Candy Land

Many of our homes will be filled with candy tonight, so here's a special Halloween post...

Hebrews 13:5 Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

I was walking around the living room frothing and working myself up into Threat Level Red mom fit as I picked up a trail of candy wrappers that would cause envy even in the likes of Hansel and Gretel. It was a just a few days past Halloween and my home had been converted to a candy wrapper trauma center.

As I huffed, puffed and picked up wrappers, I flashed back to a Christmas over a decade ago when I had "graciously" provided the candy wrapper pick-up duty for my nieces and nephews. As I did so, I thought to myself what a great mom I was to my solitary child whom I had in my watchful eye at all times. She would never be so inconsiderate because I was after all a superior mother and wouldn't raise a child with such poor manners.

Turns out I was absolutely correct. I didn't raise a child with sub-par candy wrapper manners; I raised four of them.  Ouch!

Immediately my candy wrapper pity party evaporated as I considered my heart - past and present. I realized that long ago I set unrealistic standards for mothering that no person could ever uphold.

Are you ever tempted to rate your performance as a mom based on imaginary standards such as candy wrappers? I am and it catapults me straight into the eye of a mommy storm. I feel like a failure as a mom and project my children’s foolish behavior onto myself. I mark my grade with the proverbial “F”.

When I’m tempted to go this bad mommy place, I think of my parent - the Heavenly One. He doesn’t throw a fit when my heart gets polluted by sinful attitudes. He doesn’t get huffy when cross words float from my lips as easily as litter flutters to the floor. He knows my behavior is not a reflection of Him. He sees beyond my packaging to my heart.

There He inserts the sweetness of His grace as He whispers, “Pick up the wrappers and hand them to me. I can handle your litter.” What freedom in knowing He doesn’t keep a report card. What great comfort in realizing God stands with me even in my worst moments as a mom. 

When my serving tank runs low, I can pull into His filling station.

If I feel under qualified or overworked, I can access His resume.

When feelings of inadequacy or failure threaten to flood, He will dam the river.

Jesus, You never grumble when I drop candy wrappers or any of my other garbage in Your lap. No matter how many times You've taught me a lesson, You just gently remind me of Your truth once again. You love me. Period. No expectations.

This morning You are a "Post-it note" to my heart of how important it is for me to stay tuned into You. Today may Your patience with me be reflected in my dealings with my kids, my spouse and anyone else who happens along my candy-wrapper ladened life.

Day 24 of Prayer Guide - Perseverance for Your Mind

Day Twenty Four
Perseverance for Your Mind

Proverbs 4:26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.

You once read that a yawn is your brain’s attempt to wake itself up. If it’s possible to reach a point of mental exhaustion where a yawn has no impact, you’re there. Your mind feels heavy as if a fog has settled over your shoulders. To move forward, you need to find a way to shift your brain out of neutral.

Hampered one, come absorb perseverance for your mind.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To hear the gentle whisper of the One who gives light to your path and a lamp for your feet.
·         That the Light will blow away the fog.

Today You Pray:

Everlasting Father, this day does not catch You off guard. While my mind wanes, Your purpose is constant. Your unwavering focus sees my heart and speaks love and grace into my mind.

I rest my head in Your hand. Your mercy massages my mind as I connect to Your heart. As I trust Your leadership, my mind perseveres in Your path.

Day 23 - Perseverance for Your Soul

Day Twenty Three
Perseverance for Your Soul

2 Chronicles 15:7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

When you began, you never envisioned yourself crawling across the finish line. Today you’d be delighted to reach completion at all. These days are long; the goal still out of reach.

Stalled one, come reap perseverance for your soul.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To remain in the One who will carry you to completion.
·         To stretch out your hand not toward your goals but to the One who makes reaching them possible.

Today You Pray:

Unchanging God, You do not grow weary. You never tire of me. Instead You delight in my presence. Today I won’t crawl closer to the finish line, I will crawl into Your lap. I will abide in You and allow You to recharge the cavern of my soul.

My need for You is gaping. Without You I cannot continue. Like a prize fighter against the ropes, I realize alone I’m down for the count. But in You is the perseverance my soul thirsts. Together we’ll dance around the ring until the final bell rings.

My Traveling Companions

Philippians 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.

I spent the last week at the beach with my hubby and four girls. We took lazy strolls on the beach, dug around the sand and walked around in each other's hearts. I found myself smiling at the ordinary-ness of it all. 

Peanut butter smudges on cheeks. 

Exercise clothes for lounging instead of sweating.

Six bodies piled on a bed singing Chris Tomlin off key.

These everyday moments remind me of each of you. I carry you in my heart whether driving to the pick-up line at school or with the Gulf breeze blowing my hair. I realized I don't thank you often enough for walking this journey with me.

We share profound words uttered by preschool lips. We dust off each other's knees when life trips us up. We walk through the ordinary things of life, propelled by a common love for each other and the One who makes the journey possible.

Thank you for being my traveling companions. You make this walk a comfortable waltz, dancing with friends. I have you in my heart and it makes life feel right.

Day 22 of Prayer Guide - Perseverance for Your Heart

Day Twenty Two
Perseverance for Your Heart

2 Thessalonians 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

Nothing is impossible. This is a core belief for you. When you reach a sticking point, you push through. You’ve been bootstrapping as far back as you can remember. Suddenly, you’ve reached a point where your heart simply won’t follow your feet. You feel stuck; unable to proceed.

Hindered one, come embrace perseverance for your heart.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To stop pushing through and start being directed by the Source of true perseverance.
·         To discover the mine of perseverance that exists in the depth of God’s love.

Today You Pray:

Never Ending One, I’m weary from trying. Though my effort tends to meet with “success”, I wonder if I chase the wrong goal. What if true perseverance is found in a gentle push from You rather than a pull from my own strength?

For too long I’ve measured progress as forward. Shift me down into Your bottomless well of love. The further I dive into Your arms, the more You fuel perseverance in my heart. Entwined, You carry me forward.

Day 21 of Prayer Guide - Perseverance

Day Twenty One

Hebrews 12:3 Consider him (Jesus) who endured…so you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Your big day is drawing closer. With the end in view, you want to celebrate but instead you feel weary. Why is it so hard to continue in something you are certain you should do? Today you need motivation to finish well.

Paused one, come cling to perseverance.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To finish with a higher degree of thrill than you felt at the onset by connecting to the Source of all joy.
·         To lose your heart in Jesus so He can strengthen it.

Today You Pray:

Unfaltering God, my legs are tired from walking this journey as if I’m hiking up an everlasting hill. But I remember I’m not alone. You take every step with me.

Suddenly aware, I find my feet planted on even ground. Your presence is energizing. My once hindered climb now resembles a downhill bicycle ride – there’s no need to pedal; I can coast and enjoy the view. I am renewed.

Day 20 of Prayer Guide - Wisdom for Your Body

Day Twenty
Wisdom for Your Body

Ecclesiastes 8:1b Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance.

I feel distracted and disconnected. I know it shows on my face. People keep asking me if everything is okay. I paint on my best smile and chirp, “Of course.” This is supposed to be a time of excitement and I’m determined to play my part. If only I knew how to make that a reality.

Concerned one, come accept wisdom for your body.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To intimately know the One who first knew you.

·         To allow God’s wisdom to bathe your heart and transform your countenance.

Today You Pray:

God Who Sees, You look beyond my surface. You peer deep into my soul and know my deepest concerns. In You, I find life-altering wisdom.

Like a secret shared between old friends, Your knowledge dances in my heart and changes my perspective. Your wisdom softens my worry lines and sparkles my eyes. To know You is the realization of joy.

Day 19 of Prayer Guide - Wisdom for Your Mind

Day Nineteen
Wisdom for Your Mind

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.

The advice rolls in as waves – unwavering, unrelenting. It pounds my brain with confusion and concern. So many voices call out opinions. They meet like the crash of cymbals, grinding and tearing at my confidence.

Confused one, come saturate your mind with wisdom.

Today I Pray for You:

·     To set aside lesser words so you can hear the Voice of a Whisper

·        To tune into unchanging knowledge that flows from the One Who’s always been.

Today You Pray:

God of Wisdom, I know not what to do. I strain to hear Your voice and realize it’s not what but Whom. You are wisdom. The more I know You, the closer I follow the One who directs my what.

Gently you set aside sources that tease my mind with man’s wisdom. There is a way that seems right to me but it’s not Your way. Your way is life, peace and rest.


Today I have the privilege of hosting, Teri Johnson, of Keeping it Personal. Teri values transparent relationships and leads others to deeper honesty and growth. My friendship with Teri has done all that and much more in my life.
Please welcome her to Jesus & My Orange Juice by following her here, liking her here and reading her here. You too will find your life richer for having made the connection.

You can also find me blogging at her site today, so be sure and visit today and many days in the future!
I'm overwhelmed -- I don't hear you. “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you, but you don’t even look." Job 30:20 I ask you to lead me, guide me, show me...what is my next step? You brought me here, to this place. Now what? Why are You silent? Why do I feel that You're gone, when I know in the depth of my heart You are here?
"... for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
What am I missing...from Your silence? I'm a broken record praying these words, pleading for you to speak loudly to me. "Father, Open my eyes to see, open my ears to hear, open my heart to know. Show me! I am willing and desire to do Your will not mine. Amen."
Okay...I'm getting it. I think. Is this what you want me to hear? To do? To know?
"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

How can I be still, when the world around me is going 100 mph? How can I be still when life seems to be all about what we do? How can I be still when I really never have, and it doesn't feel comfortable, I doesn't seem acceptable?
This word still, seems distant and unfamiliar to me.
Still = calm, motionless, quiet. Free from sound or noise; silent. Hushed. Peaceful. Tranquil.
Okay...I'm getting it. Turn it off, ALL of it. Eliminate the distractions. Pay no attention to what others are doing. Log of and disconnect. Stop checking in with everyone. Turn off the ringer and the notifications. Silence the voices and audience of many.
And...finely tune into The audience of ONE.
Okay...I got it. I'm leaning into you. Teach me Father to truly be still and know. I'm willing to listen in your silence.
I got it.
“There are times when silence has the loudest voice” - Leroy Brownlow
Do you know how to be still in this fast paced world? What do you hear when God is silent?

Photo Credit:

Teri is a writer, speaker, and sought-after personal growth expert. Her unique strategies have helped transform the lives of her clients, enlightening, guiding and motivating them to achieve even their most deeply desired goals.
She is the President and Founder of Keeping It Personal, a company that specializes in self-development training and discovering your life purpose. She facilitates her clients, who range from executives to hard working stay-at-home moms, through, “The Ultimate Journey”, a course focused on unpacking self deception, to freedom from old destructive behaviors, discover and develop their truth, goals, and most importantly, accomplish them. Through her mentoring and life coaching, Teri’s clients have found personal growth and joy allowing them to improve relationships, decrease stress and anxiety, and move forward in their business and personal life, and more.
Her book, Overcoming The Nevers, will be available in October, 2011. You can learn more about Teri and her book by visiting her personal website Be inspired daily by signing up to receive The Daily KIP…a little nugget of truth she writes at
Teri is social! Meet her on Facebook at and -- you can also find Teri on Twitter

Day 18 of Prayer Guide - Wisdom for Your Soul

Day Eighteen
Wisdom for Your Soul

Proverbs 24:14 Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Priorities claw at the fabric of my soul. In constant conflict, they wrestle for time and attention. As soon as I pick up one activity, another is subject to neglect. In this three-ring circus of preparation is it possible to find time to meet with God?

Disconcerted one, come embrace wisdom for your soul.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To open wide the gates of your soul so wisdom may dwell there.

·         To know the Hope that blossoms from a garden of intimacy.

Today You Pray:

All Knowing One, You see my soul at war. Sift through the sands of my heart and bury the treasure of Your wisdom. Wisdom births future hope with echoes to a long known verse.
You have great plans for my life. Your design features both hope and future. This knowledge quiets the battle. Be the Master Architect of my soul today and leave the imprint of Your sweet touch there.

Day 17 of Prayer Guide - Wisdom for Your Heart

Day Seventeen
Wisdom for Your Heart

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, so we may gain a heart of wisdom.

An unwanted friend, uncertainty lingers in my heart. I wish the label were acquaintance or visitor but friend is the reference for someone invited often to visit. The invitation to hesitation has crippled me. How can I oust worry in favor of confidence?

Troubled one, come grasp wisdom for your heart.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To walk your priorities which garners the freedom of wisdom

·         To acknowledge and cast aside your indecision and embrace Wisdom

Today You Pray:

God of Certainty, I invite You to tread among my hesitation. When we walk in tandem, misgivings flee. My heart flourishes as Your instruction disables my doubt.

As I stand on Your wisdom, I can see over the wall of my indecision. My heart finds peace and rest among Wisdom’s annals.

Day 16 of Prayer Guide - Wisdom

Day Sixteen

Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

When one is having difficulty thinking straight, is applying wisdom even achievable? But I am desperate for it. Decisions abound. My heart aches as options tax my mind.

Troubled one, come transfer wisdom from the Source of all knowledge.

Today I Pray for You:

·    To grab more of Jesus so His wisdom will clutch your heart and mind.

·    That your first reaction asks for wisdom, not makes decisions.

Today You Pray:

Wonderful Counselor, how I need Your insight. The choices I face supersede my ability. My concern wells up and I feel paralyzed; unable to choose.

I’m casting my frailty on Your reason. Your thoughts are not mine. They are higher than mine and unthinkable. I want to know You more intimately today. As I draw tightly to Your side, God-honoring conclusions settle over my clouded mind.

Day 15 of Prayer Guide - Health for Your Body

Day Fifteen
Health for Your Body

1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace will Himself restore you and make you strong.

Damp coals hang from your arms. They slump your shoulders. Even walking seems difficult today. Its label is nervous energy but why would energy make you tired?

Frail one, come gather health for your body.

Today I Pray for You:

·         To drink from the Vine that sustains and strengthens

·         To take one step toward health today

Today You Pray:

Mighty God, I’m falling into Your place of grace today. This is far more than a health club. It is a sanctuary where my temple is restored by its’ Master Designer.

Your strength arrives as a stream of healing. It gently washes my strain to surface Your reservoir of life within. I am renewed.