What Being Brave Looks Like

Happy Monday Friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! This weekend I participated in my first 5K and had a great time in support of Shield Bearer Counseling centers.

Shield Bearer has been on the front lines championing healthy relationships, strong marriages, healthy families and strong communities. Shield Bearer promotes individual growth and development, preserves and enriches marriages and strengthens and unites families.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”xmEMq” via=”yes” ]Shield Bearer promotes individual growth and development, preserves and enriches marriages and strengthens and unites families.[/ctt]

They believe that strong communities are built by healthy families. Shield Bearer focuses on restoring broken relationships and building on the strengths of existing relationships.Their trauma specialists work with survivors of human trafficking. veterans, crime victims and their families and disaster survivors (such as Hurricane Harvey survivors.

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Today, I would love for y’all to check out my post on my writing sister’s Kelley Ivey Johnson’s blog in her series on What Being Brave Looks Like!

What Being Brave Looks Like: When You Feel Helpless

While you are there be sure to check out, her newly released book on Being Brave: A 40- Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You!

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Every day I am getting one step closer to my own book becoming a reality. This week I am crafting a book proposal that I will be sharing with some publishing industry experts this Spring and later this summer. Later in the week, I will be attending the Well Summit – Launch Well Publishing Event in Dallas, Texas, and can’t wait to tell y’all about it when I return next week!

Later in the week, I will be attending the Well Summit – Launch Well Publishing Event in Dallas, Texas, and can’t wait to tell you all about it when I return next week!

Also, I am collaborating with some amazing writing sisters on a new project, and can’t wait to share it with you very soon! Until then…

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Coming soon! I have another book review and give away on Lies Moms Believe: And How The Gospel Refutes Them by Rebekah Hargraves, along with the Companion Bible Study! I just got these in the mail and can’t wait to dig into them and let you know what I think.

One last thing, would y’all mind doing me a favor? If you like what I am doing here on the By His Grace Blog would you mind sharing it with your friends or posting about it on Social Media to help me spread the word? That would mean the world to me!

Much Love,

Misty

 

 

Encouragement​ for the Special Needs Parent

Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart! I had no idea what I signed up for when I began. My bright obedient firstborn son made my job look easy. It wasn’t until my second child came along that I realized just how difficult the road ahead would be.

Many years ago, I was at a homeschool conference desperately seeking answers to help me figure out how to homeschool my young special needs son. I knew God had called me to homeschool, but I had no idea of how to teach a child with special needs. I felt very alone, on an already lonely journey. Wandering around a vast exhibit hall, I had a divine interaction with a lady at one of the booths. She didn’t have a “magic formula” or a quick fix solution for me, but what she did have was wisdom.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”dcZ82″ via=”yes” ]She had walked far enough down a road similar to mine so she could shed some light on my path.[/ctt]

The Christian’s life is sometimes referred to as a “walk,” a “journey” or a “path.” The path is not always smooth or easy—sometimes we stumble and fall in our walk, and other times we lose focus on our journey and drift away.

Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Aren’t you glad that your Heavenly Father always has His eye on you? Even if we are lost and afraid, we are never alone. God is always with us. Even in our darkest times, He is there. All we have to do is call upon His name, and He is there to guide us and instruct us in the way we should go.

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One of my all-time favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6, which says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

This verse reminds me that even when my world is turned upside down, and I have no idea of what to do, if I put my trust in the Lord, and not try to reason things out on my own, He is faithful to show me the way. We must look to our Heavenly Father and acknowledge Him; trust Him.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”j8x0o” via=”yes” ]In this Christian life sometimes the way can be lonely, but we are never alone.[/ctt]

That is the wisdom that the lady I met at the homeschool conference had for me—advice that I needed to hear. It is so simple, yet so profound. We are not called to walk alone on this faith journey. God is always with us and He cares for us.

Some other things to remember when the road gets tough.

Our children are an incredible gift from God, and they give us a unique perspective on the world. There have been many activities that we haven’t been able to participate in because of our child with disabilities, but at the same time, we have had other experiences just because we have an exceptional child.

God has a purpose for the special needs child. Uniquely created, yet in the image of God. Just like everyone else who is alive and breathing on planet earth they have a calling on their life and were made for a purpose.

God doesn’t entrust his special children to just anyone. You were carefully chosen from the began of time to shepherd this extraordinary child. You are their earthly advocate. They need you to pray for them, believe in them, and do everything you can to give them the best possible life.

Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Fight the good fight. There is a blessing ahead.  “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.” Galatians 6:9 TLB When the days get hard, find time to rest.

Surround your yourself with a community that loves you, and that can pray for you on stressful days. When the days get too hard, find time to rest and take care of yourself. You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself.

Remember, wherever you are God is with you and you are never alone. He is fighting your battles for you, you only need to trust Him with your circumstances and with your child. Your child is His child, and He loves them more than you can imagine.

Whether you have a typical or a special child, what are some things that offer you hope as a parent when you are facing difficult times? Leave a comment below that might bless another weary parent.

May Jesus shine His face brightly on you today friend!

Much love, Misty

Hope When You Feel Like A Failure

I have made some pretty dumb decisions in my life, and life has not always worked out the way that I hoped or planned. Bad choices and sin in my life have caused me to feel guilt and shame that has weighed me down for far too long. I know without a doubt that I am saved, but the accuser likes to haunt me with reminders of my past failures.

One memory that comes to mind is when my entire world was turned upside down when my brother died.  I was in middle school, and his death had a devasting effect on my life. That same year a girl in my class lost her sister to a debilitating disease. The pain we both experienced in losing our siblings bonded us to one another.

We both decided to try out for cheerleading. I had been in dance and gymnastics for many years. We practiced routines in the front yard for hours on end. I taught my friend how to master a flip-flop, but after falling on my neck and head several times I developed a fear of tumbling. My friend went on to make the cheer squad, but I didn’t. This crushed my already broken heart, and I felt like a failure.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”y54Kv” via=”yes” ]Have you ever wanted to try something new, but were afraid you might fail? Me too.[/ctt]

Anytime I chose to step out of my comfort zone and walk in faith the accusations and the insecurities flood my mind. You’ll never be able to do that! Who do you think you are?What are you thinking? You are not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough! Essentially, I will never be enough, and the thought of that stings.

On my own, I may never be enough. But thankfully, that is not the final word. I find comfort and hope in the Bible which tells me that I can do all things through the help of Jesus.

 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13 ESV

Fortunately for you, and for me, we have an advocate in Jesus Christ, and He intercedes on our behalf continually to the Father. Jesus Christ is our champion, and through him, we can do anything! Jesus gives us the strength to do everything He calls us to do, and apart from Him we can’t do anything!

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”. – John 15:15 NIV

When we abide in Christ through surrender, repentance, prayer, and praise, we remain connected to the source, and when He reigns in our hearts and minds, we are fruitful, productive Christians. Does this mean that we will never fail at anything again? Absolutely not. We often miss the mark when we chose to go our way.  

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The Bible contains stories of flawed men and women who serve as a powerful example to us. They show us what to do and what not to do.  David was a man after God’s own heart, and we learn in 2 Samuel 11 that he committed adultery with Bathsheba and got her pregnant. Then sent her husband into to battle to die. Jonah gets a word from the Lord, and He runs the other way. Joeseph’s brothers sell him into slavery. Lot’s daughters get him drunk and sleep with their father, and the list of broken, imperfect characters go on and on.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”o946u” via=”yes” ]Failing is not the issue, what is critical is our response to failure.[/ctt]

Will we learn from our mistakes and lean into Jesus? Our trials and failures can help draw us closer to God. Our failings help us to see our great need for a savior. As we decrease we make room for Him to increase within us.

As we abide in Christ and walk in faith, not fear, we are able to do more than we can possibly imagine through the power of Jesus.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV

So instead of being afraid of failure, what would happen if we boldly stepped out in faith and in radical obedience to Jesus? How might that change our circumstances? And then how might that change our world?

God is calling me to be brave and walk out into deep waters to follow him, and everything will be okay as long as I keep my eyes fixed on Him. I can’t look to my left or to my right, my gaze must be firmly fixed on the master because in my flesh, I am weak and my feet may fail. But through Christ, I am strengthened to walk through whatever He wills.

I am wondering if God is calling anyone else out into deep waters? Do you ever struggle with feelings of not being enough? Or does fear paralyze you and hold you back from walking in obedience or answering His call on your life?

I would like to close this post today in prayer for you.

Heavenly Father, we love you, Lord!  Help us to be brave and live wholly for you in faith and help us in our doubting and unbelief.  I pray for my sisters to cast out the fear of failure and to be brave enough to step out in faith to do whatever it is that You are calling them to do today. That we would keep our eyes firmly fixed on you, Jesus!

Lord bless our obedience and help us to succeed in whatever you call us to do.  And Lord if we fail, gently pick us up and draw us near, remind us how much you love us and help us to get back on the right path. We love you Lord, and I thank you for each woman who reads this blog post, and I pray for a special blessing in her life.  Amen.

How do you combat feelings of failure? I would love to hear from you, join in the conversation by leaving a comment below. Thanks for reading this post to today, and if this has blessed you would please share with others?

Be blessed today!

Much Love, Misty

Victory Girl Interview

Hey Friends,

I know it has been quiet here on the blog the last couple of weeks.  I haven’t forgotten about you all, I have been busy working hard to finish writing my first book to get to my editor next week! Y’all this has been such an incredible undertaking for me, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord does with it. I would appreciate your prayers as I finish up and move into the editing phase.  You all will be the first to know when it gets published!!

Until then I wanted to share an interview that I did with my friend Author Amy Elaine Martinez in her Victory Girl interview series on Facebook Live this week on February 6, 2018. Amy is the Author of Becoming A Victory Girl. We both attended the She Speaks Conference 2016 and became friends online and finally met in person this year at the Declare Conference and we’ve become fast friends.

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We had some technical difficulties at the beginning of our Facebook Live video, but my sweet husband was able to edit the video down from an hour to about 20 minutes. Amy and I have a fantastic conversation about how God meets us in our grief and makes us overcomers. We talk about how our world is loud and noisy and we have to get into the quiet place to hear from God, and how we have victory through living a surrendered life in faith to Jesus. We talk about praying hard prayers and the importance of praying specific prayers.

Amy and I both share a bit about the loss of our brothers who both died in tragic accidents. I also share about coming to a place of absolute surrender when I broke both my arms at the same time and how God showed up in a mighty unexpected way! We discuss the deep and painful wounds of losing a child, and how God used that difficult situation for good.

The more time I spend with Amy the more I find we have in common. Amy is a passionate Victory Girl that has a beautiful heart for the Lord and the girl is a prayer warrior! She is an author, speaker, Bible teacher and ministry leader who longs to see women walk in victory.

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Becoming A Victory Girl is available now on Amazon! If you need encouragement to become a VICTORY GIRL, Amy’s book packs a punch and you will love her victory’s girls battle cry, prayers, and encouragement!

Y’all, we can have victory in Jesus even in the middle of difficult situations. Life is hard, and Jesus warned us that we would have trouble in this world, but He assures us that we can have peace.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Jesus overcame the world when he conquered sin, death, hell and the grave through his death, burial, and resurrection. An unlikely paradox, Jesus entered into our human condition and humbled himself to death on the cross to heal our fractured world.  If you have any questions about this I would be honored to pray with you and share the hope of Jesus that is within me. Or if there is an area in your life that you are struggling to gain victory in, I would love to pray for you!

If you enjoyed this interview please like and share this post with your friends and tag it #IamAVictoryGirl. Also, be sure to follow Amy Elaine so that you can watch future Victory Girl Interviews! Please leave me a comment below and let me know which part of this video resonated with you most.

Much Love, Misty