When the good thing you keep giving away is you {{giveaway}}

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Are you overwhelmed?

When I look this word up, the definition is bleak:

Buried.

Drowning.

Defeated completely.

Giving away too much of a good thing.

Oh, that last one hurts.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not who I want to be. Yet, there are times I look in the mirror and that’s exactly what I see. I wish I could blame someone else for this. I wish I could make excuses or write a tidy list explaining why it just has to be this way.

I know better. Just this past month I slowed way down and refueled. It was sweet. It was intentional. We were still really busy, because that’s our life.

That’s when I realized: The things we need to do will never, ever go away. There will always be one more thing. One more opportunity. One more need. One more thing I can pile on the schedule. Almost every woman I know battles this, and there are seasons and factors that we can’t change.

Yet we are not helpless.

Let’s begin today by giving ourselves permission to not.have.to.do.it.all.

My friend, Glynnis Whitwer, shared this verse this week:

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)

As she shared it, I heard it as if it were the first time. I understand the concept of physical rest, but this was deeper.

You will find rest for your souls.

I wanted to grab that verse with both hands and pour the words over my heart.

Listen, daughter. I have rest for your soul. 

Is that a word you need to hear today?

If the good thing you’ve been giving too much of is you, it’s time to re-evaluate. It doesn’t mean that God won’t use your life, or that busyness will completely come to a halt. It simply means that we acknowledge that God isn’t asking us to do it all, all of the time.

We can say no to some things.

We can acknowledge that not every opportunity is our opportunity.

We can put down technology that pulls at us and let silence settle in those harried places.

I don’t know what this looks like for you, but I’m asking Him what it looks like for me.

As we go into 2017, let’s look back.

What causes that overwhelmed feeling and overwhelmed life?

Answer this question with as much honesty as possible.

Take a good long look at it. Let’s ask the Lord to show us our part in it, and how to begin to seek soul rest in the midst of it.

Lord, we desperately need soul rest. Show us how. We thank you for leading us to fill back up. 

Suzie

I’m reading a pretty terrific book by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory titled Overwhelmed. They have offered to give away one copy to one of you!overwhelmed

Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity

Share your answer to this question to be entered: What is one change I can make, with God’s help, to feel less overwhelmed?

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How I got my prayer mojo back

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I want to welcome my friend, Lauren Gaskill, around the table today. She’s a writer, a speaker, and a podcaster. Today she shares her story on how she started to believe in prayer. . . all over again. ~ Suzie

 

I’ve been called a prayer warrior.

laurengaskill_001My friends know me as the woman they can turn to when they need someone to battle on her knees with them.

But it hasn’t always been this way.

There have been times in my life when prayer was more of an afterthought or last resort when things got really bad. There have bene times when I wondered if God even heard my prayers. There have been times when I doubted the power of prayer.

Maybe you can relate. [Read more…]

21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer: the real reason we pray

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Our last day of this adventure. . .

Can you believe it?

This prayer adventure has changed me. I hope that it’s changing you too.

It’s also shown me how challenging it is to make this a part of my life. It’s rich. It’s faith-changing. It’s also the one area where the enemy pulls no stops in all-out battle to keep me from doing it.

I can’t end this 21-day adventure without addressing a question that a lot of people have asked. A question I’ve asked at times as well.

Why pray? [Read more…]

21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer: Shake up the church, Jesus.

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The church feels a little damaged.

A little dinged. A little divided.

Our response might be to take a side, or lament about the “good old days.” Or maybe we are against the “good old days” and we spend a lot time wishing it was different.

It’s not the first time the church has felt this way. [Read more…]

21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer: Lord, shake me up

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Do you want to pray a brave prayer?

I do.

This is a simple prayer today.

Praying brave prayers says less about you than it does your faith in God. You know your limitations. You also know that God can use ordinary people to change the world.

So you sign up, no matter what that looks like.

The thing is we can become super comfortable in our faith. That’s why our revolutionary prayer is a cry for God to shake us up.

Are you ready?

Your prayer might look very different from the one below, but this is what is simmering in this girl’s heart. If you don’t have words, just pray it with me.

Shake me up, Lord. You called me to live in faith. To believe in what you have said. To pray for others. To give “stuff” far less room in my heart than loving others tangibly. Shake up my dreams. Shake up my apathy. Shake up my pre-determined views of who you are, and what is possible through you. Shake up my excuses and shake up my self-imposed limitations. Shake up strongholds that I might not even know exists in my heart.

I give you total access, Holy Spirit. Make yourself at home in me and begin your work. In Jesus’ name I pray.

Suzie

 

When you ask God to shake you up, it opens the door for his work in you. I don’t know what God will do with all these prayers, but I know that he searches for those who will pray them.

This is a prayer of surrender.

Write your prayer in your journal. Give him total access (one more time). Don’t try to make anything happen. Let God work in his timing. Just be open to whatever he comfortablefaithdesires to do in you.

If you love this conversation, you might love these blog posts:

Completely wrecked (in the best way)

Climbing out of your comfort zone

Is faith supposed to be comfortable

 

21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer: When I’m the least thankful . . . {{giveaway}}

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If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome! We are in a 21 Day Adventure. Come on in. Grab a place around the table. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. ~ Suzie

Do we ever listen to ourselves?

Last night Richard and I were eating a burger in downtown D.C. when four teenaged girls walked in. One was angry. She jabbed her finger at a friend, using language that colored the air. She wasn’t mad at her friend. She was furious with a boy and we all heard every juicy detail.

An older guy who bussed tables in the restaurant walked up to her. He put his hand on her shoulder and whispered in her ear. She quieted down, at least for a few moments.

After the girls left, the man came to our table.

“Sorry ’bout that,” he said.

“She was pretty angry,” I replied.

He worked quietly, shaking his head. “Yeah,” he said. “I told her that she was far too beautiful and valuable to be shouting such ugly words.”

You know that moment where the Holy Spirit whispers something deep inside of you?

When an ordinary moment suddenly shouts truth?

There are days I’m twisted up about something, and my attitude doesn’t reflect who I am at all. I wish I could say that a day like that only affects me, but it doesn’t work that way. My ingratitude/attitude spills on everyone within reach.

You are far too beautiful and valuable to me to be so ungrateful, Suzie. 

Oh word, Lord. I hear you.

Today our revolutionary prayers will settle in those places where we feel the least thankful. Sounds a little crazy, but something powerful takes place when we do this.

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Maybe you’ve been griping about your job. What if you thanked God for that job today?

Perhaps you’ve wrestled with an attitude regarding a waiting time. What if you thanked God for being with you while you wait?

What if you’ve been secretly griping about that loved one. What if you whispered thank you instead?

Whatever it is, find that place where you are shouting inside, maybe even coloring the air with your words or actions, and simply thank Him.

I don’t know what that looks like. I promise you this. If you ask the Holy Spirit to show you, he will.

I’ll be doing the same.

Happy Thanksgiving friends. I hope your day is amazing. If it’s not, I pray the God within you gives you peace that no one can steal.

Suzie

Day 18 of 21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer

I understand that some of you are in hard places. I’m not asking you to pretend that it’s not hard, or to thank God for something as horrific as abuse. For most of us, that’s not where we struggle.

Many of us struggle with the little stuff. We struggle with discontent. We wrestle with wanting something more than what we have.

We may have fallen into a habit of ingratitude. That’s so easy to do, but thankfully it’s not hard to change. The more we thank Him in those least thankful places, the more we become “noticers.” We start to see the beauty in the ordinary, and it’s reflected in FREE Book of Prayers for #comewithme by Suzanne Ellerour words and attitude — which spills over into our relationships.

And we change. That’s revolutionary!

Here’s a free giftCome With Me Prayer Booklet — just for you.

I’m also choosing one comment randomly from today’s post to win a copy of Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads

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21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer: will we weep for the lost?

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Jesus wept.

He was sitting on a donkey, ready to descend into the city of Jerusalem. He didn’t just shed a tear. He sobbed.

Why?

The cross was hours away. He had tirelessly prayed for people. Healed people. Instructed, taught, and tried to lead them to the heart of the Father.

Some rejected him outright. Others just didn’t understand.

Jesus wept for them.

Today, we’ll weep with him.

I have someone on my heart. She doesn’t understand that God loves her right where she is. She doesn’t know that he treasures her. She doesn’t realize that he isn’t concerned about her outward battles near as much as healing her inner scars.

It’s easy to make our faith a me-centered religion, when Jesus shows us the exact opposite. His life on earth wrapped around people. His death was about the lost. His resurrection was in order that they might be found.

Day 17 of 21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer

Pray for that person you’ve given up on — the one who seems to be a million miles away from hope.

Ask God to show you his heart for that one.

Write down a scripture and pray it over them, inserting their name into the promise.

It’s not our job to fix or save anyone, so this is not our burden to bear. It’s our privilege to pray and believe for them, and to remind ourselves that there is no one beyond redemption — no matter how lost they seem.

Want to take this deeper?

Listen to my heart as I share how Jesus searches for the lost.


ComeWithMeCoverThis is a video that is a part of a Come With Me Study.

If your church or small group is considering their next study, 12 videos are available free to your group, as well as resources such as a downloadable journal and prayer guide.

My prayer when writing this book was that women would stand shoulder to shoulder across the world, following Jesus wherever he leads, whatever he asks, whatever miracle he desires to do in us or through us.

Suzie

 

 

21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer: Allowing God in every part of your day

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Is God welcome in every part of your life?

More than church.

More than the sweet parts.

What if we invited Him into every single aspect?

That’s our revolutionary prayer today. We are going to invite God into every part of our day. Into the hard parts. The good parts. The parts we don’t want anyone to see.

Consider the “closed” sign coming down. Throw open the door. Tell Him that He’s welcome.

Later, when you want to throw your hands up in the air and scream, let Him in that moment too.

When you feel happy, welcome Him into that celebration.

What is our goal?

To live on the edge of prayer all day long, so close to God that we never are embarrassed or ashamed or too busy to listen for His voice.

To live a life that says “welcome” to the Holy Spirit.

What might this look like for you?

Are there any aspects of your day that you have closed the door to your Heavenly Father?

How can I pray with you today?

Suzie

Day 16 of 21 Days to Revolutionary Prayer

  • Welcome God into every part of your day.
  • If there’s a part of which you are ashamed, throw open the door. He’s already aware of it, but invite Him to lead you in these areas.
  • Throughout the day, intentionally welcome God into your day. Small moments. Hard moments. Joy-filled moments.

merciesIf you want to take this a little deeper, these past conversations might be helpful:

How to move on and forgive when you screw up

I feel unfinished

Start your work in me, Lord

If you are struggling with hidden sin, this might be helpful: What about a sin that I can’t control?