Thank you for stopping by our 5th week of Blessed At Home. We sure appreciate everyone who has visited and shared our articles on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Please visit the Contributor Page to read more about this excellent ministry from some of your favorite homemaking bloggers.
Today's featured contributor is Kendra at Living in the Shoe.
My name is Kendra and I am a mom to five sweet kids, ages 3-11. Lord willing, July will bring us baby #6! Over the years, we've suffered through multiple miscarriages and have lost four babies in early pregnancy. To my husband and I, our children are the most precious things on earth to us. And we strive to raise them to love, honor, and serve the Lord with all their hearts.
We live way up close to Canada in North Idaho, down between two mountains with a creek to splash in and a meadow close by.
Our children are not homeschooled, but we take them every day to our private church school. We belong to the Kootenai Valley Mennonite Church and our children absolutely love going to school there. With the love of school and learning embedded deeply in my heart, I've been able to help out in the classrooms once in a while.
Almost five years ago, my husband was in a traumatic motorcycle accident which left him in severe pain and slightly handicapped. For several years after, life was really rough with low income, constant pain, and just the simple struggle of making it through. But God has been ever so faithful! And I know we learned hard lessons we wouldn't have learned any other way.
Our blog, Living in the Shoe, is about these struggles we've faced and are facing. It's about the joys God blesses us with and the lessons we learn each day! It has been such a privilege to get to know so many Christian women who face the same ups and downs that I do, and who serve the same eternal God. I hope to continue to meet more people and be a blessing to others as well!
Today's topic is, When the Going Gets Rough.
Misty, Simply Helping Him
Life is rarely smooth sailing, and it's easy to get caught in the rough seas wondering why it's happening or what you've done to "deserve" it.
Lately I've found myself in the middle of a struggle to keep myself focused on the Lord and what He's trying to teach me, instead of focusing on the storm all around me.
I find the most peace when my day is begun with the Lord, in prayer and His word.
Ensuring I take time when I'm overwhelmed to go to Him for renewed strength, is something I am striving to learn and be more diligent in.
The saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" comes to my mind.
As Christians we should remind ourselves of this instead....
When the going gets tough, get in touch with the Lord!
Judith, WholeHearted Home
Our family went through rough waters for about seven years. The stress level was high and my younger two children were still young.
When the stress levels rise like the rising tides in the Bay of Fundy, sweeping away everything you know to be normal; when there are very few, if any, you can confide in, what do you do?
When you must stay up nearly around the clock dealing with endless emergencies, when your faith in Christ seems about to be dashed in pieces by the tsunami crashing you against the rocks of life, what do you do?
When your vision dies and you 'feel' like a helpless, useless failure. What do you do?
I felt like giving up, giving in, caving, but I had to go on. Thankfully, I had the duties as a wife and mother that continually called my name; causing me to get up in the morning when all I wanted was to stay in bed and forget about the stress.
What do you do when the going gets tough??
The events of those seven years are still fresh in my mind, as if it were yesterday. I can't easily talk about those years, only a few really know the full extent. Although I desire to be real when I blog, because you would likely be able to relate to my difficulties, in not sharing the specifics of my extreme circumstances, you can (hopefully) be encouraged in your own situation.
Six Things to do When the Going Gets Tough:
1. I lived in the Psalms during those tough years. I read the Psalms daily. In fact, for a long time my Quiet Time was often only the Psalms. When the going gets tough, never ever miss your Quiet Time.
2. I kept a journal of many of the verses that spoke to my heart each day. I often wrote about what I was going through, carefully, because one day when I am 'gone' and someone finds my journals, I want them to be glorifying to the Lord.
3. We never missed church, even when life for our family was so difficult that it would have been easier to neglect 'the assembling together.' I can't tell you how wonderful the message would be on the hardest days to go to church or how sweet the fellowship is from other ladies who minister their encouragement.
4. We kept under the authority and encouragement of our pastor. I am not righteous on my own or outside of Christ living in and through me. More times than not, I have many holes in me, make countless mistakes, and have blind spots where I can't even see my own shortcomings. It says in Psalms that God's testimonies and counselors are a delight and I would caution against going through tough times without a trusted older person or pastor for advice.
5. I continued to homeschool, clean, cook, and care for my family. Routine is wonderful when the going gets tough!!
6. I kept real handkerchiefs in my pocket!! Yes, there were days when I cried and cried. I've learned that tears help to balance our hormones.
"I had fainted, unless I had BELIEVED to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." ~Psalm 27:13 & 14
When the going gets rough, I do what most of us Christians do, I pray. The time I spend with God helps me to get my priorities straight. These special conversations remind me how much I appreciate the good things in my life, such as health and family.
Sometimes when we think things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place. Be still, pray and have faith.
When the going gets rough, a bit of home-cooking seems to lift everyone's spirits. When I was a child, we used to tease mom because, when the going got rough, we always had the best meals!
So, when the going gets rough, pray, and enjoy the good things in your life. We all have something to be thankful for.
"He is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trusted in him, and he helped me. Joy rises in my heart until I burst out in songs of praise to him." ~Psalms 28:7
Sarah, Hope In Every Season
So, I pretty much "second" everything my Mom just said! Ha! Besides that, though, one thing I do when times get hard is to prioritize and cut back. I say no to things that are too overwhelming, and focus inward on my family's basic needs. I suppose it's kind of like doing a "refresh"---and it's refreshing!!
Tauna, Proverbial Homemaker
Four practical things I do when the going gets tough:
1. Breathe. When the day suddenly goes south, a child starts to argue, or I am generally stressed about something, I have a physical response. My breathing gets shallow and my shoulders tighten up. So when things get tough... breathe in, breathe out, shake loose the neck and shoulders, and pray. Bam! I am instantly in a better place.
2. Slow Down. During hard times, even the most ordinary tasks can become overwhelming. If I can let go of my desire to keep it all together and "do it right," there is relief. Cutting out all but the most beneficial tasks and slowing down leaves room for more grace, better priorities, and time for all of that breathing in and out.
3. Do the Next Thing. When the going gets tough, the to-do list seems insurmountable. At least, that's true for me. So I limit myself to six (or sometimes three) things that I want to get done that day. It helps me actually do the things that need to be done without getting distracted. All I focus on is doing the NEXT THING. Even if it's just making dinner.
4. Get Perspective. I remember that this too shall pass. Everything has a season. Then I call on my wise council to encourage and advise me. I seek their prayers and perspective. Widening my view and submitting myself to the Lord brings me the peace I need.
What practical steps do you take when life gets hard?
Mrs. Smith, Just a Country Girl
We all have rough moments...in fact, I'm in one right now. I wish I
could say that I handle every rough moment with grace, but I don't.
Far from it, in fact!
Our roughest moments always seem to be the same. My husband is a trucker, but he is a local trucker, meaning he's home every night. It's a trade-off, sadly. The money is in the long hauls. But if you
want to see your family, then you pinch pennies.
Recently my husband lost his somewhat decent job. Now, he is working for a horrible-paying company and we can't pay the bills. We sat down at the table the other day and said, "What do we have to shut off; the gas or the electric?" Hard thing to say.
How did I handle it? Well, aside from saying, "Go use your own CDL and get a trucking job, too", I could only pray. You see, when you have a nursing baby that refuses a bottle or cup...you can't really
work outside the home. Not that that is our ideal situation, anyways.
We chose for me to stay home. Yet, there is guilt that eats me up, knowing I am perfectly capable of bringing in some money while he job searches in hopes of a better job.
But then the prayers go unanswered. And I feel like having a pity party because God doesn't care. Of course you and I know this isn't true; but boy, do I feel that way at times! I'll go for a few days, feeling sorry for myself, sick with worry because we'll lose things or have things shut off. And then I'll snap out of it and ask God for forgiveness and pray some more. Somehow it's always worked out for us. Although I wouldn't suggest local trucking to anyone with a family, ha!
When the going gets rough, we're stripped down to our nothingness. We're reminded that we can't do anything on our own. All we have is provided for from the Lord. And maybe it's a good thing to be
poor--would you rather boast about all that YOU have supplied for your family? Or would you rather say, "Hey, I have nothing and yet God met all my needs." Now there is a testimony, friends! When we are faced with hard times, we seem to glorify the Lord more. You can't be proud, boastful and glorify God all at the same time. You can't show people how He lifted you up when you were down if you were never down!
I believe I am at my best when the going gets rough, thanks to God. Today I don't have a nickel to my name. Next week, I can tell you how I made it through the week. :)
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you
not worth much more than they?" ~Matthew 6:26
Kate, Teaching What Is Good
I love movies. I'm a very visual person: I think in pictures, I counsel with analogies, and I see imagery all around me. In the movie, The Two Towers, there is a scene where the Ents attack Isengard (stronghold of Saruman). At one point the Ents open the dam and allow the flood waters to pour into the land. It is a scene of great imagery as the power of the rushing water whips against the Ents. All the inhabitants of Isengard get swept away, but not the Ents. They stand firm, dig the roots of their feet deep into the earth; they sway but they remain upright. They stand firm!
"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers." ~Ps 1:1-3
I see this passage in Psalm 1 being acted out in the scene at Isengard. The Ents are ancient creatures untouched by the evil around them. When they work to see righteousness and justice done and the going gets tough, they dig in and take their strength from the earth.
The reality is that we have choices to make when things get rough.
- We can crumble and be swept away into despair, and we have probably all made that choice from time to time in our lives.
- We can try to keep our heads afloat by sheer force of will - and use every ounce of our own strength and often lose it in the end.
- We can dig deep into the power of the Spirit, the One who gives us strength and help in times of need, and stand firm.
Is it ever easy? Absolutely not! But in the final analysis, it is most definitely worth it. His strength sustains us. More than that, His power allows us to gain victory in the midst of the rough times. Not always in the ways we think. Loved ones may still grow sick and die, we may still deal with pain and suffering, jobs may still be lost. BUT we gain a depth of transformation in our lives that we did not expect. The changes are all internal and often not seen immediately. But He builds hope in us: hope in who He is, knowing that He never fails.
Sunday Showcase Party@Under the Table and Dreaming
Sundae Scoop @ I heart nap time
One More Time
Sunday Blog Hop @ Cuddlebug Cuties
Wisdom Wednesdays @Simply Helping Him
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Simple Living Wednesdays @ Our Simple Farm
Wednesday Link up at Adorned from Above
Shoe Lace Linkup @ Living In the Shoe
Home Link Up at Raising Arrows