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Thursday, April 24, 2014

How to Set Up a Prayer Journal

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If you are joining me here from Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today, welcome! I am so glad you’ve come by!

A prayer journal is something I have used to help my prayer life be consistent. One season it might be a very pretty journal and others a 10¢ spiral from a back-to-school sale.

Fancy or plain, both will hold exactly what I need. A place to record the prayers I am praying for myself and those I dearly love.

 

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So, here is my current journal. I took an outside shot so you could see how messy it is! See the papers sticking out of the back? Those are copies of the prayers for my daughters Lysa TerKeurst shared a few weeks ago as well as the prayers for my son from Brooke McGloughlin. The small note cards sticking out are from Stormie Omartian’s The Power of a Praying Wife. I found the prayers from the book in card form a bizillion years back. I’ve been praying these prayers for Greg most of our 27 years of marriage. Based on God’s word, I know they line up with His heart for my man!

 

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Here’s a peak inside. These pages are filled with some of my prayers for the events I speak at (I thought this was a bit safer than choosing pages on my loved ones!)

I simply put in the date of my request then write it out. Once it is answered, I highlight it so I can see very clearly all God is doing. On those days when I feel discouraged, I can scan over all that hot pink and with assurance see God is at work!

You can also get journals set up just for praying. When I saw Proverbs 31 Ministries new journal (pictured above), I just wanted to fill it up; it’s so pretty! Each page has space to write and encouraging verses too!

Today I am giving away one of Proverbs 31 Ministries’ journals! To enter to win, simply comment in the space below (or if you are getting this by email head over to www.LynnCowell.com). I’d love to hear how you pray and talk with God best or if you’re in a hurry, simply say, “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner next Monday!

Lynn

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Your Greatest Legacy

Happy Tuesday, friends!

I’ve been out for the past week, spending time with my in-loves and kids making memories. I love to travel…and I love to come home too!

Today, I just have to share with you the devotion over at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Mark Batterson shares the power of praying circles around our children.

We talk a lot about prayer around here. To us moms, often, prayer is all we have when it comes to our kids and their futures. But, sometimes, we forget, what Mark reminded me of today:

 

You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.

 

“Prayer is our highest privilege as a parent. There is nothing we can do that will have a higher return on investment.”

Today, you might mess up in being a mom. You got up late. Your allergies are working over time to make you cranky. The last thing you want to do is…

Ok…maybe that is just me.

Today, not matter how I feel, I am encouraged, that as much as I want to be a perfect parent, which I miss every day, every day I can be a praying parent.

Be sure to stop by the devotion today for more information on how we can pray for our kids!

 

Lynn

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It’s Not Suppose to Go This Way

And He said, “A man had two sons.  “The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. ” Luke 15:11-12 (NIV)

He was one wise man.

The Father.

I am sure, like me, you have read or heard this story Jesus told many times. The Prodigal Son. And often, rightly so, the focus is on the lost son. But today, as I read this familiar passage in Luke, my focus went to the father. The father and the vast wisdom he displayed the day his son came to him; getting ready to leave.

Jesus doesn’t say the father gave his son his great wisdom. “You not ready. This is the wrong decision. No, you can’t go.”

Instead, the father prepared to watch his son… learn the hard truth on his own.

Reading this passage makes my heart break. I come to tears just thinking of the pain the father experienced as he divided his property.

“This is all wrong. It wasn’t suppose to go this way. I’ve spent my whole life, investing in these boys. This isn’t the way it was supposed to turn out.” 

I’ve had those thoughts’ painful thoughts. What mother doesn’t as we go through this journey of having children and then letting them go.

Maybe the father did have the type of emotional experience I am sure I would have had; turmoil torturing of my mind of all that could go wrong. All sure to go wrong.

Yet, in his wisdom, the father held back that swirling sadness.

Some of our children only seem to learn through experience.

And we, as their parents, need the wisdom of The Father to know which ones of our children are wired this way.

Then, like the father of the prodigal, with all the grace Our Father will give to us, we have to get out of the way.

Out of the way so they can get to the pig slop in order to find out even a hired hand, or as Paul describes himself, “a prisoner” (Philemon 1:1) is more blessed than the one outside the umbrella of God’s protection.

Lord, we are desperate for Your wisdom. Show us, Jesus, when to provide protection and when to get out of the way, so that our children surrender to You as soon as possible. Amen

 

Lynn

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nothing’s Going to Stop Them

The winner of Let.It.Go from Friday’s post “I’m a Meddler” is Karen C who posted on 4/4/14 at 8:08 a.m. Congratulations Karen! Please send me your full name and address to Lynn@LynnCowell.com and I’ll get it right out to you!

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Let me introduce you to some of my heroes. Women who let nothing stop them.

My heroes are the women who take the time out of their very busy and filled lives to invest in the lives of young women. These women of Roseau, Minnesota are some of these women, partnering with God to make a difference in their small town.

A population of only 2,800 didn’t stop them from filling their high school gym with women and girls. Hosting this event in a gym created the perfect environment to invite those who had never heard the gospel before and the women of Roseau did just that! Over 400 joined us for an amazing day! Empowering hearts, young and older, with God’s revolutionary love, as well as gaining confidence in Him! My favorite part were the stories from girls as they came up and said this day was exactly what they needed; giving them strength with the hard choices they face every day.

 

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When teen girls share “this was just what I needed” and “thank you so much for helping me” my heart is filled with all the more reasons to invest in God’s precious girls!

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One grandmother sent me this Facebook message:

My 2 granddaughters and I were in Roseau, MN last weekend and we so appreciated everything you had to say. We would like to thank you for speaking the bold truth! Thank you again so much for how you are feeding into these young girls of God’s. The three of us grew last weekend for sure.  May God continue to use you to set out His Truth for each precious girl.

Will you come alongside the girls and women in your community? I am currently booking events for this fall and spring. I would love to help you empower your community with God’s love and true confidence so they can live lives honoring God!

Would you like more information on hosting a “His Revolutionary Love” or my new “Magnetic” conference? Just click here for more information or email me at Lynn@LynnCowell.com. 

Lynn

Friday, April 4, 2014

Help for Meddlers Trying to Let.It.Go.

 

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If you are joining me here today from my Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today, welcome!

I am guessing you’ve stopped by because like me, you struggle with being a meddler. Maybe you’re tempted to check your child’s Twitter or Facebook several times a day – or several times an hour – just to see “what they are up to”.  (Ok…I’m working on that!) And maybe like me, you simply take it too far at times!

Maybe I simply need to unfollow my kids on all their social media, but as I was discussing this issue this past weekend with my sister Janet she reminded, “Ignorance is not bliss.” I completely agree.

So, as moms, wives, sisters, aunts, grandmas, employees, employers – in all our roles – where do we find the balance between being in the know and being over the top?

Jesus is challenging me ask Him. 

We have to ask Him because each and every situation is different and He holds the answer.

When I want to ask my child to take down that picture from social media – ask Him.

When I want to confront a friend with a rumor I heard – ask Him.

When I want to tell my husband to have a conversation with our child – ask Him.

Before I do anything that involves others, I need:

ask for prayers to pray before I ask for words to say. 

For those of us who are perpetual meddlers, this might mean going from being a “talks too much” to “doesn’t talk at all” for just a bit! Go through a time of retraining our brain to stop and pray before we speak. I might have to leave the room, shut my Facebook and Twitter, step away from my cell phone – a physical step so I can obey God and become the woman He wants me to become.

 

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My friend Karen Ehman has written a terrific study to help us do just that. Let.It.Go. and today I am giving away a copy! To be entered for an opportunity to win, click on comments below (or if you get this in email, head to www.LynnCowell.com) and share which relationship you are struggling to “let it go”. If you’re in a hurry, you can simply say, “I’m in!” I will post the winner on Tuesday!

 

 

Lynn

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Changing my Position; Changing my Perspective

Congratulations to Sharon Walker who posted on March 28, 2014 at 9:54 am! You’ve won a copy of “The Mended Heart”! Please email me your address at Lynn@LynnCowell.com and Suzie will get a copy out to you!

 

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“After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:1, 2 (NIV)

 

Even today, my heart feels a little pain trigger. When she shared with me how her boyfriend had just broken up with her, a small pang pierced my heart. I’m guessing like me, as a young woman your heart was broken a time or two. I don’t still hurt; I just remember.

 

I remember the questioning: Why God? Why not? Why now? When He asked me to choose Him over him, my young heart obeyed, but not without struggle. Lacking history with God, I didn’t have experiences of obedience’s blessings to confidently fuel me yet. Out of a healthy fear of going against God, I obeyed and hoped God knew what He was doing.

 

God was moving me; repositioning me to a new place where He could reveal a side of Him I hadn’t seen yet. I had to move “out of love” with a boyfriend in order to move “in love” with Him. My heart had told me I was someone because I belonged to someone. I needed a change in my position so I would see what True Love really was.

 

Jesus had to change my position to change my perspective.

 

Out of His great love for me, Jesus wouldn’t leave me in the position where I was completely dependent on another person for love. Instead He moved me to what was a lonely place, so He could change the way I saw love.

 

In Matthew 17, Jesus had much more to show the disciples, Peter, John and James, so he led them up a high mountain by themselves. A place, away from others. A place, not easily gotten to, but a place where He would change their perspective. Here, before their very eyes, God spoke, “This is my Son.” When they had a change in their position, they experienced a change in their perspective on who Jesus was and I believe, in who they were because they were His.

 

The break up I went through as a young woman wasn’t the only time God changed my position to change my perspective. Moves, job changes, places I have held in people’s lives and people’s hearts…constantly changing. Each change brings another opportunity for me to allow my King to change my perspective. Like the disciples; I see Him in new ways I haven’t seen Him before – my provider, my healer and more and more as the True Love of my life.

 

Can you spot an area where your position is changing? It may be God’s hand bringing the change. Your loving Father wants to show you His perspective of who He is and what He wants to do in you and through you in this new place. Ask Him today: change my perspective to see You through this change.

 Jesus, often change is painful and getting Your perspective is not exactly what I want. Soften my heart, to see past this pain and to see Your heart toward me. Give me Your perspective, Lord. Amen

 

Would you like to bring the message of finding True Love to the young women in your community? Click here to learn how you can bring Lynn’s “His Revolutionary Love” to your community!

 

 

Lynn

Friday, March 28, 2014

Am I Too Broken to Be Healed?

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Am I too broken to be healed? 

Maybe, in the quiet of your heart, where no one can see, you’ve asked that question. You remember the woman you used to be, before it happened.

You’ve thought of the woman you’ve longed to be, but now, you’re just not sure you could ever be her.

My dear, courageous friend, Suzie Eller, has written a book for us who have asked this question.

The Mended Heart

 

Suzie shares:

Several years ago I was at a Turning Point Conference. At that time I was working with teens, and my church sent me as a conferee. The facilitator flipped the lights off and a film started playing.

The movie was about a dysfunctional family in the midst of a meltdown moment. Mom and Dad were arguing. One child was screaming in defiance. Another hid around the corner in angst. Then I saw her.

The peacemaker.

She was trying to make everything okay. Like a tightrope walker, she asked the screaming teen to stop yelling as she attempted to comfort her little brother. She was trying to keep the pieces from falling all around her, but she simply wasn’t old or wise or big enough.

I heard someone crying nearby.

Wow, that person must have been really hurt in the past to cry so publicly. What isn’t anyone helping her?

Then I realized the sobbing person was me.

I jumped out of my seat, left the room, and found an empty stall in the women’s bathroom. A pair of red shoes appeared, just visible under the door of the stall.

“I don’t understand this. I’m here because I want to help others,” I whispered to her.

The red shoes remained still for a few seconds, and then I heard these words: “Honey, sometimes God lets you remember for a reason.”

The sight of that little peacemaker in the movie had triggered emotions long healed. Perhaps that is the most powerful lesson I took away from that conference, and it’s one I still hold close today. We can become so whole (a wonderful gift!) that we forget the magnitude of what we have been given. God reached down to give me a glimpse into the brokenness I had once carried as a little peacemaker, and to remind me how much He had healed my shattered heart.

Maybe you feel broken. Maybe others call you broken. Maybe it seems like you’ll never get there from here.

May I share something with you? Something powerful. Something transforming.

The Jesus Factor is bigger than the people factor.  

You are NEVER too broken to be made whole. You are invited to join in a partnership with God in healing, and He’s bigger.

Sure, you’ve tried to do this on your own, but as you partner with Him, a shift in the way you view yourself begins to take place, as you:

  • Exchange the burden of what people have done or said, with confidence of the changes and growth taking place on the inside of you
  • Strip ordinary people of their power as you realize that people, whether through evil, or selfishness or simply their own brokenness, can shape you, but it doesn’t define you

Write these scriptures on the mirror in lipstick. Or put a sticky note on your steering wheel. Say them daily until they soak into your heart.

No person is greater than your God! (1 John 4:4)

Your heavenly Father loves you unconditionally, right where you are (1 John 3:1)

Nothing can ever separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39)

Regardless of another person’s brokenness or sin, you are marked with destiny (Isaiah 49:16; 1 Corinthians 2:9)

As we release the people factor to hold close the Jesus factor, something powerful takes place. We no longer look to mere humans to make us feel valued or worthwhile. We stop waiting for another person to be fixed before we run after all that God holds out for us. We begin to see ourselves the way God does.

And one day, my prayer is that you’ll look back, just like I did, and be in awe of all that God has done inside of you and then come alongside others and help them find healing, too.”

Today, Suzie is giving a free gift to everyone: sample chapters from The Mended Heart   Just click here.  

I’m also excited to be giving away a copy of Suzie’s book, The Mended Heart today. If you want to share in the comments below, I’d love to hear your heart; have you share where you need Jesus to heal you…or how He already has. If that’s too hard, simply say, “I’m in”. Please be sure to enter your comments below. (If you receive these posts by email, simply head to www.LynnCowell.com.)  I will post the winner of her book on Tuesday.

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Suzie Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker and author, and has been featured on hundreds of radio and TV programs. She’s a mom, wife, and “Gaga” to five babies three and under, and lives in NW Arkansas. She’s a follower of Christ and loves nothing more than leading women in a new direction in family, faith, and feelings. You can connect with Suzie at www.suzanneeeller.com or www.facebook.com/SuzanneEllerP31 or www.proverbs31.org.

Lynn

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Your Child Doesn’t Want Your Hugs

The winner of Tuesday’s give away “Living So That” by Wendy Blight is Kristen who posted at  2014/03/26 at 2:32 am. Please email your full name and address, Kristen and Wendy will get it right out to you!

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The turn of the head. The twist of the body.

As a mom, I am sure, like me, you have experienced resistance from your child a time or two when you have tried to display your love.

The stronger the opposition, the easier it is to simply back off. Slowly letting go of the hugs, the kisses, the holding.

Why fight what they don’t want?

You need to fight, Mom, because, our kids do in fact want to experience the outward signs of our love. So we have to spare no effort in showing it.

For a touch is powerful.

In Luke 7:11-17, Jesus happens upon a funeral procession for an only son. His heart breaks as He witnesses the widow’s brokeness. “Don’t cry.” He gingerly says and “then he went up and touched the coffin”. The dead child was alive again.

Touch here in the original Greek language is hapto. Hapto “refers to such handling of an object as to exert a modifying influence upon it or upon oneself, or touching for the purpose of manipulating. Implies a certain degree of involvement with the object on the part of the subject, more than mere contact or touch, but an engagement, handling or use in the which some kind of influence or effect is created between the items coming in contact.”

When Jesus touched, He brought healing.

When we touch another, we too have power. Like Jesus, we can use the power of touch for good. Jesus used this power to heal and communicate love. He modified, changed, and healed, the one touched.

As our definition of touch said, this power can also be used for evil. Touch can be used to modify the one touched in a way that is not for good, but for manipulation. In dating, experimenting or in homosexual relationships, our kids can cross this line. Not because they are evil, but because they are human. They desire to be touched.

We were all created with skin and nerve endings as a vital part of our bodies.

We were created to need to feel physical love; to be touched.

In Luke 8:45, as Jesus made his way through a pushy crowd, he suddenly asked the question: ”Who touched me?”. Power was exerted through touch. A woman was made whole.

Touch throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry was part of the healing process. I believe He wants to us, in the lives of our families, to use touch to heal as well.

Our family members experience rejection, loneliness and hurt through out their days. Our touch might be just the thing which reaches these places of hurt and opens doors for healing. Especially in the teen years, they hear stories of others who are experiencing touching in a whole new way. This curiosity or rejection can trigger the desire to search for touch in ways that bring hurt.

When your daughter comes home from school, your husband comes home from work, your son heads off to bed…touch them. Not lightly. Not quickly as if to brush off or fulfill your duty, but with all your might, squeeze your loved one. Give them a big ‘ole slobbery kiss. Let the Holy Spirit use you today to bring the power of His touch.

Lynn

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life

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When life is so busy (and so messy) Bible study can be hard to find time to for! Our intentions are the best; our schedules are not.

I was so excited to get this new Bible study by my friend, Wendy Blight. Wendy knows how to dig into God’s word in ways I have yet to learn. Having her write a Bible study that I can come along side of her is so exciting. Even more so, is having Proverbs 31 Ministries doing a free online Bible study so I can join with many women in doing this amazing study.

Want to join us? You can! Just sign up for the P31 online study click here!

Today, I’m giving away a signed copy of Wendy’s book! Just say “I’m in” in the comments below for a chance to win!

Let’s learn a bit more about Living So That from Wendy.

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Wendy, why did you write Living So That? 

 

Daily I battled because my words and actions didn’t reflect the biblical truths and principles tucked deep inside my heart. I knew I should be kind, loving, and patient. I knew I should forgive, pray without ceasing, and trust God in all things. But it always seemed my words and my reactions didn’t reflect what was hidden in my heart…not one bit.

I struggled to live faith-fully in the mess of everyday life. I knew what I was supposed to do, so why was it so stinkin’ hard to do it? I wanted to react with an understanding heart but then I’d lose it. I wanted to be nice but couldn’t hold my tongue. I wanted to forgive but couldn’t speak the words. I wanted to trust, but it just wasn’t there. I knew something had to change. I needed God’s living and active Word that I had hidden deep in my heart to come alive and bring the change I knew it promised.

Wendy, why do we experience tension in making faith-filled choices and how do the words “so that” speak to that tension?

Most of us desire to make God-honoring choices. Whether it’s at work or home or play, we want to respond in ways that glorify God and reflect well on us. But it’s hard because we are born steeped in sin. We don’t automatically choose to “do the right thing.” We are driven by our emotions…our flesh…our feelings. The only way to overcome our emotions…our flesh…is by feeding our spirit. When we do this consistently over time, our spirit will begin to overrule our flesh.

 

I can’t wait to start this study with Wendy and the gals on the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study team! Will you join us?

As I promised, Wendy is giving away a signed copy of her new book! To enter to win, just say “I’m in!” I will post the winner on Thursday!

 

 

Lynn

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Five Prayers to Pray for Your Daughter

The winner from last Friday’s “No More Perfect Kids” post is Katie Rettig. Katie, send me your address at Lynn@LynnCowell.com and I’ll ship “No More Perfect Kids”  to you!

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I woke up this morning and read this devotion from my friend, Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministriesand knew I just had to share it with you because of this paragraph:

“There is something I’ve come to realize I need to guard against as a mom. I sometimes want to be God in my kids’ lives.

I want to write their stories.

I want to set the course for their futures.

I want to determine what’s best for them.

I want to prevent them from ever being hurt.

I want to be their provider and protector.

And I want to be the one to set anyone straight who messes with my kids.”

Oh my! Is she reading my mind?

Lysa goes on to share five prayers to pray for your daughter

I’m printing out this prayers right now to start praying every day for my girls. Will you join me?

For Lysa’s prayers,  just click here.

For my 9 Days of Revolutionary Prayers for Your Daughter, just go to “Freebies” or click here. 

So often as a mom, I feel like my hands are tied to straighten their path; help them make wise choices. I am grateful today for Lysa pointing me again to the most powerful thing I can do as a mom.

Not look for an opportunity for a great conversation.

Not manipulate the circumstances to try to prevent pain.

Not send a book, a verse or anything else I hope they’re read.

The most powerful thing I will do today is pray.

Lynn