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Be Strong and Courageous

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There are so many people struggling with anxiety for a variety of issues today.

There are many who are battling with issues Covid-19 has caused. Many are battling the virus, while others may be feeling the effects of having their jobs impacted, or are being forced to live in isolation. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, if you are battling with anxiety, then this feeling is real to you.

Some may be experiencing health related issues, or the uncertainty of pending surgeries. These medical concerns may have you consumed because of the pain you are in, or the fear of the bills that may be created as a result of this experience. The anxiety it is causing is real to you.

Some of you who are in school or are going to college may be stressed over the amount of work you have to invest in each class, or the papers you need to write, the exams you need to study for and take, as well as the numerous amount of deadlines that need to be met. This struggle is real and the anxiety is insurmountable.

Some may be in difficult relationships with spouses, family members, or friends. You know the relationship is toxic, but you are not sure how to end it or if you should. What you are certain with is that the pressures and the stress it is causing is more than what you want to continue to live with, but how do you make the changes that need to be made?

It does not matter what the struggle is. What matters is, the struggle is real.

It is my desire and prayer, God will use this Sunday Reminder to give you the strength to “Be Strong and Courageous.”

“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

Do not be dismayed because God is with you. He is guiding you. He is giving you the strength and the courage you need to battle your anxiety.

Be sure to spend some quiet time with Him today and ask Him for the guidance you need to fight this battle and know He will deliver you the peace and comfort you are in need of. He will walk you through the difficulty and you will begin to experience a peace you didn’t think you could have.

Rest in your Master’s arms and allow Him to free you from all that concerns you today.

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Rest, Breathe, Repeat

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

Update To Previous Blog Post / “Living My Real”

I’m not sure about you, but I for one, am thankful for the weekend to finally arrive.

While we still have no resolution to if my daughter will have her health insurance come Monday morning, (see my post, “Living My Real” if you are unsure what I am referring to), I have to accept I have no control over the outcome over this stressful situation.

We have done everything we needed to do. We faxed the paperwork to them, not just once, but twice. We faxed their information Wednesday night and again Friday morning.

Now we have to “just” sit and wait and pray when we check her insurance Monday morning we will see nothing has changed. We will see she is still covered like she has been her whole life.

After being consumed by all of this, I had a realization yesterday while I was in my back yard. God revealed to me, no matter how difficult life may be, His beauty is still around us.

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

He revealed to me, as I was pruning my roses, that no matter how beautiful life may be, there will always be the thorns in our lives. The thorns keep us alert, but they aren’t meant to consume us. The beauty of the bountiful roses is what we are meant to see.

Many times the beauty is hard to see, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Are you too, going through a difficult time? Have you forgot what it was like to just “breathe” because your circumstances are all consuming?

Today I have a challenge for both of us. I want you to breathe and open your eyes up to the beauty that surrounds you.

I know so many are experiencing a quarantined life, but I want you to go outside and do something that brings you peace.

Is this the sound of the ocean water and seagulls in the background or the quietness of a hike in the woods?

Is it a quiet walk or a relaxing bike ride?

It doesn’t matter what you do, but I would suggest just going outside, breathe in the fresh air, and just open your heart to God will do wonders to restore your heart and your soul.

Share with Him your need to release this stress and allow Him to replace that stress with a peace that only He can give.

My friend, take some time this weekend to Rest, Breathe, and Repeat.

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Blessed Is A Fresh New Week

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The start of a new week is here again.

Be blessed and encouraged by a fresh new start.

Do not take the stress of last week into the fresh start of this new week.

May God richly bless you with a sweet harvest of all you have invested in.

Whether that is a big business deal, a hard week of teaching, a hard week of studying, or hours of research for a new venture in life.

God knows what you have been doing and He promises to meet us where our needs and desires meet, so long as they are within His plan for us.

Have a great week!

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Reminder… You Are Amazing

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I am sharing some words of affirmation with you today.

“ You Are Amazing!”

HD Benson

There are so many of you who have been carrying a lot of stress. Whether it is from the pressures of work, being isolated with the pressures of working from home, teaching your children, or being a caregiver to your aging family or sick family members.

No matter what has you stressed, feeling anxious, or even fearful; today I am taking a minute to remind you, “That you are Amazing!”

If you are feeling less than this, give yourself the same grace you give to others when you see them struggling.

“Grace is an amazing healer!”

Home. Life. Encouragement

You are worth this grace.

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Have Hope…

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Today’s Monday Motivation is To Have Hope

Have hope that this will not last forever.

Have hope in today that today will be a good one.

Have hope in the courage to take the next step if it is difficult one to make.

Have hope that God is still walking hand in hand with you.

Have hope God has not abandoned you.

Have hope in Elizabeth Elliot’s encouraging words below,

“Sometimes life is so hard you can only do the next thing. Whatever that is just do the next thing. God will meet you there.”

Elizabeth Elliot

Lastly, have hope that God is protecting you and will be with you every step of the way.

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Focus on Power of Positivity

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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.

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Let’s Get Moving

Good Morning & Happy Weekend

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.”

Marcus Aurelius

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.

You will feel so much better if you do.

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Replacing Anxiety with Gratitude, Loving, And Kind Gestures

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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.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Believe in Yourself, Bravery, Challenge, Faith, Grace, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Motivation, Peace, Strength

Breathe Today, One Step At A Time

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I’m sending some encouragement your way today.

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?

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There Is A Reason For The Season

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Encouragement Today

My friend, Today’s Encouragement will be a simple reminder that no matter what you are going through, whether everything is going well, or whether everything is going badly, there is a reason for all of it.

God reminds us in Ecclesiastes,

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

If you are going through a difficult time remember this and be encouraged that with every second and every hour God is growing you and molding you for a better plan and purpose.

He never allows us to go through the muddy waters of life without allowing us to use those difficulties later and somewhere else.

I have experienced some great difficulties in my life and as I was going through them, my greatest consolidation was that there was a purpose for it. Whether the purpose was to help me conquer a trial later or if it was to help encourage someone else, I knew in my heart there was a reason for everything I was going through.

It didn’t come easily though, because there were many days I remember saying, “Lord, this is hard, this is really hard, but if you can use this hardship later to make someone else’s life a bit easier, then I will be okay and I can do this, but only with Your strength.”

I needed to know there was a reason and a purpose for the difficult season in my life and God was always there to reassure me there was.

My friend, if this is you today and you are struggling in a difficult relationship, you are struggling financially, or you are struggling with a sick family member, a close friend or even a spouse. It doesn’t matter if it is all of these or none of these. What matters if you are having a difficult time is to remember these simple, but powerful words;

“There is none like You, Lord.”

Jeremiah 10:7

Stand tall today, hold your head just a little bit higher, and know your God knows you, sees you, and above all else, loves you.