Just in time for Mother’s Day weekend, I’ve invited my friend Karen Ehman to share a devotional with us from her new book, Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus. We’re also giving away TWO COPIES of the book and one beautiful bracelet. Keeping reading to find out more.
As a little girl I loved being outdoors. I could often be found playing kickball with the neighborhood kids or riding my bike around the block. I liked to splash in puddles and jump in piles of leaves. There was one aspect, however, about being outside that I didn’t particularly care for: the critters.
Spiders were scary … dogs terrifying. And I couldn’t even bear the thought of snakes.
My intense fear of these creatures often kept me from fully engaging in play.
Unfortunately, even when I didn’t encounter creepy-crawlies outdoors, they occasionally wound up in my dreams at night. I would have the same reoccurring nightmare of snakes slithering toward me while I stood frozen, unable to run away. When I would wake up, I would be in a panic, heart wildly beating, palms sweating. I never thought my fears would go away until the one summer when I had no other choice.
The summer I turned 20, I took a job at a nature center teaching four-year-olds. It didn’t cross my mind that keeping company with critters would be a part of my duties. I had to capture insects to examine and release, scoop tadpoles to study pond life, and even hold the snakes that were kept in glass tanks in the main building.
Although everything in me wanted to run away, there were little eyes on me. So, I whispered a prayer for strength, pushed past my fears, and made those kids think I was a critter-lovin’ instructor whose calm demeanor (and lack of screaming!) showed them there was nothing to fear. If their teacher wasn’t freaking out, why should they?
Even though I worked through my fear that summer, as an adult now, I’m still tempted to “freak out” with fear. My imagination concocts all sorts of scenarios peppered with dread and doom. Sometimes I can’t shake fear as I try to fall asleep.
But I have come to trust this perspective-shifting truth: God is not worried. He’s not in heaven wringing His hands, wondering just how everything will eventually turn out. He is in control. He is loving.
God longs to use the circumstances of our lives to mold our mind, craft our character, and chase away the fears that threaten to slither in, paralyzing us and rendering us ineffective.
Ever the patient and wise teacher, if He isn’t freaking out, why should we?
Proverbs 3:24-26a is a sweet promise to us…
Now that passage doesn’t promise that we won’t ever encounter sudden disasters in life. But it does reassure us that we have no need to fear them. Why? Because the Lord—our gracious and wise teacher—is our security. He will be there to comfort and to guide as He teaches us the lessons we need to learn.
With God as our security, we can have calm in our present.
With God as our security, we can face the future without fear. And we can share this confidence we gain to inspire others, helping to keep them from unnecessary fret and worry.
Why it even helps me deal with little critters that get inside my house without squirming.
Well . . . without squirming too much.
Enter to Win
We are giving away two Pressing Pause devotionals and a beautiful bracelet from Fashion & Compassion. Written by my dear friends Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk, Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus offers us a calm way to start our day, to refresh ourselves in Christ and drink deeply of His presence so we are ready to pour out love, time, and energy into the people who matter most!
These 100 encouraging devotions for moms has helped me start each day with Scripture, drawing on God’s power, soaking up His Word, and learning practical ways to love and serve my family more like Christ each day. And one of my favorite features is the set of questions and optional journaling or notes area at the end of each day’s devotional.
Just a few minutes each day can help you center your heart and mind on what God has for you as His beloved daughter. So resist the rush. Halt the hustle. Press pause and find some calm in the chaos.
TO ENTER TO WIN simply click “Share Your Thoughts” below today’s post and do just that. Your comment will be your entry into the drawing! Two winners will be chosen and contacted on Monday, May 9th.
JOYCE K says
I fed Jo-Jo my huge Tiger Boy Cat one morning last week = some dry food….and as I was setting his bowl down……I saw “moving objects!” There were swarming ANTS in his DRY FOOD. As I checked around…there were ANTS in the tall tin Christmas popcorn of cat food = I believe the ANTS were having a FAMILY REUNION in that can, and then along the carpet where the dry food bowl, and water bowl had sat = ANTS were marching up and down along the very edge like “Armies” and “Armies on Patrol.” Then, I looked at my POOR- POOR JO-JO ==== DO YOU HAVE ANTS IN YOUR STOMACH???? Well, my critter story ends…with insect killer spray, brand new feed, large sealed container’s for eating bowls, and a new spot for dinner. And, all is ANT-FREE NOW! I
I could have let my fears, and feelings “fly to the moon” with irrational ideas, concepts, and frantic what-nots. A day of worry is actually more exhausting than a day of work, and if I would have gotten myself way out of control emotionally….well, I have learned from my awesome God that LOVE is the only thing okay to do in excess! So, ants go away…and when I pray..I release my WORRY, and FEARS nd REST IN GOD! I ask the Lord to keep my eyes on Him today and not my FEARS ..and thanks for the grace that strengthens me. Love ya, Joyce and Jo-Joi the Cat
Thank you for your inspiration! I would like to ask for prayers a very close friend who is struggling with infertility. I pray she finds peace and strength in this situation. God has a plan and he will take care of her!
Thank you for your inspirations and the hope you give to so many. They have been so helpful, especially during the trying times my family has faced lately. I would appreciate prayers for my daughter, a single mom who is struggling to raise her 3 children alone. She lost her job 6 months ago and has not able to find another. My son is struggling to regain his life and his family after making some bad choices and turning to alcohol. He was fired, arrested for an argument with his wife when his daughter called the police, and facing jail time as well as a hefty fine when sentencing occurs for a bond violation for failing one of the many court appointed breath tests. It has already cost his family several thousand dollars for a lawyer and court fees straining their finances tremendously. The past 2 weeks another son’s wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given less than 6 months to live. I have no control over these and have put them in God’s care. My husband is not handling the stress well though. Each of these families are also struggling and in great need of prayer to get through these challenges and to strengthen their faith and not give up. Bless you!
I’m hoping this will be read as I’m not seeing another way to contact you, Renee. I wanted to let you know how much the journal “Come to Me” has meant to me in the past several months. I’ve been separated from my husband for almost a year now. There have been many ups and downs and things look like we are headed for divorce. As I chose your journal for myself back in December. I have been ministered to by the verses and prayers on each page. I fill each one top to bottom with writing so I don’t necessarily change pages every day but it is interesting that the words jump off the pages some days to minister to me right where I’m at. And the journal is beautiful. I love the soothing pretty colors. Just wanted to say thank you and let you know how God is using something you put together to bless me at a very hard time in my life.
When our minds will not “rest” to offer the body sleep, ask God to please take care of the situation. Hand it up to him.
Interesting timing, read this after finding a critter. Definitely good reminder that I don’t need to be afraid. God not only has the present in His hands but the future as well.
I would love the chance to win a copy of this book — I sure do need to learn how to press pause!!!
Thank you so much for sharing! I am someone who has terrifying thoughts of things that will 99.9% never happen, only worsened when I had my daughter. I love my quiet times in the morning, and just ordered the book “Let it go” to help. Thank you so much for the opportunity of a giveaway! 🙂
Felicia Starr says
Finding myself single and teenage daughter choosing to live with her dad, I miss her so much. I fear so much for her and her future, but I know God has a plan and I trust him. God has been with me and reassured me to hold on to Him through this. The Proverbs 31 Ministries Books have been a source of inspiration and encouragement for me.
Andrea Hamilton says
Thank you! Wonderful thoughts! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book!