The Power of a Story

“Your story can change the course of a life that needs just one more story, one more word, or one more reality that God is in control.”

-Dear Survivor – Let’s Talk

Finding Your Voice When Word’s Don’t Come Easy

If only you had known beforehand that person who committed suicide needed to hear how God healed, provided or otherwise fixed in your life; the exact thing that caused them to give up. The strength that you obtained was only a prayer away for them and a few moments used to tell your story. The glistening in their eyes could have been hope found in your journey, instead it was the light of the ambulance arriving to pick up another lost soul…

The faith of every believer is built on a story. It is the story of God in the beginning and His Son Jesus Christ who reigns forever! The power of the stories contained in the Scriptures cannot be denied.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

(Roman 15:4)

 I tell my story with no selfish gain or glory. It is My Story told for His Glory! I share my story with the expectation that the person that has no hope – will find hope in my story. Sharing stories is not new but the willingness to do so has become antiquated.

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https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=dear+survivor&sprefix=dear+s%2Caps%2C147&crid=2PSM2PV20S574

If you have not heard my story, click on the link above and order today! Share my blog or book information with one person and let me know in the comments who and why you shared with that person. I will randomly select from the comments one person to receive a signed copy.

Will you take the time today to share an encouraging word, deed or other act of kindness just to give another person hope?

What is Your Heart’s Frequency?

It is so easy to keep yourself on your mind constantly. Let’s face it…you are with you ALL of the time! Without any effort, your thoughts process your every need, concern, or doubt on a continuous basis. Yes, you are important and what matters to you should be one of your main priorities. However, the information you put into your mind reflects how you will respond to your issues. Could it be that you are not tuned in to hear that which can strengthen your heart and mind?

If you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding…

 (Proverbs 2:1-2)

The transmission of information to your heart is vital as it determines the quality of your life. Just like a radio, I suggest that we have 2 frequencies that we can select to receive information:

  • All Me (AM) – All About Me
  • Faith Me (FM) – Faith in Me

Your heart is the data hub that contains the main elements that help to filter all information. Studying the word of God allows wisdom and understanding to become the carrier wave which transmits those situations back to you. Faith will amplify the word and your perception and the handling of those issues.

Make sure you are tuning in on the FM frequency to ensure that today becomes the best day of your life!

 

Laugh Until You Cry

The power of a laugh that comes from your belly is very liberating. This type of laughter might not look cute. The funniest thing in that moment is that you are completely free of the opinion of others. Laughing more becomes contagious and others will join in with you without knowing the “punch line”. What makes you laugh harder is eventually you start to laugh at how hard you are laughing! Have you ever laughed so passionately that you could barely breathe as tears rolled down your face? Discovering the necessity to purposely set aside time to laugh until you cry is essential.

A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing…

 (Proverbs 17:22, Amplified Bible)

 I gathered all of the material necessary for a water gun fight: water guns, water, a sunny day, and my two young boys. This water gun fight served two purposes; the first purpose was celebrating my son’s birthday and the second purpose was to laugh until I cried! In 2009, that following week consisted of a scheduled breast biopsy. I determined that I could spend that weekend moping around the house in tears or chasing my boys allowing laughter to produce happy tears! I chose the latter.

A good laugh is so refreshing and has the power to remove fear and doubt from your thoughts. With a plan and without a prescription, laughter has the medicinal properties of a counselor. In the meantime, do not worry about bad news coming your way. Utilize that in-between time to find healing for your soul!

Take a look at your calendar and schedule your time to laugh!

 

When the Ashes Become Beautiful

It is not easy to comprehend that even the worst things that happened in our lives have purpose. How do you rationalize breast cancer, molestation, abandonment or any such atrocities as being a part of the plan? Telling someone that their pain has purpose seems insensitive and callous. I would prefer to be saved from the pain and learn that lesson in a less life altering way. The truth is, we cannot choose the pain, only how we will walk through it and how we can use it in our lives to bring God glory. Somehow God turns those ugly places into beautiful monuments that remind you of how far He has brought you.

To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

(Isaiah 61:3)

 Yesterday, I received my first copy of my new book, “Dear Survivor Let’s Talk – Finding Your Voice When Words Don’t Come Easy”. I was not just holding a book, but I held the tears, the pain, the loss and the chaos that came with that season in my life. It was very similar to holding the baby as a new mother. The back pain, pushing and extra weight gain were all worth the effort as you embrace that new life.

I do not understand why I had to go through breast cancer, but I understand the purpose. That statement seems very contradictive. My purpose is to share with others God’s ability to carry you through – if you trust Him. My purpose is to encourage those that want the “why” answered to simply release that thought. My purpose is to share my story and the principles I followed with those who have lost hope. When you tell your story you take back your power! When you tell your story God is glorified!

My book can be ordered at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or WestBowPress.com. Get your copy today and share a copy with someone who would like to talk but has not found their voice.

Making Pink Lemonade

Smiling is an art form that many do not choose to display based on how they feel. A smile is beautiful on the face of any person and has a greater effect than makeup. (I will keep it real and add that makeup does enhance the smile!) Yes, it is true that a genuine smile is generated by happy thoughts, events, and feelings. How do you smile when so many things happening around you have the propensity to take your smile, happiness, positive thoughts and joy? I’m so glad you asked!

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials.

(James 1:2 Amplified Bible)

 The greatest test of my faith did not come alone as I received the doctor’s report of cancer. At the same time, I received the news that I did not get the promotion I had worked so hard for, I was thousands of miles from my family and one of my boys was even hospitalized. You want to know what biting the lemon rind tastes like, chewing it and swallowing it…let me explain!

I made an extremely difficult decision to respond opposite of what I was seeing. It is called walking by faith and not by sight (see Hebrews 11:1). It was deliberate and with purpose.

An interesting fact is that lemons have spectacular cleansing properties. Use your lemons to clean areas in your life stained by adversity.

Below is my recipe to turn those lemons into lemonade:

  • Choosing the Container– use one that is clear for transparency/testimony.
  •  Inspecting the Lemons– observe the situation.
  •  Squeezing the Lemons– What am I going to get out of this?
  • Adding Water– God is the living water…His word and how it applies.
  • Measuring the Sugar– determining what to add to balance the tartness of the lemons; friends, support groups, family – above all relationship with God.
  • Tasting the Lemonade– Faith! Believing that you have balanced the flavors of sour and sweet!
  • Serving the Lemonade– encouraging others!

We are not promised a life that does not have trials and afflictions. However, we are promised that God will deliver us from those afflictions. If life keeps throwing you lemons follow the above recipe and watch your smile reappear! Your genuine smile will turn the lemonade pink…removing all bitterness, replacing it with joy!

 

 

Do Not Look Down!

When each step and each decision made is based upon the last one, every move becomes a vital component to success. Leaning too far to the left or to the right can disrupt your balance causing you to become unsteady, shaky and uncertain. The urge to look down reveals where you just came from and can be detrimental to your stability. The walk across the “tightropes” in your life are those hard places that seem unfixable. Finding balance is essential in order to defy the weight that may be piling onto your shoulders.

Where do you find balance in your life for circumstances that appeared uninvited and pressed you into survivor mode?

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You.

 Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

 The peace that I found in adversity was not manmade nor purchased. The Word of God is that which provided me with balance. Finding peace = finding balance. Reading God’s Word, playing praise music (I chose to play it loudly to drown my thoughts of doubt or fear) and hearing the preached Word all contributed to my peace. I cannot express what the Holy Scriptures did for me! I can only look back and realize that the Word works but only if you put it in your ears, in front of your eyes and in your heart.

Keep your mind on Him and He is faithful to keep His promise to keep you in perfect peace!

Have You Heard?

Good news travels faster today than ever before in history! Regardless of location friends and family instantly share the major events of their lives. Weddings, birthdays, special events to include graduations are all shared within a matter of seconds. Friends share recipes, inspiring quotes, photos and even secrets without the concern of the time it will take to do so. In a tight circle of friends, the right tight circle, good news should be shared to empower and inform.

Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.

 Mark 5:25-29 (NKJV)  

 When she heard about Jesus…(Mark 5:27)

 Judging from the description of the woman in the text it is likely that she heard about Jesus from the women in her inner circle. The Levitical law in that time stated that anyone who touched her would have been considered unclean. The preceding fact further convinces me that only her “best” girl friends would have spent time in her presence.

 My circle of friends empowered me during my time of affliction. No, they did not heal me, but I heard their words that spoke of Jesus as my healer! They told me He was powerful and had already defeated cancer! They told me that He would comfort me through the storm that had surrounded me. What I heard from my circle gave me strength to go to Him, to reach out to Him and to search for Him. So, I ran to Jesus and reached out to touch Him and He healed me too!

Who is in your circle? What are you hearing from them? Is it inspiring and affirming? Does it lead you to the One who has all the answers? Check your circle…only if it empowers you is it a true circle of love.

Quitting is NOT an Option!

My climb up Mt. Fuji (the tallest mountain in Japan) was a test of my determination, strength and self-confidence. Quitting ran through my mind, but I resisted the urge. The Marines that climbed with me were young, strong and convinced that we were going all the way. We made it to the top. Mt. Fuji is forever a symbol of the moment I conquered a mountain! I made a decision that morning that I did not want to quit!

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

 Mark 11:22-23 (NKJV)

 I reflected on the concept of mountains with each step that I endured:

  • Physical mountains are obstacles that are climbed and conquered
  • Life mountains (debt, disease or chaos) are obstacles that are spoken to and conquered
  • God’s conquering power is found when I look up to the mountains

I will lift up my eyes to the hills [of Jerusalem] – from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip.

 Psalm 121:1-3 (Amplified Bible)

In the midst of turbulence, it is not so easy to gain your balance. The foot that is planted in the word of God shall not be moved. I did not quit because I realized that I have God given power. The words that are spoken in faith and total belief are essential in overcoming mountains. So whether you have on your mountain climbing gear or you are faced with a life mountain – do not quit!

Quitting is not an option even as a last resort. How can power be accessed if you have given up! Resist the temptation to give in and look up to God!

 

A Simple Thank You

You are the only one that has an issue (so you may think). The rest of the world, you imagine, is dancing in the rain, with reality show perfected kind of lives. Surely, no one else is inconvenienced with sickness, lack or trials. It may appear to you that these gigantic problems only dwell in your personal world. Complaining has no power and has not changed things that are going wrong. Where is God when you need Him most? Why do you feel so alone?

Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (Amplified Bible)

Remain joyful as you pray consistently and give thanks to God. When we praise God, He accepts the invitation to surround us with Himself. Praise is a word of action that includes prayer, worship, the lifting of hands and voices in thanks.

Your situation should not preclude you from praising God but should provoke you to praise Him more. Giving thanks is His will for you and I. Lifting your hands or opening your mouth in praise may seem hard at first. However, the more you praise the more you will desire to experience the peace it brings.

God is with you. You are not alone!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

 Psalm 136:1 (NKJV)

Faith is demonstrated as the power of God’s word is activated by a simple praise of thanks to Him. Thank Him in advance for what you have prayed for in faith!

 

 

 

Speak to Live

Words that are spoken have the ability to create or destroy. Words do matter. Words are filled with tremendous power. A word spoken too quickly can cause great pain. A word not spoken soon enough can cause a missed opportunity. A simple word can give someone hope. A profound word can change a person’s life forever. A marriage vow is sealed with a word. A business deal is created with a word. A change in the best and worst of circumstances is produced by a word.

Proverbs 18:20-21 (NKJV)

 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Satisfaction is experienced by releasing words that create good fruit or reward. Everything that is seen was created by words. God spoke and so it was. We were created in the image of God. In His image, we also possess that same creative power.

Difficult circumstances should not dictate the words that are spoken. The words that are spoken should dictate difficult circumstances. Emotions cannot be the driving force of words that have the ability to produce death and life. Begin today by discerning the magnitude of your words!  What are you saying?

Leave a comment below with your power word phrase for today!

Just Rest!

In life, when a door closes it is our natural tendency to frantically try to tear it down. It is quickly realized that remedies, suggestions, to include those recommendations found on the internet will not work. In that moment, a solution is most desirable by any means necessary. Eventually in complete exhaustion the worst ideas might sound convincing.

Hebrews 4:9 (NKJV)

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

A closed door sounds like the final say in any situation. However, a closed door has two sides. Possibilities can be found on both sides. I discovered, just because I was on the inside of the door, my possibilities were not limited. When I look back over my life, I see that closed doors were blessings. Closed doors are opportunities. When God allows a door to close in your life, He is fully aware of which side you are standing on!

Stop trying to knock the door down and rest. Allow God to show you why you are on this side of the door. You are on the right side! Trust without seeing! Your greatest opportunities are right in front of you! Rest! Do not stop working towards your destiny but rest in the promises of God!

When you rest, your faith, patience and trust in God is the key that will open the door!

Overcoming Obstacles

It is complicated when your story has such complexities that even you cannot fathom how, why, or when it all became so complicated. It is complicated. The answers are seemingly unattainable, the pain insurmountable and the circumstances unbearable. It is complicated. The energy required to speak your current situation in full to a listener who cannot fix it has been terminated. It is complicated.

Psalm 57:2 (Amplified Bible)

I will cry to God Most High, who accomplishes all things on my behalf [for He completes my purpose in His plan].

In the darkest moments of my life, I found comfort and strength in my conversations with God. Yes, my cries were prayers but so much more. I would speak to God knowing that He heard me. I cried out to Him. I love social media but it could not have comforted me in that darkness. I love my friends and they were great support but they could not fix me. It was personal. It was complicated.

It was my cry that saved me. It was my cry that broke the bondage of uncertainty. After crying out to God…it was not so complicated!

God specializes in solving complexities in our lives. He will work it out. Remember He created everything. Cry out to Him! Today, trust Him with His plan for your life!

Choose Power!

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Fear is not based on truth! In anticipation of numerous negative outcomes of a situation, the mind begins to consider each possibility at the same time. A natural response to fear is anxiousness, doubt and worry. The overwhelming feeling is disruptive and debilitating. How do you function in fear that paralyzes your logic?

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Five years ago, my soul was arrested by fear when I heard a diagnosis of one single word…cancer. The moment was surreal. I was not dreaming, it was really happening. I am sure that time stood still as the intense beating of my heart sounded in my ears. My husband and my children needed me, my young Marines needed me to advocate for them and what about my career goals?

Fear gripped me. I think a tear rolled down my cheek but I could not cry. Then I remembered…God’s word! Doctor after doctor entered into the room to explain their role in my treatment plan but I entered into God’s rest. He was going to keep me. I just knew that He would heal me as He promised in His word. I chose power!

You have the cure for fear – the power to control your thoughts by speaking the truth! The truth is God’s word! It is tested and proven to provide you with wisdom for every situation that you may face today! You are literally walking around with the antidote in your pocket (or wherever you may keep your Bible) as your mind succumbs to a fear attack! Pull out that sword (God’s Word) and begin to conquer fear with the power given to you!

If you choose power today, begin by boldly confessing: “God did not give me a spirit of fear but what He did give me, I will walk in it…POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND!

 

There is Life Inside of You!

 

Good Morning Survivor,

 

The moment of leisure experienced as the waves of the ocean roll across the edges of a sandy beach are priceless. Sometimes the waves move tumultuously and occasionally a wave rolls up that takes you by surprise. That which the eyes observe in that motion may be compared to the circumstances you are facing today.

2 Corinthians 4:8 (NKJV)

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”

 

I challenge you today to consider that same ocean with millions of species living on the inside of it. There is more life inside the ocean than one can imagine! Therefore, the rapid movement on top is what is on the outside, yet inside there is life! The same is true for you today. The circumstances may seem chaotic at best but know that there is life on the inside of you!

 

Acknowledge that you are still here! Look to God for strength and mercy to overcome the storms in your life today! Let me know how you find peace in the storm. I would love to hear from you!