Encouraging Words Blog 


When You Have to Live in Shadow

tree sunlight

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Isaiah 60:19

The past few days have been interesting.  "Interesting" is the word I use when I want to not be completely honest about how I feel.  So, it tells me something when I find it myself using it.

We've had what is now known in our family as "a medical adventure."  …

Lost Your Balance?

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4, NIV)

One of the challenges I face is the result of loss of hearing and balance in my left ear.  No one was able to figure out just why it happened – a virus or a small stroke possibly, but the damage was considered irreversible.

I needed to relearn how to balance myself, how to walk again.  It was a progression from flat in bed, to propped up, to wheelchair, to walker, to cane and finally some independent walking.  …

Do You Keep Looking Back?

lipstick mirror

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.  (Psalm 16:11)

Some days I feel as if I have lost all sense of purpose in this life. When I have little energy or strength, I sometimes feel I would much rather just curl up in bed than face the world.

The worst times are the times when I start to compare myself to others, or look at what my life was like seven years ago.

Are You a Slug or a Snail?

resting snail

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:28

As I was searching for a photo for yesterday's blog post on patience, I ran across this photo.  Those of you who have followed my postings for a while already know I am a big fan of using visual imagery to reinforce how I think about my walk with God.  I've used fishing poles, boats, storms, and found out about submarines as ways to visualize God in our lives.

How Patiently Do You Wait?

resting bear

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.  Psalm 37: 7 NASB

I don’t know which of these two concepts are harder to do.  I guess they are pretty intertwined. My biggest problem?  Being patient. 

I have heard that the most “dangerous” prayer to pray is to ask God for patience, because patience isn’t something that is simply bestowed on us - we need to learn it.  And how do we learn it?  By being in situations that allow us the opportunity to learn to be patient.  

First Thing in the Morning

Morning on Lakejpg

I once read a book titled, “Contact: The First Five Minutes”  that proposed that the first five minutes of any interaction sets the tone for the whole interaction and possibly the whole relationship.  You know, the whole first impressions concept.

I have also heard that the way you start your day helps determine how you will view that day.  That so brings me back to one of my favorite verses in Scripture.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  

The Weakest Link

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.                   (Ephesians 6:10 NASB)

There are days when I wonder how in the world I will make it through.  I feel as if I do not have the strength or energy to do the things that must be done.  But you know what?  I have made it through every single day so far.

And I have come to know that it is NOT because of me.  My strength, indeed must come from God.  …

What's so Great About Today?

Give us today our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11, NIV)

Did you know that the word “today” appears over 200 times in the Bible.  While we must take our past and our future into account - “today” is where we live.  It can be hard to live in the moment.

If it is a painful moment, we want it to pass quickly.  If it is a good moment, we want to hold on to it, yet that moment soon belongs to the past.  

For those of us with chronic conditions, it can be hard to stay in today.  …

Help others? Who ... me??


Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah Psalm 68:19 (New International Version)

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (New International Version) 

God does not ask us to do for others what He does not do for us.  I find that amazing.  He wants to be there for us - just as He asks us to be there for one another.

I belong to an on-line chat group of folks with chronic illnesses and the support and encouragement I find there is amazing.  …

Casting Burdens

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)

Some days are difficult physically.  Some days are difficult emotionally.  I have come to realize that both are able to be handled spiritually.  While I know that God may not necessarily make the physical or emotional problems go away, I can come to a place of peace if I give them over to God. 

Encouraging Words from "Mountain Wings"

Oh! How I wish these words were mine! As I read them I was think of how accurately they describe life with chronic illness and the roller coaster ride it puts us on! But never, ever did I think of the analogy of waves and a submarine. I hope you enjoy this devotional! It is one I get daily and often find just what I need when I need it!


MountainWings A MountainWings Moment

When it Feels "Dumb" to Keep Hoping

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

A reader left a comment on yesterday's post that I so agree with!  (Thanks, Lynne!) She wrote:

 "As my health seems to worsen rather than improve it's so natural to get to a point where unbelief sets in. Not that he is not able, but perhaps he is unwilling. Holding onto hope can feel downright dumb!!!!!!" 

Amen to that.  …

How Can I NOT Worry?


Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.  Psalm 37:8 (New International Version)

Stop being angry.

Stop seeking revenge.

Don’t worry.

Isn’t it interesting that God puts anger and wrath and “fretting” in the same setting as leading to evil?  I looked up the definition of the word “fret.”

fret:       verb ( fretted , fretting )                                                                    

Read Any Good Books Lately?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

I’d guess most of us have heard the stereotype about men not wanting to read the instructions before putting a project together.  While this may or may not be true, it does make me stop and wonder if I make as good a use of Scripture as I could.

If the World Were Like Me ...

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Philippians 2:5

I’ve mentioned before my penchant for quotes.  I read one today that stopped me dead in my tracks.  You know - the kind of words that simply pierce your heart?

If the world were like me, what kind of a world would this world be?               Author Unknown

I stopped - read it, and then read it again.  Oh my!  The implications of those words!  …

When Bumblebees Fly

So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)

Another crisis looms large in front of me.  I close my eyes.  I find myself thinking, “No.  No, I just can’t keep doing this.  It is too much.  It’s impossible.  Just impossible.”

I sigh.  Once again, things look so bleak.  “This one is impossible.  I just can’t keep going.”

And I Bring Glory to God ... How?


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 

Quotable and Memorable

I enjoy reading quotes.  I’ve often thought of “collecting” them.  

When I was an intern at a counseling center, there was a gal who had a day-by-day calendar open on her desk.  It was dated about 30 years ago.  I was intrigued as there was writing on each page.  I picked up the calendar to look at it - and realized there was a different quote written on each and every page. 

I asked her about it and she smiled and said it was something she had done as a Christmas gift for her husband thirty years ago.  …

This Roller Coaster Ride of a Life

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?  Psalm 121:1 (NIV)

Facing physical challenges on a daily basis has been likened to living on a roller coaster.  Some people like roller coasters – I never have.  I hate the feeling of rapidly heading downward into rapid twists and turns.

Reminds me of life.

There are days when I feel “almost” good.  I feel as if I am climbing into the land of good health. …

More ... In Spite Of or Because Of?

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4: 7-8)

I enjoy getting feedback from readers.  Most often they come in the form of email responses. Sometimes, these responses lead me a greater understanding of what I wrote.

When "Keeping on" Seems Impossible

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Psalm 73:23-25

What assurances God gives His children.  There are times I need to hear words like these so much!  Life can be so challenging, so difficult.  Yet, look at that promise.  God holds us by the hand.  …

Is Your Spirit Broken by Your Illness?


My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:17

"It's easy to talk about sacrifice in a burst of feeling, but it's the every day shrivel and grind that's hard."  Mrs. Brandeis Fanny Herself

For me that kind of sums up living with chronic illness.  You know - the chronic part of it.  It's so ... so ... daily. Some days are worse than others.  Some are just blah. …

God is the Best Heart Monitor

sand heart

Repost from Rest Ministries

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” …

On My Knees - Once Again

Raised Hands

I wrote these words during a difficult time.  They seem so fitting for me today.  I'm praying that, even though repeated, they will bring encouragement to you today.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, Psalm 30:11

To say that my life is not turning out the way I expected it to is a vast understatement.  Even plans I had a few short years ago are now on the distant horizon, maybe never to be realized.  …

Still in His Grip

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. …

Hidden in My Heart

If you have been to the Encouraging Words website sidebar, you know I have been following along with Do Not Depart's Hiding Romans 8 in my heart.

The trek is almost over and the journey of trying to memorize Romans 8 will theoretically be at an end.

I wasn't quite aware of what I was getting into - and how God would speak to me and teach me as I went on that journey.  

I learned that my brain doesn't memorize anything very well any more.  …

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