I always look forward to a new year, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never needed one as much as I do this year. 2016 was a spectacularly horrible year overall. Yes, there were some bright spots, but they were definitely overshadowed by the hard stuff. And from what I’m reading on my Facebook page, it seems that many of my friends feel the same way. So, I thought I’d dust off the old blog and encourage us all 🙂
If you have been around the church very long, you’ve probably heard the scripture Ephesians 6:12-14, which says in part “…and having done all to stand. Stand therefore…” I once heard a pastor say that in the original text there was no period after stand, so it really reads more like “once you’ve done all to stand, keep standing“. That scripture ran through my mind a lot over the 3 months since my last post. And I came to realize that sometimes standing doesn’t look so much like standing. Sometimes, standing is more about getting back up again after you’ve been knocked flat, than it is about never falling down. And here I am today… Continue Reading
Those simple words that I heard yesterday went deep into my soul. They spoke to me on so many levels of life right now. Do you ever feel like you should be much further along in life than you are? Like if you’re in your late 20’s, you should be settled on your career path already. Or if you’re single and in your 30’s, you should be married with kids by now. If you’re in your 40’s, you should be established in your home, career, and family with a growing retirement account and a sense of security in who you are. If you aren’t meeting those “milestones”, it can be easy to feel like it won’t ever happen, or that your dreams are moving farther and farther away from you. This is especially true if you find yourself in the process of starting over in any area of your life.
So, I was scrolling through my email and Facebook-land this morning and everywhere I turned, there was encouragement for situations that I’m facing right now. I know sometimes Facebook can be depressing and filled with bad news. I must have amazing friends there because today was just one timely word after another. So, I thought, “What better way to continue to build that encouragement in myself than to share it with all of you?” Continue Reading
Preface: I almost didn’t post this. I wrote it last week, typing as fast as my fingers would go (which is pretty fast thanks to my 9th grade typing class at Blume Junior High in Wapakoneta, OH – hometown of Neil Armstrong … and I know I just dated myself by saying that 9th grade was part of Junior High when I was in school. That’s ok, my son’s fiancee told me last week that I only look 38. I pushed for 32, but she said to be realistic. 😉 I’m ok with 38.) Anyway, I share more of my story here, which is always scary. You never really know what people are going to think. And, as a trying-to-be-reformed people pleaser, it is that much scarier. I am getting more comfortable sharing my story in person. I can kind of gauge by looking at someone and seeing their responses whether I should share more or less. You can’t really do that on the internet. So, here we go…
There’s not a person alive who hasn’t been touched by some hurt, sadness, or tragedy in this life. It’s just a part of living in this world. Life doesn’t always work out like we planned. Even when we win the battle, it may not look quite like how we thought it would. Sometimes, we can see that as a failure. There are still battle scars, even in the biggest victories. And too often, we can let those scars, those broken places, bring us embarrassment and shame. But if we bring them before God, He is so faithful to redeem them and use our stories to bring hope and healing to others. Continue Reading