Faith

Faith

I used to pray for unshakeable faith. I wanted to be steadfast in belief that God would always come through, never doubting His goodness.

When things go right, when life is smooth… it’s easy to have faith. It’s like breathing, how easy and natural it is to shout His praises and share your good news and blessings.

You breathe in His presence and breathe out your testimony, like Aslan blowing life onto the statues in Narnia.

Our faith and testimony release life-giving encouragement to people in pain, the people in the midst of hardship and struggle. Seeing how mountains were moved for us unlocks their vision, they take heart that their mountains can move too.

But sometimes, we aren’t the Aslan in the story. We are the statue, hardened and in desperate need of the Life-Breath.

Suffering and difficulty swirl around like a funnel cloud of fury and deception. It clouds our judgement and all we see is pain, the Why’s and the When’s of our prayer requests being whipped about like shingles ripped from a storm-torn house.

At first we cling to our knowledge of a Sovereign Father, but as the winds continue to screech and fear rumbles in the distance we might begin to wonder… What if? Where is He?

Grief and bitterness choke us like smoke and our faith doesn’t feel so strong, instead we feel weak and wavering.

The adversary whispers lies, “do you even really believe? Where is God now? There’s nothing left. You can’t do this.”

The steadfastness comes when we dig in our heels. This house will not be uprooted by the storm, because the foundation is 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴.

You might be clinging to your faith by the width of a hair, but all you need is a mustard seed.

“Go,” you whisper to the lies. And they flee. The storm might not be over, but you stand awaiting the victory.

Your faith may shake in the face of the tornado, but the House The Lord Built won’t fall, even if the siding creaks.

The storm passes and the statue comes back to life, your heart beats again and you breathe in deep.

Now it’s your turn, share the story of the storm and breathe the Life-Breath on the next person worn thin by grief and trial.

Steadfast in action, faith like potatoes.

If this piece resonated with you in any way, I’d love for you to share it! You never know who may need the encouragement.

Come follow along with me at my Instagram! I share daily musings on faith, Biblical womanhood, homeschooling, urban gardening, and critical thinking.
Fueled by Jesus, imperfectly learning and living lessons every step of the way!

For The Crushed In Spirit

For The Crushed In Spirit

Two years ago a pastor and mental health advocate I adored died by suicide. When I read the news I wept.

He was such a strong, powerful voice for those who loved Jesus and also struggled with depression.

In the days that followed I was mortified to see speakers and influencers denounce him and say he should never have pastored if he struggled with depression.

1) that’s a poor view of God and who He can work through and 2) read the dang room and be respectful in the days of someone’s passing.

Over and over in the Bible we see God use broken, flawed people for His glory.

People who had a speech impediment, people who struggled with depression, people who used to kill Christians.

Every person has struggles. Every pastor, leader, teacher, speaker, and podcaster has a struggle you don’t know about.

Thank you Jesus we are worth more than our private issues! We would ALL be disqualified.

Dealing with anxiety/depression/trauma/intrusive thoughts doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference in the world. It doesn’t discredit your testimony or wisdom you have to share.

Mental health struggles are no different than physical ones, we just can’t see them. They’re a lot easier to hide or make assumptions about.

A pastor who may deal with depression can still speak truth to people’s hearts. A mom who has PPD can still love her children and teach them who they are.

Your bad days do not disqualify you from the race God has called you to run.

2 Tim 1:9 says He gave us a holy calling not because of our works, but because of His grace. Nothing you do can earn His love or freedom, it was given to you.

Our effort isn’t what qualifies us for our calling!

Look at Moses, David, Elijah… Elijah experienced a powerful victory in 1 Kings and a few days later asked God to kill him.

Jeremiah cursed the day he was born. His entire ministry was filled with such difficulty that he’s called “the weeping prophet.” He cried out “why was I born if this is my life?!”

David, the man after God’s heart, someone who did great things but also made terrible choices he had to live with – “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:11)

The Word says that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and He saves the crushed in spirit. (Ps 34:18)

If He can use these people, He can use you and me.

If you struggle with an eating disorder, that doesn’t disqualify you from God’s plan and calling.

If you’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts, that doesn’t discredit the giftings God has given you.

No matter your struggles, God has a purpose for your life. No one’s opinions or cruel words should steal that from you.

Don’t receive the lie over your life that you can’t ________ because you have had depression or anxiety or go to therapy or use medications or supplements.

Imagine telling a person with fibromyalgia they aren’t qualified to teach the word of God. They can’t help the condition they have.

Now imagine telling a person who Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that they can’t share God’s heart with the world as they deal with trauma-based anxiety.

That’s like telling God He shouldn’t use David because of all the times he lamented in the Psalms.

Do we believe in the God of the impossible or are we limiting what He can do and who He can use?

Even Charles Spurgeon wrote about the pain of mental health –

The mind can descend far lower than the body, for in it there are bottomless pits. The flesh can bear only a certain number of wounds and no more, but the soul can bleed in ten thousand ways, and die over and over again each hour.

Charles Spurgeon

God uses imperfect people to do incredible things. He has taken people with terrible pasts and given them bright futures!

Whatever you may be working through, what matters is that you are working through. Talk to safe people, go to counseling, change damaging situations.

What matters is your heart. Are you living in a way that shows people Jesus? Does your life show the fruit of the Spirit?

Just like a bad day doesn’t make a bad life, a bad mental health day doesn’t mean that’s who you are.

This week was extremely difficult and stretching for me and everything added up until I woke up one morning feeling the tension mounting inside me.

A glass falling off the nightstand and shattering was the small trigger that set off all my overwhelm, spilling over into an awful anxiety attack.

These moments the despair is so deep. The lies try to creep in to disqualify me, and imposter syndrome rears its ugly head.

“How can you expect to help people when you’re so broken?”

It’s easy to keep these thoughts and moments to ourselves, but calling them out takes their power. Reaching out to someone who loves you and will rebuke the lies calls you back into the light.

Here’s the thing, dear reader… The power of your testimony and victories, the stories of your struggles and successes, they will bring freedom to someone else going through it. Share your story, shame doesn’t get the final word.

Your struggles don’t disqualify you; they might just be what draws someone else to the Lord.

Your perseverance through your mental health battles will show someone dealing with the same thing that they aren’t alone, they aren’t worthless, and they have purpose too.

Whatever your calling in life might be: pastor, teacher, mother, writer, social media manager etc., you are an overcomer. You are a more than a conqueror. You are seen, loved, and valued.

If you ever doubt that God can use you, please flip through Scripture and see the long list of imperfect people that God used to prophesy, lead, evangelize, and heal.

You aren’t your bad days, you are more than depression or anxiety.

Most importantly – you are never alone and deeply loved above all.

Celebrating Joy in the Midst of Depression

Celebrating Joy in the Midst of Depression

2020 has brought on a “silent rise” in mental health crises.

It’s no secret that it’s been a rough year, but viruses aside, the job losses, bankruptcies, and isolation has had devastating repercussions for mental health.

People already struggling with anxiety and/or depression may feel like they’re barely treading water with their mental health. Others who have never (or rarely) experienced anxiety or depression have, unfortunately, begun having their own bouts.

I know for myself, dealing with end of pregnancy and postpartum, on top of dealing with repressed trauma responses… Covid depression has been the icing on the cake.

Of course there are good days. We feel a camaraderie, like we’re all in this together! We got this! It sucks but we’ll get through it.

Other days though might feel really dark. Numb and apathetic. Lonely and weary. What is the point of x, y, z?

Last Fall was a very difficult time for me, a lot of joy was stolen. As this season has approached I’ve entered it with a jaded attitude. A lot of pain is resurfacing for me to face, and I’m learning the dance of holding space for pain but holding on to joy too.

Both//And

What I wanted to talk about today is the in-between of those two extremes. The both//and space.

You can hold space for hard emotions and bad days, and still look for the light shining through, for the joy moments and the silver linings.

You can also hold space on your fantastic days for the trauma that you’re still working through. You can enjoy things and still recognize that you are wounded and that there’s work for you to do.

Your joy doesn’t have to erase your pain.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you’ve ever worked through traumatic situations or had to process hard emotions, we can almost sort of gaslight ourselves if we have good days.

Like, oh I’m having a really good day maybe this isn’t bad as I thought it was. Until something triggers you or you’re faced with more emotions that you haven’t processed through yet.

Likewise, when you’ve dealt with depression or anxiety and have felt like you’re spiraling, we can become consumed with those difficult feelings as well.

Our vision can become clouded with everything that is wrong in the world because of the hardship that we are working through. It feels impossible to “choose joy” because everything is painful, or we are numb to everything.

We do need to be cautious in those circumstances though. We are not victims to our mind, and though we can deal with mental health issues, we must take authority over some areas as well.

Becoming consumed with our depression or anxiety, not seeking help or utilizing tools that can help us, can be destructive not only to ourselves but to those around us too.

I’ve seen depression and anxiety steal away so much from families; I’ve seen it in my own family growing up and the repercussions that it had for me as a child.

This has been the number one driving factor for me in trying to grow and heal, so that my problems would not negatively affect my children.

In that same vein however, we can also be consumed with running from our depression and anxiety, or our trauma that needs to be dealt with. This is also unhealthy.

Rather than communicate our pain, or face difficult emotions, we try to be happy and bubbly and ignore the pain. “Fake it til you make it” can be as damaging for some people as it is helpful to others.

Because pain that we swallow down instead of facing and processing will absolutely come back to bite us. It can look like rage, depression, fear and anxiety, and many other things.

So where is the line? How can we not let depression and anxiety rule our lives and steal all our joy, yet also not force happiness and joy when we are in the midst of pain and grief?

I’m no expert, I’m just a mom who’s done a lot of reading and praying haha. But I would love to share what I’ve learned, and what helps me.

1. Grace

Have grace with yourself. Have you ever heard that phrase? What does it look like though? I’d say it looks like being kind to yourself and what’s going on in your head.

Don’t be a bully. Don’t make yourself feel bad for what you’re going through. If your inner dialogue is making you feel bad, you need to reroute that language!

Even if you have to over and over, tell yourself no! And talk to yourself like you would talk to a hurting friend or loved one.

Would that dialogue be uplifting or edifying for a beloved friend? If not, than don’t speak that over yourself.

Another thing to consider here: when we are numb we might not even be able to give ourselves grace. But we can receive God’s gift of grace.

All praises belong to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort. He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial. We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us. And just as we experience the abundance of Christ’s own sufferings, even more of God’s comfort will cascade upon us through our union with Christ. If troubles weigh us down, that just means that we will receive even more comfort to pass on to you for your deliverance! For the comfort pouring into us empowers us to bring comfort to you. And with this comfort upholding you, you can endure victoriously the same suffering that we experience.

2 Corinthians 1:3‭-‬6 TPT

This might look different for the person or by the day, but we can sit in His grace and comfort when we can’t give ourselves grace. He can hold you, just rest in Him.

2. Choose Joy

I know some people get super irritated by this phrase. I get it, being told to be happy when you’re suffering is upsetting.

But choosing joy in spite of your circumstances isn’t forcing happiness when you’re miserable.

It is tapping into a supernatural gift and a fruit of the Spirit which is yours to have when you know Jesus. The joy of the Lord can be your strength when you have no strength of your own left.

Choosing Biblical joy and gratitude isn’t faking happy, it’s a deep-seated soul joy, soul rest, to enter into.

I wanted to pick a Bible verse about joy but there’s so many!! Let me just reference a few:

  • “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” James 1:2
  • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…” Galatians 5:22
  • “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy…” Psalm 16:11
  • “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” John 16:22
  • “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
  • “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” Psalm 4:7

The list can go on and on! The Lord has joy for you that goes far beyond surface worldly happiness, another verse called it “inexpressible joy.” To me, that goes beyond a circumstantial emotion like happiness.

Joy is like a pressure washer.

A lot of people don’t really know that though.

Pressure washers are wonderful inventions, in seconds, they can remove years of build up. Years of caked on dirt in the most walked on areas around our homes.

We all have these areas, and I don’t mean around our homes. Around our hearts. Places people have walked all over us. Trampled on our hearts. Brought their dirt (and other things) into our lives. The areas that have become not only dirtied, but hardened from so much traffic.

Much of the time, we think we have to get everything cleaned up before we can be joyful. We think we have to have it all healed before we can get out of feeling down and dirty.

And those who think like that often never become joyful. They stay depressed. They stay bitter. They stay hurt. They stay is self-pity. All the while protecting themselves from the very thing that can remove it all.

The pressure washer of joy.

God wants to give us His joy to remove the years of build up. To quickly blast away the years of pain. To clear up the places that seemed impossible to clean.

Is. 35:10 says…”those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

It’s joy that’s makes the sadness and sighing flee. It makes them run from us. It’s joy that blasts it all away.

Don’t wait to be joyful. Don’t fix everything before you smile and laugh again. Don’t wait. Don’t even hesitate.

Receive joy today and watch what happens as you do.

Seth Dahl

3. Glimpses of Gratitude

A few years ago I tried to keep a gratitude journal. I’d sit at the table and try to comb through my day to recall and write down everything I was grateful for.

While it was a good suggestion, it wasn’t realistic or sustainable for me. I often forgot to pull the journal out or just sat there with my mind wandering trying to pull out something to write down!

And on my bad days? I honestly couldn’t think of things. Of course there’s the I’m grateful for my home, my family, food in the fridge, etc.

Sometimes it’s really hard to see beyond that when depression has a grip on your feelings and everything is numb.

I wrote a post about taking every thought captive; intrusive thoughts, depressed thoughts, spiraling thoughts, and tips to help you realistically take those thoughts captive! Read that here.

Instead, what has been helpful for me is momentary glimpses of gratitude.

It can happen any moment of the day, but it’s something that lights you up. Morning sun dancing on the hardwood floor in my kitchen. My girls giggling and dancing in the living room. The way my warm coffee feels in my hand.

It doesn’t have to last long, but pause and sit in that moment and feel the gratitude. Thank the Lord for that glimmer in your day.

Instead of reciting off everything you’re supposed to be grateful for, look at your day or those moments with your God lens on.

You can even ask Him! Lord help me see with Your eyes today, help me see the beauty. Feel His delight in the moments around you.

Just like joy, there are so many verses about gratitude and thankfulness in the Word!

  • “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
  • “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” Colossians 3:15
  • “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 107:1
  • “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7
  • “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

Gratitude is the key to a heart posture towards Jesus and walking in joy regardless of outward circumstances.

4. Victors Not Victims

Feelings aren’t facts. It’s one of my mantras this year. I talk about that more in the above mentioned post about talking all thoughts captive.

One of my favorite podcasters, Blake Guichet of The Crappy Christian Co. recently wrote about this topic and it’s so good!

 “It’s not that our feelings don’t matter or aren’t valid – we should honor one another’s emotions and bear each other’s burdens, mourn with those who mourn, and rejoice with those who rejoice. But the line gets blurry when we start treating those emotions as though they are the facts of the situation.

I know that the reason I personally function this way is because of my generalized anxiety disorder diagnosis. Through years of therapy, I’ve learned to separate how I feel from the truth to avoid spiraling out of control. And for the most part, it really serves me well.

The truth without love is harsh.

Love without truth is enabling.

That’s why we tell the truth in love (Eph 4:15) This a necessary maturity of faith so that we are no longer tossed to and fro by our emotions, but deeply rooted in what God says about us and others.

I’m honestly thankful that our feelings aren’t facts. When things feel hopeless, we know they never are. When we feel isolated, we have the knowledge of God’s nearness. When it seems like the world is out of control, we know the One who holds it all.

Your feelings aren’t facts, friend. And that should provide you with peace. Let’s stop allowing our emotions to run the show and instead turn to the truth.

Blake Guichet

We are not victims, and living with a victim mentality will steal your joy and suck the life right out of you. Maybe you were wronged, abused, mistreated. That’s valid.

But staying a victim in every area of your life, not growing or healing, is super damaging.

The Word tells us we are more than conquerors, in ALL things. That He works ALL things together for our good. That the Lord can make beauty from our ashes. The ashes of abuse, trauma, accidents, pain, etc.

We see what’s right in front of us. But the Lord sees an entire atlas of roads leading from our current circumstances. We have no idea what He can do through us and our stories!

A note on victimhood…

Mental health struggles are not a free ticket to be a jerk.

Yes it happens. I’ve experienced this. I have seen awful, atrocious behavior justified because of where someone was mentally. This is wrong.

We still need to take responsibility for our actions; mental struggles cannot be a crutch or excuse for bad behavior.

Victimhood clouds judgement and can cause immense pain, for others, and yourself too.

You are not powerless, you are still in charge of you.

5. Validation

“You can sit here but you can’t stay here.”

Validation is important, but dare I say, needing validation can also be a crutch. Some feelings can’t be validated if they are skewed or untruthful, but they can be acknowledged.

Having safe people, trustworthy friends or family, who can lead you back to your foundational truths when you are blinded by pain, apathy, or spiraling thoughts is so important.

Staying somewhere unhealthy and stewing in negative thoughts is a counterproductive narrative that will keep you bound up. Stewing and processing are not equal.

We can sit with grief. We can sit with hard things that need to be processed. Ignoring doesn’t help!

But staying there is when it becomes dangerous. We can miss the steps towards healing that God has for us. We can miss the beauty that’s transforming by remembering only the ashes.

Don’t run from your pain, but don’t let it swallow you either.

You don’t deserve to be consumed by dark thoughts and days of sorrow. There’s a bigger plan for you!

Depression is real, I have felt it’s nasty claws. Anxiety is real, I have experienced is vice-like grip.

We can acknowledge our hard and still see the joys. We can find delight in little things, even when bigger things are going wrong.

Remember the both//and my friend, and remember you are never ever alone.

Take Every Thought Captive

Take Every Thought Captive

Refining.

It feels like such a Christianese term nowadays… “I’m being refined.”

Do you know how silver is refined? It’s a process to be sure. Yet afterwards, the metal is gleaming and shining with all the impurities removed.

Despite the overuse of this term, I feel like I’m being refined right now. This season is hard.

I’ve been struggling recently. I don’t want to call it postpartum depression, maybe it’s the baby blues or hullabaloo of hormones and emotions…

But I’ve been experiencing my first depressive episodes since my time of healing five years ago.

There are days that are good and easy and joy-filled. There are also days that I am so weepy and morose.

On those difficult days my emotions try to spiral. Negative thoughts, lies, fears and anxieties abound. It’s exhausting trying to keep my mind in check. This is when “taking every thought captive,” as 2 Corinthians 10 tells us, comes into play.

What we feel is not necessarily truth, feelings aren’t fact.

Not everybody hates you or is out to get you! Not everything is going to go wrong. You’re not a failure.

My logical brain knows this. In those times of mental spiral and negative to thought, we need to stand on our foundation of truth to keep us steady when we feel shaky.

What’s Your Foundation of Truth?

This is a place in your mind that you can come back to when you’re struggling. It’s your core, unshakable beliefs.

This can be things like-

  1. Jesus died for me and rose again.
  2. I am chosen, redeemed, and loved.
  3. God is for me, not against me.
  4. I am a child of God.
  5. My family loves me.
  6. _____ is not my enemy.
  7. God will never leave me.
  8. I am safe.
  9. I was created with purpose.
  10. God is not taken by surprise and knows what’s ahead of me.

When thoughts come into our mind like “I can’t feel God, He’s left me, He isn’t speaking to me” we have a baseline to come back to to correct ourselves and align our thinking with the truth.

No I am not alone, because the Word says God will not abandon me, leave me, or forsake me.

Let’s go back to 2 Corinthians 10:5, where Paul tells us to take every thought captive. This passage is so important and addresses the battlefield in our minds.

As the Enduring Word Commentary says (really awesome insight into this passage), we are not helpless victims to our thoughts! This might be unfathomable to you, but hear me out for a moment.

You cannot help what pops into your mind, but you are in control of what you choose to dwell on.

An example of this for me is when I drive. I often have intrusive thoughts about getting t-boned when I go through intersections, or getting in an accident on the highway.

Can this happen? Of course. But if I give space to these thoughts in my mind I can easily be consumed by fear. I might even get to the point of not driving at all out of my fear!

Instead, I need to take those thoughts captive and reroute my thinking.

For me this looks like reassuring myself, and if those thoughts are really loud, I sing a song or talk to my kids to shift my mind, I even pray out loud.

If your thought life is damaging to yourself or your relationships, you might need to think about how you can take authority in your mind.

Maybe on your bad days you have thoughts about your spouse not loving you, or your friends hating you. How can you take those thoughts captive?

Think about your good days. How do your friends make you feel when you’re with them? Do they uplift you, edify and encourage you?

Remind yourself of the good things and assume the best.

All couples have moments of conflict and experience times or even seasons of struggle. But like above, go back to the moments on good days. Assume the best of their words or intentions.

We can’t live in a constant state of offense or victimhood. This is dangerous and so damaging to our mental health and relationships.

(This is not meant to simplify or condone abuse or toxicity in anyway, of you are truly experiencing that in your relationship consider counseling and help! Consider separation from friends that aren’t safe or take advantage.)

When we entertain negative thoughts again and again we can develop patterns. We can also develop positive patterns overtime as well! It just takes practice.

According to Dr. Athena Staik of Psych Central, an independent mental health information and news website, our thoughts create “inner standards” that spark neurochemical dynamic processes that govern our choices and actions.

Thoughts spark emotions and drive decisions to take action or no action at all. Whether we realize it or not, our thoughts are very much linked to our reality.

Her Style of Tea (tap to read more)

If you’re having a bad day where nothing is going right it might be tempting to sit with those self-pitying feelings, but that’s some swampy territory.

A bad day doesn’t make a bad life! Let’s shift the focus and make the best of what we can.

Part of this journey of finding delight in my daily life has been taking control of my thought life. This feels like hard work sometimes!

But it’s worth it, because what you allow in your mind affects SO much!

If we continue to allow negative thoughts to reign it can affect our daily outlook, behavior, relationships, jobs, and more.

You are not a passive bystander. You can train your mind just like you can train your body.

Taking thoughts captive might seem impossible, so what are some practical ways to retrain your thinking?

  1. Reach out to a friend.
    • Call someone you can trust to remind you of those foundational truths when you’re having doubts.
    • Text someone when you’re having anxiety and ask them for an encouraging word or reminder.
    • Facebook Messenger and Instagram DMs have a voice message feature. Ask a friend to pray over you!
  2. Journal.
    • Write down your thoughts and fears, and then write another column of scripture that pertains to that line of thought or fear.
    • Make a gratitude list. Gratitude is the key to joy. Shift your focus from your complaints to the good things in your day or your life.
    • List your foundational truths and read over them. Maybe place them on a wall or mirror so you can see them!
  3. Get in the Word.
    • Read scripture and focus on Biblical truths, meditate on what the Lord says about your mind.
    • Memorize verses! This is so helpful when you’re having a hard day, to call to memory a timely verse in a difficult moment.
  4. Worship.
    • Feeling all over the place? Put on some quiet worship music to calm yourself. I love the Peace album from Bethel Music for this!
    • Have a worship dance party. Blast some upbeat worship music or even some Christian rap and dance! This kills two birds with one stone; you’re shifting your focus and moving your body – endorphins!
  5. Pray.
    • Pray out loud, talk to Jesus in your heart, or even write your prayers down.
    • Speak Biblical truth over yourself, ask for peace, for discernment, for insight into God’s plan if He would allow, and for contentment.
  6. Move.
    • Move your body. Get some exercise; Jesus dance party, go for a walk, mow the lawn.
    • Change your scenery. Get out of the house and get some fresh air. Do a lap around the office away from your desk!

Does choosing joy or shifting my mindset cure my anxiety or depression?

No. But I guarantee you it can turn my entire day around. We don’t need to suffer and just barely survive.

We can thrive.

There are some really hard days where I need to have a lot of grace with myself; I lean on my husband for help and friends for encouragement. I slow down and let a few things fall off my plate.

I know the power of my mind. If I allow those lies of failure and assumptions of others fester I can start to live out of that and let those things become my identity and baseline.

An especially weepy day. The baby wouldn’t be put down, so I wore her and decided to find delight in cooking my family dinner.

When you start working out it can feel uncomfortable as you stretch parts of yourself that aren’t used to moving that way.

Likewise, when you aren’t accustomed to changing your thinking, it can feel uncomfortable too.

Just like you build muscle and lift more than when you first began exercising, after repetitive effort, taking your thoughts captive can be second nature!

You can do this friend! Make yourself a fresh cup of coffee or grab some water, and conquer your day. Choose to shift your thinking and take on your day as victor, not a victim.

I’m tired in this refining season. But I am taking heart that as my spirit is being refined, I am growing and maturing and becoming shiny and gleaming.

Take courage, dear heart. Let’s do this together and be more than conquerors 🧡

To read more about the spiritual aspect of taking your thoughts captive, please read this amazing, in-depth post by Shanté Grossett, at Her Style of Tea. Her words really resonated with me!

See The Good

TGIF!! 🙌🙌 Oh. Wait. It’s Thursday 😬😆 I know I’m not alone in merging all my days together! Life is a bit of a blur right now, what month is it…?

I am switching it up this morning and having tea on the porch instead of coffee, mostly because I didn’t pre-grind my beans yesterday and I’m keeping the baby asleep at all costs this morning 😅

My oldest is with Nana so my middle girl and I are enjoying the morning; me with my bible and her with her water toys.



I got this mug at Target this week, because frankly I needed the reminder. So many people are operating out of fear, lack of control, anxiety, and it manifests pretty frequently as anger. The world is full of anger right now. Some if its justified! Some isn’t worth the energy.

When people in public are cruel, when it feels like all the joy and laughter has been sapped out of the air, I need this reminder to see the good. Assume the best in people. See the darling little things, the tiny moments that can keep us all from spiraling into a space that’s not healthy. Look for the small delights.

Our thought life affects our behavior, how we treat others, how we make choices. If we are consumed by negative thoughts and fear we act out of that place rather than love or even kindness.

Scripture has so much to offer on thought life; taking our thoughts captive (we can’t control what pops in our brain but we have the choice to entertain it); dwelling on things that are pure, honorable, and lovely. Renewing our minds, guarding our hearts. Don’t be weighed down by the cares of the world. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Here’s your reminder (and mine!) to let go of the weight of the world, to seek joy and peace. Look for the good in the world, the kind people, the sweet moments. We certainly don’t need to go searching for the bad – it’s everywhere. We DO need to have boundaries with how we let it affect us though. Don’t assume everyone is out to get you, don’t lose sight of the beauty all around because you keep staring at the awful. Take charge of your thought life!

Happy Friday Eve friends, let’s live as victors, not victims.

Homeschooling Starter Kit

Homeschooling Starter Kit

In this wild time to be alive, many parents are faced with the tough decision of how to proceed with schooling for the fall.

Public/private school with covid requirements? Distance learning? Home education? It can feel overwhelming. As a homeschooling mom I wanted to touch on that specific option for a bit if you’ve considered it. The number one thing to remember about schooling at home is that it is not the same as crisis schooling. If that was a struggle for you so homeschooling feels impossible, its like apples and oranges! Distance learning through your school at home is not homeschooling.

If you choose to educate at home, you have the leisure to choose which ever curriculum works for you and your kids, its on your schedule not a school’s, and you are in charge of guiding – not a teacher managing 30 other students.  You can take your time if you need, there’s no rush at the end of the day to have x, y, & z finished. And school at home doesn’t take 8 hours a day plus homework. 

So, what are the legal requirements? Let’s get started with that. I live in Ohio so I understand our homeschool laws, but whether you’re in OH or not here’s some links to get you started. (.)

  1. If you’re an Ohio parent, I include at the end the link to the form you need to fill out with your Notice of Intent to homeschool.
  2. Full disclosure I wrote most of this with a nursing baby on me, so please forgive any spelling errors!
  3. I am getting zero kickback from any of these links, I’m simply providing them because I wish I had a list like this!
Homeschooling Styles
Homeschooling curriculum

Books and Resources

Instagram pages to follow for helpful advice, inspiration, more resources, and add-on units crafted by other homeschooling moms –

Continue reading “Homeschooling Starter Kit”