“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” James 3:2
Just take that in for a moment. “God’s Word says that if we tame our words, we can tame our body and mind. That’s powerful.” Tim Cameron
I don’t know about you, but I need that kind of taming. I’ve been on a journey to change my mindset and I’m learning about how powerful my thoughts are…but also how powerful my words are! I want to speak life and rid my life of the toxic words I have spoken for so many years. Toxic words of judgement, criticism, sarcasm, complaining and negativity. I am learning that I can be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of my mind! Praise God!
In his book, The Forty Day Word Fast, Tim Cameron shares that if we can get our words under control, “we move from what is true to the truth, from the seen to the unseen, from the physical to the spiritual, from the negative to the hopeful. We will quit living in the past, allowing our failures, mistakes and sin to paint our identity with hopelessness. We will move into God’s intentions and promises for us. We will see God’s kingdom come to earth in our midst.”
I want that, don’t you??
Join me as we go through this book, The Forty Day Word Fast, during the month of May. I will be doing roughly 1 video per week on my facebook page. You can join in or watch later at your convenience. (I will not have a schedule but typically my videos are mid-morning. I will try to post ahead of time with what time I will be going live!)
As we read the book, I also encourage you to read at least 1-2 of these verses daily. Read them, write them, pray them, meditate upon the truth found in them.
Today on the blog I am going to answer a question I have gotten quite a few times over the years! I also will share with you my list of books that I have completed in 2017!
First of all, I find great value in reading. I love improving myself, my relationship with God, my knowledge of essential oils, my Bible knowledge. I love fiction but I don’t tend to read it quite as much as other types of books. Sometimes when I need to relax I will grab a fiction book, however.
That said, there are people in this world that read a LOT more than I do. I actually don’t feel like I read that many books in a year. It may appear that I read more than I do because I love sharing what I’m reading on Instagram, especially in my insta-stories. Now, if I didn’t have kids or homeschooling or a business to run, I would read a lot more I’m sure. ha!
So, how exactly does a busy homeschooling mom who blogs, is very active in church and running her own business have time to read? Well, I’m glad you asked. 🙂
6 Reasons Why I Can Read More
I don’t watch TV. I very rarely will sit and watch a tv show or movie. I’m not sure if it’s just my personality but I have a hard time sitting and watching tv. Now, I could sit and read all day long. LOL! I guess I don’t see the benefit in it. I know that sounds terrible. I have NO JUDGEMENT in my heart for those that watch tv. I actually find myself sometimes WISHING that I could sit and get involved in a show and just VEG. I’m not trying to sound super spiritual or anything because that is not it! I just get bored when I sit and watch tv or movies!
I always have a book with me.I don’t wait for a long stretch of time to read. I always have an actual book or a book on my kindle app on my phone that I am reading. Any time I have to wait somewhere, I can get in a few pages! Even if I only have a few minutes I can read a few pages!
I read every morning. I read from the Bible, I read a short devotional and then I typically get up early enough to read at least 1 chapter in one of my current books. Usually the book I read in the morning is a book about personal growth (and inspires me for the day) or spiritual growth (and feeds my soul which is life-giving to me.) When I do not get up early enough to have that quiet stretch of time and read, my whole day feels off.
I take “breaks” through the day and read also. This doesn’t mean long breaks, but sometimes I will just pick up a book and read for 5 minutes. It feeds me and helps me to re-focus. Except for winter time, I will often go sit on my front porch with a book and that is time for me to cool down or refresh.
I find great value in reading. I think you need to see the value and importance of it. We generally make time for what we feel is important, yes? You may find it important to wind down at night by watching tv. That is fine, but that is a choice you are making! So, if you genuinely want to find more time to read, you will have to MAKE the time.
I read more than one book at a time. I don’t mean 2 books in my hands at a time. I’m not that magical. 🙂 I mean that I don’t wait to finish a book before I start another one. I may have 5-6 books going at a time. I’m moody, y’all. Sometimes I am not in the mood to read a certain type of book. So I just pick up another type! Now, that said, I cannot typically read 2 fiction books at once. So all the books I am reading at one time are all of different types.
Books I Read in 2017
Here is my list of books I have read in 2017! I hope you find something here that sparks your interest! By the way, I still have plenty of time to get in 1-2 more books so I may come back and update this post!
The 5 Second Rule – not written from a Christian perspective but great advice for learning how to be more decisive and follow through on goals in all areas of life, I am reading this with a business group so we are applying it to our businesses.
High Performance Habits – so our oil team leader (Edie Wadsworth of Lifeingrace) is doing a goal setting workshop the last weekend of this year. She recommended we read this book before we attend. This is the same goal setting workshop that I attended in early 2017 that inspired most of my personal growth and physical wellness journey this year! I’m so excited about it! I am about halfway thru this book when this post is going live but my goal is to have it done by the end of this week, so I’m listing it here.)
There you have it folks! The list of books I completed in 2017. Now, I won’t list all the ones sitting by my bed and morning spot on the couch that I have not finished. Maybe they will make it to the list in 2018.
Motherhood has been the hardest job of my lifetime. God has used my children and my own sinful nature to show me more about Himself. In our weakness, HE is strong!
But how do we actually tap into His strength as moms?
I am so excited to tell you about this brand new book called Becoming MomStrong written by my friend, Heidi St. John, you may know her as The Busy Mom.
The book releases TODAY and you are going to want to grab it!
5 Truths to Remember As We Seek His Strength As Moms
1. Remember whose strength it is.
We think being weak is a bad thing. God’s Word tells us differently. God’s Word tells us that in our weakness HE is strong. “The good news is that God doesn’t require strength for the journey; He offers it.” Heidi St. John
It is so very freeing to not have to come up with strength on our own! It is freeing to rest in the truth that GOD’S GOT THIS. It is freeing to realize we don’t have to do more and be more for God to use us and strengthen us as moms! We don’t have to do it all, moms!!! In fact, it’s better if we don’t!
2. Know that we are in a battle.
When we acknowledge that we are in a battle we are more prepared to fight. We’ve been given armor, mamas, we must pick it up and use it!
“When we are assaulted by lies, we need to remember what and who we’re fighting for. Some days our biggest fight will be to see ourselves as God sees us. Because if God is for us (which He always is) no one – not even satan himself – can stand against us.” Heidi St. John
We’ve been given all we need in this life through Jesus. But we will never be able to discern the truth OR teach it to our children if we are not BATTLE READY. And we become battle ready when we are standing FIRMLY on the truth of God’s Word. And that only comes when we are IN THE WORD OF GOD. Do not neglect it, sweet friends.
3. Find your identity in Christ.
This has been such a hard battle for me personally. I have lived so much of my life seeking the approval of others and that leads to discouragement, defeat and feeling like a failure most of the time! Because we will never be able to please everyone! I want to teach my kids, who are teenagers now, to find their worth in CHRIST and who HE made them to be…who WE ARE in Christ. It is vital to our spiritual well being!
“God is the One who brings courage in the chaos and peace to the broken places of our hearts. Without the courage that comes from God, a spirit of fear can settle into the unseen places of a mother’s soul. So stay close to Him, precious mom! Get to know His Word. Memorize His promises. Don’t let fear take root.” Heidi St. John
To know who we are in Christ we must know what God says first about HIMSELF and then about us. Again, we can’t know what God says about anything if we aren’t in the Word for ourselves! This isn’t a guilt trip. This is WAR.
4. Place your trust in God alone.
This sounds very nice and Christian-ese. However, do we know where we are TRULY placing our trust? Are we feeling let down and discouraged and disappointed all the time? If so, I challenge you to check your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to show you where you might be misplacing your trust!
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God!” Psalm 20:7
“There are so many things that seem easier to trust than the Lord – after all, He is invisible. We like to see what we’re putting our trust in. But isn’t it part of faith to trust our future to a God we can’t see? The truth is, anything other than Jesus will eventually let us down.” Heidi St. John
We simply cannot put our trust in our financial security, our homes, our jobs, our families, our spouses, our kids, nothing. Nothing satisfies like Jesus. He alone is worthy of our trust and devotion.
5. Accept your wounding as a gift.
This is a hard one for most of us. But, in looking back over your own life, can you see that the hardest parts of your life have led to fruit and ministry?
“…often our greatest ministry comes out of our deepest hurts.”Heidi St. John
Who better to minister to someone who has been through cancer and chemo than one who has already walked that path? I can thank God for the season of depression in my own life because through it, an online ministry was birthed. I can encourage because He first encouraged me through the same struggles! And He will use your hardest trials as well!
Sweet mamas, when we are weak HE IS STRONG. Lean into Him today. Trust Him alone. Know that we are in a battle, yes, but we’ve been given all we need for this battle! Stay in His Word and memorize those promises! Pray and speak His truth aloud. Don’t give up.
Becoming MomStrong the Book
Friends, as moms we need each other. We need to encourage one another. I can highly recommend this book to you as a source of encouragement and the reminder that we must be strong in the Lord!
I am so excited to announce our next book study that we will be doing in our closed group on Facebook! (Click here to request to join. I will need to be friends with you on Facebook, so please friend me first.)
I was blessed to get an early copy of this book and underlined so many things in it that I just KNOW it is going to encourage SO MANY OF YOU who may be feeling like you are in one big season of being UNSEEN.
Sara Hagerty helps us find the beauty and meaning in living hidden lives with Christ. There may be circumstances that confine you to the hidden life…maybe it’s motherhood, maybe divorce, maybe cancer, maybe it’s a season of life or maybe it is your life…but, in the hidden moments we all begin to truly know who God is, and in turn, who we truly are in Him. Sara says that instead of our hiddenness being a burden, it’s an invitation…an invitation of grace to know more of the Father.
September 4 (we likely won’t meet or do video on that day but I will let you know for sure!) – Discuss chapters 1-3
September 11 – Discuss chapters 4-6
September 18 – Discuss chapters 7-9
September 25 – Discuss chapters 10-13
Pre-Order the Book for Free Gifts
Because the book has not officially been released yet, you can still PRE-ORDER the book and receive the free downloadable GIFTS that Sara and her team are offering! I have had the blessing of being able to get a sneak peek of these and they are GORGEOUS.
Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.
Even though we have struggles, even though we have doubts, even though life is hard, even though I mess up daily…YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD.
What is your “even though?”
Maybe it’s sickness, maybe it’s divorce, maybe it’s disability, maybe it’s anxiety, maybe it’s a prodigal child. Can you rejoice in GOD even though?? HE is the Sovereign Lord and HE is our strength. All of these “even thoughs” are what God is using to grow our hinds feet. Those hinds feet will allow us to walk upon the heights, cling to the narrow path, grow stronger…and then go back into the valley strong and able to share His love.
In the book, Hinds Feet for High Places, the main character’s name is Much Afraid. I am fairly certain we can all relate to this name and have felt that would be our name at one time or another. Or maybe even daily.
Yet, Much Afraid decides to follow the Good Shepherd up on the heights. Despite her crippled feet and crooked mouth that can’t speak well, she begins the climb.
Just like the author of the passage in Habakkuk, many trials await Much Afraid. The path gets narrow. Her enemies Pride, Bitterness and Craven Fear meet her around many corners of the path.
Yet the moment she calls out to the Good Shepherd He is there with her. He is listening, caring for her, and helping her on her climb.
Yet, He won’t carry her all the way. Because she must develop her own hinds feet.
We must all develop our hinds feet. The trials of this life are what develops these feet with which we can withstand the storms of life.
If you need to be encouraged on the difficult path you are facing, I highly recommend you check out this classic.
Also spend some time reading and meditating on this passage of Scripture from Habakkuk chapter 3. Ask the Lord to grow your hinds feet and to give you peace, patience and wisdom as you walk the path He has carved out for you.