Helpless Not But Hopeless

imagehelpless: unable to help oneself
hopeless: impossible to accomplish
There are things in life that render us helpless. A spouse leaves us, an employer fires us, a friend rejects us, a bank denies us, a child rebels against us, a disease weakens us. And like the definition states, we can not help ourselves. But helplessness does not mean hopelessness. If Christ is in our hearts, there is hope in our circumstance. You see, by definition, hopeless is: “impossible to accomplish.” But I know a God who is BIGGER than any dictionary definition. I know a God who broke all the rules when it came to “impossible” “can’t be done” and “don’t bother.” I know a God who came to Earth, was killed and buried beneath it, and rose from it. The bible says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” To really pound the ground, the bible also says, “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” as well as “Anyone who is among the living has hope” and “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So if I put my HOPE in God, though helpless in a situation, I am not hopeless in His hands. I hope this encourages someone today.

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Am I or Am I Not Mentally Ill?

“Am I or Am Iimage Not Mentally Ill?”  Disclaimer: I’m not a professional, just a client 🙂

Over the last few years, I’ve been thankful for the attention mental-health has received. In the grass-root, governmental, medical and ministerial arenas, conversations are being had and agendas being initiated. However, I’ve also seen the underbelly of this attention: possible misdiagnosis and misuse of it as an excuse. For me, mental illness is not an agenda I would have asked for or a diagnosis I would have sought. Although I do my best to be a good steward with it, given the chance, I would get rid of it any day. I don’t know if everyone who says they have it, have it. And I don’t know if everyone who has been diagnosed with it, is properly diagnosed. I can only speak from my journey. What I know is: as an adult, I was diagnosed after a thorough historical, circumstantial and psychological study of me, by professionals, over a period of time. So I believe my diagnosis is legit. I also know (confession-alert) I have been guilty of using it as an excuse. But no sooner did I, and I felt a horrible ache in my belly of conviction! I’ll close with an encouraging word for 3 groups of people:
>If you *think* you have mental-illness, seek Christian professional help (if you need a recommendation, email me).
>If you *know* you have mental illness, be a good steward with it (read Paul’s account of his “thorn,” 2 Corinthians 12)
>If you *don’t* have mental illness, give God thanks and say a prayer for those who do.

I hope this encourages someone today!

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Where I Pray, Hey!

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Tears, Out. Verses, In

imageFor me, when it hurts there are two things that need to happen. One, the tears need to come out. Tears were designed to accumulate in the eyes, but not stay there. God would have made moats around our eyes if tears weren’t meant to fall out. If you are hurting, let them fall. “That’s not what strong people do,” you say? I have two words for you: “Jesus wept.” The shortest verse in the bible. He freed us up to cry when it hurt because He did. The other thing that needs to happen is just as much as the tears need to come out, God’s words need to go in. What’s gonna fill your heart after your tears move out of it and fall from your eyes? God’s word. It will fill up your heart with hope and encouragement, and because it is God’s word, it will stay there. Molding itself to the shape of you heart–so much so–that it becomes a part of your heart, never leaving. I keep my list of 5 favorite encouragement verses on me. If you’d like them, just email me at heather@wondherful.com. I hope this encourages someone today.

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Why Are We Putting Our Drama on Social Media?

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Regarding Relationships, Are You Protective or Possessive?

10850108_586103504853302_1179538586516832819_nI recall a conversation Raul and I had with a group of friends regarding relationships, were we the protective or possessive type? In our relationship, Raul has always been protective.  However (enter, confession), in the beginning of our relationship I was possessive. Is there a difference? Yes. Raul is a protector:  he is good about not airing our dirty laundry to people; he ensures that our home is safe; he trusts God with me; and entrusts God to me.  I, on the other hand, used to be possessive:  I made assumptions based on my lack of trust; I tried to keep Raul on a short leash; and I tried to keep us together at the expense of not letting God do that. When I took control of the relationship instead of God, I moved from “protective” to “possessive.” Furthermore, if we neurotically assume worse-case-scenarios and we incessantly interrogate or suspect…we are being possessive. But people are not possessions–they are gifts. You protect a gift and most importantly, you understand that this gift (another life) is not yours. The ones we date or marry are God’s. He’s given them to us as His special treasure. Love the one you’re with, and protect them for His sake.

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360-Degree God

photoSometimes I’ll read a bible verse and it’ll be like Rock Candy going off in my head: BOOM! BAM! ZAP! That’s what happened the other day when I read: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deut. 31:8) I read it, reread it, let it marinate, then it hit me. God is a 360-degree God! God is ahead of me. That means He’ll walk into a place, season, or occasion before I will. That means He puts Himself in harm’s way for me. But according to this verse, God is also WITH me. He’s next to me, arm in arm. That means that during times when I’ve been weak, He carried me because that’s what “being with” does. But this verse also says God will not abandon me. That means He won’t fall behind. He won’t make me feel like I’m walking this alone, wondering if He’ll catch up. Oh my gosh, what a revelation, especially if you struggle with fear or anxiety. This verse is a PROMISE, a truth, a FACT. We don’t need to be paralyzed or accept immobilization due to fear. Because…God isn’t just near, He’s 360 degrees around! You can’t get more coverage than that! Go God! Go you! And Go to verses that comfort us, right when we need ’em.

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Five Daily Mental Tips

*Five Mental Tips*image
Over the last few years, I’ve tried to be a student of the brain, as I’ve sought ways to take care of mine. Here are five things I recommend:

1. Carry around a small notepad and jot down verses that pertain to your mind. Reference it, memorize it, say it aloud–this will keep your mind in good shape. (if you want my top 10 fav, email me at heather@wondHerful.com)
2. Read “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer; “Thinking for a Change” by John Maxwell and “Who Switched off my Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf. Bonus tip: engage in apps like Crossword Puzzles, Words with Friends.
3. Cry. Yes, cry. When I’ve battled serious bouts of depression, I am so thankful I didn’t force to stay in what God created to come out. Find a quiet corner, and cry. Tears clean the windshield of the soul and the slate of the mind.
4. If you are having a hard time falling asleep because you are worrying, fall asleep praying. Intentionally lay there and talk to God. This does 3 things: helps you sleep, empties your mind of worry, gives God the chance to carry it.
5. Walk or Run…OUTSIDE. I’m tellin’ ya…this is AMAZING therapy and it is FREE. Sometimes, listen to worship music under God’s sunshine as you walk or run. But, sometimes, listen to nothing and listen for that “still small voice.” Either way, I have found this to be one of the best prescriptions for an injured mind.

I hope this encourages someone today.

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A Thought on Kindness from a Window Sill

“Be kind to one another” Ephesians 4:32

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Watch What I Promise

imagePoor Andy. About six years ago, we took him on the Jaws ride at Universal Studios. We promised him it was safe. We assured him it was all fake. We vowed he wouldn’t get scared. We. Were. Wrong. He was very traumatized. Hindsight doesn’t do much good after you’ve made promises and offered reassurances. I learned a valuable lesson from this–in parenting and in life.  I need to be careful of the promises I make. My word is my bond. Unlike the ancient bible days, these days, we don’t make promises with blood, spit or covenants. We make promises with our words. And if we want people to trust us, and we want people to look up to us and we want people to believe in us…our words need to live up to the promises our mouths speak.

“I will not break my agreement nor change what I have said.” Psalm ‭89:34‬

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