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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 31. Holidays

On HOLIDAYS - All of them - any days you get to take off from work or school because it is a "Holiday" like Columbus Day or Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, President's Day, etc - pray specifically for your family's health: physical, mental, and emotional health. Holidays are the worst time of year for some people because they are missing a loved one.  What a better time than special days to remember to pray for the overall health of your family! Sickness, disease, viruses, and cancer are all ways our physical bodies can be attacked at any time, without much warning.  Anxiety and depression can also bring a lot of people down in their mental and emotional health, also without much warning, and have grievous effects if not noticed and treated. Pay attention to your family's health, and pray for them about it!

I recently heard Mark Lowry say that if David had Prozac, we would not have Psalms. ;) There are many examples of Biblical men and women who suffered from physical, mental, and emotional health issues.  Being saved by grace through faith, is not a stamp for perfect health this side of eternity.  It is the assurance that we will one day be perfectly healthy and with our Savior in heaven.  Until then, it's OK to ask the Lord for help with our family's health. Of course, we are greatly responsible for maintaining our health as much as we possibly can through mindfully focusing on making healthy choices with food, exercise, making time for adequate rest and stress release, avoidance of harmful substances, and sexual purity. It's hardly fair to ask God for complete healing from a disease we could have prevented through better choices.

Holidays - Health

Lord God,

Thank you for this holiday. Please help my family to be healthy so we can serve you better.  Help me to prepare meals that nourish our bodies, instead of harm them.  Thank you for providing enough hours in the day for us to rest, please help us to use our time wisely on what will bring good health.  Help my husband and children to have physical bodies that function to the best of their ability, the way you created them. God, give us the ability to see when our mental and emotional health is not steady, and to seek help from you and others, instead of hiding or ignoring our problems. Protect us from cancer, diseases, and accidents that harm us, so that we may live long lives serving you. Thank you for our time on earth, and these bodies as earthly temples for you until we get to heaven.  Help us to honor you with our temples. In Jesus' Name I pray, 


This is the final post in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 30. Cooking

I know I did specific Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner prayers, but we can often eat those meals without ever having to cook. Cooking is a separate task from sitting down and eating! You can even cook and NOT eat! Therefore, I decided that cooking was another reasonable way to direct our minds back to prayer.

Sometimes cooking can take awhile, and we often cook while managing other tasks in the home. This can make it a little overwhelming for me at times, trying to mentally and physically prepare a meal that has protein, vegetables, and often a grain or starch (quinoa and potatoes are my go-to sides), while making sure the kids are not harming each other or destroying something. The combination of cooking and child-rearing, though common to most people I realize, results in me comparing my cooking abilities to other people and being sadly disappointed. I can't fry things well (chicken, okra, whatever, I can't make the stuff stay on), and my excuse is that it's not healthy anyways, so why spend a ton of time trying to figure out a technique my family doesn't really need?

At the heart of it, when I compare my cooking abilities to others, I fall super short. Cooking becomes even more intimidating to me, because I spend a lot of the time feeling inadequate. This is flat out ridiculous. As long as the food is reasonably healthy, and most of the humans in my house like it relatively well, why should I care that it's not gourmet, Paula Deen and 100% local and organic? This leads me to pray about the issue of comparing myself to others - in all aspects - not just cooking.  If I'm not as pretty as all the people on TV, or as smart as the super moms who manage to work in major medical fields and manage their homes, or as sweet and kind and soft-spoken as my friend down the road, why do I care? It's just one more way my flesh and the devil team up to work against my spirit. I think the opposite of comparing ourselves (when we feel lacking), is instead to find Confidence in exactly who God has created us to be as individuals.

I adored the 31 Day series that Alison Wren did on this specific topic, with lots of guest writers. If "Overcoming the Comparison Trap" is a struggle for you even a little bit, check out her series! Great, relatively short reads that provide a very fresh perspective on 'cultivating authenticity' and more!

Theodore Roosevelt Quote
Instead of Comparing - we need to have Confidence!

Cooking - Confidence Overcoming Comparisons

Dear God,

I'm sorry I compare myself to others when I know you created me to be exactly who you want me to be.  Help me to stop doing this, by being confident in you and your love, and what you are doing in my life.  Remind my husband to not compare himself with others. Help him to find confidence in the abilities you have blessed him with, and not feel lacking.  Give my children confidence in who you created them to be.  Help us as a family to fulfill your purpose for us with confidence, not comparing our family to others.  Help us to put all of our confidence in you, keeping our eyes on you, instead of ourselves.  In Jesus' Name I pray,


This is post thirty in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Monday, November 2, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 29. Waiting

No matter what you do, there is some point during most days you probably have to wait for someone or something.  Whether you are out and about, in a store line, or watching little ones and waiting for them to fall asleep at bedtime, most people I know have experienced plenty of waiting on a daily basis.

Then there are those times in life where it feels like we are stuck in a waiting room and we can't get out of that particular life stage - a constant time of waiting for something.  I have been there, too, friend! For our family, that time came when we were unemployed for 8 months. It was a long time of waiting for God to direct our path, but when He did, it all fell into place! Recently we moved again, and moved knowing John would need a second job, because this is a bi-vocational pastor position, but also knowing God would provide it in His timing.  So we have spent the last two months praying about and waiting on what/where that job would be. In typical AWESOME GOD fashion - today my husband got a job with benefits! Prayers of many have been answered, and ALL the glory goes to God! This will give our family enough financial stability to start saving/looking for a permanent home, and to pay all the other bills in the meantime, while hopefully allowing John enough time to still commit to our family and church/pastoring.

Whether your wait is infertility, or being single and longing for a mate, or also waiting for a job, or waiting for adoption to be finalized or any other major life waits for 2 months, or 8 months, or 5 years, or whatever, waiting gets very difficult the longer it lasts. If you are in a waiting time, I am truly sorry that you are experiencing difficulty, and I am not by any means comparing infertility to unemployment or being single for a decade of dreaming to 2 months of hoping for a second job. I know some of you warriors are experiencing a longer wait than I ever have, and I applaud and love you for it. I am hoping to provide just a little encouragement and truth in the midst of your wait.  During our last waiting time, God brought this verse to my attention specifically in different translations:

Psalm 27:14:

It was then that I realized waiting itself requires bravery, courage, strength, and patience.  Waiting seems dull, boring, and stressful. However, God uses times of waiting to make us grow - grow stronger, braver, more courageous, and more patient.  Growing pains hurt, and it's not always fun, but God never promised fun.  He promises hope, salvation, forgiveness, unconditional love and mercy, but not a life that will be 'easy' or 'fun' all of the time. Of course, we will have experiences of happiness, and fun, but those are a bonus, and can only really be enjoyed if we have waited long enough to truly appreciate them.  So when we encounter times of waiting - daily or long-term - let us pray that we (and our families) would be able to wait without worry.

Waiting - Without Worry

Lord Jesus,

I am sorry we become frustrated when we have to wait. Please help me to wait without worry in the small waiting and in the long waiting. Remind my husband of your faithful promises when doubt and worry creep in, so that he can maintain his faith and trust in you while he waits. Help my children to learn that we can wait for you for all that we need, and that you always have perfect timing. Give our family the courage and bravery to continue to take steps of faith that require waiting on you. Remind us in the waiting times that you have a purpose, a plan, and more love for us than we can imagine.  Remind us as we wait to give our burdens to you, and to remember that you have not forgotten us. In Your Holy Name I pray,


This is post twenty-nine in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 28. Road 'Rage'

If you live somewhere there's not much traffic, count yourself blessed.  Perhaps think of this when you are on the road, whether you feel angry or not. For the rest of us who drive on roads full of other imperfect, and sometimes downright crazy drivers, you have probably been in a driving situation where you felt some anger.  Commonly known as 'road rage,' and a totally pointless emotional outburst - because my anger at the driver I don't know, does nothing to change the driver's actions or habits - it's just a reaction, not a solution. If you are the kind of person who has already conquered this, then just let the thought of being on the 'road' drive you to pray in the same way.

So let's try to instead pray for Rest. Resting in Christ, resting in our identity in Him, resting from too much work, resting from too much TV, too much social media, whatever you feel you should pray about in regards to resting from that does not call your soul closer to Jesus when it is there in excess.  Many things in life are good, but we spend too much time on them instead of on rest.  Think about what God is saying instead, "Come to me. Rest from that." My husband actually preached on this topic a few weeks ago, and you listen in on the podcast here if you like. Let's turn road rage into prayers for rest!

Road Rage - Rest

Father God,

Help my family to rest. Help me to rest from all my striving and just come to you. Help my husband to rest in you and all of your promises.  Help my kids to rest physically through good sleep. Help my husband and I to know when we need to turn off distractions and rest, so we can be the people you created us to be, not half-zombie, stressed-out versions of ourselves. Help us as parents to know when we need to help our children to rest, and when we need to take a break from our parenting and have a date night. Help us to know where and how we find you, to become refreshed by you in the best possible way to rest.  Help us to rest from screens, and from constant going, and take some time to just enjoy each other at home as a family.  Thank you God, for ordaining rest by giving us the example of you resting on the 7th day from creation.  Help us to make time to rest, at least once a week. We love you, Lord. In Jesus' Name I pray, 


This is post twenty-eight in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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