Thursday, July 12, 2018

Faith Over Fear

What is your biggest fear? Is it trying something new? Having surgery? Letting others down? Disappointing God?

For me, right now, it is following where God is leading. I know that I have shared before about worrying that my blog is not good enough. I write because I feel Him leading me to share and then I worry that it isn't good enough. I worry that I do not have the right words or that my words are not coming out how He would like for them to. Or worse, I worry that I will have writer's block and not be able to share a thing.

Did you know that God is there with you, even in the smallest details of your day? He is your strength and He will never leave you. Better still, if He calls you to do something, He will prepare the way for you and never leave your side (Deuteronomy 31:8).

That last nugget, is one that I need to remember.  He is with me, He will prepare the way for me and He will never leave my side.

Five Ways To Choose Faith Over Fear 

1. Seek out a quiet place. 

Find a quiet place, away from chaos, and just sit with Jesus. ---> my image, is a porch swing overlooking a pond with birds and butterflies all around.

2. Pray.

Spend time in prayer. Prayer is conversation between you and the Father. He wants to know what is weighing on your heart.

3. Read.

Read the Bible and devotionals.

4. Journal.

Write down what the Lord reveals to you during your quiet time.

5. Ask.

Ask for His help and guidance. <--- this is where I ask Him for His words to flow through me.

1 John 4:18 NIV 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Dear Father,  thank You for always being with me. Thank You for loving me so much that I have no reason to live in fear. It is Your love for me that drives out fear. I take comfort in that knowledge, Father. Thank You so much. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Are The Waves Of Life Making You Fearful?

Glass Half Empty?

Ways To Worship And Overcome Fear

4 Ways To Manage Sensory Overload

What is your biggest fear?
Is it letting others down?
Is it following God only to disappoint Him?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it,  I will be happy to help carry your load.

Whatever your struggles, you are not alone, we will face them Hand in Hand . If you are looking for community,  friendship, support, encouragement you are welcome to join my closed facebook group.

Photo credit: Chimene Gaspar @ 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hand in Hand, Facing Struggles Together

Hello my dear sweet friend. I wanted to ask you something.  Do you ever feel alone in your struggles? Do you feel like you suffer through things (good and bad things) on your own?

I have been praying for you and thinking a lot about you. I want you to know that you are not alone.

As far back as I can remember, I have always had a hard time making and keeping friends. I think it is the introvert in me that ends up pushing others away. Or after so much time of their trying to walk over me and not getting anywhere, they finally give up.

I struggle through things all by myself. Yes, T is here, but he just does not understand a lot of my sensitive tendencies. He tries really hard, but just does not always understand.

I have longed for a "safe haven". Someone that I could talk to about anything and she could talk to me as well. Someone that I knew I could trust enough to share my struggles with.

Friend, that is what I want to be for you. I want to be that "safe haven", that " comfort zone".

Did you know, that just before Jesus died, He longed to only spend time with His closest friends <--His disciples. On one occasion, He took off His robes, wrapped a towel around His waist, poured water into a basin and started washing their feet (John 13:1-7). Can you just imagine this scene? He loved them so much, that He was willing to kneel at their feet and wash the dirt, the sins away.

Picturing this scene brings tears to my eyes. His disciples were loved, they were safe. Yes, even though Jesus could see the bigger picture of things that were about to play out, He still loved each of them.

I long for that. How about you? Do you feel like you struggle through things alone?

Would you be interested in connecting with me and other hurting, lonely, lost,  women?

I am part of a couple of Facebook groups. One of which, had a poll posted recently. It was a poll asking the members if they are happy with this segment, want to see more of that segment, so on and so on. Then there was a question about if there were things that you would like to see in the group.

I spent some time sitting there looking at that question. My first thought was, yes, I would like to see a partnership match up type of thing between the members ( that were interested). The more I sat there thinking about it, the more that I knew the Lord was "nudging " me to set up a group of my own.

At first, I have to be honest with you, I argued and whined. "But, Lord, I ran a website before, with a newsletter. It is a lot of work." As I have mentioned in previous posts, I do not recommend arguing or whining with the Lord.

So, here I am, taking a step outside of my comfort zone. I already feel overwhelmed, but I want to follow where He is leading me.

Are you willing to join me? Take my hand as we venture into wherever the Lord is leading? I am here to hold your hand through your struggles, if you will hold mine as well.

OfferingGrace Hand in Hand is a community for women just like you. Women who struggle through every day and feel like they are alone.

What You Will Find @ Hand in Hand

1. Community 

First and foremost needs to be community. We all need to know that we are not alone, no matter what we are facing.

2. Email Pal/Friend

For those that are interested, you will be matched together with another woman. The two of you will then spend time getting to know one another. You will check in on each other at least once a week.

3. Support

No matter what you are facing, you will have the support of the community as well as one on one support from your email pal/friend.

4. Encouragement 

I will do my best to share encouraging blog posts with you and keep reminding you that you are not alone.

How about you?
Will you join me?
No matter your pain, no matter the guilt, no matter what the struggle is, I will be there with you. Grab my hand, take a deep breath and remember: You Are Not Alone.
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.

Click the image above to join and I will see you there.

Photo credit: Adrianna Calvo on 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

4 Ways To Manage Sensory Overload

What do crowded places, loud noises, flickering lights, strong smells all have in common? They are triggers for those who struggle with sensory overload issues. 

Tim and I went out to eat recently. We got out of the car to hear loud music playing. We walked in to the restaurant and the music is even louder, if that is possible. There are at least 4 televisions showing some type of sport related event. Lights around us are flickering. If anybody is talking, they are yelling to be heard.

For most people, this setting would have been tolerable. You might have even been singing along with the music. However, I suffer with sensory overload issues. I have been known to walk into a restaurant, here the music playing loudly, turn around and walk back out again.

Now whenever, T and I go out, I make sure to carry my noise reducing ear buds with me. They do not cancel out all noise, but they make it so much more tolerable.

Flickering lights are another trigger for me. Sadly, I am usually the only one that can tell the light is flickering.

Managing Sensory Overload 

1. Keep the noise level down. 

In situations where you control the environment, try to keep the noise levels low. Try to avoid carrying on conversations while watching tv.

2. Buy some noise canceling headphones. 

Buy yourself some noise canceling headphones or ear buds. <- They really do help.

3. Avoid trigger situations. 

If visiting a certain restaurant is a known trigger for you, choose a different one.

4. Clean the clutter. 

Clutter can create as much chaos for your brain as loud music or flickering lights. <-- it affects me and makes me afraid to move.

James 4:13-17 NIV

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

Dear Father,  thank You for always being with me. Father, please forgive me for thinking that my ways are better than Your ways. I never mean to boast. I am fully aware that my life is but a mist. Please help me to avoid such boastings and instead say, " if it is the Lord's will". You are in control, you know about my suffering, you know everything there is to know. Thank You so much. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Facing Anxiety With Scripture Pt. 7

Are The Waves Of Life Making You Fearful?

Glass Half Empty?

 Ways to Worship And Overcome Fear

Do you struggle with sensory overload issues?
Do you have any tips that you can share?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it,  I will be happy to help carry your load.

Photo credit: pixabay on 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

3 Reasons To Let Your Child Make Mistakes

Do you encourage your children to make decisions for themselves so they can learn from their mistakes?

As I try to prepare myself for the time that Taylor leaves for Texas, I can't help but reflect back over his childhood.

I do have to admit that all three boys have a level head on their shoulders. They are all good at making decisions and following through with them even when they have to pay consequences for bad decisions.

I remember one time in particular,  all three of them were playing with squirt guns. For some reason, they were playing with them in the house. And for added fun, they were shooting our TV with water <-- haha. Oh, I can look back on it and laugh now.

To be honest, I do not remember what their punishment was at the time, but as parents, we need to allow our children to make mistakes. When they make a mistake and then face the consequences of that mistake, it helps them to develop stronger decision making skills.

It is not easy letting them make mistakes, especially when you can see it coming down the road. If you are anything like me, you want to swoop in (mother bird to the rescue) and save them from whatever harm they may be facing.

Benefits of Making Mistakes 

1. Learn about consequences. 

When allowed to make his own decisions,  he will also learn about facing the consequences of a bad decision.

2. Learn from past mistakes. 

As she is allowed to make decisions and to learn from bad choices, she will also learn, with time and practice, from her past mistakes. It is better for her to fail under the safety of your protection than to fail out in the world on her own.

3. Develop self-confidence. 

By allowing him to make his own decisions,  it will help him to develop his self-confidence.  Try not to "fix it" for him, but allow him time to figure out what he needs to do.

Proverbs 19:21 NIV 

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Dear Father,  thank You for being in control of our lives. Thank You for blessing me with this time that I have had with my children. Father, as my children spread their wings and leave the nest, help them to remember that You are with them. If they should venture in there own direction, please gently guide them back. I trust that Your purpose for each of them will prevail. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Overwhelmed By Motherhood

Support For When Your Child Leaves For College

Empty Nest Depression

Feel Like A Failure As A Mother

Do you encourage your children to make decisions for themselves so they can learn from their mistakes?
Do you swoop in to fix things for them?
Do you have any tips that you can share?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.

Photo credit:  Pixaby on 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ways To Avoid Heat Exhaustion

What lifestyle adjustments have you had to make because of your chronic illness? What adjustments are you willing to make in order to help things go a little smoother?

Having a chronic illness means making lifestyle adjustments. Most of the time, I feel like I manage these adjustments really well and do not mourn my old way of life. Most of the time.

One adjustment that T and I have had to make is in regards to vacations. He just had a week off and we stayed around the house. I am not generally an outgoing type of person, but I do miss being able to take a trip.

The last actual vacation we had was in 2014, before T was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma and before I was diagnosed with secondary adrenal insufficiency ( Addison's Disease).

Since that trip in 2014, I have also found out that I have fibromyalgia. This means that I hurt everywhere, all of the time. The thought of sitting in the car for great lengths of time causes me pain.

So, we stayed around the house. We ran errands and I discovered that I now suffer from heat exhaustion very easily. I think that is due to the fibromyalgia, but since I have yet to find a doctor that will treat me, I am not really sure about anything.

Most of the time, I do not mourn my old way of life until I am in the position of being able to get out and spend time with my husband. I manage one errand and I am done for the rest of the day. Oh, and if I push myself to do more because I enjoy being out with T, then I will be tired and in a lot of pain the next day.

Avoid Heat Exhaustion 

1. Buy a small portable fan.  

Buy yourself a small portable fan. They have some that you can fill with water so you can mist yourself. There is even one that you can wear around your neck <-- hands free.

2. Carry a small cooler of damp wash rags. 

Buy a small cooler. We bought a lunch box and a freezer pack. Then I picked out several wash rags to be used just for my outings <--- in pink and purple. Then before you leave the house, you dampen those wash rags, roll them up and store them inside the lunch box with the freezer pack. Be sure to take one of the wash rags, put it into a sandwich bag and store it in your purse.

3. Wear light colored clothes.

Wear light colored clothes. Dark clothes absorb the heat.

4. Carry bottled water with you. 

Be sure to carry bottled water with you wherever you go so you can stay hydrated. Pick up some propel to mix in to add some flavor.

5. Cut off all your hair.

I know this is a big one. But if you are not overly attached to your hair, cut it off. I had T do mine and it is a huge help. Then you can buy bandanas to put around your head to keep from getting burned. And, when you get hot, you can wet the bandana and put it back on.

Psalm 139:13-16 NIV For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Dear Father, thank You for being in control of my life. When I start to get bogged down with focusing so much on my struggles, please remind me that You are the One that created my inmost being and knitted together inside my mother's womb. Father, I do praise You because I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Everything You do is wonderful. Thank You for always being with me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Life With Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency

Wait In Hope

Don't Struggle Alone

Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

Do you struggle with heat exhaustion?
Do you have any tips to share that might be helpful to others?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.

Photo credit: on

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Feel Like A Failure As A Mother

Do you have a child preparing to leave the nest? Are you starting to feel like a failure as a mother?

As your child prepares to leave the nest, you might start doubting your job as a mother. You might start questioning if he is actually ready to make this step away from you.

I know that when Phillip started talking about leaving, I had all kinds of self doubts. I started to feel like a failure as a mother. I felt like I had not done a good enough job preparing him to move away.

Of course, if I am honest, I always thought that when he moved out, he would stay close by. I had this image in my head of being able to visit him, make sure he was eating and what not. Most importantly, I would still be close enough if he ever needed me.

Then he packed up his car and moved 2 states away. If he ever needs me, he has to make do.

Now Taylor is about to load up a car and drive to Texas. He has already mentioned the possibility of not coming back once he is done with his masters work.

It is so hard watching them prepare to leave the nest. I always thought that we would be close. You know, all three boys and their families live right here in our neighborhood. They are all over here all of the time. If anybody ever needs anything, I am there.

Part of letting go is trusting that God is in control. He has plans for our children's lives. I might have this "perfect world" view of how I would like for things to be, but God knows what is best. He can accomplish His purpose easier if we allow our children to follow His guidance.

Shake the Negativity 

1. Pray.

Take all of your concerns and worries to God. He is there to listen and help.

2. Journal.

Writing is a good way to sort through your feelings. When you are done and close the book, leave those concerns in God's hands.

3. Read.

Spend some time reading a good, uplifting book; the Bible maybe.

4. Take a hot bath.

Allow yourself a 20 minute escape and take a hot bath. Let all of your negative thoughts and feelings go down the drain when you let out the water.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV 

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.

Proverbs 16:9 NIV 

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Dear Father, thank You for always being there. Thank You for being in control of our lives. Father, I must confess that I am struggling with letting go of another child. Oh, I am so thankful for the time that You have blessed me with him. Help me to remember that You know the plans that You have for him (for all of my children). You plan to help him prosper and not cause him any harm. You have plans to give him hope and a future. Help him and all of my children to follow the path that You have set before them. When they start to plan their own way, their own path, please gently guide them back where they need to be; establish their steps for them. Thank You so much. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Reduce Sibling Conflict

Overwhelmed By Motherhood

Support For When Your Child Leaves For College

Empty Nest Depression

Do you have a child preparing to leave the nest?
Are you starting to doubt your job as a mother?
Do you have any tips that you can share?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.

Photo credit: Jess Watters on 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

Do you suffer with fibromyalgia? Today, I am sharing some tips to help ease your pains a little.

"Mom, what exactly is fibromyalgia? Does it start in one general location?"

I was asked those questions by Phillip recently. What struck me most is the fact that I don't really know enough about fibromyalgia to explain it to him. Sadly, that is the same case with most doctors.

For me, my son, I hurt all over, all of the time. I feel like I have the flu with no energy and I just cannot shake it. There are days that the pain is so bad that I feel like a big dump truck just ran me over. On the lesser pain days, I struggle with feeling like I have a headache,  but in whatever part that is hurting me at the time.

Everything hurts. I "used to" enjoy having my back scratched. Now, if T scratches my back, he has to do it very gently. Hugging causes me pain unless you can hug without squeezing. My scalp hurts. Yes, you read that right. I have gone as far as to cut off all of my hair to help with that pain.

Now, as far as the pain starting in one location, I have no idea. I will say that everyone is different. Each person will experience pain at different levels and have different triggers that affect them.

According to this article on Medical News Today , they mention that about 5 million adults 18 and over in the US suffer with fibromyalgia, and 80-90% of those are women. Further down in the article, they mention that fibromyalgia may be hereditary among females. Females with a close relative that suffers from fibromyalgia have a higher risk of experiencing it themselves.

3 Ways to Ease the Pain

1. Listen to your body. 

Listen to what your body is telling you. If you are working on something and suddenly feel tired, rest. Just be sure that you slow down enough to pay attention to the signals your body is sending. Try not to overdo things.

2. Delegate household chores. 

Share the responsibility of household chores with your husband. If you are having a bad pain day, ask for help <--- I need to work on this area.

3. Rest, move, repeat.

Rest when you need to rest, but try to set a limit. After that limit is up, get up and move around for a while. Be careful, if you are like me, getting up and moving too fast will cause dizziness. After being "active" for a while, rest again.

If you are interested in reading more about how fibromyalgia feels, check out this article from The Mighty .

Isaiah 43:2 NIV When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Dear Father, thank You for always being with me.  I know that when my struggles are all that I see, You are there. Father, please help me to remember that when I feel like I am sinking, You are with me and You will not allow the rivers to sweep over me. When I face trials, You are with me and will not let me be burned are set ablaze. I thank You so much. In Jesus'  name, Amen.

Do you suffer with fibromyalgia or another chronic illness?
Would you mind sharing what it feels like for you?
Do you have any tips that you can share to help alleviate some of the pain?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.

Photo by: Pixabay on

Faith Over Fear

What is your biggest fear? Is it trying something new? Having surgery? Letting others down? Disappointing God? For me, right now,...