Preach It To Yourself: A Practical Guide to Getting Motivated in the Tough Times

I haven’t given up yet. I can’t afford to—if not for my readers’ sake, then my own.


Have you ever heard the phrase, “preach it to yourself”?

That’s what I’m about to do today.

It’s okay to not be okay.

You don’t have to know all the answers.

It’ll get better.

Not to say these things aren’t true, and I most certainly believe that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28), but it doesn’t always have to feel that way.

In fact, I don’t think it was always meant to feel that way.

Y’all, I am sick and tired of it all.

Yes, I mean it. I am so sick of the never-ending cycle of life.

You mommas and on-the-go girl bosses know what I’m talking about:

PHASE 1: Start the grind of mothering, working, wife-ing, etc.

PHASE 2: Grow tired and fall behind on dishes, laundry, writing, etc.

PHASE 3: Promise yourself you’re going to pick up the slack and start doing better.


Why is work/life balance so hard?

Why does it feel like you’re never doing enough?

Why is it so. Dang. HARD.

And doesn’t it always seem like the older you get, the easier life used to be?

Now, I’m not going to sit here and type out some long post about how I have all the answers. Because that’s just not the truth; I’m a hot mess every single day.

But I most certainly will sit here and type THE truth.

It’s funny though, I seem to forget that the Bible is a resource for more than just looking good on Sunday morning at church or Wednesday night at Bible study.

Ouch, gets me right in the ego.

So, if you’ll humor me, let’s pull out the Sword of the Spirit and slay some truth on today, shall we?

Dear Lord, let my words reflect You. Let my applications speak to someone who is struggling. And above all, let Your will and Your name be glorified. Amen.

1) “I will sing about the name of Yahweh the Most High.” (Psalm 7:17)

I will thank the Lord for His righteousness;

I will sing about the name of Yahweh the Most High.

As cliche as it sounds, sometimes the first step to getting out of my funk is remembering all that I have to be thankful for. Or, if I cannot convince my heart to be truly grateful, I “fake it.”

For example:

Maybe you’re like me, and you struggle with depression and anxiety. Even on medication, I can’t always control it. So I have to focus all of my energy in finding something small, a silver lining, if you will.

I am so sad today, but I am thankful I was able to get out of bed and take care of Izzy’s breakfast this morning.

I have so many things to do, and I am completely overwhelmed by the anxiety of it all, but I’m grateful my able body allowed me to dress myself and put on some deodorant today.

Yes, these seem small, and silly. But I do have days like this.

I will also put on praise music. Even if I don’t feel like listening to it, I do it anyway. Why? Because the words are true, and in times of desperation, we must cling to the truth.

He is good, at all times. No matter how I feel.

Here’s a link to my praise song playlist:

2) “Consider it a great joy whenever you experience various trials.” (James 1:2)

2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

Another word that helps is this one from James; a reminder that the trials of life are actually good for me, and they ultimately bring me closer to Jesus.

Let's think about it—Jesus endured the ultimate trial, pain, and sacrifice just to be close to me, the least I can do is endure the pain of this life and turn my eyes to fix on Him. If that’s what it takes for me to get closer to my Savior, I can do it.

Even more than that, the verse not only asks me to put up with the trials, but to consider them joy. I don’t know if I’m there yet, but I’m practicing.

3) “Proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us” (Romans 5:4b-5a)

3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

My husband and I have been through some serious stuff since we started our journey as a couple, church planters, and now metropolitan area youth ministry leaders. Some serious afflictions, trials, and church hurt (but that’s a blog post for another day). However, because of this, we are being strengthened in our faith. We are proving our dedication to the calling God placed on our lives and our marriage, and we have an even greater hope now than we did when we began.

This is not something that I whole-heartedly believe every day that we continue on our journey, but it’s something that I know to be true. Because He said so.


So, my friend, what is it that God has allowed in your life that wasn’t part of the plan?

Is it illness? Unplanned life events? Singleness? Unemployment?

Or maybe you’re like me, and you’re just overwhelmed and fed up with your daily grind?

Regardless what your struggles are, we must hold to the truth that these will produce an endurance, prove our character, and give us hope that the future is far greater than we could have ever imagined.

Just keep preaching it to yourself, sister. Every single dang day.

Izzy, carrying her thrifted Barbie backpack. August 2019.

Izzy, carrying her thrifted Barbie backpack. August 2019.