29

3 Things God Is Promising Us This Year

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“Things work best in our lives when they start with God and then we follow” –Louie Giglio

Every December 31 or January 1, my family and I watch Louie Giglio’s New Year.

We love being reminded each January that while a fresh New Year of opportunities and possibilities lies ahead, it would behoove us to begin from a place where God and His will are paramount in our plans. Continue reading →

20

One Word

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One-Word

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.               -Psalm 90:12

Have you heard of One Word 365?

If you’re not immersed in the blogging world, you may not have.

Not to worry, though, non-bloggers are included, too.

The idea is that instead of compiling the same list of New Year’s Resolutions year after year that most of us have broken or forgotten about before the calendar flips to February, we choose a word of the year as our focus. Continue reading →

42

The Hardest Prayer To Pray

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kneeling-prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would get the attention of (insert name/ names here) in whatever way is necessary. I love this person and wish them no harm. However, sometimes we need to come to the end of ourselves before we can come to You. Show them that You alone are God. Allow them to experience whatever it is that they need to experience that will make them realize that without You, nothing is possible. That life is empty and meaningless without the joy of the Lord. That our efforts are futile and in vain when they aren’t done in Your strength and power. Allow them just enough discomfort that they realize the need to release their grip on all things and place them into Your loving hands. Help them to realize that there is no salvation or provision aside from what You give. Bring on the pain if that is what is necessary to save their very lives. And, perhaps most importantly, allow me to be a light that shines over the darkness of their life so that they would want what I have in You, for their good and for Your glory. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. Continue reading →

35

Dear Thin-Skinned Blogger,

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The life of a blogger is a delicate balance.

When we see our blogs as a ministry, we must have a level of transparency necessary to reach our readers.

If they don’t know our hearts, our struggles, our fears, and our faith, how can we encourage them in their walks?

If we don’t share our burdens, how can we demonstrate how God has worked in our lives?

If we don’t let them see who we are, how can they possibly relate to us?

So we walk a thin line between sharing our stories and guarding private information. Continue reading →

23

7 Tips for Keeping Christ in Christmas

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nativity

I’m sure that expressions like the reason for the season and keeping Christ in Christmas have become cliché, but I would challenge us to live these out this Christmas. Cliché or not, they are Biblical and should be the heart of Christians, not only at Christmastime, but throughout the year.

You see, what is meant to be a time of year that we ponder and celebrate the birth of our Savior, can very quickly become a season of stress, overscheduling, and overspending.

While I am not anti-spending, gift-giving, or Christmas-partying, I do think that the gift of Jesus should be at the heart of the ways that we celebrate.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” ~Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

I’d like to share 7 Tips for Keeping Christ in Christmas: Continue reading →

25

A Week of Thanks {The Basics}

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I’ve been sharing this week that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and reminding us all of the fact that we have so much to be thankful for.

We’ve looked at the gifts of Salvation & Eternal Life and how much we have been given in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Yesterday, I shared my appreciation for family, friends, church family, and my online community of readers and bloggers.

While I do love living life with a daily attitude of appreciation for these incredible blessings in my life, I never want to take for granted some of the blessings we consider to be smaller and simpler. Yet to those who lack them they are everything. Continue reading →

20

A Week Of Thanks {Family & Friends}

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This week, in honor of my favorite holiday, I am sharing the things I am most thankful for. (If you missed yesterday’s intro post, you can click here to read that.)

Yesterday, I shared that “We have been given an incomparable gift in Jesus Christ for which we should be eternally grateful for.”

Today, I’d like to share my thankfulness for my family, my friends, my church family, and the incredible community that I have found since I began blogging. Continue reading →

18

A Week of Thanks {Salvation & Eternal Life}

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fall-leaves

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I know what you’re thinking, but it is not because of the food. Really – it’s not.

That’s the second reason. Oh, how I love a Thanksgiving dinner! But I digress…

Thanksgiving is my favorite because it is more than a holiday for me. It is a way of life. It’s a way of choosing how I see things. In that way, every day is Thanksgiving.

This week, in honor of my favorite holiday, I’d like to share some of the things I am most thankful for. Continue reading →

23

Attitude of Gratitude: Thankful for Singleness {Guest Post}

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Thankful-for-singleness

Today I am pleased to share a Guest Post with you from Erin at It All Matters Mom. 

I had a plan.

It was a good one, too. I’d seen it work out so many other times, so I decided I was all in.

I was going to go to college, fall in love and then get married. Continue reading →

29

Locks of Love…A Story of My Aunts & Uncles

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haircut

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of one of the most heartbreaking days of my life. My beautiful Aunt Sharon ended her two and a half year battle with cancer and entered the arms of her Savior. She was such an integral part of my life that not a day goes by that I don’t miss her still.

About a year after her passing, I was missing her so much I could hardly stand it. I wanted with all my heart to do something. I knew I couldn’t bring her back, but I felt that I didn’t know how to move on. Continue reading →

35

Light Up The Sky

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star-field

As I stood in my kitchen the other night listening to this song, I fought back tears as I thanked God for the ways He has moved in my life.

Songs have an incredible way of bringing back memories don’t they? Though it has been a few years, I remember it like it was yesterday.

I can recall how my heart raced with fear as we heard the news. How we simultaneously cancelled plans and packed the car while trying to have faith and trust God. Continue reading →

43

A Letter To Our Son

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birthday-cupcakeHappy Birthday, Young Man!

When Solomon was given an opportunity to ask for God anything that he desired, he chose wisdom. By that very request we know that he already possessed a great dose of it, don’t we?

One of the greatest gifts we can give to you is to share the wisdom and knowledge of things we have learned in our lives. It is in that spirit that we share these with you.

These are the things we want you not just to know, but to live out in your life: Continue reading →

17

Shining Light In The Darkness – 31 Scripture Verses

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candles

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~Psalm 119:105 

But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.~John. 3:21

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~John 1:5

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” ~John 8:12 Continue reading →

2

Expect To See God

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sunset-trees

Remember when you first fell in love with your spouse? They could do no wrong. You know as well as I do that that is not the case. The truth is that we chose not to see it when they did.

Conversely, when there is someone we don’t particularly like, isn’t it true that all that we will see in them is the negative?

When we seek to see the good in people, we will. When we seek to see the less than desirable, that is exactly what we’ll find. Continue reading →

6

5 Ways To Show Your Children You Love Them

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hiking

As parents, we all want our children to know that we love them.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to do just that.

1. Listen to them.  

Look them in the eye as they speak to you. If they are little, get down on their level. Very often, my kids come to chat with me when I am busy at a task. Sometimes I remember to stop my busy hands, look up from what I am doing, and make eye contact with them.  It is important that we take the time to show our children respect in this way.

Today, I am honored to be sharing this Guest Post over at The Deliberate Mom where Jennifer blogs about faith, parenting, and homeschooling. I hope you’ll spend a little time there being blessed by her words. Not only is she an inspiration to me, but she has a kind heart and a warm personality.

To continue reading this post, click here…

Shared at Wonderful WednesdaysMom’s The WordWhat You Wish Wednesday, Tell His StoryEssential Thing DevotionsMessy MarriageGood Morning Mondays, & Laura Boggess.

Also at Coffee For Your HeartI Choose Joy!, The Pin It PartyCounting My BlessingsMom’s Morning CoffeeServing JoyfullyA Look at The BookA Little R&R, & Faith Filled Friday.

40

When All You Can Do Is Pray

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folded-hands

There are many times in life when those we love are hurting.

When we would do anything to ease their suffering, solve their dilemma, or just have the perfect words to comfort them.

Sometimes all we can do is pray.

Today I wonder if there is much more to that simple statement than meets the eye.

Recently I was listening to a sermon on prayer by Charles Price and this is what he said,

Prayer is not something we do for the work of God, prayer IS the work of God.”

This statement made me think about prayer and how often we underestimate its value in our walk with the Lord. Continue reading →

48

31 Things I Thank God For

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You (or may not) have noticed a 31 Day theme around the blogosphere the past few days. October is the month of 31 Days of Writing for many bloggers. They choose a theme and write on it for 31 straight days.

If you know me at all, you know that I love counting my blessings. It’s a full time job, I tell ya.

Even though I am not participating in this event on my blog, these 31 Day Challenges have inspired me to write 31 things I am thankful for.

My hope is to challenge you to look for the blessings in your own life. Continue reading →

26

Weary From The Race

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Life is a race.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.                                                                             ~ Philippians 3:12-14

In the Bible, life is compared to a race.

It has been said that life isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. I have never run a marathon, but I’ve exercised enough to know that when one takes on a marathon, he knows it isn’t going to be easy. Most of us are in this for the long haul.

So should we be surprised when it gets tough? We know it isn’t always going to be easy. Sometimes it will be downright difficult. Sometimes it stops us in our tracks and brings us to our knees. If we know this, why do we struggle so?

I would guess one reason is that we don’t like being uncomfortable. Yet, I know no one who would describe running a marathon as comfortable. Continue reading →

2

The Valley

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the-valleyContinuing the theme of valley and mountaintop experiences, today I’d like to share a poem with you in hopes that it encourages your walk.

If you missed the first three in the series, you can read them here: The Mountaintop Experience Part 1, Part 2, and 10 Reasons We Need Not Fear The Valley.

We’ve been visiting the idea that our mountaintop experiences are appreciated only after dwelling for a time in the valley. We’ve also looked at the truths found in Scripture that cause us not to fear our valley experiences.

Today, I’d like to share a poem and the story behind it. Continue reading →

10

10 Reasons We Need Not Fear The Valley

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10-reasons-valleyI recently shared my thoughts about the mountaintop and valley experiences we all go through in life. If you missed that, you can read The Mountaintop Experience: Part 1 and Part 2.

Today, I’d like to share a bit of encouragement with you if you find yourself currently in a valley. I’d love to give you 10 reasons from Scripture that we don’t need to fear our valley experiences.

Humanly speaking, it is difficult to do anything but fear during our trials, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

Let’s consider His word: Continue reading →

6

The Mountaintop Experience – Part 2

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A few days ago, I posted The Mountaintop Experience. If you haven’t read that, you can click here to do that. We’ll wait for you.

Welcome back for part 2. I almost didn’t post this because it is so short and sweet, but it was requested that I do, so I hope you are blessed by it.

If ye then be risen with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on things on the earth.  ~Colossians 3:1

We need to look up with our eyes and with our hearts.  Whether we are stuck deep in the valley or we are on top of the mountain praising God, we need to look up.

We need to keep our eyes on our Savior. Continue reading →

16

The Mountaintop Experience

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Today, I have the privilege of sharing A Sermon On The Mount at our Annual Ladies’ Retreat. As you cannot be with us, I wrote a shorter version to share with you. Imagine yourself hiking to a mountaintop, finding a seat on a rock, and considering the following:

The thing about mountaintop experiences is that we don’t appreciate them until we’ve spent some time in the valley.

When I think of the three most recent valley experiences I have had, I don’t exactly remember them with fondness.

I’m not going to try to convince you that valleys are fun. They’re not. Continue reading →

16

The Life Jacket

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Several years ago when we were camping at our favorite campground, we hiked up to our cherished spot in the rocks overlooking the beautiful Lake Ellen. There is a great rock that we like to jump off and into the water. The first time I do it each summer, I admit it is a bit intimidating. After the first time, however, it does get easier as you learn to trust the safety of the water below.

My husband went first and then called to our sons so that they could jump off of the rock, into the water, and into his arms. We were trying to encourage our younger son to jump in without his life jacket. He could swim. His daddy was right there to catch him in his big, strong arms, but that little boy knew that the water below was deep. We tried to convince him that he didn’t need his life jacket, but he clung to the safety and assurance that it brought to him. It made me think about the things that we cling to rather than jumping confidently into the arms of our Heavenly Father. Continue reading →

12

Love and Respect

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love-and-respect

I wrote a post recently called the good news about marriage (and a giveaway!)

Reading that book prompted me to write this post. You see, in her book, Shaunti Feldhahn discussed the idea that most unhappy marriages can be transformed by understanding the simple (but not always easy) concept of love and respect in a marriage. It should come as no surprise that this is a Biblical concept. That’s because it was God who instituted marriage, therefore He should be (and is) the ultimate authority of how this union is best cared for. Continue reading →

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