Five Ways to Boost Your Confidence
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How many times have you said no to something simply because you lacked the confidence to do it? Granted, we don’t need to say yes to every crazy opportunity that presents itself, but there are times when we ought to step forward and have a little faith in our own abilities. In fact, that’s what the word confidence means – with faith. So how do we increase our belief in our own abilities? Let’s consider five ways:

Try New Things – You never know until you try. Your belief in yourself grows when you try something new and grow from the experience. Don’t be afraid of mistakes – they happen. What is important is that you step forward in courage and face the fear of the unknown.

Grow from Every Blunder – Instead of beating yourself up and thinking of yourself as a failure, use every mistake as a growth opportunity. Allow errors to make you smarter and stronger. Most success stories are built on the foundation of lessons learned from mistakes.

Build on Your Strengths – What are you good at? Take stock of the things you do well and continue to strengthen those areas of your life. As we learn, grow and build in our areas of giftedness, we continue to get better and better at what we do and of course our self-confidence grows as a result.

Manage Around Your Weaknesses – Just as each of us have areas of strength, we also have a few weak spots. Don’t let them get you down, rather learn to work around them. Figure out ways to delegate or get the help you need so that your limitations don’t stifle you or impair you from doing what you do best.

Stop Comparing with Others – It never helps to think of yourself in relation to other people. Comparisons only breed pride or poor self-esteem. Look your best and be your best. Be thankful for your unique gifts and talents and use them to serve and help others.

Ultimately our confidence is built on a belief system. If we believe that a loving God designed us, formed us and created us for a purpose, then we can walk in confidence knowing that He has a plan for our lives. We can also have the assurance that we do not walk alone. His Spirit leads us and guides us each step of the way as we look to Him for wisdom, strength and hope.

Where do you lack confidence? Ask God to help you face your fears. And remember, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

The Beauty of God’s Love
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“God does not love us because we are valuable,

but we are valuable because God loves us.”  Martin Luther

The Lord did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations!  It was simply because the Lord loves you, and because he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors.  That is why the Lord rescued you with such amazing power from your slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt.  Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God.  He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands. Deuteronomy 7:7 -9

What a beautiful love note to God’s people.  He lavishes his love on us, not because we have achieved any great status or because we are the most efficient mom in the world.  No, he loves us because we are his people, adopted into his family through faith in Christ.  He is faithful to keep his covenant and constantly loves those who love him.  Aren’t you blessed to know that the powerful God of all creation, faithfully loves you and me?

As believers in Christ, we are his treasured possession, and He lavishes his goodness and grace upon us.  On days when you feel less than lovely because you’ve yelled at the kids or become overwhelmed with activities, remember that God’s love is faithful and abundant. It is not based on your performance, but on His grace.   Feel His warm embrace and know that you are completely loved by him, and you can not step out of that love.  When we relish his love toward us, we can more easily pour that love out on others.

 

Loving and Faithful Heavenly Father, I praise you for your redeeming love and mercy.  Praise you that you are the High King of Heaven and yet you want to have a relationship with me.  Thank you for being faithful and kind.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family.  I love you.  Help me to share your love with others. In Jesus Name, Amen.

This is an excerpt from The Power of a Positive Mom Devotional

Photo by Srushti Patel on Unsplash

Living with Courage
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God is in the courage-giving business. Throughout the Bible we hear the call again and again, “Fear not for I am with you.” God’s message is one of faith and courage, not fear and trembling. From Abraham, to Joshua, to Mary to the shepherds in the field, God has been proclaiming to the generations, “Do not be afraid.”

In the Psalms we are reminded, “Even when I walk through the darkest valleys, I will not be afraid for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” There is comfort in knowing we are not alone, that God is close beside us through our difficulties. What a reassurance comes when we remember God’s voice saying, “I am with you.”

I’m reminded of the encouragement God gave Joshua as he took over the leadership of the Israelites,

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

God wanted Joshua to continually meditate on His commands and to walk in courage. The Israelite leader had to face many difficult battles, but God gave him what he needed for each battle. God doesn’t want us to live in the discouragement of fear, but rather the courage of knowing He is with us.

Powerful Truth

We can replace our fears with faith in God and with seeking His wisdom and direction.

 

Plan of Action

  • Recognize the fears that lurk in your life.
  • Seek God’s direction and help.
  • Praise and thank God in the midst of your worries and fears.
  • Remember the battle is the Lord’s.
  • Do not be discouraged and do not give into despair.
  • Ask for His peace that passes all understanding.
  • Walk forward with wisdom, patience and faith.

This blog is an excerpt from Positive Life Principles for Women

Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash

Conversations of the Mind
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What does your self-talk sound like?  Isn’t it amazing how easily self-defeating talk can dominate our thought-life?  Just as it is important to steer clear of hurtful or corrupt communication in our conversations with others, we must also guard against it in our conversations with ourselves. In His second letter to the Corinthians Paul wrote, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

 

We need to recognize negative and unkind self-talk and replace it with truth – God’s truth.   We would never dream of speaking to other people the way we speak to ourselves sometimes.  I want you to begin identifying some of the unkind (and usually untrue) things you are saying to yourself.  Our first step toward fighting the enemy is to recognize it. Often we grow accustomed to saying cruel things to ourselves, that we don’t even recognize the destructive thoughts.

 

The Bible tells us that Satan is an accuser and destroyer.  God’s Spirit offers living water to refresh our souls with a message of His gracious love. This week, let’s begin to recognize some of the self talk we are doing.  Let’s ask God to fill our minds with truth and get rid of mud-slinging.  Next week we will look at a practical approach to changing some of our defeating self-talk into truth talk and a reassurance of God’s mercy and love.

 

Talk with your kids this week about some of the self-talk they may do.  Talk about healthy words we can tell ourselves and compare them to some of the damaging words we can tend to say at times.  You may want to give them a visual picture by setting some healthy food on one side of the kitchen table and a bowl of mud on the other.  Ask them which one would be good for them to eat and benefit their body.  Then tell them our self-talk can nourish our soul or damage it. Just as we do not want to sling mud and hurt others, we also don’t want to sling mud on ourselves in the form of discouraging thoughts.

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

The Power of Reconciliation
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We all have different ways of viewing life, from values to politics to religion to simply how to raise our kids. Sadly, these differences often lead to disagreements, misunderstandings and broken relationships. This week, I want to focus on the joy of restoration and the power of reconciliation both with people and with God.

If you have ever experienced a shattered friendship, family relationship or even a business partnership, then you know the deep pain it can instill. It often makes us question our own self-worth or value. It can also stir up anger, blame and unforgiveness toward those who have hurt us. Yet, when understanding and forgiveness override our disputes and divisions, we invite love and restoration to heal our wounds.

Although forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing, they are related. Forgiveness is an inward action as we choose to release the right to hold something over another person. Reconciliation, on the other hand, means to settle a quarrel or bring things back into harmony. Forgiveness is an essential element in working toward reconciliation.

Isn’t that the essence of Easter? The broken relationship between Holy God and sinful man was restored through Jesus death on the cross and resurrection. His sacrifice provided forgiveness and reconciliation for all who place their trust in Him. This is the joy of Easter! This is what we celebrate!

If God went to such great lengths to reconcile us to Himself, shouldn’t we also make an effort to reconcile our differences with others?

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