Don’t Let Hurry Steal Your Contentment {Give-Away!}

My sweet and wise friend, Glynnis Whitwer, has written a book many women need! "Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God's Gifts of Work and Rest" helps us embrace the good kind of busy, the kind that is guilt-free and wisdom-infused. 

I'm so pleased to share her insights with you. Here's Glynnis:

Most of us long for life to slow down. Maybe that’s why so many of us want a home that looks like a farmhouse. We idealize a lifestyle led by a simple faith and daily routines, prompted by the rising and setting sun.

But I’ll be honest, I’d have to have a farmhouse with good wifi. I’m not sure I could give up my electronic devices. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have a slight addiction to my laptop and smartphone. And by slight I mean significant.

And I am still waiting for my smartphone to make me smarter. Somehow I just feel dumber when I enter an appointment on my phone and it shows up on my computer—but not my phone. I can’t figure it out. It’s like they are in cahoots.

I think if we were all honest, we’d be miserable if things slowed down. We’d much rather things hurry up.

The problem is that hurry is the enemy of what matters most in life.

We were designed to go at a slower pace, to ponder, to process thoughts one at a time. And when we try to go at computer speed, we miss out on what’s important in life.

Hurry robs us of the beauty God has placed in front of us, and the grace that others so desperately need. Hurry is also a tool Satan uses to undermine God’s plan for us.

Jesus calls Satan a “thief” and warns us that he’s out to steal and destroy everything good in our lives. In John 10:9–11, Jesus says,

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

Using hurry as a tool, Satan steals our contentment.

As someone who struggles with her weight, I’m always looking for a tip to help me lose a few pounds. One tip is to eat slowly. WebMD reports that it takes twenty minutes from the time we start eating for the brain to tell the stomach it’s full. Until then, we will keep eating in order to experience that sensation of being full. And in that time, we will overeat.

What a profound parallel to our need for speed in other areas of our lives. Could slowing down give us the time to feel content with what we have?

When I’m in a hurry, I don’t appreciate the beauty around me. My awareness of others is diminished in my increased focus on the goal. I miss the small details of life that bring me the most joy in my rush.

Contentment isn’t found in the big splashes but in the gentle ripples.

Hurry isn’t our friend in the most important areas of life. Neither relationships, nor quality, nor depth can be found when we hurry.

So the next time we feel that panic start to sneak in and push our gas pedal, let’s pause and breathe deeply. Refuse to be rushed. Declare that hurry has no place in the good work you are doing or the beautiful life God has placed before you.

GIVEAWAY: Please leave a comment for your chance to WIN a signed copy of Glynnis's encouraging new book, "Doing Busy Better"!



Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest

In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest.



About Glynnis

 Glynnis Whitwer is Executive Director of Communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and contributor to their Encouragement for Today devotional, reaching over a million women each day. She’s the author of nine other books, including Taming the To-Do List and I Used to Be So Organized. She and her husband, Tod, live in Arizona and have five young-adult children. Connect with Glynnis at www.GlynnisWhitwer.com where she encourages women to live with margin and room to breathe while still getting things done.





Praying When Your Faith Feels Small

My heart felt as if it had been wrapped in a lead vest--the kind you wear when getting an X-ray on your left ankle so the radiation won't spread to your mid-section. The kind that smashes your shoulders with its heaviness and makes you feel clumsy and slow.

The kind you can't wait for the technician to lift off.

Only this was no emergency X-ray. This was just a rough week. Ugly words, disappointing circumstances, careless attitudes cascaded into my heart like heavy gray snowflakes, leaving ugly drifts of hurt.

Suddenly I realized my faith seemed miniscule.

If you've ever felt buried beneath an avalanche of painful circumstances, I understand. I know how overwhelming--even ridiculous--it can feel to pray when your faith feels entirely too small.

But the good news is God is greater than our sometimes shrinky-dink faith. And though I can't promise that tomorrow everything will be better, I can tell you that God will be through your situation, and He will hear you as you make the effort to prayer what might feel like feeble prayers.

Here are four things that have helped me make it through some dark times. My hope is they will equip you to pray, even when your faith feels small:

Ask God for His perspective. We see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12). In other words, our vantage point isn't always accurate. God not only sees the entire picture, He can enable us to perceive His viewpoint. I'm always amazed when the airplane I'm on soars above thick storm clouds into spectacularly clear, blue skies. That's sort of like what God can do. Yes, it's still raining down below, but the sun is still shining--and we can see the storm isn’t permanent.

Put on a garment of praise. In my darkest, most unlikely moments, I've experienced a breakthrough of joy because I chose to worship. If the joy of the Lord is our strength, then we need to make the decision to worship, even when it's hard. Especially when it’s hard.

Believe that when we are weak He is strong. I'm so glad God doesn't only love me or move in my life when I feel capable or think I'm doing well. Because the truth is, I often don't feel either. And He doesn't expect that from me. Or from you. In fact, He tells us, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) That means that even when our prayers feel weak and ineffective, they are still powerful!

Know that this, too, shall pass. The truth is, we all walk through seasons of difficulty. No, they're not fun. But we learn and we can grow closer to the Lord (if we choose). And eventually, the hard season ends. Remember, to everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Most importantly, remember that whatever season we're in, we never walk alone. Jesus said, "I am with you always (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion). (Matthew 28:20)

PRAYER
Lord, please send encourage my heart. Strengthen my faith. Help me to gain perspective from You, worship you in the middle of the storm, remember that when I am weak You are strong, and keep in mind that this, too shall pass. Thank you for being my Rock, my Fortress, and my Defense. Thank you for always being with me. Always. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.





On Stillness in the Storm

When all hell breaks loose, my first thought usually has nothing to do with stillness. Instead, every fiber in my body tingles on high alert, and over and over my brain plays a recording: “What should I do?” I feel compelled to take action, to make some sort of effort. Do something.

Clearly there are circumstances that demand a response, and at those times God provides wisdom and shows us specifically what to do. But when a sudden storm unleashes, it’s easy to rush into response mode, to assume we must do something before we actually know God’s will in that particular situation.

Yet hastiness can lead to trouble.

Desire without knowledge is not good, and to be overhasty is to sin and miss the mark. (Psalm 19:2) (AMPC)

This is where being led by God’s Spirit and knowing His His voice is essential. I’m so grateful that when a hard circumstance hits and I feel compelled to do something, God’s Spirit is greater, and He is able to speak to my heart and redirect me. One of the first things He does is quiet my heart so I can actually hear Him. I mean, all hell breaking loose is loud on the inside of us. But He takes us to a far better place.

He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures (Psalm 23:2)

The truth is I tend to camp in the chaos, try to figure everything out, and basically run around in circles and panic. (Anyone else? Anyone?) But in His loving-kindness the Lord grabs hold of my hand and my heart and leads me exactly where I need to go.

He leads me beside still waters (Psalm 23:2)

Once He leads my heart away from the chaos I am actually able to hear Him. And His words are a beautiful invitation.

Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) (ESV)

Being still is a choice. It’s not easy, but through the power of His Spirit we can surrender—and that’s when He stills our hearts and minds (thank God!) Being still prevents us from interfering where God is already at work. When we choose to be still we place God above our situations and place ourselves in a position of humility. We declare that we trust Him.

Though being still is often the exact opposite of what it feels like we should be doing, it is a place of divine rest.  It’s a place where we don’t carry our burdens because He does. We don’t have to battle because He does. We don’t have to figure things out because He’s got it covered.

God is sovereign, He is holy, and He has good plans for us. He is faithful and utterly trustworthy and He will ultimately accomplish His will and plans and purposes in our lives. 

Whatever we face, my prayer is each one of us will accept God’s beautiful invitation to be still. Allow our hearts to rest. And trust that He is already at work, doing what only He can do. 

PRAYER FOR YOU

Lord, You see the situation I am facing. Right now I choose to be still and know You are God. I relinquish every piece of it into Your loving hands. I trust that You are faithful and You are at work doing what only You can do. Thank you for your loving-kindness. Thank you for leading me beside still waters. Thank you for calming my heart and enabling me to be still. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen. 

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5 Verses to Encourage Your Heart

Sometimes life is hard and our hearts need serious encouragement. I know mine sure does. For me, God’s Word is a source of hope and comfort like no other, and every time I breathe it in my heart feels better. Encouraged. Hopeful.

Here are 5 verses that always lift my heart. I pray they do the same for you.

(1) When I feel discouraged or afraid, this verse reminds me that I can be strong and that God is with me:

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
 (1 Chronicles 28:20) 

(2) This is my hybrid choice of verses from Psalm 139. Every single time I read this little compilation my heart is comforted. I hope you feel the same:

You chart the path ahead of me (vs 3a). You place Your hand of blessing on my head (vs 5b). Your strength will support me (vs 10b).  (Psalm 139) 

(3) This verse reminds me of my Source, and that God gives me His power when I feel too weak to carry on. Actually, Isaiah 40 from verse 28-31 is fantastic:

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. (Isaiah 40:29) 

(4) This verse reminds me to keep my hope and confidence in Christ alone…and I will be blessed:

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. (Jeremiah 17:7) 

(5) And finally, this verse helps me maintain eternal perspective. It reminds me that my trials and the difficulties I face are actually achieving something beautiful and everlasting in and for me:

For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!] (2 Corinthians 4:17) (AMPC)

Praying God uses His Word to encourage your heart this week!


Divine Opportunities

I'm so excited to share a brief teaching on divine opportunities (originally this appeared live on my Prayers for a Woman's Soul Facebook page). I also take time to pray about divine opportunities toward the end.

If you are reading this via email, please CLICK HERE to visit my blog and watch the video!