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How Long Before the Heartache Stops

17 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged July 17, 2021

July 16, 2021

If you peek through my window, you’ll find me dancing. I’m celebrating because a few weeks ago, after a year of Zoom presentations, I delivered my first in-person message.

After I finished, I put the mic down on the podium and stepped off. As I made my way to the book table, a sweet woman hugged me tight. “Thirty years,” she whispered in my ear “it’s been that long that I drew away from God. After my son was killed, I wanted nothing to do with God or the Bible. I was away for 30 years. I decided to come back.”

For most, 30 years seems way too long to carry sorrow. But heartache has no expiration date. Sometimes, it weighs heavy for a lifetime. Unless we take a bold step and do what this champion in discus throwing did.

An excerpt from The Sacred Romance.

…I read the story of a Scottish discus thrower from the nineteenth century. He lived in the days before professional trainers and developed his skills alone, in the highlands of his native village. He even made his own iron discus from the description he read in a book. What he did not know was that the discus used in competition was made of wood with an outer rim of iron. His was solid metal and weighed three or four times as much as those being used by his would-be challengers. This committed Scotsman marked out in his field the distance of the current record throw and trained day and night to be able to match it. For nearly a year, he labored under the self-imposed burden of the extra weight. But he became very, very good. He reached the point at which he could throw his iron discus the record distance, maybe farther. He was ready.

My Scotsman (I had begun to closely identify with him) traveled south to England for his first competition. When he arrived at the games, he was handed the official wooden discus—which he promptly threw like a tea saucer. He set a new record, a distance so far beyond those of his competitors that no one could touch him. He thus remained the uncontested champion for many years.

Hanging onto heartache and wondering if joy will ever come back.

As you read this, someone also has in their life’s a discus called heartache. And what do they do? Goodness gracious, they hold on to it. Days are dark and hard as their feet drag. Exhaustion tells them the weight is too heavy. Perhaps it’s because deep, really deep inside, like me, they doubt God could ease such intense pain. We wonder if He will indeed lift our sorrow. And in our limited, human mind we can’t imagine how, in the gloom of pain, could joy ever come back.

And to make it more complicated, some folks grip their heartache tight because they find a strange sense of comfort by re-living the details of the loss.

Good news, the reason doesn’t matter. Instead, what makes the difference and brings one to the champion stage is obedience. Obedience to God’s instruction: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22).

He will never, never let us fall.

That promise is fulfilled when we let it go. And when we do, God will strengthen us. He will hold us up through the journey. And He will equip us enough for us to make it to the finish line of victory.

That triumphant moment arrives when we transform our thinking, our words and prayers. We replace, “Lord, the pain is too much. I don’t know how long I can endure it” with something like “I trust You, Lord, when I release this deep pain, you will give me the freedom I need.”

The next step is to wait. Wait to see how He begins the mending. Wait to see how He comforts. Wait and see how He opens the door to a new chapter and a new heartache-free future.

He did that very thing for me. When my youngest son was murdered, doubt had to end, faith had to increase, and trust take over.

That’s the reason, with thankfulness overflowing in me, I can write this from my chair of victory, typing on the keyboard of faith and gratitude.

Thank you, Lord! Thank you for receiving our cares. For turning that pain to a divine purpose. For transforming each burden to a blessing and grief to peace.

Let’s pray:

Father, I’ve had this burden for way too long. I vow to let it go, and in faith, I step into the freedom that comes through the reassurance of your promise to sustain me. In Jesus’ name.

What is the burden you need to let go today?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

What does God say about immigration?

3 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged July 3, 2021

July 2, 2021

I step away from the “normal” devotional I send you on a regular basis. And I humbly warn you as I’m about to share something personal, controversial and sensitive.

I appreciate, value and respect your opinion on whatever topic is rattling this country right now including illegal immigration. And because I do, let me tell you my story.

When I was 31-years old, a retinal disease robbed my sight completely. A friend visited me and said, “What are you waiting for? Get your application in for social security disability. After all, you have three little kids and you’re a naturalized citizen. You deserve it.”

It didn’t set well with me.

Deserve it? That didn’t set well with me. This is why.

In 1960, I was eight and my brother seven. Life was pitiful in Bolivia, and desperation was served at every meager meal in our tiny, dark kitchen.

So, my parents rolled up their sleeves and worked, sweated and struggled to meet all U.S. Immigration requirements to enter the country.

Four long years later, and with documents in hand, we arrived in Miami. Even before suitcases were unpacked, Father set his own laws. “This is the United States and the language is English. We will learn to speak it and learn it well.”

He also added there would be no excuses when opportunity came to work hard and live to our commitment to give, contribute rather than receive.

Years later, I still carried that mentality in my heart. And that’s precisely what erased any reason for my blindness to be an excuse. So, I studied, worked hard and what followed was an award-winning career as a Spanish interpreter. At the same time, I became a writer and inspirational speaker.

As a writer, I often tuck my opinions about illegal immigration in the privacy of my heart. But in a moment of boldness, I chose to impart this insight: If we enter the U.S. carrying deception, how can we expect to receive blessings for the journey?

The fear of God was considered.

Risking sounding boastful, I confess our family chose to enter legally because of fear. Fear of God’s warning about deception and fear of living void of God’s blessings because, “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours” (Psalm 128:1-2).

And although prosperity followed hard work, our goal was to leave a legacy for our grandkids.

I cupped my grandson’s face in my hands and looked into his blue eyes. “You have to remember your great grandfather came to the U.S. riding in the airplane of integrity. You need to live up to that and carry that legacy.”

Speaking of legacy, I ask your forgiveness for the political incorrectness you’re about to read. But illegal immigration has nothing to do with legality. Rather, it has everything to do with the distorted legacy we’re leaving for generations to come.

Beginning a life under deception molds a mindset where welfare is a goal and hard work becomes an inconvenience.

Important Truths

We can’t allow these truths to vanish in the fog of confusion:

  • A sense of entitlement fosters laziness.
  • Excuse is the door to defeat.
  • Forced indoctrination of our children brings on social collapse.
  • Immorality paves the path to destruction.
  • Mocking God invites disaster.
  • Trust in government for provision keep deception alive.
  • Investing in courage and integrity pays dividends of success.
  • Trusting in God’s provision brings lasting rewards.

We deserve it. Yes, sadly we do. We deserve the consequences of a generation where laziness is accepted. Where wrong is rewarded, right is criticized, Godly views are silenced, and mediocrity applauded.

This writer believes immigration becomes illegal when those crossing the borders believe America is the land of entitlement. Wrong. America is still the land of the free.

That freedom was established by God through the founding fathers. And that liberty became the banner for early immigrants who learned English, worked hard, upheld god’s values, contributed and saluted the American flag.

They didn’t demand or complain. But rather, they sang gratitude to God for allowing them to live and prosper in the greatest nation on earth.

My family still celebrates the 4th of July with a banquet of gratitude served on the table of God’s Word. How about you?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

If you enjoyed these moments of inspiration, consider supporting JC Empowerment Ministries. We keep going, keep inspiring and keep bringing Jesus light into the darkness only through your cheerful tax-deductible giving. It’s simple. Just hop over to this LINK. https://janetperezeckles.com/about/non-profit-tax-exempt-authorization-letter

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Becoming a Real Father

19 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged June 19, 2021

June 18, 2021

“I am on a mission,” my 42-year-old son Jason wrote in a recent blog post.

A mission? I asked myself. I tried, really tried to raise him with his focus on God, with his commitment to integrity, and with the wisdom to embrace God-honoring goals.

Those were my silent prayers for him and his younger brothers. And, blushing a bit, I admit, those desires of mine were repeated perhaps way too many times.

Did all that do any good? Well…tears fill my eyes as I share this with you:

Jason wrote:

“In case you missed it, I joined a group of warriors. We’re 100% committed to becoming something better, something great.

We are accountable to each other. And we’re ALL-IN on the journey to overcome hardships. We’re committed to become hard(er) to be defeated regarding our Mind, Body, Business and Relationships.

And although I’m not surprised, my 13- year- old daughter has taken to doing my workouts with me every day. She is a black belt in karate (her passion). She hates missing a workout as she’s very competitive.

Today is our finisher. And as we start our run, she looks in my direction. “Daddy, I think I’d like to talk with you while we run.”

Done!

Air pods go in the pocket. “What would you like to talk about baby?”

“Well, me and my friend were talking and we were saying it’s no wonder why people don’t want to be Christian. It’s hard to not do certain things when everyone else is doing them. It’s hard when people make fun of you, or say you’re stupid for believing those things. Like, sometimes I pray, and I don’t feel like it does anything at all. Nothing changes. Why would anyone want to do that?”

“Wow. She’s exactly right. Those are great questions. I feel like that sometimes, too.

“Hey” I asked, “Was it super easy and painless to become a black belt in karate?”

“No.”

“Then why would anyone want to do it?”

I do it for you!

This is only one of many conversations and experiences through the years. There have been tears, mistakes and apologies. All on both ends. There have been times of hard work in our relationship. Our personalities were tested and often conformed.

And in that process, I’ve run through the gamut of frustration, feeling overwhelmed, even bits of depression. But I resolved to never go any further.

As a father, this has been a precarious 13-year investment. But no matter how challenging, failing or quitting have never been nor will ever be an option.

I turn to her. “Look at what I’m doing right now. My legs hurt. It’s hard to breathe. This sucks. Why would I do this?”

She ponders my question as she rollerblades next to me. She smiles as she expresses perhaps the most meaningful words ever spoken by a daughter to her father in the history of time.

“Because it’s worth it in the end,” she says, “Daddy, I’m so glad you’re my dad. I feel bad for kids who don’t have someone like you to teach them. Thank you for talking to me and teaching me in a way that I can understand and really makes me feel good. I love you.”

Tears hidden by my sweat.” Exactly right baby. And you know why I do it? For you.”

She wants to pose for a picture…

It’s always worth it.

Similar to my mission as her dad, our group works out. We record. It’s not always pretty, but it’s always worth it.

And it is because we uphold the uncompromising ideals to which my teammates and I have committed during our lifelong journey to become our best selves.

And in my journey as a team member and as her dad, I am not only willing, I am excited and eager to suffer with and for those who are worth it.

And maybe for the first time ever, I understand I am not only the pinnacle, I am the foundation.

Today God is asking all fathers to be the warriors. To go to battle for their kids. To be willing to suffer because it’s worth it. To persevere because it’s required. And to fight because it’s right.

But the warrior in every father isn’t found in physical strength, financial abundance, or even in brain power.

It’s found in a place where he chooses to reside, where he rests and where he stays. That place is in Christ. He Himself said:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:5-7).

When Jesus remains in a father’s heart, he becomes the ultimate warrior. No stress will defeat him. No fear can bring him down. No worry can weaken him. And no harm can reach his children.

Let’s pray.

Father thank you for your invitation to remain in You and become the strong fighter. I vow to use the weapons of courage faith and perseverance. In Jesus name.

In the challenges of fatherhood, what kind of warrior will you become?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Here’s the After-Covid Joy

5 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Goodness, spring is over and, admittedly, the spring cleaning became nothing more than a good intention.

Then guilt nudged. I rolled up my sleeves and began with closets. Then drawers. I tossed out jars of who-knows-what in my bathroom drawer—old tubes of lipstick, creams that probably ended up there since I was a teenager.

What happened to the beautiful fragrance?

But among the junk, to my delight, I found the little bottle of perfume I’ve been searching for months. It was my favorite for its delicate, yet delicious scent.

Without hesitation, I popped the glass lid off, brought it to my nose, and the scent was, well, blah. How could that fancy bottle of perfume lose its fragrance?

The same way lots of things in life lose their zest—a new outfit, a new car, a new house, a new career and even new relationships.

Have you been there? At first, they shine with promises and fill that part of us that hungers for a little delight. But before you know it, the luster fades, the excitement wanes and the scent of enjoyment evaporates.

Are we there today? A nasty virus caused the fragrance of peace to fade. Our days turned sadly insipid. And what was once filled with the scent of freedom and joy, now has the odor of gloom.

But while most sink into a life of blah, we have another option: the aroma of God’s Word. The scent of His promise. And the sweet smell of His joy. That joy becomes our strength (Nehemiah 8:10 paraphrased).

That’s why, no matter what you face, in your weakest moments, He will renew your strength. When you run toward the finish line, you’ll not be weary. And when you walk through difficult days, you’ll never faint. (Isaiah 40:31 paraphrased).

But…instead of exhaustion, you will be strong until victory is yours because “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8).

Until that day, you gotta be bold, be committed and driven enough to hold on to that bottle of His promise. Inhale His reassurance. Delight in His faithfulness. And, night and day, relish in His commitment to keep you strong.

Let’s pray.

Father, when my life loses its zest and my strength wanes, I shall enjoy the scent of Your grace to keep me strong till the end. In Jesus’ name I pray.

What will bring back the sweet smell of victory to your life?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

If you enjoyed these moments of inspiration, consider supporting JC Empowerment Ministries. We keep going, keep inspiring and keep bringing Jesus light into the darkness only through your cheerful tax-deductible giving. It’s simple. Just hop over to this LINK. https://janetperezeckles.com/about/non-profit-tax-exempt-authorization-letter

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

7 Ways to Conquer Rejection

22 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged May 22, 2021

May 21, 2021

“I wanted to die,” my friend said as she dabbed tears. “I never expected he’d cheat on me. I never, ever saw it coming. I asked him if he still loved me,” she said in the midst of sobs, “and he said he stopped loving me a long time ago.”

You or someone you know might have tasted that bitterness of rejection. It crumbles our world, leaves us stunned, and shakes our security.

And when we try to make sense of it all, rather than peace, self-blame adds to the heartache.

But in the cold winter of rejection, a spring day appears. Here are seven ways to make the transition:

  1. Take your turn in rejecting. Reject the enemy’s attacks. He’s a master in bringing on guilt, self-pity, and bitterness. Close your mind and heart to those intruders.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

  1. Embrace new habits. No more nights with pillows wet with tears. Lonely moments are filled with the confidence in the truth God is actively preparing the best.

…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

  1. Redefine your identity You’re not a failure, a loser, worthless or unlovable. Instead, you’re God’s child. Strong enough to keep going, open enough to receive His love, and able to embrace His promise for your future.

I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

  1. Change the view. Look beyond the circumstance. When your eyes are on the Lord, a new kind of hope and an expectation of new beginnings replace worry.

My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. (Psalm 25:15)

  1. Exchange guilt for hope. The path to healing is paved with confidence, not in our own ways, but in God’s guidance.

…teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,

and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:4)

  1. Increase prayer and praise even when there’s no visible sign of the solution, boldly thank God for the outcome.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 4)

  1. Expect the best. And while waiting in expectation, embrace joy as you trust in God’s ways, count on receiving His best and watch as His answers appear.

… blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7)

As spring flowers bloom, a new beginning blossoms when embracing these seven steps. And in the midst of the thorns of rejection, a new rose bud. That’s when the garden of life has the scent of a new beginning

Let’s Pray

I pray your steps are firm, your convictions are sound and your dreams are sparked by God’s love.

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

If you enjoyed these moments of inspiration, consider supporting JC Empowerment Ministries. We keep going, keep inspiring and keep bringing Jesus light into the darkness only through your cheerful tax-deductible giving. It’s simple. Just hop over to this LINK. https://janetperezeckles.com/about/non-profit-tax-exempt-authorization-letter

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

This is the greatest need for a Mom

8 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

May 7, 2021

Reblogged May 8, 2021

While I folded laundry, Joe, my four-year-old son, and his friend played with Lego’s on the family room floor.

“My mom has eyes at the ends of her fingertips,” Joe said to his friend.

I chuckled at first, but then marveled at his insight. He was absolutely right. After losing my sight, I used my hands to feel my surroundings, find items in the kitchen, sort the family’s clothing and pick up toys from the floor.

Seeing the world through my fingertips.

In reality, my whole world became “seen” by my fingertips. When I touched something, the image was immediately transmitted to my brain, allowing me to see with my mind. Eventually, I learned to use my other senses so I could still be a mommy to my little ones.

Although I managed the chores, the idea of living the rest of my life without sight kept me awake at night. And during the day, my muscles tensed each time I tested and noticed my diminishing side vision. At first, it narrowed to the size of a keyhole. I pleaded and begged God to allow that vision, though small, to remain so I could still see their smiles.

Some afternoons, while my youngest son napped, I’d stare at his features, attempting to memorize every detail—his long eyelashes against his chubby olive cheeks. His curly hair that framed his round face.

With tears blurring my diminishing vision, I engraved those images in my aching heart. Uncertain of the length of time I’d have that tiny amount of sight, the rope of anxiety and worry choked me.

There was no hope.

And ophthalmologists dug more anxiety as they offered no hope. One told us to wait for the inevitable. And he was right. A few months later, my retina stopped working and my vision closed in completely.

I was horrified.

The gray nothing before my eyes shoved me into a dark prison. “Why me, Lord!” I cried out.

After weeks and weeks of sobbing and asking and begging, God wasn’t silent like I imagined. His answers came gently tucked in verses of the Bible.

I listened to them with my heart. After I put my three sons to bed, I put on my headphones. My heart delighted in God’s promises. My soul drank His comfort. And my mind embraced His teachings.

He taught me the correct order of priorities. I realized my sons needed me more than I needed my sight.

What I really needed…

That’s when I recognized what I desperately needed was to trust not in my own abilities, but in God’s ability to provide the guidance and help I needed.

And one by one He did just that. Armed with a new attitude, a greater trust in Him, and a deeper faith, I rolled up my sleeves and took on the task to care for my 4-, 6- and 8-year-old sons.

And that care took energy as they were healthy and active. With each of their moves, my ears became tuned to their every sound, alerting me to their constant antics or whimpers of pain.

Within that busy schedule, learning Braille dropped to the bottom of my list of priorities. Unable to see, the daily tasks of running the house took twice as long to finish and left me drained.

Although exhausted, I still found creative ways to get things done. I swept and mopped the kitchen floor barefoot. This way, my feet picked up any crumbs or sticky spots I’d missed.

My memory also developed. I memorized lists of phone numbers. I needed them so I could call other moms for rides, for updates in school activities.

That sharper memory also helped me to find the location of items in the pantry. When hubby brought groceries home, I wrapped rubber bands around certain cans. I placed boxes of cereal, cake mix, etc. in specific places on the shelves.

My taste buds and sense of smell also became more acute as I invented my own recipes.

One day, as I stirred spaghetti sauce on the stove, I sensed a chocolate aroma near me. “Come here young man,” I ordered my six-year-old. “What are you eating?”

“Nothing,” he said, his voice muffled, no doubt trying to hide something.

I drew closer as the smell of chocolate wafted even stronger. I held out my hand. “Give me those M&Ms. It’s dinner time.”

They soon learned Mom was still in control. Often, I wondered if they truly knew I saw nothing. But I knew what my heart saw—a lesson my sons would learn from their mom who couldn’t see. I’d teach them with my attitude, a sense of humor and most of all, trust, complete trust in God to show me what to do.

With your permission, I will now switch from my story to you. 

You may not be encountering physical blindness, but you may possibly be blinded by the world’s standards. Or by the culture’s message that repeat we need to be great moms, cool in every way, strive for perfection and do anything so our kids lack nothing. Lies, all lies from the enemy. He wants to steal your peace and pour anxiety into your days.

On the other hand, God longs to pour reassurance and confidence. They arrive when, in the midst of the turmoil, we invite God to be our divine partner.

We don’t need more pressure or more posts on social media. A Mom’s greatest need is to partner with God. Through the eyes of His love, He watches our every move, He knows our deepest secrets. He’s familiar with our ways. He sees the guilt that nags, the flaws we try to hide, the mistakes that steal our joy. He even knows the insecurities that echo in the silence of night.

He knows it all, Yet, when morning comes, we pour a cup of stress and head on our way. That’s when fear visits. We fear we don’t measure up. We fear we’re not doing enough. And sometimes, we fear we’re inadequate moms.

But God, our Divine Partner says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

We don’t have to fear. He’s with us when we doubt. He lifts us when we fall. And He holds us when we fail.

Let’s Pray

Father, Thank You for granting me the confidence I need to be a Mom, secure because You are with me. In Jesus’ name I thank you.

What is your greatest need as a Mom?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

If you enjoyed these moments of inspiration, consider supporting JC Empowerment Ministries. We keep going, keep inspiring and keep bringing Jesus light into the darkness only through your cheerful tax-deductible giving. It’s simple. Just hop over to this LINK. https://janetperezeckles.com/about/non-profit-tax-exempt-authorization-letter

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Heartache: 7 Ways to Conquer It

24 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged April 24, 2021

April 23, 2021

Dust from the dirt road came in through the open window. But my nine-year-old brother and I, at 10, didn’t care. Mom held us tight as we rode in the back seat of the dilapidated truck.

“When will we get there?” my brother and I asked over and over again.

We wanted the trip to end. Maybe because with each bump, the springs that protruded through the cloth seat poked my bottom. Or perhaps we were eager to arrive because we knew the excitement that awaited us in our vacation place in the tropical area of Bolivia.

The destination was lovely, but the journey to get there was not only long, but dangerous. The narrow, bumpy road bordering the mountain is identified as the most dangerous road in the world.

Drivers honk their horn as they take sharp turns to alert the oncoming traffic. Did I mention it’s only one way?

The edge of the road that winds around leads to an endless cliff. The winding road has no protection. Homemade crosses of all kinds and sizes line the edge, marking the places where vehicles slipped off resulting in fatalities.

One such accident took place recently, leaving a young man paralyzed. His family, American missionaries, sent prayer requests around the world.

The Roads of Life

As we ride through the mountain roads of life, we also encounter unexpected turns that bring pain and heartache. And we ask, why? Why does adversity barge unannounced? It catches us unprepared and vulnerable. Inevitably, the tragedy pushes us down the cliff of sorrow.

I tasted that heartache years ago when, in that dark emergency room, the doctor said to me and my family, “He didn’t survive the stab wounds he received.”

Losing my youngest son was unthinkable. I cried out to God, “Why?”

I found that kind of pain has no logic, reason, or purpose. But more importantly, I learned that God’s peace has no limit.

7 Promises for You

Friends, if you or anyone is in the prison of pain, here are seven promises needed in order to be set free.

  1. We count on His help, constant and never changing because “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
  2. We silence words of self-pity or sorrow. “My lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live…” (Psalm 63:4a).
  3. We let go the grip on bitterness and instead, we reach up to Him. “In your name I will lift up my hands” (Psalm 63:4b).
  4. Our heart may be broken, but our soul is intact. “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:5).
  5. We thank God for the sweet sleep that will come because “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night because you are my help…” (Psalm 63:6).
  6. We claim His power, knowing where we find protection. “We sing in the shadow of your wings. Our soul clings to you…” (Psalm 63:7).
  7. We declare: Lord, we will not faint because “Our soul clings to you; your right hand upholds us” (Psalm 63:8).

No matter where the road of life leads, how it turns or how bumpy it gets, we have God’s reassurance. We declare our trust in Him as we allow Him to take the wheel. He will lead us away from the cliffs of sorrow. And He will keep us on track as He proves He’s in control. Eventually we arrive at the destination. It offers freedom as we discover heartache leaves and healing begins.

Let’s Pray

Father, I praise you for already knowing the help we would need, the comfort we would desire, and the reassurance we would call for. Thank you for going before us to prepare the healing and the restoration of our peace. I thank you in Jesus’ name.

Who’s at the wheel of your life as you take unexpected turns?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

What to do When We’re Stuck in Fear

27 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged March 26, 2021

March 26, 2021

“C’mon, girlfriend, we’re going to the mall,” my friend said.

“Yahoo!” I hung up the phone with a huge smile. Any chance to hit stores and come home with bargains stirred girlish excitement. Since I lost my eyesight, these trips gave me a chance to get out, catch up, laugh, and come home with crazy stories.

I grabbed my friend’s arm and we strolled through crowded store aisles as we headed to the petite department.

“I see a perfect outfit for you,” she said. “And I think it’s on sale!” Our steps quickened.

Once in the dressing room, she handed me the fitted top. I slip my arms through. “Hmm… a little tight.” I tried to poke my head through, but got stuck midway. “I think I need a bigger size,” I said.

“No way. It’s your size,” she said. She tugged first one side then the other.

The top wouldn’t budge, on or off. My arms up in the air pressed against my ears.

My words of panic muffled by the blouse that smashed my face.

“No pain, no gain,” she said as she yanked with all her might.

My head poked through, jack-in-the-box style. While catching my breath, I stared in space. My arms limp to the sides as I imagined this garment would never come off again.

Moments later, my friend gasped as she ran her fingers to the side. “Oh, I can’t believe it…” she said.

“What?”

“It has a zipper.”

A zipper? She’s got to be kidding.

“Sorry. I just didn’t see it.”

Another crazy story.

But this one mirrors the difficult dilemma for many today. COVID, fear, anxiety, masks and all that junk we face puts us in a tight, uncomfortably painful spot. We’re stuck. And raw from the stress, we wonder if we’ll ever be free again.

Confusion sets in because we made the mistake of expecting happiness by allowing the world to dictate our goals, dreams, and expectations. But the world failed us.

When all seemed to be just fine, surprise, 2020 greeted us with an unexpected tight grip that choked our happiness. Then, the struggle began. We tugged, yanked, and pulled on various ways to be free. But we remained stuck in fear.

We failed. Because we battled using our feeble strength. How do I know? I’ve been there.

I was only 30 years old when the effects of my blindness put me in a pandemic of fear. The battle became real, painfully real that my own ways to solve problems were not sufficient. solutions were not a match for a tragedy of this magnitude. Nothing brought comfort, reassurance, or hope.

And empty of that hope, I frantically shopped for a dose of comfort—through specialists, even visiting fortune tellers, psychics, New Age healers, etc. They successfully increased frustration and decreased the balance of my bank account.

My whole life was off balance. And when almost ready to tumble in defeat, I found the zipper—the opening. It was the entrance designed in the heart for Jesus to come in.

When He did, He provided freedom from the world’s deceptions.

Once I received Him into my life, I made Him my Lord, my God and my all.

His faithfulness, compassion, and guidance offered a perfect garment for my soul. The price tag read, “Free.”

This incredible gift, complete with the jewels of His trustworthy promises, adorn my renewed life.

It can adorn yours, too!

With a new beginning, you can leave behind attempts to win the battle on your own. With the new-found confidence, you can embrace the truth that God created you and thus know what will fit your soul. He knows the size of your needs. The color of your pain, the fabric of your fears, and the fashion of your insecurities.

Trusting in the pattern He custom-designed for you, He invites you to step into the dressing room of life where you can put on the new garment of His freedom.

Breathing in that freedom, fear, anxiety, and doubt no longer fit. Instead, you receive a new peace-filled life in Christ.

That’s how God’s peace filters through as He turns blindness, emotional virus, or tragedy to joy.

And with a new outlook, we can hold on to his healing Word as we sing from within: “We will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland” (Isaiah 61:10 NIV).

Let’s Pray

Father, I confess my feeble attempts to find my own way out of fear. But because of Your grace, I delight in the perfect fit of your faithfulness that clothes my longing soul. In Jesus name.

God has the perfect garment that fits your every need, will you try it on?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

5 steps to turn painful changes to a fresh, new beginning

27 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged February 27, 2021

February 26, 2021

Moving to a strange city kept me awake at night. Hubby and I had no choice. In preparation, I ran the palm of my hand across the kitchen cabinets to make sure all was packed away. With the last of the everyday dishes in a large box, I taped the lid closed and pushed it aside. But I couldn’t push away the tears of self-pity that attacked me. “Lord, I should be grateful my husband got a job. But why couldn’t it be here where all is familiar?”

The move was inevitable. Though the transition from sighted to blind years prior had been painful, eventually adjustment came.

But leaving our familiar home in St. Louis and moving to Orlando made me tense. Thoughts of a new territory, a new house, a new neighborhood, a new world kept me tossing and turning in bed.

During those sleepless nights, more questions swirled inside. Unable to see my physical surroundings, how would I navigate through the new house? Would I find friends who would accept me in spite of my blindness? Could I handle my emotions and still be a good Mom to my three young sons?

That same uncertainty might have visited your world, too. Maybe it’s not a sudden move or change from being sighted to blind. But instead, you’re facing an unfair life change, courtesy of the pandemic; one that’s painfully out of your control. The transitions could be from marriage to divorce, from health to debilitating illness, from financial comfort to unemployment, or from independence to limitations that choke your life.

But the transitions don’t have to choke your life. They can instead, usher a new, fresh beginning. They can bring to light the horizon where God has painted new, pleasant surprises.

That’s what happened to Ruth when she left the familiar. She fell into God’s perfect plan. That’s what happened to Joseph. Painful change revealed God’s hand at work. And sudden change caused Joshua to discover the source of his strength.

We can all join them in a wondrous outcome of life’s changes. Isaiah 43:18-19 highlights five steps to follow.

Step 1: “Forget the former things…”

Forget them, Lord? I argued. The former things were doable, pleasant and comfortable. But now the pending changes became the dark cloud that covered my security. The same thing happened in Ruth’s life. With no warning, she became a young widow. But rather than join the poor me club, she wiped away her last tear and headed into a new chapter. And even when Naomi tried to discourage her from making that daring transition, Ruth insisted. She clung to Naomi’s sleeve, and replied: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Don’t you just love Ruth’s boldness? She stepped into a huge change with gusto. The unknown she faced didn’t intimidate her, worry or made her doubt.

And because she did, she saw God’s plan unfold. She became no other than one of the ancestors of Christ, the Savior of the world.

Ruth faced change hoping for something better. God formed her life into something greater.

Step 2: “…do not dwell on the past.”

Is there a danger in dwelling on what once was, what we had, what we knew? Yes. Lamenting what once was is a lame way to face what’s ahead.

Joseph knew. Once his brothers threw him in the ditch and left him for dead, he could have sat at the bottom, sulking in a puddle of tears. And while lamenting his misfortune, he might have asked God over and over again why He allowed the change from what was comfortable to what now was painful. He should’ve cursed his brothers. And, he could have become miserable longing for what once was.

But he didn’t. Instead, he pulled out his weapon called faith. Rather than doubt, he believed. He carried his faith as God ushered him through more changes—from free to a prisoner. From respect to ridicule. From serenity to sorrow.

If Joseph had access to Instagram, he might have posted about his anger, resentment or bitterness for losing what he once had. Instead, he faced each stage of the ugly changes with faith in God’s faithfulness.

And that’s when God showed up with a victorious ending and a triumphant result.

Joseph relished in that victory. And with humility, he declared: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

Changes may seem threatening, difficult and uncomfortable, but faith is the vehicle that takes us to the destination God already prepared.

Step 3: “See, I am doing a new thing!” 

A new thing? Though I couldn’t see it, my physical blindness couldn’t be an excuse. It was my spiritual blindness that prevented me from seeing God’s hand at work, preparing, moving and crafting good things.

“Show me, Lord,” was my frequent prayer. I wanted Him to guide me to the next step—from labeling items, to walking through piles of packed boxes, to remembering the layout of the new house in Orlando.

Once the movers packed the boxes, furniture and clothing, the family flew to Florida.

And when He said in Psalm 119:105 that His Word would be a lamp to my feet and a light for my path, His promise came alive.

He showed me how to memorize the path from room to room. To record in my mind the location of the walls, the furniture and the open spaces for me to walk through.

He did the same as I navigated through my fear, walking carefully through moments of worry. And He showed me to stay clear of stress and doubt. The path was wide, easy to navigate and the new house became a home.

Step 4: “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Joshua could only perceive his weaknesses. When he faced the change from being a Moses follower to being the leader of God’s people, he lay at night on the pillow of his insecurities and perhaps during the day, he was taunted by the misconception that he was alone in the journey.

We do the same when an unexpected change rattles our peace. We ask: Do I have what it takes? Am I prepared? Will I succeed?

Those same questions might have stressed Joshua, too. That’s why God had to make it clear and with emphasis in His voice, He spoke to him: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

God’s order was clear then. And it’s clear now—not to be discouraged, not to fear or worry. And then comes the promise: God would be with us. In that unknown, God will be there. In the uncertainty, He will be there. With the change unfolding, God will be with us. When stepping into strange territory, God will be there, too.

And with God already present, that new chapter has to contain pages of fresh success and victory. It did for Joshua and it will for us too.

Step 5: “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Ruth, Joseph or Joshua didn’t make a way. God did. And in the midst of the unknown, none of them made things happen. God did. None clung desperately to what they had. God helped them to let go.

He did the same with me. A couple decades have gone by since that time I packed up my kitchen and moved to a strange city. And with gratitude overflowing, I relish in each step through which He guided me. The new friends that adorn my life, and the way my sons flourished in the new place.

God did it all. And, in turn, I blossomed. What a fool I had been to resist the change when God was opening the door to beautiful surprises.

And that beauty shines through God’s promise for you and me in Isaiah 43:18-19. Dreaded changes turn to divine exchanges. God ushers new ways, new opportunities. Each lifts us higher, draws us closer and makes us better.

Let’s pray.

Father, I resolve that all changes wrapped in Your love will take me to places that will help me see you better and to know you more intimately. In Jesus’ name.

What change has rattled your life lately?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Seven things God wants you to see during this pandemic

13 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged February 13, 2021

February 7, 2021

I was in a bit of trouble This past Sunday morning after I got dressed, I slipped into a cute pair of boots and leggings to complement my black dress.

Well, I wasn’t sure if I had the right color combination of items. Since hubby wasn’t home, I did what any blind gal would do. I grabbed my cell, and told Siri to open the app called Be My Eyes. She did. And Siri read the screen to me. I pressed the button that said, “Call first available volunteer.”

I tapped the button and in seconds a real-live person answered. “Hello, my name is Sue, how can I help you?”

“Thank you,” I said. “Can you tell me if I have the right color combination for my outfit?”

I held my cell phone so she could see what I wore. And the sweet gal on the other end described exactly what I had on, colors and other details.

The Be my Eyes app is the greatest help ever! Blind folks can use this free service to read medication labels, identify pantry items, describe their surroundings. The list is endless. Truly, Be My Eyes is a welcomed freedom for the blind.

God wants to be that very thing for us.

He wants to be our eyes so we can see His hand at work in the midst of painful changes. He wants us to look closely at how His Word is coming alive in spite of every ugly event that barges into our life. He wants us to observe how evil is creeping up yet, under God’s watch, it’s heading to its sorry end. He wants us to see all that.

But do we? Sometimes not. We’re blinded by the fear, courtesy of the media. Blinded by worry about tomorrow, and by the anxiety that keeps us tossing awake at night.

But…what if we open the app in our heart to see these seven areas. There He traces the path for us to live as conquerors, confident and secure.

Seven things to see.

  1. He wants us to peek in the gift box wrapped in His love: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you peace as the world gives” (John 14:27a). But wait a minute, that gift comes with this instruction: “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27b). With that peace there’s power. We have the power to make the choice to allow our heart to be troubled and be afraid, or to erase that troubled feeling together with its unfounded fear.
  2. God wants us to see how Jesus declared His mission: because “the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Isaiah 61:1), How often we end up in spiritual poverty, hungry for even a bite of hope. But Jesus came to preach the good news that satisfies us as we savor this delicious promise: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
  3. He wants us to recognize the world cannot put back together what was broken. But Jesus can, He says, “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” (Isaiah 61:1). If our heart is broken, He has the salve to heal. He has the love to put back what was taken. And He has the power to make us whole once again.
  4. He wants us to see the freedom, certain and lasting. He came “to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” (Isaiah 61:1). No more prisoners of panic attacks, no more feeling gripped by depression. He unlocked that prison cell with the key of His promise.
  5. God wants us to see He has a plan. He came “to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God…” (Isaiah 61:2). His favor will be upon those who trust in Him. No matter the injustice, the insults or attempts to silence us, His vengeance is prepared in His way and will be displayed in the precise moment.
  6. When we face the loss of a job, los of a loved one, loss of a relationship or even our health, God wants us to see that he came to fill the emptiness and “to comfort all who mourn…” (Isaiah 61:2). If mourning is filling our days, His comfort is here. If grief weighs heavy, His peace is constant. And if the heartache is too much, He eases the pain.
  7. When we fall apart and we’re surrounded by ashes of despair, He wants us to see that His mission is to bring a beautiful exchange: “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).

Can you look in the mirror and see the new you? The new perception of your life, of your situation and of your future? That’s because when we remove the blinders, we see a new and exquisite scenery. Then peace visits our nights. And during the day, this sings in our heart:

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart…” (Psalm 73:26).

Let’s pray.

Father, no matter how ugly and dark the world turns, I choose to see the scenery you painted before me. I see Your promises, Your mission and Your power to give me strength. In Jesus’ name.

What do your eyes see today?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

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