pray out fear, freedom is waiting on the other side

Some people say it’s best to face your fears. However, in order to embrace the freedom that is waiting on the other side, we need more than posture, we need a plan.  Here is what I have found to be the number-one most effective strategy: pray out fear.

We don’t often realize how many decisions are based on our fears. While some fears are rational and designed to keep us alive, I believe most of the fear that guides our decisions are not of this life-preserving variety. These fears need to be identified and dealt with.

FIRST: FIND THE FEAR

It’s become a little game I play—an adult version of hide-and-seek—identify areas in my life where fear is hiding. Because of our traveling lifestyle, my circumstances are continually shifting. This means I always have a lot of new material to work with, making it easier for me to flush out fear from its dark corners so I can meet it head-on and pray it out.

Since we started traveling, I’ve found that each region of the country has its own natural disasters, potentially deadly animals or unique hazards. Residents worldwide are often pretty low-key about the particular brand of danger living in their own backyard. However, there always seem to be a group of people who haven’t actually been to said location but yet have strong opinions which they must share for the sake of our family’s health and welfare. We discovered this to be particularly true while planning our trip to Alaska. As often happens, the list of fear factors only seemed to grow with each new person we spoke with.

-Bug and mosquito populations

-Road conditions

-Route decisions

-Weather conditions

Internet access

-Bear encounters

-RV and truck breakdowns

-Flat tires

-Cracked windshields

-Food prices

-Mail retrieval

pray out fear

FEAR VULTURES

As our Alaska departure date drew near, I noticed how frequently this group of people rotated around this list like vultures, picking at their own favorite fears and flinging them in our direction. I will admit, the temptation to bite was strong.

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the best habit I’ve developed this year

Quick: what is the most useful habit you have developed this year?

No seriously, what comes to mind, anything?

If so, please share with me in the comments below because I am going to give you mine and it’s really good!

The life altering habit that I am going to share with you should take less than an hour to put in place and less than 5 min a day to implement. However, the pay off is huge! Ready to find out what it is? Let’s go. . .

Scripture memorization (or memorization of any kind) can be difficult and tedious unless you have a plan in place and approach it from a perspective of slow and steady winning the race. Here is the most pain-free method to memorize that I’ve found:

My 7 year old listening to his playlist

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snack shop

Most habits and routines in our home are intentional and planned, but the snack shop was not.  It started out as a fun hands-on one time math lesson for Hunter almost a year ago.  I gave him a dollar and a homemade menu and he purchased his snack(s) for the morning while we discussed coin values and making change. He enjoyed it more than I anticipated and requested that we repeat the routine the next day.  A weekend came and went and both of us forgot about the fun snack shop until a month or two ago when he looked at me with eyes laced with hints of nostalgia and said, “mom, can we do the snack shop again?”

As I thought about it, I realized the snack shop could be a really fun and educational routine in our home.  We began doing it almost every morning between 10:00am and 11:00am. Here is how it works: Using a container of loose change to hold my coins, I “pay” my older two kids (9 and 11) $1.00 and my younger two (3 and 5) 0.10.  The menu is written up on a small white board and changes periodically based on the availability of the items listed.  For my menu items, I stick to basic things that I almost always have on hand and foods that are quick and easy.  I have two columns of prices, one for the older kids and one for the younger kids.  I have a variety of price ranges for the older kids to allow them the opportunity to use different coin values. I often price anything sugary higher than the healthy options and limit the purchases to one.

I began by giving my younger boys ten pennies (counting them out loud) and stuck with that until they were very familiar with the routine.  Later I began giving my 5 year old his pennies two at a time so we could practice counting by twos allowing my 3 year old to listen in and learn as well.  Recently I introduced the dime to my younger two.  I give them a dime and then they trade it in for 10 pennies and then begin to make their purchases. I plan to continue with the dime concept for another month or so until I feel they really have the idea solidified in their mind that one dime is equal to ten pennies.  After that, I will give them two nickels and we will trade those in for ten pennies and then later I will give them one dime which we will trade for 2 nickels which will then be traded for 10 pennies. Continue reading “snack shop”

anti-lukewarm

If your heart is in a place where you can trust God enough to be open to doing anything or going anywhere, following Jesus is a compelling adventure.  In the gospels I read about His invitation to follow Him (Matthew 4:19) and I see the response: His disciples dropped everything they were doing and followed.  After a process of time, prayer, and soul-searching, Trent and I were in that place: we were ready to sell anything and follow anywhere.  We were prayerfully sensitive to the opportunities that came across our paths and sought to determine, “Is this opportunity God’s will for us or is this simply a distraction?” We waded through a sea of possibilities for almost a year.  We prayed through business opportunities, selling our home, buying a duplex, moving back to California, and moving overseas.  In the process, we discovered more about our passions, dreams and goals and we continued to bring these to the feet of Jesus and ask, “Show us what to do with these things in our hearts.” Some of the particular areas we processed included: Continue reading “anti-lukewarm”