Behind every smile…

I like to think I look like everything is okay.

I like to smile, and put on the front that I am fine.

Having an autoimmune disease will do that to you.

Most days, I am okay. Most days, that smile is genuine. Some days, though, there is a quiet strength behind that smile.

We spent a lot of time this past Sunday at church talking about our thoughts. Truly, what we choose to focus on in our mind impacts our choices and response to our world around us.

I just had a conversation with my son. I reminded him that everyone is fighting a battle of some sort. People often act in a way they do because they are trying to project an image that they have it all together.

So, I smile because I want to keep pushing on. I am a fighter. My quiet strength is founded upon my belief that God has a plan for me. I trust that He will carry me through every challenge.

I don’t talk about my ulcerative colitis often. It’s just part of my life. I don’t allow it to define or control my life. I am grateful my UC is mild compared to so many others. I am so incredibly tired in my current season. Fatigue is an unwelcome friend to UC. Yet, I push on because I have life to do- goals, dreams, and well…dishes to do, laundry to fold, bills to pay. So, I smile and push on.

Every smile has an untold story behind it.

Your mind is a powerful thing…be careful of your thoughts you entertain. They impact you greatly.

My favorite quote to leave you with….In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

What favorite quote, saying, scripture inspires you?

Advertisements

This is Brave.

It’s fall finally, and the leaves are falling. As I walked Quill this morning, the reds, oranges, and yellows lay scattered in a disorganized leaf array making me grateful I have no trees in my yard.

I walked this morning to clear my head. It is my Saturday morning ritual, and one Quill has come to know and expect.

Anxiety is a real thing. If you have ever suffered an anxiety attack, then you know the strength it takes to pull yourself out of one. You must find coping skills.

Walking is my therapy. Music. Quiet time with God in solitude to calm the voices in my mind. These walks are my peace. They recharge me.

This morning, I stopped at a bench. My favorite walking path, an old railroad track transformed to a walking path nestled between trees. Quill calmed, sat obediently beside me as I journalled on my phone note pad app. Then, we walked some more.

I know many people who function with anxiety. They are successful people-professionals, teachers, administrators, mothers, fathers, students. They are thriving, sometimes surviving, but they are brave people. Pulling yourself, pushing yourself, and refusing to give in to anxiety is an act of bravery.

The word fear is in the Bible so many times. God knew we would face fear and anxiety.

As I walked today, I reflected on the leaves. The disorganized chaos they create as they fall. Life with anxiety can feel like that, but I must keep walking and keep pressing on.

My thought for the day-be nice to people. Extend grace everyday in every place. We never know the journey a person may be taking.

Here are some of my favorite verses to help me walk through the anxiety and press on. I hope they bring you hope and peace.

#write31days #grace

Those “Almost”Moments

Ever thought about the “almosts”in your life? I am referring to those moments where you almost didn’t do something and realized later what a huge blessing you would have missed out on if you had listened to those voices of doubt.

I wrote a few days ago about being brave. I am embracing that phrase for this year.

 I listened to Joel Osteen via my temporary free subscription to Sirius radio yesterday morning. He was talking about the favor of God. One of the things he said really resonated with me. So many have this image of God where they are afraid of God being mad at them if they mess up. I have lived with that image for a long time, but God has been revealing to me His love is just because He loves me. It’s not about my performance, my attempt at perfectionism, or anything I do. If I am living in integrity seeking to serve God, He will bless me. It’s all about taking those little steps of faith.

Blessings come in various ways. For me, it is in a friendship, a stronger marriage, moments with my son and daughter, quiet mornings, a supportive work environment, and the growing confidence to be brave.

I am growing professionally, personally, and spiritually at my job…A job I almost didn’t apply for because I thought it would be too far to drive and maybe I wasn’t qualified.

Yesterday, I received word that something I submitted for possible publication was selected… Something I almost didn’t submit because I wasn’t sure if it fit what they were looking for.

When you hear those voices of doubt, those voices that tell you that you aren’t good enough, smart enough, creative enough, pretty enough, confident enough…Those voices that threaten to make you second guess your worth and your purpose…Silence them. Pray. Trust. Almost moments are telling you something. They are asking you to be brave. To trust. To believe. 

You are enough in Christ. Embrace that.

Being Brave

Being brave doesn’t have to be a huge heroic act.

Being brave looks different for everyone.

Being brave might mean…

  • Being honest in love and truth with someone about something that is bothering you
  • Taking communion to shut-ins when you feel unequipped
  • Saying no to something you don’t feel right about even if everyone else is saying yes
  • Submitting a writing piece 
  • Choosing faith over fear
  • Not retreating into your phone because it is easier than engaging in conversation

Being brave means you are ready to accept the unknown. You are saying with courage that this feels strangely uncomfortable.

For me, being brave is telling my mind that I will not second guess my decision. I will trust my instincts, make a decision, learn from it, let it go, and move on. Instead of second guessing myself and being anxious, I will choose to be brave.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Today, choose to be brave. Trust God and take that first step into the unknown.