March 3, 2015

A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son (New Book & Giveaway)

You know my heart for prayer, and I know your hearts for prayer, so I could not wait to share this book with you!

Last year, I received an e-mail from a friend inviting me to contribute to Rob and Joanna’s new book, “A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son.” I couldn’t say yes fast enough because prayer, and more specifically, praying God’s Word, completely transformed my mother’s heart and changed our home.

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A few months ago, I shared with you Rob’s first book, “A Dad’s Prayers for His Daughter.” And I am even more excited to share today’s book because now you have a matched set…whether you have a son or daughter, a grandson or grandaughter, or a niece or nephew, you have access to beautiful, powerful prayers to pray.

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So many times we want to pray for our children, but we just don’t know how to pray or what to pray. This book teaches us how to pray for every area of their lives. And they fill the pages not only with prayer but also with stories (like the one I share about praying for my son, Bo) that help bring those prayers alive so you can see them at work in a real family.

I invited Joanna to stop by and share a message from her heart so that you could get to know her. So below, find a message from her heart to yours. At the end of her message, I invite you to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of their book, “A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son.”

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Joanna, thank you for stopping by today.

Grab a Plate!

 A huge part of my life as a mom revolves around preparing food for the seven of us in my family. I create the shopping lists, shop the aisles of the grocery store, drive home and put it all away, and then create meals to put on the table from day to day. I try to keep each of the kid’s cravings in mind as I shop—chocolate milk, Honeycrisp apples, frozen fruit bars—because in some mysterious way, food says “love” to each of them.

We celebrate life together over food, too. Thanksgiving turkey and pie, Superbowl pizza and wings, birthday cake and ice cream–it’s impossible to separate our family’s connection with each other from the meals that we share.

This past summer we were thrilled to adopt our little boy. If we have ever had a reason to celebrate, it’s him! What’s tough, though, is that he has sensory processing issues with his mouth and food allergies as well. As much as we’ve embraced him into the heart of our family, he’s still on the outside looking in when it comes to sharing in our meals together. So many foods bring anxiety, tears, gagging, vomiting, itchy skin, or dangerous allergic reactions. The food=love equation isn’t working out so well for us!

As his mom I can become frustrated. His daily diet is better suited to a toddler than a big kid. His menu isn’t growing at the same pace as the rest of him. Even with therapy and persistence, progress is slow. He’s constantly hungry because hearty, filling foods are the hardest to swallow. I worry about the nutrients he’s missing out on, whether he’ll fit in at school, or if he’ll get sick. I worry that it will stay this way forever.

Watching him struggle reminds me, though, that I have areas where I’m slow to progress. Parts of my life and character that seem stuck in immaturity. Does a new social opportunity send me running back to the safety of familiar friends? Does humbling myself to admit my part in a marriage conflict make me choke? Do I hoard what’s on my “plate”, because fears about finances keep me from sharing what I have? Is the Bible so complex or confusing that I stick with simple, feel-good devotionals instead of in-depth study?

Just like I am eager to nourish my son and help him grow, God is eager to feed me—his daughter—and grow me into a woman of faith, wisdom, and love. The “food” he provides is the truth of his Word.

“…you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

What are you hungry for today? A sense of purpose? A closer, more intimate marriage? A breakthrough with your stubborn teenager? A deeper knowledge of your gifts and talents and where to use them? Relief from the pain of injury or disease? Peace despite the wounds of abuse in your past? Freedom from addiction to food, social media, shopping, or a destructive relationship? God holds out his Word, with all of his power to transform, heal, and satisfy every longing in our hearts. He invites us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)

The big question is this: What is keeping us from feasting at God’s table? Let’s pray today for an eager appetite for his Word. A new palate that savors the deeper truths of Christ. The courage to pick up our forks and knives and dig into the meat God has for us.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)

Joanna, it has been a blessing to hear from your heart today. Thank you!

Friends, we would love to give away a copy of her new book, A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son,” so please leave a comment today sharing  what keeps you from “feasting at God’s table,” from spending a few minutes in quiet time with Him. And then share one step you can take toward changing that (getting up a few minutes earlier, taking the first five minutes of lunch hour to open God’s Word, bringing you Bible to carpool line, etc.). We will choose one name to win a copy of her book.

** Joanna Teigen and her husband, Rob, are the co-authors of 88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates, A Dad’s Prayers for His Daughter, and A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son. She enjoys homeschooling, marriage mentoring, and life and laughter with their five children. She makes her home in West Michigan.

Blessings,

February 24, 2015

Giveaway with my friend Courtney DeFeo

Today I am so excited to introduce you to Courtney DeFeo. Courtney and I became friends through our dear friend Bobbie Wolgemuth. Bobbie poured her love and wisdom into our mother’s hearts over the years and completely transformed our hearts and homes. And Courtney’s new book, In This House, We Will Giggle,  is an outpouring of all that God has done in her mama’s heart. God gifted Courtney with amazing creativity, and she truly makes being a mom and spending time together as a family a JOY and DELIGHT! And she makes teaching our kids about God and living out God’s call to serve FUN!

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So enjoy this great post from Courtney. Be sure to read through to the end so you can enter our Giveaway. We will give away one signed copy of her book!

Giggle House

Wearing Our Love

I’ve got a challenge for all us – moms, dads and kids. I want you to find a red marker or pen and get ready to give yourself a tiny red (temporary) tattoo in the shape of a heart. First, read this challenge. At the end, decide where you to create your reminder of love.

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Have you ever thought about how very important you are? YOU are God’s plan for this earth. It’s almost like his heart exploded with love and each of us gets a tiny piece of it.

Then, we get to love in a way that others experience God. We get a chance to walk the halls of school and our neighborhoods holding that heart so delicately, yet boldly.

I have two little girls that are like most little girls. They are walking the halls of school and having good days and bad days. Some days they are included and some days they are left out. Some days they feel beautiful and some days they feel just plain awful. They are made by a creator that loves them deeply. They are wonderful, caring, sweet and made for such greatness.

I love to remind them that they are God’s secret weapon. They walk into school with a choice. To be defeated or to impact others for God. They are representing God with every word and action. With one kind word or gesture, they can literally change someone’s day or school year.

Sometimes, they forget God is with them because they cannot see him. But he is there. He is near. He is often nudging them to do the next right thing.

This week, I am challenging my girls and each of you to find a place to draw his heart. You were created in His image and you get the chance to show others how He loves.

Maybe put it on your hand so you’ll remember to reach out to a lonely friend.

Maybe put it on your foot so you’ll remember to let an enemy go first in kickball.

Maybe put it behind your ear so you’ll remember to listen before you speak.

Maybe put it on your arm so you’ll remember to hug your sibling.

You matter to the creator of the universe, and I am so thankful you were made. The way you love will fill up your own heart – more than anything else in this world you can achieve or buy.

God loves you so very much. He’s right there with you every day. Represent him well!

-Courtney

Thank you, Courtney, for this GREAT challenge. To enter to win a signed copy of her book, leave a comment telling us where YOU will put your heart tattoo! Check back here Friday, February 27th, AT THE END OF THE COMMENTS SECTION, to see if you have won.

Courtney DeFeo is the creator of “ABC Scripture Cards” and “Light ‘Em Up and Conversation Cups”. She is the author of In This House, We Will Giggle: Making Virtues, Love and Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life. She believes our kids can light up the world. Her house is a wreck, and she hates to cook. She adores her hot, patient husband and her two spunky daughters. Connect with Courtney at courtneydefeo.com.

In This House, We Will Giggle offers parents a practical approach to instilling virtues in their children through laughter, rather than lecture. Designed to cover an entire year, each of the 12 chapters highlights one key virtue in developing a child’s character, along with insights to help infuse the virtue into everyday life. In This House, We Will Giggle teaches children to experience the goodness of God, the joy of following Jesus and the difference children can make in the lives of others.

Blessings,

January 1, 2015

Ushering in the New Year with Prayer {w/ Giveaways}

Welcome to LIVING TRUTH! Oh, how I’ve prayed for each one of you who stops by today!! A special welcome if you’re visiting from my Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today devotion where I share my New Year’s Prayer for 2015 (at the end of the post, you will find a link to download a copy of that prayer).

As we usher in this New Year together, I invite you to join me in remembering the One to whom we lift our prayers.

His Name is Jesus. HE IS…

…” the One who is, the One who was, and the One who is coming.” Revelation 1:4 (The Voice).

Did you hear? He is coming.

And on that day He will come…

“riding on the clouds in all His glory.” Revelation 1:7

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“eyes ablaze with fire and crowns adorning his head.”

“His name:… KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:16.

On that day, Jesus will call our names, take our hands, and lead us into our heavenly home! I can only imagine how our hearts will swell as we pass through the gates and see what only Jesus’ beloved disciple John has seen.

Take a journey with me and let’s imagine…

I can hardly believe my eyes. All I’ve ever known is gone. Heaven and earth have passed away; the seas are gone. Everything is new! There, before me, is a holy city. It’s the New Jerusalem, descending from heaven.

The glory of the Lord shines all about. The city is made of pure gold, yet it is as clear as glass. The great wall around the city, adorned with the most precious of jewels, glimmers unlike anything I have ever seen.

I see no street lights or lamps. But there is no need because the Light of the World illumines every corner of the city, forbidding the darkness to enter.

The glory and grandeur of every nation is on display; people from around the world bringing glory and honor to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Tears well up so thick. I can hardly take in what lies before me. A river of crystal clear living water, flows down from the throne of the Lamb. On each bank of the river stands the tree of life, firmly planted, bearing an abundance of plump, ripe fruit.

Surrounding me are worshipers, every race and every nation bowing before the throne of God and the Lamb of God. As I lift my eyes, I see my Creator and my Savior there before me. I’m in their presence. Awestruck wonder captivates my heart. I feel as if I can’t breathe. I had learned of God’s glory. I had prayed often for a touch of His glory. But now, I could do nothing but fall on my face before His Shekinah glory and join the throngs of worshipers bowing down before Him, casting their crowns at His feet.

I hear a great voice, coming from the throne::

“The home of God is now with His people. He will live among them; they will be His people, and God Himself will be among them. The prophecies are fulfilled: He has wiped every tear. No more death. No more mourning. No more crying. No more pain. The first things have gone away.”

And then I hear the One on the throne speak! A voice I have longed to hear announce to His creation:

“I am making ALL things new!”

Glory! Glory! It is all just as God said!

(Inspired by Revelation 21 and 22)

Hallelujah!

Glory! One day every knee will bow and tongue confess our JESUS IS LORD!

Let’s band together today as sisters and pray a New Year’s Prayer to our Jesus, inviting Him into our hearts, our families, our marriages, our friendships, our relationships, our jobs…our lives. Will you start today by sharing your prayer in the comments today…maybe a favorite verse you will pray; a word God has laid on your heart; a commitment you are making, or even your full prayer. And please know it will be my joy and delight to pray over each and every prayer, sweet friend.

Giveaway to Celebrate YOU!

To celebrate YOU and the precious time you have taken to stop by and share your thoughts and prayers, I will randomly choose 4 names to receive some fun New Year’s gifts, including a signed copy of my book, Living So That, a  signed copy of my book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner, a Target gift card, or a bracelet. Check back HERE Saturday (in the comments) for the names of the winners.

And if you would like a free downloadable copy of My New Year’s prayer, click here.

***Thank you to my dear friend, Fred, for this AMAZING photo taken on the North Shore of Oahu. If you are interested in learning more about Fred’s photography, e-mail him at fredsfoto2@aol.com. ***

Blessings,