Lettering the Psalms Day 2

posted in: Bible | 1

Prayer is not the easiest thing I do in my life.  Is it for you?

I once heard a pastor say that no one in the church would raise their hands if he asked if anyone had the prayer life they always wanted.

My prayer life currently is very much in the moment.  If someone asks me to pray, I do it right then.  I pray when I need help with parenting.  I pray as I read things.  I pray in the car when a song comes on that reminds me to pray about something.

And really, Psalm 6, is not about prayer.  Not really.  Its about confession.  Its about seeking the God who is able and willing to show mercy on us and forgive all our sins.

David, in his agony and turmoil, maybe in a depression, maybe feeling totally away from God, appeals to His character.  God’s faithfulness, His acts of redemption, His leading and mercy and grace.  These are the things that David knows God to be.  And even when David can’t feel God or even when David thinks he has nothing to bring and God shouldn’t answer Him, he calls out for mercy.

And God answers.

More Scripture to read: Psalm 51, 1 John 4, Romans 5

Tools: Artistic Isle Watercolor and Pentel Sign Brush in gray

Lavish Hospitality 13

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

I don’t think I really knew much of pain until after midway through college.

And then it has been full force since then.

The agonizing words of a friend over my appearance and the fact that I was never going to get married.

The words of a man that questioned so much of my future.

The pain of hearing lies.

The loss of a relationship.

The bitterness of my own sin.  Time and time again.

Sting of another betrayal.

Being met with judgment and not grace.

Loss of so many friendships – all at once.

And then to have to start to build relationships again.  And again.

At 40 it is tough to build relationships with new people.  Mommy friends.  Couple friends.  You know, every one has their own set of friends with not much room for new people.  And remembering the hurt of past relationships doesn’t make you too eager to put yourself out there again.

But, that’s what Lavish Hospitality does.  Jesus was hurt more than we could ever imagine.  I can’t fathom that.  And I’ve not been hurt near as much as some.  But, Christ took that pain – all of it – and died for it – then defeated death so we wouldn’t have to agonize over the pain any more.

We could feel again.  We could love again.  We could have broken relationships restored.  Because of Christ’s lavish hospitality on us.

Quote taken from Ashleigh Slater’s Braving Sorrow Together.

Praying with Faith

posted in: Books | 0

I don’t think you could ever read too many books on prayer, or be encouraged to read more books on prayer, or be encouraged to pray more.

Even though I’ve spent less time in “concentrated” prayer time – like sit with my eyes closed – I’ve spent so much more time in “always be praying” type prayers: with raising kids, driving in ATL traffic, going through painful times, praying for big prayers over and over.

God is very patient about teaching me that He will always answer my prayers: in His way and in His timing.  I tend to still get anxious about waiting for an answer to prayer – even though I know He will answer.  So, I need to keep learning patience and expectancy.

In the book Unshaken, Cyndie Claypool de Neve and Sally Burke, both who have served in praying ministries, give us practical tips and personal stories to help us see that prayer really is important and it is a way to actively engage with God and be a part of what He is doing in the world.  They tell many stories and testimonies of what they have seen God do in the world and in other’s lives – all because of the power of prayer.

Again, if you need encouragement to pursue in your prayer life: maybe because its been a while since you’ve seen God work in powerful ways in your heart or environment through prayer, this one would be a good book to encourage your faith.  Never give up.  Prayer can definitely ground you in your relationship with God – as you communicate with Him and hear his Heart.

They basically take the prayer outline of ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication) and use it to encourage us in this ever-happening conversation.  We have every reason to praise God, confess where we fall short, praise Him for what He has done, and interceded on the behalf of others.  I’m learning all four of these all the time, especially as a mom.  These were cherished reminders.

Thanks to SideDoor Com and Harvest House for this book.  All opinions are my own.

Praying the Bible (a review)

posted in: Books | 0

Recently, we’ve been inviting our children to pray at meal times, when they go to bed, or really whenever they want.  It is sweet (ok, maybe not after the 1000th time) to hear them pray for going to the dinosaur park.  Or the fire trucks.

But, really, to hear them speak to God, in little faith, not really understanding fully what that means, is engaging.

Last night we read in our family devotion the chapter on the Lord’s Prayer in the Jesus Storybook Bible.  How Jesus has a complete understanding how His Father works and hears prayers.  And how he didn’t have to write down his prayers, use big words, or have his eyes closed.  He just prayed. He spoke His heart.

Donald Whitney, in his typical pastoral, effective teaching style, in his book Praying the Bible, encourages his readers in a method of praying the Scriptures back to God.  It unites our hearts with the heart of the One who hears our prayers.  His chapter on praying the Psalms was interesting to me.  A pastor friend of mine shared this with me when I was going through an extremely hard time a few years ago, and it was definitely one of the best pieces of advice I received.

Whitney acknowledges the problem of our weak prayer lives, but doesn’t leave us there. He guides us in a how-to of sorts of praying the very words of God.  If we believe that the Bible is sufficient and perfect, then we can use it to pray for every area of our lives.

I don’t know anyone who would say they pray as good as they ever want to, so this would be a good book to engage your prayer life more.

Thanks Crossway for this book.  All opinions are my own.

Engaging Your Community During the Holidays

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Back in high school, I worked at a Christian bookstore.  Some of the best memories were concerts and friendships and knowing when all the new DC Talk, Steven Curtis Chapman, and 4Him music came out.  I loved seeing all the new Max Lucado books and cute Pass it One cards.  One of the downsides were all the cheesy Christian t-shirts (ripped from secular companies) and the cheesy books (some of which are still out there).

As a teenager, even though I had been saved for over a decade at that point, I was just learning how to pray, interact with Scripture, have a quiet time, share my faith – all the things that a growing Christian does.  Some of the books that were helpful were those little “Scripture” books that were a list of scriptures you could pray if you : were afraid, needed advice, scared of people, didn’t know anyone, had spaghetti on your tie (well, not really but you get my drift).  Some were helpful, some verses were pulled out of the context they were in in the Bible.  But, really, they helped you learn to pray God’s Word for any situation you were in.

What I know now that I didn’t know then, is how cruel this world could be.  How much sin totally affects and effects our lives – every bit of it.  And if sin affects my heart, it must affect those around me.  Now, that we are more than two decades out from my Christian bookstore days, I know even more of the people around me and the pain and reality that intersect their 24/7.

Amelia Rhodes, in her helpful prayer book, Pray A to Z, doesn’t teach us how to pray, but she gives examples of prayers that could be prayed for your community : your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, your church members, your friends – and gives a verse and sample prayer that could help you – jump start or continue – in how to pray for these.

Here is just a sample:

Adoption (I know so many in this process right now)

Abuse (unfortunately, I know some who have been or who are in a type of abuse)

Law Makers (are there any lawmakers that you know?)

Law Enforcement (the Word speaks to their lives as they protect the community, especially with all the violence escalating in our communities)

Pain (physical, mental, chronic)

Prince of Peace (especially around Christmas time, people are in search of peace more than usual).

What a great way to engage your people this holiday season – ask them how you can pray for them.  And, if time permits, stop and pray right then.  If you are just passing them and have a brief second, please pray later (don’t forget) and shoot them a text or a snail mail letter recording that prayer, or just telling them you prayed.  Maybe it won’t seem like a big deal to them in the moment, but I’m sure they will remember your kindness and gospel opportunity later.

This is also a great way to teach little ones some practical ways to pray – it is systematic and has verses and prayers right there, on one page.  It will teach kids to invest in the lives of others so they know what to pray and it will teach them how to include God’s Word in their prayers back to Him.

Thanks to Litfuse for this book and all opinions are my own.

Humility: A Christian Response to the Election

posted in: World Events | 1

The election and humility

West Wing.  Such a great show.  My husband and I had heard for so many years that this was definitely a show to binge on, and we finally started it about a year ago. We took a small hiatus, and finally started it back up again last night in season 4.  (No spoilers please).  Last night we watched an episode where they interviewed past Presidents and some WH staff.  It was very interesting, especially hearing Bill Clinton, who may very well be the “First Mister” in two days.

Every four years, we as Americans get the chance to witness an act that brings out the best and the worst of Americans.  The election of POTUS clogs up social media, runs every news hour, and is the topic of many church sermons.  Some of that is warranted, some of it is overdone.

I have been reading Hannah Anderson’s new book Humble Roots, and although the topic of the book is so far from the POTUS election, it is on a state of heart that would do us well to have during this election season.  If you follow social media at all, most people are uptight about this election, because no matter where you fall in political position, most likely neither candidate, or any write in, or third party, will line up exactly with all of your beliefs, or really has a chance of winning.  We joke about electing Charlie Brown, or Jed Bartlett, or George Washington, or any member of the Cubs baseball organization.  We can’t control the outcome of the election.

“All your anxiety, all your worry, all your sleeplessness, can’t change a thing.  And suddenly you come face to face with your limitations.”

As I have come to know the past couple of days, there are really only a few responses that we have as Christians.  After the voting takes place, we don’t need to fret, or complain, or trash the candidates, or even joke about moving to another country depending on who wins the office.  Below I’ve listed some of the responses that we can have:

  1.  We can realize that we aren’t the POTUS.  We aren’t the one sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office, jetting around on Airforce One, signing lots of bills into place.  And with that in mind, I don’t think we can even begin to criticize what the POTUS does.  When we criticize someone in the office, or any elected office, we display a heart of pride.  And ungratefulness.  Humility and gratitude go hand in hand like a beautifully wrapped package.  Our humility allows us to rest and not criticize or be anxious.  This goes with so much in life, which includes the coming election.  “So what does it mean to trust Jesus for rest?  How does seeking His kingdom free us from anxiety and stress?  He frees us from our burdens in the most unexpected way: He frees us by calling us to rely less on ourselves and more on Him.  He frees us by calling us to humility.”
  2. We can pray.  We can pray to a God who puts all the kings and presidents in place.  We can pray to a God who is in control of every election and every vote in every country in the world.  We can pray to a God who grieves over the sin of abortion and the mistreatment of refugees, and the abuse of women, and the lack of leadership, and a lack of acknowledgment of Him as the True King.  He is so more able than we are.  I think much of our anxiety regarding life, motherhood, or the POTUS election is based in our lack of trust and failure to pray.
  3. We can pray FOR the POTUS – whoever it might be.  Whether we have a Clinton or a Trump – we only have one response to them – to pray for them.  To respect them as their position calls for.  Our bashing of the POTUS speaks only of our disobedience.  We are to submit ourselves to the POTUS because God has put that person in place of leadership.  That doesn’t mean we have to perform abortions or do anything against the Word of God.  We don’t have to change our political beliefs.  We do need to pray, be gracious to others who might have differing opinions, and be active in a gracious, humble way.  Being rebellious to the Word of God by bashing the President will not bring glory to the name of Jesus, who has called to us obey HIM above all.

Humble Roots is a fabulous book y’all.  Especially as a mom of littles and a creative and blogger, I often read books that talk so much about how to deal with our frazzled lives.  How to balance, plan, organize, etc.  This book takes a different approach to our frazzled lives.  Anderson gets at the heart of our frazzled-ness.  She uses personal examples, the Word of God, and gardening (such wonderful illustrations) throughout the book to get at the heart of our wrecked lives.

“And so we must respond to Jesus’ call.  We must come to Him.  We must come to Him and learn of His gentleness and humility.  We must come to Him to be tamed.”

All quotes taken from Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson.  Published by Moody.  Thank you for Moody for sending me the book as part of their review program.  All opinions are my own.

I Can Learn to Pray: Review and Giveaway

posted in: Books, parenting | 6

Praying is something that is vital to the Christian life.  And what better thing to teach our children but to pray to a God who made them and desires them to talk to Him.

The fact that we can talk to the very God who created us is an exciting thing.  He hears us!  He desires our words.  He hears our cries when no one else does.

At meals, especially when Daddy is home, our little prayers are short, but super sweet to watch.  Our younger who is almost 3, clasps his hands real tight and squeezes his eyes shut super tight.  Both of our boys say Amen in such a way that you totally know they are from the South.

Tommy Nelson gave me I Can Learn to Pray for me to read with our boys and share with you.  Continue reading to learn how to win a copy of your own for your family devotion times.

This book is designed for young school age kids.  There are 52 devotions, so you can use one a week and really concentrate on repetition so each of your children get it.  These devotions are great jumping off point for your family devotions, discussions, and any activities you might want to include.

If you do want to win this from Tommy Nelson, just leave a comment here or on a social media post  The book will be coming from social media, but I (kcreatives) want to include a moleskin prayer journal so you can keep track of prayer requests for your family.  So, what your comment needs to have is a verse that you would like written on the front of the moleskin.

Thanks for loving your kids well for the sake of the Gospel and teaching them how to pray!

Christ, not prayer, is the answer

posted in: Bible, Books | 0

I love church signs.  You can either think that is sarcastic or true – whichever.

But, I passed one today and it said “prayer is the answer”.  I thought to myself.  No, Christ is the answer.

Here’s my thought.  If we tell people all they have to do is pray, everything will work out right, then that really isn’t the right answer.  We do need to pray – Christ models it and commands it.  We need to pray biblically-centered prayers.  We need to know the Word and pray it back to the Father through the Son by the power and intercession of the Holy Spirit.  But, our works, prayer, isn’t the answer to any of our problems.

The one who is our Brother and Intercessory Prayer partner is the answer.  All of God’s promises to us are yes in Christ Jesus.  So, we need to pray – but rest all of our hope in the Christ who answers according to His Father’s will.

I’ve been a believer for a long time now, and Max Lucado has been influential in my growth.  I read most of his earlier books when I was in high school and college.  I have his children’s books and read them to our boys.  And now, he has come out with a set of prayer books that have prayers that are guided by the Word.  You have ones for military families, mommas, dads, friends, graduates, etc.  I love how you can give these out to people, be a blessing.  You can also have them to read in a quick moment and focus your mind (through prayer) on Christ!

I gave away the military one to some sweet ministry friends of ours who live in south Florida.  They are about to have their second baby.

I gave away the teacher one to a mom of 3 boys and a preschool teacher.

I am giving away the Dad one to my husband on Father’s Day.

I gave away the moms one to a sweet friend in our church who is about to have their first baby girl

Thank you Litfuse for sending these to me.  All opinions are my own.


Praying for my Husband as my Children’s Father

posted in: Books | 0


ThLike Father Like Sonis is a season of Advent – of hope, of awaiting, or mystery.  Of incarnation.

One of the beautiful things about the incarnation is that God the FATHER sent His only perfect beautiful son into the world.  I can’t even imagine giving up one of my boys.

Back to the story…the men in our lives play several roles.  Man, husband, father, employee, friend, son, brother if applicable (my husband is an only child), worshiper, etc.  The list is pretty inexhaustive just like our list is.

But, for me, I think two the most important at least in my husband’s life is husband and father.  There is such a burden on him to provide, protect, lead well, shepherd all of us to know Jesus.  He just isn’t living for himself anymore.  On no given day can he wake up and say, “I think I’ll do what I want to do today,” but instead he wakes up to snuggles, cries, diapers, commuter traffic, my texts complaining about the disobedience of our boys, etc.  There is always so much crowding his heart and his mind.

I long for him not only to have an intimate close relationship with his heavenly Father – but use that relationship to guide his relationship with his boys.  Our boys are incredibly blessed with a father who is gentle and patient and one who loves Jesus more than he loves them.  He plays cars and basketball with them.  He takes them to the park.  He provides for them.  His desire is for them.

Isn’t that so the heart of the Father for us?  That His desire is for us – to know him and be found in Him?

Pete Alwinson’s new book, Like Father Like Sonis a good read that goes through different aspects of a relationship between the Father and his children, men.  I think some of the concepts can definitely be applied to men and women.  I think, honestly, that the book might be more with a female tone in mind, I don’t know.  I don’t know if I can see my mister reading this book or really any of the men that I know.

But, I do see it as useful for wives to pray for their misters.  That’s why I got this book.  I want to be more knowledgeable about how to pray for my mister and his relationship with his Father as he seeks to know his boys and lead them to the Father.

Thanks to Litfuse for the book in exchange for my honest review.

Praying for Your Kids (and giveaway)

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 6

I Prayed for You

Let’s be honest for a second, sometimes (in the midst of temper tamptrums and bouts of continued disobedience) it is hard to be really thankful for our children.

But, God has given them to us as a blessing and should be one of the greatest gifts we’ve ever been given – and they need to be told over and over again how thankful we are for them.

One of the times i usually love the most, is when I get to lay down with my older one and pray over him as he goes to sleep at night.  He has some sensory delays in his development, so he absolutely loves to sleep in the floor.  We’ve made him a soft palette and pile on his stuffed animals and his night night (the blanket he has slept with since he was a few months old).  He always wants either me or his Daddy to lay beside him until he falls asleep.  And as soon as I lay down with him, I pray aloud over him with my hand on his back or his face.  Such a sweet time.  I pray for his little heart to be turned to God because God would be calling him, giving him a new heart.  I pray that he would be obedient and that he would love God.  I also finish each prayer saying how thankful we are for him, bubba, mommy, daddy, and most of all Jesus.

It is so important for our children to hear us praying for them – not just telling them about it.  I learned from my mentor the importance of writing down prayers and journaling for future generations.  I admit that the discipline has been a struggle for me in these early years, but I do it some.  And it is such a treasure for me when I do journal and write out my prayers for them to my great Heavenly Father who listens to our prayers.

Tommy Nelson sent me Jean Fischer’s new book I Prayed For You – and I love it.  A cute board book complete with cute illustrated bears.  Tells of prayers a mama can pray for her cub as he grows up.  And yes, like any good mom I cried as I got to several of the prayers.

This will be a book you can treasure reading to your little one – even until he or she is 5 or 6.  Treasure the time.  Treasure the prayers.  If you want to have a chance to win this book – leave a comment with something you pray for your children.  That’s it!  I will pick the winner on Wednesday.