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Finding Your Prayer Closet

Praying is such an important part of our growth as Christians and it is our best defense35446842_s when life throws a sucker punch at us. It is very important to have place we call our own to pray. I have a favorite chair in my living room where I do my study but there is a window by the chair and when it comes to my prayer time, that doesn’t work for me. I see one thing out of the corner of my eye and “Squirrel!!” I am off track. If I see the dishes in my sink, I feel like I need to get up and wash them. So many things in my home can easily distract me. After watching the movie, War Room, I knew I needed to make a place to pray.

Not everyone has a closet big enough to turn into a prayer closet. I understand how valuable closet space is but even more valuable is your time with God. Every one of us needs to find some uninterrupted time where we can be open and truly honest with God. I encourage you to find a place in your house where you can do that.

Being empty nesters our son no longer needs his closet. My husband and I moved in and set up shop. Your prayer closet doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You may not even have room to put a chair in there but a pillow and a blanket on the floor can make your closet feel cozy.

Be creative. Do you have a spare bedroom that you could go in, close the door, and step away from everything? Do you have a storage room that has room for a chair? Maybe there’s an empty shelf to put your Bible and your prayer journals. If you have a little light and an extension cord, put the light in there. Turning off the overhead light keeps your eyes from being distracted by what you are storing in that room. We keep post-it notes in our prayer room. We can write short prayers or a scripture that really speak to us and stick them on the wall. Using the blue sticky material for hanging posters keeps our post-it notes on the wall.

Maybe your laundry room has no windows but has room to put a chair. Put a little light near the chair and turn the overhead light OFF so you’re not distracted by any laundry that needs to be done. Don’t run your laundry while you’re there either. You don’t need to be distracted by the sound of the washer and dryer. For that matter, turn your chair away from any laundry that needs to be done. If that means looking at the wall, so be it. Use the wall in front of you for a few pictures of your family and sticky notes with prayers and scriptures. Do you remember the lesson about Mary and Martha?

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:39-42 (NIV)

Be a Mary, not a Martha. Your laundry can be started after you spend time with God. God is not asking for anything fancy. Uninterrupted time is what he’s seeking. Find a place in your home where you can step away from everything and spend a little time with God. I have found that when I step away from all the distractions I really feel the peace of God. I’m excited to step into my prayer closet. Every day I step in with the expectation that God will give me just what I need. He has blown my mind with what He has shown me during our quiet time together and I believe He will do the same for you.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

 Posted on The Whatever Girls and Living Better 50 Magazine

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Don’t Water It Down.

LB50ContributorSQOriginally written for Living Better 50 Magazine.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we headed to the pancake feed in Priest Lake, Idaho. With my plate of yummy pancakes in hand I began to fill my cup with orange juice. I thought it might be too sweet so I decided to water it down. I assumed the other beverage choice was water. Wrong! It was milk. What was in my cup was now a cloudy substance that tasted badly.

Often I think we do the same with our relationship with God. We water it down by picking and choosing what best fits our lifestyle and ignore what the Bible calls us to do. Why? Because it doesn’t fit with how we choose to live.

Let me explain. In college I thought I believed in God but I didn’t need to read the Bible or go to church. I believed there was a God but I was going to live with my boyfriend, now my husband. I had to be sure he was the right guy for me. I went to church on Christmas and Easter. I said a prayer only when I needed something. If God was that cup of orange juice, I dumped a whole lot of my selfish desires into it to water it down in order to achieve what tasted good to me.

What I got was nothing close to what God wanted our relationship to look like. I had clouded something that was to be so sweet. Psalm 34:8 says, Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. We are not called to take a tiny taste and mix what we want with it. God wants us to open up and take it all in. That means all His goodness and all His commands. I gave little thought about how it must look to God because I knew what I wanted. I wanted to enjoy whatever liberties I saw fit.

Today I am quick to say, “Please do not do what I did. Wait until you are married. Don’t move in with someone before you get married. Please treat the gift of sex with respect. Save it for your spouse. On my wedding day I mourned the fact that I had not waited.”

I am not trying to pick on anyone because I have my fair share of sin. But over the years I have heard adults who claim to be walking with the Lord, talk about teens with so much disgust because they feel the teen is sleeping around and yet they themselves are sleeping with more than one person outside of marriage. They water down their walk with the Lord by what feels good to them and use their age to justify it. The last time I checked, God did not say sex outside of marriage is okay if you are over a certain age.

Love for money, power, gossip, lust, and slander are just a few of the things we find ourselves adding to our cup because they bring us a temporary feeling of happiness. But in the end we are left with something that tastes way worse than my drink at the pancake feed. Watering down our orange juice to cut the amount of sugar is one thing but we should not be watering down our relationship with the Lord by filling ourselves half way with God and the other half with what is of the world.

Please take a look at your walk with God. If it could be put in a cup would you accept all of what He offers or water it down with what works for you? Choose wisely.

 

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Foggles

Originally posted on Living Better 50 magazine.

My husband recently got his private pilot’s license. During his training, he had to fly wearing something called foggles. Foggles are glasses that have been made to simulate foggy conditions, low ceiling clouds, and night to the pilot who is wearing them. They are frosted on the top half to limit the pilot’s field of vision and force them to use only the flight instruments. While wearing foggles, pilots must fly IFR, Instrument Flight Rules, rather than visually, which is known as VFR, Visual Flight Rules.

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My first flight with my husband. We are flying over Priest Lake Idaho.

This training equips the pilot to be ready for real-life situations when there is little to no visibility. In a situation of low to no visibility, the pilot must rely on two things, his/her instruments to navigate and the air traffic controller. This takes many hours of practice to be ready for unexpected weather. A pilot who isn’t knowledgeable in instrument reading can find himself/herself in a very dangerous situation.

Many times life can be hard for us to navigate. It can leave us standing in what feels like a fog. Like a pilot, we too, need to train. Setting aside time to study God’s word prepares us for those times we find ourselves in turbulence. Pilots rely on their instruments and we can rely on God’s instrument, His word, the Bible.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

God’s word can guide us step by step. Take a look at what Psalm 119:105 says,

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (NIV)

The word of God can guide you step-by-step when you feel like you are not sure what’s in front of you.

Just as a pilot counts on the air traffic controller, we can count on God. Prayer gives us a direct line to God. No need to find the correct frequency for prayer, we just need to speak and God is waiting to hear us.

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Psalm 107:28-30 (ESV)

In a time of distress they called upon the Lord in Psalm 107. God wants to be more than the “Mayday, Mayday” call that you make in your time of need. He wants us to be in prayer to Him daily, about everything, so that when the turbulences of life come at us we can ride them out in the security of His presence. God wants us to pray always and do it with thanksgiving.

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 (ESV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Life is going to get bumpy. At times, you are going to feel like you are wearing foggles but when you study the Bible regularly and have a strong prayer life you can navigate your way safely through whatever lies ahead of you. If you have never done any study of the Bible and you are not sure where to start here are a few ideas.

  1. Some basic steps in studying the Bible: http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestudyresources/ss/biblestudy.htm
  2. Reading the Bible in a year: http://www.ewordtoday.com/year/
  3. There are many studies you can purchase. These are a few I have enjoyed.
  • The Purple Book by Rice Broocks and Steve Murrell
  • Breaking Free by Beth Moore
  • Freedom in Christ by Neil T. Anderson
  • Altar’d by Jennifer Kennedy Dean

No matter what you choose to study it is important to pray before you start your study. Ask God to give you a deeper understanding of His word. Also, don’t forget to pray daily about all things. Pray with boldness and don’t forget to give thanks. Remember, God wants to hear from you daily not just when you have a “Mayday, Mayday” prayer.

I believe that you wouldn’t want to be in a plane with a pilot that doesn’t know how to read his/her instruments. How scary it would be to have the pilot frantically looking through the pages of the flight-training book to get you through the fog. Please don’t wait until you are in the middle of the fog to grab your Bible.

Blessings,

Kim

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I was ready for my first flight with my husband. Sometimes I just can’t help myself 🙂

To see other articles from Christian writers, find health tips, and great articles about decorating cooking and more….go to Living Better 50

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GPS (God’s Positioning Satellite)

I wrote this post for the  “The Whatever Girls” ministry and it ran on their site today. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

One night while visiting family in the Seattle area my mother-in-law offered to watch the kids so we could go out to dinner with my husbands brother and his wife.  A night out, a nice dinner, good company and, a chance to wear pretty shoes put a smile on my face.   We had the best dinner at the restaurant where my husband’s youngest brother worked.

My husband and his older brother thought it would be entertaining to program in their parents address and see if they could confuse the GPS.  Frick and Frack are the names I choose to call them because of this goofy idea.

What us ladies thought would be a nice ride home became a series of twists and turns in neighborhoods that Frick and Frack had never been in and they are from the area. Recalculating, in so many feet take a U-turn, Left turn ahead, turn right, and dead end ahead began to block out the sound of the music as our GPS tried to navigate the way home.  gps

With every turn I came one-step closer to loosing my amazing dinner as carsickness began to creep in.  They spun the car this way and that way thinking they could get the GPS confused.  My sister in law fell asleep and I worried with each left turn her head would hit the window.  I kept asking the guys how much longer? I was not finding the same humor in this.  I told them I hoped the GPS would say, “Listen to me dummies and do what I tell you!” I had to go to the bathroom, I was carsick and I was tired. Thankfully they eventually grew tired of choosing their own course, listened to the GPS and, we found our way to where we were going.  What should have been a 15-20 min drive lasted over an hour.

Life can be a series of twist and turns, it is full of hills to climb, unknowns to navigate our way through and dead ends.  Sometimes it seems like a guessing game when it comes to which path we should choose to go down.  What may look good just might take us to a place we should have never been and we find ourselves throwing it into reverse and high tailing it out of there.  Sometime we get so lost we are not even sure how to find our way back to where we started.

Gods word is a lamp to your feet and light for your path (Psalm 119:105 NIV).  It is like the GPS of our lives.  I listened to Richelle Opland speak to a group of young ladies at the “Whatever girls” meeting in November and she used this analogy of God’s word lighting our path.  She said, “think of God’s word as a lantern and as you hold it up depending on how dark it is you may only have enough light to see one step at time but it guides you safely to where you need to go”.

No matter where we are in life at times we are faced with choice of which direction should I take? For you teens that are reading this, you are faced with often overwhelming choices about what direction your life is to go.  Where should I go to school, what kind of carrier do I want, or how will I know who is the right person for me someday?  Your teenage years are some the best years of your life but they can also be the hardest as you find yourself at cross roads not knowing which way to turn.  One thing always remains the same when you are faced with which direction to go.  God’s word will guide you every time.  If I had known this as a teen my life would have been a much smoother ride.   If you follow God’s word, the bible (God’s Positioning Satellite) and listen to the turn by turn directions of the Holy Spirit you won’t find yourself making a series of wrong turns as God tries to recalculate your direction and put you back on the right course.

If you have not checked out “The Whatever Girls” Please do so.  It is a wonderful ministry for Mom’s and Teens.  We would love to have you join us in Spokane at the Whatever Girls Live event April 25-27th.  I encourage all mom’s and their teenage girls to come for this awesome weekend.

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