In the blog, Pick Up Your Crown, Girl I discussed 10 steps to gaining confidence. I also folowed up with Step 1 in the blog How to Pick Up Your Crown Step 1. In this blog I explain the most important step of picking up your crown and owning it- coming to know God through a personal relationship with our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. Another very important step in being able to pick up your crown is to Give the Glory to God ALWAYS and to honor Him ALWAYS!
Let’s face it it’s easy to love God and praise Him when things are going right but when things are falling apart it’s hard to say “thank you, LORD”. I know, I’ve been there and done that. I tithed when things were great and didn’t when they were bad. I prayed when things were good and didn’t when they were bad. When everything in my life fell apart, I blamed Him instead of praising him through the storm.
giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, ~Ephesians 5:20
The Bible does NOT say give thanks to God when things are good. It says FOR EVERYTHING (good or bad). This is very hard to do. When I was learning this lesson I was living in a hotel because I had lost my job, got evicted from my home, and I had 3 children to raise and feed. ALL BY MYSELF! This was during a period in time when finding a job was next to impossible. The economy had taken a downward spiral and jobs were scarce.
So that weekly hotel you pass on the highway and think who stays there weekly? Well, me and my children did. The PTA mom, the soccer mom, the baseball mom, the Jr. Leaguer with her hair done just right and dressed just like you -she stayed there. This is why I never judge a book by its cover-I’ve been that book misjudged many times. I know what is happening on the outside is not a true representation of what is happening on the inside.
I look back on what seemed to be a very dark moment in my life and I am reminded of how great God really is because as I look back on that moment I am reminded of a what was born from me being there in that moment of time. A sweet friend of mine came to visit me at my worst at that hotel and as I was crying about my circumstance and complaining about my life, she saw a need I could not see. All I saw around me was MY situation.
Out of my darkest moment a very good ministry was founded for the children who lived there. Kids playing soccer next to a highway. Kids running around without solid parental guidance. Teens having sex in the hallways and rooms of a hotel because of the lifestyle they were raised in. They finally had a voice through my sweet friend and her Life Group from church.
Funds were raised and kids who didn’t know what a Christmas tree was like or the joy of decorating for Christmas suddenly found that joy. Children and parents were mentored on a life with Jesus and still are because I weathered a storm. Because although I reached my lowest moment in my life; there were families reaching one of the highest moments in their lives-coming to know the LORD. Only God could make that happen. But if I had not lived in that place for that season of my life, it never would have happened. My life made that happen. That, my friends, is very empowering to know my life impacted others in that way.
I could tell you countless stories of weathering the storm, we all have them. Some of us have more than others. But the biggest lesson I learned through all my trials was that God DOES have a plan for me. He does have a hope and a future for me. I just have to listen to my Heavenly Father and see the beauty being created even when my life is a hot mess for that hot minute. That, my sweet friends, was so empowering to me.
My life is very blessed now but I have a past. I had shame from bad relationships and poor choices in men. I had guilt from bad choices that led to sexual promiscuity and poor financial management. I had loneliness from low self esteem. Sound familiar? Good news is that it will get better. You see one day I found out I have Jesus and my whole life changed. My Jesus is my friend and he held my hand when I thought no one else in the world was there.He led me to Central Texas. He brought me to my beautiful life in my beautiful home with my amazing husband, my three beautiful children and friends who are now family.
It wasn’t easy and it has taken a lot of healing and a lot of forgiveness of others and myself. It took me realizing that no matter what God has a plan and no matter what He deserves the glory for all my hurts, all my pains, and all my success. Without the trials and tribulations I would not be who I am today. I would not know a life with God. I would not be a mother who prays for her children not to know the experiences I endured in my life. I would not be a wife who submits to her husband and prays for him daily. I would be a lost soul walking on this earth filled with pain, filled with misery, and void of the love and laughter that my family and friends today bring me.
It’s not easy to always give the glory to God. Sometimes we forget. We are human, it happens. But I have prayed for God to convict me when I fail to praise him even during the bad times and He does.
My challenge to you today is simple: Find your hope and your future even when you are in the storm. See the beauty in your hot mess moments. We all have them. Turn the negative into a positive. Know that no matter where you are in life at this moment that God, and ONLY God brought you to where you are today. GIVE HIM THE GLORY FOR IT ALL! But most importantly, know that even when we are a hot mess in those hot minute moments we still deserve to pick up our crowns and a know that even when we feel no one else is there our Heavenly Father is because we are the daughters of the King of Kings and LORD of Lords.
And that my sweet friends, makes all of us blessed women!
A Blessed Woman in TX
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6
For the last few months I have been struggling to get my son to go to youth group. As I have prayed over this fervently, God finally gave me the answer the other day in Lifeway. “I’ll buy a study we can do at home together”. So, since both the 14 year old and 19 year old can’t make it to youth group on Wednesdays, I’ll bring it to the house! I’m a little nervous but also super pumped about this. I haven’t done anything like this since they were little!!! But then I asked “why not?”
We have to remember that no matter how old our children are, we are still parents. Yes, they can take care of themselves but without proper guidance and teaching and training, life can get hard real quick. Everyday I talk to my 25 year old. Sometimes they are long conversations sometimes they are a quick text message, and sometimes, I just don’t want to talk but everyday I hear from her. When I don’t, I know something is not right and I reach out. My job as a parent never stops!!!
It can be tiring to be always “on”as a mom. Even when they get older, they still only talk to you when you are on the phone or in the restroom or when you are trying to rest. Even when they get older they still need you to cook them a meal, love on them and comfort them when they are sick. It can be exhausting shuffling kids from point A to point B. But then they get the drivers license and you miss taking them and having those little conversations in the car. And you would give anything for that moment once again.
Here is what I know today: I would give anything to go back and do it all over again to really bask and take in those moments with Megan and Marissa. I am down to my last one at home and I am learning to put a new spin on this because one day there won’t be anyone to drop off in the morning. One day they will all have their own families, their own lives. But the one thing I do know, they will never not know they are loved. I will never not be there for them. Just because they are grown does not mean they do not need me. It means my job as a mom is different. I lean on my parents everyday, so why shouldn’t they lean on me.
So, today I prepared for youth group at the house and my son’s best friend and his mom will be joining us. They have been our extended family for quite some time. We will fellowship and worship together tonight at we study The Battle Plan for Prayer Teen Bible Study.
To prepare for this I have put together my Mom Prayer Journal for Christi and myself. This is where we will journal everything about being a mother and all our prayers for our children.
In here I have a spot for all those awesome downloads, prayer calendars, bible studies, etc I find online. Then I have a section with paper and dividers for our children and my step grandchildren. But I digress! I will save this for another post another day……..
I have also put together some sheets for the kids tonight and found some on the internet.
The first thing I put together is the battle plan worksheet! You can find it here–>Teen Battle Plan Session 1 I had to add some baseball images to it to make it interesting for the boys! (In my internet search I could not find anything teen boy friendly so I created it). This sheet is the main points I wanted to get across tonight.
One of the topics we will discuss tonight is confession of sins. So after many hours of searching for something appropriate, I took an old favorite Catholic examination of conscience and made it into a Christian examination of conscience. You can find it here –> Confession Sheet
I will also be using some others but again I’ll save that for some other posts. There is so much I have done to prepare for tonight. I just hope the boys have fun as they begin to learn what it has taken me 44 years to figure out-prayer is the answer to EVERYTHING!
I’m sure they will since we will also be making prayer jars! WHAT? Of course my inner Martha Stewart had to create something!
At the end of the day, I will just be happy to teach these young men (and the young woman) about my new passion for prayer and all the good it brings to your life.
Tonight I will be blessed with 2 young men and a young woman and one of my dearest friends who all mean the world to me. I look forward to what God has in store tonight……….
There is much more to come! God has put so much on my heart lately and I can’t keep up (hence the reason for the many prayer journals I have purchased lately). Copious notes and conversations being recorded. But until then…………
A Very blessed woman in TX
Do you have a stack of books you need to read?
- In my living room, I have 25 new books.
- In my office, I have 3 new books.
- In my purse, I carry 4 new books.
All purchased in the last 2 months.
You know the books I’m talking about, ladies. The ones that discuss growing deeper with God, they help you be a better Christian wife, Christian mother, make Christian decisions and all the Christian topics you think will “fix” or “help” you? If you’re like me, then yes!
Why? Because I’m going to read them all! Right? Well no. However, in my defense, I am currently reading 3 of the 25 books.
My husband just shakes his head and walks off every time we are at Lifeway and he says “Why are you getting this book?” and I reply “Um, for Bible Study” and he replies “How many bible studies do you do? Shouldn’t you finish one before you start another” Um, OUCH!
This recent conversation with Lee and a group of friends who are in the same boat with me made me think. If we are doing this, there are others doing this! We are overwhelmed with where to start. We are tired. Which one do we read first.
If you are like me, then you get on Facebook and join your Christian groups in a quick early morning conversation. Then you head over to your devotional you go to in the morning where you click a link and you are lead to read through a blog, that blogs leads to another, and another. The next thing you know hours have flown by and it’s 10 am or 12 pm. AND now your email is overwhelmed with the 4-5 devotionals you signed up for in the process. Then you feel guilty because you don’t have time to read them all. Guilt hits you because afterall, THIS IS GOD’S WORD! ln the process you also came across 1-2 more books you need to purchase because if you get them, everything will be okay!!!! You feelin’ me, ladies?
WE NEED TO STOP DOING THAT!
Don’t get me wrong, I love these books. They all are written by wonderful men and women with awesome insight to the LORD. And the blogs, I love them. I write one and have friends who write some beautiful words and I cherish them all but Oh -My -Goodness I have become overwhelmed on where to start because of my desire to be a better Christian wife, mom, daughter, and friend
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. ! ~2 Corinthians 3:5
Ladies, hear me closely: God says we are good enough! As long as we are following Him we are enough. Do we need insight and fellowship from our Christian sisters, heck yes! Are these books awesome resources, heck yes! But that’s just it, these are resources not our whole source. Have faith that God will lead us to what we need. He did not intend for us to freak out and be overwhelmed in our walk with Him.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
I’ve sat here with 6 books piled up, over 20 blogs to read through, and feeling like I would never get through it all in a day. That’s because I won’t! I work fulltime outside of the home, I’m a mom, a friend, a daughter and most importantly a wife. I have a household to run and two regions to manage with 500 agents. As great as it would be to sit with a cup of coffee nestled in the corner of my couch wrapped in a beautiful blanket reading and posting blogs about my new wonderful findings, I can’t. God blessed me with a family, a career, and a Bible.
God told me my solution was simple, when all else fails, start with the Bible and a simple conversation with Him to lead me to what and who I need in my life. I did this recently and was blessed with this wonderful group of mentors who are guiding me in ways I never thought imaginable. I have formed new friendships and been guided to Him like never before in my life. Who knew the solution to being overwhelmed by a simple, enjoyable act like reading and self improvement was so simple. ASK and PRAY!
I reassessed my involvement in all things in my life. I deleted Facebook groups and business groups I didn’t visit anymore or are no longer aligned with my values in all areas of my life. I gave myself permission to read what God leads me to and puts on my heart. I have a crown on my head put on there by God Himself. I am His princess. He is my King and He told me I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. He told me what studies I need to attend and who I need to be around right now. Most importantly, God told me I AM ENOUGH! My crown is straight again. I just needed to slow down, take a deep breath and LISTEN!
So, if you are like me and want to “fix” your life or need “help”. Yes, God provided resources but the most important source he gave us is the Bible. Do a google search on scriptures that cover your topic. Ask God to help you find what YOU need. If you find a book, ask God if this is the one. Sometimes he’ll show you through cost, shipping, difficulties ordering. LISTEN TO HIM!
When signing up for devotionals know you only need 1-2 devotionals per day. I have one for the morning and one for the evening. And I know it’s the right ones because they usually address something I’m facing in my life at that time. God’s timing is everything!
I was signed up for so many online bible studies before I did nothing but study, study, study. I had no time for application and it was not fruitful for me anymore. I was still receiving these updates and such and although the information is useful and awesome material I unsubscribed. Not because I don’t like them, but because there was a time these were right for me, but now God told me I needed something different. He has provided it.
Find what resonates with you right now, this minute. Ask God to lead you. It can be overwhelming and cause you greater stress as you try to read through a pile of books and click through blogs to fix your life.
I read blogs for fun and leisure. I love seeing what my friends are doing and what God places on their hearts as well. But I don’t look at each one everyday. Sometimes I’ll read 4-5 when traveling sometimes all I have time for is 1. Sometimes they are pertinent to me and sometimes they are pertinent for a friend and I pass it on. No matter what I am reading, I have learned God leads me to where I am for a purpose. I may not know that purpose today, but eventually it will come to me and be useful.
I love books, I enjoy reading and learning more about my walk with the LORD. I am in no way saying don’t read books or blogs. I am just saying read what is intended for you and your circumstances. Maybe you are firm in your decision making processes so books on this are fruitless to you however, if your prayer life needs some sparking then books on prayer would be fruitful for you.
In 2016, I agreed to simplify my life and increase my prayer life. So being the Type A personality I am and overachiever I have purchased every book possible to make this happen. But God and I talked.
Today, I am reading 3 books: Lord, I Want to Know You for bible study at church, Fervent for my online study and The Battle Plan for Prayer for my personal knowledge. I also purchased the Audible versions since I travel so much. The more I hear it AND read it the more it resonates with me. I will also turn these on when cleaning or cooking at home or working in the office. I have loaned out some of the other books I purchased to friends. If I get them back great, if not, then when I need something God will provide it.
I am blessed with the resources God provides.
A Very Blessed Woman in TX
In my last blog, I shared one of my husband’s sermons. This is the last and BEST part of it (to me at least). This was where I had new insight to a very long history with Prayer.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened. ~ Psalm 66:18
- We must remain in right-standing with God. We must not have unconfessed sin in our lives. We must confess our sins routinely, keeping short accounts, then going to the Father seeking forgiveness, grace and mercy.
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ~Matthew 6:14-15
- Be pure in heart. We cannot have have unforgiveness in our heart toward anyone. No resentment or longheld bitterness. If so, ask the LORD to create a clean heart in you to reveal anything you may have overlooked or have buried deep within you.
- Pray with love and ferventcy out of a pure heart with all sincerity.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- Speak of things as though they are not as they are. In 2 Corinthians 4:18 we are told as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal And in Romans 4:17 we are told as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. God did, Jesus did, Abraham did, and WE MUST!
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children. ~Hosea 4:6
- Pray in knowledge of God’s word. Look up and know the scriptures pertaining to certain requests. Know God’s promises. We must know how to stand on God’s word.
- Never doubt. God hears and will answer on HIS time. And it may not be a yes. If it goes unanswered it wasn’t HIS will. At least not yet! Sometimes unanswered prayer is a blessing.
- Pray in Jesus’ name and authority always
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. ~Job 42:10
- Pray for others regularly. God will bless you for it and readily answer more of your prayers. Everything Job lost in his terrible ordeal was restored to him DOUBLE when he entered into prayer for his three friends who had accused him so vigorously of sin.
TO BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW TO PRAY FOR YOUR FRIENDS READ AND MAKE NOTES ON PAUL’S PRAYERS FOR HIS FRIENDS
Paul prayed that his friends:
- Ephesians 1:18-19 Might have wisdom and power
- Ephesians 3:16-19 Strength in the inner man
- Philippians 1:9-11 For discernment
- Colossians 1:9 That they would know God’s will
- 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13 That they have a growing love for one another
- 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 That they be worth of their calling
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 That they be comforted and established
- 2 Thessalonians 3:5 That they be steadfast in their love for God
- 1 Timothy 2:12 They they live quiet and peaceful lives
- Philemon 6 That they recognize all they have IN CHRIST!
- Hewbrews 13:20-21 That God would work in them that which is pleasing to Him.
Begin to pray this way and you will become a real prayer warrior and the devil will flee from you.
And there it is. This is my favorite sermon from my husband. Knowing him and living with him makes these sermons even more personal because I know the blood, sweat and tears that went into writing these sermons. I know the backstories to each one of these sermons and makes it mean that much more to me. I am very proud of the changes he has made in his life and the man he is today. Putting on the new man has never in my life looked so good as it does on him.
I am blessed to live with my favorite pastor. I am blessed that he shares his faith with me. I am blessed he prays with me and for me everyday. I am a blessed woman.
A Blessed Woman in TX
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:19
My husband has spent quite a few years studying for his M.Div and now his Doctorate. He has had many assignments. However, my favorite assignment he had to do was one called “Capture the Sermon“. In this assignment, he had to listen to and rewrite the sermons in his words as he would teach the lesson. From that assignment he wrote one called “Prayer-Keys to the Kingdom“. This one is special because it was a sermon by our favorite Pastor, Steve Griffith out of Dallas, TX. Steve was not only Lee’s mentor but also the Pastor who married us in July. I also owe Steve a lot because it was him who gave me my husband back. Without Steve, Lee would not be in my life or our son’s life.
This is a very timely find because of my new passion for my relationship with God and my desire to improve my prayer life. Since watching the movie War Room, I have reignited my passion for the LORD and my prayer life. Imagine my surprise when I was going through this file and found this beauty at the bottom of the stack. God’s perfect timing once again!
Here it is:
Prayer, there is nothing simpler or more powerful. In 1 Timothy 2:1, we see the first instruction Paul gave the church was to pray. Prayer is a constant challenge for most Christians- finding time, following up, knowing what to pray for. And here lies the problem-making it an activity on the to-do list instead of a lifestyle that leads to victory.
Ephesians 6:18 tells us to “Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to the this end with perseverance and all suppliaction for all Saints” This means:
- Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit
- Don’t stop praying
- Call on all believers to help you pray
- Pray for one another
We are in a constant attitude of prayer; a constant state of communicating with the LORD; a continual dependence on Him, moment by moment in life. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing.” We should pray about everything and on all occasions. Anytime, Anyplace. Whether we are in prayer circles, meetings, our closet, family table, bible classes, devotionals, intercessions we should be walking and talking with God.
Prayer is our spiritual fuel. We are human but now we have a spiritual engine. That engine needs not human fuel or fuel of the world but prayer, which supplies our spiritual needs. Prayer provides the energy needed to wear our spiritual armor (aka The Armor of God). We cannot fight spiritual battles in our own strength-running on human effort. We MUST rely on PRAYER. It is the key to wearing God’s Armor into Victory!
Satan will use every device to keep us from praying. He will cause physical fatigue and zap our energy. He will make us mentally unfit for prayer through the cares and burdens of the home and business. He will destroy our power and prayer life through doubt, discouragement and depression. So, when we feel least like praying, this is the time we need most to pray, for Satan has already gained a foothold in us. The enemy knows when we haven’t prayed and moves into attack. Prayer CANNOT be a matter of emotion. It must be a CHOICE OF WILL. A constant act of devotion and communication with God.
We must pray in prosperity and adversity; sickness and in health. When we pray, pray prayers of praise and thanksgiving. Then pray for what we will, desire and need. James 4:2 says “we do not have because we do not ask…” Often we strive after something without even praying about it and asking God for it. Asking is the rule of the kingdom. If Jesus had to ask, you and I cannot expect to be exempted from it. God knows what we need but HE wants us to ask Him as a sign of faith and dependence on Him.
The Holy Spirit provides us with power. “Praying in Spirit” is all about God’s will. We learn to pray the will of and according to the Word of God by yielding to the power of the Spirit who lives in us. The Spirit directs us to pray in alignment with God’s plan and purposes, so God is able to answer. If we pray on our own strength and wisdom, we will not find agreement with God. We must have the mind of God which the Spirit provides as we pray.
Praying needs to become natural to you! We must have perseverance in prayer, not giving up. Prayer should also be done out of spiritual willingness and should not be forced.
The enemy has many ways he will try to discourage you from praying. Let’s say you have two good days of praying in a row. Satan will try to convince you it will be like that the rest of your life. Listen closely, it won’t! The third day when your prayer life is fruitless, the enemy will try to convince you that you’ve blown it and there is no use trying anymore. THIS IS A LIE!!! Do not listen!
If you have a couple of good days of prayer, then thank God for them and try for a third. If the third day is a failure, just pray again on the fourth day. Forget what is past and start anew each day. Persevere in prayer. That is the only way to get it done.
An old saying about the devil and prayer is that “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayer-less studies, prayer-less works or prayer-less religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom but trembles when we pray.”
And that is the first half of his sermon that was completed on September 6, 2010. Tomorrow I will share keys to prayer effectiveness and some guidance on prayer from Paul. This is my favorite part of this sermon. However, if you are like me, and not holding a M.Div. as my husband does then you have quite a bit to ponder for now. I have to read and reread to fully grasp his words and the content. I encourage you to do the same.
I am blessed with such a God-fearing man full of wisdom on the subject of our walk with the LORD. Sometimes I get overwhelmed to make sure I’m living up to the standards Lee has but what I, what we both have realized is each of us has our own walk with the LORD. Lee’s calling is his own and my calling is my own. Our expectations for our walks are tailored to each of us but there are certain expectations we share. This is a lesson we both had to learn the hard way. It took us both humbling ourselves and almost losing one another to learn it. Place your spouse/significant other in God’s hands and He will give you what you need. Together, as one, we now encourage and support one another in our walks through the powerful gift of PRAYER.
A Very Blessed Woman in TX
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:5-6
Since I have moved to our temporary new home, a new space has opened up for me….an entire bedroom. What a blessing even though I must share this space with someone now. And I am absolutely thankful for that. There is no greater joy than beginning and ending my day with my husband. And now we have a special space that is just for our relationship with the LORD.
It all came together quite nicely. It started when my desk broke and I found a table with 4 chairs for $25 over 2 years ago. I was blessed with a beautiful new dining table and able to use the table every morning before my house gets stirring.
Then I purchased some cork squares at Walmart for $6 as well to make my Prayer Wall. This where my prayers go up. These are handwritten or printed scriptures from pinterest or Internet searches as well as The War Room strategic verses needed to protect me and mine. This is a work in progress. Updates will happen frequently!!!
Finally, I created my bag of tricks from the beautiful basket my sister in law gave us for our wedding. In it are journals, markers, pencils, stickers, tags and notecards I use for journaling, researching my prayers, and my children’s prayer jars (the 3 big Mason jars on the table pictured above- follow up blog coming).
My favorite part of this process is being able to use the Bible my husband purchased for me for Christmas because I keep giving mine away! This one will stay with me for sure.
It’s really not hard to carve out Your space. Maybe it’s just a chair, time alone in bed, a lawn chair. Wherever it is, it is yours and you will reap the rewards of a praying life. Mine started as just a table alone and now God blessed me with an entire room that I share with a man who loves me as Christ loved the church. A man I submit to as the church does to Christ. And together in this space we will fight the battles of our life and the lives of our loved ones on our knees and lift up our praises in a secret, sacred space together.
For this reason, I am blessed.
Goodnight and God bless!
A Blessed Woman in TX