tammyleemoyle

HEY friends!  Just an update – I decided to switch up a few things and I am just simply writing at my new site… tammyleemoyle.com

It’s just me, my heart for women learning to feel comfortable in their own skin, maybe some cool travel ideas or easy recipe hacks… It’s just a place to live the blithe life (i.e. a life filled with joy!).

You can head over there and I’ve updated all my social media outlets to reflect this change.  Thank you for always being so supportive of me!

XO

squareFriends, when I started Blithe, a Blog a couple years ago I didn’t know what to expect from it.  It was just a place to write my words.  Maybe share some recipes.  To chronicle my every day life.

With 3 kids and soon starting a new job, I am looking to be a bit more simple in my life.  And a bit more specific.  My heart has always been for women.  Young women specifically.  To help them grow.  To help them prepare for their future roles. To help them prepare.  To help them become.

And so I started the website Becoming by Blithe last year and it’s pretty much sat.  And stared at me.  And has been a lot of ideas but no outcome.

And I want to change that.

Blithe has been my baby but it’s time for that baby to grow.  And so, from now on, I will be posting over at Becoming by Blithe.  I hope you will join me there.  Because we are all always becoming.  It’s when the student becomes the teacher, and the teacher is still the student. We are always learning. We are always preparing. We are always becoming.

I love you all for always supporting me.  You’ve been my joy with Blithe, a Blog.  And, for that, I am so grateful.

to the mom who is officially over christmas -

December started off with such hopes.  The red cups arrived, the tree lots were ablaze with their candy cane poles and bright strung lights, Christmas music filled the radio waves on every single channel, and we moms set to work in excitement.

Christmas was here.  The most wonderful time of the year.  And we began to make the mental (or for you Type A’s – physical) checklists of all the things we wanted to do this holiday season:

-Gingerbread Houses… of course.

-Holiday baking?! Absolutely.

-Curling up with every Christmas movie there ever was with hot chocolate, fuzzy blankets and a warm fire… Every other night clearly.

-Attending (or better yet being) in the church nativity and making all the special services: the children’s play, the candlelight service, the Christmas Ever service!  We are there!

-Packing into the car for the Christmas light house tour complete with caroling at the top of our lungs.

-Christmas shopping… and more shopping… and more shopping!  An actual excuse to shop!

-Secret Santa’s with the neighbor kids… Oh and the co-workers!  Oh and the book club girls!  Oh and the women’s group at church!  So many fun gifts to give and get.

-And don’t forget the Christmas gatherings, holiday parties, work get togethers!
SO much festivity!

So much wonder.

So much awe.

We were so ready for the holidays.  We were ready for our hearts to flow in the Christmas spirit and be filled with good tidings of comfort and joy.

And it was beautiful for the first few days and weeks….  Truly, glorious and wonderful.

But now, with just a few days to go, Christmas is looking a lot like…

-Kids breaking down because of late nights and early mornings.

-Kids freaking out if they can’t have one more candy cane or cookie.

-Kids melting down because they can’t have the Frozen shirt they see in the store as you were shopping for presents NOW.  They don’t want to wait till Christmas.  They want it NOW.  And you carry a baby on your hip, and drag his 3-year-old sister behind you as she screams and cries at pitch level 12+ and everyone at the store stares at you in sympathy or annoyance (okay, that might have happened today).

And you still have shopping to do, food to buy, baking to make, and you’re ready to fall into bed in exhaustion.  Or tears.  Or you really don’t even know because you are so tired you can’t even feel anymore.

And you are just OVER Christmas.

You hate to say it but you are ready for December 26th.  And sleeping.  And leftover pie to help emotionally recover from all the drama.

And you’re embarrassed you feel this way.  You’re sad you don’t feel more Christmassy.  And you’re wondering what happened from the beginning of the month when you were so ready for the spirit of the season and now you are OVER IT.

First, I want to tell you this: don’t worry.  You aren’t a Grinch.  You are just tired.  And overwhelmed.  And wish I could give you an extra (peppermint) brownie, coffee and a hug.

Next, I want to tell you: you aren’t alone.  So many moms feel this way around this point.  The Christmas plans and expectations we put on ourselves are always a lot.  It’s down in the sweetest and best intentions – you just want your family to have a beautiful holiday season.  We all do.  We are a motherhood full of the preciousness that we want to bestow upon our kids and their forever memories.

Finally, I want to tell you: let’s just get back to the joy of Christmas – Jesus.  Maybe let’s forget about the extra baking, or movies, or light displays.  We have a just few days to go. Instead, let’s spend our extra efforts showing our kids the peace and joy His love brings.  Let’s tell stories of His goodness.  Let sing songs of His Holiness.  Let’s honor this Child, this Savior that came to us and offers us Emmanuel… God with us.

Maybe we are OVER the Christmas season but I think this just shows us how much we need a Savior.  Even in His celebration, He comes, yet again, to us.

Rest in His love, peace, joy and goodness tonight my friend.  He is here.

I love keeping a personal connection with my readers!  Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more words of hope & finding the joy in everyday life.

The Hardest Part About Motherhood is Being Alone

 

Granted – I am never alone.  Never ever ever alone.

There are kids in my bed when I wake up; their sweet, chubby arms thrown over my face.  There are kids whose pitter-pats I hear down the stairs, calling my name, as I sit on the couch with my hot cup of coffee while quickly reading through my morning devotional.  There are kids literally hanging on me as I try to cook breakfast, and lunch, and dinner and as I try to clean up from those meals, fold the laundry, and sweep the floor.  There are kids banging on the glass shower door as I try to wash my hair and who follow me into the restroom when I try to take exactly 30 seconds to pee.  There are kids laughing and giggling as we play games, hopping on my back when I walk past the couch, and crying water is in their eyes when they get a nightly bubble bath.  There are kids hugging my neck after we say prayers and exchange cuddles as we tuck them into bed.

My sweet babies are always there.  I am never alone.

And yet, I feel alone.  So alone.  Every day.  To the place my heart aches for fellowship, sisterhood, friendships, family…. I long for someone to be there.

Daily.  I long for someone.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom, working mom, a mom with family close-by or far away, a mom with a babysitter, or nanny, or who is with their kids day in and out with no break….  I think mothering can be a really lonely job.

And if I am honest, I feel guilty for that.  I feel guilty that my little clan is somehow not “enough” to take away this loneliness in my heart.  With all the difficult aspects of being a parent, I think this feeling of alone is the hardest one for me to take.

And yet, I think…. I think, somehow, the loneliness is supposed to be there.  Because in the busyness of parenting, the exhaustion, the elation, and the truly fun times, our hearts are called back to the Creator.

To remind us that we need Him.  That our children need Him.  That we can not make it through this journey of parenthood and raising tiny humans into lovely adults without Him by our side, guiding us, directing us, loving us, and giving us grace upon grace the whole way.

And maybe, without that loneliness in our hearts, we wouldn’t think we need Him.  Or we would forget to rely on Him.  Or we would look to everything else for our security instead of placing our hope solely in Him.

This might sound like an oxymoron but sometimes I think God allows us to feel alone so we realize we aren’t alone.  So deep calls unto deep and floods our hearts time and time again as we worship, and praise, and call on His name.  So when we feel alone, as we enter His gates, we realize we are never alone.

Being a mother is by far the hardest job/experience/life I’ve ever had.  It’s also been the loneliest.  But if it calls me to my knees, seeking His face, and praying His presence over my children and my family’s life, then I call loneliness my friend and embrace it as a gift.

So, sweet Momma, if you feel alone tonight rest in this: you are never alone, He is just calling you unto His own.

quit editing

I am not your typical writer…. I don’t edit my words.

Like ever.

Sure, I will go back and look for grammatical errors or misspellings but I never rewrite sentences.  I don’t restructure thought patterns. And I definitely don’t save my writings as a draft and come back another day to revisit what I was saying with a fresh mind.

I write.  I lay it all out.  I hope I didn’t abuse the comma too much. And I publish.

My writing is there: naked and raw and alive in its purest form for all to see.

And yet, I can’t live life that way.

I edit my life.  Way too much.

I put a million filters on my pictures and I put the same amount over my home and heart.  I make my jagged world and hurting home and broken heart look super pretty with just the right amount of filters and edits and correct angles.

I create what I want you to see.

A girl who seems to have it all together.  A girl who knows what she is doing.  A girl who knows how to pick up herself and move forward… Even when life seems hard.

That’s what I want you to see.

But the truth is I am no where near that.  I am a really messy, unedited, horrible first draft of a story.

If you read the real me you would probably put me down and close the cover firmly wondering how it even got into the house.

But I am telling you…. This is how we need to live.

As unedited lives.

I don’t want the person you think you should be… I want the person you are.

I want the person who stumbles and falls and picks back up because they are covered in a ton of grace and hope and love from a Savior who made us these messy first drafts in the first place.

He didn’t create us and then edit and reedit to make us the person He hoped we would be.

He just created us and placed us straight into the first chapter.  Because He knew if He edited us, then we wouldn’t need Him.

But the messy rough draft still needs their Author… To move forward, to work with that story, to trust that through all the plot twists and turns we will be caught up in His everlasting arms in the end.

I need to quit editing myself.  You need to quit editing yourself.  And we need to run to the Author whose words will lead us through this story… Our story.  Our story with Him.

My life may be perfectly unedited….. A messy chapter by chapter of experiences.  But I know I will always get my happily ever after in His arms.

12 week fitness challenge

Wait, what?

I’m blogging?  I am actually blogging?

I KNOW.

It’s been forever.  There is SO much to tell you guys.  We’ve been through so much lately.  And I promise.  I am going to share so many things with you at some point.  Hopefully soon.  Maybe over time.  But for now I can tell you this: I missed you.  Like crazy.  I missed you.  I love writing.  I love every single one of you who reads my blog and would take the time to be a part of my life.  And I am grateful for you.

I want to hop back into it easily, so I decided to do a little bit of a health series.

I KNOW.

Really?  Me?  Health series.

Yes.

One thing I’ve learned through the past few months is that physical health plays SUCH a role in mental health and honestly, just a genuine well being.

My leftover baby weight can now just be called “weight.”  I have a little 18-month old running around so I really can’t use him as an excuse anymore.  I have started and stopped many diets and workout plans, and so any weight loss I have seen has come back from lack of consistency…. And that’s why the idea of a 12 week fitness challenge came to me.

Could I dedicate myself to a routine for 12 weeks and see what results it paid off?  I decided I could and I am blogging about it to keep myself accountable and HOPEFULLY inspire you.

Here’s what the 12 week fitness challenge looks like to me:

WORKOUT: Tone It Up is my plan.  It’s two personal trainers that teamed up to make an awesome community and website.  If you sign up for their emails, every Sunday you get an email with the workout routine for the week (they have an app too with everything listed – easy peasy).  It’s some outside cardio (walking or swimming or biking) with their free weight and yoga videos mixed it.  I’ve done it a few days and LOVE it.  Also, I like people telling me what to do.  I don’t want to make up my own routine so I love that they spell it out for you.  There is a community where you can chat with others about your goals and look for friends on Instagram too under #TIUteam.  Finding friends to encourage you on is always a plus.

EATING:  I’ve done every diet.  Seriously, I probably have done every diet.  And when none worked I finally reached out to Kelly LeVeque at Be Well By Kelly.  If it’s possible for you to love your nutritionist then I do.  Love her I mean.  She’s fabulous.  She explained to me the science behind what wasn’t working for me and what would.  She sketched out a high protein, higher fat and low carb eating pattern based on my blood sugar.  Here’s the deal: this pattern is specific to MY body.  It won’t necessarily be what’s specific to YOUR body.  I absolutely suggest instead of spending a ton of money on diets and eating plans that don’t work, maybe make an appointment with Kelly and find out what your body needs.  She will send you everything laid out perfectly.  Tell her Tammy sent you.

-SUPPLEMENTS: The vitamins and supplements I am simply taking: THRIVE.  Have you heard of it?  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am grateful for this product.  I seriously didn’t even know what I was missing!  My energy levels have increased tremendously.  I always “want” to work out but never do because I am so tired; well, now I have the energy to DO IT.  Hurrah!  Also, side benefit: I am more patient with my kids.  I sleep better.  I am happier.  Truly, happier.  I love Thriving!

thrive    me with my THRIVE dft patch!

-EXTRAS: I am drinking half my body weight (in ounces) in water each day, taking my kids on walks to feed the ducks (aka just extra moving), using It Works! body wrap once a week, taking Juice Plus+ capsules and using essential oils to keep from getting sick, shopping for organic, non-GMO foods at Costco and online at Thrive Market, no processed foods, making sure my kids are eating healthy too, and (perhaps sans a piece of dark chocolate now and again) no alcohol or desserts except for special occasions.

So that’s it!

That’s my 12 week plan.  If you want to create your own and follow along with me that would be fabulous!  I will be posting regularly on the blog as well as on my Instagram account.  I started this week so here’s to week 1!  Looking forward to hearing your results as I share mine as well.  XOXO

I love keeping a personal connection with my readers!  Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more words of hope & finding the joy in everyday life.

your love is bigger than their hate

{original photo of Greensboro lunch counter by the Washington Post}

There has been a topic I have been fearful to cover in my writings….  That is the topic of hate.

It’s too big.  It’s too ugly.

And sadly, it’s too prevalent.

I’ve been thinking how I can write about something as big as this.  I am only a small time writer.  A simple mom and wife.  I have no big degree or published philosophies to my name.

Who am I to try to speak on this topic of hate?

But it’s here.  This hate is here.  It roams through dark alleys and then in open streets.  It silently festers in our hearts then out of our angry lips.  It overtakes our mind before it overtakes our body.

And we’ve seen the destruction this hate can bring.

Innocent victims lie dead.  Families are destroyed.  Children are attacked.  Women are beaten.  The young and old are left to starve while others are forced to earn their keep.

It lies in dark brothels in India.  It lurks in hidden caves in the Middle East.  And it is seen in broad daylight the past few days in the broken-hearted community of Charleston, South Carolina.

Hate doesn’t start as simple hate… I don’t believe we are born hating others.  But we are taught to not respect those around us who perhaps aren’t the same as us or “less” than us…  And it grows from disrespect to disregard to disservice to destruction.

Hate is formed.

And it’s awful.  It’s an awful emotion that is living and breathing and alive in our world.

I’ve tried to ignore.  I think a lot of us have.  We want to forget the dark and focus on the light.  We see acts of violence.  We hear about those who are destroyed and we sympathize for a moment, maybe more, but we don’t let it change us…  Not enough.  We slip back into our everyday lives and pretend it does not happen.  Or we forget it does.

But every day it does happen.  Every single day.

So let’s not pretend anymore.  Let’s not forget. 

Instead, let’s do something.

Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.  Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor. – Proverbs 31:8-10 (CEB)

Can I tell you I don’t believe this verse is a suggestion from God; I believe it’s a calling.  Yes, the government can help to an extent.  Social groups can help to an extent.  Charities can help to extent.

But we are all called to help the voiceless.

We all have an area in which we are called to fight for social injustice. What exactly this looks like is up to you.  God gives us various passions and desires for a reason.  We may not be able to hit up every issue before us but we can focus on the ones that bear witness to our hearts.  Whether that is poverty, race issues, sex trafficking, hunger, clean water, homes, orphanages, keeping babies safe, medical care, overseas, local… the list is as vast as the need.  As Pastor Tommy Barnett says, “Find a need and fill it.”

We can fight the hurt.  We can fight the hate.

But you say, “Who am I?  I am just one woman.”

Did you know it was Christian women who started to speak out against the trans-Atlantic African slave trade and declared that slavery was a sin?**  They were every day women.  They were wives and moms.  They were just like us.  And they made a difference in this world because they fought against the hate.

The book, Refuse to Do Nothing by Shayne Moore & Kimberly McOwen Yim (which I HIGHLY recommend you purchasing), gives a detailed account of how these Christian women became abolitionists.  Refuse to Do Nothing is specific to abolishing modern-day slavery but the tips they give {and I have adapted below from pages 33-34 of their book} can be specific to any area of social injustice you are ready to fight.  How these abolitionist women fought then is the same way you can fight NOW.

  • They prayed. Why?  Prayer is POWERFUL.  It changes things.  The Bible is very specific to this: The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – James 5:16 NLT
  • They formed sewing circles. They made items to give away to former slaves but they also sold their products to raise money for the cause.  What does that look like now?  What talents do you have that you could use to generate revenue?  Etsy shops filled with your crafts.  Jars of jam to sell at church.  Baking fairs.  GoFUNDme accounts.  There are a million ways to creatively raise money.
  • The created and organized fairs. They wanted to raise awareness.  We can still create events, conferences, afternoon workshops, Facebook groups, or a coffee-time to help educate our friends, family and community.
  • They spread the word through print. They used newspapers and flyers.  We have social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  We can use hashtag campaigns.  We can write articles and op-eds. We can blog.  Information is power.  And these days it is readily available to spread that information.
  • They boycotted products and started petitions. We may or may not necessarily have a product to boycott in our cause but we can start petitions. We can lobby government.  We can have peaceful protests and make our voice count.

Here’s the impact of these steps: People are watching us take a stand and fighting against social injustice.  Our co-workers.  Our kids.  Our friends.  Our family.  Our community.  And it’s teaching them.  We are raising up our communities to help bring help and healing to the world.

Here’s the thing I want you to do today.  What motivates you?  What gets you riled up?  Inequality?  Child labor?  Racial tensions?  Personal liberties?

Take that and make it a passion.  Use it to help change the world.  Be smart.  Learn.  Read.  Teach.  BE PEACEFUL.  And LOVE.  The way to fight against hate is to call it out by name, take action against it but also show the opposite virtue: we show love.

This weekend, as I walked through the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, I saw a countertop from Greensboro, North Carolina.  It was the Woolsworth lunch counter where back in 1960, 4 young African-American men sat down and asked for service.  When they were denied service, they politely refused to leave.  They just sat.  Their peaceful protest helped was one of many that helped pave a way to racial freedom.  As I stared at the countertop this weekend, surrounded by hundreds of men and women and children of all ethnicities, I found out about the horrible murders of 9 African-American victims in South Carolina.  Taken from their loved ones by a hate-filled 21 year old boy.  Simply because of the color of their skin.

Fifty-five years later, we still struggle with the hate.  We still fight.  But we do not give up.  We hold on and we say to hate you have no place here.  And we will fight and pray and teach and learn and grow until you are gone.

Friends, we can’t pretend anymore.  We can’t forget what we’ve seen lately.  And we can’t be afraid to talk about it because we don’t know what to say.  So even though I am just one and not a great representational candidate, I will still speak up and with love.  Can you join with me?  Because your love is bigger than their hate.

**Adated from Refuse to Do Nothing by Shayne Moore & Kimberly McOwen Yim

For those waiting to be mommy {on Mother's Day}

 

My dear friend,

Mother’s Day is around the corner and I can only imagine the feeling that is slowly growing in your stomach.  You love your mom.  You love your friends who are moms.  You are happy to honor their lives and love on them.

But inside your heart sinks.  Maybe a little.  Maybe a lot.  Because you have been waiting to hold your own child in your arms.  You have been waiting to be called one of the dearest words you can imagine: “Mother.”

You have been waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  And your heart can’t handle the thought of waiting any more.

You go through the days trying to hold that hurt back.  You pray and hope and trust.  You believe.

But I know Mother’s Day can be the day the hurt comes to the surface.  You smile when you see the moms around you getting simple white roses handed to them at church but you wish with all your heart one was handed to you as well.  Because it is not the rose itself but what it represents: the sweet life you have praying for finally being held in your arms.

Friends, I see your hurt.  I see your sadness.  I see your beautiful hope that shines upon your face as you dream of, pray for, and wait on your baby.

My friend, here is what I have to say to you: you are a mother.

Some women hold babies in their arms, some in their memories, some in their dreams, but all in their hearts.  They are all mothers.

The things that make mothers unique are the qualities you already embody: you nurture, you care, you comfort, you love, you help, you encourage, you speak, you support, you trust, you give, you hope.  You are all these things.

Today, your baby might not be physically present in your arms, but they are in your hearts, they are in your plans, they are in YOU.  They are a part of you.  And you are a part of them.  You are their mother.  And you always will be.

I know Mother’s Day will be a hard day for you this year while you are waiting.  I want you to know you will have many friends who will be praying for you specifically on this day that you will know the comfort of our Heavenly Father.

But I do want to encourage you in this: this is your Mother’s Day too.  Your Mother’s heart is celebrated.  Your Mother’s heart is inspiring.  Your Mother’s heart is just simply you.  So I say to you Happy Mother’s Day my sweet friend.  I love you.

I love keeping a personal connection with my readers!  Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more words of hope & finding the joy in everyday life.

 

why your little win is really big

 

About two weeks ago, I sat on the floor of my bathroom with my head in my hands.  Honestly, I was in the same pair of yoga pants and tank top I’d worn for 2 days straight (including bedtime) with my hair in a messy knot on top of my head.  I had spent the days cleaning, breaking up fights, wrestling littles to bed, trying to write something worth reading, sighing when my pants felt tight when I put them on, letting my kids watch more TV than playing outside, not cooking dinner (again), and feeling like one big mess.  All the areas in life I am responsible for (my marriage, my children, my home, my writing, ME in general) felt a bit chaotic.  Like not horrible but like I couldn’t pull any of it together.  It was like looking at a beautiful home that was covered in dirty clothes all the time.  You can see the beauty of the home, but most of it was hidden behind the mess.

And that’s what I felt my life was looking like.  I had all I’d ever wanted in my family and yet I couldn’t seem to see past the ways I was failing.  The ways I couldn’t keep together the parts of our lives I was responsible for…

So, as I sat on the bathroom floor in my 2 day old clothes, the kids finally in bed, my husband wandered upstairs and found me.  “Babe,” he said compassionately, “What’s going on?”

I looked up with tears in my eyes and said, “I just need a win.  Some win in one of the areas of my life.  Either in our marriage.  Or our kids.  Or in my writing.  Or in my own self.  I just need something to go right so I can feel like I actually did something useful and good today.”

Of course he hugged me and spoke sweet words of encouragement but my heart just struggled to believe it.  I know my roles I have to take care of and I was wasn’t doing them well enough.  I should be more.  I just wanted a win to feel, well, accomplished.

I few days later I said similar words to a friend and she stopped me, “You do win.  Every day.”

I thought she clearly hadn’t heard what I just laid out before her so I began to tell her again how I fail and she said, “You need to look every day for a small win.  It’s there.”

And then that’s when I realized the little win.

What’s a little win?  It’s the bed getting made when it usually isn’t.  It’s choosing that apple over the chocolate bar.  It’s not yelling when your kids throw the world’s biggest fit.  It’s making it to work on time and setting a good example to your staff.

A little win is simply a small success you made and it should be celebrated.

The little win isn’t as glamorous as a huge win like graduating college or finishing that marathon.  A little win isn’t as bragable as a big win like getting that job promotion or losing those stubborn 10 pounds finally.  But little wins are actually really important and you want to know why?

You will have a few huge wins in your life.  You will have many big wins in your life.  But you will have millions of little wins in your life.

All the little wins in your life will far out weigh all the big and huge wins you will ever have.  They are the main mini accomplishments our every day lives are made of…

And so, every day now I write down at least one of my little wins.  Because even if I didn’t make a big win today, I didn’t lose.  I had so many little wins I can take joy in.

Goals and dreams are good. Huge and big wins are awesome. But don’t forget the little wins. Look for them today.

I love to stay in touch with you all!  Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram
for more words of hope and finding the joy in everyday life.

 

Fight Through Praise

I have battled with depression (not counting postpartum) twice in my life: once was when I was 17 years old and the other is now.

And, I will be honest in saying, I am so embarrassed to admit this to you.  Because here I am, a writer, looking at this blog as a ministry, and trying to encourage YOU all the while I sit on the other end of the screen some days struggling myself.

Some days are fantastic.  Others emotional and draining.  My coping mechanism seems to be to pull away.  I back away from friends.  I don’t call family back.  And I even grow distant from my husband.  But, seeing as I am a people person, a sanguine by nature, that actually makes things worse because then I am missing the social side I naturally crave…  So it becomes like cycle of emotion

Depression is lonely.  And not just because of the self-isolation but because no one seems to understand what is going on or how to help.  They want you to flip a switch and be better… And you want that too!  You just don’t know how to get there.

For me, I am not in a horrible depression by any means, but it is there, always lingering in the back of my mind, wanting to make a presence and some days it does.

I’ve read a lot of ways to help naturally with depression.  I am on a vitamin regimen and using essential oils a lot too.

But the best way for me to battle with depression is this: fight through praise.

I first heard the words “Fight through Praise” from the Frontline Worship who lead worship for my church in Phoenix.  The song they sang was simply battling through our struggles by taking the focus off of our self and focusing on God and all He is as the Almighty.

And so, when I feel myself struggling, when the dark cloud of depression starts creeping up like a shadow over my head, I have to turn my heart to God.  Immediately.  Or I will began to shrink under that cloud.

So fighting to me looks like this:

Meditating on verses. There are many verses that help me during this time.  I love all the Psalms.  David, the main Psalmist, was in agony and pain so many times.  He poured out his heart to God.  “David encouraged himself in the Lord.” – 1 Samuel 30:6.  That actually encourages me.  He knew the suffocation of sorrow and yet he looked to the Lord.  So, if you don’t know where to start, start in the Psalms.  But here are other verses that help me daily about renewing my mind:

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Psalms 23:7

“Set your mind on things above and not on earthy things.” Proverbs 23:7

“I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalms 61:2

fight through praise

 

Listening to praise and worship music.  Nothing turns me faster to Jesus than listening to praise and worship music.  My heart instantly soars in adoration towards my Savior and helps revive my heart.  It is a thing of beauty to let songs of love and worship flow out of heart to my Lord even when I feel so weak and broken.  Here are some songs I turn to often:

Come to Me” – Bethel Music featuring Jenn Johnson

Oceans” – Hillsong United

Forever” – Kari Jobe

You Make Me Brave” – Bethel Music featuring Amanda Cook

You’re Still God” – Frontline Worship

Overwhelmed” – Big Daddy Weave

 

Sermons that speak into your life.  Some days I just have to go out the door for a run or long walk, pop in my earbuds  and listen to someone who preaches the Word to help me see clarity and focus.  They wake me up past the fog to see what is true.  Here’s the important part though: it needs to be someone who is Biblically sound and with strong doctrine.  There are SO many voices out there shouting noise but unless it is Bibilically sound it is not speaking the Word into your life.  I have only two recommendations for this (both can be downloaded as podcasts):

The Village Church.  Pastor Matt Chandler always points you back to Jesus.  I find he doesn’t sugar coat things but takes you back to the promises of the Word.  And that’s what I need.

Desiring God. I find Pastor John Piper to be a person of great honesty and integrity.  He takes it back to the basics of the Word and the humility of dying to self and letting Jesus reign.

 

Friends, these are just a few steps and probably obvious ones.  And I realize I am being vulnerable in sharing what I am going through with you all right now.  But I purposely try to post things people may be going through but are too afraid to talk about.  And I don’t want you to hide in the darkness and confusion depression can bring.  I want you to know hope, grace and JOY  (oh how much we need joy) is always found in Christ.  So while I hope you work out, take vitamins, even medication if you need it,  what I really hope is that you entrench yourself in Jesus.  Because He is our strength.  And our greatest hope as we fight through praise.

Love you all.