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Encouragement for Today

Phyllis Inspiration 38 Comments

Dealing with challenges in life is never what we dream of spending our energy on. I find myself thinking, “Really—another obstacle?” I would rather be doing something fun!

Challenges often mean something consistent in our lives is in one way or another changing. And with every shift in our normal comes a new decision to make.

Now, I much prefer the method of “ignore it and it will go away,” but that never really solves anything long-term. This oh-so-tempting method provides momentary relief, but I find that the problem is not truly solved, and eventually, I will have to tend to it.

So, what do we do? I don’t know who said, “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger,” but I have a feeling they were speaking from experience. After a little research, I did find that Kelly Clarkson has catchy and empowering song with that same title!

Do challenges make us stronger, more resilient, or tougher? I don’t know for sure. But when the emotions settle and we set our minds to working through things, there is always some sort of relief on the other side.

I love finding little bits of inspiration and encouragement from observing the people I interact with in my daily life. One recent example is an experience I had at the doctor’s office.

My doctor (the one who told me I was in that age group…yep, that one) is working on unraveling the cause of my anemia. I am a medical mystery. Though this tasks him, he assures me that he will get to the bottom of it. And I have no doubt he will. He rises to the occasion no matter the circumstances!

There are times in our lives when we are too exhausted to take on the task at hand. Too burned-out to problem-solve. But, friends, here is the good news.

Trials produce perseverance. Our inner strength is there, even when we feel it’s not.

Just like a garden, we must be pruned and trimmed in order to grow. And sometimes that pruning isn’t the most pleasant process.

Today you may be facing health issues, family issues, work issues, or any change in your life from what is “the norm.” These challenges take time and calm thinking.

I often joke and say my favorite verse in the Bible is this: “And it came to pass…” Things eventually do pass or resolve. That’s also the good news.

Don’t give up or be so discouraged that you lose your way. Take it one day at a time, committing to prayer and stillness. Share your situation with a friend or family member. It lightens your load and strengthens you!

I am smiling today because of this beautiful reminder in Psalm 121:1–2 (KJV) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”

This verse came to me while I was sitting on my porch having coffee. How thankful I am for truths such as this—that we always have the very best helper at our side!

Don’t forget, you can email me directly if you need to do so at

Comments 38

  1. Phyllis, it is now 1:30 am. I just relieved my sister of sitting by the bedside of our mom who may or may not live until sunrise. She has lived 97 yrs and 11 months and raised 6 children. 5 of those 6 children (one is deceased) have kept turns caring for mom in her home for 11 1/2 yrs. Perseverance has not been easy during those years and the inner strength has had to come from deep within. Many times I’ve had to rely on your quoted verse of Ps 121:1-2. Needing encourage to sit through yet another long night, whispering in my moms ear how her race is almost won, your words were just what I needed to have whispered in my own ear. Thank you for using your God given talent in writing such beautiful words and letting them paint the picture of hope and strength for the coming days for me and my family.

  2. Thank you for this. I so needed this today. My best friend, who is really my sister friend, is gravely ill in ICU at hospital. It is a trying time and these words brought comfort.
    Thank you.

  3. Bless you, Phyllis, for still another helpful and encouraging column — praying for you as you deal with the unknowns surrounding your anemia. Just remember even when we don’t know, God knows, and He is holding you in His loving arms!!
    When I have faced struggles large and small, it helps to remind myself — life here on Earth is not supposed to be perfect; that’s what Heaven’s for!
    Thank you for the truth you remind us all of — that God is with us always, no matter what.
    What a comfort!

  4. Phyllis,

    Your message hit home today. My husband is going through some health issues and we are anxiously waiting for test results. He is a cancer survivor of 5 years and our prayer is that we aren’t facing this again. We’ve gone through some challenges in the past, but through God’s love and grace he gave us victory. I know he will do the same for you.


  5. Phyllis, I also, just very recently, went through a time of being anemic. After having five iron infusions, my numbers are normal. Also, after under going many, many tests, no reason can be found for this problem. It was a hitch in the road and many questioning days when I constantly thought…WHAT IF ?..
    I tried to put my what if’s in God’s hands but you know how we humans want to be in control. Iwill definitely save this article on challenges and reread it when I need some encouraging words to remind that I need to wait on our Lord. Thank You.

  6. Isaiah 53:5 is a wonderful, powerful scripture that I hold on to in times of need…for this scripture (and there are others, too) lets us know that Jesus paid a tremendous price for us to be WHOLE. We are triune beings…we have a spirit, a soul, and a body…and God doesn’t want us just to be whole in 1 out of 3…or 2 out of 3…but 3 out of 3. Therefore, Jesus’ blood paid for all 3 according to His Word. Isaiah 53:5 is just one example in His Word that demonstrates this:

    “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

    Our transgressions & iniquities has to do with our spirits; our peace has to do with our soul (mind, will & emotion) and then the stripes were for the health/healing of our bodies. The blood that Jesus shed is a holy gift that we should not take lightly or disregard (Hebrews 10:29) but should honor with our faith and trust in the power of such a wonderful gift. That precious blood that was shed for us is just as fresh, just as powerful, just as alive as the day that it was shed…it’s not brown and crusted over or powerless…it is ‘completely complete’…forever. It was shed for us to walk in wholeness but the enemy is a thief who comes to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ but Jesus said that He came that we ‘might have life and life more abundantly’. (John 10:10) If something falls into the category of ‘stealing, killing, and destroying’ then we know who the source is and we can use the scripture against him as Jesus did in Luke 4:4-13. Rev. 12:11: ‘And they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives to the death.’ And there are so many more scriptures that can be our ‘weapons of warfare’ against the enemy who comes to steal, kill & destroy our lives. The healing scriptures can be taken (read &/or quoted everyday) like medicine…and there are no bad side effects either. :o) If we don’t have peace, we can go to the Father and His Word and He will reveal to us the cause and the cure and of course we need to be like David in Psalm 139:23-24 and frequently ask our Heavenly Father to search our hearts and to be obedient to ask for forgiveness for anything that He shows us doesn’t fall under the category of His love…and He is always faithful and just to forgive us our sins if we come to Him with true, repentant hearts.

    Thank you, Phyllis, for your courage and strength to honor the Lord and His Word so beautifully. You are an encourager/exhorter and may the Lord bless you richly for sharing your gift/calling. I am praying for wisdom for your doctor and for you…and the other precious Ribbon Ladies in need…to be whole in Jesus’ wonderful name and through the power of His precious blood. I am so thankful for all that Jesus did for us. Oh, what a gift…Oh, what a Savior! To God be all the glory! Amen.

  7. I’ve never walked through a valley that I wasn’t able to look back and find the lesson that the Lord had planned for me. The valleys aren’t ever easy, but He tells us to be anxious for nothing and I have found that , when I remember to look for Him, He is walking right there beside me. So thankful for His faithfulness. I’ll pray for wisdom for your doctor and strength for you. You are a blessing to so many of us.

  8. Oh how inspiring. Thank-you so, so much. I will copy this and send it to my Mom. She’s a Christian too. I love it when I hear from God. To me, it’s one of the biggest blessings there is. I am so thankful for this blog with YOU!

  9. I always remember my Mom saying “This to shall Pass” whenever there was a problem and it always did. However, we were not to shrink from our responsibility to find a solution and sometimes it was hard. We would ask Mom when will this be over and she would answer ” just give it time” and it did pass with a lot of prayers and persistence.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  10. Well, if you find out I hope you will share the cause! I, too, am anemic with no one able to determine why. I am also told this may just be normal for me and is not the reason for my total exhaustion all of the time. Best luck to you!

  11. Phyllis, thank you for your encouraging words and for sharing your heart with us. I will certainly be praying for you. I too have been struggling with health issues but God is ALWAYS faithful and is still healing today. Want to share this verse I recently found, hope it blesses you.
    Faith asks no signal from the skies,
    To show that prayers accepted rise.
    Our Priest is in His holy place,
    And answers from the throne of grace.
    May God bless you and all your readers with his grace and strength.

  12. This message was like a warm blanket to me as I read it. It was a reminded I needed and am so thankful you posted these very encouraging and spiritual words. On another note, I was anemic for years with no known cause. I was given infusions that helped boost me up for years. Somehow, my body was able to take this job over again. We never found a reason. Praying for you as I know how hard it is to walk the anemia battle.

  13. Best of luck with your health issues. I hope your doctor finds the cause soon. Challenges are tough in the moment, but life with no downs can’t have any ups. Those challenges make the good times sweeter.
    Wishing you all the best.

  14. Phyllis,
    I am certainly not a medical professional but my daughter’s father-in-law was found to be celiac at 65 and it was found because of an iron deficiency and anemia. Just wanted to let you know as it was an unusual diagnosis. Wishing you the best.

  15. Phyllis, thank you for encouraging us whIle you are in need of encouragement yourself. Sending up prayers for you and sending thoughts to you for grace and peace of mind while your doctor searches for answers. His grace is sufficient and He will always be there when we need Him. Positive thoughts are all we will have for you and your health.
    God is good and I know you are going to be fine. God Bless you everyday as you are going thru this bend in the road.

  16. Good evening from California Phyllis,
    My prayers are with your Doctor that he find a resolution for how you are feeling and to
    keep your body in a strong healthy working woman’s order! You have a mission in life for
    sure and we all respect and love you for how you have touched each of our lives…My prayers are with you too and often…….We all need your inspiration and it always comes when we least expect it. Thank you for being YOU! God Bless and always know YOU are in my prayers. Have a restful evening, girlfriend, California Carmel

  17. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12 We need not stumble blindly when the light is there for us to follow. My prayers are also for your health. Sharon

  18. Whatever the verdict the only way I know to get throught it is to thank the Lord first and ask him to get me through the trial. In January 2001 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. My husband and I thanked God for the diagnoses because we thought it was cancer. Today I have been blessed to be healed because of His grace. All the plack in my brain and spine is gone. I have some residual side effects but thank God I am healed. There was so much pain and it’s all gone. God is still in the business of miracles. All the glory goes to HIM.

  19. Thank you, Phyllis!!!
    Even as you deal with one of life’s challenges you help others with your amazing approach to it!

    I, too, like so many readers was, and am , dealing with a challenge and fretting for the correct way to deal with it. You are always an inspiration even as you meet yours.

    I will keep you in my prayers and try to be as insightful and gracious in times of trouble as you! Thank you, Phyllis.

  20. Thank you for these words of encouragement, Phyllis. I needed this right now. Bless you! And I hope your doctor finds the answer soon!

  21. Phyllis,
    …in life so many of us are connected in ways we do not even know–reading your blog today touched me deeply, I was so in need of it…….. and YOU came out of the blue (as they say) A million trillion thank you’s !!
    Hugs, Joan

  22. Thank you, Phyllis. Sometimes we need reminders of truths we already know, but haven’t yet brought to mind. Every day we need to ‘practice the presence of God’ to remind us that He is our help, every day, all day and night, forever the same. I pray for God’s healing power to touch you and solve your medical mystery and relay the answer to your doctor. He knows the answer!

  23. Thank you for your words of encouragement. We all go through trials and sometimes need to be reminded we are not alone. His eye is on the sparrow and we know He watches over us. Praying for your health.

  24. Thought I was having a bad day at work, short staffed,demanding customers etc.,when a dad came in with his special needs daughter in a custom wheelchair. He was so gracious and attentive to her.My attitude snapped back into place and I thanked God for showing me how blessed I am. It takes courage to face what life throws at us

  25. Thank you Phyllis—I needed this today—it is raining buckets and we are in a flash flood watch. I too will wait on the Lord and not fret. He has never let me down!

  26. I think we all grow from challenges we face. I hope the Dr. will soon be able to diagnose the problem you are having with anemia. Prayers to and for you, Grace

  27. Phyllis,
    I really needed this today. We are at that horrible point where we need to move my father to Memory Care after his worse night ever.
    Thank you for the encouragement!
    I miss everyone at Hoffman and continue to love and support the work you are doing.
    Page Stabler

  28. This is great advice Phyllis, yet sometimes easy to forget when we are “in the moment”. That’s the time to look to the Lord, and to family and friends that can be of encouragement. There’s always something to be learned from each experience in our lives and it sure makes life interesting doesn’t it?

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