Balancing Family & Ministry & Launching a Book

balancing family ministry launching a book

I get asked all.the.time ,“How do you do it all?”

My answer – I don’t.

As a matter of fact, I have a feeling if we exchanged homes, husbands, kids and calendars there is NO way I could do all you do – you know why?  Because God gifted you to do what you do and me to do what I do and if we swapped…I could not fill your space like you fill your space!  God created you unique to do what you do and he uniquely pieced together your family with your husband and children to be with you.  Then he gave you your personality type and talents to serve him uniquely in the church.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~ Ephesians 2:10

I believe that blogging is the good work God created in advance for me to do.  There’s no glory here for me to take.  I should not be lifted on a pedastal as some kind of super woman who does it all.  Because I don’t!

Like those of you who have a gift of singing or playing an instrument  or whipping up a fancy meal – it comes easy to you – it’s a joy.  Writing is like this for me - I can write a post in 25 minutes flat AND it’s a joy…it’s easy.

It’s the other stuff that is SO hard for me – like organizing – blak!

I don’t do it all.

To some that will disappoint you and to others it will be a huge relief!

But let me talk about balancing it all for a moment…lest I lead you all to think that I lead some extraordinary life that is balanced!

During the months of August, September and October – I was very focused on the conference, webcasts, and book launch.  If my life looked like the past 3 months on a regular basis my family would be in shambles and I’d be a train wreck.  Let me take this even one step further – my ministry would lose its integrity.  I could not write the words I write and live the life I have led for the last 3 months – and continue to write with integrity.  This is where the crazy train stops and I get off :) !

This was a special season where my family pulled together and supported me being lopsided for a season.  My husband picked up the slack at home and filled in my gaps.  He watched the kids and was there for whatever I needed.

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My husband hanging the banner the day before the conference.

What I learned from being lopsided and stressed out – is that things in life I could normally handle turned into emergencies.  For example, my daughter chipped her tooth – and I freaked out – going to the dentist barely fit onto the calendar between interviews and on-line promotions:

 alexis tooth

My son was facing a lot of foot/ankle pain from football practice.  Everyday after practice for 8 weeks he soaked his feet in two buckets of ice water – which included stops at the gas station to get ice – which resulted in mulitple Dr. visits –  which resulted in me feeling like this was all a huge burden {sigh – mommy guilt}

 Alex the price of winning

Then there was my car wreck – my car was totalled – this was upsetting – who has time to deal with insurance companies and more Dr. appointments?  Blak!

car wreck

Did I mention that my husband was traveling out of state for work 13 days in October including the day/week of my actual book launch – OY!

So if you imagined a celebration dinner – on launch day – think again.  I woke up to my big launch day and had to get the kids ready for their “homeschool group” photos.  We were out the door by 8:45am and there was NO time for me to even look at all the the emails, tweets and Facebook  messages pouring in that day.  I sat in the back of the room at homeschool group – attempting to focus on the teacher who was teaching (mothers attend the classes with their children) but who was I kidding. I was dying to get out of there!  It was a very un-glamourous day. But the pictures came out great!

alex and alexis school pics

Then there was unexpected  death of my grandmother (my mom’s mother)  - just 1 week before my conference that surprised my entire family and threw me for an emotional loop…

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and…

I am sad to share that this past weekend we lost my other grandmother (my father’s mother) and we will be attending her funeral this Saturday.

Heartbreaking.

—-no words.

(those who have followed my blog for a while know that I lost a very close Aunt this past year to cancer – this has been an extremely hard year for my close knit family – I expect lots of tears this holiday season)

—-

So while I am rejoicing at the launch of my book – I have to admit – spiritual warfare is VERY real.  I have felt the words of these verses intensely:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7,8

Oh friends, I have felt hard pressed on every side!  If you see any joy in me – it’s from God’s all-surpassing power and not from me as 2 Corinthians 4 says.

But I am at the finish line of the book launch and I rejoice that we made it through – alive – for real!!!  When you attend 3 funerals in one year – and remember the cracking sound of the car wreck – you can’t help but to give God thanks for each breath you take!

Thursday night, November 7th the final webcast airs and ironically the topic is Balancing Your Family and Your Ministry.  We will be hearing from one of my ministry mentors – Karen Ehman of Proverbs 31 Ministries and joining me on the couch for one last time – will be Darlene the Time Warp Wife and Ruth from The Better Mom.

 

session 7

 

Don’t miss this last webcast!

It airs Thursday, November 7th at 9pmCT/10EST

at WomenLivingWell.tv

In closing, I truly love every minute of my on-line ministry.

But remember that when you click “follow” on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram or Youtube  –  you are simply following a flawed follower of Christ – nothing more.  If you need a friend to journey along side of you in your life long pursuit of following Jesus – I’m in.

And don’t try to do it all – I’m not.

Walk with the King,

3D wlwbook cover

 

The book, Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home, is now available in most bookstores and on-line at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

When Christians Mock Christians

when christians mock christians

I have watched as the church – just like the world – has divided into the “cool kids” and “not so cool kids”.

I mean the uncool wear dresses to church still…the cool ones wear jeans.

The not so cool – put verses on their twitter – cool ones tattoo themselves with verses.

The less trendy –  love going to church – the cool ones prefer to hang out in a coffee shop – they might even brag that they don’t have a church at all.  They don’t need it.

The uncool don’t drink – the cool ones explore their liberties and celebrate their drinking.

Some say these more conservative ones are less mature in their thinking – they take the Bible so literally and God’s wrath so seriously, the cool kids – are more intellectual and use the motto “grace” to get them to calm down.

The uncool – don’t like bad words – cool ones – use swear words and then call you a pharisee if you judge.

And on and on it goes –  you know what I mean.

I straddle both sides – I like coffee shops and have no problem with Christians taking liberties – and I love grace – but I also like to wear a dress to church, post verses on twitter  and swear words just aren’t in my vocabulary.

To be honest, I am frustrated that there is even such a THING as SIDES within the church.  We are ONE – one body – one in Christ – one bride!

Who CARES how anyone dresses. And if one person wants to post Bible verses – thank you so much for your boldness! And if you drink a glass of wine – I’m not the wine police – don’t apologize to me.  And two of my favorite friends have tattoos – and I’ve never batted an eye at our friendship or questioned their faith – it is clear they are Jesus lovers!

And yes – grace grace grace – but we must balance it with truth truth truth!

I have seen it play out in my own church and I’ve seen it play out on-line amongst bloggers.  There’s even these “cool” Christians that dedicate entire blogs to making fun of their more conservative Christian sisters and brothers.  They call themselves Christians BUT mock other Christians publicly…regularly.  And I have qualified a few times for the public joke of the day.

I get it – I really do, – from a mockers eye – many of my youtubes are kind of funny.  I’m an easy target. lol!  You don’t have to look far to find something goofy that I’ve said – especially in a video.

But here’s the thing – Jesus said – they will know we are Christians by our love. And the part that baffles me is these ones who mock Christians champion the message of “grace” and “loving well”.  And as I watch them mock me and my “uncool” brothers and sisters in Christ, I do not see the grace and love that they shout so high from their rooftops.

And I wonder – do they realize that it hurts? That it’s humans they mock? Or do they realize – I’ve heard this.all.my.life.

Since I was in public grade school – I was the girl who was different.  Who was crazy serious about her faith. Who was sharing the gospel right and left and defending my beliefs even to the teachers and carrying my Bible to even cheerleading camp – yes I was a cheerleader – cool – but carrying a Bible – makes you uncool.real.quick!  And it’s funny – I know – I could laugh at myself back then too – it’s crazy how different my thinking was from those around me.  And when I got the nicknames at school for being the Jesus girl I carried the name with confidence.  But when I got nick names from those in my youth group who I suppose were embarrassed of me at school – it hurt.

I recently told my children the story of my nick names from the youth group – in case it happens to them.  Cause you know – it happens.even.in.church.  And it happens – even.on.so-called.Christian.blogs.

And what other Christians think of me – can’t matter if I know I’m in the center of God’s will for me – and I want my kids to know that. Be secure in that.

And dare I suggest that we also remember that not every.single.person who calls himself a Christian is.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.”~Matthew 7:15,16.

I certainly can’t say which mocker is a wolf and which mocker is my sister or brother in Christ – nor do I really want to.  But since it’s happened so many times in the past – and some of those who mocked are no longer with the church – I know that not all mocking that appears to come from Christians – really comes from a true Christian.

Satan is tricky like that!

So what can we do – I can only tell you what I have done – cause I’ve walked through this valley many times in my life and there’s only ONE way through!

Put on the full armor of God and stand firm friends – stand firm. You are not alone in this battle! And make sure your kids know how to wear the armor too – cause it’s coming.

I Peter 4:12-16-

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

Update: Someone mentioned in the comments that this goes both ways.  I agree – this post is written from my experience in the last 20+ years of living in the church.  I have been hurt – but I know that the reverse has been true for WAY too many. And for that I deeply apologize.  I pray we will be unified for God’s glory and that we will love deeply those who are different from us.

Grace.

Peace.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

 

When It Feels Like No One Understands

When It Feels Like No One Understands

 One thing I’ve learned from Facebook, is that all of us are going through a lot of similar things.  When one mom complains of her child not napping, 5 more moms are there to say, “Mine too!”  When someone mentions her frustration with all the laundry piling up, we all do a cyber nod in agreement.  And when another complains of headaches, someone is there to say “I’ve been there and here’s what helped me.”

We all have common struggles with husbands, children, our work and stress load and just living life on planet earth.

But…

Our puzzles are all different.

One woman has a child with special needs while another is raising a gifted child.

One woman has a romantic, sensitive husband while another has a husband who has anger issues and he screams and yells at everyone in the house.

One woman struggles to make ends meet while another is going on her third vacation of the year.

One woman has a husband who doesn’t work while another is married to a workaholic.

One woman has a traveling husband who calls everyday while another woman has a husband who is off the grid for military reasons for weeks on end.

One woman is running a marathon while another suffers from a debilitating disease.

Our puzzles are different.

And here’s the key…don’t think for one moment that the woman with the Prada purse on her shoulder – who is on her third vacation this year has less problems than anyone else.  Her purse still holds junk–secret pain and dissatisfaction.

We’ve seen it on television –famous music, television and movie stars commit suicide. Why?  They have it ALL!  Because life is hard and we all have struggles that beat us down and  fame, fortune, power, and even health and wealth can’t fill that empty void that God has placed inside of us that only he can fill.

All of our lives are riddled with trials, hardships and circumstances that truly no one else can understand.  I’ve even contemplated that my husband, who shares the same house, kids, marriage and trials as me, does not really understand — because he’s not married to himself! lol!  He’s married to me…and that makes his puzzle different.

But Jesus…He sees and He knows.

Jesus understands.

He can sympathize with our struggles because He was born to die for us. It is hard for me to  imagine the struggles Jesus faced…because when I’m tempted, often times I just give in. For example, when my kids drive me nuts –I yell. Then I apologize.

Jesus felt temptation to the fullest degree because He did not give in. He suffered deeply –for us.  We serve a God who understands.

Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”

Our God is not a distant God –He came near by dying on the cross for our sins and after he rose from the dead –before he ascended into heaven, his last words were that he would send the Holy Spirit –the ultimate comforter to be with his children.

You do not walk this road alone.  You are a child of the King!  He is with you every step of the way.

Somedays it may feel like no one understands…until you hop onto facebook or a blog with a writer you relate to.  Often times I breathe a sigh of relief to find that my marriage is normal or my kids are normal!  My Christian sisters have helped me through some of my greatest common struggles…but it’s through my deep study of God’s word and through prayer that I’ve found comfort in my individual struggles.

And so I urge you, draw near to God in his word and prayer.  Open to the gospels, breathe in his love and truth and exhale all your burdens.

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

He already knows your burdens.  You need rest…you might as well set down that burden and talk to Him about it.  I can guarantee you –He FULLY understands.

 Walk with the King,

Are you desperate to find joy in your walk with God, marriage, parenting and home…

I wrote this book for you:

1 WLW cover

 

Have You Lost Your Edge?

 

The end of 2012 was really hard for me.  In November, I had a little meltdown late one night as my husband and I talked about life.  I started crying and just couldn’t stop – which is very unlike me. I think I cried for over an hour.  I was simply exhausted and the idea of adding my Christmas to-do list to homeschooling and blogging and book edits – completely overwhelmed me.

Of course, it was all so clear for my husband that I should just put the blog on hold till after the book edits were complete (they were due January 2nd to Thomas Nelson) and until Christmas was over (seems reasonable right?)…but that was VERY hard for me to do.  I had tons of Christmas posts lined up in my mind!!!  And I wanted to share the holiday season with you all!

But I took my husband’s advice and abruptly went on a bloggy break

Once the noise of the on-line world was silenced…I could see a lot of things in my personal life that needed to be dealt with.  I needed to be praying more.  Period.  My 2012 prayer journal was pathetically empty…pages and pages and pages of my 5 Subject Notebook that is typically bursting full with life at the end of the year EMTPY!  What in the world?  I’ve been prayer journaling for nearly 20 years and never had I had such a pathetic year of prayer!

I needed to be exercising again.  I needed to be reading good books for my own soul – not just to review and promote on the blog.  I needed to be a better friend to my real-life friends.  Part of my evening of sobbing to my husband hinged on the fact that two of my dearest  long time friends had painfully difficult years this past year and I was not there for them.  I was so busy on-line that I did not take them a meal or write them encouragement notes.  I prayed for them and hugged them and listened to them.  But I in no way served them or was there for them.  I regret this…and fear gripped me as I realized if I keep living like I did in 2012, I will have no real-life friends!!! 

As January rolled around on the calendar, I realized…I had lost my edge.  My exhaustion sucked the life and passion out of me to do ministry.  All I wanted to do was play, eat, sleep, exercise and read good books.  Writing was the last thing on the list I wanted to do…and then I read 2 Kings 6.

It’s a strange story tucked right into 2nd Kings and it was wondrously applicable – I mean REVOLUTIONARY to me!  Some of you may remember that I wrote about my need to “sharpen my axe“.  I knew I was feeling dull but I was worse off than I thought…I wasn’t just dull – my edge was gone!

And I just wonder…have you lost your edge too?  Maybe it’s not from blogging…but maybe it’s from parenting a difficult teen or being up late at night with your babies or maybe you are a missionary on the mission field and ministry has sucked the life out of you too. 

Maybe you are in a church where very few serve and there’s a lot of takers and you are tired of giving. Maybe you are stressed out, your calendar is too full, your bank statement is depressing or you are trapped in a circumstance that frustrates you.  Your hope is gone and the spark you once had has fizzled. Maybe your heart for the lost or the poor or the sick or the needy has hardened or grown cold.  And you feel like you just can’t do it anymore.

Whatever it is that has caused you to lose your edge – listen to this story out of 2nd Kings!


 

(If you cannot see this video – click here)

If you’ve lost your edge, go into a room alone and close the door.  Get on your knees and ask the Lord to supernaturally bring it back.

I have been daily praying,

“Oh Lord, bring back my edge…”

I’m waiting. 

Walk with the King,

 

 Ps. I may have lost my edge – but Good Morning Girls is ON FIRE!!!  Our Bible study in the book of Luke is about to begin (the 8 week winter session begins Monday, Jan. 14th).  We have thousands of women enrolled and the FREE ebook and Bible reading plans have now been translated into EIGHT different languages!!!  Cue the confetti and cartwheels!  God is amazing!  He is doing an amazing work around the world over at GMG!  If your first language is Hungarian, Russian, Swedish, Dutch, German, Spanish, Croatian or French hop on over to GoodMorningGirls.org and get your materials in your OWN language FREE!!!!

Waiting On God

“Waiting on God isn’t about the suspension of meaning and purpose. It’s part of the meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting on God isn’t to be viewed as an obstruction in the way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn’t simply about what I’ll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I’ll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what He’s promised. Through the wait He’s changing me. By means of the wait He’s altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires. Through the wait He’s causing me to see and experience new things about Him and His kingdom. And all of this sharpens me, enabling me to be a more useful tool in His redemptive hands” (emphasis mine).
~Paul Tripp

{Quote from Girltalkhome.com}

Walk with the King,

What Are The Secret Desires of Your Heart?

 In this video, I talk about a time when my husband and I were clashing over how we were going to spend our weekends (my husband was traveling extensively for business on the weekdays). My husband wanted to spend them at home with just me and the children. I wanted to go out and have fun! I neglected to tell how the clash was resolved.
I listened to Keith and tried to understand why he felt this way. Then he listened to me. We came to an agreement that before I scheduled anything I would run it by him. Together we would decide which events to attend and which we should skip. We ended up missing a lot that year…and I learned a lesson in contentment and sacrifice. Keith is still a less social person than I am, but we have come to a place of understanding and self-sacrifice on both ends. Sometimes as wives we have to be willing to “go first”.

James 1:12-18 ESV

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

The method of Bible study I mention in the video above is called the S.O.A.P. Method:

1. S- Write out the scripture passage for the day.


2. O- Write down 1 or 2 observations from the passage.


3. A- Write down 1-2 applications from the passage.


4. P- Pray over what you learned from today’s passage.

Next Monday, we’ll complete James chapter 1.

Walk with the King!
This post is linked to Raising Homemakers, Titus 2sdays, and We Are That Family.


Today is Women Living Well Wednesday! It’s a Link-Up Day!!!
Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)

This Blog Was Born From A Trial

Love notes for Daddy in his suitcase
This past winter, I did a video series from the book of James on my sister site GoodMorningGirls.org
For the next 5 weeks, I will be sharing those videos with you here on Women Living Well.  If you are in need of some direction in your daily quiet times, I hope you will pull out your Bible and follow along with me. 

For those who have already viewed these videos over on GoodMorningGirls.org, I hope you are gearing up to begin the Summer Book Club~ The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson!  We begin May 23rd but the Good Morning Girls groups are enrolling NOW – this is the final week!  We need all the returning groups to re-enroll and can’t wait to meet all the new groups too!  (Questions about what Good Morning Girls are?  Read here.)

Today I begin in James Chapter 1:1-12 titled: Consider Your Trials Pure Joy.

In the video, I talk about a dark time in my life – which actually led to the birth of Women Living Well! I hope you will listen and follow along in James 1:1-12!


James 1:1-12 (ESV)

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

“Our fight for joy is a fight to see God.” ~ John Piper
Wednesday I’ll be covering James 1:12-18 (and talk more about a marital clash we faced during this trial).  I encourage you to read ahead in your Bible!

Walk with the King!
This post is linked to A Holy Experience, We Are That Family and .

This Is What I Do When Life Hurts

The Making Your Home a Haven Challenge is over and I miss reading all of your link-ups already!!! Thank you for helping me make October special in my home – your accountability truly helped me! I have the most amazing readers ever! Keep it up!

Today I’m thinking about the reader who is frustrated with her home and feels that it is anything BUT a haven. I turn to Psalm 23 and I think about the inner dialogue of a woman who is hurting…

1 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. (want. want. want. I want…)

2. He makes me lie down (lie down…if only I could lie down for just 20 minutes…if only if only if only) in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. (quiet. quiet. quiet…this home is so loud…television, ipods, cell phones, chatter, I can’t get a moment of quiet here).

3. He restores my soul (my soul. needs. restored. …it hurts). He guides me in paths of righteousness. (I am so alone…I have no one who understands…if only I had someone to get me out of this mess. mess. mess. Someone besides me please clean up this mess!).

4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (what if. what if. what if. what if I’m not enough?) for you are with me (you are? why are you so silent God?); your rod and your staff they comfort me. (comfort. who needs comfort. I am strong. I will pick myself up and press on. I am not weak.)

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (overflows. overflows. overflows. Dirty dishes overflow, closets overflow, my trash cans overflow, my laundry baskets overflow, my calender overflows…if everything is so full – why do I feel so empty?)

6. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. (follow. follow. follow. I feel like difficulties, trials, disappointments, bad relationships and financial problems follow me… goodness? love? follow me?) and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (put on fake smile. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…BUT…I want. I want. I want. if only. if only. if only. my soul hurts. mess. mess. mess. I am weak. no. I am strong. empty. empty. empty.)

Do you hear the self talk? Do you hear what is happening between this woman’s two ears? She is saying rotten things to herself about her life, about the people in her life, about her circumstances, and even about God. And then she wonders…why? don’t? I? have? peace?

The problem is not out there – it’s inside of her. Romans 12:2 says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Do you want to see a change in your home? It starts in your mind.


The Lord is indeed your Shepherd and you shall not be in want. You must claim these truths. Let him lead you by still waters…are you thirsty? Sit still. Drink a tall glass of his living word! Let him restore your soul. He is with you. He loves you. You will one day dwell in his house forever. You only have one life and living it in the Eeyore state is not living at all!

Are you in a storm? Do you need help? Psalm 121:1 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

At the core – I am empty, ugly, self-seeking, insecure, questioning myself to death regularly (even cried for about 30 minutes in my husband’s office this week over my fears. fears. fears. and failures). I hurt. I struggle. I wrestle. But then – I lift my eyes up to the maker of the heavens and the earth and this world pauses for just a moment and all my ugly thoughts and self talk are washed away by his love, grace and peace. The storms do not disappear but seeing a glimpse of the sunshine that awaits me, lifts me up when I am weak. I am weak. I am weak. He is strong. And so I rest. And he restores.
(If you are discouraged, I pray you will take just 5 minutes to let this song speak truth into your life. Stop the inner dialogue and habits of doubt and negative self talk and fill your mind with truth. truth. truth. You must hear the truth.)

Praise You in This Storm / Casting Crowns

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down

and wiped our tears away,

stepped in and saved the day.

But once again, I say amen

and it’s still raining

as the thunder rolls

I barely hear You whisper through the rain,

“I’m with you”

and as Your mercy falls

I raise my hands and praise

the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:

And I’ll praise you in this storm

and I will lift my hands

for You are who You are

no matter where I am

and every tear I’ve cried

You hold in your hand

You never left my side

and though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind

You heard my cry to You

and raised me up again

my strength is almost gone how can I carry on

if I can’t find You

and as the thunder rolls

I barely hear You whisper through the rain

“I’m with you”

and as Your mercy falls

I raise my hands and praise

the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes onto the hills

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

I lift my eyes onto the hills

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Walk with the King!

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