Simple Life Spectacular Calling

How did it get to be May?! Where has the time gone… There is a little baby napping on my chest…3 months young but the love feels ancient, like it has been around forever. Being a momma is amazing like that! Enjoying the simple things a Wednesday has to offer. Bright sunshine mingling with dark gray clouds… Lettuce flourishing in our salad garden… Satisfied by the Word the Lord allowed to pour forth in the walls of this home… Thankful for good friends… Even thankful for the loads of laundry yet to fold… Thankful for clean water to drink wherever I go… The day is simple, yes, but big things happen in the midst of the simple attitudes are formed thought patterns established and if we aren’t mindful, we don’t become who the Lord intends us to be because we were waiting for a grander moment to live up to our calling.

If we don’t live as Christ in the mundane now there is no reason to think that we ever will. 

Let’s live as Christ then and show the surpassing treasure in these jars of clay.



Weakness: The Keeper of Life

Whether or not we know it, we are all incredibly weak. Do you remember when Jesus said this…

Luke 12

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?

What strikes me is that the Lord says in effect that adding an hour to one’s life is a small thing…. That’s a small thing?! I love his question…If you can’t do a small thing like that, why worry about anything at all?!

Whenever we discover how truly weak we are I think one ordinary reaction is to seek control. Someone we love gets in an accident, so we get all paranoid and will only let our children ride in the vehicle with us…thinking, “If I am the one driving the car, I am in control.” Maybe someone hurt our feelings in a friendship…now we are going to micromanage every relationship and refuse to be hurt again. How realistic is that?! The scenarios that awaken us to our weak state our innumerable. Our anxieties, whatever they may be, typically reveal places of weakness…in this case weakness may or may not be sinfulness (i.e. it is not sinful to be concerned for our kids for example but it would be sinful to worry or fret continuously about them when we ought to pray) but rather a lack of ability to control, provide, take care of oneself by the power of self. We are dependent on the Lord for all such security.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

If you write in your Bible & I sure hope you do, circle every mention of help/keep in this text? Keep in mind just how reiterated the truth is in light of the whopping 8 verses this chapter contains. This little chapter packs a powerful punch. It rebukes our self-sufficiency and highlights our need for divine intervention.

I haven’t much more to say today. My eyes are a bit heavy with sleep. I have laundry to fold & food to cook. I plan to set about my work with delight!! Look forward to proving the beautiful truth of Scripture, the weak are the strong. Their help comes from the Lord. And who is the Lord…well, He made heaven and earth in a week.

In case you missed the first post in this series, click here to read.

Hope to write again soon Lord willing!! Much love…. :)

The Day of Salvation

I remember that day with such uncanny detail. I am unceasingly glad for it. It was a fun day, Valentine’s Day if my memory serves me, and I was on the school bus headed home. The last light of the day was filling up the sky, such a warm yellow sunshine, the perfect backdrop for this idealistic girl. My friend had just received the Lord & she shared her faith with me. In my short 9 years of life, I had heard the Gospel countless times, “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Jesus),” (2 Corinthians 5) This time when I heard the Good News that living Word began to produce a desire, a hope, a longing for Christ Jesus. With such an unyielding pursuit, it was clear that God has chosen me (Ephesians 1) and that day was appointed for me to receive His most perfect gift. I accepted His salvation with joy!! Immediately I began to tell of what the Lord had done for me. I suppose I haven’t stopped sharing the good story since that time. I love His salvation so. Who is a God like our God (that’s the meaning of my first born’s name), who would die for us while we were yet sinners? Truth is, there is no god like ours.

If you’re reading this right now & don’t know God our Savior, this is God pursuing you. He has His beloved ones tell the old story of His remarkable glory. He uses the testimony of His saints to bring the truth of the Gospel into your life. You may not believe this truth today or perhaps your faith is rather cold, but I pray that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened so that you may discern His calling you and answer quickly with a resounding YES. This YES involves offering God your whole life. You will find perfect instruction in the Bible concerning what a life offered to Christ looks like in truth. Today is the day of salvation so if you hear His voice do not harden your heart, unbeliever and believer too, yield to Him.

**More to come in “Life in Weakness” series soon Lord willing.**

Life In Weakness

Where do I begin?!  My heart, my life is so full & happy. These moments full of precious memories. Seeking wholeheartedly to be thankful, to walk with Jesus, to love Him as He is, and to see the wonders of His Word. Yes, my nights’ sleep is quite interrupted at present, by the strong yet not piercing cry of our little guy. Yes, my other toddlers still wake at random and at times in tandem in the middle of the night. Yes, my body is still recovery from what was thankfully a safe vaginal delivery. Yes, I have felt stress, tempted to anxious thoughts of how our schedule would pan out. Yes, sad to miss church & other outings as we keep the little one tucked away in cold & flu season. BUT full on the grace of God. 

In our culture there’s lots of talk of “being real” or “authentic.” Maybe I don’t come across that way…a die hard glass half full (I almost wrote “glass full”) girl…the kid who won a writing competition in grade school on the subject of optimism. Yes, I was born in a good mood. And perhaps, to annoyance of many, I smile & laugh all.the.time. I can’t stop, maybe smiling is contagious and you can catch it from me. In seriousness, the truth is I have the same difficulties as you, but when I, daily, sit in the presence of God, my mind is changed, my perspective renewed and I am able to “smile at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:10-31) to “not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Peter 3) to see the work of loving my husband & my children (Titus 2) as glorious, not mundane, as a calling, not a drudgery. 

I am weak just like you. Perhaps weaker than I know too. I know I am needy (Psalm 86). From the moment my eyes pop open I am aware of the gaping need my soul has to be filled, to be led, to be gladdened by God our Savior. 

And I am happy, so happy to sit with Him and let Him serve me. Sounds funny doesn’t it…but the Son of Man came to SERVE not be served. Micah often prays that the Lord would “serve us today.” The faulty human part of me wanted to “correct” him at first, thankfully the Lord allowed me to realize that Micah was right to pray this way…the Lord is our Helper. He is a Servant although we surely do desire, and rightly so, to serve Him also. The point being, we are needy. We need Him so. More than we know. Not more knowledge, not more things, not more time in the day, what we need is have our souls stirred awake by the Spirit of Christ….

This passage in 2 Corinthians 12 was brought to mind recently… It will be familiar to some of you

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In context, Paul is referring to what he calls “a messenger of Satan” sent to actually do God’s bidding in order to keep Paul in a state of humility. The reason I look to this passage is for Paul’s reflections on weakness. We can be made weak by “a messenger of Satan” but we can also be made weak by life circumstances/seasons brought on by the natural course of things. There are perhaps a great many ways that the Lord can humble his servant through weakness. The sweet truth I would love for us to see with clarity here is that “when I am weak, then I am strong.” WHEN am I strong? AFTER weakness, no, but IN it. IN WEAKNESS.

So, how do we live IN WEAKNESS before our God, whether its like Paul’s experience (commentators surmise at what this messenger was sent to do but the text isn’t explicit) or whether it’s weakness through run of the mill sickness, circumstance, life trials/pressure…how do we live out life actually BOASTING in our weakness?! How can we show that Christ is the supreme value, the ultimate power on which our lives are built? That’s what I intend to explore as I share a few meditations on God’s Word (as I mentioned in the previous post) in the coming days.

Life in weakness is not to be avoided. We are to boast in it! Let’s shock this world in how we live out this glorious truth.

Fresh Beginnings

You know in Luke, when he says concerning the conception and birth of Christ, that Mary treasured all these things in her heart.  At this moment, I am in a  season of treasuring for sure.  I write to you with the warmth of my new son’s sleeping little body nestled in my arms.  There is nothing like bringing a newborn home to fold them into the mold of your little family to watch them gradually shift the old mold and create an all new beautiful dynamic that you would no more trade for all the riches in all the world. It is glorious. It is a blessing. I cherish it. 

Watching Micah T hold  Little  E in his arms, listening to my first born thank God for Ethan’s life. Observing Hayley Beth  welcome her little brother into her sweet little heart, loving the sound of her sing-song “Baby Ethan, Baby Ethan.”  Falling in love all over again, along with Chris, with a swaddled baby boy. Flooded with memories of our other babies, who now bound through our home full of joy loving life. Heart hope fulfilled…now a momma of sonS. 

In the coming weeks I am eager to shepherd and love these kiddos of mine, to offer them sweet meditations from  God’s Word, to give them the gift of a gentle and quiet mom (to give Chris that same gift in the form of a wife at peace, seeking the Lord).  I hope to share a few practical & theological reflections for your encouragement in the coming weeks. These will be brief & I pray joy inspiring in your walk with Christ.  We never fair well without Christ, as for me I intend, by His grace, to experience the fullness of joy that springs forth from presence, even with a newborn in tow.

My meditation today comes from Psalm 43:3-4a:

Send out your light and your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy....



Time to Pray: Impact Your Kids

Prayer & the Word of God are so closely related it is difficult to tell in my time with the Lord where one ends and another begins. I suppose if you were to observe me, you would say they intertwine almost continuously. Praying even as I study. Studying the Word even as I am praying. It is a glorious gift from God!! It is one that we want to share with our children. If you’re a momma who loves Jesus, I imagine this must be your heart.

Deuteronomy 6

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

As I said earlier, you simply cannot give away something you do not possess. If you want your kids to have a fiery passion for God’s Word, but you don’t have it, it isn’t likely that they will. They will tend to parrot you. If there’s something you see in them you don’t like you will tend to find it in yourself…just like marriage in so many ways, in parenting, there is a “great reveal.” If you desire your children to think of others first, but you don’t, neither will they. If your hope is that your children will be disciplined but you aren’t they probably will take your cue and follow suit. It’s disturbing isn’t it?! But true. If you really want your children to hold to the discipline of praying always & memorizing Scripture, you MUST do it & LOVE it yourself, not primarily for the sake of teaching your kids, but for the sake of delighting in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus must be your motivation.

When Micah was one and started chatting a bit, I knew I wanted to start him into Scripture memorization. It is so much a part of my life, I wanted it to be a part of his from the beginning. We started in a very simple manner, one chapter, one half of a verse. Seriously, I think we were on it alone for 3-5 months, because the purpose wasn’t to make him the smartest 1 year old ever, the purpose was to introduce Him to the precepts of Christ and teach Him how to follow them on his level. I am not exaggerating or kidding when I say that it totally rocked me when I saw him begin to understand what the verse was teaching and living out in his little world what it meant with lots of failure along the way (just like us, right?!). Micah is 3 and 1/2 now and y’all he can talk your ear off, but we are still in that same chapter memorizing, Philippians 2. Why Philippians (for the curious by nature like myself)? Because it was my first love, that is the first book of the Bible I ever memorized. Philippians 2 in particular teaches the Gospel & details concerning the Christian life like no other. Can you tell I am fan of it?! So, I ventured it would be a suitable start for my little man. He knows half of it by heart at present. Did I mention that he’s 3? Yes WE CAN, by grace, memorize God’s Word!!

The first 1/2 of a verse, yes HALF of a verse, I taught him was “…consider others better than yourself.” That’s it. Now, if you’re a momma, you know how applicable this verse is moment by moment in the life of a little one attempting to share, learning to interact with others, and the like. It’s like the perfect verse (it is in fact perfect as it is the Word of God, every verse is the perfect verse…that right there is a Regina humor and if you don’t get it, it’s ok, it makes me smile nonetheless). Micah mumbled through the words, finally got em, and then he only knew the words. Since knowledge alone is not the point of memorizing there’s still much work to do at that point. So, I began to seize every opportunity I could to show him what the verse meant and how it applied to life. I just kept on & on & on & on (and still to this day) until one day I realized that he got it and sometimes he knew when he was doing it and when he was not doing it. That right there is GOLD! We can actually be used of God to teach our children His precepts and how they apply!! Can we just raise our hands now and say USE ME LORD & help me to do the very thing I am teaching them to do.

If all of this is foreign to you. My first encouragement is to develop a spiritually disciplined life of your own and then gradually begin to impart what has been given to you, by His grace, to them. One verse is not hard a thing and as they grow their capacity to retain information only increases. My caution is to not make the mistake of assuming knowledge, yours or theirs, equates spiritual maturity as it does not. Instead make it your aim to teach them to love Jesus and to love to do what He says…that’s both your aim & what you ought to desire for them as well. How many verses should they memorize a month? This really does depend on the child. If I were you I would take it slow…slower than you think you should…because at the end of the day one verse applied & understood is better than 20 that simply exist as knowledge in your brain. The grace of memorizing & meditating on Scripture, praying through it (as we do with our kiddos daily) WITH your children is priceless treasure.

The BEST Sugar Cookies

There are a lot of things I love about life. The way dew drops hang on bare branches, the way golden beams of sunshine flood our living room, the way birds perch on the feeder out back, the way an icy gray sky beckons you to rest, the way the Lord orchestrates all these things simultaneously…I just love it. I just love beautiful things & our God is perfect beauty. Sometimes people comment on my joy. It’s such a sweet encouragement & I have never once begrudged it. Why should I?! But I always think the same thing…it’s not so much that I have joy but that God is my incomparable joy & He places what belongs to Him in my heart. That’s the truth. He produces the fruit of the Spirit, not me. If there’s joy in life, in the Word, in all these little things mentioned above it is because in HIS presence there is FULLNESS OF JOY!!

I don’t know what all of that has to do with the post, but I suppose that’s ok. So, I posted on facebook (where else?! haha) that AT LONG LAST I came across a yum-yum-delicious FROM SCRATCH sugar cookie recipe. Oh, how this little baker girl has searched for it too. I thoroughly enjoy baking & cooking and have worked to compile a recipe book full of the BEST things in cookies, cakes, pies, chicken dishes, Italian selections, etc. I try to avoid the “ok” recipes and so far my strategy has worked. You get the fruit of my diligence, hehe. My friend Joy commented that she was working on her Christmas cookies back in December she mentioned the sugar variety and I jumped on it because she seems to be a good baker. I didn’t try them at Christmas for fear that 100th venture would end once again in something less delicious than my tried & true Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (half the butter, add flour for cutting) fall back.

This week I was out of sugar cookie mix, it was icy cold outside and the day was just begging me to make sugar cookies & hot chocolate for the fam, so I pulled up the recipe. I only made one (unhealthy;)) addition. Also, I usually reduce shortening (which I usually don’t go for in recipes but it totally works in this one)/butter by half or 1/3. I do not try this on the first attempt because I like to see what the texture, taste is like to see if the adjustment will work. It usually will (like in the chocolate chip cookie recipe I will share in a later post), but I like to try the original recipe first.

Sugar cookies:
2/3 c shortening (microwave for about 30 seconds to soften)
3/4 c sugar (I added 1/4 cup more sugar & will do so again)
1 tspn vanilla
1 egg
4 tspn milk
2 c flour
1 1/3 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
Mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes or over night (I refrigerated 2/3 of the dough for 30 mins and 1/3 overnight results were the same)
Bake 375 8-10 minutes

Amazingly these cookies were even better the next day & the icing is what sets them over the edge.

I found the icing recipe via called Butter Icing. Honestly I am usually not impressed with homemade icing, picky, but this one hit the spot.

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (***reduced to 1 teaspoon***)
1 tablespoon milk

(I skipped the two ingredients below and just added sprinkles. For the holidays it would be a nice touch for sure)
3 drops red food coloring
1 (2.25 ounce) jar red decorator sugar

Make sure to let the cookies cool completely…sticking them in your mouth the moment they pop out of the oven will not give you a true feel for their taste. Also, do NOT over-bake. That’s cookie disaster. 8 mins, no more than 9 should do it!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Simple to make and just as good as my Better Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix go to…which means they win because I made them myself, my fav!!

See you here later this week to continue on in our series “Time to Pray.” Much love in Christ…

Time to Pray: The Word Hidden

Well, nap time didn’t start off as planned, anybody else?! Our too cute for words girl is wailing her head off, repeating the chorus, “I need you. I need you.” It’s a Hayley Beth original. Hm, we will see how this goes. I so wish I knew what you were up to today. Is it an easy day around the house or a regular work day at your place of employment? Was it hard to drop off your kids at nursery or the sitter today or were you, with blushing face, a tad relieved? Are you in over head in laundry sorting your way through, or is it all folded and put away? If so, perhaps I need to steal your system ;) Are you tired and hoping to catch a nap later…are you well-rested and refreshed (the latter makes me want to laugh aloud…yes it happens, but is it the norm, um, no)? I just wonder about you on the other side of that screen and wish we could chat a good long while and just relish in the goodness of the Lord and what He is doing, by incomparable grace, in our lives & in this fallen world. Nap time update: After pausing to resettle sweet miss three times, at last she bit the dust…at least for an hour or so I think. She’ll polish off the last two hours after another resettle…thankfully she doesn’t do this at night unless sick.

If you’re a mom and even if you’re not do ever feel like life is moving at a frantic pace, one you could not keep up with even if you were an Olympian sprinter?! Do you feel like once your feet hit the floor and the snooze button is finally shut off the day is done before it ever began? This is why you NEED to memorize & meditate on God’s good Word. The pace of a busy life necessitates that you be able to take it with you so to speak. Who is going to correct that quick anger? How are you going to make split-second decisions (you cannot plan for everything) on how to discipline your children? How are you going to react to something someone says to you in a tone and way you did not like? How are you going to respect & submit to your husband after running the household all day long? How are you going to find the energy to remain loving & gentle after the 100th discipline of the MORNING?! hehe. I am telling you, it is made easier if you can recall to mind quickly the Word of God for your situation. You will not always have time to stop and look it up. You need to remember it like it’s your life, because it is. In Jesus Christ, there is life, life indeed, and His Word is life-giving, because it is truth. It is how we are meant to live life as the children of God. We flounder so much in insecurity and ignorance, because we retain so little of what we read, much less can we meditate on it. That is why it so common to ask someone what they read in Scripture that morning or afternoon and receive in response a blank stare. The one asked is alarmed by the feeling of not knowing, not remembering though the reading took place only hours ago. Tell me, how will reading & forgetting transform your life?! I know the answer is obvious…right? Fact is it will not. I would never go as far as to say that reading has no place and that if we can’t remember everything we have wasted our time. That is NOT true. We must read and we must read a lot AND study (which is different than reading) AND memorize AND meditate AND you DO have time for this. Do not underestimate the power of sin, self, & Satan. We need to be inundated with this refreshing Word, with this wise counsel pouring forth from the mouth of our God.

So, let’s get to it. How do you do it?! Again we are specifically talking about memorizing Scripture today. I will share at brief how anyone can do this. There are a thousand ways I suppose that you can memorize but I want to persuade you to this method because of the immense value of knowing a section of Scripture rather than knowing a verse here & there (although that too is quite beneficial).

Pick a Passage of Scripture. This could be a chapter (like Romans 8), a section of a book of the Bible (like the Psalms of Ascent), or an entire book of Scripture (think Epistles here).

Then, make a plan to READ the passage you choose. Read it again & again until you feel over familiar with it. I usually spend a couple of weeks here. By the end, you have the context. God is speaking to you and probably you’re getting excited about deliberately putting it in your mind.

Next, STUDY it (2 weeks or more if you like). Pray through the passage. Take notes. Summarize. Write the portions out that are just grabbing your heart. Repent of sin.

Finally, take 1 to 2 verses a day and memorize them M-F. Say them aloud, write them out and review them at the end of the week, Saturday. By the end of your first week of memorizing you will have memorized 1/4 to 1/2 of a typical chapter in one of Paul’s epistles. That’s amazing!! And you are well on your way to a renewed mind… That is something the Spirit does inside of us by His grace by means of the Word of God & prayer.

Here’s the passage that served me today in the midst of exhaustion and a bit of annoyance…my spirit just felt a little harsh. Do you know what I mean?! It wasn’t a bad morning either, just taxing. After Bible time, craft time, playing with the kiddos…just feeling a little toasted and noticed the harshness was starting to make its way out of mouth. This passage came into my mind,

James 3

“But the wisdom from above is first all pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable (or open to reason), full of mercy and good fruits, uwavering, without hypocrisy…” I put in bold letters the words I forgot just for you to see.

I memorized this passage (the book of James), hm, probably 8 or 9 years ago. It comes to mind all.of.the.time. Can you see the immense treasure this adds to my life? I did not need to have another quiet time (although that would be wonderful) or go look up something for encouragement…because His Word is hidden the Spirit used it to calm my heart & mind. If that’s not life giving and refreshing, I cannot imagine what is!

I also practice memorizing Scripture with my children. Of course before they can speak we are reading it to them, but once those little words that can be interpreted by momma only start to come along it is time!! At least it was for me with my own first-born. Just so you know, Micah was and still is more verbal than his age would indicate he would be. Someone recently asked me if he was five. Um, no, he just happens to be quite articulate. If your little one isn’t chatting up a storm at 18 months, there is no reason to be alarmed. I just want to encourage you to start this discipline early and enjoy the way they mispronounce things, because there is treasure here, I am telling, worth its weight in gold to watch your child memorize then understand (as you teach them) and apply God’s Word, repenting when wrong.

I will detail for you how I got both of mine started later this week Lord willing. Oh, the suspense. Just don’t want to give you more to chew on than possible AND can I point out that you cannot very well give away something you do not have. Cultivate the discipline of memorizing God’s Word for yourself, then when you teach your children you do it from the position of a lover of the Word rather than a legalist who knows that memorizing is something that ought to be done though they have not the heart for it. Thankfully God can change a heart and mind…be convinced this day that MEMORIZING and MEDITATING on Scripture is for you & your good. It is not meant to make you guilty or overwhelm you (these feelings reveal that we have approached the issue incorrectly). The grace of memorizing & meditating on God’s Word is meant to set you free, so that you may walk about in the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Time to Pray: The Word

Just to peel back the curtain of life a bit, I have to tell you that I am feeling daily weaker, achier, tireder (I’m not sure you can put “er” after all those words, but seriously). Any prayers you spend on me would be cherished. If you receive an ounce of encouragement or insight from what you read here, you can be assured that it is the gracious work of Christ, from the wisdom that comes through His Word. That is my prayer & my confidence here.

I spent the weekend waddling on my achy hips, doing the small things I still can around home. If you had spent any time with me I am sure you would not have been able to contain your laughter. The waddling is worth a thousand laughs. For you veteran mommas, don’t you worry, I’m walking a plenty through the pain & participating in the appropriate pregnancy exercises. My grandmother who birthed 11 children naturally (impressive to say the least) would give me a strong rebuke otherwise. There’s been a good allotment of time however to sit and be still. Mostly because Chris insists on being the leader of our home and refuses to let me boss him at all. That’s a gift. I am overjoyed to follow his lead. And it affords me the time & opportunity to keep on blogging in this series, thankful.

I just have to say that blogging became a part-time job, in the best way, last week as so many of you have resonated with this present subject matter and messaged me or commented. You have asked the best questions and have the sincerest desire to please the Lord. I would do you a huge disservice to not commend your seeking after Jesus for fresh insight. It really is refreshing to behold. May we together look to Him & become radiant with faces that need not be ashamed (Psalm 34).

Today we hit the sweet spot, MY sweet spot anyway! My encouragement today comes from over a decade of absolute discipline…discipline which has become one of my highest delights, because in it I see our Savior more & enjoy fellowship with Him. I’d like to chat with you concerning the gracious gift of MEMORIZING and MEDITATING on Scripture. When the discipline of memorizing passages of Scripture met the discipline of praying always, my mind was set free from anxiety & all sorts of other strongholds the female bends toward AND my heart was set ablaze with a new intimate vision of Christ Jesus our Savior.

I feel it. I am about to lose some of you. Perhaps you weren’t sure about me anyway, hehe. Now, as you read, with kiddos pulling on your legs and demanding your attention, you think this little momma has lost her ever loving mind if she thinks I have time for this. I assure you I have not lost my mind, and I fully understand what I am saying here. Today, I would like to offer 2 promises/truths of Scripture as the basis for my encouragement. One of these truths was tucked away in a previous post as well.

Psalm 107:20

He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.

Just as the Lord sent His Word to Israel to heal them of their iniquities, He sends His Word to us today to do the same. I mentioned that I would share how the Lord ultimately broke my mind of rational & irrational fear…it was through the pressing of His Word into my mind in a way that was enduring. Before I began memorizing passages of Scripture, I was already a regular student of His Word. I already loved His Word. It is different, however, to hide his Word in your heart than to simply read or study it only. The Word that is hidden attends you all day long offering you the possibility of victory over sin and fresh perspective in the midst of your day to day life. This might sound like an odd or perhaps obvious thought, but the reason that we are able to overcome any sin, produce any fruit is because the Spirit calls to remembrance the truth & we act on it by the grace & power of the Holy Spirit. To live in Christ, you have to remember. Now, you don’t remember by reading only. You remember by continuous exposure and meditation on a given truth. In fact, you cannot act on what you do not remember…truth you do not know. (There’s more that could be said right here, but you don’t have all day, now do you?!)

Now, imagine when truth you have hidden in your heart meets your times in prayer…I think this is part of what it means to pray in the Spirit. To pray in the Spirit would seem to mean that I am led by Him concerning what to pray and how to pray. I personally know of no surer way to pray God’s will than to pray God’s Word. This is not a new teaching, and if it was I suppose you should disregard me anyway. It is a teaching however that is ignored by masses of American saints. This is tragic to me. Sure you can open up an app on your phone or grab a copy of God’s Word and open it and pray through it, but it is not the same as having that same passage abiding inside of you. As you read the goal is to get the Word of God INSIDE of you instead of it remaining outside of you, right?! Then, I would suggest that one grace afforded you is to memorize God’s Word that it might start to make its way into the way you live, the manner in which you pray, and do all things.

Psalm 119

97 Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.

Not only does memorizing Scripture give you grace in the things of life & continual prayer, but it also gives you a wondrous treasure. The treasure of DELIGHTING in God’s Word, DELIGHTING in the person of Christ. The Word gives wisdom. The Word gives life. The Word gives fresh rebuke. The Word teaches. It is offered to us to meditate upon and meditation is made easier by memorizing. Convinced to take hold of this discipline yet? Praying so.

Just a few things you should know about me….

I do not have a photographic memory. I do not have the world’s best sleepers living under my roof (although they are good sleepers). I do not spend 3 hours a day on this discipline to achieve the goal. I cannot remember verbatim everything I have ever memorized…I have been memorizing for 12 years, it would seem inhuman to have an ability to recall everything. However, those passages live in me, in a lasting way, they abide (thinking John 15 here). It’s like when we I hit save on a post I’m writing to you and the screen goes blank for a minute while the computer is working…it’s that heart stopping moment when I think all may be lost…but I know from experience it isn’t…in only a short time the words will reappear. Memorizing is like that as you get into it. It feels like all might be lost but just a little review, just a little more study of that passage and it comes soaring into your spirit bringing renewal & fresh life. Memorizing takes time & effort, but it is, like all else in life, made easier with practice. IT IS WORTH IT, and at the dawn of New Year you have perfect moment to decide that this grace is FOR YOU.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will be back with a few simple encouragements to put this discipline into practice in your day to day life AND into the lives of your children. It will not be an exhaustive exhortation but you are welcome, as always, to ask questions and message me. Until then, seek His presence continually. For soon we will see Him and when we see Him we will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is…until that Day, may the gracious gift of meditating on His Word give you fresh glimpses into the person of Christ Jesus our Savior and help you to pray.