Heart Choices: 2011-07-31 -->

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Overcoming Discouragement

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Do you ever become discouraged?  At one time or another I'm sure each one of you has dealt with discouragement.

Lately, it seems I've been there much too long.  I become hopeful and anticipate changes in my current circumstances.  But then it doesn't come through and I'm back to square one.

I can think of a few ways I'd love to deal with my discouragement.

A vacation to the Milliken Creek Inn in Napa, California would be nice.  I can just see myself having breakfast in the garden and sleeping in this comfy looking bed ...

Photo Credit: Milliken Creek Inn & Spa
Milliken Creek Inn
I'm ready to pack my bags!

How often do you seek out ways to help you feel better when you're discouraged?

Each one of you might have a different way of coping with discouragement.

  • Food, especially sweets
  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety medications
  • Shopping
  • Spending money
  • Spending time with a friend
  • Talking it over with a therapist
  • Time with your spouse or loved one
I'm sure you could add to the list.

Although taking a vacation away from it all would be fun and relaxing, it would only be a temporary fix for my discouragement.

As a Christian, I don't want to live my life based on my emotions.  I have to remind myself what the Scriptures say:

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:1 – Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
Philippians 4:6-8 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 138:7 – Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.
II Corinthians 4:7-9 – But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

I make the heart choice to believe what the Bible says and as a result I begin to feel better.  
  • I have more peace.  
  • I begin to look at life from a different perspective; a place of gratitude.  
  • Instead of thinking about all that I don't have, I remember the everyday blessings God has given to me.
  • I begin to praise Him.  
  • I find that my discouragement lifts and I'm able to encourage others.  
I know what it feels like to be discouraged.  But I've poured out my heart to the Only One who can truly change things.

Today I'm jamming with The Faith Barista.  Bonnie also asked us to share a moment when we felt close to God.  
I feel close to God when I pray and read my Bible.  And I feel close to God when I am with children.


Blessings and love,


Ongoing Blessings

I continue to count my blessings.  There is so much heartache and difficulties in this world.  But it helps me to look at life through a different lens ...a lens of gratitude.

So I continue to seek out those everyday blessings.  And they keep on coming.

One of the joys of working summer camp at school was meeting Sloan.  She is a beautiful 17 year old girl who is entering her senior year of high school. She worked in our camp and I had the pleasure of spending time with her.

Can I just say that it encourages me to know there are young women like Sloan in this world?

She is a Christian.  She faces many challenges but I was so thankful that she was able to feel comfortable enough with me to share.  Although I certainly wouldn't reveal anything about our talks, I want to simply say that God always has a remnant of people in each generation who love Him and desire to follow Him.  And Sloan is one of them!

#121  Having the opportunity to encourage Sloan in her walk with the Lord

Every day I had moments when I had to pause and thank the Lord.  The joy I feel spending time with children is something I don't know that my words can adequately describe.  Simple things like reading a story to them or opening their lunches brings my heart joy.

#122 Getting to spend time each day helping the children

On the last day of summer camp, the Singing Idol camp had a show.  How fun to watch them perform songs like Soul Sister and Katy Perry's Firework.  Before the performance, several of them told me they were nervous.  My advice may not be the best but I told one 8 year old girl to picture the audience in their underwear and she would relax.

During the performance, she smiled at me and had two thumbs up.  So, I guess it worked!

#123 Watching the culmination of the Singing Idol summer camp and seeing the smiles of the children and their parents

I have been watching the images of the tragedy in Norway.  Many followers of Heart Choices know that my background is Norwegian.  Both of my parents' families are from Norway. And I have lots of relatives who still live in Norway.
Photo Credit: Jeff J Mitchell, Getty, USA Today
Norway is a country that hasn't been impacted by such violence since World War II.  The granddaughter of one of my dad's cousins was on the island when the gunman opened fire.  She hid in a latrine for two hours and many of her friends were killed.

#124  That my family is safe despite the violence that impacted Norway recently

I feel such sorrow for those who lost loved ones in this tragedy.  But I feel very proud to see the people of Norway come together during this time.

A new school year is about ready to begin.  I look forward to meeting the new students in our class and the time I will be spending with Heidi, the Pre K 3 teacher.  I have grown to love her and enjoy working with her.

#125 The great team Heidi and I have become as we work with the three year old children

My former car pool buddy Tara got married this past Saturday.  Since the wedding was held in her home state of West Virginia, I was unable to be there.  But how happy I am for she and Josh.

#126  The blessing and beginning of a new life together in marriage for Tara and Josh

Have you been counting your blessings?

There is always something to be thankful for each and every day, no matter what challenges you may be facing.

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.

Blessings and love,
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