Proverbs 31 Ministries http://proverbs31.org Bringing God’s peace, perspective, and purpose to today’s busy woman. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:01:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Like sharing a cup of coffee with a friend, Lysa TerKeurst and Renee Swope invite you to join them for one minute of everyday life encouragement and inspiration through: casual yet challenging and deep spiritual truths you can apply; down-to-earth, relevant biblical principals in bite-size pieces and real solutions for real struggles in the midst of your busy day! EVERYDAY LIFE with Lysa & Renee is a production of Proverbs 31 Ministries Lysa TerKeurst & Renee Swope clean Lysa TerKeurst & Renee Swope radio@proverbs31.org radio@proverbs31.org (Lysa TerKeurst & Renee Swope) Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee - Proverbs 31 Ministries Christian, women, encouragement, marriage, parenting, friendship, faith, balance, emotions, Proverbs, ministries, God Proverbs 31 Ministries http://proverbs31.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Itunes_Graphic_Radio-01.jpeg http://proverbs31.org TV-G Honesty http://proverbs31.org/blog/honesty/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/honesty/#respond Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:01:06 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2357 Why is it that the hardest person for me to be honest with is myself?

I really like when I can see the good in situations and in people, but sometimes I need to allow myself to see the not-so-good in people.  Sometimes the glass really is half empty.

I need to allow myself the freedom to be honest. To process honest thoughts and feelings. Not being honest about the fact that sometimes people and situations and life can be completely disappointing is an exhausting way to live.

So, I have decided to give myself the freedom to say, “This stinks.” Otherwise, I get this knotted up feeling deep inside that my smile on the outside doesn’t match the sinkhole on the inside.

That, my friend, is a recipe for me to come unglued.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/honesty/feed/ 0 Why is it that the hardest person for me to be honest with is myself? - I really like when I can see the good in situations and in people, but sometimes I need to allow myself to see the not-so-good in people.  Sometimes the glass really is half empty. Why is it that the hardest person for me to be honest with is myself? I really like when I can see the good in situations and in people, but sometimes I need to allow myself to see the not-so-good in people.  Sometimes the glass really is half empty. I need to allow myself the freedom to be honest. To process honest thoughts and feelings. Not being honest about the fact that sometimes people and situations and life can be completely disappointing is an exhausting way to live. So, I have decided to give myself the freedom to say, “This stinks.” Otherwise, I get this knotted up feeling deep inside that my smile on the outside doesn’t match the sinkhole on the inside. That, my friend, is a recipe for me to come unglued. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
Are They Getting It? http://proverbs31.org/blog/are-they-getting-it/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/are-they-getting-it/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:01:32 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2355 I wonder if our kids are really “getting” what we hope to pass on to them?

A few years ago, my son’s youth group leader asked the kids to share ways to make good use of their time for God. Joshua told us he talked about how his dad takes time at lunch to do a Bible study with co-workers. I couldn’t help but smile knowing my husband, JJ, had simply shared with Joshua what he did on his lunch hour and it made an impact.

You see, for years JJ’s taken time to read the Bible or a book with co-workers who don’t have a relationship with God, in hopes of starting conversations about Jesus. By simple telling Joshua about his day, JJ had passed on an important lesson.

You know, sometimes the best ways for our kids to “get it” is for us to simply share our lives and our stories with them.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/are-they-getting-it/feed/ 4 I wonder if our kids are really “getting” what we hope to pass on to them? - A few years ago, my son’s youth group leader asked the kids to share ways to make good use of their time for God. Joshua told us he talked about how his dad takes time at lun... I wonder if our kids are really “getting” what we hope to pass on to them? A few years ago, my son’s youth group leader asked the kids to share ways to make good use of their time for God. Joshua told us he talked about how his dad takes time at lunch to do a Bible study with co-workers. I couldn’t help but smile knowing my husband, JJ, had simply shared with Joshua what he did on his lunch hour and it made an impact. You see, for years JJ’s taken time to read the Bible or a book with co-workers who don’t have a relationship with God, in hopes of starting conversations about Jesus. By simple telling Joshua about his day, JJ had passed on an important lesson. You know, sometimes the best ways for our kids to “get it” is for us to simply share our lives and our stories with them. Related Resources: NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources Renee Swope clean 1:00
Criticism Hurts http://proverbs31.org/blog/criticism-hurts/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/criticism-hurts/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:01:15 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2353 It was one of those voicemails that left me wondering, “Why me? Why today?”

I was totally blindsided by the criticism playing through my phone. I felt like going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head! Criticism hurts. It just does.

No matter who you are, how many people are encouraging you, or how happy you felt before you got “that call,” one drop of criticism spreads fast and furious.

I knew I had to eventually return that phone call, but I didn’t want to. I knew I should be gentle and loving, but the answer I wanted to give was not gentle.

Despite my feelings, I had to make the decision to stay calm.

I definitely don’t always get it right, but I’m learning that staying calm is as much a gift to myself as it is to my offender.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/criticism-hurts/feed/ 5 It was one of those voicemails that left me wondering, “Why me? Why today?” - I was totally blindsided by the criticism playing through my phone. I felt like going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head! Criticism hurts. It just does. - It was one of those voicemails that left me wondering, “Why me? Why today?” I was totally blindsided by the criticism playing through my phone. I felt like going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head! Criticism hurts. It just does. No matter who you are, how many people are encouraging you, or how happy you felt before you got “that call,” one drop of criticism spreads fast and furious. I knew I had to eventually return that phone call, but I didn’t want to. I knew I should be gentle and loving, but the answer I wanted to give was not gentle. Despite my feelings, I had to make the decision to stay calm. I definitely don’t always get it right, but I’m learning that staying calm is as much a gift to myself as it is to my offender. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued book and bundle by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
I Need A Manager http://proverbs31.org/blog/i-need-a-manager/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/i-need-a-manager/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:01:01 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2351 Sometimes I wish I could hire someone to manage all the details in my life!

The other day I felt overwhelmed with everything I needed to take care of, but just that morning, I ended up reading a devotion about Noah building the Ark. God used it to remind me how HE helped Noah manage an enormous amount of details. First, God gave Noah dimensions for the Ark because he knew how much room was needed to fit everyone on board. God also knew a flood was coming, and they’d be in the ark for nearly two years so He told Noah how much food and supplies to take.

I realized that instead of feeling overwhelmed, I needed to put the details of my week in God’s hands, and I asked Him to help me outline my schedule. Honestly, after doing that I felt complete peace and so many things fell into place that day.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/i-need-a-manager/feed/ 1 Sometimes I wish I could hire someone to manage all the details in my life! - The other day I felt overwhelmed with everything I needed to take care of, but just that morning, I ended up reading a devotion about Noah building the Ark. Sometimes I wish I could hire someone to manage all the details in my life! The other day I felt overwhelmed with everything I needed to take care of, but just that morning, I ended up reading a devotion about Noah building the Ark. God used it to remind me how HE helped Noah manage an enormous amount of details. First, God gave Noah dimensions for the Ark because he knew how much room was needed to fit everyone on board. God also knew a flood was coming, and they’d be in the ark for nearly two years so He told Noah how much food and supplies to take. I realized that instead of feeling overwhelmed, I needed to put the details of my week in God’s hands, and I asked Him to help me outline my schedule. Honestly, after doing that I felt complete peace and so many things fell into place that day. Related Resources: A Confident Heart DVD and Book Bundle by Renee Swope Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources Renee Swope clean 1:00
The Cleanse http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-cleanse/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-cleanse/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:01:42 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2348 Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’ll think about it” and still found yourself thinking about it months later?

Recently, my husband asked me to do a 21-day cleanse with him. You know, 21 days is a really long time to eat like a rabbit. So I gave him a safe answer, “I’ll think about it.” Honestly, that’s all I would have done had he not asked me 217 more times.

Art’s persistence and commitment inspired me, and eventually, reluctantly I said YES. I learned that getting around people who are doing what you are “thinking about” makes the first steps less scary.

I did make it through the cleanse, but I can honestly say I wish Diet Coke was a whole food and kale tasted and smelled like popcorn. I really do!

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-cleanse/feed/ 1 Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’ll think about it” and still found yourself thinking about it months later? - Recently, my husband asked me to do a 21-day cleanse with him. You know, 21 days is a really long time to eat like a rabbit. Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’ll think about it” and still found yourself thinking about it months later? Recently, my husband asked me to do a 21-day cleanse with him. You know, 21 days is a really long time to eat like a rabbit. So I gave him a safe answer, “I’ll think about it.” Honestly, that’s all I would have done had he not asked me 217 more times. Art’s persistence and commitment inspired me, and eventually, reluctantly I said YES. I learned that getting around people who are doing what you are “thinking about” makes the first steps less scary. I did make it through the cleanse, but I can honestly say I wish Diet Coke was a whole food and kale tasted and smelled like popcorn. I really do! Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
The Best Parent on Earth http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-best-parent-on-earth/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-best-parent-on-earth/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 00:01:00 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2346 I want to be the best parent I can be for my kids, but some days it’s a real challenge.

As much as I love motherhood I’m the first to admit that being a mom, like anything else, can be the best of times or the worst of times. When my little girl spontaneously hugs me and says I’m beautiful, I feel like being a mother is the greatest job ever. When my teenage son has a bad attitude and acts ungrateful, I start to wonder why am I trying so hard?

Sometimes it helps me to remember that God is a parent too. All throughout the Bible, He calls Himself our Father and reveals His love for us as His children. He knows what we need before we ask Him and provides for our needs.

Honestly, I need daily reassurance from my Father in heaven as I try to be the best parent I can be, here on earth!

For more parenting encouragement, visit proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-best-parent-on-earth/feed/ 1 I want to be the best parent I can be for my kids, but some days it’s a real challenge. - As much as I love motherhood I’m the first to admit that being a mom, like anything else, can be the best of times or the worst of times. I want to be the best parent I can be for my kids, but some days it’s a real challenge. As much as I love motherhood I’m the first to admit that being a mom, like anything else, can be the best of times or the worst of times. When my little girl spontaneously hugs me and says I’m beautiful, I feel like being a mother is the greatest job ever. When my teenage son has a bad attitude and acts ungrateful, I start to wonder why am I trying so hard? Sometimes it helps me to remember that God is a parent too. All throughout the Bible, He calls Himself our Father and reveals His love for us as His children. He knows what we need before we ask Him and provides for our needs. Honestly, I need daily reassurance from my Father in heaven as I try to be the best parent I can be, here on earth! For more parenting encouragement, visit proverbs31.org. Related Resources: A Confident Heart Devotional by Renee Swope Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources Renee Swope clean 1:00
Pizza Man Grace http://proverbs31.org/blog/pizza-man-grace/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/pizza-man-grace/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 00:01:37 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2342 Why is it sometimes easier to give grace to strangers than to loved ones. Hi, I’m Lysa TerKeurst for Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Recently the pizza man forgot two of the four pizzas we had ordered.  When I acted like it was no big deal to wait for the other two to be delivered later, my husband said you didn’t even ask for a discount or anything?  No, I felt bad for the guy it’s no big deal the kids can wait a few minutes.

The look on Art’s face told me he was thinking back to a heated discussion we’d had earlier that day in which I had not gone so easy on him. “Wow,” he said. “I’d like to have that kind of grace.”

Ouch! He was right. Though it was hard to admit I said “you’re right Art and I am sorry”, His response “I still think we should have asked for a discount.” I love my man!

For more encouragement click on Lysa’s blog at proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/pizza-man-grace/feed/ 1 Why is it sometimes easier to give grace to strangers than to loved ones. Hi, I’m Lysa TerKeurst for Proverbs 31 Ministries. - Recently the pizza man forgot two of the four pizzas we had ordered.  When I acted like it was no big deal to wait for the o... Why is it sometimes easier to give grace to strangers than to loved ones. Hi, I’m Lysa TerKeurst for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Recently the pizza man forgot two of the four pizzas we had ordered.  When I acted like it was no big deal to wait for the other two to be delivered later, my husband said you didn’t even ask for a discount or anything?  No, I felt bad for the guy it’s no big deal the kids can wait a few minutes. The look on Art’s face told me he was thinking back to a heated discussion we’d had earlier that day in which I had not gone so easy on him. “Wow,” he said. “I’d like to have that kind of grace.” Ouch! He was right. Though it was hard to admit I said “you're right Art and I am sorry”, His response “I still think we should have asked for a discount.” I love my man! For more encouragement click on Lysa’s blog at proverbs31.org.  Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued: Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
Learning to Walk with God http://proverbs31.org/blog/learning-to-walk-with-god/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/learning-to-walk-with-god/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:01:04 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2340 Sometimes learning to follow God is like learning to walk.

I’ll never forget when my little girl was starting to take her first steps. We’d watch Aster take tiny, wobbly steps and then fall down.  She’d sit there for a minute and then push back up on her little, chubby legs.  With each step she tried to take, our whole family would clap and cheer her on!  When she got tired or frustrated, we’d reach down to hold Aster’s hand and offer the help she needed to keep going.

You know, that’s how God sees us.  Even our wobbly steps of faith please Him. He never gives up on us; not even in our imperfect and inconsistent attempts to follow Him, because He cares more about our hearts than our performance.

So, the next time you feel like giving up, remember that God is cheering you on and holding out His hand to offer you what you need to keep going!

For more encouragement, join our next on-line Bible study at proverbs31.org.

Related Resources:

Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and other P31 authors

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/learning-to-walk-with-god/feed/ 4 Sometimes learning to follow God is like learning to walk. - I’ll never forget when my little girl was starting to take her first steps. We’d watch Aster take tiny, wobbly steps and then fall down.  She’d sit there for a minute and then push back up o... Sometimes learning to follow God is like learning to walk. I’ll never forget when my little girl was starting to take her first steps. We’d watch Aster take tiny, wobbly steps and then fall down.  She’d sit there for a minute and then push back up on her little, chubby legs.  With each step she tried to take, our whole family would clap and cheer her on!  When she got tired or frustrated, we’d reach down to hold Aster’s hand and offer the help she needed to keep going. You know, that’s how God sees us.  Even our wobbly steps of faith please Him. He never gives up on us; not even in our imperfect and inconsistent attempts to follow Him, because He cares more about our hearts than our performance. So, the next time you feel like giving up, remember that God is cheering you on and holding out His hand to offer you what you need to keep going! For more encouragement, join our next on-line Bible study at proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and other P31 authors Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources Renee Swope clean 1:00
When You Don’t Know What to Say http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-you-dont-know-what-to-say/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-you-dont-know-what-to-say/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:01:52 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2338 Sometimes I don’t know what to say to a hurting friend.

A few hours into the process of emptying my friend’s home, the movers carried out her wedding portrait, “You want this to go with us, or are you taking it separately”?

Separately, because of the divorce that was how she’d be living her life now.  Separately, that realization hit hard as she sat down to call me.

She said, “I don’t know what to do with this portrait, Lysa. What do you do with the things that have no place anymore?”

I didn’t want to give her a cliché, response. All I could say was, “I’m crying with you. I don’t have answers, but I do have prayers.”

Each time I prayed, I wrote my prayers out for my friend. Then I gave them to her. I wanted her to have them to read on those days where she was just too spent to pray on her own.

For more ideas on helping a friend visit proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-you-dont-know-what-to-say/feed/ 1 Sometimes I don’t know what to say to a hurting friend. - A few hours into the process of emptying my friend’s home, the movers carried out her wedding portrait, “You want this to go with us, or are you taking it separately”? - Separately, Sometimes I don’t know what to say to a hurting friend. A few hours into the process of emptying my friend’s home, the movers carried out her wedding portrait, “You want this to go with us, or are you taking it separately”? Separately, because of the divorce that was how she’d be living her life now.  Separately, that realization hit hard as she sat down to call me. She said, “I don’t know what to do with this portrait, Lysa. What do you do with the things that have no place anymore?” I didn’t want to give her a cliché, response. All I could say was, “I’m crying with you. I don’t have answers, but I do have prayers.” Each time I prayed, I wrote my prayers out for my friend. Then I gave them to her. I wanted her to have them to read on those days where she was just too spent to pray on her own. For more ideas on helping a friend visit proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued book and bundle by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
When Two or More are Gathered http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-two-or-more-are-gathered/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-two-or-more-are-gathered/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:01:41 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2336 I don’t want to go to church; I’m too tired!

That sounds like something one of my kids would say, but those were MY thoughts last Sunday morning!

After a long week at work with several deadlines and a Saturday packed with home improvement projects, I just wasn’t up for another meeting. Then God reminded me how the Bible says that when two or more people are gathered together to seek Him, His presence is experienced in a powerful way. So when people who love Him come together for church, it’s not just another meeting, it’s a time to meet with Him in a special way.

I don’t know if you ever struggle to get up for church like I did but if you do, try thinking of it as a chance to meet, not just with other people but also with God. In a way that only happens when two or more are gathered in His name!

For more encouragement, sign up for our next on-line Bible study at proverbs31.org.

Related Resources:

NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women

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Check out all of Renee’s Books & Resources

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-two-or-more-are-gathered/feed/ 3 I don’t want to go to church; I’m too tired! - That sounds like something one of my kids would say, but those were MY thoughts last Sunday morning! - After a long week at work with several deadlines and a Saturday packed with home improvement projects, I don’t want to go to church; I’m too tired! That sounds like something one of my kids would say, but those were MY thoughts last Sunday morning! After a long week at work with several deadlines and a Saturday packed with home improvement projects, I just wasn’t up for another meeting. Then God reminded me how the Bible says that when two or more people are gathered together to seek Him, His presence is experienced in a powerful way. So when people who love Him come together for church, it’s not just another meeting, it’s a time to meet with Him in a special way. I don’t know if you ever struggle to get up for church like I did but if you do, try thinking of it as a chance to meet, not just with other people but also with God. In a way that only happens when two or more are gathered in His name! For more encouragement, sign up for our next on-line Bible study at proverbs31.org. Related Resources: NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources Renee Swope clean 1:00
I Had the Perfect Comeback http://proverbs31.org/blog/i-had-the-perfect-comeback/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/i-had-the-perfect-comeback/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 00:01:02 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2332 Sometimes the perfect comeback is SO tempting!

Recently I was on a plane, talking with two friends, when the man in front of us turned around and said, “Can you QUIET DOWN already?”

We lowered our voices, but he kept giving us “the look.” Finally, I said, “Sir, we’re trying to be quiet, but I’m having a hard time hearing my friend.” Well, that’s when his wife whipped her head around and said, among other things, “Just HUSH!” My face turned red, my heart raced; and I thought of the perfect comeback!

I had a choice. If I chose anger and retaliation, the whole conflict would escalate. If, however, I chose grace, I’d be partnering with God and continuing to make progress with giving gentle answers and that’s what I wanted.

Find more encouragement click on Lysa’s blog at proverbs31.org.

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Unglued: Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/i-had-the-perfect-comeback/feed/ 1 Sometimes the perfect comeback is SO tempting! - Recently I was on a plane, talking with two friends, when the man in front of us turned around and said, “Can you QUIET DOWN already?” - We lowered our voices, but he kept giving us “the look.” Finally, Sometimes the perfect comeback is SO tempting! Recently I was on a plane, talking with two friends, when the man in front of us turned around and said, “Can you QUIET DOWN already?” We lowered our voices, but he kept giving us “the look.” Finally, I said, “Sir, we’re trying to be quiet, but I’m having a hard time hearing my friend.” Well, that’s when his wife whipped her head around and said, among other things, “Just HUSH!” My face turned red, my heart raced; and I thought of the perfect comeback! I had a choice. If I chose anger and retaliation, the whole conflict would escalate. If, however, I chose grace, I’d be partnering with God and continuing to make progress with giving gentle answers and that’s what I wanted. Find more encouragement click on Lysa’s blog at proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued: Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
Because He Said So http://proverbs31.org/blog/because-he-said-so/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/because-he-said-so/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:01:14 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2329 Sometimes I get frustrated when my kids ask why I told them to do something. The easiest thing to tell them is: “Because I said so!”

How many times have you caught yourself telling your kids, “Because I said so”?

The irony is when I know that God needs to say the same thing to me. Just the other day, I felt resistant to a hard decision I sensed God challenging me to make. I wanted to know why He wanted me to do it, and when and how it would all work out before I took the next step.

Immediately I sensed God saying, “Because I said so, Renee, trust me.” He reminded me that faith means obeying Him even when all my questions aren’t answered.

I don’t know about you, but I need to work on obeying God not because I understand, but because He said so.

To learn more about trusting God, visit Proverbs 31 Ministries at proverbs31.org.

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A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/because-he-said-so/feed/ 1 Sometimes I get frustrated when my kids ask why I told them to do something. The easiest thing to tell them is: “Because I said so!” - How many times have you caught yourself telling your kids, “Because I said so”? - Sometimes I get frustrated when my kids ask why I told them to do something. The easiest thing to tell them is: “Because I said so!” How many times have you caught yourself telling your kids, “Because I said so”? The irony is when I know that God needs to say the same thing to me. Just the other day, I felt resistant to a hard decision I sensed God challenging me to make. I wanted to know why He wanted me to do it, and when and how it would all work out before I took the next step. Immediately I sensed God saying, “Because I said so, Renee, trust me.” He reminded me that faith means obeying Him even when all my questions aren’t answered. I don’t know about you, but I need to work on obeying God not because I understand, but because He said so. To learn more about trusting God, visit Proverbs 31 Ministries at proverbs31.org. Related Resources: A Confident Heart by Renee Swope Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out Renee's Books & Resources Renee Swope clean 1:00
A Little Perspective http://proverbs31.org/blog/a-little-perspective/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/a-little-perspective/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 00:01:44 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2326 Funny how a little perspective changes things!

The entire operating system on my laptop was corrupted. However, my genius computer guy was able to save most of my files. He downloaded them to an external hard drive, which he then copied onto a new computer.

I was so relieved to be up and running again until . . . A month later my new computer was stolen. In tears, I called the same guy to see if he could get files off my old corrupted computer. That’s when he reminded me of that external hard drive he used for the transfer. Suddenly, that original computer virus seemed like the best thing ever. It forced me to back up all my files so I could find them even after my laptop was stolen. What seemed like a curse became a precious gift.

Learn more about the way God helps us see things differently at proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/a-little-perspective/feed/ 1 Funny how a little perspective changes things! - The entire operating system on my laptop was corrupted. However, my genius computer guy was able to save most of my files. He downloaded them to an external hard drive, Funny how a little perspective changes things! The entire operating system on my laptop was corrupted. However, my genius computer guy was able to save most of my files. He downloaded them to an external hard drive, which he then copied onto a new computer. I was so relieved to be up and running again until . . . A month later my new computer was stolen. In tears, I called the same guy to see if he could get files off my old corrupted computer. That’s when he reminded me of that external hard drive he used for the transfer. Suddenly, that original computer virus seemed like the best thing ever. It forced me to back up all my files so I could find them even after my laptop was stolen. What seemed like a curse became a precious gift. Learn more about the way God helps us see things differently at proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued book and bundle by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
My Husband Needs Me http://proverbs31.org/blog/my-husband-needs-me/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/my-husband-needs-me/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 00:01:44 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2280 I used to think my husband didn’t need me. When my boys were really young, I gave them all of my time and attention. I wanted to be a really good mom so I read all kinds of books about parenting and kids’ learning styles. I kind of became a student of my kids so I could meet all of their needs.

The only problem was, I’d given so much to my kids that when my husband got home from work in the evenings I had nothing left to give to him.

One night my husband and I got into kind of an argument, and he ended up telling me he felt like our marriage wasn’t a priority to me anymore. I got all defensive and told him the kids needed me more because they were children and he was a grown man.

You know what I discovered that night? My husband does need me just in a different way than my kids. He needs to know he matters to me, and that I want to spend time with him and learn how to meet his needs too.

For more encouragement visit Proverbs 31 Ministries and clock on Renee’s blog at Proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/my-husband-needs-me/feed/ 1 I used to think my husband didn’t need me. When my boys were really young, I gave them all of my time and attention. I wanted to be a really good mom so I read all kinds of books about parenting and kids’ learning styles. I used to think my husband didn’t need me. When my boys were really young, I gave them all of my time and attention. I wanted to be a really good mom so I read all kinds of books about parenting and kids’ learning styles. I kind of became a student of my kids so I could meet all of their needs. The only problem was, I’d given so much to my kids that when my husband got home from work in the evenings I had nothing left to give to him. One night my husband and I got into kind of an argument, and he ended up telling me he felt like our marriage wasn’t a priority to me anymore. I got all defensive and told him the kids needed me more because they were children and he was a grown man. You know what I discovered that night? My husband does need me just in a different way than my kids. He needs to know he matters to me, and that I want to spend time with him and learn how to meet his needs too. For more encouragement visit Proverbs 31 Ministries and clock on Renee’s blog at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out Renee's Books & Resources Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and other P31 authors Renee Swope clean 1:00
The Ever-Present Sun http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-ever-present-sun/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-ever-present-sun/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 00:01:54 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2277 On a flight, God reminded me that He’s always there even when I can’t see Him.

When my plane took off the sky was gray and the day was cold and dreary.  As the plane broke through the clouds, I was astounded to see that the sun hadn’t gone anywhere; it was bright, warm and gleaming for miles.

The people on the ground didn’t have the same perspective.  All they could see was a bleak, sunless sky.  If they could have risen above the clouds, like I did, they could have experienced the same glorious sunshine.  Isn’t that how it is in our relationship with God sometimes?

The clouds of our circumstances can seem to roll in and block Him out of our lives.  Just like the sun, God hasn’t gone anywhere.  Maybe we just need His help to break through those clouds and bask in the light of His love.

For more encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-ever-present-sun/feed/ 1 On a flight, God reminded me that He’s always there even when I can’t see Him. - When my plane took off the sky was gray and the day was cold and dreary.  As the plane broke through the clouds, I was astounded to see that the sun hadn’t gone anywhere;... On a flight, God reminded me that He’s always there even when I can’t see Him. When my plane took off the sky was gray and the day was cold and dreary.  As the plane broke through the clouds, I was astounded to see that the sun hadn’t gone anywhere; it was bright, warm and gleaming for miles. The people on the ground didn’t have the same perspective.  All they could see was a bleak, sunless sky.  If they could have risen above the clouds, like I did, they could have experienced the same glorious sunshine.  Isn’t that how it is in our relationship with God sometimes? The clouds of our circumstances can seem to roll in and block Him out of our lives.  Just like the sun, God hasn’t gone anywhere.  Maybe we just need His help to break through those clouds and bask in the light of His love. For more encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
Permission To Care Less http://proverbs31.org/blog/permission-to-care-less/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/permission-to-care-less/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 00:01:12 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2273 I think I need to learn how to care less! Now I’m not talking about caring less about people. I’m talking about caring less about myself!

The other day I realized I care too much about how I look, how my house looks, or how my kids act. I can get all concerned about our family’s finances and our future. Honestly, I care too much about what people think about me. Sometimes I just need to give myself permission to care less.

I need to care less about how my house looks and more about the people living in it. I need to care less about how I look and more about how I love on those around me.  I really need to care less about what people think about me and focus more on being thoughtful towards them.

I’m pretty sure my life would be a lot more enjoyable and if I learned how to care less!

For more everyday life encouragement click on Renee’s blog at Proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/permission-to-care-less/feed/ 2 I think I need to learn how to care less! Now I’m not talking about caring less about people. I’m talking about caring less about myself! - The other day I realized I care too much about how I look, how my house looks, or how my kids act. I think I need to learn how to care less! Now I’m not talking about caring less about people. I’m talking about caring less about myself! The other day I realized I care too much about how I look, how my house looks, or how my kids act. I can get all concerned about our family’s finances and our future. Honestly, I care too much about what people think about me. Sometimes I just need to give myself permission to care less. I need to care less about how my house looks and more about the people living in it. I need to care less about how I look and more about how I love on those around me.  I really need to care less about what people think about me and focus more on being thoughtful towards them. I’m pretty sure my life would be a lot more enjoyable and if I learned how to care less! For more everyday life encouragement click on Renee’s blog at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out Renee's Books & Resources A Confident Heart DVD and Book Bundle by Renee Swope Renee Swope clean 1:00
Unglued Mama Mornings http://proverbs31.org/blog/unglued-mama-mornings/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/unglued-mama-mornings/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 00:01:30 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2270 I don’t know about you but I’d like to stop having unglued mama mornings.

It’s not like I wakeup in the mood to get frustrated with my people. I generally wake up happy, but then it all turns south with the whining and the complaining. The feeling that I just can’t ever get it all together.  It all just escalates and sends me over the edge.

I want my mornings to be different. I want my kids to head out the door full of peace, NOT the echoes of my frustrations.

It’s going to take some intentionality and I seriously doubt I’ll do it perfectly, but I’m excited to try.

The first step, I have to bring the peace I want our mornings to be filled with.  I have to bring it, and with God’s help I will.

Would you like more peace in your morning routine? Take the 5-Day Unglued Mama Mornings Challenge with me.

Just click on Lysa’s blog at Proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/unglued-mama-mornings/feed/ 2 I don’t know about you but I’d like to stop having unglued mama mornings. - It’s not like I wakeup in the mood to get frustrated with my people. I generally wake up happy, but then it all turns south with the whining and the complaining. I don’t know about you but I’d like to stop having unglued mama mornings. It’s not like I wakeup in the mood to get frustrated with my people. I generally wake up happy, but then it all turns south with the whining and the complaining. The feeling that I just can’t ever get it all together.  It all just escalates and sends me over the edge. I want my mornings to be different. I want my kids to head out the door full of peace, NOT the echoes of my frustrations. It’s going to take some intentionality and I seriously doubt I’ll do it perfectly, but I’m excited to try. The first step, I have to bring the peace I want our mornings to be filled with.  I have to bring it, and with God’s help I will. Would you like more peace in your morning routine? Take the 5-Day Unglued Mama Mornings Challenge with me. Just click on Lysa’s blog at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued: Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
Praying For The Real Stuff http://proverbs31.org/blog/praying-for-the-real-stuff/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/praying-for-the-real-stuff/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 00:01:37 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2266 As I wrote down the prayer requests that were being shared, I realized we weren’t praying for each other.  We were only praying for other people in our lives.

Someone’s neighbor was having marriage problems, a co-worker was sick, a friend’s child was struggling. Although each request was prayer-worthy, I wondered why we weren’t praying for our own struggles, marriages, and kids.

I sensed God wanted me to be real about what was going on in my own life. You see when I’m real people can see, pray for, and get to know the “real me.” They’re more willing to share what’s real in their life, but most of all we get to see God answer our prayers as we do life together.

So the next time someone asks how they can pray for us, lets be willing to be real with them. That way we can see God work in each other’s marriages, and it maybe just the thing they need to believe their life can be changed, too.

For more encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/praying-for-the-real-stuff/feed/ 1 As I wrote down the prayer requests that were being shared, I realized we weren’t praying for each other.  We were only praying for other people in our lives. - Someone’s neighbor was having marriage problems, a co-worker was sick, As I wrote down the prayer requests that were being shared, I realized we weren’t praying for each other.  We were only praying for other people in our lives. Someone’s neighbor was having marriage problems, a co-worker was sick, a friend’s child was struggling. Although each request was prayer-worthy, I wondered why we weren’t praying for our own struggles, marriages, and kids. I sensed God wanted me to be real about what was going on in my own life. You see when I’m real people can see, pray for, and get to know the “real me.” They’re more willing to share what’s real in their life, but most of all we get to see God answer our prayers as we do life together. So the next time someone asks how they can pray for us, lets be willing to be real with them. That way we can see God work in each other’s marriages, and it maybe just the thing they need to believe their life can be changed, too. For more encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org Related Resources: Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Renee Swope clean 1:00
Comparisons Stink http://proverbs31.org/blog/comparisons-stink/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/comparisons-stink/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 00:01:36 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2263 There I was on the beach my weakness standing beside their strength.

I was on a beach vacation with several friends who have dancer’s legs. I guess you could say I have dancer legs too if you’re referring to the dancing hippo from the Madagascar movies.  I can eat healthy and exercise all day long, but lean legs are just not in my genetic makeup.

When comparisons sneak in, it can be hard worse than hard. It can quite simply make me forget all the strengths I do have. Then, I stop being thankful and become consumed by what I don’t have.

I desperately need God’s truth to bump into my weaknesses every day. Only then can I stop comparing and start living in the reality of who He’s made me to be.  Not perfect. Not even close, but good.

For more click on Proverbs31.org

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/comparisons-stink/feed/ 1 There I was on the beach my weakness standing beside their strength. - I was on a beach vacation with several friends who have dancer’s legs. I guess you could say I have dancer legs too if you’re referring to the dancing hippo from the Madagascar mov... There I was on the beach my weakness standing beside their strength. I was on a beach vacation with several friends who have dancer’s legs. I guess you could say I have dancer legs too if you’re referring to the dancing hippo from the Madagascar movies.  I can eat healthy and exercise all day long, but lean legs are just not in my genetic makeup. When comparisons sneak in, it can be hard worse than hard. It can quite simply make me forget all the strengths I do have. Then, I stop being thankful and become consumed by what I don’t have. I desperately need God’s truth to bump into my weaknesses every day. Only then can I stop comparing and start living in the reality of who He’s made me to be.  Not perfect. Not even close, but good. For more click on Proverbs31.org Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued book and bundle by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
Who Is That Woman? http://proverbs31.org/blog/who-is-that-woman/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/who-is-that-woman/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 00:01:03 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2260 There are times when I wonder who is that woman living inside of me?

A few days ago I yelled at my son for something he’d done, and then felt like such a horrible mom all day.  I was convinced I was the only one who acts so ugly!  Then the next morning my friend Leslie told me she’d been following someone too close because she was angry they’d pulled their car out in front of hers. Then they pulled off the road so Leslie would pass and get off their bumper.

We talked about how hard it is to come face to face with our ugliness, but how glad we are that God still loves us.

God knows the women inside of me that yells at my kids, the woman driving Leslie’s Jeep, and the woman inside of you that you’re not too proud of. He also knows who we can become when we focus not on all our short comings, but on becoming the woman He created us to be with His help!

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/who-is-that-woman/feed/ 1 There are times when I wonder who is that woman living inside of me? - A few days ago I yelled at my son for something he’d done, and then felt like such a horrible mom all day.  I was convinced I was the only one who acts so ugly! There are times when I wonder who is that woman living inside of me? A few days ago I yelled at my son for something he’d done, and then felt like such a horrible mom all day.  I was convinced I was the only one who acts so ugly!  Then the next morning my friend Leslie told me she’d been following someone too close because she was angry they’d pulled their car out in front of hers. Then they pulled off the road so Leslie would pass and get off their bumper. We talked about how hard it is to come face to face with our ugliness, but how glad we are that God still loves us. God knows the women inside of me that yells at my kids, the woman driving Leslie’s Jeep, and the woman inside of you that you’re not too proud of. He also knows who we can become when we focus not on all our short comings, but on becoming the woman He created us to be with His help! For more encouragement click on Renee’s blog at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources Rest Assured {message on CD} by Renee Swope Renee Swope clean 1:00
I’m Really Afraid! http://proverbs31.org/blog/im-really-afraid/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/im-really-afraid/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:01:37 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2255 Root Canal! Those two words together caused wild fear.

A few years ago, one of my back teeth started hurting again.  I’d had not one, not two, but three crowns on the same tooth. I couldn’t go through another procedure.  So I dealt with it, for a whole year.  When the pain grew bigger than my fear, I finally made the appointment.

In the end, I found having a root canal to be no big deal. The fear of it was much worse than the actual procedure. Fear often plays out that way. It paralyzes me and keeps me from doing things that really need to get done.

Living in fear of what might be causes more anxiety than actually facing what I fear.  Are you dealing with fear? If so, let’s talk about it when you click on Lysa’s blog at Proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/im-really-afraid/feed/ 1 Root Canal! Those two words together caused wild fear. - A few years ago, one of my back teeth started hurting again.  I’d had not one, not two, but three crowns on the same tooth. I couldn’t go through another procedure.  So I dealt with it, Root Canal! Those two words together caused wild fear. A few years ago, one of my back teeth started hurting again.  I’d had not one, not two, but three crowns on the same tooth. I couldn’t go through another procedure.  So I dealt with it, for a whole year.  When the pain grew bigger than my fear, I finally made the appointment. In the end, I found having a root canal to be no big deal. The fear of it was much worse than the actual procedure. Fear often plays out that way. It paralyzes me and keeps me from doing things that really need to get done. Living in fear of what might be causes more anxiety than actually facing what I fear.  Are you dealing with fear? If so, let’s talk about it when you click on Lysa’s blog at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued: Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
Staying http://proverbs31.org/blog/staying/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/staying/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 00:01:17 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2251 Have you ever felt like you failed as a friend?

My friend Amy was telling me about a time she really regrets not sticking by a friend during some of her darkest days. She said she didn’t understand some of the choices her friends was making, and struggled with the consequences of what her friend wanted to do. So Amy left. Well she didn’t actually go anywhere physically, but she withdrew.

That was years ago and although Amy has made attempts to reach out and reconcile, her friend is understandably cautious and guarded. Amy told me she’s trying to use the regrets of her decision to help her get better at staying.

Staying through conflict. Staying through struggles. Staying through misunderstanding. Not because it’s not hard but because she’s learning to depend on strength from the One who never leaves.

You now, in some situations God does ask us to leave but more often than not, He wants us to stay.

For more encouragement visit Proverbs 31 Ministries at Proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/staying/feed/ 1 Have you ever felt like you failed as a friend? - My friend Amy was telling me about a time she really regrets not sticking by a friend during some of her darkest days. She said she didn't understand some of the choices her friends was making, Have you ever felt like you failed as a friend? My friend Amy was telling me about a time she really regrets not sticking by a friend during some of her darkest days. She said she didn't understand some of the choices her friends was making, and struggled with the consequences of what her friend wanted to do. So Amy left. Well she didn't actually go anywhere physically, but she withdrew. That was years ago and although Amy has made attempts to reach out and reconcile, her friend is understandably cautious and guarded. Amy told me she’s trying to use the regrets of her decision to help her get better at staying. Staying through conflict. Staying through struggles. Staying through misunderstanding. Not because it’s not hard but because she’s learning to depend on strength from the One who never leaves. You now, in some situations God does ask us to leave but more often than not, He wants us to stay. For more encouragement visit Proverbs 31 Ministries at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Find out more about Renee's Other Books & Resources Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and other P31 authors Renee Swope clean 1:00
The Family Hike http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-family-hike/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-family-hike/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 00:01:41 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2249 A family hike, what a great idea, or so I thought.

One summer, at family camp, some exercise-loving friends suggested our family join theirs for a moderate hike. I pictured a path with a gentle winding, upward slope. Not so, it was more like scaling a cliff. Climbing up that mountain against the force of gravity was really hard, but coming down was a completely different experience. I could actually talk and enjoy the scenery. Working with gravity made the journey so much better.

Life is a little like that hike. When I make choices that don’t line up with the Bible, it’s like working against gravity. In the same way when I make choices that line up with the Bible’s principles, I am working with God’s power and that’s definitely the better route.

For more click on Lysa’s blog at Proverbs31.org.

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-family-hike/feed/ 1 A family hike, what a great idea, or so I thought. - One summer, at family camp, some exercise-loving friends suggested our family join theirs for a moderate hike. I pictured a path with a gentle winding, upward slope. Not so, A family hike, what a great idea, or so I thought. One summer, at family camp, some exercise-loving friends suggested our family join theirs for a moderate hike. I pictured a path with a gentle winding, upward slope. Not so, it was more like scaling a cliff. Climbing up that mountain against the force of gravity was really hard, but coming down was a completely different experience. I could actually talk and enjoy the scenery. Working with gravity made the journey so much better. Life is a little like that hike. When I make choices that don’t line up with the Bible, it’s like working against gravity. In the same way when I make choices that line up with the Bible’s principles, I am working with God’s power and that’s definitely the better route. For more click on Lysa’s blog at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
You Are More Than Your Swimsuit http://proverbs31.org/blog/you-are-more-than-your-swimsuit/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/you-are-more-than-your-swimsuit/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 00:01:23 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2246 The ritual had begun, the spraying and rubbing on of sunscreen!

My friend Lisa-Jo was telling me about her first trip to the pool this summer. She described how she was swimming with her three kids, their tiny selves next to what she called her not-so-tiny-self. I thought she was about to tell me how hard it was to be around all those skinny lifeguards but she didn’t!

She said it made her proud because that body of hers that can’t ever find a flattering bathing suit, that body birthed her two boys and her little girl. I was amazed as Lisa-Jo described how three times her body stretched to accommodate tiny feet, heads, and hearts.  Her body is round where some say it should be flat and soft where some say it should be hard, but she said she knows SHE is more than her swimsuit.

I don’t know about you, but I needed to be reminded of that!

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/you-are-more-than-your-swimsuit/feed/ 3 The ritual had begun, the spraying and rubbing on of sunscreen! - My friend Lisa-Jo was telling me about her first trip to the pool this summer. She described how she was swimming with her three kids, their tiny selves next to what she called her not-... The ritual had begun, the spraying and rubbing on of sunscreen! My friend Lisa-Jo was telling me about her first trip to the pool this summer. She described how she was swimming with her three kids, their tiny selves next to what she called her not-so-tiny-self. I thought she was about to tell me how hard it was to be around all those skinny lifeguards but she didn’t! She said it made her proud because that body of hers that can’t ever find a flattering bathing suit, that body birthed her two boys and her little girl. I was amazed as Lisa-Jo described how three times her body stretched to accommodate tiny feet, heads, and hearts.  Her body is round where some say it should be flat and soft where some say it should be hard, but she said she knows SHE is more than her swimsuit. I don’t know about you, but I needed to be reminded of that! For more encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Read an oh-so-encouraging blog post based on today's story from Lisa-Jo baker here. Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Find out more about all of Renee's Books & Resources   Renee Swope clean 1:00
The Real Me http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-real-me/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-real-me/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 00:01:28 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2244 I always chuckle when I hear someone introduce me as an author and speaker.  I know I’m just a carpooling mom of 5 whose husband is happy if I can simply manage to have clean clothes in his drawer every morning!

To be honest, some days when I think about all that needs to be done, I start feeling overwhelmed.  Can you relate?  If so, here’s a little prayer that helps me.  “God, I dreamed my whole life of being a wife and a mom, but sometimes it’s hard to have so many constant demands.  Will You help me know what needs to be done and what can be put off until later?  Will You speak to my heart when I’m overwhelmed by my tasks and not attentive enough to my family?  Will You please help me to be the wife and mom You want me to be?”

If this is your desire as well, Proverbs 31 Ministries would love to encourage you at Proverbs31.org.

Related Resources:

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Unglued book and bundle by Lysa TerKeurst

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-real-me/feed/ 1 I always chuckle when I hear someone introduce me as an author and speaker.  I know I’m just a carpooling mom of 5 whose husband is happy if I can simply manage to have clean clothes in his drawer every morning! - To be honest, I always chuckle when I hear someone introduce me as an author and speaker.  I know I’m just a carpooling mom of 5 whose husband is happy if I can simply manage to have clean clothes in his drawer every morning! To be honest, some days when I think about all that needs to be done, I start feeling overwhelmed.  Can you relate?  If so, here’s a little prayer that helps me.  “God, I dreamed my whole life of being a wife and a mom, but sometimes it’s hard to have so many constant demands.  Will You help me know what needs to be done and what can be put off until later?  Will You speak to my heart when I’m overwhelmed by my tasks and not attentive enough to my family?  Will You please help me to be the wife and mom You want me to be?” If this is your desire as well, Proverbs 31 Ministries would love to encourage you at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued book and bundle by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
When Siblings Serve Together http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-siblings-serve-together/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-siblings-serve-together/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 00:01:16 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2240 Have you ever noticed the first four men Jesus called to follow Him were two sets of brothers?

The Bible describes how these two sets of brothers, and a small group of friends, impacted their world with God’s love. Yet today, it’s unusual to see brothers and sisters serving together. So often as parents we encourage each child to explore their individual interests, which is a good thing. Often as our kids grow up their lives take them away from each other.

As a mom, there is nothing I love more than seeing my boys work on something together but it’s usually a video game or skateboarding. Yet, what would happen if my husband and I got more intentional and looked for ways for our kids to serve God together? I wonder how that might shape their lives or lead them to do ministry with each other and maybe change their world one day!

For more parenting encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org.

Related Resources:

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The Power of a Purpose-Driven Mom {message on CD} by Renee Swope

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-siblings-serve-together/feed/ 1 Have you ever noticed the first four men Jesus called to follow Him were two sets of brothers? - The Bible describes how these two sets of brothers, and a small group of friends, impacted their world with God’s love. Yet today, Have you ever noticed the first four men Jesus called to follow Him were two sets of brothers? The Bible describes how these two sets of brothers, and a small group of friends, impacted their world with God’s love. Yet today, it’s unusual to see brothers and sisters serving together. So often as parents we encourage each child to explore their individual interests, which is a good thing. Often as our kids grow up their lives take them away from each other. As a mom, there is nothing I love more than seeing my boys work on something together but it’s usually a video game or skateboarding. Yet, what would happen if my husband and I got more intentional and looked for ways for our kids to serve God together? I wonder how that might shape their lives or lead them to do ministry with each other and maybe change their world one day! For more parenting encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out Renee's Books & Resources The Power of a Purpose-Driven Mom {message on CD} by Renee Swope Renee Swope clean 1:00
Money Management for Kids http://proverbs31.org/blog/money-management-for-kids/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/money-management-for-kids/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 00:01:08 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2237 Do your children understand the importance of saving money?  In today’s world of fast cash and quick spending, it’s easy for kids to think money might really grow on trees.  So how do we show them that saving their money is essential?

In her book, Dollars and Sense, Cynthia Sumner offers this advice:

  • One idea is to open a savings account in your child’s name.
  • Another is to hang a picture of something your child wants on the refrigerator as a reminder of a savings goal. Then, take your child shopping as soon as possible after the goal is reached.
  • Also, teach your kids to comparison shop between similar items of different sizes and prices.
  • Practice delayed gratification by suggesting your child ask for nonessential items only on birthdays and holidays.

You know, I think I’ll set some of these same goals for myself! For more parenting ideas visit Proverbs31.org.

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Unglued: Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/money-management-for-kids/feed/ 2 Do your children understand the importance of saving money?  In today’s world of fast cash and quick spending, it’s easy for kids to think money might really grow on trees.  So how do we show them that saving their money is essential? - In her book, Do your children understand the importance of saving money?  In today’s world of fast cash and quick spending, it’s easy for kids to think money might really grow on trees.  So how do we show them that saving their money is essential? In her book, Dollars and Sense, Cynthia Sumner offers this advice: One idea is to open a savings account in your child’s name. Another is to hang a picture of something your child wants on the refrigerator as a reminder of a savings goal. Then, take your child shopping as soon as possible after the goal is reached. Also, teach your kids to comparison shop between similar items of different sizes and prices. Practice delayed gratification by suggesting your child ask for nonessential items only on birthdays and holidays. You know, I think I’ll set some of these same goals for myself! For more parenting ideas visit Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources Unglued: Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
Making Time For Friends http://proverbs31.org/blog/making-time-for-friends/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/making-time-for-friends/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 00:01:46 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2233 I love being with my family, but the other day I realized I really need time with my friends!

It’s so easy for me to let my schedule get filled up, almost to where I don’t have any time for friends. Between work and laundry, groceries and kids, church commitments and homework, I can go for weeks, even months, without any chance to have a little girl time. What about you? How often do you plan time to go to the movie or meet for coffee with friends?

Even if it’s just going for a walk or sitting on the porch and talking for 30 minutes, it’s important, and I need it more than I realize!

On a side-note, Jesus called Himself our friend. So He must have created us to have and be a good friend. I think He wants us to plan ways to get some valuable time with friends to talk, laugh, and share our lives together.

For more encouragement visit Proverbs31.org.

 Related Resources:

Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter

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Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and other P31 authors

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/making-time-for-friends/feed/ 1 I love being with my family, but the other day I realized I really need time with my friends! - It’s so easy for me to let my schedule get filled up, almost to where I don’t have any time for friends. Between work and laundry, groceries and kids, I love being with my family, but the other day I realized I really need time with my friends! It’s so easy for me to let my schedule get filled up, almost to where I don’t have any time for friends. Between work and laundry, groceries and kids, church commitments and homework, I can go for weeks, even months, without any chance to have a little girl time. What about you? How often do you plan time to go to the movie or meet for coffee with friends? Even if it’s just going for a walk or sitting on the porch and talking for 30 minutes, it’s important, and I need it more than I realize! On a side-note, Jesus called Himself our friend. So He must have created us to have and be a good friend. I think He wants us to plan ways to get some valuable time with friends to talk, laugh, and share our lives together. For more encouragement visit Proverbs31.org.  Related Resources: Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and other P31 authors Renee Swope clean 1:00
The Prisoners http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-prisoners/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-prisoners/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:01:28 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2230 It was a once in a lifetime opportunity! So, why was I stuck in a hallway?

On a trip to Italy, I had a chance to view Michelangelo’s most revered sculpture, “The David”. After waiting in line for two hours and finally stepping inside the museum, I stopped captivated not by “The David”, I hadn’t even seen him yet. What caught my eye was a collection of unfinished figures locked in stone aptly called, “The Prisoners“.

As people pushed by, I stood and stared at one of the unfinished sculptures.  Then I turned and looked at “The David”, the statue chiseled to perfection by a master artist, and I whispered, “God, I don’t want to be incomplete locked in the hard places of bitterness, self-doubt, and fear.”

In that moment, I recognized it’s beautiful when the Master chisels.

For more encouragement, log on to Proverbs31.org!

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NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/the-prisoners/feed/ 1 It was a once in a lifetime opportunity! So, why was I stuck in a hallway? - On a trip to Italy, I had a chance to view Michelangelo’s most revered sculpture, “The David”. After waiting in line for two hours and finally stepping inside the museum, It was a once in a lifetime opportunity! So, why was I stuck in a hallway? On a trip to Italy, I had a chance to view Michelangelo’s most revered sculpture, “The David”. After waiting in line for two hours and finally stepping inside the museum, I stopped captivated not by “The David”, I hadn’t even seen him yet. What caught my eye was a collection of unfinished figures locked in stone aptly called, “The Prisoners“. As people pushed by, I stood and stared at one of the unfinished sculptures.  Then I turned and looked at “The David”, the statue chiseled to perfection by a master artist, and I whispered, “God, I don’t want to be incomplete locked in the hard places of bitterness, self-doubt, and fear.” In that moment, I recognized it’s beautiful when the Master chisels. For more encouragement, log on to Proverbs31.org! Related Resources: Connect with Lysa on her blog, on Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Lysa TerKeurst clean 1:00
When You Don’t Know What To Pray http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-you-dont-know-what-to-pray/ http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-you-dont-know-what-to-pray/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:01:59 +0000 http://proverbs31.org/?p=2227 Do you ever feel like your thoughts are distracted or your words are disjointed when trying to pray?

Years ago, I remember feeling like I didn’t know how to pray, so I didn’t pray very often. I just didn’t know what to say to God. Yet, I wanted my prayers to be powerful, and I wanted faith to believe God was big enough and cared enough to accomplish what I was asking for.

One day a friend told me about the power of making the words that we read in the Bible into a prayer.  She said when we pray using God’s own words, we pray for what He wants.  I really liked that idea and it gave me a sense of direction.

Then I remembered that the Bible says the words we read in it are alive and active. So, I knew that when I use words from the Bible as a guide for my prayers, I can expect God’s words to become active in the lives I’m praying for, including mine.

For more encouragement sign up for our FREE devotions at Proverbs31.org.

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A Confident Heart Devotional by Renee Swope

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http://proverbs31.org/blog/when-you-dont-know-what-to-pray/feed/ 1 Do you ever feel like your thoughts are distracted or your words are disjointed when trying to pray? - Years ago, I remember feeling like I didn't know how to pray, so I didn’t pray very often. I just didn't know what to say to God. Yet, Do you ever feel like your thoughts are distracted or your words are disjointed when trying to pray? Years ago, I remember feeling like I didn't know how to pray, so I didn’t pray very often. I just didn't know what to say to God. Yet, I wanted my prayers to be powerful, and I wanted faith to believe God was big enough and cared enough to accomplish what I was asking for. One day a friend told me about the power of making the words that we read in the Bible into a prayer.  She said when we pray using God's own words, we pray for what He wants.  I really liked that idea and it gave me a sense of direction. Then I remembered that the Bible says the words we read in it are alive and active. So, I knew that when I use words from the Bible as a guide for my prayers, I can expect God’s words to become active in the lives I’m praying for, including mine. For more encouragement sign up for our FREE devotions at Proverbs31.org. Related Resources: Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter Check out all of Renee's Books & Resources A Confident Heart Devotional by Renee Swope Renee Swope clean 1:00