Praying Instead


The closer we get to Election Day, the more I want to crawl in a hole! I can’t stomach the news anymore and the debates literally nauseate me. My inclination is to get all riled up and spout my opinions or rant about what angers me, but my mind and emotions just don’t have the energy. Instead, God keeps impressing on me to pray.

Pray for our nation, our people, and His church. Ask forgiveness for my many personal sins and our collective ones. Humbly seek Him in His Word and look for His direction. Turn off the radio or tv and sit quietly in His presence. Wait for His answer and then obey whatever He directs.

One of the most effective methods of prayer is to get in God’s Word and pray it back to Him. Today He led me to Psalm 25. Wow– such a bold prayer! The second time I read through it I couldn’t help but read it in plural tense and pray it back to Him. We desperately need all that’s asked of God here.

Will you pray this chapter of His Word with me today?

Psalm 25 (TLB)

“To You, O Lord, [we] pray. Don’t fail [us], Lord, for [we are] trusting You. Don’t let [our] enemies succeed. Don’t give them victory over [us]. None of those who have faith in God will ever be disgraced for trusting Him. But all who harm the innocent shall be defeated.

Show [us] the path where [we] should go, O Lord; point out the right road for [us] to walk. Lead [us]; teach [us]; for You are the God who gives [us] salvation. [We] have no hope except in You. Overlook [our] youthful sins, O Lord! Look at [us] instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness.

The Lord is good and glad to teach the proper path to all who go astray; He will teach the ways that are right and best to those who humbly turn to Him. And when we obey Him, every path He guides us on is fragrant with His loving-kindness and His truth.

But Lord, [our] sins! How many they are. Oh, pardon them for the honor of Your Name.

Where is the man who fears the Lord? God will teach him how to choose the best. He shall live within God’s circle of blessing, and his children shall inherit the earth.

Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence Him. With them alone He shares the secrets of His promises.

[Our] eyes are ever looking to the Lord for help, for He alone can rescue [us]. Come, Lord, and show [us] Your mercy, for [we] are helpless, overwhelmed, in deep distress; [our] problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save [us] from them all! See [our] sorrows; feel [our] pain; forgive [our] sins. See how many enemies [we] have and how viciously they hate [us]! Save [us] from them! Deliver [our lives] from their power! Oh, let it never be said that [we] trusted You in vain!

Assign [us] Godliness and Integrity as [our] bodyguards, for [we] expect You to protect [us] and to ransom [America] from all her troubles.”

Thank you for praying with me! May God hear our cries, forgive our sins and heal our land!!🇺🇸

❤️ Jessie

Trump: An Unlikely Savior


True or False?

God is sovereign.
God always provides a path to redemption.
God longs to rescue and restore His people.
God is for us, not against us.

If you answered True to each of these statements, this post is for you.

First off, I am a sinful human and I know it. I am not always right and my opinion does not matter more than any other. Those qualities belong to God alone. So before you decide this is another random soapbox, please hear me out.

If you agreed with that list of statements, then you probably agree with my belief that God is righteous and His Word is inerrant. He always provides a way of escape, a path to redemption, a chance for correction. His Son is living proof and His Word is packed with evidence that He longs to rescue His people and restore their hearts.

What if we apply these truths to the presidential election?

God is faithful to offer His children His best, but He is also fair to offer us the freedom to choose. (In that way, God is pro-choice!) Sometimes, though, our choices are not optimal. Like choosing between chemo or death, occasionally we do indeed have to choose the lesser of two evils. As my family is currently learning, sometimes you don’t like ANY of your options but you must choose one if you want to move forward.

I promised myself I wouldn’t post anything political because honestly, my heart and mind can barely navigate a usual day right now much less the mess that is our current election. But today I felt such a strong urge of The Spirit that we — God’s people — have a choice set before us and if we aren’t careful, we risk being the same stiff-necked, rebellious people we’ve always been.

I’ve read countless posts and articles and listened to endless rants from Christians who cannot stomach the thought of having “no choice” but to vote for Trump. And I get it. He’s not our first choice nor does he embody the morals we wish to see represented in the White House. But what if, perhaps, he is the better choice God is offering us?

What if Donald Trump, worts and all, is the vehicle by which God will lead us out of captivity?

I was prompted to read Isaiah 48…

“’Listen to me, O family of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and born into the family of Judah. Listen, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and call on the God of Israel. You don’t keep your promises, even though you call yourself the holy city and talk about depending on the God of Israel, whose name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies…

‘Listen to me, O family of Jacob, Israel my chosen one! I alone am God, the First and the Last. It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth, my right hand that spread out the heavens above. When I call out the stars, they all appear in order.’

“Have any of your idols ever told you this? Come, all of you, and listen: The LORD has chosen Cyrus as his ally. He will use him to put an end to the empire of Babylon and to destroy the Babylonian armies. ‘I have said it: I am calling Cyrus! I will send him on this errand and will help him succeed. Come closer, and listen to this. From the beginning I have told you plainly what would happen.’

“And now the Sovereign LORD and his Spirit have sent me with this message. This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore— too many to count! There would have been no need for your destruction, or for cutting off your family name.’

“Yet even now, be free from your captivity! Leave Babylon and the Babylonians. Sing out this message! Shout it to the ends of the earth! The LORD has redeemed his servants, the people of Israel.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭48:1-2, 12-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God made it clear– He chose Cyrus to do His work and restore His people’s freedom. Okay… So who was Cyrus?

Cyrus II The Great founded the Persian empire, the kingdom that would become modern-day Iran. Yet he was the very man God would use to end the Israelite’s bondage in Babylon and restore them to their rightful land. God even prompted him to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-3).

Sounds interesting, right? The more I read of Cyrus, the more I’m reminded of Trump. Paul D. Gardner’s commentary on Cyrus sounds oddly similar to our current situation. Check it.

Gardener writes, “The Lord even says of Cyrus: ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please (Is. 44:28). In Isaiah 45 He calls Cyrus His ‘anointed’ whom God will use to rebuild the city and Temple.”

“I have raised up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will direct all his paths. He shall restore my city and free my captive people–and not for a reward!” Isaiah 45:13 

Perhaps a modern Cyrus might have the slogan “Make [Jerusalem] Great Again”? And perhaps he would accept no “rewards” from lobbyists?

Gardner further writes, “It is not clear how Cyrus knew that he had heard from Yahweh. However, many have suggested that he may have heard the word from Daniel or someone like him: a person who held a high position in the empire and therefore had the ear of the king.”

Cyrus surrounded himself with God’s people. Enter Mike Pence.

Further commentary says, “The details of how Cyrus oversaw the start of the Israelite return to Jerusalem and initiated work on the Temple is recounted in Ezra. Even more remarkable is that Cyrus encouraged the work by ordering gifts to be given to the returning people of Israel and by returning to them the Temple treasures that had been taken from Jerusalem when the city was conquered.”

Sounds a bit like returning jobs and restoring wealth that had been shipped elsewhere, doesn’t it?

Lastly, it is clear that even though Cyrus was used by God, he himself was not a man of God. Gardener writes, “There is little indication that Cyrus actually became a follower of Yahweh. Probably his enlightened policy of administration of such a huge empire meant that he showed respect for the religious beliefs of many different peoples. However, his rise to power at that particular moment in history was subject to God’s authority and such a political policy was conceived within God’s purposes for the sake of the protection and resettlement of His own people.”

Believers, what if Donald Trump is God’s choice for our particular moment in history? What if he is the man God will use to restore our freedom and economy? Trump has clearly been gifted with “an enlightened policy of administration” or else the man could not have built the “empire” he has today. He is not without fault, but he is also not without skill.

If we agreed with the list at the beginning of this post then we have to believe God is offering us a path to redemption in this election. And if Trump is the choice we have, then we as Christians must stop complaining about him. We must stop whining about how grotesque his comments are, how he is not godly enough or Christlike, or how he doesn’t represent the morals we desire. No, he’s not a godly man but he may be God’s chosen man.

It’s hard to accept, I know, but what if he is the one to pave our nation’s path to restoration? Will we complain about our way of redemption? (Isaiah 45:9-13)

Before we vote, I believe we must ask ourselves these questions again. Do I, a follower of Jesus Christ, truly believe:

God is sovereign?
God always provides a path to redemption?
God longs to rescue His people?
God is for us, not against us?

If I do, then perhaps I can trust God to use Donald Trump.


“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Safety or Sanctity


“Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. It was a good day… And thank you, God, for healing my daddy. In your name I pray. Amen.”

Cole prayed this prayer at the supper table Monday night.

As soon as his prayer ended, he burst into tears. With chubby little hands, he covered his eyes and sobbed. We rushed to him and held him, assuring him that indeed God did HEAL his daddy! That Daddy is healthy now and how it is something to be happy about! That he was right to thank and praise God!!

He understood but said it still makes him sad to think about.

Me too.

(My healthy, 39 year old husband, Stevie-P, suffered a major heart attack on May 1, 2016. If you’re a Facebook friend, you’re well aware of our journey. But if you only follow my blog, this is brand new information. I’ll tell more of the story one day…)

The next day as we drove to get Abbie from school, he asked me, “How did the doctors know Daddy had a heart attack?” and if they had to cut his heart open to fix it.

I explained how they ran tests and took pictures of Daddy’s heart to see it was, indeed, a heart attack. Then, they used one of his veins like a tunnel to get to his heart where they put a tiny “straw” inside for the blood to flow through. He seemed to understand but I could still see the wheels turning.

When I asked why he’s thinking about Daddy’s heart so much lately, he again told me he didn’t want to talk about it anymore because it makes him sad.

Again, me too.

I have no idea where his thoughts are stemming from or what is running through that cute little head of his, but I know my heart breaks every time he asks such things. He’s just 4 years old.

Watching My Love have a heart attack, racing him to the hospital with our babies in tow, was one of the scariest moments of my life– and probably theirs. I wish I could forget about it, too.

I desperately want my children to be protected from such grown-up issues and worries, from stress and fear, especially when they’re off my watch. But this morning as I prayed for Cole’s heart to be cleansed of these fears and his mind renewed of these thoughts, the Lord whispered this…

You spend more time praying for your people’s protection than you do their perfection. Pray, instead, for them to become more like Me.


I do pray 24-7 for my people’s protection from just about everything. From harm, injury, fear, danger, rejection, temptation, sin. It’s what Momma’s do. I so want my people to have safe, happy lives, but if they’re always safe and happy, how will they learn to trust God? How will they become more like Him? How will they learn to seek Him when it’s hard? How will they know He is able to overcome all things; that nothing is beyond Him?

I hate Satan and sin, and I hate the sickness and evil this world is infested with. But my people live here in the thick of it. Despite my attempts, they will be faced with all the things I want to keep from them.

If I’ve learned anything from this season, it’s that I can change Nothing. I cannot change the fact that my children witnessed their daddy’s heart attack. I cannot change the fact their Grandpa moved to Heaven without saying goodbye. I cannot change what their futures hold, but I can guide them to trust The One who holds their future.

I can share the glorious hope we have because of Jesus. I can tell them how He overcame sin and death and rose from the grave, and how one day we will, too. I can show them how to live anchored to that hope, no matter what storm rages around them.

I can’t stop the situations they will face, but I can pray for those situations to draw them closer to Christ. To help them love and trust Him more. To make them look more like Him.

Yes, I can still ask God for their safety, but like Jesus prayed, I must also ask for their sanctity.


“I have given them Your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your word, which is truth.” ~Jesus
John‬ ‭17‬:‭14-17‬ (NLT)

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭(NLT‬‬)

Slacker-Moms, Unite!


I’m such a slacker-mom.

Every year about two weeks before school starts, I murmur things about getting back in our “school night routine” and bedtime. How it will help us all function better when school starts. Make our mornings run smoother. Make the madness easier. But have I ever actually done said murmurings? No I have not. And why?

Because I enjoy freedom.

As much as I know going to bed earlier and getting up at ungodly hours FOR NO REAL REASON will lessen the hellaciousness of the first week back, I just can’t bring myself to believe it enough to give up my current luxuries. BOTH of my children have spent the entire summer sleeping well past 9am. Do you know how that translates?


Why on earth would I willingly throw away the last two weeks of such bliss?

School starts Monday and yes, I’m sure I will loathe myself when my alarm rings at 5:30am. But this final weekend of summer will be enjoyed. It’s rainy and dreary and perfect sleeping-in weather. My kids deserve to enjoy these final days of lazy unstructured freedom and fellow slacker-moms, so do we. So. Do. We.

Happy last weekend of Summer! 🏖🌦🛌

A Chance for Glory


“…The evil prince of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will freely do what The Father requires of me so the world will know that I love The Father. Come, let’s be going.”
~John 14:30-31

Sometimes the hard places of suffering feel like an evil doing of the enemy. However, I’m learning on this journey that God’s sovereignty covers even the darkest moments.

Jesus’ words in John 14:30-31 give me hope today. He said this to his disciples in the upper room during their last supper together, just hours before Roman soldiers would lead him away to be tried and crucified.

He was preparing their hearts for what they would soon endure, for the sudden loss they were about to suffer. He knew they would be shocked and feel attacked. Like something had been stolen from them. Like they had been wronged. Like God had somehow messed up.

Look at what he chose to say to them about their eminent situation.

“…the evil prince of this world approaches…”

Yes, guys. Satan is real and he’s here, seeking to steal and kill all I’ve done in you. And he wants to destroy all I desire to do through you. But I do not fear him and neither should you.

“He has no power over me…”

Satan has no authority over what is about to go down. He’s not calling the shots of what happens to me or how I will respond. Remember that.

“…but I will freely do what The Father requires of me…”

This suffering, this hard place I’m about to walk through is God’s plan, not Satan’s. It’s His task for me. I will choose to see it as such and complete it with His power.

“…so the world will know that I love The Father.”

I’m choosing to face this unbearably agonizing thing because it will bring glory to The Father. It will prove Who I am in Him and the love He has for the world.

“Come, let’s be going.”

I want you to go through this hard place with me. Even though it’s looming, we’re not backing down in fear. Let’s go to it, face it head-on. Watch how I handle it and follow my lead.

At first, the disciples didn’t do a hot job heeding His words. They hid. Doubted Him. Denied Him. But slowly, as the haze of shock lifted, they came around. They began to remember all He had taught them and the pieces came together. They recognized the tools He left them and began using them to stand firm and spread The Gospel. And aren’t we thankful?!

I needed this reminder today. I needed to remember I do not have to fear the enemy or anything that comes my way because The Father is bigger. He’s The Man with The Plan and He wants to accomplish things through me, too.

Jesus’ words also echo a truth I’ve tucked away…

“You have not handed me over to the enemy, but have given me open ground in which to maneuver.”
~Psalm 31:8

Suffering, trials, impossible situations are not a sign that God has let me go. They are a chance for glory. Opportunities He gives me to respond.

To look Fear in the eye and tell him, you’ve got no power here!

To see this hard place for what it is, a gift from The Father where I have the freedom to choose my actions.

To offer my suffering as an instrument for His glory, a living testimony of God’s power and love.

To stand firm and face it head-on in the strength of The Holy Spirit.

I’m so thankful for God’s Word! To read words so powerful, they transform my perspective even though they were spoken 2,000+ years ago.

I pray His words reach your dark place, too. Whatever mess you’re facing today, choose to see it for what it truly is.


5 Things To Do for Father’s Day

5 Things To Do for Father’s Day

A sweet friend sent a much-needed message today. She assured me and a few other girls we’re on her mind and in her prayers as we live through our “Year of Firsts” without our daddies.

If you’ve lost a loved one, you know exactly what that means. First holidays without Daddy’s laughter, first birthdays without the threat of a “birthday spanking,” and tomorrow, my first Father’s Day without him.

Y’all have to know, The Last Thing I want to do is make this blog all about Daddy or Death or Grief, but that’s my life right now. Three years ago when God led me to begin sharing the no-makeup-or-coffee version of my life, He knew this season was coming. He knew what my reality would be today and He asked that I be painfully honest about it. Only He knows why.

The biggest part of me wants to stay quiet; don’t make anyone sad on a happy day. But for many of us, God’s showing me tomorrow may not be so happy.

In the weeks immediately following Daddy’s move to Heaven, I made note of some very specific thoughts that crossed my mind. I’ve held on to them ever since, waiting for the day The Spirit would nudge me to share them.

I’m feeling nudged today.

For those of you blessed to celebrate with your daddies this Father’s Day, here are 5 thoughts to consider.

1. Hug and kiss him. Every. Time. You. See. Him. Rushed or not. Convenient or not. Just like our days, hugs and kisses are numbered.

2. Take pictures not just OF him, but WITH him. And be silly. Don’t worry about looking good, just be happy. And smile. A lot. You’ll be so glad to have both your faces in the same frame one day.

3. Don’t worry about proving you’re a grown-up or that you’ve got it all together– Ask your dad for his opinion and advice. Doesn’t mean you have to take it, but at least you’ll know what he would’ve said or done when he’s no longer there to ask.

4. Revert to your childhood. Take advantage of a sweet moment and really look at him. Hold his hand. Touch his cheek. Climb in his lap, even. He may think you’re crazy but he won’t mind. And neither will you.

5. Tell him what he did right. Tell him the good things that stand out in your memory. Recount the Big Things but also the little things. Write him a letter and tell him what you remember about his character; the Good you saw him doing when he thought you weren’t looking.

The greatest need of every man’s heart is Respect; that is the gift he wants most from you. These five things may seem trivial but they will pour respect all over your dad, whether you see it or not. You will reap blessings, too.

Maybe someone out there is thinking, “But Jessie, you don’t know MY dad.”

To that I say: No, I don’t. But I know The Heavenly Father. And He has lavished His unfailing love on us, loved us first, forgiven us and desires our love in return. And one of the ways we love Him is by loving and honoring the earthly father He has given us.

Biblical “love” is an action. Hesed, the Hebrew word for Love, is described as “a completely undeserved kindness and generosity.” Hesed is faithful and reliable. It “intervenes on behalf of loved ones and comes to their rescue.”

This is how The Father loves us and how we should love one another. Including our dads.

Do these five things whether you want to or not, whether you think your dad deserves it or not. Make an effort. Even if he hangs up on you there will be peace on your end knowing you took action to love him.

I give glory to God for the foresight to love my Daddy well and not take his love for granted (not too much, anyway), and yet I still feel I could’ve done more. Our life together was and is precious to me; I pray he knew that.

Regardless our age, only us girls who’ve lost our daddies know the gaping hole that’s left once he’s gone. Trust me, you will never regret any action you take to love your daddy.

And neither will he.

And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.”

~Ephesians 6:3