Difficulty Praying?

Well, friends, I think I charged back into blogging a couple of weeks ago too quickly so I’ve been paying the price since. Seems that’s what I do a lot these days!

STOP-YouReallyGottaStop

This has been the worst summer in my life, and that began early in the spring. The heavy monsoon activity we experience up here in northern Arizona really gets my nauseous migraines going, and that means I can’t do much. In an effort to better monitor my activity level, I think I need to scale back for another month or so and only post once or twice a week. Please forgive me if I don’t reply to your comments here or as quickly as I normally do. I so appreciate all your comments and prayers!

I admit that at times when my pain plus nausea levels are seemingly out of sight, I struggle with how to pray. And then I remember Romans 8:26-27:

In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And let’s not ever forget Verse 28:

GodWorksForTheGood--Rom8-28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

I am so thankful for that! The Holy Spirit not only knows my heart and intercedes “with groanings” for me when I can’t find the words through the pain, but God also “causes all things to work together … to those who are called according to His purpose.”

How amazing and awesome is that?

Here’s a wonderful quote from Oswald Chambers that is good for all of us to remember and hold close during difficult times.

EyesOnGod

AnnaSmile

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Give Thanks to Him

Thankful Thursday

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Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

AnnaSmile

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Everlasting Love [Billy Graham devotional]

This year, Rick and I have been reading through Billy Graham’s great devotional book, Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and FaithYesterday’s devotional, “Everlasting Love,” spoke to both of our hearts so I knew I needed to share it with you.

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From Hope for Each Day by Billy Graham

EVERLASTING LOVE

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.” —Jeremiah 31:3

Who can describe or measure the love of God? Our Bible is a revelation of the fact that God is love. When we preach His justice, it is justice tempered with love. When we preach His righteousness, it is righteousness founded on love. When we preach atonement for sin, it is atonement necessitated because of love, provided by love, finished by love.

When we preach the resurrection of Christ, we are preaching the miracle of love. When we preach the abiding presence of Christ, we are preaching the power of love. When we preach the return of Christ, we are preaching the fulfillment of love.

No matter what sin we have committed, no matter how black, dirty, shameful, or terrible it may be, God loves us. We may be at the very gate of Hell itself, but God loves us with an everlasting love. The proof? Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, went to the cross for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Go here to order your own copy of Hope for Each Day by Billy Graham.

AnnaSmile

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Perfect Peace Sunflower

Every time I see sunflowers, I think of my forever friend, Marie. They are her fave! So today’s Bible passage and image is dedicated to my Marie. I love you!

Isaiah_26-3_yellow_sunflower_square_esize

I love the New King James Version of Isaiah 26:3 because that is where I first read it and then memorized it:

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

The way I think of the word stayed is to stay calm, which aligns beautifully with the phrase “perfect peace”!

AnnaSmile

Another Crochet Mishmash

mish mash

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This is a typical ball of yarn. Innocent looking, right?

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This is an example of a typical yarn shop.

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And so is this.

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This is my own private yarn shop, actually it’s my yarn closet on steroids … well, a good portion of it anyway. The scenery changes as I take from my stash to complete projects, but then I add more yarn when I see types or colors I just have to have, even if I don’t have a certain project in mind.

The other day I was browsing yarns in yet another store when a woman next to me, who was doing the same thing, started to leave with several skeins of yarn in her cart. Suddenly she stopped and grabbed another one, saying “I better get this one, too, just in case…” We smiled at each other and I replied, “I think and do that all the time!”

Have I told you how much I love to crochet? 

Crocheting is something I can do during CFIDS and FMS flareups and even migraines. It helps keep my hands busy and my mind focused on something other than me and my pain. There have been times when I don’t feel like picking up one of my crochet hooks, but that is truly rare. It is a soothing therapy where I can see the results of my efforts and that means a lot at a time in my life when I often feel like I am floundering in a sea of pain. I started taking photos of my completed projects—well, when I remember to do so—as a way of feeling a sense of accomplishment on days when I feel like I get nothing done.

You can see some of my completed crochet projects here and here.

AnnaSmile

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Painful Blessings? [by Cyndi Lu Moon–Repost]

Today I’d like to share a blog post by Cyndi Lu Moon from The Good News. I read this while on my blogging hiatus and it made such an impact on me right there in those circumstances that I knew I had to share it with you. Please take the time to visit and explore Cyndi Lu’s site.

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Painful Blessings?

http://cyndilumoon.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/painful-blessings/

Posted on July 17, 2013 by Cyndi Lu

Have you walked away from God’s blessing?  Of course, we say, “No way, why would we do something like that?”  At some point in our lives, our human selves rebel and let God know that we don’t like how he’s handled our trial.  What if God is blessing you in the trial and spiritually preparing you for something greater?

Sometimes, I want to run away from my blessing, because it’s disguised as a trial.

The word blessing in itself, sounds peaceful and loving, and many times is associated with love and joy.  In truth, blessings don’t always feel good.  God has blessed me many times, and let me tell you, some of them hurt.

We are all blessed one way or another and it comes in different shapes and sizes.  I hear from different people how they feel blessed to have running water, or how blessed they are with many friends.

Our blessings are unique to our lives.  Yes, friends and running water are definite blessings, but have you ever thought about the painful blessings?  BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE?

This is a loaded blessing that can sometimes sting, and leave you licking your wounds for days, or sometimes weeks, or longer.  Ask God to reveal to you a past blessing in disguise.  It could be that your significant other ended your relationship and broke your heart, only for you to find your true love, one year later.  It could be that your spouse lost their job, only to be offered a better one.

Blessings don’t always feel good in the beginning, but keep faith, God will reveal to you his plans and reasons at a later day.  

WE COULD ALL USE A DOSE OF HOPE!

What hard time in your life, actually ended up being a blessing in disguise?

  ThingsFallingApart

Thank you, Cyndi Lu, for allowing me to share this with my readers!

AnnaSmile…..

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and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Ah, coffee!

tidbit tuesday

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve shared a tidbit or two about me, but I’m taking care of that right now.

It is no secret that I’ve always liked coffee. When we were quite young and wanted to have coffee like the grownups, my Mom would make a concoction that was mostly steamed milk with a little coffee in it. My sisters and I, however, felt much more mature when we were having our coffee drink.

I-Need-CoffeeNow it takes a couple of cups to get this motor running. I just am not myself first thing in the morning, mostly because I wake up with a migraine about every single day. Some coffee and Excedrin® usually work within an hour or two, and then I am much better company!

My Dad started drinking his coffee black many years ago and still does. I can recall my Mom watching me doctor my coffee with creamer and sweetener and asking me many times, “So, you still drink it with all that stuff in it?” And I would always reply, “Yes, Mom, I still do. I can’t imagine drinking it black, yuk!”

Fast forward many years and now you’ll find me drinking it black—no cream—because of a dairy allergy. And I don’t even use sugar or a sweetener, because that cup of black coffee somehow doesn’t seem to taste as good that way.

I never, ever, ever, ever… imagined I would not only be drinking my coffee black but enjoying it that way!