A Prayer for Fear

Lord, I fear so many things- pain, losing my children, the unknown, my future, the depravity and violence of this world. Money problems, marital fights, a sick friend... you name it, Father; in dark days, during hard times, I find myself fretting too much.

God I know you tell me in your Word not to fear. In fact You actually say “do not be afraid” 70 times. Over and over again You’ve laid out what not to be afraid of, who not to be afraid of.

And yet I do. I fear so much... too much.

Forgive me Father.

You have hedged me in, You lead me to quiet waters, You restore me. You know my comings and goings. You have the best plans laid out for me. I will remember Your faithfulness in my life better, the safety and security You give me. Help me to call to memory Your good works towards me. Help me to not fear the storms around me nor the arrows that fly at me.

Lord You have taught me a better way- a way of fearing that leads to righteousness. You have instructed me how to fear BETTER. You know I am prone to worry, anxiety, and trepidation so You’ve given me a safe place to put that fear in- in You. You desire me to fear You. How marvelous a thing! God You are so good to me, you don’t demand I not fear at all, rather you demand I learn to fear rightly, wisely, and You only. You give my fear a safe outlet. Teach me in this way Lord!

May I fear better! May I fear not the things or situations or people of this world. May I stand in awestruck wonder and amazement at Your Self- on my knees, hands open in surrender, eyes fixed on Your glory, and heart filled to the brim with reverent fear.

Amen

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Proverbs 1:7 ESV

14 Verses to Overcome Mom Fear

It is a pleasure to reblog a great post about overcoming fear. Abbey has wonderful advice and pulled some amazing scriptures out! She is giving away a copy of Helicopter Mom as well. You can enter the giveaway here.  

Being afraid for our kids comes naturally, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Fear is not from God. Thankfully, God gives us promises in His Word to help us overcome the all-too-common “mom fear.”

(This post may contain affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here.)

The first time Selah put herself back to sleep without one of us picking her up, I begged my husband to go in and make sure she was still breathing. I was terrified that in the 15 minutes between her waking up and going back to sleep, she had somehow gotten herself into a weird position and died.

My husband loves me, so in he went. Lo and behold, she was fine, curled up on her side, snoozing away. But that was a lesson for me.

I can choose to be afraid for my children. I can live in fear that they’re going to stop breathing or hit their head one too many times or break a bone or electrocute themselves. I can stress over every little thing and let anxiety rule my life.

But is that how God has called me to live? Absolutely not.

I can’t be afraid for my children. I can’t live in that. It’s not healthy and it’s not from God.

If He can hold the world He can hold this moment; not a field or flower escapes His notice. Oh, even the sparrow knows He holds tomorrow. (Sparrows, Jason Gray)

Fear for our kids comes all too naturally. We read horror stories online or in books, and the devil uses them to draw us farther into fear. We start automatically picturing the dresser falling on top of them when we hear a loud noise, or suffocating on a blanket when they fall asleep quickly, or falling out of their crib when we don’t go get them the second we hear them in the morning.

And of course, as good parents, we should do everything we can to keep them safe. Lower the crib mattress. Don’t pack their crib full of blankets. Secure the dressers. Cover the electrical outlets. Those are precautions, and they are good and necessary.

But living in constant fear isn’t good, it isn’t necessary, and it isn’t from God. In fact, He specifically calls us to overcome fear, and He gives us verses in His Word, time and time again, to empower us to do so.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Anxiety and thanksgiving cannot coexist. When your heart is feeling anxious for your children, begin to thank God for all His blessings. In return, He will send His peace to guard your heart and mind from fear.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew‬ ‭6:25‬-26

As moms, we fear that our children won’t have everything they need. Maybe we don’t know how we’re going to pay for groceries this month or we can’t afford to send them to a good school. Friend, God loves you, and He loves your kids. He will provide EVERYTHING you need.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

I want you take a few minutes a memorize this verse. Set it as the background on your phone. Write it on your bathroom mirror. Hire a blimp and drag it across the sky. Whatever it takes.

Mama, this verse is your battle cry. God has not given you a spirit of fear. He has not given you an anxious heart. He has given you POWER over the lies of the enemy, LOVE for your babies, and a SOUND MIND to trust in Him. Meditate on that truth.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:8

There is no fear in love. NONE. Do you love your kids? Then do not be afraid for them. Christ loves you, and when He died to demonstrate that love, He drove out fear once and for all. He now calls you to be made perfect in His love and to let go of your fear.

“If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Psalm‬ ‭91:9-12‬

Your tent=your family. If you make God your refuge and trust in Him, no harm or disaster will overtake your family. He will send His angels to protect you, guard you, and keep you safe. There’s no need to fear, because God is with you!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

When we trust in God, He fills us with joy and peace. Fear cannot live in a peaceful heart. If you find yourself overwhelmed with fear, you are not trusting in God. Take a moment, pray to your Father, and be filled with His peace. Then, watch your fear fade away in the light of His hope.

We cannot overcome mom fear on our own. We need the truths of the Word of God to fill us with peace and take away our anxiety and fears.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

God doesn’t give as the world gives. He doesn’t take it back and He doesn’t give you less than you need. He has given you His peace, just enough for today. Make the choice to accept and live out His peace. Remember, you are a living gospel to your kids. Show them how to accept God’s gift of peace.

“For He Himself is our peace…” Ephesians 2:14

This fills my heart with such a feeling of safety. God Himself is my peace. He doesn’t send an angel to take His place, and He doesn’t take a day off. He is my peace. He is with me, and He will protect me from all fear.

Repeat that last line to yourself. “He is with me, and He will protect me from all fear.” That, mama, is the truth your heart needs to hear.

“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” Hebrews 13:5-6

We have no reason to be afraid. God has promised to never leave us and never forsake us. He’s there, always, forever. Man can do nothing to us, nothing to our kids. There is no need for fear.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

When we keep our minds on God, He keeps us in perfect peace. Think about it. If we are constantly thinking on the Lord, thanking Him for His blessings, remembering His promises, fear cannot exist. It is overtaken by thoughts of God, and replaced with beautiful peace.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

This verse gives me such confidence! God is FOR US! He wants us to be safe and protected and at peace. And if He wants that for us, then that’s how it will be, and nothing can come against that. God’s will for our life is not one of anxiety and fear, and when we realize that, we can begin to live in peace.

“The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8

This goes for you and your family. God will keep you safe. He is always watching you and taking care of you and your husband and your kids. There’s not one moment of your life that He misses, not one danger that He doesn’t see coming. God’s got you.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

This is one of my favorite promises. God is with us, so there is no need to fear. He is our God, He is strengthening us, He is helping us, and He is upholding us. How much better can it get??

We cannot overcome mom fear on our own. We need the truths of the Word of God to fill us with peace and take away our anxiety and fears.

“Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” Proverbs 14:26

Not only is God looking out for us, but for our children, as well. When we fear the Lord, love Him, and serve Him, He surrounds and protects us. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! He does the same FOR OUR CHILDREN. OUR hope, OUR trust, OUR peace, it all trickles down to our kids. When we trust in God, they are protected. That is the best motivation for me to overcome my anxiety, fears, and sin, and truly TRUST God.

KEEP READING FOR A GIVEAWAY!

A couple of weeks after Selah was born, I began to struggle with mom fear. A few days later, in an answer to prayer, I came across the book “Helicopter Mom” by Bethany L. Douglas, and it changed my life.

Bethany is a mom who has struggled deeply with fear for her children. From little things to big, she knows what it is to be afraid, but she also knows how everything changes when you begin to trust God and His promises. Here are a few of my favorite quotes form the book:

“God promises so much help in return for giving up our worry and fear (in short, for obeying Him): His peace. God not only commands us not to worry, He ensures an easy pathway to peace. He promises peace and doles it out freely in exchange for our fear! All we have to do is give it to Him!”

“That’s right: Fear is an idol. Hear me well: We are sinning! We wallow in the fear, of the fear for our kids- so we put up false idols to make us feel better. This idea that we know best because we have researched it, that we know the ideal way, and we have the knowledge to back this up is nothing more than so many false idols.”

“It does not do your kids any good if all you do is focus on the image-the idea-the possibility of blood shooting out of his leg and totally miss the work of faith God is asking you to do in yourself and your children.”

This book changed my entire outlook on mothering. Fear is a lie and an idol and if I choose to live in it, I am not being the mother that God has created me to be. If this sounds like your kind of book (it is), you’re in luck, because I’m giving away a signed copy to one lucky winner! Just enter below for your chance to win!

Where oh where?

Hello dear friends- I want to apologize for my extended silence. The fam is serving at Camp Barnabas this summer, as we always do, and I neglected to send you a "I'll be back in September" sort of heads-up. I promise I'm not dead (though there are days that I feel like it!) Camp swept us up into the CRAZY faster than I could type... so.... here's your official "I'll be back in September" heads -up. It's admittedly a little late, but better late than never. I wish you a wonderful summer of blessings! If you haven't already, pick up a copy of Helicopter Mom and get by the pool for some R&R. We're running our socks off out here but I promise to return to civilization here in a couple of months with much to write and ponder on.

Miss you, love you, be back soon!

In Need of More ~ A guest post by Lindsey Gibson

Frantically, I dig through my purse looking for lunch money I had forgotten to give. Impatiently I fuss,”Who put all of this in here?”  “Why can’t you remind me sooner? “ “I’m sick of this! I can’t do this! You’ll just have to go without,” as the contents of my purse are tossed everywhere. Mind you, all of this taking place in the school drop off area, while cars wait behind us. They, my children, have no other choice but to exit. The door slammed shut, and the example of love and patience departed as well. Frustrated, I grit my teeth and proclaim, “I cannot do this! I cannot do this, anymore! I hate my stupid brain, why can’t I get it together?” I look down at the heaped mess in the seat and scan evidence of an apparent struggle, while the hot darts of defeat are set and ready to fire. I blew it, again!

Fear and heaviness sink on my shoulders as changes swirl around our family, and the simple tasks seem huge in the midst of the uncomfortable stretching place we are wading. With resolve, I come to terms, once again, that I DO NOT have it together. It’s obvious that achieving whatever picture I’ve painted of what “together” looks like is forever out of reach.

Lately, it takes all energy to get out of the house in the morning, and one setback can set the mood for the rest of the ride.

I sent my kids to school without money to eat. Check.

I let them see me frantic and frustrated. Check.

I mumble, “I’m, obviously, in need of more…”Sleep? Medication? Quiet Time? People to do more?

With defeat, I pray…

“Lord, I’m sorry, I’m sorry I lost it. I want to have it together, but the more I try, the more it crumbles. I want to be a good wife and mother. I want to be all you want me to be. Surely, you won’t fulfill all in our lives, if handling such minimal tasks like facing the pressure of morning mother hood and car line in such a horrible way."

I confess, I. AM NEEDY!......I mean, the disgustingly and clingy needy….For more of HIM!

As I prayed and pondered a calm assurance from the Holy Spirit flooded my frustrated  and fearful heart. With a gentle reminder, in the way he does, I realized that I am, undoubtedly, in need of more…..GRACE.

What is it? How do I get it?

Hebrews 4:16 (NASB), tells us,"Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." At all times, we are welcomed and encouraged by right and privilege to boldly cry out, openly and without fear, to our Heavenly Father. YES, he is God! YES, he is all-knowing and powerful, but his ear turns to the cry of his sons and daughters.

It was much harder before the cross, but through Jesus, it is, according to, Colossians 1:21-22, "And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His (Jesus) fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him(God the Father) holy and blameless and beyond reproach." Furthermore, Hebrews 10:19 (NASB) tells us, "Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus…"

Out of mercy, he lowers the kindness rope to rescue us out of our miserable and muddied mess, to bathe us in his grace, which is joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, love and favor. In other words, he loves us despite our mud pie making ways. Gosh, we are such Daddy’s girls, aren’t we? I mean, being adored despite thick sludge is quite amazing, and as we shower in his grace, presence, and word, we are strengthened and refreshed. We, then, can move forward in faith and knowledge, therefore, gain the ability to fulfill our purpose by his design.

As the realization pricked my overwhelmed heart, I began to exhale. I don’t have to do it alone and everything I need is free for the taking, My first step is to ask ,with all assurance that what I lack is made abundant and available out of pure love, and he gladly takes it from there.

The move of surrender is a mighty one!  Wow! Why do we make it so hard? Our wish may be to please him with our efforts, actions, and performance, but truly the greatest step is one of surrender.

He wont take what we still hold, but gladly accepts what we give. 

 

Lindsey's blog can be found here. She is a Jesus Lovin', Vintage Treasure Huntin',Turquoise Adorin', Tennessee girl! If you spend any time on her website, you'll find yourself wanting to buy all her dresses (I'm kinda jealous of her wardrobe, not gonna lie!) Please take a moment and drop by it! Her passion is to teach, write, and speak into the lives of women the unfailing Love of Jesus Christ, and ignite a passion for God's word within their hearts. She is a wife, mother, and nurse. Lindsey, thank you for your heart of flesh and sharing with me and my readers today! ~B

What Strong Women Actually Look Like

The following is a blog I wrote for Mom-Sense a few weeks ago. I had great feedback from it so I wanted to share it with you today. Scrolling through Facebook last night, I came across no less than 3 picture memes that all had to do with supposedly “strong women”. These kinds of sayings have been increasing in number over the last few months- at least across my feed. And it has been equally increasing my alarm when more and more of my dear Christian sisters are reposting them.

 

 

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I’m talking specifically about pictures like this one that show the strongest women are those who no one knows what they’re going through, they are suffering in silence, they are fighting battles behind closed doors.

I admit, I have probably fallen prey to ‘liking’ or reposting these type of quotes in the distant past. But I am convicted that we are forwarding a fallacy… a lie of the devil.

A very clever, very understated lie- one that subtlety flatters our pride and aims to keep us sequestered from each other.

Oh my sisters! This is simply and unequivocally a lie straight from hell.

But it is a celebrated notion that we perpetuate!

Please stay with me here and let’s think this through.

First off, WHY on God’s green earth is it ever a good idea to suffer in silence? WHO among us wants to do that or enjoys it? It’s such a bizarre concept when you think about it!

WHAT is the advantage of being behind closed doors, by yourself, battling attacks alone? Have you ever heard of a single-person war? It makes no sense! More often than not, if we want to argue from the ‘battle/war’ standpoint… the army with the most people, the most practice, the latest weaponry… wins. I will put myself out there and venture that not a single battle has EVER been won by one person against many.

And yet, these quotes somehow seem to honor the women who do that.  Their very existence is an online shout-out for those who supposedly are waging behind-the-scenes war.

(Which, as an aside, I GREATLY suspect that no one actually is alone. Unless there’s someone in a far corner of the earth, void of human existence waging some battle, I seriously doubt there’s actually anyone by themselves. And at that point, they have purposefully and intentionally sequestered themselves from help and support.)

But I digress…

We women like the idea that we are invincible, able to do it all, need no one’s help- you know, the whole “I am woman hear me roar” mentality? We like these quotes that we pass along as a subtle (read: passive aggressive or helpless martyr?) message to others… “Yes, I am one of these women… I am fighting the good fight behind closed doors and in back alleys, all by myself, all alone… without a word of encouragement or support. I am strong. I am able. I am capable of doing this on my own! You have no idea what I’m going through and what I’ve done.” You get the idea…

Wow! Do you hear the pride there? Do you see the hypocrisy?

Do you recognize the scheming of the Devil in this idea?

There are 2 main issues here I want us to look at -

The first is this prideful idea that we can do it all. That we are enough.   Or at least we desperately try to convince ourselves of this. And yet scripture tells us over and over again that we can’t (and aren’t meant to!) be the end-all-be-all when things get rough. The Bible actually preaches the exact opposite! We are fallible, lacking, weak-  in short, HUMAN. And that’s OKAY! Read that again…. It is okay to be ‘not enough’. In fact, we are wasting our energy if we even try, because we will never be. It is simply not an attainable thing. We’re treading dangerously into God-held territory to think we are able.design

The second is the idea that we are going through things and under attacks that no one else has ever gone through and no one can possibly understand our unique situations. Therefore we must fight it along, because “no one will understand.” Wrong again dear one! If there is anything I’ve learned through the school of hard knocks (i.e. my sin and some major warfare I’ve been a part of over the years), it is that Satan loves to try to convince us that we are unique in our sin, in our hard circumstances, in the battles waging around us. This is simply NOT true! He may be fantastic at lying, but I’ve found he’s a bit lacking in creativity. The devil is all quantity and no quality. He uses the same lies over and over again.  But they are super effective and we fall for the same ones time and time again. This lie is one of those- we’re unique in our situation… Satan THRIVES in our isolation! He will do all he can to separate us from the Body of Christ, from church, from our friends, our small group, our personal quiet times.  design (1)

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book Helicopter Mom that I want to share with you. This is not intended to plug this book necessarily, but this particular section directly addresses what we’re talking about today. Clearly it is a message that God wants me to start bringing since these words were written 2 years ago now.

The chapter’s subject is about emergencies- both in the helicopter (for those that haven’t read my bio yet, which I’m very sure you all have ;-) , I’m a flight nurse by vocation…) and in real life woman-hood.

 

 

 

 

Helicopter Mom

GET ON THE RADIO!

SOS, 7700, Mayday Mayday

 

The very last step in this whole emergency is to yell it out loud and clear. We need help and we need it stat, asap, 15 minutes ago, and right now! In helo operations, we get on the radio and start communicating with everyone. And I mean EV.VER.RY.ONE! We contact our dispatch, the aviation company dispatch, the nearest small airport frequency, the nearest big airport frequency, the nearest airport control tower, and even a general air-to-air mayday call. We bring in the cavalry!

You get the idea. We need help and we need everyone to know about it. There is no humiliation, no pride, no hesitation, no embarrassment, no stubbornness involved. We. Need. Help! We need the experts, we need air control, we need ground control, we need anybody and everybody who could possibly help us and we need them now. We need to give out as much pertinent information as possible to those who need it, as soon as possible.

Which, from a spiritual standpoint, is exactly the opposite of what Satan would like us to do. He likes to keep things in the dark, remember? He wants to keep secret fights, battles, scenarios that need spiritual reinforcements. And he will do whatever he needs to convince us that we do not need help and should not reach out. He thrives on our isolation.

So why the hesitation when we Christians face hard times? I don’t get it! This principle should apply to us in every emergency situation, should it not? The enemy will throw a million excuses at us, of every shape, color, and size, just to see what sticks: People won’t understand, they won’t care, we’re too busy, and it is too stressful to find the time to ask; the situation is too scary, too shameful, too embarrassing, too complicated. She will judge me. If I tell him this then he’ll wonder about that. They are too busy to listen to me. The church has bigger, more important things to worry about. The devil is not picky and will use whatever works, whatever you listen to that puts off calling a full-force SOS.

Too often Christians find themselves in dire straits, choppy waters, or downright F5 tornados (literally and metaphorically); too often Christians falter in asking for help when faced with these emergencies. When emergencies arise, whether it be with our kids, our spouses, our families, a friend, a church, whatever, we need support, backup, expert advice, and prayer. We need everybody who could possibly help us and we need them now. And yet so often we hesitate. We balk at giving out too much information, we stubbornly refuse help, we color at the potential shame of admitting that we even need help. Our pride will get us killed!

We moms are the worst! We have no problem anonymously trolling Internet sites about issues or seeking help, but when it comes to face-to-face interactions with others to ask for help, grieve, or get advice, we hesitate, we balk, we avoid. Especially during those dark days. Not good, gals. If we are needing emergency help, then we need emergency help, we need it now, and we cannot get it without telling others what is going on.

If you find yourself in the middle of that thing, you need help and you need it now. Call everyone you know who will pray for you, proclaim a 7700 from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your blog, your moms groups, your church, your friends, your family. Post it on flyers around town, if necessary. Get people on board, get them praying, get the help you need as soon as you need it. Do not be brave, do not be stubborn, do not be prideful. Be honest, be precise, be concise, be open, and let it all be known.

I have witnessed our battle’s devastation, bewilderment, and loss all too often. I would not wish that on anybody under any circumstances. But it happens, friends—not often, but too often. And I want us prepared for it if it does. I want us to be solidly rooted in Christ alone. I want God set as a firm foundation in our lives—starting right now, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, fully trained up, armored up, prayed up, and ears and eyes looking up—so that no time or energy is lost when those lights and alarms start blinking.

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I hope my heart touches yours today. I am so alarmed by this culture of isolating ourselves- the very opposite of what we need to be doing… especially if we’re in the middle of a war. If you find yourself in this situation, I pray you reach out and call in reinforcements. If you are in a period of rest in your life, I pray you are keenly looking for opportunities to come alongside and be those reinforcements for your fellow sisters.