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Friday, September 29, 2017

How to Overcome Life’s Hardships

Life can be so hard! The enemy is relentless in his attack on us. He doesn’t stop. Sometimes I feel as if I can’t catch my breath. It’s one attack after another. During these times, I have a choice. I can give up and hold hands with the enemy, or I can draw closer to God. 

I love it when I draw closer to God. While my flesh might be suffering, all is well with my soul. My Lord can give me peace during the storm. The storm happens for a reason. Even though we don’t understand it, we can still embrace it and grow through it. Especially, if we become still and ask God what He wants us to learn from the experience. When we realize the trial is happening for us and not to us, then we are able to see it with a new perspective. 

Anyone can have faith when everything is going great in their life. To have unwavering faith, however, during the storm is different. It requires us to believe in things we can’t see or things we have never experienced before. That kind of faith requires us to believe with God all things are possible. God is bigger than any problem that we might encounter. He always knows the exact solution to help us overcome our heartaches. We just have to trust Him, and allow Him to lead us through the troubled waters.

Sometimes He makes the way for us so easy that we dismiss it. We want something hard to do because that’s what our mind expects. When I was so sick, some of my doctors thought my treatment would cost thousands of dollars and involve lots of specialists. However, all it took was a change in my diet. The sad part is that my doctor had mentioned the diet before, but I had dismissed it. 

On the other side of the struggle is the desires of our heart. The Lord will help us to acquire those things we have prayed for—if we trust Him and walk by faith. We can’t get to the next level if we continue to stand right where we are. God has great things for us, we just have to put our fears aside and follow Him. One step at a time, every single day.

Love and blessings,


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Warning: I Was Addicted. Are You?

How many times a day does your phone beep or buzz? Are you constantly distracted by what other people are doing? 

This happened to me. Regardless of what I was doing, my phone was always buzzing. It would break my concentration when I was working, and distract me from doing what needed to be done. It was the first thing I grabbed each morning and the last thing I checked each night. Instead of me using my phone to help me, my phone was using me. 

The realization made me mad. How had the addiction sneaked up on me? I didn’t intend to become addicted to my phone, but it happened anyway. So I decided to break my addiction. 

I deleted Facebook and messenger off of my phone. The constant beeping from the notifications was so distracting for me. While I do still check Facebook, I limit my time to a few minutes a day. Reading other people’s rants make me feel bad. It brings me down. Therefore, I scroll with caution. The moment I see anything that irritates me, I turn it off. I’m in control! It no longer controls me.

Social media has a way of pulling us in. If we are not careful, it will dictate our lives. While it can be fine in moderation, we have to be the ones who moderate our time. For the next few days, notice how you feel when you spend time on social media. That is what I did. The results surprised me. I asked myself these questions: Does it make you feel good? What else could you be doing with your time?

I have replaced my excess social media time with more writing time. I also use the time to read or paint. Not only do I accomplish more each day, but I also I feel more peaceful. In an effort to connect with more people, I don’t want to disconnect from myself or my loved ones. 

Every once in a while, it is good for us to take some time to reflect on our lives. During that time, we need to be honest with ourselves. I like to ask myself this question: Are you where you want to be in your life? If my answer is no, then I evaluate why. I want to live my life as if I will have to give an account for it one day. My time is a precious gift from God, and I want to use it that way. 

Love and blessings, 


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Do You Stand Up For Yourself?

For a long time, I thought standing up for myself just meant standing up to other people or standing up for what I believed to be right. Recently, however, my thought was challenged. We are usually quick to stand up to other people or society, but how often do we stand up against our own enemy?

The real enemy lives in our mind. The same one who encouraged Eve to eat the apple in the garden of Eden talks to us every day. How many times a day are we encouraged to do something that goes against our hopes and dreams, and the life we want to live? 

Every morning, I am encouraged to snooze. Just ten more minutes, I always think. Then instead of reading my Bible and spending my time with God, the enemy encourages me to check my emails, Facebook messages, and notifications. If I’m not aware of what is happening, I will be distracted from what is important to me. According to my thoughts, I am always too sleepy or tired to exercise, and my body always needs sugar and potato chips. When it comes time to write, I suddenly need to clean my house. And I never feel worthy or good enough to write or do God’s work. 

Sometimes we just need to stop and evaluate our lives. Who is in control? Who is leading us every day? Are we listening to the voice of our enemy or the voice of our Lord?

The enemy is constantly putting distractions in our life. He wants us to sabotage ourselves because he can’t make us do anything. He might be able to encourage us to do it, but he can’t make us do it. We need to remember that. And when he becomes relentless in his temptations and distractions, then we need to tell the Lord on him and ask God to help us overcome him.

We are all stronger than our excuses and temptations. This is our life! Are we going to allow the enemy to take it from us or are we going to fight against him? The first step for me is recognizing him. Once I know it’s the enemy, then I can ask God to help me to defeat him. Standing up for ourselves, against the enemy, is not easy.  Sometimes it’s really hard. The more we do it, however, the easier it will become. Every time we stand against the enemy and defeat him, it sets up a stone of remembrance for us. Our enemy is not able to overcome our Lord. When our strength falters, His strength begins. He is the One who ultimately stands up for us. The first step, however, is ours. 

Today, we need to decide who are we are going to live for and then make our daily choices based on that decision. Yes, it will be hard. But it will also be so worth it. 

Love and blessings, 


Monday, September 25, 2017

Who Needs Me To Show Up Today?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives. One of the ways the enemy distracts us is by making us constantly busy. When we are busy with our own lives and our own problems then we don’t have the time nor energy to think about anyone else. 

As I’ve said many times before, I never want my life to be just about me. I desire to help other people. Nothing compares to the joy of helping someone else. Especially if we give them a little glimpse of God. 

This morning as I spent my time with God, I asked myself and God this question: Who needs me to show up today? 

Sometimes we just have to put our own fears and problems aside to help someone else. Have you ever been in the trenches of your life and had someone say something encouraging to help you? That type of gift is priceless. 

I have no idea what anyone needs. I don’t know how to inspire or encourage anyone. But my Lord knows what we all need. I believe our wisdom and the gifts of overcoming that He has given us are meant to be shared with others. If we can help just one person to have a better day, then our efforts would be rewarded greatly. 

When I focus on helping someone else or being kind to everyone that I meet, then my problems don’t seem as big. It gives my day purpose. Someone woke up this morning feeling as if their situation is hopeless. I remember that feeling well. Years ago, I hated Mondays. I hated my job and I had an emptiness inside of me. While I went to work and received a paycheck, I never felt fulfilled.  So I asked God to give me something, a special gift, that would enable me to help other people. And He did. 

The gift is inside of me, and it’s up to me whether or not I use it. We don’t have to be at church to serve God. We can serve Him, by how we treat other people. Serving God and being in the center of His will is the only thing that fulfills us anyway.

Who needs you to show up today?

Love and blessings, 


Thursday, September 21, 2017

How To Approach Someone With Scars or an Obvious Difference

Yesterday, I had an experience that caught me off guard and hurt me for a brief moment. I say brief because I dismissed the feeling quickly. I did not dwell on it. Instead, I prayed for the person who hurt me and felt genuine sympathy for her. Then, I released it. I know who I am and my story. Regardless of how other people treat me, I know that I am so blessed to be alive. And if given the opportunity, I would not trade my scars. 

Having said that, this experience reminded me that there is a need for us to talk about these types of situations. While I am no expert, I do have many years of experience in dealing with this issue. I want to give others the insights on how it feels to talk about my scars. Then, you can decide on the approach you take in approaching others.

  1. Before approaching anyone ask yourself this question. "If I was in their situation how would I want someone to approach me?" We should always treat others the way that we want to be treated.
  2. Why do you feel the need to ask them questions? Is it because you genuinely want to know their story? 
  3. There is a right time and a wrong time to approach someone. If I’m having dinner with my family at a restaurant, I don’t want to talk about it. It is never okay to interrupt me when I’m interacting with someone else. Wait until we are leaving the restaurant. Ask to speak to me privately. 
  4. Accept their answer. Don’t keep asking the same questions over and over. 
  5. Always approach someone with a smile and kindness. It is NEVER okay to be rude to someone because they are different. 
  6. I always welcome conversations with people who want to know my story and then share their story with me. Those conversations are my absolute favorite. I LOVE them! 

By now, I am used to answering these questions. I’ve stood on stage and talked about my scars to thousands of people. I’ve written several books about it and hundreds of blogs. Yet, I am human. Ugly, unkind words hurt us all. This whole experience has made me want to be kinder to everyone that I meet. I want my words to lift others up, instead of tearing them down. This is what I want to teach—kindness, love, and understanding of other peoples’ differences. 

God gave me this story to share and I truly want to share it! I love and accept my scars and I want to tell everyone I meet about God’s love and mercy for me and my life. However, in order for me to share openly, I need to feel safe. When I feel as if I am being attacked, then I close up. I don’t want to share my story with people who reject it—who keep asking me the same questions over and over. I don’t like it when people touch my scars, without asking my permission. I’ve had people who actually hurt my hands, by trying to separate my fingers. 

Above all, I know that I have to educate people on how to treat me. I have to be kind if I want to receive more kindness. I also know that I get to decide whether or not to answer the questions. I could have chosen to just walk away. Yesterday, I reacted with kindness even though I was not treated kindly. While I can’t control how other people treat me, I can decide how I will treat them. 

The ones who treat us the worst need our love and kindness the most. 

Love and blessings, 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

God Is One Faith Call Away

God is always with us. He’s one faith call away. 

A few days ago, I was having a really tough morning. Negative thoughts about a really tough situation replayed over and over in my mind. I felt so defeated. It felt as if the enemy was closing in on my me and my hope was slipping away. The moment the kids went to school and the house settled with quietness, I broke down. As I kneeled beside my chair because I literally felt as if I couldn’t stand, I sobbed and told God over and over that I couldn’t take it anymore. In that moment, I felt so alone. For a brief moment, as the tears poured from my eyes and my whole body shook with sobs, I desired for someone to pray with me—someone to help me. 

Then I felt Jesus, with His arm across me and He prayed with me. For days, I have replayed the scene over and over in my head. Every time that I think about it, I feel so loved. God reminded me that I’m never alone. He is always right there and He understands my tears. And He must have picked up my burden when we got up because I don’t have it anymore. 

What an amazing God that we serve! I am so grateful for the awe moments that He gives me in my life. The God who created this world, with all its splendor, created me, too. And He is my friend!
 Photo by Luca Baggio on Unsplash
Psalm 18:2-3 (KJV)
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Love and blessings,


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Some Days Are Harder Than Others

If I could sum up my day yesterday in one sentence it would be: My day did not go as planned. Right away, I got sucked into reaction mode. Things happened and I reacted. All day long. By eight o’clock I was exhausted. I tried to read and work on my project, but my energy was depleted and my ability to focus was gone. So I went to bed and decided to try again tomorrow. 

This morning, as I recap yesterday, I want to figure out why I felt so overwhelmed. Several times yesterday, I wanted to cry. I ended up accidentally burning my hand, my arm, cutting my finger and my wrist. All at different times. I skipped lunch (not intentionally) and just felt as if everything had to be done at once. Bingo. There was my problem. What I should have done was sit down and make a list of everything that had to be done. Then, I could have prioritized, worked from my list, and asked for help. Instead, I created a crazy storm of chaos for myself. 

I should have practiced the pause and asked God to help me, instead of trying to handle it all myself. Yesterday, during my Bible reading, I read this verse. 

James 4:7 KJV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Only I didn’t. I played right into the devil’s hand. While I can’t do anything about yesterday, I can try to do better today. This moment is all we have anyway. I want to use this moment to seek peace and pursue it all day. 

So today I am going to do the things that I wish I would have done yesterday. I’m also going to give myself some grace, as I would a friend. I’m going to remind myself that yesterday was a very difficult day. Given the circumstances, I did the best that I could do in each moment. 

Now, I am moving on. It happened. It’s over. I will not waste today reliving yesterday. 

Love and blessings, 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Creating The Challenge

The only way for us to grow in our lives is by overcoming challenges. We will never get to where we want to be by remaining comfortable. In order to change ourselves, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable. 

This morning as I went on my normal walk, I realized that I don’t even really sweat anymore. Nor do I get out of breath. I walk at an easy comfortable pace, without even challenging myself. No wonder my muscles seem to be shrinking. So I decided to put on 5-pound weights on my ankles to make it more challenging. Before I took the first step, I decided to walk two miles with the weights on. We have to establish our goals before we begin. Otherwise, we can change our minds when it gets tough. The first few steps were okay, but then it got harder. Half way through I wanted to quit. It was then that I reminded myself of how great I would feel when it was over—physically and mentally. 

When I had about a half a mile to go, I gave myself a new challenge. I decided to run a mile after the weights came off. It seemed crazy and yet exciting. My legs were already struggling but yet I decided to run afterward. Looking ahead to the next challenge helped me to get through the present one. Suddenly, the half a mile didn’t seem so hard anymore because I had my sights set on a bigger goal. 

Once my four miles were complete, I was sweating, my breathing was labored, and I felt incredible. I completed the harder challenge and it boosted my confidence. Regardless of what my mind tries to tell me, I know that I am strong. Every once in a while I just need to be reminded of my strengths instead of always focusing on my weaknesses. 

My thought for today: If you don’t feel like quitting, then you are not pushing yourself hard enough. 

Today was exactly what I needed. Somewhere during my run, I found my inner warrior. The one who doesn’t accept excuses, but keeps putting one foot in front of the other until the trial is finished. I love it when I can tap into that mindset. It makes me feel like anything is possible. 
I made it through the workout. The weight, however, did not. One of the bags ripped open and spilled out. Now I have a 5-pound weight and a four-pound one. 

Love and blessings, 


Monday, September 11, 2017

Day One

Today is day one. The day that I take back control of my health. 

Since my vacation, I have been more lenient with my diet. I’ve allowed more treats and more dairy than I normally consume. This morning, my stomach is not feeling well, my skin is broke out, and my whole body feels swollen. As I sit here and type this, I wonder why I did this to myself. 

Why do we eat foods that harm us? The immediate gratification is certainly not worth the days and weeks of pain, and yet I find myself right back here again. Even though I vowed to never be here again. 

Our flesh is weak. It will always choose the easier, most desirable choice. And sometimes it will even sneak the I-don’t-care lies into our heads. That kind of thoughts is dangerous because they provide us with an excuse for our behavior. In order to get back on the right track, I have to be clear about my intentions. 

Why do I need to eat better?

When you fuel your body with healthy, nutritious food then you will feel better. You will have more energy, your thoughts will be better, you will have less inflammation and less pain. Don’t help the enemy destroy you. You are stronger than your cravings. You deserve better than you are giving yourself. Remember…when you eat bad you feel bad. 

I am going to put this where I can see it. Every time that I start to make an unhealthy choice, I’m going to read this reminder. God gave me this beautiful life and I want to enjoy it. Getting sucked into the cycle of pain is not enjoying my life. It is surviving. I want to do more with my life, however, than merely surviving from one day to the next. 

So today I am going to start a new exercise routine, eat healthier foods, and let my actions mirror my intentions. When it gets hard and I want to quit and resort back to my old ways, I am going to remind myself that I am a child of the King. My God will help me with all things.

Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Love and blessings, 


Friday, September 8, 2017

We Are The Enemy

We usually think that the enemy is an outside force. Of course, we believe and even blame other people for hurting us, however, we are usually the ones to blame for the majority of our pain. 

How often do we embrace anger, negative thoughts, or misinterpret words? How often do we withhold forgiveness and love? How often do we judge others, instead of trying to understand them? How often do we choose easy over what really needs to be done? 

I am nodding with my hand raised. 

The realization hit me that I can be my own worst enemy. Outside forces only have a fraction of the power of us. We are the ones who make the daily decisions. It’s not just life’s big decisions that matter. Our days consist of small decisions that truly mold our lives. 

Hitting the snooze button is a small thing, but the simple choice affects me all day. If I sleep through the time that I set aside to write or read my Bible, then I start my day without spending time with my Lord. If I don’t exercise, then my body remains stiff all day and that causes me additional pain. When I fail to prepare my food and just grab something at a restaurant, then I usually get sick. The sickness stays with me for days to weeks. If I am not doing what I need to be doing, then I’m hateful with family. Procrastinating and then rushing to meet a deadline causes me stress.

My thoughts are another critical component of my life. When I get stuck in the negative, repetitive patterns then I cause myself additional pain. Especially when I’m overthinking or obsessing over a situation. While the enemy might sneak thoughts into our mind, he cannot make us believe them. That is our choice—to dismiss them or nurture them. 

Realizing that my daily actions make up my life causes me to pause and think about what my daily life looks like. How do I spend my time? Are my thoughts helpful or harmful to me? When I decide to focus more on what I do, then what other people do to me, then I’m able to advance in my life and become the person God created me to be. 

Every day we should watch our actions and pray for guidance. When we become conscious of our shortcomings then we can take the necessary steps to overcome them. God has grace for our every need, and He can help us overcome the enemy. We are not in this alone. He is with us—every step of the way. 

Love and blessings, 


Thursday, September 7, 2017

How To Be Happier In Just A Few Minutes Each Day

It’s so easy to get caught up in our problems and dwell on them. We all do it. Constantly thinking about our pain and struggles, however, is not good for us. Whatever we focus on expands in our lives. Therefore, we should teach ourselves how to focus on the things we actually want to attract in our lives. 

Since I want more love and happiness, I want to think about those things. I do this by thinking of one person to whom I want to send love and wish happiness. The moment I think of this person, a smile instantly appears. Then I just ask God to bless them. I believe it pleases God when we reach out to others with kindness, compassion, and love. Then, I move onto the next person. I cannot do this practice without feeling love and happiness myself. It’s a boomerang effect.

Make this a daily practice and share it with everyone you know. If we all decided to consciously send more love and happiness into the world, can you imagine how our world would begin to change? Everyone we meet or know is dealing with some type of struggle or hardship. We need the love and prayers of each other to fight our battles. The world has enough sorrow and hate, let’s cultivate more love. 

One of the greatest blessings that God has bestowed upon us is the gift of prayer. Let’s use it every single day. When we learn to pray without ceasing for our fellow man, then God will bless our lives abundantly, and our own problems won’t seem so big. 

Love and blessings, 


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Blessing Of Now

Why do we worry? For me, the reason is that I am living too far ahead into the future. God will always give us exactly what we need when we need it. The strength, knowledge, faith, and understanding that I have right now is for today—not tomorrow. Tomorrow, if the problem arises that I fear, then God will give me the exact combination to get through the hardship. I have yet to be destroyed by an event or circumstance. God is with me and He always supplies my needs. His help is right on time.

When we are worrying about tomorrow, then we are losing the joy of today. The devil defeats us by enticing us with worry. We can’t seem to help ourselves. The storms of life can seem so big. While we are trying to carry the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow, we lose the precious gift of the now. Right now, at this very moment, my life is good. So often, however, I look beyond today and create troubles for myself that never occur. 

This morning as I was reading my Bible, I read this scripture. 

Matthew 10:30 KJV
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

We are so precious to the Lord. He knows how many hairs are on our heads. As the devil tries to distract us and cause us grief through worrying, we need to remember that God knows our situation. His love for us is greater than anything we could ever imagine. Today, I want to live in the present moment and enjoy each one. Every day we should watch and pray. The enemy comes at us in subtle ways. He often uses worry as a tool to distract us. When we feel ourselves being carried away by the worries of tomorrow, we need to come back to the present moment and cultivate gratitude for this moment. It will never come again. 

Love and blessings,


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Giving Our Lives To God

For many years of my life, I was stuck in a fixed mindset. I viewed my scars as something horrible that happened to me. I couldn’t see a bigger picture or how God could use them in a positive way. During this time, I was very unhappy, and I resisted God’s plan for my life. 

Then one day, I put it all at His feet. I had tried to open doors of opportunity for myself and nothing had worked out like I wanted. Finally, weary and heartbroken, I humbled myself and laid on my bathroom floor—sobbing and praying. I asked Him to give me something to help other people. Something that would be mine. Something that would fulfill my life with passion and purpose. After that day, it wasn’t long until I picked up my pen and penned my first piece from my heart. It scared me when I looked at what I had written. Where did that come from? Even though my mind questioned it, my heart knew. 

While my writing career didn’t just bloom and blossom. God has walked with me every step of the way. Every time that I humble my heart and sit down to write my heart is filled. It is not what I would have chosen for myself, but it is exactly what I needed. When we go to God for guidance and put our lives in His hands, then He will use us in a way that we never dreamed possible. And it will feed our soul. 

Love and blessings, 


Friday, September 1, 2017

Rule Your Mind

Do you know approximately how many thoughts that go through your mind each day? While I don’t know the exact number, I know that my mind is always busy jumping from one thought to another. The problem occurs when our thoughts don’t align with our beliefs or when we start believing the lies.

The devil lives in our minds. When we are stuck in our heads all day, thinking and dwelling on events of the past or worrying about our future, then we give him room to work. My daddy tells us to stay away from him. The devil is on a leash. He can’t come to us, we have to go to him. We do this when we start believing the lies. With each one, he draws us in a little further. Before we realize what is happening we are visiting with the enemy all day. Then we become melancholy and weaker. 

I have learned when I get in my cycle of continuously thinking to break the cycle. Anytime we think something bad, we need to recognize that the Lord doesn’t place bad thoughts in our minds. Lies, gossip, worry, anger, hopelessness, evil, etc. all come from the enemy. He slips them into our thoughts and hopes that we will run with them. The Bible, however, tells us to meditate on the good things.

Philippians 4:8-9 (KJV)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Things to help me break the cycle:

  1. Gratitude
  2. Prayer
  3. Meditation
  4. Read
  5. Paint or color
  6. Write
  7. Sing
  8. Exercise

The devil will steal our peace if we allow him to. He has the ability to turn our blessings into heartaches. He will take every aspect of our lives and transform it into a problem—if we listen to him. If we truly want more peace, then we need to spend more time seeking peace. 

Love and blessings, 


Author shares message through Zippy the zebra