Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, Miscellanous how-to

6 ways to handle change

I recently posted a “never have I ever” meme on my Facebook page. The meme listed things that were from years past such as using a rotary phone, owning an encyclopedia, and accessing the internet through dial-up. For each thing that someone hadn’t done, they gave themselves a point. It was fun to read everyone’s comments.

In reality, technology has changed rapidly over the last couple of decades and especially in the past couple of years.

Our world has changed as well. The culture—the things that are now acceptable and mainstream—are vastly different than even a decade ago. There has been a decline in morality and people are moving further and further away from the Lord. We’ve changed how and where we conduct business, what we do with our spare time, and how we interact with others.

With so much change all around us, how can we handle it effectively?

Realize that change is inevitable.

Certain change can be good. Other changes can be a challenge and can take a toll on our health, both mental and physical. Whether good or bad, change is unavoidable.

Give yourself permission to be disappointed.

When we observe the continually-changing world, it’s easy to become discouraged. Give yourself permission to be disappointed, but don’t languish in that disappointment.

When my husband was the victim of a surgical blunder, it changed his life (and the lives of those who love him) forever. Understandably, he was devastated when the life he knew would be altered to a vast extent. He still struggles from time to time with knowing that there are many things he could once do, but no longer can.

But one thing I love about my husband is that he didn’t let this enormous change ruin his life. He gave it over to the Lord, forged ahead, and has learned to adjust.

Such a feat is not easy and requires constant prayer and the support of family and close friends.

Rely on others and give grace.

For most of us, 2020 will always be a year to remember, but probably not in a positive way. When we face any type of life-altering change, whether it affects us personally or indirectly, we need to seek support from family and friends.

An elderly man at the gym where I teach spinning and strength-training classes found himself at the crossroads of change recently. The gym has been undergoing a major overhaul. When I asked him if I could help him find something, he told me he’d been standing there for forty-five minutes looking for a specific machine that he used while it was in the former workout room. I assisted him in locating the machine, which was hidden among numerous others in the center aisle. He confided that he suffered from memory loss and that all of the changes were overwhelming to him. As such, he needed repeated information on how to use the machine several times. It’s important to give others grace in times of change.

And it’s also important to give ourselves grace. Change is tough. And at any given moment, several things can bombard us at once. We need to be kind to ourselves.

Guard your mind.

Want to know just how much the world is changing right before our eyes? Log on to social media, turn on the news, or read the paper and within seconds you’ll be reminded that we will never experience a perfect world here on earth. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the toxicity.

We must protect our minds and thoughts by limiting our exposure to the news. Yes, it is important to be informed so we can take action if need be, but it’s hazardous to our health, literally, to be engaged twenty-four seven with the negativity of this world. Thankfully, as Believers in Jesus Christ, this world is not our permanent home.

Keep your focus on Jesus.

When we spend time in God’s Word, commit ourselves to prayer, and view things from an eternal perspective, change is much easier to endure. I love the words from the beautiful hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

And most importantly…Lean on the One who never changes.

In a rapidly changing world, it’s reassuring to remember that there is One who never changes. The Lord remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. He can be counted on and is always faithful. He will walk with us through change, whether the disturbing change of morals in our society, other changes both good and bad in the world around us, or changes in our own personal lives.

In light of that reassurance, we can endure anything that comes our way.

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Posted in Growing in the Lord, miscellaneous, miscellaneous how-to

what are you thinking?

I recently received an alert for one of my email addresses. Apparently, having 27,000+ emails triggered the warning indicating I would no longer be able to send or receive any emails unless I went on a deleting spree.

No, I’m not an email horder, but due to the busyness of life, I’d neglected this particular account I’ve had for the past 15+ years and one of many accounts I have for my writing, ministry, jobs, volunteer work, and personal use.

Before I could do a massive delete session, I had to differentiate between those emails I really needed to keep and those that desperately needed to be expunged (like all the advertisements for my favorite clothing store to the tune of 2,893 emails).

There were also a multitude of other less important emails crowding my inbox—useless gunk better directed to the junk mail folder.

As is with the multitude of emails we receive each day, at any given moment, numerous thoughts bombard our mind.

An interesting article on Healthline states, “The results of a 2020 study suggested people typically have more than 6,000 thoughts per day.” Further, upon conducting that study, they determined, “a median rate of about 6.5 thought transitions per minute. This rate appeared to remain fairly consistent over time.”

Roughly 6,000 thoughts a day is an incredible amount of things our brain contemplates and ponders. Some of those thoughts are wonderful and others sneak in without warning, attempting to sabotage our day. Some thoughts are needed, while others are intended to cause worry, fear, temptations, discouragement, or unkindness towards others.

We may not have complete control over what flitters through our minds, but we do have control over what we allow to stay there and manifest itself.

What does the Bible have to say about what we allow to permeate our minds?

Philippians 4:8 states, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Colossians 3:2 encourages us to set our minds on things above.

And Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to fix our eyes on Jesus.

What else can we do “junk” thoughts enter our minds?

We can…

  1. Be mindful of what we allow into our minds. What do we watch, read, and listen to? Who do we hang around? How are they influencing us? It’s a lot easier to be proactive and guard our minds than to remove what has filtered in.
  2. Pray for God to protect our thoughts.
  3. Dig into His Word and remain steadfast in learning more about Him.
  4. Focus our thoughts on Jesus.

Before you go, check out these other posts:

the importance of new beginnings

the importance of recognizing your influence

the top 10 blog posts of 2022

11 verses of hope

book news and giveaways

14 things for girls to consider before dating

launch team opportunities

Posted in holidays, miscellaneous

Happy New Year!

As we venture into 2023, May we continue to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2).

Thank you so much for your encouragement and support in 2022. From my family to yours, have a happy and safe New Year and a blessed 2023.

Posted in devotionals, family/marriage, Growing in the Lord

6 things to do in these crazy times

6 crazy times

It’s definitely a crazy (and scary!) world we live in at present.

Everywhere we turn, there’s footage and news of horrific violence. Innocent lives taken. Businesses ruined. Cities destroyed. Some of it is even happening in our own towns and cities. The America we love is no longer the same. What can we do?

Pray fervently that God will heal our nation. Pray for wisdom for our leaders. Pray  that they will make godly choices in the governing roles to which they were elected or appointed.
Reach others with the love of Christ. The world is watching and is desperate for hope. Let’s not waste the opportunity to show people that the hope they yearn for can only be found in Jesus. We need to be an example of Christ and be the light in an increasingly bleak world.

Reach out and help someone in need. Whenever we take the focus off ourselves and our stress, and place our focus on another, it benefits everyone.

Strive for unity. No, we aren’t always going to agree on everything, and frankly, it would be pretty boring if we did. However, when we disagree, we can do it respectfully. Satan loves division among Believers. Don’t give him a foothold.

Take a break from the media. It can be toxic, and who needs the elevated blood pressure? However, we should not be ostriches with our heads in the sand either. We do need to be aware of what is going on in the world around us. Just in a balanced dose.

Remember that God is sovereign. As I mentioned during the height of the corona virus, this unrest we are seeing in our nation did not catch our Lord unaware. He is our refuge. Our strength. Through Him, we can have peace. And it’s not just a superficial peace, but a real and abiding peace.

Most of all, keep our eyes on Jesus. I am reminded of the time Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and he sank. When we turn our focal point on the Lord and with His help keep it there, we will never sink.

Hebrews 12 2a