What Everyone Needs in Their Medicine Cabinet

Last night, I had a pretty scary reaction due to a medication/pregnancy hormone interaction, and it threw one more grievance on top of my massive pile of maternity issues. But what I've found to be most effective in combating the vacuum of self-pity isn't Tylenol or ginger essential oil or urgent calls to my midwife. It's gratitude. It's trust my loving Daddy is sovereign & is always with me & using this all to His glory.

Some of you may know about the heart-altering dream I had in my early twenties about embracing family life; needless to say, Daddy grabbed my attention at a place & time when I couldn't escape Him, and He gave me a glimpse of the joy of motherhood to whet my taste for it - for the first time ever.

Today, I get to constantly experience the indescribable love & satisfaction of being a mom, and I owe it all to Him. He knew what I needed then, and how to get a stubborn me to it. So I am practicing gratitude & faith that He will get me to the next point, regardless of what trials stand in the way.


When Your Sin Isn't Cool Enough

As inspiring as it is to hear about God's forgiveness toward drug addicts & murderers, how atheists can do a 180 & serial adulterers can experience fulfillment in the redemptive love of Jesus, these stories can also isolate us. They can make us think, "I'm not that bad - why would God waste His massive, precious grace on someone who just cheats a bit on her taxes or had sex with her boyfriend in high school or secretly judges others for their parenting styles?"

As small as those things may sound, to God they're flashing neon signs of pride. Whenever we fall into the trap of thinking we should be able to fix our low-level sins, that our Lord doesn't have time or interest in our moderate flaws, we are discounting what Jesus did on the cross.

Listen: We can't all have earth-shattering testimonies. And we shouldn't - most people can't relate to them! So let's purpose today to own our sins as sins, no matter their size, and accept that our loving Daddy's grace is just the right size to cover them.

My name is Jessica, and God forgave me for complaining about my boss & coworkers. And He's helping me to learn how to use my words to give life instead of spreading disease.


An Incomplete Intro to Fasting

Fasting. There, I said it.

A lot of you are facing some difficult, even impossible, situations. Prayer is essential! And I also want to encourage you to consider fasting to allow the Spirit greater access to break down those extra-stubborn strongholds of the enemy.

Maybe you can't do a day of fasting from food, but you can forgo one meal & use those hunger pains to remind you of your dependence on the Redeemer & Healer. Maybe you can't do without food because you're EBF'ing or diabetic, but you can go without Facebook for 24 hours. Let the Spirit meet your needs as you go deeper than ever in focused prayer to the One who can do more than you can dream!

Remember, Jesus didn't say if you fast, but when you fast (Matthew 6:16). I'm not an expert on this topic, but I have seen the tremendous work God can do in us & others when we obey this instruction!

~"But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."~
Matthew 17:21


Being the Chosen One

I'm about to get a big sci-fi-geeky here, but bear with me because I think you'll be encouraged by the end.

I've been reading Bill Hybels' call-to-passion book Holy Discontent, and I realized how we all kinda want to be Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Queen Esther, Sydney Bristow in Alias, Bethany Sloane in Dogma, and all those other "chosen ones". As audience members, we relate with these characters because we rather like the idea of having ancient writings foretell our coming, or other people recognize us as the person who will accomplish what needs to be done. We want to be selected for a specific mission that only we can do.

And here's the awesome news: WE ARE! Our loving Daddy, Creator of time & the universe, Giver of all good things, put you on the earth for the time you are here to do something only you can do. Isn't that incredible? You are Neo in The Matrix!

So be who God has empowered, equipped, & designed you to be, whether it is saving the galaxy, raising an amazing kiddo in spite of hardship, or living your light in front of people at work who couldn't hear the Good News from anyone else.

~For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~
Ephesians 2:10


Wasted Words

As women, so many of us enjoy sharing our life stories & advice we have learned with people we think need it. However, this isn't always helpful - if we were honest with ourselves, all too often we share for ourselves & not to truly benefit the hearer. This act of non-listening can create distance between ourselves & others...and those "others" may be our children or husbands. Let's all ask the Spirit for guidance next time we have an urge to speak into another's life, so that our words are life-giving & blessed by God!

~Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry...~
James 1:19


Purposeful Parenting

We are our children's first understanding of God as a loving Parent. When we look on our children lovingly, wisely, & attentively, they can begin to fathom there is a Divine Being who does the same!