Something unique about me is that I have always loved ceiling fans. You may be wondering how that relates to resting, well to me ceiling fans just create an atmosphere of peace. I remember being a little kid in our farmhouse kitchen with the ceiling fan on high during the summer with the AC on and the feeling it gave me. I still get that feeling with ceiling fans. Just sitting under them on high fills me with a sense of calmness. I absolutely love it. They make the atmosphere feel at peace, restful. Call me weird, but ceiling fans are one of my favorite things in a room.
It’s the same with Jesus. How is that? A ceiling fan may bring me comfort but the Only One who brings true, internal peace is Jesus. In this troubled world, peace is in high demand but where are people searching for it? They search for it in money, fame, possessions, other people… but they never find it. Endlessly drifting from thing to thing, person to person, never feeling fulfilled – never feeling that peace they so desperately desire.
In the book of Luke, we read the account of Martha and Mary. Martha was so concerned about making everything in the house perfect – the setting, the food, etc. – whereas Mary chose that which was best, to sit – to rest – at Jesus’ feet. To simply sit and listen. How often do we just sit and listen to our Lord? When do we step aside from everything grasping for out attention, go someplace quiet and simply be in our Lord’s presence? Resting in our Lord, reading His Word, talking to Him, memorizing, journaling – these are all things that lead us closer to Him.
How can you find your restful place? Look around you, and think about where makes you feel calmest. Is it in your bedroom, sitting on your bed? Is it a reading nook you’ve claimed somewhere in your house? Is it outside on your porch, or under your favorite tree? Wherever it is, make it a point to go there more. And once you go start going there often, go there even more until you form a habit of taking time each day to simply rest in our Savior. It is essential to your Spiritual wellbeing as well as physical. Now I know some of you may be thinking, “I wish I could do that but with my work, ministry, church, friends, chores, to-do list I can never find time…” Let me ask you; do you have a phone? What do you do on there? Do you use social media, do you watch YouTube or Disney+, do you play games? How much time do you spend on those things? Or maybe you enjoy winding down by watching tv for a couple hours every night. Do you see where I’m going? We may not think we have time, but in reality, we really do. Each of us has something we can cut down on in order to spend time with Jesus. And besides, phones are proven to cause elevated anxiety, so when you want to relax, why are you using it for hours on end? I am writing this to myself just as much as to you. I’ve been convicted I spend far too much time on my phone, and far too little time with Jesus I’m ashamed to say. What I’ve noticed lately though is when I let myself use all my time that I should be using to read God’s Word on my phone instead, I don’t feel restful. Deep down I know it’s wrong, it doesn’t reap eternal rewards, and it doesn’t fill me with God’s peace. When you get to Heaven do you want to know you spent your time investing in Jesus and all things of His or do you want to find out you wasted countless hours on a piece of technology that simply faded away in the end? I know which one I want to be known for.
But how do we do this? You can start by logging out of all your social media accounts, putting your phone on silent, setting it down and leaving it there. Flip it over so you are not tempted to pick it up. Put it out of your sight if you must. Then get your supplies – your Bible, journal(s), highlighters, - whatever you need. Maybe even treat yourself by brewing a cup of your favorite hot beverage. And then sit there. Just rest. Breathe. Read. Write. Pray. Be with Jesus – like you would with a friend. Talk to Him about everything, bring everything you have to Him, ask for forgiveness if you know you need to, pray for your friends and family who need prayer. Just bask in the beautiful rest God grants you in this place.
And once you are finished there, don’t leave your rest – your peace – in that place. Bring it with you wherever you go. You have that phone with you wherever you go, don’t you? Bring your peace with you too. Bring it with you in your heart, you mind and your soul. Pray, talk with God throughout your day. Meditate on the Scripture you read during your rest. Think on heavenly things. And watch how it transforms your day.
So, my challenge to you all today is to rest in Jesus. Everyday. I’m taking this challenge as well so why don’t we do it together? Are you ready to have your life transformed – to experience peace? Let’s go to our restful places together and drink deeply from the well of God’s goodness.
The sun is bright, isn’t it? It’s so bright that if you stare at it for more than a swift moment, you will experience permanent eye damage. What other things can you think of that are bright? Flashlights, candles, headlights…hmmm, candles. You want to know where I’m going with this? All of these things are very bright visually, but internally you are brighter. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, confess our sins and He changes our lives to reflect His we become shining beacons of light for others to follow, ultimately leading to our Savior Jesus.
How do we be those beautiful candles for Jesus? There are so many things but in this devotional I’m going to focus on encouragement. Encouragement is one of my favorite words. Why? Because being encouraging and kind is one of the top things we can do as Christians not only to other Christians, but to unbelievers too.
How can we be encouraging? Here is a list I have compiled of things you can do to be an encouragement – a candle – to others. And this is only scratching the surface…
~Smile at everyone you see. A smile can literally turn someone’s day from bad to glad just by that simple act.
~ Hold a door open for the person behind you.
~ Help an elderly person you see at the grocery store and perhaps even give them a tract!
~ Pay for the person behind you in line’s meal/drink/etc.
~ Send a text, email, or make that phone call to someone you love to surprise them and make their day
~ Check on people. The people who appear strongest face the hardest battles inside, so even if someone seems put together, be sure to check on them along with the people you know need checking in on.
~ Do a favor! Clean the dishes for your sibling, wash the car for your dad, do the laundry for your mom – there are so many ways to do a favor for someone!
~ Bake cookies and give with a tract to a neighbor, friend, mail carrier, dentist, doctor – you name it!
~ Offer to help someone. Whether it be babysitting for the busy mom in your group, or volunteering at a homeless shelter, do good and help people! (Always ask parents permission beforehand.)
~ Send a letter or package. Do you know someone who is sick, or maybe an elderly shut in? Put together a stuffed letter or small package full of little goodies to brighten their day.
~ Use your talents. Are you musically inclined? Offer to play at your local elderly car center. Are you creative? Use your creative talents to make things you can either gift to others or sell and use the profits for Christian organizations.
~ Give a hug to those you love. Hugs just make people happy, so spread them around!
Encouragement is so important in our lives, it truly is. To stress this fact, picture this. Our world, with everyone on it, but void of all kindness. Can you imagine it? I can, and it is a dismal, sad, wretched sight. Our Lord calls us to be kind, to be filled with light so that through that light He can shine through to those who need Him.
Have you ever met someone who is like a sunbeam, and in the midst of that light you can clearly see Jesus standing in the midst of them? I have, and those people are true treasures. I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of those shining sunbeams for Jesus!
A lot of people ask this question, and I want to ask it of you as well to truly make you think: When you leave this earth, what do you want people to remember about you? Do you want to be remembered as someone who was dismal, negative, unhappy – a rain cloud – or do you want them to remember you as happy, encouraging, kind – a sunbeam – for Jesus? It’s a sobering thought! So, let’s make a point to be the beautiful lights Jesus created us to be.
Together, let’s change this world. Let’s be kind always and watch how it makes an impact for Jesus. I dare you today, go do something beautiful for Jesus, then do the same tomorrow, the next day and the next and watch how your life and the lives of those around you change for Jesus. The world will never be the same.
Prayer is so, so powerful friends! I know a lot of us neglect prayer, saying we don’t have enough time, but in reality, WE DO. I’m going to list different ways you can incorporate prayer into your daily life as easy as can be. And once you do, your life will never be the same.
~ Social media.
We all are guilty of spending too much time online, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, YouTube, Disney+, games…. The list goes on and on! So many things on our devices are grabbing for our attention, sending us new notifications, new posts, not to mention all the messages from friends! What if sat our phone down and prayed for a set amount of time each day? What if instead of binging on memes or funny YouTube videos, you prayed? What would that do in your life?
Hopefully you are having a set devotional time each day when you spend time with Jesus and read in His Word. This is the perfect time to incorporate prayer! Pray over verses you read, pray along to worship songs, or just ask the Lord to bring to mind people in need of prayer and talk to Him and bring those people to His feet.
~ Shower time
It may sound strange, but what do you spend your thinking time on in the shower? If you’re like me, your mind is probably wondering this way and that, going down random rabbit holes, thinking about plans for the next day – who knows what! But what if we purposely spent that praying? What better, unstructured time! Relax in the warm water and talk to your Father!
If you’re old enough to drive, consider talking to God on your way to work! If you drive alone, consider even talking out loud to Him! If you’re not old enough to drive, and you have a commute to school or a job, consider praying on your way there.
Do you enjoy a craft, like knitting, card making, or sewing perhaps? You can enjoy that craft and converse with your Father at the same time!
Do exercise regularly? Go on nature walks? Run on the treadmill? You can pray while you do these things! Walking in nature is such a wonderful way to feel close to God, so why not spend that time conversing with Him?
And to end with, the most helpful thing I’ve found for prayer is starting a prayer journal!
I hope these have been helpful to you in finding time for prayer, because no matter what you do, you are NEVER to busy to pray. Prayer is so important, and it is so powerful. Begin praying, for your family, your friends, your community – your world – and watch what happens. This world will be changed, and all because you trusted God and prayed.
This is an article I wrote for the current issue of CLM. Please enjoy!
Being a stay at home daughter is such a privilege! After moving here to Texas 6 months ago, I went through a phase where I didn’t know what my role was. My brother had just gotten a job and then later he started a relationship, and my parents had their roles, but I didn’t know what my role should be. Should I get a job and work outside the home five days a week? Should I get a job that allowed me to work from home? Should I focus on my ministries? Should I stay at home? What about college?
I know for a fact that there are many girls who wish they could be stay at home daughters, but due to pressure from family and friends to be “like everyone else” they go off to college, or to work outside the home. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with going to college or working! College is a wonderful opportunity to pursue what God is laying on your heart to study, to learn, and then to use to help others and glorify Him. And working is another great opportunity to serve others, and to be a witness for Jesus. If you feel called towards those things, go for them! I’m in total support of you! You must follow what you know God is leading you to do in life. But for this issue we are focusing on being a stay at home daughter.
What if you don’t feel led to go to college or work outside the home? If you’re like me, I’m sure as soon as you turned eighteen, people began to ask, “So what are you doing next?” expecting the usual answers of college, job or both. But what if that’s not what God has for you? You answer, “I want to serve God and my family.” and I pray you had a beautiful Christian community who supported that decision!
Circling back to my first point, after debating those things in my mind, I knew what I wanted to do. It’s what I had been doing all my life, even when I was still in school. I wanted to be a stay at home daughter, and that’s what I felt God leading me to do.
Up until recently, my mom and I kind of did half and half of keeping the home, but then in March she fell really sick and could not do any of the things she had been doing. So, I took them on. I did the dishes, cleaned the house, did the laundry, sweeping, moping, you name it – and you know what? I didn’t drag through it like I may have in the past, saying “I have to do this”, no, I saw it as an opportunity to serve my mom, my family and my Lord. And once my mom is fully better, I’m not letting her take any of it back. She’s done so much for our family for so many years, it’s about time I took over her responsibilities. And it brings me joy! I love seeing a clean kitchen, I love baking banana bread, I love folding laundry, I love clearing the table – I love serving my family.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Isn’t that such a beautiful verse? Whenever I may feel like I don’t especially want to do a certain job, I think of that verse. Isn’t it amazing to think that in all we do, we’re not just serving our family but we are glorifying God in doing it with a happy heart? That just makes me smile to think about.
And just to clarify something, being a stay at home daughter does not mean you never leave the house, for any of you wondering. I do many things outside the home, from Church to shopping to hopefully making friends in the future. Being a stay at home daughter does not mean you have no life outside the home, so never make that assumption! I know many girls who when asked what they do and answering no to the usual questions, people have said, “Well then what DO you do?” as if because we don’t work or go to college somehow we’re sitting at home with our hands folded doing nothing? It’s sad that today’s society does not honor women, and especially stay at home women. Being a stay at home daughter means life is full! I don’t have as many responsibilities as I know a lot of you other daughters with younger siblings do, but together we do a lot!
Another gift of staying home is we are able to focus on our ministries even more too. You may have a prayer ministry, or a sewing ministry, or a writing ministry – I personally have the ministry of this magazine and the new CLM blog, as well as running The Smile Project. Those things bring me great joy to work on and see God’s hand working through them. Ministry work is such a gift from the Lord. There are so many ways to be a gift and witness for Jesus right from our homes! Being home is also another way to learn valuable skills such as cooking, sewing, accounting, and many other things that will come in very handy if the Lord wills you marry someday.
So, daughters who are called to stay at home, be proud of the amazing role God has gifted you with! You are gift to this world, a woman with a special calling, a woman who is strong and capable and beautiful. Keep serving our Lord and your family with a smile, for together we are will change this world.
Hello friends! It is my pleasure to welcome you here to the new CLM blog. Hi, I'm Olivia the author of this blog. Let me tell you a little about myself!
I'm a homeschool graduate who lives in the hot desert somewhere in the United States. I love writing, hot tea, cats and good 'ole snail mail. You can usually find me at my computer working on my ministries or up in my room writing a letter or creating an art piece. My heart belongs to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, without Him I am nothing. Everything written here is for His glory alone and I am so grateful to Him for all He's done for me! :) Some random fun things about me are that I love sparkly things, sunsets, staying up past midnight and collecting far too much washi tape. ;)
Welcome to my blog. Great things God has done and will continue to do. I hope you will enjoy reading my words.
Hey friends! I'm Livy, founder and designer of CLM. First and foremost I am a follower of Jesus, and besides that I am a ministry leader, small business operator and writer. I love putting words to paper, going to Starbucks, photography, connecting with friends and much more. This is a place for me to share encouragement with you all. I hope you will enjoy your stay. :)