Resting in the arms of an unchanging God

Every year for Mother’s Day, my family takes me to the nursery to pick out flowers for our flower garden. To say that I look forward to this for months on end would be an understatement. My family joins me in planting numerous pots full of luscious flowers. My husband would tell you that is the easy part.

The hard part? I change my mind a few (alright, more than a few!) times on where to place the pots and how to organize them on the front porch, the patio, and the numerous other places we place pots around our yard. Lon, sometimes with the aid of our ancient Radio Flyer wagon, hauls the pots to just the right place. And then to just the right place again.

I’m thankful I married a strong former farm boy.

It’s a running joke that I can’t always make up my mind for the placement of pots overflowing with petunias, pansies, daisies, verbenas, and fuchsias. But while I may be indecisive on where my flowers will thrive under the best growing conditions and where our family will appreciate them most, there is One who isn’t indecisive.

One whose mind isn’t swayed.

One who remains steadfast.

In a world that has changed dramatically in the past ten years (and even more so in the past two), it’s always a bit disconcerting to imagine what the next day will bring. Toxic news stories are everywhere from TV to the internet. Anxiety rates have risen, depression is more prevalent than ever, and discord among friends (and, sadly, even family) is becoming commonplace.

But through all the craziness, lunacy, and insanity that has abounded in recent months, God remains steadfast, faithful, and unchanging. His Word remains the same, never wavering for a moment, even though the tides of everyday life change more rapidly than we can comprehend.

Psalm 86:15 tells us “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” We in Christ long for His return.

But, thankfully, He is a God that desires for no one to perish (2 Peter 3:9). In those frequent moments when I long for His return, I remember some of those I love who don’t yet know Him. Who don’t yet have the consolation of residing with Him for eternity and my prayer life for them becomes more persistent than ever.

So today, let’s rest in the steadfast love of the Lord. Remembering that while this world constantly changes, and in those changes, it can be a frightening place to reside, there is One whose love, whose Word, whose very Being never changes. Let’s rest in His arms in light of chaos, fear, unfairness, loss of freedom, heartache, and lost relationships and remember that in all of this, He truly is our unchanging refuge.

May we keep our eyes on Him, never wavering from the One who can truly give us rest.

Before you go, check out these other posts:

12 verses to encourage the burdened heart

5 do’s and don’ts when interacting with someone going through a difficult time

10 Bible verses to start off your day

you might be a writer if… (10 ways to know)

31 awesome movies for your must-watch list

the importance of new beginnings

7 ingredients for creating the perfect character

the video camera is always on part 1

Join the Love Under Construction blog tour!

Super excited to announce that my new Christian contemporary romance novel, Love Under Construction, is set for release in December!

Are you a blogger who would like to join me in a blog tour celebrating Love Under Construction‘s release? If so, head on over to the signup form found here. It takes place December 6-11, and you can choose whatever day(s) you’d like to participate.

I will be sharing your blog post on my social media platforms and listing all of the blog sites who are participating in my Blog Tour Kickoff Post here on this blog.

Looking forward to connecting with you for my latest release!

*Regularly-scheduled blog posts will return next week.

8 things to do this October

It’s hard to believe that October is already here! To sound a bit cliche…where did the time go?

Looking for some fun activities to celebrate the beginning of the fall season? Check out these eight suggestions.

Enjoy the leaves. Go for a walk (or a hike if you live near a forest or the mountains) and see the vibrant colors on display, courtesy of an amazing Creator! Or, if you have kiddos (or are a kid-at-heart yourself!) take a leap into a pile of leaves. Snap photos of the leaves before they completely disappear. Want to preserve these colorful pieces of art? Check out the instructions here for how to join your children in a craft project to press and preserve leaves.

Make some pumpkin muffins with your kids. Choose festive fall cupcake wrappers and freeze the extra ones, two to a bag, so that your family can enjoy the muffins all month long. Below is our family’s favorite pumpkin muffin recipe.

Note: For those with food allergies, the eggs can be replaced with egg replacer (we use the Ener-G), the milk replaced by Rice Dream rice milk or another dairy substitute, and the flour can be replaced by a gluten-free variety (we use King Arthur gluten free all-purpose baking mix).

1/2 cap vanilla

2 C. flour

2 Eggs (or egg replacer)

1 cube of butter softened

3/4 c. pumpkin

3/4 c. milk (or rice milk)

3/4 c. sugar

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of pumpkin pie spice (optional)

1 tsp baking powder*

1/2 tsp. baking soda*

*if these ingredients are not already included in the gluten free baking mix you use

Bake at 340 degrees for about 15-16 minutes.

Allow to cool and enjoy!

Take a bike ride. Our family loves riding our bikes on the numerous trails near our home. Once October hits, time for bike-riding is at a premium with the shorter and colder days, so take advantage of those last lingering sun rays and the brilliant fall foliage.

Think about a new exercise program indoors. The cold and long (in some parts of the US) winters are perfect for thinking about and acting upon a new indoor exercise program. Of course, be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any new exercise. The options are numerous, including joining a gym and participating in indoor cycling classes, weight training programs, or water aerobics classes. Or, if you prefer, hang out at home with a video, a stationary bike or treadmill, or develop your own dance routine. Make it a family event by encouraging your spouse and kids to join in getting healthy with you.

Snuggle beneath a heated throw and read that new book you’ve had your eye on. October is National Book Month and is the perfect time to take a much-needed break, even if it’s only for a few hours a week, to indulge in your favorite genre.

Read a book to your kiddos. When my girls were little, I had a couple of the books we read together completely memorized, and could literally read them with my eyes closed. Whether an old book that they’ve heard a million times or a brand new book courtesy of a trip to the library, take the time to read to your kids. And not just in October, but all year long. The benefits of reading to our children are numerous, and they foster a closeness that can’t be duplicated.

Show the love of Christ to the least of these. Start thinking about Operation Christmas Child. Collection week this year is November 15-22, but as we all know, time zips past faster than ever these days, so grab your family and go shopping this Christmas (a bit early!). Operation Christmas Child provides boxes of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items to underprivileged children in other countries. Not only that, but through these boxes, precious children have an opportunity to know the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.

You can even build a shoebox online if you’re crunched for time.

All of the information for this amazing ministry can be found here. Please take special note of the items allowed (and not allowed!) in the shoeboxes.

Put together a foster care kit. According to the most recent data, there are over 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S.

Many people will be able to foster a child. Some will be able to adopt a child from foster care. And several will be able to help provide clothing and toys to children in foster care.

A friend of mine who works with foster children and their foster parents told me today that some children arrive in their foster homes with nothing. Some have no clothing, not even underwear or pajamas.

Put together a foster care kit for children placed in emergency foster care by providing the following: new or gently used clothing, a new toy (stuffed animal, coloring books and crayons, etc.), a book, and a new toothbrush/toothpaste combo. Deliver the kit to your local family services agency.

Have a blessed October!


Before you go, check out these other posts!

How to become an undercover prayer warrior

Conquering the joy zappers of life

Momlife part 1, the big truck

Movie Monday: Little Women

Who are you behind the screen?

14 things for girls to consider before dating

What to stock up on this winter

15 verses for strength in challenging times

9 ways to jumpstart your homeschool year

Homeschooling in the U.S. has exploded in recent months. According to the United States Census Bureau, by fall of 2020, “11.1% of households with school-age children reported homeschooling (Sept. 30-Oct. 12)…That change represents an increase of 5.6 percentage points and a doubling of U.S. households that were homeschooling at the start of the 2020-2021 school year compared to the prior year.”

Such a statistic doesn’t surprise me, as even in my small town, the rate of children being homeschooled has increased dramatically. People have chosen to homeschool for a variety of reasons, including religious reasons, more freedom, and situations regarding the pandemic.

Whatever the reason, homeschooling can be a daunting task. Whether you’re new to it or a veteran, there will be days that are challenging and times when you want to give up.

So how can you successfully jumpstart your homeschool year? Here are 9 ways.

Make sure you have a support system. Find a mentor, join a co-op, and join an online group. If you are married, enlist your spouse’s support. Having an extended family who supports your decision is also helpful.

Take it slow. Give yourself and your children permission to wade through the change in schooling with grace. Too often I hear from parents who attempted to homeschool say that it just didn’t work out for them. When I ask how long they were homeschooling, they typically answer with a length of less than a few months. Give it time.

Focus on what matters. If we get so caught up in finishing each textbook, having our children excel in every subject, or making sure they participate in every possible extra-curricular activity, then we have missed the point.

Be organized (or attempt to be). Notice I didn’t say “be perfectly organized”. In order for your homeschool to function, you will need to have some organization. It helps to have a dedicated cupboard for textbooks, science experiments, art supplies, etc. Because homechooling is so versatile, it can happen in an actual homeschooling room, at the kitchen table, or even outside on a nice summer day.

Expound on your kids’ interests. No child is exactly the same when it comes to interests. One of the best things about homeschooling is that you can expound on what your child enjoys. For instance, my oldest daughter loves to write, so I assigned her a “novel in a year” project, which was one of her favorite assignments. She also loved woodworking and built a dresser with her dad (the woodworking teacher!). History was a favorite of hers, so we focused heavily on that subject as well, and graphic arts and an extra emphasis on editing led her to starting her own editing, website-building, and graphic arts business.

My youngest daughter loves science, so collecting bugs, inspecting things beneath the microscope, science experiments, and anything related to science labwork intrigued her. She also loves to fix things and is very mechanical. I used that opportunity to call upon her whenever something broke and turned it into a learning experience. A friend of ours taught her how to quilt, which instilled in her a love for sewing.

Both girls enjoy baking, so making treats for neighbors, youth group, and homeschooling events was something I included on the homeschool syllabus. Both of my girls are athletes, so we spent many an hour riding bikes, joining 5k runs, playing volleyball, badminton, and soccer, going on walks, and hiking in the nearby mountains for P.E. class.

One of the best things about homeschooling is that we can think outside the box and tailor our children’s learning experiences with their interests.

Be creative with teaching techniques. Be open to changing curriculum if one doesn’t work. We changed curriculum many times. (This is why it’s a good idea to find used curriculum for sale, as it can get pricey). Not every child has the same learning style, so passing one curriculum type on to the next child does not always work. An important thing to remember in homeschool is that one size does not fit all.

In addition, one homeschool type will not fit all children’s needs. We personally chose an al a carte approach that includes a variety of textbooks from many different publishers, some online learning from homeschool providers, some co-op classes, and some unschooling techniques as well. Other parents choose to have their children enrolled in homeschool online learning only or one company’s curriculum, such as Abeka, Sonlight, or the Charlotte Mason Method. Still other parents choose strictly the unschooling route.

The key? Choosing what works for your family.

Glean ideas from current and veteran homeschooling families about what worked for them. The nice thing about homeschooling? If one method doesn’t work, there are other methods you can try.

Don’t compare your homeschool, yourself, or your children to others. Just as each parent and child are unique, so is each homeschool. Embrace that.

Breathe.

And most importantly? Give your homeschooling year to the Lord. When we commit our ways to Him, He guides our steps.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

Looking to homeschool? Here are 7 things to consider

6 ways to stick with homeschooling (when you want to give up)

you might be a homeschool mom if (15 clues)

outside-the-box homeschool ideas

the video camera is always on, part 3

58 fun activities for kids of all ages

tools to help your child succeed in life

Our culture bases success on many things. It may be an advanced education, a sprawling home, a good job, a multitude of friends, nice vehicles, frequent vacations, and the list goes on.

While none of these things are wrong, they’re not what truly makes a person successful.

What if we used a different ruler with which to measure? What if we looked within the heart and focused instead on character, integrity, and honor rather than the appearances of seemingly surface items? What if we viewed success through a different lens than what the world teaches us?

What if we, as parents, pulled the following tools from our parenting toolboxes to help our child succeed in life?

* Help them to develop a strong faith.

*Model for them the importance of a vibrant prayer life

*Instill in them to have gratitude, rather than a heart of discontent.

*Teach them the importance of honesty.

*Teach them to have integrity and to do the right thing, even if no one is watching.

* Teach them to stand up for what is right, even if they stand alone.

*Instill in them the importance of doing everything as if doing it for the Lord.

*Teach them to forgive easily and to not hold grudges.

*Instruct them on how to have humility and the maturity to admit when they are wrong.

*Gently remind them often that the world does not revolve around them, but rather, to count others as more important than themselves.

*Be an example of what it is like to show grace to others, especially when it’s undeserved.

*Train them to have a strong work ethic.

*Model for them the importance of keeping your word.

*Teach them the value of inner beauty.

*Model the importance of overlooking an offense.

*Teach them to love their country and to pray for her on a regular basis

We, as parents, have an important role in modeling for and training our children in the things that truly matter. Someday when we are no longer on this earth, we won’t have taken our college degrees, fancy houses, and expensive vehicles with us. But we will have made an impact on the lives of others when our main focus was living for Jesus.

May we, as parents, make it our goal to instruct our children wisely in the things that matter to Him.


Before you go, check out these other posts!

8 things I want my daughters to know

the video camera is always on part 1

how to survive in an out-of-control world

for such a time as this: finding stability in an unstable world

15 verses for strength in challenging times

Movie Monday: Little Women

5 things moms need

15 scriptural reminders of God’s comfort

how to become an undercover prayer warrior

After Christian historical romance, Christian suspense is my favorite genre. Especially when characters go undercover and the tension builds as covert operations are planned to catch the bad guys.

detective

It may be that I have read one too many of these novels. Or that I have watched Sue Thomas F.B. Eye too many times to count. Or that my grandfather was a retired police officer for the San Diego Police Department.

I’ve recently felt God prompting me into my own incognito activities.

As such, I’ve become an undercover prayer warrior.

I have always and will continue to intercede for the most important people in my life – my family and friends. I pray for them numerous times a day and whenever the Lord brings them to mind. There is not a time during the day when I’m not in constant contact with the Lord.

However, now I’ve added strangers to the list. People who don’t even know I’m praying for them.

Want to join me in this venture? Here’s how to become an undercover prayer warrior:

1. Keep your eyes open. There’s a woman I see each time I’m utilizing the treadmill at my local gym. A salt-and-pepper pixie haircut and a somber expression line her face. I’ve never seen her smile. Not once. Not when the machine she wanted was available, and certainly not to return a smile. This woman became my mission. Each time I see her, I pray earnestly for her. I pray for whatever struggles she is facing. I pray for joy and peace in her life. And I pray that if she doesn’t know the Lord, she would someday come to know Him.

Had I not been keeping my eyes open, I may not have noticed this woman and had the privilege to pray for her.

2. Keep your ears open. Ambulance sirens? Emergency helicopter? Both denote that someone is injured, or may even be possibly fighting for his or her life. Whenever our family hears either of those sounds, we stop what we’re doing and immediately pray for those who are being transported. We pray also that the Lord would provide wisdom and guide the doctor’s hands as any necessary medical procedures are done.

ambulance

3. Keep your heart open. Whenever I pass by the hospital or local cancer center, I pray for those who are receiving treatment. I pray for God’s healing and that He would make Himself known to those who don’t yet know Him. It’s beyond difficult to struggle with an illness, especially one that’s terminal. Prayer support is the most important thing we can offer someone.

4. Keep your mind open. Some of the hardest people to pray for are those who are unkind. I experienced some unkindness recently from a woman in desperate need of prayer. I didn’t necessarily want to pray for this meanie, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I had to keep an open mind and pray for this person as God commands in Matthew 5:43-47.

So become God’s undercover prayer warrior. Slip into detective mode and…

  • Pray for that exhausted mom in front of you at the grocery store with the seven children.
  • Pray for the clerk at the department store or the waitress at your favorite restaurant.
  • Pray for the man at the doctor’s office when you overheard he’s just been told he has a terminal illness.
  • Scan the newspaper and pray for comfort for the families of those who have recently passed away.
  • Pray for those in jails and prisons.
  • Pray for those in drug treatment facilities attempting to overcome addictions.

And the list goes on.

God always hears each and every prayer we pray.

Why not bless someone today with your prayers?


Before you go, check out these other posts:

Looking to homeschool? Here are 7 things to consider

the importance of respect

leaving a Godly legacy

training for the mom olympics

the importance of teaching our kids to think for themselves

Movie Monday: Where Love Found Me

Movie Monday: Play the Flute

When Brandon is hired as a youth pastor, he never realizes the challenge before him. His heart is set on leading teens to the Lord, but he is instead faced with an uphill battle that he can’t win, barring the Lord’s intervention.

It’s difficult for Brandon and his wife not to become discouraged as they seek to make an eternal difference in the lives of the teens. When Brandon’s friend from seminary, a fellow youth pastor, remarks that the number of kids in his youth group has grown exponentially, Brandon reminds himself that it’s not about numbers. Not about constant outings. It’s about leading teens to the Lord and helping them grow in their faith.

There are several talking point questions and some cautions throughout the movie, although there is nothing objectionable. I highly recommend you watch this movie with your kids/grandkids.

Talking point questions:

*Why attend a youth group?

*Why is knowing/memorizing Scripture important?

*What is wrong with cheating?

*How should we treat those with disabilities?

*Why is it important to exercise patience with others, especially those who are struggling?

*Why is it important to respect authority?

*Why is lying wrong?

*Why is it important to stand for what is right, even if you stand alone?

*Can you identify with any of the teens in the movie? Why or why not?

Cautions:

*Mention of death of a main character

*Several instances of disrespectful teens to their parents, a boss, and the youth pastor and his wife

*Couple of instances of stealing

*An instance of lying that causes extreme consequences

This movie resonated with me, both as a mother and as one who once attended a youth group that had no real “meat”, but only sought to provide fun outings for its members. While I have fond memories of those days in my youth group watching movies, attending all-night skate parties, and playing dozens of volleyball games, I wish I’d had the privilege of attending a group that put the Gospel above all else and sought to disciple its members. There is nothing wrong with fun activities and socializing, but when its the main (and only!) focus, we’ve missed the real reason: the critical importance of planting seeds that will last for eternity.

Play the Flute is suitable for the entire family, although recommended for tweens and older, as those who are younger will not understand the scope and intention of the movie. It is entertaining, engaging, realistic, and a sad commentary of the apathetic attitude so prevalent in many of today’s youth groups.

I give Play the Flute a five out of five stars. It’s not only a must-see movie for family night, but an excellent movie for any tween, teen, or adult.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

Movie Monday: Fearless Faith

31 awesome movies for your must-watch list

Mom-Approved Movies Listing

All things Christmas: Favorite Movies of the Season

how to survive in an out-of-control world

10 Bible verses to start off your day

58 fun activities for kids of all ages

training for the Mom Olympics

the importance of a good work ethic

importance of work ethic

The other day while at a local place of business, I noticed that several of the employees were bustling around doing their jobs. Save one. A teen had plopped on a folding chair, legs extended, proceeding to be on his phone for a majority of the time I was patronizing this business.

A relative of mine has a coworker who routinely shows up late for work, and at times, doesn’t show up for work at all. Such a choice has placed the business in a bind on several occasions. It has also made more work for the employees who take their jobs seriously.

A local business manager shared with me that they are struggling to find help to fill all of their available positions, and when they do find help, a lot of those workers are unreliable.

Poor work ethic seems to have become more prominent. There are several reasons for this:

– Inadequate instruction of the importance of work ethic on the part of their parents, whereby children are “given” everything and not required to earn anything.

– A culture that thrives on a “microwave” mentality of wanting everything right now and lacks the patience to work hard for anything. (Case in point: the new 20-year-old employee who wants to be paid the same amount as the 50-year-old who has been at a company for 15 years).

– Paying people more to sit at home than to work, as has been the case this past year.

– Refusal of employees to acknowledge they are stealing from their employer by way of using company time to scan social media, play video games, or making personal phone calls.

How can we instill the importance of a good work ethic in our children?

Model it. We can hardly expect our children to exhibit a strong work ethic if we ourselves are lazy and uncommitted to hard work.

Practice it. Our children and teens need to see us regularly practicing our own strong work ethic.

Encourage it from an early age. This can be done in the form of helping parents with projects and regular age-appropriate chores.

Clearly communicate what is expected. Explain patiently and thoroughly the task at hand and what is required.

Encourage volunteerism. Doing something for someone without expectation of payment is one of the most critical ways we can instill a powerful work ethic.

Acts 20 35

Embolden our kids to work for something they want. It is amazing how, when a teen has to pay for something from his or her own funds, that it no longer is a “necessity”. We need to teach our children that things are expensive (and never more than in recent days!) and that someone had to work to afford that “luxury”. When our teens have to pay for something themselves from time to time, they begin to value the importance of the hard work that allowed them to purchase that item.

Encourage them to go the extra mile and to take initiative. My oldest daughter often asks “what can I do to help?” I love it that she coined this phrase (and then acted upon it!) from an early age.

Teach respect for authority. The Bible has much to say about respecting authority. From the time our children are toddlers, we as parents should be teaching them that respecting authority is paramount, with God being our primary authority, followed by parents. If our children are unable to obey their first authority (us, after God), then they will be unable to obey other authorities, i.e., teachers, employers, and the police.

Instill the importance of being a team player.

Teach children that school is one of their first jobs. Whether they are homeschooled or attend a private, charter, or public school, their educational experience is one of their first jobs. A child who takes their education seriously will be better able to grow into a valued employee.

Don’t be afraid to allow “life lessons”. If your teen makes the choice to arrive at work late of his or her own accord, don’t rescue them from the consequences.

Most importantly, encourage your children to remember that whatever they do, do it as if doing it for the Lord (Colossians 3:23).

Colossians 3 23

When my daughters and niece and nephews were toddlers, they could transform our home into a war zone in a matter of minutes. Nearly all of the toys, books, and dress-up clothes from the playroom migrated to other parts of the house in a split second, as five creative minds embarked on whimsical adventures. When it was time for my niece and nephews to return home, we played a game called “Tornado”.  I set the oven timer and encouraged the toddlers to become tornadoes. How fast could they whirl around the room and return the items to their homes?

With the fervor and zeal of cyclones, five little kiddos flurried in all different directions, retrieving toys, books, and dress-up clothes and returning them to their rightful homes. They giggled as they sometimes bonked into a fellow “tornado”, and in the generous time allotted, my home soon took on a somewhat clean appearance once again.

Sometimes we, as parents, have to be creative in teaching our children the responsibility that leads to a strong work ethic. But by doing so, we can, with a lot of prayer and help from the Lord, instill in our children a character trait that will impact their lives forever.

 


Before you go, check out these other posts:

the video camera is always on, part 1

13 verses to comfort the fearful heart

conquering the joy zappers of life

you might be a writer if…10 ways to know

you might be a homeschool mom if…(15 clues)

how to build close bonds with your kids

the importance of new beginnings

28 verses for uncertain times

31 awesome movies for your must-watch list

As someone who is on a quest to find wholesome and enjoyable movies, I’m asked quite often about movies I would suggest for families, teens, youth groups, and personal viewing.

It can be a challenge to find movies today without the constant violence, sexual content, and foul language…but it can be done. As a Christian, I take very seriously the privilege of recommending movies on my blog that would be suitable for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Below are 31 movies in no particular order, some older classics, and some much newer, that are excellent additions to any watch-list. For a complete listing of other movies, please go to my Mom-Approved Movie Listings page.


Overcomer

The Redemption of Henry Myers

Wish for Christmas

Mom’s Night Out

Indivisible (12+; read my review here)

The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (Hallmark; 13+)

Beyond the Mask

Where Love Found Me (13+; read my review here)

Priceless (12+)

End of the Spear (13+)

Do You Believe (13+)

Clancy (12+)

God’s Not Dead I

God’s Not Dead II

God’s Not Dead III

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

Fearless Faith (12+; read my review here)

Prescription for Love

The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005; 12+)

Hoovey

Christopher Robin (2018; see my review here)

Christmas Angel

Run the Race

Duma (read my review here)

Timeless Love

Courageous (12+)

The Lost Medallion (read my review here)

Miss Potter (read my review here)

The Lost Valentine (Hallmark)

Follow the Stars Home (Hallmark)

Legal Action


Before you go, check out these other posts:

9 movie series sure to be a hit for your next family night

8 things I want my daughters to know

how to build close bonds with your kids

the great prune escapade

thankful for the small things

14 things for girls to consider before dating

28 verses for uncertain times

13 verses to comfort the fearful heart

There is a lot to fear these days. At every turn, there is something to cause our hearts to panic, our thoughts to veer toward despondency, and our minds to wrestle with the “what-ifs”. At any given moment, trepidation hunkers down for a permanent residency deep within our spirits.

Those who lived in previous generations will tell you that this isn’t the first time the world has been in a state of turbulent unrest, chaos, and fear. The Civil War, WWI, WWII, famines, and The Great Depression were terrifying. The unparalleled horrors of the Holocaust and Rwandan and Cambodian Genocides are examples of the evil and darkest side of humanity.

Things can seem bleak right now. On top of current events, there are also the “regular” things to fear: losing a loved one, cancer, debilitating diseases, severe chronic illness, fear of losing one’s job and/or home, fear of the continual loss of freedoms, and the list goes on.

We watch before our very eyes the horrific murder of the innocent preborn (as I type this blog, the count is at 1,623,765,300 abortions worldwide since 1980). We hear of the 245 million Christians who are persecuted every year (and 4,136 killed every year for their faith). And the the approximately 4.8 million women and children who are sex-trafficked each year.

All of these things are frightening and remind us that the world we live in is far from perfect. And will never be perfect. It will never be a utopia, no matter how much one might wish it to be so.

But to spend time dwelling on such statistics can send us into a spiraling state of despair.

A state we were never supposed to reside in.

Life is short. Life is frail. And life is precious.

And for those of us in Christ, this is just a momentary stop on our way to spending eternity with our Savior. So as we continue on in this journey, may we find peace and rest in the arms of our Lord through the life-changing scripture found in His Word. May we allow it to sink deep within our hearts and minds so the next time fear comes knocking at our door, we can confidently turn it away.

May we remember to surrender our fears to Him minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day.

May we remember that nothing can take away the peace that comes with the assurance of Salvation.

This world is temporary.

The fears we have in this world are also temporary. But eternity is forever.

Before you go, check out these other posts:

conquering the joy zappers of life

lessons from the garden

the video camera is always on, part 5

15 verses for strength in challenging times

what to stock up on this winter

who are you behind the screen?

6 suggestions for getting through the rough times in life