National Blah, Blah, Day

April 17th, is National Blah, Blah, Day!

I love this! We have a day where we can actually celebrate feeling blah!

How many times do you wake up feeling yucky or go to bed feeling blah? I know I’ve experienced my fair share of blahs. What makes us feel this way?

The other day, I was struggling with my allergies. I know that when I eat too much wheat, I will struggle with allergies. Sure enough, I had cheated by eating a burger bun and then devoured a scrumptious chocolate whoopee pie. Guess what? I’m allergic to chocolate as well. The result? I felt blah.

In my experiences, what makes me feeling blah usually comes from a decision I’ve made or a negative thought I’ve had. My first response to feeling blah is that I want to blame someone else instead of owning the feeling myself. If mom didn’t have those whoopee pies in the house, I would not have eaten them. I’ve learned to take responsibility for how I feel and am trying to remember that it’s a waste of time to blame others for my feelings and reactions.

Today is National Blah Day

  • God gave us the gift of feelings and feeling blah is one of them. What can we do when we are really down?
  • Don’t resist it. Accept it. When the blahs invade your mind, start asking God to reveal what is causing you to feel yucky.
  • Pray for the strength to move past it. What’s the worst thing that could happen? With God on your side, the enemy can’t touch you. (Romans 8:31)
  • Ask God what you can learn from this. There is a reason for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Feeling blah can be associated with depression, too. You may feel hopeless or feel like you’re walking without a purpose. There is always hope in Jesus. If you put your trust in Him, He will pull you through your situation. I’ve been there; I know.bored-tasks

Several years back, I dealt with severe depression. I had no idea what it was or where it came from. All I know is that it gripped me to the deepest darkness I had ever experienced. That was over twenty-five years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve battled with blah feelings on and off since. But God has brought me to a place in my life where surrender is a little easier than it was 25 years ago. He will never give me more than I can handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I became a true believer!

That time, twenty-five years ago, was the time I developed a personal relationship with Jesus. That was the time when I began pouring my heart out to Him and I haven’t stopped. I live in victory because of good doctors, a carefully-prescribed medication, (medication is never a weakness) and a faithful God who never leaves my side.

So, do I want to celebrate National Blah, Blah, Blah Day? I’m not sure if celebrate is the word for it. I will take this day, April 17th, National Blah Blah Day, and remind myself of the victories I’ve had throughout the years.

If you are depressed, please try not to feel hopeless. There is hope. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 911 right away. There are fantastic doctors, medications and facilities where you can get the much needed-treatment. If you need prayer, you can personally email me at bethfarley_3@yahoo.com. Blessings!

Come and join the conversation as I host on Livingbygrace.livingbygracepic.jp

If you are depressed, please try not to feel hopeless. There is hope. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 911 right away. There are fantastic doctors, medications and facilities where you can get the much needed-treatment. If you need prayer, you can personally email me at bethfarley_3@yahoo.com. Blessings!

The Church Bells

Ever get caught up in a saying, sound or sight? Sometimes I can hear something or smell something that will trigger a past event. I love it when that happens, as long as it triggers something good.

Today I was up in my bedroom trying to write. The window was wide open. I welcomed the  smell the pine and the sound of the seagulls squawking.  My creative mind was dragging but I knew this was my only time of day where I could meet my writing goal.

Gripped with writers-block, I began asking, “What do I write about?” I jotted down a few words here and there, but nothing solid came together, until, I heard the bells.ID-100227420

Yes, 4:00 on a Tuesday afternoon I heard the melodious church bells ringing. The sound transported me back in time to a little church in the town of Bingham. There in that town, while growing up, every Saturday afternoon, my Grammy, mom and I would hold hands and walk to the 4:00 service.  Skipping along, I couldn’t wait to walk through the old rugged wooden doors and step into the musty church. The pews were dark splintered mahogany and were filled with nothing but older people. The carpet was torn, the paint was pealing and it was dingy. We would genuflect while making the sign of the cross before filing into our pew. The organist would begin to bang on the keys skipping beats while the choir would cackle in the balcony. They were awful. The priest would say the mass with a very strong French accent making it almost impossible to understand. And there I was, smiling from ear to ear, enjoying every minute of it.

Why did I enjoy this dark drab church where I didn’t understand what was being said? I enjoyed it because I loved the happy content look on my mom’s face. There we were, three generations, worshipping God with the cackling choir.MH900409444

I loved seeing the gigantic wooden cross hanging on the wall by the altar. I loved the sound of the bells that the altar boys would ring. I loved it because God was being worshipped and it was not about denomination but about the joy in my heart.

Why is it hard for many of us to recall good memories?

Many of us are more enthused with our grumbling, griping or constant complaining than we are about our stopping and reflecting on something good. Why is it that we get caught up in the crap or of our lives?stressed-at-work-200x194

It’s really not that hard to think of something positive that has happened. All it took for me today was the sound of a church bell. It may be a food that you’re eating, a song you’re singing or a place you’re visiting. When feeling like you can’t sit still, you need, more than ever, to stop and be still. Try to think about something that makes you feel good. Often in our silence we can discover the pleasant memories of our past.

I am not denominational. I am just in love with God.

Honey Baked Ham Ice Pack

I was reflecting on my limitations with a Honey Baked Ham Ice Pack.

As I age I do not like to come to grips with my limitations. How about you? Do you feel that you have limitations creeping up on you? If so, do you fight the urge to slow down or completely giving up because your body just won’t cooperate?

Recently I was diagnosed with Degenerative Arthritis and my right knee is in bad shape. I experience a lot of pain. Because I was diagnosed with a kidney disease years back, I cannot take any anti inflammatory medications. I also am not one to take any pain medications.

I have been instructed by the physical therapist to only swim or bike ride for exercise. No more walking, jogging or aerobic exercise. These strict instructions crushed me. I’m a walker. I love to walk; it clears my mind and I like to pray while I’m walking. Praying while maneuvering my bike just does not work for me.

Today, I took a ride to the beach. 20150413_131315

I brought my chair, lunch, journal and book. I was just going to sit along the rocks and watch the waves and relax. What was I thinking? I knew better than to think I would just sit there. The beach was calling me to take a stroll.

Dropping my journal and pen, I walked over to the path to get down upon the sand. Oh just a step or two to collect a few shells won’t hurt me. About a half an hour later, I found myself way down on the other side of the sandy beach and I started to feel the pain in my knee. I turned around and painfully made my journey back. By the time I reached my chair, my knee was throbbing. I limped back to the car in excruciating pain.crying-woman1

Tonight I am icing my knee down with a Honey Baked ice pack. We only have crushed ice in the house so I figured this would do. As I sat for a while pouting about my knee, I began thinking about how it scared me to have some physical limitations.20150413_205215

I think when I actually came to this realization, I felt insecure. I started to think that I would not be useful for God. Not that I can’t do other things for God but I pray when I walk. Oh yea, I said that already.

So, what can we do when we are faced with limitations?

  • We can find an alternative route. I can’t walk or jog but I can swim and bike. I can’t pray while walking but I can pray through my journaling.
  • We can pray for serenity. Some times we just have to pray that God will help us let go of our limitations and accept them for what they are.
  • Don’t cry over spilled milk. God will always use you. Until we take our last breath, he will use us to glorify Him.

So, as the Honey Baked Ham ice pack is about all melted, I’ve been able to reflect on this experience. I will no longer disobey the doctor’s orders and I will be reminded that He has a plan through my limitations.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling with a limitation. Give it to God and He will guide you.

. I will no longer disobey the doctor’s orders and I will be reminded that He has a plan through my limitations.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling with a limitation. Give it to God and He will guide you.

Shoveling the Lawn

Have you ever caught yourself manipulating situations to meet your own personal desire? Sometimes we fall into the manipulation trap without even knowing we’re doing it. Why do we do that and how can we stop?

It’s April and we still have snow on the ground. We not only have residual snow mounds on the ground but they are dirty as well. The snow is no longer that crisp, white, powdery stuff that makes you feel like you want to snuggle by a fire.

No, it’s the ugly, gray, black, brown gloomy kinda snow!                                                                      .20150408_135438

I had an idea. Yesterday it was warm enough to be outside so I went out with determination on my mind and shovel in my hands. I thought I’d go out there and shovel all of that nasty snow. I’d throw it into the driveway or street, then I would have green grass showing faster than anyone on the block. After trying to get a scoop or two, all that transpired was a sore back.  The snow would not budge. It was solid ice. I was very frustrated; I wanted to see green grass.20150408_135445

Why do we try to manipulate situations? We manipulate situations because we don’t want to wait. We don’t want to take the necessary time to just “chill” while waiting on God’s next move for us. We manipulate people because we desire for them to be someone they just are not capable of being. Many of us don’t mean to, but it does happen. We must not manipulate, control or influence for our own advantage.

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “God instructed me.” or “the Lord has told me that…”
These phrases essentially shut down the conversation because they imply that, since God has spoken a word then there can’t possibly be any further discussion. Don’t be fooled by this trick; it is a form of spiritual manipulation.

I opened my Bible and began to read. I went to the familiar story of how Sarai manipulated Hagar and her husband, Abram,in Genesis chapter 16. She desperately desired to carry His child and didn’t want to wait. She told Abram to have sexual relations with Hagar, the servant. Talk about a huge manipulation.When Hagar became pregnant she flaunted it around Sarai. Sarai got jealous and said to Abram, “This is all your fault.” What a mess; all because Sarai wouldn’t wait on God. Been there? I know I have.

There have been times in my past where I have jumped into situations with both feet before even thinking about it or praying about it. During these ignorant times of attempting to manipulate a situation, I even tried to twist scripture for my own personal benefit. We should never manipulate scripture.

For example, an authoritarian husband might demand that his wife submit to him as the head of the house and quote Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your husbands.” But he may overlook verse 26 which instructs, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” We cannot take bits of scripture and manipulate them to what we desire. We need to read the whole text, meditate on it and see how God wants to apply it to our lives.

We can be guided by the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit gives us a discerning mind to help us distinguish between right and wrong. If you find that you are in a situation and are twisting the facts or words of others, then you are heading down the manipulation road. Call upon His Spirit for help.

Pray for help. Ask God to help you during your situation but don’t even think about trying to manipulate God. Whey you pray you may be trying to sway his mind. Be honest and tell Him how you feel about what’s going on, but always allow his will to be done. Matthew 6:10 “Thy Kingdom Come; Thy Will Be Done.

No matter how horrendous you might be suffering or how awful your situation is, see it for what it is. I looked at the heaping pile of yucky snow, feeling angry and disappointed. I didn’t want to look at it any more but I had to let it go. If I continued on my own manipulative destructive path I would have hurt my back even more.

It’s a very good thing that I didn’t proceed with my decision to shovel the yard because this morning we woke up to three inches of fresh white, crisp, beautiful, snow. It will melt in God’s timing and I’ll see the grass when its time for it to peak out, but until then, I will curl up by the fire and thank God for stopping me from shoveling the lawn.ID-100153371-2

So, are you going to go out and try to fix a situation for your own purpose? Are you in the middle of a dispute where you feel if you could “just get him/her to see it my way.” Manipulation is a very dangerous thing.

Lord, God, we come before you this day asking that we not manipulate any situation or any person. We trust You to make all things right in your perfect timing. Amen.

Come and join me as I host the discussion on Living by Grace.livingbygracepic.jp

 

 

The Core of the Communication Chain

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Do you have a hard time communicating? Communicating can be difficult for me at times, especially when I know it’s going to involve being confrontational. I don’t want to hurt anyone.

As a care-giver of a man who has Alzheimer’s Disease, I am the core of the communication chain. I have to be willing to be a three-way-communicator. I have to be able to communicate with my client on his level of understanding. I have to be able to communicate with his companion on her level of acceptance of his disease, and I have to be able to communicate with his children on their level of trust. It is not easy to juggle three ways of communication on a daily basis.

April 27th, is “National Morse Code Day” and In 1836, Samuel Morse demonstrated the ability of a telegraph system to transmit information over wires. With the advent of radio communications, an international version of Morse code became widely used. This was also a way of communicating the well known SOS distress signal.

What are the ways in which we communicate when we might be distressed? We email, text, instant message, Facebook message, Twitter, call and go face to face. How do I keep my communication skills in tact when I am stressed over a situation? I try to remember to ask God for wisdom.ID-100157377                                                                                     Before communicating something very important or possibly confrontational; I pray and meditate over the situation. I ask God for wisdom to speak kindly. Proverbs 15:1

I know each one of my children communicate differently. My son, prefers to talk on the phone with me.He does not like to text. So, when he calls, I try my hardest to answer. When I can’t, I send him a text asking, “Is everything okay?” Why do I do that? He’s not going to answer me. I clear my schedule so that I can get a quiet moment to call him back; then we can have a quality conversation. Psalm 19:14

My oldest daughter prefers texts. She’s a wife and a mom. She works full-time. She’s going to school part-time and she rarely has the opportunity to have phone conversations. I appreciate her little, “Thinking about you mom” texts and she laughs at my silly, “love you” texts. I know better than to try to call her to have a lengthy conversation. It’s just does not work for her right now. I wait for her to call me. Proverbs 16:23

My youngest daughter is a little of both worlds. She calls me on her way home from work. If I answer, super!  If I don’t, we are fine with a text later in the evening. Jeremiah 1:9

We are living in frustrating times where communication is not at its best. God says to us to call on Him for help. Psalm 50:15, “And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” No matter what method we use, it is very important we call on Him first. We are busy people who don’t always have the time to communicate. God desires that we be utterly dependent upon Him for everything, so why not ask him for wisdom and help when we need to communicate? God is our Father and we are his children. Children can-not make it in this world without their parents. They rely on us to communicate with them about everything in life. How much more so then, can we make it without the help of our Heavenly Father?Let me end with John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

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How do you communicate? Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had to ask God for wisdom before calling someone? Is there someone right now that needs to hear from you?

Share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you as I am hosting this discussion on livingbygrace.livingbygracepic-jp

A-Wide-Open-Wallet-Kinda-Trust

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Only in Bingham, Maine, can you leave your wallet wide open while making the rounds visiting with friends throughout the diner. How does one possess that much trust? Do you trust others like that?

As I was coming out of the bathroom and making my way back to our table there it was, my mom’s wallet,flopped wide open on the table. I looked at the other end of the diner and saw how she was laughing with old high school friends without a care in the world. I quickly grabbed her wallet and put it into her purse, which was also left unattended on the bench.

20150329_123435Finally reaching my mom I scolded, “Mom, you left your wallet wide open on the table.” She replied, “Oh its fine; you can trust everyone in here.”

Trust is knowing the person that we have hired for the job, will do the job right. Trust is knowing that our elderly parents are being taken care of by a compassionate care-giver. Trust is knowing we can rely on the other person to do what they said they will do.

When we trust someone, we believe in their integrity and rely on their character.
We depend on them.

Because of circumstances in my own life, my trust has been jostled around. I tend to have some issues with a person’s integrity because I’ve been let down and betrayed. But there is one person I can put my open-wallet trust in, and that is God!

How can we learn to trust God with everything?ID-10083723

In order to trust God, we must seek Him first. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. We should not merely seek His blessings, but seek Him, there we will find our answers and rewards. 1 Chronicles 16:11

When seeking God, it is always recommended that we begin by reading the Bible. It is the best way to get to know this God that we can trust. The Bible is considered to be His life’s story; the story of grace and redemption through Jesus Christ.  The Bible is also our roadmap to life. Hebrews 9:12

The most important way to learn how to know and trust God is to pray. Getting to know someone takes a lot of time and persistence. The same goes for getting to know the Creator of our Universe; God.  Spending time in meditative prayer should be practiced privately and consistently. You can also take your prayer time a step further and get down on your knees, in total submission. I’ve fallen onto my knees plenty of times in submission with tears rolling down my face. It has always humbled me to get before Him that way. Ephesians 6:18

You may be saying, “All of these suggestions sound really good, but I have never understood what it means to trust God.” Trusting in God means that you’re not relying upon yourself, but on someone higher and greater than yourself. You’re giving the power of your own life over to Someone who unconditionally loves you. Psalm 36:5-7

The wallet was fine! Everything was safe and the people were indeed trusted. We too are fine and safe when we trust in God.

Will you put your trust in Him?