We Will Praise Him!

My heart has felt heavy lately. I’ve felt like my dog Molly’s stuffed moose “Gregory” with all the stuffing ripped out of him, one eye missing, and half of one antler gone, leaving nothing but a rag. Head injury and job loss just seem like too much.

But, after reading a chapter in Martha Peace’s book Damsels In Distress I was hit by so much conviction. Do I praise Him in the good times AND in the bad? Or just praise Him when all is well like my wayward heart was doing the last few days. She went on to mention how praising God in our trials because He is working them out for our good is something we can do as believers to glorify His name. If we go around all down in the mouth and slump shouldered that brings shame to our testimony as believers in Jesus. He deserves our praise in every storm we face no matter how hard or how scary or real they are. When we praise God, the world looks at us in wonder, and marvels at our faith in our Savior as we journey these valleys keeping our eyes on Him. They observe us steadfastly holding onto and clinging to Him while we sit at the foot of the cross in full surrender to His will. This brings glory, honor and praise to His awesome and majestic name.

Exodus 15:2 King James Version (KJV)

2 The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Jesus is with us in every storm. Every test or trial is from His loving hand and He carries us through them to refine us bringing forth gold. He could give us nothing but sunshine and lollipops but then we wouldn’t need Him and we wouldn’t mature. These trials give us the opportunity to showcase His grace, mercy, love, and strength.

Will you praise Him with me?

In the darkest hardest times, let us continue to praise Him with a thankful heart.

Much love,

Viv ❤🙌

Molly

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Prayer Request

Beloved friends, some of you from the prayer group already know that my husband lost his job last week and I greatly appreciate the love and prayers being sent.

The company eliminated his entire team due to company cuts from low production. This news came as a shock to us and now we are dealing with job loss including the loss of medical insurance at the end of this month.

We have gone through this before in 2012. At that time, I had a few toddlers and a baby in diapers. Although my health was still good at that point (and I could just eat junk), I’m currently healing from a hard time of TBI and fatigue which requires more intentional care.

Please pray for my family as we face this new trial. Especially for wisdom and guidance which my husband needs as we seek God for His leading and direction.

God got us through seven months of unemployment before and I know He will get us through this again a second time around. (May I just say I wish we didn’t have to face this again?)😭

Nothing happens outside of God’s will and I’m trusting in His goodness, faithfulness and perfect plan for our lives. I do know that He will work all things together for our good because He promises so to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) During the seven month interim of unemployment we never went without food and God took care of our bills. Sometimes it was a friend pitching in or neighbor bringing groceries and quietly leaving canned goods on our deck. Sometimes it was people giving us odd jobs of chopping wood or farming that got us through. God provided for us then and I’m eager to watch Him at work again.

This past week we emptied out all our change and discovered we had over $80 in quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies! And I sold a pair of sneakers on Facebook Marketplace and got $20. It was amazing! 😃 He is working already. Actually, He’s never not working.

I’m reminding myself of my mama’s words to me, “One day at a time, Viv, one day at a time.”

Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

Much love,

Viv ❤🙏

Soft Hearted

“A soft heart in a cruel world is not a sign of weakness but courage.”

This encouraging quote was on a church sign that we passed today and I just had to share. May we keep on loving like Jesus loved with a tender heart that is unafraid to show His love in a broken and fallen world.

Much love,

Viv 🤗

1 John 4:7-8 King James Version (KJV)

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

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.🙏💗

Much love,

Viv 🤗

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 💖

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 🤗🌼


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