Sharing a little encouragement for the tough days.

We celebrate and rejoice in the good days we experience throughout our week. But every now and then, a tough day sneaks up and parks its miserable little self at our front doorstep, hoping to trip us up on our way out.

Tough days can test our spirits, patience, and, some times, our faith. That testing depends on the degree of those tough days and the reaction it provokes from us.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

—Epictetus

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

—Charles R. Swindoll

How do we create a positive reaction during our tough days?

1) Be strong, courageous, and know that we are not alone. (Joshua 1:9)
2) Cast our cares upon Him. (Psalm 55:22)
3) Do not worry or be anxious about anything. (Philippians 4:6)
4) Be joyous even in the difficult days, because it is a testing of our faith and the development of perseverance. (James 1:1)
5) And remember, this too shall pass. (For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. —2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT)

I leave you with one of my favorite morning prayers:

Sovereign Lord, since You are in charge of my life, directing my steps, I really don’t have to understand everything that happens. So I commit my day into Your loving hands where there is absolute power and authority. I trust You. Your plan always leads to victory. Amen.

—Author Unknown

Keep a smiling. Stay strong. Don’t give up and don’t give in.

~Angela

Fight. Finish. Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)

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Grab a cup of encouragement from the Coffee For Your Heart: 2014 Encouragement Challenge by Holley Gerth. Sharing an encouraging word every Wednesday

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You’re not alone

{Special note: my original idea for today’s post on “you’re not alone” changed because of my commute home yesterday/early morning. God blessed me with a new piece to write derived from the experience; I pray it’s the word someone may need now.}

During a 16-hour commute home due to the weather conditions, I listened to talk radio for the traffic conditions and weather reports. Family members called pretty frequently to check-in and my friends sent text messages to receive updates on my progress. They were worried about my long treacherous commute. It was a difficult commute due to the road conditions, traffic volume, and large number of vehicles stranded along the side of the road. I understood their concern; but due to the situation, my attitude was not the best.

I was alone…

  • to travel the icy roads,
  • to handle my safety concerns,
  • frustrated and tired <– Bad combination
  • irritable and hungry <– Really really REALLY bad combination

Worried family and friends called so often that I could no longer handle the calls and questions. I was frustrated, tired, and hungry-the perfect equation for a bad attitude. In addition, I was alone. I know each of them wanted to be of assistance but no one could be there to help; it was only me. Alone to handle a difficult commute home. Just simply alone to handle another situation in my life.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. —Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

Tired of all the traffic/weather updates, I changed the radio station from the to the local jazz station.

I began to pray to God for traveling mercies for myself and others along the way.

I called my family every hour to give them updates; keeping calls short in order to focus on the road.

I prayed over my prayer requests list I keep in my phone; prayed over the desires and concerns of family and friends. {Note: ask your family and friends how you can pray for them. The experience will enrich your life.}

I prayed for those stranded on the highways and interstates, those without a home or meal, and for everyone I could think of in the wee hours of the night. The one thing I knew I could do, I did. I prayed.

Something happened. The prayers transitioned from covering of basic needs to the expression of gratitude.

I began thanking God for keeping me calm while traveling the icy roads. I expressed my gratitude for my husband filling the gas tank (because I’m notorious for riding on fumes); the gas lasted the 16-hour commute. I thanked God for the tire traction and steering wheel control. I thanked God for everything dealing with my commute.

My prayers had changed from expressions of gratitude to full praise and worship in my vehicle. It was church service on wheels while maneuvering the icy roads. At that point, I had a second wind in the wee hours of the morning as I continued my track home; a renewal experience of my mind during the long commute.

We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order. —Susan L. Taylor

There are times in your life when you feel alone or alone in your situations. No matter your situation—being single, enduring marriage challenges, treacherous commutes, or any situation—remember you’re not alone. If you experience feelings of being alone, renew your mind through prayer, gratitude, praise, and worship. God will minister to those feelings and replace them with His peace and presence.

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. —Audrey Hepburn

~Angela

Fight. Finish. Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)

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Grab a cup of encouragement from the Coffee For Your Heart: 2014 Encouragement Challenge by Holley Gerth. Sharing an encouraging word every Wednesday

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Simply, beautifully, and wonderfully made.

Just as you are…

Simply the spirit of a loving God who made you; a life given simply by the breath of the Almighty. A life full of passion, purpose, and love created from the breath of a living God who adores you.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. —Job 33:4 (NIV)

Beautifully made in His image and likeness; divinely created on purpose and for purpose.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….” —Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. —Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Wonderfully made and we know full well His works are wonderful.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

And always remember, you are loved… just as you are.

~Angela

Fight. Finish. Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)

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Grab a cup of encouragement from the Coffee For Your Heart: 2014 Encouragement Challenge by Holley Gerth. Sharing an encouraging word every Wednesday

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Flowing Cycle of Love.

We are vessels of love. Created by love, for love, and to give love. Each day, we pour a ‘lil love on those near and dear to us. We pour a measure out on those we come in contact in our daily routine.

Morning wake-ups with a kiss = LOVE

Fueling families with morning meal and packed lunches = LOVE

Greeting coworkers with a genuine smile = LOVE

Showing kindness in various forms throughout the day = LOVE

Encouraging word to a family member or friend = LOVE

Evening smiles, laughs, and hugs = LOVE

End of the day/week/month = “I’m empty. Fill’er up, please.”

Refilling our vessels allows us to continue the flowing cycle of God’s love. Surrounding ourselves in love – encouraging books, inspirational material, positive people, nature, yoga poses (it works for some people; I like the “zen-like” music for meditation), prayer time, gratitude journaling – refills our spirits. Giving God time to pour back into us, through various forms and methods, refills our vessels and fuels our spirits for the process of spreading His love.

Pouring out.

Refill.

Pouring out.

Refill.

We were created by love, for love, and to give love.

You are loved… So let’s keep the vessel of love flowing.

~Angela

Fight. Finish. Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)

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Grab a cup of encouragement from the Coffee For Your Heart: 2014 Encouragement Challenge by Holley Gerth. Sharing an encouraging word every Wednesday

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Keep Dancing…

One Word 2014: COURAGE

Courage to face challenges head-on without fear.

Courage to reveal trials and triumphs in order to bless someone in their challenging season.

Courage to disclose short-comings and release the passions/purposes held within these self-imposed walls.

Courage to complete those tough goals without giving up.

Courage to take the steps forward, make mistakes, get up, and keep dancing.

I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.

―Daniel Hillel

We need courage to face whatever challenges us or takes us out of our comfort zones. The courage to face those things that hinder us from growth. The courage to soar to our greatest heights without fear. Because without courage, we are bound to stay within the “comforts” of our paralyzing gates, not living life to the fullest. Let’s dance outside those gates and self-imposed boundaries to LIVE LIFE NOW!!

“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack…

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty-handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

Will you dance with me this year?

Shifting and dancing,

~Angela
Fight. Finish. Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)

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Grab a cup of encouragement from the Coffee For Your Heart: 2014 Encouragement Challenge by Holley Gerth. Sharing an encouraging word every Wednesday

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All Things Are Possible

One of my favorite Honesty bracelets with the charm... All Things Are Possible

One of my favorite Honesty bracelets with the charm… All Things Are Possible

The picture above — used as my Twitter and blog profile picture — showcases three of my favorite Honesty bead bracelets. The highlighted charm states “All things are possible”. That bracelet serves as a reminder that with God all things are possible. It is necessary for me to believe it and, on occasions, remind myself of that statement. I can achieve my goals, purposes, and plans; because with God, all things are possible.

But sometimes, I become discouraged. I listen to the negative talk in my head:

What if I’m not good enough? What message do you have to share? Is it worth sharing?

Why share your story? Who are you going to reach? How can you help someone?

Be quiet. Work in your little corner. Get a job, live a mundane life, and pay your bills. Don’t try to be an extension of God. Stop searching for a purpose. Passion is SOOOO overrated.

Father God, don’t let me get discouraged by what looks impossible and miss out on what could be possible. Amen.

~Coffee with God (June 26, 2013)

I share this to encourage you and myself…

God created us in His likeness to do good — to accomplish good works in our homes and our communities. He prepared us in advance for the good works, purposed and designed, specifically for each member of His family. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 ESV

We are godly creations for good, created by purpose and for a purpose. We should not doubt the gifts, talents, and purposes God has planned and placed within us. Do not become discouraged by the works of others; but, be inspired and encouraged by those who are working and walking in their calling. Do not listen to the negative talk in your mind; fill your mind with the word of God and allow Him to counteract the negative talk. And remember….

I'm Possible

Many blessings,

~Angela
Fight. Finish. Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)

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The Ending of my “March Madness” Challenge

Grateful

I am so GRATEFUL to see the first day of April; this new month signals the end my March Madness challenge month. To refresh everyone’s memory, I decided to take on a few challenges for March to focus and center myself for my next endeavor. Click on March Madness to review the various challenges I set to complete for the month of March.

Final results on my March Madness challenges:

1) SPIRITUAL:
a) Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge, Perfect Health
b) Stress Less by OWN and Secret20130301-234123.jpg

RESULTS: Stress reduction techniques evolved around my favorite hobbies–running, reading, writing, laughing, breathing, listening to jazz, and enjoying the outdoors. Use of proper breathing techniques impacted my running and reduced stress levels in various circumstances, i.e., Atlanta’s traffic and waiting in a long grocery line of a store with 2-3–of 20 check-out lanes–opened. Overall, mental focus directed on the N-O-W and reduced worrying of tomorrow.

Run Every Day Challenge

Run Every Day Challenge

2) PHYSICAL:
a) I Love Running – run (a mile or more) every day
b) Workout – Various strength training including the chart below:

RESULTS: Completed a total of 100 miles for the first time and reduced of a few pounds (6 lbs) and inches (1-1.5 inches on arms, waist, abs, hips, and thighs). Focused on toning my body, strengthening my legs for running, and healthy eating.

3) PASSION:
Write each day for 31-days and enroll in another creative writing course.

20130301-235015.jpg

RESULTS: My second time completing the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) challenge. Successful endeavor, posted every day, and received great feedback from family, friends, and blogger-mates. Near the end, I struggled to complete the last week but pushed forward in finishing strong. The creative writing course refreshed my writing skills and fueled my confidence.

THANK YOU…

For everyone who supported and encouraged me throughout this endeavor. I am grateful for the feedback, comments, and positive correction experienced from family, friends, and blogger-mates. A special thanks to those who signed up to follow my blog and received daily messages from me. In the future, I’ll return back to blogging 1-2 times a week; I will no longer flood your email message inbox from this point on. 🙂

thank-you

Parting question: How will you challenge yourself for the month of April? Would love to hear from you and to help motivate you in your challenges.

Shifting like the seasons,

~Angela
Fight. Finish. Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)

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