Settled

It’s nice to feel situated. It is a relief to know things are settled – an old bill, the future (at least in theory), and our hearts.

When I am unsettled and stressed about something, I can get anxious.

  • How will this play out?
  • Have I covered all the bases?
  • What have I forgotten?
  • What if all my efforts are in vain?
  • Am I doing enough?
  • Am I enough?

Have you ever had your mind entertain those types of questions? It can be in human relationships or jobs or even in my relationship with God. Sometimes things “feel” unsettled even though God assures me that they are.

It is important for me to know and remember that God, through Jesus, worked out my salvation. The “bill” there is settled.

Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’

 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:11-12 NIV]

Check out Psalm 118.

On the way,

Liz

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Darkness

Do you know someone who lives “in the dark”?

There seem to be so many more people struggling with anxiety and depression these days. Sometimes it is the person you least expect. The challenges of loving someone who find themselves frequently “in the dark” are heartbreaking. Please pray for not only those who struggle but also their friends and family members.

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I don’t have particularly dark days but I know people who do. I can’t imagine living in a shroud of darkness, struggling to find light in a day. I know it is disorienting, intimidating, and overwhelming. If you have been in a dark space, you know what I am saying. Even though I can use my imagination, sometimes I am at a loss at how to assist someone struggling through a dark time. I can always pray, and I do, but there are times something more tangible is needed.

It is true that a dark time can be the result of sin and confession and absolution is an amazing gift to someone struggling in that way. It is amazing how guilt, shame, and unconfessed sin can create darkness in our lives. Healthy Biblical counseling can be a great blessing. But that isn’t the only reason for depression. Depending on the circumstance, a psychiatrist and a psychologist can help. Medicine can be useful. Supportive friends and family, healthy eating, regular sleep patterns, and exercise can all be components that benefit someone stuck “in the dark”.

Pay close attention to those you know who struggle in this way. A little extra time from you, a listening ear, and encouraging words may be a way to help them (or their loved one) navigate through a dark space.

On the Road,

Liz

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Good Words

Anxietyw. copyHave you noticed the challenge of anxiety is discussed more openly than in years past? I don’t know if there is more anxiety or if we have just come to a greater understanding of it recently. But if you know someone who lives with anxiety you know it weighs him or her down.

It is so easy to critique and criticize. There is a world just waiting for the next great zinger or some clever sarcasm. It is also easy to get caught up in my own situation. I know that I can be lost in thought and miss an opportunity to encourage with something even as simple as a smile.

But good words….those are desperately needed.

Don’t discount the words you share and the impact they make. Make a point of sharing God’s Word, which has so much good news for a weary soul, or other good words with those around you today. It can be as simple as:

“I appreciate you!”

There are some wonderful social media images with good words. I have a folder on my desktop that is titled Inspiration and I put them there. When I don’t find what I need, I make it on canva.com because I find that it is good for me to see the good words. Creating good words is therapeutic for me!

Make the time to share some good words today. You might find that the words you share with someone else are the very words that soothe your soul!

On the Road,

Liz

PrayerPoints ~ Wednesday, March 2nd

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 46

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear; even though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”    Psalm 46: 1-3

The imagery in the verses above…wow! it sounds like utter devastation! And, unfortunately, we have some days, weeks, months, and years like that. When you are in trouble, lean into His strength!

There is no telling what you are in the middle of at this very moment in your life but I have a great imagination. You probably do, too. I think it is both a blessing and a curse. If you are anything like me, when you hear some “bad news” you can imagine the worst case scenario in about 3 seconds flat.  But, the potential positive to that “quick thinking” is being able to empathize with others and pray for them as they walk through a challenging time even if I haven’t experienced the same situation myself. When I hear about people who are struggling with something, I immediately think about the needs, the emotions, the fears, or the “what is next?” kinds of things and I cover them in prayer. And the times I have absolutely no idea about their situation but I know there is a need? I honestly leave it up to God to fill in the blanks. At one time or another, everyone struggles with:

  • faith
  • finances
  • fears
  • relationships
  • jobs
  • education/training
  • health

So it is a safe bet that I can pray over each of those categories for anyone and God, who knows it all anyway, hears my pleas.

It’s hard to watch someone struggle through a difficult season. There are times we can only pray and wait. We can’t jump in to fix or solve the problem, but we must hand it over to God, trusting in His work. Sharing God’s Word can bring refreshment to weary bones. God’s Word is always in season, but certainly a source of strength during an anxious and fearful time in life.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”   Psalm 46:10

A special thank you to my friend, Kristin, who has taken these great verses and put them in such a nice setting!

PrayerPoints ~ Saturday, February 13th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 139

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”        Psalm 139:23

It’s interesting, I don’t recall that I have had a lot of anxious feelings during my life but I have experienced them more often in the last five years or so. I am not entirely sure what is behind them but I have noticed an increase. I also know a growing number of people who struggle with debilitating anxiety. You know, the kind of anxiety where one cannot get out of bed and enter into the day. That is some tough stuff.

I am sure people struggled with that level of anxiety in my earlier years but I don’t ever recall hearing much about it. I am so thankful that we are in a time where this can be discussed and treated. There is nothing like a good psychologist and psychiatrist, supportive family and friends, and God’s healing touch to help a weary traveler get back on their feet.

Once I did have a meltdown of epic proportions. I remember saying something like this to Don, my husband, “I wish I had a broken arm or leg because then you could see there is something wrong.” It was during a season of very young children mixed with some chronic sleep deprivation. There was illness mixed in with other things and I was overwhelmed at the thought of him going on a particular business trip. It felt very strange to ask him not to leave but I had to. He actually had a really bad cold too so it was better that he stayed home. Even if he wasn’t able to help with the kids, I knew he would be nearby and accessible. It made all the difference in the world to me.

Sleep deprivation makes a huge impact on the psyche and I believe it was at the root of my situation. But there are also so many crazy things happening in our lives and in our world that sometimes, sweet peace seems very elusive.

As I read through Psalm 139, I love the reassurance that God knows my thoughts, that He hems me in, and He created my innermost being.

Are there particular phrases that bring comfort to you?