Finding Spiritual Whitespace {guest post & book giveaway}

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Do you ever wish you could just slow down and discover who you’d be if your life wasn’t filled with so much rush? 

The other day my friend told me she felt lost: lost in the hurry of carpool and kids, deadlines and dirty laundry… and she was tired, and I shared with her some things I’ve been learning through my friend Bonne Gray’s beautiful book Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.

In, Bonnie shares how “underneath all of the stress and expectations we put on ourselves, and the ones that others put on us, our souls long for space to breathe.” Bonnie calls it “soul rest: a place where we can rest, not in what we could be or what we should be, but just as we are. Jesus invites us to come to Him when we’re struggling and carrying heavy loads, so He can give us rest.”

bonnie-grayToday I’ve invited, Bonnie to share a peek into her heart and inside the pages of her beautiful book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace.

“I once felt lost and tired.

Even though no one could tell.  By looking at my life from the outside.

But, deep inside, in my secret heart of hearts, I’ve always wanted something I could never quite keep a hold of — not long enough to make it my everyday home.  For my soul and for the me that wanted to be free.

I’ve always wanted to know who I really could be — if I was free to rest.

Do you ever wish life could be different? That somehow you could just rest?

Underneath all the stress, the expectations we put on ourselves and the ones others put on us, we all long for space.

Space to breathe.

Space to just be me.

Where we can be real.

To take care of our hearts, with the grace and kindness we often pour out to others.

LongToBreathe_SpiritualWhitespace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We don’t want to be numb anymore.

Just doing.  Coping.  Surviving.

All the while, there is a part of us that longs to come alive.

The part of us who longs for beauty, even though the daily road feels rough.  Or even broken.

The part of us who remembers what it’s like to have desires is hungering for quiet. For rest.

Who wants to feel more intimately connected with God.

To our dreams.

To our stories.

To who we really are deep inside.

Who doesn’t want to hide.

Who longs to be known.

With others.

A Deeper Part

There’s a deeper part of us who longs to uncover the stories we’re living in our everyday lives — hidden — so that they can be shared.

We don’t want to journey alone.

We don’t have to.

What we all long for is deeper rest.

Refreshment.

Comfort.

Real conversation.

Encouragement.

Peace.

Beauty.

As is.

What we all long for is soul rest.

Soul rest is a kind of rest we can savor — not as we should be. Nor as we ought to be.

We can enjoy rest for our souls — as we are.

This ache for soul rest is something Jesus longs to touch.

It is an ache that Jesus himself must have also felt as He journeyed in-the-the-skin through the realities of daily life.

Jesus invites us to experience this rest — by offering us an invitation.

If we dare to take the journey.

“Are you tired? Worn out?

Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.

For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus’s invitation, Matthew 11:28-30

Will you dare to rest? Will you d
are to be real?

To whisper —

I am tired.

But, I still carry dreams. Desires. A story.

I want to be happy.

I miss the quiet.

I want to feel.

I want to let go of who I’ve been — so I can discover who I can be — when I take the time to rest.

I want to be present.

I want to love. And be loved.

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Jesus invites us on a new journey.

To pause.

To draw close.

To come into an intimate special space.

The rest we all long for really can be found.

Dare to take a new journey.

Create space in your life.

Feed your soul.

So you can care for what’s tender.

Because behind your most tired moments lie the deepest parts of who God made you — longing to be known and restored.

You’re loved.

You’re cherished.

You’re worth it.

The real you.

If you dared to rest — to uncover the real you God made — what would you want more of? What would you want less of? What can feed your soul today?”

FindingWhitespace_alt3DHow many of us find ourselves running on empty with no time for rest, no time for ourselves, and no time for God?  Bonnie Gray knows what that’s like. On the brink of fulfilling a lifelong dream, she saw her plans shatter into a journey through painful memories and anxiety. In her search for answers, she made an important discovery: we all need spiritual whitespace

Infused with biblical encouragement and thought-provoking prompts, Finding Spiritual Whitespace shows us how to create space in the everyday for God, refreshment, and faithright in the midst of our stress-frayed lives. And it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time in my life personally. I’ve loved reading this book {more than once}, and I know you will too!
Order a copy here.

Enter to WIN:
What is one way you could carve out time for whitespace and rest this summer? Let’s take time this summer to let our souls be breathe. Click “share your thoughts” and leave a comment under this blog post to enter. Two winners will be selected and announced next week. {if you are reading this via email, please click here to participate in the giveaway on my blog!}

 

Bonnie-familyBonnie Gray is contributor at Crosswalk.com, Relevant Magazine, and DaySpring (in)courage. A UCLA graduate, Bonnie has been missionary, ministry entrepreneur and Silicon Valley high-tech professional. Bonnie blogs at FaithBarista.com in Northern California with her husband Eric and their two sons.

The Good Life

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“I feel completely numb,” she said. “I don’t want to be a mom or a wife anymore. I could walk out on my family today and not feel anything…but it would devastate them.  And I can’t do that because I care about them. I just don’t have anything left in me to give or feel. And I don’t know what to do…”

I was shocked. Not as much about what she told me, but because she was the second woman who had come to me with such a brave and raw confession that weekend during the women’s retreat where I was speaking.

Two women who felt numb and empty. Two women surviving but not really living.

I had shared similar story and struggles that morning during my keynote message. Shared how ten years earlier I sked God WHY? Why, after being a Christian for over a decade, was I so miserable?  

Jesus said He came to give us life to the full. And I needed to know how and when was He going to keep that promise to me. Because the only things that filled my life were obligations, stress and hurry.

Kids activities and church commitments, play dates and Bible studies, neighborhood ministry and me trying to leave a legacy. All good “Christian” things, so I assumed my commitments reflected Christ and hopefully pleased Him.

Surely it’s just a phase, I had told myself. Things will slow down and I’ll start enjoying my life eventually.But life wasn’t slowing down; and I wasn’t enjoying anything.

Drained by all my doing, I became numb, exhausted and depleted. And I couldn’t just keep going. My heart was checking out and it scared me. I needed to get honest with myself and with God about where I was and how I got there.

And when I started asking hard questions and listening to His heart and mine, God showed me something I needed to see : Most of my {undoing} was of my own doing.

My doing and doing and doing…

Instead of hugging my brave new friend who stood in front of me waiting to see what I would say now that she had spilled her guts,  I looked into her eyes and said “I understand. I’ve been there…”

Over the next hour we prayed and processed what was going on in her heart and in er world. And I shared what God had shown me ten years prior in the middle of my personal “I can’t do this anymore meltdown”…

Read the rest of my post by CLICKING HERE and join me at the (in)courage community blog where I’m hanging out today as the featured (in)courage contributor and conversation hostess.. I’d love to see you there and hear your thoughts!

When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough…

I was completely blindsided. I’d been called into a meeting at my church with another women in leadership who was upset with me. She’d been upset with me for months, but I had just found out about it.

Someone had told her I didn’t agree with the way she was leading. But that wasn’t at all what I’d said – months before – in a meeting with several other leaders. I had simply been asked my opinion about a situation and I shared my thoughts and they weren’t directly about her at all. And I was so sad that I was just being asked about it, several months later.

I was hurt. She was hurt. We both volunteered countless hours in ministry, pouring our hearts and our lives into women in our church. All the while, we were on the same team and assumed we both fully supported one another. But now the trust we had built for years was coming unraveled.

It was a mess. I was a mess.

I was done. I decided I wasn’t strong enough. Wasn’t resilient enough. And I was exhausted from trying.

That afternoon I went home and cried. Told God I was ready to call it quits. Laying my head down on my desk, I said I couldn’t do it anymore.

But… {my heart whispered} there was more to it… “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

I knew in that moment if I was willing to die to myself and completely rely on Christ in Me I could experience resurrection power. 

I could walk away from God’s calling on my life or I could allow Jesus to live HIS life through me.

 I could die to my desire to protect myself from getting hurt again and choose to tap into His power by relying on the strength of His Spirit in me .

I wasn’t enough … wasn’t strong enough, resilient enough, or humble enough.  But Christ in me was more than enough.

In my P31 devotion today, I talked about how we can turn away from our feelings of defeat and doubt by living in the Light of God’s Truth. And here is one of the most important truths:

Jesus did not die on the cross just to get us out of hell and into heaven. He died on the cross to get Himself out of heaven and into us! That is resurrection life – and the very place where we get our enough!

If you have been crucified with Christ, you no longer live, but Christ lives in you!! The life you now live in the body, you can choose to live by faith in the Son of God, who loved you and gave himself for you.”

When you feel inadequate, remember God says: You are CHOSEN.

“‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he’” (Isa. 43:10).

When you feel afraid, remember God says: You are REDEEMED.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isa. 43:1).

When you feel unloved, God says: You are LOVED.

“You are precious and honored in my sight, and . . . I love you” (Isa. 43:4).

When you feel forgotten, God says: You are REMEMBERED.

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isa. 49:16).

When you feel insecure, God says: You are SECURE.

“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders” (Deut. 33:12).

When you feel unable or unstable, God says: You are ABLE.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights” (Hab. 3:19).

When you feel worthless, God says: You are CALLED.

“Youare a chosen [woman], a royal [priest], a holy [daughter], God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

DOWNLOAD PRINTABLES of today’s promises {in MSWord} OR {in a PDF}.



A Confident HeartLasting Confidence Giveaway
:
 Enter to WIN 2 signed copies of my book, A Confident Heart,  a Starbucks gift card and a Bath& Body works yummy fall treat! To enter, simply leave a comment below this post where it says “SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS” and do just that – you can share your thoughts about about today’s post or my devotion :-).

 

 

PS. Be sure to DOWNLOAD a free PRINTABLE of today’s promises {in MSWordOR {in a PDF}.

 

Living Stressed-less

Does stress impact our confidence? Today I’ve asked my friend Tracie Miles, author of Stressed-Less Living to share how stress once diminished her confidence and threw her into a pit of doubt causing her to  question her ability to fulfill God’s plans for her life.

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Although it was seven years ago, I remember it as if it were yesterday. Every morning I dragged myself out of bed, dreading another stressful and emotionally draining day at my job.  A job which  I had grown to hate, working for a supervisor whom I had grown to fear.

Not only was I overwhelmed with job stress, I was trapped in a deep pit of despair that was filled to the brim with doubt, low self esteem and zero confidence.

My heart and my mind were ravaged with turmoil. I had a demanding and stressful workload and a supervisor who used continual harsh words  and often unwarranted criticism.

Even though I gave 100% and tried to do my best,  I started doubting whether or not I was good at my job. Eventually my doubts began to creep into my personal life as well. Thoughts like “maybe I’m not a good enough wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend…” plagued my heart. Self condemnation started consuming my thoughts, and eventually I hit an all time low in self-confidence.

Juggling all the stress and pressures of the workplace was nothing compared to trying to carry the crushing weight of self-doubt.

The time finally came when I admitted I needed to make a change in my life. You see, I knew God had been calling me for several years to lay down my job, and allow Him to lead me into new places, but I had been too afraid and too insecure. But  change was necessary, or else my physical and emotional health would continue to decline.

I resigned from that position, and although I no longer had the stress of corporate responsibilities, my life was still filled with many other stressors. Yet, upon leaving my job, I picked up my Bible more than ever before. And when I started making my walk with Christ a priority, I came to realize that even though my life was still stressful, my heart was at peace.

Why? Because as my faith grew, my self confidence grew with it. You see, I was coming to realize that my value is based on who I am in Christ, not who a supervisor said I was. I embraced the acceptance and value God promises, tucked in Deuteronomy 14:2, which says You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.” (NLT)

As my heart slowly healed from the brokenness of a broken person’s words, my spirit began to soar. God helped me understand that my value lies in Him, not in the approval or acceptance of the world. I need not base my self worth, intelligence or value based on what man or woman says, but on what God says about me instead.

It was a long journey, but the more I kept my eyes focused on Christ, the more my self confidence increased. I not only discovered my confidence again, I also learned that God is the answer to our stress, no matter what form it comes in.

And I finally found a calmness in my spirit that was not present simply because I left a stressful job, but because I had embraced my unstressed God: a Savior who loved me, despite my mistakes, sins and imperfections. My Jesus who told me I was His precious treasure, even if nobody else saw my worth, including myself.

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God not only showed Tracie the path to acceptance, self-confidence, and worth in Him, but He used her experiences as the training ground to build a story in her life which is now the basis of her new book, Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World.

Today we’re giving away 3 signed copies to three of you! Leave a comment below this post and share with us something that is currently causing you stress.  I’ll share too.

To find out more, be sure to visit Tracie’s Stressed-Less Living website:  www.stressedlessliving.com . And if you purchase Stressed-Less Living between Sept 30-Oct 7th you’ll receive 7 FREE GIFTS. 

 

Lord, I Need Your Help

In case you missed my P31 devotion yesterday, I wanted to share it with you here.  When I woke up Wednesday morning, these were my exact words – Lord, I need your help. Life is a little overwhelming at the Swope house these days. Although my marriage is great now, my need to cry out to God for help is constant with my daughter Aster’s developmental delays and daily routines. The teaching part of this devotion was such a good reminder for me.  Praying He uses it to encourage your heart today.

“In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.” Psalm 18:6a (NIV 1984)

I don’t know exactly when it started, I just remember feeling angry and frustrated with my husband – almost every single day – for weeks.

One evening after a pretty intense “discussion,” J.J. told me that no matter what he did or how hard he tried, it was never enough. He was right. I constantly found fault in him as a husband and as a dad.

But the fact that he implied I was impossible to please … well that sent my already-unreasonable emotions reeling. I grabbed my coat and stormed out the front door. Hot tears streaming down my cheeks, I replayed our conversation in my head.

Determined to figure out what his problem was and get Jesus to fix him, I started telling on J.J. – to God.

As I filed my complaints against my husband, I finally heard myself. All the ugliness that was in my heart. All the anger spewing out of my mouth.

That’s when I realized, I need help.

I needed God to show me what was going on. To help me figure out how, after seven years of a happy marriage, had we gotten to this ugly place?

Instead of just crying, I found myself crying out to God for help.

King David was much better at this than I am. He had a habit of crying out to God for help when he was in distress. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible Commentary tells us that in Psalm 18:6, “‘In my distress’ refers, most probably, not to any particular case, but rather indicates [David’s] general habit of mind, that when he was in deep distress and danger he had uniformly called upon the Lord, and had found him ready to help.”

That night, when I stopped talking and started listening, I sensed God showing me I wanted J.J. to make up for what my dad had never been as a father to me and as a husband to my mom.

Years as a child in a broken home with a broken heart had led to a significant sense of loss and deep disappointment. Yet, I never grieved the happily-ever-after I longed for, but didn’t have.

Unfulfilled hopes became bitter expectations.

Trying to create my own version of “happily-ever-after,” I became controlling and critical. I thought if I could get J.J. to be the husband and dad I wanted him to be maybe my broken dreams could be put back together.

But I was wrong. Instead of expecting my husband to make up for my losses, I needed to cry out to God with my hurts and call on Him for help.

Are there hurts that hold you hostage? Expectations no one could really ever meet? Been trying to fix someone or a situation? Need some help today?

I know I do, and God is there.

Waiting for us to cry out to Him. Not just once, expecting a quick answer. But like the dependence we see in King David, we need God’s help on a regular basis.

As I processed what had happened in my childhood and how it affected my marriage, I learned to ask God for help through each step of my healing journey.

I asked Him to help me find the security I needed by letting Him be the father I longed for. I asked Him to help me grieve the loss of things I wanted from my dad that I would never have. I asked Him to help me forgive my father and release feelings of anger, abandonment and hurt. I asked Him to help me release my unrealistic expectations of my husband and let go of my fight for a “happily-ever-after.”

It was a process that took time, prayer, and courage, but God was my very present Help who showed me how to let go of my past and my pain, so I could take hold of hope and healing.

By the way, I’m crazy about my husband now. And so very thankful for the day I finally asked the Lord for help.

Dear Lord, I cry out to You today. I need Your help in my _______________. Please show me where to start and be my Help each step of the way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Are there hurts that hold you hostage? Expectations no one could really ever meet? Been trying to fix someone or a situation? In your distress, call to the Lord. Cry to God for help. 

When Pain from Yesterday Robs Us of Hope for Tomorrow

She said God wanted to heal my past hurts and use my pain to comfort others with the same hope He’d give me. But I didn’t want anyone to know about the pain of my past. I didn’t want to talk about it or deal with it. I was ashamed of it and wanted it to go away.

There were obviously things I needed to deal with, but I was afraid I’d fall apart or slip back into a depression if I let it all surface. I also feared people would feel sorry for me or judge me.

What about you? Where has your heart been and what you have been through? Are there things you’ve done or things done to you that have left you feeling hopeless?

Although we can’t go back and change the circumstances or relationships that have wounded us, we can go back and process the pain with Jesus. In fact, we won’t move forward with God until we do.

Left unresolved, the pain from yesterday will keep us from having confident hope for tomorrow. Yet, with Jesus, we can find the fullness of Healing — the restoration of Hope. But it’s not something we can hurry through. It’s a journey. Here is part of the process God used in my life (that I share in Chapter 4). I’m praying it will help be the same for you:

  • First, ask God to show you the broken places in your past you have carried into your future.
  • Then, make a time line of your life with key events, and write down any painful emotions and memories.
  • Next, ask the Holy Spirit to remind you where you have been, what those experiences and relationships have caused, how far from God they took you, and how they hurt you and others.

One of the first places God showed me that needed healing and hope was my marriage. Sadly, after about seven years, I started feeling a lot of anger and developing a critical spirit towards my husband. As I went through this process, the Holy Spirit showed me that years of disappointment as a child who in a broken home with a broken heart had led to loss. I had never grieved the happily-ever-after I longed for but didn’t have. My broken dreams had become bitter expectations and I basically wanted expected my husband to make up for all my dad had never been as a father to me, or as a husband to my mom.

Bound and determined to create my own version of a happily-ever-after, I became critical and controlling in my marriage. I had anger and fear festering in my heart which led to unrealistic expectations that erupted in the form of critical words toward JJ, telling him how to be the husband and dad I wanted him to be. You see I thought he could provide the security and shelter for the little-girl-heart that was still crushed inside my adult body. And in doing so, put my broken dreams back together.

God showed me that wasn’t the answer. Instead, I needed to forgive my father and release my feelings of bitterness, abandonment, disappointment, and hurt. I also needed to confess the sin of my unrealistic expectations and let go of what I thought was my right to a “happily-ever-after.”

And I needed to find my security and hope in God alone by letting Him be the Father I longed for. I needed to grieve some of the things I wanted that I would never have. I also needed to invite God into those hurting places so He could bind up my broken heart and set me free from captivity to my fear that I would never have a happy ending.

  • Once you’ve written your timeline and asked the Holy Spirit to remind you where you have been, what those experiences and relationships have caused, how far from God they took you, and how they hurt you and others, invite God to enter into those memories.
  • Give yourself time to grieve your losses. Ask Jesus to heal them with the power of His Holy Spirit as you focus your thoughts on transforming truths in His Word. It’s the Living Word and the written word that has the power to heal and change us.
  • As God shows you broken places, ask Him to bind up every wound with His healing touch and set you free from captivity that has held you until now.
  • Find promises to claim, to memorize and to pray out loud over your heart. Cry if you need. And take time to heal so you can find hope again.

Sweet friend, I know this isn’t easy but I know it’s true and worth what it takes. God’s power is perfected in the broken places we consider to be our greatest weaknesses—our most vulnerable emotions we don’t want anyone to know about. In those hiding places, God calls us out of captivity. When we’re willing to let Him, He brings hope for our future despite the pain of our past.

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Is there one area of your life that you can see pain from the past needs to be processed with Jesus in this way? Click on “Share Your Thoughts” below and do just that. I love hearing from you and praying for you.

Also, your little note will also be a way for me to enter you to win a copy of my new book, A Confident Heart and the conference call series that is part of Melissa Taylor’s online study of A Confident Heart.

PS. Have you joined Melissa Taylor’s online study of A Confident Heart yet? It just got started and there is plenty of room for you!! Share your thoughts below to enter to win, and then go here to find out more.

Just in case you’re wondering where I am

I’ve tried to start this post so many times. I’m not sure how many of you meet me here and also on Facebook where I’ve been sharing updates. But for those who might be wondering, I wanted to stop in to say hi and let you know where I’ve been.

Our family is going through some hard stuff, and I’ve needed to pull back and pull in close to the ones who need me most.

Three weeks ago, my father was hospitalized with kidney failure, we drove 20 hours round trip to Florida to be with him, and my newborn nephew was hospitalized and had emergency surgery while we were there. Two days after we returned home, Aster, our almost 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with a speech disorder.

School started, speech therapy started and my dad was transferred to hospice last week. A day later my mom started having severe breathing problems and we ended up in the Dr.’s office. She’s not been married to my dad for 43 years so this is all unrelated. We’re still waiting to figure out the cause of her health concerns.

Then, this Monday afternoon, my father took two deep breaths and was gone. His life ended and our walking through the valley of the shadow of death began.

We’re in Florida now. And the first thing I want to tell you is this: God keeps His promises. He’s been with us. His goodness and mercy is following us, His rod and staff are guiding and comforting us.

He’s met us here in our place of sadness and sorrow in ways I could not imagine. I’ve been asking Him to wrap His mercy around my heart and the hearts of my brothers as we grieve our loss – not only for the future we won’t have with Dad, but also the past we longed for but never had with him either.

But oh how our Heavenly Father has met us here… rushing to our sides and comforting our hurts, giving us courage to let go and perseverance to hold on – to Him and each other.

Dad’s memorial service is Friday so we’ll be here all week. But when life settles down and words come more easy, I’ll be back. To write and to announce the winners of my last two give-aways. Until then, let’s stay in touch on Facebook. Love you so!

Ps. I also wanted to let you know my friend Samantha has a Confident Heart give-away and Melissa Taylor with Proverbs  31 Ministries is leading an online Bible/Book study of A Confident Heart. We wanted to make sure you know that you are invited! For more information, click here.

 

A Wing and a Prayer

“Let me find refuge and trust in the shelter of Your wings.” Psalm 61:4b (Amp)

Today I’m asking God to help me find shelter under His wings. I’m being stretched to believe I can rest in God’s sovereignty and choose inactivity (on my part). Instead of working on something I need to do, God’s challenging me pray instead…to be still, talk to Him and trust He is working when I am not. This is where believing God and doubting play tug-o-war. When a deadline and responsibility hangs over my head and something keeps me from moving toward it, it makes me…

Doubt I can get it done.
Doubt I heard God right.
Doubt God’s perfect plans and timing.
Doubt my ability to follow through.

Satan wants us to doubt ourselves
But God wants us to believe HIM and trust Him! This is where we learn to live in the power of HIS promises. It’s the only way to live beyond the shadow of our doubts as we walk forward or rest in faith. But it’s hard when you’re having a bad day. Like the one one that just culminated with a run-away dog this afternoon, and me crying ’cause I didn’t think I’d find her since she didn’t have her tags on her new collar.

I drove around my neighborhood and surrounding area with my windows down crying out, “Daaaaaaaaisy, Daiseeeeey!” And saying, “God, please don’t let this happen. Not today. Not Daisy. You know she’ll run forever. She’s a beagle whose nose will lead her to SC and she won’t even know she left home. This is the last thing I need today. Pleeeaase help me find her.”

Finally a man who lives near us brought her home while I was out looking for her. He told mom it took a piece of bologna to get Daisy to come to him. I could’ve strangled that bologna-eating dog when I got home. But she was smiling and jumping on me like she’d gotten back from a friends house.

I know, life happens! But I sure do wish it would coordinate itself with my needs and deadlines. Today was a writing day and now my brain feels like a sledge hammer is pounding on it. Why do things like this happen on the days I block out time to write my book? Seriously. And can I be honest with you? It’s frustrating. I can’t write every day so when I can, I really need to.

Sometimes it feels like I am living in the middle of impossible.

So what do we do in the middle of impossible? I am still trying to figure that out but the past several months have given me lots of opportunities to try a few things. First, I am learning to cling to the promise- With God all things are possible! Then I am learning to ask Him to give me a very specific “word” (a promise or a principle) from His Word to act on and put my trust in. Then I look for what next step He wants me to take.

For example, before all this craziness happened today, I was stressing a little about my book deadline and blocking out time to write until I meet it. This weekend He gave me 2 Timothy 1:12b, For I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I’ve entrusted to Him for that day.

Then today He challenged me (gave me the opportunity) to walk it out: to be convinced that He is able to guard what I’ve entrusted to Him for this day. For me it means that I am entrusting Him with the chapter I feel like I should be writing, and the words that are now stuck inside my pounding head.

As far as a step to take, the Holy Spirit reminded again today that God’s been nudging me to for a while to ask friends to pray for me and the message of “A Confident Heart” and the women who will read it – until it’s written. He’s reminded me that the enemy is not happy about what God is up to on the pages of this book and that he will do all he can to stop me.

So, today I am walking out 2 Tim 1:12, and then taking the next step of obedience by asking some friends to pray with me.

Would you’d like to be part of the “Confident Heart” prayer team?
I think it’d be so wonderful to seek Christ’ heart with you and ask Him together to make Himself famous through this book. Leah (my assistant and dear friend) and I are excited to see who God will gather with us. We’ll collect names/emails to send requests and we’ll also be praying for them too! To join us, leave a comment below with your email address and we’ll send you updates, probably once a week. (Or email aconfidentheart@gmail.com with “Prayer Team” in the subject line.)

Now that I’ve written all of this, I have a feeling God is writing a chapter right here in the middle of impossible. I’d love to know if you ever feel like you are living in the middle of impossible? What are some promises you cling to and some steps you take to help you get out of that hard place?

I love to hear from you! (and pray for you, too)

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UPDATE: Thank you so much for blessing me with your words of affirmation, ideas, suggestions and perspectives for the subtitle of “A Confident Heart.” It was the best feedback I could have gotten!! You make me want to write this book even when it gets hard! Random integer chose Stephanie Pace as the winner of the $20 giftcard. So sorry it took me a day to count the names and get it posted. Congratulations Stephanie!