I’m not entirely sure why I’ve found myself here on my blog this late at night. I’ve been contemplating deleting it, to be quite honest, because I know I’m not always actively posting.
When I started this blog, I remember saying that even if it reached one person, helped one person, comforted one person, encouraged one person, then it would have been worth it and it would be worth putting time into it. I’m not here looking for a way to make money or become well known, I just want to share my life experiences, my passions, my faith and so much more with you all, in hopes of being the light 🕯️ in someone else’s darkness. I want to help, I want to encourage, I want to be that person who makes you feel less alone in the world! I have no idea what I’m doing on this blog half of the time, but I know there must be a reason I always find my way back to it. I have often been told that I have a way with words, and maybe that’s true to some degree, but maybe that’s a God given gift that I’m supposed to use and share. Maybe I do have the “gift of gab” in order to fulfill my purpose of helping others and to tell them all about God who has protected me and blessed my life; who has never failed me, even though, I’m certain I have failed Him! Whatever the reason, I am here on this blog, and yet again, I don’t exactly know what I’m going to blog about. 😬 I sure hope it doesn’t come across as rambling on, but I feel as if a message is put on my heart as I go.
Recently, at my church service, a message was preached and something has really stuck with me, so I feel as if my thoughts on that, and even some quotes from my pastor, are something worth sharing!
“When God pours out His blessings on you, it’s NOT just for YOU!” That’s an interesting point, isn’t it? When we have prayers that have been answered, test results that come back and reveal we have no illness, when we have been healed mentally, physically or emotionally, when we open our eyes in the morning and wake up, these are just some of the blessings in life that aren’t meant to solely serve us! NEWSFLASH: Life isn’t all about YOU! We may be so thankful to God, we may even say a prayer of thanks to Him in these situations, but if we’re not sharing our blessings with enthusiasm and excitement and giving God the glory He is worthy of, how is anyone else going to receive their blessing(s)?
“What God does to you, He wants to do through you!” We should be quick to give God the recognition and glory when we receive our personal blessings, because someone else’s blessings may come from our own! When we receive blessings, yet we keep it to ourselves, we could potentially be robbing someone out of their blessing! What God does to us, what He gives us, He will use us to extend that blessing to someone else, but we have to do our part! We should “invite others into our blessings” and not just nonchalantly, really get fired up about it! That very feeling you get when you receive that great test result/clean bill of health, when you wake up and you’re still alive and your heart is beating, when you bring a child into the world, when you get that promotion at work, when you overcome mental/physical/emotional or spiritual hardships/obstacles, that is precisely the feeling that should fuel your zeal! You know that when these things happen in your life, you feel like you want to jump for joy, and that’s exactly the kind of emotions we should pass along to others! We should be getting fired up about our blessings, and in doing so, we are spreading that joy and zest for life to everyone around us!
My pastor used the Bible passage above as an example of sharing our blessings. He asked the question, how do you think they signaled for the other boat? After working ALL that time and catching nothing, only to go out once more and be pulling in more than their boat could carry, how do you suppose they called out to the others on that second boat? Do you imagine they’d remain calm about it; quietly thank God for their blessing and collect as much as they could for themselves? How would you react if you were in their place? Your job is to catch fish, yet all day you have caught nothing and now your nets are overflowing to the point that they’re breaking and your boat is beginning to sink! Are you casually pulling those fish into your boat? Are you maybe casually motioning to the others? I’ll bet you and I wouldn’t be so calm about it, and I’ll bet in this scenario they weren’t calm either! I envision their minds being blown and they’re so filled with amazement, that they’re shouting at the top of their lungs for the others to come near and share in this blessing! I imagine them yelling, whistling, jumping up and down waving their hands above their heads, overjoyed at what is transpiring! That’s how ecstatic we should be about our life blessings and how freely we should be sharing our blessings with others and inviting them in to celebrate with us! COME LOOK WHAT GOD HAS DONE!
What if all others heard us talk about were the things that aren’t going right for us? Don’t you think they would question God’s abilities? Some of us can be quick to share our complaints, but we fall short when it comes to sharing our blessings and I think maybe it’s something we could all work on. After all, if our mouths are full of complaints, aren’t we just choking on our praises?
I understand that in the world we live in, it certainly can become easy to fall into the habit of bellyaching and focusing on the negatives, but that neither serves us, nor does it serve others. This just does the opposite of what we should be doing, which is giving others hope and encouragement!
If God can bless me, He can most assuredly and will most assuredly bless YOU! I would love for all of us to be more mindful of the blessings around us and in our lives and how we react to them! Do we simply thank God and move on? Are we doing a better job of voicing our complaints than our blessings? Can we make improvements on how we experience our blessings and how often we invite others into our blessings to celebrate with us? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the person hindering someone else’s blessings, nor do I want someone to hinder mine! Remember, freely you have received, freely you should give!! 👇
Our blessings come through honor, respect and obedience and if we lack in any of those areas, we’re going to lack in the blessings department as well! So let us not only honor and respect God, but honor and respect one another and, in turn, obey God 🙌❤️
For some, reading these verses may be very new, while for others this may not be a familiar selection. This verse has become a popular one for those looking for biblical guidance to help them through troubling times. Recently, I came across this verse in a book I read by Max Lucado; Anxious For Nothing.
I just want to say this before proceeding: Mentioning this book is not going to give me any kind of perks! These are just my thoughts and opinions that the book has inspired. Nothing I say here is in any way connected to Max Lucado, although I may use some of his quotes from the book. Lastly, even though I feel it’s rather obvious to declare, I am not a professional counselor or any kind of professional, I just make posts to try to reach others who may be going through some of the same feelings.
After reading this book, I felt like I should use some of my notes and quotes from the book, to make a blog post or posts that others may find interesting or helpful. As most of you know, if you’ve read some of my other posts, I have long struggled with anxiety, panic and depression. I have been very lost in them that I really became this lifeless blob for over a year. While a year is not even close to the length of time I have struggled with these issues, there was a year or a little more, where I was so deep in those issues that I became unable to live a “normal” life. In the midst of this terrible time, I would have never believed I’d be able to get out of the dark place I was in. I felt as if I had gotten so lost, I couldn’t possibly find the light again. Would I ever be the person I used to be again? Would I ever be able to enjoy my family or friends again? Would I ever be able to think about going to work again without breaking down and crying hysterically out of pure fear? Would I be able to walk outside, take a shower, sleep or even eat without the fear that I’m going to die doing those things?
It truly seemed irreversible at the time. It seemed like my anxiety, panic and depression had pulled me so far under, that I could never find my way out and in a way, I was right. I would never have found my way back, if not for my faith. I am aware that simply stating that my faith helped me through such a horrific time may not come across as very helpful, especially to someone who may be in the deepest, darkest depths of anxiety, panic and depression. To be quite honest, sometimes hearing something like that can make a person in the midst of such things feel even more guilty and cause them to sink lower into those feelings. I don’t want anyone reading this to feel as though they can’t make it out of their dark place without faith in God, but I want to tell you that I would not have. God isn’t just exclusively available to believers, He’s there for non-believers as well; He doesn’t turn anyone away. If you need Him, you only need to ask for Him, He’ll find you.
Back to the Bible verses I shared in the photo at the start of this blog. “Rejoice in the Lord always…” ALWAYS. Not just when things are going good in your life, maybe even moreso when they’re going horribly! Easier said than done right? To someone who is struggling, telling them to rejoice in the Lord may seem like a slap in the face! How can I rejoice in the Lord when I’m consumed by fear and worry? How can I rejoice when l find out I can’t have children or when I’ve miscarried? How can I rejoice in the Lord when I’ve lost my job, when my child is diagnosed with so many health issues, when my husband or wife is facing health issues, when I am in constant pain from an unrelenting disease, when I have lost my home and have nowhere to go, when I am going through a nasty divorce and custody battle, when I’m being abused (physically, mentally, emotionally or all of the above)- the list can go on indefinitely! How can we say REJOICE to someone who is drowning? If you have never been taught to swim, how is yelling REJOICE to you when you’ve fallen in the lake going to help? IT WON’T! We don’t have to use our words to tell someone to rejoice, we can simply lead by example around them. We can live our life with such transparency, that they will see things we have had to endure, and in turn, see how we have never stopped rejoicing all the while. Others will see how we handle our times of difficulty and wonder how they too can do the same. I have personally felt, growing up and even now, that you can get so much further with people when you’re not forcing your beliefs and religion down their throats, but simply planting seeds each time you’re near them and living your life authentically; they’ll notice, I assure you! Eventually, they’ll come to you looking for your “secret” and that’s when you’ll get to share with them that there is no secret at all, there’s only God! ☺️
In the Anxious for Nothing book, you’ll find this C.A.L.M. approach laid out for you. I don’t want to give away too much of this book, so I’ll also include a link at the end of this blog incase anyone is interested. Again I get nothing in return for promoting this book, I just believe it to be a good read.
C is for COOKIE…no wait, that’s not the right one! 😂 C is for Celebrating God’s Goodness. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but during our most trying times, it can be hard to rejoice or celebrate. You’re not perfect, neither am I, so we won’t always be able to do it as we should, but we can do our best to be mindful about it. In our more challenging times, we can say our problems aloud or write them down and then we can voice or think about what we know is good in our lives at that moment, minus whatever negative issues are going on at the time. It may seem that NOTHING good is happening, but if your eyes are open and your heart is beating during your dwelling on your misfortune(s), then you already have something to celebrate! Thank God I am alive and I opened my eyes this morning, although today might be terrible, I am still going to celebrate my being alive to see another day! It’s more about not dwelling on the negatives of the day or week or month or even year. It can be extremely easy to slip down the slope of Negative Mindset Mountain and pretty hard to try to climb back up, trust me I speak from great experience! We can acknowledge the negative and then move our thoughts to what good there is in our lives, on that day, and celebrate those thoughts. It doesn’t matter how big or small the positives are, just as long as we shift our mind from acknowledging our negative and celebrating our positives. Don’t fall into the trap that is the negative mindset, it can quickly get out of hand. One minute you’re talking about one negative that happened to you today, then you’re talking about something bad that happened yesterday, then last week and it just keeps on rolling downhill until, before you know it, you’re discussing stuff that happened to you 10+ years ago! We need to be aware of who we talk to and if the conversation is serving us well. If you find that it’s not serving your mindset well, you have the ability to shift the conversation and if it keeps circling back to negativity, you can just end the conversation and pick up another day. Sometimes our days can be going just fine, then if we encounter someone who is not having such a great day, if we listen long enough, our emotions can take us to the same place they are. Entertaining too much negativity can cause us to catch the negative bug! This is why, when I know I’m having one of those days, I try my best to keep to myself either until I shift my mindset or until the next day! I still have some work to do on this, but I’m happy to say that I have improved pretty well in that area! We need to focus on one day at a time, acknowledging our difficulties of the day, dropping them off at the slippery slope of Negative Mindset Mountain, then keeping on our journey until we reach Celebration Campsite! This is where we can set up tent, take our shoes off and stay awhile!
A is for Asking God For Help. For some of us it can be easy to ask for help, but if you’re like me, you take the world upon your shoulders, never ask for help and then breakdown at some later date under all the pressure. Asking for help may not come as natural to some of us as it does for others, but anyone can feel the relief that comes from simply knowing someone is around if we need help or having someone tell us they’re nearby if they need us. We can call out to God when things have gone wrong, but why do we forget that He’s there from the beginning? Why do we wait so long to go to Him for help when He’s already told us time and time again, “I am right over here if you need anything!” Let us remember that God is this constant Presence and we can go to him at any hour for any kind of help! We don’t have to wait until we’re really underwater before asking Him for a hand.
L is for Leave Your Concerns With God. How many of us bring our backpack of burdens to God and forget to take it off before going on with our day? 🙋🏻♀️ We are encouraged, in the Bible, to bring our burdens to God and He will give us rest. He wants to take our burdens from us, so why can’t we seem to let go of them?
I have stated many times that I believe many of us who deal with anxiety and panic have a bit of an issue with control. What I mean by this is, one way or another our anxiety stems from an issue with lack of control. Take myself as an example, all of the anxiety that caused my panic issues mostly had to do with death, in some way. Every single thing I did, I truly felt and believed I was going to die if I did it. I can’t eat because I’ll have an allergic reaction and my throat will close up and I’ll die. I can’t go outside because I may get bit or stung by something and die. I can’t go to sleep because I’ll die in my sleep. I also always felt I would have a heart attack and die. I would also like to add that I have no known allergies to any food or bites/stings. My anxiety and panic concocted all of these scenarios in my mind and I believed that in refraining from living, I would infact survive! Did you hear me? If I stopped living I would stay alive. In refraining from doing anything I used to enjoy doing or simple daily health habits, I believed I was controlling the outcome of my life. I believed that I was somehow in control or taking control of the situations. I can stop the danger before it happens! What’s wrong with this picture though? Are any of us in control of our lives? To an extent, I suppose we are. We are in control of our choices, we have been given free will. We decide where we go, what we do, say etc. Are any of us able to keep others from death? Do we determine when we die? No! We have no say in this. Age, race, gender, health none of this matters when it comes down to it. Someone could be sick for years and still be alive longer than a healthy person who loses their life in a car accident. The point I’m trying to make and the fact that can be hard to swallow is ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, we are not in control. This fact can cause anxiety and panic in people. If we can accept that we are not in control, we can learn to leave our concerns with the One who is in control! We can go to God in prayer, making our concerns known to Him. We can write them down in a journal or simply on a piece of paper. Once we have prayed or written down our concerns or done both of these things, we can then remind ourselves that we don’t need to pick those burdens back up before leaving, nor do we have a use for the burden backpack anymore. When we leave our concerns, we need to do just that, LEAVE them!
M stands for Meditate on Good Things.
Now we revisit Negative Mindset Mountain, where avalanches of what ifs, doom and gloom, worst case scenarios, fears, anger, frustrations, resentment, jealousy, hatred, comparison and the like, happen on a regular basis, 24/7! You would think that not many people would come to visit this place with the frequent avalanches, yet you’d be surprised at how many people have a vacation home here or worse yet, have moved there permanently! I don’t have a vacation home or permanent residence here, but I have been known to visit and it’s not a place I like to be. Sometimes, I have managed to get to this place without wanting to go or without even knowing I’m there, but once I realize I am and I don’t know how long I have been there, I feel such disgust, embarrassment and shame. I feel disgusted because I am someone who is often viewed as the positive one to other people. The one who listens to others, gives great advice and makes everyone laugh, yet in my own personal life, I can be the opposite. I don’t often listen to myself, although I can give sound advice, I can’t give myself that same advice. I don’t extend myself the same grace I do to others. I must admit that I can make myself laugh 😂🤪 I feel embarrassment because I don’t like to be around negativity or negative people and the thought that I have been that person to others can not only leave me feeling disgusted, but embarrassed as well because, I am wondering to myself how long have I been projecting negative vibes? An hour? A day? A week? You see, at Negative Mindset Mountain, you can lose track of many things, one of those being time. In addition to feeling disgusted and embarrassed, I previously mentioned I feel shame. I feel shame because I have forgotten to leave my concerns with God. I have forgotten to ask God for help and I have forgotten to celebrate any good in my life. Much like the person who has had one too many to drink, I have blacked out and somehow woken up in this place. I don’t know how I’ve gotten here and I am not sure when I arrived. I don’t know if there is anyone else I have affected by my journey. If I’m in this place, I most likely haven’t been the example that I want to be to others. I feel shame because I have fallen down that slippery slope and been swept away by the avalanche. We tend to make it to this place because we let the wrong kind of thoughts bombard our minds. We forget to protect our hearts and minds and, in doing so, we nonchalantly open the door and let all the negativity on in to what will later become our very own pity party! Somewhere down the line, we stopped acknowledging all the good or positives in our lives and started solely focusing on all the negatives. So how do we make it back down the mountain?
We use Philippians 4:8 as our cheat sheet! If you take a look at that verse, it maps out the entire way back down! Let’s look at the verse and break it down. Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true; not what ifs, not worst case scenarios that may never come to be. Whatever is noble; thoughts that can promote honesty, generosity and things of that nature, not thoughts of jealousy or lies. Whatever is right; thoughts that are morally right are considered reasonable or ethical. We know the difference between right and wrong and this is what is meant when we are told to think of “right” things. Immoral thoughts would be the opposite of right thoughts, such as thoughts of evil or wrongdoing. Whatever is pure; again, untainted thoughts, free from evil. Thoughts that are true and uninfluenced by the wickedness of this world. In our minds is where the evil would start first. The thief, the murderer, the liar, the adulterer, they all have something in common…they first thought of evil before carrying out evil. The thief saw something he did not have and thought to himself that he should have it, so he would take it. The murderer let anger, resentment, hurt and whatever other evil thought control his mind and he thought about bringing harm to someone else and how he could hurt the other person. The liar uses his mind to weave his web of lies before speaking them to others, to come across as believable. The adulterer looks lustfully at others who are not their spouse and has thoughts of how they will become closer with this person(s). They engage in sex with this person, cheating on their spouse not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. Whatever is lovely; these thoughts are rooted in love and affection. They are thoughts that can celebrate the goodness in not only your life, but in other’s lives around you! Jealousy has no place here! Whatever is admirable; thoughts of admiration or respect of others, especially God. Thinking on the goodness in your life can bring about admirable thoughts towards God. We look in wonder and astonishment at the world God created for us and the children He has blessed us with and the family. We see every day miracles and our minds admire the work of God! If anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
If you didn’t notice, most of these words are synonyms of each other. They work together! Meditating on good things is all laid out for us in that one verse. Instead of thinking about what others have that you don’t, think about what you’re thankful for in your life and what you have or have worked for. Instead of thinking about the worst possible outcome of a situation or what MIGHT happen if you do this or that, think about what is more likely to happen. Is it more likely that this whole Final Destination type of scenario will play out or is it more likely that you’ll have worried and stressed yourself over nothing and then miss out on a greater time. Think of all that can go right. This is my hardest challenge, because my mind seems programmed to only see the worst case, but with a little rewiring, I believe I can improve upon it! Instead of dwelling in resentment for how people have treated you in the past, think of what you’ve taken away from that and how you use it for good in your life now. Don’t get so blinded by hatred, anger and resentment, especially from the past, that it hinders your living now. Don’t think of how you can get back or get even, use it as fuel to do better and be better. Nothing that has already happened can be erased, but it can used for good! As Max Lucado said in his book, “There is a reason the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. Your future matters more than your past.”
If you find that negative thoughts are trying to creep in, immediately recall the words in Philippians 4:8. Let this verse serve as a reminder to all of us, to shift our mindset from acknowledging the negatives, to celebrating the positives!
Dear God, I pray that someone who needed this message finds it. I pray for everyone who comes across this blog, whether they like it or not, that maybe they could just take away one important thing from it. I pray that anyone struggling will find peace that only You can give. May at least one person read this and be able to make that mindset shift. Please use my words to show others Your grace and unconditional love. Let us remember the words in Philippians 4:8 and do our very best to think those kinds of thoughts. I thank You for working in me and through me so that I may not only better myself and my relationship with You, but help others to come to You as well. I pray all of this in Your name, AMEN!
I will leave the link below to anyone who would like to check out the Anxious for Nothing book. He also offers a DVD and study guide, if any small groups are interested in that. I bought the study guide thinking maybe I could still use it with the book, and while I can use it for notes and such, I personally feel it is much more geared towards the DVD. The link below will be just for the actual book. I GET NOTHING FROM SHARING THIS LINK! Please don’t view this blog to be any kind of promotional gain! Much love and God bless! ❤️
Hi everyone! This is my baby cousin (my cousin Kayla’s baby girl). Her name is Selah Grace and she was born on October 5th, 2019. She has always looked so great since birth, one would never know she was born with a few complicated heart issues. She has some leaky valves, among other things, but the main concern now is getting the leaks fixed. She was set for surgery this Thursday the 24th which is actually her mother’s birthday, however her surgery has been moved up to tomorrow Oct 23rd at 8:15am. She has been able to do things that most of the little patients in her position don’t normally do, so needless to say she is a very strong little girl! She was born a fighter and God has given her the strength every step of the way and we believe He will continue to do so! We believe very much in the power of prayer and I am asking all of you to please keep my precious cousin in your prayers! Please pray God will guide the hands of the surgeons tomorrow and pray for His comfort and peace to be over the family during the waiting period. They said it could be a shorter surgery or it could go up to 8 hours! Please pray for Selah to come out of surgery with wonderful improvement and be on her road to going home with her family! Let’s pray that Momma gets to hold her baby girl very soon, as she hasn’t been able to because of all the pesky tubes! This baby girl is already such a symbol of strength and I have faith that she will do wonderfully in surgery and after! Please remember Selah Grace today, tomorrow (especially during surgery time) and every day after! God bless you Selah Grace! We love you baby girl!❤️🙏💪 Please feel free to comment on this post your well wishes for the family! Let them know you’ll be praying!
Have you ever woke up and already felt like you’re one step behind?
This week, maybe even a little longer, has felt so crazy to me. I have felt overwhelmed and stressed out and just on edge. It’s as if more and more keeps getting piled on top of my shoulders and I’m starting to sink into the ground! One little thing goes wrong, which leads to another, which adds to the pile and then pretty soon I’m drowning in emotions…ALL of them! I’m down because there are SO many tasks to be done, yet there never seems to be enough time for them all. I will feel like a failure many days because I haven’t gotten every little thing done that I needed to or planned to. The expectations I set for myself may exceed what one person could or should do in a day, but I get frustrated nonetheless. This can just bring on more negative…depression, anxiety, lacking patience, anger and even self pity. We as humans get into these “funks” and before we realize it we’ve already spent way too much time there. I do not like negativity at all, yet when I get into one of these funks, the output is negative-negative-negative!
Recently, I have started throwing myself into working out again and just simply being more active. Like I mentioned before, this week has been pretty crazy and I woke up feeling off. I checked the verse of the day and it was one that has carried me throughout most of my life. Isaiah 41:10.
I truly didn’t think much of it this morning and I went on with my day. I had this online seminar I was to attend at a specific time today…long story short, my internet connection is super slow and it would not work on my phone, so 45 mins into trying to get into this online event and no luck. I tried everything and still couldn’t get it to work. FINALLY I was able to get in and got the information I needed and was blessed that it wasn’t completely over with! That one thing that seems so minor now, just added to the pile and truly made me feel even more defeated.
A little later on, I got ready for my 2 mile walk. Just getting to the treadmill when you have 3 kids is an accomplishment in itself! I’m a fan of music; I have always loved a huge array of music and normally I’d put my Pandora on a station which is going to kick out rock of some sort while I am on my walk…today though, I felt a tugging at my heart to go to one of my Christian stations I have programmed on there. I go to the station, which would normally play songs with a variety of messages, as the first song starts I notice it’s a favorite of mine Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns. I didn’t think much of the message it speaks, then the next song comes on In The Eye Of The Storm, which kind of catches my attention. This goes on the entire walk. Praise You In This Storm comes on and I think to myself, I hear you. The songs started out as recognition of being in the midst of these storms of life “I see you, I hear you…” then they turned to “now here is what to do.” It’s far too easy to get caught up in the negativity that piles up and just succumbing to it. We forget that most of it can be little issues which we have let turn into something far larger than what’s needed. I tend to tell others often, somewhere someone is wishing to have the problem you’re having because they’re going through something much more intense and then here I am giving into these negative feelings and thoughts which then adds to the guilt I’m already feeling.
Today I am reminded that there are indeed others out there who wish for my problems. I am also reminded that there are others out there feeling exactly how I am feeling and I am not as alone as I often feel! Let us learn to let go of the small stuff and let God handle it for us. With anxiety, you think about EVERYTHING, you obsess over little things and you worry constantly. God calls us not to be anxious for anything but instead bring it to Him. My life is FULL of so many blessings and miracles and they outweigh all the negative, hands down! I pray to see from God’s perspective daily. I pray for the strength to only here the voice of truth through all of the things swirling around in my mind. I am thankful for the reminder that God is always there, no matter the circumstance and I am seen and heard. I am thankful that His breath is in my lungs and I don’t have to take on life alone. Every day, whether it’s good or bad, is a blessing. Every day is a day that God has already planned for you far before you were born. He knows just what should happen and when. He knows exactly what we all are going to have to stand against and He never leaves our side. I don’t know about you, but I feel very unworthy of that…especially when I am wallowing in my own self pity.
I pray for everyone reading this that if you are feeling defeated think of those out there who are literally fighting for their lives daily and still they wear a smile every single day. Our issues may seem big and they may just actually be big, but somewhere hidden in the midst of our struggles are blessings, we just need to change our mindset to find them.
Have you ever felt like you’ve given your all and you don’t have any more to give?
But God! How can I possibly keep going when I have put all my strength and energy into this, yet I haven’t seemed to make any progress?
A little over 2 weeks ago I was having trouble sleeping, as pregnant women normally do in their 39th week of pregnancy, and I told my husband I am going to take this as a sign that we need to make our way to the birth house. In our state home birth is still technically illegal, so we travel a couple of hours into a nearby state to give birth (thus the term, birth house).
We made it to the birth house around 3pm on that Saturday. We unpack our stuff and started to get relaxed around the house. Besides myself and my husband, my mom and 2 young sons (6 and 2) were there with us. Around 5pm my mom started to make dinner and I went to help. About 6pm or a little after it was time to eat. I went to use the restroom before and wouldn’t you know it, I lost my plug. This doesn’t necessarily mean labor will come on right away, but in my previous pregnancy that is exactly what happened right before my labor began and this time was just the same. Later on everyone went to bed. My mom and oldest son first and then my husband and I took our youngest son to get him to sleep, however I obviously could not get comfortable, yet again; this would be no sleep just like the previous night! I didn’t start timing my contractions until about 830pm or so. I text messaged my midwife, who lives not quite an hour from the birth house (this time) and she would ask me about contractions etc. So I kept laboring on my own, while everyone was sleeping because I didn’t want to wake them lol. Maybe 1030pm my midwife asked me if I thought she should come now and I said yes that would probably be of more comfort. My midwife and her assistant arrived and she asked if I wanted her to check my dilation and I said sure. I told her I’m not certain, but from my contractions I’d say I’m about 5 to 6cm. My midwife checked me and she said you’re at 7cm! So I was in great shape. I tend to stand or crouch and rock side to side while in labor and that’s what I was doing and when my midwife got there I still continued to do so. We were talking and joking and laughing all the way up to 10cm! That whole part of labor seemed to progress quicker and easier than previous pregnancies, although this being my 3rd time, I was also more used to the process.
Now it was about that time, my favorite stage of labor…PUSHING! Only this time the pushing would end up not as fun as usual! I pushed for about 2 hrs this time! I also pushed in almost every position imaginable! After an hour of pushing, my daughter still wasn’t able to even be seen a little bit and I knew it. Here I had been pushing for so long, running on 2 days of no sleep and despite all my efforts for the past hour, I knew not much progress was made. That can be a bit discouraging and even more so when you’re exhausted! I remember being at the end of the bed, I had just been pushing on a birthing chair, then did standing lunge position and then just plain standing. I talk to God often in my head through prayer and this time I said, ” God, please give me Your strength because I am running on empty. I have given all I have and then some and still it hasn’t been enough. I need Your strength to help me get my baby out.” Right after praying I ended up moving back onto the bed and then I felt this change in the pushing. I felt my body take over the pushing, it was now pushing FOR me! It was as if someone shook up a soda and now the built up pressure was escaping. Now, instead of me being the main source of the strength and pushing, I was now the helper! I had already given ALL that I had, but somehow I managed to gather even more energy and since my body was now pushing on it’s own, I was able to birth my daughter! I knew from the change that came over after my prayer that THIS WAS IT! I heard this voice say “she’s coming!” Sure enough she made her big debut and come to find out, she was sunny side up or face up and that’s why it was a more difficult and intense pushing! My husband is often annoyed when people say “110%” because he says there’s no such thing! After I gave birth to our daughter, he said, “Now THAT is giving 110%! From now on, you’ll forever be my example of giving 110%!”
I KNOW, without any doubt in my mind, that God was right there in that room! HE gave me the strength and HE protected us (as always) and HE took over for me when I thought I had no more to give! How many times in life do we say, I can’t! I have given my all and it wasn’t enough! That, my friends, is the position God wants you in! He wants you to be aware that you cannot do everything on your own; WE NEED HIM! We can do ALL things (not just some things) through CHRIST who strengthens us! 🙌 We need only to remember to call on Him, because He is ALWAYS ready to help us! So, no matter your situation in life, no matter how strongly you feel you cannot get through something, no matter how inadequate you may feel, you can still get by with a little help from your friend 😜 He knows when we need Him, but He waits for us to come to Him and to seek his help and guidance. ❤ Don’t ever forget He is there!
I pray today that we all remember the true source of our strength and courage and that we never forget to ask for God’s help!
I have to start off with apologizing for neglecting my blog lately! 😣 So many things going on and time is not slowing down! As most of you probably know from previous posts, I am pregnant and actually due in another 5 weeks or so! Just trying to get things in order for go-time!
Being so close to the end of pregnancy you would assume it’s the time where relaxation kicks in and you’re just resting and waiting…maybe with the first child, but this is baby number 3 and things have been a bit wonky! It feels as if all these random little events keep happening and they all add up the stress! I know so many of you can relate to that one-thing-after-another feeling and it doesn’t treat the anxiety well!
It’s funny because every time I think what else could happen, I also think what is God keeping from happening? There’s two sides to everything and I definitely believe that many times when it feels like all these random events keep unfolding at the worst possible times, God is setting you up for greater things in the near future! Granted, in those moments when everything seems to be out of control, it’s hard to have this mindset but hopefully after things have calmed down a bit, we’re able to sit back and actually contemplate about what is happening, the actual severity of it and what good can come from it.
I often mention Job or revisit Job in the Bible to gain perspective. I have always gravitated towards the book of Job and have many times been inspired in a variety of ways. The theme of Job could probably best be summarized in a question…Why does God let bad things happen to good and innocent people? Job had not done anything wrong, yet within one day alone he lost his livestock, servants and all 10 children! That was just one day! Can you imagine how overwhelmed we would feel if we lost even half of that in the course of a day? Even after suffering such great loss, Job still blessed God in his prayers. When we think we have it bad, sometimes it’s not as bad as we initially perceive it to be. How often far more simple things happen to us and yet we feel the need to question God’s motives.
We should be thankful in the bad just as we are in the good because we have limited understanding of our lives and what evil God is saving us from in the future. I’m sure I have typed this before but it’s so very true, God has the panoramic view to our lives, we simply see in tunnel vision. We are often focused on what is currently right in front of us that we tend to forget there is a bigger picture to behold. We cannot worry ourselves with why others who do wrong don’t seem to experience as many hardships nor do we need to question why God is allowing what seems like bad things to befall us. Our understanding of our lives and life in general is extremely limited, whereas God has the infinite knowledge; how could we lack trust when He is God of ALL? Who are we to question God’s motives? We cannot just go through life expecting only to experience the good!
Although it’s easier to praise God during those good times, we would do good to remember to praise him in the times when it feels the hardest; that’s where, I believe, the most true and deepest blessings come from. Anyone can be thankful when they’re surrounded by clear blue skies, but what about when those dark gray clouds crowd around and the challenges of life seem to rain down? Where is our thankfulness then? Let us not focus on what is happening in the moment right in front of us, but rather thank God in the midst of the storm for what He is saving us from in the future. It may be difficult to train our minds to work that way at first, but once we realize how true it is that if this bad had not occurred, our blessing could not have happened, it’ll make it that much easier to have that mindset.
Think of several times where things went wrong in your life and I’ll wager some kind of positive came from it, in some form, whether right after or years after. A quick example for me that came to mind was my miscarriage. Maybe it’s come to my mind so quickly because I am getting closer to giving birth, but had that misfortune never happened, who is to say I would have my other son and now this little girl I am currently carrying? Sometimes God takes from us to allow room for bigger blessings to flow, we just have to trust that He knows best! He is on our side and He does not rejoice in our misfortunes but rather hopes for us to put more trust in Him.
I pray today for anyone who feels caught up in a web of what seems like constant hard times Lord, may they know that You are for them and that You go through it with them. May they realize they may be going through a stretch of bad times now, but it will pass and blessings will be waiting on the other side! May our hearts see a different view during difficult times and allow us to have a more faithful and positive response as opposed to a “poor me” or “why me” attitude. Thank you Lord for the good and the bad because we know they work hand in hand. In Your name we pray, Amen!