Where Is Your Confidence?

We live in a culture of women who have misplaced confidence. We are either plagued with self-doubt on a regular basis or our confidence is placed in all the wrong things. Either end of the spectrum is detrimental to us emotionally and spiritually.

Friends, where is your confidence? Where is your hope? Where do you find your joy and contentment?

God’s Word tells us that He created the world by speaking it into being. He called it good. He created us, He calls us good and fearfully and wonderfully made. Do we trust Him and take Him at His Word? Or do we keep trying to find our confidence and our contentment in the things of this world?

Dictionary.com says that confidence is full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing. Synonyms for confidence are faith, reliance, and dependence. 

So, who or what do you believe in? Who is trustworthy? Who is reliable? Where is your faith and reliance? Who are you dependent upon?

Putting our confidence in ourselves alone is a scary place to be. But, when we confess our trust in God and God alone, our confidence will never be misplaced. He will never let us down. Our confidence and our hope is secure because He is faithful. 

Because of our loving heavenly Father we can have confidence in who He made us to be. We can know that we are His. We can know that He lovingly created us for a greater purpose than ourselves and for His glory. That knowledge should give us true confidence. 

10 Verses to Remind You of Your True Confidence

“For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.” Psalm 71:5. Lord, you are my hope. You are my confidence. Help me not to place my hope in my circumstances, my material belongings or my standing here on earth. Remind me of my true and only real hope.

“It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man.” Psalm 118:8. God, You tell us that it is better to trust You than to place our confidence in anyone else. We have found this to be true, yet sometimes, we start to hope in others. May we be reminded daily of the unfailing, never-let-us-down kind of love You offer us.

“For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26. You are my confidence, Lord, you will keep me from slipping. You will uphold me. You are my security.

“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.” Proverbs 14:26. God, in You I have strong confidence. I have a place of refuge. The world will not offer me lasting hope or refuge. Only in You can I be truly content and confident.

“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.” Isaiah 32:17. God, You have given me the righteousness of Jesus and the fruit of that righteousness is peace., quietness and confidence. I don’t have to earn it, I don’t have to work for it, it is mine through Christ.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7. Lord, You say I am blessed when I trust You, when my confidence is in You. I choose to believe You. I choose to live fully in the purpose and calling You have placed on my life…that You created me for a greater purpose than myself and for Your glory.

“Such confidence we have through Christ before God.  Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:3-5. God, THIS is the confidence I have in You: I am not competent on my own, but in You, I have everything. 

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:12. Because of Jesus, I can approach You, God, with confidence and freedom. Grow my trust in You, God. Increase my faith.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1. Grant me this faith, oh God. May I be confident and assured of what I do not see because the unseen is the eternal, it is of You, it is my forever, lasting and true hope.

“So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:6. You are my helper, God, I will not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? I hope in You and You alone!

You Can Do This

“It’s time to agree with God about who He says you are.” Tricia Lott Williford from her new book You Can Do This.

If you struggle to take hold of the confidence we have through Christ, I encourage you to grab this brand new book that releases this month!

“Our culture as a whole, and often the Christian culture in particular, discourages confidence in women. Tricia Lott Williford explores how confidence and self-awareness can be a path toward stronger and richer faith. She offers stories and strategies to inspire and lead women to develop the confidence to stand firm in the face of the blows, losses, and disappointments in life.

Readers of this book will think, laugh, and gain confidence to do what is set before them. They will feel hopeful, courageous, strengthened, encouraged, present, and confident. And finally, readers will be equipped to implement simple strategies to inspire contagious confidence in themselves and others.” description from Amazon

 

10 Verses to Pray for your Knight in Training

“Yes, there are problems in our culture. But we do not need to be consumed with fear or fatalism. It is possible to raise boys entirely different from the cultural norm. So be a warrior, not a worrier! Be fiercely loyal and dedicated to raising your boys up.” Heather Haupt from Knights in Training

When we are tempted to fear the world that our children are growing up in, let us remind our hearts that God is bigger than any problem we (or our kids!) will ever face! And let us be more prayerful than fearful.

10 Verses to Pray for your Knight in Training

Let us be prayer warrior mamas for our knights in training. Praying God’s Word has transformed my prayer life. If you want to read more about this way of praying, you can subscribe to my blog for a free ebook guide on how to Pray the Scriptures.

Here are 10 verses that we can pray over our sons, each one correlates with one of the “codes of honor” mentioned in the book Knights in Training.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (Code: Love god)

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I give you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of theme when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” 

Prayer: Oh Lord, grant me the grace to love you more and more each day. May my knight in training learn what it means to love you with all of his heart, soul and strength. Help my husband and I to be diligent teachers and doers of the Word in our home, when we sit at home, when we are driving around town and when we go to sleep at night. May your Word and Your love and Your sacrifice ever be on the forefront of our minds and hearts. Only by Your grace and for Your glory!

Ephesians 6:1 (code: obey)

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

Prayer: Lord, grow in my son a heart that delights in obedience. May he know, all the days of his life, what is right and good. May he always follow Your path and when he strays, draw him back to Yourself.

Micah 6:8 (code:stand against injustice)

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Prayer: Lord, You have shown us what is good. You have shown my son what is good and what You require of him. Help him to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with You all the days of his life.

Isaiah 1:16-17 (code: protect the weak)

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

Prayer: Father God, may my son learn to defend the helpless, to defend and build up the oppressed, to bring justice to the fatherless and plead the widow’s cause. Grow in my son a heart of compassion for the needy around him. Give him the courage to share your love without fear.

Ephesians 6:2 (code: respect women)

“Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 

Prayer: Lord, grow in my son a heart of honor not only for those in authority in his life, but for all men and women everywhere. May he always show respect and honor to the women you place in his life.

Matthew 5:9 (code: don’t give offense)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Prayer: Lord, You have said we will be blessed when we choose to be peacemakers. Grow in my son a heart that desires peace above being right. Convict his heart when his motives aren’t pure and he wants to pick a fight with those around him. Give him a heart of peace and humility in all things.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (code: speak truth)

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

Prayer: Father God, give my son courage to speak truth. And give him the wisdom to speak the truth in love. Grow him up in You, Lord.

Psalm 112:4-6 (Code: Be generous)

“Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.”

Prayer: God, Your light dawns in the darkness for those who live upright lives. We desire to be the light of the world to this lost and dying world we live in. May my son be gracious, merciful and righteous. You have told us that it will go well for the man who deals generously and that is our heart’s desire for our knights in training. Make them generous to all they come into contact with and in every situation they face. May he always conduct his affairs with justice.

James 1:25 (Code: Persevere)

“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

Prayer: Lord, may my son persevere in looking to You and Your Word, which brings freedom, and may he persevere. May he not be a hearer of the word alone, but also a doer who acts. We know that he will be blessed in the process.

Colossians 3:23-24 (Code: Pursue Excellence)

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Prayer: Lord, may my son be a hard worker. May he know that you created him to work. Remind him that he works for You and that he will receive the beautiful inheritance you have for him as a reward. May my knight in training serve you all the days of his life.

Knights in Training

My friend Heather Haupt has written a fabulous book for moms of boys and it releases TODAY. This book, Knights in Training, has 10 principles for raising our modern day knights to be honorable, courageous and compassionate.

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!

 

4 Ways to Chase Slow

I just finished the book Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner. It was so good and exactly what my heart needed. As you know, I’ve been on this journey myself. I read Present Over Perfect a few months ago and it kind of propelled me on this journey. This book was just the encouragement I needed to keep going against the grain of more, more, more.

Both of these books really made my heart stop and ask, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.

4 Ways to Chase Slow

These things are just things God has been teaching me. They weren’t necessarily listed in the book in this way, but just themes God is placing on my heart time and time again lately. I hope something here resonates with you, too!

  1. Say no. Say it once today. Say it again tomorrow. Keep practicing. It won’t get easier but you WILL get better at it!
  2. But say yes to what matters. Saying no to some things allows us to say yes to the right things! As an example, my schedule was freed up just a little bit when I decided to stop teaching piano lessons. While that was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made before, it has allowed me to say YES to more time for homeschooling and  time for exercise and cooking healthy dinners!! I’m saying yes to the most important things in this season! But it had to start with a “no.”
  3. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Keep up with God instead. Don’t look to the left or the right…don’t feel inferior because of what so-and-so is doing. You look at the path God has given you and put one foot in front of the other!
  4. Abide in Christ. Read John 15 and ask God to show you where you are abiding. To abide means to dwell. To reside. Where are your thoughts residing? What about your heart? Where is your heart’s home? What are you dwelling on more: Pinterest or God?

Favorite Quotes from the Book

“Ask an Ethiopian what they need and they might tell you with a wide smile: amassing is meaningless. There is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow. We cannot mend our seams to hoard, save, carry. Ask a bird how to fly, and it might tell you to remove the weight from your wings.” Erin Loechner

“Sometimes choppy waters teach us to sail better.” Erin Loechner

“We changed the rules, that is all. The instructions told us that hard work means logging a lot of hours at the office to pay for more things so as to appear you are logging a lot of hours at the office. The instructions tell us to work hard, then play hard, but mostly work hard. You can play hard when you’re dead. Isn’t this called responsibility? Isn’t this called wisdom? Straighten up, young man, you’ve got a mortgage to pay. 

We tore the instructions to shreds, and then, Lord, have mercy, we bowled. [referencing an earlier portion where they began taking “off the bumpers” of life.]

Ken quit Hollywood and began freelancing for film startups and marketing firms. I left the ad agency and filled in the pay gap with income from my blog. I began producing an independent design zine. We visited gallery shows and shopped artist warehouse sales. We went to the pier, over the Ferris Wheel, to the shore. We held hands in the grocery store. We once ate a pint of ice cream for dinner. For dinner!

…It was not without work. It was not all fun and games. It was not effortless, discarding the rules you’d memorized as a kid. There’s a reason those bumpers exist – so our balls don’t end up in the gutters. But Ken and I would never again step back into our life of fast, our Hollywood rat race, our productivity spin cycle. We had come to love our slower life – a life less stressed, less scheduling, less stifling.

For the first time in my life, I was beginning to see the appeal of less.” Erin Loechner from Chasing Slow

What do you think?

I would love some input from you! What are ways we can purposefully CHASE SLOW?

And, what books help you keep this mentality? I need to keep reading for motivation and inspiration to keep saying NO to the things I need to say no to in order to say YES to what is best for this season.

One such book that really began my journey of “chasing slow” was when I read Present Over Perfect a few months ago! This book was life changing for me. You can find see my video discussing this book and other books I read in 2016 here. 

Facebook Live Video Discussion

Happiness and the Christian

Are Christians supposed to be happy? Are happiness and joy really that different? What exactly *is* the difference? Aren’t we supposed to strive for holiness more than happiness? Was Jesus happy on earth? Is God happy?

The gospel is good news, right? If we believe it to be such, I think living lives of misery likely doesn’t do much toward showing others the love of Jesus.

My ideas about happiness have certainly changed in the last year or so. It started when I read The Happniess Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee. Her message so deeply resonated with me that I blogged about it, I led an online book club through it and I’ve given the book as gifts. The message has been further applied in my life as I have read 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life and 60 Days of Happiness: Discover God’s Promise of Relentless Joy by Randy Alcorn.

“Among Christ-followers, happiness was once a positive, desirable word. Only in recent times have happiness and joy been set in contrast with each other. This isn’t just biblically and historically ungrounded; it has undermined our understanding of merriment, pleasure, and joy. Are laughter, celebration, and happiness God-created gifts, or are they ambushes from Satan and our sin nature that incur God’s disapproval? Our answer determines whether our faith in God is dragged forward by duty or propelled by delight.” Randy Alcorn from 60 Days of Happiness.

I knew that my life as a believer would include suffering. I knew that Jesus suffered and so would we. I honestly thought that God desired my holiness and NOT my happiness.

God does call us to holiness, of course, YES. But, through our lives of obedience and service and living out the uniqueness of who God has made us to be…there is joy. There is happiness.

I don’t think that there truly is so much difference between joy and happiness. I think we use those words interchangeably and try to make joy sound a little holier. {grin} Not that there is anything wrong with choosing our words carefully or feeling strongly about certain words.

Did you know the Bible references happiness?

Have you ever read this famous passage from Matthew?

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessed = Happy

In the original language, the word that Jesus is using in this passage means happy. Hmmm. Although He uses the word happy, the things he tells us will make us happy are not traditionally thought of us happy things. Oh, but that is the way of the cross…that is the way of Jesus…and I think that is the key to understanding happiness as a Christian.

Happiness doesn’t look like what the world says happiness is. As believers, we can find happiness {and joy!} in things that the world may think are crazy. 

For the JOY set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. (Hebrews 12)

Finding joy in giving of your life on a cross?

There is joy to be found in living a life of love. Jesus was the perfect and ultimate example.

There is joy to be found even in sorrow.

There is happiness to be found in obedience.

There is a deep seated happiness in knowing our eternity is secure.

There is a blessedness in knowing Jesus and reminding our hearts that we are never alone.

Let’s take back the word HAPPY

So, I say it’s time that we, as believers, TAKE BACK the word happy. Let’s not look at it as a bad word. Let’s remind our hearts that joy and happiness can be very similar and both can be wonderful benefits of living a life in Jesus. Let’s not look condescendingly at people who use the word happy, but on the same token, if someone has a conviction about the word let’s show grace. Either way: grace. Whether you like the word happy or you don’t, there is grace for you.

And you know what? Grace is one of the ultimate happy gifts of Christ. Let’s enjoy Him.