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Prayer

    Does Your Prayer Life Need an Overhaul?

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    Does Your Prayer Life Need an Overhaul?

    I don’t normally get this personal when it comes to blog posts. Partially because of pride, and partially because of shame. But I just really feel like someone needs this, just as much as I did {do} in our current situation.

    I’ve talked some about our debt, and giving God the glory for my husband’s promotion. But, in trying to fix our debt and get on the right path, we fell behind with other payments. Way behind. I wish I could tell you that his promotion came with a huge raise and our financial woes went away. I also wish I could tell you our debt was gone. I can say neither.

    The truth is this: I’m a stress shopper. And while I’m a lot better than I used to be, I still spend money I shouldn’t spend. And Christmas, there’s that. And my husband’s truck needed work. As did my van. Oh, and medical bills, because I’m pregnant with baby #3 and whatnot. Everything costs money, y’all, and a lot of it.

    Fridays mean payday. And paying bills. I don’t mind telling you I cry almost every Friday because the phrase “too much month at the end of the money” echoes in my head constantly. There’s never enough.

    I hate admitting this to you, but usually what gets cut is tithes. Because it comes down to tithes or groceries, and I’m ashamed to say there have been a few weeks when I didn’t tithe. One day I decided I’d had enough of doing it on my own. I mean, husband and I are a team but he doesn’t know what to do either.

    Does Your Prayer Life Need an Overhaul?

    Prayer oftentimes is a last resort when it should be our first line of defense.

    I started to pray about our finances but felt guilty. How can I ask God to help me get out of this mess I’ve made of our money? Why should He help me, when essentially I’ve been robbing Him of what belongs to Him in the first place? So I started the best way I knew how, and that was to say, “God, I’m sorry.”

    I’m sorry I’ve not been a good steward, sorry I’ve sinned, sorry I’ve let my family down.

    But my prayer never really developed from that. I never really got any further than to ask forgiveness, but not so far as to ask what to do about it. I know God CAN help me, my question is WILL He? Is He willing to help me when I’ve caused this?

    Sometimes we find inspiration in the least likely places.

    I recently delved into the world of Young Living, and one of the leaders wrote books to help launch the business side of things. She has a website where she offers free resources and sells products as well. On her site, she had a tab called “The Moses Blessing“.

    Now, let me just interject here I’m not a “prosperity gospel” kind of gal, nor do I think God wants us all to be rich. So at first glance, I thought this might be what her post was about. But it wasn’t. Her personal prayer and story of poverty to where she is now totally opened my eyes. Not to pray for money, but to pray to God fervently and diligently. Specifically.

    Does your prayer life need an overhaul?

    Don’t get me wrong, God knows our needs. But ask yourself:

    • Do your prayers give God thanks, and worship Him for who He is?
    • Are your prayers specific?
    • Do you ask for God’s will and guidance?
    • Are you willing to accept the answer, even if it’s not how you want or expect?
    • Have you spent time with Him in His word?

    While I put “you” in these questions, they’re really for me.

    I have faith in God, but I’ve not been putting faith to action (James 2:14-26). And while I might pray for help with our financial situation, I haven’t been doing much to help get us out of it.

    What is it you’ve been praying for without results or peace? Could it be that maybe your prayer life needs an overhaul?

     

    December 24, 2017

    4 Practical Tips for Alone Time with Jesus

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    4 Practical Tips for Alone Time with Jesus

    As a mother, whether you work away from home, work from home, or stay home 24/7 you need time alone. More importantly, you need alone time with The Lord. But how do you find the time when you can’t even go potty alone?

    Just as with any other relationship, we have to take care of ourselves, and that means we need to make time for the One who created us. And while I certainly have not cornered the market on managing my time efficiently. But I want to share ideas with you for how to get even just a couple hours alone, possibly more.

    The precious time that you do get to yourself you definitely need to rest and regroup. I’m not really sure when not showering for days became a badge of honor for moms, but make sure you’re taking care of yourself on a daily basis. Hour long bubble baths might not be on the daily agenda, but taking 15 minutes to shower and brush your teeth is certainly a must. So this isn’t a post about self-care, not that I’m sure why that’s even a thing. Mom, take care of yourself. You can’t care for your family if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

    4 Practical Tips for Alone Time with Jesus

    Ideas for Mommy Time:

    • Utilize the “Mom’s Day Out” time many churches offer. Yes, it’s usually something you have to pay for, but at around $5 per child for a few hours. To me, definitely worth it. Take the time to get a pedicure, get groceries, or read and study your Bible (in the quiet…). If this is not something offered at your church or near your home, then maybe you could start up something at your church. Talk to your pastor about offering a program for stay at home moms.
    • Find a friend to “swap” kids with. Even if you each agree to 2 hours once a week, it’s better than nothing. Most moms need a break and having a friend you trust to watch your kids is a relief. Don’t be afraid to ask, chances are your friend is looking for a break, too.
    • How about Dad, or grandparents/other family members? Could someone keep the kids a few hours, maybe a day, for you to set aside time to reconnect with Jesus? Arabah Joy has a Spiritual Retreat DIY list you should check out. She recommends getting away for the weekend, totally prepared and willing to spend time in prayer and in the Word. I know this isn’t an option for a lot of people, but even just a few hours could do wonders!
    • Utilize sleep times. I know, this is easier said than done. BUT – if you can sneak in 30 minutes before babies wake up and stay up an hour or so after they go to bed, you’d be amazed. And, if you’re like me, you spend a lot of time doing “the scroll”. You know, scrolling through Facebook because it requires no thought and you’re pretty much done for the day. But if we spend this time reading the Bible, or praying, I think our days would be much better.

     

    But none of it works…

    If you’re anything like me, then you know deep down that you have time, you just don’t always spend it wisely. I get hooked on a Netflix series and I’m useless for days. Or a good book… reading is better than watching tv but once I’m in a good storyline the world around me fades. Yes, I’m a nerd. I have to prioritize time with God. Make a conscious decision to stop making excuses and start doing better.

    No amount of “alone time” will make a difference if we aren’t using it wisely. Free up time where possible, get time away from kids occasionally (yes, you’re still a good mom) and learn to invest in the relationship that matters most.

    4 Practical Tips for Alone Time with Jesus

    July 7, 2017

    Pop Tart Prayers

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    Pop Tart Prayers

    I have this two-year-old little boy. Apparently, he hates sleep. Instead, he likes to wake up at about 6:00 am, come to my bedroom, rub his little eyes with his chubby hands and say, “Mommy, I want pop-art [Pop Tart]”. I tend to give in because it’s 6:00 am and I really don’t feel like hearing him scream & pitch a fit about junk for breakfast (bad mommy, I know). I have access to all the free, free-range chicken eggs I can get. So I could make him eggs for breakfast. Something my Dad has scolded me for. But no, I give him the pop art and thirty minutes later he’s asking for another.

    Pop Tart Prayers

    One day we ran out of  pop arts. And, as usual, I woke up to, “Mommy, I want pop art.” So I got up and made eggs and ham. The entire time, my little one cried in the floor asking for his usual pop art. I explained we didn’t have any, that I was cooking breakfast. Told him what we were having was much better than pop arts. No matter what I said, he still cried, begging for a pop art. I knew what he needed: food. He was hungry. Also, I know what he wanted: a starchy, sugary breakfast. But I was trying to provide him with what he needed instead of what he wanted. Opening a wrapper is must fast than cooking a meal. I know that. He doesn’t necessarily understand. He just knows he’s hungry. And pop arts happen now.

    This made me think: how many times do we beg God for “pop arts” when He’s working on cooking breakfast?

    How many times do we pray for the quick & easy fix when He’s working on what we actually need?

    We ask – we B E G – God. Beg for the simplest, easiest, and quickest solution to our need. When we face a problem, we don’t always see the reason. Often, we just know the pain needs to end, and quickly. For me, I just ask God to send me a big fat check (hear me out). We have this enormous mound of debt that seems to get bigger and bigger and is never ending. So, to me, the easiest way to fix that is for God to move someone with millions of dollars to send me a check to pay off our debt. Right? I mean, if they have millions they won’t miss it. And, after all, He’s God. He could do it if He wanted to. Jesus made money appear in the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:27) so why can’t someone send me a big BIG check?

    If I’m honest with myself I know God doesn’t send me a big fat check because the bigger problem of our credit card debt is my spending habits. And I had to learn to turn to God rather than retail therapy (yes, it’s a real thing). So, sure, He could send me a big fat check. But without that debt, those huge minimum payments, would I still turn to Him? Or would I go back to spending to help with stress?

    He knows what His plan is. We cannot see the future, but He can, therefore He knows what we need. While we beg for something quick and easy, He’s working on something else. Maybe not exactly what we wanted, but exactly what we needed.

    Sometimes, He allows us the quick easy fix. I mean, I can’t blame Him. I’d get tired of hearing me whine and cry, too. And I think sometimes He gives us what we want to let us learn. But whatever the reason, He allows the quick fix. So we think it’s better, and it is. Temporarily. Then we need more. We need more because what we thought we wanted isn’t really enough. Though it takes a lot of time, we need to realize that no amount of a quick fix can amount to what He can do when we allow Him to move in our lives.

    He knows our every need. Knows what will really soothe and heal, rather than what covers up the pain. He works diligently behind the scenes. This means he might not answer quickly, or even when we think He should. It might take more time than we think it should. This doesn’t mean we sit and cry, and throw down, wanting Him to give us something we think we need. Rather, we should be patient. We should wait for Him to finish what He’s working on, and accept that He knows best.

    Stop begging God for pop arts when He’s cooking eggs and bacon for you.

    June 26, 2017