Being Thankful in the Most Difficult Times

Being Thankful during hard times

It’s Thanksgiving morning.

I’m sitting alone in my apartment.

I’m propped up in bed with a heating pad on my back and my Bible and journal sitting to my left. Multiple blankets cover the lower half of my body and my laptop sits atop them as I type.

I wasn’t planning to write on the blog today. I opened my journal to begin pouring out some thoughts, but after some prayer and scripture reading I felt like I needed to get this into a blog post. So, here I am. Raw and real.

Being Thanksgiving and all, I know that I should be reflecting on what I’m thankful for right now. So, I’m thinking through some things – a lot of things.

I truly am thankful for the way God has worked in my life. He has provided during some of my weakest times.

I know God is good. I really do. But, at the same time I often find my mind dwelling on all that’s wrong in my life right now. I’m grieving the loss of how I thought my life would look.

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

Should We Really Tell Others We’re Praying For Them?

We’ve all seen it on social media. A friend is going through a personal struggle and asks for prayer. Tens, if not, hundreds, of their friends chime in with sentiments such as “I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.” They might say they love the person or that they are always there if their friend needs anything.

Should We Really Tell Others We're Praying for Them

Those who comment have good intentions. They truly feel bad and want to help in some way. Prayer seems to be the easiest way to extend a helping hand.

After the moment passes and they continue scrolling through their feed, they might forget about the request. Thoughts of the person they had said they’d pray for may later re-enter their mind. They’ll think of the situation or wonder how the person is doing. But, did they ever stop to pray?

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

What To Do When You’re Having an Identity Crisis – Part 2

Hope in Christ

In Part 1 of What To Do When You’re Having an Identity Crisis, I described being at my breaking point and feeling insecure as I struggled to figure out who I was.

God worked in my heart to show me that I didn’t need to have all the answers. As a child of God, my identity is rooted in who He is, not in what I do or what I like. Because I follow Christ, the insecurity knocking at my door can be defeated. Even when I’m struggling, God promises that I can cast all my anxiety on Him because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).

I talk about following Christ, but what does this actually mean?

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

Soaking in God’s Word

Soak in God's word

I have a habit that drives my sister Maggie completely bonkers. She gets agitated with me, making this habit a source of material for her complaining.

When I do dishes, I like to let them soak.

I’d say my method of washing dishes is ideal. You set them in the sink and run water over them while you squirt a little dish soap. Then, if you are stacking more on top of them they all have a little water in between each dish.

It’s great, especially for thick pasta dishes where rinsing just doesn’t do the trick for getting that melted cheese off the plate.  When it comes to pasta, concentrated scrubbing is required; or in my case, concentrated soaking. I prefer to let them soak.

My sister’s disdain for my soaking methods may have made me question my tactics a time or two. However, I always go back to the tried and true method because it works! I would prefer to let my dishes soak for even a handful of minutes than to tirelessly scrub when soaking gets the job done with half the effort. Plus, it gives me a few minutes to do other household chores while the dishes soak before returning to the sink to easily wash and rinse them.

The soaking of dishes got me thinking about other forms of soaking in my life.

Sometimes performing tasks slowly allows for us to truly do things to our best ability. The soaking of sorts that occurs when something is done without rush can be beautiful. For me, it helps me think through situations and process them before making rash decisions that could potentially lead me down the wrong path.

I like to soak in God’s Word.

While I sometimes read quickly to get through specific passages that we’re reviewing in Bible study, I don’t think think reading through the Bible in a rushed state is doing me any favors. It is not helping me fully grasp the richness of God’s Word.

Reading the Bible is essential for believers to be equipped for all God has planned for them.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

For me to truly appreciate the truth of God’s Word, I have to let it marinate for a little bit. That involves soaking.

That’s something incredible that happens when our hearts are turned toward God and there’s two way communication happening. The spirit moves and we are in real fellowship with our Creator.

While I do find value in any form of studying God’s Word, I know that the to-do list approach to study doesn’t work for me. I just don’t get as much out of it when it’s only something to check off my list. I’m not saying that if you only have five minutes to read in the morning it can’t be beneficial. I just know that for me, personally, setting aside more concentrated time for soaking in the Word is beneficial.

I don’t know where you’re at, but if you’re like me, you probably feel like you never stop moving. From work, to family, to friendships and relationships, to church, to household tasks, to finding time to exercise, life is just plain full. There’s so much we must do (or feel obligated to do).

Even in the midst of chaos, I still know what I need to feel secure and refreshed. I know what helps me feel rested and what makes me feel better, but often those very things that I know help are the last thing on my to do list because I have a hard time saying no. I have a hard time creating margin in my life. I know I need to pull back, stop the rushing, stop filling the calendar and just be.

Right now, as we are wrapping up January and embracing all that this new year is providing, I want to soak. My desire is to seek God and soak in His Word and His promises.

I am a goal setter and I have resolutions and goals and big dreams, and I can’t wait to write more and share them with you on this blog. But, for now, I am going to pray, trust God, read His word, and let it all soak in to break down the pieces of sin and discontentment that are stuck on me – just as soaking in soap and water does for dishes in the sink.

Here’s to soaking in 2016!

Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.