Friendships in Seasons {POTF}

15 This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain, 17 but when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me 18 (the Lord grant to him to find the Lord’s mercy in that day); and in how many things he served at Ephesus, you know very well (1 Timothy 1:15-18, WEB).

This is a place in Scripture, which can comfort many of us. We all go through times, where friends can opt to leave us. And, it is a hard thing to experience. . . but this Scripture offers hope. The hope is found through our Lord Jesus Christ! He is our Provider.

While friendships do change over time, let’s choose to realize the Lord is able to give us people to “do life” alongside.

You might be going through a “friendship drought” right now. Hang in there, dear reader. Keep relying on the Lord and praying for Him to bring you friends who are choosing to follow Him – who can help you along your way. Dive deep into your friendship with the Lord Himself, and stay connected to your Church family – even when the relationships don’t seem to be there or anywhere. He is working.

How does this passage teach us about friendships?

1… Remember those who have chosen to stay, when everyone else has moved on.

2… Not only do we need to remember these friends, we need to pray for our friends.

3… Choose to be a friend who stays with others in the valleys of life. Choose to be a friend who stays and is there to help refresh others in the midst of their trials.

When facing our own trials, it can be difficult to be there for another who is going through their own storm. It is possible, but requires due diligence. The best way to “be there” is use technology to check on friends, ask how we can specifically pray for them, or send them an uplifting song we come across.

4… Take some time and search your own heart. How have you wrestled with feeling ashamed of someone or their trial? Paul was blessed with a friend who intimately knew our Lord Jesus – and wasn’t ashamed of his friend’s circumstances. Being unashamed helped Paul’s friend to be emotionally available.

5… Put effort into pursuing friendships. I am not talking about taking ourselves on a mission trip to contact everyone we have ever met. I am talking about practical ways to dive in a bit more to cultivate deeper friendships. This means choosing to focus on one or two friends, praying for them, and learning how to be more selfless (focused on them, versus dominating the conversation) – so we can be there for them.

Each of these things are designed to help our relationships. But something must happen first. We need to make our friendship with our Lord Jesus our top priority. Allow Him to refresh you, so He can give you all that is needed to be there for others.

In Him,



Sabbatical 2017 –

Hi friends!

I am currently on a sabbatical from the blogging world for the next few months (well, aside from book reviews). Honestly as resistant as I can be, this season of life is more needed than I could say.

Ways to stay connected, while I am away –

  • Gracefully Overcoming’s Facebook page is going through a study of its own. From now until Christmas, we are studying Psalm 119. Yes, that extremely long Psalm, you might have meant to study at some point.
  • And if that doesn’t grab your attention, Indoor Outreach is going through the book of Luke.

Feel free to pray for me, as I go through this season. I am loving my time away, but miss you all tremendously! Maybe, we can stay semi-connected on Facebook. =)

Image by Jordan Hile.

In Christ,


Delayed Obedience {VOTD}

Occasionally, I get the tremendous opportunity to sit and write with a “Verse-of-the-Day”. Today’s “VOTD” is brought to us by BibleGateway. The blessing is – we are actually walking through Psalm 119 right now, through our Facebook page.

When I read today’s “VOTD,” it just really stood out to me. The Voice uses the word “procrastinate” versus “hesitating (CSB)”. Both involve some kind of delayed obedience, so keep that in mind as you read through this post.

I hurried, not hesitating to keep your commands (Ps. 119:60, CSB).

For one of my phone apps, I have a Bible reading alarm. While I have it set to remind me everyday to read my Bible, I wasn’t expecting its persistence. This alarm will not cease until I have successfully stopped and taken the time to read my Bible. It is deliberate and continues to notify me, unless I get right to the task and responsibility of drawing near to God and Bible reading.

If I was as faithful in living out God’s truths as the alarms on my phone, I would be in a far better place spiritually. I would have the heart’s desire to hurry toward our risen Lord Jesus and living out His truths – rather than dancing around my obedience to God.

We all would be in better spiritual shape, if we practiced immediate obedience.

When we delay in living out God’s Word, we need to look and see what is going on. Why aren’t we obeying God? Is it unwillingness, or the influence of something else – possibly sin?

As I consider my own delayed response, friend, I invite you to consider how you have fallen prey to a “delayed response” heart. Delaying to obey our great God in what He has taught us – which is a big deal, to be absolutely honest with you.

What is God calling you to do, but you have delayed in doing?

Maybe, it is obeying God’s calling you to write a book, write a friend a note, in tithing when you are barely making ends meet, how you view a specific circumstance you are in, or something else entirely.

“As soon as he was sensible of his duty, he immediately complied with it; he consulted not with flesh and blood, but at once yielded a cheerful obedience to the commands of God (John Gill).”

“So what has God told you to do that you haven’t started doing yet? What are you waiting for? God has your best interests at heart. Go ahead and do what he’s told you to do (Rick Warren Devotional).”

I have a writing project on my heart, to which I need to give myself. I need to find moments of wellness, but more importantly the room in my heart to be willing to do this “God thing”. It is a project God obviously has me working on – for a reason. I just need to honor God in this, even when it might be a difficult task. What about you, my friend?

Image by Andrew Krueger.



Introvert Speaks: The Hang-Over

I am an introvert.

I recently “came out of the closet” (aka I keep writing about it). It’s not that my “introversion” is some brand spankin’ new discovery. It’s just that, writing is my primary way of processing e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Writing is how I share my experiences, and who knows, maybe it will help another soul who feels like they are drowning. There is a remedy. We need to recharge our spirits. There is hope, and a way out of our introvert’s hang-over.

Friends and the Dreaded Word

You know… It occurred to me when I was writing last night that many don’t know what introversion is. I know there are in my life. I can say the word “introvert” and their exact response is “Whaaa?!?!?” At which point, I respond with “… nevermind, because if I have to explain it…”

Yeah, if I have to explain it. I am not sure that it will be worth the hard work of extra mental processing and emotional energy to relay the information… and then, possibly have more conversational pieces to decipher and process at night than I would care for.

So you see, it isn’t exactly personal.

I am going to take a slight detour from my introversion hang-over concept to explain it to you. Right here. Right now.

Not Weird, Just Wired Differently

According to an article from early 2011, there are about 25% of the generation population that are marked by introversion. But, there are probably much more. Some of us spend our lives wondering “… okay, what’s wrong with me? Why am I different?” Anyway, there is a small percentage. So your friends may not understand why a conversation or party can drain the

Introverts are wired differently than their friends who aren’t as close on the introversion-extroversion scale.

We are wired differently.

It doesn’t mean we are weird or somehow “not measuring up”.

We are simply different from others of different personality types.

Wired Differently

Introversion is just a way of describing our personalities.

Social situation can stress out our spirits, especially if we aren’t taking time afterward for silence (of some sort) and processing. Shear silence (again, of some sort… Introverts “recharge” different ways. I am not sure if lack-of-silence means you won’t “recharge” as fast… I just know recharging is of great importance, or I am a walking-chaotic-disaster-with-absolutely-no-filter).

We (introverts) need to go into hiding for a time. And, we likely have a variety of ways coping with our external stimuli (sounds, conversations, lights, or a number of other things).

The Hang-Over

External stimuli gives me what I will just refer to as “…an introvert’s hang-over.” No, I haven’t been drinking. No, my head isn’t throbbing. But, my spirit is just… done. It is overwhelmed. It is weighed down to such an extent, that I literally cannot think straight.

There is too much going on.

Things I haven’t taken the time to process.

I just haven’t taken care of myself  like I need to.

And, I am a milli-second away from letting my guard down and utterly losing it – all over everyone and everything. I am moments away from a few scenerios:

  1. Screaming unfriendly terms (possibly expletives) at those around me.
  2. Running far far away, to be alone.
  3. Crying my eyes out.
  4. Using my hands and feet to display the drowning of my spirit.

I am sure there are a lot of well-played out examples of what happens during “an introvert’s hang-over”. But a drowning spirit is the best possible explanation that I have to offer you, dear readers.

When You Just Can’t Deal

I simply can’t deal. I am doing all I can to keep my head and heart above water – just until I can reach that pivotal point of “plugging in” introvert style.

Tonight, this means…

  • Quiet praise music (I rely on Jesus Christ to keep me going. After all, He is my Prince of Peace).
  • Slow breathing.
  • Writing out my thoughts (hello, blog readers!).
  • Completely, empty space where I am alone to be with God and my thoughts.

Just quietly sitting by myself. I just can’t be about other things right now. I have had a long day. A loud day.

The Truth

Saying these things (like calling a day longloud, or drainingdoesn’t mean the day didn’t have absolutely wonderful and beautiful aspects to it. It simply means my emotional battery needs to be recharged – if I want to be able to function tomorrow and not risk an emotion system shut-down.

If I want to experience life at its best, tomorrow, I need to take the time to effective care for my own needs tonight.


I have to take the time my spirit needs, without feeling guilty. Being an introvert can mean guilt. You know you need to recharge, or chaos erupts, but how do we do it guilt free? At night? When one should be sleeping vs. writing at midnight.

Reality At Its Finest

Today, I simply could not handle the excessive external stimuli. At one point, it took most of my resolve to merely sit at the kitchen table. alone.

Simply put, I was just done.

I felt overwhelmed.

I needed to plug in, because my emotional center’s battery was down to about 15% remaining. Which as we know. A battery’s percentage isn’t always an accurate indicator of when the device will actually die. Cuts it a bit too close when we are talking about not a technological device. Instead, we are talking about me.

In the middle of relationships.



Serving opportunities.

Worshiping Jesus.

I want to give God my best!

When I am drowning from neglecting to process my emotions and experiences, not exactly at my best. How can I give God, others, or myself my best when…

… emotions are heavy?

… self-control is clawing to hang on?

… I neglect me?

I need to recover from today’s “introvert hang-over”. The things I do in this moment, count greatly for how I can overcome the stuff of tomorrow.