To Do: A Sacred Home

To Do: A Sacred Home

McKenzie R

McKenzie R

Hello all!I am an Oklahoma girl, through and through!I was born here and after 5 years in Texas for college, I missed Oklahoma too much and just had to come back home with my Oklahoma husband to raise our Oklahoma babies! I met my husband in high school and fell we in love in college.We have 2 beautiful kids that are full of life and make me such a proud momma.I love to craft, journal, paint furniture, and decorate our Edmond home!See some of my creations at The Lettered Light www.etsy.com/shop/theletteredlight and IG:theletteredlight
McKenzie R

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I have recently finished Jen Hatmaker’s book, For the Love.  Ladies, I am a changed woman!  I am so thankful I was able to start and finish this entire book, because I rarely see the last chapter of books of my choice these days.  It is funny and honest and authentic and AMAZING.

the-lettered-lights-a-sacred-home-1

I can really see that the Lord is going to do some big things in the people who read Jen’s words.  Please move it to the top of your reading list.  You won’t regret it!

While reading through it recently, one tiny little phrase left a longing mark on my heart.  She casually mentions “a Sacred Home.”  She doesn’t even go into any detail on what that means to her. The context was a just a brief mention of the phrase.  But when I read those words, my heart leaped!  I took the words from their context and put them right into the context of my life. And I believe that my home will be forever changed.  What a perfect goal, right?  To have a Sacred Home!

@theLetteredLight (1)

I did a little bible journaling on my Sacred Home discovery!

I began to write down all the things that came to my mind when I pictured a Sacred Home. Immediately, I thought of dear friends of mine who have that aura, that beautiful spirit when I am in their home.

What does it look like, feel like?  My list began to look something like this: peaceful, calm, forgiving, love, gentle, God…  As I stared at my list a lightbulb went off in my head almost immediately–THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT! A Sacred Home is a home where I, my family, and any guests can see and feel the fruit!

Can it be that simple, Lord?  “Yes, simple–but not easy” was His answer!  Of course, I already try and make my house these things but until now I never made the connection to the fruit.  So of course it isn’t easy. If it were easy then everyone would love and never want to leave their peaceful home!

By definition the word sacred means “devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated; pertaining to or connected with religion.”  I love this.  Literally, having a sacred home means living in a place that is dedicated to our purpose as Christians!  Oh my stars…what a dream, right!

My dear friend Jillian says this about her home:

It is so important for me to have scripture–whether quickly jotted down on an index card or a beautiful piece of art–everywhere.  They are constant reminders to me to get my attitude in check.  Since sitting down and reading scripture is so difficult to do sometimes, I make it to where I can meditate on it while doing dishes, washing my hands, folding laundry, walking in and out of the house, etc.

My prayer for us, dear reader, is that we can find the fruit in our day.  The Lord has given us all the fruit of the spirit.  We ALREADY HAVE love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control inside us. But we must remember to access it.  We don’t need to pray for patience, we already possess it.  We don’t need to pray for gentleness, it’s already running through our veins.  I usually forget that, right?  So on days when it seems like you don’t have any goodness left, remember that the Lord has already supplied you with enough.

So, a Sacred Home…a home dedicated to my amazing Lord in Heaven, where living out the Fruit makes my days a little lighter, and a little deeper, and a whole lot more like Christ.

As a gift, I created a bit of scripture art for your home to get you going!  Enjoy!

Galations 5 Bible Art

If you have any ideas that help you center your home around Christ, please share them with us!

 

Meredith P

Meredith P

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

Meredith P

Meredith P

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

Latest posts by Meredith P (see all)

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?
Kindness Cookies

Kindness Cookies

Kristi F

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 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & 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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We know that every good gift comes from God and the gift of kindness is no exception.

Kindness makes our heart smile. It gives us warm fuzzies. Receiving kindness makes us want to give kindness too!

Kindness Cookies

That’s where these fantastic kindness cookies come into play.  You see, this month’s Family Time Training Activity, “Kindness”, is not just a one day activity. It’s about intentionally creating the attribute of kindness in kids and adults of all ages. (Truly, even we as adults need this reminder in our lives…like during rush hour traffic.)

This Kindness Activity includes:

  • The Kindness Activity Script, which has all the Bible verse references and important thoughts to share during the activity.
  • Act of Kindness Worksheet, which include great acts of kindness ideas.
  • Act of Kindness Calendar, which is used to show which acts of kindness you’ve completed.

Click here to download this month’s FREE activity!

 The idea is to write the Acts of Kindness ideas provided in the worksheet on slips of paper and even brainstorm your own, then choose one of these each day to fulfill.  An extra fun way to choose your Act of Kindness for the day is by turning it into a Kindness Cookie, which of course looks like a fortune cookie.

Don’t miss the end of this post, where we share how else we used these Kindness Cookies.

Making Kindness Cookies

I found this easy to follow video tutorial by Red Ted Art that shows you how to make paper fortune cookies. I used these fortune cookies and put our Random Acts of Kindness inside each one.  This way the kids will take turns each day choosing a brightly colored Kindness Cookie that will reveal one way our family can focus on being kind.

Our next to youngest got to choose the first Kindness Cookie, because without prodding, he helped his sister clean up water that was accidentally spilled on the floor.

opening-their-1st-act-of-kindness

Going Beyond the Activity

There are so many ways that we can implement the ideas given in this “Kindness” Activity.  One idea that popped to mind was to fill these Kindness Cookies with what we love and appreciate about somebody else. Giving the gift of recognition is sweet!  

Our girls, along with one of their friends, filled out the slips of paper that go inside the cookies, ran to their fort, and gifted them to each other. The anticipation grew as they picked up each cookie, gently pulled out the slips and read the kind words written about each of them.  Of course, their mile-wide smiles expressed what the kind words meant to them.

kindness-cookies-make-others-smile

There are so many people in our lives who do not know how much we value them.  We will one day speak of how wonderful they were at their funerals but why not take a few moments while it still matters, to share with them the jewel of a person they are? Make a batch of Kindness Cookies that they can enjoy and be encouraged by over the next several days or month.

However you choose to use the Kindness Cookies, we know that you will not only make someone else’s day a little brighter but you will delight God with your kindness.

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
– Proverbs 12:25

Prayer over Your Heart

Part of the prayerencouraged in the script is to…

“pray that God would give you a kind heart like His.”

How beautiful is that?

Lord, we humbly come before you now.  We want to serve you with all our hearts and want to serve others too. Help us open our hearts to you and see the opportunities you put before us, so that we can cheer others up with our kind words and actions. May we lay down our hearts so that you can pluck out the selfish nature that lies within it and allow you to mold our hearts to express your attributes including the attribute of kindness.  In the One who displayed your kindness and love by stretching out his arms on the cross for us – Amen!

kindness-cookies-pinterest-2

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Lift Up Your Eyes How Satan Uses Anxiety to Distract Who's in God's House Confessions of an Imperfect Homemaker

How Satan Uses Anxiety to Distract Me from my Faith

How Satan Uses Anxiety to Distract Me from my Faith

Lori S

Lori S

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

Anxiety has affected my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It has negatively impacted relationships and interfered with my connection with God. For the longest time, I thought it was all my fault. Then the blame game started.

With some of the “well-intended” advice I’ve heard, it’s not hard to start blaming yourself. Statements like these always haunt me:

  • “Relax, don’t worry so much.”
  • “You can’t have a good relationship with God if you are anxious.”
  • “You should just trust God more.”

Misguided Efforts to Reduce Our Anxiety

In attempts to reduce anxiety, we actually combine our anxiety with guilt and shame. Anxious questions turn into doubt. Doubt turns into fear of the unknown or unexpected. This fear allows negative, emotional statements to develop that we then internalize. This twisted sense of reality can create a treacherous mindset about ourselves and the world around us.

Over the past three years, multiple changes happened in my life. Job changes, adopting our son, becoming a mother….all of these changes are blessings, but they can also invite anxiety. I’ll admit, I’m tired of fighting this battle within my mind and heart. So, I started to reflect on why anxiety is so interwoven in my life, no matter how hard I try to “get rid of it.” I realized that my anxiety, at any time, distracts me from being the woman of God that I need to be. It keeps me from pursuing the fruits of the Spirit to engage with God, my family, and my community.

Satan is Behind Anxiety

What is the best way to get to women? Get them to doubt (or question) their role. Get them to shame themselves and lose sight of who and what is really important. Here is the key reflection. Who truly benefits from my disconnection from God? Satan.

One of my faith mentors reminded me that Satan is among us, trying to intervene in our family’s walk with the Lord. Ladies, let’s stop trying to fight the internal battle of shame, anxiety, and doubt. Let’s call anxiety out for what it is: one of the best ways for Satan to distract us in our faith. I want to be clear. There are things that I know I should do to work on my anxious behaviors. I should reflect on our lives, identifying ways in which I can deflect the Enemy. For far too long, I (and other women) have owned our anxiety a little bit too much. We have made it so much about ourselves that Satan is rejoicing in our negative emotions and distractions from God.

Do you recognize these verses?

All of these verses focus on worry, anxiety, and/or trusting God. For someone who has struggled with anxiety for years, these verses always shamed me. I felt like I was living a good Christian life, then these verses hit me like a sack of bricks. They knocked me down right to the starting line again. Anyone else feel this way? No matter how much you try to connect with God, these verses shackle you in shame?

A New Way of Thinking

Let me invite you into a new way of thinking. Don’t be shackled. Be set free. Remove your current lens on your anxiety and replace it with the lens that sees anxiety in its proper focus. It’s just another way for Satan to win a battle. It’s another way for him to get you thinking more about your bills, your relationship, your children, etc. more than your relationship with God. Anxiety is another way for him to interfere with the life journey you are on with the One who gives you peace.

During our first adoptionRomans 15:13 encouraged us so much. It says,

“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

romans-15-13

Let’s be women who overflow with hope and be filled with joy and peace. Be set free. Connect with other sisters in Christ. Lean on them for support. Go to counseling, as your anxiety may be stemming from other unresolved adverse events and/or trauma. Talk with your significant other, as dealing with someone with anxiety is extremely challenging. And most important of all, pray for God to fill you with peace as both of you work to prevent Satan from infiltrating your life.

If I Were at the Alamo…

If I Were at the Alamo…

Meredith P

Meredith P

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 I were at the Battle of the Alamo, I wonder what I would have done.

Have you ever pondered this? No? Let me explain why this is on my mind today.

In case you’re not from Texas or a history buff, allow me to give you the Cliff’s Notes version of the battle:

  • Texas declared independence from Mexico.
  • Mexico didn’t like this.
  • A pivotal battle occurred at the Alamo.
  • The Texans fought bravely but were greatly outnumbered by the Mexicans.
  • The Texans lost the battle, but the bravery galvanized the other Texans.
  • Texas won its independence.

Here is the part that is getting me thinking today:  

Legend has it that Texan General William Travis knew on the eve of the battle that the outlook was bleak.  He drew a line in the sand.  He asked those who were willing to stay and fight despite the certain doom to step across the line.  Anyone else was welcome to slip away.

Almost every single person stepped across that line and stayed to face battle.

If I were at the Battle of the Alamo, I wonder what I would have done.

Well, the Lord put me on the earth about 116 years too late to tell for sure, but He did give me four children.  And most moms know child-rearing is a battleground of sorts.

Today, that battleground found me whimpering face-first into a pile of laundry on the floor while my kiddos watched in shock and awe.  Yes, friends, it was a sight to behold.

So, as my eyes moistened with tears of exasperation, wetting my newly dried t-shirts, I thought about the choice I was making.  Not too long after, I “remember the Alamo” (pun intended). I thought about that line in the sand and the choice those men and some women had to make.  Who were they going to choose to serve?

“Choices…choices…”Add subtitle text (1)

That word resonated.  As “choices” echoed in my heart, while my children continued to stand over me in a stunned stupor, my mind shifted to Joshua’s entreaty to the Israelites,

“Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

The Bible says nothing of Joshua drawing a line in the sand, but I see this as a verbal line in the sand.

If I were an Israelite listening to Joshua, I wonder what I would have done.

I am a mom in Indiana with four little ones watching me in shock and awe. (Remember what am I going to do?)

I ran to the bathroom.  That’s what I do.  Ah, that line in the sand.  Rather than cross that line, I chose to slip away.

Not two minutes later, our middle son darted into the bathroom and placed a card with a Bible verse on the bathroom counter and darted back out.  I picked up the card and read the verse.  It occurs to me: Here is another line in the sand.

I have a son who believes that the power of God’s Word will pull Mommy out of this “adult temper tantrum.” What am I going to do?

This moment now, like the Alamo, is a pivotal battle.

Humbled, I make the choice.

I cross the line.

I wish I could tell you that upon being reminded that my strength comes from the Lord and His Word, Bible verses to back up this truth rushed from my memory, but they didn’t.  All I could pull up was Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul.”I was making a deliberate choice to (2)

It still worked.  I began to calm.  I was making a deliberate choice to dwell on His Word and not on my exasperation.  A choice to serve Him and be led by His Spirit; to follow His commands to love. Love is patient and kind, not exasperated.

 

 

 

Friends, we are all in a pivotal battle every day.

 Each morning, as soon as our eyes open, we must choose that day whom we are going to serve.  Are we going to serve ourselves and give in to the unstable tossing to and fro of our own wills and emotions? Or are we going to cross that line and serve the Lord, being controlled by His Spirit?

Paul says it in Galatians 5 like this:

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

Then just below this he writes:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25

Again, this is another verbal line in the sand.

Face first in the laundry, I was gratifying the desire of my flesh.  Our middle son reminded me with the Bible verse card that my strength to cross that line and serve the Lord comes from Him and His Word by His Spirit.

Tonight, convicted that I couldn’t from memory pull out God’s words to back up this truth, I found 1 Peter 4:11 to memorize:

“If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

So tomorrow before I open my eyes, I’m going to do a few things I read here. I will:

  • First, admit to God that I can’t serve Him without Him.
  • Ask Him to help me.
  • Then, trust that He will.
  • Make the conscious effort to choose to cross the line; to serve Him and not myself; and to dwell on His promises: His words I’ve memorized.
  • At the end of the day, I’m going to thank Him for His faithfulness.

Tell me, how do you choose to serve God each day?  

What steps do you take to cross that line into His service?

How will you choose to Create a Great Day? (Again, pun intended.)

Change Your Day by Blessing God!

Change Your Day by Blessing God!

Kristi F

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 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & 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.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

this-post-may-contain-affiliate-links-for-your-convenience-and-at-no-extra-cost-to-you-1

We’ve all wanted to rewind or hit the restart button because our day or our attitude isn’t going how we would it.  Truly, this is a lot easier than you might think!  You can change your day by blessing God!  And it all starts by understanding that “The Lord is greater!”

“The Lord is greater” is the resounding message!

Wherever we are, we need to post this message all over so we don’t forget it.  While it’s easy to say in light of remembering Christ’s resurrection, how often do we say it when:

  • Fear enters our hearts?
  • Sin happens in our lives again?
  • Situations overwhelm us?
  • Complaints pile up?

Why is it that we can bask in Jesus’ resurrection one moment, and in the next moment forget that this truth–“The Lord is greater”–is TRUE in EVERY SITUATION?

As I think about this question for myself, I realize that I forget to indulge in this truth daily.

Don’t forget to indulge in this truth daily!

What if we start out every day reminding our hearts that “The Lord is greater” and carry that throughout the day?

Sounds a bit like praying without ceasing, doesn’t it?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Although I have attempted to pray without ceasing, it wasn’t until I read about this idea of blessing God and seeing his presence and glory in every situation that I was able to firmly grab hold of this concept.  As a result of blessing God, not only did my perspective change, but so did my attitude.  The grumbling and complaining decreased, and the awe and joy I found in the Lord increased. When I start to grumble and complain, I realize that I’m not blessing God.

What does it mean to bless God?

Perhaps, if you’re like me, you might have thought a blessing was a way of hoping for something good for someone else.  But it seems that in this context, blessing God is more equal to recognizing and standing in awe of who He is, and then praising him out loud for what you have witnessed.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Psalm 103:1

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Examples of Blessings

Here are some examples of blessings that Spangler and Tverberg share in their book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus:

  • “I am grateful before You, living and eternal King, for returning my soul to me with compassion.  You are faithful beyond measure.” This is often said upon waking.
  • “Blessed is he who has given the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night.”
  • “Blessed is he who has given a pleasant smell to fruits.”
  • “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe…”, or in Hebrew, “Barukh atah, Adonai Elohenu, Melek ha-olam…

So what if…

Instead of complaining, we find something about the situation for which to bless God?

Instead of grumbling that our alarm just pierced our deep sleep, what about praising God for the good night’s sleep, another day to glorify him, and the opportunity to have another chance at life?

What if we took time to notice the details God has created and bless him for thinking of such amazing things?

What if instead of being frustrated with our kids, we took a step back and praised God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit he has placed within us, so that we can be full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? (Can you tell this is one I’ve been praising God for lately?)

What if…(filll in the blank)?

What is something that has been bothering you lately? Find a way to give it to God; then bless God for it.

What can you bless God for right this minute?

If you need some help with blessings, read Psalm 103 in its entirety.  It will definitely get you in the mood to bless God.

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Blessing God leads to remembering that the Lord is Greater!

As we start to bless God in the morning and throughout the rest of our day, we will be able to keep the resounding message firmly planted in our hearts that “the Lord is Greater!”

The Lord is greater than anything we will face. Therefore, we can have confidence as we approach each circumstance from the slightest annoyance to the most difficult thing Satan will throw at us.

Prayer over our Hearts

Oh Lord, blessed are you, King of the Universe, Creator of all!  You and you alone are worthy of praise.  You have brought us out of sin and gifted us with your eternal glory.  Oh Lord, we bless you in all your ways.  May we take the time throughout our daily lives to bless you for all you have done and will ever do!  As we do this, plant the truth in our hearts that you are greater than anything we might face. In the One who has blessed our lives so we can rejoice in you, Amen!

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