This week, my encouragement is from Matthew 19:26. “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
In this chapter of Matthew, we can read about how Jesus was telling the disciples how hard it is for a rich man to get into heaven. He tells them it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The scriptures say the disciples were astounded and asked who in the world could be saved? Jesus replies with our verse. With man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
With God all things are possible. Isn’t that incredible? We need to remember it is not by what we do that we are saved but by what Jesus did. We will struggle, but even when we fall short, Jesus is there. Jesus loves us, he already paid our debt, He will never leave us. Jesus picks us up and makes it possible for us to move forward. Jesus makes it possible for us to find joy and contentment so we can do better. He redeems us, and He makes all things possible.
I hope this scripture brings you encouragement this week!
Hi. How are you? Or, more importantly, how are you doing in your faith? When was the last time you had a check-in? I know all too well that life comes at us 100 miles an hour, and if you are anything like me, you get distracted or complacent. But, even if you don’t, it is still essential to evaluate yourself every so often. So, here are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you are running at top performance in the spiritual department and making the most of every opportunity in these evil days!
Am I seeking the Lord first in all my decisions and praying for wisdom and discernment?
Am I spending quiet time listening for God’s still small voice?
Am I acting out of my emotions or taking my burdens to the Lord?
Am I following God’s rules that are clear in the bible?
When conflict arises, am I listening carefully and thinking through my response?
Am I prioritizing my time with God?
What do my answers to the questions above suggest to me?
Where do I need to grow and what is my first step?
When I was teaching girl’s bible class, we had self-evaluations every so often, and I can see how much they help us see problem areas and places where we are doing well. So, I will ask you again, How are you doing?
When my anxious mind is reeling, I usually count on Psalms to give me peace in the chaos. I love how the psalmist perfectly captures the hopelessness found in our human experience and the remedy found in God’s love and support. This week we get our encouragement from Psalm 94:18-19.
Psalm 94:18-19. It says, I cried out, "I am slipping!" but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer."
I love this verse because we do slip. I have anxiety, and I tend to catastrophize situations in my mind. I can convince myself quite effortlessly that the problems in my life are too big, too overwhelming. But, when I am slipping, He is there to remind me that He is greater. I love how in this crazy, messed-up world, Jesus is my rock, my only constant. When doubts fill my mind, only He can set me at ease. How lost I was without Him. My mind reeled with doubt, anger, confusion, but Jesus calmed the storm inside. He brings me to His perfect peace.
When I first started as a Christian, I resonated with Peter. He is stubborn and stands up for what he thinks is right. Notice how I said what he thinks is right. Yea, Peter grew spiritually, and I am too. Now I admire Paul. His books give me so much encouragement. So this week, I started with a small verse from the extended one you see below. It is Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”
The whole piece is too good not to share it in its entirety, so please read it below.
Colossians 4:2-6 , "Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone."
So, this week let’s devote ourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. First, let’s pray for each other so that God will give us many opportunities to speak his good news. Pray that we, as the body of Christ, would live wisely among nonbelievers. Remember that we need to make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Next, we can pray God gives us pure hearts so our words will be gracious and lovely. Finally, we can pray for our brothers and sisters in chains, bondage, and war. Pray the Lord is working in the circumstances they are in and that they can get the message out to those who need to hear it.
This week, I remind myself to keep my thoughts fixed on Jesus and good things. I am repeating Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Isn’t it amazing to think that we can please the Lord just by having good thoughts? Our thoughts can determine the course of our day. But, we also have the power to bring life or death with our words, not only for ourselves but to everyone we meet. Our thoughts and words have so much power, so we have to direct them towards Jesus actively. I also really love saying, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. It makes me feel close to Him, like a term of endearment. I find my rest in Him. He is my rock.
Keep your thoughts fixed on Him this week, and see the fruit you will bear!
This week my mediation verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.“
I love this verse as it has helped me often and when I am in the throes of temptation I hear the still small voice in the back of my head repeating these words to me. We all deal with temptation from time to time. But, no matter the scope of the lure itself, we can rest assured knowing that our Lord is bigger and stronger. He gives us the power to overcome, so we can quickly look for that exit and beeline to the door!
I hope this scripture will encourage you this week! If you enjoyed the wallpaper from last week, I added it again.
"People do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4
Do you ever feel like God starts to nudge you when you haven’t put any focus on him? I can feel it when I start to slide on spending time with the Lord in my day-to-day life. I get busy with the kids, errands, and household things. Time goes by so fast, and before I know it, it’s time for bed! It can be so hard to find the time to squeeze God in. That in itself is a problem. I shouldn’t have to “squeeze God in,” so I have to be adamant about making time for him. It isn’t something I am great at, but these are a few of the things I do that help me make the time to focus on the Lord and recharge my soul.
Be Intentional. Like I mentioned, I can feel it when I need to soak in the word. I start stressing, getting irritable, and I know I need to get back into God’s word. It’s not something I do because I feel like I have to, although, for my sanity, I do. Set time aside every day to meet with him and dig into his word. Make sure you can do it uninterrupted. I know it’s hard when you have kids. For me, it either has to be early in the morning or after they go to sleep. I prefer mornings, but I don’t always get to do it then.
Commit. Once you have picked a time that works best for you, You have to commit to doing it every day. You have to commit to yourself and God that you will follow through and meet with him. I know that if I promise God I will, I’m more likely to do so than if I decide on my own. I am currently in Bible Study Fellowship. This year is my third year with them. I love BSF because it is so in-depth, and it is great to have a group talk about what you have learned and hold you accountable. Accountability is always helpful. If you can’t find a person or group, it may be a good idea to write out a prayer of commitment. A study I did with Good Morning Girls asked that we do that, and I loved the idea! Something about having it in writing to God makes it more official and could help you better commit.
Create small goals. Let’s face it. The bible can be overwhelming. I found that it’s easier to commit if I do small studies or set a small goal, such as finishing one book at a time. Celebrate your accomplishments. When you complete a study, reward yourself. I feel like I accomplished an incredible feat when I can finish a devotional in its entirety, and a reward is always nice.
Engage your mind. One thing I have found that helps me is keeping a journal. It helps me focus and not let my brain wander to the kitchen or the kids. Plus, I get to think about what God is speaking to me. Even if you do not like to journal, its always good to at least answer some engaging questions to get the most out of your time in the word. Most studies come with questions of some sort, but if you are studying alone at least think about what message is being taught and how you can apply it to your life.
Engage your kids. I have always loved talking to my kids about what I’ve read. Now my kids are old enough to read with me, and they always have the best questions. My daughter has always had fantastic feedback as well. She loves talking about verses, and I love hearing what God is speaking to her through the same verses, she often hears an entirely different message, and it’s terrific sharing that with her!
If you are having trouble finding time to dive in and soak up the word in a busy world, don’t give up, God is always ready to speak to you. Just take the time to listen! These are just a few ways I can plug in and recharge. What are some ways you find work for you? Comment below!
"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." Psalms 119:105
I will be starting my weeks off with scripture to meditate on for the week. We could all use some encouragement, and what better source than The Holy Word. So this week, I am meditating on Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything instead of pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Honestly, I meditate on this verse often. I have spent many nights repeating this to myself as I drift off to sleep. This verse is the second verse I memorized and one of my favorites as a chronic worrier. I hope it will bring you some comfort this week!
If you want some extra encouragement, I have included a free phone wallpaper with this weeks scripture below!
In my last post I wrote about meditation and how we practice this at night as part of our nightly routine. My kids, like many, thrive on routine. I think it also helps them feel a sense of normalcy since we move quite often and at the drop of a dime. Since I shared how we use mediation as part of our routine, I thought I’d share how I get my wild, rambunctious crew to sleep every night!
First things first, my boys have to have a snack before bed. Their favorite is Cheese It’s and a glass of milk. I know it’s not super healthy, but don’t worry, they are getting plenty of fruits and veggies. They like to have a treat, and it helps them to sit still and wind down from all the jumping, climbing, and wrestling they have been doing all day long.
Next, depending on the day and whether or not I bathed them earlier, we have a bath. I love soaking them at night with a scoop of lavender salts and lots of bubbles, but sometimes I want to get it over with and give them a quick shower. I also will take this time to put a soothing sleep blend in the oil diffuser. My favorite lately has been Doterra Serenity and Balance. Then we brush our teeth, of course!
After that, the fun starts! The kids love to do bible storytime with the YouVersion kids bible app. We do a different story every night, and it has a fun activity to do after the story, usually a coloring page or a match the picture game. This addition to our nightly routine is relatively new, but it was the kid’s idea, and I am all for it! Once we finish this, we pray! I lead the kids in prayer, and their favorite part is when I say, “I am thankful for…”. They both take turns saying things they are thankful to God for. Jon is always grateful for donuts and broccoli, while Caleb is grateful for his plushies and legos.
This next part, my daughter joins in for usually. We listen to a bible study from the regular YouVersion app. Our favorite devotionals are Through the Word with Kris Langham. We started this in December so we could listen to the advent story in Luke, and the kids loved it so much we never stopped. We change them up sometimes, and I know my boys are little and can’t quite comprehend everything they are hearing, but the fact that they choose to listen to it is incredible! The boys call it, “Listening to Jesus.” They love to see the red words because they know that is when Jesus is talking!
Lastly, we have our nightly meditation time. The kids usually fall asleep during meditation. I know we have a long nightly routine, but I am so happy that my children want to incorporate Jesus into their lives, and they get to go to sleep every night after spending time in his word.
What are some of your family’s favorite nighttime activities?
Today is World Meditation Day. So I want to share a little of how meditation fits into my family’s chaotic day. We are a large family in a tiny space- it can be loud and messy, and we travel often. One thing that we have been able to keep as a constant in our crazy lives is nightly meditation.
I have made meditation a part of the kid’s nightly routine, and they love it. I used to think mediation was just something that worldly spiritual people did, not that I have anything against that. I just never was that spiritual, and I felt silly sitting and saying mantras trying to zone out. I had no idea what meditation was. I only heard of mediation from shows or cartoons where they mocked it. When I found out that there were Christian meditations, I was very intrigued and excited to check them out.
At the time, I was having some trouble with my boys. I couldn’t get them to bed at a decent hour, and they would both get night terrors all the time. I struggled with night terrors as a child, my daughter had them when she was young, and now both my boys were going through them. I was one tired momma who was desperate to find help to resolve this issue. You might think that the night terrors are just nightmares, and the kids wake up and go back to bed, but that is not what this was. Caleb would scream, hit, kick, punch, and roll around like crazy. I couldn’t wake him up, but I could talk him down by entering into his terror. Now, Jon was another story. He would kick, punch, and scream, but he wouldn’t wake up, and he wouldn’t let me communicate with him. I would have just to let him work it out because anything I tried made it worse. So you can see that I was mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. I found the Abide meditation app on my phone, and since I was trying to get my boys on a nightly routine, I thought it would be a good idea to try it out.
I am so glad I gave this app a try. The boys loved it. The boys call it “listening to the man.” We have been listing to our nightly meditations every night for over two years. My boys go to sleep, listening to waves rolling up on to the beach and a soothing voice, reading God’s words, and praying over them. I can honestly tell you that the night terrors do not happen like they used to. Once in a great while, one of them will have an issue. Usually, if they are super tired from a long day out, but they are nothing like the terrors they used to have. My husband was skeptical at first, but even he has experienced how much meditation helps. We use it when we travel, no matter where we are. We all love it! We do our meditation lying in bed, taking in deep breaths, and listening to the soothing voice and sounds. I have tried to incorporate mediation into other parts of our day, but we all like to wind down at night.
There are many different meditation apps out there; we use the Abide app as I mentioned before. There are various subscription plans available with the app. I am not getting paid to, but the app has worked so well for us, I recommend it to anyone interested in Christian meditation. They have daily mediations and a journaling option as well as nightly meditations and prayers. Meditation has done wonders for us if you haven’t tried mediation yet, what better day to start than World Meditation Day!