Thursday, December 31, 2015

Morning Expectant Prayer - Terrie Chevaillier

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly- Psalm 5:3

How should I pray for my kids? What should I pray?  When should I pray?
There is a lot of direction found regarding these questions in this verse.

What: Pray

When: In the morning

Who: Me to the Lord

Why: To lay my requests down before Him

How: With my voice and waiting and watchful expectation

I love this truth as I have applied it to my life in regards to parenting and marriage.  You know there are times when you just feel that you have done all you can do and unless God intervenes, you don’t see a way or an answer.

I have seen that it’s in the expectant waiting that my faith grows.  His Word encourages us to lay these things that tempt us to worry and fret and to exchange our doubtful heart to God for an expectant heart that believes that we will see Him work in our situation.

Depending on what season of life you are in, it might be tough to wake up before kids and get in prayer time.  Just do what you can whether its’s before they leave for school or as soon as your drop them off.  Accountability helps too.  There have been seasons where I would get up early and check in with a few of my friends in a group text message who also wanted to spend some extended morning time in the Word and prayer.  We would just text, “up” and it helped when I didn’t want to get out of bed so early and pray. 

Pray about it and see how God might lead you to grow in this area in 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God is Eternal

Family Fun Icebreaker: What is a positive early memory about your life?

Topic Question: How is God Unique?

Today’s Big Idea: God is Eternal

This section focuses on how is God unique. Scripture explains to you that God is eternal; He does not begin, and He does not end. God was not born as you were born. God does not die either. This fact makes God unique, but the truth about God’s eternal nature is often difficult to understand. God made everything that exists. In our world, things begin and end. Remember, however, that our understanding is limited. There is much more to our world that is beyond our knowledge. God is beyond our understanding, too. There is more to God than you are able to understand and, when that happens, God asks you to trust Him through His Word. He divinely inspired people to write these ideas down in scripture so you can understand certain truths about Him.

Talk with God: Read the scriptures aloud.

Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and
the world, from beginning to end, you are God. (Psalm 90:2 NLT)
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
(Colossians 1:17 NLT)

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.

Probably everyone’s main question for God when they get to heaven is: “God, where did You come from?” The concept that God did not begin at some point is a struggle for many people to understand; the parallel truth that God does not end can be equally difficult to handle. You simply need to accept this idea with a childlike faith for now, and ask God about it later in heaven.

Discuss with your family: Is God’s eternal nature a struggle for you to believe? What helps you accept the truth that God is eternal?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God to help you believe the message He gives
you in the Bible about His eternal nature.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mary and Her Mom - Lisa Clark

I love the mother/daughter dynamic.  Guess it’s because I’ve got two daughters and was a daughter myself.  Fancy that.  But it always gets me thinking at Christmastime about the dynamic between Mary and her mom.  Was her mom a mess when she heard the news?  Did she take it personally, “Where did I go wrong?” You know the drill. 

My imagination leads me in a different direction though.  I have to think that God picked Mary because she was precious in His sight.  She loved Him with her whole heart.  She was raised to know God and loved Him with her whole heart.  Her mom must have been a rock star! Right?! Way to go Mary’s mom! You did it, girl! You raised the mother of the Messiah! Props!

So this godly woman raised by a godly woman had to tell her godly mom she was pregnant. 

Think about it.  Ponder that moment in your mind.  Mary’s mom’s heart must have sunk.  She must have thought about what others would say.  The church ladies.  What would they say about her as a parent? The rumors.  I don’t know if it showed on her face before her daughter, but inside she must have been heartbroken.  She was just a mom. 

And yet God prepared her for this moment.  It was because she was the parent she was that God chose her child to give birth to the Savior of the world.  This moment wasn’t about her as a mom, it was about her daughter’s destiny.  It takes spiritual maturity to go from “where did I go wrong?” to “God is in control.”

Having eyes to see God’s plan takes daily determination to sit at His feet and bask in His glory.  Worshipping Him on a daily basis.  Getting to know Him through His word.  Then our gaze stays on Him and we are less likely to make it about us. 

Oh, to be like Mary’s mom. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

From a Daughter's Perspective - Taylor Slack

For starters, if you haven’t met my mother, you’re missing out. And honestly, you could call her right now, and she wouldn’t hesitate to set up a time to chat over hot chocolate (because that’s just who she is and she likes hot chocolate more than coffee). Over the years, I’ve gotten the blessing of having quite a few of these chats; some harder than others, but always a blessing because they were with the best mom out there. I know I may be slightly biased, but I can live with that. 

Lora Slack - a God-fearing, single mother of three girls who loves baking cookies, laughing, Hallmark movies, dancing with her eyes closed, and is a beast of a financial advisor. Not only is she my mother, but has also come to be my best friend.  To try and describe her in words would be doing aher a complete disservice, but if I can give you a light glimpse of the phenonmenal mom she is, I’ll take a chance. Out of respect for all of you, I have narrowed it down to three characteristics/ actions of my mom have impacted me and still continue to do so.

  1. My mom is genuine. She is confident in who the Lord created her to be and doesn’t put on a fa├žade or show for people. When you meet her, you actually meet her. You see her strengths and her weaknesses. You see where she depends on the Lord, trusting in Him more than herself.  She is real and honest- in the good times and bad; she doesn’t pretend like everything is going just perfectly when it’s not. For a daughter (especially a perfectionist and people pleaser), this is huge. I grew up seeing a woman who made mistakes, who wasn’t perfect, who was the same person around everyone, and who was confident and content. My mom taught me what it looks like to be who you are, living dependently on the Lord.

  1. My mom is patient. Growing up, I didn’t always see that. I took her for granted and never understood what an impact her patience had on me. But watching her raise my two little sisters, I step back in awe. I don’t know how she does it, but she is beyond patient, all the time. Yes, she has her breaking moments, but more often than not I see her on the floor doing algebra, cleaning up the mess we left in the kitchen for the 18th time, letting 13-year-old hormones run their course so the issue can actually be discussed, waiting in the car for 3 girls trying to get ready for church, and the list could go on for days. In these actions, I see her patience and in her patience I experience her love for me and see an example of what it truly looks like to selflessly love.

  1. My mom is joyful. Not the happy all the time, smile plastered on her face joyful, but the deep, peaceful joy that comes from knowing and loving Christ. She certainly laughs a whole lot and will keep you smiling from ear to ear, but she is also the one that will sit with you, listen for hours, hold you, and remind you of truth. I used to believe that being joyful meant you had to “be happy all the time,” but my mom has taught me that joy comes from a dependence on and hope in Christ- nothing can shake that. So, from the adventures in canoes where we all end up in the water hysterically laughing, to the countless late night cookie baking parties,  to the moments where the situation wasn’t exactly what we hoped for, I have witnessed what joy in the Lord looks like and acts like.

I honestly could write for days about my mom, our relationship, and how blessed I am by her. But I think the best thing I could say is thank you Mama. Thank you for always being there for me, for making my lunch day after day, caring for me when I’m sick, for letting me learn how to fail and get back up again, for being the best cheerleader, for laughing with me until our stomach hurts , for always listening, for teaching me about Jesus and showing me His love, for everything else you do every day, and for being a rockstar of a mom. And to all the moms- thank you for loving and raising us well. No matter how many times we roll our eyes or walk away, we are beyond thankful for you and love you a whole lot.

Monday, December 14, 2015

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God is the Purpose Giver

Family Fun Icebreaker: What is a rewarding use of your time to you?

Question: Who is God?

Today’s Big Idea: God is the Purpose Giver
Scripture describes God as the Purpose Giver. God gives purpose to your life. He creates you to know Him and for you to guide other people to know Him, too. God does not need your participation, but God wants you to participate. God does not need anything from any of us, but God blesses those who choose to serve Him. God designs each person for the purpose of being in His community, or the group of His believers called “the church.” He creates a specific role for you within His church; if you follow His plan, you can experience a more fulfilling life. God’s community provides like-minded fellowship, unity, and encouragement. In joining His community and telling others about Him, you can truly feel the abundance of His blessings for you. Then, when you share your story with others, you can illustrate the difference He makes one person at a time.

Talk with God: Read the scriptures aloud.
"If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11 NIV
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.
Everyone wants to feel that they matter. In God’s community, you have value and you matter! God makes plans for your life and He designed good things that He desires for you to do. God shares in Ephesians 2:10 that He has a plan and a purpose for each person who believes in Him.

Discuss with your family: It can be hard to recognize your purpose in life; take baby steps in recognizing God’s direction for you. To start, when have you felt that you were doing something that gave you purpose in your life?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God to help you see the purpose that you are to serve.

I will be praying for you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to Find Hidden Bargains - Natalie Reid

We have a guest blogger today! Natalie Reid, also known as Coupon Crazy Mommy. She has some great practical advice that we will be sharing every once in awhile. For more of her posts, check out her website at

There’s a reason we call it bargain hunting. It’s because great deals must be found, they don’t find YOU. But it’s easy to discover bargains, and the current issue of Consumer Reports’ “Shop Smart” magazine outlines a few ways. Here are my thoughts on those and a few simple steps that’ll save you money every time you shop:

1. Use Coupon Codes – Before making any online purchase, go to sites like RetailMeNot or Ebates to find any current promo codes available from online retailers. You can almost always find codes for 15-20% off or even FREE shipping!

2. Compare prices – Comparison shopping is incredibly easy now. There are sites like Google ShoppingPricegrabber & Shopzilla, and even mobile apps like Red Laser you can use while shopping at retail stores. Red Laser recognizes products by cover art or barcodes, allowing you to compare local and online prices, plus see reviews, specifications, videos, and more to help you make the best purchasing decision.

3. Buy Off-Season – Stocking up on items at the end of each season will get you the biggest bang for your buck. You’ll often find apparel and household items up to 75% off retail. Just stash these items away, and you’ll be ready to take on each new season and save a lot of money, too!

4.  Join the Club – Sign up for newsletters or join the eClubs of your favorite stores and restaurants. Be sure to use a secondary email address because you’ll get a lot of marketing emails, but you’ll also receive exclusive promo codes, sneak peaks at sales, coupons and even FREE stuff (especially on birthdays!) Check out this list of my favorite birthday freebies.

5. Make friends – Some of the best ways to get deals is to be friendly with store employees. They’re usually in-the-know about upcoming sales and will gladly share info because they want to please their customers and also move merchandise. Whenever my favorite Kroger employee sees me coming, she’ll rush over and tell me about all the great Manager Markdowns available. Now, that’s my kind of customer service!

6. Consider secondhand – If you’re searching for specific items, check out Ebay, Craigslist or your local Facebook Trading Post (mine has nearly 12,000 members!). Recently my son needed soccer cleats; and instead of paying $30 for a new pair, I snagged a barely worn pair for just $6!

7. Aim for FREE shipping – Most online retailers offer FREE shipping sporadically throughout the year and oftentimes around holidays such as Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and others. Many retailers with brick and mortar stores (i.e., Walmart, Sears, Toys R Us, etc.) offer FREE site-to-store shipping. And take note, National FREE Shipping Day is usually 7 days before Christmas…so sometimes it pays to procrastinate.

8. Get In with the Outlet – Online outlet stores aren’t just where items go to die. There are incredible bargains to be found on sites like OverstockAmazon Outlet and my personal favorite, Woot. They offer one HOT deal each day in each of their categories (i.e. Tech, Home, Sport, Kids).

Thursday, December 3, 2015

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis: God is the Protector

Family Fun Icebreaker: What helps you feel safe?

Topic Question: Who is God?

Today’s Big Idea: God is the Protector

Scripture reveals that God is the Protector. He protects His children
according to His purposes. Once creation changed and sin entered our
world, you were no longer safe. Today, safety is always a need. God provides
physical safety for you and your family: when you are at home, driving in
the car, at work or school, and in many other ways in your daily life. God
also gives you spiritual protection. You have a spirit, or a soul, within you
that lives on eternally after death. There is a struggle within your soul and
mind to do either good or evil. God tells you in scripture that evil is present
in this world, constantly trying to tempt you into evil. God shares that
if you let Him, He protects your mind and soul, guiding you to take the
correct actions in life. How you respond to God determines where your soul
lives eternally. By accepting His help to live life the right way on earth, your
soul can live with Him in heaven eternally.

Talk with God: Read the scriptures aloud.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my
rock, in whom I !nd protection. He is my shield, the power that
saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalm18:2 NLT)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God
transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and
pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.

Physical safety is a common prayer request. Prayers such as, “God, please
keep me and my family safe” or “God, please protect me as I travel,” are
some of the biggest requests of God on prayer lists. Since the world around
you is unpredictable, it is a good idea to seek God for physical health and
protection. Yet, too often people forget to ask God to safeguard their spirit,
heart, and mind; it is just as important to seek sanctuary for the spiritual
side of life.

Discuss with your family: God gives safety from physical harm. How does
God protect your mind, heart, and spirit?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God to show you how He protects you.