10 Bible Verses for the Brokenhearted

We’ve all experienced loss. We all know what it’s like to grieve or to have a broken heart. In the midst of hurt and struggle, it can be difficult to see God’s purpose in it all. And while I don’t believe God ever causes heartbreak in our lives, I do believe that He never allows our suffering to go to waste. And He certainly promises to comfort us and give us His peace through the storms of life. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses for When You Face Anxiety

Anxiety is something we all face from time to time. Our worries eat at us, keep us awake at night, and steal hours (or days) of joy from our lives. Needless to say, it isn’t good for us to be worried all the time. (And medical science would agree with me.) Continue Reading

God is Painting a Masterpiece (and that masterpiece is you!)

Have you ever struggled to stay positive? Maybe there’s a difficult circumstance in your life that keeps you awake at night. Perhaps you’ve been battling a chronic illness or even depression. Or maybe you’ve been dealing with tragedy and aren’t sure how much more you can take. Regardless, we’ve all been there. We all deal with things we’d rather not have to deal with. Continue Reading

3 Ways Motherhood Made Me Crazy (and how God taught me to embrace it) | alyssajhoward.com

3 Ways Motherhood Made Me Crazy (and how God taught me to embrace it)

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of one day being a mom. I had no idea what that actually meant as a child, but I knew that I had it in me. And I didn’t just play with my baby dolls… I loved them and took care of them. It wasn’t until I officially entered motherhood that I realized the gravity of taking care of another human being. It’s a lot of work! Continue Reading

8 Reasons to Trust God Even When Things Are Up in the Air | alyssajhoward.com

8 Reasons to Trust God Even When Things Are Up in the Air

I’m a worrier. I’ll admit it. When faced with a problem or uncertainty, I will keep myself awake at night analyzing every detail… especially when I have no control over the issue. Why do I do this to myself? Why can’t I just trust God like I’m supposed to?

 

My husband and I are in the process of selling our home and buying a new one. Everything… and I mean everything is up in the air and out of our control. We found a buyer and our “dream” home, but anything can fall through at a moment’s notice. That’s a scary place to be for a worrier like myself! Continue Reading

Trust the Unseen: How to Live in Spirit and Truth

For many, this physical world is all there is. Angels and demons are nothing but a myth. Some would even call them “ghost stories.” But there is certainly a preoccupation with the unseen world that can’t be denied. There are numerous television shows, movies, and books that describe worlds beyond what we can physically see with our eyes. Why are we so fascinated by the unseen and the supernatural? Continue Reading

Storms in Paradise: A Lesson in Perspective

My husband and I just recently returned from a second honeymoon of sorts. We cruised to the Bahamas (just the two of us… no kids) and had an amazing time! We sailed away to a private island (owned by our cruise line) and were in awe of the beauty. The beaches were incredible to say the least.

And then it happened… a storm cloud. Continue Reading

4 Truths About Suffering (and how we can rejoice in the midst of it) | alyssajhoward.com

4 Truths About Suffering (and how we can rejoice in the midst of it)

Suffering isn’t generally a topic we like to talk about (or read about), but it’s something that is common to all of us. We all endure suffering at some point in our lives. We all have endured pain and heart-break. For that reason, I think it’s important to understand why we suffer. And more importantly, how we can endure life’s trials and find God’s peace through it all. Continue Reading

Holiday Joy or Holiday Stress: 4 Practical Ways to Choose Joy This Christmas

Christmas is quickly approaching and life is getting busier… and much more stressful. As the mom of two little ones, I fully understand how crazy life can be around the holidays. There is so much to remember! I have a mental checklist of things to do that seems to be growing every day rather than shrinking. Needless to say, my holiday joy has turned into holiday stress. It’s exhausting to say the least!

 

Holiday Joy or Holiday Stress? 4 Practical Ways to Choose Joy This Christmas | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading

Am I a Disappointment to God? | alyssajhoward.com

Am I a Disappointment to God?

God is faithful. He never disappoints. He keeps His promises, even when we don’t keep ours. We can rely on Him in every circumstance. But people… we have the tendency to let each other down.

As a mom, I desire to never disappoint my girls. I never want their hopes to be shattered. I want to be faithful and to keep my word. Unfortunately, I will let them down. I will lose my temper. I will say one thing and do another. And I will disappoint them. It’s a fact of life.

So what happens when we disappoint God? Is He angry with us? Does He want to give up on us?

 

Am I a Disappointment to God? | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading

3 Ways We Have Been Equipped By God to Patiently Endure Life’s Struggles

Toddlers aren’t exactly the most patient human beings. Some are probably more patient than others, but overall patience isn’t typically a trait used to describe an average 3-year-old. My daughter has been in the habit lately of asking demanding repeatedly her request until she gets what she wants.

She will ask for some water – she will watch me as I grab a cup out of the cupboard and fill it with water – the whole time asking over and over again for some water. It’s as if she’s worried I will somehow forget what I’m doing in the middle of getting it for her and she won’t get her water. (Please tell me I’m not the only mother with a toddler like this!)

 

Most of us don’t enjoy being patient. Quite honestly, it’s no fun having to wait for things. As adults we may not outwardly whine as much as a 3-year-old trying to get her way, but we often feel it on the inside. We know what we want, and we want it now.

 

3 Ways We Have Been Equipped By God to Patiently Endure Life's Struggles | alyssajhoward.com

 

Merriam-Webster has some interesting definitions for the word patient:

  • bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
  • manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
  • not hasty or impetuous
  • steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
  • able or willing to bear

 

While reading these definitions, certain phrases stick out to me. True patience is calm. It doesn’t complain. It isn’t controlled by our emotions. And it is not only able, but willing to endure in all circumstances. Have I mentioned that patience is hard?

 

In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.2 Corinthians 6:4 (NLT)

This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.Revelation 14:12 (NLT)

 

God calls His people to patiently endure trials, temptations, and hardships of every kind.

 


Why?
Because He wants the best for us. He desires that we grow in character and learn to lean on Him. He desires to be with us in eternity.
Asking us to patiently endure life’s trials may seem like an impossible task. It’s definitely something I struggle with on a daily basis. But God doesn’t leave us empty handed.

 

  • God has given us each other. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. As we live out our faith, we can rely on one another for strength, guidance, and prayer.

 

Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.2 Corinthians 1:6 (NLT)

 

  • God has given us His Word. The Bible reveals God’s ultimate plan for salvation and redemption. As we patiently endure, it gives us hope and encouragement that the world simply cannot offer.

 

…And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.Romans 15:4 (NLT)

 

  • We have the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He made a promise to send a “helper.” As believers, we have God’s Holy Spirit living inside of us. He convicts us, equips us, encourages us, guides us, and gives us the strength we need to patiently endure the trials of this world.

 

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

 

As a Christian, it’s hard not to behave like my toddlers. I struggle with patience. I whine and complain to God when things aren’t going as planned, but He is teaching me how to wait on Him. He is teaching me to trust that He is moving in my life, even when I want to remind Him of my needs repeatedly the way my 3-year-old does.

 

Even when I’m being impatient with Him, God is always faithful to be patient with me.

 

3 Ways We Have Been Equipped By God to Patiently Endure Life's Struggles | alyssajhoward.com

 

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4 Ways the World Copes with Shame (and how Jesus made a way to get rid of it for good)

Shame is such an ugly word. By definition it is “the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.” It’s something that we all have experienced at some point in our lives. Maybe we made a terrible mistake or hurt someone we loved. Or perhaps we felt the shame of others pointing out our flaws and weaknesses. Regardless, none of us enjoy shame. Therefore, we all make an effort to avoid it if possible.

 

4 Ways the World Copes with Shame (and how Jesus made a way to get rid of it for good) | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading

How to Prevent Your To-Do List from Becoming an Idol

I love making lists. I’m one of those people who will put something on my to-list that I’ve already done, just so I can check it off and feel accomplished. As I am beginning a new school year (and my first year officially homeschooling), my to-do lists have taken over my life. Every day, they get longer and longer as a few unchecked items get shoved to the following day’s list.

Instead of de-stressing my life, my lists have found a way to ADD stress to my life. Now I get to feel guilty and unproductive when one or two items don’t earn a check mark for the day.

 

How to Prevent Your To-Do List from Becoming an Idol | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading