Acting My Way Into Feeling

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do

Photo/KarenJordanI’m about to do one of the hardest things I’ve done recently—WRITE!

“What? How can that be?” you ask. “You’re a writer! Isn’t that what writers do?”

I wish I could tell you what’s keeping me from doing what I need to do. But I don’t have any answers at this point.

In fact, I’m not even sure I have anything of substance to offer anyone now. But I’m just going to write—and hope something helpful surfaces. Anything is better than nothing at this point.

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A Wake-up Call

Grace in the Gray Zones of Life

Photo/KarenJordanWhat are some of the blockages to communications in your life?

 

Silence? Well, duh! Of course, silence would be a blockage to communication. But how do you open the door to conversation when the other person is not in the same room? Easy. Text messaging.

I’m embarrassed to admit how early I woke up this morning. Well, okay–it was three a.m. How’s that for vulnerability and transparency?

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FACING THE LOSS OF A CHILD

What to Say When We Don't Know What to Pray

Today’s post is for my friends—who just lost their only child this week. I cannot imagine enduring such pain!

Photo/KarenJordan

This tragedy reminded me of the day my sister, Leslea, lost her youngest son, Colter, to a tragic accident. Heartbreaking!

Lord, what will they do? How can they survive such a loss?

What can we do when life places us in unbearable circumstances? I can’t even imagine the pain—I refuse to even let my thoughts go there.

Where can we go? Who do we run to? What should we cling to when we’re drowning in a sea of our sorrows? When will someone throw us a lifeline? How will we we survive?

When friends and family walk through horrible events like this, my words fail me. Mere words seem inadequate to express my emotions.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been at a loss for words. And I don’t think any human words could ever bring peace and comfort to a parent in the death a child.

Now, after facing many trials and crises in my own life, I do know where to go. And I do know Who to run to. I know Who we can cling to when we’re drowning, and Who will throw us a lifeline. And I know how we will survive.

Help. The Lord promises to help us when we don’t know what to say or pray.

… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Rom. 8:26 NIV)

Hope. The Holy Spirit offers promises of hope, even if we never understand “why?” these things happen.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 15:13 NLT)

Assurance. God’s Word provides the assurance that Jesus will bear our grief and carry our sorrows.

 He suffered the things we should have suffered. He took on himself the pain that should have been ours. (Is. 53:4 NIRV)

Peace. God’s Word can speak peace to the storm ravaging our dreams. And He promises to throw us the lifeline of His Word.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7 NIV).

Confidence. We can have the confidence to know that in Christ, we will survive. And we can expect Him to provide the power we need to overcome any circumstance in our life if we trust Him with the situation. Healing and hope for the future can be found in Him.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14)

As I pray from my friends. God continues to guide my prayers with His Word. So, today I pray these promises from God’s Word will give hope to my friends and to others who may be suffering under the heavy burden of loss and grief.

Blessings to you, my friends! You know who you are. And God knows your needs—even better than you do. He understands. And He wants to assure you of His presence right now and in all the days of your life.

I lift my friends up to You, Heavenly Father. You knows their pain because You lost Your only Son long ago in a tragic death—so we could all experience Your promised land of rest and peace in this life and in the life to come.

YouTube/Attitude of Gratitude (“Wayfaring Stranger” Selah)

 

Songbird Reflections

When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all. (E. O. Wilson)

 

Photo/KarenJordan

“Silly bird! Why are you pecking on the window?”“She’s defending her territory,” my husband Dan surmised.

We watched in amazement as the female cardinal, fooled by her own image, continued to swoop down—over and over again—attacking her reflection in the window.

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5 Powerful Stories: The Day I Met Jesus

Can you imagine meeting Jesus face-to-face? Book/TheDayIMetJesus

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step back into biblical history and experience a real “come to Jesus” moment?

In their new book, The Day I Met Jesus, Mary DeMuth and Frank Viloa set the stage for us to observe the stories of five women in the Bible who experienced personal and powerful encounters with Jesus.

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Tempted to Quit? Keep Moving!

My legs quiver as I step onto the sidewalk in front of my home. How can I launch out for a walk feeling so weak?

Photo/KarenJordan

I take a second step, determined to go forward with my plan to regain my health by exercising.

Obstacles. My motivation to exercise overpowers my temptation to stop. I gain strength in each additional step, as I begin my lesson in perseverance.

But it will not be an easy journey. There are obstacles to overcome and goals to reach. Can I make it?

Resistance. Exercise, like other worthwhile endeavors, demands strength and stamina. The first morning I attempt my new exercise program, everything within me resists it, like opposite poles of two magnets.

I would rather do just about anything other than exercise. So, on my first day out, I let temptation win. I stay home, and I feel guilty the rest of the day.

Failures. By the next morning, my previous day’s failure serves as my primary motivating force. So, I lace up my walking shoes, purchased just for this occasion, and jog slowly out of my garage. My first goal has been accomplished. And the next thing I know, I’m crossing the street facing the next block.

Intimidation. Okay, this is going to be a breeze, I think. But by the time I turn the corner, another fear presents itself, as if to try to stop me in my tracks. An all-male construction crew building a house nearby alarms me because of the recent crimes in my neighborhood. I’m fearful of walking in front of them. But I hold my breath and walk on. I move this obstacle out of the way, as I change my route and proceed in another direction.

Distractions. As I walk uphill, I become short of breath. When I slow down to breathe, a gray squirrel catches my attention. He’s busy burying an acorn in my neighbor’s yard. I watch him as I walk by. When I look up, I’m already at the end of the street, about to turn the corner to complete another block.

Goals. I continue to accomplish small goals as I walk. In a short while, I’ve gone far enough, and I decide to return to my home. My mind is cleared by the fresh air, but my body is affected by the exercise.

When I arrive home, I’m exhausted, but surprisingly refreshed. As I sit down for a cool glass of water before I shower, I recall the distance I’ve covered. I feel good about myself, and I’m grateful that I resisted the temptation to quit.

Strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, Paul tells us that the Lord’s “power is made perfect in weakness.”

I find that to be true as I confess my weaknesses to the Lord. Somehow,  I find strength as I face my weaknesses each day.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak … those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength … they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Is. 40:29-31 NIV)

Where have your faced resistance in your life? How did you overcome it?

Photo/KarenJordan

Prayer for Family Unity and Reconciliation

Does unity and reconciliation seem impossible in your family?

Photo/TaraRossMy family is separated by distance, and we have often also been divided by some of our differences—interests, opinions, lifestyles, ages, economy, and some pretty serious disagreements.

My mother longed for unity in our family, and she always grieved over our physical separation. Now that my children are grown with families of their own, I understand Mother’s concern. But I also understand the need for my children to find their own paths, which often includes some difficult times of being apart.

With each family member going their own way, I will admit that I’ve often lost hope for unity and reconciliation. And I’ve wondered if I would even recognize when the answer to this particular prayer comes.

What does unity and reconciliation even look like?

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