Dealing With Discouragement



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Dealing With Discouragement

Try these tips for dealing with discouragement when life’s struggles have you down, whether you’re struggling financially or in other ways.

Dealing With Discouragement

Charise writes:

My question is mostly for Jill, but also for Tawra. I have been reading your site for years now, and have owned Dining on a Dime for years also. I am a 25 year old wife and mother of two small boys. My question is how did you ladies keep yourselves out of the horrible pit of despair and sadness that sometimes people find themselves in while going through financial struggles? I am trying my best to get my family out of this mess, but the guilt and sadness are eating away at me. Thank you.

 

I have been asked this often but it is one of those questions I hesitate to answer only because my personality, my situation and my background is so different from others that what worked for me may not always work for someone else.

I sometimes see motivational speakers, preachers or counselors say, “This is what I did when this happened…” People often try to do exactly what they did and when it doesn’t work become even more discouraged. I truly don’t want that to happen with regard to anything I say to you.

 

Here are some ways I handled discouragement that are general enough that they should help you:

  1. Stop allowing having money or lack of money to be tied up with having or lacking peace and joy. Having money isn’t what brings us peace or joy. When you learn to have true peace and joy you will have it even when you lose everything.
  2. Stop being afraid.We often are afraid of what is going to happen or in most cases what “might” happen. Often the things we are afraid will happen never do. We have wasted all our time and energy on something that never came to pass.

    If you’re a chronic worrier, you might make yourself a worry book. Each time you get into a panic about something, write it down. Later, write down whether or not it really ended up happening, the date it happened and how and when it was solved. You will be surprised to see that most things didn’t happen at all or were easily solved when they did.

    For example:
    May 1, 2010 – My car broke down. I know it will cost me thousands to fix or I have to buy a new car.
    May1, 2010 – neighbor checked car. It was only a loose wire. Cost nothing.

  3. Negative emotions do nothing but paralyze you. Instead of sitting and stewing about how bad things are, use your mind to figure out a solution or better yet, because you aren’t exhausted with worry, get up and fix the problem.

    For example, if I go to bed and start worrying about how little I have to spend on groceries, instead of laying there tossing and turning, I could get up and make a weeks worth of menus and grocery list. Then I could study it to see how I might be able to save even more. Then I could go to bed knowing I have done the best I can for the moment.

  4. “But there is no way to fix my problem.” Most of the time, there is. It may take time and work and it may not be the solutionyou had in mind but often these solutions work better than the ones we originally planned. We can focus so much on one answer that we can’t open our minds to other options, even though our original answer may not be the best one.

    When I became ill I was so discouraged because I couldn’t find a cure. There was no way to fix my problem. I fought it for so long and that made me even more ill. My solution was to be cured, but that wasn’t the only solution. The other was to accept my situation and work within it the best I could. Part of the result was the LivingOnADime.com website and our book. Staying sick wasn’t the solution I would have chosen, but in some ways this one has been better results.



 

  1. Set your timer. When I would find myself overwhelmed with despair or having a pity party, I would set a timer for 15 minutes. and tell myself, “I want you to worry and stew as hard as you can for 15 minutes. Then, when your time is up you will go about your business and forget about it.”  The funny thing was I ended up spending most of that time laughing at myself because, try as I would, I couldn’t make myself worry when I set the timer. Then my time was up and I had to get busy. As weird as this sounds, it truly worked for me.
  2. False guilt. One of Satan’s greatest weapons is guilt. We may stand strong and not do drugs, drink or murder, but he can always destroy us just as badly with false guilt. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people and we are imperfect so why should we expect ourselves and our circumstances to be perfect? You do the math. It won’t add up.
  3. We will do things wrong and make mistakes but thank goodness the Bible is full of the word forgiveness, from God, from others, to others and to ourselves. If you don’t think Satan is using false guilt to attack us, just look at what happens in your life and how it affects you and your family when you give in and wallow in it.
  4. Sadness isn’t wrong. It is a legitimate feeling. It is only wrong when we are sad over the wrong things or we let it, like any other emotion, consume and control us. Sometimes we need to just sit down and have a good cry. There is nothing wrong with that. Trust me, I cried a lot. God would comfort me and when I was done He would say, “Okay now get up and do this…”

 

Last, but most important, it was God who pulled me through. If I had acted the way I wanted to and the way I felt, I would have been a basket case. I don’t know how often God would pull me up by the seat of the pants and say, “No you don’t young lady. You have a family you need to love and take care of and Me to honor and glorify, so get over yourself.”

Then there were other times He would quietly comfort me and remind me that no matter what is going on in the world He is always there holding me, loving me and helping me. I wasn’t alone. I felt like a child does when she falls and hurts her knee. Even though there is physical pain for the moment, it is so wonderful to feel mom’s arms around us while she is kissing away our tears. It was almost worth getting hurt to be able to be that close to mom.

I don’t think we always need to get hurt to have God close. Sometimes, though, we get so busy and God misses us so much or sees we are getting off track and He allows us to stumble in order to get us back on the right path so we won’t get hurt worse. It is at those times we see He is there and He will comfort us.

Sadly, some of us will run from that comfort. Like a child who is bleeding and keeps yanking his hurt knee away, not allowing mom to fix it or to accept the comfort of her arms. The pain will usually last longer, often scar and the suffering is so much worse.

In the same way a mom loves us so much that she is willing to risk dying by going through childbirth, God gave His son to die an awful death for us. If He gave that much for us, we have to remember He loves us just as much and wants to help us in our everyday little things.

 

Here are 6 simple things to do to pull you out of discouragement or depression: (Of course if it is serious depression, you need to seek professional help.)

  1. Eat 5 meals a day.
  2. Get 8-9 hours sleep.
  3. Do some form of strenuous activity.
  4. 1 1/2 hours alone time.
  5. Do something pleasant. Something you enjoy.
  6. Do something social. This can be as simple as speaking to a store clerk.

You may say, “There is no way I can do all of these,” but for it to work you need to do them. Remember, you aren’t doing if forever– only a week or so to get you back on track.

Comments

  1. Tonia Bagwell says

    May God bless you abundantly for sharing the gospel in this format! I love your newsletter but was so blessed by your words today!

  2. Kathleen says

    Oh, Jill, I can so relate to this post! Right now I have just quit my job, and don’t have another. I’m going to take some time and refocus/regroup, for my own mental health. I panicked at first, picturing we would lose our home! But eventually I was able to redirect my mindset, and it may be rough for a while, we’ll be using our savings, but I think we will make it. Don’t know how yet, or when, but I think we will make it. I’m willing…..and for me, that is what counts.

    Meanwhile, despair and sadness can eat away at your life. It’s easy to say “don’t let it”, hard NOT to….I so feel for your reader….Please just continue to tell her, YOU CAN DO THIS…..IT WILL BE RESOLVED….and keep her head up and keep taking one step after another….even if that’s as far as she can “see”….just take that next step, then the next….etc…

  3. Tracy W says

    Wonderful things to do and say
    Another thing is go to church to socialize
    visit the library no cost and free
    find a low cost counseling thru a non profit agency or local yellow pages
    some can help with dept counseling some can help with the depression you face
    while over coming these situations
    learn not to use credit cards like candy
    Find a good friend or buddy to walk with every week
    and find peace that things happen that we can control and things beyond
    our control to let it go and not let ruin you or your family
    and stuff in time will past and things do get better
    Be thankful you have your health and don’t let money ruin
    that you can have your house burn down and lose stuff and and your entire family is safe and alive

  4. Stacey D says

    My goodness you ladies do have a way with touching a woman’s heart. I am blessed that I have a job, and that my bills are paid. But I do find myself being more discouraged as the days pass with how our world, and most importantly our country is going. I do find it hard often times to just leave the apartment to go and do what needs done, like laundry. It’s so strange, what fear can do to a person. Truth be known, I do have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. So honestly have no idea why I allow satan to take over my mind, and keep me from getting out and really living life with my 3 children. Thank you so much Tawra and Jill for your words of encouragement, and kicking me in the bum when I need it. I love you guys, and your site. You are both in my prayers. Stacey

  5. Cindy Leiphart says

    Just the encouragement I needed this week! Thanks for being there to help me through and encourage me to do better and be better. I truly appreciate your newsletter.

  6. Cindy says

    Tawra,

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. These are hard times for everyone but we still need to focus on the good things that we do have.

  7. DeLanna says

    I can’t tell you how much this article meant to me. I just got done reading it and I have to say, I feel 10 times better! I have been having a rough week, especially over the last few days. My husband just got medically discharged from the Army and our paychecks have literally been cut in half. It’s been emotional dealing with this financial situation and from moving halfway across the country. It took this article (and a swift kick in the butt from God!) in order for me to realize our situation is not as bad as it seems and could be a heck of a lot worse. I had to stop and literally look all around me to see the blessings that He has bestowed upon us, and continues to do so. Thank you ladies so much for everything you do. Your words every week do so much to help me and others like me. God bless!

  8. Frances Chamberlain says

    I loved the “Coping with Discouragement” question — and the answer. Here is one more thing she can do — look for serendipitous moments…. what one of my kids called “being miracled.” Here’s an example: I was on my own with three kids, way broke, very worried about out first Christmas alone. I was driving home from a job and I stopped at a convenience store to buy milk. When I came in the clerk handed me a bunch of very ripe bananas and said “I can’t sell these. I don’t know what to do with them. Do you want them?” I said yes, of course, and over the next couple days I made banana bread for everyone on my Christmas list so that any money I had could be used on food and gifts for my children.
    After that, other good things happened — someone with old snow tires just gave them to me and they fit my car, somebody came in the house while we were gone and left a giant turkey on the dining room table, etc. etc. Good things can happen in your darkest moments if you are just open to letting stuff happen.

    • Janet says

      I loved reading this, Frances! What wonderful blessings happened to you and your family during your very rough times. Your story has been encouraging to me as I am in the middle of a very dark time of my life.

  9. says

    I thank you for your website! It is very helpful. Speaking of struggling…it comes in all forms. Everyone has a story. I have chosen to look to God thru my life. The Bible is wisdom. The Bible is the road map for life. I have learned to look up to God & out to others. Looking down (being depressed) and in at self and self circumstances ….being self centered will get us nowhere but depressed. Jesus came to serve ..we need to “see a need – fill a need” & reach out to others. Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair -rockin’ & rockin’-worrying & worrying and getting Nowhere!! We can not change others……only ourselves. Walk in love & leave others to God. Do NOT enable but always build bridges & NOT WALLS!! Life is Not perfect but we can trust the perfect one – Jesus! We can trust an unknown future to our Lord! (by Corrie Ten Boom). Take life one day at a time. Do the best we can. Don’t live in gray (wrong) areas. Run the race….keep running….I read Christian humor -stick a geranium in your hat and be happy is one good book. I have went thru a lot…we all have…but my dad always said you can look around and always find people who have went thru so much more. Where the mind goes the body will follow–so fight to be positive. If you think of negative things think of more positive things……never give up……never…..Christ is our hope -our peace -he will see us thru…..have a great day!

  10. Mary says

    Wow!! What a wonderful way to put all that. Your words were right on! I have been going thru stressful times for the past five years and I lived by most of what you wrote! And glad to say that things are looking much better. I have always taught my kids to think about some good things that come out of the bad situation you are in at the moment. Helps to realize things may not be as bad as you might think!! God Bless you!!

  11. Bea says

    The advice you just gave Jill is something I really needed to read today. I know God planned for this article to be on this site today and I thank Him and you. God uses His children in so many ways to help each other. It always amazes me. I also wanted to say that this is a fallen world we live in and our main goal is to grow in holiness and get to Heaven. Life is not meant to be easy because growing hurts in so many ways. We have so much to learn, like Trust of God and knowing He will meet our needs. When I don’t think I have enough money to make it through the month it forces me to look in the areas God may want me to grow. Maybe He wants me to use creative ways to stretch my food money or maybe He wants me to get rid of an unnecessary expense to increase my money for the month. A couple of years ago I felt He wanted me to get rid of my cable bill. First of all there’s so much junk on TV and another thing is I felt in my heart He wanted me to use my TV watching time in different ways. I was wasting too much time after work and He wanted me to do more important things. So instead of getting depressed and discouraged, if there is a financial challenge, look for the areas God wants you to grow in, and do it, and remember He will help and provide. Trust Him and do the growing He wants.

  12. says

    Simply, thank you. You have not shyed away from sharing your belief in God and practical, Biblical living, and we need that courage and strength these days when everyone is trying so hard to be “politically correct”. I was much inspired by your kind and wise words, and appreciate receiving the “Living On A Dime” newsletter. Thanks so much and please, keep up the great work.

  13. Michelle says

    I totally agree with what you said here and I admire the courage that it took to say it. You have been an inspiration to me! Thank You.

  14. Jayne says

    Life definitely has its share of hard knocks – I don’t care who you are. I honestly don’t know how people cope without Jesus.

    This is such a wonderful article and so inspired. You truly write with hard-won wisdom. I can’t stress enough what a blessing this site is.

    God Bless You Richly!!

    Jayne

  15. Crystal in Delaware says

    I really found it great to see a godly response to the question about dealing with discouragement. Thank you for guiding this woman to the source that can truly help her in this day & age of self help it was so nice to see a public person speak of their faith in such a positive way.

  16. says

    Thank you for a wonderful and uplifting newsletter! After I read it, I realized that I have been affected by false guilt…I did not recognize it for what it was. You are a blessing and thank you again for sharing your wisdom and insight!

  17. Pat says

    Thank you for giving hope to folks in distress. Yes, the Good Lord is the Way to work through these situations.

    Keep up the Good Work.

  18. Yvonne Denney says

    What a fantastic way to Glorify our God I must say! You both are Angels of God delivering His message with kindness, helpful ways to deal with life, and love and compassion for us all. Thank you both so much! May God continue to Bless you all!

  19. Joan says

    Just want to thank you for your commments today on overcoming sadness, etc.
    We all need encouragement to live in this present age & your advice to look to God is so spot on. We CAN be overcomers through Him.

    May He richly bless you!!!!!!

  20. says

    I feel as though this was written just for me as I am having every single feeling that is mentioned and am SO overwhelmed. I will not let on to anyone for fear of being perceived as a complainer or being weak. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for I needed this badly . I will keep it, read it over and over again. You are an angel for sure, seeming to bring this just for me when I was to the point of not going on any more!

    • Kim says

      Polly, I am in the same “pit” as you. I just want you to know that I am going to be praying for you. I don’t know who you are, but I do empathize with how you feel. God bless you and hang in there!

  21. Marti Mitchell says

    I am new to Living on a Dime, but I just love it. Thank you so much for all the good you do and all the way you help me get through each day.

  22. Tara says

    Thanks for the encouraging words! You are absolutely right, God is with us even when we feel most alone. His Word says He will never leave nor forsake us! Im grateful for that promise cause that is what has sustained me in my difficult time. Thank you again :0)

  23. Alicia Webster says

    I agree with all of the advice given and use those same tools in my own life. I would tell Charise that you are only 25, and you will find as you get older that life will become easier and less stressful. This is because as we age we find that 90% of those things that we worry about either never come to pass, or if they do, they don’t destroy us as we thought that they would. You’ll find that after you weather storm after storm that the tiny swells no longer rock your boat, and only a true hurricane will get your attention. This is nature’s way of preventing us from dying of chronic stress!

    • Mary says

      I totally agree, I worried about everything and I do mean everything, things that “might” happen, things that “will happen if I don’t”, I just couldn’t figure out what I was going to do. I turned 40 and looked back at the last 20 years worrying about everything especially things out of my control and I gave myself a birthday present. I stopped worrying, I gave myself permission to wait until something bad really happened and I’m blessed to say except a few personal losses nothing bad really happened. DUH Sure we were short on money, the car broke down, the washer went out, I had shut off notices for my utilities after I had cut everything but electric, water, gas and home phone, the roof leaked, I could go on but what happened was LIFE. I turned 50 a year ago and I have some money in savings, a home with a wonderful happy husband who is much easier to live with now that I don’t worry about everything, we’ve been together since I was 19, age gives you perspective. I don’t worry about what other people think I should do, or what might happen if, the last 10 years have been the happiest we’ve had. I am sorry I spent all that time. Let go and let God.

  24. Brandi says

    Thanks for the advice. I have been feeling discouraged today as well. I am constantly worried about something — whatever — and it usually doesn’t happen. I would also like to add something that does help me. If I find I am in a funky mood, I go to bed early. My husband thanks me – we don’t argue; my waist thanks me – I don’t eat for comfort; my wallet thanks me – I don’t shop online for affirmation. And of course, the next day I feel better because I didn’t give in to the negatives and my body and my mind are rested! :)

  25. says

    Tawra, I just wanted to thank you for allowing God to use you to minister to the discouraged among us. All of your advice is what I practice, so I know God gave you just the right words and, not only will Jill be blessed and all your other readers, but YOU will be blessed for being obedient to the Father and answering through His Word. Spending devotional time with the Father is a precious time for me and always encourages me to continue snuggling up to Him daily. All His promises are true and He NEVER lies! Such a joy to read your newsletter. Blessings now and always!

  26. says

    I just wanted to say that your advice to this young mother was wonderful and encouraging. And I want to further encourage her to hold on. Many of us go through those terrible financial times. You feel like you’re in a pit that you’ll never get out of, but you will. Put God first and cling to him. He will see you through. God bless you!

  27. Bea says

    One way I help myself get over feeling deprived when I don’t have extra money, is to watch ‘Little House on the Prairie” “The Waltons” or read a book about people of different time periods, to see how little they had at times materially. I love the episode of “Little House on the Prairie” when what the children got for Christmas was a candy cane and a cup of their own. And Mrs Ingalls was given a scarf I think, and I forget what Charles was given, but Mr. Edwards walked through a snow blizzard and nearly died to get their gifts to them. It makes me realize that things aren’t that bad, and we should be grateful for all we do have.

    • Carrie says

      I love little house!! And I agree I always feel better when I watch it too. I love the Christmas episode where Carrie gives the star.And the one where the entire family works to pay the bill at the mercantile. (They had no sugar or coffee).

  28. linda huaman says

    thank you for my blessing today that came through you…..i truly thank you for your insight…………..thanks

  29. rose says

    thank you thank you thank you for posting this timely note to all of us… my daughter might be losing her job soon (the store she works at is being sold and well, the person who is interested already told the present owner that she will be bringing in her own people to run the store) … my son in law just graduated from the police academy but bc of the economy and budget cuts, no jobs available… my son is still looking for work… i should say begging to be hired for less than what is being offered… hubby’s condition is stable but well, the prices of everything seem to be going up… i went to the store and the highlight of my shopping was buy one get one free pkg of cheese.. which is wonderful bc we love cheese… and well, yes, i have been a bit gloomy these days…
    i appreciate this so much jill and tawra of you posting this note to us.. it couldnt have come at a better time… and part of the reason why i am so gloomy, as you all know, i am still decluttering and it doesnt seem like the pile is going down… ugh! .. those gnomes are out to get me! hehehehe :D…
    thank you so much for all you do for all of us… i appreciate this so much…
    i hope all is well with everyone.. :D
    rose

  30. harriet says

    Thanks so much for this. I’m an atheist, and I found it so encouraging and heartening. I’ve been paralyzed with anxiety and depression lately (also my 21 year case of CFS acting up), and reading your site helps me so much.

    • says

      Harriet I am so glad you have been enjoying the site. We have had CFS about the same amount of time as you so I know how discouraging that can be especially when it acts up. People who don’t have it think the exhaustion is the biggest problem we have but that is a drop in the bucket compared to the mind fog and the other things it does to our mind.

      It is so hard at times to stay encouraged when dealing with illness or so many things which is why I need to thank you and all of our many other readers for each and every time they send us a kind word or a thank you. There are days when my CFS is so bad I crawl down to the computer and am so tired or don’t feel good and I think how can I keep doing this. I then I turn on my screen and here are all these sweet words and thank yous from you all so I to must thank you and every one else for encouraging me and making my day. We do read every single post or e mail from you all and take them to heart.

      Hope you CFS will settle down for you soon so you can catch your breath for a bit. I will be thinking of you.

      Jill

      • harriet says

        Hi Jill, I am doing better lately. I cannot tell you how much this post has helped me in the past two years–it’s been a terrible struggle for me, but at least twice a week I think “Stop allowing having money or lack of money to be tied up with having or lacking peace and joy” and “Stop being afraid.”

        • says

          Harriet we all have things like that that I think we wake up each morning having to deal with and there are days we feel like giving up but I think the secret is recognizing it and thinking I do want to give up but I’m not going too – I’m going to try and make it through another day. I have found in my own life after weeks sometimes months and years (don’t let that “discourage” you) I wake up one day and what ever had tormented me for so long was either totally gone or it didn’t matter any more. I think that is why they Bible puts so much importance on persevering. It says over and over if we just persevere we will come out victorious. Often we think of that in the realm of some big spiritual battle or such to be victorious in but in many ways it is more for our everyday living and thinking. There is so much in the Bible for our practical every day life. He didn’t give us the Bible for a handbook for when we get to heaven or a cool story book but a “super” how to and advice book for here and now and everyday. There really is light at the end of that dark tunnel if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other we will come to the end but if we give up and stop we will end staying in the middle of that dark tunnel. I would rather keep walking and trying to get to the end then to just sit in a cold dark tunnel. It sounds like to me you feel the same and maybe you haven’t gotten to the end yet but you are really on your way.

  31. Beth says

    I want to say how much I appreciated your article today–it seems to have come just when many of us needed it! I especially love your focus on God. Keep up the great work!
    God Bless!

  32. Sherry Smith says

    What a great article on discouragement…..All I can say is AMEN.
    Thank you for your newsletter and taking the time and the
    boldness to testify for the Lord. HE can help us through
    any situation if we will just trust HIM.

  33. Anne says

    I love the way you always give credit to God for your successes. I know you stay in His favor because you give credit where credit is due. Thank you for your constant witness on your website.

  34. harriet says

    Thanks, Jill. You know, it’s funny: I seem to be different from a lot of your readers. I’m not religious at all, I live in New York City, my husband makes a lot of money, I’m politically liberal and I fancy myself a cultural sophisticate–I’m a professional writer–but when it comes down to it, we’re all really the same. We suffer from illness and we worry about our health and our money and our children and we need a soothing word sometimes. I like reading your site because it’s encouraging and positive.

    • says

      Wow Harriet, I had to chuckle. We couldn’t be more night and day could we even the part about you being a professional writer. I have never considered myself a writer at all and I know I curl the hair of real writers with the way I write (sorry) but still you are so right when it comes down to the heart of things most of us are all the same and need the same thing and one soothing word can go a long long way.

      I truly enjoyed hearing from you.
      Jill

  35. susan says

    Hi Jill and Tawra,

    Love your words of wisdom. You all are always lifting me up. I have a fridge magnet that I picked up at a yard sale many many years ago and it say “and this too shall pass”. when I start feeling down I just go and read this over and over again and I start to feel better because I know God is in control

    • says

      I love that saying too Susan. I always say I made it through each hair raising stage of child rearing by reminding myself that this too shall pass and it did and it wasn’t near as bad as I thought it was going to be.

  36. Tammy says

    I loved this article. The steps that you outlined also focus on the fact that we need to take care of ourselves, which is proper. Proper nutrition and exercise, even if the exercise is in small steps as mine must be right now, is very important and will help with feeling overwhelmed. Something that I have found to keep me motivated to watch proper nutrition and moderate exercise is sparkpeople.com. It is a free website that has a nutrition tracker, exercise tracker, etc. but lots of encouragement. There are things that can be purchased, but it is not necessary. I have found it helpful to read other’s stories and the encouragement even if you are taking baby steps. It is my second favorite website right now [after this one, of course!]

  37. Linda says

    Talk about joy and hope. I especially like about your faith in God. God is the only one that will help you when you feel truly alone. Keep up the good work. Sincerly, Linda and God Bless You

  38. says

    When I feel discouraged or down right depressed I try to do something nice for someone.
    A few weeks ago we were in the city all day and I was so sore I was biting my tongue not to cry.
    We had just pulled out of a stop for hot chocolate and pain meds when we saw a hitchhiker. The night was dark and cool and not particularly nice for standing on the side of the road. So we stopped and gave the guy a ride.
    He was headed 8 hours in the direction we were travelling so we could help him out for 3 of those hours. He had run out of gas at the gas station and asked if he could leave his car there for a couple of days. He was a smoker so when Don lit one he asked for one. I told him to grab a pop out of the cooler and we kept on. When Don went to lite another cigarette he asked me to reach his pull pack out of the bag. Then he gave the guy a pack to keep said he knew how grumpy he got when he was out. When we dropped the guy off at a better spot with lights (the tourist information building Don got out and gave him what cash we had. Not much $15. and told him that in the morning he was to get some breakfast or at least coffee to get him through till he met up with friends. I gave him a pack of cookies and a couple more pops. We left him at that spot because the bears were wandering and hungry and we wanted him to have someplace fairly safe. Lots of truckers parked there overnight so he was not entirely on his own.
    I still hurt like fury but I felt better knowing we had helped someone out who was down on his luck. He wasn’t looking for a hand out he just told us his story and told us what he was doing to help himself out of the hole he was in.
    That is what I try to do to make myself feel better. Even if it is just a smile and hello to a stranger.

  39. Pam says

    This is probably the best newsletter you have put out. It was just matter of fact, with reminders of what’s important and what’s not. I’m sure everyone recognized one senario or another that you mentioned. Sometimes we just have to realize that each one of us needs to just stop and take a deep breath; it truly does help one get re-focused.

  40. Sylvia says

    You have a eliquent way of writing, that is awesome!!!
    I always wait when I am alone or it is quiet, so I can read
    what you have to say, cuz it is soooo deep, and I understant
    what you are saying. Thank you for reminding me, I get distracted
    very easily…

  41. says

    Wow! Your words are right on target. Very wise advice spoken with love and compassion. We all have our moments of despair; sometimes it’s worse than others. I’m bookmarking this article, so if I need to return to reread this, I can. Thanks!

  42. Jen M. says

    GREAT advice at the bottom of the article! And the very same advice my professional Christian counselor gave me 4 and a half years ago when I was in the midst of a divorce. The first thing she told me was that I HAD to start eating again. The next thing she told me was to get out there and minister to people (your advice about getting social is similar). So, I took what became the first of 3 Hurricane Katrina relief trips. It was the start of my way back to normalcy, and I realized that my life was going to be OK from there. Love your web site, love your articles, love your e-mails, love your Dining on a Dime book. I have had it for a few years now, and have used it quite a bit, especially when I was tight on money (still am sometimes). Anyway, great posting!

    Jen

  43. Darla says

    Thanks for your ministry. That is what you are doing! Your words are not only encouraging, but life. You don’t speak words people want to hear, but words from God that give life and hope and will make a difference because of that! Truly words from God! Thank you!

  44. Reisa H. says

    Wonderful advice and such a timely reminder of the strength of God’s love. I’m still reeling internally from financial mistakes made in 2006 that changed the course of our family’s future. I woke up with guilt and anxiety every morning and the only thing that kept me grounded was prayer … before I went to bed and when I got up in the morning. Prayer soothed my soul and gave me the strength to get back on my feet emotionally. Then as my pity party eased, I began to read and take action. I found your website and other frugal bloggers. I began to arm myself with educational materials and started reading Proverbs. Solomon’s wisdom is classic. I became accountable in every way and then proud of what I was doing. Some days I sink … as the a/c in our car just went … and it’s too expensive to fix. But, I still have a choice to focus on that or how blessed I am with my wonderful family. It’s not easy. The Devil plays alot of mind games and it’s tempting to succumb. Knowledge is power and with God’s love and my determination, it will all work out ultimately. My advice — don’t lose sight of your blessings during despair. Count them over and over. PS … I love the idea of your “worry book”. Another tool for my armamentarium! Thank you Tawra!

  45. Linda says

    Jill,

    This is a great response and I’m so glad you published it in your newsletter. Without having to pay a motivational speaker to hear this, you have provided readers with a common sense, practical way to think about and to approach problems. I completely agree with the other individuals who welcomed your wise advice.

    Thank you!

  46. Jane says

    What a beautiful answer you gave to the woman who was dealing with discouragement. I was really touched. I believe the Lord will really use your words.

  47. Pat K. says

    Jill,

    You have some of the best,most common-sense, thoughtful advise–as good as any “professional”! I enjoy the entire ‘Living on a Dime’ website, and find it very helpful. I especially liked this article,and found your advise right on target. We all get discouraged sometimes and start focusing on the negative and the six things you listed to do are so important. I am printing off a few copies of this to give to family and friends.
    Thank you so much!

  48. Lisa says

    How timely your words were for me. For the past 4 days I’ve been in bed suffering from the worst case of depression in my life. Your article has given me the hope I so desperately needed. Thank you…

  49. Zora says

    I myself have had many lean years in my life and therefore have some experience of turning a dime around and around again. Here is what comes to my mind when reading your lines:

    I have met people who did not see where to save. In the same time all their family bought soft drinks where there a tap water might be sufficient, bought sandwiches that could be substituted for sliced and buttered bread with some vegetable (radish, tomato, salad …) etc. Your TV is broken? Go to bed with your children and – read them a book. Jobless? Rent one your room… Look around with new eyes and check: what do we really need?

    BTW: going raw saves money!

    Wishing you to get out of your troubles soon.
    Zora

  50. says

    Improve your diet! Caffeine and lots of sugary foods contribute to both anxiety and depression. Read some good books on nutrition and change your habits. Try cutting back on caffeine and sugar gradually until your body gets used to it. Increase your water intake, and start a daily exercise program even if it is just walking around the block. Make it a daily habit and you will see a GIANT improvement in your overall mood.

    When baking desserts cut back a little on the sugar and your family won’t notice it. I agree that getting more sleep helps a lot. Sometimes the simple and most obvious changes are hard for us to see….I hope this helps.

    • says

      This does help some. I know that sugar does make me feel much worse. I am working getting off it myself but it is very hard.
      I do want to say though for some if you try this and it doesn’t work, don’t get discouraged. :-) It doesn’t work for everyone.

  51. Barb Nauman says

    Hi Lisa,
    I also battled a long stretch of deep depression. I will pray for you. Please know there are many wonderful and supporting people out there-reach out to a caring heart. Know that things WILL get better and trust God always.

    Sending Christ’s love from Kansas City!

    Barb~

  52. Lisa says

    Barb, there aren’t enough words to thank you for what you wrote. I’m taking it one day at a time, well to be truthful sometimes one moment at a time and making small changes in my lifestyle which I hope will help. I appreciate your prayers.

    Lisa

  53. Dee says

    I am so proud to see you give God the glory. In this upside down world we live in today, God is left out. I too have Fibromyalgia and believe you me when I have a Fibro day Satan is right there to attend the pity party and make me feel a hundred times worse than I really do. I love the Lord God and my heart swells with pride every time I read or see someone give to God what was his to begin with. Thank you!
    Dee

  54. Sarah says

    Dear Tawra,
    God bless you for this article and words of encouragement! You help me see some perspective, and made me laugh…I will try the 15 mins. excersize!
    We also remember to just breathe and that someone else always has worse situations and problems and yet they keep going, so can we!
    Thank you with all my heart!!!
    hugs and love, Sarah

  55. Kay F says

    I love the setting of the timer idea. Next time I am hesitating starting a difficult project, I think I will allow myself just the 15 minutes to worry over it, and then I will go tackle it. Thanks for the clever idea.

  56. barb~ says

    Hi Lisa,
    I wanted to check and see how you are doing. I have had you on my mind and in my prayers. Are things a little better? I sure hope so. If there is a specific prayer request you have please let me know.
    I know I was greatly helped by talking with others. It is good to share with someone you trust-do you have pastors, friends from a church, etc.?

    Christ’s love from Kansas City:)!

    Barb~

  57. Lisa says

    Barb, I’m doing much better. Your prayers have been felt! I do have others to talk with who give wonderful counsel. Bless you for your kindness, thoughtfulness and concern.

    Lisa

  58. barb~ says

    Wonderful news, Lisa!
    God is so faithful! My life changed so completely when I gave myself permission to “ditch” the negative, toxic people in my world. I work hard at keeping company with those who keep a positive frame of mind-or, at least have a sense of humor about the crummy stuff that comes at us:) That’s why I love this site so much and appreciate Jill and Tawra! Thanks you 2222222:)!!

    barb~

  59. Julie R says

    Just wanted to let you know I love your letters. You tell it like it really is and I can feel how grounded you are. Keep up the great words, you have a gift of inspiring others. It is good to hear that simple life is the best. We live in a crazy world with a lot of uncertaintly around us. Much of it we bring on to ourselves, I get that. It is helpeful to read words like yours to pull us in and say life is ok. Thank you again and God Bless. Julie

  60. harriet says

    I just wanted to mention that I have read this probably at least twenty times since you’ve posted it. Every time I read “stop being afraid” my entire body relaxes. I don’t think I realized how frightened and anxious I was every day–about my children (teenagers), the economy (enough said), my health (CFS!), the amount I have to do every day and how weary I am from it, my career, you name it. So thank you again.

    • says

      Don’t feel too bad! Today I was thinking, “if I have to keep going one more day I am going to just drop dead”! It was a rough one here so you’re not alone!

  61. says

    tawra just saw this and you said you wanted to cut out a lot of sugar.
    here is a tip I read years ago and it does work. I don’t use it often since I don’t care that much for sweet stuff but a few of my friends tried it and said it really does cut the craving.
    want sugar eat a dill pickle.
    it confuses your taste buds.

  62. Julie says

    Love the article, very helpful but had a question, why eat 5 meals a day? And how spaced out? Small meals or full? thanks.

  63. Mary Jo says

    Hello all – Thank you for all of your suggestions and for the article from Jill &/or Twara. It gave me a good reminder and a smile on my face. Another idea, that I just realized yesterday at therapy, is to try to give your brain some breaks throughout the day of obsessing over the issues. I drive my crazy by constantly thinking about my problems. So, when you are driving, turn on the music or talk radio, if you are at home, turn on some noise, like the tv or radio, even if you don’t watch it. The sound from the tv will distract your mind. At work, I put on a local radio station on my computer and it helps me stay focused on my work. God Bless.

  64. Angie says

    Julie,

    I don’t know for sure but I would guess eat 5 small meals a day for a couple of reasons. One is that blood sugar levels are more stable when we eat smaller meals more often…low blood sugar levels can make one grumpy and make it harder to cope in stressful/discouraging situations. Another reason would be to keep up ones energy and stamina to deal with things better. We simply are more able to handle things when we take care of ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t really be of any use to anyone else.

    One example of the blood sugar thing is that my 9 year old son gets very grumpy, whiny and emotional if he has went too long without eating. On Saturdays, my husband and I like to eat a big breakfast around 9:00 or 10:00 am and then not eat anything again until the evening meal. We started noticing that every Saturday afternoon, we had behavior issues with my son. After several weeks of this, we finally put it together that he was hungry and most likely suffering from low blood sugar. Even though 9 seems old enough to speak up and say “I’m hungry…”, he never did. He knew he was cranky and didn’t feel good, but didn’t make the connection. Once we figured it out and started making sure he got appropriate snacks between the big breakfast and the evening meal, he was fine.

  65. barb~ says

    We all need supportive people in our lives where we can feel safe to “vent.” Perhaps it can be a family member-mother, sister, etc. For others it could be a co-worker, pastor,or a close friend. Many of us don’t have the money needed to seek professional counseling on a regular basis. Although every community should have these services free, or greatly reduced, it can still be difficult to make an appt., and find the soonest they can see you is in three weeks! Most of want, and need to talk NOW!!

    Finding a special person who will listen to you with a willing spirit is a huge blessing! Be prepared to give back to someone else. We are all on this journey together. Let’s help and love everyone we can.

    “To have a friend, you must be a friend.”

  66. says

    As an Encouragement Engineer I love teh tips suggested here. We all go through daily struggles of this nature and it is hard.
    My belief in God helps me to realize this is a temporary situation as God wants us to have a great life.
    As an Encouragement Engineer, I try to remind and reassure people that Action helps these feeelings to discipate and go away. Exercise helps alleviate stress and gets good chemicals in your body to show up and make you feel better.

    Keep up the great work.

  67. Lisa says

    Isn’t it great when the Lord sends you to something you need to see just at the right time!! Thank you ladies for the Christian fellowship I feel when I come here. I am always reminded of my blessings.

  68. Stacey says

    Thank you so much for posting this you guys. I am with the ladies above that this article was posted (again) at just the right time. I was about ready to post why I have been such a mess but thought better of it. I so needed to read that God is still in control of everything, it’s not that I doubted it, just needed to read it. Pray, believe and receive and you will. The quote “No you don’t young lady. You have a family you need to love and take care of and me to honor and glorify, so get over yourself.” made me cry. Because I have been such a mess since this whole ordeal began in March. Thank you God that you are still in control of my life and that you haven’t given up on me yet. Thank you ladies so much for your fellowship, you are mind readers. You are both in my prayers as are the wonderful readers of your site. God bless you. S

  69. Nancy says

    Lisa, you have gotten some good advise here, and have “met” people who care about you. There are more than you know.
    Please surround yourself with positive people. Nothing can bring you down faster than being around negative people.
    You can and will make progress with your financial situation.

    When I was in a situation where money was very tight, I read every frugal-living book and site I could find. I made a game of seeing how well we could live on the least amount of money. My clothes and my kids clothes came from Goodwill, and we always dressed very well. I purchased a like-new bread machine at a garage sale, household goods came from thrift shops. There are some great buys out there. I got a copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette, and it became my guide for frugal living. It is dated, but the information is still valuable and is timeless.

    Your positive attitude will be reflected in your children. If you are happy, they will be happy, and they don’t need toys and new clothes for that to happen. They just need your love and positive attention.
    Take care!

  70. says

    Discouragement
    Try journalling – making a note of simple enjoyable nice things in your day. The journal will be an encouragement when you get fed-up.
    Try ‘what-if’ – the very worst scenarios you can think of. You may get a better sense of proportion this way.
    Try doing something extremely different – a change is as good as a rest. A walk at night (where it is safe) or a car trip at the same time, with the kids; go to the town if you love the country and vice versa. Open-air swimming, visit a fairground, build a tree-hut, walk in the rain – any thing that will jolt you out of your routine.
    Try a bit of comfort and indulgence – sometimes we just need to love ourselves more. Hot chocolate and a good film or book, a special bit of crafting, a home lunch with a good friend.

  71. Vonnie says

    I haven’t read the other comments, so I don’t know if this has been mentioned.
    You said you set the timer and let yourself worry for 15 minutes.
    God has told us, “Fret not”. He doesn’t say, “worry for 15 minutes and get it out of your system.” We don’t say that it’s okay to rob a bank for 15 minutes and get it out of your system.
    Yes, we all worry. But it’s wrong.
    (These thoughts were from a radio program – not my own – but has helped me a lot.)

    • says

      What happens Vonnie is when you have to time yourself like this you find you can’t make yourself worry on command so you end up not worrying at all. That really is the main point of that statement.

  72. Ris says

    Jill & Tawra:

    Your list of healthy behaviors is pretty much what I was advised to do when I got help for depression and they help a LOT to chip away that black cloud.

    A few points I’d like to add:

    1. Try to get 15 minutes of sun & fresh air each day.

    2. Before bedtime, avoid the unnecessary things that can disrupt your sleep. This could be food or drink: heavy meals, spicy food, sugar, caffeine, alcohol. Also, anything that gets your mind racing: TV, phone calls, video games, or even a book.

    • says

      Good tips Ris. If some of you feel that you don’t have time for all of these things they really aren’t as hard to do as you think. For example the 15 mins. of fresh air and sun – I hang my clothes on the line which takes about 10 mins. I then pull a couple of weeds, grab the broom and sweep the sidewalk or this time of year I pick apples off of the ground from my apple tree. Before I know it my 15 mins. is up and I have gotten a little work done too. You could even do things like park 15 mins. away from where you work so you have to walk to your car. It really is easy to do.

      I agree with the not talking phone calls before bed. Even pleasant conversation my phone can get me wound up and thinking again. This includes texting.

      • Ris says

        Me too, Jill! And it took a while to realize that even a fun chat about crafts or something was not helpful for my wind-down-for-sleep routine.

        I have to say you make an excellent point about a collection of small choices having a really good benefit. Your line drying saves money on the dryer cost and wear on fabric. The apples are nutritious and save money on the grocery bill. The few minutes of sweeping and weeding prevent being bummed out about how the yard looks. And you got some exercise to boot!

        It’s small, thoughtful choices like these that we all need to be making!

  73. says

    Excellently written — compassionate and helpful.

    For me, I would add, I try to do something helpful for someone else. Even if it’s just a small thing, like phoning someone who’s just needed a friend a bit more, or sending a card, or maybe a bigger thing, like helping out at the Salvation Army’s dinner for the homeless. Doing something for someone else helps me to get outside of myself for a bit. Sometimes I realize that my problems are not so terrible after all. Other times, I just get a vacation from my troubles. Either way, I feel better for the moment.

  74. granny mae says

    I love all the comments and suggestions and God has it all in control when we let him! I think the one thing to remember is, the depression is felt by all, male and female. Men struggle during the tuff times too. The struggle as I see it comes when we blame ourselves for what has happened ! Been there, done that ! When that happens we punish ourselves for what we think we have done and then we can’t seem to move on to a positive place to get old of our situation and start changing things. No-body can punish you like you can and the problem come when we don’t stop punishing ourselves. We don’t set a limit to our own punishment because we think it is all our fault. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t butat that point who cares? It is time to put that aside and figure out what we are going to do to get out of this situation, whatever it is ! Lay it all on the Lod God and he will get rid of it for you and then you start puting one foot in front of the other in a forward direction. It will work out, it always does. I too have many health problems, too many to go into but I can either sit in this chair (mobility chair) and cry or I can do what ever I can. That is a lot more than I thought I could when this all came to pass, infact it is more than most people think I should do ! They are always trying to do things for me and although I appreciate their thoughts and concerns I must do things by myself so I can keep doing things by myself. I have no time for depression anymore, God has given me things to do and I must be about my fathers business ! You have punished yourself long enough now is the time to put it aside and get about your fathers business too ! God Bless

  75. K. Jones says

    One thing that has always helped me when I’m feeling depressed or discouraged is to find opportunities to help others, whether it be volunteering at a homeless shelter, visiting a nursing home or just writing a card to someone who lives alone or hasn’t been to church in a while. The smallest thing can make a huge difference in someone’s life and it reminds us that others are struggling also.

  76. says

    I went thro severe postpartum depression when I didn’t even know what it was. I was within hours of taking my own life; and God intervened via an Archie Bunker show; I cried and cried and cried and cried. Eventually things got somewhat better; I ended up going to a wonderful counsellor (you might have to try more than one). A tv evamgelist said “Whatever is happening in your life, remember—God is Working” That has helped me some as well. Even 35 (yikes) years later, I occasionally suffer some from depression, esp if I am tired. So, first of all, ask God to reveal His love to you; forgive yourself, even though it is difficult to do. Those babies of yours need you desperately; I just realized that I never have even told my oldest about the disaster I almost made. It really will get better, I promise you. As hard as it sounds; fall into the arms of our God who loves and adores you. He only loves you and certainly wants to love you and to make it ok for you

    • says

      You are so right about trying different counselors. I say you sometimes have to try up to 5 to find the right fit. If you don’t come away feeling ever so slightly better (no cured but better), if you feel they aren’t understanding what you are saying at all or if they keep you coming back for months and months (except of course in unusual and extreme cases) there is something wrong because they should eventually start weening you from them- then you need to try someone else.

  77. MARY P says

    Funny how this popped up in my inbox the morning after I layed on the couch wallowing in pity and worry the night before. Charise asks a good question because we all fall victim to those paralizing thoughts of dread and self-loathing. I havent been following your blog long but have recently put our family on a strict budget and was looking for inspiration and found ya’ll! We found out last night that our oldest childs hearing aids needed to be replaced. We knew this was coming and even argued over the summer about the financing of a new riding mower or hearing aids…we rolled the dice and bought the mower with a heafty price tag. We are now strapped, hence the budget. And the hearing aids need replacing=hefty price tag. Her mother had some saved and God knew what was coming because just in the short time we have been on the tight purse strings we have almost enough to by the hearing aids that will help her best. And by happenstance, my husbands cousin left this world for Glory, and at the wake last night a cousin was asking about the hearing aids she used. So the hubs was explaining our situation and she volunteered the money so that they can be ordered! YAY! And of course, we will be paying her back. Now, all that said, if I hadn’t allowed our finances to spin so wildly out of control and dig ourselves into bad credit, this would have been nothing. But just look at all the people He can hand out blessings to in this! And what was I worrying for?? When He already had it handled. I’m kinda a realist…so my advice is to pull up your big girl panties and GIVE IT TO GOD! All will work out…and probably NOT how you planned it to. Thanks for the BLOG! MP

  78. Liz says

    I enjoyed the article. It’s easy sometimes to forget that God will really help us, if we only ask. It may not be the answer we want, but He will answer. I’ve been in despair many times in the past couple of years due to lack of income. First, my husband was laid off. Then, two days later we found out that his employer had been embezzling our health insurance money that she was taking out of his check each week ($200), which left us with no health insurance the previous few month prior to the lay off, and we had lost eligibility status to get onto a COBRA-type plan. After almost a year, he finally found a job. I am a home day care provider and also lost several kids due to parents being laid off. We have prayed an awful lot these past 2 1/2 years, and God has been there for us every step of the way. One month last year, we had about $5 for the week and I had to pay a $67 bill, or we would have had our gas shut off. I didn’t want to ask for help from my parents, yet again, as I knew they were strapped. I didn’t know where we would get the money. Once again, I just prayed to God for help and knew somehow He would help us through, but still being worried. The bill was due on a Tuesday. The Tuesday came around and still no way to get the money. We received our mail in the afternoons, and in the mail that Tuesday was $70 in cash from someone from our church. We had told NO ONE that we needed money or how much we desparately needed. Talk about Divine providence! Only God knew we needed $67, and He sent $70, just enough for what we needed! I still get chills remembering that day. We were able to pay the bill before being cut off, and still had $3 left over! Now, he has a job, although not an ideal one, and my childcare has just increased (doubled!) this week. God takes care of us when we ask.

  79. Mary says

    When my kids were young, we would get movies from the library and pop some popcorn for special “movie nights”. They still remember those. What is important to your children is feeling loved and included, no matter what you do.

  80. Michele Dingemans says

    Read the Bible, especially passages that seem encouraging about how much He loves us,how much he’s done for us and any that look like they would feed your inner man and boost your outlook. Be thankful to him for every good thing you can think of that’s in your life and perhaps put on some good praise music and sing along. I got into despair years back after several years of nonstop poverty and two young kids to feed and hopelessness began to take over, but as I read the Bible daily and kept on, hope came back into my heart. I also saw God come through with signs of his goodness, like us being given two huge leaf lawn sized bags of really nice hand me downs that took care of our boys’ clothes and shoes needs for 1.5 years!

  81. Cindy, in NC says

    I, like so many of you, can relate to these “dark” times in our lives. If I may say this, this lady is 25. When my husband and I were in our 40′s, a time when most people are starting to be more financially sound,we became so burdened with debt that it seemed impossible to ever be free. It took 6 years of struggle to climb out of the mess WE got ourselves into. But guess what! We made it and are now in our 50′s and enjoying a much better life. Are we rich? Yes and no. No, we don’t have millions in the bank, but we have a home, a family that is healthy, food to eat and clothes to wear. Most of all, we have the joy of knowing our personal friend, Jesus Christ. During those dark days, we came to realize that real joy comes from not having things, but having a close walk with our Savior and enjoying the things in life that really matter. We also came out of this experience better people, better Christians and much wiser. We are so often so much harder on ourselves and on others than our dear Lord ever is on us. Blaming anyone including ourselves never helps any situation. Blame and holding ourselves or someone else accountable for something are two separate things. You are only 25 years old, I am over twice as old as you. Life is a learning experience on this earth; its the way God set it up and its like this for a very good reason, we Learn through our mistakes and if we are wise use these times to make ourselves better servants to Him. Live in today; tomorrow is not here and yesterday is over and cannot be repeated. We are all much better off by living one day at a time and PRAY,talk to God. The Bible says to “pray without ceasing. It works, believe me. He will always hear you. We sought out debt management experts who helped us and we learned to save money and live a more simple and I must say better life. I lost my job during this rough time and despair didn’t cover what I felt, but then I found my way into owning my own small business; one of the best things that ever happened to me. I formed a group at church made up of women who craft, fellowship and talk about our problems and pray together. The devil uses this secret “shame” we carry around about our mistakes or anything else. If you open up to a trusted friend or group of friends, you will be amazed at the fact you are not the only one who has made mistakes. I know it can be embarrassing to admit financial problems; talk in confidence to a pastor if you cannot bring yourself to share your burdens to friends. The biggest thing I notice in reading these comments is that we all thought we were the only one; felt alone and isolated. That’s the devil in his best form. He seeks to isolate us and thereby separate us from others and ultimately from God. Don’t fall for it. There is much good advice in these e-mails. Tawra and Jill are REAL people who are honest and caring. They are serving our Lord by helping others through this websites. They get it; they understand why we are all here. God put the situations in their lives He did to bring them here to this website help others and let them know the Good News, He is here and loves us! Rock on, Girls.

  82. harriet says

    Dear Tawra and Jill, once again, I wanted to thank you for the years you have helped me. I used to be so afraid–but I don’t think I knew really what fear was until my beloved husband left me three months ago. I have been in the depths of despair, trying to hold everything together for the sake of my two teenagers, ever since. I miss my husband so much. And I have CFS and find it so hard to work. You don’t know how much your words have helped me over the years. Thanks.

    • says

      Oh Harriet I know you have been with us for a long time and it breaks my heart to know you are having to go through all of this. It is so hard. I understand the despair too. There were times when I just didn’t think I could make myself make it through another day but it seems like God was not going to let go of me and would provide something always to pull me up and help me keep going. I remember one time so well. I thought this is it. I wasn’t going to do anything drastic but I just couldn’t go on any more. I had gotten a letter that day that I hadn’t even bothered to read. It was from a family member that hadn’t been too supportive in the past and I thought I can’t deal them today.

      To make a long story short I finally gave in to the little voice telling to read that silly letter. It didn’t say much but at the end they had put the verse in I Cor. 10:13. It is the one that says God will not tempt you more then you are able but give you a means of escape. At first I thought what an odd verse for my situation. I wasn’t being tempted to do any great sin that I felt I needed to escape from. Then it slowly dawned on me the verse was perfect. I was on the verge of sinning with my despair, discouragement and fear. I had not one foot in the door but both feet ready to jump in.

      I started telling God I was going to claim and hold on to His promise that He would give me a means of escape. I needed His help bad. I left it at that and got up. Would you believe one thing after another started helping me out. No my husband didn’t come back and I didn’t get healed but things changed and got better. I still cling to that verse to this day. When I feel I am backed up against a wall because of no fault of my own but just things happening in my life I will stop and say that verse and never fail it has helped pull me out.

      Many years later that is now a popular verse and I have studied it a lot. I found out that tempted sometimes means tested and now I understand even more why that verse was so good for me. I was to the point of being tested that I knew I couldn’t hold on any longer but true to His promise God provided and escape. The interesting thing is when the escape comes it will be a delight because it will be very obvious it is from God. You know we are thinking of you. If you ever need to holler just pop in and we will listen.

      • harriet says

        Back again. I still miss my husband, but he’s not coming back, so we’re in the middle of a divorce. My son was arrested for DUI in January, and my husband’s family turned his back on him, so it was all on me. My husband lost his job, so money has been unbelievably tight as we’re trying to sell the only home my kids have known to downsize. I had to put my dog to sleep last month. Two days ago, my mother had a stroke, and today I don’t have money to put enough gas in the car to go see her in the hospital, so I had to humiliate myself by asking a friend for a loan. I was crying and in despair again today so I turned to this post once again. Thank you.

        • says

          Glad to have you back Harriet. Sounds like you really have your hands full right now. Take a deep breath. There is one thing I finally learned and that was everything was not my responsibility to take care of. I loved my family so much that I was killing myself trying to take care of things and make things easier for them. I still will be there for them in a heart beat but I did finally learn that sometimes I can’t be there for them or fix it for them all the time. Sometimes I had to leave it in their hands and God’s. I don’t know your circumstances really but if your son is old enough to get a DUI you need to let him take care of it as hard as that may sound. I know it may seem hard to sell the only home the kids have known but you know I had to do that and it didn’t bother my kids that much. I found that if I had the right attitude the kids didn’t think anything about it. If I worried that they were going to be upset because we had to do something like that then they worried about it too. Our kids usually react to things the way we do. If we stay calm and say this awful thing has happened but we will get through it just fine, the kids will respond much better because it makes them feel secure and that is what they need is security and love. The hardest part for me was being brave for my kids when my world was caving in. In the long run that was what was best for me too because it forced me to keep going and to figure out a solution. Hang in there and it is perfectly fine to have a good cry once in awhile.

  83. grizzly bear mom says

    First of all I am sorry that you are going through this. I got divorced, lost my job at the same time, and asked for help form my church. Instead I received a sexual advance, and was shamed and discriminated against by my church. Believe me, I can identify. The below worked for me:
    1. Exercise outside so that the sunlight penetrates your cornea to stimulate you to be awake during the day so you sleep at night. This fights depression and relases your bodies endorphins or feel good chemicals.
    2. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugars, even the fake ones. Try to eat healthily.
    3. Sing. I sang praise songs while walking my dog.
    4. Do the next thing. Sometimes your biggest accomplishment is putting the laundry away.
    5. Journal your feelings. Writing your thoughts down helps release them form your heart.
    6. Find a counselor. It could be a wise woman friend.
    7. Join a church or other small group for support.
    Blessings!

  84. Mary Jane says

    Depression has been my old companion , on and off for many years. A couple of things that have helped me, aside from Jill’s excellent advice, was to find at least one thing a day to be truly thankful for, no matter how silly or “insignificant” my thankful item was.(For weeks, I thanked God that I had a washing machine, and running water in my rural home, as that meant that I didn’t have to haul laundry and my small children to town to use the Laundromat; a task that would have been overwhelming to me in my state of mind.) The more you can be verbally thankful for, the better. Make a list on a daily basis if necessary. The second thing that helped, was to do at least one thoughtful, giving thing for someone else at least once a week. This doesn’t have to cost money. A letter, a phone call, taking up a chore for your husband, any kind of random act of kindness. This helps take your mind of off yourself. As you feel better, do more for others, more often. Know that all of this, too, will pass. God sees you, your heart, your struggles and fears. He cares, and is waiting to hear from you, even if you can only say ‘help”.

  85. Chase Downham says

    I so much appreciate your ideas. I have been raising my 4 beautiful children on my own since my boys were born 13yrs ago. They are now all in there teens and the new stresses of imminent adulthood are way tougher than my 1st 13yrs.
    I’m not so hot on your tidy/organisation ideas but I love the way you pick something that is so relevent, makes me smile and I know once I’ve read it, I can get through again.
    Thank you, thank you both so very much for all your support. It helps make me feel not so alone.
    You are wonderful. Tawra be thankful to a wonderful mum, it’s something I truely miss. But I have borrowed your mum also.
    Thank you for all your efforts doing the website and your newsletters it is very appreciated.

  86. Pamela says

    I enjoy getting your newsletters via email. Thank you for sending it to me. I thought this latest article/post was great! (All of the others are too.) I will keep these encouraging words in my journal so that if I find myself down and out, I will be able to refer back to them. Who knows, I might can make something to put on my refrigerator for the whole family to view. I do find that my friends love to see what I stick on there too. You never know when it might help someone else.

  87. Michele Dingemans says

    when raising our 2 boys, my husband trying to run a business which was only busy half a year each year and being myself quite unwell, I got very down, but…I kept reading my Bible and tried to find passages that were full of encouragement, and found hope coming back into my outlook. I also prayed and kept doing my best to trust God,no matter how dire it looked, how empty our fridge, etc. We’d no funds for shoes and clothes, then a secretary gave us two lawn size bags of designer hand-me downs for our sons, including shoes galore, which kept them clothed for 2 years! One day I joyfully, trusting God, made a loaf of homemade bread on the last of our foodstuffs and we ate that all day. The next day, an unexpected check for $1,000. was in our mailbox! God is faithful and I have seen his care show up as I trusted him, over and over and he is no respecter of persons. If you trust him and commit your cares to him, he will take care of you also. He may even give you some creative ideas to increase your income from home with a hobby. I made decorated cakes for others in my church and they paid me. It always came when I needed the money. I mended or altered clothes for some extra funds here or there and somehow folks found out and sought me out. It always met a need we had too. Ask God to show you a talent you have that you could hire out to do for others for pay. We all have something special that somebody else might need. Hope this helps.

  88. says

    I loved that you said doing something social could be as simple as talking to the store clerk. I agree with that wholeheartedly. Sometimes one of my (grown) children says that I need more friends. I have lots of friends; they just don’t live close enough and I’m busy. But sometimes all I need, besides family, are the simple interactions in the community. Thank you for all the wisdom you share.

  89. Christy says

    Thanks so much for you guys. I needed to hear this today. Life is completely overwhelming sometimes & I know this is just a season to get through. I had a 15 min pity party & a good cry, I feel 100x better. Have a blessed day!

  90. Jane Benjey says

    I’ve found this statement by Dr. Charles Stanley helps me a lot: “Disappointments are inevitable, discouragement is a choice.

  91. Elizabeth says

    Hi,
    I have been VERY discouraged this year, as one thing bad after another keeps happening. I feel the end of the world, as we know it as Armageddon is coming due to the strange happenings of weather, nature, etc… My own problems are minute, but feel for others, too. My Mother passed away in January, then in February, I got the life insurance policy that my Mom had generously left me, though she purposely lied about her age. It cut the $$ by 1/3 less than anticipated. In March, I lost my very good job that I had held for nearly 3 years. I won’t bore everyone with all of the terrible things that have happened since, but due to the stress, I was hospitalized as it took a serious toll on my heart. My heart rate was 30 to 40 beats per minute. So now I also have a HUGE hospital bill on top of everything else. I cry myself to sleep most nights, read my Bible when I cannot sleep, which is OFTEN. But life is more scary now. I will be turning 50 at the end of the month. All of my sisters both younger full siblings, and older half-siblings have also passed on of different ways… I feel I am left here on Earth to try to help others, but lately I cannot even help myself! I live with my dear elderly Amish friend on his farm. We live very frugally with no electric or hot running water in the house. But I say CHIN UP to the young mother and feel BLESSED that you have your wee ones even though it is a struggle. LOVE conquers ALL! I am thankful that this site is here to help with saving $$, as it is getting harder and harder to come by. Set a couple dollars a day aside and forget about it. Just think that could have been a candy bar, a roll of paper towels (I rip them in half to save), or anything else… Just put it in a jar, bowl or something else and forget about it and let it “grow”. You will at least have a small nest egg for a TRUE need… Good LUCK and GOD BLESS!!!

    • says

      I don’t know if this will help you or not Elizabeth (love that name – it was my grandmas and is my granddaughter’s:)) but maybe it will help someone else. Years ago when things were piling up so bad for me God showed me something that has helped me so much for years now and that is every time I get stressed, worried or give into fear Satan has complete control of me at that time. In the same way I would be horrified if I ever gave into the temptation to commit adultery, murder, lie, steal or give into a drug addiction, he has just as much control of my life when I give into stress. I took my stress and turned it into angry at Satan for tempting me. Now when I start to stress or worry over something I literally stop and think “No way are you having control of me.” I start singing a praise song, quoting scripture or just talking to God. I keep it up until the worry or stress is gone. The more I did this the less I was tempted in this area. It doesn’t mean I’m not ever tempted to be afraid or worry but in the same way if I was tempted to steal something I recognize what is going on and choose which direction do I want to go. This may seem like a lot of work but once you start doing it it happens less often.

      • Elizabeth says

        Hi Jill and thank you for your reply. Though was mortified to see my whole name printed! I thought it would be edited at publication for first name only… Oh well, all I wrote is true, and my close friends know the terrible, discouraging year it has been! Not only for myself, but many others. We do need to find solace in the GOOD BOOK! Albeit a favorite verse or song, too…helps! Good friends also help. Don’t be embarrassed to share our troubles, as sometimes it is very eye-opening to find someone has been through a parallel situation. Bless you ladies for a wonderful, helpful site! Warm regards, Elizabeth

        • says

          I am so sorry Elizabeth I don’t blame you one bit for being embarrassed I would have been too. We try to be very careful almost to a fault of our readers privacy but just so you will know and our other readers we can’t control the name that comes up that you put down. Only after the fact like in a case like this I can try to track it down and fix it so for future reference for everyone be sure you use only your first name. Once again I am sorry Elizabeth.

  92. says

    It is strange but the Good Lord was dealing with me on this issue also. My husband has for years lagged about not fixing our house when it needed it and now he is dealing with health issues and the house still needs fixing. I wasn’t raised not to let things go and it really bothers me. I have often been ashamed of him and of the house we live in only because I know it could be a lot different.
    This morning during my prayer time, the Good Lord laid on my heart the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. Suddenly, I looked at everything differently. I was looking at the house like the disciples were the 5,000 instead of looking at the house as the few loaves of bread and a few fish. I can make it the best I can with my talents no matter what my husband does and it just might make a world of difference. So, I am going to paint, rearrange, and do the things I can so it will make me feel better about myself. In other words, I am going to be content with what I have. It really makes me feel a lot better.

    • says

      I know exactly what you are talking about Patricia. I had that same battle to deal with for years. Now I am by myself in a house I have never been able to”become one with” and it has been driving me crazy but last week when I saw how all those Christians who had to leave their homes and everything once more God helped (boy it hurts sometimes when He does that but I know I need it :) me put things into perspective real fast. I am so grateful for even this old house of mine.

  93. Teresa says

    I thank God for having access to such a wonderful resource! Thank you Jill and Tawra for your dedication in bringing this to us. Your down to earth approach and Christ-like caring attitude shines through in everything you say and do!Also feeling blessed to have such a caring community that is willing to share. Time well worth spent. God bless you all and may He guide us through all of our concerns and let us remember Romans 8:28.

    • says

      Thank you so much Teresa. Again our job is made so much easier because we have such really sweet readers who encourage us all the time.

  94. says

    Great Suggestions! I found and used app for awhile that acted as a worry book — called the Worry Box. You write in your worry and it walked you through coping statements and then you could check back at a later date to see how you had gotten past the problem.

    I have also been trying the “What’s the worst that could happen?” idea to show myself that things aren’t as overwhelming as they at first appear. It is amazing, too, how when these “worst that could happen” things do happen, we can learn and grow so much from the experience. I have a chronic, incurable illness, a special needs child, have been divorced, have had to climb out of debt several times … and yet my life is so rich and happy today! What you said about thinking differently in the situation is exactly right. No, I wouldn’t want these things to have happened, but by accepting that they have and thinking about other ways to view our situation, we can be creative and resourceful in finding new solutions.

    • says

      So true Rebecca. I have said time and time again to me true success is not having a lot of money, great job, perfect home or a super education (although none of those things are bad) but a truly successful person is someone who has had none of these but has the right attitude.

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