The house is full of autumn smells today. Oatmeal-raisin cookies are cooling on the counter. A big pot of apples are bubbling on the stove; cinnamon and cloves filling up this warm and tiny apartment.
It seems like discouragement and lies are around every corner - People who want to make you feel like a villain for standing up for truth or righteousness. They attack you with their logic and their criticisms.
So, what do you do? Well, what I do is go to my room and cry. Then I pray. Then I read my Bible. And, finally, I do something fun for myself or someone else.
Today, I cancelled school - except chores of course - The children are playing mayor and cowboys. I am making yummy things to eat and to share with the neighbors. One neighbor just had a baby girl born to them and another is an older couple who are house bound. Sophia got on the phone and called a bunch of people on our list - the grandparents, a friend from church, her cousin. They were happy to hear from "us".
The discouragement fizzled. The heaviness of the criticism faltered and failed. And now, as I type this out, my apron smudged with cinnamon and flour, I am at peace and thankful for the Grace of God and His kindness to me.
Are you discouraged? Are you struggling under the weight of criticism?
Here are some handy tips:
~ Make sure you have the tools you need to get things done. I am so thankful for the mixer my sister gave me. If it wasn't so easy to just dump the ingredients in the bowl and let the mixer do the work, I probably wouldn't have made cookies...Cookies make EVERYone happy - it might not make them be nice to you, but it will make them happy. The tools you need might be a working vacuum or some knitting needles.
~ Make a list. Write down some fun things you can do for yourself. Then DO the ones that don't cost money and don't take you away from the home. (curl your hair, knit a sweater, make a card, etc.)
~ Don't dwell on your feelings. Just because you feel bad, doesn't mean life is bad. Just because you feel alone, doesn't mean you are alone. Take every thought captive to the Lord.
~ Memorize and apply God's Word to your life. A verse I just learned this week that I am memorizing is:
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
~ Be thankful.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Well, I better pack up some cookies. I also put some extra batter in the freezer for future 'emergencies'. The applesauce is warm and chunky. I think we may even splurge and top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yummy.