Apr 16, 2019

Parenting with Joy....

Original post 4/3/17

A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

I always hesitate to write posts on parenting. I am not an expert by any form or shape. However, I have learned some things along the way. Mostly from older women in my life who have been down this path and their lives and the lives of their children teach volumes. I am so thankful for these women in my life!

If you are an older mother, I encourage you to share your wisdom with those coming up behind you. We need you. We need your teaching. You may say, "Oh, I am not a teacher!". However, I believe we are all teachers in one way or another. Whether we intend to teach or not, we are teaching. And many are watching.

Something that the Lord is constantly having to remind me of is to have joy with my parenting.

Normally, I have a very joyful and sanguine personality. However, raising children can affect my joy if I am not constantly seeking the Lord for help in this area.

Mundane tasks, constant teaching and correcting, disciplining,  cooking, cleaning,  driving, and more driving....

Did I mention driving?

All of these things can weigh a momma down. There are times when my joy diminishes and my kids see a burnt out mother just going through the motions and checking things off her list.

We tend to think that kids don't notice these things. As long as we are "performing" and meeting their needs, the kids are good.

I don't believe this is true.

Kids sense when we are going through the motions. Doing things out of duty instead of joy. [Uh, husbands sense this too! Another post for another day...]

A joyful mom can stop in the middle of the daily grind and look her kid in the eyes and listen to their words. Laugh at their corny jokes. Be present when it would be so easy to be distracted.

 A joyful mom realizes that our kids much prefer us to be present over perfect.

Yes, we can spoon feed them scripture and lofty teachings telling them how to behave. However, I believe what sticks with them the most is how we respond to them. How do we respond when something doesn't go our way? Or when something turns out differently than we had planned.

Do we lose our joy and become bitter and hateful? Do we spew words of condemnation, hurt, anger, or sarcasm?

I know I sure have at times.

Joy is not dependent on our circumstances.

"The Joy of the Lord is your strength" Nehemiah 8:10

This scripture from Nehemiah was the first verse I memorized as an adult. It was soon after I had my first child. The Lord was reminding me to keep joy in my heart. In my home. Towards my children. In my marriage.

I wanted perfection.

A clean house. A good baby. A skinny body. A full bank account. A perfect husband who acted the way I wanted him to act. [ha!]

When those things didn't happen,  I fell apart.

I would lose my joy.

Depression, anxiety, fear, and sadness would set in.

The standards were set even higher when the second child was born. It was just too much to maintain all of these things that I thought made me a "good mom".

I would try so hard to do all the right things. Put a smile on my face in public. Keep up  the demands of being a mom with babies, a husband, two dogs AND a cat, and a house to take care of.

But, deep down, joy was nowhere to be found.

When the Lord opened my eyes to my need for His Joy instead of my "standards", it seemed almost too easy.

Have joy?

Really?

Too simple.

Surely, I would need to add 7.5 hours a day of prayer. Along with perfect church attendance. And attend two or three bible studies a week.

No, Jill. Just clothe yourself with my Joy. Let Me be your Joy. 

 I heard these words so clear in my heart.

I began to daily ask Him for Joy. I begged Him. I wrote it on my mirror with an expo marker. I taped scriptures about Joy all over my house. I set my mind every single day to be intentional about clothing myself in His Joy.

 Oh, y'all, I needed joy desperately.

Little did I know that Joy would change everything.

Joy comes  from the Lord.

Joy is not a feeling or emotion, it is a gift from the Lord.

Joy is the overwhelming contentment that floods our soul.

Joy is always coupled with gratitude.

Joyful people are thankful people.

 Instead of being bitter about our lot and season of life, let's be thankful. Let's be joyful! And heaven forbid even stopping to laugh once and a while! The bible even tells us that it is GOOD for us to laugh! [Proverbs 17:22]

And, hey, what if we really took the following verse to heart. Laughing, without fear of the future. Surely, our joy would be so evident to others. Especially our children!

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25


Let's ask ourselves these questions:

Do our children see themselves as our joy? Or as our burdens.

Would they define their momma as joyful? Or stern and unbending.

Are we overflowing with joy? Or just overbearing.

How do we respond when life doesn't go the way we planned?

Our children are watching. Taking notes. Looking for us to teach them about joy.

Will our children be drawn to our faith in Jesus because of our strict standards of living and no-nonsense attitudes?

I don't think so

I think they will be drawn to Jesus through our joy.

In gentle words. In kind responses. In loving gestures. In having a servant heart.

In JOY.

Even in very difficult situations and trying times, joy is possible.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  James 1:2-3

When doing the same tasks over and over each day, we can have joy. We just have to ask God for it, and set our minds on praise.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!  Psalm 92:4-5

I began years ago making it a habit to praise the Lord and pray over my kids as I fold their laundry and cook dinner. Praising God and praying over my people brings my heart JOY! It's like killing two birds with one stone. Multi-tasking at its finest.

 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Our children will forget  a lot of the things that we said to them. But, they will never forget how we responded to them. How we loved them and listened to them. Looked them in the eyes and stopped for a few minutes to be present with them.

Will our children remember their mother being full of joy?

Oh, Lord, let it be so.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23


seeking joy,


jill



Apr 9, 2019

Pray and Prepare....

Are y'all still with me on our reading plan? Raise your hand.

Just kidding.

But, really. I am fascinated by the Old Testament. Can we just shorten it to the OT for the sake of this post? Ok, good.

So, today we find ourselves in the middle of the OT in 2 Kings. We come across a prophet by the name of Elisha.

In a span of 4 chapters, God uses Elisha to perform 9 miracles. NINE.

We don't really talk about miracles anymore, do we?

I mean, sometimes we do. But do we really, really, really expect God to still perform miracles in our everyday mundane little lives?

We SHOULD.

Here is why....

Nothing has changed. He is still the same. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow...the same God.

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?' Genesis 18:14

"Nothing is impossible with God" Luke 1:37

But, are we preparing ourselves to receive a miracle.

Think about this.

What miracle do you need?

Are you preparing for it?

Read about the poor widow in 2 Kings 4.

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

Pay attention here. What did the widow do?

She prepared for the miracle. 

She had a responsibility.

She didn't just moan and groan waiting and pleading...she prepared.

Or, how about in 2 King 5. The healing of a man named Naaman.

Elisha told him to bathe in the Jordan river 7 times to be healed from leprosy.

God could have just healed him on the spot. But, He didn't.

Naaman had a job. To prepare for the miracle.

This takes radical faith. RADICAL FAITH.


Friend, what miracle are you asking God for?

Pray, Pray, Pray and Pray some more.

And then, prepare.

It will seem crazy to you, yes, it should and it will.

Prepare anyway.

I wonder if we are missing out on miracles because we are not prepared to receive them?

Are you ready?

Me too.

Pray. Prepare. Pray. Prepare.



collecting empty jars,



jill



Mar 26, 2019

Pray and Obey...

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven...Ecclesiastes 3:1

This is the year of change. Change everywhere around me.

My parents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. 50th! I clearly remember my sister and I hosting them their 25th anniversary party. I was barely out of highschool.

Joseph, my oldest child, will graduate high school this year. When I began writing here on this blog, he was beginning 5th grade. Yep. Wow.

Lem and I celebrated 20 years of wedded bliss in September.

I cannot seem to keep up with the changes.

All of them good, but changes none the less.

I have been really trying to be intentional with how I spend my time, and who I spend my time with.

I do not want to miss a moment with my family. Not one.

However, I also have had this pull to do something new in my own life.

I have been a stay at home mom for the past 17 years. I love every second of it.

My nest will be one egg short beginning this Fall.

God is preparing a new path for all of us. I trust Him, but sometimes it is hard not to look back and long for yesterday.

He is ever so kind and gentle though. He slowly leads and He is good.

I began taking yoga classes about a year and a half ago at a local gym. My doctor had told me that it was the best exercise for women over 40 and that it was really good for anxiety.

Soooo, I tried it.

I hated the first class. I felt like an idiot. "Never ever coming back" were my exact thoughts.

However, I did go back because I liked the way I felt after. Stretched, and calmer.

I became friends with my yoga teacher. She is a few years younger than me and her children are small. I looked forward to seeing her every Tuesday, and I began using my yoga mat as a prayer altar.

I prayed for my yoga teacher every single minute I was in her class. I did not know at the time what her beliefs were, but I knew God was prompting me to pray over her. In a big way.

That Fall, my Tuesday morning bible study rolled around. I had done this study with my friend Becky for years. I headed to the first class of the season, and I felt a nudging in my heart. A nudging that I was not supposed to be going to that bible study.

I called a few friends and talked it out with them. It just did not make sense. I knew I had a tugging in my heart, and it was from the Lord.

But, why? Why would the Lord want me to continue going to this yoga class instead of my normal Tuesday morning bible study?

At the time, I had no idea. I just knew I needed to continue going to yoga on Tuesdays. I did not question it, I just obeyed the Lord.

As all of this was happening, I had another friend asking me to pray for her daughter. She was desperate to find her daughter a parapro that could fill her daughter's needs in the classroom. We prayed and prayed and prayed together.

A few months later, I walked into my yoga class. My yoga teacher informed me that she had gotten a new job and would not be teaching at the gym anymore.

I was devastated. I loved my friend/yoga teacher!

She then let me know the reason she was leaving....

She had taken a job at a local school---she would be a parapro for a very special little girl.

I could not believe my ears. What?

I had been praying for my friend/yoga teacher, while also praying for my friend and her daughter to find the perfect parapro fit.

Look what God did there!

I was stunned. And happy. And just in awe of God's work.

Also, through all of this, I had been praying for an opportunity. A small part time job, just to help with the finances. Something that would not require me to be gone at night or when kids were home from school.

I was asked to teach the yoga class.

I am not kidding.

I had no certification, but I did love yoga.

A week later, I began teaching.

A few weeks later, my friend Melissa, encouraged me to pursue YogaFaith training.

A few months later, and lots of reading and learning-- here I am. A certified YogaFaith teacher!

It all began with a prayer on my mat. A prayer for my yoga teacher. A prayer for my friend who needed help with her daughter.

A giant leap of faith by not attending the bible study that I dearly loved and going to a yoga class instead.

God had it all aligned. So perfectly.

So, yes. Changes.

Many changes.

Oh, but you guys. He is so faithful.

He is always working on our behalf. Planting seeds along the way that we will one day be able to see.

Prayer changes everything.

I am currently teaching 3 YogaFaith classes a week. It is just so much fun. Doing what I love the most--Worshiping Jesus, Praying, Reading my Bible, Being with friends, and exercising! Only God could have made all of those come together just for me.

He is so so so faithful!

Are you in a season of change?

Trust Him.

He is already preparing you for the next step.

Obey. and Pray.

Pray. and Obey.


Delight yourself in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4



praying on my mat,


jill








Mar 7, 2019

When you don't know what to say....

Have you ever been in a place where all you could to was call on the Lord?

Maybe it was an entire season of valleys. A season of anxiety. Or fear. Or depression. Or pleading. Or grief. Or desperation.

Your words are gone. Your heart is pleading, but your mouth is completely void of words.

I discovered years ago the Hebrew Names for God. I was completely fascinated. Every time, I would say the Name for God I was in need of and slowly let it roll off my tongue. Then repeat it over and over and over. I could literally feel the Power of His Presence surround me.

Many days, I would just speak His Name over and over. Nothing else could be conjured up to say. And, nothing else was needed.

Many times people ask me to pray for them or a loved one. I quickly go to my reference for the Names of God. I apply that Name to the particular need being prayed for.

For example, a friend who needs healing. I would plead Jehovah Rapha, Lord who heals.

I feel a strong prompting to share these Names with you. Maybe you know them already. Maybe you have no earthly idea what I am talking about. Either way, say them out loud. Let them roll off your tongue and saturate the air around you. There is so much POWER in His Name!



Jehovah Nissi has been my go to lately. The Lord is our Banner. He leads us into victory. I need to remind myself of this over and over.

Here is the thing...

The enemy has to flee at the Name of the Lord. So, let's shout it out!

We have become so conservative and hush hush about The Lord.

Why is this?

We have been brainwashed into thinking that we will offend someone.

Oh, y'all. We need to be offensive! The battle for the hearts of our loved ones will not bow down to political correctness.

I am sick to death of being hushed because I may step on someone's toes. God made those toes! They need to be stepped on and shown the Way to Everlasting Life!

We should never ever apologize for speaking Truth. Ever.

Only when we use the Sword of the Spirit--the Word of God will this battle be won.

We have all we need...

El Shaddai.

El Elyon.

Why are we afraid to speak His Name? Why are we afraid to point others to the Cross?

"We don't want to come on too strong. We don't want to push them away. We need to be careful or we may offend."

I believe this is exactly what satan would want us to say.

Do we not love people enough to stand up for them and point the way boldly to Jesus?

Are we so lulled by sweet worship songs and encouraging words dripping in honey that we miss the boat on spreading Jesus to a hurting world??

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3


The battle for the hearts of our loved ones will never be won sitting on a church pew with crossed legs.

It will only be won on our KNEES crying out to the Lord and speaking Truth unabashed to those in our path.

Lest, we become lukewarm.

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would rather that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16


Call on Him, friends.

Call on Him loudly and with boldness!

The world desperately needs to hear.


Jehovah Nissi,


jill




Mar 6, 2019

American Idol.....

1“Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the LORD your God. 2You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD. Leviticus 26:1

Raise your hand if you are still with me on our Bible reading journey?

Listen, I know it was tough with a capital T to hang on through the book of Leviticus. Goodness gracious with the laws and the sacrifices and the blood....

OH, but y'all. Hang in there with me. All of this points straight to the coming of Jesus. 

I wish I could look you in the face and talk to you about all of this. We are right smack in the middle of Joshua boldly leading the troops into the Promised Land.

Is anyone else sad that Moses could not enter the Promised Land? Oh heavens my heart breaks for him. I mean, he was chosen and highly favored, but he acted in disobedience. And, God would not allow him to enter the new land due to it.

Has anyone else noticed how seriously God is about sin and especially idols?

If someone was caught with an idol or anything from the foreigners they were killed on the spot. And their family as well!

This speaks to me about the character of God.

He wants purity in our hearts. Not just in our hearts, but in our bodies and outside of our bodies.

He knows the consequences of sin....

It will ruin the whole camp.

My daughter had a little girl on her team years ago that had a terrible attitude. She was also a bit of a bully. The whole team suffered because of her actions and words. They did not win games, not due to lack of ability, but because this one child was causing so much destruction among her teammates.

It is the same with sin.

One itty bitty piece of sin can ruin the whole of our hearts.

It multiplies.

It doesn't stop until the whole heart and mind are obliterated.

Aren't we thankful for Jesus?

He does wash away our sins, yes. However, we still willingly walk in sin from time to time. Sometimes for years.

We think to ourselves "this is my only vice. surely it is not that big of a deal. everyone has to have something, right?"

And, just like Satan whispered to Eve, "Aww, it's okay. It won't really hurt you."

Satan is a LIAR.

Anything he tells you is a lie. God calls him the father of lies.

So, there's that.

God has not changed, y'all. He still hates sin. He abhors it.

Because, He knows what it does to us, and to our loved ones.

He knows how sin slowly leads a heart astray. Into the black pit of bondage.

And idols.

Oh and aren't we so fond of some idols.

You may think not, but I beg to differ.

I am not much different than you. I can name many idols that have cropped up in my life over the years. Seemingly innocent things, yet determined to distract me just enough that I lose sight of what is important.

Our phones.

Yes, let's go there.

I have loved my phone.

Really, I will admit it.

I love getting texts and email and messages! It makes me happy!

But, here is the problem with phones.

They distract us from the present a lot of the time.

I can hear you saying, "Oh no! Not me! I keep up with people through social media and texting and snapchat and facebook. The phone has been a good thing!"

Yes, it can be good. However, it has an addiction attached to it that few want to admit.

What do you look at when you wake up? Over breakfast? Over lunch? Over dinner? Right before bed?

Most of us look at our phones more than we look into the eyes of our loved ones. Did you know you can check your screen time on your phone? Yep. Go ahead. I will wait while you check.

I was SHOCKED when I saw the hours I had been on my phone in the course of a week.

The more connected we become, the more disconnected we are.

Here is a good way to get an honest answer...

Ask your children or your spouse or your mother if you are on your phone too much.

They will shoot straight with you.

And when they do, try not to be defensive.

We are no different than the Old Testament peeps, you guys.

Just different idols surround us. That's all.

So, let's check ourselves honestly.

What has become an idol?

Ask the Lord for forgiveness and let's throw down those idols once and for all.

We can still have phones. But, let's be wiser about them.



goodbye idols,


jill






Feb 26, 2019

When fear overwhelms you....

(Re-Post from 2/24/17)

Not too long ago, I woke up in a puddle of sweat.

It happened again.

Fear-filled dreams and thoughts of worry over my children.

Many, many times, even now, I wake up and check on them. To make sure they are breathing and okay. They are 12 and 15.

Fear has been a stronghold in my life for as far back as I can remember. My parents would describe me as a timid, fearful child.

Over the years, I found a prescription for the fear. Jesus.

However, when my mind is in neutral, like in the dark of night, fear tries to creep back in and make a home in my soul.

There are triggers with fear.

For everyone these triggers are different. For me, they are the same ones the enemy loves to use to take my heart captive to that fear-filled place again. Paralyzed by the black hole of fear.

Fear is what led me to God's Word.

I had tried every prescription the doctors had to offer. Everything.

However, I soon realized, this fear was not a physical ailment, it was a spiritual hunger for the living bread of God's Word.

Perfect love drives out fear. [1 John 4:18]

Fear not, for I am with  you. [Isaiah 41:10]

Do not fear.[Isaiah 41:13]

God's Word became my cure for fear.

I would rattle off Psalm 91 in my sleep.

Psalm 23 became my life verse.

These words are not just crutches to get me through. They are LIFE to my weary and fearful soul.

They breathe peace into a heart stained and tattered by fear.

God taught me to take every thought captive to Christ Jesus. [2 Corinthians 10:5]

He taught me to put on the armor of His protection every single day. [Ephesians 6:10]

He taught me to be of  sober mind and alert because  the enemy roams around like a roaring lion in search of someone to devour. [1Peter 5:8]

I had a decision to make.

Would I live my life being haunted by an enemy who hates me and desires to encapsulate me in fear?

Or, would I surrender my heart to the One who knitted me together in my mother's womb and has a future and a plan for me. [Psalm 139]

Who would I serve? God or fear.

I had to make a choice.

You cannot serve two masters. [Matthew 6:24]

The enemy had me convinced that I could control the safety of my children if I just tried hard enough. If I just worried long enough. The enemy would not stop until I was a crazy, madwoman with no ability to live the life God had planned for me to live. A life of peace. Of rest. Of a sound mind.

The enemy wants the opposite for us. He is relentless in his pursuit for us to live in torment. Torture. Unrest. Lacking peace.

I am reminded of the story of Eve in the garden. She had a perfect, peaceful existence. Satan came and whispered lies into her ears. She began to doubt the love and character of God. She believed after listening to the crafty enemy, that certainly there had to be more.

Isn't that what we are doing when we start to believe the lies the enemy whispers into our ears in the dark of night? We believe there must be something we can do. We must try harder. Worry and fret more. Take control over things that we have absolutely no ability to control.

No rest for the weary.

Oh, but Jesus tells us, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." [Matthew 11:28]

I would not be completely honest with you unless I told you that this is a decision I have to decide to make every single day.

Each day, I am one fall away from the black hole of fear.

I have to choose to trust the Lord with my children and my people. I have to decide that He loves my people more than I ever could and His will is what I ultimately desire.

How do I do this, you ask?

I get in His Word. I inhale His Words of peace and comfort. I find rest in His Word and His Promises.

Another way is by replacing those thoughts of fear with scripture. I used to carry scriptures on notecards with me wherever I went. I would keep them in my purse and grab them when I felt the subtle whisper of the enemy's lies in my ear. Now, I have them on my smart phone. ;)

I also have scripture taped up around my house. In my kitchen. In my bathroom. In my kid's rooms. Anywhere I can see them, and see them often.

The fearful thoughts will not go away on their own. They must be replaced with Truth.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3


“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7


"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33


"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Are you struggling with fear of some kind today? I am praying over you. I know the torment of fear. I know it too well.

I am asking God to fill you with His unshakeable peace. I am asking Him to hold you and that you will feel His arms around you. He loves you so much. He longs to be your Peace.

For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Zephaniah 3:17



fear not,


jill













Jan 13, 2019

Are you lonesome tonight?


 “And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14



I have this problem.

Until now, I have been completely unaware of it. 

Here is the thing...

I get up early and read my bible. Every single morning. 

I pray. I journal. 

My day begins about an hour later. 

The day goes on. 

I talk to Jesus. A lot. 

I talk about Jesus. A lot. 

But, there is something I have discovered. 

I don't like to be alone. Ever. 

Really. Like, ever ever ever ehhhhhhhhverrr. 

It is kind of a joke in my family. If my husband goes out of town, I have it all lined up for me and the kids to go somewhere. To be with people. 

Something about the quiet....it makes me feel strange. 

Anxious. 

As long as people are in the house with me, I am good. 

As soon as they leave, I have to find something to do. More often than not, I just leave and find someone to be with. 

My whole life. This has been my story. 

However, recently, the Lord has opened my eyes to this pattern. This fear of being alone. This fear of being by myself for more than an hour or so. 

Perhaps, this is why I write. 

I feel like someone is with me. Reading along. Talking. Listening with me. 

It helps the loneliness disappear. 

Not that I am lonely....

But scared of being alone. 

So, God is working with me on this. 

Day by day. 

One baby step at a time. 

My oldest will be going away to college this Fall. 

God is preparing my heart. I can feel it. 

I think about Abraham and Sarah. 

We have been reading about them in Genesis. 

God had big plans for them. A child! Many descendants!

But, they just could not be still and wait. 

They just kept making their own plans, doing things their own way--hello, Hagar--and everything just kept falling apart. 

Stillness eluded them. 

I understand. 

So very much. 

How about you?

Is quiet deafening to your ears? 

Is it easier to be in a loud noisy environment because at least you have people around you?

Or, maybe you are quite the opposite. Craving some stillness and alone time. Wishing you could escape to a private island--I can see my mother raising her hand. She and I are quite opposite on this!

Whatever the case may be....

Let's learn to get comfortable wherever we are. 

Whether in the crowd, or in the quiet. 

His seasons are for a purpose. 

We grow in these uncomfortable places.  

We become in tune with Him because we are desperate for Him to comfort us here in these places. 


A friend told me recently that God took her through a season of sitting through her grief. Instead of escaping the pain of her grief, He taught her to sit still through it. Acknowledge it. Accept it. Sit with it. 

I am trying to apply the same principal with my fear of being alone. 

Acknowledging it. Accepting it. Sitting with it. 

Knowing God will stretch me--drawing me even closer to Him. Feeling the comfort of His Presence in a whole new way. 

Oh, friend. 

Wherever you are...


Be where you are. 

Try not to run from it. 

Try not to wish it away. 

Sit with Jesus. 

He is with you. 

Will you remind me of this too?



finding rest in being alone, 


jill


Are you reading the Bible with us? Oh, please do! Go here and see what we are reading this year. OR contact me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com OR find us on instagram @shinegirlsshine We would LOVE to have you read with us each day!









Jan 8, 2019

Don't stop....

So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived. Genesis 19:29


We are in the thick of some drama here in the book of Genesis. Good Lord.

Today, we read about Abraham and Lot.

Lot was spared being torched to death by fire because of Abraham's faithful prayers over him.

Some friends and I have been discussing this over Marco Polo. [do you use that app? It is pretty cool]

Anyway, we want to know why God spared Lot, if not just because Abraham asked Him to. Lot ended up being tricked into sleeping with his daughters---yes, you read that right. The daughters went on to have babies...and who needs Netflix when we have this drama??

So, I cannot help but see the mercy of God here.

Abraham was faithful. Oh, so faithful.

He prayed for his nephew Lot to be spared from the fiery raining sulfur--and God spared him.

My question to you is this...

Who are you praying for right now?

Maybe it seems hopeless. Hopeless with a capital H.

Maybe it seems like there is no way God could answer this prayer.

Maybe it seems that all of these years in desperate prayer for that child, that husband, that aunt, that uncle, that mother, that father, that friend....

Seem pointless.

Read this story in Genesis again.

God heard Abraham's prayers. And He answered.

Did Lot really deserve to be rescued? I do not know.

But, I do know that Abraham pleaded for Lot's life.

And God answered.

Don't stop pleading for the lives of those around you.

Just when it looks like fiery sulfur will rain down, God will rescue and deliver. In just the nick of time.

Don't stop praying,


jill