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!

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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,

November 21, 2014

Living So That Lesson Five: Let Your Light Shine So That [Giveaway!]

How could our Living So That journey  have passed so quickly? The last chapter of a study always makes my heart ache because I will miss our time together. It blesses me more than you will know to hear how God is speaking to you as you journey through the pages of His Word.

Thank you for extending me grace when I was unable to post our lesson on Wednesday. Life got in the way with family visiting and basketball games to attend. I could have recorded a quick video, but I had much I wanted to say and wish I could have shared more.

All we have studied during our time together crescendos with Chapter Five, “Let Your Light Shine So That.” Jesus Came So That…God Spoke So That…Trials Come So That…We Pray So That through our good deeds, the Light of the World shines brightly through us and causes others to praise our heavenly Father!! It’s our good deeds, the deeds the Lord prepared in advance for us to do, that draw others to Christ and bring praise and glory to our Father in Heaven! (Ephesians 2:10)

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During this Thanksgiving season, please know I am so thankful for the love, support, prayers,  and words of encouragement you provide. I do what I do because of each one of you!

Remember, we have next week off. I pray you will use it to relax, rest, eat lots of delicious food, and catch up with your lessons if you are behind. And I have another GIVEAWAY for this week, so be sure to read how to enter below! We will gather together back here on December 3rd for a final goodbye and to learn the name of this week’s GIVEAWAY winner!! You can find last week’s winner of Marilynn Chadwick’s book at the end of today’s post.

GIVEAWAY!!!!!

I thought it would be fun to hear what everyone is doing for Thanksgiving!! So leave a comment and share your Thanksgiving plans. I will choose a winner to receive a lovely Christmas ornament AND a copy of Living So That to give away. And don’t forget to continue to share answers to your homework throughout the two weeks. I will be checking in and I pray you will too!!

Video Lesson

This Week’s Memory verse

You are the light of the world…Let your light shine before men, [so] that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14, 16

This Week’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to walk with me through these lessons.  You have poured Truth into my heart and mind.  You have given me a Spirit of Knowledge and Revelation to understand Your Word and apply it in my life.  You have convicted and refined me.  I am so thankful for this precious time in Your word.  Now that my study is nearing the end, lead me to my next steps with You. give me a hunger and thirst for more of You and more of Your Word.  Open doors for me to live out what I have learned.  I want to live a “so that” life.  Give me the courage to obey my “Calls to Action.” Use me, Lord, to make a difference in Your Kingdom.  Instruct me daily in the way I should go. Keep my eyes fixed on You.  Give me opportunities to share the Hope I have in You and to share the truths and promises found in Your living and active Word.  I love you, Lord, and ask all this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This Week’s Homework:

Read Chapter Five of Living So That. The schedule below is a suggested schedule. If something different works better for you, use it.

Each day answer the questions in your assigned reading (Going Deeper questions are optional).

Wednesday: Read Part One (Be Transformed)

Thursday: Read Part Two (Giving)

Friday: Read Part Three (Loving the Unlovable)

Saturday: Read Part Four (Choosing Forgiveness)

Sunday: Read Part Five (Humility)

***The winner of Marilynn Chadwick’s book, Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars is Karen B!!! Karen, e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com and provide your mailing address and full name. Congratulations!***

With Deep Gratitude,