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Frustration

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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Thankful for Abundant Life, Clear Skies, and Stable Booths

 
Happy Monday, friends!
 
I hope you had a joyous Easter. We had such powerful worship at our morning church service. It moves me to tears to know my God is alive. And because He lives, we can too. And not just live, but live abundantly.
 

 
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
 

 
This past Saturday, I had the privilege of showcasing my books at “Meet the Author on the Park” in Winter Haven, Florida. This event was sponsored by my friends Sandy Knowles at Three Rivers Press and April Whitt at Grapefruit Press.
Cover3-widget
 
I met many people and was able to learn about their lives, their interests, and their troubles. Sandy and April, the organizers of the event, offered authors the opportunity to speak to the audience via a loudspeaker system. (Yikes!) I was up for the challenge and spoke to festival-goers about some tips for writing about difficult topics. I also shared about my latest book, Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls: 31 Days of Journaling God’s Blessings.
 
 
I haven’t officially shared with you about this book, which was such an inspiration to me as I wrote it. Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls is a unique thankfulness journal where you literally “jot down” your thanks to God throughout your day.
 
 
Here is a snapshot of one of the chapters.
 
 
Book Snapshot
 
 
As you can see, I open each of the 31 days with praise to God and then provide you some space to give thanks to God throughout your day. No journaling for 10, 15, 30 minutes or an hour-not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😉 The approach is to jot down your thanks as you go through your day or when you lie down for the night.
 
 
I asked people who stopped by my booth what they were thankful for that very morning and these were some of their answers:
 

  • Shoes on my feet
  • That I didn’t have to cook Easter dinner
  • That it wasn’t raining (The weather called for rain.)

 
 
By the end of the festival, I gave thanks to God that my booth didn’t tumble away with the wind. 🙂
 
 
During my 10-minute talk, I was honored to talk about the inspiration for my book, which came about during my husband’s job loss last year. Writing Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls was my way of keeping a thankful spirit during our financial troubles, our roller coaster feelings of hope and frustration, and all of the emotional, physical, relational, and even spiritual side-effects of such a loss. God truly can help us through difficult times when we are intentional about giving thanks in all circumstances. It’s not easy; it still isn’t, but we have renewed hope and know God has been our provider during this time.
 
 
Remember, friends: God might not change your circumstances, but He can change you when you choose to thank Him.
 
CircumstanceREV
 
I was also excited to showcase the Spanish version of the book, hot off the press. 🙂
 
 
To order the English or Spanish version of Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls, visit Amazon, CreateSpace, or your preferred online book retailer. You may also purchase a copy here on my Web site, and I will mail you a copy with a message just for you. 🙂
 
 
Big hugs. So… What are you thankful for today?
 

 
They stood every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They did the same thing every evening. (1 Chronicles 23:30)
 

 

Book Review: Still Looking by Vicki Huffman

Still_Looking_Book_Review_img

Click to Purchase on Amazon. (Note: This is an affiliate link.)

 
When I first submitted my family’s unemployment story to Vicki Huffman, I offered to write a review of her book once it was completed. Only God knew the reason and the season in which I would need to read the inspirational words in Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss.
 
 
When I received Vicki’s book to review several months later, my husband had been once again laid off for no fault of his own. Already, four weeks had passed since the day he showed up for work at his industrial construction job on a Monday morning and everyone had been let go. We were just starting to go through the familiar emotional, practical, and even spiritual fallouts of losing a job when I received the book. As I read through her family’s struggles with job loss—eight in all, I kept tapping the pages of my electronic book reader, saying:
 

“Yes! That’s exactly how I feel. That’s exactly how my husband is responding.”


 
 
Vicki was able to tap into those feelings not only from her own family’s experiences but also by citing renowned psychologists, experts, and everyday people who had the dubious honor of being unemployed at one time or another. She compared unemployment and job loss to the stages of grief and how those who are unemployed—for whatever reason—face similar feelings as those who have experienced loss of any kind—health death, divorce, to name a few. Vicki walks readers through the stages of grief, helping them to see the connections with job loss and how they eventually can move forward with the help of God.
 
 
As I read Still Looking, I began to see stages of grief in my own life—but for different reasons. Last year, I resigned from my corporate job at a Fortune 500 company to become a stay-at-home mom of our three children whom we adopted. Although a joyous occasion for my husband and me—and for our children, I felt the loss of fellowship with coworkers, usefulness and productivity that come from completing projects, and the accolades that accompany great work. I was able to see and work through these issues by reading Vicki’s book. She also helped me to understand the pros and cons of women working outside or inside the home, depending on their circumstances.
 
 

In addition to the emotional issues accompanying unemployment, Vicki offered practical and spiritual insight for times of job loss. She gave tips on how spouses can help and affirm each other during unemployment. As I re-read our own stories that we submitted to Vicki, it reminded me of the many ways my husband and I have supported each other during these times and how we can continue to do so.
 
 
Still Looking is filled with practical and spiritual insight on how to spend time during job loss, as well as other considerations that accompany unemployment, such as the possibilities of relocating and self-employment. Vicki also offers a unique perspective for those who are older and find themselves unemployed.
 
 
I especially liked the “P.S.—Post Job Script” sections that summarized each chapter and provided practical tips on how to move forward in recovery from unemployment. The “Peace to You” sections encouraged me with biblical passages and reminders of the peace of God when money is tight.
 
 
Oftentimes, books on difficult subjects tend to provide trite answers. Not so with Still Looking. It is fresh and original; Vicki Huffman has been there and she gets it.
 
 
From beginning to end, Vicki shows the joys of growing closer to God during times of financial strain. She is a great example of finding true peace during unemployment.
 
 
If I had one critique, it would be this: I would have liked for the book to include a set of study questions, whether at the end of each chapter or at the end of the book. That way, readers could work through the issues in each chapter more readily.
 
 
Regardless, I highly recommend Vicki Huffman’s Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss. It is a great tool to help readers through the valleys of unemployment—not once, but as in our case, several times. Still Looking is ideal for anyone who has a job and feels like it may be time to move on to another job or season in life, or they sense that unemployment might be imminent. It is a great resource for Bible study groups; readers can use it by themselves, with a mentor or counselor, or in a small group format. People in recovery groups also could benefit from it. The book also would be a great gift for someone working through issues of financial struggle.
 
 
Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
 
 
Be blessed!
 
 
Come alongside… Have you experienced job loss? How have you dealt with it? Share in the comments below.
 
 

Miley, The Morning After

 

I didn’t catch the Video Music Awards (VMAs), but after all the chatter the morning after, curiosity got the best of me. So I headed over to YouTube to find out what all the fuss was about. (No, I’m not going to link to it.)

 

After my eyes and heart recovered from Miley Cyrus’ highly inappropriate dance routine in front of millions of people—children included, the thousands of comments from viewers and readers made sense.

 

Many comments, in my opinion, were as distasteful as Miley’s performance itself. But as I wrote in my post about Whitney Houston, we’re all some version of Miley, whether we admit it or not.

 

Miley, The Morning After

 

How many times have we made irrational decisions? Choices that seemed fun at the moment, but the morning after, maybe even hours or seconds after, felt regret, guilt, and shame.

 

  • Erupting in anger.
  • Pulling up the porn just one more time.
  • Binging on fat-laden foods.
  • Downing just one more drink.
  • Having just one more affair.
  • Telling a “little white lie.”

 

I myself have plopped my face into my hands the morning after saying, “What the H-E-double hockey sticks was I thinking?”

 

Miley Cyrus might not be saying that just yet, but I assure you: In time, she will. We all will.

 

We all seek that one thing that will make us feel alive—truly free. And not just free for a moment, but free for a lifetime. We can’t find it on a stage in front of millions of people or in the corner of a dark room with nothing but our conscience. We find it in Jesus.

 

Jesus is what we’re all looking for. Jesus is the only one who grants us freedom with open arms. We won’t be perfect, by any means, and consequences surely will follow. But when we can grasp that He loves us and He delights in us—His beautiful creations, we have no need for the harmful anger, the porn, the binging, the drinks, the affairs, the lies, or the inappropriate dance routines. We know He loves us! And that’s all that matters.

 

The night before—and the morning after.

 

 

Come alongside… When have you made a poor decision? How did you feel afterward? How did you recover? Remember, you can post anonymously.

 
 

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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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