When I Am Not Okay

Do you ever look someone in the eye, say your good, and then realize you aren’t as good as you just said? That was my experience tonight at my small group.

Today was a considerably good day on a physical level. I even made it to Bible study tonight, and so when others asked how I was – the answer immediately came off as “oh, I am doing great today!”

As Bible study progressed, I remembered. I remembered that I have been plagued with depression all week long. I remembered that I have felt alone and found it hard to do simple tasks, because of it. I sat there, listening as they spoke tenderly, and awaited coming home. The Lord’s mighty hand held me together, as I sat there, because I just felt some of the weight that accompanies depression.

My Struggle –

All week long, it has been a struggle to reach for my Bible and journal. I had been doing so well on getting my daily reading of 1 Timothy and have enjoyed it so very much. This week, it was a hard week and so I am behind. I am behind on reading, but in sharing my heart with you all too.

Depression is just something that is hard. For this week, in particular, I have found myself just crying. For roughly two days, I just cried and cried. Which isn’t something you would typically find in my character.

Where Am I Turning?

My hope remains in our Lord Jesus Christ. My morning habits include turning on praise music and attempting to read my Bible. I may not journal, but if I can just read a verse – then I have something to meditate on throughout the day as I am resting or feeling motivated enough to clean.

The cloud of depression has days, where it is paralyzing and nothing gets done. Maybe, not even the simple act of turning on praise music. But even so, the Lord God Almighty is with me in the struggle.

No Shame –

Friends, I hope you are all doing well. But maybe, you are finding yourself in a depression fog too. The only (and best) advice I can give you is – to do whatever is necessary to draw nearer and nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

One more note, because I deeply care. If you continue to struggle with depression without relief, consider making an appointment with your family doctor. Depression can be very hard, and we all deserve support. We need to have a support system of others who help us fight it!

Also there are treatments out there, that might be able to help you. There is no shame in depression or seeking help from a medical professional. I have had to do it in the past – myself.

Honestly, there is soo much more to say on the topic of depression and I hope to address more of it in the coming weeks – but for now I want to just encourage you to keep drawing nearer to the Lord. Keep diving into the book of 1 Timothy. We will be starting 2 Timothy soon. Maybe, I will be caught by then.

God bless you, my friends!

Still seeking Him,

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Shepherding + Obedience

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Ohh friends,

I want to share with you our “focus verse” for the rest of the week. It is soo late in the week, to call it a “memory verse”. But, I really appreciate the truth found in this verse.

The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work). – 1 Tim. 3:1, AMPC

I have much to say on this verse, but I want to keep today’s blog post shorter than normal.


Friends, let us consider how we can draw nearer to our Risen Lord today.

I don’t know what you have going on. You may be crazy busy, or physically weaker than normal. Let us consider how we can seek the Lord.


Finding Wholeness in Him

When I seek Him, He fills me up with His Holy Spirit. I don’t want to miss this experience of being full of Him – and feeling complete.

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life (Col. 2:10, AMPC). .

Normally people give themselves “one word” for 2018, I am finding out what mine is. A bit late? Drawing nearer is my goal for this year. I want to be drawn nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ – despite the circumstances of today.

Plant Based Eating

Today, I am on day 9 of being completely compliant on my new way of eating. I slipped up a bit last night, but overall it is going very well. This is something I am doing out of obedience.

I just want to obey the Lord and follow the direction He is leading me. I am realizing just how much I need to stay on this plant based way of eating.

As of yesterday, I “reappeared” on Instagram. I am hoping to be more vocal about this new way of eating, and maybe share recipes I am coming across and loving. Plenty of things going on, and as the Lord leads – I will share them here.

A Place to Minister

One of the reasons I love our verse is – it reminds me of the gift we have to shepherd others in the faith. As the Lord leads, He allows us to be there to love on and guide others.

This blog is an opportunity for me to live out this passion of mine – to shepherd and lead others closer to our Lord Jesus. Even if my days are filled with sickness or housework busyness, I can meet here and share what the Lord is putting on my heart.

Thank you all for being here, and allowing me to share.

In Him,

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What’s Next, Lord?! {{Trials Tuesday}}

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Earlier, I read something that struck a chord with me.

My times are in Thy hands. I’ll always trust in Thee. And after death at Thy right hand, I shall forever be (Hymnist William Lloyd).

Like a child, I need to come to our Abba – Father, our great God, asking deep questions. I am pondering the future and what it may include. It’s hard. I don’t know what the rest of this year holds in store, but I wish I did.

Thankfully for us, there is a Scripture on this exact thing –

My times are in Your hands; Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who pursue and persecute me (Ps. 31:15, AMP).

God’s Word even tells us that our days. . . our lives are lovingly placed in His hands. He is the One who can turn everything out for good. He is the One who needs to lead us.

Choosing to Draw Nearer

Friends, let’s keep drawing nearer to our King Jesus and see what He tells us. Very much, He wants to speak to us one on one about our difficult situations. I don’t know what you are facing, but thankfully our Risen Lord does!

Let’s recall what His Word says –

Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began (Ps. 139:16, CSB).

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).

You yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call. This I know: God is for me (Ps. 56:7-8).

Our grace filled heavenly Father is for us, and knows what is going on behind the scenes. He sees us in the midst of our trials, and He knows the good things He has planned for our lives. He knows how the trials will bring out good things in the long run, even if we are utterly convinced that no good can come from it.

Come, Friends

Come to Him as His dearly loved children, my friends. God is our good Father. He absolutely sees us and has great purpose for us. He loves us and wants to experience an intimate relationship with us – through His Son Jesus Christ. This is why He came.

I don’t know how God will turn out things for my good, but I do know that He is good. Even if I get tempted to think He won’t work things out, deep down I know He is good. Sometimes, I just need to take a step back and remember He is good. He is really good, and knows what He is doing.

Friend, just keep drawing nearer to our Lord Jesus. Don’t be afraid to ask Him the big questions in prayer, but ask the seemingly small ones too. Our God is a Mighty God, and He is able!

Asking Him,

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February Goals {& My “Why”}

In December, my goal was to practice Titus 2:5 in my own life. Honestly? =] Still working on it. Some days, it is more reflected in my attitude and choices than others. To add onto Titus 2:5, Philippians 1:27 is this month’s focus.

Women are “ to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:5, ESV).”

Click here for full passage.

“Above all else, you must live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. . . (Phil. 1:27, CEV).”

Do

  • Continue to cultivate a plant based way of eating, which is helping POTS a lot! My goal is to get back on track 100%. It’s been four months, but I can keep going strong and get better at it. IE) Make sure to have good food on hand like baked sweet potatoes. Prepare for intense temptation, when out.
  • Continue our Pressing On Toward Faithfulness study and blog series. God is speaking loudly through these sacred time, and showing me His presence. How could I miss this?!? 
  • My #OneGoal is still the same: to draw nearer to the Lord, despite health “flare up’s”. I need to keep “showing up” for this quality time with my loving Savior.

Learn

I want to learn how to live a stronger faith in our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, despite the hardships I face.

Read

I have several books on my “to read” list!

Blessed are the Misfits by Brant Hanson
Anchored In by Micah Maddox
Get Lost by Dannah Gresh

Be . . better

I just feel like things are messier than they need to be. These are my goals for Feb, and I want them to lead me into a closer relationship with the Lord. Things just feel messy right now due to poor choices.

Yet, I know the Lord Jesus is here. He is reminding to just not give up. He is giving me the strength to keep moving and tearfully cry out to Him. He is reminding to just hang onto Him and His precious words! . . . Because He is working in the midst of the pain.

Lately, my heart has been holding onto Psalm 23, where the Lord declares that He is my Shepherd and He is the One to restore my achy soul.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me (Ps. 23:1-4, CSB).

My why is simple: If I can feel better, I want to. I want to be able to function at a better level. And if routines and way of eating help me to do this, then, I want to do this.

This is partly about wellness, but it is about something else too: Obedience. I want to honor the Lord in what I say and do, including eating, reading, and all things.

In Him,

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Struggles | Verse | Faith {POTF}

For the past week and a half, I have found myself in quite a struggle. One that’s harder to attempt explaining, especially with messed up health vitals.

Anyway, today’s quiet time got off to a late start. Several hours late. But, I did get to my #OneGoal, which is to just come nearer to the Lord. To have my purposeful quiet time, where I meet with my Beautiful Savior.

Today, I am addressing a problem I have. I don’t do well with “pouring out my heart” before the Lord. I am not sure why. I mean, He is with me 24/7. He knows me. He sees the hurting going on, behind closed doors.

So today was about my struggles. It was a time of giving voice to my inward struggles – the one I want to pretend is invisible and emotionally painless. But it does hurt. It hurts when I arise, and my heart rate shoots up to mid 100’s with a low blood pressure. It hurts when I stand again and become so dizzy, tricky to stand  without falling over, weak, and wondering if I will make it to the bed in time. It hurts. And, it is life affecting. What’s more, it is soul affecting.


Our Memory Verse –

Earlier this week, my heart just wanted to know how to survive this “flare up”. I just wanted to know how to hang onto my faith during this time of struggling on multiple levels. And today, I found my answer to the “hanging on” part of things.

Which leads me to our memory verse – 1 Timothy 1:19

“You will be faithful and have a clear conscience. Some people have made a mess of their faith because they didn’t listen to their consciences (CEV).”

Friends, let’s keep digging into our Bible’s and pouring out our hearts to our Risen Lord. He is listening. He is waiting for us to open that door, and allow Him to come in.

Keep drawing near, and allowing your faith in Jesus Christ to progress – even when life gets hard. Keep reaching out for His hand, and allow Him to catch you.


Our Mini – Study

I invite you to join me in 1 Timothy. We will be reading 1:1-7. After my time of “collapsing” at our Savior’s feet, I opted to do a bit of bullet point note taking. As we start 1 Timothy, we are met with key points from Titus. The Lord is boldly speaking to us, friends.

Nuggets of Truth –

(A) Friends, Jesus Christ is our Savior and place of hope. Let’s choose to really know and experience Him for ourselves! Because, Jesus Christ – our Beloved Savior is what makes the difference in our lives. Remember His planted grace, mercy, and peace!

More than better circumstances, we desperately need to draw nearer and enter into this beautiful relationship we can have with our Savior Jesus Christ! He alone is what makes the difference.

(B) Remain obedient to the Lord, wherever He sends you. Trust God, knowing He’s working, and choose to obey Him. Teach His Bible based truth. Spread the Gospel and the love only He can give! Keep on loving others. This is our ultimate goal!

(C) Avoid controversies, and promote the Lord and His Work – not what is “trending” in your environment or social media feeds.

[Don’t] pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith (1 Tim. 1:4, CSB).

Friends, it’s all worship. Even if we can’t open our Bible’s, even if we struggle to move, let’s just keep making movement toward our Risen Lord. Even if it’s imperfect and seems infantile compared to where we were two years ago. Just keep reaching out for Him and spend your heart in worship. It’s all meaningful. Time spent (energy too) with our Lord Jesus is never wasted!

Our eight week journal is still available on Amazon (& other online stores) for $6.25! Along with many other Bible study journals ranging from Ephesians to Matthew 4-7 to the beautiful Psalms of Ascent. Be sure to check ’em out, and help support Gracefully Overcoming.

Learning with you,

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