Pain and Trials: There is an Upside to These Twin Life Companions

michelehowe:

True then…true today.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

crown

The devil sometimes goes too far. He drives us straight into the Lord’s arms. Ruth Bell Graham

Love that statement because it’s true and because it makes me laugh.

It’s the whole overcoming evil with good principle again.

God takes what could (should) destroy us…and He transforms the experience into something that will eventually be the making of us.

I love this little slice of pain and trials from author Kay Arthur’s life…

Kay Arthur was bitterly disappointed when she contracted a heart infection that forced her removal from the mission field. “I felt like a failure,” she wrote.

“It would be several years before I’d see how He’d use those formative years of study in Mexico to prepare me to write inductive Bible studies that would eventually reach 52 countries.”

“My disappointments aren’t over,” Kay admits. “Pain and trials are almost constant companions, but never enemies. They drive me…

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Is Your Life a Mess? Welcome to the Human Race

michelehowe:

Still a mess…still trusting an uncertain future to a certain God!

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

roadlesstraveled

Life isn’t like a book. Life isn’t logical or sensible or orderly. Life is a mess most of the time. And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess. Charles Colson

There’s no shame in having a messy life.
In fact, if you claim to have perfectly ordered life, I would tend to think you are either 1) lying or 2) delusional.

Perfect simply doesn’t exist on planet earth.

And, as Charles Colson said so eloquently, life might be messy but we have to live smack dab in the middle of that messiness and find our way through making sense of our lives through our theology.

As a reminder, we are all “doing” theology the moment we ask “why?”

Of late, I’ve been asking a lot of silent whys in my heart of hearts.

Whys….in all their shapes and forms…they sometimes drive me crazy so I retreat to…

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Giving Your Attitude the Royal Once-Over…Going Gratitudinal

michelehowe:

In honor of our completion of this book study…one final word on going “gratitudinal!” :)

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

gratitude“Gratitude consists in a watchful, minute attention to the particulars of our state, and to the multitude of God’s gifts, taken one by one…And all our whole life is thereby…filled with a gladness, serenity, and peace which only thankful hearts can know.” H.E. Manning

It’s one thing to recognize we need an attitude adjustment; it’s quite another to put one into play.

Contrary to what some might believe, our attitudes are not dependent upon our circumstances. They are, however, dependent upon giving careful thought and consideration to how we might see life (and its hardships) differently.

Better.

Despite hard times and setbacks, we can, even today, choose to give our attitudes the “royal once-ever” by going gratitudinal, a term penned in, “Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy.”

Here, author Nancy Leigh DeMoss offers some positively uplifting suggestions for “going gratitudinal” in daily practical ways.

· Commit to a season of…

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Single & Parenting –The Solution for Single Parent Ministry

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

Last spring I had a conversation with the executive producer at Church Initiative where we discussed a topic very close to my own heart…that of single parenting. While I am not a single parent, two of my closest friends are single moms and through the years much of my writing (books and articles) have been focused on their life journey. After that phone conversation, I received an invitation to travel to Oak Forest, NC, on a hot summer day and take part in their newest instructional series, Single & Parenting. I remember that day well. It was long. It was hot. It was tiring.

It was also one of those spectacular days that don’t come around often, one of those few spaces of time when you feel as those you’ve “come home” the moment you arrive. If you’ve ever visited a place for the first time…

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Getting a Closer Look — It Makes Everything Look Different

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

During a routine dental cleaning this week, I heard the hygienist say the last words I expected. “You have a cracked tooth!”

No way. At first, I didn’t believe her.

If you crack a tooth, it’s not something you miss. Right?

Wrong. When she got up close and peered into my mouth with her handy little dental mirror, she could see something I couldn’t. Something hidden because it was not in my line of vision.

And because I wasn’t experiencing any pain, I didn’t know what I was missing and or how long it might have gone undetected before an infection set in or some other nasty dental aberration occurred.

Even though I didn’t get the good news I wanted this time around. I did get the news I needed to hear.

This little blip on my physical health checklist got me thinking about how important…

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Doing the Hard (but necessary) Work of Grieving Well

michelehowe:

What better day to be reminded of the value of grief than on Good Friday when Jesus laid down His life for us? Let grief do its work in your heart and mine today.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

fallpicLet mourning fulfill its function. Don’t fear it, but embrace it, use it, and baptize it for God’s glory.
Gary Thomas in Authentic Faith

When the phone rang, I felt clueless as to why my then nineteen-year-old daughter was sobbing uncontrollably. As she tried to communicate to me what had happened, she alternated between drawing in short staccato-like breaths and trying to speak. All the while, my mind raced from one possible scenario to another. None of them good.

After a few minutes, she was able to tell me that her dear friend had been killed earlier that morning in a traffic accident. He was only nineteen. The same age as my daughter. As soon as the words sunk in, I felt like someone slammed me against the wall. It hurt, physically. Unable to wrap my mind around the full implications of this young man’s sudden death, I urged my…

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The Last Laugh — Remembering How Good It Feels

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

Last week I watched a movie where the main character suddenly started laughing…uproariouly…joyfully…that deep from her insides kind of laugh.

Once she stopped, she commented that she couldn’t remember the last time she’d laughed. Really laughed.

I sat there thinking about the last time I’d laughed that hard.

Thinking.
Thinking.
Thinking.

Nothing came immediately to mind. And that thought is enough to make anyone cry.

So I started looking through old photos trying to recall some experiences that had me doubled over in laughter. I found one.

It’s not too recent (but it still makes me smile…so it still counts.)

About a year and a half ago, I traveled up North for a friend’s daughter’s wedding and while there my kids and I trekked up and down the sand dunes each day. On the first afternoon, that first hill about killed me (not because it was…

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