Tabetha's Devotions

Moments with God

Fear Fighting

Psalm 16:8 (GNT)
I am always aware of the LORD’S presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me.

Fears come in many forms.  It is more than normal to be afraid of things.

My daughter is in the Air Force.  She has been trained to kill.  She takes plains apart and puts them back together.  However, she sees the tiniest of spiders and she is grabbing her AK47 to take it out! By the way, I have a male co-worker who would grab an entire arsenal and follow right alongside her, so don’t think it is just a girl thing.

I have an irrational fear of sharks.  I had the “pleasure” of being in Jaws 3 as an extra and although I never did a scene with Bruce (the animatronic shark), I am still petrified of great whites.  I mean seriously, I have to keep my eyes closed in Finding Nemo when Bruce is on the screen.

Fear of failure or embarrassing yourself can keep you from doing great things. I know I have been so scared because I felt totally inadequate.  As a matter of fact, you are reading a fear of mine right now.  I was so afraid to open up a blog and begin writing.  There are still days I sit and look at my computer and wonder who I think I am.  Who wants to read anything I would write? I often have to take a deep breath and remember it isn’t about me.  It is what God has called me to do. I just need to show up and do my best and let him handle the rest.

Another form of fear is found in my PTSD.  Lately, I have had some major struggles in this area.  I have woke up with night terrors and not sure where I am or what just happened.  After a recent sleepless night, because I refused to go back to sleep after waking up from a dream, I reached for a book to read and came across Psalm 16:8.

Through this verse, God reminded me I wasn’t alone.  My demons could not hurt me.  They were just playing with my mind again.

Now, this next part may seem a little silly to some people, and that is fine.  This idea just isn’t for you, but it worked for me and so I am sharing it in case there is someone else who needs to hear it.  The next night, when I went to bed, I was once again struck with the fear of sleeping.  So, I created a verse image and put it on my iPad and kept in on next to my bed.  This way when I woke up the first thing I would see was the verse and I could read it and fight back against my fear.  I also put my bible on my nightstand.  I know in all reality it is physically just a book, but sometimes just reaching out and touching it reminds me of who I am and whose presence I am in and who is going to fight my battles.

My demons can never stay in the presence of God.  They cannot win when I remind them of who I am and more importantly who my Father is.  I just have to be made aware of the LORD’s presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me.

I hope this helps someone out there. Remember no matter what your fear is, God is there too!

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved.

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Bright Side!

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

So what’s your bright side today?

I happen to think there is a little bit of a poet in all of us.  I mean when you walk around and you hear a bird and you stop for a second to listen or see the sun reflect just so off of a flower and stop, you show your poet side.

Blessings don’t have to be big life-altering events.  Blessings can be found anywhere and anytime.  As funny as it sounds, this morning I saw the sun reflect off a road sign and it made it sparkle and shine.  It made me smile at how beautiful it was.  That was a blessing.

How many times have you been in a hurry, you get to the store and someone just happens to be pulling out of a close spot?  That is a blessing.

How about opening your purse when you are dying for a soda and you are short. You look down and there just happens to be a quarter on the ground.  Yep! Blessing!

Personal favorite!  I am exhausted when I get off work, but I know when I get home I need to clean the kitchen.  I walk in and my hubby has already taken care of it!  MAJOR BLESSING!

Believe me when I say that somedays those small blessings are hard to find.  It is so hard to find a blessing in the middle of depression.  Sometimes my being willing to look for a blessing IS my blessing for that day.

I don’t know what your blessings are today, but I am guaranteeing no matter what you are going through there is a blessing around you somewhere.  Look for it!  Search it out!  Do not stop until you find it! Then hold it tight.  It is your gift from God just to make you smile!

Share your bright side with others in the comments.  Maybe your sharing will be some’s blessing they need to hear.

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved.

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Finding Peace in Exhaustion

Psalm 4:8
In peace I will lie down and sleep,  for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Going back to school can be exhausting for everyone students, parents and yes, teachers. Add to that the ever popular back to school virus that inevitably makes it rounds and you have some very exhausted and cranky people.

It has been a very long week. My poor husband has had to put up with a lot. I have been sick for two weeks. I am usually OK for the first week of being sick, but then the sick of being sick sets in and I get cranky.

It puts me in a tailspin and quite frankly strengthens my depression. I push all day to keep it together and then I head home. Home, where I can be me and not pretend all is OK anymore. Home, where I can put my smile away. Home, where I can lay down and sleep in peace.

Well, I can at least lay down. When I am in this mood it is so hard to find peace.

I recently found Psalm 4:8. When I am struggling to find that peace, I remind myself it is already there. It is all around me. I just have to accept it. This doesn’t come easy, but reciting this verse over and over strengthens me. It gives me the peace to lay down and sleep. I can dwell in the Lord’s safety. It often starts very small, but it does grow.

Are there verses that bring you comfort and strength? I would love to see you share them in the comments. Help strengthen others. Remember we write to leave a part of us behind as a map to those who follow.

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved

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Fair Weather Fan

Psalm 28:6

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.

Last year, the Chicago Cubs found themselves with a lot more fans.  It is amazing how people started crawling out of the nowhere.  I mean people that didn’t know their infield from their outfield where all of a sudden Chicago Cubs experts.

It is easy to be a fan when your team is on top.  It takes a true fan to stick with them the other 108 years!

Unfortunately, so many people see Christianity the same way.  God is awesome when things are going your way.  When you can stand on that mountain and shout the joys and praises to him all is good, but what about those dark days?  Those days when it feels like this:

Imprisoned
Shackled
Darkness surrounds
Deep down inside

Those words are harsh
They cut like a knife
No longer in control
Deep down inside

Why don’t they stop
Can’t they see the pain
It’s so dark
Deep down inside

The tears are streaming
The anger is raging
Why is it so dark
Deep down inside

I hear my voice
I try to scream
I am here in the dark
Deep down inside

Too late now
The damage is done
I must wait in the dark
Deep down inside

The light will come
It always does
But for now, I wait
Deep down inside

Can you praise God for hearing your cry even when he hasn’t rescued you from it?  Can you thank him before the answer comes? Can you praise him when the answer is no?

Christian’s don’t live a life of rainbows and unicorns.  Dark days come and dark days go.  Continuing to praise the Lord through it all is what makes you a true fan.

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved.

 

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Give Me A Pen!

Romans 15:13 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I need a pen
Give me a pen
I must write
My soul is swirling
My thoughts are jumbled

I am a complete mess
Nothing makes sense
My nerves are raw
My body is jittery
I am overwhelmed

I can’t control this feeling
The darkness haunts me
It is coming fast
I can’t stay ahead of it
How long will this last

I have the shakes
I want to pick a fight
A blood thirst some would call it
I need to calm down
I need to take a breath

I need a pen
Give me a pen
I must put my thoughts down.

~Tabetha Frick

Yesterday was a strong day for my depression.  I felt it creeping up on me.  Stalking me like a lion. I pleaded with God to take it away.  I didn’t want to walk down that path again.  I was afraid to walk down that path again.  I am always afraid I won’t find my way back.

Satan loves to play with me that way.  He loves to use my fears against me.  He loves to make the darkness swirl around me and try to strangle me. He likes to try and snuff out all my hope. My joy. My peace. He drives me to the one place he never wants to find me. Writing!

People ask me why I write.  I write because I have to.  God has placed this need inside of me.  It is my escape hatch from the darkness.  I fall on my knees and pray.  I grab a pen and just write.  Some of my darkest and yet most beautiful poetry has come out of these horrible places.

It is there in that desolate place I find joy and peace as I learn to trust in the God of hope. It is in that deserted place I begin to overflow with hope because of the power of the Holy Spirit.

I write because I need to leave a piece of me as a map for those who travel behind me.  I need to let them know they are not alone and that I pray over them constantly,

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved.

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Fail or Fly

2 Kings 2:9

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” 
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

But what if I fail?

What if I disappoint someone?

What if I am no good?

What if I am too old or too young?

What if they laugh at me?

I cannot tell you how many of these thoughts have entered my head.  I am ashamed to say many of them have stopped me from following through with goals and plans.  So many what ifs in my life that I will never get an answer for because I never even tried.

Elisha came from a wealthy family and was appointed to follow the profit Elijah around.  So many miracles and accomplishments he must have seen.  He knew all the time it was going to be his job to take over one day, but oh the shoes he was going to have to fill.  How intimidating it had to have been to see all that Elija was doing and knowing what was going to be expected of him.

Yet, when it came his time to do just that there was no hesitation in his voice.  There was no second guessing himself.  Elijah asked him what he wanted and his quick, confident response was “a double portion of your spirit.”

I would be satisfied with a quarter of Elisha’s confidence.

Wait maybe that is the key here.  Instead of concentrating on all the things that might go wrong, I should be asking for what I need to make them go right.  I need to ask for what is not going to make me fall and what will help me fly! Because the only way I fail for sure is by not trying.

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved.

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#ADHD Prayers

Joshua 1:9b
Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Thank goodness God answers ADHD prayers!

I know how important a prayer life is, but I also understand how cluttered life can be.  I don’t think I am the only one who has ever sat down and set your alarm for early in the morning so you can get up and pray.  Or maybe it is the opposite and you try to put your prayer time before bed.  You are doing so good and then all of a sudden it is “Squirrel!”  Every thought you can possibly think of all comes flooding into your mind at once.

Please tell me I am not alone here?!?!

So many people read the first part of Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid.  But I kind of like the last part, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  To me, that means God can keep up with me. Even when I have what my friend likes to call the zoomies.

The zoomies are what her dog does when he races all over the place bouncing off furniture and the wall and pretty much anything else he comes in contact with.  It reminds me of my mind some days.  I get the zoomies! My mind bounces off everything I come in contact with.

It is nice to know in those moments God is keeping up with me.  He knows my needs long before I do.  He knows my heart.  He knows I so badly want to concentrate on him, his word and prayer time.  He knows me!

Now you can stand here and spout off about 20 verses about having a steadfast mind and being diligent.  I am here to tell you those verses are in there to remind of what I am striving for.  If I could do it all of the time, I wouldn’t need God to direct me there!

I am also going to tell you God made me, zoomies and all.  So, I am not going to get discouraged because I know God can keep up with me even when I can’t keep up with myself!

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved.

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Mine!

Isaiah 43:1b

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Mine! What a wonderful word!

Webster’s Dictionary defines mine as meaning that which belongs to me.

Recently, my daughter welcomed our first grandson into this world.  My son’s daughter who is almost two was very excited to meet her new cousin.  We talked about it all day. We showed her pictures and kept telling her his name.  Then we left to meet them at the restaurant.

We walked in and her mommy got to hold the new little bundle of joy first. My granddaughter was just fine with it.  She sat next to her mommy and cooed over the little boy.  Then the unthinkable happened.  MawMaw took the baby.

These were fighting words. She was OK sharing her mommy, but she quickly stated, “My MawMaw!” She climbed up on my lap and squeezed her way between the baby and I.  “MawMaw is mine!”

As much as I love to claim things are mine, it is an even better feeling to be claimed!

When I read Isaiah 43:1b, I can see Satan standing there pointing out all of the rotten things I have done in my life.  Trying his hardest to show God I don’t measure up.  I am not worth it.  I am broken.  I am nothing more than a piece of trash.  No one would ever want me.  Then Jesus stands up and simply says, “I have redeemed her; I have called her by name.  SHE IS MINE!”

Even as I type these words, goosebumps are going up my arms and tears are trickling down my face.  I am HIS!  I belong to someone.  He wants me, flaws and all.  Just like my granddaughter wanted me that day.

There are many words I love to hear:

She is my teacher!

She is my wife!

She is my mom!

She is my MawMaw!

She is my daughter!

She is my aunt!

She is my friend!

But my favorite words by far are hearing that Jesus wants me and calls me His!

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved.

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No Hope?

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

This week my World History students have been studying five major religions of the world. I took away a valuable idea from all of them.

The key focus of my lesson was how do our religious beliefs influence the way we live our lives. At first, my students struggled with the concept. Then we began to talk about each religion’s idea of what happens to us when we died. They quickly realized all the religions had one thing in common, hope and faith in the fact there was something else after we died.

What I took away from this lesson was a sadness for those who do not have this hope and faith. I can’t imagine walking through life without either of those. Why would I get up in the morning? Why would I even try to live my life or improve upon it?

I suffer from depression and PTSD. I know what those dark hopeless days feel like. It is Isaiah 40:31 I often turn to remind myself that my hope is in the Lord and he will renew my strength.  He will give me wings to soar far from this depression and I will be able to run and walk again.  Without that hope, I would stay crumpled up emotionally and sometimes physically in the fetal position unable to go on.

I am so thankful for my religious beliefs.  They bring me comfort and strength.  They do influence the way I live my life.  I want to share this hope and faith with everyone I meet.   I pray for those who have nothing to believe in.

I leave you tonight with this one thought:

If there is no God and Heaven when we die, what did I truly miss out on while I lived?

If there is a God and Heaven when we die, what will I miss out on forever?

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Copyright © 2017 Tabetha Frick All Rights Reserved.

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I Need You to Just “Be”

Psalms 40:1
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

I sat and listened as my friend poured out her heart and soul.  She was devastated, frustrated, angry and felt totally alone.

I remember a few years back this same friend had come to my rescue.  After a simple phone call at 10:00 at night, she showed up on my doorstep.  She wasn’t there to fix anything.  She was there just “to be”!

This concept of not fixing something can be very difficult for some people. Not to sound sexist or anything, I know for men it can be extremely difficult.  They are naturally born fixers and problem solvers.  However, there are many times we women don’t need “fixes” or even solutions.  We just need someone “to be”.

There are many times in life where there are no words to fix things. I am reminded of a song by Jason Gray, Not Right Now.

Don’t tell me when I’m grieving
That this happened for a reason
Maybe one day we’ll talk about the dreams that had to die
For new ones to come alive
But not right now

While I wait for the smoke to clear
You don’t even have to speak
Just sit with me in the ashes here
And together we can pray for peace
To the one acquainted with our grief

I know someday
I know somehow
I’ll be okay
But not right now
Not right now

This song always reminds me of Psalms 40:1. There are many times I wait for the Lord because I just want him to listen to my cry.  This verse tells us he turns to us and listens.  He is just there. We are not alone.  We are not forgotten.  He is listening. He is just “being”.

My response to my friend was simple.  I told her I was sorry. I wish I could fix it, but I know I can’t.  I could give her a million “Christian” things to say and verses of encouragement, but I knew they wouldn’t help, right now. So, I offered to just listen and empathize with her. I told her when she needed me to be her cheerleader and encourager I would, but today I was just going to sit with her and be miserable with her so she was not alone.  I was just going “to be”.

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