DYI Yearly Prayer Journal (affordable & personalized)

picmonkey_image.jpgHappy New Year!!!   What a great time to renew, refocus, and start new habits that will benefit you for years to come.

Prayer is a power weapon that we have access to at anytime and any season of our life.  Most of us if we are honest don’t utilize the power of prayer as much as we should. Organizing and keeping track of your prayers is life changing!  Maybe if this is one of your goals or plans to be more disciplined and organized with your prayer time I have an easy way to keep tract of them and make the most of your prayer time.

This is a system I’ve used for the past 2 years and I’m super happy to be starting my 3rd year with this system.  (In of course a new pretty binder)   I know there are many journals that you can buy, customize, and are very well put together, but honestly I needed to make one that fit my needs.   For me, I just chose to do this simple & affordable system that I can personalize to my prayer goals and needs that are in my life and family. (and you can too!)

Here’s a list of the simple items:

  • 3 Ring Binder (1 inch or 1 1/2)
  • Ruled lined paper
  • Pocket dividers
  • Pencil Pouch (optional)
  • Colored pens/highlighters (optional)
  • Sticky tabs (optional)

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Here’s how I put it all together.   It’s actually not real deep or in depth (as I usually try and keep things simple) Start by deciding what catagories you want to divide up your prayers.   Here’s an example of mine ( Praise/Worship,  Personal prayers, Requests for others, Ministry prayers, Thanksgiving)  The beauty about all of this is you can set up what works for you and your time with God.

Next I set up my binder with the color tabs (I used the pocket ones to keep various papers, clips of quotes, pictures or Bible guides) and I fill lined paper after each folder.

Then each day I will fill out each section with just the date and my thought, prayer, or my thanksgiving to God according to the section.   I’ve got to say after 2 years straight doing this….it’s been a wonderful tool to look back and see how God has answered various prayers, stretched my faith, and helped me to express my thanksgiving each day for something!  It’s turned into a wonderful reference and keepsake!  

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simple journal entries for each day!

My 1st notebook I actually put 2 full years in it and divided it with a print out calendar.  I also had quotes, pictures of family and helpful reminders.

The new one for 2019 is 1 1/2 inches big so I can have the space to add more pages and content.

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2019 Prayer Journal

Remember this system can be as unique as you and as detailed and personal as you need it to be.  Using colored pens, highlighters or other sticky notes just makes your journal….You!  All in all the end result is tracking your prayers, praise, and answered prayers for each year!  There has been much joy to see how this helps builds accountability & discipline in my life.

As you endeavor to improve and organize your prayer life, remember our time speaking with the Lord is essential and needed!  Prayer works and prayer changes things.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  James 5:16b

What are your goals or plans for this year?    Are you struggling with organizing your prayer time?    What techniques have helped you?   I would LOVE to hear!!

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Christmas Blessing Giveaway! (win $250 paypal cash)

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Christmas is such a wonderful and giving time of the year!   It’s a season that brings about so many memories and times of joy with family and friends.   As we are running around decorating and buying and wrapping presents, keep in mind it’s all about Christ!

I’m happy to announce that December 3rd-10th I’ll be partnering with some other great bloggers to bless one of you with $250 paypal cash!! (enter below)  Praying this giveaway will be a blessing to one of you!!!  Here are the list of bloggers that are bringing this to you:  (Be sure to go and say hello to them) 

Woman to Woman Ministries 
Jenifer Metzger 
A Delightful Glow 
Coupons and Freebies Mom 
Newly Us 
As For Me and My Homestead 
Breakthrough Homeschooling 
Rachael Gilbert 
Skill Trek 
Lesa Dale
Bible Journaling Ministries
Days & Thoughts
A Heart for Your Home 
Shari A. Miller, Living to Leave a Legacy 

Click and enter the link below! 

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Rules:
Giveaway Rules: No purchase necessary. Must be 18 to enter. Void where prohibited by law. *Open to US/Canada residents only.* This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or associated by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. By entering this giveaway, you agree to release Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Woman to Woman Ministries, and all participating bloggers of all liability. Contest ends at 12:01am EST on December 11, 2018. Winning entry will be verified. Winner is randomly chosen by Rafflecopter and will be emailed.

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Having a gratitude attitude when you just don’t feel like it

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Do you constantly feel the gratitude attitude?   If any of us can be truly honest, there are times in life when the gratitude feels like it has taken the back seat!   That doesn’t mean we are an un-thankful people it just means our focus is in the wrong place.

Let’s be real here.   There are hard moments in life like sickness, losing jobs, marital problems, wayward children, health crisis and the list goes on.  Many of us are experiencing struggles and hard times.  If we are not careful it can truly drain the joy right out of you.   What can we do?

Make a choice.    Make a conscious decision to redirect our focus on truly all that God has done or blessed us with.   Psalms 68:19 says,  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.   God each and everyday gives us many things to be thankful for.   God is good.  Make an effort to look around and not stare at the “problems/issues” that can zap our joy, but focus our attention of all the other things that we have been blessed with!  

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Make a list.   When you don’t feel the thankful -gratitude attitude, make a list of all the things you can be thankful for.   Sitting down with an old fashion pen and paper and start numbering one by one the things that you have been blessed with….it’s truly eye opening!   This helps get our focus on the positive and not all that is negative.   Keep in mind God can and will use all things in our life good and bad for His good!

“Count your blessings name them one by one, Count your blessings see what God has done, Count your blessings….name them one by one.  Count your many blessings see what God has done.”

Make a time for praise.    Lifting our voices to God and giving Him praise will put everything in perspective.  No matter what is going on around us, acknowledging that God is sovereign, God is in control, God knows, and He alone deserves all praise for all things.   (Praise also is a weapon against the devil!)   Psalms 92:1 says,  “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.”   Even the Bible reminds us that it’s a good thing to give thanks and praise to God!   

So where ever you are today……Look to Jesus!  He is our hope!  He is our guide!  He is the one who brings peace and comfort!  Today take time to focus  your thoughts on all the God has done for you!  Remember there is ALWAYS something to be thankful!!!

 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”        I Thessalonians 5:18

What are YOU thankful for?    Are you struggling to find gratitude?

 

 

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Kids Bible Give-away!

I’m so excited to be partnered with Tommy Nelson to review various children’s books!  This giveaway is for a New King James version children’s outreach Bible.  (Enter to win a FREE copy at the bottom of this post)

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This is an affordable children’s Bible that would be great to give out as an inexpensive gift for Sunday School classes or at Christmas to distant family or even children around the neighborhood.

The cover is soft and it also has 24 pages of kid-friendly full-color study help pages to help young children learn and grow in their faith journey. Pages include:

  • Why Should I Read the Bible?
  • Bible Verses to Know
  • Knowing Jesus
  • How Do I Pray?
  • How Can I Let God’s Love Shine Through Me?
  • How Do I Study the Bible?
  • The Names of God
  • and many more!

 

This is a great resource to get the Word of God into the hands of children!   Enter here below to win or a copy to keep or gift it to someone.  You can also enter by going to my Instagram page at @Jenn_Momof8     If your interested you can also purchase one here.

**This give-away is only for individual 18 years or older and in the U.S.  

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Hey Mom! It’s okay to be involved. (The dating years)

I seriously have taken a complete year off from writing, blogging, and much of posting on Facebook.   There are many reasons why I took a break but mainly because I needed to step away and life was beginning to speed up quickly.   (Like 2 daughters getting married in the same year!)  We’ll get more into that later on….. I promise!  But for now, I’m going to pick up where I left off a year ago.

Hey Mom!  It's OKAY to be involved! (Navigating the dating years)

One topic that keeps coming up in a number of conversations with friends or other individuals is the season of your young people dating/courting or starting a relationships.   These conversations probably came about because we had two daughter recently get married, but all in all I’m amazed at the number of parents that keep a huge distance or any involvement at all in their children dating.    Let me say from here……  It’s okay to be involved!! 

Now I have no idea where you are with raising kids but speaking from experience having been though this season (and I’m currently still in this season and will be for awhile…..sigh!) there are way too many parents literally keeping their distance from what, who, when, or how of your young people navigate through this stage of dating.  Really?!

Let’s start from the beginning.   Being involved is crucial during these years of starting this dating or “seeing” someone faze.   I truly believe the worst thing you can do is not be involved at all.   I hear from so many women or parents that they don’t know how to be involved.   Let me show you a few ways that my husband and I made a purposeful decision to get involved:

  • Start when they were young.    We taught them early on that if God intended for you to be married that He has a person already designed just for you.   No need to fret or worry if the “right” one will come along, but with God’s help He will direct your path towards that individual.
  • Keep the lines of communication open.   This is truly key in any relationship with your children.   They need to know that you truly care and want to hear about all their thoughts and concerns.   It will help in the long run when you need to discuss harder issues like dating, etc.
  • Keep their heart.   Through the Word of God you can clearly show them their need to keep their heart guarded   It’s very wise for them to learn to protect it from opening it too soon to others from the opposite sex.   This is where disasters can start.  So much is out there to bombard their minds and hearts and it’s wise to put safe guards to avoid many dangerous traps.
  • Give them the right tools.   Obviously the Bible is any Christians #1 resource but there are also many other great books that deal with dating, courting, etc.   (I’ll leave a list at the end of this post)
  • Help them make a list.    This was another way that helped us be involved in steering my older girls to making good choices.  Have them write a list of all the qualities or character traits they would love to have in their future spouse.   This was a perfect conversation piece to discuss what’s really important when meeting a potential “candidate”.   (Believe it or not both of my married girls still have their lists they wrote many years ago…..and it’s amazing to see they got what they were praying for).
  • Set up guidelines.    Each family is unique and as the Holy Spirit guides and directs you’ll find the guidelines that work for you.   I don’t believe that there is a set age but I do know they need to be children as long as they can and there is a time and place to “date/court” when they are mature.  It’s a good idea to make up guidelines of “dating” before it begins, as always there is room to adjust as you go forward.
  • Prayer.   This is truly the best weapon in being involved with who your children get involved with.   Start now!  Even if their babies or toddlers or even the teenage years.   It’s a power source God extends to us to access His wisdom and guidance into our lives.   Pray for your children, pray with your children, pray for their hearts, pray for their future spouses, pray….pray…..and keep praying!!!

Truly the end goal is not to be dictating their every move, but it’s to be involved to guide, direct, and give Godly wisdom along the way.   Remember they need that from us as parents, as moms!

It’s so discouraging to hear other parents (or moms) truly throw their hands up and think they shouldn’t get involved or don’t know how to be involved with their children dating and getting wrapped up with the opposite gender.    Now is not the time to check out!  The older I get the more I can speak from experience and this is an area where it’s been a journey but with God’s help, wisdom, and direction I can say we are thankful for the two marriages that were started on the right foundations and the Lord is the center of it all!!

Watching your children grow as you guide and direct them is such a challenging but rewarding time.  These are some of the best years and it’s wonderful to watch a beautiful, God-centered, and healthy relationship become the start of a whole new life!  And just think…..you can have a small part of it!

How are you handing the dating/courting years?    Do you find it easy to be involved?  Are their guidelines your family uses?   Let me hear your thoughts!

****Stay tuned to how we did a wedding for under $4000 dollars!!***

Here are some resources that maybe helpful:

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“Indescribable” Devotions about God & Science give-away

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I had the opportunity to review “Indescribable”  100 Devotions about God and Science by Louie Giglio.   I’ve got to say….I’ve seen and also have a lot of kids devotionals, but this one is very uniquely written and it truly gives a wonderful insight to connect the Bible with science.  I just LOVE that!    (Comment below to win a FREE devotional for your family)

Here is a description of Indescribable:

One of Louie’s most viral sermons was on the scientific element laminin. He often preaches and writes on the glory of God as displayed through creation. Indescribable builds on these themes in fun, kid-friendly ways, and will engage a child’s heart and mind for the glory of God. Each devotion includes Scripture, an illustration or story, a life application, and a prayer, and each devotion includes a science section. Each science section has fun facts or creative experiments for kids to further engage with the content. Further, the interior photography in the book will appeal to kids!

Here is a few topics he covers in this devotional:

  • Creation
  • Evolution
  • Animals
  • Dinosaurs
  • Space and the universe
  • Molecules and tiny matter
  • Medical science and medical miracles
  • Our amazing bodies
  • Geology and fossils
  • Weather and the atmosphere

This is a tremendous way to incorporate science with the Word of God!  Here is a few other things I love about this devotional.   First it’s hardback….that is a major plus in my opinion.  Kids can be hard on books I feel they hold up a bit better when they are more sturdy.   I also love in each devotional they have a section called “Be Amazed” and it gives super interesting science facts about the topic for that particular day.  I even learned a thing or two!  HA!  This devotional book is geared towards 6-8 or 9-12.

Indescribable

Now the fun part of giving away a copy of “Indescribable” for your family or use as a Christmas gift for a loved one!   All you need to do to enter is “COMMENT” below on who you would love to win this for!   I will pick a random winner from the comments below….that simple!   For extra entry you can share on Facebook, Instagram, or twitter, or Pinterest, but you must comment with how you shared it.   

Give-away ends Tuesday, November 21st at midnight.   I will e-mail the winner and you will have 48 hours to respond.  Contest open to U.S. residents 18 yrs and older.

**All opinions were given honestly in exchange for my review of this book.

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Becoming Mom Strong (book review)

BecomingmomstrongBeing a mom has it’s many challenges and blessings.  In this day and age it’s very crucial for moms to be engaged and purposeful in all that we do.   In  Heidi St. Johns newest book (releasing Sept. 19) called “Becoming Mom Strong“, she lays out some great truths and encouragement that truly give moms a “shot in the arm”.

I had the opportunity to review “Becoming Mom Strong” in exchange for my honest review.   I’ve got to tell you….it is spot on!   It compels all moms to be strong in the Lord (& ways to do that) and impart that on to your children.

There were many parts of the book that spoke loud and clear but her main three points as we face this battle of raising our kids in a dark world is:

  • to be strong in the Lord.
  • to know who we are in Christ, and
  • To impart that strength to our kids.

Another bonus of this book, which I loved was the Prayer Point for Battle Ready Mom at the end of each chapter.   I’m a big one on prayer and I love that she emphasizes this and gives you things to pray for in your life or situation.   I can’t stress enough that prayer works and honestly we as moms really need to up-it-up!  If you know what I mean!

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Everyone can agree how difficult it is to raise godly children in this day and age.    Heidi St.John nails it in this book and gives all moms the courage, the push, and the motivation to be Mom Strong!!  #Becomingmomstrong

 

If you are interested in learning more about this book click here.   If your looking to grab a copy you can find it HERE, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book  

This would make a great gift for any mom at any stage that she is in!  Go check it out!

There are also a Bible Study book to go along with this book click HERE to see more.

**This book review was my honest opinions in exchange for a copy of “Becoming Mom Strong” 

 

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