Tag Archives: Prayer

When You Hear God Clearly, But Still Find Yourself Hurt

God who answers prayer

Sees me in my need

Runs to my despair

Your promise I believe

That You Are, You Are, You Are God

God Who Answers Prayer by Elevation Worship 2009

 

There is no sugar coating it. I have been struggling. Emotionally and physically.

Yesterday, we attended church as a family for the first time in weeks. WEEKS.  A family that has served the better half of a decade in the local church suddenly finds themselves at a loss as to where to attend and worship.  We have mostly resorted to online services and reading bible stories, listening to worship music or even watching  Veggie Tales.

I tend to silently suffer in my emotions. Crying has always felt like a sign of weakness, like I am being a drama queen.  I don’t cry often, but when I do, it is not in front of others.  I can’t stand the attention or the questions from others who are concerned.  Questions like “Are you okay?” are so hard for me to answer.

Because yes, I am okay,  but just a little broken. 

A little tired.

A little weary. 

A lot over it. 

Back in July, I blogged about how we were in the midst of waiting, as Dan felt God was calling him to Pastor a church.  That it was time for him to make the next step in his call in vocational ministry.

We are still waiting, and honestly, this all looks like a pipe dream.

It feels like maybe, we heard wrong.

When Dan didn’t get a position back in June, and then all the “Thanks but no thanks” started to roll in, it was very easy to question what we were doing.

What God was doing.

I felt hurt. What was wrong with us, that nobody wanted us to be a part of their church? And if I could be brutally honest, I began to feel a little bit of anger towards those in leadership at those churches.  It’s an ugly feeling, but I felt it.

It was also easy to question what we did wrong. What questions didn’t we answer correctly? What did I post on social media that they saw and didn’t like and made a judgement about us? So many questions, and we had no answers.

We still have no answers, except to press on.

Perhaps in the meantime, vocational ministry is a no for us.  So we will do other things. We will serve His church.  We will find a church to call home.  I will still work at home with my hands for my family. Dan will work as well….to do what he can do take care of his little family that God has given him to lead.

“And the Lord will guide you continually

and satisfy your desire in scorched places

and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden, 

like a spring of water,

whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11

Sister friends, have you been there? Do you feel as though you have heard God clearly, but yet you find yourself in a place you didn’t expect?

Are you weary of waiting? Does resentment and hurt bubble up inside of you, daring to pour out its devastation and wrath to whoever or whatever crosses its path? Or do just feel tired and lack joy?

I am there with you.  I get it.  As tiring and long as this walk is, as often as we try to put on our brave face and smile through it, as much as we hate complaining….let us also walk in confidence that God hears us, sees us, and cares for us.

Let us cling to promises in His word, even if we have to read them with tight fists and tear-filled eyes.  Even when we literally cannot find the words to utter in prayer, praise Him for the fact that He knows our heart before we speak it out loud.

Let us remember that when all of this is over, we will be like a spring of water. We will be renewed and restored.  We have hope.

Praying for those of you in the trenches and in the desert, sister friends.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

She Laughs at the Time to Come

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. Proverbs 31:25

We have a prayer board in our home, and a tiny tin bucket carrying random scraps of paper so that we can easily write out the requests laid on our hearts and for our friends and family.  It is on display where can see it regularly, to remind us to bring those very requests to God.

One particular prayer caught my eye.

It was written by my daughter Madi.

Most of you know that we are in a season of in between.  Waiting. Dan doing random jobs here and there but nothing consistent.  I, myself, am still working at home in order to contribute to providing for our family.  We say we are hopeful, but often times, I think I feel a little desperate and downright impatient.

On this particular day, I was really impatient. And angry. Anxious. Worried. Fretting over what is going to happen next month.  Striving to make things work, no matter how much God continued to provide for us.  I had been carrying this attitude of “if it is meant to be, it is up to me.”

I was living in deep fear and I was acting it out in all of my clawing and striving.

I glanced over at the prayer board and I saw a prayer written in bright green ink. All with misspelled words, but it didn’t matter at the moment.  My 11 year old wrote out a precious request to God for her Daddy.  To help him.  She didn’t care what the answer was. That God would just help him.

I am not usually a crier, but in my old age, that is rapidly changing. I cried because she did it right. She went to the only place she knew how in order to make things a little better.

And that was to her precious Lord.

In all of my stomping and whining and complaining and prideful striving, I didn’t pray nearly as earnest as her sweet prayer on a tiny white sheet of paper.  It was simple, to the point, and honest.  She clothed herself with armor and she activated it with prayer (read Ephesians 6:10-18)

My daughter taught me that while I was doing a good way (working to provide) I was not doing it the best way. I did not always go first to make my requests knows to God.  Or I would be so angry about the wait and so impatient while waiting for answers that I would skip it all together, as if that would show Him.

How gracious is He to remind me that His ways are better. And that he used an 11 year old to remind me? And that it was sweet and precious and gentle?  Sometimes our lessons as we walk it out with Him aren’t that sweet. They can be painful, but this one was not.

I showed a friend of mine Madi’s prayer, and she encouraged me, knowing the season we are in. Her words:

“I can’t help but think of how He used the last tough season to grow you, and I know this one will be the same.”

It was the encouragement I needed that moment to take me back to remember what He, the Lord has done in my life and in the life of my family.  Every season has its peaks and valleys, but He always uses it to grow us closer to Him and mold us to be more like Him. We will always be changed.

Will you clothe yourself in the strength and dignity of the Lord, knowing that He alone is bigger than whatever circumstance, wait, adventure you may find yourself in, and laugh at what is to come.

It may not be what you expected or even requested, but we can have faith that His promises are true and they are sure and we do not have to fear the future, even if it all looks bleak, your bank account is in the negative, no opportunities appearing on the horizon. He is bigger than all of it.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

Give Thanks for He is Good


One of the most treasured gifts I have received from a friend was this prayer journal. 

When I first became a Christian, I would journal every thought, prayer, hope, conflict, and dream on fresh pages of notebook paper, or wherever I could find a blank space. I doodled and dreamed as I poured my heart out to the One I was so in love with.

By the time I met Dan, my husband, I had already filled several journals with my thoughts and prayers. A few years ago, I had the chance to revisit them and my eyes nearly rolled out of my head as I read each page. Some of my “needs” were very self centered and centered on relationships with boys. I am embarrassed to admit that, but hey, it is the truth! Ha! (I bet some of you gals can relate. If not, you are fortunate!)

I had shared with you about our family prayer board that we got a few weeks ago, but this little journal pictured above is my favorite. It is all mine. After I spend time in His word, I get to writing. I get to praying. I pray for my husband. I pray for my kids. I pray for the needs of my friends. And it all goes down on paper, along with the iced coffee stains. 

After reading Psalm 136 one morning, I quickly got to work on writing my own Psalm of praise.  Have you ever done that? Have you ever just taken a moment to write out exactly what God has done for you in your life? Yes, we reflect on Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection, but share more. Write out how He:

*Provided for your family in your time of need.

*When a family member came to know Jesus after years of praying.

*A loved one healed of disease or overcoming addiction or pain.

*A marriage being restored.

*Children who were prodigals returning home.

Shouting to the world what the Lord has done for you….our stories are all different. Yet God has met each and every one of us where we are and shown His mercy and grace and incredible power.

Can I challenge you, next time you pray, to recount ALL that He has done for you. We see it over and over again in the Psalms the recalling of God and His might and power and what He had done for the children of Israel.

Now, let us do the same.

Be a Size You,
Tiffany 

When Opportunities Arise, Do We Pray Boldly?

Mug from CrossTraining Couture

The morning I took this picture, it was after a pretty exciting night of opportunity for my family.  Let’s just say, if God so wills, it could be a pretty amazing thing for Dan and for our calling into ministry.

I woke up excited, slightly anxious (I hate the waiting and the unknown).  I texted a few soul sisters of mine who I could count on for their prayers and encouragement.

I prayed boldly. I have been praying boldly. When you pray, do you pray bold prayers?

I know so often, we pray generic prayers like

“Lord, if it is your will, then let it be done.”

Which is true. We should be praying in all things for it to be God’s will. That it is because what we are praying for is for Kingdom glory and not for our own. But get specific. It is okay to ask for something specifically.

When Dan decided to leave the Ranch, and he had not job in sight at the time, we prayed boldly together for the opportunity to get back into the local church. That is where our heart was and that is where we wanted to be.  I have always believed that God has specifically called Dan to local church ministry.  He has had his fair share of tossing around other career ideas, but you can’t burn out the flame of God’s call on your life.

Ministry is Dan’s calling.  It won’t die out until God says it is time to be done.

During that time, while in my In Laws home, I created a prayer door.  I would use post it notes and place my prayers on that door. I prayed for my kids while they attended school. For our transition into ministry. For provision.  I prayed for Dan’s call into ministry.

I prayed for my team.

When Dan got the job at Cornerstone Church, I prayed for a place for us to live. I was even specific about what we would love to live in.  I prayed for the education choice I was going to have to make for my kids.

I didn’t get everything I wanted. But I got everything I needed.

That is what prayer does.  It is our way of communicating with our Heavenly Father who sees what we need and even sees what we want.  We get to lay it all out in front of Him. And in His goodness, like a loving daddy who desires to give good gifts to his children, that is what our Heavenly Father does. We don’t get everything we want, but we get everything we need.

I see too often women who love Jesus afraid to pray bold prayers because they think that if they do, then it won’t happen. No, sweet sister. Pray your bold prayers! Get on your knees before Him and share those heartfelt desires of yours. What are those needs? What are your dreams?

Do you get excited about the opportunities that come your way? Do you pray boldly for them? Can I challenge you to do that?

Let’s get excited about the possibilities God places in front us to serve His people. Love God. Love His people.  Whether they are job opportunities, ministry opportunities, or just the chance coffee date with a new gal pal, get excited about it.

You may not get everything you want. But you will get everything you need.

I am constantly encouraged when I read in Matthew 21:13

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

I am also encouraged to pray boldly when in Psalm 37:4 calls us to:

“Delight yourselves in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Delight in my heavenly Father. When I spend time kneeling before Him and pouring out my heart to Him and digging into His precious Word so that I can be more and more like Him, the more my prayers are molded to reflect His heart. I don’t spend time with Him or delight in Him because I want to get what I want.

I delight in Him because I know, like with any good father, that I may not get everything I want.

But I will get everything I need.

And He is faithful always with what we present before Him.

Pray boldly,

Tiffany

The Widow Maker


Yesterday was a blur. And mostly because Monday did not happen like it normally does.

I was in my groove. I was working, I was getting my 7 Day Keep It Simple challengers ready to kick off on Monday. I was conversing with friends, and I was enjoying a peaceful and productive day.

That changed quickly after phone call from my sister. My Dad had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital. 

That I needed to hurry. I don’t even remember responding at first. I think she even asked me if I was still on the line. I was in tears and thankfully, Dan was home and got up and was right at my side.

All I remember was being frantic, trying to figure out how to head to the hospital, which was an hour away from us, how to get the kids. Should we take the kids? Did we even have time? Was my Dad even alive? I had no other info except “heart attack” and “get to hospital”.

Dan decided to drive us because I was just in no condition to drive. I was shaking. 

I remember yelling out “Not today God. You can’t take him today.”

I wasn’t trying to boss God around, although my husband now jokes that I was being bossy. But I was desperate. It is was in my pleading and praying that I had no other words or thoughts except “No. Please NO.”

I am sure there are theological errors in how I prayed yesterday. I will let God correct me.

My Dad is alive. We got to the hospital. He was talking. He was joking with us. I could tell he was trying to brush it off a little bit. I am sure it was a little humbling with your entire family there, especially your grown daughters, clucking and crying over you. I don’t like people asking me what is wrong or worrying over me. I get that from my Dad. 

They called it the Widow Maker, the heart attack my Dad had. Most men that experience this type of heart attack don’t even make it to the hospital. Death is not instant but it is almost always certain. He almost died. I cried all the way to the hospital and suddenly in the room, hearing the Doctor share what they had to do in order to help fix him and stabilize him. I am still processing everything. I am not even sure if this post makes any sense. 

I left the hospital thanking God for His mercy. That my Daddy is still here. Changes are going to have to be made. My Dad had to cancel some big trips and plans. But I would much rather have him here.

This morning, I woke up a little more heavy hearted, but ready.

I did some yoga from Beachbody on Demand and spent time listening to worship music and praying.

Listening to my Mom and my Aunt talk about our health family history put all of this in perspective.

It was a wake up call again for me. Our family is a ticking time bomb of health concerns. Cancer. Diabetes. Heart Disease. That runs in my family. But I don’t have to play victim. I can’t prevent everything from happening to me. I don’t have that kind of power.

But I can be pro-active. I can choose to eat differently. I can know my family health history and live in a way that can reduce my risks. This is in no way to shame my Daddy. I am so thankful.

But I am wide awake right now. I well aware of the dangers. I have always a researcher. You better believe when I got home last night that I started researching for my Daddy. For myself. For my family. 

Because just because it is a part of your family history doesn’t mean you have to just take it lying down. I am too stubborn to live that way. That is not a hill I am willing to die on. 

So far, our prayers are that there was little to no permanent damage to his heart. He will be at the hospital for the next few days. I am so grateful to this community. Thank you in advance for praying for us. Your outpouring of love and support on social media has been overwhelming and we are so incredibly humbled and grateful. 

Be a Size You,

Tiffany