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Living Strong: It all starts with your view of God

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Michelangelo–God at creation

Starting with the right foundations

If there was one legacy I wish I could leave to other women, it would be to help them think more Biblically. When a woman knows scripture–the whole counsel of scripture, not just verses here and there taken out of context– gaining a Biblical understanding from Genesis to Revelation, then she has more confidence and ease in her walk with God. (It is also why I hope to give a good bit of my life in the next years to our leadership intensives, training conferences online, where women will learn a little of Biblical instruction, foundations, prayer, Bible study–to follow God in our lives as we serve and love Him. I love teaching women how to teach and live God in such a way in front of their children, that their children embrace a vibrant faith. More on that later this month.)

God makes it clear throughout scripture that his priority for us is to know Him and love Him with our whole heart and mind.

“Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, let not a rich man boast of his riches, let not a mighty man boast of his might, but let him who boasts, boast of this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the God who exercises lovingkindness and righteousness on the earth for I delight in these things.” Jeremiah 9: 23-24

And, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Psalm 127

And so the starting point for any arena in our lives must be God–our worship of Him and knowledge of Him and obedience–a heart that wants to please God.

So, let me begin by praying for all who read this today. “Lord, I pray that each one who reads these blog articles will be led by you. I pray you will provide them with insight, skill, love, wisdom and the understanding of what it means to be filled with your Spirit and to walk by faith in this journey of motherhood. And bless them with strength, joy and a sense of affirmation in their great calling as parents. I come to you in the precious name of Jesus. Amen”

A part of knowing and trusting God is to understand and embrace that He knows our circumstances, He sees us, He is able to redeem every single situation and can restore health to our weak, exhausted or damaged lives.

I love the verse for today, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. “

A part of us living joyfully with God in the midst of our circumstances is embracing this truth–He has “plans for our welfare”–He has our best in mind. “not for calamity–but to give you a future and a hope.”

Right now, where all of us are–there is hope for a better future if we allow Him to guide our lives.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Often we are tempted to say:

It is too late. I have already messed up my children.” “I am scarred by the decisions I have made.” “I can’t even imagine how God can redeem my life right now, or my circumstances.”

When I gave my life to the Lord, almost immediately and for the next 12 years, my life became very hard–illness in my family, a divorce in my family, problems in my personal life, problems in the ministry, loneliness as a single woman, difficulties with work, finances–2 car wrecks, a church split, immoral leaders in our church, and on and on. Throughout some of this time, I thought, “God, do you care about me? I can’t believe that I have loved you so much and you have allowed all of this to happen.”

Yet, now, I look back and see that, because God was a great parent to me. He did not pay attention to my immature toddler whining, because He had my best in mind. He wanted me to grow stronger, more compassionate, more full of faith, more loving and patient. His allowing the difficult circumstances in my life helped to take away all of the false hopes I was depending on to be happy. His way of leading me led me to freedom and maturity and in the end more contentedness.

God is the God of second chances and His whole nature is to love and redeem. So, know that He is in your home, He sees you, hears your cry and may just be working great things–even if you can’t see or understand how. He favors those who seek Him and obey Him and He is a God of compassion and will work in and through your life.

(Even as a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103: 13)

Once my little girl was having a grand time eating a huge bag of potato chips she had found in our cupboard. When I had to take the chips away from her so that she would not get a stomach ache, she fell down on the floor and sobbed as though I had been mean to her! But, as her mother, I knew what was best. I ignored her crying and took her in my arms and held her and sang to her in a rocking chair until she settled down.

But a part of our submitting to God and experiencing His love and care is in releasing our expectations of life into His hands and trusting Him even when we cannot easily feel or see Him.

It all starts with your view of God–if you choose to believe that He is loving, you will face your circumstances with courage, patience, faith. But if you just want Him to do your will your way–you may find life disappointing. He is all wise and knows just how to turn every part of our life puzzle into good, or wisdom or redemption–if we trust all of the details of our lives into His hands–and trust what His word teaches us.

Ultimately, so much of what I lived and what I know to be true, I learned by reading scripture, pondering it, studying it, seeking to really know God and walking with Him. Pondering Christ, who is the perfect reflection of God, according to Hebrews 1.

Women will go the way of their church culture, media culture, family culture, peer culture–they will follow whoever is leading, unless they have developed their own convictions. We will listen to other voices if we have not learned to discern the voice of God.

The problem with this kind of approach is that it leads to whims, to whatever way the cultural wind is blowing.

And so, God, our heavenly Father, wants us to climb into His arms, to surrender all of ourselves into His capable hands. I love this verse that speaks so generously of how tender God’s love is for us: “”As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13

God even compares himself to a mother who holds, cherishes and comforts His child.

Today, remember that His plans for you are for your welfare. He loves you and is bigger than any difficulty you face. He understands all of your ways, and He longs to give you hope and blessing.

Join me in the 10 Gifts e-conference next week as I speak of passing on faith and godliness in practical ways to your children–and how to live faithfully each day in your home!

Congratulations to our 10 winners of next week’s 10 Gifts E-Conference!!! If you didn’t win, I am having another giveaway on my personal site, ITakeJoy. You can enter the giveaway here.

Each of the 10 winners have been personally emailed last night to notify them of their winning.

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sally

Strength and Beauty Come from Learning to Trust God

a woman who

Passing each other in the kitchen with mugs of coffee, crazy sleep hair, pajama’d and groggy, I kissed my daughter and whispered good morning and headed toward my front porch for a few moments of quiet as I began my day. Just before I left the room, I was prompted to ask her, “How are you, sweetness? Is anything on your mind this morning?”

Sometimes the most normal moments and mundane of places become holy when God shows up.

Though just 30 years old, my daughter had walked in wisdom for such a long time.

“I feel like God always has me in boot camp–basic training for war! It would be great to have an easy season in my life for just a little while,” she said, as she sipped her coffee.

“But, you know, mom, I have decided in my heart, that no matter what comes my way, I want to keep trusting God, keep seeking to show His light, keep loving when it is difficult, keep strong when tempted to be weak.”

“I want to be one of those people who Jesus says, ‘You were one of my most vibrant, powerful warriors for the kingdom, because you always sought to be holy and you never gave up!’

“So, mom, I will stay in boot camp and God’s training as long as He has me here because I want to be faithful and love Him until I see Him face to face.”

Wow! What an unexpected but powerful message greeted me so early in my morning. But how grateful I was to hear from her own heart that my daughter understood that to live holy and righteous and strong in love is a battle and requires training. When we learn to accept the limitations of the place that God has us with faith and submission, we will learn to see His purposes and experience a depth of His love anew. His love is so profound that he does not want us to stay limited in our lives but to learn to trust Him and find freedom, strength in His training and deep satisfaction in life as we walk with Him. A a loving parent, He wants what is best for us–He wants us to grow strong and beautiful.

God has us in “training grounds” because He desires us to become like Jesus–holy, strong, bold, and righteous. Training and discipling us to become like him is a long term process. But in order for us to experience His profound love, we have to submit to His profound plans for our lives.

Good soldiers learn to submit to their leaders, the authorities over them, their officers, to lead them well. So, as we are warriors for Christ, we must learn to submit to His ways, to seek to be as godly as we know how, to learn the ways of righteousness, so that we can become strong ambassadors and workers for His kingdom.

My daughter has not had an easy life, but because she has walked her years trusting God, she is mature beyond her age and in so many ways exhibits His light and beauty powerfully through her life.

Each of us must choose His ways, submit to His will, so that we can truly become stronger in understanding that His love for us requires that He will train us for growth. God does not want us to just be shallow and happy–getting our own way at every juncture. He wants us to learn the depth of His wisdom and to learn the way of contentment and peace.

The verse today is from Psalm 9: 7-8: ”

“But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.”

God’s great love will require Him to act in our lives to bring us to maturity. But we can only experience the depth of His love if we choose to submit to His training. This week, give your circumstances, your life into God’s hands and become a willing learner of His ways, that you might see His goodness worked out in your life as He works deeply in your life to make you more like Him.

sally

 

 

 

 

 

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I am so excited to invite you to a very special conference online about the training of children in the wise ways of God. Training, instruction and growing in God’s Word and His ways is the pathway to becoming a godly woman. This process of training will allow us to live in and enjoy His love.
On July 14-15, I will be hosting an e-conference to inspire parents to train and instruct their children in wisdom. I hope many of you will be able to join me for the seminar, as I am so excited to be able to share what I have learned about bring wisdom to life in my home after being a parent for 30 years. For more information, go HERE.

10 gifts

“Home can be one of the most deeply transformative places in the world, where hearts are shaped and God is known.” Sally Clarkson, 10 Gifts of Wisdom

A video to encourage you & a giveaway to enter!

 

Please take a few minutes to watch this powerful video from my dear friend, Sally Clarkson…..she made it with you in mind!

(Can’t see the video? Click here.)

I’m sharing this powerful video with you today because I believe those of us who are in the trenches of raising children need encouragement. We need women to speak words of life into us.

We need to hear we are wonderful mothers….even on the days when we know we’ve made mistakes. We need to hear that what we do inside are homes matters …..especially to God. He sees our long hours. He sees how we kiss booboos, generously give hugs and work on kindness, manners and self-discipline with our children.

He sees our hard work……and He smiles upon us.

Being a mom is not easy, it’s hard work, but every now and then I’ll walk into a room and see a card, a drawing, or something like this…..

And God gently reminds me that what I am doing inside my home matters.

What you, my sweet friend, do inside your home matters too!

You are amazing! God has blessed you with gifts, talents and a purpose that only you can fulfill! Remember that today!

God is with you, God is for you…..:)

 

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With that in mind, I’d like to announce a special giveaway today!

My sweet friend, Ruth from The Better Mom and The Dig For Kids, has given me 2 pdf copies and 2 paperback copies of The Dig for Kids to give to my GMG readers!

To enter to win 1 of 4 copies I’m giving away – leave a comment in the comment section. 

For bonus entries share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and then leave an extra comment letting me know where you shared it! 

This giveaway ends Thursday, January 10th at 11pm!

 

 

 

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Information about The Dig for Kids

The Dig,is a fun and easy way for YOU to get into the book of Luke 1-8 with your kids this session!!!

The Dig is offering a SPECIAL price to all the women participating in our Good Morning Girls winter Bible study!!!! Now you and your children can learn about the same chapters of the Bible together!

A typical Dig lesson consists of the following four components:

1.  The Map: The Map tells you and your child where you’ll be going in each lesson.  It is a short summary of the study ahead.

2.  The Dig: The Dig is the main passage you will be studying.  Following each passage will be several questions designed to help conversation and understanding.  They are meant to be a guide.  You can use them or tweak them to help you talk with your children.

3.  The Treasure: The Treasure is the big idea of each lesson.  In a short statement, it is what you want your child to remember from the passage you studied.

4. The Display: When an archaeologist finds a treasure, they will clean it up and put it on display for everyone to see.  This is the basic idea of the Display.  It is the application of the Treasure you have found!

You can purchase The Dig for a special price offered by Good Morning Girls and The Dig for Kids!!

Available on KindleNook, or as a PDF for only $2.99 (regularly $4.99)!!!

and now for the FIRST time available as a paperback for only $7.99 (regularly $12.99)

 

 So join us this winter as we dig into Luke chapters 1-8 with our friends and our children!!!

 

 

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For those interested in joining our {Free} online Bible study here are a few links you might find helpful!

1. Click here to enroll

2. Click here to subscribe

3. Click here and here to find out more information about Good Morning Girls.

 

Love God Greatly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Giveaway} 1 MomHeart Conference Ticket

Have you ever wished you had a mentor? Someone who has gone before you and is willing to share from her heart the good and the bad about motherhood? If you said, “Yes” then let me introduce you to a dear friend of mine, a gifted author, a wonderful speaker and a loving mother and wife. Her name is Sally Clarkson and if you’ve been around Good Morning Girls long enough, you’ll know that I LOVE her!! God has gifted Sally to speak right to our “Mom Hearts”…..speaking words of wisdom, love and encouragement. Don’t we all need to hear those types of words as we are raising the next generation to love God with all their hearts, minds and souls?  I know I do!

I’ve had the pleasure of attending 3 of Sally’s annual Mom Heart conferences and I have always walked away refreshed and encouraged as a mom and wife. Recently Sally contacted me and offered one FREE ticket to my Good Morning Girl readers to attend the conference of her choice!!! I’m soo excited about this because I know whoever wins this ticket is going to be extremely blessed!!

The theme for her conferences this year is HOPE ,which is based off of Sally and Sarah Mae’s new book “Desperate”, and how appropriate since we are talking about the hope we have through Christ this week!

A personal invite from Sally to YOU!

“Motherhood is daunting. It is also delightful, fulfilling, and rewarding, but it can be daunting. There are times in every mother’s life when the less-wonderful aspects of motherhood can begin to feel like a wet, heavy blanket of desperation draped over your spirit. That’s why Sarah Mae and I wrote Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, which inspired this year’s Mom Heart Conference theme, “I Take Hope ~ Moving through Desperate to Destiny.” You need to take hope in the promises and truths of God to make it through those inevitable wet blanket days. That’s why I want every mother to return home from this conference with a heart full of hope. Not just a passing feeling, but a lasting conviction that God is living and active in you and your children. The kind of hope that will move you from desperate to destiny. It will be a weekend of refreshment, inspiration, encouragement, and fellowship you will not want to miss. Join us!”
- Sally Clarkson


Times/Locations/Rates:

COLORADO:
Dates: January 18-19, Denver/Littleton, CO (Denver Marriott at Park Meadows, $79.00/night room rate)
Click here to register
Click here for hotel and conference info

CALIFORNIA:
Dates: February 1-2, Irvine/OC, CA (Irvine Marriott, $104.00/night room rate, includes up to two full buffet breakfasts)
Click here to register
Click here for hotel and conference info

TEXAS:
Dates: February 15-16, Irving/DFW, TX (Dallas Marriott Las Colinas, $84.00/night room rate)
Click here to register
Click here for hotel and conference info

NORTH CAROLINA:
Dates:
February 22-23, Raleigh/Durham, NC (Sheraton Imperial Hotel, $89.00/night room rate)
Click here to register
Click here for hotel and conference info

 

Conference Schedule:

Check-in for each of the events begins at 1:00PM on Friday.

Afternoon workshops begin at 3:00PM and 4:00PM that afternoon.

Guests are on their own for dinner.

The first main conference session is 7:00-10:00PM that night.

The second session is 8:45-11:45AM Saturday morning, followed by a lovely banquet luncheon.

The final conference session is 2:00-4:30PM that afternoon.

Sally will be the main speaker for all main sessions, along with a special keynote speaker for sessions 1 and 2, and noted workshop leaders.

 

 

PossibiliTea (Separate Event):

There is also a Friday morning pre-conference PossibiliTea at each of the conferences from 9:30-11:30 AM.

This special time with Sally will focus on personal insights about motherhood, Mom Heart Ministry, and how to be more involved. Space will be very limited and attendance will require a separate $25.00 registration fee. To register, go to the Conference information page for the state where you are registered, or go to the Store and click on the “Mom Heart Conference 2013” icon.

 

 

 

Sally is giving away ONE Mom Heart Conference ticket (location of your choice) to one Good Morning Girls reader this week!

To Enter :

Leave a comment on this post.

For Bonus Entries:

Retweet, Facebook Share or Pin this post and then leave an extra comment for each thing you did!

GIVEAWAY ENDS SUNDAY, December 2nd AT 10PM EST.

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40 Minutes With Sally Clarkson!

If you have been following Good Morning Girls for anytime, you’ll know that I adore Sally Clarkson! I love her books, her writing, her stories…….ahhh I just love HER!!! With that said, I’m so excited to announce a giveaway of her book The Mom Walk as well as one by her daughter, Sarah, called Journeys of Faithfullness.

If you are struggling in your walk as a mom…..this book is for you! I love the personal, heartfelt stories Sally shares as well as the encouragement she gives!

Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from her book, The Mom Walk.

“The more I have studied Scripture, the more I have realized that God designed the role of mother to be one of the most important relationships a child will ever have. How I walk my path as a mother will greatly determine the outcome of my children’s souls, relationships, vision for life, and the success in their own walk with God.”

“It is all about how well we learn to walk this journey with God, and how well we provide a godly pattern for our children to follow and teach them how to walk their own paths with God. It is about living in the presence of God, resting in His will, walking in His power and being a part of what He is doing in and through our lives.”

“I need to remember that I am to lead my children in what it means to become a person who celebrates the joy of life. I am to model what it looks like to enjoy God and His creation. Often, in the midst of the duties of life, moms can easily become focused only on the right things to do. We can fixate on correcting the immaturity of our children and inadvertently portray God as strict moral judge just waiting for them to fall short. We can lose sight of God’s grace.”

“A mother who gives her children a heart ot celebrate God’s life and beauty gives a gift of life. She is helping her children draw joy from their lives and memories that will bring them strength and pleasure all their days.”

“A life built on any foundation other than the Word of God is a life doomed to fall. But if we, as moms, walk this journey with God’s Word as our source of wisdom and life, and if we listen to and apply the words of Jesus to our lives, we will indeed have a house (family) that remains standing through the storms and floods of trails and difficulties. We will have a spiritual legacy that will last through eternity.”

 

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You love being a mom. You are wholeheartedly committed to your children. You long for them to grow up to be mature, loving, fruitful, and faithful followers of God. But you know that means you are called to be that kind of mom. It means you must be faithful on God’s path of motherhood for you.

That is your mom walk. It is how you walk with God as mother. It is how you seek Him, trust Him, live in His grace, and draw on His strength one step of faith at a time. The mom walk is your path:

P: How you walk with Purpose as a mother
A: How you walk with Assurance as a mother
T: How you walk with Trust as a mother
H: How you walk with Heart as a mother

In The Mom Walk you journey alongside Sally Clarkson in her own walk as a mother after God’s heart. Through her personal stories from twenty-seven years of motherhood, inspiring and challenging truths from Scripture, and spiritual insights from both the dark and light sides of the journey, you will find renewed encouragement for your own mom walk with God.

 

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Ruth. Esther. May and Martha. Mary, mother of Jesus. Their stories in the Bible reveal how God can reach into the life of an ordinary girl and, through her love and obedience, reveal glimpses of His beauty and grace in this broken world. In this unique collection of inspirational stories and devotions, you will celebrate the sacrifice and courage that made each these young single women biblical heroines and models for all times. InJourneys of Faithfulness, Sarah creatively and respectfully retells their stories and explores each of their journeys along God’s path of life. In a personal devotional after each chapter, she opens her own heart and shares stories from her own journey of faith. She writes in order to challenge today’s young woman to reach higher and go deeper in her relationship with Jesus Christ by choosing well and walking faithfully with God. The book includes a Bible study with each chapter to dig deeper into the lessons of that chapter, as well as “Journey Journal” pages for recording personal thoughts and insights.
Here is what Sally is giving away over on ITakeJoy.com today!  Sally writes:

Two readers will win:

A copy of The Mom Walk

A copy of Journey’s of Faithfulness (by Sarah Clarkson)

And then there will be a GRAND PRIZE Bundle that one reader will win:

A copy of Mom Walk

A copy of Journey’s of Faithfulness

A copy of pre-release copy of Desperate

40 minute mentoring session with me

In addition to the giveaway, I will also be a part of a Twitter part tonight at 9pm EST under hashtag #momwalk. I will be answering your questions regarding motherhood and your mom walk. Also, there will be prizes at the party! Please join us!

Where you can purchase The Mom Walk:

You can get The Mom Walk for 25% off in the WholeHeart Store (Journey’s of Faithfulness is also 25% off)

OR

You can purchase on Amazon: The Mom Walk | Journey’s of Faithfulness

Be sure to also join me at Momheart.org for a short video about this week and more good information on The Mom Walk!

And a big heartfelt thanks for all of you who have followed us, attended our conferences, read my blog, supported us, and helped with our ministry outreach for so many years. We are so very grateful to you and to the Lord for all that He has done. We love each of you and pray daily for you. May He continue to bless you and your precious families with His love and grace!

SALLY

To enter this giveaway go to ITakeJoy.com 

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