Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Pray For Your Kids (A FREE Prayer Printable!}


Motherhood has always been a hard job. And maybe it’s just me, but it seems like our culture is making it harder than ever to raise wise, godly kids.

And so, I pray.

Yes, my kids are older. But I still pray. And I also have grandkids now, so my prayers won’t be stopping any time soon.

It grieves me to see so many kids struggling against the powerful tide of our culture and all of its distractions and enticements, and the enemy’s plans to annihilate the faith of our next generation.

And so, I pray.

Praying for our kids is the single most important thing we can ever do for them.

Could you use some help in the praying-for-your-kids department? I’ve created a powerful, Scripture-based prayer printable for you called Essential Prayers for Your Kids. And it’s completely FREE.

A gift from my heart to yours, one mom to another. To get your free Scripture-based prayer printable, just CLICK HERE. Or visit my Free Resources page. 

Leave me a comment and I will pray for you and your kids today.

Happy Praying!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dangerous Ground


We've all done it: compared ourselves to others. Whether we compare our bodies, our families, our jobs, our callings, or where we are on the journey, the temptation can be so subtle we barely recognize it. But it's dangerous ground we would be wise to avoid.

Comparing ourselves to others does a lot of things--none of them good:

It creates pressure - When I read certain writers whose flowing, beautiful words evoke deep passion, sometimes I'm tempted to try to emulate their style. But the pressure to be someone else makes me miserable and in the end I always fail. We don't need the pressure of trying to be something and someone we're not. When we're true to ourselves, there is no pressure.

It leads to frustration - Nothing squelches our ability to fulfill God's specific destiny for our lives like comparison, and that is frustrating. He has equipped us for every good work, but only when we're following His plan for our lives--not when we're trying to be like someone else. When we pursue the Lord and His plan, frustration is alleviated.

It fosters insecurity - And insecure people don't get far. Insecurity prevents us from maturing, because it partners with fear to hold us back. But when we instead strive to know God's unique plan for our lives, we grow in both ability and confidence.

It makes us feel small - We've all experienced a moment when we felt pale and insignificant in the shadow of another. But the truth is we are exactly who God created us to be, and it grieves the Holy Spirit when we think of ourselves as less than all God's word declares. Instead of standing in someone else's shadow and allowing ourselves to feel small, let's dwell under the shadow of the Almighty, confident in our identities and giftings as God's daughters.

It breeds competition - Comparison turns our hearts into scales--we're constantly weighing what others have and we don't. Remember, this is a race to the finish of our own God-given destiny, not a race to beat someone else. We can cheer each other on, pray for one another and remember that we're on the same team!

It robs us of our unique identity - There's no way we can become all God intends for us to be when our eyes are on others. When we keep our focus on the Lord and His plan for us, we can grow and excel in our own individual style.

Every one of us possesses a valuable, God-given destiny. As we choose to trust in God, focus on Him, and obey His direction for our lives, then He is honored. And we are anchored to the One who holds our destiny. This frees us to authentically pursue His calling on our lives, while authentically cheering on our sisters. When we resist the urge to compare ourselves, we avoid dangerous ground and demonstrate the belief that our own callings, however small or grand they may feel, hold value.


Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. (Galatians 6:4)


Comparison Prayer:  Father, help me to clearly perceive and respect my own God-given destiny, resist the urge to compare myself, and avoid the dangerous ground of comparison. When I am tempted to compare, I will instead cooperate with Your Holy Spirit by paying attention to my own work, and I will joyfully cheer on those around me. Thank you for the good plans You have for me. Enable me to honor You and fulfill my God-given destiny without comparing myself to others. In Jesus’s name, Amen. 

  • FREE CHAPTER ~ If you would like encouragement to pray for YOU, you can read Chapter One of Prayers for a Woman’s Soul for FREE! To get your free chapter, PLEASE CLICK HERE.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

When Your Heart Feels Crushed



I had prayed earnestly. Through tears. For what felt like an unendurable length of time.

Glimmers of hope occasionally sparked encouragement in my heart. So I’d believe and expect, knowing that God can do anything. Hoping for the best.

But after many years without change, I eventually wanted to give up. My heart felt crushed.

What do you do when you’ve prayed and prayed and then prayed some more, but nothing changes?

Realize God is doing something in us. All the icky stuff we go through that we’d rather not endure? It’s accomplishing something eternal. “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

Recognize that He is still at work, even if we can’t see evidence. Just because we can’t see results right now does not mean we never will. So keep praying, because “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.1 Thessalonians 5:24 

Understand that His timing is not our timing. If our times are in His hands, (see Psalm 31:15we know He’s still in control, even during our hardest times. We are also told that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 So we can remain confident that our time of beauty is coming!  

Believe that He is over everything. I love this verse, which declares that God is over all things, including our current (and future!) situations. O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever!  Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.1 Chronicles 29:10b-11 

Stand on the truth that His grace is sufficient. Though waiting through hard situations is never easy, God strengthens us through the power of His Holy Spirit. “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” Philippians 4:13 


As we shift our focus away from our heart-crushing circumstances—not in a head-in-the-sand way—but rather in a “…looking away from all that distracts unto Jesus” way and focus on God’s word and believe it, our hearts will be revived, encouraged, and strengthened. 


Friday, June 27, 2014

Because the Opposite of Anger is...Love {And a FREE Printable!}

If you’re visiting from Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today, welcome!  (To read my devotion, God is Not Mad at You, CLICK HERE.)

I grew up surrounded by anger, which made me cringe inside. A lot. The angry undercurrents in my home created an insecure girl who longed for something different. Something as far away from anger as possible.

Love.

I craved love. Yearned for it fiercely. But love seemed like a sparkly promise that always eluded my grasp, like dandelion fluff floating away on the breeze.

Until I met Jesus.

I discovered that as I spent time with Him and meditated on Scripture, His love became more and more real, displacing my insecurities and filling my deepest yearnings.

Because love never fails.

So the thing I once lacked began flowing abundantly in my heart and life. Like a fresh, beautiful rain shower that gently filled a once dry place. Only God can do such a thing!

  • FREE PRINTABLE ~ If you, too, yearn for authentic love—love that never fails and that never stops—I have created a FREE printable featuring Scriptures on love just for you! To get your free printable, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
  • FREE CHAPTER ~ If you would like encouragement to pray for YOU, you can read Chapter One of Prayers for a Woman’s Soul for FREE! To get your free chapter, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
Thank you for dropping by today. I pray that as you pour over scriptures on love, God's mighty love and His very real presence will flood your heart!