GIVEAWAY: Becoming Mom Strong

Gwen Smith Blog, Giveaways 83 Comments

HAPPY FRIDAY! Today I’m excited to introduce you to my friend HEIDI ST. JOHN who’s sharing an excerpt from her new book, Becoming Mom Strong. While all of us are not necessarily moms, we all know a mom or two, right?! And this post is for everyone. Heidi does a beautiful job weaving Biblical truths into ordinary conversations. And she doesn’t just write this way – she lives this way. She’s a bold soul wrapped in a gentle, feminine package. I’ve watched her on the front lines of struggle and I’ve seen God’s strength and dignity shine through her.

I just know you’re gonna love her like I do! 🙂 Now, grab a warm mug of your favorite drink and enjoy today’s post by Heidi St. John.

Even When Our Plans Fail, God’s Never Will

Have you ever noticed how many of the psalms were written during times of difficulty?

Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident Psalm 27:3

This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. Psalm 91:2

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1

If we read between the lines of these psalms, we get the distinct impression that the psalmist is facing some pretty serious challenges: being surrounded by an army, needing a place of refuge, facing danger and fear and anxiety. Maybe we’re not facing a literal army, but my guess is that most of us have felt like we’re in a battle at some point or at the very least in need of a place of rest and protection.

Likewise, most of the New Testament epistles were written from prisons.

Some of the most powerful sections of Scripture were written by authors who found themselves in circumstances beyond their control—circumstances they never would have chosen themselves. Paul wrote the book of Philippians when he was in custody of the Roman government, yet he still clung to the promise of God’s faithfulness: “This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). 

In the same way that fear can test our trust, trials can also test our trust. Let me say that again, because I need to hear it too: trials test our trust.

In her song “Hard Times Come,” Amy Grant writes, Hard times come and they’ll come till we’re done.

You know what?

She’s right.

Hard times come—but they’re not here to torture us; they’re here to teach us. We either learn from them or we don’t.

Struggle is part of life. The question is, Do our trials point to Jesus Christ even as we stumble and struggle along the way?

If we claim that we trust God but we’re living in a constant state of panic and distrust, what are we saying with our lives?

Through our actions, we put our trust in God on display. It’s a big deal how we respond during trials. The way we handle failure, financial difficulty, loss, and pain speaks volumes about what we really believe.

In Psalm 20:7 (niv), David says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Allow me to put that into contemporary terms for you: “Some trust in financial stability, some trust in homeschooling, some trust in medicine, some trust in [fill in your own blank], but I choose to trust in the name of the Lord!”

There are so many things that seem easier to trust than the Lord—after all, He is invisible. We like to see what we’re putting our trust in. That’s part of faith, isn’t it? That we’re trusting our future to a God we can’t see? But the truth is, anything other than Jesus will eventually let us down. In Psalm 28:7-8, David says: “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  The Lord gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress for his anointed king.”

Is the Lord your strength and shield?

Take a moment to check your heart.

It’s easy to operate in the world and forget that God is our true source of protection and power.

Does your life demonstrate a trust in God’s provision? In His goodness? In His Word? In His timing? It’s critical that it does.

Are you struggling? Look up! Don’t be overcome by fear or anxiety. Remember that God can use these hard times to teach us and to put our trust to the test.

One of the reasons I love the psalms so much is because David is so transparent in his human attempt to walk with his Creator. The source of his confidence and stability wasn’t in his own strength but in God. And yet he struggled. This man who referred to himself as the apple of God’s eye (see Psalm 17:8, NIV) struggled with fear. One minute he was praising God, and the next he was crying out for rescue—just like the rest of us!

When you find yourself struggling as David did, ask yourself, “Has He ever failed me?” The answer is a clear and resounding no. Even if it seems like He is absent. Even when we make mistakes and choose to walk in disobedience, God says He uses all things for good. He is in control—even when we feel out of control—which means we can quiet our hearts and rest knowing that God will never let us go.

When we realize that God sees our frailty and understands our worry, it’s easier to see His heart for us. God loves us, even in our times of doubt and unbelief. As the song goes, “The times they are a-changin’.” But God doesn’t change. He remains the same: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Even when my plans fail—His never will.

Adapted from Becoming Mom Strong: How to Fight with All That’s in You for Your Family and Your Faith by Heidi St. John. Releasing September 19, 2017 from Tyndale House Publishers.

Congratulations to our giveaway winners April and Elaine who will each receive a copy of Becoming Mom Strong!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do is one simple thing: LEAVE A COMMENT to win by CLICKING HERE.

That’s it! Once you comment below, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on Monday, October 23rd, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US readers only.}

 

Heidi St. John is a popular conference speaker, author, and blogger at The Busy Mom, with over a million monthly page views. With a heart to convey encouraging, relevant, biblical truth for women, Heidi travels and speaks all over the country before audiences as large as 20,000. Heidi and her husband, Jay, are the founders and executive directors of Firmly Planted Family Ministries, a homeschooling discipleship organization. Heidi and Jay have been married more than 25 years; they have seven children (ranging in age from early elementary school to adult) and two grandsons. The St. Johns live in Washington State.


Heidi’s Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | PodcastTwitter

 

 

Comments 83

  1. This really speaks to me. I tend to worry about everything and I have to remind myself that when you have faith, you learn to let go of the anxiety. I cant say I am 100 percent there but I am always trying. This is a great reminder and I would love to read this book.

  2. Being strong is very important in this day and age. I need all the help I can get, As I’m raising my four grandchild. Also, I want to pass all the right information on to my granddaughter who just had my first great grandchild.

  3. Thank you both for this wonderful opportunity to read this book. I read this devotionals and grow with each and every one. Thank you Gwen for your words of encouragement.

  4. Thank you very much Gwen for this opportunity to win this amazing book!!! I would love to read this and learn to grow closer to God in our struggles in life while being a role model to my kiddos! Teaching them to draw closer to God no matter what life throws at them!!!
    God blessings to you!!! 😊

  5. I listen to Heidi talk about her book on the epic success podcast and I’ve already started applying some of her recommendations! In particular, I make sure to start my day with my devotionals saying “not today” to other distractions so that I can start my day with a firm foundation and focus on God. I try to get up before my (just turned) 3-year old for some prayer time and Bible study. Changing over the laundry can wait until I’ve had my time with the Lord.

  6. I am going to be teaching a class to M.O.P.’s ( mom’s of preschoolers) . This book sounds like something that would help. Thank you. I’m a great grandma. So I need insight.

  7. What a wonderful topic!! With moms today and the constant chaos and pressure to be perfect, this is just what we busy mamas need!! God is great!!

  8. Wow!! This is exactly how I’m feeling right now. The past few months have been tough with one thing after another hitting my husband and I like a ton of bricks. Our health, jobs, finances, and family have been attacked. But we choose to stand and trust God because He has a plan and He has Always been here for us through everything He has never failed us! Would love to have a copy of your book to read, enjoy, and share with others. Thank you for the opportunity. God Bless

  9. I’d definitely love to receive this. Many times I’ve failed. My children chose the wrong paths in life and I’m raising 3 grandsons. Will I fail them too? Seems like every way I turn.. it’s always something else happening. Please pray for us.

  10. Thank you for this! I had to put my big girl pants on and be mom sting last week and make a very hard decision with our young adult son. God has grown me so much just in 8 days! His promises are true! Be strong mama’s!

  11. I am the Mom to 3 Children, but when my youngest son died of a heart attack I have not felt like a Mom to any of my children. I am clinging to our Lord with all my might. I know He alone is my comfort. I am praying that He will restore the joy of my salvation. God be with all of you wonderful writers who help to keep us focused.

  12. Thank you for sharing, these verses that you quoted were what I needed to remind me to keep trusting God through everything! Would love the chance to win this book.

  13. Being a mom is tough and there are days I feel defeated or like I am fighting an army, even though its just me and my son! Thank you for your words of encouragement, God has never let me down, even in the hardest moments of parenting.

  14. Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. I praise God for women of faith who seek Him with all their hearts. Thank you for offering to give a copy of your book to someone. God bless you with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.

  15. Thank you for the opportunity to biblically strengthen my journey as a mom and soon to be grandmother. God is GREAT!!

  16. Your verse choices for today were exactly the ones I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing your inspirational words. God Bless you! Nona
    .

  17. Mom’s do have such a big job!
    This book will be so helpful. My daughter in law needs it right now, she’s dealing with our 3 year old scheduled for surgery in a month and she is STRESSED!

  18. I sometimes forget to trust the Lord when I or my family are deep in our personal struggles. In those times, I let anxiety overrule my faith and life becomes hard. I have to remind myself daily that God is near, and He is bigger than all our problems!

  19. Thanking the Lord that through suffering He enlightens us and grows us up in Him. I would love this book to give to my daughter-in- law who is a mother of four and who is going through a rough time with her 5 yr old. He fears eating 95% of all foods. Such a struggle. They have found a children’s hospital that can help. Your prayers would be greatfully appreciated.
    I love your devotions!

  20. One thing about life is certain; there will always be “change”. The one thing that remains the same is the unfailing love or our Father.

  21. This message comes at a time in my life where I struggle to see what good can come out of bad, and yet I keep saying to myself, “God’s got you, trust in Him!” Thank you for reassuring the simple truth, that God is always there for us!

  22. I read your daily devotionals and they help me through my day.
    I am the mother of 3 teenage boys and I would love this book!!
    My journey towards a better relationship with my God helps me build a better relationship with my kids as well. After all, I’m trying to help them grow into Godly, faithful, spiritual MEN who will on day lead their wives and children to Christ!

  23. I’m a worrier, so the following spoke to me: “When we realize that God sees our frailty and understands our worry, it’s easier to see His heart for us. God loves us, even in our times of doubt and unbelief. As the song goes, “The times they are a-changin’.” But God doesn’t change. He remains the same: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Even when my plans fail—His never will.”

  24. This is such a great article, and so true. Thank you for sharing it.

    God bless you!

    Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident ~ Psalm 27:3

  25. Wow….Trusting and giving up control! Such difficult human behaviors to achieve but if we truly give it up to God he does have our backs, he will take care of us. So powerful! Thank you for sharing Mrs. St. John!!!!

  26. I love the title of this book. Oh to be a mom… of littles and of olders… always a struggle to not want to worry and not to control and not be ashamed of not being perfect and doing this perfectly. This book sounds awesome

  27. God is real and even though I knew this in my heart I only really came to understand how real God can be when my journey took me through an enormous trial Everyone left me and I was ostracized which left me very much isolated and alone. I only had God and He never left me. Praise God
    People were around but they did not believe me as I had made a stand for Christ in a Christian school which lies had been circulating for some time. Many people were affected, bullied but I was abused and attacked. I am alive today because Christ died for me and never left my side.

  28. This is for my daughter that has 6 children, is a stay-at-home mom and, home schools her children. I feel this would encourage her. Her husband and her recently moved out to the country and though they love the country life, she’s finding it difficult to make friends and she is feeling lonely with missing her old friends and family.

  29. This morning’s devotional touched my heart and brought me back to His faithfulness. It reminded me that He is a good good Father, and His grace is sufficient.

  30. In the shadows of morning I seek Him. You are my favorite guide of daily biblical nourishment. I’m a divorced mom in the trenches of raising a teenage girl alone. I would so enjoy the book. Thank you

  31. Your posts, Gwen, always seem to bring the Word of God for me right on time! Thank you for following Him and sharing what He tells you to share! The post today about Becoming Mom Strong is VERY timely! I know so many women (and men) who would benefit from reading it!

  32. Thank you – wonderful words of encouragement! Yes we are struggle but God’s promise to be with us always comforts me. I love the Psalms also – they touch my heart and give me strength!

  33. My heart goes out to you May! Continue to cover yourself with His glory and presence and may He continue to strengthen you, hold you up and love you, give you an abundant amount of grace everyday as you go through this tough time! May you be filled with a double portion of the Holy Spirit!! Call out to your Abba Father, you belong to Him❤️ I am at a prayer conference in Texas this weekend and I will cry out for you sister❤️

  34. Thank you for reminding us that we can trust in the Lord. He’ll never leave us nor forsake us and without faith it is impossible to please God. AND He has never and will never fail us!! Amen!

  35. Thanks Hiedi – I needed this! I am reaching out to a friend that I cannot see becoming a Christian. I need to be still love her and be her friend and let God do the rest, Amen! Thank you for your words that take us back to where we need to be 🙂

  36. You have been such an inspiration in my life. I would love to have this book. I have a stepdaughter in rehab that I visited yesterday and she will be graduating in two months and one of her biggest desires is to be a better Godly mom. I would love to give the to her.

  37. Perfect timing! My daughter is Army strong in basic training. Her body, mind, and spirit is being tested. I am trying to be Mom strong sending her letters full of recipes to nourish her hungry soul provided through God’s word. Thank you for sharing this amazing resource. Peace….

  38. I am truly enjoying your messages of hope and life and would truly love to win a copy of this book. Every mom needs encouragement!! Thank you!

  39. This is what I needed to read today as a mother and grandmother. It has blessed me and brought me back to what is most important. Thank you fir writing this book

  40. I really appreciate being reminded in my busy life that my behavior is my testimony. I think we all forget that sometimes in the heat of every day battle. Your book sounds amazing! Blessings!

  41. Amen! This book is coming right on time. Because it seems the women of God are under attack. But reading the Word and strengthening our armour will see us through each trial and we WILL walk through the valley with our Father before us and our Lord interceding on our behalf!

    Tamar

  42. Thank you as my devotionals are on preserving and this goes along with it so GOD IS USING MY DEVOTIONALS THIS MORNING FOR ME TO SEE THAT PRESERVING IS WHAT I NEED TO DO AND THIS HELPS SET UP THE DAY FOR ME THANK YOU AS I WOULD ENJOY THE BOOK AS IT WOULD ALSO HELP ME TO GROW MORE IN JESUS .

  43. Thank you for this excerpt. I look forward to reading the book. I can certainly relate to this. I feel everyday is a battle.

  44. What a great gift.
    This is inspiring and I am excited to enter for a free copy.
    These snipits of content are always very helpful in my every day life. Exactly what we face.
    Thank you for sharing!!

  45. I always enjoy these devotionals i.can relate to the challenges as I walk through the loss of my husband and the effects of no will …2 houses and a blended fsmily. God is my fortress… He is even empowering me to do my very first ever half marathon.(one that my husband and I had agreed I should do before he suddenly died.) Pray for me

  46. I always enjoy these devotionals i.can relate to the challenges as I walk through the loss of my husband and the effects of no will …2 houses and a blended fsmily. God is my fortress…

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