Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Death of Me

Every now and then I hear someone say, "__________ (fill in the blank) is going to be the death of me."  In fact, I have often used that same phrase to describe parenting, financial challenges, my job (or lack thereof), marriage, and life in general.  Can anyone relate?

The past six months have been full of those "death of me" moments as I have navigated the stormy seas of a four-month separation from my husband, the loss of his dad, and the packing and logistics associated with our family's relocation to another state.  Although we have managed to get settled into our new home there have been moments when I thought the adjustment to this new life would be the death of me.  Somewhere in the process, though, I have discovered that the death of me is a good thing, not a bad one.

You see, when we reach the end of ourselves and acknowledge that there are simply things we cannot do on our own, healing we cannot effect in another human being, or problems we cannot fix, we position God to step in and do what he does best.  When we die to ourselves and let Christ work in and through us what only he can do, then we come to know Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Galatians 2:20 (NIV) has taken on new meaning for me in recent weeks:  "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."  It is a verse I often use to encourage myself when perseverance is needed.

Next time life is hard and you are tempted to use that phrase, "the death of me," rejoice instead.  As you allow the crucified Christ to live in and through you, others will see in "Christ in you, the hope of glory" and perhaps come to a saving and sustaining knowledge of him.




Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Better Than a Couch


Until I moved to the middle peninsula of Virginia I never understood what the big deal was about beaches and boats. Let's face it -- Sunbathing lost its appeal for me about six swimsuit sizes ago!  I never have been a fan of sand. Yet I have learned to love sitting on the beach watching the waves crash on the shore while the gulls and pelicans dive and scavenge for their food.  The sounds and smells of the wind and waves relax me when life has totally stressed me out.  

My brother-in-law owns a sailboat and recently took us out on a sunset cruise.  Although it was short and we ran with the motor rather than wind in our sails, just gliding across the water was a thrill.  To see eagles and ospreys in their natural habitat rather than the confines of a zoo aviary was a real treat!

The transition to life here and the noise in our little house have been overwhelming at times. When we moved into this home we lost a considerable amount of square footage which served as a buffer to the noise.  A lover of peace and quiet, I have learned that when noise and stress begin to wear on me it is probably wise for me to take a quick drive to the river or sit and sip a cup of coffee on the deck to calm and recalibrate myself. The natural surroundings near our home are a sanctuary where I can freely converse with God and pour out my concerns, while seeing glimpses of his glory and listening for his still, small voice in the sounds around me.

I have come to cherish "aqua therapy" in whatever form it takes -- a drive across the bay, stroll along the beach at Gloucester Point, or a solitary canoe trip on the lake.  For me it's better than a therapist's couch any day!

There are issues we cannot solve on our own.  And while running away from stress won't make it go away or solve our problems, finding a quiet place to decompress and reconnect with the God who created us and understands what we are going through is not only therapeutic but absolutely necessary for our healing.  Next time life makes you a little crazy set an appointment on God's couch and find your happy place in Him!



The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
     he refreshes my soul.
Psalm 23:1-2, NIV

Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fighting the Demon of Despair

Demons are real.  If they were not real the Bible wouldn't speak of them.  We wouldn't be tempted by them. We wouldn't despair because of them.  Without them there would be no spiritual warfare against the powers of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12).  But there is spiritual warfare.  There is despair.  Demons are real.

How do you wage war against the demon of despair when he comes knocking at your door, distracting you from your mission of carrying God's light and love to those who so desperately need them?  What can you do to turn your stinkin' thinkin' into an attitude of gratitude and pull yourself up emotionally so that you can simply get through the day?

There are times when we despair over things which we cannot control, when our faith is weak and our emotions are vulnerable.  Is this an indication that we lack faith or simply that we are being human?  If our faith is strong and our walk with God is intimate, then why would we ever be vulnerable to feelings of despondency, anger, or anxiety?

The Bible tells us that as believers we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).  What does that mean and how can we know? Only by spending time in God's Word and in the presence of Christ himself.  Christ, who was fully God and fully man, who understands us because he created and lived as one of us.

If you are battling despair or anxiety and feel your faith has been trampled by the enemy, please pick up and read God's Word.  Chances are you have a copy of it somewhere around the house.  If you have a smart phone, download the Bible app from https://www.bible.com/ so that the "sword of the spirit," God's Word, is always at your fingertips.  God's Word is full of promises, hope, and stories of frail men and women just like us, whose weak faith triumphed when they gave God control of their lives. As you read it you will come to know Christ, understand his mind, and learn of his love for you.

The Bible tells us that "the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12, NIV).  It is part of the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17), which we are instructed to put on in order to stand firm against our enemy, the devil himself.  What better way to fight the demon of despair and his cohorts -- doubt, distraction, depression, and fear -- than by arming yourself with the very words of God, who has already won the victory?





Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Struggle is Real

Two weeks ago our family was loading a U-Haul truck and trailer in Tennessee with great anticipation of our move to Virginia after a four month long journey of separation, loss, and difficult decision making.  Many times over the days since we arrived and began the process of unpacking all our boxes my daughter has been heard to say, "the struggle is real."  Even though her statement has been spoken humorously to infuse a little joy into stressful circumstances, she is absolutely correct--the struggle IS real!

I have been keeping up with my friends and family through Facebook posts and emails.  Clearly the struggle is real for many of us.  I have read posts of sickness, loss, sadness, and stress and realize that my struggles are nothing compared to the struggles others are facing, but they are real to me.

But even more than our struggles, our God is real.   The very trials which challenge our faith often are the catalysts which cause us to draw near to Him by faith and lean upon the promises of His Word to see us through them.  Sometimes we just need to step away from the struggle and quiet ourselves so that we can reconnect with Him.

Last night, as I struggled with the stress of the move and some other concerns that have burdened my heart recently, I went to my bedroom, put on a CD of music regarding prayer, and worshipped as I put the finishing touches on my "corner office."  It helped to remind myself that "somebody's praying me through."

To my friends and family back home, I love and thank you for praying us through this move.  Please know that you and your loved ones are in my prayers as well.


Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!