Tiny House Tuesday // Finding Ideas in a Magazine + Starbucks Giveaway

Tiny House Tuesday

With the interior work just around the tiny bend, my abstract ideas need to harden like concrete.

For instance, there will be the eight-foot-long desk but we’ve not yet decided on the materials. There will be walls, but will they be planked or smooth? And the floors, will they be wood of a lighter or darker tone? These are just a few of the questions tapping on my brain when I’m all tapped out.

Pinterest is usually my go-to when searching for new ideas. But last week, while facing a stash of multi-layered eye candy otherwise known as magazines, I spotted two letters⏤Ti⏤peeking out from the left side of a Dwell Magazine. Could it be? Why yes, yes it could:

I rescued the latest issue of Tiny Homes magazine and later turned the pages one by one, hoping to gather ideas into my concrete bucket. Some corners received the coveted fold-over while others were pleasantly ignored.

Here are some of my favorite fold-overs for various reasons:

 

Tiny House Desk

Any time I spot a tiny desk in front of a window, I take note. It seems like many are bar height, maybe because it doubles as a table for those who live in their tiny abode.

 

Tiny House Charleston

These window boxes make the colorful Rainbow Row-inspired siding pop. Let’s just say there may be a patch of pink flowers peering in my windows down the road.

 

Tiny House Community in Greenville SC

I learned there’s a tiny house community only minutes from my house (now I know of two!) Yeah, that Greenville.

 

Tiny Gardens

A garden, be it veggies or flowers, doesn’t require a lot of space to be productive. One day, Lord willing, there will be a garden filled with hollyhocks, foxgloves, and other vintage flowers framing the tiny house. But first, a long strand of free weekends await, something we’ve not enjoyed for over a year. (For more tiny garden ideas, visit my Pinterest boards!)

 

And finally, sometimes it’s not so much about finding what you want to put in your space, but what you don’t want…like, say, these antler rails. Make it stop.

 

When the interior work begins, watch for specific questions on Instagram. I look forward to your feedback!

 

But for now, just for fun…what’s your favorite magazine? Do tell!

{Leave a comment to have your name included in a Starbucks giveaway. Enjoy a cup of coffee while dog-earing your own pages!}

Thank you for spending time at the Tiny House on the Hill today.

 

 

Why I Created The Tiny Prayer Garden E-Book

Garden Bench

Dirt beneath the nails is a badge of honor in my family.

Back in the ’40s, my great-grandmother, Fannie Reece, was known for her dinner plate-sized dahlias. She lived in a mill town where houses circled the block. Behind the houses was a field where her flowers grew. From Grandmother Reece’s back stoop, the top of the field was quite steep, accessible only by large field stones carved into the landscape.

I remember climbing those stones as a young girl. Dahlias and chrysanthemums of all colors and sizes spread across the land like a brightly-colored quilt.

Grandmother Reece must’ve handed down her green thumb to my grandmother, Elsie Knighton. On the window sills of her back porch, plants lined up with torn pieces of tin-foil cupping the bottoms to prevent spillage onto the corn-colored linoleum floors.

And my other grandmother, Alberta Scott, was a charter member of her local Garden Club. Large southern Gardenia shrubs lined one side of her home. Their perfumed petals welcomed guests long before MaMa had time to greet them at the door with a smile and a full-on hug.

MaMa (Alberta Scott, on far left) with two of her best friends and fellow Garden Club Members, Reba Crow and Catherine Edwards, (whom I was named after!)

 

But there’s more to gardening than the size of a flower or the perfume it carries.

 

God could’ve chosen to place man anywhere and He chose a garden.

 

When I catch a whiff of fragrant shrubs or touch the red clay of the Carolinas, I feel an undeniable tug toward heaven, and it’s for this reason I wrote A Tiny Prayer Garden for new subscribers. Creating a prayer garden doesn’t have to be fancy, cost a lot of money, or sap our last ounce of energy. It’s simply an intentional place to meet with God among His glory-filled creation.

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Tiny Prayer Garden

The introduction to A Tiny Prayer Garden:

 

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. Genesis 2:8 NIV

“It’s no coincidence that life began in a garden. 
Trees invite us to find respite beneath their branches, the scent of flowers lingers mid-air, and the choruses of birds praise their Maker. If you feel at home in a garden, it’s not surprising, because, in a way, you are.

My grandmother was a charter member of her local Garden Club. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in her enamel-clad kitchen. A journal decorated in flowers sat on her smooth speckled kitchen counter by the stove. On the cover was written: 

“One is nearer to God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.” – Dorothy Frances Gurney

To create a prayer garden is to set apart a quiet place for you to meet with God. The moment you step outside, your senses engage, inviting you to enter a quiet, thoughtful place. God meets with you in the garden, or anywhere else. He is only a breath away. 

But there is something to be said for creating a place to talk with, and listen to, God.

So, why a tiny prayer garden? 

Because many today are choosing to live on a smaller scale whether through downsizing, minimizing, or simplifying. Regardless of where we live, most of us long for a small, private, and dare I say, manageable, place to step away from the hectic culture in order to embrace the quiet. 
And in doing so, we’re in good company.

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23


When a prayer garden is kept tiny, it simplifies everything— the design, required tools, time and energy. It’s possible to create a meaningful place for soul refreshment without depleting your resources. 
Prayer gardens can be simple, elaborate, or anything in between. There’s no right or wrong. They can also vary in size because the word tiny is subjective.

It’s not about a space in the yard, but rather, a place in the heart that brings the prayer garden to life. 
And finally, you’ll find sensory tips at the bottom of each section. Planning with your senses in mind adds a layer of thoughtfulness that you’re sure to appreciate for years to come.”

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In addition to A Tiny Prayer Garden, you’ll also find a bundle of six popular downloads under the NEW Freebies Tab that’s available to new members of the *tiny* community.

Freebie Bundle for Subscribers

But if you’re not ready to join us, that’s okay. There’s still something for you on the Freebies page. 🙂

So what does it mean to become a part of our community? It simply means that you support the ministry of the work that’s shared here @ the Tiny House on the Hill. Not financially, but through prayer, engagement on the blog, and an excitement to share the posts with others in hopes of offering them hope and encouragement.

Members of the THOTH community receive 2-3 blog posts in their inbox each month and a Monthly Letter that includes:

  • Behind-the-scenes pictures/videos of our progress on the tiny house.
  • First-to-know updates on my books and other happenings at the house.
  • First notifications and glimpses of new releases, like A Tiny Prayer Garden.
  • Helpful downloads and links created exclusively for subscribers
  • And a fun monthly giveaway.

What’s not to love? *smile*

Do you have a garden, or plan to have one in the future? Or do you remember a garden from your past? I’d love to hear about it!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by for a visit at the Tiny House on the Hill.

 

How I Set Up My Prayer Journal for 2019 + A LePen Giveaway

Prayer Journaling

I want to be that woman⏤the one who swirls her colored pencils, creating a design befitting a beautiful prayer journal.

 

But I’m not.

 

Instead, I buy pencils and markers in an array of colors, along with hand-lettering books, to feel like the woman who does such things. Truth is, I buy a fetching three-ring binder from Target, a pack of College-ruled notebook paper, and new for 2019⏤a pack of LePens. (Hey, if I can’t create a design, I can at least write in fabulous colors.)

Years ago, I searched for crisply lined journals with lovely covers to write poetry, but creativity clutched my brain like a toddler to a mother’s leg, refusing to let loose. Don’t write a word on that gilded line until you have the perfect word. Needless to say, few poems made their way to the pages. But somewhere along the way, I started using plain ol’ notebooks to record my poetic thoughts. It’s a mental game, of course, teasing the brain that it’s okay to write away because it’s a throwaway notebook.

 

For me, it’s the same with prayer journals.

 

God isn’t expecting or seeking perfection in the words poured out onto the page. He’s not moved by the handwriting, but rather, the heart that is writing. When I use a three-ring binder stocked with loose-leaf paper and four tabs, I feel free to write, cross out words, jot down scripture references, and scribble sideways when necessary.

In the past, I’ve journaled prayers using My Prayer Partner Notebook by Becky Tirabassi, fancified journals with life-giving words on the cover, and five-subject notebooks. But one small important distinction between using journals/notebooks and three-ring binders/loose-leaf paper is the ability to add loose paper to specific sections, as needed.

 

Sections, you say. Why, yes.

 

On one sheet of loose-leaf paper, at the front of the binder, I create a cover page that lists specific needs I can pray over each day of the week.

  • Sunday – our church, pastors
  • Monday – our children, grandchildren, and family
  • Tuesday – Hope*Writer and Facebook requests
  • Wednesday – our small group
  • Thursday – missions
  • Friday – the lost
  • Saturday – fellow writers and their work

After the cover page, I have tabs that vary in subject at times, but these are the standard four:

 

First Section :: Adoration

“Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name…” Psalm 29:2

I see this different from a time of praise. It’s a specific space to declare my awe and wonder of God — who He is, not what He does for me in specific situations. I read through a Psalm, choose one specific characteristic and write out the verse. Sometimes that’s the only thing written. When I allow myself to meditate on this truth of who God is, it becomes more about being (still) and less about doing.

 

Second Section :: Thanksgiving

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34

Because focusing on God’s characteristics can’t help but lead to a grateful heart, it’s here I write the ways I’m thankful for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It’s also the place I record the specific why behind the gratitude, helping to take it the gratefulness to a deeper, more personal level.

 

Third Section :: Search and Find

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23, 24 NIV

It’s here I pause and ask God to search my heart, confident there are sins and struggles I simply don’t see. I usually write them down, but sometimes I don’t, refusing to be legalistic about my time with God. The main point is to have a searchable heart that results in confession, cleansing, and sweet restoration.

 

Fourth Section :: Intercession

“Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open.” Ephesians 6:18 The Message

I like to divide this section into two: one for friends struggling with long-term issues like sickness, ongoing marriage or children issues. The other, for short-term requests. Pocket Prayers are also used for both when I’m in a pinch for time. Not sure what those are? I share more in the post How to Pocket Your Prayers.

 

Quick Tips:

  • Date your entries. You’ll appreciate pinpointing the date of original prayers and praises in the future.
  • I address entries to my heavenly Father. People have shared how this one point often trips them up in prayer journaling — not knowing how to direct their prayers on paper. Again, it’s not about the paper, but the heart.
  • Leave ample space beside requests for praise and answers to prayer. Pray expectantly!
  • Recording God’s answers to prayer will not only heighten appreciation, but it will also serve as a journal of God’s faithfulness for future generations.
  • There may be times when you need to write something so personal that the thought of anyone reading it tempts you not to record it. Go ahead, write it⏤get it out⏤on a separate sheet of loose paper in your binder, pray through it, and then throw it away.

 

Oh my, how I’d love to say I journal every day, but I don’t. On those days I miss, I rest in knowing that my prayers⏤my connection with God⏤isn’t limited to ink that flows onto man-made pages. Our prayers go wherever we go.

Journaling is simply a tool to slow us down and focus, helping us to become more intentional about prayer in a world that wants us to be anything but.

So, how about you? Do you journal your prayers? If so, what type of book do you use? If not, is this something you will consider doing in 2019?

 

A Prayer Filled 2019

I’m loving my new LePens so much (thank you Amazon Lightning Deal) that I’d like to give away a three-pack in celebration of journaling our prayers in 2019. Simply answer the question above (or just pop in and say hello) to be entered in the giveaway. The winner will be randomly selected via miniwebtool.com on Saturday, January 5th.

Thank you for joining me on this *tiny* journey in 2018. Lord willing, this new year will see a completed Tiny House on the Hill, a small space that I pray will magnify our great God for years to come.

Blessings to you and yours in 2019!

20 Simple Ways to Offer the Love of Christ this Christmas + Starbucks Giveaway

christmas gifts

My paternal grandmother, Alberta Scott, aka Ma-ma, crafted the art of memory-making.

Every December certain things took place in her home. The smooth sounds of Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis spun on the console upstairs while boiled custard simmered on the stove. A twelve-inch ball of Styrofoam decked out in olive-green velvet hung over the same doorway for as long as I can remember. And the gold pedestal candy dish in the living room was emptied of common candy in favor of peppermints.

Ma-ma made Christmas special for everyone who walked through her door. But she didn’t stop there. Every year, she loaded her Buick with homemade pound cakes, fudge, and spritzer cookies, making her rounds to those who were home-bound, lonely, and sick. Even as a little girl, I remember thinking how I wanted to be like her when I grew up.

 

Her gestures were simple but meaningful.

 

She taught me that sharing the love of Christ, especially at Christmas, is a privilege that no jolly red-coated gift deliverer could possibly match.

Over the years, I’ve tried creating ideas that worked for our family. Below are some of those ways. I’d love to read yours in the comment box!

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:16 ESV

Offering the love of Christ at Christmas

  1. As you receive Christmas cards in the mail, place them in a bowl in the center of your table. Pick a card each night and pray for that family.
  2. Before your fluffy socks hit the floor each morning, ask God to help you be attentive to the divine opportunities He has for you that day. Maybe you will be the only patient person in line behind the woman who plops 20 items down in a 10 item lane. Or, the only person that shows restraint, refusing to honk at the woman who robbed you of a green light because she was too busy reading her phone. Deep breath Cathy, deep breath.
  3. Not only come to a complete stop for pedestrians but smile at them. It’s a nice way to let them know they’re not an intrusion on your day and that they are worthy of your time.
  4. Go beyond what’s expected when you hear the bell ring near a favorite store. Buy a bottle of water or a hot cup of cocoa for the person who is willing to brave the weather to raise money for those in need. If you really want to make their day, take their order for a nearby coffee shop or restaurant. The smile you receive will be the brightest gift you’ll open this season.
  5. Family activity: Bundle up, grab a basket and head outdoors to find objects in nature for a holiday centerpiece. As you walk, consider pointing out the details of God’s magnificent handiwork. When you return home, place a large white candle in the center, sharing how Christ is the true Light, the Light of all mankind (read John 1). Capturing ordinary moments for God’s glory releases extraordinary possibilities.
  6. Celebrate Advent as a family. It begins December 2nd and ends December 24th. Advent – A Countdown to Christmas, by Focus on the Family has several resources that are sure to help you get started.
  7. Give the gift of song. Gather friends for cocoa and go caroling! Hand out peppermint canes with tags that read, Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)
  8. Exchange busy for being. For a few minutes each day, be intentionally still and quiet as you meditate on Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God.
  9. Curl up with your favorite cup of tea and Christmas novella. After all, how can we serve others if we ourselves are depleted?
  10. Lend an ear⏤a listening one, that is. For those who are struggling with the season, be there. It’s not so much what you say as much as what you hear.
  11. Do you enjoy decorating? Take time to notice those around you who may have physical difficulties and unable to decorate a tree.
  12. Gift a day. If you know someone who became a widow in 2018, create a day for them. If they’re a single mom of young children, offer to watch the children. Or plan a day that doesn’t require money — hiking, festivals, or a church Christmas program.
  13. “Wrap gifts” for Jesus. I was a single mom when I celebrated my first Christmas as a Christ-follower. Throughout the month of December, I jotted down specific ways I was thankful for my new life, His promises, and blessings. Each one went on a different note card and under the spindly Christmas tree. On Christmas morning, after the boys had gone to their dad’s, I spent a quiet time unwrapping the gifts and saying each one aloud. It was a Christmas I’ll never forget. That’s what happens when one crosses over from darkness to light.
  14. Invite a lonely neighbor to dinner or dessert. The blessing doesn’t dwell in a dish but rather, the heart.
  15. Adopt a family with a deployed military parent. Being a single parent is never easy but this is especially so during the holidays.
  16. Write to someone who has especially blessed you this year. “More than kisses, letters mingle souls.” – John Donne. What would it mean to you to receive such a letter?
  17. Who couldn’t use a cup of coffee? Consider treating the person behind you in line. Not so long ago, I chose to forego a pay-it-backward moment because the woman seemed to have it all together. Why would a woman driving a BMW with impeccable style need a free coffee? (Must I reason everything out?) One divine tap. That’s all it took. God alone knows what’s going on in the heart of another.
  18. As you flick on your lights in December, let it remind you how Jesus is the Light of the World. He pierced your darkness and mine.
  19. Do you know someone who has lost a loved one in 2018? Consider gifting them an evergreen plant or tree. In the note, remind them that like the evergreen that retains color all year long, their love too will remain. Perhaps invite a few close friends and spend time sharing sweet memories of the person as you plant the tree together.
  20. Take a cue from the song Silent Night, Holy Night and turn off all TV’s, phones and laptops. Read a book, sing Christmas carols, work on a Christmas puzzle, or bake Christmas cookies for yourself and others.

{Download a PDF copy of the above list here.}

Every December, I peel open the tote that holds Ma-ma’s ball of styrofoam dressed in olive-green velvet and smile. Yes, the memories of childhood prompt it but it’s the blessing she brought to others that hold it.

Mustard Seed Moments

Watch for the next Tiny House Tuesday! It will be my only post during the month of December. I plan to enjoy my family, merge into a new church family, prepare my heart for Christmas, and down buckets of coffee. Speaking of which…

What’s one way you/your family reach out to others during the Christmas season? Or, is there an idea above you plan to try this season? Leave a comment and your name will be included in a random drawing for a $10.00 gift card from Starbucks!

**Subscribers! Be sure to check your inbox today. A full list of family ideas for the Christmas Jar is included in your Letter from the Tiny House on the Hill. 

 

Three Ways to Draw Close to God This Fall

Draw Near to God

I’m convinced that if there’s an eternal season in heaven, it’s Fall.

It’s also the perfect season for spending time outdoors, finding quiet spots, and rousing our senses, so let’s consider three ways we can draw closer to God in the coming weeks.

 

1. Engage Your Senses

 

October delivers the swiftest punch of the twelve, offering up a whole host of sensory delights:

Feel: Chilled heavy breezes, rough-hewn rake handles, warm scarves snug around the neck
Taste: Candy corn, pumpkin pie, cinnamon stirred apple cider, S’mores
See: Brilliant hues, baring limbs, roaring bonfires
Hear: Crispy leaves underfoot, banjos picking atop flatbed trailers at local festivals
Smell: Smouldering logs from dampened campfires, the rancid scent of ripening pecans on the tree

My book, Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains, was written with the mingling power of our senses and God in mind. It’s also perfect for a staycation. *wink*

Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

Mustard SeedTake note of your own sensory finds this fall. How can you “taste and see” that the LORD is good through each of your finds? 

Heavenly Father, awaken our senses to Your amazing creation as we go through our days this Fall. As we taste and see your goodness, may we be quick to give You all the glory. Draw us near. 

 

**Subscribers! Your October Monthly Letter should’ve landed in your inbox yesterday. In it, you’ll find your exclusive copy of Ten {Tiny} Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Autumn.

 

2. Spend Time Praying for Specific Things

 

What are you praying for these days? Maybe it’s for a person, a situation, or a whole laundry list of needs. Regardless, God hears you. Now add specificity and we’re given an opportunity to witness God’s awe-inspiring attention to detail in action.

 

One of those moments came for me one day while peering out our window. I’d not sensed His presence as much in recent weeks, even though I was confident He was there—whether I felt it or not. Nevertheless, like any daughter desiring to feel closer to her Father, I made a simple heartfelt request, Lord, I just want to know You’re near.

 

Before I caught my next breath, a brief blustery gust of wind swept through the trees closest to my window pane—without disturbing another tree in my yard.

 

To some, a ten-second gust of wind would simply appear as our season’s signature. And perhaps it was⏤but to me, at that moment, it was a reminder that He is that close.

 

Prayer is not monologued, but dialogue. Gods voice in response to mine is its most essential part. ~ Andrew Murray

 

Mustard SeedSet aside a night in October. Find a cozy corner, pour a cuppa Joe, and consider what one person or circumstance you can pray for specifically. Bonus points if you jot it down in a journal and watch expectantly for His answer.

 

Heavenly Father, I thank You that Your presence in our lives is never dependent on whether we feel like You are near, or not. As we seek to draw nearer to You, give us a holy boldness to pray specifically, trust fully, and watch in expectation. Amen.

 

3. Head Outdoors

 

October invites us to marvel at the artistic flair of our Creator the moment we step outdoors.

Consider for a moment how God could’ve surrounded us in a black and white existence. But instead, He gifted us with a kaleidoscope of colored leaves, bright-colored pumpkins, crisp red apples for the picking, and honey-brown fried apple pies with a light dusting of sugar. Oh wait, do those count?

I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. Isaiah 45:12

 

Mustard SeedTake a walk and focus on one masterpiece in nature. Note the intricate details⏤perhaps things you’ve never noticed before. Consider spending time with God, thanking Him for your find.

Heavenly Father, our hearts bend toward You in gratefulness for the many ways You lavish us with Your love, grace, and mercy. Help us not to pass by Your creative works without a worship-filled pause. 

 

So, which of the three “mustard seed moments” activities might you consider doing this month? 

 

But first! A tremendous thanks to everyone for the success of last week’s launch of the Tiny House on the Hill.

Watch for a NEW *tiny* inspired giveaway every Tuesday through October 16th.

Enter this week’s giveaway by sharing the NEW meme located on my Facebook page. You must tag me to be entered. If you’re a subscriber, you receive two entries for every share. *Because you’re awesome*

Journals

journal

 

Hibernate in Prayer to Awaken Your Soul in 2018

Hibernate in Prayer

There once was a man who loved Jesus with his whole heart. He also loved his family, served the church faithfully, and gave sacrificially, often in secret. When an evangelist joined his family for dinner the night before a revival, this man confided in the evangelist that he felt uncomfortable praying aloud in church. So, what did the evangelist do? He called on this man to pray during the revival. The congregation closed their eyes on cue but the man stood up and politely said, “No thank you” and sat back down.

That man was my paternal grandfather and I’m quite proud of him. Proud, you say? Yep. He wasn’t a hypocrite. Sure, he could’ve stood up, put on a certain air of confidence and spurted out eloquent words in an attempt to save face, but I suppose that prayer would’ve only reached the height of the chandeliers dangling overhead.

 

Jesus has something to say about those kinds of prayers.

 

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 5:5-6

Jesus doesn’t deny the need for public prayer. He prayed publicly, as did the early church. And there’s nothing wrong if someone hears us pray. Jesus is simply getting to the heart of the matter: The motive.

“Do not have as your motive the desire to be known as a praying man. Get an inner chamber in which to pray where no one knows you are praying, shut the door, and talk to God in secret.” Oswald Chambers

God meets us in the secret place. It’s there we hibernate⏤where we are not seen, just as God is not seen. The King James Version refers to this place as a closet.

 

I don’t know about you, but my closet isn’t the first place that comes to mind when I think of meeting God in prayer.

 

I’m more liable to get a concussion from falling debris than I am finishing my prayer. Thankfully, we’re not bound to a closet or a particular room. Maybe it’s a corner, or a desk, outside, or in an outdoor shed. It’s more about finding a place to pray that’s free from distractions and the temptation to be heard. {Party of two, please!}

But it’s not just any prayer meeting. The word Jesus uses in Matthew 5 to describe the room or closet is derived from the word tamion, which makes me a tad giddy because it describes the inner rooms of ancient Hebrew homes that were used as a storehouse or a place of protection.

 

When we hibernate in prayer, we come to a place of abundance, not scarcity.

 

God is our storehouse. We step foot into our own tamion and find He is already there. We ask for wisdom. James 1:5 says God gives it to us generously without finding fault. We ask for physical healing, financial provision, boldness to share the gospel, or the return of a wayward child.

“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.” Ephesians 3:20

“God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, but you may be aware of three of them.” John Piper

God is our place of protection. Spiritual attacks, temptation, anxiety⏤whatever requires His protection this side of heaven, God stands ready to provide it from a place of abundance.

We have God’s full attention and He has ours, there in the secret place. But first, we must come.

How to Hibernate in Prayer During Every Season in Life

Jot down hibernation dates on your calendar.

The power of prayer floods the heavenlies, whether it’s done publicly, privately, or spontaneously. It’s all biblical. But hibernating in prayer requires intentionality⏤giving a hint as to its power. When we are deliberate in making time to meet with God we can testify that unexpected circumstances begin to happen. Our perspective becomes sharper, our hope takes flight, and we move through our days with deeper purpose.

Be content with a heavenly reward.

Yes, those rewards which bring immediate gratification like a slick, newly painted wall are enjoyable but they’re temporal. Those who pray “the right words” in order to impress others receive their reward right there on the spot. When we pray in secret with pure motives, God says He will reward us. I tend to believe the reward is the fact that our almighty God bends to hear the quiet desires of His children, and answers those prayers for our ultimate good. But perhaps there’s even more?

Pray aloud.

So, how do we know if we’re hibernating in the right spot? We’ll feel comfortable praying aloud. I can’t explain it, but when audible words meet the inaudible desires of my heart it feels as if a victorious tag-team is taking place in my soul. And yet, there will be days when we have no words, and that’s okay, too. Romans 8:26 says the Holy Spirit stands ready to intercede for us with groanings too deep for words. There is no right or wrong way to pray in our Father’s presence.

When we intentionally spend time with God in secret, our soul awakens to divine possibilities that surround us every day. Maybe we’ll discover that it’s possible to spontaneously pray for the weary mom behind us in the check-out line. Or to become who God created us to be, flaws and all, for His glory. Or maybe, just maybe, we find the courage to pray aloud in a church gathering.

“Awake, my soul!” Psalm 57:8

What’s one thing you are praying for yourself in 2018?

 

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