Frustrating God


Galatians 2:21 – I do not frustrate the grace of God….. (KJV)

I realize there is a lot more to this verse than I’ve just written, but I want to focus on this portion of it.

frustrating God


“I do not frustrate the grace of God…” – ……..but  I do.

If I’m honest with myself, I probably frustrate the Lord more often than most.  He, as my heavenly Father gives me the free will to choose.  I get to choose my day, the time I spend with God, family and others.


I can’t begin to imagine how frustrating I can be as I make unwise choices, such as choosing good over best, choosing less over waiting for more and choosing to not try because fear grips my heart.

I don’t want to frustrate God.  I don’t want to trample all over His mercy and grace.  It breaks my heart to think that I break His heart.

What are some ways that I’m sure I frustrate God?

  • Lack of faith – I want faith that moves mountains.  According to Matthew 17:20, all I need is as much as a grain of a mustard seed to do so.  We see simple miracles often and yet like the children of Israel; we need to see more in order to believe.  We need to be reminded more often than not.    Recently, Spreading JOY Corp was asked to help out someone that needed $1000.00 to avoid eviction in a week.  I was certain that this family would be evicted as I have tried to raise money before and knew nothing short of a miracle was needed.  I searched for that grain of faith to move mountains but felt it was nowhere to be found.  Thankfully – so many heroes stepped up and gave. Not only did they help this family, but they increased my faith.
  • Lack of time – We are so busy with family, church, work, housework, errands, dinner, softball, keeping the dog clean and visits with friends in coffee shops that we tend to not make time to build and strengthen our relationship with the Lord.  We live in a Burger King world and want to have it “our” way – quick, easy and simple.  God desires us to spend time with HIM.  If our children were obedient to every single thing we told them to do and yet NEVER spent any time with us, our hearts would break.  I imagine the Lord’s heart breaking when we get to busy with “stuff” to spend time with Him.
  • Unworthy feelings – We are joint heirs with Christ, so why on earth do we let these feelings get in the way?  We feel like we do not deserve God’s love, blessings and his power.  Because His mercy and grace is renewed each day, we get to have these wonderful things, even though we feel like we shouldn’t.  God wants to bless us, use us and empower us.  We are made in His image and even though HE knows our heart, our doubts and fears , HE still chooses to love us – UNCONDITIONALLY.    How amazing is our God?

Have you ever thought about this?

There are so many other ways that we frustrate the Lord.  Will you dare list some of the ways you frustrate Him?  What are you going to do about it?

What verses will help you, motivate you and move you away from frustrating the Lord to making His heart smile?

Tell me – talk to me… or am I the only one frustrating God? hmmm?


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Psalms of Comfort


 psalms of comfort april

Working through the hardships life has to offer sometimes can be difficult at best.  Sometimes there are no words, no explanations, no reasons…only questions.

When there are more questions than there are answers, turn to the One who is the answer for every problem, the quench for every thirst and the satisfaction for every soul.

May these Psalms of Comfort bring encourage you as you seek joy for the journey.

Take some time daily to just sit at His feet, remember His promises and let Him comfort your heart.


30 Psalms of Comfort:

Day 1 – Psalm 73:28 – Draw near, Trust Him & Declare His works

Day 2 – Psalm 86:7 – When in Trouble, call out & He will answer

Day 3 – Psalm 89:15 – We are blessed to know Him

Day 4 – Psalm 107:28 – He will deliver us from our distress

Day 5 – Psalm 107:9 – He satisfies our soul

Day 6 – Psalm 105:43 – He brings joy and gladness

Day 7 – Psalm 103:20 – God will bless you for doing His work

Day 8 – Psalm 103:12 – Our sins are As far as east is from west

Day 9 – Psalm 102:27 – He is the same and never changes or ends

Day 10 – Psalm 91:5-7 – No matter what we face, He is with us

Day 11 – Psalm 138:7 – Even in the midst of trouble, He preserves us

Day 12 – Psalm 100:2 – Serve with Gladness & singing

Day 13 – Psalm 72:12 – We aren’t the only ones to say Hurry God

Day 14 – Psalm 118:1 – His love and mercy are forever

Day 15 – Psalm 116:5 – He is merciful

Day 16 – Psalm 111:10 – Wisdom starts with God

Day 17 – Psalm 118:24 – Today matters

Day 19 – Psalm 119:105 – He will light our way

Day 20 – Psalm 121:2 – The One who made the heavens & earth – HELPS us

Day 21 – Psalm 108:4 – His love is greater than the heavens

Day 22 – Psalm 121:7-8 – The Lord will keep you

Day 23 – Psalm 128:1 – A respectful fear of the Lord brings blessings

Day 24 – Psalm 130:5 – While waiting on the Lord, we can wait in HOPE

Day 25 – Psalm 136:1-4 – HIS love endures forever

Day 26 – Psalm 139:14 – We are wonderfully made

Day 27 – Psalm 145:8-9 – The Lord is Gracious, merciful, slow to anger & steadfast in love

Day 28 – Psalm 145:18 – God is just a whisper away

Day 29 – Psalm 146:5 – The same God of Jacob is our help and hope

Day 30 – Psalm 46:5 – God is in the Middle of it all


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Psalms of Comfort for the Weary

psalms of comfort for the weary

Is your heart weary and your days exhausting?  Do words of comfort elude you?

I love the book of Psalms.  I love the raw emotions and how that many times I can see myself right there in the thick of the pain and then am reminded of the victory God gives.  God is gracious to give us those verses to remind us that we are not alone.

Sometimes comfort is just a verse away but yet, our minds are exhausted and we can’t remember exactly where to look.

Here are 31 Psalms of Comfort for the Weary. 

I purposely did not type out the verses for you because I want you to look at the Psalm in your Bible, on your Bible Gateway app or YouVersion app.  I want you to write it out and put it where you can see it several times a day.  I want you to print off this list and mail to someone who needs encouragement.  I want you to email this article to someone who needs encouragement.  I want you to wrap your heart around these verses each day and be comforted.

Each morning as you grab yourself some coffee and/or breakfast, get that days verse and let it bring you comfort throughout the day.


31 Psalms of Comfort for the Weary


Day 1 – Psalm 2:12 – Blessed are all who take refuge in Him

Day 2 – Psalm 5:11 – Take refuge in Him and sing for joy

Day 3 – Psalm 7:1 – Take refuge in God and be delivered

Day 4 – Psalm 16:1 – He will not abandon those who take refuge in Him

Day 5 – Psalm 18:1 – He is OUR strength

Day 6 – Psalm 18:32 – He equips us with strength

Day 7 – Psalm 18:39 – Strength for the battle

Day 8 – Psalm 21:1 – We rejoice in His strength

Day 9 – Psalm 21:13 – In His strength we can sing praises of His power

Day 10 – Psalm 28:1 – He is our strength and our shield

Day 11 – Psalm 28:7 – He is our strength, let your heart trust in him

Day 12 – Psalm 28:8 – He is the strength of his people

Day 13 – Psalm 37:40 – He helps those that takes refuge in Him

Day 14 – Psalm 46:1 – He is our strength and help in trouble

Day 15 – Psalm 59:9 – He is our strength and fortress

Day 16 – Psalm 59:16-17 – Sing of his strength – praise the hurt away

Day 17 – Psalm 61:3 – He is our strong tower

Day 18 – Psalm 65:6 – The one who created the mountains is our strength

Day 19 – Psalm 68:35 – He gives power and strength

Day 20 – Psalm 71:1 – When our strength is gone, He is our refuge

Day 21 – Psalm 71:3 – We can continually run to our rock of refuge

Day 22 – Psalm 72:13 – When our bodies fail, God strengthens us forever

Day 23 – Psalm 91:1 – Dwell in the shadow of the Lord

Day 24 – Psalm 91:2 – Trust in your refuge and fortress

Day 25 – Psalm 91:11 – His angels guard you

Day 26 – Psalm 91:15 – He will deliver us

Day 27 – Psalm 94:22 – He is our stronghold, our fortress & our rock

Day 28 – Psalm 96:6 – Strength is in his sanctuary

Day 29 – Psalm 105:4 – Seek the LORD and his strength

Day 30 – Psalm 116:7 – He is our rest

Day 31 – Psalm 138:3 – When you call, he WILL answer and strengthen your soul


When you are tired and worn, run to the Psalms and find comfort.

Please encourage others by leaving your favorite Psalm of comfort in the comments below. 

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He Strengthens Me

Never Quit! Do Not listen to the lie of despair!


2 Cor 7:3  I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

2 Cor 4:15  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  [18]  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Cor 12:7  To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, * a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  [8]  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  [9]  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power * is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  [10]  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, * in persecutions, * in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Phil 4:13  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

What road are you traveling? You are either in the storm, just come through the storm or at some point, you will be headed towards the storm.

The storms are raging, the battle is long. What can you do?

Renew your strength.

Remember who carries you.

Surround yourself with scripture that reminds you of how God carried others time and time again.  He is the same God that parted the Red Sea for Moses! You are standing at the shore, wondering how you’ll ever cross over.  It looks hopeless and the enemy is not far behind you.  The battle rages on.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Keep schoochin closer to the Lord when you are weak.  He will carry you through to the other side, even though he could part the waters for you and let you walk across.  Rest in his arms, knowing you are safe, sound and nothing happens to you, that God does not allow it. In your times of weakness, you’ll want to just remove yourself from everyone, and everything.  This is the most important time to pray without ceasing, stay knee deep in the Bible and keep pressing towards the prize! All others to lift you up in prayer. Do not remove yourself from those that can bring joy, laughter and smiles to your day.

Your journey will allow you to strengthen and encourage someone else, when they walk down the same road.  The times your heart was breaking, will be what strengthens and encourages someone else that is now facing that same journey.

Are you willing to help them, encourage them?  Yes, the road is long, yes the nights are long, the tears sting your cheeks and your heart feels as though it will never be complete again. Remember the strength from the Lord is everlasting. Draw from Him. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Have the courage to get up one more time!



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Thank you for your efforts in Spreading JOY



He Knows


Ps. 139:1  Oh, Lord, thou hast searched me and known me….


I’m often amazed at the thought that even though the Lord knows me, that HE still chooses to love me.   Me….. a little ole nobody with fearful tendencies and so far from child like faith, it’s scary.   


He knows when I’m discouraged, when I feel alone, defeated and depressed.


He knows when I’m at a loss of words to pray and when I can’t even cry out to Him.


He knows when confusion has darkened the path and I can’t even begin to see a flicker of light.


He knows when I can’t lift my head and even utter, help me Lord.


He knows when I want to spend a day saying thank you for my many blessings, but I end up crying through the tears, thank you for being there Lord.


He knows when my heart is screaming I need wisdom, direction and peace and I wonder when it will come.


He knows when I can’t take “it” anymore and He waits for me to leave it at HIS feet.


He knows….


So, I wonder, why do I not leave “it” there?  Why do I carry these burdens, doubts and fears?  Why, when I know that HE will carry the burdens and ME too.

When I can’t do this, when I can’t take another step, when I can’t stop the tears or see the light – HE KNOWS and he chooses to love me anyway, wait for me anyway and pour mercy and grace out on me so that the JOY of the LORD can be my strength.  (Neh. 8:10)

He has created me to be exactly who I am.  He has worked all things together for good for me in the past and will continue to do so.


I will continue to be in awe that even though he KNOWS me, He LOVES me.

How about you?

HE knows you and chooses to love you.


That is awesome! Don’t you think?



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God Promised

52 Promises from God's Word


God Promised…. I trust Him

Sometimes there are no words that can help heal the ache or bring comfort.

Sometimes the pain and confusion of the situation leave us not knowing how to feel.

Sometimes the bewilderment consumes us, as we think a million times or more… “I just don’t know….”

Sometimes there is nothing you can do but make it hour by hour… working your way up to day by day.

Sometimes “time” is the only thing that will help.

Sometimes…. Nothing on earth brings comfort.



When our hearts are heavy and the tears seem never ending, we don’t always have the clarity to search the scriptures for God’s promises.  Here are some for you.  May they bring you comfort in your time of need.

When Life Hurts…. And even when it doesn’t  – God Promised……

  1. To fight for us – Exodus 14:14
  2. Always be there for us – Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5
  3. That He has Overcome the World – John 16:13
  4. He has a plan – Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10, Romans 8:28
  5. To give the weary rest – Matthew 11:28-29
  6. Eternal life is a Gift from Him – Romans 6:23
  7. He will supply all our needs – Philippians 4:19
  8. He will give the victory – Romans 8:37
  9. Nothing will separate us form Him – Romans 8:39-39
  10. That when we can’t pray at all that the Holy Spirit will intercede for us – Romans 8:26
  11. To give power to the weak and strength to the powerless – Isaiah 40:29
  12. To renew our strength – Isaiah 40:31
  13. Always be available for us to approach Him – Ephesians 3:12
  14. That He will never change – Hebrews 13:8
  15. His promises are true – Numbers 23:19, Joshua 23:14, Romans 4:20-21
  16. NOTHING is too hard for Him – Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:17, Jeremiah 32:27
  17. IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL one day – Matthew 13:43, John 14:2, Revelation 22:14
  18. No More Tears – Revelation 21:4
  19. To show mercy to those who are merciful to others – Matthew 5:7
  20. That He will be close when we need comforting – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  21. He will be a voice… guiding us – Isaiah 30:21
  22. That JOY will come in the morning – Psalm 30:5
  23. That He is preparing a mansion for us – John 14:2
  24. That He will not forget all that you’ve done – Hebrews 6:10
  25. That when we sow in tears we will reap JOY – Psalm 126:5
  26. Peaceful sleep (when trusting HIM) – Psalm 4:8
  27. We will not walk through the valley of the shadow of death alone – Psalm 23:4
  28. Everlasting goodness and mercy – 1 Chronicles 16:34
  29. HE is our place of rest – Psalm 46:1, Nahum 1:7
  30. Everlasting encouragement – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
  31. He would carry our burdens Psalm 68:19
  32. When we schooch close to Him, He WOULD schooch close back – James 4:8
  33. He would refresh and restore us – Psalm 23:3
  34. HE HEARS – Psalm 40:1
  35. He will go before you – Deuteronomy 31:8
  36. He will go with us and give us rest – Exodus 33:14
  37. To see the heart behind the person – 1 Samuel 16:7
  38. His joy is our strength – Nehemiah 8:10
  39. He will watch over us – Psalm 121:8
  40. Before He even formed us…He Knew Us – Jeremiah 1:5
  41. That we will reap what we sow – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
  42. That mercy triumphs over judgment – James 2:13
  43. That if we submit ourselves to God AND resist the devil he will flee from us – James 4:7
  44. That we can put all of our cares on Him because HE cares – 1 Peter 5:7
  45. There is JOY in His Presence – Psalm 16:11, John 6:35, Philippians 3:8
  46. To leave us His Spirit – John 7:37-38
  47. A little faith is all we need – Ephesians 2:8-9, Matthew 17:20 Luke 17:6
  48. To return for us – Revelation 22:20, Matthew 24:42, John 14:1-4
  49. That if we help others, we will be blessed – Proverbs 22:9, Luke 6:38
  50. Everlasting Life – John 3:16, John 6:47, 1 John 2:25, John 11:25
  51. His JOY will be in us – John 15:11
  52. Compassion – Psalm 103:13


I Trust Him


Do you?

What promises get you through when there are no words on earth that brings comfort?

Do you have an article on God’s promises? If so, please leave the link to it in the comments so that those that read this can easily get to your list.


May you be encouraged by these promises and use your trials and tears to encourage others.



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1-Minute Bible Love Notes





Missional Women

One Thing


As another year comes to a close and talks of resolutions swirl around, my mind and heart considers what this upcoming year will hold.

I don’t typically make resolutions but do set some goals to work towards or try to spend time really enjoying the beauty that the ordinary day brings.

This year is no different.  Instead of setting myself up for failure with a list of resolutions that would likely be long forgotten about mid February, I’ve decided that one thing is needed.

Just one.

Becoming a woman of prayer.

While I pray daily and often, I want to be closer to the Lord more than ever.  I want to boldly speak for Him and of Him.  I want to know that everything I do, any direction I take and each path I explore is exactly where HE wants me to be.

E.M. Bounds said “Prayer that costs nothing gets nothing.” And that is not the kind of Christian I want to be.  I want to schooch in close to the Lord so that before one tear lands on my cheek, my heart is already whispering in prayer; before one thank you can be uttered, my heart is already praising HIM for His mercy and grace.

Speaking of Paul and Silas E.M. Bounds said “Their joy in Jesus was so profound that it expressed itself happily and sweetly in praise and prayer under extremely painful and depressing conditions.”

We’ve faced some hard times and will continue to do so I’m sure but in the end, I want MY JOY in Jesus to be expressed sweetly in praise and prayer.  I want my faith to be built on the foundation of prayer, I want my praise to be continual, no matter what.

One thing is all that I’m focusing on this year.  Just one. 

What are your goals for the New Year?  Do you have a list or will you focus on one or two things?

If you’ve written an article on your goals for the New Year, please feel free to share it below.  If you haven’t but would like to list out some of your goals, please do so and encourage all those who stop by and read this.


E.M. Bounds has several books about prayer; I encourage you to get them.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes from him:

Our ability to stay with God in our closet measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet. 

Hurried devotions make weak faith, feeble convictions and questionable piety.  To be little with God is to be little for God.  To cut short our praying makes our whole Christian character short, small, improvised and careless.

Persevering prayer always wins.

Prayer can do anything that God can do. Pity is that we do not believe this as we ought, and we do not put it to the test.

Prayer moves the hand that moves the world.




Love Continues

Let Brotherly Love Continue – Hebrews 13:1

I love sisters and how God has blessed me with a real one that I adore and love to torment….I mean treasure.  I am also blessed with brothers that I adore and I know that I can call and ask anything of them and they will come to my rescue.  I’m also blessed with many, MANY brothers and sisters in Christ that simply amaze me as well!  Letting brotherly love continue is a way of life for them and I’m thankful to be surrounded by some of the greatest family around.

I was given the honor of doing a devotional for our Secret Sisters group at Christmas time.  Our theme was centered on Candy Canes.  Candy Canes are such sweet treats all by themselves, but maybe the following devotion will help you to remember just how easy it is to….

Let brotherly love continue

  • The Candy Cane looks like a staff:  Let it remind you to steady your sister.
    • More often than not, when I’m out with my sister, something happens and I will trip.  It could be the imaginary hump in the floor, a dip in the sidewalk or even a tiny rock.  There have been times that NOTHING was there to steady me and I hit the ground, looking up wondering what just happened.  (yes…we both laughed and I’ll wait till you are done laughing to continue.) There are those times that it happened and something was close by that I could steady myself with and boy was I thankful.  Sometimes, just being right there to provide a little security and steadiness is all it takes to help them through the day or even through the tears.  Love continues.
  • The Candy Cane looks like caneLet your sister lean on you.
    • We are so independent and hate to have to lean on others, but sometimes we simply can’t make it without some extra help.  A cane, while such a simple thing is such a huge tool for strength.  Being able to lean on our sister can take a horrible situation and make it easier.  Through the trials of cancer, time of other horrid illness that seem to have no end and the pain of loss, being able to lean on others without worry is pure love. Love continues.
  • The Candy Cane looks like a hookHang a reminder of them in front of you.
    • If you know someone is going through a rough trial, hard time physically or even emotionally, set yourself some reminders.  Put sticky notes on your computer, in your Bible or devotional book to remind yourself to pray for them, send them a card or even a text or email.  Love continues.
    • Also – With the hook – don’t get hung up on the past.  Instead of letting your past define you, let it drive you.  You can’t change past decisions, past actions, past mistakes but you can determine that you’ll learn from them, grow from them and use your past to help define a better future for you and those that are close to you.  Love Continues.
  • The Candy Cane looks like a “J”Be Jesus to them.
    • Matthew 5:16 says Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  We need to live a life of love, joy, hope and goodness knowing that all the while we are a light for Him.  Others will see this light in their time of darkness and in the end, God is glorified. Don’t give a second thought to how bright you think your light for the Lord is, because even a teeny tiny flicker in the pitch black dark can been seen from a great distance.  Shine for Him! Show them the JOY of the Lord is your strength!  Love Continues.
  • A “pair” of Candy Canes looks like heartShow great love to your sister.
    • Showing love is easy and the fact is, it will last a life time! Showing love doesn’t have to be done in some huge way, often the tiniest, purest acts of love are the greatest. Here are some easy ways to show some love.   Love Continues.

One last thought – Let Brotherly love continue…. It’s not a suggestion. 

We’d like to hear from you! If you have an article on this verse, please share it below in the comments so that others can easily find it and be encouraged.

Spreading Joy is as simple as sharing your thoughts on this verse, sharing the link to this article on twitter, facebook, linked in and google+. 

You Matter! 

Have fun Spreading JOY!



I Love the Ocean

My heart is pounding!

You’d think I had not been to the ocean in years, but actually, it’s only been a few months. I quickly head to the sandy shores of the Atlantic.   I’m giddy with delight!

No matter how many times I come here, my heart feels as if it’s the first time I’ve seen it in years.

I love the ocean.  I love the smell, I love the sound, I love the sights! I simply love it.

The sand feels so cool on my feet.  I must remove my shoes to get the full effects. I love walking thru the sand to the water.  I reach the edge of the shore, the gentle waves lap up against me, saying “hello my dear friend! Do you know I love having you near me?”  I sit in the sand, near the water but not so close as to get soaked.

I keep my feet at the edge, enjoying the cool water washing over my toes as I gaze out over the glorious ocean.  I look straight ahead. As far as I can see is water.  This mighty ocean is so peaceful, so calming as it rocks back and forth showing the world that God is in control of the waves.

The gentle rocking is luring me into its massiveness by it mighty power.  So gentle, yet so huge and powerful. It can lull the most troubled heart to sleep easily and, yet, wipe out entire cities by its force.  I love the vastness of it.  I look to the left and the waters are never ending…just like God’s love for me. I look to the right and the waters go on forever.

I love that.

I look ahead and imagine how deep the ocean must be.  No one can touch the bottom of the ocean.  I think how wonderful that is, because my sins are buried just that deep – as the deepest seas.  And, better than that, God forgets them!  He remembers them no more!


I look straight ahead and admire the utter vastness of the ocean and think of how big and mighty God truly is and yet – he takes the time to love me – little ole nobody – me.  God is bigger than this ocean, mightier than the wildest waves and wind and yet, for some reason, He draws me to Him. He calls me and  HE wants me to spend time with Him.  He can have anyone on the face of the earth, and he wants me.

I look at the sand and the wonderful treasures that are buried there. I see the normal ole seashells, plain,  like me. Millions of them are there.  Usually, I never pick them up unless they are shiny and beautiful.  I smile and wonder why God picks me up.

I’m not shiny and mercy, no where near beautiful.  Oh, I adore the cool seashells! I love when they are in whole pieces, but I rarely find them – and yet – I laugh to myself – when mom comes to the ocean, she comes back with oodles of cool shells that she found as gifts from the ocean. I smile and think to myself, she deserves those treasures from the ocean, she is truly a wonderful woman who deserves more than I can ever give her.

I sit beside the ocean for hours, soaking up every sound, every quiet clap of the waves, every gentle swoosh of the the water retreating back into its bed.  I love the deep and complete peace I feel as I sit there, beside the majestic ocean.   Knowing that as God controls the ocean, he truly controls everything in my life.

I look straight ahead,  a beautiful orange glow is emerging off of the horizon! I didn’t realize that God was giving me yet another gift! Another desire of my very own heart! The desire to see the full moon rise up out of the ocean, to light my night, to light my path,  to lead the way for me.  It creeps up, inch by inch, pouring more and more of its light right down upon me.  I smile and think “thank you Lord for the full moon” I have always loved how I feel closer to the Lord when it is shining down.  The full moon over the mighty ocean -  the greatest gift ever.

I love the glory of it all!  So majestic! The huge moon, watching my every step, lighting my way.  The ocean that is gentle, peaceful, yet strong enough to violently shatter the earth with its great waves.  I sit and dwell on His goodness. I soak up His greatness, His wonder, HIS love for me – thank you Father, that I can always visit the ocean in my minds eye.   Your grace is enough, and it truly does amaze me.  Your grace and love is sufficient and never ending – just like the ocean.

What do you see when you look at the Ocean?  Can you imagine how deep God’s love for you is?  Can you look out over the ocean and realize the power it takes to hold the water in place?

My Prayer for you when YOU look at the ocean!

When you see the perfect cute little treasures of the “neat” shells, may you remember that YOU are that special and that out of all the millions of “shells” that you stand out and God is waiting to pick you up and place you with his prized shells so that you may bless the heart of others every time someone looks at you.

When you feel the gentle waves lapping at your feet – may you be reminded of how tenderly God holds us in his hands – and how he comforts our hearts when we are troubled.

When you see the waves clapping – know that HE is coming for us one day.

When you see the waves crashing on the shore – remember that this is a tiny portion of how much power God holds and ALL THINGS ARE possible by him – for his children that HE adores.

When you see the never endingness of the ocean, may you be reminded of how HE loves us – truly deep down loves us. and that love is never ending.

When you gaze at the ocean and wonder how deep it is, may you be reminded that it is sooo deep that our deepest sins are buried there and even God himself can not get to them, nor can he remember them.

May you feel the love of the LORD sweep over you and on to your life as you gaze at the majestic ocean, that is nothing short of awesome!

Last Thought: Do you know that with all of the millions of “shells” that surround you, that God chooses YOU too!  He draws you.  He wants you to dwell with him.  Are you spending time with Him.  Are you being still beside the ocean and enjoying the view? *patting the sand* come…sit right here, next to me and let’s enjoy how awesome God is – together!


Do you have a special place that puts your heart right next to God’s?

Do you have an area that just makes you feel as close as you can possibly get to God?

Share with us in the comments below.  Better yet, if you’ve written about it, then share the link below so that others can easily find it and be encouraged.

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Depression is fought daily by millions and when the winter months start creeping in, it typically gets worse for many.

The days are shorter, colder and many are forced to stay inside due to the extreme cold.

Depression often creeps in without the individual being aware of its sneaky attack.  For me, however, the warning signs are huge red flags and I recognize it immediately.

Charles Spurgeon puts it this way:

 Fits of depression come over the most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.

I’ve dealt with depression on and off like many people for years.  It’s tough to get past and many simply never do.

For me, it comes in waves and usually at the most inopportune time.  It sneaks up when I’m the busiest and I simply don’t have the time, or the energy to fight it.

Many people try to hide it, especially Christians.  Such a stigma comes with it because we Christians are supposed to always be joyful…hmm? There is and can be joy through depression, but we are not always “happy.”

My depression includes lots of sleeping when 6 to 7 hours is usually more than enough, my “gumption” to do anything simply disappears and all that my heart dreams of doing usually comes to a screeching halt.  To sum it up, when my depression hits – I simply don’t care.  I know many others feel that way too.

So, what is a happy little joy spreader supposed to do when this happens?  Just let it run its course?

NOPE…not at all.

Here is what I do to help push past this.  But this is a process and the process is different for everyone.  I don’t want anyone to think this will help everyone, I’m just sharing my heart and hoping others who struggle with this will do the same so that the many people who read this can be encouraged through this struggle.

  • More Sleep – I do allow myself more sleep, as that is something that I can’t avoid.  I’ll decide to stay up all night watching things I’ve DVR’d and then wake up, not even realizing I’ve fallen asleep.
  • PUSH ON – Seriously.  I force myself to do some of the things I need to do and allow the others to wait until the next day or when I can get to it. I’m a list maker and rely on them to at least be somewhat productive.  Then, as I look at the things that I have crossed off, I can see that the day wasn’t a total waste.
  • Ask for Prayer – You should have a handful of friends that won’t “discuss” your issues with others but will simply pray for you.
  • Gratitude – Being thankful for what I do have, what IS going on and remembering just how blessed I am.  DAILY!
  • Start and End the day in Praise and Prayer – Seems simple, but when depression hits many of us, this is usually the first thing we stop doing.  We just don’t “want” to and give in to it.  Praise and Prayer are the best weapons against this, USE them.  (yes…I KNOW it’s a struggle)
  • Give Myself a Break – When the waves of depression hit, I don’t know how long it will tag along with me, but I also don’t let guilt make it worse.  Cut yourself some slack.  If you are doing a few things each day, pressing through, then you are doing well.
  • Remember…This WILL pass – It will pass.  No clue when, but I remind myself it will pass.
  • FOCUS on Others – this is difficult during times of depression but again, it’s possible.  I choose to make a difference for others daily anyway, but during these difficult times I will step it up.
  • Do Things I LOVE – I love being outdoors, I love reading, I love joy riding, I love looking through scrapbooks.  I make myself enjoy the things I love.  YES…make myself.


This is not an all inclusive list by any means.  I’m hoping those that struggle with it as well as those that don’t will leave some helpful, encouraging comments below.

Many ask about Medication – use it if necessary.  When my Dad died in 2003, I was in the deepest depression ever.  I took medication to help get through it.  I literally don’t remember much of the 2 years that followed his death due to depression.  I do know that when I started “pouring” myself into being a blessing to others, I started coming out of it.

Winter is coming; depression will worsen for many as the darkness engulfs their heart.  I challenge you to do a few things here.  This article will be emailed to over 300 people once it’s published and countless others will see it on Twitter and Facebook.

ENCOURAGE someone who is struggling by:

  1. Leave an encouraging comment to uplift, inspire and bring a smile to the discouraged heart
  2. Share some of your story here.  You never know who will relate to it.
  3. Don’t argue, judge or assume the worst about others who are dealing with this daily.
  4. If you’ve written an article on this topic, leave the link below in the comments, so others can easily find it and be encouraged.
  5. Never underestimate the power of being nice!


Here are some articles that may encourage you in this matter:

Peering into the Darkness

Where is Goodness and Joy

Joy Thieves

Taming the Madness


From my Friend Geoff ( @soulsupply ) – Defeating Depression


Thank you for your efforts in Spreading JOY and making a difference!