Free to Bloom

I bought them on faith. Back in April, beautiful tulips called to me as I approached the self-checkout at Kroger. I love to smell the flowers that grace grocery stores. If I can smell their sweet scent, I have to restrain myself not to buy them. I had to see if these tulips smelled good. They did.

I noticed that some had already bloomed. They were a gorgeous hot pink with white edges. Other bunches had partly opened blooms. So I went for one of those sets. Although the “sell buy” date on the sticker told me that maybe I shouldn’t spend three dollars to take them home, I hoped that they would bloom eventually and live longer than the already bloomed flowers.  I believed in what they could become.

 

 

hope, renewal, growth, burdens, worry, God’s grace, Free to Bloom, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

The Confession

In the stillness of the night You hear my cry

You know the battle in my soul

I give the fight all I have and try

To bear the rigorous toll

 

You embrace me in my weakest moment

You remind me of Your great love

In my daily predicament

I know I have help from up above

 

 

adversity, trials, hope, faith, God's faithfulness, peace, fear, anxiety, brokenness, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: Hoping For a Happy Ending

by Tessa Emily Hall

 

Writing a book is therapeutic for me. I find enjoyment through weaving together the tough aspects of life into a story that brings meaning to these hardships. A story that wraps up in a satisfying, happy ending.

Because this is what we yearn for in life, isn’t it? We long for hope in the midst of tragic circumstances. We yearn for meaning in the midst of pain. A reminder that, despite how our “story” might look right now, it will turn out all right in the end.

In my YA novel, Purple Moon, Selena grew up in a Christian home. She grew up believing in Jesus and that He had the perfect “fairy tale life” planned for her. But as she grew older, this hope began to diminish.

 

 

hopelessness, hope, the character of God, Breaking the Chains: Hoping For a Happy Ending, Tessa Emily Hall, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Broken but Priceless: The Magazine

Grab a cup of hot chocolate, and snuggle in your favorite chair. Here’s a magazine you’ll want to read. Broken but Priceless: The Magazine is an encouraging resource for those who have chronic illnesses and for those who need some hope in the middle of trials. The magazine is free and comes by email to subscribers. Since I have the privilege of designing it, I get to read all the articles before they’re released and I anticipate with excitement the time when everyone else reads them. 

 

 

Broken but Priceless Ministries, Broken but Priceless: the Magazine, chronic illness, adversity, difficulties, hope, Erin Elizabeth Austin, Josie Siler, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

In Safe Hands

I kept watch over my loved one all night. My family was in the hospital for ten days about a month ago. The first night there, I could only sleep for about thirty minutes in the hospital room recliner, and then it became someone else’s turn to attempt to sleep. I sat in a backless computer chair near the hospital bed and watched my loved one breathe in and out as he slept. I watched and prayed.

 

 

peace, the peace of God, challenges and trials of life, adversity, hope, John 14:21, In Safe Hands, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Out of the Darkness into the Light: A Way Out of Depression

by Jan Willis

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks.
Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities
and the powers of this world’s darkness,
against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.
That is why you need to put on God’s full armor.
Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong.
And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.”
Ephesians 6:11-13, NCV

Several components contributed to my spinning into the pit of depression. Physical, emotional, and spiritual weaknesses made me an easy target. Despair, defeat, and deception drowned me in hopelessness. Physically I unknowingly suffered from low thyroid, anemia, and exhaustion—all factors in mental health. Emotionally I experienced the trauma of being the target of work place abuse, having a daughter sexually assaulted, and watching cancer take the life of my mother. Spiritually I no longer met alone with God, reading His Word and talking to Him in prayer.

I believed every fiery deceptive missile the enemy shot at me. Satan bombed me with whispers of twisted or partial truth. He attacked through those around me by channeling his deception through them. Abusive supervisors and clients verbally crushed me. He twisted God’s words to convince me I was not perfect or good enough for Christ’s love. I believed my family would be better off without me. Bound by the enemy’s lies and stripped naked of all hope, I lay curled in a fetal position awaiting the death I believed I deserved.

depression, hope, healing, Out of the Darkness into the Light: A Way Out of Depression, Jan Willis, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

When Life Upsets Your Life – A Guest Post by Josie Siler

Katy here. My guest blogger today is Josie Siler, a friend, survivor, and biker chick. As vice president of Broken but Priceless Ministries, she helps thousands of people suffering with chronic illness to have hope. Today she shares about how to keep going when life upsets your life. Here’s her story.

I’m sitting here in a hospital room, my skinny fingers flying across my laptop, trying to get this written before my grandma gets back from surgery.

It’s not how I envisioned writing this guest post for Katy. It was going to be a post full of adventure and fun and a good dose of silliness. Instead, I find myself writing to you from a hospital room, yet again surprised by life.

One phone call—one moment—can change everything. 

 

 

Josie Siler, Broken but Priceless Ministries, hope, chronic illness, disappointment, living for God, When Life Upsets Your Life – A Guest Post by Josie Siler, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Praying Romans 8:28

The tiny blue hydrangea bush that my dad planted this spring never got bigger. Instead, a short, naked piece of wood stood in the ground. No growth, no life. I forgot about it.

Then this summer, in the exact spot where the hydrangea should have blossomed, a baby crepe myrtle sprang up. Green leaves and pink buds surprised my family. In the shadow of a great crepe myrtle, a seed must have found the special soil meant for the hydrangea bush. Life blossomed anyway, just not in the way we expected.

How many times have we gone through something difficult, and life blossomed in a way we didn’t expect or think was possible? Perhaps we have gone through a trying time, in which we felt parched and withered. Like a short, naked shoot of a plant with little chance of survival. But then God did something. He tended our soil, shined some light on us, and gave us much-needed water. Green leaves and tiny flower buds surprised us. Good was happening, even in the midst of the pain. Even in the midst of a trial. 

 

 

Romans 8:28, God works all things for good, hope, encouragement, Praying Romans 8:28, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Put on Your Strength

One morning my heart was sad. Although I was half-awake, I started focusing on the wrong thing, and I needed God’s help to refocus my attention and strengthen my heart. Even though I wanted more sleep, I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on the verse I needed.

strength, sadness, sorrow, despair, hope, Put on Your Strength, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

What Easter Means to Me

Today's guest blogger Ginger Harrington starts our Easter series for the month of March, called "What Easter Means to Me." Her writing always encourages me. May your heart be blessed as she writes about the memories and grace of Easter.

When I was a little girl, Easter was all about the bunny.

And the basket.

And the dress.

As a child, I loved the pretty dress that always matched my sister. Some years we even had Easter bonnets. In our white patent leather shoes and frilly socks, we loved the thrill of hunting for Easter eggs, colorful and filled with sweet treasures.

I have years of special Easter memories stored away in my heart. Years of traditions shared with family. As I have grown older, I still love the sharing the traditions with my family.  Over the years the generations rotate as the crawling babies grow into teenagers and the young parents become grandparents. Easter is still one of the few times we gather as extended family, and it is precious.

 

 

Easter, Jesus’ resurrection, new life, hope, What Easter Means to Me, Ginger Harrington

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