Friday, November 23, 2012

Anxiety: 7 Tips To Help

“Young Woman In Depression, Drinking Alcohol” by Witthaya Phonsawat via


There are many reasons for it.

And there are so many symptoms. Stiff muscles, panic attacks, tension, upset stomach, obsessions, sweating, social withdrawal, avoiding certain places or routes, nightmares, shortness of breath, fight or flight, inability to sleep, weight gain or loss.

Anxiety may be due to stress in a relationship, pressure at work, travel, having a baby, school, financial issues, the loss of a loved one, illness, or even the side effect of medication. Anxiety can cause us to self medicate with alcohol, excess sleep… thus us slipping into depression. There are so many reasons anxiety may make its presence in your life.

...Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you
1 Peter 5:6-7

We don't have to live with anxiety in our lives.

God doesn't wish anxiety on us and when it threatens to derail us we can release it to Him.

It's easy to become overwhelmed by trials in our lives. But if we commit to taking each day one at a time it will ease our anxieties. It's often when we feel things will never change, never improve that we become overwhelmed. But life has the ability to improve within a few hours, a day, weeks, months. No trial is forever, this too shall pass.

We may feel more relaxed, more at peace facing our anxiety and even when it does rear it's head we can know it's temporary. We don't have to live at the mercy of anxiety! We all have the ability to turn to God and hand over whatever is causing us to be anxious to Him.

Receive His peace

Telling God our worries and trusting He will gladly take care of them, we can rest assured He will listen. Admitting we are going through a struggle with anxiety through prayer can help. God may not take away our anxiety but we can lean on Him in our struggle.

One of the biggest triggers of anxiety is the unknown. God knows this. Wondering, worrying how things will turn out. We have been instructed not to fear. But by worrying we are desperately trying to wield control over our days, our future and how we believe things should be.

Often doctors use the same drugs used for depression to treat symptoms of anxiety. Unfortunately, medication may not work for everyone and understandably many people would prefer a drug free solution. Another form of treatment would be cognitive behavioral therapy. Although there is a success rate with cognitive therapy it takes time.

There are many practical solutions to dealing with anxiety that we can implement in our lives along with prayer and turning to God for comfort. 

Tips For Helping Anxiety: 

1. Sleep. Taking care of our bodies and health is vital. Getting adequate sleep will certainly minimize anxiety. Lavender scented products can be soothing and aid with relaxation.

2. Expect the best. Expecting the worst creates undue anxiety. We can change our internal dialogue to be positive. It's a process and won't happen overnight but each little improvement helps. Reminding ourselves to take one day at a time, that God is in control helps along with deep breathing exercises.

3. Set limits. We can't do it all. We are all human. Life is not perfect and no one in it is. Trying to be supermom and a "Yes" person will only wear us out. Keeping a balance in our life is vital. It's perfectly okay to say "No". When we overcommit it's us and our family members who pay the price. We know some people will take a mile if we give them an inch. But if someone gives you grief over you setting loving limits it's a reflection of them not you.

4. Music. Christian music can be very uplifting, relaxing and comforting. When we hear words of praise, hope and joy we are energized by the love we have for Jesus and how much Jesus loves us.

5. Adding fun to our lives. Maybe it's lunch with a friend, a phone call with a loved one, playing outside with the kids. Whatever it is, when we take the time to connect with the people in our lives we are happier and healthier.

6. Exercise. Everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another. Sometimes just taking a walk around the neighborhood or hitting the trails for a jog will do wonders for anxiety. Cardio workouts have been proven in the medical field to help combat anxiety. Cardio is being proven to show quicker results and improvement in mood is often noticeable after just one workout. Yoga can help as well. Anxiety levels are often reduced after just a few workouts to a couple weeks. Generalized Anxiety is the most common form of anxiety and easiest to treat but cardio has recently been found to aid in even some of the more severe cases of anxiety such as Panic Disorder, OCD and Social phobias. But we don't have to live our life feeling trapped and at the mercy of anxiety.

7. Talk to someone. Whether its a friend or a trusted family member, having someone to talk to is often helpful. We should always go to God first with our struggle but God also puts people in our lives for a reason. Sometimes He uses them to help us, whether it be a doctor or a friend. Many people are suffering silently with anxiety behind closed doors. You aren't alone! If you are feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and its interfering with your ability to live your life, know that there are therapists who are trained to help with managing anxiety. Regardless of how we treat our anxiety, finding its root cause is important.

We don't have to let anxiety run our lives. We can know that the more we try to control our life's outcome the more anxiety will grow. We can choose be vigilant in what we are watering and giving life to. Anxiety is a weed in our garden of life. We can pray and ask God to help us plant flowers instead.

Matthew 6:30-34

And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't He more surely care for you? You have so little faith! "So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.

© ~ 2012 

              To My Readers: 

               Thank you for reading, 

               commenting & sharing! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This One Is For The Girls: Sparkle, You Are Loved

“Young Girl Holding Bouquet” by Just2shutter via 

This is for ~

The little girls who feel alone.

The teenage girls who feel less than.

The single girls.

The married woman.

The widowed.

The girl who doesn't have friends.

The married woman who feels alone.

The abused woman.

The postpartum mom.

The bullied girl.

The girl who is cutting.

The teenager with an eating disorder.

The woman who lacks confidence.

The woman who is a people pleaser.

The teenage girl with depression.

The betrayed woman.

The self doubting mother.

The anxious girl.

The woman who was raped.

The woman who regrets.

The girl who had an abortion.

The teenager addicted to drugs.

The girl who ran away.

The girl without parents.

The woman who fears.

The girl who was molested.

The woman who wants to end it all.

For all of you and so many many more.... know YOU ARE LOVED!

God loves you! 

Believe it, it's true. You are worthy, you are loved by Him!

He sees your struggle and your pain.

He is right there beside you.

Lift your head up high and sparkle!

© ~ 2012 

To My Readers:

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Cost Of Bad Company

“Soldier Man Back” by mania room via

Do not be deceived: 

“Bad company ruins good morals.”   
1 Corinthians 15:33

We are in a constant battle. 

A constant battle with the devil. 

It is unfortunate but reality. 

We must suit up and cloak ourselves in armor to fight spiritual warfare. We have many weapons of destruction we can use against the devil and one of them is knowing God's truth. Knowing God's word and having a personal relationship with Him is one of the most important ways to protect yourself. When you know God's truth you are less likely to fall into the tricks and traps of the devil's lies. 

It's imperative we believe, we have faith in God and we can achieve this by changing our internal dialogue we have with ourselves. Instead of telling ourselves "Gee, I hope God has this. I sure hope He's going to pull through for me." We can assert our faith and say "I KNOW God has a great plan for me and He will help me see this through!" 

We can change "I hope" to...

 "I KNOW!" 

The more you tell yourself this and believe it the more amazing things you will experience in your life. You will be less tempted by sin, less negative, less doubting. 

We CAN win this battle but sometimes it's not just us that is fighting the devil. What if someone else is bringing the devil into your life picture?

What if your spouse has a friend who is negatively influencing his or her life thus also yours? I have upon talking to other's found this to be a somewhat common issue in marriages and in families. 

Each person's social circle that they choose for themselves is a reflection of who they are. Unlike family, an individual's friends are of their choosing. They are the "family" they choose for themselves. Friends reflect our true character, our morals, our values and our spiritual life. So what happens when a spouse has a friend who completely goes against the grain of what YOUR expectations and values are for your marriage and family? It's a serious problem. It is indeed a threat to your marriage. To your entire family. 

If your spouse has a male friend who believes it is perfectly acceptable to engage in illicit sex, who drinks and drives, who uses women as objects to satisfy himself sexually, who goes to strip clubs, spends money excessively, who doesn't hold marriage as a sacred union then what are the chances your marriage will survive? It's not any different for the woman who has a female friend who thinks it's perfectly fine to cheat, use her sexuality to climb the corporate ladder and turn to alcohol to solve her problems. 

This is why it is so incredibly important to wear a suit of armor. We must do everything we can to protect ourselves, our marriages and our families. It is up to the spouse to be the strong one and take a stand. Assert yourself and tell your spouse "I value you and our marriage too much to let the devil come between us. I will do everything in my power and faith through God to protect our marriage."

Sever the friendship that is tainting your life, your marriage and your family. When we marry we make a life long covenant with our spouse not our friends. 

A constant negative influence of sin and how you handle it with God's help will eventually contribute to whether your marriage and yes, even your family will break or make it. It takes a very strong person to do that. You may argue that standing alone is very hard when taking the easy route may be preferable. But remember, you are never ever really alone. God is right there beside you. Jesus shed his blood for you! He's ready to hand you every weapon you need to fight back and stand in triumph. 

We don't have to hope for a win. 

We can know we will. 

© ~ 2012 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Related Posts:

Is He A Sociopath? 20 Signs 

The Big "D" and Children: 10 Tips

“Upset Boy With Pictures Of Parents” by David Castillo Dominici via


It's such an ugly word.

It even begins with "D I V", the same letters "Divide" does.

Yet it's so incredibly common today in our society.

I never wanted to be divorced. I never wanted to become a statistic in that category. I didn't want to be a "divorced mom" or even worse a "single mom". "Divorced mom" at least sounds responsible, but "single mom" as is so commonly used today sounds free-wheeling and celebrated even if it may not be in reality.

So often society acts like divorce is okay, kids are resilient and everything will turn out alright despite some bumpy beginnings of adjustment. But it's not true. Kids lives are shattered by divorce. Kids thrive on consistency, routine and familiarity. When those concepts are overthrown they feel discombobulated and their trust is broken. Kids are sharp, they need to be given adequate credit and acknowledgment that they are capable of accurately reading situations, people and character. Being excellent observers, kids know deep down by careful studying of their parents who has true motives, whom they can trust and the reason for the dissolution of their parents marriage hence their family.

In the case of infidelity children know one parent's selfish actions caused the dissolution of their family unit. Kids feel the abandonment of the parent who stepped outside the family to pursue their own agenda, thus causing them to cling to the parent who remains stable and there for them. As the transition of divorce begins they see that their parents each get a fresh start to build new lives. But where is their fresh start?

They don't get one. They get stuck. For a very long time living at two homes, with two separate parents. How is this right? Their fresh start begins when they leave both nests and fly away on their own.

We are in an epidemic of "I want to be happy" in this country. That concept is a little more accepted when you are a free-wheeling single person. You have plenty of time after 8-5 work hours to celebrate all the things that "make you happy" as long as you are living by the word of God. But once you get married you make a covenant before God with another person to put them and their needs above you. Forever. In sickness and in health. Till death do you part. When you have children this promise is further deepened and you do everything you can to sacrifice for your children's best interests.

But when someone begins thinking along the lines of "I can't be happy in this marriage, I would be a better parent if we were divorced." it's the Devil. The devil is full of whispers, lies and empty promises. He wants to entice you, create self-doubt, ignite justification, and make you think that things of the flesh will make you happy.... new clothes, a fancy car, expensive meals, first class flights, sex with someone else, the list goes on. But it's all false advertisement. There are consequences to these choices in the name of "happiness" one has pursued. In the end no one really wins. And least of all the children.

Someone today who has convinced themselves that in order to parent sucuessfully and "be happy" really needs to be mentally evaluated. Their thoughts are misguided and not right. God knows this. They have made their poor decisions already based on "their happiness". Not based on holiness, hence for the good of their children. So how are they truly capable of being good parents? They haven't been looking out for their children's best interests. The best course of action in society today would be mandatory counseling for anyone who has stepped outside their marriage, outside their family and caused a threat to their children's security.

But that is not how our world works unfortunately.

There is free will, and nothing set in stone that forces anyone to deal with their issues in a pro-active manner versus just opting out.

So what can you do if a divorce is inevitable?

If there is zero chance of a marriage being salvaged?

Put your children first.

9 Tips For Children and Divorce: 

1. Ask them how they feel. They have feelings. They have thoughts about how their life is changing. Assure them that they still have a family. Yes, it will be different but they will still always be a family.

2. Listen. Just sit with them. Listen to how they feel. Admit you may not always have all the answers or even be able to give them the information they want but that you will always listen.

3. Validate their feelings. This is so incredibly important. Kids need to know that their feelings count. That they are important. Assure them they have every right to feel sad, disappointed, jipped and angry. Acknowledge that anger is usually a secondary emotion, that it usually follows hurt.

4. Stay neutral. Don't talk bad about your spouse. Don't color their view of them. Don't make them pick sides. More than likely, they already know the facts. They know if you've been fighting or if this was out of the blue and unexpected. Reassure them the divorce is not their fault. Kids don't need to hear the negative. Right now more than anything they need positivity.

5. Hug them. Sometimes nothing is more reassuring than a hug. It helps begin to heal all wounds. Along with that buy them a special lovey for this time if they don't already have one. They need that extra comfort and no one is ever too old for comfort. This is not the time to tell them to "act like a big kid." etc. Act like the adult and acknowledge your children's need for some extra comfort.

6. Pray. Pray together with your children for the family. Pray for your spouse. Acknowledge that God is looking out for you and will bring you through any darkness to light once again. This is a time when children's trust and faith have been hurt. Turning to God during this time will show them that no matter how difficult life may be we can always count on God!

7. Give them hope. Hope that things will get better even if it's in tiny steps. That there will be fun. Come up with some concrete ideas on new traditions to start, new things to look forward to and get excited about making a new plan. Kids will appreciate it more than you know.

8. Tell them you love them. Seems like a no-brainer but in the midst of so much to do and when emotions may be high, those three little words have huge power and affirmation for them. Let them know that you both love them and will always be there for them no matter what.

9. Discuss any parenting issues privately and away from the children so they don't overhear. It is more important than ever to present a united and positive front to your children. It will make them feel more secure in a very insecure time.

10. Divorce is never easy. Take it one day at a time. When in doubt as to how to handle a situation or a conversation just take pause. Pause and reflect before answering. Everything won't be perfect or seamless.

There will be challenging moments but in that you can know that God is there to guide you. He loves you and your children. He is there to help you make the best decisions for your family. And after you have given all you have to your children, when you find yourself depleted at the end of the day needing some comfort yourself, He is there for you too.

His love never fails.

© ~ 2012 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Related Posts:

Divorce: 6 Things To Never Tell Your Children 

You're Getting A Divorce: 10 Tips On How To Tell Your Children 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Loss In Life = Growth

“Butterflies On Hand” by sixninepixels via 

Life struggles

Or worse… Loss 

We all have them.

Big or small there is something each of us will face at some point.

Much of how we respond to the individual struggles we face show our character. We can choose to be discouraged or we can choose to have faith in God.

It is human nature of course during particularly difficult times in our lives to keep a positive outlook and constant reassurance that everything will be alright. But when we have those small doubts begin to nag at us like an unclipped cuticle we can remind ourselves this:

During our greatest challenges or losses are our greatest growth.

Remember the caterpillar you learned of in elementary school as a child. Remember the beauty and awe you held for it as you pressed your tiny nose against the glass and watched the caterpillar go through its formations to its final stage. The final stage of growth, beauty and sweet release with wings.

This is each of us.

It will happen, it merely takes time.

There will be seasons of good times in life and seasons with challenges. But when we take a moment to look back at our last challenge or the one before that we will see growth. It's often when we hit rock bottom in our worst circumstances that our faith is ignited and we are further assured of God's plan and promises for us.

For growth we must submit ourselves to God fully. To do this we must admit our weaknesses and mistakes to God. Humble yourselves. He knows best and knows every thing about us.

Acknowledge your active hand in your challenging circumstance to God. Don't search for excuses for your behavior and like a child reach in a box and try to pull out a name of someone marked as the reason for your "challenge." Do not try to blame others. Admit your part before God. Trying to rationalize and validate your reasons for your circumstances is like taking medication to stunt your growth. When we do this is only serves to cause our suffering to last longer and growth to take much longer.

When we feel deep down the want to change and grow we can know God sees it and will use it! He loves to see us sincerely want to change and through Him we can be better each and every day.

So when we are in the midst of challenging circumstances, when life's challenges seem too strong, we can take note that this too will pass. Remember the caterpillar and see the beauty in the changes to be made...

A burst of growth is just up ahead.

On the wings of a butterfly you will soar in triumph and
God's beauty will be reflected in your face, your spirit and your heart.

© ~ 2012 

Note: This is dedicated to my sister who had a love for butterflies. I know she is in Heaven beside God and through the loss of her I found Him. In my darkest days following her loss driving through tears I would often find reassurance in butterflies landing on my windshield which I know was a gift from above. During those times I was continually reminded of her strength and beauty. I'm also reminded of what God gave me. Growth.

Related Posts: 

Drunk Driving: 
Losing My Sister & Finding Hope In A Dark Place

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Our Weaknesses

God knows all our weaknesses.

Yet Satan does too.

We have a continual battle with the enemy but its not one we have to fight alone. We must seek God and resist the Devil over and over again throughout our lives.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, 
walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 
1 Peter 5:8

The devil is cunning, shrewd and vicious.

 He is the master of manipulation and seeks to bring despair, destruction and death to our lives.

He does this in several ways but the way he formulates and executes his plan is just as important. We can think of satan as an initial observer. He knows our strengths yet in that our weaknesses too. Imagine someone following you in life with a clipboard taking notes on your thoughts, desires, and actions. This is comparable to what the devil does. Imagine him continually taking notes of how much you struggle when it comes to food, or buying material things, or to the attractive man or woman you work with. satan knows exactly which areas you are weak in and he will begin orchestrating a plot to lure you in and succumb to sin.

We must stand strong and know our own weakness so we are aware of what areas we must be extra vigilant in. The devil's plan is to create uncertainty of God's truth, justification for our sin, to twist God's word to suit himself, to offer empty promises he can't keep, and to tempt us at the worst possible moment.

The devil will see our doubts in our marriage and begin to whisper words to us that lead to death....

"If he worked less you wouldn't be lonely. You're doing everything!"

"If she didn't nag all the time you'd be happier. Where did your fun wife go? She is the one who changed."


"Don't I deserve to be happy?"

"It's just a quick cup of coffee..."

"It's only dinner."

"But this feels so fun!"

"If he/she would be how I wanted them to be I wouldn't have to do this! It's really my husbands/wife's fault."

"It was just once. I won't do it again. Hopefully I won't get caught."


"Oh no... I did it again... I'm in too deep. There's no way to get out of this. I'm stuck. I'm losing either way."

"Oh NO!  He/she knows. What am I going to do? I've lost everything."

The devil seeks to pounce when the opportunity benefits him most. When we are struggling, when we are down, when we are sick, or tired, when we are at our weakest moments is when he springs to action with his evil plan.

We must stand strong, flee from the devil and cling to God. We can know we can always count on God to help us. He will. He will gather us up in His arms and give us the strength and wisdom we seek from Him.

But we have to know the devil's schemes, our own weak areas and know what to do. It is possible to rise above temptation. It is possible to have the life God wants for you and not one of darkness. Humble yourself before God, admit your weaknesses, admit your sin and repent. If you are the one struggling with the fall out of someones else's erroneous choices, pray. Pray for strength, comfort, peace and wisdom. Pray for those who have wronged you. Flee from the devil and seek God.

Let there be life! Turn your face to the light and delight knowing God is always there for you no matter what. Even the satan's worst can be overcome with God's best.

God always has a better plan!

© ~ 2012 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Divorce: When Your Kids Are Embarrassed


Each and every one of us has felt it at some point in our lives. Maybe you forgot your lines during a third grade play and everyone laughed. Or perhaps you accidentally tripped and scraped your knee walking in a store. Likely your ego was a bit bruised like your leg despite a chuckle at your clumsiness.

There are situations where even if you can laugh at yourself there may be moments in your life you later look back on and cringe.

But what about the moments you had zero part in? What about when someone else's choices threaten to cause you embarrassment? Unfortunately it does happen.

Whether it is someone's choices due to drug use, an affair or evading taxes, no matter what the issue is there is a chance if the person is close to you their choice may impact you also. When others choices impact our lives negatively how easy is it for us to become embarrassed?


image "Woman In Front Man Behind” by nuttakit via 

My family and our life together just recently changed and its been a negative one. A change that was unforeseen and one I never imagined happening to our family. The choices made by one person has affected the life of my family now forever and yet it was not due to anything my children or I did. So when my son recently came to me and said "Mommy, I'm embarrassed. I don't want anyone knowing." I did what I knew God would want me to do.

I gathered my son in my arms and holding him spoke "I'm so sorry you feel that way. I am here for you and will always listen. But at the end of the day there is nothing for you to be embarrassed about sweet boy. You did nothing wrong."

My son was struggling with what others thought of how our life was changing and the reason for it. He was worrying about what others thought, said and the gossip mill surely to follow. He believed the discussion, judgement and whispers of our situation were a reflection of him. But that is so far from God's truth.

Hold your head up high. There is no reason to be ashamed and embarrassed by others choices that negatively impact our life. It's not a reflection of you. Pray to God that when feelings of embarrassment like these threaten to derail you that He will step in to gather you in His arms and give you comforting reassurance that you did nothing wrong. You are loved and not tarnished......

You are a shining gem in a currently dusty spot in life.

The dust will eventually settle and God will get you through it.

And that's no reason to be embarrassed.

©  ~ 2012 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Related Posts: 

4 Biblical Grounds For Divorce

You're Getting A Divorce: 10 Tips On How To Tell Your Children