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Posts Tagged ‘perseverance’

Gray and forlorn, the skies promised rain and I tucked the first holiday CD into the disc player. The lonely strains of “I’ll be Home for Christmas” reminded me of all that was missing, and I glanced at the sweet boys playing near my feet. Chunky, plastic blocks and knob-wheeled trucks lay strewn about the floor as my preschooler curled his upper lip and uttered an imitation of a jet accelerating off the tarmac. The youngest, a robust infant with dimpled fingers and white-blond hair, gnawed on an icy teething ring.

“How would you like to make some sugar cookies, Benjamin?”

His head bobbing in agreement, the four-year-year old dropped the miniature F-18 replica and danced toward me—his smile my reward. My son perched beside me in his tiny Home Depot apron, we began assembling the ingredients. Baking sugar cookies on Thanksgiving was a tradition I refused to give up despite the unconventional circumstances.

The phone rang and I breathed a prayer, Please, Lord, then choked out a weak ‘Hello’?

The distinct crackling on the other end of the line was interrupted by the unfamiliar cadence of a man’s voice. “Ma’am, Happy Thanksgiving. I’d like to patch in a call from Lt. Kennington. Is that alright with you?”

It’d been weeks since I’d spoken to my husband and suddenly, he, and I—and the ham radio operator—were enjoying conversation. This wasn’t the Thanksgiving celebration I’d imagined. Instead of our family gathering around the table to celebrate together, we were separated by half a world as the man I loved served on the Navy’s version of a floating city while I parented and prayed from the home front.

But today was a day for gratitude.

Despite the loneliness, I wasn't alone. 
Regardless of distance, I was loved. Click To Tweet

Despite the loneliness, I wasn’t alone. Regardless of distance, I was loved. No matter the circumstances, God provided good gifts.
Many of you may be facing a season of uncertainty. A holiday without loved ones. A Thanksgiving bereft of its usual cheer and celebration. I am truly sorry. If I could, I’d invite you over for a mug of something warm and steamy. We’d share happy holiday memories or watch the snow float like miniature white-winged moths from the low-slung November canopy until it covered the tree branches as they reach to the sky in prayer.

His ear is attuned to the cry of those who are burdened. Click To Tweet

But my heart isn’t adequate to lessen your struggle and I can’t know the depth of loneliness, grief, or heartache you own. Someone else does and His ear is attuned to the cry of those who are burdened.

There might not be a shift in circumstances 
but when you lean into God,He remains steadfast. Click To Tweet

There might not be a shift in circumstances, a sudden answer to ongoing problems, or a change in what you’re experiencing, but when you lean into God during the hardest of times, He remains steadfast. Can I encourage you to whisper a prayer—even if it is only, “Please, Lord”?

He’ll hear you. Allow Him to pull you into the circle of holy arms where you’ll discover comfort. Feel the Father’s heartbeat. You’re never alone. You’re always loved. He will provide good gifts.

Even today is a day for gratitude.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Mondays   Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,InstaEncouragementsMandy and Michele

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

Read Full Post »

Quiet and overweight, the new girl in school was an easy target. She’d shuffle down the hall in nondescript clothing, her unkempt hair hanging across her face as if it knew she longed to be hidden. A year younger than she, I don’t recall her name although I remember the caustic words the pretty girls spewed as their victim sidled toward the row of lockers.

Something stinks.

Daintily waving their hands as if to ward off a stench, the two friends screwed their petite features in disgust and groaned. The boys and girls in the hallway began to titter in agreement and follow their lead. Something stinks.

I wanted to do something. I wanted to cry, but the quiet girl feigned ignorance and continued the long stretch toward class alone.

The silent, brown-haired tween moved away from our school as quickly as she’d arrived. There was no going away party and no opportunity to say good-bye.

I’ve often thought of her. I’d like to tell her I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t befriend her. I’m sorry I wasn’t brave. I’m sorry even children can be cruel, unkind, and uncaring. That even the most innocent of us judge others based on the world’s shallow standards of beauty, charm, and status.

Perhaps we can excuse away childhood callousness with psychobabble about pro-social behavior or not knowing any better. In adult circles, discrimination may be dressed up as inappropriate jesting as well as more overt practices. Lack of inclusion. Failure to hire. Avoidance. Sadly, those ruled by hatred may resort to violence-an occurrence with which we’ve become far too familiar.

...there is no place in the church for discrimination. Ever. 
#theywillknowusbyourlove #discrimination Click To Tweet

But there is no place in the church for discrimination. Ever.

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

Using scripture to interpret scripture, we can learn more about God’s attitude toward discrimination. Let’s take a look at the following verse.

Matthew 22:15-16 (NIV) Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.

Oh, how I would love for God to say the same of me! Wouldn’t you?

Daughter, you are a woman of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others because…of who they are.

In the 90’s, country singer Shania Twain lent her voice to the tune “Don’t Impress Me Much”. Although the song’s message is worldly, it caught my attention as it poked fun at a woman’s self-consumed love interest and ended with the lines,

Okay, so what do you think, you’re Elvis or something
Whatever
That don’t impress me.

Christ lived a don’t-impress-me-much attitude.

Religion didn’t impress him. Power didn’t impress him. Wealth didn’t impress him. He gave up heavenly glory for earthly poverty in order to rescue you and me; in order to rescue the unimpressive.

Instead, Christ seeks after a life surrendered to Him.

Paul shares this powerful passage in Galatians 3:28 (NIV), “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

There are no differentiations in God's kingdom. No VIP sections. 
Only Emmanuel will receive our adoration. Click To Tweet

There are no differentiations in God’s kingdom. No VIP sections. No special boarding passes or red-carpet moments. Paparazzi won’t chase after Elijah or Esther; only Emmanuel will receive our adoration.

In the same way, we are to remember “we are all one in Christ Jesus”.

Reconsider the words of James 2:1-5.

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

Both the rich and poor man described in the situation above are unexpected guests and neither is treated any differently than if they attended any other gathering. Let’s assume these men are unaware of Jesus’ saving grace. Will either of them be swayed by judgmental people within the body of believers? Will they come to know Him through me? Or you?

Christ’s people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and, if we remain in Him, we will live differently. We will see, treat, and love others through the eyes of Christ. Oh, Friend—how often I fail when I live and walk in the flesh, but when the Spirit is in control of my heart, mind, and soul then transformation happens.

I care less about how others perceive me and more about how I can meet their needs. I’m less impressed by status and more interested in salvation. I look beyond race, creed, or color and see the tears, the pain, and a heart that pounds out the question, “Who will love me anyway?”.

James continues in verse 8, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.”

Love.

We are living in world that throws love around until the word seems to have lost its worth.

I love chocolate. (True.) I love dogs. I love sleeping in on Saturday. I love…fill in the blank.

But the love James refers to is sacrificial, life-giving love—the soul-deep, Christ-shaped love people long for without even realizing it. Pure, beautiful, unadulterated love flowing from the throne room into our living rooms, classrooms, and boardrooms. Spanning the invisible boundaries of white churches, black churches, Hispanic churches, and Korean churches.

Christ’s love is greater and more powerful than anything you and I will face individually, locally, nationally, or globally and we can be part of the answer. In Him, we are persevering, love-offering, Christ-sharing believers.

Reflect

What action step can you take today to “love your neighbor as yourself”?

In what way is God asking you to move beyond the invisible boundaries of status, color, or race in order to break down the barriers of favoritism within the church, your neighborhood, or community?

Are you struggling to find hope in this unsettling time? If so, I have a free gift for you today. Each month you will receive a Bible study article like the one you read today from my book, The Persevering Believer: Hope in Every Season. The first several days are already available and you can download the excert

Quiet and overweight, the new girl in school was an easy target. She’d shuffle down the hall in nondescript clothing, her unkempt hair hanging across her face as if it knew she longed to be hidden. A year younger than she, I don’t recall her name although I remember the caustic words the pretty girls spewed as their victim sidled toward the row of lockers.

Something stinks.

Daintily waving their hands as if to ward off a stench, the two friends screwed their petite features in disgust and groaned. The boys and girls in the hallway began to titter in agreement and follow their lead. Something stinks.

I wanted to do something. I wanted to cry, but the quiet girl feigned ignorance and continued the long stretch toward class alone.

The silent, brown-haired tween moved away from our school as quickly as she’d arrived. There was no going away party and no opportunity to say good-bye.

I’ve often thought of her. I’d like to tell her I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t befriend her. I’m sorry I wasn’t brave. I’m sorry even children can be cruel, unkind, and uncaring. That even the most innocent of us judge others based on the world’s shallow standards of beauty, charm, and status.

Perhaps we can excuse away childhood callousness with psychobabble about pro-social behavior or not knowing any better. In adult circles, discrimination may be dressed up as inappropriate jesting as well as more overt practices. Lack of inclusion. Failure to hire. Avoidance. Sadly, those ruled by hatred may resort to violence-an occurrence with which we’ve become far too familiar.

...there is no place in the church for discrimination. Ever. #theywillknowusbyourlove #discrimination Click To Tweet

But there is no place in the church for discrimination. Ever.

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

Using scripture to interpret scripture, we can learn more about God’s attitude toward discrimination. Let’s take a look at the following verse.

Matthew 22:15-16 (NIV) Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.

Oh, how I would love for God to say the same of me! Wouldn’t you?

Daughter, you are a woman of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others because…of who they are.

In the 90’s, country singer Shania Twain lent her voice to the tune “Don’t Impress Me Much”. Although the song’s message is worldly, it caught my attention as it poked fun at a woman’s self-consumed love interest and ended with the lines,

Okay, so what do you think, you’re Elvis or something
Whatever
That don’t impress me.

Christ lived a don’t-impress-me-much attitude.

Religion didn’t impress him. Power didn’t impress him. Wealth didn’t impress him. He gave up heavenly glory for earthly poverty in order to rescue you and me; in order to rescue the unimpressive.

Instead, Christ seeks after a life surrendered to Him.

Paul shares this powerful passage in Galatians 3:28 (NIV), “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

There are differentiations in God's kingdom. No VIP sections. Only Emmanuel will receive our adoration. Click To Tweet

There are no differentiations in God’s kingdom. No VIP sections. No special boarding passes or red-carpet moments. Paparazzi won’t chase after Elijah or Esther; only Emmanuel will receive our adoration.

In the same way, we are to remember “we are all one in Christ Jesus”.

Reconsider the words of James 2:1-5.

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

Both the rich and poor man described in the situation above are unexpected guests and neither is treated any differently than if they attended any other gathering. Let’s assume these men are unaware of Jesus’ saving grace. Will either of them be swayed by judgmental people within the body of believers? Will they come to know Him through me? Or you?

Christ’s people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and, if we remain in Him, we will live differently. We will see, treat, and love others through the eyes of Christ. Oh, Friend—how often I fail when I live and walk in the flesh, but when the Spirit is in control of my heart, mind, and soul then transformation happens.

 Click To Tweet

I care less about how others perceive me and more about how I can meet their needs. I’m less impressed by status and more interested in salvation. I look beyond race, creed, or color and see the tears, the pain, and a heart that pounds out the question, “Who will love me anyway?”.

James continues in verse 8, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.”

Love.

We are living in world that throws love around until the word seems to have lost its worth.

I love chocolate. (True.) I love dogs. I love sleeping in on Saturday. I love…fill in the blank.

 Click To Tweet

But the love James refers to is sacrificial, life-giving love—the soul-deep, Christ-shaped love people long for without even realizing it. Pure, beautiful, unadulterated love flowing from the throne room into our living rooms, classrooms, and boardrooms. Spanning the invisible boundaries of white churches, black churches, Hispanic churches, and Korean churches.

Christ’s love is greater and more powerful than anything you and I will face individually, locally, nationally, or globally and we can be part of the answer. In Him, we are persevering, love-offering, Christ-sharing believers.

Reflect

What action step can you take today to “love your neighbor as yourself”?

In what way is God asking you to move beyond the invisible boundaries of status, color, or race in order to break down the barriers of favoritism within the church, your neighborhood, or community?

Are you struggling to find hope in this unsettling time? If so, I have a free gift for you today. Each month you will receive a Bible study article like the one you read today from my book, The Persevering Believer: Hope in Every Season. The first several days are already available and you can download them here.  I pray they are a blessing to you.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsMandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

I pray they are a blessing to you.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsMandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

Read Full Post »

_...whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - Copy

The throbbing is real but intangible. Painful but unseen. It’s the shattering of a heart already broken experiencing one more journey in the wasteland. Have you been in this place before? In the same sort of circumstance where your dreams are dashed by reality and hope drifts away like dust in the wind? Are you searching for solace, but coming up dry? Does it seem as if even God is unreachable in this desert place?

The Wasteland

The wasteland is almost uninhabitable; barren of comfort, it lacks nourishment and sanctuary is difficult to find. Even your spirit seeks aimlessly, searching for rest but finding none; lying in the pale sand only to rise up again up with the residue of silt  clinging to it-a a reminder of your unchartered journey.

Some of you may be in a spiritual wasteland or on its horizon; others remember trials you’ve recently experienced-difficult circumstances that led you deep into the arid places of the heart bereft of comfortable routines or reassuring normalcy.

If you’re passing through the refining heat of the desert, there is comfort in knowing those of great faith have also journeyed along the same gritty path.

A King in the Wasteland

Imagine being a man of great wealth and power only to discover your oldest son has betrayed you. Charming and deceitful, he’s convinced some of your closest advisors to turn against you and, as a result, you lose everything-your position, possessions, and prestige.

Discovering a plot against your life, you gather a few trusted men and escape to the wilderness. Nourishment is scarce and the enemy, your son, haunts every weary step. Battle weary, you’ve managed many losses and setbacks. Undeserved hatred. Depression. The death of a beloved child. This is a new heartache…the betrayal of a precious son and separation from your place of holy Hope. The one sanctuary of your life.

While encountering his own wasteland, the shepherd-turned-king cried out to God and scribed his words into song as a testimony for us.

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.                                                                                                                                   But those who seek my life, to destroy it,

Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped. (Psalm 63-NKJV)

 

Are you struck by David’s description of His parched soul? By the yearning he has to be in God’s presence? In these few, beautiful verses the believer reveals a path to joy in the most difficult of situations.

Focus on God’s Character

When I’m surrounded by the brokenness of the wasteland, I often fail to notice the stark beauty of the desert stars shining in an inky sky or the shifting shadows along the face of the rocky terrain. I’m consumed by the situation and begin to compare my unfair circumstances to other believers. Why this issue? Hadn’t I prayed enough? Why does God allow this suffering? The questions keep coming, but there aren’t any satisfactory answers.

Perhaps David felt the same way, but he didn’t resort to comparing or even complaining. Instead, he turned his thoughts heavenward and called out to the one who is unbound by circumstances. David cried, “O Elohim (the one true God), You are my El (the mighty One).”

Neither the barren surroundings nor the lack of protection garnered the king’s attention. God’s character was his focal point. When we find ourselves confused or fearful in unwelcome circumstances, our strength comes from the presence of the all-knowing, ever-loving El Elohim. Removing our eyes from the temporary and redirecting them to our Eternal horizon is the first step in rediscovering hope in difficulty.

Quench Your Thirst

As king, David knew the pleasures of fine feasts, silken fabrics, and celebrations. He was accustomed to being addressed with respect and surrounded by family members and doting servants. Now, David and a few loyal men were rushing from one cave to another without the simplest of comforts, and when crying out for his most basic needs what did he request?

More of God.

Despite his clear physical needs, David’s spiritual needs were far more acute. Body and soul, he longed to commune with God. Lamenting at being separated from the holiness of the sanctuary where he’d witnessed God’s glory, earth’s mighty king bowed before heaven’s King in humble submission asking that the Lord alone would quench his thirst.

What does your soul thirst after, friend? Is it His word? Worship? Communing with Him?  Go to Him for we need never thirst. Jesus said, “whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again”. (John 4:14 ESV)

Remember and Rejoice

Even though David is fleeing for his life, he recalls all of the good God has done for him. He recounts the joys, victories, and protection. Maybe David thinks of his best friend Jonathan, the rags-to-riches story of shepherd boy to king, the unexpected win of teenaged-boy over a ruthless warrior, or the birth of his son, Solomon.

Praise flows like a river from David’s mouth. As he thanks the Lord, gratitude wells up from inside his spirit and joy spills out.

Remembering God’s goodness leads to rejoicing. And don’t we all need more rejoicing-especially when we’re walking through the wasteland?

 

Leaving the Wasteland

Eventually, David was rescued from the wasteland. You will be, too, friend. Our Father promises to be your shield and protector, your rescuer and redeemer. He will quench your thirst and lead you by still waters.

Like David, we can cling to our Lord with steady perseverance and take refuge from any challenge in El Elohim-the one true God, the strong and mighty One.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The year is 1995. Being a self-employed counselor is a real challenge. From time to time I say to my God, “Is this really what you want me to do?” Deep inside from around the region of my heart, I hear the answer, “Hang on.”

Sometimes God is a person of few words.#faith #perseverance Click To Tweet

Sometimes God is a person of a few words. I keep questioning, “Should I be doing something else?” Sometimes I feel like a failure and now I am overwhelmed with shame at having to ask for help. I stare at the phone in my hand. You can do this Evelyn, do not give up, do not back down, do not lose faith. Do not worry about what people think?

It’s been a hard winter. My business has dwindled to almost nothing, partly because of the weather and partly because I don’t feel equal to the trauma and pain I see in front of me. Money is tight. My fear is that homelessness is imminent.

My friend in Oklahoma City tells me about an organization that is coming to the clinic where she works to do some free trauma training that can help untold numbers of hurting people. But it’s just for Oklahoma counselors. I live in South Dakota.

“Can I come?” I ask. She says “no” on three different phone calls,

“Just ask them,” I say. “Please just ask?”

Finally, she says with a deep sigh, “I will give you the number and you can ask.”

I’ve wanted this training for a couple of years. I have heard of the extraordinary healing it produces—but the cost is beyond my reach. I’ve been praying for guidance for months, hanging on, believing God when He says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear”. (Luke 12:22.) Waking up stressed and fearful in the middle of the night, I repeat this verse over and over, desperately trying to drown out the negative messages rattling around my brain. The messages telling me: “Give up, send your clients to someone who can really help them. Stop humiliating yourself by being persistent. Go find a job. Why would anyone want to help you anyway?”

Now it’s 8:00 am on a cloudy Monday morning. Sitting with the phone in my hand, I have prayed all night for a “yes” answer or the faith to endure a “no.” Taking a deep breath, I dial the number; it rings five times before the man on the other end says “Good morning. Bright Counseling, Joe speaking.”

My heart is in my throat. “This is Evelyn Leite. I am a friend of Barbara’s—I understand that the EMDR corporation is doing a free counselor training in Oklahoma City, because of the bombing of the Federal building. I hear my breathless voice coming out fast and force myself to slow down.

“Joe, I am a counselor in South Dakota. Do you think it might be possible for me to attend the training coming up at your clinic next week?” A long moment of silence follows (I’m holding my breath) then he says “I don’t see any reason why you can’t.” Geared up for a “no”, my “thank you” comes out in an emotional squeak. Joe takes my name and phone number and promises to see me there. I’m in!

Overwhelmed with gratitude, I say prayers of praise and swing into action. Using frequent flyer miles and with ten dollars in my pocket, my amazed friend will meet me at the airport and I will stay with her. I will be only the second counselor in SD to have this training-my business booms and people are helped. God is Good!

 

 

Evelyn M. Leite MHR, LPC  

Evelyn Leite has been in the addiction and mental health profession for 35 years and has a private practice called Living With Solutions.  She also founded a non-profit corporation called A Center For Training And Restoration.  She is the author of 14 books and she holds workshops nationwide that are devoted to teaching individuals and families about mental health and addiction. Evelyn does a lot of trauma-related work with men and women who have been abused.  Because her work as a humanitarian has been widely recognized, she was installed in the SD Hall of Fame in 2008.  Her work has included founding a youth center in Ft Pierre, SD, helping establish a women’s shelter in Pierre, SD, and helping to establish the Hope Center, a day shelter for the homeless in Rapid City, SD.  Most of her work for the last 15 years has taken place on Indian Reservations.  She released a new book in December 2019, A Fix For The Family Rift Caused By Addiction. Evelyn Leite has been in the addiction and mental health profession for 35 years and has a private practice called Living With Solutions.

https://evelynleite.com/

 

P.S. Hello, friends. I’m so glad you stopped by today. Evelyn and other counselors who do the hard and important work of helping people heal from their trauma wounds are such a blessing. Evelyn and I have never met personally and she is unaware of my background, but EMDR was one of the tools God used to bring hope and healing into my own life as a survivor of child abuse. If you have any questions about EMDR or other aspects of healing from trauma (i.e. C-PTSD, domestic violence, sexual assault, etc.), please know you aren’t alone. Reach out to one of us or another safe person in your life. God is in the business of “restoring the years the locusts have eaten”.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I sometimes link-up with these wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network

Read Full Post »

Pleading for Us

The hard edges of time haven’t yet lined his face, but the young man knows suffering. He’s grown accustomed to fear biting at his heels; chasing him from one day to the next. Calling on God, he prays and fasts-beseeching the Lord for breakthrough. Relief from the brokenness. Healing for a hurting heart that refuses to release the tears bottled there for too long.

And his mother approaches the throne of grace; a modern-day Hannah with earnest words whispered and desperate on behalf of the man who is her son. Capturing a glimpse of the child behind his sad smile, she lifts her face to heaven.

Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you’ll take a good, hard look at (his) pain,
If you’ll quit neglecting (him) and go into action for (him)…
I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you.
I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline. (1 Samuel 1:11 MSG)

Like the grieving woman whose arms longed to feel the weight of a newborn, I make a holy vow of my own.  No holding back. No standing in the way. No talking him out of what the mighty God has planned. But, Lord, free him up to live and live abundantly-not this numb-to-the-pain and numb-to-the-joy existence. Allow beauty to move him to such depths that joy erupts from his spirit and spills wet as liquid down dampened cheeks. Let sadness wring his soul with enough strength that the melancholy pours from within; unleashing the ache and inviting the flow of God’s healing touch. Move into the empty spaces and clear out those the imposter has planted a “no vacancy” sign.

You, too, may be a modern-day Hannah with a loved one whose heart needs healing. Some days, it feels as though the prayers will never be answered and I grow impatient. I want Him to answer now. Doesn’t He see the need? The pain? The ache?

I would be the rescuer. The savior. But, my titles are all lowercase.#perseverance#faith Click To Tweet

Honestly, if I could exchange the burden with my precious one I would. I would be the rescuer. The savior. But, my titles are all lowercase and I’m ill-equipped to do anything but persevere in my faith. If I give up, the enemy will celebrate a victory. I refuse to yield my child’s life so easily.

What about you? Are you battling right now? Are you, too, pounding on heaven’s gates on behalf of a loved one? Maybe your on bended knee as a result of a dear one’s anxiety, depression, or addiction. It could be your precious one is consumed by self-contempt, brokenness, or fear.

Perhaps, you are the one in need of prayer.

Dear modern-day Hannah, remain steadfast. Jesus intercedes on your behalf.#holyprayers#remembered Click To Tweet

Dear modern-day Hannah, remain steadfast. Raise your eyes heavenward. Your heavenly priest, Jesus, intercedes on your behalf. Persevere as this woman of scripture once did and there will be a day of rejoicing. Just as the Lord remembered Hannah, He will remember you.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I sometimes link-up with these wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Networ

 

 

 

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Nothing changes.  The words slip past his lips as easily as the joy leaves my heart. Is it me?   The circumstances?  What could be different?  I’m not certain.  Perhaps we are the ones meant to change….to grow….in faith, steadfastness, genuine love for those around us.

Nothing changes. The words ring true. The human experience is one of dual tracks–joy and struggle, laughter and tears, life and death.  These are consistent.

Nothing changes?  But situations change.  They ebb and flow like the rushing ocean. One moment a piece of sand rotates beneath the rush of the water and is replaced by another.  It begins to experience something different…new…frightening…exciting.

Nothing changes?  People change.  Time and experience alter opinions, expectations, reactions.  People develop character or regress into selfishness.  People embrace happiness and weep through their sorrows.  Life’s events mold and shape who we are just as the sweeping winds erode and soften sandstone jutting up against the prairie’s horizon.

Nothing changes?  There is one thing–One God-Man who never changes.  His power is limitless, His love boundless, His promises eternal.  Circumstances?  They may change for better–or worse.  Life experiences?  Certain to move from heartfelt celebration to heartache–and back again.  But Jesus Christ?  Friend, He never changes.

Scripture for Reflection

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)

 

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I’ve been in class full-time the last two weeks and missed posting today.  I thought you might enjoy this inspiring clip until I get back on schedule tomorrow.

http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/03/22/hope-floats-how-youth-soccer-team-was-born-on-a-floating-village/

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His gaze locked on what lay ahead, Connor swept past the sidelines.  He seemed oblivious to the crowd and focused on the goal.  “Time!” the official said, as my son burst across the finish line.

This morning I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept–as if I had been in a race, too.  Family life has been a whirlwind this week–complete with visits to the ER, trips to the vet’s office, school concerts, complaints at work, and not much down time.  I’m burned out.  Beat up.  Tired.  Have you been there?  Do life’s ups and downs sometimes chip away at your fortitude?

As I lay on my bed wishing for just thirty more minutes of sleep, the image of Connor running through the rope at the end of those 200 meters flashed into my mind.  I know he’d been weary, but my son persevered–even after a 4:30 a.m. get up, 6:30 a.m. football practice, regular school day and then a 4:30 p.m. track meet.

Instead of complaining, Connor ran the race.  He stayed the course.  He won.

Unknowingly, my son reminded me of the apostle Paul’s words, “1 Cor.24-25You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

26-27I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got.” (The Message)

Today, I’m going to look ahead with my eyes focused on the goal.  I might need to walk when I’m weary, but I’ll get there.  So will you.

Let’t give it everything we’ve got.

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