These are tough times. My family is struggling, and almost every other family I know is struggling too, in one way or another. I’ve been praying and asking God for relief, for breakthrough, for help, for rescue – and not just for my family, but for all of us.
The good news is that prayer and focus on God are drawing me closer to Him and are showing me more about who He is, which reminds me what He is capable of. When I can remember that God is bigger than any situation or circumstance we find ourselves in, I am filled with peace. And peace is a great thing to have when you’re waiting to see God work in the situations that concern you!
Two keys to effectively waiting are:
I don’t have all the answers. My family has been waiting for answers to some of our prayers for a long time. What I do know is that prayer and praise change things! Even if my situation doesn’t change, my heart changes, and sometimes that’s the bigger answer to the prayer I didn’t pray.
When I wrote this year’s Back to School post (Covering Your Student in Prayer), I had completely forgotten about writing this post last year. All of us at RSHTH are busy moms/grandmas/teachers/women/
Bam! All of sudden it hit me. It came out of nowhere. What was it? The start of a new school year. I mean, didn’t school just let out yesterday? Geez. And I have to deal with this for many more years! Naomi is starting 1st grade, Adah is starting pre-kindergarten and I didn’t know that it wasn’t going to get better each year. I was under the impression that once I survived the emotions of kindergarten, it would only get easier. Nope. I now have 1st grade emotions busting my theory. :/ Each year is just going to bring an older child who is growing up way too fast! I’m an emotional Mommy!
I’m not a homeschooling mama, though it’s always a future possibility. My girls attend a small public school and so far we love it. Regardless of whether it’s public or home school, when it comes to ‘Back to School,’ there is one school supply that every child needs….Prayer!
As parents, it is our duty to cover our children with prayer. And although this should be a constant, it should be even more so during the school year.
I remember during my school days the stress of homework, tests, and peer pressure. I couldn’t wait to be done with school! It wasn’t until I was graduated/married/a mother/having to pay bills/an ADULT that I realized being in school was one of the easiest times in my life.
In reality, was it really easy? No. To my adult life it seems that it was easier than the things I deal with in my life now. But to my childhood self, it was definitely hard.
Hard? As a child? Yes. Think about it. Children are naturally people pleasers. They want to please their parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, youth pastors, et c. Children do not want to let anyone down. Grades must be kept up, homework must be done, tests must be passed. And this doesn’t even compare to peer pressure! Children want to fit in and be accepted. I know we all remember the days of wanting the best clothes, cutest back pack, et c. A particular memory I have is begging my parents for contacts the summer between 6th and 7th grade. “No one in junior high wears glasses!!! I cannot go to 7th grade unless I have contacts!” When I look back I can’t help but laugh at how silly that was; but in my 12 year old mind, that was a legitimate issue and I would’ve been devastated if my mom didn’t let me get contacts.
Then there’s the fact that not all parents are alike. Not all children are being led by Godly (or even good) parents. Children are easily influenced and their influences rub off on other kids. I’ll never forget the day Naomi came home from preschool sad because her friend’s dad was taken to jail the night before. Even though I was shocked at what was true information being shared with Naomi by her 4 year old friend, I had to remember that we have no clue what’s going on in anyone else’s home life. Thankfully, Naomi asked to pray for her friend, and I realized I was doing something right.
When it comes to our school years versus our lives now, it’s easy for us to laugh off or simply ignore the things our little ones face everyday. We may see their problems as small, yet at this point in their lives, mole hills may be mountains to them. Prayer is vital!
Don’t just pray for your child. Pray for their friends. Pray for their teachers. Pray for yourselves and other parents. Pray for safety. Pray that your child remains stress free. Pray that they shine the light of Jesus. Pray that they excel in learning. Pray that they can grasp understanding in difficult subjects. Pray that they always believe in themselves. Pray that they remain well-behaved. Pray that they are kind to others.
When gathering school supplies for your little ones this year, please don’t forget to grab a Without Ceasing dose of prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)!
1 Thessalonians 5:17" width="509" height="299" srcset="http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/pwc.png 509w, http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/pwc-300x176.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 509px) 100vw, 509px" />
As far as homeschool goes, it is always on the back burner for our family as an option. If we feel God call us to homeschool, we will definitely surrender, but at this point in time we are very blessed to have our children in the school system they are in. Not everyone can homeschool for various reasons. Some simply are not called to homeschool. This post is geared mostly towards those with kids in public school systems, however, it may be beneficial to homeschoolers, as well. In fact, I’ve decided it’s beneficial for all parents to know how to cover your students/children in prayer, regardless of where they attend school….so read on! 🙂
Everyday I pray for my children when they go to school. I pray that God would keep His hands of protection upon my children and their school. I ask that He would lift up their teachers, also…..that they would live Godly lives, being a Godly example to my girls.
My girls have been back in school for about a month now, and one day as I was praying that God would place a hedge of protection around my children, it hit me that I needed to be praying this prayer spiritually just as much as physically. A spiritual hedge of protection is much needed in their lives!
It’s not easy, as parents, to entrust our children to other adults for such a length of time. We never fully know what they may encounter or what spirits they may be subjected to when dealing with other adults and administration in their school systems. Or even from other children they may interact with. Actually, this statement applies to any time our children are outside of our own supervision, school or wherever.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
We need to realize that the enemy has agents lurking in every curve and corner of this world. It is our job to point them to God and train them how to live Godly lives, but what about when we aren’t with them? No parent is with their child 24/7. We must do our best to teach them when they are with us, but when they are not with us, we still have power over the enemy concerning our children. How? We must keep them covered in prayer!
Yes, pray for their physical well-being. But please, if you aren’t already, begin to pray for their spiritual well-being. It is vital that they learn to follow the word of God and the leading of the Spirit. It is crucial that they get a grasp of what is right over what is wrong. It is critical that we teach them how important it is to have a relationship with God because that is where our wisdom lies. He can give us discernment. Little ones may not fully understand that, but they can understand an inkling or a nudge that something just isn’t right. When this happens, we need them to know that WE need to know.
Just imagine the battles that we, as adults, war within our own minds. Now realize how much greater the battles are in the minds of our children because the world is being thrown at them in a magnified way. I love the quote that says, “If we don’t teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” How true this statement is!
“If we don’t teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” -Unknown
Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Pastors, Youth Pastors, Teachers…..I beg of you, keep your students covered in prayer!
Markus and I have been married for 7 1/2 years and this summer marks our 5th year of gardening. I have fond memories of our first garden. I was very pregnant with our second daughter when we decided to plant a garden full of nothing but sweet corn. I had just gotten a pedicure to pamper my swollen feet but by that afternoon, I had those same feet dug in the soft dirt, walking the rows while planting seed. Markus laughed at me for putting my bare feet so deeply in the dirt after just getting my toes done. He has quickly learned that being barefoot in the garden is my absolute favorite part!
Our girls enjoy the gardening, as well. Especially Adah, who starts as early as cold and rainy days in February to ask if we can please start planting tomatoes! Yes, we’ve added much more than just sweet corn. 😉 We plant way more than we could ever eat alone, but love having all the extra to share with friends, family and neighbors.
As much as I absolutely love having our garden and reaping the benefits, I often marvel at the amount of sweat that has to be poured into it…literally! Now, let me just make sure I put it out there, most of that sweat comes from my husband. He is a strong, hard worker and does an awesome job keeping up the garden while I (Little Miss Puny No Muscles) do whatever I can to help. I appreciate the effort he puts forth on top of everything else he has on his plate— without his hard work, we wouldn’t have a garden at all.
A garden is significantly more than planting a seed and then waiting around for the harvest. If you plant a garden with that mentality, you are in for a rude awakening! A garden must be tended to, and that tending isn’t always easy.
There are weeds that creep up almost as soon as you pull them out. There are animals such as deer and rabbits that seem to think we planted a giant food plot just for them. There are pesky little bugs that will take over the plants if we don’t get rid of them. There’s the fact that outside work doesn’t come with air conditioning and there aren’t always nice little breezes blowing. There’s the fact that you are at the mercy of the weather— not enough rain, too much rain, or my favorite called just the right amount. There can even be physical fatigue or sore muscles mixed with a bit of sunburn and blisters and mosquito bites, oh my!
When the harvest comes, the work is most definitely not over. We have taken to canning, which is blessing throughout the year. However, there’s quite a bit of labor in the canning, too. It’s one thing to pick green beans (among other vegetables), but then there’s the time you have to spend breaking them. At times it seems as though the job is never done, but that’s almost forgettable when I’ve got a mouthful of fresh veggies!
No sir, having and maintaining a garden is no easy task, but a task well worth it. As children of God, we need to realize that our lives are much like a garden. With proper maintenance, we can keep the weeds out of our lives. We can keep away the pests and grow strong and tall. We can weather any storm and produce a healthy crop to share with those around us. It’s not always sunshine and roses, but it is necessary. We may get sore and wore out. We may get tired of dealing with the upkeep. We may feel like no one notices the effort. BUT when we stand before God we can rest assured that He has paid attention to every single detail.
I even pray over everything that’s planted in our garden and I continue to pray for a good harvest each time I’m taking care of it. I believe it’s important that we start praying over our Spiritual gardens, also, because that prayer (or daily tending) can be key to the outcome of our crop.
How is your garden looking? If you’d like us to grab a hoe and get at the weeds (pray for you), don’t hesitate to let us know. We are more than willing to get to work!
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
I’ve been gluten-free since last summer. I went dairy-free the first of this year. I recently started getting back into the routine of exercising four to five times a week, and I’m making every effort to read and crochet each day. In addition to my daily quiet time, I’ve started taking a “time out” several times a day to read some Psalms and pray. In the past few weeks, I’ve drastically reduced my sugar consumption.
Yes, my life looks much different from many people’s. Some of these decisions I made for my physical health. Some of these decisions I made for my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Following the culture hasn’t worked for me. I needed a change.
The thing about change is that it’s uncomfortable. It’s hard to learn a new way of eating, to rearrange your schedule to accommodate exercise, to stop throughout the day to pause and remember that God is in your day with you and you’re not alone. It makes me uncomfortable to have to ask for the manager every time I enter a restaurant (in addition to being dairy- and gluten-free, I also have a life-threatening allergy to another food) and to demand (nicely, of course) that they take appropriate steps to keep me safe. I don’t particularly appreciate the discomfort involved in exercise and the soreness that accompanies working out.
I do, however, like the results of all of these changes. That’s why I continue to press forward with my plans.
The longer I do these things, the more they become habits, part of the dailiness of my life, the more I embrace them because they’re good for me and because I feel better when I do them.
They become my “new normal.” After a while, they don’t feel new anymore. They just feel normal. Explaining why I do what I do seems less embarrassing and more matter of course. It’s just what I do.
If you’re trying to make big changes in your life, start with one thing at a time. Don’t try to make all of them at once. When one change begins to feel normal, start another one.
There’s no way to tell exactly how long it will take for you to feel “normal” about the changes you’re making. It depends on your personality and the magnitude of the change you’re making. Give yourself grace. Embrace the change, knowing that it will eventually feel normal.
I’m the queen of keeping things comfortable and familiar. Change is difficult and scary for me. If I can do this, you can too. As a wise friend told me last week, “Just do the next right thing.” That’s how you change your life.
This post contains affiliate links. Using these links helps us with the cost of maintaining our blog.
“God, how much more do You think I can handle? You said You wouldn’t put more on me than I can bare!”
Most Christians struggle with what God has called them to do with their life. “Lord, do You want me to sing? Preach? Pastor? Evangelize? Teach? Be a missionary? What Lord?”
We are all called to be a witness for His Kingdom. To spread His gospel to anyone that we can and sometimes, that’s just by letting His light shine through us.
But there is another calling that most people try to ignore. It can be heavy, burdensome, time consuming, and definitely takes dedication. That is the calling of “Intercession”.
In Beni Johnson’s book, The Happy Intercessor, she defines the calling of being an intercessor as “capturing the heartbeat of Heaven and declaring or praying it into your world.” It’s true agreement with Heaven.
As I read this book, I found myself identifying with almost everything that Sis. Beni wrote about. For as long as I can remember, I could feel the “emotions”, “spiritual joy or turmoil” or the “attitudes” of those around me. I could “discern” things from a very young age. I knew when a situation was considered Godly or un-Godly.
I also “learned” to carry the weight of those around me. I would let it bother me and worry me to the point I would make myself sick. I didn’t know how to lay it down. Sometimes, I still get to the point where the burden is almost too much to carry. I will pray about it, cry, lament, whatever, but when it comes to fully “laying it down”, I still get stuck at that point.
God never meant for us to carry the burdens. He meant for us to lay them down at the feet of Jesus and LEAVE them. Not pick them back up to take back with us.
Interceding on the behalf of others can be hard work. Satan is doing his job well. He came to steal, kill, and destroy and Christ came that we may have life and have it more abundantly! As an Intercessor, we have to make sure that we are doing our job. You’ll know when you have that sudden urge in the pit if your stomach that something isn’t quite right. Sometimes, you feel it when you are around certain people or approaching a certain situation. It could be the very prayers that you’ve prayed that it takes to turn a situation around.
I pray for my husband and my children everyday. For God to place a hedge of protection around them. What if I didn’t pray for them everyday?
Have you ever had an inkling that something was wrong or was going to happen before it happened? Well, God prepared me for such a thing about 2 years ago that involved my husband. Two weeks before an incident occurred, God overwhelmed me with a burden to pray. I knew something was going to happen, I just didn’t know what. I was in spiritual and physical turmoil. Constant intercession. If I wasn’t prayed up and prepared, I would not have been able to deal with the situation that happened. It could have been much worse if I had not been prayed up and had not covered my husband with prayers.
If you believe that you are called to be an Intercessor, there are several books out there about it, but I highly recommend The Happy Intercessor by Beni Johnson. It will definitely help you find the joy of being called to intercede to know what a privilege it is to be able to join in the heartbeat of Heaven.
The above title is partly taken from a book that I’ve read before, but this phrase has stuck with me on this day.
Have you ever had one of those days (and I’m sure you have or you wouldn’t be human) where everything went wrong? Every time you turned around, something else was happening that was turning everything upside down, inside out, and throwing everything off?
Well, today would have been one of those days for me. As a matter of fact, the last several days have been that way. Aggravation has been the yoke around my neck. The kids have not listened to anything all week long and it is all catching up with me.
This is supposed to be summer break since school is out, but I haven’t had a break yet… with no end in sight. “Can you do this for me?”, “Can you do such and such for this situation?”, “We need your help. It takes everybody together to get things done.”… yet while I usually enjoy helping others, getting “weary in well doing” has set in. Rarely getting a “thank you”, is becoming noticeable, though I know I’m not supposed to be expecting one. If I don’t help do something, I feel bad about it.
I have no one to help me when I need it though. My house has gotten away from me, the kids are acting like we haven’t raised them right at all, money isn’t coming in like it should, though I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed begging bread! My God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory!
I’ve been helping David mow to save time and money, especially on Wednesdays, so that he can go to church with us as a family. Otherwise, he wouldn’t get finished in time. Well, yesterday was a busy day for me from sun up to sun down. My time was cut short for mowing due to my doctor’s appointment, taking the kids and picking them up from Bible School, waiting at the pharmacy, Josie’s orthodontist appointment, getting supper, getting kids to church an hour early so that they could have dance practice, and still mowing these “Wednesday yards” for our lawn care service. With our oldest son helping, it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to do 2 particular homes. I had a certain time to be home to get a shower before Jo’s appt. The yard of these 2 that I take care of is rather large. Somehow, I gently “backed” my 60 inch, zero turn John Deere mower into the garage door. Barely tapped it, but left a HUGE indention anyways. Though we have mowers insurance, the way it works defeats the purpose of having it, so now, I’m have to price garage door panels (2) to replace them. Thank God the home owner wasn’t mad and is generally “easy going”. Another day; Another dollar; Out the window and not taking care of our bills or groceries… URGH!
Then today, our other mower, same brand and size, fairly new, just stops working… Won’t even come on. No explanation thus far. The hedge trimmers have gone out. Though David is the Fire Chief, that is not our main income, (doesn’t bring in as much as what people would expect.) Our mowing is our main income and it seems like everything is going haywire.
Today, I also spent 4 and a half hours in the E.R. with Josie. She’s had right side pain for 5 days. Since her Dr. is going out of town, she wanted to go ahead and get a cat scan done to be on the safe side. She has had a cyst burst on her ovary.
It can only get better from here, right? Right? I am soooo tired. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Drained.
As I said before, usually I LOVE helping others. I live for it. I just need a break for just one little moment. Just to let me catch my breath and get some healing. Then, I’ll jump back in with both feet and go just as hard if not harder! I want to be Kingdom minded with all of my heart. To be the extension of Christ’s hands and feet. I want a servants heart.
With that said, I’m asking, begging, for prayer! For strength, restoration, for I know that joy is going to come in the morning! Thank you for reading my whining with the realization that I am a Christian that is still human and I face everyday struggles just like you. I greatly appreciate the prayers! Be blessed!
Note from Angie: UPDATE! This post was written on June 6th by Karen. (Due to my health it sat in my inbox waiting to be posted. Sorry Karen!)
Since then, her health, among other things, has been attacking her left and right. She is a strong woman of God and the enemy does not like what she is doing for The Lord’s Kingdom! Please be in prayer for Karen, her family, their finances, and all of their health.
Actually, make that for all of our bloggers… Everyone at RSHTH has been under attack lately! We are kicking that devil under our feet and claiming what is rightly ours!
Will you join us in prayer? Please and thank you. I’m so tired of seeing my best friend suffer, and she is tired of seeing me suffer as well. We declare HEALING in the name of JESUS! AMEN!
Sleep is something that is very precious to the beholder.
Since having a hysterectomy in March of 2012, I have found that I am spending most of my life awake. Sleeping hours are few and far between. I have learned, for the most part, to make peace with the darkest hours… literally.
I guess you never stop watching the clock and counting down each hour that you have left until the alarm goes off. First, I watch midnight come and go. Then 1 a.m., 2 a.m., and so on. As I type this blog, it is after 4 in the morning. The alarm goes off at 6 for the kids to get ready for school and David to get ready for work.
Psalms 127:2 says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” I really need to get back to claiming this verse for myself. My body can not keep up with the everyday wears and tears of life. I get sleepy while I am driving or just doing everyday things. Insomnia is a horrible thing for anyone to have, especially if you are a mother. I am very irritable with the kids and have found myself getting snappy with others, all because I am exhausted. Keeping up with everyday life is nearly impossible and then you add the “super mom” duties on top of that, and you get a walking Zombie. I have found myself driving down the road to only realize that I didn’t know how I had gotten that far. I didn’t remember driving those miles and I sometimes have to stop and get my focus back on, just to remember where I was going in the first place.
Psalms 4:8 says, “I will both lay my down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”
I know that God has given me peace of mind, now I just need that rest and sleep to go with it. I know many women who suffer from Insomnia and know first hand how serious of an issue it can be.
So, as you snuggle up in your bed and await your peaceful slumber, be mindful and prayerful for those of us who have learned to tell time by the setting of the moon… Sweet dreams.
Recently, I was reading the book of Job. When I got to the last chapter, which I had read several times before, something new struck me. I just love when that happens! As I was reading the end of Job’s journey, I was reminded of Jonah. I know, I know…..You’re wondering how in the world I could think about Jonah while studying about Job, but I couldn’t help but compare the end of their stories.
In reading the book of Jonah (a story familiar to most of us), you’ll find that God had called Jonah to travel to Nineveh- a nation full of wickedness- and preach repentance. After a bout of disobedience and unusual consequences to his disobedience (he was swallowed by a large fish!), Jonah reluctantly did as God required. He headed to Nineveh and preached the word that God had sent him to deliver. The results were amazing! The people repented and turned to God! However, that isn’t the end of the story. Instead of rejoicing over an entire nation turning to God, Jonah was displeased at the mercy God showed the to the people of Nineveh, a people he had no personal connection to. He sat down, sulking and pouting, and had to learn one more lesson from the Lord. (Jonah 4:1-11)
In the fleshly sense, if anyone had the right to be angry about God’s mercy toward others, it was certainly not Jonah. It was Job. Chapter after chapter he endured accusations of wickedness and rebuke from his three closest “friends.” In a time when they should’ve been comforting their friend, they questioned his word and integrity. Job definitely could’ve taken things personally. In the end, God talked to these so-called friends of Job and called them out on their wrong judgments. He then gave them direction on how to get redemption. God also instructed Job to pray for them in order for their redemption to come.
How many times have we stopped to pray for those who have hurt us, accused us, wronged us, etc? Job could’ve turned his back on those friends in a heartbeat, but instead, he did exactly what God instructed him to do…he prayed for his friends. When this occurred, all of Job’s losses were restored and he got double for his trouble! (Job 42:7-10)
Jonah’s negative attitude caused him to sit angry and miserable, begging for death. Job, on the other hand, found blessings in praying for those who caused him hurt. We as Christians are called to respond just as Job…Luke 6:28 says, “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes people can be mean and hateful. But guess what… There is power in our response, and there is power in our prayer. We can either walk in tremendous blessing as Job did, or we can be miserable like Jonah. A happy and joyous life depends on our response!