Blog Archives

In His Hands { Psalm 29-32 }

God is SO on time, isn’t He?

You’re struggling with doubt, and BOOM!  Your daily reading brings you to something that has to do with trusting in The Lord and leaning not to your own understanding.

Dealing with sickness and the Kari Jobe song “Healer” comes on Pandora.  #mindblown

He knows us.  He searches our hearts.  He knows the precise number of hairs on our head (or lack there of) and how many times we have inhaled and filled our lungs with oxygen today.

God is no stranger to our struggles.  He sent His only Son, Jesus, to come put on flesh and blood and live like we live.  Eat what we eat.  He is familiar with our humanity. 

Today we’re jumping head first into Psalm 29-32!  Shall we?

Psalm 29 speaks a lot of God’s majestic power.  At the sound of His voice, desserts quake and forests writhe and split apart like mere toothpicks.  We.  Serve.  A.  Mighty.  GOD.  Give Him glory!

I love the words of encouragement in Psalm 30.  “Sorrow may last for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.”  Honey, that hellacious storm that’s staring you down has no match for the joy that’s coming!   Anchor yourself to the Rock until the winds and rains cease.   And remember, we weren’t made to conquer every storm.  But we were made to outlast.  { Those wise words came from my husband during his sermon the other night.  I can’t take credit for that one. ❤ }

I couldn’t wait to share this video with you on Psalms 31!  God burned verses 8 and 15 into my heart today.  Over and over today, I’ve been reminded that we have not been handed over to the enemy.  We are safe and secure in the palm of His hand.

Don’t let the enemy have the upper hand thinking he’s got you where he wants you.  We serve a MIGHTY God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or think! {Ephesians 3:20}

Psalms 32 reminds us that we can’t hide our junk from God.  It’s time to make it right.  TODAY.  What if tomorrow doesn’t come and you’re left holding a lifetime full of dirty laundry that hasn’t been through the wash cycle?  Sins that haven’t been accounted for yet? Im sorry‘s that never made it past our lips?

He is forgiving if you want to be forgiven.

Freedom comes with forgiveness.

Are you walking in freedom or chained in bondage?

I pray you’ve been encouraged and empowered as you’ve been digging those roots firmly in the Word of God!  Psalms is so encouraging and raw and so real.

It’s not too late to join us!  Grab a study buddy, a cup of hot chocolate and the Word.  Let’s continue to dive in together, shall we?  Chime in below or head to my Facebook page here!

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

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Name, please? {Guest Post from Tina Levene – Psalms 17-18}

I apologize for being a day late on this one!  Today’s will actually be posted sometime tomorrow.  Weekends get crazy for us.  I helped chaperone this awesome group of kids at Winterjam yesterday!  It’s such an awesome experience being in an area full of thousands of people worshipping the King of kings!  ❤  I definitely recommend it if there is one in your area.  You can find tour dates and locations at 2015.jamtour.com !

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I’m so pleased to introduced to you a good friend of mine who is sharing her heart on Psalms 17-18!  Tine Levene is a Christian author and comedian in the Tampa Bay area and can be frequently found ministering to women of all walks of life.  Please check out her ministry at here at www.tinatalkstruth.com .  Her new book, “Let Your Forgiveness Become Your Freedom,” is available for pre-order on her website!

—————– Guest Post Tina Levene – Psalms 17-18 ———————-

Have you noticed lately that almost every coffee or food establishment asks for your name after you order?

You stand in line waiting with much anticipation, maybe you are holding a flashing buzzer thing that will vibrate when your order is ready?  Or maybe you are just waiting for that call of your name so you feel unique and special as if you are a long time friend of the chef or barrista.

God does not give us a buzzer to hold with anticipation but He does call out your name.  Do you hear Him?  Have you anticipated such a calling?  Are you as excited to receive God’s calling as you were to get your hands on your white chocolate mocha with caramel drink?

In Psalm 17, it speaks about how the Lord will hear our cry, He will answer when we call out for Him and His hand will protect us.  Do you believe God protects you?  Maybe God allowed an annoying event to happen to protect you today but you were so focused on your life not going as YOU planned that you missed the miracle.  God hears our cries for help, repentance and most of all, our requests in the form of prayers.

In Psalm 18, the song of praise is what I like to call it.  David praises God for rescuing him from his enemies.  Do you have enemies?  Anyone who does not support you?  Someone that hurts you?  This scripture reminds us that the Lord is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer.  When we cry out to God not only does He take the time to listen, He takes His energy to pull us out of deep waters.  What kind of ‘deep waters’ have you gotten yourself into today?  Do you owe someone an apology?  How does it feel to need to be rescued and pulled to safety?

he illuminates

God not only listens to our prayers and rescues us but He also repays us for our faithfulness.  He delights in us when we follow Him and His will for us.  God lights our lamps. He illuminates our darkness.  I don’t know about you but I was in a dark place recently.  God heard my cries, my prayers, rescued me and repaid me for praising Him.  And why?  Why does God do all of this for us?

I am never deserving of His mercy.  I fail God everyday.  I make mistakes after mistakes.  Psalm 18:50 …”He shows loyalty to His anointed.”  Please remember that we wait in that coffee shop line with much anticipation, hoping to hear our name called out soon and excited to engulf in our rewarding purchase.  God is waiting to hear you call out His name today.  He loves strange voices and anticipates rescuing you from your ‘deep waters’.  Will you allow Him to be your refuge, salvation and repay you back for praising Him no matter what how bad your life may be?

Blessings, Tina M. Levene
Speaker, Author & Comedian
www.tinatalkstruth.com

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Now it’s your turn!  What spoke to you today?  Has God been opening your eyes to something you haven’t seen before?  We would love to hear from you!  Comment below or join us on our Facebook page here!

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

Special Guest Loretta Yopp! Psalms 7-8!

I’m a day late posting this one.  Sundays are hectic for us, I apologize!  It’s always current here on my Facebook page if you want to follow along there!

I’d like to introduce to you a special friend of mine.  Loretta Yopp and her husband have faithfully loved and fostered children for years, and boy does she love the Lord!  We connected several years ago when my husband and I were the youth pastors at Rocky Mount Church of God.  I know you’ll be blessed today by her encouragement!  You can find her new blog here at www.puttingonthenew.blogspot.com

—————  Loretta Yopp – Psalm 7-8 ——————–

As I think about Psalms 7 and 8… I can’t help but think how relevant that this is to God’s children this day and time. So let’s dig in to the scripture with stating off with a simple question… Have you ever been falsely accused or badly hurt and wanted revenge?

Psalm 7
 ❤ Verses 1-6  We find that David is being tested. David is being falsely accused of something that he did not do. Yet we find that David truly shows why he is considered a man after God’s own heart. Instead of looking for revenge David cried out to God for justice. He prayed instead of retaliating. So many times we try to fight people or battles within ourselves and we make it worse when God simply says “Be still and know that he is God!” How many times do we open mouth and insert foot! (For me this is often the case) Take time to read Romans 12:19 and II Chronicles 20:17 if you are in a battle. 

overcome and rewards

❤ Verses 7-13  We see that David truly understands that God is the ultimate Judge. We understand that God sees everything and there’s nothing hidden from God. God sees the heart of man and our motives and thoughts are an open book to him. We all struggle with weaknesses but if we truly follow him God he will help us overcome our weaknesses and reward our efforts.

❤ Verses 14-16  When we hold our peace and allow God to fight the battle that rages against us, evil will eventually destroy itself. But sometimes in the cross fire we do get hurt. And sometimes we don’t understand why, but I’ve come to realize that those battle scars are reminders that we overcame the battle. We may have been crushed, been broken and been knocked down but we are still standing strong. We are Victorious and an OVERCOMER!

hold our peace

❤ Verse 17 David gives us a true lesson that even in the battle we have reason to Praise the Lord… Yes, no matter how hard the battle gets don’t ever let the enemy steal your praise!!

Psalm 8

❤ Verse 1 ” O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth who hast set thy glory above the heavens!” My friend there is NO other name in heaven or on earth that is strong enough to Save, Deliver, set the captives free, heal, calm the raging storm, but yet gentle enough that can still a baby’s cry or mend a broken heart… David knew that there was something about the name of Jesus…

Verses<3 3-4 Who is this man, that we his children our on His mind… How could this man called Jesus care about me? That He would come and comfort me and talk to me… The very Creator of the heavens and earth, the very work of His hands! How amazing that is to me, just to think that I am a child of the King. He loves me and you that if we find time to be still He will come to us and speak to our hearts! The Master Designer has placed His very fingerprint on us…

Praise Him today for He inhabits the Praises of His people!!

—————-

Thank you so much, Loretta for sharing with us today! I love how you said, “He helps us to overcome our weaknesses and rewards our efforts.” He understands our humanity and He rewards our efforts, big and small, for the kingdom of God!

David got to see such a beautiful side of God. He was sheltered and protected in the midst of such treacherous storms in his life. I encourage you to read Psalms 91 today if you’re going through a storm in your own life.

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God will rescue you from the hands of your enemies. He will provide. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. The doctor doesn’t have the final say. The bank doesn’t get the final word.  God is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. 

Even when the thick, heavy rain clouds are wildly blowing in around you, God will come in and watch over His babies. There’s such comfort in that, my friend. ❤

It’s time to chime in! We’d love to hear your thoughts on Psalm 7-8! Are you in a storm yourself? We would love to pray with you!

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

God has a pretty sweet view from up there. Psalms 9-10 <3

What an exciting week!  It’s such a joy to have to many incredible women of God sharing their hearts on these chapters in the book of Psalms.

I pray you are as fired up about this new year as I am!  Let’s commit to letting our roots anchor deep in the Word of God in 2015!

Ready to dig in on this Marvelous Monday?

Chapter Nine:

equation

❤ Vs. 1, 11, 14: Praise is one of our greatest weapons in times of trouble. It feels normal to praise Him when the battle is over, but we should praise our way through the storm too! Number one, it confuses the enemy! In biblical times, the worshipers went before the army. They ushered in the presence of the Lord before they raised their swords to battle. They understood the importance of praising their way into battle. Praise brings glory to God and hope to the hurting!

❤ Vs. 4, 9-10: God is our refuge and our safe place. When we are living for Him, we are being upheld by His grace. Our plans will flourish when they’re firmly rooted in His will. He’s never going to leave us. He’s never going to turn His back on us.

❤ Vs. 15, 20: We are nothing without God. Mere mice in a cage full of hungry lions. Yet many times we butter ourselves up and run into the cage. When we try to take God out of the equation, things simply don’t add up. We have removed all hope and are asking to fail. We are removing His hand of protection and are asking for trouble.

Chapter Ten:

false hope

❤ Vs. 3-6: When we have it all, it’s hard to feel the “need” for God. Things are going great, money is flowing freely, health is picture perfect.. We’re comfy in our kingdom of false hope. Be very careful when things are going well. It very well could be a carefully thought out trap from the enemy. And it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye.

❤ Vs. 11-14: God sees all, knows all. The good, the bad and the oh so ugly. He sees the the tears that saturate your pillowcase, the way your face lights up when your kids throw their arms around your neck, and the moments we have carefully kept from everyone else. Nothing escapes His sight. He’s got a pretty sweet view from up there. That can be so comforting or completely terrifying, depending on where you find yourself today. As long as you woke up with a pulse this morning, it’s not too late to put your trust in God. There is nothing more freeing than surrendering your life to Christ!

What jumped off the pages at you in Psalms 9-10 today?  I’d love to hear from you!  Jump in the discussion below of here on my facebook page!

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

Give Prayer a Try

It’s easy to think about it.

It’s rolls off the tongue when we talk about it.

It completely consumes us when we worry about it.

But the question is – are we PRAYING about it?

Sometimes life’s volume button appears to get stuck. Situations seem louder than the gentle whispers of our sweet Savior. It’s so easy to {accidentally} tune the truth out, isn’t it?

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We can think until our head hurts, talk until we have no voice and worry until we make ourselves sick. And then we try praying.

Are we treating prayer as a last resort? When all else fails, try praying about it?

If this is the case, oh my sweet friend, we have this thing backwards.

The bible says to “pray without ceasing” {1 Thessalonians 5:17}. It also reminds us to trust in the Lord completely and not lean on our own understanding {Proverbs 3:5}.

We can’t do this on our own. We weren’t created to carry these weighty burdens. We were designed with a need that could only be filled by the saving grace of our Savior.

Before you waste another moment thinking, a breath talking or an anxious stomach worrying – pray. Take it to your knees in prayer.

Because no matter the situation, God has not forgotten your name. He hasn’t forgotten where you are and what you are facing today.

Rest in this truth, my friend. Prayer is such a powerful connection God has given us. There is power in our words. Use them for uplifting and encouraging yourself and others who so desperately need it.

You may not be able to change the situation, BUT the greatest thing you can do is pray through it!

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{This post was inspired by this simple picture from Lysa Terkeurst that popped up on my Facebook news feed.}

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Are you breathing?

If you’re reading this right now it means several things.

1 – You’re breathing. {Thank you, Captain Obvious.}

2 – Your heart is beating. {Captain Obvious strikes again.}

3 – You’re searching for something. {Pics of a friend’s newborn baby, keeping up with family that lives in another state, encouragement from a ministry you follow, something to make you laugh.. Searching..}

And last but not least,

4 – You are a living, breathing part of God’s plan TODAY. {*taps mic* Is this thing on? }

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There is a reason God allowed your eyes to open this morning when that dreaded alarm clock buzzed you right out of those warm, cozy blankets.

I don’t know who this is for this morning, but God isn’t finished with you yet. You may feel washed up, inadequate, used, frustrated, and completely poured out.

Go back to your knees, beautiful. That’s the ultimate source of our strength.

His strength is made perfect in our weakness. If we never experienced moments of weakness, we may never realize our desperate need of a Savior.

When you feel less than enough, Jesus Christ is more than enough. And He has a pretty amazing plan for your life. Don’t miss it!

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Whoever you are today, wherever you find yourself, rest in this precious scripture.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

God’s not dead, y’all. And until you take your last breath, He isn’t finished with you. Embrace those moments of weakness and realize your need for a God who loves you. {Here’s a secret – Shhhh… He even loves walking with you through your mess.}


Do you feel discouraged today? I’d love to pray with you!

Live Life Unscripted,
❤ Brittany

Join me on Twitter & Instagram at @lifeunscripted5
#purpose #godsnotdead #thriveon

Let’s Dig In! {1 Peter Chaper 1}

Shhh… it’s naptime. And sometimes those sweet little wild-haired cuties that call me Mom have been known to fall asleep while eating.  It’s hard not to giggle, I know.

What do they put in those fries?!

What do they put in those fries?!

I’m sorry I’m a day late posting!  I’ve been working on our church website and social media.  Feel free to check it out at www.livingpraisetrenton.com .  It’s still a work in progress.  If you have any web design tips, please hit me up!  🙂

I’m super stoked about sharing with you some great insights and encouragement from the book of 1 Peter this week! I pray that if you’re not already subscribed to my free email updates, that you’ll do so to stay connected by entering your email address into the space provided to your right. It’s free and encouraging! 🙂

I want to share with you today 10 key points I have found through studying, highlighting and praying about chapter one. But before I do that, I want to give you a little brief bio on Peter and an intro to this little book of insight.

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Peter was a fisherman when Jesus found him, befriended him and called out to him, “Follow me.” {Matthew 4:18-20}

Do you remember who you were when Jesus found you?

Peter became a right-hand-man to Jesus. You could say they were best friends. He watched in awe and wonder as Jesus performed many miracles throughout his ministry. He suffered greatly for following Jesus and even denied him, but later got his act together and inspired many to follow his Savior. I think we all can take notes from his life.

In chapter 1, Peter writes to God’s chosen people and describes them as being “scattered” throughout many regions. He wishes them grace and peace and goes on to share this living hope they {and we} have through the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 peter 1 13

Here are 10 things I found so encouraging! Pull out those highlighters!

  1. We have a living hope in Jesus Christ! If He hadn’t risen like He said He would on the 3rd day, we wouldn’t have this living hope! He’s a promise keeper! (vs. 3)
  2. We have a protected inheritance waiting for us in Heaven! No one can touch or destroy what God has prepared for us! (vs. 4)
  3. Through faith, we are shielded by God’s power! Kay Arthur touched heavily on this one during her live simulcast Friday night. It doesn’t matter what comes our way, we are protected through faith by God’s power! Praise God! (vs. 5)
  4. We will have trials and struggles, but this refines our faith and brings glory to God! We can’t escape frustrating situations and unexplainable circumstances we are faced with, but if we maintain the right attitude and remain faithful, God will receive the glory and we may see others around us be encouraged in their journey. (vs. 6-9)
  5. Suffering always comes before glory. Jesus suffered tremendously on the cross. Unfortunately, those mere words don’t even do it justice. However, when all was said and done, He was glorified through the Father. One thing is for sure, God’s power and glory was revealed in a mighty way that day! Remember – suffering always comes before glory. (vs. 11)
  6. Everything is not about ME. That’s a shocker, isn’t it? So many times we make things all about us. Our successes, our struggles, our pity parties. If we would only grasp this concept like the disciples did, we would make such a greater impact on this world around by allowing the life-changing light of Christ to shine through us. (vs. 12)
  7. Be prepared. Have self-control. Be holy & refuse to conform to the evil of this world. I’ve heard all my life we are living in the “last days” and boy do I believe it now. There is so much evil and perversity in this world; it’s scary. We as the body of Christ have got to be prepared. Stay in the Word and be holy. Have self-control and refuse to conform – no matter how hard the big ugly giants stare us coldly in the eyes. (vs. 13-16)
  8. This isn’t our home. This world we live in is temporary, praise God! We must live in reverent fear of the Lord as strangers in this world. Remember, as believers we have an inheritance waiting for us in Heaven! This world has nothing in comparison! (vs. 17)
  9. We were bought with a price. And it wasn’t cheap. I don’t know many who would willingly lay their life down for people who they knew would reject them. Yet Jesus was in this thing for the long haul and said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will”{Matthew 26:39-42; emphasis mine}. We were bought with a heavy price – every last drop of life and blood our precious Savior had in His body. We ought to live like we are grateful. (vs. 18-21)
  10. Love one another deeply – from the heart. We are told many times throughout the bible to love one another. In 1 Corinthians 13 we are reminded of what love is. Love is patient, love is kind.. You can find so much more there if you continue to read along. Then backing up to John 21:15-17, Jesus speaks to his beloved Peter and says “Feed my lambs” and “Take care of my sheep.” Jesus didn’t place limitations on this command. Not to only love when we feel like it or when it’s convenient, or when it is reciprocated. Do you love one another deeply, from the heart?

I don’t know about you today, but I’m encouraged! I’m encouraged to know that we are not alone in this life. There are so many warriors in the faith that have walked this road before us and have left us such precious, golden nuggets of wisdom waiting to be unpacked in the Word of God.

I’d love to hear what God has spoken to you through 1 Peter 1 today! Will you share your thoughts below? Please share with a friend if you enjoy these posts!

share thoughts below

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

:) Friendly Friday :) {Special Guest Post from Tammy Gerber!}

I’m so excited to introduce this fabulous Mama to you today!  Tammy and I were connected as prayer partners for the She Speaks conference a few months ago and become great friends!  I know you will be blessed today by her post!  She can be found blogging at http://www.oneraindancer.com   Go check out her blog and give her some love by clicking here!

Weary

Confessions Of A Worn Out Mama

6:20AM: My eight-year-old daughter stomped into the kitchen, still in her pajamas. “I can’t find any clean jeans! Didn’t you do the laundry?” I fought to push the anger I was feeling aside, because of the all too familiar situation and because I hadn’t done the laundry. I said, “If you would have gotten your clothes out last night like you were supposed to, this wouldn’t be an issue right now.” I’ve told her so many times…

Meanwhile, my seven-year-old is talking too loud, asking too many questions, trying to help when he isn’t really helping, and being generally annoying. I am not a person who likes to be “chatty” in the morning, and my middle son talks constantly the minute his feet hit the floor in the morning. You see the dilemma.

My ten-year-old entered the kitchen and announced he had a “stomachache” and needed to stay home from school. Again. If he didn’t go to school every time he said he had a stomachache, he would only go to school every other day.

I ran downstairs to my laundry room (that looks like a bomb went off on any given day) and found my daughter’s jeans, even though she was certain there were none down there. I distracted my ten-year-old with his favorite breakfast to make him forget his “stomach ache.” All three kids were distracted and fighting during the devotion (again). Lord, are they even listening, or getting anything I’m saying? Honestly, I didn’t feel very spiritual either by that point. Driving them down our lane to the bus, everyone was arguing and being rude to each other. Prayers were grumbled and short. Two of the three kids were mad when they got on the bus. I didn’t have time to smooth things over, and I was too tired to try anyway. The gentle and wise mom words I knew I should have been saying just wouldn’t come.

As the bus pulled away, tears filled my eyes. The exhaustion I was feeling hit like a tidal wave. And it was only 7:15AM. How am I going to get through the rest of this day? Can you die from being this tired?

As I drove slowly back up the lane, the whispers of the enemy hiss in my ears: “You are a terrible mother. How could you let them get on the bus still mad and upset? What if something happens to them today? You will never measure up. You will never be the kind of mother they need.”

I walked into the house and checked my monitor. My three-year-old and one-year-old were still sleeping. Thank God. I let the tears fall freely and sank to the floor. Lord, I’m so worn out. It’s too much. I feel overwhelmed and alone. There is too much to do, so much pressing in on me. I don’t have enough energy or time or patience to be the mom my kids need. Maybe if I slept for a week uninterrupted, my brain would clear and I could think straight. My mind feels so cloudy and chaotic all the time, like I can’t complete my thoughts. I am at the end of my rope; I have nothing left to give. How do I get some rest? It’s not like someone else can be their mother!

Do you ever feel this way?

I try to stay positive, but in this season of my life, being mom to five children under the age of ten, I can get really overwhelmed. My spirit becomes downcast and discouraged.

This is a pretty realistic photo of me with my 5 children!

When my good friend Brittany called me and asked me to write a post about being a “worn out mama,” I laughed. What an understatement. Honestly, I’m so tired there are no words to describe it fully. And then I remember – you are a worn out mama too. So you understand, without me having to find the perfect words.

I thought about what I would want if someone were going to try to give me encouragement about being a tired mama. I decided easy to understand and to the point was the best idea, so I wrote a simple list called, “ Ten Encouragements For A Weary Mom’s Heart.” Here goes:

1. MOST IMPORTANT ONE: Read God’s Word. Soak in God’s Word. Memorize God’s Word. Write your favorite verses on note cards and post them in very visible places around your house. Read them out loud when times of discouragement hit. The Word of God is truth for your soul and your mind. It gives energy and life and it is the only thing I have found that consistently brings joy and calm to my chaos. Here are some of my favorites to help start your note card collection:

  • Look to the Lord and His strength; seek his face always. – Psalm 105:4
  • Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10
  • To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me. – Colossians 1:29 (emphasis mine)
  • Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
  • The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man (or my children) do to me? – Hebrews 13:6 (I substituted “my children” here)
  • Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers (and moms) throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. – 1 Peter 5:8-9 (I added “and moms”)
  • The Lord knows those who are His. – 2 Timothy 2:19
  • Put your armor on every morning (Ephesians 6:10-18)!

There is a quote I love that I saw on Facebook recently: “When Satan huffs and puffs and tries to blow out the flame of your joy, you have an endless supply of kindling in the Word of God. – John Piper

2. As Beth Moore said at a conference I was at recently: “Guard against mompetition.” Am I competing or comparing myself to other moms? Are my expectations unrealistic in a given situation? Are someone else’s expectations of me too high? Am I trying to do things in my house like the mom I see as “perfect” down the street? (And by the way, she isn’t perfect.) Don’t do it! It’s not of God, and it drains your strength.

3. Do make time for healthy community. Do you have friends you can be honest and real with? Did you know it’s okay to admit your worst struggles to actual people who love you? Surround yourselves with godly women who will support and encourage you in your struggle, and who will help you to find the best in your kids.

4. Ask God to help you see your children the way He see them. Ask Him to show you their unique gifts and talents, and how you can help to develop those gifts and talents.

5. Pray all the time about everything (Philippians 4:6). Pray for wisdom.

6. If you need help, ask for it! Don’t try to be super women; it’s exhausting and pointless and not from God.

7. Take care of yourself too. Did you know it’s okay to rest? It’s actually a commandment. If you forgot how to rest, ask God to show you. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23 *Make sure your identity isn’t found in your children. Our identity should be in Jesus Christ.

8. A friend told me once that when she is in a crazy situation and felt overwhelmed with her kids, she would say to herself, “This is not as bad as it seems right now.” I have tried it, and it does help. Sometimes it helps me to see the humor in the situation. Now I have to say here that sometimes, it is as bad as it seems (like for instance, when your one-year-old eats a jar of Vix Baby Rub). Then it’s time to panic (and call Poison Control)!

9. No one is perfect except Jesus. You don’t have to be an awesome mom all the time. You can be ordinary. Let yourself off the hook. No one is going to call the laundry and dish police on you.

10. Laugh more. Choose joy instead of being annoyed. Laughing is one of the best stress relievers and perspective changers I know. Here is something to get you started laughing:

One more thought before I end: I do think part of being a mom is being tired. Being a mom is not easy and it will be tiring. When we are “out of gas,” it makes us rely on and turn to God, who is the Giver of our strength (and our sanity). His strength is supernatural and His supply of grace is unending.

I am certain moms will get to sleep all they want in heaven.

Lord, we would be lost without you. Thank you for the privilege of being mom to our children. Remind us often that you are with us every step of the way. Help us to never give up on our families, and to keep going even when we don’t think we can go another step. Help us to laugh more, rest more, and love more, which will increase our joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us today, Tammy!  Your transparency is such a blessing! Please connect with her on her blog One Rain Dancer and catch up with her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/oneraindancer .

Have you been encouraged this week?  Please share this with someone so they can be encouraged also!

Live Life Unscripted,

❤ Brittany

Share your thoughts with us below!  We would love to hear from you!

Guest Nancy Montoya – Day 3 of Perspective Changes Everything

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{I LOVE this picture of you, Nancy!}

Please help me welcome Nancy Montoya! She was the first mommy-friend who reached out to me when my husband and I were traveling with his nursing job. It landed us in the beautiful town of Pueblo, Colorado and she was the smiling face who greeted and instantly befriended us at church. She’s such a beautiful woman of God, inside and out!

Nancy is a loving wife and mother of 4 beautiful girls. She is such a selfless individual and her positive perspective, despite fighting for her daughters life time and time again.

Me: It’s so exciting as a woman to discover there’s a precious life growing inside of us! Tell us about your pregnancy with Lily.

Nancy: I was a clueless 17-year-old when I became pregnant with Lily. We didn’t know while I was pregnant that she would be born with disabilities. We first found out when she was 3 months old. Her not being born perfectly healthy hadn’t even occurred to me. I was more concerned about how my life would change and how I would be able to give her the kind and loving home I had growing up.

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Me: You and Jacob got married and soon after, found out some terrifying news as new parents. The doctors couldn’t believe she was even alive. What a miracle baby! You said you didn’t know anything was wrong until she was 3 months old. What happened?

Nancy: Initially we had noticed her eyes weren’t tracking and I thought she may be blind. Then she suddenly began dropping weight. My mom actually had a dream where Jesus appeared to her and told her to bring Lily and I to the hospital. We went to the hospital the next day and were completely stunned.

Her doctor came in and said a phrase I will never forget. With tear filled eyes he said “the outlook is pretty grim” and began to explain that Lily was born without most of her left and middle brain. As a result she was missing most of her optic nerves, her pituitary gland -the master gland- her hypothalamus and other parts of her brain. He was amazed she was alive and did not think she would survive and at best be, for lack of a better word, a vegetable. I cannot put into words the mind shattering, soul crushing, heart breaking feeling that became my reality.

Me: Girl, I can’t even begin to imagine. As a mother, my heart breaks for you! Were you and your husband believers at the time?

Nancy: It was 9 pm, an hour after visiting hours were over, and Jacob and I who were not saved looked at each other and simultaneously said “we need God”. Not 30 seconds later the pastor of my church knocked at our door. He was there to pray with us and for Lily.

We accepted Jesus and in that moment I had a revelation about the absolute power, purpose and provision of God. I was overcome by His peace and was able to just completely rest in the knowledge that He has already dispatched my help before I ask for it and that He alone holds my baby’s future. And when I have nothing to give He is more than enough. I have been fortunate enough to operate in that understanding from that moment forward.

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Me: I love it that you found Christ in the middle of your greatest trial. How awesome is that?! With the challenges Lily faces on a daily basis, were you at all fearful to have more children?

Nancy: I have an autoimmune disease called ulcerative colitis that became active about a month after Lily was born. For years I was so consumed with her constant care, but years later when her health became stable, I weeped for another child. My disease kept this dream from becoming a reality.

One night after being particularly upset, the Holy Spirt woke me up with a whisper – “read 1 Samuel.” I read of Hannah who wept before The Lord for a child and The Lord opened her womb. I took this as my promise from God.

A year later at a revival in Lakeland, Florida we were worshipping in the alter when an evangelist from Africa we had never met grabbed me fe behind and said, “The Lord says it is your time to have another child. You do not have to fear. Your disease will not be an issue. You will be healthy and the baby will not have any of the struggles Lily had.”

We stepped out in faith on that word and a week later I was pregnant! Evangeline was born healthy and I have been the healthiest during my pregnancies. God is so good!

Me: I have chills reading this. Wow, wow, wow! What a timely word from The Lord! What would you say you have learned through this journey?

Nancy: I have learned that it is easy to truly lay my burdens at the feet of Jesus. That there is a peace that comes from true brokenness before the Father. That I can do nothing good in and of myself and only God in me brings forth love and life. And that I am blessed to have been so broken that I got to experience complete and utter reliance on the Father for my every moment.

Because it is so easy to believe the lie that we have things under control and we are doing just fine all by ourselves. The truth is we need to be desperate for Him everyday. We need Him to direct our paths. We need His strength and His peace and His hope and His joy. Because those things from any other source are fleeting. They will not endure. We can only truly obtain them and sustain them if they have come from the Father. His faithfulness and provision is ever evident in my life. And I am just so grateful to have been freely given such a perfect love.

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Me: Such a beautiful brokenness. Your story is such an amazing picture of grace and mercy. Even at your lowest, God lifted you out of the pits of despair and showed you His loving kindness in a way you had never experienced before. Absolutely incredible.

What advice would you give to someone going through a difficult situation right now? And how has your perspective changed everything?

Nancy: I would say that living in victimhood is a choice. And as Christians we are not exempt from a pain free life. On the contrary, Jesus told us “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world!”

When living through the darkest nights we all have a choice to make. Will I let this defeat me and rob me of the peace and joy that was freely given to me? Or will I cling to the promises of my Father and trust that He will deliver me, restore me, protect me, provide for me and help me?

God is good to keep His word. And His word says He already overcame everything that could ever attempt to overcome you!

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Thank you so much, Nancy, for sharing your heart with us! God has truly blessed you with a beautiful family who have learned together that perspective changes everything.

We still have one more story with share with you! Don’t miss out! Check back this weekend to hear from Jessica Shonebarger about how God held her during one of the scariest storms in her life.

Share this with a friend if you were encouraged today! Remember – perspective changes everything!

Life Life Unscripted,
❤ Brittany

Guest Penny Bartee – Day 2 of Perspective Changes Everything!

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I’d like to introduce to you someone who has made such a huge impact in my life. This woman has spent countless hours with me in prayer, laughed until we’ve cried and rejoiced as God has brought us to exciting new doors to walk through.

One thing is for sure – Penny is a mighty woman of prayer. She loves Jesus and you can see Him illuminating the room through her contagious smile.

Meeting this incredible woman of God, you wouldn’t have a clue of the road she’s walked down. But she’s ready to share her story and we’re praying it will set you free!

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Me: You’ve never had it easy, that’s for sure. How early did the abuse start?

Penny: From the time I was a small child, I recognized that my father could love other children, yet he was verbally abusive to us. He was so cruel to my mother when her she became ill and it cost him money at the doctor. He was a workaholic and a control freak. He would go as far as writing down the mileage of the car as he left for work so he knew if she went anywhere. My father would never let her befriend anyone at church. Looking back, I think he was scared she would disclose what was going on at home. He was a different man at church than at home. And he hid it well.

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Me: As if the emotional and physical trauma wasn’t enough already, the beautiful life you had growing inside of you would never make it to your arms. Do you wonder what she looks like?

Penny: All the time. After I gave birth to my second child, Jamie, I always wondered if my daughter was normal. I wonder if she knows she was adopted. I never spoke to anyone about being pregnant. No one knew for years I had even had a child. I honestly thought for once I would have someone to love me. Then my father had the baby taken away from me the moment she was born. I’ve wondered if she’s struggled with weight because I always have. I’ve prayed she didn’t struggle with that. Every time I babysat someone’s kid’s I have thought about her, especially if they were girls.

Me: You and your father had quite the strained relationship. Tell us about the day your world stood still.

Penny: My father hadn’t felt well for some time and had been to the doctor. They couldn’t find anything wrong with him. I think he felt guilty for being so angry with my mother being sick and that guilt triggered his suicide. He couldn’t handle the pain he felt or the guilt of how cruel he was to my mother when she was sick. After talking with my brother and I for hours, he walked to the back of the house and I heard a noise from the back room. He laughed and said he was putting his pistol away and it went off. A few moments later I heard it again and he had shot himself with a shotgun. He had 4 days by himself at home but waited until I got home to do this. It was the ultimate rejection from my earthly father from a man who was supposed to love and nurture me.

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Me: You remind me so much of Job. He was tested time and time again, yet remained faithful to The Lord. Even when he had lost his family and his friends were kicking him while he was down, he continued to trust in God. Do you find it hard trusting God, your Heavenly Father, when your natural father abused and abandoned you?

Penny: Yes. I went to church and heard Psalm 139 and read for myself that I was wonderfully made by God and that He loved me with an everlasting love, but it was hard to grasp that concept. I compared God to my earthly father. And every relationship I had with a man followed that grueling path of abuse. God in heaven is nothing like our earthly father. God never abuses us. He never abandons us. He will never stop loving us. The bible says nothing separates us from the love of God.

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Me: Jamie is such a sweetie. And he LOVES the ladies! You said the devil has really fought you hard as a mother. Tell us a little about that.

Penny: I had seizures the whole time I was pregnant and Jamie was born with brain damage. I believed God was punishing me by giving me a disabled child for my promiscuity and giving my first born child away. The devil spoon-fed me those lies for years. But now I know that’s a lie straight from the pits of hell.

Me: For those going through a difficult situation right now, what advice would you give them?

Penny: What the enemy means for your bad, God will turn it around for your good. God definitely has a way of birthing something so spectacular through our pain. We just have to hold on. God has a way of wrapping all of our mess up into a ministry to set others free – if we will just let him. We can’t effectively minister to others until we have been there ourselves. We always have a choice. We can either get bitter or better. We can’t blame God for the decisions we have made, because we will reap what we sow. But it’s not God’s fault. What takes place in our lives is not to destroy us. It’s to help mold and make us for what God has called us to do. Everyone has a story to tell but not everyone shares it. We have learned to mask it and walk through the doors of the church and feel utterly alone. Everyone is hurting. We have to get real with God about ourselves before we get real and transparent with others. Thankfully, God uses cracked vessels.

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A big thank you to Penny Bartee for sharing her story with us! We pray you realize you are not alone in your situation. Struggling with suicide, abuse and emotional trauma for years, she has overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of her testimony. Revelations 12:11

Is God asking you to speak up? Listen for His voice. He loves you so much!

Live Life Unscripted,
❤ Brittany

Don't miss out! We have 2 more incredible ladies to hear from this week! Share this if it blesses you!

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