If your heart is heavy or burdened….

Are you having one of those weeks or months?  Has your husband broken your heart?  Are you an emotional wreck over a situation with one of your children?  Don’t try to carry that burden alone!  It’s too heavy.

Even though it would be so helpful to reach out to some godly female friends, many of us tend to isolate during really hard times instead.  Unfortunately, that only makes it easier for Satan to beat you down.  With no other voices speaking hope into your life, he has free realm to whisper one lie right after another.

Jesus describes Satan this way in John 8:44: “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  The lies may sound like this:  No one really loves you.  Your life sucks and there’s no hope.  You should have never married your husband.  God doesn’t really care about you. You’re a failure as a mom compared to all the other moms. There is no way in the world to recover from your financial mess.  God could never change your husband’s heart.  Blah, blah, blah.

One of the keys to drowning out the voice of the enemy is to listen to other voices!  Spend time reading God’s Word.  Also, spend time with godly women who can speak truth, wisdom, and hope into your life.  If you don’t know any women like that, then it’s time to start building new friendships.  I know you might be scared to tell another woman what’s really going on in your marriage and family.  However, you might be surprised to find that other women will start opening up to you and sharing their own challenges as you begin sharing yours. Just keep in mind that the point is to encourage each other and pray for each other…not to trash talk your husbands!

One key to finding joy during trials

I know this might sound too simple.  I know you could be rolling your eyes as you read this. But give this a chance.  A huge key to regaining some of your joy during challenges or after a heartbreaking event is…to focus on the things for which you can be thankful.

All of us tend to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have.  By doing so, we become bitter, jealous, and depressed women.  Now if you actually enjoy being bitter and depressed, you just go right on concentrating on what’s wrong in your life.  However, there is a better way to live.  God recommends it in the Bible.  It’s called being thankful for what you do have.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances“.  This means disciplining your mind to focus on what is good and right and beautiful. God puts it this way in Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Do you have shelter and plenty of food to eat each day?  Wow! You’re in the top 10% of the entire world!  Do you have someone in your life (husband, mother, friend, child) who loves you?  Wonderful!  Do your legs and hands work?  Can you see, hear, and taste?  Thank God for the health that not everyone enjoys.  Has God made himself known to you and drawn your heart to him?  Awesome!  That means he thinks you’re special and he decided before the beginning of the world to select you to adopt as his child!

Yes, there is a time to grieve losses in our lives.  But we can’t stay camped out there!  Let’s make a concerted effort to focus our minds on being thankful.  Little by little, you may find your joy returning, even during hard times.

God notices your distress

We all go through challenging days in our marriages and in our lives in general.  It’s at those times; we tend to feel so alone.  We desperately need to know that God notices our distress.  We need to know that He is with us and that He cares.

Well, despite what Satan is whispering in your ear…that nobody cares…that you’re all alone…that your broken heart will never get better…the Bible tells a different story!  I find so much comfort in these verses:

  • The Lord is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18)
  • Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
  • You are the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13)
  • He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)
  • Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:2-4

Who is your encourager?

Life often seems like a winding highway full of potholes.  We get bounced around by people who disappoint us.  We disappoint ourselves.  Satan loves to plant that seed of doubt about whether we can make it through current challenges in our marriage, with our kids, at our job, etc.  We wonder if we can handle what’s around the bend.

That’s why we need encouragers in our lives!  1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “encourage one another and build each other up.”  My question for you is:  Do you have a friend who encourages you?  Or do you spend a lot of time with women who are negative, critical, and “downers”?

If you don’t have an encouraging woman in your life, ask God to reveal a woman who seems to have the gift of encouragement.  Then ask her if you could regularly get together, perhaps once a week or every other week, just to chat and mutually encourage each other.  That’s right.  You can be her encourager too.  We all need it!  Let’s link arms together ladies!

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE

Finding hope when life is hard

We’re all anxious right now…maybe even downright fearful.  What will happen to our finances during the coronavirus outbreak?  Will we lose our job, our home, our cars?  Will I be one of the people who catches covid-19?  And if you’re not worried about that, then there are a myriad of other things that might be stealing your joy and your hope.  Perhaps your marriage is falling apart or your kids are making poor decisions.

The truth is that, until we get to heaven, we will all experience tough times here on earth.  And of course, Satan loves to pile on by whispering negative, hopeless thoughts into our minds when he sees that we’re struggling.  We tend to start reciting a list of complaints and fears…about people in our life, health problems, finances, the way we look, and on and on.  Instead of reflecting the love of Jesus to those around us, our facial expression portrays “woe is me”.

For a believer, that’s ridiculous!  If you’ve made Jesus your Lord, you have his protection and power at your disposal.  Your prayers are powerful!  James 5:16  “The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective”.  And even if your prayers aren’t answered EXACTLY how you think God should, you can trust Him to redeem every hardship in your life.  I love what He tells me in Psalm 103:4 “He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion”.  When life gets discouraging…when anxiety starts eroding your hope…bring your concerns to Jesus and relax into his strong arms.

I grasp hope and peace when I choose to trust in Jesus.  He is at work!  His ways are perfect.  Seek His perspective on all that’s happening. Ask him to help you understand what he’s doing in this challenging moment.  Ask him to redeem your seemingly hopeless situation.  He’s so creative!  He’s working behind the scenes right now.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE

Dealing with fear over the coronavirus

I’m sure most of you feel like I do.  You feel like this is all surreal…a nightmare perhaps…and that we’re all going to wake up and realize it was just a horrible dream.  Tragically, it is all too real.  Covid-19 is here and it is killing people, mainly people in my age group and older. (Yes, I just turned 60).

If you’re a young adult in your 20’s or 30’s, you don’t have nearly as much to worry about in terms of dying from this thing, and therefore, you are likely incensed that the restaurants are closed, and you have to find childcare for your children who no longer have school, and maybe your job and steady income is now in jeopardy.  I get it.  And yet, we must all sacrifice right now, because if we don’t take serious and painful action, it is very likely that many of your moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas will be taken out by this virus.  Yes, that is what’s at stake.

So, how do we deal with the fear that comes from this insidious disease…fear of death, fear of financial collapse, fear of a lost job?

First, we do what we must in terms of practical steps that can protect us and our loved ones from getting this disease.  We minimize our contact with others, we wash or sanitize our hands every time we touch a common surface used by others, and we definitely self-quarantine if we or our kids are showing any sign of sickness.  We have to be smart.  These are tough measures, but essential.

Second, after we’ve done all the practical things we can do to keep ourselves and others safe, we turn to the Lord and ask Him to protect us.  We ask Him to be in complete control of our lives, our health, our finances, everything.  We put all our trust in Him.  He has performed mighty miracles on behalf of his people in the past, and He certainly has the power do it again.  He can make a way for you to pay your bills, or for some of your bills to be forgiven at this time.  He can supernaturally heal you.  He can make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way! Ask Him!

Would you join me in praying these things?

  • I have specifically felt led to pray that God would cover every doorway of every believer’s home with the blood of Jesus, so that the angel of death would pass by just as he did for the Israelites during Passover. (Exodus 12:23)
  • Pray that God would leverage this crisis to draw the hearts of many unbelievers to Him. I think of Genesis 50:20 “You intended this for evil, but God meant it for good, for the saving of many lives.”
  • Pray that God fills you afresh with the knowledge of His tender love for you. When you realize how much He cares for you, your fear will start to fade away.  1 Joh 4:18  “Perfect love casts out all fear.”
  • Pray that, as you set your heart on seeking Him above all else, He will provide for all your needs in His own very creative way. Matthew 6:33  “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  (Trust me when I say I have witnessed God do some crazy, creative things in the past when I needed Him to provide a financial miracle!)
  • Pray that God would fill your heart with peace, knowing that even if you were to be taken from this earth today, it would be a magnificent upgrade! Luke 23:43  “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

How to refresh your weary or discouraged soul

Are you feeling weary, discouraged or burdened?  Perhaps you’re feeling frustrated with others or even yourself.  This remedy might seem strange, but God says that when we meditate on His principles and begin applying them in our lives, our souls will be refreshed!  Psalm 19:7-8 says “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.  The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

Maybe your soul is weary or discouraged because you’ve been trying to handle difficult people and circumstances with your own wisdom.  Maybe it’s time to search out God’s wisdom instead.  For instance, if you are depressed about your husband’s continuing verbal abuse toward you and your children, maybe your soul will be refreshed as you read God’s instructions for dealing with someone who is sinning against you.  You might want to read Matthew 18:15-17.

Perhaps you’re dealing with a rebellious child who isn’t responding to your explanations about why he or she should listen to you.  Maybe your soul will be refreshed as you read God’s instructions for molding your children into people of character.  You might want to read Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”