Tough Times? Remember These 8 Things!

8 things Three years ago, after my heart attack, I was preparing myself to come back to work. It was a scary thought just thinking about walking back into the workplace that was the cause of my demise. I had dealt with so much stress at home and on the job my heart could take no more, and yet I was in a position where I had no choice but to go back to work at the end of my long term disability leave from work. I knew that God would not let me down and He would be there for me as He was during my heart attack, recovery, and always! Still the thought would stress me out more from time to time just thinking about it. So I tried to prepare myself for those moments by surrounding my work space with my Signs from God. This particular sign resonated with me this morning when I got into the office for some reason. Maybe because this week has been the third anniversary of my heart attack. Now, I feel stronger than I have in a very long time. Today as I read this message, I can honestly say that my life has changed in so many ways and I’ve followed all 8 things on this list unknowingly.

As I look back I know I have changed in these last three years, and one of the biggest ways was learning to be kind to myself. I’ve learned that I matter, and I need to do what I need to do to make me happy! Granted getting here was not easy; let’s face it, tough times can really be tough times.

When you are facing tough times, remember that everything can – and will – change. This moment in time, is only a fleeting moment and temporary situation. God will get you through to the other side. Thank him for His presence and recognize that some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers! There is always something to be thankful for even in our worst moments. Picture Jesus’ face and remember a time when you felt loved and know that you are God’s child and you are loved! He will not forsake you. Grab His Hand and hold on for the ride of your life!

3 Years Strong

There are certain days in your life that you will never forget. Like the day you got married, the day your child was born, the day you lost a loved one, your first kiss, etc. Well for me, today marks three years since I was admitted to the hospital for chest pains. This day three years ago is where my story of self-recovery began and I was far from strong!

I never knew that stress could effect your body so greatly. The day after I was admitted, I went into cardiac arrest. It was the worst feeling in the world because I could feel it coming on, I heard the nurse call for the paddles, and I saw the agonizing look on my husband’s face before I faded away screaming to myself, “God, I’m not ready to die!”

Luckily, God wasn’t ready for me to die yet either. He still has a plan for me. He just needed to take control because my stress was out of control. He needed me to take time to heal, learn how to deal with my stress, and to take time to just ‘Be Still’. I was dealing with so many different stressors at that time in my life, I guess I just couldn’t handle any more. Thank God for stepping in and giving me the time to heal. God does this for all of from time to time. The thing is though, is that we have to recognize it for what it is – a sign from God.

Looking back on this time and these past three years, I can see so clearly His role in my life, the decision He helped me make, and now the reasons why. It blows my mind sometimes and I feel so blessed to have this relationship with Him. Whenever I am struggling now with even a little decision, I turn to God and He seems to always find a way to answer me. It may be in a scripture I read, a thought the spirit puts in my head, or just finding a cross in my path throughout the day that lets me know He is with me.

This past year alone, I made the decision to separate from my husband, I moved into my own place, and I’ve met so many amazing friends that have helped me through some of my bad days and have been here to share in some of the fun times that give me such hope for my future. My life is now free from so many stressors, yet there is still worry because now I am living alone. Though, I know God is with me and I will be ok.

Despite boughts of anxiety and stress worrying about a high blood pressure reading, or a couple of skipped beats and palpitations from time to time, I have come to rely on the Lord to get me through. I do my best to push away the fear and welcome His presence and loving arms instead of falling into the downward spiral of doubt and fear. When Satan tries to grab my attention, that’s when I reach out and grab the hand of God that is always there stretched out and reaching to pull me closer to him!

1When I look at this picture that was taken a day after I got out of the hospital, I can see the pain I was dealing with, and I feel the anxiety in the pit of my stomach, but I also see the love in my mother’s eyes, but most importantly I can see how far I have come from that time in my life. I don’t wish that experience on anyone, but I pray that everyone learns or gains a better understanding through my writing and experience of the love that God has for each of us and that He is always with us. I wish I could say that you won’t experience heartache or trials or rough times in your life, because we all know that’s not true. Life is full of disappointments, setbacks and lots of tears, but it’s how we deal with these situations and how we learn to change our reactions to the things that scare us the most. The next time you find yourself in one of these unforeseen situations, think back to a time when you felt loved and protected, and then turn your focus to God because He is always with you, loving you, and reaching His hand out to you. All you have to do is grab it!

Go With the Flow – Don’t Fight It!

How many times have you fought to make your way through life’s challenges, only to be winded and out of breath as if you had no sails at all to pull you along? We all face these challenges and as hard as it is to believe, God does have a reason. He has a lesson to be learned. His plan is to make you a stronger person who is able to handle this same situation a little better the next time.

During my devotional time this morning with God, I was reading along and it reminded me of a situation my son faced when he was a young teenager. Boys will be boys and on this day him and two of his buddies went down to the stream by our house. We had a lot of rain the day before and the stream was raging. I’ll never understand why he thought it would be fun to try and cross the stream in that state of rage, and I’m guessing neither did God.

The moment he fell in, what days before was a quiet trickling stream of peace and wonderment, became a raging stream of uncertainty and fear. He struggled to get his footing but that was impossible as it quickly hurled him downstream. I can only imagine what he was thinking at that time, but I doubt he was screaming for God at that age. Though I am so grateful to God for being there with him in those few moments. He grabbed the only thing he could, a tree laying across the stream. He held on with all his might, but the current was too strong. He couldn’t get his breath as the water was rushing past him. The current pulled off his shorts and he even lost his shoes. He was fighting the current and fighting God’s will at that moment.

ragingcreek

He then realized the only chance he had was to let go. Unbeknownst to him at that time, he let go and let God take over. You see, when we fight the Will of God, we are fighting a losing battle. God always wins. We need to learn to let go and let God lead the way, because when we go with the flow of God, we will always come out ahead better than we ever expected.

Once he let go of that tree, he was quickly moved further down stream where the waters calmed enough to enable him to grab ahold of another tree and pull himself to safety. That was one of the scariest days of our lives and I’m so grateful that God took over and brought him to safety. He could have easily hit his head on a tree or rock and been knocked out, or even worse, drowned. When he was able to pull himself from the raging waters, he and his friends were separated. As he stood their in his underwear, with no shoes, he thought to himself how am I going to get home like this? He decided to try and cross the stream again where it was not so rough and he walk home through the woods. I know, you’re probably screaming, “No! What is he thinking!” I know I was when his friends came running to the house asking if he made it home yet and proceeded to tell us the story.

Well, if you are a parent, you know that sinking feeling very well. It was the worst feeling in the world when I saw that raging stream first hand and pictured my son in those waters and started calling his name to hear no reply. Luckily, as we head home our other son was coming to tell us his brother made it home safely!

I know now though that God has big plans for this young man and his love of God has grown greatly. I wonder though if he looks back on this memory and realizes just how loved and protected he was by God on the day he learned to go with the flow!

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” ~ John 7:38

A Place to Belong!

Have you ever felt that you truly belonged somewhere? That it was meant to be! Have you ever met someone that you felt so connected to that you knew without a shadow of a doubt God set up that chance meeting?

Well, I have been feeling this way for a while now having met so many amazing friends through Young Living, but this picture speaks a thousand words to me! If you zoom in on it, you will recognize it is ‘so me’! A woman that just wants to be happy, have fun, and follow God’s path for the rest of her life!

Lifepoint

God led me to the woman on the other side of this camera and she made me feel so proud when she said she chose me to be her subject for narrative project she was working on in her photojournalism class! Her instructor said she had to choose someone she didn’t really know, but wanted to get to know. Wow! I was blown away, but she, like alot of you wanted to hear my story! Sharing my story and helping others is all I dream of.

I can honestly say ‘my story’ and transformation started at Lifepoint Church. From the day me and my best friend walked in the doors of this church we both felt at home and truy still feel like we belong here! I know God has big plans for me and this Church will play a role in it and I can’t wait to live out the rest of the story!

Thank you Heidi Marie Bell for your interest in me, and for the friendship we have created. Big things are in store for us!! God did not bring us together just for this project. He has a reason and a plan and together we are going places! 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Turn Your HAVE to Into I GET To!

Instead of dreading the things you have to do, start thinking of all the things you get to do! This morning we got to get up an hour early to start our day and start sharing the love of God. We get to start following His lead on this new day He blessed us with. We get to decide on whether to reflect our attitudes positively or negatively. We get to share random acts of kindness. We get to inspire others by sharing our stories. We get to help bring people closer to God Grace. We get to change our reactions to situations that bring us down. We get to change our mindsets to always look for the positive in all circumstances.  We get to live the life God created for us. We get to be the person God created us to be. Become that person and you will be amazed at how much more God blesses you with and you too can live a life of abundance which God has waiting for you!

Turn Your Have To Into I GET TO

The Hidden Value in Imperfection

It’s morning like this that I am amazed at how God works. He communicates with me mostly during my quiet time with Him. He puts thoughts into my head that typically I would not even consider or think about. That’s how I know it must be the spirit directing my path for the day. So, here I sit sharing with you because I know without a doubt one or more of you need to hear this message.  That’s how God works! He has a plan and He works it down to every last minute detail.

coffee mugThis Christmas I received a coffee mug and travel mug gift set for Christmas from the Rae Dunn Artisan Collection. When I first removed them from the packaging, I thought they were imperfect, but I didn’t want to say anything. I felt bad that the gifter was ripped off, and that made me feel really bad. Though I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t want her to feel bad. I fell in love with them anyway. I started using them everyday and I realized that the imperfections were actually perfect! They made holding the cups more comfortable and allowed for a better grip! I thought that was something unique in its own way. It wasn’t long that I looked them up on Amazon and learned that this collection was all imperfect for a reason and all I could do was smile and think to myself, ‘I can be so clueless at times.’ I didn’t think much more about it until this morning.

During my quiet time with God, I was drinking from this Rae Dunn mug and I thought to myself again that the imperfection found in this mug was quite unique. That’s when God threw out another thought, and that was, ‘just as humans can be unique and imperfect, they too can provide value!’ I sat there thinking about that comparison and realized that message was something He wanted me to share for one reason or another.

Think about that for a moment and ask yourself, who do you know that seems imperfect on the outside to the point where you may have treated them differently at times? Then, think about all of the good they have done despite their imperfections. The unconditional love they may have shown or given you. The way you feel when you look at their precious face. That is a value that only they can provide and that is their gift from God! Remember all of those good attributes and the value they give you the next time you get frustrated with their imperfections. There is a laundry list of imperfections that we all deal with. We are all human. The important thing to remember is that we all God’s children and we are all loved unconditionally. We need to learn to love each other as God loves each of us!

I’m not sure who this message was meant for today, shoot maybe just me! If that is the case, I am good with it. I have learned though that when I receive a message or task from God, I need to act on it. He is a persistent God and He won’t give up on us and His plan for us! God is leading you for a reason. He has chosen you to be the light to shine on others!

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord in not in vain.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:58

 

Live in the Present Moment

We all want things we can’t have. It’s normal to daydream and wish our lives away, but when we concentrate on the things we don’t have, we waste our time, energy, and spirit. Think about it, when it’s cold, we wish it were warmer. When it’s hot out, we wish it were Fall. It’s how our mind works. It’s like we are never satisfied. What we need to do is train our minds to be grateful for where we are in the present moment. Otherwise, we will always want more and not be happy with all the beautiful things we do have.

Instead, thank God for the gifts He has given us each day and trust that even more good things are on their way! God gave us the Holy Spirit who is with us always. Ask Him to control your thoughts with thanks and praise and you will learn to be happy always and find the positive in everything.

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” ~ Romans 8: 5-6

present time1

When you find yourself complaining or wishing your life away, instead turn to God and ask him to help you find Grace with where you are; with what you are dealing with; and trust that He is. Be grateful for the blessings He has given you and believe that so much more is coming your way. This will give you something to look forward to, be positive about, and all of a sudden the Spirit comes alive in you and you have peace!

Live in the Present Time!

 

 

www.believeinessentials.com

Learn to Look For the Signs

When you love someone enough to let them go in peace, it can be very hard to make such a decision. Whether that someone is a person you loved dearly, or man’s best friend who has been by your side through thick and thin for 14 years, making the decision to let them go because you know it is for their best is one of the hardest things you can do.  This year I have had to make both of these decisions and both were extremely hard!

Just the other day, my son and I had to make the decision to put down our best dog ever! This poor dog was given away by someone walking through the Mall offering this adorable little puppy a free home. My son’s friend took the dog and kept her for a few days while he was in college until he realized he couldn’t possibly care for this dog in a dorm. That’s when my son decided to bring her home, and at 2am in the morning, dropped this adorable little puppy on my bed and said, “look what I brought home”.

Who knows where she would have wound up had God not had a plan to bring her into our life. She gave us all so much love and joy. She was always there by my side and it didn’t matter how many times I went up and down the steps, she was right there! When I moved into my own townhome recently, I went back to get her for a visit and decided I was going to keep her with me so that she could have some peace in her old age until it was her time. Just three weeks ago, the vet thought she would have another two years. And that’s when we both started to Rally and were so happy together. We started taking walks and enjoying each other’s company even so much more until her Rally was up. What a difference a day made to her tired old body!

Deciding to let her go was very painful, but you don’t want to see them suffer. Thanking God that we have the ability to put our animals out of their pain and suffering and wishing we could do the same for those we love who are suffering in their last days. It only seems fair, but I will stop at that because I could go on and on.

What I really want to share with you though is just how amazing it is when you have God in your life and have a relationship with Him that you are continually building on. It’s like the closer you become to God, the more He does for you. The more you recognize His presence. The more you recognize Signs from God. You learn more all the time how to be still and listen for His soft voice. You feel His presence and you just know that all is going to be ok because you have Faith in Him and through His Holy Spirit that He will guide us on the path that is right. Faith that should we stray the wrong way, He will still work it out for the betterment of all.

Then one day you sit back and you are able to see the puzzle pieces come together and just how God worked it out even when you thought it was supposed to happen another way at the time. Even though we may fight for what we want, if it is not God’s plan, it will not happen!  God has perfect timing and the death of my beloved Dixie was a perfect timing as well. And as I sit and look at this picture my son just posted on Facebook, it is clear as day to me that God is with Dixie and she is happy once again and is still with us. The sun shining down through the trees with the Cross so bright, and then the orb in the bottom of the picture is where I can see Dixie’s eye is several different phases.

You may not be able to see what I see, but it is these signs that we all receive and see differently. We just have to be open to seeing them. God’s Signs are everywhere. I find them in the clouds, the sun, the wind, the rain, and I’m always looking for crosses and hearts everywhere. Today, it was this picture!

Dixie's Eye

 

 

 

 

Settled In & Happy!

xmas2018

WOW! I’ll be glad to say goodbye to 2018 in a few short weeks, but I’m excited to share that I am now in my own place and received today a good bill of health from my cardiologist!  While it has been a rollercoaster ride, I am finally off the ride. I am now on a journey with God following His plan and living with less stress and better than ever health and much happiness!

It’s a good feeling when just two short weeks ago I felt like I was slapped in the face with some reality that truly set me back. The doctor confirmed what I was experiencing then was an ‘event’, but now that a little time has passed, I am no longer in jeopardy.  He also said I look better than I ever looked. Though, he also said that my heart does not tolerate stress very well at all anymore. So it is important, more than ever knowing that I could experience another episode of broken heart syndrome from stress, that I remove all the stress from my life that I can.

So here’s some things I will be doing in the New Year and encourage you to do the same, because stress is not worth getting sick over, or dying over! Take control of your own health and wellness. Change what you can change! That includes your reactions to those stressful situations!  I started reading my own book, “Break Down Your Walls!” and am taking my own advice about everything I learned over two years ago so that it is fresh in my mind again. You can get it on Amazon!

  • Read “Break Down Your Walls”
  • Start Your Day With God
    • Pray
    • Read Devotionals & His Word In the Bible
    • Journal
  • Use Young Living Essential Oils (believeinessentials.com)
    • For Overall Health, Emotional Support, and Spiritual Support
  • Meditate
  • Excerise – I love to take walks with God!
  • Spend Quality Time with Friends and Family
  • Join A Support Group and/or Church Group
  • Listen to Your Heart and Do What Makes You Happy!
  • Do Not Compare Yourself to Others
  • Do Not Judge Anyone – Everyone Has a Story
  • Be Kind to a Stranger – Pay It Forward – Give to Give; Not Receive!

Enjoy the journey you are on, and I wish you less stress in 2019!!!

We Are the Branches

Image result for john 15:5

 

We need God as much as He needs us to be the light for others. This world is a crazy place, but if us believers shine our lights and stay focused on God and His path for us we will will be able to help so many people see past the dark clouds and recognize the blue skies.  They’ll be able to look past their pain and begin healing. They will begin to recognize the Signs from God and hear his soft whispers, just as we hear Him whisper to us!

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

~ Isaiah 55:8-9