Saundra Dalton Smith: Rest

Saundra Dalton Smith: Rest

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified internal medicine physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and a top 100 medical expert in Good Housekeeping Doctors’ Secrets.

She is the author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, including ground-breaking insight on the seven types of rest needed to optimize your productivity, increase your overall happiness and live your best life.

Learn more about Dr. Saundra at IChooseMyBestLife.com.

How to ALWAYS Pray

How to ALWAYS Pray

Prayer is such a crucial part of our faith journey. As a Christians living in the modern world we have direct access to throne room of God and Jesus our advocate is continuously interceeding on our behalf before the Father. I am currently praying and believing God for some pretty audacious prayers!

My friend Susan Macias is a mighty prayer warrior, and I am excited to invite her to By His Grace this week to her heart on prayer. Please welcome Susan to the blog today.


How To ALWAYS Pray

By Susan Macias

The days were closing in on Jesus’s earthly ministry as He traveled up to Jerusalem with His disciples. Along the way, He explained what was coming—that He’d be betrayed and suffer.

Soon He’d go to the cross for His people’s sins and they’d no longer be able to hear Him teach or receive His touch. What would happen then? Would they persevere?

It was at this moment we come to Luke 18 where Jesus gives two remarkable parables, both about prayer. But the verse that stands out the most to me is the introduction in Luke 18:1, which says, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (ESV, emphasis added) 

Jesus knew His people would soon be tempted to lose heart. To despair. To feel abandoned and alone. His solution was to teach them to ALWAYS pray so that wouldn’t happen. 

I’ve found no better antidote to the struggles and despair the world dishes out than to pray. Having continual conversations with my Heavenly Father keeps my eyes on Him and my heart resting in His work. ”Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.“ (Psalm 55:17, ESV)

But the instruction to ALWAYS pray can also feel overwhelming. What are some ways we can keep praying always without falling into legalism or frustration? One of my favorite methods is to look for triggers that will act as calls to prayer for me. Then, instead of the struggles leading me down a dark path of despair, they lead me to the enveloping arms of my Savior.

Here’s what it looks like:

Let Worry Be a Reminder: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6, ESV) Worry always shows up whenever I struggle. But worry destroys. So, I use that awful feeling of anxiety as a warning signal—I need to pray! Then instead of fruitlessly fretting, I’m fighting for a solution.

Let Someone’s Unkindness Be a Reminder:But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44, ESV). Whether it comes from someone I love or a complete stranger, unkindness hurts. It’s hard to love anyone who works against me. Usually, I’m tempted to give them back what I think they deserve. But, when I use that pain as fuel to pray for that person, not only do I not make things worse, I’m actually building toward God’s solution.

Let Suffering Be a Reminder:Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” (James 5:13a ESV). The bank account is low. The children are sick. The neighbor is difficult. The job is a struggle. The list of sufferings, small to large, stretches endlessly before us. But, when I use each and every one as a trigger to pray, I cut off despair, anger, and loneliness before they develop.

Let Joy Be a Reminder: ”…Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” (James 5:13b ESV). I miss out on wonderful communion with the Lord if I only go to Him with my problems. Joy, happiness, and success should also be launch pads for prayer. The praise kind of prayer helps me see the Lord’s hand in every part of my life, and keeps me from becoming self-reliant or prideful. And, I get to share the joy with the One who loves me most.

Practice Thanksgiving Always: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV). Practicing thankfulness for every little or big thing, whether good or bad, is the best habit for maintaining a constant prayer life. When I give thanks in everything, I never run out of things to pray about.

Prayer initiates me into sweet communion with Jesus. He invited and commanded me to pray, which means He wants that relationship with His people. I would be foolish to miss out on such an amazing gift. When I use the circumstances in my life as reminders, I ALWAYS pray. And I’m also much less likely to lose heart. 

What a privilege. And a precious gift.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12 ESV)

Susan writes and speaks with the goal to train an army of women to confidently stand their ground and fight offensively in prayer for their kids and families.

Her award-winning book UNCEASING: A Parent’s Guide To Conquer Worry And Pray With Power is available on Amazon, as is her prayer devotional 31 Days Praying For My Daughter. She loves coffee, queso, reading, playing with her grandkids, and hosting ridiculously large dinner parties.

You can find Susan at her blog, susankmacias.com.

 


Thank you for joing us today. I hope you will listen to the podcast Suan and I recorded it is chock full of wisdom.

We would consider it a blessing and honor to pray for you. Drop your prayer request in the comment section below or email your prayer request to info@mistyphillip.com.

Much Love,

Misty Phillip

Susan Macias: Power of a Praying Parent

Susan Macias: Power of a Praying Parent

Just because our kids grow older doesn’t mean we parents stop being concerned about them. My guest today on By His Grace Susan Macias says instead of worrying we should be praying without ceasing for children.

Susan writes and speaks with the goal to train an army of women to confidently stand their ground and fight offensively in prayer for their kids and families. Her award-winning book UNCEASING: A Parent’s Guide To Conquer Worry And Pray With Power is available on Amazon, as is her prayer devotional 31 Days Praying For My Daughter. She loves coffee, queso, reading, playing with her grandkids, and hosting ridiculously large dinner parties. You can find Susan at her blog, susankmacias.com.

Why I let My Husband Go – So that Others May Live

Why I let My Husband Go – So that Others May Live

I am tickled pink to invite Tracy Steel to By His Grace this week! We had a great time on the podcast, Tracy and I talk about the struggle of being a military wife on the move. Tracy provides some practical tips on how to make friends fast and build community and we dive deep into what God has taught her in Episode 32: Tracy Steel: On the Move. Today I welcome Tracy to the blog to talk about letting go of her husband as he leaves to go on a mission.

Please welcome Tracy Steel!


Why I let my husband go… so that others may live

By Tracy Steel

When I started dating my handsome Air Force pilot back in 2007, others warned me to consider marrying him carefully. It had nothing to do with him, personally. But because military life is not the easiest type of lifestyle. Not growing up in a military family, I honestly had no idea what I was walking into. Or what I would be asking my future children to walk through. But I fell in love with Chad Steel anyway. Regardless of his rank or the uniform he wears, my husband is a mighty man of faith and character. And he is hawt. Yes, I know this is not the correct way to spell the word “hot”, but he is VERY handsome, so he gets his own spelling of the word. I am thankful Misty has not edited this important detail from this paragraph.

Chad and I have been married for eleven years now and have moved six times during those eleven years. We have two beautiful children, and as I shared on the podcast the one thing that has truly has kept me going and guided me throughout our marriage with all of its moves and time apart is my faith in Christ.  

So early on in our marriage, as like within the first month, I had to face a reality that I didn’t want to think about. At that point in our marriage, God had called my husband to fight a physical enemy is a physical battle. And there was a possibility that he may not come back home alive to me after a future deployment. Talk about taking me to a whole new level of trust with God! But as I worked through this in the months and years that followed, my perspective started to change. Which was good, for two years later I had to hold my husband in my arms as tears fell from his eyes. He had made it back, but others did not.

Here is what happened and what God has helped me to see….

I could feel the lump in my throat. The silence was deafening. The American flag looked stunning as it waved against the cloudless sky. A lone trumpet began to play. My husband’s shaky hand grabbed my own hand that was filled with crumpled tissues. As I turned to look him, I saw tears streaming down his cheeks. I did not want them to touch his flight suit, so I quickly wiped them away. Once again, I noticed his silver wings placed across his upper left chest and over his heart. To the world, they are symbols of his heroism and dedication to protecting our great nation. To me, they symbolize his flights in combat and his return home, alive. As I pondered this, my own tears began to fall. As one of my fellow Air Force wives made her way up to the microphone, I began to weep. It didn’t matter that I had never met her before. I wept, because we were at her husband’s memorial service. On June 17th, 2010, we honored a hero that willingly gave his life, so “that others may live.”

“It is my duty as an Air Rescueman to save life and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do, that others may live.” Brig Gen Richard Kight

This is the actual motto of the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) community of the US Air Force. Being a part of this community, and the military, in general, has certainly made our lives interesting. For example, the military moves us every 2-3 years. This has provided us with incredible new friends from all over the United States who love and support us. We are truly blessed.

Unfortunately, despite the many blessings, military life has also created a few challenges for me. Given that our country has been at war for a while now, I grow weary of the impending deployments that are ever-present in our daily reality. I have allowed fear, the fear of my husband dying in combat, to haunt me at times. I especially struggled with this during our first year of marriage, when I had become pregnant right before my new husband was sent overseas. Several years later, we attended the memorial service I mentioned above, and my fears resurfaced.

What I have come to learn about this particular area of my life is this: if my husband does not deploy, someone else’s husband, father, son, or brother may not come back from combat alive. This is what he trained for. He and the rest of his crew members are ready to sacrifice everything, so “that others may live.” This truth touches my heart and quiets my fear. Deployments take on a new meaning when I keep this in the forefront in my mind.

Additionally, in the process of overcoming, I re-examined my beliefs pertaining to death. As a Christian, it reminds me that death is not to be feared. I have trusted in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for me on the cross. I believe that death is not the end for me, it is only the beginning. As Easter approaches, I am reminded that Jesus’ empty tomb took the sting of death away. Because my husband believes the same, his deployments take on a new meaning once again.

Let me be clear: I am not claiming to be Superwoman. I know that this fear will rise again. Why will it? Because I am human, that is why! I want to grow old with Chad. I want to watch our children mature and become the people God created them to be. I am human, but by working through my fear, I have realized the wondrous calling that God has given to my husband, and am reminded that my faith will sustain me should I become the heart-broken wife speaking into the microphone one day.

And if Chad and I do get to grow old together, then I pray that I will never forget June 17th, 2010. It taught me not to take any moments with my husband for granted. It reminded me of how precious life is, and that I have to let my husband deploy in order to preserve it.

This post is also dedicated to my fellow military wives. May you be encouraged as you wait for your husband to return home. For those who have buried their hero, I grieve your loss. May you experience God’s comfort for the rest of your days.

 

 


Tracy Steel graduated from Kansas State University with a BS in interior design in 1998 and has a master’s degree in biblical and theological studies from Phoenix Seminary. As a project designer, Tracy created and coordinated the design and space planning of commercial spaces for clients such as Bank One, Wells Fargo, Express Scripts, DHS, and Lockheed Martin. Moving from one type of interior design to another, Tracy then worked in full-time youth ministry, serving as the director of female students at Scottsdale Bible Church.

God’s true design for Tracy now involves improving the interior space of the hearts and minds of women around her. This military wife and mother of two enjoys linking up with other bloggers, leading Bible studies at her local church, and speaking at various moms’ groups and women’s ministries events nationwide.

She is also the author of A Redesigned Life, and Images of His Beauty, a 10-week Bible study for young women that focuses on identity, overcoming and healing through Christ, and bearing the image of Christ.

Tracy’s Social Media Links:

 
Thanks so much for visiting By His Grace today! Next week my friend Susan Macias and I are talking about praying for our grown children and you are not going to want to miss it!
 
Much Love,
 

Misty Phillip

Tracy Steel: On the Move

Tracy Steel: On the Move

As a military wife, Tracy has moved numerous times. On This episode of By His Grace, we talk about the struggle of being a military wife on the move, making friends, and plugging into new communities.

Tracy Steel graduated from Kansas State University with a BS in interior design in 1998 and has a master’s degree in biblical and theological studies from Phoenix Seminary. As a project designer, Tracy created and coordinated the design and space planning of commercial spaces for clients such as Bank One, Wells Fargo, Express Scripts, DHS, and Lockheed Martin. Moving from one type of interior design to another, Tracy then worked in full-time youth ministry, serving as the director of female students at Scottsdale Bible Church.

God’s true design for Tracy now involves improving the interior space of the hearts and minds of women around her. This military wife and mother of two enjoys linking up with other bloggers, leading Bible studies at her local church, and speaking at various moms’ groups and women’s ministries events nationwide. She is also the author of A Redesigned Life, and Images of His Beauty, a 10-week Bible study for young women that focuses on identity, overcoming and healing through Christ, and bearing the image of Christ.

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