Have you ever looked back on the course of your life and realized that you’ve actually waded far deeper than you thought you had, let alone than you thought you could?
Yeah, me too.
Sometimes that can be a scary thing, wading deeper and deeper until you’re treading water. Maybe it means you’ve gotten far off track or worse- you’ve gotten lost. But it could also mean that you have gotten into something that originally you didn’t think you could do. Now that you’re out here making it happen, it is more than apparent that you just might have found where you belong.
Yeah, me too.
You see, this blog started almost two years ago with a simple act of vulnerability. At the time, I hated that word. It was a step deeper into authenticity, something I’d been seeking since I nearly faced death, but it felt more like a leap. That one step has continued and continued and eventually turned into strokes and now I find myself writing a book and speaking in public. Yikes.
In 2011, I would have NEVER thought I’d be here. I am in way over my head… and I’m loving it!
So, today I am sharing how this wade-turned-swim got started over at StandwithHannahJoy.com for their Beyond The Shore Series. You gotta come hang out with me this week! Click the Pic below to read the post that started it all.
I have another little snippet of the book I’m working on ready for you to sneak a glance at. (grin). I admit, I’m in love with words and writing this testimony has me savoring every moment with them. Words capture legacy and leave a mark on the world around us.
You have a story too, one of struggle and triumph, one that speaks of His glory.
I dare you to share it.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up
and try to do the right thing the dawn will come.”
Moments in life can echo memories. Following an ambulance carrying my dying daughter to an emergency room is an echo for me. Fear and dread nipping at my heels, hope and anguish rhythmically flowing through my lungs. Only thirty minutes prior, I had been taping boxes while Hannah bobbed in the pool. Now I was chasing flashing lights, shaking uncontrollably, and praying feverishly while Hannah was fighting for her very life. There in the front seat of my friend’s car, my pleading prayers were met with a choice, a choice to believe or be overcome. Wobbly knees and all, I chose to believe.
My feet carried me inside those hospital doorways and down the sterile halls, my frantic heart beat racing past the echo of memories, I narrowed only for the faces of Hannah and Eric.
I found them surrounded by doctors and nurses, everyone in blue scrubs, nervously glancing back and forth with hushed tones on their lips. There were tubes everywhere and monitors beeping in alarming tones. With all the people swarming around her it was hard for me to get near. Eric was right there, though. He stroked her hand and leaned in close. Intense love stricken all over his face, he was whispering in her ear. You could see it, that deep, fierce, fatherly love. I love that about him. Right there stood my heart, love in the shape of a Daddy hovered over our promised legacy. Despite the dire circumstances and urgent responses, he would not be moved aside. Hannah needed to hear her Daddy’s voice declaring love and strength over her. And Eric needed to be there to say it. Time was nothing here, ticking by only in heart beats.
Click here to read the rest…
Pull up a chair. Can we just be real about something?
Believing for what you don’t see is hard. I mean, its for real – H.A.R.D!
And this makes praying for breakthrough like wearing a bathing suit believing for summer while you are standing outside in the dead of winter. Its laying it all out there, exposing your faith to the harsh reality of circumstances.
I’m not very good at doing that. Maybe you’re not either. But I want to be better, especially when it comes to praying over my children.
I was recently given a book to read for a review. I chose it honestly, because I liked the colors on the cover (come on- you do it too). And I thought it might be an easy read. I was wrong.
The 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Parents literally stopped me on the treadmill. And if it weren’t for the tears of sweat pouring down along my nose, I would have been bawling. Becky Harling’s first couple of pages detailed how she changed her prayers from prayers of desperation to prayers of praise. She was challenged by a friend of hers many years ago during one of her most darkest seasons, and now in her book, she is giving us this same challenge. Then she said:
“I learned that praising God isn’t just some glib hallelujah when finances are prospering, your health is flourishing, and your family is thriving. Praising God is an intentional declaration by faith that exalts God above your life circumstances”
My feet froze.
Its right there in the life circumstances that I find it the hardest to pray. Those circumstances are messy, distracting and kind of overbearing. The words — ‘intentional declaration’ and ‘exalt God’ seemed to jump off the page and into my soul. Life is deep and overwhelming but truly, God is so much more than that. Not one of my fears can stop His promises. I need to exalt Him like that, like I really believe He’s as big as I say he is. Even there, in my desperate prayers for my children and my aching heart for my dreams, He’s big there too. He’s big enough for my marriage and my friends. And while I can’t see change,yet, He’s big enough for my broken family too.
The book then challenges you to spend 20 minutes over the next 30 consecutive days intentionally praising God for His work in your children’s lives. Becky breaks each day into four sections: The invitation (a personalized message of scripture to you, the prayer warrior), Suggestions of praise and worship music to listen to, a Prayer, and then journaling prompts.
But it is so much more than a 30 Day challenge. It’s a game changer.
Day 1 dove right into the heart of comparison. Gulp. And I broke into an all out awe-session as the prayer revealed a side of my children I hadn’t noticed before. There was no pleading for breakthrough, no ringing of my hands trying to remember all the steps of “ACTS”. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) This Day 1 prayer tapped into worship, and in that place, I saw prayers from a different light.
I saw prayers from a place of faith.
As I’ve continued in this challenge I’m hungry to take this practice of praying prayers from a place of faith, with praise (not desperation) into all the areas of my life. My marriage. My dreams. My physical needs and financial needs. All of them.
This book may be a quick daily read, but it will revolutionize your prayer life for life.
And that breakthrough you’re waiting for, it’s in the praise.
You can purchase this book on Amazon here. And oh goodness- she has a book for all those other areas of life. Yup. Summer reading list just got longer!
And I must tell you- The amazing Blythe Daniel Agency gave me two copies of this book… one for me and one to give away… but rather than a drawing I’m going to give it to a dear friend of mine (and a reader here on F2S). If you’ve ever had the opportunity to sit with a prayer warrior- friends, take it. They will challenge you, just like my friend has me. She has done some battle on her knees. And the circumstances… well, they’re still messy. But she’s holding on and I’m so proud of her! So, cheer with me for her!
Oh friends, how I’ve missed you. I’ve been busy tapping on the keyboard preparing the book proposal and getting my chapters all nice and neat. Four weeks to go until I present to publishers- yikes!
All this preparation has me a little reminiscent about the conference last year. I was in such a different place, really. If there was a scene to describe the inner workings of my heart last year, it would look like an all out wrestling match. Ok, maybe even a temper tantrum.
On one hand I was over the moon grateful to be sitting in those chairs, but on the other hand I was mad I didn’t come with a book to give.
Well, that wrestling match was won, but not by me.
Come check it out- I’m sharing all about it over at Stand With Hannah Joy. :)
Oh goodness, I have to share this with you! And I can’t do it without actually waving and sending a real life smile. (If you are reading this in an email- you have to come over to the live blog to catch the video- click here.)
Click on the link below to read the Story: