• Sayings That Aren't Biblical

    What We Say To The Hurting That Isn’t Actually Biblical

    When you’re in a tough season, people struggle to know what to say.  They want to comfort you, and they search for words that will bless you.  Bless their hearts!  They truly mean to help you . . . but sometimes miss the mark.  Some have the gift of speaking loving truths into your life at just the right moment.  But not all. What’s wrong with being honest?  Why not say “I don’t have a clue what you are going through, but I am praying God will fix it.”  Or, “I’m praying for you in your pain and grief.”  (Or, we could do like my friend in this post.) Personally,…

  • 5 Points to Ponder When Faced With A Good HIDER

    5 Points To Ponder When Faced With A Good HIDER

    In last week’s post, I mentioned that I added my new California flight friend to my prayers.  Although I prejudged her for her reaction to my story about Emmie (as explained in that post), we never know what others are going through.  What hard things in her life was she possibly struggling to get through?  How could I tell? While tough seasons give us a tender heart for others, before that eventually kicks in, our own pain can dull our senses.  A pain bucket that’s filled to the rim can cause us to block any pain from outside sources above what we’re already dealing with on our own. Your subconscious…

  • Lamentations 3.22 by EmbraceThisSeason.com

    How A Cheapened “I Love You” Negates True Compassion

    Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. (Psalms 51:1) Flippant I love you’s seem to have taken over.  Rather than saving them for meaningful encounters, we spread I love you’s all over the place, nearly thoughtlessly – especially during Valentine season.  Do you “heart” Facebook posts often?  I do (even when Like is sufficient). When something rings true spiritually or if the post involves people for whom I feel affection, I’m super-quick to click the heart.  How about you? There is absolutely nothing wrong with spreading the love.  But, I just wonder if we’ve cheapened the…

  • How To Reach Your Prodigal On THEIR Turf

    “Many in the church today are being held captive spiritually, not because of the enemy’s power, but because we do not clearly understand our authority and calling in Christ…  As we begin to understand the hope of His calling, we will begin to walk in an abundant life of freedom and power.” Angie Weaver That quote is so true!  We have more power than many of us realize. When crying out to God for answers to your prayers for your prodigal, why not go directly to the source of the trouble?  I don’t mean physically going to the places where they hang out.  Nor to stand face to face with…

  • Time for Jesus

    Making Time for Time With Jesus

    What sort of season are you in right now?  I know winter and possibly snow season, but in your life.  Is it snowy in your life . . . cold . . . lonely . . . a hard time right now?  If so, I picture you staying inside, huddling by the fire, drinking warm cups of tea.  Are you taking time to be with the Lord?  Our tendency is to turn to God when we are in a season of suffering. If you happen to be in a good season right now, I picture you in a season of joyful sledding . . . laughter . . . friends…

  • How to Know God Will Do It

    But, WILL He? How to Know God WILL Do It

    Will He?  That was my question.  For months. Soon after our prodigal season began, a very close friend (and 2 AM sister) sent me the book, He is Able by Priscilla Shirer.  It’s a great book for recounting all the ways that anything is possible with God!  All the while . . . I had another question. I Know God is Able. But, WILL He? You might ask, “Will He what?”  And my answer would have been. “WILL God answer my plea?  WILL He bring our daughter back?” If you read last week’s (shameless) post  He First Loved Us In The Hard Seasons and my continual tears for months, today’s…

  • three little BAFFLING words @EmbraceThisSeason.com

    He First Loved Us In The Hard Seasons

    It was a Sunday morning.  Just like all the other Sundays during that hard season, I stood during our morning worship welcome time with my eyes cast downward, trying to hide my tear-streaked face. Poor choir!  Our third-row-pew afforded the choir members an up-front-and-personal view of raw emotion so visible that I know it grew somewhat irritating and tiresome for them to endure every Sunday.  Week after week turned into month upon month.  When would it end? That’s the way it is with a prodigal season of shame, sadness, and indescribable grief.  Well, that’s the way it was for me, at least.  If you’ve experienced a season of brutal betrayal,…

  • HOW DID THEY KNOW?

    How Did They Know?

    Did you have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend?  Oh, I hope so! Both of our kids were home for a full four days of blessings…so refreshing after last year’s Thanksgiving day alone.  At that time, I was walking like a drunk person and was too embarrassed to go anywhere much besides church.  I sent my family to enjoy turkey and the trimmings at a tailgate we were invited to attend before their Mississippi State University football game. While alone, I went on-line and researched all about Multiple Sclerosis.  I’d had the thought years earlier that my symptoms could be MS related but didn’t think they were bad enough to mean anything…

  • 2 Cor. 1.4

    Lysa Terkeurst – More Than My Virtual Friend

    Does it grieve you to see others in pain?  I am filled with love, compassion, and thankfulness all at the same time today.  Let me explain.  Lysa Terkeurst (whose name I always struggled to spell) is someone many of you know from her best-selling books, speaking engagements at Christian women events, and all things Proverbs 31 Ministries. I’ve grown alongside Lysa for the past fifteen years at least, as we are in the same stage with our now-grown children.  While raising her kids, she taught me to give the Best Yes, my fave from her completely inspiring writings.   She came out publicly recently with her personal story of life-shattering…

  • A Step in Faith

    Steps in Faith

    A friend at church recently commented that I didn’t have my walking stick with me.  I told him I’d chunked  it!  At the time, I’d decided to keep the stick in my car rather than in my hand because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).  Can I get an AMEN? Granted, I’m not in a wheelchair.  I’m blessed to have only needed a stick for steadying my steps.    I’m NOT saying you need to chunk your stick necessarily if you need one to keep you from falling.  And definitely don’t chunk your wheel chair if you need it! Today, I’m sharing something God…

  • A New Understanding

    A New Understanding

    If you have a prodigal, perhaps you are praying each day from the list of verses in my Prodigal Scripture Prayers download.  Now that my prodigal has returned, I pray alongside others with prodigals.  It is amazing to see God work – and it’s wonderful to see these young people return to their families and to the Lord. This passage in particular stuck in my mind after studying it and letting its meaning soak in. So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you.  We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.  Then the…

  • 3 Steps to Finally Conquer Destructive Thoughts

    If you read this post and this post about damaging negative thought patterns, you may wonder how I conquered them.  I wasn’t specific about how I got rid of that mind trap, but if you struggle with damaging thought patterns, this post is for you. Block, Deflect, and Replace  There you have it.  That’s it in a nutshell.  I’m sad to say I didn’t give the process the credit it deserved in my previous posts because it’s so simple.  After putting an end to my harmful thought patterns, I looked back on the process with these questions: Is that really all it took? Just a simple block and redirect of…

  • Soothing Tongue

    Don’t Name It As Yours

    In a sort of sideways continuation of my last two posts about harmful thoughts and spoken words, today I’m addressing the statements we make about “our this” or “our that”. If you have an illness or a medical condition, do you name it as yours?  Do you speak of your diabetes, your autoimmunity, your heart condition, your…whatever it is that’s not working correctly?  I’ve learned that when we claim illness as our own, it becomes a part of us.  In other words, if we name it, we claim it. How can we heal from something if we accept it as part of our very identity? With so many Bible verses…

  • Sticks and Stones

    Words Matter To Our Core

    Since my last post about damaging thought patterns, God hasn’t left me alone about the next step in the process (His process) for Christian perseverance and strength in the tough seasons.  Isn’t God a pest sometimes?  (Couldn’t do without it, though. 🙂 ) He has been showing me that, as a female who vents (don’t we all?) with mostly my mom, I am so vulnerable in this area of discussion today. We can thank the Lord for smacking us around  sometimes, can’t we?  I surely can.  We need (I needed) another wake-up call about words in my life, both silent and spoken. Here’s our wake-up call for this week. There…

  • It's A Thought That Counts

    It’s A Thought That Counts

    I’ve avoided this discussion for long enough.  This is a tough one!  For me, at least, it’s tough to come clean with all the damage I allowed through negative self-talk.  This may not be a problem for you (and I hope it isn’t), but if you struggle with negative self-talk, today’s post is for you. For years, I’ve been sensitive to correction from others.  Correction is supposed to help us, right? Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1) I now know the reason (nerves damaged in the brain by Multiple Sclerosis), but there are times when I’ll be thinking one thing and something completely…