Let the Beatitudes be Your Attitude

I am not the first to write about his, but today I was reminded of the Beatitudes. They came to mind when looking for a scripture to practice writing my calligraphy/hand-lettering. I realized that they are extremely applicable to our everyday attitude, and often they do not get enough attention. 

The Beatitudes remind us that this life is more about our quest for righteousness and less about how well we are treated in this life. 

As a quick reminder, they are found in the Bible in the book of Matthew (chapter 5, verses 2-12), as part of the Sermon on the Mount. Here, Jesus explains how God’s kingdom works – which is very contrary to how the world worked then, and contrary to how it works now. 

In the world’s view, pride and success are everything. But in God’s kingdom, humility, love, and peace speak of the way we ought to live. The world will tell you that you have to look out for yourself (#1), because nobody else will. But Jesus tells us that in His kingdom, the meek shall inherit the earth. 

I do not want to add to or take away from the Beatitudes. They are words straight from Jesus’ mouth, and I urge you to read them in light of all that is going on in your life and in the world today. I pray you will feel a shift in your heart about Who will have the last word when all is said and done. 

Perhaps you have been living your life the way the world says you should. If that is the case, you may be left feeling empty and lonely. May you be blessed in reading this today. 


Matthew 5:3-12

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

‘Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’


With love,


Mental Health > Image

kate ♠️ spade (TM)

She took her own life and left behind a 13-year-old daughter because her husband wanted a divorce. Suffering from bipolar disease and depression, she was reportedly afraid to ask for help because it might tarnish her brand.

Kate was far more than a brand. She was a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, a leader, an entrepreneur, a girl-boss, a go-getter, and many other things. However, even she distilled herself down to a brand. An image. What people would think.

We have placed far too high a value on image, and the cost is peoples’ lives. Why are we afraid to talk about our struggles? Why are we ashamed to feel vulnerable, to ask for help when we need it? To let people know that we are struggling to keep it together? Because the world has told us that it is weak to need others, and that a curated image is more important than being truly known. That we just have to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and deal with it. We feel so isolated, like everyone else has it all together and we are the lone wolf.

Somehow, what people think of us (our self/brand image) has started to matter more than being healthy for ourselves and the ones we love. Let’s all learn a lesson from Kate’s tragedy. She certainly will be remembered as a brilliant designer. But what matters more is that her family must mourn the loss of her life, her love, her kindness, and her bright light because she didn’t want to dim an image. I guarantee her daughter would rather have her mom than to inherit a savvy brand. In the end, all we have is God and each other. Nothing else matters.

Be good to yourself. Forget your image. Please reach out if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or just feel alone. You are never alone. Give the people in your life the chance to show you that YOU matter to them. Not your image.

In loving memory of Kate Spade,


One-Year Shopping Detox

“But, what I began to realize is that when we hand an area of our life over to God, He will give us the power to overcome temptation.”

My husband and I took a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course several years ago. During that course, we decided to live the “Dave Ramsey” lifestyle: “live like no one else today so you can live like no one else tomorrow.” (Read: don’t buy stuff on credit so you can enjoy it today; instead, save up for what you want and buy it when you can afford to pay cash for it, so you can invest money into your retirement).  We haven’t always been great at it, but we do our best. When we fail to live this way, we pray about it, work hard to get things back in check, and start again.

In 2016, I felt like God was tugging at my heart about simplifying and not spending on myself for clothes, shoes, handbags, or jewelry.  I have to be honest — I’m not a big shopper to begin with. So I truthfully felt a little like, “why are you picking on ME, God”? I have never been your typical “shopper”. I HATE trying on clothes, and I truly DETEST navigating stores and sifting through clothes to get a good deal. Nevertheless, I would find myself spending hours on my lunch break (in order to kill time while I worked in another city) looking through TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. I felt like I needed to look cute and trendy, because that’s what most other people did. So, I would scan the store, find a bunch of stuff that I maybe just KIND OF liked, and then either put it ALL back (which was clearly a big waste of time equating to major frustration for me), or I would buy it all so I didn’t have to choose (this time, big waste of money).  All of this, only to find that I didn’t wear half of the stuff I bought because once I got it home and put it on, I suddenly didn’t like how it fit or how it felt.

Now, I would either have to return things (did I mention I HATE returning merchandise? — another huge waste of time, but if I bought everything it was 100% necessary), OR I would forget to return items and end up paying for things that would go into a yard sale months later. Such a silly cycle.

I started reading up on minimalism and capsule wardrobes. I read Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (this is for REAL hard-core minimalism). I’m not into the “magic” of anything, and I don’t feel like items bring you joy.  But, her book did help me to identify some things about myself.  I found that I personally tend to gravitate toward wearing the same types of outfits anyway (no matter how many options I have in my closet). For example: I hate ironing clothes, so even if I bought something super cute — if it had to be ironed, I would revert to wearing something else. Same thing with uncomfortable clothes/shoes. They could be so unbelievably cute, but when the time came to put them on, I would go back to my old faithful comfortable shoes and leave the cute ones in the closet. My favorite look to wear is simple, classic, and not too fussy or frilly.  It took me a while to figure out what my personal style is because the trends change so often. I would buy things that were trendy, only to wear them a couple of times before growing bored with them. That’s the thing about trends — they get old FAST. Once I figured that out, it only made sense to start working toward paring down my wardrobe and definitely cutting down on shopping.

This was a pattern that I started to notice. I realized how much time and money I was wasting shopping:

-in stores I hate…

-for clothes I didn’t want to try on…

-that I’d probably never wear…

-and forget to return…

-to later have to have a yard sale and get rid of them…

-for a fraction of what I paid.


No thanks!

I felt convicted that if I stopped shopping for myself for a while, I could actually use that money to help others in some way. I started feeling very sad about the fact that our country has some of the richest people in the world (myself included), yet there are homeless and starving people on the streets. Perhaps if those of us with jobs and money would cut down on spoiling ourselves, we could start to make a dent in helping others. NOTE: This is NOT meant to be a guilt trip for anyone. Some people do not feel convicted about this and if you are one of those people that is perfectly fine! Maybe your convictions are different. Maybe you make so much money that you can give to the needy AND spoil yourself as well. That’s wonderful!!! You do what YOU feel is right. All I am saying is that I was feeling convicted and that’s what I had to address. God convicts each of us in different ways, so there is no judgment attached to this at all. I just want to share how God has worked in my life.

Once I realized this was an area that God was asking me to give to Him, I had so much clarity and resolve to really let Him work on me. I felt that He told me not to buy anything for six months. At all. Nothing. Honestly, I wasn’t a shopaholic to begin with. Remember how I hate to try things on? That definitely worked in my favor. But, of course, once you make a commitment to the Lord, the devil will do whatever he can to throw you off track. So, something would inevitably come up as a reason why I “needed” to shop. We would have family pictures. Or a special event to attend. Or a wedding. Or a funeral. Or a vacation. Something would inevitably pop up that would make me wish I hadn’t committed to myself (and God) not to buy anything. But, what I began to realize is that when we hand an area of our life over to God, He will give us the power to overcome temptation. He will empower us to become resourceful and to resist the need to be like everyone else. So I didn’t buy one single thing, and we still had family pictures, special events, weddings, funerals, and vacations. Who cares if others have a new outfit for every occasion? Who cares if I wear the same shoes with almost every outfit? It’s likely that no one would ever notice. And if they do — so what?  Why should I care what they think? If they think it’s a problem, it’s a problem for them – not me.

This world will tell you that you have to be like everyone else. But God’s Word tells us we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). We are unique. Does God want 7 billion clones walking the earth? Of course not! So why do I have to look like, dress like, and act like others? The answer is — I don’t! I don’t have to look like the world. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Is it His will for us to keep up with the Jones’s? No, it isn’t. If we are so focused on our outward appearance, it is extremely difficult to be focused on our inner heart and soul transformation. “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, NIV, emphasis added).  “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24, NIV, emphasis added).  I am not saying that people who like to shop are serving money. We just need to know that if we are too hyper-focused on our exterior, it’s not what God wants for us.  He has better for us.

After six months of not buying a single clothing item (including shoes, handbags, or jewelry) for myself, I felt like a new person. I felt like God was challenging me to another six months. I didn’t feel sad; I actually felt excited. He had changed so many things in my heart that I couldn’t wait to see what else He was going to do. I went an entire YEAR without buying a single item for myself to wear. I got creative with the items I already owned. My friend’s mom actually gave me some tops during this time (shout-out to Debbie!), so God did bless me with some “new-to-me” items to wear. I honestly didn’t need them; I had plenty to wear. But it just goes to show that He does honor us when we make choices to honor Him. I actually haven’t bought much since 2016. Just a few items that I genuinely needed for work and a couple more things for fun. But I honestly didn’t feel any happier when I did buy, so now I am back to very minimal purchases (if any at all). As clothes and shoes wear out, I will replace them, but I don’t remember the last time I bought something new. And it feels just fine. In fact, it feels like freedom.

Did I mention that RIGHT BEFORE He challenged me not to buy anything new, I had JUST cleaned out and had a yard sale and gotten rid of a lot of stuff? So, my closet was cleaned out and organized, and had just enough in it so that so could see everything I owned and use it accordingly. I got creative with mixing and matching my “capsule” wardrobe. There were days when it was more challenging than others (100% transparency), but honestly it was not as difficult as I thought it would be — because God was helping me. No matter how many clothes we have, we women tend to “hate” everything we own when we are getting ready to go somewhere, so why pay a bunch of money for the same exact feeling?

Prior to this conviction, I ask had been trying out Stitch Fix for a few months and it was kind of fun to receive the box of new items that were picked just for me each month. It took out the hassle of going to the store to look for things. But I had to try those on and pay for the items or return them within three days. So for me, it became a hassle with a deadline. The clothes were cute, but I had a hard time letting go of the stuff once it was in my home. It already felt like it was “mine”.  However, it was not always a wise idea financially to buy everything that I wanted.

One thing our culture struggles with deeply is delayed gratification. We want it ALL, and we want it NOW. There is no longer a strong foundation of working for something until we can afford it, and this mentality gets a lot of people into BIG financial trouble. I was taught this as a child — to save up until I could afford it. Unfortunately, the world can interject its principles if we aren’t careful. I think the challenge from God was not about money as much as it was about delayed gratification. He was testing my self-control, but He was helping me throughout the test.

I challenge you today, to identify one area of our life where you struggle with delayed gratification or self-control. If it is shopping, then I want to give you encouragement that it is VERY possible to go six months (or even a year) without buying anything new. We often tell ourselves that “we deserve it” and “we worked hard for it” to justify buying things. However, what if we shift our perspective to how Jesus has instructed us to live? “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25, NIV, emphasis added)

Lastly, what if our focus became something or someone OTHER than OURSELVES? In this world of “me first”, what an impact we can have if we are putting others first. I chose to re-focus the time I was spending in stores and online toward other, much more worthy causes. I won’t go into that, because this post is NOT about tooting my own horn. It is merely a boost of encouragement to those who may be feeling like they should scale back on spending or “over-doing it” in a certain area. If that is you, just know that you have someone in your corner! God will help you. If you have tips for self-control that you would like to share, please comment below. We would love to hear from you. Let’s create a culture of community and encouragement for one another.

Much love,


Purpose Your Purpose on Purpose

To find your purpose, you have to do things on purpose. If someone desires to become a medical doctor, he or she cannot just decide that they want to be a doctor and continue to go to Starbucks, drink lattes, and scroll through Instagram all day. They must purpose it in their heart, determine the steps that need to be taken to get on the right path, and then take each step – one by one – to get there. {It’s no coincidence that I just used the word “purpose” three times, each with a different meaning}. 

For this person, Step 1 might be: decide to get a Bachelor of Science degree. Notice I said decide, not get. One step at a time, little grasshopper. They cannot get to Step 2 without going through Step 1.  Likewise, if you are questioning your own purpose or path, you still have to start at Step 1 and then move. Once you start moving, you will likely feel something inside of you shift. If this shift feels like tension, it is probably just some push-back from your old self wanting to feel that good old comfort zone.  Guess what? Keep moving. That comfort zone is nothing more than a trench that you have been laying in and it has been keeping you in the same old place. Do not look back; just keep your head down and keep plowing through the high grass and shrubs to the clearing ahead.

Once you make it past the heavy shrubbery, you may feel like you have reached a place of rest. This is the time period of gathering yourself, your supplies, and making a game plan for the next stretch of brush ahead (again, purpose your purpose on purpose). The dense brush ahead is Step 2. Again, you must go through Step 2 to get to the next step, and so on. You will find that once you jump one hurdle you thought was impossible, getting over the next one feels a bit more familiar. With each obstacle in your path that you must overcome, you may start to grow weary. Do not give in to this feeling, as it is right before the victory that the fighters feel the weakest. Then, at the final pivotal moment of triumph, a surge of adrenaline pushes them through to the destiny that has been calling.    

Feel like you can’t figure out what your Step 1 looks like? Join the club. You are not alone, and neither am I. Do something. Anything. When you start, you will hit moments of “cloudy” — and moments of clarity. Pay attention to them. What makes you feel like it’s too complicated? Is this resistance your trench of “comfort”, or is it simply a stepping stone that requires a little extra effort to get back on the right path? If it’s your “comfort” zone calling you, ignore it. Keep moving. If it’s a hurdle, when you are on the other side you will feel so much stronger. 

Life will not hand you an envelope with “Purpose” written on the front of it. God will not drop a hot lava rock on your head with your “Purpose” engraved on it.  You have to purpose your purpose on purpose.  Meaning, get out there and figure out what Step 1 looks like and DO IT. I’m with you, and most importantly — God is with you! 

~Romans 8:31 (NIV) “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?


Starting Again

Starting over can be a gift. It can feel very uncomfortable (especially for planning types like myself), but it can also be extremely therapeutic.  Life can be a bit of a head trip sometimes. One day, you feel like you have a rhythm and you think you understand where things are headed, and the next day you receive some news that just makes you question what it’s all about.

Thankfully, my “starting over” is about my career and not about my personal life.  But, for many people, it is extremely personal. Individuals from all walks of life, all levels of financial status, and every background possible will undoubtedly have at least one point of “starting again” in their lives.  Whether it is the death of someone they cherish, the death of a relationship, or the death of a job, everyone has to start again somewhere along the way. The key is one’s perspective.

Many people see the death as a finale.  However, the death of one thing can mean the planting and growth of a new thing.  Take for example, my favorite flower – the tulip.  The tulip is a flower that does not bloom year round.  Once the bulb is planted, the tulip eventually begins to grow.  With care and time, that bulb begins to blossom into a beautiful flower bursting with color.  After a short season (too short in my opinion), the tulip plant begins to wilt and appears to die. It shrivels up and looks like a weed.  During this time, the plant is going through the dormant period of its life cycle.

I once planted tulips and they grew so beautifully, in almost every color of the rainbow.  I took great pride in those tulips as we set my baby daughter in front of them to take some pictures (that baby daughter is now thirteen years old). Sadly, a few months later those amazing tulips began to shrivel up.  I thought they had died because the Florida heat was too much for them.  Little did I know that if I had dug those bulbs up and kept them cool, I could have planted them again the following year. That period of dormancy (or “death”) was simply what needed to happen in order for the plants to start again.

Today, I pray that if you are experiencing a type of death in your life (hopefully not your own), you will find hope in this fact. Jesus says, “I am making all things new.” (Revelations 21:5)  That includes you and your life! So, embrace the death of the old and look for the positive in the newness that is brought forth. Like the tulip, you will bloom once more.

Life with kids

My ladyMy middleMy little

Life with kids is not exactly what I imagined it would be. I imagined that my kid(s) would be very well-mannered, always dressed like the cover of a Janie and Jack clothing catalogue, and would undoubtedly NEVER talk back to me, pitch fits, or argue with me about anything. Said hypothetical children do not exist. I have three lovely children, all of whom have surprised me in one way or another – both positively AND negatively. All I can say is, I am not the mother I always thought I would be, nor are my children the picturesque catalogue children I had envisioned. But, we are REAL people with REAL personalities and REAL problems. My oldest is quite a little lady but still has her flaws (chewing with her mouth open, rolling her eyes, giving snide responses to her brothers’ inquiries). My middle is a very boisterous boy with ice-blue eyes as big as saucers and a bank of questions the size of Texas. And my youngest…well…he is quite a challenge. He is perhaps my smartest child (did I just share that openly?), but is definitely – without question – my most challenging child. He is the child that will – no matter the situation – ALWAYS want to do the opposite of what you want him to do. He is constantly challenging my authority, throwing fits when he doesn’t get his way, and is the most difficult of the three to reason with. At first, I thought he was just going through the “terrible two’s”, which seemed to spill over into age three, four, and now almost five. His preschool teachers tell me (for the most part) that he is a very well-behaved and sweet boy. I think he just has them snowed. He is quite the dashing little fellow with big brown eyes, a one-dimpled smile, and eyebrows that can show a range of emotions like I’ve never seen. Lord knows he can sweet-talk his way into just about anything, when he’s not busy pitching a 5-alarm throw-down about the toy his brother won’t let him hold.

The question constantly swimming through my mind is, did I create this monster of terrible behavior? Did I somehow give in too often, relax my standards just a little too much, or is this just how he is wired? And, how do I fix it before he turns into a spoiled tween with no respect for me? I’m still hashing this out, but I think I’m coming to the conclusion that I am going to have to work a little harder with him than I’ve had to with my other two. That’s okay, because he’s worth it. At the end of this journey called Motherhood (when my life ends), I just want to know that I’ve done everything in my power to raise God-fearing, God-loving people who are a joy to be around. Wish me luck!! And if you have any helpful advice, please feel free to leave a comment! If you happen to have a child like mine, just know that you are not alone. And last but not least…if you happen to be one of those “judgy” types like I was before my third child, just know that it’s a lot easier to judge than it is to be a perfect mom to EVERY type of child.

Today’s Prayer


Please help me with my attitude.  Help me to feel more positive towards life, towards others, towards myself.  Please help me to engage the world in a way that shows your love through my eyes and my hands.  Help me to lay aside my feelings, my worries, and my selfish desires.  Give me an inspiration to continue on this desolate path to sacred living.  Please impart to me wisdom about the present, vision for the future, and forgiveness to myself and others for the past.  Place on me the unrelenting need to change the world, one act at a time.  Fill me with your love and your power to diminish my worries and extinguish my complaints.  Open my eyes to the blessings and my heart to the broken-hearted.  Let me be the one who plants a seed of truth and waters it with mercy, so that you may warm it with your Son’s love. Set my heart ablaze with a love so strong and deep for you that I cannot fathom a breath without it.  Make me the kind of mother that a grown child will feel honored and blessed to have had, make me a wife that a husband would never care to replace; a friend that would be missed when gone, and a person whom the world would feel emptier without.  Prepare my heart for things to come that my mind cannot imagine; and give me the ability to handle whatever you send my way.  Leave me never, and guide me always throughout each passing day. Thank you for the sacrifice of your one and only Son, and help me to never take the sacrifice for granted again.

Dare To Be Different

Dare I say that some of the most successful people in the world’s history have been those who were not afraid to be “different” from everyone else?  They embraced the gifts and talents they were given by God (whether or not they recognized He was the one who imparted them), stared at the world head-on, and said, “Here I am, and this is what I was born to do!” People that come to mind are, Einstein, Oscar Wilde, Galileo, Martin Luther King, Jr., Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Aristotle, Michelangelo – to name a few.  These people were not afraid of what others thought of them in their quest for greatness; they were not afraid to step out of the box of human thought and action and do something different for the sake of following their own hearts.  I am not suggesting that we liken ourselves to these people (some of whom do not have the godliest character).  What I’m suggesting is that we realize that each of us was made to be different for a reason, and those who embrace their differences are often the ones who can be used to make a difference in other peoples’ lives.

Many times, we feel that we need to fit some kind of mold to be liked and accepted by others.  We feel that if we could just look like someone else, have the things that they have, or act the way they do, we will suddenly have it all together and feel happy.  However, comparison is the killer of contentment.  When we compare ourselves with others, we are selling ourselves short on what God has created us to be, and what He has planned for our lives.  When we are always looking at those around us, we are not looking up to God and asking for His guidance.  He has created each of us in a unique way – he knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).  He knew what we would be before we were even born. “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8).  He has a greater purpose for our lives than we could ever imagine, and he is directing our steps daily if we follow Him in all we do. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)  When we make the mistake of comparing our lives to that of others, we are diminishing what God has planned for us.  We are saying, “God, you made a mistake when you created me to be different.  You were supposed to create me to be an exact replica of ______ (fill in the blank).”  Or, we are saying, “Lord, I could have done a better job of creating me than you did.  I want to have this, that, and the other – and then I’ll be happy with who you made me to be.”  We are certainly stepping on His toes when we think these thoughts. 

Another important note is that we often see only the best side of others.  We see their happy posts on Facebook, their pictures of their family trips and summer cruises, their boats and their smiling kids.  We don’t see the pain they endure on a daily basis, the heartache of loss they may have suffered, the sadness that overwhelms them when they think of the struggles they’ve had.  We don’t see the long hours they work away from their families, the marriages that are less-than-perfect, the kids when they aren’t behaving.  We all have difficulties in this life.  However, our Lord says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  Don’t look around thinking to yourself, “Everyone else has it great, and my life stinks.”  Realize that no one’s life is perfect and we all have our trouble in this world.  But we can rest in the fact that Jesus has overcome it all for us.

Each of our journeys is meant to be different.  How has God made you different from others?  What is it about your personality, your life, your circumstances, or your gifts and talents that could bring glory to God?  Ponder this for a moment.  What can you do to use your current life and situation to help others understand the love of God?  This very question is what inspired me to write a blog about my life.  My prayer is that it will somehow help others, and ultimately bring glory to God.

Depression Confession

I have been thinking a lot about depression lately and what causes it. I’ve often found myself blaming ME for feeling this way, thinking: maybe I’m just an ingrate, maybe I’m not walking closely enough with God, or maybe I’m partaking in some sin that has got me hog-tied to depression. Although all of these things may be true, I’ve also just realized that many very godly people in the Bible suffered from depression (David, Naomi, King Solomon, Job, Hannah, Jeremiah). Perhaps their depression was self-imposed, or perhaps it was the aftermath of a terrible circumstance. Maybe it was a chemical or hormonal imbalance much like what I suffer from. The important thing is that – regardless of the cause of the depression – The Lord stands firm and does not change his mind on this subject. He is WITH US through it all. Maybe we don’t feel it, and maybe we cannot perceive His closeness to us. But the Bible {God’s Word} tells me the TRUTH about God and His character. It says that “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) Many times, I feel that the Lord is distant from me. But, much like a true friend with whom I have not reached out to in quite some time – if I just call to them, they will be close to me as if nothing has ever changed. We catch up from where we last left off, and it seems that they were never absent. However, if I withdraw from the friendship and do not reach out, I will be unable to feel the closeness that was once there. God’s position never changes. He is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. We are the ones who have not reached out to Him. We try oh-so-hard to just “go it alone”. It has become so trendy to seem like we have got it all together.  Hollywood celebrities make it seem so easy to be famous with millions of fans, raising a family in the limelight, jet-setting from country to country, maintaining multiple million-dollar homes, all while looking spectacular in the newest fashions day in and day out.  But we cannot keep up with this façade.  It is a lie that the enemy is feeding us – because no one has it all together all of the time. Period.

The other thing I have realized is that maybe this is the thorn in my side (much like Paul’s in the Bible). While some people may struggle with fear, pride, or any other area of contention, perhaps my “thorn” is depression.  Perhaps one of the reasons God allows us to have a thorn is to allow us to reach others that have the same thorn. People who have not suffered from depression CANNOT understand the feelings of overwhelming sadness, self-defeat, and lack of motivation that stem from depression. There is no “just pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get on with life” antidote to clinical depression. Not only do we {depressed people} have to figure out how to navigate life as normal human beings, but we also have a stigma attached to us that we are lazy, negative, or lacking in faith. There are days when I feel just fine and can live life as a “normal” person. But there are days when I feel like my world is caving in, and it’s got nothing to do with my family, my husband, my kids, or my life. I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband that is my best friend, three healthy children that are a joy to be around, a decent paying job, a warm and cozy home that fits us perfectly and amazing family and friends who try to lift me up when I am down. But that is not enough some days. Most of the time, I cannot put my finger on the cause. But the cause is not as important as the Cure. And the Cure is Jesus. He may never take away my blues completely, but if I give it to Him then He can use it to His glory. He makes beauty from ashes. He can surely make something beautiful of my sad hours. He can surely point me towards the light at the end of the perpetual tunnel of life. And He can set my feet upon a rock. I refuse to give in to defeat, and I refuse to turn away from the life He has for me, depression or not.  My prayer is that you find hope in these words today, and know that you are not alone if depression is your personal battle.  Below are some more encouraging words from the Bible regarding depression:

~Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

~The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18, NIV)

~So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

~”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12, NIV)

~And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 14:16, KJV)

~(Jesus said) “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, NIV)

~My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:7-10)