Friday, February 26, 2016

The Greatest Love Note

I'm over the moon excited to be featured on (in)courage today sharing a story inspired by my sweet daughter and her even sweeter note to me. Here's a little sneak peak:

My kids and I love writing little notes to each other. We write on post-its, scraps of paper, even the backs of church bulletins, any paper we can find, just to give each other a little love and a smile. 

It's not uncommon to find these notes hidden in lunch boxes or under bedroom pillows for added surprise. We just love a good love note!

Our notes are nothing fancy. They simply state 'I love you' or 'You are awesome' accompanied by quick drawings or silly stickers. 

These notes always give us a smile in the moment but recently, the words in a note I received from my eight year old daughter lasted longer than a moment. They went straight to my heart and claimed a place in my soul. The note said: I love you for how you are. I love you because you are you.

Head on over to (in)courage to read the rest of the story. While you're there, sign up to receive free daily encouragement from the writers of (in)courage, right in your inbox! Just sign up here:

(In)courage is one of my favorite places on the web. I know you'll enjoy it too!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Braver Than Our Excuses

These words keep running through my head...we must be braver than our excuses. I wrote it just a few months ago when I first started this blog. 

I had every excuse in the book to not start a blog---it's really not for me, I'm not creative enough, there's just no time, there's too much laundry to do (isn't there always?), maybe when the kids get older....

On and on and on. Isn't that how excuses go? They could just keep going on so far and so long, we just start to believe them. How can they not be true?

Do you ever see that thing you really want to do? That thing you know you could do? But, you know it will take a whole lot of work? A whole lot of thought? A whole lot of time? Yep, that one.

That's the one where we need to be braver than our excuses. We need to tell those excuses to move out of the way. There's no room for them. We have a job to do. We have a dream to chase. We have a goal to reach. 

The road may be murky, foggy at best. Our vision may be clear one moment and blurry the next. But let's move forward into our future with courage. Let's move forward with confidence. 

Let's be braver than our excuses. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Coming to God in Prayer

I love writing for Getting Real Ministries. I wrote this post about prayer for the GRM blog. Enjoy and please hop over to Getting Real Ministries if you get a chance...I think you'll like what you see!

I was on the phone with a friend. She was asking me to pray for a family member who was seriously ill. Throughout the conversation, she began to reveal some insecurities over her prayers--one of them being the idea that my prayers would be heard by God much better than her prayers. In other words, my prayers for her relative would turn God's ears to her request more than her prayers because I was, in her eyes, the more 'spiritual one'.

Of course, I would pray, I assured her, but I had to let her know--her prayers were no less important and no less heard by God than my prayers. In fact, He wants her to come to Him, to seek Him out and pray to Him. I did what I hoped was my best to assure her of this. Eventually, the conversation went on to other topics and soon ended.

What hasn't ended for me is the idea many of us mistakenly believe--some people's prayers are better and somehow more spiritual than others, so therefore, God listens to those prayers more than He listens to others. Can I just tell you right now, that thought is wrong and please, if you are believing it, even if just a small part of you still hangs on to that lie, please let it go.

The prayers of your pastor, priest, Bible study leader or your 'super spiritual' friend are not better just because their words seem to flow with eloquence and yours seem to fumble along. Or because they seem to know more about the Bible. Or they seem to never mess up and you just know they always have their quiet time with God instead of hitting the snooze button five times each morning.

Don't stay away from entering into prayer because you think you or your prayers are not good enough. Can I tell you a little secret---I fumble through my prayers often. I start, stop and start them again and again. They are often a jumbled mess of requests and pleas and often they aren't even words as much as they are emotions and tears.

But God is so good.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

God is full of such grace and mercy. When you seek him with all your heart, you will find him and He will hear you.

He wants you to come to Him in prayer. He wants to hear all your requests. Your perfectly phrased ones and your cries for help. Your hope-filled ones and the ones you doubt will even reach His ears or make a difference. He wants your prayers because He wants you.

"Oh my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge." (Psalm 62:8 NLT)

Come with boldness. Start your prayers with the belief and trust that God hears you. He wants to hear you and He wants to become a shelter for you and all your prayers. Nowhere does He say only certain people can pour our their hearts and others can't. There are no lower-class citizens in the Kingdom of God. All are invited to come and pour out their hearts to God.

My friends, please come before God in prayer. Rest assured He delights in hearing all your prayers.

Just come.
© Katie Landers
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