For the Ladies – Living a Peculiar Life

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2

I started out my life in an unsaved, typical worldly home.

I remember my family sitting in the Catholic church as the priest spoke to us in Latin. The beautiful stained-glass windows kept my rapt attention while the priest went on about things I couldn’t understand.

I remember cowering under my blankets some nights, trying to hide from my parents raised voices. I just knew they would get divorced. I just knew our family would get torn apart.

I remember watching my dad sit back in his lazy boy chair, a cigarette dangling from his fingers. The smoke would curl into the air, making its way to where I was sitting, until it was wrapped around my face, causing me to get a headache.

I remember sneaking into my older sister’s room, where they had the radio set to a rock station, as they tried on the new clothes they had just bought from the store. They giggled as they slid on the tight jeans, and low-cut tops. They primped their hair into the typical 80’s styles and smeared on bright shades of eye-shadow and lipstick, while they talked about boys and school dances.

As a little girl, I had an irrational fear that something terrible would happen to my family. I felt comforted and at peace when my parents were happy, and complete dred and sadness when there was any discord.

And then one day, it all changed. One day, someone knocked on our front door. They told us about Jesus, and how He had died to save us from our sins. My mom got saved that day. Soon, my dad and sisters also accepted Christ as their Saviour!

Over the next few years, my worldly family transformed into a family living for the Lord.

Every time the church doors were open, my family was there. If a job got in the way of church attendance, well, a new job was found! Dad gave up smoking, and my sisters and I got rid of our music, pants, movies, dances, and worldly conversations. Mom and Dad didn’t fight like they used to. There was a new excitement in our family! We were trying to live for the Lord, and we were addicted to the preaching of the Word of God. Our family now had peace, and true joy!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Fear not, dear readers! The purpose of this article is not to preach the sins of wearing pants or going to the movies. It’s not to point my finger in your face about contemporary music or sporadic church attendance. This article is only for those who are serious about living for the Lord. For those who want to stand before God someday and say they did everything they could to serve Him. The purpose of this article is to ask you one question.

How are you living your life separate from the world?

The Bible tells us that we need to be living our lives as praise to the God who saved us. But just how can we do that? How can we live our lives as a testimony of all that God has done for us? Well, it’s a little hard. It’s a little embarrassing. And we are going to have to stick out from the crowd a little bit. The Bible tells us we can be a testimony to the world by being….peculiar.

Peculiar: not usual or normal; different from the usual; odd, curious, eccentric, queer

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” – 2 Peter 2:9

Alright, alright! I get it, I really do! We all want to live peculiarly, without appearing to be “weird”. We don’t want to be that girl in the crowd that everyone points to and says, “look at her long flowing skirt, she must be one of those weird Christians!” Thankfully, the word “weird” does not appear in the definition of peculiar!

So what does living peculiarly really mean, anyway? How does God want us to live a separate life from the world?

CommunicationThe hardest part of our bodies to control is the smallest member. Our tongues. Someday we are going to give an account to God for every word we have ever spoken (Matt 12:36). As a Christian, our words can set us apart from the world. Our words can make us peculiar.

Wives, we shouldn’t be trash-talking our husbands to our friends. That is what the world does. Watch any Disney TV show, and you’ll see that dad is a bumbling idiot to the world. You can live a separate life from the world by talking good about your husband in front of your friends and co-workers!

Teenagers, did you know that when you are talking in the bathroom at church or school, that other people actually hear you? What are you talking about girls? Is it pleasing to the Lord? Is it a testimony to the little girls in the bathroom who still need the stool to reach the sink? Is it discouraging the other church members who are hoping YOU will be a good influence on their own wayward teenager? You can be separate from the world by walking away from that group of gossiping teenage girls!

Ladies, our conversations should lift up others in the Lord. Anything else is corrupt. We should speak with grace and kindness. Our conversation should make us separate from the world. Don’t fool yourself into thinking our mouths don’t affect others around us. It surely does and at any age. Watch your mouth!

“But now ye also put off all these things; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” – Colossians 3:8

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29

Loving Your Enemies – That boss who makes you feel guilty for wanting to take off for the College and Carrer retreat? Yes, you need to love her. That teacher who gets you benched from your first game because she gave you a demerit? Love her! That old man in the grocery store who just yelled for you to shut up your crying newborn? You gotta love him, too. Your mother-in-law, who seems to struggle giving up control over her son? Sorry, you still have to love her!

We can be separate from the world by loving those who do us wrong. We can be separate from the world by serving those who are unthankful for our efforts. We can be separate from the world by doing good to those who only think evil of us, and maybe even want to kill us.

Wives, when your coworkers are bashing their husbands for not appreciating them, and bragging about everything they are NOT going to do for them, be a child of the Highest by continuing to do good for your husbands!

Teenagers, when that girl you KNOW is talking about you behind your back comes to you for help with something, be a child of the Highest by helping her and speaking kindly!

Ladies, we need to be kind to others from all walks of life, and from all cultures. We may feel intimidated and afraid, but being a child of the Highest means loving those we fear!

“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” – Luke 6:35

Appearance – I promise, I’m not going to preach to you about whether or not you should be wearing pants. However, the Bible has plenty to say about modesty, and about not having the same appearance as the world.

modest: not very large in size or amount; not too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities; not showing or feeling great or excessive pride; not showing too much of a person’s body

Modest is more of an attitude than clothing. It is the putting on of the spirit of humility. Your clothes help you portray that spirit that is inside you.

Look, I’m not saying that you need to wear a paper bag, or ugly, brown, scratchy, high-collar clothing! Modest basically means moderation. Are you dressing in moderation? Are you dressing with a humble spirit before God? Or are your clothes flashy and screaming “look at me!” Do your clothes reveal a lot of skin? Can my teenage son see the space between your breasts? Can he see your underwear line through your skinny jeans or skirt? Are your shorts so short that he can see your butt cheeks when you bend over? Sorry that I’m being so blunt girls!

We can be separate from the world by dressing differently than the world. I’m going to say it…that girl in the long, flowing skirt that everyone thought was weird? No one doubted she was a Christian. You don’t doubt the Amish are Amish, because of how they dress. You don’t doubt the Muslim are Muslim, because of how they dress. So how can people look at YOU in a crowd and know you are a Christian? No, I’m not suggesting that you throw away your pants, unless you know that God is calling you to do so. But you can dress in a humble spirit, with moderation before God and the world. God does call some of us to give up our pants. God does want more from some of us than from others. However, God is calling ALL of us to be modest!

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” – 1 Timothy 2:9

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4

Our Eyes – Another way we can be separate from the world is to avoid condoning sin by what we allow ourselves to see. Mostly I’m talking about what we watch on TV. When we are trying to live our lives for the Lord by reading scripture and hearing the preaching of the Word, we are filling ourselves with light. When we allow ourselves to watch movies that have sex, swearing, and murder in it, we are letting in evil. Jesus told us in Matthew that when we allow a little evil into our eyes, our whole bodies become filled with darkness!

Ladies young and old, we can be separate from the wold and live a peculiar life by avoiding wicked TV shows and movies. It’s going to be hard. You won’t be able to blend into the crowd while being separate with this one!

Are your friends going to watch an R-rated movie at the theater? You can be separate from the world by meeting them for ice cream afterward.

Are your classmates huddled around a TV watching the newly released movie “IT”? Tell your friends goodbye and go home. Seriously.

Want to watch movies with your family? Get a movie filter like Clear Play, and determine to watch movies at home!

What we allow into our minds (and heart), will eventually come out of our mouths. If we really want to live a separate life in praise to the God who saved us from an eternity in Hell, we need to be careful what we allow our eyes to see!

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” – Psalms 101:3

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matthew 6:22-23

What we Hear Controlling what we allow into our minds by way of our ears is a big part of living a peculiar life!

Music – If I were to pull up next to your car at a stop light, would I be able to tell right away if you were listening to Christian music? I’m not going to tell you what you should or should not listen to. I’m just going to ask you….does your music sound different from the world’s music? We can live a peculiar life by abstaining from worldly music, or music that sounds like the world’s music!

Swearing – When we are at a work, it can be difficult to avoid hearing your coworkers swear. When you allow yourself to be surrounded by foul language every day, it will eventually, one day, slip out of your own mouth, too! Once again, to be separate from the world in what you allow into your ears, you may have to take a stand and ask your coworkers to not swear around you. Tell them that it offends you!

“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord .” – Psalms 40:3

Our Bodies are Temples – The world today would agree with you if you told them your body was a temple…until you got to the part where you said it was GOD’S temple!

All throughout the old testament, God gave meticulous directions on how He wanted the Temple to be built. He gave specific directions right down to the details of the hem of the priest’s garments (Ex. 28:33). Why did He do this? Why did He care so much? Because the temple was where God was going to physically dwell.

Paul warned us to not defile our bodies, because our bodies are the temple of God! God is dwelling in us!

Altering our Appearance – We can live separately from the world by not altering our temples. Just as we wouldn’t spray graffiti all over the church sanctuary, we shouldn’t mark our bodies with tattoos or extreme piercings.

What we Ingest – We can live separately from the world by taking care of what we put in our temples. Be careful about the kinds of medications you take, the foods you eat, and even what you drink! Smoking kills your lungs and alcohol alters your thinking. Certain medications can become addictive and lead to anxiety, depression, and the need for stronger and even more drugs! And I have to say it…food can be addictive too!

Christian women, let’s be separate from the world by taking care of our bodies!

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” – 1 Corinthians

Stumbling Blocks – But what about our liberty we have in Christ?

I knew you would ask me this.

Yes, we have liberty in Christ. If you have studied the scriptures and listened to the teaching and preaching of the Word, and still feel it’s OK to live like the world, that is between you and God. You will not lose your salvation by getting a tattoo of a cross, or by piercing your belly button. Don’t forget, though, that someday we will stand before our Father and give an account for how we lived our lives for Him!

One more thing. If you decide to claim that liberty, don’t flaunt it in the faces of those who are trying to be seperate from the world. For example, if you have no problem going to an R-rated movie, don’t invite your Christian friend who just went down to the alter last week feeling convicted about the movies she watches! Have discretion and respect for your brothers and sisters in Christ who are trying to walk a peculiar life.

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:13

“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” – 1 Corinthians 8:9

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians 5:1

Living a peculiar life is not always easy. Sometimes you feel alone. Years after living a peculiar life, you may be tempted to give up those things that seperated you from the world. Don’t get weary in well doing! In time, you will reap the rewards of a life lived for Christ!

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9


Edited to say: I wrote this article in answer to questions my kids have been asking regarding our families standards and convictions. It is not directed towards any particular person or group of persons. I promise!

Why 40 Looks Good

I’m not gonna lie. Turning 40 is something I have dreaded since my youth. There’s just something that doesn’t sit well with me over the realization that my life is now half over! And of course, I’ve heard the stories of waking up with aches and pains and the gray hairs that will start appearing in abundance!

I’m turning 40 next week.

Yay me!! (complete sarcasm)

Seriously though. Despite the concerns mentioned above, 40 actually seems less frightful these days. In fact, I see many benefits of turning the big 4-0!

Why is 40 looking so good?

I know who I am. In a world where everyone is trying to find themselves, I have peace with who I am! I’ve finally accepted the fact I will probably never be the size I was before I had kids. I’m OK with that. I’m OK with the fact that I’m not a sporty person. I’ll probably never voluntarily run a 5K marathon. I’m OK with the fact that I’m not good at decorating, sewing, or doing crafts. That’s OK! I know what I am good at. I love to cook. I love to read and write. I can clean and organize pretty well. I love leisurely walks, coffee, ice cream, and laughing with friends. I adore my husband and kids. 40 means I don’t sweat what I’m not good at, I just embrace what I love!

I don’t care what people think about me anymore. OK, I say this knowing I do care. I just don’t care as much as I used to! If I find that someone else thinks poorly of me, I might agonize over it for a bit. But then I turn to God and ask Him what He thinks. I ask that He reveal my sin to me. I confess it and forsake it – and move on! 40 means that pleasing God matters more than pleasing my peers!

I have more confidence. Come on now, I’ve been around for 40 years! I know a little bit more than I did 20 years ago. No, I’m not an expert, but I no longer need to call my mom or sisters for advice on keeping house or making meals. In fact, people now ask me for advice! If I’m asked to help someone organize or clean, I know exactly how I want to do it, and I confidently go in a get it done. 40 means that experience has given me confidence!

I know who my friends are. Somewhere in the last few years, I noticed that my friendships have changed. I don’t know if it was time and trials that drew us closer together, or that I had just matured, but there has been less drama between my friends and I. The friendships I have, seem to have become more precious. Each new friendship that enters my life, holds a special place in my heart. 40 means you have more friends than ever!

God means more to me now. Walking daily with the Lord means you will draw closer to Him over time. My Heavenly Father has brought me through many difficult times over the years, and through each difficulty, God has drawn me a little more closer to His side. My walk with Him is sweeter, and I now recognize my Shepherds voice. 40 means peace with my Savior!

So yes, some 40-year-olds start having a little more health difficulties. I’m presently waiting in my doctor’s office for a check-up on my high blood-pressure! And yes, I recently got my hair cut short and highlighted to cover the gray. But you know what? I feel that I’m in the prime of my life, and I’ve decide that 40 looks pretty good!

“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” – Proverbs 16:31

“With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.” – Job 12:12

Tips to Overcoming a Panic Attack

If you are anxiety sufferer, you know the classic signs of anxiety. Tightness in your chest, palpitations, headaches, tummy upset, trembling hands, and week legs. These are all classic symptoms of anxiety. I should know. I’ve had them all before.

I’m so thankful that I’m not new to this story, and that I know what to do when I feel a panic attack coming on. I thought I would share with you some tips that can help you overcome a panic attack.

1. Know your symptoms. Everyone is different. For me, I know I’m about to have a panic attack if my chest starts feeling a little tight. At that moment, if I take the time to do the steps below, I can avoid it.

2. Breathe deeply. At the first sign of a coming panic attack, stop what you are doing and focus on breathing. Breathe in through your nose counting to 5 very slowly. Then let the breath out slowly through your mouth, counting to 7. Repeat this five times.

3. Quote scripture. Everyone should have a verse of scripture that they call “theirs”. Something that can bring comfort to an anxious mind. Here’s mine:

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

4. Distract yourself. The worst thing to do when you feel a panic attack coming on is to focus on how you feel. Go outside for a few minutes and take a quick walk. Start up a conversation with your husband, or call your mom. Break the cycle of panic with distraction.

5. Essential Oils. I don’t sell oils, but I’ve been using them since before they were ever popular. I found a blend from Young Living called “Peace and Calming”, and I love it. I don’t know if it’s just a placebo for me or what, but the scent of this particular oil really does help me feel calm. When I feel anxiety coming in, I rub some over my heart, on my wrists, and under my earlobes.

6. Pray. If you know why this anxiety attack started to come on, share your burden with Jesus. He really does care! Leave your cares and worry at His feet. Pour your heart and tears out before Him. He’s listening!

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

7. Reflect. Once you are past the tense and anxious moment, think back on why you think you had it. Maybe you need to slow your schedule down a little, or change your attitude about something. Search for a Biblical and practical solution to whatever is causing you stress. Sometimes, just talking to a like-minded Christian friend can be enough to encourage you!

I hope these tips help you the next time you are about to have a panic attack!

You Matter to God

I’m a city girl. I find comfort in the sound of rumbling trucks, car horns, and trains. Kids playing, dogs barking, and neighbors fighting are often heard through my open windows. Sometimes, on foggy mornings, I can even hear large ship horns from Lake Erie. At night, streetlights cast their glow across my front window, and I’m OK with that. I’m a city girl, and for me, this is “normal”.

My husband, however, is from a remote town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Ontonagon is located on the shores of Lake Superior and home to the beautiful Porcupine Mountains. The first time Gabe brought me to his home-town, I was amazed at how quiet it was. There were no traffic jams or busy streets. No police sirens echoing off of tall city buildings. And it was clean. Despite the moving water on Lake Superior, I could see all the way down to the bottom of the lake. The water was crystal clear. At night, it was so dark outside, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. The biggest difference between living in the city and living in the country was when I looked up at the sky. The stars! I had no idea there were that many stars in the sky! The more I gazed into the sky, the more stars I saw, and I realized there were layers upon layers of them. I felt very small and insignificant!

Have you ever been struck at the wonder of a beautiful mountain range or the powerful sound of a waterfall? Maybe you’ve looked up at the vast number of stars in amazement or stopped to enjoy the cheerful sound of birds outside your window. How many majestic sunrises or sunsets have you watched with appreciation?

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”

– Psalms 19:1

The same God that created all of the earth’s astounding beauty, created you. Have you ever stopped to wonder how the Creator of all things in existence, views you?

God thinks you are beautiful. Scripture tells us that God created all things beautiful. How dare we criticize ourselves for things we can not change! It really doesn’t matter what we think about ourselves, God thinks His creation is perfect. (“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” – Genesis 1:31) Don’t criticize the size of your feet or the shape of your nose. Stop hating the color of your hair or the sound of your voice. In doing so, you are criticizing God’s masterpiece!

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time”

– Ecclesiastes 3:11a

God thinks of you all the time. Why is it so easy for us to believe that God doesn’t really care about us? There are days we wonder if God even knows we exist. Yet the psalmist tells us that God thinks of us as often as the grains of sand on the earth. Do you know how many grains of sand there are on the earth?! Scientists estimate there are over seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains of sand on the earth. Umm…I can’t even write that number on paper. I think it’s safe to say, that God thinks of you in His every waking moment. Which, by the way, God doesn’t sleep. (“Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” – Psalm 121:4)

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand.”

– Psalms 139:17 & 18

God thinks you are 1 in billion. Stop and think about it. There are over 7 billion people on the earth today. Yet, God takes the time to know every little detail about you. He knew your name before you were born (Jerimiah 1:5), He formed you specifically while you were in your mothers womb (Isaiah 44:24), He knows when you sit down, stand up, or lie down (Psalms 139:2&3), and He hears every word you say (Pslams 139:4). If that were not enough, God has a book with your name on it where He keeps track of how many fingers you have, and every other little detail about you. (Psalms 139:16)! Oh, and let’s not forget that He collects your tears (Psalms 56:8), counts the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7), and is always watching what you do (Proverbs 15:3). In no way does God find you insignificant!

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

– Psalms 139:14

God has a purpose for your existence. I don’t think there is a human on this earth that hasn’t ever wondered what their purpose was. The world actually calls it “finding themselves”, but the Bible tells us that we can know exactly what our purpose is. In fact, we don’t even have to go away to find our purpose we just need to read the Word of God! Our main purpose on this earth is to glorify God in every word we say and in every deed we do (Exodus 9:16). Sometimes we go through storms in our lives and we struggle with understanding why God is allowing us to suffer. Yet we know that every trial has a purpose and meaning (Romans 8:28). God does not make mistakes with our lives!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

– Jerimiah 29:11

God thinks you are priceless. God created this earth, and the heavens. Everything that we find beauty in was the handiwork of our God. Not only that, but God created man and woman and gave all of that beauty to them with just one restriction. Yet, instead of obeying God, man decided to break that one rule. Ever since that day, sin has been passed down through countless generations. It broke God’s heart. He gave man many chances to be forgiven of that sin, but man failed continually. God knew that there could only be one sure way to save His beloved creation, and that was through the blood of His only Son, Jesus Christ. If you want to hear the entire story of God’s plan of redemption, go here.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

– John 3:16

God is not going to leave us alone. No matter how alone you might feel, God never leaves His children. There are days our flesh and the Devil will lie to us, and tell us we are alone and that God doesn’t really care. On those days, we need to trust the Word of God and not our feelings! God is walking in our future, He can be found in our past, and He is in our today, resting His hand on our shoulder. We can never out run God, and we can never hide from Him. No matter how deep our pit is, no matter how far we run, God is with us!

“Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

– Psalms 139:5-10

This city girl will never be able to walk a sandy beach again without thinking about God. I will never watch a sunset, or gaze into a starry sky without being amazed at how powerful my God is! When I’m in the depths of despair, and begin to doubt how God really views me, I will not trust my feelings. I will cling to the Word of God and know that God views me as priceless.

No Fear In Death

There is no doubt in my mind that I will one day walk on a street of gold. One day, a hand that was once nail-driven to a wooden cross will reach out to me, and lead me Home. I will see my Savior face to face, and I will enjoy eternity in Heaven with Him.

I am not afraid of what life-after-death holds for me. (If you don’t know where you will spend eternity, go here to read how you can have that assurance.)

Once upon a time, I used to worry about how I would die. I’ve never been diagnosed with a terminal illness or told I only have a short time left to live. Yet there were nights I used to lay awake long after the rest of my family would be sleeping, and I would wonder how I would die. These worries at times would leave me frozen with fear, allowing anxiety to get a grip on my mind, debilitating me. Would I die in a car accident? I began to have panic attacks while driving. Would I die of a heart attack? I began to struggle with chest pains. Would I die of a stroke? I began to wonder if I had blood clots. Would I die of cancer? I began to question every twinge of pain.

Maybe you are reading this and are thinking about how silly and ridiculous I sound. A Christian afraid of dying?! Believe me, I used to think that of myself. Shame would fill me each time I struggled with this fear. Yet, I soon learned that I was not alone. In the last year, I received emails and private messages from other Christians who also struggle with anxiety, and have had the same fear of dying.

Over the years, I have learned that God has given us all the tools we need to overcome our anxieties. These tools are found in the Word of God. Once I realized that my fear of dying was beginning to affect me in a physical and unhealthy way, I turned to the scripture. There, I found exactly what I needed to turn my fear into peace!

Why I No Longer Fear Dying

God knows how many days I have left to live on this earth. In Psalms 39, we are told that God knows when we lay down to sleep, and when we rise for the day. He knows our thoughts before we speak them. In fact, God has a book with my name on it, and He is keeping track of every little detail about me, including how much time I have left on this earth. The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever.” – Psalms 37:18

God has already declared what my end will be. When God moved upon the face of the waters in Genesis 1, He was putting thought into His creation. He was thinking about the little details He would give to each and everyone of us. If God put so much thought into His creation, wouldn’t He put some thought into how His creation would end? From the moment I was formed in my mothers womb, God had a plan for how my life would end. Not only that, His plan will bring Him glory, and it will please Him! Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” – Isaiah 46:10

God is holding my years, days, hours, minutes, and seconds in His hand. I trust God’s Word. He said that the death of His Son, Jesus Christ would be an atonement for my sins. He said that I can stand before His throne spotless, and blameless. If I can trust God to hold my eternity in His hand, why can’t I trust Him to hold my life in His hand? God has a plan for my life, but I can’t live that plan if I’m consumed with worry about my death! But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou are my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.” – Psalms 31:14-15

I will not live one second longer than what God wills me to live. God is not going to allow anything to get in the way of His plan for me! What comfort to know that my death will not be some accidental mistake, or afterthought! God has set an appointment for my death, and He’s going to make sure I keep it! “Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;” – Job 14:5

No matter how I will die, God will be with me. Heart attack, stroke, cancer, accident, murder – it doesn’t matter how I die, God has promised to be with me! No matter where I go, I can never outrun God’s hand. When my appointed time is up, God’s hand will be there to lead me Home, in fact, He may pick me up and hold me until we get there! “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” – Psalms 39:8-10

These precious promises God left in His Word are for us to take a hold of, and apply to our lives. If I trust Gods plans for me, then I don’t need to fear death. Trusting God is not about feelings or emotions, it is about action. I have to choose to trust God’s Word. I have to choose to commit Scripture to memory. I have to choose to quote these Scripture when I feel anxiety or fear. Only then can God turn my anxiety into peace!

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3

“No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me.”

– Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

When Silence is Loud

Sitting on my couch, I watched the setting sun cast it’s long shadows across my living room wall. The silence in the house was so loud, it deafened me.

Yes, you read that right. I said the silence was deafening.

I come from a large, loud family. Even when we didn’t have friends over, our house was still crowded, and loud. As the middle child of five sisters, I was able to experience the joys of sharing a bedroom, bathroom, and even my clothes with a crowd!

Eventually, I moved out of my noisy house and into a noisy, college dormitory. There, I shared a room with 4 other girls. Our house had eleven people living in it. Talk about crazy!

After living my entire life with crazy, loud females, you would think I’d get my own place just so I could enjoy some silence. Instead, I met a really handsome guy and decided to get married. I went from sharing a noisy dormitory to living in an apartment with my husband. I worked a part time job until giving birth to our first child.

I have spent the last 16 years raising 4 children. When it was time for my youngest child to go to school full-time, and for me to enjoy silent days at home, I found myself taking care of my sick husband.

Finally the day arrived. My husband was going back to work full-time after being home nearly two years. In my excitement, I made a list of fun house projects, stacked several books in a neat pile by my chair (pictured above), and filled my calendar with empty days.

Except, instead of leisurely resting in the sweet joys of silence, I became a tight ball of nervous energy. I had never truly been alone for more than an hour or two, and I wasn’t used to the silence. I soon learned that I was not a person who loved complete silence. I would much rather try to have a conversation with my husband over the craziness of our 4 loud children, than to be in an empty, quiet house alone. There is a lesson in the Bible for every phase of our lives, and I soon learned the benefits silence.

We need silent moments in our lives to remind us that God is still God. We get so busy in our day-to-day crazy, that we allow the noise and confusion of the world to creep into our hearts. We become weighted down over news of future wars, corrupt politics, and raging teenagers with guns. Yet, when we take time to shut the world out a few minutes everyday, and read the Word of God, we can find comfort in the truth that God is still God! Those worries are not for us to figure out. Just be still and see what the Lord can do! Someday, He is going to come and make everything that’s wrong in this world, right!

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalms 46:10

We need quiet moments in our lives so we can see God’s miracles. Four months ago, my husband was in the final phase of his cancer treatments (read Gabe’s cancer story here). During that time, my life was crazy. I pretty much felt like a single mom as my husband was often too sick to partake in normal “daddy duties”. During those crazy days, I was too busy to see the miracles God was performing. It wasn’t until it was all over, and I found myself sitting in a quiet empty house, that the reality of our situation really hit me. My husband had survived cancer – twice! And although we struggled more financially than we ever had, we somehow not only survived, but thrived!

“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord .” – Lamentations 3:26

We need quiet moments in our lives so God can give us confidence for our future. In Isaiah chapter 30, God warns Israel to not seek help from the Egyptians. He warns them that if they do, it will be to their own detriment. God advised Israel that their safety relied not in running for their lives, but in staying in the quietness of where they were.

Sometimes, we need to rest in the quietness of where we are. The shadows of our future can easily alarm us, causing us to fear tomorrow. We become tempted to follow the worlds solutions, rather than following God’s Word. Don’t give in to that temptation. Instead, wait quietly in the silence of where God has you now. Listen to His voice, and follow His Word. In doing this, we can have confidence in our tomorrows!

“For thus saith the Lord God , the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” – Isaiah 30:15

They say that silence is golden. I have yet to experience the physical riches of silence! I have learned, however, that there are many spiritual benefits to having a quiet moment.

Meditation Monday – Get Off That Couch!

We all like to talk about what we’re “going to do”, but what are people saying about what you’ve already done?

Whether it’s getting a job, fulfilling a new years resolution, or accomplishing something for the Lord, you will only find failure and disappointment if you stay on the couch. Hard work and a little sweat will not only bring victory in your life, it will make you rich!

“In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.” – Proverbs 14:23