How To Consistently Read The Bible With Your Child

How To Consistently Read The Bible With Your Child


Reading Time: 5 min 7 sec


I shook my head in despair. This is ridiculous, I thought. I spend more time, energy, and money finding creative ways to teach my children Math and English than I do in fostering their relationship with Jesus.


Our family would go through seasons where my kid’s Bible reading was sporadic at best. I would find myself rushing through a daily devotional too, if I’m honest, check it off the list and make myself feel better.  I deeply desired to raise children who knew and experienced a relationship with Jesus; but my actions were not reflecting my values.  I felt dissatisfied and discouraged.


Thankfully, I stumbled onto the biography of Susanna Wesley, called 7 Women: And The Secret Of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas. She was the mother of Charles and John Wesley, evangelists who were powerfully used by God and who were also the founders of the Methodist church.  She was a mother of 19 children and practically raised them single-handedly (their father was gone a lot). 


Metaxas wrote that there was so much noise in her house that to spend daily time with Jesus, she would often throw her apron over her head to limit the distractions. Now that is a mom I can relate to! 🙂  Even more importantly, she was known for her consistency in helping her children create the habit of spending time with Jesus each day.


If she can do it with 19 kids, while parenting single-handedly, so can I.  After years of trial and error, here are three steps that have transformed how I read the Bible consistently with my children.


1. Reading The Bible: Finding Your Rhythm

2. Reading The Bible: The Right Tool

3. Reading The Bible: Listen And Respond

Reading The Bible

 1. Reading The Bible: Finding Your Rhythm 


As I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom as a child, one of the aspects that struck me was how each morning the family would get dressed, eat breakfast, and start their day centered around the Bible.  Corrie’s father would read scripture aloud, and they would follow it with prayer.

This was a great example of a rhythm. They had three things that started their day. Get dressed, eat breakfast, spend time with Jesus. Those were the priorities, and everything else had to wait.


Yes, life with kids can be unpredictable. Okay, who am I kidding? It is always unpredictable. That’s where a rhythm is so genius. Instead of planning our day around the clock and getting frustrated when life happens, we plan our day around our big rocks, the 2-3 things that must happen every day.  We take our time, finish a task, we just move on to the next thing on the list.


So, when the dog decides to throw up on the carpet or there’s no milk for breakfast etc. you don’t have to stress out.  You know that when you return, time with Jesus is your focus.


Yes, there will be days when reading the Bible with your child does not happen (or anything else for that matter). And that’s okay… that’s life.  But what is amazing is that after implementing a daily rhythm, how life transitions from a reactive to a proactive approach.  Instead of struggling to make devotions happen each day, a rhythm serves as a flexible placeholder for time with Jesus each day.


2. Reading The Bible: Find The Right Tool 


Finding the right tool for the right season makes all the difference in the world. There will be seasons where a long family devotion at home isn’t realistic. That doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and just wait until the season passes until you get back into God’s word.


You can spend time with God using a variety of tools. There are different resources for different seasons. During one season, scripture set to music might be drawing your child to God. Embrace it. Reflect on the words. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your child.


In Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey, authors Stonehouse and May, explain it like this:

Being Christian is rooted in a relationship with Jesus, and relationships are unique; they begin in different ways and at different times for different persons. But however they begin, healthy relationships grow and change across the years. We want to honor the uniqueness of each child’s experience with God, and we want to participate with God in encouraging the development of that relationship, their spiritual formation.”


Talk to the Holy Spirit. What are you and your children drawn to right now? What are you interested in? Trust the Holy Spirit is leading you.  Your child can interact with God’s word through audio, video, activities, songs, prayer, art, and even nature.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Jesus Storybook Bible
  2. The Visual Bible: Matthew and Acts
  3. Praying In Color: Kid’s Edition
  4. The Jesus Storybook Bible Audio
  5. Listening To Worship Music and Drawing


3. Reading The Bible: Listen and Respond 

    A crucial part of reading the Bible consistently with your child is the interaction with the Holy Spirit. The Bible is a living, breathing book.  It is meant to be read actively, not passively. We do this by first inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to us through his word and second responding to what we have read.

    This is KEY. If we are not careful, we can fall into the trap of reading to get it done or to feel good about ourselves. But what God is inviting us into through scripture is soo much better.

    Reading The Bible

    He is inviting us into a deeper relationship with him.  That comes from responding to what the Holy Spirit is highlighting to us (and our children) through the text.

    When you read the Bible with your children, remember that it is all about a relationship. The relationship between your child and God. Allowing space for the Holy Spirit means that as parents, we need to emphasize more silence and less teaching. This forces us to acknowledge that we are not the God of the universe, and the Holy Spirit is our teacher.


    How To Read The Bible With Your Child 

    a. Invite God’s presence. Ask him to speak to you and your child through his word.

    b. Read the story or passage slowly. Notice anything the Holy Spirit might be highlighting.

    c. At the end of the passage, spend some time in silence.

    Give the Holy Spirit elbow room to speak to you and your child.  THIS IS CRUCIAL. This is where your child responds to the reading. You are training your child to take the time to listen to the Holy Spirit.


    Do not jump over this step even if it feels uncomfortable.  When you allow space for the Holy Spirit meditation on scripture goes from head (what I know about God) to heart. The Holy Spirit uses the active, living word of God to transform our hearts.


    c. Ask your child what caught their attention as you were reading. It could be something from scripture or an event that happened that day.

    d. Finish by closing in prayer and thanking God for his active participation in your lives.


    The key to reading the Bible consistently with your child involves establishing a daily rhythm, finding the right tool for the right season, and actively responding to what you have read.  You got this, Mom!


    If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

    What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to teaching your child to love Bible reading?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


    30 Powerful Bible Verses That Destroy Toxic Anxiety

    30 Powerful Bible Verses That Destroy Toxic Anxiety


    Reading Time: 5 min 3 sec


    Have you ever been in a situation where you desperately needed to hear bible verses on anxiety?  I remember sitting listening to the doctors, my mind racing with the implications of their words. My head felt stuffy like everything was in slow motion, and I found it hard to concentrate.


    Wait, what?” I asked.


    There is an infection that is spreading throughout his body. We need to hospitalize him for the next several days as we try and figure out how to fight it.


    The words infection and hospital stood out like blaring sirens; my anxiety skyrocketing as I imagined all the worst-case scenarios in the blink of an eye.


    Where is God when your feelings of helplessness and fear grow out of control?  Anxiety is an ugly master. And Satan loves to use its grasping stranglehold to cripple us.


    We live in a world filled with uncertainty, pain, violence, and disease.  So how do we fight the lies of the enemy?  We combat fear with truth. Check out this article for how to handle the pain in your life. 


    Mother Teresa who was faced each day with the utter pain and desperation of humanity, said this about anxiety,

    The future is not in our hands. We have no power over it. We can act only today. We have a sentence in our Constitution that says: ‘We will allow the good God to make plans for the future – for yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not yet come and we have only today to make Him known, loved and served.‘ So, we do not worry about the future.


    If you desire to walk in freedom, to live a life of peace, despite the latest headline, you need to hide God’s words in your heart.


    Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”


    Memorizing and meditating on scripture is not just a good idea or something Christians should do; it is mission-critical to destroying the lies of Satan in your life.


    Here is a list of thirty powerful bible verses that will help you destroy toxic anxiety and allow you to live with peace.


    I have also created beautiful cards that you can print and post around your home with these verses. 

    1. Anxiety Bible Verses Exercise 

    2. 30 Anxiety Bible Verses 

    3. Anxiety Bible Verses Download 

    1. Anxiety Bible Verses Prayer Exercise:


    As you read through these verses, I would challenge you to read slowly and reflectively, inviting God to speak to you through his word.


    1. Pray and invite God to speak to you through the verses below.

    2. Read through the verses slowly and notice any phrase or quote that jumps out at you.

    3. Bring that phrase or verse to the Lord in prayer. Ask him to speak to you through those words.

    4. Read through the phrase or verse again slowly. Then sit in silence allowing elbow room for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. If this is your first time sitting in silence I would highly recommend setting a timer for two-three minutes. It keeps you from constantly checking the time. 🙂

    5. Close your time in prayer by thanking God for his presence.

    6. Journal any thoughts, feelings or impressions you experienced during this exercise.

    Check out this article for how to spend time with God when you feel awkward.


    2. 30 Anxiety Bible Verses


    These are great verses to remind yourself of God’s desire that you walk in freedom. He wants to carry your worry and surround you with His peace, love, and wisdom that surpasses all understanding.


    Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every    situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,                      present your requests to God.”

    Matthew 6:25, “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.”

    Matthew 6:31-32, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.


    Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


    Psalm 94:19,When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

    Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

    Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”


    Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”


    Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God, I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

     Psalm 62:8, “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

    Psalm 143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

    Psalm 112:7, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”


    Psalm 118:8-9,It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”


    Isaiah 26:4, Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”


    Nahum 1:7,The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him”

    Romans 15:13,May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”


    John 16:33,I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


    John 14:27,Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”


    Psalm 4:8, “In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”


    Psalm 36:7, “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”


    Psalm 5:11, “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”


    Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”


    Matthew 6:27,Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”


    Matthew 6:28,And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.”


    Psalm 94:19,When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

    Isaiah 41:10, So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”



    If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

    What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to fighting fear?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


    How To Inspire A Love Of Poetry In Your Children

    How To Inspire A Love Of Poetry In Your Children


    Reading Time: 4 min 57 sec

    This month in prep for Valentine’s Day, we will be talking about the ins and outs of children’s poetry. Have you ever felt intimidated at the thought of teaching poetry to your children? Me too! I have found that though I love the idea of poetry, actual comprehension and enjoyment has escaped me most of my life.


    Poetry can feel like a dreaded acquaintance. You know, that person who tries to impress us with their vast knowledge of the complexities of the English language? After every conversation, you walk away feeling exhausted, the frustration of “why don’t you just say what you mean?” still spinning in your head.


    I blame Anne of Green Gables among many others with my fascination with poetry. In the opening scene of Anne of Green Gables, the mini-series, you see her walking through a forest quoting The Lady of Shallot, with such rapt attention, that you can’t help but be intrigued.


                                            “There she weaves by night and day                                                                                            A magic web with colors gay.                                                                                                  She has heard a whisper say,                                                                                                  A curse is on her is she stay                                                                                                      To look down to Camelot                                                                                               She knows not what the curse may be,                                                                                          And so she weaveth steadily,                                                                                               And little over care hath she,                                                The Lady of Shalott.”

    -Alfred Lord Tennyson

    Poetry gave Anne a voice, a way of embracing beauty in an otherwise dreary existence. She showed us that beautiful words woven together could spark imagination, and produce great emotion in the hearts of its readers.


    Several years ago, I knew I wanted to introduce my children to the art of poetry, but I had absolutely no idea how to go about it. I had made a lot of mistakes. Looking back, I feel bad for my poor children (don’t worry this story has a happy ending) after all the shenanigans I put them through.


    Years later, despite our misadventures, I now have children who love poetry, to the point where they are starting to write their own. WIN! When it comes to kid’s poetry here are four-time tested ways to help your child embrace a love of poetry.


    1. Know Your Audience

    2. Consistency Is Key

    3. Golden Resources

    4. Spark Wonder



    1. Know Your Audience


    The wonderful thing about poetry is that it is not age-specific. Meaning, you can start by introducing your baby to poetry right now! 🙂 Children have a natural appreciation for the cadence of poetry.  All you have to do is listen to them playing hopscotch or jump rope and you will know what I mean.


    When I decided that we needed to add poetry into our homeschool day, it was full speed ahead. I started reading poems aloud several times a week. The books I chose were excellent, age-appropriate, and beautiful… for another child.


    You see I had failed to consider the uniqueness of my children.  I was in such a rush to introduce them to the finest pieces of poetry, that I forgot that beautiful words, at this age, mean nothing, if they aren’t interesting, or if they aren’t understandable.


    Poetry should be enjoyed, it should spark a memory of laughter, delight, and imagination.  A huge red flag that something is wrong is when it becomes just another thing to check off the to-do list.


    I had to stop and realign my expectations with my goal. The goal was to develop  a love for poetry, not read all the classics before the age of seven. 🙂 So that meant, focusing on funny, short, poems that centered around topics that were interesting to them. We also read a lot of picture books that were written in verse form which eased our transition into more formal poetry. 


     2. Consistency Is Key 


    One way to set yourselves up for success is by choosing a time when your children are most engaged to explore poetry. We focus on poetry one day per week and then sprinkle it in whenever we have time. That consistency has been an integral part of developing a love of poetry.  The children know what to expect and it becomes a natural part of our rhythm as a family.


    I have also found that giving them something to do with their hands really helps them pay attention. We either utilize Poetry Tea Time (more on that later) or I pull out fidgets, coloring books, or K-nex as a way to keep those little hands busy.


    I would encourage you to ask yourself a couple of questions:

     a. Do I have any unrealistic expectations when it comes to poetry?

    b. What topic(s) most enthrall my children?

    c. What is the best time (time of day/day of the week) to introduce my child to poetry?


    3. Golden Resources


    When you are first starting out, poetry can feel like a chore, until you find the right resource.  I started reading so many poetry books only to put them down because they didn’t meet our requirements.  I cannot stress this enough, sparking a love of poetry in your child is more important than finishing a resource.


    Here is what we were looking for in a poetry book:

    a.) Short poems (one page in length)

    b.) Understandable rhyme

    c.) Captivating Illustrations

    d.) Interesting or fun topics


    That doesn’t sound that complicated but we went through a huge stack of poetry books before we found one that truly fit us.  For instance, the series Poetry for Young People is amazing (we love it now) but not the best fit for early elementary age children. 


    The day we found a poetry book that fit our family it was like a light bulb went off. My children wanted to read it EVERY SINGLE DAY!

    One of those books is Laura Ingalls’s Wilder’s Fairy Stories. It is by far my favorite poetry book for kids.  It is a small collection of fairy poems with beautiful illustrations. This is a must have for our personal library! The words are so captivating that my children instantly fell in love with this book. 

    4. Spark Wonder


    One of my favorite ways to include poetry in our weekly rhythm is through Poetry Tea Time. This is a magical time that sparks wonder, delight, and amazing family memories.  Each week, we gather together to eat yummy food and drink hot chocolate as we read and discuss poetry. The addition of snacks fosters the idea that reading poetry together is special.   


    Poetry Tea Time can be as formal or informal as you desire. When my kids were younger, they would arrive in full costume, ready to participate in a formal tea.

    I have hosted Poetry Tea Times for penguins, pirates, knights, and princesses.

    There was a time when I never really knew who was going to be showing up to tea. And by celebrating poetry through pomp and circumstance we have created lifelong family memories. WIN!


    I make a conscious effort to read poems slowly and with emotion. At the end of every reading, we take a couple of minutes to wonder about the poem. We might wonder about the characters, the setting, the author. We might talk about a word or phrase that caught our attention, what emotions the poem sparked, and what we might add to the story.


    This is an organic discussion, meaning I never drag it out, some conversations last three minutes others last longer. I have found that when my children enjoy poetry, they take the lead on diving deeper into what we are reading.   They have memorized, recited, illustrated, and wrote stories that are based on the poems they have enjoyed.


    When you take the time to know your audience, set realistic time limits, find those golden resources, and spark wonder you might be surprised at how poetry isn’t intimidating at all. 🙂


    You can grab your own copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Fairy Poems for your collection here.  It is a book you will be reading to your grandchildren. 

    Are you wondering HOW do you actually get started homeschooling? Join our community of moms who want to invest in the lives of their children through homeschooling. I also created a 10 Tips to Finding Excellent Curriculum form to help you on your journey. 



    What about you? What are your favorite ways to foster a love of poetry in your home? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest! 

    13 Inspirational Faith Quotes for When You Are Discouraged

    13 Inspirational Faith Quotes for When You Are Discouraged


    Reading Time: 4 min 2 sec


    Stories of inspirational faith can be used by God powerfully in the dark and dreary seasons of life.  Have you ever felt utterly discouraged? The I want to stay in my sweat pants, eating ice cream and binge-watching Hulu forever seasons?

    You know, those times where nothing seems to be going right and you are out of answers.  Have you ever wondered where is God when you feel so miserable?


    In times of great discouragement or disappointment, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The feelings of helplessness and discouragement can threaten to overwhelm you.  However, there is hope! God in his infinite wisdom did not design us to journey alone through life. We were meant to live in community with others.


    One way we can do that is to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness even in the midst of unbeatable odds. It is these stories of faith that bolster our sagging spirits. Throughout the Bible, stories played a powerful role in the encouragement and instruction of future generations by proclaiming who God is and what he has done.


    I see quotes as mini-stories of God’s power at work in the lives of men and women of faith. Today, I have compiled a list of my favorite quotes and scriptures specifically for discouraging seasons.  I would encourage you to use the exercise below to allow God to speak to you through their words of hope.


    When we read articles with bullet points it can be extremely easy to want to speed through the article.  But I would challenge you to engage, by inviting God to speak to you through the words of godly men and women by reading slowly and reflectively.  Their inspirational faith can serve as a catalyst for our own spiritual growth if we can slow down long enough to listen.

    Inspirational Faith Exercise:


    a. Pray and invite God to speak to you through the quotes below.

    b. Read through the quotes slowly and notice any phrase or quote that jumps out at you.

    c. Bring that phrase or quote to the Lord in prayer. Ask him to speak to you through those words.

    d. Read through the phrase or quote again slowly. Then sit in silence allowing elbow room for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. 

    If this is your first time sitting in silence, I would highly recommend setting a timer for two-three minutes. It keeps you from constantly checking the time. 🙂

    e. Close your time in prayer by thanking God for his presence.

    f. Journal any thoughts, feelings or impressions you experienced during this exercise.


    Here are 13 Inspirational Faith Quotes from great men and women of faith that if read reflectively can serve as a catalyst to a deeper walk with God even in times of discouragement.


    13 Inspirational Faith Quotes

    1. “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles it empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom

    2. “If you want to get warm you move near the fire. If you want joy, peace, eternal life, you must get close to what has them.” C.S. Lewis

    3. “O God, when my faith gets overladen with dust, blow it clean with the wind of your Spirit. When my habits of obedience get stiff and rusty, anoint them with the oil of your Spirit. Restore the enthusiasm of my first love for you.” Eugene H. Peterson


    4. “When I trust deeply that today God is truly with me and holds me safe in a divine embrace, guiding every one of my steps I can let go of my anxious need to know how tomorrow will look, or what will happen next month or next year. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God’s love within me and around me.” Henri Nouwen


    5. “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” Hebrews 11:1


    6. “Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things.”-Thomas Merton


    7. “The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we will allow or require our minds to dwell upon.” Dallas Willard

    8. “Hope is willing to leave unanswered questions unanswered and unknown futures unknown. Hope makes you see God’s guiding hand not only in the gentle and pleasant moments but also in the shadows of disappointment and darkness.” Henri Nouwen


    9. “One way to define spiritual life is getting so tired and fed up with yourself you go on to something better, which is following Jesus.”-Eugene H. Peterson


    10. God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” Lamentations 3:24


    11. “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” Corrie Ten Boom


    12. “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” C.S. Lewis


    13. “But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.” Luke 17:6



    If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 


    What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to pursuing a deep relationship with God?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


    Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

    What To Do When Pain Smacks You In The Face

    What To Do When Pain Smacks You In The Face


    Reading Time: 5 min 44 sec


    The pain hit like a sledgehammer, followed by the unmistakable realization that life would never be the same. I gulped back a sob and tried to breathe, my whole-body seizing, ready to crumble.  I shook my head in bewilderment, as thoughts of grief, flooded my mind. I gasped, “Everything was fine just a few moments ago. How could this happen?!”   


    Pain is one of those unavoidable experiences that strike each of us with deadly accuracy. The loss of a loved one, the death of a relationship, or a dream, the end of a job, or even a cross country move can leave us reeling.


    We stumble around in a fog, desperate for something that will stop the ache inside.  We believe that if we can just find our new normal, maybe this debilitating pain will stop, or at least not punch us in the gut when we least expect it.


    We self-medicate by binge-watching tv, finding comfort in food, spending long hours at work, living at the gym, or filling our calendars so full, you have to schedule a time to use the bathroom.


    God invites us into something different.


    He asks us to journey with him as he transforms the pain in our lives with the renovation of our souls.


    So, how do we work with the Holy Spirit when pain smacks us in the face?

    1. Stop Running


    2. You Can’t Do This Alone 



    3. Rehearse God’s Faithfulness



    4. Embrace Transformation



    1. Stop Running 


    I remember as a little kid arguing with my mom over the removal of a band-aid.  I was convinced that if she went slow and took it off bit by bit, it wouldn’t hurt nearly as bad as taking it off in one brutal swipe.


    She tried to warn me, but I was determined, so I started to slooowly peel the band-aid off.  With my whole body tense, I squirmed, yelled and did everything in my power to fight against a quick removal.


    That agonizing band-aid experience was the longest two minutes of my life. smile


    Just like the band-aid removal, when presented with agonizing situations, our first urge is to do anything that might minimize the pain. We drown our sorrows in every distraction that presents itself. We try to outrun, to bury, or do just about anything but face our pain.


    Pain is like a disease, when suppressed, it just eats away at our souls. It spreads throughout our lives leaving nothing uncovered. It affects the quality of our relationships, our jobs, and our relationship (or lack thereof) with God.


    If you want to find hope, healing, and rest, you have to stop trying to submerge your pain in a carton of ice cream.


    Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. C.S. Lewis


    Attempting to conceal your pain only adds unnecessary grief and stress to your life. Taking the time to acknowledge your agony is the first step to healing.


    Take a moment and ask yourself:

    • In what ways am I trying to bury unresolved pain in my life?



    2.  You Can’t Do This On Your Own 


    As American’s we are obsessed with the need to control. We try to control our bank accounts, our kid’s futures, our food, and our wardrobes. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


    We celebrate independence as a virtue. The phrases, “He stood on his own two feet.” “He pulled himself up by his bootstraps” shout we don’t need anything or anyone. We can do it all on our own.


    We take that cultural lie into our relationship with God.  “God helps those who help themselves” seems to be the common mantra of the American church. I’m willing to bet that some people would even think that’s an actual Bible verse.


    And so, we press on, trying to control the pain and fix the situation, desperately trying to make our lives go back to normal.  We fumble around in the dark with our limited knowledge, trying to be the god (small g) in our own lives. We are so quick to assume that God wound the clock and then left us to get the job done.


    But God is calling us to a different type of life. A life of freedom, peace and rest. A life where we don’t have to carry around a huge weight of expectations or operate under the constant threat of failure.


    Matthew 11:30 says, “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.”


    God in his infinite wisdom and love is encouraging us to surrender our need to try and control our world.


    He is inviting us into a safe place, a place of vulnerability, a place of comfort, a place of lavish love. A place where you don’t have to have all the answers.


    The weight of the world wasn’t designed to lay on your shoulders.


    Like children who can play and move throughout their days in the comfort of their parent’s protection, God offers us that same benefit. We can go through our days, finding rest, and peace in the comfort of his wings.


    Pause and ask yourself:

    • What do you think God feels (or thinks or is doing) in you as you experience this situation?



    3. Rehearse God’s Faithfulness 

    Let’s be honest, it can feel inconceivable to think about releasing control when you are going through a painful situation. In a time when we feel so helpless, we can jealously hoard any small measure of control that we have left.
    One practical way to let go is to rehearse God’s faithfulness to ourselves. God promises time and time again to never leave or forsake us. His very name “Emmanuel” means God With Us. He wants to journey with you minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, in the painful and joyful moments of your life.


    Prayer Activity: 

    Time: 10-15 minutes


    Pray and invite the Holy Spirit. Ask him to bring mind all the ways God has shown up in your life (large and small). Give the Holy Spirit elbow room to speak by sitting in silence.


    Write down each moment or experience.


    If you have a relatively new relationship with God it might be helpful to start reading through the Old Testament. Look for situations where God showed up for his people and write them down.


    As you look over the list, share with God your thoughts and feelings. Praise him for his faithfulness to you. Ask him for the grace to surrender daily your pain to him.


    The pain doesn’t go away, but it becomes easier to surrender when you have a tangible reminder of God’s proven track record in your life.



    4. Embrace Transformation


    So how do we embrace everything God has for us during our pain?


    We have to understand that our lives are a daily (sometimes hourly) process of surrender.  Acknowledging our pain, surrendering and praising God is not a one-time deal. This is a lifelong process that takes patience and perseverance. And we cannot embark on this journey BY OURSELVES.


    When we are in pain, we want to lick our wounds in isolation, believing the lie that no one has ever experienced what we are going through. However, God designed us to live in community with one another. To truly embrace health, healing, and transformation, amid pain, we need each other.


    We serve a God who in large part is unseen. When we encounter the listening ear of another person that is God’s tangible touch of love in our lives.  He uses each of us to support, care and love one another; as his hands and feet in our communities.


    Here are some ideas of ways you can find community in your local setting.

    • Church Services
    • Church Small Groups
    • Recovery Groups ( AA, Overeaters Anonymous, etc.)
    • Grief, Single Parent, or Divorce Support Groups
    • Accountability Groups




    If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

    What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to pursuing God when you are in pain?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!      [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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