When you just need a break

5:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Mark 6:31 bible verse
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” Mark 6:31a (NLT)

This is the first March since we’ve been married where the calendar hasn’t been marked by chemo sessions. 

The first March in two years where our days aren’t measured by injections at 6am and 6pm. 

It seems a little surreal this change in routine. For so long we put our heads down and pushed through 18 chemotherapies, a stem cell transplant and radiation that it is strange (but good) to not have doctor’s appointments or scans to schedule. 

We’ve decided to take a break – a break from work and normal life. We will be travelling for a bit, and enjoying this space we have to just be "Xylon and Wendy" without cancer treatments. 

I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep this site running while we’re away and then a thought came to me, “Why not just take a sabbatical from ilovedevotionals.com?”

a prayer for restIt sounded like something God would say to me. Something he would say to remind me that it’s okay to go off to a quite place and rest awhile. 

Even Jesus had to rest. (Tweet this)

I realised I've been trying to behave like superwoman, thinking I should keep going no matter what. 


There is the part of me feels afraid to stop sharing devotionals here every week. I worry that when I start writing again no one will read them. And I’ve been fretting over letting people down. 

But there is bigger part of me that feels like I can finally breath out after minutes of holding my breath. 

I am giving myself permission to rest, permission to slow down, and permission to take a blogging break. 


I can’t wait to have a proper holiday with my husband. A break where I don’t have to worry about deadlines or emails and can leave my computer at home. A few weeks where our biggest worry is where we’re going to eat for lunch. 

So I’m taking a break from the blog. I may post infrequently on instagram, twitter or facebook or I may just give those a break too. If you want a reminder when I start posting again why not subscribe via email (you'll also receive my free ebook).

I plan to be back on the 14th of April with two devotionals a week and I look forward to connecting with you again. 

Ponder: Is there something in your life that you need to take a rest from? What fears are holding you back from doing that?

Prayer: Jesus, help me to find the space and time to rest the way I need. Amen. 

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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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Photo Credit (Creative Commons): Puppy: jacsonquerubin Apple Blossoms: Billy Wilson Photography | Design: Wendy van Eyck

How to find contentment in difficult circumstances

5:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

[A note from Wendy: Today I'm lending this space to Kelli McIntosh. A woman who understands the difference hope can make.]
Contentment Philippians 4:11
{A guest devotional by Kelli McIntosh}

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11 – 13 (NIV)

I wish you could hear the sound of Kyle’s laughter when he wakes up most days. 

I do much of my writing in the morning, directly below his bedroom. He just woke up minutes ago and he’s doing his usual morning routine: he’s laughing and giggling and the sound is music to my ears. 

As I sit here listening to his laughter and thinking of his contentment, I realize that for quite some time now, I have been truly content with my circumstances. 

A few years ago, I never imagined I would get to this point; I never thought it possible. 

I was angry at God for allowing Kyle to be born with special needs (especially after specifically praying for him every single day of my pregnancy). 

I was angry that the life I had planned was not turning out the way I thought it would (thinking of a future in which one of my children would need my help into adulthood). 

I questioned my faith. I questioned hope and joy and purpose. 

I was depressed and in the midst of all the stages of grief that come before the last stage: “acceptance.” 

But here I am this morning, completely accepting of the way Kyle was born, of my life as the mother of a child with special needs. 

I am content.

Paul said in Philippians that he had learned the secret to being content in any and every situation: that we can do everything through God who gives us strength. 

And recently, I completed Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer. She wrote, “I believe that totally trusting God is the pathway to contentment.” 

So, the secret to contentment is to rely on God’s power for our strength and to trust Him. 

Contentment does not say, “When I get that job, everything will be better. When I have children, my life will be complete. When I make more money, things will be easier. When healing comes, I will have faith and believe in God. When I….” 

It is well with my soul
What about now? 

To be content is to be genuinely happy and satisfied with our present circumstances. 

It is not settling for less than best. 
It is not giving up hope of healing or easier days.

Contentment is looking at life from God’s perspective and realizing that there is a greater purpose in our present circumstances, even if they do not seem ideal to us at the time. 

How is my life today any different than a few years ago when I was not content? My circumstances have not changed drastically. Kyle still has special needs. What has changed is my perspective. What has changed is that I have placed my trust in God. 

Not long ago, Kyle sat next to me in the pew at church. The congregation began singing the familiar hymn, “It is Well With My Soul.” Kyle crawled up on my lap and wrapped his arms around my neck. He rocked the two of us to the music and in the middle of the chorus, he looked into my eyes and smiled so sweetly as if to say, “See, Mom? It is well. I have you. You have me.”

We are content.

Ponder: Think about your present circumstances. How might God be using what you are going through to glorify Him? 

Pray: Jesus, help me to look at my present circumstances from Your perspective. I want to trust You and rely on Your strength to find contentment.

{More about the author of this guest devotional}
Kelli McIntosh is a wife and the mother of two children.  Her 7-year old son, Kyle, has special needs and as a result, Kelli has been on a journey the last 7 years that she never would have imagined.  She blogs at Not Just Anyone in order to share her experiences and how she has learned to accept her son's diagnosis while still holding on to faith and hope. She encourages her readers to focus on life circumstances with a positive perspective.

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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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and a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday

Photo Credit (Creative Commons): Children laughing: BMiz Fabric: TNEmily | Design: Wendy van Eyck 

What if you believed you were worthy?

5:02 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

1 Peter 1:18-19
It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. 1 Peter 1:18 – 19 (MSG)

I measured the oats. 
Scooped in half a cup of water. 
And left the mixture to boil. 

A minute later, I returned, to porridge bubbling over the edge of bowl. 

 “You’re such an idiot,” I thought. “You should know better. This always happens. You can’t even make a bowl of porridge.”

I stopped.

“Where is this coming from? It is just porridge. Stop treating yourself like you’re worth nothing. You are enough just the way you are.”

I stood in the kitchen with a cloth in my hand, ready to wipe the porridge off, when I realised often I talk down to myself because I don’t feel like I am enough.

“Enough” is a word I have never felt capable of I living up to. (tweet this)

The word makes me squirm just to put my name next to it. In fact, writing the sentence, “Wendy is enough,” makes me feel all kinds of uncomfortable. 

This year I decided to no longer let an inferiority complex get the best of me. So for 2014 I picked one word sum up how I want to live, one word that I can focus on all year long. 


As I’ve wrestled with why I struggle so much with being enough. I’ve begun to realise that maybe I fight against the word, “enough” because I don’t feel worthy enough. 
Worthy enough to be chosen.
I amWorthy enough of being loved. 

Somehow my worth became tangled with this feeling of never really measuring up. 

I wiped porridge off the bowl I remembered this bible verse: 
It cost God plenty to get me out of that dead-end, empty-headed life I grew up in. 

A cost Jesus was willing to pay because he thought I was worthy enough.

Worthy enough to be chosen.
Worthy enough of being loved. 
Worthy enough to die for. 

I picked the porridge bowl up, and imagined I could hear Jesus speaking to me, “Stop treating yourself like you’re worth nothing. It cost me plenty to give you a future. You are enough just the way you are.”

These words probably won’t help me make better porridge, but I’m hoping they’ll help me to speak more kindly to myself, and to believe a little more each day that I am enough just the way I am. 

Ponder: What keeps you from believing you are worthy enough?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for thinking I was worth enough to die for. Amen. (tweet this)


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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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Photo Credit (Creative Commons): Wooden spoons: cogdogblog Mug: porschelinn Pattern: Wendy van Eyck | Design: Wendy van Eyck

When you have to forgive someone you hate

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

[A note from Wendy: Today I'm lending this space to Mary DeMuth. She is a writer and woman who I respect. She is brave when others shy away and anchored by hope in Jesus despite a difficult past.]

A Guest Devotional by Mary DeMuth

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 
In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. 
For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, 
and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 
If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? 
Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 
If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? 
Even pagans do that. Matthew 5:43-47 (NLT)

I have had enemies.

Two enemies in particular were hard for me to forgive because for many years, I hated them. HATED them. They were two teenage brothers who violated me for several months during my kindergarten year. I tried to protect myself, but I could not. I told my babysitter, but she chose to let those boys continue to rape me. (She was an enemy too). 

I met Jesus ten years later, and meeting Him gave me the gumption to tell my sad story. As I let the secret out, I began to heal. Yet, still, I hated those boys, who by now, were men. It took me several years of choosing to forgive them before I could write a very honest letter to them about my journey from anger to peace, devastation to wholeness. Here is me reading that letter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyIkLAMvT8A

I sometimes have angry moments when I think of these enemies, wondering if they are perpetrating still (I don’t know their accurate identity). 

I am a wounded warrior in the aftermath, choosing to once again tell my story of sexual abuse (and healing!) so you don’t feel alone, so you don’t have to face your enemies without company. 

Here’s the truth: if you suffered at the hands of a sexual perpetrator, you are not alone. We are a community of the sexually broken who dare to support you as you work through your anger, bitterness and pain. I wrote Not Marked for you, for the sake of your healing.

Maybe you don’t have my story, but you have suffered in other ways. We all walk with a limp when it comes to being hurt by others. Let’s all join together and pray. Here’s a prayer that may help you process some of your grief:

Jesus, I’d rather not pray for the people who hurt me. To be honest, my heart is petty, not pretty. I want revenge sometimes. I want the people who hurt me to experience hurt themselves. 

But I can’t stay in that place, Jesus, because I know You ask more from me. This passage of scripture makes it utterly clear that You want me to bless those who cause me pain. You want me to be like You, who when You were betrayed, You still called Judas “friend.” 

How do You do that, Jesus? How do you love so well? How did You forgive the people who put you up on the cross?

And even as I pray these words, I realize I put You up on that cross. My sin held you down as You bled for my caustic words, my unrighteous anger, and the things I’ve done that I deeply regret. 

You’ve forgiven a mountain of sin between us. And I have a hard time forgiving the molehill between my friend and me. To love them well, I must let go. Help me remember I’m more like You when I’m offering grace, than when I’m spewing judgment. 

I choose right now to give You my pain in this situation, and I ask for Your help. Please give me love for my enemy. I recognize that I don’t have it in me to do that. But You do. You’re good at it. So I trust You right now. Amen.

{More about the book: Not Marked}
Whether you’re a sexual abuse victim, or you love one, or you want your church to better deal with sexual abuse’s aftermath, or you minister to sex-trafficked victims, Not Marked will succinctly help you understand the issue, give you needed empathy, and provide a pathway toward healing that doesn’t demean, re-victimize, or heap further burdens on the sexually violated. 
Buy a copy here.


{More about the author: Mary DeMuth}
Mary DeMuth is a speaker and author who loves to help people live uncaged, freedom infused lives. She’s written over a dozen books, including Not Marked and The Wall Around Your Heart. Her family planted a church in Southern France, and now they live in the Dallas area. Find out more at marydemuth.com.

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You can share this devotional on twitter by clicking here. I’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebook and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.

{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

Enter your email 
to receive my free ebook
and a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday

Photo Credits (Creative Commons): Pink Background: Pink Sherbet Photography Birds: kate e. did Flower: harold.lloyd | Design: Wendy van Eyck