Tag: discouragement

630 WP drafts

Lessons learned from the past.

So….

I decided to clean-up some WP pages.

Guess how many “drafts” I have lying in wait.

630

That’s a lot of posts. The way I figure it, I shouldn’t have to “think” for almost two years!!!!

So I thought, why not share a couple with you from my very first days of blogging? You’ll get a good laugh out of this first one and although at the time

Here’s one from 2013

I had to quickly add this post.

I’ve really been feeling “down”, anxious. I was getting scared. Please, Lord, not after twelve years of living depression-free. Not a depressive episode.

There are some changes on the horizon that I’m not welcoming but they are not “bad” by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. I’m anxious because I’m worried how I’ll deal with it. But that doesn’t seem like enough of a trigger. BUT, I think the biggest instigator has been my frustration with getting this blog developed the way I want it to be.

The “Follow me button on Pinterest” is directing my traffic to someone else’s boards. Couldn’t get the “Pin It” button to work and then there’s the drop-down menu I’ve been trying to create for weeks. (I know, the rest of you probably breezed right through all of this.)

I’ve felt totally stupid and like the biggest loser e-e-e-e-ver.  I’ve been quite convinced that no on has had as much trouble developing a blog as I have. I don’t understand any of the technical language so even with precise instructions from the Word Press tutorials, I’ve been lost. I’ve read and read and read the same things over and over and over. I’ve experimented every which way I can.

Today the breakthrough!!!!!

I’ve come so far, huh? I can just about do anything with my blog now and seldom have to ask for help from the “Help” desk over at WP.

Here’s another from May of that same year. Why I didn’t post this, I haven’t a clue. I like it a lot and it brought back good memories.

What environment are you comfortable with? Do you like a lot of activity around you? Some people thrive on a caffeinated environment.They like the adrenaline rush they get from the go, go, go of life.

Others prefer a much slower place. They hate to be rushed. They like calm. In fact, they feel less energized if there is too much going on around them. It wears them out.

And it really doesn’t matter if they’re an extrovert or an introvert, although generally extroverts would fall into the first category and introverts into the second.

However, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, if you experience from bouts of depression, it might be a good idea to change it up a little.

Sometimes, we need a little something that is just the opposite of what we’re used to. We need to force ourselves out of our comfort zone, to challenge ourselves a little.

How many of you have found that once you’ve exposed yourself to a different climate, you’ve actually liked it? And in the liking, you’ve discovered something about yourself.

Last year, although we didn’t plan it, my husband and I found ourselves attending some events we never would’ve dreamed we would enjoy.  A Tough Mudders contest, a hot-air balloon festival, a Thanksgiving day parade in frigid weather, and a ethnic-based (not our ethnicity) music festival. Of the two of us, I’m the one who doesn’t like crowds. I don’t like being outside in really hot weather or really cold weather. I feel very self-conscious in large groups. However, put me in front of hundreds of people to deliver a speech and I’m fine.

But I have to tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of each of those events.

I surprised myself.

It’s good to “shake things up”. We discover new dimensions of ourselves. We surprise ourselves. Not always, of course.  Sometimes we come away simply more aware why we don’t like something. That’s good, too.

So with the summer looming, why not shake things up in your own life? It’s hard to do when your depressed. There is great comfort in the status quo. But sometimes, the jolt we need is in the unexpected. If nothing else, the more we put ourselves in unusual situations other than what we’re accustomed to, we have conversations with people who give us little snippets of encouragement.

It’s hard to do when you’re depressed. There is great comfort in the status quo. But sometimes, the jolt we need is in the unexpected. If nothing else, the more we put ourselves in unusual situations, other than the ones we’re accustomed to, the more we get a chance to learn ourselves.

We have conversations with people who give us little snippets encouragement when they had no idea they were doing so. Conversely, we encourage others by what we say. 

It really is a small world.

God bless and have a good day.

As I reread this last post, I thought about all the traveling I did when my husband was working internationally. I think back to the first time I road a train from a hotel in Bangkok to a huge shopping mall. My husband and ridden with me the day before so I could memorize the stops and know which number stop I was to get off.

To say I was scared when I did it myself is an understatement. But I did it.

Or even last year when I braved Lake Michigan in my kayak. (Of course, I was in knee-deep water, but still.)

And then blogging. Oh, my. What a disaster I was in the beginning. How I cried and almost threw the computer on the wall. How I almost gave up when my “followers” were scant. And now, over 1,000 of you.

Whoa!

If I post any of these drafts, I will let you know the original date.

Until then, God bless and have a good day.

 

 

scared about the future

Do you ever get scared about the future?

Do you ever get scared about the future?

All the “what ifs”?

What if “this” happens?

What if “that” happens?

I have to be honest. Even though I’ve been a Christian most of my adult life, if I allow my mind to project into the future far enough, I get scared, really scared.

I fear losing the people I love. Not necessarily through death but in any way that takes people away from me. I wonder how I would survive.

Would I survive?

And yet I have. While my mom’s death continues to make me sad, while it has brought to light some areas I need to focus on, I have survived.

And when I feel that way, I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m looking into the future and not accounting for the fact that God is already there. When the time comes,

He will provide.

He will equip.

He will sustain.

It’s what I wrote about last week when I said that sometimes we live so much in the present we forget that the future we worried about yesterday, is here today. And God has been there right along, in the past, the present, and will be in the future.

Said another way, “Today is the future I worried about yesterday.”

I have such great admiration for people who step out and move in faith without having a clue what the future holds.

Anyway, if you are fearful about tomorrow, I’m not going to tell you not to be. We probably all have reasons to be afraid of something. Don’t berate yourself for your fears. Talk them over with God in total honesty and let God direct you.

Much more about talking to God honestly tomorrow.

For now, God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

 

laboring on Labor Day

Happy Labor Day and that’s just what we’re doing

Don’t know what you’re doing today but we are living up to the title, we are “laboring”. We came home from the cabin for a couple of days last week to regroup.

Friday the electrician came and wired the room so we moved the bed into our official new bedroom. We had the windows replaced in the rest of the cabin and are now painting the trim on the outside. Lots of clean-up in the yard as well.

It will be a while before I have the bedroom the way I want, I’m sure. After all, that’s half the fun, right?

We decided we would start doing some work inside the cabin as well. I’m getting tired of the paneling so we are going to paint over it. Not even going to fill in the seams as we want that same look anyway. Who knew it would be back in style?

We are going to see what the floor looks like under the carpet and are probably going to replace it with carpet tiles.

Lots of “tweaks’ are going to take place. Which brings me to this.

I wonder if God “tweaks” us. What do you think?

I kind of think He does. And it hurts sometimes as well. They feel like little “pinches”. Those places we say “ouch” because we know we need to grow some more. And growing is almost always a little uncomfortable.

Last week, I started to feel very melancholy. I thought about some of the people I pray for and I thought my heart would break with concern. Do you get like that? Burdened, really burdened, for the people on your prayer list? You feel like your prayers have been going nowhere. You see no change.

I don’t fight those times though. I think times of deep reflection and real soul-searching are good for us. However, we can let reflection and soul-searching get the best of us at times, so we should proceed cautiously. We are never to become so burdened for others that we lose ourselves in the process.

God wants us to look inside ourselves to be sure, but He never means for it to go so far that we bring ourselves down. And it’s very easy to do.

So after a period of thinking hard, I knew it was time to stop and let God take over.

Easier said than done, of course.

That’s why “laboring on Labor Day” will be good for me.

Hope you have a wonderful day whatever your “labor”.

God bless.

ps. I have a post later this week that goes into more detail about our prayer life. It’s title, “Pouring out our heart. Is it OK?

 

 

stones

Why rocks “rock” for me.

I love rocks. Or maybe they’re stones.

If you really want to know the difference, you can look it up here. The upshot is this: All rocks are stones but not all stones are rocks.”  Hmmm.

For me, rocks have hard and rough surfaces while stones are smooth.

I love collecting “stones” of all sizes. I’m trying to make a border around the bunkhouse and the cabin.

bunkhouse

I like to write on stones and have them placed where I can see them.

stones

I love this big one in the middle. It’s almost perfectly round. I’m thinking of writing a verse reference on each one and then one word on the other side that captures the meaning. 

Sometimes I write a reference to a special Bible verse but mostly I write, “Remember”.

This is based on the Bible story where Joshua tells the Israelites to gather stones from the Jordan River for a remembrance of God’s faithfulness. It’s from Joshua, chapter four.

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down.  Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

Sometimes, especially when I’ve been praying hard about something and it doesn’t turn out the way I want, I get discouraged. I need to remind myself that for whatever prayers haven’t been answered, there have been more that are.

So if you need to have a visual, try it. It really works.

Another thought. I have read that some people carry around a small stone in their pocket, purse, etc, and rub it between their fingers when they need to remind themselves of all God has done for them. I’ve done this as well.

Now some of you may not need a reminder. But I’m just honest enough to admit that sometimes I do.

God bless and have a good day.

lemons and lemonade

I was so excited but then……

The Excitement

Remember my post yesterday when I shared about this wonderful watercolor painting I found? It was painted by the artist, Ranulph Bye.

watercolor painting

I decided to check it out online and found out I was right to think this was painted by a professional artist. One whose paintings have some serious value. His paintings started selling at $800.00 to $1,000 dollars. I was so geeked. I had no intention of selling it anyway but I thought it would be so cool if I owned a painting that I paid $3.00 for but was worth a thousand.

The Disappointment

I was looking at it again more closely this morning, drooling over my newest treasure, and noticed a sharp line at the bottom of the page with some numbers. The sharp border probably means it’s only a print. But, of course, sometimes prints, especially first edition prints, can be valuable as well.

Now I’m afraid to take it out of the frame. I’m either going to be disappointed or I’m going to be elated and if I’m elated, (meaning it’s valuable), I will be really nervous that I might damage it in some way. Isn’t that the way it goes?

The Tears

Later that day I started to take out some things from my mom’s house. That was difficult. I almost convinced myself she was just in the hospital. I am selling the house to my brother and so I need to take what I want before it becomes his because once it’s his, I will be handing over the keys. We have already decided on who gets what so it’s not a problem. It’s just hard to do.

I decided to weed my mom’s garden as well. It’s tiny. My brother and I completely redesigned and restored her little garden last spring. She loved what we did and we were both really proud we had done this for her. Of course, I cried while I weeded but that’s OK.

Crying and grieving go hand in hand. At least they should.

Thinking about the picture and what I thought was my new-found treasure helped. Even it might turn out to be otherwise.

Life is kind of like that, isn’t it? It hands us lemons and lemonade all in the same day.

lemons and lemonade

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

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