Approach Him with Confidence

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Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

Being sure of something.  Without doubt.  How does an insecure girl like me approach God with confidence?

She doesn’t.

In my time of need, I’m more tempted to run and hide.  I’m scared if I share the not-so-nice thoughts in my mind (temptations, frustrations, hurts), God will be disappointed.  And if he’s disappointed, He might punish me.  Can you relate?

It’s so silly isn’t it?  Like God doesn’t already know every thought in our minds.  So how do we approach God with confidence?

Stop hiding and start seeking.

Seek to know Him so we can be sure of Him.  Seek to trust Him so we have no doubts of Him.

The Bible says He “understands our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15).  He’s been there, done that.  Jesus faced similar issues as us and overcame them.  He uses those experiences to help us in our time of need.

And when we share those not-so-nice thoughts with Him, will we see his disappointment?  Will we receive His punishment?  No.  Even though we might deserve that, we will instead receive His mercy.

Crazy isn’t it?

So what are we waiting for?  Let’s approach Him with confidence.

Confident that He will hear our prayers:

“Answer me when I call to you,
O God who declares me innocent.
Free me from my troubles.
Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”
Psalm 4:1 (NLT)

Confident that He will protect us:

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.
Psalm 57:1(NLT)

Now it’s your turn:  How do you approach God with confidence?

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Sand in My Sandwich {book review}

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sandinmysandwichbookcover

“The hardest stuff is the quickest way to God.”
A mother of three children, two of whom are on the autism spectrum,
Sarah has experienced plenty of ups and downs.
But from the chaos of her “ordinary” life,
she pulls truth packed with humor, poignancy, and a naked honesty
that will make you realize you are not alone
in this delightfully messy thing called motherhood.
(
back cover)

Memoirs are not my favorite to read.  However, when I discovered this one was written by a mom of children with autism, I was intrigued, as I too have a son with autism.

Sarah quickly captured my attention in chapter 1:

“My life’s a mess.  Ask my friends.  Actually, don’t.
They won’t see it through the veil of forced perfection.”

“Matt and I bonded quickly and married within a year of meeting.
This is where things stop sounding like a Nicholas Sparks novel.”

“This is the story of how God used my children and my life’s messes
as instruments of His presence…And I learned that,
on this grand adventure, chaos looks a lot like perfect order in disguise.”

This was a fun read.

While it is difficult to parent children with autism, Sarah is quick to point out the blessings she sees in them.  If for nothing else, I would recommend this book for that alone. I recommend this book to moms with children with autism – it would make a great mothers day gift!

I received this book free from the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  


Life Unstuck {book review)

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LifeUnstuck_cover

When I came across Life Unstuck by Pat Layton, I was immediately drawn to the beauty of the cover and the subtitle:

Finding PEACE with your Past, PURPOSE in your Present, PASSION for your Future

Peace.  Purpose.  Passion.  Yes please!

Then after reading this review, I was sold:

Life Unstuck is a beautifully written book by my friend Pat
that takes a fresh look at Psalm 139.
Using this treasured Scripture as a guide,
she speaks to our problems and questions
with deep reassurances of God’s promises.
Readers will be able to identify where and why
we’ve gotten stuck so we can move forward with great joy.”
~ Lysa TerKeurst on Life Unstuck

Little did I know how stuck I was until I took Pat’s quick assessment.

“Sometimes I feel like the masks I wear for everyone else
are going to completely take over
and I will disappear behind somebody
I don’t even know.”
~ Pat Layton, Life Unstuck

Pat provides further self-reflection with her Garden of Personality Test.

“This tool will help as we move along
to uncover those stuck places in your life
and see how some of what we see as stuck,
God sees as potential.”
~ Pat Layton, Life Unstuck

I enjoyed Pat’s easy-to-read writing style, her personal stories, and mostly God’s Word she reflects on throughout the book.  Pat gives us “Unstuck Truths” (God’s truths) within each chapter that will be easy for you to remember when you are stuck.  Here’s a glimpse at key words that will change your life.

My favorite part of Life Unstuck was Section 2:  Peace with the Past.  My highlighter almost ran dry in this section and I will definitely be spending more time here in days to come.

“God desires to use our past, not to shame or condemn us
but to break the stonghold the enemy has on our testimony
and use our story for His glory.”
~ Pat Layton, Life Unstuck

Also in the book, Pat shares:

  • basic needs that are critical for life unstuck
  • dangerous places she’s discovered for getting stuck in the past
  • typical lies that keep women stuck in darkness
  • God’s truths to remember

The good news is we do not have to stay in our stuck places.  Using the truths found in Psalm 139, Pat shows us “what we see as stuck, God sees as potential.”

I highly recommend Life Unstuck.  It would be a great choice for your next book club.  It will be a resource I revisit time and again.

Be sure to check out the Life Unstuck website where you will find the book trailer, free downloadable study guide, and other resources.

I received this book free from the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program.  After getting just a glimpse of Life Unstuck, I also joined Pat’s launch team. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

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Remember that popular song?

In every life we have some trouble,
but when you worry, you make it double,
don’t worry, be happy.

Do you struggle with worry like me?  Or like Martha did?  I imagine that song playing in the background the day Jesus visited Mary and Martha.  Can’t you just see Mary mouthing the words “don’t worry, be happy” as Jesus spoke to Martha:

Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things,
but few things are needed—or indeed only one.
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her
.”
Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)

Oh I want to be like Mary and choose better.  But I get distracted, like Martha.  Not only do I get distracted, but I create those distractions.  That way I don’t have time to worry.  No time to worry about my son’s unknown future (his autism will require life-long care).  No time to worry about dying early (because my health is not a top priority).

Nope, no time to worry.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  But really those worries are just hidden away.  Can you relate?

“…but when you worry, you make it double…”

Yep, hiding those worries won’t make them go away.  That’s obvious in the “doubling” of my weight where those worries are stuffed.  So what’s a girl to do?

Don't worry, be happy / #livefreeThursday at www.kimstewartinspired.com

Don’t worry.  Be happy.  For me that means stop hiding and start seeking.  Let’s seek and find what God’s Word says:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He’s the one who will keep you on track.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

I always try to figure things out on my own.  I think to myself “I’ve got this” while stuffing away those worries.  Lack of trust?  Bingo!

So how do we start trusting God from the bottom of our hearts?  We stop hiding and start seeking.

Let’s stop distracting ourselves from our worries.  Let’s start seeking Him and turning our worries over to Him through daily prayer.  Let’s listen for His voice in everything we do and everywhere we go.

Let me give you my phone number
When you worry, call me I will make you happy
Don’t worry…be happy.”

Now it’s your turn.  What is your biggest worry?  How do you confront that worry?  

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