Sometimes We Stay Put When the Door is Open

All the signs were there. The “open doors”. The obvious connections. The chemistry.

I met someone (a man) at an event, and we immediately hit it off. We had known each other in a “previous” life — you know how the story goes…Reacquainted after the death of our spouses.

It was all there. The spiritual connection. The humor. The intellectual side. We had similar backgrounds. On and on it went.

I truly wasn’t interested in anything beyond yet, so I was enjoying all aspects of this new found friendship. Texting about our days. Sharing recipes (how funny is that?!). Meeting a few times for lunch. I was in the middle of trying to sell my home, move, downsize– in other words,  I was very settled in this community. 

So when the friendship came to a screeching halt because he decided to get married (to someone else!), I was, once again, angry at God. A little at the guy maybe. But God, because He seemed to open all these doors, but then didn’t let me walk through. Sounded like a Bible passage I remembered reading…

Remember the passage in Acts 16? Let me set the story up.

Paul and Silas were in jail. Beaten with rods, stripped, taken to the inner cell, feet fastened in stocks. Around midnight, they were praying and singing hymns with the other prisoners listening, when suddenly there was a terrible earthquake. The floors shook. the doors opened, and the chains fell off!

Let me just stop there a second and say something. We have been having some pretty controversial big earthquakes in Oklahoma over the past few years. I was awakened from sleep with the last big one. But I have never EVER had one knock doors open or make my bed come apart or my lamps fall from shelves. That would be one frightening earthquake.

So back to the prisoners. All their chains were broken. They were free. Paul and Silas had open doors. Were they praying for release? Was this their answer from God? They knew God had walked Peter out of jail. It could happen, they thought. God opens doors in crazy ways.

This time God opened doors and said, “Sit your bottoms down and don’t you move them.” At least that’s how I imagine Him saying it…

The jailer came running in to see, planning to kill himself because he knew they had all made a run for it. We know nothing about the other prisoners. Maybe some became followers of Paul and Silas from then on. We know one thing for certain. The jailer, poised to plunge the knife into his own neck, found all the prisoners sitting there accounted for. What kind of God would lead them to sit when the doors are open?

No one sits when the doors are open, do they? But sometimes God tells us to.

God brought the jailer to Paul and Silas and then turned around, bringing Paul and Silas to the jailer’s home.

“What must I do to be saved?”

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!”

If Paul and Silas had said, “Here’s our answer to prayer! Open doors! Let’s go!” we don’t know that the jailer and his family would have been saved.

Sometimes God tells us to sit when the doors are open. Because He has another plan. A different plan. A unique plan. Just for me. Sometimes the open door makes so much more sense to our human minds. But God wants us to follow Him, even when it means to sit still.

Don’t look for open doors today. Listen to God. He might be nudging you to walk through or just sit still for a while longer.

Father God, thank You for guiding us and providing for us. Give us ears to hear and eyes to see the way You are leading us today. Let us sit still with patience when necessary and move with enthusiasm when You send us forward. Amen

 


Elizabeth kay Dyer, Elizabeth Sleeper Dyer, Dyer, Sleeper

 

Elizabeth Dyer lives in Oklahoma with her six children named after Bible characters, a large dog named after a grandfather, and a noisy cat named after a German race car driver!  Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and is learning she only THOUGHT she knew what trusting God was–widowhood has taken that “faith walk” to a whole new level for her. Psalm 94:19 has become a special verse for her family – “Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our team at A Widow’s Might would love to send a speaker to your next event. Email us at admin@anewseason.net to get information about our speakers.

Do you want to read more articles by Elizabeth? Read them here. 

You can read more articles about dating by clicking here.

You might want to read more articles about hearing God’s voice through Scripture. Click here. 

The Prescription for Peace

Be anxious for nothing…  Philippians 4:6 NKJV

 

 

“Be anxious…”

Finally. A verse I can get behind!

I have this down pat!

I can be anxious.

What? That’s not where the verse ends?

“for NOTHING…”

How is this even possible?

Anxious for nothing?

Do you even KNOW what I am dealing with?

You might be able to give a long list of reasons why you should be anxious today. Thankfully, our verse doesn’t stop there.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 Living Bible)

When we are sick or have an infection in our bodies, most of us don’t hesitate to get the doctor’s prescription filled at the local pharmacy. We trust the doctor and the pharmacist, believing them when they say this will help get rid of the illness or infection.

Why do I doubt God’s prescription though? When His Word says pray about all my needs and thank Him, I often don’t follow the prescription. I think my way of worrying and fretting, talking to my friends about the problem, posting on social media all my issues, or withdrawing from corporate worship will some how work. 

There are several events in my life I can point to where I knew this peace beyond understanding. One such time was just before the funeral of my late husband. I should have more of these moments to report, but I choose my own way too often.

Do you remember praying during those days leading up to your loved one’s funeral, wondering how you would ever make it through that day, how you would make the walk down the aisle to the front of the church, how you would listen to the beautiful music, how you would greet the line of people afterwards? 

I sat in my room one morning during the days before the funeral and prayed, “God, I have no idea how I am going to make it through the funeral. I am asking for a word of Scripture to help me right now. Give me Your peace, please.”

I turned to a portion of Scripture I was led to, and His words brought so much comfort to my aching soul. My heart experienced peace like never before. It was the peace that I couldn’t understand when looking at my situation. It HAD to be supernatural. 

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 ESV

You know the peace is from God when it makes no sense to anyone else. Especially to us. Peace that reassures the heart, peace that stands guard over your hearts and minds, peace that can be MINE. 

You and I can experience this peace, replacing the anxiety today. God’s Word tells us to talk to God about our needs in prayer and be grateful.  Let’s follow our Creator’s plan for peace and be an example to others searching for peace. 

Father God, we bring our concerns and anxious thoughts to You right now. We are thankful that sometimes our hardest paths have brought the most indescribable peace, clearly being from You. We love You and are so thankful for Your love for us. Help us shine Your love through our peaceful lives today. Amen


 

Elizabeth kay Dyer, Elizabeth Sleeper Dyer, Dyer, Sleeper

Elizabeth Dyer lives in Oklahoma with her six children named after Bible characters, a large dog named after a grandfather, and a noisy cat named after a German race car driver!  Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and is learning she only THOUGHT she knew what trusting God was–widowhood has taken that “faith walk” to a whole new level for her. Psalm 94:19 has become a special verse for her family – “Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”

Our team at A Widow’s Might would love to send a speaker to your next event. Email us at admin@anewseason.net to get information about our speakers.

Do you want to read more articles by Elizabeth? Read them here. 

You might like this article by Danita titled Clogged! 

And this article by Ami titled Lonely? Exchange it for Peace!

 

When There’s Nothing Left

 

In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

2 Corinthians 7:4 ESV

 

God’s ‘economy’ often makes NO SENSE.

Have you thought that?

This verse from the Apostle Paul is case in point. Affliction and joy, together, in the same sentence? How is that even possible?

Living in a relationship with Christ has shown me that sometimes, the impossible becomes possible.

Since the day before widowhood began, when a relative mentioned in passing that I would probably need to sell the house, I have done just the opposite- I have held on to my home. I had no peace about selling it and uprooting my six children. That is, until about nine months ago. A house popped up on my social media page for sale in our school district that seemed like a place we could make a home. It was even in my price range.

That began the fast track of decluttering my home – with the help of lots of friends and all my kids. In five days, we put our house on the market. I was fully expecting God to bring buyers quickly, and we would be moved by Christmas. We all know the stories –

“I put the sign out and 2 hours later it was sold!”

“I only had my house on the market for 2 days so I just KNEW God wanted me to move!”

Well, nine months went by. No buyers. Not even an offer. Lots and lots of showings every week. Some days spent driving around with a sick kid during the showings. Dog hair floating around the car. Slobber. You get the idea. It was rough keeping the house show-ready week after week. In my “affliction”, I wasn’t exactly “overflowing” with joy. I complained, I fussed, I was cranky.

Did God really tell me to sell? Did I truly believe God wanted me to uproot these children to move to a home about half the size? What was I thinking? What if it wasn’t God telling me to sell? What if it was just indigestion that I misinterpreted as God speaking?

I was beginning to feel similar to the widow in one of Elijah’s encounters. This story is found in 1 Kings 17.

Elijah asked the widow to make him a small cake of bread, but she informed him she had only enough left in her home to make something for herself and her son, and then they would die. It made no sense to her to do what he asked. He seemed to be asking something too hard of her. Wow, does THAT ever resonate with me!

“I only have one drop of oil left,” the widow spoke to Elijah in desperation. She had her son to feed and nothing left to live on. Elijah told her not to be afraid but go ahead and make his food before she made the food for her son.

“Don’t be afraid?” She knew the end of the bottle of oil. She knew the bottom of the flour bucket. “Don’t be afraid…” Sometimes following God doesn’t make earthly sense. She had her son to take care of! She had her life to get in order before dying!

Did God want to ‘take away’ her last drop of oil? It sure seemed like it. But maybe that isn’t the right perspective. Maybe instead of “taking away”…

He wanted to multiply her gift. Her gift of oil. But she had to let go of it first.

I am having to let go of some things from married life. My home is only one of many things. So. Much. Stuff. Can you relate? God has been saying to me to let it go. He keeps telling me He isn’t taking away my house, but is multiplying something far better. Maybe I won’t even know what the gift He is multiplying until I let go of what I am holding on to so tightly.

When the widow in the passage gave the last of her oil to Elijah, she found God multiplied the oil so it never ran out before there was another harvest. What a miracle that must have been to experience! I want to trust God enough with this move, knowing that He will provide a perfect place for us. I want to have that “overflowing joy” in this “affliction” known as moving and packing.

Lord God, Thank You for the overflowing joy You offer through the Holy Spirit. Help us to LET GO of whatever we are holding too tightly to so You can have it. We want the fruit of the Spirit multiplied in our lives and we want Your love multiplied in our lives. Do whatever You need to in our hearts to mold us and shape us into the women You want us to be. Amen


 

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Elizabeth Dyer lives in Oklahoma with her six children named after Bible characters, a large dog named after a grandfather, a noisy cat named after a German race car driver, and guinea pigs named after candy bars! Oh, and 1 hermit crab that continues to hold onto life some how. Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and is learning that she only THOUGHT she knew what trusting God was! Widowhood has taken that “faith walk” to a whole new level for her. Psalm 94:19 has become a special verse for her family – “Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”

 

Would you like to have a team member speak at your event? Contact us at admin@anewseason.net

Want to read more articles by Elizabeth? Click here.

Another good article is The Waiting Room by Sherry and Earthly Treasures by Karen

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift Giver

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.

He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5, NLT

 

Sometimes God calls us to go down paths we would not choose; paths that make us afraid, intimidated, anxious, lonely, tired, worn and exhausted. Grief is one of those paths. Not one of us awoke one day and said, “I think this is the day I would like to become a widow.” We did not pick it, plan it-even if we knew it was coming, strive for it, or want to accept it with open arms.

I would have celebrated my fifteenth wedding anniversary just a few weeks ago. I only told a couple of people…

after the fact.

I didn’t make a social media post or call on my prayer warriors. I didn’t tell my church ministry team or my best friend. Part of me just didn’t want to share it. The other part of me didn’t want to live it. I just wanted it to be another day on this journey to the healing and the new God has for me.

I’M NOT SURE IF I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE….

But, isn’t that common for us? Isn’t it normal to doubt what we do or why we do it, on the crazy winding road of grief? This road takes us into the lowest valleys, where it is barren and dry and it takes us up to the highest of mountain tops, where we can almost see the face of God, because He draws us intimately close. So close that we can gaze into the majesty of His face and breath through Him.

However, it is still a road none of us wanted to travel. We did not look forward with anticipation, pack our bags weeks ahead of time, plan out stops or things we wanted to see, on this frequently traveled, intensely crowded, yet immeasurably lonely road.

WAS THERE A RIGHT CHOICE, OR WAS IT JUST MY CHOICE?

It’s the million-dollar question for us, sometimes. Is there a “right” choice to be made, or simply a choice. Is there one way to do this with excellence, because others are watching, or are there many ways to do this, with no one having a right to stand in judgement of my way?

The answer to those questions, is yes. There are sometimes right choices to be made and there are ways to do this with excellence in those choices, if we seek first the Kingdom of God. His word clearly says, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow.” Deuteronomy 10:18 ESV. He also says, we are to seek Him first, not others. We can go to many, and they will FREELY give their opinions, but at the end of the day, the ONLY opinion that matters is God’s. We will be held accountable to do what He calls us to do.

God has asked me to get ready for the new….

I’m not sure what all that means yet, or what that looks like, and I have to be okay with not knowing. I have to trust in my Father and be obedient to His call on my spirit and in my heart. What is God calling you to trust Him for, right now? Is He asking you to move, or do something new for your children? Is He asking you to find a new church or make different financial choices? Is He prompting you to a “new”?

I will NEVER forget or stop loving, my beloved Daryl. He is part of who I am and I was his forever love. This year, how I chose to honor what would have been 15 years, was to live the way he always wanted me to live, God first, and him second. I held him close all day, as a precious gift should be, but the gift was not more important than The Gift Giver.

Father, we need Your wisdom and Your hand on our shoulders. Keep us from evil so we may do no harm and guide us by Your mighty hand. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.


 

Tcas1Dr. Teri Cox is an international education consultant, speaker and author. Teri is the Production Director for A Widow’s Might. She joined the team in October of 2012 after losing her best friend, Daryl, in March of 2012. She looks forward to a life of music, missions, and ministry with God in control. Teri counts it an honor and a privilege to be allowed to share the Gospel message through word and song. Her desire is to make God’s name more famous and allow His mosaic of her life to become a more beautiful picture than she could ever have imagined.

Would you like to schedule Teri or another team member to speak at your next church event? Contact her at admin@anewseason.net

Other great articles by Teri, click here!

Posts similar to this one by other authors: Go North & I Got Dumped

 

Fear Not

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 

Matthew 26:39 KJV

It seemed like deja vu…I’d been here before…different doctor…different patient…but I’d been here before.  I had heard the diagnosis before; only this time, I know what is coming…I know what will be asked of me…and I don’t know if I’m up for it.

My mom mentioned, in passing, that my dad had a doctor’s appointment for some test results.  I decided to go with them so I could help.

I stood behind the exam table and let my parents have the two chairs in the room.  I was ready for what the doctor had to say.  Except, as the doctor started talking, he used the word “cancer”.  Wait a minute…cancer?  Oh no, I didn’t expect this!  In my mind, I started thinking, “stay calm” and “breathe”!

I remember this word.  When you hear this word, you have to prepare for battle…usually battle to the death or near death.

As I looked to my mom and she looked back at me, I saw fear in her eyes.  She doesn’t want to become me.  She has been in love with this man, her husband, for fifty-eight years.  They spend all day, every day, together.  They are best friends.  They love the Lord, and have created and nurtured a beautiful family who also knows and loves the Lord.

She doesn’t want to become me-a widow.  She doesn’t want to fight this battle.  She doesn’t want to watch her love struggle in pain.  But, mostly, as I looked in her eyes, she doesn’t want to be left behind without him.  She was in the room when my husband lovingly looked into my eyes, took our Savior by the hand, and walked into Glory with Him.  She doesn’t want that for herself, and I don’t want that for her.  I don’t know how to comfort her.  I know I can’t promise her that she won’t be asked to endure this trial.

As I work through these emotions and thoughts, wave after wave of grief spills into my heart.  I don’t want this for her and I don’t want this for me.  How can I support them?  How can I love them through this journey?

Christ whispers, so sweetly, into my ear, “Fear not, I am here”.  I have walked every step with you, these last five years.  I have caught every tear you’ve cried.  I have held you as you grieved, every day.

Christ reminds me to show my mom what I have learned and been shown by others.  In myself I can’t help at all, but in Christ I am mighty.  Share scripture with her.  Point her to Him. Pray for and with her.  Christ is still the answer.  No matter the earthly outcome of this trial, Christ is there.  It will all work out for the good.

So, while we are praying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt,” we know that Christ is working in our lives and in whatever happens, God will get the glory.

Dear Lord, Thank You for always being there.  No matter the circumstance, You are there.  No matter my position, you are always steadfast.  I love You and I know You have great plans for me and my family.  I put my trust in You, Lord.  Amen


Sherry LookSherry Rickard is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might/aNew Season Ministries, Inc.  Sherry lives in the Washington DC area of Virginia.  She works in the professional community management industry and is very active in her local church.  She has one daughter who is 19 years old and just completed her freshman year at college.  She also has a dog, Sophie, and a cat, Brandon.  Sherry lost her husband on February 14, 2011 to cancer after a bone marrow transplant did not engraft.  God has called her to this ministry to share the Hope that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is Sherry’s hope that Christ can shine through her and that Christ can minister to those who have a similar journey.  She is still here, so God has a wonderful purpose to fulfill with her life. 

Want to read more articles by Sherry? Sherry’s posts 

If you are interested in having Sherry or any of our team come visit your church or group please email us: admin@anewseason.net

If you liked this article, you might like:

We Are Not Alone by Sheryl Pepple

Ruth Revisited

Recently I had a conversation with a close friend about my finances. We were discussing how I am TRYING to show my family how we are TRYING to live within our means. What do we do when my son is on the track team and needs a new pair of good running shoes? Or when the high school adds a policy of charging for being a part of the marching band? When there is still part of the month left at the end of our money? Do my children see me running to God for direction, running to use the credit cards, or calling a friend to ask for financial help?

This is a widow’s website; so naturally, we have written about Ruth. She lost her young love and found another love in Boaz. Eventually, down her line of offspring King David came and then, Jesus the Messiah. It is a great story, but I sometimes forget about her life BEFORE Boaz. I can get caught up in the romance and intrigue of finding new love and forget some of the details of her early life as a widow. And that’s when I noticed a verse for the first time.

Ruth 2:12 ESV… the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!

People noticed that Ruth had found her security and worth under the wings of the Lord of Hosts, God Almighty. This pagan widow, caring for her bitter mother-in-law, living off the good graces of the crop owners nearby, had found the true God of Israel to be her strength.

Can others see that in me?

For the first time, this verse in Ruth jumped out at me. Especially in light of my conversation about my finances. What does it mean to “take refuge” under God’s wings? Was Ruth from a wealthy family? Was begging in the fields totally new to her? Did she have to change what she was wearing-from lovely rich cloth to rough dirty cloth? Naomi may have had wealthy family members, and maybe she wasn’t much help in instructing her daughter-in-law in the skills of clearing a field.  What a testimony to God’s love, it could have been to the pagan Ruth, to have Naomi’s family members take them in and love on them. What if they had been feeding and caring for them, in the name of Jehovah? But that wasn’t God’s plan. Did Ruth discuss with Naomi any other way to provide for them? Did they ever think they were “above” this kind of work?

“Taking refuge” includes humility. We definitely see that in the way Ruth handled it all.

Ruth never demanded kindness from the Israelites. Never. She gleaned the fields “in hope” that someone would show her kindness. Their kindness was not a “debt” she felt entitled to. She humbly offered her service to Naomi.

Ruth was industrious – we have no record of her offering to go to the relatives for hand-outs. She got busy in the fields. “Taking refuge” also includes getting after the work God provides at the time, not concerned about the work that might come somewhere in the future, while sitting around doing nothing.

Ruth didn’t ask Naomi to help glean. These were Naomi’s people.Perhaps she should have been the one gleaning, but Ruth knew respect and, in respect, she “took refuge” by being respectful of the people in her life.

Ruth ventured out into the unknown, while God directed her steps. Sometimes “taking refuge” means taking a new direction.

So today I ask myself – is it evident to those around me that I have taken refuge under the shelter of God?

Is it evident to all around me that I take refuge NOT in myself, NOT in some trust fund, NOT in a new spouse, NOT in pride, NOT in my perfect budget?

My shelter is in God alone:

  • Humbly doing what God has put before me
  • Never demanding kindness from others
  • Being industrious and busy with the work He provides
  • Being respectful
  • Taking a new direction perhaps

Lord Jesus, Almighty God, thank You for being my shelter. Help me accept the kindness of others without expecting kindness or feeling entitled to anyone’s generosity. I declare today that I take refuge in You alone. I pray that others can see this in my life. Amen


 

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Elizabeth is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might. She lives in Oklahoma with her six children named after Bible characters, a large dog named after a grandfather, a noisy cat named after a German race car driver, and guinea pigs named after candy bars! Oh, and 1 hermit crab that continues to hold onto life some how. Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and is learning that she only THOUGHT she knew what trusting God was! Widowhood has taken that “faith walk” to a whole new level for her. Psalm 94:19 has become a special verse for her family – “Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”

 

If you are interested in having our team speak at your next event, contact us at admin@anewseason.net

Would you like to read more articles by Elizabeth? Click here!

Want to read more on Ruth? I am Mara by Sherry  & The Widow Ruth by Kit

 

5 Things To Help Us Heal

5 Foods You Should Never Eat

5 Foods You Should Always Eat

5 Tips to a Great Life

                                         5 Exercises to Do Daily

5 …

Everywhere I look I see articles on 5 things. Sometimes these are called “click bait” because they just want you to click on them to get you to their websites. I get so interested in article after article on childhood stars (where are they now?) or bad foods (what to avoid to lose 20 lbs by tomorrow) and so on.

I found 5 things you and I can start doing today, to lead to a happier, healthier, and more healed life.  They are just as relevant today, as they were when they were written thousands of years ago.

Have I got your attention?

Here they are.

Psalm 119:13-16 NIV

With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

I delight in your decrees;  I will not neglect your word.

One of my first pieces of advice I give when someone is going through hard circumstances is to read the Psalms. To me, they seem like peeking into a journal of an old time Bible character-his personal blog before blogging! The authors get mad, they get sad, they complain, they rejoice–sometimes all in the same chapter! Doesn’t that sound a little familiar? But the Psalms have a way of focusing my attention and regaining perspective.

Recount. Start with journaling how God has taken care of you in the past. How God has walked beside you. How God has sent others to hold your arms up in the battle. How Scripture or songs have come on at just the right time you needed them.

Rejoice. Rejoice as one who has won the lottery. I have never even bought a lottery ticket so for me to win would be some major big-time rejoicing! The rejoicing in this verse is pointing at following God’s laws. We might interpret it as rejoicing in living according to Scripture.

Meditate. Give thought throughout the day. We can only do that when we are focused on Scripture as we START the day. I have to work at this still. I can easily get distracted by my life, facebook, or the news. It seems like an inconvenience sometimes to take the time to read, but it is always a blessing when I do. I am trying to read through the entire Bible. It has taken me a year and a half to get half way through; but it sure helps me meditate on eternal things.

Delight. Like in a scrumptious dessert. Look forward to spending time in Scripture. Look forward to spending time in worship with other believers. Sing along with the praise songs on the radio.

I will NOT neglect your word. I’ve already confessed that spending time in God’s Word is still something I have to remind myself to do. I miss days too often. Then, I always have a lame excuse for why I skipped my time in the Word. It can be easy in our early grief to neglect the Scripture because it is too hard to get our brains to focus. But, I believe the Holy Spirit will help us when we ask for focus. God WANTS us to spend time in His Word.

The Psalmist gives us some things we can start doing today. Which one can you add to your life?

~ Recount

~ Rejoice

~ Meditate

~ Delight

~ Not neglect God’s Word.

Do these 5 things every day and you will be happier. I guarantee it.

Or your money back. 😉

Lord, You want me in Your Word. Give me focus today to dig into Scripture. Help me recount the ways You have protected me or answered prayers in the past. I want to follow Your Word today. Amen


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Elizabeth Dyer is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might.  She resides in Oklahoma, amid earthquakes and tornadoes, giving her ample opportunities to trust God! Her six children, large dog, noisy cat, guinea pigs, and most recently, hermit crab keep her busy enough, but she still finds time to have coffee now and then with a friend. Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and she loves to share how God is leading her to EMBRACE this new journey. 

Want to read more by Elizabeth? Click HERE 

Need some encouragement as a newer widow?

One Widow’s Psalm by Linda

Only Be Still by Lori

 

 

Loneliness, Get Out!

“When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

Luke 11:24-26 (ESV)

Loneliness kept me up at night and woke me each morning.

I would get so mad at him. But he was relentless.

He’d poke at my gut and mess with my bedding until I’d roll, and toss and turn myself awake.

I’d tell him get out of my bed!

And he would.

Only to leave me with a cold metal laptop sleeping beside me.

Then I would rub my eyes and recognize the pointlessness of pounding my pillow. I’d pull open that laptop and occupy those wasted hours of no sleep by trying to accomplish some task.

At first I’d think, I’ve done it! Kicked him out for good! I’d hammered out an article for the ministry.  I’d tell myself how grateful I am for modern technology. With just an arm-reach beside me, I could have the right tools to capture my inspiration and put my ideas to work!

But once the article was done, something else awaited me on that laptop: social media–facebook photos of married couples, that friend who hasn’t come around lately, or twitter tweets of people living the life I lived when I had my husband. Loneliness returned to feed on my thoughts, and this time he brought with him yet another poor bedfellow–Anxiety.

I’d cry out to God , “why won’t You take these feelings away?”

He answered by bringing Scripture to my heart.

In the eleventh chapter of Luke (Luke 11:24-26 above), Jesus explains it’s not enough to clean your heart of evil spirits by taking action on your own.  If you rid yourself of bad thoughts and attitudes, but don’t fill your heart with Christ, those thoughts will return and compound themselves with other vices.

By taking the edge off my loneliness with being busy, was I not sweeping my heart clean from Loneliness without guarding my heart from his return?

Taking God at His word, I changed my nighttime habits. I intentionally place all electronics on the other side of the room and leave my sleeping to just that–sleeping.

The only reading material I keep at my bedside now is Scripture.

That way God is there with me whenever I need Him.  When I drift to sleep and when I wake.

On the first morning after making this change, I awoke again before the sun came up and considered how different it felt without that computer right there to grab.

That lonely feeling was there, but I reached for God, not busyness.  I grabbed the Bible right there on my nightstand and let God’s words cradle me, relax me and lull me back to sleep.

And when the sun rose, I felt energized, wanting to pull back the covers and get started with my day.

The result?  My home is cleaner.  My bills are paid earlier.  My kids get a cooked breakfast more often, and I’m exercising more.

And most of all, I’ve kicked loneliness out of my bed and invited in the true Comforter.

How about you?  How do you awake in the morning?

Precious Father God, for years grief took over my nights and mornings, slowing my progress through the day. But You are good to heal, Lord.  Thank you.  Please lift my sister out of her loneliness and give her Your Holy Spirit and carry her through this day.  Amen.


 

Kit Hinkle is an author and speaker, and was one of the original writers of A Widow’s Might in 2008.  After four years with that ministry, she expanded it and founded A New Season Ministries, Inc. Once the ministry became established, she stepped back from the leadership role, yet continues to contribute articles while she focuses on her finest career as a home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now enjoys walks on the beach with her chocolate lab.  She loves to sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ. It’s an honor to participate in His kingdom.

If you are interested in having Kit or another team member speak, please email us at: admin@anewseason.net.

Other articles by this author: Kit Hinkle

Would you like to read more about sleeplessness?  Here are some articles you might try:

A Cry in the Night by Linda Lint

Miscellaneous ramblings of a tired mommy by Nancy Howell

He Still Whispers

 “And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.” 

                                                                                                      I Kings 19:12b ESV        

I truly love the hope a new year can bring.  My daughters always give me a new wall calendar every Christmas and I love writing in upcoming events and important days to remember.  A new year brings in goals and dreams, wishes and desires, hopes and plans.  But, thus far, this year has stretched demands to a point where I am being tested and I must confess that the new year and I have not started on a very positive note.  Quite honestly, several challenges have me feeling a bit like being backed into a deep dark cave.

Have you ever felt this way?  I think we all have at one point.  We are bombarded with the demands of life and often times those demands can begin to suffocate. They arrive in many forms; loneliness, financial strain, single parenting, household upkeep, employment, health concerns, aging parents.  These are but a few factors that can cause a desire for us to want to slip into a cave. They can arrive as a single challenge or can rear an ugly head and come in multiple doses.  They are loud, they are frightening and they demand our attention.

It is so easy to get caught up in the “troubles” of our lives.  We let them captivate our thoughts and often times we try and run away thinking we can hide from the ugliness they place in our heart. Day after day, night after night, we feel the pressure of these pesky concerns.

We want to run and hide.

Much like Elijah.  The 19th chapter of I Kings speaks about Elijah running from Jezebel whose desire was to kill Elijah.  The Lord ministered to Elijah and encouraged him to eat.  He then traveled to the Mount of Horeb where he entered into a cave feeling lonely and defeated.  It is here that the Lord instructs Elijah to leave the cave and stand in the presence of the Lord who is about to pass by.  A great and powerful wind passed by, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  After the fire came a still small voice.

A whisper.

God wanted to show Elijah where He was, by first showing him where He was not. He did not arrive in a dramatic manifestation; instead, He chose to get Elijah’s attention by a whisper.

These challenges that have forced stress and fear upon me are like the wind, earthquake and fire. They make me want to tell Elijah “Move over, I am coming into the cave.”  They are loud and frightful.

But, God is not in them.

Oh that I may have the heart of Elijah.  May I humbly heed the words of the psalmist; “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”  (Psalm 37:7)

He whispers to me, “I Am”.  I am bigger than all of these “problems”.  I am with you.

Yes, Lord.  I hear you.

This passage is a plea for us to listen closely to God.  Be humble.  Be obedient.  Be attentive.  Be prepared for surprises.

It is my prayer that you hear His still, small voice as you go forward in this journey.  He is bigger than any problem or challenge you face.  I pray you can hear His whisper in the midst of any battle you are facing.

He is near.

He hears you.

Listen.

Precious Lord, I am so blessed that you love me and can get my attention with just a still small voice in the midst of any challenge I face.  My prayer is that all these dear widows can hear the whisper of your love in the journey of widowhood and the obstacles it can bring.  Thank you, Lord,  for the whisper.  Amen.


Bonnie is a mother of two awesome daughters who bless her life every day. When she’s not enjoying long walks along the Florida coastline, she is flying through the skies as a flight attendant. Life took a radical change in the spring of 2009 when her husband was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. The walk through that journey was the hardest she had ever walked. How did she make it through? And how is she surviving? The answer is simple. Jesus. His love. His mercy. His grace. He carried her when she was at her lowest.  And Bonnie carried Him in her heart even when she did not understand. He has been faithful in His promises – “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” (Psalm 68:5) Bonnie has been called by God to share her story through writing and speaking.

To book a speaker email us at admin@anewseason.net

For more articles by Bonnie, click here

Read more about preparing yourself to hear God’s whispers, Growing God Roots by Terry Cox- Growing God Roots

Is This MY Hope?

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner,

Jesus, has entered on our behalf.

He has become a high priest forever…

Hebrews 6:19-20 NIV

An anchor has become my symbol of choice since my husband Mark passed away. I put this very verse on his gravestone and look for it for decorating purposes on Pinterest. Between tattoos, wall decorations, and even clothing, anchors are everywhere.

I wonder why the writer of this passage used an “anchor”? I don’t particularly like anchors because they are only needed during storms or in harbors. I prefer “still waters” and “green pastures” (Psalm 23) but I have learned from my half-century of living on this earth that storms hit. And maybe the author was thinking that NO ONE is exempt from life’s storms.

No one.

We are like ships, sailing through the waters of life. Our eternal souls are on board this ship as we sail to our final harbor (heaven). Our ship will encounter temptations, evil, stress, and trials. But our anchor, composed of our faith in Christ and His death, resurrection, and life is just the right size for our ships–it is strong enough for our complete dependence. Unlike an earthly anchor, this one fixes itself on a Rock- the Rock of Ages.

My “anchor” can change to something less secure than Jesus Christ. I find myself depending on the security of my income or the security of my spouse or the security of my family. Do these things hold securely like an anchor? No, they fail me often. If my “anchor” is my husband and he passes away, what happens to my ship? If my “anchor” is my income, what happens when that is lost?

I have lost both of those anchors in the last five years and it really shook my vessel. I threw over different sized “anchors” but nothing held. The storms of life rocked my ship but when I finally said, “God, Your will not mine,” I finally gained the peace for which I was searching.  The storms didn’t cease, the anchor just held me secure during the storms.

Often friends and family will send me notices when they see something related to Hebrews 6:19 or with anchors. Recently my mother found a daily devotional based on anchors. The verse referenced was 1 Peter 1:6-7. Here’s what the verses say in the Living Bible.

So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here. These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.

My ship will be hit by storms meant to test my anchor. Will my anchor hold?

Songs always help me remember some of the spiritual lessons God tries to teach me. I found these songs about anchors you might enjoy listening to.

My Anchor Holds

On Christ the Solid Rock

In Christ Alone 

Lord Jesus, thank You for being the Anchor that holds. Thank You for knowing our storms and being with us in the storms of life. Your protection brings such peace. Help us turn to You for our anchor. Amen

 

 

elizabeth 325x325Elizabeth Dyer is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might/aNew Season Ministries Inc.  She resides in Oklahoma, amid earthquakes and tornadoes, giving her ample opportunities to trust God! Her six children, large dog, noisy cat, guinea pigs, and most recently, hermit crabs keep her busy enough, but she still finds time to have coffee now and then with a friend. Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and she loves to share how God is leading her on this new journey. 

 

Are you looking for speakers for your next gathering? email us at admin@anewseason.net

Jill also wrote an article about anchors. You can read it here.

You can read more articles by Elizabeth here.