Thoughts to “Be of Good Cheer” & Have Faith During Hard Times

Tonight I’m sharing some last thoughts related to the video podcast I posted yesterday on suicide, personal missions and faith. You can watch it here. I know, I know.😆 When it comes to the Come Follow Me study guide we’re meant to be moving on to Romans.🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️ But the end of Acts has so much good stuff! 💕 And this is one of my favorite topics: Faith in hard times.

Basically, I have a few one-liners that bring me some comfort, hope and faith when I face hard times. Thinking these with hope can help my faith stay strong anyway. 💪🙌🏽

We all have times that we aren’t super happy or grateful about our situation, our trials, our body, our family, our home, our callings, our progress or lack thereof…I could go on, but I think we all get it. 😉 While God wants to bless us, He also wants to see us become our best selves which means giving us space to fall, fail and with faith, rise up stronger.

Or to have a more humble or compassionate attitude.❤️

It doesn’t mean we’ll have all the answers, but we’ll have enough for that next breath and baby step. That’s why it still takes faith to get through hard things.

I hope these thoughts can help you hold on when times are hard,🥀🌹and become even more beautiful and rich with experience for making it through the hard times!

Try on a few of these thoughts and see how you feel. 💗 I hope and pray you can feel Christ close! 🤟

I’d love to hear your hopeful thoughts too! What helps you?🕯️

Most of all, remember God loves you!

Musical Come Follow Me Podcast, Episode 1

Last week I said I would share a story about a time I tried taking my life.

Here it is. ❤️ And why I’m still here. 🙏 And a song. 🎶 You can watch it on my new channel on YouTube by clicking here. Be sure to subscribe to the new Feel Like Christ channel for the latest content! (I’ll be switching all my Lift Like Christ videos over there!)

For 3 years I’ve wanted to have a scripture podcast, but I wasn’t sure what the focus should be or how I should do it or how to make the time.

Well, tonight I stopped trying to make my recording perfect or my house perfect or my face perfect or my plan perfect before I started.

This is you and me sitting in my room talking about real pain and real hope through a simple story, scripture and song.

I hope it helps you know that you are NEVER alone, that we ALL are needed and that miracles STILL happen. I am literal living proof of that.🕯️

So please be patient with yourself and with God.💗

He ALWAYS stand by you and will help you fight your battles.👊

“I believe in second chances, even third and fourth.”

If you think this could help someone, plz Like and Share the hope! Till next time, here are the song lyrics. I hope they help you remember not to quit. With God, you can do anything.

Remember, God loves YOU!

Your Own Yellow Brick Road

© Eva Barnett 2017/www.FeelChristClose.org

I believe in second chances even third and fourth

How ever many it may take to reach what’s worth reaching for

I believe in happy endings happy middles too

And if you aren’t quite happy yet say plot twist and push through

Push through it’s what we’re meant to do

Keep going keep trying keep swimming keep flying

Keep keep keep spreading those wings wings wings

Keep laughing keep hoping keep dancing keep rowing

Keep keep keep all of your dreams dreams dreams afloat

And you’ll find that wherever you go you’re on your own yellow brick road

Sometimes life gets muddy the road’s not even paved

You feel like you’re going uphill in the snow both ways

That’s why God made snowshoes and the sunshine too

So even when it’s cloudy that bright sunshine can shine through so shine too

It’s what we’re meant to do

Keep going keep trying keep swimming keep flying

Keep keep keep spreading those wings wings wings

Keep laughing keep hoping keep dancing keep rowing

Keep keep keep all of your dreams dreams dreams afloat

And you’ll find that wherever you go you’re on your own yellow brick road

Some people say all good things must end

But I simply smile and whisper to them

When a door closes a window opens

It sounds cliché I know but it’s still true so

Keep going keep trying keep swimming keep flying

Keep keep keep spreading those wings wings wings

Keep laughing keep hoping keep dancing keep rowing

Keep keep keep all of your dreams dreams dreams

Keep loving keep healing keep praying believing

Keep keep keep faith through all things things things

Keep giving keep chancing keep singing keep planting

Keep keep keep growing the deep deep roots of your soul

Don’t you let them go

And you’ll find that wherever wherever

You go you’re on your own yellow brick road

I believe in second chances even third and fourth

#comefollowme#comefollowme2023#comefollowmepodcast#feelchristclosepodcast#choosetostay#youareneeded#youareloved#stay#mentalillnesssurvivor#christiansingersongwriter#latterdaysingersongwriter#musicformentalhealth#meditationformentalhealth

“Feel Christ Close” Introduction

Here’s a little video to serve as an introduction to Feel Christ Close, the new name for my site with a tighter focus on sharing hope in Christ! ☀️It’s OK if we’re not always happy, confident or at peace. Christ is there for us in the storms too. ⛅️He will come to us, mourn with us, and calm the waves…eventually, as we trust in him and lean on his love. Learning how you #feelhimclose is essential to make it through this life’s journey with real hope. 💡I’ve felt his power again and again on my good days so I can remember those moments on my hardest days. When I feel Christ close, I can get through anything.

I’m so grateful for a God that doesn’t need perfection now. ❤️Who loves me where I’m at and teaches me to do the same for myself and others. 🤟We can do all things through Christ when we are close to him and feel his restorative power in us. So turn to him, cleave unto him and find ways to invite him into your life more. That’s the only way to feel lasting hope and peace. 🥲 I’m excited for this more focused journey of coming unto Christ. I hope we can learn from each other and #comeuntohim as we feel Christ close a little bit more each day.

“Live each day like you would if it’s your last.”

“Live each day like you would if it’s your last.” I unexpectedly came across this message from my “graduated” father this morning. Going through the circus of resetting forgotten passwords to YouTube and my website (as I tried to rekindle my creative motivation to keep sharing uplifting songs and stories), I had to go to an old email account for a security code. It’s a season for organizing, refocusing and rebranding what my sharing is really meant to be, now that I’ve grown up a bit. But apparently I’m not too grownup as I can still use encouragement from my Dad.

Nothing like a looming milestone birthday (The big 40 this month!) to give you a deadline. As a stretched-thin, homeschooling, part-time working mom of three, time is a jigsaw puzzle where me-time rarely seems to fit. Add to that a serious case of perfectionism (at least wanting to create art in my own, perfect-to-me way), and it’s no wonder that a decade later most of my songs and stories have gone unpublished.

But I decided last month that July 1st, today, was going to be day one of writing again. I took a week off of work and emptied a corner of the attic for an office. I began sorting through bin after bin of mementos to find new places for what was in that corner of the attic. Then began all the figuring and refiguring of passwords to get back into sharing until I was back at old yahoo mail, a place my Dad and I had always connected, especially once his terminal illness took his speaking ability. For fun and to feel him close, I did a quick search of emails from Dad and clicked on one randomly. This is what it said…

Email from my Dad:

Hi girls,
I’m not sure why, but this story touched me and I thought I should share it with you.  I guess you never know when it will be over here on earth, so live each day like you would if it’s your last.  Above all, be kind.

Love,
Dad

Hearing Dad’s Rare Advice

Dad’s words came from an email where he shared the story of a bright, outgoing 16-year-old named Angela who was unexpectedly killed by a brain aneurism. It was rare for my dad to ever give advice, so this tender mercy of an email was rare in more than one way – the timing of clicking on it the day that I wanted to start motivational blogging again, and that it came at all. I’ve even had meaningful conversations with friends at work on getting messages from parents who passed on, so again, this advice today was uncanny. The words, “live each day like you would if it’s your last,” hit me hard.

The article was heartbreaking, yet beautiful, showing this girls’ zest for life and also her fears. This excerpt with a quote from her guardian and grandfather shows that:

Sometimes Angela worried a little about the example she felt expected to set, recalled her grandfather, Paul Shinn.
“Once she looked at me and said: ‘I’m kind of a role model, aren’t I? I don’t know if I can handle that, Grandpa.’ ” He stopped to regain his composure. “I’m known around here as Angela’s grandpa – if that is the only thing I’m ever known for in my whole life, that’s OK.”

Tragedy takes promising teenager
Cheerleader served as role model
By Dorothy Korber — Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, October 7, 2005

“Live Each Day as You Would If it’s Your Last”

This is the message I’ve needed for so long.

I’ve heard it in different ways…printed quotes I’ve come across from old planners (They’re scattered through the rest of this post.), General Conference messages (from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and encouraging memes in my Instagram feed. However, the words from your own precious father can’t be matched. Those messages come with a force of love, a belief in you, a caution and compassion that seem to simultaneously hug you where you are and push you forward.

You feel like you CAN do what you need to because Dad believes in you.

You’ll make mistakes, you’ll be messy, but it’s OK.

Much needed quote from an old planner I found while cleaning this week.

Take the Lead and Keep Living

So, here I go again. Just like I fell off my bike and he helped me back up. Just like when my rough draft of my fifth grade report came back from him with red lines all over it and he smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you think,” I can hear him saying that to me know. Don’t worry. It’s not as bad as you think. You’re not as “late” as you think you are in this journey of adulthood. You’re music isn’t as bad as you think. You have been learning and growing all your life. It’s ok. Not a day was wasted. But don’t let yourself wait any longer. Get back up. Your words are worth the effort. Your songs are worth being sung. Your dreams are worth diving into because, ” you never know when it will be over here on earth.”

“Trust the timing of your life,” another much needed quote I found.

Thank you, Daddy, for continuing to parent me. Thank you, God, for giving me moments when I feel loved. Thank you, Jesus, for always keeping me close to you so I can recognize these moments in my life. They are powerful and needed. They share hope and give inspiration. The song that this moment inspired is below, in all its rawness. 🙂 I’ve also included that priceless email and article too. May it help us all remember: “Live each day like you would if it’s your last.”

One more much needed quote from an old planner I found while cleaning this week.

Article about Angela

Tragedy takes promising teenager
Cheerleader served as role model
By Dorothy Korber — Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, October 7, 2005


Lovable and lovely, Angela Carland was a born cheerleader: happy, athletic, graceful. Just being with her cheered you up, her family and friends say.

But Angela was born with something else – a flaw that waited in silent ambush for 16 years. Last week, the El Dorado County teenager suffered a brain aneurism that left her in a coma until her death Thursday in a Sacramento hospital.

“How many hearts she has broken, how many hearts she has left behind,” said her grandmother, Joyce Shinn. Angela and her little sister, 13-year-old Brittney, lived with their grandparents on a 10-acre horse ranch in Pleasant Valley, outside Placerville.

Angela’s own heart will beat on, however, since the teen had requested – with no hint then of her own mortality – that her organs be donated to give new life to others.

Angela collapsed Sept. 29 during classes at El Dorado High School, Shinn said. She was a junior at El Dorado, on the varsity cheer squad, captain of the dance team, student body treasurer.

She had suffered a blow to the head the day before at cheerleading practice, but her grandmother said that injury apparently had no relationship to the massive stroke she suffered the next day.

“The doctors told me that it was not the result of any accident; it was a brain aneurysm she was born with, a birth defect that finally did its damage,” Shinn said. “She could have passed on at 5 or 55 or 105. They said there was no way to know it was there, and it could happen to any of us.”

Joyce Shinn, 65, is a special education teacher at El Dorado High, but she was off campus at a meeting when the phone call came: Go to the hospital. Her husband, getting the same message, assumed it was his wife who was stricken, not his lively granddaughter.

The unconscious girl was stabilized at Marshall Medical Center in Placerville and then transported to Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento. After brain surgery that evening, the surgeon gave the Shinns the bad news.

There was no chance for recovery.
“When they told me how extensive the damage was, we as a family agreed that we would not allow her to stay on life support for long,” her grandmother said. “That was a wish she had expressed to us. Also that she wished to be an organ donor.”

The day after Angela’s collapse, El Dorado High played its annual football game against archrival Ponderosa High of Shingle Springs. A single rose was placed at Angela’s spot on the cheerleading squad.

The raucous crowd stilled for a moment of silence in her honor, said her friend Emily Martin, who had been a cheerleader with Angela since their days as kids on Pop Warner squads.

“She was amazing,” said Martin, who graduated from El Dorado High last spring. “She was a beautiful person – absolutely gorgeous and with the most amazing heart. Ever since I’ve known her, she always lent a hand to anyone who needed it. She was very giving – and she had the passion to cheer.”

Sometimes Angela worried a little about the example she felt expected to set, recalled her grandfather, Paul Shinn.
“Once she looked at me and said: ‘I’m kind of a role model, aren’t I? I don’t know if I can handle that, Grandpa.’ ” He stopped to regain his composure. “I’m known around here as Angela’s grandpa – if that is the only thing I’m ever known for in my whole life, that’s OK.”

Angela was raised by her grandparents after the death of her mother. Angela’s father, William Carland, lives in Nevada.

Shinn remembered his last conversation with Angela, the night before she collapsed. She was giddy with delight, telling him that she had a date for homecoming with “the hottest guy in school! He’s hotter than Brad Pitt!”

Homecoming will happen without Angela Carland this year. But the big Percheron horses she loved will be there, her grandfather promised, pulling a wagon filled with her photographs.

Thursday afternoon, as the Shinns spoke about their adored granddaughter, Angela’s organs were being harvested. That gave them some comfort in a bleak time.

“They’ll use her heart,” said Paul Shinn. “I hope I can meet the recipient, who I will tell about this girl, what she meant to us, how she loved life. This is so important to us. Angela’s life has to count for something.”

Angela, I’m sure your life did and has counted for something. You’ve affected me when I first received this email and again, today. Now to follow your example, Dad’s rare advice, and the songs heaven’s put in me that I have to share.

Sing Your Way Home

© Eva Barnett 7/1/2023 

It’s ok

It’s ok that it’s taken so long

You’ve been doing worthy things

Yes you’ve carried heavy things

You’ve been having to be strong

It’s ok

It’s ok that you tabled some dreams

But I’m here to tell you now

Life’s too short to join the crowd

And forget heavenly things

So take this time

Take your songs

Take your place

And keep marching on

And sing 

His praises forever

When you can’t keep it together

When there’s no way you could ever 

Go it alone

Sing 

When you find that you wandered

When you feel that deep hunger

When you think you’re going under

When you’re all on your own

Sing your way home Sing your way home

It’s ok

It’s ok you’ve been waiting and hiding

You’ve just been getting stronger

Been leaning on him harder

You’ve trusted in his timing

It’s ok

It’s ok you had reasons for crying

You’ve been fighting such long fights

You’ve were praying through those nights

Yes, you’ve always been trying

But it’s time

To realize

That this was never

Only your fight

So sing 

His praises forever

When you can’t keep it together

When there’s no way you could ever 

Go it alone

Sing 

When you find that you wandered

When you feel that deep hunger

When you think you’re going under

When you’re all on your own

Sing your way home sing your way home

He’ll give you the words if you give him the time

He’s just asking you now to leave the 99 and

Sing 

His praises forever

When you can’t keep it together

When there’s no way you could ever 

Go it alone

Sing 

When you find that you wandered

When you feel that deep hunger

When you think you’re going under

When you’re all on your own

Sing your way home sing your way home

Sing your way home sing your way home

Sing your way home

A Surprise with Pie

I’m doing some post catch-ups since I got behind sharing my social media posts here. This one is from 3.14…Pie Day!

The pie shelves were pretty bare tonight, but that’s ok! I found something much better at the grocery store – FRIENDS!! I ran into not one, but TWO people I haven’t seen in a while and it was soooo great to catch up! After a hard past several days, it felt like the sun was shining again, no matter what the pie shelves looked like. One was even wearing a shirt that said “Good Vibes” and that’s exactly what they shared with me. 🙌🏽

Life’s going to have its heavy moments but God never leaves us on our own. He can’t do that to us – He loves us too much! ❤️ There are always people who love us more than we realize and who are rooting for us, loving us from afar. ⛅️ They’ll help us feel the sunshine again and realize that life really is sweet, pie or no pie.

Today there was definitely that mini miracle of a tender mercy…as well as enough pie to go around!

Remember, God loves you!

Don’t Miss Memories – Make Them!

Last fall we lost my Grandpa unexpectedly. I haven’t shared about it because the bigger the news the more time I need to process & put together my thoughts. But today I find myself thinking about the man my kids called Big Grandpa (since he was older than my dad, who they affectionately called Little Grandpa), the man who made me feel important by letting me sit at the adult’s dinner table on holidays when I was still a child.

In his den with his desk, TV and all of his western movies and books.

I remember our last phone call. I’d brought up a challenge Michael had (I don’t even remember what it was) & my grandpa, always the engineer, talked about how when you come to a problem you find a way to solve it. You don’t give up. You work through it. ❤️ That approach to life was engrained in my Dad & in me. You might say it’s in my Anderson DNA. I’m grateful for the good meals we shared together (sometimes at El Torrito or old town San Diego), the many palm tree Christmases we enjoyed in his beautiful home, the gorgeous books he often gifted me (a good balance of science texts & classic fairy tales), and for his continual support of my education.

Christmas in sunny San Diego, circa 1996.
Graduation dinner, June of 2001.

He came out for my high school graduation even though I’m sure traveling at that point was hard. How special it was to have him there, sitting by me as my Dad sat on the other side for my fancy graduation dinner, surrounded by their support.

With my daughter when she was a toddler.
And with her again when she was grade school age.

It was also incredibly special to see him interact with my kids. We spent the little savings we had to go visit him last spring. I felt like if we didn’t, we would miss the opportunity. We bought a new-to-us van that could make the trip & I drove with the kids to CA to see him. He didn’t remember much of his full life but he still LOVED. He gave us big bear hugs & told us family was the most important thing. He thanked us repeatedly for coming so far. We had many visits in those few days. After each one the kids did an audio recording of what he’d taught them.

Out for brunch last March, 2022.
Black Bear Diner was the right place because he loves his shakes and giving big bear hugs!

I’m sharing to encourage you to connect while you can – tell stories, take pictures & to share the lessons life has taught you. Some day you will be missed. But the heartbreak is less when there are meaningful photos & memories. So don’t miss those memories. Take the time to make them!

Our last visit together.
Grandpa John and Me, March 2022

Love you, Big Grandpa. I hope you & Daddy are at peace together.❤️