Patience

Learning to be patient through suffering is one of life’s lessons most of us would rather just skip over.

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Teach me patience, O Lord

My soul is uneasy, distraught

Help me to wait, O Lord

This battle so long I’ve fought

Mold and shape me, O Lord

You are the Potter, I’m clay

I’m being remade, O Lord

Inwardly renewed each day

Guide and direct me, O Lord

My eyes greatly need your sight

Step after trembling step

With your wisdom be my light

Hold me up, O Lord

My spirit yearns for strength

Trials that persist

Give me faith unending length

Help me give it over, O Lord

Surrendering everything unto you

Nothing’s impossible ever!

Your LOVE, POWER, MERCY hold true.

Written by Vivian Joy, June 2019

My dear friend Ana and I have recently been discussing how the Lord’s been using our weak bodies to teach us patience. I struggle so much with an impatient attitude and need to constantly run to my heavenly Father for strength as I endure nearly 4 years of chronic fatigue and TBI. He is faithful in calming my spirit, while I wait on Him in hope. He is teaching me to abide in Him with a quieted spirit as a weaned child (Psalm 131:2).

Colossians 1: 9-11
9
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

In this school of being taught by pruning, I am grateful for His love, mercy, and compassion each and every moment, as I surrender to His will. Truly, His plan for my life is good (Romans 8:28) and His grace is sufficient. I’m asking God for wisdom in this and to show me patience with joyfulness as I wait on His timing for healing. He’s healed me so much already and I’m getting stronger but like a child waiting for Christmas, the anticipation of my healing gets greater and more intense as I slowly start to see progress and experience more good days. I want to dive in and unwrap my presents of healing now!

2 Corinthians 12:9 King James Version (KJV)

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


My mama once told me there are three ways we need to learn patience;

1) to be patient with ourselves

2) to be patient with others

3) to be patient with God (His timing)

Being patient is being more like Christ. How glad I am for God’s patience with me! I was just telling Mr. Sweeney the other day what an incredibly slow learner I am. In God’s classroom, I feel like the dunce most days but I’m so very grateful God always extends merciful patience with me as He instructs me through His word.

Please dear God, continue to show me how to wait on you in faith with a renewed spirit of patience.πŸ™πŸ’—

Much love,

Viv πŸ€—

Sunshine Blogger Award 3 in 1

It’s probably been a year since I was able to participate in an award. These awards are so much fun because you can get to know other bloggers through the questions and connect with them better.

Thank you Stu from Something to Stu Over, Debbie from Bee Tree Gathering, and Purple Rose for nominating me for this award.

πŸ† Stuart is a very godly man who writes about how God helped him overcome addiction. His blog showcases his huge heart and his goal is to help others through example, support and prayer.

πŸ† Debbie from Bee Tree Gathering writes beautiful uplifting posts from her own journeys through trials. She has a very caring heart and helped me greatly when I had my mold issue. Thanks dear Debbie!!

πŸ†Purple Rose writes some very lovely and profound poetry. Although I haven’t been following her long, I sense she is a beloved part of the blogging community with lots of insights to offer from her heart. I look forward to reading more from you Purple rose. (Purple’s my favorite color too. πŸ˜„)

I have enjoyed reading all your blogs and encourage my readers to go check them out and follow them if you’re not already doing so. You will be blessed!!πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ƒ

About the Sunshine award:

This award is given to creative, positive and cheerful bloggers by other bloggers as a token of appreciation and admiration.

Here are the rules:

β€’ Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

β€’ Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

β€’ Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

β€’ Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

β€’ List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

I am going to just answer four questions from each person who nominated me, otherwise I’ll be answering 33 questions which feels like a lot. πŸ˜‰

First four questions by Stu:

1. What brings joy to your life?

Being able to spend time with my family.

2. If money was not an issue, what would be your dream job?

I would open up my own bakery and create all different kinds of delicious pasteries, cakes, pies, cookies, and all would be gluten free and good for you.

3. What are two gifts the Lord has blessed you with, spiritually or physically?

Usually, I’m good with initiating conversations. The gift of gab!πŸ˜‰

4. What post or posts touched you so deeply that you felt β€œeveryone needs to read this”.

Oh my, how do I narrow down this one? I really enjoyed Steve’s post about beautiful things.

Here are 4 questions from Debbie:

1. What stirs you to write?

I am stirred to write to bring hope to others who are hurting and to raise TBI awareness. Encouraging others through what I share has been my motivation since many with chronic illness or TBI suffer from loneliness and isolation.

2. What category does your writing center around? Why?

My main focus is sharing how God’s helping me in my healing journey, so my main catagory is Christianity and keeping our eyes focused on Jesus.

3. Which blogger post made you sincerely cry? Link?

It’s been awhile, but I cried when Tina wrote about discovering her friend died after the package she sent to him was sent back unopened. 😒

4. Which Blogger post made you bust out laughing? Link?

Oh, goodness me, Jeff Rab always makes me laugh so hard my heart palpitations act out. πŸ˜‚

Here are 4 questions from Purple Rose:

1. When did something start out badly for you but in the end, it was great?

Childbirth.

2. Who do you go out of your way to be nice to?

I’m usually nice to everybody which at times can be challenging. However, lately I’ve learned I need to be nice to myself too which includes standing up for myself and setting proper boundaries with others.

3. What was the last photo you took?

A picture of my flower garden’s Zinnias. 🌻🌺🌷

4. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve broken?

I’d have to say my skull but actually, It was a wreck not me that broke it. And the cost of health care…well, you know.

It’s so tough to narrow it down as there are so many talented writers out there, but here goes…..

My nominees:

Autumn

This new blogger brings so much fun to the blogging world through her clever, funny, and interesting posts. I always look forward to her Friday’s Favorite Character posts where she features a favorite person from a popular book, movie, or TV show. Her brilliance with words and insights bring so much sparkle to my life….M&M.

Tina

Tina’s wonderful blog God’s Kid Speaks always speaks to my heart. Her heart is so full of love for God as she writes guiding posts during her personal journey with chronic illness that always reflect what God is revealing to her through the scriptures. Tina is a blogger who I personally admire as a type of Mary who sits at Jesus’ feet learning, and taking in all He teaches. I strongly emcourage you to follow her blog!

Nicole

Nicole’s powerful blog Trophy of Grace, stirs up hope, light and encouraging truth which she relates in a very inspirational way. Her blog She also loves to include gorgeous pictures of her lovely family and pets which always brighten my day. If you need a godly pep talk, this blog is a must!

Kim

Kim walks closely with God and is always faithfully studying the word. Along with being a close friend of mine, she is a veteran homeschooling mom and author of a great book. Her blog, Commissioned By Him, reflects her personal walk with the Lord as she bravely perseveres amidst debilitating chronic migraines, fatigue and cancer. I love this lady and her profoundly spirtual blog!

Kelly

Kelly’s not only an excellent writer but also writes about her personal journey through her son TJ’s battle with TBI. This blog, While I’m Waiting, highlights her up close-and-personal accounts over the years she cared for her son as he battled brain injury. She addresses the social, physical and spiritual dilemmas those with TBI and their caretakers bravely face and speaks for these individuals through her deep love for God and His word.

Cindy

I still remember the contact message I received from Cindy, Real Christian Women, when I first traversed the road of blogging. She encouraged me to write and offered so much support. She continues to do just this for me and many others through her daily Bible verses and weekly posts. She uses her years of Bible knowledge and experience to guide others for which I’m truly grateful.

Alicia

Alicia is also a homeschooling mom who writes stirring posts based on her insights and life’s challenges on her blog, For His Purpose. I am always richly blessed when I read her articles and you will be too!

Renee

Renee’s blog, Heart Tokens, is such a fun, heartfelt and encouraging blog to visit. Don’t just visit though, follow her and be oh so abundantly blessed by her vibrant writing and her wonderful spirit. You will be blessed by knowing Renee through her blog!

Tammy

Tammy, and islander from Trinidad and Tobago is such an encouragement to me. Her blog, God Inspired Art and Quotes, has such gorgeous flavor as she writes about God and the beauty all around us. Her love for others shines in all she does and the interaction she has with others. Thanks for praying for me Tammy!!

Deandra

Deandra is not only a gifted writer and conveyor of words but she’s also become like a sister to me. I am so blessed beyond words God led her to my blog during a time I could hardly see to read or write. Her spirit is so alive with love which pours out of her and flows onto others through her blog and friendship. Why not follow this amazing lady at Imago Dei and receive this girl’s love back tenfold. You need to!!

Lily

Lily is one amazing young woman! She writes about what it feels like living in this harsh world while enduring a rare physical disability and speaks up as an advocate for others facing the same difficulties. Her spirit of determination will encourage you as it has me. Retrospective Lily is a must read, must follow blog!

And here are my 11 questions: πŸ€”

1) What is the bible verse/passage which you turn to the most for comfort?

2) What are you most thankful for today?

3) What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon as a child?

3) When did you last clean out your closet? (hehehe, I tagged my daughter on this postπŸ˜‚)

4) What is your primary love language ie, acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, or gift giving?

5) Which Bible character can you relate to because of what they went through?

6) What is your favorite board game?

7) What is or was your favorite subject in school?

8) What do you enjoy doing during your down time?

9) What major obstacle in your life has God helped you overcome?

10) What musical instrument(s) can you play?

11) If you could go back 10 years, what major decisions would you change?

*To my nominees, please do not feel pressured to accept this award. I just wanted to show my appreciation for all you do and summerize why I feel others should follow you. Thank you and God bless you all!πŸ€—

Much love,

Viv 😊

Fun and Frugal

What does a person with limited funds, and energy do to get both her and her family ready for her beloved nephew’s wedding?

I’ve been scratching my head as to how to get a dress for my daughter and myself along with pants and a dress shirt for my growing 13.75 year old man-child. My hubby and youngest two were all set but as the wedding gets closer, I have been stressing over what to wear.

I’ve gained a bit of weight since I can’t exercise anymore the way I used to (Turbo Jam videos) but, when I tried on the only suitable dress I had for a wedding, it made me look as a marshmallow…….toasted marshmallow since the dress is brown. 😭

So, my family and I set out to our local thrift store with so much HOPE to find what we need and fast.

My beautiful daughter found a gorgeous pink A line dress with flowers that suits her well while my son found black Jockers slacks (do people still say that?) and a nice white button down dress shirt with a vibrant blue tie.

Thankfully, after trying on a handful of dresses and feeling a bit discouraged, I found a dark indigo blue sleeveless dress with some shimmery bling on the front from Kohls with the tags still on. The tag read $50 but I got it for $5! Ta da!! God provided as always and now I can feel less panicked about the fast approaching wedding and good about the clothes we were able to find.

As for a much much needed hair cut, I watched a few YouTube videos and taught myself how to cut and layer my own hair. I have cut my hair in the past and cut my entire family’s hair out of necessity. It saves a ton. Sometimes we get poor results but I think we are managing and it’s one less task on my over-worked (and underpaid) hubby.

The wedding is August 3rd and thankfully only about half an hour from my house. We are really excited about it…..my niece-to-be is darling and I loved her the minute we met. She and I also share the same birthday which I’m so delighted about and makes her even more special to me.

I’m so thankful God gave me the energy to clothing shop with my kids! It was the first time shopping together in years and felt so wonderful to be able to handle and enjoy it.

I’m getting stronger friends!! Praise God for today and also praise Him for the bad days because without them, the good days wouldn’t be so marvelous!

Much love,

Viv πŸ₯‚πŸ’—

For You πŸ’–

A very sweet lady wrote these comforting words for me and I now pass them along to YOU my beautiful readers. Whatever is bothering you, wherever you are, however you feel. At this very moment, YOU ARE LOVED!

Wish I could sit down with you and give you a long, gentle hug.

I am sad to hear all of the pain in your voice.

I get it though.

You are Enough.

You are Beautiful inside and out.

God is with you.

He is your nearest, your dearest Friend.

He will never leave you.

He will never forsake you.

He will never be too sick.

He will always be there for you.

Always.

I am praying that He will wrap His Arms

around you and be your Comfort and your

JOY right now.


And that’s my prayer for you too! If you are sad, lonely, depressed…..look up. God cares and hears your cries. He understands. He knows. He will never leave or forsake you. Ever. Run to Him. Sit at the foot of the cross in full surrender and let it all go.

Much love,

Viv πŸ™β€

Some Blogging Insights

Start a blog, they said. It will be fun, they said.

Although my experience as a blogger has been mostly positive, I do want to share two hidden discouragements I believe we bloggers are apt to stumble across from time to time. Quite possibly they may bruise us, and leave us feeling unsettled, and can make us question our approach to the whole blogosphere.

1) Judging our writing based on other’s interactions, responses, or likes.

Okay, this one is hard because we feel the need for postive feedback and comments yet that doesn’t mean we are good bloggers because our blog looks like it’s smoking hot after every post with loads of interactions. It may be your likes and followers are high momentarily, but that is a very subjective and can change in a gradual incline or decline. There are excellent blogs out there with tons of great information and writing styles which appear to be more dormant but looks can be deceiving. One of my favorite blogs, jumbledbrain.com, looks very quiet from a blogger’s viewpoint but she has risen to one of the top 30 blogs in the world with thousands of email subscribers. If people sign up for your blog through email because of finding you through internet social media, that is a very good indication your blog offers something they are looking for. Don’t be discouraged if sometimes your posts go mainly unnoticed. There are more highly trafficked days and times for blogging and sometimes just strategic timing can bring the most traffic to your blog. Write from your heart and be you. Keep those posts from going on too long. Sometimes great writers can write lengthy posts and most people just don’t have that kind of time. Put your blinders on, and remember to dig in and stay focused on your true purpose as a blogger. If you wrote your heart out and didn’t receive much feedback, remember, lots of people may read and enjoy your blog but never leave a comment. A lot of us are introverts and like to read and ingest what we read quietly.

2) Being yourself may lead to negative feedback.

Yes, we want feedback, as I mentioned above, but it’s tough when it’s not always postive. As a Christian blogger who bears her heart openly on WordPress, I’ve learned to realize that if I’m transparent, I need to willingly take the heat from others. I am more of a sensitive soul, so I can get a bit worked up when others find fault in me through my writing. Now, I can be safe and write from a strictly objective viewpoint but I believe my subjective, honest writings are more helpful to other people who are hurting and therefore I continue to write being fully aware that my openness may lead to open criticism. Do I need to have thicker skin? Absolutely! I have had to remind myself that although it hurts to receive negative feedback, I truly did bring it upon myself through my openness, so I have chosen to open the door to receiving criticism. It’s my choice to say what I say, so I must choose to live with the consequences too. I can play it safe and close myself off with mainly impersonal writings, but my personal mission as a blogger wouldn’t be as effective so I choose to be real. Since being real may mean being vulnerable to criticism, I definitely need to thicken my skin and look at it as battle wounds for the cause of Christ, knowing that He sees the intentions of my heart: seeking to help, bless, and uplift others who are hurting. Because most people generally like reading posts that they can relate to, I will continue to write from my heart in hopes to be a blessing.

I prayed before writing this post that it would be helpful to another blogger out there who may be new to blogging or facing the same challenges I have faced. I pray God blesses each and every one of you as you seek to write for whatever your blogging mission may be, and that your blogging experience is a deeply blessed and rewarding one.

With much love,

Viv βœπŸ™

A Birthday Poem To My Dad

You were born in the 40’s after WW2

A “Baby Boomer” yes, that’s what they call you

My dad you’re amazing a trooper I say

You served in the Marine Corp

Back in the day

Your education was extensive and strenuous as can be

Yet you pushed through to achieve

Your Master’s Of Divinity

You never shrink back to take on a challenge

Motivated, determined, and a man of deep knowledge

Your provision consistently steady and good

A secure roof over our heads and plenty of food

Daily family devotions you never lost sight

Pointing us to God and teaching what’s right

Married to mama over fifty years golden

Strong committment to love, honor and cherish you’ve proven

A fond memory I hold of you in years past

Your grand fireworks display

Giving the neighboorhood a loud blast

It was the best fourth of July hot summer night

How you treated all us kids to a spectacular delight

Smoking a cigar your lighter too

Then we all stood and watched

Breathtaking sparkles of red, pink, white, green, blue

Another favorite memory I cherish of you and me

Was riding around on your snazzy Harley

Then you rigged your bike up with loud banana pipes

It was fun riding with my dad, the cool biker type

You go to the gym

Staying fit, trim, and spiffy

I promise you look not a day over fifty!

It touches my heart to watch you care for your wife

Your devotional love is an example of Christ

A godly picture of what a Father really means

I’m honored to be your daughter and proud to share your genes

My dear “Papa” at this particular time

I write words that say “I love you”

In this little rhyme

You’re a father so loyal, so faithful and true

I’m penning this poem saying “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU

Written by Vivian Joy

July, 2019.

Survival Mode

For years now, my family and I have been in this mode. Barely keeping our heads up above water……..just getting by.

Are you here, or have you been here?

Sometimes chronic illness or injury feels like grasping for a buoy and hanging on, barely keeping your head up above water. Then a huge wave of unexpected symptoms wash over your head pulling you under, leaving you fearful and disoriented, trying to figure out which way is up, and struggling to come up for air. Each new challenge, whether physical or emotional, is like an extra weight, pulling you downward so then you struggle even harder to stay afloat treading the deep waters that never seem to dissipate.

Yet, God is our buoy. He keeps us up and afloat daily. His grace never ends and His strength is beyond us. He is the ultimate source for enduring hardships, and fights alongside of us in the deepest, darkest, oceans of trials. His grace is sufficient and His mercy does endure forever.

2 Corinthians 12:9 King James Version

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It may not look pretty……this survival mode. But, we ARE surviving. We still get up every morning to see the sun rise yet once again.

I still see the faces of my darling children every day and here the soft whispers of, “I love you, Mommy” at the breakfast table.

Though for long or short durations life can be tough at times we can still glorify God and enjoy Him forever; because His grace abounds when we are weak, when things aren’t pretty, when bodies fail and life appears to go under. He’s always here, always surrounding us with His loving arms, and he loves us more than our finite minds can ever fully comprehend.

Hold onto Him in faith and never fear because when we are too weak to hold on, He holds us still and always is holding us. God will never ever let go because He promises to keep us, preserve us, and protect us until He calls His beloved safely home.

Much love,

Viv πŸ’–