Faith Makes it Well With My Soul

I began this day thinking on one of my favorite verses. Psalm 118:24 – This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. I usually remember it each day, to remind myself that I’m here to live another day, and that I have another opportunity to see what God has in store for me. I have another day to make choices, and I always pray that I will make them in His will…not mine.

Good morning, and I pray it is for you. The sun is shining here, and that helps my outlook immensely. Too many gray, damp, and dreary days play havoc with me.

I’ve mentioned on here that our family is struggling. All of us go through good and bad times. To say the past several months has been a challenge for us is an understatement. Our lives have been uprooted, our belief system of God as the center has been stomped on. There have been so many days that it would be easier to run and hide, or play the world’s system of games. God has not only pruned us, but it seems as though He’s allowed for us to be stripped bare of all. Every area of our lives has been hit…financially, physically, and our children are struggling. And we can’t make it better. Humbling may be one way to put it…but it seems to candy-coat.

And then I heard this song this morning when I was making breakfast. Our children told me about MercyMe several years ago. I’ve probably heard this song before…and not really paid attention to the words. But this morning I did. It reminded me that all should be well with my soul, no matter what happens in our daily lives. Faith is there, and God has a purpose.

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We’ve all messed up our lives. We have in the past, and we probably will again in the future. As I always say, we are human. Situations we may go through may scar us for life. We may live with those decisions forever. Guilt can destroy us if we let it. But Jesus Christ paid for that on the cross. Don’t belittle what He did by taking it back, mulling it over, and damaging today. Release it…sometimes every minute of the day until you are stronger.

Pray without ceasing. Not all of the problems will go away. Some will stay to continue to test you and forge you into a strong person, not weak and swayed each time the wind blows. Some situations will cause scarring on your soul. You will live with that, and the consequences of it…but if you open your eyes on a new day…you are here. And in time, with better decisions through faith in what God has planned, the scarring will ease, the bruises will fade. The older you get in this life, the more you understand that.

As I usually do, I’m speaking to believers here. Those that have accepted Christ as their Savior. Your hope is in Heaven. Not this world and it’s system of chaos, and missed chances. Your job while here is to grow in maturity by learning His word and applying it to your life. You can’t have faith, peace, and contentment in this life without doing that. And yes, at times it’s a minute-by-minute walk.

As for me, I cannot imagine living this life without God, without Hope in heaven. To think that this is all there is, and then we die into nothingness, would be incredibly depressing. I would be seeking anything and everything to try and ease the pain, to try and make sense, and have fun before it was all over.

Thank you, God, for sending your Son to die for us, for bearing all our sins on that cross. He paid the price. Even if my entire world here on earth collapses, I have eternity with you. So today, I will rejoice for the sunshine, for my husband and five children, my grandchildren. Thank you for a Bible-teaching church and friends. Some days I have to look hard for the smile inside, but there’s always something.

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Truth Be Told

When I first began this blog in 2015, my goal was to write about me and my family, and light issues that would help my readers connect with me as a person. I didn’t want to bombard  with just writing topics. For one thing, I don’t have a master’s degree in writing anything. I rely heavily on my editor to fix all that I do wrong. I don’t know much about branding or marketing. I go to others and read lots of other posts about it to broaden my knowledge base. And considering sales of my books…I have lots more to learn in those areas! 😉

So now, four years later…I’m still a little mired down in this blogging world. I read other sites that are really successful. I try to figure out what they are doing right, and what I’m doing wrong. I wonder if my scope of topics is too large, or the site just not interesting. I’ve even considered starting over, but what would my focus be?

Truth be told, my knowledge base is marriage and family. It’s what I’ve done for all of my adult life. Sunday, the 20th will be my husband and my 35th wedding anniversary. It’s one I’ve looked forward to. Others celebrate by going on a cruise, having another ceremony to rededicate their married lives, or going out for a nice dinner. I thought that by this time in our marriage, we would be doing the same. We won’t be. I think spam is on the menu this year.

My husband and five children have always been the world to me. It’s what I invested all my time in. Some may say that was crazy, and that I didn’t plan for the future. I always thought it was the best way to plan for our future together. But children grow up and have families of their own, they move away, and they make their own choices in life. I am no longer in control of all of that…and maybe I never really was.

So, here I sit at almost 55 years of age. This past year as been beyond difficult in so many ways. There are days when I feel as though the rug has been yanked out from under us, and we haven’t hit the floor yet. But when we do, it’s going to be bad. My faith has taken a serious hit, and there are more days than not that I would like to run away and be a different person.

This Life is Real…and so are the Answers. I truly believe that. None of us live in a fairy tale world with light and laughter, flowers and fun, around every corner. Many of us deal with darkness and tears, an inability to breathe because of all that has been dumped on us. The flowers in our lives are dead and crumbled, blowing away in the wind, and a smile is hard to summon.

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I don’t have a master’s degree in anything. Just a lot of learning through difficult experiences. I try to share that in my books. In my books, there is an answer for that struggling character. Writing helps me work through all that has been allowed in my life. This blog has been a release for me to express all that bottles up…whether it be good or bad. I pray that my books reach people and the struggles they have in their lives. I pray they find an answer.

So for now, I’ll stick with what I’ve been doing here, and I welcome any suggestions to improve.

Philippians 4:6-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all [a]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It…Tiny Word for Big Things

Wouldn’t all of us like to say we have it all together? What does that even mean? Is it referring to our career lives? We have the job we can endure, or the career that we love? Does it mean that we are financially where we want to be? Our bills are paid, no credit card debt, and we have money in the bank? Maybe it suggests the house we have. A three-bedroom, two-bath wonder with all the perks.  What about the area of our relationships? Are we getting along with everyone, do we have friends to hang out with on a regular basis, do we have a great relationship with our spouse and our children?

Well, if that is having it together, I’ve failed miserably in all the areas I listed! I’m willing to bet that you probably have as well. Are those items the ticket to happiness? Can life only go on with all of the above in good order?

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook:

Some days seem like a swirling fog…rather suffocating in their ability to steal your thoughts…and your dreams.

Yes, it was a cloudy, down-pour kind of day. I appreciated it though. We needed the rain, and it was nice to have the sun hide for a day. The sun shines brilliantly here in Kansas, and sometimes it’s just nice when it doesn’t. So I really don’t think that was the reason for my rather ‘blah’ mood. Because that fog has been swirling for a while now. 

In my life, I want order, everything planned out, and nice and tidy. I don’t do well with interruptions, or major changes at the last minute. They once made me cranky, now I find myself wanting to hide. Usually, when I felt that I was in a fog, I just started running, parting the mists around me until the gray lifted and I could see clearly again. But right now, I seem to be stuck in the middle, spinning in circles with my eyes closed. It’s a feeling I don’t like!

There are so many decisions I need to make that are just out of my grasp. They float along, beckoning me with their positive traits, only to disappear when I’ve decided to try. The difficult things, I want to hide from. I just wish they would go away. 

If this is what getting older is all about…I really don’t like it! For so much of my life I had an agenda, and so much to accomplish in a day, that I barely stuck my head out for air before I trudged along. Now I have options, and I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t know how to prioritize. Something or someone is always getting the short end of the stick. 

Through all of this, I’m beginning to realize what I think having it all together means. It is having peace and contentment within yourself. Forgetting about all of this world’s demands. Yes, you still have responsibility for paying your bills, probably having a job to do that, and taking care of your everyday needs. Beyond that, I think we heap a lot of garbage into our lives, and we cause a lot of our own distress. I know I am causing mine. 

As a Believer, the Holy Spirit resides within me, and that gives me the peace and contentment that I’m craving. But when I’m searching for the world’s answers, I’m going to the wrong place. Sometimes I think we get on a little gerbil wheel, and we just run and run, searching for…something. hamster-wheel-1014047_1920The answers are there for us, we just have to listen. Applying them to my life, results in peace and contentment, even if my job is less than wonderful, I have bills, my house isn’t the nicest on the block. The relationships with the people around me aren’t so very important and life changing when I see them as God sees them. 

I don’t have all the answers right now. I pray the fog lifts soon, maybe with the cooler weather of autumn. I pray for wisdom to know what is right, patience as I’m dealing with others, and love for all. I think that may be a good start. 

Winter Dreams

This week in Kansas, spring is calling and I don’t want to go! This is very unusual for me. At one time, at the very first hint of warm weather, I was browsing seed catalogs and planning my new additions to the yard.

Spring is coming, way too soon for me. I want to cuddle up beside a fire and watch the snow blow outside my window. The visual beauty of drifts deepening, tree limbs laden with white frosting, and blustery skies is very appealing right now.

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I think I must be sick.

Today will be in the mid-seventies once again. The birds are chirping joyfully as they swing on the bird feeder. Their little chat groups are meeting in my olive shrubs, red cardinals dotting the small branches.

As I look out my back door, I see hedges desperately in need of trimming once again. My northern Hibiscus has dwindled down to only a few stalks, my American Beauty climbing rose died last winter and still needs to be removed. The Angel Face climbing rose on the opposite side of the leaning trellis has green shoots exploding everywhere. The stone terrace is still only half-finished and my little pond is filled with slimy water. These tasks are what meet my eye, and it makes me feel sad and old. Old because the work seems overwhelming these days, and sad because the motivation is not there.

No, it’s not a big deal in the broad spectrum of life. And believe me, there are items that need to be taken care of in the house that are even more important. But this post is suppose to be about gardening, and the outside, not the inside projects.

So, today I’m going to think about winter, because we really haven’t had any this year so far. Not in my opinion anyway. I think we had flurries a couple of times, and nothing really on the ground for long.

This afternoon, I’m going to picture my little pond with the surrounding of limestone, blanketed with white. The birds will be chirping in the silence of a winter day, their colors stark against the blustery, gray sky and drifting snowflakes. I will visualize trees with dark branches covered in white, waiting for new leaves. In my dreams I can think of the bulbs, cozy and warm under the soil, waiting to poke out little green shoots into the springtime sun.

But I will be sitting beside a warm, crackling fire, sipping a cup of something dark and delicious. I may even pull out a gardening catalog, and dream just a little bit about the warmer, to stay, days ahead. But just a little bit.

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