Sweet little hands

IMG_8350So many thing running through my head this morning.
1) um.. southern Texas got SNOW?! 😱❄️☃️ how cool is that?! It didn’t come where we live, but Bel has been praying for snow  so I am confident it’s on its way here this winter!
2) last night my sweet baby was in tears over her chapped hands. We put “working hands” on her and she cried. We put unscented lotion on her. She cried. (I FORGOT about my plexus Body Cream! 🤦‍♀️😭) This morning her hands look a little better, but she’s still complaining about their itchiness. So I did a quick FB search about Plexus and chapped skin, and goodness me y’all!! The testimonies! 🙌
I quickly called for Ali and put some Body Cream on her little hands. No tears!! No fight! She actually said “here too Momma.” Pointing out places I missed. 🙌😱💗 I’m looking forward to seeing how much better her hands are tonight.

Mommy & Ali hands

**notice** I pick at my cuticles. So they aren’t very pretty. But my hands don’t hurt and bleed like they used to! (And like sweet Ali’s are doing now.)

3) my hands used to chap just as badly as hers are. (She is my mini-me after all.) I remember having to put Vaseline or Utter Balm on my hands before bed and cover them with socks. 😦 My lips also used to chap and crack like crazy. Have I upped my lip balm? Nope. I’ve cleaned my gut. Gut health and unhealthy skin are related, my friends! So here’s what I attribute my non-chapped/cracked skin to this winter: water, probio5, Slim, and plexus Body Cream.
Ask me how you can get your hands on a free sample! Or click here to get yours! (Free gift from me if you order Slim & Body Cream/Probio5 as a preferred customer!)

4) The last thing on my mind this morning is the sweetness of little hands. What will these little hands grow up to do? Where will they go? Who will they help? What will they make? There’s a whole world of potential wrapped in these little hands. And I pray she uses them for good all the days of her life. ❤️

Busy, but lazy…

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In Bible study last week this hit me like a ton of bricks. 
All too often I find myself drifting toward laziness… I really don’t “do” enough. 
And so in my effort to combat that tendency, I fill my days with activities. 
If I’m “on the go” I can’t be lazy, right?

Wrong. 
The opposite of laziness is DISCIPLINE. Just because I’m busy, doesn’t mean I’m disciplined.

Ya know, the wonderful thing about God is His TRANSFORMATIVE power through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭ESV‬

I am selfish. Jesus is self-less.
I am weak. He is strong.
I am broken. He is the glue.
I am sinful and wretched. He is Holy and perfect.
I am lazy. He is the ultimate disciplined servant.
I am unworthy. He is worthy of ALL praise.

Or maybe I should say “was” in all those things. Without Jesus, yes I am all those—but with Him. Oh the sweet beauty here, with Him those ugly bits can be just a memory.
“He must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30)

Sweet sisters, let’s stop striving for busy and run-down to combat our lazy tendencies. Rather, let’s surrender that ugly part of ourselves to Jesus and let Him transform our hearts to be more like His heart: disciplined, purposeful, servant-minded, beautiful, and perfect.
Each and every day.

“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.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

1 Peter 5:8-11

Hebrews 12:6-11

“New Normal Drift”

The “new normal drift.” That’s what I call it anyway.
Have you ever started something new and loved it? You saw the results you wanted and you were truly dedicated for weeks, maybe even months! This new habit created your new normal.
And then you start slacking.
Maybe it’s a diet/workout regimen you’ve had great success with… and now you allow some cookies and gingerbread.
Maybe you’ve started new supplements and they having you feeling GREAT! But then you skip a few days here and there.

And before ya know it, you’re feeling less great. Your old normal starts creeping its head back into your new normal life. And then–lightbulb!
“Oh! I guess what I was doing really was working. What I was doing really DID make a difference. I need to get back to that, pronto.”

That’s me. I’ve been a Plexus girl for over a year now, and I’ve had several of these lightbulb moments throughout my journey. I start consistent and truly feel AMAZING.
Allergies, moodiness, depression, fatigue, all under control if not gone completely. My new normal.
And then I slack off on my supplements. They become more of an afterthought instead of a priority–after all, I’m feeling great now!
And then “not so great” sets in. And I must get back to consistency and prioritizing what works.

So welcome to my Monday. My fresh start for December. The first day of getting back my “new normal.”

And if you are looking for a way to beat the blues, the fatigue, the seasonal allergies, the insomnia, the stomach problems, the joint pain, etc. send me a message or click here. I may have something that can help you get to a great new normal! ❤️Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

When it doesn’t go my way

Y’all… up until yesterday, I was prepared for Halloween. I let the girls choose their own costumes online. Filtering through several and finally deciding on one. When the girls had decided for sure, we ordered them and they got to us a few weeks ago. I felt like the best mom and my girls were going to look ADORABLE together.

Yesterday morning, Bel tries hers on (now keep in mind, she tried it on when it first came and was fine with it) and FLIPS out because it feels “too small”.

It was not too small.

And so begins our day. Fussing with each other over the Halloween costume.

“Please can I wear something else?” “No! I bought that for you so you either wear it or you don’t go to trunk or treat!”

I know. I was a monster about it. But honestly the idea of my ruined plans for the girls (they were supposed to both be fairies and look darling together) made me sick to my stomach.

My plans! I was prepared! We weren’t going to have to do a last minute throw something together or rush to the store, thing that we’ve had to do in the past. This Mom wasn’t having her plans derailed.

And then…

“Grace…” I felt being whispered to my soul. “It’s just a silly holiday that’s supposed to be fun. It’s just $30. You spend that on things you don’t wear all the time. Give her grace.”

After sweet affirmation from my husband, we let her choose: either the purple fairy costume, or think of something you can put together at home that costs no money.

She looked around and saw a hat she wanted to wear, thought about some makeup, and then Justin and I suggested, “a scarecrow?” “YES!” She jumped up and down with excitement.

She chose a scarecrow–and let me please tell you–I had SO much FUN helping her put this together!! “This is what it’s all about, Rachel.” I kept feeling that whisper roll over me while I was helping her put on my flannel shirt, braiding her hair, and fixing her makeup. We were both gentle and smiling and her excitement for holiday grabbed me, too.

It’s not about who “wins” at parenting or which child is in the most extravagant costume. It’s about the memories. The bonding. The laughs & smiles. The time to look back and treasure.

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Sweet bonus? Ali got to wear her sister’s fairy costume and LOVED it! And we ALL had a very Happy Halloween.

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When you’re doing everything right…

…but you still feel low.

You pray. You count your blessings. You exercise. You take your vitamins and supplements (if you don’t, check mine out! Clinically proven + non-gmo. I’m happy to answer questions about what they’ve done for me, just send me an email).

And yet… you find yourself in a funk.

Maybe it’s because you haven’t had enough water. Maybe you haven’t spent enough time filling your mind with life-giving Truth. Maybe you’ve been going so much that you’re just burnt out. Or maybe you’ve simply just forgotten your purpose.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetIn these moments of funk, here’s what I suggest:

1) Pray specifically for God to remind you of your purpose. He has given you a job to do that He’s entrusted to NO ONE ELSE. What is that job? Ask God to reveal it to you if you don’t know. Mine is being a wife to Justin, and mother to my girls.

2) Plan a day of REST. If I don’t have a rest day planned, I tend to get overwhelmed and rest TOO MUCH during the week. But those rests end with me feeling guilty and not at all rested. Give yourself PERMISSION to take a day off and recharge. You’ll find yourself much more productive on your regular days when you can look forward to rest.

3) Do something that pours into your purpose. Do you have kids? Go fill their love tank by spending time with them doing something THEY want to do. Whatever your answer to #1, pick an activity that will pour into it–it may help you come out of your funk, and remind you why it’s your purpose in the first place.

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I hope you’re encouraged today! I’m praying God blesses you with a funkless weekend full of purpose-filled FUN! 💗

Mom says “no” again…

“Momma, can we get a Lunchable?”
“No babe. Not today. You know those aren’t good for you, and we are getting good groceries today.”
“Momma, can I get a Gatorade?”
“No ma’am.”
“Awww!!”
“Please stop asking for things. I don’t mind telling you ‘no’, but I realize it upsets you and I don’t want you to be upset. Please stop asking for things right now; I’ll always give you what you need, and treats when I feel like you deserve them.”

I sure wish my kids would ask for things that I’m teaching them will HELP them. I would love for my kids to request foods that help their bodies grow healthy and strong… I would say, “Absolutely you can!”

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Boy was this a lesson for me. It’s amazing how often in parenthood I think, “ohh. Thank you God for your patience with me. I get it now.”

How often do I ask for things that are ultimately not for my good?
All the while He’s whispering, “No my dear child. That is not good for you. Please stop asking because it pains me to constantly have to tell you no. Get on board with what will better your SOUL, then I will bless you abundantly.”

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

No, a trivial “Lunchable” is not what He wants to give me. That will not be the blessing of my delight in Him. If I am truly delighting in my Father, He is all I need and anything I want outside of His love must be grounded in His will.

I sure do love the lessons I am learning DAILY in motherhood. So many things I wish I had learned long ago, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn them now. ❤️

Halloween Socks

“Momma! I just learned something!”
My sweet Ali says as she runs into my room.
“What’s that babe?”
“I learned that it doesn’t matter what you wear! You can wear what YOU want to wear; what matters is what’s in your heart!”
“Yes, baby! That’s exactly right! I’m so glad you learned that.”
“I used to fink people only would like you if you were pretty. But now I know it doesn’t matter! It’s just what’s in your heart!”
“Why did you used to think that, baby?”
“I don’t know!”
And she runs off to play…

Why DID she used to think that? We intentionally say otherwise in our house, so where does that teaching of beauty and outer appearances mattering more than the heart come from?

“the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Apparently, it’s just human nature. To make snap judgements based on outward appearances. It’s wrong. And yet it’s what we do–especially when we are letting our flesh rule our spirit….

But God through His Son, calls us to live differently doesn’t, He?

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” ~John 7:24

I know a lot can be said about this topic, but I don’t think I could say anything that hasn’t already been said. So I’ll leave you with that. 🙂 And this:Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Today, I’m taking advice from my daughter (who LOVES Halloween, btw), and am wearing what I want to wear strictly because I want to wear it. I am Halloween down to my socks y’all! And it’s stupendous. 😁🕸🕷🍂👻🎃

The Confident Christian Woman: Part 3

Isaiah 26:3You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.

It’s finally here! Part 3 to being a confident Christian woman! In case you missed them, here are part 1 and part 2 that lead up to this one.  Be sure to go check those out! (Like, Share, and COMMENT with any questions or feedback.  I’ll do my best to respond to everyone!)

We know by now, that confidence (in the Christian’s eyes) is not what I can do–by ability or sheer will, but it is believing in what God can do through me.  That kind of confidence doesn’t happen by accident, but with daily intentional action. Action that starts in prayer, is rooted in purpose, and brings peace.

Peace. Let’s pick that word apart a little bit. After all, I am a mother of two girls. Is peace ever really possible? Or am I destined to live in a constant state of worry… because… MOTHERHOOD?

Yahoo defines Peace as: “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. Synonyms: calm, restfulness….” And, “freedom from dispute or dissension between individuals or groups.” 

That sounds quite lovely, doesn’t it? A life rid of worry, filled with quiet and calm; free.
You know, it is possible to have that life, but maybe not in the way you’re thinking. Let’s dive into the Word, and how this beautiful picture of peace can be OURS and bring us to a steadfast confidence.

First, we must be HUMBLE. True humility brings peace—recognizing what and who I’m NOT, and always elevating who God is.
Do I know the heart and thoughts of others? Nope.
Do I cause the sun & moon to rise at the right times? Nope.
Do I see the pain and suffering of every grumpy stranger I encounter who may rub me the wrong way? Absolutely not.
Who does? Our Creator, Father, Healer, Comforter, and Almighty God. (Matthew 5:45, Psalm 139:23-24, Job 38:12)
When I come to grips with my inadequacies and limitations, I can FULLY surrender worry and doubt over to my MORE THAN CAPABLE Father. Freeing me of all those unrealistic desires to be in control of the things of which I have NO control.

Remaining focused & disciplined with purpose will bring me peace. (Hebrews 12:10-11, 2 Tim. 1:6-9) Do you ever feel overwhelmed and downright directionless? Like you have 100 things to do at any given MINUTE and you just can’t choose where to start?
I have, and usually that feeling paralyzes me in inaction, laziness, or defeat.
Good news, though! There is hope. For me, a big part of that feeling has been eased through proper nutritional/bacterial balance in my body with natural supplementation (because often your body IS out a whack and in need of some help to function its best).  Most of that stress is relieved, however, when I remember my purpose–and focus my discipline there.
Bad habits are HARD to break. Starting the day on Facebook vs in God’s Word, is a BAD habit. It takes intentional effort & discipline to give God the first fruits of my day. Honestly, excuses and justifications often want my firsts in the morning.
“I’m not awake enough to study God’s Word.”
“I know I’ll read it later during Bible class, I can just do it then.”
“I’ll study with the kids later.”
“I really need sleep. God wants me to sleep–He made me that way.”
And on and on it goes…. all to avoid doing what HE has called me to, instead of what I want to do. Why do I not want to start my day in the Bible? Frankly, laziness. I want to be able to mindlessly scroll through pictures and see what my friends have to say because it doesn’t require anything from me. I don’t want to have to DO anything.
But that attitude illuminates another problem within me, doesn’t it? Choosing laziness over godliness is NOT going to bring me peace.  However, remaining focused & disciplined with purpose, will.

Relying on God’s strength will bring me peace. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
“I just can’t. I’m too weak. I’m not a leader. I’m not anything. What if I fail? I will fail. I’ll be humiliated. What if I lose my friends? This life is too hard….”
ATTN: these are all thoughts you’ve allowed in your mind from the ENEMY.
STOP IT!
Revisit the above point, and get your mind in the WORDS of GOD.
He says, “Whoever loves father/mother/child more than me is not worthy of me. Do not fear! My grace is sufficient for you.  In this world you WILL have trouble, BUT take heart! I have overcome the world. Do not worry, do not be anxious. ” (Matt. 10:37, Isaiah 41:10, John 16:33, Matt. 6:34, Phil. 4:6)
Listen. The kind of trust required here is not EASY, but it is absolutely necessary to have the peace we are seeking.
Phil. 4:13 is a verse often taken out of context. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” What Paul is really referring to here, is contentment.
Do you feel like you have nothing? You can handle it when you rely on Christ.
Do you have more than you know what to do with? You can handle it when you rely on Christ.
That is the key; relying on God’s strength so you may go forward in His will. That, my friends, will bring you peace.

Being a Confident Christian Woman doesn’t happen by accident– it takes discipline and intentional focus. It takes a purposeful mindset and determination to seek Him above all else. It takes constant prayer, an understanding of purpose, and a peace the surpasses all understanding. And sweet sisters, it is ours for the taking. 🙂

“Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved...

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness[d] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
~Philippians 4:1, 4-9

 

Being a Confident Christian Woman part 2

“My identity must be anchored to the truth of who God is and who He is to me…the closer I align my truth to His Truth, the more closely I identify with God–and the more my identity really is in Him…when my identity is tied to my circumstances I become extremely insecure because circumstances are unpredictable and ever-changing.”
~Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited, pg. 17

Hey ladies! It has taken me longer than anticipated to finish writing out part 2–thank you for being patient! Did you read Part 1? If not, let me encourage you to head on over and do that! 🙂

Now, let’s talk CONFIDENCE sisters! Not confidence in ourselves the way the world sees it (my stuff, my abilities, my physical strength, my popularity, my income…), but confidence in what GOD can do THROUGH us–His daughters, His warriors. We know by now that the first step in being a Confident Christian woman, is an active prayer life. The next step, is knowing our purpose. Who am I? Why am I here? Where should my focus be? What is my goal? How do I know God’s will over me?

What is my purpose? In a nutshell: to glorify God, ALWAYS. When we look at they life of Jesus–our ultimate example of righteousness and after whom we mold our lives–we see time and time again His work was for the Father.

John 4:34
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work…”
Hebrews 5:8-9
Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,

Jesus learned obedience to the Father’s will, glory, & purpose.  Our lives should be no different as followers of Christ. But to make it more clear, let’s look at what Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16:

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

So, not only are we ourselves to glorify the Father, but we are to act in such a way that OTHERS will see our example and be motivated to praise God as well. That is our mission, sisters.

Well what else? How can we go about this daily endeavor of glorifying God and motivating others to do the same? A HUGE way we can do this, is by raising up Godly souls–no matter the cost.
Do your children (nieces and nephews, grandchildren, students, or friends’ children) know your priorities? Do they see you making worldly sacrifices for spiritual gain? Will they one day know, that you are someone they can come to for answers about the Bible? What about putting biblical concepts into daily practice—can they come to you for wisdom and advice on that?
These are all questions worth asking ourselves, to help us see if our lives are aligned with our purpose. Having children has taught me so much about God as MY Father and you know what? Satan’s biggest threat and the Kingdom’s greatest asset, is a Godly family.  Let’s make sure we are on the RIGHT side of the spiritual battle taking place, by purposefully raising Godly children.
“But, Rachel, how do I do that? My kids have to make their own choices…”
I hear you. And yes, when they become adults they WILL make their own choices while you have to sit back and watch–offering advice and wisdom when you see fit. But while your kids are in your care, God is holding a responsibility on your shoulders that you must take seriously.
Three ways to do that:
1) BE the person you want them to emulate. Be the example. Teach with your words (and HIS WORD), and your actions.
2) Teach them to worship the God who created them, NOT to worship you. Your children are going to idolize you to some degree.  And some day, the way they see you will either HELP or HINDER the relationship they build with God. Therefore, do everything in your power to take glory off of yourself and place it on the Father where it is due. (Check out Matthew 10:34-39.) Finally
3) Ask yourself this question: am I making it easier or harder for my children to idolize the things of this world?

Alright sisters! Do you have a handle on your purpose now? I hope so, but to further illustrate I want to discuss what our purpose is NOT.
1) My purpose is NOT to save souls. Yes, you read that correctly. Stay with me, though. Saving souls is GOD’S job! It has ALWAYS been God’s job. MY job, is to PLANT and WATER.

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. ~1 Corinthians 3

When we are out fulfilling our purpose (Glorifying God and Motivating others to do the same by being Salt & Light), we can misguidedly think saving souls is our doing. When we get puffed up over the number of people we bring to Christ (or perhaps discouraged because we aren’t bringing MORE people to the water), then we are putting too much focus on ourselves.
Sisters, we are not serving others or living out His example in our lives for our own recognition, are we? No. We are but EMPTY VESSELS (2 Corinthians 4:7-18), ready and willing to be used BY GOD for HIS PURPOSES. Will souls be saved in that process? ABSOLUTELY! Because that is God’s ultimate will—“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
So sisters, let’s focus on planting seeds of the Gospel into the hearts of all who will listen, and water seeds others have planted by words of encouragement, kindness, and displaying Christ-like behavior towards all. And when that planting and watering comes to fruition, let’s give God ALL the glory!

Keep an eye out for part 3–Peace! Also, I want you to consider another Bible Marking topic by Kathy Pollard entitled “My Purpose.” This study will walk you through the scriptures as you define your purpose from God’s perspective. You will be blessed by it, so please consider grabbing your Bible and taking a few minutes to complete it.

Thank you for taking the time to dive into this with me today. I’d love your feedback; feel free to comment! 🙂

The Confident Christian Woman part 1

I had the honor and privilege of speaking at a “Ladies Day” last week.  It was such an encouraging day for me, and I pray I have opportunities to experience many more like it! We talked “Being a Confident Christian Woman” and what we need to put in practice to make that happen! Here is part 1, I hope you find it helpful!

I can only speak for myself, but I STRUGGLE with Godly confidence.  I am either blasting myself with negativity bombs, or I’m stuck in “I got this” mode…aka pride. Neither represents the Godly woman I long to be, and more importantly, the woman God CREATED me to be.  Through this study, God has opened my eyes to the woman He is yearning to mold in me, and I am so excited to share her with you.

This study is based in SCRIPTURE, so grab your Bible and pray that God shows you His Truth and that your heart will be open to receive it with gladness.
But first…What does the World say about confidence? The world says:
-“Women! You can do ANYTHING!”
-“Believe in yourself!”
or the actual definition I found: A feeling of self-assurance.
At the surface, I look at these phrases and think, “sure! yes! I’m on board. I want my daughters to feel strong, independent, and capable… why NOT instill these mottos in them?”
Or maybe you don’t have daughters, maybe you own your own business or are in a position at work to go to the top… maybe you’ve said these words to yourself (like I have!) to help propel you forward and to gain worldly success.  If I were to flip these phrases around, as if I’m saying it to myself, they sound like this:
-“I believe in me”
-“I can do anything”
-“I am all I need.”

If you are reading this today then you are striving to be a godly woman, and I hope your back sat up a little straighter as you heard the error in those phrases… because as women of God, the “I” in us is dead.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but CHRIST who lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20)
I am dead. If I am dead, how then can I possibly do ANYTHING with my own strength? How can I be all I need when I myself, am empty? How can I have confidence as I continue in this world?

Here’s a new definition of confidence I want you to take with you: believe in what God can do THROUGH you!
Turn to 2 Cor.4:5-11. (Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait. 😉 )
We are empty vessels, my sisters. Empty jars of clay ready and willing for God to pour into us the Light of His Son…every single day! This isn’t something that happens once at our salvation and is done, but something we purposefully and mindfully do every day.

Turn to Prov. 3:21-26. (read it) Now flip back to Ps. 27:1-3. David was wrestling with actual flesh and blood enemies.  He had a reason to be afraid, didn’t he? Saul’s armies were searching for him, to kill him. BUT his faith in God was greater than any fear of death. Thankfully, we don’t have armies singling us out and searching to bring us down.  We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, do we? We fight against Satan and everything he stands for. Sometimes that manifests itself in other’s—but ultimately they are NOT the enemy.  And if people aren’t our enemies, and God has already won over Satan, what on earth is there to be afraid of? For women in Christ who keep that in mind, nothing.

We say it a lot in the Christian realm, but what does it mean to be “in Christ”? If you have ventured over here today, I believe you take God and His Word seriously! You want it to change your life for the better, and you want a home in Heaven!  If you have ever wondered what “obeying the Gospel” means or what it means to be “in Christ,” of if you ever question your Salvation, please take a minute today to try this Bible Marking topic. These verses are also helpful: Romans 6:1-4, Matt 7:21-27, and John 3:5.
Ultimately though, OBEDIENT FAITH makes a Christian. Before obedience occurs, belief and faith are simply lazy intentions.  BUT, that’s not the focus for today. If you have questions feel free to contact me!

Now, let’s get to the MEAT! How can I be a Confident Christian Woman? Three points to consider: PRAYER, PURPOSE, and PEACE.

For this study, we are going to tackle 5 characteristics of our prayers.
Going to our God: our Maker and Sustainer, King and our Father… is a BIG deal.
We cannot be flippant with how we speak to Him or how we approach Him. That being said, we can come to Him with reverence and awe, BOLDLY.

“Let us then with Confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16

Turn to Hebrews 10:19-22.  Now to Eph. 3:12–Sisters, we can have confidence and boldness in our prayers to God because of Christ. What He went through, the obedience He learned, the suffering He endured on our behalf—gave us access to God’s throne. And when we have Christ, we can approach God with a BOLD confidence.

Number 2: Specific. Don’t be afraid to petition God specifically, and also don’t get lazy and forget to THANK Him specifically. There is something very powerful in approaching our Father on someone else’s behalf. How many of us have children? I have 2 beautiful girls, and when one of them comes to me asking for something for the other one—wow! That warms my heart.  Selfless requests from my girls are almost always answered in their favor. What about a birthday request? Aren’t we more likely to search out the 1 thing they’ve asked for, imagining the joy on their faces as they realize we listened to their request?

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” ~Matthew 7:11.

Number 3: Honest. Over the last year or two, this word has become so important in my walk with God.  Knowing myself enough to be honest with Him, is a big deal. As a parent, little frustrates me more than when I ask my children why they did something and they say “I don’t know….” Usually I know the answer, because I’m the Mom, right? But I am much more appeased if they can truly see their error, and know what went wrong. (Who am I kidding? My kids are 6 and 5 years old… that doesn’t happen often at this age—which is why I have to talk it out with them.)
Why did they choose that act of disobedience? Was it ignorance, or willful? Did they just not pay attention to their surroundings?  Were they being careless?
Do you see the connection? Of course our Father will always know us better than we CAN know ourselves, but we must constantly be evaluating our motives. Do our intentions line up with our actions? Why not? Being honest with ourselves before God is humbling and necessary in knowing our place before Him and allowing Him the reverent and Holy place He deserves.
(Read Ps. 24:3-6, Luke 18:9-13)—In Greek the word “confession” is Homologeo, which literally means to speak the same thing. We’ve got to acknowledge our sin the SAME way God does.  We can’t continue to call sins “mess-ups” or “slip-ups.” We have to speak the same thing to truly have an honest heart before God.

Number 4 (and this one is IMPERATIVE): Faithful.  “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord…”
~James 1:5-7

Wow. Have faith my sisters.
“Well Rachel,” you might say, “I had faith. I prayed with all the faith I could muster and I was bold and specific and honest! I prayed and God said no. How then am I supposed to continue to pray? What does it matter?”
I’ve been there. When pain is pressing in on you, and all you can think is: “Why?! What good can possibly come of this?!” He hears you, and your prayers matter. YOU matter to Him.
Our Father is a good, GOOD Father. Who wants good things for His children—do you believe that? Then you should believe that WHATEVER the outcome of our prayers, God has our good and His glory at heart.

 “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked him.” ~1 John 5:14

Also, one of my favorites: Romans 8:28, “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
His will. Our good. His glory. He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20-21). Believe it!

Finally: Thankful. Our prayers are to ooze with an overwhelming thankfulness for everything He has bestowed upon us. Our days should be lived out in constant gratitude for who He is and who we are in Him!

When we are bold, specific, honest, and faithful, the response of our hearts should be a place of abundant joy because of our rich blessings (spiritual AND physical). When we refuse to give God glory and thanks where He is due, our faith will falter and our Christianity is compromised.

Romans 1:21-22 “Although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.”
Everything we have, we have because He decided to give it to us.  I can claim NOTHING of my own accord—God owns it all, I am merely a steward of what He’s given me. Our mentality toward what we have can greatly affect our thankfulness.
Read down in verse 28: “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice…”
Be thankful. Recognize every blessing in your life and give glory back to the Father who richly gives us all things.

Purposefully applying these 5 characteristics to our prayer life will greatly influence our Godly confidence. It will help point us to our Purpose (part 2) and give us the Peace (part 3) we daily desire. Let’s open our hearts and pray ladies!

Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3! I LOVE getting into God’s Word with you! 🙂