25 Tips for Spending Time with God

We’ve All Been There…

We mean to do it. And we try to do it! But when it comes to actually spending time with God? Sitting down, reading our Bible, and praying?  That’s a challenge for many believers.

I find myself in this position more often than I like to admit. If I don’t make spending time with God a priority first thing in the morning, I struggle to make it happen at all. Once my day has started, my mind is focused on other things – getting the dishes washed, moving clothes from washer to dryer, keeping Little Buddy occupied while I prepare lunch… It is a challenge to set everything aside to read God’s Word and pray.

I don’t want that to be the story of my life!

I want to be like Enoch, the man who “walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24, ESV). In Hebrews 11:4, we are told that he did this by faith. “By faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.”

What an awesome thing to be remembered for! He walked with God, spending time with God on a daily basis. And he pleased God because he walked with Him by faith.

Spending time with God demonstrates our faith…

Have you ever thought of it in that way before? When we spend time with God and walk with Him every day, it is an expression of our faith. We can’t see the One we’re spending time with. And we can’t see the immediate fruit of our time with Him. We do it because we are certain that He is there and we desire to know Him better.

Spending time with God is a discipline, a practice that is developed over lots of time through lots of repetition. Creating the daily habit is not easy or convenient. Rather, it takes time, commitment, and a lot of determination. And it takes faith.

I want to be a woman of faith.

This post is devoted to the practical. To keeping it real and making it happen. The strategies that I’ve compiled are not mind-blowing, revolutionary, or magical. The strategies won’t do the work for you, but they can give you a place to start!


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25 Strategies to Spending Time with God

1. Think through your priorities.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Take a peek at your heart – does God come at the top of your priority list? Is He worth investing your time, energy, and treasure in? I’ll admit, that’s a hard question to answer sometimes, but an honest answer here will make or break our likelihood of consistently spending time with Him.

2. Ask God for help.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). God is both willing and able to help you be consistent in Bible study, prayer, and memorization. He wants to answer this prayer!

3. Start with thirty days.

In seventh grade, the pastor gave our Sunday school class a piece of wisdom and a challenge. The wisdom? If you do something consistently for thirty days, you will have established a habit. The challenge? Spend time in the Bible every day for thirty days…and if you miss a day, start over!

4. I recommend mornings…

This one is different for everyone. Some people are early birds, and some people are night owls. I recommend spending time with God in the mornings either way – we’re less likely to be busy or distracted at that time, and I like to think that it starts my day off on the right foot.

That being said, find a time that works for you.

5. Beware of the snooze button!

I know it’s tempting – I’ve fought it too. But don’t use the snooze button if you’re going to do devos in the morning! Hit it one time too many, and what’s the first thing to skip when you’re running late? Don’t let it be your time with God!

I’ve had a lot of friends suggest setting the alarm 15 minutes earlier than I need to get up, just so I can snooze it three times and feel like I’m sleeping in. Be careful of that one! We’re training our brains to disregard the alarm when we snooze it too often, and soon we won’t be able to hear it at all!

6. Consider having an accountability partner.

Ask a friend or a mentor to hold you accountable! Commit to texting one another thoughts from that morning’s Bible reading every day. Knowing that someone is waiting to hear from you about your time with God can put some friendly pressure on your to keep priorities straight.


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Ideas for Bible Study…

7. Start small.

Don’t set out to read entire books of the Bible each day if you’re just starting! Pick a favorite book of the Bible, or a book of the Bible with a favorite story in it, and just start reading a few verses a day. You can always take on more later. 🙂

8. Read through the Bible in a year.

Every time I read through the Bible, I understand more of it and I remember more of it. Lots of Bible in a Year plans are available online, or you can just read through the Bible 3-4 chapters per day, and you’ll come out about right!

9. Try a word study!

I love this strategy! Choose a topic in the Bible that you want to learn more about, or an area where you know you need to grow, and use a concordance to find where God talks about it in His Word.

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Strong’s Concordance

My favorite tool for this is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It indexes every word that appears in the Bible, and it includes a dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words! My only difficulty is the copy I have is based on the King James Version, which I no longer use for personal Bible study. I would absolutely recommend investing in a concordance that corresponds to your favorite Bible version!

I’ve studied wisdom, Christ’s blood, finances, agape love, and joy using this strategy, and they have been some of the best studies of my life!

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10. Be consistent.

Bible study is a discipline, so pick a strategy and stick with it. That doesn’t mean we’re stuck doing word studies for the rest of our lives, but it does mean we’re not being haphazard in how we approach God’s Word. There is a beautiful cohesiveness in the Bible, and we do it an injustice when we’re always cherry-picking verses we like and never reading for the bigger picture.

11. Use a Journaling Bible.

My Journaling Bible cost about $40, and it has been an investment that I treasure. Each margin has extra space where I can write down thoughts, prayers, cross references, and sermon notes.

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Journaling Bible

I love rereading a passage and seeing what I’ve learned before in the margin. It’s tracking my growth as a Christian and reminding me daily of lessons that God has already taught me.  If I were to ever recommend a Bible, this would be it!

12. Write something down!

The teacher in me can’t help slipping this one in. 🙂 In school, we learn more about a lesson when we respond to it, take notes, or summarize a thought. These notes also become a resource when you need to look back and remember what you learned.

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Bible Study Journal

I prefer more space than my Journaling Bible gives me for this kind of daily study, so I tend to keep a Bible study journal on hand when I read. This pic shows a couple of pages out of my word study on joy – rereading those verses brings back lots of memories of what I was learning at that time!

13. Read out loud.

This one is another teacher tip. 🙂 Our mental engagement with a text and our memory of what we learn from it is directly related to the number of senses we use when we read it. Reading out loud involves our eyes, our mouths, and our ears. The more senses we use, the better we remember! Not to mention it helps us fight distraction. 🙂

14. Ask God to teach you something new every time you read the Bible.

“For the Word of God is living and active…” (Hebrews 4:12a). God’s Word is alive, and verses that we’ve known all of our lives may still have hidden gems in them that we haven’t discovered yet. Asking God to teach you more will make you more aware of His teaching when it comes!

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Ideas for Prayer…

15. Keep a prayer journal.

This strategy has revolutionized my approach to prayer! Use a small journal to record prayer requests that come up on a day-to-day basis, and pray through that list regularly!I love using this as a tool for prayer in my daily time with God.

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Prayer Journal

I’d recommend using another journal for prayer, separate from the Bible study journal. I like mine to be pocket sized, something I can take to church with me easily. This one is actually designed specifically for prayer,  with space for dates and answered prayers included!

16. Pray for some people every day.

My husband and sons fall into this category, and they are listed at the beginning of my prayer journal. I pray that these men in my life will walk with God, resist temptation, and stand for Christ every day. Being a man of God in today’s world is challenging enough as it is, and if anyone is going to plead with God on behalf of my men every single day, it’s going to be me…

17. Have a system for prayer requests.

I struggle to remember the prayer requests that people give me if I don’t write them down, so I keep a running list of prayer requests in my prayer journal. Often my list gets too long to pray for all of these requests every day, so I try cycle through the list on a weekly basis. The list also becomes a great reminder to ask others if they have seen any answers to their prayer!

18. Track the dates!

Since we’ve got the running list of prayer requests already, write the date you start praying for requests in your journal too. And when God answers that prayer? Write that date down! Tracking these dates teaches us to be more aware of God’s work in answering our prayers, and it is encouraging!

19. Pray Scripture.

God wants us to pray according to His will, and what better way to start than in His Word? Do a study sometime on the prayers recorded in the Bible, and use these to help you pray for the people around you effectively.

20. Pray out loud.

I treasure getting to pray every morning, but my brain doesn’t always think straight through the early morning fog. Praying through my journal out loud might sound silly, but it helps me stay focused every time. Definitely something to try if you struggle with a sleepy brain too!


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3 Strategies for Spending Time with God


Ideas for a Daily Walk…

21. Talk to God instead of talking to yourself.

Telling God about what you’re thinking is far more productive than telling yourself! Thank Him for the beautiful day, tell Him you’re running low on patience, ask Him for grace in the busy traffic… He wants to hear from you, and telling Him the details of your day will help you keep your gaze on Him.

22. Keep a thankful journal.

This tip is another favorite! Every night, think back through your day and pick five things that you are thankful for – blessings, surprises, challenges, and lessons. Write these down and thank God for them in a small journal set aside for that purpose.

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Thankful Journal

I used this strategy consistently for about three years, and I treasure the memories that those journals hold. This little strategy taught me to be intentional in giving “thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I love ending every day on a thankful note!

23. Make a habit of praising God to others.

Those blessings and challenges that you write down in the thankful journal? Tell people about them, and give God the glory! It’s such a natural reply to the basic greeting, “How are you today?” “Well, there’s this challenge in my life right now, but God is teaching me through it, and let me tell you how!”

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What If I Don’t Feel Like It?

24. I Don’t Want to be a Hypocrite…

What if I don’t feel like spending time with God? Should I skip Bible reading and prayer until I do feel like it? No! God uses the time that we spend with Him to make us hungry for more. The best thing to do when you don’t feel like it is to do it anyway, and ask Him to give you a desire for time with Him. He would love to answer that prayer for you!

25. Read Psalm 119.

Are there days when I don’t feel as enthused about reading my Bible as others? Absolutely. And are there seasons in my life when I struggle to be faithful in walking with God? Yes, there are. That’s when I pull out Psalm 119. I can’t read through this Psalm and not be challenged to love God’s Word more. The psalmist’s love for God and His Word is catching, and God always uses it to help me love Him more.


Want so more ideas on motivation? Here are two more posts to read!

Finding Motivation to Spend Time with God

25 More Reasons to Read the Bible!


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It Starts with a Choice.

The key to changing our lives is not in the past; it’s in the present! All of us have areas in our lives where we wish we’d made different choices, and we could spend our time focused on regret. But change happens in the present, the here and now, and it starts with a choice.

What’s your choice?

These strategies don’t do the work for you. Buying lots of journals and Bible study tools only helps if you actually use them! Spending time with God takes discipline. It’s something that is practiced over lots of time, with lots of repetition. It takes commitment, determination, and faith.

But you know what? You can do it!

Start small. Pick one or two areas to grow. Ask God for help. And go for it! And as always, feel free to contact me (or better yet, subscribe for weekly encouragement emails!). I would love to help you develop the discipline of spending time with God!

     With Love, Erin

P.S. This post includes a few affiliate links – feel free to check out my disclosure page for more information! 🙂


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Five Ways to Build Time with God into Your Day

“I’m in a season right now where I don’t have any consistency in my day – I feel like I’m at the beck and call of my kids, home, work, and ministry demands. It’s so hard to be consistent with devos when I don’t have a predictable routine…”

Consistency has always felt like a breath of fresh air to me. It adds an element of predictability to life, and I love that. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate spontaneity – after all, variety is the spice of life. Consistency just comes more naturally to me. Routines make life more predictable. Comfortable. Safe.  And I like it that way. 🙂

That does not, however, mean that consistency is easy. We don’t live on a silent planet with no one but ourselves to worry about; we’re surrounded by other people, individuals with individual needs, schedules, expectations, and agendas.  (As mamas, we all know what that does to our own agendas!)

And now that I think of it, I wonder if that’s exactly why God puts other people in our lives. Aside from the fact that life would be very boring if it were just me, it’s also true that God uses Inconsistency as my teacher more often than He uses my Nice Little Plan for the day. Just like God’s call to Abram to leave Ur for an unknown country, it’s the unpredictable things in life that challenge me to trust God, to love others, and to choose joy in the midst of inconvenient circumstances.

So the inconsistency in my life is a good thing after all. God is using it to make me more like Christ!

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But what about the times when the “unpredictable” takes over and crowds out our time with God? (Because believe me, it happens, and I’ve been there!)

What do we do when we forget to set the alarm and sleep late? What happens when the Little Person wakes up an hour before he should have? What happens when your husband calls from work and asks you to add a favor to your to-do list?

What do we do when the inconsistency of our lives steals our time for devos? Especially when that’s fast becoming the “new normal” in our lives?

I can’t claim to have all the answers on this one; on the contrary, it’s something that I wrestle with too. But I’ve learned a few tips and hacks that I would love to share with you. (And I hope you’ll leave the tips and hacks that you’ve learned in the comment section below!!)

Here goes!


Five Ways to Build Time with God into Your Day

Especially as a mom who has no consistency in her day!

  1. The thing you do first in the morning always gets done.

A wise older mom shared this piece of advice with me recently, and it has truly changed my perspective on morning routines. We all have routines that we like to keep in the morning, and we all have mornings when that routine goes right out the window. But this woman makes a keen observation – the first thing that we do is the thing that is least likely to be interrupted, isn’t it?

Actually, this piece of advice is why I’m not wearing make-up today… (Time for true confessions!) Yes, we forgot to set the alarm last night and slept an hour later than we meant to this morning. And while my husband has some flexibility in his work schedule, he does need to get to work sooner rather than later… 🙂

So something needed to get cut out of my schedule this morning, but I knew (based on previous experience!) that I’d need time with God for the day to go well. I chose to throw the routine out the window and read a couple chapters of the Bible before spending time in prayer while showering and getting dressed.

We got the necessary things done this morning, and my husband walked out the door only twenty minutes later than usual. But enjoying a long, hot shower? Spending time to put on make-up and check blog stats? Making the bed and putting a few dishes away?

Those normal routines went right out the window, and my day went better because of the time I got to spend with God. I’m still not wearing make-up, and I don’t regret a bit of it! 

  1. “But I’m already so busy in the mornings!”

In light of morning routines, the above tip might mean you need to get up a little earlier to spend time with God. If you don’t have the ability to cut anything out of your normal routine, adding a new routine will require more time in your morning.

I know that’s not a popular tip to give. Especially for those of us who function best later in the day. If you have a later time that works for you, a time when you can really focus on God and His Word, that’s wonderful, and you should keep it up!

But honestly? I’ve found that starting my day 15 minutes earlier than usual isn’t a hard habit to get into. It means setting an alarm. It means asking God to help you have joy as you pursue Him at an earlier time in the morning. It means remembering the why of your decision the next morning when you’d really rather stay in bed.

And it means getting out of bed right away. Staying in bed an extra five minutes prolongs the inevitable, and you’re more likely to dread getting up than if you do it fast.

That being said, I’m more of an early bird than a night owl. If you have any tips to share as a night owl to other night owls, please feel free to share!!


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  1. “But we just don’t have a consistent schedule as a family…”

I totally understand this frustration. Baby #1 brought some crazy, wonderful inconsistency into our lives when he arrived, and I’m fully expecting the same to happen when Baby #2 makes his appearance.

That being said, inconsistent schedules don’t have to remain the norm. My mornings with Little Person #1 used to be very unscheduled. We’d play, do a bit of housework, play some more, switch rooms, play some more… But lately? We’ve been creating a little routine all our own, and Little Person loves it! It’s just a matter of doing the same thing, the same way, over a few days.

And really, we all do have some form of routine as we get ready for the day – there’s a time to brush our teeth and a way we apply our make-up… And spending time with God works the same way! Build a new routine, and put some Bible time in it!

  1. It’s okay for your walk with God to look different now…

All the routines in the world won’t guarantee that you as a mom will get to spend the same amount of time with God as you did before the kids came along. But here’s thing – that’s okay!

Just because an uninterrupted 30 minutes is hard to come by doesn’t mean that you have to give up time with God. I’ve heard of moms who stream an audio Bible on their phones while they get ready for the day. Others write memory  verses on 3×5 cards and tape them to mirrors and kitchen windows. Nursing mommies keep a devotional book next to their chair and use nighttime feedings to spend time with God and Baby.

It’s just fine for your walk with God to change from season to season. Just be creative, and find new ways to spend time with Him!

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  1. Get the kids involved!

I know it’s hard to find a time to sit and read the Bible for 15 minutes once the kids are up. I’ve tried that, and my concentration is always scattered, even before I start! But that doesn’t mean that Bible time is gone once the kids are awake…

Little Person and I are starting a new routine this week. (Well, Mommy is starting a new routine; we’ll see if Little Buddy catches on!) The idea is to finish breakfast and move into the living room for a little playtime, just like always. But while Little Buddy plays, Mommy is going to read from a Children’s Bible out loud. And then Mommy is going to pray out loud, thanking God for the story, and asking Him to be with Mommy and Daddy and Little Buddy today.

Whether he listens well or not isn’t an issue right now; I just want these Bible stories to be a regular part of his life, right from the start. And really, I’ve found that reading these simple Bible stories and asking for God’s blessing on our day has been a great reminder for me too!

We’ll see how this goes! I’ll definitely keep you posted on how this little routine works out. You should try it too, and let me know how it works for your family! 🙂 (Need a really good Children’s Bible? Here’s the one we have – I love the simple stories and illustrations and the little summary statements and applications they’ve written for each!!)


That’s it!

That’s five ways to build some time with God into your day, and I don’t think they were too hard, were they? Sometimes all we need is a fresh idea or a new perspective to take the next right step, and I hope these ideas do that for you!

If you’d like a little more encouragement for spending time with God, check out the other posts in our Pursuing God as Busy Moms series below. (Just keep scrolling!) And make sure you sign up for encouragement emails from Little Yellow House Adventures to claim your free copy of our Seven Day Fresh Start Challenge!

I’m praying for you!

     With Love, Erin


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25 More Reasons to Read the Bible!

Did you know? I’ve struggled with wanting to read the Bible too. I’ve had seasons in my life when I’ve really wanted to desire that time with God… but that desire just hasn’t been there.

That’s the Motivation Block. And, trust me, that is not a fun place to be.

There are lots of strategies to overcome this Motivation Block that we run into (Check out this post if you’re interested in a few! 🙂 ). But honestly? The best thing to do is to bite the bullet and read God’s Word. Pick a favorite book of the Bible, a favorite chapter, or a favorite verse. Choose a topic and do a word study. (Here’s a concordance that I love to use for those!) The point it, start somewhere, and ask God to give you a desire to spend time with Him. That’s a prayer that He would love to answer!

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Below is a sample study that I’ve done recently with the Motivation Block specifically in mind. It’s a list of a few effects that the Bible has in our lives, things that God wants to do for us through His Word.

I hope the read-through is as encouraging to you as the study-through was for me, and I hope it will inspire you to do a study of your own! These verses are absolutely precious!


25 Reasons to Read the Bible

  1. God’s Word teaches us about who God is!

“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.’”

Exodus 34:6

  1. God’s Word is able to make us wise.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

Psalm 19:7

  1. God’s Word is sweet!

 “More to be desired are they [His commands] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.”

Psalm 19:10

  1. God blesses us when we seek His Word and keep His commandments.

“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart.”

Psalm 119:2

  1. God’s Word keeps us from sin.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word.”

Psalm 119:9

“I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:11

  1. God’s Word counsels us.

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Psalm 119:24 

“Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

Psalm 19:11

  1. God’s Word brings us delight!

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Psalm 119:24

  1. God’s Word strengthens us when we’re overwhelmed with sadness.

“My heart melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to Your Word!”

Psalm 119:28

  1. God’s Word gives us promises that make us hope.

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your promise gives me life.”

Psalm 119:50

 “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your Word.”

Psalm 119:114

  1. God’s Word teaches us good judgment and knowledge.

“Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments.”

Psalm 119:66

“The unfolding of Your words gives light; it imparts knowledge to the simple.”

Psalm 119:130 

  1. God’s Word is more precious than great wealth.

“The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”

Psalm 119:72

  1. God’s Word is reliable.

 “All Your commandments are sure…”

Psalm 119:86 

“Forever, O Lord, Your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.”

Psalm 119:89

  1. God’s Word isn’t going to go away!

“The sum of Your Word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”

Psalm 119:160 

“For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

Matthew 5:18

  1. God’s Word guides us.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:105

  1. God’s Word teaches us to fear Him.

“My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.”

Psalm 119:120 

“If you seek it [wisdom, God’s Word] like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Proverbs 2:4-5

  1. Reading God’s Word gives us a greater love for reading it!

“Your promise is well-tried, and Your servant loves it.”

Psalm 119:140

  1. God’s Word prompts us to praise Him!

“Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous rules.”

Psalm 119:164

“My lips will pour forth praise, for You teach me Your statutes. My tongue will sing of Your word, for all Your commandments are right.”

Psalm 119:171-172

  1. God’s Word gives us peace, because it keeps us from stumbling.

“Great peace have those who love Your law; nothing can make them stumble.”

Psalm 119:165 

  1. God’s Word sanctifies us.

“Sanctify them in Your truth; Your word is truth.”

John 17:17

  1. God’s Word helps us discern truth.

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

Acts 17:11

  1. God’s Word was given for our encouragement and hope.

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Romans 15:4

  1. God’s Word teaches us about our great salvation!

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.”

Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5

  1. God’s Word gives us purpose in life.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10

  1. God’s Word equips us for every good work.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.”

2 Peter 1:3

  1. God’s Word gives us confidence in our salvation.

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

1 John 5:13


 

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So what about you?

Is the Motivation Block something that you’ve struggled with too? Here’s my challenge to you – don’t stay there! Choose one positive action step that you can take to be consistent in spending time with God, and apply it today.

(Need a resource to help you get started? Try my Seven-Day Fresh Start Challenge! I love the visual accountability that this printable provides!)

In the meantime, Sister in Christ, know that I’m praying for you. Please, let me know if there is any way I can encourage, help, or pray for you. Biblical womanhood is a sisterhood thing, and that’s why I’m here! 🙂

     With Love, Erin


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Finding Motivation for Spending Time with God

I was approximately six years old. “Mom! I finished reading the whole Bible!”

Granted, it was a picture Bible. With lots of pictures. And “reading” meant looking at the pictures and turning the pages.

But I had turned every page and looked at every picture. And that was something to be proud of! (And I’ll bet my mom didn’t mind the hour or two of peace and quiet either… 🙂 )

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Why is it so important to read God’s Word?

As a six-year-old, I knew the Bible was a special book. I knew it was important, and that we needed to read it every day. But I had a long way to go in understanding why this book was so special.

So why do we spend time in God’s Word?

Well, to start us off, we need to note that it’s not about gaining favor with God. It’s not about becoming “the Bible expert.” It’s not about looking good to other people or being known as a good Christian girl.

Reading the Bible is about a relationship.

Take a minute to think about that. As Christians, we have a relationship with the Creator of everything, the God of the universe, and the Savior of our souls.

He wants us to know Him!

And He has given us this book so we might have everything we need to know Him and love Him and please Him.

That is what reading the Bible is all about.

Then why are there times when we just can’t seem to find the motivation…?

As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been there. And I’m sure you have too. Sometimes it is hard to make time for God’s Word. It’s hard to want to. We want to want to, and we know we should… but really? Our hearts aren’t in it.

What do we do when we’re in that rut?


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A couple of practical thoughts for when your motivation is gone…

#1. Ask God to give you the desire to read the Bible. Trust me – He wants to answer that prayer for you!

#2. Pick a consistent time to read the Bible, pick a favorite book of the Bible to read… and just do it. Read a few verses or a chapter every single day. As you spend time in God’s Word, delighting in it, He will give you a desire for more!

#3. Thank God for His Word, before and after you spend time reading it. I don’t know why it works, but this little practice helps me wake up excited to get into God’s Word! And I love that feeling! 🙂

#4. Read through Psalm 119! (Yes, the longest chapter in the whole Bible!) This is the psalm I turn to when I hit a motivation block, and God never fails to use it to remind me of the precious privilege we have to read His words. Read a section or two every day, and ask God to give you a heart like the Psalmist’s, a heart that yearns to read and obey His Words.

#5. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, turn your reading in Psalm 119 into a deeper Bible study. Explore the characteristics of God’s Word. What does God’s Word teach us about Him? What does God’s Word do in our lives? Pick a question and spend a couple days dwelling in the Psalm. It won’t be long before it starts to dwell in you!

#6. Bonus Resource! I would highly recommend purchasing a journal to record your thoughts and prayers as you read God’s Word, especially if you’re struggling with the motivation to spend time reading the Bible. There are lots of journals available on Amazon – here’s my personal favorite!


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Is this where you are?

Friend, if this is the place you find yourself in your spiritual walk, you are not the only one. Any one of us can struggle with this, and many of us do. The point is, you don’t have to stay here! Check out my Seven Day Fresh Start Challenge, ask a friend to hold you accountable, revamp your morning routine to fit some time with God in… Do whatever you need to do to make God a priority. Because, trust me, He is worth it all!

Please feel free to contact me about this – I would love to be praying for you specifically and help you in any way I can! And know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers as you seek pursue a deeper walk with God!

     With Love, Erin


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Prioritize Time with God!

What is it that you struggle with most on a bad day?

Take a moment to really think about that. Is it patience with the little people? A feeling of overwhelm that comes when there’s too much to do and not enough time? Is it a lack of love for your husband, or a lack of joy in the midst of daily life?

I want you to know two things. First of all, you’re normal. I’ve been there too.

Oh yes, I’ve been there. There have been days when I’ve drudged through the housework. I’ve snapped at our little person, and I’ve felt overwhelmed by all the things to do. I’ve felt “down,” irritable, and resentful, sometimes for no reason at all.

There are days in our house when life feels frustrating and overwhelming and just plain no fun. We all run into days like that.

So, we’re normal. But here’s the other half of the deal: That’s not how God wants our lives to be.

It might be normal for us as human beings, but it’s not His plan for us as Christian women

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God wants us to have the Fruit of the Spirit.

You remember the list? “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23). God wants us to have these characteristics. After all, they are the evidence of His Spirit working in us!

He wants to give us a love for our husband and children, and He wants to give us the patience of Job on days when the kids run wild. He wants us to have peace in the midst of the craziness of life and joy in the midst of the monotony of dishes.

Can you imagine the difference that the fruit of the Spirit would make in today’s culture? How many marriages would be saved if we showed God’s kind of love and faithfulness? How many children would raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord if we showed God’s kind of patience and gentleness?

The fact is, we need the fruit of the Spirit in our lives for marriages and families to work. And there’s no way around that fact.

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So how do I get more Fruit of the Spirit?

Well, it’s not by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and deciding to be more loving! As logical as that might seem in our minds, it never really works in the moment, does it?

God’s answer is much simpler than that. He just wants us to be spending time in His Word, listening to what He wants to tell us. He wants us to be applying His Word to our lives, our marriages, our parenting, our jobs… God wants us to be looking for ways to obey Him.

The fruit of the Spirit is just a fancy way of describing the characteristics that will be evident in our lives when we let the Holy Spirit guide our day-to-day responses. God wants us to walk by the Holy Spirit like we navigate our cars by our GPS. When we follow His lead, He’ll guide us away from the responses that characterize our sin nature, and He’ll lead us straight toward the fruit of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit uses our time in God’s Word to produce that fruit in us.

Let me make this SUPER practical for us…

When we read the Bible and allow it to change our lives, we are giving the Holy Spirit an opportunity. The more we dwell in God’s Word and allow it to dwell in us, the more the Holy Spirit will guide our responses to life… and the more the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in our lives, our marriages, and our parenting.

That’s how important your daily time with God is to your daily life. We need it to survive!

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Remember the 6 Common Hurdles to Spending Time with God?

(You can read it here if you missed it!)

Understanding the importance of spending time with God is the first step to overcoming those hurdles. There is a lot going on in our lives. It is hard to stay awake, hard to concentrate, hard to be consistent. It is hard to find the time.

But all the busyness of this season in life only means that we need God’s Word more than ever!

Think back to that one thing (or if you’re like me, the several things) that you struggle with most on the really hard days. God doesn’t ever promise to remove that difficult circumstance from your life. He doesn’t promise to give you an easy marriage, angelic children, or a stress-free day.

But He has given you everything you need to respond the way He wants you to. The love, joy, peace, and patience that we want in our lives is right there for the asking.

The question is, are you going to take the time to get it?

 

I want to help you make this a priority!!

Is finding time for God something that you wrestle with? Trust me, you’re not the only one, and there is hope!

A great resource to start with is my Seven Day Fresh Start Challenge – and I’d love to give it to you! The challenge comes with a free subscription to my weekly encouragement emails, which will also update you as I post more articles on this topic.

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Let me encourage you – your relationship with God is worth it! Don’t let “hard” stop you. Make spending time in God’s Word a priority, and ask Him to change your life. You won’t regret it!

I’m praying for you, friends!

     With Love, Erin


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Six Common Hurdles to Spending Time with God

“There’s so much going on in life as a wife, a mommy, and a homemaker. It’s hard to spend quality time with God with everything else going on…”

Time with God was hard to come by when our first little person was born.

I expected adjustment, unpredictable days, and sleepless nights, and don’t get me wrong, I was right about those! But I did not expect my walk with God to be affected. Even as someone who is normally a morning person, I struggled to give up that extra half hour of sleep to spend time in the Bible. Once our Little Buddy was awake, he needed my attention, and when he did fall asleep again, I needed a nap too. And then there was the laundry, the dishes, supper to put on the table…

All of a sudden, it was really hard to find time for God.

Is that something that you can relate with? How about these statements?

“Honestly, my spiritual life tends to be the first to go when my day gets chaotic. I wish it weren’t that way, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

“I just haven’t felt a motivation to spend time in God’s Word and prayer lately. I really want to have that motivation… but I don’t.”

“I’m in a season right now where I don’t have any consistency in my day – I feel like I’m at the beck and call of my kids, home, work, and ministry demands. It’s so hard to be consistent with devos when I don’t have a predictable routine.”

“I get so distracted when I do get the opportunity to sit and read the Bible. My mind wanders, or my eyes get heavy… I want to give God my full attention, but it’s so hard!”

“I’m so tired! Even if I was a morning person before the kids came along, the extra sleep is just too tempting now… And then my chance to spend time with God is gone.”

“I miss the days when I could sit down and spend uninterrupted, quality time with God…”

Do these sound like something you could say? Me too! Many of us want to be consistent in reading the Bible, praying, and memorizing Scripture, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. And that leaves most of us feeling even guiltier than ever.


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Six Hurdles to Spending Time with God

These statements represent six hurdles that many women face in spending time with God, and they’re pretty easy to recognize in our own lives once we give them a name…

  1. Priorities

“Honestly, my spiritual life tends to be the first to go when my day gets chaotic. I wish it weren’t that way, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

We’re juggling a lot with this season of life. There are so many roles and responsibilities pulling at us, and all of it is urgent. When the little ones wake up early and your husband needs a lunch packed before he leaves for work and a million things need to get done before the end of the day, well, we don’t have a choice but to let our time with God slide. Right?

  1. Motivation

“I just haven’t felt a motivation to spend time in God’s Word and prayer lately. I want to have that motivation… but I don’t.”

I’ve been here too. Many times. There are some times when our time with God feels like one more thing that we have to do. We sit down because we have to, not because we want to. And then we feel guilty for not wanting to. We know that attitude isn’t what God wants. Our heart just isn’t in it, so we’re justified in letting God slide… right?

  1. Consistency

“I’m in a season right now where I don’t have any consistency in my day – I feel like I’m at the beck and call of my kids, home, work, and ministry demands. It’s so hard to be consistent with devos when I don’t have a predictable routine.”

I’m a creature of habit, and while I know others put a higher value on spontaneity :), we all have some need for routine. Routines give us predictability in life, and they help us get things done on time.

But there is something about little people in the home that mess with our routines. They wake up early. And the next day they wake up late. They take extra naps when they’re not supposed to, and they don’t nap when you do want them to… Little things throw our routines off kilter, and that’s just sleeping habits!! How can we be consistent in our time with God when nothing else in our lives stays consistent?

  1. Sleep Deprivation

“I’m so tired! Even if I was a morning person before the kids came along, the extra sleep is just too tempting now… And then my chance to spend time with God is gone.”

It’s pretty normal for mommies to be sleep deprived. Not that we mind – we love those little people to pieces, and we’d do anything for them – but sleep is priceless when we can get it. They tell us to “sleep when the baby sleeps” (i.e. naptime), but when does the housework get done if during naptime?

Lack of sleep takes a natural toll – when I do sit down, I get sleepy. I want to spend time with God, but is the time worth it if my eyes won’t stay open?

  1. Distraction

“I get so distracted when I do get the opportunity to sit and read the Bible. My mind wanders, or my eyes get heavy… I want to give God my full attention, but it’s so hard!”

As women, we’ve been designed to multi-task. We can keep an eye on the kids while we make supper, chat on the phone while we check the mail, brainstorm a grocery list while we shower… I don’t think I’m the only one who would say that it’s rare to be thinking about just one thing for an extended period of time.

Unfortunately, that takes a toll on my time with God. I’ll do my best, but it’s hard to give God my full, unwavering attention. And there’s nothing I can do about it. Right?

  1. Time

“I miss the days when I could sit down and spend uninterrupted, quality time with God…”

This is the big one. It’s the statement that’s come up over and over again with ladies that I’ve interacted with. I want to spend time with God. I really do! I want to spend time in His Word, share my requests with Him, and hide His Word in my heart. But I just don’t have the time, and it feels like I’m never going to get it back.

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So what do we do if we’re struggling with the hurdles?

First of all, know that you’re not the only one.

These statements aren’t here because I made them up – they’re here because I’ve heard something similar from other women just like us, and because I’ve struggled with these things too. Whether you’re working through one of these hurdles or all six of them, you’re not the first one to encounter them, and you won’t be the last.

Second, know that there is hope!

God never asks something of us without giving us the strength to accomplish it. He wants us to be spending time in His Word and in prayer, and He is willing to give us exactly what we need so we can do His will!

Third, know that conquering these hurdles is probably going to take a fight…

A godly mentor of mine has pointed out that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s Word or in prayer, and he will do anything to keep us from doing God’s will. Choosing to spend time with God will be hard, and following through will be harder still.

But you need to know… Your relationship with God is worth it!

Don’t let “hard” stop you! Identify what needs to change in your life. Ask God to help you change it. And then go and do it!

Let me know how I can encourage you in this!

You can leave a comment below, sign up for weekly encouragement notes sent straight to your inbox, or drop me an email at littleyellowhouseadventures@gmail.com to get in touch with me. I would love to help in any way I can!!

Also, we delve into how to fix some of these hurdles in our series, Pursuing God as Busy Moms. I’d love to share those resources with you! The links are below – just keep scrolling! 🙂

     With Love, Erin


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Five Questions that Simplify Life

Ever feel like you’re just treading water?

Like you’re supposed to be swimming upstream, but all you can do is keep your head above the surface?

I was behind on laundry, dishes, and dusting. The fridge was filled with food that needed to be pitched, and my hopes for a well-tended, productive garden were going down fast. Little Buddy needed TLC that I didn’t have time to give, and my husband was coming home to minor chaos after work.

Honestly, I felt like I was failing as a wife, mommy, and homemaker.

There was so much going on in life, so many things vying for my attention, and there was never enough time in the day.

That’s where I was at.

 

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Something needed to change.

God hasn’t called us to a spirit of fear, and I like to think that He hasn’t called us to a spirit of Overwhelm either. He doesn’t want us to be worried, harried, and stressed. In fact, His plans for us are very different…

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me…” Matthew 1:28-29a

A little heart-to-heart with God helped me see the problem. I had set my expectations so high – I was going to be a great wife and mommy, I was going to keep an immaculate house, I was going to cook awesome meals and have a garden that was the envy of the neighborhood…

My goal was to excel. At everything. And my expectations for myself were not God’s expectations for me.

Now, I want you to understand… It’s not bad to want a clean house and a well-tended garden. Those are good things, things that can honor God. But when they get in the way of more important things in my life? That’s a problem.

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Pursuing God’s expectations of me…

God taught me some really good things when I hit Overwhelm, and here’s the biggest lesson I walked away with: God created us to be finite.

Really, that shouldn’t have been earth-shattering. Of course we are finite; only God is infinite. But if you’d have seen some of my to-do lists, if you’d have known some of my expectations of myself, you’d have thought this finite news was hot off the press!

Here’s the short and sweet of it: I am finite in my abilities, my time, and my energy. And that’s okay – it’s how God created me to be!

God is okay if my garden was a mess last summer. He’s okay if my fridge doesn’t get cleaned right this minute. He wants me to pursue the things that He wants for my life, and to do my best with the strength that He gives me.

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That’s where The Five Questions come in. 

As I sat down to deal with Overwhelm, I found myself dealing with priorities. Because that’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? I can’t do everything; God hasn’t designed me to do everything. But He does want me to do something…

So I developed The Five Questions as I walked myself through my expectations, roles, and priorities in life. I compared my expectations with God’s expectations of me. And I ended with a To-Do list that only had eight things on it! (Hooray!!!)

The Five Questions simplified life, changed my perspective, and helped me align my priorities with God’s priorities.

Does that mean I’ve never dealt with the Overwhelm again?

Nope! I hit Overwhelm again last week!

God used these Five Questions to change me, and He is still using them to change me and realign my life with His plans for me.

That’s why I want to share this resource with you!

Not because these questions are a magic solution to anything. They’re not! But they are a tool that you can use to reassess your priorities and a tool that you can refer back to when the Overwhelm knocks on your door.

And guess what? Getting these Five Questions is super easy!

I would love to send them to you! It’s as easy as signing up for my email list below, and then clicking “Confirm Subscription” in the follow-up email sent to your inbox. Then you’ll receive an email straight from me with a downloadable copy of The Five Questions at the bottom – it’s yours for free!

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Not sure you want more emails filling up your inbox (and adding to your Overwhelm)? That’s okay – I understand that completely! Give us a try for a couple weeks, and you can always unsubscribe later if you want. The freebie is worth it! (And personally, I think you’ll like what you find! 🙂 )

Here’s the sign-up form!

I’d love to hear what you think of the freebie! Send me an email or post a comment below and share your thoughts!

Sending thoughts and prayers your way as you pursue God’s priorities!

                ~ Erin

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂

 

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Good News and Bad News

Faith

The word faith is tossed around a lot today. Ask anyone on the street, and you’ve got a good chance of finding someone to be a spiritual person, someone who has faith. It’s easy to give a cop-out like, “Sure, I’ve got faith,” or “Yeah, faith is very important to me.” But these kinds of comments can mean so many things that they don’t mean much at all.

Don’t get me wrong. Faith is very important to me too. But what does that tell you about me? Not much. I could be talking about my conviction that purple kangaroos live on the dark side of the moon (which is nonsense) or my spiritual connection with Mickey Mouse (which is more nonsense).

Our questions need to go a little deeper… Why should we believe what we believe? How can we know what is true?

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Here’s the starting point!

We have lots of questions, and God has already given us the answers we need! He wants us to know Him, and He has given us the Bible as our guidebook for life. Every bit of the Bible is true, and we can trust it today. How awesome is that?!? We can know the God of creation!

The message of the Bible is really simple. It has some good news and bad news for every single one of us. And God is going to hold us accountable for what we do with that news…

 

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The bad news comes first…

Evil, destruction, and death came into the picture in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve disobeyed God; they ate the fruit that God had warned them not to eat. Adam and Eve sinned, and in doing so, their relationship with God was broken.

Unfortunately, none of us is any better than Adam and Eve. Check out what God says…

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

All of us have done things in disobedience to God. Think about it – little white lies and whoppers, bad attitudes and all-out rage, the worship of immaterial things like wealth and power and the worship of wooden or stone statues – all of these put us in the same position before God.

We are sinners. All of us fall short.

Here’s an illustration of what that looks like… Imagine you and I are going to have a rock throwing contest. Our target is the North Pole, and we’re throwing from my home in Iowa. (No cheating and throwing from Canada!) Your rock might go farther than mine, or mine might go farther than yours (highly unlikely), but let’s be honest. Neither of us is going to hit the North Pole!

That’s what Romans 3:23 is talking about. We have sinned, and God’s glory is so great and holy and perfect, that even with our best efforts, our good works, our faithful charities, our baptism, our church membership… Nothing we do could ever gain us access to God’s glory. It’s as impossible as my rock hitting the North Pole.

 

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The news gets worse before it gets better…

The Bible says we are have all sinned. None of us can gain access to God. But that’s not the worst of it…

“For the wages of sin is death…”  Romans 6:23

We all know what a wage is, right? Let’s say you hire me to do some work for you. I work hard, get the work done, and you pay me fifty dollars. The fifty dollars is my wage, my payment for the work I’ve done.

God says that the payment for the sin we’ve done is death. That’s what Romans 6:23 means. All of us have sinned, and we have earned our wage – death.

Unfortunately, the wage of death isn’t just talking about physical death; it’s talking about a second, spiritual death too…

“Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not written in the book of life, he was thrown in the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:14-15

Every one of us will die someday, and we will face the holy God of the universe. We’ll stand before Him and have to give an account for the sin that we’ve done in our lives. God will see our disobedience and give us our wages, the second death.

 

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Does that concern you?

I don’t know about you, but verses like Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, and Revelation 20:14-15 concern me. The lake of fire is a place of eternal torment and separation from God, and I don’t want to spend eternity there!

Here’s the amazing thing about our God: He doesn’t want us to spend eternity in the lake of fire either! This is what He says…

“The Lord is not slow in fulfilling His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9

Did you read that correctly? God doesn’t want us to die the second death! But what can God do? We’ve all chosen our path – we’re sinners. We’ve all earned our wages – eternal death. God is holy, and He never wavers from justice. Someone has to pay the price.

 

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Here’s the good news!

God loved us enough to sacrifice His only Son, Jesus Christ, so we could be free from our sin!

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should never perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:7-8

Here’s an illustration of what happened. I know it’s an awful thought, but let’s say you have cancer. The doctors say there’s no hope, no treatments. You’ve got months to live, and then it’s over.

Then let’s say I come and take your cancer from you.

What’s going to happen to you? You’re going to live. What’s going to happen to me? I’m going to die.

That’s what Jesus did for us! He became human, lived a sinless life, and died the death on the cross that we deserved and He did not. Three days later, He rose to life again and proved to the world that He was who He said He was – the Son of God and the way to salvation!

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So how do we receive this salvation?

Remember how we started all this by talking about faith? This is where faith comes in…

“For by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9

I like to use an illustration with this verse too. I have a pen sitting beside me as I type; let’s say I want to give it to you, for keeps. (It’s a really nice pen!) I offer it to you freely, no charge, no strings attached. At what point does the pen become yours?

When you reach out and take it from me.

God is offering something to you now, something you don’t deserve, something you couldn’t ever hope to earn. He’s offering you eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. All He asks of you is to turn from your sin, ask Him for forgiveness, and trust in Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection as the final payment of your wages for sin. Have faith that He has paid it all and has given you eternal life!

“For our sake, He [God] made Him [Jesus Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him [Christ] we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21

I have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as the salvation necessary to save me from my sins. My faith in Jesus Christ has restored me to God, and now I am able to have a personal relationship with Him.

 

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What about you? Do you have faith?

I hope and pray this is a decision that you have made. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions – this is something I would love to talk to you about. 🙂

Blessings!

      ~ Erin

 

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This post has been updated from a previous post.

Great Read: “For Women Only”

Here’s the short version of this post. Ready?

You want to read this book! 🙂

     An Overview…

Someone gave me part of their library a few months ago, and For Women Only was in the mix. I had already heard of the author, Shaunti Feldhahn, so I was excited about the chance to read one of her books…

But within reading the first chapter? I was beyond excited. I was sold!

For Women Only is an intensely practical book about guys and how they tick. It’s a book that’s easy to read, easy to relate to, and easy to apply. And it’s a book that’s written by a woman who has “been there” and who understands where we’re coming from as women, wives, and moms…

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     The Author

Shaunti Feldhahn is a Christian, a wife and mom, a social researcher, and a best-selling author. Her books are unique in that they are not “how-to” or “self-help” books. Rather, they are researched-based, finding their foundation in hundreds of surveys conducted on the topics in question.

And that’s where her authority lies as the author of a book subtitled, “what you need to know about the inner lives of men.”

In preparing for her book, For Women Only, Shaunti and her team conducted “spoken and written interviews with more than one thousand men with the goal of delving into the ‘common perplexities’ that crop up when men and women interact” (p 10).

(She talked to one thousand men! That’s commitment!)

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     The Content

In studying the answers that these men gave her, Shaunti found seven “revelations… things that my own husband always wished I knew, but couldn’t figure out how to explain” (p 12). These revelations are principles that many women have a surface understanding of, things like “men need respect” and “men are visual.” But chapter by chapter, Shaunti digs behind these surface understandings to bring out what each principle means in the practical, everyday lives of our guys.

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     Here’s an Example…

Men need respect and women need love. That’s common marriage advice in today’s Christian circles, and it’s based on a Biblical concept found in Ephesians 5. But that statement still leaves us hanging without a practical vision of how love and respect play out in day-to-day life. “Wives respect your husbands…”

           Well, I’m pretty sure I respect him, so I’m good right?

Shaunti Feldhahn took this principle that we’re so familiar with and gave it hands and feet. She explains what is going through the male mind in regard to respect. She points out that while “most of us do respect the man in our lives and often don’t realize when our words or actions convey exactly the opposite!” (p 23-24).

Here’s a great example (p 30): Men need us to respect their abilities. They want us to trust them to figure things out. So when I suggest to my husband that we need to ask for directions on a road trip, I am inadvertently communicating distrust in his ability to get us to our destination. My comments are meant to be helpful, but his ears hear it as a slam on his ability and his intuition. He feels disrespect!

I had to smile when I checked my husband’s opinion on this one. Yes, he told me, that’s how he felt in situations like that, don’t women feel that way too? No, we don’t! It’s a team effort! Everybody’s trying to find they’re destination together, let’s help one another out! His response: It is a team effort – and they (anybody we might ask directions of) are on the other team!

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     The Value of this Book…

Honestly, it was these practical, real life examples and the resulting conversations with my husband that were so helpful to me. Before reading Shaunti’s book, I knew that I needed to respect my husband, and I was committed to doing just that. But For Women Only shed light on what respect looks like from his point of view, and that was incredibly helpful!

Every chapter gave me a better understanding of how guys think. And in some cases, Shaunti blew my mind with how much I didn’t get about men. Men are built to be different from women, and there are some things we just won’t understand until we hear them out on their point of view.

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     Biblical Womanhood…

Part of Biblical womanhood is sharing resources with our sisters in Christ, resources that point us to Christ, teach us truth, and change our perspective. That’s how we sharpen one another, how we help one another grow.

This book, For Women Only, is one of those resources for me. I wish I’d had it two years ago when I got married! It has changed my perspective on how men think and on how marriage works. Things like not stopping to ask for directions? I understand now! I get it!

As a sister in Christ, I wanted to share this resource with you too. I would encourage you, find a copy at the library, borrow one from a friend, check out Shaunti’s website 4-womenonly.com, whatever you need to do to make sure it’s a good buy. Then put it on your Christmas wish-list and buy it for friends!

Interested in buying it now? For Women Only is reasonably priced on Amazon. Buy one now, check it out, and come back for more later! Here’s a link!

Thanks for letting me share my heart and gush a little, friends! And let me know what you think of the book – I would love to hear your thoughts and things that you learn!

Blessings! ~ Erin

 

More Resources on Marriage

10 Ways I Can Love My Husband

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Choosing to Love My Husband

Something I’ve been learning…

When we read love stories, relationships have a way of looking easy. Of course he’s head-over-heels in love with her, and of course she thinks the world of him. Why not? It’s a match made in heaven, the wedding bells are ringing, and they live happily ever after.

After all, that’s how Disney promised it would happen, right?

Today’s culture has conditioned us to think of true love as a feeling. It’s a wonderful, mystical thing that happens between two people, and when it happens to you, you can’t avoid it. Apparently this powerful force is best displayed in Disney princess movies and chick flicks.

I hope you know that’s not reality.

Disney is not a great depiction of what true love really is. (Gasp! Our culture is wrong!)

Just a glance at the Bible’s classic love passage, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, shows us that love is a sacrificial action, prompting us to do what is best for another person even when it isn’t easy. It’s true that Biblical love includes feelings, but that’s not the full extent of Biblical love. It focuses on how I can love and serve my husband, not on how he makes me feel.

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Love is a choice…

Despite the culture’s opinions on the subject, we do have a say in who we love. Love is a choice and an action! Remember Matthew 6:20-21? Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Our hearts will love what we are actively investing in.

That means the question is no longer, “How does he make me feel?” but rather, “How can I invest my heart in this man?”

So let’s get practical.

With that in mind, I sat down to brainstorm. What does this “investing” looks like in our house? The list below was the result – a few practical ways that I intentionally invest my heart in my husband.

I hope the list gives you a few ideas for investing in your own husband. And I hope you’ll leave a few of your own ideas in the comment section for the rest of us! 🙂

(Make sure you read to the bottom – I’ve got some great resources to recommend if you want to learn more!)

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10 Simple Ways I Love My Husband

  1. I go all out with breakfast every once in a while.

Cereal and bagels are pretty normal for breakfast at our house, and we like it that way. Simple is a really good thing early in the morning! But my husband also tells stories about the breakfasts he had on Saturday mornings as a kid. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon…

So every once in a while, I try to surprise him. I’ll get up a little early or hurry through my morning routine just so he can come out of the bedroom and smell the bacon. You should see his smile when I make that extra effort!

  1. I wash his French Press. (I told you these were simple!)

My husband is a coffee connoisseur. While he doesn’t mind ground coffee and a coffee machine, grinding his own beans and using a French press is usually preferred. As a girl who likes the smell of coffee but not the taste, I let coffee be his thing.

But here’s the thing about French presses – once they’ve been used, they’re dirty! (Imagine that, right?) French presses aren’t the easiest thing to wash, and they are an easy thing to set aside since they’re not part of my perception of normal breakfast dishes. So I have to be intentional about washing it with the rest of the breakfast dishes.

Coffee might not be my cup of tea, but I do want to take care of that French press if it’s his!

  1. I say thank you.

Husbands need encouragement! They want to be good husbands and daddies, and they work hard to provide. Believe it or not, it’s common for them to feel inadequate for the role that God has called them to. (Curious about that little fact? I learned it from Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, For Women Only. If you’re interested, you can click here to read my review!)

With his need for encouragement in mind, I really try to notice the little things that he does for us around the house. Taking out the trash or sweeping the Cheerios off the floor might seem insignificant, but it sure saves me some steps! Words like “Thank you for…” and “I really appreciate it when…” go a long way in letting him know I notice and appreciate the way he takes care of us.

  1. I leave encouraging notes every once in a while.

I want my spoken words are encouraging all the time, but written notes have an extra level of intentionality to them that make them special. They don’t happen all the time, just often enough to keep him guessing.

My favorite spots for “hiding” notes are on his to-do list, on his pulpit, and in his bathroom cabinet. I want to be just subtle enough in hiding them that he’s surprised, but always obvious enough that he’ll find them. 🙂

  1. I try to remember to clean his bathroom.

That sounds awful. A clean bathroom says “I love you?!” Well, there’s a story to that…

The bathroom on our main floor is a little feminine to say the least. We have a pink sink and a pink tub. (I’ve been told the stool was pink too, but that was replaced before we moved in.) So my husband was more than willing to claim the basement bathroom, which is not feminine at all with its cement floors and house centipedes. (Don’t look those up if you don’t like bugs.)

All of this sounds well and good until we realize that since I never use the basement bathroom, I never see the basement bathroom. Out of sight, out of mind, and that means I never remember to clean it.

There, true confessions of a forgetful housewife! I have to be intentional about remembering his bathroom, and then I have to be intentional about doing something about cleaning it. See how a clean bathroom can be a love language? 🙂

  1. I meet him at the door when he comes home from work.

This one started when I was growing up. My sister and I would begin to watch the driveway around 4:30, and “Daddy’s home!” would echo through the house as soon as his truck rolled into view. Then it was a race to the door as Dad pulled into the garage.

I love the idea of our kids doing this too, so it’s already a tradition for Little Buddy and me to watch for Daddy’s truck when he’s due home. It’s a practical way for us to show that he’s an important part of our lives and that we’ve missed him during the day.

  1. I always greet him with a smile and a kiss.

This one goes hand in hand with meeting him at the door. It’s just a little way to say “I missed you, and I’m so glad you’re home!” 🙂

  1. I’m learning to make fish, pork chops, and steak.

It’s okay if you don’t relate with me on this one. I know I’m a little weird.

I’ve never been a huge fan of meats – tacos and spaghetti are more my style than chicken, seafood, and steak. I prefer sandwich shops to steak houses as a rule. I’m just fine with that! But unfortunately, that means that my husband sees less meat on his plate than he might prefer…

Because it’s not my cup of tea, I have to make a conscious effort to treat him to the meat-and-potato-style meals. Pulling that meat out of the freezer every once in a while is an intentional way that I show him I love him.

(And seeing his eyes light up when he sees dinner on the table definitely makes it worth it!)

  1. I’m figuring out his favorite ways to relax and giving him time to do them.

As a stay-at-home wife and mommy, I love it when my husband comes home. Maybe this is just me again, but I’m ready to tell him all about my day when he walks in the door, blow by blow, ready or not. It’s the adult conversation that I’ve missed all day!

My husband is such a good listener, and he’s so patient with my chatter. But he does need time to unwind. He’s been busy working, and caring, and providing for us all day – he needs a break!

Giving him time to catch up on the online news or to read a book on the couch isn’t always how I picture spending the evening. But if he needs that time to unwind, it’s going at the top of my priority list!

  1. I give him my unconditional respect.

This is a hard one for a lot of women. We just don’t understand a man’s need for it. Things come into clarity a bit when we realize that most men would rather feel unloved than disrespected. (Again, I have Shaunti Feldhahn’s book For Women Only to thank for that thought!)

The fact is, our husbands need us. The world isn’t going to be their cheerleader. They want to know their wives are behind them one hundred percent.

It’s really interesting that we expect our husbands give us love unconditionally (which they should!), but we respect them conditionally, expecting them to earn our respect. The Bible is pretty straightforward on this one. “Wives, respect your husbands.” No if’s, and’s, or but’s.

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Love is a choice…

Your list of ten will probably not look like mine, but the point is still the same. Marriage takes work. It takes commitment and intentionality. And we all have room to grow in this area. Whether we’re fresh off the honeymoon or celebrating seventy years of marriage, love is still a choice, an action, an investment.

So here’s my challenge to you. What are you going to do about it?

Any thoughts? Fun examples of what this looks like in your house? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. Biblical womanhood is a sisterhood thing, so let’s learn from one another!

     With Love, Erin


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