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Women Living Well Blog: This Is What I Do When Life Hurts

Women Living Well Blog

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This Is What I Do When Life Hurts

The Making Your Home a Haven Challenge is over and I miss reading all of your link-ups already!!! Thank you for helping me make October special in my home - your accountability truly helped me! I have the most amazing readers ever! Keep it up!

Today I'm thinking about the reader who is frustrated with her home and feels that it is anything BUT a haven. I turn to Psalm 23 and I think about the inner dialogue of a woman who is hurting...

1 - The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. (want. want. want. I want...)

2. He makes me lie down (lie down...if only I could lie down for just 20 minutes...if only if only if only) in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. (quiet. quiet. quiet...this home is so loud...television, ipods, cell phones, chatter, I can't get a moment of quiet here).

3. He restores my soul (my soul. needs. restored. hurts). He guides me in paths of righteousness. (I am so alone...I have no one who understands...if only I had someone to get me out of this mess. mess. mess. Someone besides me please clean up this mess!).

4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (what if. what if. what if. what if I'm not enough?) for you are with me (you are? why are you so silent God?); your rod and your staff they comfort me. (comfort. who needs comfort. I am strong. I will pick myself up and press on. I am not weak.)

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (overflows. overflows. overflows. Dirty dishes overflow, closets overflow, my trash cans overflow, my laundry baskets overflow, my calender overflows...if everything is so full - why do I feel so empty?)

6. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. (follow. follow. follow. I feel like difficulties, trials, disappointments, bad relationships and financial problems follow me... goodness? love? follow me?) and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (put on fake smile. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever...BUT...I want. I want. I want. if only. if only. if only. my soul hurts. mess. mess. mess. I am weak. no. I am strong. empty. empty. empty.)

Do you hear the self talk? Do you hear what is happening between this woman's two ears? She is saying rotten things to herself about her life, about the people in her life, about her circumstances, and even about God. And then she wonders...why? don't? I? have? peace?

The problem is not out there - it's inside of her. Romans 12:2 says, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Do you want to see a change in your home? It starts in your mind.

The Lord is indeed your Shepherd and you shall not be in want. You must claim these truths. Let him lead you by still waters...are you thirsty? Sit still. Drink a tall glass of his living word! Let him restore your soul. He is with you. He loves you. You will one day dwell in his house forever. You only have one life and living it in the Eeyore state is not living at all!

Are you in a storm? Do you need help? Psalm 121:1 says, "I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."

At the core - I am empty, ugly, self-seeking, insecure, questioning myself to death regularly (even cried for about 30 minutes in my husband's office this week over my fears. fears. fears. and failures). I hurt. I struggle. I wrestle. But then - I lift my eyes up to the maker of the heavens and the earth and this world pauses for just a moment and all my ugly thoughts and self talk are washed away by his love, grace and peace. The storms do not disappear but seeing a glimpse of the sunshine that awaits me, lifts me up when I am weak. I am weak. I am weak. He is strong. And so I rest. And he restores.

(If you are discouraged, I pray you will take just 5 minutes to let this song speak truth into your life. Stop the inner dialogue and habits of doubt and negative self talk and fill your mind with truth. truth. truth. You must hear the truth.)

Praise You in This Storm / Casting Crowns

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Walk with the King!

I am linking up here :

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Blogger Lynn said...

I like your take on Psalm 23, from the perspective of an overwhelmed homemaker. Praise God that He is the great Restorer :) I've been trying each morning to focus on one attribute of God's in my prayer time; one from this last week that I especially love is that God is able. That kind of says it all, doesn't it?

November 7, 2010 at 11:52 PM  
Anonymous becca banana said...

Praise God!

Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— THINK about such things."

November 8, 2010 at 12:14 AM  
Anonymous stacy said...

I could've been that woman writing that dialouge

November 8, 2010 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger momstheword said...

What a wonderful post, Courtney! We women have a tape recorder going in our brains sometimes, and it plays the same refrain over and over.

We need to turn off that tape recorder of the enemy's lies and negativity and replace it with God's truths, just as you said.

Thank you for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

November 8, 2010 at 1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You so much for this post! It spoke right to my heart. I am this woman. This season of my life seems to be a storm. I have young children and we are in the middle of our third deployment. I know this is where God wants our family because he has not opened up any other doors for us, but I have all of this negativity going on around my brain because I miss my husband and wish that I had the strength that everyone from the outside thinks that I have. I will save this song and listen to it often to remember to praise God even in this stormy season of life.
Sarah Lownsbery

November 8, 2010 at 2:32 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Beautiful, thank you Courtney.

November 8, 2010 at 2:47 AM  
OpenID conversatioincaelis said...

Thank you for this post.
I jumped right into the Fall Challenge - and failed (sometimes I doubt we will ever have a peaceful home). Because of thoughts like this? Maybe.
I have to accept that I am weak and that God is the only one who can make my life less broken.

November 8, 2010 at 2:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Courtney, you are so correct about the battlefield in our minds, we really do need to think about what we are thinking about and get it aligned with the word of God. Courtney, your site is such an inspiration!

November 8, 2010 at 5:14 AM  
Blogger Skip'sMKGirl said...

I have been in seasons where I was that woman you are speaking to today (exhausted with two babies 12+ months apart). I am praying for each woman who feels that way today and thanking God for bringing me through such seasons. I know they will come again, whether for minutes, hours, days, or months. But praise Him that He has been faithful to remind me of His peace and the hope I have through Him!

November 8, 2010 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Amen, Amen, and Amen! Well said Courtney.

November 8, 2010 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Lisa in Texas = ) said...

What a great post. I was truly blessed by it this morning. I will be sharing this with friends on facebook!
Have a great day,
Lisa :o)

November 8, 2010 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger donnadunaway said...

OHHHHH! This comes at such a great time! I am overcoming a recent major surgery, just in the midst of holiday preparation. Although SO grateful for a successful surgery..NOT at myself yet...I HAVE TO DECORATE, SEASONAL CLEAN, Cook, AND be RESTFUL!??? LOL...Do the doctors REALLY believe with a family you go home to rest?? Life's little humors!Hahaha! The post you made this morning could not be more ministering/comforting..THANKYOU!

November 8, 2010 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger donnadunaway said...

recent major surgery, just in the midst of holiday preparation. Although SO grateful for a successful surgery..NOT at myself yet...I HAVE TO DECORATE, SEASONAL CLEAN, AND be RESTFUL!??? LOL...Do the doctors REALLY believe with a family you go home to rest?? Life's little humors!Hahaha! The post you made this morning could not be more ministering/comforting..THANKYOU!

November 8, 2010 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger nicole said...

Amazing Courtney! And just what I needed on this Monday morning! I just came downstairs to see a huge mess and felt overwhlemed- and this was very encouraging! Thank you for the reminder!

November 8, 2010 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger jenniferO said...

Thank you for this great post!!!! I think you have been in my head :) Praising Him in this storm!

November 8, 2010 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Lisa Grace said...

Thank you so much! I really do love your blog. I would never have really thought to put Ps 23 like that for moms; it was awesome. And reading the lyrics to that song...WOW!

November 8, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger jen said...

Thank you for your open heart and being willing to share your own struggles with other women for their encouragement. I'm praying for you!! Thank you for the long chat the other night. I am blessed to have you for a sister. (I know other women wish they were your sister and could chat with you for hours, so I'm thankful that God gave you to me!!)

November 8, 2010 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

Thank you Courtney!

November 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous heidi @ wonder woman wannabe said...

Amen and AMEN! Such truth here. I've been reading SO much (in books, blogs and bible) about the importance of CHOOSING our thoughts/attitudes.

It does make such a difference. And, it's what God asks of us as well.

proverbs 23:7
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

philppians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

it is a battle to choose to heed these verses at times, but it's worth it! :)


November 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Living the Balanced Life said...

Thanks for this post Courtney! I love what you did with Ps 23!
I actually just posted about watching our thought processes, and to be careful what we let take up residence in our mind.

November 8, 2010 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Traci Michele said...

Beautiful Courtney, just like you!

Love, Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

November 8, 2010 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Jen - that was SOOO sweet - girl - I think half the things I write come from the wellspring of our family's walk with the King. I have learned so much from having two older sisters - I am a lucky girl - and we have a great mom too! We are so blessed!

By the way, I told Alex how Jonathon wants Encyclopdias - and Alex pulled back out his atlas (he remembers Jonathon reading his last year) and was reading all the state mottos etc...all weekend long he was READING - hooray! See the influence you all have on us - a blessing for sure!

Love you more than words can express in a little comment box!

November 8, 2010 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Sheila said...

I came to your blog this morning as a strong woman of faith, but feeling so empty. fears, my faults, and my insecurities.

Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you in so many ways that you will never know.

Until we meet in heaven...thank you!

November 8, 2010 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger The Working Home Keeper said...

Thank you for this beautiful post!

Mary Ellen

November 8, 2010 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

THank you so much for this post. It really spoke to me today and was exactly what I needed to hear.

November 8, 2010 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Mom2many said...

I LOVE the song! God used it to get me through one of my darkest times. My daughter had a very bad reaction to a medication and we didn't know if she would live or how much brain damage she had sustained. In PICU, watching my precious child lying there unresponsive, praising the Maker of Heaven and Earth was the ONLY way to make it through each agonizing moment. I listed to this song on repeat....tears streaming then and now, just remembering. Thank GOD, my daughter is whole and He carried us through. Amazing Love!!!

November 8, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi greetings from new to your blog(to all blogs and all kinds of blogging,please dont think everyone that comes from this lovely little island lives in the dark ages its just post was a treasure..thank you for the 'band aid'..praise you for being a shining light as for making your home a haven you have got to do more of those have a beautiful mind and spirit .. hold us all accountable till our king comes back..

November 8, 2010 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I am in a very difficult season right now, and this was very helpful to me. Lately, I have been convicted that I am what needs to change, not my surroundings, and this just confirmed it. Thank you so much; your blog is such a blessing.

November 8, 2010 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

What a great post!

That self-talk has a way of subtly creeping in and yet it is so hard to get rid of!!

Thanks for speaking the truth about how we need to combat the negative self-talk with TRUTH!!


November 8, 2010 at 3:41 PM  
OpenID joyfulmothering said...

Wow. wow. WOW! Courtney, wow. Thank you for sharing what came from the depths of your own struggle. Thank you for sharing your story so it could help change the woman next door. Me.

Oh my goodness, when i was reading that Psalm and all the self-hate talk, I felt like I was looking through the mirror to my own soul. :(

I need to seriously surrender my weaknesses so God's strength will come through! Thank you!

November 8, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Thank You! I echo ALL of the previous sentiments. It helps to know that we are not alone in our struggles. God is always with us---but there are also so many sisters out there experiencing the same things that we are. We can often believe the lie that no one understands or even that there is something drastically wrong with us when we are feeling weak. We shouldn't settle for less than God's best for us---but feeling worse about ourselves never helps anything---thank you for your encouragement once again!

November 8, 2010 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger MommaMindy said...

I love how you pointed our gazes from outward circumstances to inward turmoil. Yes, that is where it begins. Most of us actually would not really want to change our circumstances, we love our husbands and children and for some of us, home schooling, but we need to face them with grace and strength from the Lord. Thanks for the spiritual encouragement.

November 8, 2010 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Muthering Heights said...

Amazing, Courtney!!! I think we've all been there, to some degree...

I'm definitely sharing a link to this. So many women can benefit from reading your wise words!

November 8, 2010 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Everyday Sacred said...

Love this and needed it!!

November 9, 2010 at 12:33 AM  
Blogger Darlene Schacht said...

I love your transparency when you write, "even cried for about 30 minutes in my husband's office this week over my fears. fears. fears. and failures). I hurt. I struggle."

I felt this kind of pain today when I ran into an old friend and he barely spoke to me like I was garbage. It made me question myself a thousand times. Fear, hurt, insecurity... it all came flooding over me. "Why don't people like me?" That's what I started asking myself. And then I had to stop and realize that this is one person. Okay--so maybe there are two or three. But in 45 years of living, dirt happens. And so many things are out of my hands. I need to rest in Him. And like you, I'm thankful for a husband that I can cry with when I need to.

He gives us the oil of joy for mourning. That's an amazing gift and within our grasp at each and every moment.


November 9, 2010 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Sandi said...

Thanks for this post. I find that it is easy to put myself down or find fault with the things I don't do well in my own home (like cooking and sewing!), but I read a devotion the other day that referenced Jude 1:20: "But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit." It reminded me not to waste time tearing myself down but to look towards God and take my worth from Him and to pray in my areas where I feel inadequate. It probably won't make me an overnight whiz in the kitchen or the sewing room, but I know I will feel better and approach those tasks with more confidence!

November 9, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

I needed this this morning. I have been needing this for months. I have been hurting, and aching, and searching, and fighting, for months now. My home is the farthest thing from a haven. My heart is almost as much of a mess as my home. Almost. That woman could be me. I say those things (and a lot of much worse things) to myself all the time.
Your blog really touched me today, and I am very glad that you wrote it, even if it did step on my toes. :)

November 9, 2010 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Tancy said...

I'm writing in tears! My heart has not been at peace. I believe to lies that go through my head and enter my heart. Thank-you for encouraging me today!

November 9, 2010 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Amen! Thank you, dear Courtney!!

November 9, 2010 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Janelle Nehrenz said...

Courtney, this is one of my favorite posts of yours- you said what we all feel and go through every day. Thanks for inspiring me this morning AND just now! God is working. Love you, Nelle

November 9, 2010 at 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! It really hit home today! This encouragement was very needed.

Thank you and God Bless!

November 9, 2010 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Thank you for blessing us with your encouraging spirit, Courtney!

November 9, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Rosemi said...

Thank you for this post! You encouraged me!

November 9, 2010 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger A Little R&R said...

Did you hear me whine all the way from the other side of the Great Pond?

I didn't get to finish the challenge. We all got bit by a horrid flu/cold bug (and our 10 month old had a double-ear infection to-boot) - so I've been off the blog track for two weeks. :( :( :( And while I was gone the challenge finished up.

WHIIIIINNNNNE!!!! I am already looking forward to the next one.

There will be another one, right?

I so enjoyed the challenge - I got as far as clearing up the clutter (well, I am still doing that bit...) before the bug bit us all and carried us under the weather (way, way under the weather, I might add). And I will be finishing up the challenge, regardless. :)

November 10, 2010 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger wannabegodly said...

Very good! This reminds me of the book my oldest daughter and I are reading together - "Loving God With All Your Mind" by Elizabeth George. Very good, very inspiring!

November 10, 2010 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Q said...

Goodness, Courtney. This is sooo good. It can be hard some times! But yes, me must look up to the Lord.
Thanks so much,
Mrs. Q

November 10, 2010 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Shannon Miller said...

Courtney - I don't usually comment, although I love your blog!, but I had to today. This song was my lifeline a few years ago when I was expecting my now 3 year old. Thrilled with the new baby on the way I was also completely overwhelmed with the three littles I already had. (We now have 5.) What I didn't realize was how overwhelmed I've been feeling lately. Until the tears started as I read your words. And then there was "my" song!
You have blessed me so much this morning by sharing your thoughts and your own hurt. Thank you.

November 10, 2010 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

What a wonderful way to allows Psalm 23 to speak to the busy, homemakers heart. Thank you for sharing your heart.

November 10, 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! I needed to hear this message! My hubby and I are battling fertility problems. God is BIGGER and our faith rests in him. Thanks again!

November 11, 2010 at 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Lindsey said...

Courtney, this post blessed my soul this evening. Thank you so much. I have felt so down, lots of turmoil in my brain right now. I have been wanting desperately to just get out for a minute, to turn off my brain, to stop being so overwhelmed and heartbroken. Your post was a breath of fresh air. Thank you :-)

November 13, 2010 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger In Awe of Applique said...

Thank you Courtney!
This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear right now, I just have been feeling lost right now, not knowing where to turn, how silly that I had to be reminded to turn to Him...

December 2, 2010 at 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Courtney - it's me...the anonymouse... :)

Thank you for directing me to this post in your response to my blunt comment.

I will be re-reading this one in the coming days.

I think the problem might, JUST me and my attitude. :p Maybe it isn't my husband, my kids, my house, my job..... it's me. Thanks.

January 2, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Courtney, I am just looking for some advice and would like your input and am not sure how to get your attention so I am just posting a comment because I need help. Last night I felt attacked by some friends that were told I said something that never even happened. The person that made it up and told them I said it hasn't liked me for years due to a school rivalry thing. Anyway, I don't know how to face the days to come. I thought these friends knew me well enough to know I wouldn't say anything remotely like what was said! But they were so angry with me and hurt by what this woman said and they were angry with me and never even confronted me to see if I had said that. Are they truly my friends? I had no idea these women would even think I was capable of doing such a thing. I'm so hurt by their words and actions. How do I get past this?

March 11, 2011 at 6:43 AM  

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