Surviving the Dreaded Bleh’s of Life

Surviving the dreaded Bleh's of life can be hard. Find encouragement, hope, and strength here through God's Word and Lauren Daigle's song "First" via www.JeanWilund.com

I’ve held onto too much in my life, unable to let go, just surviving.

I’ve never been happier than when I learned to let go of my rights, shame, unforgiveness, and that obnoxious shirt that hasn’t been in style since 1987.

But letting go of my children? Bleh!

That one feels like it just might kill me.

I wrote the original post below in August 2015, when our baby was headed to college, before our oldest daughter moved to Hawaii, and before our son and his wife moved from North Carolina to Lexington, only a few miles away.

Almost two years later, I need the encouraging truth in this message just as much as ever. Do you?

Surviving the Dreaded Bleh’s of Life


Two years ago, I felt this day coming.

See my post: I Know, But . . . How Do I Survive My Children Leaving?

In that post I shared how to avoid becoming another Norman Bate’s mother. I’m proud to report — as are my children — that I’ve successfully not morphed into her!

But the empty nest is descending faster than South Carolina humidity. 

I’m not clinging to my children like a crazed mother, but my heart breaks over missing them. 

How do we do more than survive? How do we live with joy despite the Bleh’s of life?

Lauren Daigle hits the mark in her song “First.” 

Before I cry over my children, I will rejoice over my God.

Before I dwell on my pain, I will dwell on His presence.

Before I do anything, I will seek God FIRST.

“But seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.”

~ Matthew 6:33

I’m not saying we should treat God as if He were our genie in a bottle or manipulate Him into giving us what we want.

I gave you my heart, God, now give me three free houses all next to Larry’s and mine for our three children. And make Lexington, SC just like Hawaii so they’ll want to say here.

Seeking God isn’t about getting what we want, except that it is.

When we seek God first — truly seek Him with our whole heart first and foremost — we actually do end up getting everything we desire because everything in our being actually desires Him above all things.

God is our highest desire.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:25-26

Think about it. Even individuals who reach the pinnacle of success in their field only enjoy a measure of contentment for a period of time. They don’t stay content.

People who’ve lost hope and appear to desire nothing actually do feel deep desire — a deep desire to stop feeling desire.

Desire is never satisfied until it reaches its truest and deepest longing — God

I don’t want to stop desiring my children, but I do want that desire to stop hurting so much.

I want to be able to give them over to God and send them off into the world with a genuine heart full of joy, not a quivering upper lip.

When God is my first heartbeat, my first breath and my first thought — my all — then His glory and presence cover it all — including my sorrows. And His joy is mine.

“You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
~ Psalm 16:11, NASB

Living in the midst of our highest desire — God’s presence — turns our tears into laughter. 

Some pain, like the death of a loved one, can’t be completely mended on this side of heaven, but fullness of joy relieves a lot of pain.

It has the power to wash away our bleh’s.

I’m thrilled for my children and their exciting futures, but as long as they’re far away, I’m still going to miss my babies.

So if you’re reading this, kids, call me!

Yep, Lauren Daigle’s song “First” is my go-to song as I pack up my baby and send her into the world.

I will seek God first as our last child leaves. 

What about you?

What is tugging at your heart today? What Bleh’s are you survivng?

Seek God first and let Him fill your heart with His glorious presence and fullness of joy.

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Now That’s Funny! Plug Your Leak with a Laugh (Michael Jr. Comedy)

Now That's Funny! If you have no joy, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere. Plug your leak with a laugh: Michael Jr. Comedy in "Growing Up Poor"

Now That’s Funny!

If you have no joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere. ~ Billy Sunday

I agree! 

It’s time to plug up that leak with some good comedy — Michael Jr comedy. 

Now that’s funny!
[Read more…]

Laughter Through the Hard Times of Parenting (While My Child is Away ~ Part 4)

Laughter Through the Hard Times of Parenting. Learn how best to pray while your child is away in While My Child is Away (a book by Edie Melson) Interview by Jean Wilund

Parenting Will Make You Cry

Parenting will make you cry — tears of sorrow and tears of laughter.

Edie Melson, author of While My Child is Away: Prayers for When We Are Apart, and her husband try to look at life through the lens of laughter.

This mindset made a big impact on one of their boys late, late one night.

As teenage boys will do, one of their sons got into trouble in the middle of the night. When he realized he’d been seen, he ran away in the snow. Much to his surprise, they caught him. [Read more…]

JOY — Illusive, Elusive, or Just Plain Gone? There’s Hope: The Joy of The Lord (by Rend Collective)

Click to read & view the Music Video by Rend Collective "The Joy of the Lord" and find strength and joy lift you up.

Does your joy feel illusive — no more than a non-existent illusion?

Or maybe it feels elusive. It’s visible, but out of reach.

Or maybe your joy is just plain gone.

No matter, be encouraged. There’s hope. 

Do not be grieved,
for the joy of the LORD
is your strength.
~ Nehemiah 8:10

Years ago, I found myself stuck in circumstances.

So I prayed. A lot.

But nothing changed, except my joy. It evaporated. 

My patience began to run dry along with my joy.

I decided I was done praying. 

I began praising instead.

I stopped focusing on my situation and focused on all the great things God has done from the beginning of time.

I praised Him for His unchanging, unfailing character — character trait by character trait.

I praised Him because He’s worthy of praise all the time.

As my praises rose, I experienced a startling development: my joy returned.

I’d stumbled upon something. 

Praise didn’t change my circumstances, but it changed me.

It brought me the joy of the Lord. And it brought me strength.

As joy filled my heart and mind, I felt stronger in the midst of my circumstances.

My thinking became more clear.

Truth overcame fear and doubt. Confident assurance of His unconditional love overwhelmed me. Peace rose up knowing He simply will not fail us. 

I felt motivated, empowered, and excited to follow the Lord. Wherever He led.

He led me to more praise, which led to more joy, which led to — you guessed it — more strength.

So, go ahead and pray for your trials and struggles, just make sure your praises far outweigh your prayers. The joy of the Lord springs from praise.

Our prayers say: Help, God! Because of our circumstances, we have no hope apart from You. (That’s good stuff.)

Our praises say: Thank you, God! Because of who You are, we have all the help and hope we could ever need. (That’s even better stuff.)

The Irish band Rend Collective with their fiddle-playing, foot-stomping, praise-inducing song The Joy of the Lord encourages us to make the best choice. This choice:

Step out on faith, walk on the waters of praise, grab the joy of the Lord by the hand and dance.

(After the music video, don’t miss Gareth and Ali from Rend Collective share the story behind this song.)

Now the music video:
[Read more…]