Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Give Thanks Anyway

What do you do to shake off the blues when they hit? Do you have any tips that you can share?













As sad as it is to say, I often find myself dealing with the blues. To make things seem even worse, more often than not, I am not able to pinpoint what is causing me to feel sad.



Right now, however, it is a mix of things causing me to feel sad. As the first of August approaches each year, it has always made me sad. Why? Well, to be honest, I have always been one of those parents that misses her children when they are gone. I see the commercials where the parent is celebrating back to school, but, I always dreaded it.



And this year, Taylor is leaving for Texas. Oh, he is so excited. It is interesting to listen to him talk about things because you can hear the excitement in his words.



Another thing that causes me to feel blue in August is my mom's birthday.  This December makes 6 years that she has been with Jesus, but I miss her so much.



Whenever I feel down, I try to spend extra time with the Lord. I need to feel His loving presence around me as I try to cope with being sad.









Sitting With The Lord 




1. Google a topic that is helpful. 



Choose a topic, and look up verses on that topic. I chose verses on being thankful.



2. Write down the verses in a journal. 



After you find verses that speak to you, write them down in your journal.



3. Turn the verse into a personal prayer. 




Spend some time really thinking about what is being said in the verse and then write out a personal prayer back to God using that verse.












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.


Prayer


Dear Father, thank You for always being with me. I know that no matter what I am struggling with today, You are always there. I thank You always because I know that it is Your will for me. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Psalm 107:1



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


Prayer


Dear Father,  I thank You  for being with me. I thank You because You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever. You are always there and You love me no matter what. Thank You so much. In Jesus' name,  Amen.



Psalm 105:1



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


Prayer


Dear Father, I give thanks to You. I sing praises to Your name and share Your deeds among the people. Thank You for always being there. In Jesus' name, Amen.











Eight Tips To Help You Fight Depression

Be Thankful No Matter What You Face












What are some things that you do to try and shake the blues?
What are you thankful for today, my friend?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.





















Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I work in the medical field. The tips that I have listed are what have helped me in the past. I hope that they might help you as well.




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 by: Andre Furtado on pexels.com 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

God's Unexpected Way of Answering My Prayers

God works in mysterious ways. Can you see events in your life where God answered your prayer, but it was not exactly what you were expecting?








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.









Three Reasons Why I Blog

About Me












So how about you?
Is there a moment in your life that you see as an answer to a prayer?
Somthing that might not necessarily be what you were expecting?
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 pexels.com




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. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

On Making and Keeping Friends

What do you look for in a friend? Do you look for perfection?









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.










Ways To Fight Feeling Alone 




1. Search for verses that speak to you. 



Look up verses that speak to you and hold on to them. In this instance, I decided to Google bible verses on friendship.



2. Cross reference the verse for better understanding. 



Once you have found a verse or verses that speak to you, spend some time cross referencing that verse or verses.



3. Look up other translations. 



Once you have found a verse that speaks to you, try spending some time reading it in different translations.




4. Look up words that you do not understand. 



If there are words in the verse that you do not understand, spend time looking them up for better understanding. 



5. Pray the verse back to God. 



Write the verse, in your own words, as a prayer back to God. 












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.










Three Reasons Why I Blog


About Me











Do you struggle with making friends?
Do you have a hard time keeping friends?
What do you look for in a friend?
What do you do when you feel alone? 
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. 

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.

*******************************

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.

****************************

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.

******************

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.

************************
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

Do you struggle with 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.

Sadness hits me a lot when someone leaves. Like Taylor being home for a few days and then going back to work. I know the next time that I will see him is just before he leaves for Texas.

So, what I am sitting here thinking right now... is it all empty nest related? Or is it abandonment issues that I am struggling with? Hmmm, that is going to require some deep digging on my part.


Ways To Fight Depression 




1. Face it head on.


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


2. Listen to music.


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


3. Look up devotionals. 


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.


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.


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. Be thankful. 


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 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 bring you comfort. 



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. Father, You know my needs, my pains better than anyone. I lift them up to You. I pray that though I may stumble, You will not let me fall because You are holding me close in Your hand. I praise Your name. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.











About Me

Be Thankful No Matter What You Face


Three Reasons Why I Blog













Do you struggle with depression?
What do you do to help battle depression?
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. 














Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I work in the medical field. The tips that I have listed are what have helped me in the past. I hope that they might help you as well.


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: pixabay on pexels.com 

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.








Why I Blog



1. I blog for an audience of One. 



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. 



2. I have been trusted with a little.



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.



3. I am planting the seed of God's word. 



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.








Isaiah 41:10 NIV 



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 for being in control of my life. Thank You for guiding me back to blogging. Please forgive me for whining and arguing with You. Taking the steps neccessary to follow You are scary, but that only causes me to lean on Your strength all the more. Help me not to be afraid, for You are with me; help me not to be dismayed, for You are my God. You strengthen  me and help me; You uphold me with Your righteous right hand. In Jesus' name, Amen. 













Be Thankful No Matter What You Face


About Me














Are you feeling the Lord guiding in a certain direction? Down a certain path?
Are you arguing with Him?
Are you whining?
Are you afraid to take the steps necessary to follow 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: Rachel Lynette French @ unsplash.com

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