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a moms prayer

A Mom’s Prayer: Transform Your Anxious Thoughts Through Prayer

(Inside: A mom’s prayer: untangle your anxious thoughts and find extraordinary joy in your ordinary day. Let God minister and nourish you through prayer.)

My thoughts weigh me down. They mess with my mind, so I just don’t feel right.

The twelve tabs open in my brain bounce between ‘I need to grade a stack of tests,’ I wonder if my dog puked because she’s sick or just ate something,’ what times are practices tonight,’ ‘what’s for dinner,’ and ‘why are four of my brain-tabs frozen.’

My thoughts feel tangled and heavy, and I don’t know why. There are hints of depression and anxiety, but those labels seem too strong. My brain just feels scrambled. It’s frustrating because I’ve lived long enough to know-on-paper that good comes from bad, God is in control and I’m not doing life alone…

But, still – I feel unsettled…

 

However, I have this strategy that I use to help me sort out my mind-mess. Do you remember that game you played during 5th grade field day?

Around seven people would circle up. Everyone would extend their arms into the middle of the circle and grab a random hand so a knot of humans resulted. As a team, we’d work together to lift arms, walk under, turn, and step over joined hands to unravel the knot. We’d end up in an untangled circle holding our adjacent classmate’s hands.

Related Article: Imperfect Faith is Still Faith

 

a mom's prayer
Do you want to learn more about how prayer works? Read more about praying as a family here.

That same process is how I unsnarl my thoughts. I do this through prayer.

Because I can’t pinpoint what exactly is revving up my anxious heart, I don’t worry about what to pray. Instead, I just start praying – here and there – throughout my day…

I pray for my oldest son – for protection, wisdom, and confidence. (In my brain – with my human knot of tightly woven thoughts – two connected hands are lowered and I step over.)

I pray for my middle son – for happiness, friendships, and direction. (I spin under a raised hand I’m holding, slightly shaking loose a corner of the knot.)

 

I pray for my youngest son – for joy, focus, and positive influences. (I bend under two arms.)

I pray for my husband – for his work, protection, and that I love him well. (I turn clockwise, step over arms, and loosen another tangle.)

I pray for my students, coworkers, and community. (Deep breathe, figure out the next move, and tuck under another set of arms.)

I pray for my parents, in-laws, my grandma, and friends… (Another turn…)

I pray for direction and the next right step… (Another step over…)

 

a mom's prayer

I could care less about following any prayer rules or formulas; I simply spend my day talking to God.

Just like in 5th grade when I was slightly in awe of how we could always untangle the human knot, I’m often puzzled by why this prayer process unbinds my mess. But I know that as I say a prayer here, words there, the gentle peace of an ever-present God emerges. I feel him helping me not just know but also believe the words he presses deep within me: I am here with you always and forever.

The peace, the message, the act of continual prayer clears my head.

Not in an I-know-have-all-the answers way, but instead in a God-is-with-me-and-for-me-despite-my-worries way.

Prayer.

It’s one of God’s best tools to nurture us.

God is always near and FOR US. If you don’t believe me, start your day with one tiny prayer…

 

Join this community of moms of older kids

You just dropped your kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below.

 

gifts for moms

Read the whole “power of a praying mother” series

Prayer. I’ve had a tricky relationship with prayer over the years. I’ve bounced between ‘what’s the point?’ and ‘Lord, God, THANK YOU so much for the powerful gift of prayer.’

Here’s what life experience and the study of God’s word have taught me about prayer:

God hears our prayers.
God sometimes answers prayers.
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God shapes us and changes our perspective in uplifting ways through prayer.
God nourishes us through prayer.
God speaks to our hearts with quiet “knowings” deep inside of us through prayer. 
God builds his relationship with us through prayer.
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Prayer is powerful in ways that we fully don’t understand.
Science proves that prayer is a healthy, life-giving practice with both physical and mental benefits. 

If you also believe a mom’s prayer, can be powerful, keep reading…

A Praying Mother is a Strong Mother
A Mom’s Prayer: Transform Your Anxious Thoughts Through Prayer
A Mother’s Prayer for Strength and Faith and Courage
A Prayer to Conquer Your Mountain

a moms prayer
Do you want to learn more about how prayer works? Read more about praying as a family here.
parenting teens and tweens

Parenting Teens and Tweens Will Rip Your Heart Out

(Inside: Parenting teens and tweens will rip your heart out. There will be a moment when you find yourself emotionally spent.)

Parenting teens and tweens will rip your heart out.

There will be a moment when you’re sitting on the bathroom floor, back against the tub, feet tucked at the base of the sink, emotionally spent.

Your kid is the one sitting alone at the lunch table.

Your kid is repeatedly self-sabotaging in her actions, and no matter what you do, nothing helps.

Your kid has health and/or mental health challenges that just won’t shake.

Your kid got cut from the team in a sport he’s spent a decade playing and being in that uniform means the absolute world to him. The “no” hit like a nuclear bomb.

Your kid doesn’t seem to care – about anything.

Your kid is painfully distant – you don’t have the kind of longed-for relationship you want, and you just don’t recognize your teen anymore.

For tweens and teens, these years can be fun and interesting and great. Then they also can be some of the absolute hardest years of their lives: there are so many changes, so much to learn, so many obstacles to navigate, and so much perspective to gain. The perfect storm for big hurt in our big kids.

And when our kids hurt, we hurt too.

So, we find ourselves on the ground, sandwiched between the tub and sink, at 1 am. But momma, on the floor, with a ripped-out heart, feeling like you could crawl out of your skin anxious…

Deep breath in.

Exhale slowly.

parenting teens and tweens
Parenting teens and tweens can be so tough. My mom was in a tough spot with me when I was in my early 20s. Read what she did to help in the description here.

The Lord is here with you on this floor.

Maybe say a few words to him…

GOD IN HEAVEN, will you reveal yourself to me? Will you nurture me through reminding me of what I know about your character?

You love my children so much you know the exact number of hairs on their heads. You see where they’re at and are moved with deep love and wide compassion.

I believe that you are working in mighty ways in my kids’ lives. I don’t get why tough things happen, but I do know that you can and will pull good out of difficult. You are growing my teens, shaping them, molding their character. You are preparing a way – people for them to connect with and places for them to thrive. I know you can move mountains, and I pray that pebble-by-pebble you do.

Open our eyes to see you around us. Helping us notice how much there is to be grateful for. Help us see the people who do show up. Give us the strength to seek and accept help. Reveal solutions, then shower us with discernment and direction.

And through it all, wrap your hands of protection and love around our family.

Oh.

And one more thing…

Please, please, please, help me not to think this is my fault.

Help me to treat myself with the same tenderness and care I would treat anyone else with a ripped-out heart. Squash negative-self-talk with force, again and again, because it is a beast. AMEN.

Deep breath in.

Exhale slowly.

God loves your kids and is working in their lives.

God loves your kids and is working in their lives.

God loves your kids and is working in their lives.

Believe.

Stay on that floor as long as you need, there are no rules here. But when you get up, do so holding tight – with epic amounts of tenacity and stubbornness – to HOPE.

Read the full Parenting Teens and Tweens Series

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler.

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen
*ou Can’t Fix Your Struggling Teens Problems, But You Can Do This One Powerful Thing

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like…

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
To the Mom Who Mourns That Kids Grow Too Fast

Join this community of moms parenting teens and tweens.

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
parenting regrets

Parenting Regrets: 3 truths about “I wish I’d parented better.”

(Inside: Do you have parenting regrets? Things you wish you’d done “better?” Here are 3 truths to give you perspective.)

Can we talk about parenting regrets?

Because I’m convinced it’s one way Satan comes after moms raising tweens and teens.
 
Why we don’t always see it, I don’t know…the thief isn’t creative, he spams the same vulnerable buttons. Regret sneaks in disguised as reflection, yet can quickly turn into negative self-talk.

You observe your middle schooler/high schoolers’ actions or character qualities that aren’t working and find yourself thinking maybe life would be smoother for them now if I’d done “this” better when they were younger.

Regrets like…
 
School might be more manageable if I’d made them read more in elementary school. Or had a stricter routine around schoolwork earlier. Or gotten them a tutor. Or taken away video games. Or better shown them how fun learning is.
 
My teen struggles with friendships. But, what if… What if I had critiqued less and encouraged more? What if we’d specifically worked on being a better friend sooner? What if I’d built a more supportive community around my kid? Or signed them up for different activities?
 
My middle schooler is moody and disagreeable, maybe I should’ve focused more on relationship and less on rules. Or perhaps been tighter with respect expectations. Or taken them to a counselor. Or talked more about emotions. Or practiced healthy ways of communicating. Or parented them in a different way.
parenting regrets
Talk about parenting regrets and more…join this community of moms raising tweens and teens and get inspirational emails right here.

The years are speeding by, I wish I’d been home more. Or encouraged our family to be less busy. Or spent the money on vacations. Or taken more pictures. Or hit that record button.

My kid doesn’t seem interested in faith. I wish we would’ve spent more time with our church family. Or sent him to Sunday School. Or camp. Or emphasized family devotionals.
 
My teen didn’t make the team, I wish I would’ve started him in a sport younger. Or I should’ve encouraged something different – music, robotics, chess. We put our eggs in the wrong basket.
 
I don’t like what I’m seeing in parenting right now, so I should have…
 
And the list can go on…

Lately, uninvited regrets have kept messing with my mind.

Mainly, I think if I would’ve approached parenting differently when they were little, my kids wouldn’t struggle so much now in two specific areas.
 
But, stop.
 
Just full-on hit the brakes of that thought train.
 
Those are not the thoughts of loving a God who nurtures and encourages. Deep breath in. Exhale with length. I needed to hear The Holy One’s voice, so I used a technique that helped me gain perspective, and it started with truth.
 
I surrounded the regrets with truth…

Truth #1:

Tweens and teens aren’t supposed to have everything laid out perfectly for them. They need to learn how to struggle through life’s flaws. Mistakes and failures are an essential part of the growth and maturity of teens.

Truth #2:

God intentionally created all of us (Psalm 139:13-18), calls us his children (Galatians 3:26), takes great delight in us (Zephaniah 3:17), is with us (Isaiah 41:10), and has plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). So, we can safely operate from a place of hope – God is for all of us and is working in and around our lives.

Get to know your family more through keeping a family prayer journal…

parenting regrets

Truth #3:

If a regret is really bugging me, then I can let that point to some next right steps. Take the vacation. Encourage my kid to try something new. Have that conversation. Tweak the way I parent. Moms have a lifetime to work on their relationships with their kids, mom life doesn’t end when the 18th birthday candles are blown out.

So, take 5 steps back, Satan.

Do you know who you’re dealing with? A mom in the trenches of raising teens and moms of bigs know a thing or two…including truth. The pain of our regrets can point us to purpose in our future. Yes, we can’t redo, but you forget – we can always renew.

Join this community of moms raising older kids

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library.  (Including the  school checklist I created for my son – it’s editable, so you can tweak it to fit your kid.) 

Join our community here or below.

Let’s talk about parenting regrets and more… Be encouraged through the full “imperfectly thrive in parenting series.”

Parenting is one of my biggest joys. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. From a young age, I prayed to have a family, and sometimes I pinch myself that my dream came true.

However, because this phase of life means so much to me, I can put too much pressure on myself to make the most of every moment, to handle every situation flawlessly, and to be the best mom ever. The truth is, I won’t do it all well and it’s not supposed to be that way. 

One of God’s goals for me is to lean on him – to turn to him, to trust in him, to seek his guidance and favor in this motherhood experience. The dips and turns and messy in mom-life help me do that. 

What a gift the imperfect can be. I do my best to try and articulate this idea in my imperfectly thrive in motherhood series. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. 

Do You Need to Simplify Parenting? Collect Moments, Instead
Being a Parent is Hard for This One Reason: Here’s What Helps
Healthy Helicopter Parenting: A Story to Life You Up
Why Mom Mistakes Can Be Good

parenting regrets
Talk about parenting regrets and more…join this community of moms raising tweens and teens and get inspirational emails right here.
pray as a family

7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family

(Inside: Should you pray as a family? Does prayer actually work? Will praying bring your family closer together? Yes! Read on to learn how…)

Evening family prayer time is one of my favorite teen-years memories.

Our evenings weren’t perfect. But they were us – our family.

Before bed, we’d gather in the living room. We’d discuss the frustrations of school, friendships, our big emotions, family conflict, joys of life, stresses at work, happenings in our sports and activities, latest successes, disappointing failures, and how come we could never find matching socks.

Some nights a spark ignited, and we lingered over words and gratitude and requests. Other times, we rushed through the prayer anxious to go our separate ways. (Or didn’t have time to sit down together at all.)

We never read long devotionals or hovered over eloquent prayers. And one of my siblings and I usually laughed inappropriately. I don’t know what happened but when we all bowed in solemnness, my sister and I could not get our giggles under control. My parents gave up on fussing at us; it became part of the routine.

As an adult, I look back and cherish those evenings of all us sitting on our blue couch and lazy boy chairs.

I felt heard.

I felt part of a family.

I felt like God cared about my life and wanted to be near.

Prayer is powerful.

Praying as a family is even more powerful. Here are seven reasons why…

pray as a family
Pray as a family, bring your family closer together through the Family Prayer Journal – Get it HERE.

1. Prayer Nourishes Us

It’s no secret that both sides of the teen-years-coin (being a teen and parenting a teen) can be over busy and full of pressure. There are plays to audition for, teams to make, schoolwork to complete, the social scene to navigate, work to do, places to be on time, and anxiety to wade through. Just say “ACT test” in a room full of juniors (and their parents), and you’ll feel the tension rise.

But, in it all – God has us.

Specifically, one way that God soothes us, comforts us, ministers to us, and brings us peace in the crazy-town-hustle is through prayer.

Science supports the benefits of prayer. Richard Shiffman discusses reasons in his article Why People Who Pray Are Healthier Than Those Who Don’t.

He says, “Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiovascular specialist at Harvard Medical School and a pioneer in the field of mind/ body medicine discovered what he calls ‘the relaxation response,’ which occurs during periods of prayer and meditation. At such times, the body’s metabolism decreases, the heart rate slows, blood pressure goes down, and our breath becomes calmer and more regular.”

Shiffman outlines additional benefits of prayer including increased levels of dopamine (associated with happiness), reduced headaches, stronger immune system, reduced stress, and slower cell death. 

In the busy, we can surrender to the One who knows in the unknown. We breathe out our praise to Him, confess how we messed up, and share what’s worrying us. We breathe in knowing that He is on the Throne and loves us dearly. We ask for wisdom, direction, a peace that transcends all understanding, and in it all – we let ourselves feel God’s nourishment.

pray as a family
Pray as a family, bring your family closer together through the Family Prayer Journal – Get it HERE.

2. Prayer Builds Our Relationship with God

One thing that’s always puzzled me about scripture is why Jesus prayed so much. I mean, there were so many other important things to do. But, despite the rush, Jesus continually talked to God…

Jesus constantly wanted God’s input and thoughts and presence. God was Jesus’ buddy, his friend, his father.

Think about how we build a connection with our loved ones: we text, interact on social media, grab dinner together…we consistently check in with our people. When we put it in that context, it makes sense that Jesus was in constant conversation with his Abba. God invites us to talk to him all of the time too (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

He wants to weigh in on the decisions that we are making. He wants to cheer us on when things are hard. He wants to refocus us on what’s important. God wants to be in our years, our days, our moments – let’s build that friendship with Him through prayer.

3. Prayer Changes Circumstances

Does prayer actually change circumstances?

The short answer is yes; however, the answer is as complex as the question.

Besides witnessing prayers being answered in our own lives, there are examples in scripture when prayer transformed a situation; like when the Old Testament prophet, Elijah, prayed for the drought to end, and in 1 Kings 18:41-46, the sky broke open with rain.

But we also know that God doesn’t grant our every wish, so why prayer changes some circumstances and not others is a mystery I will never completely understand. This puzzling aspect of faith leads me to this big question: If God doesn’t say yes to all of our prayer requests, yet is in control and knows what’s going to happen, why even bother to pray?

I don’t know that I will ever have my question fully answered, but in my research, I found Dr. Stephen E. Witmer gave me fresh insight.

In his article What’s the Point of Praying?, he explains that “God ordains ends and God ordains means.” He uses the example of Elijah from James 5:16-18.

Dr. Witmer says, “God ordains the ends (that the rain will stop) and He ordains the means (Elijah’s fervent prayer for the rain to stop). Elijah’s prayer really was effective to stop the rain! God really answered his prayer.

Both the prayer and the answer to the prayer were ordained by God. This explains how prayer can have real results and God can be sovereign at the same time. God ordains the end result and God ordains your prayer as the means of getting to that end result. Why does God choose to work this way? Why not just do everything Himself? Why include us? I believe the answer is so that His people can be involved in His work and thus be drawn closer to Him.”

Dr. Whitmer went on to likened why God includes us in his work through prayer as to why parents expect their children to participate in family chores. Parents could clean the house themselves – and often that’s easier – but instead, they want their kids to contribute to and take ownership of their family as they learn to journey through life as part of a team.

Prayer is one way we can all be a part of God’s great work on this earth by helping change circumstances. So, we pray with hope, knowing that God is working in our lives and that he can provide, heal, and make all things new.

4. Prayer Transforms Us

As we just talked about, so often, we go into prayer because we want the One Who Knows to change what’s going on. And yes, that’s one reason to pray – there are needs to be met, healing to take place…we should pray for situations to be altered.

However, through prayer, God does something that some would argue is even bigger than changing circumstances.

He gives us peace in excruciating situations.

He provides hope when it doesn’t feel like there should be any.

Despite the pain, he grows in our core strength and courage and fierceness.

In troubling times, he opens our vocal cords and helps us find our voice.

When our surroundings seem muddled, he points our hearts to what’s most important.

He gives us a fresh perspective.

He renews our minds.

His gentle whispers shine just enough light that we can find our next right step.

Through our prayer journey, our wisdom grows, our relationship with Him strengthens, and our faith is built.

As Oswald Chambers says: “Prayer is less of a matter of changing things externally, but instead of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.” 

A powerful reason to pray is this: it transforms us in the very best of ways.

pray as a family
Pray as a family, bring your family closer together through the Family Prayer Journal – Get it HERE.

5. It’s a Place to Share Your Heart

When you’re a teen it can be hard to sort through your big feelings and share what you’re thinking. When you’re parenting a teen, you love your family so much that over-sized emotions around situations swirl and communicating can also be hard.

And the sit-down-look-me-in-the-eyes-share-your-feelings moments can sometimes feel like a bit much. It’s easier to talk in the car or as you walk the dog – shoulder-to-shoulder communication seems more inviting. Similarly, it can be easier to say what you’re thinking to God and let your family listen in.

Prayer is a safe place to lift the curtain of your heart so others can learn more about you. Also, by listening to your family’s words, you get to better understand their inner workings. Prayer connects – and that’s powerful.

6. When We Pray as a Family, It Gives Us a Chance to Bless Each Other

A friend told me that when she was a teen living with her grandparents, her grandpa would old-fashioned-style kneel in his study and pray out loud for his family. She teared up as she described his words: he’d tell God how much he cherished his granddaughter; he’d list off everything he loved about her; he’d ask for the Holy Spirit to protect her. Then, he would conclude by asking God to walk with my friend and guide her, give her hope, and fill her life with joy. (Now, I’m tearing up writing this.)

Family members should let each other hear their prayers.

Let’s let our family members hear us say how much we love them.

Let’s ask God to be the defender of our family members.

Let’s let our loved ones hear us ask the Holy One to shower peace and joy and blessings on them.

Let’s cry out to God to give our family members guidance and hope.

A family’s love for each member of their crew is unique and powerful. To love each other through supplications to God on behalf of each other is lifegiving and something everyone remember forever.

7. Pray as a Family to Teach Healthy Routines that Will Get Us Through Hard Times

I’ve already talked about Elijah, but I want to continue – he is my favorite. He was such a complex character in the Bible. In one moment, he had such faith, and in the next second, he was in despair with dwindling trust.

Elijah’s known for the big story in 1 Kings 18-19 when he challenges Baal worships to a whose-God-is-real-dual? The short version is that both sides built two altars. The Baal worshipers cried out to their god to light their altar on fire and nothing happened. Then Elijah cried out to the One True God and poof – flames. This made the ruler of the Baal-people angry, and she set out to have Elijah killed.

And that Elijah, the one who just witnessed the miracle and power of a God who supernaturally lit his altar on fire, well – he ran. He ran like Forrest Gump. When he finally paused, he was depressed and anxious and told God that he wanted to die.

What does God do? Tell him to pick himself up by his bootstraps and keep going? Scold him for not having enough faith?

Nope.

God tenderly cared for Elijah. He told him to eat and sleep. Next, God instructed Elijah to travel to the mountain, Horeb. However, it took 40 long days, so during that time, Elijah was to eat, drink, keep walking, and listen to God.

Do you see?

God gave Elijah the gift of mindless purpose through routine, so his brain had time to process his feelings and his heart could start to heal. Healthy routines help ease our anxiety as we hang on during a tough season and wait to find our next right steps.

Life is going to throw us zingers, no doubt. We can be doing “everything right,” being responsible, trying our hardest and at some point, the other shoe will drop. Hard times are a part of life.

But if in the good times, we establish healthy routines like eating well, exercising, carrying on the day’s responsibilities, and praying, then we’re giving ourselves a gift. Because when the difficult hits, we go back to the security those routines provide as we sift through our thoughts, sit in the pain, look for direction, and let ourselves begin the healing journey.

Prayer is a powerful part of our healthy routines and benefits us and our families in huge ways.

The Lasting Effect of When We Pray as a Family

I’m way past those teen years and our family prayer time with my parents. Instead, I’m in the years of raising tweens and teens.

My husband, our three boys (ages 15, 13, and 10), and I had just spent a lovely week visiting my folks. The morning we left, my mom did her familiar grab our hands and circle our family. My dad prayed over us with such love and care as he thanked God for our visit and asked for safety during our long drive home.

I didn’t laugh as I used to when I was a teen. Rather, I felt grateful. For the gift of family. For the gift of prayer, and how it binds us all together.

Pray as a Family using the Prayer Journal: Bring Your Family Closer Together in 30 Days

In raising tweens and teens, parents are acutely aware of the years speeding by and how much we still need to teach our kids about faith and family and loving well. However, between our kids’ schoolwork and places to be on time and ortho appointments to forget (then feel bad about later), it feels like there’s never time.

In the busy, how do we teach our kids (in a tangible way) to daily see God around them and daily walk with Him? How do we create moments that help us really get to know who our kids are and how they think? 

This Family Prayer Journal has been life-giving for my family, so I wanted to share it with your family too.

It’s a simple tool for your family to come together before bed, share what’s on your heart, and pray together. Bring your family closer together in 30 days through the pages of this Family Prayer Journal. Learn more here. 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library.  (Including the  school checklist I created for my son – it’s editable, so you can tweak it to fit your kid.) 

Join our community here or below.

gifts for moms

Read the Full “Raise Kids of Faith” Series. Pray as a family and more…

Over the years, as my kids have grown and their seasons have changed, I find myself going back to this one prayer, “Dear Jesus, please let my kids desire to have a relationship with you and follow you.” If as they journey through life, they consistently go back to their Creator for comfort and guidance, it’s all going to be okay.
So, as a mom, I strive to (in my imperfect way), teach my boys faith.

HOLIDAYS
10 Easy Way to Teach Your Kids The True Meaning of Christmas
A Busy Mom’s Christmas Prayer

TEACHING FAITH
Free eBook: Devotions for Kids and Families
5 Fantastic Devotionals that Help Create Forever Family Connections

TEACHING GRATITUDE
A Free Gratitude Journal Your Teen Will Love (Raise Grateful Kids)
The Science Behind Why a Gratitude Journal Works (Raise Happy, Faith-Filled Tweens and Teens)

Pray as a family using the Family Prayer Journal – Get it HERE.

Momma, is God in more control of your life than you think?

(Inside: God is still in control and reflection helps us see that. Here’s a powerful story from a woman who says, “Yes. God is still in control of your life.”)

“I think God is more in control of our lives than we let ourselves believe.”

I paused mid-coffee sip not because of what was said, but who said it. This woman sitting in front of me…this. woman. How do I string words together that accurately describe her? Clever, courageous, kind – she’s a go-getter. She’s experienced picket fences crumbling and putting pieces back together. She’s gone to the school of hard knocks, but also – she’s been to seminary, where she dove deep into God’s word, prayer, and theology. With her collective experience and knowledge, she’s the one I ask the hard theological and life questions.

So, the goosebumps are already queued up, I know this is going to be good, and I encourage her to go on.

Seeing God in control

Me: “What do you mean?”

Hero friend: So, in continuing our conversation on parenting – we had two kids, then our third child was special needs, as you know.

Me: Yes, I know…

Hero friend: My husband only wanted two kids. I pushed for the third and then he was special needs. Our lives were flipped upside down with properly caring for our baby.

(Pause)

Hero friend: A momma always loves her babies…always. And in those early years, I had some really good days caring for my special needs youngest. But there were days when I was stretched so thin, my heart would cry out: Why does my son have to be special needs? Why are simple daily tasks so hard? Why all the challenges?

Me: I think anyone would ask those questions…we all know how much you love your baby.

Hero friend: But, then, years later, when all three of our kids graduated high school, my husband decided he was done being married. He left. I was shocked – we were supposed to grow old together.

(Pause)

Hero friend: Here I am single and in my sixties with my adult special-needs son living with me.

She shrugged her shoulders and continued…

Hero friend: And, do you know what? I’m so grateful for how it all came together… I’m never lonely. My son is funny, kind, and tells me how much he loves me… He helps clean the house and gets dinner going – I mean, I know not all differently-abled adults can do that, but my son can and I’m blessed. Every day, I love coming home to him.

Me (goosebumps full-on emerged): I can see that…

Related article: 60+ Faith-Building Best Books for Moms

Is God in control of my life? Yes – more than you think…

Hero friend: It’s like God knew… God. Knew. He knew my husband would disappoint me. So, he gifted me with this beautiful, kind special-needs boy who I GET to have live with me. I mean – of course, we have challenges, I don’t mean to paint life as perfect…

(Pause)

Hero friend: But life is rich and full… I think God is more in control of our lives than we let ourselves believe.

This conversation happened two years ago, and I’ve thought about her story repeatedly.

(Pause)

Broken friendship – I wonder how God is going to spin this so good things come out of it?

Parenting disappointments – I wonder how God is going to shape my child in a beautiful way through this?

Career challenges – I wonder how God is going to sharpen my professional skills through this?

Sometimes people tell you the words of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

And other times, people take their lives – and show you.

God is still in control

Join this community of moms raising older kids

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms

More parenting resources…

AWESOME BOOKLISTS
Book Ideas for High School Teenagers

Book Ideas for Middle School Tweens

Inspirational Books Ideas for Moms

GIFT IDEAS
Gift ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens (Great for Mother’s Day!)

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

SCHOOL
Teen, These Big Reasons are Why You’ll Like Trying Hard in School (And, no, it’s not about grades.)

FAMILY CONNECTION IDEAS
Connect as a Family Over These Conversation Starters

GROW TOGETHER IN FAITH
7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family

 

God is still in control
best family devotionals

7+ Fantastic Devotionals that Help Create Forever Family Connections

(Inside: Best family devotionals that will help your loved ones grow in faith and connect as a family. Ideas that your family will love.)

You know you’ve dreamed this too…ever since the day we decided we wanted to have children, we all looked forward to it…

Our. Awesome. Parenting. Skills.

However, once that sweet baby was placed in our arms we melted apart like putty, then molded back into a completely different shape, forever changed. Starting our parenting journey unlocks a scary realization:  our best parenting days are behind us – before we had kids. That’s when we had all the parenting advice for everyone else because easy-peezy-common-sense-sherlock. 

But we forge ahead because we love these humans so there is no other direction. 

 

best family devotionals
Join our community of moms raising tweens and teens HERE.

A top parenting desire: family devotionals

One of the things, I’ve always aspired to do is hold epic family devotionals. Oh, I had visions: loved ones gathered ’round. All ears open. Hearts ready. Sunshine spotlighting down from the heavens. And the Holy Spirit. 

But, I’ve found this hard to do. Truthfully. I know that you make time for what’s important to you and blah, blah, blah… And…I even have a degree in education. Eh-hem. A master’s degree. Just busyness mixed with life has left me grasping for consistency and depth in this area.

Until a couple of years ago.

Something clicked. I don’t even know what, for sure. We’re still crazy busy, but we manage to come together about three nights a week to check in. And I mean really check in. Like ask questions about school, our mental state, and then read something that helps deepen our faith.

This is working better now, partly because my kids are older. But also, we’ve found some intriguing books and Bible studies that promote conversation and growth. I’m excited to share with you devotions that are a great fit for families of tweens and teens. 

Forget perfection

Before I go on, I must say this because it’s beating so loudly in my heart I won’t be able to hit publish without getting it out: you are still a good mom if you don’t ever do one family devotional. The end. 

There isn’t a perfect formula and one path only to teach your kids faith. 

As moms, we teach our kids the things that pulse in our inner being, and for me, that’s a deep longing to connect over traditional family devotionals. I am moved through Bible study, so wanted to share this method of deepening faith with my sons. But also, I hope this designated family time gives my kids a safe place to share what’s bothering them, me a chance to better get to know my kids, and helps us all create a strong intertwining family bond. 

Some days our family time is great and sometimes everyone’s cranky. Whatever. As a mom, I’m better learning to throw grace-on-ourselves-and-loved-ones around like confetti, not over-analyze and simply move forward. 

Best Family Devotionals

*All of the below links are my amazon affiliate links, meaning, I get a small commition at no extra cost to you.* 

100 Days to Brave (Annie F. Downs)

Best. Devotional. Ever.

We read one page a day. Annie gives a verse, a short story, and a takeaway. This has opened up deep conversations in our family around courage, school, friends and life. I highly recommend it. It is perfect for when life is crazy busy. It’s short, inspirational and each day ends with a dicussion question for families to connect over.

Top 20 Teens: Discovering the Best-Kept Thinking, Learning & Communicating Secrets of Successful Teenagers (Bernabei, Cody, Cole, Cole, Sweeney)

I did the Top 20 training as continuing education through the high school where I teach. As I listened, I felt intrinsically motivated to aim high, work hard, embrace kindness and be a better person. I love how this book communicates to young people. It’s fantastic. No, it’s not the Bible, but much of the principles are what they teach in Sunday school, so we loved it. We read one short chapter at a time and discussed questions listed at the end.

Gideon – Your Weakness, God’s Strength (Priscilla Shirer)

Priscilla’s studies are always rich in learning about scripture, history, and application. I loved this study. It’s about turning weakness into strength and watching God move through the hard parts of your lives. I did this by myself after a particularly difficult season – it’s in the que to do again with my family. 

Book of Matthew – The Words and Stories of Jesus

We read through the stories and words of Jesus in Matthew. It’s so simple, yet promotes good conversation. I wrote out a schedule and it’s in the Empowered Moms and Kids Freebie library. Click on the link below to get instant access. 

Yes, I want the Bible Reading Plan!

Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story (Angie Smith)

A friend recommended this to me. It gives an overview of the Bible with life applications. It’s more intense and time-consuming than some of the devotions listed above, but I liked doing this study with my kids. Plus, we did this during the summer when we had more time. It gave a solid overview of the Bible and our salvation story through Christ. 

There is also a teen edition, though my friend has done them both and doesn’t think there is a huge difference. That’s why we did the adult version as a family.

Known By His Names: A 365-Day Journey From The Beginning to The Amen (Elizabeth Spencer)

If you want a short daily devotion that helps your family really see and feel how much God loves them, I highly recommend Known By His Names by Elizabeth Spencer. It is rich in beautiful scripture and deep insight. I read it through like a book instead of one page a day. 

It’s one that you could linger and discuss over at length or is also great for a quick devotional before everyone hurriedly scatters in different directions. Regardless, it’s worth your time. What a beautiful, beautiful book that you can feel the Holy Spirit move through.

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Sarah Young)

This is another gorgeous devotional that helps us all hear God talk daily to our hearts. It opens our eyes to see God work all around us, moving, shaping with purpose, nourishing, comforting, and giving us peace. 

Our family is currently working through this devotional. I like that there are 2-3 scripture references for my kids to look up. I love to see my kids’ hands in the Bible. It’s great for the busy season, and if we miss a day, we just skip it and find the current date in the book. Each day is amazing – you can’t go wrong with Jesus Calling. 

Bonus: Supplement Your Devotional with a Prayer Journal

I created a Prayer Journal for families raising tweens and teens. Included in the digital download:

  • 7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family Inspirational Essay
  • How to use the prayer journal page.
  • 30 days of journal pages: Day 1 (and all the odd days following) starts with a verse that focuses on God’s love for your family. Day 2 (and all the even days following) features a verse that focuses on your family’s love of God. These beautiful pages hold places to write your family’s reflections on what they’re grateful for and their prayer requests. 

    Your family will grow to love this intentional practice of walking with Jesus and learning to communicate and love each other better. Plus, this is a lovely keepsake your momma’s heart will cherish. 

Your turn

What Bible studies are your family loving? Or how do you grow faith and/or create family connect that isn’t in a study or book? I’d love to know. Email me or share in the comments. 

Be encouraged by the full “raise kids of faith” series.

Over the years, as my kids have grown and their seasons have changed, I find myself going back to this one prayer, “Dear Jesus, please let my kids desire to have a relationship with you and follow you.” If as they journey through life, they consistently go back to their Creator for comfort and guidance – it’s all going to be okay.

So, as a mom, I strive to (in my imperfect way) teach my boys faith.

HOLIDAYS
10 Easy Way to Teach Your Kids The True Meaning of Christmas
A Busy Mom’s Christmas Prayer

TEACHING FAITH
Free eBook: Devotions for Kids and Families
5 Fantastic Devotionals that Help Create Forever Family Connections

TEACHING GRATITUDE
A Free Gratitude Journal Your Teen Will Love (Raise Grateful Kids)
The Science Behind Why a Gratitude Journal Works (Raise Happy, Faith-Filled Tweens and Teens)

 

 

best family devotionals
Join our community of moms raising tweens and teens HERE.

Join this community of moms of older kids

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.-You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kids, feel empowered in your personal growth, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get inspiration, resources, and stories in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below.

family bible reading plan

A Fantastic Way for Your Family to be Fueled by the Bible in Busy Mom Life (Freebie)

(Inside: A free family bible reading plan you will love. In your busy mom life, be fueled by Jesus’ words of love and hope. Raise kids of faith who hear Jesus’ voice in their everyday life.)

“I need to hear God’s word.”

This thought slipped out of my mouth unexpectedly. And took me off guard.  My life boasted no crisis. Or drama. Nothing burdened my heart. No life event sent me to my knees. 

In between dropping boys off at soccer practice, scheduling dentist appointments, and teaching my high school students, I longed for a voice that’d lately felt quiet. 

Jesus’s voice. 

It’s like when I haven’t talked to my mom or sister or grandma in a while. A moment washes over me when I need to pick up the phone and simply hear their voices. I need to hear their inflections. And tones. The people I love’s words. 

I needed to hear Jesus in the same way. I longed to hear the stories that nourished my childhood. I ached for the words that change people’s lives for the better. I wished for words that reminded me that all of our lives are a part of a much bigger story. 

 

Related article: 60+ Encouraging and Inspirational Best Books for Moms

Grab the Free Family Bible Reading Plan plus get instant access to the Freebie Library that includes 15+ empowering freebies for moms raising older kids.
Yes, I want all of the Freebies!

The Bible Stories That Fuel Us

But, I didn’t just crave any Bible stories, I specifically longed to hear the words Jesus spoke and the life he lived. I longed to hear…

I longed to hear who Jesus is, how he lived, and what he did for us. I needed to feel Jesus living in me, walking near me, and going before me. 

How do we fit in a family Bible reading plan when we’re so crazy busy?

When we’re busy, we work with the life we have to accomplish our heart’s longings.

Now, my life is taxiing kids to activities, helping with homework, teaching high school, and keeping the fires burning at home. If I’m going to fit in reading the Bible regularly in this season, I need to regularly make it work with where my focus is – connecting witmy family. 

So, I created a free Bible reading plan I’ve been reading through with my family and oh how I love it…

A Free Family Bible Reading Plan You’ll Love

Here’s the skinny… Our focus is on reading about Jesus’ ministry and hearing the words he spoke.

  • We read a bite-size, digestible section a night.
  • We then ask three great questions that have sparked great conversation.
  • And we end with journaling (optional) about we want to remember and three things we’re grateful for. 

 

Related article: Best Podcasts Every Mom Needs to Hear

Get the Free Family Bible Reading plan plus more awesome freebies by clicking on the button below.
Yes, I want all of the Freebies!

Get the Free Bible Reading Plan Here

I’d love to share this Bible reading plan with you. So, I put together a lovely printable outlining reading the book of Matthew four days a week. I included discussion questions and journal prompts for you and your family.

So, onto your turn…

What or who keeps you the busiest right now? How could you realistically include the nourishing words of Jesus in your life? The family Bible reading plan doesn’t have to be read with your people. Maybe you’d like to fit in Jesus’ words into your everyday life in a different way. Here are some ideas:

  • Find a coworker friend and talk about this a few times a week over your lunch break. 
  • Make this dinner-time discussion with your spouse/significant other.
  • Invite your grandbabies (and their parents over) once a week and chip away at the Bible reading and discussion.
  • Make this the right-before-bed discussion about 4 times a week with your children. (This is what we do!)
  • Use this at your quiet time.
  • Moms with babies – leave your Bible out on your kitchen counter and read it as your baby throws her spaghetti lunch on the ground. (Also, take deep breaths – you’re a rock-star-momma and this too shall pass quicker than you’d actually like!)
  • Read these short, digestible passages before you get out of bed in the morning.


However you choose to input Jesus’ words, remember there’s no right or wrong way to do this. Jesus meets you where you are and blesses you in ways you can’t even fully imagine until you simply dive in and listen to him speak to you. 

Grab the freebie below, then come back and tell us how you’re using it. 

Yes, I want the Bible Reading Plan!

Let’s stay connected! Join this community of moms of older kids.

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kids, feel empowered in your personal growth, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get inspiration, resources, and stories in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms

Want more parenting stories and resources?

AWESOME BOOKLISTS
Book Ideas for High School Teenagers

Book Ideas for Middle School Tweens

Inspirational Books Ideas for Moms

GIFT IDEAS
Gift ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens (Great for Mother’s Day!)

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

SCHOOL
Teen, These Big Reasons are Why You’ll Like Trying Hard in School (And, no, it’s not about grades.)

FAMILY CONNECTION IDEAS
Connect as a Family Over These Conversation Starters

my teen has low motivation

Frustrated Mom – Your Unmotivated Teen Will Find Success

(Inside: My teen has no motivation. What should I do? Help me gain perspective on this!)

My teen has no motivation

I had a wretched evening. My middle school son and I battled over his schoolwork and I felt completely discouraged…

The next morning, I went to a student-of-the-year presentation at the high school where I teach. Each teacher picks a student who has stood out over the year. This award is a big deal.

Low motivation in teens is not uncommon

A teacher stood up with a graduating senior I’d had in previous years. She’d both warmed-my-teacher-heart and broken-my-teacher-heart. Incredibly likable, this girl was kind and fun to be around. But she didn’t like homework, or goals…or really doing anything academic at all.

Despite encouragement and talking-to and phone calls home, her mom and I barely dragged her over the passing line in my class. For three high school years, she struggled to find any success at all in school.

Are you tired of nagging your big kid to take care of their responsibilities? I would through a tough school phase with my son, and communicating through a checklist was a game changer. Read more in the description here.

How this teen became motivated

Then something happened – I don’t know really, but her senior year, we all saw a change in her.

She carried herself differently. With more confidence. Like she’d made up her mind to do well and now she was ready to take some steps.

She started making plans for after graduation – her future excited her. She took on more leadership roles in school – her confidence grew. She focused on getting assignments completed and turned in – her grades went up.

And now she was standing on a stage being applauded by a room full of teachers, administrators, parents, and peers.

Her mom beamed as she came over to say hello after the presentation. I asked, “What changed?” She said, her daughter…

Ready for this life-changing event?

This lighting strike moment?

…she said her daughter simply matured.

Related Article: A family connection activity to increase you and your kid’s happiness

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Moms, we keep giving our unmotivated teens the tools to success

No big dramatic moment, instead, at the end of her junior year, she quietly began to “grow up.” All the things her parents and teachers said to her finally started to sink in. And because she’d been given the tools to find success over the years, she knew to pull them out and start testing a few. Also, because everyone unconditionally loved her when she wasn’t using her gifts, I imagine she knew she had nothing to lose by simply trying.

This mom’s words were exactly what I needed to hear.

Just because my kid fought me on completing homework well, doesn’t mean he always will….

And just because our kids don’t always make good choices, doesn’t mean they always will… Just because our kids are moody and cranky with us, doesn’t mean they always will… And just because our kids can seem apathetic with no ambition or direction, it doesn’t mean they always will…

Sometimes kids just need time…

to grow…
to let it all sink in…
to be a late bloomer…
and mature.

 

Related Article: How to Get Your Teen to Their Aha Moments (Better communicate with your teen)

Have faith – your kid will find their way

Moms, we stay the course. We keep loving and encouraging our kids through the high moments and the low moments. Even if our kids don’t respond to our “motivation” and “wisdom,” we keep giving them tools. We keep placing in their toolbox life lessons and tangible steps of how to be successful along with a ton of unconditional love.

And then we know – we really know and believe…
…that maturity will happen…eventually.

Join this mom community of moms of older kids

Are you parenting tweens and teens? Then you’re in the right place and I’d love to stay connected. Get instant access to 17+ helpful freebies and monthly empowering emails by clicking here (or below).

gifts for moms

Read more in the helping your big kid thrive in school series…

As a high school teacher for over two decades, I love, love, love watching kids learn. It’s okay if there are struggles in their educational journey. Not just okay – normal, even. We just keep stressing the importance of education and giving them the tools for success. And then we encourage our kids and love them well.

I hope you enjoy these articles.

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PARENTS
Teen, These Big Reasons are Why You’ll Like Trying Hard in School

GETTING ORGANIZED
A Simple Way to Motivate Teens to Be More Responsible

BOOKLISTS
146+ Best Chapter Books for Tweens that Will Also Build Character
Compelling Books that High Schoolers Will Want to Read

my tween has low motivation
Photo by Rubén Rodriguez on Unsplash
more time moms

60+ Encouraging & Inspirational Best Books for Mothers

(Inside: Best inspirational books for mothers. Enjoy these quick reads that will inspire, encourage, and motivate you to love your mom life. )

best inspirational books for moms
Yes, I want all of the Freebies!

A book healed me. 

Okay, maybe that’s not totally true, but a book started my healing process. I was in a deep mom slump. A miscarriage followed by a job loss left me feeling beaten down at best. I’d never read inspirational Christian books before, but a title caught my eye: Uninvited – Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Lysa TerKeurst)  

I didn’t feel left out, but I felt sad (like all the time) and I cried a lot (like every day) and this book just seemed hopeful 

So, I started reading. Then this crazy thing happened…I felt better. Not a lot better, simply one minuscule click forward. But still, it was progress. So, I picked up another inspirational book. 

Then another. 

Dr. Gotham famously says a healthy marriage needs 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative one. (The magic 5:1 ratio.) I think our relationship with ourselves is the same: 5 positive thoughts for every 1 negative one. Except, in that low season of my life, one negative thought seemed to exponentially multiply – so I found that I needed to input about 15000 positive thoughts daily. Or maybe even hourly. As a result, I kept finding more inspirational books and reading them.   

(And did other work as well in healing. Lots of “other” work.) 

But slowly – at turtle speed – I climbed out of my valley. And it was through books that I kept a steady stream of encouragement flowing into my brain. So, momma, I don’t know where you’re at in motherhood: 

  • Are you depressed or feeling anxious? 
  • Are you trying to make a decision? 
  • Do you need the confidence to go after your dream? 
  • Do you just need encouragement to keep you going? 
  • Or things are going great, you just need “maintenance.” 


Here are some best books for moms to read. I’ve read most of them and the few I haven’t are on my “must-read” list. There is a book on this list that will move you. Read with joy, then tell me about it in the comments. (Or let me know about a book I missed!) 

Now, onto the list of best books for moms… 

books for mothers
Photo by Prasanna Kumar on Unsplash

This blog post contains affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission if you purchase through these links.  (At no extra cost to you.)

“I need to heal” best inspirational books for mothers 

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered (Lysa TerKeurst)
This is my number one recommendation. Lysa healed from a marriage betrayal, cancer, and more. I underlined every other sentence in this book.   

I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Joy and Grief (Angie Smith) 
Angie walks you through her high-risk pregnancy. She knew her baby would die days/weeks after she gave birth. This book will both tear you apart and put you back together.  

The Broken Way: A Daring Path to the Abundant Life (Ann Voskamp) 
I found this book right when I needed it. It gives you a fresh look at pain and how it transforms your life in amazing ways. This book takes away the fear of hard stuff happening. You’ll see how that the cracks in your life let God’s love into your heart in breathtaking ways.  

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Lysa TerKeurst)  
I picked up this book when I was going through a painful period in my life; I had no idea how healing reading it would be. The bottom line is that it made me think about the root of some of my pain, which was seeking approval.  For anyone who struggles with people-pleasing, this is a must-read.  

Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole (Angie Smith) 
Angie wondered if really all hard things worked together for good. She took time to sort through her thoughts and research heartache; this is her story.  

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant) 
Sheryl Sandberg, a key leader in the Facebook company, shares her story of unexpectedly losing her husband. Through the grief and pain, her counselor helps her put her life back together.  

Learning to Breathe Again: Choosing Life and Finding Hope After a Shattering Loss (Tammy Trent)
Tammy and her husband were vacationing and unexpectedly, Tammy’s husband died while swimming in the ocean. This is Tammy’s story of healing and learning to breathe again.  

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way (Shauna Niequist)
I read this book just when I needed to hear this message. Amazon review explains: “Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness.” 

The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It Hurts (Sarah Mae)
Sarah tells her story of her tumultuous relationship with her alcoholic mom. The book has both Sarah’s words and her mom’s journals. Was Sarah makes sense of their rocky relationship, she finds healing, peace, and love. 

Fight Back with Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears (Margaret Feinberg)
Margaret talks about her battle with cancer and her determination to find joy in the journey. This book will encourage you to live well, even when it’s hard.  

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Brene Brown)
I don’t remember this book having any faith associations, but Brene’s research on shame is eye-opening and transformative.   

Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again
Lysa’s well-researched book helps people heal from past hurts. She shares her personal stories, Bible teaching, a therapeutic insight that helps one heal and look forward with hope.

 

“I need to stop feeling so stressed in mom life” best inspirational books for mothers

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions (Lysa TerKeurst) 
Lysa meetbusy moms (and women) right where they’re out. She’ll help you find calm in big emotions and joy in the journey.  

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living (Shauna Niequist)
Shauna’s stories opened my eyes to see the practices in my life that were soul-sucking those that were lifegiving. The book gave me confidence to lean into what really matters.  

Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World (Emily P. Freeman)
This book will help you slow down and look at your world around you with wonder and a renewed appreciation.  

What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms (Angie Smith) 
What Women Fear helps moms understand what we fear and why we fear these things. As we unpack our thoughts, we learn to overcome our fears with confidence.  

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (Jen Hatmaker)
After reading this book, I looked at all the “stuff” in my life and was able to let go of clutter that was supposed to be making me happy but instead was causing me stress. My faith grew in huge ways through reading Jen’s work.  

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of Your Try Hard Life (Emily P. Freeman) 
This is on my to-read list. Here’s what the review on Amazon says: “Many of us believe that we are saved by grace–but for too many, that’s the last time grace defines our life. Instead of clinging to grace, we strive for good and believe that the Christian life means hard work and a sweet disposition. As good girls, we focus on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives, and our unshakable good moods. When we fail to measure up to our own impossible standards, we hide behind our good girl masks, determined to keep our weakness a secret. In Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman invites women to let go of the try-hard life and realize that in Christ we are free to receive from him rather than constantly try to achieve for him.” 

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy (Anne Lammott)
Anne shares sweet and funny stories that teach us how an imperfect life points us to hallelujah anyway! 

Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life (Shauna Niequist)
This collection of stories will help you see how many beautiful, extraordinary moments are tucked into ordinary life.  

Hungry for God: Hearing God’s Voice in the Ordinary and the Everyday (Margaret Feinberg) 
Through this book, hear God’s voice in your ordinary life and let stress melt away.  

Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Ann Voskamp)
Ann was in a deep valley of sorrow and sadness. She desperately wanted to pull herself out of her depression, but she wasn’t sure how. So, she started writing down all the things she was grateful for. 1000 things. This book is poetic and beautiful. You won’t see the world around you the same again 

 

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“I need motivation” best inspirational books for mothers

Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits that Build Confidence, Courage, and Influence (Valorie Burton)
This is the best motivational book I’ve ever read. It will halt your fear, shift your perspective and motivate you to go for it. With confidence.  

How to Have Your Life Not Suck: Becoming Today Who You Want to Be Tomorrow (Bianca Olthoff)
If you need motivation and practical advice on how to rock your everyday life, Bianca is your girl. I haven’t read this book, but I’ve listened to her talk about it on a podcast and I can’t wait to pick it up.  

Girl Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So YOU Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Rachel Hollis)
I loved this book. Rachel outlines the lies she once believeand how she overcame them. Her stories are hilarious, personal, serious, and heart-wrenching. This is a best seller for a reason. Pick up this book! 

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals.  (Rachel Hollis)
The beat of inspiration in this book will become the soundtrack in your head as you think about your goals, set up real steps to achieve them, and feel motivated to go big.  

Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World (Lisa Bevere)
Lisa wakes women up to their calling and gives them the inspiration to change their world.  

Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying It When You Want to Burn it All Down (Sophie Hudson)
This is on my list of books to read. I’ve read Sophie’s other books and she is hilariousinspiring. and a great storyteller. This read has to be a good one.  

Everything is Figureoutable (Marie Forleo)
I’ve listened to Maria’s podcast and she is the real deal. There’s a reason why I listen to her motivational podcasts while I run. So, I’m excited to read her encouragement in her newest book. 

Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People (Bob Goff)
Bob helps us all discover how incredibly important our lives are and the type of huge impact we can make in our corner of the world. This book will make you feel inspired and happy. 

 

“I need direction ” best inspirational books for mothers

The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions (Emily Freeman)
 I struggle so much with making both big and small decision. Whether you have decision fatigue (often a result of low-grade daily anxiety) or complete decision paralysis, this book will help you. In it, you’ll untangle the art of making decisions, gain a renewed perspective and feel more confident. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it twice and underlined 50% of the sentences. I highly recommend it.  

100 Days to Be Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self (Annie Downs)
This daily devotional was one of my favorites. The daily words on being brave lit my heart on fire and empowered me to choose to live in courage.  

Own Your Life: living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love (Sally Clarkson)
I admire how Sally lives life her way. Meaning, in deep faith, she follows God’s call even if it goes against the grain. (Like some examples of how she parents.) If you want to take a more thoughtful look at your own life and move forward more intentionally, this book is for you.  

Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God is Speaking (Priscilla Shirer)
This is on my list of books to read. I’ve read Priscilla’s work before and have heard her speak – she’s amazing! 

Do It Scared: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears, Overcome Adversity, and Create a Life You Love (Ruth Soukup)
This book is sitting on my nightstand to read. I listen to Ruth’s podcasts and love how in 20 minutes I can feel empowered and inspired. I truly have used her phrase “do it scare” to hit publish on this blog, get on the treadmill, or in other areas of my life.  

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (Bob Goff)
I loved this book. Bob Goff tells stories that point you to see God move and guide you in the ordinary. Though the book is more about seeing God in the ordinary, what Bob says about “God’s will for your life” was life-giving, direction-leading thought. I had a total aha moment with this book! 

 

“I need to laugh” best inspirational books for mothers 

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards (Jen Hatmaker)
Jen Hatmaker is the funniest author ever. She weaves faith and mom life into hilarious tales that will make you laugh and grow your wisdom.  

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight out of This Wild and Glorious Life (Jen Hatmaker)
Again – Jen writes hilarious, inspirational, thought-provoking books just for moms. I always enjoy her tales.  

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon (Sophie Hudson)
Sophie is also so funny. She tells stories of life that will take the edge off of a bad day, make you laugh and inspire your faith.  

Fierce Free and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You  (Jen Hatmaker)
This is Jen’s newest book and it’s on my list to read. I always love Jen’s humor – so I read everything she writes.  

Home is Where My People Are: The Roads that Lead Us to Where We Belong (Sophie Hudson)
Again – faith-filled, hilarious stories you will love.  

 

“I want to be inspired to be more creative” best inspirational books for mothers 

A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live (Emily P. Freeman)
If you are not convinced that God designed us to be creative, this book will change your mind. You’ll be inspired to pick up that artistic expression you’ve been longing to do and go for it with absolute joy. I loved how Emily taught us creativity through the lens of God’s design for our lives. This book is so good.  

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anne Lamott)
Anne shares both her writing journal, her tips on being a writer. The book reads like a story, yet through it you’ll increase your knowledge on how to be a better writer.  

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Elizabeth Gilbert)
This book doesn’t have a religious affiliation (and she writer drops the F-bomb a bit), but I lenmy copy to my pastor’s wife and she liked it, so there’s that. This book I found incredibly inspirational – you’ll fall more in love with your craft because of Elizabeth’s word.  

 

“I want to get healthy” best inspirational books for mothers

Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food (Lysa TerKeurst)
I read this book and found it an interesting way to get yourself back in shape. She makes eating well, exercising and losing weight into a spiritual experience. This book isn’t for everyone, but it just might be for you.  

 

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“I want to grow my faith” best inspirational books for moms 

Chasing God (Angie Smith)
If you feel like you are always chasing God, but you don’t actually know him, then this book is for you! It will open your eyes to seeing how God meets you right where you’re at, in the simple, every day.  

Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity (Jen Hatmaker) 
Jen opened my eyes to see the world around me through the eyes of Jesus. Meaning, she challenged me to notice people who aren’t like me. (And celebrate them.) She also challenges us to give in bigger ways that are out of our comfort zone. This book will grow your faith and change your perspective in a very good way.  

The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ’s Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children (Sally Clarkson)
I was over-the-moon with this book when I read it. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom and Sally opened my eyes to see how important my work was being with my littles. As I parent older kids, I still carry her words with me. All mommas, read this book! 

The Organic God (Margaret Feinberg)
This is absolutely one of my favorite books. Margaret tells beautiful stories that help you better understand who God is and see Him working all around you.  

UnsuperMommy: Release Expectation, Embrace Imperfection, and Connect to God’s Superpower (Maggie Combs)
Maggie does a great job of walking moms through the holy experience of motherhood. She gives moms a ton of grace and encouragement. This is a quick read and an uplifting experience.  

Play with Fire: Discovering Fierce Faith, Unquenchable Passion, and a Life-Giving God (Bianca Olthoff)
As you read Bianca’s story of growing her own faith, you’ll find a piece of yourself somewhere along the way. What I remember most about this book is being completely overcome with a real-lifeprayed-for miracle that happened. There is a real God who loves us and fights for us and Bianca helps you know Him more.  

Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, as you Are. (Shauna Niequist)
This is a daily devotional that helps you find joy and faith in ordinary life. When I bought this book, I didn’t realize it was a devotional. I was disappointed because I don’t normally read daily devotionals. But I read it anyway and found it to be lovely. I was glad I picked it up. 

Table Life – Savoring the Hospitality of Jesus in Your Home (Joanne Thompson)
Reading this book gave me a fresh perspective on how sacred the dinner table is and the ministry that flows from it.  

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith (Barbara Brown Taylor)
A friend lent me this, but I ended up buying my own copy so I could highlight it up! Barbara Brown Taylor is a former minister with a gift for teaching about faith. I think you’ll love this book too.  

Awaken: 90 Days with the God who Speaks (Pricilla Shirer) 
I haven’t read this, but I’ve listened to Priscilla’s podcasts and have done her Bible studies. I love her! 

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God (Margaret Feinberg)
I crave reading these kinds of books that open my eyes to see a living, breathing God who daily surrounds us. This was an easy read that lifted my heart.  

The Power of a Praying Parent Book of Prayers (Stormie Omartian)
I can’t read Stormie’s books at night because her written-out prayers hold such power, love, and inspiration, that I get excited about praying for my family and can’t sleep! This is a great morning book. 

Seeing Beautiful Again: 50 Devotions to Find Redemption in Every Part of Your Story 
“Lysa TerKeurst shares how she processed seasons of disappointment and heartbreak, while inviting you to hope again.” (Amazon description)

Known By His Names: A 365-Day Journey From The Beginning to The Amen
Through the 365 names of God that are taught, I learned how much God loves us and how intimately He is involved in all of our lives. I love this devotional!

 

“I need a friend” best inspirational books for moms 

Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom (Elisabeth Hasselbeck)
Elisabeth walks you through her season on the popular reality television show Survivor, her decade on The View, and her few years at Fox News. The tone of this book is friend-like, casual, and vulnerable. Elisabeth shares her story of life and faith with you – it’s refreshing and uplifting.  

Finding the Bright Side: The Art of Chasing What Matters (Shannon Bream) 
Shannon shares her journey of beauty pageants (competing on a National level), law school, becoming a popular news broadcaster, her husband’s cancer battle and her decision not to have kids. In it all, she shares how her journey has deepened her faith. You feel like you’re talking to a friend.  

Brave Love: Making Space for You to Be you (Lisa Leonard)
Even though I don’t know Lisa personally, I’ve ordered a ton of her jewelry and got to be on her book launch team. This book tells her story of how she built her wildly successful business, her journey with parenting a special needs son, her perserverance through marrital strife, and how she conquers life. 

Becoming (Michelle Obama)
Where do I start with this book? No matter what your political stance is, Michelle Obama is your girl. Honest, vulnerable and incredibly likeable, I ate up this book. I walked away feeling encouraged and inspired. (And like I could do anything!)

 

“I need to relate to my kid better” best inspirational books for moms 

Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him (Sally Clarkson and Nathan Clarkson)
Sally’s son Nathan grew up with some serious mental health issues. Both Nathan and Sally tell how they learned to better connect and understand each other. Nathan shares his story of learning about himself and growing into a thriving, happy adult. Then Sally shares the mom side of his journey. This story is a tear-jerker and will help you see your challenging child as the blessing that he (or she) already is.  

 

“Help me overcome perfectionism” best inspirational books for moms 

Why Your Best is Good Enough (Kevin Leman)
I love the wisdom and humor of psychologist, Kevin Lehman. This book was one of my favorites that he’s written. (And I’ve read many!)  Amazon review says, “Dr. Kevin Leman helps those who struggle with self-doubt to value their talents and gifts and accept their shortcomings. He points out why the lifestyle we develop as a child determines our degree of success or failure and explains how, regardless of the past, each person can develop a healthy lifestyle today.” 

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Brené Brown) 
Often, we see “perfection” as life’s gift, but really “imperfection” is what connects us with others and transforms us in wonderful ways. Brené’s words gave me confidence to pursue purpose instead of perfect, quit being so dang hard on myself, and live life with more joy.  

Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith (Karen Ehman)
Karen’s work is delightful to read. Here writing style will both teach you and make you laugh. (She’s funny!) Be inspired by her journey to let it go!  

 

Your Turn: What are your favorite books for mothers?

What motivational and inspirational books did I miss? What have you read lately that has moved your heart? Leave your thoughts in the comments.  

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Read the Full Series on Self-Care & Inspiration for Moms

Why is self-care so hard for moms? Y’all, I ignored it for so long, that I had an epic mom crash. (I talk about it over here.) I never want to go there again, so it’s game on, self-care!

I recently listened to a podcast by the author of my favorite book on creativity (affiliate link), Liz Gilbert, where she talked about how she feels like she has been given the divine responsibility of being in charge of “Liz,” so needs to do what’s best for “Liz.”

Okay, I hope I don’t mess up the interpretation of what she said too much, but let me tell you how it went into my heart…

God gives us the sacred responsibility of taking care of ourselves. So, I need to see myself in the 3rd person. I need to step outside of myself and say, “Cheryl doesn’t need to be doing that. She’s done enough..she needs sleep, or to say ‘no,’ or to sit and pet her beloved dog.”

For this go-go-go, do-all-the-things girl, that way of explaining our self-obligation was powerful. Self-care is vital. We better serve our families and communities when we are in a good place. So, be encouraged by the full series on self-care and other inspiration for moms.

Self-care & Inspiration for Moms Series

INSPIRATION TO REFUEL MOMS
7 Christian Meditations for Busy Moms Just Like You
Best Podcasts Every Mom Needs to Hear
5 Best Relaxing Songs to Make Your Day Better
Need Hope? Look for it – Hope will Always Come Back to You

SELF-CARE IN THE CHAOS
8 Reasons Why “Me Time” for Moms is Good FOR YOUR KIDS
The Power of Finding Peace and Joy In the Choas of Momlife
Moms Need a Break and Good Things Can Come of It

encouragement on valentines day

See Your Greatest True Love on Valentine’s Day

(Inside: Valentine’s day isn’t always roses when it comes to relationships. So remember who your greatest True Love is. See your greatest love on Valentine’s day.  Encouragement for Valentine’s Day.)

I brushed my fingers over the pink iridescent hearts on the Valentine’s Day cards. I thought of the love words I’d write to my sons, to my husband…

Then my mind switched to a friend who’s been in my thoughts – this is her first year as a divorcee. I knew this holiday would hold pain. For the first time in years, her husband wouldn’t be giving her the flowers, instead, they’d go to the woman he’d chosen over her.

I thought of my grandma, she’s been decades without my grandpa – I know she’d think of him on this day, missing him with the same intensity as the day after he died.

I thought of the past times my husband and I had skipped the fluff of Valentine’s day, because of our budget and because we were in survival mode with three small kids. (“You love me. I love you.” High five. The end.)Valentine’s day sometimes plays out like a chapter in a romance novel. 

But, whether we have the roses in our hands or not – Valentine’s Day always holds love. Always. Because there’s One who calls out to us – all of us – on this day…

Pay attention, you’ll see Him…

He tucks silky rose petals into all areas of our lives.

He reminds us of His extravagant love.

The air whips around me as I walk around the lake, and I can’t take my eyes off of the huge flock of geese circling and landing in an intricate dance reminding me we’re all a part of a bigger story. I hear God gently stir these words in me…Trust in me. I am in control of your story… I see you and I love you.

Again, I heard the voice when I tucked the clean sheets around the corners of my son’s bed. I smelled the aroma of fresh linens and am transported back to my childhood. When living in New Mexico, my mom always hung my sheets outside to dry. She’d lay the linens over my bed and declare that clothesline sheets smelled the best…I hear God press deep inside of me, I gift you with good memories because…I see you and I love you.

My friend and I sit legs tucked under us near her living room fire; the heat cuts through the Minnesota chill. We shared for three hours – three hours! – about parenting, careers, relationships, dreams, and more dreams. As I drive home that night, in the stillness of my car, God says to me…I will always provide you with your people…I see you and I love you.

My golden doodle greets me when I get home. Tail-wagging, love abounding, I’m a celebrity. I hear again, I fill your day with simple pleasures on purpose…I want to consistently remind you… I see you and I love you.

Or I hear my three boys talking. They’re hovered around a Calvin and Hobbes comic book laughing. “Do you remember when I put you in the red wagon and sent you down the hill like this picture,” the older says to the younger pointing to the comic book. They laugh hysterically. “At least you put a helmet on me,” the younger remembers. I thought I understood love, but then I gave birth to three kids and my heart cracked open in deeper ways than I’d ever expected. God says, my daughter, don’t you see… I love you with the same passion… I see you and I love you.

Whether we are the person writing the cards, missing the once-devoted husband, longing for a lost love, or skipping the Hallmark holiday because of our current survival modes, today let’s all look for the extravagant love that comes from above…

Let’s see the sacred rose petals sprinkled throughout our mundane.

Let’s feel God’s just-for-us words.

On this day, this day of love, let’s not forget to SEE our Greatest True Love.

“Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me.

This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength. Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face? If I go up to heaven, you’re there! If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too! If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there! If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting! Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me.” (Psalm 139:1-10, TPT)

Related article: Create the Perfect (Or Not So Perfect) Valentine’s Day for Your Family

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