Living for the Future Rather Than the Here and Now: 5 Reasons to Have an Eternal Perspective | alyssajhoward.com

Living for the Future Rather Than the Here and Now: 5 Reasons to Have an Eternal Perspective

Ever since I was a little girl, life has been all about the future. When I was younger, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. As a high school student, I planned for college. Once in college, I prepared for my future career. Then I got married and had children of my own. At this stage of life, I’m not only thinking about my own future, but I am now preparing my daughters for their future.

 

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Now We Live with Great Expectation: Relying on a Hope That Will Never Disappoint

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines hope as “the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen : a feeling that something good will happen or be true.”

When it comes to our children, our health, and our safety, we hope for the best because we know that the best doesn’t always happen. We hope because we know that this life is uncertain and can change at a moment’s notice. We hope…

 

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Praying for a Baby: A Story of Refinement | alyssajhoward.com

Praying for a Baby: A Story of Refinement

A big thank you to my amazing mother for sharing her heart in this guest post. I knew for most of my life that my parents longed for another baby. I remember the journey well, and I can honestly say that my entire family grew in the process. Thank you, Jesus, for refining each member of my family as we learned to seek You first in all things.

 


 

I was a young mother, marrying my husband at the tender age of 19 years old.  Our family was started immediately with a baby girl born 1 month after our first wedding anniversary, and a baby boy to join her 17 months later.  What more could I ask for?  Two perfect healthy children, relatively easy pregnancies, I was content.  My husband and I also had another daughter from his previous marriage that was 5 years old when we started our own little family.  Life was busy and full.

 

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Impossible Battles: Even the Winds and Waves Obey Him | alyssajhoward.com

Impossible Battles: Even the Winds and Waves Obey Him

We all have them. Obstacles and impossible battles that we have no idea how to overcome. We are taught from an early age to face them head on. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. For some of the battles, this is true. We can face them head on and win.

Then there are the impossible battles. The ones where it seems that no amount of fighting will keep us from defeat. The ones where our demise seems inevitable. What about these battles? How can we possibly face these head on when we feel hopeless about the outcome?

 

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Are We Desensitized to the Things of God? | alyssajhoward.com

Are We Desensitized to the Things of God?

When the early Christian church was expanding after Jesus ascended into heaven, amazing things were taking place. Thousands were coming to know Christ as their Savior and the message of the gospel was being preached throughout the known world. These new believers were passionate about their new faith as well as the expansion of the Good News.

At the time, however, they were also being intensely persecuted. I find it interesting to think that while Christians everywhere were dying for their faith, somehow the church was still expanding. The message was getting out there, and people were responding by surrendering their lives to something that could potentially get them killed.

 

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Lukewarm Christianity: 8 Ways We Can Avoid It | alyssajhoward.com

Lukewarm Christianity: 8 Ways We Can Avoid It

Lukewarm Christianity. It was a phrase I heard often growing up in the church. It’s described in the book of Revelation where God speaks to the church of Laodicea:

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”Revelation 3:15-17 (NLT)

 

He goes on to tell them that true wealth, health and happiness come from Him alone – rather than things of this world.

 

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I Am the Lord Your God Who Has Done Amazing Things

I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

When the Lord would address His people, He would often remind them of all He had done for them. The phrase, “I am the Lord your God who…” is repeated countless times in the Old Testament. The Israelites didn’t simply know Him as “God.” They knew Him as the God who had rescued them, who had been merciful to them, who had provided for them in the desert, and who had conquered their enemies.

 

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Victory at the Finish Line: Building Endurance in Our Faith

One of my favorite things about running is that the results are tangible. Growth can easily be measured by time and distance. Just five months ago, I competed in my first half marathon. This weekend, I will be racing in my second. I can’t begin to tell you how different it is training for this race versus my last one.

In my first half marathon, my goal was simply to finish. When beginning my training, 13.1 miles seemed like an incredible distance…one that seemed nearly impossible. I achieved my goal, but not without my fair share of physical and mental exhaustion. It was hard. Not to say that training for my second half marathon has been easy, but it has certainly proven to be less exhausting. 13.1 miles doesn’t seem quite as daunting this time around. Continue Reading

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants | alyssajhoward.com

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants

No one enjoys feeling weak or vulnerable, yet it is inevitable to feel this way at some point in our lives. We all feel small at times…especially when it seems like the cards are stacked against us. When it came time for the Israelites to finally enter into the Promised Land, God commanded Moses to send 12 spies into the land to survey the scene. After forty days, the men brought their reports back to the Israelites. Needless to say, there were mixed reviews.The land was exactly as God had promised. It truly flowed with milk and honey, and it was everything the Israelites could ever need or want. There was just one problem…they would have to fight for it.

 

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants | alyssajhoward.com

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Unshakable: How Secure is Your Foundation? | alyssajhoward.com

Unshakable: How Secure is Your Foundation?

Many of us like to believe that we’re unshakable. We like to think that we are strong enough to handle anything life throws our way. The truth is, however, we all have our breaking points. We all experience problems that seem to be bigger than life itself. It’s times like these when we begin to realize that we’re not as unshakable as we once thought. Continue Reading

Embrace the Uncomfortable: Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones to Grow in Our Faith | alyssajhoward.com

Embrace the Uncomfortable: Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones to Grow in Our Faith

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be frightening. Nobody enjoys being uncomfortable. In fact, most of us despise it, and we will do anything to avoid it. The truth is, however, that our comfort zone can actually be the most dangerous place to be. Why you ask? Because when we are too comfortable, there is no inspiration to grow or move forward. We become content with where we are at in life. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing…it’s not exactly a good thing either. Continue Reading

Potty Training is Easy: Learning the Fundamentals of Our Faith | alyssajhoward.com

Potty Training is Easy: Learning the Fundamentals of Our Faith

“Potty training is easy and fun!” I’m pretty sure no one has ever uttered these words. This past week has been a wonderfully delightful experience as my husband and I decided to take on the challenge of potty training our toddler. (Notice my subtle sarcasm.) Potty training is not fun, and it is certainly not easy. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for no longer needing to use diapers, but cleaning up accidents is not exactly my favorite thing to do either. All said and done, we know it’s time. Our daughter has been ready for quite a while, and absolutely loves using the “big kid” potty. Now if only we could get her to tell us before she has to go rather than during! (Any tips?) Continue Reading

Faith is a Verb: Putting Our Beliefs into Action | alyssajhoward.com

Faith is a Verb: Putting Our Beliefs into Action

As Christians, we hear a lot about faith. But what is faith exactly? Many of us equate it with belief. I have faith when I believe in something or someone. But I have to think that perhaps faith is more than simply believing in something. The Bible tells us that we are called to walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) It isn’t a feeling or an emotion; it’s a way of living. Continue Reading

Milestones: Crying Out for Spiritual Growth | alyssajhoward.com

Milestones: Crying Out for Spiritual Growth

The day our first daughter was born, it all began…milestones. We documented everything. It’s crazy how many “firsts” there are in the first year of life! Every holiday was a first (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc.) There’s also the first time she ate solid food, her first words, her first tooth, etc. And don’t get me started on the biggest milestone of them all…the day she became mobile! It was time to baby proof the house!

I also love how my youngest daughter is starting to communicate. She only has about 5 or 6 words that she uses correctly; but between that and hand gestures, I’m starting to get a little glimpse into her personality as well as her wants and needs. Did I mention that her words are incredibly cute? She asked me to go “nigh nigh” this afternoon. Yes, you read that right. My one-year-old asked if she could take a nap. Too cute! Continue Reading