Summer Shore

Summer Shore is co-founder of Revive Ministries, a writer, speaker, and co-host of the Experience Revival podcast. She has been an on-air personality in Christian radio for the past 6 years and has been speaking and teaching for 18 years, using humor and real-life experiences to connect with women, speak to their hearts and draw them closer to God. She also enjoys singing and leading worship whenever she can. Summer and her husband, Jake, have been married for almost 20 years and have 3 boys that keep her on her toes! Summer loves spending time traveling and going on adventures with her family, especially if it involves going to her favorite Cuban restaurant. When she’s not on the air or working with Revive, you’ll find her curled up in a fuzzy blanket with a mug of chai tea and, you guessed it, a Hallmark movie. You can connect with her on Instagram @summer_shore.

  • Radiant and Unashamed

    When we talk about our identity in Christ and who we are in light of His love for us, I find that we, as women, often have two simultaneous and opposing thoughts.

    There’s the positive, upbeat identity we feel we should have or want to have, of being a daughter of the Most High God, loved, redeemed and free. And then in the same train of thought, many of us experience an unforgiving wave of shame that keeps us from believing any of that could possibly be true.

    A lot of times we confuse shame with guilt, but they are two very different things. Guilt tells us there is something wrong with our actions-but not something inherently wrong with who we are. Guilt spurs us on to repentance and change, but our identity is unaltered, left intact. We are still loved, and we know it, or we wouldn’t try to do better. Guilt can positively shape our character and is productive in the same way that pain is helpful in diagnosing injury or illness. It points us toward what can be fixed and made better.

    Shame, on the other hand, is never good and has the power to make us feel bad about who we are. It redefines our identity by what we do or don’t do. It makes us feel small, unworthy, unloved and insecure. It causes us to feel that any moment God’s grace for us will surely run out.

    Shame separates us from God, not because He moves away from us, but because we run and hide from Him. Take Adam and Eve for instance. When they first sinned in the Garden of Eden, they hid from God. Even though they knew God and saw Him face to face every day, they were ashamed and ran from Him. Shame clouded how they saw God and themselves. What is the very next thing that God did? He pursued them, he looked for them and called out to them. Sure He knew where they were, but the love communicated in God’s pursuit is astounding.

    In order to understand and truly experience the love of God, we have to look at how our “shame-filter” alters our perception about the very gospel of Jesus and nature of God.

    When we read the Gospel, or “good news about Jesus” in the Bible, we often hear it summarized it like this: “We are sinners. And our sin separates us from God. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross, be buried, and after three days, come back to life, all to take away our sin.”

    The “good news” here is that even though we are sinners, there is grace for us through Jesus. That is good news! But maybe this summarization of the gospel emphasizes our own filter of shame. Summing up the Gospel this way places our primary identity in what we do. We. Are. Sinners. But what if we are more than that?

    What if we zoomed out and looked at the Gospel through the whole story of God’s love woven throughout the Bible. We might summarize it more like this:

    “We are God’s beloved, created in His image, in whom Christ dwells and delights. We make mistakes and we still sin. But our sin does not define us, meaning it is not our primary identity. It is something that we do, and we continue to strive to leave sin behind. Because God loves us so much, and keeps on loving us, He has gone to great lengths to conquer sin and make a way for us to be with Him. He gave His own Son to die on the cross in our place, to take the weight of our sin away, to bury our shame with him and three days later, to come back to life so that we can be raised to new life with Him, unashamed and radiant, a new creation, never to be separated from His love.”

    Do you hear the difference? When we place our identity in our sinfulness, it slowly erodes the truth that we are first and foremost, God’s beloved daughters.

    Let me balance out the scripture scales here. Yes, we need grace! No, we should not continue to sin, just to experience more grace. We should not and cannot take sin lightly. Romans 6 says we are made new through Christ and should live like it. That is why it is so important to not allow the enemy to turn productive guilt into paralyzing shame.

    “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:5

    We have loving Creator who knows us and longs to have relationship with us. He is not waiting for us to slip up so He can bring down the hammer of punishment. He lovingly pursues us, calling out to us by name. He already knows exactly where we are, and is waiting to gently lead us back to restored relationship with Him.

    When we look to God as the source of our identity and redemption, we are so filled with His love that there is no room for shame. We are no longer defined by our sin, but we are given a clean slate and a new beginning. We see ourselves as God sees us and our identity is unshakable.

    1 John 2:28 encourages, “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”

    Dear sister, stay in relationship with Jesus so that you can continually be reminded of who you are in Him. Continue in Him, keep your face toward His, so that you can be confident! Step out into the light with me, feel the sunshine on your face. You are forgiven, loved and complete in Christ. Let’s live like the beloved daughters of God that we are, radiant and unashamed.

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  • Hide Me Away, O Lord

    It snowed today in my town, not a lot, but enough that school was cancelled for my kids.

    When my kids hear “snow day”, they hear music and singing, birds chirping and the rejoicing of the local youth celebrating across the neighborhood. When I hear “snow day” I hear a snarky voice inside my head saying, “Good luck getting anything done today.”

    I love my children dearly, but I have one day each week where everyone in my house leaves for their respective jobs and schooling, and I have the house all to myself. It’s my my one day to make a dent in the never-ending to-do list, run errands and then pick up the kids and the next shift of my day starts. But in the morning, in those first few moments after I kiss them goodbye and send them off, it’s quiet and peaceful. I can curl up on my couch in my fuzzy socks, wrapped my fluffy blanket and quietly sip my coffee while the dog turns a circle and gently plops down next to me with a contented sigh. I take my journal off of the new, cute and trendy side table I just got for Christmas, and settle in to read God’s Word and jot down my thoughts and prayers. As I lean against the sofa pillows, I imagine I am leaning against the very throne of God, safe, secure and at peace.

    At least that’s how it goes in my head. I have had that experience a few times, but most of the time I find myself chasing it, frantically packing up the kids and then walking the dog so she doesn’t spend all morning barking at her own reflection. In reality, my cute trendy side-table has been commandeered by my youngest child as “his corner for playing Minecraft” and my fuzzy blanket is usually occupied by the dog after Bark-fest 2019 wraps up. Heaven help us if the mailman comes. And just beyond my cute little corner of the living room, are piles of laundry waiting to be folded and a bathroom that needs deliverance (AKA deep cleaning).

    These moments with God are often my anchor to sanity. Especially when I have a crazy-busy week or my reserves are already tapped. Spending time with God resets my perspective and gives me the insight and stamina to not just survive the day, but live it to His glory. But I’ll admit, it is hard to feel that peace when nothing lines up the way I planned, and the day threatens to overwhelm me. Today was one of those days.

    As I was aimlessly wandering around the house trying to figure out my next steps, a song I haven’t thought of in years came to mind and put words to the longing in my heart. It is a simple song with a melody sort of like a lullaby:

    Hide me away O Lord,
    Hide me away O Lord,
    In the day of trouble, ‘neath the shadow of your wing,
    Hide me away O Lord.

    Give me your peace, O Lord,
    Give me your peace, O Lord, ,
    In the day of trouble, ‘neath the shadow of your wing,
    Give me your peace, O Lord.

    In a house that felt busy, with stir-crazy kids and a noisy dog, I wanted to hide away. I wanted to sneak back into my bedroom and stay there, wrapped up in my blankets and just let the day roll past. The day felt troublesome and I began to long for peace. I hadn’t planned on the kids being home. I didn’t have a game plan for when the novelty of the snow wore off and the cabin-fever bickering  would begin. I desperately needed a place where I could meet God, connect and get my mind right.

    So I went to the one place I figured I could hide for a little bit. I went back to my bedroom and got under the covers. Not for the rest of the day, but to pause for just a few minutes. I knew that if I could just be still and let go of my expectations for the day, that I would be able to hear God, comforting me and guiding me. I trusted that if I allowed God to quiet my mind, that he would give me the strength and clarity I needed for the rest of the day.

    While I was hiding out, I found the verse of the day on my Bible phone app. As I lay there, I read these words, from Psalm 91:1-2,4-5

    “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

    I asked God to shelter me in His wings, to hide me away for a moment and restore me. I asked Him to shield me from the chaos and anxiety that kept trying to creep into my mind and let me rest in His shadow. I asked God to help me do the things. All the things. Because frankly I did not want to get back up and head back into the living room.

    I lay there complaining to the Lord for a few more minutes and, as He always does, He gently began to change my heart and mind. Somehow, I got dressed (like in real clothes, not sweats) and took my kids to get hot chocolate and run a quick errand. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was good.

    When we got back, I realized that the kids weren’t chaotic, my mind was. They had actually been pretty great. I was so focused on meeting God on my terms, in my “perfect” setting, that I forgot I serve a God who is omnipresent! He can meet me anywhere. In fact, He was already steps ahead of me, providing for my every need and care. I can hide away under the shelter of His wing and find refuge, in any circumstance. He would shield me and care for me whether the day brought discontentment or actual real trouble.

    By the end of the day, I experienced peace. I got the kids fed, my husband came home from work and I got back into my fuzzy sweatpants & slippers to wind down the day. It is amazing the power our minds have to alter our perception of a day. I’m pretty sure that nothing changed today except me. The weather stayed gloomy and cold, my kids did their thing, even the dog stuck to her routine. But I was changed, I found peace, under the shelter of God’s gentle but mighty wing. Even in what feels like chaos, whether everything you planned for the day worked out or not, He is there. You can trust that God will meet you right in the middle of your day , be your refuge and strength and bring you peace.

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  • Blessed Assurance

    “Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story– those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.” Psalm 107:2 

    Valentine’s Day is today, and while Netflix is teeming with rom-coms and happily-ever-afters, real life isn’t quite as formulaic as my favorite chick flick. There is no soft filter smoothing the fine lines on my face from where I smile, and no theme song playing in the background. I don’t have a trendy assistant/best friend that brings me my coffee while we banter about our latest shenanigans. And I don’t wear Gucci or Prada.

    My story is a little less shiny. There are seasons of joy and sorrow, faith and doubt. There are times of courage and times of fear. I’ve experienced love, romance and marriage, with flowers and all the feels and mushy stuff. There have also been hard days, when we honestly didn’t know how we were going to work things out.

    My husband and I know the joy and challenges of having two awesome kids.

    We know the pain of grief and the hope of heaven as we wait to meet loved ones again someday.

    There have been detours and windy roads, ambiguous places where it wasn’t clear what to do. Whole chapters of my life story are all about waiting, and then waiting some more. And every now and then there’s a lightning bolt of clarity and direction, launching me into a new and exciting adventure.

    But as I look back over my 39 years, I see another story as well. The story of Jesus, at work in my life, laughing when I’m goofy, crying with me when I weep, redeeming my pain for purpose and standing by me triumphantly in victory. His presence has been constant, even when I wasn’t looking for him.

    God has written my story into His bigger story of love. He has gone to the greatest lengths to make sure that we can be with Him, secure and loved. His love is true and perfect. God’s love drives out fear. It’s patient and kind, and keeps no record of the wrong we do. It endures all things. In fact, the theme of the entire Bible is the story of God’s unfailing love for us!

    This is the firm foundation upon which our identity is grounded. Who we are at our very core is “beloved by God”. On days like Valentine’s Day, it can be tempting to let the world’s expectations, or even our own, creep in and stir up comparison and disappointment. But regardless of our relationship status, how many friends reach out on Facebook to wish us a Happy Day, or how pampered we feel, we can know, without a doubt that we are loved by God.

    There’s a hymn I grew up singing in church and it is one of my very favorites. I think it perfectly captures the peace of being so beloved by our Lord.

    Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
    O what a foretaste of glory divine
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

    Perfect submission, all is at rest
    I in my Savior am happy and blessed
    Watching and waiting, looking above
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Savior all the day long
    This is my story, this is my song
    Praising my Savior all the day long

    Our life may not be perfect, but we can have the perfect love of Jesus. He never abandons us, he pursues us and protects us. We get to experience that perfect submission and rest that the song speaks of. We are filled with God’s goodness and can get lost in His love.

    What’s more, when we embrace our belovedness to God, we begin to see the belovedness of others. It changes how we interact with the world around us and gives us a heavenly perspective. We feel more loved by others because God is first and foremost filling us with His perfect love. We can in turn, show love to others who need it, and live a life with our minds free from comparison and insecurity.

    Let this be your story and song too! Rest in knowledge that the God who created the universe and all things in it, thought the world needed one of you too. You have value and worth, and are deeply, and profoundly loved.

    Happy Valentine’s Day friend!

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  • You Are God’s Beloved

    There are a lot of days when I look back and think with disappointment, “Well I was definitely not my best self today.” You know those days, when you lose your keys in the freezer and go to work late with your shirt on inside out, only to find out you forgot about a meeting. By the time you get home you’re short-tempered and muttering under your breath at anyone who dares to even raise an eyebrow to you. And then there’s your friend over there, with her perfect everything, living her super-duper life where nothing goes wrong and everything goes right, and how on earth does she get perfect brows and winged eyeliner every single day?!

    Truth be told, I don’t like myself on those days. I hate feeling less-than and insecure, lost in comparison to those who seem like they have it all together. It leaves my mind spinning, and suddenly everything is about me. I over analyze people’s moods, second guess the conversation in the break room, and ultimately doubt my own value. But that mindset is not of God.

    I recently started following a podcast called Things Above with James Bryan Smith. It’s a podcast dedicated to training the mind to focus on “things above” based on the Bible verse Colossians 3:2. My sweet friend, I recently heard an episode called “God’s Beloved” that I could not wait to tell you about. I was practically weak with excitement. The message is this:

    You are God’s beloved on your worst day, in your worst moment.

    If you’re like me, you’ll read that sentence twice, feeling sure you’ll find a typo, but it’s correct, even if it feels a little hard to believe.

    In our culture of comparison and striving for recognition and validation, it is a surreal thought that we can be loved just as we are. It is downright mind blowing that we could be loved when we are at less than our best. But in Christ, beloved is exactly what we are. Not based on our accomplishments or merit or charm, but because God created us, knows us fully, and delights in us (still).

    So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”

    Colossians 3:12

    We are chosen of God, holy because of Christ, and so very beloved. Let that sink in. Go ahead and marinate in it for a sec.

    In order to believe that we are God’s beloved we are going to need a power greater than ourselves, and that is the Holy Spirit.

    James Bryan Smith reminds us that in 1 Corinthians 12:3 “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. In the same way, we need the Holy Spirit to work in our lives to help us believe that we are beloved.

    When we embrace our belovedness to God, we begin to see the belovedness of others. It changes how we interact with the world around us and gives us a heavenly perspective. It changes how we handle an off day at work, an insecure feeling or how we talk to our loved ones when we are tired and stressed. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” because we are beloved. We can live a life with our minds free from comparison and striving to stand out in the world.

    We are already seen and valued by the One who matters most. You are God’s beloved!

    P.S. I hope that you’ll take a the time to listen to this episode of the Things Above podcast. The episode is around 10 minutes and full of encouragement and great nuggets of wisdom. I hope you will be as blessed by it as I have been.

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  • Who I Am In Christ Resource

    Recently, we had a chance to connect with our friend Stephanie Broersma. She has an incredible ministry called Reclaimed Ministry where she helps broken brides journey toward healing and recovery from marital betrayal. Stephanie shares our heart for helping women know their identity in Christ.

    We believe that knowing how much you are loved by God has the power to change everything. When you see yourself through the eyes of Christ and cherish the unique way in which you were created, the effect ripples out through your family, church and community.

    Because we are human and at times very broken, we sometimes need reminding and affirmation. So Stephanie has put together a great printable to help us all remember that in God’s kingdom, we are accepted, secure and significant. Our hope is that it will help remind you each day of who you are in Christ.

    Click the image below to download this free printable and put it somewhere that you will see it. You can post it on the mirror, or put a copy in your Bible to use for a daily devotional thought. However you use it, may you be blessed as you experience the love of God.

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  • The Prince of Peace

    If you spend any amount of time with me, you will hear me quote a song, or hum a tune within the first 5 minutes of our conversation. I love music and especially song lyrics. They are always running in the back of my mind like a soundtrack to life. In fact, I’m hoping that heaven has a flash mob section and that I’ll know all the words and dance moves.

    In all seriousness, music is something we share collectively, but each of us can experience it differently. For me, there is something breathtaking about hearing my soul’s cry articulated so perfectly in song, when I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Music and worship draws me closer to God. So many songs are rich with profound theology and impart the gospel story in such a way that it becomes woven into the very fabric of your heart.

    The song Prince of Peace by Hillsong is one of those songs for me. The part of the song that gives me chill bumps is this:

    “…Staring down the fight, My eyes found Yours
    Shining like the sun, Striding through my fear
    The Prince of Peace met me there. You heard my prayer.”

    As I hear the words I can imagine my Savior striding through the storm I’m facing, pushing aside my fears and doubts effortlessly as he illuminates every dark shadow with hope.

    It also reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses, Psalm 116:1-2.

    “I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”

    Not only does the Lord hear our prayer, in Philippians 4:6-7, He promises us peace unlike any other.

    “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” 

    During this season of Emmanuel, “God with us”, I can’t think of a better source of comfort than to know that God hears our prayers and whispers back His peace. He breaks through the storm to meet us where we are, and surrounds us with his love. If you’d like, take a moment and listen to the song Prince of Peace, here and read the full lyrics here.

    I pray that whatever you’re facing today, that you will know and believe that God hears you, he’s holding you close and will be ever and always, your Prince of Peace.

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  • A Steadfast Heart

    Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

    Psalm 112:6-7

    When things are going really well and life seems calm, do you sometimes find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop? Do you allow worry to cast a shadow over your present blessings? I am currently coming out of of a long season of difficulty and waiting. Even though I am generally an optimistic person, some of the recent knocks of life have led me to be cautious, keeping me from joy in the present.

    A few years ago, my husband and I both found ourselves out of jobs in the same weekend. When I heard the news, I had no idea what we were going to do. It felt like the air had been sucked out of the room. In the back of my mind, I believed that God would work on our behalf to bring purpose and blessing in our situation. What I couldn’t anticipate is how long it would take.

    I was fortunate to find work fairly quickly, doing something that I love. My new income provided just enough to squeak by each month.

    Despite my husband’s efforts to find a teaching job, not a single door had opened for him. We continued to limp along and I convinced myself that I just had to rally a little longer, keep burning the candle at both ends, to make it all work. When you have been waiting a long time for a rescue, you begin to feel like you have to make it happen. It is easy to grow weary and start doubting God’s faithfulness and provision. I was foolishly deceived into thinking that our survival depended on me, because it was the only thing I felt I could control.

    Finally, our season of waiting was coming to a end, and by God’s provision, my husband started substitute teaching at the local Christian school where our children attend. It filled the financial gaps and provided just what we needed, right when we needed it. By the end of that year he was offered his dream job, a full-time teaching position at that school.

    After what felt like forever, we had two incomes again, stability in our schedules and in our finances. Despite all this, I never relaxed. I hadn’t switched out of survival mode. I still stressed out over the finances and felt stuck in anxiety. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I didn’t truly believe the storm was over and that I could stop and take a deep breath.

    I had been so busy worrying that bad news was just around the corner, that as a result, I was missing out on the joy of answered prayers. That’s why Psalm 112:6-7 touches a tender place in my heart. (Verse 7 especially)

    “Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

    While this is a struggle I am still growing through, it is a comfort to read these words and be reminded that I don’t need to fear bad news. I don’t need to take matters into my own hands, I need to loosen my grip and trust my Heavenly Father. When I slow down and zoom out to the big picture, I can clearly see God’s constant and steadfast presence in every detail.

    Circumstances are ever changing. But God remains strong and steady. He will never change. His goodness and love endures forever. God has already planned ahead for my needs. So today I choose to rejoice and be glad in the day the Lord has made.

    I will live in the moment and appreciate what the Lord has done for me, in any circumstance, good or bad. As I trust in Jesus, he makes my heart more like Him-steadfast and secure, and unshakeable.

    In whatever season you find yourself, I pray that you will step back and pause and look for Jesus. He is there, ready to provide for your every need and hold you steady. Trust in Him and have no fear.

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  • Worry and Idols

    Show me your worries and I’ll show you your idols.

    Matt Gioia

    I’ll admit the first time I saw this quote I didn’t like it. Not because I disagree, but because it hit a little too close to home. I felt physically uncomfortable, because I am a worrier. I tend to perseverate on things that God has taken care not once or twice, but countless times, consistently. Things like finances, having more month left than money, the kids getting sick, getting stuck in traffic, worries about parents long term health, car problems, fill in the blank…

    These are not all small things, and one could feel justified in feeling some worry or stress over them. And please hear me dear friend, I’m not talking about clinical anxiety or depression. I have struggled with both of those challenges at different points in my life, and was grateful for the incredible support and resources that God provided through doctors and loved ones.

    I am talking about a heart issue. A trust crisis. I think we all crave reassurance that everything will be okay when times are tough. The problem occurs when I crave reassurance more than I crave a deeper faith. Sure, my initial intention is to give my worries to God, to allow Him to provide in His perfect timing, but when my patience runs out, I cling more to my worry than to the One whose grace is sufficient for all my needs.

    As ridiculous as it sounds, when I’m like this I remind myself of Gollum from The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings. In placing my worries above God’s Sovereignty, I am no different than Gollum–weak and cranky, clutching to “my precious”, but instead of a ring, my worries has become my idols.

    The only thing that snaps me out of that state is a major perspective shift. Looking at things through human eyes, my solutions are short-sighted and a band-aid at best. God’s perspective is limitless. He can see the beginning, middle and end of my story all at once and knows exactly what to do and when. In Luke 12:27-34, Jesus reminds the disciples of the bigger picture and resets their perspective.

    “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

    “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'” Luke 12:27-34

    Jesus calls the disciples (and us) out! He lovingly says to not worry about the things of this world. Even birds (not nice, pretty songbirds–squawking ravens) have all their needs met without striving or panic. Jesus draws the disciples attention to the real issue-their hearts.

    When our hearts are set on worrying about material things, our focus in inward, our treasure becomes our security in those things. Jesus invites us to a better way. He calls us to set our hearts on heavenly things by seeking His Kingdom. Then, everything else will fall into place.

    I have seen this play out in my life more times than I can count. When I am consumed by worry and stress, God helps me zoom out to look at things from an eternal perspective. I see ways to serve others and it’s life-giving. He helps me prioritize and grants me peace that passes understanding. He reminds me of my worth in Him, because when I let worry take over, I’m really believing the lie that I am beneath His notice. Dear sister, this is just not so.

    You are precious to Him. He knows the number of hairs on your head and treasures you. He knows what you need before you need it and delights in providing above and beyond all you need.

    If worry has become an idol for you, lay it at the feet of Jesus. Let him speak peace to your soul and help you realign your heart with His. He will continue to work on your behalf and provide for your every need. If you are in a season of serious need, please don’t feel guilty if it feels too heavy to bear or if you are not a picture of perfect peace. There is grace in Jesus. He walked this earth and experienced all the same things we do. He will not abandon you in your time of need. He will sustain you and gently turn your face toward his loving gaze.

    Lean into Him, set your heart on His Kingdom and leave your worries in God’s capable hands.

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  • A Prayer For You

    A prayer for you today….

    Awesome God, you are good and just. You are Mighty to Save, you are Healer, Comforter and Father and Friend. Your Name brings light into every darkness.

    When we cannot discern how you are at work around us, give us faith to know and believe that you are in every detail. Help us to lean wholly on you, to seek your face and rest in your capable hands.

    Thank you for the ways that you bless us, for the people in our lives that lift us up and show us your love. Grant us stamina and grace for the people who do not.

    Jesus you are here right now, closer than the air that we breathe. Thank you for constant companionship, for your steadfast love.

    Father, thank you that you regard us as precious and irreplaceable. Please help us to see ourselves the way that you see us. Help us to value the way that you have created each of us—uniquely gifted to bless others and serve you.

    Today I pray for each woman reading this prayer, that out of your glorious riches you may strengthen them with power through your Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith. And I pray that they, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    Now to You, Lord who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to your power that is at work within us, to you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

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  • The Steps of Your Soul

    Sit on the steps of your soul, in the deep place where nobody goes, and talk with Jesus. You can always go there, anytime, anyplace in the world.”

    Jill Briscoe

    If you never had a chance to hear Jill Briscoe speak, she has a knack for weaving a story like a comfy blanket and then wrapping you up in it. Recently, she told us about sitting on the front steps of her childhood home in England and talking with Jesus about whatever was on her heart. It was her place to go and be with Him, and even if she wasn’t physically there on those steps, in her mind she would return to the “steps of her soul, in the deep place where nobody goes, to talk with Jesus.”

    My life often can feel chaotic and rushed either because of external factors beyond my control, or because I have let the urgent things take priority over the important things. It feels like my family ends up running in multiple directions while I try (somewhat unsuccessfully) to maintain some semblance of order. If this imbalance is left unchecked, my prayer life will also begin to reflect that same scattered disorganization. While my intention is to spend time daily basking in the light of Jesus love, reality starts to resemble a vague, distracted prayer for strength and for Jesus to take the wheel.

    I think that is why Jill’s words echoed deep in the chambers of my heart. Something as simple as really stopping, even just for a moment, to sit with Jesus on the steps of my soul and be present in that moment felt revolutionary. The difficult part is being present and allowing Jesus access to the deep and vulnerable places my heart. Sometimes that is not always possible in certain situations. I’ll admit it can be hard to go there when kids are demanding my attention or the vulnerable places in my heart require more than a few brief moments.

    But at some point in my day I can make a time to steal away, close my eyes and sit on the steps of my soul. Jesus is there, waiting for me to sit next to him and talk, always ready to act on my behalf. He comforts, strengthens and listens to me.

    When we allow our Savior into our mess, when we go to meet him in prayer, suddenly we are not alone. We have a sanctuary in the madness, a quiet place in the midst of chaos and a friend when we need it the most.

    So dear sister, today I invite you to “sit on the steps of your soul, in the deep place where nobody goes, and talk with Jesus. You can always go there, anytime, anyplace in the world.”

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