Category: moods

How to live when the clouds just won’t move

dark clouds of depression

It’s not easy maintaining a positive attitude when dark clouds seemed stalled over our heads because there’s a lot of bad stuff going on in our lives.  While there is a break in the clouds on occasion, mostly it’s overcast. God seems to have spread a gray sheet between Him and us. 

Would you agree we all have days like that? Sometimes a number of them in a row.  We’re not clinically depressed. We don’t need medication.  We don’t need therapy. We just need a break from our unrelenting cloud-shrouded life.  

I find when I’m under grey clouds it helps to remember the transient nature of clouds.  Even today as I write, the sky overhead can’t seem to make up its mind.  Will the clouds be given permission to part so the sun can shine through or will they remain huddled together in a solid mass?  

I find I respond two ways to the dark clouds. If I’m already having a “reflecting” kind of day, I might actually prefer clouds. If I’ve planned a day to stay inside and pursue a creative project, I kind of like gray days.  I think you know what I mean. There’s something that appeals to us when the sky matches our mood. 

It’s like friends. 

When we’re in the dumps we usually seek friends we know will try to match our moods in their manner of speech, and choice of words. We don’t need them to act depressed, of course, but we don’t want someone who acts too cheerful either. It feels cold and insensitive.

Sometimes a pep talk is needed but not in a “rah, rah” cheerleader fashion.  I try to make sure I act appropriately as well when I’m the one listening. Something I experienced a few years ago brought that home to me.  

 I was in a meeting at church and I mentioned how fortunate I felt when compared to the rest of the world. One individual, (I learned this later) misconstrued what I said and felt I was saying I was better than other people. I meant my remarks exactly as I spoke them. I guess it’s all how you look at things, glass half-empty or glass half full.

I wasn’t aware that this person was struggling with some serious issues at the time. To someone who wasn’t feeling very blessed himself, my remarks must have felt like cold water splashed in his face. While I would say the same thing again I would be careful to explain what I meant. 

I try to remember that while my clouds have moved for the time being, someone else’s clouds have just shown up. I wished he could have seen my past and the clouds that once hovered over me as well or the clouds that are hovering now. But even with the clouds I really did feel blessed. Undeservedly blessed.

But if I’m feeling really down, I don’t want the gray clouds; I want the sun. I want something to interrupt my mood and cheer me up. On those days, I remind myself that clouds, by their very nature eventually move. (Of course, if you live in Michigan as I do, you might have to wait weeks, not days.)

I keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually the sun/Son does break through.  My mood gets better. I see things more clearly. It’s just the unrelenting nature of life. 

Some days we have to look to the heavens and just wait for the sky to change.

The post, “How to live when the clouds just won’t move” appeared first on faithsighanddiy.com

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white petaled flowers on a sunny day/happiness

Let’s decide to be happy. The sun is shining, birds are chirping.

Let’s decide to be happy. After all, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping. At least they are in Michigan today.

I recently earned my first coaching certification as a happiness life coach. Isn’t that a great phrase, “happiness life coach”? What fun studying happiness. It was quite by accident (no, God’s divine providence) that this all came about.

There’s so much we can do online these days to further our education. It required a financial investment and lots of reading and study time but I’m so glad I pursued it. I’m enjoying every minute of study and have learned so much. There are three more classes to complete and I will be a certified life coach in four specific areas.

At the same time, I am working on another life coach degree from a Christian institution. How these both came about is nothing short of an amazing example of how God does more than we can even imagine. And, here, I thought I was a really good “imaginer”.

Now, unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Ephesians 3:20.

Plus, my first book is in it’s second edit and soon we will be talking book covers, etc.

For me, this year of Covid has been life-changing in so many different ways. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. It’s been hard and really good all at the same time. But I don’t for one minute forget those for whom this past year has brought heartache and devastation. And, certainly, like most of you, I have missed seeing family and friends.

But that’s the thing about happiness. No matter what our circumstances, we can always find a level of happiness although I prefer the words joy, peace, and contentment as they don’t sound so “rah, rah”. (*Please be aware, I am NOT referring to grief or anything like that. We have to be careful that we don’t paint too broad of a brush stroke.” )

We can find many reasons for happiness.

But I am referring to the normal ebb and flow of life. There is so much we can be joyful about.

  • If you live in America that’s reason enough.
map of the world book laid open on brown wooden surface
  • Have a roof over your head and food to eat.
a house/choose happiness
  • Family and friends.

And, if you are a Christian, you have God. That alone makes all the difference.

Happiness is a decision you deliberately make.

white petaled flowers on a sunny day

But today we have the good news that there will be enough vaccines for everyone by the end of May. That’s a happiness booster if I ever heard of one.

The sun is shining today. The birds are chirping. God is on His throne.

So make a deliberate decision today to be happy. It really is your choice.

God bless and I hope you all have a wonderful day.

mother kissing child on cheek/feelings of inadequacy

Why we don’t find the time to pray

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Why we don’t find the time to pray.

Last week I listed a number of reasons we give for not praying. The first one is:

First reason: Not enough time

pexels-photo-359989.jpeg

Obviously, there are all kinds of way to debunk this idea.

Therefore, I am not going to actually address the time issue because we all know we will make time for what is important to us. Besides, I don’t think the lack of time is the real issue any.

It’s what we say but it’s a subterfuge. Do you remember the list?

  • Not enough time
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • DON’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN
  • FEEL UNWORTHY
  • AFRAID OF INTIMACY WITH GOD
  • TOO MANY PAST UNANSWERED PRAYERS
  • GOD ALREADY KNOWS
  • DON’T FEEL THE EMOTIONAL CONNECTION
  • FEEL INTIMIDATED BY OTHERS

Therefore, I think the real issue is more internal. It’s our feelings. So we are going to look at our feelings of inadequacy first. I probably won’t even address the time constraints till the end of this series because honestly? our time constraints are fairly easy to address and are of least importance.

Secondly: Feelings of inadequacy

Anytime we face a challenge of any kind, we always feel inadequate in the beginning. Why we think it would be any different with prayer, I don’t know.

When I first started blogging, I felt totally inadequate and I was. When I faced a big white piece of paper I was supposed to paint on, I felt inadequate. In fact, I can’t think of any skill I’ve ever learned, that I didn’t have feelings of great inadequacy going when beginning it.

picture of a clock/why we don't find the time to pray

Even now when I pray I sometimes feel inadequate.

Why Do We Feel Inadequate?

But why do we feel so inadequate? And if we eliminate our feelings of inadequacy, will we then make more time?

However, I don’t think that’s necessarily true but I do think that we are more apt to make time for any endeavor that we feel we have even a modicum of a chance to succeed.

For example, after I started blogging, each time I sat down at the computer I felt a little more competent. After I put the brush to the paper the first time, the next time was easier. None of this is new to anyone. We all know it’s true.

Of course, sometimes, our feelings of inadequacy stem from the fact that we are talking about God, not some skill we want to learn.

I get that. And in a way, I think that’s a good place to begin.

Who God says we are

You see because God is God, He understands how we might feel inadequate approaching Him. Accordingly, that is why scripture is full of verses where God tells us to come Him. He knows how we feel.

But first, let’s look at who God says we are. This might help you feel more comfortable and less inadequate. It might help us understand why we don’t find the time to pray.

Psalms 139: 13-15

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

How God is like a mother to us

Hosea 11:3-4

mother kissing child on cheek

Hosea 11:3-4 God described as a mother

God: “Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I who took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them, led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.”

So, from these two verses, we can see how God values us. How He cares for us like a mother. Because, in God’s eyes, we are never so inadequate that we can’t come to Him.

Let’s not confuse our human feelings with God’s. The inadequacy of our feelings is overshadowed by God’s unfathomable desire for communication with us.

So for this week, concentrate on how God sees you as fearfully and wonderfully made. How He loves you as a mother loves her child.

God bless and have a good day.

watercolorsky/favorite name for God

What is your most favorite name for God? Why?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

property of depressions gift
(Depression’s gift was title of old blog)

What is the most important name for God for you?

For many Christians, it’s Father.

Abba is my favorite name

If you had or have a great earthly father, you want more of the same. If you didn’t, then you want what you missed. I think most of us concentrate on the name of God that best suits our history, our personalty, our dreams and hopes…….It think further that that is in keeping with the concept of the Potter and the Clay. The clay is most comfortable with a certain aspect of the Potter.

Jehovah-Raah is my next favorite

For me, I lean to Father and Omnipresent. I also like attributing Jehovah-Raah because it reminds me of being led. I don’t mind being led by this particular Shepherd.

Furthermore, did you know there are over two hundred and fifty names assigned to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? It takes multiple names to describe them and the work they do.

Here is a list of names ascribed to God. This is from bluetletterbible.com.

  1. El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
  2. El Elyon (The Most High God)
  3. Adonai (Lord, Master)
  4. Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
  5. Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
  6. Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
  7. Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
  8. Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
  9. Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
  10. Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
  11. El Olam (The Everlasting God)
  12. Elohim (God)
  13. Qanna (Jealous)
  14. Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
  15. Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
  16. Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)

Quoting from THE NAMES OF GOD BY George W. Knight, “……your understanding will be enriched by their different translations of other names. For example, the KJV’s Daysman as a name for Jesus is rendered Umpire by the NASB and the NRSV, and as Someone to Arbitrate” by the NIV. Thus, the idea suggested by this name is that Jesus serves like a referee or impartial judge who speaks to God the Father on our behalf.”

Today God is:

  ABBA, FATHER

Mark 14:36

“Abba, Father,: he said, “everything is possible for you.”

Abba Father is a common name choice

This is one of my favorites for exactly the opposite reason you might think. Because I  wasn’t close to my earthly father, it comforts me to know that I haven’t lost out. Therefore, I like referring to God as Father because it feels like all the hugs I didn’t get, all the affirmations I didn’t receive. But as I grew older and had children he turned into a good grandfather for which I’ve always been extremely grateful.  I even got a lot of hugs.

It’s good to make peace with your earthly father if you can but it isn’t necessary to enter into a father-child relationship with God.

However, it’s hard to comprehend a loving father if you didn’t experience it growing up. There’s no frame of reference.  So you kind of have to grow into this relationship with your heavenly Father. It took me a while as well. To you I say, let God be that father to you. It worked for me.

Why we pick what we do

I believe that the parent/child relationship role we settle into with God is because that most clearly fits with our history, our personalities, our hopes and our dreams. It’s the attribute we most need. that’s why there are so many names we can concentrate on. And it might change during seasons of our life.

For example, Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals), might be more applicable when we or someone we know is experiencing a serious illness.

It might be really beneficial to pray to God, using one of His names, as a jumping off place. I’m glad I just wrote that because I really do think I just might start doing that.

Further study about the names of God

This wasn’t the post I planned for today. Actually, there was no post planned for today. I decided to revive and rewrite a very old post and now that I have I think I just might make this a series. Even as soon as next week.

I’ve never studied the names of God so shall we do it together?

Have a wonderful day. God bless each of you.

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