4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Church

We all have different methods of finding a local church to attend. Some of us go where we have the most friends. Others pick churches for their amazing worship team or inspiring sermons. Some of us like a more traditional feel, while others prefer a more contemporary vibe. Truth be told, many of us will attend several different churches throughout our lifetime. Our personal preferences change, we move to new cities, we get married, etc. We all have our reasons for attending a new church. So is there a “right” way to go about choosing a church to attend? Continue Reading

5 Things God Will Use in Your Life to Produce Spiritual Growth | alyssajhoward.com

5 Things God Will Use in Your Life to Produce Spiritual Growth

Do you crave spiritual growth? Do you long to mature in your faith? As Christians, we are called to aim for growth. We make efforts to grow closer to God by praying, reading our Bibles, attending church, etc. But what I find interesting is that the New Testament claims that true spiritual growth occurs when we endure trials. Can we grow by spending more time with God? Of course, we can! But truth be told, more growth happens in times of difficulty than any other time of our lives. Continue Reading

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.

 

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

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

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

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