When We Can’t Seem to Catch a Break from Life’s Hardships

I didn’t even notice when the complaints started overtaking my thoughts.

Expected stress accompanied our move from Wisconsin back to California, but unexpected disappointments increased my grumbling capacity.

After hunkering down in a hotel for the first three weeks as we searched for a rental, we finally found a new apartment. Third floor. No elevators. Community living definitely required a few adjustments, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The furniture dealer didn’t deliver our recliners on the promised date. My struggles with pain management escalated as I adjusted to working with a new doctor. The perfect Thanksgiving feast I expected with both of our sons ended up being a quiet meal with our youngest son and his fiancé.

As the list of things that went wrong and things that did not go as I expected grew, my negativity nourished my complaining spirit.

I snuggled Callie and pouted as I prayed.

Can we catch a break from the hardships, Lord?

In His loving patience, God gently turned my eyes back to His Word.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

How am I supposed to rejoice or give thanks in these difficult circumstances, Lord?

On the surface, rejoicing felt impossible and giving thanks felt fake.

Until I took a closer look at what the apostle Paul was saying to the church of Thessalonica.

When I read each phrase separately, I missed the point.

I couldn’t rejoice always unless I prayed continually, which would lead to giving thanks in all circumstances.

When I focused on God, not myself or the temporary circumstances that affected me on this side of eternity, I could experience the biblical meaning of joy.

Acknowledging God’s constant presence helped me recognize the ways He was working in and through my life, in and through my relationships, and even in and through my trials and suffering.

My prayers became more focused on God, on His promises and His faithful goodness.

As His truth cleared my vision, I remembered all the Lord had done during my transition.

God had answered my prayers by allowing us to move from Wisconsin back to California.

He provided the funds for us to hunker down in a hotel with excellent customer service and given me plenty of opportunities to share His truth and love with the staff and fellow patrons.

Though many families were displaced by the fires and the pandemic, God led us to a gated community that would be safer for me to walk Callie when I wasn’t feeling well. My service dog learned how to navigate those three flights of stairs quickly.

Our furniture didn’t arrive before the holiday, but the Lord provided two temporary chairs that I could use for video interviews after the pandemic.

My struggles with pain management didn’t improve, but my family and countless prayer warriors continued supporting me.

On Thanksgiving, I video chatted with my amazing niece and nephew (Eliza and Emmett) before enjoying a tasty meal with our youngest son and his fiancé.

As the list of things that went wrong and things that did not go as I expected took back-seat to the blessings God showered over me, my capacity for rejoicing increased.

I stopped pouting and practiced the privilege of interceding for friends who were hurting, which helped me view my complaints with an eternal rather than an internal perspective.

Life isn’t going as any of us expected in 2020. But not one moment surprised God or threw him off His game plan.

Though we may not always feel like smiling or cheering, we can experience joy that supersedes our ever-changing circumstances when we rest in the center of God’s will for us ̶ an unceasing and intimate connection with Him, our unlimited source of strength, peace, hope, and joy.

Counting our blessings as we wait on God may sound trite, but I’ve learned it’s hard to keep grumbling when my heart begins bubbling up with gratitude.

Faithful Father, please help us to recognize and rejoice over every blessing that comes through being intimately connected with You.

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What is the hardest part about viewing life with an eternal perspective when faced with difficult circumstances?

How has God blessed you in the midst of a tough season or situation?

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For more biblical encouragement and Scripture-based prayers, check out Pause for Prayer: Thriving through the Wait, a video series on my brand-new YouTube channel.

 

Pause for Prayer: Thriving through the Wait Video Series Begins Today

I’m excited to announce the second season of Pause for Prayer: Thriving through the Wait, which you can find on my new YouTube channel.

I need 100 subscribers before I can receive a custom YouTube channel.

If you enjoy my videos, please help me beat that goal by subscribing to my YouTube channel and encouraging others to do the same. Thanks in advance for your prayers and support. I can do nothing without God or your ongoing encouragement.

From November 21, 2020 to December 21, 2020, I’ll be sharing new videos daily on YouTube that can stand alone or be used as you read the thirty-one chapters of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

During each Pause for Prayer video (5-15 minutes each), we’ll dig deeper into God’s Word, seeking to know Him and trust Him with every moment of the wait.

I’ll be reading selected Bible verses, offering biblical encouragement, and leading a Scripture-based prayer as I explore the challenges, the purposes, and the rewards of waiting.

As we continue trusting God with every moment of our lives, we can walk with confidence in His character, His truth, and His love as we thrive through the wait.

To watch Pause for Prayer: Thriving through the Wait Day 1, November 21, 2020, please click here.

To watch Time to Grow, a message I shared during an Our Daily Bread Ministries chapel time on May 20, 2020, please click here.

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I have wonderful news to share, too.

Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace was awarded second place in the Selah Awards, hosted by the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and placed as a finalist in the Cascade Awards, hosted by the Oregon Christian Writers Conference.

To God be the glory!

I enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship with the sisters who joined me for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait.

I’m thanking God for every person who participated.

Special thanks to my fellow author and speaker Mabel Ninan, who facilitated the chat and organized the giveaways, and my wonderful sister in Christ, Amy, who took Callie for her morning walk so I could reserve my strength.

Congratulations to the recipients of the five exclusive giveaways I offered during the event: Becky Heartsfield, Kathryn Robinson, Tamara Glover, Dora Jean Benson, and Carmen Perez.

Some of you have asked how you can pray for me and how you can support me as I continue sharing God’s truth and love to the ends of the earth.

I’ll need your help spreading the word so I can keep spreading God’s Word.

How can you serve alongside me?

  1. PRAY and praise the Lord with me daily!
  2. Subscribe to my blog (link on my home page) and my YouTube channel.
  3. Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (links on my home page).
  4. If you enjoy a blog post, a graphic, a social media post, or a video, please share those links on your social media platforms.
  5. When you share a post, tag me so I can give you a shout-out and interact with your family and friends in the comment section.
  6. If you’ve read Waiting for God or Different Like Me, please write a short review on Amazon then share the link to purchase Waiting for God and/or Different Like Me.
  7. If God encouraged you through any of my speaking events or writing workshops, please let me know so I can share your testimony/comments on my speaker page.

I’m looking forward to being rooted in God’s Word as we grow closer to Him and each other over the next few weeks.

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Last Day to Register for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait (FREE Live Women’s Zoom Event with Xochitl Dixon)

Are you feeling tired, frustrated, discouraged, stuck, lonely, or simply longing for a deeper connection with God and other women?

If you answered yes, you are not alone.

Please PRE-REGISTER for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait by Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8 pm (Pacific).

If you pre-register and attend this FREE LIVE WOMEN’S ZOOM EVENT, you will be eligible for a chance to receive one of two signed copies of Waiting for God, or one of two copies of God Hears Her, an Our Daily Bread bestselling compilation.

You will also be eligible for a chance to receive the Mega-Giveaway, which will include: a signed copy of Waiting for God, a copy of God Hears Her, and a signed copy of my first children’s picture book, Different Like Me, with some fun swag.

I look forward to connecting with you after the message.

Father God, please prepare our hearts to hear from You and surrender every aspect of the wait into Your capable and compassionate hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Flourish: Thriving through the Wait

Saturday, November 14, 2020 Agenda

Check-In: 9:45 am to 10 am (Pacific)

Welcome and Message: 10 am – 10:45 am (Pacific)

Fellowship and Giveaways: 10:45 am – 11:30 am (Pacific)

Closing Prayer: 11:30 am (Pacific)

***

 If you registered in the month of October or before for Flourish through the FBCVV Women’s Ministry, you do not need to register again.

If you haven’t registered yet, please click HERE and fill out the form.

Registrants will receive the Zoom link and instruction via email and will automatically be entered for a chance to receive one of the exclusive giveaways I’ll be offering during this FREE LIVE Women’s Zoom Event.

***

I will be recording Flourish: Thriving through the Wait for those who are unable to join me for this event. Stay tuned for more details on this blog and on social media. If you haven’t joined my blog family yet, please visit my home page and subscribe today.

***

Exciting Change of Venue for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the First Baptist Church Vacaville Women’s Ministry will no longer be hosting Flourish: Thriving through the Wait on their Facebook LIVE page.

But God . . . Hallelujah . . . God quickly affirmed that nothing would stop me from sharing the message He’s placed on my heart to share with you.

If you registered in the month of October or before for Flourish through the FBCVV Women’s Ministry, the lovely leadership team has already given me your contact information.

You do not need to register again. You will receive the Zoom link via email so you can join me for this spirit-refreshing time of worship, fellowship, biblical encouragement, and prayer.

If you haven’t registered yet, please click HERE and fill out the form.

You will receive the Zoom link and instruction via email. All registrants will automatically be entered for a chance to receive one of the exclusive giveaways I’ll be offering during this FREE LIVE Zoom Event.

That’s right! FREE LIVE Zoom Event!

As I prayed over the change of venue, the Lord nudged me to make this event more personal.

I am looking forward to connecting with you via Zoom on November 14, 2020 from 10 am to 11:30 am (Pacific).

After the message, we’ll connect and celebrate with some fun giveaways.

Here is the original invitation with more details:

Are you feeling tired, frustrated, discouraged, stuck, lonely, or simply longing for a deeper connection with God and other women?

If you answered yes, you are not alone.

Please join me for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait.

We’ll enjoy a spirit-refreshing time of worship, fellowship, biblical encouragement, and prayer as God equips us to thrive through the wait with our hope, joy, peace, and our identities rooted in His unchanging and infallible Word.

If you pre-register and attend the FREE LIVE ZOOM EVENT, you will be eligible for a chance to receive one of two signed copies of Waiting for God, or one of two copies of God Hears Her, an Our Daily Bread bestselling compilation.

The grand prize will include: a signed copy of Waiting for God, a copy of God Hears Her, and a signed copy of my first children’s picture book, Different Like Me, with some fun swag.

Register for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait today!

If you cannot make it to this FREE LIVE Zoom Event on November 14th, I still want to connect with you in the comment sections on my blog and on social media.

I will be recording Flourish to share as the kick-off video for my brand-new YouTube Channel, as I prepare to present the second season of Pause for Prayer.

On November 21, 2020, you’re invited to Pause for Prayer: The Waiting for God Video Series.

 This stand-alone series, designed to complement the 31 chapters in my devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, will include Scripture reading, biblical encouragement, and prayers.

 You do not need to purchase a copy of Waiting for God to enjoy this season of Pause for Prayer videos.

Join me on November 14, 2020 for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait and for Pause for Prayer, from November 21, 2020 to December 21, 2020.

I’ll share more information on this blog and through my social media pages.

If you haven’t connected with me on social media, please check out the links in the purple section at the bottom of my website pages.

I’m so excited to see what the Lord has in store for us!

Father God, thanks for assuring us that You have a purpose for every second we spend waiting for You. Please align our hearts with Yours and fill us with wisdom, courage, and confidence rooted in Your Word and Your proven faithfulness.

When the days feel way too long, fuel our perseverance with Your enduring hope. When the road ahead is covered in a fog of frustration, discouragement, loneliness, impatience, selfishness, fear, insecurities, or doubt, clear our vision and sharpen our hearing so we can discern Your directions.

Help us recognize our desperate need for You as we submit to the plan and pace You’ve set for our growth and our good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

***

SPECIAL EVENT:  If you want to join me in reading through Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace while we enjoy the Pause for Prayer: Waiting for God Video Series, I’ll be hosting a book discussion and prayer time on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 6 pm (Pacific).

I’ll share the registration information on my blog and on social media soon.

Love your neighbors by ordering extra copies to share as gifts on Amazon, at Barnes and Nobel, from Our Daily Bread Publishing, or on the Christian Book website today.

If you’ve read Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, please prayerfully consider writing a short review on Amazon and any other review platforms you enjoy so we can reach more readers with this empowering message of hope.

Thanks for your loving support and encouragement!

***

Are You Tired, Frustrated, Discouraged, Lonely, or Simply Longing for Deeper Connections with God and Others?

(UPDATED November 2, 2020)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the First Baptist Church Vacaville Women’s Ministry will no longer be hosting Flourish: Thriving through the Wait on their Facebook LIVE page.

But God . . . Hallelujah . . . God quickly affirmed that nothing would stop me from sharing the message He’s placed on my heart to share with you.

If you registered in the month of October or before for Flourish through the FBCVV Women’s Ministry, the lovely leadership team has already given me your contact information.

You do not need to register again. You will receive the Zoom link via email so you can join me for this spirit-refreshing time of worship, fellowship, biblical encouragement, and prayer.

If you haven’t registered yet, please click HERE and fill out the form.

You will receive the Zoom link and instruction via email. All registrants will automatically be entered for a chance to receive one of the exclusive giveaways I’ll be offering during this FREE LIVE Zoom Event.

That’s right! FREE LIVE Zoom Event!

As I prayed over the change of venue, the Lord nudged me to make this event more personal.

I am looking forward to connecting with you via Zoom on November 14, 2020 from 10 am to 11:30 am (Pacific).

After the message, we’ll connect and celebrate with some fun giveaways.

Here is the original invitation with more details:

Are you feeling tired, frustrated, discouraged, stuck, lonely, or simply longing for a deeper connection with God and other women?

If you answered yes, you are not alone.

Please join me for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait.

We’ll enjoy a spirit-refreshing time of worship, fellowship, biblical encouragement, and prayer as God equips us to thrive through the wait with our hope, joy, peace, and our identities rooted in His unchanging and infallible Word.

If you pre-register and attend the FREE LIVE ZOOM EVENT, you will be eligible for a chance to receive one of two signed copies of Waiting for God, or one of two copies of God Hears Her, an Our Daily Bread bestselling compilation.

The grand prize will include: a signed copy of Waiting for God, a copy of God Hears Her, and a signed copy of my first children’s picture book, Different Like Me, with some fun swag.

Register for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait today!

If you cannot make it to this FREE LIVE Zoom Event on November 14th, I still want to connect with you in the comment sections on my blog and on social media.

I will be recording Flourish to share as the kick-off video for my brand-new YouTube Channel, as I prepare to present the second season of Pause for Prayer.

 On November 21, 2020, you’re invited to Pause for Prayer: The Waiting for God Video Series.

 This stand-alone series, designed to complement the 31 chapters in my devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, will include Scripture reading, biblical encouragement, and prayers.

 You do not need to purchase a copy of Waiting for God to enjoy this season of Pause for Prayer videos.

Join me on November 14, 2020 for Flourish: Thriving through the Wait and for Pause for Prayer, from November 21, 2020 to December 21, 2020.

I’ll share more information on this blog and through my social media pages.

If you haven’t connected with me on social media, please check out the links in the purple section at the bottom of my website pages.

I’m so excited to see what the Lord has in store for us!

Father God, thanks for assuring us that You have a purpose for every second we spend waiting for You. Please align our hearts with Yours and fill us with wisdom, courage, and confidence rooted in Your Word and Your proven faithfulness.

When the days feel way too long, fuel our perseverance with Your enduring hope. When the road ahead is covered in a fog of frustration, discouragement, loneliness, impatience, selfishness, fear, insecurities, or doubt, clear our vision and sharpen our hearing so we can discern Your directions.

Help us recognize our desperate need for You as we submit to the plan and pace You’ve set for our growth and our good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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