Posted in My Faith, Uncategorized

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

No one likes to admit it, but this month is significant for many reasons.

October

Personally, I am not a Halloween celebrator. However, I think it is fitting to remember the death of our children during such a dark time in our culture’s celebrations.

Officially, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In the UK, they devote an entire week, called Baby Loss Awareness Week.

https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/BLAW-logo.jpg

Parents

This month brings such a swirl of emotions. I miss my baby, but then I wouldn’t have on of my daughters.

I didn’t want to write about miscarriage, but that’s what God has called me to do.

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Too many women have lost children. Too many women haven’t had the chance.

Too many dads never knew their child. Too many dads lose the mom’s heart, because they are consumed by grief.

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Abortion

I don’t understand the logic that excuses women to take their child’s life.

However, I realize how disillusioned they have become. The weight of this guilt is not bore on the mother and father alone.

Unplanned Movie

On that subject, the movie Unplanned recently came out. I commend those involved in the production, for being bold and brave enough to shed the light of truth on this dark issue.

I have heard great things about this movie, but I have been cautioned by caring people, it would be too much for me.

Maybe someday, I will have the courage, and be at a place to stomach viewing it. Yet, I won’t watch it alone.

Miscarriage

Miscarriage was traumatic, to say the least.

Though I very much support the Pro-Life cause, witnessing the graphic deaths of other children could put me over the edge.

Does anyone else relate to what I’m saying?

Feeling Guilty

Initially, I remember feeling so guilty!

Guilty because I didn’t feel ready to have another baby. Guilty because I exercised too much. Guilty because I ate the wrong thing. Guilty because I took antibiotics, when I was sick, and didn’t yet know I was pregnant.

Moving Forward

In order to move on, we must throw off the baggage of guilt. We must fight to see the silver lining and not let Satan torture us with what ifs.

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Lean on Jesus to help you heal. You can be furiously angry, but God did not kill your baby. We live in a broken world, fully of death and disease, destruction and loss – He did not create it that way.

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Instead, choose to hope in a new tomorrow. Choose to move forward, holding your precious baby in your heart forever.

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Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Speechless to Help

I am writing tonight with no agenda, no hidden meaning, just writing to write.

I am speechless.

You may ask why that is, and I’ll tell you. Too much emotional stress paralyzes our speech.

It is so hard for me to watch my friends and family struggle!! I feel powerless to help them fully and completely, like I so badly want to!

Why can’t I push past this desire to be involved in someone else’s problem?

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Who’s the real Savior?

Many times, I have to remind myself, I am NOT the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, and He alone, is.

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Our desire for control and absolute leadership, blinds us to our need for Jesus. When we rely on ourselves instead of Him, we are committing idolatry – putting ourselves on God’s throne.

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Who, me?

Ask yourself, how many times have you worried today? It’s because you are trying to control something that you have no power to do so.

How many times have you gotten frustrated or upset, because things didn’t go your way or how you thought it should be handled?

It’s because you are valuing yourself and your opinions above everyone else’s.

Pride alert! Pride alert! Pride alert!

Only when we fully submit to Jesus and His guidelines, for the most abundant life we can have in His universe, then we find purpose, contentment, and peace.

Finding Peace

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“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:5-9 ESV

The goal is not to save someone,

but lead them to the real Savior, who can.

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Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

Most of my life, I have been afraid of something or someone.

Now, I know there is a name for this…anxiety.

Fear has held me captive far too many times. I am so afraid of failure, disappointment, danger, or worse – being abandoned.

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Breathing Room

During my time with God today, I came across an inspiring devotional reading. It is called, Breathing Room, by Sandra Stanley. The following quote, from her devotional, really struck me:

Fear whispers the lies that we’re being left out and left behind, so we load our calendars and drain our bank accounts. Fear steals our breathing room. But do you know the most repeated command in the entire Bible? Do not be afraid. God tell us that we don’t have to let fear bully us around. He offers us a surprising simple way to overcome it.

Sandra Stanley, Author of Breathing Room

My Response

Wow, that was a sucker punch to my gut! I have wasted so much time doing things just because I was afraid of “being left out or left behind.”

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From now on, I want to change that. No more avoiding potentially uncomfortable or flattering social circumstances, because I don’t feel good enough to go, or put together enough to make a good impression.

Who cares? I wish I didn’t care so much what people think of me. I wish only what God thinks mattered.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Psalms 23:1-3 ESV

…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Sandra Stanley also points out, in her quote earlier on, the most repeated command in the Bible is do not be afraid.

Fear in the Bible

In the garden of Eden, Eve was afraid she was missing out on something God was keeping from her.

Sarah was afraid people looked down on her, because she couldn’t have children, so she compromised, putting her marriage with Abraham in jeopardy.

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Peter was afraid the crowd at Jesus’ trial would kill him too, so he denied Jesus three times.

Thomas was so afraid of being disappointed, he didn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead.

Even some of the Pharisees believed Jesus was the Son of God, but kept quiet, for fear of losing their position.

They needed to be reminded not to be afraid, and so do we. When we follow Jesus Christ, the Savior and the creator of the universe, we can be confident we are in good hands.

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Weekly Challenge

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This week, my challenge for you is to write down everything you are afraid of.

Once you’ve completed your list, cross out any fears that seem insignificant to you, or can be easily overcome.

Lastly, look up Scriptures related to the items left on your list, and related to fear.Which is greater, your fears or God’s reassurance to you in His Word?

Posted in My Faith

Temptation is like Dieting

Have you ever tried to diet?

As many of you can probably attest, the length of a diet, well-followed, is very short, indeed.

Why is that?

Because those foods you are determined to give up, taste so good, and are too tempting to stay away from.

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Even looking at this image of a cake, are salivating, and planning in your head how to satisfy your current craving for cake, sugar, etc.

Dieting is just as hard as it is for us to stay away from sin and keep from falling into temptation.

We try so hard to avoid our known and unknown pitfalls, sometimes we end up falling into them, that much sooner.

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Here is what I mean. When you keep saying to yourself, “I can’t have cake…I can’t have cake….I really shouldn’t have cake….but there’s a piece of cake, and I can’t stand it anymore….am going to eat it!”

You have focused so much on the what you can’t have, that’s all you can think about, and eventually give into it. Sin is the same way.

Can you relate?

When we aim to be faithful to our spouses, but constantly think about someone else, we shouldn’t be, that is dangerous and is not following your godly diet lifestyle.

When you focus so much on money, that it compromises your family and others, that is not following your godly diet lifestyle.

When you let your anger take over, and hurt others as a result, that is not following your godly diet lifestyle. Get my drift?

So, at this point, temptation seems impossible to avoid, right?

But with Christ, we can have the victory! We need His help and to rely on His power to resist the devil.

Here are some scriptures, talking about temptation, and how we can be victorious over it:

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26:41 ESV

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”

1Timothy 6:9 ESV
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“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!

Matthew 18:7 ESV

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

1Corinthians 10:13 ESV
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“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Matthew 6:5-15 ESV

Pray, pray, then pray some more!

I have faith God will continue to help you, no matter the temptation, no matter the pit you have fallen into, God’s grace and forgiveness is more than enough. Have faith and stand firm. Amen!

Posted in My Faith

The Revolving Door

Do you ever notice those people in your life that come and go, but come back again?

Why do they leave?

Why do they return?

How long do you wait for them to return?

Many people are like this with Jesus, too.

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These doors are waiting to be opened. Not opened by just anyone, but those of you who are looking for Jesus. Even if you aren’t, He is looking and waiting for you to come to Him.

Tonight at youth group, there were three students who came, that have been there in the past, but have had a long absence from the group.

My husband and I have been praying for these students to come back, reaching out to them, praying for their salvation and safety.

However, I catch myself freezing up when they return. All I can think to say is, “It’s so good to see you! Welcome back, it’s been awhile,” and I wish I could come up with more. Not anything that makes them feel guilty for being gone so long, but something that makes them want to come back for good.

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Jesus doesn’t claim everyone will want Him, or even look to find a saving relationship with Him.

Yet, the Bible does say:

“For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Romans 14:10–11 ESV

Don’t despair or give up hope on yourself, or the person in your life that keeps walking in and out of your life, but much more the life they could have with Jesus.

If they would just come in the door, and take a chance on Jesus, what a difference it would make?!

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16–19 ESV

Be thankful they keep coming in the door, and pray to Jesus for them to stay. And all God’s people said, “Amen!”

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

The Fiercest Faith for Family

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8 ESV

If this is true, and it is God’s truth, why aren’t more families living this out? Why aren’t more families restored, rather than torn apart?

The term family comes to mean many different things, these days. Sadly, for many people reading this, it carries the weight of your baggage – hurts from your past and bondage in your present.

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I called this post the fiercest faith, because it takes a fighting faith in Jesus Christ to combat the lies of Satan, trying to destroy your family.

These lies come in many ugly faces, but the most common is the lie, “Forgiveness must be earned. They don’t deserve forgiveness. They must pay for what they’ve done!”

This one lie has ripped apart so many families, the Devil ran out of room in his imaginary tally book of victories.

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However, it’s not too late to fight! If you are experiencing turmoil in your family, in any form or capacity, take up the armor of God and fight the real enemy here – the Devil. Your family member, whether Christian or not, is worth your love, and ultimately, your forgiveness.

Break the bondage, break the chains!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

Ephesians 6:10–13 ESV

Take action today! Don’t wait another second, call, text, SnapChat, whatever! Exercise your fierce faith today to save your family NOW!

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“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,”

Ephesians 6:14–18 ESV
Posted in My Faith

Why Me, Depression?

Ever asked the question, “Why me?” or “Why is this happening to me?” So many times, we ask this question when we want answers to our problems, to disasters, or chaos around us.

When something bad or difficult comes into my life, it feels like I am stuck in time – the world is whizzing past me, like nothing is out of the ordinary – yet, I’m at a standstill. I can’t escape this cage of darkness, this heavy sadness, anger, and worry that consumes my very being.

This cage is depression.

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I am no doctor, but I have experienced depression various times in my life. My current season of it has been the worst I have ever faced. Since my youngest child was born, I have been struggling to live my life. It takes all of my energy to simply get out of bed in the morning.

Yes, I am seeking help, for those who are concerned, but God is my greatest help, my most loyal advocate.

22 Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 55:22 ESV

When I feel stuck and the muck and mire of the depression darkness, God loves me still. He is the gentle nudge to get out of bed. He is the encouraging voice saying, “No, you can do it. Just try!” He is the comforting Father I need, to look out for me, when everyone else in my life seems to be too busy to notice.

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Though I do have people who notice and love me, God is the only one who is truly there for me whenever and wherever I need Him; the only one who can be.

I encourage you today, if you can relate to what I am describing, cry out to God, with all the muster you have left – He will pull you through to the end of the tunnel.

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:6–11 ESV
Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith, The Bible

To Fear or Not to Fear…

Are you tired of drowning in fear? Fear of anything…of dying, losing the ones you love, being broke financially, and of countless other things? Read on, and break the cycle of fear!

You are not alone. Many, many people, including myself, live in fear on a day-to-day basis. From personal experience, I feel like I am fighting a battle, to fear or not to fear, 24/7.

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You may ask, “How can you be a Christian, yet you live in fear so much of the time?” The answer – because the Devil uses fear to trap us in his clutches.

Fear is the opposite of faith – it is considered the absence or suppression of faith (my own definition). If you are afraid, you are not trusting God will….you fill in the blank.

The following passage is from Paul’s second letter to Timothy, his mentee:

“5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:5–7 ESV

Paul is reminding Timothy of his own “sincere faith,” not piddly, little, wimpy faith – sincere means “honest”, “pure” and “true” (Mish, Frederick C. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition).

The Devil likes to make us think our faith isn’t good enough – so we give into the deception that we need to be afraid of what we lack, instead of having faith in God to provide it.

If we would stop focusing on the lousiness of our sinful selves, and more on the incredible, omnipotent (all-powerful) God, we wouldn’t need to live in fear of anything.

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Fear comes from doubt in God’s ability to take care of us, our needs, and our desires. I am as guilty of this as anyone. I struggle to let God have full reign over my life, and not take control myself.

This is the ultimate deception – do we really have any control in the first place? We like to think so, but I dare to say we have none. God is all-powerful, and we are simply along for the ride, to give Him all the glory He deserves.

That my sound selfish to most of you, but the reality is, He’s God, and He deserves everything we are and everything we possess, because everything is a gift from God.

“4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. “

Ephesians 2:4–10 ESV
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When you understand God’s gifts of life, salvation, of grace and mercy, of provision and care for us – then you will be firm in your faith, to escape the Devil’s snare of fear – and live victoriously, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen!!

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Why Keep it to Yourself?

Are you one of those people that hold in your emotions or what you’re really going through? Do you even make yourself stressed beyond belief, and sometimes physically ill or have headaches, etc.? You’re not alone.

So many times in my life, like today for example, have been consumed by emotions: anxiety over anything and everything, sadness over perceived failure in some way, and fear of losing those I care about most because I believe I will never be enough for them to stay.

How long will you or I go on believing these lies from the pit of Hell? Why would we rather believe these lies about ourselves than seek out and believe God’s truth about us?

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“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

2 Corinthians 4:7–11 ESV

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139:14 ESV
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“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 5:6–11 ESV

These are incredible truths from God’s Word about us! God tells us that we are wonderfully made in His image, not just any image, His. We are not alone in our sufferings – Jesus suffered for us and with us, and we are also glorified with him in eternity.

Can you picture it – eternity?

I am in such awe when I think about it – perfection forever – can you picture it? What do you picture?

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Just Do It!

Do you find yourself feeling discouraged? Disappointed with life? Worn down and feeling defeated? Are you tired of feeling that way? Me too!

While working this evening, I was talking to a customer, and was surprised to have them quote Scripture to me. This happens occasionally, but I didn’t expect it from this person.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, right?

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The Scripture the man quoted to me was, “Seek and you shall find, …” and he said, “This verse really helps me because I am old, and need His help to find what I am looking for, and that comforts me.”

What a phenomenal, ironic statement. This man was both amused and serious, at the same time.

I complain I don’t have time for such and such list of things to get done, I am not a good enough mom to my kids because I don’t spend enough time with them, I don’t have enough energy to do all the things I think I have to get done.

When in fact, this last week, I made the time to spend in God’s Word and seek Him, I found the time and energy to do just that!

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What an incredibly, amazing God we serve! He not only cares about you and the entire universe, but He cares about what you care about – your purpose, your schedule, your family, your friends, your enemies, etc. You get the picture.

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Just do it! Seek God out this week – no if’s, and’s or but’s! NO EXCUSES allowed! Talk to Him, about anything. Pick up a Bible, and start reading the Gospel of John. Pray for your burdens. Praise Him for the blessings in your life. Make the time, you won’t regret it.

JUST DO IT!!