Encouraging Words Blog 

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What Goes Around … Again

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It has been a bit over a year since I penned these words.  The need for them is still strong in me today.  With my mom's health rapidly failing and her memory fading to an alarming degree, the days get more and more challenging for our family.  My own health issues escalate with stress and my allergic reactions are flaring.  I hear the word of Joshua 1 echoing over and over ….

" … only be strong and courageous."  …

As the Dominos Fall

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I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Psalm 27:13

I sometimes feel like my life is a series of dominos.  One life event seems to trigger another and we often fall from crisis to crisis.  Some of the life events are in the good things category.  I was able to do my art show yesterday with a minimum of health issues resulting.  Yet, the domino trail didn't stop there.  …

Revisiting: Testing, Testing

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Life seems very much to be a test right now.  Questioning my ability to actually do my art show due to health issues and my mother's recent hospitalization and rapid health decline have me evaluating my responses to both.  I needed to reread this post today.  For those of you who have read it before, I pray the words are words you need.  For my newer readers, I pray the same. 

 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction." …

Friends We've Never Met

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but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 

I realize many of you may have read this poem before.  I had read it a while ago.  It was sent to me by a gal that has become a dear friend though our internet connection.  Most of my friends are online friends and I felt it fitting to pass it on through the blog, as so many of you have come to be my friends through the years. So, to each of you …

Line upon Line

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“To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” Isaiah 28:10, ESV

Ever hear the saying 'Inch by inch, anythings a cinch"? 

I've not always found things to be easy inch by inch - but at least do-able.

Yesterday, I was reading my online devotional and saw Isaiah 28:10:  a verse I didn't recall at having read before.  

Lessons in Letting Go

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the    wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) 

God is teaching me just how hard it is to let go.  I hold on to material things.  I hold on to hurts.  I hold on to losses.  I hold on to the past.

This has not been an easy realization. It took some heavy-duty hurts for me to see this character trait.  …

Starting the Day Angry

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For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Proverbs 23:7

The first thing I notice when I wake up is that I'm freezing.  The temperature dropped during the night and we didn't have the furnace turned on. My ribs are hurting. My body hates the cold.

The second thing that I notice is that my feet are still swollen and hurting.  Keeping them up at night usually helps. It didn't.  The cold again?  I'm not sure.

I look at the clock.  …

Revisiting: Forget Me Not

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget,  I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”  (Isaiah 49: 15-16 NIV)

The path of chronic illness can be a lonely one.  Sometimes you are physically isolated from others.  At other times, there may be people around you, but they simply do not "get" chronic illness. 

When We Resist

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Some days I have just plain old odd thoughts.

One hit me yesterday as I was reading on my iPhone Bible.  

I had read todays verse:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

And it got me to thinking.

You see, Sometimes I get it backwards.  I submit to whims and desires that do not serve me well, and I resist the things that can help me.

How contrary we humans are!

And God knows we are.

Focusing on the Wrong Thing

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But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 

I am taking a step out in faith and have signed up to put my miniature pastels in a day-long art show where I will also be demonstrating pastel painting.

I don't know if I am being brave - or foolish.

My show in November of last year, albeit a two-day showing, really took it out of me for months and months.

Revisiting: Why Is This All Happening to Me?

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In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.                     1 Peter 5:6-7

My most current reading is  "The Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett (author of The Secret Garden). …

What Happens When the Caretaker Gets Tired

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Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.  Isaiah 40:28

Somedays, I am just plain tired.

Worn out.

I berate myself for the things I can't do simply because I'm tired.

I should be able to keep going, right?

Such was my train of thought a few days ago.  As I flipped through my journal, I realized  just how much my life has changed from that of being a giver - to being a taker.  …

Revisiting: When "I Can't Do It" Comes to Call

As stress increases in our life, we can often feel like we just can't keep going - we see no way to complete the challenging path ahead.  Is that a bad thing?  Or a good one …

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

Hiding God's Word

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I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 ESV

Stored up any of God's word lately?

I know memorizing Scripture can be terribly difficult even for those of us who don't deal with brain fog and memory issues.  (I'm amazed at how my short-term memory has gotten sooooo short term!)

But I do think it's good to try to memorize as best we can.  For some, that might just be reading and re-reading and getting familiar with, rather than out and out word-by-word memorization. …

Revisiting: The Old Days (no pun intended)

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Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?"  For it is not wise to ask such questions."  Ecclesiastes 7:10

Every so often I stop and think about the way my body used to function.  Where I am now is a far cry from being the competitive dance/figure skater I once was.  

My physical therapists words echo in my mind.  "We have to get you moving.  Things are locking up.  You have to move as much as you can."

Revisiting: Stop It

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A revisit for today.  This was written two years ago - almost to the day!  I can see how many of my issues are ongoing and that I need to continually seek God - and learn more and more to cease striving with what I cannot control. It continues to be true that my dearest lessons come from my deepest pain.

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

Joy of the Lord … Right Now? Really???

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Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10 

Confession.

I didn't wake up rejoicing in the Lord this morning.

I awakened abruptly from a nightmare about my husband's death.

I awakened to swelling and itching on my face even though I had my early morning allergy meds.

I took a second pill and I'm still reacting to whatever it is that is sending me into a high-histamine state.

How did I wake up?

30 Things - Invisible Illness Week

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Ok, I'm a day late and a dollar short on this one.  This past week  has been the Invisible Illness Awareness week sponsored by Lisa Copen's Rest Ministries.  I've written devotionals for RM in the past, and in fact it was through Lisa's devotionals that I began writing.  I'd still like to add to her "30 Things" meme.  So here, goes.

30 THINGS ABOUT MY INVISIBLE ILLNESS YOU MAY NOT KNOW

1. The illness I live with is: Wow.  …

God Breathed

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7 NIV)

I made a comment to someone that I needed to get a devotional written for today.  

Their comment . . . ?  

“Why?  Why do you have to write?”  

That’s a good question.

I hope you will humor me as I take a brief detour here.

Have you ever really focused on your own breathing? …

Revisiting: Grumble, Grumble, Grumble

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See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

When I am having what I call "heart issues," it is prudent for me to take it easy and not get over stressed either emotionally or physically.  (Far easier said than done!)  

I find, on days like this, that I spend a lot of time thinking - a lot of time in self-examination.  …

Revisiting: When We Aren't In Control


For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise  the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

One thing I learned during my years in the psychology profession is that human beings have a huge need for control.  I had a favorite prof during my school years who used to drum into our heads that the one thing we, as humans, cannot tolerate is ambiguity.  

Taking His Word For It

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Sometimes my "Bible study" time is a bit random. Not really random in how often (I try to find some time daily), but random in the things I find - the way things strike me.

For some reason, my phone displayed this verse when I opened my YouVersion app.  No, it wasn't the daily verse, so I'm not sure why it opened on that particular verse.  This is what I read:

"There things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  …

Never … Ever … Give Up

This is a "rerun" from a few years ago.  I felt it would be a good devotional to post again. 

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.  James 5:11 (New American Standard Bible)

There is a story I once heard about Winston Churchill.  While it has its basis in truth, the version told to me was not quite accurate.  …

When Everything Changes

Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

I once heard a song, title long forgotten that contained the words, “Just when you think that you know what you’ve got – that’s when everything changes.”  How well that describe chronic illness.  I’ve heard chronic illness described as the “etc” condition.  Everything chronic.  So many of us have a myriad of challenges we deal with.

Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard for me to keep my thinking flexible.  …

Until I Have Done What I Have Promised

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I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Genesis 28:15 NIV)

Have you ever had a verse from the Bible just reach out and grab you?  This is one of those verses for me.  I am thinking that God’s promises to His children are becoming a theme for me right now.  I am seeing promise after promise after promise in His word.

Forced to Bloom

I have been repeating this verse to myself.  Yesterday, I smiled as I saw it in a devotional.  I realize that I need to remain confident.  If God is in my life, there is still good in my life - even if I'm not able to see it right now.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13

I sometimes wish there was an “easier, softer way” to maneuver through this life. …

Cries in the Night

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With all that is happening in our world right now, it's easy to slip into fear.  Are we on the verge of war?  What's going to happen in our own country - in others?  As I contemplated how easily I fall into fear, I felt that this was a good devotion to revisit.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

Some moments, the fear takes over.

I wake startled - not sure if it was from my own cries for help or the rapid movement of my husband.

Old Self - New Self

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I'm realizing there are more changes in my life than those brought on by illness.  I've a new identity without my husband.  I had to carve out a new one after my daughter died.  It is almost as if, day-by-day, I am called to seek out that new self - to be made new every morning.  How about you?  Are you seeking out that new self God calls us to be?

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. …

 © deni weber 2010-2015