Posted in Faith

Living From Rest


It is said that kids learn best if they are learning from rest.  But I have come to learn that LIFE is done best if we approach it from a position of rest.

I think it’s the world’s way to be always busy, always stressed, running from one thing to another.  Lysa TerKeurst says it well in her book, “The Best Yes”: An overwhelmed schedule is an indicator of an underwhelmed soul.

Disclosure: I do not receive compensation from the entities that I link to. I have not received anything from Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries in exchange for my recommendation. This blog is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are my own.


What does it mean to be underwhelmed? It means to lose the WOW factor of God in your life.  To be mundane and mechanical about your existence.  To feel purposeless or ineffective.  To have an “absent father” relationship with God.

Mind you I came from Florida to help with Hurricane Relief, attend court hearings, catch up on doctor’s visits and then move.  Even now I’m having to generate income to meet our new set of expenses.  God definitely provides, but I’m in no way feeling like I’m on “vacation”.

However I learned to live from a position of a rested soul.

5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalms 62:5-6 NIV

A rested soul doesn’t panic.  Doesn’t worry.  A rested soul won’t anxiously berate their family members because they are not meeting expectations.  A rested soul finds joy even in difficult times.

It means I don’t have to nag my pre-teen into reading his Bible or attending church because I know that his soul belongs to God first.  I can take my concerns about his spiritual upbringing to my prayer closet and leave it there.  And I smile as I type this now because we’ve had some very spiritual conversations and his faith is growing.

I’m free from judgment and condemnation.  All I’m worth is held by God’s scales, not mine!  So my less-than-clean house or my less-than-perfect kids aren’t a source of friction for me.  I am His, and He is mine.  We can work on the rest together and little by little.

There’s no rush to keep up with appearances.  I don’t ever worry, “What will our Pastor think?” I figure if he’s ever truly concerned he’ll call us.  Transparency is a beautiful thing.

Our prayer closet is the greatest rejuvinating source for us – more than a nap or a spa day.  It gives us the strength and the peace that supernaturally helps us overcome each situation we face.  Prayer helps us approach battles from a position of rest.  The Bible gives us the wisdom to not put ourselves in battles we weren’t meant to fight in the first place.  A solid, gospel preaching church gives a spiritual refreshing in a corporate setting.  A small group or bible study setting helps us bear each other’s burdens so we don’t feel overwhelmed and alone.

And actually resting as God has commanded us releases the tension in our bodies, clears the brain fog, slows down the adrenaline, and keeps our emotions balanced!  I don’t know why Christians feel like they are always to be “doing” something for the Lord – maybe it’s that one proverb about the ants – but we can sure be a whole truck full of Martha’s in what is supposed to be a Mary walk.

The difficulty lies in that you can’t achieve rest without boundaries.  You have to set boundaries for your energy so you don’t spend yourself in meaningless pursuits.  You have to set boundaries from your children so you can have your prayer closet time.  You have to set boundaries from friends and family when you can’t keep up with all the activities that month.  The Bible says that boundary lines fall for us in pleasant places; they are designed to be our comfort, not our restraint.

I wish I knew all this before I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Now my body is a barometer of activity and like a vehicle with a busted fuel tank, I hit my limit more often than others.  I pray these words encourage you to find your rest in Him.  Together we can tackle this life with the optimism of a three year old who had a wonderful nap!  Let us not miss out on the blessing of living with our souls rested.



Posted in Faith

Pressing In

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Confession: I have not been able to read my Bible since the beginning of this year.

I can do short verses at church on my phone.  Opening my book Bible and reading through it makes me nauseous.  The words swirl on the pages.  But it’s not just the Bible.  I walk around with this headache and blurry vision that makes reading mac and cheese boxes difficult for me.

This is a side effect of all that is going on in my physical brain. I am serotonin-negative, which is also known as clinically depressed.  I also have ADHD, which can cause random episodes of dyslexia and trouble focusing the eyes.

worshipIt is not, however, a reflection of my faith.  I could not stand firmer on God then I do at this moment.  Let me tell you, we serve a beautiful and personal God.  He is faithful to reach out to me, to captivate my attention when little else in this world does right now. He breaks through the walls caused by my physical symptoms like the kool-aid man!

When I have a difficulty seeing, I tune my ears (spiritually and physically) to listen for Him.

There was one Sunday a while ago (when we still thought we would buy a house this summer) when I was on the worship team at church, singing “Always“.  The Spirit of God showed up that day and in a way I can not explain, He brought me down to my knees in a quiet sob.

I think to most people it would’ve looked like I was distraught.  I wasn’t.  All of me was fully overwhelmed by His love and in worship.  But His Spirit was working in me to express a prayer I didn’t yet know I would need.  It came from the pit of my stomach, this brokenness, this cry for comfort and strength I wasn’t originally asking for when we first started to sing.

prayingSee, I didn’t know my mom had breast cancer, and we would be denied the pre-approval for a mortgage, or that a chiropractor had sued me and was going to levy our entire bank account clean.  I don’t think I could’ve mentally prepared for all this to happen in one week had I been warned anyways.  But when I was standing there completely dumbstruck by all this, that feeling in the pit of my stomach came back and I realized: God in His mercy had interceded for me, calling down the comfort and strength I would need while – in His providence – not revealing to me the very immediate future.

This is just one example of how God is working in my life even though the chemical imbalances in my brain make it difficult to read the instructions on a box of mac and cheese, let alone my Bible.

But I’m not excused from my responsibility to press in to the Lord.  Anxiety still starts building walls around me that suffocate me at times.  My friend Lo Tanner wrote about her experience with anxiety on her blog a while back, and God brought her very post to mind when I was having a rough time with this issue just last week.

So how do I press in?

  1. I listen to my Bible.  I listen to guided meditations based on verses.  And AFTER this I listen to worship music.  I listen to my kids studying their Bibles.  I listen to people who are praying for me and the things God laid in their heart over me. And when I have messages from God through out the day, I try to listen to them too.
  2. I pray.  There’s a whole lot of talking on my part through out the day.  It feels a lot more conversational.  I’m now “that neighbor” who stays in her car, “talking to herself” while sipping a cup of coffee at around 9am.writing
  3. I take notes.  I can’t explain why writing is easier to me than reading except it must be a different process in the brain; I’m regurgitating information and not receiving it.  But I have a journal where I write any thought that is worthy and I try to let go of thoughts that aren’t.  I also write affirmations to declare out loud daily so my brain can hear me in charge and not the other way around.  And I write this blog.

If you look around this blog, you will quickly realize that I’m not an uber-spiritual person.  I’ve talked about parenting, frustrations, weight loss, and other things too.  But if God impresses upon my heart to share a spiritual word, I have to be obedient.  It may be that as a friend you are in a season to receive the instruction to press in and perceive what God is doing in your life right now, and that may have a higher priority than other things in your life right now too.

PS. As a disclaimer I should let you know that the links which lead away from my site are not affiliate links.  I am not paid to advertise for any of these services or music, and I will not receive a dime in commission if you click on the link.  I’m just an honest Christian mom, giving credit where credit is due, and sharing the resources that are helping me in this season of my life.

Posted in Faith

Lessons From Within The Storm

I was in a situation recently where it all just felt icky and awful.  In it I was drowning in self-pity and despair! I couldn’t see my way through this or out of this.  I absolutely hate feeling stuck.

Confession: When I was about 5 years old, I was going down from the 9th floor of my grandma’s apartment via elevator with my uncle, when there was a quake that caused the elevator to malfunction, and then it dropped… and then it got stuck.  I remember my uncle injuring his arm trying to hold the doors open from within as my cousins and uncles were prying it open from the outside to get me out.

Irony would have it that about a year later I would be in Miami, FL during Hurricane Andrew (1992) spending the night in a walk-in closet with my family…

As a result, I have developed a phobia of small and tight spaces.  I’ve never let a phobia control my actions though, because I hate being manipulated by my emotions even more.  But I get uncomfortable if I feel squeezed.

And not just physically!  I hate feeling pressured, cornered, boxed in… I don’t like it when it seems others are putting me in a situation where my freedoms are restricted, I don’t like feeling tied down… and when I am, I tend to lash out.

It was precisely in this type of situation last month where I found myself really frustrated and, turning to God’s Word and prayer, came across this Scripture in Matthew 8:23-27:

“As He got into the[h] boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But He was sleeping. 25 So the disciples came and woke Him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!”

26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?—even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

stormIt struck a nerve how… odd Jesus’ response was.  Was it a lack of compassion?  Was the storm just not as bad as the disciples were making it out to be? Did He expect them to know the outcome the way He knew?

I found myself asking, “Jesus, how come You not only slept through the storm, but rebuked the disciples for waking you up?”

This is what I learned:

·        The presence of the storm does not equal the absence of God.  Likewise, God never promised us that His presence would result in the absence of storms either!

·        Jesus got in the boat first because it was the medium necessary to travel from point A to point B.  And if you want to get to point B with Jesus, the best thing for you to do is to get in the boat with Him.

·        Jesus had full confidence in the disciple’s abilities to navigate the boat through the storm.  Some of them were experienced fishermen.  He didn’t take over and start rowing, telling the disciples to move out of His way; He let them do their jobs.  Could it be that Jesus has full confidence in your ability to navigate through this storm too?

·        Jesus had taught the disciples that He was going to die on the cross.  Therefore, the disciples were expected to believe that they were going to make it to the cross!  Their panic that they would die at sea was not only a lack of belief in Jesus’ ability to care for them, but a lack of faith at His words.

I am so thankful that Jesus never told me, “Once you’re saved, you’ll never experience anxiety!”  Rather, He tells me in Philippians 4:6

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

So the lesson from the storm is to expect it, and get through it!  It is not pleasant, it is work… but you are not alone.  He is there with you.  And you are not going through the storm because of His incompetence, but rather because you are capable.  There’s something on the shore that you are uniquely equipped for!  But the only way to get there is to get in the boat!

Posted in Faith

The Roadmap Behind The Prayer Journal

The Lord answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. – Habakkuk 2:2

While I completely understand the hermeneutics behind this verse, since the day I first read it my heart has been affixed on it.


I’ve always been a writer, but over time God asked me to write down my prayers.  I went from writing down lists of things I was praying for to actually writing my prayers instead of speaking them, like a letter I was intending to send up to heaven some day.

Notebooks and journals later, I never understood quite how this system worked.  I wasn’t entirely sure it did for some things…  But this is what I have mapped over this process:

– God wanted more than a grocery bill or honey-do list.  While it’s ok to make these lists to pray over, that wasn’t what God was wanting for me when He told me to write it clearly, so that it’s easy to read. – I wrote down my emotions more than the items I was actually praying for.  I wrote down what I perceived was going on around me.  I wrote down how this prayer request was affecting what I believed about God.

I realize, looking back and reading over them, that God was always answering prayers.  It didn’t look the way I thought; but if He wasn’t doing what I asked Him to do, He was changing my heart so I could perceive His Word and His Character more clearly.

Have you read The Pilgrim’s Progress?  It’s a parable of our journey on this side of heaven.  Well my friends, writing our prayers down works like creating a road map.  I know this may sound unusual because ideally you look at maps to see where you are going, and journaling prayers seems more like a way to document where you’ve been…

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late. – Habakkuk 2:3

When you write down your prayers, you are charting the course of your future.  It’s like creating a map of where you are as you discover it, but at the same time this map shows you where you need to go next!

You are also prophetically putting down a vision that will get you to your next step in this walk with God.

Artists  sometimes use graph paper to paint a masterpiece to scale.  When a project is too big, they will draw a smaller version of it on a blue print, then create bigger squares on the wall they want to work on.  Then they copy one square at a time, from the paper to the wall.

This is how prayer journaling works!  You take a situation so much bigger than you, and you break it down to one small, manageable square at a time.  Then God recreates the masterpiece as He answers it to scale!  But you would miss that, and you’d think the wall was just haphazardly painted from left to right, if you didn’t have the blue print.

You may be thinking right now: But I’m not a writer!  And that’s ok.  Draw it out.  Write single words that describe what you’re feeling or seeing.  It could be cartoon like pictures, or photographs.  It could be in a journal or on a cork board in your bedroom wall.  Write where you are now.  Write where you want to be.  Then watch God fill in the blanks in between.

It is rumored that when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, he started on the work around the borders and left the main part in the center of the roof for last.  Reason being that he was a sculptor, not a painter, but he figured (given the task to paint a ceiling, of all things) that by the time he got the main focal point of the masterpiece, he’d be that much more skilled at it and it would be closer to perfection.  And what was that centerpiece? The finger of God reaching out to touch man, known as the “Creation of Adam”.

Posted in Faith, Fitness

Healthy Moms Pray

“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy” Spanish Proverb

Confession: I am fasting my personal Facebook Newsfeed in exchange for more prayer time and less politics.

And I have learned that, in order to maintain myself at my healthiest, I have to pray – regularly and often.  It’s not that there’s anything magical about prayer (although there is a supernatural element), it’s just that momhood is by far the most difficult thing we’ll ever do.

For all the mom-bashing and blogs on both sides of any fence, there is no manual or instruction book.  Really.  Every child is a unique combination of DNA and experiences that even within ONE household, how you parent one child may not necessarily work for the next one!

Fortunately we DO have guidance! And it’s found in God’s Word.  I cannot think of a verse to answer whether you should eat glutten free or vaccinate.  Free range versus helicopter mom? Who knows?! But the Bible gives us foundational wisdom that helps us to check our attitudes at the very depths of our being, in order to make every decision for each and every child with our hearts and minds in the very best place.

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12 HCSB

I’ve often shared that balance is the key to health and fitness.  And a healthy body cannot even be reached if your soul and your relationships are off kilter.

This is why I love Doorposts.  I’m not an affiliate with them but I have used some of their material.  I received a piece for free in exchange for a review on my blog.

I came to know about Doorposts through my Faith Homeschool Co-Op.  We have catalogs and a Mommy library, from which I borrowed some of their materials and used it for my own personal Bible Study and Devotion.

The first resource I used from them was “30 Days in Colossians 3“.  I have never devoted so much time to one chapter.  I have never done so much high lighting and notes.  But it was mind-transforming!  What I learned from this chapter planted a seed in my heart that transformed my attitude and my disposition towards my kids.  As you may already know, I homeschool, so we get on each other’s nerves during the day.  Maintaining a God-honoring attitude that allowed me to have a pleasant day with three kids AND not dive into a tub of ice cream AND set aside some time to exercise is not always easy, but it is doable if the foundation of your day – your attitude – is in the right place!

Next, they sent me a free sample of their “Love Is…” Chart and Bible Study for the family.  It goes over 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in detail.  It was DEEP!  Like, we’re still working through it and revisiting deep.

Every fragment of that verse is broken up into key points to learn about God’s character, how Jesus showed us this character trait, and what the Bible expects of us as His believers.  So if you wonder how we are still working through those three verses, it’s because every day we read about 50 verses from all over Scripture!

I also love their action points – I used them as journal entries – that got the kids thinking about how to apply it to their lives.

And when we had incidents where the kids were less than loving, there is a chart above our fish tank (crooked, I know) that we went back to in order to discuss the disciplinary issue at hand.

Many moms know that it’s difficult to carve out the time for our personal discipleship without neglecting the kids, and much like when I exercise, I try to have the kids join me in my Bible studies so that we proverbially kill two birds with one stone.  I need to study God’s Word, and they do too, might as well do it together.  Doorpost’s resources are designed to make THIS work!  They are for the homeschooling Mom who may read a small devotional in the kitchen over coffee or may have to do it while rocking a sick baby over one shoulder, or with the kiddos around you during “circle time”.  I have yet to meet a Christian publishing company that “gets it” quite like Doorpost.

Next I’m looking at the Busy Mom’s 30 Day Guide through 1 Corinthians 13.  I personally love their mom devotionals more than anything.  You can really soak it in!

The key point is, to be at our healthiest as Moms, we need to be moms who pray.  Prayer is a two-way communication with God where we talk to Him and (let’s not forget this crucial part) God talks to us through His Word.

My fitness journey began with prayer.  I had to get my heart and mind centered on the right things.  I needed to clear myself of a lot of lies.  I also needed supernatural intervention in a lot of outside areas so that I could make it.  If you want to wait for your kids, your body, your schedule, your finances, your home, your marriage and your work to just “fall into place” harmoniously before you start taking ownership of your health… Well… You will probably be sitting there a LONG time.

#Prayer gives us the courage to live with a #noexcuses attitude in regards to our #health

How do I incorporate prayer in to my diet and exercise all the while juggling all my other responsibilities as a mother? Here’s what I pray for:

  • I ask God to give me the strength to do what is important even when I’m tired.
  • I memorize Scripture to recite while I’m at a difficult point in the exercise and I want to quit.
  • I turn to worship music to fill my soul when I’m tempted to open the fridge door for comfort.
  • I drink water while I read my Bible.
  • I give to the Lord the priorities of the day, and ask Him to help the children and I cooperate so that we get the important things done.
  • I make exercise a God-honoring, important thing – right up there after reading my Bible and praying every day.

So go check Doorposts out, and take a peek at their resources.  And pray!  The beautiful thing is, the Bible says we serve a God whom we can approach confidently or boldly.  He invites us to the throne of grace for us to present our needs to Him.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time,[a] casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you. – 1 Peter 5:6-8 HCSB