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Reclaiming Peace When The Storm Blows You Off Course

Credit: @Home. Life. Encouragement

Journaling Journey

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.

Credit: @homelifeandencouragement.com

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.

Enjoy your day today!

#Transformingloveministries, Bible, Comfort, encouragement, Faith, Hope, Inspiration, Life, Peace, TLM Blog Posts, Transforming Love Ministries

Peace Beyond Understanding

Credit: @transformingloveministries,org

Reposted / Written By Elaine A. Lankford @transformingloveministries.org

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.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Bible, Blessings, Challenge, Courage, Encouragement Today, Hope, Image, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Motivation, Strength

Do Not Grow Weary

I do not know what your week holds for you. I do not know what blessings you will receive or what struggles you will battle, but one thing remains week after week, day after day.

This constant is God.

Today’s reminder is to encourage you with these great words from Galatians,

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (ESV).

Do not give up my friend!! You’ve got whatever comes your way.

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The Path Less Traveled

You’ve got this Friend!

 “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.

You’ve got this Friend, you’ve got this! 💜

#Findingyourcourage, Courage, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Peace

The Innocence of The Smallest of Us

Mother Nature ceases to amaze me.

Just when we think we have problems this gentle reminder is here to remind us we don’t.

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

If God can take care of the smallest of these, He will surely take care of us.

#Findingyourcourage, Anxiety, Bible, Bondage, Challenge, Discouraged, Faith, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Trust

Faith and Trust Conquer Fear

What Happens When Stress Becomes Unbearable?

Is your life difficult at the moment because worries seem to be piling upon each other and you find the stress unbearable?

Are you in a season of transition, whether you are seeking a new job opportunity or moving to another state or country and you find the stress unbearable?

Are you getting married or having a baby and the months of preparations are quickly disappearing leaving you defenseless to the time and calendar you have been working so diligently with. Now time is running out and you have no idea how you will be ready for the big event to arrive and you find the stress unbearable?

Are you living with a loved one who is struggling with health issues or a chronic illness and they just can not find the road to recovery? Do you find yourself exhausted and helpless because there is nothing you can do to help them feel better? You are trying to be understanding, empathetic, and sympathetic to the health issues, but you are struggling with a concerned and fear over the lack of a paycheck coming in and you find the stress unbearable?

Are you a college student who is struggling to meet the goals of turning in assignments, writing papers, and preparing for final exams while you find the stress unbearable?

My friend, no matter how unbearable you find your stress and how out of control your circumstances may seem, I have a reliable reminder for you today, God knows about all of it. He sees the magnitude of it, as well as the tiniest morsel of it. He knows what the outcomes are as well as what the provisions are. Not one of these circumstances has taken Him by surprise.

We are to trust in Him and have the faith to know it will all come together in the end.

Here are a few verses I looked up with the hopes they will inspire and encourage you to know that no matter what happens, with “faith and trust”, it will all work out.


“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 New International Version (NIV)


“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

“… for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

Today, my friend, reclaim your life from the fear that took you captive and replace it with a trust in God because He knows about everything going on. Turn your fear into faith and walk away with your head held high because no matter how much stress you are feeling and how unmanageable it may feel, God has it all under control.

Lastly, the image I chose for today’s post was chosen to remind us all; with the proper care, love, water, and sun, God can take a tiny seed and turn it into a beautiful flower. If He can do this with a tiny seed planted in the ground, how much more does He love and cherish us?

Do not let the worries, concerns, and stress of life deaden you to the beauty God holds for you. Allow the same love, sun and rain God provides for the plants to nurture your life in the same way.

My friend, take some time today to rest in your Heavenly Father’s arms. While you are there, ask Him to free you from the bondage of stress and fear you have been experiencing and allow your faith to be refreshed by His grace and mercy.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Believe in Yourself, Bible, Broken, Challenge, Courage, encouragement, Exhausted, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Joy, Weariness

Living Intentional

Seeking Joy In Our Lives

During this time of constant busyness and chaos, we find it easy to focus on all the difficulties and hardships life brings us, but today, I want us to “intentionally focus” on finding something joyful in our day.

For some, this may be found in the smallest of places, while others may find this to be easy. It does not matter how easy or hard you may need to look, my question is this, will you join me in pledging to live intentional while seeking something joyful in your day?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” James 1:2 (NIV)

It is my desire to start a trend where we daily seek to find some joy in our lives, even if we are living in amid our darkest of times.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)

We can all agree that life is hard most of the time and unfortunately, we can easily focus on those hardships, but God shows us in both James and Romans that we have a reason to be joyful, even while living in the midst of some of our hardest of times.

There is a key to finding joy when we are having difficulties because of the darkness we may be living in.

The key is to retrain ourselves to “live intentional” while looking for the joyous moments in our lives. 

By doing this, we will be able find the power to disregard the negativity while seeking to live a more positive and intentional life.

My friend, I know how hard life can get and how dark it can appear at times, but I want you to know, you are important and you deserve to be happy no matter how hard life has you knocked down.

Take some time today to intentionally and purposely look for something which makes you happy. When you find it, cling to it, be thankful for it, and do not allow anyone to take it from you.

My Friend, make the time to find your joy today!

Feel free to leave, My Joy Today was… below in the comments section.

I would love to share in your joyful moments. We often rally around those who are in the midst of hard times but often forget to share in the joyous moments too. Today, I want to share in your joyful moment and be thankful along beside you if you will have me.

Chronic Migraines, Courage, encouragement, Hope, Inspiration, Journal Journey, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Medical Journey, pain, Parenting, Rawness, Real, Rest, Strength

The Battle of Courage

Journaling Journey

It is Friday night again and we are sitting here together as Kiddo does another week of IgG Infusions.

This is not the best way for her to spend her Friday night, as most college students her age are out having fun, but doing it tonight is proving to be so much better for her.

By doing this on Friday night she is able to go to bed and sleep off the side effects that she was was trying to work (literally through) before she changed to Friday night. She is also able to rest her body tomorrow as she struggles through the remaining side effects.

She is amazingly strong and courageous. Every time she does this, she amazes me at the strength she has to sit there and inject 4 separate needles into her legs and then sit there for an hour or more while she waits for the infusion to finish.

For all she battles with her body on a daily basis, it breaks my heart to watch her, but I also find a sense of pride to call her my daughter because I know she has dig deep down inside to do something that the rest of us take for granted every day.

Her road ahead looks a bit dark as we struggle to figure out what it is going to take to give her her life back, but thankfully after four long hard years of struggling already and battling for the fights we have won and battling the fights we have lost, we are closer now to finding this solution than she has ever been in the years back.

It is my prayer that the journey she is on with the new medicines and treatments that there will be an end to this battle she battles within her body.

I was going to get ready to close until she just read me this amazingly fitting bible verse which I will share with you as well,

God is with her, she will not fall. Ps 46:5

God, you are amazing with your timing.

I was not going to write tonight as I often feel like what I write is not important and would not affect anyone else, but with closing with this verse and knowing Kiddo has no idea what I am doing, I know I was meant to write this tonight.

If you are battling a battle that is one you never dreamt you would battle, know you are not alone.

God has your back just as He has my daughter’s. He is with you, My Friend!

Find peace and comfort in this tonight.

Now I am going to close as I am sure Kiddos infusion should be close to being finished.

My friend, rest tonight. Allow God to take the burdens of the week away from you and sleep in the protection of His arms tonight.

Anxiety, Bible, Bondage, Challenge, Comfort, Courage, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Rawness, Real, Strength, Stress, Trials, Weariness

What Do You Have In Your Boxes

Psalm 9_9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Journaling Thoughts

Choosing Which Box to Open

I must just sit down and take some time to decompress from the stress of life. I feel like I am trapped on a hamster wheel and I cannot get off. I know everyone has problems, we are all human, but how we handle them is completely different.

Box of WorriesI for one, compartmentalized my stress and worries. I have so many issues and concerns that worry me that I have found if I place them all into their own individual boxes then I can open them as I need worry about them.

As for my boxes, they look a little like this…

  • One for finances.
  • One for my daughters’ medical issues.
  • One for my husband’s medical issues.
  • One for my blog.
  • One for my business.
  • One for staying on top of managing my home and family.
  • One for trying to be a good wife.
  • One for trying to be a good mom.
  • One for trying to be a good daughter.
  • One for trying to be a good friend.

And the list can go on and on and on.

Unfortunately, for me, I can have all my boxes opened at one time and have all the contents, or in this case worries and concerns, laying all over the floor in a big heaping mess.

In the “picture perfect” world, I would only open one box at a time, but not me. I am that “raw” and “real” mess and I am exposing myself to you today with the hopes of encouraging you to know, if you too are like me, you are not alone.

I am not, by any means, saying this is healthy, as I know it is not, but what I am saying is that it is real and there are others who live in this messiness, we call life.

By living this way, it is impossible to give all this the focus it needs to be done efficiently and therefore it feels like everything in my world is either getting ahead of me or I am constantly in a state of it all falling apart.

I juggle all of this and because I do, nothing on this list gets my undivided attention and as a result, makes me feel stressed out, inadequate, and frustrated.

Do you have a set of boxes similar to mine and find yourself feeling the same way?

Psalm 9_9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.My friend, if you do, I am going to share with you what God shared with me this morning.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in the times of trouble.” Psalms 9:9-10 

We can use this verse as a means of strength when we are weak, as a source of courage when we are scared, and a source of comfort when we are lonely. 

When life has us knocked down like I described above, He is always there to guide us back to a time of stability and normalcy and strengthens us from our time of fragility. He is always there, even in the middle of our biggest messes, when we choose to open all our boxes at one time and then we feel overwhelmed and frightened by what awaits us.

My friend, God is our source of strength even in our darkest and weakest of times. If you have wandered away from Him and feel like you have strayed so far that He has forgotten you, I am here to remind you, you have not. He knows you and remembers you. He wants to be your comforter and your source of strength. He wants you to know you are loved unconditionally.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (1)Remember the familiar bible verse that so many of us learned when we were children or new Christians,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

He loves us all unconditionally. He loves us no matter how messy our lives are. He loves us despite how many boxes we may have or how many we may have open at one time.

There is one thing that remains consistent as I write this blog post and it is this; God keeps reminding me that no matter how many boxes I may have opened or how many boxes I may have dumped all over the floor at one time, He is reminding me that it can all be picked back up (similar to our children doing clean up and putting all their toys away) and that once it is all picked up and placed back in the box, the cover can be closed and we do not have to see the mess any longer.

My Friend, as I close out this post, it is my desire through exposing the rawness of my life, that you are encouraged by knowing no matter what you are going through, God is still by your side. He is there comforting us as we open our boxes and wants us to turn to Him while we navigate our way through the boxes.

Be encouraged and know that no matter how dark and messy life may seem, there is always a hope to cling to and that hope is our Savior who is “ALWAYS” by our side. We are never alone no matter how lonely you may feel.

Peace and comfort my friend as you finish reading this. It is my desire if you struggle with the same messiness I struggle with, that God can use my ugly revelation today to encourage you to know you are not alone and that above everything else to know God is and will always be by your side.

 

Anxiety, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Hope, Journal Journey, Journey, Life, Medical Journey, Rawness, Real

Look Up When Darkness Surrounds You

Journaling Journey

Are you finishing up a difficult night like we are?

Our night has been difficult because Kiddo had a tough one. She has not felt good all day, but despite this issue, she still had to do her weekly IgG Infusion.

She felt defeated and beat down. She struggles on nights like tonight when they are difficult. What makes it even harder is when she questions why God gave her so many health issues and I have no answers in return. All I can say is, “I do not know.”

Are you feeling beat down and defeated tonight as well? I have some simple advice for you.

“Look up when darkness surrounds you. God is waiting for you.”

@homelife&encouragement.com

This seems like a simple task, but yet it is often times very difficult.

My friend, keep your chin up and remember, tomorrow is a new day.

Have a good night and a great new tomorrow.