Connection and Thirst

Please join me in welcoming a dear friend, Angela Mackey, to Jesus & My Orange Juice. Within thirty minutes of meeting, we were laughing like lifelong friends. Angela touches my heart and inspires my soul. You will want to connect with her on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Also, be sure and visit her blog today where I am guest posting for Angela as well.

Disconnected. Sounds swell, children move, people rush, cars zoom, and I stare into space. Each of my movements are leaden and off sync. How I long for connection.

How do you connect with the world when it is running at a different pace than you?

How do you find joy when the well has run dry?

My lips stick to my teeth and my tongue feels two sizes bigger than normal. Water. I need living water that flows as a stream.

But there are bills to pay, children to take to school, activities to be done, friends to meet. Sure I pray, but my soul remains dry. My soul hungers for more. I quote a memory verse and pray more, but it is not enough.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1

Is this what David meant? The times when my soul feels dry, my heart heavy, and my mind slow, is that when I really am thirsting for God?

God made us for connection through community. He – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – lives in perfect community. Oh that we would spend time in community with Him. Daily reading His word, praising His goodness, worshiping His attributes, and calling out to Him.

It is there in His word that He meets our need for connection. The community that we seek may be found in Him, but also in sharing with others what He is teaching us. Oh that we would realize our thirst is only quenched in Him, the Living Water.

Connection and thirst are these God designed that we may desire more of Him? Are they kind reminders that we need connection with God and water from His Spirit?

Let us pray that God helps us fill those desires with Him – His word, His Spirit, His community.

Will you join me as I:

·         Read God’s word daily?

·         Spend time on our knees in prayer daily (just five minutes a day)?

·        Praise Him out loud daily. We can do this in song, to others as we tell them the things God is doing in our lives, as we pray, etc?

Will you join me? May these steps only increase our desire for connection to God and thirst for God. That we may live transformed lives for His glory.

What do you do when you desire connection and thirst for God?

Angela Mackey lives in the Arkansas River Valley with her wonderfully supportive husband and three amazing children. She is passionate about teaching women to renew their minds through God’s word so that they may live transformed lives. Angela is a writer, speaker, nurse, and stay-at-home mom who openly shares her struggle with infertility. She loves college basketball (especially the Kansas Jayhawks), reading, writing, and laughing at herself. You can connect with her on her blog at She is also on twitter and on facebook at

Day 14 of Prayer Guide - Health for Your Mind

Day Fourteen
Health for Your Mind

Romans 8:6b To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (ESV)

Oh how you long for the fog to vanish. You reach for clarity and focus, but it eludes once more. This season has aged your mind like never before. Could altering the object of your thoughts, restore life to your mind?

Withered one, reach out your hand and clutch health for your mind.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To gather close to the warmth of God’s own heart, as your fog lifts.

·         To focus on God, so He can focus your mind.

Today You Pray:

Sustainer, the tension of my brain slides out as I am shrouded in Your presence. I park my mind on You and allow the particles of my confusion to slip away. Life and peace blanket my mind.

Gone is the tension and strain. No throbbing; no pain. As I fill my mind with the Your fullness, it is emptied of stress. My mind is clear.

Day 13 of Prayer Guide - Health for Your Soul

Day Thirteen
Health for Your Soul

Psalm 31:7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul. (ESV)

Lethargic. No better word describes your relationship with God right now. You feel neither isolated from nor close to God. Somewhere along this journey the energy drained like a gas tank run dry.

Tired one, come redeem health for your soul.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To experience the fullness of spiritual intimacy through God’s embrace

·         To open wide your heart to the One who nurtures your soul

Today You Pray:

God Who Heals, press my soul close to You. In Your arms, my scattered soul gathers to Your heart. The connection is real and intimate; almost unnerving.

Melt away my inhibition. I puddle at Your feet and feel the energy pool within. Excitement fills and flows everywhere You touch. I rejoice. You see my soul and it is transformed.

Prayer Guide Day 12 - Health for Your Heart

Day Twelve
Health for Your Heart

John 7:38 (Jesus Talking) Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’

Is it possible to live with a rock in your chest? The heaviness umbrellas your heart and blocks the joy you once felt. This season should be celebratory, but your heart plays a mournful tune.

Suffering one, come gulp joy.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To drink deeply from the life-altering Well

·         That your joy would siphon from the Source of all strength and goodness

Today You Pray:

Living Water, my heart is cracked with thirst for You. I come to the Well dragging my stone of a heart. A trickle of Your river of grace is enough to swell the banks of my heart.

The walls of my chest revive with Your love. May Your joy flow through me and splash over all who walk this journey of preparation. I came empty; I leave filled with You.

When Your Children Walk in Truth

Today I am thrilled to share with you my friend, Michelle Montgomery, of The Journey North. Michelle inspires me. She's the mother of six children and a woman who loves God recklessly and honestly. I am posting over at her blog today too, so after you enjoy her beautiful words here, find me there and read her regularly. Michelle would also love to connect with you on Facebook.

“Can I sleep over at my friend’s house tonight?”  With a deep sigh, I tried to patiently respond to my 13 year old’s question with love despite my significant irritation at the repetitive question.  “You know how I feel about Saturday night sleepovers.”   
Time after time, tracking the kids down on Sunday morning has caused us to be late to church.  I strongly dislike being late anywhere.  Normally, I’m the person that shows up early for meeting, events, and other commitments.  Therefore, being late to church is almost unforgivable in my mind.  The problem is that most of the time we do run late on Sunday mornings.  With six kids, preparations begin early.  There simply isn’t enough time to drive around town collecting children from various locations.  Out of desperation, we established the rather unpopular rule that Saturday night sleepovers are no longer allowed. 
Unfortunately, the kids have not accepted this directive without a fight.  Each week, they attempt a new angle in an effort to overturn the policy.  I held my breath as I waited for the typical argument and offered a quick prayer for patience.
“But they go to our church now.  I can meet you there.”  I blinked.  They go to our church?  My daughter smiled.  She knew she had me.
Molly (not her real name) is my daughter’s best friend.  Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mom.  That situation has contributed to the bond the girls have formed as they both try to navigate the world of living with one parent and visiting the other. 
Several months ago, my daughter approached me and asked if she could attend a small group for Junior High girls that the church was starting.  Of course, I happily agreed and commended her for wanting to be part of it.  Then, she tossed in the catch.  She wanted to know if I could pick up Molly and take her as well. 
While I happily accepted the responsibility for transporting my daughter, picking up her friend and dropping her back off afterwards did not hold as much appeal.  Desperately I asked, “Can’t her mom take her?”  With six kids, our transportation commitments already exceed reasonable efforts.  “They don’t go to church and her mom doesn’t understand why she wants to join our small group.”
Ouch.  Well, what’s a good Christian mommy to do?  “Yes, I can take her.”  I received a quick hug for my efforts and my daughter excitedly bounded up the stairs dialing her friend as she climbed.
The next week, we started our new routine.  I picked up Molly, drove to the church, dropped the girls off, took care of other commitments, returned to the church to pick them up, waited impatiently for their small group to finish (it always runs late), and dropped her back off at her mom’s apartment.
It didn’t take long before I discovered the unexpected benefits of this arrangement.  First, by bringing a book or my laptop with me and leaving the other kids at home, I captured some much needed quiet time while I waited for the girls.  Second, I realized that small group opened them up to conversations during our ride home that allowed me to share my beliefs in God and my opinions on other various social issues they faced as teenagers.
Several weeks later, Molly’s mom approached the car as I dropped her off.  In broken, heavily accented English, her mother suggested that she could take them to small group each week.  I tried to conceal my shock as I agreed to the carpooling arrangement.  I asked if she knew where the church was located and she nodded. 
That night, I decided to add Molly and both of her parents to my prayers.  I realized agreeing to drive the girls to the church didn’t mean she would start attending church as well, but it was a start.  I prayed each time she drove up there, the trip would become easier and maybe, just maybe, she might decide to take a step inside.
As I found myself agreeing to my daughter’s request for a Saturday sleepover, I thanked God for using my daughter’s devotion and conviction to follow Christ as a testimony to not only her friend, but her friend’s family as well. 
I have no greater joy then to hear that my children are walking in the truth.  3 John 1:4 (NIV)
Michelle Montgomery is a Christian, wife, mother of six, full time employee, and aspiring writer. Her non-traditional, blended family keeps their lives interesting as they attempt to navigate and balance the ever changing worlds of parenting, relationships and working. Join Michelle as she tries to keep her eyes on God as her journeys north.

You have circled this mountain long enough; now turn north. Deuteronomy 2:3 (NASB)

Day 11 of Prayer Guide - Health

Day Eleven

Proverbs 3:7a, 8 Do not be wise in your own eyes; This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

You have a cold you just can’t shake. A lingering headache rings the stress on your body. Health is something you’ve taken for granted. Now your emotional, mental and physical well-being hang over unknown water.

Ailing one, come restore your health.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To relax into the steady arms of the Healer.

·         To embrace health by pressing your ear to the heart of God.

Today You Pray:

The Great Physician, I invite You to examine me. Pass your healing hand over me. Recharge my cells. Reconnect my emotions.

For too long, I’ve relied on my own wisdom to keep my body in balance. Today, I lay on Your operating table of grace and receive from the One who made me and knows me. I open my mind, heart and spirit to Your tender treatment. I am revived.

Day 10 of Prayer Guide - Confidence for Your Body

Day Ten
Confidence for Your Body

Psalm 45:11 The King is enthralled by your beauty

Am I defined by a number? The one who stares back from the scale taunts me. The one I push at the gym mocks me. Both beckon to by-gone days when the numbers were different – lower, higher, a source of pride.

Weak one, come experience confidence for your body.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To soak in the unconditional love of the One who shapes you.

·         To push through the fog of numbers and see clearly the One who is enthralled.

Today You Pray:

Strong God, I am a reflection of Your beauty. I am a reservoir of Your strength. The numbers cannot define me because You’ve already made Your declaration. I find favor in Your eyes.

Allow this truth to flush through my body, undress my insecurity and clothe me with Your vast love. I stand in front of the full length mirror of Your devotion and see the reflection of the King.

What I (Almost) Didn't See

Friends, I am so excited to introduce you today, to my friend, Michelle Greer. Her blog is a place of beauty where she celebrates the best of family and homemaking. Welcome her to the oasis by following her here and liking her here!

“Do you not know?
   Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
   and his understanding no one can fathom.
 He gives strength to the weary
   and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
   and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.”—Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

When I started blogging in January, it was the time of the year when everyone makes resolutions.  One of my goals was to try to grow closer in my walk with God. But, in everyday life, I find it very difficult.  I let all of the every day “stuff” rule my life.  I get caught up in all of the little things and don’t “feel” God the way I should.  I don’t listen to him. I don’t talk to him. Not every minute of every day. I try to deal with everything myself. But, I think we all know where that usually gets me.  It’s not a content, happy place.

My goal is to get to a place where I’m always thinking about God.  A place where I can feel him infuse my whole life. I’m not there yet. I still get caught up in the “other” things.

There was a time over the summer when my husband was working a lot of hours out of town, which left me alone with the kids all week long. My family lives in Florida and I’m in Ohio now. I had just gotten back from a two week trip to Florida to visit my family. So, in addition to having the kids all to myself, I was missing my family. A lot.

I was exhausted. 

I was trying really hard to be a good mom in the midst of frustrating week.  The kids and I went to the mall to paint ceramics, which should have been fun.  But, the kids finished before I did. I wanted to finish mine and they were getting a little crazy.  So, a trip that was supposed to be fun, ended up being another frustrating moment for me.  And, when we left the mall, I was upset.

We were getting strapped into the van and my son said, “Look!!!” I looked around and finally saw what he was looking at. It was a beautiful cloud with all of the colors of the rainbow. It was absolutely beautiful.

I would never have seen the rainbow cloud if Logan wouldn’t have pointed it out, because I was so caught up in my “blah, negative” feelings. It was a nice little reminder to slow down and just enjoy the beautiful things around me. And, it was like a little sign from God that everything was going to be okay. It was also a reminder that I need to slow down and appreciate everything that I have. If I put my trust in God, He will help me through.  Although I grow tired and weary, He does not.  He’s there to give me strength so that I can enjoy the beauty He has created.

I know that if I just slow down a little, I would be able to make that connection with God that I want and need. I could draw my strength from Him. God is always there. I just need to open my eyes, my ears and my heart.

Michelle blogs at Heartfelt Balance Handmade Life. She originally began her blog to find a way to make extra money from home. While learning the ropes of blogging, she has discovered many wonderful blogs and made many new friends. She enjoys the creativity having a blog allows. And now, blogging is more about the adventure than about making money. She enjoys spending time with her kids, doing science projects, crafts and cooking. When she's not playing with her kids, she tries to find balance between God, hubby, kids, housework, volunteer work, etc. Michelle is still trying to find her balance. But, she's enjoying life while she does so. She blogs about a Mish-Mash of Mommy stuff.

Prayer Guide Day 9 - Confidence for Your Mind

Day Nine
Confidence for Your Mind

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things

My mind is a vortex; my confidence a downward spiral. When did the switch throw from believing I could do all things through Christ to believing failure was imminent? I yearn for the thrilling days when I advanced in faith without consideration of setback.

Fearful one, come declare confidence for your mind.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To remove the cloak of doubt which veils your thoughts, so your mind is clear to focus on Christ

·         To experience an explosion of faith based on God’s goodness not your competence

Today You Pray:

My Cornerstone, I build my thoughts on You. Layer my mind with bricks of Your grace. Hold my brain together with the mortar of Your love.

In these moments of quiet, I recount Your goodness. You never fail me and You won’t start now. Fixed on You, my mind is secure once more.

Day 8 of Prayer Guide - Confidence for Your Soul

Day Eight
Confidence for Your Soul

Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. (NASB)

It’s silent. I strain my ears and soundlessness echoes back. When the voice comes, I doubt. Are these my thoughts or Your inspiration, God? Uncertainty bounces around inside me. Where it lands, I hurt. Struggling one, come gain confidence for your soul.

Today I Pray for You:

·         That the still voice of God would shatter the silence

·         For boldness to believe You hear God and faith to follow His beckoning

Today You Pray:

God who Speaks, I close my eyes and see You only. In the quiet, Your sweet voice trickles to my heart. I rush into Your arms as Your confidences rushes my soul.

My soul leaps. There is joy in hearing from the One who knows me best and loves me most. The silence has surrendered to the Savior. My soul doubts no more.

Day 7 of Prayer Guide - Confidence for Your Heart

Day Seven
Confidence for Your Heart

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

Am I still in middle school? These feelings seem silly; immature. Why doubt myself? I don’t normally obsess over what others think but suddenly those thoughts plague me day and night. My heart is hungry for the confidence which now seems elusive. Doubting one, come discover a confident heart.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To rest your heart on the ledge of His love

·         That a swell of God’s strength would wash away your doubt

Today You Pray:

God of Certainty, I plant my heart in Your garden of strength. Bury the sum of my doubt in the fertile soil of Your grace. Tend to the roots and entwine my heart with Yours.

A shoot of confidence springs from Your concern. Protect my heart as it blooms with trust. A confident heart blossoms with my faith in Your care.

The Divine Masseuse

Today I'd like to introduce you to my dear friend, Carey Scott. Carey is an authentic woman of God whose message which challenges women to be real with themselves, others and God touches the hearts of women countrywide. I am privileged to have her posting here today and would love for you to welcome her to Jesus & My Orange Juice by visiting her blog, following her on Twitter and liking her on Facebook.

Welcome, Carey, can't wait to hear the REAL truth God has laid on your heart this morning!

I love massages.

My husband knows that if we had more money then we knew what to do with, I’d hire someone to massage my scalp at bedtime and to rub my feet in the morning.

He continues to tell me to let that dream go.  I’m holding out hope.

Well, the other day I treated myself to a massage.  Life’s been so big lately and my body is showing signs of the stress.

As the masseuse began to work on my neck, I was so relaxed.  It felt fantastic.  But then… she went a little deeper.  Ouch

I knew for me to get relief, I needed to let her do that deep work. 

While it hurt, I knew I’d soon be feeling better.  My job during that massage was to allow the work to be done.

So, I took in long breaths and blew the air back out slowly.  Instead of tensing up more, I relaxed my body and felt the healing set in. 

You know what I realized while lying on that table?

God is like that massage therapist.  He has the desire and ability to work out deeper things in us. 

·         God knows where life is causing us to tense up.

·         He has the perfect techniques to promote healing.

·         He is not surprised by all our areas of stress.

·         He is fully aware of our pressure points.

When we take our pain to God, He faithfully goes to work.  His focus is to bring us… relief.

Sometimes the process of relief is uncomfortable because it makes us look at who we really are.  It forces us to forgive something or someone who has hurt us deeply.  This process causes us to change, which is overwhelming and scary at times.  Old habits and attitudes are hard to break.

But when we decide to be part of the process rather than part of the problem, it can make a huge difference.  When we allow God to work that stuff out instead of us holding onto it and letting it fester and cause pain… relief is imminent.

He is your Divine Masseuse.

Let God do His deep work in you.  He won’t charge you.  You don’t have to make an appointment.  And His hands never get tired.
Where do you need God’s work today?

Carey Scott is an inspirational speaker and writer, honest about her walk with the Lord, stumbles, fumbles and all.  She loves to challenge women to be real and authentic. Through her blog she encourages women to stop living a mediocre, risk-free life and instead step onto the battlefield. She is a weekly blogger on CWAHM and serves as the Wednesday host on the Moms Together Facebook community. Most recently, Carey was added as a member of the speaking and writing team for LeadHer. She and her husband live in Colorado with their two kids.

Day 6 of Prayer Guide - Confidence

Day Six

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.

I am decisive… I mark items off my list with lightning speed… I am confident in my choices… At least I was. What happened? Lately you doubt yourself and others. You end your day and wonder what you really accomplished. You are mentally incapacitated. Uncertain one, come claim your confidence.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To hear the One who gently calls, “This is the way. Walk in it.”

·         That your uncertainty would melt as God’s confidence pervades your heart

Today You Pray:

Confident God, I crumple at your feet. Restore my mind as I trust Your leadership. I release my heart to You and feel the rushing water of Your strength.

Suddenly I realize I don’t want ‘my’ confidence restored; I desire a shift of confidence. I commit my plans, my future, my day into Your hands. Hold my heart as I hold onto You.

Day 5 of Prayer Guide - Rest for Your Body

Day Five
Rest for Your Body

Proverbs 3:24b When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

How can one wake and feel as if the night vanished without the benefit of sleep?  You’re living on afternoon coffee, power naps and vitamins. A cold threatens. Your stomach feels unsettled.  Your joints and your brain ache. Exhausted one, come find rest for your body.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To have deep, uninterrupted sleep–sweet, reenergizing, restoring sleep

·         That God would guard your body and keep it running strong

Today You Pray:

Creator of my being, flow into every space. I breathe you in like a breath of heaven itself. You are my energy. You are my rest. 

I come to Your shelter, rest my head on Your lap and trust You to shield my body. I seek You with a longing heart. You know best how to care for me. Help me make wise choices in food, activity and sleep. Rest my body as I rest in You.

Rest for Your Mind - Day Four of Prayer Guide

Day Four
Rest for Your Mind

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

Your usually organized thoughts jump one to the other like a pinball machine.  At moments you can’t distinguish where one thought ends and another begins.  Life seems like an endless train never reaching the station.  Frazzled one, come receive rest for your mind.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To focus your mind on the most important tasks and lay unnecessary things aside

·         To declutter your schedule and find spots of sweet serenity and hear from the One who loves you.

Today You Pray:

Prince of Peace, I slide my mind into Your hand. Reign there and eradicate the strain. Invade my brain with Your serenity.  Gather my scattered thoughts to Your heart.

Help me free my calendar and my mind to enjoy these days of preparation. I focus my mind on You, Prince of Peace. I trust You with every detail. My mind is set free by Your perfect peace.

Rest for Your Soul - Day 3 of Prayer Guide

Day Three
Rest for Your Soul

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Your relationship with God feels distant and strained.  Activity crowds the Savior out of your days.  Worry and stress mark the hours.  Anxious one, come flood rest into your soul.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To draw close to Christ and seek Him first and most

·         To roll your cares onto Christ so peace will roll into you.

Today You Pray:

God of Refreshment, my soul is weary.  I come dragging to Your feet to find rest.  As I pause in the blizzard of activity, I sense Your presence and remember You walk beside me on this journey.

You gave me this opportunity.  You worked in my life to bring it to pass. The what of my day seems insignificant here with the Whom. This realization allows me to make the great exchange – my cares for Your care for me.

Rest for Your Heart - Day 2 of Prayer Guide

So many of you communicated how this prayer guide met your need right where you are, so I decided to spend the next month and invite you on this prayer journey with me. When we've completed the 30 days together, I'll get the ebook ready and post it to my website ( Thank you all so much for walking with me. It is my privilege to pray for you as we journey together!

Day Two
Rest for Your Heart

Psalm 4:7-8 You have filled my heart with greater joy...I will lie down and sleep in peace.

 Your heart twinges with a strange concoction of excitement and dread.  Questions bounce in your heart like a pinball machine.  What if I don’t succeed?  What if things don’t go as planned? What if I’m making the wrong choice?  What if…?  Worried one, come drink rest for your heart.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To seek His heart, so you can trust yours

·         To desire His approval, so you will need no other

Today You Pray:

God of Peace, questions circle my brain like fowl hunting a meal.  But I seek you first and most.  In the midst of my worry and hurry, I pause.  In the pause, You give life-giving peace.

Your joy floods my heart like rushing waters.  You know the outcome.  You walk with me on this path.  I trust You to be the Answer for my every question.