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Showing posts from May, 2018

Just Keep Falling

Can I admit something that sounds terrible?I haven’t felt like praying lately.For a long while, actually.I have been struggling a lot with thoughts of Prayer doesn’t really work anyway.God doesn’t respond.It doesn’t make much difference, so why wrestle and wrestle in prayer if the same disappointing thing is just going to happen anyway?May as well just save myself the struggle and the pain that comes with hoping.He’s just been so silent that I don’t feel like I can keep talking and talking.

            (FYI, this is a repost from my other blog, a post I wrote about four years ago.  It's has a lot of the same "life facts" from "Where I'm Coming From ..." which I posted at the beginning of this blog.  In fact, that post is a shortened version of this one, so no need to read both.  But this post takes a deeper look at the spiritual lessons I've learned, so I felt it was worth reposting.)
The thing is, I know the truth in my head.I know He’s listening.I know …

Get Comfortable

In our country, we are told over and over again things like: “Follow your heart.” “Make your own way.” “Never take ‘no’ for an answer.” “You can be anything you want or do anything you want.” “Apply yourself and all your dreams will come true.” (How else could we have so many reality shows where people want to be singers?)
We are told that anything is possible.We can make it happen by dreaming big and reaching high and wanting it badly enough.In fact, look at all the commercials and advertisements that tell us that “We deserve it.”It doesn’t matter what it is – a luxury car, a vacation, a break, a new phone . . . “We deserve it.”And it doesn’t matter how little effort or hard work we put in . . . “We deserve it.” But while these statements can be encouraging and can get young people to dream big and try hard and aim high (and become greedy), I think they can be misleading and give false hope.For many of us, no matter how high we aim, we can’t seem to reach the moon.Our great efforts fizzle…

My Panic Attack (repost)

(Reposted from my blog, https://myimpressionisticlife.blogspot.com, from 2016.A really bad year for me.)


I wrote this in the post called “Random Facts about Me.  Just for Fun!” on my other blog.  It’s #64 on the list.  But I think it deserves its own post.  So I am reposting it here, because it fits with the theme of this blog.If you’ve ever had a panic attack, maybe you can relate.  I hope not, though.  Because panic attacks suck!

            64.I had a small panic attack three days ago (May 30, 2016).  It’s the first one I’ve ever had and I don’t plan on ever having another one.  [I also once had a minor nervous breakdown during my parents’ very messy divorce.  It was so bad that the only way I could start breathing and stop crying was to flee from everything, to jump in the car with my husband and two kids and run away to the middle of nowhere for a little while.]

Is Depression a Sin?

This issue came up recently when I was talking with some other women.Someone had read off a list of sins and it included depression.And one of the women asked the rest of us what we thought about that.As someone who struggles with depressed feelings a lot, it got me really wondering if it’s right to call it “sin.”  (FYI, this is reposted from my other my other blogs, because it's an important one to me.)
Of course, the word depression doesn’t appear in the Bible, so this issue requires some conjecture, some outside-the-box thinking.But my first reaction to this question was:“Calling it a sin isn’t going to help anyone who is struggling with it.You can’t just say, ‘You are sinning and you need to stop it,’ and expect that someone is going to be able to go, “Oh, you’re right.I’ll stop being depressed and start feeling joyful.’”
It doesn’t happen that way.And it may actually be more harmful to talk like that.In some ways, I think calling depression a sin is irresponsible.It will only a…

Falling Apart at the Feet of God

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“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
“Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.”(Psalm 9:10)

Having grown up with a biological dad who had almost nothing to do with me and two ex-step-dads who I lost contact with eventually (one after a really, REALLY messy divorce) and a current step-dad who . . . well, I am just too old for a new dad . . . I have never really felt like I belonged to a dad, like I really mattered to one. I grew up always feeling like the outsider, a step-child who didn’t quite fit in or have a place to belong.I never felt like I could be myself with a dad, like I was fully loved for who I was.It was always just a matter of time before they left. And this caused a terrible fear of abandonment and a fear of being a burden to anyone.It caused me to lean only on myself and to polish up my outside so that I earned love and approval and acceptance.  It caused m…

"Bring me pain, Lord, if it brings You glory!"

I’ve always found the statements of “I want the Lord to do whatever He wants in my life to bring Him the most glory possible, even if it means bringing me pain” to be inspirational …
and a bit “off.”

When I was 21 (half my lifetime ago), I went to Papua New Guinea for a summer on a mission trip.And I told my mom that I picked PNG over any other place because it was so remote and primitive.I said that I wanted to have everything taken away to really challenge me, to grow my faith in new ways.And I meant it.I really did.My heart was in the right place.
But my mom said something wise, something that stuck.She said, “Don’t ask for that!Never ask for that!Because He could take away everything – your legs, your eyesight, your health, your home, etc.”
Wow!So true.
As I thought about it, I realized that I didn’t really want God to do “whatever.”I didn’t want Him to take away all my comforts, just the ones I could do without for a summer.I didn’t want to be broken into pieces, just smooth off a cou…

The Spiritual Loneliness of a Messy Faith

As I have walked this journey of faith, I learned something that I never read in any book on faith:
The deeper you go in your walk with the Lord, the lonelier it can get.
The higher you climb on the mountain of faith, the less people you’ll find climbing with you.


First off, other people can’t go with you into the hardest parts of your journey - when you are struggling the most with your faith, with the hardest trials, with the deepest truths and doubts and fears.Those struggles are between you and yourself and the Lord.

If I'm Not Worried ...

My 11-year-old son has a tendency to get ultra-concerned about any sound he think he hears downstairs while we are trying to go to sleep upstairs.  

Several times a week, he comes into our room and says, "What was that sound?"  Or "Did you hear that thud?"  Or "It sounds like someone's walking around downstairs?  Did you lock all the doors?"

And of course, every time I've gone to check downstairs, it's been fine.

The last time he came into my room worried over a sound he thought he heard, I sighed.  And in exasperation I said, "Ryder, you need to relax.  My room is closer to downstairs than yours is anyway, so I can hear better than you can.  And I didn't hear anything.  I'm the mom; let me worry about it.  And if I'm not worried about it, then you don't have to be either."

If I'm not worried about it, then you don't have to be either.

Oh, how familiar that message felt.  It is the exact same message God has been t…

Using Scripture in Spiritual Battles

If there is one thing I have been learning as I have faced the spiritual battles of depression and anxiety, it’s this:I NEED GOD’S WORD.
I used to see God’s Word as a good guidebook for life.And, yes, it is that.And, yes, it is a history lesson and a prophecy of things to come and God’s message of love, redemption, and salvation.
But it is still more than all that.
Ephesians 6:17 identifies the Word as the “sword of the Spirit.”Along with prayer, it is the only offensive weapon we have in the spiritual battle.The other pieces of “armor” (read Ephesians 6) are defensive, meant to help us resist the attacks of Satan.But prayer and the Word (and the Holy Spirit) are meant to help us advance against him, to strike back.
The Word is a sword . . . and yet so often I treat it like a pillow.Like a nice soft, comforting, cushy thing to lay my head down on at night to help me sleep better.I read the Bible, get some good advice, learn about God’s love and forgiveness, check “Bible reading” off my da…

Praying Scripture: When Anxiety Strikes

Prayer for when Anxiety Strikes Psalm 55:22:“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Philippians 4:6-7:“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 minds in Christ Jesus.” John 14:27:“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives.Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Lord, You say that we can present to You all of our concerns and needs.You say that You will never let us fall, that You will sustain us, and that we will be filled with Your peace, if we are praying with thanksgiving.Well, I am pouring out my fears and doubts and concerns right now to You.I am acknowledging how weak I am and that I need You.I am casting my cares on You because they are too heavy for me.They are too much for me to handle and I need Your h…

Praying Scripture: Resting in the Lord

Prayer about Resting in the Lord Matthew 6:25-34: “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they?Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? . . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Proverbs 3:5-6:“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Psalm 46:1-3, 10:“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and t…