Embracing the Chaos with His Grace – Guest Post by Lindsay Christie

Lindsay is one of the best friends the Lord has placed in my life! While I was pregnant with Ezra, she was pregnant with her 3rd blessing and was an incredible source of wisdom and encouragement. We share every day about our little blessings. We celebrate the joyous moments, discuss the troubling moments, and encourage each other through the tough moments…because they exist!

After I had a particularly tough day with a colicky Ezra, Lindsay had a tough day herself. Sometimes it helps to put your thoughts down on paper which is what she did, and she shared it with me as an encouragement. Friends, this is it! This is how we need to approach those tough moments. We need to go about Embracing the Chaos with His Grace! Lindsay’s words were such an encouragement to me, I asked for her permission to share with you. I pray you will be as blessed as I was by her words.

Embracing the Chaos with His Grace

by Lindsay Christie

OK it’s time to get real.

Motherhood is not all sunshine and roses.

In fact sometimes it stinks.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these little arrows God has placed in my quiver and I would never trade these arrows for any others. But some days I just need to get real. Really real.

This mothering thing can be hard.

Today has been one of those days.

As I write this I am sitting in my driveway on my phone. Two toddlers and a baby have fallen asleep in the back and I don’t want to move them lest I wake a sleeping beast. I have just devoured a frosted coffee from Chick-fil-A as though it is the crack of the motherhood. (I mean it was that or alcohol, and since I don’t drink I thought the coffee was the better choice.)

My 3-year-old is being defiant with a capital D. I am talking not listening, telling me “no”, knocking a pacifier out of my hand when I handed it to him to give to his oldest little sister. (Which caused me to pull over then and there and demand he not speak the rest of the way home…which amazingly he did only speak once more as I left with my Chick-fil-A crack.)

My 1.5 year old has learned to scream a blood curdling scream that would merit the neighbors to look out of their windows and make sure she wasn’t being taken. She does it when she is mad. She does it when the 3-year-old takes a toy. Sometimes she even does when she is happy. I think she likes her voice. But you better be sure it will be at its loudest when she is in protest of something.

Then there is my sweet innocent 3 month old. There is not much to report on her. Right now she is my easy, smiling, sweet baby girl. But give it a couple of years and I am sure we will be revisiting her.

Embracing the Chaos with His Grace

Forgive me, anyone, who was the brunt of my thinking I knew more about parenting before I was actually a parent.

Forgive me if I thought your tantrum-throwing, defiant child was behaving in such a manner due to a lack of discipline.

My children are disciplined. But if you see us in the grocery store while either of the two older ones are climbing buggies, running down the aisles, or mad because I won’t buy another toy to add to what was supposed to be a reasonable collection of toys at home, you will probably think otherwise.

It is hard. I am sick of feeling self-conscious when my children misbehave…embarrassed. Let me just tell you right now that we do not take misbehavior lightly and my children do face consequences for their behavior. We. Do. Discipline. But I have strong-willed children who seem to be getting stronger by the day. When I see another mama with a misbehaving child, such as the mama whose 2-year-old sat down in the Jo-Ann parking lot the other day and would not move as they headed to their car, I want to hug her. I want to stop and chat and relate. I want to feel not alone and I want to tell her she is not alone.

“I feel you, mama.”

But in this chaos, I told Jesus something on my way home.

“Jesus, I need you. I can’t do any aspect of this parenting thing alone.”

And as I sit here in my air-conditioned van, I look in the rear-view mirror at these precious blessings asleep. Quiet. And I am reminded how much I love them. Even when I am completely at my wit’s end and counting the hours until a MUCH needed date night (…and hoping nobody gets a fever or something to cause it to not happen!)

I know this is a season. I know that every day may bring a new phase (I mean 3 days ago this screaming phase hadn’t begun!!) Every day won’t be the same. Tomorrow may be better. Tomorrow may be worse. A week from now we may have a new challenge. A month from now….a year from now…my how time flies.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!” Psalm 127:3-5a

Lord please help me to soak up the good moments. Help me to embrace this chaos with grace. Help me to have patience and stop wanting to scream (or actually screaming). Please keep reminding me that these arrows really are the blessing of my youth. Help me when it’s hard. Because it is really hard.

{Guest Post} How Stepping Off the Grid Impacts Your Faith by Susan Mead

Stepping off the grid … sounds familiar and refreshing! After taking some time out to focus on being a Mum for the first time, I love that I am bringing my guest post series to a close with this word from my friend Susan. When I first met Susan I was blown away by her JOY in the Lord. When I learned all she has been through I was even more inspired … and challenged. I encourage you {after you read this post!} to check out more of what Susan has to share on Dancing with Jesus!

10 Lessons Learned

How Stepping Off the Grid Impacts Your Faith

10 Lessons Learned Stepping Off the Grid Impacts Faith

Have you ever thought about stepping off the grid and simply unplugging for a little while?

Me too – and I did it. Wanna know what I’m learning? It’s impacting my FAITH. Seriously! I didn’t expect that to be part of the package.

Lesson 1:

We decided.

WE. Decided. Yes, together as a couple, the decision was consciously made. Why were we even thinking about stepping off the grid?

We felt a nudge from Above asking us to step off – in faith. Yep, like that momma eagle nudges and shoves her eaglets out of their comfy nest, so does our Heavenly Father nudge us our of our complacent lives, filled with the comforts of home…and STUFF.

Lesson 2:

Let it go.

We heard let it go – the stuff – clearly in our prayer times.

“Are you seeking comfort in things, a person and a place, or in Me?” our Father inquires, ever so gently. Yet His truth is revealed in the question.

Am I? Are you?

Lord, help us turn to You in faith, trusting Your guidance is for our good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

Lesson 3:

Dug in.

Have I dug in and feathered my nest so deeply I simply can’t:

* Hear God’s voice? Or it’s so very faint and muffled

* Move from my mess? To act on His message

* Imagine more or different? To see beyond my natural into His supernatural plan

Lesson 4:

But God…you argue.

Do we always try to negotiate a deal with God on our terms?!

You gave me this stuff. It’s MINE! You led me here. I know it.

And we dig in deeper. Rooted. Bound. Tied down. Pulling away from The Vine – our Divine God.

Lesson 5:

Like a two year old.

“My do it!” Yep, I think I may have thought that – if I didn’t actually say it!

Seeking independence, yet truly so very dependent upon parental guidance. We need our Father’s gracious hand, forever guiding and guarding us with His word and His works. Over and over and over again.

Lesson 6:


When our Heavenly Father is testing our faith…and faithfulness, how will we respond?

Will we rebel, stamping our feet or say yes, with enthusiasm, trusting God and His good plans for us?

Like Job. Faithful. Trusting. Sifted. Blessed in his latter years…

“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” Job 42:12a NIV

Lesson 7:

Let God nudge you out of your “feathered nest.”

His plan is for you. Just like that momma eagle knows what’s best for her brood, He knows you will soar into new heights!

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV 

Lesson 8:

God has us covered and lifted up.

God doesn’t need to check His Twitter feed or see me checking in on Facebook to know what I’m up to or where I am. We’re never off the grid with God. He knows exactly where we are, even when we hide behind a bush like Elijah, that prophet of old.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

“And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?'” 1 Kings 19:9b NIV

Lesson 9:

God guides us into a specific place.

And knows who, what, when and why He has us there. Yet we see in a mirror dimly, as scripture says. Are you thinking, “Got any Windex handy?” I am!

Relish today. Step off the grid, even if it’s just long enough to get your face out of Facebook and into His Book, as Christine Caine says.

Lesson 10:

I’m stepping off the grid today and trusting God to be there with me. Join me?

God invites us to join Him!

Will you accept THIS invitation today?

Susan B Mead HeadshotSusan B. Mead, author, survivor, and an individual who has dealt with multiple losses, is an empathetic, powerful, sought-after speaker with real answers to life’s tough questions. Susan is a Senior Ordained Chaplain, Certified by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, for individuals and groups suffering trauma. Susan’s best-selling book Dance with Jesus: From Grief to Grace, is available on Amazon.

Susan tweets @SusanBMead, posts scripture graphics daily on Facebook and Instagram and hosts the DanceWithJesus™ blog linkup each Friday at her website, SusanBMead.com. Get connected!

{Guest Post} Give Him Room to Move by Megan Kincheloe

Give Him Room to Move

by Megan Kincheloe

This morning I was driving our daughter to school and halfway there I remembered that we neglected to put her recorder in her book bag. I glanced at the clock to see if we had enough time to turn around and did a swift u-turn when I was safely and legally able. Just last weekend, we finally set the clock in the car to reflect the correct time and when our daughter realized this morning that we no longer had the six minutes of grace built in, she began to panic. I calmly told her we could not add more minutes to the clock and would just have to face the consequences if we were late. Not exceeding the speed limit (or more specifically, the 5 MPH over rule), we made it home, secured the recorder, and made it to school with three minutes to spare. I kissed her goodbye and off she hurried into school to beat the bell. Thankfully we avoided a meltdown over the possibility of being ‘tardy.’

I left the parking lot feeling like I had run a marathon already and it was only 8:10am. I started to think about how moments like these could be avoided if we would just create space in our day. I sighed out loud when it suddenly hit me that I don’t have space for space! My schedule is packed. My brain is packed. My closet is packed. My bookcase is packed. EVERYTHING. IS. PACKED. And not in nice little boxes to take to storage. Because guess what? The storage is packed. There is absolutely no more room.

This realization was frustrating enough, but what hit me next left me in a real state of bewilderment and frankly, in a funk. Not only have I left myself no space, I have packed my life so full that I am not giving God any space to move! Are you in a place in your life where you desperately want to see what is next? You need Him to illuminate your path and guide you right to that next step? I am! I want to always give God space to move and I have literally crowded Him out. Not only that, I am so busy planning my tomorrow, I am completely missing today. Completely. And He didn’t just plan my tomorrow. He planned my today too. And yours. And we are missing it. Every precious moment. Proverbs 19:21 states:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV

Our heads are packed with our ‘to do’ lists, drama from the world, and just life in general and our eyes are pointed down constantly looking at our screens. We need to look up. We need to let Him work and give Him space to move. We have to make sure we remain willing participants though. But how beautiful it is to see His plan unfold. We are bound by time, space, and schedules. He is bound by nothing.

Move…so He can move.

Megan loves Jesus with her whole heart. She grew up in church but did not always live a life pleasing to God. She loves to share how He worked in her life and the four stages of being a believer that she has experienced. God has given her a burning desire to reach the unreached and she has become passionate about ministering to teen girls and encouraging them to stand firm in their faith through the trials they face each day. Megan is a wife and a mother of two and her sweet spirit and love for the Lord are contagious.

Follow Megan on Twitter and read more from her at We Are His Daughters and Imperfect Surrender.

{Guest Post} Bible Verses for When Your Heart is a Pretzel by Heather Bleier

Bible Verses for When Your Heart is a Pretzel

by Heather Bleier

We have our go-to Bible verses about everything. When it comes to an anxious heart, 1 Peter 5:7 pops up immediately. And why not? It literally tells us to, “cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” Then there is Christ’s Sermon on the Mount which includes a gentle reminder of the futility of worry in Matthew 6:25-34 (doesn’t stop us from worrying…does it…).

I love the words Jesus uses in Matthew. We are more valuable than all we see and God already knows what we need. He cautions us that worry does nothing to improve a situation, just robs us of life and gives us gray hair (ok, He didn’t say anything about gray hair, but we all know its true). Time spent on worrying, is time wasted.

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of worrying. Raise both hands if you are worrying about something right now.

::sigh:: My hand went up too.

When we worry, not only does it steal time, we communicate to God that we don’t trust Him with X.

Let that sink in for a moment.

When we worry, we are telling God, “I don’t trust You.”


I don’t want to be someone who doesn’t trust God! After all, I trust Him with my eternity. Seriously. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are trusting God to fulfill the promise He gave for our inheritance in heaven. A fulfillment we won’t see until we’re dead. Literally.

Yet, here we are, in our day-to-day lives adding wrinkles to our face and gray hairs to our head…or worse, losing the hair we have! All because we allow our hearts to get twisted with worry instead of bringing our concerns to the One with the power to help.

Not only does He have the power to help, He wants to help you! No matter what has your heart looking like a pretzel, if it matters to you, it matters to God.

Here are a few Bible verses straight from God to hide in your heart and get that pretzel untwisted. I pray they would be a comfort to you when you worry and better yet, help prevent your next wrinkle or gray hair…

1. Isaiah 41:10 ESV – Help is on its way.

…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.

2. Philippians 4:19 ESV – God has the supply you need.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

3. II Corinthians 4:17 ESV– This too shall pass.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

4. Romans 8:28 ESV – Good will come from your circumstances.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

5. II Corinthians 10:5b ESV – Change your thinking!

…take every thought captive to obey Christ…

6. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV – Instead of worrying, talk to God about what’s on your heart.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

How do you find Bible verses in times of need? What other verses do you turn to when your heart is hurting?

PicI’m a Texas girl at heart who loves to kick around in her boots and help women draw closer to God through the study of His Word, prayer, worship, and fellowship. I am addicted to coffee, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to sing and act and will do so at the drop of a hat…seriously.

Visit Transformed and download a free printout with 50 Personalized Bible Verses!

Bible Verses for When Your Heart is a Pretzel by Heather Bleier

#transformed – heatherbleier.com

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{Guest Post} Hope: The Anchor of my Soul by Racquel Peterson

I am so honored to introduce you to my sweet friend Racquel today. I first met Racquel when she joined Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies and the blessing was certainly mine when this Jesus loving cheerleader of life was placed in the Facebook small group I was leading! We have now served together as volunteers for 2 years and I love her to pieces!

As a brand-new mom, I am so appreciative of her powerful message today and to welcome her as a guest in my maternity leave series!

Hope: The Anchor of my Soul

by Racquel Peterson

“Mom, I need to go to the hospital…”

At first, I thought my 14 year old daughter was joking. As it turned out, she really did need to go. This was the spark that lit the fire that has seared my family in various ways over the past year. These words triggered a chain of events that left me questioning and pleading with God — for protection, for healing, for direction and wisdom, and most of all for His power.

On that sunny day, at the end of February, my family was brought to the brink of death, but God was shining brighter and His plan involved restoration, thankfully not death. After the hospital visit, our eyes were opened to the realities of depression and anxiety, and the debilitating effects it can have on a person and family. Here was my beautiful and kind girl suffering inwardly in unimaginable ways and we, her parents, were clueless.


As parents, we want every good thing for our kids. We want to protect them from the world’s grip and help them in any way possible. The reality is there is only so much WE can do as parents…the things we cannot, well, they are best left in the hand of the ONE who loved us to death and back, Jesus. This was one of the times we could not control. When the secret pain my daughter hid so well was finally brought to light, we questioned everything we thought we knew about her and it blew apart everything we thought we knew about parenting. Watching her sink into the dark depths of depression was terrifying. We had no idea of how to help her.   

Here is where the love and faithfulness of Christ shines brightly.

The words of Paul leapt off the page and came alive right in the midst of our family crisis.

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

As many of you know, depression and anxiety are not problems solved over night or as a result of taking a magic pill. This past year we’ve spent a lot of time on our knees and in therapy. The one thing I would not let go of this past year is HOPE….  Hope in God’s power. Hope in God’s sovereign intervention and His plan for restoration. Hope in knowing God’s plan is so much better than ours.  Hope because God fills us with joy and peace when we trust Him. Hope because the Holy Spirit is God and His power is alive in me.

My daughter’s story is far from over and her struggle with depression may be life long, BUT we can have JOY. We can have PEACE. Why? Because our trust is in Christ! He is the ONE with the answers. He is the ONE we can trust to turn the ashes of this situation into a beautiful story of restoration and redemption. A year later, we are NOT crushed, abandoned, or destroyed.

“Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid]. For our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory [a fullness] beyond all measure [surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendor and an endless blessedness]! So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable.” 2 Corinthians 4:16a, 17-18 AMP

Maybe you’ve faced a dark year or years. Perhaps you are smack in the middle of it right at this moment.  

Friend, God is waiting to help. He is faithful to love you and carry you through the challenges you face.  

Hold on to the HOPE we have in Christ!  

His peace and joy WILL overflow.

13015060_10209210870734731_136620012_nAbout Racquel:

I am a Jesus-loving gal who hopes to inspire others to a live a life without limitations by sharing the promises of Christ whenever possible. I’m also a stay-at-home mom to three beautiful blessings, plus a few of their friends, ranging in ages 8-15, and I’ve been married to Chris for the past 17 years. I enjoy spending time relaxing with a cup of coffee and a good book. Family time is a HUGE priority and on a typical day our house is bursting with activity…so you can bet I cherish the time I spend reading and drinking coffee!