A Glimpse into My Prayer Journal Series: Conclusion

Today is the final day of the series A Glimpse into my Prayer Journal. You can find the previous posts of the series here. Thank you so much for joining me this week! I hope you have been blessed, encouraged, and inspired! Today, I leave you with a Conclusion & a Challenge.

Here’s a quiet time throw back of mine for ya! Some of my favorite things… my journaling Bible, a journal, a plan or study, & coffee of course!

So these are the words from an email that hit my email inbox this week from Arabah Joy. I’m just going to share them with you because it’s a fabulous conclusion to this series, and then I’m going to share with you some wonderful resources you can use to make this work for you too, or find what does work for you. It’s totally okay if you don’t do exactly what I do. Put your own spin on it, or do something completely different. Whatever lights you up and excites you about praying is good with me!

So here’s what Arabah Joy writes…she sure challenged me a little bit and inspired me all at the same time. There is always room for growth.

Do you love prayer or just the idea of prayer?

I ask this because so many of us in the church today want a powerful prayer life…we’ve watched movies like War Room and read biographies like George Mueller and desire that kind of prayer life… but the fact is, few of us ever actually have one. Do you know what the only difference between the wanters and the havers is? 

ACTION.

Yup. That’s it. James tells us that Elijah was a man just like us- imperfect. He wasn’t a super Christian but simply did something each one of us can do: he prayed. He asked God for something, and God listened. We can either live our days being a prayer wanter or being a prayer doer and the only difference is taking action. 

James also wrote, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22) We like to think wanting and wishing for a great prayer life is as good as doing it, listening and taking in the Word are as good as acting on it, and knowing truth is as good as obeying it, but that’s where we’re wrong. James actually called this self-deception. 

“When it’s all said and done, God isn’t going to say, ‘Well said. Well thought. Well planned.’ There’s ONE measuring stick, “Well DONE, good and faithful servant.”
-Mark Batterson, Chase the Lion

Okay, so let’s decide right now to be prayer DOERS. Are you with me? 

Now that you’ve decided to be a Prayer DOER, the first step is for you to have a plan. A goal without a plan is really just a wish. Figure out what works for you.

I’ll share this because I think it can kind of relate… when I started my journey to fitness & health, I had a whole list of excuses. A whole list, yall! (Not necessarily a written list, but one in my head). My husband is a personal trainer and CrossFit coach, as you know, so he would encourage me and give me ideas of where to start, but I had an excuse for every single thing and a reason not to try. I’m so glad he didn’t give up on me but that he just waited until I was really ready. And one by one, I began to cross those things off that mental list. One by one, the bricks in that wall I had built up began to fall. Yes, there are still things that come up, and some days it’s hard to make it work, but for the most part – I’ve realized that it’s something important to me, and I need to take care of myself.

The same can be with prayer & quiet time with God. I was this way too. I had all the excuses in the world for why it wouldn’t work. So I didn’t even try. And then I felt the conviction and really desperately wanted more from God. He was always there. He just patiently waited for me to show up too. He didn’t give up on me either. I needed to seek Him first with my whole being. So that’s what I began to do. I began to cross the things off that list, one by one. It’s imporant to me now. It’s one of my non-negotiables in life.

Make a list of your struggles and any excuses you might have for not spending time in the Word and in Prayer, and then find a solution for them one at a time. Think of it like a barrier wall, in which you are destroying and taking it apart brick by brick. Jump over all the hurdles that stand in the way of you meeting with your God. Make a plan for success!

I want my time with the Lord to be efficient, effective, and transformative. So, creating a Daily Bible Reading and Prayer Routine has helped me so much in this area! -Leigh Ann Dutton

Tips for Creating a Daily Bible Reading & Prayer Routine
How to Make a Prayer Notebook
 (Binder-Style Notebook with Dividers)
How I Set Up My New Prayer Journal (Bullet-journal Style)

I have been blessed this week by everyone who has shared their “Prayer Life” story. I love that these are special people in my life that I have a relationship with. It is so important to surround yourself with good, Christian friends & influences! Today, we get to hear from another one of my best friends, Tiffany Stone. Tiffany is one of the strongest people I know. She prays about a situation, and she never gives up. She is fiesty, and she will tell you like it is, but she’s also that kind of person that everyone loves and the epitome of the quote “She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.” 😉 

What does your prayer time look like?
My prayer time is anytime, any place, where I am at the moment and when I feel like prayer is needed. I do a lot of praying in my car while I’m driving. It‘s really the only time I am alone.

How do you pray, specifically?
If I have things, situations, or people that I am praying specifically for usually I will find a bible verse to claim over that situation, person, or thing, Many times while I am praying I notice that God my drop someone on my mind. When this happens I will pray over that person usually out loud if I am alone, then I will text them and ask them if I need to be specifically praying for something! There are currently several situations that I am claiming verse over in my life. I also feel like if I am praying of those situations specifically they seem to not affect my mood as much as they normally would.

Is your prayer time quiet, prayer in your heart or loud and declaring things to and from God?
When I am not alone, which is a lot with an almost 3 year old at home, I will pray in my heart or a faint whisper. I know He hears these prayers. When I get the chance to be loud and declare I love to do that! I just feel like when I can say it out loud that the devil hears it and that I am warring against the things that he is putting into to place. I just feel more effective when I can pray out loud.

Do you have music that you worship as you pray, or is there silence?
It really depends on where I am and what is going on around me. I really like to have music playing in the background. I like the music, because if I get to a point where I am not sure what to pray I can worship and usually they will bring me back into the pray. 

Where do you pray?
I pray any and everywhere. I pray in my classroom, on my job, in my car, in Walmart, at my house. If I go to a place usually I will at some point pray while I am there. I love when I am at a place that I am not necessarily thinking about praying and God drops the person who walked beside me in my spirit. I feel like He is using me when things like this happen. 

Do you Journal?
If I have an open afternoon or night when I know I am alone I will take out my prayer journal and journal. I love to journal because I can go back and look at those prayers and see how things have changed over time or I can see the prayers that He has answered that maybe I have forgotten about. Sometimes I write them word for word other times I just list the items I am praying for. I love to see how my prayers change though, so I prefer to write the whole thing out. 

Do you post prayers and scriptures around you to pray?
I will post scriptures, but not prayers. I feel like those are between me and God and I don’t really want others in my house seeing them.

What resources do you use?
I will use my bible for scriptures and google to find specific scriptures. I will sometimes use pinterest to find a quick list of all the verses that may to pertain to a certain topic.

Do you have a list of scriptures you pray for certain people or things?
Yes! It’s really according to what is going on and how long I have been praying for that person or situation. I usually will pray over it and find the scriptures. I don’t always get to read over the scriptures as I am praying for that person or things but many times I have memorized small bits of the verses and will call them out.

What are some ways your prayer time has changed over the years?
At this point, I tend to pray more specifically for things and love to declare those things out loud. I also seem to declare His word during prayers also. I haven’t always. I used to just be general when I prayed and I also would never have spoken the prayer out loud.

What are some things you’ve learned about prayer?
IT WORKS! And If you pray about it more than you talk about it, I tend to not forget about it but I won’t let it bother me as much!

Is there anything else you would like to add that I did not ask?
I feel like right now although my “quiet” times are few and far between, am in a state of constant prayer throughout the day. There was a time in my life several years ago when I didn’t realize how important prayer was. I literally just prayed when bad things were happening or when people were sick or if they ask me to. I was so caught up in me that I didn’t even realize how much not praying was hurting my relationship with others and ultimately my relationship with Christ. It is amazing how much peace I receive when I pray about situations. I know God is in control of every situation and circumstance. He already knows the plans He has for me, I just need to believe that!

Weekly Review

I’m a planner girl, and I’m trying to make sure that my planning process is as effective as it can be. This is new for me, but I’m trying to do a little weekly review for myself and for you so that all of my planning efforts can come together and really work for me. It’s also kind of just a way for me to journal and share pictures of our week.

My Week…Before the Pen!
All dressed in her Sunday best!

 

 

This little one took two steps Sunday night!
Black & White Photo Challenge Pic; Follow me on Instagram to see the rest!

Monday was a really good day for us. It went exactly as any day should go – especially for a Monday. Typically, I love Mondays because they represent a fresh start and a new beginning. Our homeschool time went smoothly. There was no whining or complaining, and I praised him for this. My little introvert, Linkin, played so well with his toys while I worked with Lawson, and Layten napped. Then, I was able to get some household chores done, which helped me to feel more productive. I swept under the couches and mopped the floors – this has been bugging me lately so I finally got the chance to get it done. I’m doing much better at letting myself relax and enjoy my children and being at home with them. Sometimes this means pressing pause on the chores and the things I feel like I should be doing. What I should be doing is listening to my boys as they talk to each other and problem solve, memorize the little faces they make as they are thinking hard about something… soon enough, those faces are going to start aging little by little, and they won’t look like five and three year olds anymore. They’ll look like ten and eight year olds, then fifteen and thirteen year olds. The chores will get done at some point.

As I was sitting in the rocker on the front porch watching and listening to my three children play, Lawson comes over and says that he thinks he saw a snake. He holds out his hands to show me how big, and by the size he is showing me, I ask if he’s sure it wasn’t a lizard. We’ve seen two snakes in our yard over the Summer, so I guess it’s kind of still fresh on their minds to watch out for them. I got up from my chair and went to see, and sure enough it really was. It was a tiny little snake slithering out from the straw in the flower beds (a little ways over from the straw my boys were playing in with their wagon and shovels). I would just like to note that I was calm, cool, and collected. I did tell my boys that it’s probably not the best idea to play in the flower beds, but I was proud of myself for being fearless this time. Snakes have always been my biggest fear. I was a little shaken after seeing the last one just a few feet from where I was standing loading kids into carseats. But I decided that I really should get over this fear. And I guess you really don’t know until you have to face it again. And I think I did pretty good this time! It also probably helped that I had time to mentally prepare this time – the whole distance that I walked over, I was prepared to see a snake, but the time I saw one right over from my feet, I was caught off guard.

Layten got this robe for her birthday. It’s SO SOFT! She pointed to it hanging on her door, so I put it on her today.

Tuesday was a pretty good day too. I’m loving these consecutive good days, and I’m claiming them in my life. Yes! Actually it started with Layten Bradleigh waking up super early with me, and she would not be put down. I just tried to nurse her so she’d let me read my Bible, and it worked out okay, until she heard me turn the page which distracted her and made her want to turn pages too. So I put it away and said I would come back to it when she went to sleep to protect those thin pages from being ripped out, which I did do – in case you were wondering. 😉

We dropped Linkin off at preschool, came back home to do homeschool, got ready and went to Wal-mart before it was time to pick up Linkin… I wanted to grab some fabric to make Layten some little bloomer shorts for Fall. I’ve never really been great at sewing. I try. When I have time. Which is rare or never. But the whole reason I wanted a sewing machine in the first place was so that I could make clothes for a little girl one day. (Proverbs 31, anyone?) And well, I have the little girl now. So it’s time I finally learn to sew.

Lawson was playing outside and found a horse shoe, from the game we had at one time. He said, “I know why there’s a horse shoe in the back yard! It’s because yall had horses in the shed when you used to be farmers!” We were talking the other day about how we tried to have a garden a couple times, and he thinks we were farmers, I suppose. He starts asking me if we can get a horse and tells me that we can keep it in the front yard because it’s bigger. I tell him that we have never had horses and we can’t have horses where we live, in town, in a neighborhood. I told him that in order for us to have horses one day, God would have to provide us with a different house that has more land for the horses to roam and horses. He immediately starts praying for this. I’ve noticed him taking pause several times this week to pray about various things. It makes my mama heart proud!

Layten got a sweel baby doll for her birthday. It has a magnetic paci, which she is trying out in this picture.
I timed myself making these bloomer shorts. It took me way longer than it should’ve, because the elastic gave me fits. I wanted to time how long it took so I could decrease the time next time and be able to make more when I have a change. My bestie shared a tip with me about the elastic so the next time should be easier. 😉
Her bow & her shoes totally match! She dresses better than me. #OOTD

On our way home from Wal-mart, I ran over a squirrel. I think he must’ve been trying to commit suicide because I really tried to miss him. I really did. And the worst part is that he didn’t die instantly. I saw his leg still kicking in my rear view mirror. That definitely put a little damper on my day. We went to pick up Linkin, came back home, opened his treat bags from school, and I was about to heat up lunch when I noticed Justin took the last of the meal-prepped chicken, and the chicken I planned to cook today wasn’t thawed yet, or marinated. But then I remembered that it’s $0.50 Sonic corn dogs day, so we loaded back up, and headed there. I asked the boys how many they thought they could eat. Lawson said “just one because I’m already eating all this candy corn” (True story – don’t judge). And Linkin said “a thousand”, so I ordered six to be safe. I think this might have been Layten’s first corn dog. I probably should’ve taken a picture to commemorate the occasion…. or not.  #MillenialMama

First Wednesday Service… Lawson wanted to look tough I guess. He’s silly right now.
She took three steps!

He’s a Transformer.

Thursday, our small group met up for a day at the park (Homeschool Mamas & their littles). The public park in town is just not what it used to be. As our kids played, and we sat on a bench watching them and talking, we noticed a man walking through. I saw him walk past us to the bathroom area and thought he was carrying a cane, and didn’t think much of it. Then, as I see him walking back across the park, I notice that it is not a cane, but a gun. It was smaller, so we think it was a BB gun, but I just don’t understand why he would be carrying a gun through a park, a place where children play. Lawson came to me after that and told me that he saw a man carrying a brown gun. We were not paranoid, but just trying to be aware of our surroundings. That’s just not something you see every day. A few minutes later another man walks across the park, but this time towards us. He actually is walking with a cane, but he is clearly drunk. He asks us for gas money because he ran out of gas at the stop sign (which, obviously we can’t see). None of us have our purses or money with us- just picnic lunches. After this happened, I told the ladies to pack up their kids and things and follow me to my house for a play-date instead. We just were no longer comfortable the public park, and I don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon, as unfortunate as that is.

Practicing Walking

On Friday, God answered a prayer of ours. He just always takes care of us! He has from the very beginning!

Today, I went to the 8am CrossFit class. I was told we were just going to stretch today and that I probably wouldn’t even sweat. I was excited about this. (I don’t actually like working out. Shh. Don’t tell my coach.) But after we did the stretching that was planned, people actually wanted to work out. So we did. It was good though, and I sweat a lot! I had a few errands I needed to run on the coast today so I went home, showered, and got ready quickly. I arranged for a grocery pick up for today too. It was my first time to try it, but I think I really like it! It might be worth the drive, yall! My only issue is that with all our carseats and our third row up, we have no room for kids AND groceries. Usually, I let Justin keep the kids, take his vehicle (that doesn’t have carseats), get the groceries, take them home, and go back to get the kids. It’s a process. Maybe I should start praying for an SUV-XL!

I sewed Layten another pair of bloomer shorts this evening, and it took me WAY less time with the safety pin trick. 😉 I even added a liner to this cotton fabric so they wouldn’t be so thin. I let her model them for me. This will be SO CUTE when her knee-high stocking socks arrive!

This Week in our Homeschool… 

This kid amazes me when he gives his best attitude and his best effort!
He’s goofy!
Lawson completed the Primer level of our Math Curriculum this week! We will be doing kitchen & pinterest math until we order his next level to start in January. I love the flexibility of homeschooling!

This Week’s Posts:
A Glimpse into my Prayer Journal: Establishing the Habit
A Glimpse into my Prayer Journal: Daily Prayers
A Glimpse into my Prayer Journal: Praise & Adoration; Rest
A Glimpse into my Prayer Journal: Personal Prayers
A Glimpse into my Prayer Journal: Praying for Others
What if We Skipped Christmas?

This Week’s Favorite Social Media Post:

Podcasts I Listened to This Week:
This is my favorite way to multitask. I listen to podcasts while I clean up the kitchen, prepare meals, and fold laundry. 
Elevation Church Podcast – What are the Chances?
Simplified Organization Audioblog with Mystie Winkler – Taking Kids to the Grocery Store
The Homeschool Sanity Show with Dr. Melanie Wilson – Charlotte Mason Homeschooling: A Sane Approach
The Homeschool Sanity Show with Dr. Melanie Wilson – How to Homeschool Where Strivings Cease
The Simply Convivial Audio Blog with Mystie Winkler – Homeschooling without a Dedicated Schoolroom
Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast – 3 Questions for Anticipatory Leaders
The Purposeful Home Podcast – Our Best Tips for Doing Motherhood Well
Chasing Excellence – The Importance of Being Strong
Chasing Excellence – Maximizing your Minutes

What I’m Reading this Week:
Commonplace Corner – My Favorite Quotes from the Weekly Readings
I’m reading Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne, but I didn’t not take any notes to share this week. I may have some to share next week. 😉

If you read all the way to the end, you get a gold star! This was a lengthy post, but we had a fabulous week. I hope you did too!