Jesus is the way, the truth and the life

Dear sweet mom,

On this day, the day we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection, I find myself feeling incredibly grateful for so much in my life. I look back over this past year, marked with all it’s challenges and victories…and I’m thankful. I look ahead with Hope as my anchor and the Holy Spirit as my guide, and I know without a doubt that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Nothing and no one compares.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. || DevotionalMotherhood.com

You work so hard to be the best mom you can be to your children and I am thankful because what you do, the love you give and knowledge you impart into the lives of your children, matters. You matter to Jesus. You matter to your family. And you matter to me. You are making a difference friend. You are changing the world right where you are, in your home, with your family, in your community…you are a world-changer. Keep on following the One whose way is best. The path may be narrow, but the plans He has for you…they are not small.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6

Blessings to you,

Megan

 

5 Faith-filled Podcasts for Moms

Let’s be real. Finding and making time to be in God’s Word isn’t always easy. When you’ve got little ones with unpredictable sleep schedules and mornings that don’t start the way you’d hoped…quiet time, well sometimes, it isn’t very quiet. So, being mom, you take what you can get and often we just go about our busy days, unfilled and spiritually unprepared.

I’ve had many days like that. And it’s NO GOOD.

Fighting with all your might to BE FILLED is always worth the fight because sooner or later, those unfilled places in our hearts and minds WILL be filled with other things. And what we truly want deep down inside, what we really NEED to fill those holes…it’s not found in food or mindless TV, fuller schedules or even in our children or spouses. No, the well of our soul can only be filled with the living water of Jesus.

I happen to be one of those people whose well runs dry rather quickly if I don’t seek Jesus for my filling each day and OFTEN during the day. So, I began looking for additional ways to do just that.

5 faith-filled podcasts for moms || DevotionalMotherhood.com

And that is when I discovered Podcasts! I love them because I can listen to them on my iPhone while I’m doing dishes, folding laundry, exercising with my boys or driving in the car. Christian Podcasts give me the extra doses of Truth I need in the midst of busy motherhood days.

5 Faith-filled Podcasts for Moms

Inspired to Action – Inspiration for Motherhood: It’s like a pep talk for moms. Kat Lee’s goal with each episode of the Inspired To Action Podcast is to…that’s right…inspire YOU to action. In her own words, “I’m bringing you motivating interviews, practical tips and lots of fun yet-insanely-useful conversation with people who believe in YOU and the amazing role you have as a mother. You’re a mom. You’re totally a big deal.”

Learning to Speak Life: Co-hosts (and husband and wife team) Michael and Carlie Kercheval focus on the biblical truths surrounding the importance of speaking life-giving words within our families and to each other no matter the circumstance. I have been so blessed by the Kerchevals as they speak Truth about how God has blessed us with His powerful, life-giving word to speak life in situations where there seems to be no hope.

God Centered Mom: Heather MacFadyen, mother of four boys, interviews guests discussing the topic of staying God-centered…both replacing “me” with “He” and remembering we are centered in Him. Heather’s podcast is a breath of fresh air and her guests are moms like you and me, wanting to learn how to be a God Centered Mom in the midst of whatever motherhood season we are in.

Living Inspired: Hosted by Tricia Goyer; wife, mom, speaker, family life expert, and author of twenty-four books. During the one hour live program, Tricia digs deep into topics that matter most to women, while featuring everyday stories of transparency and hope. Her Truth-filled messages and real-life stories both by her and her guests always leave me feeling inspired and filled.

Joyce Meyer Ministries: Through the teachings and calling God has given to Joyce Meyer Ministries, Joyce is dedicated to sharing God’s love and the life-changing message of the Bible through her 15 minute Radio Podcast and daily TV audio Podcast. Joyce’s messages are filled with the kind of God honoring Truth that can really help women grow in their faith.

Do you have a favorite Christian Podcast that blesses you in your calling as a mom? We’d love to hear about it in the comments. Or if you’ve blogged about a particular Podcast message you’ve heard online, feel free to link up with us today in our Living in the Word Link Up.

 

Living in the Word Link Up

Are you doing a particular bible study right now, reading a book that is growing your faith or spending time in God’s Word and you just can’t wait to share what God is doing in your heart? We’d love for you to join us and share the amazing Truths God is showing you by linking up your blog posts (or sharing your stories in the comments below, if you’re not a blogger). When we share our faith with one another, we allow God to shine through us blessing and encouraging one another to keep pressing on and leaning in to Jesus. We hope you’ll join us here each Sunday!

Grab a Graphic!

Living in the Word, Link-Up || Dev

We can’t wait to see how God will lead you to share your heart with other sisters in Christ.


How to Study God’s W.O.R.D. {Living in the Word, link-up}

What does your time with God look like? Not your going to and fro, spinning from one thing to the next, hands in the dish water, reading with your kids, throwing in a load of laundry, making meals for your family…kind of time. No, I’m talking about your quiet time. I know. Finding time isn’t always easy, but we must MAKE intentional time to spend with God.

I’ve found over the years that if I’m ever going to make the most of my quiet time, I need to have a game plan. I’m not talking about putting God in a box here, only that I want to be wise with the precious quiet time I do have with Him. And of all the methods and ways I’ve tried to study Scripture, the one thing that remains for me is this. I love God’s Word…literally LOVE it. But I didn’t know how much I loved it, until I began studying it verse by verse. And this is when God’s Word, His Love letter to the world, came alive in my heart and ignited a passion and drive in me to live a more devotional life…with the help of Jesus, of course.

How to Study God's W.O.R.D. {Living in the Word, link-up} || www.DevotionalMotherhood.com

How I study God’s Word

Often I will have a topic in mind that I’m studying or a book/bible study that I’m reading that points me to various Scriptures. And after going back over my notes one day, I realized that there was a pattern to the way I broke the verses down, soaked them in and prayed through them.

And an acronym was born: W.O.R.D.

W. Write the Word: Anytime I’m reading Scripture and I’m wanting to really study it, I write it down in my journal. There’s s something about seeing God’s Word in your own handwriting that’s pretty powerful. It’s a reminder that God’s Word was written for each one of us. So, write those verses down.

O. Observe the Word: This is where I dissect and write down everything I notice about each verse. I may even write it down in bullet point fashion while prayerfully asking God to reveal His Truth in each verse. I love going as deep as I can with each verse, so I will usually compare a few different Bible versions (on my iPhone using YouVersion) to gain deeper meaning. I read all the study notes and cross references in my favorite Life Application Study Bible.

R. Respond to God’s Word: Once I’ve gained a fuller knowledge of the Truth by studying it from many angles, then I know it’s time for me to respond. I ask God to show me HOW I can apply what I’ve learned to my own life. Are there any changes I need to make, habits I need to break, idols that I’ve set up that need torn down? Is there a stronghold that needs to be surrendered, a person I need to forgive or ask forgiveness of? How does God want me to respond? This is usually where my written prayer begins as I journal through these questions to God and then respond to His prompting and nudging in my heart.

D. Determine to live in God’s Word: Continuing on with my written prayer, I then put feet to my faith and turn it into an actionable faith. So, I’m turning my response to God’s Word into a step of faith by deciding to do the thing He’s calling me to do based on the Scriptures I’ve just read. It may be something as small as picking up the phone to call and bless someone that day (which, by the way, isn’t really a small thing to the one being blessed) or as big as agreeing with God to cut that thing out that is hindering your faith and causing you to stumble. We need to decide to take action, friends. Pray through it and allow God to pour into you as you pour out to Him. Determine to live FREE in God’s Word every single day.

So there you have it… how to study God’s Word. This has revolutionized my study time with God and helps to keep my mind and heart focused on His Truths while spending time with Jesus. Next week, I’ll show you an example of how I put all of this into practice.

How do you study God’s Word? I’d love to hear what works best for you.

Living in the Word Link Up

We’d love for you to join us and share the amazing Truths God is showing you by linking up your blog posts (or sharing your stories in the comments below, if you’re not a blogger). When we share our faith with one another, we allow God to shine through us blessing and encouraging one another to keep pressing on and leaning in to Jesus. We hope you’ll join us here each Sunday!

Grab a Graphic!

Living in the Word, Link-Up || Dev

We can’t wait to see how God will lead you to share your heart with other sisters in Christ.


When your day begins with a fork in the road {& Living in the Word, link-up}

My friends, I am so excited to join my dear friend, Carlie Kercheval over at Managing Your Blessings by co-hosting their weekly Living in the Word, Sunday link-up.

If you are new to this, here’s how it works…Women join together each week and simply share what God is teaching their hearts. So, bloggers, we’d love for you to link-up with us by sharing what God is doing in your life, a Word of Truth He’s placed on your heart or an honest story of redemption and Love. These stories…your hearts, and words…they matter. And if you’re not a blogger, no worries…you can share what’s on your heart right here in the comments. Be sure to join us here each Sunday!

Living in the Word, Link-up || DevotionalMotherhood.com

My Story of a Changed Heart This Week…

You know those days, mamas, when you wake up, your feet hit the floor and you’re faced with the dreaded fork in the road? It’s literally staring you right in the face. Some days, you open your eyes and your resolve is so strong, that nothing is going to ruin this day. No matter what circumstance is thrown your way, it’s going to be a good day…because of Jesus.

Back to the fork…

But on this day, for some reason, there’s a choice that feels a bit more ominous and overwhelming…clouded. It’s not so clear in your mind whether this will be a good day or not. And your resolve is weaker on this particular day. So, you don’t choose. You wait to see what will happen once you hit the ground running.

That’s what I did one day this last week. And if I’m honest…it happens more than I’d like to admit.

Within 2 minutes of waking up, my youngest ones were awake, and full of needs. I’ll add that they were grouchy and complaining already and it was only 6:02am. My other two sons were up shortly after, and from there…I chose to continue sinking into a pit. My bible study didn’t happen on this day, which is why I set my alarm to get up BEFORE the kids in the first place. It was raining hard, again. And there we were, faced with 15ish hours left in our day and already, I was exhausted.

The entire day was filled with boys bickering, fighting, offending one another, grumbling and me….doing the very same thing. I knew it was wrong. I knew I needed to just turn toward Jesus and there He’d be to rescue me. But I just couldn’t find my way that day. I couldn’t see past what was right in front of my face. My Joy felt stolen.

That night, I prayed for God’s new mercies would find me in the morning. I was desperate for a Mercy-Day. I didn’t deserve one, but I prayed for one anyway.

Me and the boys!!

Early the next day…

Same story. I woke up, tired. Blurry-eyed, I just wanted to sleep in. I’d been up (again) with a sick one til 2:30am. He had obviously caught the cold my oldest son already had. So here it was, 6am and that proverbial fork hit me again. I was tempted to sink in to defeat, tempted to hang my head low while laundry piles beckoned, dishes remained undone from the night before, house still an utter disaster and sick kids awaited.

What’s a tired mama to do?

On this morning, that fork didn’t feel so dreadful. Something was different. We could have another day like the one before, or I could sink into Jesus instead of into defeat. What was different? My quiet time with the Lord was, once again, not going to be “quiet”. It was going to need to be one of those DEVOTIONAL MOTHERHOOD kind of days ..where quiet time happens in constant fellowship between His Spirit and mine throughout the day, instead of only when it’s “quiet”. It was still raining, the shower I’d hoped for wasn’t going to happen and my house was not going to get spring cleaned like I’d hoped. But, I opened my hands to the One who loves me like crazy and decided right there and then that I was going to receive and accept whatever He had for me that day. In fact, I was even going to be thankful.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” -Luke 22:42

I felt God’s grace fall fresh on my soul. His mercies covered our entire day, and my heart was full to overflowing with thankfulness. Nothing in my world had changed, but something in my heart had. Living proof, that our circumstances and feelings do NOT have to dictate our contentment.

My boys and I, we danced up a storm in our laundry-pile laden living room that day. We read books instead of engaging in the “Brother’s Fight Club” like the previous day and I didn’t fret about the dishes or the dinner plan for later that night. I let go of my agenda, looked around at those four sweet faces who were smiling at me because they could see my heart written all over my tired face…and I thanked God for this loud and crazy HOPE-filled mess where He comes in and rescues us the mud and mire and even…from our SELVES. 

Living in the Word Link Up

We’d love for you to join us and share the amazing Truths God is showing you by linking up your blog posts (or sharing your stories in the comments below, if you’re not a blogger). When we share our faith with one another, we allow God to shine through us blessing and encouraging one another to keep pressing on and leaning in to Jesus. We hope you’ll join us here each Sunday!

Grab a Graphic!

Living in the Word, Link-Up || Dev

We can’t wait to see how God will lead you to share your heart with other sisters in Christ.

A Free eBook: Faith Building With Family Conversation Starters

Friends, I am so excited to share with you a brand new little eBook that is very near and dear to my heart. It’s a FREE resource I put together for all families who desire to create intentional family time together called, Faith Building With Family Conversation Starters.

Family Conversation Starters || DevotionalMotherhood.com

As our days are filled with activity and often TIME goes by so quickly, it’s exceedingly important to make time for FAMILY TIME. One of the ways my family does this is by making sure our time around the dinner table is filled with intentional life-giving conversation. Normally, during dinner, we begin by playing a game we call, High/Low. (I’m fairly certain this is not our own original idea.) Anyway, we go around the table and ask everyone, including ourselves,  “What was the highest point of your day? And what was the lowest?” This is a great way to get everyone to reflect on their days and talk openly about them. Often, I’m surprised by our sons’ answers, and always very grateful.

Then comes the part everyone REALLY looks forward to…

I pull out our Family Conversation Starters jar. It’s filled with over 220 slips of paper with questions on each one. We all take turns choosing our questions and what comes next is simply beautiful….Faith Building, in action. Some of the questions are silly and some are really thought provoking while others get straight to the heart of God and our faith. But no matter what each little white slip of paper asks, there’s always connection and laughter, and growing TOGETHER.

How You Can Get This eBook

To grab this book for yourself, all you need to do is subscribe to blog below. The link to your eBook will show up at the bottom of each post you receive in your inbox. And remember, this is totally FREE!

Remember to look for the link to your free eBook at the bottom of each post you receive from us via email. If you have ANY trouble at all downloading the ebook, just email me at meganspires AT gmail DOT com.

 

Thank you for making Jesus famous to my children

I watched him intently in my rear view mirror while driving home as carefully as I could. With each passing bump in the road, he winced. And after nearly an hour of praying exhausted Word-thirsty prayers and offering Jesus my thankful heart in weak one word utterances, we were nearly home.

I wanted to stop and grab dinner for my other three sons and amazing husband who had been left at home without us for eleven long days and nights. Nothing fancy, just a small gesture of thanks and a need to make this night a little easier after eating hospital food and drinking too many cups of coffee for too many sleep deprived days in a row.

Thank you for making Jesus famous to my children || DevotionalMotherhood.comI pulled up to the drive-through window to pay for our meal. As I handed my card to the woman just within reach, she smiled sweetly with tears in her eyes and said, “No need, it’s all taken care of. The woman ahead of you just paid for your meal.”

I had no words. Glancing up at the minivan ahead of me and seeing little hands through the tinted glass windows in the back, I knew.

This was a fellow mom, someone I’d never met, maybe with sons as well…just wanting to bless another mom.

My son in the back seat, a witness to this blessing, then asked me why someone paid for our whole meal. I told him it was because of God and His desire to bless us through another kind soul. I could see his young boy-mind thinking. I thanked God in that moment for so many things, but mostly, I was thankful my son was able to see God’s goodness shining in what has been the most challenging year of our lives.

Days later…I still couldn’t stop thinking about this sweet mom who impacted our lives so much. I desperately wanted to thank her for making Jesus famous to my children. Even though our other three sons weren’t there, they were most certainly blessed as well. Join me over at The MOB Society to read the thank you letter I wrote but would never get the chance to personally give to this mom.

If my life had a soundtrack, THIS would be it…

If my life had a soundtrack, THIS would be it... || DevotionalMotherhood.comYou know those times in your life when you’ve really identified with a particular song or artist? I remember many songs that have resonated deep within my heart during certain seasons of my life. I had boxes and boxes of cassette tapes, mostly mixed ones I had created myself. In later years, I collected all of my favorite CDs and would listen to particular songs depending on the mood I was in or the circumstance I faced. But one thing I remember…there was never a song I would have claimed as “MY LIFE SONG”.

But now that I’m one year shy of 40 and my faith walk has taken me on the wildest ride of my life, I know one thing more than anything else…

I NEED JESUS. Everyday. Every hour. In every moment of every circumstance, I need my Heavenly Father.

So, I heard a song last week that took my breath away and truly spoke to the very essence of who I am. It’s one I’d never heard before, but the words…they met me where I am now and where I’ve always been…in that constant place of needing Jesus. If my life had a soundtrack, THIS would be it…just this one song, over and over again. And not for a season or because it suits me for this hour, but because it speaks to the condition of my heart and soul every single day.

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

 

“Lord, I Need You”

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need YouWhere sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

If your life had a soundtrack, what song (or songs) would it be?

God pursues the hearts of our children

I wish I could remember the exact day and time I gave my life to Jesus, but my memory won’t let me. I know I was young, somewhere around 8 years old. This little girl grew up in a large church, attended Sunday School and VBS. And after every Sunday Service, I’d beg to go into the church’s bookstore so I could pore over the rows of books on every subject for my age.

We need to remember that God will never leave, nor forsake our sons, so we can rest assured that He is actively pursuing their hearts. || DevotionalMotherhood.com

I was hungry to know more about this God who loved me so much. I wanted to know more about my part in His BIG story. Even at such a young age, I felt desperate, restless, to understand how God and I fit together.

On the timeline of my life, this is when my lifelong pursuit for God and my quest for His Truth and my identity, in Him, began. But it wasn’t an easy journey. Those years between His rescuing of my soul and the several rebellious years I spent searching for something “other” than what was right in front of my face, they were wrestling years.

I’m sharing my heart over at The MOB Society about how my own Salvation led to my deepest desire ever….the Salvation and rescuing of my four sons! I hope you’ll join me for the rest of this story…

REJOICE anyway, even when you’re tired

Dear sweet weary mom,

It’s simply music to my ears and comfort to my often weary soul when I can connect with another mom who knows the characteristics of how deeply exhausting being a mom of boys can be. We love them to Heaven and back, wouldn’t trade them for anything…but there are days when we wonder how on earth we’ll make it through the day (or next minute).

Their boy-energy seems to literally re-create itself every 30 seconds, all day long. So in turn, keeping up with their physical demands often make it hard to even begin to address their spiritual and emotional needs.

Can you relate to this, as well?

REJOICE anyway, even when you're tired || DevotionalMotherhood.com

I get it. I really do. I’m a mom of four young sons who bring my mama heart such incredible joy each day. And yet, they also drive me down to my knees in prayer regularly. Often, my knee-worn prayers are the desperate, pleading-with-God, sort of prayers, uttered in tired tones with worn out words.

When the day is long and my patience is short, I feel defeat creeping in.

When I’ve warmed the same cup of coffee seven times and then can’t find where I’ve set it down, that old familiar feeling of helplessness rises.

Join me today over at The MOB Society to read the rest of this post, because I’m sharing some great news about how we can keep up with our sons (and daughters) and thrive in the day to day of crazy busy motherhood.

The Art of Selfless Communication With Your Spouse

When God created Adam and made a home for him in the Garden of Eden, who was his friend? Who did he talk to and have fellowship with? It was God, himself. In those long conversations together, I’m sure that Adam was learning art of loving communication. That first picture of a man completely and utterly dependent on his Creator is one I think of often. It’s a beautiful illustration of faith and trust.

When God created Eve, she was given an earthly best friend immediately. She had her God, but she was given a beautiful gift in the man who was also her husband. Adam and Eve needed and depended on God desperately, but I often wonder what their marital communication must have been like. Just two people alone, without our present day distractions, communicating.

My husband, Jeffrey, and I have been married for seventeen years. In the beginning of our marriage, it felt as if we were the only two people in the world. Just us and our God. We loved to sit for hours just talking, soaking up one another and discovering the depths of eachother’s souls. I was fascinated by each new thing I learned about my man. As time went by, as with most married couples, life happens, outside distractions set it and the world suddenly feels like it’s against you. And then that peaceful place that used to be all yours feels a bit crowded and it gets a little harder to communicate the way you used to. This is why God has so much to say about the way we love our spouses.  

He knows how hard this life can be. He knows how many distractions we face every single day. And still, He calls us to love Him and love each other above all else…even though it can be hard.
So in a world where we are surrounded by so many others telling us to make sure we stand up for our own rights and seek happiness above all else, the rules of engagement for marital communication seem to be blurred. 

If we are self-seeking while trying to effectively get to the heart of any matter with our spouses, how on earth will we ever get anywhere? All this self-centered communicating will only serve to make the enemy happy and cause division in our marriages. Satan would love nothing else than to destroy a marriage by making us think that God doesn’t know what He’s talking about. Sound familiar? That’s exactly what Satan did to Eve in the very beginning. Satan is still up to the same old tricks, which is why it is so vitally important that we believe God instead for the gift He gave to us in the first place. LOVE.

God’s message of love is spelled out within the pages of His word and is where we will find all the answers we need for learning how to communicate with grace and humility.

Here are five things He continues to show us:

1. If possible, each day we need to find time to check in with our spouses. Often, we spend so much time apart during our days. And with children, once we’re home together at night, the focus is on them. And often, by the end of the day, sadly, my husband gets my “leftovers”. I know this about myself and am seeking God to work in my heart about my attitude of weariness at the end of the day. God instructs us to “…not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  (Hebrews 10:25) We can apply this in many ways throughout our day. Connecting with one another through quick phone conversations, texts and emails when we’re not together can really go a long way toward making the other feel encouraged. We also make it a habit to set time aside each evening to re-connect and once a week we have an at-home date night after the kids are in bed.

2. If both husband and wife are having a tough day, it’s really easy to begin battling for first prize in the “I feel miserable inside so I deserve the moon” contest. I know this routine. I used to argue with my husband and compare my day to his, which always resulted in division and was rooted in pride. Instead, we need to approach one another with humility and just be open about how we feel instead of entering that self preservation mode. Marriage is a union that we need to protect.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3

3. Love does not keep a list of wrongs. If we are to grow in our faith and ultimately grow in our marriages, we need to forgive one another of past wrongs and move forward. Keeping these mental lists will only hold our spouses hostage over things they cannot change and prevent the healing and wholeness that God so desires for our relationships.

4. Nothing will kill healthy communication between a husband and wife more than criticism. It will only cause the one being criticized to build up walls and shut down. Pointing out our spouse’s faults while forgetting our own is a sure way to cause division. (Matthew 7:1-5)

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. -Colossians 3:13

5. One of the best ways to breathe life into your marriage is to learn how your spouse feels loved the most. What is their love language? Reading Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages was really eye opening for me and revealed so many new ways for me to connect with my own husband and ultimately strengthen our marriage.

Learning how to have Godly communication does take time. It’s something my husband and I have both had to work on diligently through times of ease and seasons of difficulty. For us, we’ve had to become students of the Word and work intentionally at learning how to serve one another in and through our daily communication. And honestly, even though it’s work, there is so much more joy when we choose to live on the same page with one another instead of on opposite sides of the fence.