Sunday, April 26, 2020


(Portions taken from an article written by Aarti Gupta, PsyD at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

Who would have ever thought when this year began that we would be facing a global pandemic; let alone one that would shut down the whole world in a matter of weeks.  This is unbelievable!  We are making history, friends.  Some day we will be able to tell generations from now that we survived the great Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and what a story that will be!

I know it has been hard, to say the least.  Being isolated under a mandatory quarantine can stir up a variety of unwelcome emotions.  You may feel alone, anxious, stir-crazy, lost, not yourself, afraid, or overwhelmed to name a few.  I want to challenge you, during this unexpected season, to make the most of your time of “waiting.”  Waiting for things to change and doors to open. Good things can happen while we wait!

We have all been granted a GIANT PAUSEto reexamine our priorities, make the necessary adjustments needed, and possibly attempt to simplify our lives. 

This kind of opportunity is rare and it doesn’t come around every day.  If you take advantage of it, it can be life changing!  We have all been given a chance to alter the course of our lives and make a fresh start.  What needs to change?  What do I need to stop doing or start doing?  What should I  focus my attention on?  What matters most?  
What COULD happen if we took time to assess our lives and pray about it?  Are we where we know we should be?  Are we doing what God has called us to do?  If not, this is a great time to make some changes.
These uncertain times (living with so many “unknowns” that change by the day) can unfortunately trigger unhealthy emotions to rise up within us.  When unchecked, they can lead to toxic thoughts, reactions, and behavior.  Processing these emotions and surrendering them to God is key to experiencing His peace that passes all understanding in the midst of these crazy days.  I want to share with you some tools that will hopefully help guide you, as you endeavor to push forward with God’s help during these difficult times.
How can I manage my time & emotions...

Start your day with God.  Before you do anything else each day, spend time with God. Share your heart with Him.  How are you feeling?  What are you worried about?  Who do you know that needs a touch from God today?  Tell Him… and then take time to LISTEN.  Listen to His heart. God speaks all the time, we just don’t always take time to listen.
Then after that, spend time in His word… the Bible.  The Bible is alive, active, powerful, and life changing!  It’s food for our spirits and a light that guides our steps.  When we read it, supernatural things happen!  If you have trouble being faithful to read your Bible, I encourage you to follow a Bible plan.  They have tons to choose from on the Youversion Bible app. (  You can even do this with a group of friends or family.  This option gives you the opportunity to have everyone share what stood out to them from what they read.  It’s very encouraging and a great way to keep accountable to reading daily.  
Another thing I would suggest you do during the day is spend time listening to worship music… you know, those songs you hear at church. I have noticed that when I play that kind of music (at home in the background throughout my day) that it feels more PEACEFUL in my house and inside my heart.  
The last thing I want to encourage you to do, when it comes to focusing your heart on God, is to write down a scripture each day. Choose a scripture that brings you peace and encourages you.  Find a special place to post them where they will be seen often.  This will help you focus your heart more on God when you are feeling anxious.  Here are a few of my favorites…Psalm 112:7, Psalm 62:1, Psalm 46:10, I Peter 5:7, Phil. 4:6-7, Matt. 6:34, Phil. 4:13, Rom. 8:28

Instead of thinking... “I’m stuck inside”, focus on the fact that... Now you have time to give more attention to your relationship with God, those closest to you, and those postponed needs of your home.
Whether you are working from home, doing school work, or managing your household, good things can come out of this frustrating season... if you change your perspective
Choosing to do one productive thing each day can lead to a more positive attitude. Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganize, or create something you’ve always wanted to make.  Plan special family nights.  Play games, watch movies, and take walks. Get outside together and build memories that will last a lifetime!  Approaching this time with a mindset of feeling trapped or stuck will only stress you out more. This is your chance to slow down and focus on what is truly important.
When your family looks back on this season of their lives, what do you want them to remember about your time together?
Try to maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-quarantine days. For those individuals with children, sticking to a routine might be easier for you with managing their school days.  However, for those that work from home, it could be very tempting to become lethargic and unmotivated.  This can open the door to negative thinking. A suggestion would be to wake up and go to bed around the same time each day.  Eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of those PJ’s. Do laundry on the same day as usual and continue to do the necessary household chores. Sticking to your normal routine will help keep you active and make it less likely for you to spiral into unhealthy behavior.  Not to mention, this will also help you be ready for when you are able to return to your previous commitments.


Freeing up your day from work or social obligations gives you plenty of time to obsess, and if you have a tendency to consult Google for every itch and sneeze, you may be over-researching the pandemic as well. Choosing only certain credible websites ( or is a good start) for a limited amount of time each day (perhaps two chunks of 30 minutes each) will be in your best interest during this time.

With all the uncertainty happening all around us (outside of our homes), keeping the inside organized, predictable, and clean can bring a sense of calm to the crazy. Setting up mental zones for daily activities can be helpful to organize your day. For example, try not to eat in bed or work on the sofa (just as before), eat at the kitchen table and work at your desk. Loosening these boundaries just muddles your routine and can make the day feel very long. Additionally, a cluttered home can cause you to feel uneasy and claustrophobic in your own surroundings. Keeping your home tidy inside and out can relieve stress and bring a calm to your heart.


With your newfound time, why not plan something special during these quarantined days?  You could start a daily journal to jot down thoughts and feelings to reflect on later. Or you could take a walk every day at 4 pm. Plan special video calls with your friends, family, or church group each week.  Or maybe you could start a weekly game night or fun competition. Having something special planned during this time will help you look forward to each new day.

Telehealth is an option when you need to talk to a professional.
Many licensed therapists are offering options over HIPAA-compliant video chat platforms. One such company I highly recommend is Pendleton Counseling Services.  They offer excellent quality counseling and addiction help. They just opened a new office and are currently taking appointments online.  Please see the additional resources listed below for details and assistance.  If your anxiety is reaching proportions that are unmanageable without professional assistance, please reach out for help.
We are in this together friend!  YOU are not alone! You got this!!!
Living to leave a legacy,


Pendleton Counseling Services 
(765) 221-9495
Kelly Ricer, LCSW 
Lindsey Lawrence, LCSW, LCAC

Reclaimed Counseling
(317) 537-7906
(They offer individual, couples, and family counseling)

National Treatment Centers
Call 1-866-745-2140 for IMMEDIATE treatment assistance. 
24/7, 365 days (confidential)
Find a treatment center near you on the site.

Aspire Indiana
24 HOUR CRISIS: 1-800-560-4038
Make an appointment: 1-317-574-1254
Division of Mental Health & Addiction: 1-800-901-1133
(Sliding scale fees available)

Thursday, April 9, 2020

“I’M NOT OKAY… I’m feeling hopeless”

Does hope feel far from you today?  Does your heart feel in knots and your soul unsettled? Are you lacking PEACE and desperate for a change?   If so, I’m not surprised!!  Fear is relentlessly saturating the airways of our world by every means possible.  It is broadcast non-stop from our news stations. Have you heard the constant dings of news updates on your phone? It’s on the radio, in the newspaper, scrolling across our social media, in our “in boxes”, communicated in a multitude of videos, and topics of discussion with the rich and poor. It has paused our schools, jobs, social gathering places, and lives.  You can see it on the faces of the youngest to the oldest.  Our heroes (the medical professionals) work endless hours to silence it, but they can’t.  Fear is spreading like a wildfire!

It’s mission is to MAGNIFY the negative, defuse the positive, and create toxic images in our minds building up the worst possible case scenarios of our circumstances. Then fear feeds and breeds anxiety, panic, and hopelessness causing us to react to those “perceived” toxic images AS IF they were really going to happen.  

The problem with this kind of thinking (and reacting) is that it 
leaves no room for HOPE or an opportunity to be rescued.

Psalm 34:4 says… 
“I asked the Lord for help, and He answered me.  He saved me from all that I feared.” (NCV)

Psalm 94:19 says… 
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed HOPE and cheer.” (NLT)

You know what?  I noticed something that I have never seen like this before the other night.  As much as FEAR is being thrown at us at every turn, PEACE is right there beside it… waiting.  Recently, I decided to limit my news intake to lower the stress of our present circumstances.  Instead of feeding fear, worry, and anxiousness, I tried to focus more on my family and God. One night (church night for most places) I decided to browse Facebook for some worship music.  I knew there had to be some church leading songs somewhere I could play while I worked on a few things at home. I was overwhelmed as I scrolled down the page on Facebook! There were more churches than I could count having online Bible Studies and worship services, a bunch of Christian music artists were having living room concerts in their homes sharing new songs, and friends were opening up their hearts to everyone on video trying to bring encouragement.  PEACE was all over the place

The internet isn’t just being saturated with FEAR, 
it’s being saturated with PEACE!!!  

More churches than ever are taking advantage of the internet and flooding it with the PEACE of God.  If you are feeling lost, afraid, overwhelmed, and fearful… look around for the PEACE of God.  It’s all around you. He is near!  Watch one of those videos I mentioned that may be there when you are scrolling down your social media pages, listen to a church service broadcast online, or take the time to hear a friend’s heart as they share boldly and attempt to encourage you.

You don’t have to walk in FEAR!  God offers His PEACE that passes all understanding.  When we work hard to focus our hearts MORE on God instead of our circumstances… we end up feeding our faith instead of fear.  Faith believes God for impossible things! Fear closes the door to HOPE.  The next time you feel afraid, “Put your trust in God” (Psalm 56:3).  I love the promise God makes us in Isaiah 41:10... “Don’t be afraid, for I am WITH you.”  We are not alone!  God promises to walk through all the dark, scary seasons with us.

There is a quote I heard years ago that has stuck with me to this day.  It’s another definition for the word FEAR. It’s a definition I like a whole lot better!!

F- ace  
E- verything  
A- nd  
R- ise

Are you feeling hopeless today, friend?  It’s time to RISE... above the fear and trust Him!  HOPE again!  The definition of hope is to “expect with confidence”.  Let’s expect with confidence that things are going to get better and that God is going to turn this horrible situation around to bring good out of it.  Do you believe it? He can!

If what I have shared has been speaking to your heart and you realize that you don’t just need peace, you need God in your life today, I want to encourage you to call out to Him right now.  Invite Him to do life with you for the first time or once again. Surrender your life to Him and ask Him to fill you with His peace. His presence in our lives makes all the difference! It brings PEACE!

If you surrendered your life to God today, please let me know so I can be praying with you.

If you are doing your best to walk in God’s peace and know of some websites, good online church services, or resources you have used to help increase your faith that could help others, please leave a comment and share below.

This Sunday (EASTER) is the perfect time to join a church service online.  His peace will meet you there! If you are looking for a church to check out, feel free to join ours online at the following link... Faith Church Online. Happy Easter friends!

Will you pray with me?

Thank you that I don’t have to walk in fear.  You are my rescuer!  You bring HOPE to hopeless situations!  Nothing is impossible for YOU!  Thank you that I don’t have to face anything alone. YOU are with me!  You comfort me, strengthen me, and carry me through when I struggle to go on.  Today, I lay my fear at your feet.  The uncertainties of life scare me and make me feel anxious, but I put my trust in YOUYou have never failed me yet!  God, please help me to lay my worries down at your feet daily, so they don’t weigh me down and hold me back from all you have for me.  Let HOPE ARISE inside my heart to believe you for IMPOSSIBLE things… miracles for my family, my church, my city, my county, my state, my country, and the world.  Nothing is impossible for you God!  MY HOPE IS IN YOU!

Living to leave a legacy,