December Scripture Reading – Day 7

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Join us as we enter into this special season with scripture reading! Less the 3 minutes a day! Set you and your family on the right path: the path of truth!

December 7th

Luke 1:18-25 (ESV)

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Scripture Reading For DECEMBER 7

 

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December Scripture Reading – Day 6

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Join us as we enter into this special season with scripture reading! Less the 3 minutes a day! Set you and your family on the right path: the path of truth!

December 6th

Luke 1:11-17 (ESV)

11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Scripture Reading For DECEMBER 6

 

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December Scripture Reading – Day 5

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Join us as we enter into this special season with scripture reading! Less the 3 minutes a day! Set you and your family on the right path: the path of truth!

December 5th

 

Luke 1:5-10 (ESV)

Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,[a] of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.

Scripture Reading For DECEMBER 5

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December Scripture Reading – Day 4

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Join us as we enter into this special season with scripture reading! Less the 3 minutes a day! Set you and your family on the right path: the path of truth!

December 4th

Jeremiah 33:14-16 (ESV)

The Lord‘s Eternal Covenant with David

14 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

 

Scripture Reading For DECEMBER 4

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Just Do It Scared

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Thank you to Mary Rabe for bringing up some inspiration to the Raising Rices community! I love learning and growing with you! Thank you for opening and sharing where God is taking you! 

Just Do It Scared

By: Mary Rabe

Have you ever gone about your regular routine and had it end up leading to a “milestone moment”? You know, the kind of moment that you look back on later and realize it totally changed you? That happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been attending a fabulous workout/dance class called REFIT that is basically dancing like crazy for an hour and having a blast, followed by an encouraging message and prayer. It’s my favorite workout ever, and something that I’ve done almost every week for about 4 years now. In spite of all of that time, though, and the fact that I’ve learned the dances pretty well, I’d never once wanted to be up on the stage leading a song like the amazing instructors I’ve had do week in and week out. I remember my first REFIT instructors doing a song where they would randomly select people in the crowd to go up on stage and dance, and I would literally flee the room when I knew that was happening. I DID NOT want that kind of attention or pressure! I was content to stay in the back row, hidden in the shadows, enjoying the workout as well as the anonymity.

 

Fast forward a couple of years and now one of my closest friends teaches my REFIT class. I’ve been able to overcome my need to stay in the back row, and actually prefer to be in the front so I can see better (being barely 5 feet tall doesn’t lend itself well to seeing my teachers from behind other people). On this particular night, my friend pulled me aside and told me she had noticed that I knew the dances well, and I had what it takes to lead a song “sometime.” “You know what you’re doing!” she said, “So that means you’re ready to lead a song or two.” I was flattered, of course, especially having it come from someone I admire so much, and I told her “Sure, ok, yeah. I think I could do that now, sometime, as long as I had time to practice beforehand.” Then I let it go, figuring I didn’t need to worry about it for at least another week, when the next class would be. 

Well, halfway into that class, that very night, my friend called me out. “Hey! You know this song. Come up here.” 

 

 

 

“What. NOW?”

I imagine my expression was pretty priceless. I was so not prepared for this. My brain started running a million miles a minute. “DO I know this dance? What IS this song, anyway?!”

I mostly felt blindsided, and didn’t really have time to get truly scared before another friend began physically pushing me toward the stage. So I got up there, heart pounding. And you know what?

I did it.

It scared me to death. I was shaking pretty much the whole time. But I did it.

The girl who would literally run out of the room if there was even a chance of being put in front of others willingly jumped up on the stage and led a REFIT song. It was pretty exhilarating!

 

So, how exactly does one get from that first scenario to the second one? From automatically running away from scary scenarios to jumping in and facing them? I’ve been processing that, and here is what I think.

 

 

1. Having a solid identity in Christ. The main reason I am able to do anything at all that scares me is because of the work God has done in me. I’ve mentioned before about how He has shifted my thinking and brought me to a place of confidence in who He made me to be, and that has taken away so many feelings of self-consciousness and doubt in my abilities. My identity isn’t in what others think about me, how well I can accomplish something, or how silly I end up looking; I am deeply rooted in the security of having God’s “seal of approval”, no matter what, because of the sanctifying work He accomplished on the cross. Knowing that makes even scary things lose their edge, at least a little bit, and makes me willing to take more risks. It isn’t really about me at all; it’s about the work God has done, who He is shaping me to be, and how He empowers me to do what He calls me to.

“…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:10)

 

 

2. Having friends who call me to more and walk with me in it. My awesome friend knew what I was capable of even more than I did in the moment. She believed in me, and she called me out to move forward in who and what God made me to be. At the same time, though, she didn’t just pull me up there and then ditch me to do the best I could on my own. She led the song with me, and even made sure she was following what I did so I at least appeared to know what I was doing! It helped immensely just knowing I had her next to me to look to if I got lost or froze up. All of those sweet ladies in my class also cheered for me and urged me to do this thing, and knowing they were there for me and were “in my corner” made all the difference. Doing scary things is much, much more doable when you have people who love you, tell you they believe in you, and then walk with you in it. 

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 


3. Desiring to grow and not just stagnate in my comfort zone. We had a very wise speaker come to our church one morning and share about how we are all either in our comfort zones, or in what he called “The Growth Zone”. We can go through our lives doing what is comfortable and easy, but we will never grow and mature to become all that God intended. Being in the Growth Zone is often scary, and stretches us far beyond what we would prefer (hence the term “growth”), but it leads to so much good. Steve Clark said, “There is no comfort in the growth zone, but there is no growth in the comfort zone.” and Adam Stanley stated, “Without courage we will simply accumulate a collection of good ideas and regrets.” If I want to lead the best life I can (which I do) then I’m going to have to care more about growing and maturing than being comfortable, and that will often involve doing things that scare me. 

“…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:10-12)

I hope you all know, this story isn’t about me, like I’m suddenly some kind of amazing and fearless miracle of awesome; I guarantee you I will still be scared the next time my friend calls me up on the stage, or I have to talk in front of people, or face some other challenge. Being afraid of certain situations is just part of being human! I know, though, I’ll be able to do it, because God has given me a solid identity, amazing supporters to walk with me, and a desire to grow. He’s provided that to you all, too; so, what scary things are you going to jump in and do now? Let me encourage you to do it; even if you have to do it scared.

 

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December Scripture Reading – Day 3

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Join us as we enter into this special season with scripture reading! Less the 3 minutes a day! Set you and your family on the right path: the path of truth!

December 3rd

Isaiah 11:1-10 (ESV)

The Righteous Reign of the Branch

11 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
    and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
    and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

 

Scripture Reading For DECEMBER 3

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December Scripture Reading – Day 2

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Join us as we enter into this special season with scripture reading! Less the 3 minutes a day! Set you and your family on the right path: the path of truth!

December 2nd

Isaiah 9:2-7  (ESV)

[a] The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
    and the staff for his shoulder,
    the rod of his oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[b] his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called[c]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

 

Scripture Reading For DECEMBER 2

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December Scripture Reading – Day 1

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Join us as we enter into this special season with scripture reading! Less the 3 minutes a day! Set you and your family on the right path: the path of truth!

December 1st

John 1:1-5 (ESV)

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 

 

Scripture Reading For DECEMBER 1

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Behold, I am Doing a New Thing

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Mary Rabe is a great friend of mine and I was so honored she shared this story of inspiration in person with me, I KNEW that the RaisingRices’ community would be encouraged as well! So thank you Mary for your courage and words of wisdom!

 

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This week God taught me another lesson in letting go. That has been my theme for this year, and He’s already taught me so much in this that I was honestly a bit surprised to realize He had even more for me to take in! See, I had made the difficult decision to step down as a small group leader in the mom’s group of the church I used to attend. This was the last “tie” I had to that church, the last thing I was involved with, so it was a decision I did not enter lightly and that brought up a lot of emotions.

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I have truly loved that church. I attended it for well over a decade, and it was part of so many major milestones in my life, from taking on my parents’ faith as my own in high school, to my first years as a wife, to becoming a mommy. With all that, of course it wasn’t an easy choice to leave in the first place, but knowing I would still have a small part of it through this ministry helped the transition. So when I knew God was telling me that I needed to cut even that out to lessen my load in this chaotic season, I felt very anxious. I didn’t want to let people down. I didn’t want to lose relationships I had built there. I didn’t want to let go of a place and people that had meant so much. Still, I knew something had to give, so I let the leader know I needed to step down and that the next meeting would be my last one.
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The “big day” came, and I was so emotional. I was dismayed to realize I was out of place there, and felt like I no longer belonged; I was worried about “losing it” in front of everyone at my table; I felt guilty for letting the leadership and my sweet little group of ladies down…I was a mess. When the break time came, I still hadn’t officially let my ladies know I was leaving because I was so close to tears and couldn’t think of the words to say. I made a hasty retreat to the restroom where I was hopeful I could pull myself together more, and that was where I ran into an old family friend. This dear lady has known me just about the whole time I had attended that church, and is friends with my parents. She asked me about how things were at my new church, and about life in general, and for whatever reason I just couldn’t hold in the emotions anymore. As I tried to talk, the tears just started pouring out. “I’m sorry,” I blubbered, “I’m just so emotional today. It’s my last day here. It’s just really hard.” My sweet friend was so understanding. She gave me a big hug and said, “That’s really hard, I know.” Then she asked if she could pray for me, and her prayer suddenly helped me understand the “big picture” of what was going on in my heart. She talked about how hard it was and how painful it felt to have “one foot in the old and one foot in the new”, and she asked God to help me step out of the past things, to let go of them, and to have both feet firmly planted in the new things He had for me. This wasn’t just about feeling guilty for letting people down, or facing the sadness of not seeing old friends as much; this was God calling me to let go of something that had been so, so good in my life and to fully embrace the new He wanted for me in this new season. It was scary. It was painful. No wonder my emotions were all over the place!
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This wise woman’s prayer, though, gave me so much peace. I knew I had made the right decision, and that now all I had left to do was to “end well”, say my goodbyes, and step into the new things He had in store. I finished the morning with much more clarity and peace; it was still hard, and still very emotional, but there was something very reassuring about knowing I was doing what God wanted me to do, and I had hope for the new things He wants for me.

Maybe you are in a place where God is asking you to let go of something that has been such a good thing in your life, but is no longer His will for you. It could be a relationship, a job, a house, a ministry…there are a myriad of “good” things that could turn out to just not be His “best” for this season. It’s hard to sort through those things in our mind, trying to decide which good things to cut out in order to make room for the best, and it’s only made harder when those things have built-in memories and have been with us for a long time. I believe, though, that it is only when we willingly surrender those things, and release our grip on them, that we are able to fully take hold of the new thing God wants for us. God doesn’t want us to hold onto past goodness with one hand and His new plans and blessings with the other; He wants us to drop the past and wrap both arms around His new plans, fully embracing them with complete surrender and trust.


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This doesn’t mean that we completely cut out everything from the past like it never happened, of course. We still treasure lessons, relationships, and blessings from the past, but we don’t let them hold us back from the new things God has in store. So, Friends, I know it’s hard to move on; I know saying goodbye is so painful; and I know moving ahead is scary. But let’s do this thing. Let’s trust that when God says it’s time to let go, it’s for the best, and it’s only in order to fill our now-empty hands with something just as wonderful–maybe even more so. Think about it: those things we are struggling to let go of now that have been so good were once the “new things” we felt uncertain about grasping! How could the new thing God is doing possibly be anything less than excellent?! I’ve only gotten glimpses of some of the “new” God has for me in this new step of letting go, and I am already so overwhelmed by His grace, mercy, and love in all of it; I can’t wait to see what else He does.

By: Mary Rabe

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Declare Truth Over Your Labor!

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One amazing advice I was given in the book Redeeming Childbirth by Angie Toplin, was the encouragement to bring GOD into your birth! I read this book with my first birth and one of the things that stuck out to me the MOST was she said, “Birth is one of the times we get to PARTNER with GOD to bring LIFE into the WORLD!” Wow! Let that sink in for a moment, we are partnering with GOD, together, to bring this beautiful baby into the world!

There are many ways to bring GOD into your birth, but today I would LOVE to talk about the one of the ways that HELPED me the most at the end of pregnancy and during LABOR!

WORDS OF TRUTH!!!! I created posters and POSTED them ALL over my house and laboring room. I seriously, read these words of TRUTH for weeks prior to delivery. When I started reading them, truthfully, I felt like I was going through the motions and wasn’t even believing what I was saying. BUT, there is something POWERFUL about speaking OUT LOUD the truth of GOD’s WORD!

If you don’t believe me, I would encourage you to test this theory! I have provided 30 of the posters that meant the most to me below. Print them out! Recite them, every time you walk by. Look up the scripture verses that accompany them, and build yourself up in the image of Christ, FOR HE HAS CREATED YOU! HE has formed YOU in YOUR mothers womb for such a time as this! 

(There are truths with scripture, there are also some mottos to tell yourself during times of trials in the end of pregnancy and labor) 

DOWNLOAD HERE: Words of Truth in Labor 

Here are some samples of what we used, and what can be downloaded!

 

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Podcast Episode #32 – Love Languages – Part 3 Acts of Service

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Today we are diving into Part 3 of our discussion of the 5 Love Languages and looking into ACTS of SERVICE! Listen in, I think you will be encouraged!

Marissa Rice #32

LISTEN HERE: 

 

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Look What We Did!

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Who remembers their first car? I do! My first adult car was this super cute Toyota Camry! I was in love! I felt such like an adult! I remembering driving it to my adult job, with my leather heated seats, and automatic windows. Fast forward several years and I was expecting baby number 3, and I could feel that my fabulous teal-green, 4 door Toyota Camry was hitting the end of an era in our family.

After much thought and prayer, my husband and I decided it was time for the much sought after soccer mom van. So we found our next 4-wheeled baby, an Honda Odyssey Van! Transformed our LIVES! We had room for strollers, carseats, diaper bags and more! I drove this van with such amazement at all the precious things and cargo I could fit it in! Soon came baby #4 and it was an easy addition into our van, there was plenty of seats …. so we thought.

Then God blessed us with baby #5 … and you guessed it we began to pray and put much thought into what our next plan would be.

I have this vivid memory of driving home from our last campout, a week long adventure with our 2 Large dogs, 4 growing children, lovely “SWELL” pregnant mama, and hardworking husband. As we are pulling out, Darren looks to me and says, “We aren’t all going to fit next year.” I knew at that moment the Honda Odyssey’s era was coming to an end.

BUT WHAT DO YOU DO NEXT WHEN YOU HAVE A VAN? IS THERE BIGGER?

So my husband in his passionate, researching self went to the drawing boards and starting looking at all the options. Me – I was still processing that there is something that exists that is BIGGER. Darren found the next van of his dreams and me being the supportive wife then turned around and made a Pinterest board on it (hahahaha). There was a lot of dream features he would share and I needed to wrap my head around this new transportation.

With big decisions we try our best to be patient, prayerful and wait on the timing of the Lord. We thought the big day had arrived for us and that it was TIME. So Darren started communication with the seller of our hopefully-soon-to-be NEW VAN. Over email he in writing had an amazing deal worked out! (Almost a too-good-to-be true deal). Darren informed the seller we would be there to come test drive and buy the van the following day.

The next day arrived and we loaded our 4 children, swell mamma, and excited husband into our Honda Odyssey and drove 2 hours away to the location of the NEW VAN. We arrived with excitement, all to hear the van was not at that dealership, and that they “couldn’t find it.” UGH! Really! So we left numbers to be called when they had found it or discovered they had sold it without knowing.

A few days later, Darren received a call saying that they had most likely sold it. (What does most likely even mean, like you did or your didn’t right? Oh goodness!) So, we removed that NEW VAN from our mind and went back to praying and waiting.

A few months after Darren was researching this VAN again and was looking online for one that would work for our family again. He called me over to the computer by saying, “You will NOT believe what I see!” As I approached I saw with him that we were looking at the SAME SOLD, NOT-SO-SOLD, CAN’T-FIND VAN! WHAT!!! It was there on the screen, but priced for $6,000 MORE then the price Darren had worked out with the dealership!

With caution, we decided to make contact again to pursue this NEW VAN. We worked out to come test drive the NEW VAN, knowing if we arrived and it was actually there we would buy it on the spot, email in hand (proof of original price deal worked out).

For the second time we loaded up our 4 children, more swelled mama, and motivated husband into the Honda Odyssey. We prayed as we drove the 2 hours away to view the NEW VAN. Even, my grandparents who had heard the story and lived close by the dealership came with.

We entered, We Saw, We Bought (at the promised price) our NEW VAN! 

Before:

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AFTER:

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We bought a NV3500. Which seats 12, has a towing package, leather seat warming features, truck feel, huge storage space MONSTER OF A VAN!

 

 

 (Pictures of Vans like ours, still too new to have our own pictures)

 

So this begs the questions, out of the 12 seats we are only occupying 7 of them …. that leaves room for 5 more right?! 😉 (wink – wink)

 

The jury is still out on a name, we need your help! We have so far been calling it our “school bus,” my oldest is so confused then why it is not yellow hahah! Let us know what you think in the comments! We need your creative juices!

 

 

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