Encouragement for Women

Time to Simplify Life

simplify

Is it time to simplify your life? Management experts confirm time and again that a routine makes possible what seems impossible. A routine simplifies things that were formerly complex. It is amazing what the simple discipline of keeping a schedule will help you accomplish.

Take a careful look at the life of Jesus. He never seemed to be in a hurry because His schedule was based on God’s priorities for His life.

John 5:36 says, “The works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.” Look at your life closely, write down a plan, and follow through.

RESPOND

Lord, I long to honor You with each hour of my day. I choose to give my time to You. This is another area of stewardship, and I want to be a good steward. I pray for wisdom as I plan each hour of every day. Amen. 

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible (COMING SOON!) by Elizabeth George is filled with this devotion and 364 others short devotions to draw you to God’s Word and give you hope, wisdom, and understanding. PRE-ORDER your copy today and receive FREE GIFTS!

CLICK HERE to enter a Facebook giveaway to win a free copy of the highly anticipated “A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible” by Elizabeth George!

REFLECT

What are three things I can do to simplify my life? Take time to plan that into your daily, weekly, and then monthly schedule.

REMEMBER

How to Follow After God’s Own Heart

follow

It is wonderful being a woman after God’s own heart, isn’t it? To know Him. To love Him. To enrich the lives of others. To follow Him and to enjoy the blessings He extends to you when you do. No woman’s life could be more satisfying than the life enjoyed by a woman after His own heart, a woman whose heart’s desire is to do God’s will.

Our transformation into being a woman after God’s own heart is indeed God’s work. When you follow the disciplines to place yourself before God—fostering a consistent devotional life, personal growth, godly home and family, and ministry to others—He works in your heart. When you follow God’s will, it pleases Him, benefits the lives of those you serve, and shows Christ to the world.

RESPOND

God, I want to follow You. I want to be Your child, a true woman after Your heart—a woman who lives her life in You and for You. I acknowledge my sin and receive Your Son, Jesus Christ, in my needy heart, giving thanks that He died on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me Your strength so that I can follow You. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible (COMING SOON!) by Elizabeth George is filled with this devotion and 364 others short devotions to draw you to God’s Word and give you hope, wisdom, and understanding. PRE-ORDER your copy today and receive FREE GIFTS!

CLICK HERE to enter a Facebook giveaway to win a free copy of the highly anticipated “A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible” by Elizabeth George! (hosted by Kregel Publications; terms & conditions apply).

REFLECT

“This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’” (John 21:19)

Do I rely on my own strength more than God’s?

REMEMBER

The Source of My Confidence

Confidence

Self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency are traits that are admired and desired by many women. Yet such self-sufficiency is an enemy to your soul, causing you to think you can always do what needs to be done in your own strength and with your own abilities.

No Doubt

The man Gideon in the Old Testament could have possessed this kind of self-confidence when he prepared to meet his enemy with 32,000 men! But to prevent this kind of “self ” attitude and “self ” sufficiency God reduced Gideon’s army down to a mere 300 men. With a force this small, there could be no doubt that any victory would be from God (see Judges 7:1-25). God wanted Gideon’s confidence to be in Him— in Elohim and His might and power—and not his own abilities and resources.

Nothing Has Changed

Nothing has changed these thousands of years later. Like Gideon, you too must recognize the danger of trying to fight your battles in your own strength. God wants you to be victorious, but He wants you to know that any and all victory comes from Him, and He has given you the Holy Spirit to help you be victorious.

Like Gideon, the apostle Paul recognized where his power came from: “My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). God never sends you out to battle alone. He goes before you, as well as beside you and behind you. Whatever your situation, be confident. God, the mighty Elohim, is with you.

RESPOND

Dear God, Your very name Elohim conveys that You stand for might, power, and omnipotence as seen in the creation of the universe and all that is in it, including me! No one can stand before You in defiance. Every knee shall ultimately bow before Your throne in utter submission. And yet, that incredible power dwells in me through the presence of Your Holy Spirit. Help me draw on Your strength and power so I can run and not be weary, and I can walk and not faint as I tap into Your empowering Spirit. By Your grace, today I will confidently live for You with strength and resolve, and by Your grace, I will not shrink from fulfilling Your will, for I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Prayers for a Woman’s Heart – a brand new release! – is filled with this and other devotions and prayers to help you grow in wisdom, patience, and peace! PRE-ORDER today and receive FREE GIFTS!

REFLECT

“The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7)

Do I lean on my own strength more than the Lord’s?

REMEMBER

I Don’t Have Any Energy

energy

You have probably heard the saying, “A woman’s work is never done,” and you probably agree! It’s as Solomon mused: “That which has been is what will be… there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Day after day we are presented with another day of work. Work is definitely here to stay, but there are some practices and principles that can turn your workload into a wonder and your drudgery into something delightful.

  • Meet with the Lord first thing every morning. As you pray, give Him your life, your heart, your day, and your work. Spend some time in His Word and absorb the most powerful energy available in the entire world— the energy only the Lord God can give you.
  • Create a to-do list and a schedule for the day. What must be done… and when? Who needs what, and where, and when? Doing what matters gives you energy because it is rewarding. You know you are doing what’s most important, so you have no guilt, no remorse, no dread.
  • Learn and apply effective time management principles. Operate on a schedule. Use your calendar or phone app to keep track of appointments, events, commitments, lists, deadlines, and due dates.
  • A little exercise makes a big difference. A walk or jog and a few exercises will rev you up right away and build you up for greater endurance.

Father, today it feels as though there’s not much left of me. This morning my energy level hit a wall, and in my own strength I can go no further. But I praise You, God of all strength, for when I am weak, You are strong. Thank You, Father, that when my energy wanes, You quiet my heart and bring comfort and peace of mind to my weary soul. I love You, Lord. And I love the work I do— the work that blesses my family and the people You bring my way. Today I want to follow Jesus’ advice and “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” and all these things shall be added to me (Matthew 6:33). Amen!

RENEWING RESOURCES

This devotion is from Prayers for a Woman’s Heart, coming in April! Discover prayers to grow in wisdom and understanding, for strength through fear and depression, and for patience and contentment. PRE-ORDER today and we’ll send you free gifts!

REFLECT

The real key to easing your daily burdens is found in Isaiah 40:31. It begins with this focused principle for all believers: Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

REMEMBER

Creating a Safe Space

how to create a safe space

I carry in my Bible a tattered copy of a newspaper article from the Honolulu Advertiser dated Thursday, January 27, 2000, titled “Tiny Kauai snail wins protection—Agency to develop plan for survival.” It seems that the creature known as Newcomb’s snail—only a quarter-inch in size, a little larger than the head of a nail—is now listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. As a result, a team of biologist will develop a recovery plan to help the species survive.

Now, are you wondering why I would clip and save such an article? Why, it’s because of the children. If the government is willing to go to such drastic measures to preserve a tiny brown creature like a snail on the remotest island of Hawaii, shouldn’t we do even more for our children?

Sheltering Your Family

Your job as mom and homemaker is to make sure that your children’s lives are precious to you, that they have a shelter from the world. You see, the home is God’s recovery plan for our family.

Relationships are severed. Friends turn away. Abilities are overlooked. Dreams are dashed.

Simply Blessed

But how blessed is the husband and child who can simply come home after the rigors of the day and know that all is well there … and will remain well. How blessed they are to have one place—a place you are in charge of—that is a safe space, a harbor, a shelter for their bodies and souls.

Home must be the one place our loved ones can count on to hold them up and build them up again. Let’s commit this week to do the work that makes our home a haven. 

Lord, I want to make our home the happy hub of life for my family. Please guide me in creating a warm and bright place that refreshes and encourages my family. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Discovering the Treasures of a Godly Woman: in this timely book, you’ll be delighted to see how easily you can be like the Proverbs 31 woman … an ordinary woman who made herself available to an extraordinary God—and became a tremendous blessing to everyone around her.

REFLECT

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV)

Do I intentionally make the effort to create a home where my family longs to be?

REMEMBER

Coping with an Empty Nest

coping with an empty nest

Do you miss the laughter and conversations of a full house? Have your kids moved on to college, marriage, or their own homes? I understand how hard having an empty nest can be. It seems like our children fly the coop all too soon! Rather than giving into sadness, I found a wonderful way to deal with the loneliness when my girls left home.

Filling Our Days When Our Nest Is Empty

Now is the perfect time to minister to and encourage those outside of your family. Take some time to pray about these questions:

  • How effectively am I using my free time for God’s Kingdom?
  • What doors of ministry are open to me now?

It might be discipling another woman in the faith. Writing emails to a lonely missionary. Taking a meal to a cancer patient. Time is yours to manage. Make it count.

Encouraging others requires a heart filled with sensitivity to their needs. If your heart is filled with concern for God’s people, you’ll be privileged to refresh and encourage many. Proverbs 12:25 says a kind word cheers you up. What a sweet gift to give others!

Where do we glean this kindness from? By sitting at Jesus’ feet and studying the Word. Time with God will fill you with His Spirit, which will naturally overflow to others.

Family Forever

And remember to include your family in this ministry of encouragement. Even though our kids aren’t under our watchful eye, they can still be covered by our prayers. Elisabeth Elliot’s mother prayed and wrote letters to her six children twice a week. For 45 years. Before computers and email!

What can you do today to minister to people near and far? As a loving, praying woman after God’s own heart, reach out to someone today—and every day—with your prayers and your love. It’ll fill their hearts … and yours!

God, help me take advantage of every opportunity to share Your love with others. I want to use my free time to serve You and encourage friends and family. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Woman’s High Calling: There’s no higher calling for a woman than making God’s priorities your own. In this book (with study guide included!), Elizabeth will help you simplify your life, adopt God’s essentials, and pass them on to others.

REFLECTION

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25)

Take a few minutes today. Who could use a word of encouragement? A call?

REMEMBER

How to Deal with Temper Tantrums

temper tantrum

What mom hasn’t denied their toddler a cookie and then had their normally-sweet child throw themselves on the floor and scream? Sometimes the easiest thing to calm a temper tantrum is to give in and give our child what they want. Especially when we’re running late for carpool, they’re hungry, and we’re tired!

From One Mom to Another

So how is a mom to deal patiently and wisely with a temper tantrum? Take a deep breath and choose to give your children what they need, not always what they want. After all, we know what groundwork needs to be done for the future of our children. Teaching our children self-discipline now gives them a foundation so they can live God’s way in the future.

Is it always easy to not allow a 7-year-old to stay up hours past their bedtime? Or to enforce limited screen time with our teens? I’m afraid not, but take heart. And that’s exactly what it’ll take: a heart of dedication. Scripture says that we’re to teach our children …. No matter the obstacles, the arguments, or the “Yes, but, Moms.”

For When the Days are Long

When we fail to instill discipline in our children, we aren’t equipping them to know how to control their emotions and to make wise decisions. God says to us loud and clear: teach your children and start early in their lives. Teach them faithfully and consistently. And most of all, do so from a heart of love.

Also, remember that little ones are watching and learning from you. Your personal self-discipline and self-control is important. Spending time each day with God and reading His Word sets the path of your life—thinking those things that are true, spending money wisely, reacting with calmness, eating balanced portions—and gives a wonderful example to your kids.

A Final Thought

Some days it will feel like a mountain of obstacles stand in the way of helping your kids choose self-discipline. They’ll protest—that’s normal! But a wise mom doesn’t let whining rock her decisions. God offers you His grace and strength to push through those moments. He is with you as you dedicate your time, energy, and life to Him and your family and take full advantage of the opportunity to train your children.

Dear Lord, thank You for guiding and encouraging me with Your Holy Spirit … especially when I’m tired and my kids are tearful. Help me raise my children to follow after Your own heart. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Mom After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George offers 10 principles to help moms make God an everyday part of their children’s lives. Order your copy today and receive a free copy of Encouraging Words for a Woman After God’s Own Heart!

REFLECT

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

In what areas am I personally lacking self-discipline?

REMEMBER

Entertaining Thoughts of Divorce

Divorce

For almost the first decade of our marriage, Jim and I were lost and confused—and miserable! We had little or no peace in our home. Arguments abounded. One thing led to another until we each were going our own way. Jim was consumed with his job. I was attending classes and obtaining a license in marriage and family counseling. (Can you hear me laughing? I think I hear you laughing!)

Entertaining Thoughts of Divorce

We each entertained thoughts of divorce. We were the proverbial flailing couple who was going down…and taking two young daughters with us. Why? Well, many reasons factored in, but a big one was that our love needed redirection. In the world of physics, matter is never lost—it simply changes its state. Love is like matter; it isn’t lost, it’s only redirected.

We see this with Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage in the Old Testament. Isaac’s love was directed full-on toward his wife Rebekah for the first 20 years of their marriage. But somehow it got redirected. After their twins Jacob and Esau arrived and the newness of having children wore off, their affections went from adoration…to adjusting to an expanded family…to choosing sides against one another.

Endangering Your Marriage

Children are a gift from God, but child-centered parenting endangers your marriage and family (as does being job-centered, parent-centered, hobby-centered). Isaac redirected his love onto his favorite son, Esau, while Rebekah showered her love on Jacob. Somewhere in the rough seas of marriage, this couple drifted apart.

This may be a tender topic for you. If your love has drifted … there is hope.

Engaging Your Spouse

Spend time in prayer, assessing upon whom or what you’ve redirected your love. Take a close look at your marriage and identify any potential threats that could cause division. Then, direct your love back toward your spouse. Your concern should be, “Is my love fully aimed at my husband/wife?”

Marriage is a work in progress. We can never think that our marriage has arrived, that we’ve reached the stage where bliss will reign without any effort on our part. But we can keep our marriage alive and vibrant–and away from the brink of divorce–when we direct our love toward and nurture oneness with our spouse. Make it a priority to find new ways to show your love.

RESPOND

Dear Lord, my heart’s desire is to communicate freely with my spouse and that there be no barriers between us. Guide us to keep our love directed toward one another. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Order our Valentine’s Day Special, 20% off ($21.73) now through tomorrow only:

THREE (3) hardcopy books—

  • A Couple After God’s Own Heart
  • 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband
  • Encouraging Words for a Woman After God’s Own Heart

PLUS a FREE 15-page devotional PDF (How to be a Closer Couple) and a beautiful Love Never Fails screensaver!

REFLECT

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” (Song of Solomon 8:3)
On separate 3×5 cards, write out the area of biggest concern for yourselves as a couple.

  • Swap cards for a week
  • Carry your spouse’s care with you all week and pray daily over the contents.
  • In a week, share updates with each other.

REMEMBER

Valentine’s Day Gift Idea

Valentine's Gift

Are you looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your husband? How about committing to these three things? They can make a big difference in your marriage!

Compliment Instead of Complain

It’s easy to get wrapped up in frustration over what our husband doesn’t do, rather than focusing on all he does do, isn’t it? The next time we’re tempted to complain about our husband’s lack of time or help, let’s instead thank him for a specific way he’s blessed our family. To do this, we’ll need to keep our eyes and ears—and heart!— open so we catch the ways that he expresses his love.

Care about His Day

A gracious way to begin each day is to simply ask our husband:

  • What can I do for you today?
  • What can I do to help you make better use of your time today?

Then we standby with our day planner, a willing heart to schedule his needs into our day, and a prayer to help in the ways he sees he can best be helped.

Consider Love and Respect

There are so many ways we can show our love and respect to our husband. Consider keeping this list (and adding your own) handy as a reminder:

  • Turn our attention away from our phone and computer and onto our husband
  • Actively listen without interrupting
  • Ask him to do something instead of demanding or telling him
  • Use gentle tones and sweet words
  • Lift him up instead of putting him down in conversations with others                     

RESPOND
Dear Lord, how can I express my love to my husband today? Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES
Order our Valentines Day Special
, 20% off ($21.73) now through February 14 only:

THREE (3) hardcopy books—

  • A Couple After God’s Own Heart
  • 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband
  • Encouraging Words for a Woman After God’s Own Heart

PLUS a FREE 15-page devotional PDF (How to be a Closer Couple) and a beautiful Love Never Fails screensaver!

REFLECT
“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Print this card out to give to your husband on Valentine’s Day!

Valentine Marriage

REMEMBER

Dreading Valentine’s Day

Valentine's

Valentine’s Day is next week. Are you dreading seeing friends’ social media posts of bouquets and chocolates, knowing that your husband probably won’t offer such sweet gestures? More than candies and flowers, this holiday can deliver expectations (and disappointment) we have of our significant others.

Here’s an idea … let’s take the pressure off and plan our own celebration. Jesus said to do good for others without expecting to get anything back, and He tells us in John 13:34, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” What does this kind of love look like? Well, it is a sacrifice of self, which includes our expectations. This can be hard as it’s opposite of how our natural mind (and desires) works.

This kind of love involves effort, not merely emotion. It requires action, not just feeling. Such love comes from God and leads us to being content: “God­liness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). Contentment is not based on circum­stances, but on the person of Christ. Because we possess all the treasures found in Him, we have all we need. When we learn this type of contentment, it’ll guide our expectations and works.

So let’s put this love into action! Think of something you and your husband both enjoyed in the past and then try to recreate it. It doesn’t have to be dinner and roses. It can be tennis, watching a movie, cooking, whatever. We can keep sweet memories alive ourselves without depending on our husband to come up with a plan. Then, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and date nights will be filled with joyful anticipation and without disappointing expectations.

RESPOND
Lord, I acknowledge my expectations and ask for Your forgiveness for resenting my reality. Instead of idly waiting for my desires to materialize, help me proactively make plans that bless my marriage. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES
Order our Valentine’s Day Special, 20% off ($21.73) now through February 14 only:

THREE (3) hardcopy books—

  • A Couple After God’s Own Heart
  • 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband
  • Encouraging Words for a Woman After God’s Own Heart
  • PLUS a FREE 15-page devotional PDF (How to be a Closer Couple) and a beautiful Love Never Fails screensaver!

REFLECT
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

I’ll decide now that it is okay to celebrate Valentine’s Day or our anniversary on another date, when it’s most convenient for everyone’s schedule. It’s not the date that’s important; it’s the celebration of another year of marriage and love that’s important.

REMEMBER

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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