Monday, November 19, 2018

A Thanksgiving Lesson From the Pilgrims

By: Joanne Viola

Thanksgiving Day is almost upon us. It brought to mind a quote I had written down years ago, although I did not jot down the source:
"As the intrepid Mayflower travelers were preparing to leave England and head into the unknown, Bradford wrote about what was in their hearts. “They knew they were pilgrims, and looked not so much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits.”
We can learn three lessons from the Pilgrims:
  1. Identity. The Pilgrims knew they were pilgrims. They knew who they were and to Whom they belonged.
  2. Journey. In knowing their identity, the Pilgrims knew they needed to make this journey. They knew they had to go somewhere in order to fulfill their purpose.
  3. Focus. The Pilgrims knew they had to maintain their focus. They did not let weather or difficulties deter them from what they needed to do.
To maintain a heart of thanksgiving we are going to need to be just as the Pilgrims were in their day. We must know our identity, know where we are journeying, and always maintain our focus.

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
(Hebrews 12:1b-2a NIV).

Happy Thanksgiving! 
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Sunday, November 18, 2018

He always hears and listens...

As I look back on my six decades of life I can see so many answers to prayer. Sometimes the answer to a prayer came quickly. Sometimes I prayed for years and years and years and then, finally, the answer came. There are some prayers I'm still praying but I've yet to see an answer. When I pray the same deep heart cry prayer for years, and even decades, without a visible answer, I'm ashamed to say that I sometimes lose focus on all of the answered prayers and begin to wonder if God is still listening to me.

This morning, during my devotions I read the portion of scripture in John chapter eleven when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Before He spoke the life-giving words, "Lazarus, come forth!" Jesus prayed to His Father. He thanked the Father for always hearing and listening to Him. He didn't say, "Father, please listen to me. I'm begging you to hear my prayers. This is a desperate situation. Lazarus has died. Please, please, please listen to me, hear my prayers, and help me to raise Lazarus from the dead." I'm pretty sure that's what my prayer would have sounded like under the circumstances. But, Jesus was confident in His relationship with the Father. He was confident in the Father's love for Him and that the Father's eyes were always on Him and His ears were always tuned to hear Him.

In John 17:23, Jesus is once again praying to His Father.  Jesus says, "You have loved them, even as You have love Me." Did you get that?  Jesus is saying that the Father loves us as much as He loves Jesus. In other words, we can be confident, like Jesus was, in our relationship with the Father. We can be confident in His love for us, that His eyes are always on us, and that His ears are always tuned to hear us. We don't have to beg God to listen to our heart cries. Instead, we can start our prayers with thanksgiving that our Father in heaven always hears and listens to us. Always. Praise be to God!

still following,

Friday, November 16, 2018

How Prayer Helps with Holiday Anxiety

How Prayer Helps With Holiday Anxiety

By: Sarah Geringer

Thanksgiving is coming up next week, and busy December is getting closer! Do you feel anxious in any way about the upcoming holiday season?

I deal with holiday anxiety almost every year. Prayer is essential for replacing anxiety with peace.

If you deal with any holiday anxiety, whether it's about getting everything accomplished, relationship problems, or feeling left out, prayer can help you too. These are the verses I use when praying about anxiety.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you care about all my little anxieties. Help me trust you today. Give me strength and courage to face my fears.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV

Prayer: Lord, you know that I am fearful about what tomorrow may bring. Help me to be concerned only with what is needful for today. Help me to trust you with everything else. 
"You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one."  Luke 10:41b-42 NIV

Prayer: Lord, I don't want to rush around and miss the main point of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I need your wisdom to set priorities and follow them. Remind me to put you first so everything else falls into place.

Using God's word as the basis for prayer will help you find peace this holiday season. Do you see now how easy it is to turn a scripture into a prayer? I hope this post inspires you to take time to dig into God's Word in this busy season and turn scriptures into prayers that will bring you greater peace.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

Photo from

Reflection questions:

1. What's your favorite scripture? How can you turn it into a prayer?

2. What is your worst source of holiday anxiety? How can prayer help you through it this year?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

No one ever told me...

by Debi Baker

No one ever told me adulting was so difficult! No one ever told me that one day I would have to parent my parents! No one ever told me I'd want to go back to being a little girl again!

As a little girl, I'd tell my mama that I couldn't wait 'til I grew up. She would tell me to stop wishing my life away!

One day, I found myself on the adult side of life, married with babies of my own!  And I was as happy as I could be.  The years would tick by, one by one.  

No one ever told me that I would die inside with each milestone of my babies. Infant. Toddler. Preschooler. Elementary School. Middle School. High School. College. Marriage. Grandbabies. Watching my children grow was amazing. Actually, it was a love/hate relationship I had with their growing up.  I wanted them to stay small, to continue 'needing' me. But I also couldn't wait to interact with my ADULT children. To have grandbabies. Great-grandbabies. This whole grandparent thing is amazing...until they grow up and Nana isn't so important anymore. Oh, I know they love me but they have lives of their own now. They (some of them) are adults now, too. Going off to college, getting married.  No one ever told me how my heart would long to hold them in my arms once again!

Photo by Mike Castro Demaria on Unsplash

And now...the phase of life that nobody ever talks about. That phase when your parents are getting up there in age.  That phase when they start forgetting. When they start relying on you more and more. When their health begins to deteriorate.  Doctor appointments.  Hospital stays. Being needed more than you're ready to be needed.

This is where I am. At 79 and 80, their health is beginning to fail. They have many doctor appointments.  Why do I need to go?  Because if I don't I'll never really know what the doctor tells them. Because I want to know what's going on so I can provide the best possible care for them as I can. Because I love them.  Perhaps I'm attempting to make up for time I didn't spend with them earlier in life...when my kids were having kids.  No, that's not it.  We're a very close family and we've always spent a lot of time together. I never left them behind like I see so many adult kids doing to their elderly parents!

How difficult it is for a little girl to see her mama forget how to cook.  How devastating it is to see her hero daddy begin to become weak.  She just wants to sit on Daddy's lap one more time and have him brush her damp hair dry.  She just wants to help mama bake another cake in the kitchen.  Time stands still for no one.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT tells us this is true.

"1 For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace."

This is my season. I will embrace it and cherish each and every moment. I will commit as much as I possibly can to memory so that when the next season for them is over, I will not forget my time with them.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

When Your Joy Is Stolen

By: Jenifer Metzger

My One Word for 2018 is joy. I had been praying for my son to have true joy and felt God telling me that I needed to find it too. I was excited to begin to focus on where real joy comes from: the Lord. Happiness is circumstantial but joy comes from knowing the Lord and having salvation.

January 1st, I begin to look up Scriptures that talk about joy with the intention of memorizing them. I was determined to keep my joy no matter what circumstance came my way. Not even a month into the new year and my study of my One Word, we received a call that my mother-in-law unexpectedly passed away. Losing my mother-in-law and the pain it brought was a punch in the gut that tried so hard to steal my joy.

Fast-forward to this summer when news spread of the sudden passing of Wynter Pitts. While I didn't know Wynter personally, I had worked on her book launch teams and followed her ministry and family for quite awhile. I ached for her family. Wynter was my exact age and knowing she passed away from a massive heart attack scared me and threatened to steal my joy.

Just weeks after Wynter's passing, a local church van crashed killing three teens and injuring many more. We know the pastors and some of the families and seeing their pain was heartbreaking. My joy was once again threatened.

Two weeks ago today my grandfather was rushed to the hospital with a massive headache and high blood pressure. We found out he would need open heart triple, possible quadruple, bypass surgery. The family was terrified. I remember kissing his cheek before surgery praying it wouldn't be the last time I ever saw him. My joy was threatened. My grandfather came through surgery and was doing well. His heart strong and blood pressure normal. But while in the hospital his leg stopped working, making him unstable on his feet. Going straight from the hospital to a nursing home for rehab crushed me and threatened my joy.

Yesterday a dear friend called to say her husband was in a car accident and life-flighted to a hospital in another state. Both hips broken, leg broken, ribs broken, mangled foot, possible amputation to come. Knowing all this family has already been through and the long road that lies ahead, my joy was threatened.

Each time a crisis arose and I felt my joy being threatened, felt the enemy coming in to steal it, I turned to God. I said words that hurt to say in the moment, but were more true than ever: God, please work a miracle, but even if, I will still praise You and keep my joy.

Do not grieve, because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

Things will happen in life that feel like they are going to crush us. We will grieve. We will face trials. But we can keep our joy through it all because we have a hope and a future with God. Even if He chooses not to move the mountain we are facing, He is still good and we can trust He is doing what is best. We can have faith that through it all, He will never leave us and He will never forsake us. This is how we keep our joy. This is how we can praise Him in all circumstances.

Friends, whatever you are facing today, whatever is threatening to steal your joy, turn the Lord for your strength. Let Him be your joy.

It is time for the Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories in their comments.

On social media, use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday!

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. Please link back to W2W somewhere in your post. (Feel free to use our button if you'd like!)
3. Visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.

Woman to Woman Ministries