Posted in Spiritual

Top 8 YouVersion Plans

In the past 36 weeks, I have completed 42 plans on the YouVersion Bible App.

My thoughts:

  • I love having a devotional so easily accessible.
  • I appreciate the connected Scripture with each plan.
  • I enjoy being able to find weekly devotionals that are pointed toward a specific area, struggle, or interest in my life. Each week brings new challenges, so it’s nice to have a devotional plan to give wisdom and Scripture that is applicable day-to-day.

However, my current struggle is sifting through all the hundreds of plans to find the “good” ones… the plans that are Scripturally sound and not just “fluff stuff.”

So… I thought I’d hop on the blog today to share with YOU my 8 favorite plans I have come across on the YouVersion App so far.

These cover many different topics, and each bring a unique style!

Happy Reading, Praying, and Studying!

http://bible.com/r/3Kp

A touching story about waiting. About finding God’s mercies to be BRAND new every single day. Can I get an “amen”?

http://bible.com/r/ow

Since hub and I are part of our local church ministry team, I found this devotional super enlightening and challenging! Helps put everything into perspective. I highly recommend it! Although it does focus a lot on being in music ministry, it has many applicable truths to all areas of ministry!

http://bible.com/r/UN

Such an incredible picture of Jesus, challenging us to daily become more like Him! Hub actually read this plan before I did. Was I ever glad I followed his lead!

http://bible.com/r/3Lq

These prayers helped me to feel more fulfilled in the mundane, day-to-day work, yet also challenged me to be THAT much better. I was convicted about how little I tend to pray for my role in the workplace.

http://bible.com/r/LY

This devotional has a unique approach to studying the Spirit, how to live in the Spirit, etc. It is packed with Scripture. Each day you will come away with a truth to focus on and correct. You will come back wanting more!

http://bible.com/r/318

Sometimes we just need reminders about friendships in different seasons of life. How to be a friend who speaks TRUTH. How to deepen relationships, etc.

http://bible.com/r/30V

Such an INCREDIBLE plan! I encourage even those dating or engaged to check this plan out. I sure wish I would’ve seen it back then! Wow! Powerful and convicting stuff! Some of this applies to having problems or misconceptions in/about marriage. But, I focused instead on how this whole plan speaks of having a “gospel-centered marriage.” We all can improve in that area!

http://bible.com/r/3ez

This devotional plan will take you outside your little bubble of Christianity. Such a unique approach to show that God’s kingdom is immense, alive, and well!

 

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Posted in Spiritual

Taking my thoughts captive.

Your thought life is where the rubber meets the road. All of life. Your goals, plans, dreams, wishes, desires — all of it is up in your head.

That’s just the way it goes.

And, let me tell you… the Bible has a LOT to say about the mind, temptation, our thoughts, and so on! Today, though, I’m focusing on one small passage of Scripture that is packed with power. This has confronted, convicted, and challenged me — leaving me desiring correction and change.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ~

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Me. Myself. I. Taking EVERY thought I have and bringing it under the Lordship, Authority, and correction of Jesus Christ.

Depending on what version you read, it will either say “we take captive every thought” or we “we bring every thought into captivity.”

I love the idea of both. So, let’s focus on those two words right here. Take and Bring.

A little grammar always comes in handy. So, here’s the part where I indulge my inner English buff and tell you that these two words are verbs. And, no – they are not “linking” or “being” verbs – they are “ACTION” verbs. Do you follow me so far?

Take and Bring — those are two things that I can do. They are actions. They don’t happen by themselves. Someone has to DO them.

According to the dictionary…

Take. (1) Lay hold of (something) with one’s hands; reach for and hold. (2) Remove (someone or something) from a particular place.

Bring. (1) Cause (someone or something) to come to a place. (2) Make (someone or something) move in a particular direction or way.

This Scripture is saying that I must TAKE my thoughts. Me. Myself. I. I must actually TAKE my thoughts. I must lay hold of them. I must take ownership of them.

And then I must BRING them. Me. Myself. I. I must actually BRING my thoughts. Cause my thoughts. Move my thoughts. To obey Christ. To dwell on Christlike ideas, etc.

Me. I have to do this. No one else can do it for me.

I have to take ownership of my thought life.

I strongly feel as if, in my own life and Spiritual walk with Christ, this is an area of immaturity. And, somehow, I don’t feel as if I am alone in this battle.

Rick Thomas puts it this way:

Plan A for the devil is to keep all people from believing in Christ.

Plan B for the devil is to keep all Christians from maturing in Christ.

If the devil can’t get me to NOT be a Christian, he’s going to try to get me to be a shallow one.

And, I am NOT ok with that! I refuse to be a mediocre, mundane, and moderate Christian.

This – the area of my thoughts – is a place where God is putting his finger on & saying, “I’ve commanded you to be better. I’ve given you my Spirit. I have promised ‘everything you need for life and godliness’ (2 Peter 1:3).”

 

So, what exactly does it look like to bring my thoughts and move them under the authority of Jesus Christ? What exactly does it look like to captivate my thoughts?

That’s what we are going to delve into now.

First of all. . .

We must be aware that this – taking our thoughts captive – is a BATTLE. It is a war. The Bible is clear that we fight not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil (paraphrased from Ephesians 6:12). You need to accept the fact that, as a child of God, you are in a war. Taking EVERY single thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ is a huge undertaking. The devil wants your soul, and the easiest place for him to enter is in the mind. The devil won’t make this easy.

Secondly. . . 

You must suit up. You must put on your armor: Salvation, the Spirit, Truth, Faith, the Gospel, Righteousness, and Peace. You can’t leave off any part. This is a battle that you can’t fight on your own. Take it seriously. Get your priorities straight. Jesus first. Everything else behind Him. Prepare yourself. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Next. . .

Take anything in your life that diverts your thoughts towards things that are not Christlike, deal with it, and get rid of its hold on you. This might look like confessing sin. This might look like getting an accountability partner. This might look like creating a healthy and needed balance in your life, realizing that just because something is good doesn’t mean it is best. This might look like cutting out some Netflix shows that you’d be better off without. This might look like waging a war on materialism in your life and budgeting your money more carefully. This might look like fighting worry and anxiety, instead of succumbing to it. This might look like ending a relationship. This might look like getting rid of some friends whose influence are toxic to your relationship with God.

It will look different for each one of us. We know ourselves and our struggles and our areas of temptation. We KNOW what we need to REMOVE from our lives to enable us to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

If you are unsure of what you need to do, I guarantee if you pray and simply say, “God, I’m serious about this. About taking my thoughts captive to obey you. About bringing my thought life under your authority. What do I need to cut out and remove from my life in order to purify my relationship with you?” If you pray something like that with sincerity of heart, God is going to use His Spirit to speak to you, to show you what eliminations you need to undertake.

Lastly. . . 

In order to take control of your thought life, you must implement good habits. Dig deeper in the Word of God. Don’t read because you have to; read because you need to. We can NOT live without God’s truth, people. We have to be people of the Word if we are going to be over-comers! Establish friendships with people who not only encourage your walk with Christ, but they speak truth into it, even if it hurts and you don’t want to hear it. Think and focus on what’s pure, what’s true, what’s right, what’s lovely, what’s admirable, what’s excellent, and what’s worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). Create new habits that are good for you physically, mentally, and emotionally – nature walks/hikes, photography, writing, reading, coloring, relaxing. Self-care is vital. And, don’t forget that impure, ungodly, or inferior thoughts will try to creep in – they’ll try, trust me. And when they do, make a CHOICE right then and there – before they implant and take over – to throw them out and set your mind on things ABOVE (Colossians 3:2). Be on guard. The devil is sneaky.

Remember. . .

EVERY thought captive to obey Jesus. Not just part of our thoughts or a few of them. This is an “all or nothing” thing. And, yes. It seems like a ginormous task. It is. However, God wouldn’t tell us to do something that wasn’t possible. If God says, “Take your thoughts captive,” it means He is going to give us the grace to do it. If we just ask. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I don’t know about you, but I know that my heart is God’s – – – so I commit my thought life to being under His authority as well. It just makes perfect sense. 

 

Pursuing Christ – Abandoning Self.

 

Photo by Victoria Bilsborough on Unsplash

Posted in Lifestyle

Spring Inspiration

Don’t mind me. I’m just over here yelling, “Spring, get into my life!”

Here are some of my FAVORITE Springy things I’ve found so far this year!

Drinks:

  • Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

So, this isn’t really a homemade-style drink. It’s just a simple mixture! But, I can’t wait to try it!

(https://pin.it/5bm7qmvixdh62z)

  • Copycat  P I N K  Drink

(Side note: Aldi sells ICE drinks for HALF the price. That would make this drink SUPER cheap!)

(https://pin.it/vup6ddfcqbu6zu)

Food:

  • Dirt Pudding Cups

I don’t even have kiddos and I’m gonna be making these! EASY and FUN! A win-win!

(https://pin.it/3owbq4igqsdcry)

  • Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad

(https://pin.it/gqfqkgwo3jgvo2)

  • Glazed Carrots

I’ve made these numerous times! SO EASY! Hub and I both love this sweet version of carrots. What a lovely & tasteful dish to add to your Easter table this year!

(https://pin.it/qiwbrjg7562krx)

Decor:

  • Homemade Bunny Banner

(https://pin.it/pn4bljqiwntvei)

  • Real Carrots + Clear Vase = Perfect Centerpiece

(https://pin.it/sedvauccj6olwe)

Activities:

  • NEW & Improved Way to Color Easter Eggs

I SERIOUSLY love painting Easter eggs. However, I also love not dyeing my hands for weeks. Can’t wait to try this new & easy way!

Items needed: Eggs, Ice Tray, Vinegar, Paper Towels, Rubber bands, Food Coloring

This video contains three ways to color eggs. I’m referring to the first way shown!

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDaTsQmF4Qg&feature=share

  • Decluttering with NEW Questions

Spring means clean. Found this article interesting, especially in light of the current “Marie Kondo” craze. Gives a broader perspective that seems more useful!

(https://pin.it/5p53v5acesqhgn)

Bulletin Boards:

For my teacher friends! 👩‍🏫❤️

  • Popsicles: A fun transition from Spring to Summer!

(https://pin.it/6c3wxkfclnenoy)

  • Rainbow: An appropriate look for Spring!

(https://pin.it/aaliyvbryxiazz)

  • Butterflies: You can’t get more spring than these lovely creatures.

(https://pin.it/e74fgutzajydeh)

Journaling:

  • Mood Tracker

I fell in love with this mood tracker. I’m going to try it myself for the month of April! This came from Sheena of the Journal. She has awesome stuff. If you follow the link & sign up – like I did – she has TONS of free printables! Yay! 👏🏽

Unfortunately, this mood tracker has to be purchased. However, with it being an easy picture to copy cat, I’m just going to draw something similar in my own journal!

(https://pin.it/f3u6nlx5vrt5w2)

Accessories:

  • Hair Scarves

 

(Photo creds & Complete Inspiration Board: https://www.pinterest.com/cdstroup18/spring-inspo/)

 

Hope these few ideas got your mind buzzing for S P R I N G!

 

Share any ideas you have back with me in the comments below! 

 

Featured Image by Darren Nunis on Unsplash

Posted in Spiritual

Called to Virtue: The Pursuit

To the woman who’s reading this,

          First of all, I just love you. You are so beautiful. You have a unique personality and many gifts. You have a story behind your face. Hurts and failures. Joys and victories. I’m cheering you on. My heart wants so much good for each one of you. I’m reminded of where I was in life – not many years ago. My teenage years. And where I am now. A young, married wife just trying to learn and grow. Wow. I just look back on all the lessons I have learned – and some that I am still trying to learn… and I realize that my pursuit of Virtue should have been my top priority constantly. It is so easy to become distracted, I know. However, I encourage you to give everything to God now, not to wait until a more “convenient” time. Being a Christian and pursuing Christlikeness is where it’s “at” and where it counts. I pray something God says through me & this post today will speak to you, and that God will help us on our pursuit to become Virtuous Women.

 

To start out, you must first define Virtue.

According to a couple different dictionaries, Virtue is…

  • Behavior showing high moral standards.
  • Conformity to a standard of right
  • Moral excellence, righteousness, or goodness

 

Secondly, we must look to a Biblical example of Virtue, the “Proverbs 31 Woman.”

Proverbs 31: 11 – 31

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (She is far more precious than jewels.) The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no lack of gain. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters/women have done virtuously, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.

I don’t know about you… but reading that passage overwhelms me. Here’s exactly what I think…

To become a virtuous woman seems just downright impossible.

But… Is it, really?

Check out these verses.

2 Peter 1: 3 & 5

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue… giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.

 

You and I are C A L L E D to be women of virtue.

Overwhelming? Maybe. Doable? Definitely.

I am a FIRM believer that God doesn’t call you to something that is impossible.

Is becoming a virtuous woman overwhelming? Maybe. But, is it doable? Definitely!

 

 

Next, you have to study the “Proverbs 31 Woman.” Here’s the list I came up with.

 

Point 1. Qualities of a Virtuous Woman

  • Trustworthy.
    • Not fake. Not a flirt. Not a facade.
  • Good-hearted.
    • Wishing the best for others. Seeking the highest good of those around, even if it’s uncomfortable or unrewarded here on earth.
  • Willing and hard worker.
    • Looking for opportunities to be helpful. Not slacking from work that needs done.
  • Makes her family her priority.
    • Takes care of them. First.
  • Treats her friends fairly.
    • Doesn’t seek to exclude.
  • Planner
    • Looks ahead and doesn’t forget about the future.
  • She knows her worth and value.
  • Consistent.
  • She treats those less than herself with care and love.
  • She prepares and grows in the easy times to withstand the hard times.
  • Resourceful.
  • Strong, but smart.
  • Carefree, not careless.
  • A speaker of truth that is covered in wisdom and kindness.
  • Not lazy.
  • Praiseworthy.
  • Good reputation, inside and outside the home.
  • Cares more about what God thinks that what the world thinks.
    • Charm is deceitful. Beauty is vain. Those things don’t last or matter.

 

(Side note: Wow! That’s a lot. I know. Yikes. But, the great thing is that God has promised to stay right beside us and lead and guide – Every Step of the Way!)

So, OK. We read the list of qualities. It’s not enough, though, to just observe and study the “Proverbs 31 Woman.” We have to move past that into actually “becoming” and “pursuing” the Virtuous Woman we are each called to be.

 

Point 2. How to become like the Virtuous Woman

You must have…

  • Intelligent Perspective.
    • Life is SO much more than just right now and just about you.
    • Don’t forget about your future self. Who you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years.
    • Inside matters more than the outside.
  • Intimate Prayer.
    • Talking to God.
      • On the daily. On the double.
      • If you don’t talk to someone, you don’t get to know them. And, in turn, they don’t get to know you. Don’t let this happen with God.
    • Pouring out your soul.
      • Your thoughts. Your struggles. Your sins. Your feelings. Your nothings and every-things.
    • Listening for God.
      • Taking time to be still.
        • Get over the awkwardness and enjoy His presence.
      • He WILL speak. Through His Word. Through the pastor. Through mentors. Through your conscience. Through your parents. Through music. Through quiet. Through peace.
  • Incredible Patience.
    • It doesn’t happen in a day.
    • It doesn’t happen all at once.
    • It’s more about the direction you are going than where you are.
      • Don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t expect perfection. Be prepared to mess up. More than once.
  • Intentional Pursuit.
    • Leaving the past behind. Reaching forward to what is ahead.
    • Letting others be who they are and where they are. You can’t dictate someone else’s J O U R N E Y. You must focus, instead, on Y O U R current growth and journey! (To the unmarried ladies: This means letting your future husband – whoever and wherever he is – stay somewhere out there in your future, where he rightfully belongs.)

If I could sum it all up for you, here’s what I’d say…

 

In order to become a woman of virtue, it’s gotta be…

†††

“Christ Comes First… the rest follows.”

 

 

(I presented this to the young ladies in our youth group. I made a slideshow presentation. If that interests you, feel free to comment/contact me. I’d love for it to be useful to others, as well!)

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Posted in Reflection

In hindsight: 3 Pre-dating Tips

Hindsight is 20-20, they say. If I could rewind 8 years, back to the “me” before I ventured into the world of dating, here’s 3 things I would tell myself.

 

Number 1. Stop looking for someone.

 

Seriously. Stop. You’re so wrapped up in finding someone that you’re missing what is right in front of you. The gift of singleness. Now, I know. It’s natural to WANT someone. To WANT to be dating. To WANT love. To WANT acceptance. I remember so many times when I would call my Mom up when I was at college – and i’d say, “Mom! Everyone literally has somebody. When will it be my turn? Is there something wrong with me?” I dated in high school – starting at 16 – for about a year – don’t recommend doing that. And, then I didn’t date until my 20s. I was not the “hot” commodity, you could say. I didn’t have 17 guys talking to me or vying for my attention. My Dad – who is one of the wisest men I know – wanted one thing. For me to go to college single. I didn’t understand that – especially while I was 17 and in a relationship I thought I liked. My Dad knew the “whole” picture. And, I’m so grateful I trusted his judgement, even when I didn’t understand. You see – – If I had gone to college dating, I wouldn’t have had nearly the friendships and memories that I have today.  Dating takes up a lot of your time – that’s not always bad – there’s a season of life for it – but that’s just the truth.

 

I’m being dead serious – –  By looking and focusing CONSTANTLY on that guy to date, that relationship you want, that affirmation you think you need — YOU MISS SO MUCH. You miss life. You miss growth. You miss friendships. You miss happiness. You miss contentment. And, more times than not – you settle for less. You get your heart broke, probably more than once. You get the label as the girl who “is only at college to find a husband” or the girl who you should stay away from because she “is crazy about guys and doesn’t care about much else” – – Honestly. It isn’t attractive to guys.

 

And, let’s just say this – the moment I gave up on the thought of Travis even liking me or seriously putting more emotion into the whole idea – He started seriously noticing me. Now, it’s not like I cut myself off from him and didn’t talk to him when I saw him in class or around campus. But, I knew this. I couldn’t make it work one-sided. And, just like that – when God knew I wasn’t expecting anything – He started letting all the pieces fall into place.

 

Song of Solomon says – in Chapter 2, verse 7 – “I adjure you, Daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and the does on the field, do not awaken, or stir up love until it is ready.”

 

What I’m trying to tell you is this: No mate can fulfill eternal satisfaction. No one. Not even the perfect man. Not even marriage. So, stop. Stop trying to find him. Let it happen. Don’t worry. God tells us that if we delight ourselves in Him, he WILL give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4) But, that doesn’t mean to figure it out now. Or figure it out by yourself. Focus on the things you DO have control over. And, that leads me to my second point. . . Not only do you need to stop looking for someone. But, you need to start discovering who YOU are in Christ.

 

Number 2. Start discovering who you are in Christ.

 

What do I mean? I mean this. Stop worrying about dating and start worrying about the woman you are becoming. I don’t know all of you, but I do know this. You each are beautiful, and you were created in the image of God.

 

In fact, Psalm 139 says it this way: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works. And my soul knows it very well. . . Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”

 

God has amazing plans for you. And – furthermore – He’s already planned out what your life is going to be like. Rest in that. And, in the meantime, let’s be honest, even though we are created in His image, we ain’t perfect – or anywhere close to it. Myself included. We all have things we NEED to work on. Ok?

 

The good guys don’t want the bad girls. The guys don’t want the insecure girls. The guys don’t want the obnoxious girls. That’s just real life. It might not seem like that right now. It seems like the forward and pushy girls – or the girls who post semi-sketchy pictures on their snapchat or Instagram, they are the ones with all that male attention. Get this. You don’t WANT that attention. How about your relationship with Jesus? Is it really first in your life – – – above friendships, above school work, above goals, above guys? A guy isn’t going to solve those deep problems that you need to get taken care of. If you are insecure, dating is not going to solve that. Once you get through the honeymoon stage of dating, your boyfriend is going to probably share that you have an annoying habit or two. He is probably going to let you know that he doesn’t always like your style. And, sometimes your personality is a little annoying to him, too. That’s normal. I tell people all the time, there’s no one I love more than Travis, but there sure ain’t anyone that drives me crazy more than he does either. Are you going to be able handle that constructive criticism when you start dating? You better begin finding out who you are in God – before you try to find someone to date. From personal experience – – – Travis Stroup would not have dated Freshman year Courtney Fourman. From the time I went to college, to the day I graduated – – – I was a much different person. God had to knock some rough edges off my personality, God had to get me to the point of complete and full surrender to WHATEVER and whoever He had for me, God had to show me that dating couldn’t solve all of my problems, God had to teach me discretion, God had to teach me how to handle disappointments, God had to teach me how to handle constructive criticism that brought tears and pain and frustration into my life. I thank God for growth. And, right now that’s what YOU need to focus on. Growing. Keeping your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it!” Above all else – Jesus. Get into your Bible. Start discovering. Growing. Why look for someone to “complete” you now, when you aren’t even completely sure WHO you are. I’m thankful for every moment of singleness, and I just wish I would’ve appreciated it as much then – as looking back I do now.

 

Number 3. Don’t forget about your future self.

 

Every. Single. Decision. That you are making right now is going to impact who you are in 5 years. Who you are as a girlfriend, who you are as a wife, who you are as a mom. There’s so much more to life than right now. Life is so much bigger than just you. You have to live with the person you are becoming. And, so will your spouse. And your kids. Do you have bad habits? Do you have hidden sins? Are you caught up in pornography? Are you watching shows that you’d be embarrassed to watch if Jesus was sitting right next to you? Are you a true friend – or are you a gossiper or back-stabber? Do you judge people? Do you spread rumors? Are you a different person on social media than you are in real-life? Are you obedient to your parents? Have you surrendered everything to God? Have you even done the first step of accepting Jesus as your Savior? If you are dating, are you committed to staying pure? Are you in a relationship that you aren’t proud of? Have you made some sexual mistakes? Do you need to start over?

 

God. Is. The. Answer. To all of that. He’s waiting with open arms. He has forgiveness for you. He has grace. He has a lesson or two to teach you. He has patience. He has a plan.

 

Don’t lose heart, sweet friend. Make Jesus your main focus. Everything else – including your love life – will fall into place.

Photo by Zack Minor on Unsplash

Posted in Spiritual

Pray with purpose.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you begin praying?

Do you ever wonder if you’re making a difference?

Or does it ever seem that your prayer list is forever long and you don’t know how you’ll pray for each request?

I’ve felt this way more times than I care to admit. However, today I am reminding myself AND you that prayer DOES make a difference. We should not be discouraged! And, we can NEVER give up or stop.

On the flip side, I have also been convicted that I need to start praying more specifically. To start praying with more purpose. To start praying more boldly.

Because of these things, I have complied the following prayer list. You don’t have to use it. I just felt led to post it. It’s a list to help us focus our prayers. To pray specifically. To pray with purpose. To pray believing.

______________

Lord, help me today as I pray to remember. . .

  • That You are listening.
  • That You are the ultimate Giver and Healer.
  • That You answer each prayer, even if it’s with a “no” or a “wait.”
  • That You know me, those I am praying for, and every single situation better than I do.
  • That You have my best interest at heart.
  • That You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

Lord, I pray for my husband. . .

  • His heart
    • That he would guard his heart. Keep it. With all diligence.
    • That You would work on his heart and grow any areas that need improvement.
    • That he would share his heart with me, his wife.
  • His mind
    • That he would think only on good & righteous things.
    • That he would fight against temptations of the mind & keep from falling.
  • His eyes
    • That he would see my needs, as his wife, and seek to be my helpmeet.
    • That he would look to You for guidance and direction for our home.
    • That he would look away from any unholy, ungodly, or impure person or image.
    • That he would read Your Word and glean much from it.
  • His hands
    • That You would bless his work and help him to find fulfillment in what he does.
    • That You would help him as he provides for our home.
  • His feet
    • That he would walk where You lead.
    • That he would stay away from places that lead to sin and temptation.
  • His mouth
    • That he would praise You and pray to You.
    • That he would encourage me.
    • That he would refrain from evil speaking (i.e. gossip, vulgar words, dirty jokes).
  • His body
    • That he would stay healthy.
    • That he would be safe – day in and day out – wherever he may go.

 

Lord, I pray for my parents. . .

  • That their love for one another would grow.
  • That their jobs and/or places of ministry would be fruitful.
  • That their burdens and trials would grow them, not make them bitter.
  • That they would be encouraged and have true, unhindered joy.
  • That you would keep them safe and keep them from falling.

 

Lord, I pray for my siblings. . .

  • That their walk with You would be full of growth.
  • That their marriages would stay strong.
  • That their relationships would remain pure and beneficial.
  • That their children would obey them and appreciate all that they do for them.
  • That their jobs and/or places of ministry would be fruitful.
  • That they would be encouraged and have true, unhindered joy.
  • That the battles they face would only make them stronger, not bitter.
  • That you would keep them safe and keep them from falling.

 

Lord, I pray for my church. . .

  • That the devil would not have right-of-way in our place of worship.
  • That my pastor would preach the Word clearly and that we (those attending) would listen.
  • That my pastor & his family would be encouraged in their place of ministry. That they would feel loved and appreciated.
  • That the church people would bind together in a sweet, unified way and grow together in love, grace, and truth.
  • That those in leadership positions (i.e. Sunday school teachers, music leaders, youth leaders, children’s workers, etc.) would listen to Your leading, speak the truth, lead with discretion, and remain encouraged.
  • That the needs of the church (spiritual, physical, financial, emotional, etc.) would be met in the way You see fit.
  • That our financial needs would be met.
  • That our missionaries would remain encouraged and effective.
  • That we would grow and evangelize the lost.

 

Lord, I pray for my friends. . .

  • That their focus would be on You, not their battles and hardships.
  • That they would seek You above all else. Every day.
  • That You would bless their work and/or area of ministry.
  • That they would listen to Your voice, above all else.
  • That they would speak truth into my life, if necessary.
  • That You would keep them safe and keep them from falling.

 

Lord, I pray for my country. . .

  • That our focus would return to You and Your principles.
  • That our President and Vice President would lead with wisdom.
  • That our Congressional leaders and all those in office would make wise decisions.
  • That we would fight for the unborn.
  • That we would remain safe from evil forces within and without.

 

Lord, I pray for myself. . .

  • My heart
    • That I would keep it with all diligence.
    • That I would love You first, always.
  • My mind
    • That I would think only on what is good, pure, and wholesome.
    • That I would say “no” to temptation.
    • That I would give my battles to You and not try to fight them on my own.
  • My eyes
    • That I would see my husband’s needs and seek to be his helpmeet.
    • That I would look away from any unholy, ungodly, or impure person, image, movie, show, etc.
    • That I would look for ways to show love to the world around me.
    • That I would read Your Word and glean much from it.
  • My hands
    • That you would bless my work – inside and outside the home. That I would find/have fulfillment in what I do.
    • Keep me busy doing Your will and following after You.
  • My feet
    • That I would walk where You lead.
    • That I would stay away from places that lead to sin and temptation.
    • That I would share Your love and Your Word to those You send my way.
  • My mouth
    • That I would praise You and pray to You – more than I ever have before.
    • That I would refrain from evil speaking (i.e. gossip, vulgar words, dirty jokes).
    • That I would encourage my husband – seek to lift him up, not tear him down.
    • That I would speak truth to all I come into contact with.
  • My body
    • That I would stay healthy.
    • That I would be safe – day in and day out – wherever I may go.

_____________

Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

Posted in Introspection

Confessions of an Introvert

  1. I have often been perceived as arrogant. I really struggled with this as I always tried not to be that way. After talking with my dad about it, I realized that I was extremely self-focused socially. I didn’t care to take time to make new friends or reach out to others. Maybe elitist, but not arrogant. 😉
  2. I have high self-esteem. The reason being, I put lots of stock into what those closest think about me. And I’m very blessed to have a very good and honest inner circle who can tell me straight and build me up. I can take it when people don’t like me or my personality. I don’t dwell on the fact that there are people out there that don’t like me. There are people out there that I don’t like.  My worth is anchored in the fact that God made me and that I am bought with a price.
  3. I’m really OK with myself. I know I’m not perfect, but I could be way worse off. God has been good to me, and I’m good with that. End of story.
  4. When my opinion needs to be changed, I can be persuaded. I need to see the reason why I need to change, though. Whether a good thing or bad thing, I need to see some logic, reasons, or examples, not just your emotions or your opinion.
  5. I am totally fine disagreeing on something. I’ve been wrong so many times, it’s not even weird anymore. However, I’ve also been right a good deal of the time. Put these together and I am agreeable to disagree… as long as the other party has more proof than emotions.
  6. I LOVE to be in the know – gossip, drama, fake news – call it whatever you like, I want to know. I have to be very careful not to let this run the show.  This has gotten me in trouble many times. I’ve had to apologize a lot for letting others be in the know when they didn’t need to be.
  7. I live up to the stereotype of being introverted – I look for reasons to avoid being social. I can be quite social, and I have learned a lot from others about fitting in socially, but it takes a lot of energy to run that charade for any length of time.
  8. I am guilty of making people earn my respect. This might be a very common thing, but I’m afraid I take it too far. I realized one day that if a certain mentor asked me to cut my arm off to better myself, I’d say, “Which one?” Then I thought of another person, similar position, not in my good graces, that I would hardly acknowledge if they gave me a small piece of good advice.
  9. I have only recently found this out about myself – I’m considerably more dramatic than I would have thought.  Whether telling stories or trying to make a joke, I am dramatic. Side effect of being married to an extroverted spouse, I guess… HA!
  10. True & Last confession: I kinda like the spotlight. Not being in the spotlight, mind you – just the wayward beam that finds me for a brief moment and then goes on to another worthy person.

Fellow introverts, stay at home and rule the world.

 

Blog post written by: Travis Stroup, my husband & favorite introvert

Photo by Benedicto de Jesus on Unsplash