The Kingdom of the Journey {Guest Post}

A big thank you to all of the contributors that have helped give me a bit of a break this summer!

The Kingdom of the Journey

Sharing the journey #testimony #journey #allergies #trust #jesus @gosdchicki
Just before my husband and I got engaged, we went to a Christian conference at the time (Soul Survivor UK) and there was a fantastic talk on “The kingdom of now and not yet” which we took great comfort in, especially as my father-in-law was very ill at the time.
 
The talk encouraged us that God’s will will be done. That when we seek and petition Him with our prayers He always answers, whether we hear and see a yes or a no, or a not yet. He is invested in our situation and His will will be done in our lives and our healing, even if that manifests as a “not yet” because His healing can come in death when we join Him. He always gives an answer, even if it’s not the one we want or expect.
 
We took comfort in this when we lost my father-in-law, we took comfort in this when we had our eldest son and then when I was hospitalised because my gallbladder ruptured. We have continued to take comfort in this with the trials and tribulations life has thrown at us.
 
When we had our second son his health was never quite right, from irregular stools from 4 days old, to eczema following his vaccinations which turned out to be symptomatic of an immune hypersensitivity triggered and exacerbated by them. This began a challenging voyage into identifying why his immune system was haywire, and how we could support his healing. Then came identifying the dozens upon dozens of food and environmental triggers that can causing anything from flushing to anaphylaxis.
 
There are few things in life as scary as holding your 18m old in your arms as their lips turn blue because of respiratory distress, triggered by a dust-mite allergy.
 
Before that reaction we had felt God speak to us as a family and assure us that this would not be to the death, but for the journey.
 
Though, when your child is being starved of oxygen before your eyes the fears slip in…
 
…what if I misunderstood God.
 
…what if our journey includes caring for a child that is neurological or otherwise damaged from oxygen deprivation?
 
We don’t know what our journey’s will hold. But we can trust in God.
 
For we know He works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
 
Which brings me back to the kingdom of the journey…
 
God has gifted us with free will, and the responsibility of stewardship of the dominion He has put us in. As a global scale we have neglected and abused this responsibility, now our collective health is suffering.
 
We live in a world plagued by illnesses, autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions and mental health disorders, cancers and so much more. Our bodies don’t function in the way they should because our environment, stressors, medications and nutrition have manipulated our genetic expression to make us more prone to being ill. We have entered the first generation that predict children won’t live as long as their parents.
 
This is not progress.
 
So, it’s our responsibility to bring the kingdom in our journeys.
 
People share testimonies all the time of salvation and healing, which – Hallelujah – is worth rejoicing over; BUT we need to bring our testimonies of the journey.
 
That salvation isn’t the end of our transformation, that miraculous healing isn’t the only kind worth talking about. We need to share our lives testimony. Through the ups and downs, battles with the normative practices that have played such a huge role in the condition of our world and health. We need to bring God’s glory back and rejoice in His kingdom where we are.
 
Be the change you want to see in the world, is a cliche for a reason. But we are called to lead by example, in our faith, which should include our stewardship of our health and our environment both close to us and on a global scale.
 
The Kingdom of the journey, to me, is trusting God’s will and plan for our lives, because even though miracles do happen, the bigger witness can be to bring glory and healing through the trials and stewardship of our lives.
LillieWHiteLillie blogs over at TED Mamas. One mums experience, discoveries and intrigues through a Total Elimination Diet, allergies, breastfeeding and parenting her little joys.
You can also connect with her on  Facebook.

Don't Judge Someone Based on One Piece of Their Puzzle {Guest Post}

A big thank you to the contributors that have helped to make this summer break possible!

Don’t Judge Someone Based on One Piece of Their Puzzle

We do not always see the big picture. #grace #bible #jesus #scripture #bigpicture @godschicki @herarms_strong
Someone just told my husband they’re worried about me because it seems like my child is my whole life, and my two-year-old child is so attached to me.

My automatic response was to defend myself. “Nuh uh! I go out with my friends for girls night. There’s date night. I have my own hobbies…blah blah blah.” The defensiveness came from a place of hurt and anger that I was being judged by only one piece of my puzzle this person sees.

Here’s the thing about judgment: We all do it. Judgement is simply looking at an incomplete picture of a person and their life and filling in the blank spaces with our own ideas and assumptions. It’s not fair. Chances are the assumptions we make are largely clouded by our own baggage, and that means those pieces of the puzzle we’re filling in are probably wrong. Even if we get a piece of the puzzle right, we’re still missing twenty other pieces that fit together and impact every other piece to create a full picture.

This person’s judgment is fueled by concern, so I understand why she said something. And she’s partially right. I do spend every day with my kiddo. We’re pretty inseparable, even down to the fact that my son needs to nap in my arms, he still breastfeeds, I post about our adventures together online all the time, and we plan to homeschool.

But this person is missing a lot of pieces. Like the fact that it brings me deep joy to spend time with my son since a struggle with infertility left me doubting I’d ever get to have a child. She’s missing how much peace breastfeeding brings us both because it’s a nifty comforting tool in the tumultuous toddler years full of wild emotions. She doesn’t see that sleeping in my arms brings him the best sleep, which means I get quality me-time to write, read, or watch Netflix. She doesn’t see that I catalog our adventures online because it’s the easiest way for me to keep track of precious pictures. She doesn’t know that my motivation for homeschooling is to give my son the most freedom to follow his own interests and passions. And she doesn’t see me going out with my friends, out to date nights, or working on passion projects that are just for me.

After I got past my defensiveness, I realized a few things.

1. I’m not ashamed that my child is “my whole world” or that he’s so attached to me. Family is big in our family. We’re tight-knit, always there for each other. I want to raise my son to appreciate and love family too. I can’t imagine withholding affection, comfort, love, time…and for what? Societal expectations? Nah, I’m good. We follow a unique path.

2. It’s not my job to defend myself or our lifestyle. Every family is different. Clearly, this person does “family” a little differently, or she wouldn’t feel this concern and make these judgments. And that’s okay! Her family culture is hers, and my family culture is mine. God is my defender, so I don’t have to defend myself. We can just live our lives and appreciate differences.

3. I judge other people too. Like I said earlier, we all do. Storytelling is a passion of mine, so it’s in my writerly nature to fill in the blanks when it comes to character thoughts, backgrounds, and motives. But I carry those tendencies into real life and fill in the blank pieces of real people’s puzzles. That’s not fair of me. It doesn’t bring peace. Judging like this actually causes me a lot of anxiety because I bring my own insecurities into their picture and assume they’re thinking the worst of me.

It all needs to stop. I need to stop judging you. And I hope you will stop judging me. Instead, let’s celebrate and appreciate the pieces of the puzzle we do see. Let’s take everyone at face value–trust a little more. If we wonder about something, instead of filling in the blank ourselves, we can ask! Ask that person what they mean. Ask why they do things this way. Or if we’re not comfortable asking, it’s okay to be comfortable with mystery. We don’t need to know every puzzle piece to see the beauty in a person’s picture.

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’

“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

-Romans 14:1-13

My note:  We are called to help keep our brothers and sisters accountable, but it needs to be a matter of prayer, and founded in Scripture. This is not judging, God does that. When the Spirit leads, we should follow in a gentle reminder.
This is about giving grace to people, because we do not always see this big picture.



JessieMullins

Jessie Mullins blogs about gentle parenting, crunchy living, and faith on Her Arms Are Strong. She’s married to her middle/highschool sweetheart, and together they have a son. This trio loves to spend time with family, thrift shop, and explore nature.
You can also connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
 
 

Slayed Yet Vindicated {Guest Post}

Thank you so very much to those that contributed to make this summer break possible!
Slayed Yet Vindicated
This morning as I was doing my devotion I was reading the daily My Utmost for
His Highest and what Oswald Chambers had written really penetrated my heart.
Encouragement for when your are going through the refiner's fire. #encouragement #bible #job #refining #toughtimes #hardtimes @godschicki
I mean, I still find myself drowning in amazement at how what he wrote can so perfectly fit into our everyday lives. He had used Job as an example in his writing this morning and to be honest, it made me want to read the book of Job from beginning to end. (I don’t even know if I have done that before.)
I am just so quick to complain when things may get hard or when life brings me to a crossroad and I am left to decide one thing or another.
Poor me, having to make tough decisions and poor me when the wi-fi is down
or I have no phone service.
And God knows it is a tragedy when my blonde is attributing those brassy penny colored hues.
But seriously, who has been there before?
When not only the day or week but the whole month, maybe half the year seems to not
be going our way!
The first thing I know I don’t do is praise the Lord. That’s for certain.
Because why would I?!
My life is literally falling apart!! Right?
Haha. So, so wrong, my beautiful friend. Our lives are simply falling into place.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

Job 13:15

Though it may feel like the Lord has a chisel on our lives and is constantly pounding at
that chisel, will you choose to trust Him still?
Is He the same God you learned about as a child that would never leave you, never let anything “bad” happen to you, the God who loves you this big? (Opening your arms as wide as they can go.) Yes, yes He is and He will always be.
I will be the first to admit that this is something I struggle with every single day.
Whether it’s because my life seems like it will never come intact, I will never
lose that weight, I won’t succeed, I am not a good mother or simply because I see
another mom who looks like they have it all together even though she has 10 kids. Ha.
Because we all know those are fiery darts straight from hell that the enemy endlessly
shoots our way.
Whatever it is that may be slaying you at the moment, let God have His way.
Trust in the stretching and uncomfortable straining you might feel right now
because soon, He is going to release you just like an arrow in an archers’ bow.
God sees the ultimate target and He is doing what is necessary to get us there.
So please, whoever you are, wherever you may be, whatever you may be feeling:
DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT WAVER. PERSEVERE.
Trust in the God you could never even doubt when you were a child. Trust….in the God who is bigger than the universe. He’s got you. He’s got me. He even has those who you may be praying for.

“See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated.”

Job 13:18

Bianca WIlliamsBianca Williams is a mother of 2 handsome boys and wife to an amazing husband, Chance. “If you were to describe to me the life I have now when I was in high school I would have literally died from laughing so hard. But that is what makes this life worth living. The fact that God can take who we were and turn us into who He has created us to be. I started writing as a form of venting and it was not until recently that I began to Blog and share what God was placing on my heart with others. I am nowhere near where I believe God can take me but that is what my Blog is about. Simply being Beautifully Unfinished. I hope that you remember that when you feel like throwing in the towel or when you just don’t think you can take one more ounce of pain. Christ is right beside you ready to endure all that you go through. Step by Step. Love you all and hope you have a blessed day.”
You can connect with her through her blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
 

Biblical Encouragement For Weary Moms

A big thank you to all of the contributors that made this summer break possible!

How to Find Encouragement in the Bible, Weary Mom

How to find encouragement in the Word when you are weary #bible #mom #encouragement #weary @godschicki @juliealoos
Parenting kids is hard.
When I was newly married, older and wiser adults told me numerous times to enjoy the time alone with my spouse for as long as I could. Their comments were met with rolled eyes or the tuning out of words.
But now as a parent, I’ve come to the realization that they were right.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, and I love being a mom, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
Honestly, it’s the hardest and most challenging job I have ever had. It requires nights, weekends and little to no time off.
Momma, are you weary like I am? Do you pour out into the lives of littles and then wonder if you’re doing anything right?
Maybe a child acts in a way that makes you shudder or says something that breaks your heart, and you collapse into tears. Surely, you feel like you’re the worst mom ever.
Sometimes our kids like to play into our guilt and shame us by reminding us how “So and So’s parents” never make mistakes or aren’t mean. Our kids can really pack a punch on the days when we are already feeling low.
Momma, I’ve been there on numerous occasions. You are not alone, and succumbing to those feelings is normal, but moms, you need to rise up and put your faith in the Lord.

God Never Grows Weary So Ask Him For Strength

God has had every reason to give up on us. Can you imagine how hard His job is?
He tells us how to live and what rules to follow, and we mess it up every day (I mean every few minutes).
However, we know that God never grows weary and that His love isn’t based on conditions.
So on those really hard days when you want to give your pink slip, let’s remember what God does for us.
When we blow up at our husbands, God nudges us to show love and ask forgiveness.
On the days we grump at God and ask Him why our lives turned out this way, He sends extra measures of His love.
When we tarnish His reputation, God extends His mercy to us.
God never grows weary with us and has promised to supply us with new grace, mercy, energy, and love when we are struggling as moms.

5 Bible Verses to Center Our Prayers on When We’re Weary

 I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.

Psalm 62:1, NLT

 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalm 4:8, NLT

 

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

Psalm 46:1, NLT

 For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.”

Jeremiah 31:25, NLT

 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Isaiah 40:29, NLT

How to Pray Using these Scriptures on Days When We’re Weary

When our child acts out, we can ask God to give us the power and wisdom to understand how to discipline and ask Him to grant us the strength to persevere in the discipline.
When our child makes a mistake after being warned, we can ask God to be our refuge and to help us both in this time of trouble.
If our child does something that tarnishes our title as mom, we can confidently know that God will give us victory in some aspect. (Maybe growing in our faith and trusting more in Him as we parent).
Here’s the truth, we aren’t alone in parenting. It doesn’t all depend on us especially when we are Christian. We have the Lord of the Universe on our side, He is hoping that we ask Him for wisdom, help, protection and every need that He can supply us.
Because we know He is on our side, we can seek Him in greater ways on those days when we weary knowing in full confidence, He will uplift us and give us the provisions to parent our kids.
“We must never despair; our situation has been compromising before, and it has changed for the better; so I trust it will again. If difficulties arise, we must put forth new exertion and proportion our efforts to the exigencies of the times.”- George Washington
JulieLoos
 
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 18 years. She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes. You can connect with her on her blog, FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
 
 
You can also check out my series on Scriptures for Weary and Overwhelmed moms in these posts:
Renewing Your Mind | Scriptures for Weary & Overwhelmed Moms | Verses For When Trials Come
 

Viewing People As God Does {Guest Post}

A big thanks to all of the lovely contributors that helped make this summer break possible!

Viewing People As God Does

One evening, while standing on top of a parking deck, I was prompted to look all around at the bustling people of downtown Greensboro. Office buildings, cars driving by, people waiting for the bus. There are people everywhere. I don’t know them, they don’t know me. But there they are, going about their business.
I began to wonder at the thought of how many people there were – and potentially could be – within my limited line of vision.
I was asked, “How do we view people?”
How do we view those around us? Especially the lost? #evangelism #Christian #Bible #jesus #jesustotheworld #saltandlight @godschicki
This thought struck a chord.
Oftentimes we view people (especially those with whom we aren’t familiar) through a lens of physical judgment. We base our opinions of people – and, therefore, our levels of appreciation and respect – on what they look, dress, sound, or act like. We narrow-minded humans can only seem to value others based on our view of them. We are quick to judge and to label.
This particular evening, I was inspired to view people in a much deeper sense.
I viewed each person I could see (and those in office buildings, I imagined) through God-lenses. I wondered what thoughts were going through their mind, what emotions they were feeling, and if they had joyful or broken hearts. What they were dealing with and what they were working towards. Heartbreakingly so, the question of the destination of their souls arose.
“Every name has a soul, every soul has a name.” –Dr. Jim Stagg
When we view people through our sinful lenses, they become worth what we feel they are worth. We often feel this way ourselves. We find our worth in what other people see in us – not who God created us to be.
So, how do we view ourselves?
Feeling valued plays an extensive role in our lives. People have started to find their value, worth, purpose, and identity in what they have accomplished in life, and what people say about them. We tend to find our worth in our title and job description. Those who attend college identify as students. Those who are parents identify as parents. Those who work in the corporate world identify with their job position – secretary, CEO, etc.
We find our worth in how good we are. Straight A student vs. a student who scrapes by on C’s. Those of us with a larger paycheck vs those who work a number of part-time jobs. How many followers we have on social media or the number of likes we get on our content.
This logic that we use to define our worth is flawed and misguided, a tool used by the enemy, Satan.
The Bible has a lot to say about our worth in Christ! Maybe you feel like you’re a mistake, or you know someone who does. But, my friends, if you feel you are a mistake, then you are saying that God has made a mistake – which is impossible!

“For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.  Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.”

-Psalm 139:13, 14

If you’re afraid that this is outdated because it’s in the Old Testament, I must caution you against that dangerous kind of thinking.
However, your worth is talked about in the New Testament, as well.

“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

-Luke 12:6, 7

Everyone has been made uniquely and with purpose in God’s eyes. Everyone has a soul. Everyone matters. You don’t matter because of the words I am telling you, you matter because of the sacrifice that was made for you by Jesus Christ on the Cross. I do not have all the answers about for what purpose God created you, aside from for His glory.
Imagine, we have been created in the image of God, the One who is perfect! He made you, every curve, dimple, and mole. Embrace who you are in Christ!
You may think you are worthless because of your past. But, take heart!

“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

–Romans 3:23

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!

-2 Corinthians 5:17

 
But if no one tells the lost and lonely about the Good News, then how will they find their true worth? They will remain searching, hopelessly, among the dead-ends of this world. A relationship that is abusive, where they remain because they feel no one else could “love” them. Addicted to alcohol or drugs, because they think it will take them outside of their tormented minds – but only temporarily. Working themselves into the ground, for their mind is set on promotions and their income determines their value as a human being.
Maybe they feel worthless because they are different from other people around them. What they see in the media as being “ideal”, they strive for. A worldly interpretation of perfection that is wildly in and of itself, imperfect.
Who knows, they could have come in contact with Christians who made them feel as if they were not good enough for church, or even Jesus. There was a church who turned their back on someone in their time of need. There was someone who proclaimed loudly that they were a Christian, yet they didn’t treat others with love and respect. Or they didn’t tell someone about the Good News and the love of Jesus because they were different from them.
How can the lost and lonely find their true worth in Jesus, if we treat them so differently? If we treat them like they aren’t good enough for Christ?
Jesus is for everyone. He is for you, He is for me. He is for every color, every age, every background. He has the power to change hearts, we do not. So why do we try to change people before they meet Jesus? If it is such a turnoff to the Gospel, why do we persist so aggressively?
Changing people is not our job.
Showing them the Good News through our words, lifestyles, and attitudes, is.
How do you view people?

Acts 10:34 – “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism.”

The context of this verse is extremely important in our understanding this issue of God favoring one person over the other.
This verse is a quote from Peter, a Jew and one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. During this time period, the Jews still held onto the mindset of being God’s chosen people – which they were – but that God was only for them. When Jesus walked the earth as 100% God and 100% man, He paved the way for the new mindset: God, and therefore the Gospel, is for everyone. Jew or Gentile. Peter was learning this lesson on a day filled with visions from the Lord, an officer in the Roman Army named Cornelius, and God breaking down the barriers of nationality. It was not only natural for a Jew to dislike a Roman officer, but even against traditional Jewish custom!
Cornelius was a leader, a God-fearing man, and a Gentile. He had an obvious respect and fear of God, but he didn’t have the Gospel – the Good News. God used Cornelius in Peter’s life, to break down the aforementioned barriers, and He used Peter in Cornelius’ life to tell him the Good News.
The whole story can be found in Acts chapter 10!
I challenge you today to view people differently. To view them as individuals who are different, fearfully and wonderfully made, and in need of Jesus.
SarahRichardsonBorn and raised in a small, southern town, Sarah loves calling North Carolina home. Saved by Grace, and passionate about helping others find boldness. Though she is often at home working on her blog, she enjoys exploring new places – England is next on the list! Flannels, coffee, mountains, and deep conversations are essentials.
You can connect with her through her blog, FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.
 
My note:
Ephesians 2:10 is also a great verse on our worth in Christ:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

Joy & Sorrow {Guest Post}

Thank you very much to each of the contributors that have helped give me a bit of a break this summer!

Joy & Sorrow

Joy & Sorrow {Guest Post} #joy #sorrow #mourning #gladness #hope @godschicki
Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash
It was September 18, 2008 – my freshman year of Bible college – and I was driving two hours to Syracuse, NY to say my last goodbyes to the man who would become my father-in-law (though he did not live long enough for me to call him that in person). I don’t remember the trip to the hospital but I do remember walking into the room. I remember seeing this man I loved so much in the last moments of his life. I remember how loud the hospital seemed. I thought the whole world ought to be weeping. Didn’t they know who they were losing?! I remember the quiet sight of my mother-in-law as she told her beloved he could go, they would be ok, he didn’t have to fight anymore. I remember feeling like he waited for me to get there. I remember the doctor coming in and shutting off the machines. I remember the surreal feeling of stepping onto the elevator. It all seemed wrong. He should be with us. I learned a lot about sorrow in those days.
 
Sometimes sorrow settles for a while deep in the crevices of our hearts. It finds a home and makes itself comfortable. People hurt us, our own sin threatens to undo us, financial struggles fill us with anxiety, sickness and death come knocking at the door of a loved one’s life, and sadness creeps over us and remains. Life moves forward but the sorrow hangs in the air like a curtain separating us from the rest of the world.
 
On the other hand, sometimes joy is unexplainably beautiful. It comes in waves filled with gratefulness. Friendships are made or restored, babies are born, our income exceeds our need, health is revitalized and enjoyed, people are saved from their sin, and the joy feels tangible. It seems as though the whole world should jump for joy with us.
 
Two and half years after that awful day in the hospital, I married that man’s son and the joy hung thick in the air so that we could almost slice it. A snowstorm swirled outside but we were safe and warm, surrounded by dear ones, and making the most joy-filled covenant of my life.
 
Most of us have experienced both utter joy and sorrow. I have felt the amazing joy of answered prayer, real soul-deep friendship, a snowy white wedding day, and the birth of my two children. I have also felt the very tangible sorrow of grief, chronic illness, a broken heart, and a familial betrayal.
 
When sorrow and sadness take over my life, my temptation is to dwell on the pain and challenge of my circumstances and allow my heart to grow bitter and angry. When joy and happiness swoop in, my temptation is to find contentment in the circumstances I feel I have acquired for myself and allow pride to gain a foothold in my heart. Both are wrong.
 
Both sorrow and joy are supposed to make me long for home with Christ where everything will be restored. Pain will be taken away, death will no longer reign, friendships won’t face an uphill battle against miscommunication and misunderstanding, and familial ties will be written in the blood of Christ which is stronger than any bond on Earth. Heaven will be glorious.
 
Sorrow, like the sour taste of a beautiful lemon, reveals the utter inadequacy of everything that is beautiful here. It is all stained by sin and groaning to be made new. Joy, like a commercial for ice cream, is supposed to make me long for the lasting peace that can only come when I am home in Heaven with Christ.
 
Nothing here can fully satisfy. Sorrow reminds us of that. But a day is coming when our hearts will be resting fully for eternity and joy reminds us of that.
 
Sorrow and joy mingle together in this life, with the ultimate purpose of making me love, worship, and long for the presence of Christ eternally. It is my challenge now to not to be satisfied in the joy and not dismayed by the sorrow but to look to Christ with anxious expectation for a day that is coming when my joy will be eternal and my sorrow a distant memory.
 
And, won’t that be a glorious day? When all the saints from history will join together in one song, proclaiming the excellency of Christ. And our praise will be all the more amazing because we have experienced those heartbreaking sorrows that drew our hearts on Earth. And we will think how gracious it was for God to give us a tiny foretaste of this beauty through the joys He bestowed on us.
 
May we never think that this world is all there is. When we face joy, may our pride never cut us off from reality. When we face sorrow, may we look with longing for the day that will be so far greater than our earthly realities. And may we proclaim with the apostle John, “Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
KatieDeckert
Katie is a wife, homeschooling mom to littles, and writer from New York. She spends her days perpetually picking up toys and opening the door to her home. She blogs at Hospitable Homemaker where she discusses the joys and stresses of hospitality, homemaking, adoption, and the Christian life.
You can connect with her through Facebook and Pinterest as well.

When Anxiety Threatens Your Personal Peace {Guest Post}

A big thank you to all of the contributors this summer!

When Anxiety Threatens Your Personal Peace

{Guest post} How I deal with anxiety from a Christian perspective. #anxiety #help #peace @godschicki @tammykennington

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

It waits in the shadow of thoughts; sitting real and large on my chest like a rock pressing sharp edges into earth’s soft soil. Settling into tender places until the pressure builds and the corners of my heart fracture enough to allow tears to seep through and thin shocks of electricity shoot down my arms into the tips of each finger–seeking release.
I’ve been managing anxiety well for years, but its risen from dormancy the last several weeks. I’m not terribly surprised. For a short time, my husband was hospitalized. A colleague threatened suicide. A dear one is battling against the stronghold of depression. And the only evidence now of a long-time canine companion is a small pink collar and unused dog dish.
Unwelcome, apprehension greets me in the morning and whispers in my ear as I lay my head on the pillow at night.
You should have done something for her today. Why didn’t you call him? What if he doesn’t know how important he is to you? To God?
I gather the thoughts and then release them in prayers.
This sort of battle resides in the mind, but is as real as any visible enemy. For some, its roots may have sprung from a biological bent toward mental illness. A lack of feel-good chemical production. Others may have suffered trauma or loss. Perhaps a loss so overwhelming that is seems to grow uncontrolled and ever-larger–like a nightmarish beanstalk in a child’s fairy tale.
Friend, when we feel impossibly small as we hack away at anxiety–burdened by the hard of circumstance or overwhelmed by worry, remember that Christ conquered every power. Every principality. Every plot to separate us from Him. In His name we can stand against the lies of the enemy, denying satan the right to shift worship from Christ to concern.
Pray against worry. Pronounce Christ’s truth over yourself. And, cling to His promises.

Action Steps to Help When You are Anxious

P-When assaulted by an anxious thought, immediately pray against it. Renounce it as powerless in the name of Christ. (John 14:13)
R–Remind yourself of God’s promises. Memorize scriptures you can pray back to Him when you’re struggling. (James 4:8)
A–Ask others to pray with and for you. (James 5:16)
I-Develop intentional habits to help ward off anxiety. These might include daily Bible reading and meditation, regular exercise, and eating well. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
S-If anxiety becomes part of your day-to-day struggle,seek help from a counselor or doctor. (Proverbs 12:15)
E-Press into God, enduring with patience and hope for He will bless you. (James 1:12)
Blessings,
Tammy
TammyK
Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, education workshop presenter, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them.
You can connect with Tammy through her blog, Facebook,  or Twitter.
 
 
 
 

Learning to Make the Changes You Need to Live Intentionally

A big thank you to all of the contributors that have helped make this summer break possible!

Learning to Make the Changes You Need to Live Intentionally

Intentional living is so important, but it does not always come naturally. Do you need to make some of these changes? #intentionalliving #intentional #makeitcount #memories #makingmemories @godschicki @HeartsHomeward
 
Long before they coined the phrase, “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out), I lived with a feeling I had to say yes to everything that came my way.  One day, while I was in graduate school with an important part of my thesis needing to be completed, I stood at the edge of the ocean.
My boyfriend at the time (who eventually became my husband) had invited me to join him and a group of our friends to play volleyball.  Knowing I had to finish my homework, I had a nagging feeling in my mind. As I stood there staring across the water, I realized I rarely, if ever, said “no” to invitations, requests or opportunities.
It dawned on me that I couldn’t bear the thought that life was going on somewhere else while I was busy doing something mundane like writing a paper, doing laundry or cleaning my home.  I had to be in the center of the action.
As if that weren’t debilitating enough, I had this unnatural need to help others when they were in trouble.  Your need was my need. Compound that with a healthy dose of perfectionism and I was one of the busiest girls in town.  

Running on Empty

In those days people used to comment on my capacity to juggle so many things.  I took those observations as compliments. I felt I was living a full life and making the most of the time God had given me.  It never occurred to me that an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and the attending perfectionism were actually the opposite of what God wanted for my life.  
Ultimately, no one was built to go, go, go.  The side effects of my frenetic lifestyle started to pile up.  I lived with a nagging feeling that I was constantly forgetting something.  I often stayed up too late trying to catch up. That meant sleep deprivation which made me lean on caffeine to make up for exhaustion.  My mood was edgy. I didn’t feel the peace of God. Instead I felt the panic of an overwhelmed life. As Lysa TerKeurst says in her book, “The Best Yes,” we can live with overwhelmed lives and underwhelmed hearts.  

Through the Back Door

God wants us to learn our limitations, to choose wisely and to depend upon Him.  He also calls us to incorporate rest into the rhythm of our lives. In my misguided busy lifestyle, I almost missed the intentional life God planned for me all along.  
Awareness that we are drowning in our own self-created mire doesn’t instantly result in a turn-around in our choices.  God had a plan, though. One summer, a group of friends asked me to lead a summer Bible study. The book they had chosen was called, “Beating Busyness,” by NavPress.  Through that study and the weeks I spent with the group, I learned to evaluate why I said “yes” all the time. I learned how Jesus made decisions. Most of all, God planted hundreds of little seeds showing me how He intended for me to live a more slow paced, intentional and abundant life.  
God brought my most needed lesson by asking me to serve a group of women.  He knew I wouldn’t seek practical knowledge without Him ambushing me at that point in my life.  God meets us where we are to bring us where He plans for us to go.

From Amateur to Advisor

Since the year I taught that first summer Bible Study, I’ve made a hobby of reading books and blogs on slowing down, rest, and learning to choose according to God’s call.  I also taught that study four more summers. What can I say? I’m a slow learner. I’ve practiced and failed and learned some more how to balance the multiple demands of my life.  I’ve discovered the gift of that evasive and powerful word, “no.”
The life I live now no longer resembles that of my former frenzied self.  Rather than dashing out of bed, breathless before the day begins, I wake up ten minutes before I need to get out of bed most mornings so I can enjoy snuggling the covers.  I spend time reading the Word and praying and then I look over plans for the day.
I know my primary goals for each season because I plan things out prayerfully for each 90 day segment of my life.  I live one day at a time with assurance and dependence upon God for guidance. My life is full as every mom’s is. I simply know my limitations and priorities now.  
I have taken my hard-earned lessons and started writing a blog six years ago about motherhood and intentional living.  I even began coaching others in time management. Me! The girl who always took on more than she could handle until life had her in a choke hold.  I now help others learn how to cut back, assess their limitations and focus on what matters most. I’m even in the process of writing a book and an online course to bless moms with all the knowledge I’ve acquired and practiced.  Can you believe it?
My transformation shows how God moves.  He takes the Sauls of this world and makes them Pauls.  It’s what He does. He’ll do it for you too. If you are swamped in the overwhelm of your life, know you don’t have to live this way forever.  No matter the season of your motherhood or the number of commitments you have said, “yes” to, God can help you find your way through to the abundant, yet slower, life He intends you to live.  
Patty ScottPatty writes to inspire and empower moms to love intentionally and make room for what matters most. She’s been married to her surfer/skater husband for over 20 years. They have two boys and a home full of neighbor kids most days. Patty’s life was transformed by Jesus. One of her deepest passions is walking with women as they heal and grow into greater intimacy with God.
You can connect with her through her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Verses for Overwhelmed & Weary Moms

Scriptures For Overwhelmed and Weary Moms

Overwhelmed and weary. I think every mom, if she is honest, will admit being there at some point. Days that we need to be reminded of the joy that we can have. Days where His grace is enough.
With three little 5 and under, and one on the way, I often find myself there. “One of those days” and “the struggle is real” can usually describe a few days each week. Especially the last week. The Tough Day Playlist has played a lot lately.
On those days, I have to remember to get in the Word.  To renew my mind. The make sure that I am getting drunk in the Spirit. When Satan wants to get you down, scripture is a great way to combat him. When Satan was tempting Jesus in the desert, Jesus-THE WORD, used the Word of God to counter Satan’s use of scripture.

Verses to use on days when you are feeling overwhelmed and/or weary. #weary #wornout #tired #overwhelmed #bible #jesus #biblestudy #motherhood @godschicki

Here Are Some To Put In Your Arsenal (Emphasis Mine)

Renewing Your Mind

Earlier this week I share about how important this is (especially for moms) in the first post of this series, Renewing Your Mind, please take a minute to check it out!

Peace and Rest

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. ”
Matthew 11:28

Nothing compares to the rest that is found in Christ.

  The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

The peace that Jesus gives is not what we think of as peace. It is not necessarily the absence of conflict, but a peace that passes understanding because we know who is in control.

 A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House. A Psalm of David. I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.  O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.  O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.  For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:1-5

 

  Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.  He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.  Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,  Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:28-31

We must rely on the Lord and His strength, His power. He gives us exactly what we need.

  But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your loving kindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 59:16

When we start out the day with praise, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Remembering God’s loving kindness is a great way to start the day.

 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

This goes to both peace and rest and trials, but remembering that in Him we have peace is important.

  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Remembering that He is always with us is such a comfort!

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

In our lives, we have our plans. God’s plans do not always match those plans. Remembering that, ultimately, He is in controls is a source of peace.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Remembering the joy that we can have in Christ is another source of peace that we have.

 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.”
Isaiah 43:2

Another great reminder that God is with us. We are in His hand.

 Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people And will have compassion on His afflicted.
Isaiah 49:13

We serve a compassionate God, one that comforts His people! What a reason to rejoice!

 For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

Remembering to run to our Daddy for refuge and strength is important.

 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2

Our help comes from the Lord who made the universe, from nothing! What more do we need?

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6

He will not fail, nor forsake you. You are in His hand.

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My loving kindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10

No matter what we go through, God’s loving kindness and covenant of peace will not be shaken.

 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”
John 7:37

Jesus truly gives the living waters that satisfy our souls. When we are satisfied in Him, it makes things much more bearable.

 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;  and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Rom 8:26-28

There is such peace in knowing that all things-all things– work together for the good of those who love God! And that even when we do not have the words to pray in our hard times, that we have the Spirit who intercedes for us.

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

We are loved. We have eternal comfort. We have good hope. We can comfort and strengthen our hearts in every good work and word.

Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
2 Thessalonians 3:16

In every circumstance. It is not going to be easy. Jesus warned that in this world we will have troubles.

 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8

Drawing near to God is so important for peace and rest.

 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

I shared Monday how important thanksgiving and gratitude are in our lives and to renewing our minds. It makes it much easier to let Christ’s peace (which is not like the world’s peace), rule our hearts.

  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Often when this verse is quoted the emphasis is on “I can”, and not “Him who”. It is only through Him that we can do things, especially hard things.

 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:6-10

Taking our worries and problems to God should be our first action, not our last resort. He cares how you are feeling. About your well-being.
Living like we have an enemy after us is important. He is serious, and will do what he can to get us distracted and off track.
God will use this for your good, and will strengthen you.

 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. …  Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
1 John 3:1, 13

How great is His love!
Sometimes our trials are not everyday things, but externally sourced. It is important to remember that we are not promised an easy road.

 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

Greater is He that is in you than He who is in the world! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in you!

 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;  we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10

If we did everything effortlessly, if everything ran smoothly and we could do it all, where would the room for Christ to shine and show His power be?
Afflicted, not crushed; perplexed, not despairing; persecuted, not forsaken; struck down, not destroyed…
We must daily die to self so that Jesus can be manifested in our bodies.

  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

We should take courage in being weak, when we cannot do it all, for then it is a chance for Christ to dwell in us. There are days when His grace is enough.

 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,  and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.  We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.  Rejoice always;  pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:11-18

I feel like this is motherhood in a nut shell…Encouraging, building up, praising good done, living in peace with one another, admonishing the unruly, helping the weak, being patient, seeing that no one repays evil for evil, seeking the best good.
It does say be patient with everyone…no qualifiers given. I admit readily that I struggle with that sometimes…especially when it is the 100th time I have told someone to do something….but then how many times does God have to tell me something? How many times has He been patient with me?
Rejoice….always! In everything give thanks….it is not always easy.
When we have a constant, prayerful connection it is much easier to have a joyful spirit and give thanks, even in the hard times…

 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

God has prepared these good works for us to walk in. He crafted you for a specific purpose. Put you where you are for a reason. Chosen you as the mother of you children, as the spouse for your husband.

 Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

Waiting is hard, but being still, really taking time to acknowledge Him as Lord of your life is important. We can take courage in the fact that we are not God.

 From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

I have always found the psalms so encouraging. Many times when I do not know what to pray I will read then, and usually I find something that expresses perfectly how I feel.

 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk They have hidden a trap for me.
Psalm 142:3

Even when we are overwhelmed, God knows our path. Even when we cannot see it, He does. That is such a source of peace and comfort for me.

   The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
Psalm 28:7

We must rely on Him for strength and protection. When our heart fully trust Him, it is a tremendous comfort.

 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Colossians 3:23-24

Remembering why we serve is key. When we focus on Him, the overwhelm begins to fade.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,  and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;  in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints
Ephesians 6:10-18

Preparing for daily spiritual warfare that goes on is one thing that helps defeat overwhelm. When we are prepared for the attack we are not blind sided, it gives us footing against overwhelm.
Remembering that our battle is not against flesh and blood is a big thing.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

Satan wants nothing more than to destroy us and have us give up. Doing good, fulfilling your calling as a wife and mother is not always easy. Do not lose heart dear one!
I hope these verses have encouraged you! What verses do you like to turn to when you are weary and overwhelmed?

The Quiet Homemaker

Verses for Overwhelmed & Weary Moms

Scriptures For Overwhelmed and Weary Moms

Overwhelmed and weary. I think every mom, if she is honest, will admit being there at some point. Days that we need to be reminded of the joy that we can have. Days where His grace is enough.
With three little 5 and under, and one on the way, I often find myself there. “One of those days” and “the struggle is real” can usually describe a few days each week. Especially the last week. The Tough Day Playlist has played a lot lately.
On those days, I have to remember to get in the Word.  To renew my mind. The make sure that I am getting drunk in the Spirit. When Satan wants to get you down, scripture is a great way to combat him. When Satan was tempting Jesus in the desert, Jesus-THE WORD, used the Word of God to counter Satan’s use of scripture.

Verses to use on days when you are feeling overwhelmed and/or weary. #weary #wornout #tired #overwhelmed #bible #jesus #biblestudy #motherhood @godschicki

Here Are Some To Put In Your Arsenal (Emphasis Mine)

Renewing Your Mind

Earlier this week I share about how important this is (especially for moms) in the first post of this series, Renewing Your Mind, please take a minute to check it out!

Peace and Rest

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. ”
Matthew 11:28

Nothing compares to the rest that is found in Christ.

  The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

The peace that Jesus gives is not what we think of as peace. It is not necessarily the absence of conflict, but a peace that passes understanding because we know who is in control.

 A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House. A Psalm of David. I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.  O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.  O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.  For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:1-5

 

  Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.  He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.  Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,  Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:28-31

We must rely on the Lord and His strength, His power. He gives us exactly what we need.

  But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your loving kindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 59:16

When we start out the day with praise, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Remembering God’s loving kindness is a great way to start the day.

 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

This goes to both peace and rest and trials, but remembering that in Him we have peace is important.

  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Remembering that He is always with us is such a comfort!

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

In our lives, we have our plans. God’s plans do not always match those plans. Remembering that, ultimately, He is in controls is a source of peace.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Remembering the joy that we can have in Christ is another source of peace that we have.

 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.”
Isaiah 43:2

Another great reminder that God is with us. We are in His hand.

 Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people And will have compassion on His afflicted.
Isaiah 49:13

We serve a compassionate God, one that comforts His people! What a reason to rejoice!

 For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

Remembering to run to our Daddy for refuge and strength is important.

 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2

Our help comes from the Lord who made the universe, from nothing! What more do we need?

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6

He will not fail, nor forsake you. You are in His hand.

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My loving kindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10

No matter what we go through, God’s loving kindness and covenant of peace will not be shaken.

 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”
John 7:37

Jesus truly gives the living waters that satisfy our souls. When we are satisfied in Him, it makes things much more bearable.

 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;  and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Rom 8:26-28

There is such peace in knowing that all things-all things– work together for the good of those who love God! And that even when we do not have the words to pray in our hard times, that we have the Spirit who intercedes for us.

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

We are loved. We have eternal comfort. We have good hope. We can comfort and strengthen our hearts in every good work and word.

Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
2 Thessalonians 3:16

In every circumstance. It is not going to be easy. Jesus warned that in this world we will have troubles.

 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8

Drawing near to God is so important for peace and rest.

 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

I shared Monday how important thanksgiving and gratitude are in our lives and to renewing our minds. It makes it much easier to let Christ’s peace (which is not like the world’s peace), rule our hearts.

  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Often when this verse is quoted the emphasis is on “I can”, and not “Him who”. It is only through Him that we can do things, especially hard things.

 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:6-10

Taking our worries and problems to God should be our first action, not our last resort. He cares how you are feeling. About your well-being.
Living like we have an enemy after us is important. He is serious, and will do what he can to get us distracted and off track.
God will use this for your good, and will strengthen you.

 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. …  Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
1 John 3:1, 13

How great is His love!
Sometimes our trials are not everyday things, but externally sourced. It is important to remember that we are not promised an easy road.

 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

Greater is He that is in you than He who is in the world! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in you!

 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;  we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10

If we did everything effortlessly, if everything ran smoothly and we could do it all, where would the room for Christ to shine and show His power be?
Afflicted, not crushed; perplexed, not despairing; persecuted, not forsaken; struck down, not destroyed…
We must daily die to self so that Jesus can be manifested in our bodies.

  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

We should take courage in being weak, when we cannot do it all, for then it is a chance for Christ to dwell in us. There are days when His grace is enough.

 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,  and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.  We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.  Rejoice always;  pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:11-18

I feel like this is motherhood in a nut shell…Encouraging, building up, praising good done, living in peace with one another, admonishing the unruly, helping the weak, being patient, seeing that no one repays evil for evil, seeking the best good.
It does say be patient with everyone…no qualifiers given. I admit readily that I struggle with that sometimes…especially when it is the 100th time I have told someone to do something….but then how many times does God have to tell me something? How many times has He been patient with me?
Rejoice….always! In everything give thanks….it is not always easy.
When we have a constant, prayerful connection it is much easier to have a joyful spirit and give thanks, even in the hard times…

 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

God has prepared these good works for us to walk in. He crafted you for a specific purpose. Put you where you are for a reason. Chosen you as the mother of you children, as the spouse for your husband.

 Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

Waiting is hard, but being still, really taking time to acknowledge Him as Lord of your life is important. We can take courage in the fact that we are not God.

 From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

I have always found the psalms so encouraging. Many times when I do not know what to pray I will read then, and usually I find something that expresses perfectly how I feel.

 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk They have hidden a trap for me.
Psalm 142:3

Even when we are overwhelmed, God knows our path. Even when we cannot see it, He does. That is such a source of peace and comfort for me.

   The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
Psalm 28:7

We must rely on Him for strength and protection. When our heart fully trust Him, it is a tremendous comfort.

 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Colossians 3:23-24

Remembering why we serve is key. When we focus on Him, the overwhelm begins to fade.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,  and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;  in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints
Ephesians 6:10-18

Preparing for daily spiritual warfare that goes on is one thing that helps defeat overwhelm. When we are prepared for the attack we are not blind sided, it gives us footing against overwhelm.
Remembering that our battle is not against flesh and blood is a big thing.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

Satan wants nothing more than to destroy us and have us give up. Doing good, fulfilling your calling as a wife and mother is not always easy. Do not lose heart dear one!
I hope these verses have encouraged you! What verses do you like to turn to when you are weary and overwhelmed?

The Quiet Homemaker