Encourage Yourself

The past two days I have felt so defeated and so discouraged. I’m trying to work on something and it just seems like I cannot get it done. I have never had so many obstacles and hurdles when trying to do something that seems so simple.

Yesterday everything I did just fell apart. I tried to schedule a simple doctor’s appointment and it turned into an hour of getting the run-around. I hung up the phone and screamed and burst into tears. I was so frustrated. I am trying to eat healthy because I’m a little overweight and I need to be healthy! I wanted to try a new healthy recipe I found. Sounds like a great idea right?!

I made a Zucchini pizza last night that I saw on Facebook. It seemed simple enough. I turned it into a 20-minute process of doom. Not simple. I used too much zucchini…so I had to add more eggs. I use non-dairy cheese because I’m allergic to cow dairy. I poured the crust on a greased pizza stone. Put it in the oven so excited to try this carb free pizza!! I checked it after 10 mins…. the liquid from the eggs came out from the zucchini cheese mixture and poured itself on the bottom of my oven and caught on fire.  The liquid mixture still on the stone burnt itself to the stone. The rest of the crust didn’t seem to be cooking.

I made my husband fried chicken. I went to take the lid of the deep fryer off and the handle came off in my hand and the lid went flying. I jumped back 10 feet because I thought for sure hot lava oil was going to splash up at me. After I took the chicken out I topped it with a cheese and bread-crumb mixture and put it in the oven. The cheese mixture slid right off of the chicken. AND it burnt…

Dinner was just another failed effort on my part. I went to the gym after dinner. I’m trying to work up to run/walk a 5k in July. I can run a mile, just not all at once. I ran a half mile without stopping! I was so proud of myself. On the 8th lap, I felt a sharp pain in my ankle that went up my leg to my knee. I was done for the night.

In 2004 I had a part of my fibula removed along with a tumor. My ankle and my fibula no longer connect. This makes the fibula bone push out when I run for long periods and causes me a lot of pain. I get really frustrated with it.

I was so frustrated last night. I was beaten down, disheartened and so discouraged. I just wanted to go to bed and not wake up for a week.

I thought things would be better today. I was wrong. Everything today went wrong or way off course.

I decided that I needed to encourage myself. Sometimes people come along and encourage us but sometimes you have to encourage yourself.

I decided to turn to the good book (the bible) for some encouraging verses. The verses below really helped me.

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will no set you ablaze.”

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 16:33 ” I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”    Mic Drop. BOOM.

If you’re feeling discouraged today, take a moment to take a breath. Remember who you are in Christ and remember that no matter what comes, don’t worry. Christ has overcome the world!

Lauren Daigle’s song My Revival is a good song to listen to. So is Overcomer by Mandisa.

I hope that when no one is there to encourage you, you can find some encouragement yourself in the good book!

Love in Christ,

Iva Mae

Quite Contrary… How does your garden grow?


Picture from Garden of Gethsemane June 5, 2017 from my Israel Mission trip

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary” by Mother Goose

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockleshells, And pretty maids all in a row.

“Mary, Mary quite contrary” is an English poem most of us remember from childhood. I never really understood. Contrary means opposite. This Mary grows silver bells, whatever cockleshells are and pretty maids. (uh what?) This Mary girl, she has some odd gardening habits. I’ll get back to this in a minute (be patient).

I’ve been thinking a lot about Spring with the nasty weather we are having in Ohio. Spring means nicer weather, but it also means that plants will begin growing again. I love looking at flowers, trees, bushes and vegetable gardens. The bright and beautiful colors bring me happiness and joy. Eating the veggies and fruits also make me happy! My favorite food is fruit (next to chocolate).

An apple tree produces apples. An apple tree does not produce watermelon. We know what kind of tree or plant it is by looking at what’s growing on it.

Matthew 7:20 says “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Jesus isn’t talking about plants when he says this. He is talking about us. What kind of fruit are you growing? Are you growing love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance? Or is your garden “quite contrary” like Mary’s?

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us the fruit of the spirit – what we need to grow on our spiritual trees.

After speaking with someone, or even seeing how someone interacts with others you can tell what kind of tree they are. Before we leave others with a bitter taste in their mouth, let’s make sure we are growing love. I like that love is the first fruit mentioned. If you don’t have love, you will not be able to grow other fruits. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 tells us that exactly.

1 Corinthians 13:1 -3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Without the act of love, charity, we are nothing.

We should show love through our speech and actions. We really need to make sure what we say, is said in love. You can never take back your words.

Check out what the bible says about the tongue.

Proverbs 18:21, 1 Peter 3:10, James 3:8 & Proverbs 15:4

Toby Mac posted a picture the other day and it said” The mouth should have three gatekeepers. Is it true? Is it kind? And it is necessary?”


I’ve been trying to focus on love recently. Everyday try to focus on love and the other fruit of the spirit will come.

If you’re like me, it may be time to prune and weed.

Remember 1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all your things be done with charity (love).”

God Bless!

Love from above,

Iva Mae