Review by Rayna: No More Faking Fine

No More Faking Fine:  Ending the Pretending

The title itself is one we all relate to I think.  We have all faked it during seasons of life and frankly I’m not sure there is any other way to make it  in public and on the job but the one time we NEVER have to fake it is with God.

Esther Fleece shares the story of her heartbreaking childhood and how the message to “suck it up” and do what she needed to do affected her life and relationship with the Lord.  She writes “Just because you picked yourself up again and keep moving doesn’t mean you are healed.  And if you keep moving with a wound that needs attention, you will only make it worse.”(58)

 

Esther’s journey to finding true healing is beautiful.  She has much to share with us about her experience but greater than that she challenges us to experience healing as well “Ignoring our past can rob us of the opportunity to encounter God when we need it most.  But lament opens our eyes to see He was there then and He is here now. “ (59) .  Life is painful and learning to experience lament can make all the difference in your healing.

Learning a new way to pray through the most difficult questions:  Why, How Long? Don’t Forget Me! and Forgive me brought hope to Esther and will bring hope to your life as well.

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Get Real with God through Lament

Get Real with God through Lament

Ending the Pretending

 

It’s Sunday morning and you like me are headed into church.  Each person passed offers a courteous greeting like, “Good Morning!”  “Hi!  How are you?”  “Good thanks and you?”  or “Fine, thanks!”

The truth is you just had a fight with your spouse or you recently found out about another friend who is diagnosed with cancer.  You are not fine but what else are you going to say.

Life is hard and it is filled with many disappointments and heartaches.  Telling acquaintances about our stuff is not likely to happen.

So what about family?  How often do you share the real stuff with friends and family?  Many of us even struggle with this as well.

What about God?  Do you get real with him?  Many people don’t.Ecc 7:33 Sorrow is better than laughter,

To be honest, I am more likely to get real with God than I am with anyone else.  I think this is one reason for the deep and many people have said, unusual walk I have with my Lord.

Through the many heartaches of life I have had great friends and family to support me but my number one go to is the Lord.  From an early age I started reading a Psalm a day.  From those readings I found a God who could handle anything I had to say to him, so I did.

When my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s I poured out the heartache of losing her while I was still a teenager. 

When my husband was unfaithful, I called out to the God who knows what it is like to love a people who are unfaithful over and over again.

When I miscarried my precious babies, He was the one who I cried more tears to than I thought I had.

Like David, in the Psalms, my prayers are often a journey to the place of heartache, disappointment, confusion and even anger.

Have you ever prayed like this?  Have you learned to bear your heartache and questions to the Lord?

I was excited to find a book that talks about how to bring an ending to the pretending with God.   I think this is such a great resource I want you to join me in a Book Chat.

Do you ever struggle with how to get real with God?  Do you find yourself staying busy just so you don’t have to think about past heartaches and disappointments?

No More Faking Fine  by Esther Fleece is a call to end the pretending.  It is Esther’s journey to healing through the prayer of lament.  Lament is the gut-level, honest prayer that God never ignores, never silences, and never wastes. 

As I look at my prayer life I realize the times that I have been able to embrace God’s will even when I didn’t understand the what or the why of something or it was not at all what I wanted I was praying laments. 

I would love for you to join me in learning more about the prayer of lament.

A Book Chat is just the opportunity to read through a book together.  Discussing what the Lord is doing in your life with the new realizations you are experiencing through the book through an online community.

Click here to learn more:

2 Revealing Truths about Jesus and Transitions

     Since transition is never far from my mind I was recently talking with Jesus about transitions and He helped me to think about what a major transition His birth here on earth must have been.

Think about it, Jesus was there in the beginning and created the world, then He left heaven to life as one of us and with us.

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38.

Imagine the enormity of that transition! 

 

Here are 2 truths, I realized about how Jesus handled this transition.

He remained Confident in His identity~ When Jesus became a man though His outward appearance probably changed completely He did not lose himself.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  And Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! Matt 16:15-17

This scripture follows Jesus asking His disciples who do people say that I am?  They reported what people said about him and who He was.  Most did not see or understand who He was while He walked on this earth but He always knew and lived the truth of who He was.  God.  Man.  Lover of His creation.  Truth.  Life.  Sacrificial Lamb.

For me just going from married to divorcee, from business owner to farm wife was challenging.  Identity in the world today is often tied to our job or family so when there are big transitions in either of these areas it can really knock you off your feet.

Each time I have found myself needing to dig into my identity with the Lord to find my new normal.  I am, still Loved.  Adopted.  Cherished.  Forgiven.  Gifted.  Called.

Obedient even unto death~  Jesus submitted to the will of the Father.  Not only did He have to take on the limitations of man but He had to die a terrible death as a man.  Yes, He knew the Big picture and willingly died on the cross for your and my sins but it was not easy.

The Bible is clear is was a very difficult time leading up to the crucifixion.
Matthew 26:39  “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.

Each transition in my life has taken me to a place of bowing my will to His in obedience.  When we closed Sylvan in 2011 it was the result of a long struggle.  I knew I would not always work and have a home 90 miles from the farm but I loved what I did.  Working with families to help their kids be more successful in school felt like it was what I was created to do.

When I stopped struggling, willing submitted to God, He made it clear, that season of my life was to come to an end.  The families seeking the service hit an all-time low, the corporation continued to move away from what I felt was best for my students, it was time.  In obedience, the business was closed and my home was sold in 6 short weeks.  Not as I will, but as You will Father.

I’m so thankful that I was able to see Jesus in light of how He lived out a difficult transition.  Though I can see that I have demonstrated these same traits in my life transitions I am also challenged to get there quicker in future transitions.

Focusing on my identity and realizing that NOTHING in this world can change who I am or whose I am, is the bedrock of weather the changes of transitions.

Then because I know whose I am I can also embrace His will open hearted and open minded.

I know the opportunity to live these two lessons out again will come, I just pray I will be more ready, willing and able to bring honor and glory to the Lord in the midst of it.


 Have you found that knowing your identity in Christ and obeying Him has helped you embrace transitions in your life?

3 Roadblocks to a Meaningful Prayer Life

How content are you with your prayer life?  Do you have the relationship with God that your heart desires?

My guess would be that most of us feel that our prayer life could be better.  We all know we need to pray and it seems that there are many common reasons why we don’t pray as often as we would like.

Here are 3 Common Road Blocks to A Meaningful Prayer Life and ideas of how to overcome them.

1. Time~  Everyone will tell you they just don’t have the time to pray as much as they think they should. 

Time management is a challenge in all areas of our lives.  How do we make more time to pray?

I have found that I find more time to pray in one of the two ways: I schedule it or I attach it to things I am already doing.

In order to know that I will accomplish something I have found I have to schedule it.  When I know that I need to hear from the Lord I have to block out specific time to spend with Him.  Intentional time, talking and listening with the Lord just like in any other relationship time is a must!

Another way I make time to pray is to add it to things I already do daily.  I have found that adding prayer time to my morning routine has been helpful.

Putting my prayer list in the bathroom has helped me to remember to pray while I am putting on my make-up each morning.  I can do my hair and put on make-up by route memory so I have brain power available to talk to my Lord about those I love.

2. Distractions~  Along with the busy pace of live our minds are often on overdrive.  Focusing on the Lord and talking with Him can be challenging even when we find the time.

Overcoming distraction can be very difficult.  I have found that playing quiet instrumental music helps me.

I love praise music and there can be times that just praising Him with music is refreshing and nourishing to my soul but it doesn’t usually bring about focused prayer time. I stick with just instrumental during my intentional prayer time to ward off this temptation.

I have also found that writing down my prayers and even God’s responses to me brings me the most focused time of prayer with Him.  I often write a prayer almost like a letter to God.  I have recently begun incorporating the things which I hear God say back to me in my journal as well.

These prayers are a treasure which have offered much encouragement even years later.

3. Struggling With the Answers You Have Received~  All of us have had prayers that were not answered the way we wanted them to be.  The more we experience this the more we tend to shy away from praying.

I don’t know how many times I have had to step back from a situation, settle down and really look at it from a different perspective.  When I do this I can usually always find God’s hand all over the situation.

I wrote the blog post Silver Linings about difficult times in my life and how I have been able to allow the Lord to show me His hand in each of those times.  You can read that post here if you would like to hear about some of these times.

Some people become consumed with the why in many of life’s challenges but we don’t always get to the see the whys in how things turn out. this side of heaven.
Prayer cannot only be about requesting what we want to happen or even be about the why of what is happening.

I have learned to focus my prayers on the attitude to my heart, focusing on the truth of who I know Christ to be and praising Him for all He has already done. I still come to Him expecting Him to act/answer but not so much with a specific answer in mind.

Disappointment is sure to follow when you already have it all figured out and you are just praying to let God know how to take care of things.

Priscilla Shirer sums it up well in her book Fervent. “ And if I were your enemy, that’s exactly what I’d want.  I’d want to make you devalue the most potent weapons in your arsenal.  I’d strategies against you, using carefully calculated methods to disorient and defeat you.

Prayer in an invaluable tool in our toolbox of spiritual growth.  I hope that when you experience one of these 3 roadblocks you will feel more equipped to be able to overcome it.

I would love to hear what kind of roadblocks you have experienced and how you have overcome them.  Please share below.

Fervent

You can purchase Fervent on Amazon. *

Reveiws by Rayna: Fervent

Fervent: A Women's Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic PrayerFervent is a powerful book written from the heart and calling of Pricsilla Shirer.  This book is actually a how to handbook that also challenges you to put serious, specific and strategic prayer into your life.

Priscilla clearly lays out the facts about our enemy and how he wants to keep our prayers whimpy and not filled with the God given power.  Priscilla puts it this way, “Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and to all his ploys against you.”

“We pray because our own solutions don’t work and because prayer deploys, activates, and fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy. We pray because we’re serious about taking back the ground he has sought to take from us.” states Priscilla.  She goes on to adderss the 10 areas in a women’s life which are a struggle and we need to become more powerful in our prayer.  The areas are:  renewing their passion, refocusing theiridentity, negotiating family strife, dealing with relentless regrets, navigating impossible schedules, succeeding against temptation, weathering their worstfears, uprooting bitterness, and more.

Each chapter lays a foundation of understanding the enemy who wants to keep us down in these areas and how he often goes about it.  Priscilla then gives us a clearer understanding of what God has to say through his word on the topics.  Finally she challenges us to write our own prayer, serious, specific and strategic prayers that will change our lives.  When reading this book and taking the message to heart will change your life.  Not just your prayer but your life because we will bind satan and his plans for our life and give us the power Jesus came to earth for.

I hope that you find this book just the tool box that you need to move your prayer life to the next level.  You can purchase Fervent* by clicking here.

I would love to hear how Fervent impacts your prayer life below.

 

Book FerventClick Here to order Fervent from Amazon

 

 

*Afflicate Link

 

You may know that Priscilla was one of the stars in the block buster movie War Room.

You might enjoy my blog post about the things I learned from the movie.  Read More

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