One year our daughter Angela longed to take ballet so we prayed for ballet slippers. Watch this short video about God’s provision for a child’s request:
Isn’t it amazing how God works? God answers the prayers of a childlike heart. It wasn’t a coincidence that the very next week we just happened to find ballet slippers in her exact size at a garage sale.
I love seeing faith in a child’s eyes. Of course, God would use those eyes to convince her grandma that she needed to invest in her granddaughters’ desire to dance. Today when I see my adult daughters dancing, and teaching others to dance,I am reminded to trust God and watch Him provide through childlike faith.
Childlike Faith is for Everyday
You could smile at that sweet story and not apply the lesson to your life. But, I want to remind you that Jesus was using children as an example when he was challenging his disciples to be more childlike:
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus
so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them.
But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.
Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs
The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who have childlike faith. I don’t know about you, but I tend to look more at the price tag of doing something great. The cost of doing something can cause me to look down, when really I should look up! I need to lift my face to Jesus with trust in my eyes. If He called me to do something, He is the One who has to provide for it.
Becoming More Childlike
Here are a few words that describe what it means to be childlike:
When I read these words, I want to become more trusting, uninhibited and spontaneous in my life. I want to twirl around with a smile on my face hopeful in the future. I want to be expectant about the next wonderful thing that my Father in heaven has in mind for me.
Reeling from the news that my husband had been laid off, I took off early in the morning for a prayer walk. I gave God my long list of concerns and ended my conversation with“And God, we need groceries!”
Watch this video to find out how God answered my prayer!
God Knows and Cares about the Details of Your Life
I still smile when I remember the acquaintance that came to my door with 4 bags of groceries, enough to feed my 4 small children. She didn’t know what we were going through, but God did!
What are the unseen details of your life right now that you are crying out to God to answer. God is in the details. Pour out your heart to Him. Place the burden of your concern onto Him. He is able to carry it, you aren’t.
God Knows and Cares about Your Heart Concerns
God is able to see the big picture. He knows the concerns of your heart. He also knows what is best for you. Even when you don’t know what to pray, He does.
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:26-28 NLT)
When I cried out to God and said, “We need groceries!” The Holy Spirit interpreted not only my present need but my larger concern. Yes, I had an immediate need for food. But I had a larger need to know that we could trust God through the transition. Not only did this encourage me, it has encouraged everyone I have shared it with. It shows the faithful character of God.
God Knows and Cares about Your Character Development
Our character is developed as God takes us through tough seasons in our lives.
It is through trial and suffering that we become more like God.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (Romans 5:3-4 NLT)
I know that everything I go through, I find I have a greater compassion for others who are experiencing what I did.
One morning when I was standing at the kitchen sink with my hands in dishwater, my husband told me that the company he was working for was going under. Everyone was laid off. At that time in our lives, I was staying home with 4 small children ages 6, 4, 2, and newborn. It was not a good time for me to go out and find a job.
Watch this video:
Who Do You Look To, When Your World Falls Apart?
When something difficult happens in our lives, it’s easy to go into “fix-it mode.” We try to figure out why something bad happened.
Fear Looks Down, Faith Looks Up
It’s appropriate to examine our lives to learn from our mistakes. Yet if we aren’t careful, our heads hang down and we magnify the negative of the circumstances as we try to figure it all out.
Fear looks down and magnifies the negative.
Faith looks up and magnifies God.
Faith compares the circumstance to the mighty God of the Universe. God is not only able to help you learn from your mistakes, He is able to transform you in the process.
Your Set Back, Can Be God’s Set Up
All those years ago when my hands were in the dish-water after hearing about my husband being laid off, my heart was suddenly filled with a gift of faith. God dropped in my heart these words that I said to my husband, “Honey, it must mean that promotion is around the corner for you.”
Those faith-filled words, helped change my perspective. Rather that fearfully looking down, I looked up to God in faith. Over the years, I have seen God use my difficulties and the difficulties of others as a set up for His promotion.
Preparing for Promotion
If you are in a difficult situation, this is not the end of your story. God is for you. Here are some things that we can do to position ourselves for God’s promotion:
1. Humble Yourself
True humility is rightly seeing yourself and rightly seeing God. C.S. Lewis, a great Christian Theologian said this,
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis
Walking in humility is not having poor self-esteem. True humility is the opposite of both pride and insecurity. Humility is seeing things with God’s perspective. God hates pride. 1 Peter 5:5 NLT says,
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humility is not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to think… nor thinking more lowly than you ought to think. Humility chooses to walk in God’s grace.
2. Dare to Dream
Seeing things God’s way calls you to look up. God is great and mighty. He has created each human being in His image. He invites each one of us to dream His dream. He is the master-designer and He created you on purpose. Ephesians 2:10 NLT says,
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
God has a plan. His plan is for your good. His plan is far more that you can hope for.
It’s at those twists and turns in your journey, that you need to remind yourself that this does not take God by surprise. It may be that he is preparing you for the next stage in your adventure in life.
3. Say Yes to God
At each transitional point in our lives, we have a fresh opportunity to say yes to God. I have found myself at a number of these turns praying these words:
God, I will go ANYWHERE You want me to go!
I will do ANYTHING You want me to do!
I will serve ANYONE You want me to serve.
I surrender. Show me and I will follow you.
God’s Promotion doesn’t come from the hand of man but from God Himself. He prepares you for His promotion by preparing your character to completely trust Him.
Do you think you need to wait till your circumstances are just right to be full of joy?
When my children were small, I didn’t think that there would ever be a time that I wasn’t changing diapers, nursing, or waking up in the middle of the night. But my wise mother used to say “This too shall pass.” AND it did.
Be encouraged by this short video:
Now as my adult children launch into the world, I miss the times that I could hold them in my arms. It was much easier to wipe away their tears.
It is bittersweet being a mom of adult children. I rejoice in the wonder of launching children into adulthood. Yet, I miss the everyday struggle of being a mom of little ones.
Yesterday, my college daughters arrived for Spring break in Hannah’s car. They drove the whole way having “sister-time.” We sat on the couch and cuddled watching a movie. It felt like old times – but not really. Everything has changed.
As long as we are in this world, we will experience change. But change does not need to stop the flow of joy. Joy is a fountain of life that flows from God Himself.
So this morning as my children sleep in our condo, I reminisce about the old days of when they were young. When I never had enough time for myself…
I know that I have to let go of the past, live in the present, and lay hold of the future. I remind myself of this verse:
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14 NLT.
We never reach the perfect stage of life. We are always letting go of wonderful things in life to reach forward to the next season.
I am filled with Joy when…
… I let go of the past, but cherish it’s sweetness.
… I live in the present, and embrace the new normal.
… I lay hold of the future, with hope and expectation.
We all need encouragement. No matter what stage of life, we need others to share the journey with us. We don’t want to be alone. It’s more fun together.
Sometimes, I experience lonely days. Days when I need encouragement. If you are an author, speaker, blogger you know what I mean. You began your blog to encourage others, but sometimes you feel alone.
It doesn’t need to stay that way! Let’s Linkup in a life-giving journey of encouraging each other.
Here is How a #LifeGivingLinkup Works:
1. Link up you life-giving & encouraging post with the button below.
2. If you haven’t begun your blog, leave an encouragement in the comments for others.
3. Visit other blogs on this linkup and leave a comment on the post linked up before yours.
I woke up with a smile on my face. “Wayne, you won’t guess what I dreamt this time.”
For six weeks I had the same type of dream. Every night I had another baby. One night it was twin toddler girls with dark hair. In the dream I am flabbergasted that I had more children. Six is enough! In my dream, I’m learning to know their names and embracing the fact that I am a mom again.
Another night it’s a baby with reddish blond curls, and she is clinging to me in a bathroom stall, abandoned by her mother. I go to the front desk of the hotel and say, “Whose baby is this?”
The concierge looks at her computer screen and back up at me, “She is your baby, ma’am.”
“What? another baby!” As six weeks went by, night after night I had a different child. All the children were of different ages, genders, and races.
At every major change or transition in my life, I have dreams of babies. In this particular season in life, we had been at our present congregation for seventeen years. for most of those years, we had both been serving as associate pastors.
“What did you dream this time?” Wayne asked.
“This time I was a mother engorged with breast milk. The milk from my breast was dripping to the ground. I jumped into my car and sped toward my children…” Any nursing mother of a newborn knows the urgency a mom feels to get to her child in this situation.
We quietly pondered the dream. “Wayne, I think God is trying to get our attention. change is coming.”
Open Your Heart to the Unexpected
No matter how much you try to prepare for upcoming seasons in your life, there is no way that you can truly know all the twists and turns of our journey of following God.
At this point, we had laid our life down for the city of Nashville serving in a variety of ministry roles. That morning I had no idea that our transition would lead us to relocate to Frisco Texas to plant a new church. God didn’t show us the whole picture at that point.
If you are facing the uncertainty of change in your life, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Open Your Heart to Discovery
A friend shared with me that she sensed that God was laying before us stepping stones. He was calling us to step out on each stone even if we didn’t know exactly where it was leading. As we stepped out in faith, we would see the next stone and know the way to go.
You may be in a similar situation, facing the uncertainty of change.You don’t have to have it all figured out. You can step out on the first step trusting that God will lead you every step of the way.
Open Your Heart to Change
Life is changing every day. If you try to hold back your children from moving into adulthood, you will only make change more difficult.
Keep a positive mindset to change. Your anchor through every change is God. In fact, He is the One who is moving your forward. Open your heart to “give birth to new babies.”
Open Your Heart to New Beginnings
For Wayne and I, our sense of the meaning of the series of dreams that I had was that God had more Spiritual Children for us. We didn’t know that we would be like Abraham and Sarah leaving our house and family and traveling to the place He would show us.
Open Your Heart to the Future”
Now as we prepare to launch Life Bridge Church in 2015, we are beginning to see the bigger picture of the future. As we discover our “spiritual children” and build friendships in Frisco Texas we are incredibly thankful…
…Thankful that we trusted God… Thankful for the process of discovery that prepared us for the future.
Dare to Dream in 2015
I don’t know what you are facing in the year ahead, but I encourage you to dare to dream. Let God take you outside to gain a different perspective. Look up as He shows you the stars and tells you about making the impossible, possible.
I would love to hear from you. What dream is God placing on your heart? What changes have you gone through?
If you are trying to live up to an image of what it looks like to be a perfect parent, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The only perfect parent is our Father in heaven. Although He was a perfect parent and He had provided a paradise for Adam and Eve to live in, they still chose to disobey Him. As a human race, we chose to rebel against our perfect Father.
In between my 2 daughters’ weddings, I was just thankful to launch the book… Enjoy reading this article… xoxox
Why I Wrote This Book
Destiny requires bold leaps of faith. I have been asked why I wrote 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom. I didn’t go through the months of writing this book with tears streaming down my face because I am a perfect mom. There are no perfect moms. There are no perfect families.
Every mom that I know wants to be the best mom in the world for her child. But sometimes she feels like the worst. God has given imperfect women the awesome opportunity to nurture the lives of other human beings. But sometimes we feel overwhelmed. Often we fall short.
I wrote 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom because I had to. I had this burden to help moms be real in their brokenness. I wanted to create a safe place for moms of all ages to find healing and wholeness. I wanted to help mom’s embrace their God-given calling to be a Life-Giving Mom by connecting to The Ultimate Life-Giver – GOD!
“One of the most encouraging things to my heart is simply knowing I’m not alone…not alone in my pain, not alone in my failures, and not alone in my journey.”
Enjoy Watching this Book Trailer
The Difficult Yet Life-Giving Journey
I have had the heart to write this book for 20 years. Around 7 years ago, after walking, talking and praying with my friend Pam Vredevelt I realized that writing for me was a God-given calling and a moral imperative. I didn’t want to face God at the end and hear Him say “Well, done servant…. But why didn’t you write the books that I called you to write…?”
I know God’s grace covers not only our mistakes but the things we leave undone. I also know His call. I had an undeniable burden to help others through writing books.
Finally in 2012, I took a bold step of faith. My husband and I had been at one church for 17 years. For most of those years we were associate pastors. In July, 2012 I officially stepped off of the pastoral team that I dearly loved. I laid down a ministry assignment where I had been effectively used by God.
I knew that it was God calling me… At the time, I didn’t know that He would later call us to relocate out of Nashville where we had served the city in ministry for 28 years. I didn’t know that He would call us to plant a church from SCRATCH in Texas! I didn’t know that He would call us to a city where we didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know He would call us to leave our beautiful adult daughters in Tennessee, and plow the tough ground of beginning a new church.
All I knew at the time, was that He had called me to write.
I share these details with tears streaming down my face, because for me… writing this book has come at a great cost.
I have labored in prayer… I have labored in time… I have labored in study… I have labored in transparency… I have labored in repentance… I have laid it all on the line because I knew that God was calling.
I feel God’s pleasure as I have made room in my life. Why I wrote this book: to obey God. Now I hear Him saying, “Write a book every year.” So, I have already begun writing my next book. The words are flowing out of me. I can hardly wait to get it to readers. There is a whole series of “9 Traits” books that are being birthed in my belly right now. Obeying God releases life destiny.
2. To Be Transformed
I am no longer the same woman. I have been changed and transformed through the writing process. It has given me a context to look back, search God’s Word, pray, and look forward. I have gone through deep layers of repentance in my own life and heart. I have found God’s GRACE in a brand new life-giving, life-restoring way. His GRACE empowers me to live out my life-destiny with strength, wisdom, power, clarity and boldness.
3. To Help Moms
Why I wrote this book: To Help MOMS! I love moms. I love trendy moms. I love soccer moms. I love stay-at-home moms. I love working-moms. I love single-moms. I love moms-of-special-needs-children. I love moms.
9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom has built a platform for me to come along side moms in the journey to be Life-Giving to their children.
“For a woman who struggles against my own perfectionism, Sue’s book comes as a breath of fresh air. It allows me to openly confess my own flaws while embracing the God-given power to overcome them. Her statement, “Go ahead and believe that He can take your worst and replace it with His best,” makes me exhale with hope…”
Share 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom with Others
In bookstores across the United States, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Momhas arrived. Go to your bookstore. Thank them for carrying it. Buy a copy and give it to a friend (even if that friend is you).
Or if you like the quick and easy way of getting your book NOW. You can order it here.
What is God Calling You To Do?
Destiny requires bold leaps of faith. Are you willing to make the changes in your life that are necessary in order to obey God’s call? What life-destiny is He call you to boldly embrace? What area of brokenness is he transforming in your life? What “test” are you going through that will become your “testimony.” I would love to hear from you. Please take time to write a comment. I read and respond to all of them.
Be encouraged in your Life-Giving Journey Today! Get a Copy of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom Today!
Sue Detweiler is a successful coach, best-selling author, international speaker AND mother of 6!!! With over 25 years of experience in leadership, ministry and education. When 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom was launched it hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases for Christian Women’s Issues. Sue loves to connect on her blog as well as on twitter and facebook.