Anxiety, Bible, Depression, Discouraged, Grief, Journey, Life, pain, Stress, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

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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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.
Broken, Comfort, Depression, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Strength, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

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.

Bible, Discouraged, Exhausted, Faith, Journey, Life, Rest, Strength, Trials, Update, Weakness, Weariness

Pondering Thoughts of Hardships

design-167I wanted to take a moment in the quietness of my house to reflect upon as well as remind my readers that peace does have the possibility to be restored in your life.

I had to get up early this morning to give my baby dog his medicine and discovered he would need more homemade dog food, as I am trying to build his weak body up to prepare him for his upcoming surgery. I am making him ground chicken (with bones), rice, and this morning I added his favorite, carrots to his homemade food. He should be really happy when he eats supper tonight. I add this to his already grain free kibble and he is more than happy to join the clean plate clubbers fan club after each meal now.

As I was working about my house while my family slept, I was pondering everything that is going on in our lives. I was thinking about all of my concerns. The biggest being, “Please God protect our job.” I do not want to live through another horrible experience of job loss ever again.

As that concern popped into my head I was like, wait, I need to pray about this. So I asked God to remove all the worry from my mind if He truly has this situation under control. I will be brutally honest and tell you as I write this that my stomach got a bit shaken up.

I will take a moment to remind you of this though, (disclaimer I have to remind myself (which I will confess I struggle with)), no matter how scared or worried about a situation I may be, God has it already figured out.  

Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:26 NIV

img_9079All too often we forget this and feel we need to have the plans already figured out. Sometimes those plans go as deep as the alphabet because in our minds we not only have plan A, but we even create contingency plans B-Z. My question is for all of us is… “Why?”. Why do we do this when we know, hands down every time, that God has a plan each and every time? If he knows how many hairs on our heads than He knows our plans, our solutions, and our future.

“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 NIV

My friend, I am here to remind you and me both. Worry gets us now where. It steals our joy like a thief in the night. We are no longer able to see the things we enjoy in life. We no longer see the sun shining on a beautiful day or the precious smiles on the faces of those around us. It steals every part of our being. I say this because this is what it has done to me and continues to as long as I let it run my life.

We have to take a step back and reclaim our lives from this ugly monster. Cling to this verse as it often times pop into my head when worry has me consumed.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIV

Or if you are in a really tough spot try clinging to these verses. I find they give me comfort when I struggle with wondering why God has forsaken me in the chaos I may find myself in.

“Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns–and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26 NIV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

design-88God’s intentions for us is not to worry about things we have no control over. My friends, we spend so much time thinking that everything in our life is ours to figure out; our jobs, our spouses, our marriages, our children, our finances, our health, you name it and do we not feel like we are in complete control over it all? When it comes down to the wire and those things are falling apart, who truly has the control? I can tell you (from my ugly experiences) it is not us. Only does God know everything about all of these things we think we control. 

My friend, when life seems to be full of chaos with nowhere to turn, look to Him and be honest, tell Him your fears and concerns. Lay them all at His feet and pour your heart out and allow Him to do your problem-solving. Allow God to carry your burdens and free yourself up of the darkness and the mind games the enemy is playing with you. Shift your focus from the ugly, the negative, the concerns, the fears and look for the beauty in life again. God has all the other stuff. He even tells us to do this.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

So as we go into our weekends, let us join together and refocus our worries and concerns allowing God to fill us up with a “peace that passes all understanding”, His peace.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 ESV

My Friend, if you read my earlier post this week, you will know my writing all of this does not come easily. I walk a pretty tough road and I am just as stubborn at listening to God as anyone else, but I do write, however, what I feel God is trying to tell me and you as well. These words of encouragement and scripture did not come from me. They are what God placed on my heart to provide me with a comfort and a peace that everything will not only work out but that He has the control over all of it, I do not.

Join me in walking away from all the stress this weekend and allow God to renew our hearts and minds so when the week to come arrives, we will be rejuvenated and prepared for whatever lies ahead.

Give Him your “everything”, He can handle it “all”!
Broken, Burn out, Challenge, Comfort, Death, Depression, Discouraged, Exhausted, Grief, Hope, Journey, Life, Strength, Suicide, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

The Difficulty of Random Thoughts

img_9150-2This month has been a very busy one because we have been trying to get our home business off the ground and it has been a lot of work. I am hoping to cross the tide between what needs to be done, what has to be done, and what comes next.

We have thankfully got to a point where Kiddo is down to only one or two doctor appointments a week instead of three to five. This is a huge blessing and one I am thankful to have at this moment.

We have managed to get Kiddo enrolled into college full time to include an approval for financial aid via a Pell Grant and I am beyond excited for this.

However, this week has been an emotionally challenging one. I found myself trying to process the unexpected loss of a friend who was an encourager to me. She would post encouraging and thought-provoking quotes and images that would encourage people like me when we would need it the most. Unfortunately, last Sunday night her darkness and depression won a battle and she took her own life.

This has left me totally questioning the fragility of life. It has left me facing many of my own personal questions like how to battle my own darkness of stress, constant busyness, discouragement, frustration, and depression.

I have been pondering how to write about this as I try to process all the confusion and rawness of this delicate subject. Yesterday, her family with their friends and community celebrated her life in such a beautiful manner.

It is my prayer through her death that her ability to help and encourage others will continue. It is my prayer as a result, we can shed some light on the ugly monster called suicide.

I am not trying to be full of doom and gloom, but I have been lost in not writing this past month. Writing helps me to process mentally and emotionally, so as I continue to process what has happened this week, I will be writing more about this difficult subject.

It is my prayerful desire God will allow this devastating loss of my sweet friend to shed some light on this ugly topic and if her life and death would save even just one person, then her precious memory can be blessed as well.

Experiencing a heavy loss and sadness can produce positive results if in the right timing and in the right place. It is my desire as I write in the days ahead and you are struggling in this same area, reach out for help. Talk to someone. Do not let your darkness consume you to the point of taking your own life.

If you need help and you have no one to talk to, call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255. If you live Internationally click on the World National Suicide Hotline to find your country and call them for help.

Do NOT allow your darkness to take your life away.

Your life matters. You matter!!! Many people love you, more than you will ever know!! Live for yourself, live for them.
Broken, Burn out, Comfort, Courage, Depression, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Peace, Self-worth, Strength, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

The Beauty of One Piece of Pine Straw

Encouragement Today

img_8707Today’s inspiration came as a result of doing yard work. As I was raking up my pine straw to place it in my flower beds, God revealed to me how we, His people, are similar to that of the pine straw.

img_8701-3When you see only one piece, you think, how can that one piece of pine straw make a difference in a flower garden? One piece by itself can not, but when you rake it up into a pile then it becomes abundant and that abundance of pine straw is enough to make a difference.

We are a lot like this as humans. Many times as individuals we struggle to find our worth or importance to our family and to others. Many of us fail to see how we, as only one person can really make a difference, but we can.

God made each of us uniquely important. He made us for a reason and a purpose. Many of us are fortunate to see this purpose while others struggle to see it, but just because you may be struggling to see your purpose does not mean there isn’t one. God did not make a mistake, His plan is just as He intended whether we see it or we do not.

Many of us impact others through our jobs, through our ministries, through our schools, and throughout our everyday life. This is where we as a larger group we make a difference.

For those who do not have this as a purpose, you need to see that your life as an individual is equally important. Your life is intertwined in so many people’s lives that if something happened to you tomorrow, there would be people who would miss you and grieve for you. There would be a void in their hearts that would be hard to fill, whether you believe this or not.

img_8706This is why the analogy of the pine straw was important to me today. If it was not for the one strand that when put together with many others was not important then there would never be enough to use in a flower bed.

Each strand by itself may be seen as a nuisance, but is it really? I would venture to say no, because each piece I raked up today, no matter how messy it looked initially, made my flower bed look pretty and well maintained again.

Our lives are the same. If we just looked at the worth of our life as strictly a lonely individual, we are less likely to see our worth, but when we are pulled together as God intended for us to be, then we will be more likely to see our beauty for it’s intended purpose.

My friend, today I am here to inspire you to never give up. No matter how hard life may be, how difficult your circumstances may seem, how lonely you may feel, you are important. God has a special purpose for you and your circumstances.

It may not be visible at this moment in time, but if you just hang tight, keep taking one step forward at a time, God will reveal to you His plan and His purpose.

Then when He does, you will begin to see how beautiful your life is to others around you. God created you to be beautiful and in time you will begin to see that beauty.

Do not give up, do not lose hope. Your plan and purpose when revealed will be a beautiful as the one stand of pine straw is in my flower beds.
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Strength Overtakes Failure

Encouragement Today

Today’s inspiration was inspired by this quote,

“Failure Will Never Overtake Me If My Determination To Succeed Is Strong Enough.” – Og Mandino

Do not allow tiredness or exhaustion to rob you of your strength to succeed in your life.

Take the time to rest so you are able to continue your journey.

My friends, I have hit the point of exhaustion. This is why my daily writing has been scattered at best. I am not good at taking my own words and applying them to my own life and I hit that ugly wall of total exhaustion.

My body and my mind shut down and today have forced me to rest. I am hoping by giving into the exhaustion today this week will be more productive for me and I will be able to get back into the swing of everything I have let go for all the extra doctors and medical issues that came our way this month.

I am praying my family will stay healthy and strong enough that we will only have one doctor appointment this week and I will be able to find mental capacity to focus on things I have let go as a result of being over stressed.

Until I break past this exhaustion please know I have not forgotten about all of you and my blog. I am trying to engage my mind to think of things to write about, but some days that writers block wall is just too tall to crawl over.

I may just resort to inspirational pictures with captions until I can break through the ugliness of this exhaustion.

If you feel inclined to send up prayers for me, I will graciously accept them. I am quick to ask for my family, but I struggle to find the words to ask for myself, but I could use them now.

Thank you to my faithful followers who continue to read and follow my blog even when I hit times like these.

Blessings, Challenge, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Gratitude, Journey, Life, Peace, Weakness

Gratitude Can Change Rain Clouds Into Rainbows

Encouragement Today

design-130Today’s inspiration is focused on the power of gratitude.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault

There is power and strength in the gesture of gratitude because it has the ability to turn rain clouds into rainbows and tiny blessing into mountains.

No matter how difficult life may be or even seem, do not get lost in the difficulty of the trial. Try to look for the positive in your situation and find something you can be grateful for because when you do it will help to change your trial into a blessing.

I personally know this is not always easy to do, but if you could retrain your mind to do it (even if you start small), you will find life just a little bit easier. My friend, one step at a time. One moment of thankfulness at a time. Even for this, you will be thankful you did.

Your challenge today is to look at life through the eyes of gratefulness and look for something to be thankful for.

If you are in a season of struggling, this may be hard to do, but set out to take one step at a time and start small by being thankful for just one small thing. Eventually, with time and practice, it will get easier to be thankful and grateful for everything, even when it is hard to see.

You have this friend!

Feel free to share your moment of gratefulness below in the comments. I would love to share them with you.

Journey, Life, Update, Weakness, Weariness

Decompression Through Exhaustion

As I sit here in the emergency room waiting on my husband, I am trying to decompress in the quietness of this waiting room. It is not usually quiet so I am thankful God blessed me with this small reward.

I thought today was going to be a free day from going to a doctor, but unfortunately this was too much to hope for. I am praying however, that both my husband and daughter will not need one this weekend.

If they can both stay well enough to not need a doctor over the weekend then I will be able to have a two day break before taking Kiddo back on Monday morning.

This week has been a whirlwind of doctors. I am use to all the doctors my daughter has to see, but it becomes daunting and exhausting when my husband needs them too. This is when I struggle with being overwhelmed because to do one person is tough, but it is manageable. It is when they both need medical help in a week that I get overwhelmed and overloaded.

If you feel inclined to send up prayers for strength and peace for me over the weekend, I would be so appreciative. I’m tired, okay I will be honest, I am exhausted. My mood is ugly and I am lacking the compassion I need to be as a caregiver. I know my husband is mad at me, but I am overwhelmed and overloaded. Thankfully Kiddo tries to be a little more understanding, although even today was difficult for her. With this all said, if you feel inclined to say some extra prayers for me, I would appreciate it. Pray my husband gets better with his new antibiotics and pray pain, headache, migraine, and sinus infection relief for my Kiddo.

Thank you all and good night everyone.