From Pity to Praise

When we dig a hole (a PIT) we need to fill that hole with some pretty flowers.
I am sure the word pity comes from the word PIT.  When you are in a PIT, you are PITiful, or you could be having a PITy party.

This past week I had crept into a very big pit.  It is a pit of discouragement and depression.  I choose to share this story because in sharing, my hope is to give you hope.  There is always a way out of the pit.  Sometimes we allow Satan to imprison our heart with unhealthy thought patterns.

What do you do when you feel the world is caving in?  I have some simple answers.  I can give the answers to you because I just found them this week, again.

What is depression?
Depression is severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.

The opposite of depression is hope.  It is the cure for its disease.  God knew that we would become discouraged so He saw fit to give us much hope in our troubles and to show us that it is only temporary.  He is compassionate when we are discouraged.

Here are some verses from the Bible to illustrate God’s compassion.

“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
Psalm 34:17-18

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace,
and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Jeremiah 29:11

“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life:
weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10

The Devil usually knows where our buttons are and loves to push them.  Think about it.  If you did not care much about something, there would be no real attachment to it.  It is in the things that you actually love and care about that mean something to you that can give the enemy some ground to mess  around with.

Here are some things that mean a lot to me:

  1. My family and relationship with the Lord
  2. My witness (the example I have before my fellow man—my reputation as a believer)
  3. Outreach and ministry (evangelism and also encouraging others by means of my blog)
  4. The homesteading or simple life


Well, those buttons were all pushed within the same week.  It was all I could do to realize it was a plot to get me to give up ministering to others.  Here is the story.

Friday:  Our main goal in our home fellowship is to reach the lost.  We have been making a commitment to go out and get busy sharing the gospel.  Families are excited and jumping at any opportunity.  Like fishing, we are looking for where the pools of fish are biting.  We love people so much and would love them to know the same hope and peace that we experience with Jesus.  Not religion, not our agenda, not for any other reason than to point them to God.  We would love to show them the simple plan.

So we had a plan to go and there were two attacks to try to get us discouraged, but we just held fast and plowed ahead.  It is not important how or why, just know we had some drama and at one point we had no tracks and had to get some, but the Lord worked it all out in the end…There is the first button #3 Outreach

Then someone warned another person that they would be better not to get information from me.  This was done behind the scenes on the fall festival day, when our family was pouring out and trying to make a fun day, bringing people together instead of apart.  I found out that I still had a problem with my mouth.  I say too much and I sometimes get myself in trouble.  Another lesson learned…This was the second button #2 My reputation or witness among my fellow man.

By Tuesday, I determined to read a book called Henry and the Great Society.  I read the book and I must have bawled for 3 hours straight.  It was like I opened a door in my mind that allowed darkness in.  The book started out really wonderful, with a family who lived the simple life and then progress came.  Little by little they all changed and the family life was gone.  It was replaced with the latest conveniences and distractions.  Henry was very depressed and eventually he dies.  No hope.  No happy ending.  I left feeling total condemnation.  I had been reading my book for the first time, but I set it down to read this book and found that it was a tool to bring me down.

After reading this book, I wanted to move into a shack, get rid of all conveniences, live off the land, and cleave to my family.  I wanted what Henry gave up.  And I felt I gave it up, like it was my story.  Of course these things of the simple life are beautiful, wonderful, things, that could bring a family closer together.  In our fast pace society (great society), we have come far from the bare essential simple living that our forefathers lived.  Life was simple.  They worked hard to put food on the table.  It is a pull for me, in my spirit.  I want to live the simple life—I covet it.  But I know in my coveting heart of hearts, it is not where God has me or my family right now…This was the third button #1 (my family) and button #4 The Simple life

In a matter of 3-4 days, every button was pushed.  I actually sat there thinking I was wrong to have a blog, I should not have technology, I should stop the madness.  I thought I should not have written a book.  It was a burden on my family to invest that time in writing it and the investment of self publishing it.  Then I sat by my computer with tears filling my eyes, and with all the mounting buttons pushed in, and I looked at my statistics.  That was when I noticed I went from 4500 unique visitors to 100 over the past couple weeks.

I sat there wondering if it was even worth it to continue blogging.  I thought I must surely have let people down or failed them in some way for them to go away.  Many hopeless things flooded my mind in that brief few hours of depression.  I even had called someone and they agreed that I failed.  They said I should stop blogging and that writing my book was a big mistake.

Satan is very good.  Soon I realized that it doesn’t matter if there is not very many people on that statistic list.  I remembered Christ.  I remembered that He would have died for even ONE.  I was ashamed of myself for thinking those 100 people were not worth ministering to.  I surely could see that I was focused in the wrong direction.

Secondly, I figured out, as I started to bring my thoughts back into the captivity of Christ, that it really does not matter what others believe about me.  If I have made a mistake and I learned from it, that is my precious gift—MINE.  They can’t take that away from me.  They can’t take away the victory I have in Christ.  If they hold to it, it is between them and God—their problem.  I, thankfully, have only to answer to God for my life and how I lived it.  I do not have to answer to others, they will not have the power to judge me in the hereafter.  If others want to go around and warn people about me and my big mouth, that is between them and God.  I have found that my value is not in what people think or believe about me, it is who I am in Christ!  His blood is sufficient to make me victorious and new each day.  I can write about these things and if others think less of me for my failings that is okay.  I will testify of God’s greatness ANYWAY.  I just can’t try to pretend so you can all think better of me.  I won’t do it.

Next, I had a visit from two young ladies.  They could see I had been crying but there were no more tears.  I was renewing my hope already.  I must have shared stories of victory for 2 hours that evening.  I had those girls in tears when I shared how Christ saved a wretch like me, to laughing so hard that they thought their bellies would burst as I shared stories about my poor frumpy attitudes I have had in the past.  I was alive in Christ and I picked myself out of the pit by using strategy.  We have to outwit the spiritual games that the Devil means to destroy us.  Lauren stole that book about Henry that I wanted to read each night to my family.   She told me I was not allowed to read it.  I went back to reading my book, Living Virtuously.  It is so good to read my stories and remind myself where I came from and how much I have learned so far.  I read another chapter and I could feel nothing but hope.  The whole point of my book was to show people, including myself, how to gain victory and have hope no matter what may come.  And hope is what I needed the most that day.  In becoming an over-comer, you first have to have something to overcome.

Satan is out there prowling around.  He does not want us to reach out to others with the truth.  He wants us to feel guilty and ashamed, hopeless and fearful.  He would love it if I packed up and headed to shackville and never blogged again.  Each soul is precious and I was reminded of that when I had those two girls sitting across from me with tears in their eyes.  They are worth it.  Who ever is reading this today, YOU are worth my time and energy.  I know I have made many mistakes, I know I am not perfect—but that is just what some people need to know today.  They need to know how frail we humans are in comparison to a mighty God who can renew our hope and make us victorious!

I do not have to have an entourage or a grand fan fare of people that hang on to my every word.  I do not have to fight to gain the masses.  None of that is lasting.  It does not matter in eternity anyhow.  It is all fueled by greed.  Blogging is a big industry in this day and age.  The bigger and more popular the blog, the more money is made.  I could have got caught up with all of that, but I choose not to.  What matters is being real, being true, and not compromising the faith I hold so dear in my heart.  There will never be a big following with that stance.

Some of you have been in the pit or are in the pit right now, but there is hope!  The strategy is to know who you are in Christ, know that He is real even though it seems like, in
times like this, that He is far away.  Remind yourself of something God has done in your life and the victory you have had over trials.  Find someone to minister to.  Share your testimony with others.  It will cheer you up!  It is the cure to the poison that gets into our minds.  We have hope and comfort in these words…

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Isaiah 41:10

“Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me,
lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”
Psalm 143:7-8

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;”
Psalm 30:11

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4

“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop:
but a good word maketh it glad.”
Proverbs 12:25

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Romans 15:13

God will give you hope.  These verses are so true and full of hope.  Meditate on these when ever you feel you are in the tunnel for these words are the light at the end of the tunnel.  Now that I am done with another pity party, I am ready to face another day, full of rejoicing in the Glory of God—the God that is able to make beauty from all our many ashes, and a cup of joy for our mourning!  May your pit not be a hole void, but may it be a hole with purpose, filled to overflowing!

I linked this post up to this Wise Woman site.  Go there if you would like to find more blog posts that are encouraging for your day!  God bless!

a-wise-woman-builds-her-home

92 thoughts on “From Pity to Praise

  1. Dear Erin, you, your family, your blog, videos, book, etc. are a blessing for us and many other people that have the privilege to know you in person or not, people from your country and other countries like me.
    This and other posts came in the perfect time for me, and they are a source of encouragement.
    Thank you for show you as a weak person as us, and to show the power of God in your life.
    God bless you! You are in our daily prayers! Hugs from Mexico!

    • Thank you for saying these encouraging words, they are precious to me today. Hugs from TN!!!! I will be also praying for you and your family. Thank you for praying for us!

  2. Good is Good! God is Great! His mercy endures forever! Thank you for your surrender to Him and His will for you. For growing where He’s planted you and your family. Thank you for being a blessing. I pray any future visits to the Pity Pit will be short ones. 😉 How would we know when we’re on the top of the mountain if we’ve never been in the Pit? Praise the Lord!

  3. Erin,
    I met you in person at the shindig in NC. My husband and I have talked to you and Mark by phone when you guys were living in Wisconsin. We have your DVDs and my kids and myself watch them all the time!!!! I have learned so much from you. My husband and I are still wondering if God wants us to stay put living where we are now or move. It is so hard!! We call ourselves the “black sheep” We homeschool, homestead, let our kids sit with us in church, have family Bible time at home, and people in our community, church and family think we are weird. We have five children and some of our family were telling us that we have too many to raise in the world today. How sad, God is a GREAT BIG GOD and nothing is impossible with Him!!!!!! Keep up the great work you are doing. You are such an encouragement to me! I am thoroughly enjoying reading your book.

    • I know that feeling, I have often just figured that my only place I can belong in in Heaven. When we do things differently we are the black sheep, the pilgrim and strangers in a foreign land. It was a blessing to hear from you again. May God strengthen you vision and hope. May He give you joy in your home today. God is so BIG and mighty, able to do the impossible when we are willing to let him. God bless you dear sister in the Lord!

  4. Dear Erin,
    I feel as though I know you. Your life and mine have such similarities that it’s uncanny.
    I have just begun reading Living Virtuously, and I am SO GLAD I bought it! I am working on getting myself out of where you were before you started your photography: unable to deal with the demands of having a young & demanding family, feeling burned out and needy, keeping the homestead (but just barely), disorganized and disillusioned, wanting desperately for my husband to “save” me (but not being as receptive to him as I should be), bitter and angry and many times lashing out to those I love the most with my words of frustration and irritation.
    I am clawing my way out of that pit! I honestly believe that for some of that, I have you and your OUTREACH to thank! The Lord led me to find your DVDs and blog, and I don’t believe in chance!
    Thank you, Erin, for sharing that you are human and do still feel inadequate. We all do sometimes, but it is a blessing to discern that it is merely the enemy trying to get to us and make us turn from the TRUTH!
    God bless you, your family, and your ministry! The doubters haven’t met those of us who are receiving the blessings of your teachings!

    • It really makes it worth it knowing that God can use someone like me, a total mess, sometimes a total failure, to encourage others. Thank you for sharing your story here, I am sure it will touch others. You are a blessing. It is so good knowing that God is so able to help us in our times of need, that he is a loving God. He makes such strength in our weaknesses. Love to you dear sister, and I am so glad you took the time to write me and let me know you enjoy my book. It would bless us so much if you would take the time to put your review on Amazon. That will make it possible for others to even find out about my book. God bless you!

  5. Hi Erin.
    I just wanted to point out another way you are an encouragement. We are in the same season of life and share many of the same convictions, struggles,and victories. Through reading your posts, you have become like a dear sister. Your transparency is so
    refreshing. Thank you for boldly proclaiming the transforming power of God! Keep living for the Lord Jesus Christ and know that you have been(and are) a great blessing, in many different ways, to many different women!

    • That is so good to know that my victories in my adversities are not in vain. That by sharing my struggles I can give others hope in Christ. You have blessed me with your comment.

  6. Thank you for this post. I felt a dark heavy cloud of depression settle down on my last Sunday and felt everything in my life was wrong. God has brought me back out of it (mostly) but I hate it. I feel so weak. It helps me knowing I’m not alone. BTW – I am a new blog reader. 🙂

    • It is such a great thing to know God is able to help each one of us where ever we are at. Praise to God that He cares so much for his people. I am glad to have you here as a new reader, I pray that my posts will be a light and encouragement to you and your family. God bless you my new sister in the Lord!

  7. This post was a “God Moment” for me because I too was in the PIT last night and I realize now that my bad thought patterns were from the devil! Thank you and God bless you for sharing those scriptures and your story of finding victory in Christ! God is good!

    • Lots of God moments. That is what makes life so much fun. When we can look back and see that God is at work and lines things up even when we fear He is distant from our lack of hope. You have been a blessing. Keep your faith strong knowing you are not alone, Christ understands everything and is always preparing a way for us to overcome through Him. God bless you! Yes, God is good!

  8. Hi Erin,
    Thanks for the encouragement as usual!
    I just want you to know, that as an email subscriber, I read every one of your blog entries via email, but only ever come onto the blog to leave a comment or to find something on there. I’m guessing this wouldn’t show up on your stats? So take heart, there are plenty of us out here who silently benefit from your posts week after week.

    • Many thanks to you for taking the time to comment, your comment truly does help me. All comments help me to know if I have been an encouragement. God bless you so very much today!

  9. Erin, I NEEDED this! I can`t tell you how many times I’ve been there these past busy weeks getting my cookbook into print and self-publishing as well. It’s important that I see the battle for what it is-Satan trying to get us down when we’re in the midst of something important for us and to God. This article is my battle plan.I`ll need to post it by my desk,along with your book ,Living Virtuously.

    • That is good to know that you enjoyed my other posts. God bless you and I hope my book is a real blessing to you when you read it. You will have to let me know what you think. That would be a blessing to me!

    • Oh, and your cookbook, I am so excited to see it and use it in my kitchen, you have done such a great work. Many blessings to you and I will pray for all to go smooth with that.

  10. Erin,
    I enjoy your blogs. I am quite a bit older than you and find your posts enjoyable. In my season of life I can look back and see some of the very same things I went through that you are experiencing.
    It seems you take too much of the comments to heart. For example, the spot you did on house cleaning. Some people took offense at that, I did not. As a matter of fact I had a lady come to me and ask how many times a week I mopped the kitchen floor. Some people do not know how to clean, were never taught. You just gave some basic steps to keeping a home.
    Some of your posts concern me, when you have too many things going at once. You are so concerned on getting the simple life, your joy “of” life is beyond your grasp.
    Does simple mean doing without? Does it mean leaving the location you are and moving in your own direction? To follow someone else’s path?
    Maybe simple for some of us means “quiet”. I have a command and control husband. If “I” tried to move us to a “simple” life like you describe, my life would be anything but simple. I am striving to live a simple life where I am. My life will never be simple as you describe it, not with two adopted children, which one is special needs. (It took us 5 years to get through “Kindergarten”) My 2 biological children were killed in separate car accidents 6 months apart.
    Simple, no, but I strive for the “quiet” life. Quiet, to look on my child’s face, to take time to read God’s word, to sit and have a sip of tea, to watch the rabbit bounce across the field, to pray with a friend, to watch the wind blow through the trees, to hold the hand of a grieving friend, to show my children how to wash dishes, to listen to God whisper to me and hear His voice…..

    • I know, I am sensitive. I guess that is what makes me care so very much for others. I want to know I am helping and encouraging not tearing down. I realize that not everything will work for everyone, but it is good to know that you are doing something that is helpful. Yes, the simple life is a joy to me as well. I think I tend to live very simply for the most part. I have learned to cut out a lot of things that pull our hearts away from home. Being home is such a joy and a haven of rest. I appreciate your wise words. They mean a lot to me. You have been such an encouragement to me and a blessing. God bless you. I am so sorry to hear about your loss, I can not even imagine what that was like. That pit must have been very dark. You would be an inspiration if you would please email me and share that story so I can share it with others to put things into perspective and give others hope. My goodness, you are a strong woman. I would love to just sit down and have the opportunity to learn from you!!!

  11. I often feel that you are I live in parallel universe when I read your blog. This week I cried, and I rarely cry. I tried to be tough, but my button was pushed so much, it broke. I felt totally hopeless and detached from God’s caring. I am a Christian, but in regard to my life on this earth, I have a hard time reconciling my Christian beliefs. I appreciate you sharing what you learned, but I still wonder about some things. One of the main questions I have is how do you know to attribute the reasons why something happens to Satan? How do you know it’s not God who’s trying to close the door on you (I have heard that expression a lot from church)? I am not in any way saying what happened to you is one or the other. I’m just simply asking how do you know it’s one or the other? This week I tried to do something constructive for my homeschooling group, and it was flat out rejected. So I’m sitting here wondering, should I keep pushing the issue because it’s Satan who’s trying to stop me, or just stop trying because it’s God who’s closing the door? I would be O.K. either way. It’s God’s silence that makes me sad. Some people seem so close to God and enjoy His blessings. I’m not one of them. I think about Lazarus the beggar from the Bible. He probably didn’t accomplish much on this earth, and he probably didn’t feel like he had God’s blessings, but he is with the Lord now. I wonder about these things. I don’t talk to anyone about them though. My questions are too weird for my community. I’m glad you have your blog so I can “talk”. Your blog has inspired me to live in a clean house, cook better food, and have a voice. You make me feel normal as I see you struggling with the same stuff I do. Thank you.

    • You are right, sometimes our pain is God being faithful. It never seems like good things can come out of our pain, but it so often does when we look back. I can say my deepest pains have been my deepest blessings just hidden in disguise. God has used my pain and hurt more to grow me and change me into something worthy than any good thing could have done. I love knowing that I can overcome through Christ. Overcoming means we have things to overcome. The finest china is made by lots of pressure and heat. Yes, Satan can throw his firey darts, and he does that as well. God can close doors. I once wanted to be an actress and singer in Hollywood. I ended up in a wheelchair with the worst pain imaginable and I choose to see it as God protecting me from selling my soul one day. He has wonder working power and his was sometimes just seem odd. But they work. I would be a mess and not doing the will of God in my life had I not had that pain. It is all relative. Just know that God makes a way and that way is not always in the way we thought would work for us the best. In His plan is purpose. Let His will be your will and keep your eyes fixed upon him. He will lead you and show you the truth in this matter. But take heart because he understands and loves each one of us so much. God bless you, I appreciate your honesty and encouragement. I also enjoy your questions. They make me think and know how to give account for the future. Love to you in Christ.

      • Thank you for your reply, Erin. I read Darline Rose’s book, and I envied how she was able “hear” God. I wish I could be like that. I had a tough day last week as I wrote above, but I was amazed how I was able to recover. Yes, I did cry and mope around for a few hours, but when it was time to get ready for my husband’s arrival, I picked myself up and started getting the house ready. I didn’t want him to see me feeling down, because he doesn’t think very highly of Christians already. I was amazed how much strength I was able to muster, and that’s when I realized that God helps me when I help myself. By the next morning, I was fully recovered. I was able to pray for those who offended me, and I chose to hold on to the grace of God so no bitterness takes root (Hebrews 12:15). I think I’m growing in Christ. Thank you for partnering with me.

  12. Thank you for your post today, thank you for the ministering that you do! After reading your post today I was looking for some scripture for someone else, but I ran across something I wanted to share with you instead. Sometimes it helps to be reminded:
    Luke 15:4-7
    4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
    5 And when he hath found [it], he layeth [it] on his shoulders, rejoicing.
    6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together [his] friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
    7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
    Just remember even one is worth it. Like you said Christ would have died for just one.
    Thanks,
    Dawn

    • Amen! I totally agree, wholeheartedly. You are a blessing to remind us all that each person is worth it no matter what we do, give them our best out of the love of Christ stored in our heart. God bless you dear sister!

    • Wow, thanks for saying that. That is good to know. I am glad you have felt uplifted, it makes me want to keep writing more and more knowing that. You have uplifted me as well. God bless you, Linda!

  13. Erin, your posts encourage me in so many ways. Your posts correlate to what I face daily as a stay at home mom in my own struggles, and encourage me with direction, hope, truth, a way to change and not stay in the pit!! I love the recipes, like the layonnaise beans (wow), and the idea of the fall festival- I must do this someday!!!! THANK YOU for taking the time to do this!!!! And your book- I’m reading the pages I’ve read over and over to apply it, and I still have a lot of book to go! I can’t wait to buy the bundle of Debi and your books to give to friends!!

    • I am so very glad that my posts are such an encouragement to you. It really means so much to me to know that. It is a blessing to me today to read your post. I am blown away at the love people have. God bless you as you finish my book, I pray it will be an even more blessing to you.

  14. Hello Erin,
    Keep up the good work of writing your own experiences. I have had many of the same frustrations throughout the years. It took me a long time to realize how the enemy is working against us whom follow Christ. Others that read about your struggles will learn more quickly than I did.
    You have such a gift in writing and I am sure this is what Jesus wants you to be doing, that is why the enemy is trying to stop you so hard.
    I have been praying for you and the family and will continue to.
    Anna

    • Thank you for the encouragement. It means a lot, I will never give up, never! Thank you for your prayers, they are much needed and very much appreciated!!! God will win these battles, I will keep my hope in Him and that will keep me from falling.

  15. thank you for being real!! I have read many of your posts and they all encourage me… can’t even tell you how much I needed to see victorious women serving their families

  16. thank you for being real!! I have read many of your posts and they all encourage me… can’t even tell you how much I needed to see victorious women serving their families

  17. thank you for being real!! I have read many of your posts and they all encourage me… can’t even tell you how much I needed to see victorious women serving their families

  18. thank you for being real!! I have read many of your posts and they all encourage me… can’t even tell you how much I needed to see victorious women serving their families

  19. thank you for being real!! I have read many of your posts and they all encourage me… can’t even tell you how much I needed to see victorious women serving their families

  20. Amen. What a wonderful Saviour we have! Always true and never runs out of compassion. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for the blessings and wisdom I get every time I read your blog. Thank you Erin.

  21. Thank you so much for your encouraging words- My value is not in what people think or believe about me, it is who I am in Christ!
    God bless you Erin

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