How to Find the Upside When Life Lets You Down

It can take immense work and strength to find anything remotely positive in an awful situation. Years ago, my dad and brothers planned a wild adventure: a hunting trip in one of the most inaccessible parts of Alaska . . .

Alaska
(Image from Unsplash)

The Downside

While my idea of bonding is shopping for fabulous shoes or choosing plants for my garden, the guys prefer bonding while tracking down wild beasts that could eat them as an afternoon snack.

Male bonding at its finest . . . or so they thought.

They planned and packed, putting together every kind of survival knick-knack for the wild frontier. The day came.

They loaded up a small plane that plopped them in the middle of a blustery, remote Alaskan forest. Three guys, five days, and the last frontier.

Before the sun had set, they realized something was missing . . . and it wasn’t just a “little something.” In all their excitement, the box of ammunition was left on the plane.

Yep, the plane that left them in the forest for five days had flown away with the ammo box still on board.

The good news is that no one died. Fabulous! The bad news is obvious . . . no one in their right mind hunts wild beasts without buckets of ammunition.

“The Dog Ate My Homework” and Other Dumb Excuses We Need to Dump NOW

After three years of marriage, my daughter and son-in-law found a little “fixer-upper” and asked me to help them fix it up. They know I’m all about DIY stuff, especially when I see the miraculous things people do when they flip houses on TV.

Dog Ate My Homework
(Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com)

Those hour-long, “trash-to-treasure” shows appeal to my creative side. I couldn’t wait to jump in. We decided it would take two weekends—the first to clean, the next to move. Our plans were set.

But That Was Before I Saw the Place!

In spite of the house’s condition and with the enthusiasm of Chip and Joanna Gaines, my son Jon, Ashley, and I unloaded a mammoth amount of cleaning materials: chemicals that would kill about anything, power tools, and lawn equipment. We were on it!

About an hour into day one, all the glory and glamour of flipping a place flew out the dirt-covered, bug-laden window. I considered calling HGTV to ask if they did charity work.

Healing and Hope for Victims of Violence

Chris’s dramatic story includes being shot in the head by his father at age 5 and miraculously surviving. Now Chris is actively involved in helping domestic violence survivors recover from their past. He also works with pastors so they can step in and help victims more effectively. Chris’s story is a testament of hope that comes only from God’s goodness, love, and mercy.

Healing and Hope for Victims of Violence

Stalking, rape, harassment, trauma, murder . . . these words represent the enormous reality that domestic violence has become a global epidemic. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as . . .

Chris Keith

Willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.

The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically; for those with disabilities, the numbers skyrocket.

Very few people can speak on this subject like Chris Keith. As a child, Chris was shot in the head by his father after his father had strangled his mother and shot his brother.

Miraculously, Chris survived and is actively involved in helping survivors recover from their past. The church must stop denying and refusing to believe victims; we must become part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Two Principles That Will Change Your Life

My son Jon suspiciously scooted his way toward me while we were playing the card game “Go Fish.” I observed his slight, smooth movements knowing exactly what was happening.

Removing the Mask
photo credit: DSC01540 via photopin (license)

Slowly, he began to lean in. So I looked into his sly eyes and asked, “Jon, is there something I can help you with?”

With a sneaky, smirky smile he said, “Mom, I REALLY want to cheat right now because you have more pairs than me, and I want to win!” We both laughed hysterically; it is a statement our family uses to this day because it is so honest.

Three Questions We Must Leave at the Cross

Where is God when life falls apart? This isn’t a new question, but a question we often ponder when it seems we have lost everything . . . or something . . . or someone. During these difficult times, we feel that God is so far away.

Sunset
(Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com)

Years ago, a dear friend of mine experienced a series of catastrophic calamities. Identity theft left her bank accounts empty. Hurricane Sandy took her home. An affair ended her marriage.

And her son was diagnosed with autism. In her shattered state, even those at her church walked away from her. They did not know what to do with someone whose faith was falling off the cliff. So instead of staying close, they scattered and churchy chatter ran amuck.

She didn’t know if she could move on.

There seems to be one universal experience shared when our lives are shattered: an abundance of questions. In addition, if one has trusted Christ as Savior, pain seems especially unfair.