Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

Emotional Change

balloons

Change isn’t easy. Especially if the change has to do with an emotional tie. Sometimes we have invested our hearts into something, and we don’t know how to let it go. There are many examples of emotional change. Grief and loss of a loved one; loss of a job; divorce; moving; graduation; aging; and many, many more. Each of these examples are normal parts of life. Our life journey isn’t always easy. It’s a continual learning process, and if we are not careful…sometimes we can miss the beauty of the journey. Even when we face difficulties in life, there is a beauty in the midst of the pain. We have to look for it. We have to learn from it. We must grow from it. In order to find the beauty in the pain, we must be willing to see it. Walking through life with a guard around our heart doesn’t allow us to experience the full journey. Allow yourself to ‘feel’ and ‘experience’ life. Allow yourself to understand that things will never stay the same. Allow yourself to find the positive…even if it seems impossible. YOU have a choice. God has given us free will to think, do, and be as we choose to be. Jesus walks alongside us through everything. We can choose to take His Hand and fumble through life with Him. He will never leave us. He is always with us; even when we choose to ignore Him. Begin to realize that change is inevitable. Find a way to seek the beauty in it. I face each day without my oldest daughter on this earth. It is painful and raw…every single day. However, there is a beauty in the midst of the pain. Her memory is with us forever. Because of what we have walked through, we are more able to understand the needs of other’s going through the same difficulties. I made the choice to accept her loss, and turn my pain into purpose. Don’t let the struggle of your life cause you to crumble. Pick up the pieces, and find a way to turn your pain into a purpose. Jesus will hold your hand, and God will guide your steps.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your steps. PROVERBS 3:5-6

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ROMANS 15:13

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 


AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

Forgiven

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Many times we get caught up in guilt and remorse from our past…and we let it sit on our shoulders. We may not even realize how much we are burdened down from our past, or how much we have let it identify our decisions, or our future. Everyone has done things in the past that they regret. Everyone. There may be times when your past can be thrown in your face. How do you handle this? You may have worked so hard at rebuilding your character…and when it is jeopardized by someone else’s judgment…it can create feelings of insecurity and fear. This is exactly what the devil wants you to feel. Jesus is our redeemer…our Savior…our Healer. When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness for your sins, YOU ARE FORGIVEN. There is no grey area in this. You are forgiven. What we are today is what is important. Our past may have had many mistakes, regrets, or things we never want to rehash again. When other people try to bring up the mistakes from your past you must ignore it. God gave us His only Son Jesus, who suffered and died for us, so that we could be forgiven for anything and everything we have ever done in the past. Today is not yesterday, and whatever happened yesterday is not current today. Today is what you make it. Today you pick up your cross…you walk forward boldly…and you learn from the past. Allow those past mistakes to be lessons of wisdom that can help someone else. Place the regrets in the arms of Jesus. Rebuke satan when he tries to get in your mind and rehash those negatives. Stand up and fight. Today you are a new creation. Today you are a child of God. You are worthy, valuable, and forgiven. Today you have an opportunity to be a disciple of Christ. God loves us beyond anything we can ever comprehend. Jesus is with us, and Jesus can guide us to continue moving forward in a positive direction.

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that youth is renewed like the eagle’s. PSALM 103:1-5

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17-19

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

Love Will Overflow

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Think about the people you most admire. What characteristics do you notice the most about them? Do you pay more attention to their physical appearance, or has their actual character had the most influence on you? So often this world gets so caught up in the physical elements, the material aspects of daily living, and the monetary comparisons. The value of a person…the value of their life…and the value of your life…has nothing to do with the physical, material, monetary things that are focused on. Value is held in what is held close to the heart. Value is characterized by an everlasting, never-ending, continuously growing spirit. Our spirit is developed over time, as we grow closer to a relationship with God. The more you focus your life on living for God…filling yourself with His love, guidance, and peace…the more people will be drawn to you. This magnetic aspect is the same aspect that attracts you to the people that are the most valuable to you. Live a life that develops your spirit and love will overflow in your life.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones. 1 THESSALONIANS 3:12-13

God is with us.
Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

 

Under Attack

Holding out a helping hand

None of us like to face the cycles of our lives, where we feel like we are under attack. When we are going through the difficulties, it makes no sense. How often have you felt like you were being punished? You wonder why things are happening to you…and more often you wonder where God is in all the trials? It can seem like the more you pray, the more the silence. Rest assured, God is there. God is NOT punishing you. God did not go away. God hears every prayer and knows every difficulty you are facing. Jesus is in the midst of the situations, and He is guiding you along. You may not feel His presence. You may not understand what is happening to you. However, you can be assured that you have the power to allow God to protect and guide you. You must ask, and allow God into the situation. Remember, God does not force Himself on you. He waits for us to call on Him. Jesus is with you…waiting for you to ask for His help. The key is, we must ask, and then take His Hand. Call on the name of Jesus. The enemy is a thief that will rob you of your joy if you allow him to. Satan works in all kinds of ways, to distract you from the power God has given you through the Holy Spirit. The enemy will try to destroy you and cause doubt and confusion. The more tough times you experience, the more you need to seek Jesus in a much deeper level. Pray in all circumstances, throughout the entire day. When something happens that causes you to doubt…stop and call on Jesus. Rebuke the devil. Speak the name of Jesus out loud, and ask God to protect, guide, and carry you through this difficult time. This world will always have difficulty with it. The difference in how your life is lived out…is in the decision you make in how you face it. There is hope in the struggle…when you stand firm in your faith. God is with you, and in time…you will see the journey you have walked through, and how Jesus carried you to victory. 

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. DEUTERONOMY 31:8

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 PETER 5:6-11

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

God will show you.

path

Do you have a burning desire in your heart? Is there something you want to do…and you know it is a direction in which God is clearly showing you? Are you listening to God’s direction? How often do you ignore that desire, that nudging? What causes us to push back, when God is pushing us forward? Why do we question, doubt, or have fear of the unknown? Most of the time we are eager to press forward in the small stuff God has guided us toward. However, we dig in our heels when something is placed in front of us that we are acutely unfamiliar with. You may have had a vision of something that you would love to see happen, but inside…you cannot foresee how that vision could possibly evolve. Just because you feel un-equipped, does not mean you don’t have what it takes to fulfill the vision and desire God is guiding you toward. God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. Whatever God has called you to do, He is completely faithful. He will guide you, and give you whatever you need to complete the task He is directing you in. Jesus walks with you every step of the way. A few years ago, my heart had a deep desire to help other people who were facing the struggle of addiction and life difficulties. Having lost my own daughter to the perils of this devastating reality; I knew the journey, the pain, and the suffering of everyone involved. God kept pushing me to share my heart’s desire. He intentionally created a burning within my heart to reach out to anyone who is affected by the realities of this harsh world we are facing today. Addiction is not a subject people want to talk about. There is a stigma, an embarrassment, a judgment that the world has created. However, addiction is rapidly taking over. Someone you know is struggling with some form of addiction, depression, mental health, or life struggle. There is no shame in sharing the truth, and no one should walk life’s journeys alone. God made sure I didn’t give in to my doubt and fear of being un-equipped to begin an outreach to help others. It has been a long journey; an emotional journey…and it hasn’t been without many questions. Light of Hope was born in my heart. When I began talking about this vision…it seemed unrealistic, impossible, and such a giant undertaking. God made sure He brought me an amazing team of people, to help make this vision a reality.  Together, with my team of people and the blessings of God, we have established and grown Light of Hope 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry outreach. Through persistence, diligence, and many miracles from God…we celebrated our one year anniversary of blessing our community in Claremore, OK. Next Monday, we will hold an Open House at our new expansion offices in Catoosa, OK. We are now able to serve two different areas of our community. This opportunity and growth is direct evidence of God’s guidance and blessing.  We offer support, love, and encouragement to those who are hurting. We embrace the brokenness and love people through the difficult times. God does amazing things. I look back on the past few years and see the Hand of God moving mountains. Don’t let fear and the unknown hold you back. God is with you, and He will use you to do mighty things…when you allow Him to show you how.

And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? ROMANS 8:30-31

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. HEBREWS 13:20-21

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 


AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM


Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232

She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​
South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

Holding On To Hope

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There is an emptiness we go through at certain times in our lives. We may be struggling with a particular situation, and the answers to the solution are nowhere to be seen. We may have experienced a deep loss of a loved one or friend, and we are having a hard time processing the reality of their absence. Sometimes, major things happen to us, that makes absolutely no sense. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other debilitating illnesses cause us to wonder where God is in the midst of these major occurrences. We begin to feel empty. Not because God is not there…but because we begin to pay more attention to the physical situation than the spiritual power God has given us. God did not say we would not face difficult times. God says He will always be there. Sovereign. Loving. Eternal. We will be faced with life…and we can expect major struggles at some point in life. It is not an easy road, and it has never been said that it would be easy. Life is hard. Our attitudes toward those hardships determine the difficulty you feel inside. Fill your spirit by making a commitment to ask Jesus to help you. Pray daily, and seek God with all your heart. Don’t think things will change…if you are idly waiting for some sort of miracle to happen. Take action to fill that emptiness with developing a relationship with Jesus. This will bring you peace and trust in God’s plan. You may not understand the current situation, but rest assured, when you allow God to guide your way…your destiny will be filled with hope and not emptiness.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. PSALM 34:17-18

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. ROMANS 5:1-5

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121