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There Is A Reason For The Season

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

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.

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God Will Light Your Way

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

My Friend,

Are you struggling with a difficult situation and you just feel beat down and alone?

Do you feel like no matter where you look, you only see the darkness of your circumstance?

Well, I have an encouraging reminder to share with you today.

You are not! You are not alone, no matter how lonely you may feel and you are not surrounded by the darkness that has you consumed.

God is here to remind you, today that, “His Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.” Ps 119:105

Be encouraged knowing God is with you, every second, every minute, and every hour. He is with you and will provide the light you need to see through the darkest of times.

Lean on Him and you will not feel alone. Lean on Him and you will no longer be consumed by your circumstances. He loves you and He is holding you up today.

Be Encouraged Today, You are not alone.

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Waiting on God Does Not Lead To Disappointment

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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.

Wait for your “Wow”.

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Our Broken Spirits Are Healed

Today’s reminder is a simple one!

Are you feeling alone? Are you feeling overwhelmed?

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This reminder is to encourage you to know, despite how you may feel, God is with you. He is saving you from all you are feeling.

Turn your eyes towards Him and allow Him to heal your heart.

Lastly, no matter how you may be feeling, you are never alone!

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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.

 

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Changes Are Powerful

Revealing All Sides of Them

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

I am popping in to say I am still here. Last week ended up crazy busy because Kiddo stayed well enough for me to in fact paint the inside of my house while my husband was gone. I am so happy I did because I have a “real” confession to make, my house was filthy.

When I began to tear it apart to get into the crevasses and corners you do not see on a regular basis, I began to see stuff that made me cringe. It truly broke my heart because Kiddo is highly allergic to this kind of dust. It makes me wonder how much our own home was contributing to her sickness?

Well, it is clean, updated, and fresh again. As we were making these changes we were both excited because we like change. Change breathes life into whatever it is you are changing. It to us is not a bad thing because we love it, however, to my husband he was not impressed when he came home to my freshness and change.

He hates change, but I was to be able to paint and make over rooms in my house in the past. I suspected he was not happy this time though because when he came home from being away his silence was deafening. I was not able to get everything I wanted to be done because he was not gone long enough, so he did not see what I have envisioned yet. I was not able to get the trim painted or put up the special signs I am going to make. At this point, I have decided to wait on painting the trim as I think this will truly be too much change. He needs to sit on these changes for a while.

I have an immense “raw and real” confession to make, this rejection hurt me to my core. I do everything I do to keep our home running efficiently while both he and my daughter spend more time sick than they do well. I run them to their countless doctor appointments so I can stay on top of their health issues and so for me to do this because it made me feel good was beyond disheartening.

I got extremely upset Saturday night and had a complete meltdown. I was yelling and screaming (not my finest moment or one I am proud of), but it was because I was tired of hiding my hurt and exhaustion any longer. I was tired of hiding behind my mask that says it is okay you hurt me again. Unfortunately, I crushed my sweet daughter in my rant because it started with her and I arguing with each other over my not willing to go to Washington DC for Veteran’s Day, but that was not even what had me upset. I was upset with her dad and his stubbornness to see these changes were important to me and that I needed this for me to find my happy place again. She didn’t know this. She only saw my emotions boiling out of control to the point they erupted like an out of control volcano.

I told you this to share my deepest and real feelings which I hide from behind my mask, the mask that says I have it all together when in full disclosure, I have nothing together. As my husband told me the other night in my fit of anger and yes rage at one point, I have become psychotic and I need help. This is only his perspective. I, however, stand on the truth of my own emotions. Unstable is the least of my problems. I am however over-worked, over-burdened from carrying the load for both of us for so long. I am exhausted both mentally and physically and depressed for the lifestyle we are living in now and will continue to live for him to be happy here. What he does not realize, understand or see, is that if I was as unstable as he believes me to be, I could not continue to carry the unbearably heavy load I carry to ensure he has a happy life while he struggles with the burdens of dealing with his own PTSD.

I am not sure how it has happened but since 2012 I have tap danced around my husband’s war triggered PTSD and anger. I have walked on cartons worth of eggshells to keep him happy. We stopped doing things we enjoyed as a family. We stopped attending events that were crowded because that was an anxiety trigger for him. Now both my Kiddo and I have found (as of this weekend that crowds make us both nervous and uncomfortable). I knew change upsets him so I make few “big” changes so he will not get upset, but my friends as I have found years later, giving in to all of this is not healthy for you as an individual. Your attempt to help them all the time is actually enabling what will become bad behavior and behavior that can, in turn, cost you everything. Everything meaning your happiness, your identity, and your life. 

Be careful how much of you, you give away to others. I have done some serious soul-searching over the past couple of days as I was on a personal quest to make changes within myself to find “me” to be truly happy again. Now I find myself at a crossroads because if my husband hates change to the point of me writing my deepest and rawest heart out here, then I have a much bigger problem of making changes within my own heart. He is not going to like the personal changes I make within myself because he will feel the effects of some of those changes.

So this is the question I am left with … do I continue my journey of self-discovery at the cost of everything, that meaning my marriage of almost 25 years and my family? How much is my need for change worth to me?  

Please forgive me as this post is deeply personal and I am writing from my rawest moment this morning. I am at this moment of pondering this simple quote written by Rachel Marie Martin in her book, The Brave Art of Motherhood,

“Be brave,” says my spirit. 

“Wait,” says fear.

“Have courage,” says my soul. 

“Not yet,” says worry.

“Dare,” says my heart. 

– Rachel Marie Martin 

The Brave Art of Motherhood

Where does this journey take me? Where does God want me to be in five years? How do I regain stability in my life again? All of these are questions I have and still need answers to. As I continue to find my way in life, I will continue to write about them as it is my deepest desire that if my heartache can help someone else to know they are not battling their own battles alone, then all of this pain will be worth it in the end.

 

 

 

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Seeing The Colors of Life

Encouragement Today

pexels-photo-602579-1

Today’s inspiration comes from the beauty of the fall leaves during this season. There is something inspiring and encouraging about how the leaves display their colors and how they eloquently and beautifully shine through this period of transition.

As we approach the season of fall, take some time to think about the similarities between our lives and how we accept the changes in our lives versus how the leaves in all their beauty handle the changes in theirs. Do you shrivel up and hide in the darkness hoping for life to just go away or do you pull yourself together and walk out your door with your head held high knowing no matter how difficult life may be, it is not going to knock you down to your knees in a state of paralysis?

My friend, think about how the seasons affect the growth cycle of a leaf. During this season of fall, before they die they will show their greatest beauty and when that passes they fall to the ground and feed the soil as they disintegrate thus providing the food and nutrients the trees need to flourish and grow again.

As you think about how the seasons evolve and go through their various cycles you will see how eventually fall will turn into winter and winter back into spring where the trees will begin to grow their tiny little red blossoms that will eventually become leaves again. As the leaves grow bigger and stronger they will endure the struggles of life as well. They go through storms, droughts, winds, rain, heat, and when they are lucky they experience the perfect day of sunshine and warmth. Unfortunately, even for the leaf, this is not something it experiences every day. It experiences more days of difficulty than it does easy days but yet it remains strong enough to stay on the tree through all of its adversities until fall presents itself again.

autumn autumn leaves blur close up

Think about the similarities we too experience. We have times when life is just going along easily. The sun is shining and the warmth of the day allows us the ability to just breathe a sigh of relief knowing everything will be okay. Then what happens when the storms arise and darkness sets in? Drought dries us up emotionally and heavy rains leave our lives flooded and paralyzed until the sun comes back out.

 

How do you respond to these challenges? Do you survive as eloquently as the green leaves do or do you let go and fall to the ground to shrivel up and pass away earlier than you should have?

adult blur camera dirt road

My friend, this is a tough analogy for us as humans to accept and to evaluate, but there is truth to it. Today’s challenge is to seriously make you think about what your life looks like. Are you the green leaf hanging on the tree limb determined to stay no matter what the weather conditions are until you can shine beautifully in the fall with your bright orange, yellow, and red colors? Or are you the green leaf that will be knocked to the ground prematurely to miss your season of beauty?

 

No matter how easy or difficult the spring and summers may be, the leaves continue to grow and remain green and fresh until the fall season arrives and they can show their majestic colors again. This is how God wants us to live our life. He wants us to remain strong in His loving care until our time comes to shine through showing others our true beauty. He wants us to live a life where we can continue to see the beauty of life that while not being consumed by all the adversity that surrounds us.

My friend, God wants us to look at life through the lens of a camera. Even when life is at its most fragile state. That lens has a way of showing us the beauty that hides on the other side of it. Open your heart and your eyes today to see the beauty of the fall colors that are all around you to include those that are in your life. 

Lastly, remember you are as beautiful as the most beautiful leaf you have ever seen.
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Finding The Way Through The Darkness

Encouragement Today

close up of leaf

Today’s encouragement is coming to remind you if you are living through a difficult time and find the fear of darkness is all around you, please know you are not alone. I am here for you, to hug you, and to share with you just a little bit of our dark story right now.

I am writing with raw emotions this morning because at this time we find ourselves in a dark hole again. If our life is not chaotic enough I tried to have a conversation with someone who is important to me only to walk away absolutely crushed.

I wish my life was not so messy. I wish I had a life that was not wrought with so many medical issues. For anyone who walks in these shoes knows going to doctor appointments is time-consuming and mentally exhausting.

I was hoping after my husband’s doctor appointment that I would walk away with some relief, but instead I walked away feeling even more concerned, but instead, we find ourselves waiting until the end of the month for answers.

I am thankful we will not lose our job as I texted his boss yesterday and she asked me to not send him back to work too early so he doesn’t go out permanently. This was a huge relief since we are going without a paycheck right now. I know his position at work is valuable and the others are taking his load upon their load while he is out.

Unfortunately, my husband has a doctor appointment the same day as our dog, Shadow. Shadow is having his surgery to remove a mass on his paw that may be cancerous. We will not know if this is the case with him until they send off his mass to have it tested. For anyone who has a pet that is like a family member, you understand why this is important to us. Shadow is a purebred German Shepherd and is only three years old. He has a lot of love and life to give, so to leave a potential cancer on him is “not” an option.

Now a double day of prayers for my family on August 23rd. My husband will have his colonoscopy to determine if his surgery site in his colon has shrunk because if it has, he will need a complete, invasive, open you up surgery. This is to open up his previous surgery site and put it back together after removing the restriction sight. And Shadow will be having his surgery around the same time as his colonoscopy.

If this was not a potential cancer, I would reschedule Shadow, but I do not dare to. We do not get Tom’s results until August 29 and if he needs surgery then that will most likely take place quickly so we can get Tom back on his feet again. If I just go through with Shadow now, he can be healing or healed by the time Tom could go down.

Why? Why? Why does all of this happen to us? I just do not understand? I have been asking God to show me what I am not learning so I can finally get this figured out and move forward to a better place.

If you find you are in a similar place, please know you are not alone. It is a very dark place to be, but we will get through. We did the last time we were here and we will again, just like you will as well.

Cling to the hope of a brighter tomorrow. We all will get there. I write about these raw emotions today to not only try to process them but to show others who may be battling similar issues that you are not alone. I know for me, the feeling of being alone makes situations like these even harder and even darker.

So, my friend who is struggling today, I am sharing a hug and an ear and a shoulder to cry on. If you do not want to remain isolated in this darkness, feel free to open up in the comments below. I am here for you.

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Trust Your Wings

Encouragement Today

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Today’s Encouragement is inspired from this quote,

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it’s own wings. Always believe in yourself”

– Unknown

My friend, today’s message is simple; believe in yourself. Have confidence in your own abilities.

All to often life beats us up and our confidence is one of the first things to go.

I am here to remind you to protect yourself from the evils of the world. Your confidence is important because it protects you by providing the power to fight back against the evils that await you with a soul purpose to tear you down.

Remain confident, My Friend! Believe in yourself. Do not let anyone rob you of what God created in you.

 

Disclaimer, I reposted this one because I loved the encouraging words. They inspired me and it is my prayer they will for you again.

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Learning To Sail With Our Master On Deck

Encouragement Today

design-207Today’s encouragement is to remind you to not let the power of fear rule your life. Life is a mysterious adventure and it is one that no matter how old you are, you have not lived. As I am beginning my day along beside of the rest of you, one thing remains the same, today is a day in my life that I have not lived before.

Everything that comes about is most likely something you have not done before because, with everything that is “normal”, there is something I have not experienced yet.

As our college students are packing up their things to head off to college, no matter if this is for the first time or they are going off for their senior year, no one has done what they are preparing to do. Packing may be “normal”, but what is right around the corner is not. They have not experienced the classes they are preparing to take because they will all be new. Will they be easy or will they be hard? No one knows until they get into the class and determine this for themselves. They may or may not have the same professors they have, had before.

I am certain, however, of this one thing, there are a lot of nervous kids getting ready to embark on new journeys.

It does not matter if they are a preschooler or a kindergartener, a first grader, or a middle schooler, high schooler, or college student; this one thing remains the same, they have not done what they are getting ready to do before.

This can be a scary place, one wrought with fear and anxiety. My sweet parents, if you have a child getting ready to set sail on this journey, guide them to their Master and give them the power to take control of their ship. Do not allow them to go off with the fear and anxiety they are harboring when their Master Sailor can take this away.

I also think of the people with health issues. Every doctor appointment you go to is uniquely original, as you have not done that appointment before. I think of this because my husband is sick with the very thing he had surgery for a year and a half ago. Is the illness the same, yes. What is different about this time is the treatment plan, now it has reoccurred. He goes back to the surgeon tomorrow, but tomorrow will be a new day with a new appointment and with a new treatment plan that we are unsure of.

This can be a scary place if I allow the anxiety, fear, and worry to consume me. He is out of sick and vacation leave, so with every day he is home, it is no paycheck. Is this a new place for us, no. We did this last time, but what makes it a new problem this time, is that we do not know what they will tell us. Will he have to have surgery again? Will it be a new lifestyle? Will it be a fix that is simple enough to be done in a doctor’s office? We do not know the answers which make this different from last time. We have not lived this before because we have not lived today or tomorrow before. I am, however, clinging to the hope that God knows about all of this even though we have not lived it yet, because I know with God being the Master of my ship, He will teach me how to navigate these waters smoothly.

Many people find their “unknown” to be a scary and fearful place. They find themselves in a position where anxiety, fear, and worry will consume them.

My friend, today I am here to encourage you to not let the fear, worry, and anxiety consume you. Go into every situation thinking about this sailboat illustration and remind yourself of this truth,

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship. Author Unknown

Allow yourself the same grace and mercy you show others as they are navigating waters they have not gone through. If you would not be disappointed in them for not knowing how to do something, why would you do it to yourself?

My friend, today’s challenge is to make a conscious effort to not be consumed by worry and fear. Remember this verse in the Bible,

“The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” Luke 8:24 NIV

No matter how alone you may feel during your storm, you have to tell yourself, you are not sailing your ship alone. You have something even better, you have the Master Sailor teaching you how to sail your ship. Allow Him to take control over your fears and anxiety because when you do, He will dissolve each and every one of them.

This is when you will truly be freed from the bondage of your anxiety and fears and will truly be sailing your ship while enjoying every moment of the fresh breeze in your face and the quiet sounds of the waves on the water.

You are worth this, my Friend! Let it go and truly sail your ship with your Master Sailor on board.