4 Tips to Persevere When Life Gets Hard

How to Persevere when life gets hard_edited-1This week… it’s been hard.  Multiple challenges (chores piling up, sick kids, sick mom), then the sucker punch… going to the doctor yesterday for my son, Kavin, and getting even more “to dos” on top of the loaded care schedule already.  It just sent me into a spiral last night.  I cried and cried and cried.

It is still hard, but here are four things I put into practice to help me get over the hump and onto the track of productive joy.

1. Take the junk to the Lord.  God knows our hearts.  (Psalm 139:2).  I just grabbed my journal and a roll of tissue paper and let the tears and thoughts all come out before the Lord.  God can handle our frustrations, fears, doubts, and anything else we throw at him.  The important part is taking it to him and not allowing the hard stuff to put a wedge between us and him… that is the tactic of the enemy of our souls.

2. Renew Your Mind with Truth.  Honestly, when I am in a funk sometimes reading the Word feels plastic.  But, I do it anyway.  I especially hit up the Psalms when I am hurting.  The cries of David and the praises of David usually speak to my heart.  Especially reading it out loud if you have the ability ministers to my heart more powerfully.  Try it!  Even if it feels plastic to begin with, just asking God to minister to you through His word and being faithful to read it out loud… at some point the plastic feeling will dissipate and the power of God’s word will penetrate.  This helped me the most last night.

3. Pray.  Pray.  Pray.  Ephesians 6:10-24 talks about spiritual warfare and the section starts wrapping up with this scripture:  And pray at ALL times with ALL kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert, and ALWAYS keep on praying for ALL the saints.  When we are praying, we are inviting the Holy Spirit’s power into whatever we are praying about, whether what to cook for dinner (been there) or how to move through the brokenness of our hearts (there right now).  Prayer is the work.  The more I have been praying today, the more I am experiencing God’s comfort, strength, and even promptings to think of others and pray for them too!  Imagine that… prayer leads us to care for others not just ourselves :-).

4. Share the burden.  It is not mentally healthy to put on a smile face to everyone when you are hurting.  Now, you need to be wise about what you reveal and to whom, but allowing others to share your burden gives them an opportunity to pray for you (more prayer the better) and possibly give words of encouragement.  Back to Ephesians 6:10-24… we need to pray for ALL the saints and if you are a believer, that means you too :-).

What helps you persevere when life gets hard?  Please, leave a comment.

4 Professional Parenting Tips

Parenting Tips_edited-1Today Hubs and I attended a parenting conference. It was so helpful to be reminded of some things we are doing well and to be encouraged to revisit some things we can be doing better. All with the end in mind: to build up our children’s hearts to follow Jesus and live as mature adults some day (but not too soon!) :-).

Here are a few of my most helpful tips from today:

  1. Give kids choices. Instead of me saying, “Son, you need to do this.” Saying, “You have a choice. If you do this, then you will have time to do that. If you don’t do this, we will not have time to do that.” There are many things kids simply do not have a choice in, but when able and you are okay with either choice they make, giving them a choice makes them start to feel responsible and trusted.
  2. Speak in positive tones. I am bad at this one. I see the negative. Instead of always looking for the “no”, look and express the “yeses.” For example, instead of telling my son what he can’t play with, telling him what he can. Instead of highlighting limitations, highlight opportunities. This keeps our kids encouraged more than beating the discouragement of “nos” all the time. Also, when you need to say no (which is usually a lot anyway), the word has more weight.
  3. Be consistent in consequences. If yesterday my son disobeyed me and I took away a privilege or gave him another consequence, if he does it again another day, I need to again take away a privilege or give him another consequence. If I swish back and forth, giving him a consequence one time and letting him off the hook another, then he doesn’t know the boundary and it causes insecurity.  Both the parents and children are left frustrated.
  4. Model a relationship with Jesus. They will follow what you do more than what you say. Live in such a way that they want the Jesus you love.

What are some helpful parenting tips you have experienced with your own kids? Leave a comment!