Karen Ehman has been a long time friend and ministry partner, and somehow she manages to speak God’s truth into my heart with each each of her books. And this last one is no different. I’m a mom. A woman. A servant. A sister. A daughter. A writer. A Speaker. And a whole lot of other roles on top of those, and I’m confident you wear a lot of hats too. So if like me, you find it hard to pause your busyness to spend time with God, Karen’s latest book, Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet With Jesus, might be just the encouragement you need to help you slow down before summer is over.
Today’s giveaway is a free copy of Pressing Pause, but you have 3 chances to win one of 3 free copies! To enter to win, share when your favorite time to press pause and spend time with God is, either by:
1) leaving a comment on my blog
2) leaving a comment on Facebook on today’s Summer Reading Facebook post
3) leaving a comment on Instagram on today’ Summer Reading Instagram post.
Or do it all three places to increase your chance of winning!
I’ll choose one winner from each location.
I hope Karen’s guest post below touches your heart today, and after reading, don’t forget to enter to win your free copy!
“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (Amplified)
It was an ordinary day. My friend Laurel decided, as she often does, to spend some time reading her Bible that afternoon, connecting with God in the midst of her busy day as a wife and mother. As she leaned forward to reach something with one hand, she held her open Bible close to her heart with her other. It was then that it happened. Through the leather-bound book pressed upon her heart, she felt a small lump on her chest.
A physician was summoned; tests were ordered; Laurel’s worst fear became reality. She had breast cancer.
The days, weeks and years that followed brought hospital visits and radiation, probing and prodding, uncertainty and discomfort. Now years removed from those emotionally trying days, my sweet friend’s body is free from any traces of that often-deadly disease. She is a healthy high school foreign language teacher who goes about her commonplace days with a deep love for Jesus and eternal gratitude in her heart. Most of all, she is thankful that God arranged circumstances in such a way that her cancer was caught early; all because she held her Bible close to her heart.
I pondered Laurel’s experience recently. Imbedded in a touchy relationship issue with a friend, I was angry. It was a situation in which I felt used, violated and unappreciated. I was ready to enter my alone time with God with a whine on my lips and an intense need to vent my mounting frustrations. It was then that He brought today’s verses to my mind.
I looked them up in the Amplified Version (one which sheds light onto the original Hebrew or Greek meaning of the words) It was then that my eyes fell upon this phrase,
“….see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Instead of complaining about the actions of my friend, I decided to hold God’s Word close to my heart; to see if there was any wicked or hurtful way in me, not in her. When I did, He was quick to point out ways I was wrong; deeply rooted attitudes I displayed that rear their ugly heads and manifest themselves in awful, unattractive behaviors; behaviors no Jesus-following girl should exhibit. I saw I was as much to blame in the situation, maybe even more.
With scripture as a scalpel, God performed open-heart surgery that day. As I now go to the Great Physician for regular check ups, He is faithful to point out the errors of my ways; to nudge me to allow His thoughts to radiate my soul, burning out the nasty disease that tries to root and grow like a cancer, killing friendships and love.
I wonder, just how many relationship diseases could be cured if we were all more intentional to, early on in the situation, press our Bibles close to our hearts, feeling for any festering lumps of sin?
* Have you ever been in a situation where God’s word—held up to your heart—caused you to see something in a relationship that needed attention? What happened? Is there a current situation or relationship that needs to be held up to the light of scripture today?
Dear Lord, please help me to love unconditionally and mind my own sin. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Karen Ehman is a New York Times bestselling author and a speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries, as well as a writer for Encouragement For Today, their online devotions that reach over one million women daily. She has authored ten books including KEEP IT SHUT: What to Say, How to Say It and When to Say Nothing at All, Hoodwinked: 10 Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need to Knock It Off and Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus. Karen has been a guest on national media outlets including The 700 Club, At Home Live, FamilyLife, Engaging Women, The Harvest Show, Moody Midday Connection, and Focus on the Family.
You can connect with her at karenehman.com where she helps women to live their priorities and love their lives. Or hang out with her on social media at:
Whether you’re juggling a career, kids’ schedules, and church commitments or you’re covered in spit-up and anxious about what the next eighteen years might hold, you can carve out a few quiet moments to rejuvenate your spirit.
Pressing Pause offers you a calm way to start your day, to refresh yourself in Jesus and drink deeply of His presence so that you are ready to pour out love, time, and energy into the people who matter most to you.
These 100 encouraging devotions for moms will help you begin each day with scripture, drawing on God’s power, ingesting His Word, and learning practical ways to love and serve more like His son.
Just a few minutes each day can help you center your heart and mind on what God has for you as His beloved daughter. So resist the rush. Halt the hustle. Press pause and find some calm in the chaos. Click here to get your copy!
**The winners of last week’s giveaways were Kari B (Breaking Up With Perfect) and Tami (It’s Not Fair). Winners have been notified via email.