In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

 

I just finished this book and you need to read it. Yes, you do.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day was written by Mark Batterson. He is the same author of The Circle Maker which I also loved. Now I think I want to read all his books!

Don’t let the title of this book turn you off. I thought it was an odd title. Until I read the book. Now the title just FIRES ME UP to do BATTLE with the enemy and stop letting my fears & insecurities get the best of me!

This book is based on an obscure story in the Bible, one that I did not remember, about a man named Benaiah, in 2 Samuel, chased a lion into a pit and killed it.

Now, pretty crazy, huh!? But, write a book about it?

Y’all. If you struggle with fear, calling, insecurity, chasing dreams or just living life to the fullest, you need this book!

“God is in the business of strategically placing us in the right place at the right time. A sense of destiny is our birthright as followers of Christ. God is awfully good at getting us where He wants us to go. But here’s the catch: The right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time.

Encountering a lion in the wild is typically a bad thing…”

But God used this lion in this man’s life to lead him to his calling.

“What sets lion catchers apart isn’t the outcome. It’s the courage to chase God-sized dreams. Lion chasers don’t let their fears or doubts keep them from doing what God has called them to do.” 

“Don’t let mental lions keep you from experiencing everything God has to offer. The greatest breakthroughs in your life will happen when you push through the fear. The defining moments will double as the scariest decisions. But you’ve got to face those fears and begin the process of unlearning them.” 

“It took a setback to get us where God wanted us to go. It took a God-ordained opportunity that came as a really well-disguised problem.” 

Anyone else getting pumped up like I am? God takes what we see as PROBLEMS and turns them into OPPORTUNITIES. Why don’t we trust Him? We’ve seen Him do this time and time and time again!

Our biggest problems start looking like our greatest opportunities.

I had a wise friend tell me recently to not run from the suffering or the hurt, but to embrace it, because God will do His greatest work in my heart through it.

Isn’t that a beautiful thought? That God will use what hurts to make us who He wants us to be and bring Himself glory!??

“Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.”

It’s about our focus. Are we zooming in on the problem? Or are we allowing God to mold us, prune us, sanctify us. We must focus on HIM and not the problem. Let HIM do HIS THING.

 

Verses About the Power of Our Words

“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.

Verses About the Power of Our Words

the words we speak PDF

Find more Praying the Scriptures & Verses here. 

How I Read So Many Books (And Books I Read in 2017)

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!

Books I read in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 

These are listed in the order that I read them.

  1. Otto & The Silver Hand – this is a book I read with my kids that went along with our history curriculum last year
  2. The Undoing of Saint Silvanus – LOVED this first fiction novel written by Beth Moore
  3. Chasing Slow (read my blog post about this book here)
  4. Full
  5. The King’s Fifth – another book we read with our curriculum
  6. Nothing to Prove
  7. Lost and Found
  8. Madeleine Takes Command -another book we read with our homeschooling curriculum
  9. It Starts with Food – this book is what Dr. Edie recommended we read at the beginning of 2017 that really jump started my health journey this year
  10. Teaching From Rest – one of my FAVORITE books for homeschool moms!
  11. 10 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Bible (read my blog post about this book here)
  12. The Switherby Pilgrims – another book we read with our homeschooling curriculum
  13. 40 Days of Decrease
  14. Making the First Circle Work – a very quick read on network marketing
  15. Chasing Francis – LOVED this book
  16. Chestry Oak – another book we ready with our homeschooling curriculum. This was one of my favorites. I may have cried.
  17. Habits of Grace – fabulous book on the Christian disciplines
  18. Invisible Selling Machine – this book is for those trying to do marketing through email
  19. Wired to Eat
  20. Children of the Storm – if you enjoy missionary biography stories this one will inspire you!
  21. Go Pro – another network marketing book
  22. Hinds Feet on High Places – amazing story of encouragement (read my blog post about this book here)
  23. Israel, My Beloved – fascinating Biblical historical fiction that will give you a brand new perspective on the country and people of Israel
  24. The Greatest Salesman
  25. Who Switched Off My Brain – written by a Christian neuroscientist who talks about getting rid of toxic emotions
  26. Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils – if you are fascinated by essential oils and how they can help with your emotions I recommend this book
  27. The Happiness Advantage
  28. Fasting – one of the best books I’ve read on Fasting
  29. Unseen -so, so good
  30. Becoming Mom Strong (read my blog post about this book here)
  31. Energy Bus – fabulous book for leaders!
  32. Soup – another fabulous book for leaders! Very motivating!
  33. Prayer Box – great, quick Christian fiction read
  34. Sea Glass Sisters – this book goes with the Prayer Box – quick read
  35. Tidewater Sisters – the other book in the trilogy – quick read
  36. Christmas Box
  37. Timepiece
  38. 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.
  39. 21 Days of Prayer for Your Business
  40. 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.

 

5 Truths to Remember As We Become Strong in the Lord

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!

Grab the book at Amazon! While you’re there, grab the Bible Study to go with it and the journal!

Video Chat of these 5 Truths

 

 

Unseen: Our Next Book Study

 

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.

Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed

by Sara Hagerty

I’m telling you about this a few weeks early so that you can PRE-ORDER the book and get the pre-order freebies. You can read about the freebies here!

Reading Schedule

August 28 – Welcome & introduction to book study

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.

Go here to order your book.

Then go here to put in your receipt number to receive the gifts! 

Give Away

I am so excited to GIVE AWAY 1 copy of this beautiful new book!!

Please leave me a comment telling me WHY you’d like to read this book to be entered!

Extra Entries

You will receive 1 extra entry for each of the following, please leave a SEPARATE COMMENT stating which entries you completed!

Like my Facebook page! 

Follow me on Instagram!

Share about this give away on ANY social media platform.

Leave a comment for each entry you complete!

Winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 22nd!