Posts Tagged: Faith

Practicing the Art of Paying Attention

Practicing the Art of Paying Attention www.monahodgson.com

On the last day of 2017, my twenty-something girlfriend leaned toward me. “Do you have your one word for 2018?”

I gulped. “Not yet.”

“Well,”–Kara’s brown eyes still glimmered with anticipation–“when you do, I want to hear about it.”

“Uh. Sure,” I sputtered. “We’ll get together.”

In the freshness of 2017, Kara and I had huddled at the island in my kitchen eating chicken salad. Our conversation centered around the concept of prayerfully considering one word or phrase that sums up a spiritual practice or posture for intentional focus.

I’d shared my 2017 word and related Bible verses, and talked about the applications stirring in my heart. Next, Kara asked about a focus word for her. When one word raced into her mind, the excitement nearly toppled the kitchen stool supporting her.

That was then.

Not yet, my answer for 2018, stood out as a stark understatement. The idea of one year ending and a new one starting the next day hadn’t sunk in. Until Kara posed her question.

December 31st marked the absence of any real reflection on 2017 or goal setting for 2018. (more…)

How Humbling Yourself in Your Time of Need Changes Everything

Let me introduce you to my friend, Tricia.

When I faced a tight deadline for writing my debut novel eight years ago, I sought counsel from Tricia Goyer. An award-winning storyteller, Tricia is also the author of the book Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time.

Motivated by her own experience of being a teen mom and the women who supported her, Tricia has a heart for mentoring teen moms and their families. Before moving to Arkansas, Tricia co-founded Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana. She currently leads a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Group in inner-city Little Rock. Tricia and the love of her life, husband John, are the parents of ten and grandparents of two. Follow Tricia Twitter or Facebook.

Humbling Yourself in Your TIme of Need Changes Everything www.monahodgson.com

by Tricia Goyer

The other day I was cooking dinner when my six-year-old son rushed into the kitchen. Beads of sweat slid down his red face. “I’m so hot. You never get me anything to drink.”

I stirred my spaghetti sauce with one hand as I turned to him. “Excuse me?”

His voice rose in a full, high-pitched whine. “You never give me anything to drink!” He waved his hands and dropped to the floor. (more…)

When Your Plans Go Sideways: 3 Secrets to Finding Your Feet Again

When Your Plans Go Sideways: 3 Secrets to Finding Your Feet Again. www.monahodgson.com

Plans change.

I hear your deep sigh, and raise you one.

If you sighed with me, you’re likely a planner too. Or maybe your groan results from you having faced so much change this year that you’re over it.

If you’ve been following my blog, you may have noticed I’ve not posted a new post for a year and a half.

I’m back! With new stories to share with you.

You may be a friend who connected with me early on. Might have been my weekly newspaper column in the early 1990s or when my first children’s books were published nearly twenty years ago. Perhaps you found me through my historical novels and novellas these past eight years. Whenever and however you came to connect with me, I’m glad you did.

Let’s talk some about the journey we’ve been on.

(more…)

3 Effective Ways to Overcome Overwhelmed

3 Effective Ways to Overcome Overwhelmed www.monahodgson.com

Frustration and irritation will bubble just beneath the surface of our shuddering emotions, and if left unattended they will build steam and erupt into a full blown geyser. Perhaps today you’re battling the emotional boil that can come with feeling overwhelmed.

That was me. Frustration formed an underground spring out of I don’t even know what.

When we allow something—albeit a seemingly small disappointment or delay—to simmer inside us, it doesn’t take much else to switch the simmer to boil. (more…)

9 Powerful Prayers for the Debut of Your New Day

9 Powerful Prayers for the Debut of Your New Day. www.monahodgson.com

*The baby cries.

A dream startles us.

The dog jumps onto the bed.

Hubby snorts in his sleep.

The alarm sounds off.

Something wakes us up.

We listen for the baby.

Scold the dog.

Nudge the hubby.

Yawn.

Hit the snooze button.

Whatever we do in our not-sure-I’m-ready-to-be-awake moments, we can pack more power into our waking routine. (more…)

7 Truths for Stabilizing Your Steps into the Unknown

7 Truths for Stabilizing Your Steps into the Unknown. www.monahodgson.com

Have you had to step into the unknown lately? Perhaps you’re standing on the edge of change this very minute.

I’m with you on that journey.

Change can sometimes taunt us like a hungry bear, threatening to swallow us whole, along with our resolve to take the necessary steps into something new.

Why is turning away from what we know as our normal—good or bad—to face the unknown so intimidating?

The nature of the unknown is, well, not known to us, which comes with its own kind of scary. Click To Tweet

For dreamers and planners like myself, the unknown can be daunting.  (more…)

New Girls’ Devotional ~ Plus Book Giveaway

Beauty Blog Banner

What is beauty?

The answer depends on who you ask. TV advertisers might hang a beauty sign on a particular height, size, color of eyes or skin or hair. Others might say beauty has more to do with a girl’s character qualities. Anger, jealousy, lying–I think we can agree that those aren’t beautiful traits, but compassion, love, and honesty are.

When I was invited to participate in this devotional, the title–The Beauty of Believing–captured my attention. The phrase made me consider my definition of beauty. It caused me to think about how what you and I believe creates true beauty. (more…)

Peace: Attainable or Illusive?

TBWB Pinwords

At one time or another, we’ve all been convinced that we’re the only one who can’t get it right. We have a kindred spirit in Vivian Sinclair.

The Bride Wore Blue, Book 3
The Sinclair SIsters of Cripple Creek series

“Vivian was nearly to the corner when she heard footsteps slapping the muddy road behind her. Her back and arms ached under the weight of her skirts as she forced a faster pace from her tired legs. Rain stung her eyes. A furious pulse pounded in her ears. Still she ran. How could she have been so stupid? So blinded?”

The youngest Sinclair sister arrived in Cripple Creek with a secret and felt unlovable, beyond God’s grace. The shame she carried pursued her.

Vivian made the suffocating mistake of measuring herself against the expectations of others and the appearance of those around her.

“God doesn’t list sins from the worst down to the slightest and judge a person accordingly. Only people do that.” Carter Alwyn in The Bride Wore Blue

HOPE FROM THE WORD

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ~Romans 5:1-2 KJV

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READING

Romans 3:23-25
1 John 1:8-9
Ephesians 2:8-9
John 14:6
1 Corinthians 12:9J
1 Peter 5:10
2 Peter 3:18
Proverbs 3:34

TRUTH TO EMBRACE

Everyone needs forgiveness. Nothing we can do in and of ourselves can reconcile us to our Holy God. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, it is God’s free gift of amazing grace that bathes us in His forgiveness and washes us clean. And it’s the same for everyone. The natural response of someone bathed in God’s grace is to pour His grace onto others.

TALK IT OVER

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions, wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sin. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steafast spirit within me. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Thank You, Jesus, for being the Way to the Father; for being the Truth and the Life. Amen (Psalm 51:1,2,10,17 and John 14:6)

RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL READING

A Violent Grace by Michael Card
The Gift for All People by Max Lucado
Once Upon a Tree by Calvin Miller
The Color of Grace by Tonia Triebwasser
No Wonder They Call Him The Savior by Max Lucado

REFLECTION

Have you embraced God’s amazing grace?

The gift of God’s grace came at a price for the Father who gave His only Son Jesus as payment for our sin. What does God’s gift of grace say about how He views you?

Has God used someone in your life to demonstrate for you God’s grace?

© 2012 Mona Hodgson, Author and Speaker

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