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.
Are you struggling with finding the hope you need to get through a difficult time?
Today I am sharing some encouragement through a different form. I am going to team up with my nephew, who is a youth ministry leader to share with you some hope to get through today as well as the difficult days that are ahead.
I am going to share with you a YouTube video that nephew made for the youth of his church while they are quarantining.
It is my hope that you are encouraged by his words. If you have any youth in your home who may be discouraged and need to be uplifted, share this with them as well.
Click on the link below to listen to Pastor Travis give us hope and encouragement knowing we will get through this difficult time.
Disclaimer: I have his permission to share this video, as well as additional videos with you. It is his desire that you will be touched and encouraged by the words God gave to him to share with us.
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.
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?
Do not be discouraged if you are going through something and you keep praying over it, and God keeps saying, “No, not now”.
My friend, God is hearing your prayer and is wiping your tears, but no matter how discouraged you are, He will not answer your prayer until His timing is perfect.
When His timing is “perfect”, you will only be able to say, “Wow”.
Wait for His timing. Wait for your, “Wow” and know you won’t regret it.
But until then, keep praying as He hears your prayer.
He has not abandoned you. He wants you to lean on Him. He wants to know you need Him.
Trust God and His timing, even if it doesn’t make sense. Trust His timing even when the pressure of others is intense. They do not know what He is doing, just as you don’t, but don’t give into their pressure.
If God is not directing you, then continue to wait.
My friend, you’ve got this no matter how difficult your trial is.
There will be a reward for your wait. It may come in an hour, but it may take six years or more, but keep trusting in God and know He will meet your need, no matter what it is.
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.
So there I was, lying on a hospital stretcher in the emergency room, just a few weeks out from the first ever women’s conference my team and I were hosting. The team and I had been planning this event for 11 months, people had paid for tickets, speakers and bands were lined up, and here I was in pain and unable to comprehend what the next 24 hours would hold.
For almost 3 years I had been battling with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease similar to Crohn’s but with better outcomes. Every medication the physician treating me tried begin failing after a while. And then toward the end of February and the beginning of March, it became obvious that my body was crashing under the weight of this disease.
But that night in the emergency room, with all the chaos surrounding me, I was at peace. I was incredibly uncomfortable, but peace filled me. From the moment I stepped through the emergency doors, through the admission to one hospital and then a transfer to a second hospital, right before surgery and immediately after, His presence was so evident that I was at peace with what was happening.
Oh, in my younger years, I would have been freaking out!!! But now, having walked with God through several ups and downs, I am have learned – when the situation spins out of control, let go and let God!
Paul, who knew a thing or two about wrestling with difficulties, tells us in Philippians 4:7:
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. NLT
But wait, what is Paul’s instruction before the “Then” in this verse? I am glad you ask! Paul states:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 NLT
Ah, there it is. I wonder how many times we wrestle to find peace, but forget to ask God to come into the process. Letting go and letting God is not an easy mindset to obtain. It takes practice, it takes commitment, and it is something we must choose to do. But don’t miss the second part of it. We need to thank Him for all He has already done. If God has ever carried you through a storm, that memory is what will help you through the next one. Oh, but how easily we forget what our great and powerful God has done for us. It is so imperative that we remind ourselves over and over again what He has already accomplished. It builds our faith and when our faith is built upon a thankful heart, God will always be there standing in the gap for us!
This past week I have been reading the book of Daniel. Daniel’s faith in God was so evident that those in the kingdom of Babylon, where Daniel was exiled, attempted to use it against him and have him killed. See, Daniel had the gift of revealing dreams and this gained him great favor with the king. He was promoted to a high ranking position within the kingdom. But the Babylonian officials of the king could not bare the thought of a Jewish young man outranking them. Since they could find no wrong in Daniel, these pagan worshipers crafted a plan to use Daniel’s faith in God against him.
These unhappy souls convinced the reigning king, King Darius, to sign into law that for 30 days everyone in the kingdom must worship the king himself. Anyone caught breaking this law would be killed.
And Daniel’s response? Daniel 6 tells us this:
But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10 NLT
Daniel’s faith was indeed built on a grateful heart.
When the Babylonian officials found him praying, certain that their plan had worked, they immediately took Daniel to the king and demanded that he be punished as the law decreed. Reluctantly, the king agreed and Daniel was thrown into a den of loins. But when the king went back the next morning, this fierce den of lions was filled with peace. And there Daniel sat among these majestic creatures unharmed! Daniel had carried the peace that passes all understanding into that den of lions and the Lord protected him.
In awe of the great and mighty God of Daniel, the king releases Daniel and restores him to his position. The king then takes the Babylonians officials who plotted against Daniel and threw not only them, but their entire families, into the lions’ den. When that happened, no peace remained in the den and the lions consumed those who had been thrown in with them (Daniel 6).
When hard times come, which part of the story reflects your life more? Are you walking peacefully with God, thanking Him for what He has done? Or are you feeling trapped with your anxiety in a den of lions who are ready to pounce?
From the moment I opened my eyes after surgery, I knew God had delivered me from a disease that was holding me back. And I was grateful! The relief that I felt after surgery, minus some incisional pain, was all I needed to know that things were going to work out. A little less than 3 weeks later, we pulled that conference off. But I knew, standing on that stage, who had allowed me to recover in such a beautiful fashion so that I could indeed participate as planned and that peace has carried me the rest of the year.
I pray that in whatever you may be going through that God’s peace with fill you today.
Father God, teach us to lean into the process of learning how to receive Your peace. Tug at our hearts Lord when we forget to be grateful for all that You have already done. And help us to remember that the One who created the lion is also the One that can shut the lion’s mouth when he tries to consume us. In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.
Founder, Transforming Love Ministries
Creator, She Steps Forward Women’s Conference
For more of Elaine’s story, you can find Love Echoed Back: I Cried Out; He Answered on amazon.com.
Today’s Encouragement is to remind you no matter how difficult life may seem, remain hopeful there are brighter days ahead.
God uses these hard times to grow us just as parents do as well.
How many times as a parent have you allowed your child to learn a difficult lesson only because it was something you could not save them from?
I, for one, have experienced this a lot over the past couple of years as I have stood back and watched my daughter struggle with her multiple health issues. As her mom, I can’t do anything to take away the pain she suffers with, but what I can do to encourage her is to, pray for comfort for her, hold her when the pain is unbearable and just let her know she is not alone. I can’t do anything to fix this problem or even take it away, but I can promise to encourage and comfort her during her greatest difficulties .
My friend, God is the same way. He can’t take our circumstances away, but He does promise to never leave us. He is always with us during our darkest of hours.
In a bible study over the weekend we were addressing a topic on pain and how God uses our pain to prepare our journey for something beautiful. I heard this great quote which was so inspirational and encouraging;
” God may have allowed your suffering, but He didn’t cause it.”
– stacha Ashburn and Lisa Dolinger
My friend, even in your darkest hour our God is still there. He has not forsaken or forgotten you.
Cling to this hope,
“Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Hang in there dear friend, if you are hurting and if your pain is deep. Please know there is hope for brighter days ahead. I do not know how long this will take, but I can personally vouch for the fact the pain does eventually go away and the sun comes back out. Cling to the hope of knowing your darkness will turn back into light. Your tears will dry up and be replaced with the smiles you have longed to experience again.
“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go; just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” -Unknown
You’ve got anything life can throw your way.
God has empowered you with the strength, determination, and endurance to battle what lays ahead.
Remember, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1 ESV.
Take one step at a time and lean on God for your strength as well as your refuge.
One day you will look back on today and give God the praise for helping you get through it.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 ESV.
Hang in there and know, whatever you may be going through, it will not last forever.