• 7 Bible Study Questions for Any Passage
    Bible Study

    7 Bible Study Questions for Any Passage

    These questions can help you get at the truth in any passage, process it, and learn from it.  I use these 7 study questions in my own personal Bible study off and on, or when I am preparing to lead a group study.  I highly recommend having a journal or notebook available to write down the answers you find in the text.  Writing the answers to these questions can take your study and journaling deeper.  I share more about what I do in my personal Bible reading routine over here. This is my own consolidation of a few different lists of questions to use in Bible study, that I have…

  • Busting 2 Myths about Daily Bible Reading | Growing a Content Heart
    Bible Study,  Build Your Routine

    Busting 2 Myths About Daily Bible Reading

    “How is your Bible reading going?” My question makes an assumption.  I assume what I believe to be true: that “your Bible reading” is actually a thing, a spiritual discipline every Christian should have, a natural part of the Christian life.   The person I ask usually catches this assumption, and the defenses go up.  Attitudes and answers vary, but the basic problem is simply not reading our Bibles.   God means for his daughters to be in His Word, seeking Him.  What is keeping us from it?  In talking with women of all ages, there are some myths we have embraced when it comes to a daily Bible ready habit.  Time…

  • 6 Keys to a Daily Bible Reading Habit - Growing a Content Heart
    Bible Study,  Build Your Routine

    6 Keys to a Daily Bible Reading Habit

    Over the last few years, I have become aware of an epidemic.  The epidemic of Not Reading Our Bibles. “I just don’t have time.” “I used to, but…” “Reading just isn’t my THING.” “Every time I try, you know, the kids…” We have mental obstacles that essentially say, “There’s no way I can do this.”  The simple lack of a plan will prevent you from opening your Bible on most days.   God’s Word is your soul’s daily nourishment, your daily intake of Truth.  Have you been starving yourself?  There are deeper heart issues behind why we avoid Bible reading, but let’s just get past the inertia and start a simple…

  • Why Daily Bible Reading is the Beginning of Contentment - Growing a Content Heart
    Bible Study,  Build Your Routine

    Why Daily Bible Reading is the Beginning of Contentment

    Fumbling, waking fingers reach around the edge of my worn, thick, hardcover Bible for the leather bookmark I made when I was a child.  Opening where it is, I begin reading where I left off the day before… purposeful steps forward in this journey of following Jesus. Yesterday ended with frustration about housework, husband, and homeschooling… And why am I living this life anyway?  When did I pick this?  I’ve lost my vision, Lord. But today I choose this… this intake of truth, this abiding in the Word. “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1 Timothy 4:7 And my heart grows a bit more content in Christ today than yesterday.…

  • 3 Step Prayer for Stressful Moments
    Bible Study,  Prayer

    3 Step Prayer for Stressful Moments

    The call comes.  The text lights up your phone.  The words come out of someone’s mouth.  You read it on Facebook. You know the moment… the instant stress hits you.  Worry takes you to the worst possible outcome.  Anxiety feeds on itself as the situation grows in your mind. I don’t know about you, but I am a pro at letting worry get the best of me.  But God’s Word teaches us a better way to respond to stressful moments. Trials are promised in Scripture, but so is the peace that passes understanding.  Here is some practical wisdom on how to seek that peace. 3 Step Prayer for Stressful Moments…

  • 4 Simple Actions Bible Reading Deeper - Growing a Content Heart
    Bible Study,  Build Your Routine

    4 Simple Actions That Take My Bible Reading Deeper

    What I do when I meet with God has changed over the years, depending on life. Whether I was waking up every two hours to nurse a tiny, helpless, utterly adorable baby.  Whether I had entire mornings to myself with nobody bothering me (we’re talking the years B.C.—Before Children).  Whether I was rushing around to a million appointments and classes a day.  Whether I was suffering from “pregnant brain” and could not focus on anything I tried to read. What has not changed is, in fact, the Unchangeable. God Almighty—Who was, and is, and is to come. When I choose to make my morning appointment with Him, He always shows up. …

  • 69 Ways Learning Contentment - Growing a Content Heart

    69 Ways We Are Learning Contentment in Our Home

    {This post contains affiliate links.} This journey toward growing a content heart started over two years ago.  I have not arrived.  But the Lord is teaching me through many daily, mundane aspects of life, how to be content with what we have, right where we are. So to give you an idea of what life is like in my home, as we seek to be more content and teach our kids what this means, here are a few specific ways we are working on this: 69 Ways We Are Learning Contentment in Our Home Kids help out with chores. Regular Goodwill/donation sweeps. Pretty much always making food at home. Eating…

  • "The 2 Steps" {solving sibling conflict}
    Mom Life

    “The 2 Steps” {a ridiculously simple system for solving sibling conflict} + FREE POSTER

    Yelling.  Tattling. Whining.  Hitting. Arguing.  Bad attitudes. The more we said “love one another” and “be kind,” the more our kids seemed to…well, not care.  Sibling conflict was at critical mass. If you think about it, phrases like “be nice to each other” are not very specific.  And let’s be honest.  Even if you understand how “being nice” works, in the heat of being offended, if you have no plan, the situation spirals. My small humans needed clear, simple steps. We could not go on—the way they were treating each other, and even us parents, had to stop.  But I knew my inexperienced children needed some specific, workable guidance to make…

  • 4 Must-Read Books Discontent Woman - Growing a Content Heart

    4 Must-Read Books for the Discontent Woman

    {This post contains affiliate links.} You could drown in all the spiritual growth books on the market today.  There is even a sizable mound of resources specifically on finding joy and contentment.  But here I reveal my precious gems—the books that have transformed my thinking, my priorities, and my passions.  They have fueled my journey seeking a content heart. Are you discontent?  Constantly anxious about your circumstances?  If you and I sat down over coffee and you asked me for help with this, these are the books I would say you should have in your hands.  Maybe there is one in here for you, sister. 4  Must-Read Books for the Discontent…

  • 5 Things That Bring Peace Homeschool Days - Growing a Content Heart
    Mom Life

    5 Things That Bring Peace to Our Homeschool Days

    {This post contains affiliate links.} As a stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschool mom ninja, I wear about a thousand hats.  Every mom can relate on some level.  And adding his homeschool thing brings so much pressure to “get it right,” on top of everything else we are responsible for. For the longest time, I simply accepted the pressure of Pinterest, the perfect homeschool mom bloggers, what I thought people expected of me and my kids, and my own perfectionism.  I let this pressure rule how I planned my homeschool days.  You better believe my kids felt that pressure too. The Lord has taken me down a couple notches.  I am learning contentment.…

  • 7 Reasons for a Wife to Choose Prayer Over Prodding
    Bible Study,  Prayer

    7 Reasons For a Wife to Choose Prayer Over Prodding

    There are always expectations that are not met.  Behaviors that annoy us.  Major decisions poorly made.  Sinful habits.  Disappointing qualities can always be found in a husband, especially if one is always looking for them. But that’s the key, isn’t it?  Where is your gaze?  Are the eyes of your heart dwelling constantly on the failings of your husband?  Or are they more often turned upon Jesus? The answer to this question will determine your responses to your husband.  Do you pray for him, that God would grow him into the man He created him to be, or to make wise choices, or whatever is appropriate for the situation? Or do…

  • 5 Ways to NOT Find Contentment - Growing a Content Heart

    5 Ways to NOT Find Contentment

    What do you think when I say “contentment”? Happiness? Peace? Joy? Thankfulness? All of those can be fitting.  But those are end results. How do we get there?  What path must I walk to be able to look around me, look inside myself and say, “Yes.  I have arrived.  I have peace.  Joy.  I am content where I am”? Well, this post won’t answer that question.  I am here today to post caution signs.  I have walked many paths trying to get to contentment.  So. Many. Paths.  Attitudes that even strong Christians fall into.  And many lead in the wrong direction. What kind of friend would I be if I…

  • Keeping a Content Heart - Growing a Content Heart

    Keeping a Content Heart When All Around You Lose Their Minds

    Christmas is coming.  It’s practically here.  And everyone is losing their minds.  Can’t you feel it?  Or are you one of those who is losing your mind? I felt a bit of it coming on last night… The checklist of things I probably should buy, accomplish, or go see so that I can Rock. This. Christmas. Whoa.  Really?  Where does that come from?  Oh, wait, I saw a commercial telling me to “rock this Christmas” and a sign in Wal-Mart saying the same thing.  I don’t remember it being this way when I was a kid in the 80’s. Of course, if there was anything my parents excelled at, it…

  • Growing Content Kids {Part 2} - Growing a Content Heart
    Mom Life

    Growing Content Kids {Part 2}

    For a third time, I dive into the details of things we are doing in our home to grow content kids.  As I worked on this post, I found myself getting lost in the details—making sure it would all be perfectly complete for you guys. But what’s the big picture?  Why have strategies for all this?  What is the focus that drives such a campaign as raising content kids?   Growing Content Kids {Part 2} Soft, frail 4-year-old arms lightly wrap themselves into my arms.  Giant, sleepy blue eyes soak up my mommy-eyes, in the waking moments of the morning.  Messy strawberry blonde hair tickles my chin, as we snuggle in.  *deep breath*…

  • Growing Content Kids {Part 1} - Growing a Content Heart
    Mom Life

    Growing Content Kids {Part 1}

    Last week, I wrote about 4 Ways to Create Selfish Kids. Not that we are doing these things on purpose.  We don’t set out to create selfish kids.  They are born that way.  But everything we do either encourages them in their selfishness, or shows them a better way.  How do we create content kids?   Growing Content Kids {Part 1} As promised, we will dive into my current solutions to this problem—ways we are working on creating content kids in our home.  I’ve split this up into two parts because I had so much to say—this post is Part 1.  I’m going to address my first two points from last week: 1.…

  • 4 Ways to Create Selfish Kids
    Mom Life

    4 Ways to Create Selfish Kids {and what I’m doing about it}

    “My turn!” “But that’s not fun!” “She’s not being fair!” “I don’t wanna do it!” Sound familiar? With each kid (we’re up to 4), God has opened my eyes wider to the nature of a child’s heart.  They are selfish from the womb.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  There is no escaping this.  And as parents, everything–everything–everything we do either encourages that selfishness or points them to a better way.  God’s way. 4 Ways to Create Selfish Kids {and what I’m doing about it} I’m currently reading the best book ever on this topic. Ultimately, we pray for the salvation of…

  • 5 Things to Say When You Don't Know What to Pray
    Bible Study,  Prayer

    5 Things to Say When You Don’t Know What to Pray

    Sometimes, prayers just come natural.  Thank you for this.  Please help us with that.  In Jesus’ name… But sometimes…life falls apart.  The ticking hours press on your soul.  Your heart goes numb, and words fall short. A few years ago, I had a good habit of praying by my bedside in the morning, escaping the squawking children, milky cereal bowls, piles of school books ready for the day, and housework screaming to be attended to… Just to meet God in the secret, in the quiet place.   Except, when you’re a mommy, it’s hard to have a totally secret place. Here I was, on my knees by my bed—made up…

  • 2 Problems That Pushed Me Over the Edge

    2 Problems That Pushed Me Over the Edge

    I have two big problems that I cannot ignore and that I have no control over.  Problems that have pushed me over the edge, and kick-started this ministry.  But we’ll get to that in a moment. First: Paul. Paul is my hero.  “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”  Letter to the Philippians, chapter 4, verse 11.  “I have learned…” How many of us believers on earth today, especially in American culture, can say that we have learned this?  A very few people I have crossed paths with in my journey seem to have come awfully close. And I want what they have. A content heart. …