Heart Check and Reminder for Godly Women

We can sometimes get so tied up in “knowing” the Word that we forget how to be an example of It.  I can say this because I am so guilty of it! I’ve been hard pressed the last couple years to really know God.  Which is a great thing! But somedays I have gotten so lost in my studies that I have stopped applying what I already know.

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine did a heart check quiz on her Instagram and oh what a heart check it was! (Her IG handle is @running_redeemed. You should give her a follow if you don’t already :))

She asked these following questions:

  1. Do you have a tendency to grumble and complain?
  2. Do you let circumstances dictate your happiness?
  3. Do you easily forget the good and focus on the bad?
  4.  Do you find yourself “venting” a lot?

Ladies, I could have answered “yes” to every single one of those questions. And here I am, finally living a life I prayed for, and I was focused on everything that I could find wrong with it. This is when I realized, “Jill, what good is reading the Bible, if you’re acting like a person who has no joy in the Lord?”  

I prayed each morning after that and I asked God for His help and wisdom.  Without fail, each morning since, He has handed me something new and I want to share them with you.

Here are the 5 things He has reminded me to embody as a godly woman:

  1. Joy- “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Nehemiah 8:10.  We must have a spirit of joy! Joy isn’t dependent on what’s happening to us.  Our joy depends on Christ.  Joy makes us strong and helps us to bear all things. And to cultivate joy we have to focus on the positive aspects of our lives.  Joy is a choice and we can decide to be joyful at all times.  Remember that whatever we focus on is what we will see, so see joy!
  2. Peace- “Peace I leave you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27.  Peace was a gift Jesus left for us. It is a part of our inheritance as believers.  It is also a fruit of the spirit.  Peace is something we have to pursue.  If something doesn’t bring us peace, we have to be discerning and ask God to lead us on how to let go of the thing that is causing us turmoil in our heart.  Letting “peace rule our hearts” settles every issue that needs a decision. The answer to your question is “what brings you peace?”
  3. Hope“Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him” Psalm 42:5. Tonight I was at church and they were singing a song called “Living Hope” and the words God put into my head when I was singing was “Jill, if I’m really your hope, then act like it!” It was like a punch to the gut. God knows what we need to hear and I needed to hear that.  Hope is turned on by our faith and positive attitudes.  Our attitudes have to go beyond what we are feeling and instead be based on the fact that we know God is good! Do you really believe that?  Do you believe His Word when it says “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:1.  If we really believe what God says is true then we can live with hope!
  4. Positive Thinking- Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Philippians 4:8. Being a positive person starts in our minds.  Scripture literally spells out how we should think and so often we focus on the opposite.  We have to always remember that our thoughts shape our lives. Proverbs 23:7 says that we become what we think. And Paul tells us  in 2 Corinthians to take every thought captive and make them obedient to Christ. God clearly has shown us in scripture time and time again that what we think about matters. A lot! Negative thoughts can ruin our relationships and eventually our whole life turns into a mess.
  5. Positive Words-  “Our tongue has the power of life an death.” Provers 18:21. I remember early on in my Christian walk I read a book by Joyce Meyer and she said “We can not have a negative mouth and a positive life!”  That made so much sense to me and it really stuck with me. The bible says that positive words bring life where as negative ones can bring death! That’s how powerful our words are. For this reason we should be very discerning when we speak.  This is why it is so important to think positive because it would be almost impossible for a positive person to easily speak negative words that would bring death.

This is a work in progress for all of us! But I have really enjoyed pursuing each of these daily as they have been handed to me.  I pray that you will join me in this worthy pursuit.  Let’s be the light in a world that needs it!

Tell me, was this a good heart check and reminder for you? I’d love to hear from you.

Wake Up for Your Life and Not to It

“Wake up for your life and not to your life.”- Kat Lee (Titus 2 Minute Podcast)

I was listening to a podcast this morning and I heard this sentence and resonated with it so much.  I have always talked a lot about how important it is to wake up with Jesus.  But more recently I’ve recognized the importance of waking up before everyone else in my house to do so.  I’m really hoping this post will inspire you to do the same.

The night I decided to start waking up before everyone was about a year ago.  I had a 6 month old who wasn’t sleeping through the night and I had 5 kids home all day due to the Big “C” hitting our nation. A crazy time to decide to make this decision, no doubt. For years I had reasoned that waking up before everyone else was too much. And that I needed my rest to be a good mom and wife.  But that night as I sat on my friends couch, my heart changed. We were chit chatting with chips and salsa and blankets over our legs and she was telling me how tired she was from work, kids and life. I nodded along in total agreement. But then she told me God whispered to her “you don’t even know what tired is.” Poof! In that moment, all I could think about was Jesus carrying the cross.  I discreetly pulled out my phone and set my alarm for 5:45 AM. She had no idea the impact that conversation had on me. Since that night, I have woken up “for my life and not to me life” like Kat Lee said. I originally thought I needed rest to be the best I could be.  And I do need rest. But even if it’s 5 minutes before my first baby wakes up, what I actually need most is Jesus before everyone else.

How I’ve been able to do this and some tips to help you do it too:

  1. Be Committed- Do it no matter what. Even if you wake up late or the baby wakes up earlier then normal and you only get 2 minutes with Jesus, it’s worth it. I love how Kat Lee said on the podcast: in a basketball game, the team only gets a 30 second time out/reset and we see how often it can change the whole game for the team. Well, the same goes for our lives when we take that time out with Jesus.
  2. Phone away until you pray– This is the golden rule for me.  Starting the day with a stressful email, text or social media post is the worst way to wake up.  Starting the day with a cup of coffee and in prayer just sets the tone. And funny enough, it can often lead to a better response to those ugly things we will read or need to respond to.  We are better for it and so are our relationships. Not to mention, it can easily suck you in and suddenly you have no time with Jesus.
  3. Simple is sufficient– Our time with Jesus isn’t about what we accomplish, it’s about building our relationship with Him. It doesn’t have to be a 30 minute Bible study.  Sometimes we push off our time with Jesus because we believe we won’t have enough time and then we never end up doing anything. But you would never tell your husband or kids before they leave in the morning that you “can’t give them a hug and an I love you” because you don’t have time to watch a whole movie with them.  So we shouldn’t do that to the Lord either. Acknowledge Him first thing. Walk with Him throughout the day and then when you get time to dig in, do it then. He sees the season you are in. He will meet you where you are.

I hope this story and these tips change your whole day!

Lord, we can’t do life without You. Help us to walk step by step with You and acknowledge you always.  You are our priority so please help us to keep You First.  We love you.  Amen.

 

3 Practical Ways to Beat Overwhelm

I don’t know about you, but as a wife and mom, there are many days I wake up a bit overwhelmed by the tasks that have to get done, the conversations that have to be had and also the emotional and spiritual things that need to be addressed. I wonder how and when I should take on each and most of the time I don’t even stop to ask the Lord for His help. This leads me almost every time to worry, stress and anxiety. 

So, how do we fight the urge to rely on ourselves? 

Here are 3 practical ways to beat overwhelm:

  1. Pause and breath: In the Bible, the word for this is Selah. How often do we stop ourselves from going down the rabbit hole and just breath and take in the Lord’s presence for our life? 
  2. Do the next right thing: After you quiet your heart and mind, just get yourself to the place of doing the next right thing. This is where we rely totally and completely on the Holy Spirit and ask Him what we should do next. We stop looking at the whole picture and just look at the next step in front of us. Scripture says “your word is a lamp for my feet. A light on my path” (Psalm 119:105.) When you think of holding a candle to light your way in the dark, you only need to get the next step right to get to where you are going. So ask Him for His light to guide you.
  3. Pray:  Our lifeline is prayer. The Word says to “Pray about everything without ceasing” (Thessalonians 5:17).  Ask God to show you how to do it His way. Because our own way is never the best way. 

Here’s a prayer to get you started this morning and every morning:

Dear Lord,

Show me the way. Show me the next right thing. Light my path the way you said you would in Your Word. Show me how to be ____ wife. Show me how to be ______ mom. Show me how to be _____ daughter. Show me how to be _____ sister. Show me how to be _____ friend. Show me how to be _______ neighbor. But most of all show me how to be Yours. We ask you this in Your Mighty and Holy name. Amen. 

I believe if we start everyday with this prayer and this posture, we will cut down on the overwhelm and focus on the things that’s matter.

Tell me, what has helped you most with overwhelm in your life?