This time of year I’m always intrigued by the tulips in my front flowerbed that pop up and open with seemingly little effort or notice to the cold. In Nebraska we have temperatures that dip below freezing in the evenings, sometimes until May. There’s a reason I typically don’t plant any flowers or garden goods until around Mother’s Day weekend and that’s why!!
…But those tulips, which showed up a few weeks ago, are hardy little showstoppers and never seem bothered by the cold. They’re a perennial flower (meaning they come back on their own each year) and always, without fail, they make an early entrance, almost with a wink and twinkle to their petals, as if to say, “welcome Spring.” And then just as quickly as they appear, the petals gently but persistently drop off one by one, leaving only their tall, green leaves to admire over the Summer months—just in time for the salvia and mums to continue their gradual growth journey which last until Autumn.
For myself there’s much to be learned from the tulip, in all of its charm and bravery.
I’m taught that beauty can blossom even in the coldest of times. When my feelings long to utter cries of despair I can rise up against them, drawing strength from the Lord…I don’t need to wait around for more comfortable circumstances or a more favorable environment, much like the tulip doesn’t wait around for the temperatures to warm up and the sun to shine without clouds blocking its view. The tulip plant, instead, obediently listens to God’s cue and at just the right time it burst through the chilled ground, forward and up. What a powerful way to display God’s work of art.
Colossians 2:6-7 (see above) reminds us we have the opportunity and choice to grow—even in hard times. We don’t need to sulk or become dormant, regardless of how cold our world gets. Rather we can lean into God’s goodness, relying on His direction. We place our hope and trust within His flourishing garden of mercy and grace and experience growth.
Within my own personal, mental battle there have been many times where I’ve felt like simply wilting away. But the truth is, wilting doesn’t come that easily…a flower or plant must be overlooked and ignored for a period of time before the wilting process begins. And for us as God’s people that’s just not how God plans our days.
Despite our lowliest times, when we feel forgotten, He shows up and whispers to our heart—through the reminder of a comforting Bible verse, a call from a friend, a word of encouragement from a family member, the whimsical fluttering of a butterfly’s wings, the light shining through our windows at the dawn of a new day. He is in all the details, working it all for good and for His glory.
I was recently reminded how important it is to push forward and do the fun things even if my feelings were telling me otherwise. A few months ago I was at a time where all I wanted to do was say no to everyone and everything, but instead I made the choice to disregard the negative and to say yes. To say yes to a couple of 4-H pigs. Yes you read that right! Pigs are a first for us, a completely new experience on our little acreage but had I answered out of satan’s efforts I would’ve missed the blessing that has followed. And boy has it been entertaining, educational, and downright amazing.
Though I’m still in the ups and downs of anxiety and depression I’ve just said yes again…yes to another new adventure…yes to a trio of Nigerian Dwarf goats and I can already feel the anticipation of God’s favor growing as we prepare to bring them home next month.
Sometimes, when we know something is good, harmless, and right…the best thing we can do is say “yes”…even if our emotions long to urge us in the opposite direction.
Feelings (or emotions) aren’t always reliable, and when they’re negative we must counter them with truth and positivity. Every. Single. Time.
Just like it may not be in the most desirable interest of the tulip to push through the sometimes still freezing ground, it does so anyway at the will of God, and there is so much beauty wrapped up within its little colorful body as a result. If we want to be a people following in God’s steps may we be encouraged to do likewise.
I know it’s been a minute since I’ve posted but I’m just writing as God prompts—my once, regular, weekly Friday posts are on a break for an unknown period of time.
So here’s what I have this time, a little different than my usual posts…
A while ago my amazing counselor gave me an analogy and I thought it was too good to pass up sharing with those who may be struggling with past or even current trauma.
There are lengths of time where I feel I’m not making much progress toward the positive side in my mental and emotional healing. Or I’ll wonder why any negative thinking I might be struggling over mimics so much of my past trauma that’s decades old. As a side note I’m over thirty years past due on counseling sessions so there’s a lot at heart to sort out.
My counselor compared navigating negative thoughts and emotional patterns to the condition of a dirt road compromised by rain or snow—an easy analogy for me to grasp since the last part of the drive to our house consist of dirt roads which at times create less than desirable driving conditions.
A good dirt road is typically (or should be) smooth when well-maintained, but once it gets muddied up from loads of rain or inches of melting snow it makes navigating through it a chore, sometimes even causing a person to get stuck for a time in the deep mud. Once the road begins to dry out a little, ruts form as people drive over the soft road. When completely dried out and the rough path is traveled over, a person will likely bounce down into those deep laid, ruddy tracks.
Eventually, given enough time and favorable weather conditions for the roads, plus normal driving wear (and someone with a road maintainer) the dirt road gets filled back in, levels out and becomes smooth for ideal traveling once again. But it takes time…
When compared to the human mind (emotionally and mentally) and the complexities of trauma it’s similar to this…the mind is functioning in a healthy state until trauma hits. Oftentimes deep rutted trauma tracks with negative impacts are laid. The deeply embedded trauma tracks become a normal and habitual part of living life and left further untreated irrational thoughts and behaviors form, creating tough areas to cognitively navigate. It leaves us with a mess of unhealthy mental pathways.
The hopeful goal is that a person is made mindful of these negative effects, the sooner the better. Smooth paths is what one should be after. Reversing the negative deep-laid ruts is important and a lot of work BUT can happen by:
getting honest about any current or past struggles or thoughts
holding a strong faith in God which leads to hope
leaning into God’s truth and time spent in prayer
finding a compassionate accountability partner who’s supportive in our mental health
seeking professional maintenance through a trusted therapist (mine happens to be a sister in Christ which is a huge blessing for keeping God in the big picture)
Healthy thought patterns can and will eventually form but it requires a hope-filled attitude, communication, and time—and therefore an abundance of patience. The negative deep rutted trauma tracks need to be filled in with positivity, grace and mercy, forgiveness…whatever hostile void that has been laid must be replaced and filled with truth, hope and encouragement. Those things, and all things positive, reinforce new and true thought patterns and smooth pathways. Again it takes much patience and consistent affirmation.
Though the ruts may seem deeply entrenched, we must remember it’s Satan who attempts to take away hope, freedom, and joy in effort to create those trenches. But it’s the Lord who abundantly pours out an endless supply of each. Satan will never be able to keep up when we fully trust and allow God to fill in the negative trenches with His healing truth!!
This has to be an ongoing, daily-process because as 1 Peter 5:8 states, ‘we have an enemy, the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ He would love nothing more than to dig back in, causing us to slip down into the ruts again and again.
Therefore, ‘we must be alert, standing firm in our faith, (believing God is for us and with us always) making us strong, firm, and steadfast!’ (1 Peter 5)
To Him, as our Great Road Maintainer, be the glory in the midst of healing.
I put my little five speed Jeep in reverse, checked that all was clear and pushed down on the gas pedal quickly to back away from the curb after finishing a recent counseling session.
If any staff at the architecture business located next door have ever watched me pull in or out of the hillside parking space each week they’re probably relieved I’m seeking therapy because my skills with driving this Jeep are about as unreliable as my emotions sometimes.
Boy it’s been a year! I started counseling back in January after realizing my childhood trauma had some explaining to do, what I didn’t know was that it actually had A LOT of explanation into the thoughts and choices I’ve made throughout my entire life.
In faith, through Jesus, I might be brave enough to finally say that I’m (really, actually) in the process of truly overcoming!! It’s the most scrutinizing process I’ve ever endured, but my counselor is amazing and God is using her to the fullest. My husband has been a solid encourager, along with my momma. I am so blessed and I can feel God’s presence at work. (Bare with me though as my blog posts may continue to be hit and miss for a while.)
Leaving Monday’s therapy session, I felt a spurring for some guilt-free me-time so I set out to purposely photograph the changing of the fall leaf colors. It felt refreshing to experience awareness in nature’s surroundings. My little iPhone has continued to help capture this week’s beauty, filling an abundance of thankfulness within my heart all the while.
Nebraska may not offer the warm, playful amber hues of the aspens in Colorado during this time of year, but nevertheless, we definitely have some reminders of our own kind of gratifying autumn…
I’m gonna waste no time and get straight to raw transparency here…I’ve been in a season of life that feels like perpetual nagging in my heart and mind—downward spiraling thoughts of inadequacy, brokenness, and just flat-out self-depreciation. And it’s been tough, so tough.
I’d love to blame Covid, from a week of being cooped up in my room, away from family over the Thanksgiving break, allowing my thoughts to trail…but I’m certain the overwhelming distress would’ve caught up to me at some point regardless of Covid-isolation…Satan and a fallen world are the real culprits.
In this struggle, however, God has lead me to and blessed me with the kindest, most patient, sense-talking therapist one could ever imagine; and (as a result) even though I’m still surrounded by deep waters I can feel God’s strong presence keeping me afloat.
I’m probably 30 years past-due on counseling sessions so the content of discussion with my therapist is wide and harsh. I’m thankful for my husband and mom to debrief with afterwards.
The encouragement is sincere and passionate and for that I am grateful. Though the shoreline is a far distance off yet, my hope is fixed on an anchor of faith.
Friend, maybe you too are facing waves of difficulty in some way, but I pray you’d join me—embracing the calming, reassuring reminders of ‘God-for-us.’ I’ve compiled 22 affirmations of God’s faithfulness backed by scripture, with the intention that the solidity of these words would become more than just simple phrases and all about rich, heartfelt truth and comfort.
Read into them, pray through them, allow every single word to embody you…I’ll be doing the same.
GOD LOVES ME.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3:16
God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8
We love because God first loved us. —1 John 4:19
GOD HAS SAVED ME.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:18
For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. —Romans 10:13
GOD FREES ME FROM FEAR.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. —2 Timothy 1:7
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “do not fear; I will help you.” —Isaiah 41:13
GOD PROVIDES ME WITH SAFETY.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. —John 16:33
The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all. —Psalm 34:19
The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. —Psalm 121:7-8
GOD HEALS ME.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds. —Psalm 147:3
GOD IS MY HELPER.
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:2
So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? —Hebrews 13:6
GOD CARES ABOUT ME.
Give all your worries and your cares to God, for He cares about you. —1 Peter 5:7
GOD EQUIPS ME.
All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17
GOD POINTS ME TO TRUST IN HIM.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5-6
When I am afraid I put my trust in you. —Psalm 56:3
Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. —Psalm 84:12
GOD DESIRES FOR ME TO REST IN HIM.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28
Be still and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10a
GOD STRENGTHENS ME.
For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. —Philippians 4:13
Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil’s scheme. —Ephesians 6:10-11
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. —Psalm 29:11
GOD COMFORTS ME.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. —Psalm 23:4
GOD FILLS ME WITH JOY AND HOPE.
You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. —Psalm 16:11
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. —Isaiah 40:31
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11
GOD LEADS ME.
In their heart humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. —Proverbs 16:9
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. —Psalm 119:105
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. —Psalm 23:2
GOD IS WITH ME.
Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. —Joshua 1:9
The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” —Exodus 33:14
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. —Isaiah 41:10
GOD BLESSES ME.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. —2 Corinthians 9:8
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. —Psalm 84:5
GOD FORGIVES AND REDEEMS ME.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9
As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. —Psalm 103:12
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. —Ephesians 1:7-8a
GOD HAS MADE ME NEW.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. —2 Corinthians 5:17
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. —Galatians 2:20
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. —Isaiah 43:18-19
GOD GIVES ME PEACE.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. —Psalm 4:8
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23
GOD HAS CHOSEN ME.
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession. —Deuteronomy 14:2
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. —Ephesians 1:4
GOD DIRECTS ME TO LOVE OTHERS.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. —1 John 4:7
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. —John 13:34
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. —Philippians 2:5
GOD WANTS ME TO LOVE MYSELF.
I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. —Psalm 139:14
To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. —Proverbs 19:8
For no one has ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the church. —Ephesians 5:29
I took one week away from blogging and every time I do this it always seems funny to me on where to pick back up…but a few things come to mind…
First of all WordPress notified me that I’ve been blogging for four years now! Time goes so quickly!!
Along with that the blog has over 700 followers, there’s been 10,000 plus visitors, and I’ve written over 173 posts—so crazy to me! Praying hearts would continue to be reached For His Purpose and I’m also incredibly thankful for the fellowship happening through the blog! Thank you all for being a reason to share my thoughts and share Jesus.
The past few weeks have brought some changes and if I’m honest I’m not a huge fan of change.
My grandma has been in the nursing home for months now and unfortunately her home must be sold to offset the necessary fees there.
I was offered the chance to choose some of my grandmas things from her home of over fifty years and it was such an uncanny experience rummaging through the house as many things are being sorted and boxed up. Her house was always so cozy and very orderly and now it is anything but.
The turntable pantry that was notorious for its strong scents of ginger and cinnamon and all things baking has now faded to nothing more than an abandoned stale cupboard—not even appealing to a mouse.
The entire house is just so different, it feels so empty and sad.
Here are the few things I chose that are packed with personal sentimental value.
I’m gonna miss making memories in my grandma’s house but will hold dearly to the ones I’ve been blessed with over the years.
Here at my own home, our remodel is nearly complete and while I’m loving how it’s all coming together I’m still trying to bring in that old homey feeling we had before we started. I miss seeing some of the old base colors we had. It just seems so foreign to me right now.
Funny how we get so familiar and comfortable with things…but it’s a reminder to hold earthly things loosely—especially keeping in mind that a house and it’s features is just simply a temporary dwelling until the good Lord calls us to our permanent heavenly home. That’s where our excitement for character and charm should truly fall into place (not in decor and comfort of earthly homes) but instead with a focus upward and becoming more like Christ!
I’ll share photos of our remodel when it’s complete. I know some of you enjoy seeing those before and after house projects.
Some recent test results with the doctor show that my health has changed and things will be a bit different for an unknown period. Although I wish it could be avoided, I have such a sweet peace from the Lord in this. I trust so big that He will heal and that I can look at this as an opportunity to grow even closer to Him.
I’ve never been great with patience but I’m praying to be teachable and maybe now my desire (and neglect) to becoming more patient won’t go unchecked, maybe God is using this very obstacle for such a time as this.
In this various season of change I’m holding on to the truth of Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Things change, it’s inevitable but God remains the same loyal steadfast God He always was and ever will be—no matter what.
In the areas I’m noticing change I remember that as Christians this earth is not our permanent home and these bodies that are wasting away will one day be restored in the most perfect of ways.
The assurance of God’s unchanging dedication and love for us is what can bring peace to unexpected and inevitable changes in our lives. He is solid and stable. He is wonderfully unchanging.
Insecurities are no fun, plain and simple, and unfortunately they can fester when least expected.
I’ve made progress in gaining confidence in a couple of “big to me” things over the past few years…
The two newest achievements:
1. I’ve graciously embraced my graying hair—determining it’s much easier to just go gray instead of maintain and apply color to my roots every three weeks to try and conceal grays. And I finally don’t mind how it looks.
2. I’ve reconciled with my height—the fact that I’m short and any hope of a growth spurt is decades past me. I’m now good with the idea that I won’t even make five foot with heels on because I’m clumsy, usually in a hurry, and quite frankly flats are much more comfortable! I’ve also learned to give grace to my oldest daughter who constantly rubs it in that she’s “reached” her goal and passed me up by a few inches!!
But after way too long of wearyingly tackling those self-made acceptance boosts, unsurprisingly Satan’s blind-sided maneuvers have discreetly slid in (almost like clockwork) with growing irritation in an unavoidable way.
I’m not sure how this came about but in more recent months I’ve now traded the above issues and instead began “picking” on my intellect. I’ve noticed that whether in a small group or large group setting, if the spot light is on me, I’ll give very brief descriptions or answers out of fear my words or stories don’t make sense otherwise.
This is a problem because it causes me to feel self-conscious. I begin feeding into lies like I’m not educated enough for this conversation. I don’t have enough knowledge to respond. My feedback isn’t going to be interesting enough…and as a result I shutdown.
Coming to grips with the idea of this new anxiety I realize I can’t allow it to continue.
I refuse to give Satan the satisfaction of messing with me.
I’ve had to dig to understand where this is rooting from and how to overcome…
I struggle with PTSD from my childhood and in those moments where I wrestle through flashbacks from those younger years it can be tough to not get stuck in the negative memory of it all. Because of my faith in Jesus I’m usually able to quickly identify when my mind is nearing a dark memory lane and I can cut to a happier path mentally.
In those instances I’m able to consider that my life is new because of Jesus. I’m not that old person anymore. I’m forgiven because of Him. None of the yuck from my childhood was what I asked for BUT God has been able to use it for His purpose. Those truths transition my focus toward a positive mindset.
When I think about getting over this new hurdle, this one where I’ve been beating myself up about feeling “not enough” I know that I can only overcome the lies through Jesus and what He says is true about me, similar to the way I handle those childhood flashbacks. I have to remember that God does the following things for me:
He loves me unconditionally. (Romans 8:37-39)
He equips me. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
He gives me wisdom. (James 1:5)
He defines me. (Psalm 139:14)
He has chosen me. (1 Peter 2:9)
These things are not up to me to come up with on my own, they’ve been offered by a loving and compassionate God—all things from and of Him.
The same way that I can move and think past any negative I experienced as a child, will be and is the same way I can escape from Satan’s deceptive practices…focusing on the truths (not the lies) ushers in a positive mindset.
Maybe you can or have been able to relate to what I’ve been experiencing. Honesty and sharing our struggles with others speaks volumes of healing. I pray you would join me in fighting against the lies of “not enough” and embrace the steadfast truths felt in God’s amazing love and throughout His unfaltering word.
Side note: Here’s how awesome God works…in the heat of really discovering I was battling these new “not enough” lies, God provided. I had only shared with my very-supportive husband my struggle, so no one else knew. In that time, I showed up to a women’s event (a hidden mess inside) and was sitting at the same table as a sweet friend of mine who handed me a gift bag, inside was this t-shirt with much needed words of encouragement!!
Isn’t it awesome how God works? He used my friend’s love to speak exactly to my situation…only He can perfectly put things together in this way…only Him!!
There’s no reason to ever give up because God out-does the hardship every single time…if not now then Heaven-side.
With last week bearing Thanksgiving, I’ve gotta be honest, I felt far from thankful on a holiday that’s renowned for thankfulness and gratefulness here in America.
It just felt off in so many ways. My brother and his family were in quarantine at the last minute and unable to join us at my house for Thanksgiving dinner, another half of our family celebrated out of town and it didn’t work for us to go, and the large Witt Thanksgiving lunch we have the Saturday after every Thanksgiving holiday (where always more than fifty gather) couldn’t happen due to Covid number-restrictions.
Side-note: I feel like writing this whole post on how sick and tired I am of Covid and everything it entails but I’ll refrain because this whole thing would turn dark real quick and that’s the opposite of my point.
Over the past few weeks my morning Bible reading has been in Hebrews and I’m now at chapter 11. As a reminder this is the chapter known as the “Hall of Faith.” Versus 4 through 12 note the commendable faith of ‘Bible heroes’ such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah.
It’s versus 13 through 16, however, that have really captured my heart:
13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
The things they were promised — the acquiring of the land of Canaan, the consummating of numerous descendants, the Messiah in the flesh — they never saw these things fulfilled in their lifetime. BUT, and this is the motivating and inspirational piece for me, they embraced the idea and strong belief that one day those things would come to fruition, even if it meant not seeing them happen in their present time. Referring to themselves as ‘foreigners and nomads here on earth’ they trusted in greater blessings by longing for a ‘better place, a heavenly homeland.’
None of them were perfect people, but they also didn’t have their faith hung up by unanswered hopes and earthly letdowns. Rather they held onto heavenly hope that God would one day fulfill their desired promises — and because of that we read their names in Hebrews 11 pointing straight to their encouraging faith.
You guys, we are in the same boat as those mentioned above. As believers who hold onto faith in God, His ways, and His words we trust that this is absolutely not our world to find contentment and fulfillment in. Our faith is in a God who is so much bigger than the issues and hardships we’re facing. Even if it’s just petty whining over broken holiday traditions — God is still moving, but at His will and His perfect timing. His leading has the power to take our focus away from earthly discouragement.
For me, I know I can’t get so selfish as to think of last week’s Thanksgiving from a place of my own “deserved” comfort.
True Thanksgiving points me to Christ and His home.
Disappointment doesn’t line up with faith and when I choose to be optimistic, realizing that this earth and even a holiday fixed on counting blessings isn’t the real object of true blessing, then I turn my eyes to Jesus — trusting and believing that in Him lies the real hope. It’s in Him where my faith is tied, knowing this life and all of it’s surprises (good and bad) are so far from the true goodness and rich blessings found in our permanent Heavenly home…just the same reassuring faith we find in the lives of those mentioned in the faith chapter of Hebrews 11.
With that, I can thank God passionately (no matter the circumstances) for His word and my trust in Heavenly faith — for His purpose.
First off allow me to explain the title to this post. Yes I’m in a fourteen day quarantine, homebound for the next week and a half. I was exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid recently therefore I have to do the “stay-home” procedure — ordered by our local health department.
As of now I’m feeling alright so I may end up getting out of the woods without a hitch. I do have a high chance of ending up positive so we’re trying to take necessary precautions here in the Witt household. Sanitizing like crazy, social distancing from my family, even masking up in my own home.
It’s such an uncanny feeling.
Here’s a selfie of Nate and I — social distance rule breaking…(Nate’s being a smart aleck with the mask FYI)
I even got shunned to the living room with a twin size mattress while Nate gets the king size bed and our room. I’m still trying to figure out how that makes sense so please don’t judge us.
I’ll explain the no-couch situation some day in a future post…
A few random facts & thoughts:
1. I’ve noticed our ceiling fans and light fixtures REALLY need dusted….but maybe that should wait, don’t want to agitate the lungs by chance…
2. The lady from the health department suggested I have a bathroom separate from the family so I wasted zero time and kicked the girls right out of theirs and took it over as my own!
3. Having my very own bathroom is really nice!!!! I never imagined I would enjoy it this much!!!
4. Sometimes I find myself in the bathroom taking mask breaks.
5. Wednesday morning’s conversation with my husband:
Me (in a muffled voice behind my mask): Hey Nate could you let Max out?
Nathan (whining): Aaaahhhh!!! I have to be a mom and a dad!!
Me: uhh….When did you turn into a mom?
Nathan: Well I have to let the dogs out and make food by myself now!
….Not sure when those two duties ever fell under the “mom-only” category!!?
6. Black Rifle Pumpkin coffee is magical when you mix it with Caramel Macchiato creamer.
7. A research statistic shows 70% of people who tested positive for Covid were faithfully wearing a mask…..so am I producing Rona for myself as I sport my mask within my home?…hmmm…
8. I kinda want to get Rona just to get it done and over with.
9. A close friend of mine texted this the other day, “once you get out of jail (or vacation depending how you look at it) we should get together.”
And this is exactly where I want to turn for a devotional reflection today.
You see, my friend’s words have coated my heart with peace and a goal because the reality is that I have the choice in how I want to view this time.
Jail or vacation…what will my perspective be of it?
And the answer I’m choosing is not to view it as jail, not to count the negatives (and there definitely are some) but rather to focus on the REAL “positives”….like me getting my own bathroom, because that’s been cool.
Lol, no on a serious note though there’s true good in this time of being confined to the house.
As with anything, I can sit (stuck in quarantine) and still praise God because He is good and faithful — when I consider that then who am I to even begin to complain. He is who He is, no matter my situation or condition. My circumstances (or yours) don’t ever change who God is.
That truth alone is so soothing to my mind and heart.
Check out some of Paul’s words in the New Testament:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ…I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly. (Ephesians 1:3, 16)
Because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. (Philippians 1:14)
You guys!! Paul was writing those words while literally under house arrest in Rome for preaching Jesus’ name and falling into some religious disputes over it…and yet look at his remarkable encouragement!!
Those words weren’t recorded just to fill up space but rather to fulfill a purpose. I think the beauty and importance in Paul’s frame of mind is that we have the choice to adopt that same mindset for our very own.
Y’all we’re living in some tough times, where we could ALL benefit from a positive perspective. Just the idea of the election and the shape of our nation seems so eerie and off to me this time (regardless of who wins)…like unsettling.
I’m so thankful Jesus is my partner; because of my faith my heart feels prepared.
I can’t imagine life without Him and I hurt for those who don’t have their hope placed in Christ. It’s a mystery to me how people do life without God as their source of guidance and protection. With that I can count it as gain that He is in control and the ultimate leader no matter which way our country heads. I don’t have to worry over the outcome. He is the calm to the crazy.
Side note: Having said that, I’ve done my research and I’m confident in who I’m voting for!! Likewise, I want to encourage you to study up and be sure to vote! I don’t care how mouthy either candidate gets in debating — one has some better morals and values and it doesn’t take much digging to find out who.
This isn’t meant to sound like a political post but rather to encourage in undeniably wild times.
Friends, fear and negative thinking don’t have to be a part of our daily routine. There is magnificent hope when we’re fixed on Jesus — when a mess swirls around us or the unexpected takes up residency within our own homes, work, or lives —even then, we can choose to be optimistic by relying on Jesus!
Though this world is troubled, He is still in control and seated on the throne.
John 16:33 says this: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
When we turn to God we find stability, security, and support to wipe away the mundane parts of life that long to overwhelm us.
A positive mentality, focused on Christ and His words of truth, ‘trumps’ the disorder and unforeseen in our lives — every single time.
Scripture proves itself so. The answers to our problems and the encouragement needed are written and found there-in. Join me by opening your Bible each day and pouring comfort and hope into your heart…it’s just what the Great Physician ordered for each of us. How will you respond?