“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Throughout the years, our children have been blessed with many amazing teachers in their classes at church. This past year, my four-year-old son became so attached to his teachers. He would look forward to church each Sunday, so he could see them and learn the Bible lessons they taught. One week, when we were walking into church, he found out that his teachers would not be in his class on that particular morning. My son does not deal very well with change, so right when he realized that he would have different teachers, he got tears in his eyes. Then he looked up at me and said, “Mommy can we pray?” Immediately, we prayed in the hallway and then continued walking towards his classroom.
He was able to walk into the class and still have fun with his new teachers, but that moment of prayer spoke volumes to my heart. When my son was upset and needed comfort, his immediate reaction was to pray to God for help. It made me question what my first response is to the different circumstances in my life. Unfortunately, I realized that my reaction is not always prayer. Sometimes, I jump headfirst into worry and think of all the things that could go wrong. Other times, I start trying to take control and do what I think is best. Lastly, I’m prone to throw myself a pity party for what God is allowing me to go through.
There are many verses throughout that Bible that command, not suggest, us to pray. Ephesians 6:18 tells us to, “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request”, and we’re told in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Even though we know these verses, there are times where we can view prayer as a last-ditch effort and might find ourselves saying phrases like, “All we can do now is pray.” In reality, prayer is the most powerful and effective thing we can do. God doesn’t command us to pray so that we can get what we want, although sometimes He does answer our prayers in the way we asked Him to. He wants us to bring Him our troubles, entrust them to His care, and in doing so, draw closer to Him. When we do this, God promises us in Philippians 4:7 that, “the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Regardless of the outcome, we can experience peace, knowing His plan is for His glory and our good. So instead of worrying, trying to be in control, or pitying ourselves, which all result in more stress, let’s immediately take our requests to our Savior, which, instead, results in incomprehensible peace.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.