Mindful Monday Devotional -Brave on the inside

Mindful Monday devotional -Brave on the Inside
This devotional really hit home with me this week. As an autism mama and daughter of an Alzheimer’s mom, I know the scars we develop from caring for others all too well.

My mom knew the scars very well –absolutely. My mom took care of others from the time she was a young girl till she developed dementia (and now Alzheimer’s).

I don’t know a time in my mom’s life when she wasn’t taking care of someone or something (our pets).

Mom had her first child when she was only 17 (within wedlock…she and my dad got married when she was 16). Mom gave birth to four children, one of whom passed away shortly after birth. Before that she took care of her elders. She was raised in the mountains of south west Virginia.  Up in the mountains, back in the “hollers” where that’s what you did then. Everyone took care of everybody else.

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Mindful Monday Devotional – Better Together

Mindful Monday -Better Together

We Christians need each other, like it or not! 

I know many of us (myself included) have been hurt (sometimes very deeply) by other Christians.  It can hurt like no other hurt and it leads us to feel like we need to stay away from other believers.

I went through that in my 20’s. I was very involved in my church and several inter-denominational Christian fellowships and Bible studies.  I was single at the time and it felt like people my age were meeting at these fellowships, hooking up and getting married or moving away to start new adventures. I had church or a Bible study or fellowship every night of the week but one.  I was never home.  I lived at home with my parents still at that time.

One by one groups stopped meeting for whatever reason and it go to where I was only left with church.  Then at church I drove the church van picking up inner-city kids that nobody else wanted to deal with. I weighed about 150 pounds more than I do now, and you can bet I heard everything those kids had to throw out at me about my weight.  I kept telling myself to bear it because the Lord was the One to deal with these kids. My job was only to be obedient and get them to church and get them back home again.

One night after dropping the kids off, I went back to the church to drop the van off, get my car and go on my way.  There was a sticky note on the windshield of my car by the associate pastor ‘relieving me’ of my ‘duties’ and accusing me of using the church van for personal reasons.  No discussion, not even in person. Just an accusation on a yellow post-it note. Done and done.

A few days later one of the guys (I’ll call him Jim)  in the church who was my age, and who also attended the inter-denominational fellowships I’d been involved in for years approached me after church in the aisles when everyone was talking before they left.  He yelled at me accusing me of being uptown in the bars.  In truth, I had been uptown, but NOT in the bars. I’d been in the park there on the square witnessing to people who came out of the bars with fellow Christians.  I was not patronizing the bars nor “partying”. I’d been about my Father’s business.

Jim was yelling at me loudly accusing me of being backslidden and that I was not in the Lord’s will and that I needed to repent.  I’d already had it.  I yelled back at him, “That’s not true, and if it WAS true, this is NOT the way the Lord would handle it!”.  He put his hands on his hips like a bratty child and said, “Oh yeah, how do you think He would handle it?”  I quoted Matthew 18:16, “But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'”  He would NOT ASSUME things of me He didn’t know to be a fact and get in my face in front of others screaming at me like a banshee!

I ran to a room and the pastor’s wife followed me with me crying my eyes out, humiliated.  After I calmed down, I scheduled a meeting with the pastor to discuss the note from the associate pastor and then Jim’s humilation.  At my meeting with the pastor, he said he would talk to them both.  The associate pastor later apologized.  But two days later, Jim was voted onto church council and never apologized or even tried to talk calmly with me.

That was it for me.  I told the Lord, “I’m not leaving YOU, but I want NOTHING to do with your PEOPLE!” .  I left my church and left my fellowship group (the only one that was still there hanging on by a thread).

Looking back, I know the Lord understood every tear I shed over that and that He was not happy with His people who sinned against me and hurt me so badly.  But He also knew how being away from other believers would eventually also lead me away from Him.  Without the fellowship and the teachings (this was before the days of the internet) I did wind up backsliding.  For 9 years, in fact, with my two best friends who were also fed up.

I had every right to feel hurt and betrayed and I had every right to leave that church.  But I SHOULD have found another church and other fellowships rather than giving up on other believers completely.  I learned the hard way that other Christians may do me wrong , as ANYONE will do me wrong, but I have to answer to the Lord for my OWN relationship with him. I have a duty to obey the Bible, including Hebrews 10:25, ‘and not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”   That’s clear as a bell. We need each other. Whether we like it or not 🙂

I did come back to the Lord in 2002 when I was carrying my son through a very difficult pregnancy.  I didn’t want to bring him into the world into a home without it being a Christian home.  I was living in another city at the time (having gotten married and moved away).  The Lord provided a wonderful women’s Bible study group (where I experienced another hurt, but the Lord brought healing…) I was a big part of for 10 years. Also a church which we were a part of till we had to move back to my hometown to be near my mom who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

I read a devotional that reminded me of those days and I hope it inspires you as it did me:


“Better Together”

So in Christ we, though many, form one body,

and each member belongs to all the others.

(Romans 12:5)

We’re more alike than we sometimes realize. We’re all a bit afraid. We all want to belong. We all worry we will be too much or not enough. We all tend to feel more comfortable with a little distance between ourselves and those around us because we’re afraid we won’t be loved if we’re seen close up.

We might create that distance by saying “I’m fine” when we feel broken inside, holding on to our couch like it’s a lifeboat every evening, working too much, drinking too much, doing anything that will make us feel like we can avoid others seeing us as we really are.

But that’s not how we’re made to live. We need to walk onto the stage, out the door, across the room, and spill what’s really going on in our lives. We need to let people see our faces without makeup and our souls without scripts and our lives without the polish and practice.

Yes, there are days meant for wearing the beautiful dress, adding the extra coat of mascara, and putting our “best” forward. But there are days meant for inviting people into our worst as well. And most of all, there are moments for sharing everything that’s in between. In other words, plain ol’ lovely, ordinary, extraordinary you.

So let’s be brave today. Let’s love and be loved. Let’s look with gentler eyes at ourselves and each other. Whether we’re in pajamas or high-heeled pumps.

Whether we’re holding a microphone or warming up leftover coffee in the microwave as syrup-splattered toddlers run circles around our ankles. Whether we’re close up or far away.

None of us needs to have it together; we only need to remember we’re better together.

“…so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
–Romans 12:5 NLT

You can read this and other devotions in Holley’s book here:


Mindful Monday Devotional -The Answer to Anxiety Rejoices in God’s Plans

Mindful Monday Devotional -The Answer to Anxiety Rejoices in God's Plan

It seems like most people I know anymore are on some form of antidepressant.  I don’t remember that at all when I was growing up.  I heard of the occasional “nerve pill”, but that was only when someone was on the verge of a nervous breakdown or close.  It really feels like the closer we get to the return of the Lord, the more anxious the world is getting.  With good reason!  It’s just fulfilling prophecy about the end times.  People will turn against each other, their hearts will wax cold, and so on and so on.

But the Christian shouldn’t allow the feeling of anxiety to overtake us.  We of all people have reason for hope and to trust that everything that happens in our lives are a part of God’s ultimate plan.  It may not seem like it at the moment, but I know (for me) we can always look back and see God’s hand in the most worry-fraught times of our lives.

I read this in my YouVersion devotional this week.





The Answer to Anxiety Rejoices in God’s Plans

The Bible is clear that God’s people deal with anxiety. The Psalmist acknowledges that even when the Lord is your hope, the cares will still be many! All through Psalms and Proverbs there are acknowledgments that God’s people know what it is to have cares in our hearts.

It is humility that brings hope to the anxious heart, and this humility that brings relief from anxiety rests in God’s gracious and good plans.

Can you be confident that He will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you?

God is described by Peter as the God of all grace. I don’t deserve for the Lord to take care of me in such a way that, at all times, it is something good that is being worked out in the details of my life.

And yet that is what He does.

Because He is gracious and good, I can have this confidence – whatever suffering I am going through is temporary. Even if it is for a lifetime, it is still a little while.

What awaits us is eternal glory in Christ – who will Himself restore us, confirm us, strengthen us and establish us.

The Old Testament book of Job tells us of a man who lost everything. We know that the Lord was using his faithfulness to demonstrate to Satan that Job’s reverence for the Lord wasn’t dependent on the things in his life that he had been given.

We read about this purpose of God’s in Job’s life, but Job lived it – he didn’t have the book of Job to tell him of the things that we know by reading in Scripture.

Amazingly, due to God’s work in his heart, he was able to say that “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away” – but “blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job was able to say, “I trust Him.”

You humble yourself when you acknowledge God’s sovereignty and rejoice in it. You must be willing to admit that He has the power and the right to do what He will do. Whether this looks like giving or taking away in your life, you must be willing to say this to Him with a heart of praise.

This is not fatalism or resignation, but praise.

We have not humbled ourselves until God’s sovereignty is sweet to us.

Do you rejoice in the knowledge that you are not in control, but He is?

Will you humble yourself by taking all those things represented in the word anxieties, bag them up, and cast them onto Him, knowing that He cares for you?

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” –Psalms 94:19 ESV

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!”  –Psalms 139:23 ESV

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”  –Proverbs 12:25 ESV

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  –1 Peter 5:10‭-‬11 ESV

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  –1 Peter 5:10‭-‬11 ESV

“And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” –Job 1:8 ESV

“And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”  –Job 2:3 ESV

“And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord .”  –Job 1:21 ESV

“Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.”  –Job 13:15 ESV

* For this and other devotionals, check out Richard’s book here on Amazon —>

*(Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, I will receive a small compensation when you buy something from Amazon when using the link I provide. I will only share my favorite products and those recommended to me by friends or family who have used it personally.This will help me out with the costs of running my blog and is much appreciated! See my full disclosure statement here)


Mindful Monday Devotional -Called to Create

Mindful Monday Devotional -We are called to create


This devotional came at a really opportune time for me.  I’d recently been giving a lot of consideration about what to do about couponing blogging on my CalvaryCouponers.com blog.  I had been frustrated about the scammers bombarding the two large couponing Facebook groups I admin and the time it took me to moderate the pending posts,deleting a ton of spam and porno site links.  I was just frustrated and the whole coupon blogging world was just ‘old’ to me as a result.  After some prayer and thought, I felt like the Lord was reminding me of why I started that blog to begin with.  To help my family and others like mine learn to save money on needed groceries and be able to have a little more money at the end of the month.  Also given my natural inclination towards inclination, it gave me a creative outlet as I design 90% of my own graphics.

I just had posted about resuming my coupon posts on that blog when later that evening I read the following devotion.  See if it inspires something in your life as well!


Casper ten Boom

Ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, work has been arduous and difficult (Genesis 3). But as we saw yesterday in Genesis 2, work is not inherently bad—it was designed by God to be an act of worship and a meaningful way for humans to glorify God and serve others.

In a fallen world, it can be difficult to see the goodness, meaning, and eternal significance of our work. I doubt many of Casper ten Boom’s neighbors saw his work as particularly meaningful. As his daughter Corrie remembers in her book, The Hiding Place, for more than sixty years, ten Boom went to work every day as a thoroughly ordinary watchmaker and shopkeeper. But while ten Boom’s work may have appeared as monotonous as a ticking timepiece, he was a man who loved his work and saw it as a calling from God, using his watch shop as a means of serving his neighbors and discipling his employees. While ten Boom was faithful in using his work to serve the Lord in these “little things,” God had plans to entrust him with much more responsibility as Europe headed into World War II.

After the Germans invaded the ten Booms’ hometown of Haarlem in the Netherlands, the family began leading a clandestine effort to hide Jews and others at risk of extermination by the Nazis. Ten Boom’s unassuming watch shop quickly became the front door for the anti-Nazi underground network in town, used to smuggle food and other supplies to the Jews hiding in the ten Boom’s home behind the watch shop. The ten Booms even used encoded messages about “watches” as a means of communicating critical information across telephone lines undoubtedly tapped by the Nazis.

On February 28, 1944, German soldiers caught the ten Booms and sent Casper and Corrie to prison. At the time, the ten Booms were hiding four Jews and two members of the underground network. When the ten Booms were taken away, they didn’t know if these six people were dead or alive. Weeks later, while detained at Scheveningen concentration camp, Corrie received an encoded message informing her that “All the watches in your closet are safe.” Corrie knew that the six had made it out alive. Ten days after his arrest, Casper ten Boom died at the age of eighty-four, not knowing that his work as an entrepreneur and watchmaker had been used in this dramatic way to accomplish God’s will one more time.

I recently had a chance to visit ten Boom’s watch shop, which is still in operation today. As I approached the front door, I was startled by how ordinary and unassuming the shop is. Most people walked by without giving the shop a second look. I’m sure many of Haarlem’s residents looked at Casper ten Boom’s work as a watchmaker the same way, wondering what meaning there was in tinkering with timepieces for sixty years. But ten Boom leveraged his work in some incredibly meaningful ways. And while our stories will almost certainly not be as dramatic as ten Boom’s, the fact is that as we embrace God’s call to create on our lives, He will use our work in ways we can’t even imagine to accomplish His will.

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Genesis 3:17‭-‬19 ESV

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
Luke 16:10 ESV


This devotional and others can be found in Jordan Raynor’s book, “Called to Create”

Mindful Monday Devotional – Irreplaceable You!

Mindful Monday Devotional: Irreplacable You

Are you one of those people who were picked first for games as a child?  Maybe you were one of the sought-after ones for the hope of being the date for the prom. Everything went well and you were popular.  Maybe you were a cheerleader or on the drill team.  Star of the football team.

Or, maybe you were like me, and sat at home when the prom was going on and was one of the last picked for the dodgeball game or volleyball game at school whether people were aware you were a good player or not.  They just judged you by your size, appearance, popularity status, etc.

Those of us who were the left-outers suffered pain and rejection by our peers (and possibly family members as well).

Our Heavenly Father sees us as priceless, though!  He created us and watches over us daily.  To Him, we are irreplaceable!  He will never push us to the side in favor of someone else and He gave us the talents He wants us to use for His Kingdom (whether you have discovered it yet or not).

Crystal Stine has written a devotional just for those of us who can relate to this syndrome of feeling overlooked and unwanted.  I could SO relate to it and I hope you enjoy it too! Check it out!—>

There are Legos all over our house. Our collection began with just a few sets at Christmas one year, and now there are bins and bins of little colorful blocks. As my daughter builds, the larger Lego pieces are used first. They’re the ones that set the stage, the ones that overshadow the hundred little plastic bags full of nearly invisible parts, necessary and perfectly equipped for their purpose.

Sometimes I want nothing more than to be, like those larger Legos pieces, the established, obvious choice. But the larger and more impressive Lego pieces don’t make as much difference once the building is finished, not like you might think they would. As I picked up horses and mini figures, tiny hedgehogs, and sparkly snowflakes, I realized sometimes the smallest piece of the set makes the biggest impact.

Little pieces of clear plastic, nearly invisible, create beautiful windows.

Sparkly little dots add final touches to roofs and tables.

Carrot noses complete snowmen, and tiny ice skates adorn tiny feet.

Often, I’m the accent piece that plays a small supporting role. The quiet one overshadowed by the larger-than-life personality. The one who assumes I’m easily replaceable or unnecessary for the finished product—nice to have, but not a “must have.” But how generous of God to create the body of Christ specifically and intentionally to need every part—no matter how large or small.

Do you feel like one of the tiny, overlooked pieces in the kit? Are you still not sure that what looks plain and ordinary and messy could ever be part of the holy kingdom work your heart longs to offer to the world? Do you wonder how you can stay where God has called you when you aren’t sure the work you’ve been given is good enough?

Your presence and your purpose matter. Whether we’re the most impressive piece in a pile (helping others to stand firm!) or the smallest accent (shining brightly!), we glorify God when we unite for His kingdom. You are irreplaceable, perfectly equipped, and incredibly necessary to the work God has planned for you. In Christ, we can do more than we could ever imagine.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.  –1 Corinthians 12:12‭-‬14 ESV

For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the Lord , which range through the whole earth.”  –Zechariah 4:10 ESV

If you enjoyed this devotional, take a look at Crystal’s book, “Holy Hustle:  Embracing a Work-Hard, Rest-Well Life” here —>


Mindful Monday Devotional – Serving Leftovers to a Holy God

Mindful Monday - Serving Leftovers to a Holy God

This is one of the devotionals I read recently on YouVersion.  It both inspired and convicted me and I thought you may benefit from it as well!


“Serving Leftovers to a Holy God” by Francis Chan

James 2: 19 says, “You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” God doesn’t just want us to have good theology; He wants us to know and love Him. First John 2:3-4 tells us, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Call me crazy, but I think those verses mean that the person who claims to know God but doesn’t obey His commands is a liar and that the truth really isn’t in him.

Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded? You’ll notice that He didn’t add, “But hey, if that’s too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians—you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.”

Now, I do not want true believers to doubt their salvation as they read this book. In the midst of our failed attempts at loving Jesus, His grace covers us.

Each of us has lukewarm elements and practices in our life; therein lies the senseless, extravagant grace of it all. The Scriptures demonstrate clearly that there is room for our failure and sin in our pursuit of God. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3). His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). I’m not saying that when you mess up, it means you were never really a genuine Christian in the first place. If that were true, no one could follow Christ.

* Do you see the fruits of Christianity in your own life? A love of Christ, following His commands? If you’re feeling brave, ask someone who knows you well whether or not your actions reflect Christ and the commands He gave.”

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
James 2:14‭-‬17

For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?
Luke 9:25

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 14:15


You can pick up Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love” which this devotion can be found in here —>

Mindful Monday Devotional – Practicing His Prescence

Mindful Monday Devotional Practicing His Presence

This week’s devotional is pretty long, so I’m going to just get to it 🙂  It’s a beautiful devotional that makes us yearn for more of the Father’s prescence in every area of our life no matter how small.

This is from, “Practicing the Presence of God:  Exploring an Old Habit for a New Year“, from You Version.


Practicing His Presence

What we discovered in Day One, was that Brother Lawrence was just a simple cook with a straightforward practice. In his own words, he believed, “We should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with Him.” In Day Two, we saw that love must be the goal of all our spiritual practice, if any other motivation uproots love then we’ve missed the point. With this preliminary foundation poured, we’re now ready to look at the practice itself. How do we make a start in practicing the presence of God? Let’s take it in three steps:

Recognize God Is Already Present

The first step is to recognize that God is already present where we are. Remember the story of Jesus walking to Emmaus with two of his disciples? He was present among them but they didn’t recognize Him. Have we recognized Him? Have we acknowledged that He’s already with us? Brother Lawrence helps us see this when he writes:

“All we have to do is to recognize God as being intimately present within us. Then we may speak directly to Him every time we need to ask for help, to know His will in moments of uncertainty, and to do whatever He wants us to do in a way that pleases Him. We should offer our work to Him before we begin and thank Him afterward for the privilege of having done it for His sake.”

Before we begin our next work day, perhaps we could write out the following prayer, offered by Lawrence, and place it in the path of our work.

“My God, since You are with me and since, by Your will, I must occupy myself with external things, please grant me the grace to remain with You, in Your presence.”

Name Our Pots And Pans

How do we spend our days? What’s in our hands? For Brother Lawrence, he spent his time in a kitchen preparing meals and cleaning pots and pans. What are our pots and pans? What is the work that’s right in front of us, for God wants to work with us. Brother Lawrence writes:

Lord of all pots and pans and things,

since I’ve no time to be a great saint

by doing lovely things…

make me a saint by getting meals,

and washing up the plates.

Warm all the kitchen with Thy Love,

and light it with Thy peace;

forgive me all my worrying,

and make my grumbling cease.

Thou who didst love to give men food,

in room, or by the sea,

accept the service that I do,

I do it unto Thee.


It is in the details, the nuts and bolts, the ins and outs, where God truly wants to work with us. The second step in practicing the presence of God is to claim our work for God, to acknowledge He wants to work with us, whether that’s selling cars, writing code, keeping children, or building homes. It’s in our actual work, the menial and the momentous, that God uses to shape us more and more into the image of His Son.

Speak To God Continually Throughout Your Day

The final step is simple and at the same time difficult: we have a continuous conversation with God as we move through our day. It’s simple because we’re used to making conversation, we do it everyday. It’s difficult because, on the whole, we’ve not been taught to chat with God as intimately as a friend and co-worker. Brother Lawrence writes,

“During my work, I would always continue to speak to the Lord as though He were right with me, offering Him my services and thanking Him for His assistance. Also, at the end of my work, I used to examine it carefully. If I found good in it, I thanked God. If I noticed faults, I asked His forgiveness without being discouraged, and then went on with my work, still dwelling in Him.”

To help us build this practice of a continuous conversation with God, there are a couple triggers we can use:

1. If any good thing, large or small, happens in our day we can immediately, right where we are, thank God for it. We can say it out loud, quietly under our breath, or if we’re in the middle of a conversation we can think it in our minds.

2. If any thing unpleasant happens in our day, ask God what he may be wanting to show us. Is there something in us that He wants to change or transform?

Brother Lawrence wrote so much for us to consider and implement. What we’ve explored in this plan today, is that there are three steps to begin practicing God’s presence: the first is to recognize He’s already present with us; the second is to acknowledge He wants to work with us in the actual tasks and duties we’re responsible for; and finally, we simply have a conversation with Him as we move through our day. Next, we’ll be looking at what happens when we meet resistance or make mistakes, we’ll discover how we keep one foot in front of the other as we learn to build the practice of His presence in the rhythm of our life.


1. Are there good things that pop into your day regularly that you can thank God for? What are they?

2. Think through your full day. Are there other times that would make for good triggers for chatting with God? What would they be? What would you say?


A pulse check is one simple way of practicing His presence. We can experiment with this little discipline anywhere. Here’s how it works: Close your eyes and place your thumb on your pulse, once you find it, sit quietly for sixty seconds. Keeping your eyes closed, thank God for sustaining you, for keeping you alive, for He holds all of our lives in His hands. Then, as you feel the rhythmic pulse, imagine you’re listening to the heartbeat of Jesus. Sense His immediate presence. Feel His nearness. Imagine Him at your side. As you move beyond the sixty seconds invite Jesus to remain with you throughout your day. Teaching you how to practice His presence all day long.


Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
Psalms 139:7 ESV

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord . Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord .
Jeremiah 23:24 ESV

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Acts 17:26‭-‬28 ESV


Mindful Monday Devotional – Set Your Boundaries

Mindful Monday Devotional June 25 2018

This week’s devotional is for my planner friends and my Proverbs 31 study ladies.  It’s a topic that’s difficult for most of us to apply to our lives.  I’ve had to set boundaries for myself in a few situations and am trying to learn to do it in more. For instance, my mom is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. I try to visit her twice a week. If I’m there more often than that, I fall into depression and don’t want to get out of bed or accomplish anything with my own life. I just mourn that my mom is in the state she is now. I adore my mom and it’s hard to see her decline. I want to be a good daughter and be with her and I need to be with her anyway because I love her so much. My sister would like me to be there every day and sometimes gets angry with me if I’m not there more than the twice a week I’ve limited myself to. It’s for my own mental health that I’ve set this boundary for myself. I need to take care of my family and myself and if I’m a depressed blubbering mess, that can’t happen.

How have you experienced setting boundaries in your own life?  I’d love to hear!


Set Your Boundaries

Throughout the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John repeatedly note the amount of time Jesus spent in solitude—away from the disciples, the crowds, and the busyness of his ministry. The frequent mention of this behavior suggests that Jesus was a master at setting boundaries with His time. Likewise, if we are to effectively manage our time and make our greatest contribution to the world, we too must establish clear boundaries with our schedules.

Like Jesus, this should start by allocating regular time for prayer (Mark 1:35) and study of God’s Word. Most of us are are used to the idea of tithing our money. But what about tithing our time? If we fill-up our schedules with demands from work and home and then try to find time to spend in prayer and study of God’s Word, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Before you go any further in this study, take some time to determine what time you will tithe exclusively to prayer and study of Scripture on a daily basis.

Once you have set clear boundaries in your schedule for spiritual disciplines, it can be helpful to take a similar approach to budgeting your time at home and at work. For me, a regular routine helps me keep my “work-life balance” in check. Nearly every day, I head to the office at 4:45 a.m. and I arrive back home at 4:00 p.m. This predictable schedule gives me clear boundaries within which I force myself to concentrate my work. Is my work ever done? Of course not. But that would be true if I worked until 5:00, 6:00, or 10:00. There’s no such thing as done. Having a hard line in my schedule for the end of my day at the office ensures that I have plenty of time to spend with my wife, kids, and church family.

If you don’t take the time to set boundaries in your schedule, someone else will. If you haven’t already, follow Jesus’ lead and set clear boundaries within which you will spend your time. This is the first step in getting control of your calendar and managing your time well.

But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:16 ESV

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Mark 1:35 ESV

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 ESV

–by Jordan Raynor on http://www.jordanraynor.com/time/

Mindful Monday Devotional – A Lesson in Diligence!

The topic of this week’s Mindful Monday devotional came easy to me as I was pondering having finally reconnected with my junior and senior high school best friend after all these years (and neither of us are spring chickens any more).  I’ve been online since 1995, and since then I’d gotten in the habit of looking for her online occasionally when memories of her or high school in general arose.  Also, people from high school would often message me on Facebook asking me whatever happened to her. They knew we were really good friends in school and I guess they assumed I’d kept in touch (yes, old friends, I had tried).  Every now and then when I would get an email from Classmates.com I would go to the website and see if she had registered there yet (nope), or I’d check the friends list of mutual friends or acquaintances from high school to see if she was there.  I would tell all those who asked about her that I felt like she had fallen off the face of the earth (they agreed).

This past week after all that diligence, I’d found her and sent her a friend request (knowing I’d be pretty hurt if she refused it). I threw my fear of rejection and vulnerability aside and sent it.  A few days later she accepted it (whew) and since then we’ve shared a couple private messages and have caught up a little.  We’ve both been through a lot and in a few ways our lives had paralelled.  Well the painful parts anyway.

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Mindful Monday Devotional -It’s About Your Attitude

Mindful Monday Devotions - It's about your attitude

This week’s Mindful Monday devotional is all about your attitude. Literally 🙂  This points at you and I both, so I’ll let you get right to it 🙂

(thanks to YouVersion for this devotional)


It’s About Attitude

Attitude determines so much of our lives. It governs the way we perceive the world and the way the world perceives us. It drives behavior and sets the tone for conversations. Attitude literally affects every area of our lives, yet most of us don’t have a good handle on it.

Attitude is defined as, “the way we think and feel about someone or something that affects our behavior.” Isn’t that so true? The way we feel about ourselves, others, failure, rejection, and success determines so many of our actions. It’s natural to base our actions on our feelings. But even though it “feels” right, having a feeling-based attitude can be destructive.

Feelings leave so much of our attitude up to chance. When circumstances leave us feeling bad, our negative attitude gives way to gossip and complaining. When situations and people leave us feeling good, our positive attitude allows us to find solutions and see opportunity.

God didn’t design our attitude to be based off of feelings but off of Christ. He is constant. His truth is unchanging and ever present. God has called us to a place of freedom, even in our attitude. This place doesn’t ignore our feelings, but doesn’t force us to be ruled by them either.

When we know and understand that God’s truth far outweighs earthly circumstances, we apply it to all areas of our life, including our attitude. His hope and truth becomes the anchor for our attitude instead of our feelings and circumstances.

As you go throughout your day begin to notice what situations affect your attitude. How does the outcome of each situation change your attitude? Can you imagine a life where you are still upset but have an attitude of joy and peace?

“Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
–Colossians 2:7 ESV

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  –Colossians 3:17 ESV