The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect

"He leads me beside the still waters." Psalms 23:2

"A ripple effect is a situation in which, like ripples expand across the water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from an initial state can be followed outwards incrementally." - Wikipedia

You Can’t Stop Mother Nature

Have you ever thought about the ripple effect a crisis like addiction brings into the family? Throw a rock into a lake and watch the ripple effect in action. No matter how calm the water, even the tiniest pebble causes movement. When a bomb drops, we race to try and control its collateral damage, but it is impossible because the ripple effect is already in motion.

Every action has a reaction. Our addicted children become the epicenter of our homes, and their behavior dictates how everyone else in the family will react. It dictates how friends and acquaintances will react. It can even effect our jobs and our health because there is always a reaction to their action, unless we choose to stop it. The truth is that no one can make us react a certain way.

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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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She Can Laugh At Days To Come

She Can Laugh At Days To Come

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."   Proverbs 31:25 NIV

Happy Fourth of July!

Another holiday is coming up quickly. I find the Fourth of July to be one holiday I do not look forward to. I don't dread it, but I certainly do not anticipate its arrival either…

For families with struggling children or loved ones, the holidays can be difficult to get through, especially if our loved one will not be joining us this year. This may be either by their choice or our decision, but regardless of why they are not here, we wish they were. We do our best to embrace those who are present and make cherished memories without them. (Not an easy task, I might add.)

For those daring enough to invite their prodigal home for the holidays, it brings with it the stress of wondering if they can get through just one holiday without an argument or family drama. I honor you, brave ones.

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Living Satisfied

Living Satisfied

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all humanity. For he has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things.” Psalms‬ ‭107:8-9‬ ‭CSB‬‬

The Satisfied Life

Are you living a satisfied life?

A satisfied life is a life settled and at peace.

When we love someone struggling with addiction or any other stronghold, someone who is lost and hurting, we just want them better.

“Be whole, loved one, and I will be satisfied.”

After all, they are responsible for our happiness, right? But people and places and things cannot satisfy us.

Our restless minds long for the peace only a satisfied soul can offer. I was not satisfied. I wanted things to change. Not just to change, but to be better. Instead, my life was filled with longing. My list of “if onlys” had become a mile long.

If only my son was healed. If only he was safe and well.  If only he was working and productive. If only he would love and serve the Lord. If only he was free from mental illness. If only there was calm from the storm.

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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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Don't Forget Your Rainboots

Don't Forget Your Rainboots

When you pray for rain, don't forget your rain boots.

“Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.” Zechariah‬ ‭10:1‬ ‭NIV‬

Many of you reading this may have children or loved ones struggling with addiction. Some as wayward and rebellious. This lifestyle has led them to make terrible choices, some have had devastating consequences. Many of you are wives whose marriages are falling apart, perhaps due to a husband who is caught up in sin and has walked out.

Your worn out. Your faith is weak. Understandable, but God has a plan waiting to be revealed. Now is not the time to grow weary or give up.

It's time to start praying and believing.

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Love Triumphs

Love Triumphs

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:13-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Hope-Filled Cross

We often focus on the resurrection when we think about Easter and the work of salvation. Here we are reminded that the victory was won on the cross.

The resurrection was evidence that Jesus was who He said He was, but if we only needed a resurrection, there would have been no need for the cross. Jesus could have died an old man with no need for the pain, suffering and humiliation of the cross. I wish it could have been that easy.

But, He came to pay a price. He came to die for our sins. He took the penalty of our sin on his own shoulders.

Have you ever considered that your sin deserved the cross?

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Our Shame-breaker

Our Shame-breaker

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” ‭‭ Hebrews‬ ‭12:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Shame’s Birth

Each of us has experienced some form of shame at one point or another in our lives.

It may have been an embarrassing playground fall, followed by the school-yard bully's taunting that takes us back to our first feelings of shame.

For some, it is much deeper. Wrongs committed against you or even your own past poor choices may trigger deep feelings of shame you just can't seem to shake.

As moms of children or wives of husbands struggling with addiction or some other life-controlling habit shame is a constant companion.

Some of us have worn the label of shame as though it was tattooed into our skin, an ever-present reminder of the accuser's voice, holding us to our past mistakes and failures.

Surely, this is all our fault. We blame ourselves for not being able to protect them or at least rescue them from themselves.

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