40 Days of Strategic Prayer

12
Mar
2019

praying for your husband

Is your marriage where you want it to be?

Perhaps your marriage is good, but what would it look like if it was better?  What if it was FABULOUS?!!

I just returned from a weekend with some sweet friends, where we chatted about our marriages.  We shared some very personal information, were extremely vulnerable, shed some tears and decided it was time to be powerful in our prayer life for our marriage and for our husbands.

Hope

If you’re anything like me, I have went through stages of being a wife who prayers consistently for her husband, to one who rarely prays.  It embarrasses me, but honestly, that is where the devil would like me to stay, embarrassed, helpless and powerless.  He wins then and can wreak havoc in our homes.

During the time I was together with my girlfriends, another friend of ours posted that she was feel very convicted to start a prayer series and a group to allow a sacred space for women to pray for their husbands.  When we first saw this announcement, we sat with mouths wide open – in shock!  We had said we wanted to start a 30 Days of Praying for our Husband’s, using a book we all had read years ago, The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian.

Be Intentional

My friend Erin Rodgers shared a heartfelt post on Facebook, the one that we read Sunday afternoon that had us in shock!  And, I knew I needed to share this resource and community with all of you. I asked her if that was okay and she replied back with a big YES!!!  There is a need for this space, this community and for a place for women to gather and pray.  So, this is an invitation for you to join The Excellent Wife Facebook group, a place you will find to share encouragement and prayer needs with one another.

A Wife’s 40-day Fasting & Prayer Journal” by Kaylene Yoder, the resource we will use, is NOT 40 straight days of fasting, but rather a thought provoking daily journal & prayer with one fasting “item” each day.

Are you with me?  Are you ready to fight for your marriage and lift your husband up to be the man the Lord desires him to be?  This is your time friend… this is your time!  You will find a community of women who will encourage you and accept you.

Here’s what you need to do

I am so excited to see how this group unfolds, the miracles that will happen and the marriages that will be restored and be used for His glory.  It will be amazing, and you need to be part of it!

I’ll see you there – don’t miss out!!

21 Day Challenge of Reading God’s Word

1
Feb
2019

Reading God's Word 21 day challenge

Early this morning I opened up my Favorite Bible App, YouVersion to start my devotion time. I was welcomed with a message to participate in a 21 Day Reading God’s Word Challenge.

Now, I already do this, read the bible nearly every day, but it was laid on my heart to participate in a way that would include others.  My heart is to share in community, and so many feel pressed on all sides to fit in reading the bible.  We can all make time for the things that are important, am I right?

21 Days to Change

You likely have heard that it takes about 21 days to develop new habits and patterns of behavior.  So, it’s no mistake that this is a 21 day challenge.

I scrolled through the suggested 21 Day devotions and I chose, “Grace for the Pace.”

It felt fitting in this season, when we all struggle with finding space for our soul.

Will you Join Me?

I’d love to link arms with you and others who might need some encouragement, a friend to walk along with, or just an invitation to show up.  You can download the YouVersion APP and read ANYWHERE – literally… and you can even put it in audio to listen to.  Guys, there really is no excuse.

The YouVersion APP makes it easy to read anywhere – plus they have a huge selection of incredible devotions, you may find another devotion you want to read as well.

I’d love to challenge you to join me.

If you want to join, feel free to click this link. You’ll be in a small group where we can share our takeaways as we journey together.  Don’t worry, it’s really private and no one can see you in your messy hair or pajamas!

Join Me!

Would you read the Bible Plan, 21 Days Of Grace For The Pace, with me?

CLICK HERE to join

It’s not too late to join us.  We just started this morning.  Do not let that be an excuse.

Come on… click the link and hop on over.  We are waiting to say hello… and do not worry, if you choose to just read along with us, and not comment, we totally are cool with that.

Feel free to share this with a friend, they may need the encouragement too!

Biblical Encouragement for the Overwhelmed Mom

11
Dec
2018

biblial encouragement for overwhelmed moms

It’s no mistake that you are reading this right now.

Maybe you are like me in this season, feeling rather suffocated, burdened and overwhelmed?

Perhaps your parenting toolbox is empty and you’re frustrated because you’ve raised your voice.

How about feelings of loss, family grief or just feeling like you are not doing what you should be doing or what you see others moms doing.

Take a deep breath and let me share with you a few ways I have been taking small bits of time to read what the bible has to say about all of these things.

I love the You Version Bible App.  It is perfect for a busy mom to grab at a moments notice to look up scripture, to read a quick devotional on a subject that will help you feel empowered, or to help you grab five minutes to nourish your soul.

To be quit frank with you all, the season I am in right now is exhausting, frustrating and has me feeling hopeless. So… it’s time to dig in… who is with me?

I have discovered several short devotional that have just soothed my broken soul and I wanted to share them with you.

You can find all these devotionals by downloading the APP, then click PLANS and search by key words.

Overwhelmed By My Blessings – Encouragement for Moms  (PART ONE)

This devotional has TWELVE parts – friends, this will take you through an amazing journey. Written by Robin Meadows, who has raised 7 of her own children, it will speak right to your heart.  I am currently reading PART THREE, and it is so refreshing to me.  I will be downloading her book as well, Overwhelmed By My Blessings, to dig in a bit deeper.  I love her writing and how she relates God’s word to

5 Days to Freedom from Angry Parenting 

Oh boy… this is somewhat embarrassing, especially since I am a Certified ScreamFree Parenting Leader.  OH man…. but this parenting an adopted child is HARD!  Just when you think things are going smooth – BAM!  Some new thing appears and knocks you over.  We are in a hard season, and my emotions go haywire and I lose my cool.  Anyone else here me on that?

So this devotional has been so so good!

She is Free – a 7 Day Devotional by Dani Andrews

Okay, who else struggles with lies running around in your head?  Who else needs a gentle reminder, or maybe a more liberal smack upside the head to remind us of TRUTH?!!

This devotional has been speaking to my heart….. and reminding me of what it true and what I need to focus on, even when I am feeling defeated.  This is a constant need in my life, the reminders of who Jesus is, how He loves me and how I am made perfect just the way I am.

We all need encouragement.  As busy moms who give ourselves to our family, we need filling up.  If we are not caring for our bodies and our soul, we become exhausted, frustrated and unable to be the best version of ourself.

So, pick a few devotionals to wake up to each morning.  I can tell you, I am excited to brew my french press coffee, and climb back in bed to read the bible and sip amazing coffee.  My soul is refreshed and I feel better equipped to take on the day.

Walking Through Grief and Healing with a Loved One

8
Nov
2018

grief

Hello Sweet Friends…. I am just now coming up for some air.  Our family has been venturing down a road that has been emotional, exhausting and heartbreaking.

Two weeks ago, on October  24th, 2018, my 19 year old nephew, Nicholas Schumacher lost his battle with Neuroblastoma cancer.  He fought a 17+ month battle.  We fervently prayed he would be healed, but God had other plans.

The weeks leading up to his death, I was privileged to spend more time with Nick than I had in any other time in his life. I still saw the smile, his personality and his determined spirit coming through.

Gifts

He was the person who lit up the room as soon as he walked in with his infectious smile.

He had more JOY to spread during his short life than most do in 70 years.

He was incredibly talented in film making, even at only 19.

His Make A Wish trip involved a movie filming and meeting Tom Hanks.  It’s was a powerful trip and an awesome video was created to celebrate.

The pain of real, heart wrenching grief has not touched me since I lost my mother just a little over 12 years ago.  Grief will stick to your bones and bring you to your knees in the most dynamic way.  Even 12 years later, there will be certain memories that will open the flood gates of tears.

It’s good to remember, it’s even better to allow the tears to fall.

During this past month, I’ve grasped some concepts and ideas on how to walk alongside someone who has experienced  loss.  My brother and his family are doing just that, right now.  My heart breaks for them as they grieve the loss of a child, and I want to be a help during this time in ways that allow them space to walk the long road. Here are some of the things I have sent be helpful.

Just Be There

I had the privilege to be present when my nephew took his last breath and it was just an honor.  I found the most joy and feeling of peace just being there in the moments with both my brother and my sister-in-law.  Now, it’s the after…. the days that pass where they need someone to be present.  To not forget what they are walking through…. so even thought I am not physically there in their home with them, I will text with a message asking, ” how they are doing today” or just to let them know I am praying for them.

Listen

In the days after Nick’s death I was just present.  I asked questions, but often conversation just started, tears would start and I would just listen and allow space.  I know many feel like they do not know what to say when someone has just lost a loved one…. and that is the beauty, you really do not have anything to say, except I am sorry.  Just stop and be willing to listen.  We try to cover that awkward space with endless words that can often make things feel worse.  A hug can do so much.  Silence also produces healing.

Offer to Give Specific Help

Many times we want to help others, and we tend to ask, “What can I do?”  If you are in a the midst of grief, your mind and body is under a lot of stress and emotions and you are lucky to remember how to brush your teeth and drive your car.  When you ask a person grieving what they need help with, they will often be blank.  They are not sure.  So instead of asking an open ended question like that, offer a specific way to help.  Cleaning house, going grocery shopping, taking over errands, folding laundry, mowing their yard or just being available at their house to take deliveries is so much better.

Meals

Food….. this is important.  The last thing one wants to think about is fixing a meal, let alone trying to eat. So a real practical task you can offer is bringing a meal.  You can do this individually, or you can set up an option and coordinate it so many friends and family can contribute and make things very easy.  One site I am familiar with and used was Meal Train.  I set up a calendar of dinner delivery for two weeks, every other evening.  After that, I set up meals for every four days, to allow my sister in law a chance to get things back to normal in the kitchen, but also allowing friends to help.  Meal Train also allows for you to link up gift cards and offer a cash donation, which is great for those who do not live nearby.  I will say, the donate funds option was a bit pricey on fees, so in the future I will set up a pay-pal option for friends to donate through.

Grief is a tough season, no question about it.  However, these tips will help you walk alongside someone and be a true blessing during the process.

 

Fearless to Flourish for Him – Fellowship Over Fear

19
Mar
2018

Flourish for Him - bible study

Last fall I stepped way outside my comfort zone and began a small bible study in my tiny beach house. Currently we are living in 550 Sq Ft, while we build our dream home out in the small town of Seabrook.  You can learn all about here the transition I made from the big city to our small town here.

To say I was scared and apprehensive, was a HUGE understatement.  I mean, I really didn’t have a spacious home to host such a study.  I certainly wasn’t a bible scholar and often am confused by the bible.  However, I knew I was suppose to step outside of my ability and my narrow thinking and do this.

Fellowship over Fear

My heart so wanted to get to know other women in my new town, as well as share the special bond we all have with Christ.  I knew the best way to do that is through small group bible study where space is made to share together.

We had our first gathering last fall, on a rainy night in October.  Over the months since that very first night of study God has been faithful in adding a few more to our precious group.  We started with five ladies and now currently have seven in our second session.  

Do you know the best part – the size of my house didn’t deter anyone from coming!  Nope – God is always one to deliver and be faithful.  Actually, many enjoyed the cozy feel and were just so happy I opened my home.

God began giving me a vision to host a bible study, fellowship retreat in my home.  Fortunately, we were in a season where our family was renting a larger home for two months, in order to start construction on our dream home, so I had space to accommodate the group.  First great answer to prayer!

My vision included having the bible teacher come and teach LIVE in person.  You see, we had been following the bible study sessions through Flourish, a community bible study I participated in located just outside Seattle, where I use to live.  The weekly session teachings Marjie Schaefer does  are recorded and anyone can view them!!  So, that is how I began my study here in my home, I just  followed along and let her teach all my friends.  I truly did just need to open my home!

Not only did I ask Marjie to come and teach in person, she was thrilled to come and pour into these women.  It was such an answer to prayer and also showed her sweet dedication to pouring into women, even those outside the Seattle area.

So, two weeks ago I hosted the first, Flourish By The Sea Ladies Retreat Day.  

Was it outside my comfort zone – YES!

I didn’t know if anyone would come – but I did it anyway.

I had no idea exactly how it would turn out – but God did, so I pushed past my fear and insecurity.

I planend a simple outline for the day, created some invitations, put together an easy lunch menu for us to enjoy and began inviting ladies and waited for God to do the rest.

Because this wasn’t really about me at all  – it was all about trusting Him and what He had planned for the vision he gave me.

You all…. it was just amazing.

We shared stories, worshipped together and dove into Gods word.

What an incredible day for me and to be with these ladies, forever grateful for their desire to come and trust me.

The Glory goes all to the one and only – He gets it all!

However I am truly grateful for Marjie Schaefer and her amazing ministry, Flourish that is a life-line for so many women, not just in Seattle but all over the Pacific NW and country!

It’s dedication like hers where you see Kingdom growth.

I wore this special necklace that day to remember Gods love for me and to help me be Brave. It had been a gift from two special friends, and it has helped me keeping going when things get a little rough.

What about you?  

Are you needing to find fellowship with Christian women?  

Why not host a study in your home?  

You can do just like I did, invite a few friends, play the video and coordinate a discussion.  

You do not have to be a bible teacher, believe me, I am not!  That is not my gifting, however I can invite and create a space to allow women to bloom together and flourish.

Step Out

I will likely post a reminder about hosting your own study in late summer.  New sessions of Flourish start in the fall, and I would love to have you step outside your comfort zone and join me in being the hands of Jesus in your own sphere of influence.  

Start praying now so God can work in your heart and show you how you can make a place for Flourish in your home with a few ladies.

Be brave for His Kingdom!