Category Archives: praying

Social Anxiety and Jesus

This could be one of those posts about how all you need is Jesus to get rid of your social anxiety.  But it’s not.  Because I don’t believe that social anxiety is “just” a spiritual issue.  I also don’t believe it is just a medical issue.  I believe it is a little bit of both, and as such, needs both Jesus and medication for proper treatment.

But then what I think gets a little murky.  And I just realized tonight, why.

So, if my social anxiety needs Jesus to be part of the treatment equation, what do I do when that social anxiety keeps me from Jesus?  Yup.  It keeps me from Jesus, because I have social anxiety when it comes to Jesus.

I love to pray.  I always have.  It has always made sense to me.  It brings me a lot of comfort to pray.  I love to pray about the struggles of life and the joys of life.

But sometimes I just can’t pray.  Like tonight.  I was so excited about tonight.  I was going to have the house to myself for a little bit and I was going to be able to sit down and pray and just enjoy it and immerse myself in the time.  But then the social anxiety came up.  Every half minute my praying was being interrupted by me–“Am I doing this right Jesus?”  “Am I talking too much Jesus?”  “How do I shut up and let you talk, Jesus?”

“Am I doing this right Jesus?”  “Am I talking too much Jesus?”  “How do I shut up and let you talk, Jesus?”

“Am I talking too much Jesus?”  “How do I shut up and let you talk, Jesus?”

“How do I shut up and let you talk, Jesus?”

And I just didn’t make it very far.  I got myself too confused and worked up.  I ended up just falling back on a basic, standard prayer, with none of the fellowship, none of the comfort, none of the joy.

Social Anxiety and Jesus at its finest.

Let Me Pray

I love to pray.  I do.  I love to pray for others.  Especially when I can’t do anything else for someone, I can pray.  Here is an amazing song that has always inspired me when it comes to praying.

Please leave requests I can lift up in the comments.

Challenge: Beating a Dead Horse

Challenge.  I write about it pretty regularly.

The challenges of Bipolar Disorder.

The challenges of Anxiety Disorder.

The challenges of homeschooling.

The challenges of parenting.

The challenges of Christian living.

The challenges of helping others.

See, I write about it a lot.  I kind of feel like I am beating a dead horse by writing about it again.

Blame it on Mama Kats.  It’s her writing prompt.

Mama's Losin' It

Today I want to write about the challenges of having a burden for others.

Life is complicated enough.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just curl up in our own lives and not bother with the world out there?  Yes, it would be, but most of us are not wired that way.  We are made to care.  We are made to love and get involved.

Over the last few months I have gotten a little involved with human trafficking in our area.  My husband and I help out, when we can, with BRANCH:  A New Beginning Ministries.–you can learn more about our involvement here.  Last night I went to a local meeting as part of the Michigan Abolitionist Project and learned about another ministry:  All Worthy of Love.

I listened to them speak about their ministry with primarily girls and ladies on the street and their efforts to reach out and help them by giving lunches and hygiene kits.  I cried as I heard the statistics of how many  people, 30 million worldwide, are trafficked each year, I drew back in revulsion as I listened to them list suburban areas around me where girls are being brought into bondage by coercion, lies, tricks, any manner of method to bring these girls onto the streets where they are required to make money night after night for someone else, money they never see.  These are cities very near me–cities I have always perceived as safe for my three girls.

And my heart broke.  My heart begged me, challenged me to find a way to help, a way to get involved.

First step:  I helped back hygiene kits at the close of the meeting last night.

Second step:  I signed up to pray for them as they go out each week to reach the girls, boys, men and women caught in slavery.

Third step:  I want to start collecting items for hygiene kits.  I want to collect through sales and through those I know who end up with lots of these items due to traveling.

I can’t change the world.  I can’t save all those caught in slavery, but I can reach out in small ways to help be part of the solution.

Can I challenge you to be part of the solution too?

Please check out their websites and blogs to see how you can get involved as well, with either ministry.  Or look for similar organizations where you live, because unfortunately, there is a great need all around the world.  Your community, your area, is not immune.  None are.

A Bunch of Boxes and Bags of Paper

Two pairs of socks.  Long underwear.  Heavy pants.  Gloves.  I bundled up this morning.  For 40 minutes of work.

Several months ago, I found out about the Michigan Abolitionist Project through a Facebook page.  I went to a local group meeting and was destroyed.

The staggering numbers of girls and boys of all ages sold into slavery through sex trafficking is staggering.  And it is sad to find out  it is here.  Not just far away, but in the wealthy suburbs of Detroit.  And in your neighborhood.  I guarantee it.  No matter where you live.

It’s a dark sinister world.  One Satan loves to play in.  He has his way with peoples minds, bodies and hearts.  He seeks whom he can destroy.  It was honestly hard to breathe as I learned about the pervasiveness of this evil.

It is such a big problem.  What can a homeschooling housewife of three kids do about this?  I can educate my girls on what to look for when they are old enough to date.  I can keep an eye on the choices they make and pray the Lord protect them at every turn.

And I can get involved.  Now.  Here.  Where I live.

That’s where Saturday mornings come in.  There is an organization BRANCH: A New Beginning Ministries that collects cardboard and paper recyclables in our area and then takes to a local recycling center twice a week.  The money is being used to build a home for women who are rescued from the sex trade.

It adds up.  It fills a trailer.  Twice a week.

It needs to be emptied.  Twice a week.

Cardboard and paper gets pushed out of the trailer, four of us squat, stand, and throw.

We find new muscles.

Not for ourselves.

For others.

For those who think they are unloved, unlovable, or unworthy.

 

Please see the above websites to see how you might be involved in this local effort.  Or, look for an abolitionist project in your own area.  These men, women, children are worth it.  Now and every day.

Has the Lord called you to be an intercessor?  There are many organizations the world over needing support through prayer.  Check out Samaritan’s Purses crisis response.  

Working out the Struggle

I know you’ve heard the truth that God has set you free

But you think you’re the one that grace could never reach

So you just keep asking, Oh, what everybody’s asking

[Chorus] Am I more than flesh and bone?

Am I really something beautiful?

Yeah, I want to believe,

I want to believe that I’m not just some wandering soul

That you don’t see and you don’t know Yeah,

I want to believe,

Jesus help me believe

That I am someone worth dying for

From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/m/mikeschair-lyrics/someone-worth-dying-for-lyrics.html

This song was “dedicated” to me by a college friend after I wrote this post  about  being worth fighting the depression for, but admitting I wasn’t sure  Christ came to die for me.

It is aptly named “Someone Worth Dying For”  I love the truth of this song, but must admit I am still grappling with it; I am also working through a lot of other aspects of my faith and personality.

I’ve put a lot of my struggle out here on my blog, but at the same time, there is much I cannot verbalize or express.  It’s hard to have all the words, btu this I know to be true…

God is okay with my struggle.  He knew, before my mother found out she was expecting a baby, what my path would lead to.  He knew about the Multiple Sclerosis, depression and other issues that have arisen.  And, glory to God, He knows the outcome, though I do not.

In what areas are you struggling?  Where is your faith in the struggle?  How can I pray for you today, and in the future?

Words…

Patrice is starting to talk a little bit.  She says dada.  She likes to say that one and she definitely knows who she means.  She does not say mama.  But when I ask “where’s the mama?”  She buries her head in my chest.  As my grandpa said when I told him, “can you blame her?  She knows where her groceries are!”  True, so true.  She started saying hi today.  She waves and says “haaa.”  It is super cute.  It makes the heart just melt.

We love to hear her words.  In the same vein, we are taught the Lord loves to hear our words. 

“and said, “Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.”  Acts 10:31

But have you wondered if the Lord listens to YOUR prayers?  I have.  There are times I pray and things change.  At those moments I feel confident the Lord has heard me.  Other times, things do not change.  And I wonder.  Maybe not so much if He hears my prayers, but definitely if I am praying the right thing; have I prayed enough; did I use the right words; is the answer no or pray longer; did I hear the Lord right when I felt led to pray in a specific way? 

So many questions.  I wish I knew the answers.  I was raised that we always had to pray, “if it is your will Lord.”  And I agree there are times we are to pray that, but it kind of feels like a cop out, like, if I add that, I won’t be disappointed if the Lord doesn’t answer or that it absolves me from having to hear the Lord about  how to pray, because I added the caveat about His will. Or it gives me permission to give up praying because it must not be His will. 

Do you ever wonder about things like that?  What things in your Christian walk cause you to ask questions?

Praying and Providing

I have been praying for the Lord to provide for us in a big, big way.  Huge.  Feels like one of the biggest prayers of my life.  I cannot fathom how the Lord is going to be able to do this.  It is just too big for my brain.  I am praying that is the way He likes it.  Trust me, as His answer unfolds, we will only be able to stand back and declare, “See what the Lord has done on our behalf!”  And there will be no way for anyone to argue it was not a miracle.

In the process of praying, I have been praying and reading scriptures about not being afraid.  About God’s provision.  About peace. 

Have I mentioned, what I am praying for is beyond my wildest dreams and beyond comprehension?

But I have seen the Lord work mightily.  Maybe not in how I would expect, but mightily.  Take the running I am always blogging about…10 years ago I was in and out of a wheelchair due to Multiple Sclerosis.  Trust me, no one ever thought I would run for fun at that point.  No one.  Actually at the time, a doctor told me he thought I would walk again but he didn’t know when.  Fast forward a few months, and a friend gave me the name of a neurologist who specializes in MS.  He started treating the MS aggressively.  And he encouraged me to dream again.  I got married.  My health stabilized for just a minute…hubby and I decided to dare to start a family…my doctor was all for it.  11 months later Caitlyn was born…  Remember that minute that my health stabilized?  It has now last almost 6 years.  No one can quite explain it, as far as we can figure, the horomone changes related to pregnancy and nursing have changed the behavior of my MS.  I have gone from being sick most of the time, to never.  Praise the Lord!  He chose to move mightily on my behalf…

There have been other times and I will share more as I walk this new journey of trusting the Lord.  Please feel free to share some of your own stories in the comments below…we can all stand to hear how the Lord works!!!

God Sized Dreams

Have you ever had a God sized dream?  Meaning, something so big, it is humanly impossible, only God can accomplish it?

I tend to keep my dreams manageable, wouldn’t want to be disappointed when things don’t come about as I desire.  But is that the right thing to do?  Where does that leave God?  If everything we ask for is humanly possible, doesn’t that leave God out?

Recently, I have begun praying for something that is a God sized dream.  My thoughts are consumed by it.  I have been praying for this “thing” to happen for 5 years, but honestly, I couldn’t see how it would so I made life okay even if the answer was no.  And so far, the answer has been no.  Pretty much what I expected.

What if the Lord doesn’t want to do what is expected, but by asking, without really believing, aren’t I telling Him He can’t do it?

I don’t want to limit God, I want to live in the fullness of what He has for our family.  And right now I believe that is in praying very specifically for this God sized dream.

With God’s power working in us, God can do much more than anything we can ask or imagine.  To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time forever and ever, Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

What has the Lord asked you to pray for that was beyond you?  What does He have you praying for right now?  How can I join you in praying?

Check out what others are thinking about

Prayer Requests

Good Morning,

I am hoping you will forgive me being a little vague.  I have endeavored to be an “open book” in many ways through the postpartum depression.  It has been a journey many of you have encouraged me on.  And I appreciate that very much.  More than you will ever know.  So it may seem strange that I am asking you to pray for our family while giving very little detail.  There is just a lot coming at us from several fronts.  I ask you to pray for our peace as a family, wisdom for our family and provision for us.

Thank you!  I look forward to sharing reports of God’s work on our behalf.

I fearlessly, confidently adn boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy for my failures and find grace to help in time of every need.  I obtain appropriate help and well timed help, coming just when I need it.  Hebrews 4:16

May we experience the peace Patrice has when she is sleeping in our arms

Prayer Time

Some things seem like they should be easy to pray for.  They come to mind often throughout the day.  So, I pray for them a lot, right?  Well, not always.  Lots of times my brain stews on the topics, trying to sort it out or make sense of it.  But I never actually form a prayer.

I think of my children many times a day, but I often find myself making plans instead of praying.  I think of my hubby over and over, but often find myself thinking about things he has done, projects we are working on, instead of praying.  I love the church we attend and often think of the blessing it is to our family, but forget to form the words of a prayer.

There are a couple things during the day I want to make sure I pray for.  There is a ministry that means a great deal to me.  I have committed to praying for them daily; I set an alarm on my phone to remind me.  There are also a number of dear people in my life, family and frends that I want to make sure I lift up before the throne.  They get an alarm on my phone as well.

I may pray for them when they come to mind at other times, but there is at least one time each day these precious people are covered in a prayer.  Other things, friends have asked me to pray for.  Some get a specific time, others get a moment or two when the Lord brings them to mind.  I find both ways to be a blessing to me, as I pray they are for the people I am lifting up.

Praying is a gift we can freely give to others and it gives back to us as well.  It is not possible for me to pray for a person or situation without also being blessed.

How do you remember to pray for someone or something?  Do you have a list you look at each day?  Do you wait for them to come to mind?  Do you have set times you pray throughout the day?