Encouragement & Inspiration for Christian Moms

Encouragement and Inspiration for Christian Moms
Encouragement and Inspiration for Christian Moms

Good Stewards Magazine: Freedom Edition

This post contains affiliate links. This means I may make a small commission at no cost to you should you choose to purchase through one of my links. I only recommend products I personally use, like, and trust. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Hi, I’m Emily! I am a wife, mom of two, and clean living blogger! My goal with any of the content I put out is to educate, inspire, and encourage moms in the faith as they do the amazing and important work of raising the souls of the next generation in God’s truth.

One of the core beliefs that led to the creation of Good Stewards is the belief that everything we have is a gift from God: our health, lives, and world have been entrusted to us, and we are to be good stewards of those gifts. (Read more about our Mission Statement here!) As a fellow mom, I know that the most important thing that has been given to us is our sweet children– and the opportunity to show them what it means to love and follow Christ. I also know that doing that is probably the most challenging thing we will ever do!

The Challenging Work of Mothering in the Faith

That is why I created this magazine. I see moms online all the time that are going through this challenging work of raising children in the Lord. I see them working out their own salvation day in and day out so they can authentically live it out in front of their children. I see them wrestling with the tough questions. I see them surrendering their control and handing over their burdens and fears to God. I’m inspired by these moms, and I want to come along side them, put my arm around them and say “You are doing so great- keep fighting the good fight!”. When I see a mom struggling, I want to open up my Bible and tell her to not lose heart!

Because of this, I share my own motherhood journey on Instagram in order to provide encouragement and inspiration for christian moms. In addition to this, I wanted to use my gifts of creativity and writing to put something special together through my blog. Something to refresh, encourage, and inspire my fellow moms. Something to feed their souls, lift their hearts, and empower them to continue to answer their most important calling.

Why the Freedom Edition?

With the realities of adulthood, motherhood, and everything else going on in our world, I’ve done a lot of thinking, learning, and praying these past several months. If there is one big takeaway for me, it is this concept of the freedom we have as part of God’s kingdom.

Freedom from fear. Freedom from the to do list, from insecurity, from anxiety. Freedom from anger, division, hatred. Freedom from warped thinking and the footholds Satan has on our minds. Freedom from peer pressure, freedom to do our own research and prayerfully discern our own path. Freedom to get down to the basics and allow the truths of the gospel and the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts and actions. Freedom to seek truth and have courage, even when it won’t be well received. Freedom to not be driven and tossed by the winds of culture and popular opinion but rather root ourselves in the truths of God and live like a disciple of Christ. Freedom from confusion without answers. Freedom from fear without hope and hardship without promise. Freedom to clearly see and call out Satans’ lies and deception.

Where The Spirit of the Lord is, There is Freedom

As followers of Christ, we have the holy spirit living inside of us, and “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17. Freedom to drown out every other voice (including our own) in order to hear God’s. As moms, we have so many voices calling out to us and so many things on our minds. Often, we need to just be still in God’s presence and listen for His voice.

The Bible says that Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, and mamas- you and your family are on his hit list. Aside from praying for angels of protection over my family and wisdom and guidance for me as a mother, I have been asking God for freedom as well. Freedom from fear and freedom to cast off the sin that so easily entangles me as a mother so that I can be empowered by God to run the race God has set out for me and help my children do the same. That’s why we need to surround ourselves with resources that will provide encouragement and inspiration for christian moms as we fight this critical battle!

We are the Gatekeepers to Our Homes

Mothers, we are the gatekeepers to our homes. Not just against physical outside forces, but against the spiritual attacks of Satan. He wants your children for Himself, and he knows you are the most effective way to get to them. Guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. My main message when trying to provide and encouragement and inspiration to Christian moms is this: Root yourselves in God’s truths alone and be very wary of what you allow to control your mind and beliefs. Put aside all distractions and focus your efforts on being a disciple of Christ day in and day out for your children to see and model after. Offer your heart and hands to the Lord and allow Him to work in and through you to accomplish His wonderful plans.

Offer Your Heart & Hands to the Lord and Let Him Work Through You

This magazine is all about helping you do that. In this journal, you will come across mothers who share glimpses of their lives, hearts, and souls. You will be amused by their stories, edified by their lessons, and inspired by their faith. As you thumb through the pages, it will be a journey of beauty, calm, and adventure all in one. So pack it in your bag for the park or lake, or keep it on your coffee table for quiet moments when the kids are napping. Poor yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and let adventure begin!

Encouragement and Inspiration for Christian Moms
Encouragement and Inspiration for Christian Moms

This is the very first Good Stewards Magazine, and I hope there will be many more to come!  I’d love to connect with you further and keep you updated on the next magazine release. I’m always hanging out on Instagram and I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to send me a DM! I pray you are refreshed, inspired, and encouraged by this Good Stewards Magazine, the Freedom Edition!

 

 

 

 

Walk By Faith Not By Sight

Walking By Faith in Uncertain Times

Walk by Faith Not by Sight

Hey friend! If you’re reading this during the Coronavirus Pandemic, wow- these have been some really weird / uncertain times! I hope we can use this opportunity to better learn how to walk by faith during various trials.

Fear & Anxiety

I’ll admit, Even though I’m writing about how to walk by faith, I’ve given in to fear and anxiety far too often. For me, it always gets way worse at night too! I’m finally in bed ready to get some much needed sleep before Kallos wakes up to eat. Then suddenly I have all the problems of the world swirling around in my mind. All my greatest fears seem to be popping in to wave hello and say “Hey! Remember me? I’m still here!” 

Can you relate?

I want to share something that has been helping me get through those anxious moments. I hope it helps you rest in the true peace and comfort that comes with being a child of God and living in His presence.

Wading Into Unknown Waters

Have you seen the movie Harriet? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it! (You can rent it on Amazon Prime!) It’s about Harriet Tubman- one of my favorite inspirational characters in American History. We can learn a lot from this brave woman- but the movie really capitalizes on how she would walk by faith and the crucial role her faith had in guiding her through the uncertain and dangerous events of her life.

There’s one scene in particular (spoiler alert ahead!) that really spoke to me. It’s the scene where Harriet is on her first rescue mission. She is leading quite a diverse group of slaves to freedom. There’s an elderly woman, a mother with a baby, and her brother is even in the group. There is an ambush waiting for them on the path that she is planning to take.

As they near the ambush, she hears God telling her it isn’t safe and to go a different way. So she walks by faith, changes course, and goes the way God is guiding her- which turns out, is directly to a big river!

When it becomes clear that she is planning to have them cross the river, the members of the group become scared. They can’t swim and they assume they will drown in the river! Her brother even turns against her and tells the others to follow him instead as he goes a different route.

Despite the push back from the group, Harriet raises her hands up in the air (so her gun doesn’t get wet) and begins wading into the unknown waters. The current looks strong, it’s night and you can’t see what is beneath the water. Harriet is a very short woman- as she wades in, the water rises higher and higher until it almost reaches her chin. 

Our Prayer in Uncertain Times

As she nears the middle of the crossing, right when it seems the river will be at its deepest and she will be completely engulfed in its waters, she pauses. You can feel the fear rushing through her entire being. I don’t remember her exact words, but she prays something along the lines of “Lord, get me across this river.” Then, she continues her walk in faith. 

What happens next? The water doesn’t rise. It stays the same and she is able to walk across the entire river without going under! Once the others see it’s not deep after all, they quickly get in and walk across, emerging safely on the other side. 

What a beautiful picture of what our life as children of God should look like. 

Oftentimes, God calls us to places we weren’t expecting. Life may feel like we are standing in a rushing river. There’s so many things swirling around and past us. We can’t even always see or understand it all clearly.

Oftentimes come up with our own narrative about what’s going to happen. We allow fear and our earthly understanding to direct us. “I’m going to drown!” “I’ll never make it across!” “God led me this far just to leave me to die in a river?!” I think we all have had versions of these thoughts.

Life may feel like we are standing in a rushing river. There’s so many things swirling around and past us. We can’t even always see or understand it all clearly.

Yet, those thoughts are all lies. It is in those times when Satan wants us to despair that we have to remember two things: God’s truths, and God’s commands. 

God’s Truths

The truth is, we have a God who calms the storms (Matthew 8:27b “Even the winds and the waves obey him!”) Whose power parted the waters so the Israelites could walk through (Exodus 14:16) who makes the lame walk and the blind see (Matthew 11:5) and who defeated sin and even death once and for all so we can have eternal life! (1 Corinthians 15:55).

The amazing thing about all of this, is not just how powerful and amazing God is, but that He imparts that power to US. God commanded Moses to stretch out his staff and part the sea. It was God’s power working through Moses to accomplish supernatural things and ultimately bring glory to God and accomplish God’s plan. When God calls you to it, He has a plan and the power to guide you through it. Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”

God’s Commands

We are commanded to be anxious for nothing. Philippians 4:6-7 says  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 

I don’t know about you, but I think being afraid of crossing a rushing river when you can’t swim seems like a pretty justified scenario to give in to anxiety- but God says no.

2 Corinthians 5:7 Says “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” If you read the verses surrounding this passage, you find that Paul is talking about the hope we have when our earthly body is destroyed. He is writing about the eternal hope we have in the Lord, and how that hope is better than anything else in the world, and it will all take place according to God’s perfect plan.

Friends, even in uncertain times, in a world where danger and evil still exists, where we often feel confused and powerless- we don’t have to live in fear. All we have to do is raise our hands in surrender to God and say the simple, but powerful prayer: “God, get me across this river.”

That’s what my middle of the night prayer has been many times these past couple months. I’m happy to report that God has always met me in those moments and provided His peace and comfort. 

Walk by Faith in Uncertain Times

So although there is still a lot going on in our world, and it’s a good thing to be aware and informed and active in the areas God is calling you to- we should always take refuge in our heavenly father.

Psalm 46:1-3 says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear; though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (I encourage you to read the rest of the chapter to be inspired by the amazing power of our God!)

When the world sees us, they shouldn’t see the same hysteria and fear and stress that everyone else is governed by. When the world sees us, they should see God.

They should see His grace, peace, love, strength, and power. They should see our joy as we trust and stay focused on the incredible future hope we are blessed to have as His children! The only way we will experience these things and in turn be able to display them to others is if we keep our eyes on God and allow Him to guide and sustain us. 

So I want to encourage you today to simply turn your eyes to the Lord and trust Him. Ask Him to get you across the rivers of uncertainty and fear. Take refuge in His presence and enjoy the peace, security, and joy that comes with being His child.

Psalm 46:9-11 says “He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the shields with fire. He says “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Conclusion

I hope your week is filled with less anxiety and more joy because you are walking closely with the Lord! I’d love to connect more with you this week- you know I’m always hanging out on the gram, so feel free to head over and say hi and follow our daily life shenanigans there! Make sure you sign up for my weekly newsletter for more encouragement on all things mom life, faith, and clean living!

This is Not a Dress Rehearsal! How This Fact Should Change the Way We Live

As the New Year rolls by and everyone is working on making resolutions and turning over new leafs, I want to share with you something on my heart that I hope will inspire you to seize the New Year and today with more passion and purpose that ever before.

I was listening to a podcast by Michelle Barnes, a successful woman in my industry that I look up to, and she said something that hit me right between the eyes. As she was talking about achieving goals in life, she said, “As far as I’m aware, this is not a dress rehearsal.”

Think about that for a moment. Life is not a dress rehearsal. We only get one life and it’s a very short one at that. Our thoughts, behaviors and actions are of utmost importance because they influence the outcome of our life.

I come across all kinds of people in my line of work. There’s the chronically overwhelmed person who is always too busy to look outside of themselves. There is the second guesser who wants to make a change in their life and achieve something important to them but instead wastes all their time thinking about it and questioning every angle that they never actually make it happen. There’s the person who is living life asleep at the wheel because they’ve never had the ambition to sit down and figure out what they want or where they’re going.

I’m not saying we all have it figured out or that we even should. I do think it’s important to have an idea of what direction you are heading in life and to make sure you are on the path to living the life you want, but even if you have no idea what you’re doing in life, that still doesn’t mean you have to waste your life.

As a Christian, I know God has a purpose and a plan for me, even if I haven’t figured out what it is yet. All I need is to walk through life following Jesus and doing the good things He has planned in advance for me to do. I know I am called to love and serve others. I am called to treat people how I would want them to treat me. I am called to become a better person everyday. I am not called to be lazy but to work hard and make the most of the gifts and talents God has given me. I am called to honor God with my thoughts, motives, and actions.

I can’t take today or any day in this life for granted. As long as I have life and breath, I am here to serve God to the best of my abilities. This is not a dress rehearsal. I will never get another chance at today. Someday, I have to stand before God and give an account for every word I have spoken and every thought and action I have ever done. I better be ready.

My hope in writing this is to encourage you to look at your life and evaluate if you are truly living it to the fullest and making the most of every day. Maybe you need to make a big change in direction for your life- the time is now. Maybe you aren’t happy with the turn your life has taken or you have flaws that hinder your quality of life- recognizing that is the first step, now go out and work towards improving in those areas! Maybe you need to look outside yourself a bit more and invest in the people around and make an impact on them.

You only have one shot at today. You may only have one chance to impact that person you walked past in the street. You don’t know how long you’re here for. You are the only one sitting at your desk, you are the only one in your marriage, you are the only one in your specific role in your child’s life. Invest in other. Smile at the person you walk past in the street. Listen more than you speak. Give more than you take. This is not a dress rehearsal and you only have one shot at today, so make the most of it!

Goal Crusher Guide: My How-To System for Achieving Your Dreams

Fear and How it Keeps You Down

As I am reading “Your Beautiful Purpose” By Susie Larson, I’ve had some major breakthroughs in my understanding of fear and the role it has in my life. I hope you get value from this as well!

Are you aware of your fears? Do you know what they are, where they stem from, and how much control they have over the way you live your life?

Recently I have had a rude awakening to fears that have been deeply rooted in me for years- and the scariest part is, up until now, I didn’t even know they existed! Think about that. I didn’t even know they were there, and yet they had been controlling my thoughts, actions, and happiness all this time. Yikes!

Did you know that your fears are closely linked to your calling? That’s right. What you are afraid of is not an accident. It is strategic. Now I’m not talking about trivial fears, like the fear of heights, or of spiders. I’m not saying that if you’re terrified of public speaking that you are supposed to become a motivational speaker. Hear me out:

God has a plan for your life. He gave you gifts, talents, and abilities that are intended to be used for His purposes. He gave you passions and desires to guide you on how to use those gifts and talents.

Satan also has a plan for your life. His plan is to do whatever it takes to keep you from living out God’s plan. He wants to destroy, distract, and derail you.  Did you know that Satan realizes your potential before you even do? When he sees the potential you have to do great things for God, he sets himself on a mission to make sure you never accomplish all that you could and that you never realize your potential. If he can get you living life on autopilot, of if he can distract you with your busy schedule, or anything else to keep you from branching out and investing your time and talents somewhere else, then he is winning. A big tool he uses to do this is Fear.

Fear is deceptive. Just because we’re afraid of something doesn’t mean we should be. It doesn’t mean our fear is based on truth. In fact, what we are afraid of may not even be real! How many times have you not done something because you’re afraid of what others would think? Well the reality is, they aren’t thinking anything because you haven’t even done it yet! On top of that, you don’t actually know what they will think! In this scenario, you’re afraid of something that isn’t a reality, and isn’t based on facts or truth. Nevertheless, it’s controlling you.

Often times, the devil uses fear to keep us from using our gifts and talents for the Lord. The very thing you are afraid of may be the very thing that could unlock your potential and enable you to do great things in your life. I’ll give you an example:

I am just starting to realize that one of my gifts is to invest in and love others. I’ve always done this naturally and it honestly always has bothered me. I’ve found myself in countless one sided friendships, I’ve had people think they can walk all over me because of how nice I am to them, and I’ve been hurt. Alot. It’s hard to find other friends that give the same level of love and loyalty that I think is a no brainer. I often times feel let down by friendships because to me, I don’t feel like the other person is being that great of a friend.

After years of having friendships end in disappointment or hurt, I began to draw back. I told myself to cut people out and became increasingly guarded with other people. Now yes, it is always important to be cautious in friendship and to guard yourself to an extent, but what I was doing was different.

There is a difference between being cautious and being withholding. I found myself withholding my friendship. I would withhold acts of service to to others thinking, “They don’t deserve that from me.” Well, maybe some people don’t and it’s ok to draw that line, but the reality is: God tells us to love others, He tells us to do unto others as we would want them to do to us- NOT do unto others and they HAVE done to us. He gave me the ability to invest in others and to make others feel special. He gave me eyes to see people in a different light and see the good in them even if others don’t. Those are gifts, and they are to be used- not withheld because I’m scared of getting hurt. Satan was using my fear of getting hurt to keep me from using some of my biggest strengths. I am SO glad God is making me aware of this fear, otherwise Satan would be winning big time in that area of my life right now!

So, ask yourself right now, what are you afraid of? What things are controlling you? Here’s some ideas:

  • Are you so afraid of rejection that you don’t put yourself out there enough to make a difference? (Guys,  if you don’t have any haters, you’re not playing big enough.)
  • Are you too afraid of failing that you never even try and therefore will never accomplish all that you are capable of?
  • Are you too afraid of change to take a risk and change your life in a way that you should?

These are just some ideas I am throwing out there. I challenge you to think about your life and think about the areas that you are gifted in. Are you using those gifts to their full potential? Or are you being held back by fears and insecurities?

God created you for a purpose. Are you fulfilling that purpose? I encourage you to break the chains of fear today. Begin to unlock your gifts and talents and put them to use! You will be shocked by your ability to positively impact not only your own life but those around you!