Tag: disconcerting

When the fear wakes you up and your heart races

when we are afraid

We are at our cabin. Our adorable little red cabin.

I’m sitting in the porch of my she-shed which is “adorabler”. (I know.)

But I am sharing this because even when everything is perfect, or maybe because everything is perfect, satan can attack as fast as a lion in wait for his next victim.

I was the victim.

You are caught so by surprise when satan ( I never capitalize his name) jumps out at you, your heart stops and then beats so fast, you feel as if you are on a roller-coaster that is about to careen off the tracks.

It had been a perfectly wonderful day. So when I woke up in the middle of the night terrified. I could not for the life of me figure it out.

I didn’t sleep well the rest of the night and the next day felt incredibly sad.

What’s all this about? It was a very “down” kind of a day which I rarely experience when we are at the cabin.

I had been working on my book the day before and I had joined a Zoom meeting for Hope Writers of which I am a member.

I enjoyed the meeting but I noticed my mood dropping a little as I compared myself to those I was listening to. I came up short. I was a bit discouraged even though I’m almost done with the book and feel really good about what I’ve written.

My husband had gotten up in the middle of the night to check on something that was hitting the roof. It is a tin roof and was raining really hard. He didn’t come back right away as he was checking outside and walked around the cabin. I didn’t know that and was scared something f had happened to him.

When he did come back, I sighed in relief, and fell back asleep and it was shortly after that I had that horrible anxiety attack.

That next day was the day, I was feeling so “down” and confused.

Thank goodness, I have studied my triggers over the years and know that on the rare occasion this happens, I need to examine the events of the few days prior.

As you can surmise, I did figure it all out.

The feelings of coming up short as compared to the other Hope Writers, and my husband not returning to bed right away, coupled with a bad nights’ asleep, all worked together beautifully as far as the enemy is concerned.

What a perfect opportunity I gave him.

So why did I share this and how can it help you?

First is all, never overestimate a good day, meaning always be prepared for the next day maybe being a not-so-perfect day. Because this is

just. how. life. works.

And when you have a bad day, don’t overestimate it either. Just because you have a bad day today doesn’t mean tomorrow will be more of the same.

I have a tendency to overestimate and overgeneralize both kind of days. Like most people I want every day to be wonderful and when they’re not, I get off kilter.

What about you? Do you have a tendency to do that? If you’re having a bad day, do you assume tomorrow will be more of the same? By the way, that’s a great way to be sure the next day is a bad one.

I am doing better. Yes, I did figure out that day but, honestly, there have been a number of them lately. It’s been almost twenty years since I have felt this way, so this is a little bit disconcerting.

I’m telling myself today that just like a lot of people, the pandemic and the riots are taking a toll and I’m trying not to over generalize or exacerbate my symptoms by being negative.

This is one of my favorite chapters, Psalm 91. Click on the picture to reveal.

You hang in there as well.

God bless and have a great day.

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prayer/e.m. bounds

An exciting new series on prayer

Starting in July, I am adding a new menu item. Do I sound like a restaurant?

What shall it be then?

An appetitzer? Main course? dessert?

I think we’ll call it the “tantalizer”.

Have you ever heard of E. M. Bounds?

If not, let’s just say that he has written more about prayer than any other author ever, 568 pages to be exact. The book I have contains all his books in one big volume. have had his book for years and when I want to torture myself I read portions of it.

I use the word “torture” because as the introduction written by Jim Cymbala of The Brooklyn Tabernacle says regarding his book, “You either stand near to enjoy its warmth or you move away because the flame seems too much to bear.”

I agree.

E.M. Bounds took the word of God literally in regards to prayer, something I think many of us don’t do. And that certainly includes me.

I think I am praying believing that if I believe what I’m praying, my prayers will be answered. (Yes, I mean it just the way I wrote it, convulted though it is.)

The truth, though? I think if I really did believe it, I would pray much bigger than I do.

Don’t look at me askance. How many you really believe that if you were to pray really big for something like world peace, it would happen?

I’m not saying it wouldn’t either.

All of this is just to point out that prayer, while really quite simple (after all, it’s only a conversation between two people), is complex. Not because prayer itself is complex but because we are. Prayers in the Bible are simple (and short, I might add), I wonder how we made it so complicated.  

The longest prayer is found in  Nehemiah 9:5-38, that’s only thirty-three verses. It can be read in a matter of minutes and yet is a powerful prayer.

E. M. Bound’s book challenges me and encourages me at the same time. (For some reason, I can’t download the image but you can find it here on Amazon.) And while I still maintain prayer is simple, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot more we can learn.

I hope you will enjoy the excerpts that I will post on Mondays. Remember, 568 pages! So just giving you a few sentences every week isn’t even going to give you an inkling about the book’s depth of insight. I encourage you to buy the book or get it from your local library so you can pick it up if only to read a few sentences at a time.

God bless and have a great day.

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thinking outside the box

How to pray bigger than your faith

Last week, I got my manuscript all together in one place.

I had been working on the chapters of my book in separate documents. Eventually, I have to have it all in a PDF file in order to publish it.

The writing has been easy compared to this part.

I think I also told you I’m reaching out to everyone I know who has a social media platform to help me publicize my book.

As I was thinking about publishing and all I had yet to learn, I thought of someone within our family network who has written some books herself and done quite well. I was hesitant to ask for her help because she has her hands full with her job and her family.

But I reached out anyway just for clarification about a couple of things. In the course of back and forth texting, I asked her if she would be willing to actually be my consultant in this whole process. I told her I wouldn’t take her help unless I could pay her.

Her response was that she had also received lots of help when she started out and this would be her way of passing it on. We scheduled an hour between her dropping her daughter off at a friend’s house and having to pick her up. I told her I would be taxing her brain non-stop during that time.

And I did.

Boy, we worked hard and fast and after one hour I was further along in the process of getting my book published than I would have ever been on my own. We accomplished in one hour what could have taken WEEKS! And that’s assuming I didn’t have a breakdown in the process.

(I hope you read the post from last Thursday because this is kind of the same theme. You can find it here if you’d like. )

This was another example of God going way beyond what I thinking or could imagine. (Eph:3:20)

That got me to thinking. I wonder what we could all accomplish if we prayed bigger and dreamed bigger?

I wonder what we could all accomplish if we trusted God more, had more faith.

If there is one area where I feel I “lack” in my walk with God it is right here, having enough faith. I never feel like I’m even close to having the kind of faith others have.

When I feel like that way though, I remind myself that this is just another way of comparing myself to others, but I don’t recognize it as such because it sounds so “spiritual”. It’s just as self-destructive and every bit as wrong, not to mention counter-productive to my overall spiritual growth.

In my book, I have one day (it’s a daily devotional) when I write about how comparing ourselves to others can trigger a plummeting mood. Left unresolved, it can lead to depression.

Interestingly enough, it’s my faith-walk where I do the most comparing. Now, just who do you think is behind that? It certainly isn’t God, is it?

Think big this week.

Think outside the box.

thinking outside the box

Pray outside the box.

I think God loves it when we pray big. It’s kind of like we’re saying, “I believe you really can do more than I can think or imagine.” Don’t be like me and measure your own level of faith. That’s between you and God anyway, isn’t it? Let him be the judge.

And don’t let anyone else judge you about your faith.

BTW, I wrote the above for me even more than I wrote it for you.

God bless and have a good day. ‘

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ethereal/inspirational

How God works in the most outlandish way

Seriously.

There are times I can’t even believe how God shows up in my life.

I sure hope you have that experience. I’m alway surprised and yet I shouldn’t be because God’s been surprising me my entire life.

Well, as you know I’m working on my first full-length book, a devotional for Christians who struggle, or have struggled with depression/anxiety and never want to face it again.

Well, the writing part has been easy. I’m constantly reading about mental health issues, anxiety, and moods in general. My library records are proof of that. I wonder what the librarians think when my books come in. (We have a small library so I order books online most of that time.)

My mind is constantly mulling over ideas of what to write about. I always have plenty of information to pull from. And then there is my own experience with depression and that of many others I know and have come acquainted with over the years through teaching Bible classes, counseling, and as a hospital chaplain.

When I sit down to write, it’s like my fingers are writing with little conscious awareness on my part. It’s actually a little ethereal feeling at times, like something outside of me is moving my fingers.

ethereal/inspirational

I don’t think I’m unique in this regards. I hear other writers say the same thing. It’s actually very exciting.

I am also concurrently working on a fiction book. It also seems to be writing itself because I’m letting the characters tell me what they want to say and do. I’m not contriving anything and I have no real plot in mind.

Again, the characters are letting me know what is happening next.

I wondered about that. Is that even an acceptable method of writing a fiction book.

Shouldn’t I have an outline?

A plot?

So I bought some highly recommended books about writing. One of them titled, “On Writing” was written by someone whose books I have not and probably will never read. It’s just not my type of book.

Stephen King, no less.

I mean, really. What would Stephen King possibly have to say to me? (Meaning, of course, that he writes horror fiction and I’m writing a Christian devotional. Nothing against the man at all.)

writing/stephen king
writing/stephen king

As it turns out, a whole lot.

That’s what I mean by God showing up in the strangest ways in just the ways we need.

Once I got past the language, and was able to cipher out the “meat”, I realized that I felt totally validated with how I’ve been writing. Things like avoiding adverbs whenever possible. I do.

Using the few words possible to say something and eliminating all unnecessary words. I do. (Which, in conversation though, I have a hard time doing.)

And there is so much more.

We need to always remember that God can give us what we need in the most outlandish ways.

This might be the most outlandish yet.

I hope your day is a truly blessed one.

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