He Gives Back to Us

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.  2 Corinthians 9:8 NASB

I remember the day I was supposed to meet Alice for lunch. I didn’t want to go. It had nothing to do with Alice. I just felt I was running on empty, I didn’t have much time, and I didn’t have much to give.

Alice didn’t have a problem she wanted me to fix, or any type of issue with which she wanted me to help. She simply wanted to meet a friend for lunch. As we sat there and talked, I learned a lot about her that day. And I learned a lot about myself. We talked about raising daughters, and how we each were raised. We expressed an appreciation for how God works in our lives. I shared with her some encouragement from Scripture and then prayed with her, asking God to give her wisdom and discernment as a parent. Then she prayed for me.

I left that lunch feeling grateful that I had met with Alice. I felt rejuvenated, refreshed, and refueled for the day. What had happened?

God works in ways we sometimes don’t anticipate. I’ve noticed that when I have little left to give, but I show up anyway, God makes sure I’m blessed just for showing up. Sometimes God has a way of either filling me with the same energy I just infused into someone else, or He causes me to be encouraged by the person whom I thought I was going to encourage. I went to lunch that day expecting to pour myself into Alice, but she poured herself into me instead.

It must have something to do with the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The golden outcome of that, I believe, is that as we “do unto others” (in this case, provide encouragement, just as we’d want to be encouraged), God makes sure that encouragement comes back around to us. Sometimes God repays us through the kindness and encouragement of others. Whatever the case, I’ve found, most unexpectedly, that God often infuses energy into my life when I’m simply obedient and do what I know He wants me to do.

What goes around comes around in the name of Jesus. Second Corinthians 9:8 tells us: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Lord, help me to be open to the divine appointments You send my way, not just so I can fill others, but so that You, through others, can fill me.

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He Gives Back to Us – encouragement from @CindyMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer, national speaker, and certified writing coach who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of several books including When Women Long for Rest, When You’re Running on Empty, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

What Readers are Saying about Drama FreeIt was a book I didn’t want to put down. It was packed with Scripture, biblical truth, and helpful resources on how to diffuse drama that we all face in life.

Join the conversation: What life-supplying encouragement has God sent to you lately?

 

 

 

God’s Gift of Power

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  John 10:10, ESV

This morning I found myself focusing on what I don’t have.

I hate it when I do that.

I have been given so much. A roof over my head. A family that I adore. A job that I love. Yet it is in my human (sinful) nature to focus on what I don’t have, rather than to count my blessings.

Do you ever do that? Do you ever start thinking about an opportunity that hasn’t come your way, places you haven’t visited because you don’t have the money, a certain measure of success you haven’t yet attained, or a relationship or position in life you don’t yet have?

Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, ESV).

You and I do have life in abundance when we focus on what God has given us – gifts in the spiritual realm that can help us through the physical realm. One of those gifts is His incredible power.

Scripture says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV). That means we have His Spirit to help us be bold when we would otherwise be fearful or timid, to help us love unconditionally when we otherwise could not, and to help us exert self-control.

And on days you and I feel especially weak, 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that Christ’s power is perfected in weakness.

Do you know why you and I tend to worry and stress? We forget God’s power. Do you know why we give up when we could otherwise succeed? We forget He is capable. Do you know why we shrink back when we could be moving forward?  We forget He can do all things.

Why else would we start in with our “what ifs?”

What if I can’t get this done?

What if this bill is not something I can pay?

What if we can’t work through this situation?

Approach this day remembering you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). Tackle any project that comes your way knowing God is able to do through you what is beyond you. And remember all that you do have today because you have His power. It is there for the asking.

Lord, thank You for giving me the power that resides in You. Thank You, too, that I am never left to my own devices, but I can call upon You at any time.

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God’s Gift of Power – insight from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of several books including When Women Walk Alone (more than 145,000 copies sold), God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Join the conversation: Have you experienced the power of God when facing a challenge?

 

He’s Always Been There

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

Do you know what it’s like to have the perfect friend?

Chances are, you would say your best friend is someone who has shared your past, shared a meaningful experience with you, or just someone who has “been there” for you.

Jesus is One who has always “been there” for me throughout my life.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Jesus as a young child. So, I remember Him being there—as my best friend—on the first day of kindergarten when I would’ve otherwise felt lost and alone. I remember Him giving me courage when I started to be afraid after accidentally locking myself in my grandmother’s bathroom at the age of seven. I remember His powerful presence by my bed, where I lay for three weeks with scarlet fever at the age of nine.

My Best Friend was still by my side to comfort me when I, as a teenager, learned of my grandmother’s death in a car accident and helped my mother deal with the loss.

During my adult years, Jesus ministered to me every morning when I was on my knees praying for my brother’s safety as a soldier on the front lines of a ground war in the Middle East. When no one else knew what to say to give me strength and faith during that time, God’s words (in His Word) were there every morning, every evening, holding me up, keeping me strong and hopeful.

And Jesus stayed with me – when I would have otherwise been alone – for three days in the cancer ward of a children’s hospital as I watched my 18-month-old daughter undergo a series of tests to determine if she had cancer or leukemia. He listened to my questions, understood my anxiety, filled me with His peace, embraced me in His arms, and held my hand during the night when I couldn’t sleep.

From fearful days as a child to uncertain times as a parent, I’ve never seen the Lord let me down. He was always there to comfort me when no one else was. He rushed to my side when no one else could. He knew what to say when no one else did. That is a true friend.

Proverbs 18:24 (HCSB) says, “A man with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 HCSB). That’s the kind of friend Jesus has been. He has proved Himself to me over and over again.

Lord, thank You for being the Perfect Friend who sticks closer to me than anyone else, and who has always been there for me and always will.

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He’s Always Been There – insight from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

What Readers are Saying about Drama Free: It was a book I didn’t want to put down. It was packed with Scripture, biblical truth, and helpful resources on how to diffuse drama that we all face in life.

Join the conversation: How has Jesus proved Himself to be a faithful friend to you in the past?

Am I Doing Enough for God?

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

A mother of three young children, who works part-time, recently told me: “I sometimes feel guilty that I’m not doing enough for God.”

Have you ever found yourself saying that?

We live in a world focused on doing to the point of making busyness our badge of success. Multi-tasking in the church is what appears to others—and ourselves—as ultra-spiritual. But while a relationship with the Living God produces a desire to obey and serve Him, that service results in joy and rest, not perpetual stress!

I shared with that precious mom that her ministry was her husband and the three little lives she shaped and influenced on a daily basis. I also shared that God wanted a relationship, not a work record from her.

I believe God would rather have us be with Him than do a bunch of things for Him. We can see that desire in Jesus’ response to a man who asked about the greatest of all the commandments. Jesus’ answer was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37 NIV).

God is focused on relationship. We tend to be focused on activity. He is the One who tells us to “be still” (Psalm 46:10) and to come to Him and rest (Matthew 11:28). We are the ones who are striving to do more.

Yet, as we spend time cultivating a love relationship with God, we will know how to serve others well. But it will never be at the expense of overlooking our primary responsibilities (our families and those God has placed in our care) or feeling over-extended.

If you are a mom with young children, or a woman who works full time, or someone who has her hands full (and who doesn’t these days?), rest in the truth that as you grow in your love for God, your labor will naturally follow. As you sit at His feet, He will eventually call you to get up and serve Him. And as you are growing in your love relationship with Him, you will learn how to discern the difference between His loving voice and the voice of your own guilt telling you to do more.

Lord, help me to remember that Your greatest requirement of me is to love You before anyone and anything else.

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Am I Doing Enough for God? insight from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), When You’re Running on Empty, When Women Long for Rest, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources Cindi McMenamin Long for Rest book cover (1)to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Join the conversation: Do you struggle with guilt about not doing enough for God?

Kicking Out Worry

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27 NIV

Is worry the unwelcome guest in your home?

Worry can stress you out, damage your family relationships, and ultimately give you an ulcer.

And the dangerous thing about worry is that it creeps into our lives gradually and makes its home with us before we notice it’s there. It usually enters our front door in the form of two words: What if?

What if I lose my job?

What if I can’t pay this?

What if it’s not benign?

What if my worst fear is realized?

But you don’t have to live with worry anymore. At the root of our “what if” questions and greatest fears is what you and I really believe about God’s character. When our minds play through the various what ifs, the question we are really asking is “What if God isn’t able?” “What if God isn’t good?” “What if God can’t handle this?”

And that is not an attitude, question, or mindset I want dwelling in my home. And I don’t think you do either.

So, it’s time to kick it out the door.

God’s Word tells us: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 CSB).

As you and I give God all of our what ifs and worries He can calm our hearts and remind us that He is in absolute control. Then His peace comes to dwell with us, instead of those fearful thoughts.

When you and I trust God with what is closest to our hearts, we are saying “You, God, are capable. You are trustworthy. And all my worries and what ifs are in vain.”

We are also saying to those around us: “I trust God will work this out in your life and mine,” modeling trust and faith before them.

Give God your concerns today and by doing so, you’ll be kicking worry out of your home and welcoming a new family member: trust.

Lord, my worry factor is directly related to how well I know You. When I truly know You and understand all that You are capable of, I can’t help but trust You. Grow my faith and my relationship with You so I can know You intimately.  There is no more room for worry in my life. Only trust.

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Kicking Out Worry – encouragement from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books. For more on her books and ministry, or to see if her coaching services can help you write your next book, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Every mom is concerned about her children and teenagers. But when does legitimate care cross the line into fear and worry, which Scripture commands us to avoid? 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom will start you on the path to worry-free parenting and a positive relationship between you and your kids.

Join the conversation: What characteristic about God is most helpful to you when you start to worry?

I Don’t Do Drama!

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I’ve often found myself saying– or thinking–  I don’t do drama.

Yet, as much as I’d like to shut the chaos, confusion, and cattiness out of my life and convince myself I don’t do drama, it has a way of creeping into my life anyway.

Recently, the drama was a complete downstairs remodel of my family’s kitchen and living room as a result of a repaired water leak under our kitchen slab. There was plastic sheeting all over. Dust was everywhere, too. Our cat, Mowgli, was crawling into – and getting stuck inside – holes in our drywall! Nothing was where it should be. It had the potential to make me crazy!

Drama happens when unexpected circumstances hit, and we are unprepared to handle them. But a concept I had to keep in mind was that the drama in my living room was not unexpected to God. And He was perfectly prepared and able to handle it.

As I took my household drama to God, He laid upon my heart, once again, that it did not take Him by surprise, that He was in control, and that I could get through the drama as I trusted Him in the midst of it.

Every circumstance you and I encounter is meant to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).  Once you and I consider this, we can relax and realize God knows what He’s doing in whatever He’s allowing. And we can focus on passing the test, rather than failing it through unnecessary drama.

Just as I was practicing trusting Him, in spite of the mess in my house, I learned we would get a complete downstairs remodel for just the cost of our insurance deductible. Before long, we received a brand new kitchen and living room floor, a new paint job, and even nice new granite counter tops to replace the old, worn out tile and grout   We never could’ve afforded a remodel had we not experienced a water leak under our kitchen slab. God knew what He was doing in the midst of the drama. And He often gives us more than we expect when we simply trust Him.

Lord, why would I ever doubt You when You know the plans You have for me – plans to prosper me and not harm me, to give me a future and a hope? Thank You for being in control of all that happens and having a better plan for me– every time.   

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I Don’t Do Drama! Insight on #FollowingGod from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You, upon which this devotional is based.  For more on her books and ministry, or to see if her coaching services can help you write your next book, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Join the conversation: When was your last encounter with drama?

Got Stress?

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8).

What stresses you out?

Knowing there’s a misunderstanding that you’re not able to clear up?

Wondering about something that hasn’t yet happened?

Hearing a half-truth that was said about you and not being able to defend yourself?

Looking at your finances and trying to figure out how to make it all work?

Stress is clearly a result of worrying about what might be, dwelling on something that isn’t true, or being anxious about something we can’t change. And God doesn’t want you to stress. Stress and anxiety sends a message to Him and everyone else that He is not capable.

You and I don’t consciously think that, nor would we actually say that to others, but our actions display it every time we wring our hands, pull out our hair, or need to leave the room to let off steam.

In Philippians 4:8, we are told to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. That means we are not to dwell on what hasn’t yet happened, the worst of what might happen, or what we’ll do if something doesn’t happen.

We are to live in the here and now and experience Christ’s peace in it. Not in the what ifs of tomorrow and worry about what we can’t control.

In Philippians 1:27, followers of Christ are instructed to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” regardless of your circumstances. In fact, in the New International Version that verse is preceded by the words “whatever happens.”

Whatever arrives in the mail. Whatever is said to you at work, whether you deserved it or not. Whatever your bank account says. Whatever comes your way in any given day, you and I are to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.

The Gospel of Christ proclaims that Jesus is capable. Our stress says He’s not.

Whatever happens, whatever comes to your mind to cause you to worry, whatever stresses you out, live a life worthy of Christ by dwelling on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, and lovely. As you do, you’ll experience God’s peace, not worry and stress.

Lord, when I begin to fear, worry or stress, help me to say aloud the word “whatever” – knowing that whatever happens, You are in absolute control.

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Got Stress? – Thoughts on God’s Peace from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and ministry, or to see if her coaching services can help you write your next book, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Cindi’s book, Women on the Edge: Turning Desperate Times into Desire for God, (upon which this devotional is based), offers wonderful encouragement to women longing for a change, for a new direction, or ways to make a difference. Frustration can drive us away from God…or toward Him. Cindi helps women turn their negative longings into positive ones, as they pursue God in exciting new ways.

Join the conversation: What stresses you out the most?

 

 

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Completely Known

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord.  Psalm 139:4 CSB

I’ve heard some women say their husbands can look at them and know exactly what they’re thinking.

I envy them. To have a mind-reader husband would be quite nice.

But for most of us, no one knows what we’re thinking and feeling, until we try to express it in words, which often don’t come out quite right.

I remember the day I really understood that the Lord can enter the private area of my mind and heart – the part no one else can see – and knows exactly what I’m thinking and feeling. What a relief to be assured that I was truly known by the One who designed me and wants to be in relationship with me.

David, the psalmist, prayed, “Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3). David goes on to say that even before he speaks, the Lord knows what he is going to say. That is intimate knowledge – so intimate that David admits it is too wonderful for him to understand.

As a child, I always expected my mom to know what I was thinking, to know when to come in my room and comfort me when I was upset. And when she didn’t, I became angry. I can tend to do the same thing to my husband today. So many times, I want him to talk with me, so I leave clues that are, in my opinion, obvious. But my husband often has other things on his mind and doesn’t pick up on my “hints.” That tends to annoy me and make me feel I’m not important enough for him to study and try to figure out.

God doesn’t need the hints, though. He already knows the condition of my heart and mind. And because He knows my thoughts, He understands me in a way no one else ever could. Better than a mother. Better than a husband. Better than a best friend. He knows me, literally, more than I even know myself. And with all that intimate knowledge, He still loves me and accepts me. Now that’s unconditional, unfathomable love.

Lord, thank You that I am completely known and, in addition to knowing all about me, You loving me more intimately than anyone else ever could. Help me to keep You first in my heart today.

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Completely Known – thoughts on #GodsLove from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling titles When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold) and When God Sees Your Tears. For more on her books and resources to improve your walk with God, your marriage, or your parenting, or for a free consultation to see if she can help you cindi mcmenamin God's Whispers to a Woman's Heartwrite your book, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Do you long to hear God’s whispers on your heart? “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Do you want to know His thoughts of you, His plans for you, His comfort and His presence? Then Cindi’s book, God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart is for you!

Join the conversation: How does knowing you are completely known (and  unconditionally loved) make a difference in your life?

Do You Have a Right-Hand Man?

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.                                                                                                                   Psalm 16:8, NASB

I sat down on the floor of my office and cried. My inner circle around me was falling apart. And I felt so alone.

My assistant in ministry and close friend for the past two years had just informed me that she had to step down from her position in order to take care of priorities at home. I understood her reasons. I wanted to be supportive. But all I could think about was losing her. She would no longer be there to help me. No longer be there to be my sounding board, my prayer support, my “other half” in a very real sense.

I felt like I was losing my right hand.

Hours earlier, I had spoken to a large group of women about the seasons of our lives in which we need to be pruned. I talked about how rose bushes need to be pruned. They look choppy after the pruning, but come spring, the roses come back brighter and more beautiful than ever before.

But here I was, being pruned in my own life, and feeling like I was losing my right hand!

“God, this doesn’t feel like pruning,” I prayed. “This feels like my right hand is being chopped off!”

Desperate for His presence and His comfort, I turned to the Psalms. I read Psalm 16 aloud and stopped suddenly at verse 8.

“…because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

“Lord,” I prayed, “I’m complaining that I’ve lost my right hand, but You are the One who is truly at my right hand. You are the One who helps me, counsels me, encourages me. You are the One who never leaves my side.

“Oh God, I’m so sorry I didn’t see it before. You truly are my Right-hand Man.”

As I read through the rest of the Psalm, I smiled at how it ended: “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (verse 11, NASB emphasis added).

God was telling me in my moment of fear and anxiety that not only was I never alone, but I never would be. And with my God at my right hand, there is abundant joy in His presence and pleasures forever. He was making it clear to me that there’s no one else I would rather have at my right hand.

I got up off the floor, walked out of the room with my Bible in one hand, my head held high, and my Right-hand Man at my side.

Thank You, Lord, for the reminder in Your Word that I never walk alone. You are always at my side.

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Do You Have a Right-Hand Man? – insight from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books including her best-selling titles When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), When God Sees Your Tears, and God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart. For more on her books and resources to improve your walk with God, your marriage, or your parenting, or for a free consultation to see if she can help you write your book, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Do You Long to Hear God’s Whispers on Your Heart? “You willcindi mcmenamin God's Whispers to a Woman's Heart seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Do you want to know His thoughts of you, His plans for you, His comfort and His presence? Get Cindi’s book, God Whispers to a Woman’s Heart.

Join the conversation: Pruning can be an uncomfortable process. Have you ever felt the Lord was pruning you? Did a time of growth follow?

Storing Up Treasure

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ” Matthew 6:21, NIV

I’ve been a collecting addict for as long as I can remember. At age five, it was Raggedy Ann dolls. Then it was cat figurines. By the time I was 10, I was collecting just about anything I came across: polished rocks, stamps, marbles, postcards, even bubble-gum wrapper comics!

But once I became an adult, I limited my collection to Cinderella. Dolls, ornaments, figurines, and snow globes take up every bit of space in two seven-foot-high curio cabinets in my bedroom. They remind me that I married a prince, and that my dreams and wishes have come true. And because most of them have been gifts, they also remind me of people who love me.

But I remember the day they also started interfering with my heart.

It was the middle of the night when I awoke from an earthquake jolt. I jumped out of bed and ran to one of the curio cabinets. With feet apart and both hands out in front of me, I prepared to brace my body against the 150-pound cabinet to keep it from falling over should the shaking increase. As the house stilled, I remembered my then six-year-old daughter, who was sleeping soundly under a shelf that could have toppled onto her! And I thought of my husband, who was still dreaming beneath a large picture frame that now hung crooked. And there I was protecting Cinderella! My concern for my collection had outweighed my concern for my own family. My “treasure” had gotten out of hand.

Jesus said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV).

I’ve realized through the years that it is freeing to not have to worry that an earthquake or fire or robbery would destroy my treasures. So, I’ve tried to focus my collection on what is more eternal: Scripture verses I’ve memorized through the years, people with whom I’ve shared the gospel, young women whom I’ve discipled, children I’ve loved and cared for, widows I’ve “adopted” as grandmas, and smiles from others that I’ve had the opportunity to encourage.

It’s never too late to start collecting the few things that really matter in this life and the life to come.

Lord, help me to want more of You and nothing else. Please give me Your heart to love people more than possessions so I will live wisely and invest in what is eternal.

TWEETABLE
Storing Up Treasure – insight from @CindyMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books including When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), When God Sees Your Tears, and When Women Long for Rest, upon which this devotional is based. For more on her books and ministry, or for free resources to strengthen your marriage, parenting, or walk with God, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

What readers are saying about When Women Long for Rest: “When Women Long for Rest Cindi McMenamin Long for Rest book cover (1)beckoned to me like an overstuffed chair. It is well written, and every woman will relate to at least one example listed. The exercises are simple, yet highly effective.”

Join the conversation: What are the most precious things you have collected?