One Thing You Can Do When You’re Feeling Helpless in a Hurting World

In moments like these when I feel inundated by the evil in this world, it’s easy for me to feel helpless. 

  • I can’t heal the mental illness in this world.
  • I can’t stop the racist hatred running through people’s hearts and words.
  • I can’t change the stats of drug use and violence.
  • I can’t stop the evil running through people’s veins.

This world needs a lot of things and I believe Jesus is our ultimate healer AND I also believe God graciously uses us in spite of our imperfections to be His hands and feet.

So what if instead of blaming society, laws, the church, the parents, and whatever other system… we focus on the little things we can do to make a tremendous impact on our family, church, and community? 

You see that racist, the bully, the adulterer, the thief, the murderer, the rapist… they didn’t just wake up one morning and out of nowhere decide to heartlessly hurt someone. A hundred little negative things led them there.

It was the myriad of times before they were willing to compromise their values, beliefs, social norms, faith, conscious. It was the infinite number of murky internet searches, videos, texts, books, music lyrics, images, thoughts, and lies they absorbed for hours on end. It was the dark thoughts of the incidents, experiences, hurt, and pain that they replayed over and over again without inviting any light, compassion, truth, love, or kindness.

Little things do make a difference.

I hope you see the impact the little negative things have on our life, heart, and mind.
But the positive little things we do can also move us toward the change we want to see in the world.

Instead of feeling helpless and hopeless let’s meditate on the truth and hope found in God’s word and ponder the little things we can do to make a difference.

Commit to doing one thing from the list below.

What I can do: 

  • I can be kind to others with a smile, showing patience and concern.
  • I can find a place to quiet my heart and pray.
  • I can remember that we are ALL created in God’s image and value life. 
  • I can check in on my child’s internet activity. This isn’t about a lack of trust, but about guiding and protecting them.
  • I can show respect to those who are different from me.
  • I can choose to turn off my screen and meditate on God’s word.
  • I can vote.
  • Keep in mind at the other end of my screen there’s a person who has a name, who has emotions, and whose journey I’m unaware of.
  • I can choose to rest and unplug.
  • I can learn to respect women as human beings, someone’s daughter, mother, aunt, sister… and not as an object.
  • I can choose to connect instead of isolate. 
  • I can offer forgiveness and ask for forgiveness from those I’ve hurt and from God.
  • I can call out my children when I see them being unkind. Instead of rationalizing their actions with–They’re just being kids, just teens, just boys, just girls. No, actually they are just being mean.
  • I can choose gratitude instead of grumbling. 
  • I can tell someone their racist joke is not cool. 
  • I can choose to tell someone about my struggle and ask them to keep me accountable.
  • I can speak up for the underdog.
  • When I feel angry or stressed I can choose to pause and go for a run or find something relaxing to focus on instead of unleashing my anger.
  • I can report suspicious behavior or abuse.
  • I can learn healthy ways to express my emotions.
  • I can learn healthy coping skills instead of anger, substance abuse, and hatred.
  • I can reach out for help to a hotline, counselor, friend, trusted adult, or church leader.

You see the little positive things can also go a long way and impact lives forever for the good.

We all want to do big things, but more often than not, it’s the hundred little things that makes the big difference.

Do the little things!

Phone Boundaries for Kids

One of the things our kids do (and I do) is “park our phones”. Basically, this means it doesn’t stay on us throughout the day and it doesn’t go to bed with us. We don’t walk around with it in our pocket or hand and we put it to sleep at night in a designated place, not in our bedroom.

This simple phone routine works for our family but it may not work for yours. If the way we set boundaries around our phone doesn’t work for you that is fine but I highly recommend that you find something that does. Our children are still learning about boundaries, self-discipline, and priorities so they NEED our help to set boundaries around their phones. I’m all for teaching our children self-regulation but we first must teach them boundaries.

Honestly, I think we could all benefit from phone boundaries in some form or fashion.

We’ve been discussing boundaries with our children. Boundaries help us know how to keep the good in and the harmful things out. One of the ways Cloud & Townsend describe boundaries in their book is as follows:

Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. 

Though we often think of boundaries for the other areas of our life it can definitely apply to our phone usage.

This simple act of “parking your phones” and “putting your phones to sleep” helps us create healthy boundaries, encourages us to be present with others and helps us not just pick up our devices out of habit all day long.

It also allows our minds to rest from the constant input we are getting either through music, texts, social media, alerts, or simply scrolling because we are bored.

Parking Your Phones

  1. Designate a spot in your house where everyone’s phones will be parked.
  2. Decide when will your phones be parked. Basically, at our house, you can use your phones throughout the day but your phone isn’t on you it’s parked in the kitchen.

Put Your Phone to Sleep

  1. Decide on a time your phone will go to sleep.
  2. Then park your phone somewhere that’s not your bedroom.

Practicing putting your phones to sleep in another room is so important for your kids. Statistics show how sleep-deprived our children are due to having phones in their room at night. The light, the dings, the notification all may seem insignificant but really do mess with our deep sleep.

Our minds really do need rest from the constant input when we set boundaries around our phone usage! You’ll find yourself checking it less because it’s in another room. And you’re getting better rest because your phone is not at your bedside.

Try this!

Recently we asked our kids –How important is it for you to connect with God? They all agreed it was a priority and they all wanted to do it in the morning, not at another time of the day. So we discussed ways we could come up with a plan to help us connect with him in the midst of a rushed morning. Everyone pitched ideas and what we came up with is “Connect with God First” which means we will connect with God first before connecting with our phone, picking up our phone. We’ve been doing this for over a month now so hopefully this sticks.

Try one of these or all of them: If you haven’t had any phone restrictions you may want to try one at a time and then slowly add the others.
1. Parking your phones.
2. Putting Your Phone to Sleep
3. Connect with God First

We have other things set in place to encourage face-to-face connection with friends and family and guide our kids with their phones that I won’t go into detail about here. But I’ll briefly mention we have things like screen time limits and filters to keep them from accessing inappropriate or violent things.

Connect & Pray for Your Kids with this Easy Idea

For the past several years a few weeks before Valentine’s day, we gather parents who desire to pray & connect with their kids!

Starting February 1st we will have a Heart Connection Challenge for parents! 

On Feb. 1st (or whenever you want to join us) until Valentine’s day, place a heart on your child’s door with an encouraging word using the “Connect” prompt from the kit and pray for your children using the verse and prayer prompts. If you’re not using the kit then simply come up with your own words of encouragement to share with your child and pray the verses below.

Who wants to join me for the Heart Connection Challenge?

It’s really simple to join:

  1. You can use the Heart Connection Kits—>14 Days of Encouraging and Pray for your Children!
    You’ll find this in my SHOP for around $2. You can use the prompts & verses over and over again –year-round! Use the prompt for that day to write a word of encouragement for your child and then use the prayer prompt to pray the verse for them.
  2. Or you can follow along below without the prompts and pray the verses listed and place a heart on your child’s door with words of encouragement.
  3. Stop by my Facebook page throughout February 1st-14th and I’ll be randomly sharing on there as well!

14 Days of Praying & Encouraging Your Kids

  • Day 1 Pray: James 1:17 
  • Day 2 Pray: Psalms 55:22 
  • Day 3 Pray: 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Day 4 Pray: Proverbs 24:3 
  • Day 5 Pray: Philippians 2:3 
  • Day 6 Pray: Corinthians 5:17 
  • Day 7 Pray: Galatians 5:16 
  • Day 8 Pray: Ephesians 3:17 
  • Day 9 Pray: Hebrews 6:19 
  • Day 10 Pray: Joshua 1:9 
  • Day 11 Pray: Zephaniah 3:17 
  • Day 12 Pray: Matthew 5:16 
  • Day 13 Pray: 1 Peter 5:8 
  • Day 14 Pray: Colossians 3:2

The Day of Small Beginnings on a Cold Thursday

I don’t know about you but it’s only 20 days into January and I have already lost my motivation for a fresh start this year.

It’s been a crazy 3 weeks here in our home between snow days, COVID sickness in our family, and lack of energy. 

This morning I was reminded of the verse in Zephaniah 4:10 “Do not despise the day of small beginnings.”

So I decided I was going to go against my urge to wait until Monday to start over fresh as if there’s something magical about Monday. 

Instead while still wearing my pajamas I’m going to declare this the “day of small beginnings”. I will lean into His strength and gather the motivation to walk forward with my intentions for the new year.

Sometimes we need to remember God is able to make things new even on a cold snowy Thursday (even when it’s 20 days past January 1st). Though my beginnings are small I serve a big God.

Friends let’s not despise the day of small beginnings. (Zechariah 4:10)

The Day of Small Beginnings

This verse is found in the book of Zechariah. In this passage, Zechariah reminds the returned exiles of Israel who are building God’s temple not to despise the day of small beginnings.

We are told this temple will one day be great. It also looks to the coming of Christ and His second coming. Reminding us the day of big things is coming through Christ’s ultimate reign so in the meantime let’s not forget the day of small beginnings.

I found it interesting after the exiles laid the foundation to the temple the young people rejoiced but some of the elderly people who remembered Solomon’s amazing temple wept at the sight of this small one.

Comparison is the thief of joy and it gives birth to discontent in our hearts. It affected the exiles then and we see it rob our motivation today.  
Let’s not compare ourselves with others nor compare our present to our past experiences. 

The people of God got lost in comparisons and forgot what actually makes the temple great–it’s God’s presence. They couldn’t see all the hands at work for God’s glory nor the obedience and desire to honor God through building the temple they simply saw the size.

Though this passage is not about comparison it does remind us how blinding comparison can be. Let go of comparison and be amazed by our big God who uses small things. God works in our small beginnings!

So let us bring our offerings to God and rejoice in small beginnings on a simple day like Thursday.

Speaking of New Beginnings

Speaking of new beginnings. What if this year you invested in becoming stronger in your faith, heart, and mind?

Today is the day to book a coaching session! Simply fill out this form HERE to book a session or contact me at [email protected]

End of the Year Reflection Printable

Let’s end the year praising and glorifying God!

This past weekend as our family read the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2 over our Christmas meal, I noticed something.

I couldn’t help but see how the shepherds did two things in this passage–seek and speak. They went out looking for Jesus, then they shared the good news with those around them, and they praised and glorified God.

So I encouraged my family to end the year with me “seeking and speaking! To look for God’s goodness woven into our year in the midst of the hard and the blessings. To praise Him for His faithfulness!

End of Year Reflection!

So I came up with this End of the Year Reflection challenge –Seek & Speak! I also have a free printable for you to download below!

Join me! It’s really simple!

  1. Seek!–Think through the past year and see all that He has done and is doing in your midst. You can look through pictures on your phone to jog your memory, read through journal entries, or whatever other way you record your activities from the year. In our family, we use the photo app on my computer that holds all of my pictures. Then I click on the slide option and it turns it into slides(nothing fancy). We connect it to the TV screen and we sit and reminisce. One year our boys made a slide show.
  2. Speak! As you think through the ways God showed up in your year, praise Him. Share with someone your discoveries of God’s goodness this week.

The reality is even when we don’t see it, God is at work. Even when we don’t understand it, we can trust His steadfast love never changes.