2015 Reading List

2015 Reading List || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Every year I share the books I’ve read along with the reviews I posted, if applicable. I hope you find some good reads in this list and I’d love for you to share what you’re reading in the comments. Also, be sure to check back because I do try to keep this list up-to-date. I’ll be reviewing many of these books throughout the year also.

Happy Reading!!
Teri Lynne

2015 Reading List || TeriLynneUnderwood.comPlease note, most of these are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you purchase through them which is applied to an Amazon gift card used to {you guessed it!} purchase more books!! Thanks for supporting my habit.

And so, here you have my 2015 Reading List! Enjoy!

  1. Love Walked among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus by Paul E. Miller
  2. Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All by Karen Ehman {review}
  3. Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears. by Margaret Feinberg {review}
  4. Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of Your Bible by Lisa Nichols Hickman {read more about how I use my Journaling Bible here}
  5. In This House, We Will Giggle: Making Virtues, Love, and Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life by Courtney DeFeo
  6. The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You by Mary DeMuth
  7. Then Again by Diane Keaton
  8. Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman
  9. Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup
  10. The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner
  11. God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter {Lenten devotional}
  12. Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in Your Mess by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin

 

Check out my previous years’ reading lists as well: 2013 {Best Books I Read in 2013}, 2014 {Best Books I Read in 2014}.

What I Learned in February

What I Learned in February 2015

Time to share what we learned in February and link up with the lovely Emily of Chatting at the Sky. I don’t always remember to keep track of the little things I’ve learned each month but I do always love reading everyone else’s tidbits. This month, however, I did remember! Yay me! :)

What I Learned in February 2015

Eventually, you can miss so much school for snow that never comes that your child will WANT to go back to class. Truth.  Related: when the snow finally comes to your little southern town, your Yankee friends will mock you for being so excited but end up a little impressed at the six inches that fell in four hours and admit it is a lot of snow. Also related: one reason I love living in the south is that when it snows one day, the next day it will be warm enough to melt the snow on the roads and we won’t have to deal with all the snow mess.

what I learned in February

Rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar stinks … but it works! {Here is another DIY hair detox recipe. I haven’t tried this one but I’m pretty sure my daughter who thinks the apple cider thing is disgusting might be willing to do this one.}

When your daughter gets her braces off, you will cry because she looks so grown up and suddenly all you can see is her moving to college, getting married, and the days of her in your home will seem to be flying by. All the moms who told me this would happen were right.

What I Learned in February

 

You CAN hang sweaters and not get the shoulder boobs!! Seriously, this is life-changing information, y’all!!

Gallery walls are addictive. We started with one in my office area. I loved it. So after Christmas I added one above my piano. Now I want one in every room.

What I Learned in February

There’s a reason why I enjoy having hour-long shows playing in the background while I write … it’s the amount of time I can focus. I read this article in The Atlantic and was fascinated because I use Amazon Prime Video streaming as the “white noise” while I work. Music distracts me but apparently episodes of The Good Wife do not. Who knows how my brain works.  Anyway, with Prime streaming, I have to actually stop and hit play on the next episode which usually is my cue to get up and change the laundry or fix James’ lunch or whatever.

So, there you have it, a few things I learned this month. I also wanted to invite you to join me at the final Kitchen Table Talk with Brooke McGlothin and Stacey Thacker this Sunday night. We’ll be chatting about a chapter in their book, Hope for the Weary Mom, I have re-read a few times already—”When Gentle Words Won’t Come.” You can get all the information about how to dial in here.  Amber Lia is their other guest and I can’t wait to hear what these three incredible moms have to share!!

So, what did you learn this month?

xo,
Teri Lynne

3 Reasons I Love Using my Journaling Bible

3 Reasons I Love Using my Journaling Bible

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know I have a journaling Bible. My IG feed is full of images like this …

3 reasons I love my journaling BIble

I’ve always been a note-taker and margin-writer in my Bible. Last April, I spoke at Refine: the Retreat in Ohio. My friend, Kris, was the visionary and host of this wildly amazing event. It was there I was introduced to the idea of art journaling. My clumsy first attempts were no where near as gorgeous as the delightful Annie Barnett’s illustrations.  But Annie, Kris, and the other women at the retreat were incredibly kind and encouraging. I came home with a mostly empty journal but the seed of something more — an interest in the blending of words and fonts and squiggles and paint and color …

Enter the ESV Journaling Bible. In mid-September I realized I wanted one. I had no idea what I would do with it or if I would really love it but I couldn’t get the thought of it out of my mind. I mentioned it once or twice on social media and on September 23, 2014, a mysterious package arrived from Amazon — the ESV Journaling Bible, an early birthday gift from my Aunt Mollianne.

At first, I was a little intimidated. What if I messed it  up? What if I couldn’t “do” it? But, I finally talked myself into giving it a go. Here is where I started:

Journaling Bible: Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy. One of my favorite books. And as you can see … mostly I just added notes and squiggles.

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten braver and less concerned about my artistic abilities {or lack thereof}. And, for a recovering perfectionist, that is one of the coolest things I’ve gained from this process.

3 Reasons I Love Using my Journaling Bible

Lately, more and more people have asked me why I use a journaling Bible and what the purpose is. As I’ve thought about their questions and my answers, I realized there are 3 reasons I love using my journaling Bible.

Focus

Using my journaling Bible helps me focus.

I tend to think about 400 things at a time. My mind is always going and it’s very hard for me to give my full attention to only one task — even in my quiet time. Since I started using the journaling Bible I have found I don’t get distracted as easily.  I am totally engaged with what I’m doing and what God is speaking to me.

Intentionality

Using the journaling Bible has increased my intentionality during my quiet time.

Using the Journaling Bible has helped me be more intentional about what I’m reading. I’ve always used a journal during my quiet time, filling up one after the other for the past almost twenty years. But adding the Journaling Bible has caused me to see the layers of what God is teaching me, even after just a few  months. The notes on my pages reveal the different times I’ve read a particular passage and what I learned each time. It’s as if I’m working a puzzle and every time I study a passage, another piece comes into place and the picture slowly and methodically becomes more and more clear.

Clarity

Writing definitions helps me have clarity as I read the Bible.

Often I stop and look up words when I am reading Scripture. For example, in John 21 when Jesus is restoring Peter, He ends the conversation with these words, “Follow Me.”  Because this is something Jesus said repeatedly in all the Gospels, I looked up the word “follow” and note the definition in the margin. Knowing exactly what the word means provided clarity about what Jesus was saying. I love that one of the definitions is “to move behind in the same direction.” That’s the call we all have — to move behind Jesus and go in the same direction He goes.

So there you are, three reasons I love using the Journaling Bible.  I don’t think it’s something everyone has to do … or that everyone who uses this tool will do it the same way. But for this season in my life, I love it!

Have you ever used a journaling Bible? What do you think about it?

Here’s what I use {affiliate links}:

More posts about having a quiet time:

  1. Devotions, Quiet Time, Personal Bible Study. Is It Really Necessary?
  2. 10 Tips for a Great Quiet Time
  3. Quiet Times, West Wing, and Being Invaded
  4. What Is the Point of a Quiet Time?

Keep. It. Shut. {Asking God to Do the Hard Things in Us}

Do Hard Things ... lessons from Keep. It. Shut by Karen Ehman

First off, I need to admit something: I adore Karen Ehman. In fact, I might even be a little awestruck by her. She is energetic, entertaining, and everything she writes makes me feel like she’s been reading my prayer journal. Seriously, this woman seems to know me.

Last summer I got to meet her. {I failed to get my picture made with her because I am, as you all already know, a total dork.} Karen so graciously invited me to share with the advanced speakers at She Speaks. And, in a very Teri Lynne manner, I forgot that she had also instructed me to stop by their first session to introduce myself.  Which meant someone {I’m looking at you, Courtney!} had to come find me and remind me where I was supposed to be.  Clearly, there is a reason I did not get invited to speak again this year.

Keep. It. Shut by Karen Ehman

Anyway … after She Speaks, Karen sent me the sweetest email thanking me for being a part of the conference and asking me if I’d be interested in being an endorser for her next book. Heck yes!!! When the galley copy arrived I pored over the pages, soaking in Karen’s incredible blend of wisdom, humor, and practicality.  I gladly sent my endorsement:

Keep. It. Shut is a powerful challenge for those of us who tend to speak first, think later. Karen has invited us to join her on the quest to use our words wisely (even when that means not using words at all).

And then my “real” copy came. After I finished gawking over the fact I got to endorse the book written by someone I have admired for years, I started reading it again.

Y’all … this book is rocking my world. I’m having to read it slowly because, well, it’s no big secret I like all the words. Currently, I’m on page 158. I may be there for the next three-and-a-half years. Because Karen wrote this:

My daughter simply vocalized a truth she noticed in my life: I tend to lose my cool with my family, but somehow manage to keep calm when I interact with others.

Um, yeah. And also, ouch.

Remember last Tuesday? I wrote these words:

In one of the most glorious displays of grace-based parenting you can find, I said, “You win! I give up.” And then proceeded to explain to this child of mine how we had spent all morning doing nice things for her and giving her gifts and reminding her how precious she was to us … and what I was getting in return was attitude and meanness. And, because I’m never one to stop while I’m ahead, I kept this tirade going right up until the moment she got out of the car. I drove off fuming at how selfish this child of mine is and how much I don’t deserve to be treated this way.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need someone to get in my business. To speak hard truth into my life. But I prefer if that person is speaking from experience … because then it feels less like judgment and more like encouragement.  Karen gets in my business. I sent her a picture of that page in my copy of the book on January 22 with this note, “All over my toes this morning.” Her gracious reply, “I know. Ouch! Right?”

Do the hard things

It’s now February 24 and I’m still on page 158.  A month later. Because, y’all, I don’t want to be the kind of person who reads truth and even makes a note in the margin but keeps on going without being changed. And so I keep reading this chapter again and again. And I keep digging into the Word because that’s where Karen’s words always point. And I realize this may be one of those things I deal with for the rest of my life but I don’t want to stay where I am. I don’t want to write it off as, “It’s just the way I am.” Because I know God is at work in me and His Word can transform me and His power can change me.  I’m digging in and begging Him to do the hard things in me — because my family is worth it and I want these words to be true of me, in my home and out:

Proverbs 31:26

What hard lesson is God teaching you right now?

You can learn more about Karen’s incredible book Keep. It. Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All on her website. I received a copy of this book from Karen but the opinions about its value are all my own. And my opinion is — everyone needs this book!

15 Years of Mothering {and why it’s harder than I ever thought!}

15 years of motherhood square

Fifteen years ago our daughter was born. I had all kinds of hopes and dreams about what life with a girl was going to be. I envisioned tea parties and dance classes. I looked forward to pedicures and movie dates. I anticipated shopping trips and girls only getaway weekends. I was sure I’d be the kind of mom who knew when to listen and how to point her daughter back to Scripture. I just knew we’d share a love for Bible study and maybe even one day do conferences together for moms and daughters.

And now, after 15 years of mothering, some of those dreams came true {like pedicures and watching my girl dance} and some of them did not. Or maybe just haven’t yet.

15 years of motherhood and why it's harder than I ever thought it would be

A weather delay meant we weren’t rushed this morning to get to school. Scott fixed pancakes and bacon for our girl and we all three sat down to eat breakfast together. As she did her hair and got ready for school, Scott and I posted the obligatory “we love you, birthday girl” posts on Facebook. I gathered up some of my favorite photos of her and shared how much I know Scott’s dad would have loved to see the young lady she has become.

Fifteen years of mothering

But somehow in between the “Happy birthday” greetings on Facebook and getting out the door for school, the wheels came off the wagon.

I forgot the sage advice my friend gave me several years ago, “Don’t take it personally!” and Casiday forgot the admonition she hears regularly, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”  The coffee spilled on her jeans and the breakfast that made her rushed were clearly my fault.

In one of the most glorious displays of grace-based parenting you can find, I said, “You win! I give up.” And then proceeded to explain to this child of mine how we had spent all morning doing nice things for her and giving her gifts and reminding her how precious she was to us … and what I was getting in return was attitude and meanness. And, because I’m never one to stop while I’m ahead, I kept this tirade going right up until the moment she got out of the car. I drove off fuming at how selfish this child of mine is and how much I don’t deserve to be treated this way.

So I sat down, leaving the laundry in the basket. On the top of the pile of books I’m reading sat Hope for the Weary Mom. Brooke and Stacey are the real deal. They are girls I can Vox or text and say, “I can’t go another step.” They get it … they are living it with me. Stacey has a daughter the same age as mine. We’re walking this mine field of teenage girls together.

I opened to the chapter Stacey wrote about Redeeming Mommy Guilt and I read these words:

Mommy guilt can cause a weariness a nap won’t fix. It weighs on us and wears us out. It turns perfectly normal moms into women who are convinced they could win the prize for Worst Mom of the Year. I have spent years reading about and trying to understand grace, and I’m convinced it is the antidote for guilt. The two can’t live together. One displaces the other. Ideally, grace lives and breathes in our life, and guilt leaves. But, more often than not the opposite is true. How do we give grace more space to rest in our lives? (74)

Yesterday, I wrote about grace. In a whole different context, yes, but the same concept. Grace isn’t what we deserve. It’s what we are given. And it’s what we need. It’s what I need.

Those dreams I had weren’t bad. But they had taken the place of the truth. My girl isn’t wired like me. She isn’t excited about study of any sort. She doesn’t like the spotlight. But she is a faithful and loyal friend. She helpful and kind with James. She is not what I had dreamed about in a daughter. But she is truly a gift from the Lord {Psalm 127:3}.

It has to be okay to acknowledge that sometimes we don’t know how to deal with the difference between what we expected and what we have. Sometimes the words our children speak and the way they act hurt us. Sometimes we are selfish as moms and we miss the mark.

Because we’re sinners, all of us. We’re desperately hopeless on our own. She is and so am I. The only answer, the only way to change the picture, is grace — giving it and receiving it.

This morning, long before the pancakes and pouting, I wrote a prayer in my journal:

A Mother's Prayer on her Daughter's 15th Birthday

Today hasn’t been all roses and sunshine. It has been ugly and hard. And maybe that’s the point. When I ask God to make me into the mom He created me to be, it means He has to show me what isn’t like Him, what needs to be pruned.

I’m thankful for this girl of mine. This daughter who God is always using to show me more of Him {and more of my need for Him}. And today she turns fifteen. Fifteen years of being a mom hasn’t always been fun or easy — but it has always been good because loving this girl is a gift. And I’m thankful for her … and for the lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn about grace through her.

What have you learned in your years of parenting?

Some of the books on parenting I am finding most encouraging during this season of having a teenager in my home.  Click on the images below to get more information about each of these books. {affiliate links}

50 Shades of Grey … 5000 Shades of Grace

50 Shades of Grey ... but 5000 shades of grace!

I want to say this well … because if I don’t, I’m afraid I’ll miss this incredible opportunity to show the love of Christ. I’m nervous because the topic is full of potential for misinterpretation and hateful dialog and mean-spiritedness.

But inside me, I know this is one of those rare times when I need to let go of my desire to be liked and avoid the fray and speak out. So with great trepidation and a whole lot of prayers, I am sharing my thoughts about 50 Shades of Grey and why the real issue is 5000 Shades of Grace.

I hope you will hear my heart as you read these words.

Teri Lynne

************************************

There may be 50 shades of grey but there are 5000 shades of grace.

I haven’t read the books. I won’t see the movie. It wasn’t a hard decision for me.  I don’t read books with explicit sexual content. It’s a guideline I have for myself. And the truth is, I encourage my friends not to read the books or see the movie. I have yet to read a coherent argument as to the value of doing so. I also encourage my friends not to see movies with gratuitous violence or language for the same reason.

But here’s the thing: I do have friends who have read the books and will see or have seen the movie.

And I am not really sure how to navigate that. Because the truth is, I’m in no position to place judgment.  A few years ago when Magic Mike came out and everyone was talking about “mommy porn,” I was quick to make the statement that no godly woman should have any part in any of that.

And while I don’t think what I said was wrong … my heart was.

I missed the mark. And I missed it by a lot.

Here’s the thing I’m realizing … grace is so much bigger than I ever dreamed. Grace has room for questions and fears and insecurities and doubts.  Grace has room for the woman whose marriage is in shambles and she sees a movie or reads a book to escape from her own reality. Grace has room for the heart that is broken from betrayal and looks for some sort of satisfaction in places she never dreamed she’d go. Grace has room.

5000 shades of grace ... because grace says, "It's forgiven."

What we need is less shouting about what is evil and more listening about what is broken. We need to be vessels of grace … open to hard conversations and willing to listen. We need to realize that sex isn’t a tool created for control but a gift created for connection.

I can’t not mention pornography here as well. I have friends whose husbands are unable to become physically stimulated by their wives without taking a pill because they have watched so much pornography a real woman’s body is not enough to excite them. And it’s not just a non-Christian man issue, y’all. Pornography is a powerful industry that impacts every aspect of our culture. Consider these numbers:

  • 56% of divorces involve one party having an “obsessive interest” in a pornographic website. {American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers}
  • 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women admit to having a porn addiction. {ChristiaNet Survey}
  • One out of three visitors to adult websites are women. {Internet-Filter-Review.com}
  • Of those struggling with sexual addiction under the age of 35, 40% are women. {National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families}

And the number scariest to me …

The largest and fastest growing group of consumers of internet pornography are 12-17 years old, with the average age of exposure being 11 years old. {Internet-Filter-Review.com}

I have a daughter who will be 15 this week. She and almost all of her friends have been asked to send a naked picture of themselves to a boy. These issues are real and we have no idea what the long term impact on our children and marriages and our culture will be.

But make no mistake — all of these are issues of the heart! And when we make blanket statements of judgment and condemnation {like I have} we miss the opportunity to connect with hearts. We miss the chance to share the truth about our bodies and relationships and sex and how amazing it all is when we trust God’s plan.

And so, instead of saying “It is a sin to see this movie or read that book” I want to say this:

Whether you do or don’t, you are loved by a God who created you and desires to give you life, abundant and to the full. If you ache with a longing for someone to cherish you, know this: He gave His Son for you, a ransom for your life. You are cherished and precious. And His love isn’t contingent on being good enough or pure enough, it’s rooted in Him, because HE IS LOVE!

Maybe, just maybe, the world needs to hear us say we understand the appeal of movies and books that offer a warped version of love … because we all have that hole inside us — but what if, instead of chastising and shaming, we offered them the life-giving, grace-overflowing true love of Christ that doesn’t demand we clean up before we come to Him because He is so much better at cleansing than we could ever be.

There is grace … so much grace. And it covers every shade of grey … washing us white as snow.

” … though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow … ” Isaiah 1:18

“For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage {Zechariah 8:16-18}

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Zechariah 8:16-18

“These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate,” declares the Lord.

Zechariah 8:16-17

Anyone but me love a good checklist?

Every day I make a list of what needs to be done and I love being able to draw a line through completed items or check the box by my accomplishments. {Sometimes I even add items to the list just so I can check them off. Truth.}

Our spiritual life isn’t a checklist, though. We don’t get to look at the Fruit of the Spirit and mark them off one at a time as we do them. It isn’t like we wake up every day and say, “Yep, loved my spouse today. Check.” And then get to spend the rest of the day treating people awfully.

The work of God in us is ongoing … and won’t be ready for checking off until we are completed in Him in heaven {Philippians 1:6}.

But, He does give us an idea of those characteristics He desires to see in us and of the behaviors and actions that identify us as His.  These verses in Zechariah give us a few —

  • Speak the truth to one another
  • Render true judgments
  • Make peace
  • Don’t plot against each other
  • Tell the truth about everything

Consider what our marriages and homes would look like if these were the qualities that defined our lives. What a beautiful pictures of integrity in word and deed we would be and the peace that would subdue any strife.

As we wrap up this series of verses to pray for our marriages and as we celebrate this fun day of love we call Valentine’s Day … let’s be an example to the world of the love of God, a picture of integrity and peace that extends far beyond the doors of our homes.

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Zechariah 8:16-18

Lord, we pray our marriage reflects You. We long to be obedient and faithful to the desires You have for us. Use our relationship to shine light into the darkness and may we be an example to others of integrity and peace, a reflection of Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage index

image source: canstockphoto.com

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage {Zechariah 4:6}

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Zechariah 4:6

Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”

Zechariah 4:6

Confession: Sometimes I suffer from an affliction called “Just let me do it myself-itis.” I load the dishwasher and do the laundry and make the bed because no one else does it “right.” I agree to lead a committee or take charge of an event so I can make sure everything gets done. I’m not great at delegating and I tend to follow behind people {ahem even in my house!} to make sure the tasks they’ve done are done correctly.

Extremely Type A and a trying-to-quit-perfectionist, I basically don’t trust anyone else to do it right. And, I tend to procrastinate until I have time to do it right rather than asking someone else to help … which leads to me feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done.

It’s a vicious circle.

And it drives people around me crazy.

I also do this spiritually. I figure out what will work and then charge ahead … often without seeking God’s guidance. Remember the prayer from a few days ago based on Zephaniah 2:3? In that post I wrote these words,

Our marriages need less of our planning and more of His leading.

It’s so easy for me to think I can do it on my own. But I can’t … and neither can my husband. Even together, we can’t do it all. We need the Lord.

Our abilities and efforts are not enough to sustain a thriving marriage. We need His Word to speak into us. Our love and passion are not enough to keep us connected.  We need His love to flow through us. Our time and energy are not enough to get us through the hard times. We need His strength and grace to pour over us.

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Zechariah 4:6

Lord, sometimes we want to do it all on our own. We think we’ve got it figured out.  We trust in our abilities and efforts … and it’s never enough to accomplish the work You have for us. Only Your Spirit at work in us and through us, pouring over us is sufficient to keep us focused on You and in the place of peace we can only find in Your will.  Help us remember this truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage index

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage {Haggai 1:7}

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Haggai 1:7

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.
Haggai 1:7

Do you ever stop and think about why you do the things you do?

Not just the big things but little ones as well. I don’t know about you, but I have some habits and mannerisms that drive Scott crazy. For example, eye rolling.

Apparently I roll my eyes … a lot. And it isn’t his favorite. Time and again he’d mention how much he hated when I did it and often I’d respond that I didn’t even realize I had. Truth, y’all — eye rolling had become such a habit for me I didn’t know when I was doing it.

I’ve heard it said that the reason for divorce usually isn’t one big thing but a thousand little ones. We laugh about whether or not the toilet paper should roll from top or bottom or if you should roll or squeeze the toothpaste … but over time, those minor things can become major. I’m not saying they should — I’m saying they do.

This verse from Haggai is a call to the people of Israel to consider their ways concerning their relationship with the Lord. Because just like those little things can build up and ultimately create tension in our marriages, the same process can happen spiritually.

We need to consider our spiritual habits. Are we growing in our intimacy with Christ? Are you we spending time in worship, both corporate and individual? Are we encouraging others in our family and beyond to seek the Lord? Are we serving Him and living generously?

Sometimes we all need a little time for reflection and evaluation of how we are living our lives. We need to evaluate the habits we’ve developed and the way we’re handling our relationships. And, most of all, we need to ask the Lord to reveal to us where we haven’t been living in a manner that honors Him.

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Haggai 1:7

Lord, life is busy. And we are often guilty of allowing bad habits to sneak in to our days. We don’t always see them immediately but they impact our marriages and our relationship with You. Will You please help us to be mindful to consider our ways in all things? In Jesus’ name. Amen.

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage index

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage {Zephaniah 2:3}

magdaleine.com jonas nilsson lee

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do His just commands.
Zephaniah 2:3

Sheep are not known for their intelligence. In fact, as far as animals go, they are probably among the least smart. Without the shepherd, they’d never survive.

The Psalmist wrote, “we are the sheep of Your pasture” and “The Lord is my shepherd.” Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd.”

It’s easy to think we’ve got it under control and make our plans for the life we want. We can so quickly forget how much we need the Lord’s guidance and protection. We can forget to seek His face and place priority on time with Him.

Our marriages need less of our planning and more of His leading. I’m convinced of that fact. What if we made a commitment to stop pushing ahead with our plans and start putting aside more time for abiding in Him? I can’t imagine how that would change the face of our marriages and our homes and churches and our communities and our world!

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Zephaniah 2:3

Lord, we like to think we can do it on our own. We trust in our abilities and competence. We make our plans and push ahead with our goals. But what we really need is You. Change our hearts, Lord, and give us this one passion: to seek You always.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage index

image source: magdeleine.com

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