Reset, 2022

This post is a revision of a post I wrote in 2019. I recorded it for my podcast earlier this week and thought I would share it in writing as well. It has been updated to reflect the passage of time and revised in order to share about two great blessings from God.


It seems we do two major resets per year: January 1st and the week after Labor Day. But let’s be real here. We need to reset more than twice per year. It’s so easy to get off-track and off-kilter in life. When the power goes out, and the clocks are blinking, we need a reset.

Things can kick our feet out from under us. We can get sucked in, pulled this way, shoved that way. At times, we get dragged in, kicking and screaming. Sometimes, we dive in headlong, willingly. We miscalculate. We set it and forget it. But, regardless of how we get here, we can hit burnout; we can hit depression; we can hit a season of prodigal living; and we can be laying in a rut deeper than we can dig ourselves out of.

I have just passed the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of my chronic illnesses, as year after year, more chronic illnesses have been added to the initial one. There are days when I can barely get out of bed, much less leave the house. Travel is not in my vocabulary. Common tasks like moving, thinking, eating, and communicating all become difficult or impossible. When I originally wrote this article, for a moment, I celebrated the 19th anniversary. I was excited to think about how far God had brought me, because when things first began, I honestly thought I was going to die. But then my mind shifted—my focus shifted—and I watched what everyone else around me was doing: gearing up for vacations, packing up picnic baskets, dusting off suitcases, and stocking up on suntan lotion. And my heart hurt. The celebration came to a halt as reality crowded its way into my mind.

If I go out in public, people think I must be better. They have no idea of the battle that ensued to put me in their presence. And unless there is divine intervention, I will never get better; I will actually grow worse. My mind slips into thinking how unfair this is. Another anniversary of my high school and college graduations has come and gone, and I am not where I imagined I would be at this point in life. Life rolls on without me. The family reunions happen without me. The weddings, baby showers, and even funerals don’t require a seat for me. In my humanness, it is quite discouraging. My heart breaks. My heart cries out—not questioning God, but in frustration. “God, if I was just healthy, I could do a, b, and c. I could do this for You. I could go there for You. I could reach them, touch them, help them in Your name. I could do that God. I could.”

But I can’t. Not in that way. Not yet. There has to be another way.

There has to be something else for me right now. What is it? What is it, God? As my heart breaks, so do the sobs. But then I think about the words “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”1 There is an eternal purpose. There is an eternal plan unfolding in my life right now. Everything is filtered through His hand. Everything can be viewed as a good and perfect gift. Everything is a good and perfect gift. I just need a reset: To reset my mind on things above. To reset my heart in the direction from whence comes my help. A reset in my focus—to still serve God no matter what I can or cannot do. A reset of my course—serving God in this current state. I will do things in a new and different way, or I will do something new and different altogether. I will reset my purpose from temporal to eternal. I will reset my goal—not to be chasing after the things other people are chasing after, nor even chasing after the things I want to or think I should be chasing after, but to instead be chasing after the things God wants for me. This is my goal. This is my purpose. Your will be done, not mine.

I will reset my gaze from what I see now to what is beyond the now. He is good, and He does what is good. I will reset my heart to bow to His will. And I will reset the words running around in my mind and spilling off my tongue to be words of gratitude, praise, and worship. Yes, I am going to reset my mind on things above and not on things of this earth. And in another twenty-two years, I am going to be celebrating again. But I am also going to be doing it all along the way until I arrive there.

Resets can be difficult, but the payoff is worth it. Refreshment will come. Peace will come. Joy, hope, and a powerful witness will come. The new day will bring new mercies. The new eyes will bring new hope. The new direction will leave a new legacy.

The new year, the new season, can start on any day of the calendar year. Reset your mind on Christ.


Before I close, I would like to share a testimony with you of something amazing God did for me this year. Above, I mentioned that travel is not in my vocabulary; however, this year, I was able to take two three-day trips. One was to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary. I got to see relatives from both sides of the family, some of whom I hadn’t seen in almost thirty-five years. The other trip was to visit my father-in-law who is in declining health. I had not seen him in thirteen years. And while I was there, I got to see other members of the family, and some of them were new to the family. I didn’t feel well during either of these trips. I had to deal with various symptom flare-ups, spent some time in bed, and missed some of the events, but I am astounded at what God did for me. He gave me the strength, ability, endurance, and help that I needed to be able to accomplish the travel. It was truly miraculous, and I thank and praise Him for what He did for me.


1 Colossians 3:2

Scripture taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.

© Text and photo Francee Strain, September 15, 2022. Original article posted July 9, 2019.

Confronting My Heart

As I prayed about what to write this week, God brought the title of one of my 2020 blog posts to mind—“The Heart of the Matter.” It is a very short article with just three questions and two scripture quotations. The questions are: “Have you done a heart check lately? Does your heart belong to Jesus? Does your heart love like Jesus?”1 In recent weeks, I have had to check my heart. I know my heart belongs to Jesus, so no problems there. The problems come with the next question: “Does your heart love like Jesus?” In answering this question, I have had to confront my heart and its contents.

Spoiler alert: I am not perfect. There are times when I have been known to have some thoughts that are not so nice, to act in ways and say some words that are less than kind. Yes, I have sinned in my thoughts, actions, and heart. And lately, it seems there have been a plethora of opportunities to let the thoughts and actions of my heart depart from love.

Lately, I have been angered, disappointed, and wounded. I have been criticized, ignored, and doubted. I have been disrespected. I have been devastated. And the list goes on. The unkind and inappropriate behaviors of others have put my heart to the test. I have had to make a decision whether to walk in the flesh and respond in kind, or walk in the Spirit and respond in love.

When my thoughts and actions jump on the negative train, I am not traveling with Christ. When I am busy formulating and delivering a retort, I am not letting Him speak through me. When I am obsessing over what I should have done or could have done better, and what I am going to say or do next time I get the chance, I am living in the past and not letting Him help me forgive and move into the future. All in all, when my thoughts are on myself, they are not on Him. And when my heart is wrapped up in myself, it is not wrapped up in love. And thus begin the confrontations. Francee, are you acting right? Is that how you should behave? Do you really want to say that? Would that example Christ? Jesus owns my heart for forever, but am I going to let Him own it for the moment of offense?

So, how did I pass through these recent offenses? I battled through. I poured out my heart to God. I poured out my hurt. I poured out my tears. And I asked Him to help me. To help me love. To help me forgive. To help me move on and live a life that is pleasing to Him rather than pleasing to myself.

The heart of the matter is that the heart matters, and so do the matters of it. What we allow into our hearts is what is going to spill out later. Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”2 So, it is wise to confront what tries to enter our hearts, and better yet, to fill them with Christ and His love so there is no room for anything else to enter. 

So, have you done a heart check lately? Does your heart belong to Jesus? Does your heart love like Jesus? Check your heart. Confront it if necessary. Let your heart belong to Jesus, and let it love like Him.

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.

Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.

Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.

Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.3


1 You can access this article on my website at  The scripture verses from the article are: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) and “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b).

2 Matthew 12:34b

3 Proverbs 4:23–27

Scriptures taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.

©Text and photo Francee Strain, September 11, 2022

Still Running

How are the New Year’s resolutions coming along?  Did you happen to set a resolution to exercise?  If so, are you still walking, running, or working out at the gym?  Well, I am not a runner anymore, at least not in the physical sense.  I am more so focused on my spiritual running.  I am taking note of where I am right now and how I can keep pressing forward.  And as I look around at others, it seems like spiritual running is the needed conversation. 

So, I will begin the conversation with a question, and as I ask you, I am asking myself: Are you still running?

What type of running, you ask?  Running—in your heart, mind, and soul.

Are you still running from God?  Is your heart closed off to Him?  Is your mind resisting Him?  Is your soul cut off from Him?

Have you heard Him call for you? He wants to love you and save your soul. Have you let Him do this?  We cannot save our own souls by doing good deeds, following religious rituals, or sitting in a church pew every weekend.  Only our belief in Jesus’s atonement and the acceptance of His forgiveness can save our souls.  We just need to ask Him for this salvation.  He is drawing us to Himself with an everlasting love.

Have you heard Him ask you to do something?  Are you stuck running in place or even running away from what it is, perhaps because you are afraid, disinterested, or not in agreement with what it is?  

Are you still running from your past? From the need to forgive or to be forgiven?  

Are you still running the race of faith?  Did you ask Jesus to be your Savior at some point but have since slowed to a walk or even left the course?  Have you run off to find fulfillment in other things?  These days are very difficult.  They are full of many challenges, myriad distractions, and much pain.  But let us lay aside the weight and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run the race with patience.1  Let us endure.

Don’t quit.  Don’t abandon God.  Keep on keeping on.  Run in such a way that you may win the prize.2  Jesus finished His course, and this completion purchased salvation for all who would accept it.  Your course has an important purpose as well. 

May our dying breaths find us still running the race of faith and then running toward His open arms.

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.3

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.4


1 See Hebrews 11:1.

2 See 1 Corinthians 9:24.

3 Isaiah 40:31

4 Hebrews 11:1–2

Scriptures taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.

©Text and photo Francee Strain, February 6, 2022

Languishing in Limbo or Living in Liberty?

Are you languishing in limbo or living in liberty?  I am seeing and hearing so much pain and anger in people’s lives and voices.  I see people bowed down, hunched over, listless, and joyless.  Disappointed, disillusioned, and distressed.  Clenched and cocked and flinging words and punches.  This is not how things are supposed to be.  Let’s do a heart check.

The Bible tells us that heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop, but a good word makes it glad (Proverbs 12:25 KJV).  This is so true.  So, here is a good word for you today: Jesus loves you! 

There is life, joy, hope, and peace available to all who ask Him for it.  In the midst of dark, dreary, and drudging days, there is light.  He is the Light of the World. 

Look up, my friends. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”* 

©Text and photo by Francee Strain, October 10, 2020

*Quotation taken from the song “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen Howarth Lemmel.

The Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the Matter blog June 2020

Have you done a heart check lately?

Does your heart belong to Jesus?

Does your heart love like Jesus?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

 “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b NKJV)


©Original text and photo Francee Strain, June 7, 2020
Scripture verses taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1994.