The Car Rides (#jammed daily devo, day 126)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 126: Keep traveling.

And as for those who are skilled in their work,
    they will be recognized and invited to serve kings
    rather than regular folk.” Proverbs 22:29 (VOICE)

The soundtrack of two school-days played back at once, as we drove down the familiar image-126stretch of highway. Leftovers from lunch wafted through the vents and another layer of stickiness topped with crumbs fell onto the seats and the floor mats. Laughter from the good parts, and tears from the hard parts …their conversation is the most important part.

Today’s verse explains the striking realization that we are not put here to work as the world works. We are put here to work for Him.

“The lesson is that kings recruit the best.” Zondervan Bible Commentary

Our routine shuttling and honoring of commitments forms heartfelt moments of friendship as fellow daughters of the King. We go to Him for advice, together and separately, because we know He has the most important thing to say. God knows our hearts and our purpose, and so we trust Him. I trust Him, and lead the two beautiful girls He has lent me to care for in that way as well.

We are chosen, loved, worthy, and ‘best.’ In God’s eyes, we are not who we are but who He made us to be before we were. Finding it is not always easy. Sometimes, we may discover that what we though ‘it’ was led us to where we were supposed to be. Life can only be lived one day at a time, no matter how hard we try to squeeze more out of it.

Jesus lived each day to the fullest, because He remained in conversation with His Father. When we walk with our Savior, we are savoring time. When we learn to live in the pocket of His existence, we experience the peace of His love. It will feel awkward in the world, but oh …in that pocket …life is good. No matter how hard life pushes, stay in His lane for you.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for the pocket of existence that You have purposed for each of us. Thank You for guiding us daily through prayer and Your Word. Both privileges we experience because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Bless us to remember You in every conversation, and work hard at what You’ve called us to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Commuting,


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The TV Junkie (#jammed daily devo, day 116)

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 116: Turn it off.

 A mind focused on the flesh is doomed to death, but a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace.” Romans 8:6

Screens are a crazy bad for kiddos. I can attest to this by the crazed look in my daughters’ image-116eyes when I de-screen them. There are days that we are all lazy, and I let them become zombies in front of the TV or their tablets …and I always regret it. They seem less relaxed after relaxing in front of media all day.

Today’s verse offers advice on what to focus on, and I think it’s applicable to the struggle we all have to maintain a a balance with our access to technological entertainment.

Are we focused on it? There’s a difference in being entertained and having it become the sole focus of our existance. Anyone that’s ever yanked a tablet away from a kid before they are done with it has witnessed first hand the evidence of intense focus that was interrupted.

What are we’re supposed to be focused on? “…a mind focused on the Spirit …”

It’s not something to be seen, but experienced. When properly executed, if flows through us like water, and when the flow is interrupted, we feel like we’re going to fall. It begins with Him and ends with Him. And for it remain uninterrupted, so does our focus.

Here’s a few simple ways to keep the reel rolling throughout the day:

  1. Get up and read God’s Word. Even five minutes is beneficial.
  2. Talk to God. Conversation …about what’s actually going on in your life …not just what you think He might want to here or what we feel like owning up to at the moment.
  3. Write it down or listen to it. I tuck verses away places I know I’ll see them because I am horrible at memorization. Listening to praise music is a good way to keep rolling too.

Be present in life’s moments, but always be focused on Him.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for setting a desire to know You in us. Thank You for the many simple ways we can absorb and apply Your Word daily. WE confess that we are driven by apps more than Your Words more often than we’d like to admit, and pray that You will bless us to uphold little ways each day to hold You in focus, first. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Focusing,


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The Unfocused (#jammed daily devo, day 112)

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 112: Unfocused focus.

“…fixing our eyes on Jesus …” Hebrews 12:2

There’s a slight epidemic of jittery kids in school right now. It’s a hot topic, and teachers image-112are trying to tell us why. In the midst of all that’s required of our kiddos, they are missing out on some basic life requirements …kids have to move …a lot. They need to run, jump, play, dance, wiggle like maniacs, play tag, climb things and swing. Why doesn’t that fit into the curriculum anymore?

Today’s verse reminds us what to focus on. When we are looking to Him for what’s next, we move freely. How that looks on a grander, more societal scale …I don’t know, and I don’t think we’ll see it this side of heaven. Not all eyes are fixed on Jesus, and that calamity will play out until He comes back.

Life is set up on time. Without it, we’d be too prone to wander and get nothing done …yet with it we’re way prone to be task driven maniacs. The balance of life lies in the way it was created.

God’s voice.

The Creator of time is in control of time, and by acknowledging that we take some the stress of managing it out of our hands and into His. The difference between too little and too much plays out different in each individual’s set of God-given dreams and goals. What works for one person simply doesn’t for person sitting next to them. When we learn to take our individuality to God for direction, He stretches each day’s minutes to fit all He’s intended.

It’s difficult to teach children how to cope with a system that they have to go through when it doesn’t jive with who they are. But they develop important coping mechanisms during those school-aged years. If you are parenting an extra jittery little person, make sure they get enough time to connect with who they are. Sports and playtime … the arts and reading … cooking and exploring nature …

Humanity, created as an expression of God’s love, is expressive! Without all of the unique ways we accomplish that, the world would be colorless. 

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Jesus. Thank You for giving us a living example to focus on and look to. We confess that we do not always look to You for answers, and pray that You bless the minutes in our days to include enough time with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Jitters,


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The Pinch (#jammed daily devo, day 106)

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 106: Relief is coming.

Surely You’ve heard me say,
    “Don’t be deaf to my call; bring me relief!” Lamentations 3:56

Anyone who’s suffered long-term pain can relate to the sentiments of the prophet image-106Jeremiah in today’s verse. God does hear and answer our prayers, but His answers don’t always look the way we want them to, or happen in the time we would like them to.

When my husband first complained of a pinched nerve, I honestly didn’t pay much attention. It happens every so often, and usually goes away in a few days. This time, it was much worse. He couldn’t lay down. Night after night he tried, but ended up down in the basement on the reclining couch. After living with the pain for a week, myself and some friends pulled that couch upstairs …and weeks later, he was still sleeping there.

We take things for granted until they are taken away. Why does human nature have to be that way? God designed us, and did so perfectly …to need Him. He does give us more than we can handle and He does allow circumstances to bleed out beyond our control. There’s a lot of life that He will withhold the answers to, and we don’t have the capacity to understand why even if He let on.

After weeks of pain, therapy, and doctor’s visits, it became clear there was something else causing his nerve to be pinched. Something, as I write this, only God holds the answers to. In prayer to Him it’s tempting to beg for definitive answers over miraculous healing. But I know better from my own pain that hope deferred grows faith.

I pray for him to hear God’s voice through the pain, and feel His presence through the frustration. “Don’t be deaf to my call;” Jeremiah pleaded. When someone we love is in pain, we feel helpless to stop it. “Bring me relief!” When we are in pain, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, it takes over our focus. It becomes difficult to concentrate on the hope of healing, and hard to let go of what we think that should look and feel like.

Hold onto the hand that was nailed to the cross. That Hand knows pain like none other. Our hope is in Him.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Jesus. No one has ever experienced pain like He did for us. Thank You for His sacrifice, which allows us to call out to You for help in full confidence that You hear us and will answer us and heal us. Forgive us for wanting to control what the answers to Your prayers look and feel like and when they happen. Bless us to be strong in Your Word, and rely on You for strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Crying out,


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The Good-bye Day (#jammed daily devo, day 94)

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 94: Never really good-bye.

 So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

She could barely walk to the car fast enough. As her steps got closer to the car door, her image-94trembling mouth and watery eyes confirmed what her hurried gait had already given away. The day we had anticipated for weeks had finally come, and the final good-bye had become a reality. It’s never easy to say, but life demands it from us. The best way to part is in positivity, knowing that we met on purpose, became close by blessing, and will forever remain connected by memory.

I’m always careful to let my girls feel their feelings, and express their emotions. Only after they have, can peace be restored. They miss their friends. It’s not the same without them, and change is never easy. But change is humanity.

Today’s verse reminds us why change is not only good, but healthy for the soul. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all innately crave a little change. In the season, in location, in company, in food cravings, in exercise, hobbies …we are constantly evolving, as we were made to be! When Jesus is in control of our journey, we can expect change. We will change until the day we hug Him in heaven.

Friends mark our lives whether they are present for its entirety or just a few heartbeats. Today’s verse reminds us to take solace in the partings of this life, and embrace the next big adventure …or the next new friend.

Let’s be encouraged and reminded by today’s verse, that what we see with our eyes is only the tip of the iceberg. “All is fleeting.” All. Everyone. Everything. The day we say good-bye to this world is the day we set our feet home, in heaven.

So, how do we focus on what we cannot see, like today’s verse beckons us? We grab the hand of Jesus, and let Him lead …trusting His good plan for our precious lives. Created in His Father’s image, He longs to be with us where He is. (John 17: 24) Let go of control, and  embrace His change. Begin to live.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Jesus, and the hope He brings through the changes in our lives. Some are fun changes, exciting changes …and others are hard, confusing, and sad. But thank You for being the good God that You are, looking out for us in ways that are far beyond our sight and understanding. We confess the times in life that we do not embrace change, and ask that You bless our hearts to seek the life-changing love of Jesus every day of our lives. In His Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Changing,


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