When You Are in Need of a Christmas Miracle | alyssajhoward.com

When You Are in Need of a Christmas Miracle

For many of us, Christmas is one of the best times of the year. But for others, it can be one of the hardest. The holiday season has a way of bringing up emotions in a way that nothing else can. We can feel joy, love, peace, and contentment… or we can feel great sadness, loneliness, stress, and unrest. The term Christmas miracle is often used this time of year. It’s a phrase used to define a miraculous event that is so amazingly spectacular it could have only happened at Christmas. Are you in need of a miracle this holiday season? Continue Reading

When Spiritual Battle Has Made You Weary | alyssajhoward.com

When Spiritual Battle Has Made You Weary

You’re tired, weary, and you lack motivation. You’ve been spiritually fighting for a long while now, and you feel bruised and nearly defeated. I would be lying if I said I haven’t been there. The Bible tells us that our victory is secure in Christ and that He will be our strength in all things, but I have experienced times in my life when I felt nothing but weak and utterly defeated. What do you do when the truth of God’s Word seems to directly contradict what you are feeling and experiencing in your life? 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

When You Face the Impossible: Faith is Worth the Risk | alyssajhoward.com

When You Face the Impossible: Faith is Worth the Risk

No one likes bad news. I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly enjoy hearing about something negative on the horizon. But the truth is that we all face the impossible at some point in our lives. Maybe it’s a job situation or a financial struggle. Or perhaps you’re facing an illness of some kind. Regardless of the situation, we’ve all felt like David facing Goliath… a seemingly hopeless battle. Continue Reading

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’re Emotionally Drained

Have you ever been emotionally drained or tired? As the mom of two preschoolers, I’ve been there. (And if I’m being honest, the phrase “emotionally tired” is often a serious understatement!) Going to God for strength is something I need to do on a daily basis. But if I have learned anything, it’s that He is ALWAYS faithful! I am so thankful to serve a God who will exchange my weaknesses for His strength.

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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

4 Reasons to Never Get Offended (even when someone offends you) | alyssajhoward.com

4 Reasons to Never Get Offended (even when someone offends you)

When was the last time you were offended by something or someone? Most of us don’t see a whole lot of harm in being offended. After all, it’s a natural reaction. Someone says something that is cruel or just doesn’t sit right with you. Or maybe someone you thought was a friend completely ignores you. We’ve all been offended, and I’m sure we’ve all done our fair share of offending.

But is getting offended the right way to handle things? Sure, it’s a natural reaction, but should it be our reaction as children of God? Continue Reading

Storms in Paradise: A Lesson in Perspective | alyssajhoward.com

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

7 Reasons to Rejoice in Suffering | alyssajhoward.com

7 Reasons to Rejoice in Suffering

The book of James tells us to rejoice in suffering. I don’t know about you, but my first instinct when I’m face to face with struggle has nothing to do with joy. I’m angry, sad, frustrated, confused… but I’m never happy it. So how do we do it? How do we rejoice in our suffering as believers? 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 heartbreak. 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

You Are Valuable to God: How to Walk in Your New Identity

Before Christ, I was a slave to sin and to this world. My life lacked purpose and meaning, and I was on the road to death rather than life. I desperately needed a Savior – Jesus Christ – to rescue me.

It’s such a simple concept, yet I feel that over the years the enemy has distorted this message. Many of us are walking around holding on to the labels of who we used to be (sinners, slaves, etc.) instead of stepping into who God intends for us to be.

Yes, before Christ I was incapable of anything resembling righteousness… but the key word here is “was.” I was incapable. I was living for my own pleasure instead of living for God. And I was doomed to death as the result of my sin. But in Christ, these things are no longer true.

 

You Are Valuable to God: How to Walk in Your New Identity | 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

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