New Focus through Prayerful Perseverance

Prayerful Perseverance…

I attended a homeschool conference this past weekend–speakers, encouragement, and books as far as the eye can see.  College reps, curriculum sales, and Bible studies, all tempting in shiny new packages, all calling out as the perfect solution to our every need, each claiming to be the best.  Most are wonderful, but with limited time and a predetermined budget, I had to be choosy.  Each different booth offered wonderful resources.

But, things can be powerful tools, or they can be powerful distractions–depending on my focus.

One of the speakers, Rachael Carman of Apologia,, discussed the importance of “prayerful perseverance.”  This phrase has stuck with me and is realigning my homeschool direction and our family focus.  In many ways, we have lost focus, become distracted, forgotten the main thing–the goal.

But God in His mercy always offers us grace, a second chance, third chance, unlimited opportunities to fix our eyes and adjust our direction toward Him!

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Prayerful Perseverance…

Prayerful–I will seek God, choosing to spend my time in His presence, putting Him first above the to-do list screaming for my attention.  I will choose to hear His still, small voice until it is all I hear.

Then, I will be amazed at how much more productive I can be when I live in His strength rather than my own! But that is not the goal.  The goal is life-changing fellowship with my Lord.

Prayer is not a quick word in the morning, or a few words before I go to sleep.  Prayer is fellowship, it is communication with our Creator.  It is freeing, equipping, encouraging, uplifting, strengthening…a readily available invitation into His presence.  He is always with us and He is always listening.  He is always speaking too, when we stop and listen.

Perseverance–I will stand strong, steadfast, and faithful to my Lord and do my best to stay on the path He has chosen for me.  I will not look to the left or right; I will not envy someone else’s path.  I will rejoice and enjoy my own, knowing He has already chosen the best way for each one of us…including me!

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So, today, with prayerful perseverance, I face my day with focus–focus on God and His strength, focus on God and His love.  And when I begin to lose focus, I will prayerfully persevere asking God to bring me back to what matters, to re-focus!



I Will…

I will not do this life perfectly, but I will do it with my perfect Savior!

I will become distracted, but I will seek God daily to adjust my priorities and set my gaze on Him.

I will lose focus, but I will seek the Lord and trust His Word.  I will joyfully follow Him back to the path He has chosen for me.

I will be tempted by the next shiny new curriculum, the next, best…(fill in the blank), but I will not stray from the path He has chosen for me.  The grass is NOT always greener on the other side.  “The grass is greener where we water it.”  (I’ve heard this saying before, but I don’t know who to credit with this simple, powerful truth!)

I will wonder if I’m doing the best for my family, am I teaching my kids enough,…am I enough? Well, no, I’m not.  But I serve the One who is, and in Him, I have all I need!

Thank You Jesus that in You, I am enough.  In You, I have the strength to persevere.  In You, I can do all things because You give equip, lead and direct my steps.  Direct and redirect my focus to You.  In all things, in every moment, shift my focus to what matters and help me to prayerfully persevere to always bring You glory.  In Your name, amen!

Linked with: Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Linkup

photo credit: #morningview {a wing and a prayer//longing of the soul} #distance via photopin (license)

31 Days of Letting Go

31 Days of Letting Go: A Prayer Journey to Freedom

I am so excited to share my new book, 31 Days of Letting Go: A Prayer Journey to Freedom!

God has blessed me beyond words throughout this project which actually started many years ago with a dear friend and sister in Christ, Lori Bremner.  Leading up to a women’s retreat for our church, we met together and prepared a prayer for each of the 31 days leading up to the retreat.  Each day, we emailed and posted on facebook the prayer for that day. After the retreat, we were encouraged to continue the prayers, which we did, and Lori has posted them every day for the last few years.

Recently, we were both amazed and incredibly excited to realize God was simultaneously placing the idea of a prayer book on both our hearts!  We talked and prayed about making these available somehow, although neither of us knew where to start.  After some research online and lots of prayer, we have finished it and are now so excited, humbled, and blessed to share it!

As women, we are prone to so many insecurities, doubts, fears and worries that we know are not of God. Our society has bombarded us our entire lives with deceptive marketing and outright lies that we need to be better, prettier, smarter, and do more than is humanly possible…and even then we aren’t enough without the next best product.  This can lead to countless struggles, dependencies, and addictions, but we don’t have to let the enemy steal our joy and we don’t have to live under this bondage!

God has armed us with amazing strength and supernatural weapons and this book is about letting go of the lies and strongholds in our lives to grab hold of God’s truth that we are His beloved daughters and cherished and loved just as we are!  In Christ, we have the gift of eternal life, perfect peace, and an abundant life of victory and freedom!!

The book is 31 days of Scripture, prayer and reflection questions to lead you on a journey to complete freedom in Christ.  It has been a tremendous blessing to work on putting these prayers together and I hope and pray the book is a blessing to you too!  My hope and prayer is that every person who reads it will be completely transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit!  The words alone have no power, but the Holy Spirit will renew and transform us if we let Him!

Please leave me a comment if you are blessed by it and let me know how the Holy Spirit is working in your life!

In Christ,

Michele

Leaving Ordinary


As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:16)




Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).<span class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(BC)”> And he brought him to Jesus. (John 1:40-42a)


“Well, which is it?” I know God’s Word is infallible, yet these seem to say two different things. Did Andrew follow Jesus or did Jesus call him to follow Him?  YES to both! And what sweet “words” I have heard this morning while pondering and praying over these verses!

John tells us that Andrew heard John the Baptist proclaim Jesus to be the Messiah. He immediately followed Jesus and spent the day with Him, but first he ran to get Peter, his brother, and shared with him the great news that he had found the Messiah. Whether Peter stayed all day or not, we don’t know, but we do know Peter followed Andrew and did meet Jesus because “Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter) (John 1:42b)

At some point, after spending the day with Jesus, Andrew must have returned to his normal life of fishing. How hard it must have been to leave the side of the Messiah, the Christ He had been waiting for, yet he knew he still had responsibilities and a job to do. Jesus, however, does not let them return to ordinary. He goes to them, He calls them, and says “Follow meHe offers them the extraordinary, but it is up to them to act! How excited they must have been! Here the Messiah was coming to get them and saying “Follow Me” They do “at once” and “dropping their nets” their lives are never the same again! They are transformed by the teachings of Jesus and get to witness many miracles first-hand simply because they obeyed the call of Jesus!

We have the same call away from the ordinary. We can meet Jesus and even spend time with Him but ultimately, stay the same with little or no change. I believe we can even change our eternity and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, yet never experience the miraculous life change here on earth that He offers us- how sad! Jesus offers us so much more if we will just “follow Him!”

Meeting Jesus may or may not change our “job” as it did for Andrew and Peter, but it will change us. We cannot meet Jesus and stay the same. We must decide whether we will settle for simply having the experience of meeting Him or will we leave behind the ordinary and follow Him to the extraordinary plan He has for our lives? Will we go grab those we love and take them to Jesus?

If we surrender our desires and plans to His, He will make us a new creation  (2 Corinthians 5:17) That’s EXTRAORDINARY!! But He will not force this on us! He will allow us to return to our ordinary and mundane if we choose, but He offers us the invitation to more than we could ever ask for or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20) I do not want to miss a single moment of the extraordinary He has planned for me! Today I choose to leave ordinary behind and I will not settle for less than the Spirit-filled life of the extraordinary that my Lord Jesus has for me- and I’m hoping and praying to grab you and take you with me! Let’s go together “at once” and “drop our nets” and run to the extraordinary life Jesus has for us, and then go grab some others and I believe we have some amazing miracles ahead of us!! 

Father, fill me to overflowing with Your Spirit and teach me to follow You in all I do. Every moment of every day, help me not miss out on the plan and purpose You have for me. Please come find me in my ordinary and give me the strength and courage to follow You! Help me abide in You faithfully and not return to my “net” but as You call me, help me follow and be transformed and be part of Your extraordinary! In the name of Jesus, Amen!

Teaching, Leading, Guiding Towards God

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.  (James 3:1)

Teaching is a huge responsibility. It is a calling that is life changing not only for the teacher but also the student. This verse is a warning and reminder of this responsibility to those called to teach God’s Word. While I may not be called to teach in a public forum, I am called to teach my children and lead them toward their creator and author of our faith. There is an accountability and responsibility that cannot be minimized or ignored. There is a danger of teaching the wrong things or even the right things in the wrong way. I do not ever want to mislead my children or teach them wrong. My main goal and desire is for them to know the Lord intimitately and walk with Him faithfully every day of their lives.

I will fail and I will fail miserably in my own strength. I must begin every day on my knees and ask for wisdom, strength and compassion. I must let God lead me and guide me so that I can lead them in the right direction. Our homeschool belongs to God and we must be listening to Him. I must teach my children to hear Him and seek Him with all their hearts. I must make sure that every lesson lines up with Scripture and is true. This task is too important and I cannot take my responsibility lightly. I cannot glide through the days unintentional. I must be intentional about seeking God and pointing my children to Him!

Father, help me teach my children every day and point them towards You. May my words and actions never be a stumbling block for them. Bless our family with wisdom and strength to follow You, to hear You, and to obey You. Help us equip our children with the knowledge of You and Your Word that will prepare them for whatever their future holds. I know You have a plan for them. Thank You for allowing me to teach them about You. Please equip me to do so and bring You glory! In Jesus’ name, amen.