God Did Not Create Me For This…

God Did Not Create Me For This…

Laura P

Laura P

Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.
Laura P

What did God create you for?

Have you ever stopped to think about all the things that God did not intend for us in this life?  I feel like some days I am constantly reminded of these things.  Many evenings I will sit down and reflect back over my day.  What were my general feelings today?  What went right, and what didn’t?  Did I get things done?  And what did I put off or forget to do?  What habits do I need to start to make me feel more successful?  And on and on and on…

God gives us a full range of emotions to experience life to its very fullest.  In my mind I can be the most fulfilled if I’m feeling generally more positive than negative.  That’s my personal preference.  Some people are like a piece of metal.  When the heat is on they just bend and change to fit the temperature.  Some people are more like a piece of paper and they just burn up.  I’d like to think that I’m somewhere in the middle.  As a result of my military upbringing, I am a pretty flexible person, regardless of my personality.  However, having children and running my own household presents pressures and challenges that at times threaten to burn me up and leave behind a little pile of ashes.

Perseverance, not Exhaustion and Defeat

James 1:4 says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Sometimes it seems as though perseverance for the sake of perseverance alone is the only thing I’ve got left.  But God does not want us to feel downtrodden and hopeless.  It is not His will for us to be exhausted and defeated by the day.
Isaiah 55-8-11New International Version
I love this whole chapter of Isaiah.  The Lord is really encouraging His people and giving them comfort.  God knows that our journey here on earth will not be easy.  There are going to be bad days and tantrums.  There is going to be spilled milk on the carpet and sand in their hair, dirty dishes and floors and toilets.  I often dwell on and worry about these things and that was never God’s intent. God created me for more than my to-do list!

Letting Go and Letting God

I’m going to make a list for myself of what I am intentionally going to try and let go. Perhaps, this list will be helpful to you as well.

This week I will work to let go of the following:

  • Distress over my housekeeping imperfections
  • Incessant worrying about my children’s (insert your worry here)
  • Frustration at other people because of (for me it’s their driving!)
  • Jealousy over someone else’s blessings, calling, or opportunities
  • Fixation with my idea of how everything should be

Considering I’m going to work on these for the next week, it’s a pretty long list; however, these are the things that God has revealed to me recently.  Some of these things are issues I grapple with frequently while others are rather infrequent.  I feel that each of these are relevant to God’s will for my life, and that these things are holding me back from other things God has for me in my life.

I pledge this week to work towards laying these concerns at the feet of Jesus and clothing myself in things that are pure, holy, and right.

Here are my really great reasons to work on this list. I’d like to make more room for these things!

my reasons

Will you take this pledge with me?  

If you’d like to, please share your list with us so we can be praying along with you about what God can take from you to make more room for Him!

Slowing Down the Hurried Heart

Slowing Down the Hurried Heart

Melissa W

Melissa W

Melissa is an Okie with a Texas heart. She is a wife and a mother of three - two boys and a girl (the girl being squished right in the middle). After having taught in the classroom for 8 years, she now happily finds herself as a stay-at-home homeschool mom living life on her little 1 1/2 acre homestead raising chickens, two goats and a small garden. In any spare time, she enjoys leisure reading and also enjoys writing on her blog (chroniclesofakeeper.com). Out of all the little adventures of life - her greatest joy is found in her relationship with God. Walking in His grace, living in His peace and resting in His redemption is something she is very passionate about sharing with others.
Melissa W

Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. – Psalm 27:14

My son is always begging me to take him to the Science Museum. For months he has been asking if we could go to the science museum. Month after month, he pleaded his case.

The morning finally arrived. As he headed to his room to dress for the day, I casually said over my shoulder, “Oh, by the way, we are going to the science museum today.”

My announcement thrilled him. I could see the excitement and anticipation in his eyes throughout the morning and on the drive to the museum. His heart, I imagine, was racing with expectancy the whole way.

His fun-filled, delightful day at the museum was everything he hoped it would be and more. He explored and soaked in everything he possibly could.

His day of fun and goodness was largely connected to his obedience and patience.

I did not unleash him into the museum to explore everything on his own. I set parameters for him. As I gained trust in his obedience, his parameters grew. When he was ready to explore beyond his parameters, (usually after some reminders) he was patient to wait until we could move there together. He was able to see and do so much more, because he chose to trust me and my plans for him.

A heart of hurriedness and disobedience would have resulted in a much different experience for him. It might have left him leaving the museum earlier or not being able to see as many exhibits. It would have probably robbed him of the joy that was to be found in all the discoveries.  A heart bent to his own will and desires would have been disastrous and left him disappointed and wanting.

Here is where I would like to draw the parallel.

Sometimes, God opens doors for us. In his infinite goodness and wisdom, He leads us on various roads and to various places. The problem lies when our hurried, impatient hearts drift away from Him and to our own desires the moment those doors open. We begin to step out of the parameters He has set before us. Beginning to explore and make decisions on our own, we unleash ourselves from His divine plan. Somewhere along the way, we forget to trust in our good Father. We forget that He works everything for our good and His glory.

Think of the story of Saul.

His hurried heart led to his disobedience. It led to him losing his place as king. God wanted a king whose heart delighted in Him and sought His own to reign over His people. He needed a heart that was patient, a heart that would obey.

I want to experience everything God has perfectly planned for me. I have often been the one whose heart was hurried. And somewhere along the way, I stop seeking guidance from the One who lays my path. I have lived the disappointments that come when I step out of His parameters and do things on my own. My heart is prone to wander and needs rescuing every day.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

Robert Robinson (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

Prayer for an Unhurried Heart

I pray for a heart of obedience. I also pray for an unhurried heart…a heart in tune with His. In every place He takes me, I want to walk there with Him. I want to enjoy the fullness of the life He has called me to, and I want to wait for Him in those moments where He asks me to wait. I pray that the worldly things which push me to hurry will not blind me to His sovereign plans.

May we all earnestly seek His direction and wait patiently for His leading. In all the places we are led to, may we always stay vigilant in keeping our heart’s desire after His. In the pursuit of kingdom work, let us not forget to seek and wait for the direction of the King.

A man must not stop listening any more than praying when he rises from his knees. No one questions the need of times of formal address to God, but few admit in any practical way the need of quiet waiting upon God, gazing into His face, feeling for His hand, listening for His voice.

 Charles H. Brent

Experiencing the Psalms: Growing Your Prayer Life

Experiencing the Psalms: Growing Your Prayer Life

Melissa W

Melissa W

Melissa is an Okie with a Texas heart. She is a wife and a mother of three - two boys and a girl (the girl being squished right in the middle). After having taught in the classroom for 8 years, she now happily finds herself as a stay-at-home homeschool mom living life on her little 1 1/2 acre homestead raising chickens, two goats and a small garden. In any spare time, she enjoys leisure reading and also enjoys writing on her blog (chroniclesofakeeper.com). Out of all the little adventures of life - her greatest joy is found in her relationship with God. Walking in His grace, living in His peace and resting in His redemption is something she is very passionate about sharing with others.
Melissa W

“The more deeply we grow into the psalms and the more often we pray them as our own, the more simple and rich will our prayer become.”

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sometimes there are moments when life consumes and your heart feels gagged in the ability to lift up any words in prayer. Sometimes the clouds of our life overshadow us and we can’t find the words to say to Him. At other times, we have plenty to say and are experiencing a rich and beautiful time with Him. No matter where you are in your prayer life, meditating on His word through the Psalms offers us a deep and divine place to experience Him.

His words of truth and goodness bring forth life. Here is a Psalm that has been on my heart lately. I wrote down some of the words and thoughts that came to me as I meditated on this Psalm.

i-will-exalt-you-lord-for-you-rescued-me-you-refused-to-let-my-enemies-triumph-over-me-psalm-30-1

Psalm 30

I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.

Psalm 30:1

 I seek to be in a posture of worship and gratitude to the One who rescued. May the fullness of that rescue be felt deep as it resonates in and through my worship.

O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health.

Psalm 30:2

I acknowledge that in my worst moment of depravity and soul-marring sickness, He heard my cry; He redeemed and restored.

You brought me up from the grave, O LORD. You kept me from falling into the pit of death.

Psalm 30:3

I can see the place of certain and eternal death that I was cascading fully into. I can see how He reached down and brought me up to a place of beauty and life for eternity.

Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name.

Psalm 30:4

I have placed my hope and trust in Him–may my words and thoughts echo the awe of a now-rescued soul.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

Where His holiness demanded separation, He provided a way that those who are His find His love and mercy…forever. His covenant of grace is fully extended to me. In a fallen and broken world, where sin roams freely, a sovereign Lord binds my redeemed heart to His. My sorrow experienced here on earth is comforted by the hope I have in the eternal place of joy to come.

———————

Challenge yourself.

Choose a psalm to read and pray daily, for a week or a month. Let the words draw you closer to Him. Let the words grow your understanding and knowledge of who He is.

choose-a-psalm-to-read-and-pray-daily-for-a-week-or-a-month-let-the-words-draw-you-closer-to-him-let-the-words-grow-your-understanding-and-knowledge-of-who-he-is-1

“The delightful study of the Psalms has yielded me boundless profit and ever-growing pleasure; common gratitude constrains me to communicate to others a portion of the benefit, with the prayer that it may induce them to search further for themselves.”

― Charles Spurgeon, preface to The Treasury of David

 

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What Happened When I Deleted Facebook

What Happened When I Deleted Facebook

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

Social Media is Good…Except When It’s Not

This is not your typical talk of social media cleanse. You see, I’m on social media all the time–undoubtedly more than I should be, but nevertheless I usually feel no guilt. I enjoy keeping up with my friends and family. Those crazy articles keep me entertained with the comment section. I love reading blogs and encouraging posts from some of my favorite Christian authors. Those tasty cooking videos inspire me to cook dinner. I enjoy Facebook and other social media throughout the day and I feel no shame!

Except for when I’m on it too much. When I can’t even hear God’s voice because I’m so tuned in to the voice of everyone else. I knew I needed a break, so I planned a trip to my in laws. It was the perfect set up. They would play with my toddler and I could dive into the Bible and spend some much-needed time in prayer. The part I felt most convicted about? A break from social media. Five days!

This wasn’t coming from a negative perspective, as I really do enjoy social media. One of our awesome contributors Megan, wrote about how social media can be a tool and I love love love her perspective on that! And earlier this year I wrote about how I was trying to achieve balance with my phone time. I knew I was starting to get consumed again and I was running out of steam. I needed to go offline. No big fuss. Just a quiet break.

Deleting Facebook

To prove my commitment to myself I deleted the Facebook app from my phone! About five minutes later I started to feel the weight of what I was doing. I picked up my phone out of habit and went for Facebook, but of course, it wasn’t there. “This might be harder than I thought,” I said to myself. Suddenly I felt a little bit of freedom. This was going to be a personal retreat–a time to leave all of my distractions behind and embrace God’s presence.

I could tell that Facebook was desperate for my return–not my friends–actual Facebook. My email inbox started filling with e-mails about the notifications I had piling up and posts my friends were making. I felt tempted to log on, but I didn’t! I made it through the five days without Facebook and I was so proud of myself for sticking to it!

So other than an exercise in self-control, what did I gain from this experience?

Time to think. The first day I had some quiet moments and I wasn’t quite sure how to handle them. But I learned to spend those moments in God’s Word. I worked my way through more of the Bible in those five days than I have in a very long time. All that reading gave me more dialogue with the Lord, and God revealed so much to me. I realized that I’m probably missing out on a lot of what God wants to show me when I’m overly consumed with social media.

When my five days were up I excitedly downloaded the app again, and enjoyed updating myself on everyone’s happenings. I saw two pregnancy announcements, one engagement, and another had their baby. As excited as I was to be back in the loop, I had a new excitement–the excitement that comes from turning off social media so that I can hear the Lord.

Hosea 6:3 says,

Oh, that we might know the Lord!
    Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
    or the coming of rains in early spring. (NLT)

hosea-6_3

I’ve seen this to be true in my own life. When I take the time to seek God, he is always there to show me more. We can’t always get away for five days (wouldn’t that be nice!) but we can still find time to hear God. We just have to look for the spaces in our day that we are filling mindlessly. There is something to be said for putting our time with God first–I don’t want to discredit that! If you are searching for more time with him though, this might be your answer! If you can, take a personal retreat sometime, even if only for a day. Turn off your social media apps, take a little time for yourself, and a lot of time for meeting with God. He will respond! 

facebook 2

 

Unasked Prayers: A Prayer Life Challenge

Unasked Prayers: A Prayer Life Challenge

Lori S

Lori S

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

Is Your Prayer Life Flourishing?

How is your prayer life? I definitely have some room to grow in mine. When I have a lot on my plate, I tend to schedule everything but God into my day. I do make attempts to read Scripture at night or pray before I go to bed, but most nights I am unsuccessful. I don’t really know why I don’t make prayer more of a priority. Sometimes, childhood teachings creep into my heart, telling me to only pray for God’s will because His will must be accomplished. Other times, my anxiety and stress level paralyze my heart and mind, causing me to stay in the here and now and not pray for the future.

A couple of years ago, I knew that my prayers (when prayed) were shallow. Even when I asked God for things, I knew that what I asked was meager and infrequent. So in order to challenge me and to stretch my concept of prayer, I selected the book The Circle Maker.  Several statements and passages resonated with me, including this quote:

“The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked.” (p. 19)

Analysis of My Prayer Life

This made me analyze my prayer life. Why do I pray? Why do I ask what I ask? Do I only ask for select things because I question God’s power or interest in my life? Is it a lack of faith, or a lack of trust? Am I putting up emotional and spiritual barriers between me and God so I won’t get hurt? If that is the case, do I not trust God to carry me through whatever trials I may experience?

The follow-up passage to the quote listed above speaks to some of these questions.

“He will answer. And His answers are not limited by your requests. We pray out of our ignorance, but God answers out of His omniscience. We pray out of our impotence, but God answers out of His omnipotence. God has the ability to answer the prayers we should have prayed but lacked the knowledge or ability to even ask.” (p.19)

what-prayers-of-yours-have-been-unanswered-because-they-have-been-unasked-4

What prayers of yours have been unanswered because they have been unasked? Where are you holding back in your prayer life? Your family, your career, maybe your involvement in a project or an organization? God may not answer your prayer exactly the way that you want him to, but He will listen and respond. Be still and know that God is with you.

 

Here are some Scriptures to meditate on…

1 John 5:14-15
“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.”

2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Ephesians 6:18
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Jeremiah 29:12
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

unasked-prayers-pinterest

Rise Up, O You Sleeper, Awake! — The Audacity To Be A Godly Woman

Rise Up, O You Sleeper, Awake! — The Audacity To Be A Godly Woman

Elizabeth P

Elizabeth P

I am a recovering Army brat who loves to travel and start new adventures. My handsome husband and I met at Oklahoma Christian University and he whisked me away to Kansas. So, I bought some ruby red high heels and made Topeka my home. I have a rough and rowdy Princess 4-year-old girl, amazing twin boys (almost 3) and a newborn baby girl who all make every day an adventure. We are grateful to be part of an amazing church in Topeka who regularly challenges and encourages our whole family. I have been both a full-time working mom and a stay-at-home-mom and/or both at the same time at one point or another. I am constantly seeking God’s wisdom on “balancing it all” and following His plan for my life, not mine.
Elizabeth P

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My husband is Superdad. He sent me away for a weekend with my mom to Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live Simulcast in Wichita last year.

Spiritual Nourishment

I don’t know about any of the other moms of little kids out there, but I’m drained. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mommy, but I’ll tell you it seems to take every ounce of everything I have to give–every day. In the best way of course!

Spiritual nourishment during this season of life can be especially hard if Sundays are spent nursing babies, wrangling young kids during the service, or being distracted by an active toddler who may or may not have escaped down the aisle while you are trying to worship Jesus. Right.

Sometimes, it’s even hard to get out the door to Bible Study. I find myself seriously craving some meaningful corporate worship with fellow believers. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not all about “me getting fed,” but let’s be honest, in this season it seems like I’ve got an appetite for spiritual food and I’m just still hungry all the time.

Church Camp for Women

Anyway, I cannot tell you how grateful I was that my husband encouraged me to go to this conference. Praise the Lord, seriously!  If you get a chance to do something like this such as Women of Faith or a Living Proof event or Abundance, etc., please go! Do it.

This was Mommy church camp and I loved every minute. Walking in, you could absolutely tell the Holy Spirit was there and He was ready to work.

It would take me longer than I have room to write here to talk about everything Beth discussed this weekend and how the Lord worked in my heart. However, I want to highlight the point that set the theme and struck a chord that has echoed in my heart all day.

Audacity

These are days that require audacity in our faith. Beth defined audacity as “intrepid boldness, disregard of normal restraints.” It is not an absence of apprehension, but it is a courage found only in Christ. Audacity in Christ means we must be characterized by boldness for Him because our witness as individuals, and as an entire Church, is at stake. We should not be afraid because our birthright is in Christ and we are secure that He has won the war.

As a woman of God, a daughter of Christ, we must not give up our “birthright” flippantly to this world for things that seem to satisfy us in our lives.  Just as Esau gave up his birthright to his brother Jacob for stew (Genesis 25: 19-34), we often have contempt for our Jesus just because we are exhausted, we are depleted, and we are vulnerable to a certain flippancy or impatience that comes with allowing our focus to be distracted from what really matters.

What’s your stew?

Beth asked us all: “What’s your stew?”

What might you be allowing to satisfy your desires instead of Jesus? What might be your focus “right now” instead of waiting on the Lord? Or what is taking precedence in your daily life over Christ? Are you tired or stuck in a routine that does not include prayer and meditating on the Word?

We have so many idols in this culture. I read 2 Tim 3:1 and I think of the world in which we live. The thing is that Satan looks for the vulnerable and seeks a foothold.

1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Romans 1: 16-18 (ESV) tells us, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

Rise Up, O You Sleeper!

Rise Up O You Sleeper AwakeLadies, we must not be asleep! We must be alert and ready as ones who are adopted in Christ to have the audacity to serve the living God as He has called us. Boldness is at stake in our own lives, in our nation, and in our world.  Have the audacity to be fervent in your prayers, dedicated to your relationship with Christ, in love with our Savior, bold in sharing the truth and in glorifying Him through the way you live your life.

Scriptures remind us, especially in Psalm 39 and in 1 Peter 1 and Isaiah 40 that our time on this earth is short. Our only real legacy is what we do to further the Kingdom of God. That might look as simple as bringing someone (your children, friends, family, or strangers) to know the Lord or as big as a ministry like Beth Moore’s. Whatever that looks like in your life, be audacious in your faith and be bold for Christ every day. Ask God to show you how you can use your day to be audacious for Him. Pray fervently and be in His word.

Ponder one of my new favorite songs:

Rise Up, O Sleeper, Awake by Andrew Peterson

An excerpt of the lyrics:

Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
The dawn is upon you
Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
He makes all things new
He makes all things new

The world was good
The world is fallen
The world will be redeemed

So hold on to the promise
The stories are true
That Jesus makes all things new
(The dawn is upon you)

 

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