Where I Really Fall Short

Can I admit something to you on this cold fall day? It’s not pretty. It’s not something I’m proud of. And it’s certainly not something I want highlighted about my life.

But, I must share just in case it might help you.

I struggle at times trusting God with my kids.

There’s just something so hard about this for me. Though I say with my mouth and I posture my attitude to give off the appearance of complete trust, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of fully living like I trust God with my kids, I fall short.

I worry.

I get incredibly anxious.

I make lots of suggestions to God on their behalf.

I try to keep things in their world calm, free of hurt, and on track toward some “best plan” I’ve imagined for them.

It’s like I gather up my people in my arms and tell God, “See? I’ve got it all worked out. Now, if You’ll just bless all this. Don’t mess with it, just bless it. And life will be good.”

I suspect I’m not the only mom who feels this way. So if you can relate, join me over at (in)courage today for the rest of this post by clicking here.


The Most Powerful Name

Matthew 1:20 (NIV) “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’”

I picture Joseph in the moment he found out his future wife, Mary, was pregnant. He knew the child wasn’t his. His mind must have fired off all kinds of assumptions and dreadful possible scenarios that could have caused this situation.

And Joseph’s response? He made plans to divorce Mary in secret.

The very next thing written in verse 20 states that after Joseph considered the divorce an angel visited him in a dream. Joseph went to sleep with the weight of his decision pressing on him, and God sent an angel to direct him and protect God’s plan.

God had a plan for Joseph. His assignment was to bring forth the child and name him “Jesus” (Matthew 1:21).

And the enemy’s tactic to mess that plan up could have been many things. Shame. Anger. Confusion.

But the angel of the Lord saw what was really keeping Joseph from staying in alignment with his assignment from God: fear.

Make no mistake, the enemy wanted Joseph to be afraid.

The enemy wants you to be afraid today too.

Not the healthy kind of fear that keeps us safe. No, the horrible kind of fear that whispers worst-case scenarios, absent of hope and haunted by hurt.

With death on his breath fear says, “Entertain my entanglements. Linger in my lies. And drink deeply from my darkness.”

While we’re distracted with fear, the enemy pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of the Lord’s great plans.

On the surface it may not seem like your assignment is like Joseph’s at all. But it’s actually incredibly similar. You are to bring forth and proclaim the name of Jesus.

Is there a person with whom you’ve been afraid to share your testimony? Is there a relationship causing you confusion and anxiety? Is there a problem you’re facing where there seems to be no solution?

Proclaiming the name of Jesus brings power, protection and a perspective that crushes fear. It is the name above every other.

Joseph went to bed afraid. In his dream he hears the name Jesus for the first time. And wakes up empowered to be obedient to God’s plan.

There is power in the name of Jesus.

Calling on the name of Jesus shouldn’t be our last resort. It should be our first response. He is Immanuel, God with us.

At Proverbs 31 Ministries, we think it’s so important to give the first moments of our day to God. And our app, First 5, is designed to help you do just that! You can set your morning alarm in the app and when you turn it off, the first thing you’ll read is a 5-minute teaching just like this one from the Bible.

We started studying the book of Matthew this week and would love to have you with us. Click here to find out more or download ‘First 5’ in your app store.


When Rejection Steals the Best of Who I Am

“We don’t need you there.” A simple sentence. Five words. Five syllables. However, in my brain the interpretation of this sentence was anything but simple.

It unleashed a flood of uncertainty. My brain instantly fired off locator arrows that traveled to past rejections in my memory. Past hurt was pulled into this current conversation. Suddenly, I wasn’t hearing “We don’t need you there.” I was hearing, “You aren’t wanted.”

Rejection always wants to steal the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.

The best of who I am was certainly not the one interpreting this comment.

The most hurt version of me took what was said and added pages of commentary. This additional dialogue highlighted my insecurities, brought to mind all the many reasons I was surely being excluded, and vilified the person who uttered those five words that started this whole thing.

Suddenly, this person was unsafe. She was insensitive. And worst of all, I pictured her rallying others to believe the worst about me as well.

If you’ve had these same thoughts and feelings… I understand. And I’m sharing more about the 3 perspectives I’ve learned when it comes to rejection over at (in)courage today. Read the rest of this post here.