Monthly Archives: September 2012

When You’re Tired And Want To Give Up

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I wrote the words to the song below in 2002.  It came to me in a matter of 15 minutes.  It’s my version of what God wanted to say to me about my situation at that time.  My life was a different set of circumstances then.  The issues I had seem so small compared to what I’ve faced since writing these words.  I had no idea what was coming down the road–a baby, loss of a major job, moving twice, starting a business, another job loss, friends and family passing away, getting older, making new friends, financial struggles, fears, sleeplessness, joys, another move and more.  The words I wrote in 2002 are even more meaningful to me in 2012.   I hope they will have meaning for you and bring you peace.

Always There For You

I know life can be a struggle.

It doesn’t always turn out the way you think you want.

Life isn’t always easy;

You wonder if you have it within you to go on.

 

I know some hopes and dreams miss your expectations-

things don’t always go as you planned.

Struggles can be overbearing- you feel out of control in your life.

 

Well when you’re tired and want to give up,

When you can’t go any further,

Let me carry you along the way.

I’ll give you what you need, lift you to a higher ground,

I’m always there for you,

Though you feel you may not know it.

 

I know life is ever changing.

The vision you held dear, is nowhere to be found.

Sometimes life’s for rearranging.

Trust that it can be better than you have planned.

 

I know it’s hard to let go of things,

But I promise it’s the way to  make life easier each day.

Let me hold your hand and lead you,

I’ll never let you go for I’ve loved you all your life.

 

Well when you’re tired and want to give up,

When you can’t go any further,

Let me carry you along the way.

I’ll give you what you need, lift you to a higher ground,

I’m always there for you,

Though you feel you may not know it.

 

Rest in my arms.

I’ll shelter you from harm.

Let my Spirit wrap around your soul.

Take shelter in My word-

It’s there to lead you on…

 

Well when you’re tired and want to give up,

When you can’t go any further,

Let me carry you along the way.

I’ll give you what you need, lift you to a higher ground,

I’m always there for you,

Though you feel you may not know it.

 

I’m always there for you…I’m always there for you…I’m always there for you…

He’s ALWAYS there for you.

Fear and Faith Can’t Co-exist

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I want to sleep longer- it’s Saturday after all.  I can’t.  My mind is spinning and the more it spins the more questions race through. I interviewed for  a new job, I need a new job, I’ll have to give up a lot, we are selling our house, where are we going to live, how much money will I earn, how much money do I have to earn, would I rather wear a red shirt and khaki pants, am I selling myself short, do I deserve a better job, why didn’t they like me, what if they did like me, what will my drive be like, what if I get the job, what if I don’t get the job, where are we going to live, what if I can’t do what they think I can do, what if they aren’t what I thought they would be….I’m tired.  I want to sleep longer. I can’t…

And then my brain just says stop!

You aren’t being good to yourself.  You aren’t being good to anyone like this.  Of course you have questions.  Of course you wonder what is going to happen next.  Of course there is uncertainty.  Breathe.  Remember 4-7-8?  Breathe.  There’s nothing wrong with asking the questions.  It’s the answers you come up with that make the difference.

And while you are taking long deep breaths add the thought of trust.  Trust in the Lord for whom it’s written hundreds of times has unfailing love for you. Fear and faith can’t co-exist.  

Psalm 9:10 – Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.

I’m searching.  I know You are there.  I just got off track for a moment.  I let my mind run wild and this wild weed starting growing.  I was afraid.  Now I’ve found you again and I feel peace.  Forgive my errant way there.  Psalm 65:3 Though our hearts are filled with sins, you forgive them all. I  am not abandoned.  You know exactly what is in store for me.  Psalm 65: 5 You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds.

I need to replace my words of worry with words of gratitude.  I need to recall every single time that life has worked out when I thought it wouldn’t.  It’s countless.  In fact, it’s every time.  Fear and faith can’t co-exist.

Be still…know He is God.   Now get a good night’s rest.  Let God handle the worrying  -he’s up any way.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition, with a thankful heart, make your requests known to God.  Then there will be peace.   Fear and faith can’t co-exist.

Who can forget the wonders He performs?

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It’s the start of a day like any other day.  Wake up. Wash face. Brush teeth (love fresh breath). Greet family.  Help get everyone out the door to where they need to be.  Dog goes out.  Dog gets walk (well most of the time).  Wait…God time.  Stop.  Where am I in the Psalms?  111: 1-4

I will thank the Lord with all my heart
as I meet with his godly people.
How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
He causes us to remember his wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our Lord!

I look out the window and from where I sit I can only see a pure crayon blue sky, the stoic trunk and off-shoots of a tree that’s seen at least 100 years of wonder around it, and sunlight glistening through perfectly green leaves that hang this way and that.  There’s a slight chill in the air that suggests summer days are soon to be a memory.  I’m cozy, wrapped in a nubby throw that protects and warms and I can hear the occasional sound of my beloved dog alerting me that something is going on outside that is different than the norm for her.   And now I repeat aloud:

I will thank the Lord with all my heart
as I meet with his godly people.
How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
He causes us to remember his wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our Lord!

For so many times I use moments to complain about the unsatisfactory conditions of my life, to share what isn’t right and isn’t fair.  To exclaim about some injustice that lurks around me.  It’s way too easy to fall into that trap.  It takes much more effort to say how gracious and merciful is our Lord.  Look around.  Be still and listen.  Let it all soak in.  Not just nature, but the goodness that is in your life in physical ways.  Write it down.  Write ten awesome things that are good in your life right now.  He performs wonders.  We often forget.  I want to change that in me.  You too?

Show my forgetful feet the way,

That leads to joys on high.

There knowledge grows without decay,

And love shall never die.

Isaac Watts

When the cards you are dealt make you want to fold

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I started out ready to write about something completely different.  As I opened up the silver box and got my fingers ready to tap I remembered I haven’t read my Psalm for the day.  I decided that I needed to do that first  (I’ve been working hard at starting my day with God first and it’s been a challenge).  I came to Psalm 109 and it spoke to me.  I’ve struggled with a number of issues, this year particularly, due to a job loss.  I have friends dealing with financial troubles,  the loss of loved ones and dealing with way too many to seem possible health issues.  As I read parts of Psalm 109 I felt an energy to deal with it all.   I decided maybe someone out there, who might stumble across this blog, needs a lift too.

In the Psalm when I read about “them” or “those who attack me” I associate that with my issue “du jour”.  I’m not making light of that.  There’s just so much going on and I have definitely felt the pressure.  Sometimes I feel so complicated and tightly wound. I just want to literally unwind the springs that are restricting me to breathe and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.  I admit it’s hard. Even for a person with faith in Jesus.  I do find comfort in the writings of the Psalms.  They help me put it all into perspective.  Some days it’s easier than others of course. But there is one repeated sentiment  in the Psalms over and over and over…God’s unfailing love…for us all.

So this is God’s blessing for you today-

Psalm 109: 21-23

But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord, for the sake of your own reputation!  (Now that’s a sales pitch if I ever heard one)  Rescue me because you are so faithful and good.  For I am poor and needy (I’ve lost a job, a friend, a spouse, I have cancer, a blood clot, my body aches, I’m anxious, I’m depressed, I’m lonely, I’m…) and my heart is full of pain.  I am fading like a shadow at dusk; I am falling like a grasshopper that is brushed aside.

26-28

Help me, O Lord my God!  Save me because of your UNFAILING LOVE.  Let them ( loss, cancer, anxiousness, depression…) see that this is your doing, that you yourself have done it Lord.  Then let them curse me if they like , but you will bless me!  When they attack me, they will be disgraced!  But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!

30

But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising him to everyone.  For he stands by the needy ready to save those who condemn them.

Lord, today help us to remember your UNFAILING love and give us strength to face the “thems”, “those who attack” , the curses and the pressures to give in to the lies that surround us.

 

How is your faith when life sucks?

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I’m kind of stuck on Psalm 107 right now.  I think I find my life on the same track of the people being written about at the time.  Throughout the Psalm people get in trouble and call for help.  God responds each time.

I have a friend who is facing cancer for a second time, and this time it seems worse.  Her husband is out of a job and has been for a year.  Her work is contract so she doesn’t add much into the income pool.  There is no insurance.  They are dealing with an older family member who is suffering in so many ways and have had to make the difficult decision to put this person in hospice care vs. trying to sustain their life through temporary fixes.  How do you console a person in this situation?  Is it trite to say God is with you and He is watching over you as you see them lose their hair to countless treatments of chemo or have painful surgeries and procedures to remove tumors?  How do you make them feel good about the fact they are out of work with no insurance, or about having to decide to remove life support tubes that could keep someone they love alive longer- though in a vegetative state.

This part of life really sucks.  I don’t understand it and I am working to accept that I never will.  When I look at my friend’s situation I don’t want to say God is with you.  I want to say this sucks and it isn’t right or fair.  It’s horrible and painful and my heart cries for you.

Then when I come around full circle I realize really the only thing they have that is a constant is God.  It’s not trite. It’s true.  The very last verse of Psalm 107 says, those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.  There is absolutely nothing in this earthly life that my friends, or I , can count on for sure.  Everything we think is so solid can change in the blink of an eye.  I know it from my own experience.  You know it from yours.  My friend has certainly learned it in her life.

In Psalm 107 the people cry out for help in different situations four times.  Each time God leads the troubled to safety.  What we have to remember is that His safety is different from what we perceive to be safety.  It definitely means change and it could mean that sometimes His safety is life in Heaven with Him.  That’s when faith has to really kick in.  Have you seen His faithfulness enough in your life to accept He has something better for you even when life sucks?  Is it there and you aren’t acknowledging it?  Do you need to do a check list of all the “coincidences” that occurred in your life that got you out of storms and brought happiness?  I do from time to time.

There is no place in the Bible that I have found that says life on this earth will be good.  There is a lot to suggest it hasn’t been and it won’t be.  Our faith is meant to be beyond this earth.  I don’t mean to say that things in this life aren’t good or can’t be filled with utter joy.  There are plenty of things that are and those are awesome moments.  I just mean that ultimately the best good we can imagine is found in Heaven- found through faith.  Psalm 107: 43- Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.

How is my faith when life sucks?  I’m working on it, but it’s leaning toward good especially when I remember to acknowledge how faithful He has been.  How about you?

When Depression Comes Life A Thief

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It wasn’t the best weekend.  It was long and while most people are coveting the extra time for fun and frolic I’m wondering when it will be over so I can be back to business without too much time on my hands.  That’s what depression can do to you.  It robs and steals from you.  It’s a thief.  It takes away pleasures that should be yours.  It uses your moments of peace and quiet to manipulate your mind into thinking lies about yourself.

Knowing I can be a victim I look for alternatives that soothe my spirit and make the thief surrender.  One solution for me has been reading Psalms.  They are truly works of literary art.  They tell stories from the past that are incredibly relevant to modern day life.  They are filled with nature, majesty, beauty, passion and love.  They talk about things I feel today connecting me to someone who lived thousands of years ago.  We have so much in common yet we are so far apart.

I began to read Psalm 107 and I listen to the people talking about wandering, being lost, being homeless, hungry and thirsty.  They were gloomy and miserable feeling like prisoners in chains.  They got into situations that tossed them around and made them feel uncertain and unsafe.  They were oppressed, in trouble and felt great sorrow.   Really?  This isn’t now?  It’s got to be now.  I hear stories like this all the time. Sometimes I’m the one doing the talking.

But it isn’t now.  It was generations ago.  It is all historically factual.  Each time the people got into trouble they started crying out to God to save them and help them.  These were people who never listened to what they were told to do.  Yet when they got into trouble they ran to the only person they knew who could save them.  Over and over again, God’s faithfulness returned.  This led the author of Psalm 107 to write, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever!”  I must remember that.

In the final words of this Psalm we are told if we are wise we will take this to heart- history will show the faithful love of the Lord.

One of my all time favorite quotes is, “When satan comes to knock on the door of your heart, send Jesus to answer it!”  Well I liken depression to satan.  When it’s trying to steal from me I try to remember to call upon our very faithful Father in Heaven whose love endures forever.  He was with the people thousands of years ago and He is with you and me now.   And I am comforted.

 

Noise-Free Zone

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Years ago I discovered a prayer that stuck with me.  I wrote it down and used to keep it at my desk.  When I would leave a meeting and the blood pressure started rising I would glance over at this little scrap of paper that exuded peace and comfort.  The prayer is written by John Baillie who has long since passed.  In fact, I believe it was originally written in 1949.  The words have travelled through the eras and come to rest today on, of all places, a blog in the techno-sphere.  Baillie could have never imagined it.   My most favorite passage in the prayer is:

Let not the noises of the world ever so confuse me that I cannot hear you speak

That resonates with me.  Noise is everywhere–the texts that fly across my phone, or the posts on Facebook, emails that load up every five minutes, the chit-chat of the parking lot moms, advertisements, traffic, the grocery list I have to remember, the dinner I have to plan, an order that must get out or a problem that needs solving, the telemarketer who needs to share the best news ever, the child who is yanking at my pants leg, the husband who needs to know where his sock is.   It builds and builds to decibels that explode in my head sometimes.  Then when I remember:

Let not the noises of the world ever so confuse me that I cannot hear you speak

I find peace and quiet.

I try to listen.

Joy.

So find a shredded piece of paper and write this down.  Stuff it in your glove compartment or your purse.  Put it in your wallet or on your visor in the car.  Jam it into a drawer or attach it to your fridge.  Find your noise-free zone.

O God within me, give me grace today to recognize the stirrings of your Spirit within me and to listen most attentively to all you have to say to me.  Let not the noises of the world ever so confuse me that I cannot hear you speak.  Suffer me never to deceive myself as to the meanings of your commands; and let me in all ways obey your will, through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.