Consolation for the Downtrodden Heart

Dear lovely readers,

I’ve come across some verses in the book of Psalm that I want to share with you. I have long struggled with anxiety, fear, and feeling utterly alone. These are some of the verses that speak truth to me in my situation – and lift up my soul.

(Click on the chapter numbers to read the full chapters.)

Psalm 42:5-6

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:5

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

Psalm 37:7

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Psalm 34:4-5

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 20:1-2

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;

Psalm 16:11

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 5:11-12

11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Psalm 5:1-3

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

Psalm 3:3-4

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

So put your hope in God, my friends. Praise Him. Wait for Him. Declare His words. Rest in Him. Seek Him. Look to Him and be radiant! Do not fear; do not fret. Be strengthened by Him. Rejoice in Him! Pray to Him; look up. He will hear you. He is your shield.

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Say No To Fear

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“There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a Hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it.”

HOPE IN FRONT OF ME by Danny Gokey

Jesus Christ reigns still, my darling readers! He is our hope. And we can be brave like those passionate souls gone before us, in troublesome times. It makes my heart swell with some beautiful, unnamed emotion when I catch a glimpse of the truth – that God’s Hand is holding me, and I can be brave through His strength.

Isaiah 41:10

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Because I know what it’s like to be drowning in fear. I know what it’s like to lie awake at night, deep within anxiety’s clutches. When it feels like your chest is going to split open and your heart fail within you.

Fear is real. Irrational anxiety is real. Sometimes when I was set off by something … news of a shooting, an alarming disease, terrorist attacks, the presidential race … I would go into a daze of sorts, walking around as if I were stuck in a terrifying nightmare.

I would retreat within myself. Not talk. Watch fascinating movie after movie, where ordinary people defeat imaginative monsters, as if that would somehow make everything better when my reality was crumbling around me.

Sometimes I agonized over the thought: What if somebody I love dies? I could imagine the accident. See their face, still in death. Feel the tearing, searing, unbearable emotions of them being gone forever and I didn’t say ‘I love you’ … Tell them everything they meant to me. Hug them one last time.

Flying on airplanes, vacations, being out in a boat, sometimes just getting into the car struck dread in my heart.

Sometimes feelings of fear constricted my soul so that I literally cried out, unable to stop myself.

It’s been a long journey. Years. I went to a single counseling session a few years back. I wrote a novel that somehow pulled out the deepest emotions of my soul. And something opened within me. I started talking, to my mom, my aunt, my friends, about my anxious heart and many fears. I described what I felt, and listened to their experiences. I learned how to pray to God: “Help me, Lord! I’m afraid! But You are here. I know You are here. Help my unbelief.”

See, I felt the need to control everything. I didn’t know if I could really, really trust God. I had to open my heart to Him. To pray again and again: “Help me surrender”. To be honest and real and raw when I cried out to Him.

And that’s shown me something. While my feelings are real, they are not always true. But God is truth. He is. And His ways are higher than mine. When I cling to that, with all that I am, I’m able to see the dawning light. I’m able to see that His hand is holding mine.

Psalm 34:4

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 94:19

19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.

The enemy, Satan, likes us to think we’re alone. He likes us to doubt God, to wonder if we can trust Him. He wants us to be fearful, fretting, listless, and without hope.

It’s time to say, “No.” I happened to come across a clip of Sadie Robertson speaking about anxiety. Seems she’s struggled heavily with fear as well. She said something that struck me: that we defend our fear; we say “It’s okay, I have anxiety.” That’s why I feel this way. That’s why I can’t do this.

But my friends, we don’t have to live like that! We don’t have to cry through anxious nights and struggle through fearful days – that’s not what God wants for us! He wants joy for us. Peace. Hope. Passion. LIFE.

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

We need to fight! It’s not over! Darkness has not claimed the victory. In fact, the victory is ours, through Jesus Christ!

I still struggle with fear and anxiety. It’s an ongoing battle. But I sense myself strengthening, with His strength. When those feelings of dread clutch at me, I cry out to God right away.

Don’t linger in  your feelings of fear. Talk about what you feel with people you trust.

Call out to God. Pray. Talk. Read Psalms aloud. Fight.

King David had fear and anxieties, and because of that, some of the Psalms have been so powerful to me.

We are not alone. And He will never leave us, nor forsake us. No. Matter. What.

“I know who goes before me,
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.”
WHOM SHALL I FEAR by Chris Tomlin

Girly Movie Recommendations

Hello, Lovely Readers!

This Saturday I have some movie recommendations for you. I enjoy watching a good movie, but it’s so hard to find ones that are both clean and brilliant.

Here are a few girly ones that I’ve discovered over the years. Clean. Fun. Captivating.

Good for a girl’s night – to giggle and smile and sigh. 🙂 I watched most of these with sisters or girl friends, and we all enjoyed!

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Princess Cut {2015}

This movie is about a modern-day girl named Grace who longs for a lasting and satisfying romance. Homey and sweet, this movie is both encouraging and fun.

“A lifelong Carolina farm girl, now in her early 20’s, Grace has dreamed all her life of the day when “Mr. Right” slips a Princess Cut diamond on her finger and swears to love her forever. Tonight may be that night as Stewart has something special planned after 15 months together! But when things don’t go as planned, and romance crashes down around her, it launches her on a quest, aided by her father, to understand what it means to truly love another person. Will Grace finally discover love or ruin her chances for happiness forever?” ~ IMDb.com Paul Munger

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Pride and Prejudice {2005}

Another film based on the classic Regency romance by Jane Austen. It follows Elizabeth Bennett and her four sisters as they attend balls, meet dashing gentlemen (whom their mother promptly tries to marry them off to), and generally be average girls. -Only in the Regency era. The imagery this movie is breathtaking. The costumes, beautiful. The acting, superb. The emotion, deep.

“Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?” ~ IMDb.com Rosetherese33 – Rated: PG –

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Sense and Sensibility {1995}

This is probably my second favorite Jane Austen movie. It focuses mostly on sisters Elinor and Marianne, as they are forced from their home (by their brother, who has inherited) along with their mother and younger sister, Margaret. As they face this new chapter of life, both young women experience love and respond to it differently. These movies are just so perfectly girly. And they’re historical, which I adore (especially the Regency era, as a matter of fact). So fun; with bits to ponder as well.

“When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his estate to the son by his first marriage, which leaves his second wife and their three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) in straitened circumstances. They are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy Edward Ferrars, his family disapproves and separates them. And though Mrs. Jennings tries to match the worthy (and rich) Colonel Brandon to her, Marianne finds the dashing and fiery John Willoughby more to her taste. Both relationships are sorely tried.” ~ IMDb.com Kathy Li – Rated: PG –

Note: The 2008 version of Sense and Sensibility is also amazing. However, it does have an inappropriate (and unnecessary) scene at the very beginning. If you’re aware of that, you can easily skip it before everyone settles down for the movie.

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The Sound of Music {1965}

This movie is based on a true story, I believe, about a postulant (in this case, a woman in the process of becoming a nun) in 1930’s Austria. Though, to be honest, I’m not always a fan of musicals, this one swept me off my feet. The history, characters, romance, and action were fantastic!

“In 1930’s Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain’s wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. […] Their personal conflicts soon become overshadowed, however, by world events. Austria is about to come under the control of Germany, and the Captain may soon find himself drafted into the German navy and forced to fight against his own country.” ~ IMDb.com LOTUS73 – Rated: G –

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Love Comes Softly {2003}

Based on the historical book series, Love Comes Softly, by Janette Oke, this movie is about a young widow who lost her husband after traveling west, and how she meets Clark Davis and his daughter, Missie. Truly a heartwarming historical romance movie. I’ve watched it both with girl friends, and my entire family!

“A young woman on her way to a new life in the 1800’s suddenly finds herself a widow. Now she must live with a recently widowed young man and his daughter. Can any of them find love again?” ~ IMDb.com KLange – Rated: PG –

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Love’s Enduring Promise {2004}

Following Clark Davis’s daughter, Missie through life and love, this is probably my favorite movie of the whole series. I adored the sweet romance and beautiful story.

“In this Janette Oke sequel to “Love Comes Softly,” the eldest child in an 1800s frontier family, Missie Davis is a bright and beautiful elementary schoolteacher whose love for the prairie is matched only by her passion for books. When Missie encounters Grant, a handsome New England railroad executive, she feels as though shes met a hero from one of her novels. But their courtship is complicated by the appearance of Nate, a mysterious young man who helps Missie’s family in a time of need. Torn between two worlds, Missie finds herself at a crossroads, forced to choose between the love of two very different men and two very different futures.” ~ IMDb.com – Rated: PG –

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Love’s Long Journey {2005}

This movie is about Willie and Missie as they head west for a new life. There are trials & dangers joys, friendships, and lessons learned along the way. This one has some an action/adventure feel, as well as sweetness.

“Missie’s surprise pregnancy sets her on a new course that is both thrilling and terrifying. After all the planning and dreaming, she and her husband, Willie, have headed west in a covered wagon, leaving behind the prairie home of Missie’s parents. Now, caught between the excitement of the new adventure and the pain of not knowing when she’ll see her family again, Missie copes with the challenges, and cherishes the rewards, of her new homestead.” ~ IMDb.com Anonymous – Rated: PG –

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The Shunning {2011}

Based on bestselling author, Beverly Lewis’s Amish-fiction, it’s a bittersweet and intriguing story, leaving you eagerly awaiting the next film installment.

“Beautiful Katie Lapp has always felt something missing in her simple Amish existence – until a mysterious “Englisher” comes to Lancaster County looking for the baby girl she gave up for adoption 19 years ago.” ~ IMDb.com Anonymous

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The Confession {2013}

The exciting sequel to The Shunning. Deception, romance, and mysteries. It ends with a dreadful cliffhanger, and I am still waiting to watch The Reckoning so I can find out what happens next!

“Based on the novel by New York Times best-selling author Beverly Lewis, “The Confession” is the continuing story of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman who goes on a journey in search of her identity – only to find herself embroiled in a mystery that must be solved before she can be reunited with the “Englisher” mother who gave her up to adoption 20 years earlier.” ~ IMDb.com Brian Bird

Note: They do change actors/actresses a lot in this series, which is quite frustrating. But I still think they’re worth watching!

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Anne of Green Gables {1985}

Based on the lovely books by L.M. Montgomery, and loved by many! Ah, it’s just such a classic. Heart-wrenching, humorous, interesting, and sweet, this movie tells a tale of life, love, and kindred spirits. I have happy memories of watching this with family and friends.

“An orphan girl, sent to an elderly brother and sister by mistake, charms her new home and community with her fiery spirit and imagination.” ~ IMDb.com Kenneth Chrisholm – Rated: G –

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Anne of Avonlea {1987}

The lovely sequel to Anne of Green Gables, in which Anne is grown up and headed off to be a teacher. Amidst trials and misbehaving students, she writes stories and discovers where her heart truly lies. Quite enjoyed this one as well!

“Anne Shirley accepts a teaching position at a girls boarding school in a town dominated by a rich and belligerent family determined to make her life miserable.” IMDb.com Kenneth Chrisholm

Note: I think I remember mild language and a gruesome story being briefly told.

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Belle {2013}

A lovely and passionate tale set during 1700’s England, and inspired by a true story. It was intriguing, heartfelt, and romantic. I watched it along with my aunt and cousin, and simply loved it.

“The mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England.” ~ IMDb.com Fox Searchlight Pictures – Rated: PG –

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Cinderella {2015}

A fairy tale at its finest. Gorgeous and romantic, this film had my heart sighing. It was so beautiful; utterly captivating. The character of Cinderella was especially sweet and gentle. I watched this movie in theaters with three of my younger sisters, and I think it awoke the princess in all of us. I excitedly await more live-action fairy tales from Disney.

“A live-action retelling of the classic fairy tale about a servant stepdaughter who is abused by her jealous stepmother and stepsisters after her father died. Forced to be a servant in her own house, through it all she did not let anything or anyone crush her spirit. Then one day, she meets a dashing stranger in the woods.” ~ IMDb.com gmorato – Rated: PG –

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Wives and Daughters {1999}

This is another Regency drama that simply delights girls like myself and my sisters. Something about the historical setting and the proper romances is fun and satisfying.

“The daughter of a country doctor copes with an unwanted stepmother, an impetuous stepsister, burdensome secrets, the town gossips, and the tug on her own heartstrings for a man who thinks of her only as a friend.” ~ IMDb.com Anonymous – Rated: PG –

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So what do you think? Is it time for girl’s movie night with friends and sisters? I think so!

Have you watched any of these listed above? What are some of your favorite girly movies?

Virginia Dare Dress Co. Spotlight

Hello, my lovely readers! I want to bring to your attention a dress company that is seeking to get into business.

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The Samantha Dress from Virginia Dare Dress Co.

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The Camilla Dress from Virginia Dare Dress Co.

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The Emma Dress from Virginia Dare Dress Co.

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