Distraction of Drifts

A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. Proverbs 17:24

While nestled in my warm cozy home, watching the snow accumulate and drift with the latest Colorado storm, I am grateful I do not have to go anywhere.  The aromas of baked bread and crock pot soup waft through the air while I am wrapped in my warm fluffy blanket, savoring my second cup of coffee. When the kids were younger, blizzards were welcome pauses allowing time for family games, sledding, building snow men, and helping with the exhausting job of shoveling and clearing the snow from the driveway and front walk.  During this particular storm, husband tried to get out and remove the snow in shifts hoping to keep the work to a minimum. However, we watched as the wind intervened and the fluffy white drifts filled the cleared pavement deeper than it was before.

Sometimes my intentions drift like snow.  Receiving this gift of time, made me realize how vulnerable I am to this.  It seemed that the unexpected pause should have allowed me the ability to cross off those organizational tasks on my never-ending “to-do” lists. Instead, I seemed to drift aimlessly between tasks and had difficulty focusing on anything. Like the drifting snow, even though some of the tasks were completed, more tasks piled into the space created. I was left with a guilty feeling instead of taking a moment to breathe and relax.

Drifting snow has its changing beauty and tends to slow things down.  Most of my days are so scheduled that I constantly live under a cloud of guilt with the lack of my own productivity. Blizzards can bring a welcome bonus day off that allows more flexibility and opens up special times with loved ones or just plain relaxation. 

Proverbs 17: 24 is a reminder that when we are wise and intentional with our thoughts we are more discerning to what God’s will is for us. But if we wander too much, we can stray from God’s desires.  At first, I interpreted this as an admonishment to my squandered hours during my day off.  However, as I thought about it, God was reminding me to be intentional about how I use these unexpected gifts of time.  He is slowing me down to recognize the immeasurable value to family time, relaxation, and maybe focus on a devotion I might have raced through the first time.  Proverbs 62:5 reminds me to find my rest in God. “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.”

Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift and beauty of drifting snow. During this past year, there have been many cancellations and changes that have provided opportunities to slow down. Help me, especially as I approach Holy Week, realize that there is value in relaxation and rest and savor it. Amen


As always, I appreciate your encouragement and seek to serve!

Peg Arnold

Bringing Stories to Life!

If this message encouraged you, I would love to hear from you! If you are not already connected, reach out to me through one of the following!

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Interested in attending Pegs next virtual conference? Ill be speaking about Avoid Comparison Games, Embrace Your Design. Be sure to use SPEAKER for 30% off. Here are the links.

3 day conference

1 day conference

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Hope to “see” you there!

Or you could order my book Devotions for the Distracted Heart- https://www.amazon.com/Devotions-Distracted-Heart-Peg-Arnold/dp/1732769923/

Fight Comparison Games and Embrace Your Design

Hi Friend!

I don’t know about you, but, I am  anxious to be able to  meet in person for retreats and events. The fall appears to be opening up for a few in person events which I will tell you more about soon.  In the meantime, I have been offering virtual coffees for small groups at your convenience.  

But there is something bigger happening next month! I don’t usually use my blog to advertise events, but this one is different! I want to invite you to join me at a virtual conference! This conference is directed towards women, but men are always welcome.  In life, there are so many aspects we are always trying to manage, improve, all while glorifying our King. We all know it can get hard, we can feel lost, like we’re barely getting by. This is exactly why I’m emailing you today. I was invited to speak at The Kingdom Women: Bearing Fruit Summit Series. This conference I’m speaking in was created solely with you, the Kingdom Woman, in mind and personally want to invite you.

Here’s the deal…
The Kingdom Women: Bearing Fruit Summit Series was created to provide Christian Women with a space to be encouraged in their faith and grow in their relationships with the Lord. This series is for you; my sister in the Kingdom, in your walk with God while you honor Him in ALL aspects of your life.

Join me and others in serving through teaching Biblical principles in the four major areas of Business, Marriage, Motherhood, and Emotional Health and Self-Care. Everything we wish to convey is solely scripture based as we believe that scripture is spirit breathed and cannot be added to or taken away from. I will be speaking on Motherhood and teaching Avoid the Comparison Games, Embrace Your Design.

The best part? You can enjoy this virtual event from the comfort of your own home. During this event, you will virtually be able to move from speaker to speaker, visit with vendors and sponsors, it is just like a live event, except while you sit on the couch with a cup of coffee! 

Because of your past support of my ministry, you can register at 30% off below with my code: SPEAKER.

 Click Here to receive all 3 days at one special price

Click Here To Register for The Day I am Speaking 4/15

[ Be sure to save 30% by using the Code: SPEAKER ]

If you’d like to learn more about the event, you can read more at: kingdomwomen.net

I look forward to “seeing you” there!


As always, I appreciate your encouragement and seek to serve!

Peg Arnold

Bringing Stories to Life!

If this message encouraged you, I would love to hear from you! If you are not already connected, reach out to me through one of the following!

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Distraction of Definition

February, it’s the time of year when we think about love, mainly because of Valentine’s Day.  I remember as a girl, buying valentines for every single one of my classmates. Each of these had silly little sayings about love, but I would be very intentional about picking out certain ones for specific friends.  At that age, love was more of a feeling I had for my family, friends, and God.  Of course, through the years, my Valentine celebrations morphed into romantic expectations, you know, the kind found in books and movies. Eventually I experienced those early stages of puppy love but also some disappointments. 

Love has now expanded far beyond the celebration of a February holiday and those early days of conversation hearts.   As a believer, love is something I strive to demonstrate to God and others. Being a wife, mom, and nana, I want my actions of affection to be intentional and impactful.  In English, we use one word Love, as a noun or as a verb with various definitions and degrees of emotion.  But in the Greek language, love has eight different words! (listed alphabetically)

  1. Agápe: empathetic, universal love- This is the unconditional love we have for God and others as in the two greatest commandments: You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself, Matthew 22:37-39. 
  2. Eros: romantic, passionate love- This  is the passion you have for your spouse or significant other.
  3. Ludus: playful, flirtatious love- These are the beginning, tingling feelings without really knowing the other person.
  4. Mania: obsessive loveThis is a one-sided and very unhealthy desire for another person built on possession and control.
  5. Philia: intimate, authentic friendship- This is the affection you have for your dearest friends. It’s referred to as brotherly love-as in Philadelphia, and intended to mean a closeness and intimacy without physical attraction.
  6. Philautia: self-love- Remember Matthew 22:39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,  Philautia is the positive emotions we should have for ourselves. I think many of us struggle with this type of love.  Even Aristotle said, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.” If this is true, I need to learn to love myself better so I can love others well.
  7. Pragma: committed, companionate love – This would be the sacrificial love of a caretaker or a mature marital love. It is a love that commits to the well-being of the other person without expectations.
  8. Storge: unconditional, familial love- This is a family and parental type of affection. Unconditional like Agape but intended for our family members. (found in the Greek City Times; comments-mine)

Defining love using the Greek words helped me realize that even as a little girl, I was learning different ways to demonstrate affection to others.  My Dad often reminded me that Agape love was the most important mission in life- love for God and fellow man.  His verse was  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony, Colossians 3:14 . Another beloved minister taught me that I should have more than one type of love for those closest to me. But the biggest lesson from my “love” definition exploration is how my own Philautia-self-love or lack thereof can affect the impact of my love for others.   How about you?  Which of these definitions of love are new to you? How will that impact the way you love God, others, and yourself?

Dear Lord, What a marvelous God You are! Without You, we would not know what love is, for You are the creator and exemplar of love. You loved us so much that You gave Your only Son, that if we believe; we would have new life through Him. May we learn to love You deeply, others empathetically, and ourselves unconditionally. For the love we have for ourselves, impacts the love we are capable to give to others. Amen.

As always, thank you for your support and encouragement.

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Distraction of Disbelief

I have the opportunity to share a devotion from this talented author and friend, Kim Cusimano. We are both published in Whispers of Grace with several other gifted authors and speakers. I know you’ll be inspired by her words. I’ll be posting my February devotion next week.

Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. Psalms 86:11

“You don’t need to run tests on his right eye. He wears a prosthetic eye.” After trying to talk to the technician at the optometrist’s office about my son’s right eye, I resolved to sit back and find the humor in her actions. She started with the familiar directions, “Follow the red dot. Try not to blink.” After completing all the tests on his left eye, I tried again to explain why there was no reason to test his right eye. She held firm, “I’ll just go ahead and test them both.” One more time, “Ma’am, there is no need. It is an acrylic shell, cosmetic only.” She tested both eyes.

I grinned, realizing there was no way I was going to convince her of the truth. My son’s right eye is hand-sculpted and hand-painted. No matter how real it looks, it is incapable of vision. Countless red dots would not change the fact he is blind in his right eye.

Truth can be a tricky thing. We can declare something to be true that is not true at all. The technician could see an eye that looked real, so she presumed it needed testing for some measure of function. Notice her actions followed what she believed. Also, it was apparent she was influenced by other variables. One variable was her position. She was the technician, and I was not. She had a job to do, a chart to complete. Another variable was her experiences. Had she ever seen a prosthetic eye?  

What would have been a good measure for her to use in validating the truth? She could have listened to his mother. The person who was with him after surgery when they removed his malformed right eye and left an empty eye socket. The person who sat with him while a skilled gentleman worked to create his prosthesis. The person he ran to on the beach when sand would get under it, irritating enough to remove it, “Here, Mom, hold my eye.”

This experience at the doctor’s office still brings a chuckle and reminds me to be careful how I determine truth. The technician had access to the patient’s mother, yet she let her position and possible lack of experience hinder her perception of what was true.

I am guilty of this with God. He is my Heavenly Father, my creator, and yet I do not always go to Him to validate what is true.  He has the position and knowledge to confirm the truth. The Bible says He is the originator of all truth. It belongs to Him. Psalms 86:11 says, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”

Dear Lord, help me walk in Your truth. Help me to recognize what is true in light of Your character, Your position, and Your knowledge. Remind me not to lean on my limited understanding but to be a student of Your principles and truths. Amen

Kim Cusimano is the founder of Full Joy Ministries. She is an author whose poetry and articles have been published in several compilation books. As a mother to four, two of whom are special-needs young adults, she spends her time encouraging those around her to reach their full potential.

Visit her at fulljoyministries.com

If you want to purchase a signed copy of Whispers of Grace from Peg Arnold, here is a link, or you can order it on Amazon.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=8ETVDS2TE3RSQ

As always, thank you for your support and encouragement. Blessings! Peg Arnold

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Distraction of Distortion

Ponzo Image from wikipedia-Which line appears longer?

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 8, 9

I love puzzles. I remember as a girl, receiving my Highlights magazines and eagerly turning to the Hidden Picture page. As I got older, Highlights was replaced with Games magazine’s eyeball benders and rebus puzzles. But the ones that captivated me the most were the visual illusions like the one pictured above or even Escher drawings. I was fascinated with the pictures that distorted my perception in such a way, that I could not tell whether steps were going up or down, lines appeared to be different lengths when they were equal, or pictures could look like two completely different objects depending on your individual acuity.

As a counselor, I found these images useful to springboard lessons on conflict resolution. I would present the visual illusion to the class and ask what they see. Of course, their responses differed depending on their perspective. Some students were perceptive enough to see both sides of the illusion, while others were confused how anything other than what they saw could exist. Sharing these viewpoints lead into an interesting discussion about how our individual perceptions and differences influence our communication and even lead to conflicts.

It occurred to me this can impact our own self-perception.  I began using these images with students who were navigating confidence issues.  We discussed how the picture distorted the eyes to think that the lines are different lengths.   I worked with them to identify internal and external messages that were distorting the truth about themselves.  Then of course the next step was to replace those negative messages with positive ones to build their self-assurance.

We have just experienced a year of isolation, cancellation, and separation. It was easy to focus on the brokenness and the loss around us. The difficulties and fears of the world infiltrated our homes on a daily basis through social media and news, disrupting and distorting our realities.   I myself began to listen more to my internal messages of fear, insecurity, doubt, comparison, and unworthiness. Am I the only one? I knew I needed to do something before those statements became my reality.

 Combatting the negative thoughts with His word was what I needed to remove those lines and messages that were distorting and distracting me from my purpose.  Just like Paul says in his letter to the Philippians 4: 8, 9 (bolded text is my choice).

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

His words can bring peace to my messages of:

Fear-Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Insecurity- I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely. Psalm 63:8

Doubt-No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

Comparison- For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

Unworthiness- Lord, you have examined my heart  and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! Psalm 139:1-6

We are at the beginning of a new year. What scriptures and meditations can you fix your eyes on to remove the lines and messages that may have distorted your thoughts this past year. My word this year is Encourage with the verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:11. My prayer is that this message has been an encouragement for you.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Dear Lord, Help me to focus on the truth of Your word in times of doubt and despair. May I realize I am never alone and even when chaos disrupts my reality, help me feel Your peace.  Amen

As always, I appreciate your encouragement and seek to serve!

Peg Arnold

Bringing Stories to Life!

Devotions for the Distracted Heart is now on You Version! Share the plan with a friend.  During this time, I am offering free journals with every book purchase.  https://pegarnold.org/shop/ Or feel free to order it without the journal from Amazon.

If this message encouraged you, I would love to hear from you! If you are not already connected, reach out to me through one of the following!

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Twitter @ArnoldPeg          

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Distraction of Darkness

 The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Matthew 2:9-10

Today, December 21, is not only the shortest day of the year (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) but then of course, it leads to the longest night.   Because this occurs annually right before Christmas, many churches have a tradition to hold a “Longest Night” service, or some call it “Blue Christmas”.  Unlike all other holiday services that celebrate the hope, joy, love, and peace, this service provides a place of refuge and comfort for those who are mourning.  The ones I have attended have begun with a dark room and then slowly added light through candles, symbolizing the light of Christ.

Christmas, more than any other time, is the season when all is supposed to be “merry and bright”. The hymns, carols, movies, and decorations shout “joy” to the world.  This makes it even harder when we are in turmoil and we put on that paper face smile trying to hide that fact that we are grieving the absence of a loved one, the loss of finances, an illness that has robbed us of our abilities, or the challenges of 2020. When we are struggling, it feels like we are walking in a constant darkness, unable to see or embrace the light.

This year of all years, God knew we would be challenged. In His divine plan, God is sending a gift to all of us on this longest, darkest night of the year. For the first time in 800 years, the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be lining up to create a celestial super star to light the night sky.  It is hypothesized that this could have been the same phenomena that occurred when Christ was born, thus it has been named, the Christmas star. This star (assuming we will have clear skies) will bring the comfort of light to our dark skies much like a candle brings light to a dark room.

Jesus talked about being the light of the world. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.  Doesn’t it make sense that God would allow us to experience this light phenomena during the season in which we celebrate His birth? 

God sent His light into the world on that first silent and holy night in the form of a tiny baby. That light is the source of salvation, faith as well as joy, hope, peace and love. It’s my prayer that you can find refuge and comfort in this light that overcomes all darkness. You may not be able to attend a Blue Christmas service, but maybe you can take time to search the skies for this promise of hope, or even light a candle in the dark as a reminder, you do not bear your burden alone. The Savior of the world is with you.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

Dear Lord, On this longest night of the year, I thank You for Your creation of the Christmas Star. Just as that star is bringing light to a dark world, reveal Yourself to me in the midst of my darkness. I need to experience Your light, love, hope, comfort, strength, and peace. Amen

Distraction of Different

Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets. Hebrews 13:16

What a year it has been! Who would have thought in March, our Thanksgiving celebrations would be altered because of COVID 19? I don’t know about you, but that makes this holiday one of the most difficult for me this year. When this first began in the spring, I mourned not spending Easter as a family or doing the traditional egg and basket scavenger hunts. Then the celebrations for Mother’s day were impacted.  I certainly thought things would be different by the time we reached Thanksgiving.  We now know that we are looking at the same lock down restrictions as we had in the spring.  

So what do we do? The verse above is directed to the Hebrews. They are used to showing their praise and worship by making blood sacrifices in the temple. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection establishing the new covenant, the author is explaining that these practices are no longer necessary.  This was very different for the believers at that time.  Worship and sacrifice are described as public praise, encouragement of one another, and even public acknowledgment of God’s character. The Message describes it as taking “place in the kitchen, workplace, and on the streets.”

The change described in Hebrews for the early Christians had to be much more difficult to understand than the disruptions and losses we are feeling at this time of Thanksgiving. However, it is still an adjustment that impacts our practices, expectations, and preparations. Just like the Hebrews, we feel a myriad of emotions: loss, anger, denial, confusion, and alienation. 

The first Thanksgiving was also celebrated amidst major loss. The Pilgrims had completed the arduous journey across the Atlantic and in the process, lost 75% of the women on board among others. Instead of focusing on the losses experienced, they were celebrating those who survived the trip and the harsh winter, along with the success of their harvests.

Are we able to do the same?  Rather than focus on the losses and the differences, how can we concentrate on new ways to express gratitude and connect with loved ones during this holiday? Our groups may be much smaller, but there are still ways to celebrate with family and friends. Some ideas include:

-Playing games online together.

– Eating dessert together while online.

-Create a gratitude countdown chain

-Taking time to express gratitude, and even praise experiences from this past year.

-Telling with stories that keep legacy alive and honor ones you have lost.

-Writing notes to loved ones.

-Giving to others in need.

-Being thankful that 2020 is almost over!

It’s not going to look and feel like Thanksgivings from the past years, but the focus of the day hasn’t changed. It is a day of drawing our attention to the ways God has continued to bless, strengthen, comfort, and guide us in uncharted territory. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” Psalm 23:4.

Dear Lord, Thank you for understanding each of our individual frustrations with 2020 and continuing to hold us in Your everlasting arms.  Thank you for your strength, love, hope, and direction. Help us to embrace the differences of this year, create new traditions, and unify our hearts and spirits. All this is possible through You. Amen 

As always, I appreciate your encouragement and seek to serve!

Peg Arnold

Bringing Stories to Life!

Announcing an exciting debut! A 7 day plan -Devotions for the Distracted Heart is now on You Version! Check it out and share with a friend!

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/22261-devotions-for-the-distracted-heart

 Devotions for the Distracted Heart- During this time, I am offering free journals with every book purchase.  https://pegarnold.org/shop/

If this message encouraged you, I would love to hear from you! If you are not already connected, reach out to me through one of the following!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pegarnoldwow/

Twitter @ArnoldPeg          

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Distraction of Defeat

Announcing an exciting debut! A 7 day plan -Devotions for the Distracted Heart is now on You Version! Check it out and share with a friend! https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/22261-devotions-for-the-distracted-heart

Now for the Distraction of Defeat!

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

“Take your mark,” shouted the starter, “Get set,” and the gun went off.

I sprung off my starting block into the water, began rotating my arms and kicking as soon as I hit the water. My eyes focused on the black line, determined not to take a breath during the first lap. I reached for the end, executed a quick flip turn, pushed off, and glided into my final lap. As I glanced to Karen’s lane on my right, it appeared we were neck and neck. Kick! Stroke! Darn! I was running out of air and I knew a breath would slow me down.  Breathe!

It appeared that we touched at the same time  but there was only one slot left for state finals in the 50 yard freestyle. We had to wait for the timers had to record and average their times before the winner would be announced. My heart raced with anxiety for  Karen was my nemesis. We had been competing against each other all season long and I desperately wanted the slot. Since it  was my last year to compete, I felt entitled to it.  

When the announcement was finally made, my heart sank. I missed by less than half of a second!  How could this be? I had been competing longer.  I had more wins and even better times in this event. However, the coach announced that all state final decisions would be assigned by the time trials. Oh the agony of defeat! I was angry and humiliated, and it didn’t help that Karen walked by with a gloating shrug. I couldn’t even bring myself to congratulate her because deep inside, I felt she stole my position.

This was not my first defeat, nor my last. There were many solos for concerts, auditions for plays, interviews for jobs, and other situations where I was not the chosen one. Each time, I would prepare and practice, hoping to present my best, but my best wasn’t always enough.  Each time I would fight the feelings of inadequacy and rejection.  Feelings of embarrassment and shame would overwhelm me.

I still experience defeat today, but I now know that it’s not healthy to wallow in self-pity. We have an opportunity to learn from each situation. Many times it’s a lesson in pride versus humility as it was with Karen and the time trials for state.   Sometimes the most disappointing defeats have taught me the greatest lessons in flexibility, perseverance, tenacity, integrity, and dedication.

Christ experienced many defeats by worldly standards from his birth to his death on a cross. But what appeared like a defeat, God had a purpose. Christ had difficulty with the torture and rejection he experienced  at death but He knew God’s ultimate plan for salvation through his sacrifice. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:64.

Even though we ended up at different schools the following fall, I still continued to harbor unresolved jealousy towards Karen over my defeat.  Little did I know that God was going to teach me an unexpected lesson.  It happened  at a Young Life meeting when the leader asked for prayers for Karen’s family. My ears perked up and was suddenly struck with guilt mixed with devastation as the leader explained that Karen had died at the age of 16 from meningitis. My heart dropped because  I had let my harbored negative feelings separate us.  It was one of those experiences where I learned that God has a bigger plan. He allowed Karen to experience that swimming victory and taught me humility. It also has helped me realize that there is a reason for every loss.

Defeats are difficult, and we may not always take the time to see purpose in our defeats, but each defeat builds character.  Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us, Romans 5:3-5.

Dear Lord, When I feel as though  I have lost out on an opportunity, I become self-focused and easily discouraged. From my perspective, things may seem harmful but You may have a hidden promise/purpose to bring good out of the situation. Help me to trust you in these times that seem like defeat, but may be opportunities for growth. For I know that what I see is meant for harm, You may have a hidden promise. Amen.

As always, I appreciate your encouragement and seek to serve!

Peg Arnold

Bringing Stories to Life!

 Devotions for the Distracted Heart- During this time, I am offering free journals with every book purchase.  https://pegarnold.org/shop/

If this message encouraged you, I would love to hear from you! If you are not already connected, reach out to me through one of the following!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pegarnoldwow/

Twitter @ArnoldPeg          

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Distraction of the Journey

Seeds along the way- a guest blog entry from Denise Goosby

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

As we walk this journey of healing, we’ll encounter seeds along the way. Divine pieces of revelation that point us toward health and wholeness. Some might call them nuggets or little treasures. I prefer seeds. Not only must you pick them up, you must plant them. Tend them. Water them. Bring them refreshment and nourishment.

That’s when they become golden treasure of infinite value.

I’d like to share one particular seed that I found in a book by Henri J.M. Nouwen called “You Are The Beloved: Daily Meditations For Spiritual Living.” I’ll let Nouwen share:

“Over the last few years, I have been increasingly aware that true healing mostly takes place through the sharing of our weakness. Mostly we are afraid of our weaknesses that we hide them at all cost and thus make them unavailable to others but also often to ourselves. And, in this way, we end up living double lives even against our own desires: our life in which we present ourselves, and to God as a person who is in control and another life in which we feel insecure, doubtful, confused, and anxious and totally out of control. The split between these two lives causes us a lot of suffering.”

A lot of suffering.

Nouwen believes that the only way to bridge the expanse between our inner and outer lives is through sharing their contents within a safe, caring community. It is acknowledging life’s struggles with others—with God—that can liberate us from our fears and help us live our best authentic selves. It is in the sharing of our weakness that the very community we need—and, in our heart of hearts seek—is created.

That’s why I began Denise’s Healing Journey blog .

It’s a place where courageous people can share their trials and triumphs, and know that there are other like-minded souls living within this broken world amidst broken people who will receive them and champion them.

We all need a hero.

And, in this place, through our words, comments, prayers, and presence we each have an opportunity to be a hero for someone else. Now, for me, here comes the hard part. Someone has to take the first step. Someone has to share their pain; their shortcomings, and their heartbreak. By God’s grace, I’ll be that someone. I’ll try my best to leave seeds from what I have experienced and learned along my own journey of healing for others. I pray that I will find what Nouwen did:

Often I became aware of the fact that in the sharing of my weaknesses with others, the real depths of my human brokenness and weakness and sinfulness started to reveal themselves to me, not as a source of despair but as a source of hope…once I am able to confess my most profound dependence on others and on God, I can come in touch with my true self and real community can develop.”

So, let our beloved community of “every nation, tribe, and tongue” move forward on our journey of healing. And, take courage. If you know that you are not ready to give care and attention to this seed—or any seeds—that you encounter on your journey, don’t discard them. They could be for someone else. Just tuck them away in a safe place until the soil of your heart can receive them and use them and let them grow.

Father God, let nothing you teach us through Your Word, Your Spirit, and the life You’ve given us be wasted. May the seeds that we gather along our journey take root in our hearts. And, may the fruit that grows from them be a blessing to You and to others. Amen.

Denise Ann Goosby has worked as a community reporter and educator in public and private schools. In 2018, she founded the nonprofit Healing Song Ministries (now ministry). Her blog, Denise’s Healing Journey, launched this summer. She is single and living in Southern Californiahttps://www.facebook.com/Denises-Healing-Journey-A-blog-104419934693246

I appreciate your encouragement and seek to serve! I am always looking for others to contribute to this blog. If you are interested, please reach out.

Peg Arnold

Bringing Stories to Life!

 Devotions for the Distracted Heart- During this time, I am offering free journals with every book purchase.  https://pegarnold.org/shop/

If this message encouraged you, I would love to hear from you! If you are not already connected, reach out to me through one of the following!

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Distraction of Dorms-

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

With advent of fall comes the beginning of a new school year.  Even though returning to school looks very different for many, there are still some of you who are preparing a child for that first year in college.  One of the most vivid memories I have was the day we moved my daughter into her dorm room her freshman year.   She had chosen to go to our Alma mater, which was a 10-hour drive away. We had shopped and packed everything under the sun to put into that 10×10 room that would be her new home for the year.  She and her room-mate had meticulously planned who would bring what however, there were still more things to purchase when we arrived. 

We followed the long line of cars filled with other parents and freshman moving in for the first time.  The air was filled with high expectancy and a myriad of emotions.  I had been anticipating this day for the past six months with my own mixed emotions.  On one hand, it was a special time in my daughter’s life. On the other hand, it was a monumental change in life for me.  I recalled the memory of emotions that emerged when I put her on the school bus for first grade.  I grieved losing her for the length of a school day, realizing that she would be vulnerable to many outside challenges and influences.  Now I was losing her for weeks, even months. She was an independent college student making decisions that would impact the course of her life.

By the time we completed all the errands, the day was getting late and I knew the moment would come when I had to say good-bye. I didn’t want to do this. How would she handle the freedoms? How would she respond to the temptations? Who would protect her from harm? Leaving my daughter there at the dorm was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  I will never forget that final hug and the tears that welled in my eyes, contrasted with the excitement of the new experience dancing in my daughter’s eyes. It was a quiet walk with my husband to the car where we prayed for her safety, her protection and her choices as we began the tearful 10-hour drive home.   

Trust –  it’s something we talk about, but so very hard to do. It was time for me to release my daughter to God and trust Him to guard, protect and keep her safe in this new chapter in her life.  Could God completely protect her from harm? No, but I remembered that He loves her more than me. In fact He loved her first.

In spite of knowing all these things, I began to have sleepless nights worrying about her.  This worry created stress, sleeplessness, and eventually distrust. This affected my relationship with my daughter and my relationship with God. I needed to make a change.  Then I remembered.  When my children were younger, I used to pray the scriptures for them. I would take a scripture, read it and then use it as a prayer putting their name in it. 

Take Proverbs 3:5-6 for instance.

Dear Lord, I pray that ______ learns to trust in you with her whole heart.  I pray that You will bring people into her life that will help her acknowledge You and the You will guide each step she takes. Amen

 Another one- Jeremiah 29:11

Dear Lord,  I know you have plans for ___________. Plans to protect her, not to harm her, plans to give her a hope and a future.  Lord I pray that she learns to call on Your name and has the confidence that you will hear her when she does.  Amen.

Finally try this one or think of your own- Philippians 4:6

Dear Lord, Help me not to be anxious about all the things that could go wrong with  ______ away at college during this time of Covid.  I thank you for this opportunity for her and trust in you for protection. May I feel your peace and may Your peace guard her heart too.

The power in praying  the scriptures not only helped distract me from my worry, but I grew in my own relationship with Christ. As my prayer life grew and I began depending on God for my strength, trusting Him with my daughter instead of letting the stress of worry consume me. 

What loved one are you worried about today?  Try praying the scriptures for them using their name.  It may make all the difference.

Dear Lord, Your ways are not my ways and my thoughts are not Yours.  I am so very grateful that your ways are greater than my comprehension. I am grateful that you love those I love far more than I ever could. Forgive me when I forget this and cloud my thoughts with worry.  Help me to trust in You with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. Amen

As always, I appreciate your encouragement and seek to serve!

Peg Arnold

Bringing Stories to Life!

 Devotions for the Distracted Heart- During this time, I am offering free journals with every book purchase.  https://pegarnold.org/shop/

If this message encouraged you, I would love to hear from you! If you are not already connected, reach out to me through one of the following!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pegarnoldwow/

Twitter @ArnoldPeg          

Instagram  arnoldpeg

YouTube- Subscribe to Peg Arnold and the Wonder of Women  Channel

Pinterest Peg Arnold with Wonder of Women

Linked in https://www.linkedin.com/in/peg-arnold-WOW