the importance of perseverance

the importance of perseverance (2).png

Life is not easy. It’s full of challenges, and when we face those challenges, we have a choice. Do we stick with it and persevere? Or do we give up?

My mom texted me yesterday with the results from her recent MRI. On top of severe osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, a herniated disc in her back, and celiac disease, they also discovered she has a radial capitellum capsular edema and a posterolateral  capsular synovial cyst.

All fancy medical terms that contribute to the intense chronic pain she lives with on a daily basis.

She was recently confined to a wheelchair.

In other words, the pain and debilitating illness she now faces are nearly unbearable.

Some days it feels like too much.

It is a lot for her to persevere in these times of chronic pain, uncertainty, and a rapidly deteriorating health.

Hard for her husband, children, and grandchildren to watch as well.

But she perseveres. And no, neither she nor I will tell you that it’s easy or that she doesn’t struggle at times.

Chronic illness.

The Covid-19 virus that has changed life as we know it.

A difficult boss.

A challenging relative.

The effort to lose weight for health reasons.

The challenge to bring up your grades.

Working two jobs to afford basic necessities for your family.

Being a caregiver.

Trying to move on after a death or divorce.

Loneliness

perseverance clip

These can all bring about difficult life situations where it’s easy to give up and give in.

The Apostle Paul went through many trials and hardships and persevered for the Gospel. Missionaries today persist in bringing the Truth to people who may never otherwise hear the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Even in families, friendships, and neighborhoods, faithful believers hope to plant seeds. Pastors preach to both believers and unbelievers each Sunday.

Or even the perseverance in raising our child(ren) for Christ in an increasingly sinful and hostile world. Yet, when we continue to instill in our children the importance of a relationship with God, we will someday reap the rewards.

 

Galatians 6 9

How do we persevere and why is it important that we do?

By keeping our eyes on Jesus. The second we take our eyes off of Him, as Peter did in Matthew 14:30-31, we sink.

Realizing that He knows the “big picture.” How it starts, the middle, and the ending. Remember that we see the tiny hand-held TV screen of life, while God sees an enormous big-screen TV. Or to look at it a different way, we see one word in an entire book, while He sees the entire book – every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter.

Remembering that even in times of hardship, He loves us and will never leave us.

Hebrews 13 5.jpg

Knowing that He is a great listener…and never sleeps. His “line” is open 24/7/365.

Being assured that He’s got this and was not caught off guard.

Spending time in constant prayer, giving thanks for all He has done, seeking His will for your life, and laying down prayer requests are tantamount to a close relationship with Him.

1 Thessalonians 5 17.jpg

Reading God’s Word and learning about the faithful ones of the Bible who persevered. To know we are not alone in our difficulties gives us hope and courage.

Keep going forward…even if you feel like you’re constantly going backwards. 

John Wayne.png

Making sure you have a good support system. This can be a loving spouse and children, caring friends, and a faithful church body.

Being encouraged by listening to uplifting Christian music. What we fill our minds with impacts us, whether positively or negatively.

Facing each day one step at a time. Set small and realistic goals.

Remember that He is with us each step of the way. We never have to “do life” alone.

Life is not easy. Everyone has a struggle, or multiple struggles, that they face on a daily or ongoing basis. But with faith in God and perseverance, we can face our hardships head-on and emerge victorious.

 

 

 

 

10 things to remember during the corona virus pandemic

Corona remember

How are we doing today with all the latest news of the pandemic? I was thinking today
about some encouraging things to remember as we navigate this “new normal” and
came up with the following list:

Decide who and/or what is steering you. Yesterday, my teen daughters and I went for a bike ride. As we started on mile nine on a gravel road, my youngest hit a bump and her handlebars were knocked loose. Now, instead of being able to rely on her handlebars to steer her where she wanted to go, they went one way and her front tire went the other.

Who is steering you? Where is your focus?

The second we take our eyes off our Savior, we’re prone to succumb to fear, anxiety, worry, and depression over the current situation. If our focus is on the worldly events, suddenly things seem impossible to overcome. Instead, let’s fix our eyes on the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Let Jesus steer your life. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5).

Hebrews 13 5

Persevere. There is a certain challenging part of our bike ride course that I especially love. Our family has nicknamed it “Hairpin Curve.” It’s a sharp curve, then a downhill sprint, followed by a steep uphill climb. My goal is to make it to the top of this steep hill while still in the saddle. Nine times out of ten, I achieve that goal. Heart pounding, quads burning, I keep my focus on what lies in front of me at the top of that hill (a quick break before I decide to tackle the whole thing again!) If I give up, my wheels will spin on the loose gravel, rendering me helpless to push through to the top without climbing off my bike.

Even though things can seemingly become bleak with the Covid-19 lurking around every corner, we must persevere through this pandemic. We can’t give up.

Reach out. This is a difficult time for many. (For those of us extroverts the struggle is real!) Silliness aside, don’t ever assume someone is fine. People who live alone are struggling with loneliness. Moms are trying to figure out how to keep their children entertained while being “cooped up.” (Join me in the near future for my blog post about 55 activities to keep kids entertained during the pandemic). Some people are struggling with keeping their jobs and paying the bills. Still others are facing serious health issues such as cancer. Reach out and check on family, friends, the people you know from church, work, and social media. Let them know you care.

Improvise. I remember watching as my brother devised a way to do his chore of hauling fireplace logs on his three-wheeled, low to the ground, pedal-powered motorcycle toy. He even figured out a way to do “spin outs” on our driveway (with impressive skid marks) without losing his load. Luke may not have especially enjoyed hauling in those logs by hand, but with his improvisation, suddenly it no longer felt like a chore.

While many things have changed due to the Corona virus, we can and need to improvise the best we can. Online church would not be the first choice for many, however, what an amazing way to use technology to continue to meet together and glean from our pastors the wisdom God calls them to impart. How phenomenal is it that we can sit in our living rooms and hear the word of God preached to us from anywhere in the world?

Have gratitude. We can certainly find a million and five things to complain about in times like these. Instead, let’s focus on being grateful. Can you breathe? Do you have someone who cares about you? Do you have a loving spouse? Great kids? Do you have food? Clean water to drink? Are you healthy? Can your eyes behold the beauty of the blooming trees or the falling snow? Do you have a voice that can encourage others? Make a list of all the things, from “small” to big for which you are grateful. It won’t take long to see that the thankfulness outweighs the complaints.

Melody Beattie

Intercede for others. What a wonderful opportunity to be able to intercede for others! What an amazing way to lift up the prayer requests of others to our Lord. Of course praying for our loved ones and friends is important. But how about even praying for random people? (Any neighborhood prayer walkers among us?)

Keep your mind and body active. It’s easy to sit around all day and lament the happenings of the world around us. Instead, let’s keep our mind and body active. Put together a puzzle, play board games, do crossword puzzles, even coloring has made a comeback in recent years.

In addition, focus on getting at least a half hour of physical exercise every day (please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program). Even walking around your house or up and down the stairs counts.

Set goals and plans for each day. Keep a list of your goals for each day and cross them off as you tackle them.

Find the funny.  Reminisce with your family or friends (this can be done in person if you live with your family, via Skype, phone calls, instant messaging, or texts) of all the funny times you remember. Watch a humorous movie or play a silly board game.

Focus on the good. Check out the headlines right now. More people are infected with the virus, there are political wars over a stimulus package, and the list goes on and on. Instead of focusing on (and even reading!) the negative, let’s focus on the good. My friend, an accomplished seamstress, is sewing masks for high-risk individuals. Another friend, with her teens, is delivering goods to those who aren’t able (or shouldn’t be) shopping for their own groceries. They’ll even deliver take-out food. (Pizza anyone?) On a personal level, a friend messaged me yesterday that she found my favorite black beans at the store while she was there and picked up a couple cans for me. Her thoughtfulness was such a blessing!

There is so much good news if only we are willing to open our eyes to see it. There are so many kind people if only we are willing to acknowledge them.

Philippians 4 4 (2)

Spend time with Him. Most importantly, spend time with the Lord. Get to know Him. Read His Word. Rekindle your relationship with Him. Rediscover the One who gave His very life for you.

Mom Rediscover

 

the importance of perseverance

the importance of perseverance (2).png

Life is not easy. It’s full of challenges, and when we face those challenges, we have a choice. Do we stick with it and persevere? Or do we give up?

My mom texted me yesterday with the results from her recent MRI. On top of severe osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, a herniated disc in her back, and celiac disease, they also discovered she has a radial capitellum capsular edema and a posterolateral  capsular synovial cyst.

She was recently confined to a wheelchair.

In other words, the pain and debilitating illness she now faces are nearly unbearable.

Some days it feels like too much.

It is a lot for her to persevere in these times of chronic pain, uncertainty, and a rapidly deteriorating health.

Hard for her husband, children, and grandchildren to watch as well.

But she perseveres. And no, neither she nor I will tell you that it’s easy or that she doesn’t struggle at times.

Chronic illness.

A difficult boss.

A challenging relative.

The effort to lose weight for health reasons.

The challenge to bring up your grades.

Working two jobs to afford basic necessities for your family.

Being a caregiver.

Trying to move on after a death or divorce.

perseverance clip

These can all bring about difficult life situations where it’s easy to give up and give in.

The Apostle Paul went through many trials and hardships and perservered for the Gospel. Missionaries today persist in bringing the Truth to people who may never otherwise hear the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Even in families, friendships, and neighborhoods, faithful believers hope to plant seeds. Pastors preach to both believers and unbelievers each Sunday.

Or even the perseverence in raising our child(ren) for Christ in an increasingly sinful and hostile world. Yet, when we continue to instill in our children the importance of a relationship with God, we will someday reap the rewards.

Galatians 6 9

How do we persevere and why is it important that we do?

By keeping our eyes on Jesus. The second we take our eyes off of Him, as Peter did in Matthew 14:30-31, we sink.

Realizing that He knows the “big picture.” How it starts, the middle, and the ending. Remember that we see the tiny hand-held TV screen of life, while God sees an enormous big-screen TV. Or to look at it a different way, we see one word in an entire book, while He sees the entire book – every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter.

Remembering that even in times of hardship, He loves us and will never leave us.

Hebrews 13 5.jpg

Knowing that He is a great listener…and never sleeps. His “line” is open 24/7/365.

Being assured that He’s got this and was not caught off guard.

Spending time in constant prayer, giving thanks for all He has done, seeking His will for your life, and laying down prayer requests are tantamount to a close relationship with Him.

1 Thessalonians 5 17.jpg

Reading God’s Word and learning about the faithful ones of the Bible who persevered. To know we are not alone in our difficulties gives us hope and courage.

Keep going forward…even if you feel like you’re constantly going backwards. 

John Wayne.png

Making sure you have a good support system. This can be a loving spouse and children, caring friends, and a faithful church body.

Being encouraged by listening to uplifting Christian music.

Facing each day one step at a time. Set small and realistic goals.

Life is not easy. Everyone has a struggle, or multiple struggles, that they face on a daily or ongoing basis. But with faith in God and perseverence, we can face our hardships head-on and emerge victorious.