Tag Archives: Summer

#1 (2019 Series)

Read Luke 1, Psalm 20

Have you ever had a topic hot on your heart, but you just aren’t prepared to “deal with it”? That is, how I feel today. Then, I am met with today’s reading which guides my heart directly where it needs to be. You can grab our Summer Reading Schedule and join us, if you would like! You can find us on social media also. Just type in “Gracefully Overcoming” to the search bar.

We actually have a Facebook group, specifically for our Summer Bible Reading Plan – Challenge. Grab your reading plan, and hop over to the group – and join us. This reading plan is designed to help you draw nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s okay if your speed isn’t everyone else’s – mine isn’t either. I am sure I will post out of order, and miss days.. It will be a messy journey but one that will take me farther than I could imagine!!

In Luke 1, we are met with two women. Both women, by all natural circumstances, were unable to have children. While Elizabeth was older, Mary was a virgin. Both are pretty near “impossible” circumstances to ever birth sons. Yet in those very circumstances, our God shows His sovereignty.

But these were women who had to trust the One True God no matter how different His Words to them sounded. They had to choose Him, over their fears and doubts and the chatter of those within their community.

Anything is possible with God (Luke 1:37).

Will we, as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, choose to believe this biblical statement? This is the statement we are met with. Even when God’s promises don’t match up to our circumstances, we need to choose to trust Him anyway. We need to choose to trust Him, even when life doesn’t measure up to the vision we had for ourselves. We need to choose to “talk to Him as we would a friend” and pray about the things heavy on our hearts.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Instead of dancing around the thoughts or daydreams, bring it before God. Lay it down at His throne. This is the gift we are given as Daughters of the Most High God. We can come and lay it down at His feet, so our souls are not more burdened than necessary. Doesn’t that sound like a better way, than juggling fears // doubts versus God’s promises?

Trust Habits #7

I have been thinking on my inconsistency, regarding certain blog led Bible studies I have conducted over the years. And one day, I want to go back and *complete* the series I once begun.

Normally my Summer season is where it becomes increasingly difficult for me to sit, study, and write. It becomes difficult for many reasons, but this is the place where it seems as though I am being “attacked on all sides.” I don’t expect this Summer to be any different.

Right now, I am trying to spend as much time with my Grandfather as I can – while he is still on this earth. I am thankful for the way he has shown his love for the Lord Jesus Christ and his family. He has always loved us well. As I look to this week’s trusting habit, I want to discuss showing up when life is hard. There is something to be said when we work on our faithfulness, even when times get hard.

How are we prayerfully considering our own faithfulness, in response to the Almighty faithfulness of our great God?

As I prepare for this Summer, I want to be faithful. I want (and need) to keep showing up, even when life gets hard. I am not talking about showing up in a physical sense, but a spiritual one. I want to keep showing up, in terms of meeting with the Lord Jesus on a consistent basis.

Would I love to write this Summer through whatever happens? Absolutely.

But more than that, I want to have quality alone time with our Mighty God. I need to position myself to enjoy the practice of the Lord and all He has to offer me in the process of meeting with Him.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Mark 1:35, New International Version

This Summer, I want to consistently show up in my time with the Lord. It doesn’t start six weeks down the road though. It begins now. It begins now, as I take the necessary steps to prepare my heart and body for Summer. Even amidst the much heartache occurring in my life right now, I need to consistently show up – by meeting with the Lord.

Tonight, this might look different than it will tomorrow. Tonight, this might mean sitting up to prepare writings. Whereas, tomorrow it means hardcore sleep. In each activity of doing or resting, the necessary thing is to show up in my relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

What is soo amazing about our Mighty God is – He continues to show up. He continues to be faithful. His faithfulness doesn’t depend on who we are, but on His character. Our God is good and faithful no matter what is going on in our lives.

I will share more about our Summer study soon enough. I would like to get a bit of the posts scheduled first, especially since my consistency during hardcore trials could use a bit of work.

Unsplash Photo: Ben White

In Him,

Every Season

I know God can bring good things out of my pain. I just have to keep enduring.

Before tonight, I hadn’t been outside of our front door in nearly a week. I have Dysautonomia, and it has been absolutely brutal these past few weeks. My Summer goal was to not cancel appointments and to keep on. I wasn’t able to keep appointments, once June hit.

My physical body is just so done right now. I am holding on, but it is just… tired and worn. I want Summer to be over with, but I am reminded that. . . There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven… (Ecc. 3:1).”

We will go through seasons in life, that we have to fight — in order to get through. Life with chronic illness is like this. Some weeks, we have to give our all (and then some) to get through the things that are sent our way.

Friends, let us run to Christ Jesus with whatever we have to offer. When we are knocked down, we are out of our routine often times. Some times, we can barely muster up the courage to bathe or fix ourselves something simple to eat.

Jesus Christ wants to be our Source of strength to help us carry on.

My routine has been thrown out the window right now. Every time I stand up, my blood pressure dramatically drops, heart rate rapidly increases, lightheadedness, and nausea. Lately, my difficulties aren’t in standing alone. The symptoms can move forward, even with sitting up. Life definitely has a way of throwing us into difficulty, but what are we going to do with that difficulty? What are we going to do when we are thrown off our routine?

My last entry offered some things to run toward during our trials. Worship music, an audio Bible, prayer are all good things. But we have to come up with a “new routine” for those heavy trials days. Each of us are going to run toward our generous God in different ways during this time. It won’t all look the same way. Some of us are going to find it difficult to concentrate to read our Bible’s, but we will be able to reach out to Christ-loving friends to pray over us and to share with us His eternal truths.

I have found it really hard to have my quiet time with Jesus, while I am out of routine. My body is flaring and making it hard to do much. I haven’t done it today, but I tend to gravitate toward listening to the audio Bible. That is my Bible “study” time right now. It isn’t my usual way of being with the Lord, but it is good.

Just remember: God sent His Son Jesus Christ to love and carry us through these things. He is worthy, and will carry us. He can restore broken things, so we can keep pressing into Him.

Feature image by Kelly Neil.

June Swoon

Summer has arrived! Chances are: This either excites you, or terrifies you.

In my case: Summer, POTS, and Fibromyalgia (just these three alone) make for a draining combination. I have been fighting for my health – since 2006 (at least). And, Summer is when it is absolutely at its worse.

The enjoying requires much preparation, resting, and even “flare up’s” to fight for those good Summer moments.

A Bit of My Story –

I have been working on different ways to “treat” my symptoms. Then Summer arrives, and it is like I have lost all progress. Especially on days like today, when simply sitting outside for a few moments – causes those symptoms to rush in.

Many POTS patients also experience fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, exercise intolerance, nausea, diminished concentration, tremulousness (shaking), syncope (fainting), coldness or pain in the extremities, chest pain and shortness of breath. – Dysautonomia International

Summer is known for worsening my symptoms, which is why I have been playing around with “life hacks” since February. Things like “WFPB” freezer meals, coloring, and involving the Scriptures into my days. I know of my need for healthy distractions and “strengthening tools.”

The month of June could be beautiful, inspiring, and send us deeper into our Savior’s arms – especially in the hard moments.

The Focus

My “word” (okay technically, it is two words) for the year is. . . Drawing Nearer.

For this month, the beginning of Summer, I need to do just this. Focus on drawing nearer to the Lord Jesus. However I can. Wherever I can. This month, my aim is to see growth in becoming like Christ.

Admittedly, my June goals may look a bit more relaxed than other months. But, just remember these three words: “It is Summer!” My focus has to be centered around a quieted way of life.

Do –

  • Enjoy my weekly home small group (as we study Ephesians).
  • Rest, even when I don’t think I need to.
  • Daily fuel and my “strengthening tools” – which include:
    • Read my Bible. It may be in Ephesians, Philippians, or another area.
    • Color or stencil
    • Listen to praise music
    • Eat as plant based as humanly possible. This one is becoming easier to do, the longer I do it.
    • Try to read for 15-20 minutes.
  • Keep remembering the truth Proverbs 3:5-10 has for my life

Learn –

how to spend time with our Lord Jesus, and cultivate some much needed spiritual disciplines. Even in the midst of a storm, there is much I have to learn.

Read –

My honest goal is to – just read. How many books? One never knows. It could be three. It could be eight. 15-20 minutes a day – is the aim.

Be Protective

All I can do is – my best to protect my body, mind, and soul in this difficult season of life. Be cautious of weather, the things I use to entertain me, and how I treat this body God has given me.

It is the start of Summer, which can either excite us or cause great nervousness in us. What are your goals for the beginning of Summer?

Featured image by Jay Wennington through Unsplash.

Impact #3

It has been a while since I have enjoyed the grace of our “Impact” blog series. It offers just the questions I need to have, as I share what is going on with me.

Feeling – Lately, I have been really struggling (either from depression or weakness). I am finding myself in a deep depression, and it is just really hard. Even just going to church can just bring out the depression in intense levels. I am still holding onto the Lord, but this is hard. It is a hard, difficult, hurdle to try and walk through – especially as our weather moves into Summer. Recently I had a spinal MRI, and it might be bringing more answers than I expected. We might be looking at a cause for my weakness (spinal osteoarthritis). I am interested to see what my pain specialist says, but nervous as well. These things only add to the depression.

This is just my muddy place I am finding myself in – right now, and it’s okay to talk about them.

. . . And the Holy Spirit is making His presence known through this pain too. Always does.

Studying – The weakness makes Bible study interesting on some days, but when I can. . . This is how I am choosing to study.

I am revisiting a different way, in terms of how I study the Word of God. I have started back using the Interlinear Bible from Bible Study Tools. The other day, I took the Hebrew word for “satisfy,” and began looking at the different places where the word “Saba” is used.

God wants to satisfy us as His beloved people. It is about how I choose to come before Him and allow Him to meet me in the midst of my mess.

Reading – Right now, I think I am in the process of reading three books.

  • Spoken For: Embracing Who You Are and Whose You Are (Robin Jones Gunn; Alyssa Joy Bethke)
  • Made for His Pleasure (Alistair Begg)
  • God’s Story, Your Story: When His Becomes Yours (Max Lucado)

I am walking around with a fourth – wanting to binge read it sometime soon. I Kissed  a Lot of Frogs: But My Prince Still Hasn’t Come (Kathleen Hardaway) is actually only $2.98 on Amazon(third party seller) as of tonight. I loved it last time I read it, expect to this time as well.

Listening To – Currently, I am listening to my YouTube playlist. I listen to it often, and allow the words to just wash over my spirit.

Celebrating – the good things.

Praying – for many things.

Holding Onto – our sweet Savior Jesus.

Other Scriptures – I posted my index cards in my three “hot spots” the other day, so I am choosing to reread it when I can. I am choosing to focus on the NIV translation, so I can keep trying to memorize it. But, here it is in a different translation –

With every sun’s rising, surprise us with Your love, satisfy us with Your kindness. Then we will sing with joy and celebrate every day we are alive (Psalm 90:14, The Voice)

Okay dear friends, my arms are burning. Fairly edited and off it goes to reach you wherever you are. Stay encouraged wherever you are, and know our sweet Savior Jesus will meet you wherever you are too. If He can get Daniel’s friends through the fiery furnace, He can get us through this too.

Featured image is by Fachy Marin through Unspash.