How to Incorporate Gratitude into Your Daily Life

Gratitude by Ziglar“Gratitude is a marvelous place to start.” ~Zig Ziglar

I’m choosing to be grateful for what I have, do, and experience. When a friend was recently talking about gratitude, it reminded me of  something that I starting doing years ago. I developed the habit of writing what I was grateful for at the end of each day. Every night before getting in the bed, I made a quick not about what I was grateful for that day. I made it easy on myself: I wrote 4 simple things that I possessed, did, or experienced that day. Of course, once I got going, I would think of more than 4 things but I limited it to 4 so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed the next day to come up with a lot of things to be grateful for.

Living with an attitude of gratitude is a choice. And if, as Zig Ziglar stated, gratitude brings more to be grateful for, then I’m all in! I choose to be grateful. I expect an abundance of  good things to come my way that will reinforce and grow this attitude so I can constantly be grateful, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

What thing(s) do you do to remind yourself that, in spite of your circumstances, you have much to be grateful for?

How to Have Ridiculous Hope Like Abraham

Abraham firmly believed God’s promise. Romans 4:18 (NLT) tells us how Abraham had ridiculous hope—”Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations.”

I recently read how Jewish tradition promotes that Sarah actually had no womb:

Sarai was barren, she had no child.

[Why the double phrasing?] To teach that she did not even have a place for offspring – i.e. a womb. (Rashi, citing Talmud – Yevamot 64a)

[This is an interpretation of Genesis 11:30.]

Ridiculous hope

Photo courtesy of Michal Marcol/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But even when there was no reason to hope — Sarah had been barren for decades and he was nearly 100 years old — Abraham kept believing that they would have a child. Their predicament made hope seem nonsensical, even laughable. But Abraham kept hoping.

This wasn’t the first time Abraham had experienced and maintained ridiculous hope. God told him to leave his extended family (very unusual in that culture) and go to a different land, promising him that he would be blessed and become great.  Abraham made a decision to step out and find out. The promises came true as Abraham trusted God.

I think Abraham was an outstanding example of how to have ridiculous hope in the midst of infertility. He opened himself to hear from God. He trusted what God said. So much so, that he changed his name from Abram, which means “exalted father”  , to Abraham, which means “father of many nations.” Imagine hearing other people call him father of multitudes when he and Sarah didn’t even have one child!  Think of the ridicule he must have experienced.  His ridiculous hope required having faith in what God had promised, trusting that what God had promised would indeed come to pass. Repeatedly hearing that description of himself , through others calling his name, surely must have built Abraham’s faith (faith comes by hearing–Romans 10:17).

There was another factor that increased Abraham’s hope for a child and faith in God’s promise. We learn in Romans 4:20  (YLT) that he “was strengthened in faith, having given glory to God.” The act of praising God, acknowledging His power and honoring Him by the words that Abraham spoke, helped to build up his faith.

Abraham had ridiculous hope in God, viewing Him as the only One who could give him all that he desired.

What will it take for you to live each day having ridiculous hope?

How to Deal with Panic Attacks

panicSometimes, when we feel alarmed about an issue in our life, we can draw hasty conclusions that are wrong. Some people will even begin to suffer from panic attacks.

The Bible tells us that David experienced this. He wrote in Psalm 31:22 [NLT], “In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the LORD!”

Infertility can make you feel that way, especially when it has lasted for a while. It’s as if God doesn’t care, like He’s purposely turned away and cut Himself off from hearing you. But that’s a deception straight from hell. The devil’s mind games and antics are always meant to make us draw away from God because he knows the solutions to our problems are ALWAYS found in drawing near to God.

David did eventually see the folly of his panic-inspired thought that he was cut off from God. He chose to draw near to God. He made a decision to encourage himself in the Lord by remembering God’s love for him. David told God, “But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.”

God passionately loves us and will never turn away or cut us off. As believers in Jesus, we can be fully confident of this in any situation. Jesus said, “And be sure of this: I am with you always.” [Matthew 28:20 NLT]

Here are a couple of Scripture passages that serve to remind you that you are loved by the only One who can do everything necessary to turn your situation around and replace your panic with peace:

“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” ~Daniel 10:19 NLT

God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. ~2Thessalonians 2:16 NLT

Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Monday’s Marinade – ONE Thing

Monday’s Marinade is provided to you as a means of “soaking yourself” in the hope-filled Word of God at the beginning of your week. Start your week by meditating about how only ONE thing is needful (Luke 10:39, 42)Repeatedly think about this and quietly say it to yourself.  Marinate and season your week with hope and a confident expectation of good things happening!

Here’s your spiritual marinade for this week:

Monday's Marinade ONE thing Ps 27-4

 

Declaring the End of 2015 from the Beginning with Declarations of Hope

The year of 2015 has begun!

What will you SAY about it? Your words are so important in shaping the daily experiences that ultimately combine to determine the quality of your life.

God has always declared the end  from the beginning. He has always stated what He wanted, not what He didn’t want; and it always comes to pass.

“I declare the end from the beginning,

and from long ago what is not yet done,

saying: My plan will take place,

and I will do all My will.”

Isaiah 46:10

As you go through the process of setting goals for 2015, may I suggest that you include being intentional about declaring the fullness you desire to experience and not the lack you may be currently experiencing? Here’s a quote from E.W. Kenyon that I’d like to share with you:

Kenyon on Confession

 

What Kenyon said reinforces the principle of your words having creative power, as found in Romans 4:17. The NIV gives a clear understanding of that verse:

“As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.”

In 2015, how will you imitate your heavenly Father and declare your fullness instead of your lack?

How can you use Word-based declarations of hope (God’s Promises) to call into being the things that don’t currently exist?

A Promise is a Promise

Promise: a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future 

[Source: Webster's Dictionary]


 

What is your expectation of a promise? So many people in our lives, both private and public, have broken their promises until the definition of that word has been greatly diluted.  Has Webster’s definition of promise, as being definitive and actionable, lost its strength?

What good are promises if they’re not kept?

I’ve recently gotten some feedback from a precious few who think that it’s OK to not expect that God would keep His promises. If your husband/ wife/parent/boss/etc. made a promise to you, you’d expect them to follow through and make it happen. If the promise wasn’t kept, would you be OK with that? I don’t think so!  If someone doesn’t keep their promise it makes them a liar– as far as the promise itself is concerned.  The Bible clearly tells us that God is NOT a liar which means that He keeps all of His promises (Numbers 23:19). Shouldn’t we expect God to keep His promises?


When I was 10 or 11, I joined a Girl Scout troop. Mrs. Skaggs was our troop leader. Every time we’d have a troop meeting in the large basement of her home, she would lead us in reciting the Girl Scout Promise. Here’s my tattered handbook that shows the promise we made at each meeting.

Evangeline's Junior Girl Scout Manual
Girls Scout Promise

No matter how hard I tried, I did not fully keep that promise from week to week. I was not always dutiful, helpful, or obedient. Most of the time, I wasn’t even trying to be those things.


But, God keeps ALL of His promises. 

Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave.” 1 Kings 8:56

 

God's promises

This hangs in my laundry room as reminder.


 

 What does God say about His promises?

Here’s what He says about the matter:

God's Promises Are YES

This means that His answer to your prayer of faith in His promise, is “Yes” because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross.


His promises are sure. Confess them out loud repeatedly to renew your mind, to build your faith (faith comes by hearing), and to increase your expectation of good — your HOPE. Also, speak the Amen (“so be it”) for His promises to be manifested in your life.

Is your confidence in His promises waning? Don’t cast out His promises or your confidence in them (Hebrews 10:35,36). You can count on Him to come through, even when it seems that He’s taking too long to fulfill His promises according to your timeline.

Be encouraged as you step into the new year of 2015 believing that God keeps all His promises!

What will you do in 2015 to ensure that you take advantage of what the Father has already lovingly provided to you in His promises through Jesus?

 

 

A Seed of Hope Fertility Support Group

fertility support group

Need some encouragement as you go through this season of infertility?

I am excited to introduce A Seed of Hope fertility support group, a “Secret” Facebook group created to serve women struggling with infertility. Fertility solutions can be found in God’s Word and this group will serve to encourage you  and help you find hope in God’s Word and His promises of fertility.

Living with infertility can leave you feeling isolated, with no one to talk to who really understands the reality of it. By being a part of this group, you won’t have to walk this journey alone.

  • Connect with like-minded women who understand the unique challenge of infertility.
  • Anchor yourself in the hope found in God’s Word so you can diminish doubt and not give up.
  • Share stories and be inspired to take positive action during this season of infertility.

This group is unique in that we will address the spiritual aspect of infertility and will look to God’s Word for encouragement, direction, and hope. I will moderate the group, occasionally posing questions to foster more confidence in God’s promises of fertility.

Come join us on Facebook in our new fertility support group. Become an active part of this uplifting community!

IMPORTANT: Because the group is a Secret Facebook group, you’ll need to email me at Evangeline@EvangelineColbert.com or message me on Facebook to let me know of your desire to join and then I can send you the Facebook invitation to join.

FINISH–My Final F-Word for 2014

Finish.

The word “finish” carries such a powerful meaning.  It implies completion of a task. It brings something to an end.

God the Father talked about how He finished things:

“Heaven and Earth were finished, down to the last detail.” ~Genesis 2:1 MSG

What’s more, I am with you, and will protect you wherever you go, and will bring you back safely to this land; I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you all I am promising.” ~Genesis 28:15 TLB

Jesus was the ultimate example of someone who knew how to FINISH things. He fulfilled His mission of showing love to all humanity and satisfying every requirement of the Law on our behalf. He did as the Father had asked Him to do– He brought grace and truth. Jesus said it Himself, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Because He finished strong, the salvation process is complete, once and for all.

And now, Holy Spirit lives within every believer so that we too can fulfill our God-given mission and finish strong.

For the last half of 2014, I’ve been concentrating on one F-word each month. It all began in December 2013 when I felt as if I wasn’t focused enough on important things so that I could finish them. I attended a retreat in January 2014 where I realized there was an F-word I needed to eliminate from my life: FEAR. This retreat helped me to key in on the things that mattered most to me and to know that I was already empowered by God to “get ‘er done.” One of the exercises at the retreat was to write a word on a smooth stone that reflected what I wanted to do in 2014. My word was “FINISH.” I wanted to finish strong in 2014!

F-word--Finish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the first six months of 2014, as I worked to eliminate the fear, I was able to FINISH a huge goal– plan and host a retreat for women who were struggling with infertility. The retreat resulted in establishing a relationship with one of the attendees that has been such a blessing because she is now pregnant! As a result of her pregnancy, I am now writing a book specifically crafted for women who have overcome infertility. There’s a difference in the experience in the overcomer’s pregnancy versus that of other women who did not have that struggle. This book will provide the encouragement needed to stay focused on God’s words of love and to FINISH the pregnancy. I’m so glad that I finished hosting the fertility retreat and am moving forward in finishing the book.

As I’ve done in previous months, I wrote my thoughts about this month’s F-word on an index card so I can keep it in front of me on my desk:

F-Words--FinishSo as 2014 draws to a close, I’m thankful for all that God has brought me through this year and empowered me to finish. I’ll host another fertility retreat in May 2015  (I hope you’ll join me) because I’m even more confident that when He gives us a vision, He also gives us the provision to FINISH.

What is one thing for which you need His provision in order to finish strong?

 

One is Barren, One is Fruitful

Barren and Fruitful

As I was reading Jeremiah 17 this morning, I was struck by the contrast of barren and fruitful that’s mentioned in verses 5-8 (Message Bible):

God’s Message:

“Cursed is the strong one
    who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone
    and sets God aside as dead weight.
He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie,
    out of touch with the good earth.
He lives rootless and aimless
    in a land where nothing grows.

 “But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
    the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
    putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
    never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
    bearing fresh fruit every season.

Can you see the dry, desert ground where nothing but weeds can flourish? This scripture is an astounding picture of the barrenness that comes in life while we don’t trust God’s love and His willingness to bring good things to us.  The tumbleweed doesn’t rely on anything to keep it stable and growing.  The hot winds that blow through the desert serve only to push the plant that has no roots; bouncing it up and down, carrying it without any real destination, giving it no purpose. That’s how life can feel in various seasons when we choose not to trust God’s love.

But wait…there’s HOPE! This passage also shows us the wonderful blessings that come our way when we choose to believe God’s Word and confidently trust His very personal love. His Word acts as water from an eternal stream or river that keeps the nearby soil moist and full of life-giving nutrients.We can be serene and calm, as if we were a tree in the Garden of Eden, when we trust God’s promises found in His Word.  Like that tree, even as drought conditions come, we are not prone to be anxious because we’ve sunk our roots deep into the soil that’s been watered by the Word. As our roots spread, they gain more and more strength and the Word promotes life within us. The Amplified Bible says that trusting in God is so powerful that we may not even see, notice, or be swayed by the heat and the drought conditions surrounding us. I believe it’s all because God’s Word provides supernatural nourishment for our parched souls and His provision is always more than what we need.

An additional point of good news is that as a believer in Jesus, you have been delivered and forever set free from the curse mentioned in verses 5-6. No matter what circumstances you may be dealing with right now, you are no longer under the curse (Galatians 3:13-14)! God is a giver of good things and has a good plan for you. Because of Jesus’ love for you, you can choose to confidently trust God’s promises that apply to your situation and experience the serenity and fruitfulness that He had planned for you all along.

What do you do to increase your trust in Jesus’ love and His promises?

A Black Friday Just for Books–The Read Tuesday Event

Read Tuesday

Love to read books? Wish there were a Black Friday just for books? There is! It’s called Read Tuesday, and it happens on December 9, 2014. Some of the books are already on sale!

Take advantage of this amazing deal on my book, A Seed of Hope, on Amazon– “Buy the print edition, get the e-book for free.” What a great way to gift the book to someone else and be able to keep the ebook for yourself!

This is the season of bringing hope to others and I can’t think of a better way to share the hope of God’s promises of fertility.

If you read ebooks on a platform other than Kindle (Apple, Kobo, Nook, etc.), I have a deal for you as well. The digital format of A Seed of Hope will be FREE on Smashwords through 12/12/14 by using the coupon code BL66C.

As a bonus, I’m also discounting my book, Infertility Sucks! How to Maintain Hope in Your Marriage During Infertility. You can get it for $0.99 on Amazon on Read Tuesday (12/9/14 only).

Find out about the other Read Tuesday authors and their books here.

Happy book shopping!