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Friday Favorites {9.25.2020}

Happy Friday!! I hope you’ve had a great week. I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad today is Friday. We have our first free Saturday tomorrow in a while so I’m looking forward to it! Maybe I can convince Joseph to take me to pick up mums and pumpkins for our front porch.

On Fridays, Andrea and Erika host a Favorite Fridays post where they share some of their current favorite things. I love reading everyone’s posts and sometimes like to jump on the bandwagon and share my current favorite things. So here we go! Grab your coffee and scroll to see!

If you follow me on instagram then you’ve seen me sharing some of my favorite quotes from this book. It has been a long time since my heart has attached to a book that I am reading. Jennie Lusko and her husband Levi, unexpectedly lost their five year old little girl a couple of years ago. In this book, Jennie is so transparent in talking about her struggles and even shares excerpts from her journals. She talks about fighting through the hardships and becoming who God wants us to be. The chapter I read this morning had me in tears. It was about how much God loves us and how His love isn’t based on who we are, it’s placed on us. Y’all. You have to read this book. Especially for my friends who have experienced a loss of a loved one. This book will help your heart heal and remind you to fight in the midst of terrible circumstances.

You can purchase it on Amazon and have it on your doorstep the next day! The book is called

The Fight to Flourish,

I promise you will love this book.

A couple of months ago I shared an outfit I wore to church and so many of you bought it! I loved this dress and I’m so excited to share it again because I just ordered the same dress in a “fall” color! It’s supposed to be here tomorrow and I am so excited. They have so many options that can definitely go in your transition into fall wardrobe! Dresses on Amazon make me nervous because I’ve ordered some that did not work for me, but this one totally did. I also love these sandals and have multiple colors. They are super comfortable! I wore them to a work lunch with a black jumper and my jean jacket. They are totally worth the price!

Here’s a quick picture of the one I purchased. Can’t wait to share it with you guys next week! You can click {here} to order it for yourself and thanks me later ha!

Another one of my favorite products is my new mascara, primer and lash serum! A couple of months ago, a friend told me about a lash serum that helps your eyelashes grow. I just can’t do lash extensions. I sweat entirely too much and they just feel so “fake” on my eyes. I have used this serum for almost two months and have seen some growth. But what I am really loving is the primer and mascara. I LOVE my lashes when I use this product. Next time I wear it, I’ll post a pic so that you can see how long my lashes look!

Here’s the primer. This goes on before your mascara.

This is the Lash serum and Mascara. The serum goes on once a day consistently for 12 weeks.

And last but not least! This girl cheered in her first middle school football game last night. We weren’t sure if there was going to be a season this year so we were so excited. It poured on us, but we loved watching her cheer on the Dragons! On our way home I looked over at Joseph and told him that I can’t believe this is our season of life. For so long we would say things like “can you imagine when the older two are in middle school?” And here we are…. one in 7th and one in 8th. Goodness, time sure does fly!

And that does it for the week! Thank you for reading! I had fun sharing all my current favorites with you! Have a GREAT weekend!

XO

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Embracing Every Season

Every morning this week I’ve been sharing a picture of my coffee mug with a quote from something I read during my quiet time. I started the week determined to get my morning routine back and be more productive with my days. I’ve been so convicted about my habits and how I spend a lot of time on my phone. I am a very disciplined person, but I am also a huge procrastinator. When you mix that with my all or nothing attitude, it can be a recipe for disaster. I really have felt God teaching me during this season that I need to be more productive with my time.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been working with my trainer on not being so hard on myself when I am not at a 100%. Life happens and we can’t always have those perfect days. I’ve had a lot going on since I started working with her and at times I’ve almost told her we will try again at a later time when life isn’t crazy. But seriously….when isn’t life going to be crazy?! She reminded me that being consistently good enough is better than doing absolutely nothing. I’ve really taken that to heart and have practiced giving myself lots and lots of grace.

As I started the week, I decided to go back to list making. This keeps me on track and helps me be more productive. Not to mention the success I feel to mark things of my list feels so good ha! It’s helped so much and I have found myself getting things done this week. But let me tell you, I’ve been so tired by the end of the day. I even told Joseph yesterday how being productive is great, but gosh it’s exhausting.

This morning I didn’t have to do a my “Blaire Strength” as I call my workouts from my trainer lol! So I knew that I could sleep in a little longer. Of course, I slept in a lot longer than I hoped and found myself rushing to get downstairs to get in a little bit of my quiet time before having to wake Mackenzie up. As I went to take the picture of my mug, I noticed the background full of the dishes I couldn’t bring myself to put away last night and the dishes from this morning in the sink. I almost moved my mug to a more “picture perfect” location, but then I thought about my reading for the day and chose to post the real instead of the staged.

In The Fight to Flourish by Jennie Lusko she wrote about being present in the moment and immersing ourselves in the season that we’re in right now. You know, it got me thinking about how exhausted I’ve been at the end of each day and how hard it can be to adult some times. Life is crazy at our house right now with three kids in three different sports going three different directions. Some days I wonder if this season will ever end, but this morning I realized I needed to embrace this season. I can’t be perfect, the dishes will still be there some days and that’s ok. Grace, grace right?!

I love how Jennie puts it in her book,

“If you’re in a season that feels insignificant or especially long, look up. Set your gaze on who Jesus is. Ask God to help you see this season differently. Remember, you’re already living from the finish line, but you’re still in the middle of the process right now. This time in your life is part of the soil that is enriching your life and your future. Be here now.

When we engage in the daily fight and embrace the present moment, we will flourish. It’s the little wins that change the course of our lives. We can live and love in the small moments of our everyday lives, knowing that there’s an eternal significance to whatever God has called us to. So, when you’re feeding your baby in the middle of the night and feeling run down by sleep deprivation. Take a mental Instagram photo of that moment. Your baby is not going to eat like that at night forever. Or, if you’re tired of being single and want to find your soulmate, remember you won’t always have the kind of time you do currently. Savor where you are right now.”

Yes, some days are long but it’s true that the days are short. This season isn’t going to last forever and I find myself thinking about that a lot lately. Having two in middle school with one going to high school next year has really made me realize how fast time flies. So I will embrace this season and the exhaustion that it brings. I will celebrate those little wins and live and love in the small moments of my everyday life because there is an eternal significance to what I’m doing. And the same goes for you! You may not be 100% everyday, but that doesn’t mean you get to give up! Look up, look to Jesus! Find your strength in Him and ask Him to help you see your current season in a different way. It’s not going to last forever and it’s preparing you for the next season of life!

So here’s a picture of my coffee mug with my mess in the background to prove to you that I don’t always have it all together, but I am going to choose to embrace it and enjoy it!

I hope you have a terrific Thursday!

-Maggie

Sam’s Club Favorites

When I told my sister that we had bought a membership to Sam’s Club, she asked me if I had heard of a frozen bag of chicken nuggets that taste exactly like Chick-fil-a. I had not heard of it, but made note to look for them on our next shopping trip. My kiddos love Chick-fil-a, as I’m sure everyone does. So last week I made sure to look for them and found them along with waffle fries in the same brand. We brought them home and I was so excited to let the kids try it out. Let me tell you, all three of my kids gave these a huge thumbs up!! They loved them and asked for more! I couldn’t believe it. Do you know how much time and money I’ve already saved buying these?!

You guys have got to try these and tell me what you think! They also have the fried chicken patties so I am going to buy those next shopping trip so that we can add chicken sandwiches to our list!

Oh! It pairs perfectly with any of the Chick-fil-a sauces that are now available in these bottles. Seriously so excited about this find! It’s perfect for those busy nights when you are running each kid in a different direction. I also found these…

Y’all, I was skeptical of these because I don’t love frozen chicken. But these definitely won me over. They also fit great into my macros and they are quick to pop in the oven. Joseph and I are always on the go with the kids and some days it’s easier to grab fast food which we both dislike so much. So these are perfect for those nights because they are quick and easy and delicious!! I paired them with sauteed squash, zucchini and onion. This is another one of our go to meals. You can cut up all of your veggies before hand and then make them when you are ready. It literally takes me a couple of minutes to do. Here’s how I make it…

Spray some cooking spray on a pan…

Add in your sliced onions…

Then add in the rest of your veggies and sprinkle some or lots of seasoning salt. So good y’all, so good! So there you have it! Two quick and easy meals.

I hope you all are having a great week and enjoying the beautiful Fall weather. Isn’t it amazing?!?

Thanks for stopping by!

-MAGGIE

Friday Favorites!

Friday Favorites

Hey there, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged!!  In April, I blogged every single day and y’all, that was tough.  But it definitely helped me keep a positive mind-set during quarantine.  Once May came and the shelter in place was removed, we packed up and went to HHI for a couple of days.  Since then, we’ve travelled back and forth and have really loved it.  Summer was absolutely amazing for us.  It allowed us to spend a lot of time together as a family and for that, I am so thankful!

But I’ve missed blogging!  Our kiddos went back to school, face to face, one week ago.  It’s allowed me to develop a routine again and I am loving that.  If you know me then you know that I am all about a routine.  It keeps me on track and helps me be consistent.  I’m currently working on my early morning routine.  With quarantine and summer, I’ve slept in every single day!  It’s been glorious!!!  But, I’ve really craved some routine and it’s time to get it back.  I can definitely tell a difference when I am not consistent with my quiet time so I’ve been trying my best this week to get up and get that done.

Today I thought I would do a fun post and link up with Andrea and Erika.  I did this a couple of years ago and had so much fun with it so I thought I’d do it again!  On Fridays, these girls share some of their favorite things and invite you to share yours.  So, what better way to kick off the blog (again) than to share with you a couple of my favorite things this week.

First up is this bag!  I love it!!  I’ve been wanting one like this for a while, but they are a little pricey and I hadn’t convinced myself to buy one, yet.  When I saw my sister in law had one, I asked her where she bought it and she informed me that she bought it off Amazon!!   Not the same brand, but basically the same bag and for $30.  You can’t beat that!  I’ve loved using it for all of my work stuff!

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I love having a daily devotional for my quiet time in the morning.  I am currently doing this one and love it.  The devotions are long enough to really get something from the message and short enough to read if you are pressed on time.  It also includes a passage at the end that you can read if you have more time.

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Along with my daily devotion, I like to read a chapter from a book.  Currently I’m reading Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst for the 4th time!  It’s been so good for me.  I think it’s something that many of us struggle with.  I love the truths that Lysa shares in this book.  I also love that I’ve underlined passages that I didn’t underline the other three times I’ve read it.  It’s amazing how God can use something over and over again to speak to you differently.

Uninvited

This was good.  I need to learn to trust Him in everything.  Even when I don’t fully understand, I must trust Him because he is the perfect match for my every need.

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last but not least, this outfit!  I shared the details on my social media on Sunday because I loved my dress that I found on Amazon.  I am always scared when I buy clothes on Amazon, but this was definitely a win.  And these sandals are currently my favorite!  I love them so much that I have them in multiple colors.  They are super comfortable and not expensive at all.  I paid $34 for them, but currently they are on sale for $17.99!!  They are true to size!

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And that wraps up my Friday Favorites!  Thank you for stopping by and reading.

Happy Friday!!!!

Day 30: Life is a Vapor!

30 days ago, I set out on a journey to pray and seek God more intentionally. I am so thankful for all of you who have followed along and joined me on this journey. I really appreciate the time you took to read my blog posts every day.

Today as I’ve tried to write, my words fail me. The only words that come to mind are “LIFE IS A VAPOR.”

Today, many of us were reminded how short life is and how quickly we are here one day and how quickly we can be gone the next. And it makes me realize that I don’t want to waste the time that I’m given here on earth. I want to live it in a way that honors God. I want to love Him with my entire being and love those around me. I want to live at peace with others as far as it depends on me. I want to love hard and forgive quickly. Because when my time comes to see Jesus, I want to leave a legacy that my husband and my kids are proud of. Just like my daddy did for me. He loved God with his entire soul, mind and body and loved those around him just the same.

Our lives are short, fragile and final. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Life is barely a breath and we need to spend it on the things that never go away.
How can we love more? How can we serve those in need more? How can we live a life that when we stand in front of Jesus, He will say…. well done my good and faithful servant? We all mess up. We make mistakes. But if we wake up each day and place our life in God’s hands and try to do better….we will make this world a better place.

“Life is short. Eternity is long. Live like it.” – John Piper

Day 28 & 29: Let Go Of The Old And Receive The New!

I am struggling to find the words, y’all.  The last two mornings have been a bit of a challenge and I haven’t had time to sit and really dig into God’s Word.  I don’t like writing just to write so I took the day off.  But I wanted to share something that I’ve thought a lot about the last two days.

On Sunday, we listened to Steven Furtick’s message about letting go and I’ve been thinking a lot about it.  He said,

“Certain changes are not embraced, they must be forced.”

Our natural reaction when something is being taken away from us is to fight to keep it. Or when change comes, we don’t welcome it and instead wish for things to go back to the way they were.  I know I’ve had times in my life where I made myself miserable trying to resist change.  You probably have too.  But won’t you agree that on the other side of change, when we finally surrender, we are better for it?

Many of us are frustrated and ready to go back to our “normal lives.”  But what if God has something so much better for us than our “old normal lives?”  What if we are so stuck on our past that we can’t see what God is trying to do for our future?

I used to struggle with my past.  I allowed my failures and mistakes to keep me from walking in the freedom that Jesus gave me when I chose to follow Him.  I allowed my past to keep me from truly experiencing His mercy, His grace and His love.

But I think we can all do that.  We can be so hard on ourselves and live life offering all the grace and forgiveness to everyone else, but when it comes to us, we crucify ourselves for the mistakes we made.

But 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

We are a new creation!  We can’t receive the new if we keep holding on to the old.  Read that again.

WE CAN’T RECEIVE THE NEW IF WE KEEP HOLDING ON TO THE OLD.

God wants to set you free today, but you have to do your part and let go.  Let go of the hurts, the past mistakes, anger, resentment, bitterness, defeat, worry and anything that is keeping you from walking in the freedom that Jesus has given you.

You may be reading this and have never experienced this freedom.  Maybe you’ve never given your life to Christ.  If this is you, I would love the opportunity to share Jesus with you.  God sent Him to take our place.  He took our sin and all of our brokenness and He died on a cross so that we may have eternal life.  Life forever with Him.  You can experience this freedom by simply acknowledging your brokenness and admitting that you are a sinner.  Your sin has separated you from Christ and you are in need of a Savior.  And that Savior is Jesus Christ.  He stands with open arms ready to fully accept you just as you are.  He loves you so very much.  If you want to experience that freedom and choose Jesus today simply pray the following prayer,

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness.  I know that you are the son of God sent to die on the cross to save me from my sins.  Lord Jesus, I choose you today and everyday.  Forgive me of my sins and save me today.

If you prayed this today, please let me know.  I would love to pray for you.  You’ve made the best decision you could ever make.

Day 25, 26 & 27: Enjoying The Little Things

Boredom struck yesterday and I spent the day working out and making Tik Tok videos ha!  Before I knew it, the day had come and gone.  We truly enjoyed the beautiful day and ended the night with a fire.  We are so thankful that even in the midst of chaos, God gives us such beautiful days and allows us to enjoy ourselves.  Don’t let this time pass by without enjoying the world right under your nose.  Embrace it, enjoy it and live each day to the fullest.  Not every day is going to be great, I can promise you that.  We’ve had some rough ones around here.  But aren’t you glad that every day is a new day?!

This morning I found myself in the book of Psalms.  After reading a couple, I went back to Psalm 91.  It talks about God being our refuge and our fortress, our God in whom we trust.  This chapter has such a comforting message and it reminds us that God protects us from harm.

(You can read Chapter 91 here)

When we make the Lord our dwelling place we can have peace and comfort in knowing that He is our protector.  Verses 10-11 say,

“no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.  For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” 

This season is teaching me to depend on God for everything in my life right now.  Every morning when I wake up, I place the day in His hands.  I trust that He will provide for us each day and that in His time, all this will be over.

I am believing that we will all come out of this better than we were before.  What will that look like?  We don’t know, but I know that He does.  And I force myself to rest in that truth.  God truly holds our future, why do we fear?  Why do we worry?

I know that is easier said than done, but I want to encourage you this weekend to rest in God by enjoying the little things around you.  Go for a walk or run, talk to your neighbors, facetime a friend, read a book, let your kids run wild (haha…jk…maybe) and enjoy yourself.  God wants us to live life to the fullest by resting in His promises that He has our life in His hands.  Why should we fear?

I love how chapter 91 ends.  Verses 14-16 say,

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.  When he calls to me, I will answer him.  I will rescue him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Holding fast means to hold your position or hold your gaze.  It makes me think of God saying, “stay with me, don’t take your eyes off of me.  I’ve got you.” 

This life is hard even when we aren’t in quarantine!  But we aren’t in this life alone.  Don’t take your eyes off of Him.  When life feels too much to bear, remind yourself of this Psalm and dwell in the shelter of the Most High.

Day 24: See a Victory!

The morning was busy and I didn’t get my normal quiet time in, so I thought it would be a good day to share one of the songs getting me through this season.

You can listen to it by clicking here.

I encourage you to listen to it today and listen to the powerful words.  The battle belongs to the Lord and we will see a Victory!  He takes what the enemy meant for evil and He turns it for good.  I know you may be struggling right now, but rest in the one who has conquered death.  He’s already won this battle.  And because of Him we can live victoriously!

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…”

Genesis 50:20

Day 23: God Sees You

This morning I woke up with a heavy heart.  We are all experiencing life differently these days.  We are in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat.  I’ve heard that a lot and it makes so much sense.

This morning, I remembered the story of Hagar in Genesis 16:1-15.

She was Sarai’s servant who was given to Abram so that she would give him a child.  Sarai had borne Abram no children so she took it upon herself to make it happen in her own way.  And boy is that another lesson for another day!  But today, we will focus on Hagar.

When Hagar became pregnant, she began to despise Sarai.  The Bible says in verse 6,

But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.”

Hagar left.  She literally said forget this, I’m out of here.

An angel of the Lord found her in the wilderness by a spring of water in the desert.  She was pregnant, alone and feeling hopeless.  But the visit from the angel was life changing for her.  Despite him telling her to go back to Sarai and that her son would not be the son of promise and that he would experience hostility in all of his relationships and would be like a wild donkey.  She still obeyed and she returned.

But she didn’t return before an encounter with the Lord.  One of my favorite verses of the Bible is Genesis 17:13,

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

This verse gives me chill bumps everytime.  I put myself in Hagar’s sandals and I remember all the times when I felt alone and abandoned.  All the times that I found myself in a hard situation and all I could do is think to run away from it.  And there in my misery, sadness, grief and loss….He saw me.  He saw me just as I was.  He is El Roi– the God who sees me.

And He does the same to you.  He sees you right where you are.

I followed this story a little more this morning because I wondered why God would send her back to her mistress.  Why wouldn’t He scoop her up and place her somewhere else where she could be free?

I continued to read and came to chapter 17 verse 20 where the Lord says to Abraham,

“As for Ishmael (Hagar’s son), I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly.  He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation.”

Then in chapter 21, Sarah asks Abraham to cast Hagar and Ishmael out because she didn’t want Ishmael to be heir with their son Isaac.  God tells Abraham to do as Sarah says and so he gives them bread and a skin of water and sends them away.

They go into the wilderness, all the water is gone and I can imagine it is very, very hot.  She has Ishmael sit under a bush for some shade and she goes to sit down opposite him.  The Bible says she sits about the distance of a bowshot.  And then what she says next at the end of verse 16 gave me chills,

“Let me not look on the death of the child.”

Y’all.  She was preparing to lose her child.  She was preparing for him to die and she couldn’t stand to watch it.  I don’t know that I’ve ever really realized that.  Here she was in the desert again, feeling abandoned, hopeless and alone.  The bible said that she lifted up her voice and wept.  She was done.  She was completely done.  Could you imagine?  She had just lived through hell.  She was shamed and rejected and here she was again in the desert about to lose her son.

As this is going on, the boy is crying and the Bible says that God heard him.  In Genesis 21:17-19 it says,

“God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.”

God made a promise back in chapter 17 verse 20 and He was not about to break that promise.  Who is like our God?  He is faithful and does not break His promises.  He shows up in our hardest moments and He saves us.

Hagar had to go back to a difficult situation.  Her and Ishmael endured suffering, shame and rejection, but God did not forget them.  His promise for their life was fulfilled.

There are seasons in our lives where we are going to have to endure hard things.  Many of us are going through very difficult situations right now.  But God hasn’t forgotten us.  He sees us right where we are. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives and you better believe they will be fulfilled.  God does not break His promises to you.  He never has and He doesn’t intend to start now.

Cry out to Him today.  Wherever you are, whatever your situation may be.  Call out to Him.  He is there.  He is waiting.

And to all of my mommas out there struggling with their kiddos.  Stay the course.  Pray for your kids and speak life to them.  God hears them and He hears us.  God has a plan and purpose for your child and it will be fulfilled.

I love you all and I pray that you are encouraged today by El Roi-the God who sees you.

Day 22: Don’t Get Distracted With Arguing…Stop, Trust and Pray!

The news from our Governor caused a lot of different reactions yesterday.  I too have my opinion, but have chosen to keep it to myself.  Now let me tell you, keeping my opinion to myself is not something I’ve always done.

If you know me, then you know I am a passionate little thing who is loyal to the death.  I defend myself and those I love and as Joseph says I will die on the hill before admitting I am wrong.  But the truth is, I’ve been so wrong about this.  God has been teaching me and correcting me on this issue during the last couple of months.  It has been a bittersweet lesson.  Bitter because it’s hard to admit when I am wrong, but sweet because He loves me no matter what and forgives all of my crazy mistakes.  But He teaches me, molds me and helps me see how I should live.  I have been so thankful for His Word the last few days.  It’s been speaking to me like never before.

Maybe one day I can share in more detail, but today I wanted to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to refuse to argue and choose to pray and love.

This morning I was reading 1 Peter 4:7-11 and came across some notes I had written on the margin of my bible that were perfect for today.

(Click here to read 1 Peter 4:7-11)

Do This.  Be Like This.

1. Be self-controlled.

2.  Be sober-minded for the sake of our prayers.

3.  Love one another.

4. Show genuine hospitality.

5. Serve one another using our gifts.

We must be self-controlled.  Psalm 115:3 says,Our God is in the heavens, He does all that He pleases.”and then in verse 9 it says, “O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield?” God is in control so we can be self-controlled.  We can fully rely on His strength and know that His ways are not our ways.  He does do as He pleases, but what that means is that He acts in a way that pleases Him.  He’s not going to do something he despises.  He is going to do what’s best for us.  Things may look crazy right now, but God is not finished.  He is still working.  Trust that He is our help and our shield and that everything is in His hands.

As we say no to ourselves and learn to control our reactions to our emotions we are being sober-minded.  Sober is translated from the greek word that means calm, collected, to have good sense, good judgment and level-headed in times of stress.  If we are out of control and not sober minded, we can not cultivate a spirit of prayer.  The enemy wants to distract us because he knows that when our minds are distracted, we are more than likely not praying.  The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing.  It tells us to not be anxious, but instead to pray about everything.  Instead of trying to prove someone wrong, let’s scroll past their post and pray.  What do we have to prove when God has it all under control?  For the sake of our prayers, we must be sober-minded.

The passage continues and tells us to love one another.  I shared about this in a previous post that you can read here.  When we are practicing self-control and being sober-minded for the sake of our prayers, we will love those around us.

The passage also encourages us to show genuine hospitality.  We may not be able to welcome people in our homes right now, but we can still choose to be kind and to treat strangers and friends alike.

And finally, serve one another using our gifts.  I love the end of verse 11 that says,

“whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”

How can we serve someone in need today?  What are your gifts?  How can you bless someone with them today?  Instead of scrolling through social media and adding our two cents into an argument, let’s stop and ask God to help us find someone who needs love today.  God supplies us with the ability to serve others so let’s focus on serving those who need us most right now.

It may not be the popular choice, but it’s the best choice.  James 4:1 asks the question,

“Who causes quarrels and fights among us? Our passions that are at war within us.” 

Not always, but a lot of times we can cause the fights among us because of  the war that’s inside of us.  Set those passions aside for the sake of love.  For the sake of being sober-minded and for the sake of our prayers.  Because right now, this nation needs prayer more than anything else.

Hebrews 12:14 says,

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

Let’s live a life that screams Jesus.  The enemy wants nothing more than to stop us from praying so he lures us into quarrels and disagreements.  Let’s choose to be calm and collected, trusting that God is in control, showing love and hospitality to everyone while serving those in our community.  And most importantly, let us continue to pray.  Pray for our nation and its leaders.  Pray for those around us and pray for ourselves.  It’s the most powerful weapon we have so let’s actually use it.

“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

John Piper