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How to Have Hope

     How do you get through difficult, challenging times in this journey? Have you ever been overwhelmed with what’s going on? Been in the depths of despair or depression? Good news! There is Hope, Help and Healing available to all of us in this crazy chaotic journey that will bring calm, contentment and a conquering to whatever has held you down.

     My son Zachary lost his father at a young age, he struggled with drugs and depression. In 2014 the police came to my door to tell me what no parent wants to hear,  your son died in an auto accident. The heartbreak was overwhelming, pain began, then numbness set in to help me get through. Two weeks before his death, he had asked us if we would take care of Anthony if anything happened to him, his one year old. We said yes. Therefore we now had an 18 month old to raise. Anthony’s mother was in the accident, she was critical and unable to care for him.

     There were prayers from many during this time and I really felt God sustaining us. I want to share how to have hope and healing in what appears to be a hopeless circumstance. And guess what? It’s the acronym of HOPE.

HHELP–  We need each other, the connections are crucial. They are like an electrical cord that gives us energy and the ability to function as we are designed.  Make the choice to reach out. Have coffee and pour your heart out to a friend, people really do care and want to help you.

          1) Help others- When you give of yourself you get blessing poured back into you.

          2) Help yourself- Receive help gratefully. This pours into you the blessings of overflow from others who are blessed when they give to you. Journaling helps you process what’s going on in your life and before you know it, you are writing answers.

          3) Support groups- Finding people who know what you are going through and this will lift you up and encourage you to get through.

         4) Counseling- The expert can bring perspective and healing to your wounds. Many times books have been a counselor to me. When my son was a teenager and acting out, I read “Parents in Pain” by John White 6 times at least. It was awesome!

 OONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER– You do what has to be done and gain some control, one action or one minute or one breath at a time. If the baby’s diaper needs changed, you change the diaper, if the baby needs a bottle, you give him a bottle.

          1) Even 1 inch at a time, you gain ground. You lose the feeling of hopelessness by gaining control one action at a time.

          2) Do a task and you will gain a sense of accomplishment. You’re not so helpless and hopeless after all.

          3) Choose to push through the pain or inability. The attention you give your thoughts effects how your brain functions.( p.107 “Switch on Your Brain” by Dr Caroline Leaf)

PPOSITIVE– Proper perspective is powerful. Thoughts and emotions impact your mind and body. Positive attitudes cause correct chemical secretion in your brain, negative attitude distorts and disrupts. Choose the positive thoughts so you will flow in the positive. ( “Who Switched off my Brain” by Dr Caroline Leaf chapter 2.)

          1) Pray and meditate. Aligning yourself with your Creator will give wisdom and peace.

          2) Experience strongflow not stronghold. Pursue a positive flow in life’s journey so you have a clear crisp course. A stronghold, where emotions are controlled by the negative, has a murky, uncertain and  dark grip on you hindering your correct course.

          3) Change the channel.That’s what I tell my 5 year old grandson. If it’s scary or he’s throwing a fit,  he has a choice to change the channel to better behavior or more positive emotion with a better outcome.

 EEXERCISE–  Repetitive  motions that build strength. This makes you stronger, more resilient.

          1) Body. Exercise builds cells and strength, stimulates blood flow and oxygen so you are better able to face challenges. Increased strength= decreased weakness. You may have physical limitations to this ability, I do. I have committed to 15 minutes a day of strength building exercises and I do feel better. Take a walk if you can; blue skies, red flowers,and sunshine will bring you a momentary pause to your pain.( And besides my little dog enjoys the walk daily!)

          2) Emotions. Choose joy, peace and calm. They make the journey smoother despite the twists and turns. Anger, bitterness and unforgiveness are chaotic thorns in this journey and will cause physical symptoms and a sullen, frowny face attitude which limits people who want to be around you. A smile is contagious- Go infect someone today!

          3) Spiritual. Build trust in God who has the final outcome in every situation. Even if it doesn’t turn out like we want, it’s awesome to trust God and know that He will  sustain you and fill you with rest. He has breathed life and restoration in us. Like oxygenation, in with the new life sustaining air, out with the bad

     I have hope for myself and others struggling through the heartaches of life and death. You have an amazing opportunity to make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you. Don’t plod along like a victim, live a vibrant, victorious life.

                                                    Love,  Debbie Bowman

          .

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Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to six children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in phychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate level studies at Christian Leadership University. Sam is the creator of Granpa Cratchet, one of the most successful touring shows in the history of the live events industry. Millions of people see Granpa every year all across the United States at fairs and festivals. His characters have appeared on every major network: Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show (4 times). Sam and his characters have made over 500 local appearances and on all the major networks; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, PBN, The LeSea Network, The PTL Network and Praise the Lord. They currently appear all around the world every week on YouTube and Facebook, and on several satellite networks via the Kidz Television Network and The Captain Hook (children's) Show.

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