Prayer

Prayer is an integral part of a relationship with God, but sometimes we don’t know what to say or how to listen. These are great reads to help you strengthen your prayer life. #gritandgracelife

Why Do I Trust God with My Life but Still Worry About My Children?

Why Do I Trust God with My Life but Still Worry About My Children?

Last month we hit a milestone in our house and my oldest daughter got her license. And not the drive-in-the-car-with-your-mom-while-she-yells-and-hangs-on-for-dear-life kind of license. It’s the “Mom, I am taking your car to the movies and then to McDonald’s with all my friends” kind of license. And I have to be honest with you, while part of me was super excited that I could now make her drive to get all my groceries (don’t judge me), the other part of me was absolutely terrified. Like, every horrible car accident you’ve ever seen in the movies terrified. And not because she can’t drive. Trust me, I’ve got $2000 worth of Deans Defensive Driving School invested in this kid and I feel totally confident in […]

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Teachers-We're-Praying-These-Things-For-You

Teachers, We’re Praying These Things For You

Dear Teachers, We are praying for you… For energy to keep up with your students, lesson planning, grading, covering other teachers’ classes, and the many additional things that go on behind the scenes. We pray for encouragement when you’ve already spent all of your energy for the week, but it’s only Tuesday. Thank you for your dedication and perseverance. For wisdom when you face a difficult situation, whether it includes students, parents, school faculty, new policies that you may not agree with, or procedures that make your work more difficult. We pray for discernment as you navigate your way through the facts and emotions, seeking to serve others both justly and fairly, but also with kindness and compassion. Thank you for your grit

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This Is My New Exercise Regimen for My Faith

This Is My New Exercise Regimen for My Faith

I love new beginnings. I’m a girl who enjoys looking back, reflecting, evaluating, and dreaming for the future. For me, a new day, season or year means a new opportunity to clean out the old, purge clutter, refocus, slow down, set goals, and reflect on what God has done in my life. I’m the nerdy girl who loves to turn the calendar page to a new month. I love the newness and blank slate it brings, representing a fresh start. Recently, I felt a need to start a new exercise regime. Not a physical, let’s-get-fit exercise, but a new mental and spiritual regime I am trying to practice and embrace. I have noticed lately that I allow many of my emotions to

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Finding God In the Waiting Room

Finding God In the Waiting Room

“Please have a seat in the waiting room, someone will be with you shortly,” replied the receptionist at the check-in desk. My husband and I went to sit down in the waiting room as directed. As we sat on the industrial chairs, I started to look around at my surroundings. I hadn’t eaten in almost a day and hadn’t consumed fluids in over 18 hours. I think I would have just been sick if only I had the energy at this point to even get sick. We may have only waited for almost an hour but it felt like days. Between the TV and the murmur of conversations, the waiting room was quiet but noisy at the same time. My husband worked

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Are You Tired of Waiting On God? Focus On These 5 Things

Are You Tired of Waiting On God? Focus On These 5 Things

Waiting well. It sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? I mean, who likes to wait? I find myself getting anxious and discontent when I am sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office and it is only five minutes past my initial appointment time. We are a people who do not like to wait. Heck, we even have apps that allow us to pre-order our vanilla lattes from Starbucks just so we don’t have to wait in line when we pick it up. We live in a fast-paced society that thrives on instant anything! So, when we hear the words “waiting well,” it would obviously sound foreign and even impossible for us to accomplish in our lives. Whether we’re waiting in the

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5 Everyday Spiritual Practices to Grow Your Faith

5 Everyday Spiritual Practices to Grow Your Faith

When my pastor recently asked our small group what actions we could commit to taking this week to increase practicing faith in an authentic way, I paused. What came to mind was a series of events from my twenties when life was simple, a bit more melancholic, and I had time for things like spiritual practices and disciplines. During my mid-twenties as a new(ish) convert, I devoured every book I could get my hands on about spiritual formation, long before I even knew that was what I was reading. I sang psalms and wrote new ones as I strummed an out-of-tune black guitar with nail-bitten and calloused fingers. I read and read and read and met some of the greats like Yancey

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Anxious? Looking for a Refuge?

Anxious? Looking for a Refuge?

I woke at 1:30 AM. Fully alert and rehashing the events from the previous day. I was angry, anxious, and agitated by people’s lack of integrity. Their unwillingness to be accountable for their actions and words. I choreographed responses, planned for the potential encounter, and waited for sleep to return. The bedside alarm clock measured the minutes: 2:30… 3:30… 3:45. When finally, my mind calmed enough to allow me to fall back to sleep. Waking again to the sound of our dog jumping off the bed, his ID tags acting as an alarm as they jingled against his collar. It was 5:20 AM and I gave up the notion of sleep. Once on my feet, I made my way to my office.

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Bible Verses on New Beginnings from the Grit and Grace Team

Bible Verses on New Beginnings from the Grit and Grace Team

New beginnings are equally terrifying and exciting, for the same reason: they are unknown. A fresh start, regardless of the purpose, is still uncharted territory. We might have been thrown into it unexpectedly—say, with the loss of a loved one—or perhaps it’s the product of careful sifting to restructure our lives into something more grandiose. What awaits us is unknown, but we have reason to look expectantly ahead. The Grit and Grace Life team share their favorite Bible verses on starting anew. There Is Light at the End of Your Tunnel Have you ever felt like you were lost in the wilderness? Like you were wandering around and around, maybe in circles, with no end in sight? Maybe it’s a complicated health

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How to Practice Peace When the World Feels Chaotic

How to Practice Peace When the World Feels Chaotic

“Deal in reality yet keep the faith,” was the mantra of my pastor in downtown San Francisco during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone suffered through it differently, some more than others. For me, the world seemingly descended into madness. The temptation was fight, flight, or freeze. As a flight attendant deemed “essential worker” amid the throes of 2020, I was forced between faith and fear every time I pinned on my wings. It was a choice between shutting my eyes or keeping them wide open. Finding Footing Amid Chaos As a flight attendant, being on the pandemic “front lines” taught me ways to practice peace. While Jesus was spirit-led in His pursuit of peace, He was also very intentional. In

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Bible Verses on Hope From the Grit and Grace Team

Bible Verses on Hope from the Grit and Grace Team

We all need a little hope now and again. Whether something in our lives is severely testing our faith, or we just need a small flicker of light at the end of the tunnel, the need for hope is always in demand. The good news? With God, it’s never in short supply. Check out the Bible verses that the team from Grit and Grace Life refer to when they need that boost; that little reminder that God will lend an ear and a helping hand when our confidence wavers. Here, members of the G&G team share Bible verses on hope that remind them it’s always available to us in all situations: Hope for the Battle The most challenging time to find hope

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My Dad's COVID-19 Miracle Reinforced My Faith

My Dad’s COVID-19 Miracle Reinforced My Faith

The weather was perfect, a gentle breeze blowing over Las Vegas on a 70-degree April day. My chiffon and muslin skirts swirled in clouds of white. Just beyond the pillars and waterfalls of the Valley of the Falls at Mandalay Bay stood my soon-to-be new husband waiting at the altar. There was another man I had to see first. My dad, standing just out of sight of the guests, met me and took my arm. Only some of the guests knew every paced step we took up that aisle was a miracle. Was it only this last September when I saw my dad, gray hair, full beard, with shining eyes sealed shut as he lay hooked to a ventilator, fighting for his

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Sometimes I Get Angry With God

Sometimes I Get Angry With God

We had a threat of frost predicted for 2 a.m. Unsure of whether or not the pots I’d planted at church would make it—with our big spring event coming up, it seemed a shame to risk it—I grabbed garbage bags and shish kabob skewers and headed out. I hadn’t bothered to unload the yard tools that were in back of the car—my chainsaw and trimmers, trowels and work gloves. This time of year, I laugh when I’m asked if I need plastic for the new plants I purchase. I could almost plant them in the amount of dirt I carry around inside my car. After covering the pots with the bags and sticking the skewers in the dirt to secure them, I

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When You Feel Lost, God Will Find You

When You Feel Lost, God Will Find You

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) It’s true what they say: God knows how to call his children back to him. He’s the one who created us, after all. With a week off of school for spring break (and no research papers, video projects or other tedious graduate work due), I finally had a chance to decompress. The previous six months had delivered an unending supply of due dates, elaborate holiday planning and writing opportunities that were too good to pass up. So, to make time for it all, I cut out anything and everything that I felt got in the way of me getting ahead. One of those was my morning Bible study. Big mistake. Stepping Back to

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How Do I Begin to Heal from Past Emotional Hurt? with Elizabeth Bristol -186

How Do I Begin to Heal from Past Emotional Hurt? with Elizabeth Bristol -186

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MorePart of growing older—and being human—is learning how to recognize and manage our emotions in a healthy way. Our emotions have the power to help us grow, but they can also hold us back, especially when we’ve been hurt by others in the past. Elizabeth Bristol joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on this week’s podcast episode to share how she overcame her past emotional hurt. Elizabeth dealt with heartache and traumatic situations, including rape and drug use. After years of feeling stagnant in her pain, God prompted her to write down her story. It was only after she faced the pain

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Our Plans are Not Promises, But God Is Still Good

Our Plans Are Not Promises, But God Is Still Good

Whether we realize it or not, we all plan ahead of time. Making plans keeps us organized and focused on the objective ahead, whether it’s determining what to make for dinner, organizing a family vacation, or achieving goals. I keep track of everything in my personal planner; I’ll forget something if I do not write it down, and I also need to know what to expect from the rest of my day. Any interruptions beyond what’s written in my planner annoy me because they take me away from what I need or want to do. But our plans are not promises. What happens if they don’t pan out? With No Plans in Place, I Was Worried For me, the past year has

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Words are Powerful

Words Are Powerful—Here Are The Best Ones to Believe About Yourself

I wish I could take back the words—the silent unconscious tape that plays endlessly in my mind. Push each syllable, every consonant, backward, and hide them from my conscious thought. Unfortunately, they have been spoken. The recording has been played and repeated. Words are powerful, and their power has taken up residence in the tender parts of my heart. I do not fully understand how it happened, but at some point in my journey, I became convinced that each negative, shame-filled comment was true. I began to wrestle with the woman that gazed at me in the hallway mirror. She had plans, convinced she was made for a purpose, an image of her Father. Yet, I settled for the false truths inspired

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when you feel weighed down god comes through

When You Feel Weighed Down, God Comes Through

“Save him, Mama! I want to saaaaave the ant!” My 2-year-old was giving me very clear orders as she bobbed up and down in the pool, engulfed in her life vest. Her eyes, the same color as the aqua water, locked onto mine in a determined challenge. I studied that unfortunate ant caught in the swimming pool. He was large as far as ants go, and he was still moving.  I brought my two hands together, creating a cup, and lifted him out of the water, setting him onto the ledge before us. He was out but still struggling to break away from the little puddle I created while scooping him up.   He continued to move but made little progress. My

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