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You Are Never In Total Darkness

Do You Struggle With The Power of Darkness

I am feeling God has a few of His own who are in need of some encouragement today.

  • Are you struggling with finding your self worth and identity because somehow over the years and the busyness of life you have lost who you are? Know, you are not alone.
  • Are you struggling in a difficult relationship? Do you struggle with a battle within you to know if you stay and fight for your marriage or is it time to walk away? Know, you are not alone.
  • Are you fighting with health needs? Are you in pain all the time? Are you frustrated with fighting with the doctors or insurance companies to get them to listen to you, to hear you, and to help you? Know, you are not alone.
  • Are you in a season of struggling with your child/ren to get them to listen to you. Do you feel like they are distancing themselves from you and your family? Are you frustrated and discouraged? My friend, do not walk away from this struggle. Keep pray, keep loving, and keep reaching out to them. They need you, even though they may not feel as though they do. Fight for your child! Remain their safe place. Know, you are not alone.
  • Are you a new parent who is fighting sleep deprivation and as a result feel the weight of darkness all around, but you do not tell anyone as this is suppose to be one of your happiest times in your life, as you hold the love of your life in your arms? Know, you are not alone.

My friend, God gave me this verse for you, who are in pain today.

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”” John 8:12 NKJV

No matter how dark life might seem, please know there is a light that is wrapped around you. This light is so you will never remain in total darkness. It is God’s light which surrounds you and has you consumed because one day you believed in Him.

Allow that light to shine on your darkness while you use it to light the way out of this dark time. Follow it until you find the peace and comfort you need to not feel alone.

My friend, reach out to those who are closest to you. Allow them to help you, pray for you, and encourage you.

If you feel they are not enough and you would rather reach out to someone who doesn’t know you, feel free to leave a comment below. I am here to lift you up in prayer.

My hope God uses today’s encouragement to touch your heart and to remind you, you are not alone.
Anxiety, Brave Art of Motherhood, Broken, Burn out, Discouraged, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Rawness, Stress, Trials

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.

 

 

 

Anxiety, Broken, Comfort, Depression, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Grief, Hope, Journey, Life, Peace, Strength, Weariness

Seeing Beauty Thru The Tears

Encouragement Today

design-191Are you struggling tonight or today? My friend, I am here to remind you your pain is real.

Are you feeling the pain of an illness that has you worn down and exhausted? Are you struggling with the darkness of depression or PTSD? Do you have tears running down your face, but no one sees them?

Are you grieving the loss of a parent, spouse, child, sibling, or close friend? Do you feel the pain so intensely that you can not fathom what life will look like without them?

Are you the caretaker of a loved one battling the ugly disease of cancer? Do you hold their hand and stroke their forehead to comfort them while you choke back the tears in order for them to see you are strong?

Please know despite the darkness which is all around you that there are brighter days ahead. It is hard to see right now but know during this time of your deepest sorrow that it will become a source of your greatest strength.

Take the time to think about this analogy. When a thunderstorm comes rolling in, does it not darken the sky and override the beauty the sun provided? Think about your life as a thunderstorm. You did have the joy of the sunny days, but the storm clouds rolled in hiding those experiences from you.

The wind begins to blow and the rain begins to fall. As the thunder gets closer and stronger, does it not begin to feel fierce? Well, this is where you may be right now. You are in the thunder part of the storm. The thunder is clapping, the wind is blowing harder, and the rain is pouring. You are in the darkness of the storm with the tears streaming down your face, but hold tight, my friend.

Just as every thunderstorm passes, so will your trials and struggles. Be sure to look back and watch for the brilliant rainbow that often appears after a bad or severe storm. As you dry your tears, ask God to show you the beauty of the storm you just went through.

How many times have you noticed, as you look around after a storm, everything has a brilliant shade of green to it. The leaves on the trees, the grass on the ground, the flowers in the gardens take on a sharpness to their colors. Despite the storm, the wind and the rain, the lightning recharged the ground and providing an electrical charge to our nature all around. Only could God take something as dangerous as lightning to make His creation beautiful.

Just as God does this with our environment, He does the same with our lives. Consider your trial and hardship right now as the lightning of your storm. It does not last forever. It will pass no matter how severe it was and the same will happen here. Take the time to see the brilliance of the trees, the grass, and the flowers. Ask God to reveal what you are to learn from all you are going through while you ask Him to show you His rainbow of grace, so you can move past this trying time.

Keep your chin up no matter how hard or dark this time is for you. I am here to remind you that no matter how difficult this time is, there will be brighter days ahead. Just as the storm truly passes, so will yours.

You are stronger than you think, My Friend. You will get through this time of darkness!
Broken, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Faith, Journey, Strength, Weariness

You Are… Enough During Your Times of Darkness

Encouragement Today

6CAE17F5-3B96-4DED-9AF1-02C8075D801BToday’s Encouragement is sparked by the rawness of life.

I am writing today out of 100% pure exhaustion so I am not sure how well this will all come together, but it is my deepest hope and most sincere prayer it will touch someone else out there today.

I live a life where I am going to be brutally honest and admit I have enabled my family to totally depend of me for their everything.

If you were to ask them they would completely disagree with me, but if you looked at our life through the window I think you would see what I see.

I am not sure psychologically why I have allowed this to happen, but I can tell you a few physical reasons I have allowed it to happen.

Since my husband’s PTSD diagnosis back in 2012, I have done everything I know how to do to make his life easier on him.

I felt bad for him because he was struggling with so much stuff that to add any extra on him was more then he could handle. I picked up doing his chores, both inside and outside. I do all the yard work and everything I physically can handle and know how to do. I rarely asked him for any help or advice because that would add more stress to him when he was already maxed out on that to begin with.

Now jump ahead to 2014, this was the year he lost his job of 15 years. Let’s add an ugly situation to an already bad situation, need I say more?

I continued to do everything I knew how to do because now we were in a bigger mess. We needed a job and quickly. My husband was struggling with fighting with his former employer over his termination because they violated his ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) Rights. He was fighting with the Department of Veteran’s Administration to get his disability appeals through the system as well as seeking advice in how to fight City Hall (per say) with our job situation. They recommended he go through the Labor Department and seek assistance from them, which he did, only for them to be of no assistance. They waited until we had exhausted every and all means of our monetary existence before they decided we had a valid and legitimate case to be looked into. By then it was too late. We needed an income and we needed it now.

While all of this was going on I was struggling with how to go get a job to help us when I homeschooled our daughter (and had from day one of preschool) as well as tending to her with her multiple medical issues. I just did not know how to do all I was doing in our home and work outside our home as well. This was and is a continuous struggle for me because this issue seems to never go away in our home.

I truly had to trust and rely on God for every step, direction, and guidance in how He was going to help us out of this ugly mess we found ourselves in. I clung to Him with white knuckles. There was nowhere else to go. You don’t tell people this ugliness of your life. It is mortifying, humiliating, and degrading. You kept this ugliness to yourself.

I am sure if you asked my husband he would say I didn’t do that great of a job with handling all of this mess. It was a fearful and scary time in our life. I spent a lot of time in tears behind closed doors and at night crying into my pillow. The stress our home endured was just totally insane, but in the end God blessed us with a job and he went back to work after nine very long months of no job.

God did protect us. We kept our home and our bills paid. Food was sketchy at best, but we still ate. Every little bit, no matter what it was counted when there was nothing coming into the house.

So back to work my husband went. We were ever so thankful to have a job again, but unfortunately this isn’t the end of our financial struggles, because the pay is nothing compared to what we were making at his previous job. We just keep making due and holding our breath from pay day to pay day.

I still do everything around our house, continued to homeschool my daughter through her high school years and added multiple doctor appointments a week to our already busy schedule due to her decline in health issues.

I carry a huge burden on my back to keep our home running efficiently because when you live as close to the edge as we do, one wrong step and life goes into crash mode again. I wish I could say I strive to keep our home a happy one while we continue to struggle, but happy it is not. We have been and continue to remain in existence and survival mode.

My husband shows little emotions any more. I went through many years of anger and rage with him. You learned to not say anything. Don’t rock the boat, so they say. Now, years later, the VA has worked out his medicine and he is stable for the most part with his anger. Thankfully the rage isn’t seen very often any more, but the damage is done. The damage he doesn’t see any longer. The forgotten hurtful words, the constant pushing away, all that is a distant memory to him, if it is even a memory, but the effects are permanently embedded and etched in my heart, my soul, and my existence.

It is hard to walk away from everything we have been through and not be scared, but one thing is for sure, you don’t talk about it. Do not show emotions because they are wrong. Well, as a result, I have become a very angry person. The tables have turned because of years of living like this.

I am tired, worn down and broken, but there is no time for any of those emotions, Stuff them and move on. Reach down, pull up your boot strings and move on with life. There is too much to do to keep this house running then to feel sorry for yourself. Finish homeschooling, tend to medical appointments (now with both of them), keep up with the chores both inside and outside and take care of them when they are both sick or injured. This is what I do.

This is the raw and ugly side of my life. I am writing this because I feel God wants me to share this ugly side of my story to touch someone else who might be struggling with their own difficult situation.

I am sharing this today to share with you the hope of a brighter tomorrow. Today may be hard, but tomorrow you might have a day where the sun will come out and you will breathe in the fresh air and God will show you there is hope again. He will show you there is hope in a new tomorrow.

My friend, the key to my long and ugly story is that no matter how dark life can get, God remains by your side constantly and continuously. He will never forsake you. When you think you can not take one more step, He is there holding you up, encouraging you to take one more step, good job, now one more, and one more. It is Him who gets us through these tough times in life. Him and Him only. We are never strong enough to wage these kinds of wars, but with God by our side, He always gives us the strength we need when we need it.

Trust me, I am living proof of this. Even today as I am writing this in my state of pure exhaustion (for a different reason I didn’t cover here today), I can not continue to do what I am doing in this state without His strength. One day this present situation will end and life will go back to normal, but until then I have to lean on God to get me through.

I just wish I could learn to do it more gracefully and happily. It hurts me to my core to be angry (when this isn’t normally my personality). It hurts me even more so when my husband calls me on my behavior in a not so nice and loving way when I stood by his side when most wives would have left and I didn’t when he was so ugly.

I guess this is where I would offer some encouragement to those of you out there in struggling marriages. It is never a good idea to knock your spouse down when they are already hurting. Anger is a sign of hurt. It is a superficial emotion which is most times masking the real emotions that lay beneath it.

If you love your spouse and you see them struggling, whether physically or emotionally, love them enough to reach out to them, hold them, act like you care about them, and listen to them. Do not get so busy in being hurt that you forget they need you. You might even be surprised that what you offer in the form of love might be just what they needed and had been lacking.

Just a few random thoughts to my humiliating story I told. God and I had made a deal many years ago that I could continue to live this hardship, if and only if, He could turn my wrong into a good. If my hardship could help to encourage just one person then I would know my struggle was not in vain.

“If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:9-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

My friend, hold your head up high and know you are a child of the King and no matter how hard life may seem right now, you have a home already waiting for you with Him. You just have to be strong enough to trudge through the dirty and mucky waters of life right now, but always remember, you are never alone!!! God is holding your hand right now! 

Lastly remember this…

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

You are… enough!

Disclaimer… please do not think badly of my husband. In order to truthfully and honestly tell my story, there are times he may not come out in such a loving fashion. This is what makes writing from those tough and raw emotions so difficult. I have to decide if I am going to share my story when God leads me to, that it will not be pretty which is counterproductive to our social media platoform today where everyone only sees everyone in their most beautiful and perfect state. Their families are perfect, their marriages are perfect. They are beautiful, like runway beautiful at all times, but my friend, life isn’t all of this.

There are messy hair, stay in your pj’s kind of days. There are days where you may struggle to like your spouse that day or your beautiful kids are about to cause you your sanity if you hear one more time, “moooooooooom!”

This is the ugly and raw side of life. This is what I vowed to write about in an open and honest venue such as my blog.

So again, I beg you to please not think of my husband or my daughter in a negative light. We all have our faults. Mine are so many, you can’t possibly count them all.

I am sure you are the same way whether you dare to be open and honest about it or not.

Broken, Challenge, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Journey, Life

Invest In Your Relationship Today

Encouragement Today

Your Encouragement Today is a simple reminder that relationships are never guaranteed to remain healthy and secure if you are not willing to invest your love and time into them.

It is very dangerous when you begin to assume your loved one will always be there because you can never assume without love and work, that a relationship will remain secure and intact.

Everyone has seasons in their lives when life gets hard and difficult. If you are going through a time like this and you have pushed someone away but you have not made an attempt to reconnect, you need to know, you may be risking the possibility when you are ready to allow them back in your life, it may be too late. After you pushed your loved one away, you are not guaranteed they will continue to wait for you.

God designed us to build relationships based on love, communication, interaction, and connectivity. When you build a wall these relationships are no longer able to blossom and grow.

Think about a flower in the field. If it never received sun, water, and nutrients would it continue to grow? No, it would wither up and die.

My Friend, the same thing happens to our relationships. Without the proper investment of time, communication, and love, you can not assume you will have a relationship for a long term.

“You can not continue to make withdrawals from a love bank, without making deposits; for one day you will wake up realizing the account is closed due to bankruptcy.” – Unknown Author

My challenge for you today is this… if you are in a relationship that has been strained, consider doing something that will show your special person you still care, appreciate, and love them.

My friend, notice I did not say unconditional love? As much as we would like to believe our spouse or loved one loves us unconditionally, they do not always. They need to feel you still love them, appreciate them, and need them. If you do this for them then your love can remain unconditional, but if you do not, you can not assume this to be true. This is especially true if you have shut down and no longer provide these to your relationship.

Take some time today to invest in your “special person”. Show them you still love them. Make them feel that love they once had for you before you shut down or shut them out of your life.

It is my prayer it isn’t to late for you and your relationship if you are struggling today.

Do not wait! Do not assume they know you still love them! Show them! 

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to us. Accidents happen and relationships die.

Do not let this happen to yours! Invest in yours today! 

Comfort, Journey, Strength

Hope Sees The Weary Through

It is my desire and prayer that this will touch your heart and God will encourage you today.

I don’t know what your struggles are or what you are going through, but I do know God sees your every move and your every difficulty. You are never alone,  no matter how light or dark your life may be.

I had already begun writing on this topic and something went wrong because when I returned to finish it I found it missing. I am going to take this as a sign that what I have on my heart is meant to touch someone out there.  The enemy is working hard to prevent you from reading the encouraging words God has for you to hear.

I am not sure what your struggles might be. You have to fill in the _______ blank as to what you might be going through in life.

Are any of these possible areas you are struggling with…

  • Do you have an invisible or chronic illness? Is it one you struggle with daily, but no one can see, therefore to outsiders they don’t see your what you go through?  Does it affect every aspect of your life; your personal and professional life? Do you have a hard time maintaining relationships with family and friends, because they don’t understand the struggles you battle with over your health issues? This is a hard life to maintain.

 

  • Do you struggle with a visible illness such as a disease or cancer? The chronic fatigue of both the visible and invisible illnesses leaves you drained, worn out and exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally. These are real struggles that come with a high price.

 

  • Are you battling with the darkness of depression? Do the demons of depression alter your ability to think rationally and clearly? Is this darkness consuming your every thought making life nearly impossible to navigate on a daily basis?

 

  • Do you struggle with the horrible effects of PTSD? A good many of the same demons that play out with depression are visible here as well, however with PTSD you find your life often times debilitating. You loose yourself through the lies you harbor in your mind. Those lies rob you of family and friends because you are always pushing them away. You feel your life is consumed within itself and that no one truly understands what you are going through or what you have been through. The lies have taught you no one cares about you or loves you. These demons continue to cause chaos and havoc in your life and you lack the ability to fight back against it.

 

  • Do you find yourself at a hospital holding the hand of a close friend or a loved one whose life has been affected by a tragedy? You are trying to be strong to show them the courage they need to fight back against the injuries the accident left them afflicted with. Are the injuries ones that will affect your loved one for the rest of their life? This is a struggle that may be a short term struggle but one that is significant at this time?  It can be exhausting while going through it, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

  • Lastly, are you a caregiver of a loved one but are feeling weak and weary from the mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion? You wouldn’t have it any other way, but the drain you are experiencing is exhausting. You carry the weight of their illness. You are always thinking of a way to brighten their day, while you push through your own day. Most often times, you forget about yourself and don’t allow yourself the time to care for your needs. Self care??? What is that? I don’t have time for that. I must do this and this and this to help the person you are caring for. My friend, this is an honorable deed, but you have to remember yourself in the process. If you  take some time in the day to meet your physical, mental, or emotional needs, you will be able to maintain the rigorous needs and demands of being a caregiver.

IMG_1716 My friend, whether I have touched base with your struggle above or you are experiencing one I didn’t mention, know that each and everyone of them are equally important to the person going through them.

Each one can leave you feeling alone, fearful and discouraged.

I feel God wants me to tell you that all of those feelings are not of Him, they are all feelings the enemy places on us to make us feel helpless and empty. God has a bigger plan for times of hardships. He uses them for good. He can take any difficult situation and bring blessings to either the person going through it or will use your story to richly bless others.

I know right now it may seem like an eternity since you have been struggling, but God has a promise for each and everyone of you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God isn’t going to leave you during your hour of weakness. He is preparing a much bigger plan for you and it is one that will bless you at the end of your journey.

DesignMy friend, no matter what today looks like or how hard it was to get out of bed, do not be discouraged, your God has a mighty plan for you. Do not loose your focus because although it may feel like your life is an eternity, it is not. God is preparing a mighty future for you. Hang tight and know your God is preparing you for an amazing blessing and is preparing a testimony which He will use for his good

Ride the ride and let God have the steering wheel for He is in total control, you are not.  Many many hugs to each one of you who are struggling.

You got this Friend! You can do this. Cling to the “Hope” of a brighter future and know this time you are going through isn’t forever. That is God’s promise to us.

 

Courage, Hope, Journey

Courage For The Road Less Traveled

Do you ever find yourself traveling along the road called life and wonder how did I get here?

Did I sleep walk through my life because I just don’t know how I got here at this time?

This can be either a good or a bad response.

It can be a great response because your life is amazing.

You have an amazing spouse, whom you love and cherish and even more loves and cherishes you in return. You may have children that are amazing, whether grown or not.

You and/or you spouse has a wonderful job and finances are stable. Life over all is just good.

You are so in love with your life that you just can’t get enough of it.

One day you woke up from your journey and just looked in amazement and wondered how did you get here?

You see this as an amazing blessing because you may not have started life out so good, but the life you traveled brought you to this point now and you are blessed, encouraged and happy.


Unfortunately, your journey in life may not have been easy. It may be wrought with trials and struggles.

Did you have an abusive relationship? Did you have the love you dreamed of, but did it end tragically?

Now you find yourself alone and grieving for that relationship or career you dreamt of having, but don’t have any more or never had.

Are you in a relationship that is scared by the affects of PTSD? I know many are today. Either you yourself have it or you are the loved on sitting back watching its ugly affects wreak havoc on your loved one?

Are you at a point in your life where you thought you would be financially stable, but due to difficult circumstances you are not?

All of these circumstances are difficult at best to deal with on a daily basis.

So the question at hand is, did you wake up one day from this road less travelled and wonder how did you get here?

My sweet friend, no matter if you find your life is rewarding and amazingly wonderful or you find your life is extremely difficult and discouraging, you are not here by accident.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV

‭‭God promises to use “all” of our life for the purpose of His good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NIV‬

For the person who has already walked that difficult journey and has been blessed with the reward of waking up to an amazingly wonderful life, you can see the blessings your difficult journey brought you, but remember your journey isn’t complete.

This is the time to be encouraged by the road you are traveling.

To the person still struggling and wishing you could go back to sleep and sleep through your difficulties, be encouraged God is walking ahead of you preparing a way for your future. Your journey isn’t complete either.

He is using these hardships to pave the way ahead of you and is preparing your blessings for what lies ahead. He is going to reward you for having the courage to go down the road less travelled to reach the end of this difficult journey.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.””

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sweet friend, in closing, be strong and have the courage to continue traveling this road God placed you on. He is walking with you. You may have woken to this good or bad dream called life, but God was not surprised by how you got here. Cling to the promises He will use these circumstances to bring goodness and glory to His name.

To those who have reached the goal of “a happy” life, your trials in life are not over. Do not loose your focus on your Heavenily Father who blessed you with these blessings.

He is still using your life for what lies ahead of you as well. Rejoice and be thankful for this time of blessing. Give God all the glory for this season of success and happiness, but do not become haughty. These blessings and ” perfect” gifts came from above.

To those still struggling, you’ve got this! God is paving your path, just follow a His lead. Be strong and have the courage to see this journey to the end.

Hugs to each one of you as you travel down your journey in life. God is with you every step of the way.

Courage, Depression, Journey, Strength

Hiding Behind A Mask

Hidden Emotions


Do you walk around during the day feeling confused with what your emotions are?

Do you go out in public and put on a brave face and even a smile when it is needed but down inside you know you are struggling while deep down inside you just cry.

Do you ever feel like you are wearing a mask to hide your true emotions from everyone including yourself?

Do you wish you could be honest with your feelings without showing weakness or vulnerability to others to include yourself?

Are you trapped in a life where it is best to conceal your true feelings because you are trying to protect the people around you? Are you afraid of rejection or condemnation from others if you reveal your emotions?

My friend these are all real feelings you are experiencing.  I am not saying they are right or wrong, but I am saying they are real.

The reality is this must change because if it doesn’t it will consume you and alter how you view the world. This becomes visible when you begin experiencing anger, frustration, discouragement, depression and resentment.  Once these settle in, they make it harder for you to manage and maintain your relationships with others.

Often times these extensive emotions are seen in life situations that are out of our control. They can be seen when grief isn’t properly managed and when traumatic situations such as accidents, abuse, critical illnesses, injuries, and war occurs . PTSD is also a hidden illness that can alter your real emotions and transpose them into something they are not. When these are unrecognized they can become so bad they  can destroy your life and your family.

Many people experience emotional hardships, but the most important key here to know and remember is that you must identify it before it consumes you.

An important step to conquering this emotional journey is to recognize these difficult emotions are present and gain control over them again, but how do you become honest with your feelings when you have spent so much time running away from them?

The most important first step is to check in with God. You are going to need a heart to heart conversation with Him and put everything out on the table. You can’t be afraid to let Him know your fears, concerns, and worries. Believe me friend, if you think you have been hiding from Him all this time you are sadly mistaken. He knows what you have been going through. He knows what the mask you have been wearing looks like. God knows every little crease, crack, and color in your mask. Why would He not know your every emotion when He created you the way you are? I promise, your emotional state of mind is not a surprise to Him.

img_1404Another helpful step is to confide in someone you trust. Is there a friend, a spouse, a trusted confidant that knows your every mood and knows when even you are hiding from yourself? This person may not be easy for you to recognize as you may have been pushing them away for a long time, but if they truly have not left, they might be the best person to turn to. Often times this person is a friend and you never realized it.

Often times this person may not even be someone you know right now, but if you take the time to step aside from your present circumstances God will place that person in your life even when you least expect them. God will reveal this person to you when you least expect it.

I can tell you from experience, if you have this person in your life, they will be your greatest source of encouragement and will be helpful to you in finding your true emotions despite the mixed up emotions you are harboring.

Another helpful step is to find a good counselor. They are trained professionals and will guide you and assist you in sorting out what you are experiencing. They will listen to you, help you to sort out life events that have occurred in your past and present thus helping you find what your buried emotions allowing healing to begin. If they feel you need additional help from the medical professionals, they will be able to make that educated decision for you based on your circumstances.

Finally, dear friend, you need to recognize if this is occurring and recognize there is a problem. If you have a friend or a family member bring this to your attention please try not to become defensive, but be receptive because they love you enough to bring this to your attention.  Seek help so healing can begin and restoration and renewal will come back to your life.

This isn’t an easy topic to discuss because it touches us at a very deep emotional level. This is why we wear our masks, but the mask isn’t going to help you get to the bottom of a serious problem. Sweet friend, please do not ignore this problem if your family or friends bring this up to you because they love you and want what is best for you even when you can’t see it for yourself. Take your mask off, breathe, and seek to find your life again leaving the hidden emotional baggage behind. You have the control to break this vicious cycle and pattern in your life, but you have to recognize this problem.

Know you are not alone. There are people who love you unconditionally. Let them into your emotional darkness so they can help guide you back to your life again.

Hugs and Prayers Friend as you travel through this emotional journey.

Burn out, Depression, Hope, Journey, Strength

Challenges and Obstacles

When we are weak, He is strong

Walking in the shadows of others often times has us on a track of self destruction.  This isn’t ever a good place to find yourself, but without proper self care will be inevitable.

Have you walked in the shadows of someone or something? Have you walked in the shadow of your children via homeschooling, education, extracurricular activities, or their busy schedules? Are your children small and you are still feeding, diapering, napping, working and trying to hold it all together while trying to be a good mother? 

Are you a Military wife or husband with a spouse who is deployed and you are trying to manage your family and household while missing your loved one? Are you worried about their safety while not letting on to your children or other family member?

Are you a spouse of a family member who suffers from Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Are you trying to manage your loved one as they struggle with a host of challenging issues including angry outbursts, withdrawal, depression, anxiety, and health induced medical issues?

It is easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of life that before we know it, morning becomes afternoon, afternoon becomes night, and night becomes bed time. Then sleep sets in and we do it all over again the very next morning. This happens day after day and before we know it, we haven’t taken any time for ourselves and we find we are weak and in desperate need of a break from the daily duties of life.

img_1402Have you lost yourself in the shadows of your life? It is never too late to stop and find yourself again. In all honesty now is the time you need to do this. You can not properly take care of someone else if you are hemorrhaging from your own exhaustion.

There is a reason why when we fly on an air plane and the flight attendant tells us in the case of an emergency to put on our own oxygen mask before assisting your loved ones or those who can not assist themselves. If we run out of oxygen ourselves we will not be able to properly assist anyone else.

This same principle exists here as well. God wants us to take care of ourselves if we are to meet the needs of those around us.

Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted? Are you feeling like the world is teaming up against you? Are you questioning how you can possibly do this (fill in the blank) one more day?

“As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord ʼs word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.
‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭22:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My friend, you are in desperate need of a break. You need to take some time for you. You are in need of some private self-care time.

Have you forgotten what you like to do because you haven’t done anything for yourself for a long time? Now is the time to start thinking about yourself. It is never to soon to change and do something new, something you have never done before. So instead of getting frustrated at how you have lost yourself and the things you use to like, take the time to find a new hobby or form of enjoyment.

Ask God to…

  • Reveal to you what lessons He is trying to teach you.
  • Guide you to a new and fulfilling enjoyment in life.
  • Show you how to find rest in your weary state of mind and body.

It is obvious that you are unable to do this on your own terms or you would have been taking care of yourself all along, but it is never to late to seek God for a new beginning.

Love yourself sweet friend to take care of yourself now.

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”
‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭22:33‬ ‭NIV‬


 

Burn out, Depression, Journey, Strength

Are Your Discouraged or Burning Out?

Is Your Life Spinning Out Of Control?


 

Do you ever just feel like you can’t take one more step forward, hear one more Moooooom, hear one more, “I need…” and so on?

Exhaustion is just so hard to push through. I believe the Energizer Bunny has to be a mom because I think many of us are so tired that are just operating out of pure habit instead of truly functioning.

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There are many different circumstances that affect many people  who reach this point of exhaustion. These faces take the form of mothers and fathers, homeschool teachers, working mothers, care takers to sick children, care takers to a wounded/sick spouse or parent and Military spouses who are taking care their injured spouse .  These just skim the surface of all the faces of people who experience exhaustion, but these seem to be the ones I know of that are affecting people today..

Burn out comes about from a state of chronic stress and the inability to get out of your circumstances. If burn out occurs you will find great difficulty leading a professional life as well as accomplishing simple daily  tasks.  If you find you are struggling daily, observe your life and see if the following is occurring.

Description of Burn Out… 

  • Physical and emotional exhaustion. 
  • Cynicism and detachment
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness and failure

Physical and Emotional Exhaustion occurs when your body does the following…

  • Chronic Fatigue.  If you notice the following occurring, you are experiencing chronic fatigue. You notice a lack of energy as well as extreme exhaustion.  You can’t get enough sleep. You begin to notice you are emotionally exhausted. You are just feel empty with the inability to “help” any more.
  • Insomnia. You will notice you are struggling to either go to sleep or stay asleep. Initially this occurs only a few nights a week, but without notice it begins to occur more frequently. Then as a result of this insomnia you find yourself struggling with physical exhaustion thus adding to the chronic fatigue above.
  • Forgetfulness.  You find you are struggling with the inability to focus on tasks no matter how big or small they are.
  • Physical Symptoms. You will begin to actually feel physically sick. Some symptoms include, headaches, chest pains, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, and more.
  • Increased Illnesses. You begin to experience a weakened immune system, colds, and flues.
  • Anxiety. This is most visible if you experience tension, worry, and are exceptionally and easily frustrated.
  • Depression. Hopelessness and the feeling of worthlessness begins to settle in.  You experience a lack of energy and motivation to do simple things you once enjoyed and found easy to do.
  • Anger. Tensions rise and your irritability level is higher than what would be your normal.

Cynicism and Detachment… 

  • Loss of Enjoyment. If you find you no longer seek personal enjoyment in your life, family and friends. You no longer seek enjoyment doing your hobbies, exercising, and activities you once loved.
  • Pessimism.  You find you are a negative person now.   You feel like your thoughts and actions don’t count for anything any more.
  • Isolation. You are finding you are happy when you have more time alone.  Instead of eating lunch or supper with others you are more than happy to do this alone. You begin living behind closed doors more. The further into isolation you go the more irritated you become if someone invades your personal space and can even become angry when people wish to communicate with you. Conversations become more difficult for you because your time alone has been interrupted.
  • Detachment. You will withdraw both physically and emotionally from your personal and professional life.

Feelings of Ineffectiveness and Failures…

  • Feelings of Hopelessness. You seriously struggle with the feeling of nothing going right. You feel  like nothing  matters any more. You loose the natural fight to make a difference in what you once believed in because to fight becomes too much work at this point in time.
  • Increased Irritability. You feel useless, not important, and ineffective in what you use to do whether in your professional or personal life.
  • Lack of Productivity. You being to procrastinate doing your to do lists and finishing projects. You no longer are able to plan ahead like you use to. You live more in the moment you are thus not allowing you to think ahead or even multitask projects any more.

img_1268I’ve spent extra time researching this topic to share these symptoms because of their importance level.  Anyone who lives with a family member who has experienced trauma in their life or a Service Member who experiences PTSD will see all of the above symptoms. This is a daily life for them.

Now here is your hope and encouragement.  God is always by your side.  If you find you are experiencing burn out then you have just made your first step in the right direction of healing.  God will show you how to climb out of this dark hole. Just remember, you didn’t get here over night and healing won’t happen over night.

Here are some steps to help you gain the strength to battle is burn out phase.

  • Look to God for the strength you need to pick yourself back up again.  
  • Lean on Him for your strength.
  • Listen to your praise and worship music. 
  • Read your bible even if it is nothing more than 5 minutes at a time. The more you read the more you will heal.
  • Spend time talking to God.  He is listening to the words you say and is listening to the words you don’t say.
  • Take your baby steps forward my friend.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  • Lastly, journal my Friend.  Write those feelings down so you don’t harbor the unhealthy thoughts in your mind. Write them down and let the healing power of writing help you through your healing process.

One day you will find yourself again. Hope is easily lost when traveling through this difficult journey but know this isn’t hopeless.  You can do this. You are stronger than you know and braver than you think.  God is empowering you. Accept his strength, grace, and mercy for He loves you. Let Him love you and let Him show you His love  to you. One day the love you need for yourself will return again. You’ve got this friend!