Monday, February 28, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Learning to Know God as The Living Word

The Living Word

A devotional by Glynis Becker

“The Law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip.”
–Psalm 37:31 (NASB)

In lieu of resolutions, many people choose a word or phrase to live into for the coming year.

In late 2019, I bought a planner, hoping it would make me more organized—which it did not—but it encouraged prayerfully choosing a scripture verse to use for the year.

I’m embarrassed that I had never thought of that myself, so I chose Psalm 23. It was a perfect choice for a year of sorrow. In 2021, I felt like I needed hope, so I chose Psalm 27:13 (NASB), “I certainly believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Keeping that verse in mind during the challenges of last year was so much better than if I had chosen a random, inspirational word from the English dictionary. This was the Living Word.

As Christians, we believe in the power of God’s Word to guide, heal, transform, and carry us through both the hardships and joys we face. I’ve decided this year not to focus on one verse, but to memorize all fourteen verses of Psalm 27. 

I’ve highlighted a few pieces of wisdom from this chapter and what they mean to me right now. All verses are from the New American Standard (NASB) translation.

Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” What a beautiful reminder that God is with me here on my journey! He is my Light. Why do I spend so much time worrying about everything? God is ahead, beside, and behind me. I have nothing to fear.

Psalm 27:3 says, “If an army encamps against me, my heart will not fear; If war arises against me, in spite of this I am confident.” While David, who wrote this psalm, was a king and military leader who probably had a lot more control over war and politics than I do, he was confident that God would protect him, if not physically, then spiritually. I can have the same confidence in my place in the chaos around me because He is the same God He always was.

Psalm 27:4 says, “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.” Every day I choose to decide that dwelling in the Lord’s presence is what I want more than anything else. Once that happens, the rest of my day–and year and life–will fall into place.

Psalm 27:10 says, “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.” No mortal has the ability to be there for us like God can. While we need to love each other and be there for each other while our loved ones are here, we should not put our complete trust and confidence in ourselves or other people. Only the Lord can lift us up.

Psalm 27:11 says, “Teach me Your way, Lord…”. We allow the world, which does not know God, to teach us things that are often the exact opposite of God’s ways. We need to be able to tell the world’s lies from God’s Truth and we can only do that by allowing the Spirit to speak to us, lead us, and direct our path.

Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage.” This means I should wait in expectation, watching for what the Lord is doing in the world, so I can step in where He asks me to go.

Memorizing Scripture can be hard, but if we can remember TV jingles from our childhood and tons of music lyrics, then we can do this too!

Let’s Pray:
Father God, Your Word is life to us. Allow us to soak it in and make it part of us. Let it be in our minds to transform our thoughts and in our mouths to speak truth and love to others. You are the only One who can truly guide us in the way we should go. Thank you. In Jesus’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: The message in this devotional by Glynis reminds me of Fred Hammond’s song “You Are the Living Word”. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two college-age children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting.

Connect with Glynis:

Friday, February 25, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Gratitude Will Change Your Attitude

Remember to Thank Your Heavenly King
A devotional by Wendy Wilson Spooner

“Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.”
—Psalm 136:3 (NIV)

Studies conducted on the effect of gratitude on our well-being have redundantly revealed positive results to the point it is almost cliché. Such as, improved physical health, mental health, resilience, and strengthened social bonds.

Many of our homes contain small wooden signs that state, “Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.” I personally love this reminder. It helps me remember how much God loves me when I consider my blessings, but even more when I drop to my knees to thank Him.

What does the word of God have to say about being thankful?

Many people love the story of The Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-19). We can imagine, to an extent, what it would be like to be labeled “unclean” and “untouchable”. Oh, the loneliness! Not to mention the miserable existence to live in a diseased body that slowly wastes away. And then to experience the love of another person for maybe the first time ever from the Son of God (Jesus Christ)? The joy and tears of these outcasted lepers must have been immense.

But the most important part of this story, and possibly the most beautiful example of gratitude in all scripture, is the one leper—out of ten—who returned to Jesus to thank Him for the miracle of healing.

Times I have experienced great trials and suffering myself have been alleviated when I remember to recognize how God has surrounded me with wonderful things, which encourages me to count my blessings, not my burdens. Counting our blessings can have the power to magically restore a sense of direction, or a change in perspective when all seems lost.

Right now, post-Covid financial difficulties have peaked for me and my family. The stress of this situation was so bad recently that I developed a debilitatingly painful stomach ulcer. But as I remembered to look around me and count my blessings, I was encouraged because I recognized that we still had a roof over our heads, we have cars to drive, and our family members are healthy and well. Soon after remembering the goodness of God in all of these areas, I snapped out of my “doom-and-gloom” downward spiral into darkness and returned to live in the Light of Jesus Christ. As a result of this change in perspective, my stomach ulcer is healing! It rarely flares up anymore.

Thanking God is a choice we can make every day, anytime, anywhere. So, the next time you feel like you’re drowning in earthly cares, look heavenward, then around you, and consider what you can be thankful for.

It’s not so easy to remember to have an attitude of gratitude, especially when darkness surrounds us. So be proactive and put a reminder on your mirror, or in your car. Remember, God can fill us with His Holy Spirit and pure joy like nothing and no one else on Earth can!

Jesus is the source of true happiness.

He is the source of pure and everlasting joy!

Let’s Pray: Our Father in Heaven, bless us to remember You in our darkest times. Most importantly, help us to remember You are the Light! Thank you for all the goodness You pour upon us. You are the one true source of joy, especially during trying times! We love You, Lord. Keep us close to Your Heart. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Wendy is a Genetic Genealogist by day, a writer by night, and an artist in between.  

Her love of what we can learn from history compels her to write the true stories she unearths because she’s found that truth is indeed much more exciting and inspiring than fiction.

Wendy writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming obstacles in life by coming to know who we really are—the children of God, and the descendants of incredible people who paved the way for us—even if they really struggled. Wendy believes in learning from our ancestors, honoring them, and then standing on their shoulders to become a better generation.

As an award-winning family history writer, Wendy’s debut novel, Once Upon an Irish Summer, released April 3, 2020. This book is a dual timeline historical fiction novel about a young, gifted artist suffering from debilitating grief, who finds healing and inspiration in her Irish ancestry, and goes on to paint a masterpiece.

The sequel, Celtic Winter: Eliza’s Story, released November 5, 2021. The storyline goes back in time to the little sister left behind in Ireland to keep her family alive, woven with present-day Beth’s continuing story as she races the clock with the young man she loves to find the only person who could save his mother’s life.

When Wendy is not researching or writing, she hikes, paints, loves being a church youth leader, binges on epic Bollywood movies, and hangs out with her greatest loves—her family.

Connect with Wendy:

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: When you learn how to find comfort in silence

The Comfort of Silence
A devotional by Tessa Huckstep

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”—Psalm 46:10 (KJV)

There is something beautiful about the comfort of silence.

I love just sitting in the car with my sister or a friend and simply enjoying the other’s company without having to say anything unnecessary or forced. It is in this place of familiarity where I am most relaxed and able to be myself.

Comfortable silence is a special feature reserved for those who are closest to us. When we are with our family and close friends, we don’t feel the need to fill in the pauses in conversation. A lull in conversation with friends who understand us, does not evoke us to sift through our thoughts for something to say or ask.

Oddly enough, as Christians, we don’t invite God to enjoy this special feature of comfortable silence with us. This past Autumn, I dove headfirst into a deeper relationship with God. It felt like He was speaking to me through everything, about everything…until He wasn’t.

There were days, sometimes weeks, where God did not say anything. He was silent. Naturally, I drowned myself in a spiral of negative thoughts. What have I done wrong? Why isn’t God speaking to me anymore? Maybe I did something to upset Him. I should pray more. I should read my Bible more. God, please say something. Anything. Can He even hear me?

After months of back and forth—from God’s speaking to His silence—I attempted to find the formula. I thought that maybe since I was reading my Bible more, God would be pleased with me and speak to me more often. Or I thought that if I prayed for a whole hour that day God would dramatically make Himself known to me. Like a vague acquaintance, God’s silence made me uncomfortable, and I wanted to fill the pauses in conversation. I wanted my time with God to mean more, but I didn’t know what that looked like.

I listened to a podcast about the desert seasons in our life when God is silent and investigated other great resources on the topic. Slowly, I came to realize the truth behind God’s silence. I did not do anything wrong. True, sometimes we willingly run away from Him and ignore the Spirit. Sometimes, we do things that grieve the Spirit, and we create a breach in the relationship. But I wasn’t running away from God. In fact, I was running toward Him, and when we diligently seek God, He always reveals Himself to us.

God was not upset with me for failing to read a whole book of the Bible in a day. He simply wanted me to be still—to still my movement, my thoughts, my assumptions. He wanted to meet me without words. He wanted to sit with me in the silence and simply enjoy my company. Take a moment and consider how humbling that is, dear reader. Sometimes, God simply wants to join you in the silence and enjoy your company. Because He loves being with you.

God’s silence is a gift. When we are given this gift of silence it proves our growing relationship with Him. He promises to never leave us. His silence is not evidence that He is not present, but rather, evidence that He is becoming a closer friend to us who can share in and enjoy the silence. God wants to meet you in the silence, dear reader. Learn to be still. Learn to know Who He truly is. Learn to enjoy the silence.

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord, thank You for these seasons of silence. Often, we become discouraged or frustrated when we believe You no longer hear our prayers and answer only in silence. Allow our relationship with You to deepen to the place where we find comfort in simply being still and knowing who You are. You are our Savior, our Comforter, and our Friend. Bring us to the place of contentment and acceptance of silence. Help us to find comfort in Your silence. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Tessa’s devotional message today reminds me of the song “Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Tessa Huckstep grew up in rural Illinois to Christian parents and has known Jesus personally since the age of five.

She is currently attending community college and majoring in elementary education. In the future, she plans to teach in the public school, hoping to bring the love of God with her.

God’s dream of Tessa becoming a writer was revealed to her at the age of sixteen and she hasn’t been able to stop since. Though she has not yet been published, Tessa enjoys writing historical romance novels and speculative fiction.

Tessa believes God loves stories, and through her writing, she wants to reveal the happily ever after God dreams of for each of his daughters—one where Jesus is the knight in shining armor.

Tessa loves all things Georgian/Regency, needlework, and dainty teacups of every size. When she isn’t writing or studying for exams, Tessa can be found in the kitchen with more flour in her hair and on the floor than in the mixing bowl, though the mess is always half the fun!

Connect with Tessa:

Monday, February 21, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Waiting on God to answer your prayers

Are We There Yet?
A devotional by Angela Anderson

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” –Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)

“Are we there yet?”

My 9-year-old son broke the silence of a three-hour drive to visit family.

As we stopped at a traffic light, he projected his voice so that it was audible over the background music playing softly in the car. His wide eyes were filled with expectancy.

He was trying to read the GPS that was suspended from the middle interior of the windshield. He was happy to learn that there were only six minutes remaining for the trip, but he was also perplexed. We had made that drive a few times in the past, but this time he did not recognize his surroundings. Everything outside the car window looked unfamiliar. He did not realize that we were directed to take a different route this time. The GPS indicated that we were almost there. But from his perspective, the destination was nowhere in sight.

It reminded me of the times when I prayed to God about various situations.

Sometimes God answered how I expected, and other times He chose to take me in an unfamiliar direction to get to my destination. Many times, I asked God, “Are we there yet?”

I felt like the path where He was leading was not the right way. I thought I knew the course, based on my previous experiences with Him. Although the destination was the same, His path to get there was entirely different, and it was so much better. Sometimes instead of just trusting God in His infinite wisdom, I try so hard to figure Him out. I can almost hear God speaking to me, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)

The ways of Almighty God can never be predicted. They are above and beyond what we can ever imagine. When life seems to be taking us in one direction, remember that God is in control. No matter how He chooses to lead, He always has our best interest at heart. Even when we cannot recognize our surroundings, God sees the road ahead, and His way is always the best way.

Let’s Pray: Father God, Thank you for Your divine guidance. We know that our ways are not Your ways, and we give You control over our plans. Even when we cannot see You or feel You, help us to trust You in all things. We place our lives in Your hands. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in NJ. She found her love for writing when she was in elementary school. She continued writing through high school, college, and into adulthood. 

Angela is the author of a devotional book titled, Just When I Thought I Knew God, and a children's book that is not yet published.

In 2021, Angela started writing articles for an online magazine called Christian Women Living, where she focuses on writing messages for mothers and sharing advice on parenting. In addition to this, Angela wrote a devotional that is featured in a book published by Proverbs 31 Ministries. The book title is Hope When Your Heart is Heavy.

Angela has a passion for inspiring and impacting others through her writing as well as speaking. She is the co-founder of Anchor Moms, a ministry to cure loneliness in Motherhood. Currently, this ministry meets via a group on Facebook.

Angela has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson, for 17 years. Together, they have two sons: Thomas (age 9) and Ryan (age 4). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling, and she also enjoys spending quality time with her family. Her personal mission is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams.

Connect with Angela:
Facebook fan page for her devotional book, Just When I Thought I Knew God:

Friday, February 18, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Life Lessons on Witnessing for Jesus Christ

Knowing When to Walk Away
A devotional by Erin M. Handley

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
 – Matthew 7:6 (NASB)

There is something captivating about watching a particular action repeatedly.

Children enjoying a carousel. People riding a Ferris wheel. A hamster running on its wheel in its cage. Many individuals can sit and watch others enjoy those activities for hours. Watching the repeated action can bring a sense of joy and tranquility. It’s also interesting that the amount of energy required for the repeated action does not bring progression in reaching a new destination.

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves putting a lot of much energy into other things and other people. If this resonates with you, you may also admit to rarely taking a moment to assess whether or not the time and energy you spend actually brings progression in your life. If this is something you identify with, you may be able to acknowledge your purpose of doing things that bring you progression on your journey. Sometimes we do things we want to do out of the goodness in our heart. Sometimes we do things we feel called to do. If nothing else, we believe we are expected to strive to work heartily and only to God and not unto man (Colossians 3:23).

No matter how genuine our heart is as we desire to do things for the Lord, we have to be willing to acknowledge when our actions and pure intentions are not well-received everywhere we go. Matthew 10:14 (NIV) tells us, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” This is what Jesus expressed to His disciples who were sent out to share His message. When it was realized that not all places His disciples were sent would be receptive of His word, it was suggested that His disciples leave. Even though the disciples were sent out to spread God’s word to everyone, the disciples were also released from the places that did not accept God’s message.

It can be difficult to know when to abandon an assignment.

A person who can be considered as a person after God’s own heart is genuinely fully committed to helping others know who Jesus is. It is also important to recognize when you have done the work and the work is not welcomed in the place where you are. Staying in that place will have negative effects that are twofold.

First, you will find yourself tired. You will spend a significant amount of time and energy in a place doing an action that will not bring you any progression on your journey. In the moment, you will feel joy and tranquility because you know the work you are doing is for God. But when you take a step back, you will recognize the wheel you were spinning had a lot of traction although it was not actually moving towards a goal.

The second negative effect is that there is an attempt to devalue God’s precious work. He took His time to create you and to prepare you to do the very thing He created you to do. When you go to some of the places that need His good news, not only do they refuse to receive His word, but they also aim to separate you from His goodness.

God tells us, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6 NASB). If we fail to recognize when we are “spinning our wheels” in His name, then we will eventually find ourselves so tired that we will not have enough energy to continue doing the work or have the energy to fight the things that may come with doing the work.

Be willing to walk away. It’s not always easy, and it is not out of selfish ambition. It is a way to preserve the hearts of those who love Him and desire to continue doing His work. It is a way to focus on continuing to spread His good news. Without being willing to walk away, you may be taking a risk of possibly losing sight of doing His good work.

Let’s Pray: 

Precious Lord, thank you for hearing our hearts before we have cried out to you. You answered the prayers that we haven’t uttered yet. You know our hearts because you know what we desire to do. Thank you for being omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and never-changing. If you never change, then Your Word (The Holy Bible) never changes. Since Your Word never changes, we have to trust the instructions you have given us for times like this. We don’t always know what we are doing or where we are going, but knowing You are with us is enough. Thank You for preparing us for every step on this journey. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

With an ever-growing desire to continually learn the Word of God and present teachings based on Biblical principles, Erin M. Handley is committed to her calling of teaching and inspiring others to ‘be more by doing more’. With this in mind, Erin mentors young women and appreciates seeing the growth and change in the lives she impacts. 

While she sincerely enjoys mentoring and speaking to young people, she is most passionate about educating and empowering women from various stages of life about Biblical Womanhood and how to live out those principles in today’s world.

For over 15 years, Erin has worked with youth and adolescents in the fields of mental and behavioral health, education, and ministry. When reflecting on her experiences in ministry and non-ministry settings, her most memorable encounters have been those that allowed her the opportunity to teach the Word of God in a way that is most relatable to the audience she served in that moment. She has enjoyed writing since her youth, but only recently felt the call to share her writing with the world.

With an undergraduate degree in English and a graduate degree in Ministry and Pastoral Counseling, Erin M. Handley has been fortunate to be able to leverage her gifts and her passions throughout her career in Education.

Aside from reading, writing, and mentoring, Erin enjoys dancing, interior design, cooking, and most other activities which allow her to utilize her creativity.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Jesus Heals

A Divine Reversal
A devotional by Sarah Cole

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?" "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once, the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked."—John 5:6-9 (NIV)

I love the movie Groundhog Day. In it, Bill Murray plays a cynical meteorologist sent to cover the annual festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, for the fourth year in a row. He hates the small town and cannot wait to leave, but when a blizzard foils his escape plan, he is forced to stay another night and awakens to find he's reliving the same day over and over again.

I experienced my own Groundhog Day six years ago after my mother's death. Being her caregiver consumed all my time and energy, so I looked forward to getting a fresh start in my new home. It was a beautiful September day, and I stood on the toilet seat to clean a ceiling vent, lost my balance, and hit my head on the bathtub. Feeling nothing more than a bump, I put off going to the emergency room until two days later when, suddenly, I was unable to walk.

For the next several months, I suffered from post-concussive vestibular migraines. Once I recovered a year later and could drive again, I was on top of the world when I had another concussion and then another, both in September. Discouraged and hopeless, I didn't see a way out of my perpetual prison, and before I knew it, Satan was having a party at my expense. Thankfully, my pattern wasn't doomed to repeat itself because God answered my prayers and healed me.

When the lame man met Jesus at the pool of Bethesda, he had spent thirty-eight years waiting for a breakthrough. But when his opportunity never came, he probably believed his healing would always be out of reach. Imagine his surprise when Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well, then helped him do the impossible.

When our plans fall through, God's timing disappoints us, and we cannot see how our situations will ever improve, it is easy to think God has forgotten us. Whether we're waiting for a new baby, a better marriage, a promotion, or a clean bill of health, hard seasons cause our faith to take a hit. And it appears on the surface that things will never change.

But God. Everything changes when we experience Him. In His infinite love and wisdom, He always provides, He's always good, and the timing of His answers to our prayers is always perfect.

Are you waiting on God for a breakthrough? Instead of glancing at your circumstances, gaze at your Savior. He is aware of everything you face and the reasons why your life is in a rut. I know it's easy to give in to self-pity and fear, but when you spend time in worship, you will find that your faith will grow. And eventually, you will wake up one day with a fantastic story of how He miraculously intervened on your behalf.

Let's Pray:
Father God, we rejoice today, knowing that all things are possible with You. Thank You for the beautiful purposes and plans you have for each of us. When we waver in our faith, help us trust in Your perfect timing as we wait on You with hearts eager to serve you. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards. Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread. 

Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.

After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about her cocker spaniel Gigi was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.

During this year (2022) and the next (2023), Sarah’s devotionals will be published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.

Connect with Sarah:

Monday, February 14, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Unconditional Love for Humankind

Embracing the Unconditional Love of God
A devotional by Cyndi Staudt

“We love because He first loved us.”
—1 John 4:19 (NIV)

As the calendar turned to February my sigh was audible.

It was the first February after my divorce, and for all intents and purposes, Valentine's month had snuck up on me. Valentine's Day was never one of my favorite holidays to begin with. But after my marriage had crumbled around me, it was really the last holiday I wanted to be reminded of. My capacity to love and to be loved seemed to have been dismantled as divorce papers were signed. After two failed marriages, I found myself taking an honest look in the mirror and whispering—really whimpering—to God, “Point out any offensive way in me.” His answer came in the still, small voice that simply stated, “Cease striving.”

Even though I had been a Christian for many years, I came to realize I was still a baby drinking spiritual milk when it came to an understanding of God's love for myself and others. I felt like I was always trying to balance a scale between “He loves me” and “He loves me not”. Unfortunately, the scale always seemed to be teetering toward the “He loves me not” direction.

I would “perform” for Him and wait for His applause and approval. Was He pleased that I lead the small group Bible study? Would He be happy that I served on the prayer team? Would I earn a reward for sharing my faith with a friend? It was stressful and it was exhausting. And it certainly was not Biblical. I decided to venture out on a journey of searching the scriptures for all God said about love and pleading with God to help me truly understand what they all meant, so I could treasure them in my heart and cease striving once and for all.

God is love. So it goes without saying that His Word (The Holy Bible) has a lot to say about love.

As I searched and studied His Word, praying for God to remove the scales from my eyes, He tenderly led me into many truths about love and, sadly, many lies I was believing about His love. What I discovered was I needed to truly experience God’s love before I could ever hope to love and be loved properly. Without allowing myself to be loved by God, I would never be able to fully love Him or others. I had turned receiving God's love into a competition I was constantly performing to earn. But God loves me just because He loves me. Not because of any awesome things I do or spectacular things I say. His desire is to completely overwhelm me with His love. My job is to simply receive it. It sounded simple, yet my mind had an easier time wrapping itself around that concept of work leading to reward.

Over the next few weeks my prayer became simple. I prayed, “Lord, help me understand and receive Your love.” When I felt myself slip onto the performance path, which happened far more often than I realized, I pulled back and pressed into His presence. I sat still before Him until I felt His peace and became immersed in His love. I began to become acquainted with what it felt like to just be loved without seeking to earn it.

Receiving God’s love was freeing and fulfilling. I came to experience Him in a deeper, more intimate and fully authentic way. I brought Him all the broken pieces of me and He stitched them together with His unfailing love. I ceased striving, sat still before Him and He stirred a desire deep in my soul to simply receive His love.

In doing so, I discovered God’s love leads to a multitude of other qualities, all rooted in an understanding and experience of His unconditional love. His love empowers and establishes. His love drives out fear and fuels faith. His love kills comparison and cultivates compassion. His love demolishes doubts and ignites delight. His love is extravagant and eternal, doesn’t need to be earned and is for everyone.

He showed me that love never stops loving and as He continues to pour it in, I can allow it to flow out to those around me and the reservoir only grows larger.

Let’s Pray:
Loving Lord, thank you for the way you love us and the example you set for us in loving others. Help us to willingly receive your love, be filled with your love and fully experience your love. Let us be a vessel that allows your love to pour into us, freely flow through us and spill over into the world around us. May those who we have an opportunity to meet and mingle with experience your love through us, giving them a desire to know You as the source of love and Savior of their souls. We ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Cyndi’s devotional message today reminds me of the song “Your Love Never Fails”, performed by Chris Quilala / Jesus Culture. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Cyndi Staudt is a Jesus-loving, adrenaline junkie who is devoted to living her life for Jesus Christ until the day she is living with Him. 

With a passion for cultivating a craving for God’s Word, her devotions and Bible studies are saturated with faith and hope to stir your soul to connect with God in deeper, more intimate ways.

Through her writing she hopes to ignite your desire to read God’s Word, invite your heart to experience God’s love, and inspire you to live your live life “souled out” to the One whose love has no limits.

Connect with Cyndi on Instagram:

14 Days of Love: The Key to Love

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a book by my author friend Betsy St. Amant.

Book Blurb for The Key to Love:

The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she's created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas.

She never expects it to go viral—or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery.

He's definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.

Just when it seems Bri's bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she's kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri's recipe just needs to be tweaked.

Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn't always look the way we expect—and maybe that's a good thing.

Author Bio:

Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of over fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas.

She resides in north Louisiana with her hubby, two total opposite young daughters, a collection of coffee mugs, and one fur-toddler in the form of a mini-Schnauzer.

Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a cold brew with vanilla cold foam.

She blogs frequently at, a devotional site for women.

Visit her at

Buy Betsy’s book on Amazon, Baker Book House or Barnes and Noble

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 13, 2022

14 Days of Love: All Your Heart

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a book by my author friend 
LeighAnne Clifton.

Book Blurb for All Your Heart:

Alex is determined to use college on the other coast to escape her small Southern town and workaholic mother. However, a prom-night assault and the resulting pregnancy require a drastic change of plans.

Alex flees with every intention of ending her cross-country trek at an abortion clinic. Instead, finding herself stranded and scared after wrecking her car, Miss Matilda welcomes Alex to town with love and open doors. It just happens that Matilda runs a crisis pregnancy home.

When Alex strikes a deal with Chad, the handsome mechanic with secrets of his own, the citizens of Burton discover Alex’s artistry, prompting a business partnership with Matilda’s nephew. Alex soon discovers the life-altering sweetness of trusting Jesus, but her past hurts make it difficult to trust Chad with her heart.

Then, secrets within the pages of an old diary discovered at the home threaten to tear families apart. Can the people of Burton learn to heal the hurts of the past by trusting the Lord with all their hearts?

Author Bio:

LeighAnne Clifton and her husband Bill call South Carolina home.

After meeting while both earning their degrees in chemical engineering at the University of South Carolina, the pair married and settled in Aiken. They have two grown children, a son-in-law, and a pair of spoiled cats.

Before writing All Your Heart, LeighAnne wrote The Little Vessel, a modern-day parable for all who need reminding that God has a unique purpose for their lives. Readers should look for the sequel to All Your Heart to be released in early 2022.

LeighAnne, like Alex Powell, loves to upcycle old junk into beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces. She shares her thoughts on Christian living, DIY projects, and the latest book news on her blog.

Buy LeighAnne's book on Amazon or PenIt! Publications

Connect with LeighAnne:

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 12, 2022

14 Days of Love: When It Storms

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a book by my author friend Lisa M. Prysock.

Book Blurb for When It Storms:

When C.E.O. Alexander Brantley hires a public relations specialist from Glitter, Ltd. to do media damage control for Seventh Floor, Inc. after a fashion disaster involving one of his company’s designs, he has no idea his former teen crush is at the helm of the reputable firm.  

Glamorous, breathtaking, and all grown up, Jane Sheldon—the former girl next door—is taking on the assignment personally. Can he keep her safe in the midst of his storm? Dare he trust her with classified information when other matters begin to spiral out of control, submerging them into turmoil, and putting them on the run for their lives?

Jane returns to England on her private corporate jet, anxious to see Alex again after so many years, but all sorts of things have begun to go wrong. Their lives are constantly in danger. It appears as if someone wants them dead—but whom?

Get your copy of this sweet and clean, inspirational, faith-filled, Christian Contemporary Romantic Suspense novella today! Easily read as a stand-alone.

Author Bio:

Lisa M. Prysock is a USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Author of Contemporary and Historical Christian Romance. 

She resides in a rural area near Louisville, Kentucky with her husband of 24 years. Empty nesters, they are reclaiming the household when she isn’t writing the next novel. 

She loves touring historical sites, all things old-fashioned, sketching, and cross-stitching. 

She tries to work out on a regular basis—sometimes an epic fail—and attempting new recipes. 

Lisa loves sharing her faith in Jesus through her writing.

Buy Lisa's book on Amazon

Connect with Lisa:
Lisa’s Reader Group, The Royal Riders:

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 11, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: What happens when you grow to know God

God’s Astounding Grace
A devotional by Karen Marstaller

“All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, and all Your saints shall bless You!”
—Psalm 145:10 (ESV)

As a teenager I was a member of our high school band. Our director believed in giving his students many varied experiences outside of the high desert valley where we lived. One of those trips took us to the coast where we would be competing against other bands. Few of us had ever seen salt water, so it was a big shift for most of us.

On the day set aside for our little jaunt, we packed up our suitcases and instruments, loaded everything onto the buses, and set out for our destination. With all the windows down, we could hear a low-pitched roar as we neared the water, but we couldn’t see anything yet. We had to leave our big yellow transports and walk the rest of the way to the water’s edge. There were about a hundred of us trudging through the sand, so there wasn’t anything to see except the back of the person in front of me. Once our group topped the dunes, though, most of my fellow band members took off running. That’s when I looked up.

For the first time in my life, I was astounded. There were no words for me, only feelings. My senses were alive in a way I’d never experienced. My hair streamed behind me while my toes felt as though they were kissed by the sand, and I was riveted to the spot. I licked my lips to taste the faint saltiness, and the very air around me seemed to be caught up in a whirling mélange of fish, sand, and water. The overwhelming sound of the pounding surf filled me with a strange mixture of jubilation and wonder. And as I gulped in the fresh air, it dawned on me that part of the tingling sensation was my own heart, beating in time with the waves at my feet.

Years later, my first encounter with the sea was brought full circle. Just as I had pored over my geography books as a kid, filling my mind with information about Cape Cod and Puget Sound, I’d also been reading the Bible with its stories of David, Jonah, and Jesus. And just as all my book learning hadn’t come close to preparing me to meet the ocean, all the Bible studies were just words on the pages until the day the Lord allowed me to understand what His Word means.

The New Testament is filled with references about knowing Jesus. For years I had been reading and underlining every phrase about the sureness of knowing the Lord. I didn’t know Him yet, I just knew about Him, in the same way that I knew about the Straits of Gibraltar and Magellan, without ever seeing them in person.

But one day, the burning desire to know overwhelmed me, and I finally prayed, “God, if You’re really real, show me.” On that very day, the Lord Jesus became my Savior, and God became my loving Heavenly Father.

There I was, astounded for the second time in my life. But this time, it was so much more. I stood awash in forgiveness, a sweetness I’d never known. With my arms stretched wide, I was able to “taste and see that the Lord is good” like Psalm 34:8 says. God’s Word, the Bible, became real to me, just as the sea had so many years before. More importantly, the Creator of the sea and the Lord of my life became reality, as well.

In Matthew 16, Jesus asked His disciples two questions: “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?” There were several answers to His first question, but Simon Peter answered the second question with the resounding declaration, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16 ESV)

It is that declaration of faith that will always astound us. Here we are, sinners, far from God and ignorant of His majesty. Yet we are welcomed into God’s family when we believe in Jesus. As His children we are not only saved; we are accepted into God’s heart of grace.

So, we stand and behold the works of God. All the senses are tingling as we open our Bibles. We fall to our faces as we see the Lord “high and lifted up” in Isaiah 6:1, and we worship with the Revelation 4:8 (ESV) angels as they cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

And as we breathe in deeply, the Lord fine-tunes our hearts, so they beat in time with His.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly God, we praise You for You are the core, the very essence of life. We worship You, the Lord of Heaven and Earth. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis:

Karen’s devotional message today reminds me of “The Maker” song by Chris August! Listen to this beautiful melody about seeing God all around us in nature, here.

Author Bio:

Karen Marstaller is a retired high school teacher who spent most of her career challenging creative students to write. Her heart is for her readers. 

She writes to encourage them, to make them laugh, to show them that life is a beautiful journey, and regardless of their past, to show them that there is joy ahead if they will just keep looking.

Karen and her husband live in central Texas in a sweet little home that they completely remodeled. They enjoy spending time with their family, which includes seven precious grandchildren.

Most of all, Karen writes in obedience to the command to love your neighbor, to offer a cup of water to those who are dying of thirst, and to comfort others with the comfort she has received.

You can reach Karen by emailing her at this address:

14 Days of Love: Her Next Dance

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a book by my author friend Susan C. Fischer.

Book Blurb for Her Next Dance:

Outspoken attorney and single mother, Lauren Miller, is trying hard to earn a living in a firm where her boss takes over her cases and has no respect for her.  

Her only escape is in taking dance lessons with single dad dance instructor, Marco Gonzalez. 

Although she senses a possible attraction to Marco, she struggles to trust him, remembering her ex-fiancé who abandoned her. 

Will Lauren and Marco's passion for dance turn their friendship into love?

Author Bio:

Susan Fischer is an author, Christian Mediator, and speaker. 

She leads a worship service in her community and is active in several other ministries and groups.

Susan has a Juris Doctor degree from Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of Law) and has practiced law in both Michigan and Florida for over 30 years.

She has a son and daughter in law who live up north and she currently resides in Bradenton, Florida, near a dance studio and her favorite beach.

Buy Susan's book on Amazon

Connect with Susan:

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 10, 2022

14 Days of Love: In Search of A Prince

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a book by my author friend Toni Shiloh.

Book Blurb for In Search of A Prince:

It seems like a dream come true . . . until it forces her to question everything. 

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard.

But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell–Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.

Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another.

Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?

Author Bio:

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author.

She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novels, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist, Risking Love a 2020 Selah Award finalist, The Truth About Fame a 2021 Holt Medallion finalist, and The Price of Dreams a 2021 Maggie Award finalist.

Buy Toni’s book on AmazonBarnes and NobleBethany House, TARGET or Walmart

Connect with Toni:

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Obeying God When It Doesn't Make Sense

When What God is Asking of You Doesn’t Make Sense
A devotional by Jessica B. Turner

“However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” –Matthew 17:27 (ESV)

If you are like me, you have likely read this scripture without much thought because of what precedes it. Starting in Matthew 17:24, you can find one of the many examples of authority figures trying to trap Jesus with their questions concerning the law. This time it was involving a two drachma tax, a form of Greek currency. But it’s not the units of money that I want you to focus in on today.

It's what Jesus tells Simon Peter to do in response to the tax that I want us to explore.

Could you imagine being in Simon Peter’s shoes in this moment? Jesus is telling you to go fishing as a means of providing provision, but not from selling the caught fish, but instead by simply opening its mouth! Do you realize how bizarre this command really is?

I can’t help but think that Simon Peter walked away wondering how this plan would work. What are the odds of a fish swimming around with a coin in its mouth, much less a coin worth exactly what they need to pay for both of their taxes? Or better yet, that this coin would be found in the very first fish caught?

It’s just such an odd way to solve a problem, isn’t it? An impossible way. But this is a reminder that nothing is impossible when the orders are coming from God Himself!

How often do you find yourself in a situation where you know God is leading you to a solution, but you just can’t make sense of how it will work out in your favor? The odds appear to be stacked against you. Everyone around you is telling you to go a different route, a safer, more predictable route. Yet, you know in your heart that isn’t what God is asking of you. You want to be obedient, but you seem paralyzed by all the pieces that don’t seem to make sense.

This is where the faith of a mustard seed, referred to in Matthew 17:20, comes into play. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called to lean on Him when all logic seems to disappear. When things cannot be explained in any other way than “But God!”

These are the moments where we are given an opportunity to truly see God at work! But He needs us to be willing to do more than just listen; He needs us to act alongside Him.

Simon Peter would have never experienced God’s provision that day if he would have let logic steer his decisions. He would have missed out on a miracle.

What is God commanding you to do in this season of your life? What are you missing out on because you are afraid to take the first step?

I pray this message gives you the courage to stop over-thinking it all and simply put your trust in a God whose thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. I can’t wait to see what He is going to do through your obedience!

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, it brings you such joy when I come to you for wisdom instead of looking to the world for answers. Yet sometimes it can be hard to muster up the courage to act on what you are asking of me. Lord, please give me the faith to take that first step in obedience. Strengthen my confidence in your ability to show up against all odds in my favor. Open my eyes to how you are working in and through my life and allow me to be a vessel of praise and glory towards Your holy name as a walk in Your will. I love you and I trust you. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Jessica B. Turner is a wife, mom, and LSU graduate with a degree in veterinary medicine. 

After practicing small animal medicine for six years, she traded in her stethoscope to become an online wellness coach, motivational speaker, and writer with a passion for mental health advocacy. This major life change was sparked after Jessica struggled with postpartum depression soon after she birthed her twin girls.

Along with Jessica’s career change came the discovery of who Jesus Christ really is and how He was the missing piece for her to be able to move forward from past trauma that she had suppressed for decades.

Jesus walked alongside Jessica as she underwent a transformation like none other. God transformed Jessica’s life from a broken mom who struggled with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and PTSD from witnessing an attempted suicide, to using her experiences to make her a powerful vessel for Him. To this day, God enables Jessica to touch the lives of others through her often unfiltered, yet inviting, form of storytelling.

Throughout this process of refinement, Jessica has shared her life story with the world through her social media platforms, in-person events, blog posts, and podcasts. She values the gift of transparency and has discovered that what so many people need to know is that they are not alone. Jessica has walked in their shoes, and she wants the world to know that Jesus is walking with them as well.

Connect with Jessica:

14 Days of Love: Say It's For Good

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a book by my author friend Teresa Tysinger.

Book Blurb for Say It’s For Good:

Is a decade enough time to heal old wounds? 

Professional chef Leah Spencer is level-headed, responsible, and practical, so moving home to Laurel Cove, North Carolina to care for her ailing father was an easy choice. All he wants is for her to find love like he had with his late wife—before he leaves Leah all alone. 

Desperate to ease his worries, as well as her own fear, she breaks character and creates a fake relationship with the one man in town who likely wants nothing to do with her. The one man she’s ever truly loved.

Jasper Bowdon has successfully avoided commitment ever since his heart was broken a decade ago. When casual dating grew tiresome, he decides to take a break from women to finally figure out what he really wants. Why, then, does he agree to a pretend relationship with the very woman who’d ruined him in the first place? And why is he left wondering if it could all be part of God’s plan to heal them both?

Love and friendship get a second chance in this final installment of the Laurel Cove Romance Series. Books in this series are stand-alone and can be read and enjoyed in any order.

Author Bio:

Teresa Tysinger is an author of Southern Contemporary Romance inspired by grace.

She writes on the fringes of being a wife, mom, and full-time communications and public relations professional.

Teresa loves coffee, traveling, and loves almost every genre of music.

Born in Hawaii, raised in Florida, and educated in North Carolina, she now resides in Texas with her husband, daughter, and dog.

Buy Teresa’s book on Amazon

Connect with Teresa:

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

14 Days of Love: Anchor My Heart

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a book by my author friend 
Sara Beth Williams. 

Book Blurb for Anchor My Heart:

In the aftermath of tragic loss, worship leader Matt Lawson is grappling debilitating anxiety.  

The blessings he’d taken for granted—a dream job, a woman he couldn’t wait to spend the rest of his life with, and his God-given musical talent—have crumbled at his feet, leaving him reeling in despair, unable to face the wreckage of the life he’d envisioned for himself.

Tara Pierce is ready to put past hurts behind her as she prepares to graduate college and take a leap of faith in her career. When Matt’s grief causes him to isolate himself from everyone he knows, she refuses to stand idly by and do nothing. She has traversed similar terrain before. No one deserves to travel that road alone.

Unexpected attraction flares as Tara reaches into the sea of Matt’s grief and helps ground him in reality. But Matt’s not ready to give himself away again. Can Tara risk her heart and their friendship and let God step in to heal where she can’t?

Author Bio:

Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady pit and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. 

She lives in Northern California. 

When she's not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers!

Buy Sara Beth's book on Amazon

Connect with Sara Beth:
Amazon Author Page:

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 7, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: How my faith in God relates to my need to nap

Jesus and My Nap 180
A devotional by Jessica Brodie

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
—Psalm 63:1 (ESV)

I’ve always hated naps. For as long as I can remember, unless I had the flu, was pregnant, or had a sleep-chaotic newborn in the house, I refused even the idea of a snooze.

“They make me nauseous,” I’d say.

It was true—I’d put my head down and wake up ten or twenty or sixty minutes later, and for the rest of the day, my stomach would be in knots. And in truth, I had a bias about them, too. In my heart of hearts, I thought naps were for the lazy, for those who sat around eating chocolate and kicking up their feet, for those not driven to make their mark in the world as I was.

Oh, dear, naïve, and completely incorrect Younger Me…

In the last few years, I’ve discovered the power of naps both from a physical and mental health perspective. More importantly, I’ve discovered how tied in naps are with my surrender to the Lord, to my relinquishment of control on the tight grip I hold on life. I guess you could say I’ve done a nap-180, done a complete about-face on my former nap-hating perspective.

I’m not exactly sure when I discovered the power of naps, but I suspect my brain-shift happened shortly after Matt and I got married. See, I was always a workhorse before I had kids, but after I became a single mom with a demanding and wonderful full-time job, I’d often get by on four or five hours of sleep a night. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” I’d quip. If the sun was up—or the moon—there was work to do and adventures to be experienced.

But then came Matt, a partner to help with it all. Slowly, I relaxed. I didn’t have to do it all on my own. I started getting seven hours of sleep a night, then eight, then nine. I began to heal and truly listen to my body. Before, when stress got overwhelming, I’d slug back some coffee and push through. Now, I became more introspective. I read the Bible more. I meditated on things like “surrender.”

One day, I was so overwhelmed with deadlines that I felt ill. I’d overcommitted (as usual!), and I felt frazzled and unfocused. I wanted to give my best work, but my brain just wasn’t working right. I was weepy and completely “off.”

So I left the office, went home, and slid fully dressed between the sheets. An hour later, I woke up. And you know what? The sky hadn’t fallen because I’d taken a short break. My body and mind were refreshed and reset. I found I was no less productive because of it. (In fact, perhaps I was more productive.)

In essence, I “gave it over to God,” surrendering my will as I lay my head on that pillow. Since then, I have come to genuinely enjoy naps. I try to keep them short, and I don’t nap every day. But if I get that familiar restlessness within my soul, that “everything depends on me and I have to do X, Y, Q, and Z now or this will happen!” feeling, that feeling that I want to binge on cereal until everything feels better, I’ve come to realize that’s my body and brain’s way of expressing overwhelm.

And when I feel that overwhelm, there’s only one solution: God.

I can’t fix everything, and cereal and excessive worry or control can’t make everything wrong in my life get better, or the deadlines disappear. But God is at the helm of my ship. He’s in control, not me. I relinquish my life to Him. In Isaiah 41:10 (ESV), God reminds us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God is in control, not me, and when I remember to nap instead of looking to myself to handle everything, it becomes—at least for me—an act of spiritual surrender.

I suspect King David understood this when he penned Psalm 63:1 (ESV), which begins, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Are you in a place where you find it hard to surrender to God or relinquish control? Is something about this devotional speaking to your heart?

I invite you to pray, and let God take over.

Let’s Pray:
Holy Lord, thank You for your righteous and loving control over all things. You created this world, and You created me. Help me take comfort in the pure knowledge that in You, I am safe. No matter what happens in this life, in You I have eternal salvation because I trust in You and I accept and follow Your son, Jesus Christ, as my Savior. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden.

She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. 

Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at

She has a weekly YouTube devotional and podcast. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and more. She’s also produced a free eBook, A God-Centered Life: 10 Faith-Based Practices When You’re Feeling Anxious, Grumpy, or Stressed.