful words, “in all circumstances.”
The Bible does not say in certain circumstances. It doesn’t say in good circumstances. It says in “all” circumstances.
All too many times we can find things to be thankful for when life is going easy, but when times become difficult, it is easy to forget this concept.
During difficult times we become consumed by fear and anxiety and allow those dark and heavy emotions to run our hearts into the ground. They take away the ability to see the positive and encouraging things in our life. They rob us of our ability to the thankful of even the simple things in life.
Today we are going reclaim those pleasures that may have been robbed from us. Today we are going to list five things that bring us joy and thankfulness.
What are just five things that bring you joy and peace and what are you thankful for?
Here is my list of five things I am thankful today…
1. Hearing the sweet birds chirping outside my windows. So many times in the busyness of life, I don’t think we take the time to hear them. But in the quietness of my morning I heard them this morning. It was a sweet sound to my soul.
2. Whether church was closed down or not, I would not have been able to go due to trying to get over my bronchitis. So I’m thankful for the technology that offers our church service to be viewed online in the quiet of my living room.
3. I am thankful for the time, that I don’t normally have to “rest”. I have been sick for 3 weeks and have not had the opportunity to rest until now. Had we not had this shut down, I would still not be able to rest, but when life has forced you to stay home, I am choosing to be thankful for it. I am determined to rest to get over this ugly cold.
4. I am thankful for the school we work at. My daughter and I received news that the school has figured out a way to pay their part-time staff for 2 weeks with the hopes of getting us closer to the end of this quarantine period. This truly touched my heart because they did not have to try to figure this out, let alone find a way. This was a huge blessing to us.
5. Lastly, I am thankful for all the spring that is in the air. I love seeing the trees dressed in their beautiful pink and white blossoms. Their is something inspiring by seeing all this new growth coming back to life. It inspires me to clean up my home and my property and make it fresh and clean again.
Let’s rejoice together in those blessings. Leave your list below in the comments.
I am stopping by to encourage you that no matter what is going on we can find our strength within our selves.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
Are you feeling overwhelmed?
If so, ask God to lift this concern, fear, or anxiety: and replace it with comfort, peace, and hope.
Then get physical and let’s get moving.
Consider doing something you have not had time to do when you are living your busy life.
Do you have a closet that has you disgusted every time you open it? Consider cleaning and reorganizing it.
Do your kids have their toys all over the house and you get tired of stepping over them or moving them? Consider an organized method of storing them that makes both you and them happy.
Do you have a yard that has you frustrated and discouraged every time you come and go from your home? Consider taking this extra time you have and clean it up. Get physical and start cutting, cleaning, reshaping your flower beds. You will be so happy with the end result and the self-satisfaction will leave you feeling accomplished and relieved to have it done.
Do you need some physical activity? Consider now to start that walking or running routine. You can do this without a gym. Go outside and take a walk or run down your street or around your neighborhood. The fresh air will help to clear your mind and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
It doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is that you get up and get moving.
The activity will enable you to clear your mind of the negativity and replace it with your happy endorphins. You will feel accomplished and the sense of accomplishment will defeat the feeling of anxiety.
Lastly, fight back against the urge of nothingness. Anxiety will tell you no, do not do this, but have the courage and find the strength to fight the resistance.
We are closing out an extremely difficult week for many people. For anyone who has followed the news or social media feeds, you are well aware of the state our world is in.
I have come to realize over the week there are many people who are struggling with anxiety and so it has inspired me to step up my game to provide you with some encouragement as well as some strategies in how to handle the crisis that is being created by staying at home all the time.
As I was pondering what would make life a bit easier, I came up with three forms of positivity you can share with yourself as well as others to ease any frustrations, fear and anxiety you may be feeling.
Here are my thoughts for today.
Have a Heart of Gratitude
This is one of the greatest components to defeating anxiety. Have you ever thought about this before? Have you ever been extremely stressed out or been full of anxiety while still being thankful for your many blessings?
I’m not sure about you, but when fear and anxiety takes root in my life, they usually place inconceivable thoughts in my head which takes over my ability to think rationally and be thankful for the positive things that occur.
Having hearts of gratitude allows you the power to drowned out the darkness and the lies fear and anxiety place in your mind.
I am not saying it will be easy, but this is how God would want us to respond to the fear, stress, and anxiety we are experiencing.
Love on Others
This may not always be easy because there are times when they lash out irrationally at us.
What we have to remember is that this inappropriate behavior is a result of their fear, stress, and anxiety and not anything you have done. Despite this knowledge, it is important for us to be loving towards others whether they are loving towards us or not.
I am not saying it will be easy, but this is how God would want us to respond.
Show Kindness To Others
I don’t know about you, but the times of my being out of the house between working, doctor appointments for my daughter, and grocery store errands, I have come in contact with my fair share of rude people.
In the beginning of the crisis it was easy for me to just turn and walk away from them, but now it is getting harder.
The rudeness is becoming more and more prevalent which is making the act of kindness more and more difficult.
It however, does not matter how rude they are because the Lord wants us to share our kindness with them anyway.
We may never know, but God can use our kind hearts to change the hard heart of their aggressive behavior and truly turn them around while softening their hearts at the same time.
Some simple ways to show kindness to others might come through a simple smile as you pass by someone. Bake some cookies and place them on your neighbor’s door step. Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn. Assist a senior in the store or make your family’s favorite dessert and watch your favorite movie together.
An act of kindness does not need to be difficult, it just needs to come from your heart, but it can truly turn around the heart of someone who may be struggling right now.
So, in conclusion to today’s inspiration, it is important to remember no matter how frustrated, fearful, or anxious you may feel, it is possible to turn you feelings around by taking some time to focus on finding some gratitude in at least one thing that happens today. Find a loving gesture to share with someone and share an act of kindness with someone to brighten their day.
Take some time to step away from the negativity you may be experiencing and turn it into something positive.
You’ve got this. You can do this. Life will not remain this difficult and there are brighter days ahead.
I know this is a difficult time for so many, but I want to encourage you to take a step back and live in the moment.
What can you do right now that would bring you some joy?
Does this mean stop what you are doing and snuggle with your little one?
Does it mean you grab a book and sit on the floor or on the couch and read to your kids?
Does it mean you go to the kitchen and make some muffins, pancakes, cookies, or just some homemade play dough?
These are ideas of what you can do with your kids, but if you don’t have kids then consider grabbing that book you have not had time to read. Grab your favorite drink, your favorite blanket or throw and settle in for as much time as you want to spend some quite time to decompress and breathe.
Consider working out at home and getting some exercise to stay healthy and strong.
Consider working outside and getting your garden ready for spring.
Think of the projects you have not had the time to done consider them now.
Just because we have gone home doesn’t mean we are totally withdrawn from everyone, we still have technology that will bring that familiar voice or face to you. Use it if you find yourself lonely.
Lastly, spend some time with God if you are struggling with anxiety. He will calm you and bring you peace that no one else can do.
What are some fun and encouraging things you are doing to fill your day?
I am sharing some comfort, as well as hugs, to those who find themselves struggling with something today.
My encouragement to those who find themselves battling in difficulties is this…. you will get through this time and you will get through this season of hardships.
There is a key to remembering this and it is found in Deuteronomy:
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV
You are never alone and God has not forsaken you. He sees your tears and He hears your cries.
Remember this truth, no matter how many lies you hear from the enemy, they will never be true.
The only real truth you need to believe is what God is saying to you today. Spend some time talking to Him and by doing so, you will hear the words of comfort and peace He is sharing.
He loves you with all His heart. He believes in you, my friend!
He sees your beauty and your worth. He made you uniquely special and with a special purpose. It is during this difficult time that He will turn it around and show you how to use it for good and for His Glory.
If you find yourself doubting this, just think about all Job or Joseph or Joshua, or most importantly, Jesus; and all they went through. If you feel like, because you are a woman, they do not qualify, then think about all Queen Esther or Ruth or Sarah went through. Their suffering was real. Their personal trials were big to them, but God brought them through all of their hardships and are we not still talking about them today?
God is still using their hurt and their pain to make something good out of it. He is using their stories to encourage us during our times of trials and hardships.
My Friend, just as He is using their story to encourage and comfort us, He will use our trials and hardships to encourage others as well.
Hang in their today, oh weary and heart-broken friend. This too will pass and one day you will be able to share your story to encourage others as well.
Stand tall and if you can not because you are too tired and weary, I will stand with you.
If you find yourself in a time of great difficulty and you are in a desperate place and a need to reach out to someone, I am here.
Leave a comment below or send me a private message so you no longer have to feel like you are battling your trial in isolation.
Do you ever feel like you are wandering around aimlessly in the forest? No matter what turn you take or what path looks right, the view is still the same. It never changes. It never looks different.
Eventually, you take the time to look around and you conclude you have only been walking around in circles, going nowhere.
Have faith in these words,
“God will meet you where you are, in order to take you where He wants you to go.”
My friend, today’s words of motivation are to stop walking to be just walking. This is why you are walking in circles.
Instead… stop, look up, and seek God’s direction.
He holds the road map you do not have, in His hands. He knows the direction you are to take to get out of the forest and He knows what forks in the road you are to be taking to live out the plan “He” has for you.
Stop, look up and seek God for your directions todayand your journey will begin to look different. Your circles will begin to straighten and you will begin to see the clearing of trees leading you out of the forest.
Enjoy your journey, Friend. Now you have access to the “Man” with the map and you have the assurance the route will be clearly marked out. You will no longer walk aimlessly, but instead you will be walking with purpose.
The purpose is the plan God has for you. Now you can enjoy the journey as well as the view along the way out of the forest.
Trust in His road map and your journey can be done with confidence and surety.
Living with chaos is extremely stressful to me. It takes nothing to blow me off course. Let the winds shift and my sails change direction, and away I go, in totally the wrong direction.
For anyone who has followed me for a while, you can tell, based on my writing and how often I post as to whether my life became chaotic and whether it shifted courses.
My Friend, does this happen to you as well?
Do you just plug along doing everything the same way, but one day you wake up and your spouse or your child is sick?
Maybe one day you go to work and you find out your position is no longer needed or you have been fired, but you have no reason or clue as to why.
I have had similar situations happen to me, but the later happened to my husband. These life events rocked my world and have the power to still shift my sails sending me in the wrong direction.
I want to encourage you today, if you too have experienced life changing events that left you feeling like you are treading on the water just praying you will survive, I am here to encourage you with this truth, you will survive.
I found three keys to this survival are God, family, and home.
God will give you the strength to sustain you during this difficulty. He promises to never leave or forsake us in Deuteronomy;
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread offor it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.””
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
No matter how tough you find your life to be or how chaotic it has become, God will give you the strength to sustain you circumstances.
I also found that despite how stressful our life becomes, it is imperative to keep your family together. I know how strained your relationships can become, but you need to remember the importance they are despite the difficulty of your situation.
Do not allow the wedge of difficulty to damage or destroy your family relationships. They will be there when life calms down and the chaos resolves.
Be sure to take the time to still invest in your relationships. Take the time to talk (and listen) with your heart. Take the time to hear how they are affected or impacted by your circumstances.
Take some time to reconnect on a regular basis and they will be there when the winds blow you back on course again.
Lastly, a lesson I recently learned was the power your home has to giving you a safe haven to be when chaos tries to consume you.
I found by investing in cleaning, organizing, and decorating, it has given me a renewal for finding my place of contentment when life spins out of control.
My friend, if you invest love and energy back into your home, it will offer a healing of your mind and body because it will help to distract you from the stress and chaos you may be living and will offer a safe haven from the world as well.
I found tremendous truth to this quote by an unknown author;
A house is built by hands, but a home is built by heart.
Invest your heart today into building your home. You will experience a release of the stress and pressure you have been carrying. In turn you will also be investing back into your family because they will have a safe and loving place to live in.
It is my hope and prayer if you find yourself in a season of chaos and difficulty that you will find some peace today.
Do not allow your circumstances to consume you. Give your every concern to God today and allow Him to carry the weight you have been carrying. You will be thankful if you do.