I’m a Life Coach, author, artist, photographer, and mixed media journalist, a Jesus girl that does her best to encourage others to rise up and live life to the fullest. I love God’s word, becauseHe’s perfecting me day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute.
Days can be hard, and fun, all at the same time. It’s finding the balance that peace reigns. Hope shines so God gets the glory.
Addiction is a real problem. Hiding the shame and struggle is a battle for so many. But in this book, Deborah and David share their very personal story of just that. RX addiction that takes them down a deep dark hole, with seemingly no way out.
It’s very brave to share with the public the story of their life and how they overcame this problem.
What a tremendous encouragement it is to have the strength, even when it is so minute, to lean on trusted people who helped them through this long ordeal. People need to reach out and lift others up as in this story. Help can be something as little as a gas card for the person to get to work, or baby-sitting services, mow a lawn, a cup of coffee and a listening ear.
When we share our struggles, it ends up helping other people to overcome their problems. Too often shame, and lies, and bigger problems occur due to the stigma associated with whatever it is that is hidden.
But healing is the answer. The journey to recovery offers hope to the person once conquered the issue, and compassion becomes a way to heal the heart.
This is a story of redemption, with the long road home. A definite read, especially if you are on the road to recovery, or know someone who is!
One of the wonderful things I love about Jan’s books, are the kindness through her stories. She writes in a way that brings me into the story, as if I am in a theatre watching the story play out.
The Roll of the Drums is set in the late 1800’s, in Amish country. (to which Jan has roots to the Amish from PA in the 1700’s, I think that is what makes her passion shine through each of her stories…!); it’s about love, honor, loyalty and the pain of death, during war time.
She includes the promises of God in the Bible. It’s definitely a “good” book to read without sex, violence etc.
Without giving a lot of the story line, I suggest any of Jan Drexler books if you enjoy the Amish style stories. Easy to follow the story line, soft and tender, love and honor throughout.
What a beautiful book this is. I so enjoy helping authors by sharing their stories and creative ways to encourage us. Heart & Home is a delightful and creative book that all women should have on their shelf.
This one is by Victoria Duerstock. It’s a lovely book that shares gorgeous photography (and you all know how I love my camera and some good photos!)…..hers are fabulous. She shares a warm and inviting setting on each page to help give us ideas with designing a delightful home environment.
She adds ideas along with scripture with tips and how life just ties together within our home and “LIVING” space.
We all love having that sweet spot, don’t we?
Proverbs 31 tells us ladies to prepare our home. Be diligent and inviting. Share our food, have some fellowship time. Build each other up as we gather around the kitchen table, the porch, by the fireplace and enjoy life.
This book does just that. While I enjoy and imagine what I can do with my own space, I imagine laughter, deep conversation, love, and memories being shared. That’s what life is about.
Enjoy this 90 day devotional, and be encouraged to develop fellowship with others and deepen your walk with God.
I hope you grab your copy of this book. In fact, you can join the giveaway and purchase by going here, to the home page for Heart and Home.
Victoria will be sharing a Christmas version as well… check it out,
About the Christmas release:
As a writer, teacher, and speaker with a busy work and family life, Victoria Duerstock understands that all the tasks of the holiday season can make it easy to forget the true joy that Christmas can bring. In Heart & Home for Christmas, Duerstock brings her mission to inspire hope for God’s purpose, and her 20 years of experience in the furniture and design industry together, connecting Scripture with design elements and easy decorating tips in a way that reflects the true spirit of Christmas. The devotions and holiday decorating tips will encourage spiritual growth and inspiration to have both a captivating heart and home at Christmas.
When life gets tough, do the tough really get going?
More than thirty years ago, well into my adult life, some big curve balls were thrown at me.
My first baby died at birth. The umbilical cord was around his neck, as my first pregnancy with inconsistent contractions, the doctors being less than attentive, became the cause of death. As I was waiting for the surge of contractions to arrive, time went on, and not much was happening. My husband and I knew that something was wrong, so he walked down to the nurse’s station to ask for someone to check on me.
Once the nurse walked in, I could see in her face before she even came next to me that there was an issue. I had no idea what it was. But I did sense the urgency. In a matter of moments, I was rushed into a room, aided by some drugs to induce the labor – as quick as possible. 36 hours later, our first son was born, but not alive. As death stared us in the face, we were silenced by the pain.
How does a young woman – and man, face such a devastating loss? Some reach out to drink to erase the pain. Others stuff the pain down through busyness and activity. Some get angry and bitter. But the way to stay whole, can only be through the beautiful grace of Christ.
As I held this perfect beautiful baby in my arms, he was wrapped securely in a warm baby blanket, my heart had felt love like never before. At that moment, my heart, soul and mind were one with God. The One Creator of all things. I spoke from my heart to his, and said I didn’t understand this, but I would trust him with all my life and everything in it.
As I am in edit mode with my first book that shares many losses I have lived through, God has been my source of love and hope.
FOREVER HOPE will be coming out last spring, with the focus on helping those who grieve, who need hope and a Savior that is closer than we can imagine. All we need to do is reach out to him.
What do you do with the struggles of life, so many pains, hurts and obstacles to over come? Mistakes made that are so huge you think you can never overcome them.
Searching for answers.
Which way to turn?
Do I Stand still or do I move?
God never meant for us to live life on our own, or in our own strength. He strengthens us and gives us direction throughout every big, and yes even those little details.
Psalm 18:32 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
Isaiah 49:9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill.
Do you feel like you’ve missed the mark, made the wrong turn, there’s damage done to others, yourself or _____. (You fill in the blank.)
We can never move forward in life if we don’t conquer our own issues. If you’ve come to a place of surrender, stop. Let God help. Let Him guide and direct in the way you should go.
Romans 8:1AKJVThere is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Seems easy right? It really is, once we relinquish the fight. I know, I’ve been there, and continue to learn – daily. We never really “arrive” until we let God move in and trust in him so completely, that we wonder why we waited so long to let God do what he needs to do.
Let him take over. Take your hands off of it, whatever it is. Whether it’s letting go of an adult child, an alcoholic spouse, a job that you just can’t bear, lack of funds, or sickness. There is nothingso far gone that He sees as irrevocable or something so seemingly permanent that it cannot be changed. God is a God who restores; he takes our mistakes, errs and turns them each into good things. He isthat awesome and wonderful. His names are Wonderful – Counselor and Mighty God, he is so full of mercy, and slow to anger
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful,Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Psalms 145:8 The Lord is full of grace – not quickly angered, but great in mercy. …
Luke 1:37 tells us that with God nothing shall be impossible.
Many people have learned the opposite. Thinking is the God of wrath and anger. No!!! How could he have created such phenomenal creations throughout the world? He is, after all, – the Creator of the Universe – the one who made the ocean meet the sky. The one who makes the sun to rise every morning and hues so beautiful – we stand in awe! He made YOU, in his own image. He is jealous for you! He wants YOU and all of your attentions to be towards Him in and through life’s entire journey
Think of it this way: You have a child, one that you waited and planned for, for years. This perfect specimen arrives on its day – specified for that moment in time by God himself. You love that child; you take care of him/her. Bath, feed, coddle, love, kiss and make sure he/she is well at all costs. You have become so crazy in love with this child. To be away from him/ her for long extended periods of time, just eats you up inside. You desire to be with this child. This child grows up to be an adult, and decides to not be in contact with you much. Don’t you just want to loose a gasket?!?!?! Sure you do! That is how it is with God. He YEARNS for your attention. Your undying love to him – just as he feels towards you
Though your own child may upset you, do inappropriate things at times, make big and small mistakes – but that does not change the way you feel. You still want to be with that child, at all costs. Because you also know you can help him/her to prevent making mistakes, you can guide them – just like the Father in Heaven wants to do for you – except he knows all things – at all times.
Won’t you come to the safety of the Most High God. The one who gave you life and wants to help you along the way. Life is much too fleeting to wait. Don’t waste yet another moment of sleepless nights, headaches or worse. Come to the Father. Today. Give him all of your thoughts and concerns. I promise, you wont’ be disappointed.
Lord thank you for this gracious most awesome LOVE you give to me. You are such a mighty God, I am in awe of what you do and how you love me so. Thank you for your mercy, and grace. Lord I let go of what I am struggling with this very moment. I am letting you take the reigns; I have tried to fix it, and just made things worse. I don’t want to struggle; you have set me free, and do not condemn me. For that I am grateful. I ask and trust that you move these mountains that stand so high in front of me, and let YOUremove them with my faith and will not doubt. I want to be like those before me who like in Hebrews 11, had such great faith to trust you. I want to be that person too. I praise you and am expecting your wonderful power to shine through, so you get all the glory!
Got done reading this wonderful book on Sandi’s life. It’s amazing how we can be so gifted, yet struggle with something. We all do. Struggle. It’s real. It’s honesty that frees us from the pain of these issues.
Pain comes to kill steal and destroy, a ploy from Satan himself. We know that he lurks around to thwart God’s gifts in our lives.
Never ever believe those lies.
What is wonderful to understand, that people who are known world wide, with great talents do INDEED have things to “deal” with that are hard. We live in an age where its instant and quick – people in general don’t look at the whole picture, and only want to see the pretty stuff. In a perfect world, that would be nice. I don’t like struggle either, not at all. Reality is hard at times, but we CAN indeed have hope and wholeness. Sandi shares this in her new book THE VOICE.
I related to many insecurites that Sandi spoke of. One made me smile and chuckle a bit. (small spoiler alert here). She said how she felt so uncomfortable reading outloud in class as a child. I did too! So much so, that she’d count how many people / paragraphs it would be til it came to her, I DID THE SAME THING. Because we didn’t think we had a voice. It’d be embarassing if a word was spoken incorrectly, talked to soft or too loud. What if a sneeze came bursting out in the middle of a sentence? We didn’t want to be called out, nor embarrassed if we made a mistake. How many others felt the same shame. How sad. We should never have to feel insecure, especially as an innocent child.
The story goes on from there. Insecurites are real. It is how we deal with them that either sends us in hiding or helps us to flourish! Choose to flourish!
But we are indeed more than conquerors when we have Jesus in us.
Please get your copy today, and buy one for someone who struggles with some issue. This will help to bring understanding that no one has to live in silence. Freedom is ours. Take it!
We live in the real world. Real problems, that can bring hardship, loss, disappointment, regret, shame and a host of other very negative emotional stress. Circumstances vary for all people, but the struggle is real.
When disappoint becomes a mountain. Bruises from people who offer rejection, and pain that digs deep into your heart and mind.
When the sleepless nights won’t let up, tears flow with ease like an open faucet…..
Does life seem to difficult to bear from the rough times you have been going through? It’s time to leave that behind. Yes, leave it. Is it easy to wallow in that muck, or better to take one stop into happiness. One steps leads to another, and another until you are once again on the mountain top. Find it, it belongs to you – today! If you notice I highlighted the letters in each paragraph to say WWJD. Kinda worked out that way – because JESUS is JOY. Jesus brings life and he gives it to us in abundance. More than enough, not stuck in the rut of the junk that happens. I know too well, stuff happens in life that can suck the life out of ya. Loss of a husband, children by way of death. Yeah, big ones. Getting older, loss of body function that was so healthy and strong, decides to break down one day from the stressors I suppose. Friendships lost. Family problems to deal with. Loss of a home, job and the list goes on. You get the idea… you fill in the blanks for what has happened to you personally. If you are walking through the valley of death, of which doesn’t mean dying physically, but the death of circumstances like a friend did you wrong, a coworker got the promotion and raise you had been working towards and just knew was yours…… or whatever it may be… own it for the moment. Feel the sorrow and pain. But then dust yourself off, (and I am totally speaking to myself right now), put on your big people pants and suck it up buttercup – and LAUGH at that THING that has groped you for too long. Find laughter from children playing at a park, animals who do silly things, a good comedy act or movie, a silly song from long ago (like the Monster Mash) that makes you smile.
I’m tired of being tired when life goes south and sours my soul. Enough is Enough, as Babs and Donna Summer sang. Moving out of the mire and into GOd’s marvelous light. Joy. Comes. Today.
Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Heres a cute video of kids and silly activities that happen –
Verse ONE: [A Psalm by David.]The LORD is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
Psalm 23 is often, in our culture, used at funerals. It reminds us that God is THEE God of comfort. He cares for his sheep (us). He guides those who love him into peace and rest. When we are lost, he shows us the way, when we ask, and live for him. When we are broken and bruised, he heals us. Jesus, His Son, is our Savior. We need a Savior to forgive us. David, who wrote this, about 1000 B.C., shows us through this sweet passage, that the LORD cares for us, as a shepherd to his sheep. We are, throughout the Bible, spoken of as sheep. We wander, we graze, unknowingly often times into places we shouldn’t go, if He is not leading us. We have the choice as people to ask God to lead us. If we don’t, then he lets us stray and walk until we cry out to him…… baaaaaa…..baaaaaaaa…. Lead me Lord, won’t you lead me.
The stressors of life can bog us down. God is so good to relieve us of that stress, when we allow him to. Ask, and it shall be given, pressed down, shaken together and running over – peace grab it, it’s yours! You need it. I need it. We need to accept it.
David seemed to have written this with such a sweet calmness, a quiet confidence, most likely as an adult, after many trials he had walked through, which taught him how to trust God completely. God never leaves us. He never waivers. He is with us all the days of our life. He completes us. He guides us. God is in fact our all and all.
Verse one, shows us his graciousness to you and I. He is relational. He did create us after all. We are in covenant with him. Therefore, he takes good care of us. Verse one tells us he has given us all we need. We won’t lack anything we need. He feeds us, guides us through our life, and protects us. That is provision. Hallelujah! He gives me – and you – provision to have what we need. Sweet Jesus! We don’t have to achieve or bounce through all kinds of hoops to have Him give us the things we need. Our abilities come from HIM. We don’t have to prove we are worthy, we are not. His grace at the cross cleansed us. We fail in our humanity. Oops we did “it” again!
The Shepherd, is a powerful representation of Jesus – the coming Messiah. Yes! We are awaiting his return, one day for eternity. Maybe we will beat the Second coming of the Lord, but either way, the Shepherd is keeping us safe so we will be in Heaven forever!
We don’t have to do this life alone. God is my resource to show me what to do. He is my friend to hear my conversations – the good, bad and ugly. He is my shield. He is My Provider. Amen.
The next blog we will continue with the second verse of Psalm 23.
Until then, here is a list of reference scriptures for you to print or download this week. Take time to journal the 23rd Psalm. Ask God to reveal sweet refrains of his love and promises while you journal. Accept the blessings you have, and the ones to come. If you are in need of something, healing, job, money, wisdom, whatever the need, ask him. He is ready to help you. He loves you so much! 🙂 So do I, my web friend. Rejoice in him, because he sure does rejoice over you!