Show Me the Lies

This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on Opening Toward God: our part in letting God work. Go here to read the intro and find links to the additional posts. 

There are two things every Christian should remember every day:
Jesus loves me, no matter what.
Satan is shooting lies at me.

If we forget the first one, we forget our worth.

And if we forget the second one, we expose ourselves to the enemy’s attacks

Almost every time the Bible mentions Satan, he is either spouting off lies or being called a liar. Jesus said, “[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

When we follow Christ, we don’t fight a losing battle. Satan is a defeated enemy. God wins. Both now and in the end. So the key for us is to examine ourselves and expose the lies we are believing so we can speak truth over them. Where do we start?

Open the door for soul-searching
Carve out a block of uninterrupted silence where you can really think. Find something to write on. Start with prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Spit it out on paper
Whether you prefer to make lists or ramble in paragraphs, write out your recurring negative self-talk or inner feelings. Don’t analyze yet. Just empty them out. Keep going long after you think you have nothing else to vent. Don’t write like you’re going to post this on Facebook. These words are for God’s and your eyes only.

List the lies
Pick apart what you wrote. Do you initially recognize anything as contrary to God’s Word? For example, maybe you wrote “I feel like nobody loves me,” or “I feel completely alone.” Those feelings directly contradict what God says. He loves us. He is always with us. So you could write down “Lie: Nobody loves me. I’m completely alone.” But maybe you have to dig deeper. Maybe you wrote (like me), “I just can’t find or make the time to spend with Jesus. My kids wear me out too much.” So what is it you’re really saying? The lie I recognized in my situation was, “Sleep is more important than time with Jesus.”

Root out the root
Every lie begins somewhere: words spoken to us, how we see our circumstances, expectations placed on us. Dig deep for the root and pull it out. For the lie about sleep versus time with Jesus, I realized that I love sleep, I hate being tired, and that growing up I resented being expected to get up early. Maybe you feel like a failure because you’ve never been able to live up to your parents’ expectations. Maybe you feel ugly because of what someone told you in junior high.

elizabeth cravillion opening toward god letting spirit work lies truthFind the truth
Once you’ve identified the lie, search for the truth in God’s Word. Most importantly, ask God to show you truth in his word. He will speak his living Word into the deep needs of your heart. Then practically, look for verses that address your struggle. You might need to use a tool like the Bible Gateway concordance or an online topical Bible search. Or ask someone else who knows the Bible well. The truth I needed is that God is my rest (Matthew 11:28). He is my hiding place and my shield – more than sleep. I hope in his word (Psalm 119:114).

Claim the truth
Speak the truth over the lies. “I need God’s Word more than I need sleep. He is my hiding place. He will give me rest. I have all I need for life and godliness in HIM, not in getting enough sleep.” Then act on it. Let the Spirit of God change you as you believe his Word. As I committed to starting my morning every day in God’s word I began to believe the truth more. God proved to me that he really can be my resting place.

Fighting the good fight of faith takes strategy. It’s hard work, but God’s Spirit shows us what we need to know. He both reveals the lies and speaks the truth. We only need to give him space and permission to speak.

Plant Seeds to Grow Roots

I woke up this morning to gray skies and lingering raindrops on my pots of chrysanthemums on the porch. The giant maple tree across the street is getting that golden glow again and soon its leaves will pile up in the street. Fall has arrived and it makes me happy down to my bones. Coziness abounds.

As we played outside this morning in our hoodies, though, and I dumped out some dead plants from their pots, I realized that I’m thankful for the seasons changing this year because I’m ready to leave the past few months behind. Last summer I struggled with my health and didn’t even consider gardening. This summer, being stronger, I ached to make something grow and start to design garden spaces in our city yard.

A neighbor gave me a basket full of flower seeds and I dug out some old kitchen drawers in need of being reused for something. I filled those up with soil and hopefully planted marigolds and zinnias. I hoped to create a cute, rustic garden space. Well, the drawers got stuck onto a table near the garage and stayed there all summer. The plants grew but rather poorly. Spindly little stems with tiny flowers. Not at all what I envisioned. All summer I meant to do something more with them but never did. And there they sat, a discouraging lump of sad little flower boxes, half-dead for most of 4 months. Can someone say “guilt trip” every time I stepped outside? So believe me it felt good to dump out the dead plants.

img_9915We like to dream about the coziness of beauty of fall, but how often do we think about the endings that come with the season? My 4-year-old cried when we took the dying stem of his sunflower out of its pot. “It’s all my fault! I didn’t water it!” No, buddy, it’s how God designed sunflowers. They grow, they bloom, and they die. It’s all the season of life.

Some seasons are full to overflowing with goodness. We think nothing of them as they come and go. Some seasons ache with hardship and we breathe deeply in relief as they pass. Some seasons leave us feeling satisfied with all we got done. And other seasons we shake off with all the regrets they leave behind.

Solomon, the wisest man on earth, wrote in Ecclesiastes these words that may be some of my favorites from God’s Word:

What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. Ecclesiastes 3:9-13img_9923

“People cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” I’m not going to lie, I sure like the productive, happy seasons of wholeness better than the ones that prompt me to ask why, or what went wrong. But maybe that’s because I can’t see what God is doing in those long ones.

Mothering three children has brought more challenges than I ever expected. So much goes else undone as I do the good work of training them and caring for their needs. Trimming back dead flowers that didn’t live up to their full potential feels so good because with them go the unnecessary feelings of guilt over my [lack of] gardening this year. It’s okay that my vintage flower garden didn’t exist this summer. It’s okay that my herbs grew voraciously and I never got around to preserving them this year. It’s okay that I only have mums planted in pots and not in the ground, where I wish they were. I’ve been planting other seeds. Seeds of love that are growing roots down deep in the hearts of my children so that they grow fruit when those seasons come.

img_9919This isn’t a post about mothering. I could be writing this about my writing. I could be writing it about ministry. Or sickness. Or anything. Seasons are out of our control, really. They are part of the ebb and flow of life. In each one I get to release my will and say, “Whatever you want, God. I’m here to follow you. Show me the way.”

“God has made everything beautiful for its own time.”

Today, whatever our season, let’s plant seeds to grow roots.

Off with the Old, On with the New

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would turn myself into a morning person who could function on about 5 1/2 hours of sleep. Helpful in this season of motherhood. Or I would erase my emotions’ ability to go from 0-60 in 0.5 seconds flat. Helpful in all of life.

A friend of mine, a fitness coach, uses her social media to challenge people to eat well and work out to care for their bodies. More than anything, as I scroll through her feed, she reminds me that everything we do comes from a choice. Our choice. We can stay where we are, or we can choose to grow stronger.

And not just physically, but also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, every day we get to choose our direction.

Will we continue to disappoint ourselves by staying stuck in mental habits we want to shake? Will we try to handle life on our own or let God have control? Will we let life happen to us or will we overcome? Are we going to believe the truth of God’s word over the lies in our head?

Lately I’ve felt prompted to share some of the practical side of my journey toward self-discipline in a 4-part series addressing mental habits that drag us down spiritually. This series is for you if you want to change but don’t know how to begin. It’s for you if you’re discouraged because you can’t see God working in your life. And it’s for you if you are wondering how following Christ makes a difference in a person’s everyday life.

elizabeth cravillion opening toward god letting spirit work
Paul wrote in the book of Ephesians:

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

The longer I walk with Christ, the more he peels back my inner layers. I think one issue is resolved, like my struggle with anxiety, then five years later, it rears its head again in a new way. So God pulls back that layer to show me new steps to following his design for me more closely.

I stumble when I think there is anything good within me. There isn’t. Deep in my core, the natural side of Elizabeth craves self-worship, self-satisfaction, self-pleasure. But that’s not the new me. I am created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. So the old woman has to go. My hands have to let go of their grip on what I want.

I can’t do this alone. I heard this recently spoken this way: Christ is the only one who can live the Christian life. It’s his life, and it’s our job to let him live it through us. As Paul stated it – “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” The Spirit does the work. We get to let him do it.

I can look at myself and be discouraged by how I continue to fail. I can look around and be defeated by the brokenness of the world around me. Or I can rest on the fact that God is working. It is his work: in me and in the world. And all he asks for is my willingness to let him work in and through me.

This series will include
Show me the Lies
No Longer a Victim
Not Holding on Anymore
Never Going Back to Perfect

Just two things for today

Sometimes it’s just one phrase God gives you that you take with both hands and repeat. One truth or two that gets you through the next meeting, the next conflict, the next effort to get out of bed.

Life is this crazy kaleidoscope of the good, the hard, the beautiful, the brokenness. One day you’re texting your sister that things are great, you’ve got a date night coming up and the kids actually slept half an hour later, and the next day you’re crying, texting your mom to pray because your back pain has flared up again and you can’t get out of bed. Maybe one day you’re afraid you’re on the brink of losing your job because of layoffs but the next your friend calls you with an opening in their business they would like to offer you, doing what you love.

If life is anything, it’s unpredictable. So when I sat on my porch yesterday to talk to Jesus watching the rain with my never-stop-wiggling 10-month-old, this verse caught me:
God has declared one principle;
two principles I have heard:
God is strong,
and you, O Lorddemonstrate loyal love. (Psalm 62:11-12)

Two things, you guys. God is strong and God is always showing loyal love. Two things, and they are all about God. Not me. Not my family. Not the church.

In all honesty, things have been hard in our home lately. Starting a new work position comes with all kinds of challenges that are not a surprise, and definitely not unique to my situation. And it’s fall, the beginning of a new semester, with schedule changes and commitments stacking up. And then in the middle of a simple exercise, I strained a muscle in my lower back. It’s taken upwards of 4 hours every morning this week to feel strong enough to walk around inside my house.

god-is-strongWeakness. Vulnerability. Frustration. Bigness. Those are the first words to pop into my head describing our past few weeks. So I cling to God’s truth. He is strong. And he shows off his loyal love. I can be weak. That doesn’t matter, because he is strong. I am learning how to serve in a new capacity. While that goes on, his love covers my mistakes, my struggles, and even my sin.

So back to him I come with my prayers, my thanks, and my needs. He’s there waiting. 

The Story Behind Fresh Out of Amazing [Guest Post]

Have you ever opened a book and felt like you were sitting across the kitchen table from a best friend sharing their heart with you? When I read Hope for the Weary Mom, that happened. I knew when I closed that book, I wanted to know the authors better. When one of those dear women, Stacey Thacker, started writing her second book, Fresh Out of Amazing, I was thrilled with the opportunity to get to know her better. I’m so excited to have her answering some interview questions here about her new book and the vital part God’s Word plays in her daily life.

  1. How would you summarize your journey to the spot where you felt “fresh out of amazing”?

    I think I’ve spent years weaving in and out of feeling fresh out of amazing. I have felt it deeply at different times in my life. I jokingly tell people I’m practically a professional at feeling this way! That being said, when God began the journey of writing through this all too common feeling in my life there were a few specific things that marked my journey.

    The first time I wrote the actual words on my blog I was buried in every way as a weary mom. My youngest daughter at the age of two had not been a good sleeper and my older girls were needing me to help them with very important school projects. My husband was also traveling and we had a hurricane on the way. My heart finally broke wide open on the floor in the middle of a 2-3 loads of clean laundry. I told the Lord I felt like I needed to be amazing and I was fresh out of amazing. At this point, after we had a nice tearful chat, the Lord prompted me to write about it. I wasn’t sure that was a good idea, but I did it anyway. From that blog post God has birthed ”Hope for the Weary Mom” and also Fresh Out of Amazing.
    When I started working through the specific message of this particular book, it was right after my dad passed away suddenly. So part of my story, and you definitely can read about it in the book, is walking with Christ through grief and loss.

    stacey thacker elizabeth cravillion fresh out of amazing god's word daily life

  2. What motivated you to write this particular book, especially after writing Hope for the Weary Mom, also about depending on Jesus?

    Fresh Out of Amazing and Hope for the Weary Mom are different books, but I like to think of them as friends. The work God began in my life through “Hope” was necessary and I will always be grateful for what God did in my heart.  I still preach HOPE over my life daily. The new book is a continued, deeper work for me. I like to compare it to buying a fixer upper house. Sometimes you can see work right away that needs to be completed. You need to add a new roof and paint the exterior of a falling down house. But once you get inside and tear down a few walls you see the foundation needs to be repoured and the electrical is out of sorts. The Hope work was obvious—I was a weary mom who needed hope. Fresh Out of Amazing was the part of the story I was still trying to hide. And God called me out and said, “You’ve come to the end of yourself. It is time for you to see me big in your life.” Even today I tear up thinking about that moment. He has been so faithful.

  3. As I was reading Fresh Out of Amazing, I loved how you retold Bible stories in such a fresh, relevant way. How did you choose which stories to include? Were they ones that had previously impacted you?

    The different Bible stories really came as a result of my interactions with my readers. They were so great to share with me their journeys as well.  I had asked them, “What is going on in your life when you feel fresh out of amazing?” They identified five key ways: Burdened and Busy, Comparison, Death of Dreams, Believing Lies, and Loss and Grief. As I sat down to pray and think through these real women who were struggling just like me, I asked God to take me to examples in His Word that would speak to their hearts. God gave me the the first four (Martha, Leah and Rachel, Hannah, and the woman at the well).  My editor, Kathleen, suggested adding Naomi for the chapter on grief. I found my passion in writing through their stories. Of course, I could visualize the flannel graphs from years of Sunday School as a child, that probably helped too!

  4. What keeps you coming back to God’s Word, even on days it’s harder to make the time to do it?

    God’s Word is living and active—truly it is. It is the only thing in my life that can cut through fear, grief, lies, and the busyness of my days. I have realized it is the tool God will consistently use to resurrect and revive my heart. I don’t have time every day to dig as deep as I’d like, sometimes I just have five minutes while I drink my first cup of coffee. Still, it is the one place I can be sure of God will meet me and the truth is I need that more than I need sleep these days. I keep coming back to it because I need instruction, I need truth, I need my hope stirred up, and I need to receive that living water that he pours out as I draw near to him in the pages of his Word.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You can find Stacey’s book wherever books are sold. I picked mine up at Amazon. I ordered five copies because I knew I would be sticking one in the church library and handing the others out to friends. I’m already re-reading it. Thanks, Stacey, for sharing with us today.

    stacey thacker elizabeth cravillion fresh out of amazing god's word daily life

Needing a Refill…of Jesus [Book Review]

 

“When was the last time you exhaled the craziness of life and sat before the Lord in silent adoration? Isn’t it unbelievable to think that, of all we could say to and do for the Lord, sometimes he just wants our silent presence with him?”
Fresh Out of Amazing, Stacey Thacker

Often I am more about getting something out of my time in the Word with God than I am about worshiping him for his own sake. I feel like a starving person just trying to get crumbs down my throat in the two minutes of snatched quiet time I get while the kids are watching Curious George than the person who can sit and relish a decadent dish of food and appreciate the chef who created it.

We talk so much in the church about spending time with God that it starts to feel cliché. But I find the only time it seems that way is actually when it’s not a constant part of my life. When I let my unsatiable hunger drive me to meet God in his word, I realize only the enemy wants me to think that precious time is a cliché.

fresh out of amazing stacey thacker elizabeth cravillion book review

There are two kinds of people. One who gives you advice, solicited or not, and one who lives and shares their story in a way that makes you say, “I want some of that.” I’ve read a lot of books and the ones that linger with me are the ones written by the second kind of person.

God used Fresh Out of Amazing to really work in my heart. The author, Stacey Thacker, gets real and raw about God’s work in her heart, peeling back the layers to show her how much she needed him. I knew before I read this book that I was tired and worn down, but I didn’t realize just how empty I truly was. My kids weren’t the only things wearing me down. Grief, disappointment, trials, comparison…so many things I’d been shoving under the rug were also affecting me. This book helped me peel back my layers, too.

What I realized most as I turned the pages was that Stacey let the struggles she faced drive her to God, and that made all the difference. That was how she could go so far as to write a book about being “fresh out of amazing”! Only meeting God in the stillness to pour out her heart, to listen, to worship, and to be silent could shape her.

This is what I want. And this book snapped the final barrier keeping me from pushing through all the interruptions to spend time with God. If you need encouragement, if you want to go deeper with God, if you are struggling to make it from your first cup of coffee to your pillow at night, pick up this book and be spurred on to depend on Christ. Find it on Amazon, or wherever books are sold.

God’s Word Speaking


she speaks 2016 elizabeth cravillion lindsey smith god's word
My cell phone vibrates on the table beside me. It’s 6:00 AM…my three little people will be getting up anywhere in the next 30-45 minutes but instead of letting their hands tugging on my blanket be what jolts me out of sleep, I’m choosing to get up and start my day before them. As a blogger who writes about the value of God’s Word, I feel like I shouldn’t type this next sentence. This is the first time in 5 years I’ve habitually started my day on purpose with Jesus.

I won’t rattle off excuses about struggling with this. I’ll just say that motherhood has been harder than I ever dreamed and I haven’t been finding my rest in Jesus like I know I can.

This isn’t about keeping rules. It’s not “to be a good Christian girl I’d better be reading my Bible every day!” Nope. It’s about knowing that only Jesus can fill me with joy and make me strong to face the challenges life throws at me.

A year ago, I retweeted something from Proverbs 31 Ministries for a chance to win a ticket to the annual She Speaks conference in Concord, NC for writers, speakers and leaders. And I won. Say, what?? At that time I was 6 months pregnant with my third child and had no idea how getting from Iowa to North Carolina would even be possible. But I was thrilled, and just waited to see what God would do.

God worked out every single detail of traveling and expenses and at the end of July I hopped on a plane, leaving my kids with my husband and mother-in-law and took off for a weekend of truth.

God has been quietly drawing me back to his word for a couple of years now. Books, podcasts, personal pain and frustration, this blog, whispers in the night… As my kids have been sleeping more at night, I’ve gotten stronger and I knew I was at a place where committing to daily time with God again was next.

she speaks 2016 elizabeth cravillion shaun a niequiest god's wordAnd from the moment I stepped into the conference rooms at Embassy Suites God’s Spirit invited me back to his Word. Woman after woman shared truth from the Bible reminding me that God’s Word has power and that I have all I need for life and godliness in Jesus Christ and his Word.

Can I confess something else? In many ways I stopped reading the Bible every morning because it stopped making sense. How could sacrificing sleep as a baby momma ever make sense? When I have no mental energy, how could picking up a book to study make more sense than mindlessly escaping to social media?

But God spoke so clearly to me at She Speaks: faith doesn’t always make sense. My brain screams, “Do this! Do that! Accomplish! Survive!” but God invites, “Come meet me in the silence and let me speak truth and peace into your soul.” That is the way of life. God designed me to live fully depending on him.

At She Speaks, Glynnis Whitwer said, “Study scripture for yourself, not primarily to teach it.” Yes. I need to pursue God for myself. Be filled with his truth and let it transform me before I can minister to anyone else in any way.

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Wendy Blight reminded me, “Teaching God’s Word is a high calling.” Every day I get to show up and say, “God, what do you have for me to do today?” If I’m not seeking him daily, I won’t be hearing his voice and won’t know what it is he’s calling me to obey.

God met a need I didn’t know I had through a conference I barely knew existed a year ago, in just the context that thrilled my soul. He is good.

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Salvation Before Jesus Died: the OT in Short

“How can I be saved?” A man asked Paul. His answer? “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). This is how we, in the age of the church, understand salvation. We follow Jesus.

So reading the Old Testament seems like jumping into a time machine. It’s like trying to imagine living without cell phones – how did our great-grandparents stay connected? We can’t fathom it. How did people know God before Jesus came? It feels just as foreign – or more so.

Old testament in short elizabeth cravillionThe answer actually begins with the names of the Old and New Testaments. The word “testament” means “covenant,” which is a historical term we’re not used to today. Covenants were legal agreements between allies. People would set up the stipulations of their agreement, and then each party would bring an animal from their herd and sacrifice them together as a visible sign of your agreement. Different variations of covenants existed but with similar patterns.

From the beginning of time, God chose to connect with mankind through various covenants. Most prominently, he made one with people before Christ, the “Old” Testament (covenant), defining how they would relate to him.

God gave Israel his law, recorded in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. He gave them many specific instructions about life all summed up in two big ones: Love him and love others. In return he promised to be their God, provide for their needs and give them abundant life. Those were the stipulations of their salvation agreement.

To seal the agreement, Israel sacrificed animals yearly. Why death? Why animals? Because God’s law also states that when people break the law, they cannot be forgiven unless blood is shed. Sinning separates man from God. Only death can pay for a broken agreement between God and man. We could physically die immediately when we sin, but we’d be dead by the time we reached our toddler years. God never wanted people to be separated from him, so he set up a system of substitution to save us.

God planned for Jesus to be the ultimate substitute. But until the time was right for Jesus to step into history, God wanted his people to think of animals as the substitute for their sins. When people sacrificed animals in the Old Testament, it was like they were using a debit card. Jesus’ future sacrifice was the money in the bank, so to speak, and by sacrificing animals, people swiped their card in faith that God would send a Savior to once and for all save them from their sins.

Every story in the Old Testament in some way points to Jesus. Israel waited for centuries to see God’s promised Deliverer to arrive. In the meantime, they obeyed his laws as much as they could, but ultimately their faith in God’s promise saved them. Paul wrote in Romans that God gave us the law to show us how on our own we struggle to keep our end of the agreement and need a savior. Today our Savior has come and we look back to how he died and rose again and believe he saves us. Before he came, people waited eagerly for his coming to save them.

salvation before jesus died elizabeth cravillion old testament covenantJesus told his disciples at the last supper, before his death, that he was establishing a New Covenant with them. His blood was the sign of the new promise. Animals would no longer need to be sacrificed because Jesus was going to become the once and for all substitute for sin. Hebrews 8:13 says that the new covenant makes the old one obsolete.

Think about it: if the blood of bulls or of goats, or the sprinkling of ashes from a heifer, restores the defiled to bodily cleanliness and wholeness; then how much more powerful is the blood of the Anointed One, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself as a spotless sacrifice to God, purifying your conscience from the dead things of the world to the service of the living God?

This is why Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant: through His death, He delivered us from the sins that we had built up under the first covenant, and His death has made it possible for all who are called to receive God’s promised inheritance.
Hebrews 9:13-15 The Voice

From beginning to end, our salvation has always come by faith in God. God started it, God worked it out, and God finishes it. We simply believe and follow him.

Finding Hope in God’s Word {Book Review}

What does life in the trenches look like for you? What keeps you away from quality time with God in his word? As a mom, sleepless nights, screaming kids and dirty dishes are my excuse. I often feel worn down and defeated more days than I feel content and joyful.

For months God’s Spirit had been speaking to me: come spend time with me and be filled with my presence. And I’ve been doing that, one small step at a time.

When I first became a mom I discovered an early edition of the book Hope for the Weary Mom by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin. I devoured it. I bought it for my closest mom friends. Recently the authors wrote a new edition that I highly recommend as well, full of wonderful, practical words about going to Jesus for hope in our motherhood messes. So when I saw that they had written a devotional for moms, I snatched it up. I needed daily soul food!

hope for the weary mom devotional  elizabeth cravillion This Hope for the Weary Mom Devotional takes you from just knowing, “There’s someone else who is just as tired as I am!” and “Yes, Jesus is the answer,” to drawing your heart in toward the heart of God. Instead of walking away and forgetting what I’d read, I left with a desire for God that didn’t disappear. It convinced me that I definitely needed Jesus more than coffee.

The 40-day devotional combines relatable stories of motherhood with truths about God. Truths like “He fights for you” and “He can take your truth” and “He’s holding you together.” It focuses on simple principles from God’s word that connect with you in your motherhood.

For instance, in the chapter “He never changes,” I saw for the first time what a blessing sameness is. Stacey writes, “The monotony I dread means security, consistency, and a foundation for loving my family well.” On this truth she builds, “The sameness of Jesus is an anchor for our restless souls. I want my girls to see me clinging to that anchor. I don’t want them to have a mom who is disillusioned by a monotonous life, but grateful to have a front-row seat to the littler everyday parts of life that can either be blessings or burdens. I’m praying I will allow Jesus to be the same in me and they will see that with eyes blazing over breakfast on Monday mornings.”

I know as moms it’s easy to think “I just don’t have time to read.” But that’s not true. We can make time to feed our souls. The short chapters in this devotional take 10 minutes to read. 10 minutes while feeding the baby. 10 minutes before drifting to sleep. 10 minutes while the biscuits finish baking instead of scrubbing the dishes. 10 minutes while sitting in the pickup line at school.

Make that first step toward spending more time with Jesus by hopping over to your favorite online book retailer and snatching this book for about the cost of two Starbucks drinks.

Where could you use hope today? Share in the comments! 

Bible Study Testers Needed!

Hey all!

Last year I wrote a study on the book of James and posted most of it here on my blog. I’m looking now to make it into an ebook and need some testers. If you’d like to help me by reading through the study and offering specific feedback over the next few weeks I’d appreciate it so much. Please shoot me an email or comment on this post if you are interested and I’ll get you the text of the study asap.

Here is a sampling of the study itself.

Thanks friends!

deeper life study james bible