Developing a Creative Prayer Life – Part 3

Prayer- Part 3


But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ~Matthew 6:6~



Whew, what a week! Have you all had “one of those” weeks lately? Ugh! Mine hit THIS week! No running (except from class to class), eating junk and loads of caffeine (just to keep going), mid-terms to grade, one class ending, one class starting, responsibilities for board meeting next week, and on it goes!


My week is no worse than anyone else, but why is it “those” weeks come with added stress and 1000 things that never seem to get done? Well, enough whining…..I’m actually excited about today’s post because I learned something new while researching and writing it!




Today’s post is the 3rd in a series of posts about developing a creative prayer life. The “creative” part simply means finding ways through prayer, meditation, and artistic endeavors to keep you focused and devoted to praying every day of your life. If you missed the first two parts you can read Part 1 about getting serious with prayer and learning how to Doodle a Prayer. Part 2 will teach you how to pray independently and show you how to create a Deomai prayer.


This week’s post was meant to be a short and sweet post on praying scriptures, but once I did a little research and then saw the movie War Room, it has grown into one that may need to be divided into two parts!


So, I will cover the guidelines for Lectio Divina-style prayers this week and personalizing prayers next week.




As I began researching information about praying scriptures, I ran across a term I had seen before, but really didn’t know what it meant. The term, Lectio Divina, literally means “divine reading”, “sacred reading” or “holy reading”. The practice of reading or praying scriptures originated over a thousand years ago with monks who spent most of their days in prayer. NO, I’m not going to suggest you spend most of your day praying or reading scriptures! I would never make it as a monk!


Anyway, as those devoted monks read the scriptures, they noticed how certain words, phrases, or verses stuck out and “spoke” to them in a personal kind of way. Maybe it was sort of like how we highlight or bold words in text today.


And not that I can do this type of prayer every day, but I’m going to give it a shot at least a couple of times a week. I hope you’ll try it with me. Remember, this series is all about finding ways to communicate with the Lord that help us focus and commit to a purposeful prayer life.




Okay, here is the skinny on Lectio Divina…..


WHO can do it? Anyone (that means you and me) who wants to have an intimate way to communicate with the Lord


WHAT is it? Lectio Divina (pronounced “lec-tsee-oh di-vee-nah”) is the reading of a portion (a few verses or chapters) of the Bible with intentional meditation and reflection. Ultimate goal is less talk, MORE listening!


WHEN can you do it? Any time you have 15-30+ minutes that you can give to truly concentrating on prayer.


WHERE can it be done? Anywhere you can find a place free of distraction (bedroom, office, bathroom – hey, don’t judge!, closet, outside, etc.)


HOW do you do it? So glad you asked! My research uncovered several resources about Lectio Divina (see Resources below), but all seemed to share the same four basic guidelines for practicing this type of prayer.

Quiet Place




Okay, that was a bad subtitle, but there IS a step or stage before you really sit down to pray. You need to get yourself physically and mentally ready. Not to get all “meditative” on you, but you do need to be in the right frame of mind to do this type of praying. It’s not a quick, prayer pop. It’s a sit-read-meditate-pray-reflect kinda prayer, so it will take some time.


One resource says to give yourself 15-60 minutes. Tell you the truth…..I’ll have to build up to an hour! Start small and build from there.


Once you have your place, your time, and your mind set on praying, grab your Bible (or app), a notebook, a pen, and settle in for a little while.


Stage 1: Lectio – Reading

  • Find a passage you want to focus on (reading plans, specific book of the Bible, a theme – remember Open Bible is a great resource for topics).
  • Make it something you are familiar with – do NOT jump into something totally new – this is about digging into something you know about and want to go deeper, not learning a whole new something!
  • Example: I took 2 Chronicles 7:14 as my verse to try. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
  • Read your verse(s) like you are reading a letter. Read through it Think about each and every word.


Stage 2: Meditatio – Reflection

  • Visualize the passage. Put yourself in the scripture(s).
  • Focus on what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to you through the words that stood out when you read it.
  • Some of my words were: IF, HUMBLE, SEEK MY FACE, TURN, I WILL, HEAL
  • Ask yourself: Are the words relevant to something going on in your life right now? Are you reminded of a struggle? Do others come to mind when you read it? Do you sense change needing to happen?
  • Ask the Lord to illuminate what you are reading.
  • Meditate on what He is trying to show you and really focus on understanding what His Word was written to teach you.


Stage 3: Oratio – Response

  • Take all the feelings you may be feeling and offer them up to God in prayer (If you are thankful for something, then praise and thank Him. If you’re feeling convicted, then ask for forgiveness and guidance on how to move forward.)
  • Talk to Him like you are talking to your best friend. He is waiting to hear from you.


Stage 4: Contemplatio – Rest

  • This is a time to contemplate, to be quiet, and listen. Pay attention to the Spirit.
  • Let go of all the stresses in your life and just “be” with Him.
  • Slowly be transformed from the inside out into what He wants you to be.



  • As you naturally come to the close of your time with this passage, you may feel led to go to another verse and continue the Lectio Divina stages or you may feel like it is time to close for the day. Either way, end your time with a prayer of thanksgiving.




Well, how does that sound? Sounds like a great action plan to me. After seeing War Room last night, I realized I need to be much more “strategic” with my prayers and maybe Lectio Divina is just the thing to help me get there.


Below are just a few of the resources I found helpful for learning about Lectio Divina, but there are many, many more. Use what helps you.



Order of Carmelites

Ignatian Spirituality

Bible Gateway & Taylor University


If you give Lectio Divina a try this week please share your experience below in the comments. Did practicing Lectio Divina take you to a deeper place in your prayer life? I would love to hear how you carved out time, where you prayed, and how you chose your verses.


Remember to please pass this blog post on to anyone you think would benefit from getting a little “creative” with their prayer life and don’t forget to sign up for the blog so you won’t miss any new posts.

 Jump over to the Art Stuff page to see this week’s art journal prompt with Acrostic Prayers. 

Developing a Creative Prayer Life-Part 2

Prayer Pt2

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. ~1 Peter 1:13~

 ~PART 2~ 


If you missed last week’s Introduction/Part 1 of Developing a Creative Prayer Life, please read it here. But, if you didn’t, it’s not like you can’t jump in now and get up to speed. Not like missing a whole session of your favorite show and wondering, “where did that person come from?” Just keep reading…..


While thinking about how I learned to pray, I realized the people I admired who prayed well either

  • had been taught, from an early age, how to pray more independently than the rote, memorized, keep-me-outta-hell prayers, or
  • they had a personal relationship with the Lord, or
  • they had some combo of both.

This post will look at both points: learning to pray and how to develop a personal relationship with the Lord.



 So, I thought, well, I can learn. Heck I earned a Ph.D. at the ripe ole age of 49, so why couldn’t I learn to pray independently? My life’s mantra is “Ancora Imparo”, by Michelangelo. It means “I am still learning” and Michelangelo said that in his late 80s. So, if he can continue to learn new things in his 80s, then surely I can learn something new in my 50s.


I set out to find anything and everything I could about praying. I listened, I mean really listened to how others prayed. Not to copy their prayers, but listened for the cadence and tone of their prayers. What made their prayers sound so effortless and beautiful?


Here are several resources I found helpful:

Books & Sermons

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

Discerning the Voice of God by Pricillia Shirer

Frequency (Sermon Series) by Robert Morris


Church of the Highlands Prayer resources

Small Groups



I recently found another online resource, that has a lot of information about prayer. In their post How to Pray the Briscoe’s talk about doing something every day to get them committed to a life enveloped in prayer. Here are some of my takeaways and thoughts on developing a prayer life, creative or not.


The first step is changing our mindsets. We can say we want to become prayer warriors, but do we really? Be truthful. With all the things on our to-do lists, is being a prayer warrior at the top or even on the list? If not, then that’s the first thing we have to decide.


Make the decision to become faithful in prayer and then start doing practical things to make it happen.


Pray that God will begin to work on your heart and you will want to devote time to strengthening your prayer life.


Drug addicts or alcoholics can’t change until they want to be changed, so what makes us think we can change our mindset to have a creative prayer life…. just because? Well, truth is, we can’t, unless we really want to. I know I didn’t make the necessary changes until I wanted to change.


You need to have a heart-to-heart talk with yourself and God. If you are truly ready to make prayer a part of your daily life, then it’s time to surrender to Him.


Surrender? Whoa, whoa, wait a minute! What do I mean by “surrender”? Many people see the word surrender as a defeating term, but it really isn’t. It literally means:


            To give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.


In surrendering we are relinquishing all the “stuff” that is keeping us from a powerful prayer life and giving it over to God so He can guide and direct us to a better way.


Before you can “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) you have to schedule a time in your day when you know you have a block of time and you won’t be interrupted.


For me, it started with getting up a few minutes earlier each day. I need a good 15 minutes to wake up (go pee, get coffee, open the blinds, and focus), so I set my alarm for about 15 minutes earlier than normal and slowly backed it up another 15 minutes to where I wake 30 minutes earlier and now wake up before it goes off.



 Once that becomes a habit (takes at least 21 days) look for opportunities throughout your day to add prayers and to stay committed.


Examples of opportunities:

  • Commuting to and from work/school
  • Before bed
  • Just before you start a chore/obligation


For me, the time when I run has become a time for prayer. Something about those endorphins kicking in seem to fire up my prayer time! Some of my most vivid moments of hearing from the Lord happen during that time.


Other times are my two hour drives back and forth to Troy, having a cross hanging on my rearview mirror, and always having worship music playing whenever possible.


Using Visual and Auditory Prompts

Oh, and worship music as a auditory prompt….wow! It is an awesome way to keep the Holy Spirit with you ALL DAY LONG. I play it in my car, in my office, on my runs, anywhere.


Other visual prompts could be jewelry you wear (cross necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.), things in your car, decorations in your house or office (crosses or scripture), etc. or anywhere you spend a lot of time.


Another idea is something Sybil MacBeth of Praying in Color calls “prayer pops”. Any time during your day when you feel blessed, grateful, or stressed is a time for a prayer. It may be a quick “thank you” or a “please help me Lord”, anything that seeks His presence. Pop up a quick prayer any time. He’s always willing to listen!


Well, let’s see, when are we praying?

  1. First thing in the morning
  2. Last thing in the evening
  3. Time to and from work or school
  4. Opportunities arise during the day
  5. Listening to worship music
  6. Any time we see a prompt

I think that covers a BIG portion of our day! What do you think?


Okay, let’s recap. So in order to change our mindsets, we have to one, surrender our lives to Christ and seek a prayer life with Him and two, we have to find opportunities to pray throughout our day and ways to stay committed to the process.


Some good ways to stay committed are to:

  • Set your alarm to wake a little earlier or to set an appointment to pray (Yes, make an appointment with yourself to pray to get you in the habit!)
  • Write down your prayers (journal, sticky notes, calendar)
  • Make things visible (mirrors, car, office, home)
  • Get an accountability partner (friends, family, husband, boyfriend, small group, etc.)




 More than “learning” how to pray, I knew I needed a personal relationship with the Lord. I grew up in the Methodist church and remember it being more about following rules than having a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. Church services were a lot of reciting and ritual. I didn’t know I could have a personal relationship with Him.


Why is a personal relationship necessary? If we are just reciting scripture, the same scripture, week after week, they don’t hold any meaning. They just become words we say to get through the service and on to the next thing. We become robots to religion. There is no personal connection to anything.


Religion taught me the church building was where all things “godly” took place. I saw God as a huge god, looking down on me ready to condemn me. He was judge and jury, not someone who wanted a “relationship” with me. He had a set of rules I was suppose to follow, to the letter, and if I fell short, I was doomed. I imagined Him looking something like the Lincoln Memorial, sitting on his throne in heaven, looking down on me, watching every move I made.


Let me say it another way….

 When religion becomes an automated response, there is no personal connection to the Lord.




For me, this is the harder part to explain when developing a creative prayer life. Everyone’s experience will be different, but there seems to be a common thread among believers who have a personal relationship with Christ and that is a sense of peace.


I know when I felt convicted in 2010 after Tom and I started attending The Church of the Highlands, I didn’t feel peace; I felt rattled!


But, the more convicted I felt, the more I reached out in prayer seeking answers. Because of that, my views of what church and religion were changed dramatically. No longer did I want to settle for rote, memorized prayers or scripture. It was more about being redeemed and made new in His grace. Then came the peace.


I always know He’s working on me when I seem to cry over a song or message and let me tell you, for a good year (2009-2010) I cried at least once or twice a week. He was working on me in ways I could never imagine!


I honestly don’t have a 3-point list to give you for developing a personal relationship with Him. I can suggest some things (praying daily, getting involved in a church that teaches relationship over religion, take a long hard look at yourself, and seeking Him in everything you do), but it really is up to you to make this part happen. Hence, the reason it’s called a “personal” relationship. Just sayin’.


The biggest suggestion I could make is the church family you choose to be a part of (either the one you’re in or if you’re looking for a church). Once I was plugged in and really connected to people who were going through some of the same struggles I was and who didn’t judge me for those struggles or past ones, then my relationship with the Lord began to grow.


Being “connected” means to me that I have someone:

  • I can call or text if I need prayers when I’m in a crisis
  • I can depend on doing what they say they will do
  • who will call me out when they think I’m headed down the wrong path (and because of our connectedness, I trust them and will listen to them)
  • I enjoy being around (You’ve got to be with people you actually like! Again, just sayin’!)



Maybe you already have a personal relationship with God and you’re just looking for refreshing ways to liven up your prayer life or maybe you don’t have a personal relationship with Him, but you want one, either way, this is a good place to start.


Continue to follow us through this prayer series to learn ways of connecting, art ideas to try, and ways to pray that will bring you closer to our Lord and Savior.


Next week I will look at praying through scripture and why that’s such a useful and peaceful way to pray. Until then, I pray you all have a safe and productive week, your prayer life grows (even if just a little), and you seek Him in everything you do.


Please leave me a comment down below and let me know what struggles you have when it comes to committing to a life of prayer. Please pass this post along to someone you think would like to hear some new ideas on art and prayer.


Jump over to the Art Stuff page for directions on Deomai Prayers for Journaling!

Developing a Creative Prayer Life-Part 1

Creative Prayer

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. ~Colossians 4:2~

~PART 1~

Praying as a Form of Works

If you’re like me, you were probably raised to say your prayers at mealtime and when you went to bed. Did you ever stop to think about those rote prayers we once prayed? Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die….wait, what?


Love comedian Tim Hawkins’ take on that prayer…..


Those were the kind of prayers I said because I thought I “had” to, not because I “wanted” to. I thought if I didn’t say my prayers I was going to hell, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So, they didn’t mean anything to me. They were simply a way to keep me out of hell. I’m sure we’re all willing to say a prayer or two just to stay out of hell, don’t cha think?


Those keep-me-out-of-hell prayers were simply forms of trying to do good works so the Lord would look favorably on me and not send me to purgatory. I thought just going through the motions of praying would keep me out of that godforsaken place and put me closer to Heaven. Not true. God did not create prayer so we could earn more smiley face stickers on His huge prayer poster. He created prayer so we could have conversations and a relationship with Him.


“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” ~2 Chronicles 7:14~


Paralyzing Prayer

I can remember the first time I was asked to pray out loud and it literally paralyzed me. I was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at my high school and we would visit local churches sharing our testimonies and trying to lead a life God would be proud of rather than one our friends thought was “cool”.


Sharing our testimonies was nerve-racking enough, but praying out loud, oh, my, that was a whole different ballgame! I did not grow up praying off the cuff or really praying out loud except at the dinner table and at bedtime with my sister and Mom and those were usually the rote, fear-of-dying-in-my-sleep kind mentioned above. So, when our leader asked me on the way to a church to pray us in, I panicked.


Pray? Me? Are you sure he was looking at me? You want ME to pray for EVERYONE? What do I say? If I can think of anything to say, can I remember it by the time we get to the church? Help me Lord! I guess I first prayed a prayer of desperation before we ever got to the church!


I just remember leaning my head against the van window all the way to the church in a nearby town (not enough miles to come up with a “good” prayer), trying to come up with something to say. I didn’t talk to anyone the whole way there. I just kept going over and over what I might say. I have no idea what I said, but I guess I said something. I’m still here and I’m still praying so it didn’t kill me.


Needless to say, praying does not come naturally to me, and maybe not to you either. We can become paralyzed when we try to “do it right” or work the prayer “checklist”.


I’ve always admired people who can just pray on the spur of the moment or who would volunteer to lead prayer in any sort of setting, but that just did not come naturally to me. Praying for others and praying out loud was a skill I had to learn.

Praying 1

Photo courtesy of D Photography

Relationship Prayer

I have finally learned that when we have a relationship with the Lord, just like a relationship with friends or family, we can simply talk to Him. We are able to talk to God because of what Christ did for us on the cross. Sin separated us from God, but once Jesus died for our sins, the barrier was broken, forever. Period.


He wants a personal relationship with us. He promises that He hears us.


Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~Hebrew 4:16~


Start Somewhere

As a new school semester starts, a new season begins (Autumn, my fav!), and my church’s small group semester gets rolling, I’m feeling led to write about developing a creative prayer life. My small group, Creative Awakenings (yes, the same name as our 21 Days of Prayer and Art back in August) is a prayer journaling group of young women strengthening their relationship with the Lord through prayer, journaling, and RELATIONSHIPS (There’s that word again!).


I plan to write about my journey of developing a prayer life, offer resources about prayer, and show some artsy ways of making prayer life a bit more “creative”. Maybe even help get you out of a rote paralyzing prayer life.


What do you think? Sound like fun? Yes, me too! Join me over the next 12 weeks or so and see how you can grow more confident with praying and grow closer in your relationship to the Lord. And….


 In fact, email subscribers will get a few exclusive EXTRAS! Extra project tutorials, giveaways (books, When We Listen logo merchandise, artwork, etc.) But you HAVE TO BE A SUBSCRIBER. It’s easy. It’s painless. Just SIGN UP today in the box up there on the right and BAM, you’re in. Easy, peasy!


If you are a current email subscriber, well, you’re already in (Thank you, btw), but please forward this to anyone you think might like to strengthen their own prayer life or someone you know could use more prayer in her life.


Quick and Easy Doodles

One of the simplest ways to pray is something I call a Prayer Doodle. I’ve been doing these “doodles” for several years now, but recently read Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth and realized I’m not the only one. These doodles are basically a way to keep those of us who tend to get distracted, focused while we pray.


While I take notes in church, I doodle designs on the edges of my worship guide so I stay focused on what the pastor is saying and not on my to-do list.


Here’s a few examples with all my fun pens. (NO, I do not take ALL my pens to church!)


And guess what? It has been shown that doodling is actually a good thing. Who knew!?!?


Doodling can:

  • Free up short- and long-term memory
  • Improve content retention
  • Increase attention span
  • Produce creative insight


So why wouldn’t we want to try it when we pray?


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paper (Journal or loose pieces)
  • Pencils (optional)
  • Gel Pens or Markers (variety of colors)


Even if you do not think you have any artistic ability, it doesn’t matter, you’re just doodling! Plus, His power is made perfect in our weaknesses, so maybe this is where He will show you something new about yourself!


My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ~2 Corinthians 12:9~


Think of an issue or person you would like to pray about. Or find a scripture you want to focus on and do one of these two choices:


1-Draw a shape THEN write a name, scripture, or prayer

2-Write a word (name, scripture, or prayer) THEN draw a shape


Draw a Shape:

  • Draw a random shape around the page
    • Large for a prayer or scripture
    • Small for a name or if you plan to do several names
  • Write the word(s) in the middle of the shape
  • Add details around the word(s) – dots, lines, patterns, etc.
  • Begin to add colors
  • Think about the person or situation as you’re drawing around it
  • Add more words as you feel led – draw a shape and repeat the process


Here are a few doodles I did praying about my kids during 21 Days of Prayer & Art:

Day15_2 Day15_3 Day15_5

 Write a Name, Scripture, or Prayer:

  • Write your scripture, prayer, or name in the middle of the page
  • Draw a random shape around the word(s)
  • Add details around the word(s) – dots, lines, patterns, etc.
  • Begin to add color
  • Think about the person or situation as you’re drawing around it
  • Add more words as you feel led – draw a shape and repeat the process


  • Just FYI, it’s better to just “go with the flow” when you’re doodling. Focus on the issue or person, not your artistic ability!
  • Once drawn, you can draw and pray in one sitting or use the doodle as a place to come back to and pray again another day.
  • A good resource for different doodles can be found at (that’s the official website, but you can search Zentangles or doodle images and find TONS of ideas)


  • Here is one I started about a week before our small group started. I should have taken pics along the way because every time I prayed, I added doodles to it until it filled the page.

CA Doodle


Whether you’re praying for yourself or someone else, doodling is a fun, creative way to break your rote, save-me-from-hell prayers. Give it a try and we would love to see any doodles you would like to share.


Remember to join the email subscribers’ list today to get your Subscriber Exclusives during the next few months! Current subscribers please forward this post on to someone you think would like to shake up their prayer life a little.


Praying you all have a wonderful week and weekend and that your doodlings will get you ever closer to our Heavenly Father. Amen.





The Grass IS Greener…..

Grass is Greener

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33~



Why is it we always think we would have it so much better if things were different? If we had a different job, then the work wouldn’t be so hard, or the coworkers would be nicer, or we would be less stressed. If we were married to someone else, life at home would be so much more enjoyable. If we had different kids, then we wouldn’t be so exhausted all the time. IF, IF, IF…..


And we always think someone else has it better than us. Come on now, you know you do! She always has the newest and prettiest clothes. He always drives the coolest cars. They get to take vacations all over the world. If only I had their lives!


Doesn’t sound like a greener pasture, just the green-eyed monster (envy) talkin’!


Well, I hate to break it to ya sista, but God never promised us life would be easy, nor would it be fair.


Fact is, if you’ve ever tried the “greener pastures” you know it’s never as good as it looks. The job is just as hard, if not harder. The coworkers all have issues; some are friendly, some aren’t. The stresses are just different ones. The other husband has his own set of goofy things that will get on your ever-lasting nerve (not you, Tom honey!). And those other kids are absolute hellions when they’re behind closed doors!


Life is usually not as easy or “green” as it appears from the other side, but it can be more joyful and meaningful if you do some things differently.


Here’s where those water and fertilizer analogies come in. Stay with me….


He took some of the seed of your land and put it in fertile soil.

~Ezekiel 17:5~



If we continue to sow seeds in the same soil we’re living in now (misery, envy, stress, etc.) then we will continue to harvest what all that brings (depression, raging jealousy, sickness, etc.). But, if we change the way we tend to the soil (our hearts), the outcome could be SO different.


If we do jump ship and go to those “greener” pastures, there will be a lot more to do to make things work over there. So, you may choose to stay in your own pasture (you already know the issues there) or you may choose to step over to the other side (new set of issues you will have to learn to navigate). Either way, it’s going to require some work. Put on your big girl panties, pull up your cute rain boots, and get ready to work the crops ‘cause you’re in for a long harvest season!




Let’s say you go over to what you think are greener pastures (that’s what this post is suppose to be about anyway, right?) and in the beginning you think, “Awww! This is heaven. Why didn’t I do this sooner? I love it over here.” Then a few weeks, months, or even years later you realize, “Oh my goodness! This is hell. What was I thinking?” Sound familiar? Uh, huh!


Most likely you went to that greener pasture with the same mindset you had on the other side of the fence (the one you thought was so bad, remember?). You think you’ve changed, but in fact, you’re still sowing the soil just like you always have. You’re going to have to water this pasture more if you want to keep it green and you will certainly have to change the way you fertilize.


When God plants a new seed in us (the desire to follow and live for Him), then we can’t just mow it over with our old ways. If we continue to think and act like we did before we gave our lives to Him, we will continue to sow like we always have. That way of living is basically letting the enemy continue to steal the seed from us.


When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. ~Matthew 13:19~




God is looking for seeds to plant, grow, and produce spiritual fruit. If we continue to be the seeds that are planted among stony ground, without much soil, then we may sprout up quickly (that initial feeling that things are so much better on the other side), but we won’t last long because we don’t have any deep soil to grow roots. (Mark 4:5-6)


We might fall amongst the thorns (the same sort of mess we left) and get tangled up in the new drama before we know it and certainly not be any better off than we were before. (Mark 4:7)


BUT, if we move to a new pasture, with good soil (different thinking), we water it more (get into the Word and pray every, single day), and we fertilize it with better manure (Hee! Hee! Manure is a natural fertilizer folks! Prayer, worship, relationships with other believers, etc.) we could blossom, yield fruit, and even more seeds (grow His kingdom). (Mark 4:8) How awesome would that be?


This new, greener pasture doesn’t come without patience, caring, sowing, and waiting.

Looking over city



I have personally gone through this several times when changing jobs. I would LOVE the peeps I worked with or LOVED the stuff I was doing, but for whatever reason, I always thought things would be better somewhere else. Sometimes when I jumped ship it worked out great, others times, not so much. With age comes wisdom as well!


When I was successful in changing jobs (better pay, more of a challenge, more responsibility, etc.) I realized I had a different mindset every time. The times when I didn’t have such a great transition, I kept the old mindset I “thought” I was leaving behind.


The last time I changed jobs, I prayed and prayed and prayed about the place He wanted me to land, the people I would be working with, the students I would encounter, and the situation in general. I had never done that before! I had always just jumped the fence and hoped for the best because it “looked” better from my old side of the fence.


Changing my mindset and being ready for whatever stress, drama, or stuff came my way, made my new pasture much more enjoyable. By NOT going into the new pasture with the same ole way of thinking, I was more open to making things work which meant I had to do more to ensure the pasture stayed green and I could grow while I was there.




Once the seed is in us (Christ in us), we are bound to change, but we have to continually be on the lookout for the enemy trying to wiggle his way back in (he’s that stubborn beetle that just keeps eating at our crops!). Hence the need to weed continually (get rid of the things that make us want to turn back to that old pasture – friends, habits, media, etc.).


He knows the weeds will grow among us, so if the seeds can overtake them (growing despite the weeds) we will let others see Him through us.




Sound like a lotta work? Yep, it will be. We don’t just throw out a bunch of seeds and bam they sprout and grow immediately. It takes time and tending to grow a seed into a fruitful plant. The same goes for our spiritual life. So remember, just jumping to the other pasture won’t necessarily bring you greener grass without some intentional tending and weeding along with some purposeful and meaningful fertilizer.


Have you ever jumped from one pasture to one you “thought” was greener? What happened? Did you still have trials to deal with? How did you handle them?


I would love to hear your stories! Please share them with all of us in the comments section below. We can all learn from each other!


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When You’re Waiting To Hear God’s Voice


Well, I have to admit I’ve tossed around several ideas for a post this week and I just think the Lord has decided to leave me hangin’ on this one. I usually have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head and by Sunday or Monday I have a pretty clear picture about what it will be. Not this week!


Started one. Had several good points. Even wrote an outline and then BAM….nothing. Absolutely nada! Rein! Nanimo! ‘Ayin! NOTHING!


I’ve said before how I feel the Lord leads me to a topic to write about each week and so far it’s worked out great, at least for me. Well, not this week!


I even tried to find a way out. I thought maybe I could just tell you all it was a crazy week and I didn’t have the time. Nope. That was the enemy talkin’!


Then, as I was debating Him (like we can “debate” Him! Ha!) about what I was suppose to write, I finally heard, “Remember when Pastor Matt spoke during 21 Days of Prayer and he talked about how he and his wife waited until I spoke to them about having children? Do you remember the ‘ah-ha’ moment you said you had when he told that story? Well, that’s what you should write about.”


Really? I’m writing a blog about LISTENING to Your voice, not about what to do when you don’t want to talk to us. (She says with a droopy head and sad face.) Plus, that story Pastor Matt told took YEARS to unfold! Are you really gonna make me wait years to hear from you? It was not sounding good folks! I was getting a little worried.


Then I thought about Pastor Matt’s story and had a lightbulb moment. I realized there are things we can DO when we’re NOT hearing from God and we need to know those things just as much as we need to know what to do when He IS speaking to us. So, here goes…..


I said, “Okay. If that’s what you REALLY want, then, ok, I’ll write about it.” I created the cute opening graphic in about 10 minutes (Canva, my new addiction for creating graphics!). Wrote this opening in another 5-10 and then nothing. (Hear the crickets? I do. Okay, it’s the fan circulating above my bed. Same dif!) So, I’m going to bed.

Sleeping dog

Good Morning! Well, I got a good night’s sleep, rolled over at 6 AM to have my pre-prayer time. (I LOVE those first few moments when I wake up and immediately have a few moments with the Lord! I give Him thanks for another day and ask Him to nudge me out of the bed for that first cup of coffee.)


First cup of coffee in hand and I got an idea for the president’s message for an art ed organization’s newsletter that I was suppose write last weekend. Ugh! No words of wisdom for the blog post this morning Lord? Nothing?


Actually that’s not totally true. Before I went to bed last night, I did hear/read about checking your heart when you don’t think you’re hearing from Him. Point 1. Then during our prayer time this morning, Tom said something about struggles, failing, and learning. Point 2. And then I was reminded of things He has shown me before. Point 3. BAM! Three points to share!

What CAN we DO while we wait?

First, watch and listen to this awesome song by John Waller! I forgot it was in the Fireproof movie. Love this song!



Three things we CAN DO:

1-Check Our Hearts

Yes, I “Googled” hearing God’s voice (don’t judge!) and one of the first things that resonated with me was checking our hearts.

Ask yourself:

  • Where am I with Him right now?
  • Have I been steadfast in my prayer life? (We just came out of 21 days of prayer! What the what?)
  • Have I truly been “purposeful” in my prayers?
  • Have I STOPPED and LISTENED for His response during my prayer time?


2-Analyze Our Struggles

Think back over times you’ve struggled and what you learned from those experiences.

Ask yourself:

  • When have I struggled to find solutions to issues in the past?
  • What happened in the middle of that struggled?
  • What happened at the end of that struggle?
  • What did I learn from that experience?


3-Learn From Lessons

This is similar to analyzing your struggles, but this point looks at a time when you learned something brand new, not when you are struggling with something you already know. Look at times you’ve learned something new (either from the Lord showing you something or another person teaching you something) and what you learned from that experience.

Ask yourself:

  • When did I learn something new?
  • Why did I learn it? (Work requirement or personal growth?)
  • Who taught me this new thing? (The Lord himself or did He connect you with others who knew how to teach you?)
  • Once I learned this new lesson, how did it help me in my life?
  • What can I do now that I’ve learned this new thing?


So here’s what I found when I asked myself these questions:

Checking my heart: I have been consistent with my prayer life, but I have NOT been purposeful and I have NOT stopped and listened.

You’re probably thinking, “If you’ve been consistent then how were you not purposeful?” I think we can get in a routine where we’re just going through the motions and maybe that’s what I’ve done, even through the 21 Days of Prayer. I was so consumed with getting the art prompts out I was just going through the motions of praying. I didn’t really dig in and pray with a purpose. And I couldn’t see that until AFTER the 21 days were over!

I also think when we’re waiting, we can pray for breakthroughs for others. When we pray for others, it makes our issues seem so trivial. Can I get an Amen on that one!

Analyzing my struggles: Past, and present, struggles tend to get me down, at least for a little while. In the middle of a struggle I often think there is no way out, but I’ve learned to seek the Lord’s will. If He’s going to supernaturally “fix” the issue, great! But if He’s teaching me something, I need to take note and realize what “it” is. What does He want me to learn as I’m in the middle of this struggle?


Learn from lessons: I realized this whole blogging thingy has been my “newest” lesson. (Along with a new ebook platform at work! All computer/techie stuff. Not really my thing.) I feel like He led me here and directed me every step of the way, so maybe He IS releasing me to fly solo for this post. If you’re really paying attention, you’ll see He led me to and through this post too! 


During my Googling last night (is that really a verb?) I ran across something new. (ah-ha! A new lesson!) It’s something called the Dark Night of the Soul or the Dark Night Psalms. Evidently the Psalms 13, 42, 46, 59, 77, 88, 92, 143 are considered the “Dark Night” ones. It’s basically a time when you don’t think you’re hearing from the Lord and you’re waiting.


Although I ultimately did hear from the Lord during this struggle of writing a post this week, the Dark Night Psalms will be a great reminder for the next time I’m waiting. The Soul Shepherding website describes these times as feeling “spiritually dry and distant from God”. The author also describes it as a time of “trial” where God is working to deepen our journey of dependence on Him.


Light bulb moment! That’s EXACTLY what He’s doing in me! I need to dig in and not just go through the motions. I need to really look at my past struggles and what I learned by surviving all of those. And, I need to search through the lessons He’s leading me through RIGHT NOW and understand what He’s trying to teach me.


Ta-da! Post written and hopefully with some helpful tips. You may not be where I am at this moment, but maybe you’ll remember this post and my three ah-ha points to get you through your next Dark Night of the Soul. Come on girl, you know you’re gonna have one! We all do as one time or another.


What do you do when you think God’s leaving you hangin’? What do you do while waiting? Tips? Ideas? Prayers? Would love for you to share what you do. Please leave us a comment below.


If you missed our 21 Days of Prayer and Art Challenge, jump over and see some of the cool artworks and prompts we created during August.


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Until next week……I will pray for God to lead me to another topic and another post. I will also pray for you as you go about your week, the struggles you will face, and for the blessing coming your way!

Isaiah 30:18

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Lamentations 3:25

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.