Passivity Gets You Passed

Have you ever been sitting and thinking when you realized that you’ve let your faith get stale, that your light has grown dim, that minimal fruit is being produced from your life? If I were to sit down and talk to you, I am almost positive that you would tell me this state of mediocrity didn’t just appear overnight. It’s true, actually. Whenever we fall off the wagon of faith and intimacy with Christ and obedience to Christ, it is seldom an immediate occurrence. That is to say, we can actively live passive, sluggish, lethargic lives that lead to a status of discontentment.

While this conversation could go several ways, I would like to hone in on how prayer and connection with the Holy Spirit directly effect our lives. There are several passages of scripture in the New Testament that talk about how God answers when we pray, how that we must pray, how that our motives must be pleasing to God as we pray. Check out the following scriptures before I continue:

Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

Each of these scriptures provides a pattern of prayer where an exchange takes place after the believer takes the necessary step towards God. The thing about prayer we must always realize is that it is an active dialogue that engages God, not a passive thought process that assumes God knows. Is God all-knowing? Absolutely! Thus, prayer does not magically allow God in on our deepest desires, biggest problems, and most critical petitions. Prayer does, however, compel the believer to be active, to make a confident request of heaven based on who God is!

Have you ever been so focused on not complaining, not worrying, not mumbling, and not becoming overwhelmed so that your life is in agreement with Scripture? I have. While this is good, we can become so focused on NOT doing the negative things that we forget to enact the parts of scripture that bring forth a response from God. Take a look at Philippians 4:6-7. While this passage tells us not to be anxious, it also emphasizes the necessity of prayer–making our requests known to God and thanking Him for his answer. Do you see? There is action that must take place on our end.

Fairly recently God spoke to me about becoming more active in prayer, more intentional with my faith, and more expectant of His answers. I learned from the Holy Spirit that when I am not active in prayer and faith that I am being passive. Notice in the scriptures I listed that the pattern is: (1) person prays with proper motive and according to the Word and (2) God undoubtedly responds. When I am a passive believer, I am passed when “answer time” comes around. I cannot in all sincerity expect an answer when I have not made a request–according to God’s pattern of prayer.

So today, take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit how you can be more instant in prayer and active in faith. Whatever His answer, be willing to obey, let go of old habits, and live in the joy of fellowship and answered prayers! There is nothing that increases faith more than answered prayers and heightened awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence! Let’s commit to letting go of passivity and grabbing hold of a passionate faith.

Cheers to a sweet prayer life.

Xx,

-AMG

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Passivity Gets You Passed

Have you ever been sitting and thinking when you realized that you’ve let your faith get stale, that your light has grown dim, that minimal fruit is being produced from your life? If I were to sit down and talk to you, I am almost positive that you would tell me this state of mediocrity didn’t just appear overnight. It’s true, actually. Whenever we fall off the wagon of faith and intimacy with Christ and obedience to Christ, it is seldom an immediate occurrence. That is to say, we can actively live passive, sluggish, lethargic lives that lead to a status of discontentment.

While this conversation could go several ways, I would like to hone in on how prayer and connection with the Holy Spirit directly effect our lives. There are several passages of scripture in the New Testament that talk about how God answers when we pray, how that we must pray, how that our motives must be pleasing to God as we pray. Check out the following scriptures before I continue:

Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

Each of these scriptures provides a pattern of prayer where an exchange takes place after the believer takes the necessary step towards God. The thing about prayer we must always realize is that it is an active dialogue that engages God, not a passive thought process that assumes God knows. Is God all-knowing? Absolutely! Thus, prayer does not magically allow God in on our deepest desires, biggest problems, and most critical petitions. Prayer does, however, compel the believer to be active, to make a confident request of heaven based on who God is!

Have you ever been so focused on not complaining, not worrying, not mumbling, and not becoming overwhelmed so that your life is in agreement with Scripture? I have. While this is good, we can become so focused on NOT doing the negative things that we forget to enact the parts of scripture that bring forth a response from God. Take a look at Philippians 4:6-7. While this passage tells us not to be anxious, it also emphasizes the necessity of prayer–making our requests known to God and thanking Him for his answer. Do you see? There is action that must take place on our end.

Fairly recently God spoke to me about becoming more active in prayer, more intentional with my faith, and more expectant of His answers. I learned from the Holy Spirit that when I am not active in prayer and faith that I am being passive. Notice in the scriptures I listed that the pattern is: (1) person prays with proper motive and according to the Word and (2) God undoubtedly responds. When I am a passive believer, I am passed when “answer time” comes around. I cannot in all sincerity expect an answer when I have not made a request–according to God’s pattern of prayer.

So today, take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit how you can be more instant in prayer and active in faith. Whatever His answer, be willing to obey, let go of old habits, and live in the joy of fellowship and answered prayers! There is nothing that increases faith more than answered prayers and heightened awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence! Let’s commit to letting go of passivity and grabbing hold of a passionate faith.

Cheers to a sweet prayer life.

Xx,

-AMG

 

P.S. If you would like to help donate to get me into the mission field of Ecuador this summer to help to actively disciple others, please visit gofundme.com/ashleymariegray

For Your Sanity

When I finally decided I would do this blog “The Crowned Jewel,” I was hesitant to put a mommy category. First of all, my kid is only 13 months (how time flies). Secondly, I didn’t do all the things over his first year of life that the new mommy articles say you should. Come to think of it, I didn’t not do all the things they said you weren’t supposed to do, either…Basically I felt pretty under-qualified to be offering advice. Nonetheless, I decided to add the category to share my perspective, what worked for me, what I find challenging, etc. and so on. Ayden is healthy, vibrant, and happy…so that’s all that counts in my book.

All this said, today I wanted to share the importance of having a schedule. Whether your little one is 6 months or 26 months, it is really important to have a schedule for him/her, especially if you’re a stay-at-home mama. Babies, toddlers, and children thrive from structure, so it is in everyone’s best interest to begin developing a schedule. What I noticed with Ayden is that he has kind of set his own schedule since he was about 5 months from nap time to play time to lunch…just based on his personality and communication of needs to me.

Let’s be clear, though. There will be days that your little one absolutely couldn’t care less about a schedule, napping, eating well, getting dressed to go out, or having quiet time in her crib. It’s on these days we learn to go with the flow and pray for a multitude of grace and patience–which I have discovered the Lord always provides 🙂 Then there are the days when all your little one will want to do is sleep and be mellow. Not because he’s sick or anything, just because that’s what he wants to do that day (good for you!). What’s important is that you try to be in tune with what your baby/child needs so that both of you can have more smooth days than bumpy ones.

Below you will find what Ayden’s daily schedule looks like. I have increasingly added more structured learning times as he has gotten older, but the bones of the schedule have been the same for several months now as he has learned to settle into a schedule.

I’m saying a prayer for all you mamas out there reading this! May the Lord give you the strength, wisdom, and joy you need as you care for your little ones. This is a calling He has equipped you for on both the good and challenging days. This is another post for another day, but it I also have my own schedule that coincides with Ayden’s down time…allowing me to work, nap, step out of the house (when my support group is available to sit for us), etc.

In closing, you were made for this, mama! Enjoy your little ones while it lasts, because time seriously flies! And…for your sanity, start implementing that schedule 🙂

Ayden’s Schedule

8:10- Wakes Up (chills out in crib…I leave toys on his changing table so I can freshen up)

8:30- Breakfast (Usually toast and applesauce/yogurt/cream of wheat/sausage)

8:50- Learning Time (Your Baby Can Read)

9:10- Worship + Music (I play keys, he bangs on his drum and dances lol…usually turns into playtime at some point)

9:30- Snack (teddy grahams, apple slices, crackers…)

10:00- Story time (learning book)

10:15- Naptime (make lunch during nap)

12:45- Lunch (Fish sticks, baked french fries, applesauce, baked chicken breast, stage 3 foods whatever I have on-hand)

1:00- Learning (Your Baby Can Read)

1:20- Playtime

2:30- Quiet Time (Ayden loves his crib and will let you know when he needs quiet time–gets a little whiny)

3:00- Snack (usually same as before) + Run around time

4:00- Naptime (make dinner)

6:00- Dinner (Baked chicken, string beans, stage 3 foods…he can eat what we eat basically)

6:30 – 7:30- Combination of running around, daddy time, a little learning TV, sneaking up the stairs, etc…)

7:30, 8:00, or 8:30- Bedtime (After a full day we usually have no qualms at bedtime. He has a bottle then goes to sleep.)