4 Seeds of Hope & Happiness

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of people losing passion for life---they've lost all hope. The last few years didn't help either. We've all felt that oppressiveness one way or another. But how long did you stay there? Or did it teeter back and forth like it did in my situation? I seem to get into that pit, but God always pulls me back out. It reminds me of when Jesus' disciples were on a boat in the middle of the night, when a storm came up. As the waves battered them, they saw something they couldn't believe: Jesus, walking toward them on the water. 

Peter said, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you."

Jesus said, "Come!" 

So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus! But when he saw the wind, he was afraid. And when he began to sink and cried out, "Lord, save me!" 

Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "Oh you of little faith. Why did you doubt?"

When you picture that scene, do you see yourself on the boat? On the water? Or watching from the side?  Consider whether Jesus is inviting you to come out on the water too.

Remember, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. Someone will always point out, that it's the 'deeds' that are the most important part, but God tells us, without faith, it's all meaningless. 

Prayer Is the Most Powerful Tool You Have

Prayer can move mountains, but if you are lacking faith, you will probably see unanswered prayers, or lose faith because a prayer goes unanswered. Everything is done with God's will and purpose for you. But in the case of praying for more faith---you will see a change in your heart---a change in your attitude as well as actions. Prayer definitely moves mountains, but it's the faith that drives it there. Prayer, faith and action go hand in hand. Pray for your enemies. That's something a lot of people can't do. Once you do this, you will see a shift in the atmosphere. We are all connected in a cosmic-like way---when you pray for someone who is against you, God blesses the situation. Petty situations and worldly matters are so minuscule in the afterlife. Even if someone is throwing curses, hexes and spells on you, remember: blessings are much more powerful than curses. 

See God In the Simplest of Things

Many people overlook God's blessings or they'll call it a coincidence. Everyone's life is so incredibly different. I live my life based on simplicity. I work from home, which I love to do---but I am a complete homebody. I love my neighborhood and what it has to offer. For instance, I busted my knee a few months ago and it's starting to heal. In the healing process, the pain radiates into my sciatica and lower back, making it almost impossible to sleep. The only medication I can take is Tylenol, which only helps a tiny bit. Anyway, as I was walking my dog yesterday, I pushed myself to walk further. When you don't move, especially when you have an injured knee, your muscles get weaker, making the pain in whatever injured part of your body even worse. So my little 14 lb dog literally pulled me up this large hill to walk around the complex we live in. We took a leisurely walk and I immediately felt so much better. The sun felt so good on my face, and the air was so crisp and clean. This is my happiness---to be outside---to go walking---to just be in God's presence and thank Him for all He has done for me. (So if you see me talking to myself when I'm walking by, yes I am praying.) After our walk, we came back inside and I made a delicious steak dinner. Between the low carb diet I'm on and the exercise---I slept like a bear for the first time in a while. But this is my "miracle!" Some would say, "So what! Who cares! God didn't do that!" God gave me the nature to heal in, the ability to walk two miles, and the willpower to stay away from not only alcohol, but from sugar and carbs. I prayed for this! So yes, for me, God has helped me through every challenge I ever had. And with His help, I have reversed my pre-diabetes and lowered my cholesterol. God is good! 

Losing a Loved One 

There's nothing worse. There really isn't. It feels so incredibly heartbreaking. In fact, you can even get "broken heart syndrome" -- which mimics a heart attack. Many survive, but it's an awful physical pain that's felt in the heart.In Psalm 147:3 it tells us, "He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds." I remember when my therapist once asked me, "So what happens when your mom dies from her cancer?" (Yes, he said it that bluntly.) With a lump stuck in my throat, I simply told him, "I'll die." He looked at me and said, "No, you won't. So what are you going to do when your mom passes?" For me, I couldn't think beyond mom's passing. She was here--she was always here. How can she not be here one day? But that day came and it was a tragically, beautiful day. I know that sounds super weird, but let me explain. God reassured me she was with Him. She died in the early hours of June 30th, 2017. My mom and I were both obsessed with thunderstorms. All day, it was 80 degrees with thunderstorms, but it was so beautiful. You could hear so many doves nearby---which was odd, because it wasn't just two or three---there were dozens out there! Then there were around ten of them perched on top of her bedroom area on the roof of the house, as well as a dozen more in the trees. Afterwards, this amazingly vivid rainbow appeared after the storm and the doves were all singing---it was as if she was saying, "Debbie, I'm ok."  Of course it didn't heal my broken heart, but overall, my faith got even stronger, knowing that God was now taking care of her. That alone eased most of that excruciating pain. Little signs that most would take for granted are mostly overlooked. God gives you signs, like a dove, or a reminder of what you and your loved one shared together. It's all there. All you have to do is have faith and be more 'aware'---tune in to not only what's in the world, but what's coming into the world by God, by your loved ones. They're always with you. God is always with you regardless. Rest assured, the reunion we will have with our loved ones is going to be the biggest party of all. 

When You Love What You Already Have--You Are Already Rich! 

People tend to think if they acquire more things in life, that they'll be rich and more notable. But in fact, it's the total opposite. It's good to acquire wealth from hard work---no doubt! But what happens is, we tend to want more and more, trying to catch up with the rest of the world. It's like traffic. If the speed limit is 65 mph, and most traffic is going 75 mph, you're going to be driving about 75 mph to keep up so that you're not ruining the 'flow.' Or, you can peacefully drive on the slow lane, not caring about everyone passing you by. You will eventually get to your destination, without the stress of people cutting you off, almost causing a ten car accident on the freeway. The peaceful lane is much more better than the fast and stressful one. But again, that's all subjective. 

In Ecclesiastes it states, "And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life--this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past." 

It doesn't matter what other people have. Remember, it's not how big the house is, it's how happy the home is. It's not what you have in life that matters, but it's who you have in your life that matters the most. 

I pray that this article somehow helped you today. Now go outside, barefoot if you can, hug a tree, take in the sun (if it's not cloudy) and remember all that God has blessed you with and thank Him! Just think, you woke up to see another day. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog at DebsCucina.com for some of her famous recipes and check out her Instagram full of food videos!