Whether this season is just how you hoped it would be or nothing like you wanted it to be…

You might have heard this verse many times: “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28) I understood it in a new way after reading “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom.

She was a Christian evangelist who hid Jews during the Holocaust and was imprisoned because of it. When Corrie and her sister, Betsie, entered one of the filthy prisons infested with fleas, both starving, they cried out to the Lord.

As they lay side-by-side on a bunk with several other women, 1 Thessalonians 5 came to Betsie and she shared them with her sister: “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

Corrie asked what on earth they could give thanks for. Betsie said that they were actually able to be together in prison and that their Bible miraculously had not been confiscated.

Then, Betsie prayed, “And thank you, Lord, for the fleas.” Corrie said she could never give thanks for fleas, but Betsie insisted that it is God’s will to give thanks in all circumstances.

So, while lying on their flea- and lice-infested straw beds, they gave thanks for the fleas.

After some time, they noticed that the soldiers rarely came into the barracks where they slept. Betsie and Corrie did not know why, but it allowed them to share the light of Jesus to other women for hours during such a dark time.

One day, Betsie asked a supervisor to come to the barracks. Betsie said to Corrie, “'[The supervisor] wouldn’t step through the door and neither would the guards. You know why?’

Betsie could not keep the triumph from her voice: ‘Because of the fleas!’ That’s what she said, ‘That place is crawling with fleas!’”

Corrie wrote, “My mind rushed back to our first hour in this place. I remembered her thanks to God for creatures I could see no use for.”

Hours of ministering, changing lives, and offering hope in a dark time, all came because of the presence of fleas.

What is the hard thing in your life that God can use for good? To help someone. To bring comfort to someone. To point someone to the light of the Lord, and to finding hope in Him.

This daily shift of giving thanks always, can be hard and it takes discipline. But when we change our outlook, it moves our eyes and hearts upon things eternal and puts God’s purposes over ours.

Corrie writes,

“Side by side, in the sanctuary of God’s fleas, Betsie and I ministered the Word of God to all in the room. We sat by death beds that became doorways of heaven. We watched women who had lost everything grow rich in hope.”

Whatever is happening in your life, be encouraged by these words that relate to us even now:

“In everything God works for the good of those who love him.” Romans 8:28

May we pour out thanks to the Lord this season, whether it’s a seamless season or a difficult one, knowing the Lord is right there with you, walking with you, loving you always.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

_______________________

___________________

A post from Veteran’s Day….

____________________

____________________

I pray on this day, that you would know the Lord is right there with you,
however you’re feeling and wherever you are.
He calls you by name, he created you,
and he loves you to the moon and back.

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
    
‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you…'”

– The Lord (Isaiah 43)

Free Chapters on Women in the Bible!🙌

I’m excited to share this with you! This is awesome! Focus on the Family is giving away three chapters of my Mother-Daughter Devotional book about women in the Bible for FREE! You can find them in this interview (The book is for 6-10 year old girls). Enjoy! ❤️🙌 Interview with 3 FREE chapters!

You can find my book at the following places online (and soon to be in Mardel’s Bookstore!): Amazon,  Barnes & Noble,  ChristianBook.com,  Books-A-Million,  Target,  &  Focus on the Family

How the book works:
❤️ Focus on the “Words for your Heart” verse that week
❤️ Read the interactive story for that week
❤️ Read the prayer together at the end of the story (I usually have my daughter read the prayer)
❤️ You have all week to do the simple Daughters in Action prompt & Creative Fun Activity which help you connect with your 6-10 year-old daughter & the Lord.

This book is a 40-chapter devotional you can do at your own pace. You could do several chapters a week or just one, and you can pick what activities you’d like to do, or do them all. You could use it as a 40-Day Devotional if you don’t do the activities and only read the stories of women in the Bible (but the fun activities are so fun and help grow your faith). I pray this book helps you draw closer to Jesus and your daughter.

______________________

_______________________

I love these words by singer, Matt Maher…

_________________________

____________________

In case you missed last month’s post: “Small Things are Big Things to the Lord”…

I was at a store yesterday waiting for a cashier. An employee yelled to the other employee, “You got a customer at the front!” She yelled back angrily, “They can wait!” I was kind of surprised. And honestly, a little annoyed as I thought it was pretty rude. As she came to the counter she was talking on her phone to a friend venting about how a cashier didn’t show up and she had to do everything. I started to feel bad for her, and noticed she was fully overwhelmed. 

I told her I was so sorry that the person didn’t show up and how tough that must be (while she was still on the phone). Then she told her friend she had to go. Maybe when she saw I wasn’t mad but sympathetic she decided to get off the call? I told her how I had just been to a similar store to theirs, but left and came to this one because it was much cleaner and better organized. She let out a deep breath. 

Then she apologized to me for venting in front of me on the phone. I told her that I had just finished venting with a friend about something too and that sometimes we just need to. She said she doesn’t usually do that in front of customers, but that she was left to unload all the frozen foods alone while still being the cashier and that she just couldn’t do it all. She said she was fixing to cry and I could see the tears coming. I told her she’s doing a great job and that I’d pray for her. She said, “Now that’s what I need. That will help. Thank you.” As the line grew longer behind me, I told her again, “As soon as I get in the car, I‘m going to pray for you.”

There are other times I’ve been in a similar situation and have stayed frustrated, not giving as much grace, but this time I was able to see the reward of giving grace. I really believe that is what God means when He says to love our neighbor. To see through the exterior to the heart. To give grace when it’s needed. What’s going on with them – are they broken, struggling? God longs to lift people up in their heartache and exhaustion. 

While I’ve heard people talk often about wanting to do “big things for God”, I am convinced that in the Lord’s eyes, “small” things are big things. I think we can get caught up in thinking we have to do big deeds or have huge accomplishments to share God’s love, but as Mother Teresa says, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” 

It’s sometimes in a smile or a few kind words that we share the love of Christ.

My response to the cashier was a “small thing”. But I believe the small things are big thing to God. How can we be people who spread God’s love and give grace in “small” ways? It doesn’t mean we can’t have expectations, but it does mean we ask the Spirit to lead us, and when we sense brokenness and someone crying out, that we take a moment to show them God’s love. 

God gives us grace All. The. Time. Let’s do the same with those around us. Don’t underestimate how powerful “small” things can be to others and to the Lord. 

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Jesus

In the kingdom of God, small things are big things. Go love the Lord, your family, and those around you in “small” ways today. ❤️

“Small Things” are Big Things to the Lord

I was at a store yesterday waiting for a cashier. An employee yelled to the other employee, “You got a customer at the front!” She yelled back angrily, “They can wait!” I was kind of surprised. And honestly, a little annoyed as I thought it was pretty rude. As she came to the counter she was talking on her phone to a friend, venting about how a cashier didn’t show up and she had to do everything. I started to feel bad for her, and noticed she was fully overwhelmed.

I told her I was sorry that the person didn’t show up and how tough that must be (while she was still on the phone). Then she told her friend she had to go. Maybe when she saw I wasn’t mad, but was sympathetic, she decided to get off the call. I told her how I had just been to a similar store to theirs, but left and came to this one because it was much cleaner and better organized. Relief washed over her.

Then she apologized for venting in front of me on the phone. She said she doesn’t usually do that in front of customers, but that she was left to unload all the frozen foods alone while still being the cashier and that she just couldn’t do it all. She said she was fixing to cry and I could see the tears coming. I told her she’s doing a great job and that I’d pray for her. She said, “Now that’s what I need. That will help. Thank you.” As the line grew longer behind me, I told her again, “As soon as I get in the car, I‘m going to pray for you.”

There are other times I’ve been in a similar situation and have stayed frustrated, not giving as much grace, but this time I was able to see the reward of giving grace. I really believe that is what God means when He says to love our neighbor. To see through the exterior to the heart. To simply give grace when it’s needed. What’s going on with them – are they broken, struggling? God longs to lift people up in their heartache and exhaustion.

While I’ve heard people talk often about wanting to do “big things for God”, I am convinced that in the Lord’s eyes, “small” things are big things. I think we can get caught up in thinking we have to do big deeds or have huge accomplishments to share God’s love, but as Mother Teresa says, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”

It’s sometimes in a smile or a few kind words that we share the love of Christ.

My response to the cashier was a “small thing”. But I believe that small things are big thing to God. How can we be people who spread God’s love and give grace in “small” ways? It doesn’t mean we can’t have expectations, but it does mean we ask the Spirit to lead us, and when we sense brokenness and someone crying out, that we take a moment to encourage them.

God gives us grace All. The. Time. Let’s do the same with those around us. Don’t underestimate how powerful “small” things can be to others and to the Lord.

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Jesus

In the kingdom of God, small things are big things. Go love the Lord, your family, and those around you in “small” ways today.



A Good Routine this Fall

God, let me never quench my kids’ creativity. Even though I’m hurdling and ducking under ropes and lights to vacuum, my kids are getting older, and when I see these moments of creativity still, like making a balloon volleyball court out of lights, bricks, an old crib mattress, haha! and all the rest, it’s just awesome.

They teach me about the opportunity I have to enjoy, to relax, and to still have fun. Life is so hard sometimes, and it can be so easy to sit in that. Sometimes we need to. But let’s not forget to come up for air, and to enjoy the silly, the fun, the simple things of life too, like made-up volleyball courts, blasting music when we’re finally getting around to vacuuming, being goofy with our kids, and just talking with them and enjoying them.

____________________

If you’re looking for a fun devotional about women in the Bible to do with your 6-10 year old daughter, you can find my book at the following places (and soon to be at Mardel’s Bookstore!): Amazon,  Barnes & Noble,  ChristianBook.com,  Books-A-Million,  Target,  &  Focus on the Family

How the book works:
☀️Read 1 story a week
☀️Focus on the “Words for your Heart” verse that week
☀️You have all week to do the simple “Daughters in Action” prompt & “Creative Fun” Activity which help you connect with your daughter. ❤️

It’s a 40-week devotional you can do at your own pace. You can pick and choose which activities you’d like to do, do them all, or it can be a 40-Day Devotional if you don’t do the activities and only read the stories of women in the Bible. 

I love this sweet pic of a mom & daughter reading through my devotional book together. 😊 Now is a great time to get in a habit of seeking the Lord together! 

__________________

__________________

I pray that your week is led by the Lord, filled by Him, and that you are able to BE in today. And, I pray that the Lord meets you right where you are.

Hugs,

Linsey

We have a whole lot of this in our home…

We sure have a whole lot of forgiveness in our house. We are so in need of the Gospel. Of His forgiveness. 

I think sometimes we can get this image in our heads that other families have it all together – that there is only stillness and perfection and peace. 

But, when you put a whole bunch of humans in a house who fall short, that’s just not the case. Yes, there can be a whole lot more peace when we have Jesus connecting us and when we seek Him. But, let’s not be fooled to think that as humans, we will arrive to perfection here. There is something very freeing about that, isn’t there?

That we don’t have to have it all together and act perfectly – We are forgiven.

That we don’t have to have all the answers – Jesus is it. 

That there is grace when we misstep – Bountiful grace.

That as we seek Him we will become more like Him – Redemption.

All because of Jesus. 

In our imperfections, when voices are raised, when we let rude comments leave our lips, when tones are anything but kind, when we haven’t given one of our children the attention they need but have been absorbed with other things, one of the very best things we can do is point our kids (and ourselves) to the Gospel and to our need for Jesus, by simply asking for forgiveness. 

I think that is one of the reasons God prizes humility so dearly. It shows our great need for him.

In pride, we think we have it all together and don’t see our need for Him as clearly.

In humility, we see the gaping need we have for Him, our imperfections glaring, His forgiveness beckoning us and redeeming us a moment at a time. Helping us to start over. 

When our kids also reach out to us in humility, saying their sorry, let’s not forget to also forgive them, giving them the same grace God has given us. 

Jesus took it all for us on the cross that day. All our sin. We are forgiven in Him when we believe in Him. That is why Paul said in Galatians 5: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1 

One of the beautiful parts about it all, is when we come and bring our hearts, unveiled before the Lord, raw and open, He will begin transforming them to be more like His. 

That will bring more peace and joy. But, when we do fall short, as we all do and will, let us be quick to ask for forgiveness, to forgive, and to have a whole lot of love and forgiveness in our homes.

__________________

____________________