9 Powerful Resources for Praying Women

The school supplies are bought, the bookbags packed, and schedules are set in place. It’s back-to-school season!

Whether you’re the kind of mom who cheers when the school bus comes around or the one who wishes she could hold onto those kiddos a bit longer (or like me – a confusing mix of the two!), back-to-school season marks a progression of time that we just can’t escape.

For many families, the new school year means a return to routine, and as such, it’s the perfect time to establish, or perhaps re-establish, some important habits.

I don’t know about you, mama friend, but my devotional time in the summer tends to be less consistent, and I find myself longing for a good long time in the Word, or an hour to just sit and pray. So while I hate the busyness that  the school year brings, I welcome the chance to get back to a routine!

As I reflect on the past summer and think ahead to this coming school year, I know above all, I want to cover it in prayer. I want, no… need, to develop a more consistent prayer habit!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

We can always afford to spend more time covering our families, homes, relationships, work, ministries, etc. in prayer. In fact, I might argue that we can’t afford NOT to.

The resources for praying women below can help your back-to-school routine to incorporate more daily prayer by putting a specific plan into place!

What might happen in our homes, our churches, our communities if more women of faith really dedicated themselves to consistent prayer?

9 Powerful Resources for Praying Women

(a list of FREE or affordable Prayer Resources for Christians)

As much as I love to pray for my children, I recognize that a healthy prayer life begins with my own spiritual health.  And let’s be honest, as mamas we often put the needs of others before ourselves – rightfully so.

But as I mentioned earlier, my soul longs to connect to the Vine. More than mothering well, my prime responsibility is to follow after God well. I simply cannot be the mother/wife/woman I need to be when I’m not walking in the Spirit.

*This post contains affiliate links. Jen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Thank you for helping to support the ministry of this site!

Prayer Guides for Personal Spiritual Growth

1. The Fruit of the Spirit Prayer Challenge from Faith Along the Way

Sarah Ann has created a short but sweet 7-day prayer challenge for women who want to see more fruit in their lives. This challenge is a great starting point for women who want to establish a regular prayer habit.

The best part? It’s FREE! All you need to do is sign up. :)

If you want a consistent prayer habit, you need a specific plan. These powerful prayer resources give praying women a plan to follow! #Christianwomen #prayer #printables #spiritualqrowth resources for Christian Women | Being Confident of This | Praying Wife | Praying Mom | praying for marriage | praying for kids | war room | free printables | bliblical tools

2. Praying the Scriptures for the Fruit of the Spirit by Jennifer Clarke

If you’re not sure where to start when praying the scriptures, this free e-book from my friend Jennifer is offering will point you in the right direction! In addition to the ebook, when you join her mailing list, you’ll receive a guide for 12 ways to add prayer time to your day.

(BONUS – Jennifer has a whole series on praying the Scriptures broken down by 40+ topics, too)

Prayer Guides for Your Family and Loved Ones

3. A Praying Woman’s Jackpot from Kaylene Yoder

 

Prayer resource bundle - 5 resources to help you pray over your children and your marriage! #Christianwomen #prayingwomen #prayerguide #prayerprintables

A Praying Woman’s Jackpot from Kaylene is a HUGE set of prayer resources for women, covering the areas of marriage and parenting. This affordable bundle includes FIVE different resources to help you pray daily for the people who matter most in your life.

Talk about powerful resources for praying women!

4. The 30-day Prayer Dare for Parents from Kaylene Yoder

The 30-Day Prayer Dare for Parents, also from Kaylene, starts the beginning of September (and once again, it’s FREE for those who sign up)!

You’ll receive daily emails including prayers and scriptures to support those prayers, and if you want to take your prayer life a step further, you can also purchase an inexpensive workbook/journal to help you keep on track.

Sometimes we just need a bit of accountability to keep us going. :)

5. 31 Prayer Prompts for When Marriage Is Hard from Rebekah Hallberg

If you’re a regular around here, then you know that Rebekah is my co-author! She’s always busy providing practical help to women who are dealing with marriage issues and working to overcome them.  This FREE printable gives 31 different prompts for you as the wife, for your husband, and for the two of you as a couple.

31 prayer prompts for when marriage is hard - free printable to help you focus on intercessory prayer for your marriage. #prayerguide #prayerprintable #prayingwife

What better way to get back into a consistent prayer habit than to focus on uplifting your marriage through prayer!

6. Family Prayer Kits from Aimee Imbeau

These family prayer kits come with a separate prayer guide specific to each age group – children, teen guys, teen girls, and adults. Each resource is designed with the target audience in mind. The kits include everything from prayer journaling sheets, to bookmarks, and help with different prayer methods like ACTS.

As a favor to me, my friend Aimee has offered a special discount for Being Confident of This readers during the month of August! Use code “justpray” to get an extra 15% off your purchase!

I love Aimee’s family approach to the spiritual discipline of prayer!

Family Prayer kits - help your family develop a habit of prayer using these templates and printables! #Christianfamily #prayerprintables #prayerkits

 

For extra savings, you can purchase various bundles that combine the kits you need.

Prayer Guides for the New School Year

7. Back-to-School Prayer Challenge from Arabah Joy

Arabah Joy consistently develops resources that teach people how to pray using Scripture as a basis. You may have already encountered her book, Praying the Promises of the Cross, but this particular challenge focuses on praying for your children as they begin a new school year!

The Back-to-School prayer challenge helps you cultivate a habit of prayer through weekly video encouragement and daily prayer cards containing the scriptures to use while praying. All of the organizational work is done for you – you just have to put it into practice. :)

8. Mom’s Back-to-School Printable Pack from Faith Along the Way

Overcome the back-to-school overwhelm with this free printable pack, including a focus on praying for the new school year! #parenting #prayer #freebie

Here’s another fantastic FREE resource from Sarah Ann to help you overcome the overwhelm that hits when a new school year starts. This pack also includes 30 days of prayer for the new school year!

Prayer Guide for the World

It’s easy to pray for the people right in front of you. After all, we see them every day, and we talk with them about their problems and worries.

It’s a bit more challenging to pray for people around the world whom you don’t even know. Their culture may be totally unfamiliar to you, as well as their needs.

But I think we can agree that one need we all have in common is for salvation through Jesus Christ!

So, if you’re in the same boat as me – determined to develop a consistent prayer habit, then you might find this free prayer printable helpful.

Use this #freeprintable to encourage your #family to #pray for the world's largest unreached people groups! Teach your children the importance of global missions right from your own home. T.H.U.M.B method of praying |Being Confident of This | teaching kids to pray | teaching kids missions | missional family | missions-minded family |praying family | Christian women | Christian parenting | raising godly kids

9. THUMB teaches you (and your family) to pray for the most unreached people groups of the world. Using each finger of your hand, you can use the acronym to help you remember the names of the people groups who are still desperate for God’s truth. This handy prayer printable also gives you helpful information on each group so that you can better pray for their needs.

Praying THUMB for the World is a part of the Being Confident of This free resource library available to all who subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Just sign up, download, and print! :)

Friend, if you’re taking a look at all of these fabulous resources and feeling too overwhelmed to even know where to start, then maybe you need this encouragement here: 8 Scripture Prayers for When Your Glass Is Empty But Your Plate is Full.

Start with God’s truth first by remembering who you are in Him – fully redeemed, fully loved, fully equipped.

Any praying you do must come from that place of resting in your God-given identity first.

If you’ve tried to establish a habit of prayer before and failed, then don’t give up! Don’t fall for the lies of the Enemy that you just don’t have time to pray, or that your prayers are ineffective.

Choose believe God’s Word when He says,

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NIV)

Fellow work-in-progress friends, let’s be like the persistent widow in Luke 18; let’s be women who pray without giving up!

Jen :)
Want to be a prayer warrior but not sure where to start? This big list of FREE (and affordable) prayer resources will help you make a plan. Develop a healhty and consistent prayer life! #freeprintables #prayerguides #prayerwarrior #ChristianLiving Being Confident of This | biblical resources for Christian women | discipleship | spiritual growth | prayer | praying wife | praying mom | praying woman | prayer warrior | war room | prayer guide | prayer template | prayer methods

3 Ways to Fight for Joy in a Difficult Marriage

When a marriage relationship is difficult, finding joy in the midst of painful moments feels nearly impossible.

How can we possibly experience real joy in the face of real suffering?

Ongoing marriage problems can wear a wife down to a place of discouragement and grief. The burden often feels too heavy to bear. Even women who are determined to be warrior wives, who fight for marriage like only women of faith can, who fight for joy in everyday moments, feel the weight of the battle for their marriage.

Where is joy when you’re weary and in need of rest?

Here are 3 Biblical Ways to Reclaim Joy in a Difficult Marriage

  1. Recognize progress.

One strategy Satan uses often to discourage me in a rough patch is the sneaky little lie that my marriage will always be difficult. He tries to convince me and you, too, that things will never change.

If you believe that you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes, to remain stuck in the same destructive patterns, then where is your hope? What motivation do you have to keep working toward a healthy marriage?

Do you see how that works, friend? Believing those lies saps us of our strength!

Fight back against the Enemy’s lies and reclaim your hope and joy in the Lord by learning how to recognize progress.

Yes, maybe today even basic communication felt like nails on a chalkboard, but was it as bad as a few months ago? How about a few years ago?

Ask the Lord to help you see the ways in which your marriage relationship is changing, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Claim the promise of Philippians 1:6 for yourself, and if your husband is a believer, then claim it for him, too.

Quit believing the lie that your marriage is forever doomed, and fight for joy!

Please join me over at the Reclaiming Joy in Marriage online marriage event to read the rest of this article! Here you’ll find 31 days of marriage encouragement from a variety of writers – all for FREE!

Jen :)

3 Biblical ways to fight for joy in a difficult marriage

A Prayer for the Defeated Woman

I woke feeling like a defeated woman again today, Lord, wrestling with the flesh.

Tired from the start, I wanted nothing more than to remain in bed. And I have good reason – day four of earache and sore throat and overwhelming weariness. I could stay in bed all day and no one would blame me.

Well, that’s not quite true because the Accuser would blame me.

He would say I’m not trying hard enough, that people are counting on me, that I’m sick too often to go to bed every time a virus comes around.

My perfectionistic nature would agree with him, too.

Father, I’m still struggling to find this balance between working hard in Your strength and taking time to rest, too. Sometimes I wish You could physically pull me aside and say, “It’s okay to quit now, Jen. You can take a break.”

I don’t know why it’s so difficult right now to find peace in my everyday life. There’s so much to do and so little time, and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.

The gap between expectations and reality is something every human faces, especially those of us in ministry.

What’s most bothersome is this constant struggle between wanting to work hard at the life You have laid before me, to do my best to bring glory to Your name, and the daily desire to run away from it all right now.

I’m living in the mire of Romans 7, but longing for the victory of Romans 8.

And I know, I know, I know… that Your Word says we find rest in You alone, that Your burden is easy and light.

So what am I doing wrong?

For those days when you feel like you're doing everything wrong.... Don't let shame win! #shame #Christianwomen #encouragement #Psalm godly women | women of faith | encouragement | overcome shame | discouraged | struggling | Bible verses about shame | deovtional thought | Bible study |Christian Living | growing in faith

Because this doesn’t feel easy or light. It feels like a lot of hard, unending work.

Maybe that’s the real key – these feelings that would dominate if I allow them to, feelings like “too hard” and “not enough” and “overwhelmed.”

I know the Enemy of my soul has been hard at work for months now, creating doubt, setting me up for perceived failure, erecting obstacles at every turn.

I know Your Word says to expect his attacks (1 Peter 5:8), and I see them now for what they are, but some days it doesn’t seem to help me overcome.

Some days I just feel stuck.

So, I cry out for rescue, Lord. I’m such a helpless, sinful mess – a pastor’s wife who finds little joy in reading Your Word lately, who lacks the words and sometimes even the desire to pray. One who feels ashamed of her own sinful heart.

Ah, there it is – the truth comes out. This is the battle I fight: I want to be good enough on my own, like Eve in the garden who wanted wisdom on her own terms.

The more I struggle to prove myself, the more I recognize my own flaws and failures, the more defeated I become.

My only hope lies in You, my Rescuer and Redeemer.

You, who love me at my worst.

You, who laid down Your life so that I might live.

I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.  No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:2-5 (NIV)

Help me with this burden of guilt, Father. Remind me that I’m a defeated woman no more!

Release me from the Enemy’s snare.

Lift me up from these depths and restore the joy of my salvation to me.

Forgive me for ignoring Your beckoning call, for taking my relationship with You for granted. Forgive me for giving in to selfish desires, for trying to work in my own strength rather than Yours. Forgive me for turning to worldly comforts rather than You.

You alone are my strength and my shield.

Deliver me.

Remind me that I can only pour out of myself what I allow You to pour into me, but that Your supply is endless and abundant .

Help me to surrender all.

Help my unbelief.

Let me hide myself in You alone.

Because You are a good, good Father, and You love me still.

Jen

I wrote these words over a year ago, about two years into our church-planting journey thus far. I didn’t share them back then for fear of what others might think, but for some reason, this piece keeps coming to mind. So maybe one of you needs to hear that you’re not alone today? :)

If so, let me encourage you that on the other side of this “wrestling with the flesh” came a season of bearing fruit in my personal walk and harvesting fruit in our ministry that was so worth all of the wrestling. So while it may not seem worth it at the moment, my sister in Christ, don’t listen to the Accuser and that inner voice of doubt. Instead, lean on the promise of Galatians 6:9, and do not grow weary in doing good.

I encourage you to take time today to read through Romans 7 and 8. Take heart in knowing that even the apostle Paul wrestled with the flesh and take note of what made all the difference for him. I promise it’s worth a bit of your precious time!

For the minstry wife or the woman in ministry who feels defeated - you're not alone! Take this encouragement from God's Word and let it give you strength! #ministrywife #encouragement #devotional #Bible women of faith | leadership | ministry | pastor's wife | encouragement | church planting | God's Word | The Bible | Bible verse | devotional thought | resources for Christian women

For the Wife Who Feels Alone (and a Giveaway!)

“Sometimes I just feel so alone.”

As the words left my mouth, the weight of them nearly crushed me. Married life had been less than stellar, and I was weary of carrying on the “good fight.”

Add to that fact the isolation that often accompanies marriage problems (because after all, it’s embarrassing to admit you’re struggling, right?), and the loneliness seemed unbearable.

My natural tendency in times like these is to hunker down, hole up, hide away – that’s probably true for any introvert, but I now recognize that this tendency to retreat often leads me to be alone with my thoughts and worries – a dangerous place for any struggling wife to be, introvert or not.

Are you a wife who feels alone?

Sometimes other women ask me what I found most helpful during the dark years of our marriage, and I can honestly say that when I started to realize how NOT alone I was, I began to take heart!

Yet I often hear other women confessing that same struggle. They, too, feel alone in their marriage struggles.

I’m convinced it is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against Christian marriages today. With his persistent voice, he whispers lies like:

Your marriage problems are unique. No one else understands.

It’s because you lack faith – that’s why your marriage is struggling. Something must be wrong with you. 

You’re not a good enough wife. You just need to try harder to be the perfect wife, and then your husband will love you like you want.

And perhaps worst of all he puts the final nail in the coffin of our hope – If you tell anyone else, they’ll know what a failure you are, and your husband’s reputation will be ruined.

You see, friend, if he can convince you to hide your pain and suffering, to keep your mouth shut, he can keep you from the hope and joy you are desperately searching for!

Are you embarrassed to be a struggling wife? Do you often feel alone when facing marriage problems? For the Wife Who Feels Lonely Christian Women | biblical marriage | godly wife | feeling lonely | marriage problems | divorce |staying married | fighting for marriage | Being Confident of This #wife #lonely #encouragement #devotional

When women begin to realize that others out there have lived through and survived (or even thrived) through marriages that fell apart, they see that with God anything is possible. What a blow to the Enemy!

My friend, if you are a lonely wife who is hesitant to let anyone in, know that the truth is you are far from alone!

The God of the universe, your Creator, is with you.

And along with Him, you have thousands of sisters-in-Christ who are standing ground, fighting for their marriages, too.

How might your perspective change if you quit believing the Enemy’s lies and began instead to believe God’s truth?

  • Would believing that God isn’t finished working in your or in your marriage give you strength to persevere?
  • Would believing that He has your best interest at heart give you hope when all hope seems lost?
  • Would trusting in God’s providence and protection keep you secure?

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No marriage is perfect – how can the union of two flawed sinners possibly be? The tactics Satan uses now are the same he used even as far back in the Garden of Eden – anything he can do to separate husband and wife from each other and from God.

He specializes in crafting believable lies meant to lead us away from God’s truth one step of doubt at a time.

Whether you’re experiencing a true marital crisis or just struggling through the loneliness that often follows even a brief disagreement, you have a choice to make.

Truth or lie.

Hope or despair.

Joy or sorrow.

As a follower of Christ, filled by the Holy Spirit and fully equipped for every good work, you have the power to choose!

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

Sweet wife who feels alone, let me offer you some very practical hope.

I’m thrilled to tell you about an important event taking place all month long, (especially since it’s FREE – my favorite!).

During the month of July, you can learn from and be encouraged by other wives through the FREE Joy in Marriage Event, hosted by my friend and fellow marriage blogger, Tiffany at Hope and Joy in Christ.

Tiffany has organized 31 days of marriage encouragement, including daily devotional posts, GIVEAWAYS (over $16,000 of faith resources!!), and even a digital swag bag for those who RSVP on her site!

In addition, as a sponsor for this event, Unveiled Wife has offered a FREE book for each writer who is participating to give away to readers – amazing, right?!
Giveaway! Win a copy of Wife After God by Unveiled Wife during the Joy in Marriage Event this July! #marrige #marriagebook #JoyinMarriage #giveaway Christian Women | Being Confident of This | Bible studies | devotionals | faith resources | marriage event |encouragement | joy   hope

So, first, you need to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Then, trek on over to Tiffany’s place to grab your swag bag and enter more giveaways. (Keep an eye out for Hope for the Hurting Wife while you’re there because Rebekah and I are both contributing a copy!). Every day, Tiffany will be sharing a post from a different blogger related to joy in marriage – how encouraging! :)

Finally, please help us spread the word about this event to your friends, family, church family, neighbors – anyone who will listen – so that YOU can be a part of encouraging other wives, too.

Let’s not allow the Enemy to keep us isolated and alone any longer!

No one needs to be a wife who feels alone!

Jen :)
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How Truth Helps You Overcome Temptation

A few years ago, we endured a time of discouragement and trials galore. My husband and I were both under a lot of external stress, both personal and from ministry, and our marriage temporarily suffered. I faced the temptation to give up nearly daily!

I felt like one of the Israelites in the desert, bemoaning my situation and feeling helpless to enact change.

I share this story with you today, hoping that it may encourage you if you’re facing a situation that seems impossible, or even unbearable. I hope you find comfort in the fact that you are not alone and that He always provides a way to overcome temptation! :)

…………………………………………………….

It’s almost supper time, but the stove top sits empty and no pleasing aromas fragrance the air. I’ve not even yet decided what to cook, let alone made any sort of preparations. Instead, I’m sitting in my bedroom trying desperately to pray while my preschoolers whine for attention right outside of the bedroom door.

My husband, weary from our recent argument, sits slumped over just outside the door at the dining room table. He’s grumbling over the budget and seems unaware of the noise around him.

There is no peace, no quiet here.

But I need to pray because I am one moment away from falling. One moment from allowing my impatience, anger, resentment, and frustration to spill over onto my family. One moment away from blowing it.

One moment from losing any chance to overcome temptation.

At this moment I am certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Satan has set his sights on me; I’m being tested.

When temptation lingers near, use this powerful truth to fight back! #Christianwomen #temptation #overcome #devotional Being Confident of This | Bible studies | faith resources | how to overcome temptation | God's truth | using the Bible | Bible verse

It isn’t the first of such evenings in my home. In fact, our marriage relationship has been under strain for a few months now, and I’ve grown oh-so-weary of “fighting the good fight.” However, this past week, God has shown me the truth of my situation; I haven’t been doing my part, either.

I have been selfish. I have been lazy. I have been avoiding the time with my Lord that I need. Thus, I recently resolved to make some positive changes, knowing full well that temptation would linger near.

So as I sit here in my room praying while the chaos rages just outside of the door, I laugh.

Yes, I laugh!

It’s absurd, even comical, that every other person in my home would suddenly become distractions at the very moment I attempt to find peace. I want to complain to the Lord that I’m trying so hard to do what is right, to seek Him in my moment of weakness, but He’s not making it very easy!

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

According to His Word, I can overcome temptation, even this temptation.

This is the best way to fight the Enemy's lies! Use God's Word to counter the attacks of the Accuser, just like Jesus did. Stand on God's truth and overcome! #overcome #encouragement #Bibleverse #workinprogresswomen Being Confident of This | devotional | Bible study | how to fight temptation | overcome Satan's lies | stand on God's truth | power of God's Word

In that moment of laughter, I realize the truth that as long as I’m trying to do right, to obey God, Satan is not going to leave me alone. In fact, He’s even going to use good things like bible study and prayer against me by causing frustration and chaos at just the right moment.

Thankfully, now that God has shown me the truth of the matter, Satan cannot win. I see his game plan for what it is, and prayer is a powerful tool!

Sorry, Satan, I’m getting up from my throne of self-pity and frustration, and I’m cooking supper tonight.

Lord, I thank you for always providing a way out for us, even when it seems impossible or unbearable! I ask that you would encourage my sisters in Christ today to look for the way out when they face temptation. Help them to see the truth in whatever situations they face. Remind them that You are with them always, every step of the way, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Give them the strength they need to resist temptation and to flee the Devil and remind them of your unfailing love and grace for them because of your Son, Jesus Christ. I ask all of these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.

We can overcome temptation, friends, by standing on God’s truth!

Jen :)

P.S. When you’re struggling with temptation, write or print out the verse above and hang it where you will see it frequently. Use God’s Word as a reminder that you CAN overcome!

How to Parent Your Angry Child

Have you ever worried that your angry child might never learn patience? Have you lain awake at night wondering how to help refine those strong-willed tendencies into good character?

A while back, our second-born, strong-willed, ball-of-energy-and-strength-and-passion son was showing me a few of his latest “tricks.” I watched somewhat half-heartedly and made the typical distracted mom comments.

“Wow!”

“That’s crazy!”

“How do you DO that?”

When suddenly he made this horrible grimace.

He effectively described it as “putting pressure” on his face. To me it looked an awful lot like his angry child face.

Curious, I asked him why he would put pressure on his face. He matter-of-factly explained that it helps him get his anger out when he’s frustrated or feeling angry.

Then he showed me another of his typical angry child poses (fisted hands clenched tightly at his sides) and told me that putting pressure on his body helps him get anger out, too.

Once he was done with the demonstration, he sauntered away, like it was no big deal for a seven-year-old to have such knowledge of his own emotions and body.

I sat there stunned.

Not because our son is so intelligent, although he truly is, but because a posture that I tend to “read” as angry disrespect or rebellion was, in fact, the complete opposite.

His tense posture was actually an attempt at self-control! And here I had been scolding him to “have a better attitude” whenever the “pressure” face and those “pressure” hands appeared, whenever I saw evidence of an angry child.

If you have a child with BIG emotions, you probably struggle with some parenting discouragement. What I learned from my angry child changed my perspective and helped me focus on the work in progress!  Work-in-progress Parenting: The Angry Child  #parenting #emotionalchild #strongwilledchild christian parenting|Devotional |Bible study|christian family|helping emotional children|emotions|anger|angrychild|christian mom|strong-willed child

Hope for the Angry Child

It turns out my angry child understood his own emotions (and boy, does he have b-i-g ones) better than I sometimes understand my own.In fact, he was learning self-control methods that work for him, without any help from me!

Our conversation reminded me that even though I have now logged over thirteen years of parenting experience, I don’t know it all. In fact, I never will!

Each child is created uniquely and requires unique parenting, a truth I tend to forget.

What I perceived as defiance or disrespect was actually the most self-controlled, respectful act my son was capable of in his angry moments.

 

I hope I remember to exercise caution when I see the angry child come out. I hope I remember that he’s making a greater effort than I ever realized and applaud him for maintaining a measure of self-control in the face of anger.

He has come so far in the area of emotions and self-control in the last few years, and I’m so quick to forget that in a heated moment!

I’m so quick to forget that my child is a work-in-progress, too, just like his siblings, just like his parents, just like every other sinful human on the face of the earth.

It wasn’t a proud moment for me, rather it was a thank-you-Lord moment. I couldn’t take credit for my angry child’s heart changes; in fact, I was unintentionally discouraging some of the progress he was making.

Only God can take credit.

Because our little boy who is so quickly growing into a young man accepted the free gift of salvation a few years ago. And not long after, he publicly proclaimed his son-ship in Christ before family and friends as he waded into the baptismal waters.

I see the work the Lord is doing in his young heart and mind already.

Even now as he enters his teenage years, I see how his heart has softened toward his younger siblings and how they now look up to him.

Even though our son’s passion and energy often cause trouble for him, I have faith that someday he will use those gifts to be a great leader and a bold truth-teller. He’s a born leader in the process of becoming.

What faithfulness on the Lord’s behalf!

My friends, when you’re parenting progress seems to have stalled, take heart.

Continue to follow the Lord in your parenting, and wait to see what happens. Pray for their little hearts and minds to open to the Father’s touch.

If your emotional, angry child is old enough, ask about his or her actions during a low-stress time rather than in the heat of the moment. You’ll likely gain some surprising insights!

Look for progress in the little things, the still, small moments.Perhaps the problem with your child is really a problem with YOUR thinking! #parenting #workinprogress #beingconfidentofthis purposeful parenting|intentional parenting|christian parenting|stubborn child|angry child|emotional child|strong-willed child|parenting help|how to be a better parent| godly parenting

 

Remember who your child has been created to be. He’s created to be different than your other children and different even than you.

Take every opportunity to rejoice over the slightest step forward.

Because God knows what He’s doing.

He created these children, these gifts, purposefully just as he created you and me purposefully.

Only He can see where that purpose might lead them.

Jen :)

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When It Is Hard to Believe Jesus

My Good friend and fellow writer, Aimee Imbeau is joining us with these words today:

She was shocked by my words. And a little frightened. If it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. That was her understanding, anyway. Probably because I was known for my strong faith.

Friends would say, “When Aimee prays, things happen”. Well, nothing was happening now. In fact, I believed that God was purposely choosing to ignore me.

Yeah, I knew He could help me. He could easily change my circumstances. Making things better would be super easy for Him. It wasn’t that I did not believe He couldn’t. I believed He didn’t want to. Maybe this is something that sounds familiar to you today. Perhaps you just don’t know what to do When It’s Hard To Believe Jesus. If so, you are in the right place.

Not believing Jesus is a very difficult season to be in, friend. It’s even harder when you try to explain how you are feeling and no one seems to understand. They seem to think you are the creator of your circumstances and you have the power to change if you only…

  • Read your Bible more
  • Trust God more
  • Have more faith
  • Just try harder
  • Suck it up
  • That’s life
  • God gives and God takes away
  • Keep praying

It’s like it is entirely up to us and our efforts to believe. And it is entirely our fault if we find it hard to believe. The trite advice is not only unhelpful, but also potetnially damaging.

If we only realized the truth, then maybe these seasons of life would be just a little bit smoother. Maybe we wouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. We would stop believing that we have failed or that there is something wrong with us. Perhaps we would begin to understand that it is in these challenging seasons that our faith is built up.

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Losing My Faith

When I believed that God was holding out on me, I thought I was actually losing my faith. The truth was that my faith was weak – not as strong as people had thought – or what I thought. God wanted me to have an unmovable, unshakable faith. And in order to do that, the old faith had to go. The process took time, but I can tell you now that my faith today is much more mature. Our God is in the business of rebuilding, renovating, and re-purposing our faith. Trust Him in this process. It might look messy as any renovation does, but the end result will be beautiful.

If you are struggling with your faith, trust that He is rebuilding it.

Be Careful What You Believe

There was a popular Christian saying that went something like, “If you feel far from God, guess who moved“. I thought maybe, somehow, I inadvertently moved away from Him. I wasn’t sure how I did it – maybe I didn’t study my Bible enough or pray longer prayers. It took me a while, but eventually, I came to see just how unbiblical that statement was. So often, we hear these things that sound good but simply aren’t true. But they influence our faith, and not for the better. We need to be very careful with whom we listen to, whom we believe.

If you are struggling with your faith, be careful whom you believe.

Not A Surprise To God

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God knew we would struggle with our faith. He knew we would have seasons where believing Him would be difficult for us. He expected this. That’s why He had John write his gospel account. The whole purpose of the book of John is for us to strengthen our faith and belief in Jesus.

Did you know that?

God loves us so much that He took the necessary steps to help us believe Him at His word.

God knew we’d struggle so the book of John was to confirm and secure Christians in our faith. He has given us what we need to build up our faith in Him.

Our God is so good to have done this for us.

If you are struggling with your faith, read the book of John and believe.

The Truth

As I matured in my faith and God rebuilt my trust in Him, I began to see the truth. My faith was not dependent upon how I was feeling or on my circumstances. In fact, it had nothing to do with me at all. My faith has everything to do with Him. He promises to never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). He promises to hear and answer my prayers (Psalm 139:1-4, 1 John 5:14-15, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Jeremiah 29:12). And He has good and wonderful plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:18, Mark 10:29-30, Philippians 1:6). What a relief it is that I don’t have to strive or work harder to maintain my faith. I just have to choose Him.

I’d like to leave you with Natalie Grant’s new song, More Than Anything. May her words speak deep into your heart today.

If this is a topic you want more guidance in, I have written a study on the book of John called Believe. This study includes video, worksheets, charts, verse cards, Bible reading challenge, and more.

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Photo 2 MEAimee is a home educating support teacher who lives in the sunny Okanagan, BC. Aimee has been blissfully married since 1998 and she still swoons at the sight of her tall, dark and handsome husband, Marcus. When she isn’t home educating her 3 kids, she enjoys sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, baking, writing and hanging out with her family. Aimee is a certified teacher who works from home, supporting and encouraging homeschool families. She blogs over at A Work of Grace. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

 

How We’re Getting Valentine’s Day All Wrong

Valentine’s Day – love it or hate it?

Some say it’s a meaningful day to appreciate our loved ones while others claim the day is nothing more than one marketing ploy after the other.

Recently, I learned the surprising story behind our holiday, and how we’re getting Valentine’s Day all wrong. It’s so revolutionary and counter-cultural that I want to share with pretty much everyone I know.

Because, friends, it’s important!

In our commercialized culture, Valentine’s Day has become all about romantic love, and if you don’t have that kind of love in your life (or if your relationship is strained at the moment), then you’re just plain out of luck.

For this reason, Valentine’s Day often leads to depression and loneliness for many people because, let’s be honest, no relationship is perfect and no one wants to be alone on a day that’s all about love.

But the truth is that the origins of Valentine’s Day tell a completely different story – one that reveals how we’re getting Valentine’s Day all wrong!

We’ve been deceived by a world that would take the most precious gift we have to offer, and the most precious gift offered to us, and make it shallow and somewhat meaningless.

Why We’re Getting Valentine’s Day All Wrong

According to church tradition and historical documents, Saint Valentine was a priest who married couples in secret defiance of the Roman Emperor’s ban on marriage. Valentine believed so strongly in his faith that he demonstrated the ultimate form of love – not eros, or romantic love, but agape – the kind of love that sacrifices self for the sake of another. He put his life on the line in order to help couples who wished to follow God’s ways.

When he was discovered, Valentine faced punishment in the form of imprisonment and torture, eventually laying down his very life for a faith he so firmly believed in.

Did you catch that? He gave his life, for the sake of love and faith.

There is a depth of love to agape that is hard for us to even fathom, friends, and this world would ask us to settle for so much less, whether married or not.

When we feel “less than” because we don’t have a “someone special,” we settle for less than God’s best.

When we feel “unloved” because marriage is hard right now, we settle for less than God’s best.

When we make Valentine’s Day about what we get instead of what we give, we settle for less than God’s best.

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Agape is God’s best.

Agape gives even when it hurts.

Agape is unconditional.

Agape never gives up.

And that agape love is already yours in Christ! All you have to do is receive it.

 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13

Saint Valentine simply followed the example of love he found in Christ, who gave his life on the cross out of love for a sinful and hostile world.

You can walk through this Valentine’s Day focused on cards and chocolates and things of this world, or you can walk through the day focused on the supernatural abundance of love that this world can never, ever give you.

My work-in-progress friends, you can spend Valentine’s Day washed in the truth that you are fully loved, unconditionally loved, eternally loved, by a man who gave his very life for you – Jesus Christ.

And as you’re filled with His love, you can spend this day giving agape love away to others, too. It just might change your whole perspective.

Let’s get the day right instead of getting Valentine’s Day all wrong.

Will you join me now in thinking of how you can make agape the focus of your Valentine’s Day?

A Valentine’s Day Gift

In that same spirit, my friend and co-author Rebekah Hallberg and I decided to host a week of daily giveaways for our book, Hope for the Hurting Wife. Our book focuses on the kind of agape love that chooses to stay even when marriage gets tough!

Each day one of us will be giving away a copy of our book (print or ebook depending on where the winner lives) either on our Facebook pages or our Instagram accounts, so be sure to follow us both if you’re not already.

Being Confident of This – Facebook page and Instagram

Rebekah M. Hallberg – Facebook page and Instagram

Stop by Being Confident of This or Rebekah M. Hallberg on Facebook and Instagram for your chance to win a copy! It's our Valentine's Day gift to you! Christian Women | marriage book | Bible study | devotional | Christian Living | Christian marriage | marriage encouragement| spiritual growth| faith

In the mornings, we’ll open up a thread for that day’s entry, and the following day we’ll announce the winner. You can only win once, but unless you’ve already won, you are free to enter every day!

In addition, we have temporarily lowered the price on the print version of Hope for the Hurting Wife on amazon. Even if you’ve already read it, now would be an excellent time to purchase a copy for a friend or loved one in need or maybe for your church library?

And if you love fashion or coffee, then you should definitely head over to the newly opened Hope for Marriage shop hosted on our good friend Alisa’s site. We’ve designed specially themed apparel and mugs just to encourage women like you and I in our faith and our marriages! On Wednesday, I’ll be giving away an item from the shop in addition to the book giveaway!

Click on the pictures below to hop over to the shop. Thanks for helping to support the ministry of our blogs and book. We certainly appreciate you, friends!

Jen :)

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For the Wife Who’s Not in Love Anymore

I’m just not in love anymore.

It’s a phrase we hear often enough, a phrase that’s no longer attached to any one generation in particular. In fact, wives who have been married for decades are just as likely to utter these words as those who’ve only been married a short time.

I’m not in love anymore.

I’m sure the words pain you as much as they pain me because I remember a time when the same thought reverberated through my heartstrings.

Yes, me, a pastor’s wife who once upon a time fell madly in love with an enthusiastic young youth minister, only to quickly learn that marriage wasn’t all happily-ever-after wedded bliss.

We struggled off and on for the better part of a decade before learning how to consistently enjoy being married to each other!

But I’m not in love anymore, and my husband isn’t in love with me either, what else can I possibly do? 

Personally, I have some strong feelings about those words because I have learned that real love, true love is a choice, not a feeling – despite what our me-first culture would have us believe.

However, let’s set aside my personal feelings for now and dive right into what the Word of God has to say on the issue.

6 Essential Scriptures about Love:

1. According to scripture, our hearts are deceitful. We cannot trust the feeling of being not in love anymore.

Feelings come and go, sometimes without rhyme or reason, so we cannot trust our hearts to lead us in God’s ways. Instead, we must rely on what we know to be true, and we find such truth in His Word.

The heart is deceitful above all thing and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

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2. God’s Word reveals that loving each other isn’t an option, it’s a command!

Whether or not we feel like loving our spouses, God expects us to love them in our choices.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)

3.  According to the Bible, agape love is the kind of love that sacrifices self in favor of another.

Jesus gave us the greatest example of agape love at the cross.

We are to follow Jesus’ example in living out that kind of sacrificial love. Agape love might be as simple as making a meal for your spouse, or ironing his clothes, or as difficult as keeping silent even when a spouse is wrong.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  John 15:12-13 (NIV)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

So how do we know what God expects from us in living out agape love? After all, no one wants to be a doormat!

We must abide in Him and be sensitive to the Spirit, who will guide us when conflicts arise.

The next time the Spirit nudges you to do that kind thing for a loved one, pay attention and choose to obey even if you don’t feel like it!

4. The infamous love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) reminds us that God has high standards for what real love looks like.

According to these verses, we can be obedient in so many other areas, but without love, all of those good works are meaningless!

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.            1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)

5. God’s Word claims that if we don’t love others, then we don’t really know God – ouch!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)

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6. We are capable of loving others (even when we don’t feel like it) because Christ loved us first!

Sometimes we’re tempted to doubt this truth. We wrongly believe that we cannot love our spouses, when in fact, we have all power to do just that in Christ!

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Even when the loving feelings just aren’t there, we can choose to act on the very real love that flows from Jesus.

We choose love out of gratefulness for what Christ has done for us.

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After all, I’m not perfect, and neither are you, yet Christ loved us at our very worst when we were unlovable, unworthy, enslaved to sin. We can and should demonstrate that same Christ-like love toward our spouses, even when they’re wrong, even when they are at their worst.

Friends, I know biblical love is not an easy standard to live up to. I fail so often in my own life!

I know the frustration of living in a broken marriage. I know the despair of feeling like things will never change.

I know the sorrow of feeling I’m not in love anymore.

But I also know the joy of seeing the Father change my own heart, as well as my husband’s heart. I know the joy of renewed hope.

I even know the joy of rekindled feelings when we got to the sweet spot of marriage, the “for better” that waited for us on the other side of the “for worse.”

So you’re not in love anymore – that may be true.

Your feelings may have changed, but God’s Word is clear:  love is a command, a choice, and the power to love comes not from our feelings but from Christ alone.

Let me encourage to choose love today, and when you do, may you reap the rewards that are promised!

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 (NIV)

Above all, don’t give up hope that your marriage can change. Let that change begin with you.

As my gift to you to encourage you along those lines, I’m offering the lovely printable below to all subscribers! Just fill in your information and look for your confirmation email (be sure to check the spam folder if you don’t see it right away).

Please remember that you are not alone, my friend. Fellow warrior wives have lived in these same trenches and have won the battle for healthy marriage by God’s design. And the Lord your God is with you in all things!

Jen :)

For further reading: I Didn’t Want My Husband Anymore

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How to Seek Peace in the Holiday Hustle

I stared at the half-dangling greenery, feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

Laundry waited to be washed, presents waited to be purchased and wrapped.

My work schedule was full and our family calendar even more full.

I wanted this Christmas to be different than last year’s holiday. I wanted to really savor the season, but I felt like I was failing.

Where was the peace I longed for?

How was I missing it? Where was I going wrong?

Because the overwhelming emotion ruling my heart lately was an awful lot of stress.

Like the world before Christ’s birth, I felt the reality of “sin and error, pining.”

Between book writing, and client work, and church-planting, and home life, it often seems like there just aren’t enough hours in a day.

But I need some peace.

I need to savor this season because I’ve had oh-so-many reminders this year, friends, that our time here on earth is short, our days and hours and minutes never guaranteed.

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And as our oldest son prepares to head out into the world, I feel that reality all the more keenly.

So, how do we make the most of Christmas without becoming burdened and overwhelmed?

How do we truly seek peace without creating additional stress by adding another thing to the to-do list ?

4 Meaningful Ways to Find Peace in the Holiday Hustle

1. We put first things first for peace in the holiday hustle.

When I feel overwhelmed, I can often pinpoint one of the root causes as a lack of consistent quiet time. Whenever my calendar gets too full, my time with Jesus often becomes less and less. This is a reality we must guard against, friends.

We may even be tempted to justify spending less time in His presence because we’re spending time doing advent activities with our family, attending extra church services, and so forth.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4

Truthfully, nothing can take the place of that one-on-one time with Emmanuel, the God who came to be with us.

We’re literally starving our souls when we neglect this most important relationship, and we will reap the fruit of that neglect in our lives. Stress, lack of motivation, discontent, worry, impatience – all can be indicators of a spiritual problem.

A return to right priorities goes a long way toward helping us regain peace in the holiday hustle!

2. We content ourselves with “good enough” for peace in the holiday hustle.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but perfect holidays don’t exist in reality.

When we fail to reign in our expectations for what a “good Christmas” entails, we set ourselves up for failure every time!

I have to continually remind myself this year that some is better than none.

Some exercise is better than no exercise.

Some Christmas baking is better than no Christmas baking.

Some advent devotions with the kids is better than no advent.

Some planning is better than no planning. You get the idea. :)

It’s all about showing yourself some grace. After all, would your husband and children rather have lots of Christmas goodies but a stressed-out, grumpy mama, or would they prefer less treats and a mama who is at peace? I can guarantee mine would choose the latter every time.

I cannot have a perfect Christmas, and neither can you, friend. Let’s just toss that impossible notion right out into the cold.

What we can have is a meaningful, peaceful Christmas, and that happens when we slow down and savor the season.

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3. We pray for peace in the holiday hustle.

It seems to me that the Enemy works overtime during the Christmas season. As we plan and prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth with our loved ones, he’s planning for our destruction.

But we need not fear his tactics, friends, because his power is limited while our God’s power is limitless. In Christ, we have the power to resist temptation, to choose peace, to choose kindness, to choose love, and all of the other fruit of the Spirit.

Ask the Father for a special covering this Christmas. I know I will be asking the same for our household – that God’s peace will rule our home, that we will be free to joyfully celebrate Jesus’ birth, that we will be free to enjoy loved ones and gift giving and delicious food, and so on.

Peace, Father, give us peace this Christmas!

I’ll be asking for all of these things that I might be able to give God the glory for the kind of supernatural peace that can only come from Him, and trusting that His peace is already ours to claim. :)

4. We seek scripture to give us peace in the holiday hustle.

I can’t tell you how often the Spirit brings a verse to mind that I’ve previously memorized just when I need it most. I’m certain you know what I mean, friends.

God’s Word brings us peace through His promises and His guidance.

So when I was thinking of you all, faithful friends and readers, and wondering what small gift I might be able to give you this Christmas, I thought of what busy women needed most during the holidays.

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Peace.

If you’re already on my subscriber list, you should have received a link to the printable below in your inbox. But if you’re new here, just fill in your information at the bottom of this article to access all of our free resources, as well as join the list for encouraging monthly newsletters.

Above all, take time to seek real peace this Christmas.

The best Peace you’ll ever find came to Earth as a mere babe thousands of years ago, just so He might know us. If you’ve never accepted the gift of His love and salvation, you can do so today. Just cry out to Jesus.

Lay down your burdens.

And let Christ give you peace.

Jen :)