Prayer – Revisiting It’s Importance

23
Feb
2015

Love and the cross meet to change History

I wrote this post nearly 3 years ago…… it was a rough time.  We all have those seasons, which either break us or make us stronger.  I obviously survived – here I am nearly three years later….. but these times do change us.  We can either reach out towards God or fall away.  

I feel a bit like my prayer life is a bit dry.   I am praying daily, but am not feeling the connection, His divine presence…..so I thought this post was a good reminder for me, but might be helpful for another mom who might be struggling with the same.

I pray this speaks to those who need it today  :-)  It is a great reminder for me.

My spirit is crushed, I feel defeated and neglected.  Our family is journeying through some really rocky territory and honestly, I just don’t like it at all.  Who likes going through the storm – no one.  But I also know that it can either drive me away from God or draw me near – I choose to draw near and hold on – with prayer.

How is your prayer life? 

Are you meeting Him and sharing your heart?  Here are a few reasons why you should make sure it is on your to-do list everyday, all the time.

Importance of Prayer

Prayer is one of the most important things a Christian can do. It is a time they are communicating with God and it should be taken very seriously. While there is deep theological meaning in prayer, it doesn’t have to be something that is complicated and difficult. It’s something anyone can do anywhere at any time.

Drawing Near to God

It’s impossible to know someone if you don’t spend time with them. Prayer is an opportunity to spend time with God. To really understand the heart of God, you need to pray. In John 15:15, Jesus says He no longer calls us his servants, but calls us His friends. Talking with God develops a deeper relationship with Him. The deeper the relationship becomes, the more time you want to spend with Him. In 1 Corinthians 3:9, God calls us His fellow workers. How can we be His fellow workers if we refuse to talk to Him?

Prayer Brings Light to Darkness

Sometimes we forget just how powerful prayer is. We aren’t fighting against something imaginary, our prayers are fighting against spiritual battles that linger in dark places. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The power of prayer is so great it has the power to defeat the devil and his power over us. He wants to destroy us, but God wants to bring us closer to Him. Prayer is our tool to win that battle. Prayer gives us the strength and the faith to finish the race victorious.

Prayer Changes Us

We often think prayer changes God. This simply isn’t the case. Prayer changes us. When we spend time with God, He is working to change our heart to be more like His. The more time we spend with Him, the more we are like Him. Our habits and lifestyles change. We no longer live a self-centered life, but one that is focused on others with a pure and sincere heart. Prayer changes us inside out.

Prayer Protects

Protection is ours just for the asking. We need to pray for protection for our loved ones every day. Pray for loved ones by name, one by one. You can never pray too much for one person. Sometimes it helps to make a list of all the people that you need to pray for each day. Doing this not only offers us protection, but also sets a great example for our children.

Do you pray daily for your husband and children for protection?

Prayer Brings Breakthroughs in Life

One of the most important aspects of prayer in your life is the breakthroughs that come. Sometimes we are faced with devastating circumstances and feel we have nowhere to turn. It’s at that point we should pray (although there should have plenty of prayer beforehand, too). Fasting and praying is powerful, too. Sometimes you need a message from God and you need to be solely focused on Him to get it. It may be painful during the prayer and waiting process but once you receive it you will be so happy you sought Him. While you wait, you can also sing praise songs, read the Bible, or anything else that brings you closer to Him. Even if the breakthrough doesn’t happen that day, you will receive the strength and the grace to carry on. Eventually you will receive an answer to your prayers, or a peace about waiting longer. When you look back over this time you will most likely see it as some of the most spiritually rich time of your life.

Do you need a breakthrough today?

10 Free Printables and Planning Resources for Busy Moms

19
Feb
2015

Blog-10-free-printables 

As I peruse Pinterest I always discover wonderful FREE printables which I know can help make a busy mom’s life much easier.  So today, I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite’s.

Just click on the image or text to go right to the page to find download information.

 PLANNER-HEADER-2015

1.  The Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner  (yes, shameless plug!) 

print

2.  31 Free Printables over at I Heart Planners (I particularly love this daily planner)

Chore_Chart_Nine_Chores_Pics3.  Free Printable Chore Chart for young children at Chore Charts

print copy

 4.  The Ultimate Customizable Personal Planner at the Green Child Magazine

Free-Printable-Calendar-5

5.   Free printable calendar at Smart School House

7928ab13a10c581fc6d9d13ddca154ed

6.  Kid’s Bathroom Cleaning Checklist at Money Saving Mom 

5de46d067f7da9b6d774108debd8d355

7.  Kid’s Bedtime Routine Printables at Live Simply

7d27d359253f1f817a991945279b0259

8.  Printable Goal Charts for Kids (or Moms!) at Mom 4 Real

cb7029cc5786e6b650084eb2004d8746

9.  Free Lunch Box Planner at Living Locurto 

Free-printable-family-planner

10.  Free Printable Family Planner at I Heart Nap Time

Tips for Nurturing Your Marriage

12
Feb
2015

Closeup image barefoot couple legs at the beach

As I sit down to write this article on the importance of nurturing your marriage, I realize that it is likely more for me than perhaps you.  

I feel very convicted that I have not been making my marriage a higher priority.  It is like I know the why behind the importance, but the actual actions take time and energy, which as busy moms, are often lacking in our days.   With the scare my husband had with his appendix on Monday and the rush to surgery, I was really struck with how life can change in a matter of seconds.

The reality is, finding time to honor our husbands and share intimacy is extremely important in keeping our marriage a priority.   We can easily start to feel like roommates living under one roof with one goal in mind if we do not take the time to make our spouse feel special.

I am reminded of a very key point made by author Devi Titus in her book,  “The Home Experience” when she talks about honoring your husband:

Wives often mistakenly give to their husbands what they need rather than what he needs.  The Four B’s that husbands need:

Backed  (support, uplift, and encourage)

Bedded  (offer affection and sexual intimacy)

Boarded  (provide meals and a comfortable home)

Babied  (care for him when he is sick or feeling down)”

For those husbands who might be reading, she goes on to say what wives need:

“Loved  (both in words and actions)

Lead  (through kind direction and example)

Lifted Up  (encouraged, romanced, made to feel special)

Listened to  (without trying to solve all her problems)

Don’t you agree?

For me, as a wife, is seems rather simple.  If I can cover each of these areas in a day, then I would say that is a step in the right direction.   So what could that look like, without becoming overwhelmed with adding another “item” on my to-do list, let’s come up with some simple ways to incorporate fresh perspective our on spouses and creating that special connection that comes from dating.

Backed

Pray for your husband, ask him what you can pray for him in particular that day.  Find a minute to give him encouragement and praise for an area that you especially appreciate about him.  If he is having a rough day, take the time to encourage him with your words.

Bedded

Finding time to be intimate can be tricky, especially for those of us with young children, but this just gives you more of a challenge to overcome.  I totally get it, by evening I am exhausted and I have learned it is best to give my hubby a time frame – if we are to become intimate it needs to begin before a certain time.  That may seem not very romantic, but open communication is important in a home with kids coming and going, a toddler and a husband that works out of town!

But being bedded does not always mean having to have sex, it also includes affection by hand holding, hugging, caressing and being close.  Sitting together holding hands can often be just as special.  It takes intentional actions.

Boarded

Taking the time to create a nice atmosphere for my husband to arrive home to after being gone traveling is a huge blessing to him.  It is one way I can ‘date’ him in our own home.  We don’t have to go anywhere, but when I have the house picked up, candles burning or a nice meal on the stove, he is happy.  He knows I’ve been thinking of him – especially if it is a pie baking in the oven!  Fixing his favorite foods is an easy way to show him I care and am purposeful in serving him.

Babied

This one can be tricky if you have a man who declines help – but insist anyhow.  When they’ve had a rough day or are not feeling well,  be intentional to do something that will encourage him and make him feel better.  Maybe it is a cup of tea, a cold drink, a warm cookie or even letting him crawl back into bed to get some more sleep.  You know your spouse best, so think of those things in advance; those things that you know he would appreciate and finding comforting when he is a bit under the weather or feeling down.

It can be easy to procrastinate and always put off caring for your spouse.  We have our kids calling us all day and we tend to prioritize their needs above our spouses, because they are little, but our spouses our just as important and our relationship needs to be tended to and nurtured.

Just in time for Valentine’s day – a reminder for all year though!

5 Must Reads for Your Marriage

9
Feb
2015

Must-reads-Christian-marriage

In honor of Valentines Day coming this week I thought it would be the perfect time to share my five must reads for marriage.   :-)

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts – Gary Chapman5L

This book has been a huge hit for our entire family.  You likely have heard of it before – but if you have not read it, take it out and re-read it.  I know that for myself I used it a great deal when parenting my children, but I often forget to really remember how my husband “feels” loved.  We get so caught up in our everyday life that we miss those opportunities to truly convey our heart to the one who holds our heart. 

How We Love – by Milan Yerkovich and Kay Yerkovich

hwlMy small bible study group read through this book two years ago and it has changed our lives forever.  This book takes a look at how you grew up and how that really has everything to do with relating to your spouse.  Even though I read this book two years ago, I still have a lot of work to continue doing, but this book gave both my husband and I a place to start using vocabulary in hopes of moving past some of the brick walls where our arguments would end.  It helps you understand the emotional hurts of your spouses past as well as your own and gives you some tools to move forward.

Wife After God: Drawing Closer to God & Your Husband  by Jennifer SmithWAG

I love this inspirational 30 day marriage devotional written just for wives!  I want to have a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with both my husband and God and Jennifer Smith does a great job being real, vulnerable and authentic in her words.  Having it broken down into a 30 day devotional makes it easy to read and simple to follow through on.  Jennifer Smith also writes at Unveiled Wife.

This devotional study was prayerfully composed with 30 days of biblical concepts and practical challenges to help you nourish your relationship with God and your relationship with your husband in marriage into ones that are captivating, intimate and extraordinary. Every day you will be presented with a biblical topic to help draw your nearer to your God and your husband.

SFScreamFree Marriage: Calming Down, Growing Up, and Getting Closer  by Hal Runkel and Jenny Runkel

The ScreamFree concept changed my life.  I have written about it before and even had a group coaching program based on the ScreamFree Parenting book as well – calming down, keeping your cool and growing up is the way to be in ALL relationships – especially in marriage.

The focus is really about improving yourself, not focusing on the other person.  I embrace that concept because so often we are trying to change the other person in the relationship and that gets us nowhere!  This book offers up some real life strategies to help build responses to often struggles in a more mature manner.  

The Love Dare by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick

Do you remember the movie “Fireproof” from a few years back?  This book was the basis for that move and was based on the concept of offering unconditional love – no matter what.  It is a 40 day challenge that can help you get beyond yourself and realize what giving love truly looks like.

This book will challenge you!

I encourage you to pick at least one of these and read it in the next 30 days.  Take a few days and pray about which one the Lord would have you read and then step out and discover what He may be wanting to teach you.

Have you read any of these books?

Fun Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Family

2
Feb
2015

 Fun Valentines gifts

Yummy Treat!

Spend an afternoon making a fun treat to keep or to give away.  Every now and again I indulge on things I don’t normally and this would fall into that category!  But look at it…. so yum!!

val-yum

Find the recipe HERE:  Valentine Confetti Candy mix

Because I Love You:  66 Blank Love Coupons

This is perfect for splitting and sharing with the whole family.  You can use some for your hubby, your kids, a friend – they are great!  You can customize each coupon, which I have found to be the best, as most coupon books you purchase already have ideas on the coupon, and some are just not my style.  

41Io6roksRL

You can for example give one day of no arguments, a romantic walk, one night of stargazing, a breakfast in bed, a free wish, one big bear hug, a massage, a weekend getaway, a kiss, a day to yourself to do whatever you want, a soothing foot massage, get out of one household chore, or a coffee date.  Use your imagination.  Of course, you could easily make a homemade version, but again, I am not a big DIY person!!

FIND IT HERE on AMAZON

The many reasons why I love you LOVE NOTE {Free Printable}

So adorable and perfect for spouses and kiddos!!  Print this out, take some time to fill it in and surprise them with it sitting at the breakfast table.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have everyone read it outloud and share what is so great about them and why they’re loved?

d93f50cf5973890a61cbb4b75c032707

Find it HERE to DOWNLOAD

Mr. & Mrs. – Love Notes & Mugs Gift Set

I have had these mugs for years and love them.  Now I see that you can get the mug set with sweet notes too – this will cover the entire family!   I especially love the scripture on the mugs:  I found the one my heart loves.  Song of Solomon 3:4 NIV   You can grab it this week for 30% off  – Just use code MRANDMRS at checkout.   Hurry – Sale ends Feb 5.

Mr-Mrs

CLICK HERE and type in Mr and Mrs in the search bar – you might even find some other goodies to get from Dayspring – I love to stock up on their bulk greeting cards! 

For other Frugal Valentines Ideas, you can check out this blog post!