Fighting in Marriage: It’s Okay. | Link-up #6

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How Fighting in Marriage is Okay.The devil HATES your marriage. If he can slip in even through a tiny crack, he will. His desire is to come in, make residence, and wreak havoc. And then the ultimate goal is to destroy you, destroy your family and destroy generations. Sounds depressing and somber, doesn’t it?

Yep.

Because it is.

We can’t allow him to do this! We have to FIGHT in marriage, and I’m not talking about fighting each other.

We have to fight the enemy. 

I can’t go further without mentioning a fighter, Lysa TerKeurst. Last week, Lysa wrote a blog post and beautifully and vulnerably shared her heartbreaking circumstances about her own marriage. If you missed it, you can read it here. When I heard this news tears flowed from my eyes.  Lysa IS a fighter. She is a warrior. Her circumstances may not have ended as she had hoped, but it doesn’t mean she isn’t a fighter. I have so many thoughts about this because, in a sense, I can relate to her husband, Art. My story is different though because I woke up. My heart breaks for him because he just doesn’t know what he is doing. Satan has blinded him, leading him into a beauty that is toxic. Satan is beautiful, always remember that.

I’ve kept a bit quiet about my thoughts and feelings about Lysa’s circumstances because it hits so close to home for me. My heart literally breaks for her and her precious family. I’m journaling to myself and to my Lord about it though and soon I will share them with you, as it cuts deep. Every time I think of Lysa and her family it is a deep reminder of what my life could be like right now had I not “woken up.” Although I am so grateful, the feelings I have are indescribable, which is why I’m journaling.

I love today’s feature from Kaitlin from Barefoot Blog.  She shares with us how we can stop giving the enemy a foothold in our marriages and how to fight!

Here’s a prayer from Kaitlin for our marriages:

“My prayer for us is that we would not grow so distracted with our jobs, responsibilities, kids, activities, and even ministries that we lose sight of the Gift right beside us. May we be on the alert for any wedges that are trying to drive themselves in between us and our spouse.”

Please check out her article before linking up or reading today’s posts! Now, on to the link-up!

We have to stop giving the enemy a foothold in our marriages! #saltandlightlinkup Click To Tweet It's Thursday which means it's #SaltandLightLinkUp time! Join me! Click To Tweet

When You Don’t Want to Submit in Marriage.

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Welcome to week#3 of our summer sizzle series! I love this beautiful woman that wrote today’s article. Alison is wise beyond her years. I had the pleasure of meeting her several months ago because she used to live not far from me. Alison is young, but you’d never know it by talking to her. She truly is an inspiration and a gift to me. Whether you’ve been married for 1 year or 20 years, you’ll learn from what she has to say. Sit back, grab that cup of coffee and lean in to her words today!

Submitting in Marriage: When You Stink at it!

You know those days when you learn a huge life lesson and then remember it forever?

This was one of those days.

There is a steady desire within me to submit to my husband. But on this particular day, I peeked over my man’s shoulder and thought, just let me take over, babe.

Our cell phone contract was coming to an end, and my husband wanted to switch to Verizon. Which is no big deal in the slightest except that all cell phone carriers are shockingly expensive.

In my mind, a phone is a phone. You can call and you can text. You can check social media, email and other seemingly important things that, in reality, are not all that important.

So, as my husband was kindly doing all of the heavy lifting by changing our cell phone carrier, these thoughts about cell phones were running through my mind.  He filled the online cart with the required updates and data plan.

Most cart additions he made, I questioned. And if I didn’t outright question it, something was burning fiercely hot in my chest making me want to question it.

Unfortunately, this is my nature.

As my husband took care of our cell phone plan, I kept cringing – both outwardly and in my heart.

Submitting at Marriage: When You Stink at it!

I wanted to submit in my marriage.

I wanted to submit to his decision-making and his leadership. I wanted to be excited that he was dealing with the cell phone people and I didn’t have to do any research. But in my heart, I knew – in that moment and today – that I stink at submitting to my husband.

You see, my husband is my equal – created by God to lead our family and be head over our household. This does not mean that he makes decisions without talking to me, purchases expensive cell phones without a conversation first, or anything of the sort.

But it does mean that, as his wife, I must stand beside him, support him, and serve as his helper – a role that is of equal importance and value to our family.

Eve wasn’t all that submissive either. She wanted to take control, and she did. It didn’t turn out well. The story is right at the beginning of the Scriptures, which is an eye-opening reminder to me that this issue is common, and that trouble submitting as a wife will exist until the day Christ comes back to redeem the earth.

You know Eve’s story. The cunning serpent lied and convinced her to eat the fruit of the one tree in the garden that God told her not to eat. Then, she gave some to Adam. Sin made them brutally aware of their fallenness, so they covered themselves and tried to hide from God. Thus, the first sin took place and humanity – and marriage – has been fallen ever since.

Submitting in marriage was always God’s design.

God designed marriage to be full of honor, friendship, love, and grace. He designed marriage to imitate the gospel, to speak truth to the masses, and to showcase His relationship with the church.

God designed marriage to be full of honor, friendship, love, and grace. @alisontiemeyer Click To Tweet

And, to be harsh but honest, we ruin that all of the time. We choose selfishness and personal gain. In pride, we wish for our opinions to be heard. We want to make decisions and plan our days and live our own way.

Next, comes the part of the story where Eve is told she will stink at submission.

Genesis 3:16: “To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you will bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (NKJV)

Desire in this verse points to idolatry. We idolize our husbands over the Lord, or we desire the position and headship of our husbands, or we do both.

Sin came in like a crushing wave and destroyed much of our ability to submit to our husbands well. We still live in sin, meaning we are far from getting this submission thing right.

But we should try anyway.

With our marriages, we should aim to love in gospel-centered ways and to show the world the best possible example of Christ.

So, how do we submit in marriage?

How do we do this?

We worship the Lord when we wish to idolize our husband’s authority.

We worship the Lord when we wish to idolize our husband’s authority. @alisontiemeyer Click To Tweet

This is the root of the issue – our worship. What are we worshipping?

I pray that I’m not worshipping my opinion or the ability to disagree. I also pray that I’m not running after control or choosing distrust in my marriage.

May we run to the cross – leaving idolized authority in the background and jumping into the arms of a worthy Father. He is able to work in us and make us new.

As my husband clicked ‘confirm’ on the new cell-phone plan, I praised. I thanked God for a husband who was willing to research the best carrier, for the ability to pay for a cell-phone plan, and for the countless ways God has blessed us recently.

My issue was never with the cell phone plan. Rather, it was with my own idolatry – I was worshipping my desire for control. I was choosing to question my husband rather than support him as a helper.

So, I stopped and praised. I didn’t do it perfectly. In fact, I barely did it well.

But I fumbled through my brokenness and praised anyway. Try with me?

Alison is a wife, blogger, and Jesus-follower growing in grace and truth daily. She loves coffee in the morning, experimenting in the kitchen, camping with her husband, and reading in a hammock just about anywhere. Her blog – AlisonTiemeyer.com – exists to encourage faithful growth and passionate living. You can find Alison on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you for reading Alison’s wise words! What are your thoughts? Is it hard for you to submit in marriage? Share in the comments below.

How to Live with an Authentic Faith | S & L Linkup #5

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Living with an authentic faith in today’s world is different than it was 20 years ago. I was 25 then and Christianity was a predominant faith, at least it was in my eyes. Maybe I was just naive, but the fact remains that being a Christian today is a welcome contrast to what it was back then. Today, it is even more important for me to live authentically for Jesus Christ. To me, this doesn’t mean I wear a sign across my chest that says “I am a Christian.” It simply means that I display the fruits of the spirit in everything I do. They will know you by your fruits, not in what you say.

What is Authentic Faith? How to Live with an Authentic Faith, Link Up, Faith and InspirationAuthentic faith is a big deal, and that’s why I loved today’s feature from last week’s link-up.

Today’s featured writer from last week’s Salt and Light Link-Up is Dani from Living Free Indeed.

Dani offers such wisdom and also gives us 5 steps to living with authentic faith. Click on over to her blog to read more!

I love how she bullet points each step of living authentically. If you’re a new believer,  she makes it easy to follow, and if you’re a seasoned believer it will add a spark in your step, I assure you! Please take a moment to check out Dani’s post before moving on to the link-up!

What Do We Do When Our Daughters Hurt?

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This is week #2 of the Summer Sizzle Series. As I was reading this article by my dear friend Melanie, tears streamed down my face, because I’ve been there. And if you have girls, I know you can relate.  When my daughters hurt, it’s like a knife in my heart. If I could take all of their pain away I certainly would. Grab your kleenex friends, and get ready to learn some valuable truths that will help you when your daughters hurt!

When our daughters hurt

The tears were free-flowing streaming down her cheeks. Her heart had been broken by the cruelty of a thoughtless person. She was hurting.

I was hurting.

The situation was painful. She’s my daughter – my only girl, and someone had broken her heart. In those quiet moments where we just sat and cried, I began to think about what I should say to her. 

How should I advise her?

What could I do or say to make it less painful?

What did she need to hear most in that moment?

Over the next few minutes, some really sweet words of encouragement came to me as I prayed silently.

I think the Lord gave me these words. I shared them with her, and I will do so again.

(In fact, I texted these very words to her this morning!)

It’s likely you have a daughter who also needs to be encouraged today. Even if they are not going through a heartache or a challenging season, these words still apply.

Fi

These are the 5 Things Every Girl Needs to Hear:

5 things our daughters need to hear when they are hurting. @melanieredd Click To Tweet

1.) You are LOVED!

Most of our girls will face times of self-doubt and insecurity.

They will go through stages when the feel clumsy and ugly and unlovable. They will have moments when they don’t even like themselves. 

They need to regularly hear these words from us:

“No matter where you go, what you do, what you don’t do, or what life throws your way, we love you and God loves you.”

“There is NOTHING you can do to change our love for you!

There is also NOTHING you can do to change God’s love for you!

Nothing can separate you from our love or from His love.”

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.

Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

2.) You are LOVELY!

Our girls are torn down, compared, contrasted, nit-picked, and made to feel less than beautiful all the time.

Many of them struggle with doubts about their beauty, body shape, and personality.

They look at images on Social Media and feel inadequate. They look at actresses in magazines and on TV and feel inferior and less than those that they see.

They spend time with their friends and don’t feel as thin or as pretty as their friends.

They need to hear these words from us:

“On the inside and on the outside, you are truly a beautiful person!”

“God has crafted you with such creativity, compassion, and wisdom. 

He has also blessed you with a gorgeous smile and incredible blue eyes.

You are beautiful – just the way you are.”

3.) You are the LORD’S!

There will be moments when our girls will wonder how they are unique and special.

They will ask things like: What is their purpose? Does God have great plans ahead for them?

They need to hear these words from us:

“God specially created you as a one of a kind.”

“You are a designer’s original – the only you on this planet.”

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” (Psalm:139:14, NLT)

“You have a wonderful LIFE ahead of you!”

“God has amazing plans for your life. You are His!”

“There will be setbacks, roadblocks, and detours, but you will make it through all of these things.” 

4.) You will always be LEARNING valuable lessons – especially in the hard moments of life!

No matter how much we try to protect and shield them from it, life is going to be hard for our girls. In fact, our children may live through very challenging days.

There are no guarantees that our girls will grow up to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.

We need to speak the truth to them and let them know that life may be very hard. We also need to tell them that they can grow and learn great lessons from these hard times.

They need to hear these words from us:

“Some days will be challenging, but every single challenge brings you the chance to learn valuable lessons.”

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful!

But afterward, there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11, NLT)

“Try to enjoy the journey and don’t hurry toward the destination.”

What is the best thing to do when our daughters hurt? Speak TRUTH to them! @melanieredd Click To Tweet

5.) Life is an adventure -meant to be savored, enjoyed, and experienced.

Try to also encourage your girls to dream, live, and explore. Life is full of great moments that they can embrace.

Our girls need to be reminded that life is a great adventure–full of opportunity.

They need to hear these words from us:

“Remember – God promises to be with you every step of the way.”

 “For He, Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV)

“There are going to be so many great adventures ahead for you.”

“Try to enjoy them, savor them, embrace them, and live in them.”

“Live your life to the fullest, enjoying these adventures He has for you.”

Our girls need to hear:

You are loved, lovely, and the Lord’s.  You have a wonderful life ahead of you with lessons to be learned all along the way.

Maybe today, you need to share these words with one or all of your girls?

(Even if she is little bitty, she’s not too young to start hearing these truths)!

~ Maybe you need to text your teen girl or college girl and share these words with her?

~ Possibly you even need to call your grown “girl” and tell her these things today?

And, if you are a girl who NEVER got to hear these kinds of words spoken to you, may I bless you in this way: (or even if you did, you can listen in too)

Hear your Heavenly Father speak these words over you today:

  1. You are dearly and unconditionally loved by Me!
  2. You are lovely–absolutely beautiful–to Me!
  3. You belong to Me! You are Mine!
  4. You will ALWAYS be learning, stretching, and growing!
  5. Your life is an adventure! Hang on for the ride.

 

Melanie is a Christian blogger, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Marketing and Social Media Consultant. She’s married to Randy and mom to two awesome college students. God’s grace never ceases to amaze her.

 

You can find out more about Melanie & her ministry at www.melanieredd.com.

 

Do you have daughters? Is there anything you would add? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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How Do You Measure Your Self-Worth? | Linkup #4

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“Our outward appearance should never be our greatest contribution to society.”

How do you measure your self-worth? Inspiration and FaithWhat wise words from today’s Salt and Light feature. Liz is refreshingly transparent in this article, and it’s a breath of fresh air. Why is outward appearance so important to women? It’s like this thing we carry around with us like it’s chained to our ankle and as much as we try to rid ourselves of it, it seems to just linger.How do you measure your self-worth? Inspiration and Faith plus link up

The fact is, we are SO much more than what we see in the mirror.

You are worth SO much more than what you see in the mirror! Click To Tweet

We aren’t worth more when we weigh less. Having correctly proportioned measurements, perfectly aligned eyes, flawless creamy skin, cut calves, or a tight tush doesn’t increase our worth.

How do you measure your self-worth? Check out Liz’s perspective on this super important topic!

Now, on to the link-up! If you’re a blogger, be sure and read the rules below, and if you’re a reader, check out the other amazing articles that are linked up.

Join me for TONS of inspiration at @saltandlightlinkup. Click To Tweet

How do we know we’ve had a change of heart?

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How do you know you've had a change of heart over something? Summer Sizzle

Ah….it’s summer! Flip-flops, sunglasses and sunburns; they just make me giddy! {it doesn’t take much}

Ya know what else makes me giddy? It’s the fact that in June and July I’m featuring 8 other amazing writers once a week for your reading pleasure. So put down your book friends, and pick up that phone, tablet or PC because the articles I’m sharing are the hottest on the web! That’s right, it’s the Summer Sizzle series! (say that 5 times real fast)

My friend Deb is kicking off weak 1. She has written for Fiercely His before, but I’m so honored to have her back. She is wise and kind and one of my favorites!

Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:23–24

You and I know it’s important to allow God to change our hearts. But I wonder…

How do we know if our heart is changing?

Can our coworkers, friends, and family tell our heart is changing?
Can strangers see Jesus in us?
Do changed hearts change lives?

How do you really know you've had a changed heart over something? Click To Tweet

So, I did some research and found:

30 Qualities Found in a Heart Changed by God

How do we know we've had a change of heart about something?

1. Loves God and Others

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”Matthew 22:37–39

2. Has Child-like Faith – Trusts God and His Word

So Jesus called a child to come and stand in front of them, and said, “I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2–3

3. Has Compassion

Jesus said, “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Luke 6:36

4. Has Contentment

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. 1 Timothy 6:6–7

5. Has Courage

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13–14

6. Is Faithful

Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31–32

7. Is Forgiven and ForgivingInstead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving

Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgivenn you. Ephesians 4:32

8. Is Gentle

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2

9. Is Genuine

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10

10. Is Good 

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

11. Is Gracious

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing. 1 Peter 3:9

12. Is Hopeful

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12

13. Is Humble

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3–4

14. Has Integrity

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Psalm 119:1

15. Is Joyful

Always be joyful. 1 Thessalonians 5:16

16. Is Just

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

17. Is Kind

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

18. Is Merciful

God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7

19. Is Obedient

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. John 14:15–16

20. Is Patient

Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14

21. Is Peaceful

Dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in His sight. 2 Peter 3:14

22. Perseveres

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. Hebrews 10:36

23. Has Purpose

He is working in you. God is helping you obey Him. God is doing what He wants done in you. Philippians 2:13

24. Is Relational

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

25. Is Respectful

Worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.   But do this in a gentle and respectful way.  1 Peter 3:15–16a

26. Responsible

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:4–5

27. Has Self-Control 

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22–23

28. Is Thankful

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

29. Is Trustworthy

Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29

30. Is Truthful

So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. Ephesians 4:32  Changed hearts and lives aren’t perfect, but they trust that God is able to continue the work He has begun in them. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

Changed hearts change lives, right? @blessingcounter Click To Tweet

 

Deb is a passionate blessing counter who loves to study the ways faith and life intersect. This year at Counting My Blessings, she is sharing The Relationship Project – How One Relationship Affects All Others.

Deb lives in Missouri with her husband and furry child, Sadie now that all of their human children are grown and have little ones of their own. And yes, being a grandparent is the best!

She’s hoping you will join her on PinterestFacebook and Twitter.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

When Darkness Clouds Your Perspective | #FierceFriday

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I always enjoy the view, the works of art, from 30,000 feet.  As the airplane crawls away from the hangar my kids get anxious and antsy, the little adrenaline junkies love the thrill of acceleration, nosing into the sky.  But me, I love the smooth and steady pace of cruising above the clouds and the perspective I gain from there.

Recently I was watching clouds out the airplane window and was once again captivated.  The puffy masses were minimized by my aerial viewpoint.  What seemed enormous, unending, when my feet were on the ground, was now more small and humble.

In a sky filled mostly with sunshine, the clouds were ragged polka dots casting down a pattern of dark shadows beneath them.  

When Darkness Clouds Your Perspective

And in an instant I know how those shadowy pieces of earth feel.

I remember laying on the grass in my backyard when I was about six, staring at clouds as if they were the greatest show on earth.  I marveled as they inched across the sky, seemingly chasing one another, and then slowly crept between me and the sun.  In an instant everything changed.  The world grew darker, cooler, somehow quieter.

The adults of the world would tell me the sun went behind a cloud, that soon enough it would pop out again.  And I trusted that.  I would watch and wait for the sun to reappear, for warmth to return, and much of the time it would.

But sitting in that airplane, some 30 years later, I began to realize how very failed that logic is.  It’s funny how we know things, we know truth, and yet without even fully realizing it, we reason with untruths as well.  We hold both tightly, not even realizing the two cannot co-exist.

You see from 30,000 feet I realize, the sun never went behind a cloud when I was 6.  The sun never went behind a cloud ever.  

The sun always shines.

Somehow I know this and yet I’ve almost never known it at all.

It is true that sometimes clouds get in the way.  Those dark and cool spots on the ground, ragged polka dot shadows, are very real.  But they never once stopped the sun from shining, they were simply momentary interference, blocking my view.

We don’t always see the sun, but even on the cloudiest days it’s up there, faithfully shining it’s hot and wild rays.

Even when we can't see the sun, it's there, shining. #fierceFriday #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

And right there I begin to see my life, splayed out on the surface of the earth.  I see intense moments of sunshine, direct light – marrying the boy I dated in high school, delivering babies into the world – moments where the heat was intense and it all seemed so very perfect.

And I see moments of interference, ragged clouds casting shadows – the day they told me my little girl, round inside my belly, would not make it, the days my marriage felt beyond repair, the cold and dark days of damaged relationships, financial struggles, days I could swear the sun wasn’t shining.

But the sun never went behind a cloud.

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”      John 1: 4-5 NKJV

Comprehend here means to perceive or understand.  Other translations say the darkness did not overcome it, apprehend it, extinguish it.  Do you see what he’s getting at here?

His light, the Son, shines in the darkness and sometimes we don’t even get it.  We see clouds and darkness and can’t even wrap our finite brains around the fact that the Son never stops shining.

In our fearful and afraid moments, our tired and nothing left to give moments, our empty and uncertain moments when life is a raging storm, the sun still shines.

When rain drops on our perfect plans, cold clouds cast shadows on our hopes and dreams, the sun still shines.  We cannot overcome it, apprehend it, extinguish it.  What a beautiful visual, a faithful reminder, God has given us.

We get to live brave, full of hope, because even when our vantage point is full of clouds, we know His Word is true.  

Even when dark clouds come, the Son never stops shining. #fierceFriday #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

The Light always shines.

What would our lives look like, if we began fully living from that truth?  His light, the Light that cannot be overcome, the light that does not go behind a cloud, forever shines.

Katie is a warrior, she is brave, and she is #fiercelyHis!

#FierceFriday

Katie Westenberg is a wife, mom and writer who is passionate about encouraging women to fear God and live brave.  Her daily brave involves life in the countryside of the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their four kids.  She also enjoys traveling, reading and any adventures that involve friends and family.  You can find her at I Choose Brave.

 

A note from Shannon: I love Katie’s so very encouraging and positive message. It reminds me that God is ALWAYS with us, even when it seems He is hiding. I’ve had one of those days, today where I’m wondering where in the world He is. But, all I need is to look up, and breathe, and I feel Him all around me and I realize what a gift we’ve been given. Thank you, Katie, for the reminder that His presence is always hear!

If you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

7 Scriptures Every Teen Should Know | Linkup #3

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“More than anything I want my kids to know who they are, who God is, and what He does. They need to know what God has already done and what He promises to do for them.” -Betsy DeCruz

7 Important Scriptures Every Teen Should Know (Salt & Light Linkup #3)Let’s face it, being a parent is tough. It’s not for the weak that’s for sure, especially in today’s world. I know most of you will agree with this Momma’s heart when I say that I take my role as Momma and Parent very seriously. We’re bombarded with should’s and should not’s as it pertains to parenting. (and sometimes this makes me want to gag)

Parenting isn't for the weak! Here are 7 important scriptures your teen should know! Click To Tweet

I must say, I haven’t been the best at teaching my girls basic things like cooking and cleaning. When my oldest went to college that was something that stood out among some of her friends. No, I wasn’t the strict Momma who made my girls cook and clean all day. It wasn’t at the top of my list. And I’m okay with that. She isn’t perfect, but she’s a kind soul who would do anything in the world for someone. Her kindness and thoughtfulness is so much more important to me than her being able to make a toilet bowl sparkle. I haven’t been the perfect parent, but I’m pretty proud of the woman she is becoming.

Today’s feautured article is from Betsy DeCruz over at Faith Spilling Over. She is so wise. There’s so much to be taught, but Betsy lines out beautifully the  7 things that are so much more important than how to load the dishwasher and clean a toilet. 7 scriptures that should be engraved on their hearts.  I’m certain you’ll subscribe to her blog and you’re welcome!

Join me for the #SaltandLightLinkup today! Click To Tweet

Thank you Betsy, for linking up with us last week and sharing your truth with us! Now, on to the linkup!

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Shannon Geurin


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Alisa Nicaud

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Carmen Brown

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Shannon Geurin

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Natalie Venegas

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Shannon Geurin


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How to Stop Self Defeating Thoughts

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I never thought I’d be a writer much less write a book. I knew how to write essay’s in high-school, and I’m fairly good at grammar, but although that’s real nice, it doesn’t make someone a good writer. There have been times on this journey of mine that I’ve almost given up. Sitting down at my silver laptop and writing words that I knew were there, have at times felt impossible. And that led to self-doubt, name calling, and uncertainty. I guess you could say that I’m pretty bad at letting self-defeating thoughts overwhelm my brain.

It’s something that I have to work at almost daily.

Here are examples of other thoughts I’ve had lately:

  • I don’t think she likes me.
  • I can’t do this.
  • This makes me look so fat.
  • I hate my face.
  • I’m not good enough to do this.
  • I wish I was more (fill in the blank)
  • I’m a terrible Mom.

I’m just being real.  And those are only SOME of the negative thoughts that float around in my brain, or maybe those are the only one’s I’ll divulge.

Oh, I don’t tell you that for your sympathy. I only tell you because I trust you. And I also trust that there are times that you, too, feel this way.

The truth is, self-defeating thoughts will come. They shouldn’t, but let’s be honest; they will come because we are human. The important thing is to recognize them and fight against them. Rather than thinking all of the thoughts above, we should make a conscience effort to change our thinking.

But, for now I’d like to offer something different. All of those thoughts I mentioned above had to do with “I,” didn’t they?

I.

I.

I.

It’s pretty much all about me, huh?

This is pride to the ‘nth degree, wouldn’t you agree? And wow, do I feel small about right now.

Self defeat is a mask for pride.

Self-defeat is a mask for pride. #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

Don’t you see?

P-R-I-D-E. Let’s define it.

PRIDE: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

You see, I can prance around all day with my kazoo’s and blow-outs in celebration of my pitty party, or I can recognize it for what it is, which is honestly a full blown gala of nothing but pride.

Because it isn’t all about me. No, not at all.

The minute those prideful thoughts start rearing their ugly heads, we have to stop them.

How to Overcome Self Defeating Thoughts

How do we change our self defeating thoughts?

Pray. Prayer changes things, and we need to change our thoughts, right? So pray. And sometimes doesn’t prayer seem like the “easy” answer?

I’m glad you agree.

Because it is.

It’s easy. 

It’s one of the most simplest things that Jesus Christ taught his disciples before He went to Heaven, so why do we make it so difficult?

Specifically, pray Philippians 4:8. (Thanks, Paul.)

Finally, my dear sister, fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.noble, —think about things like this that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Now, if you’re like me, you’re thinking; that’s the problem, nothing is excellent or praiseworthy where I’m concerned. Oh, friend, I get you. But here’s the thing. If we look at Philippians 4:8 and think about how Jesus Christ literally embodies what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable and noble, then it’s a no-brainer, right? We realize that it isn’t about us! Not one, single, bit!

Basically, when those negative, self-defeating thoughts come, we focus on Jesus Christ, who is all of these things found in Philippians 4:8. Jesus lives in me, therefore I can combat those ugly thoughts because of HIM. It’s about Him, not me. And, really, it’s just that simple.

I’d sure love to hear your thoughts, friends. Do you struggle with negative or self defeating thoughts? Can you call them for what they are, pride?

 

3 Ways to Stand Firm in the Faith (Linkup #2)

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If you don't stand firm in your faith, you'll fall for anything. Here are 3 ways to stand firm!“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Ever heard that quote? While it’s a true and positive quote and is used quite frequently in secular media, I prefer to say it this way “If you don’t stand firm in the faith, you will fall for anything.”

It’s true, isn’t it? Satan does his best work when we’re not standing firm, and if we’re not careful we will find ourselves succumbing to his schemes before ever realizing what has hit us. Standing firm in the faith even in small things can bring such victory in our lives!

So how do we stand firm? How do we stand against Satan’s tactics? How do we shut down the opportunity for him to weasel his way into our lives?  I will admit, sometimes this is hard, but we CAN!  Nicole offers 3 ways. Be sure and check them out! When I read this week’s feature, I got chills. Nicole shares truth here and I know you’ll love it just like I did.

If you don't stand firm in the faith, you'll fall for anything. #SaltandLightLinkup Click To Tweet

Thank you, Nicole, for linking up with us at Salt and Light. Be sure and grab the button below! Now on to the link up! If you’re a blogger, read the guidelines below and join in. If you’re not a blogger, stick around. I’m certain you’ll find some nuggets of truth!

I'm loving @NicoleAKauffman tips on standing firm against Satan's deceit! #SaltandLightLinkup Click To Tweet

If you don't stand firm in your faith, you'll fall for anything. Here are 3 ways to stand firm!

If you don't stand firm in your faith, you'll fall for anything. Here are 3 ways to stand firm!

Shannon Geurin


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salt and light linkup

Alisa Nicaud

Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Carmen Brown

Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

Shannon Geurin

Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Natalie Venegas

Website | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

 

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If you don't stand firm in your faith, you'll fall for anything. Here are 3 ways to stand firm!

Shannon Geurin


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