5 Battle Tools to Help in Hard Moments – {Guest Post & GIVEAWAY!}

If you’ve been around my little corner of the Interwebz for the last few years, first of all— thank you! Secondly, you know my family has been through the ringer. A few times. I’m currently on my fourth job in as many years, we’ve lived in two foreign countries and learned as many languages, I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, and I‘ve written recently about my struggles to find real friendship since moving back to the states.

To say I’ve had some hard moments in the last several years would be an understatement. I also know, you all have had your fair share of hard moments, too. That’s why I’m so excited to host Kelly Balarie on ye olde blog today!

She has some wonderful, practical tips to help in those hard moments. 

Be sure to read all the way to the end and enter to win a copy of Battle Ready!

So, read on for some good stuff!

5 Battle Tools To Help In Hard Moments

By: Kelly Balarie

She didn’t so much as say hi to me. In fact, even worse, she walked right past me, looking the other direction. She pretended I wasn’t there.

Hmph!! After all I’ve done for her. After all I’ve given her. After how I’ve gone out of my way to love her.  Now I’m the one left looking like a crazed waving-at-the-air fool.  Like – an idiot.

humph at her husband along the way to my church seat. Silently, I critique her in my mind, She’s rude. Before not too long, Iget side-tracked by own thoughts: Everyone always hurts me. Like that boy, I asked to dance in 4th grade. Like those girls who circled up to whisper about me in that damp locker room. Like the group of women who act like they’re far better than me.

I’m supposed to be listening in church, but who can listen, thinking about all this, all them!? Here, I find myself, in the heat of a horrible battle.

You can always tell if you’re in the heat-of-a-battle. Almost instantly, your soul-crushing problem magnifies 100x larger than your promise-keeping God. Suddenly, you’re standing weaponless, in all-out combat within your own mind. Hardly able to win.

Ever been there? I’ve struggled through a lot – through massive health-scares, depression, an eating disorder, financial debt and relationship-severing dramas. Battles. Huge, hard-fought battles, loaded with momentary decisions of pain, struggle and uncertainty. I remember the time:

  1. The doctor returned to the room with the clipboard saying, “You really might have Mulitple Sclerosis.”
    I thought: How do I keep my thoughts close to God with this kind of news?
  2. My colicky newborn made me pace my hallways 24-7. Sleepless, hardly-thinking and powerless to change my health-situation, I didn’t know what to do.

I thought: How do I still love people when my whole life is unraveling?

  1. A family member called me to say I really should get on setting up long-term care for myself.

I thought: How do I deal with the fact all my dreams will now look different than I thought? Through all this, I realized, real wisdom is having a battle-plan. Let’s talk about Christ-centered battle-plan preparedness. Begin by asking yourself: What am I currently facing? Identifying your main struggles (resentment, regret, trauma, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, fear) is to allow God to help you win your battle. For example, for me, underneath that issue with the girl, was an old war full of rejection, humiliation, and abandonment from years past. Underneath, were old battles I’d lost – because they were left unaddressed. Therefore, they left me with resentment towards God. Seeing our battles for what they are, gives us a clear-cut strategy to fight – and win.  It also removes all the pent-up offenses that, like plaque, cover our heart. What about you? Do you emotionally respond to happenings set before you or do you wisely act based on God’s Word and promises?Today, you can fight your battle a new way. Consider:

  1. Asking God what feelings of fear, worry, anger, resentment, neglect and hurt He desires you give to him.
  2. Giving those hurts to Jesus, by saying, “Jesus, I am not meant to carry these. Forgive me. They’ve hurt me for far too long. I know and believe you have peace, joy, life and freedom for me as I give you these things.”
  3. Blessing any women who have hurt you.
  4. Reframing your moments of hurt. (Example: when she passed by me quickly, she was probably was in a rush, she might have had something to do or she lost in thought)
  5. Returning to a heart of love. (Example: Thank you God that you love me and I can love others. In fact, I can love the very person who hurt me by ___.)

This is the start of being Battle Ready. There truly are practical insights, wise biblical instructions and truths that can help you rise above the mayhem of trials and hardships. You can find the light of Christ and step into all God has for you. The victory belongs to the Lord. Isn’t it time you began to make room for it?  About Battle Ready: Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt & Live Victoriously “The best time to be strengthened against the Enemy’s tactics of doubt, disappointment, and devastation is before he makes his first move toward us. We all desperately need the biblical guidance and preparation found in Battle Ready!”Lysa TerKeurstNew York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries  Battle Ready is a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. You’ll gain practical wisdom, like how to· make new habits stick in just five steps
· disarm the seven most common attacks that plague women
· exchange self-limiting thoughts for purpose-driven, love-releasing thoughts
· implement thirty-second mind-lifters that deliver peace
· create boundaries so you live life full of what matters Buy Battle Ready here: https://amzn.to/2l5qQrw To get Battle Ready freebies – printables, devotional reminders, a customizable daily Battle Plan and the “Find Your Battle Style” quiz, visit: www.iambattleready.com  To order the companion Battle Ready Daily Prayer Journal that will help you practically change your thoughts, then your life, visit:   Kelly Balarie, an author and national speaker, is on a mission to encourage others not to give up. Through times of extreme testing, Kelly believes there is hope for every woman, every battle and in every circumstance. She shares this hope on her blog, Purposeful Faith, and on many writing publications such as Relevant, Crosswalk, and Today’s Christian Woman. Kelly’s work has been featured on The Today Show, 700 Club Interactive, Moody Radio and other television and radio broadcasts. When Kelly is not writing, she is chilling at the beach with her husband, a latte, and 2-toddlers who rightfully demand she build them awesome castles.

Click here to enter the giveaway!

In Which a Baby Bottle Makes Me Ponder Life

The Man Cub will be 17 months old next week. 17 months!! I am definitely finding that time flies even faster with each child we have! I have no idea how he got to be this age already, but I do know I’m far less preoccupied with certain developmental things than I was with the girls. By this age, both girls were fully on sippy cups and had been for quite some time. I was bound and determined to follow whatever “rules” were out at the time about when to stop baby on the bottle to prevent damage or delays in speech, etc, etc.

bottle V

Photo by Nerissa's Ring

With this little guy, though, I find myself savoring his baby-ness and not wanting to rush it. And not feeling the need to bow to any sort of pressure to what they (whoever this famous they are) say my baby should be doing. Anyway.

All that to say, we’re working on transitioning the Man Cub from his bottle to cups. And in true Man Cub fashion, he is having none of it. He will even go so far as to hold the spout in his mouth and just sit there. He’ll do it for hours. And just refuse. to. drink. (yes, he is this stubborn with just about everything, God help me) 

I’m perfectly willing, and able, to ride out his defiance because I know eventually he’s going to get hungry and/or thirsty enough to drink his beloved milk (and when I say beloved, I mean be-love-ed. This kid could write a Song of Soloman-esque ode to his milk. That is, if he could write). The problem is, his refusal to change the manner in which he receives said milky-goodness starts a chain reaction of magnanimous proportions.

First of all, he stays hungry. Although he’s just had a well rounded meal, the milk serves to top him up, and keep him satiated either until the next snack/meal, or through the night. If he’s hungry, he doesn’t sleep. If he doesn’t sleep, he misses out on the 2 hours of rest and renewal he usually gets during the day. Thus, he’s overtired at nighttime and has trouble falling asleep. The overtired and the hunger converge to produce a baby waking far earlier in the day than is prudent, so said baby is even more tired. Vicious cycle. Add to the sleep deprivation and hunger, extreme fussiness and manic-depressive-style mood swings that would make Sybil nervous.

Not only is he having to weather through all of these crazy behaviors, feelings and changes he doesn’t understand and hasn’t the foggiest idea how to deal with, the rest of the family (and western world, if we’re brave enough to venture a journey to the coffee shop or grocery store) must also deal with said meltdowns, crazy-weird love-hate displays of affection-disdain, and general chaotic aftermath of a simple refusal to drink an eight ounce cup of milk. Not to mention the physical ramifications of missing out on vital nutrients and health benefits.

Today, as my frustration mounted and my patience waned as we engaged in the hunger induced naptime battle, I felt a slight nudging in my spirit. How do I react when God hands me something new; unknown? Whatever the new habit, situation, lifestyle change, attitude adjustment, all it really is, is a more mature vehicle for inserting the grace, peace, encouragement and love of Christ into my spiritual body.

I fight and thrash and might even hold it in my hand but refuse to fully ingest said change because it’s not what I’m used to. Not what I’m comfortable with. I refuse the warming comfort of the complete integration of the Creator of the Universe into my own heart because of the manner in which He is offering it to me. 

Not only that, my spiritual health suffers. I miss out on vital elements needed to sustain, strengthen, and grow my own heart, and mind. My attitude suffers. I grump. Complain. Love. Hate. I become a spiritual schizophrenic because I’m left reeling from the lack of spiritual food. All because I want to stick with what I know; what I like.

The really crazy thing is, my son reacted the same way the first time I offered him a bottle. It took him five days to finally drink a full bottle. And now look how he loves it! And doesn’t the same thing happen in our walk with Christ? The very thing we fight against becomes our most beloved facet of our relationship with him?

So I submit to you today the same question I’m asking myself: what is “the bottle” in your life? What is it that you know in your heart of hearts needs to change, or be gone altogether, that you just aren’t willing to consider giving up because it’s just too comfortable? And are you willing to risk letting it go in order to take the next step towards maturity in Him?

I’m linking up with Your Thriving Family, The Better Mom, The Miss Elaine-ous Life, These Five of Mine Plus Two, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Write It, Girl, Raising Homemakers, Some Girl’s Website