Thursday, February 28, 2019

Devotional: Guard Your Heart

Guard your heart. Protect it. May it reflect God's goodness.










Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.




Proverbs 4:23 NIV 




Your heart is the center of your emotions. The love that you feel comes from your heart.




We are told, in this verse, to guard our hearts; to protect it.




This reminds me of the way we guard our purses and everything that is within them. Your purse is a safe haven for all kinds of things. You have your wallet (another item that needs to be guarded), make - up, hair brush, probably even a few things that belong to your children. If it needs to be protected, it goes in your purse.









Now, we have our purse, which we protect, only something bad happens. Something makes it's way inside and destroys all of the things you are protecting. Scary thought, right?




An Overflow Of God's Goodness 





To me, this is like guarding our hearts. We need to keep them safe. Protect them from evil. How do you accomplish this? By only putting God's word inside. Fill up on His word. Use His word to fight off the negative emotions when they arise.




Put in the good (God's word), so you can handle stressful situations with compassion and understanding. Put in the bad, and well, bad comes back out.




I don't know about you, but if I am going to overflow with anything, I want it to be the goodness of God.










Let's Pray: 




Dear Father,  




Thank You. Thank You for always being there. Father, above all else, please help me to guard my heart, for everything I do flows from it. Help me to only fill up on Your word so that the overflow of my heart reflects You and Your goodness. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

My Testimony

I received Jesus into my heart when I was 24.




I remember growing up and going to church on a very sporadic time table. I knew the Lord. I had a close relationship with him from a very young age.




My home life was not a very good one. I witnessed my dad get mad at my mom and push her down the basement steps. I witnessed my mom with cuts on her wrists.



I am sharing my testimony that it might help you.




By the age of 19, I had met Tim and we had been dating for over a year. He swooped in one night and rescued me from my life at home.




We were married when I turned 20 and had our first son when I was 21.




There were a lot of ups and downs during those years. So much time spent wondering where the money was coming from so we could actually eat.



The best decision I have ever made is accepting Jesus.



I accepted Jesus into my heart. It is the best decision that I have ever made. I remember being up front as the elders of the church were praying over me. They placed their hands on me and I went straight down to the floor. I knew that I had just received the Holy Spirit.




T and I were struggling with getting pregnant with our second child, during this time. I went to one doctor who mentioned fertility drugs to me, but I told her, "no, that is too much like playing God and I will not do that." Still, it was a hard 4 1/2 years of trying. Every month I would be so depressed and feel like I just did not deserve another baby. I felt like a failure at everything I did. Like, somehow, I was letting everyone down; especially God.




By the time I was 27, I had our second son. Sixteen months later, I had our third son :).




Even when the bottom fell out, I was not alone. 



Then the bottom fell out from underneath me. T chose our 12th wedding anniversary to announce something to me. As we were sitting, watching tv, he casually mentions to me that one of his work buddies is getting his own place and he thinks that he is going to move in with him.




That was a hard year for me. A year of finding out that our marriage was not doing well at all. A year of fighting. A year of recovering from an affair. A year of forgiveness. A year of leaning on the Lord.




During that year, I learned who, out of my friends, were truly my friends. I know that, in there own way, they were only trying to help, but,




I had one friend tell me that I should kick T out. And another tell me that since I was following the Lord's guidance to "fight" for my marriage, I was taking the easy way out.



He has always been close by.




Yes, that year was a deep, dark pit of depression for me. I had to fight (with myself) to keep from pushing the Lord away, as I tend to do. Luckily, He was right there with me, through it all. He let me wallow for awhile, but always stayed close by.




Finally, I made the decision to rededicate myself to the Lord. T and I renewed our vows to one another and are still going strong.




I have learned that I cannot live without the Lord by my side. With all of my illnesses, we do not attend a church. But He is with me every day.




Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.



Ephesians 4:32 NIV 



Monday, February 25, 2019

Healing Bible Reading Plan

Do you have a favorite "go to" place of comfort? A place that, no matter what you are going through, you find comfort, peace, protection?








Oh how I love my bed. You might think that is a silly thing for me to say. However, the fact remains, I love my bed.




I can remember times when I was younger, I would feel sick. Where did I turn, after I went to my mom? I went to my bed.



Come Hide Away




Oh the comforting feeling that awaits me whenever I feel sick. The safety that I feel whenever I am scared. I can always sink down into my bed, pull the covers up and just hide away.











Does your bed ever call out to you, when you pass it by? I feel mine calling me. If I am having a bad day, the urge to curl up in the bed is very strong.




Now, please don't get me wrong, there are times when my bed and I have a love/hate relationship, too. I love my bed, but then there are just times that I hurt so much that not even the comfort of the bed can help me. Those are the nights that I toss and turn all night and more often than not, will wake with a headache the next morning.




Like An Old Pair Of Shoes 





The sad part, T and I are talking about buying a "new" bed. Yes, it is time. Our mattress sags and is lumpy in spots, but oh, it is like an old pair of tennis shoes. I have finally gotten them broken in and now I have to replace them.




With my fibromyalgia pain, I am left trying to figure out what is the best mattress to get. I just do not know. My gut is telling me, "buy the same kind of mattress you have now, you know it works." However, I don't know if it is the best and I don't even know if they still have this kind of mattress.










Then that leads me to pillows. Oh, I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my pillow. What is the best kind of pillow for me? Should it be a king size? Should it be firm? Should it be a memory foam?




Okay, that settles it. I am keeping my bed. I just love it way too much (haha). It is always there when I need it and here I am talking about replacing it.



Healing




For the month of March, I will be going through verses about and/or for healing.



I don't know what you suffer with, but always know that the Lord loves you and He is always by your side.













Anxiety, What Does The Bible Say?


God Is With Her


Devotional: Rest For The Weary


Farewell 2018













Do you have a favorite "go to" place of comfort?
A place that, no matter what you are going through, you find comfort, peace, protection?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.















Thursday, February 21, 2019

Devotional: Mary Believes

What promises are you holding on to? Is there something that He has revealed to you that only He can accomplish?












Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”



Luke 1:45 NIV 




There is Mary. She is so young. She is so full of hope for the future as she is about to be married to Joseph.



A Promise Is Made




As she is standing there, daydreaming about what her life might be like, out steps Gabriel (an angel of the Lord). He tells her that she is to give birth to a son; the Messiah.




Can you just imagine what she must have been going through in that moment? Panic? Fear? Maybe even, a bit of doubt.











However, after she questions Gabriel, how does she handle the news? She believes.




A promise was made to her that only the Lord would be able to make happen and she believes.



He Keeps His Promises 





I don't know about you, but in complete honesty, I struggle with a lot of what I feel God speaking to my heart. It just doesn't make sense. How can this possibly happen? However, what if I dare to believe? What if I dare to trust in Him and know that He always follows through on His promises?




What promises are you holding on to? Is there something that He has revealed to you that only He can accomplish?









Let's Pray: 




Dear Father,  




Thank You for all that You do. Father, thank You for loving me so much that You continue to make promises to me. Please forgive me for my struggles of not understanding how things could possibly happen. Help me to have faith and to trust in You to bring these promises to fruition. I believe in You and You always follow through on Your promises. In Jesus' name, Amen. 





Monday, February 18, 2019

A Letter To My Husband

Where did you and your husband meet? Reflecting on the good moments; the memories that you want to remember, write a letter to your husband.










Dear You,



You know I am so thankful that the Lord sent me to T.J.Maxx that day back in 1986. Why? Because, if that had not of happened, I would not have met you.




I remember you and your family went on vacation right after I started working there. I don't even know how long you were gone. All I know is that every time I turned around, someone was saying, "Tim did that" or " Tim said this." It was enough to make me wonder who you were because it seemed that you had hung the moon :).




Thank you for having the courage to ask me out and then to ask me out again. I cannot imagine what my life would be like right now if you had not tried again.




You have become my hero. No, really. You swooped in and rescued me from a bad life at home. Thank you for caring enough about me to do that.




Yes, we have had our hard times over the years. I know that I am not an easy person to live with. I have often wondered if maybe you should have ended up with someone more like yourself; an extrovert. So many times over the years, I have wondered if I hold you back.











Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for being in agreement with me that the boys needed their mom at home. Thank you for being willing to be the sole breadwinner in the family.




Thank you for holding my hand when we go out. I often catch myself wondering who the hand holding is for. Me. It is for me :). Being in public is overwhelming for me. Holding your hand gives me strength and keeps me grounded in the moment.




Thank you for always opening doors for me. You have a rule that I am not allowed to touch a door knob or handle. It means a lot to me.




With all of my illnesses, it means a lot to me to have you there. You provide strength and moral support. I know that if/when I get dizzy (which happens a lot) you are there.




Thank you so much.




I love you.




Me










Ephesians 4:2 NIV 



Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.



Let's Pray:



Dear Father,  thank You for the way that You weave together the parts of our lives. Thank You for blessing me with my husband. There have been hard times throughout our marriage. There have been times when You have felt distant from us. However, You were not the one that moved. Thank You for helping us to be completely humble and gentle. Thank You for helping us to humble ourselves enough to know that we need You. Help us to always be patient as we bear with one another in love. In Jesus' name,  Amen.














Weddings: What's Your Story?


What Is Your True Love Story?


God Cares About You













Where did you and your husband meet?
Reflecting on the good moments; the memories that you want to remember,  write a letter to your husband.
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.


























Photo credit: engin_akyurt of pixabay.com 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

God Is With Her

Do you know that God is with? Do you know that He provides ways to keep you safe?











God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.



Psalm 46:5 NIV 




It is my understanding that this verse is one that is taken out of context, a lot. I do want to state, up front, it is not my intention to do that. I only, ever, intend to share what the Lord has laid upon my heart to share.




Yes, I know this verse was written as a promise to God's people. He was in their midst and would not allow anything to prevail over them.




With all of my illnesses and all of the medications that I have to take, I deal with dizzy spells. I have talked to two different doctors about these spells, but neither of them were helpful.










She Will Not Fall





I have to be careful whenever I get up. Most of the time, I have to admit, I get up and instantly start moving. Then, all of a sudden, the dizziness hits me and I have to stop. If I am out and about, I have to find the closest place to sit down, and well, sit down.




It is not a pleasant feeling to have. I am "trying" to slow down. Trying to take my time upon standing to give everything a chance to catch up. However, I do not always remember.




Today's verse brings me comfort. It helps me to remember that God is always with me, just as He was with Jerusalem. He will not let me fall and He will be with me in the morning.




To me, this verse helps me to remember that He has provided a way to keep me safe. I need to slow down. I need to look for chairs close to the door. And, I have Tim with me who will catch me, if I fall :).









Let's Pray: 




Dear Father, 



Thank You for all that You do. Thank You for being everything for Your people, when they were under attack. Thank You for being with me. Thank You for providing ways to keep me safe so that I will not fall. Thank You for being with me in the morning. I praise You. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Weddings: What's Your Story?

Reflect back over your wedding day with me. How did the day go?







Oh, I was a nervous wreck.



It was mine and Tim's wedding day (5/20/1988).



One of my friends, from high school, had stayed the night with me. I remember Tim coming by, at one point, and I hid in the bedroom. He was wanting to know about balloons.



As time got closer, my friend left. She was going to be there with the music and she was my Maid of Honor.



I finished getting ready and waited on the limo to come pick me up. Oh, I was a nervous wreck.



The limo arrived and we were off for Centennial Park. I remember that we did one drive by and then we stopped so that I could get out.










My dad met me as soon as I stepped out of the limo. Then I started thinking, "oh boy I have to climb down this rock formation in heels. What if I fall?" Then the next thought I had was, "there is no music playing for me."



Here Comes The Bride




Before my dad and I got too far along, I heard my uncle singing "Here Comes The Bride" and I started to laugh. Funny because, even after all of these years, it still makes me laugh.



My friend never made it to the wedding. But you know what? It was okay with both me and Tim because neither of us were happy with the music, even though we picked it out. I am sorry that she got lost on her way there, but.....



Our reception took place at Tim's grandparent's house.












What Is Your True Love Story?


God Cares About You


Rekindle The Spark












Reflect back over your wedding day with me.
How did everything go?
I challenge you to share your wedding story.
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.



























Photo credit: lorraine1 of pixabay.com 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Fear Of The Unknown

Who do you trust when you are afraid? Do you know that you can trust in the Lord?









Headaches are becoming a part of my every day life. They get so bad at times that I just want to cry.



I have to be honest and let you know that I am afraid. What are these headaches trying to let me know?



It's The Unknown 




They could be due to my pituitary tumor. Yes, there is a good possibility of that. However, they could also be due to something else entirely. It is the unknown, right?



Can you believe that we are over a week into February already? That means that we are also over a week into our Anxiety Bible Reading/Writing Plan.



Are you managing to keep up? There really is no pressure. Each day, you read the verse(s) that are listed. If you feel led, then you write down the verse(s) and so on.








Last week, I showed you how to do a SOAP study. What did you think?



Today, I am going to share my SOAP of Psalm 56:3 plus a few free printables.








Psalm 56:3




S:



When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:3 NIV




O:



The Lord is there even when I am afraid.




A:



Trust in the Lord.
Turn my fears, my worries over to Him.




P:



Dear Father, 


Thank You for always being with me. Father, I know that even when I am overcome by fears, You are still with me. Please help me to remember that I can turn my fears and worries over to You. Forgive me for the times that I try to hold on to them. Thank You for all that You do. In Jesus' name, Amen.



















Devotional: He Will Carry Your Struggles


Easy To Use Bible Study Method


Devotional: Worry Worry Everywhere


Anxiety, What Does The Bible Say?




















When you are afraid, do you know that you can trust in the Lord?
I challenge you to share a SOAP study with me.
It can be any verse(s).
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.





























Are you interested in learning how to SOAP scripture? I have created a 4 day email course just for you. Click here to sign up.




Thursday, February 7, 2019

Devotional: He Will Carry Your Struggles

Do you struggle with anxiety and depression? Do you struggle to carry that load by yourself?




Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.




1 Peter 5:7 










Do you journal? I have found that, in dealing with depression and anxiety, journaling is a must.





With a journal, I have the ability to empty out my thoughts. I know that nobody, other than myself and the Lord will ever read this journal, so I can just pour out my thoughts and feelings.











You want to know the best part of keeping a journal? When you are done, you can close the book. You can walk away. You can leave everything in the Lord's hands.





He cares about you. He wants you to cast all of your worries and concerns upon Him. Trust in Him to carry that load.











Let's Pray:





Dear Father, 




I come to you now with all of my concerns. I struggle, every day, to carry these worries by myself. Father, when I start to feel overwhelmed by anxiety, please help me to remember that You are there. I give all of my struggles over to You, Father, because I know that You care about me. Thank You for all that You do. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What Is Your True Love Story?

Are you married? What was you first date like?









I met Tim the summer of 1986. I had just graduated from high school and we were both working at a retail store called T.J.Maxx.



We Met




I remember being introduced to a lot of people when I started working at T.J.Maxx. However, T and his family left for vacation right after I started there. Everybody I got to know talked on and on about Tim. I mean it was literally, "Tim did this" or "Tim said that" every time I turned around. I kept thinking, "Okay, who is this Tim person? He must have hung the moon."



He finally came back from vacation and I remember him coming through my section a lot to talk, make me laugh and critique my folding skills.



First Date




Next thing I know, we are on our first date (9/5). So what did we do on our first date? We drove for about an hour, down back roads to a high school football game. He was in charge of recording his football team. This meant that we had to climb on top of a building.



Well, guess what? I am afraid of heights. However, I climbed the ladder to the top of that building. Then the temperature dropped and I did not have a jacket. Tim had left his in the car, but since there was no way that I was climbing down just to climb back up again, I ended up wearing another guy's jacket.










When the game was over, we made the hours drive back and stopped at McDonald's to eat. I can remember him laughing at me because of how I opened my ketchup (haha).



Our second date was to the state fair. We rode two rides and lost all of our tickets. So we went to his grandparent's house.










God Cares About You


Rekindle The Spark


A Fruitful Vine + A Bible Study Method













Are you married?
I challenge you to share what your first date was like with your future husband.
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.






























Photo credit: stocksnap on pixabay.com 

Sarah, The Mother Of Nations

What struggles are you facing? Are you struggling in your marriage? Are you focusing on God and looking for His blessings? It w...