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Stay Strong & Press On!

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I have had lots of life’s challenges and annoyances these past two weeks that have caused me to be discouraged and overwhelmed.  From bulldozers clearing the lot next door to my home and disconnecting my internet several times (I work from home on the internet) to finding out we have to replace our air conditioning unit.   I have been unable to keep the windows open for very long due to the annoying noise of the plows and bulldozers. 

 

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Then, earlier in the week, my right hip hurt so bad that I could hardly walk and get up and down from a seated position.  Due to the outrageous health insurance deductible we have, I have been reluctant to schedule a medical appointment – need to get through the cost of replacing our A/C first! 

 

And other annoyances and burdens – family things, midlife challenges, job situations, worry, fear of the future and being overburdened by bills, personal things that would probably be inappropriate to disclose here.  But you know the drill, I suspect many of you – or most of you – have these challenges or similar ones.  This is all part of life whether we like it or not.

 

When we have lots and lots of things go wrong, or difficult challenges all at once, it seems sometimes that life gets the best of us.  We want to quit; we want to give up.  Lately, I have been tempted to pull the covers up over my head, stay in my bed and just sleep for three days straight.  Unfortunately (or fortunately),  that’s not true life.

 

We all have those moments, days, and weeks where we just don’t think we can do another thing, let alone go on with our lives.  We just want to give up, and we think that life is just too hard.  The discouragement and fear of the future and other overwhelming thoughts can often overcome us; and cause us to not think clearly.

 

But there is something to be said for “the best way to start moving forward is to start moving.” I want to encourage you (and me) to stay strong and press on …even when we don’t feel like it.

 

A couple of Bible verses that have helped me during these discouraging hours:

 

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9)  NIV

 

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“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10) NIV

 

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Believe me, I call to mind the above scriptures because I need this encouragement and help from the Lord, maybe even more than you do, or at least as much as you do! When I see these scriptures, and many similar ones, I am reminded how good God is to each of us!

 

Some tidbits that have helped me during life’s dark and cloudy days:

 

  • Write up a list of 10 things you are thankful for this week and recite that list every morning. Count your blessings!  Even if it is hard, there is always, always something to be thankful for.  (Sometimes I have to start by reminding myself it could always be much worse.)

 

  • Meet a close friend for lunch, engage in an outing, or call a friend that can make you laugh and refuse to hang up until she tells you a funny story!

 

  • Say “NO” to negativity! Stay away from the “negative Nellies” and “Debbie downers”.  We need to surround ourselves with upbeat encouraging people.  (And my apologies to the “Debbies” out there – I guess it could have been “sarcastic Sallies”, “snappy Susies” or “pouty Patties”…)

 

  • Do something nice for someone else. It helps us to focus on someone else instead of get stuck in our own little pity party.  This is also one of those BOGOS… you know – buy one – get one free type of deals.  You give someone else a lift and you also give yourself a boost! 

 

  • Give your brain some air. Get some fresh air or go out somewhere – even if it’s just sitting outside for a bit.  Many times, fresh air equals a fresh perspective!

 

  • Don’t look at the whole mountain of challenges all at once. It’s often just too overwhelming.  Break down the challenges and work on one small piece of the challenge at a time.  And of course – pray over the situation.

 

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Some days, it seems as if life wants to swallow us whole.  But we have a Rock we can stand on.  Realize that God is with us, and tomorrow is a new day.  There is something pretty amazing that each time the sun rises in the morning to greet us, we have another chance to change our perspective and accept a fresh start. 

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Blessings –

 

~Clare

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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14 Comments

  • Jann says:

    I so needed the Isaiah passage today. Thank you for giving me new perspective.

    • Clare says:

      Hi Jann!  Glad you liked the scriptures and for the perspective – we all need this sometimes!  Thanks for the comments – be blessed!

  • Daffney says:

    Love the Isaiah passage! I find that meditating in prayer and praising God for all the good things can really help shift my focus. (I do that at least once a day!).

    • Clare says:

      Daffney – such wonderful thoughts and advice!  Truly truly staying in prayer, attitude of thankfulness and praising the Lord can turn around everything!  Thanks for sharing!

  • Émilie says:

    Staying away from  negative people is my number one tip as I’m very sensitive to negativity.  I would rather be alone than around negative people!

    • Clare says:

      Really – the “Debbie Downer’s” can be truly so depressing if there are too many of them in our lives.  Thanks for the comments and thanks for stopping by!  🙂

  • Jessica H. says:

    This is a great list!  I’ve been having a stressful week myself and while talking to my husband over dinner last night and telling him about some of the positives of my day he said, “See!  Focus on that.  Focus on the good that happened.”  He’s right.  It’s often so much easier to focus on the negative, but we need to push passed that.  Also, the weather warmed up enough to open windows today.  What a difference that can do for a mood!  Keep your head up!

    • Clare says:

      You are right, Jessica, but we need to be reminded don’t we to “push past the negative”!  I constantly need those reminders.  You are right – I love this great weather – we are in “sunny” Florida!  Thanks for stopping by!

  • Gina B says:

    These are great suggestions! I had been struggling with a very difficult hurdle at the end of last year. This year, I thought things were resolved but physically I was feeling terrible. I couldn’t understand until I vented to a close Christian sister. She set me straight..I had taken my eyes off the Lord in working towards healing, and put the focus on ME. I didn’t even realize I had done this! I am blessed that I built this relationship with my sister in Christ because otherwise I would never have known. So that suggestion to meet a close friend is spot on – and in building a relationship around laughter and light things, you can have the help & support you need when you go off track.

    • Clare says:

      Awww thanks for sharing that Gina!  I think good girlfriends and a supportive family are so so necessary to today’s “difficult times” and living!  I am glad you have that friend… I have some wonderful friends, too, that often lighten my load just at the right moment…. and I have to pinch myself to try to remember to keep focused on the Lord!  Thanks for your comments!

  • This is exactly what I needed to read today to put things into perspective (for this very negative nelly right at the moment).

    • Clare says:

      Ha ha – it’s good that we can call ourselves names, Jennie!!!!!  I feel the same way lots of times – glad you enjoyed the post!!!!  🙂  🙂

       

  • Mary Collins says:

    I can relate to so much you included in this post. I have been praying my way through some bad times myself. I will definitely use some of the items you suggested to improve my state of mind.

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