Songs of Hope 2.0

Dear blogging family,

I’m in the process of revising my page Songs of Hope and am looking for some input from you. Whether it’s psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs, I’m looking to compile a list of powerful music to help comfort and give hope to others who are suffering.

Many of you have shared beautiful and uplifting songs with me in the past and I’d like to ask for personal favorites and “go-to” songs that I can include here along with my favorites.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

Much love,Viv 🎢🎹🎀

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With All Your Heart

God’s timing…….why am I always amazed at how the Lord gives my soul comfort at precisely the moment I need it? Sitting in the van today, TBI symptoms flaring and tears starting, the Lord directed me to my favorite bible verse via brother Ryan’s post, ‘In All Your Ways.

Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I was instantly quieted and comforted as I struggled to fight the intense nausea due to an overloaded brain. I went back over twenty years to my grocery store job at Winn Dixie. I remember cutting out of construction paper a red heart and writing out that verse (Proverbs 3:5) on it then taping it up on the glass partition separating me from my customers. My eyes often fell on those words over the long hours while I iced and decorated cakes. I used it to comfort myself in the early days of marriage, growing up in the marriage, and learning the ropes of life. But then, God used my red heart bible verse to encourage others…….others came and told me how it blessed them and gave them hope.

And that verse came back to me again today! Today God whispered to my heart lean not on your OWN understanding. How freeing is this? So completely freeing since I really don’t understand what’s going on in my life or why. I’m free to just trust that God knows and understands not me. His guidance and knowledge is the light that lights my path ahead. I can rest fully in His sovereign care while I have no answers.

He also whispered to my heart in ALL your ways. Not 50%, 75% or even 99%…….ALL of my heart given to the Lord in full surrender and trust. Trusting in His guidance and direction. Trusting in His provision and timing. Trusting that He will guide and direct me as I cry out to Him in a posture of full submission.

These verses from Proverbs are so very uplifting! I praise God for the blessing and gift of His word as He uses it to quiet my heart.

Much love,

Viv ❀

He Knows

The Holy Spirit is always so faithful in comforting my soul when I am struggling against unchecked thoughts that rear their ugly heads from time to time. He reminds me to look upward to my heavenly Father and faithfully gives these two words to quiet my mind; “He Knows.”

He knows what it feels like to be alone (Luke 4:2).

He knows what it feels to be unwanted (1 Peter 2:4).

He knows what it feels like to be forsaken (Psalm 22:11) (Mark 14:50).

He knows what it feels like to be rejected and dispised (Isaiah 53:3).

He knows what it feels like to be misunderstood (Luke 2:50).

He knows what it feels like to be tempted (Luke 4:2).

He knows what it feels like to be hungry and thirsty (Matt. 4:2, John 19:28).

He knows what it feels like to be broken (Luke 23:33).

He knows what it feels like to be betrayed (Luke 22:47-48).

He knows what it feels like when people closest to you go away (Mark 14:50).

He knows what it feels like to endure physical pain (Matt. 26-50).

He knows what it’s like to have others try to hurt you (Matt. 12:14).

He knows what it feels like to be poor (Matt. 8:20).

In all my struggles and sorrows my comfort is in knowing Jesus, our sympathizing High Priest, understands and feels for me when I am at my lowest.

He is our only true source of comfort because He is the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3).

He sympathizes with us because He endured the same things we endure yet even more fully than we can ever know. He loves us so much he endured coming to earth, suffering and dying for our sins so we could be reconciled to full fellowship with God. To know He would have to face what He endured and then intentionally go through with it out of love for us is mindblowing. He manifested His love by giving us Himself and taking on the full penalty for our sins willingly. The grace He bestowed on us is undeserved yet given out of the deepest, widest, truest love we can’t even begin to wrap our minds around.

Has anyone ever loved you so much that they allowed themself to be killed in your place?

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforter us in our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort then which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewithal ourselves are comforted of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

What Jesus did for you when he lived here on earth and continues to do for you in innumerable ways every day, no one else can ever do for you. He alone understands, cares, loves, feels, and sympathizes with your every woe.

Much love,

Viv πŸπŸ‚πŸ„

For prayer requests please visit my page Come Pray With Me. I’d love to pray with you. ❀

Patience

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

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€—

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’—

Progress and Prayers

Dear Readers, I’m so grateful for the huge overflowing of kindness and prayers received by so many as I push along towards healing. I am getting stronger in many ways although my emotions are healing at a slower pace than my body. I’ve reached out to several prayer groups for prayer as well as many of you individually. I feel your prayers for me and the comfort of the Holy Spirit as I have struggled off and on under the stifling blanket of depression. I’m still battling challenges of my emotional health but God has given me a profound sense of His love in the midst of this storm. He has used several blog posts from old and new friends, and my weekly Bible study with Kim, to hold me up and to keep my eyes fixed upon Him. He has heard the cries of my heart, and given me scriptures after scriptures to wash away sorrows leaving hope, and pouring truth to my soul. Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers! Truly, I’m grateful for this body of believers who have loved on me and showered me with support. ❀

As I mentioned before, I am getting much stronger physically. I can see a HUGE difference in contrast to where I was a year ago to where I am now.

Last year walking was a huge obstacle that seemed insurmountable. There were moments I wanted to give up trying to walk because this exercise made me feel worse instead of better. I could barely walk to my next door neighbor’s house and back without needing hours to recover deep inside my head. When mentioning it to my Dr. she said something about the cerebellum and how it was changing, and to not go beyond my physical limits but to still walk as much as I could. It seemed like a catch 22 because I needed to walk but it’s effects were so scary, I was afraid. But I kept trying. I would wait several days and try again. It was a long arduous process. Trying, waiting, trying again because I knew I couldn’t give up. So, keeping at it, pushing through the pain and fear I’m excited to report I can now walk three houses down my road, nearly 1/2 of a mile!! This is huge because there was a time three years ago, I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom and my husband had to carry me from room to room because my muscles were so weak.

I am physically gaining strength but still facing the challenge of not able to handle climbing more than one or two stairs at a time. My balance is not great and there seems to be a mild disconnection between my head and legs leaving me feeling all Loosey Goosey and wobbly in the space around me. My dear husband is like my own personal scout, scouting out places, locations and surroundings, making sure my body can handle it before we try adventuring out there into the world. My husband also has the additional challenge of handling all things pertaining to our downstairs basement/laundry room since I can not handle going down them unless I go slowly on my rear end. This is exhausting and doesn’t leave much energy left over for other tasks like laundry, cleaning, or sorting so those tasks rest on him now.

Your prayers are very much appreciated and I just want you to know I’m truly seeing results! God is slowly healing me and He is giving me moments of reprieve from the TBI, glimpses of hope and good sunny days. I’m able to handle social settings better (minus the stairs) and I need less recovery time then I required before. I even went to church last Sunday and was greatly encouraged by it.

The road to recovery is long and hard but I do see progress. And like a dear friend once said to me, “slow progress is still progress anyway.”

Much love,

Viv ❀

Here’s a link to my podcast where I was given the privilege of sharing my story.


Romans 11:33-36

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

For prayer requests please visit my page Come Pray With Me, and join in a loving community.

The Reading Road To Recovery

There are times when the body and mind are so weak and weary we need to soothe our hearts with light easy reads. Nothing heavy, nothing super intellectual, or challenging. Just simple goodness wrapped up in a favorite book with a puppy nearby and some lavendar tea. Sounds pretty good, huh?

When I was in phase two of my recovery, and no longer bedridden, but chair ridden, I stumbled upon my set of Mitford series that I hadn’t read in years.

As I traversed the pages of the delightful story of an Episcopalian Priest who lived for God and helping others through service, something magical happened. My mind shifted focus from the hard experience I was living in to the everday life of the small town folk of Mitford. I had light, happy, interesting things to entertain me, yet not too heavy for my struggling brain to process. It was a sunny little resort from the hard and broken to a mind more at ease and peace.

Sometimes light, simple, beautiful, peaceful thoughts are very healing to the mind and can bring healing especially with chronic illness or injury.

In Phillipians 4:8-9 God tells us what to think on, what to dwell on, and what to fill our minds with.

Philippians 4:8-9 King James Version

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


Filling my mind with peaceful, happy and restful thoughts has been a step in my healing process. Reading the Mitford books, looking at art, beauty, birds, flowers, and dwelling on thoughts of God are so very healing to my mind, body and spirit.

Here’s a glimpse of the fun, typical Mitford bantor from Jan Karon’s Mitford book called Light From Heaven:

“Three,” said Willie Mullis.

Willie stood at the kitchen door, bareheaded and mournful, holding forth a battered fedora containing the day’s egg inventory.

“Three’s all we need,” said Father Tim, reaching into the hat. “We thank you. Think the laying will pick up come spring?”

“Yessir.”

“Good! Think we’ll be having any more snow?”

“Nossir.”

“Your arthritis coming along a little better?”

“Yessir.”

“Looks like a nice, warm day. The temperature could soar into the high sixties, don’t you think?”

“Yessir.”

“Need any help at the barn?”

“Nossir.”

“If you do, just give me a call.”

“Yessir.”

He (Father Tim) put the brown eggs into a bowl on the table, observing them with satisfaction. With a little grated cheese, a tot of cream, a smidgen of onion. . .

“Was that Willie?” asked his wife, coming into the kitchen.

“Three eggs,” he said, pointing. “The laying will, of course, pick up come spring; we won’t be having any more snow; the temperature will probably be in the high sixties today; and his arthritis is improving.”

“My goodness,” she said, “I never get that sort of information from Willie. He’s a perfect chatterbox with you.”


Having read this delightfully fun book series was a great way to heal for me. My fifteen-year-old also enjoyed reading the books recently. She devoured all 13 books in 9 days (we don’t yet own the 14th)! I highly recommend finding the series if you haven’t already or maybe re-reading them again like I did. They are fun, light, and full of Biblical truths that actually run deep. And they, as my daughter would say, are “awesome!”

Reading scripture verses, and journaling has also become quite healing, as well as writing with a pen which heals my motor skills by working my right hand left brain connection.

Setting our thoughts on what is pure, lovely, noble, and true is an active exercise in and of itself to battle off negativity, anger, and other emotions which only stifle our joy and bring sorrow.

It’s amazing because in verse 9 of Phillipians 4, God says it will bring peace. How lovely! Just think, God whispers to us in His word, “think on THESE things.”

Mindfulness is a struggle for me. Fighting off all those negative thoughts that plague my broken brain is a battle. Yet, God is fighting, helping and working alongside to help guard my heart, mind and thoughts. He wants me to think on Him, His blessings, His truth and rest in His endless love.

His beauty is a wonderful thought to set my mind on each and every day.

Much love,

Viv πŸ€—πŸŒΌ


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