How to Not Be Diverted From God’s Plan

The blog post comment notification had come to my inbox – I love getting comments from my readers!  But, as I started to read the words, my heart started to beat rapidly and the fury began to rise.  This comment was the very reason why I put comment settings to be approved by me before being posted on the blog.  And the commenter knew this.  Because she knew me.  I had enough of this nonsense.  So, after some time in prayer and reflection, I decided to allow the comment to be published on my site – something the commenter was not expecting me to do, I am sure.  The saddest thing about this horrible comment wasn’t who wrote it (although that did make it all the more hurtful), but the fact that it was written on a post where I shared a moment of healing for one of my children.  However, I knew that this was a diversion tactic from my mortal enemy.  A way for him to delay the fulfillment of God’s plan for my life.  I had a choice to make.  I could either succumb to this diversion.  Or I could use it to continue building His kingdom.  I chose the latter with a reply to that comment as well as in the form of a blog post, 5 ways we can fight a spiritual battle.  I wasn’t about to let me enemy have his way.  Here is How to Not Be Diverted From God’s Plan.

Our enemy would love to divert our attention away from God’s plan for our lives. He does this using many tactics. But we have hope. We can stay the course with 3 special tactics of our own. How to Not Be Diverted From God's Plan

Our enemy knows that he probably cannot completely wreck God’s plans – well, he certainly can’t obliterate God’s plans in the big scheme of things since God always has another way.  However, he can destroy how we play a part in God’s plans.  But, more often than not, he can only delay what God wants us to do.  

There are three things we can do to help us not be diverted from God’s plan when the voices come in with lies and deception.  

1. Stay Rooted

We need to stay rooted in God’s word.  If we don’t know what He says, especially what He says about us, then we will believe the lies that come sweeping in.

When that ex-family member said I am ugly inside and out, I started to question my calling.  My identity.  Fear entered my heart as I started to question my character.  That threat of my “new church finding out real quick what kind of people we are” shook me up.  I’ll admit it.  I questioned who God was making me into – I never questioned my husband’s character, by the way.  Just mine.  Interesting, hey?

I could have continued that downward spiral.  It would’ve been so easy to do.  But since God has done so much healing in my life, I knew I had to fight this spiritual battle.  I wasn’t going to let my enemy steal from me again.  Not a chance.  So, I picked up God’s word.  And I was reminded of His promises over me.  I remembered His truth.  And I started to pray for this ex-family member because really…

Who. Does. That.??!!

Who leaves a message like that?  Someone who is battling her own death and decay, her own spiritual bondage.  

I would not have been able to do this if I had not rooted myself in God’s word.  I would have been sidelined and taken out of the game for a while.  

Stay in the game by rooting yourself in God’s word.

2. Be An Encourager

We have more than enough naysayers in this world.  We don’t need more, that’s for sure.  So, instead, endeavor to build others up.  Be intentional about this.  Look for ways to edify other people, especially when you see them working towards fulfilling God’s plan for their lives.

Be that friend who steps up when all others fall away.  When your friend falls and messes up, be the one who comes in with a word of encouragement.  Remind them of who they are in Christ. 

Here’s an even bigger challenge for you.  When that person comes to you with comments that aim to dishearten and discourage you, to divert your attention, do something radical.  Use those criticisms as fuel to be different and leave that conversation with a genuine word of encouragement for that person.  Doing this will ‘fast track’ you to stay the course.  And you never know, you just might make a change in that person’s heart by planting a seed that the Holy Spirit will use.  

I am an encourager by heart.  It’s what I do.  However, there have been times when I start to whine about no one encouraging me.  Often times, the areas where we are gifted are the areas where we don’t normally get anything in return.  So, it’s super easy to get caught up in the ‘poor me’ syndrome.  We need to adjust our thinking about this.  I have to remember that when I am encouraging others, in essence, I am also encouraging myself.  I am building my own life through my encouragement of others.  So, I need to stop whining and continue encouraging. (Also, see #1 – God’s word is my ultimate encouragement, another reason to root myself in it)

Stay in the game by being an encourager.

3. Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Jesus’ mission is greater than our own plans.  We must remain focused on Him.

On the Cross, Jesus built for us.  He built:

  • Life
  • Freedom
  • Forgiveness
  • The only way to the Father

He is the only One who has built this life for us.  

When our Savior was on that Cross, the naysayers came to Him in the last hours.  They attempted to divert Him from God’s plan.  They shouted insult after insult.  The Pharisees mocked Him.  

But He did not stop.  He did not stop until His work was done.  Until it was finished.  He could’ve come down from that Cross.  He could have put a stop to everything right then and there.  But that was not God’s plan.  The plan was so much bigger than what was happening in that moment.  And Jesus knew this.  So, He stayed until it was completed.  He remained until death.

The plan is too great

I need to remember that God’s plan is too great for me to just quit.  I have to remember that what is being built in my life isn’t just about me.  It is about the generations to follow.  And let me tell you, this is desperately needed in my family.  The history of my family leaves much to be wanted.  There are generational curses of divorce, adultery, idolatry, witchcraft, the occult, mental illness, physical illness, and so much more.  And that has stopped with Marcus and me and our strong faith in God. 

This is about the lives we will impact for God’s glory.  The lives our children are impacting and will impact in the future.  It’s about the lives our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will impact.  This is for God’s purposes.  Not mine.

And it rests on my obedience to God and my perseverance. On me keeping my eyes focused on Jesus so as to not be diverted from my Heavenly Father’s plan.      

Stay in the game by keeping your eyes on Jesus.

That terrible comment was left on my blog just over two years ago and that family member has not left another since then.  I wonder if she was embarrassed by her actions since she likely did not think I would actually publish her comment.  In fact, I am quite sure she didn’t think I would based upon some history about past nasty comments from the same circle.  But I did.  And it seems to have stopped future diversions from her.  I left the situation by pointing right back to Jesus and keeping my own eyes focused on Him.

Which of the three tactics above do you need to work on building up today?  

Next week, we’ll start talking about dealing with the heart in order to Build in Wisdom.  Join me!

Our enemy would love to divert our attention away from God’s plan for our lives. He does this using many tactics. But we have hope. We can stay the course with 3 special tactics of our own. How to Not Be Diverted From God's Plan

Please follow and like us:

Grace and Truth ~ The Danger of Girl Talk

When was the last time you pointed a friend to Jesus?  How often do you do that?  Is encouragement and edification on the top of your list when you get together with your friends?  Or is it just a big he said/she said gabfest?  I remember feeling so discouraged for the umpteenth time after getting together with friends years ago.  It was just a lot of empty discussion.  I tried to point them to Jesus, but it never ‘stuck’.  I would return home with a void that screamed to be filled with wholesome talk and Godly inspiration.  Why is it so difficult to find friends who cheer you on in your faith?  I don’t know the answer to that. 

However, I do know that I can continue to be proactive in nurturing and cultivating such an environment.  That’s what I plan to do (are you with me?).  That’s the reason for this week’s feature.  I love Timberley’s post, The Danger of Girl Talk.  She doesn’t simply explain why gossip is wrong.  She offers a practical way to change it.  Head on over to her post and read it.  Be sure to leave her an encouraging comment!

Timberley, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you! Grace and Truth Link-up Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

Please follow and like us:

When You Are Searching For Jesus

I know Christmas has come and gone, but I really wanted to share this story with you today.  Several years ago, I bought this cute nativity decoration for our tree.  It had adorable animals on it.  But the best part was the tiny baby Jesus that could be removed and placed back in the manger on Christmas Day.  There was a magnet inside Jesus so He would stay put when placed in His bed.  I loved that decoration.  And so did my young children.  They loved playing with baby Jesus.  And because my youngest was obsessed with teeny tiny things (she still is), baby Jesus was often out of His tiny bed.  This continued until He got lost about 8 years ago.  If you are feeling like you can’t find Jesus, this post is for you.  When You Are Searching For Jesus.  

A Christmas decoration reminded me of some wonderful truths this year.  Something I thought was lost forever miraculously showed up in the unexpected, reminding me to never give up hope.  When You Are Searching For Jesus.

My kids were upset that Jesus was missing.  I searched the floor underneath and surrounding the tree without success.  I decided to look again after Christmas when the tree was disassembled and it might be easier to find Him.  Well, despite my efforts, Jesus was gone for good.  I thought maybe the vacuum got Him or maybe one of the cats found Him.  Either way, that manger would remain empty for all future Christmases.  And my kids were sad.  They talked about this baby Jesus every year we put the tree back up.  

This past Christmas, though, had a surprise for us.  We set up our tree and the kids went to work separating the branches (my least favorite job).  My son was working away at the bottom portion when he made a miraculous discovery.  “I found baby Jesus!” 


He held that teeny, tiny baby Jesus in his hand.  After all these years and that tree going up, branches fluffed out, and then taken down again, AND a move to a new house, baby Jesus was found.  He had been nestled in that set of branches the whole time.  How did I miss Him all these years?  While we were joyous at this discovery, I was caught up in thinking about several spiritual applications to this occurrence.

Just Because You Don’t See Him…

Have you ever not felt the presence of God?  There have been several times in my life when I just didn’t ‘see’ Him.  I didn’t feel Him or see Him working in my life.  Like He disappeared.  Gone.  He didn’t care to stick with me.  I was abandoned.  However, as I grew in spiritual maturity, I started to understand this fundamental truth.  Just because I can’t see Him doesn’t mean that He isn’t there.  Often, we get stuck in the idea that we have moved away from God or we have sinned and that’s why we don’t feel His presence

And while that is true some of the time, it isn’t always the absolute truth.  If we did move away from God, then I doubt we’d be concerned about feeling His presence.  And if we were so caught up in our sin that we no longer feel God, then I doubt we would truly care about God.  We’d care more about our sin that feeling His presence would not even be considered. 

The truth is that we cannot base our faith on our feelings.  Our feelings are fickle.  I wrote more about this in a post called What I Wish I had Known When I Didn’t Feel His Presence.    And our discovery of that tiny baby Jesus confirmed this idea.  He was in that tree the entire time, all these years.  Just because I didn’t see Him had nothing to do with the fact that He was there.  Always.

Never Give Up Hope

I gave up hope of ever finding that tiny Jesus.  When I think about how tiny the figure is and how long it has been since He was lost – AND we had moved to another house – finding Him seemed impossible.  So, I surrendered any hope of ever finding Him again.  

Sometimes we give up on seeing Jesus.  Maybe the pain is too great and it overshadows our faith.  Or perhaps we think our sin is too great for Him to handle…or we have committed a sin one too many times…and we lose hope that He will accept us in our filth.  Maybe we just can’t get this Christian thing right.

Finding that diminutive figurine reminded me to never give up on Hope.  Never give up on Jesus.   

Expect the Unexpected

Finding that tiny Jesus in the branches of that tree after all this time was completely unexpected. 

I think about all of the times in my life when God has come through for me.  They were from the unexpected.

Then I read His Hole Word and see how He worked through the unexpected.  Jesus was born of a virgin and in a stable – that was unexpected.  Sarah was 90 when Isaac was born.  That was unexpected.  The Red Sea was parted – that was unexpected.  Lazarus was raised from the dead.  That was unexpected.  Jesus was crucified and then resurrected on the third day…giving us a way to the father. 

That was unexpected.

Remember, friend, He comes in the unexpected. 

What has God taught you about searching for Him?  How has He shown up in the unexpected in your life?  What have you come to believe When You Are Searching For Jesus?

A Christmas decoration reminded me of some wonderful truths this year. Something I thought was lost forever miraculously showed up in the unexpected, reminding me to never give up hope. When You Are Searching For Jesus.


Please follow and like us:

Grace & Truth ~Just Because It’s a Saying Doesn’t Mean It’s True

Have you ever come across a popular saying and thought to yourself, “Hmmm…that doesn’t sound right.”  That’s happened to me several times over my life.  Some of them I had said myself previously, believing them to be true.  There are even popular Christian sayings that are not grounded in truth – like “God wants me to be happy” (No, He wants you to be holy, which has nothing to do with your happiness a lot of the time.  Or how about, “If you feel far from God, guess who moved?”  The truth is that sometimes we just feel far from God because He wants our faith and trust in Him to grow and deepen.  Then there is the ever popular, “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. 

Well, yes He will because He doesn’t want us to rely on ourselves.  He wants us to be fully and complete dependent on Him for our very breath.  And if we can handle the problems of life just fine on our own, then we don’t need Him.  These aren’t even found in scripture!   So, when I read Fearless Daughter’s post, I knew I had to feature it because I saw how she turned a quippy saying into a true saying.  I loved it!  Plus, she is a teenage young woman, and nothing delights my heart more than to see Godly young women living for God.  So, I want to encourage her in her writing and passion for God.

Fearless Daughter, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you! Grace and Truth Link-up Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

Please follow and like us:

Grace & Truth ~ When Holiday Traditions Hurt To The Core

My Father-in-Law was over yesterday for a Christmas visit and in conversation, he mentioned how he was surprised at the number of dysfunctional families that are ‘out there’.  He shared a bit about a few people he has spoken to recently and the stories saddened my heart.  

We see photos and Christmas movies with perfect family Christmases and we wonder if we are the only ones who don’t have everything so…perfect.  Some of us do have a wonderful family to gather with on Christmas and throughout the year – in fact, that is mine and Marcus’ prayer for our kids and grandkids (future!) down the road.  That we will have wonderful Christmases full of laughter, memories, and blessings.  And it really is great to have a family like that.  If that describes you and your family, embrace it, friend.  

Then there are those of us who don’t have wonderful family gatherings.  Life looks totally different.  One way or another, it is important to embrace what you do have instead of wishing for something that used to be or should’ve been.  That’s why I chose Maree Dee’s post, When Holiday Traditions Hurt To The Core, as my feature this week.  I loved the tip she offered in her post – it encourages us to keep looking ahead, as scripture says in Philippians (a few times).  Head on over to her site to read her fantastic post.

Maree Dee, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!

Grace and Truth Link-up

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

Please follow and like us:

Top 10 Blog Posts for 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, I thought it would be good to review the top blog posts from the year.  I like going back and seeing the posts that are enjoyed a lot.  It helps me to see what my readers like as well as the need that is ever present in our world today.  Doing this also helps me focus on ideas for the next year.  So, without further delay, here are the Top 10 Blog Posts for 2017! 

So, what are the top read posts on A Work Of Grace for 2017? Some have been in my top 5 for a few years and some are surprising! Check it out here! Top 10 Blog Posts for 2017.

Number 10

Have you ever felt very heavy-hearted after hearing about a tragedy – even if you didn’t know anyone involved? And that feeling continued on throughout your day? You may have even cried when you thought about it. If this sounds familiar, you might be a burden bearer. Here, I give my 6 Critical Tips For Healthy Burden Bearing.

Number 9

This post surprised me in making it to the top ten!

Are you looking for some songs to inspire you in your workout? Songs that will help get you moving both physically and spiritually? Here are over 22 Awesome Christian Songs For The Epic Workout Playlist.  I’ve updated with awesome songs from 2017!

Number 8

Are you wishing for healthier intimacy with your husband? Are you feeling defeated in this area? Like “Is this all there is? Why is it so much easier for others? Why can’t I be the wife my husband needs?”  Do you want to know the secret behind the healthy intimacy in my marriage – and likely behind every healthy marriage?  

I hope you find encouragement in The Unashamed Wife’s Secret to Healthy Intimacy.

Number 7

Have you ever been so struck with grief and sorrow that all you could offer God were your tears? No words, no eloquent prayers? No recitations of scripture? Just tears. This post talks about When Your Prayers Are Tears.  This post includes a Facebook video I created last year.

My tears used to be a source of shame for me.  For several years, I would try so hard to not cry out of fear of humiliation.  But now, I know the truth.  My tears are beautiful to God.  So are yours.

Number 6

How do your children get along with each other? Are you believing the sibling rivalry lie? Are you tired of hearing them fight? Here are 7 tips that will help you in your Christian parenting and Christian motherhood.  7 Tips that will Cultivate Strong Sibling Ties.

Number 5

She is full of joy and completely at peace.  She is comfortable with herself and other women love being around her because she offers LIFE.  Who is she?  She is the woman who follows after her Lord whole-heartedly.  

Are you longing to follow after the heart of God? Here are 7 Habits Of A Woman After God’s Own Heart.

This post has a free printable poster.

Number 4

The healing balm for the broken heart is the promises of God found in His word. Here are 10 Comforting Scripture Verses for the Broken Heart.

This post was written in honor of Mandy Kelly, a beautiful woman of God who passed suddenly along with her husband and two of her precious children.  This grieved the Christian blogging world considerably.  This post contains a free printable with the 10 verses.

Number 3

There is a little secret that no one tells you about submission. It is something we must realize as Christian wives in order to have a strong Christian marriage and to parent our children well. This is a great marriage tip!  What No One Tells You About Submission.

This post has a free printable.

Number 2

We don’t always feel sexy, but sometimes the feeling becomes more of a problem and it hinders the health of our marriages. I share my experience and what helped me. I hope it helps your Christian marriage. For The Wife Who Doesn’t Feel Sexy.  This post has a subscriber freebie with it.

Number 1

I shouldn’t be surprised that this post is #1…again.  Prayer journaling is a popular trend right now.  I hope it continues to encourage us in our prayer lives.

Do you love the idea of a prayer journal but not sure where to start? In this post, I explain how I do my prayer journal…and some tips to help you to fulfill your commitment to pray regularly. How To Create A Simple Prayer Journal.

This post has a Facebook video recording at the bottom.  In that video, I showcase the prayer journal and demonstrate how I use it.

I hope you enjoy these posts!  I plan to compile a top ten list of ‘forgotten’ blog posts.  These are great posts that just haven’t received the attention they are due;)

What’s ahead for the New Year?  What are my plans?

One thing that has been on my heart for a while is a course/Bible Study on living free.  Living in Freedom is one of my heart’s desires for women.  

I’d like to write a larger version of my Valiant and Biblical Proverbs 31 study.  

Perhaps some printable sermon note pages for kids and adults.

I’m not sure about blog series ideas yet, so if you are looking for something in particular, let me know!  

So, what are the top read posts on A Work Of Grace for 2017?  Some have been in my top 5 for a few years and some are surprising!  Check it out here!  Top 10 Blog Posts for 2017.

Please follow and like us:

Grace & Truth ~ A Christmas Table To Spread JOY

Joy – do you have it?  It isn’t something that comes from our circumstances.  Real joy isn’t something we can create ourselves.  If this was possible, then it wouldn’t be a GIFT.  I’ve struggled with joy over the years.  Joy-stealers rob me of joy by forcing me to focus on the negative rather than Jesus.  But, since I started saying a special prayer on a regular basis, and I’ve eliminated toxic relationships and situations from my life, my joy has been more evident in my life. 

What is this prayer?  I’m glad you asked!  I ask God to fill me with His unspeakable joy (this is included in my Prayer Guide subscriber freebie!).  Sometimes I have to pray this little prayer more than once a day, but God is faithful to fill me with His wonderous joy.

Because this is one of my favorite topics (my husband and kids say that over the last couple of years, I have been the most joyful I have ever been!  That’s a true GIFT!), I have chosen Stacey’s post, A Christmas Table To Spread JOY, as my feature this week.  Be sure to head over to her post and see the gorgeous photos of her Christmas Table!  I love it!  And I love the words in her post.

Stacey, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!

Grace and Truth Link-up

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

Please follow and like us:

How to Overcome Opposition When Building for Wisdom

I felt that nudge from God…OK, it was more of a shove.  I am sure you know what I’m talking about.  He was telling me to do something that I did not want to do.  I didn’t want to do it because it was out of my comfort zone and I would have to admit to someone that I was wrong.  Someone I hadn’t spoken to in years.  I was hoping that my ‘olive branch’ would bring reconciliation with this person.  So, I obeyed.  I connected with that person and confessed my sin – something I had said that I shouldn’t have said.  It was true, what I said, but my heart was in the wrong place.  I had intended to hurt.  But reconciliation did not happen.  In fact, this person brought kept reminding me of my “mistakes”.  I was heartbroken with this opposition.  I had to learn How to Overcome Opposition When Building for Wisdom.  Do you feel stuck when naysayers come knocking at your door? Unsure of what to do? Feel like giving up? Don’t let them stop you from building what God has called you to build. He will strengthen your hands! How to Overcome Opposition When Building for Wisdom Last week, I wrote about the 5 Faces of Opposition.  These are the naysayers that come into your life when you start building for wisdom.  We are guaranteed that they will come.  There is no doubt about it.  We live in a world where broken people do not like to see others succeed in building a productive and healthy life.   Read More

Please follow and like us:

Grace & Truth ~ Dec 15

Joy…are you lacking it today?  I know I am right now.  This minute.  One of my kids just broke my cherished vase.  I don’t have joy right now.  I am frustrated and annoyed.  Disappointed.  Trying to not over-react.  I am also ready for quiet.  Christmas is my time for quiet and rest from a busy fall season with work and homeschooling. And those two things are the reasons why I picked Carlie’s post as my feature for this week.  Her post, How To Find Joy When Your Heart Isn’t Quiet, is thoughtful and encouraging.  Hop on over to her site to read it!

Carlie, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!

Grace and Truth Link-up

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

Please follow and like us:

The 5 Faces of Opposition When Building for Wisdom

This life can be unpredictable.  Just when we think things are going great, we get thrown a curveball.  We feel the discouragement and frustration rear their ugly heads in our hearts.  Doubt for work we have been called to do begins to grow.  We wonder if we really heard from God about our calling.  I mean, this should be easier, right?  Doing God’s work?  Don’t people see what we are doing??  And boy, when that curveball comes, it is all we think of.  We forget all the good stuff and zone in on the ‘bad’.  It’s what we do.  In this post, I want to address The 5 Faces of Opposition When Building for Wisdom.  I have experienced all of them myself and I am sure you have, too.  

Are you surprised when you face opposition to God’s calling on your life? Are you familiar with what opposition looks like? Are there people in your life who do not like the work God has been doing in your life? We need to know The 5 Faces of Opposition When Building for Wisdom and know the truth about those lies.

Before we get into the faces of opposition, can I encourage you with this little bit of truth first?  You need to know this with such confidence.

God wants to use you as a shade for generations to come.  Like a big oak tree planted firmly on God’s word.  With strong branches full of lush leaves.  Yes, that wind comes and rattles the leaves, but the tree stands.  Read More

Please follow and like us: