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Give God Praise

My worry list is long enough. I have to set it down and focus elsewhere. I started listing all the ways I could give God praise and I’ll tell you what, I had to shout!  Has God been good to you? Has He provided a way when there was no way? Has He repaired a breech, a broken place, that you thought would never get straight? Has He comforted you in your worry or fear?  Oh my goodness, let me just list a few ways I’ve seen His love displayed recently.

When I struggle with insecurity He answers with encouragement. I begin doubting the impact of my book and God graciously sends an encourager. Women I don’t even know have messaged me to say how my words inspired them. Just this week a young mom sent me this note (I share with her permission): “I’m on chapter 4 of your book and I can already say this is exactly what I needed to read at this time in my life.  I had been feeling the need to be a light and share more love and peace in this world and your book inspires me and shares all the ways I can do this.  It is a life changing way—a godly way—and I love it!” She concluded, “I thought I should share with you that your book moves me towards humanity and God.” Do you think God nudged her to share this on the very day I needed to hear it? He doesn’t have to encourage me this way; it is His goodness to do so.

My daughter has been looking for a job. She wasn’t certain about the direction to take with her career. She was prayerful in the process and sought out all kinds of good advice. Can I just give God praise right now? He didn’t have to, but I totally sense God’s hand in the direction she has taken. After a month of interviewing she got a great offer, and not for just a job but a career. He was watching over her entire process with kindness and provision.

Another daughter is working remotely. Her heart’s desire was to work from LA near her college friends while she could. It touched this mamma heart to see her pray about this hope and have opportunity after opportunity fall through. Just when she had pretty much given up on that dream, an email came inviting her to join a group of awesome Christian women in an apartment one block from the beach!

Even in our struggles, our lives are a showcase for God’s goodness! He loves to bless and encourage His children. We may battle doubts, insecurities, uncertainties, or just unmet dreams, but God is faithful to care. He is faithful to provide and protect. He makes a way where there is no way! God reassures us in scripture: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

These are just a few of the ways God has been good to me recently – how has God been good to you? If your immediate reaction is, well He hasn’t, I encourage you to look at your life with a different lens. Where has He helped you, protected you, provided for you? His goodness is waiting to be discovered.

Find my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion anywhere books are sold.

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Trust the Process

Do you remember planting seeds for science class in elementary school? The classroom window was lined with hopeful little pots, waiting for green life to spring forth. There was always that smug girl whose plant shot up first and remained the biggest plant in the window. Then there was me, knee socks slumped around my ankles, pulling my little green stalk out of the dirt to see what was going on under that soil!

Growth is almost always a subtle, hidden process. A tree’s growth is registered in its rings. The actual growing or adding of woody fiber happens quickly over a few months. The rest of the year is a slow solidification process of the green timber. Our spiritual life can feel the same way. God will bring bursts of revelation and insight or conviction and tenderness of heart.  Big decisions leap forward and new directions and habits forge ahead. God is so close we can almost feel His smile on us. But He also brings seasons where we must press in.  Weeks or months feel quiet and uneventful. We are solidifying our relationship with Him. To enjoy God’s presence is one thing; to be established in Him and manifesting His goodness daily, is another. Fruit ripens slowly with subtlety. It takes time to grow into His representation here on earth. 

“I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Phil.1:6) I’m glad the Apostle Paul was so sure. I have to fight the compulsion to pull it all up from the roots, impatient to see what’s going on in the soil of my heart. But remember, a squash only requires months to grow while an oak tree needs years. It depends on who and what you want to be! What does spiritual growth look like for you in this season? Are you being called into greater levels of obedience and listening? My friend, be encouraged: God will finish what He has started in you. The Bible says it this way: “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

You don’t have to strive and worry. You don’t have to get into your flesh and work up some kind of emotion or frantic behavior. God will perfect what He started in you! He will confirm His work in you, strengthen it and establish you as His representation here on earth. Keep soaking up those nutrients in scripture, prayer, and God-encounters. Follow and obey Him. Let your roots go deep into Christ as His love blooms into new life.  

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Does your spiritual life need nurturing? Join the Gracious Living challenge today! You can get the book Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion at www.MargaretAllen.org or the Kindle version on Amazon.