Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Give Thanks Anyway

Today has been a gloomy, sad, down in the dumps kind of day for me. I cannot seem to pinpoint what it is that is making me feel blue either.

I have decided that I will spend the day with the Lord. So what does that look like for me? Well, for today, it has looked like someone with her nose pressed into a book. One of my favorite things to do is to Google something. Today's topic was "work". Then I find verses about work that speak to me and write them in my journal. After I write out a verse, I will take a few minutes to really think about what is being said and then I write out a prayer using that verse. I am currently putting together a journal of verses on different topics and writing out prayers from those verses.

Now, that I have spent some time writing out some prayers, I am going to focus on being thankful.

Here are some verses:



1 Thessalonians  5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 105:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!

What am I thankful for today?

  1. The many birds at our feeders 
  2. My family are all strong and healthy
  3. I got to hear my son, Jacob and the band live on the radio this morning <---- very big deal!
So how about you? What are some things that you do to try and shake the blues? What are you thankful for today, my friend? Please respond below. I would love to read your experiences and how you manage.

Have a blessed day.

Ps.. check out this post for more tips on fighting depression:







Tuesday, February 27, 2018

God's Unexpected Way of Answering My Prayers

It was back in the early 2000's. T and I were going through some marital problems. This is not a pleasant memory for me, so bear with me.

Yes, there had been talk of separation, but with the Lord's help, a lot of crying and patience, it never came to that. During that rough spot, he made the decision to get a motorcycle, without my input. I was scared of getting on one, but was more scared of being left behind. So, I got over my fear of the motorcycle and went with him whenever he went for rides.

Then in 2003, we were on a ride and I kept getting this eerie feeling. We would go around one corner and the drop-off was huge. I remember thinking, "okay, if we slid off the road here, how long would it be before someone found us?" I kept having those thoughts and feelings the whole time we were out riding that day. Needless to say, I was praying for protection and safety.

We finally made it out onto a main hi-way, so we could breathe a sigh of relief, right? You would think so, wouldn't you? Um, nope. We are going along at 55 mph, came up over this little knoll in the road and the next thing I knew, I was on the side of the road.

I remember thinking, "the road is too hot, I need to move" so I moved over into the grass at the side of the road.  We ended up hitting a Cadillac who was going way too slow and our bike slid underneath the car. Tim said that he slid down the pavement on his back, but managed to look over at me and thought to himself,  "This isn't gonna be good." He said that I was rolling at the time.

This sounds scary and all, but I knew that the Lord had everything under control. Let me explain...

Remember, when I mentioned that we went around a corner that had a huge drop-off? And how I kept feeling like something bad was about to happen? Okay, that lead to my increased prayers. And when we had our accident, we were on a main hi-way right by a biker bar.

We emptied that bar, btw. Everyone came out to make sure that we were okay. Everybody that spent time with me directly, even to the paramedics, were all women. I just feel more comfortable around women. Oh and then someone asked if she could bring me something, I told her I needed something to drink. Another woman handed over her cup for me and it was Dr. Pepper <-- my favorite. So, I know that God was there with us that whole time. He was in control.

As I think about how I might have wanted my prayers answered, that is not exactly what I was looking for, but God knows what He is doing.

So how about you? Is there a moment in your life that you see as an answer to a prayer, but that might not necessarily be what you were expecting? Please respond below. I would love to read your experiences.

Have a blessed day.


Monday, February 26, 2018

On Making and Keeping Friends

This is a hard post for me to write. Honestly, I do not have a single friend. Oh, I do have acquaintances, you know, those people that I can contact in a pinch. However, I do not have any friends.

Okay so what is a friend to you? Close your eyes for a minute and let's daydream together. What do you see when you look at your friend? What are you looking for in a friend? Are you looking for perfect? That someone that drops everything, no matter what and comes running when called? Me too. Sadly, we are not going to find perfection this side of heaven, but it is nice to dream.

When I look back over my life, I can see that I have always been someone that has had a hard time making friends. And then once I accomplish that, I have a hard time keeping them. You see, I am an introvert. I have been told all of my life that I am "Just shy" or that I "don't talk". You name it, I have probably heard it. Give me a quiet corner with a good book, a coffee and maybe a dog and I will be good for hours. However, friendships cannot function like that. Oh, trust me, I always put 110% of myself into my friendships. I have always been the friend that drops everything to go running, no matter what. I also have been told that I wear my heart on my sleeve, so, I tend to get hurt a lot.

What do you do when you feel like you are alone with your struggles? 

Honestly, more often than I like to admit, it will lead to me feeling depressed, like a failure and so many other negative things.

What I am trying to do now, when I feel alone, is hit the bible. Or I will hit google, type in bible verses on let's say "friendship" and hit search. I will then find something that speaks to me, maybe spend some time cross referencing that verse. Spend a little time looking up words from the verse or verses that speak to me and then I will write my own prayer using that verse.

In this instance, I decided to look at other translations :




Galatians 6:2 NIV Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

NIRV Carry one another's heavy loads. If you do, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

NCV By helping each other with your troubles, You truly obey the law of Christ.

My thoughts: As christians, we are called to help our fellow sisters in Christ. To follow His law, I need to be willing to help carry someone's heavy load.

Prayer:

Dear Father, thank You for always being there with me. Thank You for giving me this desire to help others carry their heavy loads. Father, I truly want to obey Your law in everything that I do and say. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.

If you struggle with making and keeping friends, please know that you are not alone. I am here for you.

Your turn:

Please take a few minutes to leave a response. I would love to hear what you look for in friends. What do you do when you feel alone? Most importantly,  remember that you are not alone. I will be happy to hold your hand.

Your Sister,



Saturday, February 24, 2018

Reflecting

Here we are coming up on the end of February and I thought it was a good time to do some reflecting. How is the year going for you so far? Are you someone that sets resolutions for yourself? If so, how are you doing?

A few years ago, I noticed that a lot of people were setting a One Word goal for themselves and, well,, I have been doing that ever since. This year, I had chosen the word PEACE, but it has since changed to include Trust. And now at just 2 months into the year, I have decided to have a verse instead of a word.


My verse:

Isaiah 26:3 NIV You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.

The Lord has been working on me about my complaining and being thankful. I cannot wait to see where things will go as I progress through the rest of the year.

I would love to hear how things are going for you. Please leave a comment below.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Let The Beauty Shine Through

What is beauty to you? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is only skin deep. Beauty is on the inside. These are all things that I am sure you have heard over the years, but what is beauty to you?

In this stage of my life, I try to pay attention to the little things. The blessings that the Lord reveals to me throughout each day. See each blessing and stop in wonder while giving thanks to the Lord for those few minutes of beauty that He has brought into my day.

My husband and I are dipping our toes into the world of bird watching. Every day, I am amazed by the display of beauty that presents itself at our backyard feeder. On pleasant mornings, I will open the windows and sit and listen to the beauty of song that these little birds are creating.

Beauty is everywhere. I just need to slow down long enough to turn off the negative thoughts and let the beauty shine through.


1 Peter 3:4 CEV Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and quiet. This kind of beauty will last, and God considers it very special.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Life With Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency

I was diagnosed with secondary adrenal insufficiency back in March of 2015. It has almost been 3 years now.

It was a very scary time for me. My husband had cancer and was spending a lot of time in the hospital; away from me (long story .... here). He had gone in for treatment and I got sick. Now let me mention here that I hardly ever get sick, so at first, I blew off this sickness as just a stomach bug that would run its course. Well,,,, it never did run its course. I was still sick and couldn't keep anything down (at all) when Tim got home from his chemo stay. I went to the hospital that weekend.

After running some tests, I found out that my sodium levels had tanked. They were 112 and they should run 136. So I was put into a step down room from ICU to make sure that I didn't have a seizure. I eventually found out that I had secondary adrenal insufficiency, was put on steroids and monitored for five days. Once my sodium levels came back up, I was sent home.

Secondary adrenal insufficiency means that my pituitary gland is not functioning properly and that has shut down my adrenal glands.  I have found out that I have a tumor on my pituitary gland that is throwing everything else out of whack. My body doesn't produce cortisol like it should, so I have to take steroids just to be able to function. I also have to take extra steroids from time to time when I get overly stressed.

I felt lead to share this with you today. Maybe it will help you to know me a little better.

Here is a verse that brings me comfort:

Psalm 63:8

I cling to You, and Your hand keeps me safe.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Thank You for all that You have done for me. In times when I am overwhelmed and stressed, I know that I can cling to You and that Your hand will keep me safe. Thank You for always being there. In Jesus' name, Amen.


For more info about secondary adrenal insufficiency , check out the following link:

National Adrenal Diseases Foundation

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Prayer For Healing

Oh I do hope that you had a nice weekend. It was a nice one here, for me. Tim put up our bird feeders on Saturday and then right after he did, it started raining (haha).

He told me that if he had realized that it was supposed to rain, he would have waited. Oh, but why wait? We were able to watch a lot of bird activity that afternoon. There were times that we had 10 birds on both feeders at the same time. I felt truly blessed.

I found out this afternoon that my oldest and his family are all sick :(. It breaks my heart to know that they feel bad, but they live too far away for me to try and help out. I try my hardest to leave it all in the Lord's hands.

Psalm 41:3 The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.

Dear Father, I lift up Phillip and his family up to You right now. They have all been sick. I know that according to Your word, You will strengthen them during their time of illness and You will sustain them while they are on their sickbed. I thank You so much for this. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.





Thursday, February 15, 2018

It Is Better To Do The Task Than To Complain

As you go throughout your day, do you ever catch yourself complaining about something that needs to be done? The Lord is really working on me about my complaining right now.

The dishes need to be washed and I catch myself thinking, "But I really do not want to do the dishes right now." And after the thought has taken hold, then it is easy to just let the task go undone. Then before long, it is easy to let the clothes go unwashed. Until before long, everything has piled up and I feel like a failure and start to deal with depression.

Do you ever deal with things like this? Boy, I hope that I am not alone in this.

I am learning that it is better to do the task, whatever it might be, with a grateful heart than to complain.




According to Colossians 3:23 We are to do everything as though we are doing it for the Lord and not for humans. I don't know about you, but when I stop and think that everything I do is actually for the Lord, well, I do not want to let Him down. I also do not want Him to hear me complaining about having to do something that He has blessed me with the ability of being able to do.

Colossians 3:23 NIV  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters 

CEB Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord not for people

GNT Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people 

Cross References:

Ephesians 6:7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord

Prayer:

Dear Father,  thank You for all that You have done for me and my family. Thank You for all of the things You have blessed me with. Thank You for giving me certain abilities so that I am able to accomplish the tasks You have set before me. Father, please forgive me for complaining about things that need to be done. Please help me to do everything with all my heart in service of You. I want to serve You. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Don't Be Lazy. Be Excited To Serve The Lord

I had an interesting morning this morning. I had let one of our dogs out and some movement in the yard caught my attention.  I stood there watching this bird for quite some time. First of all, it was alone. Second, it was pecking at the ground. I stood there wondering, "Huh, is this a type of woodpecker?"

I grabbed my phone and zoomed in as close as I could and recorded it, but sadly enough, it came out grainy. Then I looked the bird up. Turns out that I was right. It is a "type" of woodpecker. It is a Northern Flicker. They like to eat ants and peck at the ground to get to them. I am so excited that I figured that out. And all by myself too.

Birdwatching is a hobby that Tim and I are venturing into now that we are on the verge of being empty nesters. We decided that we need a hobby and I chose this activity.

Below is the verse that I studied this afternoon.

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Romans 12:11 NIV Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

TLB Never be lazy in your work, butserve the Lord enthusiastically.

CEV Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord.

NLT Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

My thoughts:

Don't be lazy, don't lag behind, don't lack your zeal, don't be like a sloth. Work hard and be excited in serving the Lord.




Prayer:

Dear Father, thank You for all that You have done for me and my family. Thank You for blessing me with tasks that I need to take care of every day. These tasks that I can do as a way of serving You by serving others. Please forgive me for the times that I am lazy or that I have lost my zeal. I praise Your name. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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What hobbies do you and your family do together? Please feel free to share.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Do Not Complain, Be Grateful

I think I have mentioned in a previous post that I am working on not complaining. It is an ongoing work in progress. When I notice that I have slipped back in to complain mode, I try to readjust my attitude and find things that I am thankful for.

I thought that I needed to study on Philippians 2:14 just felt like I needed this. I hope something that I share will help you as well.

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Philippians 2:14 NIV Do everything without grumbling or arguing

GNT Do everything without complaining or arguing

VOICE Do all things without complaining or bickering with each other 

Cross References:

1 Corinthians 10:10 NIV And do not grumble, as some of them did -- and were killed by the destroying angel

1 Peter 4:9 NIV Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling 

My thoughts:

Whatever task is set before me, I need to pursue with a grateful heart. Whining, grumbling, complaining does not benefit anyone.




Prayer:

Dear Father, thank You for all that You have done for me and my family. Please forgive me for the times that I complain about having something to do. Or for thinking that I won't do something and see how long it takes for someone else to step up. That is not the right attitude I need to have or that I want anyone to witness. Please forgive me and help me in my attempts to do better at not complaining. Thank You for all that You do. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

According To His Will

Rainy days and headache days; oh what fun.

No, this is not a complaining post. I just thought I would pop in real quick to mention that Tim surprised me last night. He bought me some things for Valentine's Day. To me, this is a very big deal. I am a gift receiver (the Five Love Languages) and He is not big at giving gifts. Well he just doesn't put a priority on things like Valentine's Day.

He did really well, too. He got me some coffee flavored m and m's, some mint dark chocolate, some very soft, very pretty and pink pair of pajamas and a card.

I am so thankful to have him in my life. He is truly my best friend. I don't know what I would do without him.

I thought I would share what I studied this morning. Maybe you will find encouragement from it.

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1 John 5:14-15
14 We have courage in God's presence, because we are sure that He hears us if we ask Him for anything that is according  to His will. 15 He hears us whenever we ask Him; and since we know this is true, we know also that He gives us what we ask from Him.

In my words:
I know that when I ask for something according  to Your will, You will hear my request. Not only do You hear, but You also take action.




Prayer:
Father, thank You for all that You have done for me and my family. Thank You for these verses. They give me hope. I am so sorry for struggling so much in weakness; instead of trusting in You and Your timing. You are in control. I pray that Your will be done and I know that when I pray according to Your will, You hear me and You will take action. Thank You so much. In Jesus' name. Amen

Friday, February 9, 2018

Eight Tips To Help You Fight Depression

What do you do to help battle depression?

I am someone that struggles a bit with depression. I just have days that I cannot seem to shake the blues, like today.

I thought it might help someone out there if I listed some of the ways that help me to battle the blues.

1. Face it head on and try to allow yourself a good cry.

2. Listen to music. Christian music is what usually helps me.

3. Look up devotionals about depression. I can almost always find something to read that will give me comfort. I hope it works the same for you.

4. Journal your thoughts. I am currently working on not complaining much, but sometimes journaling my thoughts is a must. That way when I am done, I close the book and leave it in God's hands.

5. Pray, pray, pray




6. Try changing the channel on your thoughts. Find something positive to focus on. Do your favorite hobby; whatever helps to keep your mind busy.

7. Stop and find at least three things that you are thankful for. Express your thanks out loud. This helps take the focus off of what is making you blue.

  • I am thankful to have a loving husband, sons, daughter-in-law, and grandson
  • I am thankful that Penelope is feeling better. We started her on new food and it is helping "yay"
  • I am thankful that the sun has been shining so brightly today
  • I am thankful that even though I am having a blue day, You can still use it to help someone else

8. Find verses that you can relate to that bring you comfort. Here are several that speak to me:


  1. Psalm 116:1-2 I love the Lord for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
  2. Psalm 31:22 In my alarm I said, "I am cut off from Your sight!" Yet You heard my cry for mercy when I called to You for help.
  3. Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.
  4. Psalm 37:23-24 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
  5. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Dear Father, thank You so much for all that You have done. Thank You for the friend that is reading this post right now. Father, You know his/her needs, his/her pains better than anyone. I lift him/her up to You. I pray that though he/she may stumble, You will not let him/her fall because You are holding him/her close in Your hand. I praise Your name. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Three Reasons Why I Blog

Why did I decide to start this blog?

I thought I would take some time and try to explain what lead me to this decision. It was not an easy one to make.

First off, I have had blogs in the past for this or that. The last one I had did not amount to much even though I stuck with it for well over a year.

So, Leigha, why did you decide to start this blog? I felt lead to do so.

Yes, that is right. I felt that the Lord placed this on my heart. Now can you picture someone kicking and screaming, whining, even. "But God, I did this already. Nobody even cared. Nobody read my blog. It was a huge waste of time." I do not advise arguing with God or whining for that matter. It isn't pretty, accomplishes nothing, God still wins in the end.

I read a devotional one morning about doing things for an audience of One. If I cannot manage to do things for an audience of One , how can I expect more? This one is from Matthew 6:6. My take away is that I need to follow where God leads and I need to do it as though I were doing it for Him alone. So my blog is for Him. 

Then there's the story in the Bible where the master is going away and He trusts his servants with so much each. The first two double the amount that was given to them making their master very happy so he trusted them with more. However, the third servant buried his amount and then dug it up to give it back to his master which upset the master. He couldn't be trusted with a little, so what he had was taken and given to the first servant. These verses are from Matthew 25:14-30. Yes, I have been studying in Matthew lately. My take away is that I have been trusted with a little; my blog. What will I do with that little? It is my intention to be faithful and do as He guides.

On another day, I was reading about a seed. If the grain of wheat was never dropped and buried, it would remain the single seed. However, if the seed was dropped, buried, and died it would produce many more seeds. This verse is John 12:24; I really like that one. I will blog, put His word out for others to read and find comfort from and will leave the rest up to Him. By doing this, I am planting that seed and trusting Him to help it be fruitful.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I Am Here With You

Yesterday I shared about being struck by a thought. It was a God moment. As I was standing there helping Jacob with his hair, I thought "Okay Leigha, here is the moment you have always longed for; enjoy it."

No things were not exactly the way I had always pictured them, but still, it was what I had wanted. I really enjoyed helping him with his hair. Thank You, Lord for providing that opportunity.

We all have seasons that we experience as we go throughout our lives. I am currently entering the empty nest phase. Along with that, I have been dealing with menopause as well. Can you say, "yay, for hot flashes?" Sorry, I do not mean to sound snarky.

I never had anyone talk to me about menopause or hot flashes, so I had no idea what to expect. I always thought it was funny to hear stories (maybe from comedians) where they would get so hot they stripped off all their clothes to cool down. Well, now I know that those were not exaggerations.

Maybe you are entering this season of life as well, or maybe you are a young mother; just know that you are not alone. I am here with you. Hold on to the Lord and He will guide you through.

I hold on to you. Your powerful right hand takes good care of me.
~~ Psalm 63:8


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Just For A Time

As I helped him pull up his hair and pin it in place, I was struck by something. I always wanted to help someone brush their hair, pull it up and whatever else I could manage to do. However, I always thought it would be for a daughter, or maybe a granddaughter.

I was in the process of helping Jacob with his hair. He is my youngest at 20 years of age. He is the musician of the family. His hair is longer than it has ever been, but today is his first day working at Domino's.

He doesn't like thinking that he has to do anything other than play music, but I try to remind him that it is just for a time. Just long enough for him to get his feet back under him, save some money back up and then he can pursue other dreams.

No matter what we face in our lives, it is easier to handle if we can think of it as just a season. God has us there for a reason. Grow where you are. Depend on Him and don't miss the blessings that He blesses you with.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heavens. ~~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

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