Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pushing Through Anxiety-Tips to squelch a panic attack


by Terri Webster

I am on the tail end of an anxious week with panic symptoms still lingering.

What am I anxious about? 

I could name a ton of reasons. Not all of them are bad. Most are good, which begin with apprehension or excitement about an upcoming event. 

Mix good and exciting with a few underlying, troubling realities, and I have the perfect recipe for full-blown symptoms that can send me straight to bed.

Do you relate?

I first experienced this intruder two summers ago. The first attack came from out of nowhere. Sudden onset of nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue, shallow breathing and heart palpitations. The more I fought it, the worse I felt. 

My thoughts ran ahead of me and I couldn’t catch up. An overall
feeling of being out of control consumed me.

At first I blamed it on a bug or the flu. I worried that it was my heart. The symptoms would last all day, then go away as quickly as they came.

When it happened a second time several weeks later, and then again and again, each one about a month apart, I went to my doctor. She ruled out heart problems and everything else checked out fine. She asked me if I was under stress.

Who isn’t, right?

A lot was going on during that time, not to mention being in menopause, which could be a major culprit.

I share my story because I am surrounded by women who experience anxiety, panic and depression. It interferes with our lives, doesn’t it? It’s inconvenient. You’ve probably thought like I have, “I don’t have time for this. I have too much to do.”

Once I realized what was happening, I discovered some ways to squelch these episodes, which I want to share with you. I don’t wait until anxiety strikes, but have incorporated these things on a daily basis.

  • Get still before God. Find a place where you won’t be interrupted. If ten minutes is all you have, that’s ten powerful minutes of “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). God’s word provides endless remedies for our anxious hearts. Here’s just one that sums up my steps to having His promised peace for my heart and mind.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your 
requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends 
all understanding, will guard your hearts and your 
minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
  • See your doctor. Ask to have your hormone levels tested. This was a big deal for me. Once I gained understanding of what was going on chemically, I could make decisions on what to do about it. For me, it’s a natural form of hormone replacement recommended by a holistic doctor. And, of course, depending on your personal situation, your doctor can determine if other medicines are needed. 
  • Food and drink. Please don’t take away my morning coffee! I
    fill a big mug, PLUS a small thermos and take it to my quiet place with God every morning. I’ve cut back though. I have discovered some low-acidic, organic versions at Walmart. They’re not expensive and aren’t chemically decaffeinated. Even though it’s caffeinated, I don’t experience the jitters.
  • As for food, when we’re stressed, we tend to eat more processed, sugary foods. I’ve found a lot of relief by avoiding all junky-types of foods and drinks. This includes NO artificial sweeteners. Trust me when I say, I’m not deprived. There are gobs of whole food options, as well as convenience foods that aren’t chock full of ingredients that were never intended for humans. You’re worth taking the time to read ALL labels!
  • Essential oils are a major armor against various health issues including anxiety and emotional woes. I’ve used them for six years and thank God every day for creating the resources, and giving men the wisdom and knowledge on how to source these oils from plants and trees that have undeniable power. Again, read the labels. If you have further questions about essential oils, feel free to send me a private email.
  • The world says we’re invincible! You can do it all, have it all. I’m not sure what “it all” is, but saying yes to things God doesn’t intend you to say yes to, even if it’s a great thing, does not mean it’s great for you. God’s word tells us that the greatest thing that surpasses all others, is wisdom. With godly wisdom comes enjoyment of fruits far better than fine gold and choice
    silver. Wisdom grows throughout the years, but materialistic gain rots, decays and only satisfies for a short time. Wisdom lasts a lifetime and beyond. Proverbs 8 is full of the rich promises of pursuing wisdom and knowledge from Him. I’ve said no to a lot the past few years, including over-volunteering, which has provided much-needed margin for me to heal and learn how to manage stress and anxiety when it rears its ugly head.
  • Accept and let go of what you have no control over. Those things are God’s specialty and better left to Him.
  • Lastly, exercise. Breathe deeply. Stretch. Get outside. Walk. Ride a bike.

What are some other ways you’ve found to combat anxiety and panic attacks? Feel free to share below in the comments area below. 

Staying the course, 
Terri

photo courtesy of www.pixabay.com



Friday, July 26, 2019

Winds of Change

by Terri Webster


Most of the time I welcome change with open arms. I’ve become
fairly adaptable and have taken a few risks throughout my life.

But that wasn’t always the case. The changes I went through while growing up were painful. I moved a lot with my family and lived in five different states by the time I reached high school. My dad worked for the US Forestry Service, so we were transferred about every four years. 

By the time I felt secure in my surroundings and had strong friendships, we were packing again and saying goodbye.

I grew up feeling insecure and painfully shy. I never felt I fit in anywhere.

When I started high school, I was the new girl again. I hated that label. I was pushed to the limit trying to make new friends and fit in.

I remember one day realizing how foreign it was to me that one of my new friends was born and raised in the same house, never seeing new towns, experiencing new things. While I envied her stable life, I realized I was appreciative of all the changes I’d experienced, all the people I met along the way and places I was fortunate to live in.

After I married my Army husband at age 19, we moved to another country. When he got out of the Army, we returned to the states and became Christians shortly afterward and began setting roots in Jesus and His unchanging word.

We bought our first house where I thought I could set down stakes and settle for at least the next 20 years. Four years later I was caught up by the winds of change again when my husband left and I became a single mom. 

The years that followed were the hardest I’ve ever endured. But I learned that true stability and security lies in God’s unchanging love, His Word and character. I learned that setting roots and settling in to live with Him is the only secure and stable place to be.

I remarried in 2007, and have lived in the same house for 12 years. That’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere and I’m almost 60!

We’re about to pull up stakes and sell our house to move two hours from where we live now. It means leaving our beloved friends and everything that’s familiar.

My daughter and her family recently relocated six hours south of me. That means road trips back and forth, especially to see those precious granddaughters.

Another big change is I’m leaving my job, where I’ve worked since 1991, with a couple of hiatuses over the years. Turning a milestone age of 60 is sobering, as I’m caught up again in the winds of change.

I want to glide gracefully through these winds of change, staying anchored and secure in the God I’ve come to know to be the One and only unchanging constant in my life.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today 
and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Are you facing changes in your own life? Do you feel out of control and unstable as you are blown about through the winds of change?

Whether or not the changes in your life are good or bad, I want you to know that your stability and foundation are sure in Christ. Stay close to Him by spending time alone in His word and telling Him your fears and concerns.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because 
He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

I want you to know Jesus can be fully trusted and wholly leaned upon as you anchor yourself in Him. As you do, you will not be blown off course through unexpected changes. 

Psalm 94:22 But the Lord has become my fortress, 
and my God, the Rock in whom I take refuge.

I invite you to share below in the comments about how you have stayed the course through life’s winds of change.  

Staying the course,
Terri

Photos courtesy of www.pixabay.com


Friday, May 24, 2019

Who Touched My Clothes? Part 2


by Terri Webster

Last week I wrote about a woman who suffered a chronic illness, until she touched Jesus’ clothes while in a mob of people on a dusty road. She was instantly healed.

Her illness had controlled her life for 12 years. She used up all her resources trying to find healing, only to get worse.

If you missed last week’s post, you can read it Here, before continuing.

Do you suffer with a chronic condition?

I do.

A chronic condition is something that persists, is long-lasting.

My personal search for answers to chronic pain has led me right here, where I am today,  struggling to put words to it. I don’t want to say anything cliché or give some lighthearted answer with a Bible verse to back up my answer.

If you struggle with a chronic disease, pain, depression, etc., the last thing you want to read is do this, do that, eat this, don’t eat that or be cured by doing this. The Internet is full with blogs and articles with promises of healing.

Now, I do avoid certain foods, and use more natural forms of managing my chronic conditions, but I want to go below the surface of skin, veins, tendons, joints, bones, blood and cartilage today and look at what Jesus also meant when He said to the sick woman, Daughter, your faith has healed you. Mark 5:34

The day she reached out and touched His clothes, was the beginning of a new life for her. She no longer suffered with a bleeding condition. But a deeper, more personal healing was done because she believed Jesus was the promised Savior.

He called her daughter. Because she believed Jesus was the promised Savior, she now could enjoy His peace and walk in freedom from suffering that went beyond her physical pain to the core of her soul and spirit.

After that life-changing day, we don’t know if she simply went home or followed Him to His torturous death. I can only speculate, but if I had been that woman, I would have wanted to follow my Healer, the One who called me daughter, for the rest of my days on earth.

Many spiritual leaders have told us that we either don’t have enough faith, or there must be sin and unforgiveness in our lives as to why we may not experience God’s supernatural healing. 

If you’re a Believer in Christ, having received His provision for eternal life, He’s already done a supernatural work in you.

While I’ve been asking Jesus how I can touch His clothes today, He’s graciously reminded me of the following that I would like to share:

  • He created us specifically and intimately for His purposes. Psalm 139:13-16

For You created my inmost being; 
You knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
Your works are wonderful. I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from You 
when I was made in the secret place, 
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
all the days ordained for me were written in 
Your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

  • Our body doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to Him. The woman who touched His clothes didn’t have the Holy Spirit living inside of her like we do. It wasn’t until after Jesus ascended into Heaven following His resurrection, that He sent His Holy Spirit. As a Believer, you and I have the Holy Spirit living within us.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple 
of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have 
from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

I have good and bad days physically. I’m learning that on my worse days to thank Him for His strength and power that’s inside of me. 

When I simply praise Him for being my strength, something supernatural takes place.

He wows me every time as I experience His strength and vitality that I know doesn’t come from my own abilities.

Like Paul, I believe with all my heart that God can instantly heal me or someone I’m praying for. At times, He has, but never in the same way or in the way I expected Him to.

  • That the Apostle Paul had his own personal struggle.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 
But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my Power is made perfect in weakness. 
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly 
about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, 
in insults, in hardships in persecutions, in difficulties. 
For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

If God doesn’t heal me like He did the woman who touched His clothes, it’s not because He can’t or won’t. He has a greater purpose. While I’d be overjoyed to experience complete physical healing, there’s a greater joy in knowing Him and living in His constant fellowship and presence in my life, which surpasses all other things. 

So, in truth, I’ve already reached out and touched Him, and received something far greater than physical healing.

Have you?

Like Paul, I want to forget what is behind me as I strain and press onward toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Don’t you?

I don’t want to get snagged or become stagnant because of my physical limitations, but rather, experience His joy, peace and rest because of them.

I'm a work in progress. 

Will you join me in following Paul’s example to stay the course no matter what?

I invite you to share below in the comments area your thoughts. 

What are your struggles and victories in the area of healing?

Staying the course,
Terri
Photos courtesy of Pixabay @ www.pixabay.com

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Who Touched My Clothes?


by Terri Webster

I’ve been thinking a lot about the woman who was “subject to bleeding” (Mark 5:25) for 12 long years. She suffered so much that she spent all she had on many doctors, with no improvement. As a matter of fact, she became worse.


Her story hits home with me, to my very core. Especially the way the Gospel of Mark tells it. 

We don’t know her name or anything else about her aside from her physical suffering. We’re not really sure what the issue of bleeding was. I assume it had something to do with her female reproductive system. 

Without going into any details, I can imagine what she had endured. Perhaps it caused her to be barren, unable to have children.

Chronic physical suffering impacts mental, emotional and spiritual health. She was desperate.

Is this you? It’s me.

It seems that the majority of women I know suffer from some type of chronic illness. There are too many to name them all, but they have a common base name: AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE. This encompasses everything from every form of painful arthritis, depression and fibromyalgia to Lupus, Sjogren’s Disease, thyroid and many more.

Is this you? It’s me.

Our unnamed friend we meet in Mark 5:25-34, suffered too, with a chronic illness. She was desperate enough to spend all her money on doctors, only to become sicker.

Is that you? It’s me.

News about Jesus had spread and she knew He was passing through her town. She believed all she’d heard about Him. While a large crowd surrounded Jesus, she put feet to her faith and became part of the large crowd following Him through the town...

...while thinking to herself, If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. She must have been stretching her arms out, reaching and groping while being pushed and shoved in the crowd. 

Then, finally, she made contact with His clothes. One hand, both hands, it didn’t matter. She touched his clothes.

Immediately her bleeding stopped 
and she felt in her body that she was freed 
from her suffering. Mark 5:29

Jesus felt it too. He stopped walking. Turned around and asked, Who touched my clothes? Mark 5:30

I imagine her eyes became big as saucers or as we say in the south, “like a deer caught in headlights”. What she thought would go unnoticed in a large, noisy crowd, caught Jesus’ attention.

His disciples even said to Jesus, You see the people crowding against you and yet you ask,‘Who touched me?' Mark 5:31

She stood silently, while Jesus kept looking around, insisting someone had touched Him because He felt the power leave His body.

Finally, our fellow sufferer came forward. Falling at His feet in fear, she admitted it was her, explaining the whole truth.

His response?

Daughter, 
your faith has healed you. 
Go in peace 
and be freed from your suffering. Mark 5:34

Healed. Peace. Free from suffering.

Is this what you want? Need?

I do.

I’ve spent a lot of money on different doctors. Educated myself. Tried everything. I’ve found some relief. But managing chronic pain, while pushing through it every single day is exhausting. It affects my mental, emotional and spiritual health.

You too?

What else is there left to do? How can we “touch His clothes” today?

I believe in His unhindered, healing power. I know Him and His matchless, saving love. He bore all my sin, suffering and pain hanging there on the cross. He was buried, perhaps in the same clothes, our friend touched the day her suffering ended.

Those clothes were divided among His killers.

I can’t stop thinking about this woman and her faith. She was able to physically touch Him. Their eyes met as He spoke directly to her.

Today, we have His very spirit and life living inside us as Believers.

The same power she experienced that day by touching His clothes, lives inside us!

So, how can we touch His clothes today?

It’s a lot to wrap our minds around. I’m not going to suggest a "pat" answer, but stop here. I'll continue next week, while I am still reaching out to Him, putting my feet to my faith.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share in the comments area below or email me directly by filing out the form on the right.

Staying the course,
Terri

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

We All Need Help


We all need help in many ways, shapes and forms.


Maybe you need help emotionally.

Perhaps you need financial help.

It could be serious or not so serious.

Marital help.

Mental help.

Help with anger or addiction.

We could all use a little help with simple things, like doing the dishes or more serious like digging out of a deep, dark hole of depression.

Help comes in various forms and from sources we never would expect.

I need help every day, yet I lean toward thinking I can handle stuff on my own.

But the greatest freedom always comes when I say, “Lord, I need help.”

What about you?

Do you need help?

I encourage you to look up. Tell Him. Tell Jesus, you need help today. I know He longs to send His help.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, 
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

He might send help through a friend, supernaturally through His Holy Spirit, or from a source you could never devise. 

Feel free to share how you've looked up to God to send help when you needed it most. 

As always, if you need prayer or just want to contact me privately, you can do so by filling out the contact form on the right side of the page.

Let's stay the course together by asking for help. 
Terri




Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hope While Enduring Sorrow: It's Okay to Laugh Again


by Terri Webster

Sorrow and grief are a relentless pair. When you see one, you’ll see the other tagging along, usually accompanied by pain and loss.

Who hasn’t known sorrow? Who hasn’t known grief? We all have, right? 

When we experience deep loss and sorrow, we may feel our lives are shattered beyond repair. Those events are like seeds that sprout roots, reaching deep into our soul, leaving our lives forever changed.

When I read 2 Corinthians 4:17, For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all, I struggle a little. My “light and momentary troubles,” haven’t always felt light and definitely not momentary.

Or when I read Psalm 30:5, Weeping may stay the night, but joy comes in the morning, I do find comfort in this promise, but, oh, how I wish weeping was only for one night.

Someone you love tragically dies, or your spouse leaves you for another. Maybe you endured childhood abuse, or abuse from someone you trusted. Perhaps a grown child suffers from mental illness or substance abuse, and you wonder if you’ll see them again on this side of Heaven.

Then, one day from out of nowhere, you catch yourself laughing again. ‘Oops!’ You suddenly feel guilty for enjoying a light moment. You feel you’re being disrespectful to the cause of your sorrow and grief.

To consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us, (Romans 8:18), can seem unthinkable. But that’s what we’re encouraged to do.  

And while we’re considering it, let’s also look deep
into Isaiah 53:3-5.
He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, 
acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on 
Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we 
did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; 
it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we 
thought His troubles were a punishment from God, 
a punishment for His own sins! But He was pierced 
for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so 
we could be whole. He was whipped so we 
could be healed. (NLT)
Jesus suffered with great sorrow, as He took on Himself, the very pain and grief we experience. He not only did it for our sin and rebellion, but also for what He knew we’d endure in our life here.

We can have hope for our future and experience His joy in light of eternity. And yes, even laugh at the days to come, just like the woman in Proverbs 31:25, She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Here’s the solid truth: Eighty or 90 years of life here, can’t be compared to eternity with Him. But while we’re here, we can gain healing and strength, following a traumatic life event and enjoy genuine joy. We can and will laugh again.

When sorrow tries to creep back into the places Jesus has already touched, I know my perspective needs adjusting. I need to look heavenward and allow God’s perspective to overshadow my short-sighted, human perspective. 

When I do, then I can say, ‘weeping really does last a night, and joy comes in the morning,’ and be encouraged that what I’ve endured here on earth is accomplishing eternal purposes that outweighs them all. 

What about you? How do you find joy again, when sorrow and grief have changed your life forever? 

I pray that whatever sorrows you've known, you'll discover the hope and comfort only God can give. 

Staying the course,
Terri

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Monday, December 31, 2018

Make Plans Now


by Terri Webster

Happy New Year all! The sun is rising on 2019.

I don’t know about you, but this past year was a whirlwind.

At the end of every year, I read back over my journals. It’s incredible to see God’s hand at work in my life and be reminded of the past year’s events. I remember the big ones, but those little things (not so little) that impacted my life, I have trouble remembering.

In past years, I’ve set goals and made personal resolutions. If you’re anything like I am, you might be feeling a little defeated because you haven’t meet your goals or kept the resolutions you’ve made.

Life happens. The unexpected crowds our agendas, interrupting our goals and challenging the resolutions we made.

Today, I’m contemplating how I can start fresh in 2019. There’s
nothing wrong with goal-setting and making resolutions, but this year I’m trying something different and thought I’d share it with you. I’m only making a few short-term plans.

If God already knows the plans He has for me…


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, 
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

…then I’m going to prayerfully make my plans. And I’m not making year-long plans, but short plans where I see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Through prayer and checking my heart’s motives, God has revealed simple plans that cover three major areas of my life. 
  1. Women’s ministry in the form of a two-month small group soul-care plan. 
  2. Following a Jesus Plan Health Plan, instead of the newest and greatest diet and exercise program. 
  3. Finish writing my beach novel by making it a priority instead of a side thing. By committing only 15 minutes each day to writing, it feels doable. The beauty of this is, when I sit down to write for only 15 minutes, it leads to 30, then 60 or more.

There are clear instructions in the Bible about making plans. I’m making plans by following those instructions, which are…

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many 
advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

God has graciously provided close friends whose wise counsel I rely on. 

Commit to the Lord whatever you do and 
He will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

In the past I’ve jumped ahead of God with my plans. Have you ever done this? It only leads to confusion and hinders His purpose for our life. 

To avoid this, it’s crucial that we spend time alone with Him. Be still with Him, yield and stay immersed in His word.

Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make 
my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath 
I say both ‘yes, yes’ and ‘no, no’? 2 Corinthians 1:17 (NIV)

Saying yes to every opportunity presented to us, without making sure it’s God’s plan, leads to crowded schedules and serious burnout. This is not God’s plan.

And finally…

May He give you the desire of your heart and 
make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4 (NIV)

I’ve made incorrect assumptions about what He means by giving me the desire of my heart. God is a good and gracious Father, who has our ultimate best in mind.

If He’d given me every little heart’s desire I’ve had over the years, I shudder to think where I’d be in my life right now. He knows I’m happiest and most fulfilled when my desire(s) line up with His purposes.

So on this New Year’s Eve, I’m foregoing goal-setting and resolution making and sticking with these simple plans. I feel confident it will keep me on course.

I invite you to share your short-term plans to begin 2019. What works for you?

May He richly bless you today and all year, as you trust in Him.
Blessings,
Terri