Phobophobia

Everyone has they’re own inner battles. Some are more obvious than others, but when it gets down to it, everyone has something they really struggle with. One of my personal struggles is fear. Fear seems to have more power over us than just about any other emotion. When we’re afraid of something can’t think rationally and behave in ways we wouldn’t normally. Like insisting on sleeping with the light on or checking under our beds for monsters. Or almost ripping our shirt off in the middle of the living room, because we think there may be a tiny spider on it. (I did not do that!) Or running away from your Dad, screaming, because he told you he felt like he was going to vomit. (I have done that.)

That brings me to my fear. THE STOMACH FLU. Notice how that is in all caps, that’s kind of how I imagine those three words together, mixed with a high pitched squeak. Now, when I say I am afraid of the stomach flu, I mean I am really, really terrified. Or at least I used to be. Now I am very scared of the stomach flu, but not like I was. I used to be soooooooo frightened of the stomach flu that it was a physical reaction. My body would tremble, I would feel weak, and my heart would race. At times it was so bad, I could barely function. And this wasn’t just my reaction when my family started vomiting, this was my reaction when anyone I knew got sick with the awful virus.

Then one night, several years ago, my entire family got the stomach flu. Every single one, but me.

It was at that point, as I lay in bed crying, my heart pounding, that I realized I feared the fear as much as I feared the stomach flu. I also knew that I couldn’t live with this fear for the rest of my life. It was too controlling, it stopped me from doing things that I would normally have done, simply because I was afraid I might get the dreaded illness. That night I begged God to help me overcome my debilitating phobia. That night I opened my Bible and found Psalm 91. I know it’s a common passage, but I want to share it with you anyway.

 

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say[a] to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge[b]
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

I know what you’re thinking, this is going to be one of those incredible stories, where my fear completely disappeared in one night. But it’s not. I still fight with my anxiety. Each time my fear sneaks back in, I have to choose to trust God. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that I notice the wording in verses 9-10.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge[b]
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.

At the beginning of these two verses it says the word because. Because you have trusted God to protect you, because you have chosen him as your refuge he will be your shield. Wait a second. That means I have to be willing to give my dread to God? That’s really hard. Why? Because I want to feel like I am in control. But reality is, I’m not. And I never will be. It doesn’t matter how much hand sanitizer I put on, it’s up to God whether or not I get sick. Besides, the Good Lord made the germs for a reason, and he’s more capable than I am of getting rid of them. I might always be somewhat scared of the stomach flu, but God has given me wonderful resources to help my win my war with worry. There are four things that have really helped me.

1. God’s word

Every time I’m afraid, God gives me new verse to focus on. One of my favorites is Isaiah 41:13:

For I, the Lord your God,
    hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
    I am the one who helps you.”

I love that verse! Who doesn’t want God to hold their hand? You’ve got to admit that’s pretty cool and comforting!

2. Prayer (You would probably laugh if you could hear some of the imploring I’ve done with God over the years. Sometimes it sounds kind of like this: “Please, please, pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaase don’t let us catch the flu!!!!!!”)

As for prayer, I’m not generally feeling very creative when I’m scared, so it kind of comes out something like this: “Help!” or “Dear God, Please don’t let me get the stomach flu!” That’s generally the gist of my prayers. But you know what? They work! I have only had the stomach flu a couple of times ever! I can’t actually remember what it feels like to throw up. (Perhaps that’s part of the problem.) God really does hear our prayers when we ask him for something, even when his answer is NO.

3. Lavender Oil (I know you were expecting something profound, but lavender oil is especially helpful for anxiety.)

Now, let’s touch on the lavender oil thing for a minute. I don’t want to sound like I’m selling something, because I’m not, but this stuff truly is wonderful! The DoTerra brand smells heavenly and is great for anxiety. It helps relax your body and makes you a little bit tired. Plus, it’s completely natural! (I’m homeschooled, so obviously that is very important.) All you have to do is put a little bit under your nose and inhale.

4. Music

Alright, on to the music. One day, my Dad felt like he might be getting sick with the you-know-what. My parents had just had it not three weeks earlier, and I was thinking, No, no, no!!! Not again! I just did this, God! Is this some kind of cruel game? I turned on the CD I had in my CD player, and a song came on (imagine that.), it was “Hold Me Jesus”  by Rich Mullins.

Hold Me Jesus

Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

CHORUS:
So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It’s so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

CHORUS

Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

CHORUS

You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace?

It occurred to me in that moment, that I needed to stop fighting God, and let him be my Prince of Peace. I needed to let him take control of my life, and stop worrying about the future.

Honestly, I hate writing these sort of blog post. In some ways they seem too personal and open. I’m sharing a bit of myself with you, and am making my self somewhat vulnerable. That’s not easy. I guess it’s probably a pride thing. But either way I decided to share this with you today. I hope it didn’t make you feel like I was just sharing my problems with the world. I wanted to write this, because I wanted to make the point that in our many fears, we should trust God, but not to be discouraged when our problems don’t immediately disappear. Even if you’re like me and you have a bit of phobophobia (fear of fear), he’ll help you overcome that fear as well. You can’t let your fears control and keep you from doing all the amazing things God has for your life. In the words of John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

~Ally

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Hilariously Random Movie Quotes: Part 2

Hello World! Here is the sequel to the Hilariously Random Movie Quotes. Enjoy!

 

 

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“Food is fuel. If you get picky about what you put in the tank, your engine is going to die. Now shut up and eat your garbage.”   ~  Ratatouille

 

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“Now look! We’ve figured it out 17 different ways, and each time we figured it, it was no good, because no matter how we figured it, somebody don’t like the way we figured it! So now, there’s only one way to figure it. And that is every man, including the old bag, for himself.”

“So good luck and may the best man win.”

“Except for you old lady, may you just DROP DEAD!”   ~ It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World

 

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“There’s a monster outside my room, can I have a glass of water?”   ~ Signs

 

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“How do you spell FBI?”   ~ Toy Story 2

 

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“I do not mean to pry. But you do not, by any chance, happen to have six fingers on your right hand?”

“Do you always begin conversations this way?”   ~ The Princess Bride

 

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“I’m only paranoid ’cause they want me dead.”   ~ Conspiracy Theory

 

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“Can I drink this?”

“Do you want to explode!?”   ~ Despicable Me

 

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“The name’s Fred; school mascot by day, but by night… I’m also the school mascot.”   ~ Big Hero 6

 

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“Don’t shut YOUR eyes!”

“Okay, sorry. Got a little nervous.”

“YOU’RE nervous? An 11-year-old is cutting my hair!”   ~ The Parent Trap

 

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“Money is the world’s curse.”

“May the Lord smite me with it! And may I never recover!” ~ Fiddler on the Roof

 

– Savy

The Reality of Homeschooling

The Reality of Homeschooling: As depicted by twelve realistic comics.

 

Every homeschool parent has the right to talk to themselves. It is perfectly acceptable.

 

Yep, that’s kind of how it feels on the last day of school.

 

Who said you can’t wear pajama’s to school?

 

And no matter what, do NOT ever mention Harry Potter.

 

In our house walking to the mailbox counts as P.E. Wimpy, I know.

 

To be fair this has never happened to me, but I have known people it has happened to.

 

Just another day in the life of a homeschooler.

 

Okay, maybe that’s a little snarky, but you get the point. We really are not afraid of the outside world and do not plan to hide in our houses for the rest of our lives.

 

But who can blame her? I would be frustrated by the end of the day if I had to do her job too.

 

I admit it, I correct my own tests. But I do not cheat!

 

Genius.

 

I’ve never received lunch money, but I can’t complain, my lunches at home are better than what they get in a public school.

I hope you have enjoyed this post! ~Ally

 

 

The Meek Persons Guide to World Domination

Hi everyone! I will admit right now that the title of this post is somewhat misleading and I was not originally the one who came up with it. (Our pastor’s wife was joking about it once during youth group.) This is not really a post on how to dominate the world. I’m sorry to disappoint you. The title is based off Matthew 5:5 which says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Over the next month or two I will be doing a series of post on meekness.

What does it mean to be a meek person? What does it mean to inherit the earth? Often times when people think of meekness they think of weakness. It is a common misconception that meek people are really people who are too cowardly to stick up for themselves. I have often heard meekness described this way:

(I’m not quite sure who said this, as many sites listed Rick Warren as the author, while others listed Joyce Meyer or other authors.) I think this is the perfect description of meekness. Meekness is not being too pathetic to defend yourself, but rather having the courage to turn the other cheek. So what makes a person meek? I believe there are several traits of a meek person, and will studying each of them more thoroughly in the next few weeks, but for now here is an overview:

  • Courage
  • Humility
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Wisdom

I will be exploring each of these attributes, and hope to share my findings with you. Then we can dominate the world in our meekness! Just kidding. Psalm 149:4, “For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people; He will beautify the meek with salvation.”

 

~Ally

 

PBD Disorder: Do You Suffer From It?

Hello everyone! Today I am going to share with you on a virtually unknown, yet quite serious disorder: Post Book Depression Disorder. While I may have made up the name, this is still a very real problem. It is caused when an avid reader finishes a fantastic book. Christmas has been over for almost a week now, which means I’m pretty much finished with the books I received for Christmas, and therefore PBD is starting to kick in. This is a disorder I have suffered from many times in the past, and am very familiar with, but how do you know if you have it? Here are some of the symptoms:

 

1. A deep feeling of melancholy that settles in during the last chapter

2. Daydreaming about a sequel

3. Frantically surfing through the books on the online library or Kindle store

4. The desperate urge to go to the library no matter what you are doing

5. Missing fictional characters as if they were your best friend

6. The desire to scream, “Nooooooooooooooooo, it’s over!!!!!!!!!!!”

 

If you have ever experienced any of these symptoms then you know you’ve got Post Book Depression Disorder. Unfortunately, there is no real cure for it, except to find another good book to read. Although at some point that book must come to an end as well. Isn’t it horrid that every book must have a finish? “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ~C.S. Lewis

~Ally

 

 

 

Christmas Quotes to Make You Smile

Day 21

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”  – Shirley Temple

“Mistletoe,” said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry’s head. He jumped out from under it.
“Good thinking,” said Luna seriously. “It’s often infested with nargles.”  – J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?”  – Gilbert K. Chesterton

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”  – C. S. Lewis

“God bless us, every one!”  – Charles Dickens

 

– Savy

 

Totally Awesome Christmas Movie Quotes

Day 15

I am tired of intros. Let’s just get to the good stuff.

 

 

A Christmas Story

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Ralphie: Oooh fuuudge!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn’t say “Fudge.” I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!
Mr. Parker: What did you say?
Ralphie: Uh, um…
Mr. Parker: That’s… what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was all over – I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child’s play compared to what surely awaited me.

Randy: Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf.
The Old Man: All right, I’ll get that kid to eat. Where’s my screw driver and my plumber’s helper? I’ll open up his mouth and I’ll shove it in.

Mother: Ralphie, you’re lucky it didn’t cut your eye! Those icicles have been known to kill people.

 

 

Elf

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Buddy: “I’m sorry I ruined your lives, and crammed eleven cookies into the VCR.”

Emily: We can’t just throw him out in the snow.
Walter: Why not? He loves the snow. He’s told me 15 times.

Santa: That’s another thing… Buddy you should know that your father… he’s on the naughty list.
Buddy: Nooooo!

Walter: [whispering] I think we should call security.
Deb: [whispering] Good idea.
Buddy: [whispering] I like to whisper too!

 

It’s a Wonderful Life

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George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.                                       Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?                                                                                                                                                           George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair… am I talking too much?

George Bailey: Isn’t it wonderful? I’m going to jail!

George Bailey: Now, come on, get your clothes on, and we’ll stroll up to my car and get… Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll stroll. You fly.
Clarence: I can’t fly! I haven’t got my wings.
George Bailey: You haven’t got your wings. Yeah, that’s right.

 

– Savy