Saturday, December 8, 2012

Encouragement in Tough Times

Christy here, slowly emerging from the cocoon I've been in for the last few months.  Oh, I've been busy. As most of you know, the roles of Wife, Mommy, Employee take up a lot of a woman's time... Gray hairs have sprouted up as a result. My vain side wants to slow the aging process with all the wrinkle serums and moisturizers I use daily. My logical side says, why slow the perfect process God has made?

I'd taken a sabbatical from blogging and most things writing related. Not because I wanted to. Does someone want to be paralyzed. I doubt it. More, you find yourself paralyzed and have to find a way to deal with it. Thoughts would come to me of something to blog about or a great scene for my book. Yet I'd never find the time to write down the idea and the idea seemed to vanish. It has been a strange time for me. I finally understand the opening line of  A Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

Things of life swirled around me. Sometimes I'd stand aside and watch. At times, I danced in the thick of it. Good things have happened and I had fun. At the same time I'd feel confused and not quite sure of my place in many aspects of my life. I started a new job in January and am now finding a rhythm with it. I've decided I'm not losing my mind after all, and that some of the confusion and exhaustion I felt was simply a result of this season of life I entered.

I don't know where you're at in your life. If you're still reading this, it must mean you're going through some of the things I am or you've already been there. I wanted to share some things that helped me get through the tough times in hopes it will help others.

Prayer. I've done a lot of this during this time. I found out I'd better pray in the car on the way to work, then pray again in the bathroom if needed, and sometimes pray again on a walk outside. Anything to save my sanity, help me hold my tongue or keep from falling down to the floor in a puddle of tears. I figured out some of my best connections with the father came in the form of a dark stairway as I waited for my toddler to go to sleep. (He likes to get up after I've put him to bed and I need to be there to put him right back in his bed. Thank you for the tip, Super Nanny!)

The key: You can pray anywhere. He's always listening!

Audio books/Radio sermons.   I never used audio books but  friend of mine recommended them. I use my IPhone and downloaded the app from my favorite church's website. The pastor has daily sermons and his messages always seem to be just what I need. I can listen to these if I'm out for a walk, or in the car. I've found if my mind is full of strange thoughts... thoughts I know may be a form of temptation, I need to refocus on the Lord and keeping Him in the center of my life.

Time with family. The other night, hubby and I snuggled with the kids on the couch and watched one of our favorite TV shows. I felt more at peace that I had in a long time.

Time with friends. Each week, me and a friend meet at a sandwich shop on our lunch break. It's our form of therapy. We're both dealing with completely different things in our lives, and while she's not dealt with some of my problems and I haven't dealt with the issues she's having, we find we can still encourage each other. Sometimes it's just a time to listen to each other vent.  I'm an introvert at heart. It's easier for me to be by myself every day at lunch, but over the many weeks of meeting with my friend, I've found I look forward to time with her.

I communicate with some of my best friends over email. We don't get to see each other but once a month, but it's the best therapy.  A time for fellowship and encouragement and many times, praying for each other. If you're walking through a tough time in your life, don't do it alone. It may be you can simply attend church once a week. If that's all you can do, do it. Find something you like to do and begin to do it. And hopefully, you'll find a friend to accompany you. You never know when God may use someone else to help you through your tough time... and in turn, He may use you to help that other person.

This season should be a wonderful season because we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, but for many it's a tough time because they're missing loved ones, or are going through a number of tough times. I encourage you to know you're not alone. Everyone is going through something. The key is, finding out how you can reach out and be a blessing to someone else.

God bless and I hope to be writing to you again soon,

Christy Smith


  1. Christy,
    I have missed you! Thank you for sharing your heart. I completely understand where you are.


  2. Thank you Edwina! I have missed posting and visiting with everyone. Praying for you!