Sizing Up

A lot of times when a challenge or hurdle enters our life, we tend to feel defeated and weak. We look at the size of our challenge or obstacle and it can seem so huge and overwhelming because we tend to measure them up against our own strength, emotions, and willpower… instead of God’s.. We just need to apply some faith in Him and trust Him with an issue or hurdle that is very personal to us.

When we feel weak and defeated – our enemy (whether it’s a temptation, challenging or hurtful person, health hurdles, or anything else) is made to look bigger, and stronger. So we feel like we lose the battle before we even begin it.

God can help us overcome anything

Can you do it?

What have you got to lose? He’s waiting to show you what He’s really all about.

~ Dionna Sanchez

http://www.EmphasisOnMoms.com

Waiting For the Other Shoe To Drop

I was introduced to heartache at a young age. When I was 11 years old, my grandpa died suddenly of a heart attack. Three weeks later, my uncle died in a plane crash. These two traumatic incidents were only the beginning of tragic events that would happen in my life. I lost two friends and classmates – one my junior year of high school and one the summer after graduation.  I had two cousins commit suicide a few years apart. I lost several family acquaintances to cancer and had to make the tough decision to put my cat to sleep. 
 
Then, I married someone whose battles became my battles. We went through some hard times fighting for our rights together that included attorneys, a court battle, harassing phone calls and more.
 
When you go through tough things in life – it takes its toll on you. You may heal, but there is still a part of you that has been changed by life’s events. It starts to shape who you are.
 
I grew up a very bubbly, talkative, confident young girl. I became a stressed, insecure young woman. That’s what life can do to you, if you let it.  I say, “if you let it” because I believe in the human heart. I believe that a person can rise above their circumstances, overcome unfair things in life, and still become who they dream of being – if they simply make the choice to do so. I also believe that there is a purpose in the pain and that God can show you how to use what you’ve been through to better your life and others’.
 
I recently realized that although my life has been bestowed with many, many blessings – I often would still be feeling pain underneath of those smiles because there was something in me, based on what I had been through and seen in life, that was still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept thinking that the good times were temporary. Something has to go wrong soon! But I was wrong to think that way and I was wrong to live that way.
 
God has the right to give and take away things and people in our lives. But even though we’ve been through personal pain, that doesn’t mean that our whole lives have to be lived as though we are victims. We don’t have to look around every corner, jump at every phone call, or sit and wait for that “next” bad thing to happen to us! We are wasting God’s blessings if we do this.

And I have done this.
 
I don’t want to waste God’s blessings on my life. I know that “life is life.” There is good and bad in life. There is fun and there is hardship. There is pain and there is joy. It is all a part of life. My life. And it all teaches me something. It’s up to me to learn from it.
 
I can always hold close to my heart those personal pains that are dear to me. Those things in life that touch my heart in profound ways because of what I went through and what they taught me. But I can’t continue to let them hurt me. I can’t let them overcome the present day. God has many blessings that He wants to give me in life too. And even though I may have felt the hurts in life on a deep level, I should allow myself to feel the joys of life on a deep level as well. For it is those joyous moments in life that remind me of my purpose, and my vision. It is the blessings in life that refuel me and heal me. If I don’t let myself fully feel them, then the painful moments in life will take over any joyous moments that I could have had. They are like weeds left untended. They kill the flowers that are trying to grow.
 
We all have heartache and painful memories. We’ve all dealt with “stuff.”  But there is a quote in the “Rocky Balboa” movie that says, “It’s not about how hard life hits you – it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” That’s what we need to do. Keep moving forward. Don’t let those weeds grow too big in your life; for there are many flowers just waiting to bloom.
 

~ Dionna is a work in progress. She shares what God teaches her through her pain and her joy in the hopes that it will help someone else break free from the lies and pain that Satan has laid before them. You can read more of Dionna’s heart at her blog: http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com

Tired of Being Afraid

I’ve been learning that at the beginning of a new year, some people choose a word or a theme for themselves for that year. They might choose the word “believe” or something else that motivates them or gives them a positive attitude.

I found myself doing some “self-talking.” You know what that is, right? When you internally speak things to your own heart and soul? Well, I found myself repeating the same phrase the last month or so. So, I decided to make it the “theme” for my life this year. And the theme that I chose (or maybe it chose me) is, “I’m tired of being afraid.”

About a year ago someone was acting really mysterious around our house one evening. We concluded that they were contemplating breaking in. Yes, we were at home. And it really shook me up – more than I can explain. It was the second little experience I’d had in our home that had made me feel like my home wasn’t quite the safe haven I had expected it to be.

I have been afraid to fly. It wasn’t just 9/11 although that really exacerbated the situation. It was a bad experience on a thrill ride at Disney world and then feeling that same sense of falling on an airplane. Ever since then I’ve had a thing about flying and crashing.

I’m a mom of two young and beautiful little girls. All anyone has to do is watch the news to see how fears can permeate my heart on that note. And to be honest, just being a mom in general has brought so many more fears to a heart that was once adventuresome and courageous – leaving all to “chance” and the Lord’s Will for my life.

But it came to a point after reading a blog one day where someone said that they were tired of being afraid, that I realized I resonated with those thoughts. I was tired of letting Satan control every move I made. I was tired of letting fear hinder me from traveling or taking risks in life and really missing out on the joy of living! My girls have been exhibiting traits of being fearful young women and I just want to live differently.

So, I started looking myself in the mirror and saying, “I’m tired of being afraid.”

I have started living a little bit more again and I have found peace come back to my heart because of some steps I have taken to give my fear to the Lord and let Him truly rule my circumstances. I read Scripture verses and have them nearby when I feel fear enter my heart and I have a special set of Christian music set aside in a folder on my MP3 player. I am determined; you see to not let fear take away my life. I don’t want to go to heaven and hear God say, “My child – this is what you could have had, but this is all I was able to give to you because you let your fear hold you back.” No. I want to truly live and I want to put my faith to the test and see what God can do with it and be amazed at the protectiveness and love that He shows me.

I am learning that if I let fear rule, then I do not really trust the Lord very much. I’m showing Him that I don’t believe that He can do what He says He can do for me and in my life. That’s not what I want to be about.

I’m still on a road and on a journey. I in no way have mastered fear. Satan knows how to push our buttons and where our weaknesses lie. But with the Lord’s help, I have improved and I’m on a road to wholeness again.

I read a quote that said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquest in the face of it.” I want to be a courageous woman of God. I’m tired of being afraid. I’m tired of missing out on things because I was so afraid of what “could” or “might” happen. So I have chosen this to be the theme of my year. A year that I pray ushers in more joy, more compassion, and more faith…. All because I’m letting God show me just what He can do with me, for me, and in me.

I believe not only IN Him, but I BELIEVE HIM. And I want to show Him. Do you?

~ Dionna Sanchez is Founder of the Emphasis On Moms Ministry. Sign up for her encouraging free e-newsletter for moms at http://www.EmphasisOnMoms.com/newsletter.htm

Ummmm … That Was Good

I am the way, the truth, and the life.
John 14:6

I was driving around on Friday, and I didn’t have much time to eat. I was keeping extremely busy and about 2:00 p.m., I was starting to get a little hungry. I walked into an office building for a package pick-up and there was a bowl of candy on the desk. Right on top were a bunch of carmel creams, those carmels with the white centers. I used to love them as a kid, but I haven’t had one in ages.

I reached over and plucked one off the top of the pile, it was just the little pick me up I needed. As I popped that piece of candy in my mouth, I was inundated with childhood memories. Do you get those sensations when you eat or smell things from your past? I can still walk into a room with a coffee pot brewing, and it will put me in my Grandma’s kitchen, most every time.

As I finished the last bite, I murmurred to myself, ummmm that was good.

A while back, a couple of my friends and I met for some Bible Study and prayer time. We were looking at the book of Romans, then we spent some time in prayer. When I lifted my head, the first words out of my mouth that day were, “Ummmm … that was good.”

One of my friends laughed, and said it was like I had just finished a meal and truthfully, I had.

Reading God’s Word, spending time with Him in prayer, spending time with each other in fellowship; that is what feeds our faith. What gives us the energy to keep moving forward.

That carmel cream gave me a moment of instant gratification, but God’s Word is what nourishes my spirit for eternity!

Father, thank You for Your Word. It never fails to astound me how even just one scripture can energize my spirit! Your Word is the way, the truth and the life! And Lord Jesus, thank You for the little things in life that make our days special, even something as simple as a little carmel cream!

I Love You Jesus.
In Your Name I Pray,
Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

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Joyce Schneider
A Life Decision
http://www.alifedecision.org