No Longer Doubting

Preparing the Heart:

“There’s no shadow You won’t light up

Mountain You won’t climb up

Coming after me

There’s no wall You won’t kick down

Lie You won’t tear down

Coming after me.”

Reckless Love by Cory Asbury

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Jennifer and Robert Yeager

When our family moved from Kentucky to Tennessee in 2005, Jennifer Yeager was the first person who went out of her way to befriend me. We met at the pool in the temporary housing the church provided for us.

She be-bopped up to my family and I. “Well, hello Hammonds…” she said in her Georgia accent. “I’m Jennifer Yeager and this is my husband Robert; we go to Grace and saw that you are the new pastor and family at our church. Welcome to Knoxville.”

And just like that, Jennifer and I became fast friends. Not only were we neighbors; but also, we sang together on the church worship team. I learned that a couple of months before we met, Jennifer had accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.

“I thought I was saved when I was 12 years old,” she said. “A pastor preached a sermon on hell, and it scared me to death. I waited until I came home and, alone in my bed I asked God to save me from Hell.”

Years later, a visiting evangelist shared a Sunday message about having assurance of salvation. In tears, Jennifer approached the altar. A choir member, Beth, met her there and prayed, “Lord, I remember the night you came into my life and I’ve never been the same…” When Jennifer heard those words, it startled her. She thought, ‘I still feel the same, maybe I’m not a Christian.’ The concern plagued her. That evening, Jennifer admitted to an altar counselor, Jeanette she felt unsure she had been saved.

“Well, you’re about to get saved now,” Jeanette said.

“She led me in prayer,” Jennifer said, “and I repeated what she’d said. On April 10, 2005, Jesus saved me, and I was born again.”

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Jennifer spread her testimony of God’s grace with nearly everyone she encountered. I’d never known a person with a greater gift of evangelism; yet while leading people to Christ on a mission trip in El Salvador, she still doubted her own salvation. Desperate to conquer her uncertainty, she participated in the Bible studies I facilitated in my home and church, but no matter how much Bible she learned, she wrestled with the worst spiritual anguish. Am I truly saved?

I wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her saying, “Jennifer I see Jesus all over you…there’s no doubt!” She suffered to the point that even reading God’s Word would make it worse. Bible verses stating, “If you don’t love your neighbor—the love of the Father is not in you,” I John 4:20 (New International Version), literally messed with her mind.

“I couldn’t say I truly loved my neighbors,” Jennifer said. “so I would question if I really had Jesus living in my heart. I probably prayed the ‘sinner’s prayer’ a hundred times. I just never felt certain. If somebody would have told me in order to stop doubting, I’d have to cut off my ring finger, or take some sort of salvation pill…I would’ve gladly done it.”

Making life more miserable, she battled a life-long eating disorder causing body-image issues, and Jennifer begged God to free her from the bondage of food addiction. After 15 agonizing years of having no true peace or joy, she began thinking, ‘This God thing is all bogus!’ Being my closest friend, Jennifer had a front row seat to my spiritual shut down, and the darkness that took me under. (You can read my story about that here…Plastered on the Front Pew  Plastered on the Front Pew (Part 2)) She thought, ‘If that happened to Liz, it could happen to me.’ Finally, Jennifer told her husband she needed professional help with her eating disorder.

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My sister, Lisa, myself, and Jennifer.

She met with both a secular therapist and a Christian therapist named Rose. Both addressed the eating disorder and identified a flaw in her belief system. The belief, “I’m not worthy of anything or anybody” was founded early in her childhood, and it manifested throughout her life.

Recently in a therapy session she told Rose, “I was told starting at a young age by a close family member, If I get fat I’ll never be loved. I’ve felt unworthy of love my whole life. I’m never going to be loved.” As Jennifer spoke those words aloud, she sensed a voice behind her interrupting, “That is not who you are.” She heard it so clear it startled her. She spun around to see if anyone was there.

“No one was there,” Jennifer said, “but I knew it was the voice of God the Father. He was telling me that I am not the things I’ve believed about myself for so long. It was in that moment I understood I’d been agreeing with the lies of the enemy, and that is why I doubted God.”

“It was as if God said, ‘That’s enough!’ Immediately, I felt free. I looked at Rose and asked her if I could pray with her, and without hesitation she nodded yes. While I prayed I saw myself differently. I was righteous covered by His Blood. I was a saint; I sin, but I’m not a sinner. I told Jesus that I wanted to give everything inside of me to Him, my organs, my blood, my skin…”

After praying, she sighed deeply and announced to Rose, “I’m not struggling. I’m not doubting anymore.”

Rose smiled. “It’s just time,” she said.

No longer doubting, God filled Jennifer with peace and joy. She couldn’t wait to share the amazing news of her deliverance with me over the phone. “Liz, I have no more tormenting thoughts. They are gone!” I joined her in praising and thanking the God Who frees us.

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It is never God’s will that we doubt Him. If you are doubting His faithfulness, His goodness, or His saving power…He is able to set you free. His Word promises in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” There are no magical words, nor a specific sinner’s prayer that saves you, rather a genuine confession that you need Jesus, and that He alone has the power to save by His grace. Even if we are overcome by a doubting spirit like Jennifer was, God’s Word remains true as it states in II Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” (NIV)

The Bible uses the analogy of the marriage relationship when it refers to how God loves us and demonstrates his love for us. He is the groom, and we are His bride. Unlike marriages between two imperfect humans who may lie, betray, and leave one another. God reveals Himself to be lovingly faithful and committed to a covenant union (promise) with us when we accept His Son Jesus as our Savior and Lord. As His bride we are made blameless and holy in His sight, a spotless virgin, because He purifies us with His blood. He is fully devoted to us, and we can trust that one day soon, we will be reunited with Jesus Christ when He returns for His bride.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.” Revelations 19:7 (NIV)

Are you ready? You can be. You can rest assured that because He loves you, you can trust Him. If you are tormented by doubt like Jennifer was, she shared her story so that you may know… God will tear down every demonic lie causing you doubt, set you free from the torment, and fill you with peace because He is faithful.

“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may have eternal life.” I John 5:11-13 (NIV)

(If you’d like to correspond with Jennifer Yeager or hear her tell her own testimony you can find her video on Facebook or email her directly at Nolesfan24@aol.com.)

 

fullsizeoutput_4210This article was written by a member of our writing team, Liz Hammond. In her free time she loves to bake, read, and lounge on the beach which is in her opinion is the closest thing to heaven. Elizabeth’s passion is ministering to others out of her own God-story where He’s rescued her life and continues to restore her family. She desires to fulfill God’s purpose in her life in encouraging women by sharing her own story, through Bible study, and intimate friendships.

Elizabeth can be contacted at elizabethhammond8@gmail.com.

Note from Tammy Adams: The Corona crisis can lead to much doubt in our Heavenly Father’s protection, provisions, and promises. We at The Hallelujah House thought Jennifer’s story is a good reminder no matter the crisis God’s faithfulness will see you through it. If any of you have a prayer request,  please feel free to leave them for us in the comments or email one of us privately. We will be honored to pray for you during this difficult season. Raise a Hallelujah!

 

Preparing for the Pandemic- Corona Virus

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I wanted to post today, to address the fears and anxieties over the Corona virus and how to prepare for it. We at The Hallelujah House have been busy preparing our homes and children for the virus as we would a hurricane coming into town. God speaks in His word to His followers on being prepared, but this does not mean preparing in anxiety or out of a place of fear. We need to recognize that fear is in opposition to faith and is a tool of the enemy. Do not wander into Satan’s camp by acting out of fear. Being prepared for troubles is wise.  Being prepared puts you in a place of calm for your household, but also puts you in a place where you can be a blessing to others who are not prepared.   “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

With this particular outbreak, I can’t help but recall the story of the Israelites, being enslaved to Egypt, painted blood on the door posts of their homes as the angel of death passed by. Today, we don’t need to paint the blood of an animal over the door of our homes, we have the blood of Christ covering our souls. There is power in the blood of the most perfect lamb, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and I pray His blood of protection over our country today.

I wanted to share with you all as to how we are preparing here at The Hallelujah House for Corona virus:

  1. First things first, we remember who we belong to, who we serve. (Preparing the heart)

Your Lord and Savior walked on water. He calmed the stormy seas with His voice. He healed the lame, the possessed, the blind, the deaf, and those covered in leprosy with his words.

He saved our souls by shedding His blood on the cross because He loved us that much.

If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are a child of the King. So whom or what do you have to be afraid of? “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” ~ Psalm 27:1

 

  1. We are praying. (Preparing the Heart)

We are praying for protection over our households and beyond. We’re spending time

praying over our families, friends, neighbors, church, city, state etc. We remember the power of prayer and we spend time daily covering individuals and groups.  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1

 

  1. We are placing our fears and anxieties at the feet of the Father. (Preparing the Heart)

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”  ~ Psalm 56:3

 

  1. We are checking our food supply. (Homes)

We are buying food to ensure we can feed our children for two to three weeks without leaving home. Including buying food easy for older children to make in case we become infected. We are making sure we have adequate pet supplies. We do not buy from a crazed place of fear but from a place of wisdom.

And if you feel you can’t prepare enough in this department, or feel a panic to brawl at the grocery store remember this verse…

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? Luke 12:24.

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5. We are inventorying our medical supplies. (Health)

Making sure we have adequate supply of any prescription medication, cold medication for children and adults, and vitamins to boost immunities.

 

6. We are bringing our college aged children and our elderly parents (where need be) under our roofs. (Harvest and Home)

 

7. We are checking on those within our sphere of influence. (Harvest) Check on your extended family, neighbors, church members. Consider partnering with other families, to help each other out with childcare, sharing meals, etc. (Harvest)

 

8. We are taking time to be outdoors. (Health)

Remember there is a whole green world out there, outside the alarming news and your four walls. Get outside. If you live in the city, go to a park and breathe.

 

  1. We are planning on homeschooling our children and the entertaining of our brood while they are home. (Harvest)

I don’t know about your state, but our kids are out of school for two straight weeks. We bought a few board games, and cheap balls and pop up nets. We purchased balloons they can fill with water and hit each other with. Today, I am taking my nieces and daughter into the woods where we look for treasures like sticks, pine combs, acorns—whatever  I declare is the treasure of the day; for them, it’s like an Easter egg hunt and for me it’s fun to imagine we are pirate treasure hunters.

Getting outside refreshes the weary spirit.

 

  1. We are committed to enjoying this time with our family to get reconnected. (Heart and Harvest)

In life families are often scattered, especially when older kids are in college. We are making up our minds to look at the blessings of being under one roof for a season. We will make the most of it and enjoy this time together reconnecting.

11. Most of all, we are remembering we are nothing without God. Sometimes we need reminding of our desperate need for a Savior. (Heart)

(On the river Jordon the spot Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, a group of girls from Mexico, sing.)

We pray you will find some encouragement from our list and become prepared yourselves so you can face the virus in a calm state of mind, and hand all your worries over to your Heavenly Father. We’d like to include a great list of verses on fear and anxiety that you can find by clicking here: What the Bible says About Fear and Anxiety

We pray God’s favor be poured out upon you all.

The Hallelujah House team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Experiencing a Spiritual Attack?

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Trapped in a barn stall I couldn’t see it, but I felt it’s hot breath on my skin. It snarled and loomed over me. I spun around feeling for the door to escape, but there was none. I flailed my arms to push it away from me but felt air as it darted out of the way reappearing behind me.  I woke up screaming.

That same morning around 5 am, I found my husband, Jay, sitting on the sofa, staring into his coffee cup. He’d asked why I was up so early, and when I told him, his eyes widened.

He’d had the same dream, only in his version he was in a small garage.

Days later, a misunderstanding arose at my husband’s employment, gossip and backbiting ensued, and Jay experienced so much fear over our financial future and doubt in what God had told him to do, it landed him on the kitchen floor dry heaving in the middle of the night. There he surrendered his financial future to his Heavenly Father. Afterwards, he resigned from his position, and God quickly paved the path for him to open his own business. For what Satan uses to kill us, God uses to resurrect us.

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I’d lost my sister the year before, and we’d used much of our savings to build a farmhouse, after a season of prayer and confirmation it was what God wanted. As soon as the farmhouse sat completely furnished the enemy struck. Many times, the enemy attacks after an act of obedience, especially if it is one that makes you step out of your comfort zone. So, I knew in the middle of our adversity it was more than a physical attack.

This was spiritual.

What I didn’t realize at the time was God allowed it to strengthen our faith in His provision.

There are ways to recognize when you are in the middle of spiritual warfare. The following are signs or symptoms you may be under a spiritual attack.

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  1. Indecisive Behavior:

Like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz who can’t seem to make up his mind on which direction to go, this could be you. You pray but can’t seem to hear the Father on a major decision you’re making for your life. You’re told conflicting advice by your friends and loved ones which only makes you more confused. If you find yourself in this dilemma, recognize the enemy is the creator of confusion. He loves to muddy the waters.

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” I Corinthians 14:33 (English Standard Version.)

If you can’t make a clear-cut, God-guided decision then do nothing. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10a. (ESV)

In our culture, indecision or waiting is looked upon as a weakness, but God is clear He calls us at times to be still. Don’t snatch the reins or run ahead; but allow God time to reveal an answer. It’s in the waiting faith germinates.

 

  1. Fear and Anxiety:

If you feel chronic fear or anxiety you could be experiencing a spiritual attack. The enemy uses fear to stop us from moving forward. When I set out to design the farmhouse, I wanted a quaint little place, but Jay knew God wanted us to build a larger home. I became riddled with fear and anxiety over spending our cash in building what I began calling the “ark.” Jay insisted God told him to build a house that future generations could use as a safe haven in case of a financial collapse. I set out praying for confirmation and peace. One Sunday after our house’s foundation had been laid, I went to church while Jay stayed behind with our sick daughter. I prayed in the pew that if it wasn’t God’s will for the ark to be built He would cause something to happen to stop it.  Pastor Chuck Carter at First Baptist Windermere took the podium, opened his Bible, and read, “By faith Noah being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” Hebrews 11:7 ESV. God spoke directly into my fear and anxiety and gave me the peace of mind to move forward.

I underlined that verse and wrote in my Bible “Farmhouse confirmation.” God has a word to calm any fear and settle any anxiety. Don’t know where to start? You can find many of the calming verses right in the middle of your Bible in the book of Psalms. Just let it fall open.

We may never see our farmhouse used for the reason it was built, but we have seen it used for His purposes in the interim as a place to minister to others.

 

  1. Loss:

Are you in a season of loss? Loss of health, a death of a loved one, depleted finances, a straying spouse, loss of peace in your home, loss of hope. All of these and more could be indicative of a spiritual attack. If you find yourself in a season of loss as I have, cling to God’s promises.

“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3 (ESV)

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

 

  1. Insecurity:

If you’re experiencing a painful season of feeling inadequate in your appearance, talents, skill set, employment, or relationships, you could be listening to the enemy. Satan loves to make us feel as if we don’t belong, we don’t have what it takes, or we don’t look like we should because that will keep us from progressing in whatever God has called us to do. While God amplifies our potential, Satan magnifies our deficit. Tune out the enemy by keeping your mind and heart focused on the Father. Abide in Him.  “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forevermore, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26: 3- 4 (ESV)

 

  1. Guilt:

The enemy uses our past to enslave us. Do you find yourself constantly digging up past mistakes and wallowing in them? This is another way the enemy stops us from living the life of freedom God intended. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gently and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

If you find yourself rehashing past mistakes that you’ve already asked forgiveness for, you’re not believing what Christ did on the cross was enough. I have a friend who rebelled for a period of time when she asked God for forgiveness for all she’d done, she stated immediately she felt light and freedom from the heavy burdens she’d been carrying. Upon her return to church, some in the church felt she didn’t look guilty enough, but she refused to walk with a hung head. God forgave her. She stood firm on His promises.

If our sin hurts someone else we need to ask forgiveness from all the persons affected by our mistakes, but the enemy will use others who were not affected to peel back the scabs of old wounds. Stand firm in the promise of His forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 (ESV)

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These are just some of the signs the enemy is meddling in your life. As with all things, an attack has to first slip through the fingers of God to reach us. If you are experiencing one, remember God has allowed it. There are many reasons God uses spiritual warfare in our lives some are to strengthen us, shape our Christ-like character, help us learn to rely on Him, build our discernment between good and evil, and learn how to overcome the enemy. Remember, without facing an opponent we will never fully utilize God’s power within us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half-Naked and Picking Weeds

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When I was a little girl we had this huge garden running alongside our house on Mockingbird Lane. Mornings and evenings when the heat was bearable we’d pull the weeds and collect our bounty in baskets. I can still feel the prickle of the cucumber stems and smell the pungent scent from plucking the tomato off the vine.

            My sister, Tricia and I labored in our underwear. The sun-browned our bodies to the color of mahogany and we’d moon Granny our bright white bottoms because she’d laugh so hard tears spilled out of her eyes. We didn’t have air conditioning in our home until I was almost a teenager. Daddy clutched the coins and feared a high electric bill. In case you’re unaware, summers in the Tidewater area of Virginia can get extremely hot and sticky.

            We didn’t have a microwave either. Momma feared her children would glow in the dark from the radiation. She was a purist when it came to feeding her brood. Most of our food was homemade for she didn’t like preservatives. While Tricia and I raided our cousin’s house for the Pop Tarts. No amount of begging in the grocery aisle would make my Momma cave.

            “That’s junk!” she’d said. “Do you want your poop to turn green? I’ll bake you a banana bread instead.”

            Momma was a firm believer in the color brown, brown eggs, brown bread, brown cereal, brown poop. She was obsessed with us having a good BM (Bowel Movement) every day. This obsession peaked in her wheat germ phase. As I sat guarding my mashed potatoes like a dog over a bone, and hoping Daddy would hurry up… for all things good and decent in this world… and say the blessed blessing so I could get in a few bites before she came around with that jar of brown granules…splat! It was too late, my potatoes were healthy-matized brown.

            “There! Now you’ll get a good cleaning out,” she’d said.

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            I can still picture Momma clad in a halter top and shorts standing by the hot stove. Her dark hair piled on top of her head, while her brown skin glistened from perspiration, cooking up dinner or canning the cucumbers. Without air conditioning, summer meal preparation was a true labor of love. It probably explains why Momma’s lost the joy of cooking today.

  I suppose my nostalgia stems from just returning from taking care of Momma after her surgery. Time has a way of turning the table. I was the one standing by the stove cooking the meals albeit in a nice cool kitchen.

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             I haven’t written in a while because I’ve gone through an extended season of illness. I had Influenza B, then strep invaded our home, after that a dear friend named Vanessa who’s been battling brain cancer took a turn for the worse, followed by my trip to Virginia to take care of my parents.

            Meanwhile these last two months, I’ve felt half-naked in the scorching heat picking through weeds while they keep popping up through the soil of my garden.

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            Speaking of gardens, we’ve entered the garden season at the farm. The land is plowed and planted. The families on the farm are pitching in, to weed and harvest. We are then going to learn to can the produce in an assembly-line fashion. I’m surprised I’m excited about this, and yes, for all those dirty minds out there, I wear clothes when I garden now. (Farm friends you can thank me later…Ha!) Our last attempt at gardening, we ended up with vegetables rotting on the vine, that eventually sank into the earth and fertilized the soil.

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            Lately, I’ve thought about times we feel like that, the times we feel God out of reach or not answering our prayers, the times we think He’s neglected us, left us drooping on the vine. If only we could peer into the future and see our rotten times just may be the fertilizer in someone else’s life, would we be more willing to allow ourselves to be bruised… to feel neglected? 

            I imagine Vanessa feels that way as she lies in her hospital bed suffering from seizures. There were times my sister Tricia felt as if God left her dangling on the vine during her battle with breast cancer, but her rotten part revived the heart soils of those around her.

 

            The older I get the more thankful I am for the rotten times. I hated my sister’s suffering, but it was through it my husband strengthened in his walk with God. It was through it, we all strengthened our faiths in a God who’s sovereign and holy. My sweet Tricia passed away in the winter of 2014.

            When vegetables rot on the vine, they not only fertilize the soil, but their seeds fall into the earth as well. After the vegetables have been long forgotten, a new shoot springs up from the earth. Lately, I’ve witnessed one of Tricia’s seeds in the green faith of Vanessa.

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( To be continued…)

If Chestnut Trees Could Talk Week 2:

Don’t you love it when God speaks to you through nature? I don’t recommend putting nature above the Word, but He does reveal great wisdom through His creation. Last week, we started to hear from the Chestnut Tree, if you missed it, you can find it in the previous blog post. This week we will continue to listen to the wisdom this tree speaks…

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Life Lesson 2:  You must prune the little sprouts at the bottom of the tree in order for its energy to be used in growing fruit at the top.

The Chestnut Tree wants us to know that as followers of Christ our energy should be used in creating fruit, not wasted on the sprouts. Have you ever heard the expression “If Satan can’t tempt you to sin, he’ll make you busy.”? He would love for you to waste your talents on meaningless busyness. This is a constant battle in my own life. I get opportunities thrown at me from every direction as I’m sure you all experience. If you spend all your energy on too little of too much, you will be throwing your pearls to swine. We must remember to prayerfully seek God’s will of where He wants our talents and time to go so we can grow fruit that points towards heaven.

Currently, I am wife to Jay, mother to three teenage boys, and a three -year old daughter. I am writing a memoir, keeping up with a blog, and on the writing team for She Leads Daily. I lead a women’s Bible study, keep up with a pet-filled home, and on weekends you will find me working on a painting or heading to the farm. It’s a full life…an abundant life…a blessed life.

How do I get it all done? First be clear, I’m a work in progress, but God has given me three time-management tools that I utilize. The first is to start your day with a quiet time. I awaken before Bella, grab my coffee and spend time reading the Bible and praying. This has become so important in my life. My mind is sharper and I’m more focused on the “have to” list.  I don’t look at this as a check-off item, but the time I savor with the Savior. It is a treat to start the day in peace and spend time listening when your days are full.

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The second time management tool is to pray before committing to any opportunities that come your way. Recently, She Leads Daily underwent new ownership. Throughout the holidays, I leaned toward ending my writing job with them once the new editor took over. I prayed about it, knowing my decision was to be rendered by Sunday. I worried if I spent time writing for SLD, that would be time away from my blog and book. I also feared running out of inspiration and creativity.

Saturday morning, I attended a women’s conference at my church and the speaker, Christi Haag said several things that resonated with me. First, she said to extend grace, “always pour out grace.” The new editor for SLD needed grace in the form of a writing team. The speaker also challenged us to “do things afraid.” If you do things afraid, your stepping out of your comfort zone and God will strengthen your faith. I needed to trust God would work alongside me and see to it I didn’t run out of time or inspiration. The last thing was, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 New English Standard. By putting God first in my daily routine as I was already doing, time, productivity, and inspiration will follow.

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The last time management tool is to get out your cutting shears and cut away at time-wasters — any activity that lacks eternal value. Take notice of what activities in your life are time-wasters. I want to be clear we all need activities that relax, refresh and we enjoy, that is not what I am referring to. I’m describing the afternoon we stop our work to check out Pinterest for just a few minutes, which leads to insecurity about our wardrobe, leading to an online shopping spree including price comparisons, then…awe what’s that?  I see there’s a picture hanging on the wall behind the model, I have to have it, search for it, I know it’s somewhere, I knew I’d find it! Oh, but Jay will kill me if I spend that much on a painting…I could probably paint that, but I don’t have time to paint it…go to eBay and find it used…hours later no luck. Instead of cooking dinner for the family, I’m standing in the line at Michaels buying the canvas, that lands in the closet for a rainy day project.  See what I mean? Waste. As you can see I speak from experience. I found myself frustrated and anxiety-ridden when deadlines popped up. I locked myself in my office feeling blocked when God shined a light on how much time I wasted surfing the internet over silly non-eternal stuff. Don’t waste your life. Get out those shears and cut away those little branches so you can utilize your energy on something that will produce a more satisfying fruit with eternal value.

What about you? Is there anything you need to clip away from your life in order to release your energy toward something eternal?

Next week, we’ll examine what happens when you stake a Chestnut Tree too tight. See you by the Chestnut.

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