Christmas Note of Encouragement, Comfort, Depression, Discouraged, encouragement, Journey, Life, Peace, Strength, Weariness

Our Greatest Gifts Do Not Come In Beautiful Boxes

Christmas Note of Encouragement 

Credits: @HomeLife&Encouragement 

This Christmas Season has been anything but a typical one for me, but it is one I will cherish more than any gift I could have ever received. 

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I worked extremely hard to decorate my house for the holidays so by the time we got into the busy part of the holiday, I would have it done and would not have to wonder where I would find the time to decorate. 

What I did not know or could not have foreseen was how different this season would look to me. The hustle and bustle of the holiday went on hold for several reasons, one of which included everyone in my family being sick. Another reason was when I decided to shift my focus to how I could help my daughter catch up as well as finish all her college classes, from where she struggled earlier in the semester with being sick and being in massive pain due to her chronic migraines. 

I remember when I decided to put Christmas on hold to help my daughter, I asked God to bless me later with the time I needed to catch up and to take the stress away for being behind and He did. 

Here are several ”specific” prayer requests I had which God answered directly in just this holiday season. I am sharing them today because I too struggle, like others, to see God at work and to answer my prayers, but I want to encourage you that He does.

My Friend, God is truly answering our prayers whether we see them physically or not. I am going to share several of my answered prayer requests that have occurred over this Holiday Season to provide you with an encouragement to see God is at work. 

  • I asked Him specifically to multiply the hours in a day so my daughter would have longer to work on her classes. He multiplied the hours just as I asked for, and because of this, my daughter finished all her classes on time. 
  • I asked from Him to remove all the stress of the holiday season away from me this year, and He did. 
  • I asked Him to place it upon my mom’s heart to call me because I missed her, but without a voice, I could not call her, and He did. 
  • I asked Him to show me physically, that my mom still truly loves me and is proud of me, despite my letting her down for circumstances out of my control, and He did. 

My Friend, I am writing about these specific answers to my prayers to encourage you to know God is listening to the desires of our hearts. We do not always see the answers to our prayers, but it does not mean He is not answering them. 

I am writing about this experience to show you,

“Our greatest and most cherished gifts do not come wrapped in boxes while topped with a gorgeous big red bow. I am writing to encourage you the best presents come from within our own heart. 

Cited by, HomeLife&Encouragement

What has touched you this season? Who has done something that left you in awe and touched beyond measure? What gift have you received that you will cherish in your heart for a life time? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below. 

The experience I received this year came when my mom called me yesterday. She does not call often, but yesterday she richly blessed my day with not only calling me, but also by telling me with the most loving words, that she still loves me and not just loves me, but truly loves me. I have not heard these gentle, loving, and meaningful  words in years. Yes, I get the I love you when you hang up the phone, but these words were different. These words were said with  gentle love, which I have not heard in a long time.  

The second gift she gave me was when she told me she put up a little Christmas tree this year. This was powerful to me because she has not done this for ten or more years. When we lost my dad, it was like part of my mom’s heart died with him.

I have struggled for years with my mom battling holiday depression that would begin as early as November 11 and last through New Years, every year. As a result, the strain this would cause for me every Christmas season was pretty intense. I found over the past couple of years that in order for me to protect my broken heart, I had to withdraw from her for most of the season because it was just so difficult to talk to her. 

This year thankfully is shaping up to be different. She said with a joy in her voice that she was happy for the first time in years to put up her Christmas tree and a few decorations as well as lights. This was the best present she could have ever given herself let alone given to me. It is my prayer her heart continues to heal because to hear this joy in her voice is the best as well as a priceless gift she could give to me as well as herself. 

My Friend, if you are struggling this season with thoughts of discouragement and you are just in need of seeing God answer your prayers like He did for me, consider doing this, just talk to Him.

So many times people fall into the trap of having to be formal and pray formally with God, but I do not feel this way. I talk to God like He was sitting here with me, in person, right now. I figure He knows me better than I know myself because He created me, so when I spill my heart out to Him, this does not take Him by surprise.

Tell Him what you need tonight. He is listening. Then sit back and “trust” He is working it all out for you. Do not expect to see a physical prayer answered unless you asked specifically, because this is when we walk away disappointed. Instead of watching for the miracle or prayer to be answered, walk away from it, but if and when you see it, then rejoice with God knowing He is allowing you to see the physical request being met just like He did for me. 

My prayer seasons have been pretty dry. We struggle a lot. I pray a lot, but honestly, I struggle to see the effects of my prayers which is why I am writing about this journey today. 

This is my gentle reminder this Christmas Season, God is still here. He is still walking with us, talking to us, helping us, and holding our hand along every difficult step we take. Take some time to talk to Him and allow Him the opportunity to bless you this Holiday Season, just as He did for me. 

Broken, Burn out, Depression, Discouraged, Exhausted, Hope, Journey, Life, Trials, Weariness

Finding Sunshine Through Rainclouds

water drop

 

I am trying to write down words which are lost. I am trying to flush out the scattered thoughts for the wise and logical thoughts. I am trying to smile when I only want to cry. I am trying to move forward when my body was to seize to a paralyzed state. I am trying to hold everything together when my life seems full of chaos.

What does “real” life look like? What does “normal” look like? What do words look like when you can’t remember how to form them? What do feelings look like when you spend so much of your time running away from them?

I am not writing to seek sympathy or to receive any more words of discouragement. I am not writing to enjoy a pity party. I am just writing to clear my mind of all the scattered thoughts I am harboring, because there is no other outlet to free myself from this bondage.

It is my prayer however, if this can encourage someone (somehow), that God will allow the use of these scattered words and emotions to encourage someone else who may be struggling then I will be happy.

I suspect my ability to form any normal thoughts may not be easy, but if you are ok with my ramblings then we will all be good.

Life has become mad, yet but again. I just do not want to go down this road again. So much so, can I just run away from it all? Can I just leave everything behind, literally, and just escape life so I do not have to worry, plan, fix, and overall do “everything”?

We spend so much of our life just existing that when times of trials roll around there is no strength to lean on to get through the next crisis.

I took July off because I was struggling with encouraging others when I just could not find the words to share with you all. I just needed to feel like I took the month off to regroup and do some soul-searching. Unfortunately, I did not expect that soul-searching was going to be as a result of finding out a friend had taken her own life way to soon.

When you talk to others, which is what I heard when talking to someone, that suicide is such a selfish act. Disclaimer, I am by no means supporting or advocating that suicide is the right thing to do or that by any implication that I am suicidal, but I think before passing judgement on those who choose to do this that maybe we need to walk a day or a week in their lives.

We live a very difficult life. Our money is “always” tight and often times not enough, both my family members struggle with health needs that have them both sick all the time. It is exhausting to hear this day they are sick, this day they are in pain. This day they can not do anything all day because of x, y, or z problem. This day they have a doctor appointment which means in order to advocate for them, you are going to the appointment and you are the one trying to think ahead of the appointment to ask any and all of the questions that need to be addressed.

Then there is the stress of employment as our only bread-winner of our house is one of my sickly family members. What are we going to do if we lose this job? We have already experienced this once as a result of sickness and disability so to think this could happen again is scary. I DO NOT want to ever go through this again, especially right now.

Between the weight of financial problems, medical problems times two and now a dog with medical problems, I just want to run away by any means possible. This is too much to carry for too long. I find myself questioning what if God took me home today. How nice would it be to not live this life any longer? I wonder what was my friend going through that she thought the same thing, but took it even farther and ended her own life to escape the pain, the confusion, the expectations of others, the need to be the “perfect wife”, the need to be the “perfect mother”, and the need to get everything done in a timely and orderly process. I am not sure what she was going through that caused her darkness to consume her life, but I can understand a certain amount of it because I am living a similar darkness. The only difference between her and I is that no matter how discouraged I may be, I have no intentions to ending my life. I am willing to wait for God’s perfect timing.

For anyone who has followed me for any length of time, you will remember back to February of 2017 when my husband experienced a colon surgery and it was a very difficult road to recovery. I had struggled during that time to write because of an ugly darkness that consumed me, well I am back here again.

My husband has been out of work for a week now as a result of the same problem that caused him to have surgery way back when. I am writing tonight because we are back to this same problem he had surgery for. It appears this problem has resurfaced and created a new problem out of an old problem. We found out after spending and entire morning and part of an afternoon at the emergency room this week that he may be pending another surgery in the same area. We are unsure if this occurred because something in fact went wrong with the first surgery or if he was that ugly ten percent of patients who experience this same problem again.

I have not clue for sure what all is going to happen. He has an appointment on August 15th with his previous surgeon to see what all of this means and to determine if a future surgery will be required.

If this happens it will be another surgery, more time off, and most likely more no pay due until he goes back to work. The thought of this just seriously makes me sick to think we have to experience again.

Then there is my precious baby boy who just went to the vet for his yearly check up to discover he has allergies and is most likely allergic to grass as this seems to be what causes him to break out severely. Then as if that was not enough information to receive that day, then there is this mass on the bottom of his back foot and we discover he will need to have surgery to remove it and then have it tested to determine at a 50/50% if it may be cancer. This is scheduled for August 23rd, and if it is cancer we can hopefully isolate it to only his foot so it does not travel.

I love my dog beyond words and do not want to see him struggle with all of this let alone the possibility of fighting cancer. We just do not even have that kind of money let alone if my husband goes offline with his own surgery.

Well, thanks to a negative conversation I just had, I have completely lost my train of thought and my words again. So whether this is a good place to conclude my blog post or not, I will have to end here without a conclusion.

I can not make any promises or guarantees that I will be back to post on a regular basis or not, but just know I have not forgotten about my blog.

If you are struggling with a difficult situation, please know you are not alone. The darkness may have you consumed, but do not give into out of desperation.

This time will pass as everything does eventually, but I understand how difficult it can be to wait it out.

If you wish to release your thoughts on a total stranger, please feel free to leave a comment below. I promise there will never be any judgement held against you.

I can however pray for and try to encourage you through your trial.

Many hugs to the rest of you who are also struggling.