Just Pray?

I shared this on Facebook and decided to share it on here as well. I have talked before about how prayer as a solution is being rejected by the world and how sadly, many churches are adopting this mentality. For these people, Prayer Is Not Enough! However, I will say it until my dying breath… Yes it is! Yes HE is!

My status reads as follows:

I am really sad about the recent suicides that have made headlines over the past week. People who appeared to have it all ending their lives. Mental illness runs in my family, so this cause is especially near and dear to my heart.

I am heartbroken by the way the Church has responded in light of these events. I don’t know when prayer became about being “politically correct”. When did it become taboo to tell someone suffering from mental illness to pray? I don’t know if I’m just naive, but I still believe that there is nothing impossible for God! Yes, I understand that mental illness is like being diabetic or having another physical ailment, and that you’re going to need some kind of treatment. I myself have been in therapy. Sometimes you’re going to need that and/or sometimes you’re going to need medication, but at ALL TIMES you’re going to need prayer. I don’t know why it’s not okay for the Church to say that anymore.

The Bible says: “is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” I believe that God still heals! And he doesn’t just heal physical illnesses… he can heal your mental illness too! Yes, we should connect them to the appropriate resources, but let’s not belittle the power of prayer when doing so. Yes, we have fellow believers also struggling, but when I say, pray… I’m not saying “just pray” like it’s an easy way out… I’m saying PRAY because it’s the ONLY way out. Pray like your life depends on it… because it does! It will not be easy, but your life is worth it! It’s worth waging war for on our knees!

One final yes, for those who don’t know Christ… I do believe knowing him will make all the difference!!!!! In his presence there is fullness of joy! Peace that surpasses all understanding! Hope like an anchor of the soul! New mercies every morning! Love that covers a multitude of sins! And so much more!!!!

Thanks for reading & don’t forget to pray! 🙏🏻

The Truth About Working Moms

When I first started working- Sarah was only six months. I could not live with the guilt I felt leaving her every morning. I remember crying to my husband that I was an “evening and weekends mom”. I know, I know, harsh.  I hated feeling like my attention was divided between home and work.  Notice my use of the word “was”. Although I still feel guilty; I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself for having a career. My attention isn’t divided. Sarah with me, even when I am not at home. Yes, I still feel sick to my stomach every Sunday at the thought of leaving her the following morning, but hearing her squeals of delight because “Mommy’s home” is everything.

The worst part for those of us suffering from “working mom guilt” is the way we beat ourselves up for all of the milestones we feel our children haven’t accomplished yet because of us. For example, I’ve been struggling to potty-train Sarah. When I look around and see all the other potty-trained 2-year-olds- I feel like the worst mom in the world. Is my career somehow holding Sarah back? Am I selfish because I not only  “need” to work, but because I want to work as well? I’m sure I am not the only mom in the world who has asked themselves these questions. Probably more than once. Some days, it’s all I can think about.

Every day I’m learning not to punish myself for everything that goes wrong at home. Yesterday, we went out to eat and I took Sarah to the bathroom and she peed in the toilet for the first time and then announced it to the whole restaurant. Seeing her raise her arms and then yell at the top of her lungs, “I went pee-pee in the toilet!” was the highlight of my weekend. We still have a long way to go, but it’s a small victory.

And that’s what I am choosing to focus on. The small victories. Making Sarah dinner and hearing her exclaim, “Mom, this is delicious!” Brushing her hair and watching her dance around in excitement as she shows it off. Tucking her in at night and hearing her little voice whisper, “pica”, so that I scratch her back until she falls asleep. These “small victories” are the moments I live for.

Yes, I still think, If only, if only- I could be a stay at home mom!  I could do all of the things on my Pinterest board that I’m normally too exhausted to do! I could have “me time” and not feel like it’s taking from “her time”. I could stop sharing self-care memes and actually take care of myself. 

But, I’m realizing now that I can do both. I can take care of myself and still making taking care of her a priority. I work for Child Protective Services and one of the things I like to tell my clients is: “If you’re not safe- your children will not be safe”. I think that statement is true of anyone. Our physical safety may not be at risk, but our spiritual and emotional well-being is compromised when instead of taking care of ourselves- we wallow in our working mom guilt.

So, let’s stop beating ourselves up! Because when we do that- we’re not only hurting ourselves- we’re hurting our children! I melodramatically declared to my hubby the other day that I was going to take a nap and not feel guilty about it. He looked surprised at first, but then nodded and said, “you should never feel guilty for being tired”(And that is why I love him!).

So there you have it,  you should never feel guilty for being tired, or for ordering pizza instead of a home-cooked meal, or for falling asleep in the church nursery (True story!) or for being a full-time mommy who also works.

Thanks for reading!

-Damaris ❤

Prayer Is Not Enough

Several weeks ago, someone from my church was complaining about how we are not doing enough. His exact words were: “we don’t need to pray anymore, we need to start working”. I am still a little hazy about what he means by that, but his message on prayer was loud and clear. Prayer is not enough.

In the wake of the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School; I was surprised to see so many people echo this sentiment across the nation. From the viral tweet from Sarah Chadwick, a student who survived the shooting, to the endless debates across social media on the need for gun control and mental health care.

I don’t want your condolences you f****** price (sic) of sh*t, my friends and teachers were shot. Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims and the survivors; I cannot even begin to imagine the depth of their grief, but I am saddened by the thought that behind every “Call To Action” lies the idea that prayer won’t fix what is broken in America. Moreover, It saddens me to think that the Church agrees with this heresy.

I understand that we want something to be done… something tangible… something that we can hold in our hands that will make us feel safe- a security blanket. However, at the end of the day, all of our work will be for naught if God is not allowed back in our schools.

Not only have we rejected prayer in our schools, but we reject the very sentiment. It’s not enough to say, “my prayers are with you”; no longer is “I’ll be praying” welcome among those who grieve. I imagine that they are disillusioned with God. If God is real, where was he? I don’t pretend to know why God allowed this to happen, but I do know that prayer could have prevented it.

Prayer can open the ears of these politicians to hear the blood of our children crying out. Prayer can move them to take action. And if we prayed together? Uff, what couldn’t we accomplish? The Bible says,

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

The world needs our prayers, now more than ever before. They need a united church that can stand firm in their faith and not be shaken when things like this happen. E.M. Bounds said it best:

“Men and women are needed whose prayers will give to the world the utmost power of God; who will make His promises to blossom with rich and full results. God is waiting to hear us and challenges us to bring Him to do this thing by our praying…. As though God places Himself in the hands and at the disposal of His people who pray – as indeed He does.”

We need to really pray and not just go through the motions of prayer. We need to prayer like our lives and lives of our children depend on it… because they do.

Prayer is more than enough. It is the “work” we are called to the do and the best course of action we can take during times like these. Don’t take my word for it, I challenge you to pray and see for yourself.

Testimony Tuesday: DWJD

On Wednesday I had a dream that I was in my church praying when God began to minister to me using the parable of the Wheat & The Tares in Matthew 13. On Friday, I decided to share what God had given me with our church. It went well, for the most part. My messages are a lot likes my blog posts- short, sweet, and to the point, at least that’s what my husband says.  🙂

To be honest, I wasn’t ready for the criticism that followed. Afterwards, I went to IHOP with my family… and while they were busy ordering, I was in the woman’s restroom sobbing. For some reason, I had convinced myself that because this message was the Lord’s, that made it exempt from criticism.  I should’ve known better. I mean, c’mon now, the wheat and the tares? What was I thinking?!

Everything Jesus said and did was controversial. His words make us uncomfortable because, even now, they challenge us to go against worldly thought patterns that we’ve gone along with our entire lives. Jesus was criticized, but he did not let that stop him from sharing the truth. Not your truth or my truth (because now everyone has their own truth)… THE TRUTH.

A few months ago, I spoke with my pastors about starting a prayer committee in church. After Friday, I almost gave up on the whole idea, but I didn’t. We’ve all heard of WWJD (What would Jesus Do?), but I prefer DWJD (Do What Jesus Did). Jesus did not allow criticism to stop him from fulfilling his purpose and neither should we.  Last night, we had our first prayer meeting and it was blessed.

Don’t let anyone discourage from walking in the calling you have received from God.

Thanks for reading!

God Bless! 🙂

Against Your Family

All of our marriages and families are a huge deal. Yours and mine… Because each one is a billboard for the eternal, unchangeable love story between God and humankind. Each of their successes or failures is of great importance, both in God’s eyes and, therefore, in our enemy’s eyes.

In other words, our families are real life examples of the love God has for us and the relationship God desires to have with us. The enemy targets our spouses and our children for this very reason- to tarnish the image of God’s love for us reflected in our families.

Priscilla talks about how we should be praying for our husbands, children, and even extended family complete with Bible verses to help us fight for them in prayer.

She gives examples from her early years of marriage- how much energy she spent trying to change her husband and how she was convinced that improving him was her spiritual gift. I hope I’m not the only wife who can relate to that!

She also discusses how Satan knows the strengths and weaknesses of our children and will worm his way in to try and “stunt their growth, potential, and confidence.”

But not on our watch!

We pray because we know that they need us to be, “not on their backs, not up in their faces, but down on our knees.”

I’ll be honest, this past week has not been an easy one for my family. I had warned my husband that I was going to be posting a new blog about Satan’s strategies against families and that I felt we needed to be “watching and praying”, so that we’re prepared for Satan’s attacks. Needless to say, Satan is subtle in his attempts to dismantle our homes. We can never allow our anger to give him a foothold. Prayer is the only way to fight back effectively!

Even if you’re single with no children of your own- you can still pray for your family legacy now. I love Priscilla’s use of the word legacy, by the way. Legacy is what we leave behind for the generations that follow.

What legacy will we leave our children?

Heavenly Father,

I praise you for my family. I praise you for blessing me with a good man who loves me. I praise you for Sarah. I praise you for your presence in our home.

Please forgive me for fighting with all the wrong people instead of fighting for all the right people… in prayer!

I ask you to give me patience! I ask that you season all my words with grace! I ask you to help me respect Sam and submit to his leadership as the head of our household! I ask you to help Sam commit his work to you, so that you can establish all of the plans he has in his heart for our home! I ask you to give us wisdom in everything that we do! I ask you to help us instruct Sarah in your ways, so that as she grows older she never departs from your truth!

Yes! Because the Bible says that the Angel of the Lord encamps around those who who fear him and he delivers them! Yes! Because you protect AND defend us… we need only be still! Yes! Because we don’t have to fear sudden danger! Our confidence is placed in YOU!

In Jesus Name,

AMEN!