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

Continue Reading

Love Defined: How to Experience True Love That Is Unshakable

I believe with all of my heart that the greatest love story ever told is the one between God and man. It amazes me that an all-knowing, perfect God would go through such great lengths to be with me. God chose to look beyond my mess to see who I could become in Him. He endured the cross, even as I was unfaithful and lost in sin. In my own human strength, I could never imagine loving someone as unconditionally as God loves me. But God’s Word tells me that I can love others because God (who is love) lives in me. Continue Reading

Love Defined: Four Things That Will Destroy Love

Paul begins his definition of true love in 1 Corinthians 13 by telling us what love is…patient and kind. He goes on to tell us, however, what love isn’t. There are four things can and will destroy love if given the chance. Allowing these “weeds” to take root in our hearts and minds may not seem like a big deal, but they can easily become major problems in our lives if we allow them to grow. Continue Reading

Love Defined: Choosing Patience When You Want to Complain | alyssajhoward.com

Love Defined: Choosing Patience When You Want to Complain

My 3-year-old broke her arm this week. I must say that she is one tough kid. Not only did she barely cry, but she went on playing as if nothing had happened. It wasn’t until the next morning that I even noticed she was favoring that arm. No swelling. No bruising. I took her in to get an x-ray and sure enough, it was broken. Continue Reading

Love Defined: It's More than a Feeling | alyssajhoward.com

Love Defined: It’s More than a Feeling

Love is such a cliché word these days. I can love God, love my family, love my life, and so on. But I can also love shopping, cooking, and being extremely organized. In all honesty, the word “love” is seriously overused in our American culture today. Continue Reading

What Being a Parent Has Taught Me about God | alyssajhoward.com

What Being a Parent Has Taught Me about God

God is often described as our “heavenly Father.” Growing up, I thought I knew what that meant. It was easy for me to relate to being a child to a loving father because I was fortunate to have an amazing earthly father of my own. I understood what it meant to be a child. When I became a mom, however, my perspective changed. Continue Reading

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

Complaining and the Ungrateful Heart: Lessons from the Wilderness | alyssajhoward.com

Complaining and the Ungrateful Heart: Lessons from the Wilderness

This past week, my Bible study focused on the Israelites and their complaining in the desert. God had just delivered them out of Egypt, and they had also just witnessed the true power of God when He parted the Red Sea. I can only imagine how awestruck they must have been! After only three days in the desert, however, the Israelites were already complaining (Exodus 15:22-25). One month later, they had reached a point in their complaining where they actually wished they had died back in Egypt. Continue Reading

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? | alyssajhoward.com

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s absolutely gorgeous! I love the pumpkins, the falling leaves, and of course drinking hot chocolate on a cool autumn day. There is, however, one thing I’m somewhat torn over… Halloween. Don’t get me wrong. I would love nothing more than to dress my adorable toddlers up in cute costumes and then show them off as we go door to door. There’s just one problem. As a Christian, how do I justify my Christian beliefs with Halloween? Can I still live out my faith and participate in this holiday event? Continue Reading

To Be Glued: Clinging to God in All of Life's Circumstances | alyssajhoward.com

To Be Glued: Clinging to God in All of Life’s Circumstances

It has been a particularly long and difficult week. Not only was it my daughter’s birthday, so party plans officially took over my life, but I also managed to injure my right arm on the morning of the party. Taking care of two toddlers with only one strong arm has been a challenge, to say the least! I’ve been fortunate enough to have an amazing husband who stepped in to help with some of the housework I could no longer do; but even with the help, my week has been quite chaotic. 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