Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DIY Bows

DIY bows - Popular Design Pins on PinterestThanks to diyrefashion for this adorable bow idea. :-)  It's pretty much as simple as it looks. You just need to cut out the pieces for the bow. If you have cricket to use it is probably way simpler but otherwise, cut and print out the pattern below. 

If you go to howaboutorange, they actually have a PDF file with a download of the pattern. 
- Rejoicing in the present 

Monday, March 24, 2014

If Tomorrow Never Came

“If tomorrow never comes, would you know how much I love you?”  This comes from a Garth Brooks song but there is a Biblical principle in it as well.  In James 4:14 it says” Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

A close family friend of ours was having back pain for about six months. They treated the back pain but he was never given the correct diagnosis.  After the cancer was finally found he only had a short time to live.  I don’t even think it was two months.  He went so quickly.  One day, we heard it was prostate cancer, and it seemed, the the next day they were calling in Hospice.  His dear, dear wife loved on him, held his hand, talked to him.  They had some great times together during that period.  His baby girl came home and also spent some valuable time with him as well.  It was a sad but sweet time for the family and, when it was time to go home, he went straight into the arms of Jesus with the sweetest smile on his face.

But that is not the whole story.  You see they also had a son.  He had married and had children.  They had a misunderstanding/falling out a few years back and the son was determined to keep them out of his life.  When the diagnosis came, the son was told and never responded, never even came to see his daddy.  In fact, the dad’s pastor even went to go visit the son and beg him to come see his dad one last time.  The son refused.  He didn’t ever contact his dad.  He didn’t show up at the funeral.  He missed out.  The mother and sister were blessed with that time with their favorite man, but, because of his bitterness, he missed his chance.

He will never see his dad on this earth again. He still has not tried to repair the damage with his mother, and, to this day, he lives his life apart from his family.  I would like to see what happens in twenty to thirty years, when his family grows up.  Will he feel the same pain that he gave to his parents?  Will he wake up one day and say "I want to talk to my dad. OH WAIT, I missed that opportunity."  Life is a vapor, friends!  Hold your family close. Don’t go to bed angry.  Kiss and hug, giggle and enjoy life, for you never know if tomorrow will come.

A young girl got into a fight with her mom on the way to school and when she got out of the car, she yelled at her mom. “I wish you were dead.”  She got her wish.  On the way home from dropping her daughter off, the mom was killed in a car accident.  That teenage girl did not want her mom dead.  She was angry and just mouthed off.  Now, she will forever live with those words.

I love love love my boys.  If tomorrow never comes, I want them to know, that I love them. I am so grateful for the time that God has given me with them.  I could never love a man like I do my husband.  He is such an example of what God is to the church, a wonderful husband and amazing daddy!  My dear son is a gift from God; I couldn’t ask for anything more special then him.  The only thing I want for him is to find and love the Lord with all his heart and to be just like his daddy!   – Rejoicing in my present -- are you rejoicing in yours?

Friday, March 21, 2014

10K Wedding for $200 Part 4 - Clothes and Accessories

Wedding Dresses are expensive. Period!  Usually if you find a dress under $500, you are getting a REALLY good deal!  We knew that we didn’t have much of a budget for Erica but we wanted her to get something nice.  The Bridal Store was going to be the last place we looked because we just didn’t have the money to go there. So we started at Macy’s.  Erica had mentioned that she wanted a nice dress and we knew it would be a little harder to find since she had a baby on the way.

While we were at Macy’s one of the first dresses we found was a pretty blue empire-waisted dress. It was simple but nice. The empire style gave her room for her baby bump and I figured we could add a few ribbons and jewels to dress it up.  The blue was perfect for our outdoor color scheme as well!  She fell in love with it and we were able to get it for about $75. 

Next, we looked for a flower girl dress for her daughter.  My mother-in-law was with us and she found a beautiful ivy dress on sale.  She wanted to buy it as a present for Erica as well. So here we were blessed again!

The Titusville J.C. Pennys was going out-of-business so we were able to find some matching inexpensive ties for the boys.  Then we went to the thrift store and found a suit for her husband-to-be and dress shoes for her son.   She found shoes for herself as well as her daughter at Payless.  I believe they were the B1G1 deal.  We spent less then $150 on all the clothes and shoes for the whole family of four.  I let her borrow some jewelry and I did the girls hair the day of the wedding.

So here are some suggestions to save on clothes and accessories:

  1. Don’t rent the mens' tuxes. Find a GREAT deal and have the men buy matching suits. This way the guys can keep their suits (and re-use them).

  1. Check out the $99 Wedding Dresses Deals at David’s Bridal. A lot of times, they only have a few styles in only a few sizes, but give it a try. I  was able to buy mine for $99.

  1. Check out the thrift store – You can usually find suits and sometimes wedding dresses as well.

  1. If you find a dress you like, go on Google, Craigslist and eBay and see if you can find it for less. Sometimes brides try to sell their wedding dresses and you can find a great price for the one you like.

  1. Shop around.  Don’t go with the first dress you find.  Look for deals!

  1. Shoes – DON’T BUY THEM AT THE BRIDAL STORE! They are usually MUCH more expensive there.  Go to Payless, Walmart or a cheaper store.  Also think about wearing cute white flip flops.  You want to be comfortable on that day and if your dress is long, people will never know what you are wearing underneath.  You could wear slippers if you wanted to. 

  1. Accessories. – Look at some costume jewelry stores like Claire’s, Charming Charlie’s, Target.  Once again, most people won't notice the jewelry; it’s only supposed to "add", so buy sometime cute but inexpensive.  

  1. Hair – Friends!  Yes, usually everyone has at least one friend who is great with hair. You can get ideas on Pinterest and work on it ahead of time to make sure it works out. Also remember that with pictures and late weddings, your hair might fall down or the curl can fall out.  So having a handy friend along that can fix it is better than paying the hairdresser’s expensive fee and then not having them around when it needs to be fixed.

  1. Nails –  I might indulge here, that’s just me. But instead of getting a manicure or a pedicure, did you know that you can go get your nails just polished. A lot of shops will charge only $10 to get your toes painted instead of the usual $30 for a pedicure. OR you can spend $5 and buy your favorite nail polish and DIY! 

Are you starting to see how weddings are VERY expensive?  Make cuts.  Most people will not remember your wedding in a year from now.  I know that sounds cruel, but, honestly, the only thing you will have is your pictures and memories. So make it fun, stress free and inexpensive.  Enjoy yourself!  Look pretty but don’t worry if it’s not perfect.  The marriage is what really counts and remember the day after is VACATION TIME!! Honeymoon!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

10K Wedding for $200 Part 3 - Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY is another big part of the wedding.  Good pictures are sooooooo memorable and valuable but also quite pricey.  Most photographers run at the very least $1000 for the cheapest wedding packages.  However, since there are A LOT of amateur photographers you usually can work with them to get a cheaper price.  However, I have never met anyone that has paid less then $500 for even amateur work, unless of course the photographer "gifts" it to you or needs you build a portfolio. So, what to do?!?!   Because photography is such an important element, you don't want to have regrets.

When I got married, my sister had a friend who had only shot about 3 weddings and they were all for family.  So, we offered a low amount and she did it (more as a favor) for us. I n Erica's case, I knew of a friend who had a wedding photography business in the past. She offered to do Erica's pictures for free as a gift to her. That was a HUGE blessing and it took the expense off the budget.

Then what Erica and I did was to get on the computer, particularly Pinterest, and print out poses that we liked. This frame picture was one that we found and is one of Erica's favorites.

So what to do? How do we save money in this area? How do we get a wide range of pictures?

  1.  ASK :-) Many of your friends or friends of your friends, have nice camera's and one of them may be willing to shoot your wedding. You have to be organized and have a list of all the poses you want, especially with a amateur photographer.  I have learned, however, that most of the "newbies" will work with you better then the long-time- professional types. So you can try a lot more different poses with newbies. :-)
  2. Even if you can't find a amateur professional photographer who will shoot your whole wedding, many of them are willing to stand around and shoot journalistic pictures of the wedding. Some of my favorite wedding pictures are the ones that were given to me on a CD that were extras.  I edited them and they are fabulous!
  3. Do you have a family member that takes good pictures?  Pull them aside and ask for them to shoot pictures as well as your photographer.  They may catch something that the professional doesn't.  I had 3 photographers at my wedding.  One Amateur-Professional Photographer and two other great friends who took journalistic pictures. This didn't even include family that took pictures as well.
  4. RESEARCH: I went online and got lists of everything for which I wanted pictures.  I printed out poses that I liked.  I talked to my photographer and she even did a pre-wedding photoshoot (bridal portraits) and that made me even more comfortable.
  5. Be flexible and take pictures in all different locations.  At my wedding, I had pictures taken downtown (old-style brick look), the Knoxville Gardens, in a beautiful field after the wedding, and, of course, inside our church (the sanctuary and reception).  All those location really gave us some great pictures.
Erica had a beautiful outdoor wedding and so most of her country-style pictures were outdoor. The pictures turned out beautifully and the memories will be with her forever! And it was free. :-) Thanks to McCarley Photography! - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

10K Wedding for $200 Part 2 - Flowers

Flowers are usually a big expense for the bride, especially if they are real.  Another downside of having real flowers are having them die on you.  I remember a good friend complaining that her flowers wilted down the aisle.  You just never know how they will hold up. T his is why, A LOT of brides are going with artificial flowers. Nowadays, they can make fake flowers look real and most people can't tell the difference.
Also, another bonus is that you can save your wedding flowers for years, and with a little TLC, they keep on looking beautiful. This of course is just one opinion on wedding flowers.  Eat the fish and spit out the bones.

Because we had to use what we had, I didn’t have that much choice BUT to use artificial. I  called on a few friends that had a wedding recently and saved the flowers. I  also looked through our church flowers.  I was able to make a couple cute bouquets for the bride and her party.  A friend also donated some petals and so that was taken care of as well.

For the ceremony we used as much of God’s garden as we could.  So I don’t remember spending any money on the flowers!  So here are some suggestions on saving money when it comes to flower:

  1. Keep the flowers to a minimum. Only use the flowers to pop the color!

  1. Ask your friends - people are getting married every day and a lot of brides save their wedding decorations.  Many would love to see their expensive stuff re-used again.

  1. Craigslist! – If brides don’t save their decorations, many of them give or sell it on craigslist or other online websites.

  1. Try the dollar store. Yes, the dollar store has petals and fake flowers and their greenery is not bad as a filler.

  1. Use God’s Garden. If you are having a spring or summer wedding, you may be able to go out to the woods or a field and find some beautiful flowers or fillers.  Don’t depend on this though. Have a plan!  Use this a bonus.

  1. Ask your church members and friends. Does anyone own a florist shop or know how to arrange flowers?  If you bought the flowers, would they arrange them for you? 

ASK ASK ASK! This is key, a lot of people are talented. Thankfully that is how the church is made up.  It's a body of Christians with all different talents.  Many people are willing to give of their gifts as a gift for you for your wedding. So ask!

Don’t be so picky! Have a wide range of ideas that you are open to.  I know that Pinterest is fun and it gives us the idea of a perfect wedding but remember it’s the perfect MARRIAGE that we need to be worried about.  Invest in your future spouse and your future life with him. This is what is important!  Save the extra money! You never know what you might need AFTER you're married.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

10K Wedding for $200 Part 1 - Location

Last fall, the Lord brought a young couple into our lives. They met us through our annual harvest festival, and soon after, they put their trust in Jesus Christ. They have a grace-filled story and it's awesome to see the Lord working in their lives. One morning, Erika and I went out to breakfast and she conveyed that she was not married to her boyfriend; she didn't have the money but wanted to be married. They had been living together and Erika was expecting her 3rd child. We put our heads together and the LORD BLESSED. Erika was able to have a beautiful wedding for about $200.  If she had payed the full cost of most of the items, it would have been in the thousands. The low average cost of a wedding is about $10,000. 

These next 2 weeka I will be unfolding Erika's Wedding and giving ideas and tips on how to have a ten-thousand-dollar wedding for two hundred dollars.

The first place to save money is the Location. 

Most churches are free to use, especially if you are members of the church.  However, Damon and Erica love the country and wanted to be married in the great outdoors.  We know a family that own some beautiful property and a ranch and so we asked their permission. They willingly let us have the wedding at their property. The Yeomans were married under a shaded grove of trees. We used hay bales and wooden benches as seating.  We gave the ground a coating of hay and used scenery and ranch items as decor.  It turned out to be a beautiful wedding!

So here are some easy suggestions to save money on location:

  • CHURCH: Ask your local church to use their auditorium.
  • FRIENDS: Think about your friends and their houses. Does any of them have a beautiful garden?  Does any of them own property that could be used as a great wedding location?
  • BEACH: Look at the beach.  If the beach is free you may be able to have a wedding there. You will need to make sure you reserve that spot though :-)
  • INVESTIGATE: Sometimes, gardens and sanctuaries will allow you to have your wedding there for a small donation.
  •  If you MUST HAVE "that" rented location think about these things:
    • Off Season 
    • One place NOT two (have your reception where you get married)
    • Find a new venue - sometimes, a place may discount steeply if they need the business
    • Negotiate prices
There are so many great FREE places that it seems a little crazy to spend money on the "perfect" location. Ask, think, look, investigate and I'm sure that you can come up with a beautiful spot for your wedding.  If it is outside, make sure you have a backup plan for bad weather. :-)


Monday, March 17, 2014

Over It ALL

Weary, tired, frustrated and on the brink of tears, I knew I was ready to be done!  I also knew I needed prayer.  I texted a friend and said, “Why should I fight for their soul? They don’t care, why should I?”  I had been through a series of situations where my husband and I put time, effort, money and plenty of energy into countless people, only to see them going back to the ways of the world.

I was sick of trying to fight other people’s battles when I didn’t see them putting any effort in.  From counseling those who prayed for God to “take away their struggle” instead of fighting it themselves, to parents who would get in the way of their kids growing, to those who would show no faithfulness in our discipleship, those who were sensitive over everything and leaving the church because they didn’t like the color of the carpet.  I was sick of trying to point to the cross and the Bible while they were looking everywhere but there.  I felt like my husband and I were putting so much energy into the ministry and there was nothing to show for it.

I know that for me, there is nothing else. Yes, I contemplated putting my life and energy into other things, but I knew this was the only thing that really had any meaning. But, I was still frustrated and ready to "hole up" in a box, just ready to be done.

I sat down to study my devotions because I knew that of all days, today, I needed it the most.  I brewed my Choffee, grabbed my comfy blanket, turned on some soft classical hymns and opened my Beth Moore Bible Study.  Before I began, I poured out my heart to God. We talked and I knew that even if I never saw a huge result, I knew that this was what I was supposed to do. This was my job.  It wasn’t about me getting glory it’s about Him.

It so happened that the first assignment was to read Galatians 6.  The topic was about the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Maturity.  I started reading and when I got to vs 7 and 8, I knew that the Lord was speaking to my soul.  It was about sowing and reaping. Then I read vs. 9. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” I burst into tears. I couldn’t control the flow and soon my body was shaking from the overwhelming emotion.  It was like God was comforting me and telling me to hang in there.  As I sat their crying, the next song started playing, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a WRETCH LIKE ME” I was once a sinner and someone hung on to tell me. My husband had brought this up earlier in the day about how we both had gone through horrible times as teens but that we had gotten through it. I was (and still am) a sinner, a wretch, but God had patience on my soul.  Don’t faint, don’t give up!
Verse ten goes on to say “As we have therefore opportunity let us do good unto all men,”  Just do it, Joy. Keep it up!

Then He finished off by telling me that it really wasn’t about me and being appreciated by people; it was about Jesus Christ and God getting the glory.  Vs. 14 says “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”  Take the world, but give me Jesus.

I know that I am to hold the light that others might see and have a chance to follow it.  I know that many will rush on by or be distracted by things in the darkness.  Even if I don’t see the results, I know that I am to do this so that God gets the glory.

I also know that when God’s little blonde is struggling and ready to give up, He takes the time to wrap his loving arms around her and say “Don’t faint, Joy, for in due season, you will reap.” What an amazing heavenly Daddy we serve. I love you Abba, Father! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dinner W/ the Tylers - Fymid Crunchie Salad

Over the last month or two I have resolved to cook more.  A lot of the time, it’s cheaper, tastes better and is healthier. I wasn’t doing great cooking and was very uncreative. We were having meat and a veggies almost every night and well, the veggies was usually green beans. So, I’ve gone on a crusade to find and make a variety of different recipes.

I believe my husband is enjoying it and I feel better knowing that my son is getting healthier selections. So I’m going to share with you some of my favorite recipes.

Brandy from Cooking w/ Brandy is expecting #4 !!!! so because of that she can’t stand the smell of food cooking.  We are going to give her a break and I will be sharing Dinner with the Tyler’s.

This first recipe is from a good friend in Knoxville.  I was working with her daughter and was at their house during dinner quite a few times.  She was, and I’m sure still is, a wonderful cook and gave me a few of her recipes. This recipe was given to her by a friend, so I’m not sure where it originated.

Fymid Crunchie Salad.

This is great for a hot night or even lunch.  The one negative aspect is once you pour the dressing on it, you have to eat it.  My husband and I do not like it as a leftover, but fresh it is AMAZING!

The salad consists of 4 parts. Once you mix it together, you serve it immediately.
  1. Romaine Lettuce
  2. Cooked Chicken
  3. Fried Wonton Slices
  4. Dressing

What to do
  1. Cut up the lettuce, wash and set aside
  2. Cut up the wonton’s into slices
  3. Start cooking the chicken and while the chicken is cooking, start frying the wonton wrappers
  4. To fry the wontons, place oil in the bottom of your pan, let the oil heat and put the slices in one at a time.
  5. Once the chicken and wontons are done, make the Salad Dressing.(See recipe below)
  6. Once that is all done, crunch up the wontons with your hand. Place the lettuce in the bowl, top with the chicken and wontons. Then pour the dressing on. Mix the salad well and pour off remaining dressing.
  7. Serve! It’s SUPER YUMMY!

Fymid Dressing

  1. 1 T chopped green onions
  2. ¼ c sesame Oil
  3. 3T soy sauce
  4. ¼ c vinegar
  5. 1 t salt

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Teaching Your Child to Pray

Hubby and I have been teaching Baby A to pray.  Before we eat, we both hold one of his hands and we also place a hand over his eyes, to teach him about closing his eyes during the prayer.  A few weeks ago, we had just eaten supper and were playing around on the couch and A. all of sudden grabbed my hand and placed my fingers on his eyes.  Then he waited a few seconds silently and say Amen!  It was so precious.  May you truly understand the power of prayer, sweet boy. Teach your child to pray.  Here are some tips from Teachers Of Good Things - Rejoicing in the Present
Here is how you teach your toddler and preschooler to pray:
  • Demonstrate for them how easy it is to talk to God – When a child of any age hears their parents talking to the God they believe in for themselves, it is already instilled in the child that simple talking is how we pray.
  • Encourage your toddlers to pray with you – Our three year old loves to pray at our meals and bedtime. We haven’t always understood the words, but we loved the demonstration of growing faith of the God we serve.  Just the other day, as we finished up praying together at bed time, he said to me for the first time, “Mommy, I want to see Jesus.”  My heart skipped a beat because he wants the relationship to be face to face now.
  • Introduce the stages of prayers – Thankful for things from the food we eat, the gifts we have and the gorgeous day.  You know when you toddler or preschool has this one covered, because they want to thank God for everything and I do mean everything! Teach them to pray for healing by praying over their hurts, pain and sicknesses. Teach them to pray for forgiveness, by helping them to pray when they have sinned.  Teach them to pray for others by sharing prayer request with them and praying together.
When your day has prayer throughout it and it includes your children at their earliest age, this alone will be the tools needed to teach your toddlers and preschoolers to pray on their own.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Letter of Forgiveness

A while back, while I was on Facebook, I noticed the status below. 

"I just typed a really long status to "vent", listing every naughty thing my wild child has done today and described in detail how horrible this day has been. But I had to delete it when I realized how embarrassed I would be if he could type and got on Facebook and told everyone all the wrong things that I did today. So I think I'll just forgive him, love on him, and try to remember that tomorrow is a new day... For both of us" - 

CONVICTING...A mom wrote that about her little boy. I know we all have days were feel we need to vent about everything that we have been through...but STOP and think. What if your child could write everything you did wrong today? What if your husband vented about everything you did wrong OR more, what if your Heavenly Father had a Facebook account and wrote everything that you did wrong.

You are forgiven today, so why not forgive, give a little grace and remember that tomorrow is always a new day. To that dear mom who wrote that status, THANK YOU!  You blessed me! - Rejoicing in the present

Monday, March 10, 2014

Let Go, Let God

You have probably heard that phrase multiple times.  I’ve heard it used a handful of times especially when people are dealing with all sorts of problems.  This phrase came back to me recently while studying the Holy Spirit with Beth Moore.

Let me ask you some questions?  Have you ever tried to be the Holy Spirit in someone’s life?  What? Me?  No?  Well, I’m raising my hand.  I have!  Wives, how many times do we try to convict our husbands instead of just taking it to God, who has his own personal conviction manager?

We can pray for God to convict someone but we will never be able to do the job ourselves.  This is frustrating BUT overwhelmingly relieving.  Can you imagine if it was your job to convict everyone and it was in your hands whether someone accepted Jesus?  Could you imagine if Heaven and Hell were in your hands?  The responsibility would be unbearable!  This is only a job for God!

The Holy Spirit is quite  multitasked with all the jobs He has, but his first ministry is to convict and reprove.  Before we are saved, the Spirit convicts and shows us our sin and points us to Jesus.  After we are saved, He convicts us to bring us back into fellowship and spiritual productivity.  We can try to be the Holy Spirit in someone’s life but that is not our job.  We are powerless to bring results.  “We only have one true source of results and that is intercessory prayer.  We can pray diligently for the Holy Spirit to intervene in the love of an individual”- B.Moore

I am STILL learning this lesson!  I remember when I would witness to others, I would feel that I had not done my job unless they were on their knees begging God to come into their heart.  I was a disappointed child because that rarely happened.  When friends would make ungodly choices I felt like I needed to tell them what they should do and that they should change; if they didn’t I felt like I had done something wrong.  Even in my marriage and motherhood, it frustrates me when I say something that is Biblical but is not adhered to.  My job is to speak truth, in love but it’s the Holy Spirit's job to do the convicting.

I would encourage you to not give up!  Just because someone’s not listening to your truth doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong.  Tell the truth, in love.  Then I would tell you above all else…pray!  Praying is your only super-power.

YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE IS REALLY COOL!!!!  Here is a fact that I was recently reminded of.  Did you know that the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us and helps us to know what we should pray for?  Did you know that He prays for us and when we don’t even know what to say, He is already praying for our needs? That is such a reassuring truth!  How neat! (Romans 8:26)

We need to worry about being filled with the Spirit so that He can lead us to say the right thing and to make the right choices.  Worry about you and if you are worried about someone else, Pray!  Let go, and Let God! – Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mug Art

Last year for Father's Day, I wrote notes to both Jeremy and his dad but instead of writing it on paper, I wrote it on a mug and then I baked it.  YEP!  Its super easy and a great gift for any parent or friend.  This is a great way to keep your child's art work as well.  Have them draw on a cup for you and then bake it.   Here is the actual recipe...

What you need...
  1. 1 plain mug
  2. Permanent maker
  3. Oven
What you do...
  1. Draw on your mug
  2. Then place it in the oven on 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Super easy, super personal and can be used for any holiday.- rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Age-Appropriate Chores for Children

Do you ever wonder when to start teaching children to do chores? I think it's vital for children to learn at a young age to do their part. They need to learn to work together with the family to have a happier, cleaner home. Here is a neat chart from The Flanders Family

Age Appropriate Chores for Children | free printable from

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

He Will Give Us More Then We Can Carry

For many of us that have grown up in the Christian realm, we say and have heard one to many "trite" phrases. One that is said, when encouraging fellow Christians is "God will never give you more then you can handle." I know, that I have even said this before. STOP, rethink that statement, because God really will give us more then we can handle. The difference is that He will help us through it.

We can't always carry our load and when that happens, God picks us up and carries us and the load.  So rethink what you say. Is it Biblical? I don't want to steal this article's thunder so I will stop here. Thanks to lemmony things for this article...

God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.

There’s a certain phrase I’ve come to really dislike. All my life, I’ve heard this phrase whenever I go through a rough patch.  *And by rough patch, I mean a prickly, gnarly patch that leaves me bleeding to near death*.  You’re probably familiar with those kinds of “patches”.

God will never give you more than you can handle” is the phrase I’m referring to. And it’s a sweet sentiment, really. The people who say it are speaking from caring and concerned hearts.

BUT–it isn’t true.

I know that sounds harsh, but I promise I haven’t suddenly lost my mind or have become an angry-with-God bitter woman who hates the world. Actually, when I realized the simple fact that God can–and will–give us more than we can possibly bear, it got easier. And it all started to make more sense.

I’ve often trudged through trials that overwhelm me. Ever since my childhood there have been trials that have made me “grow up” pretty fast. But granted, I know for a fact you’ve had your own fair share too, because that’s the reality of life. But this last trial is the one that shook me to my core and had me searching like a mad woman for answers as to why it was happening–and how I could possibly even survive it.

I lost my Dad to cancer last month–if you’re a follower of mine, this is old news. But–it was absolutely horrific.

Every day leading up to his death was like walking through every level of hell–slowly– for lack of a better term. There’s no other way to describe it. The images…the sounds…the sleepless nights…the cries for God while we look on, helpless…the torment of rubbing morphine in his cheeks, praying it’ll absorb–but to no avail. The horrible, wrenching pain that came with lifting him up, laying him back down, lifting him up, laying him back down…because he became so restless and cried out for “home” every few minutes. And all along, in the back of my mind, I reminded myself that millions of people go through this, and have already gone through this, very thing. And it is simply unbearable. If you disagree–it’s because you haven’t been there.

This trial was so consuming that I hate to even put it in the past tense–sometimes it still consumes me. Yesterday, at my Dad’s memorial service, it consumed me all over again.

I’ve suffered from nightmares where I relived the memory over and over mercilessly–I sometimes see his face on strangers that pass and worry that I’m going crazy. I cry over sad songs in the car and torture myself with stacks of pictures and yellowed photo albums. It’s beyond just missing him. And even with a firm testimony of the gospel and with peace that he is exactly where the Lord prepared him for, it is still too much for me to handle at times. It steals my breath–and it can steal my joy. So, the other day, I turned to the scriptures. I needed help.

I wanted to know where that phrase was that people kept repeating to me in church and at work and over the phone. Why did the Lord “trust me so much”?! Why did He think I could handle these kinds of trials? And then I realized: I couldn’t find that quote because it isn’t there.

It never mentions anywhere in the scriptures that the Lord won’t give you more than you can handle. Yes, in 1 Corinthians 10:13 it speaks of Him giving us an escape from temptations so that it’s not too much to bear. But when it comes to pain, trials, heartache, and burdens– not once does it say it won’t be more than we can bear. Instead, it beautifully says this instead:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me…for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28-30)

The words struck my heart, as you can imagine. Christ is speaking to those of us who are carrying burdens much too heavy for our own shoulders. And in that one verse he simply states the reason why we are given more than we can handle: It’s so we can come to him. It’s so we can trust him enough to hand over our heavy, crippling burdens and let him carry the load.

You might be heavy laden right now like I was before reading and re-reading and re-reading once again this scripture that has never stuck out to me as much as it has lately.

You might be shrunken with sadness or drowning in debt. You might be overwhelmingly angry at someone at church or aching under the pressures of raising children or maybe the inability to have them. You might be dealing with a terminal disease and you still have young children. And chances are–you might need your Redeemer to find you on the path and take up that heavy cross you’re dragging. Besides, even he tells us that he’s more equipped to carry it, so why not hand it over?

I’ve come to learn–slowly but surely–why I need Him. I suppose it’s because of pride that I always thought I could just do things on my own. I’m strong, I’d say. I’m a tough cookie. I can help others through their tribulations while carrying mine all by myself. Well…wasn’t I wrong.

I didn’t really know what needing him meant until I had no other choice. I didn’t know what it meant until I wrapped my arms around my middle so I wouldn’t fall apart–or the time I choked on tears and yelled toward Heaven. Or the times when I was utterly alone, and the silence was too much to bear. Those are the times that taught me he’s not just a want or a convenient symbol of love or a reason to do good deeds.

No, he’s the very air we breathe. And he’s the only one who can make it bearable when life is simply anything but.