How to Ignite a Song of Hope When the Whistling Stops

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs . . . who isn’t familiar with those jolly dwarfs whistling while they worked? I still remember the clink-clank of their mining tools, the whistling as they walked home.

(Image from Pixabay)

The magic of those old Disney movies stay with us.

But what happens when there is no movie-magic, no joy? What happens when the whistling stops?

Seven Dwarfs That Reflect Real Life

Not long ago I saw a colorful, captivating picture on a doctor’s office wall. It was clearly a parody of Disney’s movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Snow White
(Image from Pixabay)

Remember those jolly little round, robust fellows who whistled, worked, and walked home singing catchy tunes? Good ol’ Doc . . .

  • Grumpy
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

They seemed to make life a bit lighter wherever they went.

The picture on the wall was titled “The Seven Dwarfs of Despair.” I read their names:

How to Make Peace with an Unexpected Life

This video was previously aired and represents Michele Cushatt’s testimony to God’s faithfulness prior to her having major surgery.

Cancer. The “C” word . . . it’s supposed to happen to other people. But what happens when a terminal diagnosis invades our lives? Few understand this better than Michele Cushatt.

Michele Cushatt
Michele Cushatt

Michele, a two-time survivor of tongue cancer, who tells her story in her new book: Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life.

In this interview, we talk of God’s goodness . . . how Michele confronted cancer in the midst of being called to public speaking, how she served as the Women of Faith emcee, how she’s mom to six kids, and how she’s dealing with a new recurrence of tongue cancer.

Michele’s interview was recorded one day before her daunting nine-hour surgery. In the midst of this massive, raging storm, Michele speaks with calmness and clarity about her past, her new book, and what she is learning as she moves forward. This interview is life-changing!

What We Need to Help Us through Trials

When you encounter people who are going through a trial, do you find yourself thinking: I really want to help others who are struggling, but what do they need most?

What We Need to Help Us through Trials
(Photo: By Paul Bica from Toronto. Last rays. CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

As human beings, we all need the following 8 qualities in our lives to help us through our toughest times.

The Best Interviews of 2016

There’s a lot of talk about what is anticipated when a new year rolls around. Let’s not forget the anticipation in the new year. New beginnings . . . new anything is great!

New Year
(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

Not that I LOVE things, but sometimes new stuff is glorious. For example:

  • A new, soft, cuddly little baby
  • A new, clean house
  • A new, fabulous pair of shoes (my downfall)
  • A new trip somewhere you have never been
  • A new season: football and fall, swimming and summer, winter’s wonderland, and new life in spring popping up with fresh scents and colors

But there’s another truth to new stuff. Our anticipation is often colored with a lot of excitement because we somehow cling to unrecognized expectations.

Here’s the bummer: Typically the “newness” of something wears off when we realize . . .

How to Beat the Burn-Out

TIRED! That was the only word I could think of. Typically, my husband—who leaves for work by 5:20 a.m.—sends me a text asking how the morning routine and getting out the door went.

Stressed Woman
Image from Photodune.

For us, that can be a risky inquiry since, quite often, departing for the day is something just shy of the Exodus.

In spite of appearing quite normal, my son’s global intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) require a lot of assistance—which isn’t that big of a deal.

The bigger deal is me: the mother who hates mornings, rarely has “anything to wear,” and struggles with ADD and focus challenges.

I kept thinking, all moms juggle morning routines. I’ve been at this for over 20 years. Why is this still such a big deal?

Cutting Out the Christmas Conflict

I don’t think there is any other time of the year when we are faced with intense conflict than at Christmas time. While we sing about it being the most wonderful time of the year, would you say that’s your experience?

Christmas Stress
Image from Photodune.

If it really is the happiest season of all, why do the mental health statistics reveal December has the highest suicide and depression rates than any other month of the year?

My Lord and My God!

This season of the year is not joyful for everyone. Put bluntly, some dread it. They are filled with such melancholy memories of painful days gone by, they find it hard to sing the carols.

Christmas Time

“Joy to the World!”—not really.

“How Great Our Joy!”—well, maybe for you but not for everyone.

Now, before you call me “Scrooge,” I suggest you return to the first century and meet a disciple of Christ who fit this category. This disciple was a man who always saw the glass half-empty.

When Jesus invited the Twelve to come with Him to Bethany, where He planned to raise His friend Lazarus from death, “so that you may believe,” this downcast soul shrugged,

Let us also go . . . that we may die with Him (John 11:14–16).

Later, as Jesus spoke of His plan to leave the earth, go back to glory, and “prepare a place” for His followers before returning for them, it was the same, sad individual who failed to get it. And so he grimly sneered,

When God’s Wonderful Plan Doesn’t Appear So Wonderful

How many times have we heard someone say, “God has a wonderful plan for your life”? I stopped counting years ago; maybe you have too. Reconciling the truth that God’s plan for our lives is good when all we are experiencing is pain can cause tremendous confusion.

John and Lynn Hampton
John and Lynn Hampton

After all, Scripture emphatically says:

  • Jesus “came that [you] may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, emphasis added).
  • When we seek Him we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13).
  • We are to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, emphasis added).

Most often, pain causes us to reframe our understanding of the truths of God’s Word. During those difficult times, we have to release what we assumed to be true and, instead, embrace with accuracy what God’s Word actually means.

John and Lynn Hampton spent years reframing their understanding of how God can be good—in spite of His allowing painful circumstances in life. Their story will certainly bring you incredible hope and clarity of truth in whatever you are facing today.

Two Inescapable Truths You Must Embrace

It started like most days when I work at home . . . coffee, comfy sweats, quiet music, definitely no make-up. My son Austin was home from college for a visit.

Business woman working from home.
Image from Photodune.

He was showing me some stuff I needed to do to be healthy—an almost impossible task—and we laughed, I listened, and I promised to give his suggestions an honest shot.

He went to grab some breakfast; I headed to my office.

That is the last thing I remember.