A New Kind of Peace

There’s a peace waiting just for you. It’s so full and rich and beyond what you can imagine. Join me today to find out more.

I sat in the stillness of the early morning with a new kind of peace. It came from deep inside, quiet, strong and sure.

It was a long time coming, this new kind of peace. It had always been there waiting for me, but every time it tried to come out of its hiding place, it was beaten back into the recesses of my heart by an enemy bent on blinding me to it.

My new kind of peace was strong though. It was patient and knew how to wait for me. My new kind of peace never gave up and was steady, not changing with the ebb and flow of my emotions. My new kind of peace understood me better than I understood myself. And it accepted the other one and felt their pain. My new kind of peace was not mine at all. It was His.

It was all about my identity.

Over the years I had found my identity in all sorts of things, good grades, awards and activities, my jobs, my relationships, being a wife and mother, and sadly, even in my mistakes and failures. The ups and downs associated with any of those things tended to dictate my level of peace and happiness. The truth was, the messiness of the ebb and flow of my emotions left me feeling at a loss most of the time. And very much far away from the peace I was seeking.

But that fact was conveniently folded away like an unnecessary piece of paperwork, tucked away into a sliver of a place where my heart could not dwell on it but always felt its presence. I didn’t want anyone to know. And it weighed on me.

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Dispelling the Myths About Perfectionists, Guest Post by Maree Dee

Do you know a perfectionist? Do you struggle with perfectionism yourself? Read this post by my friend, Maree Dee, to discover some interesting insights about perfectionism.

Today, I have a guest post for you from my friend, Maree Dee. Maree graciously allowed me to repost an article named “Dispelling the Myths about Perfectionism” which she originally published on her blog, embracingtheunexpected.com.

Perfectionism comes in many forms. It can be complex and hard to understand. This article brings out some qualities or characteristics that are found in some people who struggle with perfectionism. Reading Maree’s insights might help you understand a friend or family member or maybe even yourself. If I had read a list like this a long time ago, I may have seen my own perfectionistic tendencies a lot sooner. Perfectionism hides well, but it’s all around us. I’m very appreciative to Maree for this excellent article and the perspectives she shares!

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How to Handle Unrealistic Expectations in Your Prayer Life

Do you feel frustrated or disillusioned in your prayer life? These very real experiences can sometimes be traced back to unrealistic expectations. Join us today as we look at three very common prayer life expectations through the lens of some truths from God’s Word.

Great things happen when we pray. It’s our open door to knowing God better and being in a close relationship with Him.

But what about those times when prayer doesn’t seem to be working? Maybe you feel frustrated in your prayer life. You might wonder if God is listening. Maybe you’ve asked yourself if prayer is really worth all the effort. Perhaps you feel disappointed because God does not seem to be answering.

These are very real experiences. I think I could safely say that nearly all of us have these kinds of struggles in some form or fashion in our prayer lives. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it is very important to evaluate why you might be feeling these things.

Join us today as we look at three very common prayer life expectations through the lens of some truths from God’s Word.

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How to Handle Unrealistic Expectations – Part 2, Letting Go

Do you have trouble letting go of unrealistic expectations? Read more for some truths from God’s Word that will help you let go and find peace.

“Sometimes we just have to let go of our expectations and let God work!”

I read this text from my friend, Natasha, and I thought, “It’s true, isn’t it?” Our expectations can sometimes get in the way of God’s work.

Do you have trouble letting go of unrealistic expectations? Do you wish you could find more contentment in life? Read more for some truths from God’s Word that will help you let go and find peace.

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A Grace that Defines

Perfectionism can make it hard to receive His grace, and this issue holds us back in ways we often don’t see. Read to find out more.

We’ve been talking about grace for the past few weeks.

• We’ve talked about how God’s grace was available for us before the foundation of the world.
• We’ve talked about how God gives us grace each day in just the right amount for what we need for that particular day.
• And we’ve talked about how grace sets us free.

Today we’ll continue or conversations about grace by looking at an insight that might help us, especially if we struggle with perfectionism.

A huge issue in perfectionism is understanding God’s grace. Our perfectionism can make it hard to receive His grace, and this issue holds us back in ways we often don’t see. Even if we do not struggle with perfectionism, this grace issue is one that many of us face at one time or another in our lives.

There can be many reasons why we find it hard to receive God’s grace, but one particular hindrance to receiving grace is the issue of our own expectations.

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A Grace that Sets You Free

There is a grace that will set you free. It’s a gift waiting for you. Read more here about what the Bible tells us about that freedom. {Free printable bookmark!}

Freedom. It’s a powerful word. It is a gift given through the most costly of circumstances.

When I think of freedom, I think of God’s grace. It’s a deep, deep love, wrapped up in a gift created for each one of us. If we will reach out and take that gift and experience the freedoms wrapped up inside it, we can move forward into a better place.

Here is what grace can do.

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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.

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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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