A Spacious Place

A Spacious Place

“When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.” Psalm 118:5 NIV

“I can’t breathe! Get me out of here!”

I have to admit that I am claustrophobic. I don't do well in tight places. Whether it's cramped elevators or tight MRI imaging booths, even being squeezed too hard or for too long, you’ll find me scrambling for the nearest escape.

Trying to talk myself out of it is pointless as the “all to familiar” signs that a full blown panic attack is imminent begin to take my body and mind hostage. My heart pounds in my chest and my breaths becoming deeper and more frequent as my brain starts shouting, “Get yourself out of here!" Hyperventilation is inevitable if I don't keep reciting over and over again, "Keep it together! Keep it together!"

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Living Fearlessly by Faith

Living Fearlessly by Faith

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I have always wanted to walk in faith, to live in faith, to be a woman of faith. It hasn't always been easy.

Anyone whose loved one struggles with addiction or behaves recklessly has felt fear, even terror, at times. We understand the feeling all too well. We are scared to death when the phone rings at an unexpected hour. Our heart sinks at every unannounced knock at the door. We lay awake imagining the worse-case scenarios.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Even if you are not living with the chaos of addiction in your family, fear can take you hostage for so many reasons. Marriage problems, financial burdens, the state of our world, and so many other concerns fight to take up real estate in our minds.

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The Cure for Anxiety

The Cure for Anxiety

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm‬ ‭94:19 NIV‬ ‭

An Anxious World

Anxiety is a very real emotion for most of us at one time or another.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, "Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year." ADAA

Anxiety is very real. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, anxiety is described as "a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about something with an uncertain outcome." It can lead to apprehension, excessive uneasiness, and panic attacks.

When your child, spouse, or loved one struggles with addiction, anxiety becomes our constant unwanted companion. Worry is part of everyday life. We obsess about our loved one's safety and the dangers of their risky behavior to the expense of our own sanity.

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A Father To The Fatherless

A Father To The Fatherless

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing...” Psalm‬ ‭68:5-6a

“I want to be their father.” The Lord spoke these words to my heart this morning. “I want them to know me. Instead, they run from me, reject me.”

I feel the longing in God’s heart for his children. He grieves for his lost ones.

“They are searching for me, but they can’t find me. They are looking for me in the wrong places.” They are looking for love in all the wrong places, as the song goes.

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Do Not Fear

Do Not Fear

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah‬ ‭41:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The other night I woke up and felt a formidable presence with its hands around my throat. Accusing and intimidating, it reminded me it was not going anywhere, nor was it through with me yet. In fact in it own words, it was only “heating up”.

It was overwhelming, to say the least. It is not very often that I can say I have come in direct contact with a dark spiritual presence. But, I knew beyond any doubt that I was not dreaming.

In the Presence of Our Enemies

I have felt that presence before. You know, the one that tries to convince you that God has abandoned you and that you are all alone in your trials. I wasn't afraid, but I was overwhelmed with a feeling of loneliness and isolation.

Was I really alone? Had God forgotten me?

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Songs of Praise

Songs of Praise

"People cry out when they are oppressed. They groan beneath the power of the mighty. Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator, the one who gives songs in the night?" ‭‭Job‬ ‭35:9-10NLT‬‬

How often I come to God crying and moaning. I'm in full blown panic and hurry in and pray a quick "God, please help me!" I cry and groan and plead.

In those moments I forget to simply enjoy the sweet presence of my Lord. I fail to move beyond my anguish and seek Him and Him alone.

The beauty of His face, the Holiness of His temple, the solitude and peace of His presence...they all await me if I seek Him.

As I choose to seek the Problem Solver instead of the solution to my problem, my heart is filled with songs of praise and worship.

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Put On God's Designer Labels

Put On God's Designer Labels

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV

As we look at labels, we see the power they possess. Labels can hurt, or they can heal. They can help us succeed, or they can aid in our failures. They have the power to shape how we see ourselves. They can change us from the inside out. Labels permeate our souls.

Think back to the moment when certain man-made labels stuck to you. Did they build you up, or did they tear you down? Did they give you hope or leave you feeling hopeless? Did you believe you could do anything, or were you convinced there was no point in trying because you would fail anyway?

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Take Off Man-Made Labels

Take Off Man-Made Labels

"You're so stupid!" "You're fat!" "You're a failure."

"She's smarter than you, more qualified, prettier..."

"I can't!" "I am ugly!" "I'm not good enough."

We all know what it feels like to have another someone apply a man-made label to us. Words casually or critically spoken have the ability to weave their way into the fabric of our being. We begin to identify with these man-made labels and let them effect how we see ourselves, whether they are true or not.

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Lord of My Heart

Lord of My Heart

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭NIV

This morning the Lord woke me up with a thought.

“Do you want Me or do you want Me to fix your problems?”

“Well, Lord, I want both.”

“If you want both, you have to realize that you have this all backwards,” He reminded me.

“Lord, what is that supposed to mean? I love You. I praise You.”Gulp. I guess I do wake up with my kid and his problems and the weight of the world sitting on my shoulders.

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What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part 3 of 3

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part 3 of 3

“Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Wow. How could this chapter get any better?!!

2 Chronicles is so rich in God's promises to his people, assuring them that He will go before them and fight the battles for them (and for us). Through observation, we have already seen how vital it is when the enemy threatens us that we take his threat seriously.  We are told to pray and fast and call in the troops (our prayer warriors). We are to use our mighty weapons of worship and prayer, and always remember the Lord and his faithfulness when he delivered us in the past. We are reminded of his promises to continue to save and deliver his children, and we speak those promises from His word back to him.

Now, we take all that faith he has given us and we take action!

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