Changing Times~ Do Life's Difficulties Change You? How Do We Cope?

Are angels watching over me? My hope is to have an uplifting blog. One in which others can look forward to reading with excitement and can I say,  "joy"? I want to invite you into my home, and my life. I'm a true believer in knowing the joy of Jesus in the midst of pain. Certainly my life has given me a great backdrop to learn it.

My thoughts over these last five or so years as a full time writer have been strongly persuaded by the fact that I'm being led by the Holy Spirit in my writing. Does that sound "cocky" to you? Or just crazy? Cause I've been accused of being both. :-D

Might I even suggest that He has His angels to guard over me as I type? One writer I spoke to lately assured me that she prays and asks God to write His words through her. I do the same. In fact, there have been times when I'm not writing that the pressure to write has been so strong I cannot rest until I put the words down.

Is that God's hand helping me and this other writer? I believe so..

So when things are tough, and we experience trouble is that God's hand too? Jesus said in the world we'd have many troubles, but He has overcome the world. In the last six  months my family has experienced health issues, emotional issues, friends betrayals, financial hits, and this all precipitated the death of our beloved pet.

My goodness it's been hard.

And, yet, all I could ask from God was to really know that I'm okay with Him. That He would reassure me that I am doing the right thing. Walking with Him, loving Him and others as He has commanded me to do.

Psalm 139:23The Message (MSG)               Stark tree in winter sunset

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,     find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me,     get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—     then guide me on the road to eternal life.

This all leads me to my original question, when difficulties arise do we allow them to shape us or change us for bad or for good?  You know, I'd say most people become kinder and more compassionate. Don't you? If you get knocked down enough, you learn to stay on your knees.

The recent changes of losing Sydney, experiencing an emptier nest and struggling with seeing loved ones suffer stole my joy for awhile. You know? It's okay. David Wilkerson of the New York Times Square Church once said temptation is not the sin, it's giving into the temptation that is. I wanted to share some things I came up with recently to keep from sinking into a depression.

Change your environment ~ shaking things up from the mundane and routine helps...I'd been wanting to rearrange the furniture in our living room for about a year..

Before and cluttered

 Sydney's bed was under the window where I'd placed the chair. The wall unit on the back wall was too large for the wall. The room felt cluttered and out of balance to me. So, my youngest and I rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Spring cleaning and rearranging the furniture did great things for my spirits!

We trashed years of veggie tales video tapes, books, old toys that never get used. Using the larger wall for the entertainment center, I tucked the sofa under the stairs for a comfier, more open lived-in space.

This also gave me the chance to showcase my father-in-law's gift to us~ a roll top desk.

Switching the furniture to give a neater and more open space.

He custom built a cherry wood desk for my hubby and I when we were first married. As a writer, he couldn't have given me a more precious gift. He also thoughtfully added a clever locking device in the middle drawer so our girls couldn't get into our paperwork when they were little.

The sofa bed is now tucked under the stairs for a cozy space to read and chat. This room has no television and acts as a guest bedroom when we have company.

One friend wrote to me recently and shared that she is struggling with depression too. In the next few blog posts I will attempt to share some ways of not allowing diverse difficulties to drag us into a pit. But rather, use the changes to catapult us into making some new changes in our lives. For the good.

Praying that you know the love of Jesus who does not allow us to be tempted above what we can handle, but, 'God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it'. (1Corinthians 10:13) Amen!