A place to find Hope

Tag: worry

Be Strong Through the Storms of Life

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It has been quite a ride for me the last eight months.

The pandemic has placed me in lock down. Only doctor’s appointments and family gatherings that everyone has to wear masks and keep the right distance. Haven’t hugged one of my children during this whole time.

This plus the election, (that ends tomorrow, thank God.) Don’t forget the rioting, wild fires, looting, shootings, etc. Pretty dismal path we have to walk.

How do I handle it? Well, it is hard, at best, for me to stay positive, but positive I am.

Why?

  1. All storms come to an end.
  2. God is in charge.
  3. He is only a prayer away.
  4. He will not allow us to have more than we can handle.
  5. He loves us. He made us in his image. He wouldn’t do that if He didn’t love us.

Those statements are my fortress against depression, and feeling lost.

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So what is happening in your neighborhood?

Are you standing strong, or is the world loading you down with worry? I certainly hear you, but the most wonderful thing you and I can do for our families, is to be a strong leader and always show that we are positive.

If we show a poor me attitude, so will those around you.

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Never let the dark side overcome you.

The dark side would love to drag you down into the muck and mire. Look for the light which is Jesus.

Yes, these are very troubling times. This, however, is when the tough get going. They face the storms head on. They lead others to freedom of fear.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

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Let God be in Charge as You Walk the Rough Paths

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Just received some wonderful news. I was tested for the COVID-19 virus and it was negative. A huge relief. Thank you Lord!!!

When I had my test done, there was a big line of others needing the test. Not a good sign. I hope they all tested negative like I did.

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I was very worried before the results came back. I am older than most and I have a couple underlining problems. If I do ever get the virus, I am toast.

I just started thinking about the results. I just saw them five minutes ago. Why was I so worried? When didn’t I trust the Lord. 99% of what we worry about never happens. We just need to give the rest to God.

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Have you been faced with the unknown? Did you fret and worry? How many times did it really work out to be serious. Not very many times I am guessing. Please rely on God to help you with your fears.

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I went for a walk the other day. The smoke in Oregon had cleared and I needed to get out my prison because of the virus.

As I was walking everything look so different. The flowers looked more beautiful. The trees looked more majestic. Even the people I met seemed very happy. Of course, this could very easily been because I had been locked up for so long. I don’t think so though. Looking at God’s creations excites me no matter when it is. It is all around you. Check it out on your next walk.

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Never take anything for granted. Let God guide you through the tough paths you have to walk. Remember to let him be in charge.

He loves you. He made you in His own image, and he wouldn’t do that if He didn’t want you as His child.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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This Pandemic is Causing Pain and Fear

With this Pandemic causing much pain and fear, we need to know that God is here for us.

The power of prayer comes to mind when I read that first sentence. We need to put out a plea to God to calm our spirit and help us keep strong.

My prayer last night was short, but very powerful:

“Thank you God, that you are good. Thank you for being with me during this chaos.”

This brings to mind about Biblical events where God was with someone and saw them through a storm.

Paul had every bad thing possible happen to him. Snake bites, ship wrecks, and of course he was put into prison. Did he curse God and become angry? No he didn’t. While in prison he converted several guards, and refused to have a pity party.

He knew God was with him and that he would do many great things in his paths ahead.

Did he have down times? Of course! Did he wish he could be freed to continue his mission? Yes. However, was he afraid? No. He knew God would take care of him, and see him through this storm.

Fear is a huge mean demon that over takes us far too often. It is said that 99% of what we worry about never happens, and we should turn the rest over to God. Make sense doesn’t it? God has huge shoulder, and will calm the storm.

What about this Pandemic in our lives right now?

Fear is rampant in the world today. People are hunkering down in their own homes, with no relief in sight. Some are becoming angry and wanting to be allowed to go back to work. They fear they will lose their homes and never recover.

Jesus said, “Fear not!” Only two words, but the most powerful two words in the Bible. He also said, ” I will be with you , and you will be with me.”

One thing we need to remember is to trust. Trust in God during this Pandemic makes the fear fade away.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

Don’t Let Others Define Your Faith

This is the second of a series of discussions on Faith. My last post mention the sadness of thinking there was no hereafter. They who have no faith feel that they die and then turn into dust.

For those of us who believe and have faith, there is a bright path we are walking on. We know where we are going. We know because we saw the last chapter of the book.

One mistake we all make is to try to keep calmness around us, because there are many who will persecute us for our beliefs. We fear we can’t come up with the right things to say when we are challenged.

Here are some thoughts on that.

  1. You never have to try to convince anyone about their own lives being wrong. They already know it, and will probably attack if you mention it.
  2. My thought is to just share why I believe without out judging the other person. I share what my life was before I believed and the after I believed.
  3. Let them ask you questions. Don’t worry about getting the answers wrong. They are now in a different level. They are inquisitive.
  4. Just show other about your faith by your everyday actions. I have had more people ask me why I am so optimistic all the time. Boom! I can open up my heart. Many times They say they want some of that.
  5. Don’t hide your faith, but you also don’t need to stand on a corner and shout, “You are going to Hell, if you don’t believe!”I have gone to big sporting events, and sure enough there are always one or two people outside who are screaming at you. To many they are driving people away not bringing them closer.

The bottom line is that you just need to be you, and show others your love and caring way. That is a living testimony.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!!

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This is where I share some more about my upcoming book.

Today I am going to share how the book is laid out.

  1. The book starts out with me sharing my life while I was in the military.
  2. I share some funny and not so funny things that happened to me in basic training.
  3. I then share my advanced training school time.
  4. After that I was deployed to South Korea. Many stories. Some scary.
  5. Then I will share my time at Ft. Bragg. My scariest moment happened there.

This is the best part:

The rest of the will be actual interviews with veterans who have been in the trenches. I can guarantee you some of the stories will be very scary, sad, and tense. They will be some humor as well.

The appendix at the end will have several pages for jobs and careers for the military. Very extensive.

Subscribe:

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A Mother’s Love

Linda Clare shares with us again the battles she faces in her family with addictions. 

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A Mother’s Love

By Linda S. Clare

He was her baby, after all. Coming off a binge, all he wanted was a dry spot to sleep and some Taco Bell. For three days, the mom fed and sheltered her addicted adult son. Then, he’d melted back onto the streets, and she settled into familiar guilt and worry. Her biggest fear? By providing food and shelter, she’d enabled him.

His addiction had crushed her countless times, but loving nurture still guided her. A fast-food meal or three. A couple of days sleeping in the guest room. The inevitable fresh heartbreak the moment he said goodbye. And sadly, the guilt of being branded: Enabler. Codependent. Tough Love failure.

For decades, Tough Love has been standard advice to families. In theory, you kick the addict out, he hits bottom and asks for help. In reality, Tough Love is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

I can’t judge others’ circumstances—especially when Tough Love is used to ensure safety or sanity. Some recovering addicts say they couldn’t see the light until their wife, sibling or parent turned them out into the cold.

But it’s hard not to feel as if we’re at war. One side believes Tough Love is the only way, even when evidence doesn’t back it up. The other side argues for Just Love—staying in relationship—even when loved ones are mistreated or manipulated. Neither side wins.

It’s time for a ceasefire.

Addiction is awful enough without judging those caught in its crossfire. We’d make more progress if we stopped blaming loved ones for what they do or don’t do in dealing with addicts. Kicking out your addict may be right for you. But not kicking out the addict isn’t always wrong.

We’re all doing the best we can.

I’ll never forget the day a treatment center director looked at me and said, “You’re as sick as your son is.” In her eyes I was a codependent enabler—helping, rescuing, tolerating my addicted son. I deserved blame, the theory goes, because enabling makes possible an addict’s continued use and prevents him from “hitting bottom.” As if enablers feed off addicts’ failures and help the poor addicts so they can be heroes. As if enabling causes addicts to stay addicted.

Carrie Wilkens, PhD, clinical director of the Center for Motivation and Change in New York City, specializes in evidence-based therapies and sees it quite differently. “There’s an implicit assumption that the codependent is getting something out of it,” she says. “Like the desire to be a hero or rescuer or benefactor. But that could not be farther from truth.”

I’ve thought long and hard about my role in my three adult sons’ addictions. I believe in Just Love, showing mercy and compassion. I want my boys to get better, so yes, I feed them. I hate seeing them suffer but I need to know they’re alive, so I shelter them. I love them so, yes, I keep loving them. Do I make mistakes? Of course. But I don’t believe I’m a hero—or that I’m responsible for their decisions.

Where does loving Parent end and destructive Enabler begin? If you’re a parent of an addict or alcoholic, you know how blurry the boundary can be. You’ve tenderly cared for your child since birth. Now, he’s grown, but it’s hard to stop nurturing—to stop momming or dadding. Especially if you feel wrong no matter what you do.

All the choices are terrible. Employ Tough Love—toss out an addicted adult son or daughter, and the pain of not knowing where they are can be too great. Some parents suffer for years, not knowing where or even if their son or daughter lives. Too often, our worst fears come to pass without even a chance to say, “I love you” one last time.

Yes, sometimes Tough Love is the only way. An adult addict who behaves in ways that make a mom or dad fear for their lives can’t be tolerated. No one should be subjected to continual abuse from an addict, or anyone for that matter. But not every family is the same.

Whether you favor Tough Love or Just Love, labeling addicts’ loved ones as enablers only sucks all the hope out of the room.

And hope is really what this fight is about. It’s about holding onto hope when no answers emerge, or when people treat your family as if it’s diseased. For instance, a few years ago, a Christian woman told me that because my sons deal with addiction, I must not have raised them right. I was speechless, picturing a giant toilet flushing us worthless Clare addicts right down where we belonged. What I heard was, not only are your kids hopeless, you are too.

Since then, I’ve set some rules: I try to limit my “help” to basic needs like food and shelter. I don’t hand out money. Addiction is still alive and well in my family, but I can sleep at night knowing I’ve acted in love.

I’m still searching for the perfect response to my sons, but I’m surer than ever that each addict’s family is as unique as the addict. There may be no “right” method to parent an addict, but I take a few cues from my faith.

If God ever kicked me out so I could hit bottom, I’d have no hope. If you’re an addict and even your mom gives up on you, how much more difficult will it be to keep hope alive?

That’s why I venture into my sons’ jungle of despair—to reassure them of my love and blow on any embers of hope they may have left. I offer my addicts the same compassion I’d show a stranger or an angel unaware.

We who care about addicts should be able to provide a hot meal, a place to sleep, a kind word without being blamed as enablers. To gently offer open hands instead of closed fists. To stop blaming and start listening.

“Faith, hope, Love, these three abide,” the scripture says. “But the greatest of these is Love.” The mom who nurtured her addicted son with cheap tacos and a place to rest showed her son that her faith in him is alive. She still hopes for him and in him. And she loves him as only a mother can.

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