I Hope You Hope

F799226C-5CE8-4D64-A072-9DDE5E188627Hope is a choice of courage. ~Terri Guillemets

As I sat down and held our old, heavyset cat, we both fell asleep. Easy to do for both of us.  Now, if the cat was writing this, she would write as I was held by my old, heavyset human mom we both fell asleep.7AF681FF-95B3-48CE-9E00-B274FA3030B1

Can you tell that this quarantine is starting to get to me? My days and hours are all messed up, the cats are messed up, they are as confused as I am.

As I was slowly waking up, at 3 am yet again, I was thinking and a lot of my thoughts were, I hope this or I hope that. Just thankful I had hope.

4B9726C2-16AC-41EA-8604-B2DAC95F1E21I hope this period that we are all experiencing, not just in our town or state but worldwide will end soon. I am sure you hope that, too.

I hope that my son is doing okay, as I feel he doesn’t tell me everything and I understand, as I do remember being young. When I called him, as a text message was not enough, I said several times I was not convinced he was okay. A week or two ago, he was not sure this COVID19 was for real. It is. Now pretty well stuck at his home as we all are, he has to manage and I cannot do it for him. So I do hope and pray that he is really okay, as he says he is. I must trust and put my faith in the Lord to help him, care for him and love him. Being a mom is hard, even as our children get older.F080EDCF-7E63-45A0-A26E-B5338A8500C4

I hope that one day I will see so and so.  I hope that one day or soon I will hear from certain ones, as I feel it is out of place to contact them. I wait and see and I hope.

I hope that through all of this we are all experiencing that we each will see life differently and be more appreciative of everyone that is in our lives and just how blessed we really are.

I hope for so many things. I hope I will be a better person, mother, sister, friend, mother/daughter-in-law and most of all, a stronger Christian. I hope I can toss away the intimidation and fear in life, in my praise and worship and not care what others think of me. I don’t want to be the same person that I was. Perhaps this is an awakening for each of us.

749799C1-B069-4FDF-A295-E9A23872970BOn a lighter note, I hope that I can make my hair look nice and not try cutting it myself. No doubt many are stressing, as I am. We will all have new hairdos.  We just might like this change, but I don’t have much hope in that, for me.

I do have hope for each of us. As we go forward through days of uncertainty and distancing, I pray that you also have HOPE.

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Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”

https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/encouraging-bible-verses/encouraging-bible-verses-about-hope/

Take Away

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Day by day, little by little, a bit here and a bit there many things are no longer a part of our lives.

Our normal has been disrupted and the new normal is not comfortable and never will be comfortable.

As we drive past parking lots now empty, especially the ones that are always packed, I find it difficult to comprehend, thinking how odd for that to be possible. My mind knowing all along what is happening but everyday seems like a Sunday, with everything closed. Everything that we have known has changed. I’m old and feeling discombobulated and I can only imagine what the younger generation feels, although some are not taking this COVID19 very serious. I know I am feeling somewhat stripped of more and more each day, as they are taken away. A19CDF5D-0D26-4222-8DF3-E12D0B1CAE2F

Just yesterday, I had two events canceled that I would attend, within thirty minutes of each other. One was in April, which did not surprise me but the other was at the end of May.  Honestly, I found myself angry with all of this happening. Now what?

Fear of one another, wondering if we will get or pass on germs. A disconnect physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

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I noticed my elderly neighbor answer the door to her best friend. Just watching to see how they handled this situation, knowing their routine is off and of loneliness no doubt. The door was not opened immediately, which surprised me in a way but then I wondered if she was afraid to open it. Finally, the door was opened and my neighbor stood on one side of the glass storm door and her friend on the other. They were protecting one another. How sad though to be that close, to miss one another’s company and glass separates the normal contact of one another. No hug was made, no physical touch of comfort to ease each other’s fear and anxiety. 

9C790675-106E-4BEE-91D7-E0BC81576DCCThe distancing between each of us, family, friends, co-workers and each one, is too far apart, although needed right now. It’s like when we put up walls to keep people out of our lives from being hurt, but we are now basically building walls between each of us to avoid contact. Perhaps feeling as though we are lost in a maze. I wonder after this month and hopefully that is enough time, will we be programmed to still limit connection, hesitant to reach out to one another. 

Today is today, tomorrow will be just another day and each one will add up. Yesterday, I had no motivation and unsure about today. I don’t feel depressed although I know it would be easy to be so, but I know anxiety still creeps up on me. How about you?

So, as we have today and each tomorrow will come, let’s make them as best as we can. It is okay to rest, as we recognize that what we are experiencing is not normal and we are not going to feel normal. Still, we will get through this, one day at a time.

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STAY WELL

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40 Beautiful Bible Verses for When Stress & Anxiety Feel Overwhelming

Care of a Cardinal

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To get off of what is going on all around us, around me, I thought would share a part of my life, plus for me to go down memory lane. Think back in your own life and bring up good memories, write them down for your children/family, or just for yourself. We need to deviate from what is happening around us. Take a break!

So today as I stood at my kitchen sink looking out the window, waiting for my coffee to finish, I watched the birds on my deck enjoying the birdseed. It seems like I always have at least ten cardinals all the time. Now and then I will have a blue jay, woodpecker, doves and then, of course, the pesty black birds that try to take over and eat all the seed. C454C9FA-C679-4DF1-B596-18DB6635A8DC

Many have said that when there are red birds, the cardinals, it’s family members that have passed. If that is the case, I am having a family reunion daily, which is fine with me. It is kinda nice to imagine, if so.

Sometimes remembering that saying, and as with family members, they quarrel now and then, pick on each other, but so do the birds, so I smile and think it must be my family members.EB951341-5668-418B-9453-C8ABE81844F8

The bright red cardinal is the male. I never understood why he had to be so bright and pretty, as it should be the female. The females are more grayish with a red tint. No matter, they are beautiful and I do love watching them.

When watching the birds, I was reminded of the day before my thyroidectomy several years back. Standing at my kitchen sink also, I was looking out, crying and praying because I was scared. Majority of the time I can hold it together for the most part, while with others or at work, but I do fall apart when alone. This was one of those times. Even so, I know the Lord has me in the palm of His Hand.

Had it not been for me being in the hospital for four days before Christmas with an A-Fib attack prior to my surgery, this blog would not be as it is.

My family doctor, when they did actually come to the hospitals for visits, she asked if I had the ultrasound of my goiter that was present on the right side of my neck. No, I put off making an appointment due to work or one reason or another. Nobody would have noticed the goiter but it was causing me swallowing issues, as it was pressing on my esophagus. The ultrasound was ordered before they would release me. Please release me, let me go I was begging, as I had only one day to get my Christmas together before my boys were home from college.

I know that nurses are not to say anything to their patients about tests. My nurse though looked at me before giving my release papers and instructions and just said, ‘you need to have a biopsy soon’ with a dead, serious look directly into my eyes. I can still see her in my mind of that serious moment between us  Okay! Just let me go home, I promise.

I did have the biopsy, a fine needle and a core needle biopsy. Now as I write this, I remember there were four of us in the dark room with my head tilted back. The nurse held my left hand, the doctor was on my right and the laboratory technician with the microscope was over to the side to receive the biopsy sample. Fine needle biopsy, done. With the core needle, they were hoping that they would get a good sample on the first try. Hey, I was, too. First try! Those two guys actually did a high-five, like two boys winning a ballgame. Hey, I am over here. Thank God it was over.

As I left the procedure room, now holding a bag of ice on my neck, I just hung out because I knew I tend to pass out, a vagal response. Of course, being independent as I am, I drove myself and now I was afraid to drive. So I found a place in the lobby and just sat down until I felt relief from the pain and the fear that was overtaking my mind. Sitting there, out comes a friend, that I have not seen for many years, from visiting her father and she was leaving. We talked briefly, as people do in passing but then she sat down and stayed with me. Later telling me it was not an accident of this meeting, and I knew that, too, as I needed support. One more hurdle down and a big one to come.

While I have had plenty of surgeries throughout my life, this time the doctor was going to be cutting on my throat. Not knowing for certain if I had Cancer, the fine needle and core needle biopsies showed cells that were questionable. They did not hesitate to schedule surgery. This all was in a timespan of seven weeks, from Christmas  until the day of surgery.

389627B0-3EE9-4120-9A33-92AD87D58CE2So standing at the kitchen window, the day before surgery, out of the blue, a red cardinal came to the window, clutched onto the window screen right in front of me. I am looking at it and it is looking at me.  In that moment, I felt peace. Like it was there to let me know I was going to be okay, and I walked away with that assurance. So you tell me if cardinals are family members or not, as it sure felt that way.

Back then, I felt it was my mom but today I thought now that was a male cardinal so that must have been dad, if so. Either or, I had comfort going forward the next morning for surgery.

As the doctor made markings on my neck where to cut, the right side only was to be removed. He stopped and asked my permission that if they did not like what the left side of my thyroid looked like, can they remove it, too.  Otherwise, in six months we would be doing the same thing. Of course, I gave my permission, I felt I had to.

As they wheeled me back to the operating room, I knew my one doctor (ENT), the one doing the surgery, who specializes with thyroid cancer would be in there waiting to start. As the gurney went around the corner, I see the other ENT doctor I normally would see either for myself or for my boys. He was smiling and saying he was going be in the operating room also. I felt totally confident that these two would take care of me. I did, in fact, have a full thyroidectomy.

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Returning for my post-op visit a week later, my sister drove me, as I was not to look up or down, and trust me, I did not want to. The tape that he used was more of a nuisance than the pain. I am not one to have others in the exam room with me at any of my doctor’s office visits. When they called my name though, I looked at my sister and said, I think you are to be with me today. It was odd to have her in there with me though. As the doctor came in to remove the aggravating tape, bandage and drain tube, he then said that he was glad they removed the whole thyroid. The right side was the one of concern throughout this whole ordeal but Cancer was on the left side.7BD0DA6B-A8D6-4AF6-96E5-8CCA465F5AB2

Hearing the word Cancer will put one in a daze. The doctor said they caught it early and he felt confident that my bloodwork which would be needed often and for years, would show negative results, if so. Thankfully, negative results, still.

As my sister and I left, we got in the car and both just sat there stunned, not expecting to hear Cancer. It was a shock to both of us.

So with the cardinals outside my kitchen window today, reminding me of just how the Lord has had His Hand upon me from the beginning before Christmas, in the hospital, knowing had it not been, my outcome would not have been as positive.

Don’t you at times look back and see how the Hand of God worked in your life? Our ways are not His Ways. Since I procrastinated on that ultrasound for a year, it was no mistake that I ended up in the hospital on a different matter. I really feel that He allowed this in order to stop me from putting it off any longer. I am thankful.

We may not understand what we go through at times, questioning and even angry at God. It is no surprise to Him of our reaction.  Even now with the world-wide crisis, we don’t understand, there is hopelessness, fear, anger and all kinds of emotions, which is normal. Hopefully though, we will see that He is and has held our hand through trials we go through and going through and our faith will increase. We each have a choice and I hope that you Trust Him.

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Check your neck!  Thyroid Awareness is not just a woman issue, men are not exempt.

Red Cardinal Biblical Meaning – The Cardinal Symbols of Faith

Scatterbrained

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Today, I should be at work, I want to be at work, please let me work. I miss my office, I miss my desk, I miss all the files that go across my desk and through my hands daily, I miss the exhaustion at the end of the day and I miss all of my work family.

We will definitely need to have a “Welcome Back” party when we all return, just not soon enough right now.

My job right now, has stopped, just one at a time in the office. I cannot do anything unless the higher ups start pushing cases through. I am at a standstill. Odds are, you are, too.

090B38E0-8F3A-4554-98C3-69F99529705CToday I coughed to clear my throat many times. No other symptoms, just a cough. As I continued in my day, the thoughts started to run rampant within, of you have the virus, you have given this to your sons and it will be your fault and, of course, you are going to die. The enemy likes to torment me and place fear to where I feel frozen or perhaps paralyzed unable to think, get things done, as I go from this to that and chaos causing me to feel scatterbrained. It’s anxiety. My cough is just from the anxiety felt.

Today I have managed to pray, read, write, trying my hand at tapping through the anxiety (EFT), and often splashed essential oils all over me. I am a walking, talking and breathing diffuser right now. To write, I do relax. A walk helps to feel the sun and crisp air on my face to allow myself to get grounded.E4C987CB-559A-4855-B921-E19385657968

My routine is off, your routine is off, everything is off. I have time to do whatever I want and have wanted to do around my home for days, weeks, months and yes even years but my focus and desire to do any of it is off. I just do the basics. Thinking, too, I will have plenty of time.

So many posts on Facebook deal with what we are dealing with all over the world, to help with anxiety. At times, I just want to shut everything off and pretend this is not real.  I have read often that we are to limit our time watching the news, reading too much of the statistics and what seems like doom and gloom.

With me not going to work, I had more time to read information of the latest news and how the virus affects the body, but I read too much. My mind went into overload and then fear jumped in.

So perhaps you experience anxiety from time to time, too. It is very easy to feel right now but we are to limit ourselves, we can set up our own boundaries. As long as we are doing our part through this crisis, we are doing good. Take one day at a time. As I wrote yesterday, I know that He is my hiding place, and He is yours, too.

CEB840C9-38CD-40ED-881D-362700912554Focus! We are to keep our eyes on The Lord. He brings peace to the chaotic, scatterbrained routine that we may slip into at times. Just be sure to bring your focus back to Him.

Stay Well

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https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/worry-and-anxiety-bible-verses/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scatterbrain

Powerful feelings, such as being stressed, angry or sad, can cloud your thinking brain, hampering your ability to reason effectively. “Those primary emotions — anxiety, sadness, anger — are the ones more likely to be associated with those who feel disorganised, distracted and overwhelmed,” he writes. May 6, 2014

https://themighty.com/2020/03/difference-between-anxiety-and-covid-19-symptoms/?utm_source=Mighty_Page&utm_medium=Facebook

 

You Are My Hiding Place

 

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As I woke up this morning, I immediately thought, you are my hiding place.  I knew exactly that this is in the Bible and that the Lord is my hiding place. He has had to be, is now and forever will be. I love when I have a word or scripture come to me, just like this morning, as I will dwell on it today and give me hope for the days ahead.

Of course, that is where I started my day and continued, looking up scriptures to match the words, you are my hiding place. Being confined is quite nice actually, in order to slow the morning down, not rushing to get ready to go here or there.B9CB050C-780D-4B68-9C1B-5C4542617724

Knowing of what is taking place in our world, fear hits at times and tears fall but this is normal for any of us during this time of uncertainty. Just don’t stay in that mode because you still need to push forward and live. We will get through this.

Being reassured with those words, you are my hiding place, did give me hope. I will share them with you, as He is your hiding place, too.

6F2AC933-A205-4B36-BFE5-346B360589EDAs a mom of two grown men, they are never out of my thoughts and prayers, they have my heart and continuous love. I did get to see them last night, briefly. I just needed to see them before we may have to shelter in place. I did get my hugs from each and that in itself melts my heart. As their mother, even at their age, I want to hide them from all of this chaos. Just as that is on my mind, so is the Lord for me, you and each of us. He wants to hide us.

Trusting and believing that this too shall pass but that we turn our thoughts and prayers toward Him, as our faith will increase and love toward Him. It is as simple as that. He is our hiding place.3D122027-3C8A-401A-92BA-1A76763B3273

Open up your Bible or use the Internet and look up scripture, if just God is my hiding place, that I write about this morning. You will be surprised. There is a joy deep within when you can read His Word, and a certain word or scripture just seems to pop out at you. Odds are you will say or think, I needed that. The hope within you comes alive.

May your day(s) be filled with peace knowing you have a hiding place to go to. Trust Him!

 

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Joyce Meyer – Choose God’s Secret Place

http://www.tellthelordthankyou.com/blog/2017/6/6/psalm-1911-8-you-are-my-hiding-place

 

 

I Don’t Like It

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My mind is stuck, my thoughts are not going anywhere, I cannot concentrate enough to write. Even though my mind is stuck, I feel it is everywhere.

There is no surprise here, as everywhere we look, everything we read or hear is about the crisis and rightfully so due to the severity. I don’t have to like it though. No doubt, you feel the same.

Enough already!037F4683-34B9-4667-BE6F-4CA7636AD996

There is a freezing within me of panic although I feel calm, as I know that I must keep it together, otherwise it is insanity.

Alone, my tears will flow as in that old, ugly cry at least once or twice a day. My cries to the Lord to take this away, to protect my children, family, friends, the world. Knowing we are all in this together.

Enough already!90D05FCC-B819-4A90-9ABD-DE1E637F55C8

The day begins, the same routine of cleaning the house, when I really want to go out. Of course, I can go out but in limited space. I want to visit my boys, have dinner to talk and laugh but it’s hard to do by going through a drive-thru.

Once the tears, cries and prayers are out, it is time to get up to start my day, any which way. I hope I am productive and it is a good day, as I will do the same tomorrow and the next day.

The peace of God that comes after a bout of emotions, is definitely worth the time in devotion. He calms my fears, E9457875-0856-4FA7-AB3B-68F33E326314the panic is lessened as my mind is gearing up for the day. I have to put my trust in the Lord, for He is all I have and He is The Way.

Enough already!

Okay, Let’s do this!

 

 

In the Lord our God! Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. … Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe. Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-for-faith-in-hard-times/

 

 

Different than Before

7962A244-6C49-457D-9431-6D75CB858236While each of our normal routines are disrupted with work schedules, appointments canceled one by one, nowhere to go, so on and so forth, as you know. Of course, I’d like to go out and eat but not by a drive-thru. This will be missed by many, especially as the weekends roll around.

At one point this week, I felt as though I was being punished. For instance, when children disobey and the parent takes away a toy, cell phone, privilege to drive the car. Each day something else was removed from my daily/weekly routine, and yours also probably.9726947E-D6BC-4CEE-9090-D12D395A350EMy work flow is off kilter although I am safe for when we return, the restaurants, businesses, hair and nail salons, dentist, chiropractor, counseling, even church services. Everything is off. It does not feel real but it is. The next few weeks or month(s), we will all have a new normal, although it is not normal.F1D6F7F4-E625-4C1D-842C-EAAEFD891006

The other night, as I listened to my Pastor do a live, online video to share God’s Word, as he did last night, too. Powerful! To not congregate in church and worship, puts a whole new thought process regarding this crisis, worldwide. We can always pray, worship, read God’s Word at home or anywhere and should be doing already.

As he spoke, in his messages, he said now is the time for 49D91A74-4454-4E17-A791-A706A960B4E2the head of the household to stand up in the home and pray. Pray for a hedge of protection around our families, stop being a coward and be the covering over the home, wife, children. In many homes, the head of the home, normally would be the husband/father. Nowadays, he has either taken a backseat or may not even be In the picture. If that is the case, YOU are responsible to pray putting all intimidation away to speak and pray the Word of God. Just go through your home praying and speaking the Word of God, put post-it notes up with scripture, always putting in faith, pushing out fear.

665DB3FF-279B-4934-AC83-3842A3A6FEBAI am one of those in church or in a group that always remained quiet, a bystander letting others do the praying, as they were or are the more spiritual ones. Although I know, He has equipped me just as much as them. I know He has heard my own, private prayers, whether in my thoughts or verbally, through the years.

In church, I have also been hesitant to raise my hands in worship and step out of my comfort zone. I have at times in years past but through many years and trials, I allowed the enemy to remind me of just how bad of a person I am, not worthy, etc., which is exactly where the enemy wanted me, to be invisible. 32259977-AD41-4FA7-9A50-5E8DC86A98C3

While I am doing much better, knowing my worth, trusting the Lord and knowing He has a plan and a purpose for me, as He does for you. There is no amount of lies that we believe about ourselves that will keep God’s plan away from what He has in store for us. We are to lift Him up in our praise, worship and not to forget our daily walk and talk.

My Pastor’s message hit home. There is prayer within each one of us and we are to pray! With everything happening right now within our own four walls but worldwide, prayer will be what gets us through. After this crisis, no doubt many will have more faith or sadly, more anger. We each have a choice.

F7D7F8F2-2AF7-438C-9B4F-E902485EF954The next time we walk through the church doors, we will not be the same as the last time we walked out. Our prayers will be different. Our worship will be different. Our lives will be different.

Many newcomers will be walking 3D5B6131-A12F-489F-A281-C494EBE432F6through the church doors. This is a time that many will call upon the Lord in desperation and hopelessness, we all will possibly, but knowing we ALL must call upon the Lord, be saved and know deep in our heart that He loves us, He holds our hand, He will never leave or forsake you.

It is time to pray! People need hope, more today than ever. Encourage one another.

We have many days ahead of us through this crisis and to cry out to God, He will be there. Many uncertainties are before us but one thing for certain, we can depend upon God.  Trust Him!

Stay Well45298D66-907E-453C-B73D-62F38A90DF40

15 Comforting Bible Verses for Troubled Times

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

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How to Pray For Your Family: Prayer Points for Family