February 26, 2018

Trust God and His Timing (Guest Post)

Hey friends. I’ve been so excited to introduce you to a dear friend. Her name is Jodie Berndt. She’s easy to love, and if you love UVA, you’ll love her even more!! HUGE Wahoo fan!

You know how we love prayer here. That’s why I invited Jodie to share from her new book, Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children. Be sure to enter to win your own copy at the end.

She not only has a HUGE heart bent toward praying for children, she also has a passion to equip parents how to pray for their children. I only wish I had her books when my kids were young. But, I’m so thankful for this one because her newest book teaches us how to pray for our adult children. It’s filled with stories, examples, scripture and humor. It’s a great book to get and to give!

Take it away Jodie …

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“Hillary doesn’t have a job,” I said, “and she seems…content.”

I was having lunch with a friend, confiding my latest parenting worry. I was afraid that I’d raised one of those boomerang kids—the kind who get out of college and then brings their lives (and their laundry) back home.

My friend smiled. “Your daughter,” she countered, “only graduated three months ago. Trust me; she’s probably not content. She’s an engineer—they think in linear terms. She’s pursuing a job; she’s just not doing it the way that you would.”

Well, she had that one right. Hillary was definitely not looking for a job the way I would have. I would have loaded my résumé into the barrel of a shotgun and pulled the trigger, splattering my education and experience all over any company that was hiring. But Hillary was a little more particular. She had some job offers but, having earned a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering, she’d set her sights on the space industry. Ideally? Ideally, my girl wanted to be an astronaut.

Which was, honestly, kind of hard for me to appreciate. Who actually does that? Was “astronaut” even a job? And how long would it take? I don’t remember my exact words, but I think my advice went something like this:

“Aim lower.”

(Yeah. Not my best parenting speech.)

You can read about Hillary’s job hunt (and how I ugly-wrestled with God over how and when he’d provide) in Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children. But if you want the condensed version, it pretty much boils down to this:

Trusting God with our children’s future means being willing to trust his timing.

Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children. A guest post by Jodie Berndt for wendyblight.com.

Psalm 139:16 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Pick that one apart and you get the idea that 1) God has a plan; 2) He’s on a clearly defined timetable, and 3) His design has been in place since forever. Had I embraced these three truths at the start of Hillary’s job search (instead of eight months later, after I’d pretty much been exposed as the opposite of the Proverbs 31 mother), I could have saved myself a lot of mental anguish and spent the better part of a year enjoying time with my girl, instead of worrying about her future.

We know God has good purposes, and that (Philippians 2:13) his job is to work in us—and in our children—to get us to think and act in ways that line up with these plans. Part of that alignment, I’m (slowly) coming to realize, is being willing to depend on his timing.

Let us not become weary” Paul writes, “in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” That’s Galatians 6:9, and it’s always been one of my favorite “hang in there” verses.

Sometimes, “doing good” simply means waiting well. Because it doesn’t matter what our request is, or what it is that we think we need, God already has the answer all mapped out. He will provide. The harvest will come (spoiler alert: Hillary got her dream job) at the just the right time.

So let’s hang in there. Let’s wait well. And let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, 

Help me, as I put my trust in you, to trust your timing. Today, I give you ___________, surrendering this situation into your tender care.

Help me to wait well.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen. 

The Giveaway – now closed – Congrats Michelle Reed!

Where do you find yourself struggling to trust God’s timing? Leave a comment—perhaps a favorite Bible verse or promise that helps—for a chance to win a copy of Jodie’s latest book, Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children.

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Okay, don’t ya’ll just love her? Thank you, Jodie, for letting me share your book with my word loving, prayer warrior sisters here.

Jodie Berndt is the author of several books, including Praying the Scriptures for Your Children, Praying the Scriptures for Your Teens, and Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children. A speaker and Bible teacher, Jodie encourages readers to pursue joy, celebrate grace, and live on purpose. Find her writing (and download free prayer printables) at JodieBerndt.com and follow her on Instagram @Jodie_Berndt, Twitter @JodieBerndt, and Facebook @JodieBerndtWrites. Jodie and her husband, Robert, have four grown children and two sons-in-law.

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January 16, 2018

Living Love God’s Way (plus a giveaway)

Hey friends! We’re one week away from our first 2018 Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study. We’ll be studying my new book, I Am Loved: Walking in the Fullness of God’s Love, which is a journey through the book of 1 John.

On Monday, January 22nd, we begin the first of our 5-week study learning the depth of God’s extraordinary love AND how to live out that love in our everyday lives.

Join the #IAmLoved study at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

Today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite God stories. It happened a few years ago when God used my friend, Karen, and me on an ordinary trip to the grocery store to live out His extraordinary love.

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God Met Her in the Grocery Store

She woke up that morning with a quick trip to the grocery store in mind. She pulled her hair back in a ponytail, slipped on her flip flops, grabbed her keys and ran out the door.

My girlfriend, Karen, and I also planned a trip to the market that day. As we approached the check-out lines, we found ourselves behind an older woman who seemed to be waiting on someone. She motioned for us to go ahead. Almost immediately, a younger woman scooted past me.

As she did, my heart began to pound. I physically began to tremble. In that moment, the Lord impressed on my heart something so strange … buy her groceries. What? I felt it again … the racing heart rate, this time a whisper, “Love her. Buy her groceries.”

I hesitated but then reached out and tapped the young woman on the shoulder and spoke the words God laid on my heart: “I know it sounds strange, but God told me that we are to buy your groceries.”

She looked at me quizzically and then graciously accepted with tears in her eyes. Not long after that, she and the older women walked out of the store.

A few minutes later, as Karen and I were checking out, the older woman returned to share their story. She identified the young woman as her daughter. Her name was Micah. She shared how Micah’s husband had abused her for years. And, just a few months earlier had walked out on Micah and her young son, leaving them alone and leaving her feeling unloved and unworthy of love.

She could barely make ends meet. She felt abandoned by everyone, but most especially God. Days before our God appointment in the grocery store, Micah and her mother had prayed. Her mother prayed a prayer every mother would pray: “Lord, draw Micah back to You.”

But Micah’s prayer is what astounded us. She had prayed, “God, if You are real. If You love me, show me that You have not forgotten me!”

As her mother shared these words, the reason for God’s urging became so clear. God wanted to extend unconditional love to Micah. In the midst of Micah’s deepest sorrow and desperate cries for love, God responded intimately and personally.

Through tears, Micah’s mother spoke words we’ll never forget: “Micah now knows that God has not forgotten her!”

God provided for her needs. He loved her unconditionally. He answered the cry of her heart.

And God also chose to use us! On an ordinary day, in an ordinary store, performing an ordinary chore, God called us to an extraordinary task. He crossed our paths with one of His girls who needed to experience His extraordinary love.

Yes, it was a great day for Micah! But what a day it was for Karen and me. Our obedience to the Lord’s prompting touched Micah’s life in such a powerful way that she KNEW God was real. God loved her. And He had not abandoned her.

God answers prayer. He orchestrates divine appointments … anywhere … everywhere … anytime … even in the grocery store.

Don’t you love stories like this? I’m certain ya’ll have similar stories to share, and I’d love to hear them! Either where you shared God’s love in a tangible way OR someone shared His love with you. Please leave a comment sharing your story. Click here to leave a comment if you are reading this in email.

Giveaway now closed – congrats Aura Conejos! Please see your email for further instructions.

We’ll choose one of you to win 2 copies of my I Am Loved book and 2 “Loved” bracelets (one to keep and one to give away). U.S. Addresses only please. These beautiful bracelets were created especially for I Am Loved by my friends at Fashion and Compassion.

Giveaway of #IAmLoved and Fashion and Compassion "Loved" bracelet at wendyblight.com.

If you want to join me for the Proverbs 31 Online Study and be part of our amazing community of women, click here to sign up so you’ll receive the study posts and announcements in email.

I look forward to reading your stories!!

Blessings,

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January 2, 2018

5 Days to Walking in the Fullness of God’s Love

Welcome to those of you joining from my Encouragement for Today devotion, Walking in Obedience.

I wonder what would change in my life … in your life … if we truly lived in the absolute assurance of God’s deep, abiding, unconditional love.

I’m not talking about simply saying we know God loves us. I’m talking about really knowing – deep down, soul-rocking knowledge – that the God of the Universe loves us beyond ways we could ever imagine. And then living every day anchored in that love, even when life’s circumstances and our emotions beg us otherwise.

I want to help you live in the reality of this truth. So I invite you to join me for 5 Days to Walking in the Fullness of God’s Love. It’s a devotional sneak peek into my new Bible study on 1 John, I Am Loved.

Click here to sign up and you will receive the 5-day journey in your email.

Happy New Year!