Only Four Days To Exhale!

Exhale book 4 days

Hi Friends,

Happy Friday and its time to say good-bye to May!  Do you know what that means, only 4 days until the launch of Amy Carroll’s and Cheri Gregory’s book, Exhale!

Check out the website Exhale Book, while you’re there, take the “Love Who You Are Personality Quiz”.  I did and found out I’m a Connector.  More about that later.  I’d love to hear what personality type you are, share in the comments.

When you join me for the Exhale study in July we will delve deeper into the quiz and the results.

Freebies

Pre-Order today for these AMAZING Free Bonuses!

Stay tuned for more posts in the next few days as we count down to the Big Launch!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of Amy Carroll’s and Cheri Gregory’s “Exhale” Launch Team.  The opinions expressed here are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Irritable…Discontent…Restless… Help Is Not Hidden

Isaiah 46_4

Friend, It is so easy in our ever so busy lives today to get irritable, discontent, and restless, so much that we can start to spin out of control. Maybe not just start to spin but whirl like crazy.

God’s Word is living and breathing! It fills my soul and brings me peace and calm when I start to twirl and whirl in this world.  Meditating and praying Isaiah 46:4 can take me from the crazy of a Tilt-a-Whirl to a front porch swing in a matter of minutes.

Heavenly Father,

I know that you have created me and you are with me until my hair is gray, and grayer than it already is!  I have witnessed you carry me through other turmoils and I know you will carry me through today, hour by hour; minute by minute.  Father, thank you for your life sustaining Word, love, grace, and forgiveness.  I have faith that in your time, Father, you will rescue me from the whirling and twirling I am feeling right now.  In the meantime, I will keep my eyes laser focused on you.  My ears and heart open to hear your word.  And I will rise up and go on with the God assignments you have already planned for me today, living and breathing your word and truth.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

I Found Peace In My Soul Praying For My Son’s

Isaiah 43 2 3

Time really does fly by when you are having fun, well and even when you are walking in the valleys.  It was just yesterday I was eating a Jumbo Jack from Jack In The Box and two tacos in labor, ready to deliver this amazing baby boy I had waited what seemed like forever to arrive.  That was twenty-one years ago.

Now that baby boy is grown and out on his own, working and making plans to move across country,  So many days I stop to think, “This isn’t the plan I had for you sweet child twenty-one years ago.” I had plans for you to grow up and go off to college, find a beautiful girl, of course she had pledged Pi Beta Phi like your mom, and you would live happily ever after.  Christmas’ would be spent at my home, decorating the tree, listening to the sound track of “The Nut Cracker”, while smells of mulled cider and cinnamon filled the air.

But alas, God has a different plan and path.  Many days I want to question God or yell and scream, “why is your plan for my son not matching up with mine?”  In my heart of hearts, I know why, God’s Will isn’t my will.  I am sure when I took off to Texas at age 23 my mom and dad might have been feeling like I am today, “This isn’t the plan, God, we had for our middle daughter.”

They had a strong faith in our heavenly father then and I have a strong faith in Him now, which is why I know, even as hard and frustrating as it can be at times, I hold on to God’s truth and believe He knows what is best for my baby, better than I do.

Proverbs 3_5-6

I also know that his dad and I raised him with Jesus in his heart and the seeds are planted there even though today he is making choices that are so far from what Jesus teaches us.  But the more I nag, the more I am just a clanging gong in his still growing and developing, trying to figure out who he is brain. Then that brain just tunes me out. As Proverbs 25:24 reminds us, “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome mom.” (okay, so I changed wife to mom here, but you get the point).

If you have ever watched the television show, The Goldbergs, you will totally understand where I am coming from here.  The mom, Beverly Goldberg played by actress Wendi McLendon-Covey, is a totally helicopter, smothering, over – the – top sparkling, loving, doting mom.  She would go to the ends of the earth for her children.  However,Erica, Barry, and Adam, her children usually see her as meddling, bothersome, and smothering.  When I start in on him and how I disagree with the “adult choices he feels he is making for his life” he wants nothing to do with me, feels I am over bearing and smothering, and turns away, as the Goldberg children do on television.

So what’s a mom of a young adult son to do?  A mom who has a big faith in her savior, Jesus?  Well, she prays.  Don’t get me wrong, I have learned this lesson the hard way, trying my way first, worrying.  Trust me, fretting gets you no where.  Now prayer, specific prayer, gets you every where!

Phil 4 6

When I started specifically praying to release my child over to God’s care, praying for God to secure his protection, praying that he would have a sound mind, and praying he would  break down ungodly strongholds, things started to change.  Not so much with him, but within me.

The nights of lying awake in bed worrying about what he ate for the day and did he have everything he needed drifted away.  Tears of sadness for parenting mistakes and guilt washed away.  Relief, forgiveness, and grace flooded my soul.

Praying God’s word over my child has brought me peace.  Are there times I still worry and disagree with my son’s choices, you bet.  But I quickly look up, let go, and live joy.  As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us, “Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.  

Some days are hard, the days I feel I am in the valley I can lift my eyes and know my God sees me there.  I can pray continually His words and he hears my cries.  On the days I am on the top of the mountain, I thank God for putting me there.  No matter where  I land, I  give Jesus the praise and glory for all things, thanking him for the blessings in my life, especially one beautiful child, well now handsome 21 year old son.

Here are a few of the scriptures I have been praying over my son.

I have used a fabulous little book by Stormie Omartian, “The Power of a Praying Parent”.  A friend of mine at the gym where I work out gave it to me a few years ago and it has been the little gift that keeps on giving.

The first being the scripture I opened this blog entry with, Isaiah 43:2-3a:  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

I pray, Heavenly father I know you will be with my my son when the waters pass through and I know you will keep him safe as he passes  through deep waters of big decisions.  Father as he walks through difficult situations keep the flames of trouble from setting ablaze, for you are the Lord God, the Holy One.

Prayer format based on Stormie Omartian’s book “The Power of a Praying Parent”

To Release My Child Into God’s Hands:

Psalm 103:17-18:  “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”  

Heavenly Father, Today in Jesus’ name I give (name of child) to You.  I know in my heart that only You know what is best for him (her), and what his (her) needs are.  I hand him (her)  over to You to care for and protect.  I come to you Lord, to devote time each day  to pray for all areas of my child’s life, and I ask that You guide those prayers in the direction of your Will.  I thank you and praise you God for helping me to raise my amazing child.  Amen.

1 John 4:16: : “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them”

Dear God, I pray today that (name of child) feel loved and accepted by people in his (her) life that will guide him (her) to good not evil.  I pray, Father, that you will fill my child with your Holy Spirit and love, and I pray he (she) will totally understand how complete and unconditional Your love is.  I pray that You, Father, remove any lies the enemy has placed in my child to believe otherwise.  Lord I pray that you will manifest Your love to my child today in a super real way that he (she) feels and knows Your presence.  I pray for that love to be returned to You by my child.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Today I can say, “It is well with my soul.”  Thank you Jesus.

Here is a link to purchase that great little book by Stormie Omartian.

Power of a Praying Parent

Coming Soon To A Book Store Near You! (But You Will Want To Pre-Order Today)

Exhale book Cover

 

Hi Friends,

It’s been a few weeks since my last entry and I have been working on a blog entry about how praying for my son has brought peace to my soul.  Stay tuned.

But today I have super exciting news!  I am on the Launch Team for Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory’s new book coming out next month, “Exhale, Lose Who You’re Not, Love Who You Are, Live Your One Life Well.”

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this book!  Amy and Cheri are amazing women who love Jesus.  They are each speakers and authors independently, however they team up each week on my favorite podcast Grit ‘N’ Grace Girls.  There, with their guests, they discuss and share “How to grow grit and embrace God’s Grace”.

I will be bringing you reviews from myself and others on the launch team right her at Living Joy Today over the next few weeks.

Also.. wait for it…

I will be hosting a Book Study right here this summer and on the Living Joy Today Facebook Page!  Watch for more information to come!

In the meantime here are the links where you can Pre-order your book today!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD.com

Proverbs 31

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

Jane Ann

 

The Good Samaritans in the Storm

phil 2 3 4

 

The forecast predicted storms for “your drive home”.  Yes, my drive home, one day  not too long ago, after work.  My drive usually takes about 12 minutes give or take a few depending on traffic when I choose the freeway route.  This day, though, I needed to run into the grocery on my way home.  Storms approaching, do I run into the Wal-Mart near work hop on the freeway and be home. Or do I take the scenic route and run into the Kroger near my home.  For whatever reason, I felt like the second option was better, even with storms on the horizon and the back roads take about 5 minutes longer.

Let me cut to the chase here and get to the point of all this.  I made it to the store, grabbed what I needed in record time.  Jumped in my car and as I turned the key to start the engine, it made a grinding sound, you know the one that says, “Hey owner of this vehicle something is way wrong and I am not going to start right now.”

And then, drop,drop, then the heavens opened up and the rain came down.  Not just a sprinkle mind you, a deluge!  I tried again to turn the key, nothing. Just… a tap on my window? What?

Yes a lady dressed in scrubs asked, “Do you need a jump?”  “My husband and I are right here and as soon as the car next to us leaves we can move to that space and give you a jump.”  I thanked her and said I have AAA and I can call my husband we live less than a mile away.  She insisted on waiting, and jumped back in her car.

Meanwhile, the rain not stopping any time soon, I called my husband, he was happy to come get me.  I jumped out ran to the ladies window, thanked her again and let her know my husband could come and get me.  This amazing couple insisted on waiting to help me get my car started.  Just then the car next to me pulled out, the lady (I keep calling her this because I think we exchanged names at some point under my umbrella, but it was raining so hard and we were soaking wet and laughing so hard, that if she told me her name, I didn’t catch it.  Lesson for me, remember the names!) jumped out and we were both standing in that parking spot holding until her husband pulled around.

A few minutes later the cars were connected by the jumper cables and my little beetle was running!  I offered to pay the couple or buy them dinner, they declined and her husband told me if that was his wife he wouldn’t want her to be alone in a storm with her car not running.  I thanked them again, we all jumped into our cars sopping wet and went our separate ways.

This couple demonstrated Philippians 2:3-4 that day.  They put other’s interests, needs above their own.  It would have been so easy for them to see my car not starting and say, “Oh that is too bad for her”, and go on their merry way, making it home before the storms.  But they didn’t.  They stayed to lend a helping hand.

Julien B. Weil

God calls us to humble ourselves and put others before ourselves. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us I am not always so good at this, and to be quite honest, I don’t know if I would have rendered help to a stranded motorist in a pour down.  However, since that day, being the recipient of another’s good deed, it makes me more aware each day that I need to humble myself daily and look to others’ interests before mine.

We all have busy schedules and our own agendas, but if we all started following this simple command, can you imagine what stories might open the nightly news or the would be the headlines in our news papers?  Stories of hope, not crime and corruption.  Stories of love not hate.

Matthew 25 35 36

Join me on a journey to be humble daily and to seek out the interests of others before my own,  A journey to live more like Jesus.  One of humility, love, kindness, and giving.

Have you been the recipient of an act of kindness where someone stepped out of themselves to help you out?  Or were you the one that stepped out of your comfort zone and helped another?  I’d love for you to share your story in the comments.

Wishing you dear friend a very blessed Easter!  He is risen!

 

Five Bible Verses To Love Like Jesus

on the contrary_ “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. in doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[b

It’s the last Wednesday in February friend and that means this is the last post on my series on love.  Today let’s dive into what love is, it trusts, protects, hopes, perseveres,  and as 1 Corinthians 13 8 a reminds us, “Love never fails”.

I have been listening on Audible to Bob Goff’s book, “Everybody Always, Becoming Love in a World Full of Setback and Difficult People”.  I love how he tells the stories of all the amazing people he has met and their adventures.  I mention his book one because I think everyone should read it,and because it is a beautiful example of when we follow Jesus’ example of Love, it really never fails.  I gave you a link to his book below (don’t worry, as always, I get nothing for promoting the book, I have never met Bob Goff, I would love too, though, he is  super interesting , hilarious ,and has so much wisdom and knowledge on how we should live to follow Jesus.)

To end our series on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 I am leaving you with five Bible verses that remind us that Love with a capital L, God, can always be trusted, He will always protect us, we can always hope and persevere in Him and He will never fail us.

Precious friend, this is the Love of 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, the love of Christ.  When the people and circumstances of this world hurt and disappoint us, when we feel unloved or we have wronged another, the amazing and never-ending love of Christ is always there for us.  As Lysa Terkeurst says, “We steer where we stare”.  Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, friend and love as he has taught us to love.

 

 

Psalm 13 5

 

deuteronnomy 31 6

Isaiah 40 31

Romans 15 5

Romans 5 8

Everybody Always By Bob Goff

 

Join me the third Wednesday in March for The Lion and The Lamb!  And be on the look out for a new segment “Living The Joy”

Until then

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

 

Hearing God Through Prayer 10 Bible Verses To Pray

_call to me, and i will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know._ jeremiah 33_3

I don’t know about you friend, but one of my favorite times of the day is right when I roll out of bed.  Yes, first thing in the morning. I am totally a morning person, love it!!! Let me fill you in on a little secret why, I get to wake up another day.  Now your guess is as good as mine as to the outcomes of each day, but God let me wake up another day and for that I am ever so blessed!

Over the years to celebrate, and I love a celebration, this blessing of a new day I take the first hour of it with Jesus.  As I continue to grow in my faith that time has looked different over the years and for sure, my prayers have definitely changed.  Early on I would pray quite selfishly.  My prayers often sounded like, ” God, why don’t teachers make enough money, I pray God for a better job, will you please bring me one that makes more money”  Or this is a good one, “Heavenly father, everyone around me drives a much nicer car than I do, so when you bring me that better job with more money, can I also have a bigger, better car?”

Let me tell you friend, from my own experience, the title of this blog is “Hearing God Through Prayer”, but watch out for what you ask for in prayer, because He is listening.  I got that better job, it caused me to travel and be away from my family days at a time. No more two weeks off at Christmas or summers off with my son.  Oh and did I get the car!  Yes indeed I did.  A brand new X Type Jaguar, (which didn’t get hit just once, first time by a deer on the highway and a second time by a man having a medical emergency.)  Be careful what you pray for friend!  God is listening, and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side either.  grass

There are numerous methods out there on how to pray and in a minute I am going to share a super easy one with you and some verses you can actually pray. So that’s really two methods of prayer right there. Usually when I follow a method of prayer it takes the selfishness out, most of the time because I can always slip a little selfish in because I am still on this journey growing to be more like Christ every day.

Let’s talk a minute about hearing from God when we pray.  I personally have never heard His voice audibly in my life or have I come across a cloud or burning bush that have spoken to me.  Super cool, I would love to experience all three, however I know when I pray God answers when I am still, when I wait for His timing, and when I am paying attention to my circumstances and surroundings.  He answers.

Psalm 91:15 reassures us of this, “He will call upon Me (says the Lord), and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”  _he will call upon me, and i will answer him; i will be with him in trouble; i will rescue him and honor him._ psalm 91_15

So here is one method I have used to help my prayers stay focused as I can be a squirrel in traffic when I start praying.  It’s called the ACTS method.  Doing a little research I found this method goes back to the 1880’s!  (ACTS Method of Prayer’s first use).  I have included bible verses to pray for each type of prayer.

A: Adoration: Pray to God with Adoration, Give him praise and honor. Pray Psalm 145:14, 17-20, Psalm 84, and Psalm 27:4

C: Confession: Confess your sins to God.  Be open and honest with him.  Pray Psalm 32:5-7, Psalm 69:5

T: Thanksgiving: Tell God what you are thankful for in your life and in the lives of others. Pray Psalm 9:1, Psalm 86:12, Psalm 30:1, 11-12

S: Supplication: Pray for the needs of others and then yourself. Pray Psalm 143, Matthew 6:11.

Be still, be patient friend, I have to tell myself this daily.  God will answers our prayers according to His Will not our’s and in His perfect time.

Just keep praying!

I hope this series has been as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me as I have studied God’s word to share these devotionals with you.  I will finish it up next week with hearing God through the teachings of Jesus.

I will be taking a little break for the month of February to make a few changes here at Living Joy Today.  I will still be posting a short devotional once a week. And then just as March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, I will be writing a series about Jesus as The Lion and The Lamb.

Today I will be giving away a copy of Lysa Terkeurst’s latest book, “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way, Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered.”

9780718039851

Just leave a comment with a bible verse about Jesus as the lion and the lamb to be entered to win.  And I will use your verse in my upcoming blogs!

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!