abuse, bondage, freedom, reckless, release, repression, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Free: Allowing God to Break Repression and Bondage on Our Lives

Abusive relationships, depression, sin are just a few things that can cause bondage in our lives. But we are set free through Jesus’ death and resurrection!



Set Free

The young girl ran towards the water with reckless abandon. She loved this time of year when she could swim in the ocean and pretend to be a mermaid. But, today would be different. A short while later while splashing around she was hit by a large wave. The undertow was strong. She was tossed in circles and hit her head on the ocean floor time and again. She was seized with fear and felt as though she would drown. After what seemed like an eternity the sea spit her body onto the shore. She was trembling and coughing up water, but she was alive. She was free from the grip of the ocean’s power. 

Thirty years later the young girl was now a woman. She respected the sea and its power. Today she found herself floating on the still ocean waters. Her body gently moved with the ocean’s movements; the water rolling over her like a caress. Her face titled toward the sun; drinking in its warmth. She relished times like these when she could talk to God amidst the beauty of His creation. It was in that still moment, God reminded her of how she had been set free.  

Abusive relationships, depression, and sin are just a few things that can cause bondage in our lives. We are set free through Jesus' death and resurrection! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #abuse #bondage #freedom #reckless #release #repression

Abuse

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18, NIV

What I have to share is deeply personal and a sensitive subject for many men and women. Many of us have faced brokenness so deep that it leaves us crushed. There are all kinds of repressions we face in our lives.

Some know very little how it feels to constantly be knocked down with words or actions. But, far too many men and women know the real horrors of being physically, mentally, and/ or emotionally and verbally abused. The physical is unimaginably difficult to get over. I admire more than one of my friends who have had the courage to break free from the cycle of abuse and find strength in Christ to heal and move forward. 

I took me a lot of years to recognize what verbal and emotional abuse look like. It does not mean I was not in a loving relationship. In fact, I still love this person very deeply. However, words and actions can still hurt us deeply. They can beat us down and make use believe lies about ourselves and even give us a distorted identity.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1, NIV

Recognizing What Binds

The effects of abuse are often debilitating. Depression, confusion, overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and poor physical health are all effects. Cling to God’s words in I Corinthians 13 because God paints a very clear picture of what love truly is and is not. But, the first step to solving any problem is recognizing what the problem is. So, I ask all of you reading this, what binds you?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it doesn not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  

I Corinthians 13:4-8, CSB

Realizing Your Role

I am a people pleaser and I know this about myself. But, it is not always a good thing. In fact, until I reached my mid-thirties, I used to allow others to run over me because keeping the peace was so important to me. So, I played a major role in allowing others to hurt me. 

Now, of course, this did not make it right. However, sometimes we allow things to happen to us because we are seized with fear, anxiety, want to keep the peace, overwhelmed, or just think we are powerless to stop them from happening. If we are saved, then the Holy Spirit is within us. God’s power is within us! Claim it! Realize the power of Christ within you!

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…

Ephesians 3:20, KJV

Releasing it to God

If you love someone let them go. If it was meant to be, then they will come back to you.  

As a teenage girl with a lot of crushes, I used to cling to this phrase. As a mature woman, I now realize the value in these words. After decades, I finally had to let go of the one whom my heart loved. The one whom I shared a life and children with. But, letting go does not mean giving up. It means releasing it to God. As humans, we try to control and fix so many situations in our lives. But, it is important to realize there are many things beyond our power.   

Reckless Abandon

When you think of a person who has reckless abandon you often think of one who is wild and careless and does not think about the consequences of their actions. However, I want you to think of living the Christian life with reckless abandon in a slightly different way. 

The term “reckless” comes from the root word “reckon” which means to account for or to think of every thought. Is it our job to reckon with God and think through every little detail of our lives? No. We are not God. He is there to lead and guide us. If we try to reckon or reason with Him, then we are trying to take control away from God. 

The verb for abandon means to leave. The noun for abandon means to lack inhibition or restraint. So, let’s put these two words together. Reckless abandon in the Christian life means to leave your life, without restraining or trying to control any part of it, and rely completely on God to control and direct every part of it. How freeing it is to allow the Lord to rule your heart. To allow Him to free us from things that bind our lives. He has a purpose and a plan we need only to follow Him with reckless abandon.

Until we meet again…Gracie

How freeing it is to allow the Lord to rule your heart. To allow Him to free us from things that bind our lives. He has a purpose and a plan we need only to follow Him with reckless abandon. Click To Tweet

Abusive relationships, depression, and sin are just a few things that can cause bondage in our lives. We are set free through Jesus' death and resurrection! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #abuse #bondage #freedom #reckless #release #repression

unsplash-logoDieter Kühl
Doubt, fellowship, devotional, scripture, foolish, hope, hopeless, love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Doubt: Eliminating Foolish, Hopeless Lies from Our Lives

It’s easy to allow doubt to clog our minds. We must eliminate foolish, hopeless lies that distract us from living for Christ.



My dad manages an auto mechanic shop and he can tell you some crazy stories about clients and their cars. I heard this story about a car and a squirrel the other day on the radio. A lady took excellent care of her car and did all the proper maintenance, however, she noticed her car would not run over 40 miles an hour. 

She took it into the shop to see if they could solve the problem. When the mechanic looked under the hood you will never believe what he found! A squirrel had packed her air filter full of nuts!!! The air filter was clogged and the car could not run properly. After the squirrel’s nuts were removed, the car ran like new!

What squirrels do we have in our spiritual lives that are keeping us from living for Christ? Squirrels–I am going to be honest–are one animal I really do not care for. There are so many of them and they are so annoying! Now, I know every animal serves a purpose according to God’s plan, but today we are going to talk about getting rid of the metaphorical squirrels in our lives. 

It's easy to allow doubt to clog our minds. We must eliminate foolish, hopeless lies that distract us from living for Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #doubt #fellowship #foolish #hope #hopeless #love

The Foolish Squirrel

The definition of a fool is a person who acts unwisely or lacks judgment. Now I am sure all of us have fit into this category more than one time in our lives. But a fool is also someone who seeks to trick or deceive someone. The foolish squirrel is there to trick us into taking our eyes off of Christ. 

A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.

Proverbs 18:2, NKJV

If we allow the foolish squirrel to trick us, then we become foolish as well. This keeps us from pursuing wisdom and happiness with the Lord.  

The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Proverbs 10:8, NIV

I do not want to become a fool and have my life in ruin as I am sure none of you do as well. Let us keep our focus on Christ and let His words bring wisdom and discernment into our hearts and lives.

Remember, when we fear the Lord (reverent obedience), then we begin to have knowledge. The foolish will always despise His wisdom and instruction. The book of Proverbs discusses the foolish and the wise. Get rid of the foolishness and seek wisdom instead.

The Hopeless Squirrel

There were days not too long ago when I felt hopeless. My heart and my life were broken and I felt no hope of ever being happy again. If any of you suffer from depression, then you understand this ache.

On those dark days, you think ‘why bother’ or ‘why should I try?’ This is when the hopeless squirrel comes to fill our mind with chatter. He feeds on our worries and doubts. This is when we know the devil is lurking and must not give in to his lies.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10, NKJV

The Doubting Squirrel

When we give in to the hopeless squirrel, then we allow the devil to place seeds of doubt in our mind. If we are not careful, then we will start to doubt God. We will doubt His love, His will, and His plan for us. 

Doubt is Satan’s sharpest arrow. Throughout the Bible, the devil has shot arrows of doubt in the human heart. I think back to the Garden of Eden where Eve doubted God’s warning. The children of Israel doubted God and ended up wandering 40 years in the desert. Sarah and Abraham both doubted God could provide a child in their old age, they even laughed at God. 

I encourage you, not to give in to your doubts and fears. Is it easy? No! Is it worth it? Yes! 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is doubleminded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:5-8, NIV

Wow! Do we want to be double-minded and unstable, or do we want to seek wisdom from God?   

Hopelessness leads to doubt, which can lead to doubting God. But we will not be double-minded or unstable, we will seek His wisdom! Click To Tweet

Keeping the Squirrels at Bay

Now that we know which squirrels are so destructive to our lives, how do we keep them at bay? Let your faith roar so loudly you cannot hear what doubt is saying!

Saturate your mind with God’s word and His promises. There are many wonderful promises in the Bible that are like gems waiting to be discovered. Hold His words in your heart and recite them when needed.

There are many days when I am driving down the road and the devil brings horrible thoughts to my mind or images that he knows will hurt me. During those times I recite the verses I have held in my heart over and over again. The doubt begins to lessen, the grip of hopelessness fades, and the foolishness goes away. 

Stay faithful to the house of the Lord and the fellowship of believers. God reminds us of how important this is in Hebrews.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25, NKJV

We need the fellowship and camaraderie we find in our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need accountability, mutual friendship, understanding, support, and trust we find in God’s people. But, we also need the instruction and guidance we receive when we are faithful to the church. Do not let the foolish, the hopeless, or the doubting squirrels distract us from living our lives for Christ.

Until we meet again…Gracie 

It's easy to allow doubt to clog our minds. We must eliminate foolish, hopeless lies that distract us from living for Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #doubt #fellowship #foolish #hope #hopeless #love

unsplash-logoYannick Menard
still, be still, wait, waiting, joy, overwhelmed, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Be Still: Choosing to Wait on the Lord in Our Circumstances

Life’s overwhelming circumstances can leave us feeling completely helpless. But the Lord promises to never leave us. All we need to do is choose to be still and wait on Him.



The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

Ram Doss

I sat on the cold hospital floor and knelt beside the bed as still as could be. My hand held the one whom I had called Daddy my entire life. All we could do was just be still and wait…

Overwhelming circumstances can leave us feeling helpless. But the Lord promises to never leave us. All we need to do is choose to be still and wait on Him. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #BeStill #wait #joy #overwhelmed

Be Still and Know God

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10, NKJV

God…sometimes there is just too much noise! There’s just too much going on around me. I just want to run away and hide! 

If you are anything like me, you have prayed this same prayer more than once in your life. As Americans, we live in a fast-paced world filled with busy schedules and lives that seem to move at lightning speed. It is so easy to take our great and mighty God for granted when we don’t take the time to be still and know Him.  

Kneeling beside the bed of my dad just days ago, I felt the same way. Everything in my life seemed to overwhelm me in that instant. Would he make it through this surgery? Could the surgeons fix his heart? Mind you, I was not doubting God or my faith, just worried and overwhelmed. But, as the minutes ticked by I remembered how God had helped me the past three years and all the lessons He had taught me along the way.

Many times I had people around me ask how I survived and held on to my faith? It was not anything I did, but everything He showed me. So, let me take a few minutes and share with you what God has taught me about being still in Him.  

To Know Him is to Love Him

I accepted Christ into my heart at a young age. I am so thankful that I grew up knowing and understanding His love, His Word, and His ways. Dear friend, you may know who God is and believe in God, but do you “know” Him?

Do you believe Christ died on the cross for you? Have you asked Him to forgive you of your sins and come to live in your heart? Once you do this, you will experience His love, grace, mercy, and peace. Then you will begin to understand and “know” His ways. 

Let the Worries Fade Away

Have you ever wondered how some Christians can go through pain and suffering and still have joy? It’s because they are being still. As a Christian God teaches us to put all our worries in His hands.

Instead of listening to the noise of your worries, listen to the voice of the Lord. We are not to let our joy come from our circumstances, because our circumstances can change in an instance. Our God does not change. Stop worrying about your joy and your happiness and let Him fight for you.  

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14, NIV

Have No Fear

The Lord remains the same. As Christians, we know He can fight our battles, but we still seem consumed with fear. Fear of the unknown? Fear of failure? Fear of the future? Did you know the Devil can use these fears against us? He loves to distract us with our worries and our fears because they can distance us from God.  

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.

Psalm 46:1-2, KJV

God has proven time and again that He can work within us and through us. Sometimes He allows trials to come into our lives, so we can learn to depend more upon Him. Remember, God is always in control. Stop worrying and just be still. 

Wait

Waiting is hard and sometimes waiting can hurt. It is in our human nature to want to control every situation. Sometimes it can feel like God is not answering our prayers or does not seem to understand the urgency of our situation. But, if we give in to those thoughts we are saying God is not in control or He is not being fair.

Be still because God is worth waiting for. He is often at work behind the scenes in ways we cannot fathom. We should be still and discover what God is trying to teach us while we are waiting.  

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, And He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 27:14, KJV
Be still because God is worth waiting for. He is often at work behind the scenes in ways we cannot fathom. We should be still and discover what God is trying to teach us while we are waiting. Click To Tweet

Choose

I choose to be still and wait on the Lord in my present circumstances. I choose to discover what He wants me to learn in the storm. I choose to listen to the voice of my Lord, and not the noise of my worries. I choose joy. I choose life. I choose love. Join me and let us JUST BE STILL.

Until we meet again… Gracie

Overwhelming circumstances can leave us feeling helpless. But the Lord promises to never leave us. All we need to do is choose to be still and wait on Him. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #BeStill #wait #joy #overwhelmed

unsplash-logoElliot Mann
God’s will, heart, revival, heartbeat, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Heartbeat: Reviving Our Hearts for the Lord

Just as our physical human bodies need a strong, healthy heart, our spiritual heartbeats are no different. They can become distracted and out of sync with the Lord’s plan.



The condition of your heart is critical in your walk with the Lord.

The Heartbeat

I held the small piece of paper in my hand. It was proof of the life growing inside me. BUT, this was the moment I was waiting for… assurance that my child was alive.

The nurse laid the cold instrument on my belly and I held my breath. In a split second, the room was filled with the most amazing sound. Tears came to my eyes as I heard the heartbeat. Strong and true it was the proof I needed. 

Just as our physical bodies need a healthy heart, our spiritual hearts are no different. The heartbeat can become out of sync with the Lord's plan. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #revival #GodsWill #heart #heartbeat

Why is Your Heart Beating?

We know why our heart beats, but what does your spiritual heart beat for? Is your heartbeat for your kids, your spouse, your job, your ministry? What makes your heart skip a beat and bring you pure joy? If we eat the right foods, exercise, and drink properly our heart will be in good shape physically. BUT, let’s be honest for a moment. Are we taking care of our spiritual hearts the right way?  

For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.

Matthew 6:21, KJV

Are you feeding your heart with the Word of God every day? Do you pray for your family and friends “without ceasing”? Are your heart and soul being fed with Christian music and hymns? Do you spend time with God?

Now, I have to include myself in the “you” because I am guilty of not feeding my heart the right way sometimes. Sometimes, I just want to curl up on the couch and binge watch a show, or a good Hallmark movie! There is nothing wrong with that, be we must guard our hearts and feed our hearts with the things of Christ.  

When Your Heartbeat Stops…

Tell your heart to beat again

Close your eyes and breath it in

Let the shadows fall away

Step into the light of grace

Yesterday’s a closing door

Say goodbye to where you’ve been 

And tell your heart to beat again

Danny Gokey, “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”

When the physical heart stops, it must be shocked back into beating again. Sometimes we face difficult trials in our lives and it feels as though our heart has been shattered, broken, and stopped beating altogether. I have been there! I know what it feels like and I am sure many of you, Dear Friends, have too! BUT… let me encourage you. My heart, your heart, our hearts will beat again!!!! 

Sometimes we face difficult trials in our lives and it feels as though our heart has been shattered, broken, and stopped beating altogether. BUT… our hearts will beat again! Click To Tweet

Shock Your Heart

Sweet Friend, let me share with you some of the things God showed me to shock my heart into beating again.

Humble

Encourage

Attitude 

Retaining and Applying God’s Word

Transparent

In-Depth Heartbeat

H stands for Humble. We must humble ourselves before the Lord. We must come to Him with a humbling spirit. This allows our hearts to be teachable. 

E stands for Encourage. This does not mean encouraging ourselves, but rather to encourage others. In helping others, we help ourselves heal. 

A stands for Attitude. My youth leader as a child would shout out,  “Attitude Check.” We would then have to stop and respond.”1-2-3 Praise the Lord.” So, let us stop and think about our attitudes. Do we have an attitude of self-pity and woe is me mentality? While many of us are definitely entitled to this, it does not help your circumstance or the condition of our heart to feel sorry for ourselves.

R stands for Retaining and applying God’s word. Soak in His scriptures and revel in His promises. During the night season of our lives, when faced with trials and tribulations, we will be able to call upon those verses and apply them to our current situations.  

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night season

Psalm 16:7, NKJV

T stands for Transparent. As a woman raised in the south I was taught to dress up, put on makeup, and put my best “face” forward. While there is nothing wrong with that, sometimes we do not allow others to see what is really behind the mask. We are all sisters in Christ and have messy and sometimes downright chaotic lives. God made us imperfect creatures. So, let your hair down and be transparent. Your crazy and messy life just may be the message another woman needs to hear.    

Changing Our Hearts

The process of shocking your heart, or making it healthy again takes time. It will not happen overnight! It took me a long time to learn that sometimes God does not change our situation because He is trying to change our hearts! For some of us the healing process takes a long time, but let me assure you that is okay. God will be with you every step of the way! Just remember, if God changes your heart, be willing to change your plans.

Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psalm 119:11, KJV

Until we meet again……Gracie

Just as our physical bodies need a healthy heart, our spiritual hearts are no different. The heartbeat can become out of sync with the Lord's plan. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #revival #GodsWill #heart #heartbeat

balance, comparison, unique, wisdom, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Handle: Balancing What God has Given Us, What Really Matters

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters.



While traveling to my best friend’s house one day I heard a speaker on KLove. She was discussing how we as women try to handle multiple tasks or commitments at one time. My active imagination conjured up this image of a female waitress with octopus arms, holding multiple platters with ease.

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #balance #unique #wisdom #comparison

Handle It

I had to chuckle when this picture came to mind. But, seriously ladies, unless we have octopus arms none of us can handle it all. Where are you right now in your life? How much are you trying to handle by yourself? Do you have a teacup, a bowl, a plate, or a platter you are trying to handle? Let us talk for a few minutes about what really matters!

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

Titus 2:3-5, NLT

Juggling Act

There is a young woman I have known for many years that has 7 children. She home schools them all. The kids are perfectly well behaved and docile, not to mention beautiful within and without. She has a petite figure and always seems to have it all put together! She is the woman who has the platter!

I have a dear friend who also has multiple children and is heavily involved in the homeschooling community. However, as dearly as I love her she is a teacup kind of girl. She is very focused and intent on what is in her cup, but that is all she knows she can focus on at that time. Very wise if you ask me. She knows her abilities and limitations and accepts them both.

I would like to think of myself as one who carries around a plate. As a single mom coordinating school, church and appointments for three kids is sometimes overwhelming. I use to carry around my platter trying to manage it all by myself.

It took some major life-changing situations to learn God does not want us to rely on our own abilities or handle it all by ourselves! It places other people in our lives to help us handle it. I sometimes have to pass a plate off to my mom, or my oldest son, or a dear friend who offers to help.

So, ladies, do you know what kind of dish you are carrying around? Are you handling what God has given you the right way?

Comparison

There is a lot of “mom shaming” in our culture today. Thanks to social media and our inter-connected society we see the accomplishments of others constantly. I often see or hear things like, “She can’t handle that! I can do that better. What is wrong with her kids? Does she not know how to discipline them. What is her problem?”

When we fall prey to “mom shaming” we fall prey to the devil’s handiwork. He wants us to compare ourselves to each other, to build up our pride, or to fuel jealousy between us. What we have on this earth does not compare to what Christ has prepared for us in heaven as believers.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV

God does not want us to dwell on what others have, or what we do not have. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous examples of how jealousy created bitterness, anger, and lead to strong adversaries.

Rachel and Leah bickered out of jealousy (Genesis 30:15). Hagar was fruitful and bore Abraham a son, but instead of being her advocate, Sarah was cruel to her (Genesis 16).

Now I have to tell you I am sure if I was in the same situation as these ladies I probably would have felt the same way. But, I have learned some hard lessons over the past few years and having a community of strong Christian women around, is powerful!

The fact that I am a women does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.

Elizabeth Elliot

 Handle What Matters

There will be different times in your life when you carry different sizes of dishes around. It is okay. God made us all with different abilities, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Instead of becoming jealous and bitter towards one another, we should help teach each other.

God gave us an example to follow in Titus 2. I have been encouraged and learned from spiritually older women throughout the years. Remember God places women in our lives for specific reasons. Listen to the wisdom of these women and learn from their godly counsel.

Perhaps you feel like you have too much to handle. Let me remind you for a minute that God never gives us more than we can handle. However, He does expect us to handle what we have been given. Matthew 25:14-30 has the parable of the talents. Each servant according to his own ability was expected to use what he had been given for his master’s glory. Are we using what God has given us to glorify and point others to Him?

So, sweet sisters, it does not matter if you have a teacup, a bowl, a plate, or a platter. What matters is we handle what God has given us the right way.

Until we meet again… Gracie

God expects us to handle what we have been given according to our own ability. Are we using what God has given us to glorify and point others to Him?  Click To Tweet

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #balance #unique #wisdom #comparison

unsplash-logoIva Rajović
focus, provision, attention, overwhelmed, supply, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Refocus: Centering Our Lives on God While the World Fades Away

Being overwhelmed by the responsibilities of this world should not take our focus off of God. We must refocus our lives on God and let the world fade away.



My relationship with God is my number one focus. If I nurture and grow my relationship with Him, He will take care of everything in the world around me.

Gracie Kay

Center of Attention

April and May bring prom season to the world of high school. Young girls are adorned in beautiful gowns, sparkling jewelry, and Cinderella-like shoes. Young men look dapper in their tuxedos. When its time for pictures all the cameras are focused in on the couple. They are the center of attention.

One late afternoon in May, I found myself inside beautiful Duke Chapel focused on my son and his date in order to capture picture-perfect memories. Handed a high dollar camera, I was faced with a dilemma. I tried to focus, turning the lenses back and forth, but the camera just didn’t want to cooperate with me.

My oldest rolled his eyes and took the camera and proceeded to give me in-depth instructions. Within the next hour, the young couple was the center of attention. Cameras and phones flashed, taking what seemed like millions of pictures.

Later that night as I was thumbing through pictures, God seemed to whisper in my ear, “Where is your focus?”

Being overwhelmed by the responsibilities of this world should not take our focus off of God. We must refocus our lives on God and let the world fade away. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #focus #provision #overwhelmed

Where is Your Focus?

When God spoke to me, my heart fell and I felt ashamed. You see ladies, I have been focused on so many different pressures in my life, that my focus has not been on God and His ultimate plan.

Life is overwhelming sometimes! Our time and energy are pulled in different directions. Jobs, school, kids, ailing parents, church commitments, organizational commitments. All of these responsibilities and more threaten to take our focus away from God. No matter how young or how old you are, you are not immune to this dilemma. So, take a moment and do an inventory of where your focus is. Let me share mine with you:

  • Selling a house.
  • Building a new house, in a new city.
  • Applying for financial aid and trying to find scholarships as a single mom.
  • Scared to death to start graduate school, but know this is God’s path for me.
  • Blogging
  • Editing my second book
  • Raising three kids, while trying to be mom and dad, both.
  • Church commitments.
  • Job commitments.

Your list may look a lot like mine, or it may be different. None of these things could be taken off my list and I certainly would not consider them unhealthy. However, if our list or commitments take our focus away from God’s will, then we need to refocus our lens.

Refocus Your Lens

How do you refocus your life on God and not the responsibilities of this world?  In church Sunday, we sang a new praise and worship song and it gave me the answer. Read the words and let them sink into your soul…

If you’re not in it, then I don’t want it. Let all else fade away.

Passion, “Fade Away”

Talk about some powerful words. If God is calling us to do something, He will enable us to do it. He will provide us with whatever means necessary to accomplish the task He has set before us.

If you are taking care of an ailing parent, He will give you strength and wisdom. If you are balancing work and going back to school, He will provide you with effective time management skills. God provides patience if you are waiting for a situation to be taken care of.

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19, KJV
If God is calling us to do something, He will enable us to do it. He will provide us with whatever means necessary to accomplish the task He has set before us. Click To Tweet

All

I love this verse because it reminds me that God will supply all my needs. A-L-L. All, not some, not when He feels like it, but all my needs. There is great comfort in these words. God also brought the words of an old hymn from my childhood to my mind.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Helen Lemmel, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus”

We must focus our eyes on Him. We must nurture and grow our relationship with Him by reading our Bible, praying, worshiping and fellowship with other believers. Let us all refocus our lenses. Focus on God and let the world fade away!

Until we meet again… Gracie

Being overwhelmed by the responsibilities of this world should not take our focus off of God. We must refocus our lives on God and let the world fade away. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #focus #provision #overwhelmed

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Courage: Strengthening Our Confidence in Christ for What Lies Ahead

Courage can feel unobtainable, but through Christ, our confidence is strengthened for what lies ahead; for the plans the Lord has designed. 



May

A few days ago I was reading through one of my journals and I stumbled across this entry from last year: 

I stuck my toes in the freezing cold water and decided I lacked the courage to jump in. The first of May had brought with it warm sunny weather and the kids were chomping at the bit to get into the pool. So, that is where I found myself the first weekend of May.

Sitting in the lounge chair I watched three girls standing on the edge of the pool. Two had the courage to jump feet first into the freezing water! Meanwhile, I sat and watched the third girl standing timidly on the edge of the pool. Did she have the courage to jump into the frigid water? She stuck her toes in, then ran away squealing. The little girl repeated this action over and over for about 10 minutes. Finally, her courage seemed to be built up, and she jumped in giggling with delight and terror!

  While sitting there watching, the Lord whispered in my ear, “I know you are scared, my child. Where is your courage?”  

Courage can feel unobtainable, but through Christ, our confidence is strengthened for what lies ahead; for the plans the Lord has designed. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #confidence #fear #courage

Courage

I closed my journal and cried. Almost a year later and I still lacked the courage I so desperately needed. The Lord brought this scripture to my mind…

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6, NKJV

What is courage? How can I have courage in the midst of daily battles? How can we, as Christian women, apply the words of Christ to strengthen our courage? So, I began studying and praying the scriptures fervently. This is what God revealed to me…

I am Confident in Christ. I am Optimistic. I am Unwavering and Relentless in my faith. I am Aware of God’s Existence. COURAGE

Confidence in Christ

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew words for confidence and assurance are different forms of the same word. 

In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.

Isaiah 30:15, KJV

As a single mom of three, I am constantly busy and have been reprimanded by several friends and family members for my busyness. When you have multiple children involved in church, school, and sports, one does stay busy. However, there must be a balance of our time.

A plaque hangs behind my desk which reads, Be still and know. Every time I look at it I am reminded of a worship song from my youth. Although I cannot remember all the words, be still and know that I am God are repeated over and over again. When I feel overwhelmed with a hectic schedule, I remind myself to stop and sit with the Lord. This means starting and ending my day tucked away in the quietness of my prayer closet and simply praying with the Lord. 

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalms 46:10, KJV

Optimistic

The dictionary defines optimistic as being “hopeful and confident about the future.” I have always been a glass full kind of girl, but my overly optimistic nature causes me to be hurt by others. Over the years, many troubles and trials later, I have learned to place my confidence in God and have a spirit of optimism. As Christians, we have hope and confidence in our future with the Lord. 

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11, NIV 

True confidence is a quiet assurance of God’s capabilities and His promises which brings us lasting security.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

Psalm 118:8, NKJV

Relentless Faith

When I was a young girl, I was very afraid of the dark. One day my parents took me to my pastor. He talked with me about having faith bigger than my fears. He said fear is simply, “False Evidence Appearing to be Real.” When we place our faith in God, no matter what comes our way, we can trust Him. My pastor’s words have stayed with me throughout the years.

be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

I Cornithians 15:58, NKJV

We should be unmoveable, unwavering, steadfast and relentless in our faith and the work we are doing for the Lord. Ephesians 6 refers to an invisible shield which protects us against our enemies’ assaults. The past few years I have carried my shield constantly through the battlefield. I consider it to be one of my greatest weapons against the Devil. 

be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Ephesians 6:10, NKJV

Be strong, Dear Sisters, and have an unwavering and relentless faith! When you do, God will work miracles in you…

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, without wavering, for He who is promised in faithful.

Hebrews 10:23, NKJV

Aware of God’s Existence

The Lord has been dealing with me for the last nine months, but I have battled with courage for a few years now. At first, I thought if I could only have more courage in dealing with my current trial, then things would be easier…

I had confidence in God and was optimistic about my future (most of the time). My faith was unwavering and relentlessly strong against the Devil’s constant attacks. I was aware of God’s existence and knew there was a purpose and a plan for all the heartache and pain. However, I realized He was using the better part of this last year to help my courage and strength grow immensely. All of this preparation was simply part of His plan to help me reach the point in which I was finally ready…

I traveled very far through a land filled with dangers, treacherous terrain, and storms that never seemed to end. My body and my spirit were beyond tired! I literally felt like the walking dead! Then I stumbled upon a cliff and my heart was beating rapidly in my chest! I could feel the presence of danger and an approaching storm behind me. The choice was clear— I had to JUMP!

I took a deep breath and prayed with an intensity like never before. Then I closed my eyes and gathered all the courage in my soul. I JUMPED! 

Encourage…

Of course, we all know I did not literally jump off an actual cliff, but rather a spiritual cliff. After a very difficult journey, I reached this spiritual cliff God had been preparing me for. The courage to jump is simply the courage to surrender. When we are totally surrendered to the Lord then we are willing to say yes for whatever He has planned for our lives.

He has shown me what it means to have real courage. Let me encourage all of you, Dear Friends, to ask yourselves how much courage you have.

Courage to face your fears? Courage to fight for your marriage? Courage to stand up for what you believe in? Courage to step out in faith to whatever God has called you to do? Courage to say yes? Courage to say no?  

Whatever trial you are facing or storm you are going through, God will give you the courage to make it through. 

The courage to jump is simply the courage to surrender. When we are totally surrendered to the Lord then we are willing to say yes for whatever He has planned for our lives. Click To Tweet

Courage can feel unobtainable, but through Christ, our confidence is strengthened for what lies ahead; for the plans the Lord has designed. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #confidence #fear #courage

Ihor Malytskyi