In case you’ve never seen this video, here’s a smile for you:
“Tears of joy are like the summer rain drops pierced by sunbeams.”
~ Hosea Ballou
I hope you’re enjoying these summer months. I love the warm times of the year, so it’s flying by far too quickly for me.
I hope you find sunbeams of hope and healing in this month’s new links. May tears of sadness turn to tears of joy!
I just finished this book. Sheila experienced many storms herself, so she shows genuine empathy and shares what she has learned to help us rise above the storms of life.
“There are lots of storm pressures that brew around and within us each day. Many days can feel so out of control. Our sometimes overactive lives & responsibilities cause our minds to play havoc with our emotions and bring us crashing down. We fret, we worry, we play the blame game, we sometimes live in the past. But when the storms come we do not have to be afraid and depressed. We can rise above the storm and overcome the chaos. Sheila’s book offers examples of how to get through one’s storms and come out stronger on the other side. The 10 chapters within give examples of how failures, struggles & fears can strengthen us. How we can overcome these by redefining ourselves, by using ‘HOPE & positive words”‘ to replace negative thinking and how to help each other through life’s difficulties. This book also offers an end section of helpful tools to overcome the storms, like Bible verses, journaling and prayers. We can fight the chaos by standing on God’s word and promises. Sheila’s quote, ‘Fair doesn’t live here anymore but Jesus does,’ is life affirming that through our ups & downs, Jesus is still walking on storm waters with us!!” (Amazon Review)
✎ Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes by Jennifer Dukes Lee
I just started reading this book, and I’m already hooked:
“We all want to be valued, to be respected. To be loved. Yet this yearning too often turns into an idol of one of God’s most precious gifts: love itself. If you, like so many of us, spend your time and energy trying to earn someone’s approval—at work, home, and church—all the while fearing that, at any moment, the facade will drop and everyone will see your hidden mess . . . then love may have become an idol in your life.
Love Idol will help you dismantle what’s separating you from true connection with God and rediscover the astonishing freedom of a life lived in authentic love.” (Jennifer Dukes Lee)
I was deeply moved by reading this book. Though this is historical fiction, it is based on what Christian martyrs experienced in A.D. 258 under Roman rule. It really causes me to reflect: What would I do under persecution? Would I still hang onto hope and cling to faith in Jesus even when lions’ teeth are tearing my flesh and cracking my bones or hot flames are burning me up? God, please help us to be faithful no matter what! Please hold up all persecuted Christians throughout this world!
“As a young woman growing up in the third century, Rachel Gallus has access to all the attractions and excess Rome has to offer: the games at the Coliseum, vivacious friends, and slaves to attend to her every whim. Yet questions haunt her thoughts—questions of human justice, of purpose in life, and of her own identity. After viewing a particularly striking martyrdom in the Coliseum, Rachel finds herself in a surprising set of circumstances, bringing her face to face with her own gripping desires and deepest sorrows. As she learns about the faith of the Christians, she is astonished at the price they pay for their beliefs. But she cannot forget what she has seen and heard. Join Rachel as she battles tenaciously through her anger, questions, and fears until she can accept pardon’s price.” (Amazon Review)
❀ 7 Steps to Self-Love: Self Compassion – “Many people ask me, ‘How do I become my own best friend and stop the negative self-talk in my head that just beats me down and makes me feel not good enough?’; well, today’s video is your answer!”
Chronic illness can be difficult to live with, and it’s important to know the words that hurt and that help:
❀ 15 Things Not to Say to Someone with a Chronic or Invisible Illness – Some things you say to someone with a chronic illness may hurt their feelings, even though you may not mean to. A lot of the time you are just trying to understand or sympathize. Well, from the perspective of someone who lives with a chronic illness, here are 15 things you should never say to someone with a chronic illness.
❀ What Those With Chronic Pain or Illness DO Want to Hear – An article at Psychology Today written by Toni Bernhard, J.D. who knows what it’s like and had to retire early due to chronic illness.
The Common Potoo
One of Nature’s Best-Camouflaged Birds
➺ All About Birds – “The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Our hallmarks are scientific excellence and technological innovation to advance the understanding of nature and to engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet.”
➺ Audubon – Pursues the mission “to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.”
➺ BirdNote: Stories about Birds, the Environment, and More – Believing that birds connect us to the joy and wonder of nature, BirdNote strives to transport listeners out of the daily ground into the natural world with outstanding audio programming and vivid stories about birds and the challenges they face.
❤︎ “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
❤︎ “The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone can criticize. It takes a true believer to be compassionate. No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know no one cares or understands.” ~ Arthur H. Stainback
❤︎ “With compassion, we see benevolently our own human condition and the condition of our fellow beings. We drop prejudice. We withhold judgment.” ~ Christina Baldwin