What If God Actually Answered My Prayers?

His words caught me totally by surprise. I looked up from what I was doing to be sure I’d heard him. My husband has never been very definitive about anything, especially pertaining to our marriage, so his matter-of-fact response caught me off guard.

My husband and I have had a rough few years. We’ve had legal, financial and marital issues, to name just a few. The trauma we’ve dealt with has been almost unbearable. My husband has had to deal with some very difficult issues, and while we’ve tried to navigate them together, ultimately they have been his demons to wrestle while I prayed.

I was frustrated at where we were in our relationship – seemingly stuck. The struggles that we faced took us on very different roads than I ever intended. Navigating them has not been easy for me.

I think I said something like, “I don’t like where we are. I want to feel like we’re moving forward. I want to feel unstuck.”

He answered that we won’t be in this position forever. I won’t always feel stuck. No, someday this will be behind us.

“You want to move forward? Then we start today. We start here. We may not know where we are going to end up, but we can start right here and move forward together.”

Friends, I have prayed for this moment. I have prayed for my husband to step into the position to want to lead our family, our marriage.

And there I stood, surprised, uncertain, not sure what to do.

What if…

What if God actually answered my prayers?

His words startled me. Could be be that God actually answered my prayer?

The world is so quick to speak their “truths” into our lives:

You’re not good enough.
Your prayer is too big to get answered.
Your relationship is too broken.
Your God isn’t big enough.

Even those 4 lies right there – they’re huge. We’ve all probably heard them (or a variety of them) at some point.

But what does God do?

God calls us out.

God calls us out – He makes us holy, set apart.

In Exodus 3:5, God called to Moses from the burning bush.

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

And in Joshua 5:15, the commander of the Lord’s army met Joshua near Jericho.

The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

When God is ready to use us, when He answers our prayers and prepares us for what’s ahead, He will set us apart for His purpose.

We may not see a burning bush, and we may not talk with the commander of the Lord’s army, but that doesn’t diminish God’s work in our lives! God’s power to work is as strong whether we have a Damascus road experience, or whether we’re struck by the words of our husband.

God is not finished with my marriage. He still has a plan for us. He is answering my prayers for my marriage in ways I can’t even believe.

What are you praying for today? How can we be praying with you?

We will pray, but friends, I ask you to pray, believing.

 

Rebekah M. HallbergRebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in her own marriage. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – encouraging wives who are praying for redemption in their marriage.

Grace and Truth is Back ~ Week 16

Last week life got in the way and I wasn’t able to post the Grace and Truth Friday link-up. So, I’m happy to say that this week Grace and Truth is Back!

It’s been a tough few weeks here at our house – tough parenting issues, tough marriage issues, tough body issues, tough scheduling issues – you know the kind of week I’m talking about I’m sure. :)

So pray for us, will you?  We could use some extra encouragement and joy and laughter around here.  We could use some prayer coverage for the spiritual warfare going on around us. We could use a few easy days.  And I’m learning not to be too proud to ask for that help!

The one good thing about the past week is the beauty that exploded into life in our backyard.  It’s been a daily reminder of God’s goodness to us, especially in this fascinating world He created for us!

white blossoms Grace and Truth, Spring blossoms, Beautiful creation

 

Spring beauty, Creator God, Grace and Truth

We can all use a good reminder from time to time about who we are in Christ. I keep coming back to that truth, the truth that He loves me even still, that He rejoices over me, that He chooses me.  He chooses you, too, my sisters in Christ! Let’s not forget the truth that is His perfect love!

If you’re struggling a bit this week, won’t you share with us in the comments? Let’s rally around each other in prayer support. Let’s share each other’s burdens. Let’s see the Lord glorified right here in this online midst! :)

I look forward to hearing from you this week.

Jen :)

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

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Much Ado about Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B.

We’ve reached  the third and final week of our Much Ado about Missions series – helping you develop a missions mindset in your home!  If you missed the Introduction to this series, you can view it here.  Also, if you need to catch up, you can find all of the posts listed under the weekly wrap-ups:  Week 1 (teaching missions in the home) or Week 2 (missions experiences for the whole family).

In our third week, we’re focusing on praying for the Nations.  I don’t know about you, but I often pray for unsaved friends and family members.  And since my husband is a pastor, I sometimes even remember to pray for the unsaved in our local community.  I also pray for our missionary friends and those we support.  However, one thing I very seldom remember to do is pray for the most unreached people groups of the world!

Today I’m going to share with you the T.H.U.M.B. method, borrowed (with permission) from some new missionary friends.  The T.H.U.M.B. method is unique because it focuses on praying for the largest unreached people groups according to specific prayer points based on the spiritual beliefs of those groups.

Much Ado about Missions, how tonpray for unreached people groups, praying for the lost using T.H.U.M.B. method

One important distinction to make is that unreached people groups aren’t simply unsaved people.  Unsaved people will always exist on earth until the end of time.  However, the Bible is clear that all nations must be reached with the gospel before Christ will return.  Unreached people groups are those who have literally no gospel presence.

It’s not just that they are unsaved, but that they also have absolutely no opportunity to learn of salvation! Whole generations of men, women, and children are being born, living, and dying without ever hearing of God’s provision in the form of Jesus.

As a follower of Christ, I would like to be more intentional about praying for these unreached peoples, that they might have the opportunity to hear the Good News for God’s glory!  My plan is to use the T.H.U.M.B. method and pray for one group each day of the week, Monday through Friday.  One apsect of T.H.U.M.B. that I love most is that it is so easy to remember!

Much Ado About Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B., praying for unreached people groups, missions, the THUMB method of praying for the

T – Tribal groups – as you might imagine, these are people who live in remote locations, some only reachable by helicopter or boat or weeks of hiking.  They have their own languages, cultures, and spiritual beliefs.  Many tribal people live in fear of upsetting the spirits, beings they believe are responsible for the health of family members, the growth of crops, and so forth.  So, when bad things happen, it’s because the spirits are unhappy and must be appeased.  Often these beliefs lead to tragedies such as witch trials, ritualistic deaths, beatings and other brutality. These people live in oppressive spiritual darkness.

H – Hindus – Hindus worship many, many gods.  Therefore, one of the challenges missionaries and believers face in sharing the gospel with Hindus is differentiating between their gods and the One True God.  Sadly, Jesus can easily become just one more god that they add on.

U - Unbelievers in China – they cheated a little on this one to fit the acronym. :)  The unbelieving in China are over a billion strong!  One of the unique challenges faced by missionaries to this particular unreached people group is that because of the communist government, believers must be careful about how they share their faith.  China is not fully open to missionaries, so many believers enter as teachers, businessmen and women, and so forth. They work jobs while also trying to learn Chinese and develop discipling relationships with others.

M – Muslims – the Islam religion is spreading world-wide.  Muslims believe in only one god, Allah, but they believe that Jesus was merely a prophet, like so many other prophets.  The Islam faith rests on the pillars of Islam, many of which are based on “good works.” Like China, many parts of the Muslim world are still completely closed off to missionary presence.

B – Buddhists – There are various forms of Buddhism, but most Buddhists do not believe in a god or gods.  They do, however, follow the teachings of a man  named Buddha, who emphasized the need to understand self and the world in a more “enlightened” way.  While I don’t understand all of the Buddhist beliefs and practices, I do know that much of it is based on personal efforts.  Thus, the need for a Savior is a foreign concept.

For more information on the T.H.U.M.B. technique and its specific praying points, please visit Beyond the Bullingtons – the Bullington’s are nearing the end of their training to be church-planting missionaries with New Tribes Mission.

Much Ado About Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B., praying for unreached people groups, missions, the THUMB method of praying for the

Why not make praying T.H.U.M.B. part of your daily or weekly prayer routine?  As your children, or even grandchildren, grow old enough to understand, you can teach them this acronym so that they might pray for the largest unreached people groups alongside you.

You might even consider praying for a different unreached group at a certain time of day, such as a mealtime or  bedtime.  The acronym is easy to remember, so why not connect it to an easy-to-remember time of day?  As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, nearly a third of the world’s total population remains unreached.  Praying is one way that we can all do our part!

How can you use the T.H.U.M.B. method in your home?

Jen : )

You may find me at any of these lovely blogs.

It Was Ugly (A Five Minute Friday)

Five Minute Friday: Beautiful

The day didn’t start out this way. We left for the beach with smiles on our faces, anticipation building with each mile that passed. We had our swimsuits on, our sand buckets packed, our snack sack filled. We were heading into what was sure to be a beautiful day.

But then it turned ugly.

There was a bee sting and disobedient children followed by a sudden realization that all was not well. Disappointment, frustration, harsh words, and fear all balled up into one, a wound ripped open in the midst of a beautiful day. It was the kind of deep wound that ruins any thought of fun or enjoyment. And the children were watching, and I felt stuck.

I didn’t want to go to the beach anymore. I didn’t want to spend another second within a five-foot radius of him. I wanted to admit defeat, to go home and sob in my bed, alone. I wanted to …

To read the rest, click here and follow me to the new home of this article.
It was Ugly, how an argument threatened to ruin a beautiful day, how to recover when you feel stuck,  hope for redemption of a bad day

 

 

A Blogger’s Prayer

This weekend marked the one month birthday of this blog, Being Confident of This.  It’s a blog I started, but I’ve decided not to call it my blog anymore because it really isn’t.  It’s God’s blog. The reason I say it’s His blog is because He’s done greater things for it in this short time than I could have ever imagined!

I’m happy to tell you that today “Being Confident of This” is being featured on two other blogs! Exciting! :)  My cousin, Angie, at http://www.angieknutson.com/ has been a huge help to me in my blogging journey this far.  She has a wealth of knowledge and has been kind enough to share it with me, in spite of her own busy schedule, on multiple occasions.  I really appreciate her support! Tomorrow she’ll be sharing a brand new post from me about how to handle dreary mornings, so stay tuned for that!!

So far, He’s used this blog to reach others, but even more, He’s used it to reach me.  How often do we set out in life to lead others, to teach them, only to realize we are being taught ourselves?  That’s how I feel about this whole blogging experience so far. :)

A Blogger's Prayer

So, here’s my prayer as I continue on in this journey:

I see what you did there, God.  I see how you used that post about Mary Moments in a Martha World to remind me that the best thing is spending time with you.  I see how the post about  being a Transformer convicted me to live out truth in love.  I see that the biggest flaw in our Sanity Saving Chore Charts is whether or not we as parents are consistent in our follow-up.

At the same time, Lord, I’m learning that I have to be careful with this blogging thing.  I heard my little boy the other day when he said I was spending too much time on the computer. I know I need to watch how much time I pour into this.  I have to find balance between my time with you and blogging and family and church.  It’s not easy, but I know You’ll help me.  I see now that it’s part of the process, part of that work in progress.

Father, I’m also learning that you just want me to be me and to trust You to give me the words to say.  When I try to create a fabulous post on my own – it flops. :)  When I trust You for the message, it soars.  I see how that works, God, and I’m trying to get out of the way so that You can use me.

I am the vine

I also see, Lord, the potential to find my worth in the numbers (now I know what my pastoring husband feels like!).  I don’t want numbers to be a measure of who I am.  I want who I am to be found in You alone.  Help me to be obedient to You in sharing the messages You give without worrying about how many people are visiting today, tomorrow, or the next day.  Help me to remember that the value is in the obedience to You.

Most of all, Lord, I want to remember that it was Your idea to create this blog, not mine!  Like anything else in my life, it ultimately belongs to You.  Help me to surrender that control!  Help me to remember that You can bring an audience all on Your own with no help from me.  I’m simply the vessel.  Make me a humble vessel.

Thank You, Father, for this amazing journey.

In Christ alone,

Jen :)

What is God teaching you lately?  If you feel free to share, leave a comment! :)

Also linking up at any of these lovely blogs.

Peaceful Parenting (No Thanks to Pinterest)

We’ve been experiencing some parenting problems in our home recently.  With four children, it’s bound to happen from time to time!

One of our children is struggling socially at school since we moved last summer and has requested to home school this fall.  While I’m willing and capable of teaching him at home, we want to be certain it is the best solution for him.

At the same time, one of our preschoolers has been demonstrating disrespectful behavior by grunting or growling when I attempt to correct him.  It’s basically the same thing as saying, “NO, Mom!” I wasn’t expecting such stubbornness to surface at the age of four! What happened to my sweet two-year-old?

Continuing in our efforts to parent with Christ in mind is difficult when we aren’t seeing results.

What am I doing wrong?

What should I do differently?

Sometimes when we’re parenting, there is no clear right or wrong answer.

And this is where I struggle.

In the age of social media, it's easy to find conflicting parenting advice. How do we know which method is right or best? Overcome parenting guilt and find peace  by...

When I lack enough evidence to declare one parenting choice as superior to another for our family, I often worry that I’ll make the “wrong choice.”

I can become obsessed with gathering information from various sources in an attempt to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, when I turn to parenting resources (even Christian parenting resources), I often find that they can contradict each other in the details.

In our “how-to” age, we can access a hundred different opinions, or even tried-and-true techniques, about any given subject at any given time.

Which one should a desperate parent choose??

As a mama of four children, I know that not a single method will work well with every child, every time.  Thus, one potential problem with looking to others for help is the tendency to see that repeatedly re-pinned, how-to post as gospel-truth.

In the age of social media, it's easy to find conflicting parenting advice. How do we know which method is right or best? Overcome parenting guilt and find peace  by...

As I was thinking about social media and how it has changed the way we parent, I wondered: what happened to relying on the Spirit to guide us?

What happened to prayer?

I’ll be the first to admit that when I encounter a problem or challenge, I often run to other humans for wisdom first!  After all, it’s natural to ask our peers for advice.  However, consider King Solomon’s humble request,

However, consider King Solomon’s humble request,

“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chron. 2:10).

You see, Solomon had some pretty big shoes to fill when taking over his father David’s kingdom.  How would you like to be next in line after the “man after God’s own heart?”  Solomon knew he lacked wisdom for leading. He also faced a huge project, the building of the temple! The temple would be a place of worship for generations to come, and that burden rested on Solomon’s shoulders.

Parenting is a little like that, isn’t it?

We know that the choices we make will affect not only our own children, but also our children’s children and even the generations to come.  Like Solomon’s task, our task is also great, for a whole world of lost people is at stake!

The key is remembering Whom our children ultimately belong to.  Solomon recognized that He was given authority not over his own people, but over God’s people and that the best leader for those people was God Himself.  In the same way, as parents we’ve been entrusted with these beautiful beings, but they don’t really belong to us.  They belong to Him.

Here’s how to have peace as a parent:

Like Solomon, we parents should ask God for wisdom to lead them, His children.

Please hear me out; I’m not suggesting we exclude the advice of others altogether. I really do enjoy Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media forums and have successfully used many ideas from other savvy moms (along with a few epic failures)! :)

What I am suggesting is that we not forget the ultimate source of wisdom when it comes to parenting, or really anything in life – our Father God.

In the age of social media, it's easy to find conflicting parenting advice. How do we know which method is right or best? Overcome parenting guilt and find peace  by...

In the midst of my parenting problems, I imagine His response.

Trust Me.  Ask ME for wisdom instead of asking others first. Be led by the Holy Spirit and by my WordAfter all, I am their Creator; who better to understand them and their needs, but me?  Persevere in your purposeful parenting and wait to see what happens.

I still don’t know how to best correct our four-year-old’s sudden defiance, nor do I know where our middle child will attend school this coming fall (update: he has adjusted well to his new school!).

Both situations are works in progress because I am a work-in-progress parent and my children are works in progress as well.

However, I do know that in the midst of my uncertainty, I can trust Him.  He is in control. He knows my heart is in the right place.

He knows I want to be a peaceful parent, not one ruled by fear, or dare I even say, by Pinterest? :)

My sisters in Christ, if like me, you often feel confused by the wide variety of parenting styles, methods, and opinions out there, I hope today you hear His voice: trust in Me.

If you find yourself lying wide awake at night wondering, “What am I going to do with this child?!,” ask for wisdom.  And then sleep peacefully knowing that although your children have imperfect parents, they are perfectly protected in the hands of the Father.

In the age of social media, it's easy to find conflicting parenting advice. How do we know which method is right or best? Overcome parenting guilt and find peace  by...

I’d love to hear from you, if you are willing to share!

What parenting issues are you struggling with lately?  What scriptures have you turned to for wisdom or  encouragement in parenting?

Jen :)

If pressure to be a perfect parent plagues you, you might enjoy:

The Superwoman Myth

  

 

 

 

You might also enjoy:

http://wegotreal.com/things-arent-always-as-they-seem/

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