The Prayers of A Mother

The Prayers of A Mother

I am "Mom" to Chloe, Allie, & Emilia. I am wife to Misael Escobar. I am a child of God. I love to learn about other cultures and learn about others life experiences.I am always a "work in progress". Through many struggles I have become "me" and I am finally happy with the person God has led me to be.I am excited to see where God will lead me in this life.
Jennifer E
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It feels like the longer I am a mom, the more I learn that I have very few answers. I have a high schooler, a middle schooler, a toddler, and one coming in February.

Being someone who struggles with control and a mom has not always been the best combination. My prayers for my children have been very much about telling God what he should do, how he should do it, and when he should do it. The last seven years I have really worked on my control issues through the twelve steps in the Christ-centered recovery program called Celebrate Recovery. One of my dear friends summed up the first three steps for me as:

  1. I can’t.
  2. God can.
  3. I will let him.

As a person who lived a life in the illusion I had control, these were hard for me. After working on these steps, it became apparent that peace in this life requires a total surrender to God. And that includes me surrendering my children.

One day, a seasoned parent told me that when her daughter was going through a time of rebellion, she threw out all her prayers. Instead, she just began praying this scripture over her daughter while inserting her name. At first, I prayed this over my daughter as she struggled with processing a lot of hurt in her life. Then, I started praying it over all my girls daily:

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower CHLOE, ALLIE, & EMILIA with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in CHLOE, ALLIE, & EMILIA’S hearts as CHLOE, ALLIE, & EMILIA trust in him.

May CHLOE, ALLIE, & EMILIA’S roots grow down into God’s love and keep CHLOE, ALLIE, EMILIA strong. And may CHLOE, ALLIE, & EMILIA have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May CHLOE, ALLIE, & EMILIA experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then CHLOE, ALLIE, & EMILIA will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within CHLOE, ALLIE, & EMILIA, to accomplish infinitely more than CHLOE, ALLIE, EMILIA might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT)

This verse just seems to have everything I could ever dream for them. The only other prayer I pray daily is:

Lord,
If Chloe, Allie, or Emilia are doing anything that would keep them from you, then please reveal it to me or someone who loves you and them.
In His name,
Amen

praying-ephesians-3-14-21-over-your-children

 

I don’t know if these will only be my prayers for them, but they have been for the last two years. It is so freeing to know that God knows better than me. Any hurt in their lives is His to heal. One thing is for sure, God is a much better God than I could ever be!

How do you pray for your children?

Do you pray any scriptures over your children?

prayers-of-a-mother-1

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P
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The Wise Woman Builds Her Worth Upon the Rock

The Wise Woman Builds Her Worth Upon the Rock

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P
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If you grew up in the church at all, or even if you didn’t, you have probably heard the song, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock.” The song is based on Jesus’ words right after he gives his famous Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7:24-27, he says this about what two people do with what he has just taught:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Untitled design
That paragraph boils down to this: Life is hard. Bad things happen in this imperfect world. Choose to build your life on things you can never lose. If your life centers on things you can lose like money, or your job, or praise and affection from people, when the going gets tough it’s gonna be a rough ride.

Building Our Daughters’ Self-Worth

I’ve seen a trend rising that says we shouldn’t tell our daughters they are beautiful. If we do, we are damaging their self-worth. For example, see this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/10083124/Dont-tell-your-daughter-she-is-beautiful-parents-told.html

On the surface, I think this is a good thing. Women and girls absolutely should be praised for more than their looks. They are worth way more than what the eye reveals. However, the author suggests that we replace our praise about beauty with praise for skill. As I thought about it and compared this idea to what Jesus says, I realized that both of these forms of praise are sandy ground.

All other ground is shifting sand-2

 Consider this scenario:

Let’s pretend I have praised my daughter for how quickly she completes puzzles, or how beautifully she paints, or how accurate she is in her math work. Let’s imagine that her self-worth, in part, is built on this praise.

The rains are about to come down.

Another day she is putting together a puzzle and is having great difficulty, or she can’t get her painting to look the way she wants, or she is learning a new, challenging math concept and receives a poor grade on a test. Where does this leave her self-worth if it was built on this praise?

The floods are coming up.

The winds of her heart are blowing and that part of her self-worth on which this skill was built is torn down.

So, should we praise our daughters (and sons) for how kind they are rather than appearance or ability? For praising them for things of the heart, so to speak? Wouldn’t that be better?

Let’s say I have praised my daughter for having a kind heart. I see her being tender with a friend in need, or I see her showing compassion and empathy toward a sibling.  I praise her for it, and in part, she builds her self-worth and identity on being a kind and compassionate person.

Another day there is someone for whom she feels no empathy or love. Her feelings are mostly annoyance and she acts rudely. Or perhaps she snaps at her siblings and despite her efforts, she cannot regain her composure and yells at them. Again, the floods are coming up and the winds are starting to blow.

If you stop reading here, you might think I am saying that we should not praise our children for these things laid out above.

I am not.

We need to and ought to praise our daughters (and sons) for their accomplishments and for their kind, compassionate, and beautiful hearts. I praise my children every day for these things. I even praise them for their physical beauty and handsomeness, because my goodness, they are so cute!

What I am saying is that all of this is not enough.
This praise is not worthy to build self-worth on.
All of these are sandy ground.
There must be something else in addition to all of this.

We need to build on the rock.

So what is the rock?

 

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress,
I will not be shaken.
 God is the Rock.

 

He is the only one worthy of supporting and carrying our self-worth. Why is He worthy? Unlike beauty trends, human ideas, affection from people, and our emotions, He does not change like the shifting shadows (James 1:17) or move around like the sandy ground on the beach. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Our appearance, our skills, and our emotions change too frequently and are too unstable to support something as valuable as our self-worth.

 

What He says doesn’t change either. Here is what God, our Rock, says in His Word about your daughter’s worth and yours too.

 

You are created in the image of the almighty, all-powerful, and all-loving God of the universe.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

 

So I will teach our daughter this truth: God is unfathomably amazing. To be created in His image is astounding.

You are perfectly and wonderfully made by His own hand.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

 

So I will tell our daughter how beautiful she is. And in the very next sentence, with God’s help, I’ll set her worth on the Rock by reminding her that God knitted every single part of her body together. He likes her just the way she is because He made her that way and all His works are wonderful. I pray she knows that full well.

 

He has a plan just for you with jobs He created for only you to do and that only you can do.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

 

 

I will praise our girl for her hard work and her talents and her kind, loving heart. Then, with God’s help, I’ll set her worth on the Rock as I also tell her God knows her inside and out. He has planned certain tasks just for her, and He created characteristics in her to accomplish those tasks. The Creator knows she is the right one for these jobs.

 

He loves you with a beautifully fierce and unconditional affection that movies, books, songs, and other people can never replicate.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:37

With God’s help, I’ll place her worth on the Rock by reminding her of His unfailing love for her. I’ll do this by reading to her His words. I’ll point out His acts and displays of love in the little and big things that happen in her life. I’ll remind her that God’s love for her doesn’t change whether she fails or whether she succeeds. And when her heart is broken, while she may be sad, her worth will not be shaken because it was never wrapped up in human affection.

 

You are worth dying for.

 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I’ll be sure to tell her the Creator of the universe deems her worth dying for. That Jesus paid the price for all of the wrong she has done and will do. He paid it because He thinks she is that worthy and that valuable. He longs to spend eternity with her and have her make His home in heaven her home too. So when she messes up, like we all do, her worth won’t slide because it was not built upon being a “good person.”

 

It was built upon the rock.
And the wise woman builds her worth upon the Rock.
What other ways can we teach our daughters to build their self-worth on the Rock?
Praying James 2 (Part 2)

Praying James 2 (Part 2)

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Praying James 2 – The Real  Faith Challenge

In this second part of James 2, James is really challenging us to make our faith real.  Do we merely talk a good faith game or are we really walking the faith walk.  Faith has a certain swagger, sometimes even a physical limp.  But it is bold and can make huge spiritual leaps!  It is more than just words.  It is belief put into action.

James boldly claims that our belief in Christ Jesus as the risen son of the One True God is worth nothing if it’s not supported by our actions.  Are we going to walk the walk or just talk the talk?

Let’s dig in and pray that our faith will be living and active!

James 2:14

 

 

james-2-14

James 2:15-16

Lord, you have explained so easily how we should love you and love others. We are to love you with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and we are to love others as ourselves.

Help us keep this thought close to heart so that we will do more than just wish someone well. Let us pray over them to receive provision and then be the first one to actually provide for their needs.

You formed the church body to be there for each other. To not only offer encouragement but to provide for each other spiritually and physically.

May we see the blessings you’ve given us as yours and not ours. Then without selfishness, let us freely share with our brothers and sisters in need.

In the One that meets all our needs – Amen!

james-2-15-16

James 2:17

You are a God of action. You plan. You love. You are, you were, and you will forever be!

You ask us to be a people of action and follow in your footsteps. Faith to you is a word packed with action. You want our faith to drive us to do your will, to trust you, to be bold, and to be alive for Christ.

Satan tries to deceive us into thinking that our belief in you is enough. No action required. Studying and knowing your word but not putting it into practice is like slapping you in the face with our faith. What does our faith stand for at that point? A faith that doesn’t change our hearts is worthless. You say it’s dead!

We pray we do not become lukewarm Christians that stand for nothing. We want to be Christ followers that are saved by grace and bring glory to you by our words and actions.

In the One who by faith took action and made miraculous things happen – Amen!james-2-17

James 2:18-19

The demons believe in you! This sets our minds spinning. How can they believe in you and not live for you?

Oh, Lord, this idea…no, this truth, that the demons believe you are who you say you are, causes us to pause and re-examine our faith.

Are we merely “believers” in that we, too, believe who you say you are, but our actions do not proclaim this belief? Do we pride ourselves for “knowing you” and that’s enough?

Our hearts are heavy to think that we could be in the same realm of belief as demons. We want to yell, “This is impossible!” But if we don’t further your cause with our actions, then we are working against you just like the demons.

Lord, help us not to fall into this trap of thinking that having a belief in you is enough. Demons believe and SHUDDER! Let us shudder at the thought of believing and not living for you. May we act in a way that shows we have more than a mere belief in you. May our love for you spur us on in showing you how much we love you and trust in you.

Help us proclaim our love for you like Jesus did! In Jesus’ powerful name – Amen!

 

james-2-18-19

James 2:20-22

You call us to be a living sacrifice for you, Lord. Actually choosing to sacrifice ourselves daily for you not matter what the cost. How many times do we count the cost and decide it’s not worth it to show our love to you?

We fail, Lord, to speak up for you out of fear of what others will say.  We fear losing our comforts.  Let us not throw out empty declarations of love and trust with our mouths and then refuse to back them up with actions

Our faith means nothing unless we act on our declarations. Abraham trusted you.  He trusted you so much he was willing to sacrifice his son, simply because you told him to.  He trusted the promise you made to him.  He believed that you could raise his son back from the dead.

How  long that walk up the mountain must have been. Watching his son carrying the wood that would soon cause him great pain and death.  He had hours of time to change his mind and show “love” to his son instead of to you.

But then my placing his only son, Isaac, on the alter, Abraham showed all of his love to you and his son.  In that moment, Abraham taught his son that you, Lord, are worthy to be entrusted with their lives. For loving you more than he loved his own son, you called Abraham righteous.   Abraham’s faith was made complete by his actions.  We pray our faith will be made complete by our actions.

In the One who sacrificed himself so that we might become the righteousness of God – Amen!

james-2-20-22

 

James 2:23 – 24

Trust. That is what you are longing for from us. To really trust you. To believe your word so much so that we will be willing to put it into practice in our lives. That we would trust your word even when we don’t understand how it could be possible.

You told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. It was at this point, that “Abram believed [you], and [you] credited it to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6).”

Scripture was fulfilled because his belief played out into action.
We pray that we will continue to fulfill scripture by our faith playing out into action.

You’ve called us to go to all the world. We can start doing that this minute in our daily lives by allowing our actions to show our faith in you and sharing how amazingly you’ve worked in our lives, even when we couldn’t fathom how you would do it.

Abram didn’t know how you would make him the father of many nation but you knew and he trusted you. May our faith show our trust in you too!

In the One who left heaven, walked this earth to die for our sins because he trusted you to raise Him up again – Amen!

james-2-23-24

James 2:25

Lord, you love us all no matter our pasts. You want to take hold of our future!

Rahab, the prostitute, heard how you had dried up the water of the Red Sea for the Isrealites to come out of Egypt, and how you completely destroyed two Amorite kings. She heard of your power and might and believed that the you were giving the land to the Isrealites.

Because of her belief, she took action and allowed you to use her as part of your plan. She did not fear her own people, even the king of Jericho. She feared and revered you. She proclaimed in word and action that “the Lord your God is God in heaven above and earth below” and she put her trust in you by hiding the spies (Joshua 2:11).

Lord, we have example after example in the Bible and in our lives of your power and might. May we revere you and trust you to take care of us the same way Rahab did.

May we be as bold and brave as Rahab and put our beliefs into actions no matter who confronts us and wants us to do otherwise. In Jesus’ powerful name – Amen!

james-2-25

 

James 2:26

Lord, you and you alone are worthy of praise!  We pray that our lives will be living sacrifices for you.  That people will see our actions and you will be glorified for it.  May they stand in awe of who you are and your redeeming love.

We pray we will live out our belief in you boldly.  May we proclaim you in word and deed as our risen Savior.  You have given your all for us.  May we give all our for your, Lord.

In the One who was, is and ever will be faithful – Amen!
James 2-26

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Unasked Prayers Praying the Psalms We all struggle Building Up Your Leaders

A Psalm of Comfort in the Midst of the Storm

A Psalm of Comfort in the Midst of the Storm

I’m Lana, a native Oklahoman. Married 17 years to the first boy I ever dated. Mama to two amazing, darling girls. I’m a coffee-drinking, book-reading, home-educating night owl! An accountant in my life B.C. (Before Children), my dream job would be getting paid to read all day.And if you’re into Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I’m an ISTJ. Most important of all, I’m a follower of Christ.
Lana W

Finding Comfort in the Storm

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the devastating floods in south Texas, let’s take a moment today to pray for those who have been affected by this storm.

As I watched footage of the floodwaters rising and the devastation in Houston and surrounding areas, this verse from Nehemiah came to mind. The Lord our God is mighty! He created an amazing, wonderful, awe-inspiring world. While it can be difficult for us to feel joyful in the midst of the storm, we can take comfort and strength that our God is bigger than any storm. All nature is under his control!

Nehemiah 9:6

You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens,even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

Our God is Mighty!

In Psalm 29, David also writes of God’s might. This whole psalm creates a mental picture of God’s majesty and power. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel very small to know that God’s voice alone can shake the earth.

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
    Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
    with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
    the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
    and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

The last two verses reassure me of God’s care for his people. I find comfort in knowing that no matter what happens on this earth, our God sits on his throne forever.

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Prayer for Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Lord, we pray for those who have been affected by the hurricane. We ask that you will calm the storms and cease the rainfall so that the floodwaters can recede. Father, we pray for those who have lost homes and possessions that their basic needs will be provided. We pray that their homes may be repaired or rebuilt quickly, so they can return to their lives.

Lord, we pray for those who have had to evacuate because of the storm and do not know what they will find, nor when they will be allowed to return. We pray that they will have peace as they wait to return home, and we pray for their safe travels.

Dear God, we pray for the first responders who risk their lives to save others. Please keep them safe and let the necessary resources be provided so that their jobs will be made easier. We also pray for the medical staff who have stayed at hospitals and clinics to care for their patients. Give them an extra measure of energy and strength to endure the long hours.

Father, we ask you to be with the families and loved ones of those who have perished in the storm. Comfort them as they grieve the loss of their loved ones. May your church reach out to show your love.

Lord, we praise you that you are in control of nature! We rejoice in your power as you sit on your heavenly throne. Help us remember to seek you when we are in the midst of the storm, whether that is a physical storm or a spiritual one.

In the One who calmed the wind and the waves–Amen!

Psalm 29:10,11


Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Satan Uses Anxiety to Distract Me From My Faith Praying the Psalms Feeding the Flame of Faith A Nightmare the Became a Blessing

a-psalm-of-comfort

Why God Told Us to Stop Going to Church

Why God Told Us to Stop Going to Church

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Now, some of you may be saying I’m blaspheming and others may be excitedly cheering. However, before you come to any quick conclusions, listen to my story. Then tell me if you believe we heard God correctly or not.

A No-Brainer Decision

After getting married and settling back into our hometown, my husband and I automatically started attending the congregation we grew up attending.  Why wouldn’t we?  It seemed perfectly natural and logical.  This congregation had a lot of things going for it:

  • It was the closest location to our residence.
  • We grew up in that congregation.
  • My mom and dad attended that congregation.
  • Since we grew up there, they were our spiritual family.

Before placing membership, we never stopped to pray and ask with which congregation we should be involved.  Again, why would we?  All the other pieces fit.

Fast forward eight years or so into our marriage:  Our prayer life had totally changed.  Changed so much so that instead of asking God to bless our ideas or to shut a door, we were asking Him to be our guide and show us what to do in all areas of life.  He was turning everything upside-down or right-side up, depending on how we looked at it.

Stop Going to Church? What?

It was not even on our radar when God told us to leave our church family.  What?  Surely, we didn’t hear You correctly.  This is our family–physically and spiritually.  It doesn’t make any sense.  This is where we’ve grown up.  We’ve planted ourselves and our little children here.  We are active here.  Why?  How does this make sense?

Honestly, my first reaction was not one of instant submission and acceptance. Instead, I argued with God and tried to convince myself and my husband that we must have heard God wrong.  He would never want us to leave our church home, right?  Isn’t that why He created the church, so we would each be part of His church family?  Why would He now ask us to leave the church family He put us in?  My interaction with God sounded a bit like this:

God, You’re surely making a mistake.  This is one of those “test the spirit” moments that 1 John 4:1-3 talks about and since it doesn’t match up to my plan, I’m sure we are misunderstanding what You are saying.

But my tried and true, faithful husband gave me that “You’re being stubborn and digging your cute little heels in where they shouldn’t be dug” look.  Did I also mention I’d been working on submission for many years?  God was definitely using this as a time to mold and shape my heart to fit His will and not mine.

Heeding the Call to Obey

So after a year or more, I was convicted of something that I never realized played a part in our choice to stay at our home congregation. I realized I was putting my physical and spiritual family ahead of God.  Matthew 10:37-38 kept ringing through my heart:

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

How could I not be convicted?  I was putting my own comfort of being with “my family” over God!  Wow!!  That hit me like a ton of bricks. Finally, I was ready to accept that God did intend for us to leave this particular church family.  For some reason, He wanted us somewhere else.

Where Should We Go to Church?

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, (1)I’ve learned that when God asks you to trust Him, He doesn’t lay out His entire plan and then wait for your approval.  No!

Instead, He says, “Follow Me. Trust Me.  I’ll get you to where you need to go.” So without a game plan or a direction to follow, during the summer of 2012 we began visiting different congregations every other week.  We went all over the city and to small towns up to forty minutes away.  Where He would plant us, we didn’t know, but we knew we wanted to obey.

We landed in a place that neither of us had ever heard of before, a congregation born out of adversity and challenge.  When the church began, they started out meeting at a park, where every Sunday they would pray for God’s guidance and praise Him for how He was working in their lives.  Years later, when we came to them, they were located about twenty-five minutes from our house in a different city than where we lived. The first time we walked in. we knew that this might be the place for us.  Through prayer over the next month, we realized this was the congregation where God wanted us to be involved.

Why did God tell us to find a new church?

We still didn’t know.  We were still trying to obey while He revealed that plan.  In the meantime, we got to know people and became involved in the congregation’s work.

The Blessings of Obedience

We have been there a little over 3.5 years. As we look back over our time there and the friendships and family we have made, we can see why he put us there…or at least partially why so far:

  • We became adoptive parents of an awesome college student. This twenty-one-year-old student’s father tragically passed away from cancer last year.  My husband also lost his father to cancer when he was twenty-one.  We feel God put us at this congregation to be a support for this college student. Especially since my husband has been through such a similar situation, he can relate and encourage him more.
  • Some amazing friendships have blossomed, stemming from our involvement with this congregation.  Friendships that have even affected this blog.  Before attending this congregation, I didn’t know Britnie, McKenzie, or Julie, but here we are sharing our lives together publicly because God sent our family to that congregation.
  • Our children have had the opportunity to reach out and serve families in a poorer part of Oklahoma City through Cross & Crown Mission. Our family has been fortunate to meet many who are Christ’s hands and feet down there. We were even encouraged to bring our kids to serve with us instead of discouraged because of their young ages.
  • We have been blessed to be part of a congregation that rejoices in praising our Lord, is led by the Holy Spirit, and serves without hesitation.
  • My husband and I believe that God can restore any marriage if a couple is willing to let Him work.  I think our willingness to stick our necks out, to get to know people and be intentionally prayerful and encouraging in their marriages, even when they are falling apart, is part of the why too.

I’m sure there are some that I’m missing or things I just don’t see yet, but one thing I know for sure. Without obedience we would have missed so many blessings.

A verse from one of my favorite hymns resonates one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during this experience…

Trust and obey,

For there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus,

But to trust and obey.

Have you been trusting God in your life or have you been dismissing His calling?  

Don’t miss the blessings that obedience brings.  No matter how uncomfortable it might make you, the rewards are so much greater!

The Bully in my Brain

The Bully in my Brain

I am a certified fitness instructor and have been teaching group fitness classes for over 22 years. I am also a board certified holistic health counselor with a degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. I am 48 years old with a 25 year old daughter and a 23 year old son. My husband Chris and I have been married for 28 years. I have been a member of the Church of Christ my entire life as well as my mother, father and both sets of grandparents. I am the owner of a local food service based business and currently teach conditioning classes here in the Edmond area. I have been a strict vegetarian for many years but I will walk 10 miles barefoot in the snow for a good piece of chocolate! ;)
Julie W
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The Voice in Our Heads

We go out of our way to be kind to total strangers. We watch our tone with our children. When the conversation is important, we measure our words carefully. And yet for a lot of us, none of these rules apply to the voice that speaks the loudest in our own minds. I wonder why?

We not only say hurtful and belittling things to ourselves, but that voice also has a tone. It is not sweet or kind; it sounds critical, judgmental, and harsh.  In my health counseling practice I have spoken with so many women who repeat the same demeaning mantra over and over as if on a recording device.  Things like:

  • “You’re so stupid.”
  • “You are so lazy. Why can’t you get your act together?”
  • “You will always be fat so stop trying to be something you’re not.”
  • “You’re weak…you don’t matter…you aren’t capable…”

And the list goes on and on.

We would NEVER speak to another person with those words or that accusing tone but we have no qualms about being our own worst nightmare.  We would never put up with another person treating us in such a way. But if it’s coming from our own voice, in our own head, not only is it fine but we believe it to be true.

The Need for Self-Compassion

Two words have been cropping up over the past several years in counseling offices, in therapy books, and TED talks alike.  Those two words are SELF COMPASSION.  Most of us know how to be compassionate to others but are at a loss how to offer that same love to ourselves.  In the words of one of my favorite Natalie Grant songs, she says, “You can’t be free if you don’t reach for help and you can’t love, if you don’t love yourself,” and it is so very true.

Frequently, I am asked questions about:

  • Techniques for weight loss
  • How to stop overeating
  • Ways to have more energy
  • How to feel more confident in my own skin.

As a fitness trainer, I know the scientific solutions to these questions but without self-compassion, self-love and self-care, none of it works.Remember the 2 greatest commandments-

Remember that the two greatest commands are to love God and to love others.  Matthew 22 goes on to say that we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  Self-love and compassion is a commandment of God’s word. I think a lot of us have missed the mark on this one.

The body is the single most proficient machine ever created.  It is beyond the measure of intelligence and efficiency and comes with all the signs, signals, and tools we need to be fully alive and functional.  The problem is we have stopped listening.  So many louder voices speak over us that we are no longer in tune with our bodies’ demands, wants, and needs.

Getting Rid of the Brain Bully

What if we made a pact with ourselves to remove that harsh, critical voice in our heads, and to honor our bodies by listening to its messages?

The answers to all of those health and weight loss questions lie in this formula.

When my body says:

  • Rest–I will rest.
  • Eat–I will honor it with healthy, life-giving nutrition and I will stop eating when I am satisfied.
  • I am hurt–I will deal with the issue immediately whether physical or emotional.
  • I feel like crying–Cry.
  • I need a friend–Call one.

How opposite is this compared to the way most of us operate?  We tell ourselves we don’t have time to:

  • Eat breakfast.
  • Rest.
  • Deal with that hurt right now.
  • Connect with others.

We push and push and push and completely ignore the things our bodies are literally begging us for.

Some of us:

  • Make our bodies wait hours for nutrition.
  • Sleep as little as 3-4 hours a night.
  • Give so much to work that we miss out on the very things that make our lives meaningful.

We all struggle with these issues. However, we must find balance in order to avoid the consequences of an overworked, over-stressed, and physically exhausted lifestyle.

The body-spirit-mind connection is so strong.

The three are inseparable, so to honor one is to honor all.  If we take this challenge we will fall in line with God’s design for us both physically as well as emotionally.  We will kick the brain bully to the curb. We will treat ourselves with the same love and kindness we extend to those around us.

We are worth it and some of us have spent far too long believing otherwise!  Since God’s own son died for one and all, HE certainly believed you were worth it!

Are you ready to start kicking the brain bully to the curb?  

What changes will you start making today to live in line with God’s design for us?

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