“Why are you overwhelmed?”

“God, Help me. I feel so overwhelmed.”

“Why are you overwhelmed?” –“I keep trying to find you, God. I seek after You and long for a time of quiet where I can rest in Your presence and be renewed. I can’t seem to find a peaceful moment to wrap my thoughts around You. Why can’t I find you, God?”

“Why are you overwhelmed?”–“So many things are going on in my life. My work is keeping me busy and I am learning so many new things with this new position I have taken on. My friends are asking me to help them out with things and I keep trying to learn more about this business I am trying to start and get information into people’s hands and find people to buy these amazing products You have given me to share with others. My family needs me 24/7 and I can’t seem to find a break from them to find Your joy and Your peace.”

“Why are you overwhelmed?” –“I told You. I have so many things going on in my life right now. I can’t handle them all on my own anymore. I’m pouring into others without being filled. My strength and patience are growing thin. I need Your peace. I need my life to be calmed down. Or at least my heart within me so I can deal with the chaos in my life.”

“Why are you overwhelmed?”

“Why am I overwhelmed? What is so overwhelming in my life that God can’t take care of it? Have I forgotten that He will not faint or grow weary? Have I forgotten that He has promised to lead me beside still waters and let me rest in green pastures? Have I forgotten that He has asked me to lay down my burdens at His feet and let Him carry me when I am weary?”

“Why are you overwhelmed, oh my soul? Why are you downcast within me? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unreachable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might, he increases strength. They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.”

“Why are you overwhelmed? Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you. Come to him, all who are weary and heavy laden, and He will give you rest. He has commanded His angels to watch over you and His Spirit intercedes for you with groanings too deep for words.”

Why are you overwhelmed, oh, my soul? Why are you downcast within me?

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Diamond Warriors

God is raising up a generation of diamond warriors. He is crowning His army with beauty and grace and reminding the world of a beauty that was once perfect and completely unflawed. Just Like Esther who underwent beauty treatments for a year, using numerous oils and perfumes and spices for women, pleased the king and saved her people by being put into the palace as queen “for such a time as this,” God is raising up His daughters and enhancing their beauty with the perfume of His words and the oils of His mouth. 

Don’t fight the world with swords of anger and shields of fear. Rise up, daughter of God and fight with diamonds and with crowns. God has made you beautiful and will use your beauty to overcome the darkness of this world. He has gifted you with words of sweet perfume and robes of kindness. Your crowns of love are His glory and your sashes of mercy are His blankets of honey that bring comfort to the weak, the weary, the lost.

Rise up, daughter of the King and take up your crown. Live beautifully and love deeply, for the glory of God is within you and is longing to reach out to a dying world. 

Rise up and be the diamond warrior you were created to be.

Beauty Restored

Have you ever endured a really long, dark season in your life? I’m guessing all of us have gone through seasons in our lives where it seems the sun is never shining and the nights are long and cold. Times when you are spent and weary from traveling the same dusty road that seems to be leading nowhere and can’t find water to soothe your scratchy soul. The wind is either blowing or the rain is falling. The winter snow has killed everything good and beautiful in your life. If you’ve been there, you know how hard it is to find the beauty in those seasons.

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I definitely came off a beautiful season of spring in my life where everything was blooming and blossoming. I was enjoying life and discovering the beautiful self I was created to be. But, as all seasons must come to an end, that season slowly tapered into a hot summer and dying fall. And eventually, a cold, dark, barren winter season set into my life. If you look back at any of my posts from that time, you will definitely see the cries of anguish and desire to be filled with a beautiful light again. The calls for help for anyone to reach into my life and rescue me from the bitter winter land that had covered up almost every aspect of that time of spring. I felt alone and lost and no matter how much I tried to reach out to God and let Him fill me, I always felt like He was too far away and couldn’t reach into my frozen heart to thaw it and let it bloom again. Granted, I have had many dark or harsh seasons where my love for God was planted deeper in my soul and I felt I was closer to Him in those times than I had ever been before. But sometimes, your heart becomes too distant and cold to feel the warmth of His love, and you slowly drift further and further away into the barren winter land. Forgetting what spring felt like and feeling like you have to make this journey on your own. Trying to find your own way back to that spring land and bring that warmth back into your life.

The changing of winter into spring is a pretty incredible change and it is well worth the wait once you get there. And believe me, even when the season seems like it will never change, it will. Someday you will suddenly discover that the nights aren’t as long as they used to be. The darkness starts losing its power and begins to give way to the sun. The frozen ground begins to thaw and the melting snow begins to trickle slowly into the solid earth. The red-chested robin tweets a few notes of its song reminding you that spring is on its way. And all at once you see the little green sprouts of plants beginning to come to the surface from their wintery graves. And then you realize that the seeds were in the earth the entire winter, they just needed the gentle touch of the sun to bring them back to life again.

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That is how it feels when God slowly begins to tug and pull at your heart and starts to call forth the seeds that weren’t dying, but were merely sleeping for the winter season. He plays a song on the radio or places a verse on your heart that reminds you this winter season is not forever. Even if you can’t see it or feel it at the time, He will slowly begin to thaw the frozen ground of your heart and bring your weary soul back to Him if you let Him. When you lay down your winter barren land before Him, He will draw up the seeds of life that He has planted in you and create in you a new spring. All the things that were dead or sleeping will come back to life and blossom into gardens even more beautiful than before.

He is restoring you in these times of darkness and He is bringing about a rebirthing that will be so beautiful beyond all imagination. There are some who will choose to stay in the winter land and refuse to look toward a renewing, but I would encourage you to look to the spring and believe that He will get you through this. I feel I have been on the cusp of my next spring season these past few months and am well past the solstice of the wintery heart. My days are becoming longer than my nights and I am beginning a beautiful journey to a spring that will be more beautiful and breathtaking than any other spring before. My beauty is being restored and I pray you are being beautifully restored as well.

If you are in a season of darkness right now and you don’t feel like you are going to make it through, please, reach out to me. I’d love to pray for you or encourage you in any way I can. If you are in a season of spring and beauty, praise God and relish every moment as He is blessing you in this time! Let your beauty be restored.

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Through a Healer’s Eyes

The Gospel According to Luke. It doesn’t sound like a very intriguing book title. In fact, from one avid reader to another, it sounds bland and unoriginal. But like many books, this book holds many treasures within its pages.

I’ve had some opportunities the past few months to discover some new books by listening to them while I’m working. Some have been fairy tales, some devotional, but recently, I’ve been burdened to start getting back into the Word of God. Growing up in a Christian home, Christian school, Christian college, I’ve read the books of the Bible many times over. I know many facts about the books and authors and stories themselves, and growing up with that can make a person numb to the depth and the beauty of these precious words. I often feel I already know so much about the Bible and have read it or memorized so many passages or heard so many sermons that I don’t need to read it in my spare time. It becomes second hand and loses its beauty and intrigue for me. Actually, being perfectly honest, I’ve tried to start reading the Bible many times over the past few years. I pick it up and search for a place to start or a passage to help during my time of need, but come up empty. The words seem dry and inapplicable, even though I know deep down God’s Word is a living wellspring of information and instruction as well as comfort and peace.

Well, thanks to my job, I’ve started listening to the Bible. I downloaded the Bible Experience, which is a dramatized version of the Bible, and have been listening to the four Gospels, Psalms, Esther (one of my all time favorite Bible stories!). As wonderful as it is to hear the words of Jesus and to hear His story over and over again in each of the Gospels, I keep getting drawn back to the Gospel of Luke. Maybe it is how the actor portrays Jesus in his voice. Or maybe it is the focus on the healing ministry of Jesus that keeps drawing me back.

For those of you who don’t know, Luke was a doctor, and though he wasn’t a direct part of Jesus’ ministry on earth, he did his research, like doctors often do. He talked to as many people as he could so he could write down the eye witness accounts of what Jesus’ life looked like. His account is similar in many respects to the other three Gospels, but his retelling of the life of Christ portrays a different side of Christ

Perhaps I’m drawn to the way Luke focuses on the healing ministry of Christ. Looking through a healer’s eyes, Luke saw a man who reached out to those who had leprosy and healed them. He saw a man who when he felt power go out of him, stopped to ask who touched him. And when his disciples flippantly said, “It’s just the large crowd,” Jesus saw the woman who believed she could be healed just by touching his cloak and said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” He saw a man who stopped on his way into a city to bring a lonely widow’s only son back to life so she wouldn’t have to endure the wrenching heartache of another loss. He saw a man who heard a blind man cry out to him and asked to be healed. He saw a man whose eyes were full of compassion for a hurting and dying world, and he shared that man with us.

There is no doubt that Jesus healed many, many people in his short time on earth, but do you realize how compassionate he was when he healed them? I’m sure if you’ve been to the doctor, you’ve had good experiences and bad experiences. If you’re like me, you prefer the doctor who takes time to listen to your symptoms and works hard to find the answers you need. Someone who fills out a prescription and slaps a drug on your problems usually doesn’t get kudos for being friendly.

“When he saw them, he had compassion on them.” Jesus didn’t turn people away when they came to him. No matter how tired he became or how much he wanted to be alone after a long day, he never failed to see the people who came to him through the eyes of a compassionate healer. No sickness was too small or too big for him to heal. No question was too low or too high. When he saw people who genuinely wanted to be healed, he had compassion on them and healed them.

He is the healer of all things. He brings hope to the hopeless and rest for the weary. He is not above any sickness or weakness. He heals our wounded hearts and binds up our brokenness. He reaches into the deepest recesses of our souls and touches our deepest scars with his healing hand. Let the Lord of healing bring healing to your life. Let your faith heal you.

“Your faith has healed you. Go in Peace.”

My Young Living Journey and other thoughts

So, a couple things I wanted to share. This week has been interesting to say the least, getting my oils, trying them, trying to acclamate myself to the business side if it and start learning the many oils, and all that jazz. Truth be told the few oils I’ve been trying have been helping with pain and relaxation and it has been exciting to see little glimpses of how these oils can start me down a path to a healthier life. But, I have definitely got caught up in the “gotta get this done and have it work now” mindset. Having an oils class this week I have definitely felt pressured to invite people and fell into the trap of worrying, “what if people don’t come” or “what if no one signs up”, on and on and on. Monday and Tuesday, I was all gun ho about sharing how amazing these oils are and why you need them in your life. Then yesterday, the infamous hump day, I was just emotionally off. I wanted to cry all day, I wanted to sleep, I didn’t want to put an effort into this business because I felt, “I don’t know if I’m ready for this. This is a big step and will take a lot of work, and I don’t know if it will work out like I hoped”

My thoughts were focused on things other than this business too, like how things weren’t happening in my timing or the way I wanted them to and different things are going on in friends lives that has my mind and emotions occupied. I was just off. No song could help. I couldn’t think of verses or books to help. But, God, in the way only He can, kept putting Psalm 42:11 on the radio. Seriously, over and over in the span of 10 minutes driving from work to my chiropractor, I heard that verse at least 3 or 4 times. “Why are you cast down, oh my soul? And why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”

Definitely one of those, “OK, God, I get it,” moments. But it turned my thinking around. I realized, I started this journey for a reason. God slipped this little nugget of young living essential oils into my life for a reason. I signed up because I felt inspired to see these oils work in my life and I wanted to help others find a way to better health and vibrant living. I believe these oils can make a change in my life. I realized, I don’t have to worry about roping people into it and trying to make a sale. God will bring the right people along for me to share these oils with when they need it most, just like he brought me to this place at this time. I can rest in the fact that He will provide. Granted, that doesn’t give me an easy out to sit back and let Him do all the work. Just like bringing people to Christ, we have to make a visible effort to reach out to people and talk to people about it. But we can have peace knowing that God does, and will, bring the right people into our lives at the right time. He can take our situations and work things out in ways beyond what we ever imagined if we trust Him and prepare ourselves to seize the opportunities He brings our way. I pray God will guide and direct in this journey and that He will give me the patience to wait and study when I need to and the push to take action when opportunities come along.

If you want to learn more about essential oils and the amazing impact they can have on your life, or if you want to learn more about the greatest influence in my life, my Lord and Savior, and how He can change your life, I’m always ready and willing to share and answer any questions you have! Blessings on your journey to wellness and a better life!

The Cry of a Silent Warrior

Do you struggle with a hidden illness or a variety of medical issues that the doctors can’t seem to find a solution for? I know for me, this has been a battle I have fought and faced for many years. And I know many who have struggled or are struggling with various things. Some have struggled with mysterious, disconnected symptoms and varying degrees of pain or sickness for years, and others have had things develop over a short period of time.

It is definitely disheartening to be fighting a battle that has no name. To go to bed every night hoping by some miracle the pain will be gone in the morning. And then to wake up realizing the pain is still there or somehow worse than the night before and knowing you have been called to step out once again into the battle lines and fight.Fight and carry on with life like it’s normal, going to work, taking your kids to school–or taking care of them at home when they’re younger–cleaning the house, and doing all the duties you are called and expected to do. You call out to God asking Him to take this illness from you or to please show the doctors what is wrong with you for once so you can finally have some answers or a direction to go so you can maybe have a chance at being better and feeling good for the first time in your life, or for the first time in a long time. You cry out and wonder “Why me,God? Why do I have to struggle and fight so hard just to get through each day?” You fall down in defeat wondering how you can carry on. and the thought of learning to live with this for the rest of your life overwhelms you and you feel like you just can’t do this anymore. 

Then there are days when you literally can’t carry on. You are calling into work yet again because your body is in too much pain or too tired or reacting poorly to whatever new treatment the doctors are trying. You’re housebound and sometimes bed bound and feel depressed because you can’t join in the life that is moving on around you. You feel like a failure because you can’t provide for your family or take care of them the way you want or feel you need to. And your loved ones and closest friends struggle to find their own strength to help you carry on and keep pushing through this. 

It is easy to feel defeated or just too beat to keep fighting in times like these. I know from personal experience you grow tired of always having to explain what’s going on in your life or trying to help people understand what you are going through. You call upon God and His strength and know that sometimes all you can do is trust in Him to get you through this day. Even just the next five minutes. You keep trying to put on a good face and keep your testimony strong for Christ’s sake.

It is hard to keep fighting such a difficult battle, especially when the battle runs deeper than anyone can see or seems completely invisible to the world around us. It’s easy to find the strength of God in this sometimes, because you do feel Him there and you know that the only way you got through this day was because of Him. But, I’ll be honest, there are plenty of crappy days when I don’t feel like praising God for this or feel like He has His hand and goodness in it. But, God has got this, just like He’s got everything else going on in my life. He knows exactly what is going on in my life, even when the doctors and endless medical tests declare you a mystery to them and can offer you no help or answers. 

Two of my favorite passages in the Bible are 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and Psalm 139. They have been a source of strength and encouragement in my life many times over in different circumstances in my life. When I’m feeling weak, I’m reminded that God’s strength is so much greater than mine. The verses in 2 Corinthians are verses I cling to when I feel weak and tired and I pray often that it is God’s strength that can be seen in me when I’m too weak to carry on on my own. The second passage has been especially poignant for me this week as I have struggled to accept the prognosis of my recent doctors appointments, mainly because it reminds me of the intricate and intimate hand God had in creating me. 

God formed your inward parts and saw you when you when you were being formed in a secret place. He knit you together in your mother’s womb and knew each day that He had planned for you before you were even a thought in your parent’s minds. He knew the journey you would go on and the battles you would face. And He knew you could handle it and that you would make it through. That’s why He called you into this special service. 

You are God’s special warrior. You have been crafted with a special strength that others will never experience. You have been called to fight a battle that will deepen your soul and your reliance on God in ways others will never be able to. Don’t worry about the days you fall short or take a lapse in your fervent strength. Those days do and will come but God is beside you every single moment and will wait for you to reach out to Him when you’re ready to keep fighting on. 

You may fight and some days may fail, but the strength you put on in the warpaint on your face is the strength of a God who will always prevail. You are stronger than you can imagine and you are the special warrior of God. Let Him show the world how beautiful and how strong you are. And on days you can’t keep fighting, let yourself find rest in the strength of God and know He will carry you until you are ready to stand again. 

The Tin Man Has a Heart

They say time heals all wounds. I heard something on the radio today that contradicted that old adage. Time doesn’t necessarily heal our wounds. I find time more often dulls the pain, or creates distance from the pain to the present in our minds, but may not heal the wounds as often as we believe.

If you are human, I’m sure you have experienced some heart ache or another. Whether the breath taking pain of a loved one passing on or the shattering wounds of a broken love. The stabbing pain of being jilted or betrayed by someone you trusted. And the more times you are stabbed, the scars form walls around your heart preventing you from trusting or loving again. Sometimes you have been so wounded, you feel your soul itself has died and your heart can’t possibly be allowed to beat again.

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The tin man felt a similar pang in the movie The Wizard of Oz, only his problem was worse than a broken heart. He was made without a heart which meant he couldn’t love or feel jealous or angry or any of the normal emotions we feel. If you’ve ever experienced the pain of a broken heart, you might wish you were the tin man. Imagine, not having to feel the deep aching of a burdened or wounded heart.

I think at times, the enemy wishes we didn’t have a heart either. He tries everything he can to make us believe we are unloved or unwanted. He uses our bitterness or anger to make our hearts cold and unfeeling. He emphasizes our wounds to make us want to close off our hearts to love. He does everything in his power to stop our beating hearts. In that respect he can be likened to Elphaba’s sister, Nessa Rose, in the musical Wicked. When (spoiler alert) Boq, the munchin boy who took Nessa Rose to the dance, finally admits that he never loved her, Nessa grabs Elphaba’s spell book and casts a spell on him that will destroy his heart. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, Elphaba steps in and casts another spell that keeps Boq alive, but turns him into a tin man who has no heart.

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Satan is very jealous of our love for God and will do anything to destroy a heart that beats for Him. But, fortunately for us, our fate is not the same as that of the tin man. We have hearts that beat and can be very alive. While Satan is working to reveal how broken or hollow our hearts are, God is whispering life back into our calloused hearts and longs to heal the brokenness we feel inside.

If you look at the two tin men in these stories, you will see quite a difference in how their stories end. In one, the tin man was made without a heart and finds out in the end that he had one all along. In the other, the tin man had a heart, but had it taken away from him in a jealous rage.

Maybe you feel like the first-hollow and empty inside, longing to feel a prick of anything to make you feel alive. Or, maybe you favor the latter and feel your heart has been ripped mercilessly from your chest, never to beat again. Whichever tin man you feel you are, your heart is never too far gone to receive the love of Christ. In His Word, He promises to bind up the wounds of His children and bring healing to the broken hearted. He alone can make your shattered heart whole. He alone can take the emptiness you feel and replace it with a beating, living heart.

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Give your hurting, wounded scars to the Lord and discover the heart He intended to beat within you.