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Disappointment

6 Ways to ReCharge Your Batteries

 
Hi, there.
 
Does the mundane life drain you? The day in-day out life. The rut.

  • Wake up.
  • Get ready for work.
  • Go to work–or school.
  • Work all day.
  • Come home.
  • Have dinner.
  • Turn on the TV.
  • Fall asleep on the couch.
  • Go to bed.
  • Repeat.

I’ve been there. I am there.
 

My American Bulldog Shuga


 
But I refuse to stay there. As they say in recovery circles: I’m tired of being sick and tired.
 
Here are six ways I’m recharging my batteries.
 
 

Picking up a hobby again.

God gives us talents and interests, activities that spark life and excitement in us. When we don’t exercise those creative outlets, we grow frustrated and lack the glow that comes from things that bring us pleasure. It could be photography, writing, woodworking, sewing, to name a few.
 
This past week, I contacted a local Choral group. Lo and behold, just in time for auditions. My heart flutters just thinking about singing alongside others again.
 

Listening to the Bible.

I’m going to be honest. Reading the Bible? It hasn’t been top on my list lately. It hasn’t even been on my list. The desire to read the Bible–or anything, for that matter–has been nonexistent. Does it really need to be as cumbersome as we’ve made it?
 
So I’ve started listening to the Bible on my morning commute to work. I plug in the YouVersion Bible app into the car’s audio system. Hearing God’s word out loud early in the morning is helping me to focus on Truth throughout the day. It’s also giving me hope and faith that God is with me, even in my funk (Romans 10:17 NCV).
 

Exercising.

The dilemma… Not having enough energy to exercise versus exercising to get more energy. It’s counterintuitive, a cyclical conundrum. But I hear it works. So I’m taking small steps to make my life less sedentary. For me, that’s parking farther away at work or at the grocery store. Or doing leg lifts while at my desk. Even walking the dogs more. (Note: Morning walks in Florida… sweat central.)
 

Spending time outside.

There’s just something about being outside. I’d forgotten how much I love the green of the trees. The rustle of the grass under my feet. The sun shining on my face. (Did you know that the sun provides necessary vitamins that help with depression?)
 
The outdoors is God showing off. The work of His hands whispers to me, to you–and to anyone who will stop and notice.
 

Getting back to date nights.

Setting and sticking to a date night schedule can be difficult, especially with three kids. I’ve noticed that part of my funk is not getting to spend quality time with my husband on a regular basis. I miss those moments.
 
Planning our date nights is taking a little more creativity. Hubs and I have already decided to join the gym together. Not necessarily a date, but it’s a start. Maybe we’ll take a detour by the ice cream shop instead.
 
Anyone up for watching three kiddos?
 

Visiting my doctor.

Lastly, to be sure there’s nothing wrong other than my usual ailments, I’ve scheduled some doctor visits. Gotta take care of this temple.
 
 
My funk will come and go. It might even linger. (Oh, has it lingered.) But acknowledging my issues and working on them… That’s what the recharged life is all about.
 
 
Come alongside…. Are you in a funk? Have you ever been in a funk? How did you get out of it? What other tips can you add to this list. Please share with us in the box that says, “Leave a reply.” Remember you can reply anonymously.
 
 

Can’t Shake That Craving?

 
shakecravingHi, friends!
 
 
Have you ever wanted something so badly but when you got it, you weren’t as satisfied as you thought you would be? The high, the exhilaration, the joy you thought you’d feel turned out to be a downer, blah, anticlimactic.
 
 
It could be a…

  • Job
  • Relationship
  • Car
  • Vacation
  • Cute dress
  • Addiction
  • Anything

 
 
 
We long for so many things, most of which aren’t necessarily wrong. But many times, we become so fixed on them as the thing that will make everything right in our lives–at least, for a little while.
 
 

If I had X, then I would be happy.

 
 
Something to consider… The cravings we can’t seem to shake? The ones we try to fill with a variety of things? Those aren’t what we truly long for. We might not realize it, but at our very core, we crave Jesus.
 

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)
 

 
We crave the One who created us, the One whom nothing or no one can replace.
 

All things are tiresome. They are more tiresome than anyone can say. But our eyes never see enough of anything. Our ears never hear enough. (Ecclesiastes 1:8)
 
A man lived all by himself. He didn’t have any sons or brothers. His hard work never ended. But he wasn’t happy with what he had. “Who am I working so hard for?” he asked. “Why don’t I get the things I enjoy?” That doesn’t have any meaning either. In fact, it’s a very bad deal! (Ecclesiastes 4:8)
 
You also committed shameful acts with the people of Assyria. Nothing ever seemed to satisfy you. You could never get enough. Then you offered yourself to the people of Babylonia. But that did not satisfy you either. (Ezekiel 16:28-29)
 

 
When the lure of earthly things comes up lacking, Jesus promises to satisfy our longings.
 

 
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst – not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” (John 4:13-14)
 
Then Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever go hungry. And no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty. (John 6:35)
 
You will have plenty to eat. It will satisfy you completely. Then you will praise me. I am the LORD your God. (Joel 2:26)
 
I will always guide you. I will satisfy your needs in a land that is baked by the sun. I will make you stronger. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water. You will be like a spring whose water never runs dry. (Isaiah 58:11)
 

 
No one and nothing else can deliver on their promises. Only Jesus. Our Lord knows what we want. When we look for Him above all else, we enjoy the peacefulness of a satisfied life both morning and night (Psalm 90:14).
 
 
Today, I invite you: Come to Him and drink (John 7:37). Come and take His gift of life (Revelation 22:17). He gives it freely (Isaiah 55:1).
 
 

 
 
Come alongside… What have you been craving? What are you hoping will satisfy those cravings? Do you agree or disagree that Jesus is really what we crave? What other verses would you add to this list? Please share with us in the box below where it says, “Leave a Reply.” Include your name or comment anonymously.
 
 
 
 
 


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Are you feelin’ it? You don’t have to.

 
Hi, friends!
 
It’s hard to encourage others when you yourself are discouraged. That’s where I’ve been lately.
 
Okaydiscouragedrev
 
Hey, this blog is about transparency, right? 😉
 
 
One thing I’m learning—sometimes, not very well—is that discouragement comes when I expect something and then don’t get it, when I long for something and it doesn’t come about. For most of us, wanting these things isn’t necessarily bad:
 
 

  • A job
  • A husband
  • A child
  • An improvement in health
  • A publishing contract (for my fellow writers out there!)

 
 
What to do?
 
 
It’s easy to tell someone to just put their eyes on Jesus. But when your bills stack higher than Mt. Everest, your biological clock is ticking, your health slides downward, or the publishing contract loses its way in the mail, it’s hard to get your eyes on anything other than what your heart desires.
 
 
That’s why I start with my heart.
 
 
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a firm believer in acknowledging and processing my feelings. That’s how we heal and grow. It’s also how we experience the range of emotions God gave us. But if I stop there—with my heart, I will stay discouraged, maybe even dip into depression.
 
 
So I move from my heart to my mind, to what I know is true—even though I might not feel it.
 
 

  • I don’t feel loved, but I know God loves me (John 3:16).
  • I don’t feel like He’s listening, but I know He leans in close (Psalm 4:3).
  • I don’t feel like I have all I need, but I know He provides for me (Philippians 4:19).
  • I don’t feel like I have good things. But I know He gives me only the best (James 1:17).
  • I don’t feel like I’m going in the right direction. But I know He leads me (Psalm 143:10).
  • I don’t feel like I have anyone who stands up for me. But I know He protects me (Psalm 121:7).

 
 
It’s not “fake it ’til you make it.” It’s an “I don’t feel it. But I don’t have to because I know it!” Why?
 
 

Because I know my God. And I believe His word.

 
 
knowGodwordrev
 
 
See the difference? I’m not stuffing my feelings; I’m acknowledging them and reminding myself I don’t have to rely on them solely. I can rely on what—er, who—I know.
 
 
This is especially important for people who struggle with mental illness, especially depression, like me. Many times, I haven’t felt … anything. This is a daily thing for me. But it’s at those times, when I choose to rely on what I know about my God.
 
 
Start with your heart. And then move to your mind.
 
 
Don’t just feel it. Know it!
 
 
Come alongside… What are you not feeling lately? How can you know it? Share with us in the comments below.
 
 
 
 
 


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S.T.E.P. away from bad habits


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Do you have an unhealthy habit? You know… The one that makes you say, “Ugh. I did it again!”

 

  • I ate the things I told myself I would not eat.
  • I acted out in anger when I vowed I wouldn’t.
  • I stayed inside all day when I told myself I would—at the very least—take a walk around the block.

 

Those are some of mine. What are yours?

 

Listen to Paul—a great man of faith:

 

I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.

 

I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong…

 

But I can’t help myself….

 

When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. (Romans 7:15-19)

 

 

Talk about frustration and disappointment.

 

Sometimes, the mere idea of changing an unhealthy habit seems daunting, doesn’t it? After all, I can’t throw away all my food and start all over. And I can’t keep silent all day so I won’t spout out in anger. And walk around the block? That’s just too much effort right now.

 

 

So how can we tackle our unhealthy habits, then?

 

S.T.E.P. away.

 

Swap it out.

Many times, we pick up our unhealthy habits again because we didn’t replace them with a healthier habit. And when we do give in, the Bible says it’s usually worse (Matthew 12:43-45). For me, that means replacing processed foods with more wholesome, natural foods. That way, when I get a craving for something sweet, I have a natural alternative that I can turn to—not empty calories that I’ll later regret. What can you swap?

 

 

Thank your supporters in advance.

Sometimes telling our closest friends or family members what we’re trying to do and thanking them in advance for their support can help us change our unhealthy habits. When our loved ones see we’re trying to improve ourselves, they can be our biggest cheerleaders. That might not always be the case, so it’s important to choose our cheerleaders carefully. For me, that could mean sharing with my family that I’m trying to work on my anger and I would appreciate any support they can give me. Who can you recruit as a cheerleader?

 

 

Easy does it.

It’s difficult to make drastic changes to our ingrained habits. So it’s best to start small. In my example, instead of saying I’m going to walk around the block, I can break that down by focusing on the things that need to happen before I can walk around the block. I could say, “Today, I will simply put on my shoes.” It might not be a big deal to some, but for people who struggle with depression, putting on our shoes can be that step in the right direction to get us outside and then to walk around the block and beyond. Celebrate these small victories. Remember Zechariah 4:10: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” What is your small beginning?

 

 

Pray, pray, pray.

Unhealthy habits are bigger than we are or else we would have already given them up. But thanks be to God that He is bigger than anything we could face—including our bad habits. The key is continuous communication with our Higher Power, Jesus Christ. With Him, all things are possible. Without Him, we are powerless.

 

 

It won’t be easy, but when you S.T.E.P. away from your bad habits, you’ll soon change your “Ugh, I did it again” to “Yes, God did it again!”

 

STEP away from bad habits

 

 

Come alongside…. Do you have an unhealthy habit you would like to change? What is it? Which S.T.E.P. can you focus on today? Remember, you can comment anonymously.

 
 


 

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Opportunity knocks, but will God open?


God closed a door today.

 

A little part of me expected it, but a bigger part of me wanted it badly. I still do.

 

If I’m honest, the opportunity has consumed me over the past several months:

  • I’ve talked about it without end.
  • I’ve daydreamed about it.
  • I’ve dreamed about it.
  • And I’ve talked about it some more.

 

Surely this is God’s best for me. How could it not be?

 

But during the past several months, a little voice nagged at me.

 

Is it really God’s best?

 

As the months crawled by, I noticed more and more red flags about the opportunity. Still, I wanted it–like a newborn baby reaches for her bottle.

 

Today, God confirmed my misgivings: He closed that door.

 

The moment I learned of the opportunity, I stepped out in faith but prayed for God’s best for me. If it was not His best, I did not want it–regardless of the disappointment. He would help me process any sadness; of that, I’m certain. But I did not want to risk walking outside His plan for me.

 

Today, I learned that opportunity was not part of His plan for me.

 

This evening, my husband helped me talk through my disappointment. I melted in his arms and cried.

 

“I wanted it badly.”

 

He hugged me tighter, and as he did, an encouraging voice from above soothed my soul.

 

“I have something better.”

 

The man holding me in his arms was living proof. At that very moment, God used my husband of four months–the one He sent to me, the one holding me in his arms–to remind me that every good and perfect gift is from God (James 1:17). He brings His best at exactly the right time.

 

 

I will continue to process my feelings. But deep down, I sense another door will soon open. God is about to do a brand-new thing. It has already begun, and I’m starting to see it unfold (Isaiah 43:19).

 

His best is on the horizon.

 

Come alongside…Have you wanted something so badly that it hurt? How has God responded? How can the verses above help you trust in God’s timing and best for you?

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Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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