Dealing With Doubt, Endurance for the Journey, Fear, Featured

Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you
for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 (NLT)



The other morning, I was on my daily walk, and I noticed how crystal-clear and blue the sky was. I had a picture-perfect view of the entire Sun Valley and Camelback Mountain – it was breathtaking. I just took in the view with awe and thankfulness.


But then I remembered why the air was so clear of all the hot dust that is normal for a summer in Arizona – the night before we had torrential rains and winds that “cleared the air.” While the storm that passed over us seemed violent and scary at times, the result was a “clearing of the air” so that we would be able to see such majestic beauty beyond the storm. I was thankful for the storm.


I thought about my own life and the storms that I have endured. I thought about how fearful, scared and alone I felt during those storms – fearful that I would not make it through. But then God reminded me of how the tears that I shed during those storms “cleansed my soul” and not one tear was wasted because He was faithful to show me the way through producing His beauty within me. I am thankful in ALL circumstances now – even the storms of life because I know what they produce.



I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
ECCLESIASTES 3:10-11 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Discovering Who I Am, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so that we can do the good things
He planned for us long ago.
EPHESIANS 2:10 (NLT)



Nothing exposes our good, bad, and ugly sides, more than spending the weekend with your adult children. They are all too familiar with our strengths and weaknesses – there is no fooling them – they’ve lived with us. This past weekend Dave and I went to visit our daughter’s and son’s families. We love being with our family but this time I prayed specifically that I would love my family well – seeing them through His eyes and that I also would be able to engage and receive their love.


Acceptance of my good, bad, and ugly has enabled me to receive love from the Father because He loves me just as I am. He knows everything about me and yet He still loves me. God knows that I am still a work in process, and I know that if I surrender daily to His Will that He will mature me to be the Masterpiece He created me to be. Knowing this Truth enabled me to look and experience my family in a totally different way.


This past weekend I was able to laugh (with everyone else) at my own weaknesses (and I have many) instead of being ashamed and withdrawing. I was aware of how much they loved me as they teased me – I laughed with them.


I smiled at my daughter when she became frustrated with me when I didn’t give her the answer she wanted to hear. Normally I would be hurt, angry and withdraw but I just smiled and marveled at her beautiful heart and passion – I saw beyond her frustration with me and stayed engaged in the conversation.


When our 6-year-old granddaughter exhibited her strong will against her mother – our daughter, I chuckled and smiled too. Not because I was enjoying her mother getting back what she deserved (although that would have been the case in past) but because I now know that God instilled in our granddaughter that strong spirit. I know He will mold and shape that young wild mare into something beautiful just like He did for our daughter. I saw her strong will as a blessing instead of a curse.


It was a wonderful weekend.



Therefore accept each other
just as Christ has accepted you
so that God will be given the Glory.
ROMANS 15:7 (NLT)


On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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An Awakening from Brokenness, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…
But you know Him, because He lives with you now
and later will be in you.
JOHN 14:16-17 (NLT)



And so, I prayed every morning, before my feet hit the ground, that God would lead me into all truth. I prayed that I would not be afraid of the truth about myself as I know how painful it can be to see all of yourself – the good, the bad and the ugly. I prayed that He would be gentle with me as He revealed the truth to me. I closed my prayer with Psalm 51 …


Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation.
PSALM 51:10-12 (NLT)


As I went through my day, I no longer trusted my own judgement, my first impression and my old patterns. I started Pausing and Praying before I Responded (PPR) to questions and the triggers that would easily upset me. It was amazing to me how God changed my perspective. God allowed me to see beyond their words and actions so I could see directly into their hearts – which totally changed my response.


I then saw a major change – for the good – in how my family responded to me. Oh, at first, Dave thought I was ignoring his questions which frustrated him because I did not respond immediately. I explained to him that I was not disrespecting him by being quiet, I was actually respecting him by silently as he was speaking to me so that I could really understand him – to my surprise his response changed immediately. Not only was Dave beginning see the transformation that was taking place within my heart, I was actually experiencing it for myself.


Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way that you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you …
ROMANS 12:2 (NLT)


On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Faith, Featured

“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
EPHESIANS 5:14 (NLT)


In the fantasy movie, Wizard of Oz, Dorothy desperately wanted to go home to Kansas. When she missed the hot air balloon ride back with the Wizard, she was devastated thinking she would never be able to go home. But then Glinda, the good witch of the south, appears and tells her that she has always had the ability to “go home”. All she had to do was tap her magical ruby shoes together and repeat “There is no place like home.”


I always knew that I received the Holy Spirit when I accepted Jesus into my heart but somehow, in my 40 years of walking with the Lord, I never realized the power of the Holy Spirit that existed within me. Many times, I approached God in prayer and asked for wisdom and guidance but as soon as I felt my prayers were answered I would resume my independent, self-reliant life depending on my own strengths and abilities.


When I became aware of the anger I had stuffed for years in my heart this realization allowed me to see the changes that were taking place in Dave’s heart. I knew I could no longer do this in my own strength. I wanted to be different and so I cried out to God for Truth. The truth about me, the Truth of His Word and the Truth from the Holy Spirit – I knew only the Holy Spirit could do the work in me that needed to be done.


So just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, when I felt completely hopeless that change would never take place in me, God woke me up one morning and I prayed. I told God that I did not know the way “home” to Him, and I asked Him to transform my heart. And just as Glinda told Dorothy, God told me that I had always had the ability to come “home” to Him through the power of the Holy Spirit that lived within my heart. All I needed to do was ask and surrender daily to the Holy Spirit. And so, I did and the adventure of transformation began.


To be continued …


“It is not by force nor by strength,
but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
ZECHARIAH 4:6 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Anger, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

“In your anger do not sin”:
Do not let the sun go down on your anger
and do not give the devil a foothold.
EPHESIANS 4:26-27 (NIV)

Most counselors agree that suppressing anger ultimately does nothing to
eliminate it. Suppressed anger resembles moss living in the damp, dark,
corner of the basement. You may not see it, but it is spreading. It does
not go away on its own. So, even though suppression is a choice, let’s
agree that it is not a desirable one.
Les Carter, Ph.D., Frank Minirth, M.D. The Anger Workbook


Reflecting back now, Dave’s shoulder replacement surgery was such a gift for him and me. For him he was pain free for the first time in 20 years and for me it was the beginning of the healing of my wounded heart. Fortunately, before the surgery, I took a risk and shared my fears with Dave, our children and our closest friends. Dave becoming aware of my fears caused him to be upset at first but it was not the anger that I expected and prepared myself for.


His response was the complete opposite– I was surprised by his response. He was kind and considerate of my feelings and the weight of the responsibility that normally weighed heavily upon me. Dave called our closest friends to walk alongside the both of us – giving me breaks from the 24/7 care – holding him accountable for his emotional stability. After the surgery, when his care began, he went out of his way to make sure that I was okay. He was appreciative of my care, he had grace for me and laughed with me when my clumsy hands messed up.


I was in awe of the change that God had done in his heart but it caused me to become aware that I had not changed the way I responded to him – I was stuck in old patterns and feelings. I didn’t like the words that came out of my mouth or the sarcastic tone. I became aware of the moss that had grown in the damp dark corner of my heart. I became aware of the foothold I had given Satan. I desperately needed the Holy Spirit to show me the roots of those old patterns so that He could heal and change my heart too …


When I kept silent my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
PSALM 32:3


On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Anger, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”
Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.
EPHESIANS 4:26 (NLT)


I was not aware that I harbored anger in my heart for Dave. I knew that during his cancer journey, he had hurt me with his outbursts of rage, but I knew how much he was suffering. His emotional and physical pain were at the root of his anger. But instead of dealing with my hurt, I chose to bury my hurt and forgive him – all for the sake of peace. After all, I thought, wasn’t that the “Christian” way? I prided myself for being the calming force in our family. BUT … when I let the sun go down on my hurt/anger, I allowed a bitter root to develop in my heart that I had no idea was there. I built walls around my heart – I withdrew.


Until … last year when Dave’s surgeon told us that Dave’s shoulder (the only one he has) needed to be replaced and he would not be able to use his arm for six weeks!! I would have to be his everything – except for his being able to walk but I would have to be by his side 24/7. I would need to feed him, bathe him, dress him – yes everything! I nearly had a panic attack right there in the Dr’s office!


Now, it was not the amount of care that scared me – what I was deathly afraid of was him being in pain and completely at the end of himself. I remembered, in the past, his frustration and anger towards me because I am clumsy and not as coordinated as he is. (I swear he can do more with his less dominate right hand than I can with my two hands!) I remembered the sleepless nights, the constant tension of walking on eggshells to avoid his anger and the guilt and shame I felt whenever I resented having to be his sole caregiver and recipient of his anger.


Now I knew that Dave had matured since that time BUT I remembered the pain, the hurt and the shame – those wounds that had never healed. As I remembered I was surprised and appalled at the intensity of my feelings. The angry bitter root was exposed and now healing could begin. Awareness is the first step to transformation …


Search me O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you.
And lead me along the path of everlasting life.
PSALM 139:23-24 (NLT)


On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Anger, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

“Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.”
1 CORINTHIANS 13:13 (THE MESSAGE)



One of our greatest needs is to be loved, supported and accepted by those we love. When this need is not met and we feel the pain of rejection it can cause us to feel hurt, fear or frustration resulting in anger. We feel anger at the very ones we desire to receive the love and acceptance from. I know this was my own personal struggle with Dave.


While I always felt loved by Dave, for the first 33 years of our marriage I never felt like he “liked” me. He was always trying to “change” me, “improve” me and “challenge” me to be different from who I truly was. I know that he meant well but it eventually led to me feeling rejected and not liking myself and that made me angry at Dave and at myself for not being able change into the person he wanted me to be. Recently I read a quote in a random Instagram Post that really pierced my heart:


“When you keep criticizing your kids, they don’t stop loving you. They stop loving themselves.”


While this is so true about the effects criticism has on our children, I feel it is equally true within marriages and relationships with those we love. Sadly, feeling rejected by those we love can cause immeasurable damage to our emotional stability.


Fortunately, I am married to a man who has a heart for God, and he listens to the Holy Spirit that lives within him. Eleven years ago Dave read a book entitled, “The Cure” by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNichol and John Lynch – it took him back to the Scriptures and began to transform his Spiritual walk with God and with others. He started experiencing the grace of God for himself and for others – including me!


While I so appreciated the transformation that was taking place in Dave’s heart and our marriage, it did not happen overnight. After all, our Spiritual walk with God is a journey and I still did not know or was aware that I had long harbored anger within my heart. To be continued …


“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry …” EPHESIANS 4:26 (NIV)



On the journey together,
Jan Dravecky

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Anger, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Anger is an emotion that is common to every person.
Because we are imperfect people in an imperfect world,
we are guaranteed to regularly encounter this emotion.
The Anger Workbook by Les Carter, Ph.D and Frank Minirth, M.D.

Looking back at our childhoods has been very beneficial for Dave and I when dealing with our anger issues. We can easily see how we learned the pattern of Oppressor and Suppressor from the homes where we were raised. Both were loving, for which we are forever thankful, but neither was exactly healthy in the way that anger was expressed.


For me, I grew up in a very affirming home. It was not perfect by no means, but my mother was affirming in both her love and discipline of me. I was taught never to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings which is why I learned early on to suppress my anger because I never wanted to cause anyone to feel the pain that I did when someone was angry with me. Whenever I felt anger I would cry instead of rage – I hated feeling anger and I hated anger expressed to me. Thus, I would cower, withdraw, and suppress – so destructive for me.


Dave was raised in a totally different family. His family was not afraid to express their anger and as a result, was not very affirming. He felt free to express his anger and felt justified to show me how I could be a “better” person because that was the way he was raised. He called it constructive criticism. He sincerely felt his criticism was helping me and our children. While his heart was in the right place, the effects of his patterns that he learned in his childhood were destructive to himself and those he loved.


But to combine these two scenarios was a devastating cocktail for me and Dave – it led to my depression. When I started searching for the root of my depression, I discovered the anger that I never knew existed within my heart. This discovery over the past year, has led me to a miracle healing of my heart.


Struggling with anger? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how those patterns developed.


And this same God, who takes care of me
will supply all your needs from his glorious riches,
which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
PHILIPPIANS 4:19 (NLT)


On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Anger, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Although you may not always like the presence of your anger,
you can make choices about how you handle it.
The Anger Workbook by Les Carter, PHD, Frank Minirth, M.D.



The Scripture is quite is clear about anger and the consequences of how we choose to respond to it. It is our choice …,


Rash language cuts and maims,
but there is healing in the words of the wise.
PROVERBS 12:18 (THE MESSAGE)


Kind words heal and help;
cutting words wound and maim.
PROVERBS 15:4 (THE MESSAGE)


A gentle response defuses anger,
but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
PROVERBS 15:1 (THE MESSAGE)


The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well,
but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.
PROVERBS 10:11 (THE MESSAGE)

Fools give full vent to their rage,
but the wise bring calm in the end.
PROVERBS 19:11 (NIV)


Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly,
the prudent quietly shrug off insults.
PROVERBS 12:16 (THE MESSAGE)


Hot tempers start fights;
a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace.
PROVERBS 15:18 (THE MESSAGE)


The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret;
PROVERBS 14:17 (THE MESSAGE)


Outrage and outbursts seldom have a good outcome in any situation.
Dr. David Jeremiah

On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Provision

Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
Sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
Singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!
PSALM 84:3-4 (THE MESSAGE)


Over the past month, I have been observing a Hummingbird build its nest in our backyard Madagascar Palm tree where Jan and I sit enjoying our morning coffee and time with God. The Madagascar Palm has very sharp cactus like spines on its trunk. Watching her build her nest was amazing! She actually built her nest among and on the sharp spines to support and strengthen her nest!


As I‘ve watched this unbelievable miracle of nature – the amazing work of God’s hand, I was reminded of the passage in Scripture where Jesus says,


“Look at the birds, free and unfettered,
Not tied down to a job description,
Careless in the care of God.
And you count far more to him than birds!”
MATTHEW 6:26 (THE MESSAGE)


Did you hear that? We count far more to God than the birds! Watching this serves as a reminder to me – especially when I find myself worrying and struggling with my life issues and the uncertainty of the future. I can trust God to take care of me just as He cares for the Hummingbird providing all that was needed to build that little nest and the food she will provide when her little babies hatch!


How much more will He provide for you and me! It may not be what we asked for but it will always be what we need. We can be anxious for nothing! We can even be assured that sometimes the sharp spines that we unwillingly experience in our lives can provide us with a foundation of strength upon which we can build our future – just as the sharp spines provided a foundation of strength for the Hummingbird’s nest!


Father, thank you for bringing this little Hummingbird into our lives! Thank you for your reality, initiative and provision!

“Steep your life in God-reality, God initiative, God-provisions.
Don’t worry about missing out.
You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,
And don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up
when the time comes.”
MATTHEW 6:33-34 (THE MESSAGE)


On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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