When I was a little girl, there used to be a little plastic box (that looked like a loaf of bread) sitting on my kitchen table. It was full of cards that I would pull out and read while I was eating breakfast. Each card had a different Proverb on it. Those were some of the first scriptures I remember reading on my own. I have always loved the Proverbs. They're straightforward, practical, and all about wisdom.
I was thinking about that box of cards the other day when I got the idea to make something for you, dear readers, a free printable booklet with Proverbs. I've combined my love of designing graphics with my love of scripture in a way that I hope will be useful to you.
They walk very slowly up the aisle of the church, wrinkled hands clasped, and take their places together every week, front and center. Always together, softly swaying to the music, lifting hands in prayer, never letting go with the other set of hands. They are one. When the music turns lively, their hands swing together to the beat and the man’s feet start a little jig.....
I could hear my seven-year-old happily singing from the bathroom as I loaded the dishwasher. It was almost time to leave for school. His big sister pointed out that he’d been in there a long time, and that he was probably getting into stuff. It was the same suspicion I had. His bathroom shenanigans were usually no more harmful than the occasional overzealous application of his Daddy’s cologne- and sometimes, he used way too much toilet paper, causing the toilet to overflow. I’m an expert with the toilet plunger. I have a lot of practice.
Recently, I read C.S. Lewis’s account of his early years called, Surprised by Joy. In it, Lewis tells how he ended up becoming an atheist (as a teen) and what, ultimately, led him back to Christianity.
Last year I set out to learn all I could about trusting Jesus. Trust was my word of the year. This year, the word joy, is what God seemed to place on my heart. Initially, my reaction to the word, joy, was…great; this year is going to be all about fun! And maybe it will be. But that’s not what joy is all about.
A while ago, I compiled a list of my favorite books on trusting God. That list had titles that dealt mostly with trusting God through hard times and letting go of anxiety- issues that I have personally dealt with, recently. I have another list of favorite books about trusting God for you today. This new list of ten books is for teens. I have chosen titles that do an excellent job of speaking to where I have seen many Christian teens are in their faith journey.
Today, I've got all kinds of pressing matters upon me, things like pulling the dryer out from the wall, to sweep behind and scrubbing the bricks around the fireplace. Rearrange the pictures on the walls? Yes. Suddenly the arrangement they’ve been in really bothers me. But sit down and write? I want to. I really do, but these words are not easy. Today’s topic is about trusting God when it really hurts. I tend to shy away from pain, both my own and other people’s. Jesus didn't shy away from pain though, so tough as it is, by His grace, neither will I.
Here are nine of the best books that I've recently read as I've been researching the topic of trusting God. There's one more book, that should go without saying, the ultimate authority and resource on trusting God, which actually brings this list to ten- the Holy Bible. It stands alone in a category above all others. Here are a few more
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I’ve had the chance over the past few weeks to talk to many of you who are stuck in some really difficult situations.
In the past few days, I’ve spoken with one person who would like to leave their job, one person who'd like to change churches, and another person who’d like to get a raise for the extra workload they have taken on at their job.
All of these situations require wisdom, delicate handling, and much prayer.
We had been trying to teach our four-year-old the importance of telling the truth.
Jokingly, Derek told Trent that his nose would grow long, like Pinocchio's, if he told lies.
If only we had known then, what problems this would cause. Poor Trent. He really believed Derek- and no matter what else we said, he was still scared of his nose growing long. He also started checking out everyone else's noses. It wasn’t a healthy fear.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3
Joy is not usually the first word that comes to mind when I’m frustrated and overwhelmed. I’m still a work in progress. Self-pity is too often something I struggle with. But I want more joy in my life. I read the words of Jesus’ brother, James, to “count it all joy” even in trials, and I know that these hard words were inspired by God. They’re true and they’re helpful. The testing of my faith does produce steadfastness. I’ve experienced it and I’ve seen it experienced in other people’s lives. By the grace of God, I trust, that as I grow and mature in Christ, someday it will become ever more of a part of who I am. I want to be the kind of person who counts it all joy, even the trials. I pray the same for you.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. " Lamentations 3:22-23
These words of encouragement from Lamentations were first written by Jeremiah, a prophet during the last years of Judah before Babylon plundered the country and took its people into captivity. Jeremiah had a hard and dangerous job, a lonely job- but he trusted in the faithfulness of God. God had sent him to warn the people of what would happen if they continued to follow the evil ways they were living. Jeremiah was imprisoned and tortured for speaking the truth, and he eventually did witness to the destruction of his country.