My Journey to Joy

April 3, 2013

Emily Freeman on the Gift of Inability

Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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Could it be possible we have it wrong? That the gift isn’t in believing we can do anything but in knowing we can do nothing?

Could it be possible that your limits – those things you curse and hate and wish were different about yourself – are not holding you back but pointing you forward?

It seems to me when I finally recognize my inability is when Christ shows up able within me.

But he doesn’t equip me to do every job possible, he equips me to do the job meant for me.

If you’re willing to face your inability, you might see something you desperately need to carry on – your limits can be a gift, showing you what is outside your circle of influence and responsibility so that you may embrace and focus on the small part that belongs to you and only to you.


March 12, 2013

Songs for the Journey- Can’t Live a Day without You

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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October 10, 2012


Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 9:11 AM
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February 18, 2012

Emily Freeman on Surrender

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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As we surrender to Christ’s power (knowing He is bigger than I am) and to His love (knowing He has my best interests in mind), we are able to experience strength from weakness, beauty from ashes, and freedom even in the midst of failure.  ~Emily Freeman

February 16, 2012


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 10:45 AM
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Have you ever asked someone to help so that they’ll feel important?  “What a good helper you are!”

Have you ever automatically refused help…when you really could have used it?  “Thanks, but I’ve got it!”

 Have you ever prayed for something, but a little, quiet part of you was thinking  “but if He doesn’t, that’s okay- I can handle it.”?

That seems to work, until things start getting out of hand.  Until the problems are too big.  Until it is too much, end-of-my-rope, past enduring, I can’t handle this!  Then what?

My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

I suffer from the curse of competency.  I am healthy.  I am strong.  I am smart.  I am determined.  I can get a lot of things done, when I want them, and how.  And I like it that way.  And I got used to that.  And I’ve been on a three-year ride of being smacked with my own powerlessness and inadequacies on a routine basis.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.   Proverbs 3:5

Hurts like crazy.  Frustrating beyond belief.  And teaching me a hard, but oh, so worthwhile lesson.

I can’t.  Not even a little.  No matter how hard I try.  But He can.

Not under my supervision.  Not according to my plans.  Not following my instructions.

His time.  His way.  His strength.  His power. 

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.  Psalm 73:26

All I have to do is trust.  Even that I can’t do; I need His help.

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.  Mark 9:24

I’ve been an unintentional fraud.  A polished-up mess.  A fraction of who He intended me to be through Him.  All of my trying to make it work is futile, when all I really need to do is rely on Him.  Believe.  Wait.  Hope.  Rest.

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19


January 11, 2012

When Holidays Hurt

Filed under: Shared Findings,Uncategorized — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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This was written for Christmas, but it applies to any “special” day.  Each holiday can serve as a landmark: “I thought we’d have a child by 2012…another Mother’s Day without a baby…if ______ had chosen us, we’d have been parents by Valentine’s Day…”  For some people, it marks their first time to experience it without someone: “Our baby would have turned 2 this year…Thanksgiving just won’t be the same without Mom…this is the first Father’s Day after the divorce…”  I thought this article had some good advice for how to handle those hurtful times in a healthy and positive way.  ~Holly

 “We’ll soon celebrate Christmas once again. For many, it’s a time of appreciation and joy. For others, it can be one of the most difficult days of the year. This is often true for women facing infertility, families who have recently experienced the loss of a mother, and many other painful situations.

I’ve learned what it’s like for the holidays to be hard through my work as a writer for DaySpring, a counselor and in my personal life too. And, thankfully, I’ve learned a little about what can help too.

Embrace Your Emotions
First, if Christmas is difficult for you then give yourself permission to grieve. When holidays come, we often put expectations on ourselves to feel a certain way. We may think, “This is a special occasion. I have to put on a happy face and make the best of it.” But it’s okay to feel sad and even cry. As the authors of The Empty Chair: Handling Grief on Holidays and Special Occasions say simply and powerfully, “We grieve because we loved.”

It’s also helpful to realize that emotions are not good or bad. They are just messengers that tell us about what’s going on in our lives. Sadness tells us, “You’ve lost something or someone important to you.” It’s not a sin to feel sad. Jesus often experienced sadness and the Bible says he was “a man of sorrows, and familiar with grief” (ISAIAH 53:3 NIV).

Seek Support
Sometimes we need to be alone to experience our emotions, but usually it is wise to seek support. From the very beginning of creation, God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. This is especially true when we are grieving. Jesus modeled this when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He brought several of his disciples with him and said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (MATTHEW 26:38 NIV).

Support can take many different forms. Hopefully, you have close friends and family members who can walk through this time with you. It’s important not to assume they know you need their comfort. Unless they have experienced a similar loss, they don’t know what it’s like. So don’t be afraid to call them or tell them what you need. You won’t be imposing. They probably want to help but don’t know what to do.

Do Something Special
While doing something special when you are sad may feel a bit overwhelming, it’s important because it will help you be proactive rather than reactive in addressing your loss. Many people think that it’s better to avoid or bury their grief. But the opposite is actually true. Healing only comes when we acknowledge and embrace our losses. As Dr. Gary Oliver says, “If you bury an emotion, it’s always buried alive.”

The kind of action you take depends on your personality and the nature of your loss. For example, if you lost your mother then you might write her a letter. If you lost an unborn child, you might donate to a crisis pregnancy center in his or her honor. You and your spouse might look at photos of the sister you lost to breast cancer or visit a place where you used to go together. You may think, “But that will make me sad!” That’s okay. Experiencing grief is part of healing.

You can also simply do something nice for yourself. If you enjoy going to restaurants, then have a special meal with a friend or spouse. If you like taking long walks or bubble baths, make time in the day for that activity. Part of getting through grief is taking care of you. As long as it isn’t something harmful or numbing, doing something special for yourself can help you through a difficult day.

Hold Onto Hope
At one point in my journey it seemed as if I couldn’t take another step. I felt as if I were in a dark cave. But then I sensed the Lord gently and lovingly speak to my heart, “You may be in a cave, but you still have a choice. You can sit in despair or you can diamond-mine your difficulties.” I decided I was not leaving that time in my life empty-handed. I was taking every hidden blessing I could find. Of course, I still had difficult days. But choosing hope made a difference.

I don’t know how my journey will end and you probably don’t know how yours will either. I also don’t know how many of you will be silently grieving your losses as we sit in church together this Sunday. But I do know that God sees each one of us. He knows how many hairs are on our heads and how many cares our in our hearts. Whatever you’re going through this holiday season, you’re not facing it alone. As King David, a man who experienced many losses in his life, expressed in Psalm 34:18 NIV, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Praying God surrounds you with love, fills you with hope, and gives you strength for each moment—especially this Christmas.”

~Holley Gerth

November 10, 2011


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 7:59 AM
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 Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it. 1Thessalonians 5:24

It’s hard to believe when nothing seems to be happening.  Time strains on faith.  Belief is assaulted by questions.  And I’m tired.

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding.  He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:28-30

On November 3rd, 2010 I wrote: Infertility packs a double punch.  It’s different from most griefs in that it is both chronic (constant) and crisis (monthly hope/disappointment).   Guess what we’re finding out about adoption?!  Constant wishing/hoping/praying, followed by crisis times (maybe this is the one!).

I can “gather up my courage” for short bursts.  I can face down brief stresses (this will all be over in an hour…).  I can stand up to frightening situations with my adrenaline pumping.  But this?  This is beyond me.  I can’t sustain through years and years of this by myself.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I read a blog yesterday that told me I’m not alone in feeling this.  (Isn’t God faithful to do that?  Sends along encouragement just when I need it!)

I can’t do this!

When the Lord has whispered to our hearts to move forward in the journey to adopt, we want to say, “I can’t do this.”

When we consider the funds required, we say, “I can’t do this.”

When we ponder various medical special needs, we say, “I can’t do this.”

When the wait drags on and on, we say, “I can’t do this.”

When we finally bring our child home and are faced with difficult issues, we say, “I can’t do this.”

When we share our burdens with others, they often say, “I could never do that.”

But all the while, our Heavenly Father is saying, “No, my child, but I can.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9a

Oh, how many days I forget that God never intended for us to do this alone!


1 Thessalonians 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.


October 8, 2011

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God [is] with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

September 24, 2011

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 12:43 PM
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Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.  It empties today of its strength.  – Corrie Ten Boom

September 6, 2011

Songs for the Journey

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 10:33 PM
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I remember singing this song with my college choir.  (I’ll forever be stuck singing the alto part that I memorized!  😉  I meant the lyrics then, but they mean even more now!

Your peace You give me, in time of the storm.

You are the source of my strength!

You are the strength of my life!

I life my hands in total praise to You!

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