A Grace Just for You

When discouragement strikes, remember God’s grace. It’s a gift created with you in mind. It’s just enough at just the right time. Find out more here!

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7 (NKJV)

It had been a rough day. I was tired, the house was dirty, and I needed to figure out what to fix for supper. My two little children were still very young and dependent on me, and I felt like I didn’t have what it took to be a good mother to them. I was upset about other things that have since left my memory and the whirlwind of discouraging thoughts I was having felt like more than I could handle.

Have you ever had a day like that? When discouragement strikes, remember God’s grace. It’s a gift created with you in mind. It’s just enough at just the right time. Find out more here!

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A Grace that Sees

Sometimes we feel unseen and the truth of how we feel inside is hidden from others. But there is a grace that sees and a grace that understands. It comes straight from the heart of God. Join me here today as we begin a series of discussions that will take a look at the depth of the love that God has for us.

I see you.

• I see you when you wear a bright smile, but you feel a strain of sadness inside.
• I see you when your life is full of good things, but you feel empty.
• I see you when your activities paint a picture of confidence, but insecurity fills you inside.
• I see you when you feel like you never measure up and when you feel invisible and inadequate.

These things are hidden in the fast pace of your everyday life. Sometimes you can ignore them because you always keep going. You always keep giving. You always keep doing more.

But other times, it wells up and you feel overwhelmed. It leaves you feeling utterly exhausted.

Yet, in the midst of all of that, there are truths that you know.

• You know that God is kind and merciful and full of love.
• You know the Bible contains the truth, and you believe what it says.
• You love Jesus, and you know God as your Father. Most importantly, you know that because of all Jesus has done for you there is forgiveness and new life.

But sometimes it’s hard to feel the security those things should to bring you. To understand this sort of love deep down inside takes something you just haven’t quite been able to grab on to yet.

I see these things because I’ve been there, too. Even in a life surrounded by people that loved and cared for me, a life full of good things and God’s provisions, I still felt all of the things I just described to you.

So I want you to know I see you, and grace does too.

And because of His grace, there are answers for you.

Read more of this post by clicking below!

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Waiting in Prayer {Guest Post by Sarah Geringer}

Have you ever had to wait for your prayers to be answered? Have you ever wondered how to wait well? Find encouragement today in a guest post by my friend, Sarah Geringer.

Have you ever had to wait in prayer? Me, too. I think that’s something we have all probably experienced and I’m not sure about you, but waiting is not my favorite thing to do! I’m all for getting things taken care of and wrapped up right now. The thing is, God’s time table is not the same as ours. And that’s what we’ll discuss today – waiting in prayer.

Today, I’m happy to introduce you to my friend, Sarah Geringer. Sarah writes and blogs at www.sarahgeringer.com. I’ve been encouraged by her words many times. Sarah is writing today about one aspect of prayer that is particularly hard – the aspect of waiting in prayer. Sarah gives us some practical steps that can encourage us and give us a little different perspective while we wait on the Lord. Sarah gives us some great tips on how to wait well! – Leslie

Waiting in Prayer by Sarah Geringer

In my heart, there is a waiting room for prayers. For some prayers, I’ve only had to wait a few hours to learn the answers. I didn’t have to wait long, but the pressure was still there. For other prayers, I had to wait many years for the answers. I’m still waiting on some prayers to be answered with anything other than “wait.”

I often meditate upon the truths in John Waller’s song “While I’m Waiting.” I play this song while I’m in that waiting room and pray through the truths, verse by verse.

I lean into hope. I put on a hopeful mindset when I pray. I trust that God has good things in store for me. If good things aren’t possible in my situation, then I trust that God has good lessons for me to learn in the circumstance. I hope for better days while I wait in prayer, and that hope shines a bright light in the otherwise dimly-lit waiting room.

Click below to read more of Sarah’s post. She give some practical and actionable steps to help you while you are waiting on the Lord!

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How to Strengthen Your Prayer Life Through Grace

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Remember GRACE and receive it to bring strength into your prayer life. His strength is made perfect in our weakness!

Grace has always seemed like a gentle thing to me. A soft something that settles down in the heart unnoticed at first, but there, nevertheless. And we feel it’s peace. The thing is, I’m not good at grace. I might be good at giving grace to others, but when it comes to receiving it for myself, that’s a whole different story.

I think we all probably struggle with being harder on ourselves than we are on others, but for some of us, it is magnified, especially if we struggle with perfectionism.

If you struggle with perfectionism one of the things that you may be doing is putting entirely too much pressure on yourself. It’s a vicious cycle because perfectionism tells you that you are never good enough. And that’s the total opposite of what grace says.

Grace would tell you that you are enough, because of Who God is. He created you and He loves you. All of you. Just the way you are.

If you listen to perfectionism and the voice inside your head that says you are not good enough, you are in for a rough journey. It’s a path that leaves no room for receiving God’s grace.

Satan doesn’t mind us traveling this road though, and this is because he wants us discouraged and defeated in all areas of our lives.

He especially wants to defeat us in our prayer lives. Prayer is where the battles are fought and won. And Satan is always the looser. This means that he will do everything he can to discourage us and keep us from praying. Often, these discouragements will come through negative thought processes.

One of these negative thought patterns involves the tendency to be way too hard on ourselves which creates a whole lot of unnecessary pressure in our lives.

Think about the things we say to ourselves sometimes. We would probably never say these things about other people, but we might constantly repeat them to ourselves.

• “I skipped my prayer time today. God will be disappointed in me.”
• “My prayers seem too simple. I’m not really smart enough.”
• “I don’t really understand the Bible. Who am I to be talking to God?”
• “My life is so chaotic. I’m a mess. God wants someone who has it more together.”
• “I’ve done some pretty bad things. There’s no way God can accept me because of the things I’ve done.

This list could go on and on, couldn’t it?

But there is an answer for this. Read to find out more! {FREE PRINTABLE!}

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Memorial Day 2017

US Flag

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13, NKJV) To all men and women who have served our country, thank you for your service and all that you feely give. To those who have lost their lives defending our freedoms, we remember and honor you […]

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Build A Better Prayer Life (By Avoiding This Perfectionism Pitfall)

There is Someone who can do a better job building our prayer life than we can. Avoid this perfectionism pitfall in your prayer life! Read to find out more!

For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. (Hebrews 3:4, NKJV)

Prayer is a little like building a house. It takes a plan, a whole lot of time and effort, the right tools and a master builder.

Now if there’s anything a perfectionist likes, it’s a good plan, right? We like the tools, and we are willing to put in the time and effort. As a matter of fact, we are driven in many ways (and not all of them are healthy ways). We want to be efficient, and we focus on that end result, often at the expense of the process it takes to get there. These are all things we need to keep an eye on in our day to day life situations.

But we also have to watch out for these things in our prayer lives, because if we are not careful, we’ll focus so much on the plan that we’ll forget who the builder is.

Join me today as we talk more about prayer and a common perfectionism pitfall.

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In the Letting Go

In the Letting Go

*Published at (in)courage, May 20, 2017
I looked out the kitchen window and noticed how big the little oak tree had grown. It suddenly towered over the house, as if it had always been stretching its arms up that high. It had grown tall, like my son. It was a gift in honor of his birth, and it had been growing for nearly 16 years.

The little oak had been played under and climbed in, its branches shading our children as their little legs pumped the swings on the wooden play set that was built for them by their dad and grandfather. Those swings were long gone now, and I couldn’t even find the two dips in the ground where their precious little feet had pushed the dirt high in the air as they giggled and played and swung to their hearts’ content.

I sighed as I wondered where all the time had gone. It seemed just a few days ago that my toddler son was riding up and down the porch on his scooter, the little plastic tires clunking away on the wooden floorboards. It sounded like a distant rumble of thunder as I listened from the kitchen.

His older sister’s quiet ways echoed to me from a past that seemed so recent. She had filled her days with drawing and reading and painting outside on the easel. The days of play dough and peanut butter sandwiches had turned into a rush of classwork, recitals, scout trips, and college applications in just the blink of an eye. My heart felt wistful and sad.

Life was moving me into a new season. Today the letting go was hard and seemed to grow bigger.

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How to Claim 7 Verses That Will Equip You for Life!

It is a common misconception that praying for ourselves is a selfish thing to do. Join me in overcoming that lie from the enemy as we learn how to claim 7 verses that will equip us for living! {FREE PRINTABLES!}

How do you feel when you think about praying for yourself?

As women, I think we often see the importance of praying for others. We pray for our children, our husbands, our family, our friends, our difficult situations. But what often happens when we think about praying for ourselves?

We believe that we are being selfish.

Why is that?

*Maybe we feel there are so many other needs that are so much more important than our own, so praying for ourself takes away from praying for others.
*Maybe we feel that if we pray for ourselves, we are being ungrateful to God. He has done so much for us already. How could we ask for more?
*Maybe we feel as if we are not trusting God if we pray for our own concerns and needs. He has a plan for us, right? Asking for things for ourselves may sometimes make us feel as if we are taking matters into our hands rather than trusting Him.

These are all common thought process we have, especially those of us who deal with perfectionism. Perfectionism has a myriad of ways of keeping us from taking care of ourselves in a healthy manner. But let’s see what we can do to get beyond what perfect says we should do and instead, let’s focus on what the Bible says.

Read more to find out more and to learn how to pray 7 verses that will equip you for life! {FREE PRINTABLES!}

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Unlock the Power of Praise in Your Prayer Life!

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your prayer life? It could be praise and worship. Read to learn more about unlocking the power of praise in your prayer life! {FREE PRINTABLES!}

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your prayer life? I have. I was praying for others, asking for forgiveness, and being thankful, but it seemed like something just wasn’t quite right.

After some searching, I discovered that praise was a missing aspect in my prayer life. When I began adding in praise to my prayer time, an amazing thing happened. I began to have an entirely different focus that really impacted my thought processes for the better.

Praising God is a perspective-changer. There’s no doubt about it!

There are many ways to praise God which are as various and unique as the individuality He has created in all of us. But no matter how we do it, we’ll find that at the core of praising God is recognizing and thinking about His character. When we do this, some very important things begin to happen.

Praise invites His presence.
Praise forces us to take our eyes off ourselves.
Praise helps us understand who God is.
Understanding His character gives us hope helps bring peace.
When we understand Who God is, we find our true identity.
Praise makes the enemy flee!

Last week we studied 2 Peter 1:3 which tells us that God gives us everything we need to live a godly life. He equips us in all areas, including our prayer lives!

If we take a look at what follows (2 Peter 1:4) we gain another valuable insight about prayer. Click below to discover more! {FREE PRINTABLES TOO!}

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Wildflowers in the Garden – Guest Interview

oin me as I take a walk with my friend, Sarah, in the garden. We’ll talk about spiritual lessons to be learned from the wildflowers.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned in a garden, even in the gardens that you don’t plant yourself.

I hope you will join me today as I meet up with my friend, Sarah Geringer. Sarah is doing a series on her blog called Meeting God in the Garden. Sarah and I both love flower gardens, and today the two of us will be talking together about spiritual lessons we can take away from a walk in a wildflower garden. You can find links to her website where you can read the interview when you click READ MORE below!

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