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… For Thou Art With Me

fear no evil

An old, school friend of mine and his wife needed prayer and encouragement, this morning, as they are in an ugly custody battle with her deceptive and abusive ex-husband regarding her kids ..

The word the Lord gave me is a word worth sharing, cuz I needed to “hear” it, too!

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Before the court appointment:

… I’ll be praying that the spiritual enemies at work will be thwarted, that the judge .. be bound by law and discern the truth as well as SEE what is best for the kids ..

And I’ll pray that you and your wife are able to rest in the knowledge that regardless of what YOU cannot control, nevertheless we have a God who can “turn the heart of the king wherever He wills.” [Proverbs 21:1] I am so sorry you guys are going through this struggle! I’ll be praying for good fruit for YOU two, for your like-mindedness and unity in your marriage as you wrestle “not with flesh and blood” and for all the kiddos as no doubt they are feeling the stress of everything, as well as being pawned and yanked and manipulated .. God WILL bring healing and good from all this [Romans 8:28] …. ❤

Even the unjust judge in Jesus’ parable about praying without ceasing [Luke 18:1-8] ultimately relented because the woman persisted in her requests for justice. I will pray that THIS judge will administer GOD’S wisdom, even if not his/her own. ❤

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After the court appointment, and SOME small victories in the situation as a result, she expressed weariness over the journey which caused the Spirit to prompt me to say:

I can tend to be an “all or nothing” person .. I have been really struggling lately with depression over my weight-loss journey cuz I’ve backtracked a little (lost 156 lbs, but have gained back 7 in the last couple months) .. I have had to remind myself A LOT lately that EVERY little thing is what adds up to a big difference when all is said and done. I can’t make myself go to the gym, lately .. I just don’t have the mental or physical fortitude, struggling with pain issues, etc. BUT I can walk 5 minutes every couple hours, I can cut back my intake to make up for less physical activity (and thus fewer calories to spend), etc.

I know my journey is NOTHING compared to winning a victory on behalf of your CHILDREN’S welfare .. My only word of encouragement intended is ..

EVERY little decision, EVERY little fight, EVERY little victory, EVERY little reprieve – a minute to catch your breath till the next battle .. EVERY one is worth giving thanks for. Every little thing will eventually add up .. and I’m afraid we little people don’t learn “patience” any other way than going THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death .. [Psalm 23, James 1:2-8]

It can be so tempting to just sit down and put our heads in our hands and give up, but if we don’t go through it, where do we find ourselves? In a crumpled heap, motionless IN the valley of the shadow of death? Why would we want to stay there!

We MUST get up, we MUST keep going, and thank GOD for his promise that he goes through it WITH us .. HE sees us through to the other side.

TAKE HEART, sister. You ARE fighting a good fight.

You’re imaging our Good Father by sacrificing for the sake of your beloved children. He gave all to rescue you [John 3:16, Romans 8:32], now you get to do the same for your little ones. Let this speak to your heart about how GREAT the love of OUR Good Father is for us. He will most definitely strengthen you through this! And in the end, bring both good for you, and glory for himself.

Cuz what’s on the other side of the valley?

LIFE. Real, vibrant, exhilarating LIFE in the fullness of God’s grace.

So trust our Good Shepherd to lead us beside the still waters, to restore our souls, and take us through to the other side. HE is with you, HE is FOR you, whom shall you fear?? ❤  [Romans 8:31-39]

~Leah

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The Lord Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want

the lord is my shepherd

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Romans 8:31-39 (Phillips)

31-32 In face of all this, what is there left to say? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all—can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything else that we can need?

33-34 Who would dare to accuse us, whom God has chosen? The judge himself has declared us free from sin. Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!

35-36 Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, pain or persecution? Can lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms? Indeed some of us know the truth of the ancient text: ‘For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter’.

37 No, in all these things we win an overwhelming victory through him who has proved his love for us.

38-39 I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!

We are so blessed. ❤

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Fight the Good Fight

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Gonna get real for a minute. Someone posted this [pic] on the Team 383 group page, and it struck my center. I am fighting some unexpected pain this a.m., so was already on the “down” side – and I FEEL this pic. I posted this comment on the pic where originally posted:

The “core” issue for me has always been one of this voice SCREAMING in my head that I’m a failure, I’m undesirable, “death would be preferable” .. This voice comes back even now – I’ve lost 156 lbs! But this voice wants me to gain it all back, go back to what I WAS without regard for everything I now am and everything I’m FIGHTING to become. Being able to SEE this voice for what it is – EVIL – is the first step towards being able to call it out, speak to it, call it a LIAR, and take the reins again. How I WISH the “temptation” would go away, never to return!!

How I need the FRESH mercy and grace of God EVERY morning.


Some practical steps (in no particular order) to get me “back to right thinking” —

  • Intentionally SMILE (my “resting” face can tend to look mad).
  • Along with that, intentionally being “cheerful” when greeting another person (my temptation is to “push people away” until I can get a handle on myself).
  • PRAY
  • Remind myself of my blessings (literally count them!) AND my progress.
  • Practice being thankful for SPECIFIC things, no matter how small.
  • Identify the lies as lies, preach the truth to myself, speaking w/authority of Jesus OVER the lies.
  • Treat any physical pain to lessen stress load (or sleep! if deprived!).
  • Identify some LITTLE things I can accomplish in the next hour (hour by hour) – and DO them (sort laundry, drink 20 oz water, go for a walk, etc).
  • Watch a funny movie or clip – find ways to force myself to LAUGH (to take back control over my emotions).
  • GET UP! Move! (I have found that sitting or “lying down” with the negative patterns is a huge momentum killer – or worse – it drives me further in to listening to the bad thoughts/voices/feelings. Sometimes just simply physically GETTING UP can be just enough momentum to ignite my motivation to choose other, better steps.)
  • RECOGNIZE external signs of the internal attack/negative reality (too quick to “snap” at someone/something for no reason, taking something personally, tempted to swear, etc.) to catch it EARLY. It’s easier to kill a mosquito than a rattlesnake!
  • Listen to familiar/well-loved worship music (it’s not enuf to just “distract” myself, I need to “TURN” myself in a different direction).
  • Read a book/article/Scripture that is in keeping with my goals/new heart/mind.
  • Find someone to speak a word of encouragement into (calling up a friend doesn’t always work for me cuz it’s a temptation to wallow in the negative emotion or put too much value on “their good opinion” of me, but I DO need to get better about learning to ask for help, too! Even if it’s just to say to a trusted inner-circle friend/sister/brother – I am really struggling with THIS right now (and NAME the specific thoughts/feelings)….).

I am very sure I could list more, but this is a start. ❤

Add comments with your ideas/suggestions?

Blessings!

~Leah