Life is full of hallways - those times between God's closing doors and opening windows. Find Biblical encouragement for your own season of struggle by visiting the blog, stopping by the shop, or subscribing to our members' page. Let's praise Him in the waiting!
Although I've read through my Bible numerous ways, until recently, I'd never ventured to a 90-day Bible reading plan. It usually takes me 1-2 years (sometimes even 3, if I'm in a busy season of life) to read through the entirety of God's Word, so the idea of consuming it in a mere 3 months was a bit daunting.
After some consideration, I finally committed to the challenge this past February. It was extremely difficult to keep up with the daily reading portions, but by the end of April, I had successfully finished my very first 90-Day Bible Reading Plan.
I learned so much from this exercise that I felt I should share some of my takeaways in the hopes that my experience will help you decide whether or not you would benefit from reading your Bible in 90 days, too.
Last week, a friend shared with me about a very difficult situation she was facing, so I asked, "how would you like me to pray?"
"I'm not exactly sure," she responded. "It's hard to know what would be best."
After my friend left, I thought about her situation and others like it. Sometimes, it's not clear how we should be praying. We know we need to pray, but what do we do when we don't know what we should pray for?
It's in those times that I have to go back to God's Word to learn what to do. The Bible offers at least 10 ways to pray when we don't know what to pray for.
I was truly looking forward to Easter. Jon and I planned to send out newsletters to our various email lists. We planned to attend our church's sunrise service. We envisioned a detailed Passover lunch just like we've done the past several years. I thought it would be fun to take beautiful family photos.
But life happened. Jon, Wing Man, and I were still battling headcolds we'd contracted the week before. The warmer weather brought with it my annual headaches that I suffer from every Spring. There were no newsletters, photos, egg hunts, or special church services.
In fact, I felt like a pretty lousy Christian for not being able to better celebrate the Risen Savior.
If you're like me, you welcome the opportunity to pray for people. But perhaps, also like me, you need a few built-in reminders to keep others' prayer requests at the front of your mind.
Whenever someone asks me to pray, I try to lift him or her up in prayer before I let them know that I'll be praying. That way, I know I've prayed for them at least once. But my heart really is to pray for them multiple times. And I've found three fairly easy ways to remember to pray for them over and over.
Most Christian wives enter into marriage with excitement, eagerly looking forward to the promise of a beautiful life of faith and devotion to God, strengthened by a strong, believing husband.
Maybe you were one of them.
Many of us have gotten to enjoy the growing faith and iron-sharpening-iron we envisioned, but for others, sadly, that's not always how the story ends.
While true believers will grow in their faith and deepen their walk with Christ, some wives are facing a completely different, scary reality.
And maybe you're one of them.
Maybe, instead of seeing your husband's faith blossom, you're watching him slowly abandon the faith.
Revelation has long been one of my favorite books in the Bible. But it wasn't until very recently that I learned just how rare that makes me - many people find Revelation too gruesome, too weird, and too difficult to enjoy.
While I definitely understand these aversions to the last book of the Bible, there are at least three things we can keep in mind in order to read Revelation with enjoyment as well.
Last February, I made the difficult decision to give up social media for personal use. I had many reasons for doing so, and even though I felt it was a good step to take, I was nervous. Would I feel completely alienated from everyone? Would I miss important updates from friends with whom I was only connected on Facebook? Would eliminating my personal accounts give me the peace of mind I hoped it would?
It's been a year since I gave it up, and I'm pleased to report that the world didn't end without me. :) In all seriousness, though, I learned several valuable lessons from my social media hiatus.
Two of the spark plugs were running in the house. One child was playing harmonica at full volume. All four were shouting gleefully into walkie talkies that were adding annoying white-noise static to the din. And I had a headache the size of Texas (not related to the chaotic noise but definitely exacerbated by it).
"Guys!!" I shouted, trying to make myself heard over the clamor. "CUT! IT! OUT!!!!" I roared.
Mama Bear had had enough, thank you very much.
It was only after my explosion that I learned that my neighbor, who had given the kids their walkie talkies, had her own set and was on the frequency chatting away with them. When I'd blown my top like an explosive volcano, she'd probably heard every angry word.
I've yet to meet anyone who thinks there is plenty of time to get things done. Whether you have a day job, a special hobby, or specific ministry, it can be hard to make sure that you're keeping a healthy balance with the various things you need to do every day.
In fact, as I've worked on my marriage, my parenting, my blog, and my other obligations, more and more, I'm finding I have to work at keeping that healthy balance. It isn't something that comes together naturally.
The first time I heard the "rocks in a jar" analogy, I was intrigued. The idea of prioritizing my goals and obligations made complete sense. It was certainly true that unless I put my "big rocks" in my life's jar first, I would never be able to fit in the pebbles, sand, and water as well. And so, for a long time, I was quite content with the standard "rocks in a jar" analogy.
As I've grown older and my spiritual walk has deepened, however, I've begun to wonder if we as believers are looking at our rocks in the wrong light.