Posts Tagged ‘Unshakeable Hope’

30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 27

Lunenberg Nova Scotia

Lunenberg Nova Scotia

Greetings!  I hope the last few weeks have been good ones for you.  Since I last wrote, we went on a family vacation to Nova Scotia.  From there, we came home to finish redoing our daughters room and send her off for her senior year of college.

From the Gettysburg area of PA. it was a long ride to Nova Scotia. We developed car trouble, but were blessed to find someone when we arrived at our destination that could  get us back on the road in a couple of days.  I fell shortly after arriving, tearing a couple of tendons, and have been babying  my foot ever since. Nova Scotia is beautiful, but takes lots of driving to get from place to place.

thThis school year is already proving to be much less stressful since our daughter is back in the country, and only an hour away.  She is in her element, living in an international community house.  She is very happy and this makes me very happy.

I have given a lot of thought to these last 4 posts on the enCOURAGEment series.  This time I want to look at discouragement and how to combat it.  Merriam Webster says discouragement “is a feeling of having lost hope or confidence”.  If we are not vigilant we can easily become discouraged by our circumstances.  Many of the people I wrote about in this series are fine examples of people who rose above their circumstances, or the way they were feeling, to move forward with their goals.

Rick Warren, pastor, and author of the best selling book Purpose Driven Life has some tips for us on discouragement in his CBN article  Some Cures for Discouragement.

In his article he says some of the causes of despairdiscouragement are fatigue, frustration, failure, and fear.   Living with lupus and other autoimmune diseases offers many opportunities for each one of these things to occur in our lives.  For example, I think fatigue is a huge cause of discouragement among many of us, resulting in frustration over what we can’t do, or a fear of failing at tasks we attempt.

Thankfully we do not have to stay stuck in discouragement.    There are things we can do to help ourselves rise above.  Rick recommends, resting our bodies, reorganizing our lives, remembering God will help us if we ask, and  resisting the in-spite-of-everything-i-shall-rise-again-i-will-4discouragement.  All of these recommendations depend on one thing, us.  Unfortunately, no one can do these things for us.  We have to choose to be proactive on our own behalf.   Nick Vujicic from Life without Limbs and Bill from Unshakeable Hope are prime examples of this.courage

It would have been so easy for Nick and Bill to let discouragement overcome them.  As I follow Nick on Facebook, I read about all the people he is touching on his 2013 world tour, and the dignitaries he has met, and prayed with.  He has sacrificed time with his new family to bring a message of love, and hope to those in need.  Every time I get a blog post from Bill I am encouraged by his consistent courageous message of hope.

Each one of our situations is different.  One thing is for certain, we must rise above our circumstances.  We must be courageous, and encourage ourselves in order to move forward with our lives.  I have found that as I look to God, He is faithful to help me.  His help may not always seem immediate, but He works in my life to bring about what is needed for me to eventually rise above the situation.   If you are feeling discouraged, don’t lose hope friend.  God IS for you.

Until next time, when we will talk more about encouraging ourselves.                                            Many blessings to you.  Leslie Rose K

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

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30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 24

 

Greetings! Well our daughter is home safe and sound and we couldn’t be happier to see her.  Believe it or not it took her almost three days of travel to get back home.   Now she is trying  to adjust to the 12 hour time change.  IMG_3157

I hope you have had a good week and are anxious to read a message from Bill at Unshakeable Hope.  Bill is one of my favorite bloggers.  His posts are rich with insight.  I think he is an amazing man with an amazing story and family. I encourage you to take time some day and explore his blog.   I pray this post on perspective will help you in your journey with lupus or any other autoimmune disease you have to deal with.

 

Having the Right Perspective

I’ve discovered how essential it is to keep things in perspective in order to maintain hope when you’re in the midst of a trial. The first and most important lesson I learned was focusing on what I have and not on what I’ve lost.

blog family pic

Our family before I was diagnosed with ALS. (Mary still had BIG hair).

Perspective: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance. (Webster’s Dictionary)

I know of many people close to my age, even some close friends, who have died of ALS, Cancer and other diseases or were killed in tragic accidents. These moms and dads have missed being able see their children growing up. They weren’t there to take pictures before prom, to watch with pride as their child graduated from high school and/or college or to witness their son or daughter’s wedding.

I force myself to think about these friends and acquaintances when I begin feeling depressed about my inability to fully participate in this thing we call life. At times like last year when my daughter got married, and I was unable to walk her down the aisle or dance with her at the reception. During difficult times like this, I make a conscious effort to think about some of these people that are no longer with us; people like my friend Rick, who died of Cancer, leaving a wife and two teenage sons. I think about another blogger named Patrick, who died of ALS in December leaving a wife and a teenage son and daughter. Sadly, Rick and Patrick won’t get the opportunity to watch with pride as their children go through graduations, weddings and other landmark events in their lives.

I think about these people every time I’m tempted to complain or get depressed about my situation. I ask myself what they’d say to me if I was to complain about things like not being able to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. Would they tell me that I should be grateful for just getting to be there to watch as she walked down the aisle? Of course, Rick, Patrick and the others have gone on to heaven so I don’t know what they might say to me. But I know they would be right if they were able to tell me to be grateful that I was able to be there for all the events that they’ve missed and will miss. In a sense, I feel that I owe them; that, if for no other reason, I must be grateful for their sake.

james and girls

Our son-in-law and daughters (January, 2012).

I know it’s strange for me to imagine what deceased people might say to me (to give me the proper perspective), but it works for me and, regardless of the trial that you find yourself in, we all must find ways of coping; ways of changing our perspective and attitude – ways of convincing ourselves that our life isn’t so bad after all.

“…I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (Philippians 4:11)

The aim of every Christian should be learning to be content in the good times and in the bad times. But, for those that hope in God, contentment does not mean we stop believing for better days ahead; it just means we’re grateful for today and that we’re going to live it to the full – even if we have to live today in a wheelchair!

Wedding

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” (Romans 8:24-25)

Taken directly from Unshakeable Hope with permission.

Thank you Bill for letting me share part of your story here.  To read more about Bill’s life story click here.

I welcome your comments.  Until next time….Leslie Rose K

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

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