Category Archives: Inner Sruggles and Heartache

When Gratitude Becomes Your Miracle

Fallen tree Christmas 2015

After a lifetime of hardships and tragedies, including the death of my only son four years ago, I’ve had to work hard to keep a positive outlook. The last couple years have taught me to try to find something worthwhile, even if only a splinter of goodness, when things go terribly wrong.

The word gratitude for me stands for: “Graceful attitude.”

I’ve learned that when our attitude includes bits of thankfulness it somehow transforms an otherwise miserable situation into gratitude, and that very gratitude can help us find a miracle in every situation.

My version of looking for the silver lining.

The Monday before Christmas a huge section of my neighborhood experienced a power outage for about an hour and a half which doesn’t sound too bad, except that I was babysitting a 2 year old child, and each power outage means no community-well water (that’s country living). The power continued to go off, then pop on as many as 8 hours later until we went completely black for good December 23rd. This time the power company predicted power outage for several days. A massive snow storm hit our heavily wooded Northwest area downing hundreds of trees, knocking down power lines, and leaving thousands of homes in the dark. Continue reading

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Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, Holidays and Special Days, Inner Sruggles and Heartache, The Miraculous

Weighty Luggage

Crystal Andrus's photo.

When our lifetime of baggage becomes heavy clutter, it’s time to take inventory of what to keep, what to give away, and what to discard. Continue reading

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Filed under Everythingelse, Faith, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, Inner Sruggles and Heartache, Life and Relationships, Life Lessons

De-Cluttering Your Life

imageAs 2015 began I felt especially passionate for a fresh beginning. Not so much a New Year’s resolution but a life resolution. For two years I’ve felt God pressing me to live simply. I wasn’t sure what living simply meant from God’s perspective but with time He’s given me little hints here and there. For instance, I realized I had too much stuff! You know things that get shoved in closets, cupboards, attics, and basements that probably won’t be used anytime soon if ever.

I’ve been slowly getting rid of things, which is not easy for me. Because I have experienced so much loss throughout my life, I unintentionally began counting on material things to make up for that loss. I developed relationships with things that held a good feeling in my memories. Continue reading

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It’s From the Pile of Ashes that Diamond Dust Sparkles Best

imageDear Sweet Girl,

There’s so much I wish someone had been there to tell you when you were a small child, and in your teens. Since no one seemed to care much what went on in your life then, I decided to write to you to tell you what I would have told you at eighteen years of age. I hope you don’t mind the intrusion.

First of all, you aren’t worthless and you aren’t a failure. No. You. Are. Not.

You are lovable, you are lovely, you are loved! Continue reading

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Filed under A Broken Childhood, Child Abuse and Neglect, God and Jesus, Hope, Inner Sruggles and Heartache, Life Lessons, Living for Jesus

The University of Higher Learning

Off and on I have shared with you a few of the hardships I have experienced the last 3 years.

The death of my son. Then immediately after his death I needed more emotional support than ever, but instead was further alienated and impacted by terrible family drama, followed by the estrangement of a precious family member. Shortly after that I experienced an ankle injury that took 8 months to fully heal. I thought I was out of the woods once my ankle healed, but no. Sitting around waiting for my ankle to heal led to my back atrophying and further caused issues with a previously existing back injury, which then led to over six months of sciatica (also referred to as psychotica because of its ability to drive a reasonable person to utter insanity).

After some time I could commiserate with Job’s predicament.

Throughout the hard times I asked, begged, and sometimes in frustration demanded healing and relief. I cried buckets of tears. I wanted, needed, an escape from the agony and the heartache. I wanted a speedy recovery, a prompt delivery, anything, to get me past the immediate pain. Continue reading

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Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, God and Jesus, Hope, Inner Sruggles and Heartache, Life Lessons

The Locked Gate

imageLife is just like this sometimes. Our path goes smoothly for a while then suddenly there is a locked gate ahead looming large before us, a blockage in our path that won’t allow us to pass without stepping way out of our comfort zone and making some sort of sacrifice. In life we can’t exactly go back to what life was before we arrived at the locked gate; we have three choices. We either give up, or sit by the locked gate and hope someone with the key will show up soon, or we must get uncomfortable, sweaty, messy, and possibly wet. We must get out of our cozy place and get to a place where things are out of sync with our earthly comfort and understanding to get around the locked gate. Continue reading

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Grandmotherly Wisdom

Photo: Grandmother says... Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; "Which are you?"</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. "What's the point,grandmother?"</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>"When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Think of this: Which am I?</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>---AUTHOR UNKNOWN —

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?””Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it.After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point, grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

—AUTHOR UNKNOWN —

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Find Rest in Him

 

image

There is someone who loves you enough to not only help you unpack,

but to take your heavy burden off your shoulders and back…

God Continue reading

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Filed under Everydayliving, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, God and Jesus, Hope, Inner Sruggles and Heartache, Living for Jesus

The Power of the Tongue

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God used His tongue for good in the beginning when He spoke the world of perfect beauty and unimaginable peace into being, and all of its inhabitants into existence, and said, “It is good.” Genesis 1 and 2

Yet, because of Lucifer’s jealousy, he said.  “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High”  Isaiah 14:12-14 Continue reading

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When Things Get Tough, Hang in There

imageDo you, like me, sometimes

wonder why God even created you?

‘…For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well. Continue reading

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Filed under A Broken Childhood, Awed by His Love and Grace, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, Inner Sruggles and Heartache, Life and Relationships, Loss of a Child