6 Tips to Overcome Fear

We've been going through a series on our live streams about overcoming fear. You can check those videos out HERE! Today, I want to share some of the things the Lord has been showing me lately as I've been going to Him in prayer and researching for this series! If you sneak a scroll... don't freak out! It's long, I know. But it's long because I've included whole CHAPTERS from His Word! Feel free to use this in your quiet time the next few days and meditate on these scriptures!

1. Delight in His Word

This is seriously an amazing chapter to meditate on if you’re dealing with what ifs or maybe having a difficult time aligning your heart with God’s. I love this chapter so much that I've included it below for you in 2 versions!

Psalm 112 (NLT)

Praise the Lord!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    and delight in obeying his commands.
2 Their children will be successful everywhere;
    an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
3 They themselves will be wealthy,
    and their good deeds will last forever.
4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
    They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
5 Good comes to those who lend money generously
    and conduct their business fairly.
6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
    Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless
    and can face their foes triumphantly.
9 They share freely and give generously to those in need.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
    They will have influence and honor.
10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
    They will grind their teeth in anger;
    they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

Psalm 112 (ESV)

[a] Praise the Lord!

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
    who greatly delights in his commandments!
2 His offspring will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
    who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
    he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
    he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
    the desire of the wicked will perish!


2. Seek wisdom & understanding

Really no need for me to explain this one. Read below to understand!

Proverbs 3 The Message (MSG)

Don’t Assume You Know It All

3 1-2 Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you;
    take to heart my commands.
They’ll help you live a long, long time,
    a long life lived full and well.

3-4 Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
    Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
    in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.

5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
    your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
    a father’s delight is behind all this.

The Very Tree of Life

13-18 You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
    when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She’s worth far more than money in the bank;
    her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
    nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
    with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
    her life wonderfully complete.
She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
    Hold her tight—and be blessed!

19-20 With Lady Wisdom, God formed Earth;
    with Madame Insight, he raised Heaven.
They knew when to signal rivers and springs to the surface,
    and dew to descend from the night skies.

Never Walk Away

21-26 Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life;
    don’t for a minute lose sight of them.
They’ll keep your soul alive and well,
    they’ll keep you fit and attractive.
You’ll travel safely,
    you’ll neither tire nor trip.
You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry,
    you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep.
No need to panic over alarms or surprises,
    or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner,
Because God will be right there with you;
    he’ll keep you safe and sound.

27-29 Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
    your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time”
    or “Try me tomorrow”
    when the money’s right there in your pocket.
Don’t figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor
    when he’s sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.

30-32 Don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder,
    always spoiling for a fight.
Don’t try to be like those who shoulder their way through life.
    Why be a bully?
“Why not?” you say. Because God can’t stand twisted souls.
    It’s the straightforward who get his respect.

33-35 God’s curse blights the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He gives proud skeptics a cold shoulder,
    but if you’re down on your luck, he’s right there to help.
Wise living gets rewarded with honor;
    stupid living gets the booby prize.


3. Declare your Strength

Bill Johnson says, “Our deliverance begins when we are no longer impressed with the size of our problem. Declare your strength and watch it become a reality. Some people are only a declaration away from victory! He put His Word in your mouth- declare it!”

Another thing I've learned from good 'ole Bill is this- “strength becomes a reality when it’s declared!”


4. Fix your Eyes

I was so blessed to be invited to a worship conference (Presence 2016) in Austin this past weekend. Kim Walker-Smith shared such a personal story about her struggle with fear. She was basically crippled with fear while she was pregnant with her second child. Right before she became pregnant, her good friend's baby died of a horrible disease. Then, near the end of her pregnancy, another friend delivered a stillborn baby. She found herself screaming at night and completely paralyzed by the fear that something was wrong or something would happen to her precious child. Quoting scripture didn’t seem to help, praying didn’t seem to remove the fear (can anyone relate here?). But she knew she had to deal with it because she didn’t want to deliver a baby with this hanging over her head.

Then she FIXED HER EYES ON GOD.  She said, “When you fix your eyes on God, your issues don’t go away, but they don’t have control over you anymore." She also reminded us that our eyes and ears are so important if we are to be carriers of His presence and stay in alignment with Him.

One of the best things I took away from her message was this- “To be filled up means there is a constant pouring in so there is a constant pouring out.”

Put on blinders, and fix your eyes on Jesus, my friends.


5. Serve Someone

I’m a big believer in planting seeds in the area you need a harvest. There’s always someone worse off than you. Do you need a financial breakthrough? Sow whatever you can to someone worse off. I mean- true story- last night I got a call from a friend which resulted in me pouring through my pantry, fridge, and freezer to give to a mom who literally did not have any food and couldn’t feed her kids. Always someone worse off.

Is it time to stop relying on other peoples generosity and begin cultivating a generous spirit in your own family? Finances will turn around for you. If you want a baby… pray for your friend who can’t conceive. Happily send her a note letting her know you’re praying for her. Need healing? Pray for someone else who’s believing for healing.

Point being- serve someone else.


6. Praise God

Yep, even in the fear. Even in the storm. Praise Him. Thank Him.

Thank Him for what He's already done for you. Thank Him for what He's doing and for what He's going to do. And Praise Him for who He is!

Psalm 50:14-15 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.”



Lately on Instagram

Pitter and Glink Perspective & a Freebie!

We are working so hard on a beautiful and inspiring adult coloring book for infant loss and miscarriage. We've put together a team of artists from across the nation to give grieving parents a tool for healing and meditating on God's truth.

I am so excited to give you a glimpse of the talent on our artist team for the this project. Bethany over at Pitter and Glink is one of our artists, and she has some serious God-given ability. I mean- does your Bible look like this??!

There's a link to a few free coloring pages below. Everyone thank Bethany!! Plus, check out her original instagram post for a great perspective on our fertility.

Bethany's Original Instagram Post HERE

"As someone who has struggled with infertility for years, I always pay close attention to parts of the Bible where God blesses infertile women with children. I know their pain because I've felt it myself. One of the recent @shereadstruthGenesis Devotions was about God blessing Sarah, an old woman who had already gone through menopause, with a child. When the messenger of God told Abraham that Sarah would bear a child, she laughed. I get that. It was a laugh like, "That is the craziest thing I've ever heard! Me? An old lady? Have a child?" I feel like it was one of those cynical, joyless laughs. When your heart has known the disappointment of not being pregnant month after month after month, it's easy to become cynical that there could ever be a different outcome. But the messenger of the Lord said, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" And I feel like this was said in that do-you-seriously-think-the-God-who-created-the-universe-can't-perform-this-miracle kind of voice. It's just that simple, y'all. Nothing is too hard for God. But the hard part for us is when He doesn't do that hard thing we've been praying for Him to do. It makes us doubt. It makes us angry. Sometimes it breaks our hearts. But He knows best. He sees the big picture, and He has a plan. We won't always get what we want when we want it. Christianity doesn't work that we. We get what we NEED exactly when we need it. And there will be tough times and there may even be what we view as unanswered prayers. This is earth after all, not heaven. But God is faithful through it all. He's on our side rooting for us like a loving father, and He's working things out for our good. Maybe not our good as in what we think is good and best, but His good, which is ALWAYS best." - Bethany

Check out Bethany's free coloring pages and printables HERE!



LATELY ON INSTAGRAM

M is for Miscarriage

Back in the fall when I first started Periscope, I did a Fertility A-Z series. When we got to M is for Miscarriage, I shared a little about our own 3 losses. In the first few minutes I share statistics to bring awareness and also explain some of the different types of miscarriages, in case you are not familiar! 

Skip ahead to 7 minutes if you want to get to my story.

If you have experienced a miscarriage, you will be so ridiculously encouraged by something my dad sent me (skip ahead to the 21 minute mark). Ya'll, it's really good.

I also share a list of scriptures that brought me comfort during our time of grief, and I've listed them for you below! Check back soon, because I'll be posting a list of 5 scriptures to combat fear of miscarriage!

  • Psalm 23
  • Psalm 25
  • Deut 20:3-4
  • Psalm 9:9-10
  • Isaiah 43:18-19

Find us on INSTAGRAM @i.am.fruitful to receive daily encouragement!


L is for Loss

So many people stay quiet about loss and miscarriage. We want you to know that you're not alone, that we know it's hard, and that you CAN and WILL get through this.

I remember it felt like the breath got knocked out of me when the (not so friendly) tech told me there was only one heartbeat. There were supposed to be two. Twins. Two boys to be exact. And now there was one. And my heart stopped. It was devastating. That was the first of 3 miscarriages, and I keep my story short because I'm writing this for you, not me. This is to help you through your time of loss and tears, and to help you navigate through it.

Here are a few tips (from a girl who's lost 3 precious babies) on how to get through a miscarriage. It's not all-inclusive. But these ideas may help set you in the right direction. There's light at the end of the tunnel, I promise you. Watch the video for the full content.

TIPS TO GET THROUGH MISCARRIAGE

  1. Allow yourself to grieve. Miscarriage is downplayed so much in our culture. It's no wonder since we're living in a time and a place where we discard life like kitchen trash. But because loss of life is so completely downplayed by most of the world, we can feel ashamed for grieving (since, after all, "it's no big deal"). It IS a big deal. Grieve. And don't be ashamed. If you're grieving the loss of an infant, my heart breaks for you. Don't rush your grief or put a time frame on it.
  2. Get help if you need it! There's NO shame in this! In fact, I commend you, dear friend!
  3. Let this struggle bring you closer to your spouse. Communicate! Tell them what you need, specifically.
  4. Receive support from friends and family. When they offer, say yes.
  5. Don't lose hope in God or your promise!! God is good, and He is faithful!
Blessed is she who believed that He would fulfill His promise to her.
— Luke 1:45

Lately on Instagram

G is for God Is...

Hey guys!! Still re-capping my series from the fall on Fertility A-Z. If you missed it, I'm posting all the videos from periscope and much of the content in the blog.

This one is really big for me. Who God is. It's important. It's relevant in our lives and in each of our situations. It's crucial to your faith. So let me ask you this- is there something that you believe about God, but you don't think He will be that way in your life or in your situation? For instance, you believe He is faithful (in general), but when you really think about it, you don't think He will be faithful in the situation you're going through right now. Or what about this one- You know and believe He's a jealous God, but you don't really think He cares if you put Him first or not. Do you believe He's full of compassion, but that you may never experience it? Those are all lies from the enemy and they've got to be dealt with before you can really step into freedom and into the fullness of who God created you to be.

Check out the video (you can feel free to skip ahead to about 2.5min to skip intros/smalltalk).

When I was trying to conceive and I first began journaling my feelings about the whole process, I felt led to make a list of who God Is and what He is like. So I googled a little, I flipped through my Bible a LOT, and began writing. When I'm feeling low on faith, down in the dumps, or feel like I'm losing hope... This list snaps me out of my fog quickly! It's not all-inclusive, and many of these have several more scriptures than I have listed, but it's a good starting place to remind yourself WHO GOD IS. I highly encourage you to take a good long look at this list and ask yourself if there's anything here that you're struggling to believe about God in YOUR life. If you believe these things about God, then choose to believe that He will be this way in your situation as well. He doesn't change!

GOD:

Is Good PSALMS

Is Righteous Ps 116:5

Is Full of Compassion Ex 34:6, Ps 103:8, Ps 111:4

Is Sovereign Is 61:1-3

Is A God of Peace Eph 2:14, 1 Cor 14:33

Is Light 1 John 1:5

Is Love 1 John 4:8, 16

Is Slow to Anger Ex 34:6

Bestowes Favor & Honor Ps 84:11-12

Does not show Favoritism Acts 10:34

Heals Is 59:1

Hears Is 59:1

Fights for Me Josh 23:3, Deut 9:3 Deut 20:4

Bears My Burdens Daily Ps 68:19

Will Not Abandon or Destroy You Deut 4:31

Does Not Withhold Any Good Think From Those Who Walk Uprightly Ps 84:11

Is Faithful Is 4:7, 1 Cor 1:9, 1 Cor 10:13, Ps 100:5, Lam 3:22-23

Is Holy Is 49:7

Is Lord Is 49:23, Ps 114:15

Is Savior Is 49:26

Is My Redeemer Is 49:26

Is A Jealous God Deut 4:24

Is Merciful Deut 4:31

Is My Refuge, Fortress, & Rock Deut 33:27, Ps 46:1, Ps 94:22

Is My Shield & Strength Prov 30:5, Ps 46:1, Ps 73:26

Is My Help Ps 54:4

Is My Comforter Is 51:12

Is The First & The Last Is 48:12, Is 44:6, Rev 1:17

Is Gracious Ps 116:5, 2 Chron 30:9, Ps 84:11

Is My God Forever Ps 48:14

Is My Portion Ps 73:26

Tips for Dealing with (B)advice & Nosy Questions

Does it make it easier that you've been pregnant before? When are you going to have kids? Do you want kids? Are you going to have more kids? My friend adopted and then got pregnant! There are so many questions people ask, statements they make, and horrible advice they give (I call this "badvice"). For some reason, people think they have the right to know these things. We're curious, right? I used to ask these same questions, not in any way realizing what I was doing. I wanted to know!! I wanted to know if they had kids, and if so how many, and if only 1 then why? People WILL ask you these things. Someone will absolutely say something that makes your heart race and brings out the not-so-good in you. Are you prepared? Do you have the words to say, and is your heart aligned with the truth? How will you respond verbally and in your thoughts?

My desire for you is that you will ask yourself and the Lord these questions. He will talk with you! He'll give you direction and wisdom if you just ask.

A few tips to preparing your heart for "Badvice"

1. Control your thoughts.

Luke 1:45 tells us that "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." The Message version puts it this way, "Your true being brims over into words and deeds." Whatever we think about, dwell on, worry about WILL come out of our mouths.

Phil 4:8 says "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

You can change your thoughts, which can actually change your physical brain and body, according to Dr. Caroline Leaf. You can control what you think about!! One quick way to do that is to replace any negative thought with the Word of God! Just open your Bible or your Bible app and start reading and confessing truth. Your thoughts will fall into line with truth, your attitude will adjust, and your words will follow.

2. Have a response ready! Memorize it!

Don't worry, you will not sound like a robot. Get out a pen and paper and write down a few responses to some of these questions. Simply, be prepared. For instance, when someone asks you if you are ever going to start have kids. Instead of angrily telling them, "um, yeah, little do you know, we've been trying for 5 years, have lost babies, and you have NO idea what we've been through," you might try another approach, something more of a confession, something life-producing. "We are believing for children and can't wait to be parents, but it's a very private thing for us." You decide what you say! Make it yours, but be prepared.

You can see the "BADvice List" HERE and use that as reference if you need to. In that list, I also share the lie the enemy is trying to get you to believe (for each question asked). So, decide what you will say in response and what you will believe! If you're prepared, each invasive and nosy question will be a victory for you! .

3. Confess and meditate on Truth.

It's one thing to open your Bible and read or pray. It's another to actually meditate and confess outloud what God says, who He says you are, the things He has for you, His promises, who God is, and the list goes on! There's so much power in that! Have you ever worried about anything? Great!! Then you know how to meditate! Find a great scripture that lifts you up and gives you strength and DWELL on it! Say it outloud. Put it up on your mirror, in your car, on your fridge, and say it outloud every time you see it!

Here are a few to get you started!

  • Psalm 145:18-19 AMP "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, To all who call on Him in truth (without guile). He will fulfill the desire of those who fear and worship Him [with awe-inspired reverence and obedience]; He also will hear their cry and will save them."
  • Psalm 3:3 ESV "But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head."
  • Psalm 1:3 ESV "He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,  and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."
  • Eph 2:10 NLT " For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
  • Gen 1:28 NLT "Then God blessed them and said, 'Be fruitful and multiply'..."
  • Prov 31:25NLT " She is clothed with strength and dignity,  and she laughs without fear of the future."

Now, when someone asks you a super invasive and nosy question, when the next person tells you your clock is ticking, when a friend announces she's pregnant... your thoughts will be in line with God's Word. You will have control over your tongue, and what comes out will line up with your heart. Don't forget to say, "I am fruitful!"