How to Put on the Garment of Praise When Your Spirit Is Weak | alyssajhoward.com

How to Put on the Garment of Praise When Your Spirit Is Weak

The Bible speaks often of God’s strength in our weaknesses. As Christians, we know that it’s crucial to lean on Him in times of heartache, unrest, and uncertainty. As we approach the holiday season, I have been pondering Isaiah 61:3. This verse reminds us that God gives us a garment of praise in exchange for our “faint spirit.”

But what does praise have to do with finding strength? Continue Reading

A Practical Guide to Standing on the Word of God | alyssajhoward.com

A Practical Guide to Standing on the Word of God

We’ve all been there. Face to face with something we can’t handle on our own. Caught between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to look but up. To say that I’ve been there would be a serious understatement. And I’ve been told many times by trusted (and wise) individuals to stand on the truth of God’s Word… even when my circumstances were less than ideal. But how does standing on the word of God change things? And where do I begin exactly? Continue Reading

How to Cope When Your To Do List Takes Over Your Life | alyssajhoward.com

How to Cope When Your To Do List Takes Over Your Life

If you’re anything like me, you make lists. Lots of lists. I currently have several on my phone, some on my laptop, and sticky notes wherever I can find space. Yes, I’m addicted to lists! But when your to do list takes over your life, how do you handle it? I, for one, struggle with this on a daily basis. Especially recently. You see, my life was thrown a bit off course. In every area of my life – health, family, homemaking, finances – you name it, I was thrown some curve balls! Needless to say, my to do lists suffered. Everything I had intended to accomplish during the months of August and September needed to be set aside. And I had to learn to be okay with it.

It was during this time, however, that God taught me an important lesson. We can make to do lists all day long. But when your life is driven by them, you have a problem. Continue Reading

The REAL Reason Why God Allows You to Be Tested | alyssajhoward.com

The REAL Reason Why God Allows You to Be Tested

I recently read the story of Abraham to my daughters. You know, the one where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son on an altar only to stop him in the process (much to Isaac’s relief!) I’ve heard this story so many times throughout my lifetime. But as an adult, and especially as a mom, I understand it much differently. Why would God ask such a thing? How could Abraham even fathom doing as God had asked? Continue Reading

Never Be Shaken: Is Your Life Defined by Courage or Fear?

A couple of years ago, a major windstorm came through my home town. The one thing I remember most about that night was sitting on our couch looking out our big front window at the enormous pine trees in our neighborhood. They swayed back and forth in a way that made everyone a bit uneasy. We knew that at any moment, one of them could fall and destroy everything in its path. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of that night was not which trees fell, but rather which trees didn’t. Some of the most fragile looking trees were still standing the next morning. What made these trees stronger than the others? Continue Reading

When Things Don't Go as Planned: How to Recover from Disappointment | alyssajhoward.com

When Things Don’t Go as Planned: How to Recover from Disappointment

Nearly six years ago, I had a job interview for what I felt was my “dream job.” I prepared for weeks, the timing felt right, and I seriously believed this was it for me. The interview went well, but they ended up choosing someone else for the position. At first, I was really disappointed. But after about six months, I realized why God had allowed this to happen in my life. I not only learned a lesson in how to recover from disappointment, but my career plans took a turn when God put a desire in my heart to write. Continue Reading

Life is full of trials and difficult circumstances. No person is immune. So what are we as Christians to do when life seems to be spinning out of control?

When Your Life Is Spinning Out of Control

The perfect storm… it’s a term we use to describe a storm that is so beyond destructive, so meticulous in its design, that it is nothing short of perfection. This is not exactly the term you would want to use to describe your life. But unfortunately, many of us have been there. We look around at our lives and see a whirlwind of problems threatening to destroy us. So what are we as Christians to do when our life seems to be spinning out of control? Continue Reading

3 Ways to Protect Your Heart from Offense | alyssajhoward.com

3 Ways to Protect Your Heart from Offense

In our politically correct culture, offense is the name of the game. We get offended over every little thing. And I mean every. little. thing. But should offense be a part of the Christian life? The truth is that the Bible calls us to forgive the way Jesus forgave us. That means always and for everything. So if we’re being honest with ourselves, being offended is the exact opposite of that command. Continue Reading

How to Stand in Faith When Things Don’t Seem to Change

Are you battle weary? Is your shield becoming heavy as you continue to stand in faith for what God has promised?  You’ve searched the scriptures, and you’re certain that what you are praying for is His heart for you.  He has made it clear that it’s His promise, yet as the weeks, months, and even years pass you are yet to see the manifestation of it.  Does it seem like some prayers are answered with no wait at all and others must be contended for?

I understand. I’ve been there.  I’m there right now, in fact.  If you’ve been a Christian very long you’ve probably experienced this in your own life by now.  How do you keep going when it seems like your answer is nowhere in sight? Continue Reading

How to Rid Your Mind of Stress: Trusting God with the Day-to-Day | alyssajhoward.com

How to Rid Your Mind of Stress: Trusting God with the Day-to-Day

When I was a freshman in college, I was required to take a class called “stress management.” I learned one important truth: if you desire to rid your mind of stress… good luck! Instead, I was taught how to manage my stress because truth be told, stress is a part of life. The sooner I accepted that fact, the better off I would be in managing it. There was just one problem with this particular class… God wasn’t a part of the equation. The Bible tells us that stress, fear, anxiety, and worry are all a part of our lives before Christ.

Perfect love casts out all fear… and Jesus is the very definition of perfect love. Continue Reading

It’s Okay to Grieve: A Biblical Look at Losing a Loved One | alyssajhoward.com

It’s Okay to Grieve: A Biblical Look at Losing a Loved One

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at a concert with friends when I received the call that my grandpa had died. It wasn’t a total surprise. My parents were actually there visiting him in the hospital because we knew his time was short. But none of that mattered. It was still just as hard. It was difficult finding out in front of my friends. I didn’t feel like I could grieve his loss. It wasn’t until later that I was able to let my guard down and cry. Continue Reading

The Search for True Happiness: 4 Truths About the Joy of the Lord | alyssajhoward.com

The Search for True Happiness: 4 Truths About the Joy of the Lord

Follow your heart. Do what makes you happy. Make your dreams come true. For many of us, the search for true happiness begins at an early age. My preschool daughters are already bombarded with these cultural messages on a daily basis. But what does true happiness look like? Is it prince charming? The happily ever after? The perfect career or ideal family? These things can certainly make you feel happy for a moment, but what happens when the “feeling” fades? Does happiness go away when imperfection comes? Continue Reading

How to Combat Resentment Before It Takes Root

We all know that forgiveness is a good thing. And not just for Christians. Even non-believers recognize the need to forgive and move forward with one’s life. But what about resentment?

While forgiveness isn’t easy, it’s usually easy to identify a problem. Resentment, however, has a way of sneaking up on you. It’s not so easily recognized. But if left to take root, resentment can grow into something that destroys you from the inside out. Continue Reading

God Created You to be a Superhero | alyssajhoward.com

God Created You to be a Superhero

Have you ever envisioned yourself as a superhero? Perhaps as a kid you put on the cape and pretended to fly around the room. Or maybe you’ve given thought to what superhuman skill you’d like to have. (I would love to be able to make myself invisible in case you were wondering!) Unfortunately, adulthood brings its share of challenges – so many in fact that it’s easy to allow reality to take the place of childish superhuman dreams. Continue Reading

How to Rekindle Your Joy as an Exhausted Mama | alyssajhoward.com

How to Rekindle Your Joy as an Exhausted Mama

My younger brother and I were close in age – 17 months apart to be exact. We had an amazing childhood together. I loved that we were always in the same stages of life together. We could always relate and that has now made us close as adults.

When I had kids of my own, I envisioned something similar for them. While my second daughter came as a bit of surprise, I was so excited that they would be close in age and would reap all of the same benefits my brother and I did growing up.

And then reality set in… Continue Reading