Hi Friends, if you're looking for the final The Best Yes webcast replay, click here.

Friday, October 10

When Fear Chases Me

My eyes popped open and my heart raced when my phone buzzed at 1AM. Good news isn’t usually delivered at that hour. I hopped out of bed and grabbed my phone.

“Mom, police have my dorm on lockdown and are running up and down the hall shouting. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m scared.”

It was from Ashley, my college freshman daughter, over 7 hours away from me.

I tried calling her but the reception was so bad neither of us could make out what the other was saying. Texting was my only option so I asked a series of questions trying to get a better handle of what was happening.

My hands were shaking. My heart was racing. And I felt intensely helpless.

Scary images assaulted my mind with all the possible scenarios a completely shaken mama conjures up in moments of frightening uncertainty. I sank down to my knees and begged God to clear my head and give me the words to text that would help…

Have you ever experienced an intense moment of fear like this? Day by day, I’m learning that I can feel afraid but I don’t have to live afraid. I’m sharing what this situation with Ashley has taught me about fear over at (in)courage today. Click here to read the rest of this story.

I’m also giving away 3 copies of It Will Be Okay right here on my blog. Just leave a comment below to be entered to win.

Tuesday, October 7

5 Scriptures to Help Your Child Through Fear & Change

One of the hardest life lessons for me to teach my kids has been on fear and worry. As their mom, I feel what they feel. I hurt when they hurt. I worry about their worries.

When one of my daughters was seven, she suddenly became afraid to get up on a stage in front of her school. This was something she’d loved before, yet anxiety was paralyzing her now. So, I told her I’d sit on the front row and she could keep her eyes locked on me. My presence could give her reassurance and my smile could give her courage.

It worked great because I was there, in person. But as my kids have grown, I’ve had to get more creative. I’ve needed to be intentional in helping them find this same assurance and courage to face their fears by keeping their eyes on God and turning to Scripture.

If you’re a parent or have children in your life, I suspect you know exactly what I’m talking about.

So, here are 5 Scripture memory verses that will be helpful to tuck into your kids’ hearts or stick on their mirror, to equip them with the most powerful tool – God’s Word:

1) Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.” (NIV)

2) Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)

3) Genesis 28:15, “’I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go,’” (NIV)

4) Zepheniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.” (NIV)

5) Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV)

For 5 more Scriptures to memorize with your kids, check out my brand new (as in, today-is-the-release-day-new) children’s book called It Will Be Okay: Trusting God through Fear and Change. With this book, your child will:

• Discover that God is always with them as they overcome new or scary circumstances
• Replace doubtful thoughts about God’s plan as they learn to trust Him through change
• Build their relationship with God by introducing them to the scripturally based characteristics of who God is

Proverbs 31 Ministries is offering It Will Be Okay for a SPECIAL release day price of $9.99.

This offer is only valid until 11:59 PST on Wednesday, October 8! Click here to purchase your copy.

And please know my mommy heart is praying for you and your kids as you memorize these verses and read this book. I’m praying for you as you translate this story into the unique fears and worries your kids are facing today.

And then hopefully they can carry this lesson of trusting God into the days ahead that will no longer end with bedtime stories.

Thursday, September 25

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Experience the Holy Land

Before I went to Israel for the first time last spring, my Bible reading felt a bit thin. I was going through the motions of meeting with God but felt disconnected. What was once so invigorating felt more like another thing on my endlessly long to-do list.

I lacked inspiration. Teaching content that had once come like a gushing river of insight now barely trickled onto the pages of my notes.

There was a deep ache in my heart for something to change. And yet, as I looked at the reality of my schedule, all I saw were months ahead booked solid with endless demands.

You’ve probably heard me say this before but it especially applies here: when a person lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, they’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.

That ache of sadness was draining the life out of me and my desire to do ministry.

And then a friend called to invite me to study with a church staff in Israel. I wanted to go, but not then. A trip like that would have to wait until I could find time.

One day.

But here’s the deal, no one in the history of the world ever found more time or made more time.

My friend knew this would change me. And it did.

It wasn’t easy to rearrange my schedule and figure out how to make traveling to Israel work in this season of my life. But there isn’t anything else that’s invigorated my heart and my passion for ministry like studying in the Holy Land.

When I got home, my staff instantly sensed a new depth in my teaching and a fresh inspiration in my spirit.

It was truly the best spiritual investment anyone has ever made in me.

If any part of this resonates with you, please don’t let anything hold you back. Hit the pause button on all the demands rushing at you, and let God breathe new life into your soul next fall in the Holy Land.

It’s amazing what can happen when we get intentional about underwhelming our schedule so God can overwhelm our soul.

Will you join me and the Proverbs 31 Ministries staff as we experience the Holy Land together on an intensive study trip?

The dates of our trip are October 27 – November 4, 2015, and we’d love for you to come along for the experience of a lifetime.

Find out more by clicking this link.

To read about some of the things I learned in the Holy Land in 2014, click the links below:

What I Learned From The Olive Tree

What I Never Noticed About Jesus

Might We Dare to be a Little More Uncommon

Holy Land Lens at Home

The Upper Room and His Prayer for You There