How did we get into April? I am loving the lilacs, lawn mower sounds, and general themes of new life and beginnings. If nothing else happens in April, I was giddy to be over March. That was a tough month full of adversity and challenges.
What made things extra hard was that they were not my challenges. Both our kids were facing things that left them hurting and asking God why. I’ve faced prayer times that I thought were difficult, but seeing their pain nearly broke me.
One night we grieved and prayed together. We asked God tough questions and requested wisdom, discernment, and direction.
Not everything has changed, but here are three things God whispered to my heart to prepare for and to apply to the challenges.
- Close the current door with grace. We had an opportunity that we knew wasn’t working. It was time to leave, but feelings were raw and the true defeated one was trying to leave us in a quake of anxiety and depression. It would be easy and tempting to walk away angry and bitter. God’s whisper was to close the door with grace. More than that, the same manner we close one door is the exact way we open the next. We definitely wanted to act wisely.
- Use your voice. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but “praying in your head” doesn’t have the power that praying out loud does. I don’t think God is looking for us to stand in the middle of a park and start talking in King James Bible translation, but when we use our voice and pray, heaven moves and hell quakes. I’ve seen it. As I prayed with the kids, that phrase kept coming back. They needed to push back fears and bring down heaven’s promises to earth with declaration. That takes a voice, and in their hard times, I believe God is developing a powerful voice to speak on His behalf.
- Hands off. They are toddler rules, but I need to hear them. It is my personality to run way ahead of God, turn around, and ask Him how I’m doing. I call it living, “Sarah, Plan B,” and it is not a lifestyle you want to emulate. Sarah ended up with an “Ishmael” of a problem. I hate seeing the kids hurt, but I’ve been around long enough in faith to know that what’s happening is a refining fire. He’s taking everything that isn’t going to work in serving Him and melting it away through affliction. What’s left is pure Him. In their hard times I’m seeing a new level of faith from them. They are pressing in, going to Him and not giving up. I can’t orchestrate that or manipulate it. I’m not going to lie, being an observer of the process was one of the hardest things I’ve come up against as a parent.
I believe with this season and God’s whispers, the kids will look back and credit the time as a spiritual marker—a time they mark as when God changed everything.
Have you gone through a searing time of adversity where God whispered to you?
FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER-A 30 Day Devotional features the characters and issues from ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, and ENGAGED to encourage you as you let go of fear, loss, change, regret and dreams. I also share my own stories where I was broken and in need of surrender. If you’ve read my contemporary romance series, you’ll be familiar with the characters and inspired. If you’re new to my writing, the devotionals will introduce you to characters and situations you can relate to. Purchase HERE.
Between the ages of 8 and 12, kids often start to wonder if Christianity is true. In Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, detective J. Warner Wallace draws readers into the thrill of high-stakes investigation by showing them how to think rather than telling them what to think. In this children’s companion to the bestselling Cold-Case Christianity, detective Wallace gets kids exicted about testing wistnesses, examining the evidenece, and investiagting the case for Christiatnity. Includeds author illustrations and links to a website (coldcasechristianityforkids.com) where kids can download activities, fill in case notes, and earn a certificate of merit. Detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity.
This is an excellent book to challenge upper elementary/tweens to find their own faith in Christ. Using mystery as a backdrop, readers gather clues, examine evidence, add “tools” to their “investigative bag,” and more.
I really enjoyed this book. I like that the authors want kids to think through the evidence and find Jesus without being told to. There are illustrations and a link to a website with more activities. J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case detective who has been featured on Dateline, Fox News, and TruTv. His expertise makes this book a real deal for kids and their quest to solve mysteries.
If you have a child between the ages of 8-12, I highly recommend Cold-Case Christianity for Kids.
I received this book from the publisher for review.
To purchase Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, click here.
Title: Download Your Free How-To Guide for Bring Your Bible to School Day
Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are recovering from Hurricane Matthew. For students in hurricane-affected states who are facing school closures but still want to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day, the alternate date is Thursday, October 20.
This brings about a good point: Any day can be a day you organize your friends to bring your Bibles to school together!
By signing up during the month of October for Bring Your Bible to School Day (even if you missed the official celebration), you can download a free how-to guide for teens, parents, pastors, and elementary students. It’s full of helpful information that will help you organize a day to take a stand for religious freedom and bring your Bible to school with your fellow classmates.
(Sign-ups must be received by midnight (MT), Oct. 7, in order to be automatically entered into the Newsboys giveaway.)
Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey
Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.
Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.
Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you’ll hear for the next few months is, “I’m bored!”? Keep reading because we have a deal for you-one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up before May 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only.
-24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
-A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
-A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.
-A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month’s episode.
-On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
-Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.
Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.
Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things:
- Learn 5 memory verses
- Get active with 5 family activities together
- Share God’s love and your faith in 5 different ways
When you commit to the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge, you’ll receive:
- A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
- Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
- “Strange Journey Back” book excerpt
- “Jones and Parker Mysteries” book excerpt
And if you loved these books be sure to put your reviews on:
Net Galley (if reviewed via ebook)
When you post your reviews on these external sites, it really helps out the author!
It’s Word Full Wednesday! This is a day where you post a verse from the Bible in order to give God glory. Images are welcome too. I can’t count the times where a verse and picture were exactly what I needed. Once your post is up link up over at the Internet Cafe. By the way, I’m at the Cafe this week serving up as your marriage barista. Visit me, won’t you?
But God, what about the money we need for…
Peace, be still.
But God, I’m so worried about…
Peace, be still.
But God, that person isn’t…
Peace, be still.
But God, my marriage…
Peace, be still.
But God, the kids…
I promised God that when I started writing no matter what I’d be transparent and honest.
Saturdays are all about my Character Confession and so here it is.
Summer vacation is days away. I think. I’ve heard 5 different versions of when the last day is. I wouldn’t care except I will be traveling almost immediately after whatever the last day is.
The doctor isn’t liking the result of a test I keep taking so off to a specialist I go. The office insists on making the appointment. Ok, I say, but make sure you don’t do it on these dates because I won’t be here. They call. Guess when the appointment is?
My son received a thick packet in the mail from Compassion. He told me last month they kept calling him during school but he wasn’t allowed to answer. I called and left a voice mail explaining he is a minor and if there is something to say, please call our numbers. No call. The thick packet makes me nervous, so I open it first. I learn his child passed away and they are allowing him the option to leave Compassion. I had the fun of explaining the situation.
Most likely because of whatever is going on with me and the test, I’m not feeling 100%. I had one medicine switched but it is too early to tell if it is helping my symptoms. Remember last week’s confession about warm? This week is starving and not sleeping.
Kids needed a talking to by dad for ignoring me and their chores. I have to stay on top of it and it’s work, but there is improvement.
As of typing this post there are no comments on my How Would You Handle It? weekly post. Last week had great responses. This week zero. I really believe this is a weekly thing I’m supposed to to.
Last minute notice on school and child social activities. I don’t do well with chaos.
I go to get hair done and the stylist remarks how she heard there was a change at the school my kids go to and do I agree with it. I offer that whenever there is transition I pray the person prospers. She isn’t thrilled with my answer. I’m nervous about the next hour.
I come home and hear my name through the window. It’s my neighbor who one minute will talk to me and then for three years won’t. She has no problem looking through my window and watching every move we make and when she did talk to me it was questioning my choices and/or running down everyone else. I believe the three year break was because she was offended when our dog ran away. That was a devastating time and thankfully the dog returned and I even made a new friend from it. But the neighbor wouldn’t respond to my hellos or waves, nothing.
Her grandson, who also isn’t a big fan of ours because I wouldn’t let my child play with him anymore, says is this your dog. The same dog escaped from our fenced in back yard. I still have no idea how she did it. I can’t find a crack that she can fit in, but it has to exist. The grandmother made it clear that she watched the dog run down two streets and nearly miss being hit three times. The glare said it all. So apparently I’ll be on another three year no speaking punishment. I feel like a failure, but I confess, a little relieved as well. Things were a lot less stressful when she ignored me.
Hubby is golfing. Youngest is sunburned and tired from field day. Oldest is wanting me to stop writing so I can take him to a party I just found out about. The dog is looking at me. I’m not sure I like my hair.
I think that fits.