Encouraging Words Blog 


The Crown of Life

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  (James 1:12, NIV)

Do you ever wish that when you woke up one morning you’d find all of your challenges gone?  Just ... gone?  I know I have prayed for that.  And yet, as I look back on this difficult journey, I see many blessings I would have missed out on.

Thank You For Being A Friend

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Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones. Psalm 116:15

Every once in a while this whole "chronic illness" thing hits home with a vengeance.  Somehow you get used to the uncertainty and you take all the problems and illnesses and challenges and they become the new normal.

Then stark reality breaks through.

For me, it was in the form of the news that a good internet friend of mine passed away suddenly yesterday.

Revisiting: What Chicken Little and I Have in Common

Fear seems to be the theme for my week thus far.  As I was rereading some of my older devotionals, I realized how many times I've written about facing fears.  This one, while the same topic as yesterday, seems to express my feelings about fear quite well.  Hope you don't mind another writing on the same topic as yesterday.  :)

 I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  (Psalm 34:4, NIV)


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.  (Joshua 1:9)

"I believe that fear is something common to each one of us who faces any kind of chronic challenge.  We each find different things that help us.

For example, I have some Christian affirmation CD's I listen to.  My goal is to listen to one in the morning and one at night.  …

Rejoice? Today?

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

Some days it seems difficult to even fathom the thought of rejoicing.  This is one of those days.  A visit to the doctor brought an unexpected diagnosis and this morning, is for me, a difficult one.

I realize I need to find something to cling to today.  As I was lying here, the above verse came to my mind.  Rejoice?  Today?

The answers comes back quietly. 

Revisiting: Negatively Yours,

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  Proverbs 23:7 

Have you ever noticed that like begets like?  If you are kind to someone, chances are they will be kind back.  If you begin your relationship with someone on an angry note, the relationship often stays “angry.”

I think the same holds true for our thought life.  This sentiment is echoed in Joyce Meyer’s “Battlefield of the Mind.”  In Meyer’s book she states, “If we have a negative mind, we will have a negative life.”  …

Revisiting: The Juggling Act

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  

Matthew 11:28

I never knew you could juggle from a reclining position.

You can.

I know.

I’ve been juggling too much for far too long now.

Somehow, when I thought about living with chronic illness, I thought it would be quiet and calm and ….. boring.  I didn’t think I’d have anything to do anymore. I was wrong.

My responsibilities as a mom didn’t come to a screeching halt.  …

Revisiting: Who Are You Today?

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5 

Christ said to his disciples, “Who do you say I am?”  This statement got me to thinking in a different direction.  Who do people say I am?  Better still - who do I say I am?

What is my chosen identity?  Do I identify with my illnesses?  …

Because God is Good


“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19

Sometimes I wonder why I feel I was led to write this blog. Not the actual writing of it, but what gave me the conviction that words I might write could encourage others.

I mean, why me?  What have I got to offer?

I'm beginning to see part of the reason.

Revisiting: Amazing Grace


This is a good revisit for me today.  With all the stress in our lives right now, my heart irregularities have popped up again.  I need to hold tightly on to this verse and realize I am delivered from ALL my fears.  Have a Christ-filled day.

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me, And delivered me from all my fears."  Psalm 34:4

I am working my way through the book of Psalms.  It amazes me how many verses jump out at me when I need them. …

~Dancing with God~


While not exactly a "guest post," this was sent to me by Fiona Burrows who is a frequent contributor to the blog. It ties in so well with the "Shall We Dance" post, and I thought you might enjoy reading this.  :)  I am not sure who to cite as the author, but I certainly appreciate their insights!

~Dancing with God~


                  When I meditated on the word GUIDANCE,                  

               I was drawn to "dance" at the end of the word.              

Revisiting: Times to Remember; Times to Pray

I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?  (Psalm 77:11 NIV)

I like to keep a prayer journal.  I keep it on my computer, now – and I discovered something that helps encourage me when things get tough.  I write down my prayer requests – one to a line – and when they are answered, I write out the answer and go back and highlight the answer.

Shall We Dance?


'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' Jeremiah 29:11

Modern science is amazing.

It has enabled a medication to eradicate all of the leukemia cells in my husband's bone marrow.

In many, many ways, it is a miracle.

It's easy to write miracles off as other things: science, luck, coincidence.

But in my eye's they are still God-driven events.

Revisiting: The Impossible Path


And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Have you ever been in a place where you feel as if there is no reasonable place to turn?  You look everywhere,  but you can't see a solution.  And boy - are you looking!

Every alternative has something majorly wrong with it.  …

Struggling With "Why?"

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There are days when I struggle with the "Why?" of it all.  As I watch what is happening with my husband as he battles with leukemia, I find myself struggling with the why's of it all.

Why more battles with cancer?  Why more pain?  Why is the treatment so hard on him?  Why am I sick right now and unable to visit?

I find myself not knowing how to pray.  

I go to my daily verse review and find these verses from Romans 8.

Revisiting: When Life Dissolves Away

My life dissolves and weeps itself away for heaviness; raise me up and strengthen me according to [the promises of] Your word.   Psalm 119:28 (Amplified Bible)

Six years ago, an act of simply looking for a misplaced water bottle caused a driver to accidentally rear-end my car. I was stopped and she was bettering 50 mph.  I praise God that there were no on-coming cars that day, as my vehicle was jettisoned across the road- through a chain link fence that surrounded a small cemetery – and knocked down a cemetery monument before coming to a horrendously noisy, jarring halt.

Giving Up?


Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3

This was my daily verse from YouVersion.  I read it.  Then I reread it.  

There are a lot of times I wonder if the things I am doing are the same things God would have me do.

I've been doing something new (for me) lately when I see that quandary pop up in front of me.

I simply give it to God.

I've done that with this blog.

I'm doing that with my artwork.

Managing Pain Through God

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Todays guest poster is Sandy Platt - who is one of my favorite devotional writers.  I love the words she uses in the post: "His strength is perfect when our strength is gone." I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did and that you find comfort in our Lord today.

"Find rest, O my soul in God alone; my hope comes from Him...Trust Him at all times, O people pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."  …

Revisiting: Beneath the Surface

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If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Luke 12:26-27

I love flowers.  In particular, I delight in wildflowers.  I’ve written before about the beauty that surfaces year after year in the land surrounding the home we live in.  …

New Post: For To You I Entrust My Life

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Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. 

New Post: I Choose You


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

My Father and My Lord,

You tell us, as your children, to come before you in prayer with thanksgiving and supplication, and we will find Your blessed peace.

You know exactly what is on my heart tonight.

I have no idea what your good and perfect will entails, Lord.  Yet, I ask for that.  …

Revisiting: Nighttime Thoughts

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

Sometimes, night time is difficult for me.  As the sun goes down and the world goes from colorful to dim hues to greying shadows and finally to darkness, I often think of how much more I enjoy the sunlight.

Things seem “different” in the darkness.  Shadows take on odd and sometimes unsettling shapes.  I recently saw a children’s book that dealt with helping a child to understand that the sometimes scary shadows are the same things we see in daylight, but our eyes “play tricks” on us and we perceive them as something completely different.

Guest Post: Rainbows in the Night


Rainbows and I seem to have a special affinity.  I've had what I call "Rainbow Reassurances" twice since my husband's health decline started.  I sometimes go for months or years without them.  Yet, God knows when I need them.  Now to have Lynn Severance send me this writing as a guest post is my third assurance.  And when God speaks to me in threes, I know I better heed what he is saying!  Thanks Lynn, for this wonderful post!  …

Revisiting: But I Don't Want Help!


This post was written out of my own frustrations, but I'm hearing the same words come out of my husband's mouth lately.  It's interesting being on the other side of the fence as I watch him deal with so many problems. I'm seeing how hard it is for someone to go through having health limitations and how rebellious we can be - often to our own detriment! 

But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinketh upon me: Thou art my help and my deliverer; Make no tarrying, O my God.  …

Revisiting: Stop it!

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

What I  think I like most about the Bible is that it is not a book of “Stop it!”  Now, don’t get me wrong, God gives us very clear instructions on the things that we are to stop doing; but He is also just as clear as to the things we are to start doing.  

What comes to mind today are our words.  …

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