Friday, November 01, 2019

3 ways to make the most of a new month 🗓 🙏💕

i flipped the calendar this morning and instead of filling the boxes with things to do and places to be, i surrendered all my plans to whatever God has planned. it’s actually really freeing (not scary) because i trust that His plans are waaayyyy better than mine!

at the start of each new month, i like to organize my planner with my prayer focus, my fitness/workout goals, appointments, activities, family time, date nights, volunteering/donating opportunities, travel, and other things to do. but, even with all my to-do lists, each new day starts with me SURRENDERING my plans to His. literally praying: God, take this day and all my plans and do with it what You want. i just want to be in His will because that’s where true contentment and peace is!

with all this on my heart, i felt led to share 3 things to do to make the most of this new month:

1 // organize and prioritize: instead of letting the calendar tell you what to do, look ahead at the calendar and make it work for you. organize all the ideas, projects, deadlines, appointments, and prioritize. if there is a period of time that is jam-packed with to-dos, figure out what you can delete. give yourself grace to take things off the calendar that don't contribute to your peace or your family's peace. say yes to things that bring you closer to God and closer to your family! set boundaries on your time. 

2 // write it out: i'm a fan of my phone calendar because it syncs up to my family's calendars, and i have it set up to remind me of all upcoming activities. it's really helpful for making sure things don't fall through the cracks. however, i'm also a big fan of writing down my goals, plans, and ideas. something about putting pen to paper gives it more meaning...? i use a paper calendar planner (Hope Planner) - not for the recurring daily tasks (take kids to school, serve on Sundays at 9, etc.), but for the big picture and personal tasks (mail Christmas cards, organize donations, etc.). i especially love that this planner is undated and has space on each day for prayer, water and workout tracking, meal planning, and to do list. if you typically only use a digital calendar, and that isn't working for you, try writing it out this month. start with just writing out one week at a time to see how well you like it!  

3 // surrender it all: if you've ever found yourself frustrated or stressed because there isn't enough time in the day to do all the things on your agenda, it might be time to surrender your plans to God's will. as a wise friend once told me on one particularly stressful day when everything went off the rails, "be still and know: God has something better in store for you today." it's true 100% of the time. write on the top of your paper calendar or add it to every day in your phone calendar: I SURRENDER ALL. and pray it every day. and watch what God can do with your days when you live open handed and open hearted!   

repeat on the first of every month! doing these three things is a great way to keep in mind that God's plan is greater than anything on our agenda! 🙌

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways acknowledge Him, 
and He shall direct your paths." 
-Proverbs 3:5

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Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Prayers for Parenting

news flash: i believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer. and i can't even imagine parenthood without prayer. when my kids were babies, i was encouraged by my pastor's wife to get fierce with my prayers for my children and my family. she handed out a pretty postcard with prayers filling up both sides. i kept it folded in our diaperbag for a while, later moved it to a pocket in my purse, for a while it was tucked inside my bible, and most recently i had that ratty old postcard taped on my bathroom mirror. i probably have these prayers memorized by now and yet their impact is just as powerful as it was the first time i prayed them.

mamas, we need to have a TAKE A STANCE IN ADVANCE approach when it comes to praying through parenting. it's time to link arms with God and surrender our children to His will. i know that i am a better, stronger, and more grounded parent when i go to God first and trust His good plans for their lives. parenting humbles me, and praying through it gives me strength to endure.

here are some of my most prayed PRAYERS FOR PARENTING: 
(some original from April Simons, plus some new ones i've been praying over the years.) 

// Thank You, God, that my children are a gift from You and that they are a blessing.

// Thank You, God, for supernatural wisdom and insight to raise my children.

// Thank You, Lord, for helping me to enjoy my children at each stage of their lives, and to choose joy through every season.

// Thank You, Lord, for empowering me to speak life into my children. Guard my tongue - help me to be an encourager and not a discourager.

// Thank You, Father, for wisdom in disciplining my children. Thank You for self-control, patience, and guidance.

// Thank You, Jesus, for helping me to not project my dreams, fears, or ideals onto my children. Thank You that my children are fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image.

// Thank You, Father, for peace in my home. Thank You for showing me anything in our schedule or environment that disrupts our peace, and for helping me establish peace here.

// Thank You, God, for eyes to see my children the way You see them. Help me speak what Your Word says about them instead of what I see in our circumstances.

// Father, thank You for empowering me with the Holy Spirit, for that still small voice of discernment and that "maternal instinct" that is undeniably You. To God be the glory.

// Thank You, God, for helping me to be a good listener, not distracted or too busy. I want to be present and available for my family.

// Thank You, God, for softening my heart, for helping me to be slow to anger and not easily offended, for reminding me to love and forgive, and for giving me a thankful spirit.

// Thank You, Lord, for grace and new mercies every day.

// God, thank You for a backbone to parent my kids standing firmly for what is right, what is holy, and what is pleasing to You. Thank You that we are called to be set apart and not of this world.

// Thank You, Father, for loving my children so much more than I can comprehend. Thank You for choosing and trusting me to be their mom. Thank You, God, that they are Yours. I trust Your plan for their lives.

// Thank You, God, that my children have a personal relationship with You. Thank You that they know who they are and Whose they are, and that they put their faith in You alone.

// Thank You, Lord, that I parent in faith and not in fear. Thank You that I am not parenting scared, but I parent with courage and faith. I trust You. Let my faith be an example to my children and a legacy for our family.

// Thank You, God, for sending friends teachers, coaches, and people in my children's life in Your perfect timing to fulfill Your perfect purposes.

// Thank You, Father, that my kids know You are ever present help in their times of need.

// Jesus, thank You that right now there is a family out there somewhere raising up godly children that will be my children's spouses someday. Thank You, God, that my children and their future spouses remain pure, seek You first, and honor You with their relationships. Thank You for the beautiful union You have prepared for their futures.

// Thank You, God, that Your Mighty Hand of Protection is over my children every hour of every day, everywhere they go. Surround them, Father, hedging them in Your care.

a m e n.

these prayers are saved to my instagram highlights so you can easily screenshot and save to pray again and again. or, click here for a printable version of PRAYERS FOR PARENTING

April Simons hosts a podcast with episodes that are less than 20 minutes and they are SO GOOD. LISTEN HERE

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 
And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - 
we know that we have what we asked of him." 
-1 John 5:14-15

"Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. 
But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it 
and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference."
-Max Lucado

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