Support is More than Just an Underwire Bra

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…Hebrews 10:25 NLT

When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation that God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.  1 Corinthians 14:26 NLT

It’s been said that church is not a social meeting for Christians; it’s a hospital for sinners. Going there doesn’t absolve anyone from their sins, but being with other believers is a good place to stand in God’s presence and repent.

In the throes of my youngest son’s “teenage-ness,” he boldly confronted me by hurling this accusation at me, “You think you’re so much better than everybody else just because you go to church on Sunday!”

“If I’ve given you that impression, then I’ve been doing this motherhood thing all wrong,” I said. “I go to church so that I can be around other people who are sinners and celebrate the fact that I am saved by grace. I go to church because when I look around the congregation, I’m certain I need to be there more than anybody else.”

And I mean that with all my heart. I find that worship in church is a God’s way of healing me from the sinful way I’ve conducted myself during the week. I don’t have to go to church to repent and come back into a good relationship with God, but it sure does help.

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I feel the same way about my weight loss support group in TOPS. Taking Off Pounds Sensibly is more than a name — it’s a motto and a way of life. I celebrated my one-year anniversary on April 5, 2017. It’s been an exhilarating year with lots of ups and downs, but overall, a year of tremendous progress emotionally and physically.

If you know any of my background, I started this weight loss journey way back in 2010…and in 2011…and in 2013…and finally, in 2015. I have a great support system in my immediate family. When I finally took charge of my health in 2015, I lost half the weight with the tremendous support of my mother and my husband, Kelly. The only problem was that neither one of them were trying to lose weight WITH me. There’s only so much support you can get from someone who’s not going through the same experience as you.

My great friend, Trisha Smith, her husband, George, and several others organized a new TOPS chapter (NC 947) in January 2016 that met just three miles from my house. I read each Facebook post she shared about this new chapter and thought, “This sounds like fun. Maybe I need to join.” But I didn’t.

I would comment on her posts and even tell her I was thinking about joining. I told her than it January, in February, and in March. Every Tuesday night during their meeting time, God would nudge me and I would ignore Him. Kelly said several times, “It would probably do you a lot of good to join.” I ignored him, too.

Ignore, ignore, ignore…until I gained back some of the weight I’d worked so hard to lose. I stood on the scale that Monday morning, April 4, and stared at the scales, devastated. EIGHT POUNDS! Some of you realize how hard it is to lose ONE pound, let alone EIGHT. And then to gain it back? God pushed me that morning, and it was not gentle. “Do it now,” He said.

And before I could talk myself out of it, I contacted Trisha and said, “I’ll be there tomorrow night!” Even though you’re allowed a free visit before you decide to join, I came with national dues in hand and paid that first night. I was not going to give the devil a week to talk me out of it.

Can I just be honest? It’s the third best decision I’ve ever made (behind choosing Jesus as my Savior and Kelly as my husband). I belong to a group that is more like family than some of my biological family. It’s been the real source of my success, over and above any way of eating I’ve chosen.

Of course, I recommend TOPS and if you want to get more information on this organization, just click here. If you do a Google search, you can find other groups as well. Perhaps there are local groups that meet at a health facility or area churches that you could attend. For lasting results of weight loss, you need a support group. You need a support group like you need a great underwire bra! (Maybe more!)

If you’re ready to look for a group, but don’t know what to look for, let me offer some advice. I’ve narrowed down my “must be” list for a great support group to just four guidelines.

  • Your group must be EMPATHETIC. Empathy isn’t something we’re born with, but it’s something that can be easily learned if we practice it consistently. Basically, empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes…to view their situation through their lens, not through your own. That means we cannot pass judgment, but instead, embrace all that someone else is experiencing without pitying them. This, by far, is the most important requirement for finding a support group that will work for you.
  • You need a group that ENGAGES and ENCOURAGES each other. There has to be a great deal of positive reinforcement in a weight loss group. It’s morale-building and soul-soothing.
  • Your support group needs to have an EVALUATION PROCESS, based on honesty but spoken in love. (It all goes back to empathy.) Evaluation keeps you accountable to yourself and other group members. Without honest evaluations, both individually and group, then your support group experience will be as useless as a flat tire — it certainly won’t take you very far!
  • Finally, a support group should EQUIP YOU WITH REAL POWER, not “power-over.” (Real power versus power-over is the topic of an upcoming post, but if you’re interested in getting a head-start, let me recommend I Thought It was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brene Brown. It’s a game-changer.) Real power comes from within yourself and is borne from empathy. You cannot have real power by stealing another person’s power. (That’s power-over.)

These are the same guidelines our family used when we were looking for a church home. They’re great guidelines for a reason — they help you find a place where your needs will be met, where you can find comfort, where you can blossom, and where you will ultimately find your greatest successes.

If you have questions, please share them in the comments. If you belong to a great support group, please share that as well. Tell me why you love your support group!

Thanks for reading. God bless y’all!

-shr

How Fear Can Paralyze You

Hi! It’s me. Long time, no see. I’ve been absent for nearly a year, and even before that, my posts were irratic at best. I’m not proud of that and there’s really no excuse for it. You were never far from my mind and I have a whole notebook full of blog ideas written down to prove it.

I could tell you that LIFE happened, but so what? Everybody’s life is happening all the time. I could tell you I was taking a sabbatical — that sounds as if I’ve been soul-searching and dedicated to the writing process. I could hint that I was working to be a better me (and I have been). I could mention a tragic thing that’s happened in my family and you all would completely understand why this blog might not have been my number one priority. I could give you several reasons for my absence, all having an official “sound” to them. I could even (dare I say it?) lie.

But that wouldn’t fit the purpose of this blog, nor would it be fair to those who patiently waited for me to come back (or forgot that you were subscribed to this blog and didn’t miss me at all). I want to tell you the absolute truth…and this is going to be embarrassing and painful for me. I’m afraid and the fear has paralyzed me for a long time.

Spiritually, I am closer to God than I’ve ever been. There are so many things to share with you that I found empowering in my time away. Each moment made me a much better wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. I will eventually share those amazing insights with you. I promise.

Why didn’t I just sit and share these things with you then? I was scared someone would ask me about my way of eating (woe, for short — which by the way is still carb cycling and it’s still working) and my weight loss. The question I dreaded answering the most was this: did you meet your goal weight? 

No. That is the truth in a nutshell.

In 2013, I got close…so close I could see the finish line. And then I gave up. I blew it. And the truth is, I don’t know why. Every ounce that I lost, I gained back plus more. I packed away my nutrition books. I stopped doing research. I just decided it wasn’t worth the effort and I was sorry I ever mentioned it in this forum. People were still reading this blog, especially the posts on nutrition and weight loss. They left wonderful comments. Someone even asked if this blog was still active.

In all honesty, I was prepared to be unhealthy for the rest of my life. I just didn’t care anymore…until my doctor shared blood work results with me that shook the foundation of my world. I was in a health crisis: cholesterol was awful (not enough of the good kind, way too much of the bad), I was pre-diabetic (and probably should have been classified as Type II), my blood pressure was way too high (and I was already on medication), my chronic pain raged, and I was at the second highest weight of my whole life (226 pounds). I was an emotional and physical wreck. Dr. Anderson asked me two questions that saved my life,”Do you want to lose the weight and work on these numbers or do you want me to put you on medication? Don’t you want to live a long, happy life and watch your granddaughter grow up?”

Just so you know what me at 226 pounds looks like, here I am:

446

So in the summer of 2015, I chose to work on my weight and cholesterol through diet. I knew what worked. I’d done it before. Could I do it again? I remember telling my husband, Kelly, that I had yoyo dieted so much in my life, I should have “Duncan” tattoed on my hip!

When I had my check-up in September 2015, I weighed 211 and that was enough to get a second chance. The journey started out rough and along the way, there have been extreme highs and lows…and a lot of middle of the road days where I just keep plugging away. I just want to tell you that it’s gotten a lot better. Have I reached my goal weight? Not yet, but I’m getting there!

To be continued…

shr

The God of All Things

I love a good bargain, especially children’s items because children grow fast and outgrow things just as quickly. I am not opposed to purchasing gently-used items for my granddaughter, Joshlyn. I am a member of several online groups where other members offer used items for sale in a variety of conditions. I don’t buy just anything. If one item is purchased by someone else, another item that is similar will come along in a day or two. I have learned to watch and wait for a bargain. Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to bargain-hunting.

The night before we left on vacation, I saw a nearly-new bicycle on my Fayetteville Online Yard Sale group that would be perfect for Joshlyn, but it was midnight and I was leaving at 5:30 a.m. the next day, so there was no time to make the purchase before we left. Sales online go swiftly and I would never ask a seller to hold something for me for two reasons: one, most do not know me personally and don’t realize that when I say I’ll come get the item, I mean it; and two, if something were to happen that would prevent me from picking up the item, I would cause the seller to miss a chance to make a sale, and that’s just not fair.

I commented that I liked the bicycle and if it were still available when I got back from vacation, I’d contact her and make arrangements to pick it up. She said she understood completely. On our second day of vacation, the seller posted that the bicycle was no longer available. I was disappointed but, as I said before, bargains come and bargains go.

Let me share with you one of the scriptures that accompanied my daily devotion on that Tuesday morning:

Take delight in the Lordand He will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

Now, let me insert a little information about my dear friend and neighbor, Jerry Ann. She has two precious fur babies that I walk three times a day while her husband, Richard, works and she visits her daughters and grandbabies in Georgia. Since I keep my granddaughter while my son and daughter-in-love work, Joshlyn always goes with me to walk the dogs and has become quite the helper in this endeavor. We have just decided that Sasha and Pixie are part of our extended family because they’re the sweetest little dogs in the world.

Wednesday morning, I got a message from Jerry Ann, “When will you be home from vacation?”

“We’ll be back on Friday,” I texted.

“Well, I purchased that bicycle for your granddaughter,” she replied.

WHAT?

“The bicycle I was following on Facebook?” I asked incredulously. “Thank you! I will pay you for it when we get back.”

“I saw your note, called Richard, and had him pick it up.” she offered. “You owe me nothing. You and Joshlyn love our girls and we just wanted to do something nice for the two of you.”

Just like that, God took care of the desire of my heart. I didn’t know that He was going to do it and I certainly didn’t expect Him to do it in this way. In fact, I was willing to accept that this bicycle was just not in God’s plan for us.

Some of you reading this will say, “But it was a BICYCLE…do you really think God cares whether your granddaughter has a bicycle when there’s so much going on in the world.”

To that, I answer, “Yes! I do think He cares.”

I have a little poem that explains how God cares for us:

God is the God of big things and small things;

God is the God of all things.

God has answered so many prayers in my life that I cannot count them all. Some have been huge answers – such as the adoption of our three children or bringing my husband, Kelly, through leukemia into remission (and keeping him there for five plus years). Some have been very small answers – like finding a parking space upfront when I’m having a terrible back pain day or when someone buys a bicycle for my granddaughter completely out of the blue, just to be nice.

God spoke this to Jeremiah:

Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come. Jeremiah 33:3 (NLT)

If you are in the midst of waiting on unanswered prayer, God may bring that answer to you through something or someone unexpected. And never, ever assume that because it’s something little or seemingly insignificant, that it’s not God’s concern. If it’s happening to one of His children, it’s His concern. To believe anything else, is to put God in a box and take away His great power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Are You Looking?

Overwhelmed.

That’s how I felt last week. To be honest, I’ve felt that way numerous days since the new year began. For someone who doesn’t have an identic mind (like Sheldon Cooper on TBBT), I’ve been doing a significantly accurate job of remembering every problem and concern in my mind. Frankly, it has consumed me.

It all boils down to a conglomeration of worry about friends and family, relationships, finances, and fear of the unknown. I’ve been researching on Google and speaking with other people in similar circumstances. Wrapping my head around it has been nearly impossible.

I’m back in the ninth grade, standing at the chalkboard during Algebra 1, stuck in an equation. My stomach hurts. I’m having performance anxiety. The fear of failure is pervasive. Every time I try to solve, it is clear that I am just not equipped to do so. Then Mrs. Randleman gently takes the chalk from my hand, looks me in the eye and smiles. AT THAT MOMENT, I know that she KNOWS the answer and is going to help me find the answer. And she does.

God is waiting for me to “turn over the chalk.”

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

I HAVE TAKEN MY EYES OFF GOD!

I’ve trusted in myself and forgotten to trust in the One who is always trustworthy. I’ve convinced myself that I’m smart enough to figure these things out and ignored the One who is Omnipotent. I’ve chosen to stomp through the high grass, hacking away at the underbrush, and crawling through uncharted territory, even though God can make a way when there seems to be no way (Philippians 2:13-14).

If you’re there with me in that “I can do it myself” mentality, let me ask you to just lay the burden down. You don’t even realize how heavy it is. If it helps, you can cry all the frustration out. I did, and when that was over, I cried out to God and confessed my sin to Him.

Don’t be surprised if you get tempted to pick it all up and try it your way again. That’s the urging of the devil. He will come to you in your weakest moments and say that you can handle this all on your own. Remember that the devil is a liar and the father of all lies. (John 8:44).

I am praying the promises of Psalm 121 and claiming them. For everyone who has lost sight of the Source of our strength, I’m praying for you and I ask that you pray for me.

Psalm 121:
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

shr

Throwing Down the Little Debbie Cakes

If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9 (The Message)

Every morning, I see myself in the mirror. There are things to do: wash with my special facial cleanser, pat dry, apply anti-winkle cream (with SPF 30), brush my teeth, comb my hair, and gear up for another day. Over this last year, though, I’ve watched my face getting puffier, my chin growing “a second row,” and I don’t like it.

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In 2013, I lost nearly 35 pounds. My best weight was 175. I was able to maintain that for almost a year. Then other things started happening in my body and slowly but surely, all that effort I put in losing the 35 pounds got lost in the fog of my chronic pain. And as I stood on the scale yesterday, I stared down at the number. 215 pounds. I stepped off, let the scale reset, and tried it again. 215, exactly the same as the first time. Just for good measure, I tried again. Nope, there it was: 215 pounds – all 35 pounds that I’d lost had, like the prodigal son, found its way back home…and those 35 found a 5 pound friend and invited it to visit as well.

I wasn’t shocked — in fact, I was glad it wasn’t more. I knew I had put on the weight. Now, it was a question of what I was going to do with myself — throw out my desire to trim this “temple” God has given me and just become comfortable in my fat or throw down the Little Debbie Cakes and say, “No more. I can do this. I need this. I want to be healthy. I want to clean up the temple and keep it sparkling!”

Little Debbie

I had already decided BEFORE I stepped on the scale that I wanted to at the healthy weight that just a year before had been just a few pounds away. I knew that I needed to eat low carb because carbs are not my friends. I just wanted a simple plan that did not include adding up calories. I had a lot of friends that have had success with the new Weight Watchers points plan and I joined yesterday (September 1). I loaded the WW app to my phone and found that all I had to do was list what I ate and it tracks my points for me. I like what the WW points plan offers me — simplicity and choices.

I got down on my knees and had some quality alone time with God. I repented for my gluttony. I discussed at length with God my greatest pitfalls (my love of sweets and carbs, my habit of gorging myself late at night, the fact that I could eat ice cream breakfast, lunch, supper). I talked with him about my “shame eating” — the times I’ve bought $25 worth of candy bars and hidden them from the rest of the family, eating them when I was alone, and hiding the wrappers WWAAAYYYY down at the bottom of the trash can. (Come on…I know some of you know what I’m talking about!) I was honest with Him about my unwillingness to call on Him in the grips of fighting off a craving and praying for help.

This morning, my morning devotional verse was 1 John 1:9. I was not surprised that God aligned my morning devotional scripture with the very subject for which I’d been baring my soul to Him. That’s how He works. Isn’t that cool? Here are the words that struck me like a lightning bolt (additions and emphasis mine):

We are fooling yourself, Sandy — God already knows your sin.

Admit your sins, Sandy, and come clean with God.

He won’t let you down, Sandy.

He’ll be true to Himself, Sandy.

He’ll forgive your sins, Sandy, and purge you.

So, with a clean slate, I’m on my journey to health again. If you are in a less-than-happy place with your weight, I understand. If you’re willing to start with a clean slate, God understands. If there’s something you want to share in the comments, I will pray with you. This is not a place of judgment. None of us is perfect. Our God loves to give second chances…and third, fourth, fifth, sixth…endless chances.

Pray for me and I’ll pray for you.

shr

Hands of God

My husband and I are on the Board of Directors of the Scotland County Highland Games that take place annually.  As soon as the games are over for one year, we gather ourselves together with the other 25 or so committee members and start over from scratch for the next year’s games. If you’ve never attended any Highland Games, you will find no better than those that happen in Scotland County, North Carolina on the first weekend of October each year. (See links below to check out our website.)

By this time in the execution of the games, we meet every two weeks until we have all bases covered.  This works well and the games always go smoothly. Each year our attendance grows. But it’s no light matter to devote yourself to be on the committee.

In the Hands of God

A year ago today, August 26, 2014, my husband was making his way to the SCHG Committee Meeting by himself. I was having a severe chronic pain episode and my husband left early to go by and grab a burger on the way to the meeting. He eased onto I-95 and began to eat his sandwich as he drove. He began to choke and tried to pull over. Before he could get all the way off the interstate, he blacked out.

It couldn’t have been more than a few seconds, because he came to and eased back onto the interstate.  It didn’t take him long to figure out that he was now going the wrong way on the north-bound lane. He pulled over again, turned around, and made it across a flat area in the grassy median to return to the south-bound lance. He took the next exit, shaking all over, and called me.

Here’s what happened: Kelly got choked on a piece of burger. It was lodged in his trachea. In just a short amount of time, he blacked out due to lack of oxygen. The car veered to the left and into the grassy median just past Exit 44. His car bounced over the grassy, but rough, terrain, probably causing the piece of sandwich to dislodge and oxygen rushed back into his lungs, bringing him into consciousness.  We thank God that neither the Kelly, nor the car, nor anyone traveling along that stretch of the interstate was harmed in any way.

God has put His angels in charge of you, to watch you wherever you go. Psalm 91:11 (NCV)

The next day, we drove along that section of the interstate, pulled well off the road, and surveyed what we saw. Here are the miracles that God showed us in harsh light of day:

  • That uneven, grassy median is the only spot along that whole length of interstate that is flat and grassy. At any time before, he would have crashed into trees. If he had been further along, he would have plowed into the bridge supports at the next exit.
  • Even though it looks like a smooth, grassy place to turn around or cross to the other side of the interstate, in the middle is a dip that slopes into a small V-shaped ravine. The car could have hit this and possibly flipped end over end, but the car missed it by at least two feet.
  • It was 5:00pm. Usually, traffic on both sides of I-95 is a nightmare at this time of day. And folks move along at the pace of a NASCAR race. When Kelly gained conciousness, the only cars he saw were at least a half-mile away.
  • We found the bite of burger that caused the choking — on the driver’s passenger side, under the seat. The last thing Kelly remembers was that he was trying to cough it up, with no success. I don’t know if it was the bumpy median that dislodged it, but I believe that it was the hand of God or one of His angels.

Every time we pass that little place in the road, we say a prayer of thanksgiving to God. The fact that Kelly’s life was spared and that no harm was done, is just another miracle God has given us.

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Have you had any miracles happen in your life lately? Will you share your experience in the comments so that others may be encouraged?

shr

A DAY OF FAMILY FUN!

The Scotland County Highland Games is a great day of family fun, Scottish traditions, Scottish-British foods, pipe and drum competitions, and Highland dance competition. Come see world-famous Scottish athletes perform. There are games for the children as well.

Interested in the Scotland County Highland Games? Click here. Join us Saturday night for a blending of two successful Scottish Rock Bands, Seven Nations and Rathkeltair as they join forces for the “Clan Na Gael Reunion Concert!.” It’s the best $5 you’ll spend all year!  More information here.

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Driven to Distraction

You know, I don’t pay attention to many car commercials, mostly because I can’t afford a new car. But I was watching television over the weekend and one caught my eye like none has in quite a while.

Perhaps you’ve seen it: they ask eight or so people to sit in a room and watch a video on a screen.  You hear a verbal command something to the effect, “Please do not remove your eyes from the screen.  Watch the screen at all times.”

Then the producers send in cute puppies, Vegas-style show girls, loud singers, and a host of other distractions.  And of course, not one participant keeps his/her eyes on the screen.

It’s a car commercial with a target audience for those that feel the need to text while driving.  The car they’re advertising has a text screen located high on the dashboard so that you can text and keep your eyes on the road. Sorry. This makes me nervous. PLEASE DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE — EVEN IF YOU OWN THIS CAR.

The fact that I can’t remember many of the details of this commercial says something. I have to say I wasn’t enthralled by the commercial enough to even remember the make or model of the car. From the moment the commercial started, I heard the still, small voice of God whispering in my ear, “That’s you, Sandy.  You’ve been distracted from Me.”  After that, all I could think of was the spiritual implications of how I’ve been distracted from God.

We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith. and He is the One who makes our faith complete.He suffered death on the cross. But He accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy He could see waiting for Him and now He is sitting at the right hand of God’s Throne.  Hebrews 2:12 ERV

I am a writer, so distractions can be the death of an afternoon of hard work or even an idea. But you don’t have to be a writer for distractions to wreak havoc on your life.

Imagine cleaning your house and happening upon some really interesting television show (Discovery ID can do this for me). You sit to watch a few minutes and the next thing you know it’s time to make supper and do homework with the kids — and that inch of dust is still layered on top of the mantel.

Just about the time you sit down for your quiet time in the Bible and a moment to commune with God, a friend with whom you’ve not spoken in ages calls…and it just seems rude to hang up. Before you know it, it’s been two hours and you now have to rush to get to your doctor’s appointment.

Or, let’s imagine that you are at the grocery store with your list — your concise, nothing-else-needed list; the list that you diligently went through the kitchen cabinets, refrigerator, and the freezer to make; the list you intend to stick to because you’ve promised God to live on a tighter budget and contribute a little extra to the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign at church.   As you turn the first aisle, you notice Nutter Butters are on sale (Or Oreos!) and you counsel with yourself saying, “Just one little bag won’t throw my budget off too much.”  And by the end of the grocery shopping, you’ve “one-little-bagged it” on every aisle and your budget is blown.

“We must never stop looking to Jesus,” is the first line in Hebrews 12:2.

And I fail to do it every day. If you think I’m writing to tell you how well I avoid distractions, my dear Child of God, you are reading the wrong devotion in the wrong blog. It takes great practice to ignore the pleadings of the world and while I’d like to say I spend a good portion of every day practicing avoiding distractions, I don’t spend nearly enough. I get caught up in the drama of the world and let the rush of “being in with the in-crowd” wash all over me.

The point I want to share with you is that God uses worldly things to remind me just how distracted I’ve let myself become. In my gluttony, He shows me a young couple who is barely making it on their own. In my gossip-carrying mouth, He allows me to see or hear a bit of unkindness about myself so that I can lay my hate-carrying tongue on His altar for cleansing. In my impatience, He allows me to experience waiting in a way that will only point me to Him. If I’m carrying a grudge or hate in my heart toward someone, He somehow shows me that I have the same quality I dislike about that person.  I must humble myself and forgive that person or there will be no forthcoming forgiveness from God to me.

In my distracted mind, God shows me a car commercial in which the message isn’t that I can text and watch the road at the same time, but that I can’t remain close to God and let a distraction take my attention away. I must remain focused on my Lord as if the distractions of this world are nothing or I will miss the joy that is waiting for me.

Do you have a something you’d like to share in the comments?  Do you need prayer?  If so, you can leave a detailed request or simply write “unspoken.”

Don’t miss the joy of the Lord, my friends! And whatever our distractions are, rest assured that God is never distracted from us.

If you don’t know about the wonderful missions project (Imagine No Malaria) by the United Methodist Church, please click on the link above, and if you feel so inclined, a donation would be greatly appreciated.

shr