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Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Encouraging Words

encourage

 

 

Encouraging words are like manna for the soul. They boost our confidence and our spirit when times are tough. While out running errands today, I stopped at Subway for lunch. The sandwich artist was a young man who was noticably nervous. As he fumbled with my sandwich he apologized and explained that he was new. I had already guessed that. I waited patiently while he made my sandwich and fumbled with the cash register. Before I turned to go, I wanted to leave him with an encouraging word, “hang in there, your doing fine”. He gives me a thumbs up and smiles. It was easy for me to empathize. I remember many times when I was the newbie and shaking in my slip resistant shoes. Even now, after 6 months at my current job, which on most days I like, I have moments when my confidence is shaken and I feel like running for the door. It is in those moments when I hear that encouraging whisper from my Heavenly Father, “hang in there, your doing fine”.

In the midst of our daily activities, keep your heart open for those moments to encourage those around you who may be the newbies, those around you who may be hurting, those around you who simply may need to be encouraged. Those moments are there, if our hearts are open to them.

God Bless!

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the storm

 

 

Matthew 14:22-33

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

 

It was a normal Thursday morning in mid-October. I had just picked up my oldest daughter, Cherokee, from her dorm room, and was going to spend a few hours in the prayer room at a local House of Prayer. We had not even made it out of the parking lot when this precious child of mine announces that she was pregnant. I was floored. She was 19 and had just started her first semester of college. She had been seeing this boy off and on for just over a year, but I had no clue they had taken things that far. Cherokee was always my purity ring wearing God girl. As I drove to the House of Prayer, she says laughing, “Well, I thought I would tell you now, since you were on your way to the prayer room.” Cherokee and I had always been close, but we had recently struggled in our relationship, as she pulled away and discovered her independence.

We did not end up at the prayer room that day. We went window shopping and simply hung out and talked about her future. I was heartbroken for this daughter of mine, but I also cherished the life that she carried. As I loved Cherokee that day and in the months to come, I felt the love of God as I had never felt before. I focused on God and took comfort in Laura Story’s song, “Blessings”

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise.

I felt God’s unconditional love for me in all my imperfection, as I stood by my daughter and loved her through this tough time. My hopes and dreams for my first born were dashed, but new dreams took their place. She was 6 months pregnant when she and Nick married. Ava was born in June of 2013 and is the sunshine of my life. Cherokee, Nick and Ava live on a Marine base in North Carolina. Ava is 16 months and is a blessing in my life.

My dreams changed. When I focused on Jesus in the eye of the storm, I was blessed with a grand-daughter and a son-in-law that I am proud of. It was a difficult time, but I chose to keep my eyes on Jesus and I was blessed.

Often, when we as mom’s are in the middle of the storm, we doubt that Jesus is there to help us walk on the waters of our trials. He is there. We simply have to focus on Him and not our situation. We have to keep the faith and not doubt. Jesus tells us to take courage, do not be afraid. He is there standing in front of us, encouraging us in this journey of motherhood. Focus on Jesus, sweet mom, and not on your circumstances and you will be able to walk on the water of the stormy seas of parenting. Jesus is right in front of you, encouraging you. Go to Him.

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dry bones

 

 

Ezekiel 37:1-10

37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” 

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 

 

There have been two specific times when I felt like I was living in the valley of dry bones. The first time, I was 15 and had been placed in foster care. I was in foster care for 3 years and I felt like a zombie during this time. I went through the motions of life, but I was lifeless. I  was living in a group home when I was 17 with five other girls, we were all made to take a psychological test. You know, the one with the ink blotches. When my test report came back, I was allowed to read it. It said that I had schizoid tendencies. No one explained what this meant. I was left believing that I was irreversibly flawed. I thought I was schizophrenic. Many decades later, I now know that being schizoid simply means that you withdraw from social situations. You don’t seek social interaction. You have very few close friends, not trusting anyone to be close enough to hurt you. Understanding this now, I can admit that this was me. I withdrew from the world. I had a couple of close friends, but I became someone else. I would not let any one in. I had become dry bones.

The second time I lived in the valley of dry bones was after my divorce in 2000. I went through the motions of life, but inside I felt like I was dying. I had kids to take care of and this kept me going, but I longed to pull the covers up over my head and just sleep until the pain went away. This lasted a few years, until I found my heavenly Father and He breathed life back into me.

Ezekiel 37:14

“I will put my spirit in you and you will live.”

God brought me back to life. There are still days when I am tired and feel like I can’t go on, but I AM ALIVE! I have life, because God breathed life into me. His spirit is in me and I live. We all go through times when we feel like we are living in the valley of dry bones. If you are there now and you are crying out, God hears you and He WILL breathe life back into you. Let Him know what is on your heart and let Him comfort you.

If you don’t know how to reach out to God, but you want to live again, then contact me. I am here for you, my friend. You don’t have to live in the valley of dry bones any longer. Choose life!

 

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