Category Archives: encouragement

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow – hymn

Who Holds Tomorrow

My commentary is brief today. Read through these lyrics. Let them flow over you and infuse your soul with peace and hope. God has this. Let this be our reminder for these times when the world is full of fear and scare. Be full of peace and hope and know that God holds tomorrow for those who live according to His purpose.

 

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

Ira F. Stanphill

Verse 1
I don’t know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what lies ahead.

Chorus
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Verse 2
Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden’s getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

Verse 3
I don’t know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the pathway that be my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Love One Another

Love one another for love is of God.

This song has been running through my head today and it is based off of I John 4:7-8. The words:

Love one another
For love is of God.
He who loves is born of God
And knows God.
He who does not love
Does not know God.
For God is love.
God is love.

In our songbook, this one is titled The Greatest Command and has three other melodies for the other voice parts to sing with some different but related words.

But I have sort of stuck on the “love one another” part.

Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Well, what are those? We find them throughout the New Testament but they often fall under one of two options:

1 – Love God.
2 – Love others.

(See Matthew 22:37-40 for one example of this.)

Love. It is a theme that we cannot ignore. Yet, it is so easy to do let it go by the wayside. By getting busy or distracted, we can easily be taken away from seeing the needs of others and stretching to meet them.

My youngest spent some time one day this week, hours really, working on a project or two. I didn’t know what she was doing but she just asked to have the art materials. So, she got the boxes and worked, and planned, and figured. And this is what she came up with:

It is an example of love to me that she thought about doing for others with her time. This sits in an area where I see it several times a day. It makes me smile but even more reminds me to serve others through acts of love.

These acts don’t have to be gigantic. They can be small. My middle daughter likes to surprise me with little notes on my pillow thanking me for something I might have done for her during the day. I try to show my husband that I love him by taking care of things he might need before he needs them, such as clean uniforms for work or getting his food bag packed for work, making his bread for sandwiches or picking things up so he won’t trip on them when he comes home in the dark from work. I can write notes to someone who made me smile or who is having a hard time. Small acts matter.

I encourage you to find small acts of love that will encourage others each day. Big gestures are great – being one of the greeters at the church building where you worship so visitors will feel welcomed, taking a meal to someone in need, or giving extra to a specific need such as sending to a missionary who has a particular project. But sometimes, the small acts of love make a bigger impact so don’t forget them.

What are you planning to do today to love one another?

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Grace and Compassion

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I was scrolling through Facebook land and stumbled across this meme that said “If I needed you and you weren’t there, I’ll never need you again.”

How sad! On so many fronts.

The sadness of this really got me thinking.

First off, it made me thankful that God is always there. Always. Even when I turn away from him. Even when I struggle. Even when I sin. When I turn back to God and drag myself home to him like the lost son of Luke 15, He is there. He is waiting and watching and sees me a long way off. He runs to me and is THERE. I am so thankful for that comfort.

Immediately after it made me feel achy for the person that posted it. Humans are fickle. They have many issues, often much bigger and more intense than those around them know about. Not everyone shares their entire life on social media and thus, there is likely stuff going on in other people’s lives that we know nothing about. We stick to our social media for updates – and yes, I am just as guilty as anyone else – without going to the person that failed us for some reason and finding out if there was something in their life. Maybe it wasn’t about you at all.

Next, it made me sad that this young person felt the need to share with the world this attitude. There is no grace in it. I don’t know about you, but I need others to have grace in dealing with me. Please! If I take the attitude that you better be all in, have no issues yourself, and never dare to be forgetful with me, I am not gracious or compassionate. I will have no friends. And, I am not being like Christ. At all.

But God . . .

You know, that idea – “But God” – occurs often in the Bible and I am so grateful for it. It means that God is forgiving. He is compassionate. He is gracious. He is love. He is greater than I am and allows me to be human and make mistakes. He allows me to have moments where I stumble and fall yet He is right there to be the parent – to kiss the proverbial scrape, pat me on the head, and then wrap me in a warm, tender hug with the words “it will be alright.” What a great God we have.

Grace and compassion.

We all need these. And I know that I need to use them in greater and greater abundance as I grow, mature, and understand more about how human we all are.

I pray that the young person who posted that meme is able to find peace about whatever hit her in the gut. I pray that she will be able to step out in grace towards the person that hurt her and perhaps, be the friend that she had been desiring herself. When we are able to do that, we can change the world by showing the love of Christ to others. One person at a time, we can change the world with God’s love.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Work Before Play. Or??

Work Before Play OR Play Before Work

Work Before Play.

OR

Play Before Work.

Now, does it really matter?

Many will say “Yes, it absolutely matters. You have to do your work before you do the things you want to do. You have to earn it.”

I am going to challenge that notion. I have had to challenge it in my own life. I grew up where you did the work and then you go the play time or the time to relax or do whatever it is that pleased you. And I am NOT saying, at all, that the work does not have to be done.

But, like everything else in life, times are a changing in this realm. When I was growing up, it seemed like everyone who worked was gone from 7:30 to 5:30 or thereabouts. There was not a lot of shift work going on. This was what happened in my family and it worked well. That was my dad’s work schedule. We went to school during the day and then got to play after chores when we got home. Nothing wrong with that.

My life as an adult has been quite surprising and this is one of those places where things are not quite what I expected. My husband works from 3 PM to 1 AM. If he has to work and then have time to play, he is doing so at the wee hours of the morning and that does not allow time with his family. That old notion doesn’t work for our situation. With his schedule, the girls see the down time first and then the work time. They see the work commitment being honored, the hard work, the time frame consistently held. But they see that after some down time and time around the house.

So why should I push them to complete all of their work before they have any down time? It doesn’t jive with what they see. And you know what? They work a ton better when they are stepping into their own work after just a bit of down time first. So that is what we allow.

One of the girls prefers to get up, get breakfast, and dig straight into her schoolwork. We don’t stop that because it is what she prefers. It works for her. Another of the girls does much better when she has had some time to read her own choice of material first so she reads in bed for a while before getting up, showering, and moving on with her schoolwork. The third, well, it depends on the day for her. Sometimes she wants to dive right in and other times she wants to read or color first. So, I am flexible with that.

When we add to the equation that their dance rehearsals are later afternoon and evening, and they are working hard at those times, it makes sense to allow some down time and free time before that during the day.

So, I am going to ask you if you have truly evaluated what your family does and sees in this arena. Does it really work for you? If not, feel free to challenge the standard notion and the old sayings. It just might create a beautiful, peaceful situation in your family.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

20 Things I Want To Work On In 2020

20 things

A year ago I wrote a post titled “Cultivating An Attitude.” I wish I could say I did well with it. In some ways, I did. In others, not so much. I am holding onto that idea this year but editing the process a bit. So, here you go – 20 things I am going to work on in 2020 – in no particular order.

1 – I have started by downloading a daily devotional program from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. (affiliate link – If you click on it and purchase, I will receive a small commission.) This devotional is titled “Encouragement for Homeschool Moms” and is written by Bonnie Lisech. It is not a long set of devotions, only 31 but it is getting me started this year. There are more devotions on SchoolhouseTeachers, so I may try another one when I finish this. I may move on to something else. Either way, I will continue to set my mind on God first thing each morning, as it sets the tone for my day.

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2 – I am going to continue to work on is sending personal notes. I understand the beauty of receiving a hand-written note and I want to do more with this. Again, by sharing my thankfulness of other’s with them, I am more thankful myself and pass on a small bit of joy. I am also seeing this one reap benefits in that my daughters are working hard every couple of months to send cards to let people know they are thinking of them. It is a wonderful thing so I need to do more of this.

3 – I am going to read some hard books. Hard in this case is going to be ones that are challenging to me and make me think. I have some one my shelf – Walking The Bible is one. Farenheit 451 is another. I want to read some Dickens. And to go through some of the “classics” that I have never read.

4 – I am going to work on consistency in schedule. It is easy enough for me to keep the schedule for things outside of the house but I am going to work on keeping a home schedule for myself, also. Getting up and moving, cleaning schedule, laundry schedule, exercise schedule – those sorts of things.

5 – Exercise. I am on a good schedule with walking 2 -3 miles 5 or 6 days per week. I am going to continue that.

6 – Be brave and add a yoga class to my exercise. I don’t know when this will start but I know where I want to add it. I just need to contact the studio and ask about doing so.

# 7 - Declutter!!

7 – Declutter. This is always on the list, isn’t it? I want to get rid of things we no longer need or use. This is going to be the smaller things, such as kitchen utensils (did that today, actually, and got rid of about 10 spatulas and such that we don’t like). Books are next and I already have a pile. 🙂

8 – I am going to continue having the charity group come by each month to pick up a box. It is great incentive to continue with number 7 all month long.

9 – Get rid of desks. Yep – we have too many desks and they need to go. This is a “one-time” sort of thing but it needs to happen.

10 – Start a teen girls Bible study. This one needs to happen soon so I’ve got to get a move-on with it. I think it will be over Psalms, for now.

11 – Take a trip to the UK. This one is in the “plans” but I have to get it actually going.

12 – Get my passport. I have never left the country so this is a must if number 11 is going to happen.

13 – Do a fun school day with the girls one time per month. Drop the books and study something interesting or unique or do a game board school day. Something fun to keep us all in good spirits and working hard.

#14 - Add read-alouds back into our day.

14 – Add read-alouds back in. The past few months, we have not done a very good job of doing read-alouds with the girls. Since they are all working so independently, it is much harder to settle them all at the same time. This may need to work hand-in-hand with number 4.

15 – Handmade gifts are beautiful so I want to do more of that for others. Maybe a “just because” gift but maybe things like birthdays or holidays. I want to do more making of things. I miss doing things like cross-stitch or embroidery or sewing. So, more of that stuff.

16 – Less time on social media but when I am on, I want it to be more meaningful. This doesn’t mean I am getting rid of accounts but I am going to be more attentive about scrolling. I will continue to share and post but when I find that I am not thinking about what is going past on the newsfeeds, I will shut it down and go do something else.

17 – Call my family and friends more often. Putting this down in writing may mean I get called on it but accountability is good. I want to talk to my family, particularly my siblings, more often. And friends that I will not see as often. Or haven’t seen in a while. You know what I mean, right?

18 – Visit with friends more often. I don’t yet know what this will look like but, again, I want to be more intentional about seeing the people I don’t get to see as often. I want to make a trip specifically to see my grandmother and I want to try to get to see a friend who doesn’t live that far away more than once a year.

19 – I will be more intentional about my time use. I am blessed by a good bit of time waiting – you know, dance studio time. 🙂 I want to use that better to take care of some of the things I have already listed (like my reading) but also to be more efficient in doing some other online tasks I need to do daily. This will give me more time at home to spend with my family or to work around the house. #20 More intentional time spent with family.

20 – Last But Not Least – More intentional time doing fun things with my family. My husband and I have enjoyed having 2 hours one night a week when he is off while the girls are at dance. That is a precious time for us. But I want to find that kind of time for each of my girls. Maybe not 2 hours per child per week but some dedicated time to just hear them and allow them to be. Miss J really enjoyed having that time in December while her sisters were doing youth group and dance company Christmas parties. She and I spent some time doing things together and it was good. I need to set that up for each of the girls.

Now that I have put down 20 things for 2020, I need to add them to my “pay attention to” list. I need to print this out or write it down somewhere so I can be reminded and not forget. Because that is what happens in my busy life. I forget. I get tired or lazy or forgetful. So, feel free to hold me to it and check in on me.

Did you do a “word of the year” or a list that you want to work on? Share it with me below. Let’s encourage each other.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

20 things to work on

 

Linking up with the Homeschool Review Crew and their Word of The Year link-up.

Welcome, Not Just Invited

Welcome

Do you think about the fact that there is a HUGE difference between being invited and feeling welcome? Honestly, I had not thought about it until a while back. There was something small that was being done at church with the youth group. My two older girls did not participate. When we got down to brass tacks on it, they both stated “we felt invited, just not welcome.”

So what makes the difference? What makes someone feel invited? What makes one feel welcome?

Invited –

The dictionary.com definition is “make a polite, formal, or friendly request to (someone) to go somewhere or to do something.”

Do you get that? Invited is formal. It is polite. It is something that is not necessarily personal. It isn’t warm. But it is kind. Kindness is a good thing and being invited is a good thing.

There are times, though, when it is not enough. We need to feel welcome and we need to help others feel welcome.

Welcome –

The dictionary. com definition for this says “very pleasing because much needed or desired.”

Welcome says you are needed. Your presence is desired. You are wanted.

Both invited and welcome are friendly but one implies that your presence will make a difference.

If you can’t do welcoming, then definitely make sure to do inviting. But wouldn’t it be better if we were striving for more than invited?

God’s word directs us to do things that build each other up, to encourage one another.

I Thessalonians 5: 11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. . .

I Thessalonians 4: 18 – Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Hebrews 3: 13 – But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 

Hebrews 10:25 – Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We also see the apostles sending others out to encourage the churches and exhorting those churches to be welcoming to those who are coming to them. Look at Ephesians, Colossians, and I Thessalonians for just a few letters sent along with someone to encourage churches in the first century.

I find it very easy to say “Yes, I am doing these things.” When in reality, it is taking every ounce of strength I have to be welcoming. But, that is the key isn’t it? Doing something for the building up and encouraging of the other person and not ourselves?

So, let’s get practical. How do we do things so that others feel welcomed, not just invited? I think it comes from the personal approach. When you have a large group and you say to the whole group “You all can do this thing,” we tend to be inviting. But it isn’t personal, is it? If we were to do the whole large group thing and THEN make sure that everyone has been personally asked, that would make a difference.

If something is being decided upon ahead of time, make that known in the large group invite but don’t assume that everyone knows. When decisions are made ahead of time and THEN you do a large group invitation, it is felt. Those who weren’t on the “decision” side of it feel left out and therefore, not welcome. Yes, decisions have to be made but we can ease that feeling of left out by the way we approach it and the way we word it. So, pay attention.

Acknowledge, also, that large group invitations are perhaps not the right way to make people feel welcome. They will feel invited and I will have done my part to “invite everyone.” But I won’t have made people feel welcomed. In this day of social media and electronic interactions, it takes being intentional and choosing relationship over ease.

But, in my life, I work at it. When our family has hosted devotionals, we have intentionally gone through and spoken to the people who were being invited. We did this in person or on the phone but we spoke to each person or family. When we are getting together somewhere with others, we talk to them; we do not send out group invitations that are impersonal.

We tend to host small get-togethers so that people feel like they are a part of it. When the girls enjoy an activity, they write letters that are personalized and hand-written to let others know that the activity was a hit and to encourage them to participate the next time.

We don’t do these successfully all the time but the point is that we try. At least part of the time, hoping to make a difference.

The key here, I think, is the personal interaction. I recognize that this is not possible for every single situation. But shouldn’t we try to make it? Aren’t we called to be family with those in the church?

One of the reasons I don’t like large gatherings is because of just this. I have worked really hard to not pass that feeling onto my girls. I guess I have not been successful in this. They don’t feel welcome, either. And that saddens me beyond words.

So, I am challenging you and myself – make it personal next time so that the person you are inviting to an event feels welcomed, not just invited.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

welcome pin

Insignificant

insignificant

I am sure we all have those moments. You know the ones. I feel small and like I am living a life that is of no consequence and very insignificant. I have no purpose and no matter what I do, no one notices.

My heart and head know the answer to that thinking –

  • God has a plan. – Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  • We are all a part of the body and with a purpose. – I Corinthians 12:12-31
    For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. (verse 12)
  • My life was determined by God before I was ever knit together in my mother’s womb; I was made. – Psalm 139:13-14
    For You formed my inward parts;
    You covered me in my mother’s womb.
    I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Marvelous are Your works,
    And that my soul knows very well.
  • God is working in the lives of His children, who serve Him. – Rom 8:28
    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
  • I have purpose and calling. – 2 Timothy 1:9
    who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purposeand grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

I can spout the thinking that should buoy me up with the best of them. But sometimes, it just isn’t enough.

  • When I have brought up concerns and am brushed off.
  • When I am told that something important is going to happen and to be prepared, just to have nothing happen and it not to be mentioned again.
  • When someone looks at you and tells you, literally, you wouldn’t understand because you are not smart enough.
  • When you are told that the only thing someone thinks of when I walk into a room is a particular program that I work hard to serve.

And then someone picks up the phone and calls. And you see, very clearly, God’s hand in it all.

This is what happened yesterday. I had literally just been discussing how very inconsequential I felt my life was in the grand scheme of things. The phone rang. It was my mom and one of the first things she began telling me about was the apostle Andrew and the sermon she had heard that morning.

Andrew is not known for very much. Really, we don’t know much about him, even after scouring the scriptures to know more. But when I heard my mom talking about how quiet his life was compared to his brother, Peter, I realized very quickly that God was speaking.

He was whispering, through my mom’s voice, “you matter” and “Just like Andrew, I have something in mind for you.”

I spent some time early this morning studying more about Andrew and found myself amazed about how important he was, yet he is mentioned very little in scripture. But God. . .

I need to sit quietly and wait on that “but God” moment in my life. I will wait in prayer, for myself and for you. God has a moment coming in your life, too.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Live For Jesus, O My Brother ~ hymn

Hymns can do a number of different things for the singer or the listener. They all seem to do one thing the same, though – exhortation. Whether it be an exhortation of warning or one of encouragement, it seems like almost of all hymns have this element. Sometimes, the exhortation is both warning and encouragement. This hymn does a bit of both.

Encouragement to live the way God calls His children to live is found throughout each of the verses and the refrain. There are specific actions mentioned – “Render not to any other what long the Lord’s should be,” or “Give Him all thou hast to give.” But there are some not so specific ones also – “Live for Jesus.”

However this encouragement is looked at, please do “live for Jesus” and we will have the blessings that He offers those following Him – “endless bliss” according to the lyrics of this hymn.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Live For Jesus

Live For Jesus, O My Brother

words: E. R. Latta
music: Frank M Davis

1. Live for Jesus, O my brother,
His disciple ever be;
Render not to any other,
What alone the Lord’s should be.

Refrain
Live for Jesus, live for Jesus;
Give Him all thou hast to give;
On the cross the world’s Redeemer
Gave His life that Thou mightst live.

2. Live for Jesus, wandering sinner,
Under Satan serve no more;
Of the promised prize a winner
Thou may’st be, when life is o’er. [Refrain]

3. Live for Jesus in life’s morning;
At the noontide hour be His;
And at eve, when day is turning,
And inherit endless bliss. [Refrain]

Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love ~ a Crew review

Elizabeth Prentiss review

More love to Thee, oh Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee,
This is my earnest plea
More love, oh Christ, to Thee
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

This hymn is well known to me and my family and we enjoy singing it. We didn’t realize these were the words of a lady named Elizabeth Prentiss or that it came out of the depth of sorrow in her life, which she kept dedicated to the Lord. Christian Focus allowed us the pleasure of reading the story of Elizabeth in their biography of her titled Elizabeth Prentiss. The subtitle of this book is More Love and how fitting it is once you read of her story.

Christian-Focus-Publications-Logo

First, let me share a bit about the company Christian Focus. They have a singular focus in what they are publishing – the Gospel. Through the literature they print, they strive to remain faithful to the infallible word of God, the Bible. In being focused through their publishing, they are trying to fulfill the command of Christ to share His gospel. This focus and outreach guides their publishing house.

Christian Focus sent the Crew several options of titles for review and they all look so interesting. The age range is varied but the quality looks to be solid across the titles.
Big Bible Science, Read To Me ages 5-7; Read by Myself ages 7-11
Elizabeth Prentiss, Read To Me 8-9; Read by Myself 9-14
God is Better than Princesses,  Read To Me 0-5; Read by Myself 5-6
God is Better than Trucks, Read To Me 0-5; Read by Myself 5-6

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We received Elizabeth Prentiss and used it as a family read aloud. I did read it by myself first and determined that it would make for some wonderful family discussions so I chose to read it aloud. I feel like the above ages are about right for the start of the Read to Me bracket for this book but that the Read by Myself ages are more appropriate at 12 and above due to some of the intensity of emotion from events in Elizabeth’s life (death and illness, not violence). Regardless of the age, it is a wonderful story!

Elizabeth Prentiss is a lady dedicated to God. She knew this from a very young age. We often say this about people who go to foreign mission fields but Elizabeth? She chose to be faithful to God in supporting a loving husband who was a preacher and raising children while serving those around her in many ways. And they did this in America. This is a beautiful picture of a faithful servant of God that we don’t see written down often enough.

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At the age of 6, Elizabeth’s father died and her memories of him were of a man dedicated to God. She remembered finding him on the floor praying to God. She saw her mother doing the same often, especially after her father died. These two godly parents set the standard for Elizabeth and she followed it throughout her life, speaking to God often throughout the days. This early experience of death and the soon after experience of her own severe illness were just the beginning of trials Elizabeth was to have to repeat these over and over in her life. Thus, the example set by her parents was one of how to handle life’s trials by leaning on God. And this is the value of the story of Elizabeth Prentiss.

Elizabeth Prentiss review quote

Elizabeth found her strength in Christ and shared this often with those around her. She was an encourager and a strengthener for those who knew her. She knew suffering but did not let it define or burden her. She poured her thoughts and emotions out to the One who could handle them and she encouraged others to do the same.

 

In living her life as a Christian wife and mother, Elizabeth shows us the beauty of a life dedicated to Christ. Through her own constant illnesses and the deaths of her children and other family, Elizabeth shows us how to stand tall in Christ, how to rely on Him to strengthen when your physical strength is gone. Her life also shows us how to focus on the service that God has given to each of us. Even in her own sorrows, Elizabeth reached out to others. Her children grew in love and strength and dedication to the Lord, just as Elizabeth did. And the submission to her husband is a delight to see, as it shows a beautiful godly marriage where love is freely given by both and strength is gathered through that.

Elizabeth Prentiss review quote 2

One of the things Elizabeth did extremely well was write. She enjoyed writing and later in her life, she wrote many stories for children. She also wrote down her prayers. Some of these prayers have been set to music and that is where we know the hymn More Love from. In the midst of her sorrow, Elizabeth focused her emotions on loving Christ. This hymn is lovely.

Each of these aspects of Elizabeth’s character are woven together beautifully in this biography.

 

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Thinking Further Topic for the chapter Blessings and Sadness and the Challenge for the previous chapter

A feature in the book that I really appreciated is the Thinking Further Topics. For each chapter in Elizabeth’s story, there is a short devotional-like discussion of a related idea. That is followed by a challenge to the reader, something to do that will encourage them to act according to God’s will. The challenge is sometimes as simple as asking you to find more time to pray or to think carefully about how you treat people who are different than you. Other times, it is a bit more difficult such as thinking of a small way to serve God, a bigger way, and a biggest way to serve Him. All of the challenges are within reach of the reader, though, and all of the topics resulted in good discussions for our family. We used these after each day’s readings. They were simple to incorporate.

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There is also a timeline of Elizabeth’s life that could be used in a few different ways. One of the girls just wanted to look at it to see how things lined up since the passing of time in the story was not always clear. There were many times the girls stopped me to ask how much time had passed or how old Elizabeth was at a point in the story. The timeline was helpful for that.

We really enjoyed this story and I know we will be keeping our eyes open for more books by Christian Focus.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Be sure to stop by the Crew blog and read more reviews about this book and the others that were being read by families.

Big-Bible-Science-Elizabeth-Prentiss-God-is-Better-than-Princesses-God-is-Better-than-Trucks.-Christian-Focus-Reviews

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More for Mom ~ a book review

More For Moms

This week has been full, in such a good way. From the being able to attend Teach Them Diligently to things our family is immersed in, life is full and it is lovely. That is just what this book is about though, living your whole life in a holy way that is pleasing to God and brings life to you. What a lovely idea.

The title of the book, More for Mom: Living Your Whole and Holy Life, really says what the author, Kristin Funston, wants you to see in your life – something that is holy and whole. A life wholly dedicated to being the holy being God created you to be.

As an adult with a family (yes, the book is written to moms but dads fit this too and could use the encouragement), there is much going on in our lives. For us, it is all chosen carefully in ways that will help us use the gifts God has granted each of us, even down to the 10 year old. We all have things to do that please God and we need to be aware of that.

BUT –

If we are neglecting God and His word and will through all of the using of the talents, abilities, and gifts He gives us, we have missed the boat, y’all. That is what Kristin is trying to get us to see. No matter what we do, if God isn’t first in it, there is no real purpose in it.

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The book has 210 pages, broken into three parts and 10 chapters. Part 1 is the Whole and Holy Mom. Kristin looks at all of life here, the things that push and pull us and what God’s will and way is. We crave God in our lives and when we search for things to fill that craving that aren’t God, our lives are not whole.

Part 2 is Living This Mom Life. These five chapters talks about the way we live our day to day lives, what we see or don’t see, what we do, how we interact, and wear ourselves down. But in all of it, there is the redeeming factor of God.

Part 3 is titled More for Mom. This is where the true meat of the book is and where it got really challenging for me. Life is full and it is good. But can I find ways to do more? Wait, you say – more? Yes and that is what Kristin is challenging us to – asking God to give us MORE – more peace, more joy, more hope. We have to find MORE time to do what God asks us to and He will give us MORE. The challenge in this for me was that I can easily look at my life and say “but I am already . . .” I am ready to say I am doing enough. I feel whole and holy.

That is where the problem is though – I should not stop when I fell whole and holy. I need to ask God to give me more – more empathy, more understanding, more patience, more hope, more joy, MORE. And there are three ways that Kristin talks about doing that.

  • More Time – I need to spend more time in God’s presence: in His word, in prayer, in focus. Prioritizing time with God is a needed and necessary thing. Just because I already am doing this doesn’t mean I should call it good. I need to do more. And there was great encouragement to do so here.
  • More Fasting – I have never quite understood this idea of fasting but Kristin’s chapter here has me desiring to study it more. I have never thought of it as a way to see MORE of God but it is an example Jesus gives us that I am going to study more. Fasting is often thought of as a food thing but Kristin reminds us that a fast can include many other things that you need to eliminate that take you away from focusing on God. Her idea of taking apps off of your phone if you tend to spend too much time there or of taking a different route when you are driving if you tend to stop off somewhere for a snack or drink or spending money are genius for removing distractions that lead us away from God. As I mentioned, more time will be spent on this idea.
  • More Life – “Life is Who we allow to complete it, and our body is Who we allow to fill it.” This really resonated with me because it encapsulates the idea of this entire book – God should be the focus of every part of our life because life is not small sections that are separated from one another. It is a whole life, filled by a whole God, to serve Him in a holy way. And we need to live it that way. God completes our life when we allow Him to fill it up with Himself.

This is a really encouraging book to read that helps me see His way more clearly. It is easy to get complacent and say “But I’m doing (fill in the blank).” I may have some fabulous habits in place that help me spend time with God. But if I step back and allow those habits to hold me up, I am not serving the living God who wants to be active in my life. More for Moms helps me see that I get more when I ask for more. It isn’t about more from the world but about more from The One who I serve.

May you be blessed as you seek to live your whole and holy life.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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From the publisher: 

Reset your spiritual and emotional health with these steps.

More for Mom will encourage women to stop believing the lie that more is needed from them, and start living with the truth that more is available for them.

With real-life talk, humor and convicting biblical truths, Kristin Funston helps hard working mamas to look at each day and each facet of their life to discover what happens when they believe God has more for them than what they think the world needs from them.

And what He has available is a whole and holy life, just waiting to be claimed–a salvation and day-to-day reality complete just as it is. The pieces of each mom’s life–the work life, mom life, social life, etc.–are mended together through Christ to complete her one whole life, set apart because of Him.

This book is a stepping stone to help working mothers reset their spiritual and emotional health, habits, and relationship with God. There are performance pressures at work, home, and mind-sets that affect a mom’s ability to feel complete and live more closely aligned with God. This book includes the beginning steps for moms to walk in wholeness and holiness by asking God for more.

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Kristin Funston resides outside of Memphis with her husband and three daughters. She has a master’s degree in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. Kristin has a passion for writing and wants to encourage women in a way that is relatable and practical with a large side of humor. She is a member of Hope Presbyterian Church, a congregation with a weekly attendance of more than 7,000, and serves as the Marriage & Family Coordinator. She contributes to multiple blogs.

https://kristinfunston.com/

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