Praying the Psalms of Ascent

The Psalms are likely my favorite book of the Bible. We see the humanity of David, the battles, the worship…a man after God’s own heart. They are my favorite Psalms to pray, my favorite Words of comfort, the encouragement and conviction my heart needs as I start each day.

“The Psalter is the prayer book of Jesus Christ in the truest sense of the word. He prayed the Psalter and now it has become his prayer for all time…we understand how the Psalter can be prayer to God and yet God’s own Word, precisely because here we encounter the praying Christ…because those who pray the psalms are joining in with the prayer of Jesus Christ, their prayer reaches the ears of God. Christ has become their intercessor…”― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Psalms are some of the most beloved and well known words of the Bible. The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. He is near to the brokenhearted. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet. Create in me a clean heart.

But the Psalms of Ascent are certain Psalms, chapters 120-134, and they are known as the Pilgrim songs. These Psalms remind us that we are on a journey. We are not home yet.

I don’t know about you, but I need that reminder!

Praying the Psalms of Ascent

“The more deeply we grow into the psalms and the more often we pray them as our own, the more simple and rich will our prayer become.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Here is a free printable PDF calendar for you to use as you go through the Psalms of Ascent. I have put just a few words to spark your prayers under each Psalm.

How do you pray the Scriptures? Read it, speak it, let the words of the Psalmist become your own prayers.

To receive a FREE guide book for Praying the Scriptures, subscribe here.

(I am doing this prayer calendar along with the She Reads Truth study for May of 2017, but you can use this calendar ANY time you’d like to spend a few weeks reading and praying through the Psalms of Ascent.)

Praying the Psalms of Ascent PDF

Praying the Psalms

“The Psalms wrap nouns and verbs around our pain better than any other book.” Joni Eareckson Tada

Learn to pray the Psalms with this 30 day how-to guide along with a Psalm to pray each day!

Why A Journaling Bible?

When Journaling Bibles first came out, I was pretty immediately smitten, though I didn’t purchase one for many months. I’m always a little nervous to get a new Bible, which may sound kind of weird.  I get pretty attached to the current Bible I’m using. I love taking notes, underlining, high lighting, putting dates and little notes in the margins. I have Bibles that I’ve used for years with so many notes in it that it becomes like an old friend. I am not always eager to replace them!

However, in recent years, I had been through 4 or 5 Bibles that kept tearing on me. I was ready to get a new Bible with a quality cover on it that wasn’t going to tear or have pages start falling out.

So, I started looking into the journaling Bibles with the leather covers on them. 2 Christmases ago this was my Christmas gift to myself!

And, oh, how I love my Bible! Do I worship my Bible? No. But I worship the God whose words are contained and through it I come to know and love Him even more. He transforms me through the pages of His Word. He allows me to know Him more through His very words. So, yes, His Word is very precious to me. Through His Word we can behold our God, we can know the God of the universe.

Now that Journaling Bibles have been around for awhile, there are so many options! So, I wanted to show some pictures of my Bible as well as some other lovely options!

WHY a journaling Bible?

If you already have a Bible that you LOVE, getting a journaling Bible may seem unnecessary…and I say stick with the Bible that you already love! But, if you’re trying to decide on a new Bible, I want to just share with you the reasons I love my journaling Bible!

3 Reasons I Love My Journaling Bible

Wide Marins — My very favorite thing about journaling Bibles is the wide margins. For many years I’ve been one to write little notes in my Bibles. Usually only a few words will fit. I will mark a phrase or verse that a pastor shares in a sermon or maybe a few words of a prayer for my family.

But, with a journaling Bible, you have wide, lovely margins with which you can write entire sentences! Even paragraphs!

Prayer Journal + Bible — because of the wide margins, you can have more room to write in prayers, answered prayers, the date you prayed something and prayers for your family members. I love this idea so much I wrote a whole post on using your journaling Bible as a prayer journal! 

Artwork — or not! You do NOT have to be artistic to use a journaling Bible. But if you DO want to add color, illustrations or even just washi tape, you can add your own unique touch without covering the words! If you need help in the artistic department, Dayspring has these adorable KITS that have short devotionals and all the supplies you need to create beautiful pages! (A few are on sale at the time of this post!)

I would love to hear from YOU! Do you have a journaling Bible? What do you love about it? 

More Encouragement

10 Ways to Fall In Love with Your Bible

5 Tips for a Meaningful Quiet Time

7 Different Bible Study Methods

10 Ways to Fall In Love with Your Bible

“We become what we behold.” — unknown

This has been my mantra for 2017. What do you spend your time beholding? Where are your eyes fixed? What is your heart full of?

Are we beholding the things of this world or are we beholding God and His Word? Are we so fixed upon our circumstances that we miss God at work?

God’s Word tells us to think about things lovely, true, noble and right. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

How do we go about this?

I believe we fix our eyes on Jesus, we know Him more, we BEHOLD Him through the pages of His Word. 

This isn’t a religious rule or obligation. This is about a relationship. 

When we spend time in God’s Word, we can’t help but know God more.

But, maybe God’s Word is a mystery for you. Maybe you feel guilty when you don’t spend time in reading and studying His Word. Maybe you haven’t figure out a way to study that brings you joy. Maybe you’re picking up a book and forgetting Who the author is.

10 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Bible

So, I want to share some of my favorite tips & suggestions for helping you to LOVE spending time in God’s Word!

We behold God through the pages of His Word. Do you want to know God more? Read the Bible. Remember, this isn’t like reading other books. This isn’t a textbook. This is about knowing God and being known. This is about never growing old of the Greatest Love Story of all time.

Say good-bye to excuses. We are not focusing on “doing it right.” We are focusing on God and knowing Him more. We are not focusing on guilt or how many days we’ve missed in our reading plan. We are fixing our eyes on JESUS, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Start with prayer. Don’t leave God out of your quiet time. I know that sounds crazy, but invite Him in. Start with Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you, to convict you, to encourage you, to help you. I believe this is a prayer He loves to answer.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea, a cozy blanket and find your favorite chair. We are women, we enjoy comfort. I like to think of my comfy chair as a big hug from God every morning. Use a favorite mug and have a hot cup of something delicious.

Try out different methods of Bible Study! You can learn about 7 Simple Methods of Bible Study here! I *know* that one or more of these will appeal to you and truly help you to love studying the Bible! Methods such as: word study, apple method, verse mapping, and more!

Pray through the Bible. This is my favorite method of prayer, but it’s also my favorite way to read God’s Word. Praying the Scriptures has changed my prayer life. Don’t make it hard. Read a passage, what jumps out at you? Ask God to do that in your life. Read the words aloud to God. They are HIS Words, of course they are right and good words to pray! You will receive a Simple Guide to Praying the Scriptures when you subscribe to my blog. Or check out Praying the Psalms or 40 Verses to Pray in the Waiting. I also have free monthly praying the Scriptures calendars!

Consider the gift of God’s Word. I have spent time in a country where the Bible is not allowed. I have witnessed with my own eyes precious saints of God hiding a few PAGES of God’s Word so that they would have SOMETHING. When we consider what an immense TREASURE the Word of God is, we can’t help but want to read more and more of it!

Join a ladies Bible study group! It is important to have time that you spend with God on your own, but it is also important to not neglect the fellowship with other believers. This is one of my favorite ways to study God’s Word! Iron sharpens iron! If you aren’t in a local church that offers weekly Bible study times, get a few friends together and go through a book together as friends! You can even choose one that has videos so no one has to feel called to teach during your time together.

Write the Word. One thing that I started doing last year was writing out the Word of God as I read and pray through it! Why do we write things down? We write down things that are important to us, things we want to remember. So, why not write down God’s Word? I have a video telling a little more about this and a page full of FREE resources for writing various books of the Bible here.

Try something new! Maybe your Bible reading just needs a little spark of color or creativity. None of this is necessary, mind you.  But God is the most creative Being possible. So I happen to think He loves the trend in Bible Journaling. Try a Bible Journaling Kit from Dayspring. Watch a few videos and try something new! Step out of your comfort zone.

Bonus Tip!

Read the brand new book 10 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Bible by Shanna Noel. I was SO blessed to get an early copy of this book and I LOVE it. I finished the book in just a few short days! Y’all know how much I love God’s Word. Sharing resources with you all to help you love the Bible is one of my passions. So I was VERY excited to read this book. It’s fabulous.

I shared with you 10 of my favorite ways to LOVE the Word of God, but Shanna shares her ideas for helping you to fallen love with God’s Word in this brand new book! I”m so excited for you all to read this!


Essential Oils and Kids

Did you know that you are likely exposed to over 300 toxins inside your own home on a daily basis? Possibly even 80 toxins even before breakfast! Our homes can be one of the most toxic places and many of us spend most of our hours inside with all of these toxins.

The cleaners we use, the beauty products, soaps, make-up, shampoo, deodorant, candles, air fresheners, laundry detergent, fabric softener…all of these things have ingredients in them that are not good for our families to be exposed to.

Friends, we do have control over what we bring and do not bring into our homes! 

Essential Oils are one fabulous way to start the journey to toxin-free living. We can rid our homes of 90% of the toxins by purchasing a STARTER KIT and the THIEVES CLEANER concentrate!! Our household cleaner comes in a concentrate that costs $22 and can make 20-30 spray bottles full! You can replace ALL your cleaners with this ONE ITEM. Yes, please, thank-you-very-much. (You may remember that I shared my homemade cleaning wipes recipe using this cleaner! Replace all your Clorox wipes with these! Your kids can clean the bathroom safely now. You’re welcome.)

Using essential oils with our children can be a wonderful tool in our wellness toolbox! However, sometimes there is fear that goes along with that. Oils are very powerful gifts from God, straight from the plants He gave us. Generally speaking, with children, you will want to dilute the oils you use with them!

My favorite way to dilute is to use a carrier oil (I use fractionated coconut oil) and place in an empty roller bottle with the roller top lid. This way you can just roll it over your child’s feet, wrists, neck or back. You can buy the roller tops directly from Young Living that will fit right onto the top of your young living oil bottles!

I have created a simple PDF that you can print and use as a reference!

With these oils listed in on the PDF below, place a few drops into a bottle, according to the dilution chart, add your carrier oil, and then apply to the bottom of your child’s feet, their wrists, the back of their necks or in the case of bug bites, apply lavender directly to the bite!

Click on the graphic to print your copy!

Essential Oils and Kids PDF

Join the Oily Sisterhood

We all have questions and need support and help in our journey to wellness. Join our sisterhood under the leadership of Dr. Edie Wadsworth where you will be added to our facebook group that is fun and encouraging. We offer so many classes, videos, education and support!

You can join our team here with a wholesale membership! 

More Simple Steps to Detoxifying Your Home

Read about dryer balls, homemade deodorant and more in this post! 5 Simple Resources to help you detoxify your home! 

More Roller Bottle Recipes

I have another printable PDF that has some of my favorite roller bottle recipes on it!

Easter Baskets for Teens

Parenting teens comes with its challenges, doesn’t it? One thing I have enjoyed, as a mom with 2 teens and one 12 year old is continuing traditions in our home even when they may seem to be too old for said tradition. Leaving Valentine cards & candy on the breakfast table in February, filling stockings full of things they love, Easter eggs hunts and Shamrock shakes in March.

One of those traditions is finding special, meaningful and cross-centered items to go in their Easter baskets each year. No, we don’t have to have baskets to celebrate Easter. But, yes, I love making holidays and other days special in our home. So, for me personally, if there is ANY day I’m going to make special, it’s going to be the day my Savior rose from the grave!

Finding Christ-centered Easter items can be a bit of a challenge, though. But, Dayspring has come through for me…big time!!

Look at all of these beautiful ideas for Easter baskets that I found at Dayspring!

Dayspring Coupon Code

Dayspring was gracious enough to offer a coupon code JUST FOR YOU!!

Use the code MERCY15 to save $15 off of a $50 purchase!! Woo-hoo! This code will expire on April 11th. 

In addition to these Christ-centered ideas that will help remind my teens of God’s love for them, here are more ideas that I think teens would love! I have included gift cards in our baskets this year, too. 🙂

Easter Basket Ideas for Teens

Tell me what items your teens would love to receive in their Easter baskets?

More Christ-Centered Family Easter Ideas