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Are you someone who is constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop? Do you find it’s easier to expect the worst than the best? Do you find yourself fearful that God won’t really come through for you?

As women, our fears range from living out our lives alone, to not being able to have children, to losing our jobs or homes or someone close to us. Often,  our fears are rooted in a misunderstanding of who God really is. Depending on your upbringing, you may see God as the One who seeks to pay you  back for mistakes you’ve made in the past. Or, maybe you see Him as One who will think good and hard before coming to your aid when you find you are in need. But God isn’t an angry god with a vengeance to get back at you. He’s the God who loves you and wants your love and trust in return.

Hebrews 11:6 says: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (NIV, emphasis added).

God wants your faith — not your fear — that He really can come through for you. But in order to have faith in Him, you must know who He is and be convinced He’s trustworthy. So let me give you two steps that will help you get to know — and love — this God you no longer need to fear.

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Before my daughter, Dana. started work at Disneyland  she had to take a class called “Traditions.” In this class, Disney employees (called “cast members”) learn the traditions and values upon which the Walt Disney Company was established so that they can continue in those traditions and provide parks guests with the ultimate magical experience. In the class, they heard stories of their founder, Walt Disney, that helped establish Disneyland as the happiest place on earth. And one of the stories Dana told me about struck me in a particular way.

Shortly after Disneyland Park opened, Walt was walking through the park and observing the happiness he had created when he noticed a little boy, sitting on a bench in Fantasyland, crying.  Walt sat down next to the boy and asked “Why are you crying? You’re in the Happiest Place on Earth! What could possibly make you cry?” The little boy wiped his eyes and he said “My brother got to sit on the white horse on the carousel.”

Walt reached into his pocket and pulled out a ticket and handed it to the boy and said “You come back tomorrow and I guarantee that you will be able to ride the white horse.”

That night, after the park closed, Walt ordered that every horse on King Arthur’s Carousel  be painted white so that no child would ever cry again for not being able to ride the white horse. To this day, every horse on what is now known as Sleeping Beauty’s Carousel is white, so every child who rides on the carousel will feel special.

Carousel

Jesus said in Matthew 7:11: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”Walt Disney was just a man, and he had limited resources when he opened that park. And if he’d go to that extreme to please a little boy who isn’t even his own, how much more will our Heavenly Father (who owns the cattle and the white horses on a thousand hills!) make the effort to please the hearts of His own children?

Our God’s resources are so much more than Walt Disney’s were when he opened his park.  And our God wants to bless, but in a way that’s eternal, not just temporal. And in addition to wanting to bless, He knows what’s best for you and for me.

Can you trust that God knows your life’s story and He can still work it out even if right now, you aren’t sitting on a white horse? Can you trust that He doesn’t need to repaint…He already has your story written and perfected?  And will you trust that He knows exactly how to get you to the happily ever after!

In Psalm 84:11: we are told “The Lord God is a sun and a shield. The Lord gives grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” If you are asking God for something “good” and He’s not granting — it either isn’t truly good for you — or it isn’t time.

Trust Him. He specializes in the happily ever afters. And He always knows what is the very best for His children.

quote over a pink flower on a lily padWhat if the man you are longing for loves someone else?

I am dedicating the next few weeks on my blog to answering questions women ask.

A reader recently asked me: “Is it worth being in a relationship with someone who may be in love with someone else but whom he cannot be with?”

My heart breaks at this question because it tells me another woman out there is lonely in love to the point that she will settle. It’s not her fault. She’s been made to believe that if she tries harder, or sticks in there longer, or loses more weight, or changes her behavior in some way, this man will begin to love her, or love her more, or love her once again.

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Relationship not religionDo you know the God of religion or relationship?

I re-discovered something precious in the Word of God this morning. I was reminded, as I was reading in Acts, that I know and serve a God of relationship, not religion.

And I am so thankful for that.

The god of religion is the one who asks you to do a number of things to prove yourself worthy. The God of Relationship recognized we will never be worthy, but He chose to love us anyway.

As I was reading in Acts, I realized,  once again, that God knew that none of us could ever be worthy of Him.  So, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place — not so that we would have to follow a bunch of rules in our lives. But so that we could know Him (and obey and serve Him) through a relationship.

In Acts 17:24-25 the Apostle Paul told a group of Greek and Jewish philosophers about this God of relationship who wasn’t interested in having them DO a bunch of things for Him. He told them of a Creator God who is also a Sustainer God who wanted to be their Savior God and live in relationship with them:

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Psalm 73_25Do you have that  inconsolable longing to be truly and deeply known?

As a young wife and mom, I copied a verse onto a note card and put it on my refrigerator more than 20 years ago. It served as a comfort to me then and remains a challenge to me even today:

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I                      desire besides You” (Psalm 73:25, NASB).

That verse reminded me years ago that I have an Advocate in Heaven. And He is mine.

Who do I have but You, God? It is more than a question or even a statement. It is a motto. And I have reminded myself to live by that motto ever since.

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Learn of the many ways God pursues your heart in my favorite of all my books.

Learn of the many ways God pursues your heart in my favorite of all my books.

Have you ever thought about what kind of Valentine’s Day card you might pick out for God?

I got to thinking about that the other day.

Scripture refers to God as our heavenly “husband” (Isaiah 54:5), so after many years with Him, would I get Him the card that says “You’re Still my Knight in Shining Armor”?  After all, He truly is my Perfect Prince.  It’s true He’s never let me down and like the cards say “I can’t imagine my life without Him.”

Or would it be more appropriate to choose a card that talks about “weathering the storms together” and knowing that through it all His love has been there?

Every beautiful, romantic line I read in a greeting card is true of the Perfect Love,  the Lord Jesus. In fact, picking out a card for Him would be quite easy.

But what  if God were picking out a card for you or me? What if He wanted to express His sentiments to us after “all these years together”? You know, He already has…in several places throughout Scripture:

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lovequoteDec2014Do you have lofty expectations this Christmas?

I hear from many women who fear the family won’t get along or their husband won’t be as romantic as they had hoped, or the day will turn out a mess.

Our Christmas expectations can be muddled….or they can be met. Let me tenderly encourage your heart with this unexpected — and heart-warming —  story I received from a reader this past summer.

A woman called in to a radio show I was on and shared with me that all she wanted for Christmas was for her emotionally inattentive husband to read a book she handed him on how to connect emotionally with his wife. When Christmas came and he gave her gifts…read more

Do you ever stumble upon something from years ago and find that it still touches you today?

I recently found an old  journal I kept during my high school and college years and discovered that what I wrote about my God 30 years ago still applies to His character today.

That tells me that although our situations change throughout the years our God never does.Though we may have forgotten certain heartaches or experiences in which we needed Him, He has not.

I hope this is a gentle reminder to you, too, that His love for you is still constant, His forgiveness is still faithful, and with all that you’ve been through, He is still the Friend who sticks closer than a brother:

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I understand if you’re not looking forward to Valentine’s Day. If you’re single you might not want to be reminded that you’re alone. If you’re married or in a relationship you might be fearing your expectations will leave you disappointed by the end of the day.

Whatever your particular situation, When God Pursues a Woman's HeartI want to encourage your heart with God’s whispers of love toward you.

Did you know that the Author of Love had YOU on His mind when He said certain things in His Word?  I call those portions of Scripture His “Valentines” to us. Take a look with me at the lovely ways He has told you He loves you:

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Are you ready to hear God’s whispers on your heart? Chances are He is already whispering. You and I just need to get quiet enough to listen.

You, my readers, have asked for it and it’s finally here: A new devotional with daily inspirational readings to help you recognize God’s whispers, reflect on His character, and respond to His heart.

And here are 5 Reasons to order my new devotional: God's Whispers to a Woman's Heart

  • One devotional per page, each based on Scripture, makes it an easy-to-read yet meaningful daily devotional.
  • This soft-padded format with a ribbon to mark your page makes it a wonderful keepsake and gift book.
  • It’s the perfect “stocking stuffer” or gift for your mother, daughters, sisters and friends.
  •  It’s a practical gift for the women on your leadership team or in your small-group study.
  •  Something to look forward to in the new year because you — and those you love — have always wanted to discern God’s loving voice.

Let these devotions fill your days with confidence, hope, and peace that only God can give. Read a sample devotional from the book.

Order your copy for only $9.99 plus shipping. To order 5 or more and receive free shipping, email Cindi@StrengthForTheSoul.com.

(Order by Dec. 12 to ensure Christmas delivery.)

 

I received an email from a reader that broke my heart.sad silhouette

She has been betrayed multiple times in her marriage and asked me what she can do to make her husband love her the way he once did.

Now, I’ve written many articles on how wives can love their husbands, unconditionally, as God loves us. But I’m always at a loss of what to say when women have been cheated on by their husbands and they are the ones desperately trying to fix the marriage.

God have mercy on the man who isn’t tearfully trying to hold his marriage together after foolishly doing something to blow it apart.

For every woman who has been betrayed by what she thought was love, please hear these words from the One who sets the example of what love truly is:

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Father-daughterEvery year around Father’s Day I get emails from women about their fathers.  They felt either abandonment, rejection, abuse, or indifference from their fathers. It breaks my heart.

But I have seen God come through in amazing ways for the woman who has always longed for a father’s love.  Every year around this time, I post an article reminding my readers of God’s “Father heart” for us and every year it is my most-read post.

So, let me encourage you again this year with how God wants to more than make up for what you may have lacked in a loving father here on this earth.

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