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/

The Way

1DFD2EC3-6A6E-488D-9C5F-24EB36D0681AAgain, just to get away from the news and the numbers, I thought I would share a part of my life, if just for me. What’s your story? 

Growing up, I was not raised in a Christian home whereby prayer and church was present in our lives. We were always told that we could make our own decision about God and if we wanted to go to church, then go. Very odd, isn’t it? My parents were raised to go to church and they hated it.  My maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were both Baptist preachers. I always found grandfather interesting to see and listen to when we would visit, which was not often due to distance. My dad’s father was a deacon. Church was not a choice for them.89D4587D-3480-474E-B4F7-6B58CC57867D

In our large family, with me being the youngest, almost being like the only child due to being seven years between my sister and I. Oftentimes I was just present and heard a lot and have seen a lot. I would sit out of the way and be quiet. It was nothing to hear laughter, jokes and things little girls should not hear. I can still hear the clanking  of beer bottles from the big brown case as they came in the house, of which I heard often. Oftentimes I was a delivery person when told to go get me a beer, and I did. 

Even though I was not raised to worship and pray, I always felt a drawing and as a young child I knew there was a God.  Perhaps with me going to Vacation Bible School each summer with the family nearby, I heard enough that I was convinced there was a God even though I did not go to the altar to proclaim salvation, I knew enough to have faith, as a child880BBAEA-674D-444C-B3DF-9C0A6AEB8503

Growing up the way I did though, I assumed that is life. You work, you drink, and repeat daily and on the weekend you drink more. Had it not been for my shorthand teacher in my senior year to ask what our plans were after graduation, I would have been stuck in that mode as the rest of them for years, if not still.

College was not as prevalent back then so we each pretty much shrugged our shoulders. It was a small class, not much interest in shorthand but I loved it and still use. With our blank look back at her and having no idea what our futures held, she took myself and two others to a vocational school and two of us signed up for the business and office class.

Looking back, just with her bold move to do this with me and my friend, would have got her in a lot of problems, if today. We both took her advice, did what she said, completed the class and loved it.

A7444428-9223-47B9-97BC-18B5B2CE22BEI love to look back over my life and see the Hand of God in each step in how He orchestrated it all and even still. He does have a plan and a purpose for each of us. He will get us to where we are to be. We might cause detours along the way, but He will pick us back up and get us back on track.

I met a lot people in class from all walks of life, but I met this one girl that was on her way out to start a career but enough time to build a friendship. When it was my time to leave after completion, I had my first real job. At this office, I got to know many bit usually there is always one you gravitate to and become not only co-workers but friends. To find out, she was related to the girl in class, they were cousins so now I am friends with both.

My co-worker and I became good friends. After a bit, I found out her father was a Baptist preacher so I started attending their church. Many times being in their home staying over, as friends do, I watched what a normal family was like. No beer, no alcohol, no dirty jokes or cuss words. The complete opposite of mine and I liked it.

Still as life went forward, I was saved. My heart was beating so fast and I knew it was the time to go forward. As I write, I laugh with tears falling seeing this all played out like a movie, in my mind. I laugh because when I am at the altar, the preacher and three others, I assume deacons were with me, too, as we stood in a circle. The preacher said let’s pray. It was me that prayed aloud in this group for my salvation, they all just stood there. Amen. It had to have been the preacher to say, well there you go, I believe she is saved. No doubt they were shaking their heads, laughing at the dinner table of what just transpired. No doubt about it, I was saved. Perhaps it was my grandfather and my great-grandfather, both Baptist preachers, coming out in me. Amen.

Even though I can laugh now and cry tears of joy, I also feel the sense of shame I have carried through the years of praying when they were to pray, for me. I do not know why I did that, but it came automatic. The sense of shame making me feel like a fool that day and I honestly have felt a hindrance since, in praying out loud. I just realized that. Wow! I wonder if this is my turning point.

6614C487-1ED0-472C-A026-BB93B30A4FB4I still have the white Bible that was given to me by by this Baptist preacher’s family. Somewhere in this time period, The Way, a Bible to easily understand and read was given to me or I bought. I don’t know, but I loved it. I was so joyous of being a Christian and having this Bible, I stayed up all night reading it. I remember my dad getting up and surprised that I was awake and reading. I had joy. I could not get enough of the Word of God in me.

Life moves forward, of course, and I was blessed to have been connected from one friend to another to get to where I was and am today.  Evident of God’s mercy and grace.

Back to The Way, I had a neighbor friend, we had grown up together playing outside, riding bikes and all but never close friends as we got older. I found out that she was in the hospital. Knowing she needed to change her ways or 9ABCFDB1-FF9C-4AD4-AA48-046A0ADDB31Fshe would end up back in there or worse. I took my Bible, The Way, to her and we talked and I witnessed to her as best as I knew how being a young Christian. Thankfully she was very receptive and accepted my my Bible.  I planted a seed.

Knowing her life was not a bed of roses and many issues through the years thereafter, her two children both grown, now a grandmother and raising her grandchildren. Her daughter had lost her rights to her children due to repeated drugs usage and rehabs. Such a sad way to live.

Approximately forty years ago, I gave my friend my Bible, The Way. I always loved it and I went searching to find another and about five years ago I found it, bought it, read it, loved it still. I was so excited to have it once again in my possession, on my bookshelf.

Little did I know and I am sure this was no coincidence but my friend’s daughter was out of rehab and living in an apartment near my home, staying with friends. Different times we would meet out in the yard and talk. While trying her best to get her life together, it was always a battle but she knew that God was the one to turn to. Asking if I would take her to church. Many discussions and plans were made to take her to church with me, with excuses each time. One night, standing on my sidewalk talking yet again, I told her to wait, I needed to get something for her. Yes, I gave her my Bible, The Way. Also receptive of receiving, as her mother did.BE0F9289-EC0B-4796-9658-3FDE43DF319B

How interesting that two generations, the mother and daughter, each got my Bible, The Way.  I am unsure if a page was even read or the Bible even opened or maybe it was thrown away, but they both had a seed planted of God’s Love.

We may not know how our actions or our encouragement will lift up others but it is worth a try to do such. Right now, many need encouragement and hope like never before. What we can do is to give to others whether it is a smile (no cost), a word of encouragement (no cost) or hope (no cost) as much as we can.  If they can see Christ in us, it points them to ‘THE WAY’ of the Cross.

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https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/in-touch/in-touch-mar-1-2012.html

SALVATION… anytime, anywhere, 24/7

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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

 

 

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

 

Chill Out, Mom!

FA196F8F-96AE-42D9-BBB0-4C820F458972We all know what is happening all around us and will have to deal with it in one way or another. If you don’t know what is happening, then your head is stuck in the sand. Get it out and pay attention.

I know for myself, I am tired of hearing and reading about this Coronavirus, of which you are reading about in my writing. I want it over and done, let’s get back to our daily routine. Sadly, we haven’t even hit the peak of this madness.

Why do our children, like my grown son, a millennial, just shrug this off? Mom, it’s nothing, don’t fear the hype. Chill out! My thought… DO NOT tell me to chill out! 6951BD5D-C8D5-472C-8B5B-CE9D1CF9C677

Have you ever just wanted to reach through the phone and jerk a knot in their behind?

The past seven days he has been in Florida working and a enjoying a mini vacation. I do believe his head has been in the sand.  Trying to encourage him to go get some canned goods, etc., and not to forget toilet paper, which apparently is a must through this ordeal. Maybe if and/or when he goes to the local store(s) and see for himself the empty shelves, he will believe me.

As a mom, no matter what age our children are, I have found you still worry, even though you pray for God’s hedge of protection to cover them.

While I am not in a panic, I know many are and fear is rampant on the faces and hopelessness only to grow in the days ahead. Trying to express, without fear in my tone, but the urgency, encourage and push him to action. This may be one time, yet again, that he has to learn on his own and this mom has to back off to trust the Lord through the process.B42F5D6B-EB20-4C02-8BC3-8B7C9E9BA442

It is so hard at times, like God needs my help. You know?  I, of course, know better. My faith will grow, even though tears may fall and the cries of my heart in prayers that are never ending for my child. His faith will grow, too, in God and in his mom, realizing he should have listened

I do plan to have a box for him of food to use if needed and no doubt he will roll his eyes when I drop this off over the weekend. Surely, he will not tell me to chill out while in his presence. Let’s hope not.

Children! You just got to love them.

I know years later, he will regret moments between him and I and of not spending more time with me and knowing his mom better in his adult years.  I think we probably all go through this.

So for now, I’m…C86903F3-4519-46FD-9FBC-0FA8603CBD38

 

https://www1.cbn.com/parenting/parenting-out-of-faith-not-fear

 

How to Trust God With Your Adult Children

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Anxiousness Around

EF49D8C9-FB31-4C0A-B905-1064D2597FDBLast night as my sister and I messaged back and forth about this, that and the other, I mentioned all the anxiousness around us. Many are downright panicked with the possibility of being quarantined fourteen days, which affects each and everyone of us. Knowing, too, many work and live paycheck to paycheck, which may or may not be available. Fear of the what ifs come into play. What if I cannot pay my mortgage/rent? What if I cannot pay for electricity, water and food. Now food brings up a whole other fear, as the shelves are bare from day to day. Depending upon how many children are under the roof, adults, pets, etc., the fear increases. Many are thinking maybe they will be okay but many maybe not, as this will definitely be a hardship.

As we continued our messaging, we discussed our churches and if canceled. Neither were canceled but the greeting to one another should only be a smile and a kind word, no handshakes. Many will still hug and shake A794D776-0DF3-4FFD-92B2-BFC9DE0E60A2hands, which I plan to observe today and will probably do myself. Another, maybe, maybe not. The fear of being around others right now is on the back of our minds, even though we try to have faith, all will be fine. Probably so. How will you feel when you hear a sneeze or a cough from one within the suggested six foot radius?

So this morning, reading scripture and pondering the word anxiousness, I search the Bible verses for such and tagging along with that is fear and faith. The Bible is full of verses, instruction for each one of us, like He knew this would be a weak link. How about that!723C1619-8876-4851-871A-BF13E51379F9

I always thought I had a lot of faith and was optimistic in my life. Yes, there were many times I was not but I always tried my best. Knowing I have had to place my faith in God through the years, He was always there to calm my fears. I’d brush off the negative thoughts, fear and get back up.

Searching and knowing I have and had faith, I had to laugh and remember many of my counseling sessions. While I could put on a good face and encourage others always, being in counseling though, she would see and hear my fears, the anxiousness and cries not knowing what to do. I trusted her enough to let her see the good, bad and the ugly side of me that only the Lord would know of me.

Perhaps that thought was to pull me down, as the enemy would love for me to fall into a pit of despair during this time. Instead I continued on my quest to search the Word of God to increase my faith and decided to write to hopefully encourage you and increase your faith.

Bible Verse Adult Coloring Pages Printable Printables Mintreet New PrintableWhat is there to lose except sleepless nights and stress? Trust the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul. Dig your heals in and hold onto His Word. If you just pick one scripture that speaks to you and gives you hope. For many years, and still, the one that has kept me standing was that He would never leave me nor forsake me. With that, I knew I was never alone, even though I had my doubts at times but that was no surprise to Him. Knowing and saying many times, He knows my name and He knows where I am, was and still like my motto. The same is true for you, He knows your name and where you are. He will never leave you or forsake you. He loves YOU!

As we go about life in the days ahead of the uncertainty, whether it be with this virus affecting our daily routine and seeing the panic on faces all around us or in our everyday life once it all settles, just Trust Him.

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Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”

Luke 12:28-30  “But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.”

The Good News: Let your mind be at ease, God’s love surrounds you.

God actually commands us not to fear, or worry. He knows the enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories.  

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/what-does-i-will-never-leave-you-nor-forsake-you-mean-in-the-bible.html

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