Quarantine Emotion #10: Navigating Deep Discouragement

This new world already looks different than the one I left behind.

Come June, I may need to decline invitations, wear a mask and forgo my favorite vacation spots.

And I’m not the only one. More than a third of Americans are considered high-risk, who are facing difficult decisions and continued isolation this summer.

After 70 days of quarantine, we’ve emerged from our homes to discover the world has changed. We falsely assumed reopening meant returning to life as we know it. But normal is not something we’ll be returning to anytime soon. Continue reading

7 Questions to Help You Process and Survive a Crisis

This pandemic getting scary. Many of us are on a roller coaster of emotion as we hear the latest news about loved ones, ICU patients, makeshift morgues, and healthcare workers making life-or-death decisions on the front lines.

When this pandemic hit, I was already neck-deep in trauma recovery. For the last twelve months, I’ve been working through my own post-traumatic stress that had compounded for decades.  Continue reading

4 Ways to Offer Hope in Times of Uncertainty

Once again, the world is experiencing a pandemic. Only this time it’s our turn to encounter travel bans, cancelled events, stockpiling and waves of uncertainty.

The response has been quite diverse. Some are waking up to a reality that has been looming for months. Others are running a “do not fear” campaign exhorting those who are anxious. Still some are promoting conspiracy theories, dismissing preventative action, or downplaying the virus as “just the flu”.

But for my family the threat is very real.

I am one of those in the “at risk” category. As one who is immunocompromised, my actions could literally be the difference between health and hospitalization.

For now, the virus is here to stay and will likely get worse before it gets better. Am I nervous? Of course. Am I taking precautions? You bet. A mutating virus to which humans have no immunity deserves our serious attention and responsible action.

How you respond to this crisis matters. Whether you realize it or not, your actions communicate a message. The question to ask yourself is, what kind of message do I want to send? Continue reading

When You Feel Forgotten and Unnoticed

The sun peered through the blinds, gently nudging me awake. As I quietly slipped out of bed, fatigue and stiff joints greeted me for the day. Snuggling into a sweatshirt, I routinely followed the smell of percolating coffee.

The sun rose slowly over ridges and rooftops, casting a golden glow on all of creation. A warm cup of coffee in hand, I nestled into a white porch rocker at the edge of the deck. The dew sparkled like stars on the grass. Filling my lungs with the crisp air of spring, I treasured being the only one awake.

Well, me…

And like a hundred birds. Continue reading

23 Mind-Blowing Facts about Jesus’ Death and Resurrection You Might Not Know

Every year we celebrate Easter with symbols of spring while modern reenactments of holy week portray the proverbial characters.

But if you think you know the Easter story, you may want to think again.

The last week of Jesus’ life was filled with conspiracy, corruption, power-plays and a host of Jewish symbolism. We can easily miss the rich cultural details surrounding his death and resurrection.

If you want a deeper understanding of the Bible this Easter, check out these profound yet often missed details. Continue reading

When Your Healing Doesn’t Come

My journey with chronic illness has been both painful and long. My story is being featured this week as part of a series on Brave Women.

Truth be told, I have been more afraid than I have brave.

The last five years my life has revolved around immune-suppressants, flare-ups and fear. I did everything I could to optimize my health. I went dairy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, egg-free; all at the same time for a long time. I saw a naturopath, took enzymes, a regimen of pills, and drank dirt.

But I was still sick.

For years, I wrestled with God. Why me? Where are you, God? Did you forget about me? Don’t You see? Do you even care? 

If you’ve been curious about my journey with chronic illness or ever wondered where God is in the midst of chronic pain, please check out this post! God is answering my prayers, just not the way I expected.

I hope and pray my story will encourage you wherever you are at, in whatever battle you may be facing today.

Click here to read my story

Check out more inspiring stories in Becky Beresford’s Brave Women Series

More than a Resolution

At this point, only 8% of us will keep those resolutions we made back in the New Year. For the rest of us, our momentum has already slowed to a crawl.

And let’s be real; who wanted to brave subzero temps and ice storms for a trip to the gym? Truth be told, my yoga pants have never even been to yoga.

Continue reading

You Don’t Have to Be Happy

You don't have to be happyLet’s be honest. There’s pressure to put the happy in our holiday.

And if gift-giving, family gatherings, and expectations weren’t enough, we’re told to do it all with a bit of cheer.

But what if you don’t feel merry or thankful? And your season isn’t bright?

Continue reading

Finding Hope When You Feel Hopeless

This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Not ever.

My heart beat wildly as I pressed a firm hand to my chest. Like lapsing waves, one hardship rose after the other, sweeping me into a sea of despair.

Anxiety. Depression. Disease. Inability to conceive. Now this.

Panic threatened to overwhelm as inflammation increased and my knee swelled for the third time. After four years of ceaseless prayers, all my hope for the future was shattered.

Again.

I thought I was getting better. But I was still broken. Continue reading