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Do you ever feel “less than”?
Those days when it seems like nothing you do is good enough. Your prayers aren’t enough, your physical appearance lacks, the feeling of inadequacy in just about everything?
I certainly do. And it might not be all these feelings on the same day. If Husband and I argue I feel I’ve failed as a wife. Or if I lose it on my kids (like I did the day I failed my kids) I just know I’m a total failure as a mother. And I hate scales. We won’t even talk about my weight.
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6)
Admittedly, I’ve never faced people stoning me. That I know of. But I have been around grieved people. So what we can glean from the verse is this: David encouraged himself in the Lord.
Note what this verse does not say, that God encouraged David. Why? Sometimes He leaves it up to us. Starting up a conversation with Him about how we need strength goes a long way. Or, we dig into the Bible searching for something to soothe the soul. But, when we know where our help comes from (Psalm 121:2) we know how to encourage ourselves.
Sometimes, we also need the testimony of others. Knowing someone else knows our battle, even won the battle, helps encourage us. That’s why I came up with this list of my 10 favorite resources for mamas who need encouragement.
Books to Strengthen Your Prayer Life:
While I love all her books, Stormie O’Martian does a fantastic job of explaining why we, as wives, have to pray for our husbands. And she does so in a very real way. She talks about what he faces on the job, the burden he feels as a man, etc. She offers real and practical advice for praying for yourself. And the first step: praying for your own attitude.
You’ve probably seen a link to this book in another post. Or even on my Facebook. And that’s because I love it. It’s geared toward being a companion to the phenomenal War Room movie. She talks about our prayer lives and prayer strategies. And on those days when you just need to pray, this one really helps you focus and get those strategic prayers prayed.
Another War Room companion, this one is specifically for women. It’s our resolution to follow Jesus Christ. And this one helps you set attainable, and spiritual goals to live a stronger life in Christ.
When You Need Encouragement:
Having a dark past, Lysa Terkeurst explains how to move past your past. To push through those feelings of insecurity and doubt, and replace those with God’s love. Excellent book.
Angie Smith talks about how we chase God. How we think we can do something, or a lot of things, to please Him. But what we have to remember is He loves us, and that’s it. There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us less. We can stop chasing Him.
Again, a Priscilla Shirer book. Can you tell I like her? This one is a study mainly in Ephesians. She talks about how we are to take up the armor, and what that means in a practical, Biblical way.
I’m sure you’d never guess, but this is a study in Ruth. No matter the diversity, or what she faced, she didn’t quit. And in today’s society, that’s not a readily accepted message.
The study that helps you connect the whole Bible as one thread – making the whole book seamless. This was my favorite study and I highly recommend it for when you feel like the Bible doesn’t “make sense”.
When You Struggle With Weight:
Candace Cameron talks about her struggle with weight. And while I don’t necessarily agree with her super strict calorie intake, there’s a lot about helping your spiritual man to be healthier, too.
I’m a stress eater. While I wish I could tell you that wasn’t the case, it is. But this book was a wonderful reminder that God made us to crave one thing: Him. We have to stop trying to fill that void with food, or material possessions, or whatever else.